Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Random Things, because I can't focu

It's stormy outside, and the blue clouds hovering twenty feet above me (so it seems) look like menacing waves.

I was going to jog, but thanks to the grumbling weather, I'm writing instead. First blog, then chapter. The universe has a way of putting me in my place.

My mind is swirling.

The sky just opened and the street outside my window is already drenched.

 See? The focus-cog in my brain is malfunctioning.

I've been...not so good at blogging regularly this month. So I thought I'd better post at least one more before May ends. Here, I'm throwing caution to the wind and will just list some things going on in this head.

  1. Just gave my son's Fourth Grade teacher her present (from the class) today: an album filled with typed letters, written by parents, about how magnificent she's been all year. These letters were mailed to the superintendent and the principal earlier in May. Also bookmarks, for her summer reading, with messages from each of the students on them.
  2. Keeping at bay weird feeling of impending doom
  3. Astonished by Amanda Palmer's Kickstarter campaign--makes my brain woozy
  4. There's a PacMan cake I need to make for Julien's 9th birthday party on Saturday
  5. ...and clean the house, which is even more daunting than my next chapter
  6. Still raining, and rumbling out my window
  7. Jumping into YA reading again. Beginning to suspect that the manuscript I'm writing is not YA.
  8. Too afraid to call my agent and ask her for a looksy
  9. ...because I like the manuscript and want to finish it.
  10. I've learned all but the last minute of "The Ukulele Anthem," and dream of singing it in the Paris Metro. In the meantime, I sing it while jogging.
  11. Worried about Kyle and his family.
  12. Obsessed--OBSESSED, I tell you, with the ENO MiniOpera contest. Why?
  13. And finally, breaking all taboos, I'll just admit that I'm on "sub" (writers know what this means), and my heart is about to burst. Now I know what writers mean when they talk about "the crazies."
 I miss my man, who is in France. Can't wait to see you. One more week until I start asking for directions, un cafĂ©, etc, in (embarrassingly bad) French.

 The rain has abated, but it is darker than ever outside. 9:32 AM. Perfect weather for the next chapter.

Monday, May 21, 2012

MiniOperas Galore!

from here

Today is the final day to submit minioperas to the English National Opera. Actually, I'm on Texas time, so the contest for scriptwriters is officially over.

But Twitter and the interworld have seen minioperas bounce into the digital landscape like wee bunnies. My entry, by the way, is here. While procrastinating on today's manuscript word count, I had a little fun digging through the Google tunnels to find some other contestants' entries. I was delighted, impressed, and awed by the creative energy, talent, and discipline of the participants. Way to go!

I thought I'd share a few that I came across. If you like musicals, operas, poetry, lyrics, please hop over to these links and give the contestants your encouraging responses. These are (mostly) just regular folks like me who are trying a hand at a new genre for fun.

Good luck, everyone!

(Oh, you might want to start by reading/listening to the mini-stories that the ENO posted to launch our create machinations here. I based mine on Neil Gaiman's story, as did, apparently, hundreds of others.)

"The Waitress and the Sweeper" by Henry Martin
"Wreckage of Dreams" by Shaun Gardiner
 "The Sweeper of Dreams" by Emily C. A. Snyder
"The Sweeper of Dreams" by Preston Roe
"A Day at the Office" by Katie McCullough
"The Sweeper of Dreams" by David Pasieka
"We Break Your Bones" by Jenny Maloney

I hope they don't my sending traffic to their sites.

Thanks, ENO, for hosting such a fun competition, and congrats, everyone, on your entries!
If you stumbled upon this page and would like to link your mini-opera submission, please do so in the comments section. I'll go back and link it to this post, too.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Newest Obsession

Click here to read other posts in the BMM blogfest

Wednesday: May I ask you a question?

 I'm following writer Jessica Love's prompt today. (Jessica, I swear I'm not stalking you. You're just at the top of my Google Reader, and I see your blog every day. And I'm idea-lazy today.)

I've had "Anthems" that I listen to as I write a manuscript, but until now, the music was sans lyrics. How can anyone write when someone is yelling in your ears? I'd shake my head. Strange writers.

Then I discovered an artist on the iPod that lives in the dining room, in which I write in my Comfy Chair.  Lyrics! Drama! Folksy Inspiration! I was hooked. After listening to album ten times, I stopped hearing the lyrics as words--they're more like another pure instrument to me. Agnes Obel: Philharmonics. Get the album!

I also listen to Arvo Part (no lyrics) when I'm writing a serious scene (which is pretty much my entire current manuscript).

What do you think?

This post has me thinking: do you know any spare, folksy music that is perfect for a writing spell? I'd love to add the album/artist to my playlist. And do you prefer your "groove anthem" with Lyrics or No Lyrics?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Silly Break from Writing

I'm seriously finishing a chapter today.  (Famous last words.) I'm serious, and I'm a writer, but I'm also in need some humor. (Humor me.) For those of you, like me, in need of some silly pictures of serious writers, here's one:
Neil Gaiman with a Cthulhu plushie on his head. Via Here

Hope over here (Flavorwire) for more "extremely silly pictures of extremely serious writers."

Friday, May 11, 2012

Just for fun

My earliest memory, I kid you not, is being chased by a mean gander, one of the many animals that lived in our Little Red Barn in our acre-sized back yard in suburban Garland, before the farm-animal ordinances.  It was terrifying.

That's why I appreciate this video. I've watched it a few times, and I laugh every time. Happy Friday:

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Poetry and Revenants

I used to love poetry. As a young thing, I spent hours filling up spiral notebook (which I titled Poetry Journal) with poems called "I Love Him" and "Heartache" and "Secret Love" and "Love, oh, Love, where art thou."


It got better in high school and college, where I was introduced to real poetry that made my heart explode.

At some point, after college, I think, I stopped reading poems. It's a shame. My life was missing something, and I didn't even know what it was until recently.

A very talented writer-friend of mine, Andrea Witzke Slot,  published her first book of poems, To Find a New Beauty, with Gold Wake Press, and when she traveled from Chicago to Dallas on her brief book tour, I had the pleasure of hearing her read. I knew she was talented, but holy crap. These poems are marvelous. I wrote a review on Amazon and practically begged people, especially women and mothers, to buy it.
It's worth buying for Mother's Day.

Another writer-friend of mine, Amy Plum, had her Book Birthday yesterday for YA book II, Until I Die.  She's on tour in the states, and she is such a lovely person, I would invite her to any party with anyone I know. And you can't say that about everyone, can you? She kicks butt in the YA paranormal romance department. (Literally, the revenants are skilled fighters.) If you're looking for a new YA book series for summer reading, this one is it.

 Happy Reading.