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Showing posts from February, 2011

Tiny, tinny Trevor making Pigasus proud...

Finished Tom Baker's The Boy who kicked pigs, last night. This novel, er, novella, er---- whatever you call a 120-pg book that's 60 pages of illustrations--- is wonderfully masterful in its devilish satire. And, though its illustrations have a childlike, Tim Burton-esque innocence to them, this book (story) is definitely NOT for children.

The book IS, however, for the sick and twisted, for the malicious-natured, for the brow-beaten and down-trodden. It is most definitely for anyone who has ever had an uncontrollable urge to make your disgust with humanity FELT as much as heard.

The plot centers around 13-yr-old Robert and his obsession with kicking his sister's tiny tin piggy bank, Trevor. Every chance he gets, Robert sends the little tin pig flying through the room, into a t.v. set and eventually out the front window--- it is this last episode that makes Robert realize that kicking pigs makes him very happy, because it makes bystanders laugh (those involved in the car wrec…

I yam what I yam and that's all that I yam.....

Why do I write?
Why do I lock myself inside my mind?
Why do I hide from the world around me?
Why do I take myself out of life?

It's no easy thing to ponder, the solitary writer's path that's been chosen. Sometimes, it feels as if we have no control over what decisions we're making-- like the journey has already been laid out for us and there is nothing we do that will alter it....

But, for writers, most writers, some writers--- okay, at least for me as a writer.... I can do nothing other than what I am already doing. Even when I wasn't trying to be a writer, I was writing. Even when I wasn't trying to compose a story, the tale was already writing itself in my sub-conscious. The solitary, writing life might be no easy thing to ponder, but it beats the reality-- that being a writer is a helluva scary thing.... or, it can be, if you really think about it.

Books have the power to change lives. Which means, by extension, writers have the power to change the world.

 …

Mmmm, that's one fine figure of a......

story????

I've noticed, recently, that my writing style has a distinctly "hourglass" shape. Whenever I'm working on something--- especially, a piece that's longer than a flash/ short story--- I find that my writing tends to move in 3 stages:

1/ Broad, relatively vague descriptions that lead to
2/Narrow, almost indecipherable introspection from the narrating character, which then leads to
3/ Broad, story specific descriptions that finally resemble a fully-matured story



Somehow, the alternating views of the telescope to the microscope and then back to the telescope again, form some sort of logical "story-building" method for me. I still haven't figured out if it works....but, at least knowing that this is the current process my writing takes, I can now remind myself NOT to give up on a story just because it doesn't make sense and isn't clearly defined---- as I am still obviously in the top half of my hourglass.....



Stupid hole in the side of my head.....

Annnnd, I got nothing.....

While getting ready for work this morning, I had a pretty good idea for a witty, perhaps even humorous blog post. I was sure that bemoaning the current state of my jumbled WIP  would quickly drive everyone (myself included) up the proverbial wall. So, I endeavored to find a lighter subject to discuss. I had one, and I went off merrily to work. Then, I got home and sat down to write.....annnnnnnd, I got nothing----

The silly bugger of an idea slipped right out that stupid hole in my head. That hole has been instrumental in causing more than one missed birthday and several late car payments... speaking of which, must post that car payment check tomorrow ***brain, you will not forget.... brain, you will not forget***

On a more literary note--- finished Charles Portis', True Grit, this evening. I can't honestly say I've ever read a Western before, though with its young, female protagonist, I almost hesitate to call it a Western in the technical sense…

Character confusion and complete consternation

Okay, so much of the problem I'm having with my WIP is coming from the criss-crossing my characters seem to insist on doing with each other. I should have known when I titled this story, Tangle of Matter and Ghost, that I was sure to curse myself.... and this Voodoo hex may have no cure   >_<

Quick list of characters:
Aggie            Joseph           Billy          Ralph       Chester      Jefferson      Ambrose       Charlotte
Emily            Aldia              Benjamin   Esther      Letty          Marie          Jebediah        Granny
Preacher       Nathaniel

Now the ties:
Aggie/Joseph-- Runaway slaves dabbling in Voodoo

Ol' Gray Granny-- Healer that taught Aggie "healing" Voodoo, not what she now practices

Ambrose/Charlotte-- Carmichael family, parents of Emily and Esther, also underground railroad station masters

Emily-- Mother of Aldia, wife of Benjamin (who runs off, leaving wife and daughter to fend alone)

Esther-- Orphanage mistress where Billy is kept until…

Tangle of Matter and Ghost--- quickly becoming a strangle of splatter and toast

So, I've been doing some research for my current work-in-progress from NaNoWriMo, Tangle of Matter and Ghost. I've been really excited about the direction this story might go, but, I am also coming across more problems than I've ever encountered with a story.

I don't want the reader to drown in the emotions of what is going on, but the emotions are exactly what I'm going after. I've been toying with how to get the information across without bogging the description down with factual data and sweeping the reader from the page with an emotional tidal wave. Here's a link to the discussion I've opened on my facebook  page for anyone that wants to discuss, contribute, or just chide me for my ridiculous attempts to stuff every emotion possible into one book.....

Don't be stealing a vampire's dumbbell, even if it was for a good reason....

A little known fact about me: I'm a comic strip junkie....

