Kitty Kitty Kitty

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Okay, we finally found the digital camera so that we could take more pictures of Zaphod, who is now a whopping 2.5 pounds and approaching the wise old age of 2.5 months.

Now if we could just get him stay still when he's awake...or at least not look like he's been busted like Lindsay Lohan at a club...


posted by Bonnie Staring at 11:09 PM 2 comments

The seven stages of writing

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Oh, I'm in that lovely between-a-rock-and-a-hard-place situation where a deadline is breathing down my neck and my current WIP is wooing me from across the room. Just by being there.

And with the deadline having a few warts and day-old beer breath, you know that I'm raising my Diet Coke and winking at that wild hunk of a novel over there. You know, the one who looks like Josh Holloway.

I've even mastered a coquettish giggle. The kitten is hiding under the sofa.

But instead of facing the deadline by rocking the Word doc, I'm writing up a witty blog post about avoiding the work that we have to do as opposed to the work that we want to do. I think it's very timely, don't you?

The funny thing is, the article I have to do is one that I suggested writing in the first place. It's a great item that I'm sure I'll enjoy reading once it's published -- if only I could get my ass in the chair and write it. ;)

I don't think there's a career more cruel than writing. Why? Because we're our own worst enemies. Now don't get me wrong; writers, editors and agents are the most helpful people in the world -- but they're not the problem: what we do on our own is.

To help illustrate, let's see how the seven stages of grief can be applied to writing:

Shock or Disbelief
This happens when a query is accepted (I can't believe they want my article/book!) or rejected (I can't believe they don't want my article/book!). It also crops up when we think we might have a really good idea and then can't believe that it hasn't been done before.

Instead of telling people that you are a writer, do you say that you want to be a writer? That denies any cool "I'm a writer, for sure, for sure" karma that may have been headed your way. Another sign of denial is a blank page: by not writing, you are denying yourself the enjoyment of playing with words.

"Once I finish the Boston marathon, I'll get my book done." Is making time for writing something you feel you must earn by doing other things first? Get over it and do yourself a favour by bargaining the other stuff away. Try this: "I'll get to the laundry once I finish this chapter."

I know I should be writing, but I really need to ________. Whatever that blank is, tell it to blank off for an hour (or more or less) so that you can get a few pages done. Don't send yourself on a guilt trip: the boarding passes will cost you too much in the long run,

Oh yeah, get mad at the world because you couldn't sit down and scribble a few ideas down on a cocktail napkin or squeeze an extra half-hour out of a day to focus on writing. Heck, get peeved at me for posting this. There are plenty of writers out there who find the time, so instead of getting mad at them for showing you up, follow their example.

It's depressing when you don't hear back from editors and agents, but it's even worse when the reason they're not contacting you is because you haven't submitted anything. Sure, avoiding rejection may seem like a safe (and non-lucrative) way to approach your writing, but how much fun could that possibly be?

Acceptance and Hope
Oh, the word acceptance is so powerful in writing; it can come in the form of an article assignment, an offer of representation from an agent or a book contract. It can also be defined by finding a beta reader or writing group that can provide you with constructive feedback. And with any or all of them, you'll find a ray of hope to get your ass back in the chair.

Okay, back to work!

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posted by Bonnie Staring at 2:01 PM 1 comments

Some Girls Eat Pie

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

It's been an overwhelming week for me already. First, the contest convention. Next was discovering that while I was at the convention, Zaphod learned how to jump over the kitten gate so now he roams relatively freely (and makes it to the litter box most of the time). Then I had all that stuff that I normally take care of when I can evenings and weekends. Like when I'm not at a contesting convention.

Oh, and did I mention that the monthly newsletter that I work on goes out next week? ;)

At least I had a cool Sunday to look forward to. My friend Joanne, with whom I co-own the VHS copy of The Boy in the Plastic Bubble, was going to come over to hang out and me and Zaphod. She was even gonna bring her famous seven-layer dip.

Then I realized that she wasn't coming Sunday, but Saturday -- the day I already have a commitment that I couldn't get out of, even if I pretended to be in a coma. I was bummed.

Even reading yesterday's post and searching for photos of Josh Holloway didn't make me feel any better. It was a total bummage that could turn into weepage in an instant, but I'm not supposed to do stuff like that. I'm a big girl.

