Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Short Stories

I haven't written a short story in years - probably since I was a kid - but yesterday I sucked up and sent one in to a magazine contest. The story took me a few days to write, and it came out OK, I think. We'll see what happens.

The nice thing about the short story is that it helped recharge me and freshen my writing, so I can get back to the "bull" - my current WIP that seems to be the book that never ends. It did help me look at my work in a new way, though, so even if I don't win the contest, I think the story has done me some good. Give it a try, if you're stuck on a longer WIP. There's a lot less pressure - at least there was for me. And a neat bonus is, the plot is condensed way down in a short story, so if I want, I could go back and expand it into a full-length book. Pretty cool, and maybe a good way for me to get more writing ideas! And as we writers know, having that idea box/file filled is a darn good insurance policy against writer's block.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Yay, Spring!

So, spring is finally here as of yesterday - hooray! It's finally going to start getting warm out in NY, and I can stop with the cabin fever.

With spring, of course, comes spring cleaning. Complicated this year by the presence of Baby. He's at the point where I can't just plunk him down for a nap anymore. I can tell already, he's a guy on the go. :) But we'll manage, and somehow my house will get cleaned, even if I have to ship the little one off to Grandma for the day!

In writing news, I'm working on a short story I rattled off for submission to a magazine contest. It's mostly a spur-of-the-moment thing to sharpen my writing skills so I can get back to my longer WIP. I plan on entering a contest later this month with one of my other books just to see how I do. And of course, I have my first book out to a publisher and a query letter to another, but we'll see what happens with those.

Hope you all enjoy the arrival of warm weather (soon, if not now, where you live, I hope. Unless, of course, you're in the southern hemisphere, in which case you're probably heading in for fall. Sorry. LOL).

Monday, March 19, 2007

Here, sleep. Heeeeere, sleep!

Right. So I'm up late on the phone with a pal last night (late for me). No problem. Still got plenty of time to catch some Z's, and that was my decision. 9:40 p.m. Good to go. Close eyes.

Wake up. DH's arms are wrapped around my middle and he's murmuring amorously in my ear. Crack eye open. 1:23 a.m. Is he kidding? He doesn't have to get up at the arse-crack of dawn in the morning to do laundry, feed the baby, cart him off to daycare, and then spend the day on the phone at work chugging cappuccino to stay awake. Murmur back, snuggle a bit, hope that's sufficient. Seems to be. Close eyes.

Wake up. Baby's crying. Open eye. 3:20 a.m. Grooooan. (You have to understand. The baby NEVER cries in the middle of the night, not since he was a month old.) Beg DH to take care of him, which he does. Yay, DH. Doze.

Wake up, ten minutes later. Baby is crying, DH unable to get him back to sleep, so assumes he is hungry (unusual for baby this early). DH is busy with diaper, asks if I can get bottles together. Sigh. Get up, make bottles, give one to DH to feed baby. Yay again, DH. Check clock. 3:43 a.m. OK, let's try this again. Close eyes.

Wake up. Cat is on my head trying to get into windowsill even though window is shut and have no idea what he wants out there at...4:10 a.m. Start to cry. Get up, toss cat out, shut bedroom door. Try desperately to close eyes.

Finally. Dreaming! Some strange thing about having dinner at a theme restaurant with a lot of crazy seafaring gear on the walls. What the hell am I eating? Is this fish? Should it be looking back at me?

Buzzzzzzzz. Alarm clock. 5:00 a.m. Damn. Try to consider whether it is better to be awake than to have bizarre dream. Then contemplate how big a cappuccino one can have before going into caffeine overload. Contemplate filling a swimming pool with it and diving in. This is going to be a looooooong day.

And it's Monday.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

OMG! She's Entered The New Millenium!

I'm so not a techie. I was still buying records on vinyl in the 90's. There was no way I was buying a DVD player at the prices they were when they first came out. My computer is cobbled together with the bare minimum of gadgetry, and heck, I don't even like video games. I'm the female equivalent of Gibbs on "NCIS."

But, I am bemused to say, I have finally caved and gotten a cell phone. Oh, not for me. The DH talked me into a prepaid cell phone so I can pick up and say, "Hello, dear, I'm in a ditch - come get me." (I'm not noted for my love of driving, period, and winter driving is so much less fun.) It's more so I'm not stranded roadside with my son in the car. It's not even one of the cool camera flip-phone ones with interesting ring tones. Although, I admit, I now wish it were. I heard someone's cell phone go off with "The Godfather" theme the other day. I'm gonna make you an offer you can't refuse: don't call me.

But it does what it's supposed to, and I've even used it a couple of times. Not, thank God, for car accidents. I'll probably still have minutes on it when my car disintegrates into dust.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Movie Review - "300"

The DH and I went on a date over the weekend, sans baby, which was refreshing. We did lunch and a movie. Lunch was bland. The movie was stunning.

We saw "300." I know, you're thinking, "What the heck kind of date movie is that?" Well, if you knew us, you'd completely understand. Our official date movie was "Lethal Weapon," back when we first started going out. Then we broke up, went out, broke up, went out, and broke up. Our reunion movie was "Gladiator." Sensing a theme here? We're action-movie junkies.

So...on to the official review. I won't lie. The movie is incredibly gory, and it pulls no punches to make war look pretty. It's gritty, bloody, and chilling. But it's just so beautifully shot that I can't help myself. I love it. It's unapologetic and just plain gorgeous. (Didn't hurt that there were 300 sweaty, muscular men running around in very little clothing, but I digress.) So, if you can stomach the violence, I highly recommend this movie. BTW, it's based on a graphic novel by Frank Miller, which is also quite beautiful in spite of its bloodiness. Go forth and see this movie!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Hello, My Life, How I Missed You!

Well, I have a gorgeous baby boy now! He was born just a few days before Xmas, and now that we've ironed out the basics of Mommyhood, we're doing fine. I'm now back at work, and getting a rhythm back to my life. Staying home for maternity leave was fun, but I was ready to get back to my (slightly altered now) routine.

It's snowing to beat the band here in NY, and I'm so ready for Spring I can taste it. I want flowers! Sunshine! Walks outside that don't involve snow boots! C'mon, Spring!

In writing news, my second book, FLASHPOINT, won 2nd place in a contest! I'm psyched. And I've managed to get work done on my third book - although I didn't write during my whole maternity leave. Ah, well! I'm writing again now, and that's what matters.

My pal Susan St. Thomas will be published in August 2007 with her book, NEVER MY LOVE - yay, Sue! - and another pal Barbie Jo Bogart is currently agented and shopping around her YA novel. Way to go, girls! Now, if I could just get back to being that industrious...