Showing posts from December, 2006

On all four wheels

As I’ve mentioned before, vacation doesn’t agree with my husband, so we took a day trip yesterday. Aside from getting lost at one point, it was a great day, but as we headed home, it suddenly sounded like a helicopter was hanging over our car. As I looked at the night sky like an idiot, my husband pulled over into the shoulder. Our tire had blown up.

I really mean exploded—I’ve never seen a tire in such bad shape. Of course, the tire needed to be replaced and we both knew that.

I waved goodbye to the hubcap as it rolled onto the interstate before our car had even pulled to a full stop, but my husband’s comment was something about how much hubcaps cost. Miraculously, neither of them got hit by a car when he ran after it.

After fretting over the fact our road side assistance had expired 500miles back, my husband managed to HeMan the wheel off and get the spare on. Now a spare is supposed to be good for 70miles or so, but we were still over an hour from home, with at least 70 miles of in…

What I'm Reading

In a post earlier this month (hard to believe that was only a couple weeks ago) I wrote about an (unammed) book that kept throwing me, and blamed the reason on the fact it was written in present tense. Well, reality loves to make a liar out of me, and I just finished an absolutely amazing book, that just happened to be written in present tense.

Vacation doesn’t agree with my husband. While I am accustomed to hours on end locked up in a little room working on a single task, such activity makes him stir crazy. So, he has been dragging me out as often as he can, and one of the few places close by that we both agree to waste away hours is the bookstore. On yesterdays trip, I was wandering through the stacks and Brother to Dragons, Companion to Owls by Jane Lindskold grabbed my attention. Might have been the name, or the striking cover, but something possessed me to pick it up and read the back. My first thought was that it would either be a really good book, or horrid, but the premise d…

Broken, and it's my fault

I'm not sure, but I think my cat had a seizure last night.

She is just over a year old, and we were playing with one of her Christmas gifts, a mouse on a string. She is a ball of energy and a bit of a spaz, so she was jumping around and running in circles after the toy. After a couple minutes, she suddenly crawled onto a blanket, and for a second I thought she was humping it before I realized something was seriously wrong. I wasn't sure what was happening, her mouth was open like she was coughing or choking, but no sound came out, and she pulled her legs and arms tight to her body and seemed to shake. I picked her up and pulled off her collar, thinking it might be hurting her, and then I just rubbed her while she shook. Her heart was racing, and since she'd been playing so hard, it might have been a heart attack, but I've never seen a heart attack or a seizure in a cat, so I don't know.

After maybe half a minute or a minute, she stilled and let out a pitiful moan, …

Good Impressions

My poor little brother.

He met his girlfriend’s family for the first time over Thanksgiving and was invited back for Christmas. She goes to school out of state, but her parents live instate, only about an hour away from my brother, so he picked her up from the airport with the intention of taking her home after they did a little Christmas shopping together. Apparently one member of her family (an uncle, I think) had a birthday yesterday, which they needed to attend. So, trying to make a good impression, my brother made cupcakes.

He isn't really a baking kind of guy (though he can cook amazing meals) and he definitely isn't a cake-decorating kind of guy. So, to make things easy, he bought cupcake mix, canned frosting, and colored gel with decorating tips. There were two different gel color tubes side-by-side at the store, one with pastel colors and one with darker colors; my brother chose the darker.

Maybe around noon yesterday, I got a call from him because he was making 'la…

the encroaching holiday (rant)

I feel like I have been knitting and knitting and knitting constantly, with the only interruptions being sleep and baking cookies. I haven't even opened a word document since Saturday (well, except to spellcheck these short blogs. I couldn't spell my way out of a hat.)

The next time I decide it's a great idea to knit gifts for Christmas but wait until only a week ahead of time to begin said knitting, someone kick me.

A story from Christmas shopping

My husband wanted me to share this story:

So, the other day while we were out at the village doing our shopping, I stopped in front of the Bath and Body Works window, looked at my hubbie, and asked "Do you think your mom would like something from here?" Just as the last word left my mouth, a child of maybe three ran up to the other side (inside) of the window, did a temper-dance-all jerky arms and stomping feet-and then pointed at us. Well, that was a enough of a sign for both of us. We walked on without going inside and found the perfect gift for her a few stores later.

Weekend Art Update

I think I will try to make a weekend art update every week, that will give me a push to actually paint. (A habit I've been lacking since graduating college.)

