Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Freedom of speech...

...doesn't mean you can be a potty mouth in Virginia Beach:

But apparently somebody disagreed with the notion. I'm not sure why this amused me so much, but it did. :)

(On an unrelated note, did you notice this is my THIRD post in one day? Aren't you impressed? I know I am. Just don't expect it to happen often. Either one of you.)

It's m-e-l-t-i-n-g....!


The remnants of the Blizard of '09 are almost gone! If you remember, that used to be a 4' tall wall of snow. And now it's not. Yay!

It actually got up to the mid-50s today. It was sunny! I went out without a coat. *happy sigh*

Sure, we're expecting more wintry weather later this week, but I am all about the NOW. :)

What I wanted to be when I grew up

When I was in third grade I wanted to be a jockey. Like a lot of little girls, I loved horses with the passion of a thousand Celine Dion songs. I could think of no better life than to get to ride them -- in races! -- every day. I wrote horse stories by the score, pages and pages of equine prose, all of them starring me-Me-ME. And I was happy.

Then my teacher told me I would probably never be a jockey because I was a girl. Crushed my 8-year-old dreams in one off-handed comment.

So, I moved on. I decided I'd be a ballerina. Took dancing lessons, performed in a few recitals. Let's just say "grace" was not my middle name. Except on paper, where, in my feverish imaginings, I gave Pavlova a run for her money.

Next, acting entered my life, and I gave that one a better run. All through high school and college, and even professionally (um, in the sense that I got paid to do it) for a while afterward. Fun, and I loved the getting-into-the-characters-heads aspect of it, but I always craved a bit more control. I wanted to be ALL the characters. AND the director.

For a time I taught high school, but I hardly count that because, while rewarding in its own way, it was never something I had that aforementioned passion for. I just needed the money, and the crazy students and staff were fodder for my evening interludes with my pen, so I could tolerate it.

I went to grad school, got married, had kids--wonderful and fulfilling experiences--all while scribbling in my spare moments. And finally it dawned on me what I wanted to be when I grew up.

Funny how it was what I'd been all along.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Dear Blog,

I still haven't forgotten you. That's why I'm here, caressing you fondly in passing, even though I don't really have time write a real post. I am working on some revisions, trying to add a little more danger to my book. Upping the stakes. Making people bleed. Killing a poor soul here and there.

This isn't as easy as it sounds when you're basically writing comedy. Comedy with a dose of trauma. Traumedy? Whatever. Works for me.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

NIP Time

Dear Blog,

I've been cheating on you with my NIP*. I just want you to know that it's not you. It's me. I crave the excitement only a little NIP can bring. But I haven't forgotten you, I promise! I'll be back. Soon, and with something interesting to say. Honest. And if I don't find something interesting in my real life to tell you about, I'll make something up.


*Novel In Progress. Honestly, people. Minds out of the gutter.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Some Girls Are

This is a book you need to read. It is categorized as YA, but believe me, even those with a few more years under their belt (like me) will relate. It is far from a light, breezy read, and it made me Very Glad I am no longer in high school. But you know what? I could NOT put it down once I picked it up. Read it straight through. It is THAT compelling a read. And Courtney Summers is that talented a writer.

What are you waiting for? Go order it!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

You call it research, I call it You-search

What do you do if your characters want to try something you're not sure is humanly possible? A feasibility check, that's what. Like when my mc decided (well, not so much "decided" as, um, had the decision thrust upon her) to take a ride on a trebuchet, I needed to know if this would be believable. Not being the thrill-seeking sort (yes, when it comes to my physical safety, I am a cautious soul, otherwise known as a "wuss" or a "weenie"), I let my fingers do the clicking. Came upon this video on YouTube:

Yay! My scene was in the realm of credibility.

This You-searching technique also comes in handy if your characters decide they have to visit someplace you've never been to, and aren't likely to get to before your book is complete. Almost anyplace in the world you can think of, some tourist has been there before you. And made a vid. And supplied it with excruciatingly detailed commentary. Or, if you're lucky, just set it to background music:

Ditto for things you'd like to use to add flavor to your narrative, but suspect they may be too silly to be realistic. Trust me, this is not likely. Say your book is set in a circus, and you need to know if elephants can roller skate. Ta-da:

See? Perfect! One caveat, though: once you travel down the You-searching path, your actual writing time may suffer. It's addictive.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

2010? Seriously?

So I missed the all-important first-day-of-the-new-year post. Sue me. I couldn't take the pressure! All those resolutions to come up with, all those reflections on the ups and downs of the previous year. It was overwhelming, I tell ya!

Either that, or I was lazy.

Wait, scratch that. How's this: I was busy. Yeah, that's it. I was so gosh-darned busy planning and plotting my course of action for the coming year that I didn't have time to squeeze in a blog post. Now that I've successfully scheduled 2010 right down to the millisecond, I am free to cavort here. (Yes, I scheduled in Cavorting Time. Doesn't everyone?)

Okay. Truth? Bouncing around all of the above. What can I say? I'm a complicated person. ;)

I do wish each and every one of you (all right, both of you) a Very Happy New Year. May 2010 bring you your heart's desire.