Friday, February 29, 2008

Don't Bitch-Slap the Waiter

Daily Stats
Words: more than three, less than four thousand
Caffeine: morning cup + midmorning cappuccino
Evil Calories: left over apple pie from dinner out last night....tastes a little like feet, but the general idea is there
Reality TV: Project Runway reruns

Let me begin by saying that I know I'm not the most hilarious person ever in the history of time. I make no claim to be that charming. But, I've got thirty-some years of being told I'm "cute" to know that I'm at least working with something here. So, why then, when I go out to dinner and make a harmless joke about the salad, can I not even get any love from the waiter? He's being paid crappy minimum wage to bring me my food. His tip depends on how fabulous he makes me feel. Laugh at my sub-par joke, dude. I know you're distracted by the twelve-year-old with her thong hanging out at the table next to ours, but focus! I'm not saying my joke was funny, but it deserved at least a smirk. I would have even accepted a nose wrinkle. Something!!

Anyway...So, I think I might be a little on edge. It's officially been six weeks since that agent requested the partial, and I have yet to hear back. Clearly she blew her nose in it, then used it to line her trash can before she threw her half drunk latte away. I knew I shouldn't have spent the extra money on 30% recycled paper. Drat!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Deliver Me From the Hallway

Daily Stats
Words: none yet
Caffeine: morning cup
Evil Calories: resisting...fat pants getting snug
Reality TV: American Idol

So today I'm determined to get out of the hallway.

Makes no sense, I know. But believe me, it needs to happen. My MC has been standing in the hallway for about three days now. She needs to find something, and I know full well what that something is, but where she finds it is what's tripping me up. It's something very personal to a loved one who just passed away. My MC has no idea it even exists, so she must stumble upon it by accident.

Of course, I'm trying to be clever about it. Hidden in the back of a bedroom closet seems too obvious. Under the bed seems too lazy. Under the floor boards is way too over the top. I need something subtle, yet clever.

hmmm....maybe a hollowed out book.....or an ice bucket....or in a weird box from an import shop....or a ceramic frog with a hole in the bottom ("you put your weed in it!").

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Have I Met Me?

Daily Stats
Words: 1000+
Caffeine: morning cup + midmorning cappuccino + late afternoon cappuccino (zing-a-ding-dee)
Evil Calories: chocolate covered chocolate
Reality TV: American Idol

So, I was digging through some old files on my computer today, and I stumbled across some of my old writing. I cracked up because most of it was from my days of working in advertising, when I'd be so fed up with the annoying politics and cry-baby creatives that I'd hide at my desk and blow off doing real work so I could write. Which resulted in mounds and mounds of really short stories that made no sense at all.

But one really struck me, mostly because I HAVE NO CLUE WHAT THE HECK IT'S ABOUT!!! Seriously, I cannot remember!!!! I don't even really remember writing it! It's very odd...doesn't even sound like me. So, I thought I'd post it. It's very short, kind of hokey and it sounds like the narrator is being chasing by something (spoooooky...not). I didn't edit it or spell-check or anything. This is exactly how I found it:

There was something lying on the ground in front of me. It took me more time than I had to realize it was just a crumpled receipt. A 3-liter of Coke and an O’Henry bar. That wasn't a sign. Not one I could understand. I threw it back on the ground and continued walking. I knew that the weather should register something; hot, cold, windy, rainy. But I felt nothing. It was as if what pursued me had already caught up with me, and left upon me a thick layer, blocking out what everyone else was experiencing. The sidewalk was crooked as I stepped, somehow not tripping as the jagged edges seemed to rise to meet my feet. My pace was being slowed by simple concrete slabs. Concrete slabs that had no life, no souls, no memory. Yet, they had somehow formed an alliance with what was following me.

Well, there you go. My brain five years ago. I certainly had a flair for the dramatic.
It was as if what pursued me had already caught up with me, and left upon me a thick layer, blocking out what everyone else was experiencing. Oops...I think I just threw up a little.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Meez Me Baby One More Time

Daily Stats
Words: not enough
Caffeine: morning cup + midmorning cappuccino (I heart my espresso machine...we're having a shit-ton of snow here and there's no way I could have made it to Starbucks)
Evil Calories: Tiramisu loaded with copious amounts of dark rum (that was by accident, but it turned out really delish!)
Reality TV: American Idol (Must see hot Aussie again. I don't usually go for the painfully gorgeous but I can't help myself)

Ok, I promise not to complain about the snow (stupid, crappy, annoying crap!). I'm sick of hearing myself whine. Ok, that's not true, I embrace my incessant complaining, but truth be told, I have nothing more to say about the snow (crappy, stupid crap!) It's cold, it's crappy, and it's EVERYWHERE I look!


