Thursday, February 24, 2011

Still Here

I've had a difficult week, as you might imagine from the lack of posts. Liam is just getting over a cold and so there's been very little time to write. But . . . that's life. The good news is that the little work I've done has been good, and I'll take that any day!

The weather is cold, spitting sleet and snow and rain. I have to admit now that I'm done with winter. Done. D.O.N.E. Buh-bye. See ya next year. Don't call us, we'll call you. Get the heck out of here! Leave!!!!!

I don't think Mother Nature is listening, so I'll just shut up now and get some work done. Take care and Happy Thursday to my blogger friends.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Creative Nourishment

A reporter asked a designer the other day on a morning talk show, "Do you love what you do?" He replied, "Of course. A person should always love what they do or find something else as a job." I couldn't agree more. Whatever artistic endeavor we undertake should be with the utmost of love for its creation. The life of each project has many stages, each one subject to judging and criticism. If we do not love our product, then who will? Money is never a guarantee, neither is fame or any kind of recognition, only our happiness in its development, and sustained development.

Instead of asking if you love what you do—because I know the answer is yes—I want to ask how you keep the love a flowing while working each day: music, walks, candles, Marvin Gaye (haha). How do you keep your artistic love alive?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Il Postino

I'm still revising and working on music, so I'll just post a scene from one of my favorite movies ever. If you haven't seen it yet, you need to. It's beautiful. Happy Saturday!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

For Molly

I have always been shy and very protective of myself. I grew up in a weird situation. Other families did not have a dad who read his bible in the basement, who belonged to a strange cult church, who threw beer at the wall and said the devil was making him miss the trash, who was so fierce that I, as his child, used to go out and tell the neighborhood kids to go away because I was frightened of how he might act. When he and Mom had a battle which led to his moving out, my brother, sister and I were beyond relieved. But then Mom had to go to work full time, and that started an emotional self-reliance that lives to this day. Early on I trained myself to understand I was just going to be alone and that's that. Other kids, other people were probably going to hurt me somehow, and so it was best to find comfort in things like records and books, tv, etc.

I don't know if I'll ever have any close friends in my life because of my past, but this can be said, I truly love everyone. My silence may come off as snobby sometimes, but it's just me being me. I love, truly, truly love everyone with all my heart.

That being said, I want to say how beautiful it was for Molly to dedicate a post to me the other day. I love Molly because she is kind, and such a kindred spirit. She writes with such beautiful descriptions, posts the most amazing pictures, and always has a unique light of perspective. I love her dearly. She has helped me in this book process, and has done so with such grace and wisdom. Molly, I want you to know how wonderful I think you are, and this post is for you. Thank you for being my friend. Let's dance : )

Monday, February 14, 2011

I *heart* you!

Happy Valentine's Day to every one of my blogger friends. I hope you have a beautiful day with lots of love, sunshine and chocolate! Here's a clip from a movie I've always loved. I even wrote a song about it. It includes the great Alan Bates, whom I have always loved, madly, madly. Yes, he had some secrets, but who cares.

The clip is long, so I understand if you don't want to watch, but if you do you'll see greatness. This is what love really is. Excitement and pain. Lots and lots of pain.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Work, work, work

Working on revisions this morning. It was painstaking having to condense those first few chapters, but I think I did a decent job. It was really messing with my brain, keeping me up at night, haunting me, ruining snack breaks—you get the picture. I was scared. But I think the hardest work is done and now it's a matter of trim, trim, trim. The old saying comes to mind: kill your darlings.

For fun, I'll post a snippet of something I have on the back burner. It's a piece originally meant for a short, but it grew and grew. It's called DreamDate. Thelma is on a self-proclaimed man diet when she stumbles across an ad for a free latte. All she has to do is log onto to redeem the coupon, but what she gets is a whole cache of naughty Ward Cleavers. Dan, the most naughty looking Ward Cleaver in the bunch, reaches out to her and convinces her to go on a non-date date. Anyway, here's the opening:

Five years and ten failed relationships. One with a marriage that lasted only a week—how was she to know he’d have a nun fetish? The others were all rebounds to forget said marriage. Then there were lots of horrible dates in between, each one fizzling out the moment she realized men just weren't as cool in real life as they appeared in movies. Damn that George Clooney. Real men all had some sort of . . . problem. Mommy complex, daddy complex, mommy-daddy complex. Can’t make love with the lights on, can’t make love without Larry King playing in the background, can’t make love . . .

Thelma Partridge was starting to wonder if she was just allergic to men. If so, she wished there were some sort of medication, some new wonder pill like the kind you saw on TV: Femfix, the pill that makes farting, rude language, all day ESPN, and obnoxious driving seem romantic. One dose and you’ll be running your fingers through his back hair with pleasure. Warning, missing a dosage of Femfix may cause you to wake up screaming when you see your apartment has turned into a bachelor pad full of dirty socks, empty beer bottles, and half-eaten burritos. Femfix is not responsible for mental damage caused by being turned into a human coaster.

Gah. Forget the magic pills, Thelma was just going to give up cold turkey. Toughen up. Reweld the chains on her chastity belt. Take up scrap-booking—collect doilies—get a dog. Anything but men.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Fun Friday

It's Friday, so maybe we should have a little fun.

Here are some questions for you to answer (if you have time), and which I'll answer as well right here.

Favorite childhood book: Alice in Wonderland. I had the little Disney/Golden Books copy, and I slept with it every night, carried it around everywhere. One night I barfed all over the poor thing and my mom threw it away. I was so sad.