Oh no, now Fergie's song is trapped in my head...and you know I can't help myself:

Some Girls Eat Pie

I hope you know, I hope you know
That this has something to do with food
It's personal, the lure of pie
I've got decision makin' to do
And I'm gonna choose well like a bride chooses a banquet
And I've got to get some fitness in my life
It's time to be a thin girl now
Though some girls eat pie

It turns out that Joanne can make it over on Sunday after long as I don't play anything by Fergie. ;) But Josh can stay if he happens to drop in.

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posted by Bonnie Staring at 2:14 PM 5 comments

Recipe for a great life

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Ingredients (in no particular order; I'm just a control freak):
  1. A desire to learn
  2. An ability to laugh
  3. Eyes that see things for what they truly are
  4. Ears that can hear the true meaning of what is being said
  5. Heaps of compassion
  6. Self-esteem
  7. Dreams and goals
  8. Willingness to try anything once
  9. Reality checks with no expiry date
  10. Someone to guide you
  11. Someone you can lead
  12. A theme song
  13. A bunch of people who can join in for the chorus -- with cool dance moves
  14. And a heart that has a place for the people, pets and purposes that mean the world to you

Mix all ingredients well in whichever order feels right at the time. If some ingredients aren't available, substitute them with whatever strikes your fancy.

Warning: negativity will spoil the broth and force you to start all over again or leave you with something so stinky people will stop coming over for dinner.

Serves: as long as you like, just remember to add to the pot every once in a while to keep things fresh.

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posted by Bonnie Staring at 2:51 PM 5 comments

How was your weekend?

Monday, September 24, 2007

I just spent the last three days at Canada's first-ever Contestor Convention. It sounds like a legal thing, I know, but this wasn't for people contesting against something, it was for people who LOVE entering contests!

Oh. My. Gawd. For 72 hours I was just like everyone else. We all entered some form of contest at every opportunity whether clicking online, filling out a form, dropping a ballot into a ballot box or calling in to win on a radio station. It was heavenly.

And of course, there were prize draws! Yahoo! Luckily I left some room in my suitcase so that I could jam all of my prizes into it! Now I didn't take home any of the HUGE prizes (a laptop, a trip and a big pile of cash), but I did get to squeal with glee to collect a cooler bag, book, t-shirt and a gift certificate for a Toronto restaurant, to name a few. All in all I got to run up to the stage SEVEN times! I even made some speeches thanking my family, God, David Beckham and the contest club I belong to.

And yes, a song parody or two might have been involved:

Like a contest
Won for the very first time
Like a co-o-o-on-test
With your ballot close to mine


People who love contests
Are the luckiest people in the world

It was so much fun! Can't wait until next year!

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posted by Bonnie Staring at 2:44 PM 6 comments

Great minds...

Friday, September 21, 2007

I was just putting the finishing touches on a query letter when I checked the mail and found the latest issue of the magazine I was about to query. Feeling pretty confident that my article idea was a great fit for this publication, I did a quick scan of the contents page...

And saw that another writer beat me to it, probably about six months ago. Le sigh.

Has that ever happened to you? Were you sitting there thinking that it would be really neat to write a children's book about, I dunno, wizard school? With all the magazines and websites and books and other ways that writers can share their ideas with the world, how on earth do we know if our great idea hasn't been done before?

Heck, some literary folk didn't even recognize the work of Jane Austin in David Lassman's experiment where he sent out thinly disguised works by Austin to unsuspecting publishers. Read more about it here.

So how do you know if you have the sliced bread of all ideas? You don't. All you can really do is put your own spin on it. While dear JK used wizard school as a colourful backdrop for the battle between good and evil, my version would have had a drama class, school trips to the other wizard schools and more dances. Ooh, and more scenes with Snape. Oh, and the books would have been told from Ginny's perspective.

Same initial idea, but totally different.

So I guess that's what I need to focus on: delving deeper into topics to find what I want to explore about them and see what hasn't been said already.

Ugh. That just sounds like more work, doesn't it?

