...D had a test Saturday morning and a game Saturday evening. He said the test was hard, and he wasn't happy with his performance in the game (despite their win and making two baskets). So then I checked the barometer and saw that it had fallen pretty steeply between Friday and Saturday...*sigh*.
...yesterday was better. :) We had a birthday brunch with my MIL (she's staying elsewhere), then DH went to the cooooold Broncos game -- but since they won, I'm thinking it was survivable. Everyone was very relieved (I guess Peyton Manning has a reputation of struggling in cold weather). And the kicker got an NFL record field goal -- nice!
...I worked on my project and discovered that I'm way more of a perfectionist than I thought. However, I still hope to get this thing out by Wednesday (my new goal). You'll definitely know when I do. ;)
...I crocheted while watching the TAR finale last night -- fun times. I won't give anything away, but I will say that Marie grew on me. At least she didn't pretend to be something she's not. Plus, she's tough. The doctor (female) annoyed me to the nth degree by the end, and her husband wasn't much better (you gotta wonder about that marriage, no?). I also didn't like how everyone treated the 'Afghanimals' -- they never bothered me like they seemed to bother others. Now we get to wait until February for the next round. ;)
...'The Sing-Off' starts again tonight! *is very excited* I'm not a fan of most of the singing shows, but this one is sooooo good! The people competing are actual musicians rather than just folks who like to yell into a mike.
Stay warm today! Any fun things on the horizon?
AMAZON description: One hour into her first day of tenth grade, Martha Kowalski knows she’s really in trouble. The school bully, Chardonnay, has already threatened her life—and at home, things are even worse. Martha’s mom, fresh out of rehab, is shacking up with a total jerk in a run-down two-family in the ghetto.
More than anything she’s ever wanted, Martha wants to play the cello. But even music becomes a danger—because nothing is what it seems in this place. With her mother’s willpower dissolving, Martha watches helplessly as her own dreams slip farther away.
But in an exhilarating twist that would stun even Cinderella, everything changes. A wealthy lawyer invites her into his family’s home, and Martha is given a chance to start over. The warm, caring Brinkmans treat Martha like one of the family, and even though it feels so right, she knows they can’t be as perfect as they seem. And she knows this fairy tale can’t last forever...
One of my personal favorite scenes--Martha's first Ala-Teen meeting:
People are crammed like pigs feet in the basement of a church so incredibly medieval, it’s not even air-conditioned. Kids in one room, adults in another, and slogans, slogans, everywhere I look: Let Go and Let God. One Day at a Time. Live and Let Live... Bite me, I think.
Many authors feel that this is the most annoying of the frequently asked questions of authors. They feel like it is like asking a surgeon where he gets his steady hands or asking a dentist how he knows which tooth to dril on. They evade it, ignore it, or flippantly answer that they get ideas from aliens. I’ve felt the same way on many occasions, but I was thinking yesterday that it might be helpful to expand a little on the truth.
I get my ideas from:
1. Books or other story forms that make me angry about a wrong turn I see has been taken, or angry at a bunch of assumptions about the story itself and who is interesting in it. This burns inside of me and pushes me to try to do it better myself.
2. Books or other story forms that I love so much that I want to pay tribute or duplicate in some sense what I see, but would like to make into my very own.
3. News events that make me ask, What If, this were to happen to me, or to my family. How would I feel?
4. Sometimes I just read a news story or an article in a magazine and think—this is cool! I want to revel in that coolness and share the experience with other people.
5. Something in my real life is so deeply a part of my psyche that I need to shape it and make it understandable with words.
That’s pretty much it for me. I’m sure that other authors have other reasons that they write. But you’ll notice that all of my reasons are emotional at base, which is why my stories are the way that they are. Cool ideas tend to matter less to me than characters who experience something that causes an emotional reaction that feels real.
My main point here is that if you experience emotions on a regular basis, you are experiencing story ideas. You can turn any emotion that you feel into a story. You just need a beginning, a middle, and an end. Writers aren’t these people who actually feel more than anyone else. They just know the tricks to flesh out those feelings into a story. Anyone can do it if they practice it.
First, Vermont Public Radio aired the book group meeting I had with the wonderful kids at the Burnham Memorial Library in Colchester, VT. It was part of a series called Dorothy's List. This is the state book award list which students read from and then vote for their favorite at the end of the year.
You can see photos and listen to the event here:
One of my favorites (shared with me by a parent):
Second, my local paper ran a story about me! It was so kind and thoughtfully written, though everyone goofed on me about the photo. :-) The intern they assigned the photo to got a little excited about having my computer cast a glow on me, which was sweet. But in the end, I couldn't help making the comparison...
:-) Anyway, it was a real treat to hear from local friends who'd read the article, especially those who didn't know a lot about me or my writing or my story.
You can read the article, called "A Writers Path to Understanding," here:
I'm not one to get paid a lot of attention to, and I'm not one to feel very comfortable when it happens, but these two events were so special and I am very, very grateful. Talking to kids about stories and writing and life has turned out to be the most rewarding and meaningful aspect of my writing life. To get the opportunity is a true honor.
