Archive for the ‘writing’ Category

about those elves…

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Just a little tidbit for Tuesday…

Apparently there are many many types of elves. Not all of them are small or helpful or under contract with North Pole Enterprises, Inc. I know, surprising, right? And I never would have known this if I hadn’t posted the above pic in my last fifteen for friday. I don’t know whether to be proud or scared that my husband knows so much about elves.

show and tell

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Since this is supposed to be a writing blog, I thought I might put up some actual writing! This is a very small part of the short story I’ve been revising. It was rejected a bunch, but I love the story and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head. Thoughts? Comments? Criticism? I can take it.

Even if Kaylee didn’t believe in them, the legends were their only hope now. She remembered the words her uncle recited after each bed time story, just before he kissed her forehead and pulled the sheet up to just under her chin. “In every legend there is truth.” She’d repeated the saying every time she told a story for the children.

Until the men left. Only the old and very young were left behind to look after the town. To watch it die, Kaylee thought bitterly. The able-bodied, including her uncle had gone on the same journey five years ago that she was just beginning now.

She opened her pack and placed the map into it. It was useless, but it couldn’t be left lying around. She felt to the very bottom of the bag where a cool, flat metal plate sat and pulled it out. Shaking it, she guessed that there were probably only a couple of ounces of water in the container. She pushed a tiny button that sat flush with the rest of the surface. This action caused a piece of the rim to pop up, revealing a small opening. Kaylee pressed the opening to her lips and drained the few drops into her mouth. With a small snap she closed the aperture. She pressed another invisible button. Her hand, holding the small plate peeked out from under the cloak she was using as shelter and camouflage. She placed the plate as flat as possible on the torn mound and pushed the button again. She withdrew her hand to the safety of the cloak and waited, counting slowly to one hundred. It was the only way to ensure she waited long enough.

She reached out to retrieve the disk, only it wasn’t a disk anymore. Her heart leapt and she peeked out of a small opening in the cloth. She knew it could expand as much as it was at this moment, but it was only in construction and testing that she’d seen it that way and never because it was filled with water.

She greedily grabbed the container which was expanded to its full capacity. Her fingers shook as she opened the drinking spout and poured the clean, clear water into her dry mouth. A drop fell onto her chapped lower lip and for once she let it happen without mourning its loss. She stopped drinking as soon as she was able. She had to be conservative. As she took a deep breath—even the air felt wetter—she placed the container back onto the mound and engaged the culling button once again.

***

In the beginning, man’s spirit was dropped from the clouds like rain. He swam through the rivers and lakes and oceans until he reached a welcoming shore. Our people sprang from the once mighty Colorado. Os-Makin was our great leader. He was the first to crawl onto our shore, his spirit dragging through the red earth and collecting it for skin as he moved.

Os-Ra emerged next, the mother of us all. It was she who foretold the dry days. And in that day, she cried, ‘our numbers will dwindle and our children will thirst. A great one will pass through to the west seeking aid. Through the thunder valley, between the white tops he will meet the earth people’…

If you want more, let me know and I will post the next part on Monday.

fifteen for friday 08/27/10

Friday, August 27th, 2010

…the return. Remember these are random thoughts, k?

1. You think your commute is bad? Feel better? Glad I could help.

2. Looking over old drafts can be disheartening. See the purple marker? It’s purple for a reason.

old manu 0013. Purple prose –noun

writing that calls attention to itself because of its obvious use of certain effects, as exaggerated sentiment or pathos, esp. in an attempt to enlist or manipulate the reader’s sympathies. (dictionary.com)200px-WoT02_TheGreatHunt

4. So I’m reading The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan right now. It’s the second book in The Wheel of Time series. It’s a fantasy book. Yeah, I lost like 15 cool points just writing that. I think I may be getting dangerously close to negative cool territory.
6. (WARNING: shameless plug) Into android applications (the phones not the robots)? Want to know more? Check out this site.
elf defense 0037. You never know where or when you may come in contact with a rogue elf. It’s best to be prepared.
8. I wonder if they have real elves to practice on?
9. Are children the only ones who take this class? It doesn’t seem fair to have a full grown human fighting against a little elf.

10. I wonder how Santa feels about this?
11. OMK, every time! I get to this point and I just wonder…do I seriously not have 15 random thoughts in my head?
12. Is it okay to have 90 unopened email in my inbox? Looking for validation.
13. There should be a term for the great fatigue felt in the first week or two of school. Back-to-school lag? Sudden routine syndrome? That one sounds good!
14. I once had a guest blogger on here, Jenny Martin, librarian. Well, guess what? She got herself an agent! Way to go Jenny!
15. I think I might look into this wattpad thing. Not sure about it yet, though.
See ya next week!

our summer vacation

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

…was a new air conditioner!!!

My niece made this!

My niece made this!

My 13 year-old niece R.A. came to visit us for a week and left a bunch of awesome artwork. She did this free-mouse in PAINT! No really, we watched her. Amazing!

I’ve started a new job. It makes for interesting people watching, interacting, etc. People are strange, btw.

