Friday Fare, Internet Articles, Random, Uncategorized

Friday Fare: 10/7/16

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 only have one article to share this week.  A recipe that’s so ridiculously accessible and simple that as much as I think I can tweak it, it’s already near perfection.  And shocker – it involves kale, but bear with me:  Kale and White Bean Stew.  Make it.  Revel in the fact that fall is fleeting.

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Listening to: In the grand scheme of things, I’m not listening to anything that’s totally tilting my world on its axis right now.  But in terms of what’s playing right now: Tori Amos “Little Earthquakes.”  (Side note:  At best, I’m a casual Tori Amos fan, but in reality, I’ve seen her three times in concert.  I’m pretty proud of that random statistic.)

Reading:  I slammed down Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child’s “The Crimson Shore” down in about four hours.  Imagine, if you will, a frat boy bonging a beer … that’s how I felt shortly after finishing the final page shortly before midnight after cracking the book shortly after my sons’ bedtime.  The book was tasty.  (And somewhere, the little voice in my head that was alarmed that I wasn’t reading whispered “You still got it!”)

^^I don’t recommend speed reading. In fact, it’s why I typically re-read many of my books and honestly, I feel sometimes that it has impacted how I write.  But, I’m the mother of two toddlers.  I’m working under multiple deadlines.  Sometimes, I cannot put a book down.  And in those times, it’s great to read fast. 

Fiction Update:  A couple more chapters and I’m going to be done with the sh*tty first draft of “Dragonfly”.  I didn’t make my September goal, but I’m proud of what I accomplished.  Then time to edit “After Life.”  Still trying to wrap my head around what that’s going to look like and what I hope to accomplish.

Enjoy the weekend!

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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 …

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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: 6/17/16

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.

This was an interesting article from the interwebs: The 22 rules of storytelling by Pixar.  My kids aren’t quite into Pixar yet, but I’ve appreciated what I’ve watched so far …

“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” is probably one of my favorite movies from my childhood.  While most of my contemporaries probably had a crush on Matthew Broderick’s Ferris, I was more about Alan Ruck’s “Cameron.”  And Jennifer Grey?  Pre-“Baby”?  Flawless.
And I originally emailed this piece to myself because I wanted to read the books Janet Reid recommended, but I liked the gist of this blog post all the same.  (Basically, the writer asked Ms. Reid about “overdone storylines” [ahem – vampires].  Given that I like to dabble in the paranormal, this was good advice to take to heart – write the story, give the convention your own twist.)

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Listening to: The world’s been a heartbreaking place lately.  Whether intentional or not, my YouTube choices seem to reflect that.

Reading: In no particular order: “The Black Hour” by Lori Rader-Day (current prez of Mystery Writers of America – Midwest and all around awesome person); “Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger (I’m in a Facebook Book Club organized by a former co-worker of mine – we’re re-reading all of the high school / college classics); “Reliquary” by Douglas Preston / Lincoln Child. <– Why yes … that’s a Pendergast novel.  Now that I’ve binge read through them, it’s time to try to figure out what was so addictive about their narratives and re-discover pieces that I missed.

Fiction Update: Edits, edits, edits. I took some time this week to do a really high-level read through of what I have so far, noted parts that are missing or need some fleshing out, and am re-writing what is the midpoint of “AL.”  That’s taking some spade work, but I’m enjoying the process.

Friday Fare, Internet Articles, Random, Uncategorized

Friday Fare: 6/10/16

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.

Sorry for being MIA last week.  Work has been a little crazy lately and I was in the process of getting ready to go on a west central Minnesota roadtrip.

foxhole
And hooray! Bonus that the roadtrip involved a trip to a new microbrewery in Willmar, Minn. The beer here is fiercely good!

Here’s what’s good on the Internet:

Kris Kristofferson.  This piece by the Rolling Stone was a great read.

I read this article from Outside Online about Kay Grayson, known as “the Bear Lady.”  What I liked about this piece was the deep dive the journalist made into this woman’s life and the sense that I couldn’t put this article down when I started reading it.  A very compelling piece of work.

Another piece that came out in April from MPR News.  A goofy read.

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Listening to: I got a chance to take a deep listen to the new Monkees disc while I was on my roadtrip last weekend.  And it was really good.  Most of the album is posted on YouTube and it’s a solid listen.  (In no particular order, my favorite tracks are “Me & Magdalena,” “Birth of an Accidental Hipster,” and the title track “Good Times.”)

Reading: Yeeeeeah … I kinda burned through of almost all of Lincoln Child and Douglas Preston’s “Pendergast” novels.  (There are 15, and the latest one has a 16-deep wait list at the library, so it’s probably good for my eyes that I can’t access the last one just now.)  And honestly, I learned a lot about pacing from the “Pendergast” books, so I think I’m going to back up and read them again.  I also finished Dana Chamblee Carpenter’s “Bohemian Gospel,” a historical mystery that I similarly couldn’t put down.  I wasn’t 100% thrilled with the ending, but it was the ending that belonged to the story.  I have a sense that this one is going to stay with me for awhile, the story was haunting and the details were just sumptuous.

