30 June 2010

Stingy Paper Towel Dispensers

This evening, a friend and I went up to Park City. Can I just mention that the temperature was blissfully cool up there? The night time low was supposed to be 55F. Not the 80F it was here last night. I wanted to stay. Anyway, we went to dinner and then walked around for a little while.

As is the natural way of things with women, one of us eventually had to use the toilet. This is quite simply the way things go. Just as soon as you leave the restaurant or store you were in, someone will “need to go”. Luckily my friend knew where the public restrooms were.

I won't go into the bathroom details, but I will mention this. The paper towels were in motion activated sensor dispensers. I did my business, I washed my hands and then I waved a hand in front of the dispenser. I maybe got 4” of paper towel. Okay, it could have been 6”. Talk about stingy. I can't even dry three fingers with that much paper towel, no matter how plush it is.

So Park City, the resort town that caters to the rich and famous, has the stingiest paper towel dispensers that I've ever used. And I've seen them all over the world. Bad Park City, bad!

29 June 2010

Estrogen Fest, Anyone?

Let's face it, where else can I get an entire years supply of high octane estrogen in two hours other than at a Twilight series movie special screening? Hu? Nowhere.

The best line of the movie? Jacob says to Edward (naturally Jacob's shirt is off) “Let's face it, I'm hotter than you.” Too true.

This was the best film of the series . . . by far. I didn't groan out loud at the absurdity at all this time. No giggling at the sparkling vampires. The fight scenes were cool. Charlie was awesome! Jacob had his shirt off for the second half of the movie. Edward kept his shirt on the entire movie. We got to learn about Jasper (I'd be team Jasper, if there was one). The dialog was believable as were all of the characters. The music was by Howard Shore (see my profile). All in all, not bad.

28 June 2010

Plot Practice

Let's take a woman, a librarian. She's single and has a couple of cats. But instead of pets, the cats are really information gatherers for a secret society of librarians, of which our main character is a member, who are trying to gather the most comprehensive cache of knowledge ever compiled in the history of the world. The cats can, with a humans help, collect memories from people and objects.

Our librarian is researching an old story about a lynch mob that killed an innocent woman almost 100 years ago. She figures out, through the cats, that there is an ancestor of one of the members of the lynch mob still living in the town. Unfortunately, it is an ex-boyfriend from high school. Things didn't end on pleasant terms, but the librarian still has a thing for this guy.

She gathers her courage and goes to see the guy. To her surprise he is nice and asks her out. The cats, who sneaked into his house, find out that the guy is still a member of some crazy lynch mob crowd, and they're still active! So now the librarian has a date with a hot racist. When does she figure out she is his next victim?

(Back to me) I've been reading a few books about plotting and deepening conflicts. I have a hard time delving that deeply into most of the things I write, but that's what I feel like I need to work on, so I thought I'd take a random shot at it. Basically I ask myself, “Now what could go wrong?” No the story above isn't for anything, just what came to mind.

27 June 2010


Most writers that I've talked to say they enjoy doing research.

I have a love-hate relationship with research. I hate doing it, but I love learning from it. I always feel like research is a waste of the time I should be using to write. Not to mention the infinite number of possibilities for distractions on the web.

Today I was researching the five senses. I read all sorts of scientific words that I've promptly forgotten and been to web sites with titles like “Your Gross and Cool Body” and “Following Our Noses”. Hopefully I got the info/inspiration I needed out of it, because one afternoon looking at diagrams of the tongue was enough for me.

26 June 2010

Bouncing Back

After the semi-epic trashing of the first 46 pages of my latest novel, I've tried to bounce back. This morning I typed chapter 2 and this evening I typed chapter 3. I'm way happier with the story this time around.

I have no idea if I can catch up and meet my deadline in August. I guess we'll find out, won't we?

In the past week, two people have threatened me with some combination of chocolate cheesecake. Anyone going to carry through with said threats? I could really use some.

25 June 2010

Geting Tossed on the Ground

Doesn't sound fun, does it? Unless there is a great deal of foam or a bounce house involved anyway. After a few years in my self defense class, it doesn't bother me much anymore. And our floors are hard. The carpet and the concrete underneath have, through blood, sweat, tears and the occasional flooding, bonded into something much harder than a slab of granite. It should be one of those places to see on a walking city tour. Oh, look distracted again.