In other news, I meezed myself! (look at the sidebar) Don't try this at home. should try this at home. It's way fun! I wish she did danced or did kung fu or wrote for me while I sat and stuffed my face with cookies. But she's adorable anyway, and she actually kinda looks like me (though she's much leggier).

And finally, I had a strange dream last night that the agent that requested the partial emailed and wanted the full. I scrambled around in the dreamworld (which means I kept taking elevators up and down an office building to try and find all the pages) and dropped them off at a security desk. No one was there, so I just put a sticky note on it and left it on the desk. Then I got a call from the agent saying that she like my book, but the ending was wrong. Not bad...just wrong. Like I'd accidentally put the wrong ending in and she caught the mistake as if it were a typo. Very strange. And of course I woke up before I found out if she wanted to rep me.

So if I ever hear from that agent and she wants a full, I'm officially psychic.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Losing Your Voice...?

Daily Stats
Words: 1000
Kleenex: 10 (there's hope for the trees)
Caffeine: morning cup + midmorning cappuccino + late afternoon cappuccino (it's laundry day, back off!)
Evil Calories: still can't move from ODing on apple pie

I've always preferred writing in first person, so when I began writing my first book, it was the obvious way to go. Third person was always a little bizarre to me. I didn't understand who I would be as third person (do I see all? do I only see what my MC sees? Am I God-like? If so, am I a God, or the God? If I'm the God, can make women stop wearing colored hosiery and outlaw tapered leg jeans?). I also thought that I would lose my voice writing in third person. That I'd just be a boring, robotic tone transcribing a story.

But, for my second book I decided to give third person a go. Oddly enough, I think I actually have a stronger voice. There's this little window of opportunity to poke fun at your MC that I don't think is there when you write in first person, especially if your MC is having a total brown out. I actually think I prefer it now.

And then I learned that several of my friends won't even consider reading a book if it's written in first person. I was totally baffled by this, but apparently it makes them "uncomfortable" to be that close to someones story (ummm...paging Dr. Freud!). So now I'm this common? Are there many people out there that will cast a book aside simply because of the voice it's written in?

And on a totally different subject, when I opened my computer and read the top headlines this morning I was so thrilled that cappuccino almost came out of my nose. I was at a family event last night so I missed the Oscars, but I saw the amazing Marion Cotillard won best actress for her portrayal of Edith Piaf in La Vie En Rose! If you haven't seen this movie, you must. Edith's life was immensely tragic, but the film is amazing, and Ms. Cotillard's portrayal is so incredible you'd think she was possessed by the little sparrow herself. So, go to Netflix and add it to your queue!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Contests, Schmontests!

Daily Stats
Words: 1000
Kleenex: 436 (better than yesterday)
Caffeine: morning cup + midmorning cappuccino
Evil Calories: Apple pie (I am hellbent on perfecting pie crust from scratch...even if it kills me or makes me gain nine hundred pounds!)
Reality TV: DVR'd Millionaire Matchmaker

When I was eight years old I wrote a short story about a gigantic bunny that ate my sister. Though she was a bit concerned about my mental state, our school librarian encouraged me to enter my story in the school writing competition. To my surprise, I won third place and received a lovely plastic bronze medal that my mother still has hanging on the wall in the family room. Writing has been my thing ever since. (As is occasionally sending my sister pictures of enormous bunnies just to freak her out.)

However, I'm sad to say that that was the one and only writing contest I have ever won in my life. You'd think I'd take that as a sign. But, here I am, churning out yet another Writer's Digest "Your Story" piece to submit. I've entered about five thousand of those and have never won boo.

Hmm...maybe I should submit that gigantic bunny story. The advisory council at Gladys Wood Elementary (which consisted of the PE teacher, the librarian and the lady that sold popcorn in the lunch room on Fridays) obviously thought it was a winner.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Breathing is Overrated

Daily Stats
Words: none
Kleenex: 784
Caffeine: morning cup + fourteen packets of EmergenC
Evil Calories: can't taste anything
Reality TV: American Idol

Mother of crap, I feel like hell. Up until now I've been able to dodge the plague, but apparently my time has come. You know what I love about being sick? Trying to sleep. It's so great waking up every half hour unable to breath out of your nose and it feels as if your cat has died in your mouth.

