Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Road trip Wed at YA highway

Road Trip

Young Adult Highway - What book were You obsessed with as a child?
The first book I ever loved was a Little golden book called Rusty goes To School.
My Mom was a teacher in a one room school house at the time called White School.
Every day I missed her, and would stand at the front door waiting for her.  My Grandma would draw me away with this book.

Then I became obsessed with Robert Earl of Huntington - Beings our own family Book(dates from 1602 -and is so fragile it scares me to touch it) listed when we left England(1647) our name was Huntington - then Huntley - and finally Hunt.  I found an actual Long Bow in my closet and after talking my mother into letting me buy a string for it - I practiced for hours.  I was shocked at the sting of the string snapping your arm and even with a guard - it hurts.  I was not so bad for a 10 year old.  It belonged to my mother the College athlete - who was on the archery team at OSU.  I still can remember the way the arrow does not end up where you aim it depending on how you shoot - for me aim was to the left of the target and up.  I learned old English - in the forth grade.  This poem was the first I remember knowing by heart.

Hear underneath dis laitl stean
Laz robert earl of Huntingtun
Ne’er arcir ver as hie sa geud
An pipl kauld im robin heud
Sick utlawz as he an iz men
Vil england nivr si agen
Obiit 24 kal: Dekembris, 1247.



for those of you who didn't find the old ways easy to filter

Here underneath this little stone,
Lies Robert Earl of Huntington
No other archers ever as he/they so good
And people called him Robin Hood
Such outlaws as he and his men
Will England never see again
written 24th of December, 1247

I can still shoot a long bow buy the way - though the pull is harder on me now.  I was devastated when the beautiful old wooden thing broke on me - and was replaces with a fiberglass one.


This is not flat Old English or Middle English but a tween form.
It is said he is not buried here - this is actually the resting place of the final arrow that flew from his bow.


I don't like all the new versions so well - Marion was a betrayer and his love for her was tragic.  She killed Robin - bleeding him to death as cold as stone as he smiled up at her full of trust and love.  Only love could kill him - not the world.  I loved Errol Flynn too.

Then the Scottish play consumed me along with Hamlet.
I loved Mel In this ---Who knew it was foreshadowing.

Friday, March 25, 2011

YA sex and the condom cops - where is the sweet spot?

Should your characters have sex In YA?

It is your choice as an author to decide If- when- how much- how real - how graphic - how shocking - how it will be taken.  What a bunch of HARD stuff to figure out!

This zone is a mine field of disapproval - yelling people - screaming nuts - horrified adults -----and kids who think adults can't possibly stop being up-tight long enough to have actually Made them!

Here's the thing---- Kids know stuff - like old people.  Parents? - well I am having my doubts after being one for a while.
This is stuff I find strange about some very loved books ---
Twilight - there is no sex in it - yet people screamed that it was kiddy porn???  do what?
Harry Potter - there is no sex in it and there were people who thought we should not have main characters die and it would lead children into satanic worship.  (LOL yep I want people of that scary mentality to decide stuff for me - lets put them in charge - we haven't had a good witch burning in this country for many years)
20 boy summer - there is sex in it - and it is done perfectly - realistically and it is getting some yells and some likes.
Hunger games - no sex but a little bit of dead kid doesn't affect people!
Rainbow Party - OMG  that is what kids are reading----LOL  Ok then...coolio!
Mark Twain - wait they banned him?  He said a bad word?  Well what if Tuesday is a bad word in a 150 years - will they ban me then? 
Fahrenheit 451 - Did you know an editor Rescued this book - 40 censor hacks had attacked this book over the years - chipping away at it -------did those people read the book while they did that?  LOL
 I could go on and on.

My view for my children - I do not censor them in any way - never have even when little. (I will talk to them and answer questions they have on any subject)
I Let them watch Titanic just like Disney - and one of them was obsessed in a weird way by the frozen people - relax - she wants to be a doctor now.
Nothing off limits - guess what I learned - THEY have opinions on what they want to see - and will censor the parts that they don't. 
They Love the HBO series Rome - and they love Spartacus - but you should see them giggle and fast forward - when the hottie banging begins.  (yes even when adults are not in the room)  They watch True Blood and Vamp diaries and gasp Dallas ("Jr has moobs")  I had not noticed that.  When I was young it was a pretty big deal that he was Not in the twin bed like the dream of Genie days!  People thought it was unfit for kids to watch that show!

Belly buttons lead to sexual deviants ----you knew that right - Jeannie had to cover up her sexy man-magnet so the TV viewers would not fall into debauchery from viewing her Umbilical scar!  Thats ok - Barbie didn't have one either---no wonder girls hate their bodys - we have undisclosable PARTS that make us evil because they have function!

