Friday, December 28, 2007
Saturday, September 08, 2007
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
1. Abdicate (v.), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.
2. Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline.
3. Bustard (n.), a rude bus driver.
4. Circumvent (n.), an opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men.
5. Coffee (n.), the person upon whom one coughs.
6. Dopeler effect (n.), The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.
7. Esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk.
8. Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.
9. Flatulence (n.) emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run
over by a steamroller.
10. Foreploy (n.), Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of
11. Frisbatarianism (n.), The belief that, when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck there.
12. Gargoyle (n.), olive-flavoured mouthwash.
13. Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.
14. Glibido (n.), All talk and no action.
15. Hipatitis (n.), Terminal coolness.
16. Ignoranus (n.), A person who's both stupid and an asshole.
17. Inoculatte (n.), To take coffee intravenously.
18. Inspissator (n.), one who inspires covert micturation.
19. Intaxication (n.), Euphoria at receiving a tax refund, which lasts until you realise it was your money to start with.
20. Karmageddon (n.), It's like, when everybody is sending off all these
really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's
like, a serious bummer.
21. Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp.
22. Negligent (adj.), describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightie.
23. Osteopornosis (n.), A degenerate disease.
24. Oyster (n.), a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddish expressions.
25. Pokemon (n.), a Rastafarian proctologist.
26. Rectitude (n.), the formal, dignified demeanor assumed by a proctologist immediately before he examines you.
26. Reintarnation (n.), Coming back to life as a hillbilly.
27. Sarchasm (n.), The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the reader who doesn't get it.
28. Semantics (n.), pranks conducted by young men studying for the priesthood.
29. Testicle (n.), a humorous question on an exam.
30. Willy-nilly (adj.), impotent.
Monday, August 20, 2007
"Writing is like skiing - you will fall when you hesitate."
"Do not reduce your story to outlines and sketches, notes and 3x5 cards. You will make your story finite this way and it will suffer because it cannot grow beyond your outline."
"Let some stuff that you think is interesting drop away."
These quotes are from Advice for Writers by David L. Robbins.
"You Are Enough"
"Work With What You're Given"
"Writing Begets Writing"
These quotes are from The Three Cosmic Rules of Writing by Dennis Palumbo.
Friday, August 17, 2007
So what are you waiting for? FREE eBOOKs HERE.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
You're The Poisonwood Bible!
by Barbara Kingsolver
Deeply rooted in a religious background, you have since become both
isolated and schizophrenic. You were naively sure that your actions would help people,
but of course they were resistant to your message and ultimately disaster ensued. Since
you can see so many sides of the same issue, you are both wise beyond your years and
tied to worthless perspectives. If you were a type of waffle, it would be
Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.
Monday, August 13, 2007
Friday, August 03, 2007
You must want to fly so much
that you are willing to give up
being a caterpillar.”
“Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.”
“Words – so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.”
That's it, that's all. Have a great weekend and happy writing.
Friday, July 27, 2007
I truly enjoyed guest blogging on THE WRITING LIFE the other day. Afterward, I found myself wishing that I could thank all those inventors who have given us this new medium for sharing our ideas and our lives. To my way of thinking, the net is close to a miracle.
Technology has long interested me. In fact, my current book project deals with engineering marvels. I’m having such fun learning about processes such as Backward Planning (huh?) and Failure Analysis. (I have lots of personal examples to draw upon.)
Back to the blog that I posted here: I want to thank the participants for their thought-provoking questions and comments. I came away enriched.