Today I got to be the punch-in dummy for Sensei. He was showing myself and another girl the most effective ways to sweep our opponents. I am always amazed at the difference between a student throwing me around and an instructor. The girl I was training with is really good, and Sensei is awesome (although don't tell him I told you so, it'll go to his head). Being handled by experts is always very cool. One second I'm standing up, punching, and the next I'm on the ground. Wow! That was cool! How did you do it?

Entertainment is like that too. I can read a mediocre book, I can even watch a crappy movie, and still enjoy it. However, I get much more excited about a story in which I know I will be taken on the journey by a master. Someone who really knows how to lead me along, hit me with their best shots, and (in the end) allow me to revel in my survival of the trip, basking in the character's triumphs. Someday, I wanna do that—be that author. Someday . . .

24 June 2010

Believable Teenagers

What was I thinking when I decided to write a Young Adult audience novel? By definition, a YA novel requires a teenage protagonist. This would suggest that I had some small idea about how teenagers act. Somehow all of the junior high and high school drama, angst and distractions have been blocked from my mind. I'm having a hard time making my main character believable.

She's nice, she likes school and drawing, enjoys hanging out with her friends and going shopping. She isn't overly angsty and she doesn't fight with her parents every second of every day.

Don't worry, she finds herself hopelessly addicted to a new drug (sort of) in the first chapter of the book. So now she's not boring. Poor girl. Maybe I should go find some teenagers to talk to. Wait, no, never mind. I'd rather get kicked in the ribs at Kempo class. (Joking, I'm joking.)

23 June 2010

Drat and Double Drat

Last night I got a pleasant surprise. I'd been typing my novel manuscript on the defaults that my computer at work gave me. Once in a while, the different versions of Microsoft Word, shall we say, disagree? (All of the people, money and skill at Microsoft and they can't even get their programs to talk nice to each other. Really?) So last night I pulled up my manuscript and the font was doing all sorts of crazy things.

This isn't the first time the font has taken on a mind of it's own, so (thinking I would take decisive action) I hit Ctrl “A” and changed the whole thing to Times New Roman, font size 12. Wow was I surprised. Instead of 32 pages I now had 46 pages!

I know, I know, the same 25,000 words, but my daily/weekly goals are centered around page count, and when I planned the approximate length I used the Times New Roman font size 12.

That was last night. Today, during breaks at work and waiting to pick someone up at the airport (welcome back) I went through the outline to my story. The whole thing needs to be switched around. I've got two or three chapters to put in along with a whole lot of drama and maybe some angst/twitterpation. (It's about teenagers, what else is there?) There are a couple of chapters that I've written that need to be tossed and the others need heavy revising. I'm wishing I only had 32 pages to re-do.

I have a feeling my timetable has just exploded. Boom.

22 June 2010

Advise Learned from Sad Experience

I was wandering around on blogs the other day and found one that reviews books. No, I don't remember where or what it was, so don't ask. The book she recently reviewed was And God Created Au Pair. Something about two sisters, one in Canada and the other in England, and their e-mails across the ocean. The reviewer was very clear that this book would make the reader laugh out loud. I believed, but I had no idea . . .

I'm not even through with the book, but I have to share what happened yesterday. I was riding a stationary bike (yes, yes, I'm working on the old loosing weight goal). I get really bored unless the ground is actually changing underneath my bike tires, so I thought I'd take the book.

Do you have any idea how painful it is to be pedling up a "hill", while reading a book and gasping for breath as your laughing reflex kicks in? On top of that, I was trying not to sound like I was dying, as the people in the other room may become concerned and call 911.

So far the book is great. They do slap down the "F" bomb every twenty pages or so, along with a few other curse words. If that's over your line, don't read this book. However, if you want to laugh until you cry, go ahead and open it up. I guarantee, you'll be laughing out loud (even if it's just a small snort because you're supposed to be doing something else entirely) within the first few pages. Just don't exercise while you read. Bad idea.

21 June 2010

Almost Shakespeare?

