Sunday, November 28, 2010

Deceive. Inveigle. Obfuscate.

My conviction remains intact that the mechanism by which Aboah killed and in turn survived, can only be explained by medical science, and that science will eventually discover his place in the broader context of evolution. But what science may never be able to explain is our ineffable fear of the alien among us; a fear which often drives us not to search for understanding, but to deceive, inveigle, and obfuscate. To obscure the truth not only from others, but from ourselves.  DS

Among Halverson's belongings, I found a children's book of Norse legends. From what I can tell, the pictures show the end of the world - not in a sudden firestorm of damnation as the Bible teaches us, but in a slow covering blanket of snow. First the moon and the stars will be lost in a dense white fog, then the rivers and the lakes and the sea will freeze over. And finally a wolf named Skoll will open his jaws and eat the sun, sending the world into an everlasting night. I think I hear the wolf at the door.  DS

Don't write this book. You'll perform a disservice through a field of inquiry that has always struggled for respectability. You're a gifted writer, but no amount of talent could describe the events that occurred in any realistic vein because they deal with alternative realities that we're yet to comprehend. And when presented in the wrong way, in the wrong context, the incidents and the people involved in them can appear foolish, if not downright psychotic. I also know that your publishing house is owned by Warden White, Incorporated ... a subsidiary of MacDougall-Kesler, which makes me suspect a covert agenda for your book on the part of the military-industrial-entertainment complex.  FM

Whatever happened to playing a hunch, Scully? The element of surprise, random acts of unpredictabilty? If we fail to anticipate the unforeseen or expect the unexpected in a universe of infinite possibilities, we may find ourselves at the mercy of anyone or anything that cannot be programmed, categorized or easily referenced.  FM

I'm the key figure in an on-going government charade, the plot to conceal the truth about the existence of extraterrestrials. It's a global conspiracy, actually, with key players in the highest levels of power, that reaches down into the lives of every man, woman, and child on this planet. So, of course, no one believes me. I'm an annoyance to my superiors, a joke to my peers. They call me Spooky. Spooky Mulder, whose sister was abducted by aliens when he was just a kid and who now chases after little green men with a badge and a gun, shouting to the heavens or to anyone who will listen that the fix is in, that the sky is falling and when it hits it's gonna be the shit-storm of all time.  FM

In all my wildest dreams I would write like this.

I wish I could convey my thoughts as easily as this. I wish my vocabulary was this fantastic and enjoyable. I used to write down all my favorite quotes from the show to try and capture some of the genius. To copy the cadence. To steal the amazing essence of the writer's room for The X-Files.

I really think that back in my teens and even twenties I was a better writer. I'm not saying I was some sort of wordsmith but I had more flair. I was more eloquent. I wrote with more passion. I didn't struggle to finish a paragraph or even a thought. I had so many ideas back then I could fill notebooks in what seemed days. My head overflowed with so much dialogue that I had to keep a pad and pencil with me to write it down.

What happened? Not sure.
Life. Marriage. Work. House. Child. 
Any of those? All of those?

I'd like to think that some of the brain cells that I used up getting to where I am will begin to reform now that I am here.
I can only hope that something inside my head will click back on and help me get back on track.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Did you miss me? Yeah, that's what I thought!

It seems like it's been ages since I wrote a blog post but technically it's been less than a week.
My last post was the blog hop and I did get some new followers -- Hello to all of you -- and I shared a great story about my husband's first gift to me.
It was fun to write, even if he didn't think it was appropriate to post things about him on the internet.
So, lesson to me, ask husband before you blog about him.

After I posted my last blog I was away for a few days and then I had some stuff to do at my son's school.

Needless to say I spent most of this morning finally reading all the blog hop entries and leaving comments.


There were quite a few and they were all interesting to read. Check out the list in the last blog if you are interested.