In the blog I explained that WORDS OF A FEATHER got published thanks to an agent who was looking for a funny word book. I should have mentioned the agent’s name—Carol Roth—and her website www.authorsbest.com. Carol specializes in nonfiction. Who knows? Perhaps she can be of use to some of the talented writers who frequent THE WRITING LIFE. That would be a nice denouement, which word—I can’t help but point out—relates etymologically to noose.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
1. ARBITRATOR: A cook that leaves Arby's to work at McDonalds
2. AVOIDABLE: What a bullfighter tried to do
3. BERNADETTE: The act of torching a mortgage
4. BURGLARIZE: What a crook sees with
5. CONTROL: A short, ugly inmate
6. COUNTERFEITERS: Workers who put together kitchen cabinets
7. ECLIPSE: What an English barber does for a living
8. EYEDROPPER: A clumsy ophthalmologist
9. HEROES: What a guy in a boat does
10. LEFTBANK: What the robber did when his bag was full of money
11. MISTY: How golfers create divots
12. PARADOX: Two physicians
13. PARASITES: What you see from the top of the Eiffel Tower
14. PHARMACIST: A helper on the farm
15. POLARIZE: What penguins see with
16. PRIMATE: Removing your spouse from in front of the TV
17. RELIEF: What trees do in the spring
18. RUBBERNECK: What you do to relax your wife
19. SELFISH: What the owner of a seafood store does
20. SUDAFED: Brought litigation against a government official
Monday, July 23, 2007
Thanks, Nienke, for your thoughtful announcement of my visit. You made me feel welcome at your remarkable website.
I’m the kind of writer who likes a distraction. Could be the smell of coffee in the other room, or a “dump your microwave oven” urban myth that plops onto my desktop. No surprise, therefore, that as I began typing this piece about words origins, I allowed my attention to be drawn to your Tip of the Day: “Always take the attitude of a learner in your writing and be open to new insights from any source.” I hope it won’t seem that I’m malingering if I comment on this sage advice before I get down to business.
In the 1990s, I enrolled in UCLA’s screenwriting program. At age 51 I thought I knew everything about cranking out scripts. I just wanted to meet producers so I could sell my work. But in my first class I discovered how much I had to learn about story structure. That humbling experience confirms the wisdom of your tip about being curious.
Now about words: In high school, I could take the study of etymology or leave it. Actually, I was more into leaving it. But as the years passed, I gradually became intrigued by word histories. I even began collecting doublets: word pairs that at first seem unrelated and yet are etymological kissing cousins. Examples include: anger & angina, automobile & mob, chaos & gasoline, computer & reputation, flatulence & inflation, candid & candidate. And my favorite: rectitude & rectum.
Such pairs—“words of a feather”— inspired me to write mini essays for my own amusement, especially when I had a pressing deadline. Take, for “excrement & secret”:
“Three may keep a secret, “wrote Ben Franklin, “if two of them are dead.” Ben’s witty observation points to the etymology of secret, which traces to the Latin se meaning “apart” and cretus meaning “separate.” A “secret” is knowledge kept apart from others. Hence, a secretary’s first function is to guard the boss’s private information. (Apparently, a few secretaries working for the British royal family never got the message.)
But what has this to do with excrement? Here’s the poop: The ex is Latin for “out” and the cre goes back to our old friend cretus, “separate.” Thus excrement refers to something “separated out.” Although in this case we’re not talking about information, it’s still a private matter, definitely hush hush.
If you want a loftier example, consider: “cosmos & cosmetics”:
The ancient Greeks named the universe kosmos, meaning “order.” Their belief that order is the key to beauty gave rise to the related word kosmetikos: the art of creating personal beauty.
The English version—cosmetics—developed around the time Isaac Newton published his theory about the orderly forces binding the cosmos.
Ironically, in this same period, the anti-adornment crowd made an effort to enact laws criminalizing the use of cosmetics for the purpose of seducing innocent victims into matrimony.
I had no plans for publishing these stories until an agent called saying that she knew an editor who was looking for a humorous word book. Did I have anything? Absolutely, only most of it was gathering digital dust on old computers. Six months later, Words of a Feather was published, which seems weird to me because I’ve spent years unsuccessfully peddling some of my manuscripts, and here came a contract out of the blue. The lesson? Even if you’re not an environmentalist, do not send your old computers to the landfill.
Lest I give the impression that etymology is merely an entertainment, let me end with a serious point. Sometimes when I’m writing, I’ll find myself staring at a word that, while I’ve used it my whole life, now seems unfamiliar.
