Monthly Archives: May 2012

Whiskey Cream Sauce

Whiskey Cream Sauce

      I am truly blessed.
      I get to work from home.
      Lots of people, myself included, talk about how they wish they could work from home, how wonderful it would be, how much more stuff they would get done, how much more time they would have, blah-blah blahbbity-blah-blah-blah. And to some extent, it is true. Here’s a list:

  • More Time: save an hour a day in commute time
  • Eat Better: using that ^ hour to make breakfast
  • More Accomplished: sneaking laundry or chores into my breaks
  • No Shoes: I fucking hate shoes. Don’t have to wear them.
  • No Socks: Double-ditto that!
  • Comfy Clothes: I can work in my PJs, if I so choose.
  • Always Home: No missed deliveries!
  • Peace & Quiet: No constant hum of other people distracting me

      And that all sounds pretty awesome, right? It totally is. I am about to ‘go to work’ right now and all I have done to prepare is roll out of bed, brush and corral my crazy hair into a ponytail, scrub my teeth, and come to the pseudo-office-space to log-in. Note that – get dressed – is no where on that list. Tee-hee.
      Unfortunately, one of my biggest goals in working from home, was sketching out more time to write and I have not really managed that at all. I seem to have even less time for writing. Plus, not all is as rosy as you might think when you’re alone (mostly) all day, trying to work at home.

  • More Time: Somehow translates to even less time for writing.
  • No Commute: Going to the store means leaving home, rather than a stop on the way.
  • Comfy Clothes: PJs almost every day makes you feel like a schlub.
  • Eat Better: No vending machine for a 2:30 pick-me-up.
  • Always Home: What’s the weather like? I have no windows!
  • Alone: No one to talk to (except chatting) or ask questions.

      So, its not a perfect situation. But I do prefer it and I really do feel blessed that my incredible bosses have allowed (nay – asked!) that I work from home. I’m just saying – its not as ideal as I always envisioned.
      I get up at 5:30 a.m., perform my morning ablutions, try to blog OR work on editing, attempt to catch up on my Facebook, ignore Twitter entirely, and then – work starts. My job is not one with much down-time, alas. The phone is always ringing, the inbox is always hopping, and before I know it – its quitting time. Then the evening comes, and after all day in this chair, the last thing I want to do is spend more time here, but I must. First, we’ll make dinner, then take a walk, then hang out with Jack, and then write- Oh crap! Its bedtime. Well, I’ll get to it in the morning. And repeat. Ad nauseum.
      I’m just putting this out there as a cautionary tale.
      Working from home does not mean you will magically have time to write.
      You’re still going to have to eke it out wherever you can. You’re still going to have to put in the time and effort. You’re still going to have to DO something about it, if you want to be a writer.
      How? Well, here’s another spiffy list!

  • Steal twenty minutes before work (like I am now) and blog or sprint or flash fiction – just to keep your writing muscles supple.
  • Schedule time and STICK to the schedule.
  • Make daily goals and keep journal/spreadsheet to track them.
  • Accept that some days you may not make your goals…
  • …but NEVER stop trying!

      Life hands you lemons, you make lemonade, right? Well sometimes, life hands you lemonade and it turns out you fucking HATE lemonade. What then? Reduce that junk down in a pot with some butter and cream and whiskey and pour it over your asparagus.
      Wait- what?
      The point is – well, a) I watch too much Chopped, and b) even things you think you want may not be what you really need or like. But you’re a writer, right? A creative-type. So turn it on its ear and make it work for you. If you are serious about it, you have to REALLY work at it.
      Have I ever mentioned how much I hate really working at anything? That’ll be another blog post.
      For now, just… keep writing. Keep reading. And try that lemon-butter-whiskey cream sauce. It sounds ridiculously good right now…

Love & Rainbows,
P.P.

Tuesday’s Tunes: RAAAAWR!

      A disclaimer. Some of the songs posted will have naughty language. Some will be terrible in your opinion. Some will be terrible in my opinion. Watch the linked video(s) at your own risk.
      That said, if you have ever wondered what sort of songs are punctuating scenes in my head, come back every Tuesday to find out.

      Yeah, so this morning’s Tunes is not so much artist specific as it is RAAAAWR!
      Because sometimes you have to write a swordfight, or a battle scene, or a bar-room brawl, or a confrontation between a power-maddened 15-year-old girl and her arch-nemesis! Thankfully, for those intense moments, the world has given us such awesomeness as Manowar, Iron Maiden, Savatage, et all (and those are just the 80s ones!).
      Now, my love for epic 80s metal is not exactly new, though writing to it is a fairly recent (five or so years) development. And I place the blame squarely on Jack and his gaming friends. Because if it weren’t for all the 80s metal screaming in the background whilst we roll dice and/or reminisce about rolling dice, I would probably never have experienced 80s metal the same way. It wouldn’t get my blood pumping and my head banging and my horns being thrown up.
      Those bastards.
      But really, these sort of epic, thrashing, screaming ballads appeal to me when it comes time to really write an intense confrontation. If I’m not sitting at my keyboard bobbing my head absently to the music while some (now agéd) dude growls and shrieks in the background – the action suffers. Okay, not really, I can – and do – write in silence from time to time, but only by necessity. I feel like the energy in songs like these (see also: Drowning Pool “Bodies”, The Offspring “Bad Habit”, and more, which I’m sure I’ll list in a future post) really gets into me when I’m writing and it cannot help but some out on the page.
      I have really eccentric and broad taste in music. Some would call it crappy taste in music – but I like to think the fact that I find things to love in music by FinK.L., Garth Brooks, Black Sabbath, Shaggy, Bryan Adams, and a billion others just means I’m a well-rounded person.
      So. You may never get Dio’s voice out of your head if you listen to the original “Holy Diver” (or Killswitch Engage’s version, which is pretty spiff too) but why would you want to?
      What music gets your blood pumping when its time to kill off a character? Or blow-up a building in prose? Or whatever it is that happens in your books?

