Monday, December 15, 2008

Zombies, Cats, and Writing

It's a very zombie day. You know, one of those days where you have to wear your zombie shirt? Lucky for me that I have one. (thanks to my niece, Jasmine.)

Do other people have as many scraps of paper as I do? I have sticky notes, old receipts, and tiny papers all over the house with page numbers, phone numbers, random quotes, words, recipes, lists... It's unending. Do you want examples? No, of course not, but I'll give you some. These just happen to be a few that are within reach.
"Her uncle suddenly looked thin and drawn."
"Combine 9 & 10"
"Tortilla chips for our Lady G. 350'"
"Pearlescent milky glow" (no idea what that's about)
"His eyes tore at her like claws -Bill" (No that's nothing naughty. He's a fellow writer with an amazing command of the language.)
and last but not least, and this one I think my daughter wrote- "True Story True"
Ok, and for our dear Mr. Grey who thinks I'm "somewhat illusive " I'll sign this post.
~Amanda The Zombie Queen ;)

Friday, December 12, 2008

motorcycles revisited

I'm thankful that so many people I've talked to (in cyberspace and in person) are concerned about our motorcycle safety. The insurance company isn't overly worried, apparently. They gave my husband a very cheap rate, taking into account his age, marriage status, and driving record. They weren't concerned about his one motorcycle accident because it was so very long ago. I wasn't around then. Well, I was around but not around him. I was probably no older than eight. (Yes we are that far apart in age.)

The insurance company was concerned that we understood that we aren't covered by damage occurring in nuclear blasts and the like. As if the first thing we'll think of after we're nuked would be, "Quick honey, call Geico. The paint on the motorcycle has burnt off."

I went on my first ride last weekend. Holy cow it was fun! I stupidly forgot to take pictures. If it isn't raining this weekend, I'll bring out the camera and we'll do a photo shoot. According to my husband, I looked sexy, but I sure felt like a space-man in my helmet. Maybe he was just being kind. Either that or he has a thing for aliens. Actually he does. Hmm.....

OK, whatever else I had to say has fallen out of my brain. That's what comes of interruptions. It was imperative that I suddenly build a two inch tall cardboard chair. I'm sure you understand.

Monday, December 1, 2008


Motorcycles have always held a certain mystique for me. They represent freedom, bravery, individuality - plus they're super sexy.

I love the old motorcycles. Having one from the 1920's or 30's would be a dream. I love the ones that look like Sergeant Murphy's in the old Richard Scary books. You know, the red one with the shoes inexplicably hanging off the back.

Many of my characters ride motorcycles. I've never ridden one unless you count the time when I was about seven and my friend's dad rode me around the corner to my house from theirs. I was petrified for the entire thirty seconds.

I've always liked the look of motorcycles, though. They make me smile when I see them on the road. There's a man who rides one to the small neighborhood library we go to. He looks exactly how a burly motorcycle riding guy should look and he sits in the library and reads. I love him for it.

So when my husband said, "What would you say to us getting a motorcycle?" I didn't need convincing. I think he just enjoyed the verbal exercise.

"It would be practical for commuting," he said.
"Sure," I said.
"It's easy to find a parking space."
"Great. Let's get one."
"They get great gas mileage."
"I know. Plus you'll look hot on it. Let's go for it."
"We can finance it."
"Whatever you think is best," I said.

So, we bought one. It's a black Honda Shadow. It's new, but it's beautiful. I don't know how we're going to manage the payments, but somehow we'll get by. I just need to convince him to hang a couple of shoes from it.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sci Fi vs. Fantasy

I just read a
Very cool piece on SF vs. Fantasy
by Lawrence Watt-Evans
(Those funky colored words are a link to it, in case you can't tell.)
So, I got to wondering- am I writing a science fiction novel or a fantasy? I created a quasi-rational reason for the existence of Fir Na Gealai' and their extraordinary abilities. So, according to this article, I suppose it causes The Whimsicality of Perception to tend toward SF.

There are huge flaws in the science, though.
I've read SF books and seen SF movies with big holes in the science and/or the plot and it doesn't spoil the fun for me. But I happen to like both SF and Fantasy. My husband, on the other hand, doesn't like fantasy very much but enjoys SF and he doesn't like flawed science in his SF. It destroys the illusion for him.
So, just a little something to think about.
**Here's a random shot of my Douglas Adams collection. It's poor quality because it's just a still shot taken from my towel day video. I just thought perhaps it would spruce up today's post.**

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Saturday Photo Time and Shameless Bragging

It's Saturday. Time for photos and shameless bragging.

First up is a lovely piece by Daphne and Fiona called, "Doll and Pony Show in The Sandbox." So many of our days are spent with pink and sparkly things.
Which reminds me, my teenage daughter said that sparkles are the herpes of the craft world. When one person has them, everyone ends up with them. Hmm, I'm not sure how I feel about that, but there ya go.

Next up is our kitty on a heart rug. This picture is a bit deceptive. He's not normally so docile. Do you know what I saw in the pet store? Little nail caps for cat claws. What'll they think of next?
If I've done this correctly, this:
should be a link to the teaser trailer that my daughter is in. She plays a girl with an online boyfriend. She's the girl in the striped shirt in the opening shot, and once in the middle wearing a tank top and a computer and in the very last shot she's on the computer. The movie itself is a short film meant to teach teens and kids about internet safety and that sort of thing.
I got published!
Ok, that's taking it a bit too far. I merely got a letter to the editor put into the National Catholic Register newspaper. I've had letters to the editor and letter to the columnist put in before. It's not a great feat of writing prowess, but it's gratifying in a way.
Oh, what was the letter about? I'm so glad you asked. ;)
I was defending an article about the film "Hellboy." A columnist had written favorably about it because of the Catholic elements. Somebody had written in to say it wasn't a good movie, spiritually speaking. I refuted that and said that it was, but of course I wrote in an unabashedly eloquent manner. (LOL How modest I am today.)
I guess I'm just in a good mood.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

It never fails! I sit down to blog and I can't think of a thing to say. I need a team of reporters following me around to take down the witty things I say all day long. I also need cats (only one cat actually) and kids not to climb on me when I finally sit down to write. That's how typos are born.

