What I Did Over the Summer…(that statement brings back bad memories!)

I haven’t actually posted for the sake of posting in a while, and while I’m waiting for the Sims 3 Create a Pet Demo to download I thought I’d rectify that overstatement.  Well for all the time I haven’t posted anything more than a review, there hasn’t been much going on.  There are some exceptions, and I’ll get to them.  I suppose the title is somewhat inaccurate since the last I really posted was the end of July and Summer Break was a month away from ending for my son.  Still, I’m keeping the title and there’s nothing you can do about it but whine at me, and I’m not a heavy drinker so please, no whine!

Well, changes include me no longer making bags for GBG, at least for the time being.  I just felt I had so much going on, so many balls up in the air that I was dropping them all, so I had to intentionally drop one in order to keep the others somewhat up in the air.  I still drop some though, never was a pro at juggling.  So, no more bags.  I did start looking into figuring out what was wrong with MY sewing machine (the old Singer that used to be late Grandma Brown’s) It was a gear, the timing gear or something.  Don’t look at me like that!  I knew the name when I was searching for and found the gear.  I still need to readjust the timing on the machine, but the gear fits, and works, and it’s B-E-A-UTIFUL!

All those fun projects I love to do had to be put on hold, especially anything that involved sewing, while I was making bags.  I figured, if I had time to sew for fun, I could get more bags done instead.  So I as able to turn to a project I’m still working on, and not going to say anything about, because the person I am going to send it to reads the blog and will know instantly that I’m making it for her if she reads WHAT it is.  I’ve had to hand-sew it for now cause I keep forgetting to call Mary to see if she has time to help me fix it.  I was able to make her two special cupcake candles.  I got really enamored of these things called Diamond Candles http://www.diamondcandles.com/. They are soy candles in a glass jar that has a ring inside.  The ring can be worth $10, $100, $1,000, or $5,000.  Well, I did my own and put a ring inside one of her candles.  That way, she could burn it, get the ring and still have  a candle she could display if she wanted (of course if she wanted to be a pyro and burn it too that’s fine)  She loved it by the way, Here’s how they turned out:

Right now my focus has gone into preparing for a birthday party that will involve over half a dozen kids, so yeah, I’m not gonna stress the machine at the moment.  Which brings me to the Birthday Party.  It will be Super Hero themed.  We sent out invitations that looked like this:

You, of course understand that I must blur the location, to protect the other Super Heroes.  That many would just be too tempting for a villain to pass up!  But I digress.  We will be having quite a few children, and though the weather will be warm, not warm enough for water balloons.  We will still have activities and then there’s going to be the free-for-all that will be 5-7 kids playing together.  I anticipate a tired me by the end of the evening.

And now I’ve drawn a blank…is there anything else coming up? There’s a trip to a convention that we may be going to. I haven’t LARP’ed in so long! Ten M-Fn years!  It will be nice.  We are taking the kids with us, fun fun! Brandon’s going to love it! We’re also going to hit the local zoo.  Lots of fun anticipated!

As one could see, I’ve started reading more.  I’m reading Bloody Bones at the moment, but it feels like it drags until JC gets into the picture.  That could just be me chomping at the bit till his character comes into the story-line.  I just love this book because you see more of JC as a human being, and so does Anita.  It also has the first time she kisses him for no other reason but that she wanted to kiss him! Meep!  From there, I’ll be counting down the pages till I reach the steamy scenes in the next book…and the book after the next book from that, I’ll have to be content with less yummy scenes in Obsidian Butterfly, but then its just uphill from then on! Some people may complain that there’s less and less plot as the stories get more…um…provocative…(yeah that’s the word I’ll use), but they have to admit, she writes good…um provocative scenes.  Besides, with all the lead up to them in the previous books, those of us that don’t mind the more provocative scenes would probably have rioted if she “panned to window” in the first intimate scene in the Killing Dance.

I’m still at the Greenhouse for the time being.  I’ve gotten faster at making arrangements, comes with the practice.  There are still days that those darn things don’t seem to work for me, but others they go so well its shocking!  Like just yesterday, I managed to crank out a $75 arrangement in under fifteen minutes.  Nice!

I’ve been writing, off and on.  I’m tick-tocking between my Modern Fantasy, and my standard Romance.  Events and motivations for Revolution are changing in my head to fit a more believable progression.  Though it’s a bit daunting for the events to change so much, I like that I’m discovering more about my other characters.  If it all gets done, I expect it to be more enjoyable than some migraine inducing literature I’ve had the displeasure to have read.  It’s a pet peeve of mine to read something so totally unbelievable, like the author couldn’t come up with a better reason why something happened, so they just went with whatever their alcohol impaired brain could think of and said “Screw the readers, they’ll believe anything!”  Personally, I’d like to think that someone that’s willing to read my work is going to have a modicum of intelligence, and to disregard them is just insulting.  One of the first lessons in Creative Writing: Your readers are only going to suspend so much belief, but if you as the writer don’t believe what you’re writing, they certainly won’t.  Have you ever read something that seemed tedious to read?  I’ll bet you good money that particular bit of writing was just as tedious for the author to write out.