Oh yeah – captured from VHS baby!

No one wins…

Madness reigns – AAAAAAAAH yeah!

Snippet Sunday: The Ghost of Adina

      Sorry for the late post, but at least I made it!

      Today’s excerpt comes from my current WIP: WT: Incandescence. It is from a scene in Part One and gives a bit of background on Grandmama Adina Torovaldi neé Goritelli, the family, and alludes to a great secret OLDLADYNAME hides in the deepest part of her heart.
– – – – – – – – – – –
      Her hands shook with the palsy of age as they lay flat upon the beautiful, handmade quilt that covered her from breast to toe. Brown age spots were speckled across the paper-thin skin, thick, blue veins were nearly visible as they wound across the backs of her palms toward her fingers. Those had once been long and graceful; she had played the piano and the flute in her younger years. She had danced too – classical ballet – and sang, though not well.
      A faint smile played across wrinkled lips; the ancient woman tending gently to one who, while also old, was a babe in arms by comparison. With a steady, delicate touch, the elder began to ply a paddle brush upon the long, steel-colored locks of the younger woman. She lay her free palm upon her granddaughter-in-law’s brow, stroking the fevered flesh and murmuring soothing words as softly as possible.
      Adina Torovaldi neé Goritelli was in decline. She had not danced in a decade. Not since a tragic accident had claimed her daughter, Alyssa, her son-in-law, Benjamin, and their unborn child. Not since her husband, Iacomo Torovaldi, had succumbed to a broken heart upon hearing that his dear little Lyssie, their only daughter and the child he shamelessly favored, was dead. If her memory served, and it usually did, Adina’s mind had begun slipping away the day of Iacomo’s funeral though it had not gone into a full downward spiral until a year ago, spring. Alzheimer’s, they called it today. In her day, people went senile, lost their marbles, had bats in their belfries or were a brick short of a full load. It seemed crueler somehow, giving it a real, scientific name. But then, what about the disease was not cruel? A sickness that robbed a body of its memories, personality, loves and dreams and hates and fears – of everything that made them unique. In the end, as it was with sweet Adina, they were little more than a shell. A husk requiring round-the-clock supervision and care.
      “Sit up, dearest,” she coaxed Adina into a seated position so that she could brush the entire length of her hair. It was like silk, for they still treated it with great care as she would have wanted. She remembered a very special day, many decades ago, when she had combed and twisted and teased it into a magnificent curls. Such a beautiful bride, the old woman reflected, gingerly separating Adina’s hair into sections and creating two long plaits such as a schoolgirl would have worn back in her own youth. She supposed that children did not often wear twin braids anymore, though Hannah had, and the thought made her inexplicably sad.
      “The bad days are coming.”
      OLDLADYNAME gave a start, hands freezing mid-motion, and looked around. Directly across the room was a low bureau with a wide mirror that swallowed most of the wall. In it she saw her own reflection – an olive-skinned prune of a woman with more than one-hundred two years of life behind her – and that of her late grandson’s wife. Adina sat before her, those lovely violet eyes vacant and rheumy, with her hands limp upon her lap and her thin legs straight out, a pair of chopsticks beneath heavy blankets. As far as she could tell, neither of them had moved and she knew that she had not spoken.
After a heartbeat or two, the jolt of fear faded. Wrapping her arms around Adina, she began to rock back and forth and croon tunelessly. Though she told herself that she was trying to calm Adina, in her heart she admitted that it was her own pulse that was racing.
      “The bad days are coming.”
      The voice belonged to Adina, yet it was alien in a way that could not be explained away simply because it had been so long since she had spoken. OLDLADYNAME scarcely believed it had come from the frail form of Adina, so rich and strong was the tone. It was as if those five words were untouched by the age that had wracked Adina’s body and mind, leaving her a ninety-pound shadow of her former self.
      “Now, what do you mean by that, my love?” OLDLADYNAME asked, watching Adina’s face in the mirror.
      “You know.”
      Those two words sent daggers of ice into OLDLADYNAME’s ancient heart and she turned her gaze away from the image, busying her fingers by returning to the simple, repetitive motion of braiding Adina’s hair.
– – – – – – – – – – –
      And that’s it for today’s snippet. What did you think? What awful secrets does OLDLADYNAME (tee-hee) harbor in the murkiest depths of her old heart? Comments, questions, suggestions appreciated – let me hear about it below!

Love & Rainbows,
P.P.

Writer, Interrupted.

      First off – I apologize for the lack of posts last week. Starting around Wednesday evening, my whole world sort of imploded.
      Temporarily.
      (I hope.)
      I won’t go into the details – this isn’t that sort of blog – but I can safely say that things are going to remain a little disorganized around here for a bit. I do not have a Tuesday’s Tunes for you this week (yeah, I know, BIG bummer, right?) and although the Sunday Snippet went up without a struggle, I don’t think there’s a prescheduled one for this upcoming week yet – so there may not be one then, either.
      But – fingers crossed – I’m hoping that I will get back to my book and my blog (and my life!) by next week.
      In the meantime – check out the wonderful blogs on my ‘blogroll’ (down and to the right) or re-read the Sunday Snippets and check back next Monday for all new posts and rants and information and snippets and YAY!
      *ahem*

Love & Rainbows,
P.P.

      P.S. Sending ‘Get Well Soon’ wishes to Jack couldn’t hurt. ;D