The Magic City

The Magic City

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Perpetually Thursday

I am not complaining, but it always feels like it is Thursday.  The beginning of the week if frenzied in terms of my day job, so there is no time for writing Monday - Wednesday.  Thursdays are when my life slows down a little - I don't have evening commitments and work tends to ease up a bit.  I starting getting psyched about writing on Thursdays, and try to put my energy to use Friday - Sunday.  I guess there are worse days that you could be perpetually stuck in!

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Calm Before the Storm

Listening to the news this morning, it sounds like I either need to get ready to visit some Munchkins or start building an Ark.  It's hard to believe with the beautiful blue sky overhead that thunderstorms of Biblical proportions are supposed to hit the area tomorrow (I also love that the majority of the weather coverage is focusing on the effects at the Talladega Motor Speedway - you have to have priorities, right?).

Tomorrow is the day I look forward to all month, though.  There is a writing club which meets in the morning at one local library, and my RWA chapter meets later in the day at another library.  This is usually the best day of the entire month.  I spend the entire day in libraries talking about writing.  And it looks like stinking rain, wind, hail and weather baddies are going to keep me at home.

So what am I doing during the calm before the storm?  Charging up the battery on my laptop (because you know I will  lose power tomorrow; I always lose power), printing everything I might need off of the internet today, and trying to find the silver lining by rejoicing that I will have nothing to do but write tomorrow. 

Oh yes, it is going to rain tomorrow.  Rain words!!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Planning to Plan

I woke up this morning determined to get things done.  I'm doing okay at the moment.  My stack of "work" papers is manageable and has dwindled to the point I am contemplating calling it a day so I can focus on writing. This is where I always get myself in trouble.

I look forward at the rest of the day and weekend savoring the hours I can fill with productive writing.  The delicious anticipation allows me to sneak a peek at Facebook or Twitter or my email, or heck, why not all of them?  I have the time.  That is how it always begins.

How does it end? Somewhere around 5:00 on Sunday when I've done very little and decide to throw in the towel for the weekend and plan to do better next week.  Trust me, you don't have to sing this song twice. I know the words.

Maybe I need a better plan.  I am contemplating making myself prepare a schedule for tomorrow and Sunday, posting the sucker everywhere I can see it, and giving my husband the ability to punish me by depriving me of my remote control rights if he finds that I am not sticking to the schedule. 

Then again, I did miss Vampire Diaries and V last night.  I could watch them on the internet and then put together my schedule.  After all, I do have time.  And so it begins . . .  

Friday, April 9, 2010

Treasure Hunts

There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates' loot on Treasure Island . . . and best of all, you can enjoy these riches every day.

-  Walt Disney 

Yesterday I received a box, a BIG box, from Amazon (ok, lets not go into any Amazon hate here.  I understand many people feel Amazon needs to call a whaaaambulance over the entire Macmillan kerfuffle. I hear you, and I understand. But I love my packages. I need my packages. There is no rush like seeing that box waiting at your door, but I digress). I’d had pretty crummy day, and I was sitting in bed with my head bent over my laptop feigning an attempt at writing.  God bless the saint to whom I am married.  He came in with a glass of wine in one hand and my box in the other.

“Sweetie, this should brighten your day,” he said as he handed me the box first.  He was right.  I needed my mail order booty.  My treasure would cheer me up.

Some ladies are addicted to buying shoes or purses.  Not me.  My addiction is books.  I get light-headed and giddy in a bookstore.  There is nothing that smells better than a bookstore.  The only reason that I enjoy Christmas shopping is that it gives me a legitimate excuse to lose hours, and I mean HOURS, in bookstores.  Couple that with the ease of online shopping (Amazon super-saver shipping and its simple challenge to put together an order of $25 or more is my downfall), and it is easy to understand why my fashion style is stuck in 1998, but I am up to date on the most recent paperback releases.

My reading choices are pretty eclectic.  I would love to sound all intellectual and rattle off a bunch of literary fiction I’d finished, but I can’t.  God would strike me dead with a bolt of lightening for attempting to tell such a whopper.  However, with the exception of the books reserved for the smarties of the world, I’ll read just about anything you put in front of me.  This always leads to the burning question - what should I read next? 

My favorite moment is when I find a new author.  I have several “go to” authors that I love, but in trying to fill the time in between releases, I get to go on a treasure hunt.  First, I will seek out books by authors I have met.

Meeting an author (and having the chance to get a book signed) is a huge thing for me.  I feel more tied to the story and root for the author’s success due to the personal connection.  I keep a list of authors I meet at signings and conventions so I can search for their treasures when I am book shopping.  This last Christmas, I put together of basket of books from authors I’d met for my mother-in-law.  She devoured them.  I overheard her telling the ladies in her bridge group, “Oh, you must read x.  Heather met the author, you know.”  There is something electrifying and contagious about that brush with fame!  

Word of mouth is invaluable.  I’ve yet to have a friend steer me wrong.  But this feels like cheating.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m going to read the book you suggested to me. I hop onto too many bandwagons to be left behind.  However, the egoist in me likes to be the one to find the diamond in the rough.

The internet is another great resource for finding that hidden treasure of a great book.  To this day, I am not sure how I came across Kimberly Frost’s website, but I am glad that I did.  I had not heard of her or her books, but her website was great and it drew me in.  A few clicks later, I’d ordered her debut book from Amazon.  A week later, after finishing the book, I was pre-ordering her second book.  I am now biting my nails waiting for her third book.  I’ve found several books I love by following links on my favorite authors’ websites to new worlds.

What treasure maps do you use to find your next read?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Seeing the Forest Despite the Trees

I'm lost in the woods. Seriously lost. I am at that point in the WIP that I have gotten in so deep in the story that I know where I need to go, but my path is obscured due to all the damn trees. I've laid out my clues, and know the backstory for all of my characters. The problem is, I may be losing sight of my story. I am trying so hard to tie up the threads I've started and make my characters motivations believable that the big picture is starting to look more like a Monet painting than a crisp, digital photograph. I need to find a way to see the forest despite the trees.  Help!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Words from Which to Draw Inspiration

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."

- Theodore Roosevelt