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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Monster Mash

"He did the mash, he did the monster mash/ It was a graveyard smash/ He did the mash, it caught on in a flash/ He did the mash, he did the monster mash." - Bobby Boris Pickett

Halloween is only about a month away, and I am making a CD for Riley and Alana of spooky, fun, and Halloween themed songs. Here's what I have so far:

"The Monster Mash" by Bobby Boris Pickett
"Witchy Woman" by The Eagles
"Witch Doctor" by Alvin and the Chipmunks
"Spooky" by The Classics IV
"Boris the Spider" by The Who
"Purple People Eater" by Sheb Wooley
"The Addams Family" TV theme song
"Bad Moon" by CCR
"Werewolves of London" by Warren Zevon

If any of you have more ideas, I would love to hear them! The girls are into Halloween more than ever this year, so I know they will get a lot of use out of this CD. Plus, as an added bonus for me, I will enjoy listening to these songs too as I drive them all over town. Thanks!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Rain Fallin' On My Shoes

"And I was standin' on the side of the road/ Rain fallin' on my shoes/ Heading out for the East Coast/ Lord knows I've paid some dues gettin' through/ Tangled up in blue." - Bob Dylan

It has been raining for two days and the worst is yet to come. We are supposed to get 5-8 inches before we see the sun again. Now normally I prefer dark, stormy days over bright, sunny ones, but this is ridiculous. By the time I walked into work this morning my shoes were filled with water, leaving my socks soaking wet, which I can't stand. To make matters worse, my right sock was wetter than my left one, which made me feel very uneven. I think my OCD is escalating.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Manic Monday

"It's just another manic Monday/ I wish it was Sunday/ 'Cause that's my funday/ My I don't have to runday/ It's just another manic Monday." - "Manic Monday" by The Bangles

Yep, it's Monday. Ugh. I just got a text from the girls' mom saying that Alana didn't nap all weekend and had a very rough morning. This child has issues with her hair, and apparently she wasn't happy with it this morning, which led to a huge tantrum. Alana only likes wearing her hair in a low ponytail and if it isn't just exactly so, she let's us know about it. Especially if she's tired. Now I know that a lot of four-year-olds don't need naps anymore, but Ally isn't one of them. All summer long this kid slept for 2-3 hours every afternoon, but once school started that all changed. We'll see what happens this afternoon...

So yeah, this is going to be a manic Monday for sure. To top it off, it's a rainy day and I pick Riley up late from school because she had field hockey until 4:15, which means we will probably get stuck in traffic on our way home. I have no patience for traffic. At all. If I hear "Monday, Monday" on the radio (NOT "so good to me") I may scream. Cover your ears!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

I Hope They're A-Changin'

"Come writers and critics/ Who prophesize with your pen/ And keep your eyes wide/ The chance won't come again/ And don't speak too soon/ For the wheel's still in spin/ And there's no tellin' who that it's namin'/ For the loser now will be later to win/ For the times they are a-changin'." - Bob Dylan

Well, the writer is here, and I would be thrilled to find a critic to review my work! The wheels are always spinning in my head - always - and there is no telling what will come out of my crazy thoughts. As I have been editing my latest manuscript this week, I keep coming across lines that surprise me and I have no idea where they came from. Sometimes my imagination runs wild, and in my opinion, that's when my writing is best. When I zone out, develop tunnel vision, lose all sense of time and space, and stop overanalyzing every little word, magic happens. At least in my eyes.

As for the last part of these ingenius lyrics, I don't consider myself a loser by any means, no matter how many rejection letters I get or how many weeks go by without hearing a word from the agents that I am putting so much faith in, which is more than a little difficult for me. Nope, I'm not a loser for the simple fact that I am writing and trying to fulfill my dream - my destiny. Eventually I will win, and then I can say, "Things have changed."

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Come and Get It

"If you want it, here it is/ Come and get it/ Make your mind up fast/ If you want it anytime I can give it/ But you better hurry 'cause it may not last." - "Come and Get It" by The Beatles

Yesterday I finished my third "Willow Ryan" novel three weeks ahead of schedule! Yea for me! The lyrics above are directed at all of the literary agents out there. Come and get it! I sent in a query letter with two sample chapters today and was rejected ten minutes later. I'm sure she didn't even read any of my pages. It's hard to stay positive with results like that, but I'm not giving up. I guess I'm just too stubborn, or maybe just stubborn enough. I don't know. Someday I will see my name in print!

Anyway, I am still celebrating a victory. Finishing three novels in 18 months, along with working at my "normal" job and dealing with everything else in my life is pretty great. Congratulations to me!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Do It Again

"You go back, Jack, do it again/ Wheel turning round and round/ You go back, Jack, do it again." - Steely Dan

Wow, two posts in one day. I'm on a roll! In case you haven't guessed, these lyrics are referring to me sending out another query letter. This one was sent to an agency that I think would be a really good fit for me and by "Willow" novels, and I was happy that they allowed me to submit a synopsis and the first three chapters of my book instead of just a letter. I mean, come on. How can you get a good idea of what a book is about or how a person writes solely from a one page query?

So now I have my fingers crossed once again, just wishing and hoping that I receive a positive response from the Prospect Agency. I know the right agency is out there to represent me, and maybe this time I've found it!


"Saturday night's alright for fighting/ Get a little action in." - Elton John

I am reworking the lyrics to this song. My version will be "Saturday night's alright for writing/ Get a little fiction in." What do you think? Too cheesy? You're probably right, but I couldn't resist. I am so boring, I would rather spend my Saturday typing away at my computer than doing pretty much anything else, but what can I say, I'm obsessed!

