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Showing posts from March, 2010

Unplugged like Neil Young

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Monday starts my week of abstaining from any and all internet pastimes. It isn't going to be easy.
I'll miss you guys something awful!!! This has been such a great week with new people saying hi, as well as faithful friends who have been here since the beginning coming by to offer their sweet support. I love you!! Check out the links and follow away.
Simone and her beautiful art and even more beautiful words.
Tess and her calm wisdom, sprinkled with humor and excellent writing advice.
Cindy and her darling, spirited view of the world. She's been a really great friend to me!
Holly Ruggiero with her lovely pictures, insights and recipes.
Matt who's sarcasm, stories and photos always make my day.
Kristie has a really cool blog, and is a fellow YA writer working toward publication. Oh, and she's really fun too!
Erica is such a generous person, with lovely posts; another YA writer that I'm proud to know.
Kimberly is a kindred spirit, and full of spirit! Check out th…

The Approach

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This is me, July 24th, 1888. That was my favorite year; the sun on my legs as I reclined, happy, above the salted sands of Cape Neddick. Some may tell you I was a bit too young for the experiment. I suppose I was, but with no family to speak of and fresh out of the New York Catholic Children's Asylum, I was desperate for any type of adventure which might take me away from the dirty streets and unironed memories of my youth. Not only that, but a genuine payment was being offered.
One day, while walking down 5th Avenue watching my reflection jump from one glass storefront to the next, I was surprised by the touch of a hand upon my right shoulder. A man in spotless dark brown suit and bowler hat to match, pulled me inside a door-well and proceeded to hand me a card which read, TIME TRAIN~travel through the ages on luxury steam express. I looked at him with what must have been a terrible display of fear, only to be met by a strange expectance.
"Miss, have you ever felt a…

Saturday Favorites

It's Saturday, and I'm going to keep it light with some of my favorite things which you can peruse at your own will.
Real quick. I want to say Thank You to Jennifer Daikerfor the Superior Scribbler Award! Thank you, you are the best!

Monday I will be unplugging, which will be good as I really have to finish this book. I don't want to be like Colin from The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner and stop before the finish line. I want to finish and win.
I also need to practice guitar, learn some new songs, and maybe get some new ones recorded.
I also need to get out!
But before that happens . . . here are some Youtube faves for my great blogger friends.
I laughed so hard at this video. Gotta be the worst weatherman in the world. Poor guy.

Mama Cass.


Some wonderful person scanned in almost 40 years of LIFE magazine. Talk about cool!
LIFE MAGAZINE ARCHIVES
Deep thoughts . . . by Jack Handey. Need I say more? My favorite: When you die, if you go somewhere where they ask you a bun…

The Fight

In the direct vicinity of Franklin, an inside tour of every house had been procured at one time or the other. Perhaps a ball had been thrown in someone's back yard, or the cat was in heat, moaning under a brand new deck, owner resting above with grill blazing away. Everyone knew everyone, and nobody's mother cared about where you went when your feet jumped off the front steps.
We spent most of our time in the front yard. That's where all the action was. One hot July day, three of us neighborhood girls were practicing a song, with hand movements and all. Our skinny, tanned legs stood above the side ditch on the gravel road, yellow sun blazing at our tangled strands, strappy sandals thrown off wiggling toes.
"Okay! Your arms ain't right! You have to swing it around like this when we sing, 'In the naaame of love.'"
I was in the middle, pretending to be Diana Ross. It was easy. Even with pale skin and straight up and down body, I found myself comfor…

Questions for a Thursday

Don't you love your characters conversations? I think this has to be a huge thing for fiction writers. I'm basically an introvert in real life and so the ability to bring these people together and have them interact in any way I please, that's just an amazing feeling.
Are you lonely when the voices go away? Or are you distanced enough so that a character is just a thing you control and there's no need for getting emotional, mate? I'm way too connected. Last week I went through a phase of loneliness while waiting for the character voices to start flowing in my head again. It was awful. The realization hit that I very much need an internal presence of some sort of creation, whether it be songwriting, fiction writing, anything. My guess is most writers are similar in this need.
How far will you reach in the bread bag to get a nice, soft piece of bread, ignoring the sacrificial crusts?
Oh, why do we love Edward so much? Haha, I don't even have to say his la…

Cake-1, Me-0

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As you can see, I had problems with the cake. But then, what fun would it be if I made something perfect on the first try? The main issue was pre-production, partly from my darling little Julia, who placed a bag of powdered sugar on a hot burner. When I reached to quickly grab it off, I discovered the plastic had melted which caused about four cups of white powder to fly up the in air. It took me forever to clean the kitchen, and then after that things just sort of never came back into focus. The major mistake I made was in pouring too much batter in the pan which resulted in a heavy, buttery, very crumbly cake. No melting in the mouth. Nothing that a little bit of whipped cream and strawberries can't fix! Right?!











