Friday, April 26, 2013

Friday Stir Fry - A Passing

Acoustic Guitar

I'm sad. As most of you know by now, the great country singer George Jones died today. Why does it make me so sad? I don't know. It's not like I was a huge fan. I don't even have a George Jones CD.

Lawn IconHe was one of my mom and dad's favorites. Especially when he was married to Tammy Wynette. I think part of my sadness is it feels like the dying of an era. Most of today's country music doesn't remotely resemble the old stuff. The stuff I grew up listening to. Hank Williams, Flatt & Scrugs, Conway Twitty, Loretta Lynn.

When I heard the news this morning, my mind went back to my dad sitting in his chair after work, drinking a tall, cold can of Schlitz beer and telling me to put a record on. I would rifle through his albums (all country music) and pick out one. He didn't care which it was, he just wanted to hear some sad ballad. Maybe to make him feel better about his life. The person in the song always seemed to have it worse off. Or maybe it made dad feel like he wasn't the only one struggling with demons.

I know, I know, I sound old. It's not that I don't like some of the new stuff. Love Blake Shelton. Hate Taylor Swift. 

Fans of Ol' Possum will know why I have a picture of a riding lawn mower. Rest in Peace No Show Jones.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Friday Stir Fry - Why?

Why are people so mean? What makes a person want to blow up a bomb or enter a school with guns and intentionally kill and mame people? Every time it happens, I ask this question. I think it goes beyond mental illness. It is a disconnect with people. Somehow they have lost empathy with other humans.

I have to admit there are times I don't like people. Especially in my line of work. But I can't even think of a scenario where I would think of hurting anyone.

I didn't grow up in a world like this. And I feel sorry for the children of today who will not remember a time when these things didn't occur.

We all need to remember the good in people. Like that viral video of Mr Rogers saying "look for the people who are helping."

Hopefully there will always be more of us willing to help than destroy.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Friday Stir Fry - Pitching

Baseball - game time action

Not that kind. Although, it is finally baseball season and I'm happy about that. I'm talking about pitching a novel.

For the non-writers out there - no I am not throwing my novel at somebody. Pitching is a term used when you have a few minutes with an editor or agent to convince them they should buy your novel, or at least take a look at it.
The experience can be quite nerve racking. The person in front of you could possibly change your future - or dash your dreams.

The first time I pitched to an editor was a couple of years ago. I had my book summary memorized, I bought a new outfit and had my nails done all in an attempt to look and sound professional. But, my voice still quivered when I spoke. I thought for sure she would say no. But, to my surprise, she requested the first three chapters and synopsis. I left the meeting on cloud nine. Then a few weeks later, she asked for the full manuscript. I thought for sure I was on my way. But, she left the publishing house and they were bought out and a few months later, my manuscript arrived back in my mailbox. Bummer.

Last year I pitched the same book again, to a different editor. She was less than impressed. Bummer.

This week a writer friend of mine convinced me to do an online pitch. Her editor was taking pitches for one day only. The catch - it could only be three sentences! How in the world do I summarize an entire novel in three sentences? I debated whether I wanted to. I still needed to do some edits and what if she requested it? Would I have enough time to polish it up? I decided to give it a go. I didn't prepare anything. I just got on the site and wrote my three sentences. I won't know the results for a couple weeks.

I think I like online pitching. I can do that in my robe and fuzzy slippers. And my writing doesn't quiver like my voice. This weekend I plan on jumping into those edits, because who knows, this might be my time. And if not, at least I saved money by not buying a new outfit and getting my nails done.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Friday Stir Fry - Three Ring Circus

High on life

Love this picture! How many of us feel that way, balancing on a high wire, just trying to get to a safe place?

The circus is coming to town this weekend and that brings up a bunch of similes. Life is a three ring circus, or a balancing act, or funnier than a mini car full of clowns or I feel like a caged tiger. I'm sure there's more, my weary brain just can't think of them right now.
Why is my brain weary? Work is one reason. It's Friday and it's been a hard week at work. Our computer system was down for two days. Man, without that, there just isn't much you can do. You can't look things up, or print letters or schedules. I even gave up answering the phone because I couldn't look up answers to the questions. And our clients have lots of questions and they don't take the word 'no' easily. So, I've spent the rest of this week in catch up mode.

And, as I noted last week, I am participating in CampNaNoWriMo. My daily word goal is low - only 679, but that has been tough this week. I managed until last night when my tired brain just would not generate any words. The circus was over, packing up and leaving town. I'm hoping I can get my energy back this weekend and whip my word count into shape before it eats me alive.

Do you have any comparisons between life and the circus you want to share?