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Showing posts from October, 2014

Lovely Blog

The ever-lovely June tagged me for a blog award, and since I think it's fun to play linkies and and fun to play along (and finally have time after a busy fortnight of revising), here I am ! 
Rules: Share 7 Lovely Facts about myselfLink to 15 blogs (or as many as possible) that I enjoy readingNominate the authors of those 15 blogs to participate and do the same, linking back to the original Lovely blog.  June's original Lovely post was here.
Facts: My favorite outfit is well over two centuries out of fashion:  I have a cat named Sophie Biscuit.  She was originally  just "Sophie" but she was--and still is--so cute yet addlepated that called her Biscuit as a nickname, because she's just an adorable little morsel but she's still kind of doughy in the middle.  She once climbed our Christmas tree: My house was built in 1872, and then renovated in 1890 because clearly it was so out of date.  The resulting mash-up is pretty awesome.  I love swing dancing (and the music and…

Things That Can Ruin a Writer's Day

I try not to be too "precious" with my writerly requests--the things I believe help me get in the zone and write at my best.  I don't need a particular table at the cafe or a certain hot drink or my lucky left shoe.  But there are a few things that really grind my gears.

1) Sticky keyboards.  Nothing annoys me more than a keyboard with really stiff keys--you know, when you type "biscuit" and it comes out "bsut" because half the keys are so futzy that they don't depress fully on a simple, light touch.  Maybe I'm just very particular about my keyboards, because getting a new laptop has taken all kinds of adjustment for me.
2) A workspace that's too dark or too light.  Squinting at the screen that's suddenly bisected by a hyper-ray of sunlight or squinting at my notes in a dark corner take me out of my zone quicker than a cat landing, claws-out, on my lap.  Which happens pretty often in my house, but she's so darn cute I'm ok with…

Does Working Make You a Better Writer?

Latest in the litero-sphere hullabaloo is Nobel judge Horace Engdahl's assertion that literary grants and programs are killing our creative spirit by isolating us from the gritty real world that feeds our imaginations.  He says we'd do better to work, as waiters or taxi drivers if need be, in order to learn the world in which we write.  On the other side of the ring are writers, many who are currently working or formerly working in that "real world," who contest that doing so did nothing for their creative spirit and that Engdahl's claim is pretty darn easy to make from the vantage point of a comfy professorship.

I'm not going to get into what goes into producing "great" literature.  I really  have no idea.  I have no delusions that I'm attempting to produce "great" literature (then again, I imagine many great writers of the past and present weren't trying for "The Great Novel of Our Time," either, and that's part of …

What Size Pond Are You Swimming In?

I like to sing.  Singing in choir, singing in the shower, singing to my two-year-old...doesn't matter, singing is fun for me.  And, lucky for me, my voice isn't bad.  It's not great--I don't have a huge range, it can get a little breath-y, and my pitch isn't always perfect. Or close.  Or good, at all.

When I was in college and in the years beyond, I lived in a Music Town.  You know, one of those brilliantly over-saturated-with-talent regions where every other person you meet is a near-virtuoso musician?  If you've been lucky enough to live in the vicinity of a top-tier music school, you know what I'm talking about.  Despite being a member of a church, despite plenty of volunteer choirs in town, despite opportunity galore, I didn't sing in public much.

I was a very small fish in that big pond.  There was no way I was measuring up to the fantastic talent I was surrounded by.  And it intimidated me enough to keep my voice to myself.

Then I moved to a littl…

B-Movie Lessons: The Horrors of Spider Island and What You *Really* Want to Write About

After a long weekend full of football recently, I found myself craving a bad movie.  (Not that football isn't in many ways like a bad movie--except that the Mr. doesn't appreciate my witty quips when the involve the combination of his team and the term "butterfingers.")  So I cued up The Horrors of Spider Island.

First, let's clear one thing up. This is your spider:


Now then.  That's done.

It's not an uncommon phenomenon that crappy B-movies from the 1950s and 60s were thinly veiled covers for showing scintillating (for the time) images and suggestive (for the time) racy scenes.  Horrors is a prime example--the premise is that a troupe of "dancers" (ahem--they didn't cast the ballet dancer in the opening scene, just saying) is stranded on a remote island when their plane crashes en route to Singapore.  Said island is infested with giant spiders whose bite, inexplicably, turns people into were-spiders.


You don't see much of the giant spid…