Tag Archives: books

Stop The World ~ I Want To Get Off and Write

26 Apr

Howdy!

It’s been a few weeks.

Beach Day

It’s Almost Time for the Beach

I think if you ask most writers we’ll tell you that, given the opportunity, we’d write all day and night. Too bad <insert life’s demands here> gets in the way.

When I started this blog, it was supposed to be an outlet for new writing. A (hopefully) regular way to keep things fresh and write about whatever was going on in the world or about things that interested me. It was going to be for those times when I was editing/revising/revamping my novels or plays.

Being a creative type, I have lots of outlets to channel that juicy energy. Sometimes it’s writing. Sometimes it’s painting. Sometimes it’s sewing. Sometimes it’s soaking up life for future inspiration.

And so I got away from the regular course of blogging.

Then, I decided to embark on a regular blogging adventure. I created “Pin Me ~ 52 Weeks of Actually Doing Something With My Pins.” My plan was two-fold: blog at least once a week and make something happen with all those pins I have pushed against my virtual cork boards.

I’ve made some delicious recipes, tried some new nail polish and read a good book. And I was also keeping up with the blogging. Until March 14, 2013, when other stuff got in the way.

It’s nothing major. Just home improvement projects here and hockey games there. (Let’s go Devils! Even if you aren’t making the playoffs this year). And a whole bunch of other must dos.

But, alas, that is no excuse to not blog. I made that commitment and, by golly, I will stick to it. (I hope).

I’ve actually been keeping up with my weekly Pin Me stuff. I just haven’t been blogging about it. So what does that mean?

It means I have seven pins to write about and pronto because I don’t want this stretching out to ten, twenty, fifty…

So here’s what you can expect ~ seven blog pieces coming at you fast and furiously. I’ll probably stretch them out over the next few days, but if you follow my blog via email, expect to get a couple o’emails from me back-to-back. I promise once I catch up, that it will go back to once a week. I think that’s a good amount of email to receive. :]

My Happy Thang is that today is Friday! Whoo to the hoo!

PS…what do you think of the new look for the blog? I might be changing it up seasonally. We’ll see how it goes.

Advertisements

Pin Me ~ Week Six ~ from my Perhaps I Might Read Board

13 Feb

This week’s pin was selected from my Perhaps I Might Read board.

I first discovered Gail Carriger when a friend began reading her Parasol photoProtectorate Series. If you haven’t read it, drop everything and get thee to your nearest book store or pick up that Kindle or Nook and download immediately.

Gail is a funny, witty and intelligent writer that draws the reader in with engaging characters and fantastic Steampunk imagery.

That’s why I couldn’t wait to get my hands on her new series “Etiquette & Espionage.”

I’m a few chapters in but it is proving to be a great read and good fun with the main character and her side kicks. There is a wonderful little book trailer for it if you’d like to take a look.

Check out my Pin Me board to see what else I’ve been up to in my 52 week quest to do something with some of our Pinterest pins.

1st Beach Day of the 2012 Season

22 Jun

I couldn’t resist doing this post. I had to bookmark the start of the 2012 beach season. Perhaps it will be one of those things I do every year.

In 2011, the first trip to the beach was June 18.   

In 2012, the first trip to the beach will be June 23.

I’d say we’re right on schedule. Wouldn’t you?

Last year I hadn’t found a new bathing suit. This year, I did. It’s a pretty navy suit that I got on Ruelala. One of the things I wanted to do this year was broaden my fashion horizons and wearing navy (instead of choosing another one in black) is one of those ways I’m growing my wardrobe in new ways.

I also picked up a gorgeous striped hat at TJMaxx on clearance for $10. It’s really wide and floppy and is going to look so vintage travel postcard chic.

And naturally I had to get a fun new beach bag (also from TJMaxx). It’s from the “Life Is Good” collection (how apropos is that)? It’s pink and will go with all my bathing suits (the new navy and the ye olde black suit that is going to make it another season). I should pay attention to who made it because it’s seen lots of sun and salt water and still looks amazing!

Naturally, I have a ton of beach reads including a new book I picked up today “Lunch in Paris. A Love Story with Recipes” by Elizabeth Bard. I read three chapters while having lunch at Barnes & Noble and the story is adorable and the recipes….WOW! Can’t wait to try them out (especially Moelleux au Chocolat “Kitu”) which the author says is the French version of Death by Chocolate.

So tomorrow is kicking off what I hope will be many, many weekends at the shore. And to quote myself…”Any day spent in sand, sun and water is the BEST DAY EVER!”

Happy Weekend!

Ooh Ahh You Wish You Were A Senior

14 Jun

That’s what was written in shoe polish on the car in front of me this morning.

