Friday, August 31, 2007
I've learned so much at this job, and I have to admit, my writing has improved dramatically. That happens when you are forced to write every single day. While I am moving on to a copyediting job, it will be different than what I've been doing, but that's ok. I'm ready for a change.
I don't think it's hit me yet. I've been so caught up with preparing for the new job and planning my vacation, not to mention finishing the novel and getting it in the mail, that it hasn't sunk in yet. But I'm sure it will when I walk out that door for the last time. It will definitely be a bittersweet moment.
The weekend plans include lots of football and relaxation. It's Labor Day on Monday here in the States, so it's a three-day weekend for a lot of people. I plan to make the most out of it. :-)
Have a great weekend!
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Monday, August 27, 2007
And at long last, here is the video:
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Big, huge thunderstorm last night. Wind gusts up to 80 mph. (No, I'm not kidding). Hail. Fierce rain. Lightning. Thunder.
It was a bit scary.
While I love thunderstorms, storms of this power and magnitude are a bit scary. Tornados are always a possibility in this area and the strong winds can do a lot of damage.
(This picture isn't from our storm, but we did have golf-ball sized hail last night).
My daughter usually loves storms, too, but this one was a bit too much for her. This morning on the way to school, we listened to the radio and heard reports from last night's weather - trees falling on houses and cars, power outages, and golf-ball sized hail. My daughter listened with interest and then proceeded to ask me a question.
"Mom, why did the storm go to the golf course?"
How do you not chuckle at that?
Well, I did chuckle. But then I also realized how we made another memory this morning.
Some day, I'll be driving her to high school and she'll be checking her hair in the mirror (or not, since she hates to have her hair combed and is quite the tomboy, but you never know...) and she'll be flipping the radio stations to listen to her favorite songs, telling me about the latest cute guy at school, and maybe I'll say, "Remember that day you asked me why the storm went to the golf course?"
I hope she gets a big grin on her face and says, "Yes! Wasn't that funny?" and doesn't roll her eyes at me and say, "Mom! Don't even mention that again!"
But even if she does do the latter, I'll always remember the day the storm made a special trip to the golf course—and created a special memory in my heart.
Monday, August 20, 2007
But while I lay in bed last night, it hit me that there was something missing from the last 1/4 of the novel. This book is structured differently than anything I've ever done before, to the point that I've broken it into "part one" and "part two." Well, part one is solid - it's got the rising action, the major plot points, the black moment, and the resolution without resolving all the issues. Well, part two needs to resolve those issues - but it also needs to have its own black moment.
And it doesn't.
So I'm trying to figure out what to do.
I'm frustrated with myself for not seeing this sooner. I think I was so focused on "getting it done" that I ignored my writer's instinct. And now it's come back to haunt me. I couldn't get to sleep last night (not a good thing since today was the first day of school and I had to be up and at 'em!) because I kept running different scenarios through my mind on how to fix this.
This is what happens when you focus on deadlines and don't pay attention to the craft.
The writing journey is full of little bumps and detours that, in the end, make me a better writer. And really, that's ok. Life's lessons are not always pleasant, but that's how we learn and grow.
So I'm off to grow some more!
Have a great Monday...
Friday, August 17, 2007
Besides, it's Friday. And you cannot be hard on yourself on Friday.
What are your weekend plans?
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
The antibiotics are stopped.
No further skin graft needed.
And hubby is cleared to work!
We made it! Thanks for all your thoughts, good wishes, emails, and prayers over the past two months. They meant the world!
Will post more when I know more! :-)
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
I'm still hard at work - I wish I had a couple more full days to devote to it, but the day job has to take precedence right now. No vacation time for me yet! :-)
I'm quite encouraged, however, by this article on the resurgence of World War II fiction:
For You, Reader, the War is Just Beginning...
Thanks to Ello for the link!
In other news, it's hot, hot, hot here. We were supposed to have a heat index of 112 today. I don't think it got that high, but it's still miserable all the same. Anyone who knows me understands how much I loathe heat. I go from one air conditioned building (or vehicle) to the next during the summer and that's just the way I like it.
My stepson has football practice every evening this week - full pads! I don't envy him in the least! But he's half-Greek, so he's probably taking to it just fine! ;-)
Hubby visits the plastic surgeon tomorrow, so we will know whether or not he will have another skin graft. It's looking quite likely, but we'll see.
Monday, August 13, 2007
Friday, August 10, 2007
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
The skin graft didn't take. The part that covers his first wound is fine - but the skin that covered his second wound - near the area where his arm bends - isn't working out so well. So. The doc is giving it one more week and if he doesn't see a vast improvement, it's back to the hospital for hubby and another skin graft.
He's still on antibiotics and will be for some time - not sure how long. Haven't heard the latest on that yet since that is an entirely different doctor.
Anyone want to donate a trip to Italy???
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Four things that should go into Room 101 and be removed from the face of the earth:
1. Staph bacteria (to read why, well, just go read my blog posts from the past two months)
2. Outrageous medical bills.
3. Phone calls from people wanting money and telling me I should ask my relatives to pony up.
3 things people do that make you want to shake them violently:
1. Drive while talking on their cell phone
2. Ignore the rules
3. Judge others
Two things you find yourself moaning about:
1. My weight
One thing the above answers tell you about yourself:
I've had a very, very long summer and need a vacation to Italy.
Link to the original meme at freelancecynic.com so people know what it’s all about!Be as honest as possible, This is about letting people get to know the real you!Try not to insult anyone - unless they really deserve it or are very, very ugly!Post these rules at the end of every meme!
Monday, August 06, 2007
Thursday, August 02, 2007
If there's one thing I've learned in my journey as a writer - both professionally (a.k.a. the day job) and personally, writing is very subjective. What one person thinks is wonderful, lyrical prose, another might think is wordy and flowery. Some people like sparse and simplistic while others need detail - and lots of it.
But there are fundamental rules of the writing craft that need to be present for it to be considered "good writing." (Of course, it can be argued that rules were made to be broken). Character arcs, rising action, pacing, etc. are all intrinsic to a good story. But when I start tripping over the language itself, there's a problem.
One element in particular that you should avoid at all costs is this: clichés.
What are clichés?
Dictionary.com defines them as as: a trite, stereotyped expression; a sentence or phrase, usually expressing a popular or common thought or idea, that has lost originality, ingenuity, and impact by long overuse
It's not just the standard cliches we think of, like "sick as a dog" or "tough as nails." It pertains to phrases we've heard a thousand times before like, "when he touched her hand, a jolt of electricity went through her."
Why are they bad? Because there are so many different words in our language, so many differents ways to describe something, that when you use these cliches, you come across as being, well, a bit lazy. When I read a description of something that I've read innumerable times before, I tend to roll my eyes. Even worse, I am taken out of the story.
How do you avoid cliches when you write? Let's face it. It's a whole lot easier to use a cliche then it is to think of something original. But if you're a writer, you must think of something else. We're wordsmiths, and we have the opportunity to play with the language. We need to grab that opportunity and use it to our advantage.
Am I guilty of using cliches? You bet. But the key is to be aware of it - and then go back and change it during the editing process!
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
I'm off to work on the laptop, but if you're at all curious, I wrote a review on my World War II blog about a book I'm reading called The Kommandant's Girl. Interesting book, though I'm having problems with how it's written. More on that in the upcoming days...