Monday, April 25, 2011

In Which My Son Thinks I am an Idiot

My son is super literal. To the point that over the years, therapists have wondered (and then discarded) the idea that he might be on the autism spectrum. Anyway, sometimes he's serious about his super literal answers (and gets upset when misunderstandings or frustration ensues). Other times he's deliberately being funny. Here's an example from yesterday:

Me: "Who made the hard boiled eggs? You or grandma?"
Michael: "Does it matter?"
Me: "No, I just wanted to know who made the eggs."
Him: "The chicken made the eggs."

If we had such things as a Fair Witness*  in this world,  Michael wouldn't need much training at all.

*Robert Heinlein's "Stranger in a Strange Land". The main character is a Martian named (interestingly enough) Michael.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

In Which I Lure People

A few months ago, I finally lured my husband into getting a Kindle. He'd always despised them as "soulless" but he was going to Texas for a few days and needed to take several new books with him. The Kindle is nothing if not a perfect travel solution for carrying many books. He was hooked and now reads both real books and Kindles books, but finds the Kindle (with its adjustable font) to be easier on his eyes. Win!

This weekend, I tried to talk him into getting a Droid. He got this close to getting one, but decided against it. Lose. (But only of round one. I will get him into a smart phone one of these days, then it will be a Win!)

As someone who started out blogging over at LiveJournal and then (after many years) switched to Blogger, I've been an advocate for Blogger for some time (except for their lack of threaded comments). My friend BuildingALife (over at LJ) has finally come to the darkside Blogger and start a new blog for the new phase in her life. Please welcome ICountWords to the blogger verse! (Not really a Win, since I wasn't trying to get her to switch, but we'll pretend it's a Win, because it's more fun that way :)

Monday, April 18, 2011

In Which I am Back From The Dead

No, I'm not a zombie, though the side effects from the meds I got probably made me resemble one. But, as with most things, those side effects have diminished and I'm actually able to stay awake for 12 hours at a time :)

Randy is also doing better. The antibiotics took a while to knock his tooth infection back, but they're finally getting results.

I have not been writing. I'm sort of letting the Monster of Dewsberry Drink story brew. It needs some more plot points, more depth, before I start writing. (I learned during Troll Wife that adding those extra layers in after writing the basic story make editing a bit a terrible experience.)

I thought long and hard before posting this next part, but decided to do it anyway.

My ex husband is having his funeral on May 2nd. That may have something to do with my lack of writing, too. Michael picked out his funeral clothes while we were at Target on Sat. Black pants, a black shirt with a woven black stripe, a grey vest and a purple tie. I think his dad would have approved :) I have yet to get my funeral clothes.

On the off chance that you know Michael or me personally, or knew Bernie, please consider yourself invited to the funeral. Email me for time and location.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

In Which My Husband is Drugged

Randy came home today with an impressive number of painkillers and antibiotics and an appointment for a dental operation on Saturday.

After taking the painkillers, he was lying on the couch watching Glee, and said, "Today, when I was in the...waiting place for the...mouth doctor...I forgot what happened."

He's still in pain, he just doesn't remember it for very long.

On Tuesday, my doctor gave me meds that will make me sleepy and stupid for a few days. She was right, they did and they do.

We are a fun couple right now.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

In Which You Vote

Right now there is a Movie March Madness Vote on. (Thanks to Really? I'm Blogging? for the heads up.) The field has been narrowed down to the final two.

Go vote for the best Science Fiction movie of all time. Empire Strikes Back or Serenity.

In Which I Talk About Stubbornness

My family is very stubborn. At my son's schools, over the years, they mention that he's stubborn (and they say that like it's a bad thing!). I get it from my mom's side of the family. When my mom and my son get stuck on either sides of a stubborn issue, it's like watching an evenly matched sumo wrestling team. There is no movement at all.

(I'm not as stubborn as they are. What? Why are you looking at me like that? It's true! Just ask my husband! Oh wait, better not ask him. Find someone that doesn't know me very well.)

Eventually, my mom will win the stubborn contest. Usually. But that's because she's older and has more experience. My son will start winning more when he gets older. But no one in my family will ever beat my great-grandmother. On my mom's side, natch.

My great-grandma was 90 years old (in great health, just old) and living with her son. He had to go to San Diego for some cancer treatments and grandma didn't want to go.

