Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Lap of Luxury.

I come to you from Napa Valley on my honeymoon. God, I could get used to vacationing. Its fantastic. The only annoying part is that I still have fake nails from my wedding and they are getting gross and annoying but I cant bite them off. The end.

The weather has been terrific. It rained a bit in San Diego, which was fine with me because I was still by the water. And as Z and I decided, you can not be angry about anything ever when you are near the ocean. Its so beautiful out here. Every part of California. The ocean, the mountains as well as the valleys. I am plotting our permanent return to San Diego, I just have to get Z to agree :) Also robes. I can't wait to get back home and buy myself a nice robe. I fear it will be the end of my wardrobe and I will be the person who never gets out of their robes, but why would you after trying it?

Yesterday we drove for 14 hours through the mountains. I will post pics soon. But as was our agreement I had to write for at least an hour. I am currently reading this. Its actually a very good and helpful book. So on my ride yesterday I took some of his advise and applied it to my outlining. I don't know if I mentioned that I am outlining this novel. I decided that my current way of working, well isn't, and that I needed a change. This seemed like the most practical way to change. Not only that but my brain needs structure. The more I get into my writing the more I see that. I was so against scheduling and planning. I was a total panster -see previous blogs- but that isn't working for me any more. And to be quite truthful with you it never really worked for me to begin with. So if you are ready to try something new I would say read this book. Its a fairly cheap book and an easy read. Its worth a try if you are stuck.

Being on vacation Z and I have been reading a whole lot. He is on his second book. I am on my third but am balancing between the book above and a fiction novel. Those who are regular readers - all three of you- know that currently I am hooked on Marian Keyes. I just adore her work. I am learning a lot about scenes and story structure by reading and actually paying attention. Her style is a lot like mine and I think to learn how to construct a well rounded novel you need to be reading as much in the field of your style as you can get your hands on- and find the time to. I just finished This Charming Man, and I have to admit, although it was classic Marian Keyes -witty, funny, tragic, sad, good cast of characters-, it was unlike her other books, I didn't hate it, I just wasn't in love with it. A lot of the reviews I read on it said that's why people liked it, but that's precisely why I couldn't get into it. To be fair it is from the prospective of four girls and they all have completely different voices- I thought that must have been very challenging for Marian to do and I think she did it incredibly well- but for me, and maybe not everyone is like me, hopefully not, obviously not, I find that when there are more then two main voices I get bored and lost. Although I didn't really get lost in this book, she kept the flow going very nicely, I just wasn't that into it, which pains me to say because I love Marian so very much. That being said, it is a book on domestic violence mainly. And she writes it very raw and straightforward, and with that I can see that victims of an abusive relationship could really bond with these characters. They are all, well, most, very smart independent women who found themselves second guessing their mental health after being in a relationship with a particular man. I appreciated that they weren't all walking around with the word victim placed on their head, they were strong, and they were fighters, for the most part. I love that Marian gives her characters depth and I strive to do that more, which I feel I am learning through her books. On Goodreads I gave this book a 3. Not because it wasn't well written, because, I mean come on, it is Marian Keyes, and not because the story wasn't well thought out or didn't have a believable ending, simply because I wasn't that into it. But you might be, so give it a try if you feel so inclined.

Welp, I best be off. I have a wine tasting to attend with my love in an hour and I am still laying about in my robe!

"Couldn't understand a single word he said but he sure had some mighty fine wine....and I helped him drink his wine" -- 3 Dog Night

Monday, April 23, 2012

Day of matrimonial bliss!

Well we did it!
My love and I!
The crew/siblings

Now that that's over with we are settling back into our daily lives. BUT I'm off work for another 14 days. Its fantastic. I love vacation. I don't know why I haven't done it sooner.

Z made me promise to write every single day for an hour while I'm on vacation. And I did yesterday. I feel like thats good progress. Ha! We leave for our real honeymoon tomorrow. Off to California and Seattle for 11 days. I'm stoked!

And now I have a husband who I am completely and utterly in love with!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Calling Down Lightning!

Funny, this is what I learned about this week, and what I have been working on all week, and currently we are in the middle of a giant thunderstorm! Clever.

Z and I walking in to get our
Marriage License!
This week I have been a little busy beaver so I am sure you will forgive me for not blogging at all. As you already know I am getting married on friday so there is much to be done with that. But along with that I have started a new novel. I am really excited about it. I have been toying with the idea for quite some time now. As in I started my first draft a few years ago but it never clicked. Now I am doing the work. Researching my characters. Writing out character sheets. Writing down questions. Calmly and patiently waiting for my Muse to answer them. Or not. He isn't cooperating very well. He has been kind of a douche lately but I am trying to give him the benefit of the doubt.

My little binder with questions
and a graph!
I like the idea of calling down lightning. It gets you in tune with your muse. Includes him, which is the whole point. You have to get to the point where you realize that you need him. Writing isn't just about you and what you know. Writers know that. Its also about all of the outside sources that affect you and how you work and how your brain works. Its about the world around you and how your Muse subconsciously stores all of this random shit and if you include him in your projects you will get a lot more done because he will throw ideas your way that you didn't even realize you had as an idea somewhere in that head of yours.

