Monday, December 31, 2007

Happiness is...

(Note to say: weird, this post disappeared for a while. It must have been when I tried to revise and hit the "draft" button...)

I'm a happy girl.

I'm managing to get some (few) words in despite being home, which is rare. Child is thrilled, and obsessed in a good way, with her new dolls. We're all going out to lunch in a little bit, and then we're going to stock the fridge.

AND I just got to use my Amazon gift card. Hooray!

I ordered:

STORY by Robert McKee. I've read bits before from the library, but I want my own copy.
DREAMS AND WISHES: ESSAYS ON WRITING FOR CHILDREN by Susan Cooper, one of my favorite authors evah.
PRETTIES by Scott Westerfeld
and last but not least, a fabulous new book by a forum friend of mine,


Friday, December 28, 2007


I made it to 22,000. Whew.

A few recs

Goal: 22,000 by end of today. It's a stretch, but I can do it.

I've seen a couple of wonderful indie movies lately that I have to recommend. Last night's was a total surprise--we ran across it idly on the rack, and brought it home based solely on Alan Rickman's participation. Loved it. Trust the Rickman.

1. CHALK. A mockumentary following several teachers in their first years on the job. HIGHLY recommended for anyone who's ever taught. Or, you know, gone to school. I giggled.

2. SNOW CAKE. Don't read about this don't want to ruin any surprises for yourself. Just rent it and watch it blind. Good, insightful flick.

We've been on a movie kick. We've also seen The Nanny Diaries, We Are Marshall, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, and many others I can't even think of right now. I lurve movies.

One more rec, for those of the book persuasion: I got GODS BEHAVING BADLY for Christmas. I haven't had much time to get very far yet, but I love it. One of the most original things I've seen in a while...and reminiscent of Douglas Adams. (high praise!)

Off to work!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Yay, 1000 words today! And a brand-new scene I'm happy with. Yay!

Oh, it was a good one

Usually, Child wakes me up with a gentle tapping on my back. Sometimes it incorporates into my dream, like the alarm buzzer, but she just keeps up the tapping, tap tap tap, until I respond.

Yesterday it was more of a thump thump thump.

"HE CAME!" she said, in a barely restrained whisper. I rolled over immediately, to find two big eyes, right there. "He CAME and you'd never believe it I've never seen so many presents IN MY LIFE!"

She bounced up and down, clutching her teddy bear, beaming.

"Really?" I whispered back, snapping out of grogginess pretty quick. "Did he eat the cookies?"

"YES! I looked, and there were only CRUMBS LEFT! And he drank all the milk except for THIS MUCH!" She scrunched her fingers together in a fist, showing me a teeny gap, and grinned. Bounce, bounce, bounce. "And I've never seen so many presents, and you have to come look, and there's a present on top that's shaped like a TURKEY! Come ON!"

There was no "okay in five minutes" yesterday. There was only a smile between me and hubby, and a quick throwing on of socks and such, and an even quicker push of the coffeemaker button.

And then it was Christmas.

The rest of the day was wonderful, filled with surprises and playing and phone calls and a lovely time with grandma and grandpa. But that...that was my favorite moment. That lasts me all year.

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

My house isn't clean and shiny and sparkly, but we've been spending all our time playing together, making crafts and fudge and wrapping presents. Listening to Christmas carols. Watching the Grinch, all snuggled up on the sofa. Ticking off the days on our advent calendar. There is nothing quite like having a 5-year-old at Christmastime. Everything is vibrant, thrilling, and magical. I adore it--Christmas has always been my favorite time of year, and this one is looking to be the best of all.

Merry Christmas, everybody. May you all have a wonderful New Year.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

One day

A day in the life...yesterday.

I wake thinking of snakes. I have to remember to add the snake idea into my WIP. Add in a brief mention in previous scene, longer bit in current scene, with explanation.

Realize that the water is boiling, Child is not fed yet, and I really have to put together that pasta salad for the potluck. Go do all this, dress child in fancy velvety Christmas dress with fur. Shower and clean myself up, check on husband, get everyone to sign cards for teachers, herd out the door.

Arrive at Child's Christmas program, chat with parents. Watch the rather surprising choice of a play about a child dying from the atom bomb attack, then Child ringing Christmas bells. Think idly about snakes. Wonder if I need to rework that last paragraph...something's not right there.

Abandon the hour-long line for a buffet of cocktail weenies, go out to lunch instead. After lunch, split off and go Christmas shopping (alone!). Puzzling over what happens next in the story, while driving under big lit-up bells hanging at the stoplights.

Go home, clean. Decide I need to definitely take out that last para about snakes...too telling. Don't get a chance though, because Child and hubby come home. Play.

Pack dinners, head out to basketball game. Stuff self with popcorn and candy.

Come home, rush Child to bed, zone on sofa with hubby and a movie. Go to bed at midnight. Fall asleep thinking about plot and boyfriend issues in the book, and snakes. :)

Thursday, December 20, 2007


YAY! It's snowing!!

Finally. I was getting so tired of looking at brown with spots of muddy ice.

If you're going to live in Montana, you should at least get a white Christmas...

A dirty secret

It's time to admit my addiction.

I tried to deny it, really I did. I tried to remove the temptation. I tried to pretend that if it wasn't right there, easily clickable, I wouldn't go look. I certainly wouldn't seek it out, right?

But oh yes, I do. I will click through three websites now to get there, daily. I snort and I giggle, and I spew coffee all over my monitor.

And in the name of facing up to it, I'm just going to add the link. No more being ashamed!

I'm a fug fan.

