It's Who I Am

Whether as an author/illustrator at the age of five writing about a dashingly heroic cat and his cat damsel in distress or a good-natured, young raconteur describing the adventurous lives of unsuspecting patrons seated near me in restaurants, I've always made up stories. It only took me forty years to realize it is what I do best. So, welcome to Andoree, the country and creation of my imagination. Sit down and I'll spin you a tale or two.

Monday, May 21, 2012

I'm Moving

Okay. I sat down this morning and did it. I have created another blog on Wordpress because it's supposedly better. Heaven help me learn how to navigate this new world. But I guess if this is the way to go, I'll do it. (Rosie, I may call on you in desperate moments!)

My new blogging address:

Come visit soon.


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Been A While

You know, life happens and things like blogging get put on hold. Every extra moment I have is given to reviewing my story before I hand it out to my "beta group." Not to mention being mom-teacher means an attempt to end the school year with sons-students who are as ready to for it to end as I. To top it all off, we've had a bit of a virus running through the household; so everything lately has been shot to bits.

Then, I found out through another blog I follow (a very smart literary agent's blog) that blogger might not be the best platform for blogging (something about SEO issues). I guess that got me a little down and I have started messing with another platform. Do I switch? Do I have time to figure out another blogging site? I guess I'll have to. Grrr.

I promise I'm not shirking my responsibilities to blog...I'm just a bit overwhelmed is all. I'll be back with something witty to say or something fascinating I've learned and less stream-of-consciousness than this post. In the meantime, my apologies.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Am I Cursed?

I read an interesting POST today on a blog I follow. It asks whether characters are truly autonomous or are shaped by the worldview of the writer. Are writers who have "foul-mouthed, bigoted, homophobic, murderous, frivolous, or down-right psychopathic" characters like that themselves? (Quote from Stephen King).

I've been mulling around on this all day. Here's what I think...

The other day I realized I hadn't been honest about one of my characters. He's hardened and angry because he has genuinely crappy parents and has grown up on the street. I had written my whole story without him uttering a single curse word. That's not Garreth. Garreth would curse and with flourish. I had over-tamed him. So I went back and allowed him to call his parents what he feels they are: "He openly declared his parents to be lousy, drunken jackasses..."

I really don't curse and this particular word is pretty impotent. If you met people who knew me they would never define me as foul-mouthed. (As confession, I have had those moments, but they have been few and far between. Unfriend me if you must.) Garreth, on the other hand, curses. It's part of his makeup and he's made up of characters and people I've read, seen, heard, known.

Because I'm writing a novel for younger kids, I'm sensitive to not allowing Garreth to go all out sailor on them. But, I recognized I was hiding too much of who he is in an effort to protect them. It's obviously not a trait to admire and the other characters don't admire him for it. Yet, he's not a complete thug. I once heard someone say he knew a man who was "rogue, but not blasphemous." That is Garreth. There are some wonderful qualities about him that should be admired; so, I say, don't dismiss him altogether. (A lesson to be learned by all straight-laced people. That foul-mouthed fellow just might be the best friend you could ever have. But, I digress...)

So, I think the answer to the post's question is NO and NO. I don't have to allow Garreth complete autonomy because I can, and should, reel him in a bit. On the other hand, just because I allow Garreth to swear doesn't mean I want others to develop the habit. 

Art reflects life. I believe that. If I were to write my story without a single broken, immoral, unjust, foul-mouthed, obstinate, person my story would be a snoozer! Stories are about conflict and conflict comes as a result of these types of people and situations. If someone wants a completely sterile piece with perfect people...well, I think they might have those in Stepford.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Little Perspective

Being a newbie to the official writing scene (that group of people who desire to be published) has been a bit overwhelming. I read blog posts and watch tweets and think to myself, "This scares me to death!" I wonder how Austen, Swift, Twain, and others would have fared in this world of social media meets writing. I mean, can you imagine Hemingway blogging, let alone tweeting! I don't know where he would have fit it in his writing, drinking, arm-wrestling schedule!

