The Only Flowchart Ever Needed

Posted By on June 29, 2014

BE A BUCKET

Posted By on June 27, 2014

Be a bucket of awesomeness. If someone knocks you over, it only serves to allow your awesomeness to take over the world.

EN POINTE

Posted By on June 19, 2014

Like most little girls, at one time I wanted to be a ballerina. I took ballet classes. I was horrible. For one, it was work. For two, I just don't possess that kind of grace. Ballet can be taught. Physical grace can not.

Much like writing. Writing can be taught. Storytelling talent is either something you have, or something you don't.

But back to Ballet… Recently I've been coming across articles on ballet's next big thing, Misty Copeland. Her story is polarizing, her body amazing. She didn't take ballet until the age of 13–old in that profession. She was in pointe shoes three months later. That is truly amazing. Dancers put in years of training before going en pointe. So she had natural talent, but I read the schedule of a day in her life and don't think for one moment that this woman has not worked damn hard to perfect that natural talent.

It is said that a writer has to write a million words before becoming proficient. A Million Words! Which makes me want to sit down and figure out how many words I've written in story form over the years. I've probably reached that mark, but at least a million more are going to be required. And that's okay. That's just fine.

This morning I realized it is not so much the act of the dance for me. The Nutcracker, for example, bores me to death (although I once had the joy of watching Mikhail Baryshnikov dance it and that was amazing). The lines of a graceful dancer are what do it for me. The amazing things a body can do and look beautiful doing, even as the dancer is punishing it to stretch further.


But here is what I really love about a dancer's body. The feet. That curve that looks so effortlessly unnatural and the pointe shoes with cris-crossed ribbon. To me, that is sexy.

I'll never be a dancer, ballet or otherwise. This white girl ain't got no stretch or rhythm. But those millions of words? Yeah, I'm working on that.

 

BE YOURSELF

Posted By on June 19, 2014

Just be yourself, they say.

What if your true self was meant to be a serial killer?

Then what?

Being Unexpected

Posted By on June 7, 2014

I love to throw people off their game. The most simple of things will do it, and the reaction always makes me giggle.

I had to call the DMV. Now, we all know the general consensus about the DMV. I'm sure most folks they deal with are grumpy. After I was on hold for nearly 30 minutes (in which I folded laundry and reloaded the machines, picked up the kitchen and living room and hopped around the dining room just for fun) my call was finally answered. Mary seemed a little put out when she announced herself. Now, I could have thought I should be the one put out, but hey, I got some stuff done. So, I said, "Hello, Mary! How are you today?" Then I actually waited through the awkward silence for her answer. She was fine, but sounded pretty suspicious.

Tonight, I stopped by the mini mart and the cashier asked me if I wanted my receipt. I excitedly answered, "Oh boy! Do I!" The look on his face was priceless. For the record, I didn't want my receipt. But that was fun.

What else will I get up to in public? One never knows

What I have against Men and Women?

Posted By on May 30, 2014

Someone once asked me what I had against men. I really didn't understand that question because most of my male characters are okay sort of guys. Flawed, but okay.

Someone once asked me what I had against mothers. And I really didn't understand this one either. I was told I write mothers to be abrasive and rather selfish. The more I thought about that, I saw some truth in it. But isn't a mother just a person who happens to have children? Should having offspring disconnect her wants and needs? Moreover, in my life history, I experienced strong, loving moms but distant fathers. Maybe in my writing I subconsciously give my main peep a father like one I want to believe exists but have never seen. And since it's super annoying in a novel to have two parents that are wonderful, attentive and with no conflict… well someone comes out looking unrosy.

And sometimes, it's just not my choice who the character is. Sometimes I'll steer him or her on their way and they say, "Nah, I'm going this way", or "Fool, I ain't gonna say that sappy crappy" and then I have to relearn my character. Sometimes we can work together on the characters terms. Sometimes I have to fire them, boot them from the building, rework their role and give him a different name. Hey, it's not my fault. If his way works, that's a super, super moment. If it doesn't and he just won't comply, well, He's got to go.

And mothers…well. A mother character that loves her whole life and everything and everybody in it and is so, so, proud of those kids every minute of every day? That's someone who works Facebook really well. That person does not exist in life, therefore not in my book either. Everyone has secret yearnings, made mistakes, have looked at their children and thought "Good God, what have I done?". That doesn't make them bad. That makes them human.