Back to my trip...I always think better driving in the truck. I especially like to drive by myself for long distances so I can let my thoughts meander along with the road. I've written many a scene that way.
Although I wasn't driving on the way down to our destination I did have lots of time to think and I may have worked out some of my story issues. 
What story you ask? The story that hasn't seen the light of day in about a month. That story. I was having serious doubts about fixing the plot problems in this one but I may have figured it all out thanks to the truck!

When will I get back to the story? 
Well, your guess is as good as mine.

I may have also come up with another story idea.
I attended a college football game at a small university on Saturday night.
I was sitting next to this complete stranger on the cold metal bleachers. Sometimes when you sit next to someone you try not to bump into each other, you try to keep your parts to yourself. Due to the cold temperatures, it didn't really seem to be an issue. Everyone in our section was kind of huddled together for shared warmth.
I just kept thinking how interesting it would be to meet a guy this way. Maybe rival teams too. Maybe they were set up by a mutual friend with two tickets. I will have to work on it a bit. I don't have time to write about it now but if I don't write down some ideas I will be asking you guys what I meant in six months.

No word from Carina Press as of this date. Not sure how long it will be before I hear from them.

If I don't get the chance to blog again this week then please have a happy and safe Thanksgiving Day.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

His gift to me.

I'm posting my First Gifts blog hop entry a day early because I won't have access to my computer tomorrow. I'm looking forward to reading all the great stories (by phone).
I hope you enjoy mine.

Chris, my husband, is wonderful...but...sneaky.
He likes to play tricks on me.
He likes to keep secrets.
He likes withholding information.
I'm thinking he always wanted to be in the CIA but couldn't pass their psych eval.

We had only been dating a few months when Christmas came along. My parents invited us over for Christmas dinner and presents.

I honestly don't recall what I purchased for him that first holiday but I will always recall what he gave to me.

My present was inside a large shirt box. It had some weight to it as he placed it on my lap.

This was my introduction to the 'Gardner Wrapping Method'. If using practically an entire roll of scotch tape to seal every single edge of paper down to the package is normal, well, I've never heard of it before.

I finally found a flaw and ruthlessly dug at it until I was able to rip away the brightly colored paper.
Plain box top. Nothing to give away a hint.
I lifted the lid away and found a tissue paper covered rectangle shaped present.
It was a book.
I could tell.
I was thrilled. 
It meant so much to me that this guy, this sweet new man in my life, had understood me well enough to know that I loved books.
What a perfect gift.
Does he know I love romance?
Did he stumble on to the perfect mystery?
Did he choose a book of classic fiction short stories?
Did he find a coffee table book with stunning photography?
My fingers, shaking with excitement, pull back the stark white paper...

Reader's Digest Great Events of the 20th Century: How They Changed Our Lives 

Chris gave me a book about history.
A history book.
Isn't history his favorite subject?
Is this cover ripped?
Is this a used history book?
Did he buy this book from a used book store or did he take it right off his shelf at home?

When I finally look up, trying to hide even the slightest bit of disappointment from my face, I realize that Chris is trying to hold in his laughter so hard that he has almost passed out in his cup of egg nog.

Receiving dirty looks from my mother, I bite my lip, find my manners and tell him as sincerely as I can, "Thank you. I love books. This one will surely be an interesting read."

This is where he almost falls out of his chair. His eyes are shiny with tears because he is trying so hard not to laugh. 

"What's so funny?" I finally ask.
He composes himself briefly. "You don't like it."
"I do."
"No, you don't."
"I'm sure it's full of great information."
I don't remember how long he made me wait. It might have been a few minutes later or longer. Chris finally told me that there was something else in the book.
I guess I was supposed to page through the history book in awe and appreciation and 'accidentally' come across my actual gift.
Hidden in the back was an envelope that contained a gift certificate to a local salon. He gave me the gift of self-pampering.

I could tell you that this is where it ended but it wouldn't be true. He still tricks me all the time. He threw me a surprise birthday party. He secretly bought me this laptop. He hides presents at the homes of our family. He has other people purchase gifts so I won't know about them. He even has someone follow me at our local holiday craft fair and report back.

