Sunday, February 27, 2011

Maggie's Doing Spring Cleaning -

Maggie Stiefvater is doing spring cleaning - with books give-aways.

I know I need to do spring cleaning - the dust bunnies are obviously planning some kind of revolt. And I do need to spring clean my book shelves, and stacks. But maybe I can put it off until I enter Maggie's giveaway. Give me more to be magnificent with. ;) Yeah, that's a good motive. Right?

And to show I am a nice person - here's the link if you Must enter yourself.

And yes, one of these days I will even learn how to do this correctly.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011



Been on my mind recently. Most particularly Emyl Jenkins’ legacy that she left behind. When she passed away and left us much, much too soon. But also left with untold people a legacy of encouragement, and courage.

Especially been on my mind since Ellen Brown’s great book signing event the other night, for her book - Gone With the Wind: A Bestseller’s Odyssey from Atlanta to Hollywood

Selected by Publishers Weekly as a top pick for spring 2011.

[If you missed Ellen’s book signing the other night you have another opportunity coming up next week on March 3rd. And to benefit a charity as well. I posted about it in an earlier blog post so be sure to check it out.]

Ellen teared up and her voice quavered as she gave a touching talk thanking all the people that had helped and encouraged her with the writing of her book.

She especially remembered the late Emyl Jenkins, who ‘encouraged’ Ellen to start her writing career to begin with and was so thrilled when Ellen told her about what she was thinking about writing.

Emyl sometimes had a unique way of encouraging. ;) I remember being on the receiving end of “Well honey,” and “You need to step up” myself.

It’s amazing the things you discover about people. And the people that they touch in some way, the legacy they leave behind. Almost a year now after Emyl passed away I am still hearing from people the way Emyl ‘encouraged’ them, whether to ‘step up’ and get involved, get out, and meet other writers, or to get rid of their excuses and sit down and write their dream. Emyl was able to ‘encourage’ them all.

It still amazes me all the people that Emyl Jenkins touched and influenced.

And is still influencing.

Especially if you take advantage of the opportunity of the Emyl Jenkins award over at James River Writers []

So step it up. Reach out and leave a legacy.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Where There Be Heroes?

Everyone seems to think of heroes as big super guys in some kind of spandex and capes. Uh, if you see someone like that, they’re probably not heroes. Just so you know.

The real heroes of our lives are often the ones we take for granted and run by giving quick pats and quick words on our way to someone else. Perhaps more flashy and spandex-y like.
And perhaps with no more thought than that.

As those that read my blog the other day, I’ve been grabbing all the time I can reading Jim Butcher’s book “Changes” - a Dresden File mystery.
A fascinating mix of mystery and fantasy, and a lot of things thrown in. So many different things I often find myself pausing to wonder ‘what if’ .... and, well, a lot of things that I’m not going to mention right now. For a few reasons, one being I might want, okay, need, to use for some more blog posts.
Whether it is Butcher’s take or view on heroes or just that of one of his character’s, it was another instance of making me stop and think.
Harry and his friends are getting ready to go off on a quest. Sort of. Butcher does a great job of using ‘pop-culture’ references to add humor and lighten up scenes that would be dark and horrific otherwise.
In this particular one, Harry is occupied with something and the others getting ready to go on the journey with him start likening themselves to the characters in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Harry was not part of the discussion so he is rather put out by his character designation -

“Changes” - page 335 -
Harry asks who he got cast as.... “Sam,” Sanya said.” Harry blinks and declares “Oh, for crying out loud, it was perfectly obvious who I should have been.”
Sanya just shrugs and tells Harry that Harry’s godmother [referred to later as “Spooky death Sidhe lady,” Molly said. “Now upgraded to spooky, crazy death Sidhe lady.” ----- okay so maybe you need to trust me on this one and just read it.]
Anyway, so Sanya tells Harry that Harry’s godmother got Gandalf so Harry got Sam.
“He started to leave and then paused. ‘Harry, you have read the books as well, yes?’
‘Sure,’ I said.
‘Then you know that Sam was the true hero of the tale,’ Sayna said. ‘That he faced far greater and more terrible foes than he ever should have had to face, and did so with courage. That he went alone into a black and terrible land, stormed a dark fortress, and resisted the most terrible temptation of his world for the sake of the friend he loved. That in the end, it was his actions and his actions alone that made it possible for light to overcome darkness.’’

We might not all have a Sam in our lives, or think we don’t. But how many unnoticed heroes do we have in our lives?
Like the Sandra Bullock character in the movie “While You Were Sleeping” tells another, when he says he’s no hero, she says ‘you always give up your seat on the train.’ ‘that’s nothing’ he says, to which she replies, ‘not to the one that sits in the seat.’

So whatever kind of hero you have in your life, reach out and recognize them in some way.
If you had one like Emyl Jenkins, then go over to the JRW site and see about nominating them for the Emyl Jenkins award.

Don’t let your heroes go unnoticed.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sorrow and chocolate

Sorrow and chocolate thoughts. Not the sorrow of having no chocolate. Different thoughts. Although, the thought could work.

Seen on tea towel - "I don't drown my sorrows. I suffocate them with chocolate.'

