Wednesday, November 30, 2005

My new crush

I've just started watching the first season of LOST, and I have a mad crush on Matthew Fox.

He's great-looking, in a non-pretty-boy way, and he looks like a buffer, handsomer Gerard Butler (sorry Mary!) but without the accent. Plus, he plays a fantastic character as Jack. I just love him!

I realize this is probably old news for lots of you, but since I don't watch television, I generally catch up on the hot shows when they come out on DVD. That's how I fell in love with Buffy and Alias. Besides, I'm the impatient sort...I'd rather be able to cruise onto the next episode, and the next, and the next...without having to wait a week to do it.

But I digress. (So what else is new?)

I am really enjoying the show, too, besides the eye candy. What a great concept, and brilliantly done. So many things going on, so much potential (I've only watched the pilot and three more eps). The layers, metaphors, intrigues and characterization...just amazing. I can't wait to see how it develops!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

O, Mr Darcy!

Two weeks ago, I reread Pride & Prejudice for the second time in ten years. Then, I watched the A&E version of P&P with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. And yesterday, I went to see the new movie with Keira Knightley and Matthew MacFayden.

Perhaps it was a mistake to be so inundated with the original, as Ms Austen wrote it, and then so closely on its heels the A&E version that is very true to the book, because I admit I was a little disappointed with the new movie.

Don't get me wrong, I loved it. I thought Keira was a fine Lizzy, and MacFayden had his moments (in particular when he was walking across the moors that foggy morning to propose to Lizzy). But Colin Firth will always be Darcy to me.

That man says more with his eyes than most actors say with their entire bodies! When he and Bingley walk into Longbourn's parlor at the end, after Lydia has been married and they are returning to Netherfield, you see his eyes go immediately to Lizzy...and there is such intensity there. My heart didn't stop pounding until ten minutes after the movie ended. Whew!

And while I liked Keira Knightley's giggles and constant smiles, and her sprightly personification of Lizzy, I preferred Jennifer Ehle overall. She has "fine eyes." They sparkle with mirth and humor, and are just as expressive as Firth's. They are well-matched as Lizzy and Darcy.

And of course, the scene where Darcy goes swimming in his clothing at Pemberley...even though that wasn't in the book, it certainly was an added benefit of the A&E version. Quite the benefit.

However, I really loved the little scene in the latest movie where Darcy helps Lizzy into the carriage when they are leaving Netherfield after Jane's illness and their bare hands (all right, so they should have been wearing gloves...) touch, and then as Darcy walks away, we get a closeup of his hand, flexing, as though it had been branded.

I also thought that the repartee between Darcy and Lizzy during their dance, when she proceeds to instruct him in how to carry on a conversation whilst dancing, was particularly well-done. You can definitely see the attraction blooming between them much sooner and more obviously--which, of course, is to be expected since this film only had two hours to work with, while the A&E version had five.

I also really liked the first proposal scene in this second movie, where Darcy and Lizzy are in the rain and he so passionately declares his mismatched love for her, and how she rails at him, and he defends himself. That worked wonderfully!

I also preferred the Jane in the new movie to the one in the A&E version, as well as Wickham. The Wickham in the A&E version looked like a messy lush, while the one in the new movie certainly appears to carry much more of the "goodness in his countenance" that Darcy remarks on.

All in all, I loved them both, for different reasons. Obviously, the newer movie had time constraints to work with, and also, I found that it tended to modernize some of the conversation a bit--especially between Darcy and Lizzy--which I think that it was a benefit to the film itself. It certainly is romantic, and beautiful.

And that scene where Darcy's coming across the moors for Lizzy....can I just say that made the movie??

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Not me, no way!

Happy Thanksgiving to all and sundry!

I have so much to be thankful for this year, not the least of which is a healthy, happy family and a book contract!

Gotta ask two questions for anyone who happens to be surfing instead of cooking (or surfing and hoping the turkey's going to baste itself!)....

First, is it me, or is it abominably rude to ask to invite an additional family to the Thanksgiving dinner you were invited to six weeks ago? To a family gathering? Two days before the day? *scratching head*

And, how many of you are going shopping Friday morning to catch the sales? How many refuse to go anywhere near Target, Meijer and Toys R Us on the day after Thanksgiving?

No me, no way! Sign me up for Pride & Prejudice instead.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

My Pen!

About three years ago, four other aspiring writers and myself formed a small writing community around a specific Harlequin/Silhouette action adventure line that was just starting up. We all wanted to be Bombshellers.