I am currently on page 308 of my third "Willow Ryan" novel, making my running total of pages written in the last year and a half to be 1,000. I can hardly believe it! When I mentioned this to my dad last night he said he hopes it pays off. Even though I have yet to be published, I can honestly say that my writing has already paid off. Completing a book, chapter, page, even a sentence, gives me such great joy, stress relief, and sense of satisfaction, that I can't even put a price on it. True, a nice big advance or royalty check would be VERY nice, but that isn't what writing is about to me. I don't write because I want to make money, I write because I need to, just like I need to eat, drink, and breathe. To me, there's no difference.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

It's a Wonder I Can Think at All

"When I think back/ On all the crap I learned in high school/ It's a wonder/ I can think at all/ And though my lack of education/ Hasn't hurt me none/ I can read the writing on the wall." - "Kodachrome" by Paul Simon

Like "Reelin' in the Years", this is also one of my songs. To give you an example of how I identify with "Kodachrome", when I drove by my old high school today, the sign out front read "Welcome back student 2011". There was no gaping hole where the letter "s" had been left off of the word students, just "Welcome back student 2011". Also, the last time I checked, it's still 2010. Brilliant! After spending four years at that school, it's amazing that I retained the ability to think. Luckily, my previous educational career had been in California where the standards and expectations are much higher than they are in the South, and I am happy to say I am not a product of my Virginia education, just a parolee after a four year term.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Yellow Brick Road

"Back to the howling old owl in the woods/ Hunting the horny back toad/ Oh, I've finally decided my future lies/ Beyond the Yellow Brick Road." - "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" by Elton John

I picked this song for two reasons. One, there is a very annoying frog ribbiting outside of my dining room window right now that is very distracting, and two, because last night I dreamed that I was walking down the Yellow Brick Road toward Oz. Instead of looking for a wizard, I was looking for my manuscript which had mysteriously vanished. I'm not making this up! It was very frustrating because I kept getting lost and I was sure that all of my hard work was gone forever. I didn't meet any unfortunate souls along the way who lacked heart, brains, or courage, and I woke up before I found my book, so I'm not sure what would have happened in this crazy dream if I could sleep through the night like a normal person. Any thoughts?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Working for a Living

"Hundred dollar car note, five hundred rent/ I get a check on Friday but it's already spent/ Working for a living/ Working for a living/ I'm working for a living, living and working/ Taking what they giving 'cause I'm working for a living." - "Working For a Living" by Huey Lewis and the News

Okay, my job is pretty terrific so I shouldn't complain, but working really hard for money that is gone WAY before you get it gets pretty old. I dream about a day where I don't have to work Monday through Friday, but instead get to spend my time writing, creating magical strings of words that tell stories which people all over the world will remember for years to come. I know it sounds too good to be true, which probably means it is, but I can still hope.

Snapping back to reality, this has been an extremely productive long weekend for me. I wrote over 50 pages in my third "Willow Ryan" novel, which is more than I thought I would be able to accomplish. Surprise, surprise! I am around 240 pages into it now, approximately 2/3 of the way done. It's hard to believe, as I just started writing the first book 18 months ago. That should be a sign to me and everyone else that I am a born writer, because most people would have given up after seeing nothing in print after that long. Not me though! I'm much too stubborn for that! Instead, I will query a couple more agents this week that were holding submissions until after Labor Day, cross my fingers, hold my breath, and pray hard!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Get Over It

"You say you haven't been the same since you had your little crash/ But you might feel better if they gave you some cash/... You don't want to work, you want to live like a king/ But the big, bad world doesn't owe you a thing/ Get over it/ Get over it/ If you don't want to play than you might as well split/ Get over it!" - "Get Over It" by The Eagles

I'm feeling a little bit combative this morning. Now, it's not like I'm a saint or anything, I have done my fair share of whining and complaining over the years (okay, okay, maybe more than my share), but I'm really tired of hearing everyone else do it. Why don't we try this: Just for today, let's all try to get over it and give it a rest!

Alright, that feels a little better! There is a great line from "Gilmore Girls" that says something to the effect of, "People are particularly stupid today. I can't talk to anymore of them." Wise words!

My next post will be more upbeat - I promise!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Who'll Stop the Rain

"I went down Virginia seeking shelter from the storm/ Caught up in the fable I watched the tower grow/ Five year plans and new deals wrapped in golden chains/ And I wonder, still I wonder who'll stop the rain." - "Who'll Stop the Rain" by Creedence Clearwater Revival

Virginia might not be the best place to seek shelter from Hurricane Earl, but I have to say, I'm disappointed in his lack of oomph. For days The Weather Channel and our local news stations have been stressing that Earl would bring tropical storm force winds, heavy rain, etc. etc. etc. to our area, but, as always, I had my doubts. It's breezy and rainy, but honestly, we see worse conditions with your garden variety thunderstorms at least twice a week all summer. I was hoping for more from you Hurricane Earl! I know it's weird, but I have always liked crazy weather. I kind of thrive on the excitement.

As I sit here writing, a common quote from the old Peanuts comics comes to mind. I picture Snoopy sitting on top of his little red doghouse, pounding out the words, "It was a dark and stormy night..." on his big, clunky typewriter. Snoopy serves as my inspiration for the day.

Query letter update - out of the nine I sent out last week, I have so far received three rejections. They just keep coming, don't they?