Favorite book of all time: Gone With the Wind, and Time and Again (by Jack Finney)

Favorite Movie: Rear Window

Favorite Song: Imagine

Favorite snack food: carrots

Favorite drink: merlot

Favorite dessert: chocolate cake with tons of frosting!!!

Favorite tv show: I like the classics, so right now it's Laverne and Shirley. I heard they might be doing a reality show with those two, and if so, hand over the popcorn.

Favorite car: 1972 Camaro (duh!)

Sunrise or sunset: sunrise

Trippy, Avent-garde question: What color are you? (Red, green, indigo . . .): Chocolate brown

Favorite superhero: Superman!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Slacker 101

(In which I avoid the act of writing now that the pressure's on)

Pushups. I'm obsessed with getting killer arms for summer.

Dance around to every record I own. Especially Michael Jackson's Thriller.

Make cookies.

Eat cookies.

Do laundry.

Stretch my legs on the kitchen counter a zillion times.

Write a paragraph.

Drink some water.

Play a video game with Liam.

Watch Oprah.

Write another paragraph. Erase paragraph.

More pushups.

Read a great author and get depressed.


Take a shower.

Browse Craigslist.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Good News Part 2

Butt in chair. Check.

Water. Check.

Tunes. Check.

Coffee. CHECK.


There's some good news I want to share with you, but it's tentative and relies heavily on my being able to rise to a challenge that I've never met before, so I don't know if it will happen, but I'm hoping, really, really hoping that it will, but you never know, fate is a weird mistress sometimes, all right, I'll just tell you, but don't get too excited, okay?

I received an invitation to submit The Soul Seekers after a revision of the first few chapters and overall tightening of the manuscript. Yes, if I work hard my book will finally see the light of day. Isn't that wonderful? I am to sort of patch together those first few chapters to get the reader closer to the action. I told you before those first were difficult for me because of the premise, but I love challenges and have no problem making it work, as they say. Having spent a lot of time working on short stories the last few months, I can honestly say that the timing is right for this. I know much more about trimming prose than ever before.

Thank you to the amazing Karen for reading the manuscript and speaking with Allie at WiDo publishing. See the contest above^. I am grateful for the opportunity and will work me butt off!

So . . . what's happening this Tuesday for all you good people? We have more snow on the way. Yep.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Oh say can you remember?

Geez, I feel kinda sorry for Christina Aguilera this morning. I know what it's like to be a mom and try to go out and do something cool. The ole brain just isn't in prime shape anymore. Not when you have to think about who's gotta do their homework, who's running around with the cat dangling from their hands, who's still not dressed and it's lunchtime, who's needs their nose wiped, and who needs their teeth brushed. The national anthem sort of takes second place after all that, you know? We'll let it slip this one time Christina. Just stop doing runs on every single note you sing and the whole thing will be forgiven.

So, I have a question. Do you tell other people about your writing? Do you find it hard to explain that you're madly in love with invisible humans? That you murder and lie and cuss all in the name of fiction? Sometimes I worry about how people will react to me when they read some of my more radical pieces, but it doesn't stop me one bit from wanting to continue. I loves me some fake peoples, ya'll. But I do hope the rest of the world doesn't disown me for the stuff I write.

How do you feel? How do you tell others you're a *gasp* writer?!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Cool News

Remember that show I was in last summer, the Women of Rock? Well, I hate to toot my own horn, but it was voted #1 Community show AND #1 overall show by local KCStage magazine for 2010.

It was so much fun to be in that show. Yes, we had to work our butts with only a few weeks to rehearse and learn dance routines in the hottest room known to man. Our directer, a brilliant, brilliant man, was ready to chew our heads off and eat them for stew. But . . . it was amazing and I'd do it again.

Getting to play Joni Mitchell, I mean, that will always remain in my mind as one of the most beautiful moments in my life. Every night I danced around backstage to Janis Joplin singing "Bobby McGee", flower in my guitar head, a few braids strewn in my hair, bare feet. I'd saunter out on stage when she was done, and become Joni. I loved to hear people laugh when I made the last note, high to low, "parking lot." So cool.

Okay, I'm gonna cry.

Another thing I remember is not being able to write anything because I had to devote myself to learning the lyrics (tons of lyrics) and dance steps (not a good dancer). So I had a couple of stories built up in me the whole time, and when it was over I wrote Ned's Bed and a few others. It showed me how much I love to write, and how if I don't, it will force itself out regardless. I also devoured a couple of books after that. Good times.

So, just wanted to share that. What's up with the weekend my friends? I'm excited because I heard James McMurtry is gonna come to town in March, as well as Merle Haggard. Can't wait!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

If snow was gold

Thanks for the well wishes. As I said in a comment, the presenters cancelled the event due to the weather, and it will be rescheduled sometime later. There was a lull in the storm Monday night and I was going to go for it, but alas the decision was made for me!

Monday was all ice. Tuesday morning started with snow, and then it snowed all day. Aaaaaalllllllll day. After lunch the wind picked up and it was a full-out blizzard, with anything that had been cleared covering up again in less than a minute. Henry went out there and had to hop in and out of the drifts. Schools were closed, roads shut down. There are going to be a lot of babies come October.

Despite all this mess, I still love snow. The sun rose this morning, and a whole world of electric blue—drifts, mounds, crystal meringue peaks, tree limbs, tops of cars—changed into salmon pink, then gold. Deceiving, as it is bitterly cold out there.

It's probably heading your way. Haha. No, I hope it's not. Spring is just around the corner . . .

Ya'll know I write under a pen name. photo credit: Web-Betty Pete's Kitchen | Denver, CO via photopin (license) A girl’s...