Month: January 2013

Purple Prose and Heroes

Front cover of True Life Romance #3

Front cover of True Life Romance #3 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A fine morning here in Fringeland.  I did the mama thing, then came home to take a fresh look at the story I finished yesterday.  I have to tell ya, I’m not being hard on myself, there’s some major suckage in there. I corrected some glaring instant-humiliation-if-I-drop-dead-and-someone-goes-into-my-Word-files mistakes, and then closed the file.  I realized two very important things. One, I meant what I’ve been saying. It’s just fine to have written a crappy story, it was an exercise in forcing myself to write again, and write fresh. I’m shocking myself with how true that feels–especially since I also spent some time lurking on the writers’ forum, reading a thread about the best short stories ever written.  Two, low sodium Wheat Thins taste like crap.

I then opened the file of the romance I started a while back.  I’m not sure I remembered I had three completed chapters. And you know what? I like it. And I was able to get right back into my heroine’s head. I always forget how much fun it can be to read or write a light romance.  And I think this is exactly where I should be right now.  So, how come I’m not writing at the moment?  Oh, that pesky life thing.  I have a dog to walk in an hour, and then I have to pick up Flower Child an hour after that.  I’m also hoping the jackhammering going on across the street will be finished for the day by the time I sit down. With a little luck and a lot of self discipline I’ll be able to block everyone and everything out later this afternoon.  I need to do a little more outlining before going further with the story.

I know some can just pick up their pencils, or open their files, and write whenever they’ve got a spare 20 or 30 minutes. I’m not that disciplined, and need at least a two hour block of time.  Trust me, it isn’t a wri-tah thing for me, I can’t get into the right head to exercise either if I’ve only got 20 minutes.

In case anyone was wondering, Little Incredibly Dumb Dog is still filthy, and Big Senile Dog is back to counter surfing.  He drank Husband’s coffee yesterday, and I had to drag both of them away from a smooshed rat when giving them a walk this morning.  I wonder why no one writes a cookbook for roadkills of the city?

NYC Rat

NYC Rat (Photo credit: zacklur)

 

The End

First draft of the short story, finished.

Confetti, Times Square

Confetti, Times Square (Photo credit: StuartMoreton)

I’m working on graphics, because I want the pages to have unicorns watermarked on them when printed.  The unicorns will be bright blue, to make the reading of the royal purple print easier on the eyes.  I’m going to ask the people here at WordPress how they made the snow appear on the blogs during the holidays, because I want glitter to positively bounce off the screen.

As you know, Bob, I was sure to describe every last detail, so my readers don’t have to get stressed out using their imagination, or trying to make personal connections. My protagonist has long golden locks, aquamarine eyes, and legs that go all the way to her slender feet.  And a prettily heaving bosom. Also, she’s as pure as the driven cornfield, though sometimes her naughty bits tingle alarmingly. She sighs, whispers, pleads, and gasps, but never says. That would be boring. She does it all beseechingly, but endearingly. Nothing ever happens, and there’s no plot, so there’s no confusion when the aliens pop out of her concave belly and threaten her hero’s throbbing manhood. It’s wholesome in the way only urban and edgy can be.

Barbie_01

Barbie_01 (Photo credit: MarinaCr)

I have Copyright in the header of every page, next to my pseudonym, Pink Peony, so no one steals my brilliance. They can do that right through the Googles these days. Now I’m going to put together an email and will cc it to every editor and agent listed in the Publisher’s Marketplace, 2003 edition. Don’t worry, I’ll let them know to act fast, before someone else signs me.  My children and husband–who all loved the story, by the way–are standing by to field phone calls.  Frankly, I’m surprised I even have to send it out.  My words are GOLDEN! like my heroine’s hair.

So…yes. Mrs Fringe did finish the first draft of a short story. And it does have much suckage, lots of telling and not enough showing. But it has a beginning, middle, and an end. It’s a start.

Clean Up Time

By tonight, this pile will have multiplied by three, at least.

By tonight, this pile will have multiplied by three, at least.

Bits of tree bags caught on the bottom branches. The bags are used to drag the trees through the hallways in the buildings.

Bits of tree bags caught on the bottom branches. The bags are used to drag the trees through the hallways in the buildings.

What happens to the trees in your area?  We’ll see these masses for a couple of weeks.  Then it slows to an occasional one.

Poor tree.

Poor tree.

You’ll still be able to spot an occasional, dried out husk of a tree in February–though those are usually brought out stealthily in the early morning hours, in the hopes that no one will know who left their tree up for so long.

For now, it makes walking the dogs at night a little hairy.  Between the work being done on the underground pipes and the piles of trees at the curbs, the rats are having a grand old time running around.  I think they like the bits left on the trees, or maybe they snack on the pine needles.  Either way, it gives me a shiver. Big Senile Dog isn’t interested in the rats, but he loves peeing on all those trees. All of them. Little Incredibly Dumb Dog is way too interested in the critters, growling and lunging. She doesn’t understand they’re tougher than she is, and I’m not at all certain BSD would get involved to save her.

