Over the Hump!

Well, I did it. I broke the halfway mark on my word count goal for my book. Now I just have to write 35,000 more words in the next month before school starts. That will give me a month to work on and finish the proofing and editing before my pitch meeting in September. I also need to find people to read it and bounce it off of. Maybe I will leave some pages on the couch when the babysitter comes this week and see if she reads it.

I am still trying to come up with ideas for a title of the series as well as the book.

My fav book in the series. Learned I could be a new me by dying my hair and wearing new belts.

There is also the issue of edge for the book. Is it edgy enough? Will YA readers connect with the story and the characters? Why do I ask this? Sadly, I read some reviews on Amazon.com about the Babysitters Club and was shocked that 13 year olds were disappointed that they girls in the book didn’t deal with real issues like doing drugs and having sex as well as who cares about babysitting at that age when partying is so much more important for teens to be doing? For me when I was younger, around 10 The Babysitters Club was the shiznit and I did deal with problems like that when I was 13. I babysat. Didn’t really get invited to parties. Wasn’t into drugs or drinking at 13. Wasn’t having sex. Hell, I didn’t even have my first kiss at that point. By the time I was 13-15, I was reading The Thorn Birds and Clan of the Cave Bear along with some Sweet Valley High and trashy romance novels thrown in for balance.

Yes, some of those issues may come up but my stories are more about the internal struggles girls have with themselves and their friends. Teen girls trying to find their own way, trying to not get lost in the crap of teen drama that so many of us end up getting stuck in. Something I wish I could have read when I was younger. Cause no matter how hard I tried – I never looked like Jessica Wakefield (but I did get some fashion tips from her :p).

 

Never Give Up…

…Never Surrender – especially to your own self-doubts.

I almost did this the other night but I am lucky to be married to an amazing man who won’t let me do this to myself anymore. What was I doubting? My ability to be a writer and should I continue. My husband listened to me and told me to not give up. To believe in myself more, because he doesn’t understand why I don’t more.

The doubts – oh, there are so many.

My writing probably sucks
What if I never find an agent?
What if I get panned by reviewers?
What if I just fail?

So, after spending a month attempting to edit at the same time of doing major work on the house, vacationing as well as visiting family… I haven’t had a chance to get a word written. Tonight, instead of continuing my work on the editing I am getting back to writing. I will be spending time each day working on getting my edits done then in the evenings I will work on continuing my novel. In truth, when I was reading it as I edited it I actually enjoyed it. Is it a classic? No, but it is enjoyable.

I do need to find a title for what I am working on. Right now I have a working title of The Bank but it doesn’t really fit the story anymore. I also need to come up with a title for the series it will hopefully be the start of, a series about a group of girlfriends. Kind of like American Girl meets Sweet Valley High meets… am I boring you yet?

Now, it is time for me to get back to it. I ended up finally breaking 30K with the editing of four chapters and fleshing out parts of the story; I am getting ready to finish writing Chapter Eleven then onto Twelve. My end goal is about 70K.

Yep, Editing Sucks the Big One!

I finally finished editing my first 10.5 chapters of my novel, which I had done by hand. Now I am in the process of going into the actual computer file and making the changes. It completely and utterly sucks! I have been at this for weeks and feel like I am not making any progress. I really want to get back to actually writing the book. An assistant is needed but we can’t afford one, so until my kid can start typing it looks like I am on my own for at least a few more years. Then I can start making him fix my mistakes to pay his rent.

Only have a few moments to complain then I am going to grab some ice cream, do some more work then bed time. I have my dad in town and he is helping us do a lot of stuff around the house. Tomorrow we are going to be staining the back patio and painting. This is our “rest day” so I am hoping we will have time to go see Man of Steel finally. Hubs already went when I was out-of-town, he thinks I will enjoy it because I am not as hardcore of a Fangirl as he is a Fanboy. This from the guy who listens to me complain about the fact that I think 6′ is too short for Superman and that I think Cavill looks like a Hobbit Superman.

2 more days and I get my C pap machine… yeah for breathing while you sleep!!!

ETA: Please check out my Literature Page here on the site. I will be updating with more later in that area.

