Friday, February 25, 2011

Happy Friday

I've been on a revising roll lately. Pretty much ever since I discovered how much I like using my Kindle to read my drafts.

Lisa over at Read. Write. Repeat. is having a contest to win an Arc of Liar's Society by Lisa and Laura Roecker. I'm telling you this even though I want to win because I am nice and awesome like that.

I had so much fun participating in a blogfest that I'm going to do it again. Next week Erinn is hosting the Gone But Not Forgotten Blogfest. I love TV even though I don't watch a lot anymore so this blogfest is perfect for me.

In other news I am beginning to collect items for this years Peep diorama. I'm pretty sure that I am going to need to consume at least one Peep to make my creative dream a reality.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

New Nephew

This week I became an aunt. So far it is a good gig. All of the goodness of babies with none of the diaper changing and late night feedings. Score.

I'm not really sure that anything else can top that. I love seeing my cousins and sisters have kids. I love seeing the new baby faces and seeing the resemblance to their parents. One of my nieces can smirk and look just like her mom and grandfather. My cousin's baby has this really intense scowling look. All my cousins on my mom's side of the family have similar noses. I wonder if Noah will have a similar nose.

Needless to say I am excited and I promise to buy him whatever books he asks me for.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Happy President's Day

Happy President's Day.
Today is a holiday and in addition in Minnesota it is a snow day.
Who do you think of when you think of President's Day. Washington? Lincoln? Jefferson?
In a recent discussion about Glee's William McKinley High School and jealousy over the high school theater department's awesome fog machine and rain curtain (seriously do you know how long it takes to tech a scene with a rain curtain not to mention how much they cost? I totally want that high school's budget) one of my friends mentioned another President who doesn't get a lot of attention. That's right. I'm talking about Taft.

There are other clips from this series so go check it out and see if you can find your favorite President.
If you're looking for a little holiday reading I highly recommend Sarah Vowell's book Assassination Vacation . Lots of info in this book about Lincoln, Garfield and McKinley.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Revising with my Kindle

I got a Kindle for Christmas and so far I love it. But I would like to win the lottery so I could afford to buy more books for my Kindle.

Besides reading books on my Kindle I learned how to send documents to my Kindle. Kindle owners did you know your Kindle has an email address? It is under the settings.

I'm currently revising a middle grade novel and over the last couple weeks I've been reading my draft on my Kindle and then revising and making on the computer.

What I love about using the Kindle for revising.
1. It is small and I can read my draft anywhere. I can read it on a plane or while waiting at the doctor's office or whatever.

2. Less paper. OK I hate wasting paper. Paper is expensive. Ink is even more expensive than paper. If I have to print out every draft that is a lot of paper and ink.

3. It is easy to go back turn back to earlier pages rather than sifting though a paper manuscript.
4. Highlighting and making notes. I love this feature. It puts what I highlight in "my clippings" then I can break out smaller pieces.

5. Reading a draft on my Kindle makes me think of it more as a book since that is what the Kindle is for, books. I've been making better changes and finding it easier to see where changes need to happen when I read it on the Kindle. I've been more picky since I'm thinking of it as a book.

Do you own an e-reader? What amazing things does it do?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Almost to 50 and candy news

See my followers bar. I'm so close to fifty. I'm like one follower away from fifty. This is kind of a big milestone for me and has me thinking about what I should do when I reach 100 followers. I'm saving my pennies for something good.
This week I participated in my first blogfest and I've discovered new blogs and have new followers on my own blog. It was great fun.

I'm thinking a lot about the state of Wisconsin today. Wisconsin is my state neighbor but more than that what is going on in Wisconsin is troubling to me. I am a member of IATSE, that is the stage hands union. I am inspired by all the people standing up for the rights of the people in the State Workers Unions.

I know Valentine's Day was Monday but I saw these in the clearance bin at the grocery store and I couldn't resist.

That's right. Twilight Sweethearts. They say: Dazzle, I (heart) EC, Live 4 Ever and True Love. One of the flavors is Jacob Black Cherry.
They made me laugh and so into the cart and onto the blog they went.

In other candy related news I saw my first package of Peeps at the store. I know that Peeps come in every season now but I don't support Peeps edging in on the other candy's holidays. Peeps are for Easter. I've got a great idea for my entry in the Peep Diorama Contest this year and I plan on documenting the process again this year. I won't tell you what it is about but I am going to work on making Peep sized corn dogs.

How was your week? Did you make new blog friends this week? Get any fun or funny valentines?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


To celebrate reaching 500 followers NicoleDucleroir at One Significant Moment at a Time is hosting the Bernard Pivot Blogfests

It involves answering questions form Bernard Pivot's Inside the Actor's Studio Questionnaire.

  • What is your favorite word? awesome
  • What is your least favorite word?Moist
  • What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?being around other creative people. Seeing other writers, actors artists put themselves out there inspires me to do the same.
  • What turns you off?boredom
  • What is your favorite curse word?damn
  • What sound or noise do you love? laughter
  • What sound or noise do you hate?Yippy dogs barking.
  • What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? nail polish namer, usher at Target Field (Ok this is my retirement career)
  • What profession would you not like to do?cleaning lady at a hotel
  • If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?Good job.

  • Tuesday, February 15, 2011

    Guide to Writing Groups

    I belong to a writing group and last night we gave feedback on one of the member's novels. It was very cool to see her novel as a whole, in the past we've critiqued 50 pages. The feedback went really well. I've been involved in writers groups for a couple years now and I think they are really valuable. Here are my tips for a successful writing group.

