Thursday, September 27, 2012


I've been thinking for months that it was time for a new post here, but I put it off because I kept thinking that I would be inspired with something epic and wise to say. Like that will happen . . .

I hate to write a lot of worthless blather. Nobody wants to know what I made for dinner, (unless it killed somebody maybe), or where I went today, (jail because of the fatal dinner perhaps), or what I did in the garden. All the things that have taken up the greater part of my time are pretty boring.

It also seems counter productive to write a blog when I have a novel in the works that needs my attention and is not getting it. So my question to send out into the void for today is "What to you do when you can't seem to make yourself focus on what you really want to do?"

I know that the best remedy for not writing is to sit your bum down in the chair and start typing, but this last week it seems that even when I make myself sit down and pull up the lap top, all I do is stare at the page and think about what needs changed rather than get on with the work. I've been banged about the head with so much advice on how to be a better writer that I no longer have the ability to just let the story flow. How can I turn off the internal editor and enjoy witing again?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Ninepins, by Rosy Thornton

Ninepins by Rosy Thornton
Although I have never been to that part of England, I feel like I would recognize it if I saw it. Ninepins is an old tollhouse in the Cambridgeshire fens. In it, live Laura, a single mother and her twelve year old daughter Beth. They struggle as Beth is growing more independent and Laura tries to protect her. They rent out the old pumphouse near Ninepins to students. A new lodger, Willow, is a recommendation from a social worker, named Vince, who is her case worker.
Laura's concerns that Willow will be a negative influence on her daughter, seem well founded, as sinister things begin to transpire that point toward Willow and her estranged hippy mother.

Although this wasn't the sort of novel I normally pick up, I couldn't stop reading once I started. The characters feel real, and I wanted to know what happened to them. Having three daughters of my own, I could relate to Laura and her struggle to hang on to her little girl, especially as Beth is an asthmatic and at a very vulnerable age.
The reason I seldom read these type of novels is that they usually leave me with a bad taste. Ninepins, on the other hand, left me feeling hopeful and content.

My only word of warning to my fellow Americans is that this book is not edited for our country and there are quite a few "Briticisms" that you may have to look up. Nothing to take you out of the story though, and if you, like me, have read a lot of British works, you will know most of them anyway. :)

Thumbs up, to Rosy Thornton's "Ninepins."

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Rudolph Family Adventure

Just got back from a family vacation. As is often the case in our family it turned out to be another "Rudolph Family Adventure." We ended up having to replace the transmission and put on four new tires.

In the interim, we rented a car and went to Disneyland as planned, then we took the girls to the ocean and played on the beach. the weather was beautiful, a balmy seventy degrees, sun shining and perfect. So we had fun, even though the financial strain was hard to reconcile.

But on top of car trouble, most of us got sick, and so the last few days I was mostly just wishing we could go home. I was feeling so good before we left, better in fact than I have felt for some time. To get sick was highly discouraging to me. Aren't vacations supposed to help you feel better?

The irony is that I had told God before we left, that this vacation was in His hands. I was hoping that by doing that, we could avoid a disaster this time, but apparently God thinks we need to deal with this sort of stuff when we go on vacation.
I do have faith that He was watching over us. After all, the transmission got us to Victorville, where Jeff was delivering his sculpture, before it quit. It could have stranded us in the Mohave dessert or the Las Vegas strip, so things may have been much worse. But is it too much to ask that just once the Rudolph's could have a vacation that didn't break the bank and leave us more worn down than we were when we left? Some days I feel like God is mean.

It's been almost a week and I'm still recovering . . .

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Writing Just For Fun

I'm nearly done with my latest work in progress and I've been thinking how fun it was. I basically cranked it out in three consecutive years of NANOWRIMO. But I liked the stories so well that I dug them out of the maybe later file, fixed them up, and put them together into a novel. It was fun from beginning to end. I have a good feeling about it getting published. It will be highly ironical if this book that I just "popped out" gets published, when the one I spent years working on is still sitting on the shelf, but stranger things have happened.

Now that I think of it, they were all fun in the beginning... it's only when I start second guessing myself and rewrite the heart out of my stories that they become zombie albatrosses hanging about my neck.

I started writing, so I could read the sort of books I wanted to read, but couldn't find enough of. Then, I found that writing them was almost more fun than reading them. I got addicted to controlling the destiny of my characters and ensuring the endings that I wanted. Plus, I've always had an over active imagination and writing gave me full vent for that, building new worlds, making up my own imaginary friends... well, you know.

So I've finally remembered that writing is fun, and even if this book is never seen on bookshop shelves, I'm glad I wrote it.