Sunday, October 10, 2010

Chopping Wood and return of Hornet

A tree feel near our house last week as a result of the violent storms we've been having of late. I was up in the office and heard it crash on the ground.
So, when a tree falls in the forest--yes, it can be heard, Virginia.

Spent yesterday and today cutting it and chopping it into pieces for firewood. It felt really good to do that kind of exercise as opposed to working my ass off on an elliptical at the Y.

On the subject of the Y, it's looking brilliant as a result of its multi-million dollar facelift. My old nemesis, the Hornet, continues to ride rough shod and hog the latest equipment. She's working out too hard now and is looking like one of Tom Wolfe's Social X-Rays. Still as rude as ever. As I just finished a 50 min session on fat burner mode (yes, 50 mins) on my (and her) favorite elliptical, she approached as I was wiping down the machine. She got on, opened her magazine without even a thank you and then said "The floor has a lot of your sweat on it, too." She peered down at it bug-eyed.

I looked at it, looked at her, looked at it again. "Keep your voice down," I said. "The others'll be jealous if they find out." And off I walked to the hoots of laughter of a lady nearby.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sucking Up Yellow Jackets

Jeanne Denault is in my writers group, The Rebel Writers of Bucks County.

Her memoir Sucking Up Yellow Jackets has just released from O-Books and it's a funny, witty and sometimes poignant account of her raising a son with Aspergers Syndrome.

From climbing out of his cot within a few months of his birth to climbing a telephone wire hand over hand high above their terraced home in Philadelphia and then, as a teenager, dismantling a motor cycle simply because his mother demanded he had to get rid of it and he took that to mean literally, Jeanne depicts in precise, wry prose what it was like to bring up this super intelligent child at a time when Asperger's wasn't even understood by the medical community. She thought she was going mad or had spawned the devil's child.

Jeanne and her family moved around the states while Max was growing up--Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Illinois where Jeanne's attempts to fit in among the 'meat and potatoes' women of the area drew their scorn when she made a gourmet dish featuring a mild curry sauce for a block party and incited their wrath. The family relocated to Pennsylvania again after Max had a few run-ins with the local police and judges. His teachers, some of his counselors and even her husband blamed her for some of his excesses.

A fast, dazzling and very enjoyable read.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Goings on

I really haven't blogged for a while. Has blogging become an oxymoron?
I used to read blogs and now seldom do. Why? I don't have the time and so many blogs are rubbish.

Besides, I do 140 character updates on Twitter that uploads automatically to my Facebook and blog.

And any time I do have should be spent on writing related to my fiction.

Anyway, the good news is I just finished a short story which I sent off to Booktrust in the UK who run a short story competition in conjunction with the BBC. I'm sure there will be tons of entries and chances are very slim, but if you're not in you can't win. In any event, it got me writing fiction again which is important.

I've been working very hard on the screenplay of a Son Called Gabriel

And meanwhile my UK publisher is wanting to move on my second novel--which is great but will require more work.

Shouldn't complain. I'm not. Good to be busy.

And on top of that, I've just read that Primeminster David Cameron has apologized for the massacre on Bloody Sunday in 1972 in Derry. That is the proper thing to do. My Mum and Dad were at that march and my Mum returned with her knees all bloodied. She'd crawled along the streets as the bullets flew over her head. We kids were terrified when we saw her. You never think of your Mum and Dad being a passionate civil rights marcher

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Rereading one's work

Started rereading the new novel Twisted Agendas again and have decided I need to make some changes.

Was terrified it would suck as some of one's work does depending on one's mood.
On that point, I do wish some published writers would take their time and not churn out books. Some are really badly written and edited. Instead of building an audience, they're losing readers.

Am happy to report my novel reads pretty good. At least it dos to me, though I think I'm going to rewrite from a different point of view. Also just finished reading a book on writing techniques and feel inspired. We'll see.

Monday, April 05, 2010

About publishing

I'm about to start edits on my new novel Twisted Agendas, which my publisher in UK seems interested to acquire.

Now with iPad, Kindle and Sony and B&N readers, I'm wondering if I should self-publish as so many people seem to be doing these days. Publishers seem to make all the money in deals with writers and only a few of their authors breakout and make real money.

Gone or going are the days when self-publishing has been regarded as the step-sister of legitimate publishing. And James Joyce and a host of others self-published.

Changes are definitely coming with the advent and gaining popularity of e-books.

I guess I'll mull some more---

Friday, March 05, 2010

The trouble with plot is plotting

Recently my writer's group had a discussion about plotting; how arduous it is, how vital, how long-winded, how boring....did I say vital?
Some people just start a novel and write.
Others plot and outline.
Others never start.

Anyway, read what one of our member's blog about it. Marie is the author of a brilliant YA novel, What I Meant..., which we had the privilege of reading and critiquing until she sold it.

Here's Marie's post:

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Just a reminder...

Although I don't blog on here as much or as long as I used to (need to spend my energy on writing that pays the bills, right?), I do Twitter and my tweets appear on my sidebar. That's on the right.

I do rather like Tweets. Everything's got to be said in 140 characters.

Vegetables, vegetables, vegetables

We made a sort of New Year resolution to cook 85% vegetarian to see how it goes. HAd tried the Fire Engine 2 diet which had a few great recipes. However, it was too restrictive in that food couldn't be cooked even in Olive oil.

So we decided to experiment, look around and find some great veggie recipes. And we found some including fragrant Indian and Thai dishes and a brilliant recipe for White Bean burgers.

So it's still on tract. Last time we tried wholly vegetarian we gave up dairy and now almost never have it. Sometimes a bit of cheese, but that's it.

Hardest thing so far is the wine--we've given it up for a few weeks. Let's face it nobody's ever going to lose weight and drink wine. It's sugar and it ain't happening.
No matter how you try to tell yourself you can still do it--it ain't happening.

First week without I had a headache. Now I just miss it.