Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Seacrest, anyone? And currently reading...

I have to get this out of the way-- I find Ryan Seacrest very attractive. There, I said it. I always have. I find it interesting that other people don't; is it the height? The cocky attitude? Or is he just not universally cute?

Okay, now that I've got that out of the way...

I'm reading two books right now. Everything is Illuminated for my book club and Dead Connection for fun.

Everything is Illuminated is breathtaking in spots. Bits of prose and ideas that make me read them again before I can turn the page; at other times, it's funny. Good stuff, glad I had to read it for book club because I'm not sure I would have otherwise... wait, I'm sure I wouldn't have because I actually picked it up after reading several reviews, then put it down because it requires a little discipline to get past the accent of the first chapter. It goes back and forth between this heavily accented bit and the beautiful (normal?) prose. Two narrators. I don't know, it just works. I'll write more when I actually finish it.

Dead Connection is one of those books with a great premise that just doesn't deliver. It's not terrible by any means, but it's like it got lazy. It didn't finish in the same way it started. But eh. It's YA, not mainstream literary.

I'm a reading girl these days. Sleeping in, watching TV, grading papers, reading. This week has been such a welcome respite from the previous weeks.

Motivation for much beyond this eludes me. For now. I'm sure I'll soon be ready to take the world by storm. Or quiet, steady rain.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Location, location, location

I woke up to snow on Friday. I had to chip the ice off the windshield and give the frozen door an extra yank to get it open. In two days the predicted high is 75 degrees.

And you know what? I love Ohio. I want to find a way to incorporate Ohio into my novel, without it feeling forced. One thing I've learned is that using landmarks in your writing can be touchy; it can come off as cheesy or sentimental.

Any of you tried being specific with setting? Keeping a story in a certain location?

And... if I decide to set my novel in Paris can I write off the trip?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Change Will Do You Good

What if small changes really do yield big results? I watched Ruby tonight, and she realized that she was going to have to change some things in her life in order to attain her goals.

Why do we expect different results when doing the same thing? Changing our routine or atmosphere in little ways may be enough to rejuvenate our writing, gain a new perspective, or reach a goal.

I've decided that after this current batch is gone, I'm going to try to give up diet pop. It might kill me. No, seriously, haha, I love my pop, but this study has me thinking I love it too much.

I also think I need to change my schedule, get up earlier, go to bed earlier. I'll start with these two and see where it goes. Bedtime of 11:30 p.m., which is early for me. Wake up by 9 a.m. (this means, putting the kids on the bus and only going back to bed for an hour, not two or three like I have been).

And we'll see.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Craig Russell

My youth pastor, age 48, passed away in his sleep last night. The truth is I haven't seen Pastor Craig in a good 15-20 years, but we'd recently reconnected through Facebook. His updates were always so uplifting. He was a humble man who cracked goofy jokes and was kindness personified.

When I heard... I felt such sorrow. I believe I will see him again, we all will, but I couldn't stop seeing his wife's face. She was very quiet, gracious, always laughing-- that's how I remember her. He had children, all younger than I; I began to cry and even in the privacy of my own home, I felt bad for crying. Who I was to cry, not of the family, not a close friend by any means...

There are lots of good men in the world; there are godly men too; but Pastor Craig had this humility about him, this sweet vulnerability. And I saw Christ in him.

1 Corinthians 15:54-56

54-So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

55-O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

Thank you for your service, Craig. Rest in the Lord tonight.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Hope springs sporadically

Hope is surprising.

I make up my mind to let things go, even let people go, and I start to feel proud, satisfied, and content; then BAM! Hope appears just over my shoulder, lurking.

A friend of mine and I are going to turn May into our own personal Nanowrimo, try to pound out some more of this novel. And I'm thinking about applying to an MFA program.

Stupid hope.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Half sick of shadows

The days are growing longer right along with our shadows.

I have so many papers to grade and zero motivation. I'm going to try some little mini games/goals to keep myself going, and I'm open to the idea of an all-nighter. I just want to be done by Sunday.

The fact that I never really left education is responsible for the antsy feeling I get every spring. I begin to count the days to summer right along with the kids. Only this year, I have to work the summer to make enough for the boys' schooling next year. Or to help, anyway.

I wish I had something witty to say or something interesting to add, but mostly I'm feeling nervous and a little down. Sometimes it seems I'll never get that break I need to get into full time work. Every spring, they hire, and I try, but. Well, it just doesn't seem to be in God's plan for me.

Maybe this year?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Are you the next Stephenie Meyer?

You know what? It's not a dark Friday. It's a clear and friendly day. I'm going to exercise and eat a salad, clean the bathroom and grade five papers.

If you want some good bloggin' check out Megan Rebekah's thoughts on "The Next Big Thing."

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Promises carry more weight when it rains

I promised my boys I would make them a big breakfast before school tomorrow-- eggs, pancakes, the works. Which means, I've got to go to sleep soon, as my oldest gets up at 6 for a 6:50 a.m. bus.

It rained today, was warmer, but somehow with the rain, there was a chill to the edge making me sip my coffee slower, take a hotter bath, wish I had a better book to curl up with.

I started Alli last week. It's really clarified my eating issues; mostly, that I snack at night whether I'm hungry or not, and it's not just a boredom thing, it's a compulsion. I feel "off," even a bit panicky without something to munch on during American Idol and Project Runway. Don't bother leaving tips, I've heard them all before. Fact is, I've got to make the decision not to eat after a certain time and stick to it. Plain ol' self discipline. I realize that I don't have a lot of that because, quite frankly, as an adult, I don't have to many times. My self discipline muscle is weak and out of shape.

Tomorrow is a day of possibility with some cleaning, some grading, and those oh-so-early breakfast promises.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Depth is in the eye of the beholder

"We're all a little shallow," he said.

"I suppose," she answered. What she didn't add but thought was that everyone was also pretty dang deep. She had learned that all groups fancied themselves smarter, elite in some way, and everyone, every single person alive, believed themselves to be deep. Because in the dark of night, even cheerleaders pondered the universe, death, and what it meant to be honestly and truly alone.

Maybe cheerleaders more than most.