So I am writing a few little books too and I want there to be some balance between ---
"That is Just kiddy porn!"   And      "The 40 year old virgin has been done!"

I have mixed reaction to this post in all honesty.  Here's why--
Sex is being treated as a more shameful activity than Murder.

 I can not get over the fact that gore is fine so long as the characters don't have sex!
 Romance without bikini parts?  Killing fine- but kissing is even iffy... if it creates - any thoughts about more - kissing must be the ultimate thing you read 600 pages for!  (kiss - marriage - more kissing----that is the ideal romance right?  I am a little spooked by that - who says I can't be scared of someone - found my personal terror zone - AGGGHHH!)

 I am in no way saying there should be page after page of every pant and pantless moment - but lets say two kids in love were on a train to the Capitol knowing one of them, at least, would die - they would never see each other again because they were about to play a game in which loss means only getting hacked to death.  Now lets say these madly in love kids were sleeping in the same bed dealing with the sorrow of that sort of life ----
 It really would have been just unforgivable if they made a choice to engage in one moment of joy?
What a very sad message we must send.  Could something along the lines of -

{Peeta is watching me when I awake. I blush at what we had shared in the night, a hunger to give the other comfort.  We would know horror tomorrow, but for this moment, our secret smiles are full of joy.}

That acknowledges a physical relationship has occurred without being graphic.  I am not saying that it isn't fine to Not have any reference - that's her story - her art thing.
  (my 11 year old just ask why they were such dorks - he's on the floor reading Catching Fire right now----cause  he can't wait for me to read more - I guess I will be doing mockingjay for reading time tonight - giggle)

What I wonder is - People have praised the series as perfect for young -YA segment beings there is no sex.  Hmmmmm - so did ya miss the dead kids?  You approve of those?

 I hear replies to that comment  along the lines ---well they know it is just a story!  Yes, so they can make that exact same judgement about 20  Boy Summer. 
  Ken and Barbie love is really fine if there is no death, pain, cussing, drugs, bullies, rude people, ugly people, unicorns, nail biters, ----

If we are going to shield the poor little darlings -- I also want to censor!

Old People - let them be innocent- don't expose them to old people - we have terrible opinions for one thing - and you don't want them to imagine that one day they may have to face being old!

Sickness - I don't want my children to know that there is illness in the world - I can't face talking to them about it so don't want them to read about it---they might bravely ask for my opinion!  Any book with illness must be banned from a library near YOU.

Poverty - Hunger --let them think everyone is exactly like they are and can run up to MacFoodies - I don't want them to become not innocent that there could be people in the world who suffer!

War - there is peace on earth in my child's world and that is all I want them to read about - I don't want them to know that babies get killed by mean old governments - I want them to be pure and not even think such a thing could happen.


 Yes, I am being sarcastic.  I have to jump on the "kiss a flamer" bandwagon, and say my kids have dealt with the insane hatred of gay people - because they have a step-brother who is.  I have been terribly proud that they have stood up to all the mean little hatemongers who came out of the woodwork.

I have to wonder - if those kids had read about a fun, strong, lovable gay protagonist - would it change how they felt?  If they read about the mixed blessings of sex in an honest way - will they avoid choices that make them unhappy? (Them - not Ma and Pa Prudilicious)

If you really want them to be innocent lets protect them from being uninformed! - please stop confusing that term with clueless. 
Innocent is an informed choice.
A young bride is told of the mechanics of the birds and the bees years before her wedding night - did she lose her innocents with information?  A child is caught by a predator - he is still innocent and pure no matter what terrors befall him.  
Clueless = easy prey.
Clueless = unable to make good choices because you have always done what you're TOLD and suddenly there is nobody in charge of you - you will jump off any cliff, having been told that flying is possible if you are flapping your arms for the correct reason.
Does that mean every book should have sexual content - heavens no!  But, if it does, it should never ever be up to anyone else what I or My child decides to read.  I won't force anyone to read Stephen King or Mark Twain or even Anne Rice  --- But don't You take Ray Bradbury or Betty Greene or Toni Morrison away from me.  I don't need you to be My fireman. 

The world needs firefighters - not Firemen!  (if you don't get that reference - In Fahrenheit 451 - the FireMEN came to burn your books if you got caught with any.)

Am I saying that every child will turn out fine if they read bad stuff.  Please - reading only rainbows and bluebirds and peaceful misty inspiration does not guarantee they will turn out to be model citizens and reading about a kid who has sex does not make them pregnant and reading mysteries does not make them an ax murdering lunatics!



