"Everybody has a secret world inside of them. All of the people of the world, I mean everybody. No matter how dull and boring they are on the outside, inside them they've all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds. Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands maybe" ~ Neil Gaiman (A Game of You)



We're reaching the home stretch with our move, and I'm panicking and freaking out (anyone who has moved knows this feeling!), so I thought I would sneak away from it all for a moment and blog just a tiny bit.

I miss my writing.  I miss escaping into a world with exciting people.  Don't get me wrong -- I love my friends and family tremendously!  But they aren't quite as wild and daring as the people I get to work with when my imagination gets going.  I miss plunging into a scene, having merely a vague idea of what is going to happen, and watching it develop under my fingertips.  I miss that feeling of sitting back and rereading what I've written and discovering with a bit of surprise that it's actually pretty good.

On a side note, I found that Evan Marshall, author of The Marshall Plan for Novel Writing, now has software available that guides you through the outlining process.  Has anyone tried it?  It's a bit expensive, but I'm seriously considering it.  Outlining is not my forte.

All right, that's probably all the time away from packing I can justify.  I do have an exciting contest I'm going to blog about next week.  But I'll keep you in suspense until then!


Enough Is Enough Already

I've discovered that not writing is much harder than writing.  I'm focusing my energy on my move, but my stories, all of them, keep dancing in my head, vying for attention.  My fingers itch.  And so, to calm the writer me, I have been reading books on the craft at night before bed.

Just last night, I was reading Orson Scott Card's Characters & Viewpoint.  In his chapter How to Raise Emotional Stakes, he talks about how slasher movies have raised the stakes so far that they've become laughable.  Today, I saw another example of going too far.

I caught the end of an episode of CSI.  I recognized that the writers were trying to raise the stakes -- one up themselves from previous episodes.  I realized how draining that must be with such a long-running series.  The outcome was truly laughable.  The forensics have now advanced to where they could get a voice recording from a clay vase, like a gramophone (really?).  Even the highly technical explanation couldn't shake the "no way" factor for me.  Also, the killer was a mother in an incestuous relationship with her mentally ill son who was having a homosexual relationship with another mental patient.  Again, really?

Sensationalism is no excuse for emotional resonance, the holy grail of good writing.  But, thanks, CSI for giving me a great illustration of Card's point.  It's not something I'm likely to forget.


On Hold

We are moving at the end of the month, which means that my energies need to be hyper-focused on getting packed and ready to go.

I'm looking forward to the feeling of change that always accompanies a new start.  I plan on throwing out a lot of the old to make room for lots of creative energy in our new home.

I am reluctantly putting my writing and blog off to the sidelines for the time being.  I wonder if it will drive me nuts.  Probably.

Wish me luck, and I'll be back in about a month!


The Magic Feather

Jackson woke to a hard shove against his shoulder.  Harris towered over him -- well, maybe not towered, but from Jackson's angle lying on the floor, the midget looked a lot taller than his 3 foot 6 height.  Harris grabbed his shoulder and shook him again, though Jackson noted it wasn't with as much strength as you would expect from someone wearing a strong man costume.  The thought made him chuckle, which he immediately regretted as pain shot through his temple with the movement.

"Man, are you OK?" Harris asked.

"Huh?" Jackson asked.  He looked down at himself, saw that his baggy pink pants were smudged with dust and his polka dot frilled shirt had a tear along the elbow.  He tried to sit up, and his muscles screamed at the effort.  It took a moment for him to get his bearings, then his eyes lit up and he grabbed Harris by the strap of his tank.

"I was flying, wasn't I?  I did it!"

Harris frowned and tried to pull back, but Jackson clung to him tighter.

"You must have hit your head pretty hard."

Jackson shook his head vehemently.

"No, no, I remember, I did it.  I flew.  Just like in the story."

He looked around and saw the fake burning building, the clowns dressed as firemen crowded behind Harris.  He pulled his hand up to his face, but it was empty.  He pushed Harris aside and began searching on the ground.

"I dropped it.  That must be why I fell.  I was doing just fine until I dropped it.  It's got to be around here somewhere."

Harris scratched his head.  He turned to the crowd of people behind him and shrugged.  He turned back to Jackson and tried to get him to sit back down.

"Now, now, why don't you just stay put until the ambulance gets here, all right?  The doctors are going to want to take a look at you."

Jackson waved him off and continued searching.  Something caught his eye, a hint of black on the dirt surface.  He reached for it and waved it triumphantly at Harris as a siren filled the air, growing louder with proximity.

"See?  Proof."  He held a black crow's feather in his hand.  The medical technicians came running towards him, and he showed his prize to them.  They eased him back to a sitting position and began examining him.  Jackson smiled at them and tucked his treasure into his pocket. 

"I'll need this for next time," he said as they led him to the ambulance.  "I just got to remember to not let go."


This week's prompt:  Your character wakes in a circus tent. They are wearing baggy pink pants and a polka dot frilled shirt. A midget in a strong man outfit is shaking them awake asking if they are alright.

To play along, visit Write Anything's [Fiction] Friday.



Happy New Year, everyone! Congratulations on surviving 2010, and may 2011 be filled with joy and the accomplishment of your hearts desires.

With that end in mind, I offer you my anti-resolutions:

1. I RESOLVE to NOT follow the latest fad diet in hopes of shaving a few pounds or twenty from my voluptuous thighs.  Eating nothing but raw foods for a month is a detox for my health, not a fad diet, and if I just happen to lose a few pounds while doing it...

2.  I RESOLVE to NOT run a marathon.  Or a 5K.  Or jog around the block.  Face it.  I probably won't even walk to the mailbox.

3.  I RESOLVE to NOT give up chocolateDuh.

4.  I RESOLVE to NOT assign arbitrarily selected word count and deadline goals to my writingExcluding the month of November.  Bah!  Go, go, NaNo!!!!!!

5.  I RESOLVE to NOT have an obsessively clean house.  A clean house is a sign of a disturbed mind... Nature abhors a vacuum -- and so do I... Our house is clean enough to be healthy and dirty enough to be happy... You know you've heard them all.

6.  I RESOLVE to NOT give up any bad habitsBecause I don't have any, do I, honey.  Um, honey?  HONEY?

I think that about covers it.  I am embracing the New Year with the expectation that good intentions coupled with passion will lead me to plenty of worthwhile accomplishments throughout the year.

What are your resolutions for the new year?


Today's prompt from Write Anything's [Fiction] Friday:  

What are your top 5 Anti-Resolutions for the coming year?

(Looks like I cheated again.  Six instead of five.  Tsk, tsk.)