Saturday, September 29, 2012

Bear Hat

Since I am on a knitting kick, I figured maybe I should make a goofy hat for my child. But nothing too goofy. Hence, I have found a fabulous pattern on Fiber Flux's site. Behold, the Bear Hat.

Pattern here.

Thanks to Michael's and their 40% coupons I hope to have the yarn and needles in hand by this afternoon.

I have been writing, albeit, not a lot, but my style has changed once again. I swear my novel is going to read like ten different people wrote it unless I get a handle on my voice here. I will. I know I will. It has matured and that is what is really fascinating to me. Weird to read what I wrote not too long ago, alter it and see that it is not a hundred times better and sounds more like the character in my head. Again, formal training probably really helps with this kind of stuff here kiddies so if you can do a writing program, DO IT!!

Have a fantastic weekend!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Middlemarch- 1994 Masterpiece Theater

After yesterday's small twitch over Gone Girl, I wanted to share something I had recently watched that was way more enjoyable. I had the good fortune to flip through Netflix and watch Middlemarch, a fantastic mini-series done on Masterpiece Theater. This is a book I should read someday, but since I have not, I will just talk about the mini-series. I liked the topic, I liked the characters, even the awful Rosamond, but what I liked most of all is that it is a story about ordinary people who do not want to be ordinary. Something a lot of people can relate to. Dr. Lydgate wanted to be a world renowned researcher and instead just ends up a society doctor. I say 'just' because that is how he saw it. His wife wants to lead a society wife's life because she has no other idea how to live. Dorothea, I liked her idealism, but sometimes she was too naive, but it made her who she was. The choices these characters, and others make have repercussions and outcomes that are quite interesting. The cast in the show was excellent and if you ever have some time to sit back and relax on a rain/snow day even, watch it.

Middlemarch: A Study of Provinical Life


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

I have finally read it.

Let me start off this review of sorts by saying Yes Virginia, there will be massive spoilers and there will be cursing.

Ms. Flynn is a good writer for her genre and I appreciate her desire to showcase the dark and very depressing side of life. I also like that she has no desire to wrap things up in bows and give us the Hollywood happy ending.

Now onto the book.

I hated these characters. I hated them because it was like watching two despicable teenagers try to beat each other for title of best text book malignant narcissistic sociopath. This was supposed to be a book about marriage and how people are not what they seem. This was more like the author took The Omen and gave him breasts. Meh.

Amy Elliot Dunne is one of the most disagreeable bitches ever written. Every word, every time she appeared all I wanted to do was punch her in the teeth. I do not enjoy reading a book where all I want to do is run over the main antagonist. I could care less that her parents had lost children before having "Amazing Amy". They ended up with a bad seed, and let's face it Max Anderson created the best one, and only made her worse by how they treated her. This monster feels superior to her dead siblings and will be whatever kind of girl you want or need in the moment. Whatever.
What pushed me into the mindset that this book is bullshit are two scenes that are supposed to be some sort of enlightenment into Amy's mind. Ready for this? She fakes a rape and she throws herself down a flight of stairs.
Let's start with the rape. The guy she was seeing, well, he figured out she was not  that cool and started to see someone else. So Amy comes back into his life all sweet as sugar, sleeps with him, jacks herself up and then reports him to the police. All evidence points at him She decides not to press charges but sends a typed note saying: "Maybe next time you'll think twice." How cute. How evil. How ridiculous.
But wait, there's more and this made me twitch so much I actually bellowed out to my husband, "You have to be kidding."
Seems Amy and great friend in high school and they had great times together. Then Amy's friend started to get more attention then Amy, "Amazing Amy" was intimidating after all. So our little special snowflake, Amy, concocted a plan where she had her little friend dye her hair the same color and they wore lots of the same outfits. Amy bitches about her parents all the time and gets this friend to participate in a ruse where she calls Amy's house and even surprises the mom one time saying she was the new Amy and ha ha ha. Then Amy become distant, cold, begins to spread rumors of this friend who clearly admired Amy so much that she dyed her hair like Amy and was calling her house pretending to be Amy, etc. The friend tell the husband that Amy wants people to believe she is perfect, but becoming close with people shows that she is not. She is a liar, a drama queen, OCD, filled with all sorts of flaws. When someone disappoints her and find out she is not perfect, not the "cool girl" she practically ruins their lives. You know, some of this seems familiar. A young girl morphing into her friend, everyone she comes into contact with seems to meet some sort of odd end. Wait a minute...Hello, Basic Instinct called and it wants its plot back.

Sharon Stone's character became obsessed with the Jeanne Tripplehorn's character in college and then frames her as a murderer. Every one Sharon Stone is related to or involved with seem to only be useful to her for a small amount of time and then she disposes of them. Michael Douglas' character name is Nick in Basic Instinct.


Before you yell, I know that no one is reinventing the wheel here, but come on. Good artists borrow, great artists steal was said by Picasso, but you need to put it in your own voice and not make it so damn obvious. I felt like she based Miss "Amazing Amy" on "Catherine Tramell" way too much. Maybe not even by choice, but hell, it is there and I got sick of it. As far as Nick, he was a wet noodle, cheating on his wife who did not want to be like his dad, but he was. Go away.

Bottom line is, yes this book is a quick read, an okay read, but you will want to shower and read something less oppressive and childish when done.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012


I am being incredible lazy, because I am incredibly busy, and linking to this post from blog Cape 27. These are awesome laundry and mudroom ideas. I especially like the one with the litter box behind a little door in the laundry room. Our cat's litter box is in our upstairs hall across from the bathroom at present and I get all grossed out walking on bits of litter. I sweep and vacuum constantly, but sometimes you have to be alright with not getting to it right away. Of course I need to wipe my feet before I get into bed so let me just say, cat littler boxes do need their own area where they can be a little messy and it does not up set your balance. Our basement is out of the question because there is no way for the cat to go back and forth unless we cut a hole in the door and that is not happening.
Anyhoo, here is the link and honestly, all of the ideas are just lovely.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Kitchen Progress Indeed

What we have here is a kitchen remodel done by the homeowners. I do not care if you hate IKEA or hate white kitchens, this is absolutely stunning and I applaud anyone who can do this kind of work. I admit I am jealous. If I knew how to do electrical or plumbing work our upstairs bathroom would be on its way.

Blog: Cape 27
Post: Kitchen Progress


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Martin Amis on NPR

Martin Amis was on the Leonard Lopate show yesterday to talk about his latest book, Lionel Asbo: State of  England. I have never read one of his books, but this particular one sounds like a good one to start with.
The real reason I am mentioning Martin Amis is that Leonard Lopate asked him how many drafts he goes through before finalizing and his reply was, "First it is in longhand, the second is typed and the third is the one that gets edited."



I wish I was able to longhand my novels. My brain goes to fast and then trying to edit all over the place with pen marks slicing through paragraph after paragraph would most likely make me feel like a failing lunatic. But then I thought maybe that is the best way. Write it out, you have to take you time, contemplate the dialogue, the direction your characters seem to be going. OR is it more like write it out and fall into "The Sound and The Fury" stream of consciousness? So now, when you go to type out everything your brain has just spewed, you will see the structure, the story, the mistakes are more obvious, the idea clearer. I don't know. I am not sure this is the time to try. When I get an idea for my current book and I write it down in the notebook designated for that specific book, I scribble so fast for fear of forgetting it. A snap of the finger and the idea to relieve the stagnation of my character gone because I could not move the pen faster than Superman can fly.
I respect the writer who does it the way all writing was done. Patience must run through their veins something fierce. I guess this is also where formal training is most helpful. Maybe my next book, after this one is done being edited and sent out, I can start writing out in an actual journal. But how do they handle if they misplace the journal they are using or if their house catches fire? This is more like my own WWWD? What Would Woody Do? Woody being Woody Allen who is notorious for typing everything on the same typewriter for like 40 years. God Bless.

Check out the interview here: Martin Amis on Leonard Lopate


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Franzen Would Be Proud

Excellent article on Business Insider about how Novelists Are Finding New Ways To Break Internet Addiction
Apparently there are products to help block the internet from your computer so you, as a writer, can focus on your work. I understand why these are necessary to a point, but shouldn't you be able to stop yourself from checking email or blogs or comment sections? I know how it is to get sucked in. I like to read comments on particular blogs to feel a connection to others which is sad in a sense, but you have to drum up the will to make yourself close the window and get back to work. How can you not say "Ok, I am done." Do we really need a program to prevent us from squandering our time? Perhaps I am being harsh. Maybe  Freedom © and SelfControl©   are very helpful and necessary in today's world. I will be the first to admit I can easily get sucked into Wikipedia or other research sites, especially now doing all my biblical research. Okay, so maybe those programs might be something I have to consider if I can no longer force myself to look away.
While the article does address how being a writer is isolating, they also leave out the part that people these days only share things via Facebook or Twitter. So if you want to know what is going on in your friend's lives you need to go on Facebook and lose an hour or two of your life. Social media is swell, but there are times an email would be nicer to receive about a major event then reading about it along with five hundred people. Privacy and personal contact have fallen away in many instances and it feels funny. And I do not mean in a good ha ha way.
What is most interesting in the article is the discussion about internet distractions and how it shortens your attention span and how it changes your brain. Clearly I need to get my hands on Nick Carr's book, The Shallows: How the Internet is Changing the Way we Think, Read and Remember

Good luck fighting the urge to surf today everyone!



Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Alex Clare - Too Close

Yeah, I am digging this tune big time.


Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Art of Description by Anne Marble

Like an writer starting out I get overwhelmed by certain aspects of the process. One of those is I over think when it comes to descriptions. I have read overwrought, mystical descriptions, One Hundred Years of Solitude anyone, that I could never write even if I tried. Nor do I think I would want to try. I have also read poorly done descriptions where the same adjective is used so much you never want to hear it again. That is how I feel about "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin. Don't. Want. To. Hear. Ever. Again.
When I write, I start to worry that I am using "walked" or "glanced" too much. Should I always use "said" like Elmore Leonard insists or can I say "growled"? He says no, but I need to write in my own voice, not his. It does make your head spin. I get so caught up writing some scenes that I never know if my descriptions are  enough or too much or too vague or too lame.
Since it is not currently feasible for me to take a writing class, I rely on the writing community's internet presence. A post that I came across on by Anne Marble has proven to be incredibly helpful. As I read the article I realized I am on the right track, barring a few necessary tweaks, which eased my mind a little. Good advice is always welcome here!

The Art of Description: Eight Tips to Help You Bring Your Settings to Life