Thursday, October 28, 2010

Vampire Diaries Theme Night

I missed the whole first season of "The Vampire Diaries" last year, because I didn't get the channel.  However, my friend who lived across the river watched it and always talked about it. She invited me over for the premiere, as I now live across the river too.  When we saw the theme for the next week, Carnival, we decided to do a theme night every Thursday.  I'll change her name to protect the innocent, now I can't think of a name, hold on, I'll call and ask her what it should be... okay! Bambi made pizza and I brought cotton candy and hellium balloons for the four of us. (Her two teenagers daughters carve out every Thursday to spend with me and their mom.) The next week was when the wolves were introduced, so I bought buttons that said things like "Wolf Girl." My memory is fading and I can't remember what Bambi made for dinner, but she gave each of us Vampire Blood hand sanitizer. The next week was doubles, so we had double decker sandwiches and I brought 4 headbands, two had devil horns and two had cat ears and we each wore one. The next week was the past, Bambi made up stories giving each of us a past life and we read them aloud at the dinner table.  The next week was a repeat, I believe that was the night we had breakfast- as in a repeat of the past meal. So good! I brought maple syrup for Bambi's pancakes. We watched a movie instead of the show.  Last week we decided the theme would be moonstone. None of us could think of anything to bring, (unless we bought expensive moonstone rings) so I looked online and found a restaurant in California called Moonstone and they served Moonstone Clam Chowder.  So I made clam chowder, except Bambi and her girls were driving in from a vacation and got stuck in traffic. A neighbor let me in the house and I started dinner. I watched the first twenty minutes of the show alone, except for their dog Coco, who loves to jump on me.  Finally they arrived. We ate Moonpies for dessert. 

I know this is a lame ending, but I need to get ready for the Masquerade Ball tonight and I have nothing to wear! (Vampire Diary theme tonight.)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Edward's Return

Last Thursday I was invited to a Chamber of Commerce Mixer on the roof of our parking garage. The hotel next door was providing the hors d'oeuvres.  I did not have long to spend as I was on my way to a friend's house for another Vampire Diary night. (I'm really not into vampires.) I arrived on the rooftop at 5:20pm because I had to work late.  I found the person who extended the invitation to me (none other than my friend The Mayor of East Ridge) and he insisted I go help myself to some snacks. I came to an abrupt halt when I saw "Edward" standing before me. He was wearing madras shorts with brown Nikes, tennis socks and a blue short sleeved button down shirt- untucked and wrinkled. He topped it off with Ray-Bans. I followed along behind him and watched him load his little 6" paper plate up with cheese cubes and little sandwiches. I waited for him to leave the sandwich plate, he was talking to the hostess. He looked up at me startled I was there (though not because he recognized me as his almost stalker) and said, "Oh, I'm sorry," and smiled. I smiled back and said, "That's okay." I wanted to ask where he was working now, but as that is the type of question a stalker would ask, I refrained. And now I feel I have been exonerated from appearing like a stalker. I'm free!!! I smiled all the way home.  As also, I snickered a little too at the memory of 'Edward' in shorts. He looked more like a cross between Edward and Macaulay Culkin.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Doubt is a Dirty Word

I didn't write any of my story last weekend. I didn't write all week. I looked at a couple of my research books, but only to see when they were due back at the library. (This Saturday.)  I was given a chance at some real help from a woman who writes and edits books out in California. So grateful and extremely excited, I busted out plots, a summary and a tag line. When I got to the part of the outline that required me to write what happens in each chapter, I wrote a tiny sketch of the first four, not even sure those would be the first four chapters.  Then I froze up and now here I am. I gave myself ten days to get this done. If I want to be finished with my book before next spring, I need to get on it right? But I am in doubt that I am any good at this.  I doubt that my characters will be strong. I doubt the plot. The funny thing about doubt is that you can't just (well, I can't anyway) doubt one thing, eventually it all breaks down and you end up even doubting your existance.

Ever since I could put sentences together I have been writing stories or volumes of journals, an endless sea of letters to friends and family.  I have enough practice under my belt.  I know what I like to read. I know the difference between good and bad writing. Why would I write badly if I know the difference? I won a writing contest that involved publishers and screenwriters judging the stories. I know deep in my soul, I'm onto something here. My success seems to always stop at second best. Why am I afraid to try for first place? What could happen that would be so bad? Why am I afraid to write on this blog every day? Afraid you can't relate? You'll be bored? You wouldn't be coming back, I think, if I bored you by now. My love for writing is just an example of anyone's dream. I could be writing about becoming a chef. It's all the same. Insert your dream here.

