Saturday, October 23, 2010

Saturday Quickie

Just a short note today, on a rainy, dark, gloomy, morning. Lots of adjectives to describe these late fall days bereft of sunshine. Many of the folks I follow have those spam-foiler letter combinations in script and curves and other ingenious ways to keep the robots from crashing the party.

When I took the Blog Book Tours class last year with Dani, these final letters to be typed into your post were considered bad form. Guess with the increase in spam, folks have decided it's a necessary evil.

So...I still haven't added them to my blog, but I'm curious to find out what everyone's take is on this.

Question du jour:Do you mind typing in "nadtuern" or "gliblinks" before your comment is published on someone's blog? Do you have these critters on your own blogs?

Inquiring minds are inquiring.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Writer's Journey

Nancy R. Williams's blog is hosting a Halloween party. My costume is 1940s chic. Green shantung with a black cloche hat, ruby red lipstick, and nylons with a carefully drawn pencil line up the calf.

My treat is good wishes and good health for everyone. Tricks? I've got a bagful and they come from a book. I've just reread The Writer's Journey - Mythic Structure For Writers (Vogler) for the umpteenth time. Each time I do, I learn more about the craft of writing. It's a book that belongs in every writer's reference collection. It parallels Joseph Campbell's The Hero's Journey and explains in plain language the role of storytelling and myth in the human experience.

If you're stuck with an aspect of plot, this book will help you get unstuck. If you're looking for minor characters, you'll find them here as well. From the initial Refusal of the Call to the Return with Elixir, Vogler provides a template every writer can use to create a story worth reading.

Once again, Blogger is having trouble uploading links. The book cover should be right here: However, the empty space was my first clue something went awry. Hope they fix the problem soon. They were shut down for work on image stuff for two hours yesterday. Doesn't appear they've fixed the problem yet.

Question du Jour: What book is at the top of your list for writing help?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Comfort Food - The List

Lists are Fun.

When I get stuck in my writing, when I'm feeling lonely, when I'm restless, when the Saints lose a game, I need comfort food. What I eat depends on the time of day. I've never been big on chocolate or sweets. You can put out an entire bowl of either and I'll ignore it. Here is a list of my favorite comfort foods - in no particular order.

1. Nachos
2. Meatloaf
3. Boston Cream Pie
4. Egg Nog Latte
5. Pumpkin Spice Latte (Yes, I love Starbucks)
6. Loaded baked potatoes
7. Blueberry pie
8. Custard filled donuts
9. Sweet yellow grapes
10. Burrito supreme (from Taco Bell)

It's an eclectic list, but it's mine. What's your favorite comfort food?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Patchworked Pieces of Life

She Quilts

Something a bit different today. One of my hobbies is quilting and I wrote this poem about two people and their life journey together. Each line is the name of a different quilt block.

Bachelor’s Puzzle
Farmer’s Daughter
Hearts in Motion
Love in a Mist

Hopes and Wishes
Lover’s Knot
Center Diamond
Wedding Ring

Broken Sawblades
Broken Dishes
Lover’s Quarrel
Contrary Wife

Rocky Road to Kansas
Road to Tennessee
Road to California
Wild Goose Chase

Prairie Sunrise
Bright Hopes
Baby Bunting
Homeward Bound

Hole in the Barn Door
Jacob’s Ladder
Log Cabin
House on the Hill

Goose in the Pond
Hovering Hawks
Corn and Beans
Melon Patch

Autumn Splendor
Northern Lights
Country Hearts
Sands of Time

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Noises and Things That Go Bump Anytime

I'm on an anti-noise campaign. I'm generally easy going, but I've been pushed to the limit. Enough is enough. Noise is the constant companion of everything we do and everywhere we go these days. Apparently, the Powers that Be have decided that Silence is the Enemy!

The Rant Begins

It's not just noise, but the level of the noise that's becoming intolerable. On the level of intolerable, the Loo gets the first prize. Here's the scene: You're shopping and Nature Calls. You locate the restroom and find the stall. After attending to business, the toilet (one of those water-saving monsters) decides you're finished and flushes at a decibel count greater than a rock concert.

You wash your hands and the dryer buzzes on, sounding like an enraged lion at the circus. Unlike said lion who limits the roar to a show of bravado, the stupid blow dryer keeps roaring and roaring and roaring until you've exited the store, gotten into your car, and driven out of the parking lot.

What about Stores Themselves!

Canned, blasting ersatz music blares from speakers above your head, guaranteeing you won't have to endure a moment of silence whether you're contemplating new underwear, a can of peas, or an oil filter. You can't escape it.

Once, while shopping for a gift for my daughter, I entered a store and the noise was so intense inside that I asked the clerk if she could please turn it down so I could think. (I was the only customer at the time). The clerk gave me a blank stare and informed me it was company policy to enhance the buying experience. I stared back, told her it had enhanced me out the door without making a purchase, and left.

Want to have some lunch? Be prepared for more of the same. Try to have a conversation while some woman screams or whines at you from speakers placed strategically to ruin your dining pleasure.

At Home

The clothes dryer is the worst offender here. I've considered taking a .22 to the blasted thing when it alerts me to the end of the drying cycle by bleating like a constipated bulldozer. I've timed the caterwauling at 11 seconds. It didn't take me that long to give birth. I'm getting one of the new models that I've heard has an Off option.

There's more, but I'm willing to let you have your say here. What noises drive you nuts?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Dee's Blurb Party and The Chocolate Challenge

Around and About the Web This Week

Dee Julian's Blurb Party

This week I'm one of Dee Julian's Blurb Party authors. Please stop by, sample the blurbs offered, and leave your comments. You can find the Party at Sorry about that not being a live link but Blogger isn't cooperating today. Please copy and paste and I'll have a serious talk with the link function.

The Chocolate Challenge

Also beginning this week is The Chocolate Challenge. Sponsored by the Guppies (the great unpublished writers who belong to Sisters in Crime), the goal is to write as much as you can during a 30 day period or if you're editing projects or doing hour of editing equals 300 words! Peg is the moderator who provides motivation and encouragement. Once a week we'll post our word totals and cheer each other on.

The winner, the one who writes the most words (whether we end up keeping them or not!), receives chocolate from any of the participants who care to send some. No one really loses though because we all get a lot of work done!

Once a Guppy, always a Guppy. Many writers stay on with this group after they've published, to give moral support and mentoring. Just one more reason why Sisters in Crime is a class act.

And now, on to the writing challenge! Fingers to the keyboard, as I plow ahead with The Esposito Caper!