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Showing posts from December, 2009

Drop It Like It's Hot

1. I totally meant to post a cheery little Merry Christmas message here on December 25th, BUT I got a little distracted by this.

2. That's right, my sister and I went to see Sherlock Holmes on Christmas Day.

3. I've been actively salivating ... er ... looking forward to this since I saw the first trailer in August.

4. It was well-worth the months of anticipation. Downey and Law are Holmes and Watson and the script is a masterful blend of humor, intrigue, complicated relationships, action, and Holmes' trademark brilliance. The new aspects brought to the two characters by director Guy Ritchie served to breathe new life into a well-loved classic. When the movie ended, I was more than willing to sit for another two hours and watch it again.

5. I didn't.

6. But only because I knew the next show was sold out.

7. The other day, the Scientist had a conversation with me that went like this:

Me: *responding to some sort of amazing trick the Scientist did with his new Nerf gun* Hey! Tha…

Ninjas, Emo Edward, & a California Stop (Or Why My Cop Friend Can't Pull Me Over)

1. We have our very own Christmas Ninja.

2. Her name is Spastic Kitten and the FDA has yet to approve a medication that can fix what's wrong with her.

3. Yesterday, I went with my sister (who is visiting from Arizona for the week of Christmas!), Paul, his wife Kelly, Myra, and her husband Ethan to see New Moon.

4. I was the only girl in the group who hadn't planned on seeing the movie when it came out.

5. It was better than the first movie.

6. Which wasn't hard to do since the first movie was le crap.

7. There were parts I enjoyed and all of those involved a certain werewolf. The CG was cool and Taylor Lautner's acting made up for K-Stew's total inability to emote. The two of them had chemistry on screen (through no fault of K-Stew, I can assure you) and that was nice. Plus Billy Burke's acting is always a treat. (He plays Bella's father.)

8. What wasn't as nice?

9. Emo Edward.

10. EMO. Edward.

11. Without a shirt.

12. Which, it turns out, is NOT his best look. (I…

Commercial Fiction: One Writer's (Probably Intelligent) Rant

Today, I read something that made me mad. I won't link to it because I refuse to drive more traffic to this person's site, but in a nutshell, this writer stated that agents and publishers are choking off the existence of literary fiction by forcing the masses to only read commercial fiction which, by this writer's definition, is "low-brow and unintelligent." The writer speculated on the lack of talent, work ethic, and intelligence in those writers who would write commercial fiction and stated they must be writing it because they wanted publication enough to suck up to what publishers wanted.

As a writer of commercial fiction, this offends me deeply. Here's why.

1. The writer makes a big fat assumption that I write commercial fiction because I'm not smart enough to write something else. I despise sweeping statements that classify an entire group of people as if there aren't nuances to everything. Frankly, if someone is too elitist or ignorant to realize …

Happy Anniversary

Yesterday was my 15th wedding anniversary. Clint had to read The Night Before Christmas on stage at the Grand Ole Opry before the Radio City Rockettes performed so we decided that would be the perfect anniversary date. A friend offered to watch the boys (and ended up voluntarily cleaning our kitchen which was a sacrifice of the above and beyond variety!) and off we went.

We entered through the backstage door (the one marked Artist Entrance) and hung out backstage for a bit until the stage manager escorted me to my seat to wait for Clint's reading. I sat for a bit, noticed it was a mostly sold-out venue, and then the announcer read Clint's bio and he came out on stage.

He sat in an old-fashioned wing-back chair in front of a mic, opened the book, looked up and said "I'm going to read The Night Before Christmas. But before I get started ..."

And I knew he was about to pull a fast one.

He continued "My wife is somewhere in this crowd. C.J., where are you?"

I so…

Monday. That Pretty Much Says It All

1. I'm finished with December's query workshop now.

2. The next one will begin mid-January.

3. Several clients have requested I do a synopsis workshop as well.

4. I think we all know how I feel about writing a synopsis.



5. However, the truth is I can write a good, 5 page synopsis in less than an hour.

6. I'm just not sure how I do it.

7. I need to sit down and figure out my method, do a little research, and put together some lessons.

8. Critiquing five pages of synopsis will be a LOT more time-consuming than critiquing a one page query so the price for that workshop will have to reflect that.

9. A conversation I had two nights ago with Daredevil:

Daredevil: *creeps down the stairs after bedtime and tries to sneak past me while I'm writing*

Me: What are you doing?

Daredevil: Getting a snack.

Me: A snack? After all the dinner you ate tonight?

Daredevil: Dinner? What dinner?

Me: What do you mean "what dinner"? The dinner you inhaled earlier.

Daredevil: I don't know what y…

The Truth About Raising Boys

1. People will say things like "You live in a zoo." This is totally untrue. A zoo has paid staff to clean up the messes, people willing to give you popcorn and cotton candy, and, most importantly, cages that actually keep the dangerous animals where they belong. YOUR life is a safari. Think of it as a wild, dangerous adventure through mostly uncharted, crocodile-infested waters with breath-taking rapids, incredible scenery, and zero bug-repellent.