What if just some of this old nutty guys silly thoughts had a little truth?

It is another aspect of Freud's work that has had the greatest impact on human life in the West during the 20th century: his reevaluation of the role of sex and sexual behavior. Freud taught that sexual repression was the chief psychological problem of mankind. He surmised that repression and constriction of sexual behavior in youth would become manifest in adulthood.
Where Western society (often under the guise of “Christian morality”) had long treated sex as a taboo subject and covered over both normal and abnormal sexual behavior as “sin”—or at least shameful—there had been great neglect of appropriate help and correction. Freud was able to persuade his opponents and admirers alike that sexual repression was rampant, unhealthy, and the indirect cause of much crime, illness and woe.

http://www.vision.org/visionmedia/article.aspx?id=597   There is the full artical.


(Yet, maybe the censors have something of value in a way)

Ever heard of Prince Siddhartha?

It is a story about a little boy shielded from all knowledge of pain, sorrow and sadness in the world.  Here is a little tidbit --
 When Prince Siddhartha was a few days old, a holy man prophesied the Prince would be either a great military conqueror or a great spiritual teacher. King Suddhodana preferred the first outcome and prepared his son accordingly. He raised the boy in great luxury and shielded him from knowledge of religion and human suffering. The Prince reached the age of 29 with little experience of the world outside the walls of his opulent palaces.
One day, overcome with curiosity, Prince Siddhartha asked a charioteer to take him on a series of rides through the countryside. On these journeys he was shocked by the sight of an aged man, then a sick man, and then a corpse. The stark realities of old age, disease, and death seized and sickened the Prince.


What Happened to the child ?- well he didn't do what Dad wanted at all.
Read more here....

http://buddhism.about.com/od/lifeofthebuddha/a/buddhalife.ht


More reading on the subject----

authors views
http://awfullybigblogadventure.blogspot.com/2009/09/past-point-of-blade-gillian-philip.html

the Doctors opinion

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-meg-meeker/sex-why-we-hate-talking-a_b_148810.html

Yeah sex is accepable in YA material
http://kidlit.com/2010/10/13/sex-in-ya/
http://thecrookedshelf.blogspot.com/2011/02/doing-it-sex-in-ya-yay-or-nay.html
http://www.readingwithtequila.com/2010/05/sex-in-ya-one-moms-view.htmlhttp://www.firstnovelsclub.com/2009/12/rounding-bases-in-ya-kissing-sex-and.html
http://magicalwords.net/carrie-ryan/sex-and-violence-in-ya
http://novelnovice.com/2011/03/23/sex-violence-ya-readers-authors-say-bring-it-on/
http://www.radicalparenting.com/2009/10/24/the-consequences-of-book-banning-teen-article/
http://theya5.blogspot.com/2010/12/sex-and-sexy-scenes-in-ya-lets-look-at.html


sexless teens

http://www.theawl.com/2011/03/%e2%80%98red-riding-hood%e2%80%99-and-the-gripping-jaws-of-sexless-teens

other people are over protective but not me

http://hubpages.com/hub/Recommended-Romance-Novels-For-Young-Adults

of course i won't read this ---just a bunch of peoples comments about why they put a book down
http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/233548-books-i-ve-had-to-put-down-and-why

Nay
http://homespunlight.blogspot.com/2010/01/good-clean-books-for-teen-boys.html

http://www.readingteen.net/2011/03/sex-in-ya-one-naive-moms-opinion.html
http://libraryofcleanreads.blogspot.com/2010/08/hunger-games-by-suzanne-collins.html

http://novelteen.wordpress.com/
http://www.squeakycleanreads.com/

http://yaauthorscafe.blogspot.com/2007/04/open-discussion-lets-talk-about-sex.html
Nay - cause it's required

Banned Books----


maybe if she had read about boys?



So what should we do as authors?


You tell me where you fall?
 How do you decide?
 What is too graphic? 
Why are grownups so freaked about talking to kids?  (it was true when I was a kid and I am mortified that it is still true now to a large degree!)
Do you search for a balance or just say "This is my story and I will write it as I want" without concern?
What is your base limit for an age? 
What terms do you use to describe bikini parts or activity?  (medical, slang, misfire, cuss words, socially acceptable terms, raunchy words, double meaning )


Do You remember any book you ever read that made you do anything bad?

All comments appreciated - please type responsibly.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Road trip Wed at YA highway


 

 

 

Road Trip Wednesday #72: Lend Me Some Sugar, I Am Your Neighbour!


This Week's Topic:
Which book character would y

ou like most as a next door neighbour?


Neighbors - we all have them.

