Thursday, February 27, 2014

Funny Friday Photos and the (Almost) 300 Likes Giveaway

Happy Friday to you!

I'm going to remember this when I get discouraged. Maybe I should just buy my own bunny.

Anyway, the weekend is upon us. Because I almost reached 300 followers on my Facebook Author Page (298) I am having a giveaway this weekend! Late Saturday I'll randomly draw four names out of the followers list to give away three owl necklaces and one owl ring.

If you want to get in on the giveaway, just go follow my Facebook Author Page before 8pm EST on Saturday. Also to celebrate, I'm having a free weekend for Finding Meara, so if you haven't gotten the book yet and would like to try it without any risk, go to the Amazon page Saturday or Sunday and download it!

Oh, and next Wednesday, March 5th, I'll be interviewed via twitter chat by Kasie Whitener of Wordsmith Studio. If you want to talk books and writing with us, we'll start at 9pm EST, with the hashtag #wschat.

All right! Last week's funniest photo was:

And now to find some new photos!

Yummy. Nope - actually that would be repulsive. Not guacamole. I like guacamole. It's whatever is in the water that's gross.

I love forehead kisses. 

This would totally freak me out. It brings back memories of when my sister and cousin thought sticking a knife murderer style into my shower - when I thought I was home alone - was funny. That was the first time in my life I can say I screamed a blood-curdling scream. The second involves my father and aliens... Welcome to my family. I did forgive them all, by the way.

I think this is amazing! Next week I'll share some knitting news in regards to the Adven books. Are you curious now?

This one has begged to be included for two weeks, so I gave up this time. It's so child/parent-ish.

It's the expression. You know what just happened...

Pretty much my reaction to every failed dream/daydream that I've had. Time for a bunny.

Ah, no. How I feel when I check my stats on Amazon. Then see the picture above.

And the pun:

Birds of Pray.

Well, that's it for this week. I hope we all have a wonderful weekend, because I'm sure we all deserve it!  I think my favorite is the dog in the car. 

Do you have a favorite this week? Any fun weekend plans?

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Special Edition: Coriolanus and Shakespeare

This post is dedicated to my friend, Tomoenuru, who asked if I would share my experience of seeing the NT Live showing of Coriolanus. She has been in South Korea for the last several years teaching English, and will not get the chance to see the production.

Before I get started, I have to say that it's really hard to find words that can accurately describe my feelings, without using cliched words like powerful, fantastic, amazing. The play was just awesome in every sense of the word. After it was over, all I could think was "Wow."

Regarding Coriolanus

As I mentioned before, my husband teased me about going to Denver, which is several hours away, to see a recording of the play. However, the quality of the filming was excellent and after the first minutes of the play I kind of got lost into the production, and stopped noticing that it was on film. The illusion of actually being there may have taken over because the Donmar Warehouse is tiny and the stage is small so the filming was up close and personal.

The staging was bare and minimalist, and the actors stayed on the stage for much of the production, sitting on black chairs at the back of the stage. This allowed for some interesting placement of the actors in relation to each other, although I'm not sure if it was on purpose or not. Modern (and cool!) music was used during some of the scene transitions which gave me the sense of the play being current (not several hundred years old), and evoked a kind of wild, battle-ready feeling. (I know that sounds weird, but it's the best I can do. Like I said, really hard to describe my feelings.) I really liked the set up, and think Josie Rourke should get huge props for a very creative and engaging staging.

The acting was top-notch, from all actors. I enjoyed the banter between Menenius (Mark Gatiss) and the tribunes and people of Rome. The humor in the play was lost in the Ralph Fiennes version, which is too bad, because it really does make the play more enjoyable.

The range of emotion that Tom Hiddleston, as Caius Martius Coriolanus, portrayed was absolutely astounding. One of my favorite moments was early on where Martius walks forward out of the waiting area at the back of the stage (within the battle scenes, I just can't say for sure when) and the expression on his face was so menacing it honestly gave me goosebumps. Then, at the end, the tender, tragic, tear-filled scenes where he capitulates to his mother's request to spare Rome (which sentences him to death) and says good-bye to his family, is heartbreaking. I was doing all right until he said goodbye to his son, and then I had some of my own tears. In this production, Coriolanus was very human - strong, fierce, tender, broken, and then ultimately destroyed by his mother's ambitions for him and for herself. Very, very sad and it wouldn't have been nearly as evocative if Tom Hiddleston wasn't the strong, expressive actor he is.