Following Your Dreams…

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Can Be Hard When You Start Doing It…

I haven’t been posting a lot in the past few months, or at all, because my life has been a bit hectic. My last semester at school was one of the worst I have had since graduating high school. All those doubts, worries, and stresses associated with my LDs (learning disabilities) seemed to rear their ugly head. It didn’t help that my health has also taken a dive. In the past few weeks we have a received a confirmation of Sleep Apnea from the doctor and next week I get to go in for my face mask so I get to go to bed looking and sounding a lot like Darth Vader. This is my first step to getting my health back in line including getting my weight off because it seems when you don’t go into REM, you don’t produce the hormones to control or produce a natural metabolism. Thankfully, I passed my classes… didn’t die in a car wreck due to falling asleep at the wheel… things are being done to make life better and the support I am receiving from my family has been lifesaving because I had reached the end of my rope with no idea where to turn.

At the time all this is happening, I finally decided its time to really start following my dream. No longer mess around with just writing for fun or for one day but to sit down and actually do it. So here I am, not blogging and spending as much as my very rare free time to try to write and finish a novel by the end of the summer. With everything going on this past semester I didn’t get to finish my other story, which wasn’t working in any way but is still there. I barely had time to write. BUT! At the end of the summer I am attending a Writers Conference where I may have a chance (slim, very very slim) to sit and pitch a book.

FOCUS!!!

I just finished my first edit on the first 10 chapters of my book. I am nervous but I liked what I have read. So often, with my other writings I have gone back and wondered what I was thinking when I typed those words. This time, it feels different. Part of me believes that it is because I am not trying to write something that isn’t me. I have tried many genres and it seems teenage angst is something I can write. Of course, this is probably because I was a total drama queen and experienced a lot of craziness when I was growing up. Seeming to find trouble even when I wasn’t searching for it. I do hope to go back to some of my other pieces and flesh them out when I have time to, heck there are more stories than I can count bouncing around in my head. You just need to focus to get it done.

My blog from here on out will probably be a lot more about my writings, health, weight loss than everyday life. Hopefully, I can remember to post more often. Please note that all my blogs are done in the free-writing format – I don’t worry about editing. Which is probably stupid for a person wanting to be a writer when they grow up but meh!

Never Ass-u-me…

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Warning: this is a stream of consciousness post – parts may not make any sense at all to you

Here is the deal… I am 37 years old, overweight, stressed out and I seriously thought for many years: one of the most boring people on the planet. I have yet to graduate college with a Bachelor’s (I received my Associates Degree in Lib Arts about a 1.5 years ago – about the same time my son was born), it took me until I was 35 to get over the delusions of what romance was supposed to be and what I really deserved (to be happy in all ways), I hadn’t lived a life for many would consider normal. I mean hell, my bucket list is still barely put together let alone having much of it checked off. Part of that is due to the fact, now that I look at it, is that I actually have done many things but I have so much I want to do. I flip-flop on whether to have another kid or not, I nag my husband like crazy, I still make wishes and know they probably won’t come true and I have a hard time keeping a blog because who wants to read about my life. I barely do.

Life can often make you feel like you have to have it all at once and that once is when you are super young, barely out of high school and your brain isn’t even fully formed yet to truly appreciate the life you have. This is one of the first things I had to get over when I realized I wanted to find love, real true love and I felt it was too late for me. I was 34 and never had a deep meaningful relationship because I never felt I was worth loving – deep deep issues there. I also lived in the world of what romance is supposed to be by what we are fed thru movies, novels and songs. We often think the idea of the old maid by 25 is gone in todays society but in many ways it isn’t. We are unidated with the idea that we have to have it all by the time we are 30 and if we don’t we are a failure in life. I know I felt that way, in many ways I gave up on life completely because what was the point.

Part of what helped me grow out of this was opening my eyes. In romantic comedies – the best ones star women who are in their late 30s or 40s not their early 20s. In romance novels – its make believe by women who want that romance in their life. And romance isn’t sex and sex isn’t romance. Romance is sitting on the couch in your PJs, haven’t showered that day and cuddling with your honey as you watch Project Runway on your DVR.

But I digress… a big part of this was that I thought I was boring. I mean, I never really feel like anyone wants to go out of their way to be my friend or get to know me. Because of this I have pulled myself out of the social world. Its hard and lonely at times. I appreciate that I am in school because it gives me a chance to meet some amazing people. But I am finding through my conversations with them… I am very far from boring. Knowing that I probably won’t see them again after the end of the semester (except for seeing them on campus from time to time) I don’t hold myself back and I don’t hide myself. Hell, I barely held myself back in the past but now I just don’t care. And I am enjoying myself so much more. Yes, those doubts come back. Yes, I still have a hard time leaving my house to meet up with people or going some place where I may have to talk to someone… I am still working on that because my son needs to go to the park more often and I am sadly on the verge of becoming homebound.