To him, it's a game.

To me, Chris is the best gift I ever got.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

First Gifts Blog Hop - Liz Fichera

Come back on Friday for my story. It's about the first gift I ever received from my husband.

First Gifts Blog Hop: You're Invited!

Do you remember the first gift you ever received from your boyfriend? Girlfriend? Spouse? Life partner? Did you get something sparkly? A mood ring that turned your finger purple? Sexy lingerie? An ugly puppy? A toaster? If you've got a story to tell--funny, sad, or in-between--I'd love it if you'd join me and the cool chicks at The Mojito Literary Society in our blog hop next weekend. Virtual mojitos and chocolate cupcakes will be served. Here are the deets:

Who's Invited: Everyone! Anyone can post a story or hop around or both!

When: November 19 - November 21

Why: Because laughter is the best medicine, or something cheesy like that. And we're basically nosey. Seriously, this blog hop should be a blast!

How: All you have to do is click on the linky link below and join! Then on November 19, post your story. And if you have a photo to share, even better! Your story does not have to be long. In fact, I'd recommend no more than 500 words. You can even post the linky link html code below to your blog if you're feeling techy. ;-)

Prizes: What are we, 12 years old?! There are no prizes and definitely no judging. Blech! Just the satisfaction of reading other people's stories, making new friends, following new blogs, and generally having a good time. What's not to like? "Tis the season, too. We all might as well get in the gifty mood.

Anything else?: Please include the cute little Blogger Button above in your November 19 post because, well, what's a blog hop without a cute lil' blogger button? Any help you could provide in spreading the word about this blog hop--your own blogs, Twitter, Facebook, skywriting, bull horns--would surely be appreciated!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

And a one, and a two and a three!

Oh where, oh where did my mojo go?
Oh where, oh where can it be?
It's getting annoying, it sure does blow,
Oh where, oh where did it flee?

Sorry. It's about the only creative thing I've come up with in days.

BUT...I want to write a 500 word story for this fun blog hop from Liz Fichera's Blog.
Anyone can join and it's a great way to find other blogs you might like and for them to find you.
The story needs to be about a 'first gift' that you received from someone special. 
Check out the link for more information.
It's just for fun. 
That's why I want to participate.  
No pressure. No judgment. No worries.

That's probably why I'm having so much trouble with my story. I'm putting a lot of pressure on myself.
I know that people (my 'editors') want to read it.
I want it to be better than my last one (because that one went no where).
I want it to make sense.
I want to follow all of these rules and regulations that I have read about recently.

But, I'm not having any fun. I'm not constantly wondering what the characters are going to say to each other. I'm not excited to sit down and write and see where it takes me. I'm looking at it like ... work. 

And that sucks.

Until I can figure out a happy medium I will just continue to wander around without direction.

Crossing my fingers that I will find my mojo soon.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A moment to thank my husband.

A thank you to my husband for his service to this country and for being an all around great guy.

My husband was already home from his military service when I met him. He was a member of the United States Air Force. He served 8 years and was deployed overseas for Desert Storm. He was fortunate to be stationed all over the US and was able to travel to Europe and the Middle East.
He doesn't talk about his service much but when he does he spins amazing tales about the places he visited and the people that he met.

Knowing that I wanted to spin my own stories he bought me a laptop so I could write my 'great American' romance novel. I thought I would pump out a few books, become famous and make him a stay-at-home dad.
I failed.
But he still believes in me and that means more to me than anything else.
When I feel like crap because I received yet another rejection or when I get feedback explaining that I have more work to do, he refuses to make a big deal about it and tells me to get back to it.

He's my best friend, a fantastic husband, and an amazing father.

Thanks for being in my life.

Monday, November 8, 2010

What's another word for procrastinate? Never mind, I'll look it up later.

I did everything but write this morning. 

Bad Heather!

I think all of my creative writing energy was sucked out of my body last week and I just couldn't get it back today.

I had good intentions.

