Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

This was the last time I carved pumpkins.  Pretty lame, I know, but there he is.

Here's hoping your pumpkins all turned out awesome and that you have a wonderful holiday.  Stay safe, my friends.

Oh, I almost forgot the spooky pic I took recently...

*and just so you know, after Halloween, I chopped him up, made puree and served him to the family in a cheesecake.  Bwa haha.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Picture Pause - Catitude: Staying Warm

Max: "The AC might be good for keeping you humans cool, but it's the perfect sunny spot to warm me up on a cold fall morning."

Kira: "Personally, I prefer Daddy's desk chair right after he's gotten out."

Friday, October 28, 2011

What Scares You?

With Halloween fast approaching, I figured it would be a good day to talk about what scares us.

Personally, I'm totally freaked out by the thought of suffocation.  I'm not claustrophobic.  If I was, I'd never take a shower in that tiny bathroom I have.  No, I'm talking about having something over my face for any length of time.  When I'm in bed, the blankets can't come up any higher than my chin, or I hyperventilate.

I used to have an overwhelming moth phobia.  Butterflies are fine.  Moths?  They're creepy and hairy and... :shudder:  It took me years to get to the point where I didn't run screaming if one was in the same room.  Now I'm proud to say, I can stay in the room long enough to smush their little heads.  But I still don't want them touching me.

I have the same feeling about grasshoppers.  Big eyed nasty critters.  Thank goodness my husband is nice enough to put them outside for me. 

But the worst fear I have - worse than anything I can think of - is being trapped inside myself.

Back in therapy, I was sitting at the lunch room table one afternoon when they rolled a woman up next to me.  She was one of the bad head injury cases.  She wasn't paralyzed or anything, she just didn't have control over her muscles anymore.  So she just sat there in her wheelchair while someone spoon fed her.  No biggie.  Happens all the time in TBI therapy.  Except she wasn't typical of someone who'd had their brain damaged enough to be in that position.  Her eyes were still alive.  When you looked in them, you could tell every bit of her intellect was still intact, - and she couldn't communicate any of it to anyone.  The horror I saw in those eyes will haunt me 'til the day I die.  It was like her eyes were screaming 'help me'.

:shudder:  I saw her years later being wheeled through the mall.  Her husband pushed her along like it was nothing while her children trailed alongside.  And her eyes?  The horror was gone, but so was the light. 

That?  Now that scares the hell out of me.

What scares you?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I Refuse

If you've been here a while, you might recall me talking about my accident.  Those first days after I was back inside me head were spent pretty much whining and feeling sorry for myself.  I spent more time thinking about how I couldn't do something than actually trying to do it.  I was focused on the pain.  Getting out of bed hurt.  Being rolled down to therapy hurt.  And therapy itself was agony (they don't refer to PT as pain & torture for nothin').

Funny thing.  The more I thought about how much everything hurt, the more it hurt.

I don't know exactly what happened to snap me out of it.  Maybe it was the nurse who told me to stop being such a baby.  Maybe it was the skanky dude with the broken back who made fun of me in therapy.  Maybe it was sitting in front of the mirror crying over how much I thought I lost.  Whatever the cause, it was a major attitude adjustment for me.

I stopped whining about every little ache and pain.  The pains were a part of my new reality and I had to get over them to move forward.  Once I realized this, everything got easier.  I started to progress at a rate that surprised my therapists.  I made getting better my one job.  Whining?  Let someone else take that job - I was done with it.

Almost 18 years have passed.  It was a lesson I thought I'd never forget, but on some level, I must've forgotten it.  I exercise a little bit and the next day I'm little Pammy*, whining about every muscle twinge.

Me.  I broke my frickin' thigh for petesakes and now achy muscles kick my ass?  I don't think so.

It's been the same with work.  It's been a long day and I'm just not up to writing?  Whine.  I had to relearn my multiplication tables at the age of 24.  If I'd whined then like I whine now, I would still be wondering what 9 x 3 is.

So, I took myself in hand this past weekend.  I made some conscious choices.  Every day I will exercise, and on those days where I don't formally workout, I'm going to clean the hell out of something.  (Sunday and Monday, I exercised.  Yesterday and today, I rearranged my library.  The shelves & books that were on the register wall are now on the non-register wall, and my daughter's desk is now underneath the window.)  I refuse to bitch about the soreness.

