Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Hero and the Portable Oxygen Concentrator

Okay that sounds like a weird combination, but are all your characters perfect? I don't just mean in the moral way, but in the physical too. It's obvious enough that people aren't in real life, but sometimes I know even for me, it just doesn't dawn on me to incorporate some of the normal human frailties into my characters. Not even minor ones--and wow, the hero/heroin--perish the thought. But it's not a bad thought, even for the main characters. You may not want to go as far as having them on a form of life-support, or a portable oxygen concentrators, but by all means don't shy away from having them exhibit some form of physcial frailalty. It can expand their characters immensely, and even give them a degree of empathy (if that's your wish of course, you may not want to do that with the villian). We all know not to make our characters infalable in their attitudes, now it's time to realize it's worth considering not making them infalable in their physical attributes as well.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas Late

Merry Christmas everybody. Yes I know I'm a day late. Yesterday was Christmas. However, for me, it was just another day. Oh I don't mean that in an anti-religious way. I mean it in a hubby's never off and was finally home and that means we worked all day in spite of my pain (shoulder injury). Fun fun fun. We got a lot done though. We moved goats, we fixed a hole in one of the goat houses--it just happened to be in the buck pen. Now I'll tell you that our buck (male goat) is pretty friendly as male goats go, but we had just seperated him from his 'ladies' who are now several months pregnant and need to be alone, and that makes him pretty, um, testy to begin with, not to mention we are now pounding away in what must seem to him a threatening manner on his house. My job had nothing to do with the construction, my job was to keep a lookout for Mickey and defend my somewhat vulnerable hubby as he worked. It's hard to bend over and hammer in nails while keeping your eye on a goat. Mostly Mickey ate while we worked, but there were a few times he came over and challenged our right to be in his pen.

Mickey is a big dude. He weighs over 300 pounds and is all muscle. Well, let me restate that, he's three hundred pounds of muscle and HORNS. Big horns. Horns that can do considerable damage. I'm standing there defending our position with a shovel---I know that sounds mean but when you're facing down a 300 pound goat with huge horns you need protection if he gets aggressive. And goats, along with sheep, have the hardest skulls you'll ever want to come across. Luckily when Mickey does 'fight' with us, it's somewhat half-hearted. You can tell he really doesn't want to hurt us. Deep down he's a terribly friendly guy... BUT he's still a male goat and those instincts kick in like crazy. There were a couple of altercations. In fact he darned near won one of them. He got one of his horns hooked in the shovel handle and nearly ripped it out of my hand (a Boer goats horns are big and hooked not straight) and even got me in the hand as he twisted trying to get the shovel away from me.

Luckily we both got out of there with our skin after hammering in the final nail, and from the safety of the outside of the pen petted Mickey and made friends again.

I'm happy to say the weather was fairly mild yesterday, for winter, and that made working a nicer thing. When we got inside, we even replaced a leaky faucet with a piece that's like the new Grohe faucets. It's really pretty. Best of all, our bathroom faucet no longer leaks!

Some Christmas huh? Well, it's just par for the course around here. Hope yours was wonderful. All in all, ours was pretty nice.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The flavor and characters of a novel

When I write I like to make my characters stand out with their own individuality. Now most authors use clothing to create a character's personality, and I do that too. I mean you wouldn't normally find a cowboy in a three-piece suit, or a hooker in an evening gown... then again, those types of twists can accentuate a particular twist in a plot, a commical situation, or even a deeper side of their 'normal' personality. Another thing that helps on some occassions are special pieces of jewelry. A deeply religious charcater might wear a special piece of religious jewelry. Maybe a shiny, and ornate cross, or a rugged, battered, simple piece of wrought iron. Depending on how it is used it can help to convey a deep personal message. A centuries old broach once the height of fashion, but now probably considered gaudy and antequated can make a character's strong connection to a past. So much can be done to help to bring out inner feelings, or ties to the past through simple little pieces placed strategically, and used wisely. Never overlook the little things, they give your writing flavor and character in every way.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Nothing Compares to a Diamond.

When I was younger I really loved rocks. I mean the whole nine yards. A science teacher in my earth science class got me into spelunking (caving and the search for -- yes, you guessed it, rocks). I loved the different types of rocks and stones and how they looked in their raw form as well as in their cut and polished form. I thought it was amazing the differences between raw and polished too. I had even acquired some of the costly tools to do my own polishing.

While I've kind of outgrown the love of 'spelunking', or the desire to find raw gems and other rocks and polish them to perfection, I still love and own many examples of such things like amethyst, and opal. For jewlery though, the only real rock I like is diamond. Especially diamond rings. Everything else kind of looks fake no matter how real it is. Nothing compares to a diamond.

