Thursday, March 29, 2007

My fingers are furious with me

(I made these letters for Alexandra for Christmas -- these were my crafty interlude this year. I made four words, I think, and had such fun with them.) I'm currently having a major craft craving, but a specific one -- my desire to learn to crochet has become an imperative. I passed up a chance to start a class on tuesday, and all evening long my fingers were furious with me -- they'd had enough typing, for goodness sake! They wanted to be off and crocheting! So I'm starting Saturday. The problem is I don't want to have to learn, all clumsy and messy, I just want to be able to do this:

and this:

And I want to be able to do it AT ONCE. These are both from Posie Gets Cozy, one of my favorite favorite blogs, for both pure eye candy, decor coveting, and also reading Alicia's very funny, wonderful words.

Yesterday evening when I left to pick up my father from the airport, I realized I had not stepped out the front door since early monday morning. {!!!} Jeez. What a hermit! I had been out the back door, but to be honest, only to let the dog in and out. Ulp. I've been writing voraciously, loving it, but I think we might try to get out of the house for a little date soon!

Since I am lurking indoors so much, I thought I'd show you my indoors. Here are a few pictures of the recently remodeled kitchen -- love the floor!

The bench and kitchen table above are where I wrote Blackbringer, though the floor was a lot uglier then. Here is a peek through the door at the bench where I write now:

And here are some little friends who live in the kitchen:

I love whimsical sculptures and marionettes and ornaments of strange little characters. They make me happy. Well, there is another day of peevish fingers ahead of me, writing and writing and not crocheting (chill out, fingers, you don't even know if you'll like crocheting yet. Give me a break!)

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Plans by Fives


Five-Month Plan:

  • Finish writing Silksinger (hopefully sooner than that).
  • Learn to knit or crochet.
  • Go somewhere sunny that requires a bathing suit. It's been years. And no, the Oregon Coast doesn't count. If you have to wear fleece over your bathing suit, it doesn't count. Tropics. Much mutual sunscreen applying with husband.
  • Make some art. Some new Laini's Ladies, and maybe even a painting.

Five-Year Plan:

  • Write Dreamdark series, projected 5 books total.
  • Have a baby or two.
  • Go to India, maybe several times. And France. And Costa Rica. And Borneo.
  • Continue to grow Laini's Ladies line into other product categories.
  • Move into the house of our [relatively modest] dreams and paint it all kinds of colors.

Five-Decade Plan:

  • Write lots of books and stories.
  • Write and illustrate a picture book.
  • Write something about horses that necessitates taking riding lessons and going on long trail rides in magnificent places, for research.
  • Go everywhere, even Antarctica. Even Kashmir. But not space. No thanks.
  • Have a summer house. Many many decades of mutual sunscreen application with husband as we get wrinklier and age-spottier.
  • Have massive bat wings grafted to my shoulders, and learn to swoop.

How about you? Tag yourself if you like.

Monday, March 26, 2007

The Bladder is the Enemy

That, and what passes for "small" sodas at the movie theater. Sheesh! I saw The Lives of Others this weekend, the German movie that won the Oscar for best foreign film, and it was amazing. Amazing and gripping, and I advise you not to drink a "small" soda when you go to see it, lest you also have to choose between the lesser of two agonies and get up and miss something!

There was a preview for the French movie whose name escapes me -- I think the French title was Indigenes? Maybe? It's about the French Algerian troops who fought to try to liberate France from the Nazis and were never truly recognized for their sacrifice. I've heard it's good, and the trailer already made me cry. I can't stand scenes of soldiers running to certain death. I mean, I can't take it. Even a glimpse of it, a thought of it. The end of Gallipoli, the beginning of Saving Private Ryan, and so many other movies, and all the stuff I read recently about WWI and trench warfare. Frick. I weep. I want to kick people. Why are we like this? How twisted is it that the very worst in humanity brings out this amazing, this unbelievable bravery? To do that. To run at an enemy who will most certainly kill you.