Fiction Update: One of the best parts about being away for the last weekend was the opportunity to get some uninterrupted time working on “AL.”  I didn’t get as far as I wanted, but considering I was in the town that originally inspired the setting for my book, I had a wonderful weekend of soaking in some of the details that I look forward to bringing to life in my story.

Friday Fare, Internet Articles, Random, Uncategorized

Friday Fare: 5/27/16

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.

First and foremost, I get to have lunch with this guy today.  I’m lucky to have this writer as one of my mentors.

I’m not a huge Johnny Depp fan, but came across this 2013 article whilst clicking around the internet.  I share this article because of this line:  “Says Depp, ‘I thought if I had just got out of the pokey after 18 years, I’d want some fucking Tater Tots, man. I’d want some tacos. Give me some deeply trashy food.'” I can dig the concept of “deeply trashy food.”

Dung beetles.  Just ’cause.

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Listening to: As always, I’m late to most musical games.  Iron and Wine is no exception and admittedly, I found them through the original “Twilight” soundtrack.  But I found the first public performance of “Flightless Bird, American Mouth” and I’m not going to lie – I listened to it three times in a row while sipping coffee on a recent morning.  Absolute chills.  (Bonus content:  This NPR Tiny Desk Concert performance is also pretty awesome.)

Reading: Still hovering at 75% through Stephen King’s “IT.”  I made it through Book 5 in Lincoln Child/Douglas Preston’s Pendergast series before I was put on the wait list for the next one.  Probably better for my social life and my eyes.

Fiction Update: I got to spend some hours last Saturday in the Stillwater Public Library working on “AL.”  I’m slogging my way through some original content that is just taking time to generate, but it’s good.  I’ve also been trying to change up my writing routine to get an hour in before my kids wake up.  It’s all about constant progress.

Have a good weekend! xo

Friday Fare, Internet Articles, Random, Uncategorized

Friday Fare: 5/20/16

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.

Sorry I’ve been MIA lately, I’ve been knee deep in the spadework of editing and while it’s not all-consuming, there are a lot of other aspects of life that are. (In particular, my sons and I went hunting for “dinosaur bones.”  Seriously – I think I had the best time ever and I wasn’t the captain of this particular expedition.)  Let’s get onto the list, shall we?

This piece* by Michael Chabon was bookmarked in my browser and while the date says 2009, it’s still relevant some seven years after it was published.  It’s about the wilderness of childhood and how the landscape is becoming extinct.  (It’s particularly interesting given that I’m still plowing through Stephen King’s “IT” and the importance that childhood friends and adventures play in that narrative.)

Christopher Walken.  I think that’s all I need to say to get you to click.

Got a surplus of rhubarb?  Try this.

*Side note on how I got to the Chabon piece … a Washington Post column where the writer’s son discovers “The Goonies” for the first time.

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Listening to: When I was younger and buying CDs was still a thing, I used to have a three song rule.  If there were three songs that I heard from the album that caught my interest, I figured the entire album was something I should own and would purchase accordingly.  I’ve been taking some chances on that rule lately and Gregory Alan Isakov’s upcoming collaboration album with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra is no exception.  But I got chills when I heard this song.  I think I’ll be happy with my purchase.

Reading: I’m almost 75% through Stephen King’s “IT.”  It’s been taking awhile because I took a detour into Lincoln Child/Douglas Preston land with Book #2 of their Pendergast series.  Book 3 is downloaded on my Kindle now, I’ll be reading that one soon as well.

Fiction Update: Editing.  It’s going OK.  I’m killing darlings and constantly asking myself what would make my story more dynamic.

Enjoy the weekend!  I’m hoping to have a productive day on Saturday … a friend of mine is riding in a 50-mile bike event and I told her I’d keep her company on the drive up to the Twin Cities.  And five hours waiting for my friend to finish her ride?  Find me a coffee shop, I feel some edits coming on.

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:

I loved this article about Nora Roberts from the New York Times’ “By the Book” feature.  I’ve wrote down many of the suggestions and have added them to my Goodreads.

Sometimes I add recipes of things that I plan to make on this blog, since cooking is one of my other creative outlets.  I made this soup from my writing hero J.T. Ellison this past weekend.  Since my kiddos don’t touch it, it makes a ton of leftovers.  Which means I don’t have to cook for most of the rest of the week.  (WINNING.)  And I got a kick out of this post regarding Joan Didion’s cookbook.

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Listening to:  I wrote a blog post awhile back about listening to music while I write.  To that end, I made a Spotify playlist of the songs that have inspired me / contributed to the muse for After Life.  The songs are a little all over the place (Bowie!  Off-Broadway!), but they all have a spot in the canon.  (Let me know if the link doesn’t work … I’m new at this Spotify thing.)

Reading:  Still on Deborah Harkness.  Took a (very) quick detour to the first Pendergast novel “Relic” by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.  A boyfriend of mine from high school had loaned me that book during my senior year and it was an absolute joy to rediscover it.  It also reminded me how important pacing is in novels.  I am a fast reader by nature (and necessity – I’m the mother of two toddlers) and I slammed that book in four hours.  It was exhilarating.  I’m going to have to visit the library and read the rest of them as well.

Fiction update:  Editing, editing, editing.  I’m past the “this is shit” phase from last week and I remain cautiously optimistic.  The deadline I have set for myself is pages in hands of beta readers by April 1.  I can do this.