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Showing posts from June, 2010

Cinders by Michelle Davidson Argyle and other fractured fairy tales

Good news! This summer, Michelle Davidson Argyle, a.k.a. Lady Glamis, is releasing a post-ever-after Cinderella story in the form of a novella called Cinders. Here is the trailer:

Michelle intended this piece for self-publication from the beginning, for a few good reasons. But it is clearly an exception to the assumption that traditionally published works are better. I was lucky enough to have a chance to read this book in draft, and it's an exciting, whimsical story that outshines most of the high-profile novels I pick up casually at bookstores. This is truly a professionally crafted, inspired read that I look forward to placing on my bookshelf.

Speaking of other novels, not to be a snob, but these days I feel like browsing the fiction section is like thrift store shopping. It takes time to wade through all the garbage to find something good. Frankly, I trust fellow readers with a taste for good literature more than I trust bestseller lists when it comes to quality and interest.…

Traveling while Pregnant

Writing is essentially a work-from-home job... unless you haven't "made it" yet. Until then, there are conferences and networking events that can be helpful to attend, and even after publication, travel is often necessary to promote a book release. And for those of us who still need to work our day jobs before breaking into the world of authorship, commuting remains an inconvenient reality.

And I just found out HOW inconvenient travel can be while pregnant.

Last night, I returned from a three-day journey to the faraway land of Minneapolis. I thought this would be an easy, short trip, so I had no objection to going even after I found out I was pregnant. I guess I should have set aside my blissed-out pregnancy hormones and considered all the stuff than can (and often does) go wrong during travel.

I was prepared for some of the situations that arose, but not all. So here is what I learned about traveling while pregnant--much of which also applies to traveling with childre…

A Nut in the Shell!

It's now obvious: I've got a nut in the shell! Mr. G and I are happy, excited, and terrified. Mostly happy. I'm nearing the end of my first trimester, and we have already heard a strong heartbeat at the OB's office. Our little family is growing!

From now on, this blog will continue to focus on writing, but it will also discuss a writing parent's juggling act of family, work, and personal wellness. In my opinion, all three aspects of a writer's life must be healthy for the good of the others.

Notice I didn't include "fun" in that trio. That's because writing parents don't have time for fun.

Heh, just kidding! I think...

Anyway, pregnancy so far has made me feel tired and preoccupied enough that I have been taking a break from working on my novel. But this event has also given me a sense of urgency to complete as much as I can before the birth, when I will certainly have less time to devote to writing.

So, I'm waiting patiently for th…

Canless Tuna Noodle Casserole

Tuna noodle casserole is one of my favorite meals! It's one of those love-it-or-hate-it things. I understand that some people find tuna repulsive, but I am a strange sort of person who loves it even though I don't like other kinds of fish.

Tuna is a good way to get omega-3s, but it's also a risk for mercury contamination and BPA. Mercury levels are lower in chunk light tuna, so I'm eating it occasionally. Getting enough of the good stuff is just as important as avoiding the bad stuff.

But I'm very concerned about the prevalence of BPA in everything and trying to minimize my exposure. BPA is in the lining of just about any canned food, and tuna noodle casserole usually contains several ingredients from cans. So I was very pleased with myself when I came up with a recipe that doesn't use any cans.

My "live-in chef" (who is currently making homemade pizza as I blog... Mmm, roommates with cooking skills!) suggested substituting a homemade white sauce fo…

Paraben and Fragrance Free Lotion

I am trying to feed Baby G lots of nutrients and also protect her/him from teratogens as much as possible, so I've been on the lookout for safe bath and beauty products. Some things I'm just doing without, because I don't really need them anyway--like hair dye. I know there is not enough research to "prove" that hair dye is harmful, but that's not the same as there being studies showing conclusively that it is NOT harmful. Besides, many studies only look at birth defects that are immediately apparent, not DNA, hormonal, and endocrine effects that will cause the child problems later in life. I'm not going to worry about every little thing, but if I don't need something, and it gives off fumes or isn't safe to eat, I'll skip it.

Of course, we can't avoid all toxins in the environment, but we can minimize exposure. Two things I'm trying to avoid on product labels are parabens (which mimic estrogen in the body and can make girls develop se…

Notes from Underground contest at the Literary Lab

Dostoevsky's Notes from Underground was one of my favorite reads as a teenager, and the Literary Lab is one of my favorite writing blogs. So how beautiful and sublime that the Lit Lab is holding a free-form writing contest inspired by Dostoevsky's rambling work!

Click the button in my sidebar to learn more and participate. The 25 winners will be guaranteed 10 pages in a self-pubbed book that the Lit Lab will compile, design, and make available for sale.

WARNING: This is a loose, anarchic sort of project dangerously lacking in rules and guidelines. This can be terrifying for some. Dostoevsky writes in his Notes, "Go on, try it. Give us, for example, a little more independence; untie the hands of any one of us, broaden our sphere of activity, relax the controls, and... I can assure you, we'll immediately ask to have the controls reinstated."

Enter if you dare!

2010 Second Quarter Review

It's halfway through the year already! Does anybody else remember your New Year's Resolutions? I only do because I posted them on my blog here to help keep me on track. Today, I'll look at how I'm doing compared to my first quarter review a few months ago.  At that time, my unresolved resolutions were:

1. Complete and edit the first draft(which comes after the '09 NaNoWriMo sketch) of Sleeping Beauty and the Beast of Vepreskastel. Revise the manuscript with the help of local writers' groups and conferences until it is ready to submit to agents. While waiting for rejection letters, continue working on another unfinished novel, ROSALINA'S DRAGON. Continue to fantasize about seeing my stories in print, on bookstore shelves.

Status: In progress. Ahem. I don't want to sound like a whiner, but life has gotten in the way of my progress a bit. I'm still moving forward on Sleeping Beauty and the Beast of Vepreskastel, just slower than I had hoped. I have…