Sunday, August 28, 2011

Write On

I’ve come to the conclusion that normal is an illusion.  Perhaps the word was invented to sell an idea that doesn’t exist, to stem the messiness of individualism or simply to give order to the chaos involved in a world where all the freak flags would be flying – now that’s an unpleasant picture.  Freak flags are best flown in private, or among your very closest friends, the ones who will laugh with you and take your weird secrets to the grave.  This is all hypothetical of course, I have no weird secrets.  Not anymore anyway, I’ve come out of the closet, to borrow the phrase, and revealed the truth.  I am a writer.  Truth be told I would rather write than eat, sleep, or take a tropical vacation somewhere.  Yes.  Doubt if you must, but those who have seen this girl’s freak flag flying will back that claim up.  For what do I do when I’m on vacation?  Write.  Oh sure I’ve taken an occasional break from writing.  I went to school (someone made me) – I worked at a job that paid, I got married, and had children.  I put my heart and soul into those endeavors too (except school), but here is the ugly truth about writers – we participate in life simply to gather material.  Yep. 

You, my family, friends, neighbors (especially my neighbors) the people I meet day to day – the truth is that I take you and grind you all up into glitter and shove you right into The Glitter Globe.  Bwahahaha.  Please don’t let this upset you, it is far beyond my control – it is who I am – the way I was wired and twisted so to speak.  I am Storyteller.  My BFF, who rocks this planet btw, has always known my dirty little secret.  She covered for me when necessary over the years – giving me useful little tips on those occasions when the appearance of “normal” was absolutely mandatory – like my wedding day – or when the cops pulled us over and gave her the ticket (which I paid for because, after all, the whole thing had been my BRILLIANT idea).  Still there is no denying that there is truth in fiction – the whole world’s fodder for The Glitter Globe – and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your cooperation AND feel free to let your freak flag fly when you’re in my vicinity - just know, I'm taking notes. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

All Revved Up and No Place to Go!

After attending an event for writers that was life changing, I was ecstatic with my writerliness for several high impact days.  “You Can’t Sleep, You Can’t Eat, There’s No Doubt, You’re in Deep - - -” writing mode.  I whipped out my three completed novels.   By complete I mean nowhere near on paper, but very close in The Glitter Globe (that counts, shut up). 
It is awesome and amazing to be that excited about anything, take a child on Christmas morning, true love’s kiss, insert dark chocolate, add sprinkles and whipped cream and *viola* may you all know what that feels like.  Then this whole Goldilocks and The Three Bears deal kicked in.  The first novel was too small – (no problem, I can probably add 60,000 words and flesh it out in the next week or two.  Pull up MSWord, Page One and *crickets chirping* - I do not appreciate the way that cursor is blinking at me.  Smarmy little !@#^%!)  The second novel was so, just so, room temperature…  (No problemo, chop out 15,000 words in an instant and spend three days staring expectantly at it.  Hmmm, what’s everyone doing on Facebook?)  And the third novel, the third novel is ginormous (War and Peace and a stack of encyclopedias would be lost in the shadow.  Don’t let that trouble you!  It is brilliant, surely there is some publisher, somewhere, who would be delighted to publish a nearly million word first novel!  Edit it you say?  Ha!  How do you think it got that big?!)
Photo Credit: Pika Miklitsch
Every now and then there is nothing short of a tranquilizer dart that can bring me down, except my own personal kryptonite.  And that is that lost feeling you get when you’ve written yourself through a wormhole and you have this entire universe perched on the brink of disaster and suddenly every single Being in that place and time turns and looks at you and goes, “What’s my next line?”.   Ahhh!  You’re knocked out of character completely, and thinking, “Why’re they asking me?  I was just wondering the same thing!”  Ack!   

