Thursday, October 28, 2010

I'm a Fool for You...Blogger

"Sucked into the super massive." ~Muse - Super Massive Black Hole

Blogger: Um…soooo…. *longish kind of short pause* Whatcha doin?

Me: *typing away on lappy* My writer’s block is gone, so *shrugging shoulders* I’m writing.

Blogger: Oh. *Another longish pause—a little awkward*

Me: *Still typing*

Blogger: So I haven’t seen you hanging out for a while... It’s like you fell off the internet. *uncomfortable laugh*

Me: *stopping, looking up at Blogger* I really want to get this revising done. I’m on a roll. It should only take me a few days to be caught up.

Blogger: *pursed lips, tone defensive (a little annoying)* You didn’t even say you were unplugging or anything. I mean…what’s up with that?

Me: I wasn’t planning on unplugging, it just kind of happened that way. *putting fingers back on keys, commencing the writing*

Another awkward pause, really…really…realllly long. Blogger looks a little fumed.

Blogger: Be honest. Are you breaking up with me?

Me: What? *surprised at Blogger’s concern…and honestly, a little perplexed*

Blogger: Is it my hair? I knew it! You hate my hair! *little sob*

Me: Ah….no... It’s not your hair. I promise. I’ve just been so busy with the writing that I kind of…haven’t been blogging.

Blogger: So you’re not breaking up with me?

Me: No you silly. I’m not breaking up with you. I’m just unofficially unplugged. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you sooner.

Blogger: So we’re okay then. *wiping away a single tear (for dramatic sake)*

Me: Yes, we are just fine. I’ll be back next week.

Blogger: Whew.

Me: So… *making a funny face, not realizing the strangeness of it all* You have hair? Interesting.

Sorry I haven’t been commenting lately my awesome bloggy best friends. My writer’s block has broken and I’m sucked into the super massive writing hole. I promise I’ll be back next week (or the week after…you know. If this writer’s block stays away.)

But before I run off to write, how do you guys deal with writers block? Be honest, do you talk to blogger when it happens?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I Voted

It’s that time of year again. Winter? Fall? No, Election time. The time of year when everyone has a voice...if they choose.

I can’t not vote. I have to. People died so I could have that right. I honor their sacrifice with my vote. Voting is easy. Voting intelligently is hard. It’s hard to see through all the rhetoric to the heart of the matter. It’s hard knowing who to believe, who to trust. Even when I study the issues, I don’t always know what is real. Still, I vote. I love having a voice.

I am often an election judge. I have done this for many years. My first election was held in a home and ballots were counted by hand in a back bedroom after hours. We graduated to voting machines where you punched a ballot with a little stylus. Now everything is done electronically and there are policy and procedure changes every election. Everything changes. This is progress.

If only we could see the same kind of changes in the campaigns. I vote for more honesty and integrity. I vote for less name calling and blame. I vote for clean campaigns. I vote for clarity. I vote for accountability. I vote for real change.

My voice and your voice can make a difference.

One week from today I will sit behind the table looking very official, encoding ballots and handing out I Voted stickers. Be sure to stop by and get your own. You’re always in fashion with an I Voted sticker.

Will I see you there?

Linda Garner

Monday, October 25, 2010

On Being a Writer

I love being a writer! I hate being a writer! Have you ever said this to yourself?
Well, I have.
I love sitting at the computer creating a plot. Where will the twists and turns be? How will I craft a satisfying ending? What kind of people will my characters turn out to be? Will I fall in love with them? Will I hate them? I picture a scene in my head. Can I paint vivid word-pictures of it? What details do I want to add? Will there be any subtleties planted that will come to light later in the plot? My mind – no my whole being – is having a great time creating.
A rejection letter comes in the mail. I feel depressed. Obligations tug me away from my computer. No, they drag me from what I love to do. I feel irritated. Several days go by, and I haven’t been able to write. My stomach has a gnawing emptiness in it. The only thing that will fix it is writing, but I can’t today. A story is running over and over in my head. I have to write it down to get it to stop. I haven’t got time. I feel crazy!
I take stock of my situation. I’m depressed from the rejection letter. My stomach aches because I haven’t been writing, and I’m obsessing over a story in my head. I really am crazy!
I can’t go on this way, so I sit down and lay out a plan. My goal: to write as often as I can. It’s a priority, so I write early in the day before distractions overwhelm me. It’s a priority so I’m creative in working it into as much of my day as I can – a notebook in the doctor’s office; my laptop as I wait for a music lesson; a text message on my phone.
I am happy – a little crazy at times, but happy.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Happy 11th Lenny!

