Tuesday, June 26, 2007

My Favorite Woo-Woo Guys & Gals

Who were some of my favorite paranormal characters, growing up? What a fun stroll down memory lane...
When I was a kid, I loved the Addams Family. They were creepy but kooky. Mysterious and spooky. I didn't find them altogether ooky. That probably made me weird. Da da da dum. {snap snap} LOL. I also adored all of the original Scooby Doo episodes, at least until they added Scrappy Dappy Doo and ruined it.

All right, so I added the kilt. It's a good look.

Jeannie from "I Dream Of" fame was a bit too "Yes, Master," for my taste, but I will say, she rocked that costume. Even without a belly-button.

In the vamps corner, Barnabas Collins scared the bejeebers out of me when I was five years old, and I have had vampire nightmares ever since. I perfected the sleep-with-the-covers-tucked-tightly-around-the-neck posture in bed around that time. Then I saw Frank Langella as Drac when I was, oh, twelve or thirteen, I think, and found him a heck of a lot more interesting. Heh heh. I have to say that no other Dracs appealed until Gerard Butler in Dracula 2000. He didn't say much, but wow, what a delivery. Yum, yum.

"I don't drink... coffee."

{{P.S. Yeah, that's him...}}

Harry Potter is a wonderful, wonderful creation. I love his energy, but I have to say I'm probably more a mix of Hermione and Ron, myself. My favorite characters have to be the Weasleys. Warm, witchy, and wonderful.

Speaking of witches, Nora Robert's three {Air (Nell), Earth (Ripley), and Fire (Mia)} really struck a chord with me a few years back, as of course did Alice Hoffman's Sally and Gilly. Kim Harrison's Rachel Morgan kicks ass, as did the Halliwell sisters {Prue, Piper, Phoebe, and later Paige} on Charmed -- but I liked their sisterly moments the best.

Samantha Stevens, on TV's Bewitched, is one of my all-time favorite witches... but I also adored Nicole Kidman's Isabelle from the movie, especially after she decided to get a life and be herself.

Arwen the Elf... I know a lot of people *hated* her expanded storyline in the LOTR movies, but I loved it. Very girl-power. Galadriel, too. And the glimpses of the elf world were so very beautiful. How could anyone not appreciate them?

Who were your favorites?

Mad {madly!}

Monday, June 04, 2007

How-to books

I'm often asked what writing books I look to for encouragement and inspiration.

I have to be honest with you. There aren't many, nowadays. It's not that I feel that I'm to the point in my writing where I have nothing further to learn. Far from it. I learn something new every day that I put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, and IMHO that's the way that it should be. The day I decide that there is nothing more for me to learn in this challenging career-slash-obsession called writing is the day I close the book for good. {Lucky for me, that day is nowhere in sight! LOL.} But I am to the point where I have a good feel for my own writing process, for what works for me and what doesn't. I used to read every article and attend every writing class I could. It was fascinating to hear how others wrote, to gather what nuggets of wisdom I could, only to wonder later why their methods didn't work for me. No matter how logical they sounded, no matter whose brilliant method it was, none of them seemed to fit. Eventually I came to understand why some days I needed to be at the computer with seven different files open, sifting back and forth between them all, while others I needed to sit quietly with a notebook on my lap and a gel pen in hand, my process for that day as much about the smoothness of the flow of ink on the page as the flow of words. And sometimes my process isn't about the putting down of words at all. It's about watching a movie that possesses a sense of atmosphere that speaks to me, or listening to music that seemed to be saying something about a particular character. Or getting outdoors and walking for miles, or digging in my garden with its neverending supply of weeds to be cleared. For me, it's all part and parcel of my being a writer, which is why I wouldn't recommend my particular process at all. It isn't meant to be for anyone but me {though if it happens to speak to anyone else who might be reading this, GREAT! Feel free to emulate away...}.

The one book I would recommend if I had to choose at least one would be Stephen King's ON WRITING. .. mostly because he's not telling you how, he's just telling you to do. Write, write, write. Because that's the bottom line, really, isn't it. That's what it's all about.

And now... back to the Travel Channel. Samantha Brown is checking in at Edinburgh, Scotland, one of my favorite places in the whole world. Have I ever mentioned ::koff koff:: that Scotland and its many treasures of all varieties ::koff koff:: is a neverending source of inspiration for me?

Love to all,

Mad {madly!}

Some links you may find useful:
Predators & Editors:
www.anotherealm.com/prededitors/ Warning site for editors and agents, very helpful...
Mystery Writers of America:
Sisters in Crime:
Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America:
www.sfwa.org/ including Writer Beware www.sfwa.org/beware/
Romance Writers of America:
Duirwaigh Gallery:
www.DuirwaighGallery.com {on the list simply because I believe there is magic in creativity, and this site is so beautiful and inspiring and soul-stirring... and it never fails to lift my spirits high}