Friday, December 14, 2007

A Writer's Wild Ride

Being a writer can make you crazy. I've been doing this seriously as a means of living for nearly ten years now and I'm not kidding this past year with its ups and downs is enough to drive anyone to drink.

One month I'm flying high and making money and feeling like it's never gonna end. The next I'm scrounging around the sofa cushions for spare change. Now it's always been like that but this year it seems the variances have been more extreme than ever before.

With the end of the year coming up fast--can you believe it? It feels like just yesterday I was toasting the new year on the couch with hubby, and now it's gaining ground to Christmas. Whew. Well the wild ride is coming to an end for this year and I find myself praying that next year will smooth out just a little.

If it keeps doing the wild thing I may need drug rehab by this time next year. A gal can only take so many head spinning dips and breath-taking lifts. After awhile it all turns into a tylenol moment, and you want to reach for a Bacardi.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Talk For Less but Still Look Big

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Thursday, December 06, 2007

Full Circle Fashion

I don't wear too much in the way of jewelry although I love it. I think jewelry adds an elegant touch and it makes me feel good when I wear it. However working around animals all day I just don't tend to wear it often. About the only time I do get all fancied up and put on my best Lange Sohne watch and long pretty earings, and dangling necklaces is on the rare occassions we go out somewhere really special to eat, or for entertainment. Since that only happens occassionally throughout the year my jewelry tends to last a very long time. My biggest concern isn't breakage, or wearing out, it's keeping my jewelry from being out-dated. Since I'm not out and about all that often I wonder a lot if even I know what is out-dated or not. Sometimes I wonder if people look at me the way I always imagined they did at my grandmother and other older folks like her thinking how cute it was that the 'little old lady' and her broaches and clip on earings (in the time of piercings and bling). Maybe I'm that 'little old lady' now, although I don't stoop to clip ons. Perhaps fashion does come full circle and you become your grandmother before you can blink an eye... but hey, at least I have my own 'old lady' style!

Prime Location

I wish that I had really realized how important location is in the real estate world. Now I can't say I didn't 'know' in the general knowledge sense. After all, the main motto of all real estate agents is 'location, location, location', and yet, the real concept only hits home after you find yourself attached to a less than prime locale. When we bought the little farm we live on now 12 years ago we used the money from a sale of property up north that truly was PRIME. We got good money for that little 1/2 acre of land even though the house on it was ancient and not even going to be used. The developer that bought the land immediately tore down the house (it needed it) and put up a beautiful home in its place. We were selling the property--or more importantly we were selling the LOCATION.

We found our current place and it suited up perfectly. Out in the middle of nowhere in a town no one from where we lived had ever heard of, with plenty of room (over 10 acres) and a lovely newer, although not new, home. Never once did I stop to consider the location in regards to re-sale back then. We pretty much figured we'd be here forever. Twelve years may not be forever, but it is a long time. It's time to move on now though and that 'location, location, location' motto is really hitting home. Sure we could, and probably will sell for a little better than the purchase price. We made some big improvements like a new barn that is still relatively new, but there's no way we'll get the windfall of cash we did from the first property that ended up being the last of its very sought-after kind. Sigh... lesson learned. Mottos are created for a reason, and always look as far ahead as you can in your thinking before you buy a piece of property.


Monday, December 03, 2007

Vacation Dreaming

Oh it's getting cold out again. Winter is definately here although at the moment it's sort of off and on. Some days remain fall-like, while others drop down into the frigid zone. On the frozen days I long for the warmth of a more southern local. Thoughts of taking a vacation and renting a Pigeon Forge cabins in the beautiful mountains of Tennessee where there are still seasons, but much, much less drastic changes than up here seem perfect to me. Spending the days hiking in the moutains vs hauling buckets of hot water out to unfreeze the stock tanks seems like a 'no brainer'. Thankfully we've installed water heaters in almost all of the tanks so the bigger ones aren't freezing over anymore, but there are still several smaller tanks that we couldn't get heaters in for various reasons. So there is still water to haul, and dreams of vacations in places where water doesn't freeze.


I finally sat down and watched Transformers last night! I've had this movie for weeks and it seemed like everytime I was getting set to watch it something would come up and distract me. I think partially it was a matter of I had several friends say they were disappointed in it, so I was a little less than enthused about it as well. Here is just a perfect example of why you shouldn't listen to critics, or even friends when deciding on a movie, or a book.

I liked it.

Perhaps it was the fact that for a 'serious' movie there was a lot of levity in it. I LIKE that. I loved the fact that the autobot goodguys (Optimus Prime and his pack) not only had hilarious personalities, they had very individual personalities. It was a fun movie, although it does require a good deal of suspension of disbelief. If you like comic book styled movies this one is a winner.