Archive | February, 2012

Time to Sign Off Now

27 Feb

Time to sign off now.

I had a fulfilling afternoon writing my novel, posting on my blog and reading other writers’ works.

It’s time to prepare dinner, get the dishes done and get ready for my day job tomorrow–you know, the one that pays the bills and feeds our stomachs.

Regardless of what’s going on in my life, reading and writing are the two joys I can take with me wherever I go.

Thanks for sharing your posts. 

Credit: squidoo.com

 It’s dessert for my mind–and my mischievous muse .

Janet

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27 Feb

Useful advice for writers. Check it out.

KRISTINA STANLEY

#writetip  Did someone say writing was lonely? My advice, get a dog. Cali is visiting our boat, Mattina, for the day while her owners are off kiting. Cali has decided that she’s the one writing my novel.  The only problem, she has trouble articulating story ideas.

I’ve made the main salon my writing platform and like to take over the entire table. Well the dogs had a different idea. So where am I supposed to sit?

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Write No Matter What

27 Feb

I’m grateful for my morning writing sessions. The house is quiet. It’s my own time. A cup of coffee sits next to me while I’m working.

Last Wednesday, however, I had an interview. No time to write first thing that morning. Later that day, I wrote from my computer at work (during a permitted 15 minute break) . Today, my Sunday schedule turned upside down. I wrote this afternoon. I prefer taking a nap on Sunday afternoons.

We writers need to be flexible to keep us on top of our craft. Our muse may not feel like cooperating. Perhaps your muse is telling you, “Look I don’t do afternoons, conjure me up tomorrow morning.” Mine is still hiding somewhere—I told her/him that I’m writing whether or not s/he wants to participate.

Other challenges include when our laptops freezes up, or catches a nasty virus. Our spouse and children may need us—pulling us out of concentration. At inconvenient times, our words are constipated—they won’t drop onto the page.

Sometimes we have plenty of scenes, plot twisters and clever ideas to reveal.  Instead, we scrawl clumsy words, mis-creating sentences that offend the computer screen.

Still, we need to write—even if that means writing by hand on a notepad at Mc Donald’s amongst squealing children and obnoxious adults. Or typing the same paragraph in nine different ways;  writing heavy-handed sentences that collide into each other.

All I know is if I don’t write regularly (regardless of the quality), my creative juices will halt.

Today’s prescription: Write no matter what.

It happens to all of us.

Excerpt from Chapter 2: Adam–Christmas Eve, 1990

26 Feb

I was bored. I don’t have to many Christian friends. No Christmas plans this year. No chance of getting together with Stevie. She was out of the country right now. I decided to call Kai.

A breathy voice answered the phone. “Hello.”

“Kai, it’s me.”

“Hi Adam. You need company?”

“No,” I said too quickly. She knew I was lying.

“You only call me when you want sex.”

“That’s not true.” I cleared my throat. “Why don’t we grab a quick bite at the Korean grill by ‘SC?”

 “Adam, It’s Christmas Eve.”

“I just called the restaurant. They close at eight tonight.”

“Humph.” She exhaled into the receiver.

Pause.

She said, “Where’s your Stevie girl?”

“She’s not my girl.”

“So now you’re into blonds. What’s next Adam, 50 year old cougars?”

I didn’t answer her question. “I’ll pick you up at six.”

***

She lived in an all female residence. Several co-eds lived in a Victorian House. Men weren’t  permitted to go inside, except in the living room area during certain times of the day.

Kai stepped outside. Her statuesque legs, framed in textured black tights shot out from her black leather mini skirt; topped of by a tight black sweater, revealing her ample breasts. Her black leather over-the-knee boots accentuated her legginess.

She opened the passenger side door leading with a long leg, followed by her tightly clad body, followed by her other leg.

***

Kai took a swig of beer. “Adam, why did you really dump me?”

“Look Kai,” I said patiently. “I told you up front I don’t marry foreigners. Things were getting too serious between us.” How many times did I have to tell her this?

She blinked her eyes several times. “I know.”

Kai’s almond shaped eyes made me crazy. She looked sad. Vulnerable. I took her hand and kissed it. “We can still be friends.”

She looked down at her lap. “Friends,”  she whispered. A tear splashed onto the table.

Not even five minutes later, Kai reached underneath the table and went after my crotch.

“Stop it,” I said.

“Make me Adam,” she cooed.

I didn’t. Why was she torturing me?

She finally stopped when the waiter came by with the bill.

Subliminal Adventure Surfaces

19 Feb

Recently, I drove the streets in Glendale, Los Feliz, Hancock Park and Beverly Hills. Nostalgia kicked in. I transported myself into another time.

I was born in Burbank, California–home of Johnny Carson, Jay Leno, and Hollywood celebrities. I marveled at how many showbiz people embellished themselves in extravagance. Wanna-be stars feigned wealth. Some actually  slept in their BMWs and Benzes.

Once upon a time, this native Californian pursued an acting career. I took acting classes in Burbank, Toluca Lake and Hollywood. I encountered producers, agents, and acting teachers.  Many intimidated me. Some requested sexual favors with the promises of acting roles.  I didn’t go that route.

Back then, I fell into the 20 something blonde women category. We were the “dime-a-dozen.” Only the prettiest or most willing got the juicy roles. I was told to get lose 10 pounds and exercise so I wouldn’t be so pear shaped. Sometimes casting directors told me that I was too pretty. They said they were looking for plainer women. Other times, I was a threat. I was the “younger woman.”

