Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Burning Tulips

I put tulips under all the pillows, and then I set fire to the house
Please don't ask me why, as I am not at liberty to say one word

It's better this way, the perfect love will protect my soul
and get us across the river for a cheaper fare--and a smile

I swear to you now, all is just fine. No crying, No, please
Our fame with the devil was worth the song in your heart

Come quickly to the playground and jump on a swing
We can tease the heavens, dragging sweet wind with our feet

I know exactly what I'm doing with the gift of eternity
Cycling back and forth, corrupting the family with love

Monday, March 26, 2012

Lucky 7 Meme

I have been furiously working on my WIP and slack in my blogging as of late.  So, you can imagine my surprise when the lovely and supportive S.E. Lane from Writing Belle left me a flattering comment about being tagged.  According to her, "This is a different kind of meme which requires you to go to page 77 of your current Manuscript, go to line 7, and copy 7 lines, sentences, or paragraphs. Then you're supposed to tag 7 more bloggers!"  Well, I can sort of do that.  I suppose if I formatted my current WIP as a more book like format rather than the standard Word document default I would have a page 77.  I can definitely choose 7 other bloggers (and then some) upon which to bestow this honor.  

What I fear is becoming hopelessly addicted to sharing parts of my WIP and hearing what you all have to say.  That, or, finding myself so caught up in everyone's wonderful blogs, searching for my 7 victims (er...honorees) that I never finish this post and no one ever shares in the talent that I so enjoy reading.  This being said, it's with no further ado that I present to you 7 lines from "Gracie's Gift" my current WIP.  In this scene, Miles (the love interest) comes to check on Kaitlin (the MC) who has been home for the week.  (I can't say why yet.  Oh, and yes there are hints of dialect, but it's not heavy.  That pattern is in the whole manuscript--depending on the characters.)

"Miles, what I’m gonna do?  They won't let me stay here and even if they did, I can't afford it.  Can't go to New York with Brandon and Sharon.  My life is here."

 "First of all, you can do anythin' you want.  Second, you have no life."

"Shut up!  If you're trying to cheer me up, you need to work on your skills."

"Oh, I got skills."  Miles set my plate on the coffee table, grabbed me by the wrist and stood me up.  He spun me around again.  I was too defeated to resist him.  "Dang, girl!  You are a hot mess!" 

I've been working on this piece since summer of 2010.  I had to stop to finish my Master's and to get divorced.  Dust has settled, I am happier than ever and writing like a fiend.  I hope to finish the first draft no later than the end of June.  Stick around...maybe I will share more sometime.  

In the meantime, here are some other amazing bloggers you can check out:

Les Floyd from Lesism- who has recently re-explored his short story skills beautifully.

Molly O'Keefe from Drunk Writer Talk- who has inspired me to give this next one a go and see if I can finish a first draft over the summer this year.  I have already been researching and will be working an outline before then.  I'll let you know how that goes.  Thanks Molly for the honest expression about the process of head down writing.

Author Pete Hautman- who, in case you haven't read his work, is freaking hilarious.  Plus, his new book, The Obsidian Blade, is releasing on my birthday!  I can think of no better reason to honor him other than for being funny and for having a kick ass release date!  (The fact that he has won awards might have nothing to do with my selection.  Nor the fact that my students love to read his work--cause those things are not as important.)

Widow Dyer- who has overcome sickly computers to rise up again and continue on her quest of "aspiring" (however, she is writing like a machine which sounds like much more than aspiring if you ask me).  Check her out ans she what she has cooking in her writer life!

R. Mac Wheeler- who ranted recently to his fellow Indie authors about the quality of the work they are producing.  His point was made clearly without singling out any one particular author.  I found this compelling as a newbie for so many reasons that I just don't have time for now.  But, also, because I had an Indie send me a book for free and ask me to review it...good or bad...I'm torn.  This is a blog post in the making.  While I finish reading the book I was sent, read what R. Mac has to say and let him know what you think.  

AJ Humpage from All Write Fiction Advice- whose recent post on the difference between imagery and feeling as well as seeing the words and how they fit in the scene really struck a chord with me.  I tend to be a method writer and get extremely into my work.  Then , when I read aloud for my writer's group, I can not help but have different tones to my voice as I read the different characters.  Each word is considered carefully as I revise and edit.  Check out what she has to say and her tips on feeling the depth of the words.

Morgan Shamy-is somewhat new to me.  I've clicked follow on her blog, but somehow rarely manage to catch a post.  (I really need to reach out to all of these wonderful resources more often.)  Her recent post about Beta Reading caught my eye though.  As I connect more to other authors and experience greater depth with my writing group, I am learning more and more about what it means to be a Beta reader or to use a Beta reader.  Morgan poses great questions and advice about beta reading that I hadn't yet solidified in my head.  Check her out.

So, there are my 7 Memes for this round of shout outs and awards.  I hope I have connected you with some people that will help you grow as a writer just as they have for me.  What do you think about their ideas?  What do you look for in a good blog?  

I also hope you enjoy my 7 lines of manuscript.  Have you ever used dialect or written in a character voice that is so different from your own?  What resources did you use?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Book Review: The Kite Runner

I have read very few Afghan books. In fact, other than this one, Three Cups of Tea is the only other book I have read with Afghanistan as a setting (and I have little to nothing I care to say about that one). The Kite Runner is, for sure, on my list as a favorite. 

Amir, a young and wealthy Afghan boy, describes life growing up in the Afghanistan of the 1970's and 80's. He grows up with his distant father, his family's servant and the servant boy, Hassan. The close age of the boys and the absence of their mothers are what bond the two young boys together. Despite their closeness, social norms still play a strong role in their relationship and Amir often toys with the lines between Hassan's friendship and servitude. Life for them is very simple and typical, with strong customs and traditions until one of these traditions leads them into a tragedy that brings forth doubt, secrets and fractures the tightly bonded group of men both young and old. 

A few short years after the boys share this secret, Russia invades Afghanistan and brings destruction to the country. Amir and his father escape to America and join many other refugees in the community where they begin to rebuild their lives. We see an adult Amir and his father discover one another as they grow older together and share the memories and the secrets of their Afghanistan and their lives. Amir discovers secrets of his father that will forever change his life. 

Khaled Hosseini writes such beautifully descriptive prose, bringing readers into the foreign world of the past. I was gripped by the former beauty of a country that I have only seen as a desolated war zone on television. These descriptions not only exposed the warm hearts of the characters, but of a people so misunderstood and misrepresented by the extremists shown on the news today. This is a crafted tale of humanity, love and courage that should be read by everyone. 

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini