Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Writing Group

This morning I had the pleasure of meeting with one of my writing groups.
This is a great group of writers and I get so much from them whenever we meet. I love getting their feedback on a story and then spending the time revising to answer some of the questions that come up and play with their suggestions.
I also love the ah-ha moments. When someone really has a realizations about something about their story during our discussions.
There was one of those moments today.
Last month one of the people in the group recommended Take Joy by Jane Yolen. I just got it on my most recent trip to the library and I really like it. One of the things she writes about is the need to elevate a story from real life into fiction. So today we were talking about how to do that with one of the stories and then the ah-ha moment came for the writer.
I love reading everyones work and being a part of that process. I can't wait to have a bookshelf full of books written by people in my writing group.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

What I'm reading

I just finished the most amazing book. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer.
It seems that even when I read books from the grown up section of the library I am still reading books where the main character is a child. Recently I read My Sister's Keeper and The Secret Life of Bees is another recent read that comes to mind.
This book follows that life of Oskar Schell as he comes to terms with his fathers death. His father died in 9/11. Mixed in are the stories and letters of his grandparents who lost everything when Dresden was bombed.
This book has been on my list for a long time but I don't buy a lot of books. This is due to the fact that my appetite for reading and books is more than I can both afford or have space for. In the book Oskar's great grandfather has a shed behind his house made out of books. So when a person pulls a book from the shelf it creates a space in the wall. This is what I would have to construct if I bought all the books I wanted to read.
Oskar is nine and he obviously has a lot of fears and he is such an honest character in how much he misses his dad. He goes on a search for a key that he found in his father's closet. Oskar is very scientific. He sets out to meet every person with the last name of Black in New York City and ask them about a key he found. He meets a lot of people on his journey and you get to hear their stories too.
There are also letters from his grandparents. His grandmother lives in a building next door. Oskar is the most important thing in her world. Through her letters you learn about her life of loss in Dresden and how she lost her family and all she had. She came to America to start new.
This was an amazing book and I would highly recommend it.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The best childhood toy

The other day at work Isabell Monk O'Connor stopped by. She is an actor around town but has also written some children's books. She had in her hand a silver plastic hoop. At first I thought it was for the kids who were lucky enough to attend Target Play Dates but I was wrong. She brought the Hula Hoop for us, the lovely ladies of wardrobe. Awesome.
Here is what I have discovered- I'm still good at Hula Hooping. Seriously it is like all those years between when I was 10 and now never happened and much like riding a bike I just picked it right back up again.
It is really fun. It is kind of like being a kid again.
So I went to movies at the park by my house and there were Hula Hoops out for that event so I did some more hooping on my day off from work.
My week has begun again but I still want more Hula Hooping. I checked my gym which used to have hooping classes but doesn't have them anymore before going on a quest for my very own Hula Hoop. I think I should have made one but I'm just wanted instant gratification today so I checked at Target where they did not have any. Finally my search for clip on sunglasses and a hula hoop lead me to Kmart where I had the option between the Wave hoop which has water inside, the basic hoop which seemed really light after you have been using a wave hoop and the cosmic hoop. The cosmic hoop was $9 so I ended up with the wave hoop.
It is awesome but my scaredy cat is afraid of it.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Goonies

I watched The Goonies at my neighborhood Movies in the Park.
I have to say that this movie was just as good as I remember it being when I was a kid. It has everything a movie could want, pirates, bad guys, rich guys and cool kids that out smart everyone.
If you've never seen this movie basically the rich guy in town are going to foreclose on the poor section of town known as the Goon docks. They want to turn it into a country club. The kids in the movie want to save their houses so no one has to move.
They find a treasure map in the attic and some paper clippings about a pirate ship that was supposed to be hidden on the coast somewhere.
There are also a band of bad guys known as the Fratelli's who escape from prison at the beginning of the movie.
The kids decide that they've got nothing to lose and so they tie the older brother up and go look for the treasure.
Their search leads them to the Fratelli's hideout where they climb down a fire place and end up in tunnels under the city filled with booby traps.
They end up walking through the wishing well where Mikey makes the best motivational speech, ever.
They find the pirate ship but then the Fratellis show up and they run leaving all the pirate gold behind.
When they show up on shore safe and sound everyone is happy, the Fratelli's are caught but the rich guys still want to foreclose on the house. But one of the kids has managed to get some jewels out of pirate land and everything is good.
The pirate ship, still full of gold, sails off into the sunset and no one goes after it.
So the thing I wonder is why doesn't anyone go after the ship full of gold? When I watched this as a kid I just figured they went after the boat after the credits rolled. But then again maybe all they needed was the marble pouch of jewels. I mean the whole point of going after the pirate ship was so they wouldn't have to leave the Goon Docks so if they got the ridiculous amount of gold on the pirate ship they would end up leaving to Goon Docks to be neighbors with the rich guy Troy and his dad. So they just got what they needed to save their way of life.
But it was a really fun little trip down memory lane.

Friday, August 07, 2009

The Nicest Rejection Letter. Ever.

So today I opened my mailbox to find a rejection letter. Since I am waiting to hear on a story from a magazine I thought this is what it might have been about. This was a rejection letter for a manuscript that I sent out in January.
First of all it was a personal rejection letter not the typical form rejection.
The letter talks about how much she loves the concept of the book and how she thinks it would be a valuable resource for children.
The letter was so positive that it made me really bummed that this publisher would not be a home for my book.
The letter was so encouraging that it has been taped up next to my acceptance letter from the magazine that is publishing a story of mine this fall.
So yeah even though it is a rejection letter it is still really nice and positive and from the letter I feel like she really wanted to see this be a book.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Another Blog

OK so I have decided to start another blog. It is a blog about what I do for work.
Since I'm trying to keep this blog more about writing I wanted this other blog to be its own thing.
I feel like my job is fun I have lots of funny things to say about my experiences working as a wardrobe girl as well as stain fighting tips and stuff so check it out.
Dressing Them Up

Saturday, August 01, 2009

cat vs. dog person

I am trying my hand at a nonfiction story by writing about the dog my Mom is training. The dog is a Leader Dog and my Mom is a puppy raiser so she has the dog for a year before he goes to be tested and trained.
I am always reading about how children's magazines are looking for nonfiction stories so I thought this might be kind of fun to write.
The thing I wonder is how a cat person like myself can write so many stories about dogs. The story I worked on last year in my ABC's of Writing for Children class was about a dog. Is there some dog person buried deep inside my cat person? Or does writing give me a way to imagine all these dogs as I would like them to be but without having to own them and walk them and clean up after them.
I would say that I prefer cats for all the stereotypical reasons that people prefer cats but I happen to have the neediest cat in the world. He waits for me by the door to come home at night and if there is a change in my schedule that requires me to be away more than normal he makes himself sick with concern. So the whole idea that cats are independent creatures doesn't work in my favor since sometimes my cat behaves more like a dog than a cat. My other cat is aloof and quiet while plotting my demise.