FlashFlood

writing about writing

Welcome

Posted by Flood on June 28, 2006

This blog is serving as a mirror for FlashFlood on blogger until I decide what to do about the technical issues over there that make me insane. If Blogger is working today, come visit.

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I Got Hit 2000 times…

Posted by Flood on June 27, 2006

…and I loved it.

FlashFlood’s 2000th visitor, Mitch, doesn’t actually win anything but my recognition in this post.

Congratulations, Mitch!

I’ve decided I’m not going to worry about numbers anymore until visitor 10,000 approaches. Ok, maybe 5000.

FF is getting some new visitors as a result of the Midnight Road contest and I would like to take a minute to explain the purpose of the Monday interviews while they pop in.

I’ve thought about how I will know that I made it, and decided my first interview would be a major milestone. I’ve fantasized about it, had the entire conversation in my head and written portions of it out. It’s a fun little visual for me to keep motivated when I’m feeling low.

I figured that if I was thinking this way, other people might be thinking the same thing, so I posted about interviewing writers who blog, who are on their way to their goals. I roped in some readers to be subjects and here we are. While it’s a fun exercise that appeals to the inner kid, each of us has something to offer the rest of the group and there’s always something to take with you and use in your writing career.

Because writers at any stage of publication are interesting, we’ll sit down newly published, the very near published, and those taking baby-steps. I hope you’ll join us.

There are links in the side bar to the interviews you might have missed. If you would like to participate as a subject, feel free to email me. Tomorrow is Monday and that means a new interview. Forrest Landry from For The Trees shares his thoughts on POD and his writing journey. Don’t miss it. While some of us have issues with print-on-demand, I think you will still find Forrest’s reasons of some interest. When it comes to writing we all have to ask ourselves, Why am I doing this? Forrest will be fielding questions and comments tomorrow as well.

Hope to see you then.

Posted in Blogging, Interviews, Writing | 1 Comment »

Friday Round-Up

Posted by Flood on June 27, 2006

Busy with life, busy perusing entries in the Midnight Road Contest, busy with interviews. Thanks again to Scott, who gave us more than a good interview, but a motto with which to achieve my writing goals.

On Monday, we visit with Forrest Landry of For the Trees. He has some interesting points to make about Print-On-Demand publishing and why he uses it. I am hoping for some lively discussion based on his thoughts. I’ve been having a lot of fun interviewing “gonna-be’s,” as Bernita has referred to them. I want a turn too, so I am collecting your questions for me here. If I get enough interest, I’ll be able to have a freebie entry someday when I can’t think of anything to write.

If you have been a fan of the wildly popular Wandering Scribe, (whose book is due out in early 2007,) you may be interested in this article, about other homeless bloggers. (Scroll down)

This series of photos on Flickr, depicting a library giving up and lying down cracked me up.

Wetpaint helps you create “free click-and-type websites you can share with like-minded people.”

That’s why we created Wetpaint. Yes, blogs make online publishing easy — but blogs are monologues. And forums are great for question and answers, but they’re too hard to search. And wikis allow the reader to become the writer, editor and fact-checker, but they’re just too darn hard to use for the average person. Wetpaint is different. With Wetpaint, anyone with a passion can create an entirely new website and invite others to help them build it. And it’s easy — adding to a Wetpaint site is as simple as click and type. No, Wetpaint won’t cure cancer. But it will most certainly make it easier for anyone to share ideas, trade stories, and find people who are passionate about the same things you are. So try it, have fun, and let us know what you think.

If you have a passion for a certain subject, this might be a great tool for you.

Fringes continues her reviews of the latest SmokeLong Quarterly. If you are considering starting your own series of related posts, Lorelle has some technical tips for you.

If you haven’t yet, check out the new lit ezine Picolata Review. Jamie Ford and Jeff Neale, among others, have fantastic stories in the inaugural issue.

Horror writers, don’t forget about the 3rd Tastes of Darkness Carnival. Submissions due June 28. 1 and 2 are available to read now. Thanks to Melly for the reminder.

That’s it! Have a great weekend.

