Into a Writer's Head
Monday, February 27, 2006
Not so newly discovered author...Still, I feel I must point everyone to her stuff. I've recently begun reading Marjorie M. Liu's books. It began innocently enough. She is one of the authors contributing to the Crimson City series from Dorchester. Well, after reading A Taste of Crimson, I began seeing her other book Tiger Eye everywhere. Finally I broke down and ordered it from the library. It came in last week, and I read it during my gorge fest of books (it was in fact book #8).
All I can say is WOW.
This woman is my new hero (well, writing hero anyway). She gives me hope. Ms. Liu is my age (maybe a year older), with a multi-book contract, a law degree, and a kick-ass writing style. She mixes Fantasy and Romance to where you can't imagine one without the other. Add in those sly bits of humor, and you know you've found a kindred spirit.
Tiger Eye is the first in her Dirk & Steel series, and I highly recommend all to read it. You won't be sorry!
(Oh! And for my fellow comic book fans, she has an X-Men novel due out I believe next month. Very cool indeed).
Can I get a howl???
(Serena, me and Christina)
Party time! Saturday night I headed out with the girls to Howl at the Moon, for an evening of dueling pianos, casio keyboards and drums. Man, I love when all of us get out. Even if the official entertainment is a dud, I can count on my friends to keep it lively. Among the evenings sightings were:
- a somewhat spastic woman dancing to almost every song (while her companions all sat calmly in their chairs watching...and probably smirking).
- the raunchy humor that pretty much ruined the song American Pie for me forever.
- The various bachelorette parties occuring each with their own check off list of things the bride had to accomplish.
- Not a sighting, but still worthy of mention: Trying my hardest not to point out to the pianists that it was Christina's birthday (boy, am I proud of this accomplishment)
- And of course...how could I forget the "interesting" outfits worn by the bars more inebriated crowd.
- The "message mirror" where you could pay to post a message. Each time the price to replace the previous message went up, so that by 10:30 it was $11 to post something. For some reason many of those in attendance felt the need to broadcast (however jokingly) their impending bundle of joy...and who the father was (or wasn't!)
Friday, February 24, 2006
What I Did on My Mid-Winter Vacation...How can I tell that I've been in school? Easy. When I get a week off, I read non-stop. So far I've polished off 7 books (this includes ones I had begun in the last several months, but hadn't gotten very far with). I've read:
- Card Sharks, by Liz Maverick
- Confessions of a Nervous Shiksa, by Tracy McArdle
- Goal, Motivation and Conflict, by Deb Dixon
- Total Rush, by Deidre Martin
- High School Bites, by Liza Carlyle (I think that's her name)
- Code Name: Cassandra, by Meg Cabot
- The Nineth Key, by Meg Cabot
The agony of branding...And now, I'm not talking about a hot poker with some funky design on it.
As most of you probably know, I've begun thinking about the "image" I want to present to the rest of the world. What colors represent me and my writing? What phrase will make everyone think of ME when they hear it? Unfortunately, this is not an easy task. I've picked and picked at the brains of my friends, my family...heck, I'm tempted to tackle the mailman in the parking lot to ask his opinion. Poor Ms. K had to listen to me prattle on for over half of our walk last night, while I struggled back and forth trying to come up with a tag line.
In happier news...I have DSL!!!! I can check my email when ever I want to, without having to restart my computer and without waiting half an hour for the dial-up to connect.
And I'm proud as a mama bear to announce that Mindy Raf, comedienne extraordinaire (and my oldest friend), has been picked as this year's Comedian of the Year by TEABAG NYC, a performing arts cafe and bar in New York. Congratulations Mindy!!
Sunday, February 19, 2006
Only in my world...I ordered DSL not too long ago. The phone company is still setting it up, supposedly. But that's not really the best part. The best part is the DSL phone cord. The cord is not long enough to stretch from my computer and modem to the phone jack about 5 feet away. So, like any logical person, I tried to switch out the cord with the longer one I've been using. Only there's a problem.
Yup, and only the kind that I can create.