If I look up the word’s etymology, I often have an epiphany. Here’s an example. Recently I was finishing a hilarious (don’t I hope) coming-of-age story. I viewed my protagonist Dan as a hero although he doesn’t see himself capable of accomplishing heroic deeds. Indeed, through most of the book, he wants to run away.
One day,—like Dan—I was avoiding my destiny and looking out the window rather than typing the story. The thought occurred to me that maybe Dan wasn’t a hero. Worse, I felt that I no longer even knew what a hero was. I could give the dictionary definition, but I had no emotional connection.
Curious, I looked up the etymology of hero at my favorite online etymology source (www.etymonline.com), and I discovered that hero traces back to an ancient Indo-European word meaning “protector.” Bingo! In a scene that I knew was coming, Dan has the chance to protect his town—spiritually speaking. (I admit, that doesn’t sound funny, but trust me: the moment in the story is both spiritual and funny. Or don’t trust me; buy the book when it comes out… if it comes out.)
What I’m suggesting is that if you find yourself in a word crisis, or if you simply wish to understand more deeply writing terms such as character, sentence, dialogue, climax or destiny, take a journey into etymologyland.
I used etymology today while writing this essay. I wasn’t sure that the piece would work out and that worried me. But then I learned that essay comes from the French word essai meaning “try” or “attempt.” This I have done.
Thanks for reading. And if wish, please ask me questions. But note: question relates etymologically to inquisition. So go easy.
Friday, July 20, 2007
Friday, July 13, 2007
between words. Since writers live on words, I think it will be a lot of fun to learn more about them. The book is a zany, fact-filled collection of dual etymologies. So, if you have any questions about the root of a word or the connection of words, now’s your chance to ask an expert!
“Words of a Feather probes the shared histories of word pairs such as ‘adversary’ & ‘advertisement’ and ‘cosmos’ & ‘cosmetics.’ It transforms the science of etymology into a fun and powerful vocabulary-building game.
“It also goes beyond the peculiarities of linguistics to provide practical advice on a variety of subjects. For example, the ‘thank’ & ‘think’ entry gives a mini-lesson on how to make kids smarter while polishing their manners. The ‘anger’ & ‘angina’ mini-essay might actually save a few lives – or at least bring on a few smiles.”
Click here to check out an excerpt.
Murray Suid is the author of more than two dozen books including How to Be President of the U.S.A., Demonic Mnemonics, and The Kids’ How to Do (Almost) Everything Guide. A former writing instructor at San Jose State University, he developed content for software products including Oval Office and Launch: the New Millennium Business Game. A screenwriter, he recently started Point Reyes Pictures, an independent movie company.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Garth Stein's novel The Art of Racing in the Rain has sold at auction for $1.2 million to HarperCollins
**UPDATE - speaking of not giving up, Alison Kent's cut-off date to join Seventy Days Of Sweat is Friday, July 13, at midnight.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Romance novelist Kathleen Woodiwiss dies of cancer
Kathleen Woodiwiss revolutionized the romance novel.
Woodiwiss, creator of the modern historical romance novel with feisty heroines, ornate period settings, and erotically charged adventures, died of cancer Friday in Princeton, Minn.
Woodiwiss, who had 36 million books in print, was 68.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
My sick kitty Cairo died.
The whole household was so distraught (my DH, MIL, our other cat Suki, and dog Piffy) that I decided on a distraction.
I'd like you to meet Simba. He fits in like butter on warm toast.
He's actually suckling on his tail. He's a rescue. Loves life and playing like there's no tomorrow.
Here he's fanning his feet (making bread/kneading) while suckling.
Suki loved him from the moment we brought him home. The first day Suki kept running up to Simba and licking him, then running away. In this picture they're caught in the act of playing. Potential LOLCat pics I think.
Life is so fragile. Enjoy every moment. Love yourself.
