Friday, August 30, 2013

F³A: Road Trip Weekend

So I took a much needed road trip this weekend. Drove to the ocean last night. I love driving by myself. I crank the stereo (when the radio stations get fuzzy, I plug my iPod in), and sing at the top of my lungs.

Some of the favorites on my iPod right now are:

For now I'm by myself, but will be joined by friends later. Whenever I tell people, I'm going to the beach by myself, they always question it. As writers, I think we understand how important silence and solace is. I've not been able to write much lately. My work, my health, my kids, they've all taken precedence lately over my writing, which I hate, so this weekend I'm hoping to bust out some words.

I'm also looking to work on my future publication of Dissected. I have a website to set up, I have postcards I need to create to send to schools, libraries and bookstores. I also need to make new business cards. I've not yet bought my UPC code. I can do all that before getting my formatting back from Lori.

Are any of you on road trips this holiday weekend? If so, where are you off to?

I was also curious, many people have said Never Eighteen is one of their favorite road trip books. What are yours? To be honest, I've not read a lot of road trip books, though there are tons on my tbr list, like Paper Towns and An Abundance of Katherines by John Green, Nothing Special by Geoff Herbach, and The Year We Were Famous by Carole Estby Dagg.

Of course,The Stand by Stephen King is one of my favorite books of all time. The ultimate road trip to a battle to the death between good and evil. Then there is my friend, Gae Polisner's The Pull of Gravity , which is a lovely young adult novel about a boy trying to fulfill a promise to a sick friend.

I love writing me a good road trip book. Never Eighteen was a weekend trip around the South Sound. In the upcoming, Girl in Motion (I'll probably release it sometime next spring/summer) Chelsea "Cheesy" Reed drives from Mississippi to Texas to live with her estranged father after the death of her mother. In the WIP I'm working on now, working title, A Tattered Life, there will be a section where my main character Jaden drives from Georgia to Alabama in search of a girl he's sure is going to commit suicide after reading her journal.  I also had another in the works a few years ago titled, Finding Nirvana, in which a teenage girl travels cross country to find her dad.

Yes, love road trip stories.

If you're looking for road trip stories to read, here's a list on Goodreads, a post by the Nerdy Bookclub on their top ten YA road trip books,  and here is a list of more classic road trip books.

It's Friday, so we get the Scribbles.

iPod shuffle song: Red Hands by Walk Off the Earth

 Book of the Week: I'm back to reading Divergent . I took a break, just because I was so incredibly busy, then read a friend's book, Jenny Milchman's, Cover of Snow: A Novel , now I'm back to Divergent. Movie comes out soon. Need to finish.

Netflix of the Week: I started the last season of Breaking Bad. YES!

Quote of the Week: Oh my gosh, so many good quotes about traveling...I think I have to post a couple of my favorites.

 “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

 “Not all those who wander are lost.” – J. R. R. Tolkien

 “Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by.” – Robert Frost

Happy Friday, Happy Labor Day Weekend. Do the opposite, rest.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wednesday Writing: Revelation: The Divinity Chronicles Book One

 Let me set this scene up for you, or try, with some background into this book. This novel is a rewrite of the very first novel I wrote, Dena Powers: Superhero? for those of you familiar with that. I'm turning it into a post apocalyptic/dystopic society. After a civil war, most of those with super human powers (but not all) have taken over the US and claim to be gods, creating a Theocracy. There's now a caste system, and endogamy is against the law.

“Wouldn’t it be romantic though? The son of a Priestess and the daughter of an Infidel? Star crossed lovers like Romeo and Juliet?”
I turn to Mary just before entering the locker room. “Did you ever read Romeo and Juliet?”
She stares at me and says, “Well, no.”
Crossing my arms in front of me, I stare her down. “Did you at least see the movie?”
Her cheeks, still rosy from playing volleyball, grow even redder with shame. “I think I may have fallen asleep.” Exasperated, I shake my head. “Well it was before the war! Back then I found it boring! ”
I grab her by the shoulders and people start to push past us into the locker room. “They died,” I told her.
She looks down, pauses for a moment and says, “That’s not good.”
“No, it’s not.”
     Looking back up, she turns her head slowly to the left. I can’t help but turn my head in synchronicity. “But the way he looks at you, it’s like something from a fairy tale.”

My eyes once again stop at Ian Ketchum. His expression is hard to place. Pensive for sure. Maybe regretful? Aching? I’m sure I’ve looked at him the same way myself. He’s the first boy I noticed in this god-forsaken school, and not just because he has this wispy brown hair with blond highlights you can only see beneath the sun. And not because the families of the Priests and Priestess’ have eyes the color green you’d find only at the deepest point of the clearest lagoon. Definitely not because his smile is one you only see when someone is thinking about worlds beyond their own.

No, I noticed him because of who he is. Even though I don’t know him very well, I do know this, he’s not like the other disciples; he treats the Infidels without disdain or disgust, without judgment. He makes no snide comments nor pokes fun. He doesn’t spill his drinks on us, trip us in the hallway, or knock our books out of our arms. He treats us the way very few in the higher classes do, like humans. And right now he’s looking at me in a way that electrifies and terrifies me at the same time.

