Thursday, May 31, 2007

Gigi's first sentence and conversation

This is a few weeks late, but the other day (week) I was unbuckling Gigi from her carseat and said "Mama loves you!" to which she replied in her deliberate, staccato speach:

"I. Do. Too. Mum." and grinned in satisfaction!

Since she's the Queen of abbreviation, this became "I too Mum." and now "Too. Mum."

So then Randy discovered he can have this conversation with her -

"Hi Gigi"
"Hi Dad"
"How are you?"
"I love you!"
"Too Dad!"

And when she's feeling feisty, it'll be "Too Mum!" when talking to Dad, just to see him flip out. ;)

A Warning

Soy milk + Rice Crispies = A VERY BAD THING!

Something about the snapping, crackling, and popping of the crisipes turns the soy milk into a bowl of bubbles. If one is silly enough to try eating this concoction, they will continue to bubble in one's tummy reminding one of the funny beans in James and the Giant Peach. Do not try this at home.


I've gotta say that blogging from home is so much harder than blogging from work! I do have a new schedule that implements Monday, once school is out, so hopefully I'll be a little more consistant with the posts.

WIP udate: Still editing away. I'm on chapter 17 out of about 40. However, I've been doing a lot of chapter cutting and combining so 17 used to be 25. I don't know if that means I'm almost halfway or over halfway, but I'm still chugging along!

I will say that I used to think I couldn't wait to get to the revisions stage. After all, I do love editing, grammar, sentence construction, and all that. Sadly, what I find I do not love is the major rewriting/revising I'm doing now - moving chunks here and there, strengthening plot points, eliminating characters. I feel like my head is going to explode when I look at my manuscript (Anyone else ever feel like this? Any evidence of writers' heads actually exploding?)

Apparently I like "copy editing" and I'm definately not at that stage yet!

The new deadline is end of June, since I'm clearly not going to make this May deadline...

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Reason #538 why I love my husband

He is currently in the living room, while I'm working on my book (and blogging), and he's doing his own ironing. Didn't say anything about it, just set up the board and started ironing.

Update! He just found a five dollar bill in his pants and tossed it at me for coffee money. ;)

I'm keeping him!

OK, back to writing...

Writing related thoughts on the Lost finale... (spoiler alert if you haven't seen it)


I'm still stuttering with all that happened in that episode. Is Christian Shephard really alive? Or was that just Jack losing it. Does Kate end up with Sawyer? Whose funeral was that? Ben's?

OK, rather then rehash the whole thing here, which I could do for HOURS, I'm taking a writer related spin on it and I'd love to hear feedback.

Here are some things I noticed:

1) Charlie's death. When Charlie first died (or nearly died) in Season 1, I was beside myself with grief. I held my head, screamed NO at the tv... and this was all while reading spoilers and knowing he'd really make it. I momentarily forgot that and was caught up in his possible death and the tragedy of it. This time, I kind of went "oh, shoot, I hoped he'd make it." A much more measured response - so what happened?

My first thought is that in the beginning, the bond between all the survivors was the heart of Lost, and the audience was really invested in all of them making it off the island alive. As they've started killing them off, and introducing the Others, I think we've all detached a little bit. So, on the one hand they've acheived the "anything could happen" sort of thing, on the other hand, I think they've lost something also.

Secondly, I think the Charlie character hasn't been as strong lately. They've told a lot of his story, and he hasn't had the great lines he used to have. Hurley and Jin have been providing more comedic relief.

2) Flash forwards. Assuming this *really* was a flash forward and not some weird dream, it raises some issues - of course, there are all sorts of speculative things I could go into, about what happens to Jack, Kate, Christian, etc... but what I'm really interested in is what it does to the reader/viewer to know what happens in the future. Personally, I'm not sure I like it. (I mean, still a great episode). But as a viewer, I like to project what will happen to the characters. For instance, Luke and Lorelai get married, have those twins she dreamed about, and live happily ever after and Jess and Rory reunite. ;) If the show had ended with a flash forward ruining all that for me, I'd have been upset to have that taken away from me.

So, now I don't get to imagine what will happen to Jack - I know (or I think I know, if it's a reliable flash forward) what will happen to Jack - and it's not as fun as wondering. I'm sure the show will do great things with this, so I'm not complaining, but I think it's an interesting response and one I want to keep in mind when writing. I tend to feel the same way with "framed" narratives, where the story's already over, and being told in retrospect. It takes a certain something away. (Absalom, Absalom is a notable exception to this).

