May 30, 2014
Inspiration for George Lucas he was.
May 27, 2014
I was writing a novel in which the main character decided to remain a virgin until she got married. Her reasons and her boyfriend’s reaction and attitude toward her decision played a role in the story. The fact that their wedding night would be their first night together, and her first time having sex would impact their lives later.
After a friend read the manuscript, she said, “No way. A guy would not wait five years for a girl no matter how much he loved her.” I was surprised because she likes to view the world through her tiny little rose-colored glasses.
I didn’t like her response. My rose-colored glasses on the subject were still firmly perched. So, I went to the next most reliable source I had on male behavior, my husband.
“Nope. Never happen,” he said resolutely.
“Not even if he loved her very much?”
“I would say a guy would wait four or five months tops, if her really loved her.”
OK, I realize it’s hypocritical of me to be disappointed. Not only did I not wait until I got married, I lived with him for two years first. Still, for some reason it made me sad to think it was impossible for a couple to wait. I reluctantly changed the story slightly.
I met a young newlywed just a few months later. She had read my manuscript and we were discussing it. I told her about my original plan to have the characters wait to make love until their wedding night. She told me that she and her fiance–yes, this is true–waited five years until their wedding night. I wiped the smudge off my rose-colored glasses with a smile. But I didn’t change the plot of the story back to the original. Five years is just too unbelievable.
What are your thoughts? If you read a book and the characters waited until their wedding night, would you think it was unbelievably unrealistic? Do you have an opinion about a couple waiting to have sex until they are married?
This is a revised post from March 2011.
May 23, 2014
Is it nobler to continue reading and hope for answers devoutly to be wish’d, or to thine own self be true and just kill the damn bird?
May 21, 2014
This blog has been nominated for the Liebster award. Thank you, Franny Marie for the nomination.
Questions from Franny Marie:
1) What are you working on right now in your writing life? This blog and a contemporary YA novel.
2) What made you have a love for writing? Reading and an overactive imagination.
3) What does your writing area look like? (picture please) I need to dust first.
4) What’s your favorite book? Can I have 100 favorites? If not, East of Eden by John Steinbeck.
5) What’s your favorite season? In August, fall is my favorite season. In March, summer is my favorite season.
6) What do you like to do in your spare time? (Writing doesn’t count) Read.
7) Are you outgoing or are you a homebody? I’m both. I love to go out with my husband or meet up with friends, but I love being home with the family too. We have a good time together.
8) What kind of music do you listen to? All kinds but I’m very picky. I guess I could be called a music snob.
9) If you could choose to either change you past decisions or watch the rest of your future in small glimps in a 3 minute video. I’d rather see how the earth was created. That would answer a lot of questions.
10) Lover or a fighter? Depends on a. hormones b. subject matter c. how much sleep I got the night before.
11) What state do you live in? Michigan.
Here are eleven random facts about me that you’ve probably heard before:
- I have five children.
- My three basic food groups are mochas, wine/margaritas, Cheez-Its.
- All my children are taller than I am.
- My mother is shorter than I am (although she won’t admit it.)
- Right now I’m into Jo Jo Moyes and John Green.
- I love the Detroit Tigers.
- I want to be a drummer when I grow up. Neil Peart, Nathan Followill, Dave Grohl, and Pick Withers are my favorites. (I just had to name them.)
- I’m currently reading Splintered by A G Howard.
- I have a huge scar on my right arm from pounding through a glass door when I was four. I used to tell the kids at school that I fell in the rain and cut my arm. Then a worm got stuck in it, and the doctors couldn’t get it out, so they left it in when they stitched up my arm. Everyone believed me. That’s how ugly the scar is.
- I believe the world would be a better place without onions.
- Contrary to popular belief, I do not always wear 4″ heels.
Liebster Award, Part 2 coming soon!
May 20, 2014
There was a time when I knew what I wanted. I wanted to grow up. I didn’t know much beyond that—what I wanted to do with my life, or what I should do with my life, or how to figure out what to do with my life. It was vaguely exciting but it was mostly worrying, like setting off on a journey in the fog.
