Tuesday, March 4, 2014

I Talk to My Dog

Don’t judge.  She’s actually my content editor.  She’s the first line of defense when it comes to what actually makes it onto paper and what gets scratched, so you can blame her for a lot of things.

She’s a very generous editor, too.  She has a non-verbal way of communicating her approval of various writings with me—mostly with a violent thrumming of her thick tail onto whatever surface is nearby.  (That could also be due to the fact that she gets lots of treats, but I’m going to take it as a sign that she enjoys whatever I’m reading aloud to her at the moment.)

You see, I find if I read things aloud, I can really weed out the ridiculous from the not-so-ridiculous, especially with dialogue.  For example, if I were to read out aloud, “Daughter, would you be so kind as to turn down your radio?” I would know immediately how ridiculous it sounds.  I would be much more likely to say something like, “Dammit, how many times do I have to tell you to turn down that damned noise?  I can’t even think up here!”  Or something like that, but that makes me sound really old, so I would totally rephrase.

Anyway, you get the point.  So I read to my dog.  A lot.  And she doesn’t even look at me like I’m crazy.  Because I’m totally not.  Crazy, I mean.  And besides, she knows that if she accused me of being crazy simply for reading to her, I would probably stop giving her treats all day long, so she’d be much better off just shutting up and sitting there on her comfy chair and taking the torture.  It’s a rough life, but someone’s got to do it.

Currently, she’s listening to revisions of Jilly McPeak, Science Freak, and she knows more about science than any dog I know.

Also, if anyone knows how to get a dog to stop licking my fingers while I type, I would appreciate your suggestions.

Content editor, finger licker, and tail thumper...a.k.a. Savannah

Friday, January 10, 2014

A Thing

I seem to be going through a thing lately.  You know how when you sometimes overeat and then your stomach hurts but you still want dessert and you make room even though you just finished eating?  For some reason, maybe because it’s Christmas or Thanksgiving or National Knitting Day or whatever, you binge.

I am on a reading binge right now.  And after the book I just finished, I am of the mind that I need something light—like maybe something about vampires learning to square dance so that they can somehow win over the hearts of their true human loves at the next hoedown.  (No, that is NOT a plot I am working on.  At all.  Ever.)

Anyway, early yesterday I finished reading The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.  If I were to give a short run-down of my thoughts, it would go something like this:

Amazing.  How the hell did I not read this book before now?  Everyone should read this book.  If you are not currently reading this book, you should drop everything and start reading it.

And then later yesterday, I started The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.  Holy tear-jerker, Batman.  I finished it today—but only barely because I was sobbing through the last 50 pages.  Not crying.  Sobbing.

I was ready for work.  Had my makeup in place.  (HAD being the operative word in that sentence.)  Had plenty of time to sit and read before the kids got home from school.  Yay, reading…because I’m apparently binge reading now.  (This could be to escape the fact that I’m a bit plot-flummoxed in my own writing, so I am escaping for a while.)

Let me start by telling you that it has been a LONG time since I have cried through 50 pages of a book.  FIFTY freaking pages.  My eyes now make me look like a puffer fish with a seasonal allergy problem.  It was meaningful and poignant and funny and full of normal teenage angst laced with kids-who-have-cancer angst.

I’m not going to tell you it was a technically difficult book to read.  It wasn’t, and it was beautiful in that sort of simplicity.  The story is just touching and heartbreaking and yet somehow—dammit—hopeful.

Yeah, so I’ll be re-applying my makeup for work and wearing my glasses because my contacts are all salty-tear-crusted.  So, thanks for that, John Green.

But seriously, if you are not reading The Book Thief or The Fault in Our Stars, you need to start.  Now.  Right now.

And I need to find a quick, ridiculous read about demons who knit doilies in their spare time in order to cheer up lonely old ladies.  Or something.  I need something light.  (And again, this most recent demon/doily plot will not find its way into my upcoming writing, so don’t go getting your hopes up.)