Monday, August 23, 2010

Wizards and Mickey

So if you haven’t noticed my little countdown in the sidebar, I’m going to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Disney World on Tuesday. I’m leaving my house exactly 24 hours after this post goes online.

I thought I wasn’t excited. I thought I wasn’t anxious.

I was in a state of amazing calm.

My only problem? I haven’t been able to focus the last (if I’m honest) two weeks. My mind couldn’t hold a thought, the world was a slippery slope and things just whizzed by – like Alice falling down the rabbit hole.

I had plans to finish my MS. I was going to work my but off and package pretty stacks of paper to send off to my beta readers. Instead, Mom is reading the first third in a purple duotang while I’m gone. I’m disappointed I didn’t finish – awfully so. But, I am really happy with the direction the rewrite is taking and we’ll see how Mom feels when she’s finished. (Also, when I say Mom is reading, do not assume she will think it’s awesome just cause I’m her daughter. She doesn’t care. To her, it’s a book, like any other and she’ll give it the same treatment. Mom never lies. Serious. Plus, she knows lying about my book would only harm me (not that she lies anyways!).)

And then, last night, at my family birthday dinner when I was opening presents geared towards my trip my emotions spiked. It became real, in a way it hasn’t been. Mom made a valid observation (as moms so often do): three months ago I was seriously excited, my body readjusted, accommodating that level of excitement so I got used to it, expected it – when my excitement spiked, I could suddenly feel it again.

Ramona drew me a card of Draco Malfoy in watercolor! Thought I'd share the awesome.

Now I’m dying. And my goodness, let me tell you, it is an absolutely wondrous way to go.

Needless to say I will be missing in blogger action the next two weeks (also, sorry for not really visiting this week. As stated earlier I’ve been a little...lost lately). I’ll be back by the 5th of September with pictures and stories and awesome galore!

Before I sign off, I need to say something:

I’m overwhelmed by the generosity and thoughtfulness and love and support of my family. (And no, this doesn’t really have anything to do with my trip – well except the generosity part but that transcends the trip.) My uncle, cousin, mom and grandparents all read this blog so I want to say I Love You. Period.

Excuse me fellow bloggers as I get sappy and give an extra special shout out to Grandparents:

You are making the little girl in me – that girl who waited on her eleventh birthday for her Hogwarts Owl and cried when it didn’t come (for weeks) – unbearably happy. You are making one of my childhood dreams come true. No one else has Grandparents this awesome.

Pay Attention Again.

Because my family continually teaches me about generosity and thoughtfulness, when I return, I’m going to hold my first ever contest and share a little bit of the magic I am ridiculously lucky to be experiencing.

See you in the fall!

Word Of The Day: Galvanize - inspire; stimulate

Monday, August 16, 2010

A Writing Sample.

So, Renae Mercado actually tagged me for this months ago and I forgot until I got tagged a second time by Erica Spickard. Sorry Renae. Thank you both for thinking of me. (Though my writing is...interesting so everyone else may curse you...just saying.) 

I actually tried to write nicely and have about twenty three (So what if I counted?) half-written pages of this writing thing but my writing was SO gross I couldn't post it here. This is the best I could do. 

1. Name/Blog Name
2. Righty or Lefty or Both
3. Favorite letters to write?
4. Least favorite letters to write?
5. Write: The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.
6. Write in caps:
7. Favorite song lyrics?
8. Tag 7 people
9. Any special note or drawing? (I left you several!)

Yeah, have fun. If you click on the image it gets big and you can read all my little notes...You know you want to, the image has color! Everyone likes color. Right?

Well, for proper passing of the paper purposes I'll tell you who I tagged: Ramona - Caitlin Darrell - Jennie Bailey - Gaby - Ashelynn D. Sanford - Christina Lee - WritingNut

Friday, August 13, 2010

Confessing Friday

I hate writing.

Let me back pedal a bit before your jaw clenches so tight you give yourself a toothache.

I hate writing. Sorry. I needed to say it again, this is rather freeing. I sort of get why Catholics like to go to confession now. It’s liberating.

The act of writing itself brings me no joy. It bugs me, makes me want to kill my laptop/pen and – in the end – does nothing but disappoint me. An intricately detailed world fills 90% of my subconscious mind and at least half of my consciousness – every tiny detail, every nuance is there. Characters every twitch adds to their self, thousands of years of history in every stone (yes, I have thousands of years of back story for my world), and emotions overwhelm me with every scene (feeling what seven other people are feeling all at once is a nightmare. Seriously. I wouldn’t wish being an empath on anyone!).

Every facet of the world and story is vivid, so crystal clear in my head that words cannot do it justice. My words fail me. They aren’t enough. They can’t convey all they must. Words are insufficient.

The act of trying to find words that can encompass a mere fraction of what’s inside of me – the living, breathing reality inside of my head – is nothing less than torture.

I hate writing.

This is not a post about me being depressing or upset or looking for encouragement. That isn’t the point. I will never like writing. I know this.

What I love, on the other hand, is storytelling. I love characters and emotion and dialogue and journeys. I love story. And, to me, the best art form for expressing story – with subtlety, intricacy and a greater sense of purpose – is the written word.

I have characters who scream and demand my attention. I need to exorcise the – for lack of a better term – demons who rampage through the caverns of my mind and wreak havoc, leaving chaos in their wake. The only way to sort the wreckage is to write. Writing is the only form of release, the only escape, the mechanism that grants balance.

