Friday, July 31, 2009

Eat More Blue M&M's

Every so often I like to do a non-writing related entry to remind myself and my readers that I am more than just an aspiring writer - I am also a person who likes to eat.

As such I also follow several food related blogs, looking not just for new recipes, but also interesting food-related articles. Tonight while perusing one of my favorite food blogs, Serious Eats, I came across several great posts and they were just too much fun not to share.

The first was a post about a Facebook movement to convince Ben and Jerry's to make a library inspired ice-cream flavor. I am so joining this Facebook group.

Here were some of the suggested flavors:

Gooey Decimal System: Dark fudge alphabet letters with caramel swirls in hazelnut ice cream.

Writer’s Block: Coffee with fudge chunks and nicotine stains.

Over-Goo Fudge: Chocolate with marshmallow and fudge.

Sh-sh-sh-Sherbet! Key Lime or a chocolate/vanilla combination.

The writer's block was sounding yummy... ummm, until I got to the part about the nicotine stains. Anybody have any better suggestions of what Writer's Block ice-cream would taste like?

The next post discussed a blog called How to Cook Like Your Grandmother. True to its title, the blog is full of recipes from people's grandmothers.

My mother's mother, who passed away my freshman year of college, was a wonderful cook, but the kind who could never give anyone recipes because she just eyed all the measurements. My mom still tries to recreate her famous German potato salad, but we gave up years ago of ever replicating my grandma's chocolate fudge cake frosting.

Do you have any great Grandma recipes that you love? Share them in the comments if you do - I LOVE new recipes, especially Grandma inspired ones.

Finally, the title of this post was from the last posting I read, reporting that Blue M&M's may help spinal injuries. Here's what it had to say:

"Oddly enough, this was not from The Onion but from Daily Mail: Scientists have found special properties in the dye of blue M&Ms. "The compound, Brilliant Blue G, can block a chemical which makes injuries worse by causing inflammation and destroying cells."

Yeah, that's right. So, the next time you have a chocolate craving, go out and buy a bag of M&M's and if anyone gives you any crap - tell them it's health food.

Happy Friday and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

July Writing Prompt

Is July really almost over?

Unless all of our calendars are in some grand conspiracy against us, then I believe the answer to that question is a resounding yes.

However, you still have Thursday and Friday (and honestly beyond that, there is really no ticking clock) to take part in the July Creative Writing Prompt that I posted at the beginning of the month.

And next month check out the August writing prompt over on Michelle's blog.

Work in Progress Wednesday #24

What have I accomplished in the past week in writing?


Yeah, hasn't been the most productive week for me.

But there have been a few noteworthy things:

I entered into the latest contest over at Miss Snarks First Victim. The entries should go live tomorrow morning, and I will come back and leave a link to mine, but in the meantime you should be able to find me under Post #18. (UPDATE: Here's the link.)

This is different from the usual contests over there as this one is for query letters. I have actually been sending mine out for almost a month now (and have received four partial requests so far), but there is always room for improvement and I look forward to seeing what kind of suggestions and comments I receive.

I've also been thinking and stewing over my new WIP, which I plan to start writing as soon as this weekend! Over the past week I've figured out what my main character wants and a few of the things that are standing in her way, although I am sure more obstacles will crop up as I go along. Anyway, this means that next week the always fun word count meter should be back in action here on my WIP Wednesday posting.

And that's about it for me. Yeah, as I said at the top, it hasn't been the most productive week for me, but hopefully next week will be.

How was your week? I hope everyone got more accomplished than I did, and I would love to hear all about it.

If you want to participate in WIP Wednesday, simply post your own WIP Wednesday entry on your blog and leave a link to it in the comments below. Or if you don't have a blog, feel free to report your progress directly into the comments box.

For more detailed information concerning what all this nonsense is about please consult the original Work in Progress Wednesday posting.

Feel free to also make use of the lovely little WIP Wednesday logo as well!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Loathing, Unadulterated Loathing

The title of this blog is from a song in the musical Wicked, called "What is This Feeling" (Loathing). I love this musical.

The picture is from South Park, a show that I am not such a big fan of, but I like to have a pic at the top of my posts and I thought this was appropriate to my topic today.

