Saturday, May 30, 2009

Revision quest

Daily Stats:
Words: some old, some new, some borrowed, some blue
Caffeine: morning cup + midday cappuccino
Evil Calories: pretzels with peanut butter and little hunks of dark chocolate
Reality TV: ANTM reruns on Oxygen

Today I visited my old stomping ground, the cafe at Barnes & Noble. It's been months since I parked my keyster in the cozy little corner and tippity-tapped an entire day away. Funny thing about revisions, though. When I'm working on the first draft of something, I just go, go, go and go. Revisions are a different story. I can only go, go, go and go for little sprints before I want to tear my head off and throw it at someone (preferably the girl yammering at top volume on her cell phone about, like, how, like, so annoying Evan is, like, he totally, like, bugs, and, like, did you see what he was wearing? It was, like, so bananas. BTW, I thought "bananas" was good, but Evan apparently was not dressed well. So, "bananas" is bad now?) Anyway, revisions for me are a lot of stop-start-stop-start-go back-stop-start-go back-go back-go back-go back-start-stop-scream-stop-scream some more-start-stop. The whole process makes my brain go squish, which is why it's good that Barnes & Noble has cheesecake.

I don't actually eat it, mind you. I just watch while gaggles of rail thin tweens cram their cake holes. I hope they know that some day they will no longer have the metabolisms of rabid weasels on crack.

And on a more introspective note, it occurred to me today that I might, might be dragging my heels just a teeny, weeny bit on revisions because revisions lead to a completed manuscript, which leads to queries, which leads to rejections, which leads to me hiding in my closet freebasing Funyuns and Hostess products. But, I'll delve deeper into that psychological phenomenon when I'm having a better hair day. I'm already in a fight with my bangs. I have no room on my plate for further self doubt.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Creepy eyeball and my cousin Brad Pitt

Daily Stats:
Words: I hate regurgitated hair-balls
Caffeine: morning cup + midday iced latte
Evil Calories: ice cream with homemade chocolate sauce that unexpectedly turned into that chocolate shell stuff you get at Dairy Queen which made us almost weep with joy
Reality TV: Tori & Dean

I'm still very much on the fence about my new banner, so if you see it come and go over the next few weeks, don't be surprised. It's okay, but I look WAY too nice. I am nice, but perhaps not the "tea cozies and masterpiece theater" nice the picture is alluding to. I mean, just below the picture and to the right, I illustrate my firm belief that Rachel Ray is the anti-christ. There's kind of a disconnect. Besides, I find my enormous zombie eye a little disturbing. If you stare at it for too long you might try to eat someones brain.

In other news, I had yet another dream last night about my cousin Brad Pitt. Yes, again. I've lost track of how many dreams I've had where Mr. Jolie is my cousin. I really can't figure out where this stems from. I'm not exactly a fan, I don't find him dreamy and I most of the time feel he couldn't act his way out of a paper sack. But last night I found myself off in dreamland in some weird triangular apartment with mustard colored walls, trying to convince Brad that he should have some Breyers Slow Churn ice cream instead of the regular because it had 1/2 the fat (this stems from a discussion my husband and I had before bed - have you ever looked at how much fat is in regular ice cream? Frightening! It's a wonder our arteries don't just slam shut). So, Brad says, "I'm sick of dieting," and I said, "You don't have to diet, just don't inhale trans fat at light speed." And then he stood up and his pants were really tight...not good tight, like busting at the seams tight, so I said, "Ummm...don't take this the wrong way, but those pants make you look like ten pound of shit crammed into a five pound bag," and he dropped his shoulders, let out a long sigh and started doing push-ups on the table. Then my dad walked in and started talking about a house fire (he's a fire chief, so this is quite normal) and my mom walked in with a casserole (she's Lutheran, so this is also quite normal). The end.

Well, sort of "the end". There was something about ghosts and then somewhere in there I broke my salad spinner and I was very upset.