I refuse.

After all the work I did today, I could've just let tonight's writing time slide.  I have some really valid reasons excuses.  I shoveled snow, I rearrange furniture, I didn't sleep good last night... blah blah blah. I did the dishes (I didn't want to do them either) and I wrote.  It wasn't much.  Considering I wasn't going to do any words, the 862 I did is a win.

Whining gets you nowhere.  It never really makes you feel better.  In fact, it can often make you feel worse.  The only thing that makes you feel better is pushing forward.

No whining allowed.  I refuse to do it.  And if you catch me whining, feel free to pinch me - HARD.

What do you refuse to do?

*No offense to anyone named Pam.  PAM in this case stands for Piss And Moan.  When I'm pissing and moaning about something, I call myself Pammy.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

NaNo No

Where did Tuesday go?  Oh yeah, I started rearranging the back room/library/Daughter's office yesterday.  And of course, the carpet needed spot washing...

Anyway, what I really wanted to talk about this morning was a decision I made last night.  Despite telling damn near everyone I was going to do NaNo this year, I'm not.  I mean, I really want to.  I had planned on using this year's NaNo to crank out that MG fantasy I've been thinking about.

But see, here's the thing.  As much as I want to do NaNo, it's not going to really further my career goals this year.  I need to keep my focus on trying to get this WIP ready for submission.  And at 52K rewritten, it's not the best time in the world to shatter that focus and work on something else. 

If, by some chance, I get this revision done early enough in November to actually make a dent in 50K by 12/1, I'll jump back in.  Until that happens, I'll have to watch from the sidelines. 

I'm a little bummed.  I think this year's NaNo was going to be really fun.  But we can't always chase the fun when there's work to be done.  Ya know what I mean? And hey, Djinnocide is still fun.  It's not new and shiny, but I still love it.  I'll love it even more when it's polished and ready to send out into the world.  (Even more if it gets me an agent and/or a contract.)

So, if you're doing NaNo for real this year, let me know.  I'll live vicariously through you and be standing on the sidelines waving my pom poms for you.  I wish you all the most success. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Picture Pause - Creepy Cross

Between my new commitment to exercising (with its subsequent aches) and my mad typing lately, I'm too friggin' tired to post anything but a picture.  I took this when I was out wandering the other day.  I'd say it's perfect for the Monday before Halloween.

:cue creepy music:

Are ya skeerd?  Are ya?

LOL, Happy pre-Halloween, Everyone.  =o)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Acknowledging Accomplishments

Yesterday, Jeffe Kennedy had an interesting post at her blog.  And in it, she says something that's been knocking around in my head ever since.  After talking about a conference for female scientists, she points out "Every single woman was attributing her success to chance."

You ever read one of those statements that just sits in your head swirling around not letting you go.  Like something important is in those words - you just have to figure out what it is and it'll be a watershed moment.

So, I sat for probably a half hour, wording and re-wording a comment to that post.  Trying to figure out exactly what it was I wanted to say that would contribute to the conversation in some meaningful way.  If you went over and read the post, you'll notice I never did post a comment*.  In the end, I had nothing.

Well, that's not exactly true.  I had too much to say and not enough.  On the one hand, certain aspects of our culture tell us we shouldn't brag.  Pride is a sin, after all.  (Not something I believe on any conscious level, but it's ingrained in my psyche just like everyone else's.)  And women, in particular, are taught not to run around shouting about our achievements.

"That's a lovely dress."  "Oh, this old thing?  I just threw it on."

"This dinner tastes great."  "Thanks, but I think I put too much salt in it."

"You've just discovered cold fusion, how does it feel?"  "That?  That was nothing. I just happened upon it by accident one afternoon when I was baking."

Bleh.  What the hell is wrong with us? 

Sure, bragging makes you come off as a bitch, but can't there be some happy middle ground between being a braggart and being satisfied with your accomplishments?

Have we sunk so far as a society that we can't just be happy for someone's accomplishments?  Can we get past this?  So when Derek Jeter hits another home run, he's just an awesome ball player and not a show off.  (Not sure if anyone actually thinks this, but it's an example.)  So when Bill Gates hits the Forbes list of richest people ever - again - we don't rush around saying how much we hate him.  So when little Suzie nabs the Valedictorian spot, we don't claim her accomplishment makes the other children feel bad about themselves.

