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.

***

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

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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.

***

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, Random

Friday Fare: 5/6/16

050616 - Books

Although the Interwebs have been ripe with all sorts of interesting article (some of which I’ve actually been able to read!), I didn’t have time to assemble a formal Friday Fare today.  So I’ll leave you with a picture and a quick story.  I’m re-reading Stephen King’s “IT” (for the zillionth time?), because I want to see how he does it.  I was in high school the first time I read “IT” and I remember being too scared to look out my bedroom window, because I was sure that I’d see Pennywise the Clown looking in at me through the screen, his Ronald McDonald hair illuminated by the yard light next to the lilac tree.  Now as a writer, I want to figure out how he did it – what senses did King play upon to scare the bejesus out of me?  Was it the backstory?  Character development?

So, I’m sitting in the sunshine while my kids are playing in the sandbox.  My eldest (3 1/2) comes running up to me.  “Let me see, mommy.”  (Usually, he calls me mama, but eldest has been binge watching “Caillou” again, so my given name has taken on a Canadian inflection and borders on whiny.  Damn you Caillou!)  Not thinking, I lift my book so he can see the cover and I hear a little gasp.

“What are those claws doing down there?”

Dammit.  “Um … that’s a dinosaur.”

“What’s a dinosaur doing in there?”

My husband had been snoozing in a deck chair next to me, and at this he opens eyes and gives me a look.

I give my eldest a hug.  “That’s a very good question.”

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Happy Friday!

Friday Fare, Internet Articles, Random, Uncategorized

Friday Fare: 4/29/16

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.

“Jane Eyre” is one of my favorite books.  Letters of Note is one of my favorite websites.  The two together made me very happy this week.

50 books a woman should read before she turns 40.  In July, I will have two years left to finish these bad boys … might need to get cracking.

This article seriously pissed me off.  (So much so that I actually commented on Facebook.  Don’t get me wrong – I like the FB, but I try to be a positive member of society.  In this case, I let my snark shine through.)

And damn … my resume needs updating, but will never look this cool.

And yes, this is a writing blog.  But cocktails!  This beverage sounds like it’s up my alley.

***

Listening to: Yup, still adoring Sturgill Simpson, but since he’s down towards the bottom of my Windows Media Player queue (am I the only person who still uses Windows Media Player?), I’ve been getting down to the “Ts” in my music collection.  Toad the Wet Sprocket anyone? (P.S. – Seen them three or four times in concert.  And I fangirl.  Every.  Single.  Time.)

Reading: Stephen King’s “IT.”  How does he do it?

Fiction Update: Edits!  I’ve been kinda stuck on the ending of Act I, but I’ve been having some weird mini-breakthroughs that are immensely gratifying.

Enjoy the weekend!

Friday Fare, Internet Articles, Random, Uncategorized

Friday Fare: 4/15/16

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.

I decided to stop trying to come up with pithy titles for these “Friday Fare” posts, because if I had my druthers, this article would be entitled “Friday Fare: Spring Has Freakin’ Sprung!”  Yeah … I think dates are better.

Here’s what caught my attention this week on the webs:

One of the members of my writers group sent out these 10 writing tips from Flannery O’Connor. The one that resonated with me?  Number 6.

My love for L.M. Montgomery is well documented on this blog. This article reveals Ms. Montgomery’s painstaking edits on her final “Green Gables” novel “Rilla of Ingleside.”

I found some future #TBR (To Be Read) material in this article from Psychology Today that talks about the books that prosecutors write after the conclusion of career-making cases.

And finally, because writers need to eat – this recipe from Smitten Kitchen.

***

Listening to: Latest obsession is Sturgill Simpson.  So much so that I sent this video to my mom to listen to.  And this one to my brother.  (I actually need to call my dad and tell him about this musician, just haven’t got that far yet.) And then I pre-ordered his new album (THAT COMES OUT TODAY!).  And bought his previous album that has this song.  I think that pretty much covers how much I adore this musician, you concur?

Reading: I finished “Revival” by Stephen King and really enjoyed it.  Just started Brian Freeman’s “Immoral.”

Fiction Update: I actually had one of those grown up, writer moments this week.  I had a great day on Sunday of editing.  And then I had my writer’s group on Tuesday.  I had gotten my reading done for them in advance and really felt like I had achieved some sort of mythical balance between being a writer and providing constructive feedback to my tribe.  It was fricking weird.  But yes, editing.  It’s going.  I’m not near as productive as I wish I was, but I’m trying to be as efficient as a full-time worker, mom, wife, etc., can be.

Happy Friday, friends!

Friday Fare, Internet Articles, Random, Uncategorized

Friday Fare: Still effing cold in Minnesota

Friday FareFriday Fare is all about the links.

I shouldn’t complain, because it’s spring – which, in Minnesota, means anything from blizzard conditions to 80-degree weather.  But man … I am ready for some sunshine.

Beverly Cleary turns 100 on the 12th.  While she wasn’t my favorite writer when I was a kid, I fondly remember Ramona and Beezus, her long suffering sister.

I’m frequently critical of the media, but this reporter just kicks ass.

Two of my fellow Mystery Writers of America-Midwest members are nominated for this year’s Mary Higgins Clark Award, Jungle Red Writers did an awesome round-up with all of the nominees to get their take on how their stories fit the MHC criteria.

This article had life advice for struggling artists.  A wonderful, wonderful piece.

Finally – a Ramen Burger?  Yes please.

***

Listening to: I literally just started streaming this album from Sturgill Simpson.  But I think I like it.  A lot.

