Archive for February, 2006

Saturday, February 18th, 2006
Father-in-Law’s B-day and a new TV

Today is my father-in-law’s birthday. He’s a spry 71. We are sending all our love and best wishes across the pond to Scotland. May he celebrate many, many, many more. We miss you, dad.

Tonight we’re going out with friends to a restaurant that is fast becoming our favorite. It has amazing steaks and terrific salads. Yum! I can’t wait.

Yesterday, dh and I went out to look at flat screen televisions. We’ve been pricing these things for at least three years. (We don’t move fast.) For those new to my blog, we are HUGE movie fans. We like to go the theater and we have a ton of DVD’s.

Anyway, we’ve had our eye on a 50 inch flat panel. We wanted to experience movie-like viewing at home. So we take our 10% off coupon to Best Buy and start browsing. The TV’s are all lined up side by side for easy comparison. The longer we stared at our 50 inch screen, the more concerned we got over picture quality. Everytime something darted across screen or the color became too vivid, the picture seemed to break into chunky squares. It didn’t seem to happen on the 42 inch.

Now, let me say right away that I’m a size girl. The bigger the better. (wg) That said, I couldn’t justify paying five hundred dollars more for less quality…even if that meant I had to give up eight inches of screen. Sob. So our new 42 inch flat panel will be delivered on Wednesday. Yah! I will have Pirates of the Caribbean and LOTR waiting. *g*

Friday, February 17th, 2006
Phobias and Fears

The other day I went to Jaid’s blog for a visit. She talked about seeing an acupuncturist and how much it’s helped her. I’ve had friends who’ve had wonderful success with acupuncture and I truly believe there’s something to Chinese medicine. That said, I’m REALLY not good with needles.

Why am I bringing this up? Because I think it’s interesting. (wg) In a writing class I took in California a long time ago, my instructor had us do an exercise where we had to write down all our fears. (Talk about scary.) You were supposed to create a list, and then try to incorporate some of them into a story you were writing. We also did a similar exercise with ten random words. (The latter turned out a pretty interesting story.)

Anyway, I came up with my list, but I have to say that other than that exercise, those particular fears/phobias have never made it into one of my stories. Actually, I take that back. I do have an unpublished piece that addresses fear of heights.

Looking back, I think the point of the exercise was to get your creative juices flowing. So it got me thinking, have any of you been taught something similar? If so, what? Did it help kick start your creative mind? Or did you find it disturbing? If you’ve never heard of this particular exercise, why don’t you try it and let us know what happens. 🙂

Thursday, February 16th, 2006
I’m Late to the Party

Sorry I haven’t checked in until now. It’s been a strangely busy day. I managed to finish the edits, so the novella is good to go. Yah!!! Right now I’m waiting for my dh to return. He’s been in Washington at the Microsoft compound since Sunday. I’m looking so forward to seeing him.

I’ve been thinking about friends today and how big a part they play in our lives. I only have a few close friends in the writing business, but the ones I do have, I wouldn’t trade for gold. I hope you’re lucky enough to find your own posses. They’re indispensable when the slings and arrows start flying. 😉

Wednesday, February 15th, 2006
Sucking Eggs on the Uber-Challenge

I joined Jo’s Uber-Challenge in Jan. with the best of intentions. My plan was to work on layering in description. For those of you familiar with my blog, you know that I hate writing AND reading description. *g*

So far it’s Feb., and I haven’t managed to read a thing on description. What have I been doing? Other than submitting a full and a partial, I’ve been reworking the same short story over and over and over again. I’m now on the final read through and I mean FINAL. I plan to send it to my agent tomorrow. I hope this isn’t an indication of how the year is going to go. ;-P

Tuesday, February 14th, 2006
Tokens of Love

Today is Valentine’s Day. Cupids come out to frolic. Love is in the air…or is that smog? I can never tell the difference. *g*

When I was in high school, I spent many a restless night wondering if I’d receive a gift on Valentine’s Day. It only happened once…in my senior year.

I remember feeling so left out as the girls with steady boyfriends paraded their boxes of chocolate and bouquets of roses down the halls. If you were lucky, they shared a piece of chocolate, but that rarely happened. The ‘Valentine’s parade’ was a not so subtle reminder for those of us in the unattached camp that we were somehow lacking. And sadly, we believed them. I cannot tell you how much emphasis I used to put on this day.

Sometime in my twenties that all changed. I had a steady boyfriend, who did all the typical Valentine’s Day displays of affection. I realized he did this because it was expected, NOT because he wanted to. I’m not saying he didn’t care about me. He did. But it always struck me that he considered Valentine’s the one day he could do something romantic, so that he didn’t have to bother the rest of the year. It was as if that one day made up for the other 364. That’s when I realized that Valentine’s Day didn’t hold the punch it used to with me.

Now I admit that I’m lucky. My dh is a very romantic man. He doesn’t save the romance for one day a year. Instead, he surprises me. His gifts are always thoughtful. Sometimes it scares me how well he knows me. I realize that not everyone is so fortunate, but I hope that whoever’s in your life, lets you know that they appreciate you more than once a year.

Sunday, February 12th, 2006
Demons…and other interesting topics you read about on the road to research.

I’m looking for a demon. Make that two. No, I don’t want to ‘meet’ one. Not unless me and Scooby can pull their mask off in the end and discover Mr. Wiggins. *g*

Why demons? Well, why not? They happen to play a large part in the story I’m currently writing. While perusing my bookshelf, I noticed that I only have one book on the subject. It’s called ‘A Field Guide to Demons’ by Carol and Dinah Mack. How can this be, when I have twelve books on vampires and werewolves? We won’t even get into the books on aliens, cryptozoology, ghosts, curses, folklore, paranormal phenomena, superstition, and fortune telling. And that’s just the paranormal sections. *ggg* I can imagine what someone, who doesn’t know what I do for a living, would think if they casually browsed my bookcases. LOL!

What strange research books are on your shelves?

Saturday, February 11th, 2006
Book Help

I’m doing a flyby because I am out of deep thoughts. I’m sure several of you are breathing a sigh of relief with that confession. *ggg*

Yesterday, I was surfing Amazon for books on ‘showing vs telling’. Needless to say, I couldn’t find anything. I did find a couple of books that caught my interest though. Has anyone read ‘Plot and Structure’ by James Scott Bell or ‘Description’ by Monica Wood? If you have, what did you think about the books? I’m thinking about getting them, but I’d like to hear a few personal opinions first. I wasn’t looking for books on plotting, but the reviews for Bell’s book caught my attention. As for Wood’s book, I need all the help I can get with description, but the reviews are mixed. Some say it’s too literary to be of any use, while others say it helped them tremendously. Oh, and if you know of any ‘show vs. tell’ books, I’d love to hear about them too. Any help you all can give me would be greatly appreciated. 🙂