Friday, February 26, 2010
So yesterday they made the first cut, from 10,000 to 2,000. (not sure there was actually 10,000. I know there was 5,000 in general lit. but not sure how many YA entries they actually received) I'm happy to say I made the cut.
That being said, it's hard to feel good about it. It's heartbreaking to see so many of my friends omitted from the list. I cried. I'm getting choked up right now thinking about it. And here's the deal, these cuts get us to the next round, but they don't mean much as far as writing goes. The next cut they will actually be judging us on our writing abilities, and that will be a difficult cut to take.
They've judged us on a one page pitch. Writing a pitch is not easy, in fact, it's downright difficult. And on the ABNA forum there was a whole thread devoted to people helping each other with their pitches.
So, here's the bad part. Some people got help with their pitch that helped them through to the next round. Some of these people may not be very good writers, but their pitch is awesome because of this said help. Hell, I had friends help me. I think my writing stands up for itself (this is my inner narcissist talking), but I'm sure some people's don't. I'm not saying that to be mean or bitchy, but out of 10,000 people, not all of them are going to be awesome writers.
AND, some people may be really shitty at writing a pitch, but are incredible writers. I know this for fact. I know these people, I've read their work and they're brilliant. Which means, hopefully, they won't need this contest and will make it on their own.
That's all. I've said my piece. Happy Friday everyone.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
This was the most important aspect of the contest for me. It was better than making the cut, better than the reviews, better than making the semi-finals.
I made some really great friends. Friends I consider lifelong. Some are local and I talk to them every once in awhile and we try to get together about once or twice a year. Others live all over the globe and I talk to them on facebook mostly. There are a handful that I became really close to. We talk by email nearly every day and I've even met a couple of them in person.
These friendships mean everything to me. I've never known any other writers, and it's nice to have someone to share your writing with, people you trust to critique your work. People to laugh with, commiserate with, to celebrate our successes and cry over our disappointments.
Of course, like with any friendship, we have our share of debates, fights, and drama, but I hope that these friendship can endure these tiny speed bumps, because like I said, they mean a lot and I would be lost without them.
(New York photos courtesy of Rick Kopstein)
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
The first ABNA started in October. I saw the forum that Amazon put in place for its contestants and said, "huh." Yep, that's pretty much it. I was not savvy where online forums were concerned, I had only participated in one other before, on a writing sight, and this was a whole 'nother ball of wax altogether.
I started lurking. There were definitely charismatic persona's one was drawn to. You found yourself following them from thread to thread, laughing your ass off by yourself in your computer room. I lurked until January, then I just jumped right in and acted as if I'd always been there.
The thing about the ABNA forum, is you can find just about anything there. There are 1,023 threads. There are threads about writing, of course, threads about books, threads about agents and publishers. But there are also the silly threads. These seem to be the ones that I'm drawn to. I get enough serious in real life. I tend to trust very few when it comes to advice on writing. So, I go there to goof off.
I'm a step ahead of myself, as that last statement isn't entirely true. The first year, I used the forum also as a way to promote myself and my entry. You see, back then, we thought our customer reviews counted for something (which they didn't unless you made the top ten).
So, I would trade reviews with people. I traded reviews with other YA writers, with others from the Pacific Northwest. I did as many reviews as I could that year, I think it was about 66 total. In return I received 94, which was always in the top ten of review totals. I thought I was a shoe in for the finals. But whatever.
So back to the forum. It's been, especially that first year, like a second home for me. I met some really wonderful people, got loads of useful information about writing and the publishing industry, and had a lot of laughs.
Some of my favorite threads (you on the forum will know what I'm talking about):
The Stupid Question thread
Will somebosy tell me what thisis about
The lovely girl thread
Need help stabilizing a graphene nonoribbon for an orbital structure!
And while the second year of ABNA the forum turned a little ugly. Bitter, hateful people spewing their toxic words all over the place turning many of us away, this year, is different. This year there are many new people, nice, smart, witty people. People with the same goals, the same problems, the same dreams. Some of the old faces of course are still there, some never having left. And the place is good again. Happy. Again, it feels like home.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
I guess what sparked my wanting to write about ABNA this week, was not only the fact that the first cuts are Thursday, but a Publishers Weekly article that I was interviewed for also came out this week.
In this article, the author, Doree Shafrir reminds us of another article in which the contestants were described as "writers at the bottom of the literary food chain". Without question, this comment pretty much offended everyone who has ever entered the contest.
