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Showing posts from March, 2011

Don't lose your Instruction manual, it might just save your life.....

In all the new-found inspiration for my work-in-progress, I have not forgotten the Rapunzel contest starting tomorrow at Enchanted Conversation's eZine..... I'd still like to come up with a fitting entry, most likely a poem, if for no other reason than to write something wonderful along the lines of Neil Gaiman's poem: "Instructions". --- an instruction guide for any traveler that happens to find themselves in a fairytale. Enjoy!

For Writers---- Learn how to hide your gun....

Today's post is an off-shoot of yesterday's new-found inspiration. After spending a blissful night, reveling in the fact that I was heading in the right direction with my frustratingly slow-moving story, I woke this morning, ready to work. I busied myself scouring primary source narratives to further my research and to ensure the authenticity of what I'm trying to say.

While taking a break, mind whirling after pouring through 4 or 5 narratives, I stumbled upon a wonderful essay by Chuck Palahniuk. He is known for offering sage and direct advice to would-be writers. And, in his essay 'Hiding a Gun', I had a profound eureka moment! I think I may have figured out one of the nagging plot holes that has bothered me since I started writing this story---- I had no idea how to end----

Well, that's not completely true, I had a vague notion of what needed to happen, but I had NO CLUE how to get there.

But, then I read Chuck's Essay, and viola! Not only do I have my &…

Renewed inspiration-- the reason to carry on.....

Ever had one of those moments where suddenly nothing makes sense anymore? You've spent days, weeks, months working on something-- learning a new skill, learning a new language, creating a new world-- and now, at this exact moment, you feel as if your entire life was wasted, nothing you do will save the project/activity.

Self-doubt is a horrible, ugly monster bent on destroying everything that means anything to you. Everybody has one of these annoyingly, grotesque buggers inside them, but, some of us imagine them the size of a Leviathan, and some of us are quite content with our little mice. My own monster tends to shape-shift between the size of the Loch Ness Monster and that of a Pixie, depending on the enormity of the project or just how well-equipped I feel to deal with said project.

The last couple of weeks my Nessy has become rather portly as I've fed all my hopes for "Tangle of Matter and Ghost" to him without a second thought. I have see-sawed so much between …

The Writing Personality.... or, what makes me tick?

Funny what you can learn from a personality test like the Myers-Briggs. Even funnier when the results of the test are put into context with your chosen career path. According to the test I fall in the INTJ category, Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Judging. Though, my "T" is only 25%, so I could also lean in the INFJ category, Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging--- guess it depends on my mood that day.

To put things in terms of writing, there are some wonderful articles written by Andrea J. Wenger, who uses the characteristics of each personality type to explain what it means to be that "type" of writer. So, here is my INTJ personality. And here is my INFJ personality.

Now, if I could just figure out how to harness the plus side of each type, then I'd be on my way.....

BTW, in case you're wondering.... I scored 100% introvert, 56% judging, 38% intuitive...... like anybody's surprised by that introvert score......

Failings of Females in Fairytales.....or, what little boys do if given the pen

I've always known that Fairytales were, for the most part, male-centric. Most were written, or recorded, by male scholars and writers---the brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Anderson.... even the fabled "Mother" Goose dealt a severely biased blow toward the girls in her rhymes: Jill tumbling after Jack, Little Bo Peep losing her sheep, Peter Peter Pumpkin-Eater and the "keeping of his wife".....

I know that strong females do exist in some fairytales, Gretel springs to mind as one, but their stories are so out-numbered by the weaker female tales as to make them seem flukes, even mistakes, that perhaps it really was Hansel that pushed the witch into the oven and he just let his sister take the credit.

It's no wonder most girls grow up with a diminished sense of self-worth....always needing the strong hero to step in and save them or the fairy-godmother to cast a spell for them.

And it probably explains my fixation with the male 'stars' in these tales...…

Repugnant Rapunzel.....

Shall I write a horrid tale about a silly, little girl?
Shall I speak the story of one who ought never have walked this world?

Who'd want to hear the song of one whose life was all but sold?
For the merest culinary trifles, nothing near as grand as gold.

Stone walls may shield, stone towers better, for holding tight to life,
A soul trapped, for a ridiculous debt, not worth her mortal price.