I just don't know. I need help so I don't lose sight of why I started writing my book to begin write a story for my kids. I have a tendency for "Ready, Fire, Aim" and am grateful for a husband who points that out when he sees me spinning a bit out of control. An example:

(For dramatic purposes imagine Lucile Ball and Desi Arnaz with a Texas accent)

Me: "I'm thinking I should attend a writer's conference?" Showing eight pages of information I've printed for emphasis.
Him: "Honey. Write your book."

Me: "I'm thinking I should join this writing group and attend its bimonthly meetings." Showing the calendar where I've already marked the meetings and times for the next year.
Him: "Honey. Just write your book."

Me: "My writing is crap and no one will publish it!" Flinging myself on the sofa dramatically face-first.
Him: "Honey. It's not crap. Write your book."

I think I need to calm down and write my book. I am happy to do my research and know what to do should I actually ever see my book cross an agent's table, but with the help of the hubby I'll try and keep a little perspective.

(I'm not certain how copyright rules apply with blogs, but I wanted to share a really great blog post I read on Rick Riordan's website. Having read all the Percy Jackson series and thoroughly enjoyed them, I really enjoyed learning why he wrote the stories to begin ADHD hero to encourage an ADHD son. What a great dad!)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

My Moment With Marty

While I'm waiting for another load from my mountainous pile of laundry to dry (seriously...will it ever end?), I thought I'd share with my loyal readership the dream I had last night.

I was in a therapy session (not something I attend normally, but obviously sorely needed in my dream). My kind and very attentive session leader was none other than Martin Scorsese. I hear you thinking, "Why Martin Scorsese?" and the only thing I can tell you is I have no idea.

I'm not sure exactly what we were all visiting about and it wasn't my turn to share, but I did anyway. Well, actually what I did was burst into a sobbing mess of tears who desperately needed a tissue. Gratefully, Marty (that's what I call him because we're close and he's my therapy leader) was a very empathetic fellow. He stopped the poor individual I had interrupted with my outburst and asked me in his well-recognized, Italian, slightly high-pitched voice, "Oh, Laura, dear. Now what's the matter?"

Through my blubbering I could make out myself saying, "I just want to be a writer! I just want to be published!" (My subconscious is really, really revealing.)

Marty reached over, patted me kindly and said, "You will be a writer. Do you have a manuscript?"

"Yes," I said sniveling. "It's already typed in proper manuscript form: double-spaced, 12 font Times New Roman because agents hate Comic Sans. I have the word count and all!"

And then, something amazing happened. Martin Scorsese asked to see my manuscript...

And my alarm went off.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I Like A Strong Heroine

I'm really excited about my main character. Her name is Brigid, but I call her Bree for short. I don't want to tell you too much about her because I'd really like you to get a chance to discover her in my book. What I will tell you is she is the kind of girl I wish I could have been at fifteen. She's the kind of girl I hope my daughter will be someday.

I think girls have come a long way since I was a teen. They are prouder, stronger and far more sure of themselves. Okay, so maybe they have many of the same insecurities I had, but it seems there are more and more people out there who encourage them by saying, "It's okay to be you."

And, way more girls today play electric guitar than when I was a kid. One of my young friends even plays the bass! How sweet is that?

I was totally born in the wrong generation.


Sunday, March 25, 2012

My Platform

As I understand it a "Platform" is the number of readers who would buy your books. I am a newbie, so I may be wrong about that, but I'm trying to learn. I know there are writers' conferences out there that I should attend to teach me more. I just need to convince my sweet hubs to let me pay the money to go. He's a real ROI kind of guy, and I don't blame him. Trying to become a published writer seems like trying to be drafted into the NFL. It's a one in a million chance.

Don't get me wrong. I'm serious about what I've written. I love and care about my novel and I believe in my characters. I really would like to catch the eye of an agent and be published one day.

For now my platform is three sweet people who share this life with me (and one day I'll have a fourth -- when she can read). I care most what they think. If they love it, I'll press on into less certain waters.