I heard a bit on the radio once, probably on This American Life, about a family who never even knew their father/grandfather had a Congressional Medal of Honor for valor in France in WWII. He was this utterly meek, unassuming old man, and when he told the story of what he'd done to earn that medal, I totally lost it. I couldn't do the story justice after all this time, but there are so many other stories like it, these bright points of human magnificence in the midst of our terrible. . . awfulness. What to make of it? Of us?

What also got me thinking about this was an amazing actor in Deadwood: Brad Dourif -- horror movie alumni and formerly the sleazy Grima Wormtongue of LOTR -- who plays the doctor and manages to create a character whose story really extends way way beyond the limited scope of his role in the actual show. In his physical mannerisms, his twitchiness and blinkiness and quick outrage, he creates a wreck of a Civil War doctor and makes you imagine what it might have been like to try to live after that. I mean, a Civil War doctor. It can't get much worse than that.

I find myself wanting to kick people again, and especially certain people we all know and I would hope that we all hate, who are so cavalier about the lives of soldiers. And here's to film makers who can get us to cry over a three-second clip, out of context, in a preview, and try to keep reminding us what it's like, while we sit here in our living rooms and movie theaters.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Gotta love parasites

Newest jottings in the notebooks mentioned 2 posts back: moths and parasites. Ah, you gotta love parasites, nasty little hooligans. I mean: totally amazing. I read that there is at least one parasite specially adapted to every single non-parasitic organism on the planet, not to mention the many parasites on parasites. Urk? There's one that lives only in the left ear of a single species of moth. What? Who makes that stuff up? And there's a parasite that actually effectively replaces an organ on a living creature with itself. It kills a fish's tongue and then it becomes the fish's tongue, nabbing nourishment for its greedy self when the fish eats.

You may expect to see some parasitic qualities in some characters in my next book. {Mwah-ha-ha.}

And moths? Did you know that silk moths don't have mouths and don't ever ever eat and only live a week? Can't resist the urge to anthropomorphize a little and imagine squirming out of the cocoon to discover -- oh joy! wings! -- and then realizing -- oh crap! no mouth! They live only for sex. Truly. That fact will not be making an appearance in my book. (That google search did, however, unexpectedly yield this poetry blog that I quite like.)

The critter world is truly stranger than fiction, which brings me to this: Have you seen Stranger than Fiction? Loved it. Really loved it. A whimsical, sweet, original movie, and I can't get the song out of my head, which is unusual for me since I have a brain that music just slides through unnoticed. The song is a cover of one by The Monkees called (Go the) Whole Wide World. If I was the sort to put music on my myspace I would put that, but I kind of hate it when people put music on their myspace so I won't.

Other things that are stuck in my head besides Monkees songs: Calamity Jane's voice from Deadwood, which Jim and I are Netflixxing. If you've seen the show, you probably know just what I mean when I say there's a particular word she says with a particular emphatic slur and darn it if it just isn't fun to say! It is an entirely unacceptable word, though, so I'm fighting the urge, most of the time. My dad says cowboys didn't really talk like that, but I wonder. Did that word exist then? What did Calamity Jane call people?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

help. . .

Oh man, have, um, have dog farts ever damaged anyone? I mean, have there been any studies done on long-term exposure? Can they, you know, burn your lungs, or destroy delicate nasal membrane or anything? I'm just asking. How about some sort of psychotropic effect, like a drug? Brain damage due to lack of oxygen? Is there anything I should know?

Hellooooo? Is there anyone out there. . . out there. . . out there. . .

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Job Number Three

At the SCBWI conference last month in New York, fantasy writer Susan Cooper said, "Job number one is to keep a notebook. Job number two is to refer to it often." When she said that, I thought, "Hm, I've got jobs number one and two covered. Does that mean job number three is writing?"

