Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Home construction and writing?

We've been working on finishing our basement for a while now. It has taken longer than I thought it would, but is actually coming along faster than I thought as well.
How is that possible? Well, when we first got started, I had in mind what it should look like at the end. We only have a half basement, filling the underneath level between our kitchen and front room, since we have a sunk in family room that isn't a basement, but isn't on the main level either.

SO I knew we'd only have two rooms, a bathroom, and a storage room with a small utility room there as well. My image of it and my husbands image were similar, but until we actually got to the framing, and building, of it, it was just an idea.

After the frame took shape, then we could tweak the little things, like the wall texture, the paint, the lighting, the flooring, the molding, the fixtures, the cabinets, and such in the bathrooms, as long as they fit within the frame of our rooms. (sometimes it took a little force and some shoving, but we made things fit when we really wanted them in there.) In the bathroom, I picked a color I loved, but the honey didn't like it as much, so we tweaked it a little by splotching it with some white paint and a loofah sponge. Easy fix, and I could see the change made a big improvement.
It came together little bits at a time, with a lot of hard work and effort going into it. We (and I mostly mean he) worked on this and did most of the work by our(him) selves, but on things we knew we needed help on, we went to a professional, or one who knew exactly what to do and how to do it.

Don't ask me why, (I'm a writer, I couldn't help applying what I learned to writing a book) but I started to think how the writing of my story followed a similar pattern. I have a basic idea of a story. The size is determined by the genre, and the age range I'm writing for. The frame is what I have to work with and relates to my plot. The little things I can tweak are easy to do for a bit, and I have a lot of options, but once I pick them, I need to stay true to them and their abilities, strengths weaknesses, and so forth unless I want to go to a lot of effort to redo them, so the thinking things through before I commit comes in handy.

There are times when I needed the opinion and a fresh view of someone else to tell me how to fix my problem, and make it work. Other times, I pushed and shoved and edited, and changed things until it fit.

Thankfully I never had to completely tear out anything, in either situation, but this thing called writing sure takes longer than I thought it was. Once I had the frame and the walls set up, I thought I was done, but now I'm going through, fixing the dings, making sure the cement holding it together is pretty and smooth, the paint needs to go on evenly, and the accents are being worked on to make it all a beautiful finished product. I'm still working on it, but I sure have come to understand that it takes more than just the framework to make a good story or a beautiful room.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I sent my kids to school today.

School has started up again, after a fun and busy summer. I used to always think summers were easier to deal with, and the school year was hard.

That must have been because I was a student for a lot of those years, and a teacher for a couple more. I looked forward to summer and couldn't wait for all the late nights I'd enjoy (and growing up in a small town, it probably doesn't resemble the late night that may come to mind for some people).

I loved working in the little mercantile for my dad while growing up. Having a built in job was awesome, plus, I could always have whatever kind of snack I needed or wanted and just put it on my tab. Somehow, my income was always sufficient to cover my wants. Plus I even had money for school shopping just before school started. We'd load into an old green van, and head to the BIG city. Of course, Salt Lake City is a big city, but to me from my grass valley roots, it was humongous. What fond memories are mine. I even sat on a bucket in the van, because there weren't enough seats, or seat belts, cause my parents took the back bench out to make room for all the supplies they'd pick up at the bulk stores. Good thing we never were in an accident or I'd be dead by now.

Then when school would start, everything came rushing in. After school activities, drama club, musical productions, drill team, and keeping good grades made for a busy life. I LOVED school, but always felt excited when summer rolled around again.

However, now that I'm a mom, I still keep thinking summer will be easy and laid back. It so isn't. We go on vacation, usually a couple of trips to our favorite lake. Lake Powell is awesome. And we do some other things, with busy nights, and weekends, and trying to keep a handful of kids occupied and entertained. No wonder moms start the month of August looking forward to shopping for their kids back to school needs, knowing that soon, they will have a few hours a day of peace and tranquility, or in my case a lessening of the fantastic chaos since there are still two at my house who aren't in school yet.

But just the difference of having two in the house instead of four, plus me of course, allows for more time to write. I'm excited for my new project and have been happily banging away at the keyboard, and making some adjustments to the beginning I'd done on it months ago. We'll see if I use my time wisely, or not.

Probably some of both.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

It is DONE

I may have said this before, but I am done with the first one, and I'm putting it away for a month and focusing on something else entirely. I'm not gonna look at it at all. I found the first time I put it away for a few months, and came back to it later, I saw all kinds of ways to fix it. I'm hoping it wont need fixing again, but it feels nice to know I can put it away.

Now onto my next project. I really want to start on it right this second, but my battery is low, my energy is low, and my mind is tired. (sort of) Maybe I can dream about what all I want to do with this next one.

