Monday, September 27, 2010
Friday, September 24, 2010
Today I'm joining about 150 other bloggers out there for a bit of a blogfest-blogpalooza and we are all giving you our spin on "Writing Compelling Characters!"
I don't generally do a lot of "how to" posts or what not, because I really think everyone has their own style and that is one of the most important things for a writer--knowing who you are and what your writing style is. You don't need me to tell you how to write.
With that in mind, I'm going to tell you my thoughts on compelling characters and something I always try to keep in mind:
If this was a real person, would I care about this character?
This is a question I ask myself because I think the compelling characters are the most memorable ones. Art can imitate life and vice versa. People who may only have a cameo, or very small, brief parts in our lives may end up making huge impacts that can stay with us forever. Chances are, if this is character is a person whose appearance in my real life could change my life, whether I love them, hate them or recognize them as just a passing acquaintance, will I remember these people/characters?
I guess, the other part of my big question to think about is the word "real." Compelling characters ARE real, they are multi-dimensional. There is depth to them beyond just being good or bad. They are characters that have flaws, strengths, weaknesses . . . these are characters with a soul - whether good or evil. And with that in mind, a compelling character is one thatis developed to where they could come right off the pages of a book and you could run into on your next trip to the grocery store.
Sorry if I'm a bit rambly in this post, running on a week of very little sleep and feeling almost zombie-ish. Plus, a little short on time with day job and kidlet stuff going on.
Regardless, those are just what my thoughts are. As a writer, if I can answer that real person question, I'm all set. As for you, what do you think?
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Sorry, I meant to post this earlier, but things have been a bit crazy. Hence the reason this is not a more fabulous post.
However, the important part is .... Who gets the Yum?? Well, the YanYan, but seriously, it is chocolate hazelnut YUM!
And without further ado, according to random.org the winner is
LT, shoot me an email on the best way to get the goodies over to you!
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
It's hard. Sometimes, damn near impossible.
H.O.W. do I do it? I have ADD and --ohhh look,
jedi squirrels!! Oh, wait, where was I? Oh, yeah.
H.O.W. to stay calm. Like I said, it's difficult. Especially as a writer where there's so much waiting and uncertainty and wondering and waiting and waiting and waiting.
Like when you send out a query. And wait. And wait. And wait.
Or if you're past that stage and out on submission. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting.
Or when you enter the Utah Chapter RWA Hearts of the West (aka HOW) Writer's Contest. And wait. And wait. And -- what? Wait, WHAT?
I'M A FINALIST IN THE Utah RWA H.O.W. Contest!!!
Check it out at the Utah RWA site.
And now I am doing a little bit of this:
Because, well, all good things should be shared and celebrated!
And I'm doing a lot a bit of this:
Why? Because losing myself in another story is H.O.W. I stay calm.
Keeping my fingers crossed! If you've got some good news let's hear it!
Monday, September 20, 2010
In lieu of a quote this week, I'd like to ask everyone to please keep the residents affected by the #HerrimanFire in Herriman, UT in your thoughts and prayers.
As of when I'm writing this post at 11:46 p.m. on Sunday night, over 1,200 residents have been evacuated and at last count, 3 homes have been completely destroyed. By the time you read this post, though I pray they won't be, I'm certain both those numbers will be significantly higher. Currently, the fire is 0% contained due to high winds / gusts that are making the fire's path unpredictable.
If you'd like more information regarding the Herriman Fire, which has also been called the Machine Gun Fire due to the cause of the fire (started at the machine gun range at Camp Williams), here are some links you can check out.
Wishing safety to all those affected.
Friday, September 17, 2010
1. Little Greeny's back and better than ever. The extra investment in the Geek Squad warranty stuff = Best. Plan. Ever. So now she's got a better hard drive (because they weren't sure what I had, so the guessed and I ended up with an upgrade.) AND they backed up my stuff for free! (normally they charge $100). And the whole thing only took about 25 hours, from drop off until I was able to pick up. Yay! Go Geek Squad.
