Sunday, May 30, 2010

Workin' My Tushy Off

Ah, if only...
Wouldn't it be nice if working that hard actually got rid
of some of the Memorial Day barbecue? I'd be able to eat
two dinners and five desserts, cuz I've been workin'!

A couple projects for the boss, three for myself. My first
real romance instead of suspense, finishing my fourth
suspense, and helping another writer with hers. Okay,
make that six desserts. Cuz my tushy's disppearing as we
speak. Yeah, right!

We sure think we work hard in this country, don't we?
But I can tell you who works harder than even a dedicated
writer. And we work hard!

Our military men and women.
They get sent wherever Uncle Sam wants to send them
whether they like it or not, even when they have wives
expecting babies, husbands trying to cope being Mr. Mom
to toddlers, and occasionally they have to do it all over again
for a second, third or fourth tour of duty. Why? Because they
are guardians of freedom and of the faith. They put their lives
on the line everyday, every hour, every minute
so we can sit here and complain about how tough life is, how
hard we work. They go even when their personal lives are interrupted in ways we can only imagine.

They fight the good fight.
Okay, time to hop off the soapbox and get back to work, after all,
I've dropped from a size 16 to a 6 just writing this post. Woohoo!
I'm workin' my tushy off word by word.
And it's time to get back to business.
God bless you troops
and God bless the USA!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Building Layers

Building Characters in Layers

The same way actors build characters in layers, writers can ramp
up the heat and make their characters sparkle like gold
in the depth of the earth. Depth, hmm.
Just what we want for our characters.

Try this little exercise:
He was cold.
(Too often a novice writer’s way of “telling” us)

Now, show us how cold he was:

He shivered, wishing the clothes he wore covered his body better.
Thinking back, he remembered the hot chocolate
his mom had made. Mmm. That would taste good
right about now.

Now, show us how cold he was and
let us discover something about him:
He shivered, wishing the clothes he wore covered his body better.
He sure could go for some of his mom’s hot chocolate right
about now, but he’d never taste it again.
Might never see her again.
He sneezed, the spray turning into miniscule ice crystals
before they hit his lap. “Hey, you got any blankets?”
Rubbing his hands to increase the circulation, he waited for them
to pass by the last time. Footsteps. A small crease of light.
No blanket. Just the dark. He wrapped his arms as tightly
across his chest as he could and
wished he’d stayed closer to Sarge.

Can you feel the cold?
What did this scene tell you about him? Do you know
where this character is? Who this character is?
The first line “told” us this man is cold. Period.
Not a lot to go on.
The second gave us a bit more info. He’s so cold, he wishes
he could have some of his mom’s hot cocoa to warm him up.
The third, a much deeper layer, tells us he’s cold,
wishes he had hot cocoa
to warm up, but that somehow, he can’t change his circumstances
because of something he did or didn’t do. It gives us a
much deeper look into who he is.
Does your writing just “tell” the reader
your character’s cold, or do you
hint to them what’s behind the cold?
Who do you think our character is?
Try some layers to add depth to your gold, the kind
that sparkles in the walls of the mine (mind).

Sunday, May 9, 2010

What's Important

Hey there moms and surrogate moms.
The need, the desire, the aching in the bones to be a pubbed author. Ahh, what a feeling, what a goal to reach. But the smell of baby powder or fresh shampoo in a toddler's hair, that is a joy beyond description. When the writer part of your life gets crazy, when another rejection fills your email or your mailbox, stop and remember, this isn't why you're here. When the blank page stares you in the face and dares you to write another word, but nothing comes, remember, this isn't why you're here. If a contest judge decides your work isn't worth anymore of your time, if an agent looks at you with disdain, if an editor tells you your work simply isn't for their line, remember this isn't why you're here.
If you wake up in the morning, and your family calls you blessed, remember, God called you to be a mom. If you face another day of vomiting and high fevers, spend a few minutes on your knees and remember, God called you to be a mom. If you discover your child has a special need and you're sure you aren't equipped, call on God and remember, He called you first to be that mom.
When all the world is courting insanity and you wonder if it is all worth it, look in the face of your child, and know you are blessed. The rest of your life is simply "the frosting on the cake" as my mom used to say. I knew from the time I was born that my life was blessed because of one woman and through all my mistakes, all I ever wanted was to be a blessing in return.
Through our failures and successes, know that we are called to be guides, nurses, cooks--good or bad, teachers, leaders, boo-boo kissers. We are called by God to a greater endeavor than man can imagine. Greater than being writers, greater than being nurses, greater than being teachers, CEO's, secretaries, firemen, police officers, soldiers, or sales clerks. Managers, fast food cooks, crossing guards, or architects. We are called to greater things than life can offer.
We are called to be moms. Whether it is to children of our own, or to others who need a mother's love, we are called.
Are you called today? Do you hear the voice of God asking you if you made today count?
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY TO ALL YOU MOMS AND THOSE WHO FILL THE ROLE OF MOM.
Be blessed!