I don't know the answer.  I know I'm as guilty as anyone of downplaying my accomplishments.  I do the 'oh this old thing' when someone tells me I look nice.  I also criticize my cooking every time my poor husband complements me on it.

And when I think about the twelve books I've written in the past 7 years, all I can focus on is the fact that none of them are published.  In fact, even now, writing this, I want to forget the long hours I put in on every single one of those, tuck my tail between my legs and apologize for not 'making it'.

How much do you want to bet that when I finally do land an agent and get a contract, I'll be telling everyone how 'lucky' I was?  Or how it was just chance?

I said it before and I'll say it again... Bleh.  What the hell is wrong with us?

I say we throw off the shroud and at least acknowledge our accomplishments.  For petesakes, we earned at least that much.  It won't be easy - not by a long shot - but maybe if we start today, our daughters will be better able to hold their heads high and say to the world "I did this and I'm damn proud of it."

Your turn.  Tell me about something you accomplished.  No apologies allowed.  No qualifiers.  Just say it.

I'll start... I wrote twelve books in the last seven years.

What did you do?

*I commented this morning after I posted this.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Carrots? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Carrots

Because we have the stick! 

See it there, looking so friendly and innocuous?  In this shot, it's camouflaging itself as a decorative piece, but don't let it fool you.  It's a stick.  A big one.  And it's hard.

Perfect for poking a recalcitrant writer.  Even better for whomping a slacking student. 

It slices, it dices, it makes julienne fries... Not really.  It just smushes everything into a pulp.  I guess it would make great mashed potatoes, but ew.

Why do we mention the stick today?  Well, because it has come to our attention that certain people out there in the world require a bit of motivation.  And when it comes to motivation, you really only have two options - the carrot and the stick. 

All I have around the house is a bag of old baby carrots.  If that motivates you, go for it.  They're in the wilter next to the onions and a half bag of salad.  Barring anyone's penchant for rubbery tiny root vegetables as a positive reinforcement, we're opting for the stick today.

Get out there and work.  Or the stick might be coming to visit you.  Bwa haha

(Why yes, I was feeling a mite silly this morning.  How'd you know?)

BTW, in case anyone wants to know, said stick was hand crafted from a tree in the yard of my childhood home.  (I think it was an ash, but don't hold me to that.)  My gargantuan brother wanted a walking stick, so he cut the tree down and made one.  When he left home, I took possession of said stick and have carted it all over the damn country.  It's my stick now.  Beware the stick.  It knows when you're not working and it's waiting to thump you. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Don't Be a Bonnie

I don't know if any of y'all watch Biggest Loser, but I'd like to spend a moment today talking about a contestant who showed her true colors last night.

Bonnie is the oldest person on the ranch at this point.  She's a grandma from, I think, Boston.  Like all contestants, she's grossly overweight.  Like a large number of the obese, her knees are fucked from carrying all that extra weight all those years.  Unlike a lot of contestants, she uses this as an excuse for not exercising as hard as she could be.

And given the fact that my leg is often fucked, I can vouch for that fact that it's a good excuse - especially when they're doing exercises that work the legs.

Except last night her trainer - former tennis star Anna Kournikova - had the two remaining members of the blue team working out in the pool.  A workout that pretty much cuts out the whole "I've got bad knees' reasoning.

You see, in the pool, the excuses float away (pardon the pun).  She couldn't do a half-shit job and blame it on her knees.  She had to work.  And Anna pushed her harder because she knew the knee problems were no longer a factor. 

Of course, that's when the claws came out.  Suddenly, Anna was picking on her.  Anna was playing favorites.  It was all Anna's fault - and btw, Bonnie never liked Anna anyway, so there.  It couldn't have been that Becky (the other Blue Team member) was getting more praise because she was busting her ass.  Nope. 

What really pissed me off is that Bonnie thought she deserved as much praise as Becky without bothering to put in as much effort*.  And the scale last night proved who was doing the work.  Bonnie lost 4 lbs.  Becky lost 8. 

Bonnie's answer?  Well, of course, Becky can do it.  She's 13 years younger.  I'm guessing if someone asked Bonnie why Mike (the last blue team member to get voted off - who was only a year younger) lost so much weight every week when she didn't, she'd say it was because he was a man. 

