August 28, 2011

Love the little things

So, I've been a little distracted lately. Life has been a little nuts(and by nuts I mean really frustrating), and if you've read my last two posts I'm sure you've noticed.

Sorry bout that.

Snarliness aside, I have had one awesome discovery this past week. It almost makes up for all the times I've had to bite my tongue over the past few days.

Goat yogurt.

Yes, you read that right. I'm an avid yogurt lover, but when I became lactose intolerant, yogurt made me pretty sick. That didn't stop me from wanting to scarf it down, but it did slow me down. So for the past two years I haven't had any. Until this week.

It was amazingly delicious. The only fresh fruit and raw honey could've made it any better. As it was with my refined honey and no fruit....oh YUM.

Unfortunately, I kind of scarfed the whole tub in about 3-4 days(what? it was YUMMY). It makes me sad, but there are plently of the tubs of creamy goodness at the health food store waiting to be bought. The next batch I get, I intend to savor.

In an odd way, it reminds me of the library. You know, minus the price tag and the edible stuff. You find that book and you devour it as fast as you can turn the page. Then you mope a bit because the book was just that good and its over.

And then you find that the author in question has a whole series with the same world and characters! Heaven!

That was how I discovered several authors I love and I can't imagine life without their words on my book shelf. Tamora Pierce, Mercedes Lackey, Patricia Briggs, Robin McKinley, Patricia Wrede, and Brian Jaques...just to name a few. Reading one of their books is like a special treat I can enjoy over and over again.

Its only a small thing in the big rush of life. Kind of like the yogurt. Both, however, are well worth savoring. You never know if you'll find yourself scraping the bottom of the tub tomorrow, or realizing the jerk that broke into your car last night took your favorite book along with your purse.

Love the little things in your life, guys. Take a moment and savor them. You never know when they may no longer be there to enjoy.

~Sun and Moon

August 21, 2011

Win or lose, but play the game

Have you every heard the phrase that "everyone is a winner"?

Well, I hate to burst your bubble, but that's a load of hogwash. Not everyone can be a winner, and it implies that if you're a loser you must suck dirty dishwater to be so bad.

I hate that.

Everyone needs to learn how to lose and these days people don't seem to realize that. The most obvious example I've seen thus far would be a couple schools(mostly for the younger grades) who play their sports with the notion that points don't count, and nobody wins or loses. Now, I get what they're trying to do, but it won't work. No matter that the adults have thrown out the whole winner/loser deal, you can bet the kids are paying attention. And since there are no "winners or losers" they aren't being taught how to lose gracefully or win and be humble about it.

The same thing goes for writing and authors. Rejection is a part of the game we play to reach our dreams. You can "lose" for an average of 5-8 years before getting that "win" of signing with an agent. Then you're back in the game(usually after lots of edits with said agent) and facing more "losses" as you strive for the next "win", and so it goes.

The point?

We need to learn how to lose. It serves so many purposes for us that most people don't even realize. Losing teaches us to grow a thick skin and know that things don't always go according to plan. It keeps us humble, yet hopeful so when that big win does finally come we can truly savor it without making a fool of ourselves. Losing forces us to look at ourselves, find what's holding us back so we can fix it and leave the earth behind as we find our wings to soar.

So the next time someone tells you your book sucks, or you get a rejection, try not to take it so personally. If you can, ask them why they think that and then file it away to consider later. They may have a point, but then again, it may be they just don't like your work. 

It happens.

~Sun and Moon

*Post inspired by Janet Reid. Go check out her blog post on rejection at

August 14, 2011

Research on the fly

When you're a writer, you find lessons in character creation and research in the strangest places. 

A few years ago when the vampire craze was at its thickest, there was a show on tv called Moonlight. It didn't survive past the first season, but it was still pretty popular. So, when I came across it at the library, I decided to take a peek. It was...interesting.

You know those books you pick up that have a really good story line, but only one or two strong characters? Well, that was Moonlight. The male lead, Mick St. John, is a vampire who was changed against his will and wants to be human. Maybe want isn't quite strong enough a word. Its always on his mind and he doesn't care that it means giving up immortality and all the perks of a vampire. He's a very well crafted, strong character and his dialog is spot on for who and what he is. He's a character you can become invested in as the series goes on.

The female lead, on the other hand, doesn't measure up so well. Her name is Beth, and the fact that I don't even remember her last name says a lot to me. She's human(no surprise there), and if she vanished from the series, I wouldn't have mourned her in the least. She starts to shape up later on, but I still wish they'd paid a little more attention to her character when the writers first created her.

The story itself is a good one. With the exception of Beth, who's kind of all over the place, all the characters hold true to who they are. The vampire slant is fresh enough that it keeps you guessing as the story unfolds, and well researched. Last of all, the series keeps your attention.

This is kind of like how I want my books to be. Well, barring the Beth-like characters, anyway. Strong leads, a fresh view on old things, a good story, and no matter what, a world that pulls in my reader so well that they forget to eat lunch because they just want to see how the story ends. I can only hope that my written world won't end as abruptly as Moonlight's did.

For now, however, I still have two more episodes to watch and a chapter to whip into shape. It's been a long week and I'm feeling the urge to indulge.

Also, I just bought some ice cream. Peanut butter n' chip, anyone?

~Sun and Moon

August 7, 2011

I know I came in here for a reason...

Today is sunday, right?

Yeah, that was my thought not five minutes ago as I logged onto Blogger to see what other people were up to today. Actually, that's how the past week has been. Unreal, hazy, and easily forgotten as I pick apart yet another knot in chapter 27.

Yup, that's right. I'm STILL working on it.

Slowly it's starting to come together as I figure out what is too much information for the reader, and what is just enough. That's what happens when you introduce a new character so late in the game and you know everything about her.

Ok, maybe not everything.

Still, this part in the chapter came up and suddenly I knew this person had to be there. She's mentioned several times earlier in the book, but this is the first time she actually makes an appearance. And then, just as suddenly, I knew exactly who she was, and why she might be more then she seemed.

Now I have to convey all that baggage without telling the reader outright. On top of that, I need it to be sad, and tense, and painful all at once. This is not the first time a character has dropped fully formed into my head, but she's the only non-lead character to do so thus far. It's been very interesting to say the least.

And by that, I mean she's being a pain.

Well, I better get back to it. Besides, I have a tall glass of chocolate goat's milk* in the freezer and its calling my name.

~Sun and Moon

*(Don't knock it till you've tried it. I'm lactose intolerant and I hate soy milk and all that fake stuff on the market, so I drink this instead. Goat's milk is rich and yummy, and makes killer chocolate milk. I dare you to give it a try.)