Wednesday, December 31, 2008

As You Like It

We just found a gold mine at the library. They're getting some great movies in on DVD, and it's so nice to be able to just check one out, have it for a week, and not pay a cent. One of the most recent ones we borrowed was Kenneth Branagh's movie adaptation of Shakespeare's "As You Like It." It was fun and colorful, and also did double-duty as part of a school assignment for my younger daughter. What's not to like? I'd say that right now, free entertainment is just as we like it.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays

Here's wishing everyone a happy, safe and peaceful holiday.

Money's tight for lots of people this year, and it's a beans and rice winter for us as well. But all the things that really matter are here. Sitting here on this Christmas eve, I have plenty to be thankful for. My family is here, and we have food, warmth, shelter, and transportation. Anything more than that is just icing, and too much icing isn't so great anyway.

Blessings to you and yours.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Girl Can Write

I must say, this is the first time I've stayed up late for writing--and not written a word of my own other than this blog. Tonight I stayed up to help my older daughter, who was determined to finish a story for her school assignment and wanted her writer mom's input. It's the most excited I've ever seen her about writing, and this time it was her fingers on the keyboard in front of my computer, not mine. She worked for hours...and she can write. I know I sound like a proud mom, but color me guilty. I didn't even have to do anything, really. Her story has a teenager's voice--but a well-spoken teenager with an education. She's witty, bright, and informed. Her characters' dialog reads well, and her description isn't bad. She writes like a person who reads, which is perhaps the highest complement I can give her. I was impressed.

She used to not like writing, but somewhere along the line, something changed. Earlier tonight I was amazed to watch her discover what it was like to fall into the flow of a story and exclaim "I know!" whenever she suddenly knew what would happen next. For the first time, maybe, I got to watch the magic happen. So I watched, and I watched....ZZZZZ.

Yep. I almost fell asleep in my chair. I know, I know. But watching someone write isn't nearly as fun as writing yourself. Tonight, I was just the support crew and morale person. Not even co-pilot--she really didn't need one, other than when she'd suddenly pop up with a question. I'm just very proud of her; she rocked it. At this point, she's got the basics down cold. The rest is all practice, practice, practice. She seems to have made a great start.

Now if I can just cure her of separating independent clauses with a comma....

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Mama Mia

Argh! I went to see Mama Mia last night. It's that musical they made into a movie with Pierce Brosnan and Meryl Streep. Anyway, I hadn't listened to much Abba since the 80's, (on actual vinyl records, no less!) Now I can't get the Abba songs out of my head. Guess that's what I get, going to see that kind of a movie. Mama Mia, here I go again. Honey, Honey, how you thrill me. Waterloo...couldn't escape if I wanted to. Urk! Get...out...of my....head!

Shortening the Synopsis

I really hate synopses. The synopsis is supposed to be a summary of the entire novel, and that's fine, but I have a problem getting it short enough. I originally had a six-page synopsis for Ninth Wave, and then managed to crunch it down to five pages for a contest. Now I'm trying to take the five pages and edit it down to three or fewer. For me, that's a tough order. It's hard to decide which plot details to leave in and which to take out. "Hit the highlights," they tell me. I'm trying to aim for the inciting incident, crisis point and climax of the story, but I know I also need to leave in enough of the rest of the plotline that those things will make sense. In my ideal world, no writer would have to write his or her own synopsis. Someone else would summarize it instead. I did the next best thing; took the five-page version to the Moxie last Sunday and got them to point out what they thought were the "highlights". Val's amazing...via her suggestions, I was able to get it whittled down to just under four pages, but it still needs a little more trimming. So with this last editing run, the book got a touch longer and the synopsis got a touch shorter. We'll see how it goes.

I'm trying to decide whether to change the name of the book yet again. It started out as "Beyond the Pale," changed to "From the Ninth Wave" to reflect the storyline, and has at this point been shortened to "Ninth Wave." However, even though it ties heavily into the storyline, it may fall flat as an urban fantasy title becuase a lot of people won't know without reading the book just what the ninth wave means. So I'm toying with several other possible titles. At the moment, one is standing out over the others and may just end up being a better draw for readers, so I'll probably ask Bob about it before we start to submit the revised manuscript.