No Longer "Anonymous"

Back in the day, if you'd told me I'd be keeping an online journal, I'd have said you were crazy.  But that's the way it crumbles.  Cookie-wise.

I began keeping a blog in November 2007.

I've created this LJ account for easier commenting on other people's blogs that I follow. :)

I'm also importing a handful of the most popular posts from my wordpress blog, for easy reading.

All in a Day's Quirk

This is a crosspost from my main blog on wordpress...


So, Friday is here... which would ordinarily mean time for my weekly "In Deep Smit" posting. But it's also my turn to post in our Blog Chain Gang. Photobucket

Luckily, this post can be a two-fer, cuz I'm Deeply Smitten with the current Blog Chain topic, started by Mary Lindsey:

What kind of quirky habits or rituals do you have regarding your writing?

(or regarding anything else, if that is more fun.)

Leah Clifford is the last link before mine, and next up after me is an awesome new Chain Gang member, Jessica Verday. I have loved reading my chain gang's responses to this topic. But now that it's my turn, I am deeply grateful for the parenthetical part.

I am uber-quirky. But not when it comes to writing, I don't think.

I don't write in a scuba mask, or act out my upcoming scenes with sock puppets. I don't tango with my teddy bear when I need inspiration or compose my dialog in pig latin. I don't do my best writing after stuffing myself to the gills with Olive Garden breadsticks*. (*To be fair... I don't actually know this is true, since I've never tried it.)

Pretty much, I just write. Photobucket

BUT... I am plenty quirky, I swear!

Some of My Quirks:

  1. I could have been Weird Al Yankovick if I wasn't all distracted by this doctor-and-novelist stuff

  2. I cook without measuring

  3. Richard Dawson's family feud made a greater impression on me then you might expect

  4. I remember almost anything I hear or read

  5. I have a wide selection of hot beverages available at all times

  6. I have tumbling impulse-control issues

I have lots of other quirks, but let's look at these for the moment.

I could have been Weird Al Yankovick. I compose parodies all the time. Weight loss parodies. Sports team parodies. I planned an entire musical parody of West Side Story about rival health insurance companies. I compose them in the car to whatever's playing on the radio as a means of coping with road rage, such as this one I rattled off a while back:

*cue Beach Boys music*

Wouldn't it be nice if you were driving
like you had a clue on how to steer?
And wouldn't it be nice if I was home now,
'stead of burning gas just sitting here?

Please choose a lane and stop this sudden braking,
there's only so much stupid crap I'm taking.

Wouldn't it be nice if you were not the
self-important bozo that you are?
and wouldn't everybody else be safer
if they simply took away your car?

You probably shouldn't have a license really
everyone driving here can see that clearly...

Maybe iiiiiif you weren't such a stupid, selfish, shagging ass...
Maybe theeeeen you'd pull aside so everybody else could pass.
We could get past ya (we could get past ya)
And traffic'd move faster (and traffic'd move faster)

Wouldn't it be nice?

I cook without measuring. This drives a lot of people nuts, I know. But I can't give you my recipe for fudge. Or garlic shrimp pasta. Or almost anything, really. Cuz I just do what seems like a good idea at the time. A handful of this, a few shakes of that. Saute until it smells right. Yes, this means I can't always exactly recreate a recipe, but that's just one of those things. My mother says it's genetic; apparently her Busia (who was a cook for a Polish count) did the same thing. The only reason we have the recipe for Busia's Bread is because my mother and grandmother teamed up to wrestle each ingredient out of Busia's hands so they could measure what she used.

Richard Dawson's family feud made a greater impression on me then you might expect. This is another stress-saving defense mechanism, not unlike the angry car-composed parodies. When someone is making me angry, and I cannot express that anger, I use visualization. What do I visualize, you ask? The big red "X" graphic from the old Family Feud right over their face. Yes, of course it's accompanied by the imaginary buzzer sound. Trust me, this tactic helps.

I remember almost anything I hear or read. I do. It's a bit freakish, what I remember really. It comes in handy, though, for identifying plot inconsistencies in storylines and also for annoying my husband. :)

I have a wide selection of hot beverages available at all times. This is also freakish. In a really-great-hostess sort of way. If you pop by, you will have your choice of a variety of coffees and flavored syrups for your espresso/cappuccino/latte or whatever. I'm partial to a sugar-free caramel latte myself...


Or you may select any of the 24 varieties of bagged tea in my mahogany velveteen-lined tea box.

Or if you prefer loose tea, I've got that too. And your choice of plain or flavored hot chocolates. Whipped cream and cinammon sticks, too, natch. It's a bit obsessive, sure. But completely delicious.

I have tumbling impulse-control issues. Now perhaps the oddest of my quirks is one entirely confined to my own mind. Whenever I find myself alone in a long empty corridor (as often happens working late nights in a hospital) I get a compelling urge to execute a dazzling front flip/round off/handspring/back handspring sequence. I take a deep breath, and my muscles tense as my body pitches slightly forward in anticipation. The problem is... I don't know how to do any of those things. Like, at all.

So, if you ever read a mysterious case where a pediatrician's battered and broken body is found at the end of a deserted hallway without signs of a struggle, you will know what really happened.

I think that's plenty quirky for me to get in one post. But rest assured, there's lots more where these came from. ;)

Words: They're Not Just for Writing Anymore

This is a cross-posting from my Wordpress Blog.

One of my chittie peeps found an awesome site where you can create Wordles.

What is a Wordle, you ask?

Well, I didn't know either. Turns out what a Wordle is-- is HIGHLY COOL!