3) Wringing Kate's neck. Decide who you like already. You've got Sawyer, now he's a little abrupt, then Jack says he loves you and you seem all perplexed. Get over it, pick a man, and move on. There was enough going on in the episode that I didn't have time to get really upset with her, but this is the same phenomenon I felt with Lorelai and other shows that drag on a romantic relationship. I want to wring their necks and tell them to wake up and make a decision. I always knew really quickly who I liked and was quick to move on if it wasn't working, so this just unravels me in drama, and I think writers go to this too quickly to keep the "will they or won't they" suspense alive. My recomendation is to decide early on if they will or won't, then move onto another storyline. Elizabeth Peters did a great job of this. She gets people together reasonably quickly, then keeps giving them interesting storylines and I'm so grateful for that!

I don't write genre romance, but all the stories I write have romantic elements, so this is something I remind myself of often.

And that's my writerly analysis! Also, it's one of the best season finales I've ever seen. ;) Let me know what you think!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Hitting it out of the park

I've almost watched the Gilmore Girls season finale. I've watched everything leading up to it, and, not to be overly dramatic, but it feels like all my friends are dying. *sigh* So I have something of a mental block against watching the last episode.

So I've been pondering how it is that Luke and Lorelai are such well developed characters, that it feels like they live and breathe and walk around. It seems like Stars Hollow is *somewhere* and that Taylor's holding his town meetings and Luke is ranting about something and Lane is struggling with her babies somewhere, whether I'm watching them do it or not.

There are other shows, books, characters that are really entertaining and interesting, but not real in the way this is real to me. I talked ini a previous post about other characters that feel like real people: Rhett and Scarlett, Darcy and Elizabeth, Jay Gatsby, Catherine and Heathcliff, all the Amelia Peabody characters, Sherlock Holmes - to name a few.

For instance, when I read the Amelia Peabody books, I wanted Nefret and Ramses to get together so badly I could feel it! Why did she marry someone else! Why didn't he just SAY something! I wanted to scream at them. But, I'm reading another very good series right now with two characters that clearly want to be together, but aren't. And I'm not that upset about it. I'm sure they'll work it out eventually, but it doesn't keep me up and night -and yes, Ramses and Nefret, Rhett and Scarlett, Luke and Lorelai have ALL kept me up at night.

So I'm trying to figure out what *it* is - what that secret ingredient is that makes some characters leap off the page and take control of my imagination, while others stay peaceably on the page or screen.

Any thoughts? I'm sure it's more than one thing- but it sure would be nice if there were one secret key to this!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

She didn't learn it from me!

Last night. 9:30 pm. Soft crying from girl's room can be heard. I figure out it's the big one, and march her downstairs.

Robin: Kira has been crying. What do you think - put her in our bed?
Randy: Yeah, that's fine, but first look at her face. That's a great pathetic face.
Robin: True
Kira: (whose face has gone from pathetic to joyful in an instant) Great! I'll just need someone to carry my books*!
Robin: That would be you, Randy
Randy: What? What am I doing?
Kira: (flings herself in her daddy's lap) Oh Daddy! Yes, YOU will carry my books because YOU are so big and strong. Just LOOK at those muscles.

Randy carried the books, needless to say.

*Kira sleeps with about 15 large hardback books - all of which she must refer to before she can go to sleep. No, she cannot just read one per night. The list includes:
Beatrix Potter Anthology, Egyptology Handbook, How to be a Princess Handbook, several children's Bibles - she likes to compare the stories, Richard Scary Storybook, etc, etc. I have to dig her out of bed every morning.


I'm the victim of my subplot taking over my main plot. I've heard of this phenomenon, and have now experienced it first hand. So I've been going through and mercilessly axing the subplot into submission - attributing some of the fun parts to the main character, cutting out a POV character... I've been ruthless!

I know recind my previous statement about the hardest part of writing being the initial creation - staring at a blank screen. I now think it's cutting stuff you love, but realize just doesn't work. Then trying to figure out what to work back in, what you can salvage and what you can't, and coming up with new material to fill in the blanks.

This is why I'm vowing to actually outline the next book!

Anyone else have this issue?

Tuesday Blues

I have to admit, that I haven't watched the last 4 episodes of Gilmore Girls. I can't bring myself to do it, knowing that they are ending. I appreciate all of the tribute links people have posted and sent me. I've read them all and really enjoyed them.