Likewise, you can tell when a writer is getting lazy.  In a romance that has some paranormal aspects but the characters don’t seem to be coming together like you’d want, a lazy author will cause something like a meddlesome imp or something lock them in a room together, then make cheesy sexual suggestions that would turn most normal people off.  However, an author that actually cares about their work won’t force it, they’ll have the characters come together in a way that is cohesive with their individual personalities.

Bad Characterization is another problem of lazy authors nowadays.  You either get main characters that are so bland and generic that ANYONE could “relate” with them, or you get something so unbelievable like a character that dresses like a dominatrix but is still a virgin, among other “noble” traits that if you sat back and really thought about their history, wouldn’t fit.  I’m not saying that a girl who grew up in a sexually open home wouldn’t be a virgin by the time she reached her twenties, but you have to provide some basis for why she decided to abstain from sexual intercourse.  I’ve known mid-twenty virgins that didn’t have the best family life, their characterization in a book would be far different from what I’ve read in the past. (Wow, went on a rant!  Here comes another!)

And the voice of the author can and will come through.  If they think they’re God’s gift, you can read it in their pretentious use of the English Language, or whatever language they write in I suppose.  I can’t whole-heartedly vouch for other languages though.  I would think that it’d be no different in any language.  It would be more accurate to say they rape the language.  I’ve come across this a few times.  Someone that thinks they are so smart, they use their thesaurus like it’s going out of style, (I know I’ve gone on this rant before, just bear with me, I haven’t blogged in a bit.)  What’s worse, they don’t take into consideration connotation, or proper placement of whatever word they’re using to “enhance” their work.  Take for instance an author wants to change “mean” in the sentences “Haverdy couldn’t believe Tasha was being so mean.  She hadn’t said anything about their fight to anyone, yet Tasha was whispering mean things to their coworkers.” Looking it up they would come up with:


meaning: ungenerous

synonyms: closegreedymercenary, mingy, miserly,niggard, parsimonious, penny-pinching,penuriousrapacious, scrimpy, selfishstingy,tight, tight-fisted

second meaning: hostile, rude

synonyms: bad-tempered, callouscantankerouschurlish,contemptibledangerousdespicabledifficult,dirty*, disagreeable, dishonorable, down*, evil,formidablehard, hard-nosed, ignoble, ill-tempered, infamous, knavish, liverish, lousy*,low-down and dirty, maliciousmalignnasty,perfidious, pesky, rottenroughrugged,scurrilousshameless, sinking, snidesour, the lowest, touchtreacheroustroublesomeugly,unfriendly, unpleasant, unscrupulousvexatious,viciousvile

Now lets replace them using the “I-don’t-give-a” technique “Haverdy couldn’t believe Tasha was being so rapacious.  She hadn’t said anything about their fight to anyone, yet Tasha was whispering perfidious things to their coworkers.” First, the author has probably gone way over their reader’s heads with those choices, and outside of a thesaurus, I doubt the author even used, much less understood those words.  Yes, they work in their definitions (rapacious: aggressively greedy or grasping/perfidious: deceitful and untrustworthy.)  but on top of the fact that most average English-speaking people wouldn’t know what those words mean, rapacious has more of a connotation of monetary greed and not the greed of getting people on her side.  There are cases where a thesaurus would have been a blessed tool in the case of one author that loved the word “chagrined” but like all things in this world, best in moderation, and with some things must be used with caution.  How would I change the sentence? “Haverdy couldn’t believe Tasha was being so hateful.  She hadn’t said anything about their fight to anyone, yet Tasha was whispering malicious things to their coworkers.” You get the idea of what I was trying to say, and you don’t feel like I’m trying to show off my vocabulary.  If I don’t occasionally use a word, I’m not likely to use it in my work.  I try not to repeat the same word over and over though (another basic taught in any creative writing class in college).  If I had a dollar for every time I picked up a thesaurus I wouldn’t have enough money to pay the electric bill, but I do use it from time to very rare time.

Well, this turned into quite a post, and not just about what I’ve done, but ah well!  Likely the next time I post will be for Bloody Bones, rave reviews are in the near horrizon…I do have my hangups about some things in her work, but they don’t happen often.  Anyway, I’m off to read before bed.  Sweet dreams, have a good day, whatever you’re going to do, I hope it’s good!


About Cici Brown
I'm a happily married mother of two and a half. I'm usually pretty bubbly and in some cases, according to my husband, too open about everything. I am and always will be a gamer geek, though I haven't table-top roleplayed for many years. I still manage to hit an MMO or two. My interests include most things geek and Vampire fiction, though not the sparkly kind, that's not vampire fiction. I have goals towards publishing that have yet to be fulfilled but one day...

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