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Sunday, November 29, 2009

I'M FINISHED! I'm a NaNo WINNER!!!!


This is just a tiny post to let everyone know who might have been following my progress that I just won NaNo and it's two days early.:)

I am putting the Winner banner up here so I can celebrate. I also have the certificate and they have a very nice page for you when they declare you a winner. I didn't think I would finish, but then I got to 48,000 words and realized I had to finish tonight!!! I'm so happy, because all I have been thinking about this month is NaNo. Now I can concentrate on my real writing. LOL

Actually, I'm not really unhappy with this novel. It is YA after all and maybe I'll give it to my critique group to see. Of course, it isn't in any form yet. I have to go over it and cut some words. I won't touch it though for the whole month.

I really didn't write for that long, but I tried to write every day. Each year it gets easier and easier to get to 50,000. I'm not sure the story is done, but it did come to a very nice ending. I still feel it needs more and will look at it and decide.

Thank you to any new readers and of course thank you to the people who usually follow my meanderings. Please don't forget to try to listen to my November show of Red River Writers Tales from the Pages. It turned out very well after all.:)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Being Thankful on Thanksgiving!






As usual Outnumbered has beat me to the post, but his list will not be mine.:) Here is mine:

What I am Thankful for:

1. Hal - Though he has his off moments, he is still the one. For 44 years he has been in my life.
2. my daughters - Rachel and Sara
3. my brother
4. my sister-in - law
5. Hal's brother
6. my friend Maddy in Long Island who I miss too much!
7. my friend Maddy upstate
8. having enough money for Thanksgiving
9. my new car
10.Glee
11. So You Think You Can Dance
12. music of all kinds
13. TV and DirecTV
14. movies
15. chocolate
16. IPhone
17. laptop
18. laughing with my family
19. Starbucks
20. cashmere
21. Uggs
22. books and reading
23. My fingers so I can write on the computer
24. The Food Network
25. being only 6,645 words away from winning NaNo
26. having been given a ray of hope when Obama was elected.
27. my state's two senators
28. sunsets
29. rainbows
30. hot showers
31. curly hair

Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving if you live in the United States. Otherwise, I would like to take this opportunity to say that I hope that we will have peace soon in this ongoing disaster in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is hard to have a Thanksgiving dinner when you know that there are people who are spending their time in a worthless desert trying to conduct a ridiculous operation. I hope by next Thanksgiving we will have the hope of peace.

I have to get some rest so I can cook tomorrow's dinner for my family.:) I hope if you are celebrating that you have gotten a turkey that has not had antibiotics pumped into it and that has been fed with all good stuff. My turkey, gotten from Whole Foods and raised in Pennsylvania by Amish farmers, is now brining in the refrigerator. May you enjoy a peaceful and happy Thanksgiving!!!!

I want to shout out to all the people who have been with me on my show, Red River Writers Live Tales from the Pages, the wonderful hosts who have interviewed me both last week and again today, and April Robins. April has created a truly wonderful showcase for writers: Robin Falls Magazine. See the banner on the sidebar and please go take a look at this brand new member of the Red River Writers community. I have some pieces in there under adult stories and an excerpt from my children's story, "The Trouble with Follow the Leader." One of the stories is a flash story called "A Strange Noise" that is suitable for children too.

Thank you too to my followers and my new readers. Please add a comment on what you are thankful for. I am going to give away one of the many children's books that I have accumulated to anyone who can name at least 5 things for which they are thankful that I didn't mention. There could be multiple prizes. It's a holiday after all.:)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Catching Up and NaNo Update!