If you remember from the first post on this subject, I began two paintings last week. (Scroll down a couple days if you would like to see the paintings) I did not get around to working on 'Fire Faerie' but I did a good bit of work on 'untitled'

Well, it's starting to look like a painting at least. I worked on rendering the flat forms today and blocking in the faces and hands (*gripe* Did you know portrait painters in the 17th and 18th century charged extra if you wanted the painting to include your hands because hands are freaking hard!) My palette consisted of: White lead, burnt sienna, raw sienna, burnt umber, raw umber, red ochre, terre verte, and cerulean. The only medium I’m using currently is Liquin, and any mixing is done on the canvas (very rare for me!) This painting is out of my comfort zone beca…

Weather Roulette and Christmas shopping

My hubby and I did all our Christmas shopping today (except for gifts for each other.) We went to the new 'mall' (it's called the village and it's actually out doors so not really a mall) and I was very comfortable wearing a spaghetti-strap top. It’s a strange thing to be wandering the streets laden with shopping bags full of Christmas gifts, looking into windows with decorative snow, and everyone around you is decked out in summer clothes. But then again, that is just mid-December in my hometown. Not that it never gets cold, mind you. Last week it dropped down to 17 degrees, but a few days earlier, while the majority of the country got snow, it was nearly 80 degrees here. Up and down, up and down, welcome to weather roulette, now do I need my winter coat today or can I get by with a tee-shirt? I’m told this is cold/flu weather because the body never knows what to expect. I’m not sure how true that is, but it does mean I never box up out of season clothes. That may sou…

A productive day

I finally had a day I felt was really productive. I needed one. It had been a while.

I tackled a huge chunk of revisions for DH today. I hope to have this edit finished soon so I can sit on it and reread it before sending it to my agent. This is the first edit I’ve done where I ended up adding more words than I deleted. It’s sort of weird, but by far not a bad feeling. I’ve been thinking about the scenes (decided on based on responses from editors) I’m adding for over a month now, letting them work themselves out, and I think it is flowing together nicely. I’ll see how much I like the additions next week. That’s usually a good indicator. Hopefully I’ll have one of those (very few and far between) moments where I go “I wrote this? Wow, I don’t remember it working out quite this well.” Usually I just look at anything I do and go “OMG someone get the defibrillator because this baby is crashing!” (I know I’m not the only one who does that, right? *looks around*)

I also dropped a short sto…

Mistral's Kiss

If I had to point a finger, I would say Hamilton was the biggest forerunner in the blooming Urban Fantasy subgenre as it is today. There are variations out there on what people call UF, but the largest emerging trends in the genre include:
• First person, smart ass, female characters who kick butt. (there are several great UFs from the male pov, but the majority seems to be female)
• Modern or futuristic-modern settings
• Some preternatural or supernatural characters/occurrences

Hamilton may not have been the first to combine these things, but on my bookshelf, Anita Blake was one of a kind for years. Hamiltion’s work definitely has had an effect on my own reading and writing habits. I read only high fantasy before I stumbled on her books, anything remotely modern was an instant deal breaker. (Boy how that has changed…) I think I picked up my first Anita Blake book when I was 14 or 15. I quickly grabbed up everything that was out thus far, and since then have picked up the new novels the …

Painting day 1

I started two paintings today and I thought I would post the preliminary stages. *shrugs* Maybe someone will be interested in seeing the process I go through with a painting.

The first painting (currently untitled) is the largest piece I’ve ever tackled at 36x40in. In fact, it didn’t fit on the easel I typically use and I had to improvise. The second piece (“fire faerie”, FF) is only 5x7in and is very small for an oil painting. Okay, that’s a pretty diverse little pair, so on to the first step I used in starting these paintings:

-inspiration. Eons ago I decided I wanted to paint a faerie for all four elements. Water is finished (you see part of her up there in my title image) but I never got around to the rest. It seemed like time to fix that and fire was the next element that called to me. As for the untitled image…well my mother made a comment a couple weeks ago that got me thinking, and the idea simmered under my skin all through nano, so it was ready to burst out by now.

-Bodies. Wh…

Present Tense

I almost gave up on the book I read yesterday.

Not because it was a bad book. For the most part the story was very interesting (though by the middle of it I found myself skimming the large sections of history and back story that cropped up every other break and interrupted the action.) Over all, I was intrigued by the premise and interested in the characters. No, the problem, my problem, was that the book was written in present tense and I kept being thrown by that.

I’m sure I haven’t always had issues with present tense. In fact, my first noveling attempt, back when I was maybe eleven, was in present tense. So what changed in the last thirteen or so years to make present tense such a deal breaker?

I honestly don’t know.

Other writing styles don’t throw me as much. For instance, my current preference is 1st person pov, but I easily get immersed in books written in 3rd person pov and will accept a certain amount of head hoping without it distracting me. Most of what I read and everything…

What I've been reading

Well, I read far too many books during November. (I think my final count was around 10 books… yes, that is one of the reasons I didn’t meet my 95k word goal.) Out of those books, I want to point out a couple of my favorites:

I’ve been really impressed with the LUNA publishing line, they’ve been putting out some real winners. Poison Study and Magic Study by Maria Snyder are probably my favorite books read this month. It’s been a while since I read a high fantasy novel I couldn’t get enough of. I think the magic of these books are that she combines what I love from UF (first person, kick ass female character) with traditional fantasy elements (roughly medieval setting and magic.) I highly recommend Ms Snyder’s books to any fantasy lover!

I’m a huge fan of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum novels, so when I heard she released a book on writing, I had to pick it up. How I write was fun to read and filled with great advice, but if you’ve read other writing books, you probably won’t find…