Monday, July 30, 2012

My obsession with Little Women

Once upon a time, my parents immigrated from Hong Kong to Vancouver, British Columbia. I was 8 years old then and spoke not a lick of English.

But thanks to small class sizes and having an teacher's aide back in 1972, I was able to learn English quickly through immersion and my third grade teacher giving me extra help.

By the end of the school year, and I had even missed a couple of months of school since we moved in October, I had progressed from "Mat the Rat" to my very first novel.  Bet you can guess what the novel was. Yup: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.

It was pure magic for me, both being able to read a novel in a foreign language and the novel itself. This is why I ended up owning 3 copies of the book.

The one in the middle is the copy I found in my parents' basement. I have no idea how they got it because the inscription inside said it belonged to one "Rosario Maria Gulelle."
I kick myself for never asking my mom, while she was still alive, who the heck that person was. I can't ask my dad because he'd never know; he is a flake. Lovable, but a flake nonetheless.

The volume on the left might be even older than the one in the middle. It's copyrighted 1910 and belonged to hubby's maternal grandmother (she dated it 1913 in her handwriting).

Then, because I didn't own a copy of Little Men, I had to get the 3 volume anniversary edition on the right (which includes Little Women, Little Men, and Jo's Boys). HAD to. ;)

Do you own more than one copy of any book? If so, what is it?

"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, July 23, 2012

Oatmeal and apostrophes

While I occasionally make an apostrophe error, especially when doing quick and dirty things like tweeting, I am shocked at how many professed writers make apostrophe mistakes. At this one site I recently went to, I must have seen apostrophes used in vain at least 10 times in the 15 minutes I spent there. Ouch.

If you don't know when to use apostrophes, check out this hilarious chart from The Oatmeal. I'd seen it before but thanks to Amy at WildBird Magazine for bringing it to my attention again. :)

Are you an apostrophe champion or slayer?

"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, July 16, 2012

Got craft?

I've been told in the past that I have natural skills in fine art and writing. Honestly, most some days I wish I had skills in something more useful, like woodworking and giving public speeches, instead.

Hubby's parents' neighbor was a pilot by career and a woodworker by hobby. He had a craft that was more tangibly rewarding and valued by many, including me. He made this little chest for my in-laws many years ago, and I had told my MIL that it was something that I'd like to have whenever they want to pass it on. So, now I have it. I keep it on my nightstand so I can admire Mr. H's fine craftsmanship every day...and wish that I were more talented in other areas.
What are your talents and are they the talents you wish you had?

"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, July 9, 2012

Where do you get your ideas?

I don't think I've ever been asked that question, but apparently famous writers get asked that a lot. (The question I get a lot, instead, is "what's for dessert, mom?"...which is just as well because, like I said before, my baking is better than my writing.)

But in case it ever comes up, here's where I get some of my ideas:
Where do you get your ideas?

"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, July 2, 2012

No news is good news

I think that saying was created just for writers.

When you're waiting to hear from an editor or an agent about your submission, "there's still a chance," as Ginger said in Chicken Run.

But when you get a reply, and there's a 90% chance - on a good day - that it's a rejection, then, really, no news is good news. Or, at least, better news.

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