Did it never cross her silly mind, not once in all the years?
The means to her escape were the flowing locks that grew between her ears?

Fairytale contest in the Enchanted realm....

Tired of the same ol' contest, want a chance to work on something a little different, something inspiring.... then, drop on by Enchanted Conversation's eZine and give their fairytale-inspired contest a try.

April 1st starts their Rapunzel contest .  Until April 8th, in 2000 words or less, or in the form of a poem, a creative re-telling of the Rapunzel fairytale might win you a chance at an Amazon Gift Card and a chance to play in the world of fairytales.

Give it a look see. Give it a shot. You might just have some fun!

Let's see...how does this work again???

Time for a quarterly-review, or whatever those dreadful things are called when you take a step back and see what the last 3 months has yielded.....

Here we are at the end of March, well, almost the end, and I thought I'd take a step back and see just where I've gotten after 3 months. Now, what were those pesky resolutions again?

Ah, yes....there was one about keeping this blog updated on a regular basis....and there was one about writing more diligently, in hopes of finishing this mess of a novel that leaked out of my brain during NaNoWriMo. There might have been a couple of other resolutions, but, they've probably been long abandoned and are now forgotten  (as my usual staying power is not quite a month)

Goal 1:  Keeping blog updated--- I must admit I have done better with this resolution than expected. I have already surpassed the number of blog posts in any of my past blogging years. Though, lucky for me, I'm not here to judge the quality of those blogs as their cont…

Creature Feature Friday....classy canine

Mark Twain at his finest!

As a personified puppy, with his signature white suit and stogy, the lazy riverboat paddling up the Mississippi River behind him.

Wouldn't mind a lazy trip down the Mississippi by riverboat, myself....the chance to do anything lazily in the heat of the Southern summer.....

Woe-is-me Wednesday....

Image via Wikipedia One of the icons of the entertainment industry has passed away this morning. At 79, Elizabeth Taylor, slipped away after suffering weeks from congestive heart failure.

The tragedy of losing someone that had such an impact on so many, is that we will forever lose her voice and grace. Though, we are most fortunate that she will remain an immortal figure forever secure in the works that she leaves behind.

Meet Me Monday: Father Iulian Boca

  Twice a week, the young woman came to the priest. Everything had been prearranged. All she had to do was make sure the priest wasn’t lonely. She learned not to pay attention to the name he called her, always the same name.              Many nights, all the priest wanted to do was hold her and caress her face. He whispered into her long hair about a life together and a child. The young woman learned to ignore things like this too. He wasn’t speaking to her.          She could see the intense passion in his eyes when they lay together. She could see the tortured desperation that covered his face when she stood to leave. It was the same expression that melted as soon as the priest locked eyes on her. No one had ever looked at her that way before, pinned their hopes and happiness on her presence. The only problem, the priest was looking at her, but he was seeing someone else. ~~~  The priest and his young bride strolled the village cobblestone. She had never seen him happier. “Oh, Iulian, i…

Creature Feature Friday....sublime feline

Pretty picture of personification.....

Jane Austen writing table and a sneaking peek of the waterway behind her. Would that one of those cute little cottages was mine.....

Ah well.....


Day 10:
cokes consumed: 0
sugars consumed: bread

How To Handle Rejection....

The perfect soundtrack to use when dealing with those pesky rejection slips....


Rejection Slips Beware! Mwahahahaha....

Woe-is-me Wednesday....not quite so woeful....

I think I may have finally made it past the horrific pains of caffeine withdrawal. This, the 8th day of Lent, and not a single mg of caffeine has crossed my lips, not a single migraine in 3 days. I do still have a tightness and twinge at the base of my skull (what would normally indicate a full-blown migraine was on its way)...but, so far, all it does is make for a stiff neck-- somewhat like waking with an annoying "crick". ---- much easier to handle.

Second day off from work in a row--- What bliss!--- and I have nothing planned that might interfere with a day of relaxing, story plotting, crafting, etc. So, I have allowed myself two days of leisure, in hopes to ensure those pesky migraines are indeed gone. Which means, I haven't accomplished much in the way of actual writing, but, I'm not going to let myself stress about it..... not yet---- did I mention how bad migraines suck!

