Showing posts from August, 2010

Good Writing Day

I've been writing short stories lately and I just finished one that, when I woke up this morning, I was kind of unsure about. I was worried that after all the the work I'd done this week, and how well it was going, that I would somehow macerate it to pieces today. But I didn't. I just had a major epiphany while I wrote it. I'm crying; I'm so relieved. I was writing it and this epiphany was going on for me and for my character and now I'm overwhelmed. It's times like this that I am reminded exactly of why I write. And I'm so grateful for this!

Bugs 'R' US

Julia was sick today, but Liam wasn't, so I piled them both in the car and took him to school and then her to the store to buy an orange and some chicken noodle soup. On the way back home from the store Julia started screaming bloody murder. I have never heard her scream like that, ever, so I instantly pulled over to see what was going on. I thought maybe she had a spider on her; maybe it had bitten her. I turned around and she points to my seat. Right there, just a few inches from my arm, sat a HUGE praying mantis.
I dump out the food stuff and use the plastic bag as a glove to capture the thing and then threw it out the window (just the mantis-I ain't a litterer). Then I watched as it landed to the pavement and sort of shook out its long alien legs, then it turned his animatronic freak head to look up at the car. At me.
I hate these things. How the hell did it get in my car????? Poor Julia was so upset and came home to hug Henry the dachshund real har…


Since everyone (well, at least my best blogger friends) is talking about vacations today, I'll tell you about mine. Things in my memory can be sorted out like the bible: there was BDL(Before Dad Left) and ADL(After Dad Left).
BDL our vacations consisted of his church (cult) trips to the Ozarks. I was too young to remember any of those, but Mom always talks about the trauma she endured in being stuck with three kids, crowds, and a group of God Raving men on a roller coaster.
ADL there was absolutely no money for vacation. Mom had her job at the library where she acted as librarian and provided social services to the community, ironically making IOU's to the cash pocket in the file cabinet so we could buy groceries. Government cheese and boxes of powdered milk could be found in our home—extra stock and very needed. Vacations were one of those things that just were not available, that is, until land share vacations came around. If you've never heard, it's basically…


I was listening to Carole King's Tapestry last night, and remembered how much I love her. She never considered herself the most beautiful woman in the world, and it took much prodding to get her to record the album, early 70's. You may not know this, but she wrote/helped write many of the famous songs of the 1960's, and it's unfortunate that her versions are the ones lesser heard on the radio. She was feminine soul, and more than that, she was vulnerable with her feelings; real. Listening to her version of "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" is an incredibly tender and moving experience, perhaps made so because it came straight from her own heart.
One of my favorites on Tapestry is "Beautiful", a precursor perhaps to the Christina Aguilera song written by Linda Perry. It goes further than to have an anthem of self-respect, and is more about the way to be beautiful in how we approach the world, not just how the world sees us as we pass through.


Busy Season

My little Julia is excited about fall coming, and has started to gather leaves from the backyard. They're mostly ones that fell off from the dry weather, but I didn't tell her that. Well anyway, she did that for a while yesterday afternoon, but by evening had started in on wintertime. She drew a series of pictures that featured snowbanks and frozen ponds with a garland of icicles that she cut out and hung over her Littlest Pet Shop house. She even drew out all the parts of a snowman: three different sized balls of snow, a carrot, coal eyes and mouth, stick arms. I asked her where the scarf was and she got busy drawing that as well. She then cut it all out and used tape to put it all together. There's a whole snow scene now, and Eve and Wall-e are inside nestled in their beds (kitchen towels that she swiped off the counter when I wasn't looking), with the hippo from Madagascar as an added guest off to the side.
It was fun listening to her playact last night as I w…

Tucker Twain and the Gran Fury

First part of a story. Sorry, you can't have the ending yet. Mwahahahahahahahaha.
Filling Station Flip
Tucker and his son Jim had worked together at their own filling station since Jim could hold a rag and walk without falling down, though Tucker’d had to keep a good eye on the little tyke to make sure he didn’t get squashed into the oil spotted pavement by somebody's old Chevy. Jim turned out to be quite smart about these things, and was also good about hanging onto his father’s overalls at most times of the day, so worries slipped off soon enough.
It was a good attraction to have Jim shining up cars and washing windows standing on an old wooden crate. People decided it was worth it to drive the extra three blocks from the more professional looking, self-serve station that had been built only a year before right next to the IGA supermarket. They said, “What a good boy he is, that son of Tucker,” and “Isn’t it cute to see a young’n like that working so hard?” And it was goo…

I just can't quit you!

