Saturday, September 30, 2006

Cutting it Off

Well, I lasted as long as I could. A vain attempt to let my hair grow to one length just bit the dust. Couldn't stand the bangs, the hair on the back of my neck, having to mouse and spray and generally torture my hair, ao yesterday, my hairdresser took it all off. Yep, back to my short, hang-the-head-out-the-car-window-to-dry hair. Freedom. I have no patience for fooling with hair, and I admit, lots of other bits of small stuff. The older I get, the more I want to concentrate on what matters. Hair isn't one of those things, LOL.

When I'm working on a book, however, I'll fool with it 'til the cows come home. I'll spray it with ideas and stick it with words, then pull them out and throw them back in, until it feels right for the story. Getting the story into shape requires patience and persistence, both efforts I'm willing to give the work.

Not hair, however. It's on its own. I wonder about that word, hairdresser. Did it originate in the days when men and women wore elaboratelyl powdered wigs that needed 'dressing?' I'll have to check that out. I might need the information one day for a story. You never know...

Oh, just read Jennifer Archer's Off Her Rocker. I liked it, but I still think her The Me I Used to Be should have won the Rita Award. I'm also re-reading Elaine Pagel's Adam, Eve, and the Serpent. It's been a while since the last reading, and I'm still pulled into it as I read. Lots to think about.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Why Settle?

My husband and I were test driving a car I've been lusting after (well, wanting...) and while it was nice (what a killer of a word), it didn't have everything I wanted on it. In fact, its interior was a color I don't enjoy. Trying to convince myself, I told my husband "Well, I can learn to live with it." He turned to me and said, "Why settle for something less than what you really want?"

Good point and well said. Why do we settle for "almost" there? Service that's barely service. Repair work done in a sloppy manner. Books that have a great opener, then slide downhill from there. We shouldn't settle. I'm a quick writer, which means that once I have the story and characters in my head, I spill them on the page. Going back, I clean up the language, polish, cut, add where I need to, and hopefully pat and shape the story into a firmer mold than that first draft. I can't imagine doing otherwise. When it leaves my hard drive, it's as good as I can make it. Not perfect, and often not what I originally envisioned, but I'm usually exhausted with doing my best to make its final form as good as I can.

As my father always said, if it's worth doing, it's worth doing right.

And as my husband says, why settle?

And to Jeff Burton, congrats on the Dover win. He didn't settle for second this time. What a great race with Matt Kenseth.

Saturday, September 16, 2006


Well, I'm working on a hard scene in Whatever Lola Wants, and my daughter writes me that she wants the next chapters of Saving the Sun God. Yikes. Little does she know she's thrown me for a loop. I get into a book, and it's all I can see. I've been letting Sun God sit so I can read it with distance between it and its creation, and not thinking about it has given me permission to sink into Lola's magic. Now, I'm back to thinking about Sun God. I'm not so sure I do well with two or more projects at once, and heaven knows how I get myself into this mess, but I always do. It's as if the stories refuse to wait quietly in the queue, clawing and climbing over each other instead to take the top spot. I need to tell Sun God to sit quietly in the corner for a bit longer, while I work out the kinks in this crucial scene in Lola, but I'm having a hard time doing it.

Diversions abound, I fear. The ten cup races that remain in the chase. Weekends traveling to the races. Some good movies. Loved "Hollywoodland." "The Illusionist" was perfect. A new Rexanne Bechnal book I just picked up. (Old Boyfriends - what a winner.) Dust bunnies and dog fur all over the office. Parents Weekend at my daughters' schools. Friends. Dates (! Yes!) with my dearest. Empty nesting is like being newly married. I highly recommend it. But the diversions are going to have to go away if I'm actually going to get anything done, LOL.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

What a Race!

If I overdo the exclamation points, I'm sure you'll understand why if you watched the Cup race at RIR on Saturday night. When Kevin Harvick pulled past Kyle Busch on the last lap, I rose to my feet in awe. Busch led most of the last half of the race, but Harvick had the patience of a stalking cat after a vole. Kasey held on for third, getting the job done to get in the Chase, but Harvick was Magic Man that night. The 22 car piloted by Dave Blaney and the 21 with Ken Schrader aboard were both spectacular. Wily veterans both, running for small stables, having mediocre years at the best, they finished in the top seven. I love it when underdogs pull out all the stops and it works!

I'm reading Susan Elizabeth Phillips' AIN'T SHE SWEET? I don't know how I missed it, since DREAM A LITTLE DREAM one of my favorites. The heroine did something (actually, many things) that were unforgivable when she was a teenager, but now she's back in town, fifteen years later, downtrodden but not willing to give up until she does what she needs to do. Her goal is altruistic, but how to show a character who, before the book began, did something so awful the reader cringes while reading about it - that's where the magical Phillips touch is at its peak. If Harvick was the Magic Man on Saturday, SEP is the Magic Woman of women's fiction.

Tomorrow is the day when everyone will be thinking of the Twin Towers in NYC. It sounds very sixties and trite, but what we need is Love to overcome hate. Hatred has no power and can only crumple like a wet paper bag when exposed for the fraud it is by the power of such love.

Monday, September 04, 2006

The Chase is ON!

Wow, did anyone else have a breathless moment when it looked as if Reed Sorenson, the 20 year old Chip Gnassi driver of the #40 car, was going to snatch a win from Kasey Kahne last night at Sonoma? His gas gamble petered out a mile from the finish line, but hey, he threw everything he had into the strategy, and good for him. Still, Kasey had the car to beat, and he deserved the win. But Reed earned my respect.

I like the idea of trying something different. Forget tires, forget pit times, forget riding the low or the high line - get down to basics. Betting it all on a splash of gas was gutsy, and even though Reed looked totally dejected by his 21st place finish, he deserves kudos. He tried the ultimate strategy - did he have enough gas to cross the finish line without a pit stop? Not this time. But I liked his thinking. Go flat out, put it all on the table, don't hold anything back.

That's how I hope to write. Throw it all on the track, don't hold back. If it doesn't work, well, it doesn't work. But I'll have tried.

By the way, the Richmond race this coming weekend promises to be a lulu. Kasey's Big Mo better stick with him if he wants to make the top ten for the Chase. Think of me tailgating and screaming my fool head off at the track. Can't wait!