Saturday, July 24, 2010

Dear Frankie

A tumble from a horse I'm starting left me sore and just a little cranky. The biggest problem is that I somehow managed to jam my right shoulder and my left pinkie. (I also bruised both knees which is the real mystery). If the injuries weren't on both sides, they wouldn't be a big deal, but they since they are I'm finding that writing is challenging. I'm typing sans left pinkie (which is only marginally challenging). The bigger problem is that I can't seem to find any position that doesn't put strain on my poor shoulder.

Since the last thing I want to do is create more problems, I've resigned myself to watching movies, a lot of movies.

Something, a sense of foreshadowing, must have been lurking, because not only did my instructor have a bag of movies ready to go, but I'd also rearranged my Netflix queue so that I actually got a couple of movies I've been wanting to see but putting off.

Now I wish I hadn't delayed. One of the movies I just watched is a cute little movie called Dear Frankie. I think it has just become my new motivational movie. I'm the first to admit that the movie isn't the greatest I've ever seen. It certainly isn't my new favorite movie, but there is something about it that whispered to the writer in me. Not only is it a lovely story about the love between a parent and a child, but for the romantics out there, there is a small hint of romance. Most people would probably complain about the ending, which simply stops, but for me it worked. It isn't the type of ending that leaves you with the sense that the world is at peace, but rather the type of ending that lets the viewer know that the story is far from over. The next time I find myself in the position of starting a new project and not having a single idea of where to begin, I think I might use the ending of Dear Frankie to springboard a free writing session and see where the words take me.

To me, the most intriguing part of the movie was the character who was simply called the stranger. Gerard Butler played this character and if I didn't already admire Mr. Butler, this movie would have made it happen. He did an amazing job. Best of all his character was a writers dream. Throughout the movie you have no idea what his motivation is, what he would be doing if he weren't hanging out with a little boy, or even what his future holds. It is the type of character that allows the viewer to dream.

If you haven't watched this movie yet, you should. It really is a sweet little movie that is full of hope and love.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Changing my Standards

Until last night, I thought I could write about anything. Even topics that I find offensive, I can usually spin in such a way that I am content that I haven't offended my personal moral standing. I also thought I would try anything once. Now I can say I've changed my stance. There are some foods that not only will I not try, I won't even write about. Chocolate covered insects, no problem.
Some of the eggy treats that are popular on islands not going to happen, ever. Head cheese, it wouldn't be my first choice, but I'm not completely saying no, fermented fish paste, never. By the way, that fermented fish paste is the extent of my disgusting food writing, anything more disturbing than that, I won't write about it, I don't care if I am getting paid.

My new aversion to certain foods was triggered by two pages of web content I was hired to write last night. The project was to write about the World's Most Bizarre Foods. I did some research, gagged for a while, and then wrote the paper. When I turned it into the client I let them know about my new found limits and told them if they wanted content about the more disturbing foods, they were going to have to find a new writer.

In the end, the foods I wrote about were

1.Escargot-Not only have I tried this, but I actually like it.

2.Jelled blood-I can barely stand the sight of blood, so this was tricky. I only included it because I was able to tie it into the whole Twilight craze. The only problem was I couldn't figure out what it is served with. Does the host just plop a jelly mold of blood on the table and every one digs in, or does it get served with something.

3.Birds Nest Soup-The first time I ever heard about this expensive delicacy was while watching an episode of Bones, so now I'm constantly thinking of it as bird spit soup. Also I keep stumbling across information about the harvesting of swiftlet nests. Even though the idea of making a meal of bird's nest seems ridiculous, someday I might just try it. Of course since its really expensive, a kilogram of swiflets nest can cost $2000+ it will probably be awhile before my budget lets that happen.

4.Head Cheese-I'm not in a hurry to try this, there are other foods I'd rather eat, but maybe someday. I do seem to be becoming bolder as I age.

5.Fermented Fish Paste-Yuck, gross, unsanitary. I'm pretty sure I would rather starve before eating this.

6.Fufu-this was my vegan contribution. Personally, I think this West African dish, which is made out of potatoes and yams actually sounds kind of good.

7.Fugu-This falls into the category of why would anyone even think about eating this. The Fugu (Puffer) fish is toxic. It naturally produces tetraditoxin which is a very lethal poison. On badly prepared fugu fish will kill a human. I've looked up tetraditoxin, it's a horrible way to die. Before eating fugu, check and make sure that the sushi chef is very experienced with Fugu. On a less scarey note, there has been a great deal of success developing a non-toxic pufferfish, at least no one has died after eating this hybred.

What about the rest of you writers out there, are there any topics you refuse to write about?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

As always any and all comments, thoughts, criticisms, and critiques are welcome. Also, thanks for stopping by and checking out this weeks selection for Teaser Tuesday. Oh yeah, for since it might make a difference DWARFED is a YA,contemporary fiction, work-in-progress.