My point is, there's always some excuse we can throw out there for why we're not succeeding.  Sometimes, it really is out of our hands.  There's one gal on the black team who's doing this with a stress fracture, for instance.  (Except she's still losing the weight and not bitching about how hard Bob pushes her.)  Life comes and screws with our plans, and there ain't a damn thing we can do about it.  We get sick, or our kids get sick. There are power outages and PTA meetings, computer crashes and financial difficulties.  There's flood, famine and plague. 

Most of the time, though, our excuses are exactly that - EXCUSES.

Don't be a Bonnie.  Don't let anything stand in the way of succeeding at what you really want to do.  Because if you let your excuses pile up, you'll never achieve your goals.

*Don't get me started on that one, or we'll be here all week.

New Pandora vs. iHeart: A Writer's Review

I don't know what it is, but I've gotten to the point in my writing life where I need music in the background while I type.  And none of my CDs seems to have just the right flavor - at least not all the way through.  Enter Pandora.  I found it and it was my salvation.  Sure, sharing it with my daughter meant the free 40 hrs went by too fast some months (until I got the kid her own account).  And yeah, the ads can be annoying - especially when they drag.  Still, I loved Pandora.

And then the same day Facebook screwed me with its new format, Pandora did the same damn thing.  All at once, I couldn't be on FB and Pandora at the same time.  And Pandora's new look was weirding me out.  Plus, for some stupid reason, Pandora kept tossing lame-ass songs into my mixes and those stupid bits of cacophony would throw me right the hell out of my groove.

Lucky me, I saw an ad for iHeart (or maybe it was a bit on CNBC about it).  I rushed right over and gave it a whirl.  I tried to love it.  I made a station using the band Bush (the seed for my main Pandora station), flipped my headphones on, and started writing.  Three songs in iHeart threw Creedance Clearwater Revival into the mix.  On a Bush station.  Talk about jarring.  Anyway, I created a Foo Fighters station and all was well again.

The only problem now was that I couldn't add new seeds to my iHeart stations.  Without new seeds, the station started throwing the same songs at me.  Three times in a row, I started the station up to Everlong by The Foo Fighters.  I love that song, but I don't want to hear it first off every friggin' time.

I also can't get a good '80s Dance Music station on the damn thing, so I was switching to Pandora every time I exercised.  And iHeart's P!nk station blew chunks hard enough that I had to start a Sara Bareilles station just to work on UEQ (which is a book that needs Angry Girl Music in the background).

So, I went back to Pandora.  Low and behold, in the time I was away, they fixed the whole 'not friendly to FB' thing.  They also stopped throwing weird bands into my mixes.  For the past couple days, they've played nothing but lovely lovely dark and twisty bands in my Bush mix (the songs Djinnocide craves).

I know iHeart is in its infancy.  I tried to give them feedback so they could make their station more writer friendly, but the feedback area was too confusing.  I may go back to them someday when they've made themselves more like Pandora - without the annoying ads (which also got fixed and don't drag so much).  Plus, it never hurts to have a backup.

For now, though, I'm with Pandora.  It does what I need it to do - which is play the music I need when I need it, with neither songs nor commercials that drag me out of my groove.

Do you use an online radio station of any kind?  Have you tried these?  What do you think?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Lyric Tuesday - These Words

I've been thinking a lot about my work and what it means and whether I'm wasting my time.  So for me, the song These Words by Natasha Bedingfield is especially poignant right now - I mean, if you pay less attention to the chorus and look at it from a novel writer point of view as opposed to a song writer. 

(And for the record, the emphasis below is mine.)

These Words
Natasha Bedingfield

These words are my own
Threw some chords together
The combination D-E-F
It's who I am, it's what I do
And I was gonna lay it down for you
I try to focus my attention
But I feel so A-D-D
I need some help, some inspiration
(But it's not coming easily)

Whoah oh...

Trying to find the magic
Trying to write a classic
Don't you know, don't you know, don't you know?
Waste-bin full of paper
Clever rhymes, see you later

These words are my own
From my heart flow
I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you
There's no other way
To better say
I love you, I love you...

