Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
Michigander (mish-i-gan-der): a native or inhabitant of Michigan, also Michiganian
Michigoslings/Meshugaslings (mish-i-goz-lings): how we refer to our sons who were born and raised in Michigan
Six emails, five administrators, one secure website and two phone calls: what is required to convince a premier Michigan university that one of said Michigoslings deserves in-state tuition
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Piece of cake.
On the other hand, I love a good book trailer, a short, zingy message that makes me want to race to the nearest bookstore. So, I decided to make an imaginary book trailer for TAoCBS, even though that’s putting the cart way before the maverick manuscript.
I present three easy steps to an imaginary book trailer.
1. Hear the music in your head. Don’t worry about copyright restrictions. What plays in your dreams stays in your dreams.
2. Visualize the actors. Don’t worry about their salaries. Your imagination is independently wealthy.
3. Write the voiceover script. And use it in your query letter.
I liked the results. Will I use these lines in my query? I’ll decide when the time comes.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
*You can read some of Tim's ideas on our critique group's blog, Write Brainers.
Friday, June 19, 2009
2. The County Sheriff smiled and waved (instead of giving me a ticket) when he saw me riding the wrong way on a one-way street. Ahem.
3. A doe stepped out in front of my bike, but nothing bad happened.
This must be my lucky day. I should buy a lottery ticket or send a query.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Well, duh. That's why they go to school. And that's why they make such fascinating subjects for fiction.
Earlier this week, I accompanied Jeremy to his first voice lesson. While I've taken many music lessons, none have involved singing. Breathing for singing involves the diaphragm, which is similar to playing a wind instrument, but the big difference is where the air goes after a breath. When playing a wind instrument, the air goes out the player's mouth, and the vibrations that produce the sound waves are made by the reed, lips or mouthpiece. The sound is then enhanced by the structure of the instrument. When singing, all that happens in the singer's body. I don't understand the bits about the back of the throat and the sinus cavities, but clearly, good singers do. The voice lesson contained a wealth of new information.
The other part of Jeremy's learning experience was driving to and from the lesson. Jeremy has a learner's permit and is currently logging his fifty hours of practice driving. When we got to the lesson, he parked on the curb. When we left, he had to make a three point turn (in my lengthy station wagon), which he did beautifully. Then he had to negotiate that that tricky section of road where two busy lanes suddenly become one.
I realized teenagers learn a ton of new stuff every day, and there isn't much of a break between each learning experience.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
A new prime number has been discovered by Odd Magnar Strindmo from Melhus, Norway. It is 13 million digits long, so I won't display it here. It is a Mersenne prime number which means it can be calculated from the equation:
where n is a prime number.
The calculation required a lot of computing power (because the values for n are so large) and was aided by the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (GIMPS). People can download software onto their personal computers to help with the calculations.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Saturday, June 13, 2009
One problem with the manuscript is Troy (our hero) is a bit of a victim. Other characters do mean things to him, and he suffers. But Troy has to fight back, and my new idea provides him with a chance at revenge. Of course his plan will backfire (at least once), and Troy will again suffer. As a protagonist, suffering is Troy's job. If he wanted an easy life, he should have auditioned for a different role.
Another problem is the second draft, at 23,800 words, is almost as scrawny as our hero. While the new idea will not bulk up my manuscript as much as a summer in the weight room, it is a start.
Time to get to work.
Friday, June 12, 2009
1. A book of fiction you've been looking forward to reading.
The Grail Quest series by Bernard Cornwell. (The Archer's Tale, Vagabond, and Heretic). Okay, that's three books, but I am looking forward to them.
3. A book by someone whose last name begins with Z.
Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr. This book was recommended by Sarah Miller who read the ARC. The book hasn't been released yet, but I guess The Lazy Person's Reading Group won't rush me.
4. A book from a genre you rarely, if ever, read.
My Father's Secret War: A Memoir by Lucinda Franks. I usually don't read memoirs. Why not?
7. A book you figure you probably should read, even though you don't really want to.
His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman. Everybody recommends these books, but somehow, I've never read them. I'll start with The Golden Compass and see how it goes.
8. A book that has recently received rave reviews.
I'd Tell You I Love You But Then I'd Have To Kill You by Ally Carter. I see this mentioned everywhere.
10. A book that pertains in some way to a skill you do not, and never will, have.
Another Day in the Frontal Lobe: A Brain Surgeon Exposes Life on the Inside by Katrina Firlik. I stole this from Debbie's list, and I'm not ashamed.
11. A book recommended by your hairdresser or barber.
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. The woman who cuts my hair says this is great.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Monday, June 8, 2009
Saturday, June 6, 2009
I'm proud to announce that The World's Greatest Critique Group likes it - so far. They told me so today. If I listened very carefully as they made their comments, I could almost hear music playing in the background.
Friday, June 5, 2009
Did I travel to a large body of water and listen to soothing splashing sounds? No.
Did I walk in the woods, letting birdsong and rustling leaves calm my soul? No.
Did I ride my bike so all that pent up anxiety could be expended as energy? No.
I cleaned my house, weeded my flower garden and reseeded some bald spots in the lawn. At the end of the day, I could say to myself (for a change), "Look how much I accomplished!"
Now it's time to get back to work on the hard projects.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
I still don't have an enticing summary of CBL for my query letter.
The good news:
I'm going to put that project away for a few days (or possibly a few weeks or months). I can stop banging my head on the monitor.
The bad news:
I haven't written much lately.
The good news:
Life has been full of joyous events, like my older son's high school graduation and my 25th wedding anniversary.
The bad news:
The beautiful ash trees in our yard have been reduced to enormous piles of logs.
The good news:
Our neighbor has stopped brandishing firearms at the tree trimmers. We (and probably several future generations) can look forward to numerous fires in the fireplace.
The bad news:
I can't think of a downside to this one.
The good news:
The World's Greatest Critique Group meets on Saturday.