Monday, December 31, 2012

Hello Everybody!

We've welcomed a new kitten in our home recently and she's curled up next to me right now, purring. There's something therapeutic in that, and having always been a dog person, I've been happily converted to include cat person with that. I'm convinced it's possible to be both. My oldest daughter was trying to pressure me into choosing which pet I like best, but I couldn't do it. They're each unique and lovable in their own way. Speaking of which, did anyone see the cat friend vs. dog friend you tube video that went viral? It's hysterical and soo true! (It's a PG-13 rating, be warned, but worth the laugh)

I don't know about all of you, but my writing has been on hold. I've been busy with the kids being on break, and had a lapse of sanity when I had a sleepover with 9 girls for two nights. My house still has not recovered! For those who think girls are all Barbies and painting nails, you haven't seen mine :) They had a blast sliding down the stairs on a sleeping bag and the noise level was mind boggling. I found my husband popping Advil for a headache!

As for Sense and Sensibility, I'm currently on page 164, so I'm not too far off of my goal. I'm sorry I missed last week's post on it, but I figured everybody was busy like me anyway. The first chapter opened with what could be considered an info dump, but for some reason, it didn't feel like it. Is it the language of the day? I'm not sure. . .what do you think?

Chapter two was a brilliant use of dialogue, painting the portrait of Mr. and Mrs. John Dashwood and their self-interest topped with unflattering greed.

Next, what would you consider the point of view to be? I'm still learning all the in's and out's of POV, but it seems to start out omniscient, but where I am now it's focusing more on Elinor's POV.

I have a lot to learn about how she shows the emotion of her characters, such as Marianne's anxiety on hearing from Willoughby while in London. It almost makes you feel anxious yourself!

For example: "this could not be borne many seconds, she opened the door, advanced a few steps towards the stairs, and after listening half a minute, returned into the room in all the agitation which a conviction of having heard him would naturally produce; the extasy of her feelings at that instant she could not help exclaiming, "Oh! Elinor, it is Willoughby, indeed it is!' and seemed almost ready to throw herself into his arms, when Colonel Brandon appeared."

For those of you joining me, or who have read the book already, what's on your mind?

For all the rest, how's the writing going?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Sense and Sensibility

I have to say I'm happy I picked this book to read next. I seriously needed a light, happy ending type of book right now. Partly because I've been reading a lot of heavy, non-fiction material and the other reason is that I have a six year old. Unless you live under a rock, you know what I'm talking about.

Our collective hearts are breaking, and I have cried many times over the weekend, as I know the world has, thinking of those babies. I couldn't sleep for two nights, thinking of those parents and what they must be going through, my heart goes out to them. I'm trying not to dwell on it, and to move on as we all must in the wake of this horrific tragedy. Just one other quick note, those teachers are true heroes. I've always admired them and the work they do, but the love and instinct they showed in their actions makes it all the more evident how wonderful they really are.

Back to the book, Sense and Sensibility, my goal is to read about 100 pages a week, and to get through it in about a month. (Hopefully before my surgery date) To those who are reading with me, I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the book too!

How are you all doing today? Stop by and share your comments- I love hearing from you.

Monday, December 10, 2012

For the Love of Books

There is something about that word that evokes deep feelings for me, and any avid reader, for that matter. I read so much as a child that that is what I would get taken away if I was grounded. Sometimes my mom would put the books on the top of the refrigerator and make me go outside and play. If I was really into one, I could read the entire thing in one sitting, even if it was all day long.

I read a lot of the classics in high school, and one of my favorite authors was Charlotte Bronte. I think I've read pretty much everything she wrote, and then I moved on to her sister's work. I also loved Jane Austen's books, but I only read Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion, and Emma. One of the things about Jane Austen's writing that is timeless are her characters, and there is no better way to improve than to study the masters.

I mentioned trying to start a book club, but I know everyone has a lot on their plate to commit to something like that, so I'm just going to pick a book to read by myself and work on seeing it through a writer's eyes. If anyone wants to join me, please feel free to, or if you've already read the book, just go ahead and share your thoughts. I'm not going to keep a schedule because, well, there is no need to.

My pick this time around is Sense and Sensibility.

I never read the book, but I did see the movie and I loved it. Plus it's been years since I've read any of Jane Austen's books, but the ones I have read were certainly memorable.

