Monthly Archives: April 2012

Scenic

Yesterday we celebrated my baby’s one year birthday. Last week was my sister-in-law’s birthday, and my nephew and nieces’s birthdays. My niece also had her first baby girl after two boys. Today is Cameron and my eight year wedding anniversary. Mother’s day is in a week and some of our best friends in the world are moving to Wisconsin for school in three weeks. It feels like everything happens at once.

My five year old is tied to seven balloons and he said, Mom. I might float away. And I said, what will you do if you float away? And he said, I’ll just bite the strings. One at a time.

Novels are collections of scenes. Collections of moments in a person’s life that mean something. Sometimes they are big moments, like birthdays or anniversaries or births. Sometimes they are small moments, like walking alone on a mountain trail or changing the 100th diaper or wondering if you’ll float away.

Look at your WIP. Does each scene mean something? What do they do for the MC? Are they changing them?  As part of the revision process, I’ve been thinking it might be interesting to write down a list of the scenes in my book in a notebook. Write them down one column. Then on a column to the right, write what the scene is doing. What is the purpose?  How does the MC feel in the scene? Does it move the plot forward? Does it deepen relationships? Is it needed? Should it be longer? Shorter?

I think I’m going to try it. Anyone want to do it with me?

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by | April 30, 2012 · 8:43 am

Have you ever had a crisis of faith?

. . .
A crisis of life?

I’m wandering on the edge of something.
Not a life crisis. . . Just a whole . . . World of crises even tho I’m not really having a crisis.

I think I need antidepressants.
Can you believe I’m posting this crap online?

Four years ago I went through something (or more like witnessed something) that’s changed me. Probably forever.
I don’t know if it was for the better or for the worse. But it happened. And it seems like it’s still looming over my head like a dark cloud, and has been for four years now.

For two of those years, I was going through an extremely crazy-ass weird phase. I was doing stuff that wasn’t me, I wasn’t sleeping at all, I gave up on a lot of stuff I loved.
It was awful. Every morning was stormy and gray. It literally made me physically ill Every. Day.
I couldn’t even cry. Which was weird.
I never told anyone that.
No one.
The only person who really knew was He Who Shall Not Be Named (God? If He was paying attention. At the time I didn’t think He was. Sometimes I still wonder about that Dude…).
I would go to bed Every. Single. Night. And just wonder … WHY?!
Why is the world full of rapists?
Why are babies dying?
Why this why that whywhywhy? (check out the band WHY? They freaking kill it.)

Then one night I was lying in my bed. And I just heard a voice in my head.
It was an angry teen girl.
And she was talking about her mom. Her dead mother. And the boy who doesn’t love her anymore. She was so sad, and so confused, and she didn’t know why either.

The voice came in my head for weeks. Me finding out more and more about this girl.
I should have known what it was but I pushed it away.
But it didn’t go away.
Then I realized …..
I need to write this girl’s grief down on a page. She needs to get out if my head and live!

After a year and a half of her trying to get out of my head, she’s gone.

And now that she’s gone, I feel sad again.
Isn’t that weird?
I guess what I’m trying to say is…. Writing somehow… made me happy. Writing makes me happy.
And I haven’t written in over a month. And I’m down in the dumps again.
Which means the writing drug has to come back!!

To finish this long ass post off….
Writing can help you in more ways than you think.

Over.
And.
Out.

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Why Everyone Should Move Into My Basement

Sometimes in life I stop and think, what am I doing?

Like the other day, I was driving around in my totally gross minivan (which I vowed never to own and if I did end up owning, never to allow to get gross) and my three kids were talking to me  (Well, not the baby) about I’m not even sure what. And suddenly, in the rearview mirror I saw my five year old and I thought, in about a minute he’ll be fifteen and he won’t want to talk to me and he’ll be getting texts from girls and he’ll go to school all day and I’ll be so annoying to him. Then I thought, don’t do it. Don’t grow up. Then I thought, am I a mom? How did I get to be a mom? Then, upon looking out the window, I thought why is that girl walking so far away from that boy? Are they in a fight? I wonder what that’s about? Then I thought, I wonder what I’ll make for dinner. Then I started crying. Not really. But almost. 

This is why I lose things. This is why I have emotional problems. This is also why everyone should move into my basement. 

If everyone moved into my basement they could help me live my life. They could tell me how to raise my kids. They could teach me how to organize a pantry. They could show me around my sad yard. Everyone could pool their strengths and together as a cohesive basement-living whole, we could make my world a better place. 

I need you all.  Don’t you think we all need each other sort of kind of? Especially as writers. We are all good at different things whether it be time management, plotting, world-building, eating, drafting, revising, etc. And if we hang out together more, we can learn from each other. Share our secrets or rather, our hard-earned discoveries. 