There's an old saying that good fences make good neighbors ----

Then there are the slight variations on those words - Such as my old neighbor

"Good fences - make good spots to sit stuff on fer target practice"    (neighbor's should be disclosed on the realtor listing LIKE meth labs!)

So out of the books I have read recently - who should I have?

Well - I have sort of had Haymitch on a golf cart - see above comment about fences.
I have had the fruitloop - who stands naked in the street at 4 am shouting that I am satan - while he pees on my fence. (different guy from drinking on a golf cart fun neighbor)

I have had Snoopy - well I still have her and her antique bi-plane that has a Red Baron friend - they are my favorite ------  they give rides in the loopy-loop planes.  (love you Pam) 

I am the-- don't mow my lawn til there are tunnels but will come out and help you dig your car out of the mud in the freezing rain neighbor.

I like off beat people for the most part - so I am pretty easy to get along with - so long as you keep your body functions on your side of the world - but never discount a neighbors stuff either - hot tubs and pools, tractors, saw collections are always a huge boon in the neighborly department.

Of course on the other end - rusted hulks in the yard and an affinity to rats may not be my idea of cute or charming.

So a quirky person with good stuff and most of his marbles is my ideal. 

I think Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle would be a fantasic neighbor - she quirky - has skills - doesn't mind if the kids bother her and well she's just adorable!


Friday, March 18, 2011

I just had a blue apple!

This is a wonderful day - I just had a blue apple.  A boost - a small touch on the shoulder that gives me light.

I can't hold back this small thing.  I was blog hopping and found a little button called YOU WRITE LIKE.  Hey a fun little gizmo for entertainment.

I plugged a couple pages into the magic analyzer and a name was returned.

David Foster Wallace

I think 'ok cool who the heck is that?'

Google returned some stuff.

Novels

[edit] Short story collections



#################
And a speech - read the whole thing here.

http://web.archive.org/web/20080213082423/http://www.marginalia.org/dfw_kenyon_commencement.html
 There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says "Morning, boys. How's the water?" And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes "What the hell is water?"


The capital-T Truth is about life BEFORE death.
It is about the real value of a real education, which has almost nothing to do with knowledge, and everything to do with simple awareness; awareness of what is so real and essential, so hidden in plain sight all around us, all the time, that we have to keep reminding ourselves over and over:
"This is water."
"This is water."

##################################

My freak out factor.

Day beforeYesterday I found an end zone - a part of me too personal to share for a simple YA highway road trip question.  I am a hard person according to many - I am not romantic - I rarely say much mushy gushy stuff to people.  It takes a lot to push me - more to break me and it is a rare thing that I will cry for or about anything.  Somehow I got to talking about my best friend.  I told everyone things I learned from him and that he had said the most romantic thing anyone ever said to me.  Then I couldn't stand it and took it down.
Not putting all the rest back up but I will share what it was.

  It is an offbeat thing that the most romantic thing I have ever had a person say to me, came from my best friend..  "you are my water"  That was the moment I knew - this kind of love is just as big as all the mushy hoopla.
I gave him one of those "Dude, if you get any more full of crap..." looks. (I do that to people)
He held up a glass of water and said.
 "I like to drink many things from orange juice to coffee to soda.  Tea is good and I love a root beer sometimes.  The thing is, I can live without those things.  Water seems so common - not important.  But, I can function without any of the other stuff - I don't exist without water.  I always have to come back to water. You are my water."


That is still hard for me to put out in the world.  But, then I read more about this guy who I seem to be like in my writing style..

We are both the sign of the water bearer.
His unfinished work - The Pale King is soon to be published 

He has a fan site called the Howling Fantods.  (yeah I know Howlynn is a nick name - but still)

This is the opening sentence of The Pale King
Past the flannel plains and blacktop graphs and skylines of canted rust, and past the tobacco-​brown river overhung with weeping trees and coins of sunlight through them on the water downriver, to the place beyond the windbreak, where untilled fields simmer shrilly in the a.m. heat: shattercane, lamb’s‑quarter, cutgrass, sawbrier, nutgrass, jimsonweed, wild mint, dandelion, foxtail, muscadine, spinecabbage, goldenrod, creeping charlie, butter-​print, nightshade, ragweed, wild oat, vetch, butcher grass, invaginate volunteer beans, all heads gently nodding in a morning breeze like a mother’s soft hand on your cheek.

That is perfection. 

Ok I have been discussing symbols - and I love to weave and drift them into my writing.

A few of you who were nice enough to comment on the 250 word thing - mentioned the way I had talked about a box on the wall - not the character.

