Monthly Archives: August 2007


You know, there’s something sexy about the title “freelance writer.” At least once a month at the writing site I frequent, someone will post the “how do I get started in freelancing” question.


Goodness knows I’ve thought about it. I’d be lying if I said it hadn’t crossed my mind. These thoughts are usually accompanied by images of sun-drenched mornings pecking away at copy while sipping a latte at the local coffee shop, or soaking up the quiet atmosphere at the library while researching salient facts.


This, however, is not the reality.


I bring this up because I’m writing an article for the Wet Noodle Posse ezine. Actually, I’m supposed to be doing many things, such as judging a writing contest, oh, and a little task called revisions, but never mind.


I came up with the idea for the article. I know what I want to write about. I have notes. Even so, I had a major case of: mind, screen, both are blank.


Because when you get right down to it, writing articles feels like homework.


For the longest time, I never thought I was a writer; I never embraced the 500-word essay on my summer vacation, or even the topic of my choice.


The topic of my choice would be: I choose not to write this.


I have no problem with technical writing. I can tell people to chmod 777 all day long. But I can’t tell people how to make five fun crafts for under fifty bucks. In fact, just writing that sentence caused several synapses to misfire.


Ironically, the topic of my article is: making the most of online writing classes.


My favorite line so far (which will probably be cut): What if they gave a writing class and nobody came?




I’ll leave you to ponder that.


Filed under Writing

More Birthdays and Bolers

Kyra had her “friends” birthay party yesterday. (Her birthday isn’t until September.) She wanted it at the same place Andrew had his (the indoor inflatible, super jump/slides place), but with a different cake:

No one does ostentaious birthday cakes like Disney

Then, after the party, I drove the kids out to the campsite where Bob had the Boler set up on its maiden voyage.

The Boler in its natural environment

Kyra on the steps, wearing Andrew’s Naruto sleeping cap and playing with her new Island Princess Barbie–two camping essentials

Andrew steals a little reading time

Beef — It’s what’s for dinner

Marshmallows — It’s what’s for dessert

Synchronized Tag

I think it’s safe to  say a good time was had by all.


Filed under Boler, Kids

The a-musing side of revision

I found this over at Marianne’s this morning:

Your Inner Muse is Melpomene

You are most like this muse of tragedy.While you aren’t depressed, you don’t shy away from sadness.
Although you do tend to be gloomy, you have a sensitive side.And this sensitive side helps inspire and help others.

What Muse Are You?

I’m gloomy. Nice. Real nice. Although the whole muse thing is appropriate, since we have a running muse joke in Geek Girl’s Guide.

Here are some things I did this week, all in the name of revision.

  • Looked into Krispy Kremes. Did you know they now have multigrain Krispy Kremes. Cuz you know, when I’m reaching for a Krispy Kreme, I’m thinking heart healthy.

  • Couldn’t remember how to spell L-tryptophan, so I Googled sleepy turkey chemical.

  • Looked up The Art of War and Sun Tzu.

  • Looked up Lara Croft and Tomb Raider (although this reference I may cut).

  • Sent Darcy lolcat inspired notes such as: IM in yr scene, makin’ changes.

Because we needed a visual:



Filed under Writing

On my mind


Hannah Montana and the Jonas Brothers are coming to town. Not to be confused with Santa Claus coming to town, although both events could cause the same amount of frenzy around here.


Andrew likes the Jonas Brothers. Kyra likes/loves/reveres Hannah Montana/Mylie Cyrus (yes, the offspring of Billy Ray Cyrus for those of you not up on your pop princess factoids–and honestly, I don’t blame you).


I’m not worried about content. I know this will be a kid-friendly venue. I took Andrew to the American Idols concert a few years back (the Carrie Underwood/Bo Bice year) and he had fun. It was good, clean fun.


The problem: it is also good, clean, LOUD fun. Kyra has very sensitive hearing, which I don’t want to damage. But I did a massive Google search on earplugs and that might be the answer. For all of us, since I’m not wild about the whole head ringing, slightly punch-drunk feeling I have after concerts.