I'd like to thank my wonderful new friend, Kimberly Franklin for awarding me with my very first blogger award. Thank you so much! I'll use it wisely(if I can figure out how to use it).
This has been a tough writing week. I was so into the re-writes, movin…

Tuesday I Beseech Thee, Don't Kiss My Betty Crocker Grits

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I was looking through a 1950 Betty Crocker cook book that I have (it's a reprint) and thought it would be fun to try a different recipe every week and blog about it. So far, these old recipes seems to be quite good, which surprised me for some reason. I guess I thought time and trial would render these things archaic, but it's just not true. So, I need to figure out which one I'm going to try first. I should go basic, right? I'll do the Rich Yellow Cake, tender, buttery; will melt in your mouth. Okay, let's see. I'll let you know how it turns out tomorrow.
Health Care Reform. Wow. It's actually happening. Can you believe all the drama going on over this thing? People are talking hate and all sorts of things I don't even want to mention. It's shocking, but typical of America to react this way. We resisted the end of slavery, even went to war over it. We resisted women's right to vote. We resisted equal rights. I think we are a stubbor…

Manic Monday

I know I promised it would be Music Monday, and it is . . . in a parallel universe. In this Universe, there will be no Music Monday.
Instead, I will just ramble on and on about myself.
Oh cripes, that's no fun.
Okay, maybe I'll just talk about my characters. Emma and William were in love and she was going to help him reverse his ghost-like invisibility in the Reaping, but she crashed the old Pontiac into Jesse's Camaro, and now she has amnesia. So . . . she wakes up at the hospital and William says he's her angel and she is falling in love with him all over again, but then Jesse shows up and says he loves her and that they were engaged to be married. Emma's like, "Wha? Okay, if you say so." And now she has to decide, all with a big bandage on her head, whether or not she should go to New York with Jesse, or stay and help this beautiful angel out who she's worried something bad is going to happen to.
Sigh. I think I'm going to make cookies t…

Synaptic Party Sunday

Okay, so Spring Break is almost officially over. It was fun, but it'll be nice to get back to my regular schedule. For the month previous, I had myself in a nice state of lunacy where characters could come and sit for a while, feet on couch, wine in hand. So, I gotta put the old welcome mat out again and tell all those voices to come back and stay indefinitely.
Ferona . . . the chocolate is waiting.
And I can't leave without posting this video. I love, love, love this band and the trippy, organic lyrics of Dewey Bunnell.


You are Here

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One of my favorite books is Nowhere Man, a collection of journal entries by John Lennon written in the few years preceding his death. I loved his confessions on the trials of fatherhood, including prayers for growth and blessings to the gods for any success. I loved the dreams he wrote down, and the sexual, psychedelic quality of the way he saw everything in the universe.
He was hopelessly addicted to coffee and cigarettes though, and he lamented his trials with that. A fast would end, and he'd jump right back into his addiction. But the main thread of his life was not about his failures, it was about trying to be better. I love that he tried. Every day he tried. That's such a beautiful thing to me.
What I really loved about him was that he wore his heart on his sleeve. Oh wow, I just totally had an idea to make a psychedelic heart and put it on the sleeve of my old black leather jacket. That would be so cool. Since I already own dead animal flesh, I might as well wor…

Line Art

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I've always loved line drawings. Thurber is my ink guru. His work, The Last Flower, influenced me early on in my time of artistic training. But, the real reason I love line drawings is because they are simple and clean with no fuss. And, as you can see, I love the human form. Life Drawing was one of my favorite classes way back when.
Titles are: Mother and Child, Two Left Feet, Backward Flower Girl, and Nude Lounge













































Time for a Retromercial

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Here's a list of items I remember fondly from the 1970's.
Pop Rocks
We had a taste of this product right before the rumors started. You know the ones, where some kid ate a couple packages and his stomach exploded? I still have trouble eating them because of that urban legend. Backyard kid talk is pretty heavy stuff.

