What’s Mine is Yours

So the other night as we finish dinner, I pick up my empty tea mug and head to stove to put the kettle on.

“Can I have some tea, too?” my husband asks.

“Sure. Where’s your mug?”

He points to the one in my hand. “I think that one’s mine.”

“Nope. Yours is probably upstairs.”

“YOURS is upstairs.”

This is going nowhere fast. “Dude. No.”

Always a tower of jello, I go upstairs and retrieve it.

“See? Here’s your mug. It was right where you left it.”

He shakes his head. “I told you. That’s YOUR mug.”

“It’s my mug? I left MY mug on the table next to YOUR chair with YOUR brand of tea bag inside?”

A long pause.

He reaches for it and chokes back a smile. “What I meant was, this was your mug before we got married. And if we ever get divorced, you’ll retain full custody of this mug. I mean, come on… it has sunflowers all over the sides.”

I laugh. I can’t help it.

“Does that mean I still get tea?”

Stinker.

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Words: They’re Not Just for Writing Anymore

One of my chittie peeps found an awesome site where you can create Wordles.

What is a Wordle, you ask?

Well, I didn’t know either.  Turns out what a Wordle is– is HIGHLY COOL!

You can paste or type in passages of text or have Wordle grab it from a blog feed if that’s your thing.  I pasted in my synopsis for The Edge of Memory and made some ubercool word art:

Or maybe you prefer this option…

I also did one for my blog feed:

You can change fonts, color schemes, the number of words, etc.  The word size is dependent on how frequently you use the word in the sample text.

I seriously Photobucket them. I thought about doing Wordles for my next In Deep Smit entry, but I just plain couldn’t wait! Photobucket

So, my writer friends… I challenge you to stick YOUR synopses into the Wordle creator. Or other blog readers… go to town with whatever strikes your fancy! Let’s see what awesomeness we can generate. Put a link in the blog comments to your best creations!

Okay, You Writer Types! Challenge Time!

A friend of mine from an online community I belong to posted this fun little quiz there for our amusement.

So, words are your tools, eh? Well, let’s see what kind of command over language do you really have! Photobucket

I got 61 the first time through, and it took me half a dozen tries over a few days before I finally could get them all.

So, fellow writers, your mission– if you choose to accept it– is to take the 5-minute quiz and then report back here with your results. Photobucket Don’t be shy… this quiz is harder than you think.

This blog post will self-destruct in 5 seconds. Or something like that. Photobucket

Ready? GO!

Critical Choices: Making Every Word Count

Yesterday, my husband and I had dinner out.  As we perused the menu, we took in the evening’s entertainment, which was provided by two child-sized diners.

A little girl, about 3, in overalls, and her 5-year-old brother were careening in reckless circles from the dining room, through the bar and back again.

During the fourth lap, a booming male voice demanded attention.  “No more running!” he shouted.  “If I catch you running in here again, you’re in big trouble.”

The older kiddo grasped the spirit of the warning and slunk back to his seat.  About a minute later, though, the little girl came speeding around the corner into our section of the dining room again… skipping this time.

This appeals to me both as pediatrician regarding development of literal and figurative understanding, and as a writer in love with the power of precise words.

You go, girl.

Going with the Flow

Today, as I drove to pick up California rolls for dinner, I was rocking out to Nirvana.

I remembered the first time I ever heard Smells Like Teen Spirit. I was in high school, cruising with my sister. She had already mainlined the song after taping it off the radio and knew all the words by heart.

When it came on, she cranked the volume so high that the car shook and the speakers buzzed the words into an urgent blur.

dj.gif

I told her I’d never heard it before, but she kept insisting I sing along.headphones.gif

So for the last 2 choruses, I sang at the top of my lungs words I knew were wrong, but that fit the right rhythm and tones:

A gelato, a placebo, Father Guido, Jalepeno. rockon.gif

I don’t think she noticed. snort.gif

Open to Interpretation

I saw Juno last night with my husband and enjoyed it immensely.

The main character’s repeated questioning of “‘Sexually active’… what does that even mean?” reminded me of an incident during medical school.

During a rotation in the ER, one of the medical students I was working with saw a teenage girl who came in with abdominal pain. He asked if she was sexually active and she said she wasn’t, but he sent urine for a pregnancy test anyway.

When the test came back positive, he went to tell her the results. “I thought you said you weren’t sexually active,” he said to her.

“I’m not,” she insisted. “I pretty much just lie there.”

Words are such funny things. What is so clear to one person may be taken completely differently by someone else.

That is one of the things I really enjoy thinking about when I’m writing– considering how another character, with their own motives and experiences, will react to the same information differently.

I am looking forward to beginning editing in earnest and start making those careful word choices. I think I’m ready; it’s just been a bit nutty lately with my work schedule and the holidays.

But in the next week or so, I intend to really get down to it. 🙂

Progression

I am learning lots of things as I continue in this quest to finish a novel.

For one thing, I have learned what a “word war” is. Essentially, it is a contest for a group of people like myself who are writing novels to compete on who can write the most words for their story during a fixed (e.g. 10 minute) time frame.

I have also learned that my husband has some sort of superhero power that allows him to know the moment I have been asked to join one of these contests and further instills in him a need to come from wherever he might be and discuss such pressing issues as “What should we have for dinner tomorrow?” and “What time will Thanksgiving dinner be this year?”

We would never have learned that he possesses this unique skill, had I not started writing this novel.

As I get more and more into the meat of the story, I get more and more nervous about writing it. It’s a very different kind of nervousness than I started with.

My initial nervousness was an “Oh, snap! What am I thinking?! I can’t write a novel!” sort of nervousness.

My new nervousness comes from believing that I will finish this novel. I know the things that will befall my poor main character, who is still fairly clueless about what is in store for her. And I am stressed to write it.

So I think I was stalling today. I looked up recipes, trying to decide what she should cook for dinner, which– although relevant to the plot was probably not the best use of my time today. *snort*

I am heading for bed now. I hope tomorrow’s chapter will go quickly. I have reason to hope; I think I’m ready for it. 😀