Archive | May, 2013

As It Rains Softly

31 May

101_1222I sit here in the window, watching the clouds.

Watching the clouds and reading.

Reading and sipping tea.

As it rains softly

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I sit here under a tree, watching traffic.

Watching traffic and thinking.

Thinking and relaxing.

As it rains softly.

*

I lie here in bed, listening to the rain.

Listening as it falls, and sighing.

Sighing and smiling.

As it rains softly.

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We Have Strawberries!!!

30 May
The hide well, but they're in there.

They hide well, but they’re in there.

And they’re tiny.

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They taste amazing!  They’re just…miniscule.

Did I not water them enough? Is the soil missing some kind of nutrient? Is it just because we’re having a cool spring?

If any of you wonderful, helpful people know why these strawberries are so small please leave me a solution (if there is one) in the comments.

When You Think About It, Everything Is A Sort Of Recipe

28 May

A recipe for success.  A recipe for disaster. The coveted family recipe for the Christmas Cookies that Great-Aunt Myrtle won’t release to the younger generations.

I tried a new recipe yesterday afternoon. It was for Chocolate ‘N’ Oat Bars (I got the recipe Here). It did not work out quite as planned.

You see, I was expecting soft, almost gooey, decadent, blood-sugar spiking goodness.  What I got was…

Yummy as all get out...Once you can get your teeth through it.

Yummy as all get out…Once you can get your teeth through it.

A decadent, blood-sugar spiking brick.

I will not give up, though.  You see, I cherish dessert. When I have set aside the time, place, a dill pickle* and a protein umbrella I’m all there, savoring the moment. Boy, howdy do I savor that moment.

So, yes, I will be tweaking this recipe to fit the local climate, the elevation, this particular oven, and my personal taste.

That’s a little like writing, huh?

People can hand you the recipe for their writing style all day long, but that doesn’t mean that it will fit you, your style, or your schedule.

But who knows, with a little tweaking it could be the perfect recipe for you.

So don’t be afraid to try new things.

  • Maybe write in a notebook for a day to get over that writer’s block.
  • Perhaps a day off to have a little adventure is just what you need to figure out how to close that difficult scene.
  • Stuck in a writing rut? Change it up and try poetry for a week.
  • Inspiration is everywhere: listen to music, watch a comedy, spend time with people who let you relax and be you, talk about your plot problems with a trusted friend.

Don’t be afraid to tweak the recipe to fit you.

Take rice pudding. My husband makes it with just rice, milk, eggs and a brown sugar crust. I, on the other hand, follow the recipe I learned (and love), which is rice, milk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla, with raisins scattered over half. Now both versions are very good. Both variations make a delectable pudding. It’s just a different recipe, for a slightly different dessert.

Both very yummy in their own way.

Just think, the world would be intolerably bland if we all wrote our stories using the exact same recipe.

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*The vinegar in the pickle helps slow absorption of sugars into the blood stream.

This Thorn In My Side

26 May

It hobbles my day.

It haunts my night.

I’ve found no cure,

No end in sight.

This is my plea.

This is my plight.

I strive each day

To win the fight.

And live each day

With all my might.

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Me and my driver’s license…in GIF

19 May

Hmmm…I had similar experiences. Except I have 3 younger sisters, and enjoyed driving them around. Driver’s Ed sucked, though.

Inkspelled Faery

Me when I started studying driver’s ed:

Me when I got my learner’s permit:

My mother when I started driving:

Me when I took the first driving test:

Me when I failed the first driving test:

Me when I took the second driving test:

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Me when I got my license:

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My family when I got my license:

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Me when I had to drive little brothers:

Me five days a week when I have to drive little brothers:

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How I feel about my driver’s license now:

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Just Me, Reading And Writing

16 May
Following the plot points toward a finished novel. There's still a long way to go yet, but it'll get there. :)

Following the plot points toward a finished novel. There’s still a long way to go yet, but it’ll get there. 🙂

I spent an entire hour in front of the computer for two days now, working on my book I Killed Them, Mama. Out of all that writing I am happy with a single page. One page! *grrr*  I will keep plugging away, but that was disappointing.

On this same note, as an incentive for more likes on my Facebook page I have decided (a while ago) to post a new excerpt there when we have reached 100 likes. So far it has not made much of a difference in things, but we will see what happens.

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In other news on that book, I was reminded of the existence of that pretty flower called Digitalis. This could be the poison she uses to put her Father-in-Law out of his misery…maybe a mix of that and antifreeze? Or perhaps using Vitamin A overdose to get him to the doctor for a checkup, the digitalis to make his heart/blood pressure a little funky, then a good dose of antifreeze the day before his cardiogram?

Just thinking out loud here.  More research is definitely needed.

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After several days of pointedly setting aside half an our to read it I have reached the 407th page of The Help (out of 522 pages).  It has picked up. I am now rather invested in what happens to Minny, and curious whether Hilly gets what seems to be coming to her. This could get interesting… 🙂

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Will I Ever Be Worthy?

14 May

I was reminded about The Thin Man series on Friday. My Aunt and I were talking about William Powell (after watching My Man Godfrey), how much we like his acting and the roles he chose.

This got me wondering if I would ever be good enough to have written lines for him.  He was, and still is, famous for his one line zingers. Do I have the kind of raw talent that would have been needed to show him at his best?

Here are some of the snappy lines from The Thin Man.

Now, I don’t know how many of these lines were in the book before it became the script that they worked from, how many were added to the script, and how many of these little treasures were ad-libs between two actors who were comfortable friends.