I was so focused on getting back to the farm house, I didn't notice the guy moving towards me with long strides until I literally ran right into him.

Bouncing off the guy, I fell back, landing on my butt.

”Sorry,” the word fell out of my mouth more out of habit than any real sense of contrition. I didn't really care about the person I'd just run into. Since I was the one who'd ended up on my butt, I figured I couldn't have done much damage to him. I was more concerned about Adelaide. Looking down, I scanned her, searching for new injuries. She looked exactly the same as she did when I first found her. Blowing out a relieved sigh, I glanced at the person I'd bounced off of. ”I was in a hurry. I guess I didn't see you.”

Bending,the guy wrapped an enormous hand around my elbow and tugging me to my feet. ”Are you okay?”

”I'm fine.” I stepped sideways to step past him. The guy quickly blocked my maneuver and placed a hand on my shoulder, his long fingers gently but firmly cupping the joint.

I jerked my shoulder from his grasp. ”Excuse me.”

”Who are you and what are you doing with that duck?”

”I'm Grace.” I shifted my arms, showing him my battered duck. “This is Adelaide.”

The guy's hazel eyes widened. ”Your Grace? As in Ray Bob's niece Grace? Wow! You, you're, well I guess your not quite what I imagined.”

I floated an eyebrow. ”Why, because I don't have Etna's eye patch or Ray Bob's Roman nose?”

The guy slowly shook his head. ”Nobody told me that you're a midget.”

Narrowing my eyes, I glared up at him. There was no way I was going to let this particular insult slide.

I spoke slowly, carefully enunciating every word. ”Do I look like a small, blood sucking fly?”

A look of pure confusion crossed his face. ”What are you talking about?”

I kept my gaze locked firmly on his hazel eyes. ”A tiny fly, do I look like a tiny fly?”

”Um, no.”

I was a little surprised at how satisfied the guys obviously growing discomfort. Normally I hated making people nervous or uncomfortable, but today simply knowing I had the upper hand, even over such a superficial comment. Today the knowledge that I had the power to make him squirm thrilled me. ”So why did you call me a midget?”

The guy looked totally befuddled. ”But you are,” he sucked in a deep breath. ”You are a midget.”

I rolled my eyes. ”I just got done explaining that a midget is a small fly. I am a human being.”

”I know you're human, but you're a ...” He waved a hand at me, indicating my stature. ” You're also a ...”

I glared up at him, daring him to say it.

”... short.”

”If you absolutely must use a word to describe me, stick to dwarf or little person. Midget is an offensive term. Munchkin isn't any better.”

A wide grin slowly spread across the guys face. The movement was stiff, like he didn't smile very often and the muscles were atrophied. ”You're defiantly related to Etna, you inherited her sass.”

There were a lot of I words I would use to describe Etna, but sass was not one.

The guy extended his right hand towards me. I slipped my much smaller hand into his. His calloused skin scrapped and caught at my softer skin. It was a pleasant sensation.

“I'm Caleb Searc. I work for your aunts and uncle.”

”You're a farmer?” Caleb didn't look at all like what I'd assumed a farmers looked like. His too long hair was the exact same color as newly minted gold. The way it curled would be feminine but for the fact that the guys face was heavily boned, with high cheek bones and an arrogant mouth that made me wonder if his ancestors hadn't been a part of the Roman army. His lips were full and oddly sensual, the kind of lips I imagined Chaucer had. His nose was crooked and a bump on the bridge made me think that it had been broken at least once, maybe even two or three times. His long fingers reminded me of a guitar player. A stained ash gray t-shirt clung to the guys pectoral muscles and torn black jeans rode low on his slender hips. Caleb looked like the typical all-American boy.

”Now you look surprised. Do
I want to know why, or are you just going to start yelling at me again.”

My braid brushed back and forth across my back as I slowly shook my head. ”I thought that farmers wore overalls, always had a piece of hay in their teeth, and had huge beer guts.”

”I guess we've both learned something tonight.”

I nodded, ”it looks that way.”

Caleb didn't answer, he just stared down at me. His face and eyes completely devoid of all emotion. I shifted my weight from one foot to the other. Being stared at by Caleb wasn't an unpleasant sensation, but it was ... strange, like nothing I'd never experienced before. Before I could stop myself, I reached up and touched my hair, checking to make sure it was laying flat against my skull.

I needed to do something to get things back on track. I glanced at the duck in my arms. ”If you work here, you must know where I can find a veterinarian. Adelaide is hurt.”

Bending, Caleb lightly touched a deep gash on the side of Adelaide's neck. ”You should take her to Maggie.”

”Aunt Maggie? Why?” Even though she called the farm home. Maggie was always so well groomed and put together that I couldn't imagine her spending anytime with the animals.

”She use to be a nurse. It's not the same thing as a vet but she's still pretty good at shots and stitches.”