Clearly, this is an all or nothing deal. I either take them both, or we don’t go at all. Besides, Kyra already has a concert outfit: “rock star” jeans, a Hannah Montana t-shirt, and hot pink cowboy boots.



These are definitely on my mind. Saturday I was, quite honestly, a little scared. It was silly really, because if we make a change and it doesn’t work, we can change it back or do something different.


Darcy and I chatted (via IM) on Sunday and that helped. Well, when we weren’t chatting about other things and I wasn’t fielding questions from Kyra (who spent part of that time on my lap–yay wireless keyboard), such as:

  • Do raccoons pee? (Yes.)

  • Does Darcy have a baby in her tummy? (No.)

We went to the dentist yesterday, so Darcy can anticipate questions related to her dental hygiene. (D., you’ve been warned.)


One thing I’ve really been thinking about is back story and the when, where, why, how of it. If you’ve read any fiction writing books, spent time near any fiction writing workshop, you’ve heard the conventional wisdom: delete/delay back story.


Conventional wisdom isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.


Our (!) agent has asked us to not only move some back story closer to the start (!) of the novel, but add some in as well. I know. Color me surprised. But I’m starting to see the real possibilities in this. Anyway, by Sunday evening I was in that writing mode where you rub your hands together and cackle gleefully in delight. Kind of scary for those around you, but them’s the breaks.


Filed under Kids, Writing

You must remember this …

I haven’t done a quiz in a while. This one comes courtesy of Marianne, who happens to be Pretty Woman. I’m thinking about daring her to wear the Julia Roberts/Pretty Woman outfit to her first book signing (and when I say “Julia Roberts/Pretty Woman outfit” I mean the one with the thigh-high boots). Hey, I’ll go as Ingrid. Any day.


Your Love Life is Like Casablanca

“Kiss me. Kiss me as if it were the last time.”
For you, love is never finished. If you’ve loved someone once, you’ll always love them.

You’re an old fashioned romantic… even if your relationships don’t end up as romantic as you’d like.

Your love style: Traditional and understated

Your Hollywood Ending Will Be: Complicated and ambiguous

What Movie Is Your Love Life Like?


Filed under Friends, Quizzes

Revision Weekend

Dear Sir or Madam, will you read my book? It took me years to write, will you take a look?  ~Lennon and McCartney

We have perfect revision weather here. Rain, sprinkles, drizzle for the past twenty four hours or so. The kids have been pretty understanding about the whole Mommy working on her book thing.

Kyra played with a beading set for a while. She’d remove a bead, set it on the table, and a moment later, the bead would roll off the table. Then I’d get up (not that I was looking for an excuse to procrastinate) and get the bead. At last I told her to set the beads in the lid, which has a little lip around it.

“Oh, Mommy,” she said. “You’re a genie-us!”

Acknowledged at last.

Andrew’s been a roller coaster tycoon. He finally lost the distinction for “most disappointing amusement park” and earned instead “most beautiful” park. He was crushed there for a while. We also have a deal going that involves room cleaning, but we haven’t made much progress on that.

I’m working in Vista and Word 2007, which adds an extra layer of excitement to the process. I admit to liking the gadget sidebar. I’m not wild about some of the things Windows insists on doing for me that I used to do on my own. Or renaming well-known functions. Add software? Now it’s “hidden” under “Programs and Features.”

Word 2007 has a completely different look. I’m still undecided about it. But there is one thing I like. The status bar now displays your word count, like so:


Obsession — It’s seldom pretty 

Which leads me to wonder: how many word-count obsessed people are there?  


Filed under Kids, Writing


Overhead: the backseat

After much tearing of trading card wrapper:

Kyra: Oh! So beautiful! Mama loves you!

Insert big wet kissing sound.

What, you may ask, can inspire such devotion? I give you Brisi, from Bella Sara:


Bella Sara = My Little Pony on steroids

Overheard: Perkins

Customer: Could we get some cutlery?
Waitress: What?
Customer: Cutlery.
Waitress (shaking head): What?
Customer (mimicking cutting with knife and fork): Cutlery. 
Waitress: Oh! You want silverware.

