Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday's Top Ten

The top ten things about Halloween:

10. Bats

  9. Masks

  8. Costumes

  7. Candy Corn

  6. Ghosts

  5. Witches

  4. Parties

  3. Haunted Houses

  2. Jack-O-Lanterns

And the #1 thing about Halloween:

  1. Trick or Treat!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Grab and Go

My Monday posts have something to do with writing. Friday's are Top Ten lists. Wednesday is a grab bag.

Today when I reached my hand in, I pulled out . . .

Did you know they're related to cashews, mangoes, and poison ivy?

Does anyone have an e-reader?
If so, what kind?
What do you like best about it?
What do you wish it would do that it doesn't?


Location, Location, Location
City, small town, or country?
Mountains or beach?
What's your favorite?
For living and for vacationing.

Separate from the grab bag, last Friday Lydia Kang at The Word Is My Oyster created a brand new award.

In Lydia's own words:
"Check it out. I made a new award for you guys. So if you desire something truly unique and are willing to suffer the certain headache you'll get from staring at it too long, then I present to you—"

So . . . what Lydia said. Except the headache part - LOL.

It's free to all of you as well if you missed it at her blog. And if you did miss it, shame on you :) Get over to Lydia's and check out her great blog - especially Medical Mondays.

Monday, October 25, 2010

I Like To Call It Research

I wonder what my neighbor is doing in the dark of night in his backyard. Hmm, a character might have a need to know that information about her neighbor. At some point. Or never. But it's good information to have. So I peek through the blinds. With binoculars.

I didn't really do that, but I might.

You see, I have this insatiable thirst for knowledge.

"Carol, you're nosy."

Any knowledge.

"And a snoop."

What if he killed his wife and was burying her body?

"Don't be meddlesome."

A strong desire to know exactly what's going on.

"It's none of your business."

Well, actually, it is my business because I'm a writer. Perhaps not to know exactly what's going on with my neighbor, but exactly what's going on with all sorts of things that crop up in articles and stories. Here are just a few of the things I've researched recently:
  • What are the optimal growing conditions for catnip?
  • What signs and symptoms will a person with a particular type of delusional disorder exhibit?
  • How many miles of coastline does Texas have?

And the list goes on. I love research. I'm inquisitive. I want to know it all.

Maybe I'm a writer because I'm naturally curious and inquisitive.

What about you? Do you love research? Seek out details?

Do you have an inquiring mind? 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday's Top Ten

Top ten ways to feel your best:

10. Get plenty of exercise.
And not just in your fingers and brain.

  9. Eat plenty of veggies.
Chocolate comes from a bean; therefore, it MUST be a veggie.

  8. Smile and laugh.
Everyone will wonder what you're up to now.

  7. Be thankful.
'Nuf said.

  6. Play with your kids, pets, and/or significant other.
It's a great excuse not to do housework.

  5. Take time to smell the roses.
And take special care not to get a thorn in your nose.

  4. Encourage your imagination.
What better reason do you need to daydream!

  3. Know that the glass is half full.
Otherwise you wonder what happened to the rest of it, and 10,000 other questions follow. You're not writing a novel with your life, although sometimes it feels like it with mine :)

 2. Seize the moment.
Whether it's finding the perfect hook or savoring a gorgeous sunset or nailing a first-class zinger.

And the #1 way to feel your best:

  1. Be yourself!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Beginning . . . Middle . . . End


It's the beginning of the road for my friend and fellow blogger, Alex J. Cavanaugh. Tuesday, October 19,  is the release day for his novel, CassaStar.

“…calls to mind the youthful focus of Robert Heinlein’s early military sf, as well as the excitement of space opera epitomized by the many Star Wars novels. Fast-paced military action and a youthful protagonist make this a good choice for both young adult and adult fans of space wars.”
 - Library Journal

Since I seem to be technically challenged, today, you can WATCH THE TRAILER HERE.

Suitably impressed?

Purchase it from your favorite bookseller starting tomorrow. Advise your friends to do the same.

CassaStar by Alex J. Cavanaugh
October 19, 2010
Science fiction/adventure/space opera
ISBN 9780981621067 
Dancing Lemur Press LLC


Calling Cassandra Jade!
Come out, come out, wherever you are!

Another blogging friend, Cassandra Jade, has been Missing in Action for a month now. She vanished in the middle of a blog tour for her new release.

Cassandra - If you're reading, please let us know you're all right.

If anyone has information, please share.


This has to do with comments. I've changed the comment section here hoping to make it easier for you to comment. And hoping it doesn't bring spammers. If you have any trouble whatsoever  - other than Blogger eating your words, which happens from time to time - please email me, and I'll put things back the way they were.

= = = = = = = = = =

Disclaimer: This post ties to writing in the most remote ways possible. One, every story has a beginning, middle, and end. Two, I wrote it.