Reading: I’m currently reading to inform – re-read “Interview with a Vampire” to find out how Anne Rice made the world of Louis and Lestat real enough to give this world staying power some 40 years later.  A book about exorcism.  Some books about the writing craft (I finished “Revision and Self Editing” by James Scott Bell.  “Plot Perfect” by Paula Munier is next.).  I have Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods” and Stephen King’s “IT” out from the library – again, how do the masters build their worlds?

Fiction Update: I want to write “editing, editing, editing.”  But this week hasn’t been kind for my fictional pursuits.  I will not despair, I’m just looking ahead to Sunday when I can devote a large, unbroken amount of time to my work.

Happy weekend, friends!

Friday Fare, Internet Articles, Random, Uncategorized

Friday Fare: March Madness

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 a post from Criminal Minds that I found earlier this month.  The question is a good one: If you had to name one single book that inspired you to be a writer, what would that be?  It’s hard to limit myself to one single book, but if I had to go back to the very beginning of my reading adventure – Laura Ingalls Wilder is one of the first writers who captured my adoration as a reader and the person who gave root to the idea that I’d someday be an author.  (Honorable mentions go to L.M. Montgomery and Stephen King.  Why yes, that’s an eclectic list.)

This is another blog post that I read a little while back and while it came from a cooking blog that I frequently read, it resonated so much in regards to how I sometimes feel when it comes to progress that I’m making in my writing life.  Basically – feeling jealous on the Internet and 12 ways to make it stop.  There’s a lot of good wisdom out here, but the important one for me is #12 – Gratitude.  At the end of all things, I’m a ridiculously blessed person and while I move at a snail’s pace when it comes to writing fiction, I’m making progress.  And I do this despite all the other wonderful distractions and obligations I have in my life.  I’m also lucky to have found tribe members that share in my struggles and a lot of support amongst my non-writing friends and family.

***

Listening to: Dave Rawlings and Gillian Welch are still in heavy rotation on my YouTube stream.  I have a sense that it’s going to take me some time before I’m sick of these guys.

Reading: Anne Fraiser is still on my counter.  In the meantime, I read two books from a different Anne:  Anne Bishop’s “The Black Jewels” have been making its way through my Kindle.  I don’t typically read fantasy books (George R.R. Martin and J.R.R. Tolkien are the exception), but I’ve really been enjoying her books.

Fiction Update: Got my short story submitted for consideration in an upcoming anthology. I was happy to have accomplished this given how hectic work was the past few weeks.

Happy weekend, friends!

Random

Stacks

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”- Stephen King

TBR

Forgive how dark this photo is – but here’s my “TBR” (to be read) stack of books.  In some cases, they are books to re-read, but they are safer down here in my office than they are at the hands of my two toddlers.

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

Friday Fare: Links from the around the ‘Net

FridayFareHere is my random group of random Internet musings and links that I’ve discovered
recently and want to curate for the rest of the world:

Ha!  I knew there was a reason beyond the fact that I’m the mother of two toddlers that I wear the same thing everyday.  I’m trying to achieve simplicity!

I’m a huge Stephen King fan.  The recent articles in Rolling Stone magazine are lush with details and research. (As a bonus, the first sidebar linked to this story about King’s sons Owen King and Joe Hill.  I’ve read Joe Hill and have enjoyed his work, need to read Owen King’s debut novel.)

I only caught the tail end of the whole “Alex from Target” … phenomenon … thing?  New York Times takes a look at the flip side of achieving viral fame.  I said this in a Facebook comment – I will never understand death threats.  You hate a guy because he’s on the Interwebs.  So you make a death threat?  Seems a little irrational.

And because no Friday Fare is complete without some offering to foods that I hope to cook someday (see my note about being the mother of two toddlers above), here’s something that could make a great addition to any Thanksgiving table.

***

Listening to: I’ve been binge watching/listening to YouTube playlists.  Alan Jackson singing at George Jones’ funeral?  Old 1990s country music videos (think Reba McEntire with BIG HAIR, Vince Gill with a pseudo-mullet, and Mama Judd herself in what looks like a cross between pleather and latex.)  Why 1990s country music?  Well, this happened:

Garth Brooks. Minneapolis. Fourth Row Seats.

After seeing Garth Brooks and attending one of the best concerts of my life, I’m feeling pretty nostalgic for the music I used to hear on the radio – on the school bus, while busing dishes at my great-aunt’s diner, in my dad’s barn …

Reading:  Just finished the final book in Nora Roberts’ “Dark Witch / Cousins O’Dwyer” trilogy.  I read it in a day, so it must have been good.

Fiction update:  I’ve hit something of a wall.  After reading this blog post from Chuck Wendig, I’m taking these words to heart:  “And that, I think, is one of the things that separates the Aspiring Not-Really-Writers from the Really Real Writers — the latter group writes even when it’s hard, even when the motivation is a dry well, even when the inspiration seems like a dead or dying thing. They hook the car battery jumper cables up to the coyote’s car-struck carcass and rev the engine and make the damn thing dance yet again. Seems dead, but isn’t. Every day then is an act of revivifying your own abilities and motivations. The act of writing becomes clarifying to the act of writing. To restate the principle for the third time: momentum begets momentum.”  I work to be a Really Real Writer, even when that means I have a little voice parroting in my head: “This is shit.  These words … shit.  You are shit.  Still shitty.”  One foot in front of the other.  One word at a time.

I’ve had some incredible moments during revisions – I’m not currently experiencing that.  But I can do this.  And if I show up every day, I’ll make progress.  Progress can be revised.  Progress is the goal.  Completion is the goal.