Month: April 2010

Off the bat, I’d like to get something out of the way: I’ve been suspecting for quite sometime that I could eat a twenty-minute brownie in ten minutes. No really. I haven’t put it to the test yet, but I really think I could do it.  I’m just saying.

Oh, and also, I feel as a service to the public I should make it clear that I had my poetic license revoked some years ago, as evidenced by this recent weak weak offering of mine.

And I heard somewhere that pages with the words “This page left blank.” on them are not really blank.  Rumor, yes, but somehow believable.


At this point, I’m sure you can see how transparent I am, how I am simply trying to distract you from a disturbing fact: I don’t have anything substantive to put up today.  No.  It’s just not going to happen.

And, in breaking news, I’ve made the decision to start doing Friday Link Love every two weeks instead of once a week.  Beefier posts that way.  Fewer jokes needed.

Plus Furnace Girl and I are still knee deep–quite literally–with packing for our transfer to Sicily–getting passports and visas and figuring out how to ship two pets overseas and what-not.  So, much as I love you (and much as you love me–I know that goes without saying but there, I said it!), I don’t have the time to give you a quality product.

So instead, I give you this (Really. For your own good, you must watch it all the way to the end WARNING: Contains a little profanity, but all for a good cause).

Have a great weekend!

P.S.  Any interest at all in my putting up a post sharing some of my template building experiences?  There are a ton of resources on the web, but I am happy to throw down some lessons learned if there’s an appetite for it.  ‘Cuz that’s how I roll!

Stay groovy and thanks for stopping by.

A brief disclaimer: I’m still fiddling with my new template, so if you notice your comments showing up where my header should be or vice versa, please be patient.  With any luck I’ll get this all straightened out in a day or two.  Next time I’ll have better sense than to choose a template where some of the code is written in Italian!

As I mentioned recently, I’m just jumping into the first few chapters of my first-draft WIP.  Thus and expectedly, beside working hard to spell all the words properly and deploying my punctuation with both great accuracy and great verve (!?….:;), I am also devoting considerable brain power to the characterization process.

Part of our job as writers, in my opinion, is to put hearts in our characters. Each character’s heart is made up of a plethora of details and behaviors, some of which make it to the page and some of which simply influence how the writer “hears” the character. Choosing the proper details can be one of the most critical steps in the writing process.

At the moment, I am still getting to know my WIP characters.  We’re chatting, getting shot at together (the setting is a warzone), having a cup of coffee together (tried to include a Starbucks but it seemed out of place); we’re just starting to settle into a warm mutually beneficial writer-character relationship.  They haven’t yet figured out that it is I who sends them off to do all these dreadful things, so progress is good.

Back in college, one of my fav professors used to talk about the value of observing behavior in real life as a guide to getting your characters to act more believably on the page.  In one writing exercise, he sent us out into the world to write down snippets of conversation we heard or overheard (or underheard I suppose).  The whole process provided great fodder for learning to observe more closely how human beings interact, and also for beginning to frame in one’s mind how best to convey those happenings–how to separate the wheat from the chaff (or chaff from chaff as the case may be).

As a result, as I get to know my WIP guys, I am considering my recent experience in Baghdad, but also looking at photos, reading about war experiences online and in books, and also observing the interactions of those around me.  So far, all of these have been fairly fertile ground, and I’m happy with where things are headed.

How ’bout you?  How do you go about putting hearts in your characters?  Other than observing “real life”, what process(es) do you use to put the pieces of your characters together?  How do you ensure that the different characters in your story create conflict?  What is the most difficult part of characterization?

Yeah, as you can see, I put up a new custom template–one I’ve been working hard on.  I know you know how these things go, so I hope you’ll pardon the interruption as there are a few technical difficulties still left to attend to.  Nothing major, but a few unexpecteds.

Feedback on the new digs is appropriate and appreciated, and hopefully it won’t be long before I’ve moved on from web design to my real assigned task: writing.

Hope your week is going well.  Cheers!

A funny little set of stanzas that a buddy and I “wrote” one summer when we were bored.  And we were really bored.  Can you tell?

By you know who

please please please
iron butterfly
cry not
for the torn metaphor

because meaning lays buried
like missiles
in the silos
of our souls







Would you like to take this opportunity to share your really bad writing/poetry/disasters with the group?  Hope you’re having a rockin’ Wednesday!

Substitute “damn” every time you’re inclined to write “very;” your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.

~~Mark Twain