Saturday, January 31, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
I know this may seem like a funny title for a post, but it’s really true. You all know from here what a huge Lisa fan I am. I was crazy for her historicals but now I'm ga-ga for her contemporary books too. Well, I was blog hopping and read on M. G. Braden’s blog that she got a copy of Sugar Daddy at RWA Nationals this year. Now this got me thinking about all my books from Nationals. I’ve been slowly going through my books and thought that I remembered getting Sugar Daddy in my haul. Remember this pic?
I decided to go on the big dig. That book had to be there. But before I could get to it I noticed that my Nationals boxed had been covered with school supplies, Christmas wrap and all sorts of other mess in the utility closet. Yikes! For a moment I thought about shutting the closet door. But how could I? Sugar Daddy could be in there just waiting for me. I took I deep breath rolled up my sleeves and got busy.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
The book in question is The Anatomy of Story: 22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller by John Truby.
Here is a blurb: "If you're ready to graduate from the boy-meets-girl league of screenwriting, meet John Truby . . . [his lessons inspire] epiphanies that make you see the contours of your psyche as sharply as your script."—LA Weekly. John Truby is one of the most respected and sought-after story consultants in the film industry, and his students have gone on to pen some of Hollywood’s most successful films, including Sleepless in Seattle, Scream, and Shrek. The Anatomy of Story is his long-awaited first book, and it shares all his secrets for writing a compelling script. Based on the lessons in his award-winning class, Great Screenwriting, The Anatomy of Story draws on a broad range of philosophy and mythology, offering fresh techniques and insightful anecdotes alongside Truby’s own unique approach to building an effective, multifaceted narrative.
Now, I’m just beginning the book and am only up to step three. I’m horrible at finishing writing books. It’s a strange block with me or maybe they are just hard to get through. The only one I did do start to finish was Stephen King’s On Writing. He even made a writing book interesting. Go figure.
But so far this book has me with its talk about The Dramatic Code which says: character change is fueled by desire. Truby steps away from the classic 3 act structure of most stories. He promises you’ll enjoy the creation process as you follow his 22 step program then in the very next chapter on premise he challenges you to: Write something that may change your life! Gulp. Sure I'll get right on that. And then he gives this little tidbit: 9 out of 10 writers fail at premise. Yeah, it’s a real upper. Tons of enjoyment there.
But I’m up for the challenge. I just adore my friends. Misery, company and all that.
So tell me, what makes a story good for you? Can you pin it down? Is it a feeling? The Characters? The flow? The tension? The suspense? Please share or give examples of your favorite stories, either books or movies. Don't be shy now.
The leftover chefs head to the kitchen and the Quaker Oats quickfire challenge. I sure miss the old days without so much product placement. I am so tired of seeing the name of those darn stoves. There is no immunity for this challenge and on the bottom of the batch were Leah, Fabio and Jeff. Tops were Carla, Jamie and Stefan. The winner is Stefan.
They go in the NSG room and see numbers on chef’s jackets. From this they just know it’s a football challenge. How? I don’t know.
Elimination challenge is Top Chef Bowl against past season’s losers. The only ones that are moderately interesting are Andrew and Fedora Spike. Hi Andrew!
Stefan gets to decide who he’s going against and he chooses Andrea. Who? I know that’s what I said.
The rest are divided up and challenged to cook head to head. Any chef who loses their head to head will be up for elimination. I like kinda this challenge.
Jeff vs. Josie-Josie wins. She rocked it.
Carla vs. Andrew-crazy vs crazy Carla’s crazy wins.
Stefan vs. Andrea- Stefan is in love. She plays him and wins. Hosea could not be happier.
Hosea vs. Miguel-Hosea
Leah vs. Nikki- Leah wins.
Jamie vs. Camille- Once again who? The winner is Jamie
Fabio vs. Fedora Spike- both are talking trash. It’s good. Spike wins. But barely. I'm confused with Fabio talking. Why is he making me think he won?
All in all season 5 takes it.
At the judges table the winners are called in to pick the big winner and it’s Carla! And she wins 2 tickets to the Superbowl.
In the bottom are Stefan, Fabio and Jeff. I’m loving listening to Fabio explain his overcooked meat. It could go for an hour. But going home is... Jeff. Why am I not surprised?