Writing is as vital to my well-being as breathing – that doesn’t mean I like it.

Maybe this made no sense and your teeth hurt and you want to smack me but todays about honesty so, if you’re up for it, your turn.

Word Of The Day: Avowal - acknowledgement. 

PS. Thank you for all the well-wishes on the bartending course! As of August 12 2010 I am a certified Bartender. I finished with flying bottles (not really but wouldn't that of been cool) pouring myself to a a magnificent 99%. (And you can bet I will never forget a brand of premium single malt scotch on a written exam ever again!)

Drinks are on me tonight.

Friday, August 6, 2010

ER, Readers and Expectations.


Three hours of waiting. The X-ray’s we’re taken two and a half hours ago and Mom and I have waited for two ice packs and a tetanus shot ever since.

The nurses shoved us into a nearly dead hallway, one turn away from the rest of the sundry medical conditions waiting for attention in the ER. They forgot about us and our near silent and sickly smelling hallway.

When we finally get attention from a Russian (accent!) male nurse (who was probably a doctor in his home country but lacks the proper certification in Canada) who says he’ll be right with us, leaves then doesn’t return for another hour or so.

He stands before us in dark blue scrubs, smacking gum around his words, “An ice pack for your elbow and one for...somewhere else.”

Mom grabs a bag of offered ice for her frozen (at a 45 degree angle) arm. “Yeah it’s for my-”

“Foot, it’s for her foot.” I finish. Mom’s in pain and speaking too slow. (Never said I was patient)

He nods, smacking his gum with annoying consistency, bends at the waist and throws the ice pack on Moms swollen and bruised foot.

She jumps six inches in her chair, hissing in pain.

I scowl and go to open my mouth but Male Nurse flicks a cover off the needle asking, “Right or left arm?”

Mom answers, “Doesn’t matter.”

The next instant a needle is jammed into her arm. A second later Male Nurse rips the needle from her arm, flicks the protective cover over the tip and tosses the used needle.

Wide-eyed I watch as a bubble of blood gathers on Mom’s upper arm. I look between the, now dripping, red and Male Nurse who is walking down the hall, confident swagger and all.

I do the only thing that makes sense. I laugh.

Mom joins and we bond over the ridiculousness of his bedside manner, knowing exactly why he’ll probably never be certified as a doctor in Canada – we have standards.

I have expectations as a patient (or bystander, in this case) ones which, no matter who it is, I expect to be fulfilled. He broke them.  

Readers have expectations of Writers too. They don’t like being ignored. They don’t want things dropped on them or jammed into their bloodstream – be it morals, ideologies, characterization or plot details (it’s called subtlety people!).

They want care, to feel important and a gentle hand to guide them through the process. They may be in for a fatal diagnosis, for a broken bone that will take months to heal, an inability to breathe, heart problems or even a false alarm – really, whatever your story calls for. However, no matter why they are their or what’s in store, you need to do your job: to walk the thin line between being straightforward and subtle, to give some warning (foreshadowing!), and to be gentle while you deliver your worst.

To clarify, all I mean by gentle is write well, don’t just bludgeon your reader or use cheap tricks to force a reaction - it probably won’t be the one you want anyway.

Who knows, they might just laugh at you.

Word Of The Day: Abeyant - latent.

Sorry, if I've missed visiting you this week. I started bartending school Tuesday and it's really demanding! If any of you are going to the bar/pub/club/restaurant (and you order drinks) this weekend, please, for all that is good in this world, don't forget to tip! A lot of work goes into learning how to bartend properly, remembering all the recipes (HUNDREDS!) and being efficient. That being said, if they are jerks for whatever reason...then don't, obviously.

I'm just saying.

Monday, August 2, 2010

My African Safari in Canada

Friday evening I went on an African Safari.

Well, okay, not really. In truth, my family and I went to see Broadway’s travelling Lion King but I have to say that the play was so good I lost track of the actors, of the play, of everything. (Which is saying something because I was having a minor asthma attack the whole time because of extraneous variables)

I just lived it.

The scenery was so vivid even the grass and bushes were alive. Each set piece was injected with so much personality they became characters in their own right. The costumes transcended the boundaries of theatre, every twitch an actor made moved their costumes – they became cheetahs, giraffes, elephants, birds and lions. There were no people.

The play was phenomenal. 

I could ramble on and on about each miniscule why, my every impression but I’ll save you that verbal vomit and say only this: every writer can learn something from this play.

With even the set pieces being alive there is a lot going on. That being said, the extra bits simply liven the main plot, add depth and intrigue. You don’t get distracted or forget the purpose.

The audience forgets about the strings and mechanics of the gracefully moving costumes. The actors play their roles so well that they seem real, like you can reach out and stroke the fur of a hyena.

Occasionally actors peppered themselves throughout the audience; you feel the heat, the swish of feathers over your head. The story surrounds you, in every possible way. You don’t forget things like this.

The experience is effortless. There is no awkward language or movement, no stumbling blocks, just pure, evocative, experience.

My advice?

If you have the chance, go see Lion King. I promise you will thoroughly enjoy the experience.

If teachers could make learning this fun, kids would hate summer. 

PS. A lot of you asked so I thought I'd clarify this post about the near drowning is real. It isn't a story, this really happened last weekend. It was terrifying and awful but things are starting to make sense again and, in case you're wondering, my mom is bruised and battered but okay and keeps getting better. 

Word Of The Day: Amaranthine - Eternal