December 3, 2016

chicken noodle soup and novels

i was perusing facebook today, as usual, and clicked on the tab "on this day." six years ago, i posted this. i thought it was fitting to post it again. (and yes, it's about the novel i'm still working on.)

chicken noodle soup and novels

December 3, 2010 at 6:21am

yeah, weird title, i know but the two really do go together, or at least they did in my mind last night when i was making chicken noodle soup for dinner. i use my great grandma's noodle recipe and my daughter rolled out the noodles and cut them with a pizza cutter. they were all different shapes and sizes and i thought, "i could get a pasta machine and then they would all be uniform." but then i thought, "what's the fun of that? the soup wouldn't be the same." i love the texture of the lumpy noodles.

so then, of course, i thought about writing and how we try so hard to make our books perfect for publishers or agents and in the end, after all the editing, etc. maybe our stories don't have the same texture they did before.

i also noted that the soup was different last night because my husband did the cooking. not that the soup was bad, but it tasted different because he added more herbs than i do and he used leftover brined turkey from Thanksgiving, whereas i always use chicken. (to me, turkey DOES NOT taste like chicken, and especially not when it's brined.) i have to say i like my version better. it reminds me of Gramma and that's half the reason i make it.

that also made me think of my writing. the story i want to write might change as i let more people get their hands on it. crit partners and beta readers are great for helping you find plot holes and broken character arcs and not enough description, but in the end, if they start telling you to change the flavor of your story, you just have to put your foot down and say, "No." it's not that their suggestions are bad, but there comes a point where you have to decide who's cooking the soup.

(i really hope this all makes sense. i wrote it at 6:30 a.m., after a night of thinking about Kindle and Smashwords and Lulu instead of sleeping.)

February 1, 2016

sending you warmth

and some inspiration from one of my favorite artist/bloggers, Lori Vliegen.  just looking at this makes me feel a little warmer here in chilly Montana.

December 21, 2015

update on Josh's cgi entry

for those of you who read my interview with my son at the beginning of December for IWSG, here's an update. the contest website posted the winner and runners-up.  he's very pleased that he lost 1st place to such a great winning entry.

December 2, 2015

IWSG - Do What You Love

This is supposed to be where I put my catchy intro about my 19-year-old son Joshua and his CG art and how I interviewed him about his art for IWSG day so he could encourage us... but I didn't sleep last night and my brain is in a fog, and since the time for posting is drawing near, I'm using this as my intro. Not catchy, but to the point. 

MG: Why did you decide to learn how to make computer generated art? 

JG: It’s kind of always fascinated me, you know, just from watching Avengers and Lord of the Rings. I like making stuff that doesn’t exist, bringing it over to the computer, and making it look as if it could exist. 

MG: How long have you been at it? 

JG: About two years. 

MG: What has the process of learning been like? 

JG: It’s been really hard. 

MG: Why?

JG: I think it started off with my mistake of not learning the basics at first – I kind of skipped the basics and went from intermediate to advanced. I compared my work to other people’s work and I thought “There’s no way I’m gonna make something as good as that.” 

MG: What did you do to overcome the difficulties?

JG: I just kept at it, time and time again, making stuff that looked “eh” and just pushed myself to be a better artist. 

MG: What’s your favorite part of the process? 

JG: Getting an idea and then looking up reference images and just finding what I’m looking for. 

MG: What’s the hardest part of the process? 

JG: That’s an easy one – taking the reference images and trying to build the 3-D models (CGI artists call them assets). That’s also the most satisfying part when it’s over because I like the challenge. 

MG: Have you ever felt like giving up? 

JG: Oh yeah. It’s just, you don’t feel like you’re improving and it can be very discouraging when you try to post that stuff online for people to see and they’re like, “Wow, why would you post that on the internet?” 

MG: Why have you kept going? 

JG: Something in the back of my head says, “Who cares what these people say or think?” And I love what I do. I can’t imagine myself not doing it. It would kill me to not do CGI. 

MG: What would you tell other creative types who are just starting, or who feel like they should quit?

JG: It’s going to be tough in the beginning. You’re going to feel like you’re not getting anywhere or there’s no point in doing what you’re doing, but if you love doing it, like I love doing the CGI art and all that, don’t give up, no matter what anyone says. If I’d stopped at the first crappy comment on my first piece I showed to the public for a contest , I wouldn’t be giving you this advice right now and I wouldn’t have started my own blog. 

You can find Josh at C G Alchemy. To read other IWSG posts, click on the IWSG image under the Snoopy cartoon.  

September 2, 2015

IWSG - on perfectionism and making mistakes

today, i'm letting other people encourage you. first, a quote from Anne Lamott, part of a facebook post she wrote on May 12th. 

Here’s how to break through the perfectionism: make a LOT of mistakes. Fall on your butt more often. Waste more paper, printing out your sh--- first drafts, and maybe send a check to the Sierra Club. Celebrate messes — these are where the goods are. Put something on the calendar that you know you’ll be terrible at, like dance lessons, or a meditation retreat, or boot camp. Find a writing partner, who will help you with your work, by reading it for you, and telling you the truth about it, with respect, to help you make it better and better; for whom you will do the same thing. Find someone who wants to steal his or her life back, too. Now; today. One wild and crazy thing: wears shorts out in public if it is hot, even if your legs are milky white or heavy. Go to a poetry slam. Go to open mike, and read the story you wrote about the hilariously god-awful family reunion, with a trusted friend, even though it could be better, and would hurt Uncle Ed’s feelings if he read it, which he isn’t going to.

Change his name and hair color — he won’t even recognize himself.


At work, you begin to fulfill your artistic destiny. Wow! A reviewer may hate your style, or newspapers may neglect you, or 500 people may tell you that you are bitter, delusional and boring.

Let me ask you this: in the big juicy Zorba scheme of things, who **** cares?

and here's what a few other people had to say...  

The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one. ~Elbert Hubbard, The Note Book, 1927

Never say, "oops."  Always say, "Ah, interesting."  ~Author Unknown

An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made in a very narrow field. ~Niels Bohr

The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything. ~Edward Phelps 

You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm. ~Colette

As long as the world is turning and spinning, we're gonna be dizzy and we're gonna make mistakes. ~Mel Brooks

Results! Why, man, I have gotten a lot of results. I know several thousand things that won't work. ~Thomas A. Edison

for more Insecure Writers Support Group posts, use the link on my sidebar. now go out and make some mistakes!

August 5, 2015

IWSG - Shine...

when you're insecure in your writing, remember this quote from Marianne Williamson:

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

for other posts on writing when you feel insecure, click on the link on my sidebar for the Insecure Writers' Support Group.