On a side note, I got to meet another published author a few days ago. It is so amazing to meet other people who have accomplished what you want to. And such a nice feeling to know that others succeeded and it is possible that you can too. Such a kind man too. I met J. Scott Savage, the author of the Farworld Series, and the Covington mysteries. His sister also came and told us about her experience in breaking into the publishing world. It takes more than just a little work, but it has been worth it so far.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I have such crazy dreams. I rarely go a night without having a dream of some sort.

The other night, I dreamed that my husband came home from work with a family following him, and he informed me that he had just sold the house and these people would be moving in immediately.

I had to start packing my stuff (I have a lot of stuff) and moving it out while the new family started moving their stuff in. I was making good progress, and wasn't panicked at all (which is so NOT like me.) I need to have weeks or months of prep time to wrap my mind around a concept, so in my dream I kept wondering why it didn't bother me that he had sold the house out from under me, and that I was packing everything up so well.

He was even so kind as to get a horse trailer to use as our moving van/truck. They even put up some nice blankets to keep the messy horse droppings from getting on our stuff.

The thing that did concern me, was that we didn't really have a house picked out that we were moving to. I asked my husband where we would be on Sunday (the next day) because I had to teach sharing time in Primary. I also started wondering which of my neighbors I could go ask to help haul out the heavy furnitures and stuff.

I woke up before we moved, or even finished loading the horse trailer.

The thing that cracks me up about this dream is that we have no intention of moving from our home. At least not anytime soon.

Ahh, I just love my subconscious mind. Gives me such interesting insight into myself.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Learning as I go.

GAHHHH.

I'm getting so tired of going over and over and over my story. Isn't it done yet? I've revised it many times, and still find little mistakes here and there. It is helping to read through it out loud and see how the sentences flow.

I'm seriously considering paying someone to do a massive critique edit. Make sure it is a great as it can be. It's not bad, but it's not perfect yet.

I still have other stories running around through my head, but until I can get this one where I want it to be, I've put the other ones on hold.
I've also been having fun doing "research" by reading other stories in my genre and age range. It is amazing how many authors can write so many books and do such a good job on them. This first one of mine has been fun, but very difficult as I have learned all the things I've done wrong and had to correct them. Hopefully as I improve in my craft, the following stories won't take as long to do. Hope I learn from my mistakes and avoid the same types of things in the future.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Who gets motion sick?

We went to Lagoon yesterday, and I've realized I'm getting old.

I used to be able to ride each ride, multiple times without ever getting motion sick at all. This time, I didn't get sick on the rides, but did feel like I got a bit of whip lash a couple of times, and when I got in bed that night, I started to feel sick from the remembered motions. My brain just couldn't cope I guess. Lucky for me I was so exhausted I fell asleep within 10 minutes instead of the 30 to 40 it usually takes me.
How bad is that when you get motion sick lying in your own bed? (it's not a water bed by the way)

I haven't been for about nine years, because my kids were always too little, but we tried it with 4 kids ranging in age of 2 years to 8 years. It was a lot of fun, and the kids had a blast. They've really improved their options for young kids. Even the parents can ride on some of those rides too. I begged my fabulous sister to come with and to be another adult so we could take turns going and riding the big people rides, while one adult stayed with the kids.

It was a lot of fun, and now that I'm home the day after, I have a head ache, sore muscles in my neck and a tiny bit of motion sickness. I feel embarrassed to admit that, but it's true.
And we are gonna try to bounce back in a few days. Maybe I'll come home and sleep soundly, but I doubt it. I'll be motion sick again, once I lay down on my king size bed.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

No title really, just thoughts.

This has nothing to do with writing, but a little to do with reading.

I know how to read a recipe and follow it. And sometimes, it turns out AMAZING. I made a real honest to goodness cheesecake and it was so rich and creamy and delicious, that you can only stand to eat one slice. But lucky for me, that means I get to have it for many days in a row.

I love to cook. I HATE to wash the dishes afterwards. However, there have been times while I'm standing at the kitchen sink, staring out the window and looking at the Great Salt Lake in the distance, and enjoying the fantastic colors God painted the sky with that I just think of how wonderful this life experience is.

I can do anything I want to (within reason, morally, ethically, emotionally, and financially) I live in a free country with so many rights and freedoms and opportunities. I truly feel blessed.
I love reading about different things. Some in the type of genre I attempt to write in, but I have always loved reading. The first book I remember reading is "The Best Nest" I memorized it and quoted it to my mom as she sat on the couch next to me. She'd have to point out places where I'd skipped entire paragraphs, but that joy of sitting on the couch with my mom and having her attention while I read was priceless (any time a mother can give to one child in a family of seven children is precious) Makes me wanna go pull one of my kids into my lap and read with them.

Its always nice to be able to escape into another world when I read a book, but I am so thankful to be able to return to my world and my life, because it is definitely a great one.