Why can't I dream about cool things, like ninjas or flame-throwers?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Makeovers and makeunders

Daily Stats:
Words: 4. Or maybe 700. It's hard to count when you're editing because you're using a lot words you already wrote. (note to self: thank self later for writing so many usable words.)
Caffeine: morning cup
Evil Calories: Demonic chocolate chip cookies. They are made entirely of evil.
Reality TV: Fashion Show

So, as you can probably see, I'm playing around with some different looks for my bloggy blog. Not sure about this banner yet. It didn't quite come out like we hoped. I look like an advertisement for a British adaptation of an E.M. Forster novel. Oh, well. I've been using Gimp, which is the knock off version of Photoshop, and although I realize that it's free, I'd still like to find the geek squad who created it and give them gigantic wedgies. I can dig minor quirks, but when I'm yelling, "OHMYGOD, YOU SUCK DONKEY BALLS!" at 7:00 in the morning, clearly some serious tweaks need to be made. Especially when 7:00 in the morning is prime writing time. Curse you, nerds with greasy t-zones. If you'd stop playing World of Warcraft for three seconds, perhaps us dead broke, pseudo-creative wannabes wouldn't suffer so.

Speaking of writing...

By show of hands, who here writes in their head as they're trying to fall asleep? It's unfortunate that they haven't invented some kind of telepathic wi-fi brain-to-hard drive downloading system. They really need to get on that. (Of course, it would also record the completely asinine things I often think about while falling asleep, like what Jabba the Hut looked like as an infant, or why the hell the Shamwow guy is wearing an earpiece. I think it's supposed to be his microphone, but I'm convinced he's really getting directives from zombie aliens who want to eat our brains.)

I've been in a nasty stand off with Chapter 1 lately, though I've been at a loss to figure out why. But last night as I was dozing off, my subconscious elbowed me in the eyeball and spelled it out. Two words: Information dumping. Aha! I sprung out of bed (7-8 hours later, mind you) and opened Chapter 1 again. DUH!! Chapter 1 should be in traction from the amount of crap its trying to relay. So, I've taken a hatchet to it, and we're getting along much better now. Thank you, subconscious elbow to the eyeball!

Care to share any writing epiphanies you've had while slipping off to dreamland?

(Oh, btw, if you have a moment, go visit my writery friend Debra at Write on Target. Today is her 100th post, and she's giving away some fab prizes to mark the occasion.)

Sunday, May 10, 2009


Daily Stats:
Words: too many, none of which were my own
Caffeine: morning cup
Evil Calories: Cookies n' Cream ice cream - only because my son asked for it and I've heard that denying your child's innocent requests for ice cream might negatively effect their SAT scores later in life.
Reality TV: Millionaire Matchmaker (I'm not proud of this)

What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

say a little fairy god-something-or-other lands on your shoulder and tells you that you are destined for wonderfulness once you actually do the thing you truly want to do. It's an interesting topic and one that was discussed this week in my lovely little writers group. (yes, I have a writers group! And it's a "live and in person" writers group, as in they come to my house and I make brownies that (sometimes) come out really yummy (when I don't accidentally add an extra egg to the batter) and we sit and talk about writing! It's just about the coolest thing ever and I highly recommend you try it! Forming a writers group, that is...not adding an extra egg to brownie batter. That sucks.)

So, what would you do if you knew you could not fail? Would you make writing your number one priority? Would you stay up late, wake up early and forgo basic daily grooming just to get those extra seconds to put into your work? Would you tell everyone you know to rally behind your efforts because your fairy-god-something said that you were destined for greatness? Because before your fairly-god-something landed on your shoulder, there was always the tiniest sense of futility to your writing efforts. You could hope, dream, send happy thoughts out into the universe, but in the back of your mind you knew it could end up going no where. But now you know, because your fairy-god-something told you that awesomeness awaits, and fairly-god-somethings don't lie.

Now, here's where I have one of those "a-ha" moments. Shouldn't we be going along as if our fairy-god-somethings really did land on our shoulders and told us of our pending greatness? We're writers. We spend our days suspending reality. Why should this be any different? Yes, it may take us a step into the "nuttier than a fruitcake" forest, but I'd be willing to bet most of us already have a pretty good campsite set up there. (Mine has a tent with an indoor swimming pool and a ski-ball arcade. Thursday's are tournament nights. Bring your A game, sucka!) Remember, writers are supposed to be weird and wacky. It adds to our charm.

So, from this moment forward I'm working under the guise that I've had a visit from my fairy-god-something (who has currently taken the form of Tim Roth since I've spent the last two days ODing on episodes of Lie to Me on Hulu before they expire). He doesn't actually land on my shoulder...he just sits down at the my desk and hands me a cappuccino. Plus, he wears Prada:

As fairy-god-somethings go, he's pretty darn good.

Who would your fairy-god-something be? And what would you do if they told you that you could not fail?