Our eyes connect and a small smile forms at the ends of his sweet lips. Realizing I’m smiling in return, I panic, stop quickly, and pray no one noticed. Bursting through the locker room door, I try to forget all about the hair and the sun, and the eyes and the lagoon, and the smile and the moment I had with Ian Ketchum.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Reported! Sensitivity and Social Media

I posted an image yesterday on Facebook that was reported as "graphic violence".  Here is the image:

Now, while I admit it's not in the best taste, and I even thought twice before posting it, it's a guy loading a gun, it doesn't show him gunning people down in the streets, people bleeding, whatever. I understand how someone could be offended by this, exactly why I thought twice about posting it, and I deleted it.

Let me say this: I am not an NRA card carrying member. I am a supporter of stiffer gun control laws. I don't own, nor do I ever have plans to own a firearm. I have in my circle of friends, acquaintances, family known of people who have:
  • accidentally shot themselves with a firearm causing their deaths
  • committed suicide by firearm
  • been shot
My daughter was in a lockdown at school because there was a kid with a gun walking around. That was one of the scariest days of my life.

I'm not a proponent, okay. That's my point. I don't know that guy in the picture. He's just some guy in a Monday Meme to me. He could be an actor, a cop, a hunter, some pyscho...I don't know. If there is something particular about him, the colors of this meme, or the design that has anything to do with anything violent (aside from the gun of course) I don't know about it.

I was looking at other "Monday-shit just got real" memes to compare this one to others.  Here's what I found...

 Here is a woman with a gun. I'm not sure I would have been reported for this because...

  1. She's a woman
  2. The background of the picture isn't as severe.

But she still has a gun and she still looks pissed.

Then you have Christine Baranski. I don't know what this is from, but I think strictly because it's an actress with a gun, probably makes it more palatable.

Sesame Street. Cookie Monster has an assault rifle. Is the implication that he's going to gun Mitt Romney down enough of a reason for this to get reported? I don't know. I saw this all over Facebook and laughed my ass off.

Kitty in a pot. Surely this would be offensive to animal lovers and PETA?!?

Yoda has a weapon. He has a light sabre. That shit can cut you in half. I bet no one reports Yoda.

Let's not forget John Goodman in the Big Lebowski.
And this.  Really, I have no words.

The reason I used the meme I did is because it specifically mentioned "Monday". That's all. If I had to do it all again, I probably wouldn't post it. Gun violence isn't funny. It's only funny in the movies and TV, right? And when zombies are coming after you.

My point is, to me, it was just a Monday meme. It wasn't meant to offend anyone. Like I said, I'm going to be one of the first to the polls when they come out with stiffer gun control laws. And this blog isn't a commentary on gun control. It's strictly a commentary on being reported for "graphic violence" when you post a picture of a guy with a gun on Facebook.

I'd love to hear your opinions on this.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Writing Wednesday: A Tattered Life

This is from my WIP, A Tattered Life. I wrote most of this section last night. First draft. Leave comments if you wish.

When I course up the driveway, gravel crackling beneath my over-sized tires, Mama glances up, only for a second, then gets right back to cleaning up the tornado debris from our yard. She’s pissed, I can tell. I put the truck in park and sit, conjuring up an excuse for being late.
She doesn’t speak to me as I pass her to put my backpack in the house, but I feel her eyes on me, boring a hole straight to my soul. I toss my coat on the couch, run into my room, throw on some shorts, grab a garbage bag and my gloves from the morning, which are right where I left them by the front door.
I run to Mama, grab her by the shoulders and kiss her cheek. “Sorry I’m late, I got detention.”
Her head whips up at me. “Again? What for this time?”
“I towel whipped Duncan Price’s bare ass in the locker room.”
She stares at me for a moment in a state of disbelief, but that usually doesn’t last long, because nothing I do ever surprises her anymore, so I can pretty much tell her anything to get out of trouble. Funny, I’m making up getting in trouble to get out of trouble.
“Very well, but you better leave that boy alone. He could be your boss someday.”
I start picking up garbage. “Mama, are you kidding me? I’m going pro. Duncan may be lots of people’s bosses someday, but he ain’t gonna me mine.”
She stoops over to join me in the garbage collecting. “If you’re going pro you better keep those grades up, make sure you don’t get injured, and stop towel whipping boys in the locker room.”
“Yes Ma’am.”
We work in silence. I don’t dare stop working until Mama gives me a sign that we’re done.
“You hungry?”
She hands me her bag of garbage, then pulls her gloves off and puts them in my bag. Stretching her spine out, hands on the small of her back, she says, “You take care of those, I’ll start supper.”

I do as she tells me, then go clean up. “Start your homework, Jaden!” Mama calls from the kitchen. A breeze comes through, carrying a trace of fried chicken with it. That meant mashed potatoes or home fries too, and I smell garlic, which Mama always adds to her mashed potatoes. Don’t know if she picked that up in Italy or what, but made them damn good. I hope she doesn’t make brussel sprouts. No matter how big a fit I threw, Mama always made me eat them. Still tells me they’ll make me grow big and strong. I’m 6’2 and 210. How much more big and strong do I need to be?
I grab my backpack, fully intending to do as Mama says and start my homework, but I’m distracted by the crazy chick’s notebook staring at me as soon as I unzip it. I pull it out, lay on my bed, and turn to the next entry.

My Dad. He's awesome.

John Messina, Personal Injury Attorney

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