Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Are you embarrassed?

I have a 13 and a 12 and an 8 year old...
Embarrassment seemed to be a hot topic this morning.
First, we all saw this video on Facebook:


And my oldest thought that would be embarrassing... what?!

A sweet little four year isn't going to be embarassed! Also, my two year old watched this awesome video about 20 times this morning. She LOVED it. BTW, let's all be awesome today...and do everything better.

Then on the way to school my son talked about how it would be embarrassing to hug his sister in ten years. I told him that in ten years, she would be 12 and he would be 22. [ack. heart attack!] He would NOT be embarrassed to hug his sister when he was 22. And she would probably secretly love it...and be embarrassed.

My point is... their perception of life is so narrow. So specific and staunch even. They don't see outside of their view. It's eye-opening... I need to read a Middle Grade book. Any recommendations?

I begin to wonder if they are accurate. How can we write a character arc...at that age? Where does it go? From embarrassed to embarrassed? I'm very curious now... Hm.

What about you? Have you read a good middle grade character? I did once...but honestly, middle grade doesn't show up too often in the books I read. One, in The Villa, by Nora Roberts. And yes, she did a fine job with those characters. They were often embarrassed. LOL

Enjoy the day!
With Love,

Friday, February 1, 2013

Creative ways to torture your villain

I had a close encounter of the horsey kind on Wednesday.
It was what the weatherman innocently referred to as "windy".
Yeah. Pigs could literally fly on Wednesday, and they didn't need to file a flight plan first, or make use of a runway. Takeoff was not a problem. And you know what they say... What goes up will eventually go splat when the wind drops.
It was a "hold on to a fencepost or you're in the next county" kind of wind. Needless to say, my horse figured it was a great day for getting up to all kinds of interesting stunts. Like horse ballet. Fuette anyone?
All of this in the dark. In the boot-sucking mud. Dutifully aided and abetted by his friend and neighbor Ori, who also figured it was time to teach the human a lesson in humility and make her dodge ponies on a bid for freedom.
I thought I was being clever. I got them out of the field--Oz wearing his halter and on a rope, Ori loose--and left Ori to "roam" (buck, rear, slip, slide, circle Oz, kick, squeal...) in the outer field so I didn't have to wade through the deep mud again when I came to collect him. (We aren't allowed to bring in two at a time.)
During one of those "must herd the human to the gate while doing pirouettes" moments, Oz got a little carried away with one of his ballet moves and ganked me in the jaw with his noggin.
My horse has a very hard head. There I was, thinking "Look at all the pretty stars and the little birdies". The kind of situation where your head spins and you gingerly move your jaw for fear it'll come unhinged and fall off, if you wiggle it from side to side.
Owie. I'm investing in full body armor and a football helmet with a chin guard.
Well, I dragged the Mustang Ballerina and his twirling friend into their stables, shut the door and went home. Didn't think much about it, since the jaw was still attached and not too painful. Bruised, but not too painful. (Unless you touched it. So...no touchie.)
Until last night I dismissed the entire incident.

But, you see... I went to the annual dental checkup on Monday. Nothing needed doing--thank God.
Anyone who knows me is fully aware that I turn into a gibbering wreck the second I walk into a dental surgery. Doesn't matter whether I know something is being done, or not--I shake worse than jelly attached to a road drill. If anything needs fixing -- it's IV sedation all the way, or the dentist loses fingers. If they get me to open my mouth.
Which they won't.
Last night...I grazed my way through a variety of painkillers. Ibuprofen, Codeine, Paracetamol, Aspirin... I didn't care what they were, how strong they were, or if they mixed -- just as long as the darn pain stopped.
Tooth ache. Vicious, keep-you-awake-until-you-scream, tooth ache. Throbbing / pulling... and...well...needing a visit to the dentist. I explained about me and dentists... A drill is the sound of a starting pistol for me. It makes a noise -- and I run. Out of the dental practice and straight into traffic. I wouldn't care if a bus hit me, just as long as I escape the drill.
There is no way they have an anesthesiologist on standby, just to put me under. I knew that. I knew more suffering would be involved, or utter terror and possible fainting in the chair, because the treatment would be done while I'm awake.
Provided they could somehow ratchet my mouth open, that is.
By about 3 am (and a lot of tossing and turning) I was about ready to get Paul's tool box out of the loft to find new and creative uses for a pair of pliers. The hammer drill looked more and more attractive. I went over every way I'd ever come across to pull a tooth. Would our door be strong enough to pull it, if I tied a string to it and the tooth? Could I slam the door hard enough? Maybe if I tie a brick to the end of the string and lobbed said contraption over the balcony? Would the brick be enough--or should I use the sofa? If I tracked down a drug dealer, would they kill me or sell me drugs? Never mind I have no idea where any drug dealers might hang out, but cocaine sounded like a dream come true at around 4 am. Could I con the hospital out of some morphine, or would I have to steal it? I didn't care anymore at that point.
You name it -- I contemplated it.
In between the tossing and turning, the whimpering, the trips to the kitchen for more painkillers--my head was in overdrive. I kept coming up with scenarios where I could use tooth ache against any character I wrote about.
Oh yeah. Who needs torture chambers when all you need is a broken tooth to inflict no small amount of misery upon your victim?
Eventually my painkiller cocktail kicked in and I got some sleep. A whole 2 hours worth. Yay.
This morning I called the dentist (even though the pain was tolerable by then and I've been well known to wimp out the moment the pain stops) and at 2:15pm I had the verdict, after she'd done some x-rays: Fractured tooth.
Yep, the beast actually broke my tooth. Or rather the root.
She is going to save the tooth. I'm on antibiotics and painkillers, and "We'll see. I don't want to pull it." Oh good. It better not keep hurting, or I'll have to resort to that "brick, sofa or wardrobe" scenario.
Or maybe I'll have to visit Oz during the night, with that piece of string. But they frown on trying to pull your tooth at four in the morning, by means of a spooked mustang-ballerina.
But while the knock I got broke the tooth, it certainly re-focused my thinking.
The next villain I write will not fall victim to a bullet. Or a knife. Or drown. Or...whatever.
I will give him...tooth ache!
It's enough to drive even the sanest person nuts.
And I never said I was sane to begin with...