Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
In the comment section of my last post Beth said she can't imagine anything I write sucking. While I find that a thrilling compliment, I can assure you that not only can I write stuff that sucks, I'm quite adept at it. I'm not kidding. There was one point where I honestly wasn't sure what the main character should do next and I was exhausted. So the MC watched Oprah, ate cold cereal and took a nap. BORING. But it got me to the word count I wanted that day.
However, I've written at least one scene that gets me excited, so WOOT for that.
A famous author once wrote that you have at least a million words of garbage to write before anything truly wonderful comes out. I don't know if that's entirely true, but I get what he's saying. 990,000 to go! :)
Monday, November 3, 2008
This is kind of how I felt this past weekend. The NaNoWriMo kick off party in my area was so close to my house I felt guilty about the thought of not attending. Plus there was going to be pizza. When I pictured the types of people who might be there I wasn't really envisioning other people "like me." I let my mental picture be completely stereotypical. I won't tell you what I was picturing, but I will tell you that I went and found that my stereotype was almost completely correct. But you know what? I just went along with it and gave into my own dork side. I had a pretty good time. I didn't meet any lifelong friends, but it was fun to feel a part of something. And I won a door prize. Probably the best thing I took from it was how everyone really really had low expectations of what they could churn out in a month and it was OKAY. That was what stopped me cold last year. I couldn't believe how crappy it was. But this year I'm wading through the crap and just enjoying myself. Low and behold, I'm almost 5k into it on the third day.
I just might do it!
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
But I'm changing all that. My husband is leaving the country for half of November and I'm terrified. As it is I'm barely keeping daily life flowing. So, heck, why not add NaNoWriMo to the To Do list while I'm solely responsible for 2.5 kids and a home?
At least I'm excited about something.
If I write anything that isn't crap, I'll share.
Good luck, fellow WriMos.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
I'd watched the cancer suck her away bit by bit for four years. First her hand, then her breasts, small and budding as they were, then, finally, her lungs. She was always so delicate to begin with, but with that coy smile and the thick chestnut hair she'd never cut in her life until the chemo started. The cancer made her more fragile, like a pristine doll, her long fingernails her one grasp on beauty.
As children she laughed shyly at my jokes and giggled at our dress up play. We meticulously taught each other how to recreate our most prized artistic creations. We always slept in the same bed during visits.
While she was sick, my parents planned our hospital visits around when I would be sure to come, though I didn't know that at the time. She languished in her strange bed, but she listened and watched me and I tried to laugh. I began to mourn long before she passed.
I always believed she would live. She endured so much during the four years of her fight that I was sure she'd always come out on top. She was doing well, even dancing again and attending school, when we got the call to make the five hour drive as quickly as possible.
I didn't realize how close death was hovering. Her lips were dark beneath her oxygen mask, her eyes rolling in her head. I held her hand, waiting for her to notice I was there. I was alone with her for about 15 minutes, stroking those long nails and listening to her staggered breath. My pain was present, but isolated somewhere beyond me. I waited for her to show some comprehension before I told her I loved her, that she was my friend.
She began to struggle and I left the room in fear, calling for my sister. I went outside. My dad was showing my nephew how to shoot a BB gun. 5 minutes. When I went back inside everyone was crying, saying "At least she's not in pain anymore." My pain still lingered outside myself. I knew it was there, but I couldn't touch it. I'd been the last one before her mother to be with her before she passed.
I went in to see her. There she was, just where I'd left her, but she wasn't there anymore. That was clear. I expected her to look peaceful. She just looked dead. It took a while to cry. When the pain finally came gushing in, I thought it would never go away.
She taught me about death. She made me realize that I really do believe that I'll see her again. I don't mourn for her, but for those she left. I mourn for my sister, who might have had grandbabies by now.
She would be nearing her 28th birthday today. With every year the woman I am and the girl she was grow further apart, but I truly know in my heart that she is accomplishing something great just beyond my sight. She is a beautiful soul. She is my Moriah.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
I saw my baby on ultrasound today, which is also my pregnancy hump day (fitting name). I saw my little girl. Her femur, her spine and all four chambers of her little heart were absolutely beautiful. Today the pregnancy stopped being about me and started being about her. I am finally excited.
I'm having a baby girl!
I feel exhilarated. And on the writing side, I've made it a goal to write every day again. I'd left all my passions alone for awhile. Something inside me is waking up.