If it were there for no reason - I would have to agree - but the box on the wall is a symbol.
It is in plain sight but nobody really notices it.  It is obviously malfunctioning, broken, dangerous - Like the Magical creature Natalie can feel watching her.  She can't see him yet - but he is watching her - falling in love with her - and her instincts tell her he is there.  The box foreshadows that he is very dangerous - The smoke smell is him - not just the speaker. This moment takes her life away - it will never be the same.  It is hidden in the every day things we ignore, excuse and take for granted.  In the book I am working on now - The river is a huge symbol.  The opening lines of book four.



The tobacco-brown water frightened me, swirling secrets, hidden danger, unknown eddies trapping things away from the light.  His blood is in the river, and I want to be held in his arms, nestled in his rusted liquid, sucked down to the blackness that is my heart without him. I am glad I killed the one who put my vampire in the river, but it does not stop me from longing to join him,to need to become one with the water.  I imagine the river as a gentle vampire draining my life away in the churning mud.  It moves on, as I stand trapped upon the banks, fearing I will give in to the call.  My heart is already there, only my face has not yet felt the hellish cold water cover me like a lovers caress.

(By the way I plugged my 1st books 250 plus a few into the gizmo - NOT the passage from book four!  I only went to grab that for this post, cause after reading his opening on Pale King - I was breathing funny - knowing it had a strange bingo in the impossible place.  It didn't see this opening to simply link up the similar words!)
My book four has nothing to do with his subject - He is literary - I just write monsters. 
So ----Not saying that he and I are near the same level - in any way shape or form -----but ya know its kinda like I get what they are saying about my clunky sentences - when I wrote the paragraph above it was two sentences - I made it much more easy to read....lol. And it does stand out that his brain - and mine use some words in kind of a freaky parallel dimensional fashion faux pax!  I will go change tobacco -rust and even lovers caress - cause I know his words now - but It is still kinda freaky that we are wearing the same outfit?


He was a philosopher - I am only a teller of tales.  I had never heard of him until today, yet our muses are dancing in the same place.  It says to me that writing is important.  My David is gone and this one fell to the same sorrow.  I will never get to sit and talk with either one of them.  But the one I never met, spoke to me today across the veil.  He made me cry.

The river will flow on without us all one day.  What we leave here may be only words, but maybe, just maybe, another we can't imagine, will let those simple streams of words be water for their soul.

 That is a blue apple.

Going to buy "THE PALE KING" as soon as it comes out. 

Maybe it is just a fluke that this little writing analyser would spit out his name to me.  Then again, maybe it's Magic! 

Who do YOU write like?  Go here to find out.
http://iwl.me/



Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Who have you written into a book? Be honest.


It could be someone that just inspired one specific trait in a character. Maybe your MC's ex has a weird obsession with anime, kind of like a certain ex of yours. Or maybe the evil witch wreaking havoc on your other characters is straight-up Mrs. Hawkins, your 3rd grade math teacher. Confession time – who's in your book?
################################
 -OK REVAMP ON THE OVER SHARE - CANT DO IT 


Sorry folks - I tried really hard - I tried to walk it off - but I can't put stuff that personal on here.  No comments yet so whew!  I can share if its funny - stupid - but there is just stuff too deep for pickin' and that was IT!

So my funny answer IS - If you are a hollow shallow  mean person -----I will WRITE you. 
If You have an annoying trait  - watch out it is fair game.

If you talk pretty - you are there.
If others don't notice you ---I do.
And most deeply -If I love you - you already know.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

First 250 words of Ignite - contest!

http://brenleedrake.blogspot.com/2011/03/show-me-voice-contest-with-agent.html?showComment=1300235753694#c784551322447799366

Ok This is a contest and a Blogfest - the above link will take you there.  Heres the rules and what we do!
Thank You Brenda Drake and agent Natalie Fischer for your time and fun contest!


 On March 20 and 21, post the first 250 words of your finished manuscript (any genre) on your blog to get critiques from your followers and then hop around to the other participants' sites and give critiques. Polish those 250 words and email them to me at brenleedrake@gmail.com with CONTEST in the subject line by 12:00AM (EST) on March 22


My example is 253 words because I didn't want to cut it off in the middle of a sentence. So if your 250 words ends in the middle of one, please go to the end of the sentence.

All entries submitted before the cut off time will be considered. The first round will be judged by a chosen panel of your peers (agented and unagented). We'll pick the best 20 entries and post them on my blog by March 24. The 20 entries we pick will be judged by Natalie. The winners will be announced on or before Monday, March 28.