As you know, I'm in the middle of NaNo month and it has been hard to find time to write, yet I am fairly satisfied that I am pretty close to where I need to be to reach 50,000 words by November 30th. I have a feeling that it will be a sprint toward the end, but as you can see on the sidebar widget, I am over 31,000 words. Not bad. I want to be at 35,000 words by the end of the weekend. We'll see. I'm writing at such odd hours and for a couple of hours at a time. So with this week coming up it should be interesting to see how much I get written.:)

The good thing is that I'm not sick of my story, though I thought I would be, but I found some conflict and isn't that the gold of writing? Your story is just going along and then pow a new character appears that you never would have thought of, but there it is. It's like your mind has decided that this character should appear, but it never actually gave you a clue. So all of a sudden there that character is and it makes everything so much easier.:) In this case it's going to be a triangle between a guy and two girls. The story is being told in the guy's POV so it is really different for me. :) It's Young Adult, so it's all PG.:)

So with that many words written, I decided it was time to catch up with all the great blogs that I follow and haven't been to visit for awhile. I started with Donna McDine's blog Write What Inspires You! and I found the cutest picture. I wanted to share it with you. Donna won a contest for the caption for this picture and I'm sure when you see it you will see why it's hysterical!:) You can click on the link on Donna's blog or you go to Sherry Dale Rogers' blog to see it. If you love dogs you will love this picture.

I happened on a great interview with Cynthia Leitich Smith by Vivian at HipWriterMama: WBBT: Writing the True with Cynthia Leitich Smith and Cynsational WBBT Book Giveaway! Cynthia is giving away a free book to someone who writes a thoughtful comment about her interview and then emails her with their contact information. I entered, because I'd love to have one of her books.:)

Off to write more for NaNo tomorrow. It's too late to write more now, but I really had fun catching up with the blogs I follow. Still need to see more, though. A blogger's work is never done.LOL

There is one more thing, though. I am going to have a give away of a free children's book in the next week. Stay tuned for more details to follow. In the meantime, thank you to any new readers and to my faithful followers. Don't forget to tune into my radio show on Blog Talk Radio, Red River Writers Tales from the Pages. My guests will be Kim Richards and Julie Maloney. See Pirate Radio Brings Me Back to the '60s for more details on this week's show.

For my American friends hope you are not too stressed out by Thanksgiving preparations. I found a great way to make a list for things needing to be done and a shopping list. I'm using the Notebook app for my IPhone. This way I can bring it with me and then erase it when it's done. In honor of being greener, this is a use of technology and saves paper!:) If you don't have an IPhone think about getting one. I don't know what I did without it. You are connected to the internet wherever you are and you can get a phone call while still surfing the net. Pretty cool! Don't listen to the ads by Verizon. You get the same service as Verizon in most areas.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Pirate Radio Brings Me Back to the '60s


I know I should be writing and the guilt is biting into me like tiny pinches all last night and today, but I'll be back to it after writing this post. :) See my current NaNo total on the sidebar, but for those who don't want to look it is 18, 237 words so far. I want to be over 20,000 words by the end of tonight and hopefully I will spurt ahead in the next week. Hope all of you who are doing NaNo with me are able to write and that it is smooth and fun. Though I have to admit that sometimes writing isn't fun, though as I think back on the experience it's like a beautiful memory.LOL

Yesterday we went to see "Pirate Radio" in a theater we usually don't frequent. But the times matched and we were close so we went there. The seats in this theater are different, because they are slanted back so when you sit you are automatically forced into an angle. It's almost like your chair had been tipped back and of course you can go back further too. But the strange part about this is that they were very comfortable during the movie once I got used to it. Normal modern movie theater seats have the back loose so you can lean backward, but in these the seat tips back. So I spent awhile acclimating myself to these.:)

"Pirate Radio" is a movie that is best appreciated by people who have either lived through the 1960's or have a good knowledge of the music and history of this period. Based on a true story about the brave people who had radio stations that played rock music, banned in Great Britain in that time, this movie explores the every day life of those people. They couldn't broadcast on land, so they did it from ships out beyond the three mile limit so they wouldn't be touched. For someone who lived in America during that time period and actually listened to what they called alternative radio, it's hard to understand not being able to listen freely. However, in the movie they mentioned that over 25 million people listened to the pirate radio stations every day. These stations had to be listened to in locked rooms or in the middle of the night in the privacy of your own home. People listened in groups and danced and sang along. It was a real fan experience with people choosing their favorite DJ's.