Friday, June 29, 2007
~Donna Alward is one of the few Canadians writing for Harlequin's Romance line. Her debut book is Hired by the Cowboy with a sequel scheduled for release in September.
You can learn more about Donna and her upcoming releases at www.donnaalward.com.
“The best advice I ever had was actually from a Drama teacher, and I apply it to my writing. Whenever I complained of a problem, she'd tell me, ‘It's not a problem, it's a challenge.’ Is it a problem that I'm three chapters from the end and don't know who the killer is? Is it a problem I'm writing a book with almost no dialogue? No...they're challenges! Conquer them, and I know my writing is stronger for it.”
RRT Erotic's Best Fantasy Romance and Best Novella 2006
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Slowly, I'm starting to get the itch to blog again, or to return to an online community.
A friend suggested I'd join Facebook. In fact, he wanted me to join his fan club. I have. Yesterday.
So far I'm not really sure what this is all about -- never been one to understand social networking very well -- but for now I'm using it to play chess. So there's definitely a positive.
Another friend, this one an online one whom many of you I'm sure are familiar with, Patry Francis, suggested I'd join goodreads. Goodreads, it seems, is sort of a book review social network of sorts. It sure was fun to start the list of books I've read.
What I found funny, but not surprising was the average rating of the books I've read (the ones I've put in so far anyway) compared to Patry's. My average rating is 3.88 out of 5, while Patry's is 4.57.
The reason this doesn't surprise me is because a) Patry probably sticks to really good books, while I can occasionally -- knowingly -- read a book I don't think is that good (to put it mildly). b) Patry is a much nicer person (yes, I do mean than I).
Anyways, perhaps I'll start blogging again more often, perhaps not. Regardless, if you're ever around those other places, be sure to drop me a line, although I'm still not sure where all this leads to, if anything at all.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
The Plot Monkeys have posted Part Two of their AGENT SERIES. Part One is here.
The Unknown Screenwriter posts about Exposure Therapy for your characters. Unk has a great series on The Transformational Character Arc. Go browse if you haven't already.
Jenny Crusie and Bob Mayer talk about tightening the plot over at their 2007 Writing Workshop. Another great sight to browse if you haven't already. It's a year-long workshop, updated twice weekly, on the craft of writing a novel.
Ian Hocking shares 10 Writing Beliefs.
Velcro City has more writing tips.
How To Write a Novel. Seriously? Okay, then. Hop to it.
Monday, June 04, 2007
Click here for the word search.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
I challenge you to give me 3 words to inspire...
Friday, May 25, 2007
The best advice I was given was to write every day.~John Baker, novelist
You get to be a better writer by writing.
~Lisa Logan, author of Visions, released January 30 2007 by Draumr Publishing
The best writing advice I ever received came near-simultaneously from two different sources.
I was struggling through my first full-length work, finding it a very different and untameable animal from short fiction. Writing the book was like walking against a wind machine where life, other story ideas, and lack of polished expertise threw themselves against my every effort.
I bemoaned this fact to friend and colleague Susan McBride. Her answer was simple. "Just do it," she said. "Write straight through, stopping only long enough to jot notes on vital flashes of inspiration."
Sure it made sense, but it was too darn simplistic. And easy for her to say, I thought. She had a book series with Harper-Collins. But sometimes, the simplest of answers is the best.
Still feeling sorry for myself, I happened to pick up a copy of Stephen King's On Writing. His advice? "Just do it."
That's when the truth hit. For those of us who must write, the discipline to do so lies within that very drive. The manuscript that had sat in messy bits for fifteen months became a finished work within three, and the next novel was written in four.
Lisa Logan is a Southern Californian with several short stories and articles published. Her first novel, Visions, was published in early 2007. Lisa is also the editor of MysteryAuthors.com, an author promotion site and flash fiction webzine.
Friday, May 18, 2007
Play with words
Take some personality tests
One sentence stories
Very Short Stories
Have a read about arts and letters
Create a story with Myths & Legends Story Creator
Take some (free) courses to improve your writing
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Thanks to Kalbzayn, Bonnie Staring, Becca Furrow, and Lady Tess (if I've missed you, I'm sorry).
