Friday, December 01, 2006

December and It Feels Like Spring Outside!!

"The dedicated life is the life worth living.You must give with your whole heart"
~Anne Dillard

Not much on the writing front to report, because I haven't done any writing this week. Busy week at work, and busy afternoons and evenings at home, trying to get ready for the crazy December rush of holiday shopping and parties and sending out cards and...

But this weekend I have to get myself back on track. I have to! Which means working on the second half of Paradise USA so it can be sent to my editor, and also setting some 2007 goals for myself. Not sure what I'm planning on tackling in the New Year, writing-wise. I have a novel that needs revising and sending out (it went out once before and made it to a final read-through at New American Library before being rejected). And I also have a couple of new ideas simmering that need development, so I'm excited about those as well.

Mostly, I'm glad to still be excited about writing, esp. since I went through a low period a few months back. I suppose having a story accepted at Virtual Tales has made a big difference, with the idea that someone else values my work and thinks it has merit, though I hate being weak enough to admit that I need external praise.

Anyway, it's 60 degrees outside this morning, on this first day of December, which sort of makes it difficult to think about carols and Christmas lights, but I'll try! Have a great weekend~

Thursday, November 30, 2006

A Moment at Work

“I want to tell you with my last breath that I have always loved you.”
~from “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”

One of the nicest things happened to me yesterday, which has nothing much to do with writing…except it sort of does, in a really round-about way…

One class of my high school students discovered the library I keep in the corner of my classroom. (We’ll ignore the fact that they’ve been sitting in this classroom for 12 weeks now. They don’t ever notice something until they’re ready to.) Anyway, I have a crazy collection of books, mostly used PB but a few hardcover, that range from my own leftover college texts to classics to YA to best-sellers and really, anything I pick up at a library book sale or a used book store or the occasional splurge at Border’s.

Yesterday they had a few extra minutes at the end of class, and when one of them asked if they were “allowed to” borrow the books, and I said yes, half of them headed straight for the corner. Let me tell you, there are very few things more heart-warming to see than a group of teenagers huddled around a bookshelf talking about which ones they’ve read and which ones they want to.

At the end of class, about 10 books traveled out the door. Part of me doesn’t even care if I ever see them again.

Hooray! The love of reading and of appreciating good writing may not be entirely dead!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Holiday Recommendations

“Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some people move our souls to dance. They awaken us to new understanding with the passing whisper of their wisdom. Some people make the sky more beautiful to gaze upon. They stay in our lives for awhile, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never ever the same.”
~Flavia Weedn

OK, who has movie or book recommendations for me? I’m looking forward to “The Holiday,” a cute-looking romance with Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Jack Black, and Jude Law (yummy…) coming out soon. Also “Charlotte’s Web,” though even the previews are making me teary just because although it’s a terrific story, the ending, well, you know…

I put on my Christmas list For One More Day (Mitch Albom), The Tenth Circle (Jodi Picoult), Lisey’s Story (Stephen King) and The Audacity of Hope (Barack Obama). Hmm, can you say an eclectic collection? Actually, I really don’t have a favorite genre when it comes to my taste in books.

Anyone else have anything they’re really looking forward to seeing or reading?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Prison Break

When you love someone, all your saved-up wishes start coming out.
~Elizabeth Bowen

Let me count how many ways I love this show.

I love the characters: complex, well-developed, mysterious, compelling.

I love the premise: bad boys break each other out of jail and make you cheer for them even though they’re felons.

I love the writing: clever and just twisted enough to keep you on the edge of your seat the entire 60 minutes.

I loved last night’s finale. What a shocker! The only bummer is that now I have to wait until January 22 for it to start up again…

I found an interesting article yesterday as I was browsing info about characterization. Now, I do agree with what the speaker said here about making male characters “real” enough, and I thought she had some great points about the ways in which men and women differ that ought to be clear in novels.

But here’s a question: do we need to read romance to remind ourselves that men "use less words” or that "men's humor tends to be cruder than women's"? Or do the vast majority of romance readers pick up a novel to fall in love with a hero who is different than Mr. Everyday? Isn’t part of writing romance to create a character who is both ruggedly masculine and in touch with his inner softie, one who can be authoritative and develop a thought that is outside the realm of SPORTS-SEX-WORK?

Do we write what we know, or what we dream of? Do we read to agree, or to escape? Or a little bit of both?

Monday, November 27, 2006

Happy Monday

“I will have poetry in my life. And adventure. And love. Love above all. No…not the artful postures of love, not playful and poetical games of love for the amusement of an evening, but love…that overthrows life. Unbiddable, ungovernable, like a riot in the heart, and nothing to be done, come ruin or rapture.”
~from ”Shakespeare in Love”

Just a quick note for this sleepy, hard-to-get-going, after-holiday Monday morning:

My bio and “Coming Soon” banner are up at Virtual Tales. Exciting!

Have a great day~