Friday Fare, Internet Articles, Random, Uncategorized

Friday Fare: 10/21/16

Friday Fare is where I post links to the random articles that have resonated with me during the week. Sometimes they make me smarter, sometimes they make me hungry … sometimes they have to do with writing and sometimes they are just plain random.

I don’t run, but I liked this piece from She Reads and this advice that pertains to running and writing:  “Run the downhill parts. Pick the low-hanging fruit. Write the easy chapter. … Let yourself see a bit of progress.”

My love for Lincoln Child and Douglas Preston is well documented on this blog.  Strand Magazine recently published the authors’ 10 writing tips.

This was a fun, recent read from Washington Post about a couple who have found their dream home in a rumored Cold War-era safe house.


Listening to: This particular week is going to be bookended by concerts.  And that, my friends, is a wonderful thing.  On Sunday, I went to the State Theatre in Minneapolis with a dear friend to watch Gordon Lightfoot.  Mr. Lightfoot will never have the butterscotch and bourbon voice he had in the 1970s, but the man just has that glint … it was great to sit and listen to the legendary troubadour.  So that was Sunday.  On Saturday, my husband and I are going up to St. Paul to check out the new host of Prairie Home Companion.  I cannot wait – one of the guests is Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats.  (<– I just like typing that.)  Between that and Chris Thile, I think my mind is in for a treat.

Reading:  Work has been a little crazy lately.

Fiction Update:  Work has been a little crazy lately … HOWEVER.  This weekend is going to be a kid free weekend.  I think I should be able to get about 6-8 hours over the weekend to get some work done on Dragonfly.

Enjoy the weekend!

Friday Fare, Internet Articles, Random, Uncategorized

Friday Fare: 9/30/16

Friday Fare is where I post links to the random articles that have resonated with me during the week. Sometimes they make me smarter, sometimes they make me hungry … sometimes they have to do with writing and sometimes they are just plain random.

Michael Chabon wrote a beautiful piece on his son, “the prince of fashion,” for GQ.  As the mama of boys and an unabashed Chabon fan, I read this with great interest.  It was an article that was beautifully eloquent.

Shirley Jackson has been getting some press lately partially due to the recent release of Ruth Franklin’s book “Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life.”  This piece was adapted from Franklin’s book for New York Magazine.  In a world where the discussion of mothers “having it all” seems to be as divisive as the political world we currently live in, I appreciated reading an article that asserted that motherhood helped Jackson’s writing career blossom.  I’ve been a writer for much of my life, but my fiction writing edged its way as a priority after my eldest was born.

This article about the “alchemy” of the Filet-O-Fish sandwich from McDonalds stirred a couple feelings in me:  1) Recognition, because – man … I have an unhealthy love for FOF sandwiches (that I only indulge in during Lent, right around when Shamrock Shakes are on the menu.). 2) Absolute hilarity:

“The bun’s plain. The cheese sucks. The fish tastes like nothing. But in concert, McDonald’s fish sandwich is alchemy.”

^Truer words, never spoken …


Listening to: I’ve made no secret of my love for Gordon Lightfoot.  It’s thrilling to see that Vanity Fair wrote a piece on him.

Reading:  Reading has been taking a backseat lately to work and trying to get words down on paper for Dragonfly.  However, the latest Pendergast novel will be hitting my Kindle soon, I think this will be a well deserved reward for what I accomplished this month on Dragonfly.

Fiction Update: I was able to get ~6,000 words out over the past weekend when I was away in Wisconsin.  While I’m nowhere near my goal of 3,000 a day, I’ve realized that 1,500 is doable for me.  A good lesson learned.  I’m hoping to be around 70-75,000 words by the end of this week and in possession of a sh*tty first draft.

Enjoy the weekend!

Friday Fare, Internet Articles, Random, Uncategorized

Friday Fare: Back on the horse

Friday FareFriday Fare is where I post links to the random articles that have resonated with me during the week. Sometimes they make me smarter, sometimes they make me hungry … sometimes they have to do with writing and sometimes they are just plain random.

Eeesh – after the last Friday Fare’s whiny lament, I’m glad you’re back.  I promise I’ve been reading good things and that I’m more productive than I was the last time we met.