Monday Morning Warm-Up:
A colleague of mine wrote a thought-provoking post about writing at the SNHU page: "What is Literary Writing, and Why it Matters in the Matrix," by Amy Irvine McHarg. You can read the full entry here:
I love this excerpt:
"It may sound like Star Trek stuff, but the fourth dimension is the place we want to access in poetry and prose. When we write deeply enough, there is an opening, that takes us below the horizontal plane, the surface of the ego, into the creative unconscious. It is here, where the rich textures and nuances happen, the place where writing becomes not just a craft but an act of grace."
Do you know what she's talking about? Have you been there? My challenge for you today is to explore your own interpretation of this fourth dimension Amy describes. Where is that place for you? For your story? Take a minute to close your eyes, slow your breathing, and open your mind to the core place of your story. Then open your mind's eye and look around. Feel. Breathe again. What do you discover?
I can’t tell you how many times I have talked to aspiring writers who have a big story they want to tell, but they’re afraid. Not that they aren’t good enough to tell the story (though that happens), but because they are afraid of offending people. Family. Friends. Co-workers. Old colleagues from school who might see themselves in certain portrayals.
This is what I have to say about it:
Get over it.
If you’re a writer, you’re going to offend people. Don’t do it casually. Don’t do it without it meaning something. Don’t do it just for fun. Do it when it matters, though. Do it to make a difference, to make people see themselves in a new light.
And just think about this:
As a woman (and all of the writers who are afraid of this are women that I’ve met), you offend people by:
1. Taking up space, air, and resources that could go to a man.
2. Having a thought in your head that wasn’t put there by someone else.
3. Wanting something more than what other people give you.
4. Daring to disagree.
5. Demanding your voice be heard.
6. Keeping a female writing name.
7. Changing a female name to a gender neutral name.
8. Using a male writing name.
9. Speaking about your book to men and women alike.
10. Not apologizing for everything you do.
Write what you were born to write. Write what you need to write.
1. Bigger really is better for hair. If you can make it poofier, do it. More curls are better. If you have short hair, you can pretty much forget about winning, no matter how cute you are at everything else.
2. If you have a choice between wearing formal wear, and wearing slightly more casual formal wear, always wear more formal wear. The more layers of skirt, the better. The more sparkles, the better. The longer the skirt, the better.
3. Fake smiling is always a good thing. The more fake smiles, the better. Don’t worry about being oversaccharine. Also, blowing kisses to the judges=cute and adorable.
4. Make sure you practice your pageant wave, pageant skirt twirls, and pageant hand on hip turns.
5. If you are asked questions at a pageant, do NOT worry about being original in your answers or about sounding superficial. And if they ask you for any “favorite,” make sure that you list three or four things, or as many as you can think of. Whatever you do, do NOT admit that you disagree with the premise of the question to begin with.
6. Remember, the best part of a pageant isn’t winning and proving yourself more beautiful and therefore more valuable than any other girls—it’s the friendships you form while primping in the bathroom and the fun you have on stage making eye contact with judges you have never met before, and learning how to feel “confidence.”
Here's a story about the book from today's PASATIEMPO, the magazine of the Santa Fe NEW MEXICAN.
Our table of contents:
The full table of contents:
INTRODUCTION, by Gardner Dozois
SOME DESPERADO, by Joe Abercrombie
MY HEART IS EITHER BROKEN, by Megan Abbott
NORA’S SONG, by Cecelia Holland
THE HANDS THAT ARE NOT THERE, by Melinda Snodgrass
BOMBSHELLS, by Jim Butcher
RAISA STEPANOVA, by Carrie Vaughn
WRESTLING JESUS, by Joe R. Lansdale
NEIGHBORS, by Megan Lindholm
I KNOW HOW TO PICK ‘EM, by Lawrence Block
SHADOWS FOR SILENCE IN THE FORESTS OF HELL, by Brandon Sanderson
A QUEEN IN EXILE, by Sharon Kay Penman
THE GIRL IN THE MIRROR, by Lev Grossman
SECOND ARABESQUE, VERY SLOWLY, by Nancy Kress
CITY LAZARUS, by Diana Rowland
VIRGINS, by Diana Gabaldon
HELL HATH NO FURY, by Sherilynn Kenyon
PRONOUNCING DOOM, by S.M. Stirling
NAME THE BEAST, by Sam Sykes
CARETAKERS, by Pat Cadigan
LIES MY MOTHER TOLD ME, by Caroline Spector
THE PRINCESS AND THE QUEEN, by George R.R. Martin
And for those in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, or the rest of the Land of Enchantment...
Tthis Monday, my co-editor Gardner Dozois and I will be at the Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe with seven of our writers. So come join me and Steve Stirling and Melinda Snodgrass and Diana Rowland and Gardner Dozois and Carrie Vaughn and Diana Gabaldon and Sam Sykes and Megan Lindholm/ Robin Hobb for an evening of DANGEROUS TALK ABOUT DANGEROUS WOMEN,
So come and hear us if you can, and get your books signed as well. We should have copies of many other titles by our attending writers on hand, along with a big stack of DANGEROUS WOMEN itself.
- Current Location:Santa Fe
- Current Mood: excited