Thursday, September 25, 2008

13 Ways to Mark the Time

I happen to be one of those strange people who are not afraid of passing time. There was high school, and I survived. There was college, and it was interesting. There was graduate school, and I thrived.

I'm always looking forward to new challenges, and I still feel like I'm growing up, not growing old.

The downside of it, is that I tend to forget my own age, too. So sometimes, it's a good thing to look back and compare who you were to who you are. And it's not a bad thing to learn from your own life in order to infuse your characters with the potential for change.

In no particular order:
  1. Lessons Learned. In a very practical and material fashion: degrees, grades, or certifications. Or just courses or workshops you took. "Remember, that was the year we got together and plotted 9 books in one weekend." Now that's a milestone. And yes, it happened, and what fun it was!

  2. Children. "The year when.." or "The time when..." Children offer dozens of milestones. First day of school ever. First graduation. First, er, disciplinary action.

  3. Movies. How did seeing a certain movie change your way of looking at storytelling, or your perception of a certain book, actor, or even an entire genre? Was that the summer when you started reading (or writing) a new type of novels?

  4. Music. Did you go to a concert? Did you discover a new artist? Did you meet someone the month when a certain song was playing on the radio all the time?

  5. Celebrations at work. It's a good time to see how your attitude towards people has changed, and how co-workers have become close friends. How you once saw the very place where you spend your days, and how you see it now. Even your daily commute: how was it when you prepared for the Christmas (or whatever) party last year? How is it now? What's changed?

  6. Holidays at home. They never seem to change. That's the whole point of holidays. It's the comfort of continuity. But it's also the knowledge that we can maintain this continuity while we change. What are the small differences that we admit within the sameness of our traditions?

  7. Changing bodies. Changing health. From infant children to elderly parents, and diabetic needs, and everything in-between.

  8. Birthdays and candles on the cake. That was rather obvious.

  9. The tree in the front yard planted the first year you moved into your new house.

  10. Old photographs of things you see every day.

  11. Schools your youngest children, or your friends' youngest children, don't go to anymore.

  12. A growing library and books stacking two and three deep on your shelves. Moving because you need room for books.

  13. Learning something new you never thought you'd be interested in.
What's your way to mark time?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The A/C saga continues, but not all's bad...

We thought we had it fixed.

We were wrong.

I ought to have known there was a reason my inner procrastinator bulked at posting the issue resolved, and the saga ended.

The A/C is still on the fritz.

Fortunately, we're not under a F100+ heatwave, and we can actually enjoy cool morning temperatures.

I just wish they would discover WHAT the problem is, so my husband can finally settle down and enjoy life, instead of worrying about the house crumbling down around him.

He worries enough for all of us.

In other news...

I have a date!

I mean... I have a release date for The Joining.

February 11, 2009.

Mark your calendars!

It's been in the works for a while. It's a fun little story, sci-fi, of course. Coming out at The Wild Rose Press.

In the meantime, you can visit my website to watch the trailer (it's the first trailer I ever made).

If that wasn't enough news, I spend most of the day yesterday at a workshop organized by our local RWA chapter, SARA. It was the first of our Build-A-Book workshops, and I had so much fun giving a talk on "plotting as pantser," or how do you keep your wits about you when all the plotting schemes seem to go awry? Or something like that.

And I'm still offering online workshops
, so check out my website: Otter Creations for more information. There's one coming in October for those who are brand new to the Internet: I'll help you get comfortable with all the terminology, figure out where to start with your web presence, and get you ready to start on the basics of HTML, which comes...

The November workshop!
It's all about image tags and links and colors... Just to give you a taste and get you started. Nothing scary. Nothing major.

Finally, when you're ready to put something up, you'll need to write up something quick to grab your visitors. That's when you'll want to try the December Blurb Workshop. It's short, it's intense, it's hands-on.

And yes, I'm still writing. I just have to finish something. I've had a problem with attention span lately...