Breck Shampoo
Who didn't want mega-miles of golden, waving hair? All possible with one fabulous bottle of amber-colored Breck Shampoo! Prell was freakishly green, stinky, and it left your hair heavy and dull. Head and Shoulders just made your dandruff worse, and Ooh lala Vidal Sassoon cost too darn much. Breck fit somewhere in the middle. Pure liquid gold.


RC Cola
Little metal tabs were everywhere. In the ditch, the gravel road, the baseball park, the beach at Paola Lake. Why? Because we were havin' fun drinking our super sweet and spicy RC Cola! The can design is hauntingly familiar to the red white and blue of the Pepsi logo, but whatevva. It wa…

Satisfaction

Is it okay for a writer to be satisfied with their work?
I ask this question because I—like so many writers—struggle with the need to always be better. Everything I do is executed with intuition and a careful step, yet there's a great fear that if ever published, other writers will tear me to pieces. Sometimes, I'm so critical that it's almost akin to stepping on my toes while writing, constantly tripping over words, erasing, writing, loving, hating . . . When is a writer allowed to be satisfied?
The biggest thing I have learned, and am still learning, is that confidence is key. It's the backbone to your dreams, and without it, nothing can stand. When I hear myself saying, "I just can't get this section right!" I insert a little confidence and clear away the doubt with, "You're not only going to make it work, you're going to make it brilliant." It's the only way.
There were many situations in my life that were hard to battle t…

I Broke my Wii on Spring Break

I haven't much time to write. It's spring vacation and several kids are holding me hostage, forcing me to watch Garfield and all sorts of horrible stuff. The worst of all–something is wrong with our Wii. I know. Yesterday brought more progress in my rewrite. I'm getting closer and it feels great!
Of course, I'm back at a crossroads, trying to figure out how to rewrite the next few chapters. But, you know I love it, so don't sweat a tear.
*Contest Alert* Notice on the upper sidebar I have a link for a really cool Twilight contest. Just visit the links to befriend some really cool gals, read their blogs, comment and maybe win free schwag. It rocks!
Have a great day and let me know how your writing day is going. I'd love to hear!!

Music Monday: Dusty Springfield

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From now on, I'm going to try to dedicate my blog to a music act every Monday. As you know, I'm a musician as well as writer, and draw inspiration from many sources. Probably my biggest influence has been Dusty Springfield, owner of one of the most soulful female voices in modern music history. Although some would compare her vocal strength to that of her contemporaries Aretha Franklin and Tina Turner, Dusty's real strength lay in her ability to tell a story, and the southern style she produced despite a predominantly British background.
From "Son of a preacher Man," to "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me," Dusty Springfield's voice came without pretense, speaking of the raw truths of love and society. Her whisper could leave you haunted, her wails, inspired. She knew how to deliver, and never forgot how to speak to the listener.
Dusty in Memphis is her most acclaimed album, packed with songs speaking of relationships, lost love and hunger…

What's Your Writing Security Blanket?

What gets you in the mood to write? What conditions have to be in place before you can create?
I have a certain list of songs that go with every part of my book, so I play that while working. Not too loud though.
I have to have a glass of water nearby because somehow I get dehydrated while writing. I think I bite my lip a lot. Also, it could be all the cussing.
The TV is hardly ever on—that is way too distracting for me, mostly because I'll turn to watch it and lose my train of thought.
No snacks. I will go and take a snack break—just nothing by the computer.
People can't come in and talk to me. That will make me nuttier than a Babe Ruth candy bar.
I will not sit down to write when I know I'll get inturrupted by anyone or anything. The cat and dog can't be hungry, I'll make sure the kids are busy . . . but you know, they always come in with some problem the second I sit down. "Mom, Liam ripped Sleeping Beauty's head off!" or "Mom, I w…

My Unfinished Painting

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This thing has been sitting up on an easel in my kitchen for about a year now. I just need to finish the flowers and the hair—clean up all the lines, etc. Its part of a whole set of similar paintings set around nature and the female form.
Everyone that comes over calls it the, "Fat Butt," painting. They even posed by it for Christmas pictures. Oh, gotta love family.
How's the writing been going lately, my blogger friends? I hope life is good for you today and the words flow free!