8 Things About Me
- Like Bonnie, but unlike Mike, I like salted licorice – love it actually. It may have been my first solid food. (I’m Dutch)
- In fact, I’m not a sweets or chocolate person, and will go for savory every time. I also love cottage cheese with salt and pepper added. Or with fruit. Or with lettuce on a sandwich. (The Dutch also put everything on sandwiches)
- Two years ago, I lost 40 pounds and it’s all back on. My doctor says I’m lucky I didn’t go over my original weight because that usually happens with fad diets. Perhaps I should give up the savories and the sandwiches. In all fairness, I should mention I didn't stick to the 'maintenance program.' If you follow a diet, take my advice, stick to the maintenance program.
- I have no children, just three furry babies – 2 cats and 1 doggie.
- I was obsessed with Marilyn Monroe for years and years. I have a large collection of coffee table books and a few original magazines with her on the cover. (Looking for a buyer for this collection, btw)
- I have a hot tub on my rooftop deck.
- I started several novels while in elementary school and managed several hundred pages (in total – I haven't finished a manuscript yet *sigh*).
- I once produced a song (that I wrote and sang called ‘Inundation’) with Brent Bodrug (I paid him) – who has worked with artists such as Oscar Peterson and Alanis Morissette. But, don’t let that fool you into thinking it was any good… I wince when I hear it now (because unfortunately some family members got a hold of some cassette tapes).
I'm not going to tag anyone specifically. If you read this and want to do it, consider yourself tagged. Let us know about it in comments.
I'm not going to tag anyone specifically. If you read this and want to do it, consider yourself tagged. Let us know about it in comments.
Happy Thursday all!
Happy Thursday all!
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Monday, May 14, 2007
The Line Painter
By Claire Cameron
It’s 1:08 a.m. when Carrie’s car breaks down on the highway somewhere north of Lake Superior. It’s dark, the road is quiet, her cell phone is down, and she is alone. She took off from Toronto that morning, running from grief over the death of her boyfriend, and unable to cope with the truth about the events that led to it. The relief Carrie feels as a truck pulls up soon turns to fear after its driver offers her a lift. Frank, her would-be rescuer, is a line painter, putting lines on the road “to stop people from being killed.” But after Carrie gets in the truck, she starts to realize that this will be the road trip of her life—a trip of terror, transformation and forgiveness.
Claire Cameron has created a unique portrait of Carrie, a young woman whose actions are driven by grief and shame, her personality a beguiling combination of naïveté and streetsmarts. Frank is equally sharply drawn, his flashes of humour and tenderness disguising the wreckage within. Written in spare, unvarnished prose that brims with menace against the forbidding backdrop of a northern landscape, The Line Painter takes us on a riveting trip down a twisted road of memory and redemption.
Friday, May 11, 2007
“My best piece of advice was getting and using the The Writer's Market (book) I used the Writer's Market for Literary Agents.”
~ Nicole, Del Sesto, author of All Encompassing Trip
“The best advice I ever received about writing is also the simplest: just do it. Stop talking about doing it - sit down and get that story out.”
~ William Couper, author of Cutting Chills
“The best thing I've ever heard is to write from the heart. Go with whatever it tells you.”
~ Jennifer Brown, author of Celebrity Secrets, Summer 2007
- Blog: http://blog.myspace.com/jenniferbrownauthor
- MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/jenniferbrownauthor
- Website: http://www.freewebs.com/jenniferbrownauthor/
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
by Vladimir Nabokov
Considered by most to be depraved and immoral, you are obsessed with sex. What really tantalizes you is that which deviates from societal standards in every way, though you admit that this probably isn't the best and you're not sure what causes this desire. Nonetheless, you've done some pretty nefarious things in your life, and probably gotten caught for them. The names have been changed, but the problems are real. Please stay away from children.
