Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Naughty Girl/NaNo Freak Out/Serious Rant

I've not done right by those who visit me, which probably means my limited readership has dropped even further, to my chagrine, but such is life. We've been playing duck duck goose with a nasty cold and I got goosed. Plus we've had all the frivolties of Halloween to deal with and hear it is the day of and I still haven't carved the pumpkin. Oh well.

At the forefront of my mind is the fact that NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow! I felt like at the first of the month I was so gung ho that by the time November rolled around I'd feel ready. I am comforted by the fact that some people are doing this from scratch, no plot, no characters, nothing; at least I'm ahead of them, but I'm daunted, no doubt about it. I've got about 7 chapters loosely outlined, which I'm hoping will lay out the path for the rest of the book to follow. We'll see. I'm excited and nervous. I'll be sure to give regular updates of my progress and possible excerpts if I find something on the page other than drivel. If there is anyone within eyesight of this post who is participating this year, feel free to buddy me. I'm needy. My name over there is HoodieWriter.

And for those of you who like a good rant, I've prepared one especially for you. I am disgusted with the dominating practice in our society to let the few determine the rules for the majority. If people could start worrying a little bit more about fixing problems instead of spending all of their time blaming others for them we may not have this problem. Let me explain what I'm talking about.

We went to buy shoes for my daughter a few weeks ago. We've really been trying to stay within a budget, so price was the number factor, but I also wanted something cute and practical. We absolutely HAD to buy shoes. She had only one pair of flip flops she was fitting into and it was starting to get cold. Every store we visited either was out of her size of the shoes we liked or was way out of our price range. It was becoming quite a frustrating process. Finally, at PayLess we found one pair that seemed perfect for our needs and had been significantly marked down. I literally whooped for joy. With a triumphant grin I took the shoes to the register where I was told there had been a recall on the shoes and she couldn't sell them to me. I was so irritated. There those great shoes sat, never to be worn, because a little rivet or shoelace or rubber piece or something fell off a shoe somewhere. I was tempted to just steal them. We live in such a blame/sue-happy society companies take ridiculous efforts in keeping themselves from lawsuits. Your kid found a piece of a toy and choked on it? SUE THE TOY COMPANY!

More examples that just make my ears steam? My sister's OB/GYN, whom she adored, had to quit his practice due to unaffordable malpractice insurance. Your baby wasn't born perfect? SUE YOUR DOCTOR! They took the hand sanitizer out of the kids room at my gym because some lady said that she read of a case where a kid had continually pumped it on his hands and licked it off, making him sick. So on the weird chance some kid might lick sanitizer, LET'S NOT PROVIDE IT FOR ANYONE! I grew up in a very conservative community where most people were religious. One girl complained, though she was in no way forced to participate, that a group prayer had offended her, so prayer was banned at all functions. TO SAVE "OFFENDING" THE ONE, LET'S OFFEND THE MAJORITY! Now, because of the irresponsible use of children's cold medicine, they won't sell it to the rest of us. SORRY KIDS, YOU'LL JUST HAVE TO SUFFER THROUGH IT.

Are people getting hurt less? Sick less? Are all these bans and recalls and lawsuits helping? I, personally, don't think so. I think the only thing we're accomplishing is training people to take no responsibility for their own mistakes and stupidity but to look for a way to blame/punish someone else for it. Aarrggh.

I know this encompasses some sensitive, controversial topics. Perhaps my views don't fall within those determined most popular, but GOOD GRIEF PEOPLE!

No Vocab today.

I urge you all to indulge in some sugary treats, the real reason for Halloween.

Monday, October 22, 2007


When I was 18 I was part of a national choir that toured Europe for a month. I was able to visit, however hastily, some of the most famed and beloved cities in Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland and France. It was a whirlwind experience - friendships, crushes, music, travel and so many new people, sites, sounds, and places I was barely able to absorb them. Not surprisingly it was an emotionally charged month. Up until that time I had never really left the western U.S. and had associated almost entirely with conservative people who shared most of my beliefs. It was the first time I really tasted what life outside of my small town was like. My best friends on the trip were from Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Maine. I was definitely the anomaly in our little group. That month it felt as if I were somehow able to open my eyes wider than I ever had before, that a new section of my mind opened up.

I considered myself a fairly cultured teenager. I had a strong appreciation of music, a love of literature and a fairly basic knowledge of art. I liked pretty pictures just as much as the next person.

In Paris we went to the Pompidou Museum. I saw all kinds of art there. Some was beautiful, some confusing and some, in my opinion, kind of stupid. But as we were browsing the gift shop I came across a 5x7 print by Francine Van Hove.

Something about this piece struck me in a way art had never done. I had always turned my virgin eye away from nudes, wondering if they were not just an excuse to exhibit images that were erotic. But I loved this picture right away. There was something so raw, simple and real about it that I was taken by its beauty. The woman seemed somehow strong and vulnerable at the same time. I bought the little print and stared at it in long stretches and something opened up inside of me. I wanted to be able to make people feel the way Van Hove had made me feel. I mourned that I was not an artist.

I found my little print the other day and my appreciation for it is still strong, though now it means different things to me. I realized, also, that I don't have to be able to draw to be an artist. My goal as a writer is make people feel. I may be a long way off from doing that effectively, but in the end that is my motivation.

