Saturday, May 31, 2008
So, what do you think?
I've always preferred blues over browns, but I kind of like the brown/tan color scheme here. It's nice and relaxing and, I think, pretty. I might keep it a while. Or not. :)
But it is a snippet of my life right now - cleaning things out. I've been working on going through old files, getting rid of stuff that should have been gotten rid of when we moved, but there wasn't enough time. I've actually got old 5 1/4" disks for a computer that no longer exists and tons of 3 1/2" ones that I'm going through to see if there's anything worth keeping on them. I've been using computers for a long time and have a lot of "stuff" collected. Would you believe I still have my first one? A TRS-80 with all of 4K of memory! And the thing still works! Anyone for a game of Pong? :)
Speaking of games, my middle son shipped me the Wii Fit which I received yesterday. Whee! Don't ask me how he got it - it's such a convoluted story - he lives in Florida, but a friend's father had an extra one in Indiana... anyway, I now have it. Plugged it in and got started last night. First thing it told me was that I was overweight. Gee. As if I didn't know that. But I tried some of the balance games. I was okay with the marbles, but the skiing actually made me motion sick! Ugh. I had to stop and sit down until the nausea went away. How weird is that? I'm in the middle of my living room, standing on this little platform, having fun - and I get motion sick. Sigh.
But I intend to get back up there today. Okay, so maybe I won't go skiing, but I still intend to have fun - and, hopefully, get fit. ;)
As for writing - I took my weekend off and will get back to work today. I know, it's Saturday, but because of my hubby's weird work schedule, for us, it's actually Monday. So this is my major workday and the beginning of my work week.
Although as a writer, I actually never take time off. There are always new ideas to jot down, people and places to observe, things to think about. To be a writer doesn't always mean sitting down and writing. Sometimes it means just being open to new ideas and experiences.
Then sitting down and writing about it. :)
Teasers: You have been given the ability to go back in time and change one thing in history. Would you? If so, what? Why – or why not?
Thought for the day: "The best emotions to write out of are anger and fear or dread.... The least energizing emotion to write out of is admiration. It is very difficult to write out of because the basic feeling that goes with admiration is a passive contemplative mood." - Susan Sontag
Friday, May 30, 2008
We left early for the hearing, which was good since we had no idea where we were going in the city, but we found the place (it's kind of hard to miss!). Got through security and up to the third floor. The other set of grandparents were already there, along with the parents and big brother (at 4, he's still rather proud of that title). While we waited, other friends and relatives trickled in until we had twenty people waiting. And waiting.... they were running behind, a common occurrence I'm told.
Finally it was our turn to file into the room. Mom, Dad and big brother sat in front of the railing with the lawyer while the rest of us filled the benches in the back. Our eldest son is "Dad" and he was called to the stand first. Answered the questions (stumbled over his age which made us all giggle), then sat down. Next, d-i-l went up, answered her questions. And we thought it was done until the judge called up the big brother. Uh oh. You never know what a 4-year-old is going to say. Gulp.
They asked him if he promised to tell the truth and he said yes. Then the judge asked him if he helped change diapers. Ew - no. Mommy and Daddy do that.
Does your daddy change diapers?
Yes and mommy too.
Do you help them?
Do you like your baby sister?
Do you have anything else you want to say? (gulp)
I help them a lot!
And so on. There was much chuckling in the gallery and a collective sigh of relief that he didn't say anything "odd".
Afterwards, the judge went over all the legalities and the baby was declared officially a member of the family - to great cheers. Then the judge came down from behind his bench and gave big brother a high five and allowed us all to take pictures of the scene. It was so cool!
When we finished, we all went to a nearby restaurant and had an incredibly good luncheon - including the baby who had her first taste of a bit of ice cream (though she preferred her bottle).
All-in-all, a wonderful day as this little angel is now really ours.
Teasers: You’ve been given a key that opens one of three chests. Inside one chest is a million dollars, tax free. A second one holds a powerful poison that will kill you instantly. The third is empty. How do you choose which to open? (Thank you Frank Stockton - author of "The Lady or the Tiger", 1882)
Thought for the day: "Novelists do not write as birds sing, by the push of nature. It is part of the job that there should be much routine and some daily stuff on the level of carpentry." - William Golding
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Over the past two years I've been doing this, I've tried to keep it strictly to the writing life. But that gets boring. Writing is such a solitary adventure. Sure, I could keep this strictly about writing and give you grammar lessons each day or talk about plot or characterization - but where's the fun in that? So from now on, I'm changing. My blog is changing. You may get a slice of writing life, or just a slice of life. Though I will still keep the quote of the day and a jumpstart or two to keep you motivated.
Today is a slice of life.
Last evening, my eldest son and family were over for dinner. Afterward, we showed them our new Wii system. First of all, let me explain - my husband and I are not big into computer games (solitaire, bejeweled and snood don't count). We bought the Wii system for the "Fit" aspect so we could get into shape. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Anyway, there I was with my son, bowling. Now in real life, I am a horrendous bowler. When I was a teen, I substituted for my younger brother on a parent/child league one night and bowled an eleven. Yes, you read that right. An eleven. I am the gutterball queen. In college, even though I was dead last in the class, I managed to get a "B" only because I was the most improved. Hey, when you start at the bottom, the only place you can go is up, right? Then I met and married my husband - a man who has actual bowling trophys. Whose mother was still bowling at 83 - and would still be if she hadn't broken her hip! But I digress. So we were bowling. And I was actually doing...not bad. Then ouch! Something in my back did not like what I was doing. A lot.
So here I sit this morning with muscle rub on my hip, back and shoulder and in pain.