And that topic is the dreaded, disgusting, and perhaps sometimes even deadly(?): SYNOPSIS.

I don't think I am alone in my feelings towards the synopsis. In fact, a few weeks back during one of my regular Work in Progress Wednesday postings, I wrote one little sentence about trying to tackle the synopsis beast, and then I want on to write about a whole bunch of other non-synopsis related things. The funny thing is that in my comments a bunch of people latched onto that one sentence about the synopsis, usually agreeing that they found the synopsis to be a repellent form of the written word as well.

Ever since then I've been meaning to write a post about the synopsis. This is not one of those posts with tips and tricks on how to write a better one. Nope, sorry. I have Googled my way up and down the Internets looking for the secret to easily (as in a method that does not include regular intervals of me banging my head against my desk) writing a synopsis that doesn't totally suck, but if such a secret exists it is harder to find than the Holy Grail.

So, lacking tips, I am instead going to whine, moan, and generally say mean things about the synopsis (Seems unfair since the synopsis doesn't really have a way to fight back, except by existing and making my life miserable... which is actually a rather effective strategy. Oh, synopsis you are a worthy foe.), and invite you to join in too.

But first, a short history of the synopsis. This history is closely linked to the history of storytelling itself. Whether it was the early epic stories such as The Odyssey or Beowulf, one of the first plays written by Thespis, or even the cave drawings on the pyramids in Egypt - there was this conversation:

PERSON #1: (Probably a guy, because we all know how things were back then, but if you'd like to imagine a woman in either of these roles go right ahead.) I just saw/heard/read/ the most amazing story!

PERSON #2: Oh, yeah? What was it about?

And thus the synopsis was born.

Of course, we are familiar with this conversation because we have played the part of Person #1 and Person #2 (although hopefully not at the same time, because then you're just talking to yourself) many times in our lives.

Clearly, the synopsis has a necessary place in our lives. That, however, does not mean that I have to like it.

The truth is that I have struggled with the synopsis since my middle school days when I had to write book reports. And later when I was in film school and spent a semester as an intern at a production company in LA and had to do coverage on screenplays, I still struggled to summarize the main plots and characters of a story. And now when an agent requests the synopsis for my novel and I have to boil my story down to two (okay it went over onto page three) pages, it sometimes feels like mission impossible.

At the end of the day, I think my relationship with the synopsis is similar to my toddler son's relationship to silverware. While he can see the function of a spoon and fork, and he understands that other people like mommy and daddy prefer to use them, for himself, he just doesn't see the need, especially when he can get the food into his mouth with his fingers just fine. Similarly, I understand the reason the synopsis and why other people might see it as a useful tool, but for myself I'd rather just stick to a short blurb and if I want more of the story I'll just gobble it down whole, thank you very much.

So, what about you? Any other synopsis haters out there? Come on over and kick it around with me for awhile (Kind of like that scene in Office Space where they all beat up the office printer. *sigh* That's a great scene.). Or if there is anyone willing to stand up and sing the praises of the synopsis, I would love to hear that too. Maybe it could even soften my hardened heart to think more kindly of it next time.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Work In Progress Wednesday #23

This WIP is being posted a bit later than usual because I wanted to wait until I returned from my doctor's appointment and share the news of my non-writing work in progress aka my pregnancy with baby number two.

This morning was the twenty week ultrasound, and I am excited to announce that not only is the baby healthy, but she is also a little girl! My husband and I are both very excited, and I'm sure our son would be too if he had any idea what was going on.

Anyway, on to actual work in progress news, which is rather limited this week.

I spent some time on a short story that I plan on eventually submitting to Woman's World. I'd actually like to write a few of them, but we will see how that goes.

Mostly though I have been stewing over my next novel. This means gathering information from the recesses of my mind and just generally figuring out how different parts will fit together. I've also started to type the notes up in a new Word document just so I don't forget anything. And yesterday I even did a little bit of the dreaded research, via Wikipedia, of course.

Other than that I've been doing some reading, critting, and just general relaxing. I'm giving myself the beginning of August as the start date for my next novel, but between now and then I just really want to give all the ideas time to fully develop and grow.

Okay, so how has everyone else's week gone? How are your works in progress coming along? And does anyone else out there take a break between big projects just to let themselves recharge?