I guess my biggest post holiday question is, can I eat the candy Nerd Child left behind?  So many tough decisions in motherhood.

I am writing.  Yet to get back into a steady rhythm, but forcing myself to write.  Trying to balance everything is tricky.  Oh, for a room of my own!   With good light for my tired eyes. And internet access.

How is everyone else’s year starting out?

Rompe La Cabeza

Question mark made of puzzle pieces

Question mark made of puzzle pieces (Photo credit: Horia Varlan)

In English, the word is puzzle. In Spanish, the phrase is rompe la cabeza, or rompecabeza. Translated literally, “breaks the head.”

Flower Child is my puzzle.  A beautiful, delicate, complicated puzzle.  For now, and for far too many years already, trying to put these pieces together…the Spanish feels more appropriate than the English. Breaking my head, trying to make sense of what is and what’s to come for my sweetness. The modern medical world is an absolute maze; so basically, it’s wandering through a labyrinth, trying to locate puzzle pieces, and then getting lost in an attempt to trace back to see where they might fit.

I used to like jigsaw puzzles. I found them relaxing.  I had a teacher who used to call those types of hobbies mental masturbation. Made sense.  But now?  No, the very sight of those stamped cardboard pieces induces a PTSD type reaction.

English: Image from The Great War taken in an ...

English: Image from The Great War taken in an Australian Advanced Dressing Station near Ypres in 1917. The wounded soldier in the lower left of the photo has a dazed, thousand-yard stare – a frequent symptom of “shell-shock”. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Except for one teeny tiny contradiction, it isn’t “post” anything. I live it, we as a family live it, every day.

This morning I didn’t get up at 5AM and work on a story, or Mrs Fringe. This morning I got up at 5 to go over paperwork and organize copies of medical reports.   Another visit to a new specialist, this one specializing in the puzzle pieces that make up each of us. Three hours of going over medical history–Flower Child, me, Husband, Nerd Child, Man Child, and extended families.  If you’ve never had the pleasure, it’s the emotional equivalent of  sucking down a chocolate milkshake when you’ve got a molar in dire need of a root canal. A quick physical, looking, bending, measuring, hemming, hawing, instructing, and note taking. Then a trip down to the lab, and 80 reminders to FC about “girl power” while waiting for a blood draw, and of course, the positioning of the doll, the iPod, and the negotiating about what the treat will be afterwards.

The testing least likely to yield information is expected first, in three to four weeks. The rest of the results should be back in four months.  Follow up appointment in six months. An extra vial of blood was drawn, in case nothing useful is found in the testing done today, it will be used for round two of more detailed testing, taking another 6 months for results.  Now we play the hurry up and wait game.

Sundial

Sundial (Photo credit: njj4)

 

 

Pursuit of Personhood

Pursuit of Happiness

Pursuit of Happiness (Photo credit: changyang1230)

January 2nd and I haven’t given up, woot!

Back to life today, for me and most of the other parents of school-aged children.  Took Flower Child to school this morning, and Husband just took Nerd Child to catch the bus back to boarding school.  Man Child is still home, but will be setting off any day for an internship in something I can’t spell, related to theater.

The Christmas tree is gone, the wreath gone, but the ribbons, bells, and fallen pine needles remain to remind me I’m still going to be me and behind on housework no matter my intentions.

I am not, however, going to say I’m getting back to my usual routine.  First of all, my routine is a great big fail. A huge to-do list, and each day I begin by trying to do more than is added.  That hasn’t been working so well. I’ll just try to accomplish the things that are most necessary, like clean underwear. Does anything else matter?

Little Incredibly Dumb Dog needs a bath. Really, really needs a bath. And yet, still smooshable. Especially if you don’t breathe in through your nose while smooshing. See how easy it is to drop something down to the bottom of the list?

On New Year’s Eve, I rejoined a writer’s forum I used to belong to. Couldn’t remember my old username, and I’m fairly certain I was using a different email then, but that’s ok. A fresh commitment.  I like having a connection to other writers, keeps me motivated, accountable (sort of), and humble. There are a lot of excellent writers out there,  producing and submitting.  And then, I didn’t cry.  True, I sniveled a bit, and indulged in a large glass of Baileys, but I’m quite certain there were no auditory sobs.

This morning I did something I haven’t done in too long. I started a new short story. I did not give in to the temptation of spending my writing time fiddling with the short story I’ve been fiddling with for 6000 years.  Don’t I have two full length WIPs? Yes, yes I do. But I felt the need for something fresh. And I like it.  Just a beginning, still needs a middle, an end, and about a thousand hours of editing, but I like it. I am woman. I can do this.

Once upon a time #2

Once upon a time #2 (Photo credit: Andrea Marutti)