Having nothing to do with writing and everything to do with being human.

The noise and rush of holidays is over for our household, and with the boys off visiting grandmothers and aunts and my husband working for the evening, everything is so very quiet. Quiet enough the silence oppresses; not even a favorite playlist can make a dent in it. I understand why people find themselves inexplicably saddened, especially those who are generally more alone than I am. I myself am in a bit of a funk, to be honest.

I guess the important thing to remember is that more often than not, loneliness is a lie. It's a very crafty, very convincing lie, definitely, but a lie all the same, because no matter how alone you feel, you aren't actually alone. Even complete strangers keep you from being without anyone. Loneliness is the little voice whispering to you about being nothing, about having no worth, no place in the rest of the world.

Sometimes it's not just hard to ignore loneliness, it's frightening. Testing the lie, trying to break it, could prove it true, or at least that's what we're afraid will happen.

It's too quiet in my house tonight, and it's a little scary, and a little sad. It's lonely, yes.

But it's not without.

I hear you say, "My love is over,
it's underneath, it's inside, it's in between,
the times you doubt Me, when you can't feel,
the times that you've questioned 'Is this for real?'
the times you've broken, the times that you mend
the times you hate Me, and the times that you bend.

Well my love is over, it's underneath,
it's inside, it's in between,
these times you're healing
and when your heart breaks,
the times that you feel like you've fallen from grace.

The times you're hurting,
the times that you heal,
the times you go hungry, and are tempted to steal.

In times of confusion and chaos and pain,
I'm there in your sorrow under the weight of your shame.
I'm there through your heartache,
I'm there in the storm.
My love, I will keep you by My power alone.
I dont care where you've fallen, where you have been,
I'll never forsake you.

My love never ends.

It never ends

-- "Times", by Tenth Avenue North

Jumping off the bridge . . .

'Cause everyone else is doing it, Ma!

Just a short little post to wish everyone here in thee U.S. a delicious and enjoyable Thanksgiving meal, and the rest of the globe a very grateful day.

In my family, we'll be stuffing ourselves silly like most, with the Mom's (myself included) contributing something (I've got the potatoes, because I'm good at them on a regular basis, which cannot be said of most things because I'm a bit of a renegade in the kitchen). After ALL THE FIRST COURSE FOODS are consumed we divvy up into teams to play different board and card games, giving our tummies time to make room for ALL THE DESSERTS, of which there will be many noms.

It kind of makes my chest swell with pride. I know that's not very Biblical of me, but considering the life I knew before joining my husband's family, well, I give myself a little leeway when it comes to being proud of how beautiful is this group of people.

Personal Note: My favorite episode of Doctor Who is The Christmas Invasion. Everyone is so amazing in it.

In Case I Haven't Bragged Enough . . .

I am the ladylove of some amazingly handsome men.

Princess Who?

As often happens as I fell asleep one recent night, I presented myself with A Question.

If The Doctor (of British television and science-fiction adoration) were to regenerate as a Disney Princess, or for that matter were to have a Disney Princess become his companion, which lucky royal prospect would get the nod?

So, in the interest of satisfying my own curiosity and having a bit of a laugh I present:*


A three round competition to determine which animated lady deserves to hang with our favorite Time Lord. Winner takes Ten . . . or Nine, or any Doctor, up to Eleven, really.

Vote in the comments for the four princess you'd most like to see adventuring alongside The Doctor, or at the very least which of each set would take down her rival. I know I have my preferences! As a bonus, I'd love to see why you choose your princesses.


*Please note, I put together that graphic in Paint, so yes, I'm aware it's a little questionable. However, I am not profiting (except maybe in popularity?) from this little exercise of grins and giggles, so don't get weird on me. Just vote, and back up your vote with your reasoning.

Curiouser and Curiouser

So, what's up with all the interest in Zoe Boyle lately, guys?

Oh, Hey, look! Thanksgiving's my favorite!

Beth Revis is giving away lots of books! Some of them I've read (Hourglass! The Forest of Hands and Teeth! Paranormalcy!), but out of the ones in the list of eighteen, the one I've most appreciated is Wither. With rhythmic, gentle horror and a sort of aged poetry (think dried flowers no one remembered to display or treasure, anymore), Lauren DeStefano proves there is ample room for quiet provocation and roiling emotions on levels deeper than first love (which is saying something, 'cause, you know first love).

