Get on board

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Yesterday was a hard day for me. I was tempted to revert back to some bad habits (streaking, cross-country ballroom dancing and blindfolded rug-hooking); ones that got me into a mess of trouble the first time around.

And, for some reason, I decided to not cave in and locked myself in my home office to listen to some music...on my turntable. Not only did I add ten pages to my WIP, I also got to reconnect with some of my favourite tunes!

Talk about bonus action. ;)

You know this is when I have to share:

Okay, the graphics may be somewhat a la fromage, but don't you just want to get on board? How is it possible to be cranky when you have this song playing?

Sure, I'm a white chick who can't dance worth a damn, but I can shake what my momma gave me when this song comes on. And it's perfect for karaoke!

Speaking of making a spectacle of yourself...

Okay, if you're not a fan of the movie Fame, I apologize. But if this song ever appears on a karaoke song list, you know I'm totally gonna sign up!

And there's a lesson to be learned here people. If you're really trying to nail an audition, leave the boyfriend at home. ;)

And allow me to leave you with one song that is the beginning, middle and end of my playlist for my current WIP:

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posted by Bonnie Staring at 4:02 PM 1 comments

The Biggest Loser made me cry

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

You know it's a sad day when watching two brothers say goodbye to each other on The Biggest Loser: Couples makes me get all weepy.

And no, I'm not PMSing, but thanks for asking. ;)

I don't get it. These were the evil guys in black who I totally hated when they pulled the old switcheroo on Dan's mom a few weeks back. These were the guys that everyone wanted gone -- especially Kelly and Paul, the ex-spouses. And this week I was kinda hoping that Brittney (sp?) would be thrown out for being The Biggest Whiner. Really, suck it up, girlfriend!

Of course, if you haven't been watching the show, all of this is probably about as interesting as sidewalk dust. Without the litter.

But still, to watch two grown men confess that they'd become each other's best-best-friends over the course of losing a helluva lot of weight, struck a chord in me. It was one way back, behind my small intestine, but it was struck nonetheless -- and I had to reach for a tissue before the goodbyes were made official by Mark's fridge being turned off. Sigh.

Maybe my tears are from my own battle of trying to say goodbye to some unhealthy lifestyle habits I picked up somewhere along the way. Like while sitting on the couch eating discounted Valentine's Day candy. (I heart sales.)

Then again, I could be PMSing. LOL

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posted by Bonnie Staring at 11:11 PM 2 comments

Daniel Day Lewis scares me

Monday, February 25, 2008

Sure, the man is a brilliant actor. Sure, he's won two Oscars. But have you looked into his eyes when he's not in character? Have you seen his gaze as it sweeps over the red carpet?

That's one freaky dude.

And, pardon me, but can the man afford to see a barber? Maybe Johnny Depp should have pulled a Sweeney Todd move and saved us all from having to stare, open-mouthed, at the sorry state of a mop on the Irishman's head. I'm sure members of Sein Fein were hanging their heads in shame.

Not that I'm saying Daniel is a member of that particular party. I have enough trouble trying to remember that the party name doesn't follow the "i before e" rule. This, coming from a girl who attempted to read and understand Leon Uris' Trinity at age 15.

And there I was, thinking it was a huge romance novel. ;)

But enough about me and Ireland, and actors with the ability to freak me out by way of a small television screen. I wonder how his wife feels about his hair. Maybe she knows it's best not to fight that particular battle, and just focus on him putting the lid down without shooting out the windows.

Can't you just imagine it? Freaky.

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posted by Bonnie Staring at 11:42 AM 3 comments

Eat like no one's watching

Friday, February 22, 2008

I've had it up the ying-yang with inspiration lately. Of course, it's my own darn fault because I sign up to receive daily bursts of inspiration through newsletters and visiting cool websites that can usually turn my crappy thoughts into happy thoughts.

Obviously today isn't one of those days. ;)

But I love my personal take on "dance like no one's watching." Who wouldn't love to "eat like no one's watching"? Because there's no better feeling than being left alone in a room with a bag of Double Stuf Oreos or a tub of ice cream.

Can you tell I'm trying to eat healthy? Fiber is not my friend, as much as it tries to be.

The good news is that I'm making significant progress on the WIP. Turns out that plotting can really help a writer figure out how to get through a slumpy middle. ;) And my poor heroine has been through so much, I can't wait until she finds out how totally screwed up things are going to get before the happily ever after. Mwahahaha.

