Thursday, April 28, 2011

Go-To Words

In my fiction, I notice that certain words keep making the rounds.

  • "Looks." The biggest offender. "He looks like he smells bad cheese," etc. I try to vary it up with eyebrows raising, faces scrunching in some manner. There's a lot of looking.
  • "Even," "ever." These two have appeared more than usual in the YA nov. I guess it makes sense when you consider sixteen-year-old speak: "You think you know my life? You don't even know!" Not to hate on teen-speak whatso-ever. Everything seems extreme, and not very even.
I don't think it's necessary to pull out fancy words to eliminate the plainer ones, like "look," but I do want to be cognizant of boring patterns so I can break them up. Same with sentence structure. I tend to have a full sentence, and then a fragmented list. Going a little like this. Then a little like that. And a little repetition. I need to mix it up, you know what I mean? Yeah? You know.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

porque lo hago

Last night I dug out the NaNoWriMo novel and stayed up way too late reading it. It's rough and there are side stories without resolution, and an unexpected mystery that I haven't completely unraveled.

But it's good.

Quick-paced, humorous, truthful. I can see these places and people. It hits the right notes in many instances.

I reread to remind myself, This is why I'm doing this.


#118: Chambao, "Papeles Mojados"

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A city wall and a trampoline

I need to let these things evaporate.


This is an Adele-happy playlist. I think it's awesome that she's earned recognition for her singing and not her gimmicks (though you can't take away my Gaga love).

#114: Adele, "Set Fire to the Rain"
#115: Adele, "Turning Tables"
#116: Adele, "Someone Like You"
#117: The Killers, "Read My Mind"

Friday, April 22, 2011

Amongst others, answers for the queries "Kazakhstan Pop" and "80's Europop"

#110: Ladytron, "Destroy Everything You Touch"
#111: Mecano, "Hijo de la Luna" (shades of Mustafina, por supuesto)
#112: R. Lizer, "Freestailo" (lol)
#113: Nu Shooz, "I Can't Wait"

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Be your literary magazine tonight

This afternoon, it struck me: Why not start an online literary magazine?

I've kicked the idea around casually. But now, I may be in it for real.

Por que?

I enjoy reading, editing, and creating. The Transition days were some of my favorite undergrad memories. I'd like to be back on the other side of the magazine.

To be hammered out:

Well, just about everything--
  • title and domain name (experimented with several earlier; nothing struck me)
  • a mission (I have a sense of this)
  • genres and frequency (also have a sense of this)
  • publishing rights, legalities, etc.


I can go about this solo. But I'd like this to be a team act. I don't mean "initial enthusiasm followed by excuses and drifting off." I mean folks I can rely on, from the get-go and down the road, who will read submissions and argue over which should and shouldn't go in and how the magazine can be pushed further and improve.

Could that be you?



Quoth Cheff Salad, "I do want to be a leader, actually. Or at least a subordinate with input."

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

genre studies

Not for the first time, and certainly not for the last, I wondered yestereve if I ought to put my energies into one writing genre. Combine the powers of those fiery baskets. Certainly most of my stories come down the pike in one or two directions. Should I follow them and not look back at the stragglers, the little beats of other forms?

Then I thought, Well, what's the fun in that?


Diana and Anonymous Individual on Skype:

Diana: "What are you up to?"

Anonymous Individual: "Reading."

Diana: "Reading what?"

Anonymous Individual: "...Twilight."

Monday, April 18, 2011

take a good look around

Today, my life is a pro/cons list with a twitching elbow, a good helping of chicken, and a tired face.

I may need more sleep.

#109: Trace Adkins, "You're Gonna Miss This"

Sunday, April 17, 2011

seasonal shifts

I feel astronomically better about life each spring. The increased sunlight bringing necessary Vitamin D, the prospect of hope and rebirth and birth?

Or the fact that I really like wearing shorts?

I can go either way on this one.


#108: Rolling Stones, "Ain't Too Proud to Beg"

Saturday, April 16, 2011

I read your diary

Lest you thought I'd forgotten the songs!

#96: The Offspring: "Why Don't You Get a Job?"
#97: Muse: "Thoughts of a Dying Atheist"
#98: Ronnie Dunn: "Bleed Red"
#99: Chromeo: "Needy Girl"
#100: Straight No Chaser: "Sitcom Medley"
#101: Ke$ha: "Sleazy"
#102: Acid Bath: "The Bones of Baby Dolls"
#103: Thompson Square: "Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not?"
#104: Great Lake Swimmers: "Your Rocky Spine"
#105: Audra McDonald: "My Stupid Mouth"
#106: Lady Gaga: "Judas"
#107: Ke$ha (yep, on the list twice): "Cannibal"

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Just a coincidence that as I left the fingerprinting place, "Don't Stand So Close to Me" came on the radio?


"Do you want to know how the story plays out? I get Finn, you get heartbroken, and then Finn and I will stay here and start a family. I'll become a successful real estate agent and Finn will take over Kurt's dad's tire shop. You don't belong here, Rachel. And you can't hate me for helping to send you on your way."

I will write myself out of this.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

External forces

The easiest way to spice up what I'm writing is to pull from the world around me.

That sounds grand, like I'm writing about world conflict and environmental catastrophes. But I keep it to smaller scale (for now). I need a last name -- who is someone I just met, or read about? Take that name. What's a great line a friend said off-handedly the other day, or that I overheard? Make a character say it. Situational beats. The soul of a song I just listened to. Friend's lives that become back stories. I borrow and re-craft. Thank you, by the way.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

we did it, honey b

A banana and a Mylar blanket for 5 a.m. Buffer zones. The smell of a clean port-a-potty in the morning. Elite corrals and energy gel. When there are enough people squeezing us into ourselves, we drop the blankets. When there are enough trees, I veer off the concrete for grass. I would have preferred dirt to highway, but I chose it this way. When the miles move from seven to eight, I hit repeat repeat repeat. The number dwindles and I move finally the way I want to: fast and free.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

These legs don't know you

It's easy to be afraid around here. You could get lost if you wanted to. You could lose your way until it becomes night and the space between the trees loses light faster than the sky. You would look for the whites and you wouldn't find them.

You could be all of these things.

I set out to run the farthest distance I've ever done. Eight miles, my version of the ultra-marathon. Rain quickened on the windshield and all of the school kids darted into cars on their way out of practice, looking like people I've known. I thought about bailing. Nah. I'll do it.

Around three miles I wasn't feeling so hot, and again at six, and then six-and-a-half onwards I became very hungry. I zoned in and out of the running and the stories I tell myself. Stories that have happened and stories that I want to happen, maybe.

At sixty minutes, the watch ran out of time. It reset to zeros and ran back up again.

When I finished, I thought I'd feel exhausted, or exhilarated. Instead I felt dazed. I walked on the bends around the trees, not sure where to go but still moving. My legs were all light. Two things that fizzled away under my hips. If I stood still long enough, the wind might pass through them.

Monday, April 04, 2011


"I spun twice in the phone booth and I was Superman!" - Kristen circa 4 a.m.

The artist must possess the courageous soul that dares and defies.


#92: Blink 182, "The Fallen Interlude"
#93: Spring Awakening, "Mama Who Bore Me"
#94: Spring Awakening, "Totally F*cked"
#95: Apocalyptica, "Not Strong Enough"