Works for me.

What about you?

Although it should be Really good chocolate. Or that's a Different sorrow.

hmmm, I didn't get Valentine chocolates, perhaps you think............. ;)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Wishing you love, and hope

Wishing you love, and hope

On this Valentine’s Day

I wish you all love, of all kinds

which, whatever they say

Everyone needs.

I hope that everyone finds

the love they need

if not the one they think they are searching for

Or maybe just sees

what’s already there

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Too busy to dream?

Are we getting too busy to dream?

I don't know anyone that doesn't live a life overflowing with to-do's and things that must be done, needs to be done, wants to be done.
And being a writer in today's world it's even more time consuming. We all have have lives, of some kind. Families. Jobs. And a myriad of other things that take up time, from cooking, cleaning, and doing laundry, to just taking time to take quick showers. Luckily breathing takes place on its on.
We are also told that as writers we Have to get 'out' in the social media world of Facebook, Twitter, and blogosphere to let people know of us and our writing. When we can squeeze in time for writing. Seems to be a rough balance of juggling sometimes.
How much of ourselves do we lose in the hectic pace we put ourselves on? How much of our dreams?

I discovered a Great blog post recently that has made me stop, at least a moment here ;}, and take a little extra breath.

How Did I Get So Busy?

And be sure to read the comments - there was one that totally made me stop .... and I'm not sure why exactly, just that it resonated somewhere inside that has made me think I need to take some time and figure out why.

‘can be found in the dreams we dream along the way’

How about you? Where are your dreams?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Writing Humor

I still go to Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum books when I need a break and just want to be entertained. But I can't read them back to back or all the time or anything. Even though they are crazily funny and have great, and funny, characters.

But I have just found a good mix of humor, mystery, and even fantasy wizard magic thrown in as well.
The Dresden Files mysteries, books by Jim Butcher.

One of the funniest male / female differences in sizing up others - from the book 'Changes' by Jim Butcher.
One of his Dresden Files mysteries... as one review puts them 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer starring Philip Marlowe'

I won't say much since I wouldn't want to ruin the surprises all through, even starting the book.
Or at least surprises to me certainly since I just discovered the Dresden Files books recently and have only had time to read one book, and, er, and 61 pages of this one. And I have read none in sequence or in order. Which is my test of a good series writer, can they keep the interest of someone new that drops in unexpectedly, as well as their regular clientele. So far Jim Butcher does a pretty great job.

As I said, I've only read one, and a piece of another so far, but Jim Butcher does a really good job with humor. There have been several really big smile moments in both books but this is just ....well... if no one else I know my friends that read this will think it's great!

pg. 61 brief summary so you aren't totally lost here altho' technically don't think you need it... but here it is anyway ... Susan, Harry's former girlfriend, has dropped in [a serious problem, I won't even mention so don't spoil the surprise] [p.s. Harry has a lot of problems. So makes good reading. ;) ] Susan has been away many years, doesn't realize Harry has a young female apprentice named Molly.

Susan smiled at me, giving Molly the Female Once-Over --- a process by which one woman creates a detailed profile of another woman based upon about a million subtle details of clothing, jewelry, makeup, and body type, and then decides how much of a social threat she might be. Men have a parallel process, but it's binary: Does he have beer? If yes, will he share with me?

Good one huh? :::grin::::

hmmmm, just came to me, given how Harry was in the latter Harry Potter books ... well without all the Horcrux stuff and all... or not, given I've not read many of the Dresden books....yet....Dresden is quite possibly what Potter might have become grown up.... and they are both Harry's. Dresden is snarkier and funnier though. ::grin::
What do you think?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Research and Remembering

We are told by the old saying 'Those that don't remember the past are doomed to repeat it.'
Or something along those lines.
No, I didn't look it up.
I get sidetracked enough. Which is not always a bad thing, can find really neat things on off-shoots and side-tracks. But can also find yourself far from home, so far from home it can be difficult to find your way back to your story line.
And find all sorts of things popping up in your head. Like remembering the past. Where's the cross over line where remembering the past becomes too much reliving the past and keeps people from moving on with the life they have now?

Remembering has different functions I suppose. Warnings to not repeat things that did not work in the past to warnings to signs of things going awry while still have time to do something and alter the outcome. Hopefully.

Remembering also helps to remind us how far we've come. Which can be encouraging. Especially as writers. Helps sometimes to see all the words we've accumulated, when all we see is how far we have to go.
And helps to see how much better writers we are today than we were yesterday.

So remembering the past has it's purpose. Keeps us going forward, hopefully.
And keeps us going as writers, since there's always wonderful stories in the past. I didn't say happy stories, although hopefully everyone has those, but also wonderful interesting stories.
And learning how as writers to tell those wonderful stories in our own unique ways. But also learning how to leave the past behind when we need to and live our 'real' present lives as fully and happily as we can.
So I guess that's the line for remembering the past. And knowing how to draw that line. And when.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Research and Writing

Why is research so much more enjoyable than writing?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Love, Happiness, and Conviction

The supreme happiness in life is the conviction that we are loved.
---Victor Hugo

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