September 27, 2009

Catching Fire

Okay, I will admit it. The day after I finished The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins, I went to Walmart and bought the sequel, Catching Fire (the only copy on the shelf... my friend Jamie was mad at me), put it on the counter as a reward for making pear jam and cleaning up the kitchen, pureed, mixed, poured, froze, cleaned like mad, then dove in. Twelve hours of reading later (seriously, sauteing the zucchini as I read), I was done.  And, again, I am anxious for the third and final story, expecting big, but perhaps unintended things from Katniss, and a little more bucking up from Peeta. I thought he was a little soft in this one, but that is just my opinion. Gale, time to step up.
My son is reading Hunger now, and shakes his head at how good it is.
It's great to find an exciting book... and a series to go with it.

September 19, 2009

Laptop... Check. Flu bug... Check. Let's Write.

It happened again.  I got the flu.  It wasn't so bad that I was out of it, completely uncomfortable, but it was enough where I had no energy, and nobody wanted me sneezing on them, so I was confined to my bedroom (except when I still had to drive all the kids everywhere after school and watch my son's first football game of the season because everyone else was busy, still, I felt quarantined to my little camp chair on the sidelines, holding my wad of kleenex and shouting, "Go-go-go! Aaa-chooo!")
But for the most part, I've had to be in bed, mind racing.  So it happened.  Wondering about the book, wondering about the editing.  Wondering about the ending of Remnant, and if there is enough plot twist in The Inn, and thinking about the new POV and title of Comes the Sunlight, which is the new title, and then, BAM... I'm in the opening of a new story and scrambling to write it down... dialogue, action, sequence, plot direction.  And then, what do you know?  The Federal Express guy knocks on the door and hands me... my new laptop.  Four days earlier than expected.  After the easy-peasy set-up and tucking in my novels from my zip-drive to the HP Pavillion dv4t, I knocked out the first 15 pages I had scratched into my notebook, of a brand new story.
Is it being sick?  Because last time I got sick like this, the same thing happened.  I had finished The Orchard, and thought there was nothing more in me. The Inn invaded my head as it throbbed with influenza.
So, I guess I am stuck.  There is no escaping this writing thing, if you can't escape it with the flu.  And the flu can get you pretty much out of everything.  I am feeling a little better today, still tired, and I'm going to bed early.  Not going to sleep, though.  I'm going to write.  Because the next few scenes are in my head, and I am loving where they are taking me.
Okay, so maybe there is a little escaping going on.

September 14, 2009

A Hard Habit To Break

Guess what I just learned.
One space after a sentence.
Really, you only need one.  Not two. I mean, not two.
I could probably lose a few pages off a manuscript by fixing that alone.  Sometimes I feel very... naive.  But I am learning. Oops. This is going to take some practice.

September 11, 2009


Just finished reading The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins. I was glued to it for a day and a half. Now my kids will be. It left me feeling slightly woozy, and wanting more... like a really good roller coaster ride. I couldn't help but think of Lois Lowry's The Giver, or George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-four. Only there is more fight, more grip. Of course, I am looking at sentence structure and pacing while I read. I guess that is a side-effect to writing. I read the first few pages of the sequel, Catching Fire, at Amazon, and I am pretty sure we'll be adding it to our bookshelves. I am anxious for Katniss, Peeta, and Gale. I am anxious for me to get the next book.

September 9, 2009


"The pen is the tongue of the mind." -Miguel de Cervantes

"What do you think?"

"What are you thinking?"

"Why are you so quiet?"

"Tell me what you are thinking."

I cringe at how often I was asked these words. How often, hours later, I would think of the perfect way to form my thoughts into speech. We wrote notes, back and forth, before cell pones, before texting, passing them along in the hall between classes, slipping them into lockers, figuring out new cool ways to fold paper. Poems, declarations of boredom and stress, plans for later, feelings we dared express in print we could not speak... questions, offers, hints, guesses.

Later, in the depths of true emotions discovered as life grabs our precarious grip and wrenches, writing was my... cope... no, stronger than that... it was my means to reason, because how would anybody understand, how could anybody hear me and not judge, not misunderstand, not show impatience as I struggled for words? Paper and pen do not look uncomfortable as you cry.

"What are you thinking?"

I was watching the light fade along the dusty hills, smelling the sage, remembering the evergreens we don't see here, wondering how the sky is so purple when all the ground is brown and the sun is orange. I love the stars like brothers and sisters, almost ache to be among them, but how can I say this to you, when you are so cool, and say everything right the first time?


Maybe I should have kept a notebook in my purse. In some ways, it is good to grow up.

September 2, 2009

Seeing Where I Went.... Uh-Oh.

"Practice, practice, practice writing. Writing is a craft that requires both talent and acquired skills. You learn by doing, by making mistakes and then seeing where you went wrong." -Jeffrey Carver

I had read it through. I had cut and trimmed and re-worked and tightened. I listened carefully to ideas and suggestions. When I thought it was ready, I sent it in. Two days later... I began reading through it again.
Word left out. Sentence unfinished. Could have said that better. Ummm, punctuation? It gradually got better, fluid, tight. But, they read the first part... first. I hope they muddle through, see that it gets better, cleaner.
Next time.... I am reading it again after I think it is perfect.
Then maybe waiting to hear from them won't be quite as excruciating.
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