Friday, March 30, 2007

I heart Fridays!

It's always a giant sigh of relief when I get to this day. Especially lately, when my office is trashed and my schedule is full and I know I have to pay attention to things like taxes and bills and I'd rather just go camping!

Happy 31st birthday to my Michelle (my sis!). She doesn't like the pomp and circumstance for birthdays, but she gets it on this blog. I love you so much!

I should confess. The office got to me yesterday, so I cleaned it. Then had to stay up late and finish a pile of stuff for India because I spent time sorting papers and didn't spend time editing files. It's such a good stress-killer to sort stuff and put things back in order. I needed it and I will be caught back up for India today.

No Curio today. I have oodles of Curio project spaces to post, but I don't want to fill up my blog with unrelated images. (I'm aesthetic that way; I want things to make sense and to complement each other). Thus, you'll have to wait until I have more Curio done for my WIP, Let Them Eat Cake. It will be worth the wait.

Doing research on structure and conflict for the WIP. Really loved Heidi's Curio project space for her WIP character, Evie. (I hope she doesn't mind me talking about it on my blog. Let me know, H.) It's really a tight circle of events that's she formulated and it really inspired me. I tend to look at novel plotting as a timeline--this must happen before this, etc.--but her tight circle helped me to see that if I get all my characters moving in their own directions, conflict will spew out of that and a story must appear. So, thanks, Heidi, you've helped me so much!

We're looking at job possibilities for hubby here. Thinking about and working toward Colorado. We both love the idea of mountains and forests and fresh air (much more than the other area we have as an option (ahem, Plano), plus we know quite a few people there already--C and L and their kids, the F family, with all their extended families, as well as L and R and K.

So we're working on a resume. DH has a meeting with headhunters next week and a job fair on the 11th, so here we go! Good vibes appreciated muchly.

Happy Friday and take time to work on a Fun Project this weekend, okay? It'll do your heart good.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

More Curio.

This is the Curio for Let Them Eat Cake's theme, halfway put together and just starting the organization.

I'm following the worthy example of Heidi over at and going to post more of my Curio stuff as I get settled into a routine. At first, it will be just the first massive gathering of images. I'm working on organizing these images into an overarching theme, first of the book itself, and then for each character. I'd also like to create a Curio project space for each chapter's theme and events. Curio has changed my life! So worth the price and the effort to move to Mac.

My first WIP that needs attention is Cake, because the first draft and outline is already finished and I need to learn to finish what I start. :)

How is my writing going? Very well. I'm finally working solely off my Macbook, instead of juggling the other iMac, papers, my PC desktop, and scribbled notes. This way, I keep the story contained.

I really need the added pressure to concentrate on my WIP, because I'm so unsure about our immediate future. I have peace about it; totally cool with whatever happens for my husband's career, but that doesn't change the fact that I may or may not have to pack up either in April or in October. Plus, my workload is really filling up and I have to stay on task and make progress.

It's a rush for me to finish a project and do it well. I am a GTD next action girl all the way. When I complete character sketches on a project, I experience such gratification that I immediately cross it off the list and conquer the next thing.

Plus, I've realized this past year that writing on a fiction project is really relaxing and therapeutic for me. There is nothing I love better (well, spending time with Daphne, my niece, shopping, and buying and reading books come to mind), but this year, I'm moving forward again. After a great 2006 of writing, but realizing that my genre is shifting, 2007 is about making the jump to a new genre and getting a novel out there. The first one is the most difficult (thanks Cameron Foote) and things will get easier as it goes along.

Hope your writing projects are moving along as well! Enjoy! And stay tuned for more Curio in the days to come.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

My first Curio project space.

This is the Curio collage I created for my book I'm writing called Everywhen. I told ya the program was amazing!

I picked out the preliminary pictures that really spoke to me about this project. It's taking shape in my mind! What a program! I'm so impressed, I bought it! Yes. I. Did. (thanks, Michael!)