From the daily comics in the paper, to the daily comics on my Google homepage, to the stack of well-read book collections by my bedside....not a day goes by that I don't unwind to some light humor. And with the state of the world always dwelling on the bad in life, it's sometimes easy to forget that life also provides happiness--- though, most of the time you actually have to hunt for the happiness.

Comics provide not only a means of escape for me, but, there is a surprising amount of current events, news, and even history alluded to in these succinct illustrations. I never have to watch television or read the "news" part of the newspaper to know what's going on. I just flip to my comic strips and there in a few, humorous frames, I learn all I need to know to stay marginally informed.

I figure, with all the bias in news reporting, we're all marginally informed to begin with....why not choose to be …

Mudbloods and Muggles and Magic Folk, stand and unite....

Today was the first-ever, To Write Mudblood On Her Arm, day.

Worldwide, Harry Potter lovers and equality seekers sought solidarity by writing (in every possible variation) the word, Mudblood on their arms, their legs, their wrists, their hands...

Some 35,000 confirmed participants and probably thousands more that were pulled along in the wake of those eager to support Magical/Muggle equality, all decorated themselves and held the love of Harry Potter and the love of their fellow Mudblood/Muggles in their heart and on their arm, leg, wrist, etc. 

The obvious play on the inspiring movement, To Write Love On Her Arm, is intentional, but in no way meant to be disrespectful. TWLOHA's mission is to inspire hope in those who suffer from depression, addiction and who might suffer from self-destructive tendencies and/or suicidal thoughts.

TWMOHA takes its cue from Hermione's mistreatment in the book series as a result of her Muggle(non-magical) birth. She is viewed as something less th…

72 hours: to take on the world or to give up the ghost---- you decide

Just finished watching The Next Three Days with Russell Crowe. It was not what I had expected and left to choose on my own, it probably would have been a movie I would have passed on seeing. In fact, I hadn't even heard of it until we were standing around trying to figure out what to watch.

I'm not a die-hard Russell Crowe fan...I've seen him in some really great movies (Beautiful Mind is a favorite)... but, he's never been one of those actors that I HAVE to see in every single one of their movies, even the really bad ones that never should have been released in the first place but because "X" is in it, it doesn't completely suck.

The Next Three Days is worth watching. It is more than an adventure/thriller. It is an emotional roller-coaster that barely gives you a chance to cry, laugh, gasp, stop breathing...the emotions roll into one another so quickly that you're laughing with tears in your eyes and gasping back a cackle.

But, what stuck with me the …

Think of me...think of me fondly, when we say good-bye.....

Read an article today on Kurt Vonnegut's newly released, While Mortals Sleep, out last month--- to my knowledge, his third posthumously released work and one can only hope, it will not be his last.



This comes only several months after the release of Mark Twain's Autobiography---kept under wrap
s for 100 yrs per the author's own explicit wishes.

And there have been so many other posthumously released works---- some that spring to mind, Stieg Larrson's Millennium Series (Girl Who....) trilogy, Robert B. Parker's Painted Ladies, Douglass Adams' Salmon of Doubt....but there have been so, so many others.

It is so tragic that death can cut short the life of someone who still has so much to say to the world. These artists have given themselves to the world in the form of their printed words. And the world certainly believes these artists belong to it. At least with the posthumously released works, it feels a little like we have not yet lost the dear friends we have gr…

We guarantee, in 30 minutes or less, or your next soul's free....

Genre: Horror
Subject: Delivery in 30 minutes or less

This was the "heat group prompt" for team 5 in the NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge 2011. I missed the official sign-up deadline by a matter of minutes, so that meant I was locked out from "officially" competing in this year's short story speed round.

It's a 2-parter.... Round 1 gives contestants 8 days and 2,500 words to create a short story in their assigned genre centering on the assigned subject. Round 2 then takes the Round 1 winners and gives them just 24hrs to create a second story.

There were 30 groups covering every genre twice and no two subjects were the same. As I couldn't officially participate, I've opted to attempt the challenge under the table, as it were. I picked group 5 because of my fondness for the number 5, and it wasn't until after I had selected my group that I read through the entire genre list and their paired subjects. My pairing wasn't the best, but it was no…

My Write-y Senses are Tingling.....

So, I just went through my submissions spreadsheet for this year's Short Story contests.... somehow, I assumed I was woefully behind and had missed dozens of deadlines because I hadn't submitted anything in the month of January.

There were about 3 contests whose deadlines passed in January that I was well aware of. Still feeling the draining effects of having survived another Christmas working retail, having prepared for a huge book sale and signing event with a local school and just getting over a mild flu, I agreed to allow the January deadlines to pass without a second thought. As much as it pains me to admit---- I really can't do EVERYTHING....

And, now February is well into its first week without a known deadline itching in the back of mind.... this is when the panic alarms started tingling in the depths of my subconscious---- if it's possible to have the Spidey-Senses version of writing 'alarm bells', then I gots 'em.....

I'm one of those people t…

I solemnly swear that I'm up to no good....

I also solemnly swear that I will not try to 'fix' something that is working perfectly fine on its own....

.....that I will give up all time-wasting obsessions....

.....that I will avoid all unnatural stimulants and/or depressants....

.....that I will not delve into things/knowledge/ideas/sustenance that is known to be bad for me....

Aw, who am I kidding..... the only one that actually applies to me is the title of this post-----

Mischief Managed!