Read some byron, shelly and keats
Recited in over a Hip-Hop beat
I'm having trouble saying what I mean
With dead poets and drum machines
I know I had some studio time booked
But I couldn't find a killer hook
Now you're gonna raise the bar right up
Nothing I write is ever good enough

These words are my own
From my heart flow
I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you
There's no other way
To better say
I love you, I love you...

These words are my own
From my heart flow
I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you
There's no other way
To better say
I love you, I love you...

I'm getting off my stage
The curtains pull away
No hyperbole to hide behind
My naked soul exposes
Whoah.. oh.. oh.. oh.. whoah.. oh..

Trying to find the magic
Trying to write a classic
Waste-bin full of paper
Clever rhymes, see you later

These words are my own
From my heart flow
(Don't you know)
I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you
There's no other way
To better say
I love you I love you

These words are my own
From my heart flow
I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you
There's no other way
(There's no better way)
To better say
I love you I love you

These words are my own
They're from my heart
I love you, I love you
That's all I got to say, can't think of a better way
And that's all I got to say
I love you, is that okay...

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Excuses Excuses

We all have excuses for why we don't get done those things that we're supposed to be doing.  So, in honor of those little things that help us procrastinate, here are a few of today's excuses up front.

- I cut my right index finger yesterday and typing makes it hurt

- Today is the Michigan vs Michigan State game!  Go Blue! (They lost.) =o(

- I really need to take a shower.

- The cat needs her claws clipped.

- I started Kristen Painter's Blood Rights last night and I really really want to know what happens. (read three chapters)

- I bought that stuff to make cake cookies over a week ago and I really should make those before my husband eats all the chocolate stars.

- The blanket I'm making for my oldest sister isn't going to crochet itself. (crocheted a few rows)

- During yesterday's procrastinatory cleaning, I missed dusting that thingy-bob under the mirror and all the geegaws on it.

Okay, now that those are out there for the world to see, I can move on and get some writing done.  After all, I've only got two hours until FOOTBALL!

What excuses are keeping you from doing what you need to do today?

Updated @ 1:48pm - Still haven't written and still not feeling the urge to.  Maybe tonight.

Friday, October 14, 2011

'Cuz That's How People Talk

I once had a crit partner who would note every time I used the phrase "I could care less".  It was a pet peeve of hers, because obviously you can care less than you already care.  The correct phrase is "I couldn't care less".  Problem with using the correct phrase every single time is not everyone speaks 100% correctly 100% of the time.

Personally, I've always said "I could care less'.  For years I've been wrong.  Now I could justify my incorrect phraseology.  Sure, I already care little for whatever I'm talking about, but if it gets any more boring, I could, in fact, care less about the subject.  But yeah, it's still wrong.

And you know what?  I don't really care.  I'm not writing my Masters Thesis for English.  I'm writing fiction - about flawed people who don't have Masters degrees.  Often they're lucky if they got an education at all (especially in the case of genies, some of whom were born before formal education, or in the case of a dystopian world where schooling may not be the most important thing to society any more.)

They're just people out there doing amazing things with the gifts they have.  They use bad grammar and end sentences with prepositions.  And they start sentences with conjunctions.  They even sometimes use cliches - because :gasp: people out there in the world speak and think in cliches. 

Your average dude - even the ones who end up doing amazing things - don't spend time worrying about whether their English is correct.  They say folksy things sometimes and they don't worry too much about rewording a phrase because tons of other people use it.

And yet, writers get nailed for it every time.  Funny.

Anyway, as a reader, I don't mind when people use incorrect grammar in dialogue - or when the POV is first person (which pretty much makes everything dialogue when you think about it - it's dialogue between the MC and other characters or between the MC and herself or between her and the readers.)  In fact, I'd say I like it even better than a writer who strives to make everything so correct, they lose the integrity of their character.

So, I say, use whatever phrase feels right.  And if it ends up getting someone's undies in a twist, so be it.  'Cuz that's how people talk.  It ain't right, but it's more real.

(Disclaimer:  If you're going to play with the rules of English, please for godsakes, know them first.  Don't just slap the words down and when you get called on their wrongness, say "I meant to do that".  It's disingenuous and it sucks.)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Picture Pause - Catitude

Here's Max next to the hugest tumbleweed I've ever seen...

He couldn't care less.  (And for the record, isn't he gorgeous?)

And Kira attacking a stringy-thing she loves...

She's large and in charge. 

