Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Planning ahead

It hit me a few days ago that the month was almost over. How time flies. That means that the first Sunday in May is almost here, which means writing group. So I spent today working on the last part of Worth Something. I have it to a point where it could be the end or I could add a little more and I'm not really sure what to do. Maybe I'll add a little more then ask the writing group where they think it should end.

For the first time in a while I got out the Writer's Market. I know I mentioned a few months back that I think humor might be my thing. It's the only thing that I've had much luck with and I hadn't really gotten anywhere with literary stories, which was mostly what I had been submitting. So I've been trying to find places to send a few of my humorous stories, including the one that started my funny revelation, Secret Identity Crisis.
What I've come to find is that, when it comes to short stories, there are a lot less places for humor than there are for literary stories. Of course, in the past, I found the same problem with action, adventure, fantasy and sci-fi.

I finished the Lord of the Flies, but I read it kind of half-heartedly before bed every night. And I feel like a bad reader/writer because I didn't catch the big flaw that D.B. Echo mentioned.
Now I'm on to Bone Crossed, the fourth book in the Mercy Thomas series, by Patricia Briggs. I'm actually almost done. I'll probably finish it tonight.

Just watched: Marley and Me (again)
Currently watching: Reno! 911

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Bands and books

I started my short story that I mentioned in the last post. I think I'm going to call it Helping Hand, so that's how I'll I refer to it for now. I have really gotten much done but the day is young.

Last Thursday I went to see a band called Brena and they were awesome. They have a very cool mainstream rock style going on. I liked them so much that I just uploaded their new album on my iPod.
Yes, that's right. I now have an iPod. After years of saying that I want one, but not buying one for various reasons, an iPod nano has managed to fall into my hands. So now I can create all kinds of awesome playlists for all my writing endeavors.

I started reading Lord of the Flies and I just bought the 38 Most Common Fiction Writing Mistakes. Both are pretty short books. I like to envision me having them both done by the end of the week, but I hate to get ahead of myself.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Birthdays, holidays, musicals, books and jury duty and it's only Wednesday!

Well this week has been pretty hectic. It started with Easter, which was also my birthday. Yes, I am another year older. And I will spare everyone my melodramatic look back at my accomplishments or the lack there of. I will also not venture to far out to say "this will be my year," because I think I've just been jinxing myself.

After that, I had jury duty. I did get picked for a trial but then I was dismissed after the lawyers questioned me. It was an interesting experience. Some of the things that the lawyers think to ask potential jurors just amazes me. That's probably why they make the big bucks. The experience definitely gave me some insight in case I'm ever writing about a trial.

Yesterday, I went to see the Lion King. The tickets were a birthday present and I was very excited. It was a fantastic performance. The kids that played Simba and Nala were very cute and talented. The dialogue and music pretty much followed the movie. There were also some new songs. A few of the new songs like "The Morning Report" and "Chow Down", were a little cheesy and seemed like they were in the show just because they needed more musical numbers. Other songs like "Endless Night," were a beautiful addition. There was also a lot of added African dancing and music, which really added to the show making it less like a Disney cartoon and more like a work of art. The costumes and the set design were amazing. There was literally far too much to take in. Every thing was so colorful and lively, I didn't know where to look. I would love to see it again.

And the only other thing is that I finished reading the Historian. I was real bummed out with the ending. When you're going to battle Dracula, also known as Vlad the Impaler, that battle better be grueling and it better take more than one gun shot to take him down. Sorry if I ruined it for anyone but if this is a book someone was going to invest time into reading, they may want to be prepared for the fact that the book is all about history and not suspense and action-filled battles.

Now, what to read next? Also, I have the day off tomorrow. I'd like to start a new short story about dealing with a bad work environment. I have an idea, obviously. I'll try to elaborate more once I have something actually written.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The latest reading list

A few weeks ago I finally finished reading the eleven books that have, so far, made up the Harry Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. Although, I believe a new book has or will come out in April. The books weren't necessarily intellectual reading but they were fun and they read pretty quickly. They're about a modern day wizard, living in modern day Chicago, who is the only wizard listed in the phone book. During the series he runs into all kinds of supernatural beings such as vampires, werewolves, fairies, ghost, fallen angels, demons, and he has lots of really interesting friends to help him. I enjoyed the series for some light and entertaining reading.

After that, I received the new David Sedaris book, When You Are Engulfed In Flames, for Valentine's Day. It was funny and I did enjoy it but I feel like he has less interesting things to say now that he's a wealthy, famous writer rather than a poor, struggling writer. Maybe it also had something to do with the fact that this book mentioned his family significantly less than his others. His unique family was definitely something that really made his early books funny. I still laughed with this one but not as much as I have with his previous works.

Right now I'm reading the Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. I really didn't plan on reading this book but it came to me in a weird way. I had given somebody one of my book club chain letters that Jenni dragged me into, and that person was suppose to send a book to Jenni. However, he didn't really feel that he would be able to handle the task of mailing it. (The post office can be complicated.) So he asked me to give it to her...four months ago. Well, I have seen her twice since then but I have forgotten the book. Then I started reading it.
Anyway, it's a long book, well over 600 pages. The idea is cool. A group of historians search for proof that Vlad the Impaler is the real Dracula and that he is still living an undead existence as a vampire. Of course, the book can move slowly. They cover a lot of history and geography. There is a ton of detail. At times it reads more like non-fiction, full of facts, and the story tying it all together seems to just fall in every now and again. I'm just now in the 400s after two weeks of reading. It's not one of those books that I just can't put down. I usually fall asleep after a chapter or so if I'm reading before bed. So far I don't feel emotionally connected to any of the characters. I could really care less what happens to them I just want to get to the end and find out what the plot twist is because there must be one. Also, I'm not a person who can quit a book. I have to finish. The book is intriguing sometimes but most of the time I feel like I'm studying. Maybe the last 200 pages will pick up a bit.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Finally, something to write about

Okay, I'm back to work. I've spent this week writing an article about resale shops. Of course, I've been through a few computers lately, and I'm typing on a new one (well new to me) right now. And because I forgot to e-mail it to myself, that article is now saved on a computer that is not hooked up. So I would have to unhook this monitor, mouse and keyboard, hook them back up to the other computer and then undo all of that just to get the article. How's that for complicated?
I finished typing in part three of my short story Worth Something. I have writing group tomorrow right after work so I need to get my other group members' work read and make some comments. Eventually, I'll have to finish the end of the story and type it up for next month. After that I'll need to have started a new piece of fiction or else I'll have nothing to take.
It feels good to be writing again. I didn't realize how much I missed the release and the feeling of accomplishment. I don't know how I ever stopped.