What is the problem you ask?
Well...um...the cord won't come out of the modem. *Hang my head in embarrassment* Seriously, I didn't do anything! But the cord is stuck. So now the phone company has to send me a new modem (who knows about the cord), and I'll send them back the old one.
*Sigh* really...only in my world.
Hello, Muse. Welcome back!Ah, the elusive Muse. She's an interesting creature. Just when you think she's left you for good, she returns, ready to party. Ever since I finished my last manuscript, and began revisions, I've been worried what would I do next? I have 3-4 plot ideas I've been bouncing around, but none yelled out to me. None of them grabbed me by the throat and yanked until I accepted that this one was the one I should write next. I was rapidly approaching the isle of despair, where writers wait until a new idea blooms.
And then, like a bolt of lightening (or a bitch slap, depending on your frame of reference), it came to me while driving to Serena's last night. I began thinking about my friends, and their rapidly changing lifestyles. I'm at an age where many of my friends are either in new relationships, long-term committed relationships, married, or married and starting families. Very few of my friends are single. Again, depending on your point of view here, this could be good or bad. I began looking at it from the view point of my as of yet unnamed heroine. She is the "Single Friend". You know the one. The girl everyone feels sorry for when she comes to the party alone. The girl everyone constantly tries to fix up with this "really nice guy I work with", who is really a closet serial killer, or something like that. She's the girl who wants to believe her life is complete, regardless of her relationship status, but that confidence is slowly being chipped away by all her well meaning friends. We all know her.
So the idea began to bloom, and I snatched up my cell phone to call Christina to exclaim loudly (and to another living person) that "I have a new idea! I know what I'm writing next!" We laughed about our muses for a bit, and how that new idea can come up and bite you when you least expect it.
Of course now the pressure is really on to finish the revisions on M, so that I can get started on the newest book.
Friday, February 17, 2006
Is it true?Or is this a dream? Am I really done with my full-time student teaching? Have I really survived the last 6 weeks without causing permanent damage to my students' academic careers? Yes, this is truly a fear many of us have. But I did it, I made it through and I believe my students did learn from me. Okay, so it took a little convincing that a square is also a rectangle, but eventually they got it.
I also had my post-conference with the school's principal for my observation from earlier in the week. It went swimmingly. She gave me some really good feedback, and her only major concern was the length of time of the lesson.
So, I end the week on a high note. Now, it's time for me to start mid-winter break. I don't have to be back at the school for a whole week, and I plan to enjoy every minute of it. Well, enjoy it, and also stumble through my revisions. I'm on about chapter 6 right now, with a total of I think 13 left. Which can mean only one thing...time to get crackin'!
PS...as I type this, I can barely feel my fingers they are so cold, so bear with me. Thanks!!
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Contradiction???Is it a total contradiction to light a candle to Attract Love, and a candle to Celebrate Being Single? Well? I hope not, because I intend to do both tonight, to fully compliment the fire going in my fireplace. Hey, it's Valentine's Day, and since no one is making it for me, I'm gonna do it myself.
On a sweet note, lots of cards from my students. Of course, they are mostly the kind that come 30 to a box and feature popular computer game characters, but it is the thought that counts.
Sunday, February 12, 2006
Yiddish Word of the Week...It's been a slow week, full of school stuff and very little excitement. Which really is okay, for me. I could use a week of little excitement.
Now, without further adieu, your word of the week.
Nakhes (pronounced na-khess) noun: pride, joy. This word was a favorite of my great-grandmother (well, this and kinehorra, but that's a whole other blog). Some common ways to use it would be like, "My grandchildren bring me such nakhes! I kvell whenever I talk to them."
There you go...enjoy! And use well :D
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Time to meet your neighbors!Sometimes I love living in an apartment building. Where else do you get to meet all your neighbors once a year, when the fire alarms go off at a random hour of the evening? At first I thought it was my fault. Heck, what am I supposed to think when they start blaring as soon as I lit a candle? Then I heard from another neighbor he thought it was his fault, because he made popcorn. Turns out it was some kind of water/pipe issue. Thankfully, the alarms only go off about twice a year, bringing with them fond memories of college, dorms, and cursing. I think it's about time we gather up some board games, put them into plastic bags, and hide them in the bushes. At least this way we have something to do the next time the alarms go off, right?
