Tuesday, May 23, 2006

I'm Happy!

I got my baby back today. A very long story, but let's just say the guys at the Apple Store rock. They restored my corrupted OS and my hard drive was perfectly fine.

And while I was waiting, I popped into the Ann Taylor Loft next door and found the perfect dress for the three occassions this summer where I need to wear a semi-formal dress. You can ask Peter, it is very rare for me to find anything I like without numerous trips to numerous stores with numerous complaints.

Overall, a stellar day.

I'm happy. :)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

In Mourning

My Mac died. Need I say more? I'm hoping it can be resurrected. If not, it's under warranty, and the tech guys promised me they'd get everything off my hard drive. Most of it's backed up, but certain things like my address book, bookmarks, and everything I've added since Mount Hermon (the last time I did a back up) is out of my hands right now. Not to mention my calendar and sticky notes. I have no idea if I'm supposed to be somewhere or doing something.

So, since I don't really want to recreate the last 4,000 words I wrote (even if they did totally suck) I'm wandering around the house feeling a little lost. In the nearly 20 years I've had Macs, I've never had this happen. I almost didn't get the extended warranty. Oh, I'm so glad I did.

My daughter was quite unhappy I took my old PC laptop back. It doesn't have wi-fi, so I'm tied to the office. And it's slow, and it has a tiny hard drive that's almost full.

Sigh. So I guess I'm on a writing break. I'll be doing crits and maybe some Maass exercises to jump start me back into the story when I get my computer back.

Of course, there's always painting.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

If You Give Jennifer a Desk . . .

You know the kids’ book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie? It’s the story of how a simple act of giving a mouse a cookie can lead to a whole series of events. Well, that kind of happened to me last week.

I have a problem waiting. I like to be doing things. But in publishing you do a lot of waiting. So to keep my mind off all the waiting I’m doing I usually find a project around the house to work on. I decided to tackle the office . . .

If you give Jennifer a desk, she’ll have to make room for it in her garage. And then, when it gets to be 100 degrees outside, she’ll probably want to park her car in the garage. So the desk will have to go inside. But if the desk is going to go inside, one of the desks currently in the office will have to be moved. When you move one of the desks, she will want to rearrange all of the desks and bookcases. While you’re rearranging everything, she’ll decide to paint the walls.

After she’s painted the walls and rearranged all the desks and bookcases, she’ll bring in the new desk. Only to discover there are no brackets to hold the legs to the top. The desk will topple over on her, adding to the bruise collection on her legs. So she’ll haul the desk back to the garage.

Then you’ll have to take her to Staples where she’ll find the perfect desk at the perfect price. The perfect desk will require perfect desk accessories. She’ll spend the better part of a day putting the desk together, accessorizing it, and organizing. When the desk is finished it will require matching shelves above it to complete the look. So you’ll make yet another trip to Home Depot.

When you get home and the shelves are installed and stacked with books, she’ll put her computer on her desk and open it. When she opens it, she’ll want to check her e-mail. Her empty e-mail inbox will remind her that she is still waiting.

And while she’s waiting, she’ll probably want to start on another project . . .

Saturday, May 13, 2006

100 Is the Magic Number

Now if you've watched Schoolhouse Rock, you think three is the magic number (and now you'll have that song in your head all day). But really 100 is the magic number. At least in Arizona. We officially hit 100 degrees yesterday so that means summer is here. In about a month we'll be hitting 110 every day.

Let the complaining begin.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

And Another Thing . . .

Mark Bertrand echoes what I was saying two posts ago about reading voraciously and broadly.

Hey, maybe I won't write original posts anymore. I'll just keep sending you to other peoples' blogs.


An Article Worth Reading

Mary DeMuth has a great article on the Master's Artist today, Ten Things I've Learned as a Newly-Published Writer. It's well worth checking out and thinking about.

And on a completely unrelated note, I've spent this week tearing apart my office, painting it, and rearranging it. These kinds of projects always start with something small. In this case, someone gave us a pretty cool desk. Since I had to move the existing desks around to get the new desk in, I thought, "Hey, I might as well paint while I'm doing that." Then I decided to reassign the purpose of all three desks in the office since I was getting a new one. Which means shuffling computers and books and papers. And of course, once the painting's done, and my new desk installed, I'll need more shelves and a new desk lamp. Probably some sort of rolling cart since the desk has no drawers.

For all this effort, my new workspace better inspire some creativity.

Friday, May 05, 2006

A Little Bit of This . . .

A few interesting links to entertain and inspire you while I wait for my brain to come back from vacation.

Sabrina Fox has an interview with Diann Hunt up on her blog. If you’re good with treasure hunts you might even win a book.

Gina Holmes had a terrific interview with Karen Ball on Novel Journey earlier this week. Part II was particularly interesting to me.

Gina: Speaking of the ‘wow’ factor, is that something you can define or is it something you just know when you see it?

Karen: It’s really hard to quantify. It’s the power in the writing. It’s depth of character development. It’s when you start reading a story and are immediately transported. I think one of the challenges in publishing is that it’s so subjective. Each house is different. Each editor is different. What does it for me may not even impact another editor. It really is hard to define.

But if you’re writing the best story you can and a story you’re passionate about, you have a much better chance for hitting that wow factor. If you really spent your time researching and studying the craft, that’s the biggest thing. You need to be reading really great writing, both in the Christian market and in the secular market. Reading the books that have won the Pulitzer and books that have won the Newbery. Reading excellent writing so writers can bring their writing up a notch.

I can’t agree more heartily about reading voraciously. Parochialism will stunt your growth as a writer. She also talks about branding, about developing relationships in publishing, and how many proposals she sees that still aren't quite ready to be published.

And saving the best news for last (even if it is a little late), Dineen Miller, one of the few women taller than me, finaled in the RWA Kiss Of Death chapter Daphne du Maurier contest in the inspirational suspense category. Way to go, Girl!

Here’s another picture of Dineen and me at Mount Hermon. Camy Tang took this one and I think it may be the only picture in existence of me with glasses on.

On another Mount Hermon note, my son apparently thought I was at the Orange County airport the whole time I was gone. Makes sense considering that’s where they left me and that’s where they picked me up. No wonder he was so frustrated that Grandma wouldn’t take him to go see me. Of course he told me yesterday that he saw an airplane in the sky, and that the airplane man gave me a parachute so I could jump out. Apparently, he’s never heard of my admonition against jumping out of perfectly good planes.

Monday, May 01, 2006

The End

At 1:02 today, CDT, Mike Snyder typed those infamous words, THE END, thereby closing out this round of writing on My Name is Russell Fink. Guess he broke through that pink polka-dotted wall after all. You have to see Jeanne's comment on Mike's blog to get that reference. Way to go, Mike!