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posted by Bonnie Staring at 11:21 AM 2 comments

He didn't order the combo

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Let's just say that yesterday was a day. While onsite for one of my clients
  • hours were spent waiting for urgent jobs to arrive;
  • quiet-talkers kept on wondering why I wasn't responding to questions I felt only a canine would be able to hear;
  • access to the Internet was down:
  • I picked up a bottle of Coke Zero instead of Diet Coke at the variety store, and didn't realize my mistake until after I'd opened it and
  • I was feeling stressed about an article that was due the next day; I had nothing done yet.

Oh yeah, I was rocking my Wednesday like a rehabilitated Axel Rose. All I needed were the skin-tight jeans and a sweaty bandana to make it pretty.

That's why the DH suggested we go out for dinner instead of having me near the knives. Or the cheese grater. Feeling like a big-ass salad with more fat and calories than a cheeseburger, I suggested Wendy's.

There's just something about a fast-food joint that offers baked potatoes that makes me happy, even during the crankiest of times. As we stood waiting for someone behind the counter to acknowledge our presence, an aura of broccoli-and-cheese-inspired calm surrounded me. I placed my order and was caught up in my thoughts about the fantabulous article I was going to write despite the incredible pressure that my procrastination had created. It was all gonna be okay...

Until I noticed that there was only one drink on our tray. Then I snapped, crackled and popped.

The lone cup meant only one thing: the DH didn't order the combo. He ordered a potato and a burger without a drink.

"No drink," I said.

"Yeah, so?" he replied, stepping forward to grab the tray.

I blocked him with a hip-check and leaned into him as he struggled to regain his balance by clutching the counter. The debit-card machine dangled by its cord; it had been pushed from its regular spot beside the cash register.

"Why didn't you get the combo?"

He tried to push back, but my PMS had given me superpowers.

"I. Wasn't. Thirsty."

"But it's cheaper when you get the combo!" I screeched. By this point the cashier and the fry guy had stepped away from the counter, both of them eyeing each other and wondering whether or not to call the manager in from the office.

"Will you get your nails out of my arm? You're drawing blood!" he shouted back. He tried to twist his arm away, almost toppling over my drink. The one that came with my combo.

"I can re-do your order sir," the cashier said with a squeak.

"Forget it!" I snarled as I grabbed the tray and stomped over to a table.

"Sorry about that," I heard the DH say behind me, "she's a writer."


posted by Bonnie Staring at 10:30 AM 2 comments

Better not tell you now

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

That's what my Magic 8-Ball has been telling me for days. And it just makes me shake the dang thing harder...and then I can't see the new message through the bubbles. Sigh.

I was issued a challenge last week to do more networking. Ugh. Networking just sounds evil, doesn't it? Schmoozing is a bit better, but only because my version of it involves shopping for a new outfit first. ;)

But seriously, networking works. No matter what business you're in, it's all about who ya know. And as tempted as I am to distract myself with busywork or reading more fabulous books, the one sure way I can learn about new opportunities or whassup in the writing world is by doing that networking thing.

My current approach to the nettage is to be the one people come to. You know, the crazy one. The one bearing coupons. Or the one who knows someone who might know something.

Trouble is, this works really well for other people, not so good for me. Sure, I rack up some karma points and perhaps get some new coupons in return, but it's not expanding my network -- and that's where the real opportunities are.

Of course, that means stepping out of my nicely decorated comfort zone. Even after I pulled out the comfy blanket to curl up in while I watched The Biggest Loser.

Tomorrow will be a new day because I have a new mantra:

What Would Madonna Do?

It's not so new. WWMD is a phrase that carried me through high school, a bad hair-dyeing experience that left me looking like a skunk and having a copywriting instructor who felt that he wasn't challenging me enough unless I burst into tears. Well, that's the way I remember it anyway.

But Madonna wouldn't cry. Sure, she might dye her hair nasty colours and wrap herself up in black plastic, and stand in the middle of a church carrying a flaming cross, but she wouldn't let a little thing like being antsy about networking get in the way of achieving her goals and dreams.
Would she stand next to the buffet table during an event? Nope.

Would she put off following up with someone for so long that the person who invited her to follow up forgot all about meeting her? Uh-uh.

Would she avoid going after what really wanted because she was afraid to? No freaking way. She'd sing "Express Yourself" over and over again.

