Thursday, June 09, 2005

If it were only that EASY....



Mood: perplexed
Music: Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius



So my kids like watching JIMMY NEUTRON. I've kinda been listening to an episode as I checked my email. A lake monster has been terrorizing...umm, the lake. Desperate to earn the $76 in the "Prove the monster's a fake" city fund so he can buy some new device that I can't pronounce (definately not spell), Jimmy and his best buds (Shane and Carl) head to the lake. Lo and behold, they discover that the lake monster is really a genetically mutated turtle. See, for the last few years, Jimmy's dad has been pouring Jimmy's lab chemicals into the lake. Thus the oversized turtle. Miraculously, Jimmy had a de-mutation pill with him. How convenient.

What would he have done if he didn't have the pill? Use his massive brain to figure somthing out? Worked together with his friends to take down the mutated turtle?

ANYTHING would have been better than conveniently having a de-mutation pill in his pocket.

Fiction novels where the conflict is solved so easily disgust me.

Grrrr.

I'll shut up so I don't offend anyone. :-)

Finally got my MOLLY judging packet today. A week and a half late...thanks to the United States Post Office. I have five historical entries. Let's just say the first one I've read probably won't get enough points from me to final. When I figure out how to nicely say "your writing is beautiful but boring," I'll explain why.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Dumbo Alert

Have you heard the story about the elephant and the stick? To train it from running off, when it's a baby, it's roped/chained to a stake in the ground. Eventually it learns it can only go so far. The trainer will then stop chaining/roping the elephant to the stake, but the elephant won't venture further than the learned distance.

See, I figured my baby was an elephant. When she started taking off her pajamas, I responded by safety pinning the zipper of the blanket sleeper. Low and behold, she was "stuck." In theory, she should automatically believe all her sleepers are safetly pinnned shut now that it's been almost a year of safety-pinning.

Unfortantely, my 2-yr-old daughter is smarter than the average elephant.

I woke up this morning to smell her. She'd smeared poop all over her bedding, crib, and body. Off to the tub I took her. Then I cleaned her bed while I listened to her chant "hands dirty, hands dirty." Occassionally, I'd look over my shoulder to see her adding toys to the tub.

She's now scrubbed clean. My hands and arms are now scrubbed clean. The bed is scrubbed clean. Yet the stench of poop still lingers on her, on me, on the bed.

Even once we've made amends for our hurtful words or wrong actions, the consequences linger. Most of the time they fade...like the stench smell on us and in the room.

But sometimes they never leave. Like the scars on my kitchen table from the kids doing their homework without something between their paper and the table or from playing playdough. Like the scar on my 5-yr-old's bottom lip from running in church and slipping on the marble tile and busting his lip open...only six months after busting it open on our family vacation at Nags Head, NC.

I have some lingering stench in my life over something I said. Usually it's from something I've said verses something I've done. Note to self: learn to shut up. The stench comes from offending someone, and sometimes I really feel bad about offending someone even though I'm 100% firm about what I said. On some things, I won't change my opinion. Because it's not just my opinion, it's a belief, a conviction. And I have too many non-politically correct convictions.

But I still think people can have opposing views yet still be friends. I'm not going to dislike someone just because s/he likes the Yankees and I can't stand the Yankees. Heck, I don't even like baseball. When I go to a game, I spend most of my time trying to guess who's on steroids and who isn't. Then I get to thinking about the affects of steroids and how it makes a guy's doinker shrivel...yi yi yi. Then I get sick at Commissioner Bud Selig. I digress.

I don't like erotica, romantica, or steamy novels. Mainly because they perpetuate the belief society has that romance novels are only about sex. Here I go offending someone again. But even though I don't like erotica, I can still be genuinely and sincerely happy for my fellow writers who achieve their publishing dream in whatever genre they write.

I AM genuinely and sincerely happy for my fellow writers who achieve their publishing dream in whatever genre they write.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

I'm such a coward

I am. My AT partial is ready, just needs to be printed and mailed. Yet I keep checking it for blunders and wondering if I'm doing the right thing. Yes my WIP is finished but only 2/3 the way polished. The last 1/3 needs more revision. Finalists aren't announced until August 15th so I have time to polish, plus I never have to send it hte full ms, only snippets for each of the 5 categories. Most of the entries are probably ones with contest expereinces. My entry flopped in a contest 14 months ago.

I'm worrying and I hate worrying.

*big sigh*

Once the baby wakes up from her nap, I'll load the kids into the Suburban and mail my entry. I know too many divas who will send vicious gifts to my house if I don't enter.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Too little time, too little blog

Can't blog much today. I have an American Title partial and syno that need a final polishing, plus I have to write a cover letter, which I assume is basically a query letter. Since I don't have a blurb written for my ms, I need to write one.

Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to writing I go...

Sunday, June 05, 2005

The High Life


“Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.”
~Will Shakespeare

Call me a wacky American, but I am thinking that sexy, goatee-wearing--and quite prolific--British bard was onto something.

What in the world does that have to do with me? you say. Well, it has a lot, I say. Okay, maybe just a little. See, in my diva-ish opinion, some are born great writers, some become great writers, and some have great writing demanded of them because they were loony enough to take AP English in high school. Where are you?

Me? I’m the last (yes, I got an A). Yet, my biggest literary achievement was winning the state competition in 8th grade for writing the astounding essay “What the Statue Liberty Means to Me.” The only give me liberty, give me death stakes surrounding my writing was the threat my mom made the night before the essay was due. Talk about stressful deadlines. Thirty minutes of scrawling and I earned a $50 saving bond. Oh, yeah, it pays to be a writer.

Were you born a great writer? Do gerunds and prepositional phrases ebb and flow off your fingers like Lance Armstrong on his bike? Are you a Martha Stewart of metaphors? Yes?

Yes!!! Oh, heck, quit reading and give me space...or liberty and death. Uggh, you make me Hulk green.

You weren’t born a great writer? Well, who cares? So you can’t tell the difference between a colon and a semi-colon; does it really matter anyway? Isn’t that what editors are for? (Note to self: Re-read Strunk and White’s Elements of Style by the end of the week.)

The fact is most writers aren’t born great writers. Since Ernest Hemingway and Flannery O’Connor aren’t our parents, it’s likely none of us have any “great expectations” being thrust upon us. We have no Write-Like-Dad/Mom standards to measure up to. And, best of all, none of us are attending Craft of Writing High School. Set your writing free! No rough drafts, not a single WIP is graded. You cannot flunk.

Most writers achieve greatness. They must learn to write.

Remember when you wrote your name for the first time? My 5-year old sometimes spells his name XOJE. (Actually, his J is backward and upside down.) Say with me JADAN. His name doesn’t quite sound like it is written because he’s still learning.

Published or unpublished, you are still learning. And to be published, you must master the fundamentals of writing. Read a new craft of writing book or re-read an old one. Go to a conference. Join a new critique group. Do something wild and crazy like write an article for the Romance Divas website. Push yourself to learn.

And enjoy the process.

Recognize that the first part of fundamentals is FUN. The second part is DA MENTALS, aka The Mind. Put your mind to work and enjoy the high life.