Friday, June 29, 2012

Five for Friday

1. So much writing, you guys. I'm so proud of myself for finally getting there again. It's been an uphill battle since Baby Girl 2 came into the world, but I'm getting back my writing legs.

2. I just finished watching the first season of Downton Abbey and I have so many FEELINGS about it that I'm planning on doing a post to discuss them next week.

3. Reading wise I'm finally finishing up Carrie Ryan's The Forest of Hands and Teeth series. I'm right in the middle of The Dark and Hollow Places. So far I'm liking it. I'm just glad the series has shown improvement throughout each book. And that all the lead characters have had distinct voices.

4. We canceled our TV. I know, for a professed TV addict this is a tragedy. But it' actually freed up a lot of time for me. Not just for reading and writing, but being outside with my kids and and being more active. Not that I sat around on my butt all day ignoring the little ones before, but it's nice not having that distraction. We still have Netflix with our X-Box, but I only watch like an hour or two of TV per day.

5. Since it's summer vacay I've been trying to think of things to keep my children preoccupied. They can only run and play outside so much. Besides, the heat is getting to be a bit unbearable and I don't want them out there getting heat stroke. We've been making weekly trips to the library, arts and crafts, and reading time, but I'm kind of running out of ideas. Do any of you have suggestions? I would greatly appreciate them.

Thanks all! Have a great weekend, and don't forget that sunscreen!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Desperately Seeking Inspiration

Ever have one of those moments when an idea for a new story hits you. The opening scene is just perfect, the character's voice so real that it seems to whisper in your ear, and you can't help but want to write it down. Now picture where you are when this occurs. Is it in the shower? Are you in your warm bed, snuggled in with the blanket, the promise of sleep just moments away? Or perhaps you're driving your kids to school, and you know that writing and driving isa no-no, but you want to rationalize it anyway.

Welcome to my world. Writing inspiration can be inconvenient at times, no matter how great the idea is. And for the most part, it's during those inconvenient moments that ideas come to me. Maybe it's because your mind is at ease and you're not really trying to get something down. But when I plop down on the couch with my handy dandy laptop, inspirations seems to be chased away. NOT. COOL.

I'm going to try deep breathing meditation type exercises from now on when I try to write. You know, the whole 'close your eyes, think of your happy place, open your mind to new possibilities' bit. Maybe it'll work. But I think in the end I'll just fall asleep, face on keyboard. Here's hoping something works, so I can get to the core of my current WIP.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Five for Friday

1. Setting up routines was the focus of the week. Since summer break has started (and since the baby arrived) things have been a little...disorganized shall we say, in Chez Pickett. Thankfully I'm finally getting into the groove of things and starting to get the kids on board with the whole 'routine' thing.

2. In case any of you are wondering (and I'm sure you are since you all find me so very interesting) I'm right on target with my goal to read one book a week this year. I think I might even surpass it if things keep going the way they do.

3. Writing was so-so this week. I got almost 3000 words down. I'm hoping to change my target to around a thousand words a day. Now that it's summer I can take the laptop outside while the kids are playing and kill two birds with one stone.

4. The heat wave has hit my neck of the woods. It was so humid yesterday for a minute I thought I was back in Northern Virginia. It was the 'shade won't offer you any relief' kind of heat. That's one thing I DON'T miss about back east. Humidity and I are not friends.

5. Nothing spectacular planned for this weekend. Hoping to get some yard work done, and hopefully some writing. Would love it if the heat let up just a bit.

Have a splendiferous weekend all!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Book Review: Fever

Wow, where do I begin. Depressing. That would a good word to sum up this book. So why did I keep reading? Undercurrents of hope that pop up in the midst of some pretty awful things.

That doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it, I just had a hard time trying not to cry. Rhine's world is bleak, real, dangerous, and ugly. ***SPOILER***: So at the end of Wither, Rhine and Gabriel escape the confines of the 'compound' and the father-in-law from hell, Vaughn. And now, well, things aren't going much better. Kidnapped and forced into the red district, Rhine becomes the object of ...interest/ creepy affection to Madame, the woman in charge. Don't even get me started on poor Gabriel. He's spent most of his life in servitude and hasn't really faced the realities of their world outside of the house before. What he endures is completely unfair, but also totally expected considering the world they live in. Then there's the ending. Gah! Lauren Destefano's writing captures the heartless nature of the future so well and it kept me turning the pages. It is poetic and grim. I do have a few gripes, like the prose. Although well done, it can be a bit much at times. And I also want more character development for Gabriel. So far I'm not as connected with him as I want to be. All in all, I'm looking forward to the next one because I REALLY need to know where the heck it's all going and how it's going to end. Hopefullyit won't be as tragic as I think it will be.

Monday, June 18, 2012


I am considering some serious rewrites to a manuscript. Right now my focus should be on finishing my WIP, which is halfway done, but I'm instead thinking about the flaws of a finished manuscript. I have 'the grass is greener' syndrome. This happen every few months or so. I'll think all is well in my writing world, then I'll get hit with the bug and start questioning my storyline. Where is it all leading? And is it getting to that destination the right way? I then want to tear through the whole thing and redo it from start to finish. Which, as you know, will take a while. I'm a slow writer. Not beccause I lack passion or anything, but because there are one too many distractions in my life (four of which need constant care and attention). Gah! Frustration at its best. Here's hoping I can hang on and finish one thing before tackling another. Hopefully by then my ridiculous need to redo the story will have flushed away.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Now This Is Happening

Anchorman is one of my all time favorite comedies. EVER. I mean, really. Classic lines such as 'It's an optical illusion' and 'Loud noises!' and my all time favorite, ' 60 percent of the time, it works every time.' In the scene below Ron (Will Ferrell) has a run in with Jack Black. Ron decides to discard a burrito out his car window, which in turn causes Jack Black to crash his motorcycle. Of course, the guy is pissed (rightfully so) and he decides to seek his revenge. He proceeds to drop kick Baxter, Ron's beloved dog, over the bridge. Before he does so, he says the words my husand often repeats, 'Now this is happening.' The viewer doesn't know what he's going to do, but we expect whatever it is to be pretty hilarious because of those four words 'now this is happening'. As a writer, you shouldn't do this. Why? While this is hilarious in film format, it doesn't translate well to readig format.

We as writers need to do a better job of showing the reader what's about to happen without spelling it out like Jack Black does. The anticipation is one of the best parts of reading a book. Saying 'now this is happening' is too direct in writing. I don't want to read a book that goes something along the lines of this: " Jack picked up Baxter, then he kicked him over the bridge. After that Ron started to cry.' Can you imagine reading an entire book that sounds like that? Yeah, not so much. So show, don't tell. Stay away from the 'now this is happening' syndrome. And watch a funny movie.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Five for Friday

1. First off, sorry for the blog silence this took some time to get things back on track after this past weekend.

2. The party was a success, even with a few last minute additions in attendance. The bouncy house was a great idea, and we had water guns for later on when the heat got to be too much.

3. We had family in town from Saturday through Tuesday and it was a BLAST. Exhausting, but so much fun. It's always nice to see them.

4. I've been writing and feeling more like my old self. And I've been reading as well. I finished Anna Dressed In Blood (so good and scary), I'm almost done with Delirium, and I just got Fever.

5. How was your week? Any book suggestions?

Friday, June 1, 2012

Five for Friday

1. First off, Hi there *waves awkwardly to new followers*. It's nice to see some new faces (as much as you can through the internet), thanks for being here.

2. You guys, we rented a bouncy house. Yup, we're officially into the grade school era of birthday parties, where elaborate shennanigans take place to ensure that your child and his/her friends have the best time ever. Tomorrow's the last day of school and my son's party is on Saturday, therefore we have to pull out all the stops to make it the most happenin' get together EVER.

3. Speaking of summer, hello! When did this happen??? I know I've mentioned it before, but seriously, where did the time go? I really need to get back into good writing shape.

4. We have family coming in this weekend for the party, as well as other family fun times. It's going to be nice, but also craaaayzay.

5. I'm excited for Summer break because that means a family vacay. We're going to LA to visit my dad in August and it's going to be awesomesauce. We're thinking about going to San Diego too and doing the Sea World thing. What are you plans for this upcoming 2012 summer?