And the end of this month is just around the corner, which means that there are only about 17 months of winter left. Okay, maybe only 16. ;)

Only five more months until the RWA Conference...

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posted by Bonnie Staring at 4:15 PM 4 comments

In hiding

Thursday, February 21, 2008

I've been a little scarce with my blog posts and comments lately. It's a combination of my fear of emptying the bucket of words and a heavy-duty workload. Of course, it would sound a lot better if I said I was hiding from the paparazzi, but then I'd have to fess up to my celebrity status and invite everyone over for a big star-studded bash on Oscar night. ;)

Seriously though, I've been working like a demon. A demon pirate actually. Arg! Typing away so much that my fingers are aching at the end of the day. If all these fabulous words were landing in my WIP, I'd be ecstatic, but I need to share them with some magazine articles, ads and query letters. Le sigh.

Oh, and our horrid Canadian weather is enough to keep me indoors until May. I'm not sure why I keep on forgetting how nasty it can get this time of year, but the idea of wintering in a warmer made-for-paper-umbrellas climate is definitely gaining its appeal.

So I must warn you that I may be in hiding for a little while longer as I struggle to meet a deadline on one project and blast through to complete my current WIP. And, just so you can see how Zaphod is doing, here's his headshot:

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posted by Bonnie Staring at 8:30 AM 4 comments

Taking a breather

Monday, February 18, 2008

Yesterday I didn't do a spec of writing. Or writing on spec.

It felt quite strange and, by about 6:00 p.m., I was twitching--but I held my ground. Why? I was feeling spent. While the ideas were there, my mind's ability to turn those ideas into something understandable was in definite decline.

So I took a day. Went out to lunch with a group of friends. Did some filing. Found some souvenirs I bought on a trip over a year ago. ;) I even took a look at my TBR pile, but ended up reading through a pile of magazines instead. Now I can see the coffee table!

And today, the words came out easier than before. Sure, there are some parts of my efforts that make me shake my fist at the sky, but overall I don't feel like I'm banging my head against the wall. And that's fabulous!

I think I'll continue marking one day a week as a No Writing day. Not only did it help me locate long-lost furniture that was buried under clutter, it also provided me with a freedom to bounce ideas around and not worry if they could be used in a current project or not. Oh, and also having the time to hang out with the DH and Kitten of Mass Destruction is groovy too.

Who knows? Maybe on my next No Writing day I might just get the rest of the piles off the home-office floor.

Hey, it's good to have dreams.

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posted by Bonnie Staring at 12:08 PM 0 comments

Slip sliding away

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy VD everyone! Share the love, not the cooties!

Mother Nature is not my friend at the moment. She's placed significant amounts of ice in my way, making walking anywhere a pain -- and it's totally not helping with the wrecked ankle and pulled tendon. Ouch.

But enough about my bum leg. My reference to slip sliding away is how I feel my time has been going lately. Sure, I'm sitting at the keyboard and getting stuff done, but it seems to be taking me a lot longer than before to hammer out a page, an article or a query letter.

Maybe this is one of those lack-of-daylight-cause-its-winter things. Or maybe I'm slowing down in my (gasp) old age.

:::wipes away a tear gently so as not to strain the delicate skin around my eyes:::

Or perhaps things always took this long, but I never realized it before. Shoot, if that's the case, I really need to be careful about how I pile on the projects. Seriously, I'm breaking into a sweat just thinking about what I have left to do this month.

And for those in the province of Ontario, Monday is a holiday. It's Family Day -- our first one ever -- and despite the lame name (I was hoping for Rock On Day or What Would Madonna Do Day), it's a much-needed break for those on the 9-5 train. For me, it doesn't change anything since I'll still be sitting at the computer, staring at the screen until my forehead bleeds again. ;)

So tell me, are you findng yourself in a February slowdown?

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posted by Bonnie Staring at 2:00 PM 2 comments

A fabulous first

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I was delighted to see this on AgencySpy. Louis Vuitton, with the help of agency Ogilvy Paris, has created their first-ever television commericial! Squee!

And if a commercial can make me feel this great, imagine the effect one of those handbags would have. ;)

posted by Bonnie Staring at 6:33 PM 2 comments

Unimportant Meme

Sunday, February 10, 2008

There I was, with a big hole in my bucket, wondering how on earth I'd celebrate my 450th post when Maureen McGowan tagged me out of the goodness of her heart. ;) Oh, and if you haven't read or reviewed her entry for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award yet, click here.

