Posts

Showing posts from September, 2009

The Character is Always Right

I spent almost a week struggling through two lousy pages of my current manuscript. Some days, words flood onto the page. Some days, writing is like hiking through knee-deep mud.

Yeah, it’s been a muddy week.

I finally figured out the problem. I was rushing one of my characters. I’m building up to the BIG CONFRONTATION scene and I was trying to convince the antagonist to show up. Seriously. A BIG CONFRONTATION scene isn’t worth much if the protagonist has no one to confront.

But it wasn’t working. The scene felt forced. I was stuck in mud.

And wouldn’t you know it? The character was right. It was too soon to bring the antagonist on stage.

Why did my character know that and I didn’t?

When I was in sales, the motto was “The customer is always right.” Sales people gnash their teeth at that one, by the way. Just between us, the customer is NOT always right. Sometimes customers are total idiots.

But I digress.

My new words to live by are “The character is always right.” You simply cannot force them…

The Floor Project Continues

Image
Progress. Back aches. Sore muscles. New floor. Such is my life.

When I last checked in, we had some of the carpeting removed. Here is a little photo essay of what has transpired since then:

The first row of flooring.


We had to do it twice. This is SOP for any Dashofy home project. At least the problem was discovered after only one row.

After two days of work, we had made noticeable progress. I could tell I liked the wood choice. It’s hard to picture from a four-inch-square sample. Or even when it’s in the box. But with this much done, I knew it was good.

Skye thinks there’s too much commotion going on in her house. She was fine with the way things were before. Now with all the furniture shoved first one way and then another, she’s feeling a little lost and confused.


By Sunday night, the living room was done. The furniture is still all askew. My “stuff” is still in boxes. I plan to spend this week getting things sorted out.



We still have the bathroom, bedroom, and my office floors to do yet. …

Adventures in Home Improvement

Image
We usually only tackle one DIY home improvement project per year. I’m learning why. We need time to forget the aggravation of the previous one.

With the memory of this summer’s bathroom remodel still all-to-fresh in our minds, Hubby and I have begun ripping up our 25-year old carpet in anticipation of putting down new laminate wood flooring. Technically, this project started on Tuesday, but so far, not a plank has been installed.

Day one consisted of packing. I have moved a sum total of ONCE in my life. That was when we married. I moved all of two doors away from the home I’d grown up in. Since then, we have accumulated “stuff.” Lots and lots of stuff.

I recall hearing that people should move every few years just so they can throw out all the junk. Good advice, I’ve decided.

I boxed all the books on my to-be-read shelves Monday night and created a huge pile that I now wonder why I bought. I’ll never read them. Those will go to the used book store. Everything else was packed in a rush Tues…

Working Stiffs Wednesday

The G-20 is in Pittsburgh this week and I'm at Working Stiffs today blogging about it.

The Weekend in Pictures

Image
My main goal this weekend was to take a lot of practice photos with the new camera.

Saturday, I headed to Mountaineer to spend the day with my friend, Jessi. I got some shots of horses on the track. This is one of Jessi’s.




So is this.

This one isn’t.



This is Jessi with “Jacob.”



Today, Hubby and I took a drive to Greene County for these.


Then we stopped at White Bridge for the Covered Bridge Festival where I grabbed these shots.



I love my camera.

The Narrative of My Life

I’ve noticed the world seems to be divided into two camps. The one that I live in which involves blogging and visiting (AKA wasting time) on Facebook and the one inhabited by residents who snarl “It’s nobody’s business what I’m doing.”

What makes it difficult is when opposing camps live under the same roof. Welcome to my world.

I know I’m not alone. For instance, everyone knows who Dolly Parton is. Have you ever seen her husband? FYI, no, I’m not comparing myself to Dolly Parton. That’s laughable for so many reasons.

But I do tend to be a social butterfly. At least online. Other members of my household don’t get it. They also don’t want to be mentioned in my blog posts or on my Facebook page. Which is really too bad. The stories I could tell…

But I won’t.

