Friday, October 31, 2008

Brainstorm Mini-Challenge

Cece: At It Again: I have come to storm your brain.#comments

This is my response to the brainstorm mini-challenge at Cesia's blog:

Angela had counted herself among the lucky who'd survived cancer. But hers was not the typical survival story, and as she sat in the diner in Vegas, disguised in a wig and sunglasses, she considered how she had ended up running for her life.

Per her instructions for the mini-challenge, let me know what you anticipate the story to be about? Genre? Conflict? Resolution? Then check out Cesia's challenge and try it on your blog!

Halloween Rant

I hate Halloween, which I'm sure will be an unpopular sentiment.

Halloween bothers me for several reasons:

1. We're subjected to violent, bloody movies for an entire month leading up to Halloween day. I don't like scary movies anyway, but the majority of them have no plot, they're badly acted, and their only purpose is to show as many people being maimed and killed with as many different appliances and implements as possible. Pointless. If it's really necessary, why can't it just be on Halloween day? After all, the holiday is just one day, not a whole freakin' month.

2. Halloween is expensive: costumes, pumpkins, decorations, candy, classroom parties. I gave up buying costumes for my kids years ago because they're cheesy and lame and EXPENSIVE. For the last few years the kids have made their own costumes from what we have around the house (much like we did when I was a kid), and we usually end up buying a few accessories, but they've liked these costumes better anyway. The kids have to shell out money to have a party in the classrooms. They're not even allowed to participate until they pay. It's not like school isn't expensive enough, but I'm being nickeled and dimed to death for classroom parties.

3. Carving pumpkins. First, it's another expense. Second, it's messy. Third, they rot and stink.

4. Sugar wars. After traipsing around town in the cold and dark and begging for candy at every house in town, each of my kids has a giant haul of candy. Now I become the bad guy because I won't let them binge and overdose on sugar until they puke. So I have to spend the next month doling out candy and listening to begging and whining about why they can't have just one more piece today? Not to mention the fact that all that sugar is just plain unhealthy.

5. It's the principle. I'm all for stimulating the economy, especially since it's in the tank these days, but I'm broke enough as it is. Why in God's name would I care about supporting the candy industry for the third time in a year (Valentines, Easter, Halloween).

I don't want to feel obligated to celebrate something. I want to celebrate it because it's meaningful and fun. Halloween has become an obligation and we're just going thru the motions: dressing up, spending money, porking out on candy.

So, that's why I hate Halloween. Bah humbug.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Magnetic Verse

Even though I'm a writer, I'm not a poet. In my opinion, good poetry is very difficult and takes a certain talent and lots of practice.

However, last Christmas I bought a box of Refrigerator Poetry for my daughter and found myself inexplicably drawn to it. I would sit on the floor in front of the refrigerator for hours, mesmerized by the piles of magnetic words.

I've posted below some of my favorite results from those sessions. I'm still not a poet, but it turned out to be a surprisingly useful creative exercise!

Misty forest floor
Sweet and cold.
Deep silver wind
Tears the still morning.
Land cut shallow by wild rain.
The power of nature orders the universe.
Winter rest,
Shadowy peace.
These long naked nights,
Broken and beautiful.
Perfect snow
White and cool
Green spring soon.
Computer dreams,
Internet storm.
Ancient books,
Quiet and bright –
Words from the beginning of time.
Down into his desire.
One game,
Very quick.
Don’t look!
Gotta have it.
So hot;
Playing with fire.
Please just finish.
Secret beast.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

If The World Could Vote

I found this interesting web site on another blog and thought I'd pass it along.

Pet Peeve

Here's a reader's pet peeve that I'd like to take a reader's poll on: to dog-ear or not to dog-ear? Are you a bookmark user or a dog-earer? I'm personally a dog-earer.

My husband and I have an ongoing argument about this, and as shallow as it may sound, it actually gets at the root of a philosophical argument about how people view and value books.

My husband's argument is that if you dog-ear the pages of a book, it's disrespectful. You should treat books with respect, and deference. You should honor your books and be considerate of them.

My argument is that a book is like a cozy blanket, or your favorite jammies: they're meant to be loved and used. To me, a book with lots of dog-ears and a ratty binding, and maybe fingerprints inside shows that it's adored, well-read, and loved.

So tell me, do you bookmark or dog-ear?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


So, the thing is, I'm a virgin blogger. I've never done it before. So the chances are good that I'm going to make mistakes, feel awkward, and giggle nervously, and I'll probably need lots of practice in order to get good at it. But I'm hoping that I'll have fun while I'm learning and be the better for it.

I wanted to start this blog because, at heart, I'm a writer. But I'm also a voracious reader. So it occurred to me that it would be nice to have a place to write about the things I read, because deconstructing literature is a helpful way to learn about writing, and it also helps to understand the deeper and richer meaning of stories.

Now, although my primary purpose in starting this blog is to discuss both "serious" and "popular" literature, it's very likely that I'll want to talk about any number of other things, so be prepared to shift gears. After all, I don't read so fast that I can blog every day about a new book (maybe a new story, though).

Anyway, welcome to the site, share your thoughts and your literary criticisms and interests. I'd like to know what other people are reading and what they think about it.

By the way, I'm currently reading: Brisinger, by Christopher Paolini.