If you want to participate in WIP Wednesday, simply post your own WIP Wednesday entry on your blog and leave a link to it in the comments below. Or if you don't have a blog, feel free to report your progress directly into the comments box.

For more detailed information concerning what all this nonsense is about please consult the original Work in Progress Wednesday posting.

Feel free to also make use of the lovely little WIP Wednesday logo as well!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Stealing Originality

The always awesome Annie asked the question for the blog chain this time around.

Do you ever get inspired by a real-life event or news story and fear you're ripping off the story too much? Do you ever get inspired by a song or poem or line from a book and worry you're stealing that original person's idea? What if your research is overtaking your originality?

Wow. Big questions. Let me break these down a little bit.

Do you ever get inspired by a real-life event or news story and fear you're ripping off the story too much?

Yes, I have been inspired by real-life events or news story, although I've never made them the central focus of a story. I think if they were at the center of the story I would be worried about making sure I put my own original spin on them. Then again look at Law & Order (and all of its spin-offs too, of course). Ripped from the headline plots are their specialty, sometimes they'll even toss a couple of them together. Some of these I find eye-rollingly bad, (Especially when they get all political and preachy. Um, could you just shut-up and catch, then convict the bad guy already?) but I never find them lacking in creativity.

Do you ever get inspired by a song or poem or line from a book and worry you're stealing that original person's idea?

I don't think you can steal someone else's idea. An idea is elusive, intangible, and impossible to capture. Even if you tried to steal someone's idea, I think it would inevitably become tangled up with your own ideas and emerge on paper completely different than the idea that was taken.

Now words are another matter. Those can and have been stolen. However, if you are only using someone else's words as a jumping off point, and not trying to pass them of as your own, then I don't believe you have stolen anything.

What if your research is overtaking your originality?

Of all the questions this one resonated with me the most. As you may remember a few chains back our question was about research, and I confessed that I was not such a big fan of it. And I think one of the reasons I feel this way is that I do fear my originality and own vision could be easily squashed beneath a pile of hard-edged and weighty facts.

Perhaps this is a confidence issue (that was also a chain topic btw), and I might be able, with practice, to find my voice alongside facts. And I know it's possible, especially when I read books by writers like Jon Krakauer and Michael Pollan. They write non-fiction books that should be terribly dry, and instead make them not only interesting, but personal as well.

That's it for the questions, but I have one more thing to add to this topic. Just yesterday I happened to read a blog post over at Help! I NEED a Publisher... and Maybe an Agent? that just coincidentally enough is on this same subject of copying.

The blog is written by Scottish author, Nicola Morgan, and towards the end of this post she relates a story about a coincidence that occurred during the release of her first novel. Basically, her novel had a main character with the same name, age, and rare health condition as another more well known author's book that was being released around the same time.

However, she goes on to add that ever other bit of their stories had absolutely nothing in common at all, which kind of goes back to what I said before about not being able to steal an idea.

In the end your own originality - whether that means your own peculiar way of arranging words within a sentence, your skewed view of the universe, or whatever else it is that marks a work as being uniquely your own little snowflake - is going to come through.

Or that's what I think at least. But what do you think? Are we sometimes not as original as we could be in our writing? And how much can we borrow from other writers before it becomes stealing?

And don't forget to check out Kat's blog, she'll have the next chain post on this topic!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

My Belated Required Reading Post

Way back, in a happier and more optimistic time, let's call it January of 2009, I was filled with purpose and gave myself some lofty goals to fulfill.

Oh, think back with me to that soft sepia colored past. A new and unprecedented President was being sworn into office. Chevy and GM still thought they might escape declaring bankruptcy. And I... I had one simple dream and that was to read fifty books in a year and keep careful track of them on this blog with simple monthly updates.

Okay, so the fifty books part I am actually doing okay on (check out the sidebar for my full list), but the whole keeping track of them started to fall apart somewhere around March. Yes, only three months in. Pathetic, I know.

Here's the problem: keeping track of what I read requires organization skills, and those are the kind of skills that I tend to struggle with.

You see I read books from all over the place. Some are from the library, others are borrowed or given as gifts (uh, okay, I actually consider those the same thing. Do not lend me a book that you actually want back.), a few I pluck from my bookshelf, and sometimes I buy from one of the big chains (with a coupon in-hand, of course) or the second-hand store.

