Monthly Archives: May 2011

Three Things Tuesday Because My Kids are Outside Running Around Naked And I’m Blogging

First of all, have you seen this?  I think you’re awesome, Erin.

Also, did you see this? Carol left me a message about it but I’d already read the article and the comments.

And finally, I have more to say about this show. Tomorrow. Or sometime. If I remember.


All of these things are writing-related. Do you see how?


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Sometimes Life Leaves You Feeling a Little Gypped

Where is the sun?
Some terrific friends on Facebook are singing a song tomorrow so that Cait (my final May baby) has a great birthday.
But that’s not what this post is about.

It’s about two things–First my gypped feeling, because I am never one to say, “Hey, look, my glass of soda is half full!” but something more like, “Hey, who’s been drinking my glass of soda and what’s floating in it and you left a set of greasy lips prints here on the glass.”
This has nothing to do with my: house, writing, family (ie important things) except for the important part of my being that is who I am–my gypped feeling.
(You are a freak. I can hear Kyra thinking it. Then she would hug my neck. Pat my back. Give me a kiss on the cheek not too different than a little bird might peck me.)
((Or Laura. You need something. You need to take something. You need to be happy. Be happy. Mommy. How can I make you happy?))
(((I love my girls. I feel sorry, sometimes, that I have been their mother because of my sadness–my gypped feeling. I feel sorry sometimes that maybe they could have had a happy Mommy who loved and adored them. She would have still wrapped kitchen utensils in aluminum foil to use as mics, cranked the music, and sung so loud in the living room that the neighbor would have had to just walk in to see what was going on. She would have still read them a million books. She would have still teased their boyfriends and loved God and all the good things I have done. But she wouldn’t have been as sad.)))
(((( Carolina said, “The hardest part of the last couple of years is seeing you so sad, Mom.”))))

Once someone told me, “You probably write the books you write because of your childhood. Maybe because you had a hard time, that’s why you write these sad books.”
Ann Dee is one of the best writers I know. Probably THE best upper mid-grade writer in the country.
Ann Dee, did you have a good family life growing up? No need to answer really. I don’t believe that statement anyway.
It sucks.

So I am feeling way gypped again. Too sad. And the one thing that makes me feel best seems to be gone. I can’t find it.
(Also, I think I really have lost my gorgy, gorgy ring in the move. I loved that ring.)

Second–one of the best things that has ever happened to me, outside of churchy topics and my family and my writing, is what my writing has brought to me.
I have some of the best friends that I never would have had if I hadn’t been a writer. I’m going to list a few who popped up this weekend in my small writing world.
These people, in no particular order, have made me a better person. Some know about my glass half empty-ness.
Some don’t give a damn that I am melancholy and love me anyway.
I love them and I am grateful I have gotten to know them.

Claudia–my polygamist twin sister
Alex–a yet unpubbed writer who reminds me of me, sometimes
Kirk–who is an editor and someone I feel I have known forever, and I felt that the day we first met
Melissa–An amazingly talented, kind, used-to-be-student who is now my friend
Steve–my agent and I have been together for 6 years now. I love him.

I mention these five people just because they influenced me in some way these last few days–and they don’t even know they did.

My gypped feeling, it starts to balance out a bit when I think of people I love.

Elise–“Oh, Mommy. Tell me what I can do for you.”
Laura–“You are my very best friend. And I love how you always tell each of us that we are your favorite daughter. And we all believe you.”
Kyra–“I am almost finished with this book. I have another idea. And I have a hot Indian boyfriend.”
Cait– “Mommy, I think you need a hug from me. Let me hug you.”
Carolina–“I left you a surprise. Go in that room. You’ll see something that is a surprise from me.”

What does this have to do with writing? Well, writing–for me–is all about emotion. And caring. If you can get caring, or happiness, or hurt, or angst, or joy, or or or on the page, you–the writer–win.
Maybe that’s what my gypped feeling is all about.


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I Repeat Words

Kyra here

It’s Friday again. It comes a lot more often when you have something you need to post in the morning. I am not NOT a morning person. But sadly I need to start becoming one.
A couple things.
I’m almost done with like, my millionth re-write. And guess what happened? The computer has misplaced the first fifty or so pages of it and tossed it into no mans land. RIGHT? Now, I know this isn’t my fault because I click the Ctrl Save every few words. {never know what might happen.}
So those are gone.
And then as I was rewriting yesterday, something strange happened with the tab button. Every time I click that it moves the words to the other side of the page. {Does anyone know how to fix this problem by chance? It’s because I’m on a mac and don’t have a clue how to use them.} So that’s what I’m dealing with.

But guess what! The conference is coming up. And we still have some afternoon sessions available. So anyone who knows anyone who is interested in writing should suggest this conference. Or if you haven’t signed up yourself, you should. It’s worth it, people. I’m hoping to get famous this year from attending and meeting the editor or agent of my dreams.
Seriously, I am.
{Ok not really. . .}

Have you read any good books lately? I’ve only read a few. But I’m currently reading this:

Does everyone know the story behind this novel? If not, check it out.
I actually watched him on Oprah last week and was surprised at how interesting he was. The book has finally gotten good. It took about hundred pages to really get me hooked. Okay, that’s a lie. It took about a hundred to KEEP me hooked. Because it did have some interesting stuff going on to begin with.
I don’t know.

Does anyone have any early EARLY guesses on who’s going to be winning all the awards this coming winter? With those guesses you could suggest some books for me to read.
Well, the allergies are kicking in and we have about a million boxes to unpack so I’m off.
Have a great weekend! And don’t forget what I said about the conference. 🙂


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Writing Exercise

1. Look back at your Wednesday goal. Does it need tweaking? If so, tweak away.

2. This is a simple exercise. Today, we want you to change your writing up a bit. Here’s what we mean. I’m writing a dystopian novel. Ann Dee is writing a mystery. So I might change my dystopian to a historical novel. Ann Dee might change her story into a fairy tale. With a terrific fairy godmother who never sees her little namesake, Milo Carol Lee. Anyway, what we want you to do is something that Ann Dee has told us many, many times: play. Have fun. Change things around. Stretch them here. Push them there. Only for about 5 pages. That’s all. But what do you come up with? How does your novel shift? Was this exercise fun? Did you generate a new idea in the playing?

3. Look at all the ‘ly’ words that are used to describe verbs in your novel. How many of them could you do without? Cut them.


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