Take the Book Quiz at the Blue Pyramid.
To know me is to love me.
I'm still around and lurking at my favorite blogs. I'm happy to say that I'm keeping busy writing and enjoying the sunny, hot weather we're having!
I'm also helping out a couple of writer friends by reading and opining on their work.
Keep on writing!
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Monday, April 30, 2007
Now, I must choose 5 other sites that make me think. A tough one!
Since Rene has already received this honor, I will pick 5 others. I will also pick bloggers who I think will pass on the honor.
1. The Mimosa Effect 2
It's fun to follow along Desert Rat's journey of writing. DR is motivated and shares great insights on writing, poetry, life and kitty-cats. Definitely makes me think.
2. Quantum Storytelling
Redchurch can outthink us all. I just love reading his concepts and theories. Never a dull post (sometimes they're over my head - but never dull!).
3. Dr. Bill's Harley Wisdom
As a writer of romance, or any genre for that matter, I believe it's important to understand how humans interact in relationships. Well, Dr. Bill's site is the place to learn about that! He explores love and relationships to a deep level that can help writers understand why their heroines and heroes do what they do.
4. Writer Unboxed
This site has probably already been honored with this award, but I have to include them in my list. Aside from colloquial updates and insights from contributors, this site offers some incredible author interviews!
5. Write Now Is Good
I enjoy following kg's posts. Lot's of helpful information - especially her current weekly feature on organization for writers!
For those of you I have selected, here's what to do next.
1. If you get were tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think.
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme.
3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote.
It's really hard to pick just 5 blogs that make me think. I suggest you follow the links backwards (from the first link of the original awarder) to find many more wonderful and thought-provoking blogs.
What are some of your favorite blogs and why?
Friday, April 27, 2007
The best advice I ever heard is from bestselling author David Morrell, who said: "Writing is a business. Treat it like one. As the business changes, you should too."David Morrell, author of SCAVENGER, adds:
Writing is also an art. Rather than imitate or follow trends, we should write books that are uniquely our own. The goal is to be a first-rate version of ourselves rather than a second-rate version of another author.Do you treat your writing as a business and/or an art?
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Monday, April 23, 2007
He's playing with his brother Suki now too. Playing/fighing, who can tell?
Have you ever had to make big decisions regarding your pets?
Friday, April 20, 2007
Here's the first:
"During my second year as a published author, I had a private discussion about the biz with author Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I'd gone through some very bad experiences by then, and I was seriously worried if I was even cut out to work in this industry. She told me, "Whatever you do, protect the work." I took that to heart, and from that point began removing everything in my professional life that interfered with my writing. My productivity skyrocketed in the years that followed, but more importantly, I was a much happier writer."What's the best writing advice you've ever heard?
~ Lynn Viehl, aka PaperBack Writer, http://pbackwriter.blogspot.com/
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
I'm working on my Harlequin WIP, which is really shaping up. I also have an idea for a children's picture book (been brewing for a few years actually) and a YA novel.
What's everyone else working on these days?
Monday, April 16, 2007
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Sharon answered my question on how to organize a writer's desk on April 3 - click here.
Today's post is on how to maximize time and juggle multiple projects - click here.
Sharon's blog is here.
What's your biggest organizational challenge?
Oh, and my April Fool Update:
Monday, April 09, 2007
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Just finished reading Gods In Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson. It's a gem. Joshilyn has a fresh voice and the story line is unique and engrossing. She has a way of making the reader root for a vulnerable character. I'm so glad her next book is out, Between, Georgia, because I crave to read more from her. I read an exerpt of the first chapter and it looks great too.
Desert Rat made a good point in the comments of my last post. Time to start focusing on reasons to write, not excuses not to. Thx DR.
Have you read any great books lately?
Friday, March 30, 2007
Oh, and the other excuse is spending time with my convalescing kitty (who's coming around remarkably)! Thank you for all your kind words and thoughts, my friends!