2. Holy crap, I had no idea that being without my computer for a day would totally throw off my jive so much. But it did. It totally felt like I've been off my game this week - not tweeting like normal, not facebooking or blogging or anything! I feel like I've ended up so disconnected! So now I feel like I have to make up for it. We'll see if I actually can.
3. In addition to my lack of social networking this week ... I have barely been writing. Or rewriting. Or revisioning. Like I said. So off my game. I need to get my crap together. Hoping this 3-day weekend will help - at least on the R & R side (that's rest and relaxing, not rewriting & revisioning). Should help me get my game back right? Let's hope.
4. Last night was crit group night. Can I just say how much I adore my crit group? Love these ladies. Yes, that's right - Ali, Sheralyn and Nichole, I'm talking to you!! They're a ball to hang out with and brainstorm with and they always know just how to keep you grounded. As I've said on Twitter, I'm not exactly uber-techie, hence the shipping Little Greeny off to Geek Squad when she got sick. So this is a little bottle cap magnet one of my crit buds gave me - it's even green to match Little Greeny.
5. Speaking of crit group, we were talking about weird food. I don't remember how the topic came up, but I've eaten my fair share of bizarre foods (by American standards). My family's originally from Southeast Asia and there's loads of things that seem relatively normal to me, but according to some people, are bizarre. Cow tongue, tripe, chicken feet, balut (embryo eggs) and duck blood, just to name a few things.
AND because I decided just right this moment that I want to give something away, all you have to do is leave a comment and tell me what the MOST BIZARRE THING you've ever eaten is and you could win this lovely notebook, along with some Sharpie pens, very normal things for all writers to have. And that's not all! I'll even throw in one of our family's favorite treats: YanYan crackers with chocolate-hazelnut dip! Seriously - the treat is YUM!
And because there's totally yum foodage involved and some countries are so not down with the yum, I have to keep this a USA only contest. Sorry to the international peeps. I'll leave this contest open until, oh, let's say 10:00 pm Mountain time next Tuesday, September 21. The last day of summer. *sigh* I'll pick a winner with the help of random.org.
Oh, and if you decide you want to tweet the contest or FB it or whatev, let me know and I'll throw in an extra entry for you!
Okie dokie, all, have a great weekend!
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
"Oh my ... what is that beeping?"
Geek Squad Agent
I apologize for the delay in posting my quote this week, but I'd like to explain. You see, yesterday, my new awesome laptop, Little Greeny, came down with BSOD, aka: Blue Screen of Death. Yes, that is actually the technical term. I've only had Little Greeny for about 3 weeks and I have no idea what happened. As soon as I recognized it was BSOD I called Geek Squad (came with the computer) and about 5 minutes into the convo, this week's quote was uttered. By more than 1 Geek Squad Agent. That quote was followed by:
"You need to take this into the Geek Squad guys asap."
2nd Geek Squad Agent
I had a gee? really? you don't say? moment, but I opted not to say that, as they were being nice to me. I packed up the kidlets and off to Best Buy we were, so Little Greeny could get into the computer hospital. And then I had to leave him there. So ... I am without computer for the time being. So if I'm a little lacking in my normal online-ness activities, I apologize. I am practicing my meditations so that I can stay Zen about the whole situation. Hope everyone else is having a better start to their week than I've had!
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
So it's Friday and what have we discovered I am all about on Friday's? Random stuff. Well, it's a whole week's worth of random stuff, but still. Here we go!
1. I am obsessed with Netflix. The kidlets LOVE it even more than I do, I think. They get to watch loads of PBS and NickToons and other kiddie shows and I finally have a chance to watch shows I've heard lots about without making any real $$ commitment. It totally rocks. Why did we join so late in the game? I really need to listen to the masses more often.
