Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Veritable Webster's Definition of "Awwwwww...."

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy Birthday, Samwise! (or...Man, I Need to Tweak my Camera Settings)

In Commemoration of Samwise's 12th Birthday, I took a stab at a Popcorn Cake.

I think he liked the looks of it:

TLoML described the cake as a popcorn ball mixed with trail mix. Frodo said it was like a movie theater's concession's stand after an earthquake. Both I think were compliments. :) Pretty tasty, actually, and fairly easy. "Sticky", "gooey" and "a giant mess" begin to describe the process of making it.

After that, we gave him his new Nook (yes, my boys are e-book readers now...*sigh*). This is mostly him being excited, and a little bit of him being a giant ham.

yeah, yeah, yeah, the pictures are lousy. I know, I know.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Writing Quote of the Day - Nov 13

To get the right word in the right place is a rare achievement. To condense the diffused light of a page of thought into the luminous flash of a single sentence, is worthy to rank as a prize composition just by itself...Anybody can have ideas--the difficulty is to express them without squandering a quire of paper on an idea that ought to be reduced to one glittering paragraph.
Mark Twain

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Writing Quote of the Day - Nov 12

Plot grows out of character. If you focus on who the people in your story are, if you sit and write about two people you know and are getting to know better day by day, something is bound to happen.

Characters should not, conversely, serve as pawns for some plot you've dreamed up. Any plot you impose on your characters will be onomatopoetic: PLOT. I say don't worry about plot. Worry about the characters. Let what they say or do reveal who they are, and be involved in their lives, and keep asking yourself, Now what happens? The development of relationship creates plot. Flannery O'Connor, in Mystery and Manners, tells how she gave bunch of her early stories to the old lady who lived down the street, and the woman returned them saying, "Them stories just gone and shown you how some folks would do."

That's what plot is: what people will up and do in spite of everything that tells them they shouldn't, everything that tells them they shouldn't, everything that tells them that they should sit quietly on the couch and practice their Lamaze, or call their therapist, or eat until the urge to do that thing passes.

So focus on character.
Anne Lamott

Friday, November 11, 2011

Writing Quote of the Day - Nov 11

here are a few rules ... for writing:
  1. The best way to write better is to write more.
  2. The best way to write better is to write more.
  3. The best way to write better is to write more.
  4. The best way to write more is to write whenever you have five minutes and wherever you find a chair and a pen and paper or your computer.
  5. Read! Most likely you don't need this rule. If you enjoy writing, you probably enjoy reading. The payoff for this pleasure is that reading books shows you how to write them.
  6. Reread! There's nothing wrong with reading a book you love over and over. When you do, the words get inside you, become part of you, n a way that words in a book you've read only once can't.
  7. Save everything you write, even if you don't like it, even if you hate it. Save it for a minimum of fifteen years. I'm serious. At that time, if you want to, you can throw it out, but even then don't discard your writing lightly.

Gail Carson Levine

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Writing Quote of the Day - Nov 10

Rules such as "Write what you know," and "Show, don't tell," while doubtlessly grounded in good sense, can be ignored with impunity by any novelist nimble enough to get away with it. There is, in fact, only one rule in writing fiction: Whatever works, works.

Ah, but how can you know if it's working? The truth is, you can't always know (I nearly burned my first novel a dozen times, and it's still in print after 35 years), you just have to sense it, feel it, trust it. It's intuitive, and that peculiar brand of intuition is a gift from the gods. Obviously, most people have received a different package altogether, but until you undo the ribbons you can never be sure.
Tom Robbins

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Writing Quote of the Day - Nov 9

It is a delicious thing to write, to be no longer yourself but to move in an entire universe of your own creating. Today, for instance, as man and woman, both lover and mistress, I rode in a forest on an autumn afternoon under the yellow leaves, and I was also the horses, the leaves, the wind, the words my people uttered, even the red sun that made them almost close their love-drowned eyes. When I brood over these marvelous pleasures I have enjoyed, I would be tempted to offer God a prayer of thanks if I knew he could hear me. Praised may he be for not creating me a cotton merchant, a vaudevillian, or a wit.
Gustave Flaubert

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Writing Quote of the Day - Nov 8

Why Authors write I do not know. As well ask why a hen lays an egg or a cow stands patiently while a farmer burglarizes her.
H. L. Mencken

Why do writers write? Because it isn't there.
Thomas Beger

Monday, November 07, 2011

Writing Quote of the Day - Nov 7

Writing, in its most essential sense, is an artificial means for getting thoughts and images which reside in YOUR brain over to the guy holding your book in the most effective and accurate fashion possible, so that the reader will successfully translate your thoughts into HIS brain. The written word uses symbols to describe sights, sounds, and situations, in order to let the reader create the story inside his own imagination as he reads.

