Posts Tagged With: Metaphors

In Despair

Typewriter IrelandIn despair about your novel?  Come join my pity party.

I have a novel, I have the rough, rough first draft – created during NaNoWriMo.  And I was delighted with it, it was, of course, brilliant and interesting and insightful.

Then I began thinking about it.

  • I thought about it while watching Back to The Future for the 55th time.
  • I thought about it while creating blogs (there is a lovely, deadline based – immediacy to blogging).
  • I thought about it while cleaning the house.

When I   collapse on the couch and choose to watch  Back to the Future again, am I lazy or researching?

When I wander around the house muttering about dust, am I wasting time or considering the complex plot points that are apparently  more complex than necessary, or  am I wasting more time?

When I blog about writing a book, does that count as “real” writing?

Does thinking about the book  count as writing the book?

We all ask these questions as we push and pull and examine our forming plots like ameba under a microscope. Sometimes I think If I leave the little creatures alone in their dish, they will morph into something interesting without help or even further observation on my part.

This is the hope.

When I was younger, I could never understand the idea of an author taking ten years to create their book and story.  Now I get it.

It’s easy to think about my book as it is to make excuses:   I have to teach at night and am too tired to write.  I have to diet and now I’m too hungry to write.  I’m cranky because my brother is visiting from out of town, I’m busy wishing my sibling would return from where he came.  I must let the dog out. I must pick up after the dog.

I’m good at this.

What can we do when we are circling, circling   around our imagined book, not writing but slowing walking a maze, withe the work at the center.  Thinking is good – I’m a big fan of thinking.

But I also know, even as I walk a maze, that walking and thinking are poor substitutes for actually putting something – anything – down on paper.

  • So I sat down and created about a minute of dialogue.
  • Then I sat down and described one scene.
  • Then I realized that the heroine needed to be in more danger.  So I described the danger.

Did writing this blog put off the writing the story?  You bet.

Just wanted you to know you are not the only writer hiding in the shower for 45 minutes or until the hot water runs out waiting for that ultimate moment of inspiration.

We’re all doing it.  And on behalf of all the writers in the shower or cleaning it,  good luck.

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Steaming Hot Chocolate Jokes

Humor:  Sometimes we regard humor with much the same eagle eyed analysis as we do porn.  We can’t define it, but we know it when we see it.

During the CES in Las Vegas my husband’s company scheudledd a client dinner  at Roy’s, a famous hawaiian fusion restaurant.  That day, over lunch, the one of the wives in our group waxed poetic over the excellent food at Roy’s and specifically over their  signature dessert,  Roy’s Melting Hot Chocolate  Souffle

Oh, I said, a volcano cake.

The beautiful and the butts

The beautiful and the butts

NO!   Rebecca insisted, it is not a volcano cake, it’s this special, never have been experienced, fablulous  dessert, that you will die for, just die for.  In fact, she continued her lecture,  if you fail to order the Melting Hot Chocolate Souffle toinght, you will regret it for the rest of your days.

The afternoon conversation continued along these lines until I promised, promised to order Roy’s Melting Hot Chocolate  Souffle   that night.

A dominat characteristic of American humor is exaggeration and hypberbole.  We take something small and escallate it far and above any hope of realisim or common sense. We exaggerate to justifiy bad decisions like during the gold rush men would write home claiming they could just pick up nuggets off the street, silver glittered on the ground, and it it possible to harpoon a whale the size of a small country.

In due time, we enjoyed dinner at Roys.  I dutifully ordered the souflee and since  No ONE should be left berfret of this amazing dessert experinece of a life time, I ordered three, so we all could share in this transformative experience.

The souflee arrives,  I dig in my spoon.

And it’s a very nice, chocolatly dessert.

But I was not changed.

Rebecca, on the other hand, was transformed, she loved the dessert, she reveled in the dessert, she made sure we all knew that this was an amazing experience, “The best dessert ever.”

As clever people, we just  agree with her –  this is really the most amazing dessert!  So chocolaty!  So marvelous!     I don’t know how they do it!

Often the American  joke is a towering build up of Jenga heights, and then suddenly,  the lowest block is deftly removed and the whole tower tumbles to the floor.

Rebecca’s husband sets down his spoon, pats his mouth with his napkin and says,

” I don’t know honey, couldn’t you just microwave a Ding Dong?”

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Writers Talk to Strangers

Workers were changing the  atrium of the Bellagio from a winter theme to Lunar New Year them.  In the center  of the room stood a impressive tree, the leaves were enormous coins with square cut out centers.  A money tree for good luck.  I angled my phone and snapped a couple of photos.IMG_2945

The  man next to me was also photographing the tree.

“Like  the tree?”  he asked.

“Oh yes, the tree is marvelous.” I enthused.

“Thank you.” He replied.  “My company made it.”

Not only that, the president of the company  joined in the conversation and by the time my husband returned   from the men’s room the three of us were deep in conversation.

I learned all sorts of interesting things about creating artificial trees,  who purchases them (hospitals and hotels), how the trees are lifted into place and the two men were delightful.

My husband just gave me that look: I leave you in the lobby for five minutes and you manage to make new friends.

95% of the world is very interesting.  Talk to strangers, exchange business cards. All that weird, interesting stuff feeds articles, blogs and novels.  You may even find the inspiration for your next project.

I found a post for my blog as well as a newsletter article, all because my husband needed to use the restroom.  Thanks honey.

Money tree

Almost finished!

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Are we really all like Kids in a Candy Store?

I was in Sephora the other day and the phrase kid in a candy store came to me, not because that’s how I felt, (more like an overwhelmed middle-aged woman in a bewildering cosmetic emporium) but because  the cliche isn’t original  and often not as descriptive as other options – there must be better metaphors that express unbridled job and expectation than a child on the verge of a diabetic coma.

So I have a couple options  to consider.

She was a happy as a book club member armed with a year of reading and a 1,000 gift certificate to Powell’s Books.

He was as happy as an alcoholic at a free wine tasting

She was has happy as a Tech geek bearing forged credentials to CES

He was as happy as a backstage dresser for Victoria Secret lingerie show.

Happiness doesn’t always need to be compared to candy.

Happiness is, however,  easily linked to chocolate.

If the gambling, alcohol and sex isn't enough - sugar.

If the gambling, alcohol and sex isn’t enough – sugar.

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