To help spread the word, and to answer Ms. Revis's question for yourself, visit her website and READ THE DIRECTIONS.

To celebrate all Beth has to be thankful for . . . 

Win 19 Signed Books

Things That Happen When I'm Awake Too Early

For one, I inappropriately capitalize titles.

Also, I get drawn into the 'good morning' rush on Twitter. On occasion, this has the weird effect of me Thinking Thoughts.  This morning, for instance, I felt a deep surge of love for several fellow authors; I read more about the awesomealito skillz of close aquaintence, Jodi Meadows (seriously, she's like Galadriel--instead of a Dark Author, we'd have a Queen, beautiful and terrible as the Morn! Treacherous as the Seas! Stronger than the foundations of the Earth! All shall love her and despair!), and lastly, I got the urge to write stuff. Dionadir stuff, which makes us all happy, no?

But it got me to thinking; many writers have blogged about what gets them juiced to write, but I'm not sure I've read one of them say, "Just talking to other writers." In my opinion, that'll do it. Humans and writers alike (no, we're not necessarily always the same thing) are social, tribal creatures, which means we encourage and spur on one another, even when we aren't consciously trying to. This morning alone I got "snugs" from Authoress Anonymous, an "awww" of mutual affection from Bria Quinlan, and as I mentioned, a rather alarming jolt of terror via Jodi.  All three are writers, writers I know and regard very highly, but to whom I have a certain level of access and familiarity. They also write in the same genres I do, which is very nice, but not a requirement. They're part of my tribe as a writer. There are others, of course; I haven't even mentioned my writing bestie, Michelle Witte, but these are the ones I interacted with this morning. Also, my husband, but he doesn't count because he is pretty much the definition of Not a Writer (can be expressed as "of the race known as Vulcans"). He's a lot of AMAZING things, but not that one.

Anyway, so kind of like an infection spore, just talking to writerly friends rocked my Authorial Tendencies. If you're in a rut, maybe you have a writer friend to call up. You don't have to talk about writing per se, or even the particular problem that's got you stuck, but I'm willing to bet doughnuts to dollars your friend's excitement about their own project, or about nothing related, will give you a little leverage, or at the very least something to snack on.

We're writers; in our tribe, we share the marshmallows.

Personal Note: I don't actually like marshmallows unless they are on the end of a pointy object, blackened to a crisp. Don't judge. Every tribe needs a member like me.

No Geniuses Here, Today.

My first day fully back to business, and I'm sick. I'm also not wearing my glasses, but that's more because my brain isn't processing things as quickly as usual. I seem to be experiencing a series of half-thoughts, like my brain is dictating for my subconscious, but kind of just stops mid-sentence like it's decided it can remember the point from just that much.

Men with white-blond hair look more suave in grey than they do in black. my opinion.

I'm supposed to do some chores today. I have to do some chores today. Gonna be interesting with my eyes falling closed one me every fifteen minutes.

I don't think I like Alexis Stewart any more than I like Martha Stewart. They seem disdainful and robotic.

Wait, what? Did he just say "the final season of CHUCK"? Noooo, I need the same amount of Zachary Levi in my life. This is what happens when you forget to watch television because you've got Netflix.

Did I mention, The Youngest is just getting over this germ. Grr.

My dad yesterday, on working at a Waffle House when he was much younger: "People would come in and say, 'That's not cooked with butter, is it?' and we'd all stop and just stare, then someone would answer, 'Cooked in butter? Listen, you're in Waffle House; you're breathing butter. It's in the air.'" I love that man.

Your Body is an Enterprise (starship)

I am meant to be taking a break from the internet, so of course I'm online, writing a blog post. Nothing like taking a world wide web vacation to spur on the writing of a blog. The irony is not lost on me.

The other thing I could/should/would do involves writing and editing. I'm avoiding that. I have my reasons . . . my mad, mad, stubborn, insecure, sloth-like reasons.

But the other evening, or early morning, some time I wasn't really awake or asleep yet, it occurred to me my nervous system (which includes the brain, if you're cloudy on your anatomy), is a bit like a sexy, balding British man, a freakishly pale android, a geektastic puppy ensign, a blind engineer, and a very empathetic babe with enviable hair.

An itch is my body's way of going to Yellow Alert. Pain, going to Red Alert.