Photo from photobucket

Why am I posting a day early? Because today is my bloggy friends 11th B-day!!! 
Happy Birthday Lenny!!!!
If you don't know who Lenny is, please check out his most awesome blog. He is an amazing kid. 

In honor of said b-day, I am serving virtual cake.
Thank you photo bucket for your delicious virtual cake stuffs
So have a slice and wish Awesome Cool Lenny a great b-day.
I hope it's the best year ever!  

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Come Sit By Me

Was she a bully? I’m not sure. I can’t remember a single time that she was really mean to me, but it was a long time ago. I remember her as a loner. She didn’t fit in. Didn’t have many friends. Was behind in school. She seemed hard and unfriendly.

One day in the swimming pool she snarled at me and said something rude. I retorted with something equally rude. I think she swore. My friend told the lifeguard, who asked me for details. I don’t know why, but I stretched the truth. I made it sound much worse than it was, and the “bully” was tossed out of the swimming pool, not for just the day, but for the season.

She was a lonely girl with not much going for her. In one thoughtless instant, I made her life worse.

I wish I could take it back.

I don’t know her name, or where she lives, but I wish I could tell her how sorry I am. I wish I could say “Come sit by me.” “Let’s go to lunch.” “Tell me how you’re feeling.” “Let’s go for a walk.” I’d like to show her that people can change. I’d like to make her laugh. I’d like to see her smile.

I don’t know how to reach out to her, but maybe I can reach out to someone else.

Come sit by me.

Linda Garner

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Pears and Pictures

I love to watch my children and grandchildren interact with each other. It’s fun to sit back at a family gathering and watch relationships form and strengthen. I’ve been thinking about this because of two incidents that brought it to mind this week.
My mother has a wonderful pear tree that bears the most delicious fruit. When her grandchildren were little, they loved to eat the pears fresh in the fall right from the tree. Now the grandchildren are grown and have children of their own, and they live from the east coast to the west and many places in between. They still talk about Grandma’s pears and how much fun they had picking and eating them. Mother and I decided several years ago, when the kids were complaining about not being there for pear harvest, that we could still continue the tradition. Mother and I now pick the pears and slice them onto the fruit dryer. In a few hours they are ready to mail. I send them to all parts of the country, and in the next several days everyone calls up to say they are sitting on the sofa eating dried pears and loving them. (Everyone, except the missionary in southern Argentina. He didn’t get them yet.) Everybody loves the pears, but more than that, they love the connection with their grandmother.
Our daughter has been scanning the old slides and downloading them onto an internet site so they are available to all the family. She put some of the pictures of extended family gatherings on Facebook and let the relatives know they were there. The cousins have had a good reminiscing about old times and catching up on family news. I know some of them haven’t talked since the last family reunion a couple of years ago.
Did you ever think Facebook would be a blessing in your life? I didn’t, but I do now.
Pears and Pictures have brought us closer together. Think of some of the connecting catalysts in your own family. Share your suggestions.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Stinkin' Old Wonderful Corner Thingy

"Do you want this? I'm just going to set it out on the curb and wait to see if someone takes it."

In the back of the truck was an old broken armoire, the special kind that can snuggle in a corner. It was dingy and its cupboard doors were off their hinges, its frame torn from it's center.

Oh yeah! A corner wardrobe thingy. I had always wanted one. I had some tools -hammer, heavy duty staples, varnish, time. Maybe I could fix it up. Even if I couldn't get those doors back on.

So the next day, I got to work. I washed, nailed, re-hinged, added awesome new knobs.

And then it was finished (I even got the doors fixed). 

It turned out better than I thought. It was beautiful. (I cried a little.  I also did a happy dance which turned out more embarrassing than I had planned when the mailman walked in front of my window.)

Today, it sits in my front room corner, hiding all my stuff and making my room actually look clean (I love that! Plus I can hide my chocolate chips in there and NOBODY knows- mwa ha ha). All to the thanks of all my tools. Thanks tools!

Sometimes my wip reminds me of that old broken armoire.  I just want to set it on the corner outside and wait for someone to take it away. But deep down I know it can be fixed. I just need the right tools -crit buddies (super loves ya), revisions, rewrites.

