Sunday, January 23, 2011

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Snow on the ground, icicles hanging from gutters, cold that bites at your skin - yep, it's winter.  I have to remind myself not to forget to add the weather into my writing.  Mother Nature, naughty or nice, must not be ignored.

Someone once said, without the weather, what would we have to talk about?  It's a connection between people that is constant.  Most of us have experienced variations in sunlight, temperature or precipitation.  (Sounds very scientific)  Those experiences bring us closer to the worlds of fiction.  Also, the extremes in weather that we haven't experienced, tempt us with the unknown.  I have never lived through a tornado or walked through a desert, but great authors have taken me there.  I swirled with Dorthy and trudged through the sands with Aladdin.  I've experienced the bone chilling cold on the other side of the wardrobe with Lucy and lived through a dark and stormy night with Meg.

Let it snow!


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Cleaning House

As with many writers, I rarely clean out my saved files.  Today was the day and I was pleasantly distracted by a few hidden gems that I hadn't seen in quite a long time.  One in particular made me smile.  I had considered posting on a fellow blogger's site, but my poor neglected piece never made it past my personal archive.  Here it goes...

If You Send a Writer a Virtual Cookie

If you send a writer a virtual cookie from your blog, she will return the love, but will notice that you’ve updated your profile. Clicking on your new smiling image, she’ll see that you’re on Twitter. She’ll decide to send you a tweet which will remind her that she forgot to post a tweet on her account. Closing her blogger friend’s page, she’ll remember that she was supposed to be blogging. Sitting in her quiet office, waiting for inspiration, the dryer beeps in the background. Avoiding ironing at all costs, she pops out of her chair and quickly hangs up the warm clothes before the dreaded wrinkles can set in. On the way back to her desk, she’ll notice the stack of unopened mail on the table by the back door. Sorting through ads and bills, she finds a professional looking envelope with the name of an agency she queried. Sighing, she resigns herself to the expected rejection letter which reminds her that she needs to query that agent she found online yesterday. Tossing aside the not quite right for our agency letter, she dashes back to her desk to dig through the pile of notes on her desk, desperately trying to find that email address. In the pile, she discovers the science paper that her daughter had been searching for last night. Grabbing her keys, she’s out the door. She turns on the radio and hears a beautiful love song that reminds her of the scene she’s writing in her latest manuscript. Repeating it over and over, she hopes to cement the lyrics in her brain so she can remember it when she sits down to write. Returning home after preparing her lecture speech about responsibility for her child, she tries to remember what she wanted to write. Hurrying to her desk, she notices the empty screen still waiting for her blog post. Staring at the flashing line, she ponders what the heck she can write about. Maybe children that need a lesson in organization? The line is still flashing. Maybe a more professional entry would be better in case a prospective agent checks out her blog. Agents and editors! She forgot to send a query to the editor from the fall conference. Quickly, dragging out her binder of important papers, she shuffles through until she finds the submission guidelines. Three months? She swallows and starts to count how many weeks since the conference and remembers that she needs to make an appointment for a haircut. Going to the mirror, she looks to see if any gray roots are showing. Looking at her reflection, she wonders if she will ever get her manuscript published – there are a few wrinkles appearing around her eyes. That’s what her character needs! Wrinkles. Back behind the desk, she brings up her work-in-progress. A soft ping announces she has mail. Opening the email, in case it’s the agent she queried last week requesting a partial, she finds a big chocolate chip cookie from her critique friend. Thought you could use something sweet today. Oh, no!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Discipline...or lack of

Routines are wonder and awful at the same time.  My New Year's Resolution was to faithfully blog on Sunday.  Well, here it is, another Sunday night and I'm feeling non-blogee.  (Yes, it's a word that would make my eight grade grammar teacher cringe - again.)

Maybe, routines need to be written in sand rather than stone.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Through the Looking Glass

I consider myself on blogger honeymoon.  I have yet to send myself out into the world in a meaningful manner.  I have not networked, I don't post comments, I ignore the unwritten rules of etiquette.  In short, I'm happy to remain anonymous.

I find that once you open one blog, it inevitably leads to another.  It's like Alice falling through that hole.  You'll never know what you will find.  In a pleasant way, it also becomes a black hole of time.  I may convince myself that it's research but I find myself in the realm of distraction.  I love searching the personal elements of a blogger as much as I love finding words that melt on my tongue.

I set a goal to push myself out of my cozy little shell.  As it approaches, I wonder if I want to look into the "wardrobe" of the world beyond me.  I guess I must.

For the moment, I'll hang the do-not-disturb sign on my door.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Quiet, Please

I had great hopes of writing during the break.  What's the saying...something about a road lined with good intentions? 

It was a struggle with a house full of noisy teenagers and younger kids who provided constant distraction to my mission to sit and write/edit.  It wasn't necessarily a bad thing.  They provided me with YA insights, current trends and plenty of eye-rolling.

I discovered that I write best tucked away in my quiet office, dogs sleeping on the rug behind me and birds outside my window providing the only distraction.  It amazes me that many famous authors pen great novels in the middle of a busy cafe.  They are surrounded by a swirl of inspiration but how do they quiet it to concentrate on the world they are creating? 

What's that other saying?  Variety is the spice of life. :)