Reading, Writing & Other Addictions

Facing Reality Through Fiction

Gone to the Dogs

So, I have a new petsitting client–my friend Tami, who asked me to housesit for her while she and her husband, Michael, go to Hawaii with their family.  They have two shih tzus, Marley and Chewy (or Chewbacca (pictured to the left), though if you ask me, he looks more like an Ewok, which makes me wonder if George Lucus had a shih tzu.)

Anyway, Tami and Michael have their house set up where the doors automatically lock when they are closed.  In other words, you can get out, but you can’t get back in.  They also have pad locks on the gates to their back yard.  Now, they do have a lock box by their front door just in case you lock yourself out.  But that does you no good if say you go outside around midnight in your pjs to make sure the dogs pee before they go into their kennel for the night and end up locking yourself in the backyard.

Now, I haven’t climbed a fence since I was like nine, but after ripping a couple of nails past the quick and falling at least three times, I finally got out of the backyard and made it to the lock box in the front.  (I am very lucky (or unlucky, depending on how you look at it) that the neighbors did not call the police.  The next morning I looked like an accident victim with bruises running down both arms and one leg. After toying with the idea of telling people I was training to be a kung fu master and had just won my first battle with my arch enemy Lo Mien, I decided the truth was actually more funny, besides Lo Mien would kick my butt.

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Thought of the Day

Sometimes I lie awake at night, and I ask, “Where have I gone wrong?”  Then a voice says to me, “This is going to take more than one night.”   –Charles Schultz

I guess, we all have our Charlie Brown moments when nothing is going like it should and it seems like everything we touch just falls apart.  Everything we do backfires. And we are left tired, and discouraged and angry.  We just want to throw back our heads back and scream, “AAARRRGGG!” (Hey, I did that in traffic yesterday!)  So right now, I say “Scream if you want to scream.  I know how you feel.”  Just remember, this too shall pass.

 

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This Day in History–Feb. 17, 2012

Did you know that Madame Butterfly premiered on this date in 1904 in Milan, Italy? It seems that the composer’s lack of originality caused the crowd to heckle so loudly that the performers couldn’t hear the orchestra and Rosina Scorchio, the soprano playing Madame Butterfly broke down in tears on stage.  Fortunately, the enraged composer revised the score, and today Madame Butterfly need only cry over her sad story.

 

 

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Word of the Day: Sakura

Sukura as a girl’s name is Japanese in origin and means “cherry blossom.”  So why is the three-day anime convention held in Washington state called Sakura-con?

Well, it seems that the conference was originally named Baka-Con, baka being the Japanese word for idiot (I am not making this up).  So maybe it’s no wonder that they changed the name, especially since the best loved flower of the Japanese is said to be the cherry blossom.  In Japan, because of their fragility, cherry blossoms have been used to symbolize the transience of life.

Sakura is also the Chinese word for cherry blossom. However, in China, cherry blossoms are the symbol of feminine dominance, feminine beauty and sexuality, which also fits in with anime. So is guess the answer is:  Why not Sakura-Con?

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Exhaustion Sets In

He was alone for 5 minutes

Now for a personal note.  I kept my nephew, an adorable little 4-year-old, for a 24-hour period, all by myself.  Big deal, right?  YES!  I am a single woman, without much experience with children and this was the longest time I had him all to myself.  I AM EXHAUSTED. Even after a Sunday for recovery. I can barely even think, which makes me irritable and a “joy” to have at work. My proverbial hat goes off to all mothers of 4-year-olds. You are truly amazing.

Asher and I swam, played at the park, and swam, and fed the ducks and turtles by the pond and swam, and swam and finally took a nap (PTL!)  But while he was with me I was able to love on him constantly, and he needs that. You see, his parents are going through a divorce, and my family is seeing first hand how that affects a small child.  He told me that his mother was gone, and she had left because of him.  My heart broke.  I told him that his mother did not leave because of him, and he said okay, but did he really believe that?  I don’t know.

What I do know is that when someone meets my, nephew they cannot help but love him.  He is friendly, loving, handsome, bright, and…Asher.  He is my favorite man, and I love him.

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Ideas: the Day the Dryer Died

I’m really good with ideas, and I can usually start a piece well, but after the first few pages, I usually get stuck.  That’s usually because I get so excited by my new idea that I don’t really flesh out the character or even the story before I begin.  So this blog is going to be about all the possibilities of where I could take The Day the Drier Died and the start of a good main character.

The main character: female, everything seems to be going right in her life.  She has a fiancé.  Let’s make him an up and coming lawyer.  She and her fiancé are closing on a house which should be finalized by the time they get married.  Job: lets say production assistant at a major retailer (just for grins).  Family: parents–healthy, happy, married, brother: divorced, has child, lots of drama in his life, she is the “good one.”

Problems she could encounter: getting dumped, parents splitting up, losing promotion, losing job, house falls through, house doesn’t fall through, fiancé loses job, fiancé caught cheating, father caught cheating, business being bought out, pet dies, parent dies, brother dies, car breaks down, ex-boyfriend comes back into her life, co-worker stabs her in the back, shipment of something gets held up/lost/damaged.

Should take place in August/September as retailers are gearing up for Christmas, if chose the job route that would be the perfect time for something to go wrong and be devastating.

I don’t particularly like unhappy endings so I will most likely have the first paragraph fall before the end of the story.  Which means she’s going to have to pull herself up by her boot straps.  She’s going to have to have great strength of character.  Let’s call her Hope.

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My Journey to Insanity

Francois Truffaut said that everyone who works in the domain of fiction is a bit crazy. The problem is to render this craziness interesting.  Well, unlike Truffaut, I do not work in the domain of fiction–I live there.  But don’t worry.  I’m not crazy–at least, not yet.  However, if being crazy is required for working in the domain of fiction, my goal is to be absolutely crackers.

In this blog, I am going to track my journey through writing and publishing a fiction novel.  Though I am sure I will take side trips down short stories, poems, ideas for other novels and that thing that always seems to get in the way–real life.

So keep your hands in arms inside the ride at all times, because here we go!

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