Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Writer's Block

How do you finish a novel that you've been working on for three years already?

Sometimes I want to give in to the idea of writer's block.
It would be a good excuse.
But writer's block doesn't exist.
Instead I have to admit that Facebook has just captured my attention for far too long.
Me and BettyLou!
That I've been so excited about Christmas that I've been thinking about what presents I can give instead of what scenes I can write.
I've been playing my new bass, BettyLou, and wishing I were brave enough to take voice lessons.
My creativity doesn't just turn off and refuse to work--that's not how imaginations are.
I've just let myself get so busy and distracted that I don't make the time to let my creativeness out into the world and on the page.

Remember that goal I had of 15,000 extra words by the end of the month? Well, I haven't got a lot of days left until then!

So, it's time to kick into gear and to write my heart away. No excuses this time.

Butt In Chair is the cure to "writer's block" and I'm pulling it out of my medicine cabinet today.

Write on!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Note to Self

Note to self...

....do not write about politics.
....if ever you need to vent about something that may be somewhat political, do not do so in blog form.
....DO NOT post it to Facebook.
....do not read anything on Facebook.
....DO NOT watch the news or read news things on the internets.
....write 2,000 words today, you only need 14,000 to finish your goal by the end of the month.
....make fewer public notes to self in the future.


Friday, December 14, 2012

The Right to Bear Arms

I have had many debates with people about the "right to bear arms" which Americans seem to prize so greatly. The majority of people I've come into contact with about this "right" have been people who enjoy target shooting--particularly in Utah's West Desert where I work during the summer months on wildfire suppression, prevention, and investigation. I have never been a huge fan of guns, I'll be honest, but I didn't really mind them so much either. My line of work during the past two summers however, has changed my apathy into discontent. And what happened today has changed that discontent into bitter sadness and anger.

I've been told that it's a good thing that in our country it is easier to buy a box of bullets and explosives than it is to vote--because it protects the government that leads us, and protects our rights as citizens. I've been told that the reason we need the right to bear arms is so we can overthrow the government if it becomes corrupt. I've been told it's important to have the right to bear arms so we can protect our own families in our own homes.

But you tell me what is so important about the right to bear arms when that right is exercised in such a way that it takes the lives of 27 people in an elementary school and devastates families all across the nation. Tell me what kind of government was being overthrown this morning in Connecticut. And more importantly, tell me why the only way Americans think we can take control of our own lives is through violence.

How much good has come from the right to bear arms? Give me one good story.

Some people might say this is only one thing. Only one person who misused their rights to commit a vicious crime. But what about all the others?

Here's a "short" list of shootings in 2012:
Black Friday 2012 Walmart Shooting
Oregon Mall Shooting
Pennsylvania Man Shot Ex-Wife During Church Service
Minneapolis Office Shooting
Fatal Jacksonville Shooting
4 Die in California Shooting
Walking Dead Fan Shoots Girlfriend
Shooting on California Indian Reservation
Shootings at House Parties in Alabama
Beaver Falls Fatal Shooting
Chardon High School Shooting
Oikos University Shooting
3 killed in shooting near Texas A&M
Overnight Shooting at Pine Creek Apartments

Are there any missing from my list? I'm sure you can name at least one that happened in Colorado somewhere that was a big deal and there are probably SO many more. :(
Why do we overlook all of these instances and still yell for our right to bear arms? Why do we overlook all the terrorism in our own towns, states, and nation and "fight" against terrorism in other nations?

Sorry to be so political. Mostly, like a lot of people in the world today, I'm just sad.

Adventures of Clyde the Duck--The Movie

Here it is! The film you've all been waiting for! Starring your favorite Duck.



Write on!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Adventures of Clyde the Duck: Grand Canyon

I have this dream of one day writing picture books. When I was in college I attempted to write a picture book that turned out to be really stupid. But, when I was in the Grand Canyon several months ago, I decided to give it another go.

Clyde has been my travel buddy since I started really traveling. He's been to England, Scotland, Wales, New York, New Hampshire, Maine, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, California (southern, central, and northern), and Oregon. He has hiked with me to the highest peaks in the United Kingdom, rowed a boat on the River Avon in Stratford-upon-Avon (think Shakespeare), rested upon the stones at Stonehenge, sat on the beach at Lake Tahoe, crossed the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, and backpacked to the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon.

So, here's one of his adventure stories.