Happy Monday!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday's Top Ten

Top ten favorite Texas foods:

10. Frito Pie

  9. Cornbread Without Sugar

  8. Chicken Fried Steak

  7. Kolaches

  6. King Ranch Chicken

  5. Jalapenos

  4. BBQ Brisket

  3. Shrimp

  2. Anything Tex-Mex

And the #1 favorite Texas food:

  1. Chili

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wayward Wednesday

The other day I saw a box of cigars.
Each cigar was about five inches long and about as round as a quarter.
What kind of man smokes a cigar like that?

Who is the seventh dwarf?

What if all the Halloween monsters turned real
for one minute at the stroke of midnight?

Why do people continue to harm children?

Have you seen the women at the market whose carts
look as if they were arranged by a stylist?
What do their homes look like?
Are you one of those women?

What if you won the lottery?

If we weren't supposed to make Jack-O-Lanterns,
would we still have pumpkins?

Where do birds go when it rains?

Who uses pi?

Why do writers write?

Rescued Chilean Miners. Yes!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Writing is Like a Box of Chocolates

I try to have an overall plan. Really I do. But when the characters start talking and acting out, well . . . I never know if I'm going to end up with a chewy caramel nougat or a vanilla creme.

For example. One character is supposed to be scary. Threatening. He's a Teddy Bear! I'm trying to toughen him up so he's more complex and can fulfill his threatening role. It's happening, but slowly.

What's the deal?

Why is it that even when we have defined roles for these characters - who, mind you, we created - they don't conform to our preset definitions for them?

Does it happen because we don't think far enough ahead about how two or more personalities will interact and self-define?

Do they say one tiny little thing in a different tone or perform one act we hadn't counted on that sets them down the road to rebellion before we're even aware?

Do they plot to take us down and write the story themselves?

Or is it our subconscious trying one way after another to make us see something isn't working as it should and this might be one way to fix it?

Or is it trying to show us what we planned isn't working at all and we should chunk it and rethink?

I don't know the answer. I wish I did.

What are your thoughts?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Friday's Top Ten

Top ten things to cuddle:

10. Bag of Marshmallows

  9. Stuffed Animals

  8. Blankies

  7. Pillows

  6. Pet Bunnies

  5. Kittens

  4. Puppies

  3. Babies

  2. Lovers

And the #1 thing to cuddle:

  1. Squishy Balls

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Many Sides of Me

Last week Talei at Musings of an Aspiring Scribe presented me with The Versatile Blogger award.

You may have seen me post this award here before, but I'm posting it again. I'm honored that you think I'm a versatile blogger. Actually it's probably more like I have ADHD and am easily bored, but I'll never admit that :)

I'm fairly new to Talei's blog - she found me during Karen Gowen's Labor Day Weekend Blog Party BBQ, and I'm so happy she did. I always love visiting her.

First, I'm supposed to tell you seven interesting things about myself. I'm not sure there are seven interesting things about me, but here goes:

1. I totally immerse myself in novels--
yet I speed-read through mountains of research material and news items every day.
2. I hate housework--
but I want our home to look well put together and smell clean all the time.
3. I love cats--
but I'm terribly allergic to them.
4. I love sunshine--
and rain.
5. I am NOT a morning person by any stretch of the best imagination--
but I love the thrill of sunrise and the world waking up.
6. "I Love Rock 'n' Roll"--
and Andrea Bocelli.
7. I'm a Scorpio--
and we're full of contradictions.

Second, I'm supposed to pass this award along to fifteen other bloggers. I've broken this rule before, and I'm breaking it again.

If you're reading here, you are a CVR - Certified Versatile Reader. This award is for you. Take it, be versatile, and do something fun with it.

This award is for all my Certified Versatile Readers.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Confusing Characters

Last Monday I blogged about characterization and about how we can alter a character's persona by choosing his personality traits.

The comment left by Teresa at Journaling Woman inspired today's writing post about character interaction so, "Thanks, Teresa!"

All of your characters have distinct personalities and their own agendas. Right? Right. If not, go fix it and come back when you're done.

Moving along . . . each character is going to react in a different way to everything that occurs to them in the story. Some reactions may be similar; but for the sake of dramatic tension, not many should be.

For example, your ladies are at lunch. Any ladies, from hookers to mommies to business women to students to Red Hatters. Or a mix of that.

Anyway, the server trips over a dropped napkin and food and drink go flying. No one at the table is spared. One may be angry, one amused. One charmed by the server, one irritated or even offended. And more. The possibilities are endless.

You can take this another step down the path by having reactions to the initial reactions. This would then create a new action for other characters to react to.

Confused yet?

Don't be.

Give it a try and you'll see how it works.

What are you waiting for?

Friday, October 1, 2010

Friday's Top Ten

Top ten things I'm not making this top ten list about:

10. Ways to make a dog bark

  9. Things that tick me off

  8. Favorite one-liners

  7. News stories of the week

  6. Favorite punctuation marks

  5. Things that make me laugh

  4. Places I want to visit

  3. Movies I want to see

  2. Books on my wish list

And the #1 thing I'm not making this top ten list about:

  1. Ways to say I Love You!