I think it is. For me, anyway. Pictured above are my beloved notebooks. If you care, they're Clairefontaine hardcover journals from France, lined, 196 pages, and I write in them from both ends. Notes for one project at the beginning, and another at the end; or maybe a glossary of fabulous words at the end, or jottings from my collection of folklore & supernatural books:

I don't "write" in my notebooks. That is, I don't sit down and print "Chapter One" and go at it. No no no, that's for crazy people, that writing stories longhand in notebooks. And I'm no crazy person. I'm perfectly rational in my method of having two documents open on my laptop, storytelling as well and as freely as I can in my "notes" document, where I do not have to cringe in terror of the expectations that come with typing beneath the words "Chapter One." And then, when the scene is all dusted off and spiffy and ready to be presented to society, it gets cut and pasted into the real document. Like I said, I'm not crazy. Sheesh.

But back to the notebooks. I love these notebooks. Love them. They're brimming with several years worth or weird facts, strange folk beliefs, awesome ideas (if I don't say so myself) and lists of names, cool words, kinds of trees in particular jungles, and like that. The world of Dreamdark is in these books. I'm really really keen on "job number one."

Right now I happen to be really really keen on "job number three," too and expect to be doing very little else for the forseeable future. So I guess what I'm saying is: expect boringness from me. The more interesting life in Dreamdark becomes, the proportionately less interesting Laini's life. Unless you consider sitting on a lime green bench, at a lime green desk, wiggling my fingers for hours and hours, well, interesting. I do. I'll try to keep my head in the "real world" enough to have something to write about besides my delirium over my daily word counts. Ha! We shall see.

I'm off to Dreamdark now, to harass an imp.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Inspiration is for sissies

The Sunday Scribblings prompt this week is "inspiration," in honor of the website's almost-anniversary. Now, inspiration is a funny thing. I believe in it, but I don't rely on it. It's like luck: great when it comes calling, but not exactly reliable. Better you become your own muse than wait for that fickle creature to show up late and possibly drunk from partying with some hipper, cooler artist! My current email sign-off quote is:

"I don't know what inspiration is, but when it comes, I hope it finds me working."
- Picasso


That's the secret. Tell everyone.

That's not to say that you don't need to be passionate about your work, filled with awe, swooning with it! This isn't some cubicle where you come to fill out forms! You need to have a fire burning in your mind! But you need to light that fire, and keep it burning. You. Just you. Read, travel, read, go for walks, watch documentaries, read, fall in love with stuff and facts and sights and strangers and places you've never been and might never go, read, stuff your head with the marvels of the world. It's all you. If you don't do it, someone else will. Maybe not as well, possibly better. Surely, differently.

For me, Sundays Scribblings was part of a plan to write more, and it has worked. I've written more stories in the past year than in the five previous years combined. Funny how it works, too. Sometimes you read a prompt and it immediately sparks an idea in you. The second scribble ever was one of Megg's prompts and it was "real life." Almost as soon as I read it an idea for a strange fiction popped into my head and I wrote it and loved it and subsequently turned it into a novella. Yay, me! So, there was what you might call a spark of inspiration in the beginning, an idea leaping in the darkness, but after that, it was work.

Is inspiration for sissies? Nah, I just wrote that because it sounded kinda catchy. I would say that waiting around for inspiration like it's a bus that might or might not come, that's for sissies. Just start walking. The bus still might come, and if it doesn't you'll get there anyway. With sweaty feet and blisters, but you'll get there.

Friday, March 16, 2007

There is a muse of chocolate

The Muse of Chocolate
"But you have no chocolate? My dear, how will you ever manage?"
- Marquise de Sevigne

Here's the new spring "muse" collection from Laini's Ladies. They're in some stores now, and will be in more soon. Hope you enjoy them! There will be such fun things as notecards and fans very soon too. All will available here. Cheers!

The Coffee Fairy
"The voodoo priest and all his powders were nothing compared to espresso, cappuccino, and mocha."
- Mark Helprin

The Muse of Knitting
"In the rhythm of knitting needles, there is music for the soul."
- unknown

The Muse of Writing
"I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions."
- James Michener

The Diet Goddess
"Our bodies are our gardens, for which our wills are gardeners."
- Shakespeare

The Long-Life Fairy
"Many beautiful years"

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Ooh, yeah, taxes!!

