Thursday, December 24, 2009

Sunday, December 20, 2009

If it's Sunday...

Well, normally that would be true but the Saints played last night and unfortunately, the winning streak is no longer alive.. We lost to the better team, well, last night at least. Whose name I will not mention because they are the number one foe of my hometown team, the Redskins. So sad but maybe they needed to lose to get their a$$e$ straightened out. Too many late starts.

If you're listening Saints, put a fleur de lis on your little pinkies to remind you that you are going for the first down EVERY Play and the length of a digit will get you there! Every play. Every down. Every opportunity to get in the end zone. Start each game like you're already losing because that's when you are the best. We'll do better next week.

Here's a little something for your viewing pleasure. If you've read or seen Twilight or New Moon, you'll get it. If not, well, where have you been living lately anyway?

So was this from the Breaking Dawn casting?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Hunks of the year

Okay, it's my turn to put a hunk on the blog. Leah posted last week when the new Toronto Firefighters Calendar became available. They've raised some serious cash for one of North America's largest cancer hospitals. This link will take you to full size pictures of each month's contribution.

January Jason is on the cover for a reason! If you need something to shoot for at the gym, this is the shot - or maybe July. Wherever you live, the firefighter calendars in your local communities make wonderful Christmas presents for the ladies in your life. But, er, do the lady a favor and glue October to the back of September. He needs another year of pumping up before being included in the calendar, IMHO...

What firefighter calendars are there in your area? country?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Blogging today at Delilah's

I'm guest blogging today on Delilah Devlin's blog while she's on vacation - an overview of the software I reviewed a few weeks ago with links to those posts. She's got two weeks of guest bloggers filling in. Check it out.

Last month, we blogged about music for the muse. So for you musical edification I've included a lovely favorite for evoking emotion (and one I love to perform) by the late Eva Cassidy. Songbird. Sit back and create.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Diamonds or Stone

I used to sing a song called, 'Some Days are Diamonds, Some Days are Stone.' Well, yesterday was a Boulder!

When a story is flowing, 900-1000 words per 45 minute sprint are pretty easy to get. So 1500 for eight hours of wandering around in a half dozen different directions had me just about ready to give up on this scene and these new characters.

Then inspiration struck and an idea I almost ditched before writing it, turned into a key scene. It ups the stakes, makes the community and characters more interesting, and pulled many critical threads together. I wound up with 2300 and I can't wait to return to these characters and the new direction they are taking.

Note to self: Remember! Even though it's really really really hard and doesn't seem like it's meant to be, keep diggin, keep clearing out the debris, keep mining. Because if you quit, you may miss a raw diamond.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Getting Out of the Way

Sitting here with my polar fleece gloves with the fingertips removed typing. It's 35 outside and feels like 45 inside though the temperature gauge, the lying (*&@$&! is saying 65! It's not.

Trying to get back into the wip. After several days of taking notes and analyzing it - I know I shouldn't have been analyzing when all I was supposed to be doing to reminding myself of what characters knew what, who told who what, and which paranornal being can do what. But we just can't help it, can we?

I asked Michael Malone what he did to keep track of the detail. He said written notes. CL Wilson said she keeps extensive notes. MY problem is I'll write it on this little piece of paper going down the road, record it into my recorder on the route, jot major notes onto my 'current writing spiral notebook' but it's all so disorganized.

So I'm trying to use Scrivener's keywords to track clues, threads, missing folks, crimes, appearances by characters. Now that I have it setup I can read through what I've written the morning after - writing that is - and easily apply the keywords AND refresh my memory. Hopefully, now I can move through to the end and allow the characters to do their thing cause I'M getting in their way!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Christmas Story

If you want to read a hilarious and heartwarming, well, hilarious anyway, story about two twins and a wee lad in search of a new Christmas tree, see Michael Malone's post at May Contain Nuts.

You might even want to read it at a Christmas party or reader's club. The Queen of Chaos rocks!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Rising Tempest Rising

Finally, I've settled on a temporary title for my paranormal. Tempest Rising or Rising Tempest. Tempest is the main character. Hmm, Rising Tempest fits better. The title may not stick but will help me focus on the protagonist's arc. Anything is better than RCP which stands for nothing so much as 'Tempe's story'.

Yesterday, I listened again to Screenplay expert Michael Hauge's workshop Identity to Essence. As a result, I've identified more clearly the main characters' motivations and resulting conflicts. Hauge calls it their Desire. The desire and longing that drives the story forward to the end. 'The character arc is the tug of war between their identity and their essence.'

It's interesting how we relate and apply teaching from some workshop presenters better than others. Hauge is obviously stating the same as other writers I've heard but each time I listen to his application of screenplay techniques to novel writing, I come away with new insights. I highly recommend his Hero's Journey2 (with Chris Vogler) and Identity to Essence workshops.

