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So it’s that time of year where we all make resolutions. Some small (clean the garage), others huge (lose 100 lbs).
Most of the time, we don’t succeed. Not because making resolutions is a stupid exercise in futility. No.
Because we don’t come up with a plan to execute them properly and stick with it.
I’ve sat down and come up with an exercise regimen and a diet regime. I know what I have to do to lose 35 lbs.
Work comes easier. Somehow those goals are so much more achievable to me.
Realizing I am just a small being in a huge forest, I will only make 5 resolutions this year.
Resolution #1: Lose 35 lbs in 2011 and keep it off.
Resolution #2: Finish drafting my second novel by May 2011.
Resolution #3: Send out queries until someone falls in love with my YA novel.
Resolution #4: Meditate and play with Emerson more.
Resolution #5: Speak my mind when asked.
I’ll check in with you every month with status reports on these resolutions. It will keep me honest and on track.
What are your resolutions for the New Year? How do you plan to stay on target with them?
This is my dog, Emerson. I can tell you great stories with amazing plots about Emerson, but right now are you interested?
Maybe slightly but not really. I mean he’s cute but why listen to a story about him? Why care?
What if I mentioned that he is a warrior lapdog who sleeps facing the door and guards me while I shower? Kinda interesting quirks.
How about if I tell you he snores and makes noises like a little old man all night?
Or that if you miss his breakfast time, he will sit in bed groaning and staring at you until you wake up and feed him?
Okay now you’ve got a character sketch. He’s a quirky dog who clearly thinks he’s human. Do you like him or at least feel some reaction to him?
Now would you listen to a story about him? Even if I meander off course slightly–you might give me some leeway. (Although I’ll try my best not to)
Why? Because you’re interested in my main character. You’re wondering what he might do.
Emerson, realizing he was dealing with yet another flawed human, sat patiently in the middle of the kitchen–right in Dad’s way as he made himself a sandwich. Emerson glanced at Dad, then the cabinet where his food was and finally at his food bowl. He repeated this eye movement a dozen or so times until Dad got the message and opened the cabinet to find his food and feed him.
Not the most interesting story, but you listened right? Why? Is it because the character sparked your interest?
What do you think? Do you show enough of your character to intrigue the reader early on? What’s your experience with developing characters in your story?
- My mouth, lips, and throat feel like the desert–parched and cracking.
- The sore throat from hell–seriously every swallow radiated pain into my neck and ears for 4 days.
- The cough goes from dry bronchi-burning to wet throat-choking.
- The stuffy nose makes it impossible to sleep when the fever is at its worst. And if you do happen to nod off you wake up choking on mucus.
- The aches and fatigue make you feel 90.
- The cough shakes your entire body up, leaves you breathless and praying you didn’t rupture a disk.
- The nose blowing makes your ear pop and snap. I do not want to be a Rice Krispy.
- The headache is a combo of your worst hangover+migraine.
- Dehydrating while drinking water. How is this possible?
- Losing track of time. Shit is it Wednesday? What happened to Tuesday?
- The long recover time. Still feel like crap.
When I read this quote at the Peabody Essex Museum, it resonated with me. I snapped a pic and filed it away.
Fast forward to a few weeks later…
I had to listen to a friend tell me how innocent they were of any wrong doing. They insisted on their having done nothing. I gritted my teeth. Because I had seen what they termed nothing. Had it done to me before. And I kept asking myself is this person lying to me or herself? I mean does she seriously believe the shit she is saying to me? Because I don’t.
Here’s where things get dicey. Perception is very subjective. Seeing yourself clearly takes years of practice. So I get why she doesn’t. And I know better than to hold a mirror up to someone. I’ve been gutted as the messenger time and time again. But the frustration of listening to this got to me.
Why can’t people see themselves clearly? And why do they have to insist that other people buy into their perception? I mean, if you’re right do you race through the streets proclaiming it? I don’t. And I don’t look for others to validate it.
Then another person comes to me and tells me their opinion of their parent. He states everything as fact “My father ruined our lives” rather than “I think…” As if his thoughts are the final judge of reality. Guess what? It’s just your opinion. You can spin facts however you want. Doesn’t make it the absolute truth. It’s just your version of the truth.
Again, I bit my tongue. I try not to interfere in people’s lives. But when I’m completely off-base, I look to my friends to tactfully steer me back on course or at least present another viewpoint. But I get the feeling these people don’t want any input. They want yes men, which I am not.
So here’s my question, how do you deal with someone lying to you and themself? Do you grit your teeth and listen, secretly thinking how off-base the person is? Or do you speak up and tell them how you see things?
I just finished A.S. King’s book Please Ignore Vera Dietz. It broke my heart. Completely ripped it apart. And I loved it.
