Monday, April 23, 2012

Monday Musings--Need a New Bio



I hate writing bios. First of all, it's weird making it sound like someone else is writing. (Do people actually hire other writers to write their bios? What's with the third person perspective?) A lot of bios are too long, and I came up with mine after spending an evening at Barnes & Noble reading dozens of them. Some are WAY too long, and I decided short and sweet would be best. Do people really want to know where I was born and how I fared in middle school and beyond? I don't think so. Some are a little too quirky for me, or simple, or trying-to-be-funny-but-failing-miserably.

Life has changed a little since my last bio.  I don't teach music lessons anymore except to my kiddos on random rare occasion.  Some things remain unchanged.  I'm still married (love you, babe), still have three children (four if you include the new cat), still play with imaginary friends for hours every week.  There you go.  This is going to be fun.

DO YOU READ AUTHOR BIOS?  WHAT DO YOU LIKE AND HATE ABOUT THEM?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Things I Love Thursdays--doTERRA Oils


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I'm not ashamed to admit it: I think doctors are weird and often steer people in the wrong direction.  Don't get me wrong; I know they save lives, too.  But sometimes I just prefer a little alternative medicine like massage therapy, chocolate and doTERRA oils.  Pictured are two of my favorites.  During a softball game last year, I got smacked in the shin by a ball because my reflexes aren't what they used to be. (I am over thirty, after all.) Swelling like crazy, pain through the roof, large, visible bruise.  Rub on some lavender and WHAMO!  Pain's gone, swelling goes down.  Bruise is still visible, but at least it doesn't hurt anymore.  Reapply a few times a day for a week or so and there you go.  Another contact sport injury bites the dust.  I take a few drops of lemon in a glass of water if I feel a sore throat coming on and it always works.  Some of my other favorites include OnGuard, Balance, and Peppermint. If you like choices when it comes to treating illness, check them out.

Disclaimer:  I'm not a doctor and never will be.  This post should not be considered medical advice in any way and I'm not responsible if you wake up with a wart tomorrow because you read this post.

ARE THERE ANY ALTERNATIVE MEDICINES OR MEDICAL TREATMENTS YOU BELIEVE IN?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday--Meet Matilda

We recently added something furry to our family.  Her name's Matilda, and watch out world, she can hunt, scratch and sleep in the weirdest positions.  Here are her top ten favorite spots in our house so far.

 With her BFFs.  She can't understand why they never say anything.
 What a waste of a recliner.
 "Please let me go outside?"
 Behind the couch--great place to hide from visiting neighborhood children.
 The shoe corner of my closet.  Why?  Because my feet smell fabulous, of course.
 This just makes her feel cool.  That's even skinnier than a balance beam.
 Behind the guitar.  Can't figure this one out.
 Basking in the sun coming through the blinds.
 Under the drums.  Because my husband's feet smell good?
Hey, don't knock it.  When I'm tired enough, I'll curl up on the tile in the kitchen.

WHERE DO YOUR PETS HANG OUT?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Writer Wednesday--Making Your Readers FEEL

Readers love to feel—experience emotions right along with your characters, but giving them that experience takes effort and practice.  I have a couple of suggestions to help increase the effectiveness of this.

1.  Write about things you’ve experienced, or where possible, give yourself the experience.  For example, if your character is going sky diving, it may help you describe the scene and the emotions (I'm thinking FEAR would be a big one here) if you go sky diving yourself.  Where possible, stick to things that you can adequately portray.

2.  Write in the Moment
Trying to show that your character is down in the dumps may be difficult if you are experiencing a different emotion--say intense anger or euphoria.  I find it helpful to keep an emotions notebook.  When you're experiencing something emotional, write about it so it's available when you have a character going through something similar.  Your emotional writing will be deeper and more meaningful.

3.  Avoid Passive Voice
A writing friend of mine made me aware of this and it has been an immensely helpful tool.  Passive voice uses the words "was," "had" and "felt" more than necessary.  Below are some examples of passive and non-passive voice.
I was tired.  (Passive)
Exhaustion crept inside me, beginning at my eyelids and spreading with relentless tentacles until it reached every cell in my body, as if trying to swallow me whole.  (Non-passive)

I felt scared.  (Passive)
A cloud of anxiety seized my chest, freezing me in place—all of me, that is, except my heart, which jumped into a rhythmic hammering.  I wondered if it would ever calm down again.  (Non-passive)

Which would you rather read?  Which gives you a greater emotional experience?

WHAT ABOUT YOU?  WHAT THINGS MAKE YOU FEEL RIGHT ALONG WITH THE CHARACTERS YOU'RE READING ABOUT?

Monday, April 9, 2012

Monday Musings--I'm a Robot, Apparently

I have to admit, word verification and captcha codes keep the spam away, but they keep people away, too.  I've been deterred from leaving comments many times because I often can't seem to get those darn letters and numbers right.  I love it when they prod you with phrases like:  "to prove you're a human," or "so we know you're not a robot."  It makes me feel all warm-blooded inside when I try and FAIL, FAIL, FAIL.

My favorite verification comes in the form of a simple math problem, because while I seem to have problems with my vision when numbers and letters are purposefully distorted, I can add.

Are you a human or a robot?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Monday Musings--In Mourning

I often like to wander through the library and when I do, I'm one of those people who selects books based on two things: the title and the cover.  This book stood out among the other books in the section reserved for librarian recommendations.  I picked it up, even though I couldn't actually pronounce that name, intrigued by that picture of the ghost-like girl sitting on the antique red couch with a picture of a ferry above it.  Ghost story.  Not my usual fancy, but I decided to give it a try.  And now I'm mourning.  Because I loved living on Webb's Grand Manitou island in a grand house, even if that house was haunted by witchy child ghosts.  This story had pull.  It created plenty of questions to keep me reading and I never got bored.  I also liked Webb's descriptions--vivid, but not overboard.  All in all, I liked the story, especially because it's about ghosts but it hasn't given me any nightmares.  It was tastefully done.

HAVE YOU EVER MOURNED FROM REACHING THE END OF A BOOK?  WHICH ONE, AND WHY?