2. When we had our 2nd baby (she's 2 now), we had a friend create adorable birth announcements that were more modern and clean and still had so much character. We loved them. And now Mae's going to be using E's pictures on some of her sample work! So, yay! we've got our very own little baby model in the family. And Mae does tons more stuff than just announcements, go check out her website: Mae Armstrong Designs (and no, she's not paying me advertise :D)
3. 5yo's first week full week of school wraps up with her being the student of the week or whatever in her class. What does this mean for me? Well, because I have tons and tons of time and not a million other things to do, we got to make a poster all about her. I let her pick out a few pictures and tried to make it look all cute and crafty and then she wanted to stick Finding Nemo stickers all over it - so totally didn't go with the stripy-dot theme we had, but whatev. It was her poster. She gets to take a show and tell and a treat to share and basically she's super excited, which is great, but let's just say I haven't had near as much writing time this week as I would've liked.
4. On Thursday was my 3-month post-op checkup. And the verdict? My heart is now "totally perfect." I really think they're just blowing smoke. Just kidding, the docs and nurses have been great, but now we're just waiting for the meds to get out of my system and hopefully that will help with all the other symptoms that have hit. A few more weeks and we'll see, but otherwise, good news.
5. Tomorrow is another writerly fun day! Meeting up with some peeps to hit the Kiersten White Paranormalcy signing at The Kings English in SLC! Come one, come all. Hope to see you all there!
Have a great weekend everyone.
Monday, September 6, 2010
It has just occurred to me at 11:46 pm on Monday night that I have not posted a quote for this week. So here's one for you:
"Man is so made that he can only find relaxation from one kind of labor by taking up another."
Apparently Anatole was a parent to rambunctious children with a full-time day job, AND writing aspirations?? Who woulda thought ...
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
I decided to jump on the random stuff Friday. Not that I'm not random most other days of the week, but I figure now I can consolidate it into one once a week post. Yeah? Yeah. So here's this week's Friday's Random 5.
1) A couple weeks ago I colored my hair for the first time in what feels like FOREVER. Since before I had kids. So we did a weave between this wicked red and then a more blendy red. But now I remember why I hated coloring my hair: the maintenance, especially of the red. Red fades. Fast. So now the wicked red? Not so wicked. :( Ah, well, back into see PrettyKateMachine, the cute chicky who does my hair.
2) Sneaky word verifications irk me. Not nearly as much as music on blogs, but still. I type in my comment and hit submit or whatever, think I'm all done and then ta-dah! Just kidding. Verify this word. It's like when you read the first exciting awesome chapter of a book (or an entire book) and get to the end and find out it's all a dream and none of it happened. Suck. Just saying.
3) I've been trying to limit my whiny-ness this week, but I currently have 5 canker sores in my mouth, all over. It hurts. I can't really talk. I can eat even less. I think I've lost about 5 pounds since this whole stupid thing started, and not that that's not a good thing, but I'm HUNGRY! UPDATE: Went to the doctor and I've actually lost 4 lbs, so my guess was pretty good. My mouth still hurts, but they gave me some "magic" mouthwash that is decent, but totally makes my entire mouth tingly numb. But hey, no pain!
4) We had our first experience with non-family babysitter last night. A cute girl, the daughter of one of the guys I work with, and the kidlets LOVED her! They had so much fun and she was so good with them! It was awesome. So glad we found someone, because for a while, I wasn't so sure we'd ever be able to escape the dependence on the family. Not that having them around for support is bad ... it's just, there's some things they just don't "get." Like date nights. Or crit groups. ;)
5) 5yo's first day of Kindergarten was today. I took the day off from work because I remembered how I felt when I dropped her off at pre-school for the first time. But it was all good, because she was excited and I'd already done the leaving at school thing before and I'm actually okay. Unlike the lady in the next car who was sobbing, which I totally expected of myself.
OK, that's it for this week's installment of Random Stuff Friday. This production has been brought to you by the letters K (kindergarten) and E (emotional). And by the number 2 (for 2yo's tantrum to distract me from being emotional when dropping off 5yo).
Have a great holiday weekend for all those in the US and have a great weekend for everyone else!