Posted in Blogging, Contests, Flash Fiction, Interviews, Writing | Leave a Comment »

Game Thursday

Posted by Flood on June 23, 2006

Hush little baby don't say a word

Mama's gonna to buy you a mockingbird

and if that mockingbird don't sing

Mama's gonna to buy you a diamond ring

and if that diamond ring turns brass

Mama's gonna to buy you a looking glass

and if that looking glass gets broke

Mama's gonna to buy you a billy goat

and if that billy goat won't pull

Mama's gonna to buy you a cart and bull

and if that cart and bull turn o'er

Mama's gonna to buy you a dog named rover

and if that dog named Rover won't bark

Mama's gonna to buy you a horse and cart

and if that horse and cart get stuck

Mama's gonna by you a rubber duck

Your turn.

Posted in Game Thursday | 1 Comment »

The Write Drive

Posted by Flood on June 23, 2006

I don't know how to drive.

I don't mean that I drive poorly, I mean that I never learned to drive. It's a big confession for a grown woman to make. I am embarrassed when it comes up at gatherings becoming the focus of conversation.

"You should know by now!"

"Better learn before the kids do, ho, ho, ho!"

"How do you get around?"

"Easy way to get out of doing groceries."

What I usually do in those situations is get drunk and act like an idiot, making everyone thank God that I don't drive. Works like a charm.

We married poor, so we didn't have a car for a while. By the time we got one, I came to fear driving. We are on our fourth car, now, a soccer mom's dream. White van, with sliding side doors on both sides, dvd player, fully loaded, as they say, but I have no idea what that means. I've sat in the driver's seat and felt very small. It becomes completely out of context to me. It's like sitting all year in your desk in elementary school, and trying the teachers desk out. All perspective and familiarity is lost.

My neighbourhood is a blessing for walkers. Grocer, doctor's office, pub, parks, tennis courts, schools – all nearby. I can be anywhere in in my part of the world within half an hour, at most. Most trips, though, only take about a half hour to complete. At this point, I think the only thing that is going to get me driving is getting out of my comfort zone and becoming acquainted with a new part of the world.

So it is for writing. I've started very small, flash here and there, and I keep my big project a closely guarded secret. Just like I hate telling people that I am not sure I know the gas from the brake pedal, I hate admitting that I have no idea what I am doing with my book. I worry that I'm going to become complacent about doing flash and short stories and never test drive the car into an agent's office. I'm a quitter, a ruiner, a pessimist, sometimes and I disappoint myself.

I'm a creative person by nature. My spirit/chi/soul/call-it-what-you-will is begging to be heard. Who am I to let it down? These are the things I am going to do to help me help myself:

  • continue submitting short pieces out into the ether
  • make a concerted effort to get a rejection this year (from a mag or an anthology or something that uses paper)
  • keep writing the book
  • write daily, I don't care if it is a grocery list
  • adopt Little Puddle's joie de l'écriture
  • search blogs and websites to read about people who are close to making it
  • find a writing partner who is honest and articulate
  • ignore any writerly angst that threatens my mission

I meant it when I said that Scott's dare to suck idea is going to be my motto. I can't win if I don't drive. You will probably see me make lots of moving violations on the way. (I have read the driver's handbook. 6 times. I hate non-fiction.) When you do, give me a little help, huh?

Most of the people who read this blog are yet to be published. I know it's your goal, so I want to find out what your baby-steps are to getting out there. We are all at different levels, so your plans could help the rest of us. What works, what doesn't, how are you going to get to the finish line?

Posted in Personal Thoughts, Writing | 1 Comment »

Stories and Friends

Posted by Flood on June 23, 2006

I'll remind you again on Friday's Round-Up, but Jason Evans (The Clarity of Night) is hosting another contest, with great prizes and a new theme. It begins on Wednesday, so get your thinking caps on and your pencils ready because it's going to be fun.

I just started this blog a few days before Jason's last contest and that was where I came to know some of you who read FlashFlood each day. That's why I feel compelled to tell all of you that whether you enter a story or not, you should pay attention to those who do. Someone will write something that resonates with you. Someone's work will speak to you. Discussions in the comments of each entry will peak your interest in someone else. In one event, you could come out with at least one or two loyal new readers, and someone new to visit as you make your blogging rounds each day. When you look at it that way, everyone wins.

If this is your first contest, like Two Lights was mine, I wish you the best of luck. I took great pride out of finding the courage to submit something. It was the stepping stone I needed to get out there and dare to suck.