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Run-On Sentences Freakin ROCK

I’ve heard, from obviously biased sources, that I need to work on my run-on sentences; I do not understand this, my run-on sentences are amazing - I luv the dudes - I could pick them up and kiss them, as a matter of fact I tend to examine them closely, if they’re extra nice, I feed them a pile of commas and if they’re really special they might get a colon or even a semi-colon (oh yeah) we all know Jane Austen never married because once Mr. Darcy entered her universe there was no hope for mere mortals – how many women walk this earth today – nearly two hundred years later – who not only are secretly in love with Mr. Darcy, but who would seriously consider leaving their husbands should he happen by (my husband and I have an understanding about this and he is secure with it, he’s all about statistics and feels safe in his math – where I’m all about sparkly possibility and in The Glitter Globe anything is possible, so let’s just say I’m keeping my options open when it comes to Mr. Darcy); no writer seems to deign to create an antagonist the likes of him – we know when to leave perfection alone – but this writer has a hot thing going for run on sentences and it is my goal in life to create the perfect one. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Childhood Scars - Inspiration from Dark Places

That which does not destroy us, only makes us weirder.  Who said that?  When I was a kid we had a pet monkey named Gomer.  I think he was a Boomerang Monkey - because no matter how far we tossed him, he came back.  Cage and all reappeared on the porch and the squeal of escaping tires echoed from the distance.  It is cruel - just cruel, cruel, cruel to take any creature out of their natural habitat and inflict them with monkey ownership.  Most especially if the creatures are a lovely Bohemian lot and the monkey could effortlessly double the SAT score of the brightest among them.

The Bohemians have an identifying feature, akin to the Dark Mark in Harry Potter, but nothing so mundane as having evil incarnate force a tattoo on you.  Our mark (and I have one too, they always treated me like their own, including me in all rites of passage) is a scar.  Now these scars are in various locations.  Believe you me, you don't want to be the bouncer at the family reunion, verifying bloodline.  "Show me your scar."  No one wants to go there.  Let me just say the one thing I have told my children since childhood:  Never, and I repeat, NEVER, sit on a monkey's cage.

Looking back I doubt there was a single member of the family that didn't, at times, secretly wish for that monkey's demise.  Don't judge!  Have you seen their teeth?  Canine.  Have you lived with one?  Before he ended up with us he used to hang with the ferryman on the River Styx, but Charon couldn't take it anymore.  It's true, it was on his resume.  Past Employer:  Hades.  Those Bohemians had absolutely no prerequisites for membership.  Show up, they'd love you.  Those low standards kept Gomer alive, not that there weren't a few assassination attempts, but that happens in every family.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Got a Minute?

Photo Credit: B&A
After years holed up in my own universe I was going to share!  Ta-da!  And they were going to give me some positive feedback!  Yay!  Isn't life grand?  It didn't exactly go as planned - and THAT is what happens when you no longer get to write the script.  So I printed off a few dozen pages from various sections of my baby and chased down my husband and kids and forced, um, shared it with them.  Instead of enthusiasm my big reveal was met with comments like:  "I'm in the middle of an on-line final" and "I'm filling out paperwork for the IRS that my BUSINESS MANAGER *meaningful glare* forgot to fill out and now we have to pay a fine - but my BUSINESS MANAGER was busy writing her novel and DIDN'T DO IT so no, I don't have time to read your book right now" and "Today is the anniversary of my best friend's grandmother's dog's surgery for a torn ligament and we're hosting a pancake breakfast to raise money and awareness for the shocking epidemic of torn ligaments in fifteen year old beagles that is sweeping the country!  Don't you watch the news?!  Oh wait!  No you don't!  You sit in your room and type twelve hours a day!"  (I am paraphrasing those quotes a tad, but I think I got it close.) 
Of course they didn’t tell me right out to go back to my room and play with my imaginary friends, wait – yes – my daughter did actually say just that.  My husband, who has read a grand total of one novel in his entire life, put his section to read in, um, his reading room where it sits still (and let me just say that was QUITE some time ago).  My girlie - in her own good time - grabbed a red pen and had a go all over her portion of the story, am fairly certain it was vengeance for my red pen on her homework days.  My son did peruse his portion (each section was different parts of the collective works, very varied) and he compared everything to various video game scenarios – I think it was positive feedback.  I’m not sure.  My grasp on the language of mathy engineering types is somewhat limited.  After that my son encouraged me, also, to return to whatever it was I was doing at the computer for hours every day.  Which I did, though I did make it a point to smooth over their perceived negligence on my part.  Every evening for two solid weeks I baked them a huge casserole dish of homegrown squash.  If that doesn't say 'I love you' I don't know what does.