Sunday, May 27, 2012

It's Been One SHRED of a Weekend!


I know, cheesy. :)

Sorry, I did not post last week. A lot did happen, I think too much for me to find time. Also, my back was sore for almost a week and I was more focused on that than writing a blog. I found a nice new position to sleep in when my back is sore and I've actually been sleeping that way every other night. It feels wonderful; takes the pressure off the spine and I know it sounds so easy - fold my body pillow in half and place it under my knees.

I know they say don't sleep on the back when you have back issues, but because we sleep Japanese style (on the floor with a futon) sleeping on the side with back soreness doesn't do the trick. The pillow-under-knee-thing = awesome.

Finished reading two books on my list this week. Both JF books with such wonderful tales. Both based off of true stories.

Hachiko Waits by Leslea Newman is a delightful fictitious story based off of actual facts about a dog named Hachiko owned by Professor Ueno. Everyday this loyal dog goes and waits for his master at Shibuya Station. One day, the professor dies at work but every day, Hachiko comes to wait loyally for his master. When he dies of old age a statue is erected in his honor is still there today.

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate is also a fictitious story based off of true facts about a silverback gorilla who lived at a "circus mall" before finding his permanent home in the Atlanta Zoo. And yes, the real Ivan also painted. :)

This book I found exceptionally deep. It's written from the POV of Ivan as he looses Stella (also real) and remembers how he came to be at the mall.

I loved his viewpoint of humans - Squabbling horrid chimpanzees that uses too many words. I actually agree with him.

Both wonderful reads. I recommend them highly!

Speaking of too many words; today as I tried to keep my mind off of my critique buddy reading my finished manuscript, I shredded paper.

It was something that needed to be done. I had been saving my pile for over a year now. Now they squeeze tightly into 2 clear massive garbage bags reading for the recycle day on Tuesday. As I was going through the pile, the last 1.5 years of my life was there: my hubby's paperwork, botched tax forms (without SS#), doubles, triples and quadruplicates of Rx's from my back and shoulder injury and the scariest part - the original draft of my book.

Printed on ugly goldenrod yellow paper and marked in purple and orange pen, was the original idea from years ago. And I remembered that I also lost that file too. All 70 pages had to be retyped (-__-'). but because I had to retype it, it made me start over and now, I have something so much better. In a way I am thankful that I lost that file - even thought I sat in mind-numbing shock for 3 months.

It was weird reading deleted scenes. Scenes that had no place or just did not work. Certain things I did keep. Characters got a face lift, some didn't. Some names got altered or deleted completely. And even funnier, I read my horrendous grammar. I had no idea what I was doing back then. Essay writing and fiction writing are different. And sadly, I still retained those bad habits and it only makes revising a pain in the butt.

Oh, well. That's life!

And how wonderful is this, a patron came in Monday and we had a long discussion about Anne McCaffrey, the now deceased science fiction/fantasy author of the amazing Pern Series. We have a rather small SF section because most of our patrons reads mysteries and fiction so I don't get to go all geeky with anybody about SciFi books. Well, I met one. And how amazing, the next day I came into work, my supervisor hands me a folder. The patron typed out a list of her personal reading collection! And left me her phone number. Anytime I want to borrow a book from her, I just give her a call!

Definitively, made my week!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Nature & High Fantasy & Structure

Two glorious things that seem to go hand-in-hand.

So my dearest hubbykins is not too fond of fantasy/high fantasy - it just makes no sense to him. Whether it be books or films. So I unfortunately cannot share with him all of the awesome films that I grew up on. I have yet to see if he'll get into the Beastmaster films, that's not too far out there.

So tonight it's The NeverEnding Story. Which seems appropriate after a nice 2 mile walk around the lake and yoga. Goodness! I still cry when Atreyu's horse dies!

Well, a little belated Mother's Day love to every type of mommy! Doesn't matter if your babies run on two or four feet/paws, they look to you as mommy. I hope it was special for everybody. For us we cooked and baked and enjoyed some pool-time. I think that's the best part of living in a complex with snow-birds, we practically have the pool to ourselves half of the time.

The extra-lemony cake with equally lemony-tastic glaze I baked last night was already gone by the time I got home today. Awww-yeah!

Not too much to report, I've had a fairly "normal" week: kid's birthday pool party, work and more work. I have been very distracted when it comes to writing. I actually tried something new, at the request of one of my readers/critiquers who was killing me with insane curiosity as to what will happen in the second book (like dude, the first one is not even picked up). Just to organize my thoughts, I thought I try writing an outline. And you know what? It's the best idea, seriously. If not, my mind will wander and wander and go off into a strange oblivion with dancing unicorns and Chuck Norris and ice cream trucks covered in human skulls driven by swamp bunnies in Cold War regalia.

...exactly. (You can see I've already written about that weirdness. And I don't drink [except for like a shared can of beer twice a year] or do drugs - I think of this stuff during the course of a normal day...)

I think that sometimes, we artists need some sort of structure. I think about when I was in college and I would storyboard my narratives for my photowork. I first would come up with a concept - vague at first, then make it into a bubble than do my research. My sketchbook pages would be filled with a jumble to stuff that would make no sense to nobody. Then starting on a fresh page, I would begin to lay a "loose" draft out. Then (since I work in film), figure out my exposures, lighting, time of day/night. Then everything I will need. Then all the post-production stuff; chemicals, paper and so forth.