Another day commeth and drove away. Now it's Tuesday and time to really get serious about this week, the last of August. I've almost finished that Larry McMurtry epic, but let me tell ya, it was tough. I liked Patsy, then I hated Patsy. I loved reading about the rodeo and Sonny Shanks, Pete and Hank and Flap and Emma . . . but the same things kept happening over and over, and I got tired. But I am going to read those last few pages, or die trying. The funny thing is that when I'm done, I'll probably go get another one of his novels. Oh boy, what's wrong with me?
What are you guys reading? Do you read the back cover before deciding, or the first few pages, or (gasp) flip through to the end (cheaters)?

I read it on the internet so . . .

Okay, so I know many of you do the whole Twitter thing, Facebook, and of course we all blog. These activities are part of an online presence that we use to build our career, draw in fans, spread news about our projects, contests, etc. Let's say you're shy like me, but let it loose online. People who don't know me think I'm very quiet and reserved, but spend enough time, and maybe some liquor, and I'm ME. I gotta trust ya first. Well, so people online are getting to see and hear the real me all the time (for better or worse) and so if I ever met them, there'd be no shyness, no reason to hide anything. That's what an online presence does. It draws like-minded people, because no one's going to read a blog or follow someone on Twitter if they can't stand them. Basically, we're not wasting any time here; we're targeting the right places instead of aimlessly walking through a town hanging promotional posters that will only be thrown away. We…

Good Kind of Day

Just wanted to say Happy Sunday, hope things are well. I'm working hard on a new short story, so that's what is keeping me from being around so much.
I'm listening to some good music, got my cup of coffee, it's rainy, cloudy outside but I kind of like that for this pre-fall Sunday morning. Kinda diggin' it. I'll return later with the story for those of you who need a good Saia tale (harhar) and then erase it later before the commi-gods come and kick me in the buttox.

Balloon Heart

It has been an interesting week with both the kids starting school: Liam for the first time with preschool, and Julia with kindergarten. I have to race around town trying to get them to their classes on time, and then race back a few hours later to pick them both up (different schools). I wouldn't call it fun, but it is exciting and I love to see my babies in this whole new stage of life.
Though I have to say, summer went by way too fast. I mean, here we were just starting to get a regular schedule going at the pool. We had our Queen theme song and our snacks and full bottle of sunscreen. We had Mario Head and Sporeand Justin Bieber on Youtube (don't actually watch these, they're very moronic and of a fifth grade humor. I spent all summer NOT watching them myself). We had crafts and books, apple picking and laughter. Dammit, we had mountains of cookies!!! Now . . . it's all so quiet. Geez I get melancholy about this stuff. I'm supposed to be excited tha…

Super Great Contest Alert!

Hey friends, I just wanted to let you know that there are just a few days left to enter your work in the Lettuce WRITE contest over at Karen's blog. I highly recommend it. If you have a manuscript you are ready to query, please take a look. Good luck! Oh, and wish me a little bit of the same, I'll be entering too!

Hold on, you gotta let go

I was thinking how enraptured we have to be with our writing in order to get to those fabulous words, The End (which, by the way, no one types anymore, but it sounded good to say it anyway). I'm talking months of writing time with real life weaving in and out of the rapture, pulling you this way and that, distracting you, compromising your well laid out plot and character voice. I know I write better when I am absolutely drenched with the character(s) thoughts and mannerisms. Sound familiar? How do you keep yourself motivated with your writing? Do you need to role play, or does it come to you naturally the minute you sit down? Everyone's different!
Others might find what we do a rather childish occupation. "What do you mean you just spent an hour talking to a fictional character in your head?" Don't worry about it. We are so lucky to get to do this! This whole pretend thing that we do is what makes it so insanely fun, and it's necessary. Writing isn…


Perhaps sending in that query for a book or story is like jumping off a bridge (bungee style of course). The thoughts that go through your head are what define the experience. One person might look down and make the mistake of picturing their death. Hard to jump after thinking something like that. Another person thinks that it will be a great rush, and wants to linger in the whole adrenaline-fused moment. It's not if they live or die; it's the whole act of it that they get off on. Lastly, a person might think of the consequences, but decide it's worth the risk. They know the cord will most likely hold out, and that, even though sacred shitless, the experience is worth the risk. They neither crave nor shun the moment, they just want to know that they are brave enough to do it, that the experience will be good for them as a human and will enhance the rest of their life.
Okay, maybe sending in our work isn't quite a thrilling, soul-defining as jumping off a bridge, …

