2 Blondes, 1 Redhead & a Reviewer

Archive for the month “January, 2013”

Childhood books….

My Father’s Dragon.  Its THE book.

My dad read it to Mark, Craig and I when we were very very young.  It has stuck in my head that I can recite the plot, though not the words. I have a copy somewhere on my shelves and no, I didn’t read it to my kids.  I made up stories for them.

It didn’t introduce me to a new world, or give me great insight. The book brings a memory of the three of us sitting on Dad’s lap in a big oxblood leather chair in Iceland.  It was six months dark and 6 months light on Iceland so there was a long of covered windows and reading.  Plus, little to no TV then.

I realized in the last few days that Memories are the real treasure as some little bastards robbed my house and while they made off with a lot of electronic stuff, they stole more from me than anything. they stole my jewelry that was sentimental. piece that mark major points in my life. now its gone, all of it. Because of a really selfish Navy wife who stole rings my father gave me, I now have nothing left from my youth.  I’m heartbroken and frankly don’t want a single thing in my home that’s a prize. Someone will always ruin it.


Paper or megabytes?

Are you a techy or does paper still thrill you?

Its a lot bigger question than I’d first thought.

I’m a paper fiend.  But then, I’m a list maker.  When I have a list to accomplish, I’ll do it diligently to see it grow smaller.  Most times.  Paper reminders help me channel my ADD to work for me instead of against.  I own the fact that I can screw off like nobody’s business if I don’t have routine.  Yes, sometimes that’s exactly what people need.  But I get greedy and keep it up longer than I should.

‘Writers are allowed to waste paper.’  That’s a quote from Anne LaMotte during a workshop I was fortunate to attend over 15 years ago.  It was marvelous moment when an accomplished writer gave permission to write every wild thought down, even if you knew you weren’t going to use it.  It wasn’t the paper thing, but a nudge to explore further than I had.  A nugget of an idea suddenly grows to the premise, from there, story, characters, etc.  Ann scribbled notes on index cards.  She said it gave her more room to flesh out an idea a bit instead of a few words that months later, would make absolutely no sense.

I use 4 X 6 blank index cards.  I bet I go through 500 in under 3 months.  I love neon ones too.  But oddly, I’m judicious when I use them.  As if they are for the really good plot points.

In the world of wasting paper, I don’t print chapters on the back of old print outs for the simple reason that when I edit, the notes for furthering the scenes are on the back.  Once I ran the LRWA Jasmine contest and a writer sent a submission printed on the back of only work.  As a professional writer, this is very bad form. I let it slid because she obviously didn’t know it was unacceptable for a contest.  For any submission,  anywhere, any time should be your best work; properly edited and on unmarred paper.  its not the place to be frugal.

I felt angry I had to explain this when this person wanted to be in my profession yet did not bother to learn the basic rules. Yes in presentation, there are rules.  Just as there are when you appear for a workshop or a book signing, or as a guest.  Dress appropriately, speak clearly, try not to embarrass yourself and above all, thank your host and the attendants.  They are the readers first.  When I see otherwise at a professional conference, I want to ask, who raised you not to put your best foot forward in public?

But I digress.

I also love my technology.  I can type fast, but I transpose letters frequently.  If I were on a typewriter, the retyping for a clean manuscript would slow production.  I’m also impatient so it would likely just ended writing for a living early on. I’d still be a hair stylist (in my mind I hear hair dresser) standing on my feet all day instead of sitting for equally long hours on my rear.

I need to edit that ‘hard copy.’  Marking it up and improving the work gives me a little high and for me, seeing it printed gives a different look and feel creatively as well.  The white space, readability, the pace and tension of the story are elements that come into play with how it looks on the page.  Besides, no one will be reading it in any other way.  Whether you are seeing the story from within technology, or go the ancient route of printed on paper, I can guarantee the writer thought a lot about how their words looked on a page.

I sure do.

Heck.  I’ve edited this short bit three times and that doesn’t include the editing I do while I’m typing.

So… I’m a paper fiend who needs a word processor.  But you know, when all else fails I can still create a story with just pen and paper.


Bourne Again

What was my fave movie of 2012?


Okay, so I was skeptical.  A Bourne film without Bourne?  Well that’s going to suck.  Who is Jeremy Renner?  Didn’t we end the Bourne trilogy with Pam Landy about to tell all to the powers that be?  Yep, this had sucks written all over it.


However, one afternoon my hubby and I were at the theater and the Bourne Legacy was the next convenient show.  With a tad of trepidation and a bucket of popcorn with high butter substitute and enough sodium for two days, in we went to see the show.


It was a lunchtime showing (hence the need for the bucket of popcorn) so there were maybe ten of us in the theater.  Not a good sign.  I live in what I will politely call an elderly county in Florida and daytime movies are a really popular.  So being there with my ten friends did not bode well.


Coming attractions blared from the screen, the volume rattling my teeth.  Why do they have to make trailers so blasted loud?  Lots of horror movies.  Hate them, couldn’t drag me to one.


I was in love with Aaron Cross before he managed to climb, crawl and cunningly work his way through the Alaskan wilderness.  The location shots are impressive, so if you rent this, go Hi-Def.  Seeing it in the theater was worth the price of admission.  It has a plot, a purpose and the timing I so loved in the original Bourne movies lives on in the film.


That’s why The Bourne Legacy has made me a believer in sequels.  Matt who?

When you wish upon a star . . .

And my stars are pretty big.  A few years back I went indoor skydiving with fab NYT best-selling author Leanne Banks.  It was basically the two of us jumping on top of a jet engine, bouncing around.  Too fun.  So since then, I’ve dreamed of doing the real thing.  Except I’d be that granny who falls out of her chute and lands panties first on YouTube.


I’m a DAR member and my Patriot (that’s what they’re called) is from London.  I’d love to go spent a few weeks there tracking any distant relatives.  Oh, and I might have a pint or two while I’m at it.  I actually like dark room temperature beer.


I’d love to learn to fly.  Not so interested in crashing, though.


Lastly, the one I have no control over – I’d like to write a NYT best-seller.  Is, it’s a lightning strike but hey, a girl can hope.

My Bucket List


Don’t have one and never really thought on it long enough to get weird about it.

But if forced– top on this list would be to visit Ireland and India.   Ireland, for the simple fact I’ve written a half dozen books set there and have never seen it.   I’d like to match up the places I created from research to the real thing.  And for once, stand in a spot I’d had a character stand.  That would be just surreal.  Of course, spending a night in a castle or manor would add to the mystic of the land.

As to India, I’ve always wanted to visit.  I’m talking for 25 years at least. I don’t know what draws me but I want to learn more and being there would, in this writer’s opinion, do it.  But the need is not so pressing and that could be because the reality of it is slipping away.

I’m not a writer who feels I must take a research trip to write a book. Mostly because I was never paid enough to do that and I’m far too practical.   My advances went to pay bills and help buy our house, so giving up thousands for a trip for a book just wasn’t in the cards.  I could always find something we needed as a family as opposed to what I needed as a writer.  And let me say right here, no writer needs a research trip.  I’ve never been to Ireland but have written about the land and customs.  (Ask me anything about the1169 Invasion) I received a letter from a young woman who was from Donegal and she praised me for bringing her part of Ireland to life so well it made her homesick.  That was one of the greatest compliments I’ve received.  Job done.

I have things I’d like to do but not Bucket worthy.   At this moment, it’s to write a great book.  Not just a good one, but one that evokes controversy, new thoughts, debates… a memorable book.

With that in mind, I’m off to write it.


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