Is that what we are? Tiny crustaceans being eaten alive by the publishing world? Maybe. But those at the bottom of the food chain don't have the ability to work their way out of their predicament. We do.
Take ABNA I for instance. Out of the top ten finalists, five were published. ABNA II all three finalists are being published. And wouldn't it be lovely this year if all six finalists find themselves with book deals?
Plus, four others from ABNA 2009 are being published through Amazon Encore.
The first ABNA I made the top 100. It was my first book. I had no idea what I was doing or how to do it. I got tons of good reviews, including my publisher's weekly reviews. This gave me the confidence to keep going. To write more. I wanted to put myself out there. I started making writing videos, doing book reviews, revising the things I've written. It made me plunge headfirst into this crazy writing industry.
Just because we're entering the contest does not automatically mean we are bad writers. Some of us may be, that much is true. But others have been ignored, passed over, and rejected not because we can't write, but because literary agents are swamped. Because they don't have time to read our work. Because most the time we are judged by a one page query. Which is too bad, because so many wonderful books will never be published, same as horrible books by well known authors will hit our shelves.
But bottom feeders? I think not. Take a look.
Bad Things Happen by Harry Dolan
Wet Nurse's Tale by Erica Eisdorfer
Butterflies of the Grand Canyon by Margaret Erhart
Casting Off by Nicole Dickson
Fresh Kills By Bill Loehfelm
Bill Warrington's Last Chance by James King
Greyhound By Steffan Piper
A Cruel Harvest by Paul Reid
Crossing By Andrew Fukuda
Pages from a Tennessee Journal by Francis Thomas Howard
Monday, February 22, 2010
I thought since the first cuts are made this Thursday that I would blog about this little known literary contest. Though some people have touted it the "American Idol" of the literary world, I wouldn't exactly equate it to that. Reviewers and Penguin Editors pick the finalists until the very end, and then Amazon customers get to vote on them.
This will be my third year entering. The first year I entered the first novel I ever wrote, Dena Powers: Superhero? I made the top hundred that year.
Last year I entered a new novel, Mending Fences. I made the pitch round and got ousted after that. Which I still think odd because I got two good reviews, one of my reviewers saying it was the best one they had read.
This year I entered Lockdown. The writing stands up in my opinion, but it may be the most risky of the three. I would have liked to enter Mending Fences again, but after some serious revisions, it didn't meet the word count requirements.
These are the reasons I worry about it. The subject matter. It's pretty dark. If I get a reviewer who doesn't like dark novels, I'm more than likely out. The action doesn't start right away, and if someone wants action, they may be put off.
That said, I think that I might have a shot this year, but you never know. It depends on who is reading your pitch, who's reading your excerpt, how they rate it compared to how other reviewers rate the ones they're reading. It's really a crap shoot.
That's all for today. More tomorrow.
Friday, February 19, 2010
I would like to start of by thanking the Angsty Writer for begging me to be a guest writer on her blog today. As the Angsty Husband I have been handed reigns of the Friday free for all and today we are going to explore constipation.
I am using constipation as a metaphor here not as its true form or lack thereof. I am talking about people who hold things in and get all bunged up until they become irritable, then walk around with disgruntled looks on their faces.
Why not relax? When people are feeding you a bunch of complicated meat that you have trouble processing, stop them immediately and tell them there are more fruitful ways of going about things in life instead of forcing things down other's throats. Dealing with it before you take it in and let it stew in your bowels is the best way to avoid this constipation.
You will be happier and spend less time sitting around all pent up over something you could avoid. :)
The Angsty Husband
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Shoot up a school.
Be a fucked up celebrity.
Be married to a fucked up politician.
Be president of the United States.
Write a couple of best sellers and then just churn out a bunch of crap to make a buck.
Yep. I'm not sure I'll be doing any of those things soon. I don't mean to sound bitter or jaded, but real literature, good literature gets passed up to make room for the crap listed above. (and yes I know it's not all crap, but I'm trying to make a point)
I know there are some Cinderella stories out there, but for most writers it takes years of hard work. I've seen it first hand. Hours and hours of pouring over edits and revisions. Endless querying to agents, which may be the most humiliating part of the business. And then what happens? Rejection. To take the time to get your query letter perfect just to have them scrawl back on it, not for me. We're not even worth the cost of a piece of paper.