In other news, yes, hubby's contract has been lost, but we're not lost; in fact, we feel pretty blessed. We have no idea if we'll stay in Seattle or move elsewhere (and no idea where we're going if we move), but we know this is happening for a reason and I'm excited. It is time for my hubby to polish off some of his dreams and now we get to.

Of course, it means packing all this up eventually (nothing may happen for six months or we may move next week!), but I've started to sell books online. I may end up selling every book I own, which is both hard for me and liberating. I'm finding that the less I "grasp" these things that I thought were of utmost importance to me, the less they matter in the long run.

My friend, Amy, a personal organizer in Oceanside, California inspires me each time I talk to her. She doesn't hoard ANYTHING, and makes me feel foolish about what I hang onto so tightly. I'm channeling her this week and selling the books. Even if I sell one that I regret later, I can always buy it again.

Heck, I gave my treasured copy of Stephen King's On Writing to a guy selling magazine subscriptions a few months ago when he found out I was a writer and asked me how to get published. I easily replaced my copy. The books will always be there, but right now, they need to fly away to other homes.

Happy Wednesday!

Tackling a Large Writing Project

How does a writer write a book? And keep all the characters straight and the storyline and find out if the conflict is steady throughout the book and make sure each character gets enough time on "stage" and that one character doesn't steal the entire book?

Read on.

I've been thinking about this too and I read on 43 Folders last week that Merlin has tested Scrivener for large writing projects. Scivener comes with a 30-day fully functional trial, so I downloaded it. Last night, I started playing.

But yesterday, before I was fully engaged in the program's explanatory tour, I was surfing on He Wrote, She Wrote, which led me to Argh Ink (Jenny's blog) and I read Jenny's post about Scrivener from February 16, where she raves about it. Of course, she also uses Curio, which now I'm dying to get as well (only a 15-day free trial).

But still, I can see how both these programs would really help my book writing to prosper.

And it's nice to have Jenny's blog to cruise when I'm feeling rather panicky about our future. I think today is d-day (decision day). There's a staff-wide 9:30 am PST meeting.

So, I'm writing.


Monday, March 26, 2007

Bright-Eyed and Bushy-Tailed

This is my cat (she has passed on to the great cat heaven), true, but it's the only picture I have (without buying one) of a cat and they are on my mind.

Did you watch PLANET EARTH on Discovery channel last night? I loved the cats: snow leopard, puma, spotted leopard. Fantastic show. I highly recommend. It's on again next Sunday and you've got to see it. Next up, I've got to find a blue whale picture. There would be no room for words if I did, however.

We had a semi-relaxing weekend. I worked more than I should have and I feel it today. Very weary, but that's okay. I'll take it easy after some of this stuff gets done. I hope that attitude does me good when I head back to school next year.

I am rereading Twyla Tharp's The Creative Habit and slowly beginning the process of teaching myself to study again. After 15 years, this will be interesting.

I really appreciate her point about habit, but more importantly, I sat and thought about her example of Mozart. Leopold Mozart was accomplished, not only in music, but in religion and politics and philosophy. He saw that his son Wolfgang was drawn to music (uh, if a 3-year-old begins to play his sister's harpsichord, I would say so!), and made sure that his son was taught and learned from the best musicians he could find. Really, Mozart's genius was because his father helped him, but after that, when Mozart was in his teens and twenties and wrote 27 symphonies that flopped, it was creative habit that gave him the 28th.

Tharp also includes example of Beethoven on his morning walks, a master chef who goes out to his herb garden and enjoys the varying scents and then in a rush of inspiration flies to his restaurant to create a dish, or a writer who gets up, ignores email (me!), and writes for an hour or two, no matter the quality. It's habit.

What's a habit you need to develop this week for your creative pursuits? It does not have to be big, or cost any money. Whether it be drawing a sketch, practicing one piece on an instrument, or digging up one flowerbed and planting seeds, it is within your grasp.

Go to it!

Have a good week.