As I approach my two month anniversary of blogging, I can see how the blog is changing. My original intentions grew into something else. I like where it's going. I feel like part of the community. I enjoy visiting you in your space each day and I am pleased to know you like coming to mine. Thank you. A note to new readers: if I have neglected to put you on my blogroll, please let me know. I've tried to keep up to date but I feel like I am missing someone.

Posted in Contests, Writing | 1 Comment »

Hard to Want – The Interview

Posted by Flood on June 23, 2006

This week we sit down with Scott, author of the blog Hard To Want. Anyone who has read his entries can tell you he shares a lot of himself each day. A creative person in many a medium, Scott discusses his writing journey, and other vehicles of expression.

Thanks for agreeing to meet with us. You look great.

This old thing? Stop! I'm blushing.

When and why did you start writing with publishing in mind?

That is a good question. Probably when I was in eighth grade. Our school sponsored a writing contest. The winners of each grade were sent to Seattle for a writer's conference. I tied with a girl in my grade so the seventh graders got the shaft. I knew I wanted to be a published author then, but I never wrote another serious word until I rediscovered my passion over thirty years later.

What do you love and hate about it?

The worst part of writing is the ominous, soul-sucking void of the blank page. The best part is that first line, like the deft touch of an avaricious and tantalizing lover.

Ha. The brooding writer poetically rears his ugly head. You seem to love writing in images.

I'm trying to master the art of metaphor. My wife-editor pares them out of my writing ruthlessly.

What is your genre?

I'm still trying to figure that one out. The hardest part of being a writer for me is deciding just exactly what to write about. When I was kid, time travel fascinated me. And thus my eighth grade story focused around a child who goes back in time to save his father from an untimely demise. But today I am not so sure. A blogger friend of mine, Melinda Jane Harrington, has been helping me in my writing by trying to determine this very thing. And so I've been reading. I seem to have lost my appetite for fantasy worlds–you can thank Robert Jordan for that. In my early days I read Tolkien, Herbert, and any book with a dragon or wizard on the cover. I've toyed with the idea of being the next John Hughes, who practically created the high school genre. No matter my initial intention, however, my mind strolls down that old familiar avenue.

I've found your work to have dark themes, at the very least.

When I was a boy, my father packed up our family and fled from his creditors–the kind that send your wife's finger in a box as motivation to pay up. Normally you have to divide everything my father says by a bullshit factor of four, but on this I believe him. He made me tell my friends we moved to California to create a false trail, and I was forbidden any contact. I've written extensively about my father on my blog. I suppose it's no wonder that my characters are dark and edgy.

Fight Club is an example of a story I wish I had written, ditto the Ninth Configuration. The movie Memento floored me, the same with the early Tarantino stories–True Romance, Reservoir Dogs and of course Pulp Fiction. You can see that influence in my short stories–gritty characters, shuffled time sequences, fathers and sons.

Have you given any consideration to writing screenplays?

I've given it considerable thought. My thinking right now, if you will forgive the cliché, is to walk before I run.

Sometimes I worry my work reads more like a script than a story. Ever feel like that?

Not really. In fact, sometimes I think stories could benefit from thinking in terms of a script, providing visual cues to pull the reader into the fictive dream.

Tell us about your writing process. Do you have rituals?

I have a pen in my back yard where I keep goats for ritual sacrifice to the writing gods. I went through a dozen in writing my most recent story. It usually takes two or three just to get started.

Your kids must love that!

You know the old adage: The family that slays together stays together.

My ritual is to come into work early, choke out a blog entry, reply to the responders of my previous day's effort, cruise everyone's blogs, then start doing work work when my office mates roll in around ten-ish. Then I pack the laptop, call in a sandwich, pick it up, go to Starbucks and tap keys on an actual story for half an hour. It's amazing I get anything done at all. Any other time I spend writing is late at night after the kids have gone to bed.

Do you do any writing by hand?

That would be a novel concept. The problem is that I can't read my writing later.

Chicken scrawls, eh? Do you know the story from beginning to end before you begin?

