Summer goals 2011

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Since many of my fellow bloggers have been talking about summer goals, I came up with some for myself. By the end of August 31:

I will write 60,000 words towards one or more stories. That's an average of 652 words/day, entirely doable for me, even with the days I know I won't have much time to write, such as my birthday this month and the family picnic next month. (Write on those days at all? Mmm, probably not.)

I will get my craft business underway. Writing is slow and painstaking, and my family could use some extra money coming in now. If I can make some without having to go anywhere but the store and the post office, I can stay home to write. And crafts make a nice change of pace from the storytelling.

I will stay positive about my work and not let anyone convince me it's worthless. Okay, so that's an ongoing intangible thing rather than something concrete I can point to as saying I accomplished it. But it is an important thing to remind myself about.

Anybody else have any goals for this summer?

It's been a writing week

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Sorry I didn't have anything for you this week. I'm working my way through a book of fantasy short stories, so I'll post of review of that this upcoming Tuesday. The first couple stories are pretty good. Hopefully, the rest of the collection is just as interesting.

I've also been getting back into daily writing mode. Earlier this week I spent all morning on a long letter to a relative. And then I got back into a story I started over the winter. I had the first couple scenes written and chapter plot notes to carry me halfway through the book. The third scene called to me, so I've been working on that this week. Plus we had a writer/editor visit our critique forum yesterday to tell us about his new releases and look over our opening lines. For my story he pointed out a couple minor places for clarification and some things I did well with voice and tension. Overall he liked it and would keep reading. I still feel a little giddy. On previous visits, he considered my openings to be weak, so I've gotten better. Yippee!

Now I've gotta go finish scene 3. The two main characters both have secrets and gruff attitudes, so there's much fun in their interactions. How's your writing coming along lately?

Filk Friday: Playing D&D

Friday, May 20, 2011

I've been playing D&D for almost 12 years, one of the good things I discovered while in college. I learned to respond quicker to situations, think in alternative ways--thereby improving my outlook on problems, and build a stronger self-confidence. It also led me to larping and from there to my hubby. So between that, the many hours of fun I've had with tabletop and live action games, and the inspiration that got me writing creatively again, D&D is pretty special.

This week, one of my friends linked a video on FB. The singer is the lovely SJ Tucker, who as it turns out, is a friend of a friend of one of my other friends who is not connected to the one who shared the video with me in the first place. Funny how that works sometimes.

So here is "Playing D&D," produced by Dead Gentlemen Productions. You can download this song for free from SJ Tucker's album "Mischief" at according to the Youtube description.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

One of the classic movies I grew up with is Labyrinth. It was utter magic to me. Even though I faced different issues than Sarah was going through, I felt a certain understanding for her character. Maybe it was that we were both fantasy-absorbed. She was escaping her changed family life, and I was escaping my changed social life. (I discovered the movie a few years after it was released.)

Plus it's a Jim Henson movie. Goblins are almost cute as muppets. From

15-year-old Sarah accidentally wishes her baby half-brother, Toby, away to the Goblin King Jareth who will keep Toby if Sarah does not complete his Labyrinth in 13 hours. 

The labyrinth was never what she expected, but its changing ways--influenced by her choices and words--forced her to discover and accept changes in herself. If she had reached Jareth's castle easily, she might have still failed in saving Toby. It was her self discovery along the way that allowed her to succeed.

Not only was the story meaningful to me, but the music is catchy. In fact this post was going to be about something else, but then I popped on the Labyrinth soundtrack. I decided to share this favorite from my collection instead.

Who else is a Labyrinth fan? What is your favorite quote?

Here is one of my many favorites.
Jareth: Hello, Hedgewart.
Sarah: Hogwart.
Hoggle: Hog-gle!
(and 11 years later we get Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, hehe)

Here's another one: Too bad the image is distorted, but it's still a gem of a scene. Sarah gets advice from a worm.

Thor, the fantastic God of Thunder

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

On Mother's Day, I went with my husband to see Thor, the new superhero movie. Now I'm not a big superhero fan-that's more my hubby's shtick-but the play on Norse mythology looked like fun. (Plus the actor looked fantastic in the previews. But we won't go there.)

After reading some reviews, we chose to see it in normal 2D mode, because they said the 3D did nothing for the movie. After seeing it, I'm glad for the decision. The fight sequences were not choreographed suitably for 3D. Too much stuff moving on the screen at high speeds combined with the camera motions meant I'd have have been sick to my stomach from vertigo.  In 2D, the scenes were fine, though still a bit on the dizzying side in a couple places.

The story: Thor is a good guy, but he's too brash and arrogant for his father's comfort. What king wants to pass his power to a young man who is overly eager to pick a fight now matter how skilled he is at fighting? Even though that son possesses all other worthy traits. Thor's ego gets him into trouble and he is banished to Earth without his powers. But a father's hope for change sends Mjolnir, Thor's hammer, to Earth as well.

The movie was lots of fun. I had no preconceived notions about the story other than the preview and what I could remember of Norse mythology, which wasn't much. I haven't been able to get into the Iron Man movies, because Stark's character just rubs me the wrong way. But Thor, despite his arrogance, still comes across as worthy of respect. Someone I could root for. (It didn't hurt that some of his mannerisms remind me of one of my friends.) All he needed was the right situation to make him realize the additional qualities his father was trying to teach him. By itself, being sent to Earth wasn't enough to trigger the change of perspective, but his interaction with scientist Jane Foster, plus a personal setback that I won't spoil for you, does the job.

I'm not sure I agree completely with the story structure of the first half. It opens with a brief bit where a trio of scientists are following this storm and find Thor the hard way (smacking him with the van), then a jump to all the stuff that led to Thor being there, before finally going back to that scene. It took much longer than I expected to return to the opening teaser, making me question why they'd even started with it or why there was so much backstory. Not a movie killer issue, just a mild concern. It might only bug me because of studying story structure for my own writing. But I will say the teaser did help with waiting for all the post-banishment tidbits shown in the preview. And Thor was fun to root for even from the beginning.

Over all, I highly recommend that you go see this movie. Even if you don't care about any of the teasers for the linked movies, it works just as well as a stand alone. I'd give this one 4.75 stars. I'll probably also go see the next movie in the Marvel-verse.

My First Blog Hop

Friday, May 6, 2011

Book Blogger Hop

This is my first time doing a blog hop, but this one looks like fun. This week's question is, "Which book blogger would you most like to meet in real life?"

This is a little tough, since several of my online friends do blogging about books, but I think I'd have to say Jennifer and Cannwin from The Literary Soundtrack. I stumbled onto their blog via someone else's and stuck around. They have similar tastes in books to what I like, and I love how they find songs to correlate with themes in the books they review. It's a fun angle to combine previously unrelated stories and music.