Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Do you hear that? It's my back breaking in half . . .

What a week. Julia stayed home from school with a cold for two days, and now Liam is home because he insists he doesn't feel good. I already took Julia to the clinic for a strep test, which was negative, but if Liam says he's sick, then I don't want to risk it sending him on a rainy day. Better if he stays home.

Anyway, Liam's my little helper today. Because . . . I hurt my back. I was perfectly fine yesterday, but then I lifted a planter out back and Julia put her hand down right where I was going to place it. BAM, I threw my lower back out. Being tall I know how to and how not to lift heavy objects, but this was one of those unseen, unavoidable situations. I couldn't drop it on her hand, and there wasn't enough time to do anything else but move it forward and . . . ouch. It started aching slowly, but by bedtime I was in serious pain. Regardless, I washed the dishes, folded the laundry, brushed my teeth, made the kids get ready for bed, and then very carefully lowered myself down for the night. And now I'm a cripple. Whatever I hurt is at pivotal point in my back. The area that lets me turn, bend, squat, rise, walk. It's bad. I'm walking with a mop. So, Liam gets to help me, but not too much. He is sick and all. So far he helped me walk up the steps after dropping Julia off at school, he fed the cats, he's just a good kid.

I think I'm going to take a really hot shower and see if that helps. Otherwise, it's a good day to watch old movies. Have you ever been in a similar situation, and what remedies helped cure the pain?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

And now, I'm talkin' sitcoms




I mentioned Leave It to Beaver in my last post, the classic nuclear family sitcom of the 1950s. One of my favorite shows, I used to race home to watch reruns after school. Although some people see it as an example of the stifled emotion, stiff-upper-lip and 'Cut your hair, son' type of programs, for me it was merely reflection of its era, not an endorsement, and just a darn good show. Take any sitcom on TV today and tell me the plot didn't derive from a LeavIt to Beaver episode in some way. You can't. That show went through every scenario and emotion in regards to being a child or human, and the troubles thereof. Beaver keeps a lost puppy, Beaver picks up a baby rabbit, Beaver skips school, Wally wrecks the car, Wally dates the 'bad' girl in town, Wally and his crooked friend Eddy Haskel do underhanded business and get caught. There was the old 'confidant,' Gus, the fireman who provided sage advice to little Beaver. Gus was great. And the starched-apron parents, neither too strict nor too allowing, who had their own little comedy going on via the downstairs den. Did we ever see their bedroom? By the way, Ward Cleaver always threatened to spank the kids, but he never actually did it. There's a lot to be said in that.

Ah, Ward Cleaver. I admit, I have a fetish. Can you tell in the book? There's something about him. He's tall, dark and handsome, but not too handsome. He's kind, yet firm. He's gentle. He greases his hair back and wears old sweatshirts to clip the hedges. Did you know Hugh Beaumont hails from my area? That's right, just up the road in a small Kansas town. That makes me like him even more. I loved that the kids were scared to death of him (Dad's gonna wallop you hard fer that, Beaver!), but he never cashed in on his power.

And June . . . I didn't want Emma to turn into her one bit, though I do like June's sense of humor. There's a dark undertone in every thing she says. But the pearls? No. There's a reason they call it a choker. I've always wanted to rip that little strand off her elegant neck and yell, "Run, June, Run!"

I think Leave It to Beaver was more realistic than most shows of the 50s. Even though they lived in a sterilized world, they weren't boring. Did you know the boy who played Wally, Tony Dow, turned out to be a brilliant sculptor?

What is your favorite episode of this show or any old classic sitcom?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Writing in a Time Machine

When I began The Time Seekers, my knowledge of the Edsel and Jack Benny was good but not great. I'd grown up watching Leave it to Beaver and I Love Lucy reruns, and had access to a small town not much different than the one depicted on the aforementioned shows. But we all know those things are not enough to base a book on. What I needed was an innate knowledge of the setting and the people who lived in it. Basically, I had to create a time machine in my head so I could quickly imagine myself in a 1950s world. First was learning the little details of everyday life—the true foundation of any era or decade.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/alsis35/