We swam at the Y a bunch, with our friends a little and visited the library not nearly enough.

173px-TheFountainheadMy big summer read was The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand (after I finished Lonesome Dove for the second time), not really what you would call a beach read, but satisfying nonetheless. And I wasn’t on any beaches anyway. So, The Fountainhead. What do I say? It was interesting to say the least. But what I can’t say is that I’ve ever met anyone like the people found in its pages. But I’ve also never lived in 1930′s New York either. It is hard for me to believe that there was seemingly no positive growth in any of the characters, save one. The others who “learned” from their mistakes took the lessons and twisted them into unhappiness for themselves and others. The one character who never changes, always stays the same (supposedly stands by his principles) is our protagonist and winner in the end, the person we should admire and try to be more like.

The writing was phenomenal. I can definitely see why this is a classic. The story is good. The characters are as believable as caricatures…reminding me of the people minded animals of Animal Farm. I’m certainly no expert. Just calling it as I see it.

Now that the kids are back at school I hope to have more time to WRITE!!!! Here as well as the many many unfinished projects floating on notebook paper, in word docs and in my gray matter.

fifteen for friday 2/12/10

Friday, February 12th, 2010

record breaking snow edition:

Feb Snow 009

1. I realize that this may not look like record breaking snow to a lot of the country. But I have never in my life seen so many healthy white snowmen. Feb Snow  snowman009Usually they are streaked with dirt and full of dead leaves and grass.

2. Personally I wouldn’t mind never ever making a snowman.

3. I dislike cold immensely.

4. My bushes don’t like it either.

5. Do cats have armpits? If they do, that’s what my cat was up to in the snow last night. He must’ve liked it though, cause I couldn’t get him to come in.

6. Hard to believe that only a month ago it was in the 70′s. That’s Texas for you though.

7. This list is boring. I’m talking about the weather for goodness sakes.

8. Just finished reading Respect for Acting by Uta Hagen. Lots of useful stuff in there for actors. And I guess for compulsive liars too, if that’s your cup of tea.

9. Some people have too much money.

10. Why are Hoarders, Intervention and Celebrity Rehab so entertaining? Trying to figure out if it’s the train wreck aspect, but for the grace of God, or “Whew, dodged that one”!

11. What I’m going to read when I decide to leave the house (or when the snow melts or ten degrees are added to the temperature, whichever comes first):

12. The Lightening Thief by Rick Riordan – Came highly recommended by a real life school librarian.

13. Bloodroot by Amy Greene (no, haven’t found it yet)…and why did the local librarian look at me like I was crazy when I asked for it? You’d think, being a librarian that you’d be used to hearing all kinds of strange titles, and I don’t think Bloodroot is the weirdest ever. Maybe that’s just Fort Worth.

14. Fort Worth can be backwards sometimes. Can you tell I’m a Dallas girl? I mean, the closest bagel shop is like five miles away…FIVE MILES!

15. Sarah’s Quilt by Nancy E. Turner – The second book to in the Sarah Prine series. Loved These is My Words, and I’m ready to take on some more of the old west.

PS – Writing writing, always writing. Will tell more when I have something worthwhile on the subject.

PS#2 – Today is this blog’s one year anniversary!! Yay Writer’s Cramp woo hoo!!!!

katherines lucky words

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

background

These are the books I’ve read for the last week or so…

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green: Funny, funny, funny. Loved the footnotes especially. A light read.

Lucky by Rachel Vail: For me this was uber light. For rich kids whose parent(s) lose their income it might be more significant. I suppose it’s hard for me to relate. But I did enjoy it since I’ve always liked to imagine what it’s like to be wealthy. Nannies, housekeepers, stocked pool houses and all.

These is My Words by Nancy E. Turner: This book reminded me of Lonesome Dove for it’s rough and tumble western setting, though it’s not nearly as graphic. The novel is written in diary form you would think would be limiting but never feels that way due to the writer’s skill. It’s interesting to see the transition of the character’s writing from teen to mother, both for her growth as a writer as well as her growth as a person. The character is based on the author’s Great-grandmother.

Have you read any of these? What did you think about them?

As for my own writing…I’m thinking of jumping back to my long neglected novel. With so much time that has passed, maybe the changes that need to be made will be clearer. My poor protag in my current short story is going to have to wait in the woods for a while.

jobs

Monday, February 1st, 2010

canstock2182717

Remember when all you had to do was picture yourself in a cubicle and a job would land in  your lap? When job-hopping was a normal occurrence since companies just kept handing out more and more amounts of cash? Those were the days when recruiters would hound you until you told them I seriously seriously do not need a job and I will call the police if you don’t stop harassing me.

Um, those days are long gone. I’ve sent out my resume 10 times and no one will even email me back, let alone call. And the jobs pay less than I was making 10 years ago. And Wal-Mart doesn’t seem as cheap as it used to.

See, I was married in the mid 90′s and that’s pretty much when my adult life started and when I started caring about finances and real jobs and such. So I was definitely spoiled. You remember the mid to late 90′s, right? I was by no means rich, but there was this safety net of constant well being. Maybe I’m looking back with rose colored glasses. And I know we had hard times back then. But back then if you lost your job, you could really count on having another one very soon, with possibly better pay (which happened to my husband a few times).

