Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Here is a simple revelation that is bringing me a lot of freedom:
There is enough time..... --Claire Cloninger

This morning I was in kind of a funk. Life handing me lemons and I'm not making lemonade- that kind of thing. When in reality, I know I should be happy that life is even giving me lemons, because hey, I'm alive. It's life.

While I was getting ready for work this morning, a tiny book caught my eye, Life's Little Blessings by Thomas Kinkade. The book was a present from Sarcastically Delicious (aka boyfriend) half a decade or so ago. Sarcastically Delicious knew that I admired Kinkade's art, and being in college he couldn't afford an actual painting, so he purchased a tiny book that features Kinkade's work, miniaturized, with superimposed thoughtful quotes.

Ms. Cloninger's quote resonated with me on so many different levels. As writers, we have to straddle between the fictional realms in our minds and real life. Sometimes it feels like real life takes over and there is never adequate time to write. Sometimes we're too hard on ourselves, imposing self-made deadlines and word quotas. Isn't it always about time? Time is money. Time is intangible. Time is infinite, yet can seems finite. Time. Time. Time.

When I was in high school and college I was a watch junkie, verging on OCD in the number of times I would look at my wrist to check what time it was. My life wasn't that complicated back then. School, skating, and work. Pretty straight forward. Then one day when I broke my watch as a result of an ice skating fall, and I practically freaked out,  I realized I was way too high strung about time. 

Solution: stop wearing a watch. 

To this day I don't wear a watch. I just won't do it. I don't want to turn into that thing again. Although, I do admit that I will look at my cell phone a couple times a day to check the time. But, a couple times a day is normal, right?

Back to Ms. Cloninger....
I can't really put my finger on it, but Ms. Cloninger's quote gave me hope today. It made me realize that life didn't have to snowball and there really is time for all that I want to accomplish. I just have to be patient and...er...give it time.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Gossip Time.....The Summoning

It's been a while since I've done a gossip time. And I feel the need to gossip about Kelley Armstrong's The Summoning, Book 1 of the Darkest Powers series. Before I had even finished listening to this book on CD, I ran to the library to get book 2 The Awakening, horror that it not be there the very second I finished book 1. Luck was on my side, they had book 2.
The Summoning is the story of  fifteen year old Chloe Saunders who is sent to a group home for teens called the Lyle House because she is seeing ghosts.  The doctors at Lyle House tell Chloe she has schizophrenia. But rather than swallow this pill (literally and metaphorically because at one point Chloe stops taking their meds), Chloe and a few other kids at Lyle house band together. It turns out they're supernaturals.

As I listen to this story unfold, it strikes me over and over again how well thought out Armstrong's characters are. She could head up a school on character development. The plot is rich with many interwoven sub-plots and motivations. And if you don't have time to read it, the narrator of the audio version is excellent.

I'm near the end of The Awakening, so I need to cut this short so I can go pick up Book 3, The Reckoning.
While I'm out, check out Kelley Armstrong's amazing website.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I'm Back!

Did you miss me? Just spent an amazing weekend with my besties in Vegas. And of course I can't indulge you in the debauchery, because as they say, what ever happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

About to steal a lead in from the amazing Nathan Bransford.

You tell me: For all you avid writers out there, do you feel that your reading experience is somewhat different now that you know the inner workings of plot, pacing, and character development; now that you're in the trenches carving out your own novel?

For example, I was listening to The Summoning by Kelly Armstrong the other day, and something horrible happened to the main character, Chloe. And I was like, wow look at how Ms. Armstrong just "raised the stakes" and as I read further, the plot thickened, and I remember thinking to myself that the story had just reached "the point of no return."

I assume regular-non-writer-people don't think like this while they read. You tell me.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Skating Update

As many of you loyal followers know, I tore my ACL on March 10, 2010 and it absolutely devastated me. But, after I had surgery, my life changed considerably, and once I got over pitying myself, I learned that every mishap in your life, somehow has a silver lining, no matter how thin it may be.

I learned how to slow my life down. Learned, really isn't the appropriate term, my ailing knee forced me to slow down. I'm a dreamer and I think I was just trying too hard to achieve too many dreams at once. I was on a downward spiral to stress, heart attack, and just plain working-too-much insanity. Since the injury I haven't found more time to write per say. But, I have learned to give myself time to think, relax, and spend more time with the friends and family that I love. And when I do have time to write, I can see the difference in the quality of prose that I produce. My characters are richer. I feel my voice actually shines through the words I string together. And in the end I take joy in reading what I have written.

I've also found time to read more. I've found time to beta more, and I love critiquing for my new writer buddy, Diane Magras. But, I love even more contemplating  the thought provoking suggestions Diane gives me on Product of an Illusion.

That being said...
I am back on the ice. Slowly, in a way, relearning to skate. Truthfully, I don't think that its my body that has forgotten to skate. I can feel myself wanting to turn and flow as I did before the injury. The biggest challenge I face is having to actually think about contracting my quad and glut when skating. I have never had to think about what muscle to contract to accomplish a specific skating element or to push through a therapy exercise. It's like the nervous connection between my brain and the muscles in my right leg became apathetic after surgery. Granted, there is significant muscle weakness in my right leg. But, that's a given. The strength will come back in time. It's a challenge to say the least.

That is why I'm absolutely bursting with glee. Today was the first day since my injury that I muddled through the Starlight Waltz, Paso Doble, and Argentine Tango. Even though my legs are absolute Jello right now, this progress makes me all sorts of happy. Not only did I skate these dance, but also with the support of my wonderful coach, I was able to do counter, rocker, and bracket turns on my right foot. So happy. Can't even explain it. =)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Reading Binge

On the right hand side of my blog I have a column dedicated to the books I have read in 2010. I have to admit that I'm a bit surprised to see how much I have read/listened to this year.

 The amount that I read ebbs and flows with the different stages of my life. When I was in elementary school, if I helped my Mom with the chores, she would take me to the grocery story (yes, back then there were not any Barnes&Nobles or Borders) and I would pick up the latest release of the Baby Sitters Club series. I then would take said book home, huddle up in a corner, and read that book until it was completely finished because I coudln't go another day without knowing what happened to Kristy and the gang.

Then as I became a teenager, reading fell to the wayside, and wasn't until I was fifteen or sixteen and a good friend's mother suggested that I read Message in a Bottle by Nicholas Sparks. I couldn't put it down and oh how I cried. Mr. Sparks has a way of bringing out my emotional side (which I admit isn't really that hard to do). But he did rekindle my love for reading again.

And then college came and I didn't have time to read. I even stopped writing in my journal. I even forgot that I ever wanted to be a writer. Yes, college was a confusing time. But you know who set everything right around senior year of college. A 12 year old boy with round, black glasses and a wand with a phoenix feather core. Through graduate school the only fiction I managed to read was Harry Potter.

Then after graduate school I fell into the pits of what many call real life. But then a certain sparkly vampire and accident prone girl sucked me into the world of books, and I haven't stopped reading since.

And here we are in 2010 and I have read so many great books! I feel like I am back in my elementary school days, reading voraciously, book after book. What books have you read and adored this year?