Things to be grateful for:
  • not being stalked by vampires*
  • having ten fingers, ten toes, and the appropriate number of other parts
  • having someone good to kiss
  • not being stalked by zombies*
  • having four different nap spots to choose from in the house
  • that my body is not being occupied by disembodied alien ghosts (that I know of)
  • having an imagination that allows me to dream up interesting fates for my enemies (just kidding -- I don't have enemies, although I hear tell they can be quite the spice of life)
  • not living in a place plagued by bombings and killings
  • or famine and drought
  • or tsunami or hurricane
  • or dictatorship
  • or angry ghosts or mutant sea turtles or fickle gods
  • getting to be a tax-paying member of a free society -- I mean, how awesome is that?

Yep. Just trying to convince myself how happy I am to go off to see the accountant today. Riding my unicorn there and whistling all the way. Hope you have a fabulous day too!

P.S. Of all fabulous things, I've seen my first photo of a kid dressed up as my main character, Magpie Windwitch! What a rite of passage that is for a fantasy writer! She did a great job, and I love that she chose to make her face look dirty, since Magpie, faerie though she may be, is much more interested in hunting devils than in personal hygiene! She had a knife too. Yeah.

*I'm ambivalent about these two because I actually think it would be kind of cool to be stalked by vampires and/or zombies. Does anyone else think that, or is it just me?

Monday, March 12, 2007

Liar's Party!

Meet Patry Francis! Patry was one of my first blog friends when I started blogging a little over a year ago. I glommed onto her blog when I realized she and I shared a publisher, and that her first novel, The Liar's Diary, would be coming out a few months before mine. I read all about her year as she experienced landmarks (seeing the cover, getting advance copies, doing her first signing) months before I did, and when I finally had a chance to read the book, I seized it! And then, when I learned Patry was taking a little excursion to the West Coast to promote the book, I seized the opportunity to meet her in person and throw her a little party in honor of the book.

That was last night, and it was such fun!

Here's the book:
It's about a woman whose best friend is murdered, and what happens when her own teenage son is accused of the crime. It's twisty and turny and gripping and a wonderfully natural, flowing read. Last night, I asked Patry some interview questions to get discussion going, but it did not occur to me to record or even take note of her answers, so I shall try to reconstruct some basic sense of what was said.

Earlier in Patry's career as a writer, she wrote mainly poetry (though narrative poetry with characters and plots), then moved into short stories, and when she took the leap to the novel form she spent ten years writing an 800-page novel! That book was not The Liar's Diary, which is actually the third novel that she has written. The previous two had not sold, and the process in each case had been fairly grueling, so by the time her agent was sending out the Liar's manuscript, Patry's hope was at a low ebb. However, it sold almost at once! And happy dances were danced!

Patry lives in Cape Cod with her husband Ted. They have four children and two dogs, and Patry has recently completed her next novel, though I will of course leave it to her to write about that one on her own blog, which is wonderful and can be found here. When I asked her what was, for her, the hardest part of writing, she said that it was first drafts. This is the case for me, too -- though she did not necessarily share my desire to kick people in the shins when they say they wrote their book in two weeks, or that the "characters took over and wrote it for them." She was more gracious than I.

When she was asked (by blog friend Jone, in attendance), what was the "spark" for the book, Patry answered that the idea came from a high-profile murder case in her area, in which a "wonderful" teenage boy from a "wonderful" family murdered his best friend's mother. She said that in that case, the family and the boy were so well liked that the victim's family came to seem almost like the villains, and she became really interested in the dynamic and started out to explore them for herself, in fiction. Though, as you will know if you have read the book, the story develops far beyond those simple facts.

Another blogger in attendance was Citizen of the Month, aka Neilotchka, who was in town with Sophia from LA and stopped by. It was great to meet them! And of course, my friends, local cool creative chics and bloggers Alexandra and Maggie, were here too. Thanks for the banana bread, Al!