Tonight the Utah Shakespearean Festival put on a conference regarding their production of Pride and Prejudice which is playing this summer season down in Cedar City. There were a whole lot of women jammed into a conference room at the Salt Lake City Public Library—along with a smattering of men. The director, writer and the actor portraying Mr. Collins were there for us to, shall we say, harass?

Someone, I can't remember who it was, asked a good question. What about this story still appeals to us today?

First answer—Well duh, Mr. Darcy!
Second answer—Girl gets boy (along with money) and lives happily ever after.
Third answer—Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy and that scene at the lake . . .

Seriously though, I think most women feel like we're the underdogs in our own lives. I completely sympathize with any girl who feels inadequate, ugly, left out or imperfect. Elizabeth Bennet is one of the great heroins of literature (okay, that could be argued, but don't hate on her) and the reason I admire her is because I can relate. I'm still single. Due to my age, I think I'm now classified as a menace to society—or maybe that was just men, I can't recall. I also relate to being pretty down to earth as opposed to one of the silly sisters. Not that I have silly sisters, they're anything but. (Please don't hurt me girls.) Anyway, I get Elizabeth Bennet. Maybe not everything, but enough that I feel empathy for her, cringe with her and rejoice with her when she gets what she deserves!

20 June 2010

Happy Father's Day

Kudos go out to my great Dad. He put up with me always wanting to be his favorite helper. I would follow him around and ask him what he was doing, why he was doing it, what would happen when it was finished and if I could help. It probably drove him crazy. I know it would drive me mad.

So thanks Dad! You're the greatest.
(Too bad he doesn't read this)

19 June 2010

Wanted: Sparring Lesson from Midget Ninja

Today was sparring day at the dojo. I won't lie, I'm not a big fan of sparring. I can be really fun, it can be completely humiliating or it can be terribly stressful. Today was a bit of all three.

My biggest complaint (at this very moment, about this particular subject) is tall people. Their stinking arms are as long or longer than my legs, and unless I'm feeling frisky enough to get inside their reach (probably taking a punch or kick on the way in) I'm toast. There are a couple of people shorter than me at the dojo, but only by an inch . . . not a foot or more.

So I was thinking about this and came up with a brilliant solution. The dreaded Midget Ninja. There are only rumors that they exist, but being a believer of many things unnatural and strange, including the Loch Ness Monster and men who ask for directions when lost, I'm willing to go with it. I need their help.

First off, sparring a MN would be like everyone else sparring me. “Oh, look at that little person way down there. Aren't they cute in their huge sparring gloves and helmet? She look like a Smurf! I think I'll step on her.” So for a split second I would know how everyone else feels in sparring class.

Then the MN would strike. I would regain consciousness a few minutes later, wondering what the heck happened. Then I would beg the MN to show me how to do whatever they just did (No problem about below the belt/cheap shots, by the way) so I could use their mad skills to defeat tall people in sparring.

This is my solution. Now how do I get a hold of a Midget Ninja, and am I allowed to call he/she that?

18 June 2010

Drat, I Made a Clean Spot

I'm not going to lie—I cleaned my bathroom this afternoon. This is not a terribly uncommon occurrence, but it really shouldn't happen on Friday. I justified my actions by telling myself that it was only 4:30pm and therefore still afternoon, not Friday evening or Friday night. Everyone with me? Glad to hear it.

Real down and dirty scrubbing is not my thing. Well, I should say that it's not my thing unless I can see a difference between what was, a moment ago, dirty and is now clean. If I can actually see the clean happen, then I'm all for it. (Don't get any horrible ideas about my housekeeping. I don't usually wait for things to get dirty enough to see them before I clean them. Wait, sometimes I do. Never mind, forget I mentioned it.)

Back to this afternoon. I was scrubbing the floors and wiping down the baseboards when my sponge strayed up the wall a bit. There was some soapy water, so I wiped it off. At that point I cursed inside. I'd made a clean spot. I knew the walls were a little dirty (humidity will do that to a room) but I didn't know they would come clean. Now I know. And now I've got half a wall that's been wiped down. Great, the rest of it will have to be done or it will get a split personality and then who knows what will happen? Cursed cleaning.