Bet you're wondering what prizes Natalie is offering, right? Well, here they are:

1st place - a critique of the first 20 pages
2nd place - a critique of the first 10 pages
3rd place - a query critique

Don't forget to SHOW ME THE VOICE!
Ok so here are my actual first 250 words or so.
Anyone is welcome to comment - anyone can say exactly what they think.(at least to me - play nice with the other people if you jump around)
I do not include the prologue - it is not the voice of the novel but a tiny glimpse into the mind of another character - thus a prologue.  Anyway - Red ink is LOVE so even though all you people are really nice - just for a moment, could you try to endevor to be less nice?  Like, alot less nice?  Border on mean if it is at all possible. 



Howlynn Martin
IGNITE
YA Paranormal




On my last day of normal, reality was my friend.  My wishes were insignificant, but they had to be earned.  I ran beside the sled, demanding destiny, before the bobsleigh of my life began to fall into speed, tilting and slipping precariously into unknown directions. Every single childish day of my life I wished for magic.  When magic answered, I had stopped believing.   I don’t wish for anything now.  I don’t dare.  
The loud speaker announces it is on, sounding like a flaming green log, in the most boring class ever invented for the torture of young minds. The math facts teacher winces in frustration, pausing at the board, chalk in hand.  The old wooden box, on the job and the wall for over fifty years, with it’s gold dusty speaker crackling says, “The Jr. High, JV and Varsity, Cheerleading tryout packets are now available at the office.”  It pops ominously before dozing off into silence.  The faint scent of smoke prompts comments about fire alarms, but the teacher quickly squelches such nonsense and the chalk scratches rhythmically once again to her mathematical monotone.
  Shivers of daydreams from my armpits to my toe-jammies argue with my self-esteem about the splendid plan I have in mind.   A telling rivulet of nervous sweat trickles secretly inside my shirt as my stomach lurches, and my throat plays unwilling gatekeeper. 
It may have not been only the announcement.  I feel eyes on me and I turn quickly in my third row seat to glare at the place that it issues, from behind me. 

#################################

Ok that is it - I put this up Way early because I am heading to Dallas for the 'Dreamin' In Dallas' Conference!  Also anyone who wants can pop over and enter too - Hurry - before Mr. linky-thing has a heart attack over there!

Show Me The Voice? - well I am up here in Missouri....  show me what you didn't like ...please comment below or whereever the darn thing pops up!  And not that it matters - but the main characters name Is----Natalie!   hehehe.

Idus Martii - beware!

Happy Ides of March!

What's That?  here is what wiki says:
The Ides of March was a festive day dedicated to the god Mars and a military parade was usually held. In modern times, the term Ides of March is best known as the date that Julius Caesar was killed in 44 B.C. Julius Caesar was stabbed (23 times) to death in the Theatre of Pompey led by Marcus Junius Brutus, Gaius Cassius Longinus and 60 other conspirators.
On his way to the Theatre of Pompey (where he would be assassinated), Caesar saw a seer who had foretold that harm would come to him not later than the Ides of March. Caesar joked, "Well, the Ides of March have come", to which the seer replied "Ay, they have come, but they are not gone."[2] This meeting is famously dramatized in William Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar, when Caesar is warned to "beware the Ides of March".[3][4]
 

So today is the Ides of March - but unless your name is Julius -- Why would you care?



Maybe it's nothing----Just a good excuse for a toga party!


March Madness - is a time in which many of us here on the top side begin to feel like maybe the winter will end?  A time of little budding things and Eastery Eggs.  For many it is also time to begin a novel.

The Idus Martii is the perfect day to begin a novel of foreboding - trouble - madness - evil. 

High spirits will make for a brutal contrast to some violent betrayal.  It is a day for stories in which people you love and count on betray you, kill you or scar your soul.  Christopher Columbus returned from his first voyage of discovery today....think how that worked out?  It is a day of bright futures and pasts that catch up with us. 

What do Writers, Witches and Weavers have in common--------we are all a bit crafty!


As you begin your story today -Think how you can step outside of tradition.  Maybe some sweet little bunny pictures will inspire you!  I just can't wait for Easter!


Children love the easter bunny!
Bunnys like to cuddle!
Dont be fooled by looks!
Bunnys are so sweet!  Happy Easter!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Playing the Symbols

“Sing then the core of dark and absolute oblivion where the soul at last is lost in utter peace.” - D. H. Lawrence
I have been reading several blogs on symbolism used in novels.  I love matching novels to the symbols and I admit I burn a fair dreggy flame when I weave them myself.
Has anyone noticed my self portrait above?  What's that mean?

