Nov 30, 2012

Friday funnies - Nov. 30

In honor of the last day of NaNoWriMo, here's NaNoMusical:

And this Australian train safety video "Dumb Ways to Die" has been making the rounds lately. The first time I watched it, I thought of suicidal jelly beans...

Have a great weekend!

Nov 25, 2012

A pre-Christmas query

Do you still send Christmas/holiday cards?
When my husband and I were married twenty years ago, each Christmas we were inundated with cards - photo cards, traditional cards, cards with Christmas newsletters, cards designed on the computer.

I have a card wreath I hang them all on and each year, that wreath has gotten a little thinner. It's clear the idea of sending Christmas greetings through the mail is fading.

Which makes me a little sad. I LOVE getting those cards and updates on friends who live around the world. I put those photos on my refrigerator and think about them often...sometimes pray for them while I'm making lunch for my kids before school each morning.

But I understand the trend. Twenty years ago, there was no Facebook, no Twitter, no form of social media. The Internet was just a rumor. We didn't even have cell phones. (Horrors!) So sending a yearly card was an important way we all kept in touch.

Now we do that almost every day. We see photos of each other's kids as the event happens, whether it be a birth or a graduation or a wedding. It's really cool...

...and not surprising that the cost of this connectedness means fewer of us send Christmas cards. For the past few years, I've sent a photo card of the kids with a link to our annual newsletter. I stopped sending the actual newsletter (along with an actual card) a while ago.

This year, I'm just posting a note on our family blog. No specialized card or postage. No paper going out. Just an image and an email with the link to my family and friends.

And I'm curious - what do YOU send out for Christmas? *looks right* Take a peek at my Christmas card poll and click on it, pretty please!! I'll post the results next week to see if my hunch is right and we're all going the way of the Grinch when it comes to holiday cards.

Have a great week!

Nov 18, 2012

The winter people

We moved to Alaska eight winters ago, partly in search of a place where snow wouldn't melt irritatingly frequently, and partly to get away from the crowds in the Lower 48.

At Reflection Lake

It didn't take long to discover that most of us up here thought the same thing. We LOVE winter. We're not too fond of...well, lots of people. Or most people. Some of us don't like people at all, which is fine. There's lots of room to be by yourself.

There's lots of room to BE yourself. One example is the guy who stands at the main intersection of my town, holding a hand written sign that reads: LAROUCHE SAYS: IMPEACH OBAMA. Obama's face has a Hitler moustache on it. On the guy's camper is written: don't feed the old hippies! (No idea what that means.)

During hunting season, it's not uncommon to pass a pick up truck pulling a trailer of snow machines with gun racks and a blood-stained game bag containing a dismembered moose. When it's mushing season, you can park next to a dog wagon full of racing dogs at Walmart. In the summer, people stop to buy fish eggs wearing waders, boots and camoflage because it's too much work to take it all off on the way to the river to fish.

It's not propaganda to say that Alaska is a home for rugged individualists. It's also a breeding ground for conflicted idealism, a lot of hype, a few crazies and a little hypocrisy. But as far as the land is the home for winter people. And it is so beautiful, you'll have trouble believing it's real.

I just finished my MS, RUNNING WITH WOLVES. It is set in Alaska, which is also a huge character in the novel. The more time I spent writing it and considering what and who to include in the plot, the more I fell in love with my adopted home state. It is an unusual, spectacular, frustrating place to live and I wouldn't have it any other way.

I live here because I choose to. And this Thanksgiving week, one of the many blessings I'm thankful for is being an Alaskan.

How about you? Did you choose where you live, or did you fall into it? And how does that impact your sense of place in your writing?

In Juneau on the Inside Passage

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Nov 15, 2012

Friday funnies - Nov. 16

At first I was like...huh? Then I realized who Jules was and laughed out loud.  The way Poe squints all suspiciously in the last frame is awesome.

Story structure fairy land. guess which novel this is...

And a little teacher humor here:

Have a great weekend!

Nov 11, 2012

How to support a writer in submission hell

1. Don't ask me if the book has sold. Trust me, if it had you would know. Right away. Probably even before my husband.

2. DO send me chocolate to ease my angst. Or better yet, a chocolate colored kitten that looks like this:

3. Don't call me if you have a 212 area code. I will freak out thinking it's my agent and then be depressed all day when it's not.

4. DO send me photos of funny cats. I could use the distraction.

5. Don't google my name. (This is a tough one, I know.) My fevered brain will assume the googler is an interested editor and make up all kinds of pointless/impossible fantasies involving cups of tea, immediate bonding and walks in Central Park.

6. DO send me free books or ARCs. If I'm not laughing at cats, I'd love to lose myself in someone else's (successful) story.

7. Don't send me links to other authors out on sub who have sold in two minutes, or taken two years....or never sold...*bites nails*

8.  DO host a contest that features either a) funny cats or b) free books/ARCs. I will enter it. Heck, I may even co-host it! And do all the work required!

9. Don't ask me to beta and then be surprised when all you get back is gobbeldy-gook because my fevered brain is, well, fevered. Give me a few weeks to get over myself. Then beta-ing will be a good idea.

10. DO say a prayer, commit to a 24-hour fast or send good thoughts up to the God of Literary Devices on my behalf. I promise to do the same for you. Lord really knows, I can use whatever help He's willing to provide.

Nov 9, 2012

Friday funnies - Nov. 9

Because this still makes me laugh...

I cannot WAIT!!! Only five more weeks, people! *dons hairy feet*

Have a great weekend!


Nov 4, 2012

In over my head

Life as a teacher is a bit like juggling a progressively higher number of firesticks each week.

Each fire stick represents: writing the curriculum, giving the lessons, training for expectations, keeping up a web site, attending professional development, going to meetings, etc., etc.

Add in grading/planning and suddenly, I'm juggling as fast as I can to keep from getting burned...not to mention running ahead of a blizzard of grading each weekend.

My writing time? Yeah, it's shot, unless you count 1-hour intervals once a week (sometimes). That's the bad news.

The good news? I FINISHED my last revision...which means we can go out on sub soon. Whew. So I can turn my attention to my YA mystery, which is with its final beta.  I'm also very close to finishing my latest WIP. Last year, I finished a WIP every three months. This year, I'm clocking in at six and it's still not done because I have no time.

My next opportunity to do any sustained writing will be over Christmas break.  That's when my school gets to move into our new addition so I'll probably be spending that time organizing and moving stuff out of my classroom, rather than doing much writing.

 How's your writing going? Are you doing NaNoWriMo?

Nov 1, 2012

Friday funnies - Nov. 2

Epic rap battles: Shakespeare vs. Dr. Seuss


Happy NaNoWriMo!!

Me, in 20 years...

Have a great weekend!