Try it. Ask questions. Become your Muse's best friend. And you will be productive. Its definitely helped me. Without sounding all out there, you should know that he will only answer when he is ready. But its worth it to wait!

Happy writing!

But I can only write what the muse allows me to write. I cannot choose, I can only do what I am given, and I feel pleased when I feel close to concrete poetry - still.
Ian Hamilton Finlay

Sunday, April 8, 2012


This is what I've been working on. Clustering. For those of you who don't know what it is, its more or less a bunch of ideas that you have about a certain word. The first thoughts that come into your head and how they relate to each other. As you can see I can't do anything without Pandora, and tonight, I needed my glass of wine. This is harder for me then I thought it would be. It kind of frustrated me because, while I can see how I could potentially benefit from it I can't see how it relates to the story that I am trying to tell yet. You are supposed to let your Muse take over. To work on each section, and there are 6, which I have oh so cleverly taped together, for 10 minutes each. And eventually your Muse will poke his tiny voice in and all of a sudden you are writing outside of yourself. That didn't really happen to me. I did have two reoccurring themes though and I thought that was interesting. They were Z and coffee, both of which I love and couldn't imagine my life without. But so far I can't see how any of my plot points will be sorted by this exercise. Although it was a lot of fun, and got me writing, which is always fabulous.

Its weird to have homework now. Almost every night I am working on something that has to do with my novel. Its an exciting change, and all because I got the nerve to take a course.

I'm always telling Z about how I wish I could be a full time writer, and he always says that I can. I don't have to work. Although I fear what my days would look like if I didn't work. I would bleach the sink 97 times a day and then rearrange the furniture and then wash the already clean sheets, just to be sure. My floors would be scrubbed clean at least once a day and polished at least three times a week. Yes I am neurotic about the cleanliness of my house. Although you couldn't tell right now. I really need to dust. BUT, that's because I have a full time job, that I go to everyday, and it wears me out so by the time I come home I don't want to scrub every already clean surface. I fear for Z's life if I was here by myself all day. By the time I got done with all of my cleaning and internet surfing Z would be home from work and then I would sneak away to write, which would be counterintuitive because either way it would take away from the time that we can spend together. But a girl can dream right?

I'm excited to find what Holly has for me next week. This will be my week three. I think I'll start tomorrow. I downloaded the lesson yesterday but I didn't start it yet because I was so involved with lesson 2.

Anyway, back to Clustering. I think if I wasn't doing it for my homework I would pick different words to center around. Different main themes. I think that would help me, but because I was practicing I felt that I should do what Holly told me to. I mean the woman is a professional. And I am not. So there's that. But I really do think you can break through writers block by doing that. Just pick a word and write down all of your thoughts that have to do with it and how they relate to each other. And then you can figure out where to go next with your story. I'll show you how it works.
So this is my I hate section of it. It was all of the random things I thought of at the time and then the thoughts that ricocheted off of those original thoughts. Kind of cool how it worked. Try it you may like it!

There are no failures - just experiences and your reactions to them.” Tom Krause

Monday, April 2, 2012


Its been a while and I apologize. In my defense though, I have been super busy. My wedding is *AUGH* 18 days away and me being me, I have pushed everything back to the very last second. So that's what I have been doing. It seems that with all of that on my plate, and working out 6 (ok more like 4-5) x's a week and with everyone who suddenly wants me to do their hair, I have zero time left at the end of the day. Well, that's not entirely true but by the time the end of the day rolls around, I officially want to do nothing.
I have been reading a lot though. I am currently hooked on Marian Keyes. She is fantastic. I just got done reading her debut novel Watermelon and was sad for it to end. I love books like that. Where you get so involved that its like you are saying goodbye to good friends by the conclusion.

Here is a cover photo. It really is a delightful read. It seems typical chic-lit (which I can't help but admit is pretty much all I read) but her characters are so well developed and the story line is so believable. It is a very chatty book which is right up my alley because that's how I tend to write as well.

Speaking of writing I have joined Holly Lisle's How to Think Sideways course. I have been reading things that Holly has written for about a year now. She is trying to get out of teaching and move more into full time novel writing now so she has started closing her courses. I got in right as she was closing this one. She has a lot of books on Kindle and she is very inspirational. You should go to her website here if you are interested. She is very helpful. In fact I have had friends who went to school to write, say that her courses and books are much more helpful and realistic then any class they have ever taken.

So that's that. I'm trying to make writing more of a priority. Z has been trying to make me put writing higher on my to-do's and I think I am finally ready. Yes, now probably isn't the best of times, what with the wedding and everything else on my never ending list, but those things will still be there tomorrow, and what am I gaining by making sure every little thing in my life is perfect? Nothing. I'm only losing time, precious time to fulfill my dream.

Day, n. A period of twenty-four hours, mostly misspent.
Ambrose Bierce