Most the writers I know says it has taken them ten years to go from conception to publication. TEN YEARS!!!!
Yes, I'm ranting, I'm raving, but sometimes I get frustrated.
And what really bothers me is the non writers who think it's easy. It's not. It's like trying to become an A list actor, a professional athlete, or a rock star.
So what do I do? I keep working. I keep writing. I keep revising and editing. I keep querying. I keep learning and reading. And maybe one day it will be my turn.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Housework in general. I would love to love mopping, doing dishes, dusting, vacuuming, but alas, I don't.
Research. I'm sure this in some way would be beneficial to my writing. But, though I don't loathe research, I'm not a fan either.
Editing. Yep. The part of writing I don't like.
Vegetables. In general, I'm not a fan. If it's not a salad, I have to force myself to eat it. And even sometimes if it is a salad.
Exercise. I'd love to be smiling and happy while Jillian Michael's tells me I'm lazy. But I'm not. I'm gasping.
Why can't we innately be drawn to these types of things? Why do addictions always have to be things that either make you lazy, fat, or dead? It's got to be a joke right? The ultimate joke by the higher power?
Higher power: "Hey let's give them the ability to create all these amazing things that they will be drawn to, that taste good and make them feel great, and then make it toxic to them! HAHAHAHHA!"
We are not amused.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Do you have one? two? three? What are they?
I have my share. I was going to drop them all at once, but thought for the safety of my family, that was probably not the best idea. I get kind of grumpy when dropping my vices. Ended up, none were cast off.
And then I had a revelation this morning. Not so much a revelation as a slap in the face or maybe even a punch in the nose. One of them HAS to go.
There are certain things that take you over. They creep up silently like death. At first, it's just a tease. But quickly becomes part of you, possessing you like a demon.
And you wonder how you let it get this far out of control. You try and tame the beast, but it's hard. But you have to keep trying. If you don't, you know one day it will destroy you.
So, I'm trying again. It's all I can do.
But the coffee stays.
Monday, February 15, 2010
I'm not really a fan of the holiday. Just another reason to spend money you don't have. And I don't need chocolates (definitely don't need), flowers die, I'm perfectly happy with my cheap jewelry I buy from Target (if you want to feel important you pronounce that Tar-jay)And if you love someone, you should show them all year round.
I have certain rules. No gifts. No going out to dinner. It's simple, right?
I'm perfectly content making a nice dinner for my family, and hanging out and buying a new movie to watch, which is what we normally do. Oh, and I usually get Thing One and Thing Two a little candy or something.
A few days before V-day, the husband and I are shopping at Fred Meyer looking to spend our reward bucks on a movie. We grab Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist for the kids, decide to buy them a couple gifts, nothing big, an iPod cover, a flash drive, and a set of headphones for the computer to use with a Spanish and Italian program we have. I'm standing in line and my husband says, "Do you want an iPod?"
Um. Was it a trick question? "No. It's too much." (though I really really wanted one)
"Are you sure? I know you've been jealous of the girl's." We got the girls iPods for Christmas. Yes I was indeed jealous. I wanted one so bad I could taste it.
"No, it's fine. I was going to ask for one for my birthday." (Which is in two months)
"Do you want it now, or do you want to wait? We have the money now."
I'm weak. I caved. Of course I wanted it. And what was the point of waiting two months? I broke rule number one. We bought the iPod.
Then we went to a hardware store and bought the husband $20 worth of tools. Not really a fair exchange, but one he was perfectly content with.
The night before V-day, the kids want a sleepover. Six girls total including mine. We went to our indoor soccer game, fed them spaghetti, they overdosed on rootbeer floats, and we didn't really see them all night (though they could be heard. LOUDLY.) At 1:00 am, husband told them to go to sleep.
Woke up V-day morning and made them bacon and french toast. This is when we found out that most stayed up until about 4:00 am, a couple others until 6:00. (Again I ask why I do this?) Normally we find this out later when we read their Facebook pages and they've posted at 1:30, then 3:00, then 5:00. This time, they just offered the information. Parents all over town would hate us that day.
The husband and I once again went to Fred Meyer, we bought Zombieland and Boondock Saints.
Started cooking pork chops. Rusty's favorite, and which we don't eat ever. Have to cook them slow, at least three hours if not nore. I had bought rib eye for the occasion, but didn't check the date, so we had to eat that on Friday or else it would have been green and tasted and smelled funky.
Last sleepover guest left at 3:30 pm.
