Monthly Archives: July 2011

Connecting with your characters

What it means when a rejection letter says “I just couldn’t connect with your character” and how to fix it. I’m going to write about this, but later today. ‘kay? I’ll be back. I didn’t mean to publish this yet. Oops!

Holiday Fireworks

Yesterday was the Fourth of July–America’s Independence Day. I had a holiday, and I was extremely lazy.

Well, I felt lazy, anyway. The fella went downtown to ride in the parade–too hot for me–and I put some pork on to barbecue, and mixed up the potato salad we’d boiled potatoes and eggs for the previous night. I did some other stuff too, but can’t remember what it is now, because by the time the fella got back from the parade, I was goofing off. And I did that most of the day. I’m very good at goofing off.

The boy and a couple of his friends came down about 2 p.m. and we all had lunch, then they went out to the beach–taking the doggies. (The friends brought a friend for Dolly the princess pitbull to play with.) They all exhausted themselves–humans and doggies alike. Somewhere in there, I took a break from goofing off to take a nap.

Then we had supper (the barbecued pork and potato salad), and went down to the seawall for the fireworks. You can see the edge of the boy, and the jetty from which the fireworks were shot off beyond him, out in the Gulf. There were a lot more people on the beach by the time the fireworks started. Also, it was dark. You could see the lights from all the boats out on the horizon, waiting to head into port, not to mention the sport fishing boats that had come way inshore to watch the show. But I didn’t take any pictures after dark. Because it was dark!

It was a good show. Not as fabulous as the one for the Hotel Galvez’s 100th birthday, but a good show. I was just glad they actually had a fireworks show. All home fireworks got banned, because of our extreme drought. However, I figured they wouldn’t stop Galveston’s fireworks, because they set them off over water. It’s the cotton-pickin’ Gulf of Mexico. Then there’s sand, then the concrete of the seawall and street. A long way before any sparks reach anything that might burn.

There were more people at this year’s fireworks show than in all the previous years since Hurricane Ike. It was a really big crowd. And the kids saw “The Little Couple.” The one from the TLC TV show, who apparently live in Houston, and came down to Galveston for the  fireworks. Or maybe for the whole weekend. :) I didn’t see them, so you won’t see me on TV, but hey–I was there!

And today is DAY 15. (Yesterday was Day 14. I wrote double on Sunday, remember?) I didn’t want to watch whatever it is the fella has on television, so I came back and downloaded pictures from my camera, and I wrote. I had to stop, though, because I need to figure out the rules for my society. There is magic–but does everybody know about it? Do they all believe in it? I think it’s fading, but just how open is it? Yeah, I know. I should have decided this stuff earlier. But I didn’t, so…

I am still reading THE NATIVE STAR by M.K. Hobson. I also went to the library this afternoon (took all the books back on Sunday) because hey, it’s only about 3 blocks from the post office, and I had to go get the mail. So I also started DREAMS OF A DARK PRINCE, or DARK DREAMS OF A PRINCE, or … what is the name of that Kresley Cole book? DREAMS OF A DARK WARRIOR! Yeah. I started it and I’m still reading the other book. I got two books off the “new” shelves, so I’ll need to read them next. But maybe I can finish the Hobson book first.

Five more days at the newspaper. I need to write an item for the newspaper’s newsletter… Hmm.

Beach Band performance

They changed the Tuesday night band concert to Sunday this week, in honor of the Fourth. Galveston Beach Band performs every Tuesday in summer–except this week, they had their band concert on Sunday, and invited our church choir to come sing a “Salute to Armed Forces.” (Yes, this is the band, at it’s previous performance.) Fortunately, we sang the medley in church this a.m., otherwise I’d never have known how the Coast Guard Marching Song goes. But I know now. They lined us all up in front of the band shell, put those of us who usually sing in the church band in front–and then put the  mike in front of us. Made me nervous. Anyway, it went pretty well, though my voice decided to be a little wobbly. Oh well. It was fun.

We waved at the duck tour when they went by, and watched the kids play maracas and ring the bell they’d salvaged. The trombones and tuba came forward and played “Them Basses,” which is a very cool march. (If you can play a scale, you can pretty much play that march–if you can play it fast enough.) The beach band uniform is Hawaiian shirts–tonight’s trombonists didn’t have the guy on the left, but the tuba player came up front with them. He’s good.

Today was a very lazy day. I took a nap. I also wrote. Enough that I can take tomorrow off. Tomorrow is the holiday, and we have company coming, so I thought I might not have as much time to write then.

