Friday, August 18, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things-August 18, 2017




It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  Tonja Drecker and I are her co-hosts.

Zoe has more teeth coming in!  Only a couple of weeks after her bottom front teeth broke through, she now has the top front teeth visible just below the surface.  This has made her a tad irritable, but I can't blame her for that.

The novel I've started work on is taking some interesting turns.  The plot is growing and I may have a series on my hands now.  It's too soon to say what lies ahead, but I'm having a great time with it!  Even if the scope of this project is a little bit frightening.

The eclipse is on Monday!  Eek!  I'm looking forward to this so much.  I have a telescope, solar filter, and video camera so I can hopefully record the event.  Well, the crucial bits anyway. My laptop battery isn't good enough to capture the entire thing from start to finish, but as long as I get part of the lead up and totality, I'll be happy.  I just need the clouds to stay away.  If I do get good video of it like I'm hoping to, I'll share it with all of you.

What would you like to celebrate?

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

WEP: Reunions


It's time for Write Edit Publish with Yolanda Renee and Denise Covey.  This month's theme is reunions.  There are so many possibilities with this month's theme.  Let's begin!

Tips for Surviving a Class Reunion

#1-Don’t let Facebook intimidate you.
            In the era of social media, people share everything.  What they eat, how much they exercise, the job promotions they got, etc.  People want to share their successes with the world (who doesn’t?), but the ability to pick and choose what gets shared can make it appear as if someone’s life is perfect.  This is a lie.
            Think of it this way.  Do you share a photo of yourself first thing in the morning complete with bedhead and eye boogers?  No.  Do you share that video of you trying a complicated dance move, tripping over a railing, and falling butt-first into a rose bush?  Of course not!  You don’t need to.  Someone you know will do it for you unless you destroy the evidence!  But if you’re not sharing that stuff yourself, your old classmates probably aren’t either.  This doesn’t mean those moments of humiliation don’t exist.
            People lie and manipulate facts on the internet all the time.  Shocking, right?

#2-Bring a buffer.
            If you have a significant other or friend who went to a different school than you did, drag them along with you.  This will help keep any awkward moments from getting too bad.  If the class bully asks if you ever fully recovered from that atomic wedgie, introduce them to your buffer.  What if a classmate approaches you about hooking up with their sweetheart senior year?  (You didn’t know they were dating!  How could you when you were always at the tail end of the gossip train?)  “Hey, I’d like you to meet [insert buffer’s name here].”  At the very least, they likely won’t try to punch you through your significant other’s face.  And if they do, it’ll make them look bad in front of everyone else.
            The down side to this is your friend/significant other may learn some embarrassing details about your teenage life.  If they love you enough to tag along for this, they probably won’t be too merciless with this newly acquired information.

#3-Practice your introduction.
            These people knew who you were a long time ago.  You’ve presumably changed a lot since then.  Even if you’re the same inept weirdo you were in high school, you don’t need to leave your ex-classmates with that impression.  Think of it like a job interview.  It’s all about framing the things you’ve accomplished in the right way.  Are you a waitress?  Congratulations!  Now you’re a food delivery technician!  Do you clean toilets?  Now you’re a health and sanitation expert.  Your job may not be glamorous, but other people don’t need to know that.  Presentation is crucial.

#4-Have an exit strategy ready.
            Reunions may be a good chance to catch up with old friends.  They might also be the perfect chance for old dramas to rear their head and strike.  A casual conversation can turn to one of bitterness and contempt quickly, and you should be prepared for that.  Have your buffer fake a medical emergency.  Have a friend on standby ready to call with an excuse to leave.
            You could also decide to tell people what you really think of them and casually stroll out afterwards.  You are an adult and free to leave at any time, after all.  You may even look just a little bit badass while you do it.  Unless you trip over your own feet on the way out.  Which you will, let’s face it.  That’s how these things work.

#5-Remember that you never need to see these people again.
            At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how bad you mess up.  It doesn’t matter in the slightest what any of them think of you or of what you did with your life.  They may be a part of your past, but they don’t have to be a part of your future if you don’t want them to be.  The sooner you embrace this fact, the more fun you’ll have.
            Have a happy reunion everyone!

Word Count: 660 words
FCA

Friday, August 11, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things-August 11, 2017


It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  Tonja Drecker and I are her co-hosts.

School registration was this week, so now it's just a countdown until that first day of school.  I'm glad the paperwork is done, that's for sure.  I love writing, but I hate filling out stacks of paperwork.

The eclipse is coming up soon, and we're preparing to take a drive to Northern Missouri to watch it.  I cannot wait!  I'm the geek who has been looking forward to this event for at least four years.  I will not feel bad about that, either.

I'm having good luck with the novel I recently started.  I've written several scenes, and I'm happily outlining it so I have an idea of where the story is going.  I absolutely LOVE getting excited about writing projects!

What would you like to celebrate?

Friday, August 4, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things-August 4, 2017



It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  Tonja Drecker and I are her co-hosts.

I've spent part of this week submitting stories.  I already received a rejection, but I just turned around and submitted it somewhere else.  I'm determined not to let it get me down.

We finished buying school supplies for the boys, who return to school later this month.  One of them is excited, the other less so, but I'm sure they'll have fun once they head back.

I'm also celebrating the surprising nature of inspiration.  I have a WIP that's been sitting on the back burner for a little while.  I knew the beginning of it was lacking something, but I hadn't been able to come up with something that felt right. Then halfway through the week, I was relaxing with a cup of coffee when the idea smacked me upside the head.  I've since rewritten the beginning of this WIP and, while it still needs some polishing, I can say that it is much improved.

What would you like to celebrate?

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The Insecure Writer's Support Group: August 2017



It's the first Wednesday of the month!  Let's convene another meeting of The Insecure Writer's Support Group!  Our esteemed leader Alex J. Cavanaugh started this group so writer's could seek out support and share our insecurities with one another.  The co-hosts for today are: Christine Rains, Dolorah @ Book Lover, Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor, Yvonne Ventresca, and LG Keltner!  That last one is me, by the way.

Be sure to visit the IWSG website!

The question for August 2nd, 2017 is: What are your pet peeves when reading/writing/editing?

Typos are a big thing for me when I'm reading.  When I'm editing, I expect the typos, and they don't bother me because I can easily fix them.  However, when I stumble across them in a published thing, I wince.  That's because I can't fix it, no matter how much I want to.  It's inevitable, though.  A stray typo is going to get through here or there.  Such is life.

I also hate it when words or phrases are overused.  If the writing gets too repetitive, it can trip readers up and detract from the experience.  I find issues like this in first drafts of my own stories, and I always try to fix it.  Sometimes I'll see what I can trim to help alleviate the problem.  I also love using my thesaurus. You don't want to go overboard on using over-the-top fancy language to describe something simple, but that doesn't mean you can't add a little variety by testing out a few synonyms.  If you use a deft hand, you can make your story sparkle.

Oh, and here's a bonus pet peeve that has to do with the outside world.  I absolutely can't stand it when I'm reading/writing/editing and people assume that I'm not busy with anything important.  My kids get a free pass at this since I need to take care of them, but anyone else may immediately find themselves on my bad side.

What are some of your pet peeves?