I ended my short-lived acting career at a photo shoot. Franco (my photographer) and I met up at a producer’s lavish home nestled in Hollywood Hills. Afterwards, he invited us inside for a cup of coffee. We thanked the balding beer-belly producer for the use of his exterior.

Franco excused himself to the bathroom.

A minute later, the producer said, “Hey Beauty. Open a couple of buttons for me.” He raised his eyebrows.

“What?”

“Don’t be a prude.  I’m producing a college flick. You’ll make a great cheerleader.”

“I don’t work like that.”

“God damn it,” he snarled. He reached across and ripped open my blouse.

Several buttons popped off. A couple of them ricocheted off the chandelier.

I grabbed at my blouse.

“Come on,” he said. “I’m not going to do anything.”

He forced my arms down.

“Now we’re talking,” he purred. ” He reached for the lace trim on my bra.

I rammed my knee into his crotch “Get your hands off of me!”

He balled up. “Damn you,” the balding producer groaned.

I found my sweater and wrapped it around me.

Franco came back.

“What took you so long?”

He briefly studied the keeled over producer.

Franco mouthed, “What did you do?”

“Ask him,” I said out loud.

I picked up my garment bag and make-up kit. “I’m out of here,” said as I bolted out of the mansion.

I don’t regret that I dabbled in acting. I tried it. Probably gave it up too soon.  Then again, acting was a necessary adventure in my life. It has provided me a treasure of adventures to include in my writing repertoire.

What hidden adventures are you ready to fuse into your writing?

 

 

 

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, SEPTEMBER 1990

13 Feb

The sun warmed the air in Southern California. Mostly late 80’s and some 1990 models of Mercedes, BMW’s and other fashionable cars parked on the university streets at the University of Southern California (USC) Wealth surrounded me in this little Mecca.

People affectionately called USC,  University of Spoiled Children. However, I wasn’t one of them. As a poor student, I tried to look like I belonged there. I wore one of my favorite USC tee shirts, matching shorts and Nike Ari sneakers—probably purchased with my student credit card. My pale blond hair in an early 90’s (a duplicate of  Demi Moore’s style in  the movie Ghost). It resembled pale locks cut off in a bowl cut with a point reaching down my nape of my neck.  I looked like a boy with breasts and long acrylic nails. I wasn’t Greek; they were the wealthy kids who could afford beauty and status at any cost.

The “true” Greeks were the slender, perky breasted sorority girls and the muscled (but often with proud beer bellies) fraternity boys. Almost all Greeks on campus had fake-bake tans from the local tanning salon. Interestingly, the Greek girls would never move for anyone on the sidewalks and made the others walk out into the streets. Scholarly, gray-haired professors made their presence known on campus. They were gods in their own right. The foreign population exploded at USC. They came from every corner of the world.  USC wasn’t a melting pot; it was more like oil and water just shaken in a bottle.

***

I reported to work at King Hall Computer Center that afternoon. As I walked in, my eyes riveted on the Middle Eastern looking dude. This lean, long legged god with a compact butt stood behind the check in/out counter.  Three eager coeds were chatting with him in French. His olive complexion and mop of glorious black curls brought out his angelic brown eyes. “Where did you come from?” I said under my breath.

During the lulls, Mr. Stud asked me questions like: Do you play tennis? Do you normally work at the Taper Hall? And, do you like the Pet Shop Boys?

I answered his questions with: Yes, but I suck at it. Yes I usually work at Taper Hall.  And,  yes I like the Pet Shop Boys.

We finished our shift for the day walked outside together. A crisp breeze brushed against my face lifting my bowlish blond hair up into the air.  He was definitely a Middle Easterner. What country he was from?

As we passed by the Taper Hall residential dining area, across the student fitness club, he said, “I know you from somewhere.”

“You do?”

“Yeah. Where did I meet you?” He inquired.

My mind raced. I didn’t remember meeting him unless I danced with him at a disco or met him at a party. I shrugged my shoulders. “I don’t know.” I hoped that I had not done something foolish in the past and forgotten about it.

He said, “My name is Adam.”

“Hi Adam, I’m Stevie.”

“Your parents actually named you Stevie?”

Not funny, I thought. “No. My real name is Stephanie. But Stephanie is too stuffy. I prefer Stevie.” I point to myself. “Stevie’s more adventurous.”

“Adventurous. Wow. I thought maybe you were in show biz.”

“Yeah. Thanks.” We stopped walking. “How long have you been at USC?” I asked.

“Too long,” he replied.

This was becoming awkward. I looked down at my watch. “Well Adam, I gotta run. Nice working with you today.”

“You too.”

I needed to walk home before it was dark. The neighborhoods around USC weren’t very safe; especially after sunset.

As I was leaving the campus, I heard footsteps running up behind me. I turned around and saw Adam.

He smiled. “You should take the tram instead of walking. I’ll walk you home.”

“That’s okay. I only live three blocks away.” I was still walking.

“One step outside this campus is a jungle.”

“You’re right.” I stopped walking.  “I live at Troy Hall. Is that too far for you?”

Adam responded, “Not at all. Let’s get you home safely.”

 

Abandon Your Document Immediately

11 Feb

This has been one frustrating week. Today when I was writing, The Windows Security Shield blared, “You’re computer is infected. Files are being destroyed. Abandon your document immediately.” Then my anti-virus kicked in. My screen filled up with warnings, notifications and harmful file interceptions.

My old laptop seems to be working. But I’m still wary.

Thankfully, I’ve been emailing my updates to myself as well as using drop box for my most important documents. Today I wrote two paragraphs. But I didn’t lose 108 pages I’ve written so far. I consider this a win for me.

 

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