Sunday, August 28, 2011

Things I Don't Understand...

... people I don't know/follow on Twitter who send me only a link. Do they really think I'm stupid enough to click on it?

... people who circle me on Google+ when they have no interest in writing. My very limited profile mentions I'm a writer. Actually that's all it mentions - I'm a writer & I'm female. All the people in my circles are interested in writing or books. I'm not interested in accounting. Or international business. Or banking trends. Or military/political/religious organizations. And (huge surprise) I'm not going to circle you back to have bigger numbers.

... obsessions with numbers

... people who circle/follow me, but who don't speak the same language I do

... where summer has gone

... people who tweet about themselves in the 3rd person

... why my parsley won't grow back

... how the dust bunnies multiply so quickly. What ARE they doing in those corners?

... why slashing and burning all those redundant phrases in my ms makes me giddy with joy

... why it's so much fun to follow these characters on their journeys

How about you? Any things you don't understand? Any answers?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Star Trek Blogfest

Two pieces of business for today! First off, I'm over at From the Write Angle today posting about settings - what I've learned so far & I'm looking for tips. I hope you'll pop on over! :)

And now for the fun stuff...

The lovely Ellie Garret has wonderful taste - she's a Star Trek fan! She's hosting the Star Trek As We Know It Blogfest today. Click on her link to get the list of all the participants.

I've always loved Star Trek. No one in my family has ever liked science fiction or fantasy. In fact, they all hated it then and hate it still. I grew up in a house with only 1 TV. When I stumbled on a Star Trek (orignial series) rerun one day, I fell in love. And my sci fi hating family let me watch it. Every week.

I used to make up scripts in my head when I was supposed to be sleeping. I never wrote any of them down, but I would 'rehearse' them over and over in my head until the characters were in the right spots, the scenes were set and the lines were perfect! I've since watched every episode of every series and all the movies - multiple times. Love it all :)

So my 5 favourite Star Trek things...

  • Spock. Love the ears and the eyebrow! Love the clear thinking, the bluntness, and the humour and sarcasm bathed in logic.
  • Data. I think Brent Spiner does a fabulous job playing the straight man throughout the series and the movies. Love the scene when he gets his emotion chip working and hates the drink :)
  • The Voyage Home. I know! Cheesiness at its best! I love the whales, the jokes, Spock on the bus - all of it!
  • Wrath of Khan. Who doesn't love Khan? Such a great movie - cried like a baby the first time I watched it - you know the scene!
  • the whole world & philosophy. I think Star Trek in all its manifestations attracted me because of the hope for the future. How can you not love a future where money isn't the reason people do things? Where people are equals (although this took Roddenberry some doing & he never quite got to showcase his true vision) and always striving to know more, do more and be more? I can't resist!
So, there you have it. I enjoyed the ST new movie too and can't wait to see where they're going to go with it! Don't forget to check out Ellie's blog for more!

So, how about you? Are you a Star Trek fan? If not, what's a series from childhood that's stayed with you?


Please remember to pop on over to From the Write Angle and talk about settings! Thanks :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What's Your Favourite?

So, I'm in the middle of editing one of my stories - with a few side trips into revision territory.

I've been spending the last few days slashing and burning. My first drafts tend to have a log of redundant phrases. A lot! I don't worry about them at all when I'm drafting and not too much when I'm revising - I leave them for a treat for later. Because attacking that draft with my editing sword is FUN! I love tightening - finding the redundancies. It's my favourite part of the whole revising/editing process.

I'm not sure why the slashing makes me smile, but it does. I've always liked swords ...

So, what's your favourite part of the editing process? Do you like to wield your sword as well?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Slower Than a Sickly Snail!

Oh those rewrites! I'd like to rewrite as fast as Superman. Faster than a speeding bullet. Sadly I often feel  more like this guy here ...

It amazes me when I read about some writers who speed through those revisions and rewrites. I can slash and burn through an editing round pretty quickly, but rewrites take me FOREVER!!!

I'm hoping to get better at this, but I need to let the ideas roll around in my head for a bit before I tackle anything. I have to mull it over, see how the new pieces should fit. It often takes me days before I can tackle rewriting a scene. One scene. *sigh*

Are you Superman or SuperSnail when it comes to rewrites? Any tips?

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Scary Good Book!

Great news!! Anita Laydon Miller is releasing a new ebook TODAY! It's a middle grade mystery called A SCARY GOOD BOOK. I can't wait for this one. I loved her 1st book, EARTHLING HERO - and so did my students when I read it aloud to them last year.

Here's what Anita has to say about her new book...

Twelve-year-old Hannah Stone tells everyone she’s “okay,” but that’s a total lie. Two years ago her dad was killed by a hit-and-run driver. The detective in charge of the case never found the driver, but he somehow managed to get Hannah’s mom to fall in love with him. The jerk. And speaking of love, Hannah’s developed a major crush on Ollie Ortega—he’s her best friend and the only one she can talk to—a crush on Ollie is so not a good idea.

Also not a good idea? Searching for a missing person with no help from the police. But that’s exactly what Hannah does when she finds messages in library books—underlined words that point her in the direction of someone who needs her.

And, suddenly, Hannah’s even further from okay. She breaks into a library, gets caught in a kidnapper’s web, and is stalked by her dad’s killer, all in an effort to save a life…but can she save herself, too?
Doesn't it sound great? Can't wait. Here's the link for this terrific kids' ebook - it's only 99 cents!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Stolen Books

Can't remember who posted the link, or where the link led to (don't judge!), but a few days ago, someone on Twitter posted a link to an article citing the most stolen books of all time. Apparently some books are stolen so often, bookstores regularly keep them out of sight behind the counter. Bizarre!

It started me thinking about my classroom. I lose books all the time. A lot of the books probably get lost in kids' bedrooms which are notoriously scary places. By the time they clean their rooms and find them, some of them are probably too embarrassed to bring them back. I've had several kids return books years later. One girl came in with a stack of over 20 books one day. She was moving out of her parents' home and had finally cleaned up! :)

I also teach a lot of kids who don't have much. Of anything. We often assume everyone has cell phones and computers, but I've taught many, many kids who don't have either. Or a vehicle. Or enough food for lunch or dinner or breakfast. So if they 'forget' to return a book they love, I couldn't care less.

I don't use a sign out sheet for my books - too much fuss. I just let them borrow. Most of them get returned, but I probably lose 20 or 30 a year. Maybe more.

I think the most stolen/lost book in my room is The Hobbit. At one point I had 6 or 7 copies of it - all with different covers. I used them to discuss the power of covers, what attracts the eye, colour and font choices...

How many do I have now? None. I'll buy another one this summer. Can't have a classroom without the Hobbit - especially with the movie buzz!

So, if you were going to steal a book, which one would you take?