A lot of work for just a series of images but like writing, it all starts somewhere. All that jumbled mess in my head comes out somehow, organized and put together - to create something awesome.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

May Display 2012 Up & Book Gets a New Life

Okay, definitely not the best quality image. With the help of the Children's Librarian and looking through our collection, we went with May is Meditation Month and May is BBQ Month.

May is also Photography month and Asian-Pacific Islander month but the amount of books that we had would not fill even one shelf.

...ahhh, demographics.

And, I thought I share a story about this book. I was working in the back with the paperbooks that was going to put out into our collection and I was surprised to see this one that I had donated a few months ago.

It's a free pre-release copy that I totally got by accident back in 2006. I was attending the Romantic Times Convention when it came down here to Daytona Beach, Florida back in 2006.

I will say this, this convention rivaled DragonCon (the ultimate Sci-Fi party convention). Seriously, I had never been around so many half to scantily clad men in PUBLIC in my entire life. Aroused women who were away from hubbys and kids put bar/club hopping twenty-somethings to shame! It was a fun convention but too much estrogen in a convention center and girly alcoholic drinks (those go to your head faster) sparked quite a few cat fights and nasty glares. And yes, I would go again just because their parties were better than DragonCons!

I was attending the dinner before the Fairy Costume Ball and we are all assigned seats and on the plates were a gift basket, gifts from visiting authors. I opened up my bag and got this book. I had no idea who this author was and the gal in her late 40s next to me was staring at the book in my hand.

"I'll trade with you!" she screams at me like like a raving tween. "I've been dying for that book! It won't be released until later this year!" Her hands were reaching out towards mine, anticipating I was going to trade for the book in her hand.

"Woah," I suddenly thought. "It must be that good if she wants it this badly." I looked at her and said, "No thanks, I want to read it too." In a nice way, putting on my best smile.

That woman, I swore she growled at me. I thought she was going to claw me with me her fake nails. And I suddenly regretted leaving my knife in the room. Luckily, someone began to talk on the stage and food was served. After she ate, she left, leaving her book behind.

So on my way out, I also grabbed her book and it wasn't until I returned home that I sat down to read all the free books I got. Starting with the one I nearly died over! Needless to say, I wished I had given it to her. The book ends with a threesome with semi-demons because the "heroine" (as if I could call her that) could not make up her mind which one she wanted to jump into bed with. And a reluctant/fake rape scene to a beyond lusty demoness (I won't even say with what - yes, what) is not what I get excited over - not even happy about.

I know there are readers who go ravenous over her stuff but it's not my cup of tea.

Oddly enough, the other book that she didn't want had the silliest title Waiting for the Rainbow by Dana George (a guy) and an even lamer cover BUT it was a hell of a better of a story! It's set during the Johnstown Flood in 1889. Thumbs up in my book. The dialogue was off and the ending was nothing to get riled up about but it had a story and I like historical fictions.

Go figure!

I cannot believe the weekend is already over! :(

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

April is for Authors & Library Chalk Art Festival 2012

That's right! Lo' and behold, I am standing with Kat Falls after picking her up at the airport on Thursday April 26. A loving thanks to my delightful husband who came just to take pics and see me act like a 13 year old fan-girl. At least I didn't scream like I did when I met and hugged Marc Singer (Dar from Beastmaster). Needless to say, she is an awesome person. There are not many people (other than my husband) whom I can babble on and on about sci-fi goodness, environmental awareness, government conspiracies and of course, marine animals and Sarasota!

After we left her at the hotel, I had a funny burst of Déjà vu! I had been at that hotel before. The Embassy Suites in Palm Beach Gardens is where I had my prom. I don't remember the lobby being and orange but they could have changed the colors. It has been 11 years. And it also brought back my many thoughts of "this is so stupid, will it ever end?" They didn't have swans back then, in fact, I recall that area being plants. Happy that time in my life is over.

With a little help of fate, I was magically able to go to the April is for Authors event! My time was very limited but I made the best of it. I greeted people in the morning and after I was done, I sat in on Kat Falls' panel. And YES, Dark Falls is a Reading Counts book and for you science teachers, there are lesson plans based from the book!

This was only the start of an excellent day. We've been having a nasty storm system hovering over us for a couple of days and I was so worried that it will ruin the rest of the day.

Then I drove all the way from Gardens to Palm Springs, only stopping at the house to gobble down something and change my pants (I was going to get dirty) and made it to work for our chalk event. Even with the drizzle, we still managed to have 40+ kids, families and adults come out to draw. Can you imagine if it was a sunny day?

I even had an hour to doodle. I don't like chalk as a medium but I still had fun. I was spending most of my time taking pictures.

I am so happy that everything turned out like it did. At the beginning of the week, I was furious that I was scheduled for Saturday to work. Okay, so I couldn't do the drawing that I had planned BUT I got to attend both events, meet Kat Falls, again!! and be with everybody at the library.

Needless to say I got the best of both worlds and that evening I passed out after work. Just to wake up super early to take Kat Falls back to the airport. No complaints there. I got to return home just in time before another band of rain flooded the area for 12 hours.

Overall, a wonderful weekend and I look forward to doing it all again next year!

Happy May Day, Blessed Beltaine to everybody. And guess what? The sun returned after 3 days of rain. It's going to be an awesome day!