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Mel's Procrastination Palace
Tuesday, April 26, 2005 Vaaaaacation!

So this is what it feels like....

Today was a do nothing day. Okay, so I cleaned house and finished packing and ran out to get banking done, etc for tomorrow morning's early departure, but honestly, compared to the 8hrs of nonstop chaos I deal with at the office, today was a walk in the park. (And that was a really long sentence....waits for the editor to arrive and smack my hands!)

It seems amazing that it's time to leave for St. Louis already. I'll admit it, I'm nervous. This is something very new to me and well, I'm not exactly a social butterfly. (Passed the larvae stage but never quite found my way outta that cocoon.) Have I packed the right clothes? Did I forget anything oh-so-vital? Do I have enough money? (talk about a rhetorical question!)

Yeah, I'm excited too. There's been reports on the ellorascavechat and Jaci Burton's Paradise yahoo groups from members who've already arrived. Sounds like they've taken over the town already. :P I can't wait to meet some of these ladies in person. Over the last few years I've gotten to know alot of them on levels that go deeper than with friends I have here locally.

And then there's the excitement of the parties and all-you-can learn days of workshops and panels. I've got my camera ready and my pencil sharpened. Expect child-like awe in my return reports. :)

With that, I'm signing off until later. Who knows, I might be able to grab a minute and post from RT. If I don't, you'll know I'm having fun!

~Mel

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 3:42 PM :: 0 comments

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Saturday, April 16, 2005 10 things you probably didn't need (or want) to know...

Yeah, so Shannon did it, she borrowed the idea from others, and even Jaci got in on it.
So heck yeah, I'll be a follower (since I have no other original ideas to post about) and give you ten little tidbits about me that will do nothing more than take up a few moments of your time. *snicker*

These are in no particular order and are simply bits of info as I think of em....

1. I sell insurance for a living. Really. :) Okay, I write books too, but I consider that "for fun" (the whole psychological thing about calling it work and stuff....)

2. I've always lived in this same ole town, except for the short stint I did at Bradley University in Peoria, IL.

3. I was adopted at birth and have no knowledge of my birth parents or any other circumstances surrounding my birth family.

4. I said my first cuss word at age 4, when my grandmother (God bless her) sat me on her lap at Thanksgiving and spelled out words for me to say... the general... C-A-T.... D-O-G... S-H-I-T (and yes, I said it.... then cried)

5. I took the picture that was on the cover of the local phone book a few years back. If I didn't write, I'd probably pursue some sort of more serious photographer hobby.

6. (This is getting tougher....) I got married when I was 18. Sometimes ya just know, ya know?

7. My dream vacation is to visit Scotland and northern England (gotta visit Anna!) and tour the castles and stand on a cliff and look over the highlands.

8. I'm a car junkie. I know enough to be dangerous and I *do* know how to use power tools. (Gotta love those air rachets) I don't want to just buy my dream car, I want to build it!

9. more? gaaaaaaaah! um.....I hate coffee. (sorry Shan... but that means more DD coffee for you). I drink Pepsi in the morning. Sugar + Caffeine to wake me up!

10. I dream in color. There. I said it. :) And that's where a ton of my writing ideas come from. Oh, and I DO believe in magic, and that's there's magic in all of us, untapped, unbridled, just waiting for us to learn how to use it! :)

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 9:57 AM :: 1 comments

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Monday, April 11, 2005 He speaks WHAT?

My hero just dropped an interesting bomb on me, one that I'm absolutely and positively SURE my muse knew about... My hero speaks Latin. Well, not as his first language, and no, he doesn't say a whole lot in this rarely spoken language, but...

WHY?

I'm not complaining, really. I mean, how boring to write a character that doesn't challenge me, right?

Do you think that's what happens to some authors? They fail to challenge themselves? I've heard tidbits here and there over the last few weeks of people mentioning disappointments late in an author's career. Made me wonder...why is that? What turns a favorite author's books sour for some readers? Do the characters fail to be original, is the plot repetitive? It's all subjective, sure, but tell me Shan's doubt demons don't exist in all us authors...(about something at least!)

Anyway, so let the character speak Latin. Make him unique and fresh and hey, eccentric if it fits.
*puts cookie cutter characters on the dart board and takes aim...*

Okay, off to relearn latin so I can translate these weird phrases he instists on teaching the heroine. Gah!

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 8:44 PM :: 3 comments

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Sunday, April 10, 2005 Take Charge, yeah, that's it

Jaci said I should take charge. Of my life, my time. Yeah... sure. :) Actually, it took awhile, but I convinced the family that I needed more than ten minutes straight of peace and quiet to be able to spew out anything worth reading later.

It was the muse that was a little harder to convince. You see, while I'm typing away, it's thinking of all the things I should be doing or hadn't done. It even teases me with thoughts from different stories or jumps ahead in the story I am writing. It feeds the doubt demons high sugar foods.

So when I can overcome that and sit and write and get into a groove where there's nothing around me, well, it's way cool. I used to be able to do it all the time. Now I think I think too much about what I'm writing instead of letting the words just fall.