What about my blue apples?
Fahrenheit 451 - Hunger Games series
What do they have in common?
18 symbols I have found so far.
Yes my jaw dropped too when my daughter found the first couple.
The big one of course- fire
In 451 - fire is the symbol for destruction but also hope (as little Clarisse's candle)
In Hunger - Katniss is the girl on fire - symbol of both hope and destruction.
Also, the other biggie is that whole Bird as the symbol of freedom and rebellion.
 Now those are pretty big and obvious - here are a few more
451 - 10 lane highway - a world moving to fast
Hunger - the trains that go to the capital so fast
(society marching to it's own doom ever faster)
(Clarisse -Katniss- A double S is a symbol for a government that has lost it's humanity...think of The SS
(If you don't know what 451 is - it is the temperature that paper flashes -symbol of book burners and those who demand politically correct reading material)
small child - innocent but filled with hunger to learn and think - little Rue in Hunger - little Clarisse in 451 (they both die)
 I won't name every one, it would be too long. Once again there are 18 so far.  Think I am kidding?  What was Katniss' squad number in Mockingjay........  four fifty one
No the stories are nothing alike - but the symbols are.
I am going to sit down and do a reference style post on the parallels as a separate post. 
Another symbol used in Hunger games is the smell of the rose being evil - not pleasant - horror
Others have done it too - Vonnegut and King to name two off the top of my head.
I love this because we usually think of roses as symbols of love - beauty.
Don't forget they are the symbol of death too -( Watching you from top the coffins of those you love.)
Thorns are pain topped with beauty called a rose - pain hidden in beauty.
Think of these symbols and ask yourself if you really get the whole story behind them?
River
eye
clock
 broken pillar
glass of wine
light
tombstone
If you understand the symbols - a story told in seven symbols.
In my story fire is a theme too - (hope and destruction yes - but creation also) 
Fire is love that can't be controlled - even if it means you sacrifice yourself - even in your own destruction, you love.   A love so pure it burns. Love beyond all pain - only light. 
 Smoke is the search for love and god and your own fate....you can smell it from far away good or bad. Light symbolises - joy - sensation - happy - kindness - and knowing your path is true. 
The red bud tree in the cemetery - life even in death - love past boundary.
Cheerleader - working so hard to conform yet finding value even in that pursuit.
Vampire - life with a price - lived as a slave to things you must do to survive
Djinn - the smokeless fire of god - they are the soul of man on his journey
Most of us know a song that speaks about a ring of fire - you know the one.  What is the first word of that song? Love is a burning thing, and it makes a fiery ring.  I fell for you, like a child.  It is a love song - not a song of hell, but one of true love.
Now tell me what symbols you are weaving into your words.  How do you use them?
What is the main symbol of your current work in progress? 


 Take a stab at telling the story above?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Road trip Wed at YA highway



Lets say yippe it's road trip Wednesday.  And like Haymitch in the Hunger Games I am both sober and ready to play - grin.  (and anyone who might be offended by my sarcastic references to sobriety - I am being sarcastic - lol -figure that one out -grin)

this weeks question --------




Well I have to say that I was more into wanting to be like grown ups in high school -

Kirk --James Tiberius ----   I was not so much a Trekkie as more of a traveler - I wanted to go all the time.
His job was to travel around and not get dead - save the day and then travel around some more!  I wanted to be him.

Like Sam and Dean on Supernatural.   

I also wanted to be a Truck Driver - notice the travel theme.  It was a hoot - and now its on to the next thing...

I wanted to be like Stephen King - able to scare the bee-jezzies out of people.  I always thought he was very cool - and yes he was pretty - which help my adoration a little - though my friends didn't get my taste in bad boys.  Lets see - how did that work out?  Well - I can scare people - hehehe.  I write....but I may have a ways to go before anyone in their right mind would say I can compare - no - he's still way up there in the stars - like Kirk. 

Last but not least - I wanted to be like every bad boy you ever met - why boy? Because girls had to wear high heels and be rescued.  I wanted to play with the bow and arrow and the sword too - not run through the woods and cry.....




So I married the very baddest boy of all.  He let me Drive the Big ole Truck and Thought it was cool that I could work on it too.  He saw me.  He was not put off by Girls who lead.  He rescued me from my own refusal to be the little helpless girl.  He was boy enough to stand next to me.  Sweet enough to teach me how to change a diaper.  Terrible enough to keep me on my toes. Man enough to live with the name Thumper - and laugh with every person who ever made fun of him.  We had to do alot of adjusting - but he saw past my hard - never mushy - outside and found my heart.  Yes he's a little afraid of me -- but he shows up anyway.

I would like to be more like him.  He can put things together quickly and figure people out.  He is slow to fight but quick to anger - and when he's angry - he can always find a way around - and do it anyway.  I love that. 


"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all!"    now the rest of the quote.   "It just warns them you are up to something."
Wisdom can be evil in the wrong hands - grin

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Writing in the Shower!

