May 26, 2010
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Wasn't nearly as impressed with this book as I had hoped to be. While the premise was promising, the story didn't pull me in as it should have. I really had to struggle to get through the long blocks of description, but, more importantly, I failed to connect with the characters, which means I didn't really care what happened to them or why. Therefore, the story lacked tension.
I will not be adding this one to my keeper shelf.
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Last weekend we took a short trip to Covenant Campground. There were four campers in our little group: ours, my brother and SIL's, my Dad's, and my Dad's new SIL.
Among these four campers, there were 6 children and 4 dogs.
Hopefully our next camping trip will a little less eventful!
May 24, 2010
May 12, 2010
On the down side, I've not touched the actual Word doc. All of my efforts are in the OneNote story bible.
May 10, 2010
Since I had been pretty vocal in my need for bubble bath, this was awesome.
And who doesn't love hummingbirds?
After gifts and breakfast, Hubby went into the bedroom to watch TV. This left me with control of the Living Room. You have to know I spent a good hour or so playing my game. I'm sure I would have played longer, but we were expecting my in-laws, so I decided it was time to give the bubble bath a trial run.
I made it through a chapter and a half of my book. It was lovely.
After lunch at Bob Evans (no line, good food, and the right price), we made a trip to Menard's. Hubby wanted to check out supplies for the basement remodeling job we keep talking about and I wanted to get a Shepard's Hook for the flower bed. After wandering around there for way too long looking at anything and everything, we went home and put up the hummingbird feeder.
I kid you not, about twenty minutes after the feeder went onto the Hook, we had a small visitor. I'm still surprised by how quickly the little critter found the feeder!
Now if I can just get a picture of him...
May 7, 2010
At the time I was working on Dragonborn: The Beginning. It was my first attempt at writing fantasy. Things I remember about that first attempt:
- I really wanted to tell the child's story, but because I didn't know enough about the world she lived in, I decided I'd better tell her parents' stories first. That way, when I finally got around to writing the story I really wanted to tell, I'd know the political landscape and how she came by her unique magic.
- It was fun to write.
- It seemed to write itself.
- My first online critique partner loved it. In fact, he raved.
- I sent it to Tor with hardly any polishing and still managed to get a couple of hand-written notes on the rejection letter.
But after that rejection - the only one I ever risked - I put it away and moved on to something else. Most of what came after that first fantasy novel were more along the lines of character or plot sketches, but a couple actually grew into full stories.
But during the blog's first few years, my topics broadened to include my family.
Look how little they are! Based on the date stamp there, the little man had just turned three, which would put the oldest at 6.
Look at them now!
The Little Man
The Big Guy
But it's not just my two boys that have grown. The kids in my family have not only grown older, they've also grown in number. In 2005 there were 10 kids total on my side of the family. Of those ten, only one was a girl. (She's there...back row, next to my oldest boy.)
The years brought us a couple more babies, one of which was another girl! You can find her on her big brother's lap.
The years also brought our family a new pet, a new camper, and at least two new (used) vehicles.
Cash (a.k.a. Cassius, Poops, Poopie-Puppy)
Camping (oh, how many pictures I have of us camping...)
I'm not sure if I have pictures of the truck and car...but really, who cares about them, right?
Back to more important things. Things like vacations! Since 2002 we've gone to....
And those were just a couple of the things we did while visiting Disney World!
Taquamenon, MI (Not pictured: Indian Lake, MI)
This year..we're going to Chicago! Woot!
Of course, the years have also been filled with more than vacations, new people and creatures, and my writing misadventures. More than anything else, I think we do this...
Our lives are filled with the kid's activities. They keep us busy. Insanely busy.
Good thing we love them so much. Otherwise, they'd be sitting at home turning into couch potatoes like their mother.
What? I own it.
I am a nerd.
I am a little bit geeky.
And I could be happy as a couch potato.
Of course, that's not really an option with these kids. I mentioned they keep us busy, didn't I?
Well, they do.
But they also give Mom and Dad lots of space to do their own things, too. Dad gets to play softball, bowl, hunt and fish. Mom gets to read, scrapbook, play video games, play with her camera and write.
Because despite all that we do as individuals or as a family, I've still managed to keep the writing a part of my life. Perhaps I'm not spitting out a novel every year, but I'm always working on something because I rarely leave home without something to write on. So, while many things have changed over the last 8 years, the writing is still here and really is meant to be the focus of this blog.
I just needed a reminder.
May 3, 2010
What does this mean? And how do I know I'm a 9? Well, to answer the last question first, I took a simple self-assessment for a professional development workshop. The focus of the workshop was how to identify your personality type and what this means for you in the workplace. And while self-discovery is always fun (or terrifying), it was a lot of fun to guess where my coworkers would fall in the Enneagram, too.
But, back to me. I'm a 9. This type is often known as the Mediator or Peacemaker. Here's what one website as to say about this personality type:
Type Nine in Brief
Nines are accepting, trusting, and stable. They are usually creative, optimistic, and supportive, but can also be too willing to go along with others to keep the peace. They want everything to go smoothly and be without conflict, but they can also tend to be complacent, simplifying problems and minimizing anything upsetting. They typically have problems with inertia and stubbornness. At their Best: indomitable and all-embracing, they are able to bring people together and heal conflicts.
- Basic Fear: Of loss and separation
- Basic Desire: To have inner stability "peace of mind"
- Enneagram Nine with an Eight-Wing: "The Referee"
- Enneagram Nine with a One-Wing: "The Dreamer"
Key Motivations: Want to create harmony in their environment, to avoid conflicts and tension, to preserve things as they are, to resist whatever would upset or disturb them.
"To compensate for being out of touch with their instinctual energies, Nines also retreat into their minds and their emotional fantasies."
"Furthermore, when their instinctive energies are out of balance, Nines use these very energies against themselves, damming up their own power so that everything in their psyches becomes static and inert."
"More than any other type, Nines demonstrate the tendency to run away from the paradoxes and tensions of life by attempting to transcend them or be seeking find simple and painless solutions to their problems."
Taken from http://www.enneagraminstitute.com/typenine.asp
I bet this is way more information than you wanted or cared to know about my Type. But stick with me for another minute or two! I really have a purpose in sharing this info with you, especially if you're a writer.
As I thought about the character attributes and the fundamental fears associated with each type, I realized the Enneagram could be an awesome tool for character-building. It provides key characteristics- both positive and negative - that can be used as a jumping board for enriching a character's, well, character.
Acting on this thought, I went in search of a free online Enneagram test. Then, posing as my main character, I took the test again. Answering the questions forced me to put myself into the character's point-of-view. Yet, I didn't allow msyelf to over-think the answers.
When I got the results back, my MC was a Type 6: The Loyalist. Reading through the description, acknowledging the fundamental fear and desire, allowed me to ask and answer the question "Why?". Why is her basic fear that of being without support or guidance? (Especially when I expected her basic fear to focus on matters of self-worth and self-identity?) Why is she so desperate to achieve a sense of security and support, especially when from the outside looking in, she should appear to have both in spades?
These questions and others like them helped me revamp my character's profile. It's given me insight into her childhood (after all, these feelings must originate from somewhere!) and provided a means of developing even stronger personal stakes for her. Knowing her deepest, most elemental desires, I can now exploit them. Same with her fears.
And I haven't even taken into account how her wing, her disintegration or growth patterns can effect her overall character development. I'm still scratching the surface. This leaves me feeling pretty confident that by exploring her psychological development - and consequent backstory - that I'll have a more well-developed character, one that readers will find engaging and real.