17 June 2010

The Price of Beauty

Every time I go to get my hair colored, I wonder what in the wide universe posses me to do it. First there is the 2-3 hour a-thon with your hair dresser. Luckily mine is awesome. There are those unlucky seekers of beauty whose hair dresser either talks to much, talks to little or talks about things that should be kept between her and her spouse. (Yes, I am assuming most hair dressers are women, but I have been to a man before, so don't think I'm that ignorant. Not about this anyway.)

If the conversation is agreeable, which I do hope it is, the next step is always just delightful. Every other piece of hair on your head is separated out, placed in aluminum foil and painted with something that smells awful. Then the aluminum foil is folded up and pressed to your head, creating an impenetrable shield that even the most advanced alien mind control devises would fail to penetrate. At least you're safe from psychic scans when you've got the foil going on. Hey, that's a great idea for a story. Maybe I'll use it one day.

Sitting around in foils is about the most unattractive thing I can think of doing. Other than running in a bathing suit, that is. Oh, and 80's big hair. Anyway, if your hair is longer, the foil looks like shingles and the every hair of the every other hangs out between. I have no comparison for this, it might be an original look, but I'm not sure.

At some point you are pronounced as “done” (the requirements for this are sketchy) and un-foiled. After that things go pretty smoothly and after a trim and a style, you look in the mirror and marvel at how much you look exactly the same as last time you were here. The hair that is, maybe not other things. So was it all for not? Naught? Whatever. It probably was, but for some reason, it makes me feel better.

16 June 2010

A Little Excited

I'm writing a novel. Perhaps I've mentioned that once (or twice) before. This is the first novel I've ever had more than an extremely vague outline for before I started. I actually spent almost a month trying to figure out a decent plot, along with all of the other bits and pieces that are supposed to go into the story.

My process is to simply write every day. My goal for this project is to type 2-3 pages a day. With that, I should make my estimated word count by the beginning of August, which is when I hope to be finished with round 1. But I'm off on a tangent again.

The reason I'm a little excited is because I just got to one of the cool parts of the story! This happened, that happened, some suspense, some action, a tiny bit of romance and the main character thinks she is about to die from poison when . . .when she finally finds out what is really going on!

Okay, that made no sense, but trust me, it was cool.

There, I feel better.

15 June 2010

Random Act of Fiction

Jeb rolled the bike across the grass, the razor-blade tires leaving an aerated wake behind him.

“You sure you can get that thing goin' fast enough to clear us?”

Apparently Buck doubted. Jeb took one last drink from his beer can before, in a very manly style, crumpling it and tossing it towards the line of on-looking ladies. A few of them giggled.

“I'm sure.”

Buck shrugged. “Okay.” He lay down on the ground at the end of the line. The other nine guys hadn't complained. They trusted Jeb. Who was Buck to doubt? Jeb'd show him.

As Jeb turned the bike around, the ladies started to clap. When he threw his leg over the seat, they started to cheer. Some of them even jumped up and down, which caused all sorts of interestin' things to happen. He smiled and gave them a wink.

Using all of the grace and experience Jeb had picked up over his 23 years, he started through the grass and towards the ramp. The bike moved slowly at first, but it started to gain speed. Jeb was about to hit the end of the ramp when he stopped.

Not like he slowed down and then stopped. No, he just stopped. Jeb couldn't move. Not even his little finger.

In front of him, Jeb spotted a couple of people he'd never seen before. They were dressed in mighty nice clothes, and they seemed to be talking to Buck.

“Whoer you?” Buck demanded, sitting up.

“We're from the GPP,” a man in a dark suit and glasses answered. “We're going to need you to sign this please.”

Bucks stared at the heavy document in the man's hand and then squinted up at the man. “I ain't signin' anything that I don't read first.”

“As you wish.” The man dropped the stack of papers onto Buck's ample stomach. His partner, a woman, offered Buck a pen.

Buck rifled through a few pages. “Uh what's it say?”

“Simply put, it states that if you survive this little stunt, you give up all rights and privileges that come with being in the gene pool.”

“The what?” Buck scratched his head.

Jeb thought he should help. “Where'd you say you were from?”

The man in the suit turned to look at Jeb. “The GPP”

“Whas that?”