Adventures of Clyde the Duck: Grand Canyon
Clyde at Grand Canyon

Clyde decided to hike in the Grand Canyon.
First he packed his backpack with food, water, tent, and sleeping bag.
Then he set off down the steep trail toward the Colorado River.
He hiked many miles in the hot Arizona sun.
He felt very tired when he reached the campground.
His shoulders were sore from carrying the backpack and his legs ached from walking for so long.
He found a nice wooden bench, took off his pack and rested his eyes.
Clyde did not notice the nearby squirrel thief hiding in the bushes.
The squirrel thief leapt from the bushes onto Clyde's pack and opened the pocket where the food was stored.
Clyde opened his eyes just in time to see the squirrel run away with his food.
"Hey! That's mine!" Clyde yelled.
Even though clyde felt too tired to do anything, he chased the squirrel down the trail.
Clyde and cactus (not barrel cactus, though)
The squirrel ran so fast that Clyde lost sight of him.
"Excuse me, Mr. Lizard, did you see which way the squirrel went?" Clyde asked.
"Past the barrel cactus and to the left," said the lizard.
Clyde ran past the barrel cactus and took a left, but he still did not know where the squirrel thief went.
"Hello, Mrs. Raven, did you see which way the squirrel went?" Clyde asked.
"He ran past the yucca banana just down the way," she squawked.
Clyde hurried past the yucca banana, but still no sight of the thief.
"Excuse me, Rabbit, have you seen a squirrel?" Clyde asked.
"On his way to the biggest Cottonwood by the stream, as always," the rabbit said and pointed down to the stream.
Clyde in a Yucca Banana plant
Clyde ran until he reached the biggest cottonwood by the stream just as the squirrel dashed into a small hole near the tree's roots.
The squirrel may have escaped, but the food bag was too big and wouldn't fit in the squirrel thief's hideout.
Clyde snatched the food bag away from the squirrel thief just in time.
"A-ha! You dirty little thief," Clyde shouted.
He trudged back to his bench and ate his tasty meal.
He set up his tent then watched the stars and listened to the bull frogs croak as he drifted to sleep in the desert.

The End.

Have any comments? Questions? Ideas for more stories or suggestions on how to make this one better? Leave your feedback in a comment below!

Come back tomorrow for an EPIC VIDEO of  Clyde's many adventures.

Write on!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas Traditions

Hello Lovely Writers and Readers!

This year, since we've melded our families together and started our own family, my lovergirl and I have come up with some new traditions.

My favorite one is the Christmas Tree. Both of us hate a lot of things about Christmas (mostly the societal/business things that commercialize everything), but one of the things that we hate  A LOT is the killing of trees and even the poison that comes from the plastic, fake trees--did you know that fake trees hurt the environment more than cutting down a live tree? True facts.

I still love having a Christmas tree with decorations and presents underneath, so we came up with the awesome idea of buying a potted tree. When the weather warms up a little then we'll plant the tree and instead of taking from the earth, we will give her a gift. This year we made our own stockings and I even turned our air conditioner into a fireplace!


Another tradition is to watch Home Alone. Because, nothing says "Christmas" quite like this: 



Do you have any cool Christmas Traditions (or maybe pre-Christmas traditions)? Share them in a comment!

Write on!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

December Novel Writing

November is over and here I am still in between jobs. I'm going to take advantage of all this extra time on my hands to finish up the novel I've been working on for two years now. I currently have 12,290 words on my novel Some Secrets Aren't Secrets and while there are some published novels written in a similar "sparse" style that have word counts in that ball park, I know my story needs more substance in the middle. My goal for December is to write another 15,000 words on this novel and finish it up so I can send it off to agents in January.

Now that I've told you my end of the year goals I expect you to hold me to them. I appreciate the pressure. 

Here are some more novel word counts to show you where this novel lies on the playing field. 

Glimpse by Carol Lynch Williams --512 pages, 29347 words

This is What I did by Ann Dee Ellis--176 pages, 28326 words

Everything is Fine by Ann Dee Ellis--160 pages, 28618 words

Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse--240 pages, 19756 words

Burned by Ellen Hopkins-- 42201 words
>
Glass by Ellen Hopkins--58269 words
Crank by Ellen Hopkins--34497 words
Perfect by Ellen Hopkins--622 pages70016 words
All the Broken Pieces by Ann E. Burg--218 pages,15158 words

Heartbeat by Sharon Creech--180 pages, 13157 words

Because I am Furniture by Thalia Chaltis--352 pages, 18547 words

Make Lemonade by Virginia Euwer Wolff--200 pages, 32030 words

Keesha's House by Helen Frost--116 pages, 15469 words

Okay, so Ellen Hopkins writes really long "sparse" novels...but I think she tends to use multiple characters to tell her stories so I'm not shooting for quite that many...unless I reach my goal and find out there are still more things that need to be in my book.

Write on!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Font

In my blogger I only have a few font options. Normally, I stick with Times New Roman because I'm an English major and almost all of my professors required that every essay on poetry or whatever else be in Times New Roman 12 point font (of course with one-inch margins).

Sometimes if I had a professor that didn't specifically ask for Times New Roman I would use Arial because it is quite bigger at 12 point and therefore takes up more page space. 

Courier is one I've never really found a use for. It's supposed to look like a type-writer, maybe, but it really just reminds me of Ghost Writer. 

Georgia is nice because it's somewhat of a mix, I think, between TNR and Arial in that it has the serifs almost like TNR and is slightly bigger like Arial (so if a teacher requested Times New Roman and I didn't have the words enough for five whole pages and I didn't have to send it electronically then this one is almost a tricky way to surpass essay requirements...but not if everyone else follows the rule and yours sticks out in comparison). 

Helvetica--seems a lot like Arial only skinnier or something. 

Trebuchet is a little more like techno. Doesn't it remind you of techno music?

Oh and the Verdana. Another font that makes me miss TNR even more. I'm thinking maybe I've been brainwashed. 

And now back to the default font. So, did you like my video last Friday? I'm thinking I'll try to make more videos. We'll have Video Friday! 

But until then, watch this clever video about fonts. I wish I were this creative (and skilled with movie making). 

Write on!