Well, three years later, four of the five of us are contracted for publication (three of us within the last six months!) and the fifth isn't only because she hasn't finished anything and sent it out. (So we're waiting for her good news too.) And, by the way, none of us sold to that action-adventure line. Go figure!

Anyway, when the first of us sold, we all got together and bought her a custom pen. And that's become the tradition ever since.

My pen arrived yesterday, and somehow, Jana, who is the instigator, managed to find one that perfectly matches my hair! So here it is...the pen I will sign my contract with, and will take to my first booksigning (and every one thereafter) lucky pen...and me, with the matching hair!

Here's Diana, with her pen, actually signing her contract. (Wendy never posted a pic, and Elly's busy working on her current manuscript.)

Thanks girls! You've made the journey so much easier!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Recognize this man?

This is the inspiration for Max, one of the main characters in
The Rest Falls Away

When I mentioned to my critique partners that I was basing Max on this actor, they didn't get it...until they saw this picture.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

I have a title!

At last, my first book has a title, and I really love it.

The Rest Falls Away

It's taken from the following quotation:

"I think there is a choice possible to us at any moment, as long as we live. But there is no sacrifice. There is a choice, and the rest falls away. Second choice does not exist. Beware of those who talk about sacrifice." --Muriel Rukeyser

It's wonderfully subtle, eerie, and different. I'm very happy.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Why is it

so much easier to plot someone else's book than it is to plot your own?

Why can I sit down and listen to one of my writing buddies' skeleton plots, or read a chapter, and suddenly, I can plot the whole thing out interesting things and twists and unique happenings, but when it comes to my own, it's like pulling teeth.

That's probably why I'm affectionately known as a "pantser"--someone who writes by the seat o'the pants. Because if I had to figure out the whole darn plot, before I wrote, I'd never sit down to write.

Anyway, I have to thank my good buddy Jen, because today I sent her an email with a blathering list of some of the basic things that I thought would happen in my second book for NAL, none of these things even remotely connected, and she calls me up--from Korea, mind you--and has figured out a way to knit them together. Beautiful, simple, makes sense.

But is that enough for me? No, of course not. I throw in another piece of detail, and in two minutes, she's got that woven in too.

Now, I'd like to think I'd have come up with a way to do it myself, if I'd given myself the time to do so...but it's a bit disheartening when someone else, who has no ownership of the story, comes up with the line. You know?

And the truth is, I may or may not end up using all of the parts or details she fact, I'm sure I won't--but the value of what she did for me is that she gave me a direction to start in, kind of a shove off like you have someone do when you're starting off in a canoe from shore...and that allows a pantser like me to actually put the fingers to the keyboard and write.

So, thanks Jen! I owe ya! other news, just in case you were curious, here's what I ate today on my raw/living food diet:
  • two glasses of green smoothie
  • one half an avocado
  • a salad
  • a few scattered almonds throughout the day
  • "raw spaghetti" (summer squash spiral-sliced into spaghetti-ish strands, covered with uncooked marinara sauce--almost like a salsa, but sweeter)
  • another very small salad
  • a s'more. Yeah.
Well, I was at the middle school youth group meeting at my church that I help to run, and we were having s'mores. I was the one making them--I must have made sixty, squishing toasty roasted marshmallows between graham crackers and chocolate. I would make them and hand them to the eager hands of the youth...and then I had one that no one wanted, in my marshmallow-sticky hands, and I couldn't give it away, so I started eating it. I wasn't even hungry. Sigh. Ah well. I feel sick now, but tomorrow is another day.

Right, Scarlett?

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Living on life

Four weeks ago yesterday, I woke up in the morning and was lying in bed, thinking about a change I needed to make.

I'd been feeling yucky and tired, and I'd gained some weight that I didn't seem to be able to shake. I knew I needed to change something, to fix my diet and get to feeling more healthy. After all, I have another book to write (and hopefully many more) and in order to do that, I had to feel good and have a clear brain.

I said a prayer, there, lying in bed that morning, for help--help to find the way to make the change and to feel better about myself. Whatever it was.

Well, that night, I took my children to a fund-raiser spaghetti dinner at my church and ran into a casual friend of mine. We aren't close; we'd gone to high school together and reconnected here at church twenty years later as passing acquaintances. My friend had never attended these monthly spaghetti dinners, and in fact had had other plans for that night, but they'd changed...and she came to the dinner...and we passed each other as I was going up to refill my Diet Coke, and we started talking.

I asked her what was new and she mentioned she'd gone to a living foods class that day.

"Living foods? What's that?" I asked, intrigued. After all, I'd been thinking about how to change my eating habits, remember?