These books are then strewn throughout my household, and they remain that way until I start tripping over them, or they are cluttering the counter so bad that I cannot properly prepare dinner. That is when they are all herded into a corner somewhere. Yes, shoving my various crap into various corners of my home is what passes as "cleaning up" in my household.

The point is that my organization process, such as it is, makes keeping track of what I've read a bit difficult at times.

I don't want to give up completely though, so I am going to keep tracking all my books in my sidebar, and while I will not go through every book I've read in a blog post, (Does anyone out there really care anyway? If you do, and you see a book in my sidebar that you want to know if I liked it or not - feel free to drop me an email. I will no doubt send you back an incredibly lengthy email with my opinion, why I bought the book, other similar books I like, why I like books, and other various opinions that will make you very sorry you asked in the first place.) I will highlight one or two books that I really loved, or maybe really hated - although probably not the latter because who really needs all that negativity?

So, in the past few months since I last updated I've read a pile of romances from the used bookstore, some urban fantasies, literary fiction for my book club, a few non-fiction books, and even a YA that I didn't count because I skipped pages 50-250 because I thought it was too slow, but was still curious enough to see how it ended.

Some I liked, some I finished in less than 24 hours, but there was only one that I LOVED. I Loved this book so much I would say it is hands down the best book I've read this year so far. And I loved it so much that I bullied my husband into reading it too just so I could have someone to talk about it with. My husband is not a big reader, but he actually finished the book in less than a week, which tells you right there that he LOVED it too.

What was that book? Oh, I'm so glad you asked.

The Silver Linings Playbook is told in the first person by Pat Peoples, who has just been released from a mental institution. His number one goal is to reunite with his wife, unfortunately, she has a restraining order against him for reasons that he does not remember.

Now I have a little bias against books with male characters as the main character, and the only reason I picked this one up was because I saw it recommended on NPR by Nancy Pearl as one of her summer book picks. Deciding to attempt to overcome my bias, I found it at my local library and brought it home with me.

I don't really want to give anymore plot details away (and if you are really interested you can read them somewhere else), but I do want to say that this book just made me happy. It was sweet without being saccharine, and the characters felt like real people.

The book has been optioned, and will probably be made into a movie - maybe even a really good one (it actually has potential to be a really great movie, but we all know how these things often get screwed up and turned into something unbearable to watch.) - but I suggest you go out and read this book NOW.

Seriously, read it. I know that all books are not for all people, but if you do not like this book then my guess is that you are either an alien life form or a cyborg.

And for those who are counting I have now read 29 of the 50 books that I need for my yearly goal. So if anyone has suggestions for what books might fill slots #30-50 please share them with me in the comments.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Work in Progress Wednesday #22

Let me first start by saying I love WIP Wednesdays. I love the way it keeps me accountable. I love the comments I get on my WIP Wednesday posts and the encouragement they contain. And I love all the people who have joined in on the WIP Wednesday madness.

I wouldn't keep doing WIP Wednesdays for 22 weeks if I didn't love it.

However, this week I am NOT going to talk about my WIP stuff.

One because my parent's visited over the weekend and I don't have a whole lot to report.

Two because I am currently between works in progress, having finished my last round of revisions and being currently in the query stage.

And finally, Three, because I just read a post over at Cindy R. Wilson's blog that really hit home for me. She wrote:

"In seeking publication, in striving for those nibbles and bites, it’s easy to get tunnel vision. It’s hard sometimes to enjoy writing for the sake of writing when it’s all about rules and getting better and finding that perfect agent or publisher."

While focusing on goals is the best way I know to achieve them, I think it is also important to breath every so often and just enjoy the view. So that's what I'm doing today, or more specifically I am enjoying an awesome award I recently received.

This award was passed along by Michelle McLean whom I have known via the blogging world for over a year now! Thanks, Michelle!

Now for the blog award rules (which according to rule #5 I am required to post here):

1. Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends.

2. Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.

3. Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to This Post, which explains The Award.

4. Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we’ll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives This Prestigious Honor!

5. Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.

