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Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday Random

Random Fact of the Week: Did you know a crayon could be used as a candle? Snap off the top and burn! Fifteen minutes of light. Will I use this? He he he... my kids and I tried it yesterday, until they screamed about the crayon melting. But it works and I intend to slip it into a novel. I don't write mid-grade (or haven't tried to at any rate) but can you just see your intrepid 10-year old hero burning a crayon for a candle? I have no clue where the kid got the matches, but ten-year olds have a miraculous way of finding fire.

Random Personality Question of the Week: Most people like to think they are defined by what they have. Especially what they have in their houses on display, that's their public persona, part of their presentation of self. But think for a minute about what you *won't* have in your house. Not the general drugs, guns, and serial killers but the perfectly normal things you won't display.

For me it's the "funeral photo" of my husband (who is still alive). If you've ever been to a military or police funeral you've probably seen the photo. The deceased is dressed in uniform in front of an American flag and usually looking stern, sometimes smiling but usually not. I hate that photo! My husband was required to take one and brought home two copies, one for our house and one for his mother. I freaked out and put it face down in a drawer. It's his funeral photo! If he gets shot that's the picture they'll set next to the casket for crying out loud! I have pictures of my husband on the wall with my kids, but I refuse to put that one up. It's morbid.

What about you? Is there anything you won't put up? And what does it say about you?

Random Writing of the Week: Chapter 3...

For some reason I always get bogged down around chapter 3. In most of the classic set ups Chapter 3 is the start of the grand adventure. You spend the first two chapters getting the Call To Action and Getting Ready to Leave. Some authors start in the middle of the action but then they have to backtrack and that's not something I do well. So I start with the death threats and then have my character flee like a scared rabbit.

Chapter 3 also has the onus of being the last "gimme chapter." It's usually the last chapter in a partial, and as a reader it's the last chapter I'll read to decide if the book is being burnt, or thrown against the wall, or recommended to all of my friends. Chapter 1 has to be a hard hitter. Chapter 2 can usually cruise in under the tension and action of Chapter 1. But Chapter 3 has to be solid, a bedrock chapter, unshakable, tense, engaging...

And I hate writing it.

I spent one day each polishing the first two chapters of my WIP. And I'm on day four of Chapter 3.

Random Goal for the Weekend: By tomorrow night I want through Chapter 5 of my current WIP polished and posted so I can go hunt Critters to help me edit the rest. :o) Happy hunting, right?

Random Fun of the Week: Writing accents! I love writing accents with all the bad spelling, it cracks me up. I have a scene where the FMC fakes a truly atrocious accent not connected with any accent I'm aware of and the spell check was on. I have paragraphs underlined in red. But it's readable. I think. We'll see.

What's the fun part of writing for you?

Come on....... what's your random?


  1. Okay, the crayon thing is awesome! I am going to use that one day in a book. You shouldn't have shared. :)

    Anything I won't put up? Gee, I can't think of anything right off the bat. I hide stuff in closets to make it look like I don't collect clutter. Does that count? I won't put up pictures that don't look good, meaning they don't look professionally done.

    I get stuck on the last chapter. Monarch is done except for the last chapter. *bangs head on wall*

    Accents are fun. I haven't played around with them much. Fun part of writing? Lots of it! Probably the research. :)

  2. That is cool about the crayons. It would be great in a book.

    No bad pix of me up. hehe.

    I get stuck in the beginning. First chapter. I can write the whole book, but the first chapter kills me.

    I would love to do accents because my WIP is set in SC, but I read somewhere that it is not a good thing to do, so for the first book no accents. maybe eventually.

    In real life I love accents and will joke with my kids talking in different ones and even though I'm from the south I can speak with a completely neutral accent when I want to.

  3. Gee, and I thought melting crayons IN candles was fun... I need to try that.

    Fun part of writing is... blowing things up in creative ways! And messing with people's minds... I enjoy a lot about writing. It depends on what I'm doing at the moment. ;) Killing things is always fun...

    Randomly, I want to include a ghost ferret in something now. (Inspired by my Ferret from Hell, Leo. O:) White, red-eyed ball of evil, he is...)