I am not a shy person, I am actually very outgoing, loud, and I used to be wild (I can’t tell stories about that :p). My quietness is out of fear… fear of being rejected by others. I lucked out and married a man who loves me even though he thought I was more together then I am. But he still loves me and seems to enjoy my company at times.

As I continue to grow up, found my major/minor, hold back from hitting people for idiocy because I realize they still have to grow up as well, and live my life. I am seeing more and more life opened up to me. I find that I am not the only person in the history of the world who became or attempted to become a writer in their late 30s or even later. There is a saying that you are never too old to start something new… but why wait until you are almost too old… do it now. Quit the excuses and realize maybe what you have to say is interesting. I am trying – trying to realize that if people really want to get to know me… will and they will love me for who I am and find me fascinating! Hell, my son thinks I am the awesomeness that awesome… I just need to believe that as well.

As for the people who pushed me aside and decided they knew who I am before really getting to know me… their loss. They saw this one dimension instead of putting on the glasses that put me in 3D. And they will miss out when I finally do start dancing in the middle of the hallway at school to that song I am listening to. I already have it choreographed and have been practicing in the parking structure at school. 😀

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4MzF53je5M

As he says at the beginning (FIND A HERO IN YOU!)

Reboots… okay, let’s go

I don’t know if I can really be upset about reboots anymore. Because if you think about what we would be missing if we hadn’t been rebooting stories throughout time. Would we have the great myths of Greek & Roman mythology? How many times has Shakespeare been done… in diff languages or styles? I know of at least 10 different Hamlets in the same number of years. I am more upset by the rebooting of bad stories now then good stories. We should want to keep retelling the stories. Reboot them when we can maybe make them better. These are essentially our modern mythologies that will be retold over and over again over the centuries. The ones our descendents will be telling their children about. Would the fans of Euripides be upset about how often his plays were rebooted? Now… Hollywood quit the reboot of Van Helsing, the story sucked and reboot Bringing Up Baby. I am sure people are going to disagree with me because yes, sometimes the reboots are not as good as the originals. But are all the versions of Shakespeare well done?

Learning the Crafts

Just because I do not have enough on my plate at the moment, I have decided I really need to start practicing and getting better at certain crafts. When I was a teenager, my mom taught me the basic granny square for crocheting and for a long time this is all I have ever known. Last year, I started teaching myself how to make a scarf and I did make one pretty successfully. I recently signed up on a website that has online video classes for crafts and I am really enjoying it.

I have a goal for this year, well it was last years goal but it didn’t happen because I started too late, that is to attempt to make almost all my Christmas presents and well all presents. It won’t be easy because crafting things from scratch takes a long time when you have only a few hours to yourself a day and most of that is full of working on my novel and school work. But hence – why I need to start now and not wait until November like last year. Thankfully the person who received the one thing I was able to make (beyond the tutus for my nieces) really appreciated it.

Why do I want to learn more? Well, in hopes of saving some money in the end but I like making things and finishing them. I want to move beyond my basic knowledge and get better. I just recently started a granny square afghan for hubs and my bed but I am upping it a step by trying to make several large granny squares then sewing them to make an afghan big enough for our king size bed. Its an overwhelming task at the moment because it has taken me a week to just the first square started.

My goal is that by the end of the year I have some basic knowledge on quilting, pillow making, knitting and a deeper knowledge of crocheting. I don’t want to have to go and buy hats when I lose them – I want to make a replacement with yarn I have on hand. But we shall see how it goes. There isn’t a huge amount of spare time on my hands but my son is getting better at allowing me to do something other then pay attention to him. Even if I had to restart several rows in my latest project because he thought it would be fun to tie himself up with my yarn.

Bathroom Remodel – Planning Stages Part 1

Hubs and I have decided to start putting away money & slowly start buying things we need to renovate our main bathroom. It is not going to be easy. The bathroom is so dang small. Probably about a 6 x 6 square. The items in there make it feel very small so one of the main goals is to find ways to make it appear and feel larger then it really is. And nope, there is no way to make it bigger. On one side is our dining area, the other is our son’s bedroom, the back is the outside of the house and the door is at a 90deg angle for the door to our son’s room. And is partially blocked by the vents for our heater – which is way too expensive to move.

But! This can be a good thing because we won’t be tempted to make this HUGE fancy bathroom like you see on the tv. No room for a tv or coffee maker. Just one that works for our family of three. One doesn’t have several different tiles in it (shower, non-shower walls and floor) that don’t match. 