The movie goes into what it was like for the hard working broadcasters on a ship out at sea. The tone is light and the story brings a layer to the movie that transcends the music. Though the music is so great! It starts in 1966 when the British government decided it wanted to get rid of pirate radio stations. Kenneth Branagh is a member of the government who needs to exterminate the station. I researched it a little bit and there were more than one of these stations broadcasting out there. But his performance is so incredible, because I didn't even realize who he was until after a few scenes. With his hair slicked back and in a suit of the period, he certainly looks the part. I think he even gained a little weight for the role too. There is not a drop of sexiness in this character at all.:) Also in the movie and I'm not counting, but she's been in several movies this year, Emma Thompson. She has a small part, but she makes the most of it.:) January Jones has a cameo role too, and she plays it well.

But even though the movie is one of the best I have seen this year, what holds it together is the soundtrack made up of every classic rock song you ever heard. The movie starts with The Kinks and you hear Beatles songs a great deal, because at that time I think they had four or five songs that went to number one. Music fills the movie almost like another character and it is constantly on in the background. We have all heard these songs so much that they are a part of our life and especially with The Kinks, who we saw a great deal in concert later in the decade, I could picture them doing their thing on stage.

I think it's better not to give the story, but I will say if you love rock music and "WKRP in Cincinnati", you will love this movie. There is a lot about the workings of a radio station and you get behind the scenes and inside the lives of all of the people who inhabit the ship that houses "Radio Rock". Though as Ben Fong - Torres quotes another writer saying in his review: "It wasn't about rock and roll. It just used rock and roll." it made me leave the theater with a smile and for me that is a great movie. Don't we all need something to make us smile these days?:)

Can't get into the change in the times yet. The sun started to set before 5:00PM today and I'm not ready to crawl into my house for winter yet. Nights seem to be endless and they will only get worse as we get toward the beginning of winter. If I get up late I only have a few hours of daylight, so I'm going to have to go to bed earlier just so I can see more daylight!:) Of course as the nights get longer the earlier the sun rises. So if I stay up late enough I can see daylight too.LOL

Have to get back to writing, because those words won't write themselves.:) Until the next time hope all of you had a great weekend and are staying healthy and warm or cool if you live in a warmer climate.:) The temperature changes are also strange too. One day it is in the 40's and today it was 65 degrees. Ah global climate change!!

Thank you to my faithful readers and to the new people who are following me. I hope you had a chance to listen to my October radio show on Red River Writers Live Tales from the Pages. My November show, which will be on Tuesday, November 24th will feature Kim Richards Gilchrist who is the co-founder of Damnation Books and Julie Maloney, who has founded a group called Women Reading Aloud. Julie will discuss how she came to found her group and what the group hopes to achieve. On my October show Karen Hunter and I discussed the idea of "authenticity". Julie Maloney founded her group on this idea. It should be a fun show.:)

My December show is going to be all about a wonderful group called Milspeak. It is made up of service people from the armed forces. A woman named Sally Drumm formed this group of people who wanted to write and now there is a book out called Milspeak: Warriors, Veterans, Family and Friends Writing the Military Experience with all of their writing. Unlike previous shows I am devoting the entire show to these writers. It should be a great show and I am looking forward to meeting all of these new writers. I hope you will join me. Just click on the icon on the sidebar or go to Red River Writers Live Tales from the Pages for November.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

NaNo Update!

Just a quickie post to let you know that I've been writing. My NaNo total is now:

10,269 words! Now just a little under 40,000 words more. Seriously I have no idea what this book is about, but it's coming along and I'm getting closer. You can see it on the new widget I just added on the sidebar. It's very cool!

To all the NaNo people out there. Keep writing no matter what is happening in the background. I'm missing Saturday Night Live now and listening to Taylor Swift singing. At least I'm done for the day. More tomorrow. I'll keep you updated every time the count changes. Also if you're on the NaNo board you can check it there too. Remember, I'm lionmother there.

Posts during NaNo will be less frequent as I explained before, but I will post when things happen.

The only funny thing that happened tonight was that when my daughters and I were in the movies my younger daughter elbowed me a little while I had a box of popcorn in my hands and it flipped over and all the popcorn, I mean all of it, fell into my older daughter's open handbag.LOL It wasn't so funny for her, because she had to pick out popcorn and practically empty her entire bag. Luckily, the movie hadn't started yet.:) Has anything like that ever happened to you? Leave a comment and tell me anything funny that has happened to you in the movies. I'll see if I can top you.:)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Election Day Experiences and my NaNo Count




THE DREAM MACHINE THAT LETS YOU KEEP DREAMING!!!