    The first step is to meet other writers who are interested in a writing group. I've met people in writing classes and at local SCBWI events. So be friendly to people because they may just help you along the way.

    1. Set a schedule and stick to it. I go to one writing group that meets on Monday nights. I go to another writing group that meets every other Tuesday. This is good because I know what I'm doing every Monday night and also every other Tuesday. The schedule won't always fit for everyone and that is OK.

    2. Show up. The only reason I miss my writing group is if I have work. One of my groups is small, 3 of us, so attendance is pretty important.

    3. Make the time productive. In my novel group we don't always have things to workshop so we usually set a timer and write for an hour.

    4. Take critiquing seriously. OK it takes time to read a novel. It takes time to notice good writing in that draft and it takes time to find areas that need attention. Take the time because someone will do that for your novel one day.

    5. Give quality feedback. I like to state the things I liked, the positives, first. For other things I ask questions. Remember that drafts are sensitive things. And behind every draft is a writer with feelings. Be careful with them.

    6. Read. Every time you read a book/essay/short story you are reading something that was once someone's rough draft. Reading can help your own writing and it can help your critiquing skills. Seeing what successful books did well can help you in your own work but also might be able to help you notice great writing or areas that need work in your writing partners writing.

    Do your belong to a writing group? What are your tips for successful writing groups?

    Saturday, February 12, 2011

    A Oui Bit Of Red

    One of my dream jobs on my list of dream jobs has always been "Nail Polish Namer" Ever since back when I wore colors with names like Blood and Gun Metal.
    I went through a period of time when I didn't wear nail polish as much because I worked as a waitress because I worked at a place that only allowed servers to wear neutral colors for nail polish. Apparently purple isn't a neutral color.
    My love of nail polish has been revived in the last couple years thanks to OPI. I love the names of the nail polish. I bought Mrs. O'Leary's BBQ because my dad once owned a boat that had been owned by a great grandson of the Mrs. O'Leary who was the owner of a certain lantern kicking cow. Since then I've bought many other colors in the OPI line.
    As a writer I think that having pretty nails in important. A vibrant color on my nails can really make the words flow. A clam color like Cozumelted in the Sun can be great for revisions.
    This weekend in honor of Valentine's Day I've decided to go with a Oui Bit of Red. A fun red color that makes me think of France, fun and love.
    I'm sure the color will go well with the weekend warm up- seriously people it is going to be 30 degrees here in Minneapolis. I just cracked open my window and I won't be wearing gloves all weekend in celebration of the warmer temps and so I'll be able to show off my red nails.

    Wednesday, February 09, 2011

    Way Back Wednesday

    My Mom sold her house about a year ago and moved to a townhouse near my step sister and two hours closer to me. Yay. In the process she found some of my early childhood writings.

    So I've decided to post some of the early stuff here.

    by Carrie Monroe
    M was once a muppet, a maid and a movie star.
    M munches McNuggets from McDonalds and watches Mickey Mouse.
    M gets mail from Michigan sent to the moon.
    M invented malls on the moon and maps for malls and
    money for Minnesota.
    M never gets mad or mean.

    -From A Totally-Tubular- Out-of-this-World-Book
    OK so this gem was written after sixth grade at College for Kids. Kids took classes in things they wanted for a week during the summer. I took writing. We wrote poems and stories for a week and then the instructor put them together in a "book". One of the kids drew the cover.
    One of the assignments from the class was to write a poem using the first letter from our last name. I wrote this the summer after sixth grade so clearly the things that were important to me were malls and McDonalds (Which I was never allowed to have since my mom was a nurse).

    Hope you enjoyed this edition of Way Back Wednesday.

    Tuesday, February 08, 2011

    Baseball books

    The Super Bowl is officially over which means that we are now down to single digits until Pitchers and Catchers report. 9 days.

    After this winter I don't think I've ever been more ready for baseball season to start. I can't wait to sit out in the sun on Home Run Porch and watch my boys of summer play ball.

    Since baseball is one of my favorite sports to watch and cheer for I naturally have a list of baseball related books I like to read and baseball movies to watch.

    If you, like me can't wait until Opening Day to hear the crack of the bat here are my baseball book recommendations

    Shoeless Joe by W. P. Kinsella - I can't help it. I'm from Iowa and I love baseball so I love this book.
    The Natural by Bernard Malamud
    What Time Is It? You Mean Now by Yogi Berra- this isn't a book about baseball so much as it is a guide to life. Despite the fact that I'm a Twins fan Yogi was a big part of my childhood. Not the real Yogi but a copper bust of Yogi that my grandpa had. No surprise that my favorite Twin is Joe Mauer, the catcher.
    Mudville- by Kurtis Scaletta- Baseball, curses, also the main character talks about Twins players so what is not to love.

    In other news I learned how to email things to my Kindle so I'm currently reading a draft from a member of my critique group on my Kindle.

    Wednesday, February 02, 2011

    cleaning and the art of writing

    One of my friends from my writing group was talking about her WIP and saying that she is stuck on her story but that she had been spending her time cleaning her closets.
    When asked if I had any advice I said "Keep cleaning your closets." Every time you put a skirt in the give away pile you are making a decision. Making decisions empowers you to make more decisions. One day it is a skirt that your mom gave you and you feel guilty getting rid of, the next day it is a decision about a character or the direction of a story.
    After I told her to keep cleaning and making those small decisions until she was ready to make bigger decisions she thanked me.

    So that is my advice for the week. Stuck on your writing? Go clean out some closets.

    What is your best writing advice for the week?