All I know is that perhaps it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have William Powell say my fun/quirky/ironic male dialogue back to me (in my head, of course) before I commit to keeping it in any of my works. Who knows, maybe that habit will get me a movie deal some day.

A girl can dream, can’t she? 😉

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Author Success: A Well “Business Planned” Future, part 4

13 May

Hmm…this reminds me. I still have to put together a website for this book of poetry. Maybe getting to do that will be my little reward for getting the cover together. Yeah, that could work!
I’ll keep you posted. 🙂

Deborah Riley-Magnus, Writeaholic

PART FOUR: Author Platform and Book Platform

I recently talked with several authors and writers about their Author Platforms and their Book Platforms. I was pretty shocked to realize that most either didn’t realize they needed both platforms … and the remainder were under the mistaken idea that these two vital elements of a well designed Book Business Plan were somehow interchangeable.

Um … not. Let’s get a little clarity.

WHAT IS AN AUTHOR PLATFORM?

Look in the mirror. It’s YOU. It’s all the elements that make you an author worth reading … no matter what you write. It’s the promotion of the author you are and the author you want to be. It promotes YOU as the BRAND.

I had an interesting question the other day. The writer asked about writing several genres and if this is not only possible, but functional and profitable.

The answer is a big…

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I Got A New House Plant To Slowly Kill

12 May

I have always had a green thumb. It seemed that there had been some sort of osmosis from my farming Great-grandfather straight into my veins. I could make anything not only stay alive, but flourish to the point of almost developing a personality. It was awesome!

Then I moved into my fiance’s house. (I know what you’re thinking, and no. We were living in the same house, we were not living together.)

Everything changed. For some reason I can’t keep anything alive inside the house. Pre-starts for the vegetable garden died before their first real leaves. The African Violet in the bathroom drowned. And the basket of shade and water loving plants I brought home from a Grandmother’s funeral is slowly dying. There’s only a vine, and an elephant ear plant (both of which I have successfully grown before), and some strange kind of grass left.

Now today, at a Mother’s Day BBQ at my parents’ church, I was sent home with a little plant.

Little did he know the terrors that lurked in his future...(dun dun dunnn)

Little did he know the terrors that lurked in his future…(dun dun dunnn)

Pretty red flowers. 🙂  It’s a type of Salvia called Maestro.

This is right after it’s potting. Thankfully this place is littered with cool plant pots (not to be confused with pot plants. This is Oregon.)

It is now perched in my kitchen window, smiling at me every time I wash dishes. They gave it to me with such hope and trust. Let us hope that it at least makes it through this next winter. It would be nice to have something happy to look at while suffering from cabin fever.

 

 

Sorry, just had to put that in there.  🙂

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I think I have an idea of how I would like the cover for I Killed Them, Mama to look. I realize it’s probably going to be ages before it gets used, but it’s nice to have something settled with this novel.

Perhaps in the near future I should take a few days and hole up and see how many words I can get written in that particular week.

It’s a thought.

The Mani-Pedi Appointment

10 May

I stand in the doorway of an apartment complex, and buzz to get let in.  After opening the door, I walk through the foyer, past the slow elevator, and into the stairwell. Climbing the stairs I wonder how many of the steps I am finding to add to my day are actually being recorded by my pocket pedometer.

I don’t bother knocking on her door, she knows I’m on the way. As the door swings open I am greeted by happy chirps from Blue, her parakeet, and smell the last cup of coffee in the maker, burning slowly because it’s been forgotten. She sees me, and says hello, as the struggles to sit up to greet me. The day bed creeks as her body shifts, and slowly but surely she twists around to sit on the edge.

After a few words in affectionate greeting and banter I head to the bathroom to get the supplies I will need to do her nails. It’s just clear strengthening polish, but it does wonders to keep her nails from cracking and splitting. I search the little living room for the folding chair to perch on. It only takes a few moments to get set up, but she fills it with happy chatting about her day and of memories passed.

With careful hands I trim her nails. It is slow going, her skin is so pliable I have to double check before each little snip. Wouldn’t want to cut her. After all ten nails have been trimmed back, it only takes a few minutes to shape and smooth with a file. Putting my tools aside I reach for the polish, the chemical smell filling the tiny apartment as I spread it over those carefully trimmed nails. All the while we are talking, and laughing over little things that come to mind.

Her room mate comes home, while I prepare to start work on her toe nails. This starts the bird off in a new gale of tweets and trills as he sings his greeting to the woman who has walked in the door. We all laugh as someone points out that he seems to have a different thing to tell each person in their turn.

Laying her back onto the bed I set a towel beneath her feet, so as not the get nail pieces and any slopped polish on her pretty red sheets. After her toe nails have been trimmed and filed and painted I give the polish a little time to dry before removing the towel. The conversation has gone through many topics, but it now settles on one of her favorite childhood memories. I nod along, listening as she gestures with hands that have been twisted by arthritis. She talks of helping her father milk the cows before and after school each day, of the kitten she chose out of the barn cat’s only litter, and of the puppy dog she had as a teen. Happy memories of a time gone by, relived in the telling.

Going to the calendar I write down my time, and then head to pack away the nail care supplies. It took me an hour, but it never feels that long. It is always fun coming here. It is something I look forward to at the end of my week.

Picking up my purse I sling it over my shoulder, saying goodbyes, and giving a light hug to her room mate. Turning around, I bend over to hug this little old woman.

“Love you, Grandma. I’ll see you next week.”

 

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