On Election Day I worked as an Election Inspector and this year I was asked to be the chairman of the district in which I worked. You have to get up very early to be at the polls by 5:30 AM. Now as most of my readers know I am not an early riser. In fact that is my usual time to go to sleep.:) So I set my alarm, the Dream Machine, Jason Mayo of Outnumbered is always talking about, for 5AM. I live just around the corner in Westchester terms. Which means you have to go down one street, turn at the next left turn and you're there. I could have walked there if I didn't have to lug that heavy bag.

The thing with being the chairman is the day before you get this big, heavy bag from the Town Clerk filled with everything you need for the day including the flag, the books (very important), posters and any extra supplies you need. It also includes the keys to open up the voting machines - lever kind- in the morning and to close them at night. I had the bag in my trunk so I could just go in the morning without having to lug it downstairs to the car. But as almost all of my plans, this one didn't quite go the way it should have gone.:)

I set the alarm and went to sleep thinking I would be awake by 5 and have plenty of time to be there by 5:30. At 5:40 my husband yelled at me that it was 5:40 and what time did I need to be up? There was someone on the phone wondering where the bag was. OMG what a way to wake up! He was talking on the phone to the person in charge at the Election Headquarters and telling them he would get them the bag. I got ready and was out of the house in ten minutes! Here is the best part of this day and believe me if you find someone like this you have to marry them!

My husband had gotten out of the house and taken the bag out of the trunk. He was standing there in the driveway holding this heavy bag waiting for the person to pick it up. I saw the guy's truck come as I put my foot on the second step. I rushed to my car after kissing my husband and telling him how great he was and got to the polls in five minutes. I had such a great team that everything was done and the technician had opened the machine. I checked it, of course, and I was happy that I was there before 6.

I'm taking this opportunity to curse out the Dream Machine!!! That alarm has gotten me in so much trouble. When it first starts to ring it starts out slow and low and then it gets relatively louder. But I can't tell you how many times I have slept through the alarm! I need something that will be so loud that it will pierce my ear drums.:) It has two alarms, but I only set one. I thought I would get up from my husband getting up. He usually gets up at that hour. But on Tuesday he didn't know when to get me up. I had only told him umpteen times that I was getting up at 5.

Anyway, the election process went very smoothly and the day went by fairly quickly. Except have you ever had to be in a room with people you don't know for fifteen hours? Plus I was constantly checking on the count between the sign in sheet and the machine. Lucky for everyone by the end of the night it was the same. But the thing that made me never want to be a chairman again is the reporting at the end of the night. It's 9 PM and the polls are closed. The posters and the flag are down. Everything is cleared, but you have the responsibility of calling out the vote and being double checked by another official and poll watchers from both parties. It gets even worse, because you then have to call in the results to the headquarters and then you get to write it all on the canvas sheet. Then you have to pack up the bag and make sure everything is in it.:) By the time I was done it was a half hour more and I was ready to collapse. I'll be an Election Inspector again, but unless it is impossible to find someone else, I won't be a chairman again!

The bad thing is that I am in the middle of NaNo month and I didn't have that many words written yet. I started on my new novel, which is YA, on Sunday night and figured I'd do about 25oo words a day. So I tried to write and got about two paragraphs down when this wave of tiredness came over me. I had too much coffee and Diet soda and now I was crashing! But the next night I wrote more and now I have 6,562 words. This is one of the first stories I am telling from a teenage boy's POV, so it's going a little slower. Hope to have at least 2500 more words by tomorrow. I'll keep you posted on my progress. If you are doing NaNo please friend me. I'm:
lionmother there.

I wanted to let everyone know that I will be on Barbara Hodges' Red River Writers show on Monday, November 16th. I'll remind you another time, but for now check out all the awesome Red River Writers shows that have already been on this month. You can listen to all of them on podcasts. If you missed my October show it is still there for your listening pleasure.

Thank you to all who are new readers and many thanks to the people who continue to read this. I just checked where you are from and it's amazing how many different places are represented. Great to know you all.

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