And I’ve heard that Texas actually has it much better than a lot of the country. Poor rest of the country.

Rant over.

tuesday’s gone

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

well, not yet anyway.

51EQhdaOW-L._SL75_Here’s what went down at the local library I 1) picked up Paper Towns, then 2) looked and searched for and inquired after These Is My Words but 3) it was nowhere to be found. To assuage my melancholy regardingthis fact, I 4) picked up An Abundance of Katherines, (by John Green, author of Paper Towns). If you’ve read Paper Towns, you know what the numbered sentence is about. If you haven’t, what are you doing here?! Go get it (only I think I got the last one at the Southwest Regional branch of the Fort Worth Public Library–so don’t go there).

Another reason to get the book is that it was awarded the 2009 Edgar Award for best Young Adult novel. And it’s pretty good to boot.

outsidersIt was interesting reading from the 18-year-old boy point of view. Besides The Outsiders (written by a teen girl, S.E. Hinton) you don’t really get the male perspective in a lot of YA fiction. The nether region jokes were not so awesome for a 34 year old mom, but were in fact much more tame than what I remember boys talking about when I was a teen.

41CHjByyWmL._SL500_AA240_

Youngsters who enjoy this book might even want to voluntarily pick up Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman which is a public service that John Green has provided.

On to writing:

So, I wrote a pterodactyl sized (but feathered) bird into my short story yesterday. And I’m currently wondering where I may have gotten off track. Before you say, “oh, that’s not so bad” let it be known that the bird dropped off a little man wielding a sword before picking up my protag and flying off with her. Oh the humanity!

I’m thinking that this might be my story’s way of avenging itself after being left untouched for over a month.

pterodactylusNT

*In searching for a pterodactyl image I found out that pterodactyl is not the proper name for the flying lizard…in fact, pterodactylus is the correct name and they are much smaller than their brother, pteranodon who would actually be the creature I was talking about in my story.

monday monday

Monday, January 25th, 2010

clockface001

Now that I’ve got you humming…

My writing hiatus is officially over. Back on the blog, back on the Word doc. So do me a favor, comment!!! I love the feedback and it encourages me to write more of the stuff you’ve come to know and love, or at least tolerate.

I’ll also be heading back to the library to catch up on my reading. If you want to follow along, this is what I’ll be checking out:

Paper Towns by John Green

These is My Words by Nancy E. Turner

and if I can find it - Bloodroot by Amy Greene I’ve seen it prominently reviewed in two magazines in the last week. Which means I might have to purchase it.

I’ll also be checking out whatever catches my eye. I’ll let you know what that is when I find it.

Have a super plus plus happy Monday everyone!

fifteen for friday 1/22/10

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Backbaloon

1. Thanks to Laura for getting me on here today.

2. It’s been a busyish  month since I’ve last been on.

3. Christmas and New Years have passed.

4. My dear Grandpa Tolbert passed away on 1/09.

5. The newest addition to our family was born on 1/13. Hi Zo-Zo…Auntie Jen LOVES you!

6. A death and birth within a 4 day period causes considerable reflection.

books7. K, onto books. I mean book. The most recent I’ve read I finished before Christmas…don’t all gasp at once now. I read Wolf Hall and in the midst of it I noted on my Facebook status “plodding joylessly through Wolf Hall. It took me a few weeks to read. The writer’s style is such that fast reading is just not an option. Some of it was daily grind stuff. Some of it was convoluted, wasn’t really sure what was going on at the time. Some of it I had to reflect on who “he” was. She’d be talking about another character and “he” would come up and one sentence later you’d realize she’s talking about Thomas Cromwell, the main character. So if you read it, just know that “he” is almost always Cromwell. It will save you time. So after I gave this tepid (that’s putting it mildly, I suppose) review on FB, I finished the book. And it stuck. And that’s how you know a book is really good. I researched the Tudors, the queens, Cromwell, etc. online. And it stuck some more. And then I started watching the Tudors on Netflix. And I knew what was going on, the back stories, etc. Then I realized what all the reviewers tried to tell me, that Wolf Hall is actually genius. I really think that the author slowed my reading down on purpose. So here’s to you, Hilary Mantel. Now every one go out and read Wolf Hall. Pls and Thx.


patrick and toothless lanie 0058. All I want for Easter is my two front teeth.

9. The sound is BAD but you have to check out my kiddo’s first comedy set. I may be biased, but I think he’s rockin’ hilarious!

10. Max is reading!!! And Patrick Star’s shadow visits his room.

patrick and toothless lanie 001

Patrick Star!!!!!

11. Pants on the Ground. ‘Nuff said.

12. If you’re Lizzing and pulling a Lemon, you’re in bad shape.

13. Don’t get Jersey Shore. Can someone please explain?

14. Working on a short story at the moment. Only taking me months. Again.

15. Hooray for 70 degree mid-January days. Me loves.