I'd like to say so, but that isn't always true. Sometimes I wake up with a bad feeling and rush it to print, letting it form itself. Sometimes I think of a killer ending and work backwards. Sometimes I know how it starts and how it ends. Most of the time I know nothing at all, and pray like a Hindu atop a mountain peak for inspiration. My recent effort was by the seat of my pants. I got tired of waiting for the whole thing to make sense and just foraged ahead.

Why did you start blogging?

My creative writing teacher at Solano Community College, Dr. Laurie Duesing, forced us to keep a journal. I wasn't keeping up. Then class ended and nobody was around to make me do it. So I started the blog as a means to keep writing. My first inclination was to write about all the shitty things I did to people over the years, in perfect anonymity. What I found from my readers was quite the opposite of what I expected.

What is your blogging style?

I'd like to say there is a theme, but there really isn't. I do whatever moves me in the moment. I blog five times a week if I can find it within me, but sometimes I'm emptier than a gutted fish. But overall, my blog is my creative outlet. Lately it's been about my journey, and a place to get critical feedback and support.

I can tell it's a haven for you. Do you have an inner editor that drives you mad?

Not one that drives me mad, but one that doesn't cooperate with the conventional wisdom of write first, edit later. I tend to belabor over introductory paragraphs. For now though, I'm good with that. We all have our own style.

What is your favourite entry on your blog?

My memories are slowly fading, as new ones replace the old. Going back through my archives sometimes yields a pleasant surprise. This is a very short piece I wrote, when Mrs. T. was my only reader.

What do you enjoy most about blogging?

The connection. Those moments when you've written something that have touched someone else profoundly. And of course there is always the reverse. I remember a post from my inestimable friend Mr. Schprock called A Little God Talk that really struck a chord with me. After our exchange in that post, I hoped sincerely that he and I would be friends. In the blogosphere there is a connection that transcends all social boundaries. We get to know one another on another level on our own terms, dispensing personal information at our own pace.

What advice do you have for new writers? New bloggers? For new writers?

That's easy. Write. And write often. Write about what you know, which is a lot more than you think. The most successful writers make great witnesses at the scene of a crime. They see everything. And they're honest. In Tobias Wolff's Old School, Ernest Hemingway advised that true writing is bound to piss somebody off. I say shed your metaphorical clothing and skinny dip. Tell it like it is, especially if it would embarrass your subject–even if that subject is you. You'll be surprised at how alone you are not.

For new bloggers I would add this. If you don't like who you are, then try a new hat for size. Out here, there is no better place to start. Find other bloggers whose vibrations give you a cool gentle buzz and let them know. If they feel it too, then you've made a new friend.

That is so true. After I read Hard Love on Jason Evans' Two Lights contest, I knew I had check out your blog.

You will find the theme of Hard Love scattered throughout the archives of my blog. Hard Love is fictional only in sequence. My step-mother actually told me once that it was hard to love me, but that she had managed it despite. How magnanimous. Hmmm.

Hard to love, hard to want…

Did something click just now? Why "Hard To Want"?

The title comes from an old Andrew Dice Clay line, "I don't play hard to get, I play hard to want." He wasn't kidding. Most jokes have an anchor in reality. I found myself in a repeating pattern, be it with women I found interesting or with boys I wanted to be friends with. My childhood was all about transition. I had three step-mothers. The first was a beater and a hater, the second was dad's barroom boy toy, and the third was white trash–and so were we for that matter–with a foul mouth and a fiery temper. The only love I knew came in the form of apologies after violent outbursts, and the occasional summer trip to see my real mom, whose expression of affection was a set of keys and lavish gifts, but never what I really needed. I had trouble in every school I attended. My need was clear, and so I sifted to the lower ranks. And I resented it. I became increasingly angry with my life, and angry with a world that didn't love me as much as I deserved. Quite the opposite. As I progressed through high school, the in crowd acquired a disdain for me that gained traction. Or so I believed. My whole identity was wrapped by the disregard of an elite few. The friends I did have and the girls that showed an interest in me I regarded with suspicion. Who could love someone like me? I did what I could to get rid of anyone who tried to get close. For the most part I was successful. I was literally hard to want.

Whose blog do you use most as a writing resource?

I'm sorry to say that I don't really have a blog I use as a writing resource. I've only just begun my writers journey in earnest and haven't given publishing a serious thought. For now, I'm only interested in becoming a better writer. My constant companion when writing anything is Dictionary.com, and its bookend Thesaurus.com. I've found some interesting links on your own blog lately, as you seem to be tapped in to a larger world than I am currently.