So instead of shaking a Magic 8-Ball wondering why I'm getting the same-old-same-old "better not tell you now" answer, I'm gonna start working the room. And, like Madonna, I'm not gonna limit myself to just one.

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posted by Bonnie Staring at 10:10 PM 4 comments

Midnight confessions

Monday, September 17, 2007

Sorry about the title, I've had that song running through my head since I heard it during the oldies show on the radio yesterday morning. Here's the video so it can play in your head now. Mwahahaha...

Of course, I wonder where on earth the horn section is hiding when I watch this, but they could be just outside of the camera's reach...

And that brings me to the lovely topic of selecting a soundtrack for my next novel, TCW. It's a definite go -- I've really, really, for sure, for sure started to write it. And it's all because I've joined Michelle Rowen and her group of writers-in-arms in the latest edition of the Write-Ons! Woo hoo!

Selecting a soundtrack has proved to be harder than I thought since there are so many excellent songs out there. Some of them have even been recorded since 1986. ;)

Here's what I have so far:

Time After Time (Cyndi Lauper)
Help! (The Beatles)
Makes Me Wonder (Maroon 5)
Respect (Aretha Franklin)
Midnight Confessions (The Grass Roots)
When Doves Cry (Prince)
Can U Feel It (The Jackson 5)

And, tempted as I am, I will not be including:

Girlfriend (Avril Lavigne)
Beatufiul Disaster (Kelly Clarkson)
Big Girls Don't Cry (Fergie)

Of course, I'll probably change my mind a gazillion times before I load up my M3P player, but that's okay.

Which songs motivate you?


posted by Bonnie Staring at 7:09 PM 5 comments

I got nuttin

Friday, September 14, 2007

I had such huge plans for this blog post, really I did.

After a very exciting evening last night where the DH and I enjoyed witty repartee with one of my creepy cousins and his significant other, I was going to go out, grab the teeniest "outfit" I could find, lip-synch with a self-imposed time-delay and then gyrate around on a stage like I've ingested a weapon of gas infliction.

Then I realized Britney did that already.

So I decided to go for Plan B: find a homeless person, take him on a shopping spree and set him up with some rent money.

Then Colin Farrell beat me to it.

And that got me thinking. About how much time I spend thinking about doing things instead of doing them. I know, I know, I'm totally having a theme week over here but I'm really feeling like I've fallen and I can't get up. I should be totally pumped about getting back into the Write-Ons' saddle (which I am, in part, really) but there's this blechness surrounding me that's blocking the silver lining.

This will pass, I'm sure. Perhaps I just need to go find a swing set...or hug the kitten some more. ;)


posted by Bonnie Staring at 10:01 AM 2 comments


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Oh yeah, there's a title that is sure strike some fear into the hearts of people in line at fast-food joints. Or those who didn't make it through the auditions for The Biggest Loser.

Lilith Saintcrow did a fabulous post on The Midnight Hour about feeding your muse, and I think that's what I've forgotten to do while chomping down fudge and taking naps with the kitten. I've been spending way too much time racing around trying to tie up loose ends and organize the piles of crap (sometimes literal, kitty is still in training) around the place that by the time I sit down to write, I'm spent. Like a coupon at a discount grocery store. On triple coupon days.

Oh, how I envy my American friends who can experience double and triple coupon days. Le sigh.

This post was also going to be about 9/11, like I did last year, but I'm feeling spent on that too. My intent is not to disrespect the grief, loss and outrage surrounding the events and aftermath six years ago -- I just want to leave it alone for now. So much has changed since then, yet so much has remained the same.

With all this pondering and coupon organizing, I find myself falling into that all-too-familiar act of regular procrastination. Hence the regularity reference. Too many of the projects currently on my plate aren't due for at least another month, so my work ethic went into hibernation. I know because I can hear it snoring from the couch in front of the TV. And it's not the DH; he's upstairs.

So I decided to do something different during my lunch hour today: an outline of my next novel in 30 minutes. You can do it too! Alicia Rasley has a great article that takes you through the steps to help you figure things out.

For a pantser like me, outlining is a completely foreign subject. Like Latvian. But the struggles I had writing H&B showed me that having a map, even if it's a little blurry and has a huge hunk torn out of it, might prove to be useful as I work through TCW.