Here are Sophia, Alexandra, and Neil:

Here's the gathering:

And here are Patry and me with our books, both of which are brought to you courtesy of the Penguin.

It was a delightful evening for me. Patry couldn't have been more gracious, fun, funny, and wonderful!

P.S. The real fun for me began after the party ended. First, I scorched my fingertip badly while blowing out the mood candles. Then, early early this morning, lurching out of bed to hit snooze, I kicked the stair post with my bare toes and it hurt like a you-know-what and still does, and then, falling back to sleep heedless of the alarm, I had really bizarre dreams, including one in which I was traveling through a particularly jungly neighborhood of London by aerial tram and the prim English bus conductor put on a safari hat, popped the sun-roof and started shooting a bb gun to scare off the marauding monkeys and cheetahs. Weird.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Dream Journey -- Elephants & Zeppelins

Ah, for an elephant and a time machine! A magic carpet, a wise-cracking camel, a gypsy seer, and a genie. That sounds like the makings of an excellent adventure. Or, how about a zeppelin, a pair of aviatrix goggles, and a half of a mystical map? I'd have to find the other half, of course, by scaling down tied-together scarves from my hovering zeppelin into the conviently open palace window of the evil magician who possesses it. And maybe I'd have to sweet-talk his tiger guardian, who would turn out to be under an enchantment that I could break with a particular elixir I had won in a poker game in Zanzibar. During all of this time, the moon would be fat and full, and the rooftops of Samarkand would seem to be painted silver.

Ancient map now patched together with scotch tape, I would set out to fulfill some particular destiny of dire importance. That's the kind of journey I would like to live. Thank god I'm a writer and I don't have to actually learn how to fly a zeppelin!

There are real journeys of my dreams, too, such as my mango world tour (a circumnavigation of the world involving taste-testing ALL varieties of mangoes! (Apparently, there are over 1000!) I also dream of trekking through rainforests in Borneo to see orangutans and perhaps catch a whiff of binturong musk -- I mean, did you know there's a mammal with a prehensile tail (one of only 2 non-simian mammals in the world with prehensile tails) that produces a musk that smells like popcorn? It's true. I am not making that up. Look here.

And I would like to take an elephant trek through the tiger preserves of India. And ride a camel across a desert and camp at an oasis. And because I just can't help myself, yes, I would like to find a genie in a bottle in the process, thank you very much.

The world is so full of riches, both natural and man-made, and I want to see it ALL. And I want to eat flat bread baked in the ashes of a nomad's fire. And I want to buy bolts of silk at a floating market, and lotus flowers, and emeralds. And I want to see Machu Picchu, and hear howler monkeys, and sail through a glimmer of phosphorescence with a pod of killer whales leaping nearby. I want to ride a reindeer up to see the northern lights, and go cross-country skiing alongside a dogsled team that's hauling my pack, and see polar bears from afar -- very afar -- and see huge blue icebergs in fantastical shapes. And volcanoes. And coral reefs. And six-foot-wide bee hives, a hundred to a single tualang tree, 250 feet up in the rain forest canopy! And snakes that glide through the air! And. . . mangoes!!!

So quit killing the planet and starting wars, people! There's so much else to do!

More dream journeys here.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Things that are green

Polka dots are green, sometimes, as in the case of this new dress which I purchased at a store that has fake grass for carpeting -- also a thing that is green. I haven't worn the dress yet. It is cold in Portland. It rains. I am waiting patiently to wear my new dress.

Other things that are green include absinthe, mint-chocolate-chip ice cream, leprechauns, vintage glass cake stands that happen to be green, flower stems clutched in a nervous fist, gangrene, moss, and some, but not all, apples. And some, but not all, macaws. Also, my slippers.

I just had a memory of the sickly sweet tropical liquer we American teens drank in the Belgium of my teenhood. It tasted most like bananas, but was vivid vivid green. In recollection: ick. It was called, bizarrely, "Pzang."