The 5 people I'm passing this award on to are:

1. Cindy R. Wilson - Since she inspired this post, it seems appropriate to pass this award along to her.

2. Jessica Nelson of BookingIt

3. Annie of Annie Writes About Writing

4. Jody Hedlund of On The Path

5. Jennifer Shirk of Me, My Muse, and I

I highly recommend all of these blogs and they are part of my daily blog required reading, among many others and I wish that I could give this to all the bloggers I follow - they are all wonderful!

This past week I was also tagged by Jennifer, who I listed above at number 5. The rules for that are as follows:

1. Link to the person or persons who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random and/or revealing things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
5. Let each person know they’ve been tagged and leave a comment on their blog
6. Let the tagger know when your post entry is up on your site.

I am totally going to cheat on this one though and just tag all the people I've already listed to pass the award along to, and I'm also only listing five things about myself. That's because I'm a rebel... and a sort of lazy one at that.

So, five things.

1. Next week is my 20 week ultrasound when I found out whether I am having a baby boy or girl. I am one of those people who definitely want to know, so I am looking forward to finding out.

2. I am dreading potty training my 2 year old son. So far I have bought the potty, and some potty training books, and I am thinking of buying a doll that drinks and wets to use as a working example as well, but I keep pushing back the actual training day. Any tips or words of encouragement would be greatly appreciated.

3. In college as part of my theatre classes I took stage combat. Learning how to throw fake punches (or take a fake punch) and pretend fight with a sword was the most fun I've ever had earning a grade.

4. I have a serious problem with run-on sentences in my own writing. Where other people would put a period I put a comma, sometimes several commas, until suddenly what should be five sentences is just one rather breathless and very long one. If you read this blog often, that is probably not news to you.

5. I have horribly awful year-round seasonal allergies that cause my nose to run a lot. Even though I take pills to help it, I still always have tissues on hand. They are in my pockets, they are in my purse, they are tucked into everyplace I can put one, because if my nose starts to drip and I don't have one - I really really really hate to use my sleeve.

That's it from me for this week - hope everyone else has a great WIP Wednesday!

If you want to participate in WIP Wednesday, simply post your own WIP Wednesday entry on your blog and leave a link to it in the comments below. Or if you don't have a blog, feel free to report your progress directly into the comments box.

For more detailed information concerning what all this nonsense is about please consult the original Work in Progress Wednesday posting.

Feel free to also make use of the lovely little WIP Wednesday logo as well!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Feeling Emotional

Blog chain time, and the topic comes from the always awesome Christine:

How do you add emotional depth to your stories? How do you know when you have enough emotional content? And how do you keep it authentic?

This is a tough question. Emotion isn't like setting where you can do research or imagine a place you've been before. And it isn't like character where you can borrow traits of people you know, or in the case of some of my characters - people that I actually hope to never know.

The point, is that these are more concrete things, where as emotion is a little more difficult to grab hold of with two hands so that the necessary details can be wrung out onto the page.

When I first read this question, I honestly didn't know how I put emotion into my stories, and I'm not really certain how effectively I do it either. I am a big fan of using a lot of internal thoughts/dialogue in my writing, and I think that by letting readers into a characters' heads, you are getting a glimpse of their hearts as well.

Maybe the most important thing when writing emotion is to follow that often recited writing rule: Show, don't tell.

To be perfectly honest I usually think this rule is kind of obnoxious, because sometimes you just need to tell the reader something straight out, and not beat around the bush with a bunch of showing.

However, when it comes to emotion I cannot think of many instances where:

He had a temper tantrum.

would trump:

His screaming mouth was rounded into a wide O of outrage. The wail that poured out seemed to be pulled all the way up from his tiny little toes, and it went on for so long he lost his breath. The tears that ran down his round cheeks were almost an afterthought.

Hopefully, the second example works better at conveying the emotions displayed during a toddler's temper tantrum.

Of course, toddler's emotions are always on the surface - they haven't yet figured out how to hide them or hold them in. Still, there are ways to show a character's anger, even if they are not the type to kick and scream and generally throw a fit.

Does that answer the questions? I think it kind of does, but you can follow along the chain to read a bunch of other answers that are even better. Carolyn's answer was right before mine, and Kat will be posting her own take on the subject tomorrow.

