Sunday, June 28, 2009

Twitter Twerminology

I've been on Twitter for a couple of months and am thoroughly enjoying it (although it is taking up at least an hour of my time each day which could be used to actually write another novel, but I digress). I'm still learning the lingo and think it's great fun (especially the terms "tweet" or "tweets.") However, I'm beginning to think the entire universe is developing a lisp. Read some of the terms below. You'll see what I mean. Twopular - Recent Twitter trends Twellow - Yellow Pages Twibe - Tribe (i.e., group of like-minded folks) Twug - Hug Twable - Fable Twitterholic - What I'm becoming Twitterature - Book recently bought by Penguin. Two college freshmen are retelling the classics using 140 characters or less. Genius. These are just a few of the terms I've come across. I'm sure there are many more. Care to share more Twitter lingo? Don't worry--we won't waff at your wisp.(My apologies to anyone who actually has a lisp. No ill will intended.)

Saturday, June 20, 2009


I. Did. It. Today, I wrote THE END and finally finished my women's fiction novel! Yippee. Hooray. Woo hoo. Snoopy dance. I can't believe it. Novel writing is very HARD. Much harder than I thought it would be. It takes discipline, determination and doggedness. Also, I didn't realize the lonliness that would be involved. Sometimes I feel like I'm in my writing cave, hunkered over my keyboard, rubbing my wrists or back while the bright sunshine gleams through the window, teasing me. I tell it to leave me alone for I have to finish. Actually, I've become a pretty good hermit. Thank goodness for the writers' groups I've joined. We spur each other on and actually leave our computers for a few hours to socialize. Here are the stats: I finished at 1:24 p.m. on June 20, 2009. That's when I wrote THE END and hit the 93,000-word mark (that's over 300 typewritten pages). Spouting off all these stats makes me feel like a proud mother. Honestly, I almost feel like I gave birth. (It wasn't as painful as my natural childbirth but darn close.) I'm so happy I could cry--or do a Snoopy dance. Maybe I'll do both. Just had to share. Thanks to everyone for their support over the past 1.5 years. Huge smile.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

How Would You Answer This?

Last summer, a published author from Ireland was visiting my Uncle Wayne (another author and former English professor). When the visiting author, Claire, found out I was writing my debut novel, she posed the following question: Would you rather write something beautiful or a bestseller? I didn't realize the two were mutually exclusive and pondered that question for a few seconds. My answer? "I'd like to write a beautiful bestseller." Glib, maybe. How would you have responded? Labels: writing

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Finding Inspiration Through Planting

Recently, I planted 25 pots of flowers. Overkill, I know but that's me. I bought my favorites--vincas, geraniums, petunias, and impatiens. I selected colorful shades of purple, red, yellow, pink and orange and gathered my tools--a bench, gloves, a little gardening hoe, rake, sunscreen and a bottle of water.

I buckled my knee pads (highly recommended) and piped several CD's outside -- Michael McDonald, Blake Shelton, Lionel Richie, Christina Aguilera, Andrea Bocelli and Rod Stewart. Yes, I have diverse taste in music but that's not the point here.

As I started digging in the dirt, I regretted that I had to do this chore instead of writing. I knew it would take at least one full day to plant 25 pots of flowers and my mind wondered to how much writing I could do if I'd put fingers to keyboard for that many hours.

Soon, though, I delighted in the cheerful pots brightening the veranda. Our two Labs "helped" and I observed how they preferred to drink out of a fountain rather than their dog bowl. I watched the birds swoop overhead and butterflies swirl around the flowers. I coulld smell the luscious lilac bushes wafting through the air, even though they were far away.

As I planted each variety, I noticed how some of the leaves were shiny and smooth while others were velvety and rough. I again encountered the killer hummingbird that taunted me last summer. The territorial little brat attacked me three times last year. Once, he buzzed smack into the middle of my back, scaring me half to death. The little bully. After many sweaty hours, I realized that planting actually helped my writing. It made me think more descriptively and awakened all my senses.

Planting also gave me ideas and hobbies for my characters. Our characters have to do things. They might as well have a pretty yard. It also provided humor (and angst) such as the hummingbird and our silly dogs. So, let the watering (and writing) begin. What have you done lately that inspired your writing?

Monday, June 1, 2009

Present Tense Vs. Past Tense

More and more, novels are written in present tense. Still, I've read several articles in writers' magazines (like Writer's Digest) which say some editors frown upon this practice. They even went so far as to say present tense writing may cause the manuscript to get tossed in a bin. I'm talking about narration here--not dialogue. Here's an example: Past tense: Rebecca put down her cup and looked out the window. Present tense: Rebecca puts down her cup and looks out the window. I write in past tense but have read many novels recently that are written in present tense. It always gives me a start and sounds like poor grammar (unless it's dialogue like I mentioned). What do you think? What is your preference? Labels: English, grammar, writing