Other ways in which my body is an Enterprise will surely come to me. Stick around. They'll be entertaining.

Personal Note: I co-run a book review blog with Michelle Witte. It's called LibriAgo: Book Lives. We kind of love it. You might come by, see if it tickles your fancy, too.

Also, this past weekend, I attended a Medieval theme wedding reception, to which I did indeed wear a corset and a dress with double sleeves, but mostly I was pleasantly shocked and amazed I somehow did the following with my hair.

Those dot-like bits are actually a liberal dusting of gold sparklies. Yeah, baby.

These Dreams

Last night I dreamt:

1. That I had somehow become a shape-shifter, but in my dream shifters were all kept together in an almost militant setting, in a secret base in the middle of and beneath a small lake.  Also, I was a boy for most of it. I'm pretty sure I can attribute this to watching Teen Wolf and seeing some tweets about Supernaturally online.

2. That I had an extremely vivid dream in which my mother and step-father were getting divorced. My real lie in-laws were my step family and my own children were step cousins. Not cool. I texted a friend about it in my dream-within-a-dream only to wake up and find my mother's long time, live-in boyfriend was David Tennant, and he wasn't going anywhere. He adored my mother and me, and my little brother. Try the strange weirdness that is completely crushing on your potential step-dad, even though he clearly loves having "relations" with your mom. Also, when I woke up (not really awake, just from the inner dream), my friend had texted me back with condolences. Sleep texting?

So, dear psyche, please stop doing this to me. I'm an adult woman with a fantastic (hot) husband, great sons, and I can frakking well delight in the quirky, lanky beauty that is David Tennant without your help, thanks.


Dionadir Trilogy Ponies!

Okay, so I'm incredibly cheesy and am practically pogo-sticking my way onto this band wagon, just like Jodi Meadows and Beth Revis, but it's just so much fun, and I too loved My Little Pony as a little girl (strange, since I never got into Barbies . . . I think it had to do with styling manes and tails).

Anyway, I will probably grind this concept unto death, but for now I'm just giggly and girlie about it, and have only made a Sebastien pony. You're not REQUIRED to look, you know.  You just get extra cool points for doing so.

Thanks for the pony-creating "game" (program) goes to deviant General Zoi over at deviantArt. You have made many people squeal with delight, madame.

Please note the only slightly tan coat, the hint of lightning-lit storm-cloud blues throughout, dignified posture, bit of mockery in the grin, and elegant wings representing Sebastien's protective nature.

Pony Joss is cuter and better read than you.

Personal Note: I can wiggle my nose in all directions, curl my tongue, arch one eyebrow at a time, and bring my heels flush up against my pelvis, with my knees flat to the ground. Such is the extent of my Stupid Human Trickery.

Cross-Posted From Libri Ago Book Lives

Free Stuff! Stuff! That's Free!
Including our opinions, but nothing's perfect, right?

Introducing Libri Ago: Book Lives, a website run by two chicks who have just enough in common (and just enough out of it) to be interesting; who are well-read enough to know what they're talking about; well-connected enough to host Grand Opening contests wherein the prizes are AWESOME-SAUCE book-related stuff.
(And some random-esque Flair, but everyone needs more Flair)

We're celebrating our fiftieth review by going public and giving away bookish goodies to owners of watchful eyes!

First up, the awesome-sauce swag all together and chummy.

Plus, the bracelets, which I modeled personally.
(matrimonial jewelry and incredible marriage not included)

Prize A
This Prize includes an ARC of Steampunk! An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories, which features stories by Cassandra Clare, Holly Black, Libba Bray, Garth Nix, Cory Doctorow and several other authors; a preview pamphlet, dual-sided, with samples from Cassandra Clare's upcoming Infernal Devices novel, Clockwork Prince, and Holly Black's third Curse Workers series, Black Heart; various bookmarks, a Mockingjay tat, and two Flair buttons.

This here is most of Prize B. We'll also be including a copy of Cindy Pon's novel, Silver Phoenix.
This prize includes: Two book prints by artist Phoenix Lu, a Fury of the Phoenix bookmark, tattoos from Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly, and Suzanne Collins's Mockingjay, and a small "Trust me, I'm a ninja' Flair.