What blogger would you like know more about?

There is more than one, and I don't want to play favorites. But I will choose Mr. Schprock. He has a radiance that shines in his writings. Lately he has started his own comic strip called The Schprocks, that showcases his wit and artistic flare. I am quite sure that someday he will be published in some form or another. He has a loyal following that adores him, myself among them. What he decides to do is completely up to him. Schprock is also very supportive of you and your work. His opinion is very important to me. I sent him Damned Carnival before I sent it to Deathlings, to which he offered constructive criticism along with aplause. It's crucial for writers to have someone who isn't afraid to point out the parts that don't work.

Who else in your life most supports your writing?

My wife. And that is asking a lot from a woman who manages our life at home with two high-maintenance boys and a fecal-brained puppy. At the end of a work day she needs a break. I have to give special mention to my friend Toni from my writers group in California, whose belief in my ability may even eclipse my wife's. She always tells me that I will not be a writer someday. I already am.

I agree. The simple act of putting pen to paper with the intention of asking one reader to suspend reality makes you a writer. I like to think that it's more than that. A writer is a complex combination of introspection and angst, with an ability to make it known. A writer assures us that we are not alone.

Scott, you use your blog to work through personal issues as well your writing struggles. You've been very naked in your emotions. Has that been cathartic for you?

My blog saves me a fortune in therapy. In my early days, I took some vicious swipes at my mother and father, and at my family during the events surrounding my mothers funeral. I liken the experience to shouting into a paper bag, or Dumbledore's Pensieve.

Do you currently have a major project?

No. I haven't started working on a novel length work just yet. I have a few ideas, but nothing strong enough to support such a large effort. I am content to study the works of those I admire, to overload the dam until it bursts. There is so much for me to learn. When I hit the ground, my feet will be a blur. There is a world of turmoil whistling steam from my ears.

You have a great sense of humour and quirkiness, while still coming across as caring and sensitive. One minute you could be making poopy jokes, the next you tell of a moving scene in your family.

Like I said, I write about whatever is on my mind at the time. I have two young kids–and boys to boot–and men never really grow up. Poop = Funny as Phil Harman's Ed McMahon would say. My blog doesn't require one of those mood meters you sometimes see. Just read the post and you will know. I am reflective, and the mind wanders across the years, searching for the answers to the riddle of me.

You do such a great job of expressing daily goings on.

That's nice of you to say. Some days are better than others. I try to frame everything as a story that has history and resolution, and sometimes I leave off and let the reader guess. In other words, I try to make it interesting. There is an art to non-fiction.

Anything can be interesting if written well.

The trick is finding the right camera angle.

You've recently declared Tobias Wolff your favourite author.

We all have our muse. I've been listening to Old School on audio for the fourth time now. You have to understand that this has never happened to me before. He's teaching me how to breath in a single moment of time, how to put words to my thoughts. We are not exactly the same kind of person, he and I. He is a studied master of the classics, of that there is no doubt. While I was reading Stephen King, he was studying Hemingway and Frost. But still, on a human level we are so much alike. He writes about time spent at school with such vivid clarity that I am humbled. The most important lesson I am learning from him is to paint with a smaller brush, one that can get into the corners without crossing the edge. I tend to rush to the end, like a boy with his first lover. Wolff's characters are achingly real, and so believable.

What else inspires you or makes you want to write?

Any great movie. Most recently I was stunned by Match Point, written and directed by Woody Allen. He normally doesn't inspire so much as a rental, but my wife slipped this one into the Netflix queue. I didn't know the movie was his until the opening credits. Groan! The ending was so amazing. Woody Allen basically had his way with my emotions. He played me like an instrument, and made me root for a despicable character. I was stretched and released, pounded and pulled. When it was over, the bar had been set to an impossible height.

Late last year, you attended a writer's workshop.

Would you recommend that sort of thing to other writers? I would highly recommend any kind of public forum to share your writing. I took a creative writing course a couple years back, where I presented a short story called the Tin Man. The ending had a twist, revealing the purpose of the title. I didn't need to look at the last line to read it. It was memorized. I watched the faces of my classmates as I recited. The payoff was the Oh! face I inflicted upon a young woman in my class, who nodded with satisfaction. I'll never forget it.