So, today I will be hiding in bed with my computer, sneezing and hacking all over my work. It'll be the best time ever.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

I Gots Mad Coping Skills

Daily Stats
Words: 1200
Caffeine: morning cup + midmorning cappuccino
Evil Calories: chocolate-covered figs (they sound weird but they're painfully good!)
Reality TV: Something so horrid I can't admit it openly (damn you VH1)

I don't really know very many other struggling writers. There's my uber-talented sister, of course. And a girl I met in one of my writing classes. But that's it. I suppose I could delve into some online community of aspiring writers and sit on a message board all day so I can spout off, but knowing me I'd spend all my time doing that and be too tired to write anything useful.

But the one thing I wish I had is a cluster of fellow writer friends who were at the exact same point that I am. One book completed that they're desperately trying to sell. That way we could swap stories of our harrowing adventures into the literary world, and perhaps share our coping skills.

You need coping skills when you do this kind of thing, because it is the most emotionally draining thing ever. Just imagine, you spend countless hours for months on end writing your book. Then you go back and spend countless hours for months on end re-writing your book. You pour your heart, soul, bank account (too many trips to Starbucks) and waning sanity into it. Then, when you're at the point where every time you read it you either want to throw up and/or cry tears of joy, you turn around try and make other people love it. And nine times out of ten...they won't.

Now, I have somewhat refined my coping skills. My favorite is to hide in bed with a pillow over my head, screaming "why, God, why?". Another favorite is to eat an entire cheesecake in one sitting. Then there are the things I tell myself I should do to cope. "Get a great new haircut" (I may be unpublished, but I have look damn good). "Lose twenty pounds" (I may be unpublished, but I just fit into a size 4!). And, of course, the dreaded "write something new".

I love to write, so calling it dreadful may seem strange. But it's sort of like dating. Sometimes it takes a little time to get back out there after your heart has been stomped to bits. In a way, you have to force yourself to do it, and the first few dates will surly be horribly abysmal pieces of garbage that you will never want to think of again. But eventually, you'll stumble upon some decent ones that will make you laugh and feel all warm and fuzzy inside. And then there will be the one. The one that grabs you. The one that you lay awake at night thinking about. The one that could be something.

Of course, I've been convinced I've found "the one" about 987 times since I put operation "write something new" into effect. Sometimes things sound great in your head, but they look like complete tripe on paper. Again it's like dating. You meet someone and think they're the cat's meow, but then you go out with them and discover they have a severe mucus problem and that they still live with their parents. Or, things are going well, then right in the middle of dinner, they ask the waiter out (yes, I said waiter.)

So, fingers crossed that I will soon find "the one". Or, "the one for now". Or maybe "the one long enough to keep me away from whole cheesecakes".

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Send Prozac Now!

Daily Stats
Words: winter sucks the moose
Caffeine: morning cup + midmorning cappuccino + midafternoon Bailey's spiked cappuccino
Evil Calories: cookies...a whole sleeve in one sitting...sad...very sad
Reality TV: Project Runway

I hate winter. I mean I really hate winter. The kind of hate that puts your lip in a permanent snarl. I know full well that if I lived in Miami, I'd eventually get sick of the constant sunshine and heat (say, after about five thousand years or so), but when I find myself sinking into the ass-crack of winter, it's all I can do to not throw all my most prized possesions into the car (espresso machine, laptop, bag of Ruffles and my fat pants) and head south for good.

Needless to say, the evilness of winter has seeped into my brain, freezing all my creative snarkiness, and I'm finding it hard to write. Especially when the other enemy, TNT, plays marathons of Law & Order all day long. Hmmm...sit and rack frozen brain trying to work through plotlines or hide under quilt on far-too-comfy-to-be-legal couch with box of cookies watching Benjamin Bratt in all his chiseled glory?

Oh, and to add to the harmony, I am currently wearing a patch over my right eye. My left eye is "lazy", so this is my futile attempt at bulking up the muscle so I can actually read stop signs without squinting like a ninety year old.

Perhaps I should apply the same theory to my left butt cheek or my cankles, which are also "lazy".