Then I got married and started having children. Some things came into focus. I knew I wanted to be a good mother and I wanted to have a happy marriage. Other things remained blurry and indistinct. I wanted to finish school. Kind of. I wanted to write. Kind of. As time marched on, it became less about what I wanted in life and more about accepting what it had become. But that was okay; I liked being a wife and mother. Until I realized I wanted more than that. But I didn’t know what.
Then there was a time when I knew what I wanted. I wanted things. I wanted a big, elegant house. I wanted a showplace of a yard. I wanted House Beautiful. Life had a purpose. I spent hours poring over catalogs (pre-online shopping era), scouring stores, and examining what my friends had. Unfortunately, my taste and desire exceeded our income. By a long shot. So I bought less expensive things we didn’t really need. And I wasn’t happy. Neither was my family.
Then everything changed. On a mundane day, on a familiar road, on our way to some unexciting place, a spark ignited in me. In that brief illuminating second, I became aware of the existence of God in my life. Not the God up in heaven, watching the world with a wrathful eye. But the God who knew me intimately and still loved me. And I wanted to get to know him.
I rode that spiritual high for about a week. It came to an abrupt end one morning when things weren’t going my way. I finally lost it when I dropped my blow-dryer on my foot (I was having a bad hair day on top of everything else). I was in a relationship with God now. I shouldn’t ever have a bad day again. And I told God that: “What the hell (yes, that’s the word I used) is going on here? I’m not supposed to have bad days anymore.”
He probably chuckled at that.
Although everything had changed, it remained the same for a long time. I wanted to know God and I wanted to be cool with him. And I still wanted House Beautiful. And I wanted God to want me to have House Beautiful. But that’s not what he wanted for me.
There was a time, on another day, on another ride, it struck me that God had a plan for me that I didn’t know about. I’d have to trust him to lead me on this journey. That thought filled me with excitement. What adventures were in store for me. I couldn’t wait to get started.
And here I am years later, still unsure of where I’m going, but trusting in God and really enjoying the ride.
May 12, 2014
Bloggers learn to scrutinize life. We notice the significant as well as the insignificant, constantly probing our lives and the world. We are forever searching for the answer to the ultimate question: What the hell can I blog about today?
The most inane things can get the wheels creaking inside my head. Recent blog-fodder came to me as I watched my husband putting up the trampoline. There really wasn’t anything for me to do except get in his way. But I told him I’d help and I was determined to do something. I tried to give off my famous I’m-helping-more-than-I-seem-to-be vibe. Finally, I grabbed up the nuts, bolts and brackets he was toting around and followed him around the trampoline, handing him things as needed. After all I said I’d help, dammit.
And the thought—this could be the subject for blog post—whispered through my head.
I could write reams about the many times I’ve stood around trying to look helpful because, although I offered, there’s really nothing for me to do. But subject matter isn’t as important as the response it evokes. Could I make the reader empathize with the humiliation suffered when I’ve stooped to picking up confetti from the floor in an effort to look as though I’m doing something?
I decide to shelve that and consider some of my other recent ideas:
-Revealing my shocking and painful discovery that many of the inspirational quotes by famous authors were, in fact, never said by them. Who knew that Hemingway never said: “Write drunk. Edit sober”? All these years I’ve been guided by this misquote. Not that I haven’t enjoyed it.
-Baring my soul about the pedi I shelled out big bucks for. My heels are still disgusting and I know that is frowned upon in our society. I’m sure I could rouse some empathy there.
-Enlightening those people who say “I’m thinking of writing a book and getting it published” in the same tone they say “I can recite the alphabet.”
-Reliving the trauma of the divorce of my son’s stuffed dog and my daughter’s stuffed dog. Who knew divorce between stuffed animals could be so ugly?
But the inspiration for those things fizzles out, so in desperation I ask my kids for ideas for a blog post. Invariably two of them answer, “Write about me.” I ignore them.
Then D² suggests writing about mothers I admire for Mothers’ Day. D¹ makes a gagging noise and says, “Boring.” D² says, “Well, write about inspiring fathers then. That will be unexpected.”
