Monday, August 31, 2009

Making Space

I've been organizing my magazine collections over the past two days in order to straighten up some of the shelves in my office. Did you know you can make great magazine holders out of cereal boxes? A little cutting and some colored paper taped to the outside, and VOILA! a new FREE magazine holder.

As I was re-shelving my magazines in their new holders, I realized that I had more space on the shelves now that the magazines weren't spilling all over themselves and everything else.

So, what does this have to do with writing?

I was thinking about how I was making space and how important that was to my writing. In this case I'm talking about making mental space.

I have to make space in my thoughts during the day to think about my WIP. This helps me work through scenes that I may have struggled with while at my computer. It also gives my muse space to create the dialogue for a new scene.

So, how do I make mental space?

1. I have to unplug. I don't listen to any music on my mp3 player. It's only loaded with books. But if I want to listen to my own thoughts, I have to remove the earplugs to my audiobooks.

2. I do something routine that doesn't require thought. Two of my favorite places to make mental space are my shower and my neighborhood walk. Water is full of powerful, creative energy for me. Standing under the hot shower as I wash my hair always gives my muse an invitation to visit my thoughts. Whereas walking my neighborhood fills my senses with nature, and the fresh air clears the dust from my brain. It also gives me a chance to try speaking dialogue out loud where no one can hear me.

Making space - how do you do it?

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Time Traveler's Wife

Happy Friday!

I'd like to say a few words about The Time Traveler's Wife that I went to see this week with my movie buddy.

First, I should "explain" my movie buddy. She is a very good friend of mine, and our movie dates started when we entered the "Twilight" craze last year.

No, I"m not a teenager. Yes, I love Twilight, and I think Stephenie Meyer is beyond wonderful. My movie buddy and I went to see Twilight eight times in the theater. Each and every time, we found something new we loved about the characters that we didn't notice before. They kept us coming back for more. I was so intrigued by the characters, I found myself checking facts in the book against the movie. Stephenie created great characters.

What about The Tiime Traveler's Wife you ask? Well, I couldn't find any reason to go back and see this movie again or even rent it when it comes out. I have to admit I have not read the book. Maybe I would like it. However, the characters on screen lacked a depth for me that I look for in a good movie or a good book. I want to see the chemistry between two people who love each other on screen, and it was lacking between Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana. I just didn't feel it.

Now, the concept of time travel is very cool. I've personally always wanted to go back in time. But, I had a few other problems with this movie. For instance, every time Henry (Eric Bana) time traveled, he lost his clothes. Yes, he would end up in his birthday suit where he traveled to. And, he didn't get to pick his destination. So you ask, how did he solve this problem? He broke into people's homes or cars and stole their clothes. Silly if you ask me. I wasn't buying it. Purpose please, anyone?

Since I spent $6.75 on this movie, I had to ask myself what I learned from seeing this. Here's what I came up with. As I write my contemporary romance novel, I want my readers to feel the connection between my characters. To believe that they are in love and truly are destined to be together. I want that spark of chemistry flying off the page. In the movie, I felt all of this was missing. We've all seen movies or read books that we just can't get into. This was one of those times for me, and I was bummed. I left the movie depressed. I don't want my readers to ever feel depressed.

I'd love to hear other thoughts and reactions to this film. Enjoy your weekend, and I hope you enjoy our website.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What's for lunch?

Tomorrow I will be serving my critique partners lunch at my house as we plow through our latest chapters in our WIPs (work in progress). We rotate houses every week, and it's fun to experience each other's cooking.

Ingrid is a fantastic cook. She watches the Food Channel all the time and experiments on Ann and me. I asked her to make the Strawberry Shortcake Cake from Pioneer Woman's website last week. Ingrid knocked it out of the ballpark. Oh! If you could only have tasted it! The last time Ann hosted, she made comfort food for us with a warm chicken salad with crushed potato chips on the top layer. Gotta love anything with potato chips, right?!?

When it's my turn, I tend to look for low-carb or low glycemic index foods. My body reacts violently to sugar and flour by gaining major pounds in a short period of time, so I try to keep myself stable with less carbs. This week I will be serving an easy Greek salad, crusty bread, sliced watermelon, and fudge brownies (yes, I still eat dessert! A girl still has to enjoy life!).

In my current WIP, my hero's heritage is Greek, so in honor of the Pello family. Here is a simple Greek salad.

Greek salad
Greek salad

Greek salad, or horiatiki, is a rough country salad of juicy tomatoes, crisp cucumber, sliced red onion, green pepper, crumbly feta cheese and plump kalamata olives. Serve this delightful combination as a side dish or as a light meal with some crusty bread.

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1½ tablespoons lemon juice
1 clove garlic—minced
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, and extra for garnish
3 tomatoes—cut into wedges
¼ red onion—sliced into rings
½ cucumber—sliced into thick half-moons
½ green pepper (capsicum)—julienned
4 oz (120g) feta cheese—cut into small cubes
16 kalamata olives

PLACE the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper and oregano in a small jar with a screw-top lid and shake to combine. PLACE the salad ingredients in a large bowl. POUR the dressing over the salad and toss gently to combine just before serving. Garnish the Greek salad with a little freshly ground black pepper.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Your true colors are shining like a rainbow.

Welcome to the new True Colors Writers blog where three aspiring writers share tales from their journey through the publishing world.

On Mondays, our writers will talk about all aspects of the writing life - craft, art, rejection, contracts, pitches, creativity, distractions, etc. You get the idea!

On Wednesdays, we will answer the age old question: What's for Dinner? Does your skin crawl as much as mine when the kids ask that at 10:30 in the morning? Look here on Wednesdays for new ideas for putting dinner on the table. We may even throw in a breakfast, lunch or dessert recipe.

On Fridays, The Reviews are In as we will wrap up the week. They may be books, movies, TV programs, or music, but we'll give you our opinion on something!

So, welcome and thank you for joining us on our new adventure.

Andrea, Ingrid and Ann