Friday, August 27, 2010

I went to my writing group on Monday night and we talked about the Hunger Games and how excited we were to read Mockingjay. At the time I was still reading Catching Fire so I wasn't sure if I was going to rush right out and get Mockingjay the second the bookstore opened. I claimed I would be able to be wait and maybe clean my house first.
Instead I finished Catching Fire on Monday night, staying up past my bedtime to finish it even and ended up biking to the bookstore on Tuesday morning to pick up a copy.

I haven't had as much time to read it as I would like because it is the most wonderful time of the year. The Minnesota State Fair opened yesterday and as usual I was there on opening day. I go several times every year and it truly is the Great Minnesota Get Together.
Opening Day highlights included a trip down the Giant Slide, Chocolate Covered Bacon, cloggers with a goose costume and a marching band playing Thriller in the parade. They stopped and did the Thriller dance with their instruments and most of them had some degree of Zombie make up.

My cats are kitten sitting. I'm not sure how I thought this would go but I told my friend that her new kittens could stay here while she was out of town for a week. The minute my cats saw the carrier they hid. They know that nothing good comes from the cat carrier. I may have actually broken my cat's heart with these kittens. He is sitting under the bed feeling sad and unloved. My other cat is scared of the kittens. She is scared of most things, but kittens, really?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Hunger Games-1, To Do List-0

Yesterday I had goals and a to do list a mile long. I was going to work out. I was going to an appointment in the suburbs. I was going to go grocery shopping. I was going to clean my house and I was going to write.
I did some of these things but I have to admit I did not have my heart in my to do list yesterday.
Normally I'm pretty focused on the Monday To Do list because it sets the tone for the entire week. With a matinee this Wednesday I would usually be super focused.
Instead I was reading The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.
It is the book club selection at League of Extraordinary Writers and the third book in the series comes out this month so I figured it was a good time to see what it was all about.

I have to admit that it took until the end of part one for the book to really grab me in such a way that I would forsake my to do list but when I got into it I really couldn't put it down.
Seriously I had trouble falling asleep on Sunday night because I was thinking about the book and wondering what was going to happen next but I had to stop reading because I was too tired to remember to turn the page and keep my eyes open.

I submitted my manuscript to be considered for the class Advanced Picture Book Workshop and now I just have to wait until September 3 to hear anything. I'm nervous I won't get in but I guess if I don't get in I will know that my story isn't really ready yet.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Thursday was writing group day which means it is time to revise.

I have this picture book manuscript that I've been working on for a while and I'm thinking of taking a class at the Loft called Advanced Picture Book Workshop. But I'm a little nervous about it. I have to submit my story before the class to even get into the class. It is a little nerve racking because what if I don't get in to the class?

Plus the class is called Advanced Picture Book Workshop. The emphasis seems to be on the workshop part. I'm just not really sure if I can handle so much workshopping but I guess it will make me a better writer and will hopefully make my story the best it can be before I submit it.

In other news I'm reading The Hunger Games right now. I was reading about the training and I felt a little like I was training for something yesterday at my Gladiator class at the gym. Fortunately when I go to Gladiator class I don't have to fight to the death but it is still a fun class. We also do not have to wear the costumes. I did put a lot of people in the Gladiator costume for Halloween last year.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

I've been talking with some friends about my childhood unicorn story. Mostly in that "OMG you wrote a story about unicorns too" sort of way.
We have even discussed having Unicorn Story Hour in which we all sit around and read our unicorn stories but then it turns out Steph got rid of her unicorn story during college when her mom took her to the attic and showed her a box of stuff she had been saving and asked her to take what she wanted.
I have been critiquing eight-year-old-Carrie's story. After reading through the story a couple times I discovered a major flaw in the piece. The big question I have for my eight year old self is if the unicorn is so powerful (she travels to a new planet and defeats a troll army) why doesn't she just stop her forest from being cut down in the first place?

In other news I'm going to be an Aunt again. I had this idea that I should make a quilt for the baby but then realized that while I can sew I don't want to apply that skill to quilting because I do not need another way to have unfinished projects. A trip to the art fair by my house has made me the proud temporary owner of baby quilt made by my friend Amy. It is so super cute and I hope the baby loves it as much as my sister and I loved our quilts.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Summer reading

I recently bought a book at Half Price Books.
I bought it despite knowing that I have a good stack of books to read and the I didn't need to add any more books to the "To be Read Pile".
The book was Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl I Learned From Judy Blume edited by Jennifer O'Connell. It is a collection of essays by YA and Chic Lit authors about their experiences with Judy Blume books.
Since my childhood summers were all about reading Judy Blume books a book about Judy Blume books seemed like the perfect summer read.
I have to recommend this book to any Judy Blume fan. Readers who grew up reading her books can relate to the essays in the book. The lessons learned from characters are sort of universal and touched a lot of kids lives. The book included essays written by Meg Cabot and Megan McCafferty.
There are a couple essays about the book Forever by Judy Blume. When I was reading them I was stuck with how people reacted to this book. They often kept it hidden or it was passed around groups of friends in secret.
I think I read every Judy Blume book I could get my hands on from the time I was in third grade through high school. I read Forever sometime in my middle school years but I don't remember being worried my mom would discover me reading it. I didn't leave it at school or hide it under my mattress. I remember reading it out in the open like I would have any book. Although I probably did blush at the sex parts I don't remember thinking I shouldn't be reading that book.
My mom became more conservative when she got remarried but she still didn't freak out about what I read except the time I tried to get a subscription to Cosmo. She even defended me when her friends from church thought I was being rebellious by dying my hair. She said it was just hair. She didn't censor my music either.
She figured if a book came from the YA section of the library that it was OK for me to read. I think she thought if I was reading there were a lot of other things I wasn't doing. Maybe she knew that books had a lot of the answers I needed when I was growing up.
I remember when I wanted to read some of her Danielle Steele books she helped me pick the ones she thought I would like the best.
A few years ago my sister who is uber religious was talking about a certain book and how she didn't think that parents at her church should let kids read the book. My sister claimed the book would teach kids witchcraft. My mom jumped to the defense of the book, not that she had ever read it. She said it was more important for kids to read and if the book could get that many kids excited about reading she didn't think it was bad for them.
Whenever I think about growing up one of the things I feel lucky about is that my mom never censored my reading or music. I probably didn't think I had a cool mom growing up but now that I'm a grown up I'm glad I had a mom who was cool enough to let me read what I wanted to read.