Cooked twice baked mashed potatoes, peas, and homemade bread. Made garlic butter.
Thing Two gets invited to another sleep over.
I'm supposed to (so I think) drop her off in 30 minutes. so, I get dinner on the table and we sit down to eat. Doorbell rings and it's Thing Two's friend there to pick her up. She grabs her bread and leaves the rest, which is fine as her dad had no problem polishing off his plate, then her plate, then going in for more (should that be than? I get confused). I was surprised he could even move after all that.
We sit down to watch Zombieland with some wine. Very funny. Thing One fell asleep though, as she had been one of those to stay up until 6:00 am.
Rusty and I both fall asleep during Boondock Saints. Me and Thing One end up in my bed, Rusty in the basement.
And that's how it went. Romantic, huh? How was yours?
Friday, February 12, 2010
For those of you who just started following, F³A is the Friday Free for All. Though this week has pretty much been a total free for all.
Now on with the ranting. Irritations, annoyances, and things people do to drive me insane.
I have come to the realization that my children are allergic to the dishwasher. I'm not sure what would happen if they were to actually touch it, maybe a breakout of hives the size of golf balls, or perhaps spontaneous combustion, but I'm sure it's bad, why else would they get as close as to put their dishes on the counter directly above it, but not open then door and place them inside. Perhaps there is a pill or ointment for that.
I'm a good mom. I let my kids have sleepovers. How do I get repayed? With attitude, back talk, and general grouchiness. Um, exactly why do I do this?
If I were to leave all the socks lying around the house that everyone takes off but does not put in the laundry room, I would have wall to wall socks. It would be much cheaper than buying carpeting.
Why is there always the one friend in the group that no one likes? Why are they there? Does anyone actually know where they come from?
I don't own pets. I'm allergic to pretty much every animal under the sun. So why do you think I want your dog in my house, running around, getting its hair all over my floor and furniture?
No I will not drive you to school because your hair is perfect. We live three blocks from school and I'm not even dressed. >:(
Um, just because I don't work outside the home does not mean I have all the time in the world to do things for you. I have a house to clean. I'm writing one book, querying another, and revising yet another. I'm blogging, I'm reading and doing book reviews. I'm grocery shopping. I'm exercising, and tending to my hygiene. And when I'm done with all my stuff for the day, I have approximately -5 hours to do your stuff. Get it?
Do not ask if your friend can come over in front of her. That is an automatic no. I've told you this a million times yet you keep doing it and then I'm the bad mom that never lets your friends come over.
I'm tired of taking out the garbage. I thought that's the ONE job that husbands are supposed to do.
Stop posting crap to my Facebook profile. I don't want to be hit with a pillow, I don't want your blingee postcard, I don't care if you said I'm hot or not. You muck up my page which mostly I use for my blogs and my writing.
Stop asking me to remember things for you. I barely remember my name most days.
No I didn't hear the car making that ticking noise. How can I tell you how long it's been going on if I didn't hear it? I do not pay attention to tiny noises, I'm not a mechanic, they all just sound like car noises to me. Plus, they are hard to hear when I'm blasting Nirvana or Green Day or Fall Out Boy anyway.
I think that's enough ranting for the day.
Movie of the Week: Couples Retreat (laughed my ass off)
Song of the Week: Mountain Man by the Crash Kings
Book of the Week: Dare to Be a Great Writer by Leonard Bishop
Quote of the Week: "Sometimes, I get so consumed by depression that it is hard to believe that the whole world doesn't stop and suffer with me." ~ Elizabeth Wurtzel
Thursday, February 11, 2010
I've really struggled with blogging this week, so once again I asked my kids for help and Thing One is reading a book about anorexia so she wanted me to write about why children are overweight.
But I'm not only going to write about obesity but also other food related issues.
The teens scare me. They are so obsessed with their weight. I try to be a good example for my girls, but I know I fail in some areas. I eat well, I exercise, but I like to drink wine. Now, I know what it takes to lose weight. I should cut down on the alcohol. I should exercise more than I do. And I should really lay off the Doritos. It is truly a lifestyle change. And though I'm not happy with my weight at the moment, a few years ago I weighed 170. Yep. I'll NEVER go there again.