With wanting to make it feel larger, we are going to have to do some eye deceiving tricks. Our vanity is a large wood one that goes from the floor to the sink in a black formation. No openings to make it feel lighter or more spacious. It does seem someone else had attempted to make some changes by painting it white from the original dark wood. Unfortunately, they did not paint it correctly so its very streaky and you can see clumps of dirt in the paint. The same goes for the vanity mirror with medicine cabinet – which is wall mounted. Our goal for this area will be to make it feel more open. The sink area is right next to the door so it would be nice to open it up a bit.

Sink Area

First goal – buy a recessed medicine cabinet. It would be nice to just have a mirror but with a bathroom that is so small, we need all the storage we can get. This will give us several inches of space that will no longer be taken up by (once again) a badly painted medicine cabinet. Maybe then I can have a towel holder that is more then just a hook or another recessed storage space for the side wall. Would be nice for some smaller things like cotton swabs, etc.

The next is the sink and cabinet. We have been ‘floating’ around the idea of a floating cabinet with a simple sink. Hubs likes the idea of a corner vanity which would give us a bit more room around the toilet. Both are good. We have been watching a lot of House Hunters International esp ones in older cities where they have very old buildings for homes with limited space in them. Kind of like our bathroom space. What have they done to theirs to make it feel luxurious and roomy but with limited capacity. You don’t see too many spa like bathrooms in the tiny apartments of Paris or London but they are well done. This will come down to research and pricing. Ikea has floating vanities for around $300 and corner vanities that don’t look cheap can be around the same amount. More then we want to spend so we will be doing a lot of shopping to see what we can find. Looks like we will be making some trips to the Habitat for Humanity store and the Extras (places they sell left overs from stores) store to see what they have on hand.

Painting

I think I am going to attempt to keep the bathroom the yellow we already have it painted. Its bright and it makes the room feel less claustrophobic. I would like to take the tiles off the walls that are not in the shower area and just paint to the floor. I don’t see a reason for tiles on the walls in non-showering areas. They are pain to keep clean. If not, maybe a nice wall paper but with a small space, I want to keep it simple. A basic light yellow would work wonders.

That is all for now… more later on ideas and planning for a renovation of our bathroom. We are aiming for about 6 months of planning, researching, and buying before we start. Spread it out.

Quote the Rap

Instead of working on my paper today I wrote this poem… to the tune of Jays Rap from Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back:

Quoting Hamlet, quoting Claudius,
Research paper getting done,
Put your quotes in my hand,
MLA quotes – hate the man,
Edit once, Edit twice,
Quoting Oedipus, Quoting Creon
Compare them all to this tune!!
Put your quotes in my hand,
MLA quotes -hate the man,
Write it up! Write it up! Write it up!

My Dream Episode 7

Yesterday became a day I really never thought I would see… an announcement that Episodes 7 – 8 – 9 will be made in the Star Wars franchise. I gave that up many years ago because Lucas kept saying the third trilogy was never going to happen. The actors were too old, time has passed, I want to do other thing.  Now because of the buyout of LucasFilm by Disney we have found out that the movies will actually happen but without Lucas at the helm.

While I am super-duper excited, for many reasons, I can’t help but worry that what so many fans, including myself, will be expecting will not happen. Why? Because we really have no clue what vision these new people will have. Yes, people are excited that Lucas won’t be part of it but myself, I am a bit worried he won’t have any hand in it. Maybe with the Prequels he spent too much time int he kitchen, refusing to let anyone else in but he was always involved in some way with anything else that has happened in the Star Wars universe. Skywalker Ranch was the eye of the Star Wars hurricane. He was also the one who made the major decisions on parts of the Extended Universe – while we all were angry at Salavatore for killing Chewie it was really Lucas who chose him out of a list of many. So, one wonders… who is going to be the guiding hand in this. Will they keep it in some semblence of a Star Wars Universe or will be suddenly have a completely new world that makes no sense.

In a video released yesterday after the announcement of Disney buying LFL, Lucas tells us he is retiring and handing his reins over to Kathleen Kennedy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YyqlTi7lkhY

First thing on my mind was… who is this woman? Second, I am kind of sad George is walking away now. I know, I know… people say he screwed the pooch and messed of the Universe with the Prequels but I on of the few that don’t think he did. At least as badly as many people bitch about.

So, now we have to wait until 2015 to find out how screwed up can possibly look. I am not hoping for the best right now and there is a ton of speculation of who will fill the Directors chair.