What gets you excited about your craft?

Vocabulary Word of the Day:

NON SEQUITUR - noun - A statement that does not follow logically from what preceded it.

Monday, October 15, 2007

One Serious Meme

Thanks to Beth at Perfect Neurotic who likes me well enough to even think of me when trying to figure out who to tag for this next meme. The purpose of this, as I understand it, is to increase the exposure of your blog by linking your favorite three posts into the meme. Since this blog is still in its infancy my choices are not as difficult to make as they have been for others, but it also means I have a smaller quality margin to work within. There is so much of my genius still unblogged!

Anyway here are the official rules and the link progression. Everyone read, read, read!

"This seo meme was conceived and designed by Bobby at Revellian .com. This is a new fun seo meme ride for us all. This is based on the seo theory that links to posts inside your blog are more important than links to your home page. I have selected three posts I want to promote along with my site’s name. You will do the same thing. Let’s keep it simple and spread our good work around to both share and build some ratings!Make sure you pick three posts that you feel are your best. You could also select 3 posts you simply want to promote. Your site name is listed with your 3 selected posts beneath. Once you have your post up: Add the sites and post links of the folks you tagged onto your post. Try to add the site and post links to anyone involved to maximize the effectiveness. Tag a minimum of 5 people. Try your best not to double tag people so it will spread better! Please actually read the posts from everyone so you can see some really good work from our beloved blogging friends! Make your title a little different from mine to avoid repetitive titles."

Revellian dot com - SEO Keywords For Beginners, Content: The Kings Illegitimate Stepchild, Tales of Blogger-X Illusion

Mariuca - Wishing On A Falling Star - Love In Disarray, In Love With A Dream, The Good Client

Mariuca’s Perfume Gallery - Perfume Shopping Spree, Defining Beauty, In Full Splendour

Speedcat Hollydale Page - Rocket Boy in Hawaii - DC9, Speedcat’s Death Ride into Terror!, The Boy Inside All Men

Terri Terri Quite Contrary - Just How Immature Are We?, Finding a Voice, So Much More to See than the Game

Mahala - Uncle Huberts Custom Cows, Pray for the Child at Big Lots, The Legend of Saushie's Crotch

Tiff - How am I like Ron Weasley, A Social Experiment, Absolutely Boring Entry 101

Cosmic Cat - Just An Ordinary Thursday Night..., Not Gone With The Wind. Just Gone., The "Weekly Thoughtful Reminder" And Other Hazards Of Working

Field Lines - Even MIT Girls Get the Blues, Bye Bye, Friend, Bad Hair Day

The Perfect Neurotic - The Sticker, The Last American Virgin, Aunt Ellie, Come Get Your Ass

Tales From The Hoodie - Experience, Shoes, Literally, This is Killing Me

Okay, I really hope I did that right. I'm always nervous about tagging people, so I'm giving everyone I tag an out. If you've already been tagged or you plain just don't want to do it, you are exempt.

So, Church Lady, Brilliant Donkey and Struggling Writer, the choice is yours.

Vocabulary Word of the Day:
ESOTERIC - adj. - Meant for or understood by only a specific group

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Plot Elements

As I've been trying to piece together my plot I've been reflecting on common elements from other books I like. Here are a few I came up with.

- Journeys - Travel provides a change of scenery and often a change in situation.

- Talismans - Inanimate objects that carry so much meaning/importance they almost become like another character.

- Injury - Physical pain is something that everyone can relate to which makes it a good way to create sympathy in the reader

- Loss of Parent(s) - Think every single Disney story. An orphan makes an easy protagonist.

Those are some I've been thinking about today. What are some of your favorite plot elements, either to read or to write, to keep things interesting and create emotional investment?

Vocabulary Word of the Day:
TURGID - adj. - Excessively ornate or complex in style or language; Swollen or distended

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Let's Face It

The first conceived idea of the book I plan on writing for NaNoWriMo occurred over a year ago. Sometimes I'd think about it while driving, but it was all just sort of a vague idea for many months. Now that I've committed to writing it, the need to fill plot holes and do concrete research is on the front burner, so to speak. It's amazing how much plot can be developed in a short time when it's all you think about. Yesterday I think I came up with the major conflict that should push the plot along and, (this part was exciting) all my characters have names now! Naming a character does so much more than mark a place in the text. I'm able to visualize and develop the characters in my mind so much easier now that they have identities.

I discovered a funny thing I do when I'm writing yesterday. I was writing a dialogue scene and as I tried to picture what one character's reaction would be to what the other said I realized I was acting it out. I was saying the words the way I thought one character would say them, then physically reacting to them and vocally retorting. I think I do this a lot, but haven't really noticed it before. If I can do the movement, or say the words, I can see if it feels natural for the scene or not. Plus, especially when it comes to physical movements, doing them helps me describe them. Thankfully, I always write in solitude. I have yet to be made fun of for random shrugs, frowns and arguing with myself.

Do any of you do this?

Vocabulary Word of the Day:
SOBRIQUET - noun - An affectionate of humorous nickname. (Thanks Church Lady)