Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from August, 2016

Deez Nutz Are Moving to Fridays

Magic Nutshell blog posts shall henceforth appear on Fridays.

Don't forget to register for Write on the Red Cedar, now open to the public, featuring Hollywood screenwriter Michael Hauge.


Kindergarten starts next week, y'all.


Also my self-imposed deadline for finishing a complete draft of The Grove of Thorismud is August 31. On that date, I will give my writing group, The Pigasus Pen, whatever half-baked mess I have produced by then so they can speed beta read for me during the first couple weeks of September.

I'll report back the following Friday and every Friday after that.

Also I volunteered to teach K-1 Sunday school at the creedless church where I work the M-F. That's Monday through Friday, folks.


God, I love coffee.


See you on Fridays! Follow me on Twitter for reminders and the poorly filtered thoughts of a deviant church lady.

This Week Cut Like a Diamond

This week, I grieved the death of a friend I used to have, before he retreated from all but his closest loved ones to wrap his final years in privacy. Two of my oldest, dearest friends were with him through his final moments: one at his bedside and another, far away, his voice on her phone so that he could say goodbye.

My memories of him are big smiles, rainbows, and a sunset over Lake Michigan. It's too sappy to be true, but it is. Rest in love, kind soul.

This week, I had my back tooth crown redone and spent a few nights with insomnia headaches.

This week, I got covered in mud head to toe helping my pregnant neighbor with her landscaping while hearing about her cheeky husband's surprise visit to his mother and other relatives in Ghana. Who flies across the Atlantic to sneak up on their mom? A man who sings while he spreads mulch, that's who.

This week, I learned that tiny scraps of kindness are bigger than anything else in life. They are everything, everything, everythin…

The Pillow Book by Sei Shōnagon and History's Walk of Shame

Some things never change, and some things really do. (Eyebrow styles, for example. I bet you I can date the production year of ANY historical film, show, or play based on the actresses' eyebrow shape, which is almost never historically accurate.) I am finding over and over again, as I research history, that when tastes change, historical representations for modern audiences tend to prudishly cover up those juicy, exciting, weird, and wild elements of our material heritage so as not to distract from the hypnotic illusion that people have always been much the same, from one era to the next, so that we can imagine drifting through time and experiencing life in many different centuries, in many different lovely costumes, but with our "natural" standards of beauty and our perfectly groomed eyebrows intact.

This is a dull and traitorous lie.

As I research history and how various fancy-pants people lived in the tenth and eleventh centuries, it is interesting to find those pieces …

Holy Subplots, Batman!

I'm 155 pages into The Grove. Oh, and by the way, that's using Book Antiqua 11 point font, just for sharts and gargles. I'll change it to trusty old Times New Roman 12 point and read and revise it that way before submission. I find that changing the font gives me fresher eyes on the text for proofreading.

This week, while managing mischief for three generations of Miernik ladies, I've also rolled out of bed before the others each morning to rewrite my outline for the rest of the book, slimming down its subplots and tangents considerably. I am a flagrant overwriter, and I've built a world that is teeming with magical flora and fauna and all kinds of people with all kinds of talk-show-level drama. Now that I can imagine two (of my top tier pick) agents hanging over my shoulders like the ghosty personifications of conscience in old-timey cartoons, waiting for this manuscript, I am magically able to wield my editing scimitar to forge a trail that balances scenic ambien…

Mischief Managed

For the next two weeks, we are hosting Nonna! "Nonna" is my infamous mother-in-law, who has recently recovered from a hip replacement and has taken up a new hobby of dating men she's met at a reggae club. Nonna looks a lot like my husband, but with more glitter, hair bleach, and decades of life. She is a rip-roarin' good time.

Nux Gallica and I have been showing Nonna how to stalk people on Facebook, baking cookies from a recipe Nux learned from a Cookie Monster video game, and watching PG-13 movies. Who you gonna call?


We do our family partying in the daytime. At night, Nux and I read a chapter of Harry Potter and go to bed while Nonna puts on her glitter and waits for her bestie, a local judge, to give her a ride to a dive bar for all-night dancing.

Nux and the Mister and I don't party as much as Nonna these days, but we are having friends over, playing inappropriate word-based card games (that really motivate Nux to sound out those letters), and continuing to …