Hope yours is better than Grumpy Cat’s.
No words today. I got a flu shot yesterday and I feel kind of cruddy.
Someone posted on some website I saw in passing where they asked the following question: If you died in your sleep tonight, how long would it take someone to notice?
For me–I predict a week. Good luck to whoever found me. I think, however, that this is an excellent writing prompt. The odd things you find on the internet. Sheesh.
Check this old school dancing out on this Soul Train clip. There’s something interesting at about 0:40. I think I saw that same move in Gangnam Style, or somewhere else recently. Just goes to show you, everything old is new again!
NO WORDS TODAY ONLY FOOOOOOD
I made a metric ton of mashed potatoes. I like to do that and make potato patties later. Besides, I had too many potatoes. They don’t keep forever. Probably won’t be doing this again ever. It’s super depressing to cook for yourself on a holiday.
Some things I am thankful for today include:
- My parents, for finding me a good car when I really needed it.
- Whoever approved extended unemployment benefits.
- Whoever is going to give me a good job very soon. Ha!
- A roof over my head.
- Food in the fridge.
- Chocolate cupcakes with pink icing. Mmm.
- People who are there when I am sad.
- People who don’t judge me for being sad.
- People who post really funny things on Facebook, like George Takei and my friends Heiko and Cheryl J.
- My kitty, although she drives me nuts most of the time.
- That even though my mower broke, it was a nice day so I could get the leaves raked up.
- That I can actually write, since I like doing it so much.
- Everyone who reads my blog and follows me on Twitter, even if I don’t actually know you in person. Thank you so very much!!!
- Happy Thanksgiving! And NaNoWriMo 2012 – Day 21 update (blackanddarknight.wordpress.com)
- I’m Thankful For….. (daphnepropst.wordpress.com)
SWF, 40-ish, scrolling through the local dating site:
1. Do not put a picture of your dog as your photo.
2. Super Mullet!
3. If you’re wearing a ball cap and holding a fish, no.
4. Christ. I’m a woman, not a women.
5. Put your goddamn shirt back on.
6. Who is the bitch in the picture? If it’s your daughter, why is she in your dating photo? Stand on your own. If it’s not your daughter, HELL no.
7. Why do so many men take MySpace pictures of themselves behind the wheel? Unless you’re driving a Lamborghini, I don’t give a shit.
8. I thought the bald head / goatee thing was out. Guess not.
9. A karate stance would be more impressive if you weren’t wearing a dorky fleece jacket and cap, standing in front of a closet door. Grow the hell up.
10. That puppy is cute, but you ain’t.
11. I’m not even looking at your profile if it doesn’t have a picture.
12. You’re not him.
Happy Independence Day!
Well, it’s not happy for everyone. Many people are powerless from recent storms, which can be deadly during a massive heat wave like the one we’re experiencing now.
When the weather this hot and dry, wildfires are a real danger too. Check with your community to see if any burn bans have been issued. If so, shooting off fireworks will probably be forbidden. In any case it’s not the smartest thing to do in drought conditions.
Due to some seriously upsetting personal issues, I don’t know when my next post will be. Hopefully I will have something to say, but right now I can’t even think straight or see to type. Sometimes when bad things happen, it disrupts writing. I apologize. Please give me some time. Thank you.
P.S. No, nobody died or is about to, unless broken hearts really can kill you.
Ray Bradbury, one of the world’s most prolific and influential science fiction writers, is dead at 91.
Rest in peace, Ray. Your childlike enjoyment of stories and whimsy, and your command of language and ideas will be sorely missed.
Well I’ll be hornswoggled—I won a fiction contest!
Yeah, yeah, I was the only entry. But still!
The story is called “Te Absolvo,” which is Latin (or something) for “I forgive.” It’s my take on a famous historical personage, whose identity you’ll probably guess easily. I hope you enjoy it. You can read it here at The Soap Boxers blog.
While you’re there, knock around a bit. Read Kosmo and some of the other writers at the site. That ought to keep you out of trouble for a while, heh heh.
I love: genre.
Some people think genre writing, aka category fiction, isn’t serious writing. I say, ask Stephen King about his bank account. Serious enough for ya? HA!
For a refresher on genre, you can read my post here if you want. I would like to point out that all the stories we tell over and over, our favorite yarns, all fit into some genre or other.
My favorite genres, in no particular order, and why I like them:
I’ve been a horror fan for years. Stephen King, Algernon Blackwood, H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allen Poe, Dean Koontz, Skipp and Spector and more recently, Brian Keene (hi Brian!). Hmm, no women. I’ve read Suzy McKee Charnas and sampled Lisa Tuttle and Melanie Tem, but I’m sure there are more. Time to dig out my anthologies and start googling.
Why I like it
I don’t know. I like being scared, but it’s been so long since anything actually did the job that I’ve grown weary. The core element of a really good horror novel is still a great story, and I don’t mean the monster. I mean characters you really care about, who are doing things in a way you can relate to. My favorites all have this quality. A five-shelf bookcase holds my collection.
Dracula (1897)-Bram Stoker: Has never gone out of print. An epistolary novel that hits the ground running and doesn’t quit. Quite lurid for the Victorian age.
The Exorcist (1971)-William Peter Blatty. Yes, it was a book first. Blatty’s writing has been criticized, but it actually fits the story quite well. I reread it every year or so and enjoy it more each time.
Anything by Robert Bloch, John Wyndham, and fun stuff by Bentley Little.