Through the lettering, I could see a perky girl sporting white sunglasses, bouncing along to the tunes blaring out her window. Her friend joining her in the chorus.

And I must say, it did give me pause. While we waited for that light to change from stop to go, it brought back memories of my high school days and graduation. The day that I thought a miracle would happen. I’d walk across that stage, go to my party, eat potato salad and then some kind of magic would occur. 

The reality was the next morning I got up, went to my grocery store cashier job, came home and did laundry.

Was this it?

Everyone makes such a big deal over graduating high school. And while it was a special day, the ones that followed were ho-hum.

And then I went off to college, spent a semester abroad, graduated, got a car, a place to live, a job and life REALLY began.

So while I might reminisce over the care-free days of being a high school senior, if I had the chance to tell my 18-year-old self what I know now here’s what I’d say…

You might think it’s just more of the same old, same old. But it won’t be. You’ll grow in ways you didn’t know were possible.

You will travel the world and that will change how you look at everything. It will be the single most amazing thing you’ll ever do.

Remember when you went to the theatre for the first time? At the tender age of 10, you’d tell your mother you want to do that one day in New York City.  And guess what? You will.

You’re an artistic person so you’re creative avenues will shift between different mediums. You’ll decide you enjoy writing and people will tell you that being a writer is a tough job. But you’ll do it anyway. You’ll have a weekly column in a newspaper, you’ll write articles for magazines and pen several books. You’ll be a playwright and your stuff will be produced in the big apple.  People will tell you it can’t be done. But you’ll say why not? And then you’ll just do it because…well…why not?

You thought you didn’t need a man. Relationships are great for having someone to be your date for holidays and things like weddings. Then one day, when you least expect it, a magnificent man will come out of no where, walk up and say “hi”.  Your world will be turned upside down and you won’t be able to imagine living one day without him.

While you always enjoyed the security of being close to mom and dad, you’ll move half way across the country and it will open doors for you in ways you never dreamed.

Most importantly, I’d tell Senior me that, while being 18 and graduating high school is pretty freakin’ awesome, you ain’t seen nothing yet!

Can You Love More Than One Book At A Time

5 Jun

I love books. I don’t just love them. I ADORE THEM!

My mother has said on more than one occasion that I learned to read before I learned to walk. My early love of reading began with her “Dick and Jane” books.

     “See Dick Run.”

     “See Jane Run.”

And with those two sentences, my heart grew with wonder for words. The longing to be in other worlds and to ride magic carpets on fantastic adventures. It’s no doubt why I ended up with a career in the arts.

As my love affair with books grew, so did my bookshelves. I started out with a small two shelf number that I picked up at a garage sale for $5.00. A larger apartment meant I could add a massive one from IKEA with four shelves, that was taller than me and took up an entire wall. When I moved into a house, I got a second one to match.

Since that time, books can be found in any nook and cranny in my home. I’ve donated quite a few and leant even more to friends. But my book addiction continues to thrive.

It’s probably because I love to read so much that, at any given time, you can find me enjoying between 2-5 books. A friend of mine insists this is not the way to read as it delays getting to the end of any one book quickly. But the end isn’t always what I have my sights set on. I enjoy the ride.

Not to mention the fact that I enjoy reading different types of books at different times of the day.

For instance, I am NOT a morning person. Getting going after that alarm wakes me up is like running a marathon. I’m built for distance, not for speed. So while I’m still trying to adjust my eyes to the light of day, I need a simple tale. One that is easy-going and doesn’t require a lot of deep thought. One I’ll retain the plot after I’ve finished my morning coffee. So I’ve been reading “The Madman of Venice” by Sophie Masson. It has the added bonus of having slightly larger type which makes it nice for my eyes that are only half-open. 

My favorite way to spend lunch is with a good book in hand. So whether I’ve made my own and gone to a park or I’m sitting in Whole Foods enjoying a nice cup of soup or salad, chances are you’ll find me reading (or writing). But on reading days, I’ve been taking “The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas” by Gertrude Stein. I recently saw a magnificent exhibit called “The Steins Collect” at The Met. Actually, I visited it three times because it was THAT GOOD. My Sweetheart encouraged me to pick up the book and I’m so glad he did. It’s funny. It’s entertaining. And it ties in so well to the collection.

I hate feeling like my time is being wasted. And standing in line always gives me that feeling.  Carrying a book with me has solved that issue. Now when I find myself standing in line (as I was on Saturday to get into Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final), I whipped out a book and started reading. It was “Do Travel Writers Go to Hell? by Thomas Kohnstamm. It’s upbeat and adventurous without being too demanding on the attention span. I was able to put it back it my purse, get my ticket scanned, buy a pretzel, find my seat and easily pick up where I had left off in the story without having to go back and reread.

