Monday, April 30, 2007

The Summit

This is what I'm doing today and tomorrow. Yep, hobnobbing with August Busch today, Robert Rubin and Ben Bernanke tomorrow...but right now I'm at my desk on a brief lunch break after volunteering as lunch support for the 2000 guests. Whew.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


You'll note that I've slowed down the writing pace considerably the past few days. I'm not giving up my goals, but I am taking a little bit of the pressure off myself--at least until this grad school term is over in 2 weeks. We have SO much going on right now, in all aspects of Life, that I was freaking myself out entirely. And when I started beating myself up on IM about not making my 10,000 words this month goal, a good friend pointed out that this book is not supposed to be about pressure, but about fun. So I lightened up a little for now. Still writing every day, just not pushing as hard. The overall goal is still to finish this draft by Surrey, and I still believe that will happen.

Back to the craziness...

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


And my blog haiku, courtesy of this site:

opposite side of
what jenna looks like the life
still here just hiding

A pretty good summary of the theme. {g}


Child has decided that each day this week she is going to attend preschool dressed up as a different Disney princess. Actually it started Sunday--she went to the store as Sleeping Beauty, complete with crown and bracelets. Yesterday was Cinderella (blue, of course).

Today she came out of her room in a yellow spaghetti-strap summer dress. In Montana. In April. For those who don't live in the North, that means it could be 60 degrees, or it could snow at any moment. ("But Mommy, I'm Belle! I have to Only Wear Yellow! See?" {shows me her Belle underwear, with Belle indeed only wearing yellow...a yellow off the shoulder evening gown and long gloves. Hmmm. It could be worse.})

We compromised. She wore a yellow short-sleeve shirt under the dress, and navy blue tights that she claims are invisible anyway, because--look--if she bends her knee you can see the skin through them, so no one can tell she's wearing tights. I love rationalization, don't you?

But she did get to wear the gloves.

I can't wait to see what we've got on tap for tomorrow...

Monday, April 23, 2007


And a step back...

I had to cut out the whole bit of stuff I wrote on Friday--900 words. It was just awful, draggy, and horribly boring. I saved it in a file called "yuck.doc" in case I should ever want any of it...but I doubt it.


Friday, April 20, 2007

Keywords I hadn't thought of

Keywords people have used to land on this site recently:

--homemade tinkerbell cake
Sorry, my friend, you're not going to find that here. I buy from a bakery, all the way.
--getting to know you email
Yeah, that one traveled all over the place, didn't it?
--susan adrian, wi
Is there one in Wisconsin? I'll have to go check that myself.
--writer's tale
Yes, baby! Name recognition!
--booty blogspot
Or not.
--bunk saggy springs
--and one of my regulars: intercultural communication crash movie characters
Yes, I help other students with my informative {cough} comments. Who knew?

Note the little "25%" in the progress bar over there to the right. I'm just saying.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The end of TASTE

Approximate conversation in my household last night:

I'd finally gotten everything done, put Child to bed, and had been able to collapse on the sofa and dive into TASTE for about half an hour. Hubby had been at a work thing. Key rattles in the door.

Him: "Hi, honey, I'm home!" (Not actually. Something more along the lines of "Hey.")

Me, nose firmly in book: "Mmm. Mmm-hmm. Oh, hey."

Him: {conversation about function}

Me: "Wha?" {dragging eyes up from page for half-second} "That sounds fun."

He wanders around for a while. Him: "Where's the mail?"

Me: {pause, pause, pause, turn page} "Table."

About 5 minutes later. He trips over one of the many obstacles Child has kindly left out, and I have not picked up. Him: "What IS all this?"

Me: {waving a dismissive hand, still not looking up} "Toys."

He stares at me for a couple of minutes. Him: "What are you, a voracious reader?"

Me: {reverently, pinching the rest of the text with my thumb and finger} "Twenty pages left."

He sighs, looks at me again, then sighs again. Him: "I think I'm going to take a bath."

Me: "Yay! I mean...okay."

And...I finished. Yay.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


In the past few days I/we (hubby) have accomplished:

  • Finished the final version of my thesis proposal (okay, I'm going to do one more spit/polish in the morning), including a lovely annotated bibliography with 27 articles
  • Got up over 15,000 words on Jenna, with a goal toward 20,000 at the end of April
  • Paid our taxes (whew)
  • Bought new kitchen and bathroom sinks
  • Bought and delivered $200 worth of snacks for our "snack week" of preschool
  • Restrained myself from auditioning for a play, even though I wanted to, because it totally would mess with our schedule
  • Booked a mini-getaway for hubby and I to Seattle in May to see a Padres/Mariners game
  • Booked our vacation to Winnipeg in June for a certain person's wedding {g}
  • Booked two overnight trips to Missoula in May, on different weekends, to see (a) a ballet performance and (b) the Lipizzaner stallions (can you see now why being in a play in May is not a reasonable thing?)
  • Helped Child make and "bind" her own alphabet book
  • Attended our semi-annual parent/teacher conference
  • Managed to go shopping and buy new clothes for Child AND me (yay)
However, amidst all this I have not...quite...finished TASTE. Maybe tonight. I have a feeling it's gonna mess with me before it's all over, so it won't be easy reading. :)
Goals today:

--add 750 words, up to 15,250 (and break the 15,000 barrier!)
--finish my thesis proposal, which is due tomorrow for 50% of my seminar grade (ack)
--work stuff that must be done

I'll post later once I make these goals, and mark off some other accomplishments I've managed lately as well!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Feeling Green

I've been reading a book by a wonderful writer. The pace is excellent, drawing me through each chapter delicately but persistently, never letting go. The characters are deep, rounded, and passionate, as vivid as my husband sitting next to me. I can see each of them and understand them, without being able to predict what they'll do next. The word choice is clear but original, with metaphors that make me alternately nod my head with the perfection of the image and laugh along with the narrator. It's fabulous.

And it's given me a horrible case of Writer's Envy.

You know the saying about imitation? I think envy is really the sincerest form of flattery--if you can call something you never admit to sincere.

Because you don't want to admit to it, even to yourself, do you? You know, as a writer, that comparison is the quickest blood-sucker of confidence. Once you start envying, the shine comes off your own work and your own ideas. You start the whirlpool thought process: I can never write like that. Why even bother? I should just hang it up now, start a fan club, and be done with the whole farce. Down and down, around and around, until every word of your own writing sounds like crap and you're sucked down to the bottom, wallowing in self-pity and envy.

So you have to not do that--but I think every writer does, unless they have an ego the size of Alaska. Even the ones you idealize, and the ones I idealize, have felt just exactly that way when reading someone else's work. It's really that way with every endeavor. When I was dancing I used to feel the same kind of envious awe watching a great pirouette, or grand jete. So instead of avoiding it altogether you have to be able to recognize the whirlpool for what it is and drag yourself out in time, or get your friends to throw you a lifeline.

Me, I emailed the writer directly, told her I was going to fly down and kick her ass myself if she ever told me again that she was "lucky" to be published, because she was just That Good. And then I whined a little. But I don't recommend that in most cases. {s}

I do recommend that the next time you find yourself in the throes of Writer's Envy you read, and contemplate, her response to my whiny email: "That's bullshit. About you not being able to write like whatever. You'll write like you, which is great. So there."

So there.

And of course, the writer is Vicki Pettersson. And the book is TASTE OF NIGHT.

Who are the authors who make you feel green?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Kurt Vonnegut

A day of silence, today, for Kurt Vonnegut's passing. He was one of the great ones who inspired me to write--and he was a fabulous, crotchety, funny old guy besides.

Rest in peace, Kurt. Or better, for you, go have fun now, and keep 'em lively up there.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Progress and flying monkeys

Hmmm. Almost a week since I last posted here...sorry about that.

On the other hand, it does seem to be a pattern that I don't post much when the writing's going well, and it still is. So maybe I'm not sorry.

My goal is still to get 10,000 words a month on Jenna until it's done, and I'm doing that. I'll be at 15,000 by the end of this week, and keep on going. I've been having all sorts of convolutions with how I think the plot should go, my mind twisting this way and that way and back, but I think I have a handle on it now--I can actually see in a vague way all the way up to the climax. Have no idea what will happen with the climax, but I don't want to yet!

I'm also realizing that this is a "thin" first draft, and I'll have to go back and plump it up the second time around. I'm just so eager to find out what happens, I'm whipping through with very little description/development/worldbuilding. But I know enough to realize those things will need to be added, so I've just been making notes to myself in my writing journal and moving on. Momentum, ya know. I wonder how long this draft will actually turn out to be--likely shorter than 70,000! I may have to adjust my scale on the side as I go...(doesn't that seem like cheating?)

Oh, and since I'm not sharing text yet, I'll share another picture. Wanna see what the villains in Jenna look like?

[photo removed because of all the weird searches I get for this picture from Mattel...]

Okay, not really. They're worse than that. Gave you a shiver, though, didn't I?

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Getting to Know You...

Which I'm supposed to email, but I'm going to do it as a meme instead. Though if anyone really wades all the way through my answers, I will be shocked. {g}

Welcome to the 2007 version of getting to know your friends. What you
Are supposed to do is copy (not forward) this entire email and paste
it onto a new email that you'll send. Change all the answers so they
apply to you, and then send this to a whole bunch of people including
the person who sent it to you. Put your name in the subject line. The
theory is that you will learn a lot of little things about your
friends, if you did not know them already.