BIAW starts again tomorrow for a week so I must finish up my notes on clues and threads and move forward. If I'm not here for a couple days that's where I'll be - BICHOK. (Butt in chair, hands on keyboard)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Think Outside the Box

I know this a cheap ploy to be able to mention my favorite football team, our New Orleans Saints. Unfortunately, today they are playing my home team, the Washington Redskins. I grew up right where the Redkins' new stadium is in Landover, Maryland and normally, I end up forgetting who I'm rooting for but it's not difficult this year. The Saints are 11-0 and we want to go undefeated if possible or at the very least win the division and go to the SUPER BOWL.

Often as writers we try to come up with something that is so far out of the box that it stands out - an original twist that spins the story on its ear.

Well, the Saints' Meacham did exactly that in the second quarter. Just before half time the Saints had to make a loonnnng pass to have any chance of evening up the score. Brees dropped back under severe pressure and threw the long ball, only to be intercepted. BUT as the Redskins returned the ball, Meacham ran up to the player, took the ball from him and ran it in for a touchdown.

THAT's what I'm talking about! Go for the unexpected. I'll remember that play this week as I write forward on RCP.

Do you have any inspirational examples of outta the box thinking?

UPDATE: Talk about a nail biter. I couldn't bear to watch. It seemed unlikely that they could pull it out with a minute and thirty-seven left but they pulled it out decisively in OT. Now 12-0. And I'm glad it was the Redskins that gave them their first serious competition.

Friday, December 4, 2009

This Weekend on the Bayou

Well! It's the earliest we've ever seen snow in this part of the country. Last year was the earliest on December 11th. Quel surprise! But December 5th, man!

I remember one year the temperatures were in the low teens on December 7, catfish were freezing in the catfish ponds and no one knew what to do. The workers started seining them up and giving them away by the forty-eight quart chest. We got a lot of free catfish put up but then LSU called the owner of the catfish pond and said, ' they'll thaw out and live' so that came to a halt. Catfish are easily stressed though so many of them died anyway.

Who knows we may have a few snowmen on the mail route this weekend. I took a picture of one last year but I can't find it. Let's just say it didn't look like this one.

Most of the snow is supposed to happen late this evening and tonight so hopefully they'll get the Mississippi River bridge sanded so we can get across to deliver mail. I'd love it if there's snow - SNOW! - everywhere except on the street. Hey, we like our extraordinary weather gifts with a dose of convenience. Who doesn't?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

C.L. Wilson's Audiobook is OUT!!

Book Four of the Fading Lands is out as well.


Book One - Lord of Fading Lands

Not since Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series have I been as excited about a series. C.L. Wilson's Fading Lands series has it all - fantasy, a rich and intriguing world, an epic saga, and a love for all time. Even hardcore scifi and fantasy readers are enjoying htem. A friend of mine who read them exclaimed, "Who knew they had chick fantasy?" So I think C.L. has created a concrete bridge to the straight fantasy and scifi genres.

Last week C.L. Wilson's fourth book in the Fading Lands series came out, Queen of Song and Souls. It's available at any of the major bookstores and from her publisher, Dorchester.

Book Two - Lady of Light and Shadows
And this week, the audio version finally arrived.

You can order it from Amazon, Borders, and Barnes and Noble and Dorchester through AudioBookShop. There are CD versions and MP3 downloads. I don't care how you get one, just get one!

Isn't that a song???

Book Three - King of Sword and Sky

If you like fantasy, you must not miss this series!

Here's a blurb from Ms. Wilson's site:

Novels of the Fading Lands

The Tairen Soul Series

She is the salvation of a Fey king’s tormented soul, and the key to saving his immortal race. Only by unleashing her vast power can they hope to conquer the evil forces determined to destroy them.

Beginning with Lord of the Fading Lands, continuing with Lady of Light and Shadows, King of Sword and Sky, and Queen of Song and Souls, and concluding with Tairen Soul, the Tairen Soul series tells the story of Ellysetta Baristani and Rain Tairen Soul as they fight to save the tairen and the Fey, defeat the dangerous power of the Eld Mages, and complete their truemate bond.

Yey, I'm a winner!

I'm very pleased with my progress in Nano, considering I lost an entire week. So my 51,509 total was achieved in three weeks minus the Thanksgiving weekend. It's good to know what you're capable of doing if push comes to shove.

Word count was the goal but it wasn't the only benefit of Nanowrimo. Through the interactive website a writer can become acquainted with others across the globe as well as those in his/her local region. Writers were competitive but greatly supportive.

I was even more thrilled this year to be a part of Nano. The community feel is so successful in goal setting that our Goals loop is setting up our own challenge similar to Nano so our members can take advantage of this ritual. I'm excited about being able to participate in two or even three of these challenges a year to enhance my productivity.

So now we have Nano in November, perhaps two challenges with our loop, the BIAW loop run by Barbara one week of each month. Are you aware of other writing challenges, loops, contests? I'd love to know about them.