Monday, March 26, 2007
Long story short, we thought his liver failed because he was unable to metabolize the drugs he had for an operation for bladder stones. He showed no sign of improvement last week so the vet and I decided to just wait out the weekend and see. One of the technicians at the clinic actually took him home to watch him (way above and beyond the call of duty, I might add). So, when the call came this morning, I said to the vet, "Please tell me you have good news."
"I do," he said.
I am so happy. Welcome home, Cairo.
Thank you to everyone at the Morningside Animal Clinic.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Rene had an interesting post about her secret identity—being a writer—the other day. She came up with some good reasons why writers might avoid telling people about their writing. At the same time, she understands why people might not take her writing seriously, “because they have no idea how important it is to me.” She says, “I can't expect people to appreciate my being a writer until I appreciate it myself.”
I suppose I’m lucky in that I write for a living, so I have no issue with calling myself a writer. However, I do hold back about my fiction writing except to those closest to me. I remember how I hated telling people I was a waitress back in the days. I’d tell them I was in “public service.” So, when the opportunity came up to call myself anything but, I took it. Now I’m working on the novelist part.
Chrys, in her post ‘Own It,’ talks about how calling herself a writer was a freeing experience. She says, “You ARE a writer. Don't dismiss it. Don't shove it under the rug. Own it. Because it's who you are. No matter if you publish or not. No matter if no one but you ever reads your work. You. Are. A. Writer. OWN IT!” (God luv ya Chrys)
I should add that I have no problem calling myself a linker so, true to form, I’ve come up with some links to help us declare our truth!
Mark Pettus, of The Bluff, had a good post, Strike three. Are you out?, last year.
Judy Reeves says, “Until your call yourself a writer, you will never be a writer who writes—and keeps writing!” In the article, an excerpt from her book, Writing Alone, Writing Together, she says,
How do you claim yourself as writer? First, say it. “I'm a writer.” Say it out
loud. Say it to yourself in the mirror. Say it to your friends and family. Say
it to the next person you meet at a party who asks, “What do you do?” Say it to
a stranger in line at the grocery store. Say it to your mother. Mostly, say it
to yourself: “I'm a writer.”
What Makes You Think You Can Write? by Debra Koontz Traverso discusses the top ten doubts writers have.
Becoming a Writer Is Not a Choice by Beth Mende Conny talks about why we must write. (By the way, this site has more awesome articles.)
Liz Strauss, in her blog post, Are You a Writer? 7 Traits that Writers Have in Common, has a list you can check yourself against. A couple items from the list:
- Writers often start out feeling like an imposter. The message we’re told is that the writing is strong and compelling, or well on its way, but we think the messenger could be mistaken.
- Every writer is in a self-actualizing process. Writing is an apprenticeship. A writer is always becoming a writer.
- Nothing in life can prepare you to be a writer, except everything in your life.
What advice would you give to writers who don’t ‘own it’ yet?
Friday, March 09, 2007
Egri has some fundamental beliefs about creative writing which include:
"Every type of creative writing depends on the credibility of a character. Whatever a character does or says, he does or says for only two reasons:
1. To create sympathy for himself.
2. To show how important he is."
Every story needs a premise. "The premise is the seed from which the story grows. It is a thumbnail synopsis of the story you want to write."
"Desire is a mild word for the strongest motivation there is. Self-preservation is the second."
"Insecurity is the basic law of existence. All human emotions, good or evil, without exception, spring from this one eternal source."
"To create an original story, pick one individual with and outstanding trait. This person may embody all other virtues in existence, but they have one trait that makes them loveable or intolerable to live with. This character will totally possess one trait – one trait that is 100%. A compulsive trait. If you’re writing about a self-centered man, don’t make him just a little self-centered. Make his universe revolve around him alone."
Lots more. Go read the notes. I'm going to buy the book.
