Thursday, November 18, 2010

Books Are...

YEEHAW! That's right I just said YEEHAW! Why? Well,

1. because every so often I like to channel my inner cowgirl.
And 2. because it is my turn to start the blog chain! So, YEEHAW!

Okay, inner cowgirl, that's enough.

So, now for the question. Actually, instead of a question, I'm going with more of a fill-in-the-blank style approach. So, here it is - fill in the blank.

Books are ______________________________.

Yep, that's it. Pretty broad, topic, I know, but sometimes that's the fun of it. And as far as the blank goes that can be one word or a whole ten page essay. Now, I know that I usually tend more to the long-winded ten page essay end of things, but right now I am in the midst of Nanowrimo-ing (which I am technically "losing" because I am wwaaayy behind on word count, but I've been writing almost everyday, and have added almost 50 pages to my WIP, so it kinda feels like a win to me.) and am trying to conserve my wind for that.

So, here is my answer. Short. Sweet. Simple.


Now, I am not presenting this as some deep universal truth, but rather my own very personal one. And I have pictures to back it up.

**WARNING: Some of these pictures contain very graphic scenes of mess, disorder, and disorganization. Proceed at your own risk***

This is pretty self-explantory. It's my trusty old overloaded Ikea bookshelf. If this bookshelf were a dog, it'd be Old Yeller... well except for the whole (SPOILER ALERT!) dying at the end thing.

And this is my bedside table. Note the pile of books I am currently reading or planning on reading soon on the table. The bag of books under the tab are my latest takings from the library. And the "What To Expect" book, well that was from a few weeks ago when I needed to find out if my daughter's rash was eczema (it was) and I haven't gotten around to putting it back yet.

My husband's bedside table with his soon to be read/currently reading/have no intention of reading but will leave it hear to appease my wife pile of books.

Books piled on the kitchen table. Along with some toys, and the Target toy ad that my son has been obsessed with the last few weeks.

Cookbooks. And cooking magazines. And other assorted clutter that just makes home feel like home.

This side table in the family room is where the books that were read to the kids before bedtime get piled. There is also more assorted clutter on display. Yes, I could've cleaned before taking these pics, but that would've felt like censoring, which I don't believe in. Also, I didn't much feel like cleaning today.

The path of destruction leading to the children's bookshelf.

And a close-up of the bookshelf itself, along with the books behind being used to prop the lamp up a bit. Books are excellent multitaskers.

The bookshelf in my son's room. Yes, we have A LOT of children's books. It is pretty cool, because it gives us a great selection to choose from, and if you've ever read to children every single night, you know that having a good selection if key to retaining one's sanity.

Some more books on the desk in my son's room.

And finally, a stray book that I use for naming characters, sitting on the kitchen counter where I left it the night before.

So pretty much every room and every surface has some kind of book on it. And that's pretty much the way we like it here.

Well, that's it for me. To find out how the rest of the chain fills in the books are blank, head on over to Sandra's blog next and follow along.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Characters Popping Up Everywhere

Our new blog chain question started off with Abby who asked:

Where do your characters come from? And once they've been introduced to you, how do you get to know them?

For me everything starts with character. My characters tell me what the plot will be, where the story will be set, and even what genre I'll be writing in.

I'm not really sure where these characters come from - I just start writing and there they are. And to know them better, I simply keep writing. And as I write even more characters emerge.

I actually struggle with a perpetual character overpopulation problem. Minor characters - like a waitress or a next door neighbor - meant to have one line, get greedy. They're not content with merely bringing more coffee or asking about their missing dog. No, they have to become complicated people with their own thoughts and problems. And they want to talk about these problems, and make the main character care about these problems.

Sometimes I let them. Hey, sometimes it works out and the waitress is suddenly the main character's best friend. Sometimes though, it's just a distraction. A tangent that leads nowhere and means nothing except more words on the page. That's when it's time to kill the next door neighbor. Their missing dog probably gets whacked too. Writing can be a bloody business.

And that's pretty much it from me, but don't forget there is more blog chain goodness out there! You can find Shannon's post from yesterday here, and then go look for Sandra's blog post after that!