Silver Phoenix, the story of Ai Ling, a young Asian woman who discovered supernatural powers within herself when dangers from without threatened life as she knows it, as well as imperiling her future.

Prize C
NOTE: We ask participants competing for Prize C be sixteen years of age or older, as part of the prize includes more mature materials.
Will include Black Magic Sanction by Kim Harrison, an Alcatraz cell key from that novel, The Body Snatcher bracelet,  signed post card for  Julie Particka's Pretty Souls, Angel Burn and HP7 tats, three Flair buttons, and a bookmark.

Grand Prize!
This prize includes: Signed copy of Lisa Yee's Absolutely Maybe, signed book card from Mary E. Pearson's The Miles Between, You Are What You Read: Pass It On bracelet, Vampire Academy and Mockingjay tats, mini bio Lisa Yee bookmark, Clockwork Prince/Black Heart excerpt pamphlet, The Pull of Gravity by Gae Polisner Flair, and two random Flair.

So, how does one go about winning one of these enviable prizes? I'm glad you ask.

For the next four weeks Michelle and I will put up one of the four prizes, each having its own theme. Contestants will have the week following the post to represent the related theme in any way, any medium (with the normal provisos discouraging offensive content). Go forth and interpret with your personal creative vision, be it plushie, illustration, video clip, original song lyrics, or even cake ddecor; what have you.

So what's the theme for Prize A?
You'll just have to bookmark the site and visit again tomorrow, when we'll announce it.

So, to sum up, contest FOR PRIZE A starts tomorrow at 9:00 A.M and entries will be accepted and considered through 11:59 P.M. of next Friday,  September 29th, 2011. Entries will need to be placed or linked-to in the comments of each relevant post and need to include contestant info and contact email.

Good luck, and may the Force be with you!

In the meantime, you can visit Libri Ago: Book Lives where you have the option to "Like" Libri Ago on Facebook, share about us on Twitter, and add Libri Ago posts and reviews to your Blogger or RSS feed.  Doing so won't get you any closer to winning the contest, but it'd really put us in a fantastic mood.  We're small, and cute, and we look really good wearing good moods.

Thanks in advance!
Mish! and Ames

My Hair Will Say More About My Mood than My Words Ever Will

 . . . this statement goes for both my writing life and my regular life (not that they are mutually exclusive, but there's really not enough Me for both all at once).  Recently, I had some drama in my personal life, and my knee-jerk, passive-aggressive response was to dye my hair a color I liked much less than the color I'd already dyed it. The newer color is okay, but it doesn't make me squee with individualist joy like my fire-engine red color did. The fact that I did not cut off my hair indicates the drama wasn't as bad as it could have been; I tend to take a pair of shears to my beloved-long locks when truly despondent.  Hey, some people redecorate, I do stuff to my head.

Meanwhile, being a great admirer of fantabulous hair, ESPECIALLY on boys, I have just recently noticed a personal trend. When dealing with a Villainous Person, I am wont to ascribe unsightly follicular features, either by way of some sort of personal Karmic payback on the bad guy, or possibly as a literary cue, the same way classic Westerns always put the local madman under a black hat. The madman's hat, and my villains' bad--or worse, completely non-noteworthy--hair, both banners screaming UNTRUSTWORTHY.

That said, secret's out of the bag, huh? I might have to go back and improve the coiffure's of a few characters, just to keep you guys on your toes.

*Personal Note: Ants love me, fire ants in particular, whereas mosquitoes seem to find me a bland choice. Not that I give either of them more than fifteen minutes of daylight every 24 hours in which to find me, because as we all know, I hate the semi-tropical variety of nature where I live.  *sigh*  Where one will live for the sake of nearness to a wonderful family.

Dear Kara, You're Too Good to Me

Sebastien and Joss, as envisioned by Kara Joyner Kovalchick, and hence the reason butterflies have been engaged in a cage match in my tummy for the last hour. Also:


That is all for now.

P.S. I hear the first was just the practice sketch and there's more to come. Remember, if I die of joy, I want all my parts donated, and the rest of me cremated. Just in case.

It's the eyes, y'know.

I really think this kid could pull off playing Sebastien.

   Max Thieriot

It Ain't Easy Being Blue OR Creatives Prefer Red

Okay, so technically, the second thing is completely subject to the individual in question, but I personally prefer red, and am all happy, happy, joy, joy about my new strawberry red colored Post-It Notes.