So, here are the rules and my try at the meme. This is a lot harder than it looks, because it's hard judging things as unimportant. These little things help to make a person unique...can you tell I'm trying to develop the characters in my WIP?

1. Link back to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Share six unimportant things about yourself.
4. Tag six random people at the end of your blog entry.
5. Let the tagged people know by leaving a comment on their blogs.


1. I still have the window crank from the first car I owned (a Ford Granada -- it was a hunk magnet). It fell off during a long drive to the cottage one summer, making it challenging to roll down the window. Why I hold onto it, I dunno. It might come in handy one if Let's Make a Deal starts taping again.

2. I still own and use a turntable. And no, I'm not a DJ.

3. I sing to my cat. Only the classics though: Madonna, Spice Girls, ABBA... He loves "Like a Prayer" and "Wannabe." Sometimes he jumps onto the turntable.

4. I chopped off the tip of a finger cutting celery the way you're not supposed to. It's grown back (the fingertip, not the celery), but I'm still waiting to get all the feeling back. (I'm at about 50%, which can be dangerous if a cat is chewing on it.)

5. Barometric pressure changes give me headaches. That didn't start happening until about ten years ago. Wow, that was totally boring. Maybe I should mention that pinatas scare me or something like that. ;)

6. Though I love movies, I'm not a big fan of the movie-theater experience now that people think it's okay to receive phone calls and chat it up with their friends, whether over the phone or in person, during a screening. Oh, and let's not even get into the whole candy-wrapper crinkling thing. Yeah, I've got issues, just ask the DH. ;)

Okay, now I get to choose six (six?!?) victims to tag: Katy, Lee, Laurie, Michelle, Mike and Wylie. Have fun!


posted by Bonnie Staring at 10:34 PM 5 comments

The bucket of words

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Michelle and I were comparing notes on how hard it is to get words on a page, especially when you have a whole day set aside to do just that, when I suddenly realized what might be holding us back:

The bucket of words.

Sometimes I feel that, each morning, I am given a bucket of words. How I decide to use them is entirely up to me. You might be thinking, "Ah! Such freedom!"

Or you could be like me and worry that I might run out of words before the day is done.

No wonder I never seem to have time for the WIP: I'm using all those words for article assignments, copywriting work, query letters, emails, snail mails, contest entries, blog posts (okay, sometimes) and to-do lists. And yes, some days I find that I'm out of words by the time Dr. Phil's on.

This ain't good. Certainly not for a writer.

And what if, god forbid, there's a hole in the bucket? (Dear Liza, dear Liza) (Oh come on, I know you were thinking it too.) Was it a hole created by self-doubt? Or by sabotaging family members or pets who require love, attention and perhaps a meal or two?

No matter, the hole's just there, releasing some of your stash into the wild before you even have time to form an idea.

I've also heard stories of writers who, after carefully using their words, realize that the words need to be chopped. Deleted. Put out to prose pasture. Imagine the pain of losing those words, only to be forced to take on a new bucket full of strangers the very next morning?

Okay, maybe it's not like that for most people or, even if it does happen, hopefully it doesn't all the time. ;)

Perhaps I should focus on getting myself a larger bucket to start with instead.

How about you? Do you think the bucket of words theory applies to the way you approach things?

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posted by Bonnie Staring at 12:00 AM 5 comments

Working for free

Thursday, February 7, 2008

If you have a full time job or have all the money you'll ever need, you may just wanna skip this post. Or watch this video instead:

Now, where was I? Oh yes, working for free. As a freelance writer, I've come across many publications and websites that are willing to take a writer's work and share it with their readers so that you can see your name in print or online. Sometimes contributor's copies of printed publications are sent to writers, but silver doesn't cross anyone's palm.

Yeah, it sucks that situations like this exist. Unfortunately, there are a lot of writers out there who would gladly offer up that article or interview they worked so hard on just to get a clipping or see their work published. Heck, I've done it. In fact, for some pubs, I still do. ;)

But in some instances, like association newsletters or professional journals, submitting an articile is really an advertisement for your expertise. In other cases, you may want to promote your upcoming book or new TV show. These efforts fall under the realm of PR and make good business sense to do.

My beef is with publications that assign articles to writers (eliminating the possibility of a promotional tie-in or angle) and demand journalistic mastery. For free. If all the staff at that publication work for free, then that would be understandable. But if everyone else is getting paid, why not the writers?

I know, there are enough people already ranting about ads for writers on craigslist and other freelance sites where the compensation is so low that it might as well be considered "no pay." But the only way I know how to deal is to simply not apply.

