Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Vacation and Irene

Last week I had the pleasure of renting a cabin with the hubby and dog in Asheville, NC. We had been there about 4 years ago and loved it so this time we decided to spend a nice amount of time there.
We stayed at this delightful cabin in East Asheville called Azalea Mountain Cabin. It was conveniently located to everything and had a nice size yard for Isadora to hang out and play in with a cool porch in front and nice deck in back. The other plus was that it was secluded which made it really nice. Very quiet at night. The interesting thing was we had no cell phone or internet service at the cabin. Thankfully the cabin had a landline if one needed to make a call for whatever reason.
We got to visit the NC Arboretum which made us both rethink how one landscapes their yard. When my inlaws came for an overnight visit with my brother in law and nephew we took them to the WNC Nature Center.
One of my favorite places is Malaprops Bookstore and we took the family there before we went and had lunch at Carmel's. I had an excellent fried green tomato sandwich and my hubby had a catfish reuben which he said was delicious. The next day we had lunch at Chorizo's which was a wonderful combo of Latin/Southern food.
Once everyone had gone we took a day and drove 30 miles south on the Blue Ridge Parkway which was lovely and I got to see Cold Mountain which is located in the Pisgah National Forest. The scenery is just breathtaking and you really feel a part of something bigger when the mountains surround you and you look down into the valleys or have a vista that goes on for miles.
We had dinner at The Laughing Seed Cafe one night and walked around the downtown area and he had a beer at Lexington Avenue Brewery. Asheville has become Beer City it seems so my husband was in heaven. I can't drink since I am expecting a baby in January so I got to enjoy the atmosphere which was just fine.
We were supposed to stay from Sunday to Saturday, but with Irene threatening to make our commute home very windy and rainy, we left on Friday. Which worked out best because on Saturday we were able to get some non-perishable foods and other errands. we lost power on Saturday around 1am and did not get it back until Monday at 9:45pm.. Not bad, sort of like Luddite living :) We did get water in our basement and that sucked. A kind neighbor who had power lent us his generator to get our sump pump and wet vac going again so that was great.
Now I am trying to get back into the groove of things with writing and doing house stuff.
Currently I am reading My Mexico by Diana Kennedy and it is quite the insight into various Mexican cultures with lots of amazing recipes.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Highest paid authors

I love the first comment to this article which is "Note to English majors...crap sells."

I would give JK Rowling a pass as an awesome author and I have always enjoyed Stephen King, but most of these, I am sure Diary of a Wimpy Kid is fun, are just pure fluff. God Bless.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Words As Art

I have officially decided to divorce my sinuses. This is the second infection in about a month and a half, two months. Someone suggested I get an air purifier which I am going to look into. I have been using a neti pot which is sort of funky feeling, but it helps.

Writing has been cumbersome. This is because I gave myself writer's block by changing something so I deserve to be frustrated. I just keep thinking, "this too shall pass" and every other cliched saying you can come up with. Like I said, it is my own fault, but I gotta suck it up and get it done. I have given myself a deadline of end of the month> I am not sure if this is wise and who knows? I may end up setting my Kindle on fire, I doubt it, but it is in front of me and so it is the lucky choice. Once I get a move on I will be fine, but this stop and start and crazy story line hijacking on my part has got to stop.

A friend decided she wants to get a tattoo of Alice in Wonderland slaying the Jabberwocky. A search commenced and she did find something that she will most likely modify. During this process I uncovered a superb website called Contrariwise: Literary Tattoos. People have taken passages from favorite novels, poems, songs and illustrations and have made them a permanent part of their everyday life. I have never though of having words placed on my body. Sounds silly, but there are many great quotes and great lines in songs, but to want it there permanently? Never gave it much thought.

Until now of course.

I love the film "The Wings of the Dove" and one of my fave scenes is when after Millie dies, Susie and Merton are waiting for her coffin to cross the water to the Church. Merton's melancholy voice over has this last line "Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest" Psalm 55:6 is where it originates from and when I heard it, I was moved. That is the one phrase I could imagine somewhere on my body. Where I do not know, but that is neither here nor there. In this busy world we sometimes forget the beauty of words. Hearing instead of listening, meaning gets lost in translation and we can't recall things said only five minutes ago. This attention deficit world has affected us and the written word. Isn't it wonderful when you hear or see a certain phrase or saying and it transports you back to a special time or place? No matter if it is spoken, handwritten, typed or on a Kindle, words will always move people. And it seems that some will even move people enough to have them become a part of them forever.


Monday, August 8, 2011

Buy Well, Buy Once on Re-Nest

Great post on Re-nest about not buying junk for your house and investing in quality pieces.

What I really like is this comment from one of the readers: "This reminds me of my favorite Russian saying which (loosely translated) is: I am too poor to buy cheap things."


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Jumbled In My Head

My mind is an odd place to be for various reasons.
Query letters, plot ideas, revamping old stories, thinking of new do I make it stop?
Today I heard a song on the radio that reminded me of a novel a wrote at least two years ago. I had sent a query into Carina Press and they rejected it, which was probably wise on their part. I am certain if I was to open that novel now I would be horrified by the mistakes I must have made.
The funny thing, as I listened to the song I had this urge to get onto my computer, rip open the file and rework the book. First off, it was a true blue romance novel. Unrequited love at its best. Or with my poor structure and writing at its worst. Second, if I was to blaze through it and fix it, would I want that to be the first thing that sells and get pigeonholed? Why is this a dilemma? Why do I care? Because genres are important to fans, publishers and writers. I can't say I would want to write a love story all the time, but if it pays the bills and does well, who am I to complain?
In truth, I would like to write what I want when I want, but there is an internal struggle to have to force myself into a cog in the book world wheel and be happy with it.
As for my current novel, I have given myself a deadline to complete, edit and send it out to agents for consideration. The "bounty hunter" book never got picked up and while I have reworked the query, that one may have to hover and never see the light of day. Which sucks, but perhaps it is better to walk away now and come back to it later.
I could be more disciplined. Getting up at 6:30, writing until noon then do my routine of gym and housework, but life intervenes all the time. Plans happen, shit happens. I know in my heart of hearts all this work will achieve something and the books will get done, but my impatience has gotten the best of me lately. To just be finished and feel that accomplishment. To send out the droves of query letters, get a bite, get signed and have contracts in place would feel marvelous. Alas, I am not alone in wanting that, so the competition is fierce. Especially with so much changing in the world of publishing.
I don't feel discouraged, just discombobulated. I need to get my focus back, let the characters use their voices and sweep myself out of the a rut.
I know I am getting a little disenchanted with my current story when I start to think of the next book, I have already outlined that one, or I think about a much older book and what could make it grand. Yes, I need to reel myself in and buckle down. Every moment of writing has a high point and a very very low one. Then again, this could be worse, I could have no ambition to write a word at all anymore and for me that would be much harder to take.