Saturday, January 31, 2009

Beyonce, Lipgloss, Cheese, and Other Things that make me Happy

On Facebook last week I announced that a new lipgloss could usually perk me right out of a funk for a few minutes, if not hours. But then I went to Zumba where my precious teacher memorized Beyonce's "Single Ladies" and tought it to us-- Complete with plastic rings for everyone so that we could flash our bling in the mirror like the Booty Shaker, herself.

So now I've decided that a good shake of my tailfeather to loud music surpasses lipgloss for depression breaking. And come to think of it, chocolate helps and baked Brie too. What does it for you? Ice cream? A manicure? A sweaty workout? New shoes?
I think I can say for sure that if you find yourself in a funk of sorts, perhaps you should put on your ipod, throw some cheese in the oven, gloss up your pucker and rock what you got!

Although I'd be happy to take some ideas from you.

P.S. No deep thoughts here. We all know a good cry at the therapists or some serious praying works best, but I am interested in your shallow attempts to appease yourself with fried foods and candy today. Because sometimes those little things make a day a little perkier.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Granny's in the Trailer

This week, I've taken a bit of a breather from our screenplay and have been working on a play to submit to Oxford's Ten Minute Play contest.  The deadline is February 15th, and plays can be no longer than  ten pages.  Check out the rules and guidelines here.  The coolest thing is that the top winners get to see their play performed.  The second coolest thing is that the first place prize is $1000. 

It's both fun and disorienting to try to write in a completely different genre and to write about a completely different subject. 

 Me?  I opened a can of Schlitz, 

downloaded some David Allan Coe onto my ipod, 

and channeled my inner Trans-Am 

so that I could write a play about rednecks in small town Mississippi.  My two characters have a spicy interchange on the front porch while watching a heaping pile of garbage burn in their yard.  We just have to hope that a spark from the fire doesn't leap over and ignite the trailer where they put granny to live on the front lawn.

[Oh, and I feel that I should clarify here since Katie wrote such a glowing post about our literary town of Oxford--this is one of those OTHER small towns in Mississippi] 

So, Katie, Clover, Miss J, and all you other assassins out there--how 'bout it?  Don't you wanna write a thriller spandex spy girl play?  If you win, you could probably negotiate being cast in the lead.  Then all your subversive secret agent dreams would come true.   Daniel Craig might even be available for a cameo.  Are you in????

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Katie - Bad A$$ Super Spy

I'm in movie mode lately. Perhaps it's because SF and I are writing, or maybe it's because I have a SICK addiction to trailers...(I'm not lying - I seriously do!) But I have been cracking up at a little dialogue I have going with Little Ms J. (who I don't know from Adam.) haha - Funny how you make friends in the blogging world.

Anyway, Ms. J thinks she would make a kick a$$ spy. As would I. We have discussed our desire to curve bullets like Angelina Jolie, and speak several languages like Sidney Bristow, and kung-fu fight bad guys without breaking a sweat like every great power girl. So, in our honor, I am posting some wicked cool new movie trailers that I have seen with adrenaline pumping.

SF's and my screenplay is NOT of this caliber. It's a romantic comedy/drama. But ANY movie watching helps me get in the groove. So enjoy.

The International

This one will have some cool planning and gadgets I think - and my favorite item, KISSING:


P.S. After writing this post, I went into my bedroom to change the sheets and I ripped them off with such super spy force that my elbow banged into the wall behind me and I crumbled on the floor in pain. Perhaps I'm not quite as tough as I thought I was...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

My Life is a Screenplay

Or should I just pitch a reality show of my life to an agent?

Or am I being presumptuous to think that my life is THAT interesting?

Katie and I are about to get kickin' on our screenplay.  It is a funny look at three women going through mid-life crises and all three are handling their aging in very different ways.  Although our screenplay is not autobiographical, like all good writing, snippets of our lives peek in and out of the storyline.  These women ask  a lot of "what ifs" as they deal with the realities of aging and life choices.

Did I mention that I'm hitting the BIG four-oh in about three months?  For some reason, over the last couple of months, this aging thing is hitting me.  Hard.  I've got a pretty long list of things I wanted to accomplish by the time I hit forty, and let's just say, I've got a busy three months ahead if I actually get to everything on that list.  I'm not complaining--life is good and I'm happy with where I am.  It's just . . . 

But wait--didn't Oprah say that fifty is the new forty?  Can I get an extension?  Ten years?  

And, at what age do I have to cut my long locks into the "menopause bob"?  

and wear "sensible shoes"?  

and switch from Zumba to "Sit and Be Fit"?


