Showing posts from June, 2011


I'm in crazy writer, editor, submit to magazines, be a mom, clean the house, listen to records, oh yeah I have to take a shower mode. So I'll just post some simple artwork and say I love you.

Curses to Cursive

Recently in the news there was a story about doing away with cursive. I guess the argument was that since we are all on computers, or texting, there is no longer a need for that form of writing to be taught. It's difficult to check for mistakes in cursive, and children these days do all their reports in word processing anyway.
Growing up, cursive was one of those coming-of-age events. I think it was around third grade that they really began to push it on us kids. I remember, because my handwriting, regular or cursive, has always been horrible and there was a lot of hard practice going of after third grade lunch hour. I always felt inadequate. But I despite that, I loved the elegance of writing letters all flowy and connected. It was so grown-up and almost like learning a foreign language. I do handwrite stories from time to time, and use cursive. I'd hate to see something so organic and real be tossed to the wind just because society thinks it is a worthless art.
How do you fe…

Friday nights, and how we talked

I just took Henry for a walk, and the temperature in the air, the sound of birds, I'm not sure, but a combination of things brought back memories of going to the lake with my friends on Friday nights. We had a claim on a secluded beach area, though mind you this is Kansas so instead of sand we had pebbles and mushy, slimy lake floor to squish our toes into. On a good night the water would be just the right temperature and you could swim forever in that fresh lake water. Sometimes we'd build a fire and sit and talk way past midnight.
There were a couple of times when we brought alcoholic beverages. Schnapps, wine, straight Jack. It had been a complicated operation: dress one of us up like an attorney fresh from work, skirt suit and all, hair pulled back, and heels, and go casually purchase it with money we'd all thrown in together. In the end, we'd had to ask some older boys to buy it for us.
I remember standing on the lake shore, it was night and the moon was out, the …

The Money Exchange

When I was seven I stole some money that my brother had been saving to buy a boy's play set, a mountain with army men and tanks and all that. One night I heard my mother and brother talking about how he had almost saved enough, and I was right next to my mother's purse, and I could see the packet of money. It was right there, all this fortune that would never be mine because I was the youngest and couldn't mow the lawn to earn cash, or anything else handy like that. We earned a quarter or two every Saturday for helping to clean the house, but it was always spent on the ice cream man. It really burned me, that need, that desire to have some of his money. So I took a five-dollar bill from the packet and ran upstairs.

For a week or two I was a cursed child. That money had a hold on me; it taunted me, kept me awake at night, singed a place into my thigh through the very fabric of my jeans. As much as I had wanted it, I now was desperate to erase it from my life. I couldn't …

Ye Olde Curiosity Shoppe

I used to frequent a little shop in a town just south of where I live called the Golden Nugget. It was located in an old building, you know, one of those old western fronts. I figured it used to be some old millinery shop or general store. Glass windows decorated the whole front entrance, with antiques displayed inside to tempt you in: 1920's dresses on yellowed mannequins, tricycles, paintings, buffet tables, a rocking horse.
Bells rang when I entered through the front door, and there was a smell of musty wood and dust. The floor creaked under my feet. The clerk would give a small, unenthusiastic wave as I stepped in, because she was too busy with a customer to give a proper hello or to care that I was touching the ancient Gibson all propped up next to a broken down amp.
There was a big front room with millions of nicknacks, and a cluster of small rooms for toys and special items in a hallway—I figured the rooms used to be closets of some sort. Then there was another large room in…

Plucking words

Notes I've been taking using editor suggestions.
Delete all chapter inserts
Delete paragraph tabs
Try to get rid of ellipses
Replace em dashes with --
Try to eliminate words like: Really, very, just
Most semi-colons could probably be commas
Try to find exclamation points and see if they can be periods instead
These things I can fix using 'find' in Mac pages, it's the other, more elusive issues that will be harder to self-learn. Things like run-on sentences. I have a problem with that. Someone once told me I had amazing flow, which was very nice of them to say. I guess it comes from being a songwriter and a musician. I like to make sentences roll along. But, I guess it's not always a beautiful thing.

Some people are pulling weeds from their gardens today. I am pulling verbal weeds : )

I've got the revision blues . . .

Well, here I am drawing blood, er . . . starting the first round of editor suggested revisions. The email came friday. Not so bad. I'm sure it's perfectly normal to have that many edits on each page, right? Heh, heh. No one just writes a book and has it sent straight to the pressing house. I'm not alone in this (shut up perfect people).
It is painful to see all that things I did wrong, and to hear about the things I should change. But the fact is I am very grateful for my editor. I am lucky, lucky, lucky, and even if I do cringe a little when I see something that I thought was so cute and stylistic being crossed out, I know it's all for the best. Someone who is actually good at this writing stuff has touched my manuscript. They touched and loved on it a little, and that's a fine thing.
But still . . . here's video showing how much fun this whole process is. Have a great Sunday.

Short Story Submissions

I wrote a story last week that has now become one of my favorites, so today I think I will do some research on submission letters. I've sent things out before, but I get so darn nervous with the whole submission process, editors, and all that. For lack of better words, my brain freaks out. If anyone has advice on these things, go ahead and lay it on me.
Also, I should be receiving notes from my editor any day now. I feel nervous about that, because it's almost like someone looking through your dirty laundry, isn't it? They are lookingfor weak areas, mistakes to be fixed. Shiver. Whatever she finds, I won't berate myself in shame, I'll just accept that we cannot always see flaws in our manuscripts, and thank heavens I have an editor to see what I couldn't see! Then, I'll work my butt off to do said changes (well, after procrastinating for half a day).
Yesterday I recorded another radio spot with my friend Marshall Rimann. It was a lot of fun! How cool is it to…

Long time . . .

Summer has completely thrown me off track. Any change in schedule does that to me. But I'm getting to the point where I can carry around a notebook and pen and try to produce a short story or thoughts on something for the future. Switching between music and writing is kind of crazy as well. You wouldn't think there would be such a difference, but there is. I've really started to realize these last few years that being a musician means you possess somewhat of an ego. There's a certain level of confidence needed to call and get gigs, and then to go play gigs. Being a writer is about honing your craft and knowing that someday success will happen. There's a lot of grace in writing, I love it. And I love being a musician. But I need grace. I need serenity. I'm very self-destructive and can't dwell in something that asks me to pump myself up all the time, 'cause that's just not something I can do. So, yeah, it's crazy.
Anyway, you can see my dilemma,…