Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Pete and Repeat in Editland

Yes, I've gone missing recently. Wish I could say I've been backpacking through Europe, sailing the Caribbean sea while working on my tan, or running loose and wild in Mickey's hood. Fact of the matter is I'm holed up in a neat little place called Editland, hanging with my pals Pete and Repeat. These guys are the uber-funsters, rummaging through a perfectly content 70,000 word manuscript and wreaking havoc.
I speak of those pesky words, applied over-frequently, here, there and everywhere. They're like too much salt in the soup pot - ruins the broth.
Writing requires the use of a steady supply of fresh stock, brand new ways of saying the same old thing. It also demands you watch for falling ands, buts, hes, shes and thats.
Under the wise and watchful eye of my ever-patient Editor, I am very busy beating this bad boy into respectable shape. Banning Pete and Repeat from the likes of my world forever. Hopefully.
So writers, raise your hand if you despise finding these two characters idling within your pages.
And now, I'm told I need to take a mudslide, a deep breath and get back to work.
Editland awaits. Pass the sunscreen.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Over-readers Anonymous

So, if we are what we eat, does it also stand to reason that we are what we read? The way I see it, they are both ingested - food and literature - and each an art form in their own way. I've never been much of a foodie. I eat to live, not the other way around. What if, by chance, we read a little too much? I mean, is there really such a thing? My appetite for books is a lot like that infamous pit with no bottom. Each meal leaves me wanting more. Perhaps one day you'll find me on a reality TV show for over-readers. Some perky/annoying hostess will be snarling at me to "Drop that novel and give me five." Hey, lady - don't you know? There's no crying in baseball and no calories in rEATing.

Being a book glutton is easy, too. It's instant gratification. You'll never be required to stand in a sweaty buffet line with fork in hand. These days you can download, upload, or order up whatever your heart desires from the comfort of your home while simultaneously munching on a pizza, or maybe a little something sweet like a sleeve of chocolate chip cookie dough.

My taste varies but it never wavers. It's like they say, "Once a reader, always a reader." I've been knocking back my fair share of YA fiction lately, with a side dish of memoir.
Once I finish that off I'll be staring down the business end of a best-seller, a la Stockett style.

I know I'm not the only one with this affliction. You have it too, don't you? I can see you out there with your fully loaded Kindles. You skipped breakfast but you devoured the first chapter of something Grisham on the train, didn't ya? The first step to recovery is admitting there's a problem.
But wait. I don't want to get over this. I'm perfectly content with this addiction. There'll be no intervention for this girl.
The show is over, folks. Thanks for your concern. Now move along.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Moms, Monsters & Marathons

It's that time again - to pay homage to those women to whom we owe our very lives. Mom's are skilled in imparting their wisdom in such fashion that we may not only grow into decent human beings but also never, ever embarrass them in any way. Thanks to my mom I've learned that I didn't live in a barn ("Shut that door behind you") or that we weren't trying to heat or cool the entire neighborhood. She's taught me about world hunger ("Finish your peas. Don't you know there are children starving in Africa?") and about religion, too ("You'd better pray that nail polish comes out of that bedspread".)
Becoming a mother myself made me appreciate the beauty in the reply. My personal fave:
Kid: Can we get a pony?
Me: No
Kid: Why not?
Me: Because I said so. (It's a gem, isn't it?)
My hats off to the woman who crafted that little ditty.
Mothers are born creators. And we just love our fiction. When my kids were young I got about a million miles out of the "Santa's watching so you'd better behave" threat. Same rule of behavior applied to the Easter Bunny. We kept 'em in line with the "your face will freeze that way" tale, and keep them safe from the dreaded Sleep Sucker with a can of Mom's Famous Monster Spray. One shot of that and a dark bedroom was boogeyman-free.
If I had to sum it all up, I'd say that motherhood is a lot like running a 10k in 6-inch heels, spiked heels. In the rain. Up hill. Both ways. Yet when we reach the finish line, our reward awaits. There our children will be to offer us those three little words that make it all worthwhile.
"What's for dinner?"
Blessings moms, one and all.