So come move on in, Carol. It’s a start.

Also, I like Thai food. 

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This is What Happened

I’ve been watching my girls put fake eyelashes on for the last few months.
Big eyelashes.
Huge.
Large enough to fly away with.

I have three eyelashes that are my very own.
You can’t see them unless I put on mascara.
I hate mascara.
Put it on you have to take it off, right?
Work.

But
on Saturday I was going to speak at the League of Utah Writers and I decided that I was going to wear eyelashes that were someone else’s. Fakies.
Why not be glamorous? Huh? I needed a break and eye lashes seemed to be the answer.

I had Elise help me.
She didn’t put on the vulture size, but a few little ones, fake hairs in groups of threes or twos or ones, all glued down to my lid.
“You have three minutes to do this,” I said.
She said, “Don’t move! Look up! Stop that!”
And I said, “Wait! Why scissors? My eyeballs!”

Believe it or not, she got them on me.
(No one will believe I am a complainer. Not from knowing me or reading this blog. But I am.)
She put on mascara for me. And eyeliner. And eyeshadow.
I was way dressed up.
(I couldn’t find my Nice Mustache! shirt. So I put on a great bra [everyone says it's great] and a shirt thing and then a different shirt.)

Once, a long time ago, I saw AFI in their last concert on a tour DVD. The lead singer, Davey Havok, wore a pair of eyelashes and one was coming off, like hanging-in-his-eye coming off (plus he was way off-key during all the songs except the scream-o parts but I’m not so sure you CAN be off-key in those.). Anyway, I just remember thinking why doesn’t he pull off those eyelashes. He has to notice them. Right in his eyes like that.

Well, now I have walked a mile in Davey Havoc’s way expensive shoes and I’m not so sure he could see them dangling like that because fake eyelashes feel like little elephants on your eyelids. (Small ones.) And it seemed he sang with his eyes closed.

So–I went in to see my own glorious eyelashes and, well, one was way too long.
It looked different than the other,
(Don’t worry Mom people your age don’t mind when their eyelashes look like that.)
(What?! If I’m going to put on Fakes then I want them to look good. Stop laughing. I know I’m old.)

Elise left.
Laura left.
Elise left the scissors behind on the living room floor where we keep all the scissors, it seems.

When I snipped those eyelashes off I didn’t mean to get my real lashes underneath.
Or to go that crooked.
Or to try and hide them when I got in the car.
Or to show them to Cait who said, “Mom, no, ” when she finally got me to take off my sunglasses.

Do you know what????
Not one League person said, “Uh, what happened?”
(They also didn’t tell me how pretty I looked, either. I may have been too beautiful for words.)
They just listened to me chat and were very nice.
I like nice people.

Here’s one of the things I noticed about me.
After I saw what I had done, I shrugged. “Meh,” I said. “People may notice. I don’t even care.”
I don’t care!

A character in my book would have cried three days or walked around with one hand covering that one eye or backed out of going to the prom.

I’d like to say that there is something to learn here, but there’s not.
Except maybe I’m growing up.
Maybe . . . maybe I am getting so old in my head that I won’t write for kids but will start writing for real people (like some have asked before).
THINKING.
Nope. That won’t happen.

So, how about lunch at the Thai Village on Thursday of this week at 1 pm?
Thai Village in on University Avenue in Provo. Across the street from Jim Brady’s law office.
Unless Ann Dee objects.
(I am going to move into Ann Dee’s basement with my girls and let Ann Dee help with my mom who will live upstairs with Ann Dee and her boys so I can just yell up the stairs when I need information. We will watch the boys anytime she wants.)

So there.

PS I LOVE AFI. And I went to their concert and knew almost all the tunes (I can’t understand the words) and I didn’t even get trampled to death–or trampled at all–but it was one of the best things I have done in a September. If OFFSPRING come to town, wanna go?

PMS My books arrived!

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No Post Today

Because I go caught in crap.
So, if it’s okay with Ann Dee, I will go to another time this week.
Can I go tomorrow, Ann Dee and you do Wednesday?

:P

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What I have done so far:

written a full scene
gotten to the nightmare
gone to the bakery
picked up meds
dropped off one child at work
helped my mom get dressed
written a couple of thank you notes
answered emails

And now I get to write again.

The three hours in the AM isn’t working out.
Adjust, readjust!

Keep going! We’re on Day Two and we get to eat at Thai Village next week.
Together!!!

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It’s 7:15 . . . .

. . . do you know how many words you are going to write today?

My goal?
Write a half hour, pack a half hour
write a half hour
pack a half hour.
Pray for a place to live.

I have a bit of a scene.
A few more bits and I have accomplished the first part of my goal.

Good luck today!

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