So, I have nothing against men in general, and I don't have anything against mothers. I love my mother total and complete, couldn't have had a better one.

Talent Well Known, Yo.

Posted By on May 28, 2014

Yesterday I took to the outdoors. I sat outside on my porch all day and read, in its entirety, Flowers In The Attic.

Let us first discuss Flowers In The Attic. I first read the book in in sixth grade, when it was all the rage, and I had to argue a bit with the librarian because she 'did not think it age approriate'. On a tangent, but let me add, this was the same librarian who the same year didn't want to let me check out Are You There God, It's Me Margaret and Tiger Eyes. Perhaps she didn't like me, perhaps she was stuck in the 40's. I don't know but one should never have to talk a librarian into loaning you a book. My personal opinion.

Anyhoo, sixth grade. I read Flowers In The Attic, and then the whole series. I had fond memories. Great book. Super creepy.

I admit it–I watched (with glee) Lifetime's remake of Flowers In The Attic and Petals In The Wind. They're cheesy. Bad dialogue. Except for the grandmother, who has the best lines ever. I decided I had to read the books again. Even though the new Harlan Coben was staring me in the face. Even though I'd just listened to my husband go on and on about how I had to read this Coben book.

I spent all day reading Flowers In The Attic. I wish I'd left it in my memory. Man, it was so much better when I was in sixth grade. This time around, I wasn't creeped out as much as I was distracted by all the exclamation points and stunted dialogue. What is right and wrong in writing style has changed so much! Because this book was full of! I couldn't get away from them! Imagine that! If written that way now and editor would cry! Baby Jesus would cry! How distracting!

Interestingly, on the Nook, the first book is $4.00. The second book is a little higher, the third even higher and so on. But I'm good. I don't need to read the others. Yeah…I'm good.

Let's get to my talent. A talent I rediscovered yesterday and was so stinking mad at myself. Because, really, I should remember at this stage in life that I possess this talent. It should never take me by surprise. Yet at least once every year I have to be reminded in the most painful of ways.

I sunburn in the shade.

Yep.

Not once during my porch reading fest did sunlight touch this face. Or these arms. Nor was I near water, nor was the day cloudy. When I came in at dusk, I was chilled but hot and feeling rather icky. One look in the mirror told me why. Poor sunburned me.

I never left the shade. The sun was on the other side of the house.

Talent, I tell you. Talent.

Finally.

Posted By on May 27, 2014

Ahhhhh! Finally. The sweet, sweet smell of Russian Olive and Poplar trees warming in the sun. Love it, love it, love it. I may just have to drag a chair to the front of the house, where the smell is the strongest, and work on my computer out there. Oh how I wish that smell would last longer than it does.

Deep, deep in the edit of Ramsden Key. You know, the point in which I want to throw pages in the air and scream. The point in which I decide it's all a bunch of crap and should never have been thought of, let alone written. The point in which every Stinking Thinking thought assaults me and eggs me on to give up.

Yeah, that part.

But the trees are smelling fresh. So, for today, I can carry on.

Memorial Day

Posted By on May 25, 2014

As seems to be the case every year, I am once again feeling sorry for families that decided to camp Memorial Day Weekend. I'm not sure I can remember a Memorial Day that did not have crummy weather. But this year Mother Nature is in an especially foul mood. We've had days of rain and dark skies. I'm not complaining, I love that part. It's the cold I could do without. It is so cold out there. The weather in the mountains must be freezing.

I'm thankful I'm not camping.

I came across this picture on Facebook.

MUST SEE: Check out these little girls' adorable reaction to their dad returning home from duty in Afghanistan Friday at Spokane International Airport! Thank you Kristin and Vince Comstock for sharing this beautiful Memorial Day weekend moment with us!(KREM 2 News)

  

There is so much embedded in this picture–the love, the longing, the sacrifice, the keeping things going back home, the glee of two little girls. I can't look at this picture without feeling emotional. I hope this family is continuing to have a wonderful homecoming and adjustment period.

Thoughts and prayers going out to the men and women of our armed forced who are not with their families this Memorial Day. Those who probably missed many more holidays than just this one, who miss out on the comforts of home and safety. Blessed are you who serve with honor. I know my freedom has never been free.

 

  

R.I.P. Pants

Posted By on May 22, 2014

Let us all have a moment of silence for the well-loved pajama pants.

They did not make it through the day. They were tragically ripped open from a simply snag. They died in Triage.