So, I despise Volumnia (mom). I don't know why his family didn't just leave Rome when they knew he was coming to destroy it, instead of forcing him into a no-win situation. I'm guessing it has to do with his mother's ambitions. She ended up the hero, and her son ended up dead. Earlier in the play she says a line about how if Martius had died in battle that the good report would be her son. She got her wish.

Regarding Shakespeare

I recently read a discussion about if the Tom Hiddleston fans were taking away from the Shakespeare fans - as if you have to be some literary snob to enjoy Shakespeare. In my mind, Shakespeare was one of the first genre writers. He did it all - Romantic Comedy, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, and more. He wrote for and appealed to the people - all people.

The argument regarding the supremacy of literary or genre fiction continues on today. The thing is, with Shakespeare, you get the best of both. The characters are very human, their difficulties very applicable to today's struggles. Coriolanus was an astounding production, with excellent action, very human characters and strong plot.

I really feel, as did the people I went with, that we saw something that is really rare and were lucky to view. I'm sure being there would have been so much more amazing, but it was fantastic none-the-less.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Funny Friday Photos

It's Friday again! Amazing how that works, right? Just like clockwork, a Friday shows up every seven days. Or would that technically be every six days, because the seventh day is Friday?

I am excited for Sunday, because that's the day we go to Denver to see Coriolanus! Otherwise, it's business as usual around my house. What do you have planned for this weekend? Anything fun?

I learned some things this week:

*Just Dance is more fun if you don't play for points. Also, it's easier to dance with abandonment when my husband isn't around. Self-consciousness = crappy dancing.

*If you're over 20 years old and want to take a selfie and you don't want any wrinkles to show, don't wear foundation and take the picture in natural light.

Hardly any wrinkles!

*The children I work with live in a bizarre world that I'm grateful I wasn't raised in. (I knew this before, but the lesson was reinforced this past week.)

*I'm going to write stories as long as I have people who want to read them.

*My son is a pacifist.

Please forgive the poor spelling. We're working on it. Plus, he's only 8.

All right! Last week's favorite photo:

And now for this week's photos!

And it really, really does.

It took me a second to see the photobomb, and then just laughed!

"Nature's first green is gold, her hardest hue to hold." Robert Frost

Must have been really tired.

This has to have been photoshopped, don't you think? Those faces are too perfect!

I'm starting to think Pandas are rather skittish animals. They look frightened a lot.

And the pun!

My favorite photos is the anesthetized cat. What's your favorite?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Funny Friday Photos and More Writing/Acting Connections

That's right! It's the weekend (extra-long for some of us) and we're smiling!

If you're here solely for Funny Friday Photos, feel free to scroll on down. Otherwise, I'm going to talk a little about an interesting interview with Ralph Fiennes I read this week at, and was again surprised by the similarities between writing and acting.

As I've mentioned before, I've been struggling with my first draft, finding myself plagued with all kinds of doubts about not just my abilities as a writer, but also about where to take the story. Here's a quote from the article, that seemed to speak almost directly to me.

"You’ve done the homework, you’ve learned the lines, at that point you just sort of let it out.  No amount of preparation, research, no amount of that—and even Stanislavski talked about it, he said, 'At the moment of inspiration you have to do all the work but then there’s a point where you just have to be ready and be open.'  You can make that happen but it’s sort of to do with letting the anxiety of an actor which is, “Will I get it right?  Will it be good?”  Letting that go of it and just being very present."

I've plotted, I've researched, I've done character studies. I'm to the point to where I need to just "be ready and be open." And it's SCARY!! I am definitely thinking "Will I get it right? Will it be good?" And the advice? Let all of that go and be present to inspiration. Let the muse take you. Darn it! Lose a little control! Something I struggle with in general - so no wonder it's hard for me to let go while writing.

And then there is this quote (which actually comes before the one above.)

