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Archive for February, 2011

Monday Gripes, 2/28/11

You’ve gotta know by now that my gripes lately are about the weather. And today is no exception. On top of the weekend snow accumulation of somewhere between 8 and 10 inches in two separate storms, today it’s sleeting and/or freezing rain. It’s switched to all rain now, but with the temperature hovering near freezing, it’s making an icy, slushy mess of everything. Just had to go pick up the car at the garage (it wouldn’t start on Saturday so had to be towed), and I could only get it halfway up the driveway on the way home. (sigh)

But! Something that happened over the weekend is still giving me a smile. We visited our daughter and grandchildren on Saturday. When we got in the car to take them out to lunch, the two grandkids were arguing about who would sit next to whom at lunch.

Our daughter said, "Everyone will be nearby, so don’t worry about it. You’ll be able to see everyone."

I added, "You’ll be close enough to make faces at anyone you want."

There was a brief silence, and then my seven year old grandson said, "Why would I want to do that?"

I said, "Because you’re a kid."

He retorted, "Yeah, but I have manners!"

That was good for quite a laugh.

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Friday Happies, 2/25/11

Well, the term “happies” is relative. We’re having yet another snowstorm, with sleet and freezing rain thrown in for good measure. I’m happy we “only” lost power for two hours and hope that’s the end of that issue, because you never realize how much you depend on electricity until you don’t have it.

For instance, we have oil heat—the oil burner heats up a big tank of water, which then circulates to the radiators. But it has an electric ignition, so—no electricity, no heat. No hot water, either, which means cold showers or no showers.

We have an electric stove and of course the microwave, so no power, no hot food. Or coffee. And no power to the fridge, which means you should avoid opening it if possible, so no cold food, either. How long can we live on peanut butter and raisins and chips from the cupboard? Winking smile

The computer has a battery so I can work for a while offline, but no way to recharge it with no power. And of course, no Internet connection with no power.

No lights with no power, unless you’re into candles. And no TV, which doesn’t seem bad until you don’t have it!

No washer or dryer, so you better hope you’re stocked up on clean clothes.

And no telephone, since we only have cordless phones. (Well, we do have a cell phone for emergencies, but once the battery runs out, no way to recharge it.)

I guess I would never make it as a pioneer woman. Smile

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Guess what? You still have time to sign up to take “Write Great Fiction: Description & Setting” at Writer’s Digest University. The starting date has been pushed back to February 24, so if you hurry, you can sign up for it!

It’s a great course for both beginner and experienced writers, with something for everyone. If you’ve never tried a Writer’s Digest University course, this is a great one to start with as it’s not too long and at a level that works for everyone.

Workshop Length: 8 weeks

You will learn:

  • How to attune your writer’s radar to interesting details and story ideas from real life
  • How to balance showing and telling in constructing a convincing narrative voice
  • How to build your fictional world and descriptions so they serve and illuminate character, motivation, tone, and theme
  • How to engage the senses—and even allow them to cross and overlap—in order to form compelling, potent descriptions, and
  • How to balance the familiar and the unfamiliar in description and setting in order to show the everyday in clear, and surprising, new ways

Who should take this course:

  • Beginning writers who want to strengthen their description and setting skills
  • Novel writers of any genre
  • Short Story writers
  • Creative Nonfiction writers

For more information, or to sign up for the course, go here: http://fwmedia.gosignmeup.com/dev_students.asp?action=coursedetail&id=2943&main=Online+Workshops&sub1=Show+All+Workshops&misc=337?utm_source=wdupromo&utm_medium=site&utm_campaign=wdusite02032011-widget

Hope to see you there!

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Friday Happies 2/11/11

First of all, I’m happy it’s Friday. TGIF! Who isn’t?

And second, I’m happy it’s NOT SNOWING. This winter has been miserable, and there are still snowdrifts piled up everywhere over my head. Plus the below-freezing temps means there’s ice everywhere. I think I’ll stay in bed with the covers over my head till spring. Winking smile

At least the sun is shining today and it seems possible there will be a spring, sometime. Someday. Maybe the groundhog was right?

How many of you have seen “Groundhog Day” with Bill Murray? And how many of you watch it every February? I love it…so much fun. Someday I’m going to go to Punxsutawney and check it out in person.

But winter tidings aside, today I’m especially happy about what’s going on in Egypt. A peaceful demonstration (for the most part) leading to a peaceful change in government…that’s a wonderful thing to witness. That’s what democracy means, and I wish the very best to the Egyptian people with their new government. May they grow in peace, prosperity and joy.

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I’m teaching a course for Writer’s Digest University beginning February 10. It’s called “Write Great Fiction: Description & Setting” and is a terrific course both for beginning writers, and for experienced writers who want to brush up on their descriptive techniques.

In this course you’ll consider the importance of description and setting in creating a fully believable, fully realized fictional world. More importantly, you’ll consider what makes description effective—how precise language, combined with surprising ways of looking at familiar things, creates a full experience for a reader—and how you might begin employing these techniques in your own work to create characters and settings which hum with life.

Using Ron Rozelle’s Write Great Fiction: Description & Setting as your textbook, you will see how striking, yet credible, description is formed—and what such description allows you to accomplish in your own work.

For more information, or to sign up for the course, go here: http://fwmedia.gosignmeup.com/dev_students.asp?action=coursedetail&id=2943&main=Online+Workshops&sub1=Show+All+Workshops&misc=337?utm_source=wdupromo&utm_medium=site&utm_campaign=wdusite02032011-widget

Hope to see you there!

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Friday Happies 2/4/11

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…

NOT.

Oy. I am so sick of snow! Check out this picture out my front door. See that little lump there? That’s the top of the head of  my three foot tall lion statue, barely poking out and wearing a snow cone cap.

IMG_0078

And that was before it finished snowing. And before the additional inches we’re due to get tomorrow.

At least it’s not snowing TODAY, for which I’m very grateful. And I’m thankful we haven’t lost our power, and the roof hasn’t caved in! All good things.

And I’m happy the Steelers are playing in the Superbowl this weekend. Go, Steelers! I’ll be rooting for you! Wish I had a Terrible Towel to wave.

How has Mother Nature been treating you? How much snow have you  had, or are you one of the lucky few who hasn’t had to deal with flakes?

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