Meanwhile, my fingers are splattered with blue paint, some sort of nautical-Cape-Cod-esque shade thereof which, in ways I don't understand, looks lighter on my skin than it does on the wall, even thought the original paint is this really annoying pale blue color, which would make a lighter base than (yes, even my) skin.

Meanwhile, I have been of the, "What day is today? . . . No, I don't mean the date, I need the day of the week," level of busy. I made my first-ever baby quilt (I'll show you later), did a crap-ton of shopping chores with The Husband, mostly painted a bedroom (after moving everything, including its inhabitants OUT of it), and read a lot, lot LOT of pages of books I intend to review over on LibriAgo: Book Lives. Oh, and I had an eleventh anniversary, though the celebration for it is still in planning stages. We want to be able to actually relax on our night out.

All of which should explain why only SOME stuff has been coming along with The Book. It's summer. I've got lots of lives to live right now, and the fictional ones are just going to have to tough it out until the real ones get a chance to catch their collective breaths.

Will you wait for me?

Personal Note:  I have the oddest relationship with pens. Some I love, some I hate (I'm looking at you, fine ball-points), and some just randomly hit this pressure point/nerve-ending in my thumb the exact right way to send spasms of pain crawling through the bones of that thumb and most of my skin. I can't even bear to sign my name with pens like that. The really weird thing is, usually these pens are the kind with the squishy, ergonomic sleeve to hold on to.

Falling in Love is Hard to Do

Sometimes the hardest thing in the world to be is wrong. I'd say it's my biggest personal fear if I didn't have so much love for my husband and sons stretching out my heart every day (yes, even those days when pulling out my hair is barely--barely--second to the heart-stretch).

But, yeah, being wrong, it goes against my grain like nobody's business, so much so that one of my great defense mechs is to simply refuse to make a choice when options are presented to me. So, you see, I'd rather be paralyzed and miserable than wrong.

Part of this stems from being an incredibly independent kid/teen. Survival in my younger years kind of required an ability to rely on just myself. Another part of it is my appearance; I'm small (thank you Granny J.), and I don't fit the physical mold for an intelligent female. Most people see me and think I must be an airhead because of my build. If they looked again, they'd see the humongous chip on my shoulder, because I am smart. Not genius-level or anything, but sharp all the same, and I take an unseemly amount of pride in my intelligence.

Anyway, like anyone else, I have my weaknesses, and that brings us back to "wrong" and what that has to do with my last year. You know, that year in which I tried and tried to better my first novel* but rather kept smacking into brick walls? That wall taunted "wrong" from all over, in all kinds of colors and fonts graffitied on it like BAD WOLF in the 2006 series of Doctor Who.

"Don't ramble with so much detail!", it criticized. "You can't do First Person, Present point-of-view!" "You have to pace your book like this, or no one will like it."  "Your word count has to fall in this range!" "These are the rules and you're not good enough to break them."


Even with all the amazing encouragement from writer friends, critique partners, betas, and others, the WRONG was always louder, and it kicked my butt. I couldn't kick back. It was totally winning. In fact, it just about had me beaten down enough to just give up. No amount of faith in my abilities (from others) helped.

So, on the verge of giving up (oh, who am I kidding? I had given up, I just hadn't actually told anybody else, yet), I checked out a bunch of books from my library and proceeded to ignore my own book as much as humanly possible.

One of these books was Chime by Franny Billingsley. It blew my mind. I loved it. I loved it even though it broke a lot of rules. Billingsley wrote in in First Person, Present POV. It had a lot of detail. It didn't follow the traditional path. The twists were GREAT. The language was amazing and gorgeous. I wasn't just admiring of this book, I was JEALOUS. This was the kind of style in which I wanted to write. I didn't want a stupid, helpless heroine, or a perfect love interest. I wanted THIS.

But all the experts had said it was wrong. Wrong, my nemesis, and I couldn't risk wrong.

Suddenly, I didn't care. I loved Chime enough to forget it was technically all wrong, and if I could love someone else's "wrong" book that much, I could love my own book--broken rules and all--even more. I didn't have to be afraid of being wrong, because I knew I could love it anyway, because of Chime.

And I do love it. I love it like a Mathlete loves Pi. I love how easy it feels, now. I'm not wrestling with it because I'm not trying to change it into something it isn't.

Good Gracious, if this is wrong, I don't wanna be right.

*Yes, I'm still on my first novel. Another thing I am in spades? Stubborn.

PERSONAL NOTE: My lips go numb for about a half-hour if I take my anti-depression meds with coffee. Not Novocaine-at-the-dentist's numb, but very tingly. I love my meds and my coffee, so my lips are numb most mornings. *wink*

Anything You Can Read, I Can Read Better.

Well, probably not, but it makes for a catchy title regarding at least one subject in this post, specifically, the one about my husband suggesting I blog book reviews full time.

It's difficult for me to explain to him why the idea of book blogging being a responsibility. There's the time thing, but that's not really that important. I could handle the commitment to the clock. It's that whole thing with taking something you love and making it an obligation. Voluntarily. It's bad enough getting my editorial lobe to shut up (now I've learned so much about writing) while reading without throwing in purposely dissecting a book so I can take it apart later, publicly. I hate the thought of that.

But of course, my husband thinks, "Hey, she loves reading, she's great at it, she likes telling people about books, it's the perfect thing for her to do for some side cash," (thinking more of advertising, here). Um, no. His heart is totally in the right place, completely, but still no.

Turns out watching  the whole nineteen episodes of My So-Called Life over about three days will totally help you if you're in a slump regarding introspective characters. Also with remembering the best flammables to fuel teen angst. So, like, thanks, or whatever, Angela and Jordan.

Personal Note: I hold completely useless grudges against people I don't even know. Or maybe it's better to say I lose respect for them, and after that I can't see them the same way ever again.  Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, the way they handled the commencement of their relationship was just crude and callous. And speaking (indirectly) of Claire Danes, she and Billy Cruddup got together while Cruddup's girlfriend of many year was still pregnant with his baby. I used to love Claire Danes, and I'm fond of what little work I've seen of Cruddup's, but just knowing the man didn't keep to his obligations (as I consider them--we won't be getting into the "He can still be a great father," arguments--I know that), and Danes's complicity therein, it's like there's the cloud, this pall over all the professional stuff they do.  These people (yes, I realize I'm a bit particularly tetchy about cheating) have lost honor in my eyes, and that makes a difference to me.


I am not dying. I just feel like I am. 'Cause I have the flu. the yucky kind with body aches. So I'm blogging, because I don't have enough sense not to, in my current loose state of mind.

This morning I got to thinking about the new strides in social media (don't freak; I'm a dork, not a geek, so the technobabble is beyond me, too, but I still squee over new gadgets--I think it's a nice balance) , and how things like Twitter--at an artist's or author's discretion--open a door into the entertainer's life.

That's weird. Not like bad weird or good weird, just plain weird. My best friend would probably get what I mean immediately . . . at least after I'd fed her a dose of Robitussin. We're tight like that. Even cold medicine brings closer our cognitive processes.  Anyway, by weird I mean artists are not precisely known for letting their creative times, in which they write, or compose, or create, all hang out there. As a sub-species, we're hermit-like. You see the work, but usually only after it's only all worked out.

With Twitter, blogging, live chats, we're giving up that reclusive way of life. That makes me curious. Because don't they say it's a bad thing to get to know your heroes or role models too well (presumably, because we're all human, which is, for some inexplicable reason, always a surprise to fans)? With all this technology, yeah, we're closer to our audiences, but what if Real Life us doesn't measure up to our Cover Life selves? Do we let down fans? Or do we make fans feel special, included, hopeful (especially fans aspiring to follow something along in our footsteps)?

Don't mistake me, I'm not trying to sway anyone one way or another. I love tweeting, and I like blogging (although I do it less because I feel to blog fluff somehow a betrayal of my readership and right now I'm a broken record ab out being stuck in a rut). I just have to think about that question.

I've read books I loved but then seen some unlikable behavior by the author and liked the book less for it. Same is true of music, just as is the opposite--thinking something was "meh" only to admire the artist for some good behavior, and seeing his or her work in a more positive light.

How much of a responsibility to remain mysterious to, or to be a revelation to our audiences do we have? If we produce fiction, or an alternate view of looking at or illumination something, is it up to us to shroud ourselves in an accompanying source of mystery? Are we at fault for bursting bubbles if we don't?

