Saturday, May 29, 2010

Not the Friday Five

I keep thinking that I'm going to do better at posting, and then Friday rolls around, and I just get so caught up in other things. It's crazy, and I should be working on the post more regularly. But I decided to go ahead and do a post today. It may ramble a bit, but I've been thinking about writing a lot lately, and reading.

We recently moved and there is this beautiful flower garden growing next to my front step. It was done by the person who lived here previously. We moved in the winter, and so I had no idea it was there, but then one day in March yellow tulips grew overnight and blossomed. They made me smile every time I'd go in and out of the door. Next all of these plants started growing in the same little plot. And I thought to myself I should really go ahead and weed. Not all of these plants are likely to be flowers, but I didn't. Because quite honestly I've never gardened, really never given it much thought, and I didn't know which ones to pull. So I let everything grow.

And I'm glad I did. I think a few of the plants are a bit overgrown, and could have used some weeding back earlier in the year. I don't know what most of the flowers are, but they are gorgeous. Pinky purples, yellows, and whites that blend together perfectly. Not to mention that they are arranged heighth wise so that the tallest plants are in the back, and the fronts ones are much shorter. It's like a staircase of flowers. Whoever planted the garden knew what they were doing, because it is beautiful and slightly wild looking, and it's okay that I didn't go back and weed out all the plants when I first did. I keep watching and waiting for new plants to bloom.

Now I do have an analogy to this when it comes to writing. I don't write entirely by the seat of my pants. I have the end in mind, just like the person who planted the lovely flowers out by my front step, but I'm not always sure which parts of my stories are the weeds, and which parts are the flowers. I'm a big believer in getting my story out and letting it grow before taking it apart and pulling the weeds. But it's got to grow a little bit out of control, and a little bit wild until it becomes the beautiful book that can put sunshine and a moment of happiness in someone's life.

I read a lot. On average I'm about a book every one or two days. And while sometimes I get so tired with what I'm reading, so discontent every now and then I find a book that speaks to me in the same way that those flowers make me smile. Sometimes it is a happy book that lets me totally escape the moment, or a book that makes me sit back and really think and consider my life. This week the book that stood out the most was Hold Still by Nina LaCour. This was a very moving story about a girl who is recovering from the suicide of her best friend. It was honest, it was raw, but it was not without hope. It was perfect in the balance of being truthful, but showing that there is hope and a chance to move forward.

I want to write books that give people that kind of hope. I may write a lot of fantasy, paranormal or dystopian books, but ultimately I want hope to be the message in the book. I've had times in my life where it felt like I ran out of hope, and looking for any way to get it back. I've also had times when I've been surrounded by it and grateful to be surrounded by people who care.

This spring that flower garden has been something that has given me hope. It's reminded me that things that we do now can help others later on. So here is to hope and passing it on.

Happy Writing!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Friday Five: Late or Early

1. There are weeks when things start piling up, and time that was set aside for writing just doesn't happen. Sometimes those are things you can really put aside for later ( you don't really need to be able to see the floor anyway--right? And really no one cares that my kids have worn the same clothes for three days straight), but some things require your immediate attention. A very broken arm by a child who believes that he can fly--well not really he just likes to jump off of high surfaces. He's been doing it since he could walk and climb, and I think I convinced myself that he wasn't capable of breaking himself. Sure he's had stitches, and he's bitten through his lip, but an actual cast for at least a month, possibly two never would happen. But it did and an entire afternoon I had set aside particularly for accomplishing something was eaten up by x-rays and setting and casts. Poor little guy. He was very brave.

2. Bedtimes are definitely getting later and later at my house. My oldest insists that she can't fall asleep without reading first. I'm glad that she reads, but once she's done she gets up and wanders the house. The boys just don't like to go to sleep, and they can be very cranky the next morning. I think it's time to get out the dark curtains again and put them up. It's the only way I've been able to survive summers since I've had kids. Why does it stay light until 9:00? Why?

3. Zombies and werewolves--doesn't that just sound exciting. It does to me. And I love the characters more than any other characters I've written. So it is awesome. I can't wait to share that awesome with you. It's funny how excited I get about things. It really is true. Frankly my husband is tired of me talking about Jason. Jason's been on my mind a lot because he is the most difficult character I've ever attempted to write, and the story I'm telling is in first person, but Jason is not the narrator. So I know all this stuff about him that Lexy doesn't know and it's getting difficult. But progress is being made.

4. Somewhere in my life I switched from being a morning person to so not being a morning person. I don't know when it fully started, but honestly I think I can trace it back to my husband. Until we started dating I went to bed at 10:00 on weeknights--weekends have always been another story, and got up at 6:00. And now I'm up until at least 12 and if I didn't have kids in school, I think I'd get up at 9:00. But at least all three kids are sleeping through the night finally. That truly makes me happy.

5. Today i sorted laundry so I caught up on my T.V. I don't watch many shows. I have three Biggest Loser, Office and Glee. And then my husband watches LOST so I'll occasionally sit next to him and try to write while it is on. I gave up on it, but since the finale is Sunday I'll watch it. I've been so so on Glee lately. I don't know how I feel about a lot aspects of the show since they started back up. And The Office gotta love that.

Happy Writing!