Monday, March 05, 2007
One form of procrastination I partake in is taking on new projects such as freelance writing assignments and joining committees at my local United Way. I get so excited about them and they’re fun and satisfying, but they end up taking away the precious personal time I should be dedicating to my passion of writing fiction. I’m just a dichotomy of commitment and over-extension. The commitment side is the protagonist who loves writing and works hard towards hopefully being a published novelist one day. Then there’s the other side, the antagonist cajoling me, “You can do it. Take on more. Say yes.” He always makes me feel like I can do it all.
What subtle techniques do you use to avoid writing? What do you do to beat them?
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Friday, February 23, 2007
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
When writing dialogue, remember this:
Studies have shown that, in a face-to-face interaction, 58 percent of communication is through body language, 35 percent through how it was said, and a mere seven percent through the content of the message.In addition, how well do your characters listen? Do they always understand the true meaning behind what's being said? Dialogue, and the interaction that surrounds it, can be a great tool to show your character's goals and characteristics as well as a tool to help you manipulate your story.
Here are some links:
Holly Lisle's Dialogue Workshop
Special Tips On Dialogue For The Romance Writer
How To Improve Your Dialogue
Dialogue: The best action
Dazzling Dialogue Tips
Writing Dialogue - Part One
Writing Dialogue - Part Two
Writing Good Dialogue
Ten Tips for Writing Dialogue
Writers' Toolkit - Dialogue
Writing Effective Dialogue
"Good Dialogue," the Editor Said.
Tension In Dialogue
12 Exercises for Improving Dialogue
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Friday, February 16, 2007
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Gretchen Rubin over at The Happiness Project has made a list of 12 commandments for herself. I think that’s a great idea. I especially like her first one, ‘Be Gretchen.’ I think I’ll steal it for my own commandments (as well as a couple of others that are perfect for me).
Nienke's 10 Commandments
- Be Nienke
- Do it now
- Do not let emotions rule me
- Write every day (of course, what do you expect on a blog called The Writing Life?)
- Stand up for myself
- Believe in myself
- Enjoy life – every day and every moment
- Don’t take things personally
- Do something nice for myself every day
- Don’t betray myself
What would be on your list?
What would be on your protagonist's list?
Friday, February 09, 2007
And, since you're not writing, why not check out online writing magazine, Vision?
Thursday, February 08, 2007
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Thursday, February 01, 2007
Friday, January 26, 2007
"Romance novels also can provide opportunities for learning about adult loving relationships," says Dr. Bill Emener on his blog, Dr. Bill's Harley Wisdom. Emener has been a licensed psychologist for 33 years and is the author of self-help book Adult Loving Relationships, and romance novels Fear of Feeling Loved and My Sweetpea: Seven Years and Seven Days.
In his post, Emener talks about three distinct stages of adult loving relationships and how they relate to real life as well as romance novels. Check it out.
John Bowlby believed psychoanalytic view that early experiences in childhood have an important influence on development and behavior later in life. Our early attachment styles are established in childhood through the infant/caregiver relationship. In addition to this, Bowlby believed that attachment had an evolutionary component; it aids in survival. He devoted extensive research to the concept of attachment and came up with his own theory, which you can find here. Click here for more on Bowlby's Attachment Theory.
The people we're most attracted to are those who have a blueprint that complements our own. We're looking for similarities of experience but, more significantly, we're also looking for differences. Read more about the Unconscious Fit.
How to be romantic.
Romance 101 includes articles on Manhood, Murphys Laws On Sex, and Intimacy (short, but makes a good point for writers).
What about you? Got any tips on romance?
Monday, January 22, 2007
This is my australian cattle dog/hound mix, Piffy (short for Epiphany). She's 7. We got her from a border collie rescue mission that saved her from euthanasia when she was 2. She had been stray before that and was very, very skinny. She's not so skinny anymore.
Another picture of Cairo.
This is Suki, another abandoned kitty we took in during October. He was 10 weeks then, so he's about 5 or 6 months old now. He is so soft and cuddly. He's also gained about 10 pounds since then.
Another Suki post (this one's older from November when he was still closer to 2 pounds).
Who else has pictures posted of their furry babies? Share your link so I can check them out.