What I get tired of are the people who constantly complain about their weight but don't do anything about it. They don't want to change their lifestyle, they want the quick fix. The fad diets, the South Beach, the Atkins, etc. Yes, you can lose weight. Yes, you will probably gain it back. You have to make real changes to make it stick. I've pretty much cut out most fat, sodium, I try to cut cholesterol, but I love chicken. I rarely eat "real" cheese, I get the fat free kind. I rarely eat sweets. I keep threatening to eat a bowl of ice-cream, but never do. I think the last time I did was probably about ten years ago.
But back to my kids. Thing One is tiny. I've worried she doesn't eat enough, but then I realized, she just eats well. We don't really keep cookies and chips in the house, but there are a few temptations here and there. But when she wants a snack, she usually grabs something of the fruit variety. Strawberries, a banana, her favorite is watermelon, so I try and keep that in the house when I can afford it.
Thing Two isn't fat though she fears she is. She however will make bad food choices. Cheese and crackers, ice cream. So, I have to guide her to the stuff that's better for her. I tell her she can take chips and things in her lunch (I buy 100 calorie bags) but after school and at night fruit or popcorn are the only choices she gets, with the occasional bowl of ice cream, I mean, you have to live a little, right?
The other thing about my girls, is they're active. Right now both are playing indoor soccer, and Thing Two is playing basketball both in school and out of school. In April they will both be playing indoor soccer and soccer for the school, and after that outdoor soccer season begins. So I don't worry about them getting enough exercise. And I don't let them watch TV. The only time we watch TV is at night as a family. We don't even have cable so they can't glue themselves to the Disney Channel or Nickelodeon. But so many kids these days are idle. Television, video games, computers.
And the parents don't give them healthy food choices. They keep sugary cereals, cookies, chips, soda in the house. And so many people are busy and tired they resort to fast food. I get the reasons why, but there are quick, healthy meals you can make too. We haven't eaten fast food outside of Subway for at least five years. I try and cook every night. And people wonder why American children are obese. Can you say supersize me?
Well I think I've ranted enough on the subject. What are your thoughts?
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Recently certain people in my real life decided I was a Facebook addict and did an intervention. (I'm only kind of kidding) I've decided to devise a 12 step program for myself (and anyone else in need) to help me through my addiction.
1. I admit I am powerless over Facebook—that my life has become unmanageable.
2. I believe that only I can restore my sanity with maybe the help of virtual friends, other online forums, anti-depressants, and vodka.
3. I made a decision to try to only post writing and blogs on Facebook when possible, but know that most the time I will fail and that's okay.
4. I made a searching and fearless internet inventory of myself and found that between ABNA, Facebook, Myspace, Blogspot, Email, and other online forums I spend about 25 hours a day on the web.
5. I am trying to convince myself that Facebook is evil and not a higher power.
6. I am ready to admit that I have an addictive personality and Facebook is just one of my many (many) addictions.
7. I shall remove myself from my computer at least a couple times a day and do things like shower, eat, and brush my teeth.
8. I made a list of all persons I have insulted or offended while on Facebook, and realized the list is way too long so instead of making amends I will just forgive myself for what I've done.
9. I realize that it may not be a good idea to flirt on Facebook, or any where on the internet especially when your husband has access to those sites.
10. Whenever I feel like spending time on Facebook I will do something else productive like feed my kids, or clean the pile of week old dirty dishes out of the sink, or wash some underwear.
11. I will try to improve my contact with tangible people, try to understand them, and know that they will annoy me, frustrate me, and drive me nuts, but hey, at least you can go to coffee or lunch with them.
12. Having had a cognitive awakening as the result of these steps, I will try to carry this message to other Facebook addicts, and to practice these principles in all my affairs, both real and virtual. Affairs meaning occurrences not, er, affairs.
Wish me luck.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Megan Bostic is a wife, mother of two girls, and a novelist. Her first novel, Dena Powers: Superhero?, was a Top 100 Semi-finalist in the first Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest and is the first in a contemplated series.
Her 2010 Young Adult entry, Lockdown, began when she received a text that her daughter's school was in full lockdown. Though her daughter's situation turned out fine, Megan was inspired to explore what might happen in a true emergency.
Megan thrives on the challenges presented by the world of writing and publishing, and has recorded her struggles in a humorous, yet personal video series, Chronicles of an Aspiring Writer, viewable at http://www.youtube.com/user/itlnbos.
She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, is a Vine Reviewer for Amazon.com and has her own book review blog, is a member of numerous online writing forums, and a notorious Facebook addict.