Friday, August 8, 2008
So I haven't been doing much. Not even writing because I'm just not feeling it. But I have been reading... a lot. I had the opportunity of reading a book by a relative of my husbands. It's her first published novel and it was cool to see her last name on the spine (since it is also my last name). She has been a High School English teacher for many years.
While I generally enjoyed the book, she committed what, to me, has always been a fiction writing faux pas. I was surprised when she skipped from one point of view to another willy nilly. I was always taught that if you are going to change point of view there needs to be, at the very least, a break in the text and works most effectively at chapter breaks. I'll give you an example. This is just me making something up, but it represents the kind of things I read in her book.
"Susan watched Bob from afar as he blew the hair from his eyes with a crooked smile. She knew he couldn't possibly be interested in her, but hadn't he been making eye contact with her all evening? His gaze met hers once more and she immediately looked away, feeling her cheeks flush. Her hands flew to her mouth, then retracted as she consciously kept herself from chewing her nails. He was definitely looking at her. She knew his reputation, but couldn't help the fact that his blue eyes made her heart race. Why would he possibly be paying any attention to her? Bob knew that he was making this girl flustered and he enjoyed it. He'd been eyeing her secretly for weeks. His friends would never let him live it down if they knew how much he dug her. What they couldn't know was that he had more in mind than just romance."
That was just some nonsense I just spewed, but it illustrates what I'm talking about.
So, what do you think? Are there hard set rules that really should never be broken in fiction, or does artistic license trump all?
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Friday, June 6, 2008
I need some advice about something else though. We have lived in this house for almost two months now. This is a very close knit "everybody knows everybody" neighborhood. Our next door neighbor has a little girl the same age as my little girl and they play together quite often. Sounds great, right? Well, I'm becoming more and more concerned with the situation. Especially since I've been ill, I confided in this neighbor that I probably would not be inviting her daughter over much this summer because I'm feeling so poorly. To be honest I'm thrilled with that prospect. I did not enjoy her presence. Now this little girl invites my little girl (and subsequently my younger son) over almost every day. They think they're helping me out. Normally I would consider this quite helpful, but this family- I don't know how to describe them without sounding extremely judgmental. Oh well. They are dirty. My kids come home crying almost every time either because they've been physically hurt or got hurt feelings. There is no discipline, no boundaries and it's becoming apparent that there is no supervision. This concerns me considerably. My son is 2. My daughter is 5. They come home dirty and unhappy and sometimes violent after playing with this little girl. A little girl who shows up at my door wearing a swimsuit, cowboy boots and mittens. A little girl, who at any random time of day, might be found standing conspicuously in my backyard with her hands down her pants.
The mother insists that she's happy to have them over. I'm sure she does! It lets her off the hook. I have no idea what she is doing while my kids are over there, but I'm not the kind of person to accuse her of being negligent to her face.
So what do I do? I'd rather have my kids here, bored out of their minds while Mommy is comatose on the couch than play with this little girl. But the relationship has been established. I can't avoid these people. They go to my church, they live just a few yards away, they come over every single day.
I'm worried about my kids. It's the first time I've been uncomfortable with the thought of having them in the care of someone else. What do I do?
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
I actually don't plan on doing a lot of extensive physical description. A bit here and there, for guidance. But I think it's cool when the reader forms their own picture. These pictures were chosen for expression as much as anything and to help me picture them as I write.
Anyway, meet my characters:
The main character, Derek, definitely shares some features with Cillian Murphy. The dark hair and blue, heavy-lidded eyes makes him a bit of an enigma. He is attractive, but with a certain melancholy to his face. However, Derek looks more Polynesian (way less Irish), so I liked this photo as well. Kind of a Polynesian Hayden Christiansen.
When I saw this photo I KNEW it was Derek's love interest, Tali. Gorgeous, but with self-possessed intelligence. The kind of girl who is beautiful, but unconcerned about it.
Tali's father (who yet remains unnamed) plays a crucial role in the story. He is large and kind and just happens to need a few tattoos. (Although he doesn't dance with fire or wear traditional Polynesian clothing)
Derek's mother, though absent for much of the story, plays one of the most pivotal roles. She was one of the first that solidified in my mind. Her hair has always been the forefront physical feature in my mind. She is gentle but very strong-willed and the wisest of all the characters (besides the blue whale, but we won't get into that). Yes, Diana Ross in this picture is the very essence of Jenel. (Though Jenel wears no makeup)
Antonio Banderes without the accent makes a great Rork, Derek's father.