Sat down with my cup of coffee at my laptop and pulled up all of my programs.

And then...

I read and sent some emails.
Checked Facebook.
Posted information on 2 upcoming fundraisers.
Checked Twitter.
Read some local news.
Checked blogs.

I guess I was really trying to avoid writing today and I actually feel bad about that. I wanted to finish some important stuff before the holidays started to take over my life.

But, you can't write until you are ready.

I should know that by now. If I try to force myself to write, I'll end up having to delete most if not all of it. Worse, I might sit there and stare at a blank screen for too long and that would suck.

Creative writing energy will come back my way. I just have to trust it. 

Meanwhile, I should do some housework. Laundry, dishes, clean out the sock drawer.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Give it to me straight!

A giant 'THANK YOU' goes out to Christine Bell for critiquing the first two chapters of my current story.

Considering her epic life right now, with her second book in her series released and more on the way, it was really great of her to take the time out to help me.

And help me she did.
She gave me a lot of great ideas and advice in a very considerate and professional manner.

Sure, she ripped me up one side and down the other, but I deserved it. I'm sure the skin will grow back soon.

Then she did something REALLY evil.
She challenged me. 

Yeah, like a dare.

Dare: to have the courage to contend against, venture, or try.

Oh! That is just TOO much!

So, after I kicked myself for a while, had a little sniffle and then had a brief flogging session, I decided to get back to work.

There are now sticky notes all over my laptop to remind me of just a handful of things.
Things that I should always remember. 
Things that I should work harder at.
Things that I should avoid.
And to get up now and then to pee.

DAMN! My own book is kicking my ass, and I'm only on page four!! 

Brief tangent: I went to the library this afternoon. While I was perusing the shelves I came across this book.  Thanks, but this isn't for us: a (sort of) compassionate guide to why your writing is being rejected by Jessica Page Morrell.

Thought I would give it a look and see if I can steal any more important tidbits for my crazy sticky notes of wisdom. 

Tangent over: point being...I'm not going to give up. 
I'm going to keep trying.
I will never write the way Christine does.
I will never write the way my favorite authors do.
That is not my voice.
But right now, my voice is being lazy.
Sure, the words are getting down on paper (so to speak), but they aren't the best words that I know I can write.

"If those are my last words, I can do better." F. Mulder

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Blog observations

I'm fascinated at reading other writer's blogs. I am continually surprised at the different methods everyone has for writing.

Some writer's need music. - I personally don't like to listen to the TV or to music when I'm writing. I have a constant music soundtrack in my head anyway. My best time to write is when everyone in the house is asleep or out.

Some writer's need specific food or drink. - I down a lot of coffee while I write. I do snack, which is bad when you sit all the time, but I no longer smoke, so that vice was replaced with food.

Some writer's plan ahead and some don't. - I'm not much of a planner when writing. Which is such a contradiction to the rest of my life. I have lists and plans and back-up plans. Yep, freak. But writing a story I need to have more of an open mind, use more flow.

Some writer's like the pressure of a deadline. - Not really me. I tried to give myself a daily goal and then I fought against it. I've managed to handle a few blogfest deadlines. Thinking of National Novel Writing Month, I would never be able to pull that off. More power to the ones that are trying.

Some writer's have awesome writing spaces. - I sit on the couch. It's not ideal but it's where I'm most comfortable right now. There is a blogfest out there that was just to send in a picture of your writing space. I shuddered when I thought about my space. I should really think about making a better home for myself. Maybe I if I put some effort into that, I would put more effort in to the writing. 
You never know.

Some writer's still write with pad and pen. - For years I wrote in 5-subject notebooks. I used to enjoy it. I've done so much damage to my hands now that gripping a pen for any length of time cramps my fingers so badly I have to stop. I'll stick with the laptop.

Some writers spend time on their blog and reading other writer's blogs instead of finishing the scene they were working on. You know, the one they wanted to finish by Friday of last week and now it's Tuesday of this week and the scene is still sitting there, half done, waiting for closure? That one?