Monday, January 30, 2012

My Go-To Guys

Rock stars have people.

Presidents have people.

I have . . .

well, I have people, but not in the same sense.

What I have are go-to things (for lack of a better word) that I fall back on if I'm stressed or out of time or have to make a quick choice.

For instance - for dinner it's baked chicken or chili mac. Movies - a romantic comedy. Snack - anything with tortilla chips.

Image by prettywar-stl/Licensed Under Creative Commons
Did I make you hungry?

Anyway, moving on. I just finished inputting the final editing changes on what was my work in progress. Surprise-surprise, I learned I also have go-to words. I use these words when I talk, too, so I suppose I shouldn't have been so surprised I used them so often in my manuscript and didn't notice they were there.

I attacked those suckers in the same way I'd attack that bowl of guacamole up there and showed them who was boss. Not many of the greatest offenders remain. I learned a lot.

How about you?

Have you ever learned you had a go-to that you weren't aware of?

Happy Monday!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday's Top Ten

The top ten ways to stay out of trouble:

10. Don't tell your aunt what you really think

  9. Leave and go home the first time you think about it

  8. Don't have another drink

  7. Make sure you put on all your clothes

  6. Don't laugh at your boss

  5. Put the gun down

  4. Don't use all the hot water

  3. Keep your eyes on the road

  2. Don't ask what's behind the locked door - unless you're a writer

And the #1 way to stay out of trouble:

  1. Never, ever, lie to your mother

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

An Award For YOU!

Last week Cynthia Chapman Willis at Laptops and Lattes ... An Author's Journal presented me with the Great Comments Award.

Thank you, Cynthia. Cynthia posts mostly on Tuesdays and always has something interesting to say. She's a children's writer with a couple of books to her credit, so stop by and say hi.

The Great Comments Award is one I haven't seen before. According to Cynthia:
From what I understand, this is for regular and/or great blog comments, and I am to pass it on to 20 fabulous blog buddies—folks I’ve had the pleasure to “meet” by way of their wonderful comments and blogs.
I'll just say: 20? Seriously?

I cherish all of you who visit and comment. I couldn't pick twenty. All of you are special to me. Seriously.

So . . . I'm breaking the rules.

If you've ever commented at Under the Tiki Hut, the award is yours. You may pass it on in any way you choose. But please pass it on.

Part of the reason for blog awards is to introduce readers to other blogs. If you're looking for more blogs to visit, check my sidebar. Each blog name is a link. There are all kinds of blogs over there. Feel free to visit them all.

After you leave an award-winning comment here, of course :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

One Size Fits All - And It's Free

If you smile when no one else is around, you really mean it. 
   -Andy Rooney

Image Licensed Under Creative Commons by MrSchuReads
Could anyone not smile at this Happy Face?

Bright and sunny. And look - Froot Loops for breakfast!

I hope you start every day this week with flowers sprouting out of the top of your head and a smile on your face and in your heart.

As writers, we face all sorts of downers every day.
The scene that won't come together.
The not for us rejection.
The I really loved this, but rejection.
The snarky review.
The I wish I could give this minus stars review.
These are just for starters.

Remember this little guy the next time life hands you poodle poo instead of Froot Loops. He helps us find the ladder to climb out of the dark, dank, dungeon we sometimes fall into.

Keep Smiling.
I'll be watching.
Don't make me send the Smile Police.
I will.

Besides, everyone will wonder what you've been up to.

Happy Monday!

And smile from your heart.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday's Top Ten

The top ten things about winter:

Photo by Yoav Shapiro

Photo by Alisa Cooper

Photo by Rob Friesel

Photo by Snorlax's Cafe


Photo by Sean Dreilinger


Photo by Michael Verhoef

Photo by Philip Cummings

And the #1 thing about winter:

Photo by Matt Hollingsworth

Images Licensed Under Creative Commons

Monday, January 16, 2012

Dreams and Voices

I want to tell you what I remember of a dream I had a few nights ago. In it, Live-In Handyman and I were in Brussels, Belgium. An international trial was being held there with jurors chosen from around the world. I was one of them. Don't ask, I don't know. All I know is the trial involved an oversized clawfoot bathtub and shopping carts.

When I told Live-In Handyman about my dream, I got the look. He said, "I've heard enough."

Sometimes I remember a lot of strange details, but this time it was good Handyman had heard enough since I had nothing more to tell. I'll just say he knows that just because he's heard enough doesn't necessarily mean I've told him enough. Which is probably why he reinforced his words with the look. Doesn't matter. He'll wonder why the look doesn't work next time when I do have more to say :)

Anyway, dreams are like that - most of the time they don't make a lot of logical sense, especially in the cold light of day.

My ideas for stories are like dream fragments. The bits and pieces that start floating to the same corner don't seem to fit together in any discernible pattern. Rarely do I begin with something I can grab onto and say, "I'm going to write about THIS!"

