Friday, May 23, 2008

Writing Stuff

This week provided mixed results on the morning writing front, so I plan to continue the experiment into next week. On the positive side, I got up early and got real work done while my brain was fresh . . . and I have a few thousand new words to show for it! On the negative side, once Lizzi the pug decides she needs to go out and the girls get up (usually between 6 and 6:30) it's a little distracting. I think it's workable, but it's not simple. Also, I only got two days in this week; Thursday was a flop.

Wednesday was Paul's birthday, and he spent it in an all-day, off-site meeting. Among other things I did for his birthday this year (not my most creative year ever, remember last year's enormous surprise party complete with clown?) I had a fresh box of Krispie Kremes for him to share at the meeting. When he did so, one of his management colleagues jokingly asked, "What's this, #30? Hah hah hah," like we were ever so young, elbow elbow.

Paul, who was celebrating the big 3-1, replied, "No, that was a little while ago. Hah hah hah," implying that he too was well past 40.

And therein lies the difference between men and women, folks. I might have said, "Nope, this is the second anniversary of my 29th birthday!" If I were Paul's age. Which I was. 3 years ago.

But what can you expect in a world where male actors are frequently at least 15 years older than their female costars and women are old at 30? (Is anyone else watching Lost this season? It's renewed my interest in the series.) And not to get too sidetracked, but why are people acting shocked and horrified at 15-year-old Mylie Cyrus's nude photographs for Vanity Fair (Gasp! Exploitation of a child!) but when Britney made that nasty schoolgirl video as a teen, it was A-OK. Feh. We sexualize very young girls, and then critique them for selling what we're buying. FTR, I don't think it's cool to publicize photographs of a minor that are clearly so adult and sensual - e.g. wearing only a sheet, with windblown hair and bright red lips, etc. Have I mentioned that when Ellie was 2 I started buying little boy shorts for her because the little girl shorts were so short they showed her diaper? It's never too early to start sexualizing our little girls. Note that mine wear board shorts and rash guards to the pool.

Wait. Wasn't this post supposed to be about writing? Back to that, then.

I'd like to be able to share the subscriptions to agent, editor, and writing blogs in my Google Reader without adding them as a separate blogroll here. It's not as easy as I'd hoped, unfortunately. I haven't even figured out how to "share" a whole feed rather than just an individual post. If any fellow Google Reader users have any tips, I'd love to hear them!

Next question: My local writing group has fizzled (a couple of writers lost interest, a couple more are in demanding MFA programs) and I'm looking for more critical feedback on my work so I'm exploring online writing workshops. Do any of you have experience with one of these? I know that OWW is great, but I'm not currently writing SFF and am looking for something more general. E.g. Gotham. So: any stories to share? Or gossip about the relative merits of various programs?

Final question: Is anyone else planning to attend the Heartland Writer's Conference this year? I'm still tossing the idea around.


  1. I'm in the same situation with my local (fizzled) writing group. I don't know anything about the online workshops, but please share if you find one you like. I'm currently in a general (literary/women's fic.) mode as well.

    Also, I agree with you on little girls' clothing. I have two sons, but when shopping for my niece, I get sick to my stomach. Ugh.

  2. Have you tried Sisters in Crime? The chapter sounds like they are doing cool stuff. Otherwise our local RWA has other writers in it besides romance. We had a good crime speaker this month. But it might be an opportunity to meet other writers. I'd be willing to meet and critique, but knowing our different writing genres, we should still be able to pick out characterization, plot holes, pacing, and spelling & grammar. I'm sure I've misspelled something in this comment, but I really am a good speller. :)

  3. Oh, don't get me started on that whole VF b.s. Uh, hello old do you think the usual, mostly naked fashion models are? Well, it must be ok that *those* 15 and 16 year olds are naked and anorexic, because *they* aren't your daughters' role models. Oh, oops, wait...
    I would blog that, and send you your next critique, except that I'm in the middle of a 300-page environmental impact statement and my ex decided to high-tail it out of town all weekend, leaving me with said EIS AND my offspring. Meh. Sorry to be so delayed. Believe me, I'd rather be reading Chapter 2 than what I'm reading now.

  4. Amanda, yes, I belong to SinC, both the national and local chapters. They definitely have great programming. It's not what I'm looking for in a crit group, though.

    And I really appreciate your offer to be crit partners! I think I'd prefer to try with people who aren't part of my social circle first, if possible, but I do appreciate the offer, especially with regard to character, plot, and pacing (I'm still in a first draft place with this ms, so grammer worries will come later).

    PK, I'm glad you got it, and sorry that you're so slammed! No rush. (Good point about the age of other models. Last season on America's Next Top Model a woman in her early 20's was eliminated for - I kid you not - looking too old.)