Stevan is my antagonist. He is very charismatic and handsome and his features must be strong, but he is power-hungry and cruel. Dark hair is a must. I don't know who to base him after. Any suggestions?
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Friday, May 2, 2008
1. I have the pointiest tongue of anyone I've ever met. It's like a skewer.
2. Even in my youth running has always been difficult for me. I just seem to get exhausted before everyone else. After having an EKG done last fall my doctor suspects I have a thickened heart wall, which makes my heart have to pump harder to keep oxygenated blood flowing. Knowing this new limitation is validating and I'm now training (slowly) for a 5K. This is a huge deal for me. Yesterday it took me 48 minutes to do 3 miles, 25 of which I spent running.
3. I broke my leg when I was three, my shoulder in 3rd grade, my arm in 4th grade and my wrist in 5th grade. All through the 6th grade we kept our fingers crossed and I did actually end up in the emergency room for what we thought was another broken bone. Moral of the story? Drink your milk, kids.
4. When I was 17 I was in a play and on closing night it was pouring rain. A huge puddle had formed in the parking lot of my school and my friends and I played in it until we soaked through. Then I realized I had to take my friend and myself home. To avoid soaking my car seats we stripped down to our underwear. The moisture from our bodies made the car fog up and it was raining so hard I couldn't see the lines on the road. I wasn't sure if I was more afraid of getting in an accident or getting pulled over while wearing nothing but see-through underwear. Luckily, I did neither, but it was a nerve-wrecking drive.
5. I have auditioned for American Idol twice.
6. I brush my teeth in bed almost every night. I never rinse after brushing my teeth because I like to keep the fluoride on them, so it has sort of evolved that my husband brings me my toothbrush in bed while he's brushing his own teeth.
7. In 1999 my best friend won the MTV show called Say What Karaoke. For part of his prize he got to go the Y2K MTV party with a guest and he took me. This photo is from the MTV archives. I'm the girl on the front row who looks like she just heard a good joke. I think I was thinking (Holy Crap, Christina Aguilera is RIGHT THERE.) I also touched Gwen Stefani's shoes that night and the shirts of all the members of Blink 182. Good times.
Also, this is your last day to post a comment on the next post to be entered for the prize! I'm not tagging anyone, but if you think this meme is fun then do it. (I think it's fun.)
Monday, April 28, 2008
Monday, March 31, 2008
However, if life really is a highway then we have left the orange cones behind and set the cruise to a comfortable speed. We found a house and will be in it in less than two weeks. My sister and her family are out of town, which decreases the stress levels in the house and all the hard parts of the moving process are over. I'm really looking forward to our new location which will be 5 miles from DH's office and .5 miles from the elementary school.
If you've not seen a comment from me on your blog, however, it's not my fault. My sister has internet controls set and if content requirements are not met, I can't access certain sites. Chris, Jaye, Vanilla, Minx and others, I shave my finger with my other finger at you.
Two little weeks, baby. I can't wait.
Friday, March 7, 2008
Now the real fun begins. Today is packing day. I'm surrounded by mounds of boxes, moving supplies and piles of stuff that leave me wondering, "what the heck do I do with this?"
So, until I've found myself another house (we'll be living with family for a couple of weeks) I don't really plan on posting. I will have computer access, so I'll try to visit y'all. But consider me officially on hiatus.
So I leave you with a question to fill your days with ponderings until our next contact:
What do you consider your best training for writing? Where have you honed your skills? School? Critique groups? I want to know what has had the biggest impact on your learning to write. Feel free to expound liberally.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Monday, February 11, 2008
Remember this post?
Answers have come forward. It's actually pretty funny.
My husband had been looking at a job possibility and we had told some local friends about it. We know them through church and they knew us well enough to know that taking a new job and moving far away is something that we would consult God about through prayer. Our clever little friend sent the letter in an effort to humorously cast a vote about whether we would take the job or stick around. He just did such a good job that I didn't consider it to be them. Once we found out it was their doing the letter went from strange to quite hilarious.