"Living food--it's food that's not cooked. Raw fruits and vegetables, and things like sprouts." And then she launched into more detail, because I was showing interest--in fact, it was more than interest. It was a sign. The hair all over my arms was standing on end and I felt this rush of breeze (I'm not kidding) over my shoulders and neck.

This was it.

This was my answer. And it had been presented to me so clearly, so purposely. After all, Julie hadn't planned to be at this just happened. For me.

Julie and I stood there and talked, right in the middle of the salad and spaghetti lines, for twenty minutes. We made plans to get together the following week so she could show me some of the things she'd learned at the class.

But I left the dinner thinking, "How can someone just live on raw food? Uncooked food? What about meatloaf? What about hot soup? Spaghetti? Pizza? Chocolate?????"

So when I got home that night, put the kids to bed and then I did what every curious person in the 21st century does...I Googled "living foods."

And I found out a lot more information about why living foods are a great way to eat and live.

First of all, anything that hasn't been cooked still contains all of its nutrients and digestive enzymes. When we cook food, we kill most of the nutrients--so we need to eat more to get more. (Did you know that when you cook meat, it kills half of its protein?)

And our bodies, which are used to eating cooked food, produce two gallons of digestive enzymes to help break down our food--and there's a lot of waste. Bodies that don't digest cooked food, that eat raw food, only produce one cup of enzymes.

Secondly, foods like seeds (sunflower seeds, broccoli seeds, pumpkin seeds, garbanzo beans, wheat berries) and nuts (almonds, pine nuts, cashews) all still have the potential to sprout and grow. When these foods are sprouted (like alfalfa seeds, grown into sprouts), or just soaked in water, the enzymes are activated and these foods start to grow. They can still produce life. So eating these foods is basically like eating life.

Our bodies digest raw foods so much more easily than they digest cooked foods, not only because the enzymes are destroyed when we cook them, but also because of the additives and chemicals we use to preserve our foods. Our bodies can't digest those chemicals, and our bodies also need more nutrients, so we eat more. There's more waste and there is less efficiency.

After I read all this information that night, I decided to try it. The next day, four weeks ago today, I started eating raw. And my husband, who had also wanted to make a change, was just as fascinated as I was...and he felt the truth of it too. So we've been doing it together.

And for four weeks now, we've been about 85-90% raw.

We've lost weight. We feel better. We have more energy. We eat as much as we want, but...we're not hungry. And we don't crave things. (My first week on raw was my PMS week. I didn't crave anything.)

And we're not eating just salads every day. We do eat a lot of fruit and vegetables, but we also eat guacamole (yum yum yum!) and fresh salsa. We also eat foods that have been "cooked" in a dehydrator--veggie burgers, crackers, breads, wraps--all made at a temperature that is low enough to dry and/or warm the food, but not hot enough to kill the enzymes. (Enzymes die at 115 degrees.)

Alissa Cohen has a great site and a fabulous "cook"book, with examples of foods that are not just salads.

Oh, I forgot to of the other weird things about this was that the week after I went raw, I ran into another woman I know and happened to mention my epiphany. Turns out she'd been eating raw, and another woman whom I know very well from church, who lives on my street, has also been eating raw! That makes three people in less than a week that I ran into who have been doing this.

As I said, I knew it was a sign.

It's made a difference in our lives, and although there are times when a piece of pizza looks good (and I confess, I did have a piece over the weekend), and a beer washes that guac down nice and easily (yep, have had some of that too--I said we've been 85-90%; although most days we are 100% raw)...all that Halloween candy that our kids got doesn't appeal even the slightest.

And last night we went out to dinner to a Mexican restaurant. We ordered guacamole and a salad with whatever raw vegetables they had...they brought us a plate with salsa and chips while we were waiting and neither of us ate even one chip. We ate the salsa with forks!

It doesn't feel like deprivation. It feels good. It feels right.

So I'll keep you posted on how it goes, but for now, it's been great.

Living on life. Makes sense to me!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


No, I'm not writing nostalgia about that TV show, although at this point I almost think it would be easier than what I've committed to...

...which is to participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). From November 1 to November 30, my goal--along with umpteen other crazy people--is to write a novel...or at least 50,000 words of a novel.

This coming from the woman who's written, oh, about 500 words today.

The point of NaNoWriMo is to just get the words on paper. You can go back and sort it out, in December, when there's nothing else to do.

So now that I've wasted five minutes writing this post (not to mention ten, surfing for just the right picture of Mork and Mind), I guess I'd better get the nose to the grindstone.

At least I finally figured out what the current scene I'm writing is going to be about. If only I had a vague idea of where I'm going after that!

Who links to me?