Monday, June 26, 2006

Spit and Polish

I'm recovering from my weekend hike. The youngest J, my husband and I hiked out to the lighthouse on the Dungeness Spit. I was too lazy to climb to the top of the lighthouse. Perhaps it was the 5 1/2 mile hike on shifting sands, bumpy rocks and lumpy driftwood that stopped me from lugging my frame up that tiny ladder to the see the glorious 5 1/2 miles that I would have walk back across to reach the nirvana of the PT Cruiser. I'm still hobbling around and I haven't touched that blobby blister on the side of my big toe. Well, we saw many seals and many more gulls. We all agreed that walking on dry seaweed was similiar to walking on a carpet of crunched up tortilla chips.

The Spit was Saturday,and on Sunday I polished the wobbing egg; and I sent it rolling this morning, just after midnight, down the internet hill and into the open arms of the waiting editor. I haven't heard if the egg made it yet or if it splatted at the bottom of internet hill. I heard back from the editor; the egg is still in one piece; he's rolled it down another internet hill, and I will find out if it manages not to splat at the bottom of the next hill in two weeks.

I hope everyone is having a holy snappin' week!

My goals:

1. Write those last six pesky chapters of my working project.
2. Send out submissions to magazines.
3. Write an article about writing.

Today I'm totally doing nothing until the return of the teenaged Js. They will be back from summer camp around 4. I expect they will sleep for 24 hours before they will venture out for mass quanities of food and then long telephone/im conversations for another 24 hours.

Last night the youngest J said he would never speak to the boy next door ever again. He couldn't forgive him. It was impossible. This morning they rode bikes for over two hours and then they went swimming.

The great man is he who does not lose his childlike heart.
- Mencius

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

It's Almost Midnight

Yes, it is. I should be sleeping. I spent the day emailing the entire planet again. I needed WORLDWIDE rights not NORTH AMERICAN AND CANADA. How sad is this? I'm not even sure what rights are, but I've obtained them. Anyone out there want to jump in here and explain rights to me? I'm all ears.

Went to critique group tonight. We read aloud. I wanted to change about 5 words out of several thousand. I didn't have to change the words; I just wanted to do some tweaking. I'm like a car mechanic when it comes to writing. I can't stop myself from opening up the hood and pulling out that carburetor. Perhaps I can ratchet up the idle and improve perfomance. Maybe I should overhaul the engine. What about those CV joints. Someone, where's my socket wrench!

Only in my case, it's all about -- I'm going to layer in one more breath of description. I could pull back a smidgen on the emotional reaction there. Oooh, what about having the sister drop the knife instead of the cat-dog-baby-alien-hybrid clone. Maybe this is just a bit too X Files. Should I rewrite the whole scene in 2nd person? Someone, where's my International Thesaurus of Quotations!

So it's really all most midnight now and I need to snooze.

I hope y'all are having a "holy snapping" week and that noone is eating their way into giant pants!

Quote for the day:

“Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.”
Saint Augustine Ancient Roman Christian Theologian and Bishop of Hippo from 396 to 430. One of the Latin Fathers of the Church. 354-430

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Sinuses, rocking the egg, and the end of school.

Hi friends, I'm just overwhelmed this week. No writing happening in a big way. I had to contact museums all over instead. Here's the list: the Louvre, The Boijmans, Rembrandthuis, Boston Museum of Fine Art, The National Gallery, the NationalMuseum of Sweden, and The Pierpont Morgan Library. There are more, but this is a good sample. Museum contacting is related to rocking the egg, so is in an offside sort of way related to writing. I drove for 3 1/2 hours yesterday. The carpool is so grueling!

I hope everyone is snapping! I'm going to snap through some tests this week.

Did I mention my sinuses are totally infected with green stuff?

My thought for the day:

All of us failed to match our dreams of perfection. So I rate us on the basis of our splendid failure to do the impossible.--William Faulkner

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

I Look Greenly All The Time - A Defense for the Lowly Adverb

Here's a blurb I put on the CW list the other day.
I like my ideas and decided to post it here.