Alas, however, my husband was offered this job and we have decided to take it. Right now he works in public accounting which anyone familiar with the field will tell you is a high stress/many hours job. It's not all that family friendly. So he has taken a job with a private company 900+ miles away. Fewer hours, more money and much closer to our families. It's pretty win/win.
However, they need him right away. So he will begin work there in two weeks and the kids and I will move out two weeks after that. In the past few days it's been a mad scramble to get the house on the market, get it showable and take care of many many details so that all will sail smoothly in a few weeks. We are excited and stressed. The job will be great, but the transition makes me a little nervous.
I shall try not to leave you postless.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Eyes are open
But there is no light
The sky is rippled with the colors of shadow
The journey of one moon has brought with it
Superimposed on my own
Brimstone of ice
Wind’s fierce breath in my hair
Searing my skin
His coarse groan whispering in my ear
Ghosts of ice
Misty mignons across my path
The bottom-feeders of Hell
Float in their onward dance
For souls to claim
Wanderers with malicious intent
Frozen in its brittle pain
Pushes through rough ice
The world awash with death
Out of sight in the haze and fog
The devil himself plays among skeletal trees
Whipping Wind into an angry frenzy
Grinding Temperature into submission
Until suffering is universal
Belongs to Hell
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Prayer Answering Service, LLC
PO Box (number)
Omaha NE (zip)
Date: January 20, 2008
Dear Mr. and Mrs. (Hoodie)
Thank you for your recent multiple requests through our service. Sometimes it can be difficult to make big life-changing decisions and fortunately our business operates with the intention to help individuals and families who find themselves in situations such as your own.
We have taken into consideration all of the facts, circumstances, and intangibles and have decided to answer your prayer in the following manner:
If you have any further needs, questions, or complaints please direct them through our customer service department that is open all the time.
(completely illegible scribble)
Clerk # 51
What do you make of this?
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
I found something even cooler. I put on a jacket I hadn't worn for a while and inside one of the pockets was a folded up piece of paper. After reading its contents, I was able to remember writing this weird little snippet in my daughters notebook and then ripping it out and putting it in my pocket so no one else would find it. I don't really remember what sparked this or where I was going with it, but I vaguely recall thinking it stunk, which is probably why I didn't continue it. Anyway, I thought I'd share, in it's completely unedited version, this short little piece of fiction from days gone by.
A lady knows how to get what she wants. A gentlemen knows how to give it to her. The words didn't stray far from the girls scarlet lips as she repeated them continuously, pacing under the lattice work of limbs from the tree. Shiny curls bounced against porcelain cheeks as the long grass flattened beneath chunky heels.
"Even the greatest fool would have seen the choice was clearly carrot cake," she sputtered, subconsciously smoothing her blouse. A crystalline tear caught the hazy sunlight as she stopped and stared imploringly at the trunk of the tree. "How could he do that to me?" she wondered aloud. "I mean, cheesecake?" Her arms folded across an ample bosom as a betrayed bottom lip spilled outward.
The sun grazed the distant fields as she continued her dignified pout. Then, resolutely she pulled out a slim pocketknife, hilt in ivory, and carved a precise line next to others on the trunk and stomped off, determined the number 33 was the gentlemen she was after.
Friday, January 18, 2008
This photo was taken at my husband's company Christmas party where I was named reigning karaoke queen and my husband and I were dubbed best dance couple. It was a good night.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Funny how the simple choice and construction of words on a page (or screen) can give you a subconscious picture of what someone may or may not look like.
Here's a little fun for y'all.
I'm coming unveiled. Sort of.
Let's have a vote. All of these people have the same first name. Which one is me?
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
That makes me sad.
I'm not writing much lately. My world is filled with runny noses, dirty diapers, juice spills, bubble baths, laundry mountains, sippy cups, macaroni and cheese, crackers in the carpet, story reading, floors that need sweeping, sheets that need changed, Candyland, Thomas the Tank Engine, Strawberry Shortcake, booster seats, mittens, Did you brush your teeth?, Don't sit on your brother's head!, No more books in the toilet!, the clean-up song, etc. etc. etc.
I feel like any creativity I may posses is shriveled like the balloon that we got free at Applebees two weeks ago but we are aren't allowed to throw away upon threat of a full blown fist-pounding tantrum. We CAN'T throw it away Mom. It still has some some air in it.
What do you do to keep your idea nets out there and your writing brain functioning when real life seems to require more brains cells than you currently posses?