And I can't wait to do it again! That was so much fun. Wii (whee!) is aptly named. :)
Teasers: Edmund Hillary reached the top of Mt. Everest on this day in history. What is your Everest? How will you reach the summit?
Thought for the day: "Nobody climbs mountains for scientific reasons. Science is used to raise money for the expeditions, but you really climb for the hell of it." - Sir Edmund Hillary
Monday, May 26, 2008
I never write in first person. It's just not something I do. I rarely read books in first person and don't write first person (except here!). But somehow, this story just wanted to come out that way. So I'm going with it for now. Okay, I'm only about 2500 words into it, but I still think I'll go that way. It's going to be a contemporary paranormal and, yes, there's a love interest. :) I need that spark in my books. There may not be sex, (or maybe there will - don't know yet) but I need that second protagonist to work off of.
We'll see where this leads.
Teaser: This being Memorial Day, write a paragraph or two on your best and/or worst memory and why.
Thought for the day: No man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.~~John Donne
Sunday, May 25, 2008
What I found interesting though, was the lack of knowledge about e-books - or even the use of technology in general as it relates to the business of writing. As I walked around with my ebook reader, my Dana (word-processing keyboard from Alpha-Smart), and my Fly pen, I got a lot of questions about these basic tools.
I also found out that there were a lot of people - the vast majority - who do not have a web presence, know nothing about blogs, myspace, chat groups or other online forums. While I cannot even come close to professing to be an expert, I was most definitely decades ahead of most of the participants. Which is sad. Today's writer can't be content with just sitting down and writing. He or she must have a basic website and an online presence for promoting their work. I admit I am not nearly as well-versed as some of my friends in utilizing this world of technology. I don't have videos or audio clips, but I am learning. Though I do still prefer handwriting my first draft, I also know that there is a world of wonder at my fingertips and as a writer in today's world, I know I must utilize this world to the utmost.
So my question to you is - if you are a writer, what do you find the most effective in promoting your work or, if you are a reader, what draws you to look at a book - whether online or in a store? In other words, what is the most effective promo tool for you?
Friday, May 23, 2008
The book is a fun combination of paranormal, mystery and a touch of romance. The plot centers around an almost 30 year old, Maggie, who is new to this psychic/magick stuff. She works at "Enchantments", an antique shop that offers a little something extra for "special" customers. The problem for this book comes when one of her customers, a 17-year-old girl with too much money and more knowledge than she should have, ends up dead. That's when Maggie's adventures begin.
So why did I like it? Because it was fun, light, and a relatively quick read. And yet interesting enough to keep me turning the pages. It will never win a literary prize - we're talking pulp fiction here folks - but I enjoyed it and can recommend it to you too. Especially if you enjoy contemporary paranormals.
Why did I not give it a 5? Because it is obviously the second in a series (entitled "A Bewitching Mystery) and there were many references to the first one here, something that became a bit jarring. But, that being said, I will commend the author for at least having a stand alone that didn't leave you hanging. No, I haven't read any others in the series - though I will now! - but you don't need to in order to understand exactly what is going on. So kudos to Alt for that!
If you like light-hearted paranormal mysteries with a touch of romance, be sure to add this one to your list.
Teasers: What is the most boring job you can think of? What if you had that job? What could you do to make it more exciting?
Thought for the day: "I can’t write five words but that I change seven." - Dorothy Parker
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Glad I didn't pitch that one! Unfortunately, he also said he doesn't want to see any more medieval fantasies either unless they're extremely dark. Uh-oh. I write medieval fantasy - but not in the horror vein he seemed to be leaning toward. So much for my stuff.
And yes, I realize he's only one editor and that there are many more out there who are buying what I write. But shooting down everything I had was a blow to the writing ego.
So what do I do?
I keep on writing what I want to write. If it sells, fine. If not... they're missing a good story. :)
Today's challenge: Write a one-line sentence that describes what you would like to accomplish as a writer in the next five years. Be specific – and realistic.
Thought for the day: "To write a book is a task needing only pen, ink and paper; to print a book is rather more difficult, because genius often expresses itself illegibly; to read a book is more difficult still, for one has to struggle with sleep; but to sell a book is the most difficult task of all." - Frank Mumny
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
So today's blog is short and sweet - have you ever taken an online writing course? If so, can you give details and tell us how you liked it?
Thought for the day: "Planning to write is not writing. Outlining … researching … talking to people about what you’re doing, none of that is writing. Writing is writing." - E.L. Doctorow
Monday, May 19, 2008
I just spent the past weekend at a writer's conference. Pennwriters is a diverse group of writers, mostly from Pennsylvania, who get together each year to workshop, network, party, talk writing and promos, and all the other stuff you do at a conference. It was long, tiring, but also worth going to. I met some new friends, got re-acquainted with others and attended a couple of very good workshops.
I also attended a couple that left me with the feeling that I should never pick up a pen (or keyboard) again.
But fortunately, those were the exception, not the norm.
And I walked away with two editors requests for partials for my fantasy work. And I managed to make some good sales at the author tea and book signing. So overall it was good.
Like all good conferences, it has come to an end so now it's time to regroup and rest up - and get my stuff out to those editors!
So my question to you today is... You’ve been asked to do a workshop for a local writer’s group – what would you do one on?
Thought for the day: "No one can write a best seller by trying to. He must write with complete sincerity; the clichés that make you laugh, the hackneyed characters, the well-worn situations, the commonplace story that excites your derision, seem neither hackneyed, well worn nor commonplace to him.... The conclusion is obvious: you cannot write anything that will convince unless you are yourself convinced. The best seller sells because he writes with his heart’s blood." - W. Somerset Maugham