Usually I have to wait for the whisperings to begin before I figure out what it's all about. Whisperings lead to voices. And voices lead me to the next part of this post. How's that for a segue?

I'm going to participate in the
February 6-10

The blogfest is hosted by Cassie Mae at Reading, Writing, and Lovin' it! and Angie at Live to Write...Edit when Necessary and it sounds like a ton of fun. Here's what it's all about, straight from Cassie Mae's blog:

February 6th - MondayCharacters on the couch: Have one of your characters answer the following questions (to make this work to your benefit, choose a character who is the hardest for you to write :) Max 250 words (Not including the questions—only the answers).
  1. What is your biggest vulnerability? Do others know this or is it a secret
  2. What do people believe about you that is false
  3. What would your best friend say is your fatal flaw? Why?
  4. What would the same friend say is your one redeeming quality? Why?
  5. What do you want most? What will you do to get it?
February 8th - Wednesday - Dialogue Introduction: Have two characters introduce each other using only dialogue—no backstory, no internalization, just dialogue between the two. Max 250 words.

February 10th - Friday - Emotion Flash Fiction: Emotion is the engine of a story. Pick an emotion and in a flash fiction piece of 250 words MAKE us feel it! We want to connect with your character. This will be a challenge in 250 words.

I'm looking forward to participating. Maybe I'll see you there, too.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday's Top Ten

The top ten things about Friday the Thirteenth:

10. Fear of Friday the Thirteenth is friggatriskaidekaphobia

  9. And parakavedekatriaphobia

  8. Any month that begins on a Sunday will have a Friday the Thirteenth

  7. Every year has at least one Friday the Thirteenth and no more than three

  6. In 2012 January, April, and July have Friday the Thirteenths

  5. On Friday, April 13, 2029, an asteroid called 99942 Apophis will pass closer to Earth than the orbits of communication satellites.

  4. Only four Friday the 13th movies were released on a Friday the Thirteenth

  3. Butch Cassidy was a Friday the Thirteenth baby

  2. So was Fidel Castro

And the #1 thing about Friday the Thirteenth:

  1. It's today!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Friday's Top Ten

Top ten things about coffee:

10. The aroma is amazing

  9. One sip wakes you up

  8. It's good plain

  7. Or all dressed up

  6. It's a good pick-me-up

  5. And it can help you relax

  4. It warms you if you're cold

  3. But doesn't make you hot if you're warm

  2. It's a siren call for your muse

And the #1 thing about coffee:

  1. All by itself ... no calories!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Third and Long

I'm writing this post on Sunday night. In the other room, Live-In Handyman is watching the football game. I enjoy watching football for a little while if I like at least one of the teams playing.

Even so, I think football is an odd game. Grown men running around trying to catch a funny-looking ball. Or running around trying to keep someone else from catching a funny-looking ball. And once someone does catch the pointy ball, football becomes a foot race.

The other weird thing is this. Every time the teams line up for the snap, almost every player knows they're going to get hit. Think about that for a moment.

You're either going to hit somebody or somebody is going to hit you. Or both. However it happens, it's going to hurt. And for showing the world this example of ungentlemanly force and bad behavior, someone is going to pay you a lot of money. A. Lot. Of. Money.

I have yet to make sense of this.

Yet as writers, don't we do much the same thing?

We don't get banged up physically - usually - but we take plenty of lumps from critique partners, agents, editors, reviewers, and readers. Yet we come back day after day and write all over again.

Hmmm. Maybe football isn't so odd after all.

What do you think?

Monday, January 2, 2012

A New Beginning

This post is all about blog goings on.

My sister gave me this for Christmas. Isn't it perfect! In real life he's hanging on the wall above the bookshelf behind my desk, so I see him every time I come to write.

Here, I've posted him permanently at the top of the sidebar. And doesn't it look like the tiki guy has fries for hair? Or maybe I'm hungry. Anyway, this makes me smile. We need to give the tiki guy a name. Any suggestions?

Up above on the pages tabs you'll see a new tab titled My Work. I've linked to my online stories on that page so you don't need to scout them out on my website if you'd like to read some of my work.

Wednesdays will be different for a while. I'm taking a break from regularly scheduled guest bloggers until the summer, although I have a couple scheduled here and there between now and then. If you have something new coming out and would like to guest here, just email me and we'll chat about dates. My email address is on my profile, and you can find the link to my profile in the sidebar.

I planned to begin a new feature for Wednesdays. However, since the concept hasn't quite come together yet, you're stuck with me chitchatting with you for a week or two until the idea finishes taking shape in my head. If it ever does. You know how these things go. What I envisioned hasn't worked, so I don't have a clue how it's going to end up. Probably nothing at all like my original thought.

And remember...I'm hunkered in my writing hole this morning writing my little heart out. I'll be commenting on your blogs and responding here this afternoon.

You're following your new goals and resolutions, too, aren't you? Do I have to send the Goal Fairy to your house? You know how she gets :)

Happy Monday!