Oh yeah, I've even figured out a super-cool title, which for me signifies a huge step. Some people might think that actually writing the book is a step I should focus on (yes Michelle), but I have until Saturday before I really need to start cranking out five pages a day.

That's the goal: five pages a day until I hit somewhere around 320 of them. Preferably in English. That should take me a little over two months to accomplish, but I've given myself three just to be on the safe side.

Okay, time to clip some more coupons...I need to stock up for the fun times ahead.

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posted by Bonnie Staring at 10:48 PM 2 comments

Oh fudge...

Monday, September 10, 2007

I fell off the healthy-eating wagon so hard this weekend I think I broke my glutes.

The DH and I finally made it to The Taste of the Kingsway, a lovely street festival that happens the same weekend every year in our neighbourhood that we always seem to miss.

This year, we put it on the calendar. And, despite missing out on a fabulous Toronto Romance Writer's event, we stuck to our plans.

It was bright and sunny with that nice fall scent wafting through the air. Soon it was replaced by delectable taste sensations offered by the local restaurants at incredibly low prices. How could a girl resist? All that food might have something to do with the name of the event, but you never know...

Some fish 'n chips here, a cob of corn there, falafels? Sure, why not?

The whirling, screaming children had all the non-food fun with pint-sized rides; the lineup of parents at the ticket booth meant that a lot of them would be hanging out for a while. Soon we had trouble finding a shady spot to retreat to; the sidewalks and benches were filling up fast.

"Let's just do this last block," my husband suggested after he ate the last of the Tiny Tim apple/cinnamon donuts. "Look, that booth has a ballot box!"

My hero! At his height he was able to spot gift bags and ballot boxes from miles away. My right hand was beginning to cramp with all the ballots I was filling out.

Then we hit the fudge tent.

Oh no, it was more like a fudge caravan. Billowing sheets of dark fabric blocked the sun, helping to stop the mountains of smooth creamy yumminess from melting on the spot. Pound upon pound of fudge was fanned out in neat rows on a table within reach. I could feel my left eye twitch and prayed that the elderly man behind the counter didn't recognize me from the diabetes education group at our local pharmacy.

Hey, what was Ed doing there anyway?

Before I could cause a scene, the DH hip-checked me and picked up two pounds of fudge: Irish creme for him, regular chocolate for me. Because when it comes to fudge, I don't mess around.

Then I started "sampling" it.

Oh, you know the drill. Cut off a thin strip along the edge to make sure it's okay. Nibble off a bit at one corner to check the consistency. Make regular trips to the kitchen, at 3:00 in the morning, just to remind myself that I have plenty left for the next day, so a little taste can't hurt...

...unless you have a disease that requires you to balance what you eat with medication and exercise. And the last time I checked, walking down a flight of stairs to eat a big hunk of fudge adds up to nothing but trouble.

And I should totally know better. Seriously. But I fell victim to the fudge's charms. It's rich, sweet essence that lingers far longer than any teeny-weenie Halloween candy. Oh, but we won't go there...or else I'll be in some kind of diabetic rehab situation like a lo-cal LinLo.

But I've been paying the price. I feel like crap and I have the energy of a yam. Thank goodness Thanksgiving isn't right around the corner. ;)

No I'll just sip on this Diet Coke until the feeling passes...

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posted by Bonnie Staring at 10:26 PM 2 comments

The return of the great shashoomba

Friday, September 7, 2007

In case you aren't aware, the first shashoomba occurred when I was stuck trying to figure out how to remove a murder from my novel yet have the same "lack of a particular character" occur near the end of it. This kept me up at nights and forced me to eat vast quantities of vegetables (resulting in a cut-off finger tip...oh no, that happened later on, sorry) so that the heavens would open and send me down an idea that would work.

Then the great shashoomba (an idea that not only works, it rocks) arrived the moment I stopped thinking about the problem.

Fast forward to August 2007: I'm preparing myself so that I can wholeheartedly join Michelle Rowen in her next Write Ons' adventure, when she will write Stakes and Stilettos from September 15 to December 31 (and the rest of us will write something other than S&S, or that would be really weird).

The only trouble was that I hadn't figured out who the heck my hero was for my next project. That could prove to be a problem since I was planning on writing a romance novel. ;)

So I did what worked so well for me before: stopped thinking about it.