Now, if I were to write a REAL bio it would probably read more like this:
Megan is a mere girl trying to make it in the world. She has two kids that love her though she's pretty sure she could improve on her parenting skills. She kills plants and animals (fish really) and is surprised her children have made it this far. She tries really hard to be a good wife, but, eh, no one's perfect right? She's loved writing her entire life, but wrote her first novel after the death of her mother-in-law when she found herself grieving, without a job, and too much time on her hands.
Her first novel Dena Powers: Superhero? made the top 100 in the ABNA contest. When she opened it a couple weeks ago for the first time in at least a year, she said to herself, how the f*ck did this make it that far?
She wrote an awesome book last year that was well liked but had to be changed to conform to what the agents deem good enough. She has yet to get an agent.
This year's entry Lockdown was written after he daughter sent her a text one day stating that her school was in lockdown and they would not be getting out of school on time. This scared the shit out of her and she contemplated the meaning. What was going on? I hope she's safe. What should I be doing? Should I go to the school? It wasn't an emergency, but she wondered what it would be like if it were.
Megan is a complete narcissist and loves to be in the spotlight which is why she's started a video blog series titled Chronicles of an Aspriring Writer which can be found on youtube.
She's angsty, funny (in her own mind), loves sunshine, the color black, and is a total facebook addict though she's trying to find a 12 step program for that.
So, which one do you like better?
Monday, February 8, 2010
This room is supposed to be my Feng Shui room. My room uncluttered, bringing me peace and tranquility (I didn't use the actual idea of Feng Shui, just tried to keep it clean and not crazy making). Well, sometimes it is, and sometimes it isn't. It's hard to stay uncluttered with two kids a husband and a writer.
When husband is home, he sits at the desk on the desktop, I sit at the little table on my laptop. My laptop has become the official charger of the girls iPods so more often than not it has two long white appendages attached to it reminding me of something from the Matrix. Underneath my little table are two friend's manuscripts, yet to be read, and some months old magazines I don't know if I've read or not.
The desk is next to me, my coffee cup sits on it next to my credit card which was used to sign up for indoor soccer teams. The rest of the desk looks like a massive grave for sticky notes and USB cords. I have know idea what is written on all the paper strewn across it, nor what all the cords go to. Usually once a week I just recycle and put things in a cupboard until once again they pile up.
The printer is also piled with paper, these more important usually. My New World Order I have written up to get my kids to do their chores and homework. Bills, soccer fundraising papers, pay stubs, all sit awaiting filing, which I'm very bad at. I'm not a very organized person. I try, but usually it comes down to filingfail.
One wall is painted a teal green, the others white and are adorned with prints of an Asian variety, mostly because at one garage sale I had, my mother brought over a bunch of Asian stuff, as well as my sister, and I had some other Asian items which I will get to later. All these items combined gave me the idea of the Feng Shui room. They sat in boxes for at least a year until the room became actualized.
On the opposite wall from the desks is a futon. Underneath the futon lays (lies? who knows) a bag full of old manuscripts in need of editing. Manuscripts put aside for more manuscripts to be written.
And then there's my bookshelf. Books I've read, some I've not. Books I'm supposed to review. There's a shelf for mysteries. Mostly Harlan Coben. Dennis Lehane would be there too but it looks like all my Lehane books have disappeared. My dad's book also graces that shelf. Next to that is a shelf of poetry books, Dickinson, Whitman, compilations. Next are the classics, Uncle Tom's Cabin, To Kill a Mockingbird, Lord of the Flies, among others.
The next shelf is devoted to my husband's Koontz books. I've only read two or three of his books, but I think Rusty's read about twenty or more. I also have shelves devoted to Stephen King (except he has to share with Michael Chrichton, half my King books having disappeared), YA, Harry Potter, cookbooks, natural and herbal books, and a couple mish mash shelves.
There's a shelf dedicated to my friend's books, mostly people I've met through the ABNA contest, Bill Loehfelm, Harry Dolan, Erica Eisdorfer, Scotti Cohn, etc. (a place saved for my friend Gae's book which comes out Spring of next year)
Then there's a shelf of all the books I want to read, but haven't had the time for yet. It includes titles like The Road, Water for Elephants, Long Way Gone, Eat, Pray, Love, The Memory Keeper's Daughter and MANY others.