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
So, I’m happy to say Katie was not telling tales when she made Lisa Kleypas’ Blue Eyed Devil one of her top picks for 2008. I finished the book the night before last and I can’t tell you all how disappointed I was that it was actually over.
It was refreshing to read a straight contemporary for a change. No mystery, magic, shape shifters or vampires. No deep tales of angst or melancholy. Just a good romance with an intriguing heroine and sexy rake (yep, a contemporary rake) of a hero with all sorts of trouble getting in the way of their love.
The tension was kept so high. There was one suspenseful moment where I was so into the book and it just so happens something fell in another room of the house and I actually jumped. Eek! Like a little girl. That never happens to me. (note to self: keep the tension high)
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
I hope everyone had a fine weekend. Mine was spent doing the mom thing through a fog of migraine pain that is still clouding my vision. I’ve been a migraine suffer since I was a kid and I now take daily meds for it, but there are times when no amount of prescriptions will stop it once the train has left the station. It just has to take the full agonizing trip which can go for days. I often say labor was easier because I knew it wasn’t going to last more than 24 hours. I was right. It was only 13. Ha.
Where does your mind wander when you want to break free? Do you take the time to let it wander?
Friday, January 23, 2009
This girl is wiped out. All the celebrating combined with my usual running around and the the winter that just won't quit and now I think I may have the beginnings of something sinister. A cold, flu or whatever. All I want to do is hibernate. But sorry that's some other woman's life. Me? I've got dishes to wash, a dog to walk, kids to chauffeur and oh yeah...writing to do. That's my "job" right?
If we could just get a few days in a row above freezing and this darn snow would melt I'm sure I'd feel better. The word is it will get above freezing today then a steady drop back down after that. Oh well. At least the holly tree outside my bedroom window is pretty.
And Jack sure is cute if not extremely high maintenance. Hey, you plan on calming down anytime soon, Dude? No? Ok. I was just asking. Moving on. I'm getting up right now. No need to keep shaking the bed.
Have a great weekend everyone. If I think of anything moderately interesting to say, I'll share. Heck, if I think of anything to say at all, I'll share it. You know I can't hold my water.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
So I have this great list of books that I’m reading over to the right there. The only problem with that list is that it’s not changing as fast as the list of books I’ve read lately. How can that be?
It’s because of bloggers like Carolyn and Katie with all their recommendations and reviews. You know me, there can’t be a book party going on without me inviting myself. And don’t let it be an historical with a bad news rake for a hero. Then I’m all in.
What was the latest? Devil In Winter by Lisa Kleypas. All the talk over at Carolyn’s Trillionth Page over The Ring scene pulled me in. I totally enjoyed it. BTW I got the pull of the ring and how Sebastian could be aroused by it. It was a control and power thing if you ask me. Thanks Carolyn.
Now to my list, but first Blue-Eyed Devil also by Lisa Kleypas but a contemporary. I think this may be Katie’s doing. Making it a top pick over at her blog. Thanks Katiebabs. The poor list may never get checked off if Lisa Kleypas keeps this up.
I apologize for the lack of full Top Chef recap. I was just too tired from all the grand balls and celebrating the other night. Let’s just chat shall we? What did you think? If you didn't watch stop here. Spoiler Alert!....
It was a jam packed episode with the restaurants being run my two unlikely chefs Leah and Radika. Then there was the making out/cheating by Leah and Hosea. It was such a crack-up/cop out how Hosea called it flirting. Really? We'll see what your girlfriend calls it.
Leah was off her game after the kiss off and couldn't de-bone or cook a simple piece of fish. Carla was lost in space and couldn't make dessert but she still could send out the love. But in the end it was Radika's "sparkling" personality and awesome people skills that got her sent home. At least Stefan and Fabio could still bring it.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
And what a welcome it was. Yesterday was all I dreamed it would be and more. A day full of joy and emotion. I was so happy to be able to share it with my family. The sweet call from the DH right before Barack took the oath made my day.
The president’s inauguration speech was a call to arms for all of us that could not be ignored. I loved it when he said it was time to put away childish things. Amen. Time to grow up everybody. Stop being petty, put childish differences aside and do what you have to do for what is right.