Which brings me to just-before-bed-time-reading. This is where I light a candle, maybe play some soft music and generally tune out the world. I save my favorite books for this reading time. A book I have been savoring for the last couple of months has been “Timeless” by Gail Carriger. It’s the final book in The Parasol Protectorate series. The final adventures of Alexia Tarabotti. Normally, I would be devouring her books. They are a magnificent example of brilliant writing with witty dialogue and characters you wish were alive rather than fictional. I don’t want the series to end. I only read a few pages every night. At this rate, it might be next June before I finish. But that’s ok. Because by February 2013, Ms. Carriger will have a new four book series out dubbed The Finishing School. The first book entitled “Etiquette & Espionage”.

So, in answer to my original question, yes I do believe you can love more than one book at a time. Loving multiple books is a bit like loving shoes. You can’t possibly have only one.

In Anticipation of NaNoWriMo 2011

31 Oct

Today is October 31, which means tomorrow begins November and the mad month of writing a 50,000 word novel during NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).

I remember my first NaNoWriMo like it was yesterday. Actually, it was two years ago. A friend of mine had told me about ScriptFrenzy. The challenge: to write 100 pages of scripted material during the month of April. Being a writer who needs a hard deadline, and having an idea for a new play, I jumped for joy at finding this wicked cool website. One of the plays that I wrote during the 2009 ScriptFrenzy challenge was produced in NYC later that summer.   

Having accomplished that feat and always saying I was going to put hands to keyboard and write that great novel, I gleefully looked forward to that year’s NaNoWriMo challenge. I remember getting my participant t-shirt in the mail and wearing it on November 1, announcing to the world that in less than 30 days, I was going to have that first rough draft.

I wrote fast and furious on that first day. I wrote so much that I didn’t actually need to write the next two days because I had already reached those daily goals. So I used that time to stew on some thoughts of what my characters would do next. On the fourth day life got in the way and before you knew it, most of the weekend had passed and I hadn’t added to my word count.

Ut-oh.

No worries I said. I will simply try my best during the week and hammer out copious amounts of wordage on the weekends.

‘Twas not a bad plan. I had it all worked out on the calendar. Ah, those well laid plans of mice and (wo)men.

You see, life kept getting in the way and I was writing a weekly column at that time. While NaNoWriMo filled my soul, the column filled my wallet.

Somewhere around the third week mark, I started to panic. Laundry didn’t get done. Dinner consisted of crackers and whatever leftovers didn’t look too fuzzy. At least I made time for brushing my teeth.

Then, by Chris Baty’s brilliant design, Thanksgiving day arrived. Whew! I wrote until my Tofurky induced haze made me nap. The following day, I arose early and wrote feverishly for 19 hours straight. Only stopping to get more caffeine, take a potty break or move from the desk, to the bed, to the couch. At 2:22am on November 28, I wrote the words THE END and then burst into tears.

Tears of unbelievable pride, joy and accomplishment.

I had done it! I wrote 64,420 words. And it felt good.

If I could conquer ScriptFrenzy and NaNoWriMo in the same year, I could do anything!

And so I did it again in 2010 and here I am in 2011.

I learned a few things along the way:

1) You need only write 1,667 words a day to accomplish this goal. However, when you got your groove thang on, write! write! write! Because life will get in the way and there will be at least one (and actually more than that) when you simply won’t be able to pump out that word count.

2) In order to not alienate your loved ones, co-workers, friends, set aside a time every day that is an interruption free zone. For me, it’s one hour. For that one hour, I write and don’t have conversations be it in person, email or text. Then when that hour is done, be done and make time for others. Unless of course, your others are busy doing something then write! write! write!

3) One needs to be able to let the creative juices flow and you can’t do that on fast food or left-overs alone nor can you in the same clothes. So make time to eat, sleep and do laundry. You’re characters will thank you for it.

4) Tell everyone you meet that you are writing a novel in just 30 days. The words of encouragement will help fuel you on.

5) Lastly, have fun! If writing is a chore, then don’t do it. You have to love writing in order to do this marathon. But if you do, the finish line awaits you with cheers, confetti and glory.

Happy Moment of the Day: Due to the snow, we may not get that many trick-or-treaters this year which means those Butterfingers might be all mine. Muhahahaha!

10 Things I Can’t Live Without

28 Sep

I am a list maker.

I have lists for my lists. Usually, the lists contain all the things I need to do, have to do, must do and am afraid I will forget to do. On the rare occasion, my list will include something fun such as picking up material for a new purse idea.

