Tuesday, January 25, 2011

No more birthdays for me dang it…

No this post is not about the fact that I feel old…so very, very old after my birthday yesterday.  It’s about how my birthdays are just catastrophes. Now, I’m not talking about parties not going as planned or not getting gifts that I like or even people forgetting, no.  They are soooo bad it’s funny.  In hindsight, that is.
I am an all around hearty person, except for my own personal kryptonite which is food related.  Sometimes food and I get sideways and I have to eat SUPER BLAND for a few weeks to get back on friendly terms with the stuff.  But because I love food, this is almost like saying I quit breathing until my lungs heal. 
Anyway, I had an attack of kryptonite poisoning half way through the day and had to hurry home to curl up in a fetal position until it resolved itself.  My sweet 5 year old and the babysitter brought me hot mint tea to calm my stomach (I so rarely get pampered that this just melted my heart).  Great birthday so far, right? 
Well, I always keep my iphone in reach—which I’m addicted to it at this point.  I’m sure all you plotters can see where I’m steering the story at this point.  Hot tea, iphone nearby, house full of small children and a sick not-paying-much-attention mom….Oh yeah, all this equals one minty, marinated iphone. 
Oh, but that’s not all, oh no.  My new quilt also was covered in tea and needed to be washed.  
My new chocolate brown low sheen, silky quilt came out of the washer covered in something that looked like that paste on a stick from kindergarten.  You remember that stuff with the wonky smell. OHMYGOSHYOUHAVEGOTTOBEKIDDINGME.
I know all this might sound sad, but I think if it was caught on film it would look much more like Cinnamon slips on a banana, pours tea on her head, and falls in a bucket.  Come on—it’s 100% Three Stooges.
Anyway, I’m going to try to remember only the lovely card my husband gave me about how I do so much for everyone and how he couldn’t live without me.  (He also sent me some gorgeous flowers that arrived after I went home sick, of course—but he still gets big hubbie points this year). And, I will probably frame a couple off the pile of homemade cards from my kids. Otherwise, I think I will file this day under my birthdays SERIOUSLY BLOW and forget it ever happened. 

Friday, January 14, 2011

The I’m going MULTIMEDIA edition

OK.  So, I didn’t even look around to find the trailer for Blessed when I did my review.  Once I saw all the media put together in someone else’s eye popping blog post, I realized I’m doing it wrong!  Which leads me to the format of today’s post. 
I have been trying to fulfill my daily writing commitment, but am hitting the usual, what happens next wall.  And, although I’m caught between the rock of no writing and the hard place of being bored with any story I plot too heavily in advance, I think I am going to have to get serious about plot once more.  Last time I did that it sucked all the fun out of discovering what my MC was going to do next and I shelved the story.
This time, I was trying to just know the beginning and the end and let the middle happen through the divine intervention of my writing muse. But, she ain’t singin’ at the moment and I’ve made promises to myself and the blog universe.  To that end, I went in search of help and found an interesting video series on YouTube by Martha Alderson – also known as The Plot Whisperer.

I’m trying it out at the moment, so my daily writing for the next week will all be on these sweet, multicolored index cards I’m holding up.   Then, I should be ready to rock on through this first novel—HECK YEAH!!! (That’s me trying to remain upbeat about plotting.  On index cards no less. )

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Review of Blessed by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Loved Tantalize and Eternal, so begged for an early copy of this one. 
It’s got vampires, werewolves, shifters and an Angel!—What’s not to love?
Quince Morris, a neophyte vampire converted against her will, discovers that she must save a whole slew of Austin’s residents from becoming vampires after having eaten tainted desserts at her restaurant. The boy she has privately loved for years, Kieran, flees Austin to protect his family from his own uncontrolled hybrid werewolf shifts in the opening scenes of the book leaving Quince alone and lovelorn. 
She must save her restaurant, the unsuspecting infected Austinites and her own soul while learning to live as a secret vampire-- all in 450 odd pages.   Luckily, she picks up a new troop of helpers including an earthbound guardian angel named Zachary to help her on her journey.
What I liked:  I like a strong female main character that has courage, will, and a brain of her own. All these compliments can easily be applied to Quince Morris.
 I’ve lived near Dallas for a long time so I also like the Texas humor and comments.  So many books use New York, Miami or some anonymous wilderness location for setting, so I do enjoy the particularly Texan references sprinkled throughout Blessed.
I think it’s magical when a writer can reinvent the usual threadbare stories typical of paranormal fare creating a whole new mythology and Cynthia Leitich Smith definitely applies a new spin to the tale of Mina and Dracula prime. Historical references woven into paranormal stories provide context and corroboration to the fiction. 
Not so much:  The abbreviations of things like Austin Police Department as APD and guardian angel as GA.  My reading flow was interrupted by these unnecessary abbreviations too often and I found those pauses in the flow of the story grating. 
The platonic relationship between Quince and Zachary dominates the first ¾ of the book providing for less emotional engagement and romantic tension than have existed in the previous two books Tantalize and Eternal.  I missed that a bit.

Good read for us YA paranormal fans that like action, a little fairly chaste romantic, and plenty of  fantasy story creativity.  I recommend Blessed and eagerly await whatever Cynthia Leitich Smith writes next.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

NaNoWriMo…Why November?

Only a guy (yes, I did read the book, so I do know it was a guy) would suggest writing a book in November.  I mean, other than December, there’s no busier time of the year for a woman with children. 
I have to plan large family gatherings coordinating the schedules of both my family and my husband’s, start making kids Christmas lists since over Thanksgiving dinner everyone related to me will at some point whisper “So, what does E or ZoZo or the king Henry—my kids—want from Santa this year?”, and all the while keep up Mom’s taxi service since all the sports games and practices continue until a couple days before Thanksgiving.  And, of course, with anyone even remotely related to me coming over for a visit, I have to begin house cleaning of the ‘I think I need a toothbrush to get that’ variety. 
So, November for NaNoWriMo, just didn’t happen for me this year even though it was the first November after I read the book and started blogging. 
But, all is not lost.  I’m making up my own challenge-- my own month of writing.  I started yesterday with my first 500 words and, although it’s not much, it is a reasonable and attainable goal for someone with 3 kids, 2 jobs, one husband and lots of laundry.  I will write 500 words a day for the next 30 days.  No excuses!
So, what are your thoughts on NaNoWriMo and personal writing challenges?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

My first SHOUT OUT !!! SQUEE!

Ok. I'm really not a squee kinda girl.  I more of a low key, "Wow, that's so cool" person.  But, I'm still trying to get the hang of this blogging thing and I AM REALLY EXCITED and appreciative when someone who's been at it a bit gives me a boost.

So, go on over to Colene Murphy's site The Journey and see how she mentioned me like 20 TIMES--SO COOL! 

Whew.  I feel much calmer now, but still glowingly happy.


Monday, January 3, 2011

Buried Treasure!

Okay, so maybe it was actually just very dusty treasure, but TREASURE just the same. 
Have you ever found a box of your own writing that is so old you can’t remember writing it?  And then, the best part….you start reading and think, this is good stuff!  Oh my gosh, it just makes me so happy that I want to hug myself. 
Who knew cleaning the attic could bring something more than a sense of accomplishment along with the requisite dust induced upper respiratory infection.
Has this ever happened to you?