Monday, November 29, 2010

The One About How I Write

After last week's frenzied activity, I'm happy to settle back into what passes for my normal schedule.

I promise not to fuss at the dogs on their third outside trip in well under an hour because the squirrels are playing and the neighbor dogs are having all the fun.

NOTE: Each trip outside for them means a minimum of three trips to the door for me because Dog Rule #37b clearly states that under no condition - unless deemed an emergency by the canines - shall both dogs return inside on the same door opening by the human. Dog Rule #37c further states that it doesn't matter how many times either canine returns inside while the other canine remains outside, it is counted as one outing until both canines have returned and remained indoors for a minimum of one minute.

Nor will I freak when the doorbell rings . . . and I realize I'm still not dressed.

NOTE: It's because I've been too busy letting the dogs in and out, and for no other reason whatsoever.

I could go on. I've learned to work with these situations and others, but writing in the zone doesn't happen often because of constant interruptions for something that someone other than myself believes must be done NOW!

I'm so looking forward to seeing my characters again, getting re-involved in their lives. Even if it's only between trips to the back door. And rushing upstairs to throw my clothes on.

Maybe next year my resolution will be to dress before coming downstairs.

But where's the excitement in that :)

This is my life. And I love it.

Those of you participating in NaNoWriMo will experience this feeling of returning to your regularly scheduled programming in a few days.

And on Wednesday, it's the first annual Under the Tiki Hut NaNo After Party.

Right here . . . don't miss it!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday's Top Ten

Top ten ways to prepare leftover turkey:

10. Turkey Stew

  9. Turkey Pot Pie

  8. Turkey Loaf

  7. Turkey Casserole

  6. Turkey and Sausage Gumbo

  5. Turkey Stir Fry

  4. Turkey Pasta Pesto

  3. Turkey Tortilla Soup

  2. Turkey Salad

And the #1 way to prepare leftover turkey:

  1. Turkey Sandwiches

Monday, November 22, 2010

Not My Mother!

Since this is a holiday week, my plan is for all my posts to be short. I have a lot to do, and my little brain is already mushy.

So here are some writing exercises for you to try. They might also help a blocked NaNo-er or two.

  • Write a scene between two people using only dialogue.
  • Write the same scene, from the same point of view, using no dialogue.
  • Using a timer, free-write for 15 minutes.
  • Choose a place you've never been, local or around the world - use a photo or create your own world if you wish - and write a few paragraphs about your first impressions. Use all five senses and create an emotional mood. No travelogues :)
  • Pick one of your characters. Introduce him or her to your mother. You know how your mother is. Umm-hmm. Betcha learn something new.

That's it.

Keep writing!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday's Top Ten

The top ten things about Thanksgiving:

10. Football

  9. Travel Nightmare

  8. Hugs and Squabbles

  7. Turkey

  6. The Trimmings

  5. Desserts

  4. Clean Up

  3. Friends

  2. Family

And the #1 thing about Thanksgiving:

  1. Giving Thanks for Our Blessings

So I'll take this opportunity to thank all of you who take time to come to Under the Tiki Hut to read and comment. I'm truly thankful for each and every one of you.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Alphabet Soup

Writing is...
Believing in yourself
Character building
Dog drool on all the windows you don't wash
Gazing out the window
Hash for dinner...again
Jumping for joy at The End
Keeping the fire in your belly through the muddy middle
Music to write by
Notebooks filled with bits of this and pieces of that
Opening your mind
Quiet time
Talking to yourself
Upping the stakes
Visualizing the outcome
X-rated curse words when your writing sucks
You and your muse
Zooming in the zone

Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday's Top Ten

The top ten things about bird feeders:

10. Feed and seed indeed

  9. Bifocal binoculars

  8. Clicking cameras

  7. Hungry hawks

  6. Famished felines

  5. Mellifluous melodies

  4. Bird brawls

  3. Flying feathers

  2. Beautiful birds

And the #1 thing about bird feeders:

  1. Starving squirrels

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Another Wednesday Grab Bag

Wednesdays Under the Tiki Hut are usually perfect for those of you who might be attention challenged. Bits and pieces of this, that, and the other for the most part. Or photos. No photos today :(

Tomorrow is Veterans Day.
On the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month...
It's also called Remembrance Day and Armistice Day.
You can read the history of Veterans Day here.
As a military spouse, I thank you for remembering those who served.

The Cherpumple.
If you haven't yet heard of this Thanksgiving combo dessert, go here - it's short.
You gotta see it to believe it.
Has anyone eaten one?
Made one?

The Other.
Did you know . . .
A cat has 32 muscles in each ear.
An ostrich's eye is bigger than it's brain.
Tigers have striped skin, not just striped fur.