What's your catitude today?  Do you care less or are you feisty?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Lyric Tuesday - The Lazy Song

Something about The Lazy Song makes me want to get to work.  Reverse psychology, maybe?

The Lazy Song
by Bruno Mars

Today I don't feel like doing anything
I just wanna lay in my bed
Don't feel like picking up my phone
So leave a message at the tone
'Cause today I swear I'm not doing anything

I'm gonna kick my feet up
Then stare at the fan
Turn the TV on, throw my hand in my pants
Nobody's gonna tell me I can't

I'll be lounging on the couch,
Just chillin' in my snuggie
Click to MTV, so they can teach me how to dougie
'Cause in my castle I'm the freaking man
Oh, oh

Yes I said it
I said it
I said it 'cause I can

Today I don’t feel like doing anything
I just wanna lay in my bed
Don’t feel like picking up my phone
So leave a message at the tone
'Cause today I swear I'm not doing anything
Nothing at all

Tomorrow I'll wake up, do some P90X
Meet a really nice girl, have some really nice sex
And she's gonna scream out: 'This is Great'
(Oh my god, this is great)

I might mess around, get my college degree
I bet my old man will be so proud of me
But sorry pops, you'll just have to wait
Oh, oh

Yes I said it
I said it
I said it 'cause I can

Today I don’t feel like doing anything
I just wanna lay in my bed
Don’t feel like picking up my phone
So leave a message at the tone
'Cause today I swear I'm not doing anything

No, I ain't gonna comb my hair
'Cause I ain't going anywhere
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, oh

I'll just strut in my birthday suit
And let everything hang loose
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah-eah

Today I don’t feel like doing anything
I just wanna lay in my bed
Don’t feel like picking up my phone
So leave a message at the tone
'Cause today I swear I'm not doing anything

Nothing at all
Nothing at all
Nothing at all

Monday, October 10, 2011

I Don Wanna

Last week I may have mentioned* that chapter 18 of UEQ sucks.  I tried working on it.  Really I did.  I sat down on Saturday morning with my printed chapters, my notebook and my trusty red pen...  And the only thing I accomplished was realizing there's a whole lot more wrong than I originally thought.  Looks like I'm going to have to re-tackle chapter 17, too.

But I don wanna.

I mean, great godfrey daniels, I thought I had it.  I worked hard on it.  And it still sucks - hard.  So, I'm letting it simmer in the special part of my brain reserved for such things until I figure out how to de-lame the scene.

Meanwhile, I'm working on Djinnocide.

So much for my 3/3/1 schedule.  And it was working so well for me.  Oh well, time to improvise, adjust and adapt.

What's on your 'I don wanna' list this week?  Scrubbing sinks?  Yardwork?  A sticky scene in an otherwise awesome story?

*If I didn't mention it here, I know I mentioned it on Facebook or maybe Twitter - if you're not following me on those, the linksy things are on the right somewhere.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Hippity Hoppity NaNo's on Its Way

In a little over a few short weeks, November will be here with all its sparkly wonderfulness.  The NaNo bunny will be leaving chocolate treats for all the good...


Wrong holiday.

November is Thanksgiving month (find a good song about Thanksgiving being on its way and I'll gladly change the post title)  November is also National Novel Writing Month - or as we all know it, NaNoWriMo.  NaNo for short.  It's the month where all good little writers get the accolades they're supposed to get, and the one where thousands of slightly deranged people sit down to write a novel in a month.

Or 50K into a novel, if you're like me.

Last year was the first year I officially signed up to play along, but I've been doing this to myself - by myself - since... well, I can't remember how long but it's been years.  In fact, right now I'm rewriting last year's NaNo novel and also the NaNo novel from the year before (or was it the year before that - the writing blurs into one long skidmark sometimes).

This year, regardless of how my two re-writes are going, I hope to jump into November with a shiny new story in a genre I've never tried before - MG Fantasy.  Yup.  I've never written MG before and I've never written straight fantasy before.  Should be an interesting exercise - like physical therapy.  (There's a reason Physical Therapy - aka PT - is also referred to Pain & Torture, ya know.)

Which means, if I want to get most of these two stories done by 10/31, I need to get cracking.