The Nervous Neurotic Nitwit

You know, sometimes I'm absolutely ravenous to write, and other times I avoid it like it's a homework assignment. I do know that most fears are put to rest after I've gotten into a good flow of writing. It's just getting there that seems the hard part sometimes. That's why I generally tell myself to go ahead and write, all with the precursor that it doesn't have to be good, it just has to be written, and then after that we'll see and worry. Not need to call for help, "We have a Freak Out!"
Kind of in one of those hard to get started phases. I think the fact that school begins this week is what is messing with my brain. Once I get used to all that, things will work out. Any one else out there get nervous like this and worry that they'll never write again, or at least, anything good ever again?
What really makes me nervous, since I'm admitting all this anyway, is the thought of sending out short stories to magazines. You think I'd …

Dial "1" for Silence

Sometimes I go through spots of time where I don't really have that much to say, or, at least, I don't know what to say. All I know is it will come back and there's nothing to worry about. Only it makes me a horrible friend to others. I hate chit-chat and lose more friends over this stupid thing called conversation. Do we really have to call each other every day? I'm fine, I hope you're fine. Debates are more my style, but who the hell wants to debate religion and politics with their friends? No one. Not smart people at least. Wait, I think I just incriminated myself.
I wrote a song about this once, "You . . . you know I . . . hate to talk for nothing. I'm . . . as silent as the moon." Hey, that was a pretty cool song I wrote.
But conversation, what is this incessant need to talk? It certainly hasn't been a gift for me. I spent way too many hours alone as a child sitting in front of the record player watching it spin, dreaming, dream…

"Oh My Gawd!"

I don't have much to write at the moment, maybe later. But I did want to share this hilarious video. It's sort of like Candid Camera, but for modern times.

Gourmet Love

I have a new favorite thing, rather silly it is. Okay, I'll just tell you and get it over with. I love watching old episodes of The Galloping Gourmet with Graham Kerr on Cooking Network. There, I've told you. I used to be in love with Jacques Pepin, but now it's Graham. He's so funny, and he never actually cooks anything worth eating, but he cracks me up so much that I just can't help but watch. I even tape the show and watch it two, sometimes three times.
He's like a lost cast member from Monty Python; he's like Dick Van Dyke with a proper British accent; he's tipsy, hilarious, swanky, silly. In about two hours he'll be on. Yesterday was crab and veggies wrapped in a filo dough. It doesn't matter what he cooks. I'll be watching and so will the kids. Then it's off to the library for more books, though I shouldn't read too much because I'm determined to get my book written before Sept. 1. I will, and that's that.�…

Tuesday Ramblings

I have been losing myself in the Larry McMurtry novel Moving On which is in all essence about a crying, temperamental, gorgeous Texas girl named Patsy Carpenter. She and her husband Jim have been following the rodeo circuit for a photography book he was planning on putting together, only he never seemed to be taking any pictures. They met all the different folks of the rodeo and have now moved on back to Houston so Jim can forgot the photography and concentrate on graduate school, late 1960's. I'm a little spent at this point. It's been over two-hundred pages and I'm a little tired of Texas. Hell, I'd be tired of Kansas if that was what the book was about, so Texans take no offense please.
There's two things keeping me reading this novel: I like Patsy, and I like McMurtry's writing. But I think I'll put it down for just a moment and read something else just to clear my head.
Somewhere in Time was on yesterday—and you know how much I love Christophe…

I'm baaaaaack

So I'm starting to feel the melancholy. School starts next week, summer is coming to an end, the show officially ran its course yesterday and we tore down the set. Everything has decided to end just about the same time and I feel it in my soul.
I was super stressed out this last week, memorizing words and steps. I was overwhelmed and nervous, but excited . . . happy. I was feeling the pain of being such an introvert among a whole bunch of really talented ladies who've been on stage much more than I have, and in much bigger productions, and who all knew each other and had that sort of larger than life stage personality. I felt like I was a little bit lost perhaps, and in the way. But that was just me freaking out.
All last week we had dress rehearsal at the theater. Our dressing room was backstage and clothing was hung everywhere, makeup was all over the counters, curling irons, heels. Heck, we even had feathers strewn around back there (from the Aretha Franklin number—…