Tonight as I was washing my hair and running through tomorrow’s list o’ things, I felt inspired to create a fun list. A list of little things that I enjoy. So here goes (in no particular order) the things I couldn’t live without (aka the things that would have to be with me on a deserted island):

1. My furry and scaly family members.

2. My man.*

3. Books. Lots and lots and lots of books.

4. My morning coffee.

5. Just for Redheads lipstick in “Enchanting”.

6. Nail polish.

7. Fabulous, sparkly, flip-flops in multiple colors (no yellow).

8. Kate Spade purse(s).

9. My electronics including iPod Nano, netbook and Kindle.

10. Traveling the world.

I realize that some of these things require electricity so naturally I would have to be stranded on an island that had some provisions (one of which would have to be a runway so I could take a plane to travel the world).

*If I were putting this list in order, my man would come first, but I put him second on the list to see if he reads today’s blog post <insert evil grin here>.

Happy Moment of the Day: Pumpkin spice latte and pumpkin scone at Starbucks for lunch yesterday. Still thinking about that devilish good lunch.

 

Is My Writing Style Really Vanilla or White?

28 Jul

So I am two novels into my series and I have gone back to the first one for the 576th edit.

OK, maybe it’s only been 400 times I’ve edited but if you write, you know what I am talking about. The endless days/nights of:  pulling, prodding and picking about each chapter, character and scene.

And it never fails, just when you get one thing finally hashed out to your liking, it inevitably causes two or three other dominoes to fall and then you have to pick up those pieces.  

At any rate, since this was a complete manuscript edit because I had received feedback from a very dear friend who agreed to read it twice and give me her thoughts, I notice a couple o’ things.

In the first third of the novel, my characters loved vanilla. They were drinking vanilla skim lattes, vanilla spice was floating through the air and they were describing their lives as — you guessed it — vanilla.

Interesting since I like chocolate.

Then, in the middle, everyone was fond of the color white. They were wearing white clothes, lighting white candles and decorating their homes in white accessories.

Hmmm….since I like prefer black.

In the final portion, my characters really, well, they pretty much really’d anything. They were really serious, really excited and at one point, really, really, really angry.

I really don’t believe I use that word in my everyday conversations. Really.

Needless to say, my characters started enjoying Carmel lattes, they put on little black dresses and they were happy (just happy, not really happy).

But this got me to thinking…what does this say about me? Do I write in opposition of the things I prefer or do I secretly really desire wafting white candles that smell of vanilla. Perhaps the next time I want chocolate ice cream, I should give vanilla a try, and I bet I can get a white linen skirt for a great price right now. Really!

What does your writing style say about you?

Happy Moment of the Day: Old Spice Guy Wins Out Over Fabio http://news.yahoo.com/old-spice-guy-wins-over-fabio-173340948.html

Mmmmm…Smells Good!

12 Jul

I want my books and plays to smell.

Not in a scratch and sniff kind of way, but rather I want the reader/audience member to experience the sense of smell in the scene. Not all scenes. Just ones where it would add another dimension to the piece.

In an effort to write more about smell, I decided to come up with a top five list of my favorite smells. Here goes…

1. Pie hot from the oven.

2. My man’s deodorant (especially when I am snuggled up in the nook of his arm).

3. Coffee in the morning.

4. Flowers. Any kind.

5. The air at the ocean.

What are you favorite smells? Are you writer? If so, how do you work in smells to your writing?

Happy Moment of the Day (actually a quote about smells—how apropos is that?): “Nothing is more memorable than a smell.  One scent can be unexpected, momentary and fleeting, yet conjure up a childhood summer beside a lake in the mountains; another, a moonlit beach; a third, a family dinner of pot roast and sweet potatoes during a myrtle-mad August in a Midwestern town.  Smells detonate softly in our memory like poignant land mines hidden under the weedy mass of years.  Hit a tripwire of smell and memories explode all at once.  A complex vision leaps out of the undergrowth”.  ~Diane Ackerman, A Natural History of the Senses

1st Beach Day of the 2011 Season

17 Jun

Ooooohhhhhhhhh!!!  I am too excited about tomorrow. Why, you ask? Well, because tomorrow, June 18, 2011, will be the first day of the 2011 Beach Season. Whoo-to-the-hoo! 

I didn’t find a new bathing suit that I loved this year so I am wearing last year’s (which is still in excellent condition and very slimming—yeah black swimsuits).

I have so many beach reads to take with me…I don’t know how I will possible choose.

My arms and hands have picked up a wee bit of a tan just driving around the last two weeks, but my legs are ghost white.

But you know what? No of that matters because tomorrow kicks off one of many weekends that I will be spending at the shore. And any day spent in sand, sun and water is the BEST DAY EVER!

Happy Weekend!

Happy Moment of the Day: Baby Hedgehogs http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegalleries/picturesoftheday/7735918/Pictures-of-the-day-18-May-2010.html?image=6