Yesterday I went a-wandering. (as the song goes) and I found myself at the discount bookstore. I wandered over to the writers help section. One book caught my eye. The Fire in Fiction. It was only after my interest in the book that I noticed the author's name. Donald Maass. I knew it was a sign my wandering wasn't just an accident. Do you know that one of the prizes at that writing contest (back in Colorado in 2005) was to have Donald Maass take a look at your book and provide you with helpful feedback? He has a literary agency in New York. I didn't win his prize, but I'll never forget his name. It was like he was the prize to strive for; his was the top prize of the evening. So I began reading some of the book last night. I skipped around and found the reason why I was lead to that wonderful book.

The story I am working on now is so close to my heart. I have been hiding it in there for years. Doubting I could justify my feelings or portray them accurately. Doubting anyone would believe it or care. Then I read this paragraph from Mr. Maass' book: 

Think about it. Hackneyed plots and stereotypical characters don't work. We brush them off. Stories that stretch our minds and charaters who challenge our view of ourselves...ah, those are the ones we remember. They are the stuff of which classics are made. So start by making sure that you put yourself into your novel: your views, your hurts, your questions, your convictions, your crazy-weird take on it all. Give all that to your characters or simply give it to yourself when you write. You've kept it inside for too long. It is time to let it out and to let it make a noise.

What is the truth that you most wish the rest of us would see? That is the purpose of your novel. That is your message. I wish more manuscripts had them. A great many do not.

Having something to say or something you wish us to experience, is what gives your novel its power. Identify it. Make it loud. Do not be afraid of what's burning in your heart. When it comes through on the page, you will be a true storyteller.

When I read that, I wanted to leap for joy. I am those thoughts. I am that writer. I just have never written that story on paper. But that is what I am doing now. I can do this. I know I can because it is me. I never tried before, because I was never good at making a loud noise in front of others. If backed into a corner I'm sure I made noise, but I don't remember ever volunteering a real glimpse into my heart and soul. Maybe bits and pieces, but nothing loud enough that anyone would take notice. I keep saying over and over. I want to be noticed. I want to be someone in the world. I want to leave my mark upon it; something that says Victoria Thurman did exist here. Now is my time.

I will come back to these words when I doubt myself. This is not an untangible goal, writing a good story, because it is already inside of me. I need to just feel that freedom to let it go.

Monday, August 2, 2010

A Project Larger Than Life & Edward

Forget that fake Edward at the hotel next door to my work.  The REAL Edward stayed at the Read House in downtown Chattanooga, TN over the weekend, 4 blocks down from my work.  Of course I went to visit the set of "Water for Elephants." 

I want to know what's like a real movie set. I had happened to have the day off, so on July 30th and drove down to the location site of the house where they would be filming. I parked way back from the property but there were cars all the way up to the gate. There were quite a few people, but at the most fifty. Well, we waited. The security guard told us Rob was on his way and would be there soon.
I ran back to my car to get something and met three girls. They called out to me and asked if Rob had been by yet. I said as I walked back from my car, "No." Then they said, "Yes, he did. We were right behind him." I stopped and said, "What?" I was whispering. They didn't want anyone else to know. So they told me the whole deal. I said, "I'm gonna hang with y'all." :) So this is what they did. They followed his car all the way to the location. They drove straight past all of us, past the house to a site that was well lit across from the catering area.
So by this time we were back at the gate with all the people who were still waiting, but we walked down toward the catering tent. Then security came and told all of us we had to get in our cars and leave right now. Here came the black SUV. This time I knew Rob was in it. And, I didn't smile. I was deflated by then and it didn't occur to me that he could see me even if I couldn't see him.

Their car turned in the gate to the house and when we walked by a movie lady was trying to get us to leave. She said, "He appreciates you being here, but he has to work."

Then someone said they were filming the scene at sunrise, so they needed to get started. I thought holy cow, I don't want to ruin the movie. Sunrise doesn't last that long. I hope they got the shot. Also, by 6:50am on my way home- I saw the sun. It was round and orange, red, pink and brillant- it was an amazing sun. I really hope they captured it. They shot another scene on the railroad tracks at the TN Valley Railroad Museum. 

Even though I feel disappointed that I did not go back to watch filming.  I hope Rob has a good time in Chattanooga. The newspaper this morning reported that he loves it here in Chattanooga and thinks its awesome.

I went to find the train instead of going back to the house on Friday and got a picture.  I am going to frame it and hang it above my writing area to remind me of the power of the pen (or keyboard).  One woman wrote that story and out of her story became this movie that affected and involved so many people's lives.  It was a project larger than herself and that is what I would like to be a part of someday. 

I wrote three more pages yesterday and began some research for my latest project.  It all begins with one woman and a story.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Fixing To Write

I'm fixing to play mice with Bell so he can run off some energy and know I'm not neglecting him.  I'm fixing to then close him out of my brand new writing room.  I'm fixing to write a blog for the first time in months.  I'm fixing to ... well...I don't know.  Maybe it's too soon to start writing a blog.  Do I even have anything worth saying?

I set up a new design on my blog to give my new entries a bit a flair.  So when I start writing blogs (hopefully) this week, it will be fun to visit my site. 

