Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to everyone and best wishes for a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

And it rained forty days and forty nights. . .

It's not quite a flood of biblical proportions, but it has been pouring for the past four days, which is a big freaking deal for Southern California.  I have to admit that I'm enjoying it; rain is such a novelty here.  And it gives me a chance to actually use an umbrella.  All I need are galoshes and I can go stomping through puddles.

Anyway, I'm doing my best to keep my nose to the grindstone, but so many distractions--the music, the lights, the shinies. . . 

Stay warm, stay dry, stay safe on the roads, and if you have a pair of galoshes, go out and stomp in some puddles.  :)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Who's in Charge?

I don’t know if I’ve written about this before (don't feel like looking back through my blog), but sometimes you have an idea about a particular character, whether they’re good, bad, silly and you start to write them that way only to have them say “uh-uh, that’s not me.” Uusally it’s a villain (or at least someone who’s not working in the hero’s best interest), though occasionally it’s one of the good guys, like Kveta in Shadows Past. I thought of her at first as a senior statesman (wolf?), gray-muzzled, dignified, and with a gentle yet sly sense of humor. But as I got into her character I realized that wasn’t her at all. And I have to admit that I found her “real” persona much more interesting—the dashing captain with a hidden agenda versus the elderly (and rather dull) Ambassador spouting wisdom and bon mots. Give me a good villain (or villainess) anytime over some stuffy goody-two shoes. A good villain will drive the story; a stuffy character will bog it down—or speed it up as readers fast forward through the parts he or she appear.

Anyway, it has happened again, though not as dramatic as Kveta’s role reversal. Someone I thought as bad, but rather silly—and minor in the general scheme of things—has suddenly grown teeth and is occupying a bigger part of the story than I originally planned. On one hand, it’s rather frustrating as it messes with the story arc, but on the other it’s fascinating. The story is changing as characters interact and I’m interested in seeing where it goes with him.

In other news, it’s raining here and will be for the next several days—hey, it’s Southern California; that’s very big news. I’m enjoying the weather—there’s something about cold, rainy weekends where the only place you have to be is at home. Music on the radio, hot pot of tea at my elbow. I’m set.

Oh, by the way, only six shopping days until Christmas. J

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Lost Month

November was a singularly unproductive month.

I became sick at the beginning of the month. Really sick. At first I thought I had a cold—it started with the usual suspects: sore throat, runny nose, congestion, etc. I figured, no biggie. It was a hassle, but I should be over it in a few days. But it went on and on, with all the unpleasantness of a body fighting a serious infection (I took so much vitamin C that I was in danger of turning into a orange tree), and I realized that it wasn’t a piddling cold I had caught, but the flu. I had over two weeks of misery and feeling sorry for myself.

Then, just as the last fever chill left, it was time to travel to my stepmom and dad’s place in Texas for Thanksgiving. The house was full of family, which was fun, but it meant that there were plenty of distractions and very little quiet time to spend with Rabbit and the crew.

I wrote about a half chapter for the entire month.

Now, I can and do resent getting sick (and the fact that I don’t bounce back as fast as I used to), but I don’t resent the time spent with family, especially my dad. See, Dad has Alzheimers and while he’s physically doing pretty well for someone in his 80s, mentally he’s sliding away. Sometimes it’s hard to see him so reduced, but my stepmom for one enjoys the quirks and twists that have arisen (or maybe have been set free) in his mind; one morning when they awoke he told her “let’s get married!” (they’ve been married 32 years) and I’ve seen him ambush her with hugs as she’s working in the kitchen (she’s a fabulous, fabulous cook—and yeah, I’ve carried extra poundage back with me from Texas).

Of course, it’s not all sweetness and light. He’s easily confused, has great difficulty separating fact from fantasy, and many of the things he once enjoyed, he no longer does. Can no longer do. I guess I’m grieving the man that my father was, while enjoying who he now is. It’s bittersweet, but he still knows who everyone is, including me, so all in all, it’s good.

In any event, I’m back in California and on track with writing. Not quite up to speed yet, but I’m getting there and I’m hoping that December will be a more productive month than the prior one. It certainly couldn’t be worse. Even with Christmas around the corner. . .

Hmm, well, yeah. Maybe January will be a cranking month.

Anyway, a very belated Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Holidays to everyone. May you all have joy in the season.