Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Speeding in December

When is getting pulled for speeding a good thing? Especially on a day when you are already late for work? For a meeting? Until this morning I would have said never. Not in a million years. After all, I have a history of getting speeding tickets in December. Usually in Georgia. On Christmas Eve.

I would have been wrong.

Getting pulled over for speeding is just fine when the police office in question is a mid-twenties muscle man who could moonlight as a male model. Who was then sweet enough to flash a killer smile and let me go with a warning to slow down and a wish for a happy holiday.

Yes, I was still late for the meeting. But I really didn't care. It set the tone for the entire day. It proved to me that even scary/upsetting/annoying things can end up just fine.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

You are what you write?

I haven't written anything new for the past week. Not one word. Last weekend, I wrote almost 6000 words in a single sitting. I don't know about REAL authors, but for me, that is a lot. Most of it was one nasty scene, a violent confrontation between my main character and my villain, her rescue, and the aftermath. The entire thing, even the first part, has strong sexual overtones. I think it is the best thing I have ever written. But the content – well, it freaks me out a little. How could my brain produce THAT?

I've tried every day since then to clean it up. Not just the normal editing, but make it cleaner, less explicit. Maybe even have the hero follow the laws of romance novels, and arrive just before the bad stuff happens. It isn't working. The more I fiddle with it, the darker it gets, and if I take the bad parts out, it feels false, wrong.

I read scary and disturbing things all the time. I have never thought of Laurell K Hamilton or Anne Rice or Stephen King as twisted people, even though some of the things they write certainly are. So why does this sort of thing coming out of MY head make me wonder if I really want to put my words out there for anyone to read?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Pondering Fireworks

OK, I'm stumped. The neighbors are shooting off fireworks – the big, barely legal sort. No particular color theme – so far I've seen gold, and green, and red.

Birthday? Anniversary? Some important football game? It isn't UCF's homecoming until November.

Columbus Day?


Whatever. I'm going to go watch the show.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Piglet sounds like Dobby?

I have nothing meaningful to say, other than while I love Jim Dale, and have spent many many hours listening to him, Pooh will always sound like Sterling Holloway to me.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Words that aren’t in Word’s spell checker

I had a little time this morning, and decided to work on the book. I don't usually work on the book in the mornings. I accepted years ago that I am not a morning person, and the things I do early generally need to be - checked. The words were flowing, but the fingers weren't quite up to the task, with a typo every third word or so. I started going back and fixing this – spell check is my friend – when I came to the word asshold. Now, Word knew that wasn't right, but its only suggestions were 'as hold' and 'scold'. It isn't a polite word, but it is a word and if fits my main character in the moment, so I'm using it, and my $400 copy of Word should help me spell it right, right?

Wrong. It won't help me spell asshole or several of the more obvious words I tried. I'm sure most people already knew this, but I don't generally type these words at work, and I guess I've managed to spell them in the book up to now. It knows when it's spelled correctly, but won't correct it if it's wrong. So I went to the internet.* I found a list of words that Word's spell checker doesn't look for here. And added most of them. Sheesh.

*And yes, I realize that this has turned into a way to putz on the internet and not work on the book, but whatever. Oh, and it doesn't know putz either.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Oracle and NaNoWriMo don’t mix

I have learned a lesson today. It is virtually impossible to write coherent fiction at 4:30 in the morning while waiting for an Oracle DBA to call back about a database that shut itself down at absolutely the wrong time.

I did attend the writer's group meeting last week and I think the jury's still out on that one. I'll go to another just to make sure, but… I felt like a third grader suddenly dropped into a college course, like I had no business being there. I did get one good idea out of it. Every November, there is a contest called NaNoWriMo. It's really more of a challenge than a contest. Write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November. I think I might try it, writing out what I've been creatively calling book 4.

One of the people at the meeting said he was planning his own personal nanowrimo during October. I think that's a great idea, and decided to try it – on the current book. It breaks down to 1613 words every day. With a two day late start, I am 3877 words behind.

So I need to get busy – to get caught up. But not at 4:30AM.


Book WC: 28064

Hive WC: unchanged

Friday, September 18, 2009


‘Write the book.’

This is actually a quote from Twilight-Boy, AKA Robert Pattinson. Thankfully, Liz is apparently over her Twilight obsession and isn’t Team-Anything at the moment, so she hasn’t been playing endless Twilight clips on YouTube. But I like the quote, and hear it in his British accent whenever I am …not writing the book.

I have been reading blogs about writing. About publishing. About agents and books and authors and marketing and web pages and….you get the idea. During this same period, I have only added about 4000 words to the book. Part of that is the rewriting of chapters 2 &3, trying to keep my lead character in character, since him having multiple personality disorder really isn’t part of the plot. Some of the reading has been helpful, allowing me to see that those chapters needed work. But more, I think it has been about delaying, stalling.

You see, if the book isn’t done I don’t have to show it to anyone. And I am terrified of letting anyone read what I’ve been writing. I’ve tried to explain this to Jeanne – to find a good analogy for what this fear feels like. The only thing I can come up with is running down the median – on I-4 – naked. During rush hour.

I need to write the damn book. Without that, all of the reading about agents and publishers and all that other dreck has just been wasted time.

So, I’ve decided. Next week I’m going to go to a local writer’s critique group meeting. I’ll see if it’s any easier to let total strangers read what I’ve written. If that doesn’t work out, there’s always I-4.

Book WC: 22,481

Hive WC: 1128

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day in Oviedo

My neighbors like fireworks. I mean they REALLY like fireworks. We have lived here for more than ten years. I know this. But it is like shuttle landings – I know when they are going to happen. I set up meeting reminders for launches and landings. But the sonic booms that shake the entire house scare the shit out of me - Every. Single. Time. I should understand the way fireworks work around here by now. But apparently I don't.


It goes like this:

New Years – Can't see the car for the smoke. Check, check, check.

Valentine's Day – Check.

St Patrick's Day - Green ones. (Hey – wait a minute. They are from Puerto Rico….. St Patrick's???) Check.

Memorial Day – Ah, mostly white and the really loud ones. Check.

July 4th – OMG, I didn't know those were LEGAL for home use…..Check, check, check, check…..

Hmmm – maybe there is a pattern here?

Today is Labor Day. I know this. I had to work, the stores closed early, I've known this ALL DAY. So, when loud squeals began to fill the air a little while ago did I open the front door and wave to my neighbors? Drag a chair out onto the driveway to watch the show? NO. I frantically searched the house, trying to find the cat who was stuck, in pain, or otherwise disturbed. Lily was on the bed beside me, ears rotating like little radar units, but OK. Kasey, Bu, Buddy – all fine. It took a while to find Wocket, but she was in the front window, also fine, watching….the neighbor's fireworks. Red ones. Check.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sher is a slut?

19,617 words

Sher is a slut?

Ummm – what?

We were leaving the Chinese buffet* on Saturday afternoon. While we were waiting for the light to change, I looked over and noticed graffiti on a large power transformer box. And on the side of the Denny’s. And the bus stop. Identical graffiti. Hmmm. It was obviously stenciled, not just sprayed on. The stencil marks were visible around the edges.

OK. So. My mind, so recently turned to words and stories and possibilities, was off. Is Sher a Slut? Is she having a feud with some other girl? Is it a band? Or some student film from the nearby Full Sail? The stencil made me think band. But – Denny’s? As if they wouldn’t notice? I don’t know the answer. But I DO feel a short story forming, about Sher, and what she did….

* And yes, I do know (now) that that particular Chinese restaurant makes the top-10 worst health violators of all the time list. But we already ate there, so, let’s just let that one go, OK?