But, having a not-writing-leisure-day, doesn't mean I haven't been plotting and pe…

Meet Me Monday: Painted Man (Billy)

~~~~~ Meet Painted Man, the silent member of Aunt Agatha's traveling night carnival. Born mute and abandoned at a Civil War orphanage after the death of his parents, Billy strikes out on his own once a tragic turn of events at the orphanage sends him and two other boys into hiding. Once he runs into Aunt Agatha, he never looks back. And, instead, grows into Painted Man, whose unspoken truths find their own way to be heard. ~~~~~ 

            Come see the Painted Man. The Painted Man has stories of his own to tell, stories that have no spoken words. The Painted Man holds the stories he wants to tell in his heart. He holds them tight and screams them inside his head. But, never a sound leaves his lips. 
             The place where a tongue should flick words through his teeth is hollow, empty. He can scream no words from his mouth. But, all those words have to go somewhere. There is only so much room inside the body of a man, only so much space to hold everything you feel, everything y…

The dimmest of lights at the far end of eternity.......

The fifth day of Lent and it is the first day I haven't been crippled by blinding migraines. Yesterday's migraine was so bad that I wasn't sure what would happen first--- the splitting of my skull or the emptying of my belly.

The worst part of the ordeal, aside from the horrific migraines, was the pains didn't set in until several hours after I was up and about. I woke up fine, actually rested, then two hours later, out of the blue, my head would feel as if someone had planted a dull ax in the back of my brain-case.

It was discouraging, especially when I woke up feeling fine.

Today, I woke with no pain, as usual, and went to work. As the day passed, I kept expecting the migraine to settle in....but, it never did. I had a twinge at the base of my skull all day, the familiar twinge that has always been the preamble to my migraines, but the itching twinge was all I felt.

Maybe, (cross fingers, knock wood, toss salt and pray) just maybe, I have passed the worst of this Len…

Creature Feature Friday....sort of

Well, it was going to be Creature Feature Friday.....

but, day 3 of giving up soda and sugar and I really think I'm dying....ugh--- well, not really, but two days of migraines, a fuzzy brain, blurry vision and a mysterious issue with balance have sent me reeling (and not in a good way).

Of course, I know it won't be permanent and hopefully the benefits of finally being free of caffeine will far outweigh the mild suffering that I'm imposing on myself--- we all know how much of a masochist I am....

The only EXTREMELY disappointing thing coming from my Lenten detox are the two contests I was hoping to enter this month--- there is NO way I can get anything edited or written for tomorrow's deadline. I have had no energy, no focusing power and this 2-day blinding headache has done bugger all to help.

I might make Monday's deadline, or, I might just wait until I come out of this caffeine funk and redouble my efforts for the April contests.

FYI: Caffeine withdrawal SUCKS!!…

Toughening it out Thursday....

Bleh...though, ad;a;slwo''lkfa'fk'kl  might be more appropriate...

Second day of this whole Lent thing annnnnd, my brain feels like it is melting inside my skull. I do note that I slept pretty good last night, which I assume had to do with the sudden lack of caffeine in my system. So, waking was not as much of a struggle, buuuuuuut.....

all day I have had a dull, annoying headache itching at the back of my skull, behind my eyes, and down the back of my neck---- and nothing I have done today will alleviate it.....

I don't know if it's caffeine-withdrawals, sugar-withdrawals, or just an ill-timed sinus headache, but, annoying it most definitely is......

Day 2:
cokes consumed: 0
sugar consumed: dried fruit, bread

Woe-is-me Wednesday....

Lent.

I am not Catholic, my husband, however, is.

I have never "observed" Lent, though this year I am....why?

Something to do with supporting my significant other and something to do with the discipline that I know it must take to achieve.

This year, for health  reasons, my husband has opted to give up cigarettes and extraneous sugar--- I told him I would match his Lenten Vows. Cigarettes are easy, as I don't smoke, but the extraneous sugar??? that's a whole other kettle of fish....

We aren't giving up sugar in its entirety, just the extra and unnecessary sugars like candy, cakes, donuts....and because diet sodas taste like shite, I'm giving up cokes as well----
We aren't going to fuss about the sugar that's in trace or small amounts, like bread, pasta, fruits, etc....just the food/drink items that are mostly made of sugar and nothing else.

Well, Day 1 and I already realize just how little attention I've been paying to what I consume. I left the h…

Laissez les bons temps rouler..... maybe?

Thought my 100th post should warrant some sort of celebration.... and the fact that I'm posting such a milestone marker on Mardi Gras must mean that the celebration is obligatory, right???

Today is Fat Tuesday, though I am not in New Orleans to partake in the last of the festivities.... today marks the end of this year's Carnival, though our King Cake (Bavarian Cream Cheese-filled, I might add) was devoured days ago.....

But, I am still celebrating---- though mostly internally and in a muted, mild manner befitting someone not accustomed to letting the good times roll on a regular basis.

Ah, well.... Happy 100th post! Happy Mardi Gras! Happy King Cake Eating Day! Happy End of Carnival!
And, if anybody has the energy left.... Laissez les bons temps rouler!!!

Meet Me Monday: Ambrose Carmichael

Thought I might give this a try.... I saw something similar on another author's page. He would highlight one of his characters each week and give his readers a chance to meet/question/interact with the featured character.... not sure how well this will work, but, we'll give it a try. Feel free to comment or question.....
~~~~~  Meet Ambrose Carmichael, husband to Charlotte and father of Emily and Esther. He is a prominent businessman and land owner who becomes a guilt-driven stationhouse master on the Underground Railroad during the Civil War.  ~~~~~             
              Ambrose and his wife slid into the basement, covering the distance from the steps to the basement door in less than five paces. They threw the bolt back and cracked the door open just in time to see two stooped shadows making their way across the exposed land from the protective tree line. The rustling of bare feet hardly made enough sound to reach their ears. Such were the practiced feet of the escaping. Th…