You are also a bit of an artist.

Here is a picture I drew a while back. This is not Pluto by the way, although he most likely served as inspiration. I drew this from an instructional book, and surprised myself to even come close to the original artist's rendition. Cartoons like this one are composed of basic shapes. The torso is just a lima bean, the head two circles like a snowman, the eyes are eggs, and the feet some other shape whose name I can't remember. You could say I'm a pragmatist. If there is a step-by-step method, there's a good chance I can learn it.

You've recently entered another contest?

Thank you by the way for turning me on to deathlings.com. I wouldn't have finished Damned Carnival without that goal set ahead of me. This contest was a particular challenge, to finish a story whose ending I could not envision. It was an evolutionary process, a story that came to life by filling in details of previously written the sections. It's hard to explain. Before, I always knew where I was going. Because of that need to know it all up front, I was intimidated from writing larger pieces. Now I am writing another short story, and may even submit this to the next contest on deathlings.com, if they ever acknowledge receipt of my first. It was only a nascent feeling, a germinal thought, and it feels good to flounder. I wouldn't have bothered to start before; and I have Damned Carnival to thank.

You once wrote that you should 'dare to suck.' I've adopted that as my personal mantra.

I can't tell you how proud I am to have inspired such that you would turn a random utterance of mine into a way of life. That hearkens back to that whole connection thing I was talking about earlier. But the advice is sound. Fear of failure prevents most people from getting up in the morning, much less to put themselves in a position to be judged. It can be paralyzing. Some writers would sooner die than let you read a single word of their writing. Daring to suck allowed me to start on the journey without Mapquest. I suppose I've always had a bit of a thick skin. Not that I like criticism. On the contrary. But I can take it. I was in a country band called Silver Spur years ago in California. Daring to suck got me up on stage–and kept me there I should add.

What do you play?

I played rhythm guitar and sang part time lead, harmonies for the rest. I have a low range, doing much better with old country than with vocally gifted talents like Vince Gill and Garth Brooks. That never stopped me from trying though. Many times I found myself reaching on stage for songs I couldn't even sing in the shower. Something about the bright lights induced my sincerest effort. It's interesting how writers have a tendency to be all-around creative people.

What's next for you?

Who can say for sure? I can't. Even if I ventured a guess, a warm current of wind could sweep me in a totally different direction. I tend to live life on a whim. I'm not a spiritual man per se, but sometimes I believe in the causality of what happens before me. I saw a music store the other day and wandered in, and met a man who teaches country-style guitar, mandolin, pedal-steel and Dobro. Wow. I've been thinking about picking it back up lately… The one constant though, no matter where life leads me, will be my writing. Come what may, I will be published some day. Maybe that is why we met.

Scott, thank you for opening up today. I think readers will see some of themselves in your thoughts.

If that's true, then they should be scared. Very scared! Thanks for having me, Flood. This has been a introspective experience for me, similar to my early days of blogging. Invite me to talk about myself any time.

*

Next Week: Forrest Landry

Weekly, FlashFlood interviews writers who blog. Any writer at any stage of publication is interesting. If you would like to know more about your favourite blogger or want to be interviewed yourself, email me.

Posted in Interviews | 1 Comment »

On a Personal Note

Posted by Flood on June 23, 2006

We scandalized a lot of people when we got married because we were so young. We've scandalized more since, because we've outlasted a lot of them. The way the world works now though, most people aren't grown up at eighteen, so we had to finish raising each other. Mr. was kinda like my father in a lot of ways, even though he will tell you several times in one conversation that he is younger than me by seven months.

Now he is a real dad to four very real children, the eldest of whom just informed me that he bought his father candy for Father's Day. I asked him why, meaning why that candy. Misunderstanding, the boy answered, "Because I got in trouble for only writing Happy Mother's Day on a piece of paper for you." Laugh if you must, I am just going to quietly rejoice at the fact he listened to something his dad said. His dad will be happy that the kid actually parted with his money and spent it on someone else.

