Friday, March 28, 2008

Smart One, Smart Ass One

Yay, it's Friday... Blogday!
Before I blather about the movies I watched last weekend, and how they will ultimately make me a better writer, I must share some kid stuff.
As you know - I have two: Sweetness, aka 3 yr old, and Light, aka 8 yr old.

The SMART One:
I got a telephone call from the school principal today informing me that Light has been identified as 'gifted'. My first instinct was ' woo hoo!! I have a smart kid!! ' but that was quickly replaced by ' Shit! I can't fake this parenting thing for much longer. Soon he's going to figure out I have no clue what I'm doing... '

Daddy and Sweetness are doing crafts at the kitchen table - making aliens (I'm in the other room, but can hear every word) and Daddy says: "Oh, this is a fat one." to which Sweetness replies "Just like Mommy."
Daddy says, "Sweetness, don't say that."
Sweetness, "But it's true, Mommy is fat." (he does have a point)
Daddy, "It's not polite to say things like that."
After a 5 second pause, Sweetness says, "Well then, I can't call you Stupid."

ba da DAH...

And now, the movies...
I Am Legend - starring Will Smith and a dog.
This movie wasn't what I expected! Will's character is a lone survivor living in NYC years after a virus has infected and/or wiped out the entire population. He talks to his dog, hunts wild deer, and tries to find a cure for the virus. Except he's not really alone. Hemocrits (infected people who can't tolerate sunlight) come out after dark looking for blood. Think vampire-zombie hybrid. Will obviously must avoid them.
This movie was like a cross between 28 Days Later (virus, blood sucking zombies, barren city) and Castaway (instead of Tom Hanks talking to a ball and slowly loosing his mind we have Will Smith talking to a dog and slowly loosing his mind).

The Secret Life of Words - starring Sarah Polley and Tim Robbins
A quiet, deep film. Notice I called it a film not a movie. This one has amazingly subtle narrative, rich characters, disturbing content and an interesting setting (an oil platform in the north sea). The kind of film you must pay close attention to in order to experience every nuance.
The plot, in a nutshell: Instead of taking a 'real' vacation from her factory job, Sarah Polley's Hannah chooses to play nurse to a burn victim, Josef (Tim Robbins) who is stuck on a drilling platform until he's well enough to be moved. Josef wants to unburden himself by revealing his secrets while Hannah, a victim of the brutality of war, is desperate to keep hers.

How can I apply what I saw to writing romance?
I Am Legend was a lesson in how to move a plot forward when you don't have the benefit of a secondary character to react to the hero. Samantha may have been a dog, but she was a perfect companion/mentor and his love for her (his need to protect her) provided a critical turning point and, ironically, the black moment.
Lesson: Your heroine CAN be a bitch.

In The Secret Life of Words the two main characters couldn't be more opposite; she's a shy, emotionally-unstable introvert and he's an obnoxiously rude extrovert, but through careful, measured dialogue, they not only come to understand each other, but trust themselves again. Sublety was key. The message was in what the characters didn't say!
Lesson: As a writer, I shouldn't spell everything out -- I should actually trust the reader to read between the lines.

What movies ('scuse me... or films) have positively effected your writing? Please share.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Oops!! Forgot to mention...

Already breaking my own rule! But I forgot to mention yesterday that sensational Eve Powers has a MUST-READ novella out from Samhain entitled Six and Sexy.
Even the title sounds yummy...

Death has never been so tempting.
As a reaper, Six is a right hand to Death
herself. It’s his job to end a cycle so a new one can begin. Now the feared Lady
has given him a new assignment…and reaping has never been more difficult. His
beautiful new target calls to him, not as a reaper, but as a man. But no one’s
ever defied Death before, and Six must stay focused on the task-to kill Shelby
Morrison-before another reaper gets to her first.
At first, Shelby thinks
she dreamed up the dark, handsome stranger who’s following her. Yet slowly she
realizes he’s very real-and so are the sparks between them. Though the only
thing she knows about him is his name, Six is too sexy to resist. She aches for
his touch.
And no one’s ever died from a few little kisses…

Buy it here!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

No cuttie, no happy

I was supposed to have That Surgery yesterday but they postponed me until the end of April. I think they're trying to kill me by stressful anticipation...

