Thursday, May 31, 2012

Two Penny Saga: Shaggy Tiger Story

 My cousin Geoffrey suggested this first line to me.  I wrote for five minutes.  This is what I got.  (If any of you have any more suggestions for prompts please let me know.) 

I never did like buttered toast. That is, until Renee backed over my cat. The cat's fine by the way. The Segway is beyond repair of course.

You should know that my cousin Pete gave me that cat.  It was a Tiger shipped all the way from Africa or maybe South America….no Africa!  And Segways should come with labels letting you know that if you run into a tiger the Segway will break and the tiger will chase you up a tree.  It took me two hours to get Renee down from the tree which was really inconvenient because we were late for the ugly baby festival (ugly baby festivals are the best kind of festivals where I come from).  We also didn’t have a Segway to get us there.  Renee and I walked halfway across town when we realized that we had left the tickets on my kitchen counter. We went over to the courthouse to buy more tickets but didn’t have any money.  Renee started singing the Star Spangled Banner hoping that someone would buy us some tickets (people are more patriotic where I come from).  Unfortunately Renee’s singing sounds like a mule in heat and all we got were tickets to the buttered toast festival.  We decided to quit while we were ahead and walked back across town.  It was at the festival that I realized that I had been spreading butter on my toast all wrong.  I had been spreading it with a knife when I should have been using duck feathers.  The duck feathers bring out the flavor in butter.  So maybe it’s a good thing they don’t put anti-tiger warning labels on segways.  You never know what you are going to learn. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Cleaning the new house

While all of you were celebrating Memorial Day with barbeques and traffic jams, Kimmy, her family, my parents and I were hard at work cleaning the new house.
  • I mowed a lawn for the first time since I worked buildings and grounds at my college.  You would think that techniological progress would have made lawn mowers easier to start up but you would be wrong
  • The purpose of the employees at Lowes is the be as sarcastic and unhelpful as humanely possible.  They are exceeding quite well at this.  
  • From now on when I move chairs and trash cans will be the first things to go into the new residence. 
  • We have been to the house almost a dozen times and still don't have a clue which light switches do what.  
  • Apparenlty I am the only person who thinks that painting the walls black and turning the house into a labyrinth with cardboard boxes would be a cool idea.   
  • It's fun to store your 1000+ books on the floor of a room and then realize that we still need to shampoo the rug.  
  • It's even more fun to shout at your parents, "Hey!  Get off my lawn!"

Monday, May 28, 2012

Two Penny Saga: Slimy Awakening

My friend Jon R suggested this first line to me.  I wrote for five minutes.  This is what I got.  (If any of you have any more suggestions for prompts please let me know.) 

Sara sat up with beads forming at her brow. Her dream was slipping as they often did - like words do in the wind. But this was different...

In her dream she had been floating through the ocean with thousands of others like her but they hadn't been human.  There had also been something else in the dream she needed to remember.  

Sara sat up in bed but when she tried to pull back the blanket she didn't have any fingers to grip it with.  All she had was a fat seaweed-colored tentacle.   

Sara screamed and thrashed back the blankets. 

"What's wrong?"  David murmured next to her. 

"Nothing!"  Sara tucked the tentacle under her.  "Just a bad dream.  Go back to sleep."

"You okay babe?"

"Everything's fine!"  Sara jumped out of bed and crashed onto the floor.  Her legs couldn't support her.


"Just go back to bed, David!"  She crawled into the bathroom and kicked the door shut.

In the glow from the streetlight outside Sara could see two squirming tentacles slithering out of her pajama pant legs.  She pulled herself up onto the counter and looked into the mirror.  Her face was covered in deep green scales.

"Sara!  What's going on?" David threw the door open and turned on the lights.  He crouched down next to her.  "Oh God what happened?  Sara?"

Sara didn't respond.  She was too busy staring at the orange beak sticking out of his face.    

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Post-Writers Conference thoughts

Last night I returned from the Backspace Writers' Conference in New York. 
  •  The conference seemed to be designed to break you down (Agents reviewed our queries and first two pages on the first day) and then build you back up again (Workshops and time to hang out with fellow writers were on days 2 and 3).
  • Next time I will save up money and just stay in the hotel.  My New York friends are fantastic but without the commute I could have gotten an extra hour of sleep every night.  Also it isn't fun trying to find your way back to the subway at 2 in the morning after hanging with fellow writers in a bar for five hours.    
  • Unlike most creative writing classes, there was little of, "You must write like this" and more, "There are many ways to write.  This is how I do it."  
  • Nothing makes an aspiring writer feel like a normal human being like being in a room with seventy other aspiring writers.  
  • I am not the only person in the world who thinks that "write what you know" leads boring material. 
  • Agents are intimidating but really do want to see you succeed. 
  • Our keynote speaker Lauren Baratz-Logsted did an excellent job of pumping us up.  She truly is a lovely person. 
  • My query letter and writing have improved since the last Backspace conference.  

I'm back! (Finally)

It's been excruciatingly too long since my last post.  Honestly, I don't even have an excuse.  Of course I've been busy, but who isn't busy?  I can't even remember what was happening in my life around my last post.  Probably what happened was I just had an extremely busy week and then the blog just fell off to the sides and since then the more time that's passed has meant that it's been harder to get back up on the horse.  Remember kids, that's why you always post at least three times a week or else your blog will die.   

But I assure you I have been overwhelmingly busy.  Along with maintaining basic hygiene, trying to eat at least two meals a day and seeing The Avengers I have done the following since my last post:

-Finished the most complete draft of Edge Country yet.

-Officially started the rough draft of a new novel (currentlty untitled.) 

-Read 22 Books

-Attended the Backspace Writers' conference in New York.  (My true inspiration for returning to this blog)

-Kept up with wedding plans. 

-Attended my 7th college reunion (which wiped me out for a week)

-Planned a honeymoon

-And I also bought one of these:

Yep I officially have my own lawn to mow. 

So yeah!  I've been busy but that also meant I had plenty I should have been blogging about.  Time to grab the ol' defibrillator and see if I can bring this blog back to life.