I look greenly at people all the time. I'm coming out of lurking
status because of my passion. Oh, the poor misaligned adverb! I
absolutely, unequivocally believe in this lowly part of speech.
Every writer (except romance writers, ahem, my eyes are shifting
left and right) want to give adverbs the boot out of the English
language. I postulate that said book with gal looking greenly at
hottie was really a romance novel in the thin disguise of a thriller
or perhaps a paranormal action drama, but I digress. Personally, I
love the adverb. They are so friendly, cuddly, and absolutely fab.

Oh, children's writers (and others) stop, cease, and back off your
attack on the wonderfully modifying adverb. I ask you --where would
we all be without adverbs? What would we do during our rewrites? I
think I'd lose sleep if I didn't get to agonize every time I wrote
an adverb and then re-agonize when I got rid of it.
Don't think I haven't sought therapy. Once, I even went so far as to
ask "what the heck is an adverb good for anyway" in a communion of
many learned writers.

"Oh, just get rid of them," one author said greenly. Did I mention I
have a mild case of synthestesia? I digress again. (That's the ADD.)
Well, these learned writers agreed whole heartedly with the author.
How pleasant, an absolute consensus among peers.

I went on an adverb deleting rampage. It went on for days. Until
that fateful day I trotted into Barnes and Noble (I usually hang at
the local independent) and I picked up a stack of similar
aforementioned thrillers and paranormal action dramas (cough, cough,
romances in disguise) and found adverb abuse the likes of which
could not be repeated here. I'm sure coronaries would ensue.The
other thing I noticed was that the stack of thrillers and paranormal
action dramas were all bestsellers. Is there a conspiracy? Is all
this adverb abuse talk to confuse us, to lull us into an adverb
slashing stupor while certain "writers" are raking in the millions?
I don't know, but I'm asking questions, or maybe I should write
romances and be done with it.

Postscript: Where's the adverb love?

Here is a real life incident.

I was standing by a window once and it was raining.
A group of people, not facing the window, were discussing the weather.

"There is a 20% chance of rain," one said.
"There will be sunshine all weekend," another said.
"I'm so glad it's not going to rain today."

"It's raining right now," I said.

"That's not what the weather man said," another said in a superior tone.
"You really should listen to the experts when it comes to complex systems like the weather."
"But look out the window," I said.
"You really should stay more informed," yet another said.

I pointed at the torrential downpour, but the conversation moved on to where they planned to eat lunch. Not one of these people ever looked out the window.

This led me to the best advice I can give writers:

Get out there in the words, in the stories --
don't talk about your craft, know you craft.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Why Didn't I Write Last Week?

Oh, the humanity. I have 4 Js and we are at the end of the school year. Band concert last night. Field day, book club, field trip. Mom, I forgot my rocket in the car can you bring it to me? Mom, I missed the bus, can you drive me? Mom, I have a fever and stomachache and headache. Chunks follow. Mom, my eye is red because I hit myself in the head with a stick; I don't have allergies.

The thing about my excuses is they are genuine. I have spent five hours every day for the last three stuck in the traffic gridlock around Woodinville. It took me an hour and a half to drive 6 miles.

I will now rant about "public transportation". Where is my light rail/subway! I voted for it 10 years ago and the brilliant folks of WA are still thinking about it.

My word count for the from May 22 to June 2: 1300. This is a dismal situation that I am working to turn around. I am sorry all you writing folks. I will try to work this week extra hard. Another round of "the not to be named" test grading is looming. I have 7 more chapters to write to finish the Novel Push of 2006. All cheering is welcomed! Holy snappin' is welcomed! Snap! Snap! Snap!

Here's the consolation prize if you are in the boat of those trying to get it together.

Success is counted sweetest
By those who ne'er succeed.
To comprehend a nectar
Requires sorest need.

Emily Dickinson