Friday, December 31, 2010

Here Comes 2011

Happy New Year! May it bring lots of blessings your way!

I have resolved to make it my most productive year in a while by finishing my degree in school counseling, finishing at least two new manuscripts, and editing the ones that I have.

Hope you have a great year filled with many successes!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Mixed Nuts

I'm sure the holidays are more commercial than they were meant to be, but Sharkey and I have been shopping, shopping, and more shopping the past couple of days. The tykes were at their aunt's for two nights, and I'm not going to lie--it was niiiice. Of course I missed them, but it was nice to eat meals without having to chop up, cut into, order three more bites of this or that, so on and so forth.

We shopped until we dropped so that we could get all remaining presents bought. Mission was nearly accomplished. Just a few more to get, but nothing that we can't handle in the next couple of days.

The only problems we ran into were a few of the holiday mixed nuts. I'm sure you've met them, sorry to say, some of you may become them around the holidays (I know I do on occasion).

One is the parking-space stalker--the car that is suddenly there when you leave the store and follows you around the parking lot while you locate your car. They are relentless and even if you can't for the life of you remember where you parked, they will continue to follow until either you find your vehicle or another shopper walks into their line of vision.

Another is the discount shopper--this is the ubiquitous person at the cash register that wants the cashier to ring it up three different ways to see which one gives the best discount. He or she often has an accordion file of coupons, super savers, and other discount offers, but seems oblivious to the ever-growing line of frustrated shoppers behind him or her. (Okay, I might be this one).

Of course we're all familiar with the stingy hot-item buyer--this is the person who has waited in line since pre-dawn to buy the hot item this year. Don't doubt that if you even step a toe between the item and him or her, your life is in danger. He or she will rearrange your face, thin your hair, and bruise your lower extremities if you even mention that you might be thinking about throwing your money toward said hot item.

And last but not least, the parking-spot maker--this is the person who assigns any open space as his or her personal parking spot. Nevermind that it could be on ice-coated grass, behind other cars, or in the middle of the driving throughway. Any available space is game for this mixed nut. If you happen to get blocked by one these crazy parkers, don't expect an apology. If you even broach the subject, be prepared to walk away taking the blame for his or her blocking your way.

Well, hopefully you are able to avoid all these mixed nuts and have a happy shopping holiday. Better yet, next year, you might try ordering everything on line in November and becoming one of those I-finished-all-my-shopping-before-you shoppers. At any rate, hope your holidays are happy!

Happy writing!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Little Salt

I love chocolate! I mean, probably to the point of obsession if I let myself get that far. From an early age, I have had a love affair with chocolate, and my youngest daughter seems to have picked up the same preference for chocolate above everything else. She will devour a whole six-pack of Hershey's chocolate bars if I don't put them waaaay up, out of her reach.

But I can't fault her because whether through heredity or environment, she gets it honest.

Lately though, I've found another obsession that still involves chocolate. Sweet and salty blended in layers of flavor, I'm talking about chocolate covered pretzels. Just when the luscious chocolate melts over my tongue, I get hit with another layer and crunch--salt. Ooooh! Big whoop! Chocolate covered pretzels. Why am I talking about flour, salt, and cocoa? How boring, right? But before you click away, let me say that I had an epiphany while scarfing some down today.

My writing is like chocolate to me. Now bear with me. To me, it's rich and smooth, and I love the "taste" of it in my mouth (if you will). But often I find, in comparison to published work, it is one-layer when it comes to the flavor. It needs a little salt, a little deeper flavor profile when it comes to the characters (no stereotypes), the plots (not the same old), the word choice (Mo' Urban Dictionary, anyone?), the pacing, the conflict, the sexual tension, etc.

So now that I've finished a novel draft and a short story draft, I'm going back to add the salt. I'm adding just enough to create some crunch and a whole different layer of flavor. Maybe I just need to grab a snack. Then I can get back to revisions without distractions.
Happy writing!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

I'm Still Here

No, I haven't disappeared off the face of the earth. I am just busy, busy, busy with teaching, my counseling internship, being a wife and mother, and of course, the holidays.

To make things even better, we are covered in inches of snow. We will more than likely make it to school tomorrow, and that would be for the best, but I'm not going to lie, I wouldn't mind one more day to get ready for the last two weeks before the break.

Hope you are faring well through this busy season.

Happy writing!