Among these books are things my father in law, who I never met, who died when my husband was only about three, sent to his wife from Korea, where he was stationed, where he died. One is a beautiful vase with images of what looks like perhaps Asian magi or something. Then I have three porcelain Buddha's sitting crosslegged, smiling at one another. On another shelf stands another porcelain figure, this one a kind of creepy asian guy holding a staff in one hand, some undetermined round thing in the other. He's got a huge forehead and a long fu manchu.
That's it, my Feng Shui, non Feng Shui writing room, which, now that I've got a laptop with a working battery, I hardly ever write in because it's too dark. Now I often find myself at the dining table. I place where I can open up the curtains and let the sun shine in on me.
What's your writing space like?
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Friday, February 5, 2010
Thursday, February 4, 2010
This may be a daily occurrence for you, but not for me. It's usually bustling with excitement, jokes, tears, advice, news. I could refresh my page every few minutes and there would be five or ten new messages. Not anymore. This was my choice.
In many ways it's depressing, and I miss it. In other ways, it's peaceful.
I've had to make some difficult decisions as of late. Decisions that will change my life for awhile, but will hopefully bring me to a place where my mind, body, and soul are once again working together in harmony. A place that doesn't keep me idle, break my heart, or shatter me completely.
I need to be productive, and healthy, and whole again. I want to be happy in life. So, if you don't "see" me at my usual haunts, this is why. I'm still here, not disappearing completely, I'll still be blogging, writing, checking my email, popping in on facebook every once in awhile, just toning it down a bit. This is me trying to get my sanity back.
Thanks for following, reading, being a friend.
I leave you with a poem.
I comb my hair
is neatly in place.
My teeth are brushed
up and down
up and down
Bright shiny pearls
Open wide, look inside
I paint on my eyelids,
like a doll
come down off the shelf.
I put on my sweater,
check myself out.
what do you think?
Are you pleased?
Do I fit into
Am I smiling enough?
Am I happy?
The answer’s no matter
Because what you see
Is not what I am
Catch you on the flip side.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Many of us might know this quote from Willy Wonka (loves me some Willy Wonka) but it originates from Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice. It poses a good question. Where is fancy bred? Now, by fancy, Shakespeare means love. So do we love with our emotions, or do we love with our head?
I think it depends on what kind of person you are, do you rationalize yourself into love, or do you throw yourself in?
There are those that think before they leap where love is concerned, weigh the pros and cons, do they have a job, a car , a house? Is there extra baggage involved, an ex, children? And only when they weigh these things out will they open their heart.
I happen to be an emotionally driven person. When I fall, I fall hard, without thinking, without stopping, without blinking, without even breathing. The love comes from your very core, your very soul, and drives you.
In many ways, I think the rationalizing of love may be easier in the long run, especially if the relationship were to end. You could throw all those cons you came up with before and rationalize your way out again.
However, if your feelings are in control, it's difficult. You feel pain, loss, regret, heartbreak, emotional death. I'm not saying those that fall in love using their head don't feel these things, I just don't think it's as intense.
Now, if you read on in The Merchant of Venice, it says that fancy is bred in the eyes, meaning, first we love the beauty before we love the person. I don't necessarily agree.
So where is fancy bred for you?
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Is it hypocritical to pray when you're not even sure you believe in god? If you don't practice any kind of organized religion? Would I be remembered?
Does he(or she) hear those of us that haven't prayed in so long we can't remember? Or do our prayers just dissipate as soon as they leave our lips? Or does he just let them go unanswered?
What if we truly believe in what we're praying for? Would that matter? Would it matter if who we're praying for believes?
I've been so moved by people's plights as of late that I've turned to the big man (woman?) in the sky. I mean, it's worth a shot, right?
That's all, just random thoughts.
Monday, February 1, 2010
I've decided maybe I should try out for the local roller derby team. Yes, I just watched Whip It, which I loved by the way, but there is so many positive attributes to roller derby, I think it's worth a shot.
It would feed my competitive nature. I love games and sports, and I hate to lose. But if you are losing, how satisfying would it be to knock your opponent to the ground? Only one answer, very.
And who doesn't love to skate. It's so freeing, akin to flying, with the wind sweeping through your hair and kissing your cheeks.
Roller derby would also be a way to work out some aggression. Knocking people against the rail, onto the floor, and them being willing participants, sounds like heaven.
I do however have a low tolerance for pain, but am pretty sure the benefits would outweigh the bruising. I'm a writer, we are masochists after all.
I think I'll go look up the number and practice my skating.
o o (that's a roller skate)