And hey, at least this time it wasn't raining and the temperature was higher.
Sunday, February 05, 2006
Yiddish Word of the Week...Meydle (noun) meaning: young girl, maiden. Pronounced: may-del. As in sheyna medyl (pretty girl). Also used as a term of endearment, as in medyleh.
Sisterhood...Every once in a while, I attend an event that just makes me want to sit back and watch. Today was one of those days. It began with a phone call about a month ago from Mom. "Would you be interested in attending a Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle Luncheon? The guest speaker is that lady who did the photo books about Best Friends." Seeing as how Federation graciously agreed to waive the requested sponsorship donation for me (seeing as I'm a poor Grad Students), and seeing as how I'm always up for hearing a good speaker, I gave a hearty, "Yes!"
Today's part of the story began about 9:45 this morning. You read that correctly, 9:45 a.m. For lunch! Now, you're probably thinking...What kind of people eat lunch so early? The answer? The Jewish kind. Technically, it's brunch...but brunch apparently does not sound nearly as enticing as "luncheon". So I arrive at Mom's in plenty of time to head over to Seattle to pick up my aunt. From there we drive to the luncheon. An important note here is that we know NO ONE at this event. Mom even received a phone call from the committee putting it together, because they were not sure where to seat us, since they didn't know us. We arrive, we almost check out coats but change our mind when we discover the lobby temperature is roughly 32 degrees. We go into the ballroom when the doors open and find our table. Soon we are joined by an older woman (who we later find out is in her 70's, but did not look older than 60), and another woman who was not at all happy to be seated with us. After a brief moment of wondering if we were somehow giving off an unpleasant odor, she mumbles something to her friend about donations, and why couldn't she be put at a better table, etc. Basically, she was pissed because she was at a table with nobodies, when she felt she deserved to be at a more prestigious table. Well tough bananas to her! After another few minutes of minor chitchat amongst ourselves, we were joined by another couple of women. The ultimate irony here being that one of the two women was from Southfield, the same town Mom grew up in. Even better, they knew some of the same people. So we sit through the meal portion (Um...is this it? How come no one told me it would be fish?), the video portion (Please, feel badly about all the suffering in the world and give generously to our cause), the plea portion (here is where all your money will go, now stuff it into these handy envelopes we're providing) and finally made it to the speaker. Her photos are beautiful, the stories that accompanied them even more so. Truly, this is a woman with heart and soul, and she presents it in all of her work. Sadly, we had to leave before the end, so I never did get to see the rest of the pics from her latest book. All in all an entertaining morning.
Oh! And the best overheard conversation came from the not-so happy lady and the waiter.
Lady: We would also like a pot of coffee.
Waiter: I can't, this is it (places carafe on to table next to us).
Lady: (shoots waiter evil look)
Waiter: The rabbi only blessed so many pots, and we've put them all out. (walks away)
*snort* I love it! Only at a Jewish event will you be told there's no coffee for you because the rabbi did not bless enough pots. Ha!
Friday, February 03, 2006
Catch Phrases?Some writers are fabulous marketers. They see things in ways that others never will. For example, Serena has her Vampire Emergency Kit (among other fabulous items). Shannon has her "What Would Venus Do?" bumper stickers. Me? I have this blog.
Now, don't get me wrong. I love this blog. I think it's a fabulous start for getting my name and style out there. But I need more. I need...a catch phrase. Problem is, I'm awful at these things. Truly. My title for the Current WIP? Came from the collaborative minds of the GK gals. So my challenge to all of you...help me find a catch phrase! Something that will work for all my writing (Chick Lit, Romance, etc.).
As a matter of fact...a prize to whomever comes up with it. (Okay, not sure what that prize will be, but I promise to figure one out!)