The man sighed. “We're with the Gene Pool Police. We're here to make sure your friend's particular genetic make-up ends with him.”

14 June 2010

Another Book Review

The Mark
By: MR Bunderson

Book Back
She's had it forever. A tiny mark on her hand. No big deal, right? But when Tori discovers that her ordinary freckle is really some kind of microscopic tattoo, she doesn't know what to think, especially after meeting Eric, a guy she feels strangely connected to--and not just because he has a mark too.
All too soon, Tori and Eric realize that their marks are only the first clue to a mystery that will change everything. And with each new discovery, Tori finds herself pulled deeper and deeper into a world she could never have imagined.

I met the author of this book at LDS Storywriters conference back in April. Her and her husband sat next to me at dinner. I had picked up her book in the store, looked at it, and put it back down, making a mental note to come back again. After meeting her, I figured I would be supportive and go buy it.

I wasn’t disappointed. The story was simple, but fun to read. If you hate that “I’ll die without him” attitude that Belle has in the Twilight series, you might not love the main character. She tries to be strong, but the connection between her and Eric is just too, well, too something, and she has a hard time living without him. Ugh.

This is the first book I've read in a while that I didn't want to put down. I liked the characters (despite the Belle complex) and I found the plot pretty interesting. The very end was a bit of a letdown, mostly because it’s an obvious set up for another book. Teenage girls will probably love this story. It’s clean, by the way, so no worries about the young girls picking it up.

13 June 2010

Geeky Goodness

I'm thinking of going to Star Wars Celebration V in Orlando in August! The people I'm going with say I have to have an “authentic” costume. They also say I have to be an Imperial. If not, they'll throw me in binders the whole time. So here is the costume I'm thinking about. A blind, dark Jedi. Pretty cool, actually.

Now all I have to do is bribe all the sewing people I know to help me. Viva la Geeks!

12 June 2010

Thank Goodness for the Dollar(ish) Movies

There are only a handful of movies that I've ever seen that made me think, “I'll never get those two hours of my life back.” The most prominent of these is The Avengers. That movie was like one big inside joke that I didn't catch. I didn't even see it fly by.

Tonight a friend and I went to see Clash of the Titans. Did I hear someone groaning? So you've seen it?

I have fond memories of the old one. I remember we had it recorded on VHS, and I used to take it on babysitting jobs. There was one family of boys that loved it, so I watched it quite a number of times. It's cheesy. It's awful. It's classic.

That said, I was expecting more of the same with the new movie, only with better special effects. Uh, it wasn't even close. It was beyond horrible. The special effects were good, and they are the only reason I'm okay having paid $2 for the movie tonight. (It turns out that “dollar” theaters charge more on the weekends.) Still, I was disappointed in the lack of color in the movie. It's probably artsy—I prefer to be able to designate between the giant scorpions, the rocks, the strange desert people, the sky and the main character. Maybe that's just me.

At one point my friend leaned over and pointed out that every single myth had been messed up in one way or another. I told her that it probably took the writers weeks to figure out how to do that. Then there was that guy from Avatar (who forgot to change his haircut for this film), the random woman from Prince of Persia (that girl gets around), bad dialog, even worse acting, the Kraken's naughty tentacles, the shinny metal armor of the gods . . .

Okay, I'll stop. Needless to say we spent the end credits ripping the film to tiny, tiny shreds. At least we didn't pay $8 for it. We saw a preview for the A-Team at the beginning of the movie. We're going to try that one next time.

11 June 2010

The Power of Persistence

Last year at this time, two of my very best friends and I were in England. One of our stops was Stonehenge. Due to the innovation of the digital camera, I now take more pictures than any one person should, especially when I'm traveling. I probably took almost 100 pictures of Stonehenge as we walked around it. With every step came a new view, and with each new view I clicked a picture.

Some of the pictures are good, others are junk. I took this picture at the end of our circuit. I had no idea the sun was going to leap behind those clouds like that. As a matter of fact, the picture before it was blah. This picture—amazing! Who knew? Who could tell?

Make persistence your friend. The two of you will go far.

10 June 2010

When I'm Blue . . .

All I have to do, if I'm feeling blue, is watch my favorite YouTube video ever. The original human Spaced Invaders!