DAY 13 is done. I had a good time singing, had a good time at the concert. I enjoyed my nap, too.

I’ve read UNLOCKED by Courtney Milan, & enjoyed it. I read MAGIC SLAYS by Ilona Andrews (didn’t know IA was a writing team…), and I’m now reading THE NATIVE STAR by … I forgot. I’ll have to look it up. by M.K. Hobson. I was remembering the initials right, but not the last name. So, there’s the list.

Holiday weekend

And I’ve made it to Day 11 and Day 12.

I’m through the “opening” and to the explaining part. Exposition is always boring, but maybe I can figure out some action to go with it.

Yesterday, I barely squeaked in under the line, but still got my words written and a little more. Today, I woke very early with a headache, and went ahead and got up. Then I went out for a walk on the seawall–Folks were already filling the beach up. I’m wondering if there’s a beach volleyball tournament this weekend, because I saw a women’s team of some kind working out on the beach, except the balls didn’t look like volleyballs. Water’s still green all the way inshore, and the wind is minimal, which means it’s perfect for swimming. I’ll have to see if I can drag the boy out to swim with me.

Anyway, after I got home and cleaned up, I sat down to write, and I’ve got enough I can take tomorrow off again.

The fella has started cleaning house. He’s already brought two stacks of things into the office…which is a huge mess, but who knows when that will be amended. I think I’m going to catch up on the sleep I missed this morning so we can go see a movie this afternoon. I’m still wanting to see Super 8. And yeah, I’ll have to kick in on the cleaning too. Sigh. It’s kinda like “When Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy,” except it’s “When Dad’s cleaning, everybody’s cleaning.”

I guess I ought to pitch in and clean…I need to find my camera. I did figure out how to turn on the phone’s camera… But in celebration of actually writing a blog post on my home computer, where I have pictures. here’s the picture the older son made me take in Pittsburgh of him with Heinz Field in the background. It’s the yellowish bit above the yellow arch of the bridge. This is the son who wants to be a coach. He’s into sports, just a little… 😉

And yes, we’re planning a very lazy holiday weekend… About all we really have planned is going to the fireworks show Monday night. They shoot them from one of the rock piers out over the Gulf of Mexico, so there’s not much worry about fires in our drought. All other fireworks have been banned.

Oh, I’m keeping track of books here too. This morning, I finally finished REBEL by Zoe Archer. I bought a couple-three or so e-books last night. Need to put them on the reader so I can read them. And maybe go to the library… I’ve read all my library books.

Day 10

Can you believe it? I’ve actually made it 10 days, writing every day. In longhand, the way I write fiction.

Yesterday, it was iffy. I went to the grocery store after work. (And actually topped $200 in my grocery bill!) (I don’t go very often, because I don’t like to.) By the time I got home and unloaded the car (mostly–left the cokes for the fella to bring in), and cooled off (Boy! it was hot yesterday!!) and put the food away, and decided what I wanted to think about maybe cooking for supper, the afternoon was gone. Then it was time to actually cook supper.

I did a Thai-style beef stirfry with snow peas & red pepper & a peanut sauce that could have used more hot sauce, with noodles. I’d bought the snow peas after I made this the first time, and needed to use them and the fresh cilantro before they got old. Cilantro really has to be used fresh. A lot of herbs still have flavor when they’re dried, but not cilantro. Parsley is probably the same way–except I’ve never really been able to taste much besides “green” when I taste parsley.

Anyway, after supper, I was sitting around reading about the Best & Worst Legislators in the Texas Monthly (where politics is a spectator sport), and it got later, and later–and finally, it was to the point of: “If you do not go in there Right Now and write SOMETHING, you will have to start over again, counting your days.”

So I went. I wrote. At least 100 words. In my rather small and crabbed longhand, 100 words is about half a page, if there’s not too much dialogue. I had dialogue, so I wrote more than half a page.Yes, I’m still in the middle–well, more the beginning–of the love scene. But people talk then, too, you know.

I also read a book yesterday: finished A GREAT AND TERRIBLE BEAUTY by Libba Bray. I’ve pretty much been trying to decide what I think about it since.

I work at keeping up with the books at GoodReads, but I’m usually 4 to 6 (or more) books behind, there, because I try to write a little something about the book so I can hopefully remember it when I look it up, and remember that I’ve read it. Maybe I’ll just list them here… Some of my books are on the little widget in the sidebar, but they’re more random, not necessarily the most recently read. I don’t know how to tell it to show the recent reads. Sigh.