Friday, February 18, 2011

Winter Retreat

I'm taking off for a week to the Land That Time Forgot. I'm really looking forward to this winter retreat. Life's been a wild ride since the start of 2011 and I hope to finally put the finishing touches on a project that shouldn't have taken nearly as long as it has.

Until March, then, adieu!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

What I'm not doing for Valentine's Day

Ah, Valentine's Day - the one time of year the rest of the world pays attention to romance novels and their writers....

Contrary to popular opinion, however, I do not live for, long for, or particularly enjoy the orgy of "romance" articles at this time of year and here's why:

Mostly, they talk about/flog what I call the "props" of romance, in the form of gifts. Chocolate, jewelery, lingerie. Or the setting - "romantic" dinners by candlelight, in supposedly romantic places.

Essentially, we are told that love means spending money. Lots of money, or you don't care.

I ain't buyin' what they're sellin', either specifically or implied.

Give me genuine affection, respect and passion between two people. That's what I call romantic - and it doesn't cost a dime.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

My Latest Crochet Project

This is a project I started recently, and finished last night. I bought the wool for another project (a crochet animal), but after a disastrous attempt at that, abandoned the bear and searched for another pattern.

I like shawls, and I adapted a pattern so this one was easy to make. At the moment, given that we're still enduring upheavals on the family front, I didn't want anything too complicated or that might lead to frustration. I've got enough of that going on in other areas, including the story I'm working on. I'm at a crucial point in the plot and the romantic relationship and I can't decide if I've handled it the best way or not. I'll have to let it "simmer" a bit before I make a final decision.

In the meantime, I'll continue working on it, and start another shawl. Or maybe a stole.....

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Snow Shoveling vs. Writing

As I was shoveling snow this morning, I got to wondering which task, shoveling or writing, was easier/better/more satisfying. Let's look at it from the compare/contrast model so beloved by schoolteachers everywhere.

Shoveling snow is physically tiring. Writing is mentally tiring.

Snow shoveling burns calories. Sitting at a desk? Not so much.

Snow shoveling gets you outdoors. Writing - well, you can certainly do it outside in the summer, or if you live in tropical climes. In my neck of the woods? Only for part of the year.

Snow shoveling requires warm clothes. Writing? Clothing optional, I suppose, as long as one stays inside.

No strangers review my snow shoveling. I've never had my snow shoveling critiqued. OTOH, I rarely get complimented on it, either.

Nobody pays me to shovel snow. I do get paid to write.

Both can cause back troubles, if I don't use proper technique or posture.

But the biggest difference I thought of this morning?

When the driveway and front walks are cleared of snow, I am finished. There is no more to be done, until the next snowfall or spring. With writing, it isn't so easy to declare that the job is done. I simply have to decide that I'm at the point where changes will only be changes, not necessarily improvements, and it's time to submit. Nevertheless, I'm always wondering if I should have changed this bit here, or used a different point of view there, or made some other change(s). I can never say with 100% certainty that there's nothing I would change in a story, even after it's printed. So while snow shoveling may be physically taxing, at least it's over when it's over.