I know that Rosenthal said he wouldn't end the series with a wedding because the premise of the show is "what if my mother/daughter is my best friend." I think I speak for a lot of viewers who think the best thing about the show is Luke and Lorelai, and as evidence, I offer this quote from the pilot:

Lorelai: Please, Luke. Please, please, please.
Luke: How many cups have you had this morning?
Lorelai: None.
Luke: Plus...
Lorelai: Five, but yours is better.
Luke: You have a problem
.Lorelai: Yes, I do.
Luke: Junkie.
Lorelai: Angel. You've got wings, baby.

Ahhhh!!!! I'll post some quotes from the "Golden Trilogy" of episodes (end of season 4) later this week. :)

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

I've been tagged!

Twice, actually. Once for the Real Mom post, which I promise to get to soon, and now for the 8 things about me. :) I'm doing that one now because I've been tagged TWICE by Melissa and Anissa!

These are the rules:

1. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.

2. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.

3. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.

4. Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they're tagged, and to read your blog.

Eight Weird/Random Facts About Me

1. I can talk backwards - and no, I'm neither dyslexic nor possessed, though I get asked about both of those things whenever I reveal this. I used to get bored during lectures in high school, so I'd say all of the teachers words backwards in my head. It was pretty fun trying to figure out how the different vowel blends would sound backwards. So this is all by sound, not visual.

And of course I totally know what Paul *really* says on that album!

2. I love teenagers - especially adolescent girls. I can't wait till my kids hit 13!

3. I didn't even know how to brown a chicken breast when I got married. Now I love to cook! It only took me 7 years. ;)

4. I'd have 10 kids if I could. I love a busy house with lots of people in it. But my organizational skills (and body) aren't up to the task. I'm hoping I can pull off 4, though.

5. I love grammar. I diagram sentences for fun. They used to call me "Grammar Queen" in junior high and bow in homage as I walked into my English classroom.

6. I love school and studying. So college was heaven, because I got to LIVE school. I especially loved finals week.

7. I'm a "gamer chick" and love playing video games. I even worked as a "game play tester" for a while so that my entire job was playing video games for 8 hours a day. Yet, my husband still beats me at almost all of them. Completely unfair.

8. There was a day (today is not it) when I could quote almost word for word three and a half seasons of Gilmore Girls episodes without looking them up. What can I say, I love quippy dialogue! I can still quote a lot of them, but don't pretend I won't miss a line.

The end!

I am now tagging:


and I think everyone else I know has played already!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

GG Quote

From, "A Messenger, Nothing More"

Lorelai: Hey, I should bring steak sauce, right?
Rory: For what?
Lorelai: Pizza.
Rory: I just got back from Italy.
Lorelai: So?
Rory: So they'd shoot you in Italy for that.
Lorelai: But this is America, where we unapologetically bastardize other countries' cultures in a gross quest for moral and military sumpremacy.
Rory: I forgot. Bring on the imperialistic condiments.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Waiting for the caulk to dry...

48 hours till we can use our shower again. YAY!

Here are some pics of the finished project. I've never appreciated a shower so much in my entire life:
Shower Head

This is the thermostatic control - you adjust the temp, then leave it there. That's why the handle says "flow". It's so I don't scald the kids. ;) Yes, that's me taking a picture of it with my cell phone! And the handy tub filler.

Here's the top half, and the bottom half - I couldn't get far enough away to get them all in one shot!


Yes, for the time being, to salve my wounds, I'll be instituting the Gilmore Girls Quote of the Day feature.

Today's entry from "Red Light on a Wedding Night":

Dean giving Max advice about marrying in (HA! Or so he thought) to the Gilmore family:

Dean: Go with their bits.

Max: Their bits?

Dean: Yeah. Like, if you're eating pizza with them, and Lorelai decides that the pepperoni is angry at the mushrooms because the mushrooms have an attitude, and then she holds up a pepperoni and the pepperoni asks for your opinion, don't just laugh. Answer the pepperoni.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

You can all stop calling at once...

to find out if I'm ok. I'm not. The rumors are true and Gilmore Girls will not be back for an 8th season.

The real tragedy here, besides feeling like some of my best friends are dying, is that the show really faltered in seasons 6 and 7. Then it looked like it was going to turn things around, and now we'll never have time to get Luke and Lorelai to where they should be.

As far as I'm concerned, the show ended with Season 5's finale "Luke, will you marry me?" *sigh*

I think the writers got scared about really putting those two together. Well the show ended anyway, folks! I hereby solemnly swear not to drag out any romance or plot point because I need to save it for another book - to continue a series. If a book, series, show needs to end sooner in order to be what it's meant to be, then let it end sooner.

At least I have my DVD sets...