"Well, then you'll have to stay with Brother while we're gone."
"No, I'll just stay here."
"Mom, you're 90 years old! You can't stay here by yourself while we're gone for days. How about you come to San Diego with us?"
"No. I'm not going to San Diego and I'm not staying with Brother."
"Well, we're not leaving you here alone. You'll have to come to San Diego with us."
"I am NOT going to San Diego."
"Oh yes you are."
"I would rather die than go to San Diego"
(Personal interjection here. I like San Diego. I can't imagine why she didn't want to go.)

Three days later she was dead. "Natural causes" the doctor said, but everyone knew it was pure stubbornness.

Monday, April 4, 2011

In Which I Talk About Dark Nights of the Soul

One of the writing rules (and remember, they're not rules, they're price tags) is that at some point in your book (usually midway or 2/3 of the way) your character will have a "Dark Night of the Soul". All is lost. Everything is hopeless. Why go on?

As writers, I think we can write this and write this well because so many of us have that feeling about our writing. Who knows what causes it. Maybe a single crow* flew by and you didn't greet it? Maybe you got a harsh reception to your work? Maybe it was just a bad day.

Whatever the cause, you decide to give up writing. You might even give it up for a whole day (week/month/year). But you'll be back, because published or not, you're a writer. You write. It's what you do. And you know what makes the Dark Night of the Soul go away? Same thing as for your character. You take action and move forward anyway. No matter how hopeless it seems, or how outnumbered you are, you keep on moving forward.

And you know what? It gets better. I promise.

*Crow rhymes are fun.

In Which I Share a Link To Survival Tips

A few weeks ago, in an effort to be more authentic, I spent a lot of time writing a post about depression and how writing has helped me survive. Just as I went to publish it, the internet ate it. When that happens, I take it as a sign that I need to use the 24 hour rule* before posting. If I still feel the need after 24 hours, then I go for it.

Now I know why I didn't need to post it. Because Fran Dorf said it better than I ever will. Writing for Survival.

*24 hours is subjective and can actually end up being 24 days.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

In Which I Find Wisdom

While hopping back and forth between blogs and Twitter, I found a tweet to this great blog post. (From @Lydia_Sharp) Please check out the post "The Type of Author I Want To Be". Great stuff!

In Which I Am Thankful

I just wanted to thank everyone that helped me polish my twitter pitch, especially Bethany (who pointed out I didn't need to waste characters on the word "female"), Girl Friday (who did the heavy lifting of removing extra words and capturing the alienation that my troll feels), and A.B. Fenner (who brought the whole thing home and in under 140 characters).

Thank you all for helping me out. And thank you to everyone that shared their pitches on line. Being able to look at other pitches and see what caught me and what didn't was educational in learning how to shape my pitch.

Even better, reading how other people felt about a given pitch, and seeing how much of it was all just a matter of taste was ego balming :)

And I'm so happy (and proud) that we really helped each other, even though helping others meant they had a better chance of winning the contest. Writers are awesome!

In Which I Revise my Twitter Pitch

Thanks to so many comments I got on the first version of the pitch I'm entering in  Shelley Watters Twitter Pitch Contest.

The original pitch is a couple of posts below. Here's the revision:

Version 2.0

Title: "Any Fae May Apply"
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Word Count: 95,000

A snarky teen troll finds part of her job as Tooth Fairy is to stop a monster from killing kids. Even if other fae won't work with her kind.

Thanks for any comments or suggestions!

Friday, April 1, 2011

In Which I Don't Discuss Autism

I've been thinking about what to do for Autism Awareness Day (April 2). My son doesn't have autism, but he's not "neurotypical", so it's a sensitive subject. I've decided to just link to Corinne Duyvis's post and let her speak.

In Which I Share My Twitter Pitch

I've been working on creating a Twitter Pitch for a while now. It just seemed natural to enter Shelley Watters Twitter Pitch Contest.

I think query letters and things like Twitter pitches (or elevator pitches) are probably easier if you have short story skills. Sadly, I do not have short story skills, so here's what I have:

A snarky female troll discovers that part of her job description as "tooth fairy" is to stop a monster before it kills children in her care. Will the other tooth fairies lower themselves to working with a troll, even to save children?

Oops, too long. How about:

A snarky female troll discovers that part of her job description as "tooth fairy" is to stop a monster before it kills children in her care.


Thanks to everyone that commented! I've made a few changes to the pitch:

Version 2.0

Title: "Any Fae May Apply"
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Word Count: 95,000

A snarky teen troll finds part of her job as Tooth Fairy is to stop a monster from killing kids. Even if other fae won't work with her kind.