Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Friday, December 23, 2011
Thursday, December 22, 2011
1. I work in a museum. It is the coolest place. When I need a break, I can go down and look at the Egyptian sarcophagus of a court musician or a Tibetan riding desk. We have paintings by Edward Hopper and John Singer Sargeant and sculpture by Andy Warhol. Oh, and dinosaur bones.
2.I have been square dancing for more than 30 years. If anyone knows what I'm talking about, I have taken classes through the Advanced level.
3. I have a twin sister. Identical twin. We freak people out.
4. In Junior High School, I took a film-making class. Our class made a movie called "Fangs of Death."
5. All of my nieces and nephews were adopted.
6. I have nine book cases in my one-bedroom condo.
7. I have cheated death twice: 22 years ago in a car accident and 2 years ago I had a blood clot in my leg and a small piece in my lung. I'm all better now.
8. My ring-finger toe (on both feet) stopped growing when I was six. It's a mutation called Brachia Metatarsil. My twin has it, too.
9. I have traveled to
10. I own the entire series of Jeremy Brett's Sherlock Holmes series on DVD.
11. I was once in the chorus of the opera, Aida.
12. I have a black belt in shopping. No, seriously. I found my sister's wedding dress for $200!
13. I once owned a car and drove it until I couldn't. 174,000 miles and the engine went while I was in line to get it inspected.
14. There is a potter's wheel in my living room. Yes, I can throw pots, though I haven't in a while. Still, I eat my soup from bowls I've made.
15. I am writing a book. (well, several books really. But you probably knew that already.)
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Life has been hectic and a bit sad. A family member passed over (peacefully) this morning and it's been tough for my brother's family. The kids are upset and acting out, which, while understandable, doesn't help.
I don't want this blog to be about my whining, though, so I was casting about for ideas that weren't depressing. And my friend Tamara Siler Jones linked to this post: http://biggirlblue.blogspot.com/2010/11/30-days-of-me.html
I'm not going to wait until January to do this, I won't do every post or even close to being in order. But I like many of the ideas, so I'm going to grok the list. Starting tomorrow.
For today, I have a question. Do you write through your blue moods or wait until they pass?
For me, it's a little of both. I'll work through them, to a certain extent. Mostly as a distraction, I'll make jewelry or draw (although I draw like a science teacher). Eventually, those emotions work their way into my writing, but not immediately. They need to simmer, to marinate.
I'll try to blog more, but if I get swept away with stuff, Happy Holidays folks!
Friday, November 11, 2011
Golem is set in the real world, even if it is Fantasy. It's also set in a day and time where a lot of the details were just not recorded. And, sometimes, I get stuck. I want the details to be right, but even with the research I've done, I don't know the details.
This is the biggest reason for blocks that I'm finding with this year's nano. Other years, I didn't have enough conflict, so I made a conflict list. The peasants from the interior of Russia came to Odessa looking for work. The Japanese/Russian war created a recession, so there was no work. The peasants blame the Jews. Conflict.
The research that I have done shows that the different peoples met in cafe's. Peasants had a beer beside University students and shopkeepers ate their supper at the next table. That's a good place for showing that conflict.
But now the details come into play - what did they eat? soup? sandwiches? pot pies? What did they drink? ale? vodka? wine?
I have a friend who's been stopping as she writes to research those details. It's taking her awhile, but it seems to be working for her. I haven't been able to find the details, though. I've just wasted time.
NanoWrimo's creed is "Just Write", so I'm trying to go with an educated guess and I'll fix it later. At least I'm getting words.
Here's a snip:
Friday, November 4, 2011
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Nano starts next week. And in preparation, I've put together the back-of-the-book blurb for Golem. So, here it is:
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Cheers to Writer Friends!
This weekend is a writers' weekend. I'm going to Capclave with two of my writers friends and I will make more writer friends.
Whenever any of my writer friends are anywhere near me, I've got to get to them - we NEED to get together. More accurately, I need to see them.
Because writing is a lonely thing. I can write and live with my characters and I lose perspective. My writer friends encourage me, are honest with me, and they're just really good company. When I connect online, they're disembodied, but in real life (RL), they're, well, real.