What do you think?

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posted by Bonnie Staring at 3:34 PM 5 comments

Reaching for the Anvil of Knowledge

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

It's been one of those days in BonnieLand where common sense or previously learned lessons seem to have been thrown out the window. And yes, I include myself along with all the other people this snarky blog post is aimed at. ;)

You see, sometimes we all need to reach for what I call the Anvil of Knowledge and bang our heads against it repeatedly until:

A) We get a clue.

B) Someone steps forward just in time to stop us and offer a hug or chocolate.

C) We lose consciousness.


D) Wisdom strikes and we donate our anvils to a fraternity house. They'll have fun with them, I'm sure. ;)

Don't get me wrong: the Anvil of Knowledge has its purpose. And I really could have used it on Sunday when I backed out of doing a strenuous physical activity (ju-jitsu -- stop laughing, it's true) and then, out of self-induced peer pressure, rejoined the melee.

I ended up spraining my right ankle badly enough to have the DH set up my sleeping arrangements on the main floor as stairs were an impossible obstacle. I'm taking a chance and sleeping upstairs tonight, as Zaphod really likes the couch and tends to chew on my face while I sleep on his bed.

Gotta love the Kitten of Mass Destruction.

Okay, and if the ju-jitsu fiasco wasn't bad enough, I let my guard down again on a repetitive-stress client who, you guessed it, served me up with some repetitive stress. ;) Fortunately there is a bit of light at the end of this particular tunnel -- and I can use all the details in a made-for-TV movie starring Lindsay Lohan or Nick Nolte, whoever isn't in jail or rehab when the time comes.

How about you? Do you have a need for a slightly used Anvil of Knowledge?

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posted by Bonnie Staring at 11:11 PM 5 comments

Frequent forward miles

Monday, February 4, 2008

There must be a reason why some people forward every single forwarded email they receive to everyone they know.

Sure, sometimes the information is useful (how to protect yourself with spray cheese) or makes people aware of a good cause (the well Timmy fell down last year is going to be shut down, please sign this petition so it can stay open to let more children fall into it), but the worst has to be those "send this to 4,803 of your closest friends and your wish will come true" ones.

According to my inbox, I have a few friends that should have had all of their wishes granted as of November 18, 2006. So why on earth are they still sending these things to me? Don't they realize that I'm already living the life of my dreams? Or do they think I can do better?

Wow, what a way to find out that your friends don't think you're living up to your potential. ;)

Or maybe they're earning frequent forward miles. You know, kind of like how your wish will be granted based on the number of people you forward the message to in the next five minutes.

Except with frequent forward miles, you need to reach at least 1,599 forwards before you can claim a Level 1 reward, which I assume would be a new mouse or keyboard. Once people get up to Level 5, they can choose between personalized video-message greeting cards or even free Internet service.

That would explain a lot of the crap coming my way that makes those folks looking for my bank account information so they can wire me funds from Nigeria look good. ;)

Sure, some of the forwards are funny and some make me stop and think about how short life is and how lucky we all are to have a roof over our heads, but I think that some people feel that this is a great way to keep in touch.

Not in my books. I'd much rather receive an email that doesn't have a FW: in the subject line, but that's just my opinion.

What do you think?

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posted by Bonnie Staring at 2:44 PM 4 comments

Scrambled and fried

Friday, February 1, 2008

It appears that I'm living the life of an all-day breakfast. If only I had ordered the waffles instead. ;)

There are a number of projects on my plate that just don't seem to be going away. Even a healthy sprinkling of fairy dust hasn't done anything for me. (Shouldn't have left the cap off, I guess.)

But all I can do is work through it all one step at a time. At least we finally got the Christmas decorations down yesterday. And no, we don't do outdoor lights -- we leave that up to the folks across the street with the alien spacecraft landing-pad lighting that stays on their roof all year long. ;)

I must hang my head in shame as my extended deadline for the first draft of my current WIP passed an hour ago, and I'm nowhere near "THE END." Heck, I'm barely approaching the middle, yet I have a gazillion notes jotted down on scraps of paper, expired coupons and backs of bills scattered around the house.

There's no one to blame but me. Sure, I did make getting an hour a day in on the document a priority, but I fell into the trap of rereading everything from page one. By the time my hour was up, I'd barely get a page worth of new content! Ack!

So I am moving my deadline to February 29, 2008. And I mean it this time. Stamp saved.

But first, I need to get some z's.

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posted by Bonnie Staring at 1:20 AM 8 comments