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Living in a Literary Town

SF and I live in Oxford, Mississippi and I admit, I totally take it for granted. Occasionally people write us and tell us how lucky we are to have each other with whom to "talk shop." I know. We are. I am consciously grateful for this fact. But there are so many other fun things about living here that I tend to forget. My husband thinks discussing this is bragging, but I really think it's kinda cool and interesting. Like I said, I am truly thankful for a best friend and critique partner in Sarah Frances, but guess what else?

*I live DIRECTLY across the street from John Grisham. My hood is on one side of the road and his palacial estate is on the other. Sometimes I want to leave him notes in his mailbox :-) He reads our blog. Hey John! (I'm totally kidding! He probably does NOT read our blog. Notice I said "Probably," 'cuz you never know, he might...

*We see many famous writers every day, from the poet in pilates, to the famous food writer in the bookstore.

*Today we are taking our children to romp around William Faulkner's backyard! (which is fun and has lots of nature trails.)

*Writers and books are REVERED here. Say you're a writer and someone will most likely buy you a drink.

*We have an annual Conference for the Book. As part of this conference, two children's authors are chosen--a middle grade and a young adult author. All of the 5th and 9th grade students from our city and county schools are given free copies of the authors' books and then the chosen author comes and talks to the kids about their work. So this author immediately sells at LEAST 500 copies of their book in ONE day in ONE location (actually, it ends up being a lot more books than that because they have a huge booksigning at our indie bookstore after school). Plus, the authors have an audience of hundreds of children who have read and have questions about their masterpiece. I hope to be one of these authors someday...

*Our Bookstore (which has 3 locations in the same block) is one of the most famous independent bookstores in the country.

*A famous actress and screenwriter lives a block over from SF and she is a delight to talk to as well as give us movie writing advice. Her dog and SF's wild animal are best buds.

*We hear of friends writing pilots for TV shows and short story anthologies on a near daily basis.

*We have lunch with three other non-fiction writers monthly.

*We couldn't get babysitters this weekend and had to skip the big Mardi Gras Literary Bash that celebrates reading of all kinds.

*Oxford now has a growing Film Festival with actors and writers flying in from all over.

*It's not weird to see Morgan Freeman at lunch.

*The manager of the children's bookstore gives us ARCS constantly and wants our advice as to what books are up and coming. Our advice?! We love this.

SF, anything else?

We are truly blessed to live here and I am sorry that I so often forget. Now if only we could be listed one day in the future on someone else's blog - ha! Like, "Sarah Frances and Katie live here and I see them sometimes in yoga. They are so cool." *swoon.

hee hee

P.S. that pic is Faulkner's house. The kiddos are sick of me taking their picture, so I had to steal this one.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Family Movie Night

We've just returned from "family movie night"--Bedtime Stories with Adam Sandler.  Great movie.  Fun.  Clean (whew!).  Of course, now I watch all movies with an eye toward the writing, the dialogue, the story arc . . .

Did Katie mention that she and I are STOKED to get crackin' on our screenplay once again? Yeah, I think she's mentioned it.  It's been on the back burner for about a year now, and we are both at a place mentally where we really, really want to crank it into high gear and GO.  

We just ordered our software so that we can i-partner as we write--think about it . . . we can both be sitting in our own beds wearing our flannel pjs and reading glasses . . . surrounded by down pillows and high threadcount sheets and snoring hubbies and wine bottles . . . . sorry, that actually sounds really good right now with or without the screenwriting.  Okay, FOCUS (that was my word, right?).  So, we can work on the same document together while we're at different places.  Cool, huh?  

But, I'm sure we'll do most of our writing together because it's much 
more fun that way.  And, we love hanging out at our coffee shop which will someday be on tour as the place where it all began--I can dream, right?  Wait a minute, FOCUS . . .

Thursday, January 15, 2009

My Friend Dave :-)

The cutie to my left is my dear friend David Romanelli. I met David several years ago on a dream trip to Mexico. My precious husband gave me the trip for our 10th anniversary and it involved traveling to Oaxaca to study cooking with a world famous chocolatier and also to study yoga with a celebrity yogi who happened to be the aforementioned David.

I wasn't planning on writing about David today, but he has a hilarious website and blog in which he usually reflects on something spiritual. AND HE HAS A BOOK COMING OUT MARCH 10th with RANDOM HOUSE!!! Ahem... Sorry I got a little excited because I love his book. So yesterday he asked me to preview a post, and it moved me so much I wanted to share it. Actually it was a quote that I loved - and here it is:
The poet Patrick Overton wrote, "When you have come to the edge of all light that you know and are about to drop off into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing one of two things will happen: there will be something solid to stand on, or you will be taught to fly."