Little Puddle of course, has come up with some lovely poetry for her father, as they have been spending quite a bit of time wooing each other of late. Mr. has taken the theory that girls fall in love with their fathers before any other man quite to heart, taking her out for milkshakes and advising on the evils of boys. On Valentine's Day he remembers her with a small bouquet of wildflowers and she gives him a Toblerone bar at Christmas on the sly, so that she will be his favourite. Don't tell her that he told all the other kids to do the same thing.

Of the littlest two children (aged three and four), it will be the first Father's Day celebration for the girl. Like her year older brother, she wants to know if they will get presents today and when they will be having cake. Adoption has made Mr. a better parent in many ways. He tries harder to be empathetic. There is a large gap between two sets of children in our family and he wants to correct his errors in raising the older two. I think Little Puddle and her older brother are turning out great, but Mr. worries. Did I miss something? I was I too hard? Too soft? Could I have done something different or better?

Yesterday at dinner, our youngest boy, four, explained to us that he was going to be a Daddy when he grew up. "I am going to work in a castle," he said, "and drive a white van! Just like Daddy!" The admiration he has for his father should be proof enough that Mr. is doing something right.

My relationship with my father is strained at best. I didn't meet him until I was 15 years old, so we still spend our time trying to get to know each other and avoiding any discussion about how we feel. I never want our kids to feel like that. I want them to know every mistake we made, every misunderstanding, every time they thought we were too strict, it was out of love and terror.

I want Mr. to know, if he reads this, that I would hate life without him. He makes my existence easier and more comfortable. Because of him, I am a better person. I love our vision of the future us. I love the present us and I am grateful for our past. Happy Father's Day, Mr. From all of us.

 

Posted in Personal Thoughts | 1 Comment »

Friday Round-Up

Posted by Flood on June 23, 2006

Bernita's interview was another success. Thanks once again to her for being a great subject. I've added a link in the sidebar that lists all the interviews in the series, so if you ever miss one you can catch up. You'll note that Little Puddle's interview is listed there as well. When I started the series, she asked me for an interview right away. "I promise to dress up and use the biggest words I know," she said. She didn't actually dress up, but her words are pretty good. Melly spent Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday sharing her editing process and compiled a list of writerly traps we all fall into. Look for your errors and add your own. We can always benefit from knowing what mistakes to look for in our work. First Drafts is a group blog to get the writing juices flowing. I've recently become a member, but have yet to post. Their explanation:

First Drafts is a collaborative blog aimed at providing writers with a place to share their work on any subject they like. (Near-) daily writing prompts are emailed to you to provide guidance or inspiration.

Thanks to Writing Blind for the link. For those of you that enjoy Flash Fiction, Fringes found SmokeLong's latest edition interesting. Their Link page provides a huge repository of e-zines, if you are looking for somewhere to submit. Whim's Place offers contest tips in Flash Fiction 101 but I think some of these points could apply to e-zines as well. Speaking of contests, I would like to again plug Sally Q's excellent Contest Calendar. That's where I found the deathlings.com contest to which I referred Scott, from Hard to Want. Scott's interview will be posted on Monday, don't miss it. For those writing with the intention of selling your work (I think we all hope do that one day), Cavan's thoughts on writing for markets or finding a market to suit your work could be of interest. Is there more integrity in doing one or the other? Let him know what you think. Finally, a round-up just wouldn't be a round-up without Lorelle From WordPress. This week she explains how to look at our stats relative to posting schedules. If you don't get weekly stat reports in your inbox, you should. That information can influence how you gain readers and comments if used well. I'm going to spend some time deciphering my own stats, based on Lorelle's theories. No matter how long you have been blogging, you can always do something improve. That's it! Have a great weekend.

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Game Thursday

Posted by Flood on June 23, 2006

Today's game will be entirely in dialogue. Haloscan was a little nutty yesterday, so try to be gentle with it. In this game, John and Martha are speaking. You must give one line to each. Nothing outside of the quotations marks except he said or she retorted (for example) is permitted. Always identify who is talking. Play now and play often. We'll try to keep it cohesive, but who knows what fresh hell will befall us today. I wanted to do a mad lib this week but I can't think of a way to play it on the blog. Here's a place to make your own. Let us know if you come up with a good one, by posting a link in comments. I will now begin the dialogue for John and Martha. *ahem* "John, dear. Would you be kind enough to pass the salt, darling?" Martha asked. "Get your own damn salt, woman," John yelled. ….and we're off….

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