Sunday, October 18, 2009

Nanowrimo Coming soon!

Yes, Wow, it's almost November which is National Novel Writing Month. You who know me also know that I won this contest of will power last year and you know also that I will be participating again this year! My dilemma is this: Do I go ahead with a fresh new project (say the one based on the Border Babes?) or do I finish the great story of Nick and Sarah that I started last year? I don't know if it matters much to the people at the Nanowrimo site. They are more interested in keeping people writing and in a state of frantic creativity. I don't think anyone would even notice what I was writing as long as my total word count kept going up and up.

What I want to avoid at all costs is having writing UFO's. Oh come on, you quilters out there know what I mean. We have lists of projects,from every aspect of our experience all waiting to be finished. I hate to think how many UFO's I have now that I'm working at the quilt shop. It seems every week I come home with new projects. I will have to make new lists before January. I say lists because I do so many different things. I don't just make quilts and sew, I also do cross stitch, needlepoint, basketry, knit and crochet, scrapbook, and other more creative artistic things like watercolors, drawings, pastels, found object art, and altered books. I do not limit myself in the line of being creative. And I probably have UFO's (Unfinished Objects) in all of these areas.

But so far I have managed to avoid having a list of writing UFO's. I have a list of writing projects that I've wanted to do but haven't begun yet. Here they are:

1. The story of Patty the quilter who belongs to a group of quilters who meet at bookstore. Patty, in a desperate state of mind hurts herself and is hospitalized on suicide watch. Her friends from the bookstore quilting group come up to keep her company and to help with the suicide watch, they tell her their life stories one by one and through the sharing of these woman Patty finds new purpose in her own life.

2. An Historical Novel, begins in 1810 about a young man who may be half Native American, named Samuel Blackburn. He is jilted by the girl he is in love with and joins the Pennsylvania Militia to escape his past. His troop is sent to the furthest and wildest outreaches of civilization at that time, Northern Michigan and there is present for the attack on Fort Michilimackinac located on Mackinaw Island. There he meets the beloved of his commanding officer the beautiful Sophia Biddle, who has the heart of every man who meets her, including his. Nearly eclipsed by her beauty is her younger cousin Anne Biddle who is still somehow able to attract our hero's attentions and they form a friendship. The novel spans the war years of 1812 through 1814 and paints a picture of how the soldiers from both sides deal with the Native Americans in the area. Some fall in love and marry the beautiful Indian Women and others ignore and exploit them. Still others cannot cope with the societal morays that inhibit their more noble instincts and suffer because of it. It's a story about bigotry and love in the earliest years of our history.

3. And I'm not sure I even want to do this one, but someone told me recently that the struggles I went through last year with my health would make for an interesting book. I am thinking that it would have to be a comedy up-playing the two days I spent with a tube in my throat and could only communicate through written notes. I still have the notebook I was writing in and most of it is pretty funny, I was under the influence. Of course there is also the story of the balloon that I told at Karen Hill's memorial service. And the story about how I saw the ghost cat in my house while I was still on those same pain meds. I still say that just because I was on the pain meds doesn't mean Karen and my dead cat were not actually there!

4. And finally, I had an idea a while ago for a book about a girl growing up in a desert scrub area during the times of the early Roman Empire. She is often put in charge of her younger brother and cousins and once in a while they get away from her and she has to try to find them. One time she finds them playing near a camp of men and women who are nomads, a religious order of sorts, and the leader of the group plays with the young children and laughs at their antics. She falls in love with this young man even though she is not more than 12 and he is in his late twenties. She says she will someday marry this man, a carpenter by trade. Years pass and she is now a young girl of 16. She has never forgotten this young man and once again she sees him as he travels into Jerusalem for the Sabbath. She is so excited to see him and shouts to him. But he doesn't see her because there is a crowd of people who are also there to welcome him in. She then finds out who he is and why they are all welcoming him. Several days later she is walking along the road and sees a procession. Here is her young man, he has been beaten bloody and is condemned to death. He is struggling to carry a wooden crossbeam up a hill. He falls and she runs out to him to wipe the sweat and blood from his face with her vale. He mutters a blessing onto her. She witnesses his death unbeknownst to her family who would not have approved of their young virginal daughter seeing such a sight. Afterward she goes back to her life and then several years later she hears about a preacher who knew this rabbi. She goes to one of their meetings and hears the stories. Afterward she approaches the man and tells him her own story of how she saw this man when she was a child and how she would have done anything to make him laugh, his joy and laughter were infectious. She becomes a part of the earliest ministry and traveled with the apostle Paul for a time. She takes the name of Thecla, not the name she had been born with, to disguise her identity and hide from her parents who would not approve of her vocation. She becomes one of the first female martyrs of the Christian faith.

There are other ideas on the horizon as well, I'm sure of that. I used to write down all of my dreams and ideas. I haven't done that for a while because of the backlog of usable ideas I already have.