I'd love your company with this but if you can't join me this time, just leave a thought anyway and let me know what you're up to or what you're reading!

Next up is the Alex Cavanaugh blogfest!

“Cheers, Cavanaugh BlogFest.”
AKA: Alexfest

Hosted by these awesome folks: Mark Koopmans, Morgan Shamy,David Powers King and Stephen Tremp.


In +/- 20 words, what does Alex look like? Oh shoot! I don't know, but seeing as he's a musician too, I guess I would picture someone like Adam Levine!

In +/- 20 words, who could play Alex in a documentary? (Living or dead) I'm just gonna have to go with the above, Adam Levine.
I'm sorry! I know that's not very creative, but it's a Monday morning.

In +/- 20 words, who does Alex remind you of? I'll be honest here and say no one really. He's an original.

In +/- 100 words, (excluding the title) write flash fiction using all these prompts: Cavanaugh, Ninja, IWSG, Cosbolt, Guitar


Julie walked into her brother's bedroom and tossed a book on his bed.

"Hey, I think you'll like this one Jude," she said.

"What's it about?" he asked, glancing at it before strumming a few chords on his guitar.

"This guy Cavanaugh wrote it, and it's right up your alley. All sci-fi and Cosbolt pilots stuff. It's cool," Julie said, flopping down on his bed.

"Hey watch out, you'll wreck my ninja gear," he said frowning.

"Chill!" she said, irritated. "Well, if you're going to be like that, I'm off. I have to go to my IWSG club anyway."

For Bonus Points: In +/- 40 words, leave a comment for Mrs. Cavanaugh - thanking her for sharing Alex

Thanks, Mrs. Cavanaugh. Any married writer knows how much their spouses' support means- without it we would probably have given up!

Have a great week :)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Insecure Writers Support Group Post

It's the first Wednesday and time to post for the IWSG again. I had to make sure I got this one in because I missed last month's in a flaky moment (which I have a lot of).

I've recently finished Stephen King's On Writing book and have just started the book, Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Mass. Someone from my writing group lent me both of the books and had actually attended a seminar by the author of the Breakout Novel. I'm about a third of the way into it and it explains how to take your writing to another level.

That leads me to where I am right now, and what I'm feeling insecure about. Writing is essentially an art, like painting, making jewelry, acting, dance. Practice is not only a good idea, but necessary to improve, and it takes time and commitment to be worthy of notice. You are not going to paint a Picasso on your first try and become an overnight success and highly sought after artist. It just doesn't happen that way. The same is true for writing.

But I'm not a patient person, and I don't like to fail.

Stephen King started writing as a child, and had his failures as a teenager, while I am 40 already. By the time I'll be any good I'll be in my grave. I regret waiting to start getting serious about writing, and think of the opportunities I wasted. Plus, even though I have been reassured that I don't need a BA in creative writing to succeed, it certainly seems to help a blank resume to at least have that.

After these reflections, I am still here trying anyway. I've learned a LOT along the way these last two years and am eternally grateful for my husband, whose faith in me is the only reason I feel justified in trying. And for my sister, who cheers me on with her positive and creative input. And of course, for my blogging buddies who faithfully check in on me and give me a boost when I need it.

That's my post- and I'll be seeing you on my rounds!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Writing and Reading

I did finish Stephen King's On Writing book, and one of several things I took away is that in order to continue to grow, I need to keep writing and reading. Since I began writing in earnest, I've noticed that how I read has changed as well. I still read for pleasure, but I also make mental notes to myself about writing techniques, what works and what doesn't.

I've found myself taking note of moments that get an emotional rise out of me, or other things such as where the plot may falter or lose believability. Descriptions, dialogue, point of view, it's all on my mind in a totally new way.

One thing that popped into my mind recently was an idea to start a writer's book club. At the beginning of the month, a book will be chosen, and at the end of the month, we can post our thoughts on it. I don't want to do other blogger's books because I don't want anything to turn negative, but maybe the classic's or current best-sellers. I'll have to mull over what book to read first, and I'll start out by myself, but if you're interested just leave a comment.

I'll just let everyone know in advance too that next month, in January, I will be having major surgery on the 9th to hopefully improve some ongoing health problems. That may change the timeline for me a bit but I'm still stoked on the idea.

Hope you all have a great week and feel free to comment on what you're working on!