Her writing made it impossible to put down. The prologue sucked me in with these lines:
To say my friend died is one thing.
To say my friend screwed me over and then died five months later is another.
The book opens with 18-year-old Vera Dietz at the funeral of her former best friend, Charlie. The book details key moments from the year after his death (when his ghost haunts her) and flashes back to their decade-plus-long friendship. As a reader you unravel the mystery of what happened to destroy the most important friendship in both their lives and what lead to his premature death.
A.S. King does a magnificent job melding the past and the present for these characters. Her POV shifts and time shifts are seamlessly interwoven. I cannot imagine the story told another way. I devoured each page waiting to find out more.
She captured the teen voice with such authenticity. All the secondary characters are 3-D and you can’t help flashing back to your own high school experience and remembering that guy or girl.
The book takes the reader through the traps of adolescence (underage drinking, drugs, sex) and doesn’t shy away from showing the real consequences.
Both Vera and the reader emerge with a new perspective on things. I’m so glad I took this journey with Vera!
If you only read one more book in 2010, make sure it’s this one.
Thank you A.S. King.
First off, this is not my gingerbread creation, it’s my cousin Amanda’s–she a freaking gingerbread house genius. I just took the picture.
It started with being cold. Like bone-chilling-never-gonna-be-warm-again cold. Then came the extreme lethargy. By Sunday, I had a dry hacking cough and a scratchy sore throat. Monday fever and brain mush.
Now it feels like mucus has wrapped around my vocal cords and is slowly strangling me. I’ve broken so many capillaries in my throat coughing, my now productive cough brings up chunks of sticky gunk laced with pink. Ick. Fever is still here. And I lost my voice today.
Weirdly, I am constantly on the verge of tears. Like it’s just too much.
I HATE BEING SICK. ESPECIALLY AT CHRISTMAS. I AM A TOTAL BABY.
It seems to happen most years too. My Christmas curse. I know I should be grateful not to be projectile vomiting or constantly on the bowl, but my bronchial tubes are stinging and I’m constantly breathless.
I ran out of clean jeans today too. This felt like an epic disaster. Like I should just go back to bed and never rise again. Yeah, I get a touch of drama queen when I’m sick.
I contemplated wearing pjs out of the house. I NEVER DO THAT. I took 2 aleve to bring that silly-fever-induced thought process back to reality.
Anyway, that’s why my posts are short and random this week. I’m totally under the weather. And waiting to feel some relief.
Lifetime aired a new movie (a two-parter) that was a complete departure from the abused-woman-in-jeopardy movie the network is renowned for. And I LOVED it.
Marry Me is a romantic comedy/modern day twist of the fairytale replete with a castle and a girl with three potential prince charmings.
Lucy Liu does a great turn as an endearing single gal who dreams of settling down with the right guy. Adopted by a typical southern family (mom is played by Annie Potts), she is the daughter with dreams who refuses to settle.
She’s an artist/social worker because she feels being an artist is purely selfish and this dual career gives her license to be an artist.
There’s the 2-year relationship guy who leaves her for frogs. The new guy who may be too good to be true. And his charming, playboy best friend. Can you say yumilicious? A nice little Christmas treat.
It’s airing on Christmas Eve and you can also catch it online.
In Wolcott, Connecticut, there’s a street where almost everyone decorates their homes for Christmas. Not just for fun or competition. But with the request that all visitors donate canned goods for charity.
This year, few have made donations. But many have driven by to enjoy the lights.
If you happen to be in the Wolcott area, please stop by and drop off a couple canned goods. I know times are tough. People are laid off. Bills need to be paid. But one or two canned goods to see all these gorgeous Christmas decorations is something we can all afford.
You can even park your car and walk down the street, making a fun outing for you and the family.
Here’s more info on it:
You can find the place by plugging 2 Frisbie Circle, Wolcott, CT into your GPS or Googlemaps.
Please try to visit and donate.
Love and Other Drugs tells the story of a playboy drug salesman who falls for a girl with Parkinson’s Disease. It’s hilarious and poignant. How so?
Jamie and Maggie are quirky, real people with their own demons and ways of dealing.
Case in point–Jamie takes his younger brother in after he leaves his wife only to accidently walk in on him masturbating to a sex tape of Jamie and Maggie. Sounds gross? But the awkwardness makes it hilarious.
And the brother’s explanation is INSANELY funny.
Be warned there are a good number of sex scenes and it isn’t all sweet lovemaking. There is some of that, but there is also just the act of having sex. The groping and the shoving at each other’s clothes. And the rawness of that moment.
The acting is stupendous. They totally sucked me into their world. Check out their trailer and tell me what you think…