So what do you think? I have come up with a readers poll for all of you to vote and tell me which of these projects I should develop next. Let me know your thoughts, please. You may either post an answer to this article, or at the very least go to the poll and vote for the one you would most like to read. I'll be looking forward to reading your responses.

In other news: I was able to get a couple of things done. This is going to be a class at Interquilten next month. It's a bow tie wreath. For the idea I must thank my dear friend Sharyn Woerz. It was relatively easy to do. It takes 1/2 yard of two different fabrics, about 10 yards of ribbon and a wire wreath form available at Micheal's or any other craft store that carries floral supplies. I also added a big bow to dress it up a bit. I was thinking about stringing some beads through it as well. After all, you know my motto, "Gorp it to the max!"

I apologize for missing last weeks post. But I couldn't find a movie worthy to review and suddenly the weekend got very busy, plus there was a problem with a badge on Do any of you POGO? It's fun and exciting. Both of my men spend money on on-line gaming. They play Civ, and Warcraft, and I know not what all. So I feel justified in the $25 a year I spend to play POGO. They have a variety of on-line games and they keep you interested by giving you two or three challenges every week. You can also use game tokens won in the games to buy outfits and goodies for your pogo mini character. It's fun. You can go there to play the free games which include several fun ones including some types of solitaire card games and others. A special offer, the first three people who e-mail me with the words "pogo request" in the subject line, I will give you a free weekend pass to club pogo so you can try out the paid games.

So about the films. I've seen about fifteen films over the past two weeks and the only ones that have stuck in my mind are the following:

"The Proposal", with Sandra Bullock as a Canadian about to be deported. She makes a last ditch effort to stay at her high status job by telling her employers that she and her male assistant are in love and about to be married. I love Sandra Bullock and she doesn't disappoint in this wonderful romp in a far away Alaskan retreat. The addition of Betty White in this film makes it a real treat. Those two alone could make the worst written script funny.

"Factory Girl", a look into the twisted bizarre world of Andy Warhol's factory. No one very recognizable is in this film but that is good because it would just detract from the flavor of it. Edie, the "poor little" abused "rich girl" in this film whom Warhol later claimed he was in love with, gets sucked into the factory world of Warhol's playthings. She appears in a couple of his films but when his influences on her start taking hold in the form of drug abuse and jealousy when she has an affair with a thinly disguised Bob Dylan, Warhol turns on her and meanly betrays her. It's an interesting portrait of that time.

And saving the best for last, "The Jane Austin Book Club", is about a group of woman who come together over their love of the novels written by Jane Austin and the men and other women in their lives. If you can see Jane Austin as a prophet for our times or the writer of rule books for women and men, then you will love this film as much as I did. Of course there is one scene in the book that puts it all into perspective for those who aren't "getting it!" The young lesbian character is having a relationship with a writer who is using her for story ideas. In one tumultuous scene This character finds a rejection letter from a publisher saying that the story ideas are mean spirited, obvious and implausible. The story called, "Separating Eggs for Flan" is an obvious symbol of her parents divorce. If it weren't for this one scene, I think many people wouldn't get the whole premise of the film as an allegory. I studied literature in college and I thought this scene a little heavy handed until my husband watched it and said, "Oh, I get it, they aren't talking about the books at all, their just all talking about their own lives." Well, DUH! LOL! My one comment is this, I wish the playwright had chosen a different Sci-Fi author. I could tell that she (or he) had read a lot of Austin but I seriously wondered if she (or he)(no on second thought, she) had read any LeGuin at all. There was nothing whatsoever about LeGuin's artistic renderings of her alternative universe or her own wonderful and inspiring allegories. The only thing that was said about Leguin's books were, they were good! Well, Double DUH!

Oh and one last thing. I know several of you are as anxiously awaiting the November release of "New Moon" as I am. I hope the hype is not getting to you. The first movie "Twilight" could not live up to the hype and I'm certain that "New Moon" will likewise not. I really liked "Twilight", despite what 90% of my young friends thought. My friend Katie Vreeland doesn't even abide the mentioning of this film in her presence any more, so sick of it she is. But seeing this movie got me to read the four book series by Stephanie Meyer. It is universally acknowledged that the book is always (with few exceptions) better than the movie. I love movies though, I love them almost as much as I love books, and when I have huge amounts of spare time I will pick up a book, or at least listen to one on CD or tape. But when I don't have much time, and I want a little "Austin" as they say in the film, I will slide in a DVD and watch a movie based on the book that I love. That's how I feel about the "Twilight" series.

BTW, if you liked "Twilight", and have yet to read any of the Sookie Stackhouse novels, Family video has the first season of "True Blood" out on DVD. Definitely not for young children, plenty of bad language and graphic sex and marvelous blood sucking vampire scenes! Go for it!

OK, more about projects next week. I just had to get all that out of my system!

Haunting in the Video Store!
Cindy K-K
The Haunter

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