I had a revelation this morning about my enjoyment of Facebook and posting status updates when absolutely nothing remotely interesting is going on. This is the narrative of my life. I’ve had a running narrative going on in my head since I…

A Rant on Ranting

Everyone else is talking about it and so am I. Over at Working Stiffs, I give my thoughts on lack of manner and the abundance of disrespect that seems to standard operation procedure these days. Come on over and check it out.

Christmas in September

Image
Or “How I Spent My Weekend”

Saturday, I was up at 5AM, which should be illegal on a weekend, by the way. The reason? I had to be in Bridgewater by 7:30 to set up for the 2nd annual Bridgewater Bookfest.

Bridgewater is a small river town in Beaver County, about an hour from here. I needed an hour and a half to get myself awake and caffeinated and on the road because I tend to zone out at that hour. I catch myself standing in the middle of a room just staring blankly into space. I’ll lose anywhere from five to fifteen minutes that way.

Somehow, I managed to get there in time. I was joined by fellow Pennwriters, Cathy Vignolini and Doris Dumrauf.

It was nice having company all day. My friend and another fellow Pennwriter, Susan (West of Mars) was signing books and stopped by to visit. She a promotional wizard.

The Christmas in September thing started kicking in when I bought five dollars worth of tickets on the raffle basket. My intention was to support the Bookfest. But I admit, I lusted aft…

Let Us Never Forget

Image

The Bachlorette

Skye and I have the house to ourselves for a few days. Hubby has taken his annual pilgrimage into the mountains to camp and get grungy with his buddies. I have no problem with this. I get to stay home. No cooking. Lean Cuisine rocks. So does my favorite pizza place, which I will visit before the weekend is over. Count on it.

So how am I spending my bachelorette time? Writing, of course. I am so close to the end of my first draft, I can smell it. I hit 292 pages today. Not a milestone. But I should pass the 300 mark next week. THAT will be a milestone.

As for Project: Nikon Purchase? I’ve been doing more online research and reading reviews. So far, I’m convinced the D-90 will one day soon be coming home with me. I’ve got the itch. I want it NOW. I can make a really good argument for why I should run out and buy one sooner rather than later (it would save me the cost of film and processing for my next photo journalism assignment coming up next month PLUS I need time to learn to use it bef…

A New Obsession

Image
A person could get whiplash hanging around with me.

On Wednesday’s Working Stiffs’ post, I prattled on about digital vs. film camera and blew raspberries at the digital fanatics out there. As indicated in the piece’s title, those raspberries turned out to be sour grapes.

On Friday, I was being frugal, cancelling my Bouchercon reservations.

I’ve been told money burns a whole in my pocket. It’s a fatal flaw, I confess. You see, I’ve been researching digital SLRs. Cameras. NICE cameras. High quality, high tech cameras.

The problem (or one of them) is that I know a little something about photography and I’ve owned some very nice photographic equipment in my lifetime. I know enough to understand I won’t be happy to “settle.”

My knowledge of digital photography, however, has been limited to my two point-and-shoot “toys.” So in an effort to educate myself, I’ve been online. I learned that I can get an adapter to fit my old lenses onto a new digital Olympus body. Thinking that meant I could purcha…

Common Sense vs. Spendthrift

I was just about ready to post a Bouchercon Bound piece in which I would have told about how excited I was to be heading to Indianapolis next month for the biggest mystery writers party of the year.

And then, reality stepped up and slapped my on the back of the head. My traveling companion (who shall remain nameless, but whom I do NOT hate, even though she currently THINKS I do) had to back out. I debated for all of thirty seconds about trying to find someone else to go with me, but that little common sense character who sits on my one shoulder and whispers in my ear got the upper hand over the spendthrift who whines in my other ear.

“Let’s face facts,” said Common Sense. “You don’t have a book to promote YET. Your writing income is laughable at this point. Stay home and save your money.”

Spendthrift, on the other shoulder, pouted. She wanted to stay in a fancy hotel and eat restaurant food and hang out in the bar with all her writing friends.

I appeased Spendthrift by telling maybe we co…

Working Stiffs Wednesday

I'm over at Working Stiffs today talking photography and sour grapes.