April 29, 2005

Christmas in April

Christmas in April Posted by Hello

Every spring, our county library hosts a book sale. To me, it’s like Christmas in April. I LOVE THE BOOK SALE.

I love walking in and seeing tables filled with books for as far as the eye can see. I love the musty smell…


of the paperbacks…


and the dusty book covers..


and the type of people who haunt these book sales…

*sniffsniff - blow*

not to mention the cheap prices - fifty cents for paperbacks, a $1.00 on hardback books and slightly more for newer books. I love the whole book atmosphere.

When I went yesterday (did I mention that was my second trip?) I was amazed to see the amount of shopping carts roaming the aisles. Most of them belonged to little old women with long skirts and protruding bellies. But bless their hearts they were my people!


April 21, 2005

Coated in Green Dust

Ack! I’m getting behind in my blogging! I have such good intentions, ya know? I try to keep up, and then inevitably, I get an email (or two, or three) that keeps me from writing. And I don’t just mean blogging, either. I haven’t written anything creatively, unless you count the Scribes Who Blog’s blog, in weeks! I’m ashamed of myself.

Nothing really happened today. I went to get a cup of coffee from Starbucks - a Grande white chocolate mocha. As I was driving, I noticed a green haze all over parked cars. It was like someone had grated thousands of cucumbers all over the vehicles. When I drove up to the drive-in window (talk about lazy, I can’t even get out of my car t get a coffee. No wait, that’s not entirely true. We have a Starbucks inside the Price Cutter’s less than a mile from our house. But the girl who always waits on me is incredibly rude and considering I’m hormonal right now, I didn’t think it would be a very good idea to piss me off right now), there was a thin coat of green dust on the window ledge. It was really noticeable because the ledge is silver. It was clearly marked by where the Starbuck’s associate and the customer conducted their transactions because there was a section of the ledge that was wiped clean. There’s no telling how many people are driving around Springfield right now with green dust on their forearms.

Green dust blankets our fair city this time every year. In fact, I hate spring. My youngest has seasonal allergies and they are always bad in April. It starts with a runny nose. And then the nose blowing and the “snert” sound he makes every time he breathes in abruptly. And then the coughing starts.


April 14, 2005

Criminal at Large

We have a criminal at large somewhere in Hicksville.

It happened on Battlefield road. I was coming home from my lunch with my husband on Battlefield and heading west. I was stuck in a LONG line of cars just before the big hill. Suddenly, I caught a flash of movement in the corner of my eye. Looking over, I noticed a speeding car (and when I say speeding, I mean he was going FAST) in the lane next to me. Remember, I’m at a standstill. This car is going close to 100 mph, ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD!

Talk about freaked out. Cars coming east had to swerve to miss the guy. Horns were blaring, tires were screeching. Not two seconds after the car going the wrong way on a one-way street passed, a cop car zoomed by with his sirens blaring.

What happened next was straight out of movie. I swear, five cop cars came out of nowhere. As if on cue, they followed the initial cop car up the hill after the speeding car. I have no idea where all of these cars came from; they suddenly materialized. It was weird.

I held my breath as the speeding car, and the police officer close on his bumper, sped over the top of the hill. The people coming down that hill wouldn’t have seen them coming at them until the last possible moment and indeed, a red van turned sharply to the right and ran over the curb to get out of their way.

Read more

April 12, 2005

Stealing Characters

Is it ok to steal fictional characters from past stories and insert them into our own writing? Isn't this a copyright infringement?

This is an excerpt from the Grumpy Old Bookman, one of the blogs I regularly keep up with. I like this guy because his thoughts are concise and usually articulate. Here's what he says:

Well now, let's differentiate between the two variations on the theme. Using characters from real life in a novel is one thing; using fictional characters is quite another. But in either case, caution, I would suggest, is strongly advised.

The plain fact is that, if you want to make use of a fictional character, you had better make damn sure that the book(s) in which that character appears are out of copyright. It's no good saying airily, Oh that book was published in the nineteenth century -- it's bound to be out of copyright. Tain't that simple. Would that it were.

If you discover that a poem (or whatever) is in copyright, then you have to find out who owns the copyright. In my experience, letters of enquiry about copyright, which are sent to publishers or agents, can take up to six months, and several promptings, to elicit a reply. And, to continue using Swinburne as an example, it can turn out that no one knows the answer to your query.

I've always been fascinated by historical fiction - taking characters from the past and placing them in another situation just to see how they react. I think most fiction writers have an innate desire to ask, "But what if this happened instead?"


April 08, 2005

Sign of a Good Writer

I make it a point to visit Google’s News site where plugging in a word, say writing, produces some very interesting articles published in all sorts of media from around the world. Indeed, I could surf these articles all day long.

The recent writing entry that came up was an article about what constitutes good writing. Anyone care to define it? It’s a gray area. There is no cut and dried definition of good writing, it either is, or isn’t – to the reader, that is.

Read on ....

April 06, 2005

I'm SO Glad to SEE You!

what is laid down, ordered, factual is never enough to embrace the whole truth; life always spills over the rim of every cup.” Boris Pasternak

My muse paid me a visit today.

She actually startled me; it had been quite some time since I had seen her. There I was, sitting in my car, in a strange parking lot, zoning listening to Nickelback and waiting for 11:45 a.m. to come so I could meet my husband for lunch (I really do have a life. I had been running errands up until that moment and had gotten done earlier than I had expected). I started thinking about my characters for the novel that I haven’t started yet. Wait, that’s not entirely true. I have a pretty good rough draft of the prologue done. Suddenly, it hit me. I calmly wiped the gooey mess from my eyes, reached into my purse and pulled out my notepad that I always carry around with me. (what, you don’t??)

I licked my lips in anticipation and promptly grimaced. Ew. Carmax. Well hey, my lips are chapped. I suddenly lost my train of thought. I could hear my muse (cute lil thing, looks sort of like this, only take off the antennae, make her hair blue and her eyes purple and you get the general idea. She likes to dress like a rebel. Would I keep her around if she were boring?) sigh impatiently in my ear. I know, I’m not the easiest person to communicate with.

“Start with the graduation scene.”

Read more at my REAL blog!

April 05, 2005

Here's Your Sign

Stupid people should have to wear signs that just say, “I’m Stupid”. That way you wouldn’t rely on them, would you? You wouldn’t ask them anything. It would be like, “Excuse me…oops, never mind. I didn’t see your sign.”

If your insurance man asks if you have a trampoline, “here’s your sign.”

Bill Envall cracks me up. He’s one of four of the Blue Comedy tour guys. We got hooked on these guys while surfing through the Comedy channel one night. They are all just a bunch of good, down-home, country boys who make fun of their simple lives. We can all appreciate their humor because we can all relate to it.

Anyway. Our insurance guy called up yesterday to update our car and home policies because our insurance company was split into “divisions” and another division would be taking over our account.

One of his questions was, “do you have a swimming pool, spa, or a trampoline?” Now if your insurance guy asks if you have a trampoline, isn’t that a good indication that those things are dangerous?

Our oldest son has been asking for one. I don’t even have to stop to think about it.

Wanna read more? Check out my "real" blog.