The Difference Between What is and What Could Have Been

This evening I face the likelihood I will puke up the entire contents of my stomach in the next twenty-four hours. This is likely because all three of my podlings have done so in the last couple of weeks, and since I cleaned up after each of them, I've probably gotten their bug.

Do I want to puke up the entire contents of my stomach? No. In fact, I would rather be any other kind of same-level sick in the world. I HATE puking. Unfortunately, my hatred of the action isn't enough to stop me from having to perform it.

Just like my hatred for sometimes having to "power through" a scene in order to create my own progress (rather than waiting for some much less toiling-ish inspiration fix up everything) won't stop me needed to power through, regardless. I don't want to just write whatever crap comes into my head so that I can get over this hump, finish, and come back some time sooner than later to make something good out of the yuck I put down.

Just like the yuck I'll be putting down, gastro-intestinally speaking.

Personal Note: I write better when nails are done in a dark color. I think it's because my nails then blend in with my dark keyboard and don't offend my ADD sensibilities.

Also, so far, I'm pretty much of the opinion all these American remakes of British shows are only half as good as the UK originals. Keep it in mind.

The Light at the End of My Tunnel is a Luminescent Moss-covered Brick Wall.

Okay, you've done it. You're in that final stretch of your manuscript, the last big blow-out, and then it's epilogue, sweet epilogue, and Fine. . . Except, you have no idea what you're doing in those last twenty or so pages. You know it's supposed to be big, tying up loose ends you've left (whilst simultaneously cutting free a few strings to leave the reader with more questions, should your book be in a series), and you know it has to feel genuine.

What do you do? Well, you fall back on your classic writer's block cures: repetitive exercises (either actual exercise, or you know, just the same action over and over), mundane chores which allow your mind to wander (I like washing the dishes--even though I actually hate washing the dishes), listen to music that gets you in the literary mood. I have a friend who likes to knit, one who cooks, one who just needs someone to babble to, and one who swears the bathroom in the most creativity-inspiring room in the house.

But I, on the other hand, know how my show goes down, and yet, still I have this magnetic force pulling me from completing this book. I feel like I'm letting down my friends, family, and writer cohorts with my uncertainly, and my sluggish pace. My inner demons taunt me with accusations of being lazy, or incapable, or both. Am I scared to finish because I'm sure my best efforts still won't be enough, or am I truly so busy in my "normal" life to have enough left over to do justice to this hot mess? Am I simply so much a perfectionist I'll never finish because I can't be certain of acclaim or praise? I'd hate it if that were the truth, because I don't want to be that shallow. I want to write for the good and the good times of others. I don't want to lose my faith in this book, my ability to write it, or a reader's likelihood to get something out of it.

A part of me, a very ingrained, much-disliked part of me, wants to put the blame on anyone, anything else. I don't have test readers, so I don't have any feedback to work from. Or, I don't work nearly as well unless I've got a hard-copy in front of me, but I don't want to waste paper, so I have to finish this thing before I print it all out. Or, Oh, look, there are REALLY pretty boys on television right now. I can't write with pretty boys in front of me *minor eye rape*. Even, My husband is actually home today, I don't want to do anything but curl up on the couch with him. Which, you know, is TRUE, but is also procrastinatorial BS (yes, me and the words-making again).

So, you tell me; what do I do?

Personal Notes: It's a little weird, but I know my best friend's favorite word*, but not her favorite color. If I had to hazard a guess I'd say . . . blue?

* "Sussurous", which refers to a quiet, rustling sound, like leaves being blown by a breeze, or many people whispering at once.

Stealing from my Inbox.

Some other writer friends and I recently took on the topic of number of main characters in books, whether multiple main characters were a good idea in general, or if that was the kind of thing someone really had to have a gift for in or to pull it off.  Here's what I wrote about it.

As for viewpoints, I'm with Phi* and this reader person, if for no other reason, as a reader I am extremely loyal to the first character I identify with. If there are two potential (good guy) heroes, I root for the first one, and I invest myself in him wholly, resenting any intrusion on my hopes for him. I'm like this with pretty much all story-related things; books, movies, actors portraying characters.