  • Christopher Nolan doubt it, he has Superman on his hands now
  • the chick behind the Twilight movies and Riding Hood – I really hope not. I don’t like her movies.
  • JJ Abrams: nope, in the middle of a Star Trek trilogy
  • Whedon: nope, he will be busy for the next decade on the Avengers Trilogy
  • Robert Rodriguez – intrigued by his style might not match the series very well but he has done a lot of high action, hi CG films and he a Hollywood outsider like Lucas.

My only hope is that whoever they get, they will love the series as much as we diehard fans do because you have to love it to do it right, IMHO. Lord of the Rings was as amazing as it is because Jackson was so passionate about the books and loved them. He put that love into the movies. Many things were changed but he kept the soul of the story. You can not just put a body into the chair for Star Wars, they must have that same love for it. Of course, I have a hard time imaging a director in Hollywood who doesn’t love the Series. They are also going to have to be willing to focus on these three movies for the next 12-15 years (depending on when pre-production starts) which is not easy if you have other projects you want to work on. Of course, they could just round robin the 3rd trilogy like with Harry Potter. Get a different director for each movie, finding the one whose strength will work best with the direction of that particular film. I am not a fan of this because you must have a connecting feeling.

One of the least likeable thing about the HP movies (at least the first few) is that the setting, feeling, etc changed with each director because each one had their own vision for the series. While, yes, the Original Trilogy was directed by three different people the feeling stayed the same. Why? Because they had the same person keeping an eye on things. Okaying everything – Lucas. As producer he was able to make decisions about what happened. These are some of the hurdles the series will have and it’s just been announced.

The same with the writing. Lucas has mentioned he has things written down and its ready for someone to take and create a screenplay with. This is my second concern. The story. While yes, we want to see the magic cast back from the originals and we are all fully aware that there is no way they could set this right after the OT (original trilogy) because of this. People have speculated that they could, if they use Pixar and animate it but I don’t think that would work. How can you have 3 out of 9 movies be animated while the rest are live action?? Yes, I know Lucas had animated characters but it was a mixed world of CG and human actors. This means we need to look at a possible third generation. .Vader is dead, Luke and Leia are older. The Star Wars stories focus on the Skywalker family which means we have to see kids.

I can only hope that whom ever takes on the job of writing the movies looks towards the Extended Universe because there is a plethora of material there. Material that fans adore and obsess over already. I also believe that if you want to keep the fans on your side, especially with Star Wars, you need to go there. Yes, there is an openness of using the Star Wars world as background then jumping ahead so many years but I have a feeling if you give Han & Leia kids and they are not named: Jacen, Jaina and Anakin you will have some very angry customers on your hands. If Luke isn’t married to Mara Jade with a kid named Ben… you get my drift?

Now my plea to the producers of the 3rd Tri-logy… so to the bookstore and start reading. Find a story in something that is already published. You do not have to go with that exact story but there is a rich world there to pull from. Amazing dramas, characters who are well thought out. But there are some well written stories:

  • Anything with Thrawn- the blue dude with attitude. He is probably one of the best villains in the EU.
  • Mara Jade Skywalker – once the Hand of the Emporer, now the wife of Luke. She kicks ass and has a very filled our resume in the EU.
  • The Solo Kids – Jacen, Jaina and Anakin – if you read about them you know how amazing they are. You get the twins: Jacen & Jaina then Anakin… as powerful as his grandfather
    JainaSolo EssentialAtlas.jpg   Caedus EA.jpg  AnakinSolo EA.jpg

With these three characters being drawn into the series, you have so may stories you can build upon but I believe there are several that are worth noting.

  • The New Jedi Order Series: While Thrawn is there right before it happens. This is about an invasion into the galaxy from outside. Its dark, gruesome and would be visually stimulating. The sucky part is that the first book has a death in it that would crush non-EU reading fans and it would be difficult to explain. While amazing… not the best choice.
  • Legacy of the Force Series: This is a very powerful series and would help round out the movie series. We see yet another Skywalker fall into darkness, following the steps of his grandfather. It takes place 40 after a new hope – just about right for the age of the actors of the OT and they are in the series pretty heavily. But the story focuses more on the next generation and a rebirth of the Empire many decades later. Out of all the books I believe this one would translate the best for the big screen.

My only hope though is that it continues to be amazing. We have a lot coming at us in the Star Wars world right now. The Clone Wars continues on Cartoon Network, we have the new Detours by Seth Green and the highly anticipated live action series. I am excited to see what happens. I can not wait to buy tickets and see the new movies on the big screen with my son; just as my parents took me. I am in love with the knowledge that this series I love so damned much, has helped me in many ways is still alive and kicking.