I write in the shower!

Yes, I am serious.


Sure the paper gets a bit soggy and since I realized it was the computer that was leading to my constant electrocution -----Ok I am pulling your chain - a little.

I see on many of the blogs I haunt, people who say they want to write - but they sit at the computer with a blank screen and don't know where to start.

If you sit down and force yourself to Sit there until something pops in your head - you are not writing.  You are punishing you - not giving in to the joy.

 My most vivid memory of childhood is my nightly "clean your plate' battle.  I spent hours of each evening staring at a green been or a cooked carrot or anything slathered in red sauce.  I had to sit at the table until I cleaned my plate.  I did not ever learn to enjoy green beans from the experience.  It did teach me that I can swallow a very large item if I can wash it down.  I can do it anyway if you take away my water, but it's harder.

(analyse that for a moment parents - I would rather choke myself to death - then chew a green bean.  My mom was doing the thing good parents did back then - they will learn to eat it IF IT KILLS THEM!)

What?  How does that have anything to do with writing in the shower?

You sit staring at your computer - daring yourself to write.  You demand that you write.  You insist that you write.  You will sit here until you learn to clean Your Plate.  You have writer's block - you have angst - you have too dang many stupid rules for yourself.

You may figure out a way to consume that green bean - but you will never ever enjoy them.
You may force yourself to tap out perfectly fine string-beans of words -but you will never fall in lust with your activity.

Writing is not learning to clean your plate.  It is finding out that you nearly roll your eyes back in your head in pleasure as you taste something new.

What is writing? 

Is eating only the moment you sit down and shovel food in your mouth?  I don't think so.  No meal ever comes to you with no preparation.  It begins with seed, and growth and death and plucking and picking.  Then it moves to slicing and gathering and cooking and at the moment when all of it falls together - and you can stand the need of it no longer - eating what is before you is not a torture - it is fulfillment - release - pure pleasure.  Food becomes joy. (ok - to the little smarty pants out there saying "What about eating out?" That is going to the book store to enjoy other peoples work - reading!)

Where does your writing begin?

  Mine does not begin in front of a computer ever.  I am speaking with "those who will be" most of the time.  A melancholy mood drifts upon me that I can't explain - I ask -who are you?  When the voice speaks - a seed has begun. 
Now I must date them a while - interview them - see them.  Decide if I love them or will move on - letting them find another who can hear them.  I warn them --  I am a cruel God.  If they stay I begin to let them charm me.  In the grocery store an old woman will walk past and for a moment I will see her pretty blue eyes - a voice will come forward and say "Those are my eyes!"

A turn of expression at the licence bureau - "I said that- it's how I speak."
A pretty magazine house - "that is where I live"
They are constantly attempting to gain my attention.

They need me - and I pay attention when I have a moment - such as in the Shower when the other Talkers - the fleshy ones - don't interrupt.

This part IS writing.  You may think your doing nothing - procrastinating - not getting famous as fast as you wanted - not living your expectations of writerly activity - not doing it Write?

Your binding yourself.  You are becoming willing to swallow that green bean whole, if it means you can get up from the table.

Don't sit down at that table.  Don't think green beans are all there is. 

Then when do I get to the good part?

What is the good part for you?  Is it being Writer MacWriterly -big shot? 
Most of us will say - No but it would be NICE!
Exactly.
You don't learn to play a game with the intent of being better than anyone else at it - you play it for joy.

Your relationship with the voices will change - by now you know them.
 You know that you can't stand to be without them.  You love them.  You need them and you are getting a little desperate and strange about it.  You want to write them.  Your fingers itch to bring them to life. Your sure if the world doesn't leave you alone, you're going to set something on fire, to distract it, so you can sneak away and write!

That is the moment you sit down at your computer.  That is when you let them tempt you and you are swept away in the joy of writing.

 The words fly - you keep telling the fleshys - "just a minute!" - until they are sure, this time you have lost your mind.  12 hours later you emerge feeling like you could fly if you just had a little coffee - and a nap.  You try to explain to them - but its hopeless.  They will love you anyway.

I don't want to call it word-sex  - that sounds kinda messy......So lets call it Your favorite meal of all time.
You have eaten and you are satisfied.

That is the good part - and it may have started in the shower.   Just because your flirting doesn't mean you are not falling madly in love.  Just because your not tapping away - DOES NOT mean you are not writing.

Me? I write while I drive - while I shower - while I blog - while I do about anything.....

All I am saying is don't suffocate your passion in rules.  You may learn to swallow that green bean - but you are cheating yourself out of enjoying the meal. 





 Where do You write????