As for WRITING viewpoints, multiple or otherwise, it's weird, but I look at it like a video game. A good game doesn't just have the game-play itself (the fighting, strategizing, reaching a goal, etc), or just one storyline. A really pleasurable game has one main storyline or plot and several (sometimes optional, sometimes not) "side quests". Now, the idea of a secondary storyline, or side story, isn't new, but done well, with connective tissue with the main storyline, it works brilliantly for the making of a full-bodied, wholly immersive** tale, which is something you want, either as a player or a reader.

I enjoy writing this way. I enjoy large casts whose stories--either as the main impetus or a sideline--carry over through multiple books. Not everyone in the 'cast' will have a huge amount of screen-time, but their every interaction should do one of two things: make something happen, or make more sense of something that has already happened.

Writing in first person, it's very clear who the 'main" character is, who her love interest is, and the tier-style of importance of each supporting character. Joss isn't only the main character of the Dionadir books, but she is also the filter through whom we understand the books' world and populace.

And that's pretty much how I feel about structure regarding emphasis on characters and viewpoint. It's kind of a shading system; You have your darkest lines, your main character, but you need entire gradients to create an accurate perception of someone or something.

* Phillipa Fioretti, author of The Book of Love, out now, and the upcoming  The Fragment of Dreams.

** Apparently, I've made up my own word, here. Please take note and add it to your dictionaries, digital, mental, and paperback Webster's, if you've got one. *grin*

Sometimes My Brain is Funnier than I Am . . .

 . . . which can be saddening, 'cause you know, I can't use every giggle-worthy thing I come up with, either because they're a little off-color (hi, I'm a grown-up; nice to meet you), or there just really is no play for the remark/comment/scene.  So, that in mind, a few things rattling around in my brain that may or may not make the cut some day.

"Your fault?  Of course it's your fault. It's always your fault. There's a whole museum of things that are your fault. They're adding a Hall of Fault Fame. It's dedicated to the victims of your stupidity."

"It's okay. Every one knows your testicles are pretty much ornamental, anyway. You might as well bronze them and display them on the mantle for all the good they do you."

"Damn, girl! That was something else."
"Yeah, I know. I've sort of been doing it as a hobby for while, but I'm hoping to go for a full Bad-assary PhD in a couple years."

"I rent an apartment in what could arguably be described as Hell and you what--want to see me safely inside?"

Personal Note: A hard-core (possibly old lady-ish) pet peeve of mine is people breaking before they put on they're turn signal.  Seriously, how hard is it to tell yourself to flick on your signal a couple seconds before you put your foot on the break. I don't care what your DMV pamphlet says; the turn signal isn't so much about which way you're going as it is to tell the people behind you, "Hey, I'm going to slow down a lot here in a second, and I'm letting you know ahead of time because neither of us wants your hood shoved into my trunk."

My Subdued's a Little Suped up, Lately.

So, one of the things about living with three young sons, a gamer husband, and a retarded, head-thumping-into-walls-boy-cat is the rarity of silence. You know, the kind in which one can actually hear her keys clacking away while she types. Or the fridge humming along. With all the noise being of the white variety.

Authoress posed a question about seasons impacting an individual's writing productivity, and like a light-bulb, my brain dinged for a second, because I realised, at that moment as I read her post, my house was silent. The eldest boys are at school, and the youngest is well into nap time. Even the Daddy-Man is off running macho-esque errands, and Fable is . . . well, he's um, indulging himself in some personal (but silent!) hygiene.

Along with the quiet, it occurred to me I'm so used to, so programmed for Amethyst-eclipsing sounds 98 per cent of my waking hours, I sort of react to silence as a wind-up clock that has lost its twist. Even while I folded laundry, I watched a television show, because . . . well, aside from it being a good show and wanting to know what happens next, I didn't know, nor did I suspect it was because my subconscious knew I needed the sound--that bit of brain distraction--to tell the rest of me it was still Time to Get Stuff Done.  As soon as my laundry was folded and the show finished, I sat still for a while, kind of at a loss of what to do next. Trust me, there's always something to do next. Did I mention I live with five males? Yeah.

The silence had kind of paralyzed me.  This may shed some light on why my Dionadir trilogy playlist already has about 200 songs in it, and I add more regularly.  So, my thing, my productive thing, it's not so much seasonal, or time-related, but aural.

And oh, look. The Youngest just woke up and has turned on Curious George.  Guess it's time to achieve today's goal of liberating The Youngest's floor from the carpet of toys oppressing it.

Can I just say, OMDoctor!