I Didn’t Know Blue Jays were Carnivores

But I almost got a picture of one eating another bird today. I was going to use it to illustrate a point about certain “celebrities” in Salem. Then I realized that would push the tone of this blog into darker regions, even if I’ve never been known as a bright and sunny figure even on my best day.

Oh well.

John is going to New Hampshire to see flowers and I’ll be at home with Dickens. That gives me plenty of reason not to waste another day of not writing. But there are games to play and shows to watch. What do I do?


Finish the fairy tale today. At least, the wordy part. Finish another project today. Do those things and I’ll have my non-carnivorous treat as a reward. (Maybe even a frozen pizza, who knows? The day is young.)

Reality Show Competitors

Here’s are some questions for all of you, faithful readers. It involves reality shows. (Please, don’t respond with, “I don’t watch reality shows.” If you don’t watch them, the question isn’t relevant to you.) More specifically it involves reality shows that feature a competition  (Also, I don’t need a lecture about how reality shows work or the competitions with a reality show format as I have already watched that episode of Adam Ruins Everything.).

I ask because John and I have been watching RuPaul’s drag race. And honestly, I couldn’t tell you who was who six episodes ago because I was only maybe attached to about five of the competitors who are not currently in the top five (Although I did find myself identifying with Nina Bonina Brown and was kind of sad to see her go).

Similarly, with The Great British Baking Show, I’m rarely concerned with who got eliminated in the beginning because while they may have been one of the best twelve bakers in the country, they weren’t the best OF twelve. Plain and simple, I beyond guessing who gets sent home, I just don’t remember them for long. I’m more likely to remember the last ten at most, or I’m most likely to remember the one or two that I was rooting for from the beginning (A word of warning to my British friends, if you spoil the ending if Baking Show, I will be entering my new meat pie recipe into next year’s competition, if you catch my drift).

If you watch such shows, do you generally care about who gets eliminated first? Have you ever been in, or watched a show because you knew someone in the line-up? How invested are you in the process of watching the show from beginning to end?

The Princess and the Pig ~ A Synopsis

The princess of the Eastern Shore is soon to be heir to one of the wealthiest kingdom in all the land. With the fastest merchant fleet, they have access to the most profitable trade routes but their armies are weak. The king implores the princess to marry one of the princes of Iron Hall, a kingdom with a fierce army and defenses.

The head cook, who has worked for the many nobles and kings, sends his apprentice to find a pig, knowing that the princes of Iron Hall have an appetite for porcine flesh. But the only pig in the kingdom of the Eastern Shore seems to be a frail little shoat, in a failing farm, on a dying stretch of land at the edge of the kingdom.

The AC Definitely Helps

I did manage to get a thousand words down today, at the college. But now that John has finally convinced me to put an air conditioner in my room, the main discomfort of working in a virtual hotbox is no longer going to be a problem. It feels great in there and it’s possible I will get more writing done as the college library isn’t even sparing the AC.

Also, my whinging about Bechdel test was for nothing. I knew that if I gave myself time and focused on the story, I’d solve the problem I was making for myself.

When the story is finished I will be looking for artwork to include in a mock-copy. My first go-to is going to be my sister-in-law, Minneka. And if you go to Thicket Things, you’ll see why.


A Get Well Card to Rachel Maddow

This is as political as my blog will get. But I know Rachel has been ill these past few days and it must be taxing taking Mr. Big to task every night of the week. Those who have filled in for you have done so without complaint but it’s just not the same when I don’t hear that confident voice beginning the hour with a, “Good night, my friend” to Chris Hayes.

I know that the hour following that greeting will be filled with a long build up to a payout that no lottery could compete with.

As get well cards go, this may not be the most glamorous but here it is.

Get well soon, Rachel.

Fairy Tale Logic

It’s not to say that fairy tales are easier to write because they aren’t. But they follow so many of the basic rules that writers tend to forget. Like, the rule of three.

The main thing about a fairy tale is that depending on your intended audience, you don’t really have to go overboard explaining everything. You just set up your story, your characters, and make it a memorable experience and your readers will accept that some things aren’t going to come up too often in a life skills lesson.

Alas, the mystery novel I wrote is going on a back burner because a great start wasn’t enough to fuel it through to the next chapter. I think I just want to return to where I began, when fantasy and science fiction were my true loves and mystery was woven in to the general flow of the story as opposed to being the primary genre.

Progress Report: Chapter One

My book opens with a bedbug scare in a thrift shop. Some people might not understand why that should be especially jarring. Others are sweating and checking their pulse by now.

The scare comes in the form of an anonymous caller who says that his wife may have donated some things that came from their house while it was infested. The caller quickly hangs up the phone but Olivia, the owner and manager of Keeler’s Mission is understandably nervous.

You see, the shop runs entirely on donations and most of those donations are clothes, as well as other household items that the 21st century pest likes to call home.

Originally I planned for a much longer chapter but after introducing the reader to the store level of the shop, I decided to end it at the point where Olivia alerts the head of her furniture department to a pending meeting. As she leaves, she takes note of an unusual bronze statue that was donated to the shop a couple of days earlier and also notices that it appears to have sold rather quickly.

The statue provides a brief respite from her worries but when she hears that it was the backroom supervisor that accepted the donation, she remembers that the backroom itself is full of places for a bedbug to hide. That’s where the first draft of chapter one ends for now.