So yay for the friendship, yay for the connection and Cheers for other people who just understand.
Thanks folks - huggs.
Saturday, October 8, 2011
Okay, that's beautiful and he's a beta splendens fish, but I'm talking about Beta readers.
Beta readers are those wonderful people who can look at your writing and tell you things that you can't see clearly because you're too close. They tell you when something's not clear, they tell you the theme of your story when you can't see it - they ROCK.
If you haven't connected with beta readers, find a writing forum and offer to read - it's polite to offer time and energy before asking for the same. And I've learned as much or more from reading others' stories as from others reading mine.
Last night, a good friend who read Lawgiver in all its first draft glory let me bounce things off her and she nailed the quality I need to emphasize. Thanks, Lisa!
For those of you who've read Lawgiver, thank you. And here's a snip, so you'll understand what I'm talking about:
Betta fish photo gakked from aquaristicsblog.com under creative commons license.
Monday, October 3, 2011
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Saturday, September 17, 2011
The general consensus was that the way to do that was through details, but you had to know your culture fairly thoroughly to be able to pick the right details.
What I want to say here is that you also have to know what you want the scene to do, to choose the right details. For instance, you can choose to describe a garden. It's a good way to set a scene and it can be either a formal garden or a wild meadow or just a bunch of flowers near the kitchen door.
But if you want to add tension, say something about your POV character (by the sorts of things she notices) or foreshadow something, zoom in on a specific detail:
Yes, it's the same picture, just changing what I'm focusing on.
I make these changes and add the little details when I'm revising. That way, I know better what I want each scene to do.
And now, a writing example:
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Thursday, August 18, 2011
I went for a hike yesterday - 1.3 miles of woods in the nature center in town - and I brought my camera. When I look through the lens of my camera, I see differently. I pay more attention to details, I look for light and shadow. I try to find something interesting to show.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Sunday, August 14, 2011
- The whisper of rain on the trees.
- The scent of garlic and basil in my brother's kitchen.
- Spider webs sparkling with crystal raindrops in summer sun.
- Cotton clouds sailing through a deep blue sky.
- Deep forests, dripping with fog. / Insects calling in lust. / A fawn walks onto our front lawn, his tail twitching at flies.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
The guard led us into a vast hall. Great pillars rose from the floor to the ceiling, but the garden remained in islands of green. Light spilled everywhere, through windows in the ceiling high over our heads. "Is this the temple?"
"No," he hissed. "This is Grishon's court. The temple is half this size, but filled with windows. It fits Anath, but Grishon is ridiculously proud of his cavern."
I smiled slightly. "Is that what they call it?"
Have a good week all.
Monday, August 8, 2011
Saturday, August 6, 2011
There are times when I want to get better. Now.
And I'm not alone. A lot of people get frustrated when they don't improve as quickly as they want to. Part of the problem is that once we start to improve, we can see how much we need to improve. (Okay, how much I need to improve.) The mountain looks taller, harder to climb. And I didn't even think to look up.
But that's looking forward, and it can be daunting, especially if we've got ambitions to be really good/ great writers.
But when you're on the mountain, you can also look down, to see how far you've come. This week, I finished one project and sent it to my beta readers. So, I opened up another project I wanted to work on – Shake Down, my paranormal thriller.
And I can see where I've grown as a writer, from editing Lawgiver. I want to totally rewrite Shake Down, or parts of it. And I will.
The point is that I've progressed, through work and practice and I've climbed further up the mountain. So often, it's a matter of putting one foot in front of the other, making small steps of progress.
Every once in a while, look down the mountain and see how far you've come. It makes the summit seem a little closer.
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
"It's a poem, probably for the person in the crypt. And I'm also a translator, so I figured that I'd take an hour or two to work on it." With a smile, she settled at the table and lifted the parchment out, carefully.
The last light has graced the world
And you are gone.
The breeze whispers through the trees,
The river rushes past.
And you are gone.
Our children cry
Their children sleep in peace
The stars wink into the dark.
And you are gone.
Su had to stop there, putting the parchment back into the box and closing the lid. She blinked back the tears and blew her nose.