You can paste or type in passages of text or have Wordle grab it from a blog feed if that's your thing. I pasted in my synopsis for The Edge of Memory and made some ubercool word art:

Or maybe you prefer this option...

I also did one for my blog feed:

You can change fonts, color schemes, the number of words, etc. The word size is dependent on how frequently you use the word in the sample text.

I seriously Photobucket them. I thought about doing Wordles for my next In Deep Smit entry, but I just plain couldn't wait! Photobucket

So, my writer friends... I challenge you to stick YOUR synopses into the Wordle creator. Or other blog readers... go to town with whatever strikes your fancy! Let's see what awesomeness we can generate. Put a link in the blog comments to your best creations!

Happy Birthday to Me!

This is a cross post from my main blog

You can also subscribe to my main blog.

Well, I no longer fit into the category of "Women Under 35".

Every year on my birthday, I plan to look up the longer horoscope they give for "Today's Birthday". 80% of the time, I forget to do that. But today I remembered...

Today's birthday (Aug. 13): You want everything in your life to be quality. So this is your year to make conscious choices, and you choose the best. Your talents are showcased in September. You pull a project across the finish line in December, and your rewards for doing so roll in for years to come. Aquarius and Sagittarius adore you. Your lucky numbers are 8, 25, 49, 11 and 16.

Sounds promising, huh? And coupled with my fortune cookie message from my "Birthday Eve" dinner last night:

The world will soon be ready to receive your talents.

it sounds downright auspicious.

Aquarius and Sagittarius, eh? Is there somewhere you can look up agents by genre, sales records, AND zodiac sign? Photobucket


Keeping Things Interesting...

Well, my LiveJournal page isn't my main blog, but I figure it couldn't hurt to keep things a little more active over here.  So I've imported my favorite posts from my Wordpress Blog for your entertainment.

There's a lot more to see over there, including:

More about me

More about  The Edge of Memory

What unusual item I keep on my nightstand

and much, much more! 

Everything I Needed To Know About Publishing I Learned From Willy Wonka

This entry was originally posted on my Wordpress Blog.  You can find the original post and comments here.

Well, that title is a bit misleading... I'm new to writing and publishing and don't know "everything I need to know" by a long stretch.

The inspiration for this blog post came when a quote from Willy Wonka popped into my head and seemed to fit my quest for publication.
"There's a hundred billion people in this world, and only five of them will find golden tickets [representation as a debut author]. Even if you had a sack full of money, you probably wouldn't find one. And after this contest [process] is over, you'll be no different from the billions of others who didn't find one."

"But I am different. I want it more than any of them."

The more I recalled from that film, the more appropriate it seemed. So, here's what I've learned about publishing from Willy Wonka:

  1. You should never, ever doubt what nobody is sure of. If there's one refrain everyone and their brother is singing, it's that publishing is subjective. Rejections are expected, even for eventual best-sellers. A particular genre or topic or plot device may be unanimously declared cliché, or overdone, and yet opinions can change in a split-second based on fresh execution. So, all you can hope to do is keep writing what you love, and hoping someone else comes along who loves it as much as you do.

  2. Rude demands and entitlement issues will send you down the garbage chute. There have been a lot of posts about this recently on agent/industry blogs. From moonrat's unproductive lunch, to odd or hostile letters sent to Jennifer Jackson, Colleen Lindsay, Jonathan Lyons and even intern Jodi Meadows... the one clear fact is that these author reactions did not help them get published. Take home point? Be a good egg.

  3. In here, all of my dreams become realities, and some of my realities become dreams. I am often surprised at how often control becomes a fundamental point of focus. Part of what I enjoy about writing-- the reason I find it therapeutic-- is that I finally have complete control over something. My characters, their world, and what happens to them depends entirely on what I decide. That is a heady feeling. Interestingly enough, once the writing is finished the next step (if publishing is the goal) means putting yourself in a situation where you have very little control. I think that's why so many authors get frustrated riding the query-go-round and alternately cling to rules and/or declare them arbitrary and unreasonable.

  4. There is no life I know to compare with pure imagination. Opening yourself to other people is the only way to share something wonderful you've created. It also means they might disrespect or destroy it. Be ready to filter your chocolate river.

  5. A little boy's got to have something in this world to hope for. I struggle with this one a bit personally. I realize rejections are expected. I know thick skin is a publishing industry prerequisite. I know I haven't queried remotely enough to make any assumptions about my chances to be published, but reading the odds can be pretty discouraging. But stories are meant to be shared, so I'll keep a healthy dose of optimism on hand.

  6. Don't let a golden ticket make the chocolate taste terrible. As much as any aspiring author wants to be recognized and published, the publishing process should not be allowed to spoil the experience of writing. It's easy to get swept into the madness of query letters, synopses, and pitchcraft. And I've spent my fair share of time agonizing over query blurb wording (many can testify to that), but it is important, I think, to remember why we started writing in the first place.

Kate on ktliterary posted a while back about Josie Bloss's plans for a tattoo to celebrate the release of her novel Band Geek Love, and asked what other aspiring authors would do to celebrate publication. I think I might sing "Golden Ticket" at the top of my lungs:
I never thought my life could be

Anything but catastrophe

But suddenly I begin to see

A bit of good luck for me.

Cuz I've got a golden ticket

I've got a golden twinkle in my eye.

I never had a chance to shine

Never a happy song to sing

But suddenly half the world is mine

what an amazing thing!

Cuz I've got a golden ticket

I've got a golden chance to make my way

And with a golden ticket

It's a golden day.