What about you?  Are you doing NaNo this year?  Whatcha planning on writing?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Dear Future Self

Dear Future Self,

Right now, I'm riding high.  The words are coming together.  The ideas are flying fast and furious.  My CP loved the book I sent her and her ideas are really making this story a better, more marketable thing.  At this moment, I'm feeling really good about being a writer.

So I just wanted to tell you up there in the future...

When you're reading yet another rejection notice...
When your hands ache so bad you want to quit...
When your heart breaks over a bad critique...
When you don't feel like you can write another word...
When you have to slog through yet another rewrite because something's not quite right...
When someone asks you yet again when your book will be published...
When you see the look of pity in someone's eyes after you say you don't even have an agent yet...
When you'd rather be doing anything than writing...

Remember this feeling.  Remember the high that comes from writing good words and knowing that this is what you were meant to do.  Remember the self-confidence you feel - like you could put the finishing touches on this baby and get five offers of representation. 

This is why you do what you do.  I don't know what it's like to get a chemical high (and hopefully neither do you), but I imagine this is what it feels like.  Remember this.

And don't quit.  Even if all you have at the moment is a memory of how awesome it feels to put words to paper, hang onto the memory and don't give up.

- Current Self

PS.  If you talk to Past Self, tell her to buy stock in Aspercreme.  Lord knows we've used enough of it over the years to be rich by the time you read this.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Lyric Tuesday

For today's lyrics, I was going to post the words to one of the most misquoted songs ever: Manfred Mann's Earth Band's version of Blinded by the Light - but they're so weird I won't do that to your brains.  (If you decide to do that to yourself, go here. And please remember - visit lyrics sites at your own risk.  They're very cookie-full, and not in a good way.)

Speaking of weird lyrics, though, I have Sara Bareilles' Say You're Sorry stuck in my head this morning, and while the chorus is wonderful, the beginning words are just bizarre.  I know it's supposed to mean something, but my brain's not making the connection.  Still, I hope you enjoy the song...

Say You're Sorry
by Sara Bareilles

Circus of silence down at our feet
Paper cut tigers starting to bleed
Hang from your tightrope above the mess
Just say you're sorry, no more no less
Words you won't use, you don't feel them like I do
Show will be over soon

It's not the curtain closing causing us to call it a day
I want to walk away too
But I want you to say you are sorry
I'm not the one who went and made a mistake
I want to walk away too
But I want you to say you are sorry

I used to believe that the storybook's true
Now I don't need it, at least not with you
So if you see him, the man 'neath the mask
Tell him I'm leaving and not looking back
Words are no use, you don't need them like I do
Show will be over soon

It's not the curtain closing causing us to call it a day
I want to walk away too
But I want you to say you are sorry
I'm not the one who went and made a mistake
I want to walk away too
But I want you to say you're sorry

I want the one word that you refuse to say to me
You're so good at giving me responsibility
I wash my hands clean and let you watch me as I go
I'm sorry for you, just so you know

It's not the curtain closing causing us to call it a day
I want to walk away too
But I want you to say you are sorry
I'm not the one who went and made a mistake
I want to walk away too
But I want you to say you're sorry

Monday, October 3, 2011


As you know, last Sunday I posted that I wasn't going to post that much or visit blogs that much until I resolved a personal thing.  Well, not visiting blogs or commenting on them is hard.  Staying away from my own blog - not so much.  But that's neither here nor there.

Without going into too much detail, the personal thing is mostly resolved.  Unfortunately, the reason it's mostly resolved is that I stopped spending so much time reading blogs and commenting and facebooking and twittering...  So, I'm here, but for now, going to stick to an abbreviated schedule.  I'll blog and comment when I can, and just let myself not feel so guilty about not hitting every blog every day or posting to my own every day. 

On the upside, last week I managed to type out over 16K words on the two WIPs I'm trying to rewrite.  Sunday-Tuesday and this past Saturday I worked on Djinnocide to the tune of 11394 words.  Wednesday through Friday I worked on UEQ and cranked out 4678 words.  So life's good.

How are things in your life going lately?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Picture Pause - Morning Critters

It's a lovely beginning of October in NE Colorado and the neighborhood critters were cooperating. 

Downy Woodpecker
Young Squirrel (the animals really like this pole)
Ms. Eurasian Collared Dove
"Hey, Baby.  Wanna come over to my nest and make me some eggs?"
(And yes, even I groaned at that last caption, but I had to do it.)