Last night, a friend and I attended the book launch for Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. Stop your snickering; I understood about a third of what was being discussed with all the brainiacs in attendance.

And that's when it hit me: the shashoomba. Suddenly I knew exactly who my hero was, his fears, his desires, all wrapped up in a few delicious flaws that make him almost irresistible. Le sigh. And no, he will not have anything to do with disaster capitalism.

Now I just have to figure out what happens between page one and "The End." LOL

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posted by Bonnie Staring at 9:51 AM 2 comments

You think English is easy?

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

This hilarious examination of the English language was forwarded to me from my friend Annie, who got it from two friends...and so on. Since I enjoyed it so much, I thought I'd share. Enjoy!

You Think English is Easy???
Can you read these right the first time?

1) The bandage was wound around the wound.

2) The farm was used to produce produce.

3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

4) We must polish the Polish furniture.

5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.

6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.

7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.

8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

10) I did not object to the object.

11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

13) They were too close to the door to close it

14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.

15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.

16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting, I shed a tear.

19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

20) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

Let's face it - English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant, no ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat.

We take English for granted, but if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig. And why is it that writers write, but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce, and hammers don't ham?

If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, two geese. So one moose, two meese? One index, two indices? Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught? Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?

How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which, an alarm goes off by going on.

English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.

You lovers of the English language might enjoy this:

There is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and it is UP. It's easy to understand UP , meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP ? At a meeting, why does a topic come UP ? Why do we speak UP and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report ? We call UP our friends. And we brighten UP a room and polish UP the silver. We warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP old cars. At other times, the little word has a real special meaning. People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses. To be dressed is one thing but to be dressed UP is special .

And this UP is confusing: A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP. We open UP a store in the morning, but we close it UP at night. We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP! To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look the word UP in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4th of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions. If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP can be used. It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don't give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more. When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP.

When the sun comes out, we say it is clearing UP.

When it rains, it wets the earth and often messes things UP.

When it doesn't rain for a while, things dry UP.

One could go on and on, but I'll wrap it UP.

For now, my time is .....UP.

Time to shut UP ...


posted by Bonnie Staring at 11:35 AM 0 comments


Tuesday, September 4, 2007

I'm always amazed at the thought-provoking and, quite frankly, brilliant blogs out there, written by women and men who have mastered the art of squeezing an idea out of sluggish grey matter. Or perhaps their grey matter isn't sluggish at all; maybe they all have those brain exercises on Wii to thank for that.

Well, my Wii is a wee kitten, who has taken my muse and batted it around like a crumpled-up piece of notepaper (his favourite toy), which leaves me staring at blank pages now that I'm ready to start my second novel.

Trouble is, there's something stopping me. I've trolled the Internet and have read a heap of articles about starting a novel, finishing a novel, planning for a novel and basically anything else that contains the words "write, complete and novel."

But I know what it is: a simple case of myideasucksitis -- a condition that affects a lot of writers at many points along the journey.

It normally happens when brainstorming ideas for a novel or article...or theme song. Whether composing the prose at a computer or notebook, the writer will look at what has been created so far, shake his or her head and then mutter, "My idea sucks."

This step is normally followed by a large drink of some sort. Sometimes with a paper umbrella.

Unfortunately, the only way to alleviate myideasucksitis is to KEEP ON WRITING ANYWAY. It's painful, I know, but that's really all that we can do. Well, you can just stop writing and move on to other things like gardening or laundry, but it'll leave you with that nagging, lingering feeling that will keep you up at night or have you reaching into your pocket for a pen and piece of paper at the most inopportune moment, like during a police lineup.

But what if your idea really does suck?

Then you come up with another one. Maybe a few for good measure. How you gauge the suckiness of an idea is up to you, but please allow the ideas to ripen a bit before you rip them out and send them to the compost heap. Some ideas need a little room to grow while others start out really stinky until you prune out that one harmful element, like a setting or a secondary character who's too distracting for the story you have to tell.

From all that I've read, it seems that the best thing to do is to write something that you would read. It sounds simple, but it's definitely not easy. Shoot, I guess I have my work cut out for me. ;)

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posted by Bonnie Staring at 8:38 AM 2 comments