Sunday, May 30, 2010

My first edited video!

Here's what I've been doing recently instead of...much of everything else, save teaching exercise classes and playing with the new puppy. I'm learning an editing program for next weekend's i48--a local film festival in which you have 48 hours to produce a 3-6 minute film.

What have I learned so far from this besides how to use the program? Writing counts. I didn't bother to script any of this footage as it was all "practice," I just did the exercises. But even a little scripting would have helped the entire process. Saved me time and effort. Writing's often the most important part.

Our i48 film will be scripted!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


The grin on my face is no lie--away from the distractions of everyday life, I'm writing!

As Kathy of Well Placed Words mentioned in her latest post, a couple of weeks ago she and I headed up north for a two day writing marathon.
 Here's Kathy on the way home, snow in May!

 How did it go? Fantastic for me, I achieved my goal of a rough draft of an outline for my new w.i.p.Both Kathy and I focused and accomplished a ton in a couple of days. What have I gotten done since then? Um...not so much. Where we were, there was little to do except write, walk the dog, write, eat lunch, get the idea. No Internet service, no e-mail, no snail mail, most people knew were gone, so few calls. No TV, either. No laundry, no dinner to cook, no house to clean. No teaching exercise classes, my other job. Gone were the excuses and distractions of everyday life.
Kathy's dog, who didn't do any writing (that we know of).

 And now all those lovely "reasons" for my not sitting down hour after hour have returned--with the problem of being behind in all of them. It was only two days for heaven's sake! My mom always said, "If you're gone for two days, might as well be gone for two weeks" and she was right. With prep work and catching up, it takes time, energy and focus. And oh, how I miss my writing marathon time. But I can't take two days out of every week to drive north to McCall to stay in Kathy's friend's cabin to write.

So, what to do? One thing I've determined is to "Do it first" as Margie Lawson so wisely says. I haven't yet--I returned to a couple of major distractions, but I'm setting my intention here.

One glorious distraction: Puck, my new puppy who arrives here soon, at 4 weeks.

What else? Lists always help me--unless I can't find the list! I'll admit I'm still scrambling for other ways to be focused and effective, whether it's writing my new w.i.p. or shopping my current novel or paper training Puck. Readers, ideas? Please?

Sunday, May 9, 2010


A few lilacs fresh from the garden for mom

A little late, but here's a fun brunch for mom and everybody any celebration (and healthy too).


1/2 c. quick oatmeal
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. ground flaxseed (or increase amounts of oatmeal and flour)
2 teas. baking powder
2 teas. or more cinnamon
1 teas. vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 c. milk
3 tablespoons healthy oil
Mix dry ingredients together, then wet, let set for five minutes, add milk or egg if too dense to pour. Pour into wafflemaker (should make about 4 good sized waffles) and cook. Eat and enjoy.
My mom always loved waffles for breakfast and then LEMON cake for dessert on her special day. Any traditions for this day that you'd like to share? I'm sure there are a number of different ones--all unique. And family traditions can be a great addition to a work, either as characterization (Mom loved lemon anything) or background or even a telling event.


Monday, May 3, 2010

Never give up the new novel

Behind this lovely magnolia bloom are a lot of dead ones

In case you've noticed, I've fallen a bit behind in my blogging lately. This is for several reasons, some good, some bad and this post is about one of them. I'm working on my new novel, while sending out the last one. I say, "working on the new novel" but it'd be more honest to say "struggling with the new novel." I have a great premise, but a premise is not a novel. The characters, especially the main character, are busy talking to me about who they are. But characters are not a novel. The plot is beginning to take shape, with even an unexpected event. But a plot is not a novel. I'm working on an outline. Again, not a novel.

So what is a novel? And how do I wade through all this...decision making? How do I have the courage to never give up on the new work? How do I have the confidence to continue? It's hard not to second guess myself ala "maybe this would work better" or "what genre is this specifically? I have to know before I write" or even "this will probably suck big time, no matter what I do." It's hard not to endlessly prep by reading and studying books on writing (many of them excellent, but that's not writing the novel!).

One way, that I clutch to as a strong guide, is: I love to write. So write. The truth of this novel is in my heart, if not yet in my head. It will come.

But I'd love some suggestions and advice about how to get over the new-novel-hump. Readers?