When I boot up the computer, the kids think it's a signal for them to climb onto my lap and watch Bugs Bunny on YouTube. I guess it comes from having basic $14 a month cable. My kids are starved for cartoons. On the upside, they know one should always discharge their static electricity on the body of the car before filling the gas tank, how electroplating works, and the fact that snakes and spiders can be eaten raw. Gotta love that Discovery Channel.

With the help of some of the great folks in my online critique group, I've rewritten my first chapter and I'm fairly happy with it. I simply love that group. Most of them are very helpful and honest without being cruel. The best part, though, is reading fresh new stories. Yum!

Speaking of "yum," it's pay day. That means something besides kale soup and almonds for dinner. :)

...because the revision is worlds better than my original chapter one.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Writers Group, Eye Lashes, Aluminium Cans, and Kitty

I joined an online writers group. If you think you have a healthy self image, that's a great place to test it out. Overblown ego? Prepare to be deflated.

Seriously, I got some very helpful feedback on my chapter one. It was good to have constructive critisism from writers who know what they're doing. Friends and family (and passing strangers) may be able to tell me what they like and what they don't like or understand, but the other writers can show me what the actual problem is and how I can tweek it. I did also get one critique that pretty much indicated that I should break all of my pencils and take up collecting aluminium cans and cigarette butts. I do have the perfect hat for it.

Speaking of fashion, I am now sporting my first ever false eyelashes. **blink blink blink**
What could I do? My daughter needed help with her homework. Yippee for beauty school.

Oh, and we got a new cat named Avery. Mostly we call him Kitty. He's six months old and purrs like a tiny motorcycle. We were kicking around the idea of getting a new cat. Our old one died recently at the ripe old age of twenty. Avery was about to become homeless when his family had to move to an apartment that doesn't allow cats. So, we rescued him and now we're all in love. :)

Monday, September 22, 2008

42 Profile Views and Query Letters

Wow, so 42 people have viewed my blog. Champagne time!

Well, by the time somebody reads this, it won't be 42 anymore.

Um... That's a Douglas Adams thing... (This is a photo of the lintel above our family room entry.)

I was just reading the Query Shark. Holy guacamole she's tough! I guess one doesn't enter the publishing world to have their ego massaged. It's more like hanging it out for target practice.
I admire those brave souls who sent their queries to her. I'm thinking of stowing my unfinished manuscript under the floorboards and forgetting about it, only I'm very attached to my characters and I'd like to see them through to the end.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Too corny?

...because my revision is worlds better than what was once here.

My Hook

I'm working on a hook for my wannabenovel.

Let's see how this sounds:


A young man with super-human abilities sets out to convince the girl he loves to allow her blood to be used to cure him of the madness that periodically overtakes him. Conflicts arise when a sinister organization kidnaps the girl for their own purpose. Her uncle's hatred and prejudice hinders his ability to cooperate with the young man to rescue the girl.


I found it extremely difficult to leave out major details of the plot and reduce it to just a few words and I'm not quite happy with it.

On another topic:

I love the pictures so many people put into their blogs. I'll try my hand at inserting one.
It's of me and the Crooked Man at Oakland Fairyland.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Welcome to my blog

I hardly have time to write my wanna-be novel and yet I'm starting a blog. What am I thinking?!?!

Well, I read that writers should have blogs and be active in the internet community to network. So, here I am networking instead of writing the actual novel or doing something more productive such as cooking dinner or cleaning the house.

Ok, I lied. I am cooking dinner. It's in the oven right now, but I should be cleaning the place up a bit.

I just thought I'd tell you about my wanna-be novel which is called, at present, The Whimsicality of Perception. Its title could and probably will change, but that's what it's currently called. I call it "Whim" for short. It is a sort of whim. I started writing it on a whim.

Ok, I lied again. I started writing it because I was addicted to writing little short story fan fictions based on other people's stories and my dear practical husband kept telling me to write something that I could actually publish and make money from.

So much for writing for the sheer pleasure of it. I've never asked him how the umpteen bikes in the garage will make us any money. He has won a few pairs of socks racing them. Maybe this novel will get me a pair of socks.

I realize I haven't told you about the story yet. I'm getting to that. Have you noticed how it's easier to write the actual story than to summarize it?

It's a fantasy set in modern day California. To be specific, it's the San Francisco Bay Area. Write what you know, right? Bea is a seemingly average young woman living with her uncle in an ordinary home in the suburbs. I'd like to call her cute and quirky, but I fear you will think you won't like her. I assure you that you will. Even my teenage daughter likes her and she doesn't like anybody.


Finn is anything but an ordinary young man living in San Francisco with his father. His job is to find Bea for this really evil (but sort of cool) international criminal organization. They have unusual strength and agility and I'm not going to tell you why at this point because the oven is buzzing and one of my seven your olds (they came in a pack of two) has made a maze and a dot-to-dot that I simply must do right now.

That's the life of a wanna-be novelist.

Or not.