egwenna: (Default)
Which shouldn't be an event, and once upon a time I could say that two or three times a week, but now it's more like two or three times a year. :-p

This is actually about the second book I've read this year (the first being the unreviewed The Sistine Secrets.)

What seems like oh so long ago, I wrote a short story set in the Great Depression (tidbit and journal entry on that) and for a while I did a bunch of reading and made a bunch of notes for a book outline.

Water for Elephants is the sort of book I'd want to write if I ever get around to turning those notes and ideas into an actual book.

The character who dictates the story hooks you pretty much imediately. The book is well paced, giving you both sides of the story in neat chunks that give you persepective and round out the character. The plot is believable. The characters are believable. There are a few things I'd likely have added if I'd written it, but then I'd likely have cluttered up the storyline and bogged it down. Being related to carney folk, knowing what I know of the Great Depression era, I could tell she did her research before I got to the end of the book and read the notes.

I've had the book for weeks, on loan from a high school friend who had it from her mother-in-law and they were raving about it. I brought it with me this weekend, just in case I had time to read, picked it up just after 8PM in the hotel room with Elly and finished it a little before midnight. Except for a break to grab a shower and get ready for bed, I don't think I even blinked. 331 pages devoured in about 3 1/2 hours.

The back of the book declares "Compelling...Vivid. Rich...Emotional." And I have to agree.

Two thumbs up and I'm looking to see what else she's got.
egwenna: (Default)
Funny thing about gamers/writers... we will occasionally do damn weird/dangerous things when an idea hits us and we're desperate to get it down on *something* before it escapes.

Last night it was a napkin, with an almost dead pen, on the steering wheel, on a highway, at night, in traffic.*

Or maybe this is only me?


(*most of the writing occurred in the parking lot when I arrived at my destination, but I was chanting to keep the idea in focus and furiously scribbling with the pen trying to make it work before that)
egwenna: (Default)
While they don't come out nearly often enough, I've been enjoying Pandaxpress! and at the conclusion of his story arc, he had some good points:
The End- PandaFact #1

Disposing of the Characters.

The conclusion, to be impressive, must leave the main characters well disposed of. That is, one of them must not be left hanging over a cliff or in some such hazardous position, while another is abandoned while on the verge of a momentous decision. We must be satisfied with the author's disposition of the characters, while the closing incident must be of such a nature that the theme stands forth in the mind, clearly outlined, nicely illuminated.

Taking Care to Conclude Properly.

If for no other reason than that of impressing the editor alone, the story ending should have just as critical and painstaking preparation as the introduction or the climax. Remember that the editor is purchasing the story for the edification and delight of his readers, and that which fails to impress him, he will argue, should never reach the eyes of his readers. Consequently, the young author should ceaselessly contrive to end his story as simply, as intensively, as suggestively, and as rapidly as possible immediately after the main event of the story has occurred.

I think there are plenty of books and movies that fail to do this and it taints the whole thing, when you aren't happy with the ending. You start to tell people about a book and you get to the 'except' part where you were let down in the end and have this dissatisfied impression that lingers longer than some of the good stuff.
I think we get this in gaming sometimes too, when we don't finish our characters stories. 

Just food for thought.


egwenna: (Default)
From the May issue of O magazine...
Set a picture of your mother as a child next to yours at the same age.
Compare those little girls' stories, hopes, and opportunities.
egwenna: (Default)
You have to wonder how the day is going to go when one of the first things that happens to you is your small child walking up and pleading, "Uppy." and you no sooner pick him up when he lays his head on your shoulder and promptly throws up all over you.

Since then he hasn't eaten much and other than water, I haven't pushed it. He hasn't thrown up again, has no fever, hasn't been extra cranky or difficult... ::shrugs:: I think we're fine.

I'm still stymied on the short story due Monday (I've oodles of notes and scenes but need to actually *write* them). Somewhere along today I came up with at least a sentence I'm happy with:
She had seen a girl child to apprentice, had longed for that to be true, and with the twisting of screws lives had been tortured to make her vision reality.

Failure to write aside, it was a semi-successful day. I got to Home Depot for the rest of the drawer pulls, got to the paint store and now the dresser drawers are the correct color, and I stopped by the garden center for a pair of "Blue Clip Campanula". I saw the little bellflower in a catalog and decided it would be perfect by the mailbox. Plus I have a bright pink dianthus languishing in a pot they would look good with. So all three are now in their new homes and hopefully the mailbox area will stop looking so drab and unhappy. I have a whole plan for the mailbox area mapped out and if my measurements/estimates aren't totally off, it'll be a busy place midspring to fall by next year. BUT, despite temptation, I have not bought all the plants yet. I am notorious for killing plants -buying them and then not getting them into the ground soon enough. So I have sworn I am not doing that again. If I can't get it into the ground that day, next day at the latest, I can't have it. This means I have to know exactly where it is going before it gets in the car with me. Preferably I will have the hole dug because experience has taught me that some spots are not suitable because I don't have a backhoe. :-p
egwenna: (Default)
Working on a story... and I've found myself switching a rather important characters name. Now I'm not sure which spelling I want to use.
Harelda or Heralda


hmmm...

This story is due Monday, so I have lots of work to otherwise, but that's plaguing me.
egwenna: (Default)
I need a name for a Gargoyle. He's been called Grendal for a really long time, but technically, that name is taken and there's no relation so I'd like to get him one of his own before I hand in this short story tomorrow.

Nothing quite like waiting until the last minute.

[Edit: found nifty site(s) with oodles of names]

http://www.esotericarchives.com/solomon/nameindx.htm

http://www.seventhsanctum.com/generate.php?Genname=adname
egwenna: (Default)
As before, A Writer's Book of Days via [livejournal.com profile] meadowsweet9. At this point I am way out of date with these... but the scene popped into my head and this one darn near wrote itself. Helps when you borrow already familiar settings and characters, even if the scene doesn't exist elsewhere.

January 26 –Describe the content of someone's closet )
egwenna: (Default)
Via [livejournal.com profile] meadowsweet9, albeit a few days old.

remember a sound )

Who knew those Phish concerts would come in handy?

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