I am fixing to log off and write a novel.  A short story.  A letter?  Maybe...after I answer the phone.

Thank you for coming to visit me.  I promise not to be boring the nexrt time you chose my site. :)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Melting Pot

There's the Melting Pot and then there's the melting pot. We are waiting for pizza in the crisp cold breeze that is blowing through our open window. Brrr! Cold is hardly what was happening in the kitchen a half hour ago. The silvery orange glow of several blobs that metal?...greeted me when I went back in the kitchen to check on the steamed corn on the cob. If only I had learned the first time I melted a pot, that you should never caddy corner a pot lid when steaming vegetables on Hi heat. Yes, this is the second pot I have melted. Come to my house if you are in the mood for the melting pot. I can provide it with all the smoke and whistles.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Mouse's Cat

I grew up around cats. Cats everywhere. Cats cats cats. So many that when I moved away on my own I would think I saw shadows of cats circling me, hiding behind my furniture... mocking me. I did not take to cats the way everyone else in my family did. If one jumped on my bed while I was asleep, I would push them off. If one was in my seat I would say, "Move, cat." I never had to feed them, because I never pet them. Once, one of our cats was dying and I felt bad for her and went to pet her. She was too weak to move, or I'm sure she would have walked away. Instead she looked at me like I was the Grim Reaper, probably thinking, "Now I know I'm dying if she is coming to pet me." Me and cats were like oil and water.

I liked mice, not real mice, of course, but cute cuddly stuffed mice. I collected them and my family's nick name for me is Mouse. Mice are rather nice.

That brings us to the present. It was a dark and wintry night, and day, and another night and another day. Freezing temperatures, even snow in the South. No person or pets should have been be out in that cold cold weather and yet every night for a couple of weeks, my sister and I heard the cries of a cold, lonely cat outside our window. It wasn't my cat. It wasn't my responsibilty. The old me, the "Move, cat" me didn't really pay attention and then...the cat's persistence began to break through my cold mouse-loving exterier. Mew. Mew. Mew. I heard her cries at 11pm when I went to bed, at 2:30am when I got up for some water, again at 4:30 when I got up for the bathroom. And on into the next day. Mew.

The next night was a dark and stormy night. The world was getting soaked with rain. The world was shivering cold, too. And from my warm bed at 11:30pm that night, the cat broke through. The thought came in so real it scared me. I was getting involved with the neighbor's irresponsibility. I was going to take a stand. Kathryn went outside and brought the cat in for me and I raced her upstairs and closed my bedroom door. (We have living with us the world's loudest dog, who LOVEs to chase this poor cat.) She was soaked and muddy and freezing. I was only going to keep her one night and let her back out, but the more I learned from Kathryn about the situation of the cat-- she had been inside the neighbor's apartment all summer and then when it got cold they left her outside all the time.

Well, I kept her. I name her Bell because she had a collar with one jingle bell on it.

I will write more of my adventures with Bell in blogs to come. I have neglected my blog, because I have been trying to come home and play with Bell. My computer is not in the same room. I'm glad to be back for a moment. Hope to see you soon.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Crazy Sheila

They call her Crazy Sheila. When she was fourteen she got on a bus in Denver and rode to Provo, Utah because she had read that Donny Osmond and his family had a compound there. She was determined to find him and tell him that he got engaged to young, that he should wait for her. She found it, but he and his family were not there. She only had $13, so she had to go back to the bus station to catch a bus home. Only there was an 18 hour wait, during which time the police had been called. Her family was looking for her. They thought she had been staying at her grandmother's for Christmas. It turned out her grandmother had taken her to the bus stop to catch a bus for another town in Utah, where her aunt and uncle lived. But Crazy Sheila went in search of her idol and not her relatives. Needless to say she got in a lot of trouble for this for years to come. Today she is 46 and has never been married. She has never met Donny, but said she guesses she is still waiting for him.

I heard about Crazy Sheila on the Dom and Jane morning radio show out of Denver. She called in for the last caller of the day segment. She said she had been trying to call them since December 9th--Donny Osmond's 50th birthday, but could never get through. Each day they pick a winner for the best last call and Crazy Sheila won on that day, three days ago. It just so happened that in her prize pack was a pair of binnoculars, which could aid in her further stalking Donny.

I was so happy to know Crazy Sheila's story. A little crazier than my own. Whew.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Life's Little Surprises

This was a headline on CNN today and I almost fainted. ;) I didn't know I got the part!
"Pattinson and Thurman to Co-star in Sexy Bel-Ami".

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Just Say Something Dammit!

I hate to leave my last blog up for so long, but I have no humorous little stories to add. Just trying to recoup from being sick so long. Yesterday I slept almost all day long. Today I am reading a very fun book. I just wrote an e-mail to the author and added her to the blogs I follow. Her name is Jennifer Ashley. The book is called "Confessions of a Lingerie Addict." Hardly me, but the book is so much fun! So I am off to continue my read.