I don’t know if it’s surprising, per se, that I’m posting this article about Sylvester Stallone, but if you know me, you’d probably not mistake me for a rabid “Rocky” fan.  Because I’m not.  But … one of my all-time favorite movies is “Cop Land” so I’m always happy to see Mr. Stallone get the respect that he’s due.

I’m not going to lie – the idea that The (surviving / non-estranged) Monkees are getting together for a 50th anniversary and are releasing a new album brings me much joy.  I may try to be all cool and relevant with the music that I listen to (ha!), but at heart I’m just an 11-year-old girl listening to my Monkees cassettes in my cluttered farmhouse bedroom, mooning over Davy Jones some 20 years after his heyday.  (I’ve said it before … I’m usually behind on trends.)

This weekend is Valentine’s Day.  I foresee heart-shaped pancakes and heart-shaped pizza in my future.  And maybe this cake.  Because … cake!


Listening to: I’ve been listening to the YouTube again.  This concert is one of my favorites and always helps me get a lot of work done in my day job.  And I’m not going to lie, Gordon Lightfoot in 1972 makes me wish that time travel was reality so I could have seen Mr. Lightfoot in concert in the 70s.

Reading: Honestly, I haven’t read much lately.  It’s busy in the proposal world right now, which is a good thing, but doesn’t give much time for more than work and family time.  I don’t achieve a lot of balance during these busy seasons.

Fiction Update: I’ve been working on a short story for consideration in an upcoming anthology and although it’s been taking me a long time to get it to coalesce, I’m excited about the direction that it’s going in and I think that I’m going to have a decent story at the end of this process.  Even if it doesn’t find a home in the anthology, I think it’s one I can shop around elsewhere.

I also met with my Twin Cities writers group earlier this week.  I didn’t have anything to share (see comment above, re: achieving balance) but I’m liking the energy that I’m getting from the group and think I’ve found a good group of folks to exchange stories with.

Wherever my readers are, I hope you are well and happy.  Happy Friday!  We made it through another week!

Editing, Fiction, Friday Fare, Internet Articles, Process, Random

Friday Fare: Links from the around the ‘Net

FridayFare On Fridays, I post a round up of the various posts and articles that have been of interest to me during the week:

Kristi Belcamino, a fellow Minnesota author, gave a shout out to this website for creating graphics.  I’m looking forward to trying this out and integrating into my social media efforts.

Fidgeting = productivity?  The Wall Street Journal had this article regarding how “creative playtime” may spark new ideas.  The note that I made to myself after reading this was that while I didn’t necessarily agree with this idea (I don’t think that I can play with a Slinky and still type at the same time –  not that coordinated), I have found that music is important for sparking creativity.  If I feel like I’m in a slump, changing a playlist can make my mind skip in a productive direction.

And because I’ve re-discovered that my other creative outlet is cooking and because my sons and I are all getting over colds, I riffed on this chicken noodle soup recipe this week.  It was pretty damn good.


Listening to: As I’m writing this, I’m listening to a playlist of Alison Krauss from YouTube, starting with her duet with Robert Plant (“Killing the Blues”), wanting to listen to this song on constant repeat, and then getting some gratification that I’m not the only one who appreciates Gordon Lightfoot.

Reading:  Truthfully?  I’m reading some Highlander/time-traveling smut right now, so I’m not going to be proud about announcing my reading choice right now.  I’m working on a Dean Koontz novel, still need to finish “Skellig” (heading to Chicago and spending an unexpected extra night has thrown a lot of my life off).  Stay tuned … on Tuesday, I’m going to share a shot of my TBR (to be read) pile.

Fiction update:  My work life is ramping up again and it’s causing me a little bit of anxiety.  I have five proposals due before April 13th.  How do I balance this with my own internal deadline (pages in the hands of beta readers by April 1st?).  What I did was print out a fresh copy of my manuscript and I’m taking another run at reading and making edits as I go.  Mentally, I liken this process to my winter driving adventures during my 16th year of life, when I would have to back my Pontiac Sunbird into the field approach across the road from my parents’ farm and take the driveway at a run if I hoped to get up to the top of the drive.  I usually had about a 50% success rate.  Let’s hope that I’m more adept at driving / editing some 20 years later.