And I'd also like to know - how do you convey emotion in your own writing? Do you believe in the show, don't tell technique? Or have you found another way to get all those pesky feelings across?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Work in Progress Wednesday #21

This will be a very short WIP Wednesday posting as it is very late, and I have to get up rather early for a doctor's appt in the morning.

The reason I am just now having a chance to post is that I have been working relentlessly on finishing the last little bits of revision on my WIP. Also, there has been the small matter of wrestling with the dark creature known as the synopsis, but I'll bore you with that story another time.

Of course, I don't think this is really "the end" of revisions, but just the end for now, as I beginning submitting and seeing what kind of responses I get back.

So wish me luck on that, and then tell me what is going on with your WIP.

Also, I'll be posting later today for the blog chain on the topic of writing with emotion, and check out my post from last Friday and please join in with your own flash fiction created from this month's writing prompt!

If you want to participate in WIP Wednesday, simply post your own WIP Wednesday entry on your blog and leave a link to it in the comments below. Or if you don't have a blog, feel free to report your progress directly into the comments box.

For more detailed information concerning what all this nonsense is about please consult the original Work in Progress Wednesday posting.

Feel free to also make use of the lovely little WIP Wednesday logo as well!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

July Creative Writing Prompt

A few fellow bloggers and myself, have the last few months been taking turns coming up with a monthly creative writing prompt.

The whole thing started off waaaaay back in March, when during one of the blog chains, we had to write short stories based on a poem. Enjoying the chance to be spontaneously creative, and to also be able to share those small bursts through our blogs we decided to make it a monthly thing.

And now it's my turn to pick the prompt.

For the May's prompt Elana chose the subject of flowers, and for June Christine was into waves.

This month I wanted to play with the place where inspiration and music intersect. I often read on other writers' blogs the ways in which music inspires what they write. Many even create soundtracks to go along with their works in progress.

I, however, have never been one of those writers. In fact, I usually write with the kind of silence that comes only when a toddler is sleeping, as my accompaniment. I must admit though, when I read about those other writers' and their use of music, it makes me want to tune in with them and hear what they hear.

So, here's the prompt that I gave myself and that I challenge everyone reading this to as well:

Pick a song. Any song. You can listen to it once, or until you can't get it out of your head. And then write. You can let the song directly influence your writing, by playing it in the background, or you can let it become part of the story itself.

I also have others goals that I make for myself with these prompts. One goal that I have been trying to stick with each month during these prompts is to keep it short, preferably under a thousand words. For myself it's a good exercise in keeping my writing tight. Also, as mentioned in a QueryTracker blog post just this week, there is a market for these type of short short stories also known as flash fiction.

My other goal is to let myself experiment with different styles, and just have fun with it.

So, the song I picked is called Pills, by the band The Perishers.

Pills - The Perishers

Feel free to play it in the background while reading.


She looked at him and thought of the man he had once been, and the man that way back then she had thought he would turn out to be. Of course, nothing had turned out the way she had thought it would. Not that it was all bad. No, some things were better than she could have imagined, and others were just… different.

He looked at her, and knew as he always did that he would be lost without her. Once that had seemed like a sign they were meant to be together, now it was just one more thing to resent.

At the airport baggage claim, waiting for the carousel to spit their bags out, they stood side-by-side, more like strangers than all the strangers surrounding them.

“It was a lovely trip,” he said now, feeling he should say something.

The trip had in fact been miserable, and they both knew it.

“It was,” she quickly agreed, feeling it would be churlish to do otherwise.

Gears clanked; the baggage carousel creaked to life, and luggage began to spill down the ramp, beginning its rounds.

After that they busied themselves examining every black bag that went by, and there were so many black bags, making sure that it wasn’t one of theirs. Too soon though, he plucked hers, and then his own, from the carousel.

“Thank you,” her words radiated the same weak warmth she presented to store clerks and bank tellers. She called it smiling with her voice. He said nothing, but gave a slight nod and an actual smile back.

The moment lingered, both of them believing this could all be fixed if only the right words were found. Or maybe they already knew the words, but simply couldn’t get them out. Either way, as other passengers took their bags and hurried from the airport moving on to other places, they continued to stand together. Silently.

“The trip really was,” he said at last, needing to say something.