1. What time did you get up this morning? 6:03 am

2. Diamonds or Pearls? Diamonds!

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Music and Lyrics

4. What is your favorite TV show? The Good Night Show on PBS Sprout
(well, it's the only one I watch regularly)

5. What did you have for breakfast? Shared cereal with Child

6. What is your middle name? Adrian (Ha!)

7. What is your favorite cuisine? Mexican

8. What food do you dislike? Green peppers

9. Your favorite chip? Salt & Vinegar, totally

10. What is your favorite CD at the moment? Um. I listen to Pandora
Radio and Yahoo Radio. Maybe 8 1/2 Souvenirs.

11. What kind of car do you drive? Honda CRV

12. Favorite Sandwich? BLT

13. What characteristics do you despise? Meanness

14. What are your favorite clothes? My hot pink cardigan and jeans

15. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation? Tahiti

16. What color are your eyes? Green. Okay, hazel

17. Favorite brand of clothing? Brand?

18. Where would you want to retire? Pacific Northwest, maybe. Or Hawaii.

19. Favorite time of day? Evening

20. Where were you born? Long Beach, CA

21. What is your favorite sport to watch? Baseball

22. Who do you think will not send this back? I have no idea!

23. Person you expect to send it back first? We'll see, won't we?

24. Pepsi or Coke? Don't drink soda

25. Cats or Dogs? Neither!

26. Are you a morning person or a night owl? Night owl.

27. Pedicure or manicure? Neither. My nails are never done, either set.

28. Do you prefer funny or mushy cards? Funny

29. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share with everyone?
Nah, I brag enough already.

30. What did you want to be when you were little? A dancer

31. What do you have in your trunk right now? Trunk? Who the F has a

32. What is your best childhood memory? Christmas mornings

33. What are all the different jobs you have had in your life? Geez,
how much time do you have? General categories: salesperson, pet
caretaker, cold caller, bookstore clerk, bookstore manager,
copyeditor, production editor, web manager, editor. Okay, I skipped

34. What is your favorite Holiday? Christmas

35. What is your favorite dessert? Orange cake. No, chocolate. No,
ice cream. No, orange cake.

36. Favorite Get away? San Diego

37. Ever been to Africa ? No

38. Glasses or Contacts? Glasses now (it's too dry here for contacts)

39. Ever been toilet papering? Yes

40. Been in a car accident? Yes

41. Favorite day of the week? Sunday

42. Favorite restaurant? On the Queen Mary (yeah, I don't get to go
there a lot)

43. Favorite flower? Poppies

44. Favorite movies? 40s movies, esp. romantic comedy

45. Favorite Past time? Writing! Playing with Child. Reading.

46. Favorite ice cream? Pralines & Cream from Baskin Robbins

47. Favorite fast food restaurant? Don't eat fast food at all

49. From whom did you get your last email? Kreekie

50. Sandals or tennis shoes? Sandals

51. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card?
I wouldn't. (I know, I sound like a prig, but I AM when it comes to

52. If the speed limit is 60 what is the fastest you will drive? 80

53. What is your bedtime? 11 or so

54. Whose response to this are you most curious about? Everyone....

55. Last person you went to dinner with? My hubby

56. What are you listening to right now? "Let's Do It" by Ella Fitzgerald

57. What is your favorite color? Forest green

58. How many tattoos do you have? None

59. How many people are you sending this Email to? I'm blogging it, baby!

60. What time did you finish this email? 8:39 am

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Word Choice

Transcript of actual conversation with Child last night. Remember that Child just turned 5 years old.

Child: "Look, Mommy, did you see that? I'm shaking my booty!"

Me: {boggling}

Child: {giggles} "Did you see? I'm shaking my booty, my booty! Do you know what a booty is?"

Me: {faintly} "Yes..."

Child: "Isn't that funny?"

Me, trying to think faster than the molasses pace I'm managing so far: "You know, 'booty' isn't really a nice word."

Child: "Like butt?"

Me, who has fought several battles over 'butt': "Exactly. It's not a word we should use outside the house. What's the word we should use for that with other people?"

Child: {giggles again} "Bottom!"

Me: "Right, good."

Child: "Booty, butt, bottom. Booty, butt, bottom. You know, they all sound the same! Booty! Butt! Bottom!"

At this point I bent over to pick something up off the floor.

Child: "Mommy, now YOU are shaking your booty!"

Me, giving up....

Monday, April 02, 2007

In which I am surrounded by famous people

Wow, very cool news is all around me:

--Vicki Pettersson's second book, The Taste of Night, popped onto the shelves at the end of last week. I haven't talked about it yet because I still haven't gotten my grubby hands on a copy (grrrr), but soon, my friends, soon. It promises to be truly kick-ass.

--Another forum friend, Jo Bourne, had her book accepted by Berkley a while back...and it's already on Amazon! I can't wait to read this one either.

Add these to the friends I saw performing in our Symphony this weekend, and the friends who are playing guitar and singing at our local coffeehouse on Friday, and I am overwhelmed by all the talent surrounding me.

I'd better get myself in gear too, eh? :)