I want to be a tiger :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Goldilocks and the Three Endings

Some of you have recently become members of the Tiki Team by clicking on my Follow button. Thank you. I like new friends. I also like all my old friends here. So, everyone, kick off your flip-flops, introduce yourselves, and make yourselves at home.

If I haven't already welcomed you to Under the Tiki Hut, I'll do so now. Welcome!

If I have welcomed you, then you got to hear it again. I'm happy all of you are here, and I hope you'll come back and visit often.

On Mondays I blog about writing. Usually it's something a little off the wall or an exercise or a commentary on things we need to be aware of. Rarely will you find any sort of how-to post here. For starters, they're everywhere by writers with a lot more street creds than I have.

But the real reason I choose not to do how-to is because every writer has his or her own way of doing things, especially writing things. If I do post about something particular, it's always what works for me, or how I accomplish something. Maybe it will work for you or maybe it won't. Or maybe it will give you an idea or two of your own to try. Or share what works for you.

Even if I forget to say it, it's never meant as you MUST do it this way.

Today I want to chat about endings. What's worse than reading a story that has you enthralled or caught up in how the plot would resolve or how the hero and heroine would ever get together . . . only to go "what?" when you finish the last page.

Over the past few months I've read several novels. Most of them had full, satisfying endings. Then there were two.

One just stopped. There was barely a climax - don't go there - and definitely no denouement. I wanted to know what happened next . . . and I never did find out. Except for making up my own ending.

The other kept on going and going and going following the climax. But had I blinked, I would've missed the denouement. A good twenty pages, maybe more, all still devoted to how the characters related to one another. The author had spent the majority of the book belaboring these relationships, and why I kept reading, I'm not sure, except the author was highly recommended. The story was finished, done, over, kaput - yet the author still hadn't had enough. I wanted to scream.

I know who these authors are, and I won't read them again, at least not for a long while. There are others on this same list of mine. People obviously like them. Some regularly make the bestseller lists. But I still think they could write better endings. And I still won't read them again.

The ending needs to fit the story. How simple is that?

Don't let yours fall short. Or long. Make it just right.

Like Goldilocks :)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Friday's Top Ten

The top ten things I love about autumn - now that a touch has finally arrived in San Antonio:

10. Woodsmoke in the air

  9. Sweaters

  8. Blustery days

  7. Apple cider

  6. Golden light

  5. Long shadows

  4. Crisp air

  3. Mulled wine

  2. Fall foliage

And the #1 thing I love about autumn:

  1. No more mosquitoes until spring

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Interrogation Room

Here it is Wednesday again, and I really am wondering what to blog about. I haven't had this problem in a long time, and I'm not sure why it attacked me now.

So let's get better acquainted.

Tell us about yourselves. Sort of I'll show you mine and you show me yours.

I write mystery, suspense, and romance for the most part.
What do you write?

I live in San Antonio, Texas?
Where do you call home?

I like short and upbeat blog posts? Can you tell?
How about you?

People fascinate me, and I always want to know what makes them tick.
What fascinates you?

Answer some, all, or none.
I'm easy!
How about you?

Monday, November 1, 2010

No NaNo For Me

For all you NaNoWriMo participants . . . what are you doing reading this?

You're supposed to be writing, not reading. Get back to work. [Insert sound of cracking bull whip here.] Now!

If you're still reading, I'm assuming you are on my side of the NaNo equation. A Non-NaNoer. A November Nobody.

This will always be me.


Because for me, I can't imagine a worse month for trying to write 50,000 words. Well, yes I can. That month would be December.

I love the concept of NaNo. Imagine getting three-quarters of your first draft done in one month. One month! Is that awesome or what?

But for me, November is just as bad as December. November is the beginning of birthday season in my family. Actually, it begins in October. Add in Thanksgiving and all the stress that goes with that, whether or not it's at your house, and the beginning of THE Holiday Season. All added to the regular daily goings on in the Kilgore household.

Well, you can see that NaNo is just not happening around here, shy of a miracle. Or Live-In Handyman agreeing to take on most of my responsibilities for the full month, including Thanksgiving. Despite all the support he gives me, I haven't yet found the proper motivation for him to do that. But I keep trying :)

So kudos to all you NaNo participants. You have my full support - "Yea! Keep typing. Don't take that break yet - finish the scene."

Come back December 1. The Tiki Hut will be serving coffee and cookies at one end of the bar. Wine, beer, and liquor at the other end, with appropriate munchies. Chocolate everywhere. And yes, chocolate goes with everything and anything.

Now . . . Get Back To Work!

I mean it.