Waitress (returning a few moments later): Here you go. What was that word again?
Customer: Cutlery.
Waitress: I’ve never heard anyone use that word around here before.
Customer: Oh, we’re from Canada.
Waitress: Well, that probably explains it.

Moral: Watch out for those linguistically tricky Canadians.


Filed under Kids, Musings

Booking Through Thursday: Monogamy

Booking Through Thursday:

One book at a time? Or more than one? If more, are they different types/genres? Or similar?

(We’re talking recreational reading, here—books for work or school don’t really count since they’re not optional.)

Generally, I have three things going: audio book, nonfiction, and fiction.


I usually have a book on CD going in the car, otherwise, the commute–or rather, drive-time radio–would chip away at my sanity, and I don’t really have any of that to spare.


I’m slowly reading Script Partners, not that Darcy and plan to write any scripts together soon. It’s the only book that I could find about writing collaboration and partnership. I promised to send it to her once I was done–and I’m so not done with it. This one is moving up on the priority list.


I need to update my sidebar widget because it’s out of date. I finished A Northern Light a while back. I’m still reading A Girl At Sea.


I’m made some good progress on my TBR pile earlier this year, but now it’s teetering again on my nightstand, threatening to crush me while I sleep.


Filed under Books

The day after

I did actually use a fork today to eat my lunch. Improvement all around.


I do confess I was pretty taken aback by the email from the our (!) agent. I anticipated a quiet evening of setting up a new computer. (Andrew gets my old one; I get to be the family Vista beta tester.)


I was taken aback because the first email on my new computer was from the our (!) agent.

It was downhill after that. Because clearly, I did not:

  • Call my own mother (!)

  • Call my sister (!)

  • Email Marianne (!)

I. Am. Remiss. Forgive me. Last night was swimming and football. Andrew has words of  wisdom on the importance of wearing a cup, but I’ll save those for later.


Yesterday, I discovered a SASE with a rejection in it in the mailbox. I found this highly entertaining.


Today, I found out one of my tech writing haikus made the short list in the Haiku Buckaroo contest.


Marianne and Judy have been working very hard on their new review site: The Long and the Short of It. They have contests and prizes and a grand opening. Visit their sites for more information.


Filed under Books, Writing

Super secret double probation hotdish project

The hotdish, she has an advocate.

For those of you who haven’t been playing along at home–and for those who have, I can be cryptic–I’ve been referring to a “secret” project, code name: hotdish, pretty much all summer long.

And now, I can tell all.

Okay, not really. I can tell some.

The hotdish is actually a revision of The Geek Girl’s Guide to Cheerleading, a book I wrote, revised, and nearly shelved.

It was clear from agent feedback I received earlier this year, that for the book to be marketable, it needed to be in first person. I was ready to shelve it. According to Darcy, all it needed was a little gloss and glitter, and could she give it a shot putting it into first person.  

She did all the grunt work of putting it into first person. To make a long story short, I went back through for a final edit, and after getting over the initial weirdness of my story in a different voice, something magical happened.

It wasn’t my story. It wasn’t Darcy’s. Somehow, we’d managed to capture Bethany’s story. When I read it now, I don’t know what she wrote and what I wrote anymore.  

And really, it’s been our book all along. She urged me to write it in the first place. She read the craptacular first draft (and it was beyond craptacular), offered advice, a shoulder to cry on, and all the rest. That we’re now writing partners makes total sense.


Yesterday, we received an email from a NYC agent wanting to represent the book. At some point, I’m sure I’ll shout her name from the rooftops, but for now, I’m being discreet. We need to do some revisions. This is only one step in the entire process, although, admittedly, it is a pretty big step.


I posted to the Noodler email loop that I was weirdly calm. I am. Sort of. Of course, at lunch, I tried to eat my salad with a spoon. And I’m both calm and jittery, like I’m regretting chasing that venti latte with a Red Bull.


I’ll post more on our query stats later this week, because they’re interesting (well, if you’re a writer, they might be). But for now, I’m brainstorming new spicies (Kyra’s word for spices) for the hotdish.


Filed under Writing