"You do, to a large extent, construct performance. It’s a cliche, performance is made in the editing room, and I’ve come to see the truth in that—the idea that they say performances are usually made in the editing room because what you film is the raw material. I think just going through the process of saying, “Which take do we use? Why is that the take we want? I want that take can you edit again, I’m not sure that’s the one, I think it’s this one.” And just because you go through that process, I think somehow it’s made me, and I can’t really articulate it very well but, I think it’s made me sort of more open about the possibilities." 

Editing, editing, editing. If the first take (draft) isn't quite right, you do another take (draft.) Nothing is set in stone and through editing we can construct books like actors construct performances. And because writing is a process, not an event, we can all be more open about the possibilities, too. That actually is comforting to me. While I've heard writers say similar things about editing, for some reason the way Mr. Fiennes said it really resonated.

The entire article was interesting and if you want, you can read more here.

So, I'm done! Here's last week's funniest photo:

And now for this week's photos!

I'm on a Finding Nemo roll. Last week it was the shark - this week it's Squirt and Crush.

I really hope they threw it back. The picture evidence of why I don't fish.

Why does that spider have wings? Nightmares will now occur.

Anyone else remember those commercials in the 80's?

These next two are the most adorable pictures I've seen in a while.

Look at that little face! How can you not smile?!

Our pun of the week:

It's a Seuss Knife!

And then, I didn't forget what today was. I made a Valentine for you!

The carrots in the picture came from my garden this summer. I think of them as the "love carrots." Yes, I am that much of a goofball.

And you can see why I hired a cover designer for Finding Meara. My intentions were honorable, though. Can I invoke the whole "it's the thought that counts" bit?

My favorite photo this week is either of the two beaver pictures. Their respective little faces just make me smile.

Which is your favorite photo?
If you're a writer (or an actor, I suppose) what do you think of the Ralph Fiennes interview?

All photos are from or my own.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Funny Friday Photos

Oh my gosh, I'm glad it's Friday.

I could whine about it all, but that's no fun. And you're here to have fun!

I will say that I am totally falling asleep while getting this post together. The result of two weeks of being really sick or on the edge of relapse, I guess. So, please forgive me for not being talkative, but I really have to go to bed.

Last week's funniest photo was:

And here's this week's photos:

I'm really liking these matching dog/human pictures. Plus, the Viszla is so cute! I won't say anything about the game...

Fish are friends, not food!

What are they!

I have it on good authority that it does, indeed, hurt.

Anything Jazz Hands is funny.

It's like playing hide-and-seek with a toddler!

That episode (w/ the android phone) is actually kind of freaky.

Coolest doctor ever! I want to go.

A joke:

And the pun:

I have to choose the hiding bear this week for favorite.
So which is your favorite photo?

All photos this week came from I Can Has Cheezeburger.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

I Need a Break!

After struggling through January for blog post ideas and finding time to write, I've made a decision. For the month of February I'll only post the Funny Friday Photo posts.

It isn't you, it's me.

The last couple of weeks I haven't written fiction during the week. I'm a slow writer and when I'm putting together a blog post it takes me the entire night (well, the few hours that are left after doing mundane mommy-things) to finish a post. That takes away two nights during the work week, and then when life happens, I end up writing very little. If I'm going to finish another book I need to write it!

And the posts aren't very thought-provoking. Life has evened out into a blur of work, mommy, write, sleep and then start over. I don't want to waste everyone's time churning out blog posts just because I said I would. I'd much rather concentrate on getting Adven 2 completed, and write up fun Friday posts.

Of course, if there's something of interest to share I'll post outside of Friday. And don't be surprised if I have a little more chatting at the beginning of the Friday posts, to catch up on the week. But right now I think it's a good idea to drop back to once a week posts again.

If you are interested in keeping up with how the book is coming along more frequently, or sharing tales of every day observations, feel free to follow me on Twitter or my Facebook page. Twitter is where I am most, but I am trying to post a couple of times a week to Facebook as well. I will be having a giveaway soon on Facebook to celebrate passing 200 followers (it's actually close to 300 now), so if you want to be a part of that, you'll want to follow the page.

All right! I guess that's all there is to say. I'll see you on Fridays!

For all you other bloggers out there, have you made any similar decisions lately?

For all you blog readers - what kind of a giveaway do you like best? (I'm needing some ideas to make the Facebook giveaway special.)


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