It's the little things in life.

What makes you smile?

09 June 2010

Book Review

I'm not any great reader. I have no credentials that say I am qualified to critique or review anything. If I see a picture or a painting that I like, then I like it. I don't care what medium it's in, what techniques were used or if a 3 year old created it. So as I review “things and stuff” on this blog, take it all with a grain of salt. Half of the time I have no better reason for loving something than it made me laugh.

The Dragon War Relic
By: Berin L. Stephens

I picked this book up while I was at LDS Storywriters conference a few months ago. I didn't even read the back of it before I decided I wanted to buy it, the title alone sold me. (And who says what's in a name?) When I read the back I decided this book was for me. Rings, aliens, spaceships, lasers and dragons? I'm totally in.

The audience on this has to be YA boys. Maybe even younger than YA. It was pretty cheesy. Of course I'm fine with a little cheese. As a matter of fact, every single chapter from this book was filled with parodies on life, and most of them were hilarious. For instance, Chapter 1 is titled “Mystery at the Mighty Mart”. What just popped into your head? Come on, don't be shy. Now add a teenage Mighty Mart employee, his best friend whose primary communication is the world “dude”, a strange man with a ring, an exploding building, elves that love Star Trek and ogres. Oh, and the dragons. See what I mean? Good fun.

The writing wasn't spectacular, but it was easy to read and, true to the back cover, kept me laughing until the very last page. Wait, no, I just re-read the last page, and nothing made me laugh. But the page before did! If you have young teenage boys who like science fiction, video games, aliens and reading I would highly recommend this book. Or you could read it yourself and say you bought it for a friend.

08 June 2010

Ninja Wanna-Be Strikes Back!

Tonight was Kung Fu fighting class. Sensei promised us some fun. (Of course he always says that, but his idea of “fun” is sometimes a bit, shall we say, off?) When he told us to pull out the puzzle mats I knew we were in for it.

I'm short. I'm round. Sometimes that works to my advantage, most of the time it doesn't. Tonight we played king of the mat. First off, why would I want to be king of anything? Princess maybe. Queen certainly. Your Majesty works as well. But king? No thanks. However, in the spirit of the game I played along. Who am I to ruin the fun by pointing out that the girls outnumber the boys in class more than 2 to 1?

The small people I can usually toss off the mat pretty easy. Unless they're like Tasmanian devils, twirling around like mad, hopping just out of reach. Either that or they get behind me and start gnawing on my shoulder, which tends to tickle. Really though, it's the big people I worry about. They just come forward with their arms out like zombies and if they catch me, I'm going off the mat. I try to dodge to the side, but I think something in my jump-to-the-side brain is detached.

Tonight I did okay. I don't remember how many I lost and how many I won. I do have quite a few rug burns, bruises and some very sore knees to show for my troubles. One lady and I were having a great match, until she rolled, I followed and I think I inadvertently either kneed or elbowed her in the ribs. She won the round (my head was off the mat) but I believe I won the battle. Glad Kung Fu fighting class is among friends. (Sorry about the ribs!)

07 June 2010

Why Pockets are so Important

Last night I had a chance to edit the first chapter of my novel. The writing group I belong to is getting together on Wednesday, and I wanted to get my first chapter out to them early so they could tell me how crap-tastic it was. The chapter was ready last night, but I hesitated. Surely one more read-through in the morning wouldn't hurt?

Wrong, wrong, wrong.. I suppose one more read-through would not have hurt . . . had I remembered to bring the flash drive my novel is on to work. You see I put on a new pair of pants this morning. (Pants I got for $4.98 I must brag) Being new pants, I was unfamiliar with their, uh, amenities. Apparently the only amenities these pants offer is showing off my girlish figure. They have no pockets!

I usually put the flash drive in my pocket, but when I found I had no pockets I simply skipped that step of my morning ritual and went straight for breakfast. I love breakfast. Cereal, sausage, yogurt, pancakes, bacon—there I go digressing again. The point is that I got to work before I realized I had left the flash drive at home. Figures. So now I get to go read through Chapter 1 one more time and send it out. I'm kinda scared. This is the first time I've been really serious about writing a novel for publication. If I suck, someone will tell me, right?