And how happy am I that fashion is BACK! Michelle hit it out of the park. I thought she was so beautiful in her Isabel Toledo walking suit. That golden color out shined everyone. And the woman can even accessorize with color well. She may even get this New Yorker in color looking that good. Maybe.
And her white Jason Wu ball gown was ethereal.
She was floating as they danced to At Last sung by Beyonce at the Neighborhood Ball. This had to be the most romantic presidential dance yet. A collective Aww… heard around the world. With the champagne flowing in my house I had to get up and dance too, pulling the DH and the DS to dance with me. I could not contain my glee and the Dear Son could not stop laughing at me. Oh well.
The hard work is ahead in so many ways but I’m feeling so inspired. How about you? I hope I'm still a little giddy when I go back to regularly scheduled posts.
P.S. What to keep the good times rolling? Check out this video thanks to Sula by Will. I. Am. Thanks Sula!
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
I still remember the chill I got when I first heard Barack Obama speak at the DNC 4 years ago. I knew then he was something special and I was seeing our first Black president. It’s so good to hear the DH say now that I called it. As a wife I just love that. Here is a little bit from that speech.
My prayers go out to our new president, vice president, their families and the entire administration. To all of you that worked so hard making calls, putting up signs, talking to neighbors and friends or just getting out the vote, thanks so much. No matter what side of the aisle you are on I hope that this is the beginning of better days ahead. We need them. See you tomorrow where we can 'chat' more.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Of course the world does not change overnight but I’m feeling so hopeful and proud of the very significant change that will take place tomorrow. A New Day is coming. How will you welcome it? Me? I will with a grateful heart.
Friday, January 16, 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Did you know that throughout the bible the number 15 has been thought to symbolize: deliverance, divine grace, restoration, restitution, resurrection and healing? All wonderful thoughts for you my two loves this year.
Here are some examples taken from here.
-The Ark was borne by the Flood fifteen cubits upwards, Genesis 7:20.
-Hezekiah's reprieve from death was fifteen years, 2 Kings 20:6.
-The Jews were delivered from death under Esther on the fifteenth day of the month (9:18,21). This is specially significant, as we have seen, that their sentence to death was connected with the number thirteen.
-Bethany, where Lazarus was raised, and from whence the Lord ascended, was fifteen furlongs from Jerusalem, John 11:18.
-Paul's ship anchored safely in fifteen fathoms on the 14th day, after thirteen days of toil and trial, Acts 27:21.
-On the fifteenth day of the first month was the feast of unleavened bread, Leviticus 23:6; and
-On the fifteenth day of the seventh month was the feast of Tabernacles (v 34).
Oh, can it really be true, that you two are 15? Nah. It just can't be. I close my eyes and it was yesterday that I was holding both of you in my one arm and balancing two bottles with my other hand. It felt so overwhelming, but I took solace in thinking that God gave me two arms and two babies for a reason. You know, I can still feel the weight on that arm and smell your sweet smells. It's so very real, every smile, every tear, every wail. From yesterday, to today, to forever the love never ends.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
As for Top Chef I’ll be short and sweet. Did you watch? It was Green Acre's all the way. Darling I love you but give me the city life.
I was happy to see Hung. I'm into nostalgia. Stefan grabbed immunity with SPAM and the Hung is gone way too fast without any drama. Then Stefan and Jamie fight like an old married couple on the way to divorce court over their menu. Then Hosea is nervous and it’s a mess on his team. Cut to whining from Ariane and they are off to Dan Barber’s restaurant and farm in the country where they will pick their food to cook. Ha jokes on them.
Stefan makes a funny that I know David Dust will not disappoint me on with his recap later. He will either A. Completely ignore the obviousness of the hen house or B. annihilate Stefan. Either way it will be hilarious.
Sidebar: It’s so annoying the way they throw these little clips in between the commercials. Not cute Bravo.
Chefs are in the kitchen. Fabio is annoyed and Tom is surveying. He’s not letting the new guy steal ALL his thunder.
Up first is Team Lamb-Hosea, Ariane, Leah- lamb poorly dressed, not done well. Bad dessert. Oh my.
Team Pork- Jeff, Fabio, Radhika- ravioli bad, pork should have been on the bone. dessert off
Team Chicken- Jamie, Carla, Stefan- Soup, no need. Good chicken. Carla rocked the dessert. That's my crazy like a fox Carla.