Also, on the subject of green and polka-dots, one of the "top models" was wearing my exact green polka-dotted pajamas on the show the week. It was Jael, who I don't hate, even though she talks like she can't be bothered to part her lips. Who I do hate is Renee. She seems like an incredibly miserable human being. Have you ever known one of those people to whom everything is "unfair"? The whole world is a conspiracy against them? That's Renee. A pretty, bitter, miserable girl against the world. But much more important than Renee's misery, is my polka dot simpatico with America's Next Top Model. Last season, they had polka dotted bedspreads that I almost bought. I mean, is that uncanny or what?

Here are some more green things, some of which I've already mentioned. The glared-out label is absinthe purchased a few years ago in Prague.

I had been to Prague previously, say, eleven years ago (before all the menus there were printed in six tourist-friendly languages) and had bought a bottle of absinthe which I had no intention of drinking because, well, absinthe tastes bad. But a "friend" who was over one evening several years ago and browbeat Jim and I into letting him "taste" it. And well, he drank it. A lot of it. And he was really sorry he did. I refilled that bottle with green mouthwash because I really only cared about the bottle anyway. But this, this is the real thing, and no friend will wheedle me out of it. The end.

P.S. Sorry to be weird today (not really). I don't know what came over me. I met my daily word count by 9:30 a.m. Whoosh!!! So I'm going to try to double it. AND make cookies. Have a great weekend, folks!

P.P.S. Any local (Portland OR) readers who might be interested in attending a book party for the fabulous Patry Francis this Sunday, email me.

P.P.S. I just heard that vampire hunters exhumed Slobodan Milosevic's grave and staked him through the heart. What a weird world.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Satiating angry gods, and writing with a knife (not necessarily in that order)

As I move forward with Silksinger, the sequel to Blackbringer, I am learning this whole thing all over again like it's the first time -- this whole "writing a book" thing, that is. I would say it is easier the second time around, if only because now I know I can do it, but it's not that much easier. For me, anyway. I've been working on Silksinger for a while, and I've caught myself with this expectation that Silksinger, as it is being written, should be in the sort of clean and shiny condition as the final version of Blackbringer. Madness!

I have to make myself remember what it took Blackbringer to get to that state. It wasn't always pretty. The dead ends, the dumb ideas, the things that didn't pan out, the characters that had to be banished into oblivion, the outlines that mysteriously didn't work out, etc etc.

I hit upon a term today for my first draft -- the EXPLORATORY DRAFT -- and I like that! I'm writing an exploratory draft. It sounds like it should involve jungle expeditions and rafting canyons that no human has ever come out of alive. You know what? No human has ever come out of writing Silksinger alive. I will be the first. It's very exciting. I feel like I should have a knife strapped to my thigh like my character Magpie does. What if I became a super eccentric writer and one of my quirks was that I strapped a knife to my thigh while I was writing? Ha ha!

Now, here is something funny that came to me via email forward and I am impressed by the young mind that spawned it. The context was a whole bunch of funny wrong answers students had given on tests. THIS was an essay about El Nino, and here is what was written by Jeremy Lavine, Period 3, who may or may not be a real person, but if he is, he has a future as a writer. I've underlined some funny parts, but read the whole thing:
El Nino is spanish. It is the spanish word for child. Like all things spanish, it is dangerous. It kills people and burns down trees. This child is more than a child. It really isn't a child at all. It is a storm. A deadly storm that kills people and burns down trees.

In Peru, they have many names for many things. One of the things they have names for is people who go fishing, go fishing to make a living. If we had a word for this kind of people that word would be "fisherman". But we don't. In Peru they have different names for things than we do in America. They call that kind of people "pescadores". That's Spanish. That's what they speak in Peru. When El Nino comes, these "pescadores" can't catch any fish. El Nino is caused when Peruvian gods get angry. They have been angry for millions of years and have made El Nino for millions of years. Many many moons ago, the Peruvians committed human sacrifice to satiate their gods and end the flood that was caused by El Nino. In today's modern dog-eat-dog work-a-day world of scientists, diplomats, McSalad Shakers, and George Bush, Jr, we no longer have access to such solutions. We are too proud. We will not commit human sacrifices. We refuse to satiate the Peruvian gods. Thus, they remain angry and keep killing us and burning down our trees with El Nino.

