The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Bad Hair x 2

         Yesterday I got an email. My bad hair day story has been accepted by Mozark Press' Bad Hair Day anthology. It's a rollicking, riveting tale that includes a close encounter with a sink and some hunky firemen.

          Sadly, it's fictional...

photo by NetAgra

           Today I actually had a bad hair day...on purpose. Holly, my teaching teammate, and I had a rap-off. I was "Reddicaless Redd."  Wearing a shirt that had been embellished, lovely rap-style pajama bottoms, and sporting major bling (a hubcap--on a chain around my neck --hat had shiny stones hot-glued all over it), I was quite a sight. I spray-painted highlights of bright red into my hair. It looked wretched. It looked tacky. It looked just right.
                  Surprisingly, this old dog had a few tricks up her sleeves. I'm old enough (with even a few extra years) to be Holly's mother, but victorious I was.
          If you were a rapper, what would your name be? Or What good news have you received recently?

Monday, September 10, 2012

I HATE When That Happens

        Don't you hate it when you get something marvelous to read, and you can't put it down? Other things call to you...the laundry...lesson plans...the dishes...plucking the stray white eyebrow hairs that have formed a huge (but scattered) community and are apparently there to stay.

          The night before last, I was up until 2:00 in the morning--reading. Could. Not. Put. It. Down. I finally surrendered--reluctantly--because I was going on a hike this morning. I had to get at least a little rest. 

          My eyes looked...well, they looked horrible. I'm sparing you the image of what they actually looked like, and am instead using this cool, purplish eye. Just add a large gray Samsonite bag under the eye, lots of red vein-y things across the white of the eyeball, and wrinkly, crepe-paper skin surrounding the eye.

           Last night I was up til 11. I finally finished it. I was compelled-- by the plot--to get to the end so I could find out how all the loose ends got tied up.

          For months, a writing friend and WWWP, Lynn Obermoeller, has been sharing her manuscript with the other WWWPs. Some meetings, she would share a submission for Chicken Soup or Sasee or some other publication. Other meetings, she would share a small piece of the novel she created during NaNoWriMo 2012.

          It's really hard to keep the momentum of the story going if you only get bits and pieces of it. Especially if the novel has some shreds of mystery about it, if there are some elements of suspense embedded in the tale. Waiting a couple of weeks or a month for the next installment became unbearable...

           A novel is like a baby the writer gives birth to. A memoir or other piece of nonfiction is like an adopted bambino--in some ways even more difficult than the "conventional" way of bringing your "creation" into the world, but the writer's baby nonetheless. However, a novel is totally new, completely coming from the writer's imagination. And you have to tread lightly when the nose, the eyes, the mouth---when they all can be traced back to the writer. Friends might want to crowd around to see the new arrival, but parents are fiercely protective. They might say, "No visitors right now."

           When the other four WWWPs demanded to get a copy of the manuscript--all of it at once--Lynn was brave enough to surrender. And then, I imagine she held her breath. Probably is still holding her breath. 'Cause no one wants people to gush over your "breathtaking" baby when--in actuality--the baby is hideous (for all you Seinfeld fans).

              What has been keeping me up late during the last two nights? Lynn's story. I am not really prepared for work today, will probably stumble through my schedule, I'll be observed by a roving group of administrators and it will be apparent I did diddly-squat (work-wise) over the weekend, I will be brought into the principal's office to be reprimanded, I will cry out, "But I was reading Lynn's story. I couldn't put it down. I had to finish it," and my boss will shake his head, I'll get fired and will have to become a stripper a slurpee machine operator to support my family.

              All because of a well-written story...

             What book or WIP (work in progress) is keeping you up at night lately? Or If you're planning on taking part in NaNoWriMo, what ideas do you have so far? Or What's the bravest thing you've ever done as a writer?