I can see I won’t be getting any inspiration from that quarter. I think I’ll go sit in the sun with an iced peppermint mocha and wait for a visit from my muse. She’d better hurry up. I’m not getting any younger.
May 9, 2014
I’m going to try this with my kids. They hate when I dance. If they really get annoying, I’ll add some singing.
May 5, 2014
Fangirling-The shortness of breath, fainting, high-pitched squealing, quivering, hyperventilation, endless blogsposts, etc. that occur as a reaction to the object of affection and/or obsession.
Okay, I’m not really a closet fangirl. My children are well aware of what I am. And if we’re not fangirling over the same thing (Lord of the Rings), they regard it (and me) with patronizing impatience. My husband seems okay with my enthusiasm (the euphemism for fangirling.) I think he knows he’ll always be the number one object of my fangirling. Or maybe he’s just ignoring it.
Some would say I’m a fickle fangirl, but I would argue that at my age it’s natural that I would have been enthusiastically obsessed with a great number of people, bands, drummers, ball players, books, and authors. Davy Jones was the first object of my adoration. At a very young age, I told my mom I was going to marry him. I couldn’t understand why that annoyed her. I realize now that I’d probably been carrying on for so long that she was sick of hearing it.
The Detroit Tigers slogan “Who’s your Tiger?” is fangirl heaven. Works for me anyway. But since I seem to curse any Tiger unlucky enough to be mine, I refrain from choosing one. Instead, I have lots.
The most recent object of my fangirling is John Green. (Not that he’s an object.) Four of his books are currently on the NY Times Young Adult Bestseller list. He is a gifted writer. I especially loved his book, The Fault In Our Stars (TFIOS in fanspeak), the movie version of which will be released in June. The trailers look AWESOME. Ask my kids who’ve had to watch them with me on numerous occasions. On second thought, don’t ask them.
My eleven-year-old daughter is fangirling as I write this, about a book she just finished, insisting in the tell-tale squeal that she NEEDS the sequel NOW or she will HYPERVENTILATE (her exact words). Witnessing a fangirl fit is quite a different experience from throwing a fangirl fit.
And yet I don’t think it will cure me from my enthusiastic passion for fangirling. I’m just glad I outgrew the Steve Perry thing.
May 1, 2014
Hi. My name is Dawne and I’m addicted to reading.
It started at an early age—I was in first grade when I learned the habit-forming skill. By second grade I was hard core, blowing through Little House on the Prairie books like wind in the willows. The addiction escalated in fourth grade. On our class’s weekly visit to the library, I’d check out six or seven books and read them in two days by pulling classic all-nighters.
My mom joined a book of the month club when I was in junior high, and I got hooked on the hard stuff: Victoria Holt romances, psychological tales like Sybil (that was a rollercoaster ride), thrillers by Sidney Sheldon, and historical fiction by Marilyn Harris.
I was such a read-head, that I decided I’d read the classics on my own—Steinbeck, Fitzgerald, Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy— because that’s what smart people did. I doggedly read every page, even though I understood zip, zilch, nada.
At nineteen, I got my dream job at Waldenbooks. It was a great way to support my addiction. Employees got a whopping thirty percent discount. The $70 leather-bound Lord of the Rings was a steal at $50. Not only did we get this great discount, we could check out books ala the library and return them at our leisure.
When I had kids, my addiction to soap operas won out over my addiction to reading. For a young mother brain-dead from lack of sleep watching a soap opera took much less effort than reading.
But I got my fix one wintry weekend. My husband was traveling and the kids were at their grandparents so I could paint their bedroom. I craved something to read on breaks from painting, so I scoured the house for something I hadn’t already read. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter wasn’t appealing but there wasn’t anything else. I pulled a classic all-nighter. Literally. I dragged myself from bed the next day, ashamed but gratified. But I did finish painting the room. After that I read rarely; I distinctly remember stirring sloppy-joes with a book in hand. But that didn’t happen often. Motherhood put me on the wagon.
Writing knocked me off.
Writing Rule #1:
“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”
- Stephen King
It began innocently enough. A book here or there. A few late nights. A summer reading list.
And then for Mother’s Day a NOOK—the great enabler. New books available 24/7.
Life is good.