Thursday, June 28, 2012

We now interrupt your regularly scheduled programming announce that my story "Matches and Races" is live at the Enchanted Conversation e-zine site. It's my altered-take on the classic Hans Christian Andersen tale, "The Little Match Girl." Because I've been bawling for years every time I read that story, I decided to give it a quirkier and more upbeat ending.


"If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." ~ Toni Morrison

Monday, June 25, 2012

Gut feeling

I made a discovery about myself. It was more of a "duh" than a "Eureka!" moment.

I realized that my stories that editors claim they like best are the ones that move me the most or cause me to feel like I've been punched in the gut. Most of the time, they're stories that have a personal meaning for me.

Sounds obvious, but lots of writers can write about things that don't have a personal meaning for them and do a good job of it. Apparently, I'm not lots of writers.


What's your best writing been? Something personal? Something more academic and detached?

"If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." ~ Toni Morrison

Monday, June 18, 2012

Oh so not helpful

Our local county library used to have this wonderful search engine. If you type in something wrong, it'll show you what you typed amidst the list of titles that it owns and says in large friendly letters, not unlike the "Don't Panic!" logo on The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, "Title not found, but it would have appeared here."

It was great since you can scan the titles above and below it and often times, I'd find the proper title (whose words I may have transposed or typed wrong) that way.

Well, several years ago, the library made this proud announcement that they're switching to a new and better search engine. HAH! Never believe the hype...which is a good motto to live by in general anyway.

This new and improved *using air quotes* search engine sucks. Pardon my French.

Let me give you an example.
I typed "Probability: a very short introduction" into the search box. Turns out the library doesn't have it, so the search engine very helpfully (don't slip on the sarcasm that I've dripped all over the floor) suggests "Did you mean 'Probability ah very short introduction'?"

Seriously. It changed my "a" into an "ah." Does it honestly think that could possibly be a real title?? And it does this all the freaking time. If what you're searching for has an "a" in it and the library doesn't have it, the online catalog search engine will always ask if you mean "...ah..." instead.

It's enough to drive any logophile to drink. Which is not a bad thing, I suppose, if you like to pair wine with a good book...IF you can find the book with this stupid search engine.

What's your library's online catalog like? Does it make you want to smash in the computer?

"If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." ~ Toni Morrison

Monday, June 11, 2012

Camp NaNoWriMo

Most of you are probably aware of NaNoWriMo, the not-so-roll-off-the-tongue shortening of "National Novel Writing Month". It's a one month (duh) writing frenzy that runs every November that is supposed to help you produce a rough first draft of a novel in 30 days.

I don't know about you, but my Novembers are usually crazy enough as it is, getting holiday cards and presents made for December (and we don't even do anything to celebrate Thanksgiving since we take the Native American perspective on it), without taking on writing a 50,000-word novel.

So when I found out that the NaNo folks have created a similar venue called Camp NaNo, held in June and August - and you can choose one or both months, I decided that I could try it in June (instead of August since August is the time when most veggies are ready to be harvested and canned). I figured that of the three months available for doing NaNo, June would be the least busy.

I got my buddy Michelle to sign up for it with me a few months ago when it seemed like June would be a nice quiet month. Turns out June is not a nice, quiet month. I'm up to my neck in things to do and my calendar is filled to the brim. Dang.

But I have a novel idea, which I hope is also a novel (adjective) idea...hah!, that I need to work on anyway, so I'm determined to write as much of it as I can during this month.

As hubby likes to remind me, I'm certifiable.

Are you also doing Camp NaNo or will you be doing regular NaNoWriMo this year?

"If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." ~ Toni Morrison

Monday, June 4, 2012

Life models

You probably thought the title meant people I look up to. Nope. ;)

A basic piece of advice in art is that when learning how to draw, you must draw from life. Once you understand a subject thoroughly in 3D, you can then draw from photographs without making the subject look flat.

Sometimes my live models are actually alive:
Son2 posing for me a few years ago
But sometimes my "live" models are dead:
female Northern Parula that crashed into our window
Either way, it's good practice to draw from life. Take that however you want. ;)

"There is no such thing in anyone's life as an unimportant day." – Alexander Woolcott