Instead of satiating the gods, many of these "scientists" have tried to control El Nino with "science". They put up expensive fish-attracting buoys that run on flashlight batteries. Imagine, fighting the power of the gods with flashlight batteries! Needless to say, this didn't work and everyone died.

How awesome is that? The teacher scrawled at the end: "Jeremy, please a little less drama!" It doesn't show what grade he got. If I was a teacher I would have been thrilled to get this. I think. How about you?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Hot Men of Children's Literature

I just popped over to Fuse #8 to get my morning fix of kid-lit news, and guess what was staring back at me? The most recent inductee into Betsy Bird's pantheon of


My husband! I love it! He joins the ranks of such creators as Neil Gaiman and Brian Selznick, and she pulled some photos off our blogs to illustrate his hotness to her wider reading public. I am so so proud to be the wife of a HMOCL!

And without further ado, here he is:

Other exciting news:
I have joined the subculture of friend-scavenging that is MYSPACE! You know, that little universe where you build a profile page, usually with a photo of yourself with your arm out in that telltale self-photographing pose? And then you send out dozens, neh, hundreds of friend requests to perfect strangers, so you can say, "I have 473 friends." Yah. That. Shameful, all of it. Tsk. So, er. . . heh heh. . . ya wanna be friends? Seriously. I scoffed before, but I see now that Myspace is not all about hooking up. There are tons of creative folks sending each other bulletins about their shows and readings and new books and stuff. AND I am proud to report I actually learned some nifty html at long last, so I could wow my new friends with my ability to center lines and enlarge text in my profile box. Are you amazed by my html prowess? No? But I can even do block quotes! I can do colors! All a perfectly legitimate use of a Saturday.

So come on over, ye legions of potential friends! Come HERE. And in case you're wondering, as of this writing, I have 34 friends. We're like that. (Picture two fingers crossed). I also have: 1 hot husband!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Gentlemen Send Phantoms

The Sunday Scribblings prompt this week is: superstitions, which I find incredibly fascinating. Here's a little fiction about one in particular (it's kind of romantic):

[story removed by author]

Thursday, March 01, 2007

hoop & stick, baby

I am very happy to report, I have been a writing maniac this week. If I could be so prolific every week, I would write a book every few months. HA! It feels good, I tell you. Page after page, and the occasional fugue state when the characters kind of knock you out of the way and keep going. Bliss. I am going to try to keep that going, like a hoop with a stick, you know, in old movies? I'm going to chase that little hoop along, wearing knee socks and a pink dress, and not let the hoop slow down and wobble and fall. (That's me in the illustration above -- look at me go!) I have a history of wobbling and falling. I'd like to think we all do. Heck, I don't want to be the only one failing to live up to my expectations! Nothing irks me more than a bright bubbly soul without neurosis, who sits down humming to write, and then writes and writes and writes like it's playtime, then goes off, still humming, and makes dinner or invents something or discovers a cure or rescues a kitten. Ha ha. Actually, if that sounds like you, my compliments, you madman. (Or woman.) I wish I could do it too!

Oh, and by the way, I've just posted the first few chapters of Blackbringer on my website. You can read them here if you want.

In other news of the household, Jim stayed up drawing until 5:30 this morning, I had a dream about exotic, flying cockroaches with antlers, and soon, very very soon, we will have a shiny new kitchen, complete with black and white checked floors. Can't wait!

Oh, and today is World Book Day! Swing over there and check out the survey of books you can't live without. A fair number of my own faves are on there: Pride & Prejudice, Lord of the Rings, and His Dark Materials. Oh yeah, and that wee little book about the boy wizard!