27 July 2010

Lite at My Writing Existence

Posting will be lite here for the next few weeks because...

It's vacation time with the family: site seeing, eating out, hanging at the pool and seeing old friends. I've brought along some of my writing tools in the event that while my little one naps on the non-sight-seeing days so I can keep my story present in my mind. And not have to work to remember what Akeva was doing before I left her to her own devices. I did that once and it took me longer than I care to admit to get back in the writing groove.

Then no sooner do we get back home, school begins for the kids.

So, when I get a chance, I'll post something.

And here's a pic, taken on the phone and no post processing, of some of the sights.

I can imagine Akeva looking around in a forest of these things ... I think the "new" Scotch Pine will be verra similar to these behemoths in the Muir Woods.

Until later ... 

15 July 2010

Confused or Great?

Via a post at Boing Boing today, I found this site, I Write Like, where you enter some of your own text for their analysis, and voila, it will tell you who you write like.

Using some of my previous blog posts, I supposedly write like ...
Then using some text from the first draft of my second novel ... I Write Like ... David Foster Wallace. (Need to look him up.)

So, what does this say about me ... Confused or Great? I can't be a copy cat as I've only read Tolstoy. Or maybe I'm just procrastinating?

Yeah, I know, I know. I'll go get my writing notebook now.

Who do you write like? Post your results in the comments.

13 July 2010

A Meme

Over on Charlene Teglia's blog, she posted a Literature Meme that I thought would be fun to do. So I began a post in Blogger, but never got around to answering the questions. Then today over at GenReality, Sasha White did a post on the same meme.

So before everyone does this and I get left behind, here are my answers ... Have fun.

1) What author do you own the most books by?
I think I have a tie between Rosina Lippi/Sara Donati, Diana Gabaldon, and Lynn Viehl.

2) What book do you own the most copies of?
I only own one of each hardback, but I buy the audiobooks for my favorites as well so I can "read" the story anytime.

3) Did it bother you that both those questions ended with prepositions?
Er, no.

4) What fictional character are you secretly in love with?
Jamie Fraser

5) What book have you read the most times in your life (excluding picture books read to children; i.e., Goodnight Moon does not count)?
The Ring by Daniel Steel - my mom own this book when I was younger and it was the only book in the house for a very long time. I loved the time period. BTW ... this story is where I got the idea for the name for our second child.

6) What was your favorite book when you were ten years old?
Anything by Piers Anthony - I loved the word play.

7) What is the worst book you've read in the past year?
Are there bad books?

9) If you could force everyone you tagged to read one book, what would it be?
Can't name just one ... besides, it would depend on the person.

10) Who deserves to win the next Nobel Prize for Literature?
 No clue.

11) What book would you most like to see made into a movie?
None of them. Now, as a Mini-series on HBO ... Outlander Series, ITW Series. I'm looking forward to the A Song of Ice and Fire Series that is in production.

12) What book would you least like to see made into a movie?
Any of them.

13) Describe your weirdest dream involving a writer, book, or literary character.
Weird dreams? Who has those? Like I would share that with you all.

14) What is the most lowbrow book you've read as an adult?
Are there lowbrow books?

15) What is the most difficult book you've ever read?
The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James. I gave up at a conversation where I had no clue who was saying what.

16) What is the most obscure Shakespeare play you've seen?
Showing my illiteracy ... haven't seen a Shakespeare play unless you count the one I watched on a VCR in Mrs. Beehler's senior English class, and it was a modern retelling of the Taming of the Shrew.

17) Do you prefer the French or the Russians?
Haven't read any French authors... so I'd have to go with the Russians.

18) Roth or Updike?

19) David Sedaris or Dave Eggers?
See #18

20) Shakespeare, Milton, or Chaucer?
Since I've not read two of the three ... Shakespeare.

21) Austen or Eliot?
I've only read Austen.

22) What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading?
Can't you already tell?

23) What is your favorite novel?
Can't have just one ... Into the Wilderness by Sara Donati and Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.

24) Play?
I saw the movie for Much Ado About Nothing. But my favorite musical was Les Miserables.

25) Poem?

Don't have one.

26) Essay?
Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau ... majority of one.

27) Short story?
The Yellow Wallpaper by Charolette Perkins Gilman. I also enjoyed her novella Herland.

28) Work of nonfiction?
Nonfiction? Do all my searches in Wikipedia count?

29) Who is your favorite writer?

Not just one ... Rosina Lippi/Sara Donati, Diana Gabaldon, J.K. Rowling.

30) Who is the most overrated writer alive today?
I don't have enough time to read that many books to be able to say. 

31) What is your desert island book?

Again ... Can't have just one ... Into the Wilderness by Sara Donati and Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.

32) And ... what are you reading right now?
A Clash of Kings (A Song of Fire and Ice, #2) by George R. R. Martin

PS Thanks to Charlene and Sasha for the inspiration.

07 July 2010

All the Way from Scotland

I listen to a Scottish podcast from Footstompin. The host, Simon, features artists like the Red Hot Chili Pipers, Peatbog Faeries, Martyn Bennett and other Scottish music artists. As my first novel is set mostly in a version of Scotland, I've created a playlist to put me in a Scottish frame of mind. Most of the music I found through the podcast.

Now, I'm happy to say that I've found another album to add to my playlist. But I didn't come by it by listening to the Scottish music podcast. In my never ending fascination with all things Scotland, I follow a few Scottish blogs. One of them, Scotland for the Senses, recently held a giveaway for a folk music CD. And lucky me, I won! Canaich, by Dunan Chisolm, arrived last night, all the way from Scotland.

PurestGreen, author of the blog Scotland for the Senses, loves the music. In my first few listens, I can see why. I look forward to spending more time, particularly with it playing in the background while I'm writing, or on those lazy Sunday mornings where all you want to do is lounge about and read a book.

I can already see how several of the songs fit in nicely with certain scenes, almost like they were made for my story. "Caoineadh Johnny Sheain Jeaic" is perfect for when Akeva mourns all she's lost. As I'm about to write the harvest ceilidh scene, the quick and upbeat tempo of "The Exile Reels" helps me to imagine the energy of the celebration. And "Camhanaich Air Machair" seems like a perfect theme song for Akeva and Brian as they become acquainted each other - playful, wistful, then the change of melody signals something more complicated.

Some writers talk about how they come up with a soundtrack to help them get in the mood. I've done that to an extent with my playlists - just to get a feel of the environment. Akeva's story playlist is all Scottish or Scottish inspired music. With Chisolm's Canaich, I can imagine an actual soundtrack to play while reading Akeva's story, with lots of the songs coming from Canaich.

I've already put the music on the main computer, my writing computer, and my iPhone. So, thanks PurestGreen for the contest and picking my name!

A short aside ... One of my minor characters is a Chisolm. Coincidence or Fate?