I read magazines. Every Look and Life and Saturday Evening Post I could get my hands on. I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy the whole process. Give me a vintage magazine and I'm the happiest girl on earth. All those glossy, full color ads of lipsticks and Jell-o; huge cars swallowed in gleaming chrome, and Lark cigarettes. Everything NEW! And NOW! Newspapers. I found an online cache from a small Michigan town which had archived every print since the late 1800s, and read and read and read. I think I must have been an adman in a past life; I practically salivate over those vintage full-page spreads. Even butter. Have you ever seen a butter ad from 1956? Run to your refrigerator now and spread a good dollop on a wedge of freshly toasted wheat. That's what an ad is supposed to do. However, the trick wasn't to show these fine details directly in the book—I didn't want my main character spouting off the price of butter and real estate in 1956. For me it was important to show it more than state it. With my saturation came an ease of story. I could now have Emma wander through this landscape without a flinch. At times, my 2000's world became a little hard to bear.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/alsis35/

They didn't have social media back then, they were social media. People had a sense of community. They said hello to each other on the street. They tapped their horns, tipped their hats, chewed the fat and walked the extra mile. John Wayne was their hero, not Justin Beiber. But that's not to say society in the 50s was perfect. Racism was an undercurrent ready to explode and everyone knew it: some were ready to fight for it, some against it. Anti-sexism and the rise of the feminist was burgeoning as well. Man, who had risen from the rations and horrors of WWII, was ready to sit in his favorite easy chair and live a happy, unmarred existence. But the unbalance was there and Man would never quite get his rest. I did try to show this in The Time Seekers, because I felt that it—far more than any car or TV show—was the most interesting part of the decade. Anyone progressive enough to rise above the fray seemed to befriend Emma. There's something about that which made me very happy.

Since reading Time and Again by Jack Finney I've had the desire to write a time-travel romance. It's yet to be said if I managed to write it successfully. My fear is that I've written an Edsel. If so, then at least the process was fun and, well, time to go watch Howdy Doody.




Wednesday, September 10, 2014

ARCs for The Time Seekers . . .

I am in possession of ARCs for The Time Seekers, so if any of you grand and beautiful people would like to read and review, please let me know. I have Mobi and pdf for your reading pleasure. You can reach me at amysaia79(at)gmail(dot)com. Many thanks!

Emma and William Bennett are not the newlywed college students they appear to be. Besides both being telepathic, William is a former ghost from the 1950’s. Otherwise, your typical young couple. Emma wants William to loosen up a bit. William wants Emma to spend less time with her too-helpful art mentor.
 
When the soul-stealing cult they escaped from prior to their marriage threatens their lives, Emma and William must return to Springvale, to an earlier time and stop the leader before his rise to power. But once back in his hometown, William loses his memories, post-1956.

 
Now Emma’s formerly traditional husband is young and reckless and ignoring her warnings about the dangerous new group. In fact, William doesn’t remember her at all. Not their marriage, not their courtship, not even that she is carrying his child.


Emma, stuck on her own in the 1950’s, decides it’s up to her to save them both, Annie Oakley-style.


Monday, September 8, 2014

A view, a peak, a feather

 It started off with a red sky
 A feather fell into my universe
 Was pleasant enough, comical even
 My offspring battled the gods

 One for Tom ( I remembered!)

And then me.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Call for readers!




Pretty soon I'll have ARCs (advanced reading copies) for The Time Seekers, and so I am officially putting out an invitation for readers. You get a free ebook from me and I (hopefully) get a review from you.

Any takers? Email me at amysaia79(at)gmail(dot)com if you're interested.

Many thanks, and Happy Labor Day! I'm going to get some reading done and enjoy this cooler weather we're having. Oh, and I'm also way into Big Brother. It's the only reality show I watch. What are your plans for the day?

Peace




(picture by Joe Crawford from Moorpark, California, USA (Flickr) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)

Saturday, August 30, 2014

It's official, another book is on the way!

I really can't believe I missed this! It's WiDo's wonderful announcement that I am officially under contract for The Love Seekers. My only explanation is I became so caught of with the start of school that I lost track of most everything. Better late than never, as they say . . .

http://widopublishing.com/amy-saias-third-seeker-novel-under-contract/

Also, I just saw this. The Time Seekers is now available for pre-order. Things are happening so fast! http://widopublishing.com/the-time-seekers-by-amy-saia/

It really was a fun book to write. Do you remember back in the spring when I posted those pictures of the kids sunbathing during Spring Break? I'll remember it as one of the first warm set of days we'd had in the year, and also, that I was furiously writing The Love Seekers any spare second I got. What a beautiful time. Writing, for me, is happiness.

How are things going on your Saturday? Big plans for the evening?