Writer's Quicksand

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Whew. That was a tough one. I spent all of yesterday struggling to get a few pages out. Don't you just love it when that happens? I'd sit down and have a mental freeze, type something, erase it, type something else, stare, get up and agonize. I took to carrying a notebook around and writing down whatever passages might work to bridge scenes, and finally, finally something worked out.
So, now that I got through that, I'm in a scene that is flowing quite nicely. Yay!
I think yesterday was one of those days where, years ago, I would have quit as a writer and shelved the whole thing. Needless to say, I'm proud of myself and happy that things can progress onward.
Now, just because you read this and have taken on a little of my pain, I'll give you a treat.

I'll leave it to you to figure this one out. Is it about bras, balloons or watermelon? Or sand? Or phones?

Basement Days

I grew up in a split level home of the 1970's. My siblings and I used to spend a lot of time in the basement pretending it was our own little house apart from the main thing just a few stairs above. Here's a list of the the contents which made up our dusty, pre-adolsecent world:
A big blue-flowered couch to jump on. Shaggy green carpet that looked like grass after a nuclear explosion. Our cat thought it was grass as well. A big radio-tv-record player cabinet combo that belonged to Dad. It didn't work anymore, but he was going to fix it someday to play all his Elvis records on.
Books. Washer—sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. We spent a lot of evenings at the laundromat so it must not have worked that often. Did anything work in our house? Water heater and furnace. Magazines. Boxes of old negatives showing Dad's army days. We'd hold them up to the light and laugh at how everything was the opposite of how it should be; faces, clouds, guns . . .
Ha…

Picky Readers

I can be kind of persnickety about the books I read, and quite often get bored with modern fiction. It has to have an element of time travel, romance, history, reality, humor. I love to hear about ghosts and all that spooky paranormal stuff. I really love relationships. If the back cover says something about a love twist, I'm in.
Perhaps I feel I've met my quota after working at the library and having access to every book known to man. I can honestly say I've read just about everything, and now have settled into stubborn reader land.
Are you picky? Or do you try to expand your horizons as a writer?

Write Despite

Writing is a lonely art. Our finished work will rarely be accepted with the enthusiasm we dreamed of while putting down that perfect chapter, or detailed fight scene. Accolades won't come easily. There's always going to be a better writer, a luckier writer, a more popular writer, a more decorated writer. Always. But if you love what you do, so much that you spend every minute thinking of it—staying up late or getting up early—then keep on and write despite. Believe in your work, perfect it. Someday, others will believe in it as well.
Man will surely fall into the abyss of judgement, hatred, vanity, gluttony, ignorance . . . without the written word. We have a great job to do, and are privileged. Blessed. So, when you get up early or stay up late, have to tell your family you're going to go rewrite that chapter again, miss parties, movies, sunlight—well, remember that it is a noble thing you do, and the world is better for it.

Almost There

I'm getting closer to the end or rewrites. Yay! I'm really proud of the work I've done and super happy about how the book has progressed.
Springtime is almost here, and you can really feel it in the air. Oh, sweet Heaven. I'm going to a friend's show tonight and then get to bed so I can get up and write—5 am is my special wake up time now. The old me would have never even fathomed doing such a thing, but the me me realizes it's important.
Blessings and peace. Have a good week-end!

The sun is out, whoop!

The sun is out, whoop!
That is all.
No, I do have a few things to blog about. First, I'm getting closer to the end of my rewrites and to a full-out edit. Then it's query city baby. Oh crap, I have to rewrite the synopsis. BOOOOOOO. Sigh, gotta get on that. It might actually be fun, since I love all the new changes in the story. Yeah, that's how I gotta look at it. Synopsis. Fun.
The sun is out, WHOOP!


Synchronicity

I finally watched The Time Traveller's Wife last night, and have mixed reviews. I thought the concept was fantastic. I loved how devoted she was to him because that was the thread allowing him to have some sort of normalcy in his frantic and unstable existence. The dialogue is what threw me off. Some of it sounded forced, or just mundane really. I also hate it when movies try too hard to be perfect with beautiful houses, and little kids in Gap clothes, etc. Just a pet peeve of mine.
I haven't read The Time Traveller's Wife, just a few pages from the first chapter (after I'd already written the first draft of my book, mind you). When the movie was coming out last summer, I thought to myself, "OH NOES!" this sounds a lot like my book. And I was right, there are quite a few similarities. My MC, Emma, is an artist, just like Clare. My other MC, William, fades at night, but does not jump time. He can use his stored memories to visit past time, though—som…