They said it together, having found at least this little bit of common ground.

And then, each taking their respective bags, they walked off in separate directions.

She looked back, wishing he would too. He didn’t. His back was straight and certain, not betraying a single doubt. Turning forward, she picked up her own stride.

He looked back, but she was already gone.


Okay, now it's your turn. Sometime during the month of July, using the writing prompt, post what you came up with on your own blog and leave a link back here in the comments. Towards the end of the month, I'll compile all of the links into one blog posting so everyone can find your bursts of creative genius.

I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Work In Progress Wednesday #20

OMG I cannot believe that I have reached the big TWO-OH in the WIP Wednesday postings. It's amazing how the weeks just keep stacking up like that, one after another. I guess it's also amazing that the basic math behind the passage of time is still so amazing to me.

Anyway, let's get to the actual progress of this posting.

First let me say that I am still working on revisions, BUT the end is near and I feel that Query Day (as so eloquently sung by Lady Gaga) will be here soon.

While I was recently away in Colorado for my brother-in-law's wedding I also had some time apart from my manuscript. In my last post I had pictures of my MS all printed out for my current round of submissions, and as you may remember, it was quite a hefty pile of paper. Since I told my husband that he could not under any circumstances bring his golf clubs on the trip (we were already checking two bags, plus a carseat and then there was all of our carry-on luggage) I didn't think it would be fair to slip my nearly five pound MS into our suitcases (especially with the added fees for going over the weight limits these days).

Although, last week I reported feeling sick of my WIP, it only took two days away before I began to feel some serious separation anxiety. To get through it, I played with my query letter a bit and started on my synopsis until the feeling went away, and told myself that as soon as I got home I would get to work finishing those damn revisions once and for all.

Except on Sunday night it wasn't my printed out five-pounder that I reached for, but rather a piece of blank notebook paper and a pen.

Yes, after months of being uncertain of what I would write next and feeling totally unable to think beyond my current WIP - I had a breakthrough.

Several years ago, before my husband and I were married, we spent Christmas in his hometown of Park City, Utah with my mother-in-law. In my family Christmas isn't Christmas without going to mass, and so we headed out on Christmas Eve for the Midnight Mass.

I think I've mentioned before that I went to Catholic school for nine years. I also came from the type of family that went to church every week without fail. What this means is that I sat (and stood, and sat, and stood, and kneeled, and stood) through many many many masses in my lifetime. And I have also heard a lot of homilies, and out of all the homilies that I have heard (even the one at my own wedding mass) the one that sticks in my mind most clearly is the one I heard during this Christmas Eve mass in Park City, Utah.

The reason I remember it so clearly is that the Priest began by comparing his difficulties writing that night's very important homily, with being constipated.

Yes, you read that correctly.

Midnight Mass. Christmas Eve. Holy Night. Silent Night. Bowel Movements.

Now many Priests choose to start their homilies with funny stories or anecdotes, but this one... Not to be a prude, or a stick in the mud, but this one was of questionable taste and appropriateness for the occasion.

That being said, as I was writing Sunday night and the words to this new story were flowing out of me, I couldn't help but remember this homily and think to myself that maybe this over-sharing Priest did in fact have a point.

Finally, as promised last week, here are some pics of my too-cute son all dressed up as the ring bearer for the wedding. And to my great surprise, he actually did make it all the way down the aisle holding the hand of the flower girl. Okay, we couldn't get him to do it without his pacifier (or bink as we call it) in his mouth, but at just two years old, I still think it was pretty impressive.

These pics are actually from after the ceremony while we were waiting for the reception to begin.

Okay, now it's your turn to over-share - please, tell me know how your work in progress is going.

OH! And don't forget to come back on Friday when I will be hosting this month's creative writing prompt. Elana hosted one in May, Christine did one for June, and now it is my turn to come up with something for July. I hope you'll all join me!

If you want to participate in WIP Wednesday, simply post your own WIP Wednesday entry on your blog and leave a link to it in the comments below. Or if you don't have a blog, feel free to report your progress directly into the comments box.

For more detailed information concerning what all this nonsense is about please consult the original Work in Progress Wednesday posting.

Feel free to also make use of the lovely little WIP Wednesday logo as well!