Judges table. The tops are Jamie, Carla and Stefan. Team Chicken. And the winner is … All of them. What is that? Top Chef is going soft. Ugh! Carla was robbed.
Then the judges ask for everyone else: the Pigs and the Lambs. Team lamb is hilarious with the rolling and the tying. Will they all be sent home since it’s an all for one and one for all night? Nope it was just Ariane. With her poor butchering. Feels like it was Leah’s night to me. I really don’t get this episode.
Buh Bye Ariane.
Taken from here. Don't we love The Satorialist?
Of course to achieve this level of coolness would take a complete lifestyle change which would begin with me running away from my current life and jetting off to Paris to go underground (see yesterday's post below). Some days that sounds like a pretty appealing idea. If only there were a mommy protection program? But freakin' Big Brother is always watching so we can't get escape the grid, at least not this fashionably, I'm sure.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Today I thought I’d share a few pictures I took on my ride to my RWA NYC romance writers meeting on Saturday. They were taken with my new touch screen Blackberry. I'm really enjoying it, but still have a lot to learn and a few kinks to work out. I think Grand Central looks grand and there is something about the lines of the subway that I've always admired.
Today I’m fixed at home. Hoping to get some editing done, but the desperate call of housework can no longer be ignored. Then to real work. What’s on for your day?
Monday, January 12, 2009
That said, I’ve spent a lot of time not sleeping this weekend. My Gemini mind was racing, racing, racing with all the things I want to do, need to do, have to do. Not to mention the worrying, which goes against what I wanted for the New Year, but that’s going to take a bit more than just wishing to make it so. Grrr... teens!
One of the thoughts that came flipping through my head at about 4 AM is the fact that I hadn’t responded to a meme I was ever to sweetly tagged on by Great Dame back in December. So sorry, Great Dame. I hope to lick this procrastination thing one day. Sigh.
Now this type of Meme I had done before, but being the New Year I decided I can give it a go again. I hope I don’t repeat myself. Sorry if I'm a bore.
Here are the rules:
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself. (See below)
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them. (See further below...)
5. Let each person know they've been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.
Here I go…
1. I was taught Irish literature in high School by Pulitzer Prize winning author Frank McCourt. (1b. I'm a name dropper. I just learned that about myself. Go figure.)
He was an amazing teacher and gave me a deeper love of literature and writers that I didn’t have before his class. Thanks Mr. McCourt! (not that he reads this blog) And yes, our desks did look like that in the old school.
2. The same Frank McCourt was responsible for directing me to my job where I then met my DH. Thanks again Mr. McCourt.
3. As a teenager I had a lavender room which was really a converted dining alcove. On one wall was a life sized poster of Prince. On the opposite wall was Debbie Harry.
4. This was my phone. I had it in white and adored it.
5. I’m crazy about sexy historical romances even though I write contemporary (I just can't imagine doing all that research and getting it right). I just picked up this one: Vanquished by Hope Tarr after she gave a wonderful talk on her writing process at our RWA NYC chapter meeting on Saturday. I can't wait to dive in.
6. I’m really not a dog person. The whole Jack thing boggles my mind. So please don’t let your dog just jump all over me and I won’t let mine. I know he’s absolutely crazy.
I’m not going to tag anyone because I think this tag has gone around a few times over and I don’t want you all to throw tomatoes at me. Instead I’m going to put out a challenge to any brave souls out there willing to pick it up or any of you just looking for a subject to post on, feel free to tag yourself. Just put a comment here and let me know you’re doing it. I’d love to read a few random facts about you.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
You Should Be a Film Writer
You don't just create compelling stories, you see them as clearly as a movie in your mind.
You have a knack for details and dialogue. You can really make a character come to life.
Chances are, you enjoy creating all types of stories. The joy is in the storytelling.
And nothing would please you more than millions of people seeing your story on the big screen!
Friday, January 9, 2009
Sad isn’t it? But very true. I’ve been pining away for him to make my Sunday nights exciting again. No offence, DH, but he’s Jack.
Ever since the very first episode of 24 I’ve been hooked on Jack. My husband and the twins swear that I named our dear little dog Jack after him.
He's just like I like my heroes, tortured and completely alpha.