And poo jokes. Lots of poo jokes.

2. People will say raising boys is easier than raising girls. This is also untrue. It's not that boys are harder, it's that they are different. Comparing the two is like comparing downhill skiing with riding a sled coated in Crisco down the sheet of ice currently adorning your roof. Both are a wild thrill but only one has ALMOST CERTAIN DEATH as a viable side-effect. Boys' brains are flooded with testosterone before birth. This short-circuits every thought-pattern that doesn't end wi…

I Know Someone On The Naughty List

1. This is Tinks the Terror and Spastic Kitten's first Christmas with us.

2. As of now, the score is Kitten Power - 3, Glass Ornaments - 0.

3. Also, we can't put wrapped presents out because Spastic Kitten has some sort of holly-jolly paper deficiency in her diet.

4. She is soooo on Santa's Naughty List.

5. My birthday is two weeks to the day after Christmas.

6. Starshine's birthday is five days after mine.

7. He's finished his monologues on what he'd like to get for Christmas and has moved on to birthday.

8. Today the discussion went like this:

Starshine: Hey Dad! Know what I want for my birthday?

Clint: What?

Starshine: Barbie dolls!

Clint: WHAT? Really? Well...if that's what you want.

Starshine: Yup! It is. Oh, and also? I'll need some M80s.

9. He won't be getting either.

10. No matter how much fun his father thinks that would be.

11. With my luck, I'd end up with Barbie parts clogging a toilet or spontaneously combusting beauty queens setting my broiler on…

Rules? We Don't Need No Stinking Rules!

There is much discussion within the writing community about rules. Rules for how to plot a book before you write. Rules for how to write--what should go where and when, what you can and can't get away with, and for Pete's sake, GRAMMAR people!--and rules for what to do with your writing when you're finished. Rules for how to approach an agent or editor.

It's enough to make a girl go a little crazy.

Don't get me wrong. Some rules are necessary. Like the one that says stalking a literary agent into a restroom and handing your manuscript under the stall door is TABOO. That's a good rule.

And the rules of the craft, the basic understanding of how to write a compelling sentence, an excellent paragraph, a knock-em-dead chapter, and work it all into a HOLY COW good book are necessary.

To a point.

But in every writer's life there comes a moment when you have to throw out some rules and start experimenting. It's how you gain a Voice that sets you apart from others. …

Also

For those who would rather donate any amount you choose instead of purchasing coffee, there's a Donate button the sidebar now. The money goes into a separate adoption account. Thank you from our entire family for helping bring our daughter home.

Java For Johanna

Okay, here's the deal. I would feel really strange fundraising for anything other than my daughter. :) The truth is, we're getting close to hearing from China with permission to travel and we still need 6k to bring her home (China has raised its fees several times and we've had to redo documentation here in the states due to China's delay).

Many people have asked us how they can help. There's a fantastic company here in Nashville that roasts its own coffee and donates $5 for EVERY bag purchased. It's linked straight to our adoption account. If everyone we know purchased a bag for themselves or a friend, our account would be full and we'd be ready to bring her home.

If you're interested in helping us bring Johanna home (and you want to give/drink coffee for Christmas!), please go here. And please, pass the link along to anyone you know who would be willing to drink a little java to bring an orphan home.

Thank you! We truly appreciate you.

Note To Self, Part Doh!

When one is distracted by music, Twitter, and the Chow hound's obsession with a little rubber ducky and one takes a large gulp of one's drink, forgetting that one has switched from Peach Tea to Diet Coke, one should remember the following tips in coping with the surprise:

1. Do not gasp in shock.

2. If one catches oneself mid-gasp and realizes one is about to fill one's lungs with Diet Coke, one should not clamp one's throat closed while still keeping one's lips closed.

3. One should remember in such a scenario that the only remaining viable opening prepared to absorb the momentum of one's mouthful of Diet Coke is one's nasal cavity.

4. When Diet Coke forcibly enters one's nasal cavity one should not reflexively snort.

Diet Coke, the new sinus douche.

Starshine Discusses History

Starshine: Hey, Mom. Have you ever heard of the shotgun heard 'round the world?

Me: You mean the shot heard 'round the world?

Starshine: Yeah. Did you know it wasn't really a shot the whole world could hear? It was just something that affected the whole world. Kind of a rip off, if you ask me.

Note To Self:

Although the skill to time one's exit precisely through a pair of automatic doors is a thing of beauty, one should always take into account the possibility the doors might not open all the way.

Ouch.

Starshine's Christmas List

Today, we asked Starshine what BIG item he wanted for Christmas since we have a fairly expensive present already purchcased for each of his brothers. We said keep it between $80-$120. Here are the answers he gave:

1. A coupon book including coupons for parents to clean his room, do his homework, and punch each other for the entertainment of their spawn.

2. A box of Nutcrackers (25 please!) to create his own Nutcracker army.

3. A gun. A real one.

Is it wrong that I'm actually looking at the Nutcracker army as a viable option?