I figured that out, sorta, last night. I was given an interesting insight on emotion. At first, I could see it's brilliance, but had to take a few days to chew on it, to see if I could apply it to my own writing without well, screwing it up and making the hero sound like a babbling...pmsing female!!

So when I got everything done that I wanted done and had a short span of time I could write interrupted, I opened my ms to page one (there's only 6 pages so far, don't get concerned) and tried to apply this new emotion thought process to my writing.
It's probably worm food, but nevertheless, I found that groove and my fingers couldn't type fast enough. I ended up rewriting three or more pages instead of chopping and trying to interject what hadn't been there. The overall story's the same. But IMO, it's much more...active. :)

And I'm excited to write more. Good writing often inspires more (and by good I mean "feel good")... Damn shame I have all these family obligations today. Off to get those done so I can delve into this fictional world!

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 9:52 AM :: 1 comments

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Wednesday, April 06, 2005 Writing Nirvana

I realized, at approximately 5:36am this morning what I missed.
I miss getting into a zone while writing so that the pages fly, time flies and when I stop, I have to shake my head and go, whew, that was good...

Key thing is, you can't jump into such nirvana. You have to start writing, and slowly pick up speed, like a train going downhill...pretty soon, the room disappears and you get that tunnel vision, that complete focus. You're not typing anymore, the characters have taken over the nerves and it's like a marionette on a string. (but not in a bad way)...

Clearly this hasn't happened because of the interruption factor. This comes in all sizes. IE.. the husband. The dryer buzzer. The phone. The lure of the internet. Instant messenger. (Tho you can blame that on me, thanks)... I'd love to go back to staying up til midnight and getting that two hours of unadultered writing time. Cuz damn if I didn't usually go back in the morning and reread the prior nights spewage and go, "who wrote this?". Some of my best prose comes from those moments.

Guess it works like sleep. Isn't there like 4 stages? And who drops into stage 4? Noone, you gotta get there slow, but when you do, you twitch, dream, run, react, talk, walk...without waking up. And after a bit of that, you feel pretty good and refreshed, despite all of the effort that was clearly exerted.

So. My goal is to find Nirvana. Even if it means getting up at 5 or staying up til 12. I'll let you know how it goes... tell me how you find that writing zone, get to the tunnel vision where the words fall from your fingers... :)

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 3:36 PM :: 2 comments

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uh, what was I gonna say?

Early this morning I had this brilliant idea for a very timely, necessary not overdone topic and whammo, it's 3:30 and the idea bubble has popped.

I hate that.

Every once in a while I get a great plot idea. It's so strong, so important, so YES this would be great, and I swear, I can forget it in an instant. Makes me rather willing to beat my head against a wall for failing to write it down in delicious, extraneous detail.

I have written in like, three days. That's like three days without caffeine, or sugar or... sex! OMG! The muse is standing in the cathedral ceilings of my head, banging on the glass windows of my eyes, shouting, "Heeeeloooooooo, remember me?"
"No," I wanna reply. "Never seen ya before. Muse who?"

Okay, so that's not true. I'm glad she's willing to work. Makes up for those days when I'm kicking her inert form going "Wake up, beotch!" But gaaaaaaaaah, whoever said there was more to this writing business than writing was right. Promo stuff, more promo stuff, orders, contests, web maintenance (it's been updated, see?) and then impending edits, rubbing elbows with readers, did I mention shopping/making more promo items?

Of course, NOW I remember what I was going to write about. *dramatic eye roll*
*Kicks muse in the shin*

Excuse the rambling, I'll be back in a flash with something that might be worth reading...

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 3:26 PM :: 0 comments

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Sunday, April 03, 2005 Why I laugh so much

First off, the DH (Darling Husband) thinks I'm nuts. You see, when I hear or see someone laughing, really belly aching laughing, I can't help it. I laugh. It's an autoresponse, something like the yawn phenomenon.

So today we're watching Nascar. We do this. Have done this every Sunday it's on since the late 1980's. Just so you know...we're diehards.

Anyway, we're watching and there's a big wreck. Well, one of the commentators fumbles with a word and 14 car pile up came out sounding like: 14 COW pile up.

So DH flashes this cheeky grin and repeats him. "Damn, 14 cow pileup. Ah, well, no use crying over spilled milk."

Yeah, so I laughed. After I gave the prequisite snort and eyeroll.
Cuz then he continued.
"You know those cows and their spotters." Okay, that WAS bad, but the laugh was on...

"They'll figure out what happened, it's all black and white." Immediately followed by, "Oh, dear, the crowds Moo-ing"

Okay. so it was really stretching the joke, and the laughter faded cuz the race got back underway and that was that.

Later, we have to run an errand and since we live in rural Indiana, we pass a farm with a large herd of cows in the field grazing. He points. "Pit stops."

I said, "Yup, but look over there, looks like a pile up to me." A group of about eight cows were lying down.

He said, "Yep, tires were flat."

I'm dying. So we come across some others who were walking. (It's a long road, lots of cows, honest) I point and lift an eyebrow. He said, "Yellow flag, caution laps."

Then the next batch were eating. "Oh look, the field's green!"

Do you think I'll look at cows with a straight face for awhile? Or Nascar? *shakes head*
:) See why I keep him around?

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 7:27 PM :: 1 comments

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