Thursday, August 30, 2012

You shouldn’t have. Really.

My sister showed me a picture the other day of a famous painting that hung in a church for years. Over time it began to fade and one of the older parishioners decided to take it upon herself to fix it. I guess she thought her few art lessons made her an expert. 
 I’ve never been to that church, never seen the painting in real life, I’m not even an artist, but I can tell you I cringed in horror as I looked at the before and after.  She butchered it.
Now I have a confession to make.
I’m a HUGE Jane Austin fan. Pride and Prejudice, in my opinion, is the best book ever written. Now that’s not the confession, that’s just a fact.
Ok, here it goes.
I’ve had an inkling, a desire if you will, to rewrite it from Mr. Darcy’s perspective and call it Prejudice and Pride.  My mind has been working around the idea for years, but I am afraid that it will end up a lot like the woman who “fixed” the church painting. So if any of you out there have the skill and audacity to try and capture Mr. Darcy, feel free to take my idea. Just don’t be surprised if the world shakes their head at you as much as they are the woman mentioned above.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


When I finish a good book I often wonder what it was that I liked: Was it the plot, or the characters, or something else entirely?  Most times it’s the details.
I went to the wedding between my husband’s brother and his lovely bride over the weekend. It was incredible. Everything was there, from the handmade toothpicks for the appetizers to the area set up for Bocci and horseshoes (it was a picnic reception). Every detail was planned for, every need thought of.
I believe it’s the same with our writing. Is there enough suspense to keep the reader invested?  Are there tender moments where the reader is reminded why he/she loves your characters enough to stay up into the wee hours of the night to find out what happens to them? Are there details, precious details, for the reader to savor, to taste, and enjoy?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Writing Plans

This is planning season for me.
I look over my calendar and try to think what we’ll do for school (we’re a homeschooling family), where we’ll go for vacation during the next year , and what if any projects we’ll do around the house.
I don’t know why, but every end of August, beginning of September I do this, it’s almost like nesting; maybe it has something to do with the long winter months on the way (Did I mention I live near Buffalo?).
Either way, that’s what I’m doing today. I’m bringing out my calendar and planning. But for the last two years I’ve added something extra to the planning list: What am I planning to write in the next year?
For the first time ever there’s some structure to my writing. I need to have my edits in by such and such a date and then revise for the final draft. The creative side of me is screaming over this, but I’ve promised it long months of free write time in-between.
So the question I ask today, my friends, is what are your writing plans for the next year, and how do you deal with the anticreativeness of deadlines?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Humble Pie

Monday I ran a 6k.
I use the word run loosely; mainly I was moving my feet slightly faster and waving my arms a bit.
Now to understand the humor in this you have to know something about me. I don’t run.  But three weeks ago I decided to join my husband in his annual Turkey Trot. (It’s a five mile run on Thanksgiving held in Buffalo, NY) So I decided that might require me to, you know, get off the couch.
So three weeks ago I got up at 5:30 (am) and started moving. It wasn’t pretty. But I’ve kept with it, and when my husband called me on Monday and asked if we could take a slight detour on our weekly date on Monday for him to run a 3.4 mile race, I said sure, as long as I could do it to.
What he didn’t tell me was that it was an off roads trail. Uphill.
When I started, I was determined to do three things: Finish. Finish in under an hour. Not finish last.
At least I got two of the three.
Yes, it is a very humbling thing to be that last one to go across the line, with your husband who came back to find you, to everyone cheering and you know they’re only cheering because now they get to go home.
I tried to convince myself that surely I wasn’t the last one, there was that girl I passed who was texting and the woman walking her dog, but people taking down the props is hard to argue with.

But, at least I wasn’t home, sitting on the couch.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Surreal Moment

I just got back from Kingdom Bound. For those of you not from the Western New York area, Kingdom Bound is like the Woodstock of Christian Music: four days of music and rides at Darien Lake (used to be a six flags park). This is the second year I’ve gone and I LOVED it.
Imagine listening live to the music you write to. Or better yet, imagine meeting the artists who make the music that you listen to as you write. Or even better, imagine giving an ARC to your favorite singer of the band you listen to as you write.
Ahhh….. It was wonderful.