Sweetness (aka 3 yr old) starts back at nursery school tomorrow WOOOO HOOOO (did I say that outloud?) after a 3 week March break. He only attends for 2 hours in the afternoon, but honestly, my sanity depends on those 120 minutes per day.

I hope y'all had a lovely Easter weekend, for those who celebrate. We have more chocolate in the house than Britney has Frappes. My kids are vibrating from the sugar intake *cough me too cough cough*.

I haven't been as productive on my writing projects as I was hoping... but hanging with two very active boys all day every day sort of wore me out so all I wanted to do most evenings was sit in front of the television and lose myself in mindless entertainment. Gah - there really is SHITE on most of the time. I pretty much LIVE for Thursday nights... LOST. House will be back at the end of April, so that's another night to look forward to. And though I haven't been consistantly watching American Idol, the few performances I've managed to catch were amazing. The little David Archuletta (sp?) has some serious talent...

Back to writing.... my current wip, The Elements of Attraction, is coming along slowly. I've cut out huge swaths of text that I'd written earlier because I decided to change the nature of one of my characters. The story is becoming quite clear in my mind, though (this is a good thing!) and the characters are definitely speaking to me. Mostly in the middle of the night ;)

Leah Braemel has a new website and it's absolutely DIVINE!! Go see.

Okay - so here's the deal. I'm only going to blog twice/week (she says, *snort*) on Tuesdays and Fridays. That's the goal, anyway.

details on the Law of Averages contest
website update (about time!)
latest reads
my mini-movie marathon

Thanks for stopping by and I'll be making rounds soon!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Law of Averages, coming May 16th from Ellora's Cave

Yes, yes, I know I'm on blogatus (blog + hiatus) but I just wanted to SHOUT about an upcoming contest to promote the May 16th release of Law of Averags. The action starts on April 1st and there are loads of prizes:
  • 8 Bermuda Calanders
  • 2 Bermuda beach bags
  • 1 Discover the Wylie side of romance T-shirt
  • a free download of Law of Averages

Why all the Bermuda pimpage? The blurb explains:

Megan Frost, an up-and-coming restaurateur, knows everything there is to know about the culinary arts, but when it comes to pop culture, she’s been living under a rock. During a vacation to the sunny island of Bermuda, the yummiest
dish she’s ever laid eyes on brings her out of hiding.

British musician Gabriel Law, the famous Dark Angel of Rock, regrets putting his
songwriting on the back burner. Tired and creatively simmered out, he retreats
to the peace and solitude of Bermuda in order to cook up some original sounds
for his new album. But when he finds a naked woman in his holiday cottage, he
happily exchanges solitude for a sizzling duet.

The ingredients for a sexy, scorching relationship are in place, but the mix isn’t complete without a romantic legend, a mysterious taxi driver and a surprise symbol of destiny from the aquamarine sea…


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Not Goodbye, Just So Long

I was a week without internet. A WEEK!!!! I had no idea what was happening in blogland, and I get all my current news from cyberspace so didn't know what was going on in the Dem leadership race, or who went to rehab this week.
I felt so lost...

And speaking of LOST, was that not the BEST episode of the past two years last Thursday? I had no less than 17 "OMG!! WTF??" moments, everyone one of them making my heart pound a little faster... and come on, you wouldn't be human if you didn't have a little tightness in your chest waiting for Penny to pick up that phone. That show makes owning a television worth-while.

Back to my good-bye...
March is going to be CRAZAZY so I'm going on blog hiatus for the next 4 (possible 6) weeks. My kids, who go to different schools, are off for March break beginning this Friday (like they couldn't keep them until the end of the freaking week... NO, they get the Friday off too!!) and between them, have three weeks off. Then Easter, then I'm having minor surgery (remember the gall bladder post from last October? Yeah, that's coming out) AND I'm doing the Seventy Days of Sweat, for which I'm already 5 days behind.

So Long, sweet blog buddies... Catch y'all in the spring!