So often I feel like I am afraid. Afraid to fail. Or afraid that I've done something wrong. Sometimes I feel uncertain. Am I on the right path? Should I have said that? Or maybe a door closes. Like I get a rejection letter from someone I was interested in, or something doesn't work out like I planned. David's quote made me realize that these things don't matter. I'm a believer in God, aren't I? Damn right I am! And God has a grander plan than my short sighted eyes can see. He is closing the doors I'm walking towards because he wants me to go through other doors. And if there is a scary cliff on the other side of the door, he will catch me when I fall. In fact, he might be pushing me off the side of the cliff because he knows that I can fly. I just don't know it yet.

Aaahhh David. Thanks once again!

P.S. David's fantastic new book teaches you to really learn to live in the moment. Something that we all need to learn how to do, right? Pre-order your copy here.You won't regret it!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Focus . . .

My word for 2009 is going to be "focus".  

One reason for my choice is that I seem to be saying it to myself over and over and over these days like some sort of obsessive mantra as I'm trying to force myself back into a normal routine after the holidays.  The second reason is that my life is full of noise, chaos and distractions--all things that are detrimental to getting into the writing zone.

As a mother of three children, I have lots of external things pulling me away from my writing life. I find myself volunteering for things out of a sense of guilt and obligation and I consider my writing an "indulgence".  So, not only do I need to focus on the task at hand and tune out distractions, I also need to refocus how I view my creative life.  My writing and artwork are not hobbies or indulgences.  They are lifeblood and necessities.

So, focus . . . . focus . . . .focus . .  . dammit! 

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Screenplay

In addition to getting agents, selling both KISS AND TELL and PAPER TIGER, and finishing our new WIP's (Katie's YA and SF's MG) SF and I are also going to finish revising and sell our killer screenplay this year!!!

Just sayin'

(Cracking knuckles)

2009 is going to be a monumental year. I can feel it.

P.S. I totally stole that "cracking knuckles" comment from Suzanne. 'Cuz I thought it was funny :-)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Balance. . .

A couple of my friends picked words for 2009. Mantras if you will. Things that they hoped would define their year. Shelli picked "Breathe." Irene picked "Listen." And while I loved reading about their words, I had no real desire for one of my own.

Then last night I went to yoga. The HOT kind. Bikram. And I realized that I haven't enjoyed yoga in months. I have had my mind too full of other stuff. Emotional stuff. And it has robbed me of the joy of single minded yoga.

So I am claiming a word... Balance.

This year I hope to balance my time between writing, and playing, and working, and talking, and cooking, and laughing, and planning, and crying, and dancing and loving and everything else. So that no one thing sucks too much of my mental energy and robs the rest of my life of peace.

Namaste :-)

P.S. That pose is NOT me. But this one is :-)

Monday, January 5, 2009

Get to WORK!!!!!

Well, here it is . . . the day before my three girls go back to school.  I'm frantically trying to purge the house of all evidence of Christmas--tree droppings, garland, ribbons, glitter, and that dorky little elf that flies to Santa's workshop every night during December only to return to our house each morning in a different hiding place.  If I ever meet those women who wrote that elf book, I just might . . . nevermind.

We've had a crazy, fun holiday season with lots of friends, family, and drop-ins.  I feel like I've been on some kind of crazy spring break binge for weeks (and our house looks that way, too--except it's mostly littered with juice boxes and crushed candy canes instead of beer cans and cigarette cartons).

My WIP has been simmering untouched for a good month now, and I'm itching to get back to it. I can see it, completed, shimmering like a star out there in the big black sky.  I'm so close.  I know exactly what's going to happen.  I know how my characters are going to react.  I know how it's going to end.  I just have to flesh out some really important, really emotionally poignant parts of the story.  Yeah, I "just" have to do that.  

So, HAPPY 2009!  Let's get to work.


Thursday, January 1, 2009

Black-Eyed Peas

HAPPY NEW YEAR Y'all!!!!!!

I am officially declaring 2009, The Year of the Unsold Book. That means everyone who hasn't sold one, will.

Today, I shall eat some black-eyed peas in our honor. Oh! With greens. Isn't that the thing you're supposed to do on New Year's Day? Are the greens required? (SF?) Maybe this is just in the South. Hmmm... If it is, please write in and tell us what your New Year's traditions are.

I am getting ready to mail KISS AND TELL to a spectacular agent, so I am going to add a few killer scenes to it today. Then I might go to Zumba if they are having it, and since my mom is in town from Virginia, I'll probably hit the grocery store to concoct a large and beautiful supper.

And SF, we'll pop over if you're home :-)

Love to all!


Our Motto

Our Motto