It's all A Novel Woman's fault.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


From The Onion today:

As a 30-something person who loved HP--not crazy love like some people, but I did order the thing in hardcover so I could read it before some fool told me what happened--I laughed out loud. I think maybe my husband wrote this piece, actually. :)

Looking back over my blog posts lately, _I'm_ bored. So here's the question all bloggers ask when they're tired of hearing themselves blah all over. What would you like more of? Giveaways would be good, right? What else? Craft? Gossip? Recipes?

I'm looking to inject a little life back over here, if the needle's not too big.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

work and yawning

In spite of excitement, Work continues. I added another 500 words to Ghost Girl, almost making it back up to where I was a week ago. I'm still convinced it's a Much Better book for it, though.

I'm also exhausted. In fact, I think I'm only vertical because of the 2 shots of espresso I had at 2 o'clock. Think they'll last until 9 or so?

Wait for it...

I. Have. News.

Which I can't tell you yet.

(Yes, I AM a tease, thankyouverymuch, but isn't that part of being a storyteller? Making your audience wait to know what happens?)

Just know that squee below? That's nothing compared to last night and this morning!!!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Ghost Girl progress today:

cut 1000 words (ouch)
added 500 hopefully better ones

so far...

It has to come out somewhere...


{chewing fingernails}

That is all, for now.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Christmassy update

Someday I may start blogging regularly again.

At the moment, I feel like I'm in a holding pattern--waiting for responses, waiting for work stuff, waiting for Christmas--so I never think there's enough to report. A few things, though:

  • I finished my finals! Wahoo, this term is over. I'm officially halfway through my Masters. (better start working on that thesis, huh?) I've also registered for next term. Advance warning: I'm going to be stressing about making movies next term instead of giving speeches.
  • I had a Major Revelation on Ghost Girl, and figured out all this stuff I had wrong for backstory (no, most of it isn't on the pages, but it needs to be right in my head). Major changes that affect character interaction, internals, etc. So I took a brief break in forward progress and am re-writing (loosely) the first bit. I like it MUCH better.
  • Our tree is up! Christmas shopping almost done, except a few stocking stuffers for my hubby and something for my mom. I think this weekend it might be time to do some baking.
  • Saturday, however, will be busy. Birthday party to escort Child to, then all of us are going to the Nutcracker, then out to dinner. Yay!!
Music: Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin yakking it up with "Marshmallow Cloud in the Winter" on a Pandora Christmas swing mix.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Morbid, but not so much

I'm thinking a lot about death today.

Cheerful, isn't it?

But perfectly reasonable, considering.

Evil Knievel died last week, and his appropriately over-the-top, jam-packed, star-studded funeral is taking place in about ten minutes, here in my little Montana town. He was born and raised here, and was proud of it. Though they acknowledge his bad points, people here are proud of him too. It's definitely more of a celebration than a solemn occasion--we went to see the red, white, and blue Evel memorial fireworks last night. {s}

In counterpoint, my next-door neighbor passed away unexpectedly this weekend. Hubby and I heard the sirens at a quarter to midnight and watched, shivering, from the window as he was wheeled out on a stretcher, a paramedic straddling him, pushing on his chest. As the ambulance sat in the driveway while they continued to work on him. As the mother and son stared, blankly, as the 14-year-old daughter cried quietly in the car. The ambulance eventually drove away, the cars following, but it was pretty clear what had happened. Hubby and I couldn't sleep, of course--we curled up together on the sofa and watched a late-night movie. Ever since I have been almost constantly aware of their sadness, but at the same time fiercely joyful and grateful for my own family, for being alive today. For having love.

I wrote out Christmas cards to my friends yesterday, and am hiding a little in my office today. I just want to be alone, to think at peace. (and I want to write, at lunch. More on that tomorrow)

Thursday, December 06, 2007



A good writing day--the stuff is sparse, but I was giving myself the shivers, which is always a good sign. Got 1000 words, to 30%.

I also had my first of two finals this morning, and it went really well. So yay yay triple yay.

Song on Pandora that's making me dance: Victim of Love, Erasure. I am such an 80s girl sometimes. {g}

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

A little change, a little stay the same

I'm here. Working on keeping my head in the new book instead of my email inbox, and making steady forward progress even if I must remind myself that this is in truth a shitty first draft.

I've been having a little trouble slipping into the skin of my MC...I get it for flashes, but mostly it's like she's not quite letting me in. I keep finding I was wrong about her--she doesn't like baseball at all (shame), she just likes to wear a Mariner's cap because her grandpa gave it to her. Oh, I say. Hmm. And must rewrite that bit. She dips in and out of being a photography buff (this I think is likely just me forgetting to keep that part in my mind).

And oddly, last night I realized I may have her name wrong. I heard a name on the radio, and suddenly something clicked in my brain and I thought, Ah. It's not X, it's Y. Maybe that's why you're fighting me, because I didn't even know you well enough to get your name right. We shall see. I'm trying out the new name today and see if I've got it this time. She seems much happier with it so far. (this last is the part where non-writers secretly think I'm insane)

I've also been reading Stephen King's ON WRITING, which has been recommended to me for years, rightly. Excellent. Most of the advice I've heard before, but it's always useful to be reminded, and in such an honest, no-bullshit, entertaining way. Actually that's probably the sum of his message, right there. Be honest. The story rules. Tell yourself the story on the first draft, tell it to others on revisions. Rock on, and keep at it. (I did meet Stephen King once, long ago at a wild Book Expo party, before he wrote this book. I was too overwhelmed to do anything but mumble.)

There's also a nice, completely true post by suricattus here about writing blahs.

Keep at it, fellow writers! Hope your holidays or pre-holidays are going well.