Oh, the times, they are a'changing.....

I sometimes forget what the world looks like just outside my own door. It's easy to wrap oneself in the cozy security of a locked front door, or to be swept away in the emotional tidal wave that is the national, global news. The trap of either-or, the telescopic view versus the microscopic view, blinds us to what may be going on just two doors down or three streets over.

I marveled today at a small sub-community that seemed to nestle itself amid the growing, thriving city blocks around it. It wasn't as if the this tiny ecosystem exploded overnight. In fact, looking at the state of most of the buildings, it is a section that has fallen into disrepair over the years, and that was continuing to disintegrate right before our eyes. Had we stood still for even a minute, I'm sure we would have seen another roof shingle fall or another board of decayed siding slip away.

And though this section of city should have been long abandoned and left for the city to do with as it sees fit,…

Regarding one another....

Said the spider in her web,
"won't you come and sit awhile,"
Said the bat, "instead,
won't you come and fly in style."
Said the cat who'd watched their dance,
as they flitted to and fro,
"you'd both make tasty snacks,
just thought you ought to know."

And the beat goes on...

I am reveling in the fact that the last couple of days have been immersed in literary splendor. With everything digital popping up--- the latest app, the newest cell phone, the greatest gaming system--- it's easy for the wonderful world of story-telling (which has been around since man first mastered the simple sentence) to be stepped over, passed over and ignored as something old and unappealing.

Yesterday was National Grammar Day, everyone was told to: March forth on March 4th to speak well, write well and help others do the same. 
Last night was World Book Night, some thousands gathered in Trafalgar Square, London to celebrate and share in readings of Literature.
Today is World Book Day, a day where thousands of books are given away to a literary-hungry world, hoping to promote reading and a love of the written word. 
We celebrated Dr. Seuss' birthday several days ago, an author that has started many young readers on the path to love and revel in the written word themselves. 
An…

The Merest of Tributes.....

Happiest of Birthdays, to you, Dr. Seuss,
To you, who let Things 1 and 2 loose,
For, if not for you, we would never have Sam,
No cat, no hat, no green eggs and ham,
The Whos would never have ever been heard,
And, Horton ne'er heard a single Who-word,
And the Star-Belly Sneetches with all of their stars,
Would never have worried if they'd stars upon thars,
But, worse upon worse, a pain causing more than a flinch,
We never, would ever, have met, the glorious Grinch...