Writing is the original virtual reality.

If all goes well, the imaginary world you help the reader create in his head becomes as believable, exciting, and interesting as the real world.

But that means you need to make everything go well.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Writing Quote of the Day - Nov 6

Nothing corrupts a man so deeply as writing a book; the myriad temptations are overwhelming.
Nero Wolfe

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Writing Quote of the Day - Nov 5

When asked, "How do you write?" I invariably answer, "One word at a time," and the answer is invariably dismissed. But that is all it is. It sounds too simple to be true, but consider the Great Wall of China, if you will: one stone at a time, man. That’s all. One stone at a time. But I’ve read you can see that [expletive deleted] from space without a telescope.
Stephen King

Friday, November 04, 2011

Writing Quote of the Day - Nov 4

Very few writers really know what they are doing until they've done it. Nor do they go about their business feeling dewy and thrilled. They do not type a few stiff warm-up sentences and then find themselves bounding along like huskies across the snow. One writer I know tells me that he sits down every morning and says to himself nicely, "It's not like you don't have a choice, because you do--you can either type or kill yourself." We all often feel like we are pulling teeth, even those writers whose prose ends up being the most natural and fluid. The right words and sentences just do not coming pouring out like ticker tape most of the time. Now, Muriel Spark is said to have felt that she was taking dictation from God every morning--sitting there, one supposes, plugged into a Dictaphone, typing away, humming. But this is a very hostile and aggressive position. One might hope for bad things to rain down on a person like this.

For me and most of the other writers I know, writing is not rapturous. In fact, the only way I can get anything written at all is to write really, really sh*tty first drafts.

The first draft is the child's draft, where you let it all pour out and then let it romp all over the place, knowing that no one is going to see it and that you can shape it later. You just let this childlike part of you channel whatever voices and visions come through and onto the page. If one of the characters wants to say, "Well, so what, Mr. Poopy Pants?," you let her. No one is going to see it. If the kid wants to get into really sentimental, weepy, emotional territory, you let him. Just get it all down on paper, because there may be something great in those six crazy pages that you would never have gotten to by more rational, grown-up means. There may be something in the very last line of the very last paragraph on page six that you just love, that is so beautiful or wild that you now know what you're supposed to be writing about, more or less, or in what direction you you might go--but there was no way to get to this without first getting through the first five and a half pages.
Anne Lamott

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Writing Quote of the Day - Nov 3

I certainly don't sit down and plan a book out before I write it. There's a phrase I use called "The Valley Full of Clouds." Writing a novel is as if you are going off on a journey across a valley. The valley is full of mist, but you can see the top of a tree here and the top of another tree over there. And with any luck you can see the other side of the valley. But you cannot see down into the mist. Nevertheless, you head for the first tree. At this stage in the book, I know a little about how I want to start. I know some of the things that I want to do on the way. I think I know how I want it to end. This is enough. The thing now is to get as much down as possible. If necessary, I will write the ending fairly early on in the process. Now that ending may not turn out to be the real ending by the time that I have finished. But I will write down now what I think the conclusion of the book is going to be. It's all a technique, not to get over writer's block, but to get 15,000 or 20,000 words of text under my belt. When you've got that text down, then you can work on it. Then you start giving yourself ideas.
Terry Pratchett

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Writing Quote of the Day - Nov 2

Writing is easy. You only need to stare at a piece of blank paper until your forehead bleeds.
Douglas Adams

(one of my all-time favorite lines)

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Writing Quote of the Day - Nov 1

Writing a novel--actually picking the words and filling in paragraphs--is a tremendous pain in the ass. Now that TV's so good and the Internet is an endless forest of distraction, it's damn near impossible. That should be taken into account when ranking the all-time greats. Somebody like Charles Dickens, for example, who had nothing better to do except eat mutton and attend public hangings, should get very little credit.
Steve Hely
How I Became a Famous Novelist