06 June 2010

Old Ladies

The area that I live in is filled with houses. Most have been around for fifty or more years. There is also a huge condo complex and a smattering of apartments. The church congregation that I go to is mostly filled with people over the age of 80 and young couples who have just had their first baby. This phenomenon is affectionately referred to as “Nearly Dead, Newlywed”.

This morning I got to lead the music in Relief Society (the women's meeting), so I was standing in front of everyone. The entire middle section of the room was filled with these older ladies. As I was up there, waving my arm to 3/2 music (Really, 3/2? I need to look at that before I pick the songs. Next time I'll find a song with a nice 4/4 beat, and no tempo changes.) I was struck with the amount of experience that was sitting before me.

From a purely mathematical approach—let's say there were 15 of these ladies over the age of 80. 15 x 80 = 1200. There was more than 1,000 years of practical, real-life experience sitting in front of me, singing! Not that singing has anything to do with this, that's just what they were doing.

The writer in me, who is currently ahead in the writer vs. ninja battle, was dumbfounded. What could these ladies tell me? What incredible stories are tucked away in their brains? Imagine the experiences they have been through! If they are 80 years old, then they were born in 1930. How much has the world changed since then, and how much is exactly the same?

Wow. That's all I have to say about that. Wow.

I should take them treats and make them talk!

05 June 2010

Writing-1 Kung Fu Fighting-0

This morning I had to go into work. I'm usually a morning person (just ask my sister) but getting up to be at work by 6am on a Saturday morning was brutal. The donuts and bagels (with cream cheese) helped a little in making me forget that I had gone temporarily insane, but they could not give me back my missed sleep.

Back to the treats—this morning there were these two donuts from a great place called Banbury Cross that looked like little, conical pyramids of glazed, diced hash browns. I've never seen anything like it. I'm not even sure that a conical pyramid is a valid shape, now that I think about it. Well, they looked great, and I thought about trying the glazed hash browns, but the chocolate covered old-fashioned called louder. And who can resist the call of a chocolate covered donut? Okay, I know a few people who can, but I believe they have been genetically altered as walking advertisements for radical diets.

Anyway, after working this morning I missed Kempo class. I managed to get some writing done this afternoon, so I guess the writer is now up on the ninja 1-0. Go aspiring writer girl! Don't worry folks, the ninja wanna-be will get her revenge.

04 June 2010

and so it begins . . .

What should I type? This is my very first blog entry. I feel like it should be meaningful, monumental . . . like it should say something! Something like what? Huh, I've got nothing. Hold please, while I dredge.

There is an epic battle going on inside of me. I love to write, and I love to do Kempo. Each day there is a skirmish, and I never know who is going to win, the aspiring writer, or the wanna-be ninja. I know, I know, ninja are from Japan and technically Kempo is from China. Don't lecture me on cross referencing the martial arts—I just love to hit stuff. Oh, and kicking. Kicking is good too. Every once in a while I write a good fight scene, and both sides of the battle are satisfied. Those are the days when the whole world is in balance and everything is right. So pretty much once every six and a half years on the blue moon in February. Drat, there I go with tangents again. Have I mentioned my susceptibility to distractions?

I suppose I could mention that I'm writing a novel. Well, I'm writing my fourth novel. The first three were part of those 1 million words that have to be written by an aspiring author before the good stuff starts coming out. Maybe this novel will be part of those words as well, I won't know until I've written it. I wonder if I could copy and paste the same word 1 million times in order to make the quota. Or do I have to actually type the word that many times? I'll have to think about that.

My goal is to have the first draft of this novel written by August 5th. It is a young adult novel set in our world with some fantasy elements. No, sorry, no vampires. I'll probably use this blog to vent about writers block, unruly characters, plot holes big enough to sail cruise ships through and whatever else comes between me and getting round one of the novel finished by August.

Either that or I will vent about having to kick people twice as tall as me in the head. But no whining, because Sensei charges $5 for whining, and I believe there is a fee for whining about the $5 charge. Not to mention being used as the punch in dummy, which leaves bruises that make my neighbors wonder who I hang out with in my spare time.

Oh fine, I'll go work on the novel. Wish me luck!