The Shining (1977)-Stephen King. The ultimate haunted house book. Wendy in the novel is smart and articulate. I don’t know what happened to her in the Kubrick film. I like Shelley Duvall, but damn.
I LOVE children’s and young adult fiction. I have another, entire bookshelf devoted to it. Most of the books I picked up at library sales, quite a few of them are mine from my own childhood, and some are treasures I read long ago and searched for extensively. They range from baby picture books through many of the Trixie Belden series and stop just short of adulthood.
Why I like it
Let’s get one thing straight. Loving this genre does NOT mean I can write it. Nor would I even try. Kid’s fiction is hard. But oh, when it’s well done, it’s magic. Good writing, great characters and some of the funniest and most heartrending tales ever told.
The Harry Potter series (1997-2007)-J. K. Rowling. You knew I couldn’t leave this one out, didn’t you?
King of the Wind (1949)-Marguerite Henry. Based on the true story of the Godolphin Arabian, an emotional and thrilling story of a boy and his horse.
Black Beauty (1877)-Anna Sewell. No, I wasn’t one of those horse kids, but I loved this one because the horse tells the story. Beautiful language.
Beverly Cleary’s Ramona series (1968-1999). A funny, realistic portrayal of family life through the eyes of a spirited little girl.
Apples Every Day (1966)-Grace Richardson. This is one I had to hunt for. My childhood library had it. It’s about these kids at a progressive boarding school in Canada. I would have LOVED going to a school like this.
There are a ton of subgenres in this category (see this article from Reader’s Digest), but thrillers usually involve some type of intrigue and heroic main characters. Techno-thrillers make use of futuristic technology to either levy a direct threat against the protagonists or a set of hapless victims. This is real edge-of-your-seat type stuff. The only thing I hate about thrillers? No boinking. Come on!
Deception Point (2001)-Dan Brown. Say what you will about Brown and his irritating habit of foreshadowing at the end of a chapter. This is my favorite of his books. An Arctic meteor holds a clue to possible extraterrestrial life, but some will stop at nothing to hide the secret. Lots of action, conspiracy and cool science-y stuff.
First Blood (1972)-David Morrell. Yes, it’s Rambo. Read it. That is all.
Red Dragon (1981)-Thomas Harris. A lot of people would choose The Silence of the Lambs and yes, that is a brilliant book. But this one is not only my favorite Harris, but one of my all time fave novels ever. The writing is terse and descriptive, the characters unforgettable.
Jurassic Park (1990)-Michael Crichton. Best techno-thriller of all time. God, I miss Crichton. This book scared the crap out of me, way before they made a film. Damn T-rex gave me a nightmare.
Why should I have all the fun? You pick the hate part today! In the comments, tell us the absolute worst genre novel you ever read. What was it? Who wrote it (if you can remember)? What made it so awful?
I love: Antagonists.
Commonly known as villains, antagonists are experts at getting in the hero’s way. They’re much more interesting than protagonists. Through antagonists, a writer can live out his/her evil side. Planning and plotting Anty’s nefarious schemes is the best part.
What makes a great antagonist?
First, he has to have motivation. Just being evil isn’t enough. We all know at least one psychopath, and some of the things they do may seem random. There is always something behind it, however.
The best antagonists have a reason for what they do. It could be as broad as Dr. Doom’s thirst for world domination, or as simple as the penmanship medal dear little Rhoda so desperately wants.
And Anty must believe, with all his twisted, rotten heart, that his actions are necessary. This lends depth to the character. It gives him conviction. People are complicated and Anty should be no exception. If he doesn’t care, neither will the reader.
Second, the reasons have to make sense. Rhoda, a child, would hardly dream of controlling the world. Nor would an adult Joker be happy merely pushing a kid off a wharf to get a class prize he failed to achieve.
Well, he might. You never know with Joker.
Finally, Anty should be capable of carrying out his plans. Mason Verger in Thomas Harris’ Hannibal is completely paralyzed, but he still manages to orchestrate a plot to kidnap and kill Hannibal Lecter that takes place across two continents. How? He’s insanely rich and can hire people to do all the work for him. If he were flat broke in a state hospital in Sheboygan, I doubt he’d have the resources.
I wish you could read Rose’s Hostage. I would so like you to meet Dale Conroy. I know it’s time to move on to the next villain, but he’s so awful you just love to hate him.
I plan to try some small presses. Maybe I can get on with one of them. If not, maybe I’ll just make a damn e-book and sell it here already. I’m already having fun with my next antagonist. Who? Sorry, if I told you I’d have to kill you. Heh heh heh.
I hate: Adjectives.
I don’t actually hate them; what I hate is lazy writing that makes use of them rather than taking time to make better word choices. Especially when they come in strings. And I tend to do this in first drafts, although luckily I can take them out later. But this is harrrrrrrrrdd.
Joker’s skintight purple gloves touched her hot, feverish, rosy cheek, where the glistening moisture of salty, frightened tears still lingered.
How about this?
His glove touched her feverish cheek, which glistened with frightened tears.
We already know Joker wears purple gloves. Hot and rosy aren’t needed, because we know feverish cheeks are hot and rosy. Ditto with salty. Frightened may or may not stay, depending on the point of view and what happened right before.
His glove traced the path of frightened tears down one feverish cheek.
I like that one much better. You need a few adjectives to describe things, but don’t depend on them too much.