It's going to be beautiful one day. And when it's done-I'm going to set that book down, inside the corner wardrobe thingy, where all my special stuff goes and do a super happy dance. I don't even care if the mailman sees me.

So how about you? How do you feel when you are doing rewrites/revisions? Do you feel like you can do it? do you feel like it's worth it?

p.s. I'm unplugging for a few days. The kids have school off and we are going to party (as long as they call cleaning out their rooms partying. Mwa ha ha)!

Have a great week guys!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Getting in Character by Christy Monson

I'd like to introduce you to Christy Monson, one of my new writer buddies. Christy did a Guest Blog for us a couple of weeks ago. She's joining our blog as a regular, as soon as we can figure out the technicalities of adding her to our blog. Okay, so Carolyn and I are a little technically challenged. (Where are you, Laura, when we need you.) Christy will post on Mondays, so check back for more from her next Monday. I'll be back again next Tuesday. LG

I attended a workshop with Clint Johnson at the League of Utah Writer’s Roundup in September. He had us write an incident from one character’s point of view, and then he asked us to write the same scene from another character’s point of view. In each exercise, the setting was seen from different eyes. The smells and sounds were different. The voice of each carried a unique view of the world. Internal and external dialogue differed according to the person.

When I write my scenes, do I take time to get into each character’s head to really know their world? Do I really let them have their own thoughts and actions?

Relationships with my characters can be tricky sometimes. It takes time for me to become friends with my characters. And, as friends, sometimes we don’t think alike. We have to discuss issues and come to an agreement, and I’m the one who usually has to ‘listen up.’

For instance, in my novel, CLAWING EAGLE, my main character (a Hopi Indian Youth) and his friend go to the Grand Canyon to capture a young eagle. At first I had them climb down a ledge and throw a blanket over a sleeping eagle, but both the boys let me know that wasn’t how they wanted to catch the bird. Besides, didn’t I know the eagle would fly away. Then I had them throw a net over the raptor when he was eating a rabbit, but that wasn’t right either. They informed me that was how you catch fish. Finally, I contacted a raptor expert who told me exactly how to build a blind to catch the bird. The boys constructed a shallow grave and covered it with pine branches. One of them crawled inside to wait. The other tied a rabbit to the cover. When the eagle dove for the rabbit, the boy inside the grave reached between the branches and caught the eagle’s leg. Both boys liked it, and they were successful.

Go figure! Whatever works, I say.

Christy Monson

Thursday, October 7, 2010

You've Got Syle, Baby

I’m back in school and working on the last of my degree. I hope to be finished by the end of this year of school. (Oh please, please. *fingers crossed*)

I‘m also in the middle of revising my dystopian TORN.

Plus, I post here on my blog. Which I love.  (Love ya blogger buddies!)

The funny thing is…when I write—in my book, for my school projects, on my blog—my tone of writing changes. Yup, my voice changes.

I try to be articulate when I write for school, making sure every word sounds elaborate and knowledgeable. (For example: “The obscure editorial's statistics do not calculate in favor of variation. Therefore, I conclude that it does not work.”)

When I’m writing in my book, I put myself in my character’s head, writing only words and thoughts that she would say. (Like, “Her voice was sweet. Too sweet. And she blinked at him way too many times for her eyeballs to be moistened.” She's a little jealous.)

On my blog, I write in more of myself. I like fun light things, so that’s how I write. (Plus I always add in a little random thought here and there, which sometimes makes no sense at all. But I can do it, because I’m a writer—at least that’s my excuse.)

See? My writing style changes.

I think as writers, when we are looking  more than one character in our wip, we need to look at the style and voice we want to give them. Because no two people are alike, neither are our characters or their circumstances. They talk differently, they act differently. That’s how you can differentiate them and give them style. 

What do you do to make your characters’ voices and style different?

p.s. Thanks Carolyn A (her name totally rocks!) for the awesome Strangely Irresistible ~ Yo Gabba Gabba award! I love it. I will pass it on, hopefully soon. =D

More of God's Post-it Notes

What a busy day. Almost forgot to post these. Enjoy!

Linda Garner

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

God's Post-it Notes

Aren't they cute. I know they're tiny, but if you click on them individually they get bigger. Come back tomorrow for more great thoughts like these.

I hope I don't get in trouble for posting this. It's not my work. It was an email forward. I loved it enough to share it with you. Enjoy. Have an awesome day.

Linda Garner