Monthly Archives: April 2014

Official confirmation: this writer’s life is circular

On the general principle that if you can’t find something to read, you should write something, I go to the list of ideas I have for blog posts, all, as in a seamstress’s workshop, in various stages of completion, lying around draped over forms and mannequins and furniture.

A gray chinchilla being hand fed her treats.

Treats!

A year goes by – everything is the same

I find this, from almost exactly a year ago: May 7, 2013 10:19 AM. [NOTE: I never turned it into a post, but I’m fidgeting because I can’t write, it’s raining (and I got the last of the garden fertilized this morning, and there is NO energy left and major brain fog), and it made me chuckle to see how little has changed.]

At Madgenius.com, Amanda Green complains It’s Tuesday, where’s my brain. I start writing a comment. It gets too long, so I bring it to my own place:

I’m feeling a bit snarky, too, it being Tuesday.

Before I comment, I want to say that
1) I am not minimizing YOUR pain
2) I do not want sympathy/pity/whatever. Okay?

Continue reading

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 13, Scene 2

This week’s post continues Chapter 13, with Scene 2 (1.13.2).

NJ has been warm but windy; we’ve gotten a lot of gardening in.

Fertilizing EVERYTHING should be done by tomorrow, with torrential rains to follow, so the perennials, the grass, and the pachysandra should green up. Think of me on my knees pulling weeds, or wading through the groundcover with a bucket of fertilizer to be sprinkled on the acid-loving plants.

I really don’t mind – it gets me outside.

I think the hummingbirds might be back – the feeder is going down.

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Additional beta readers welcome – contact me if you’d like to participate (and get to read things earlier).

Feedback welcome. Thanks!

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

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PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 13, Scene 2  [Bianca]


Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013-2014.

The noise-sensitive writer and the Basketball of Doom

The perfect neighbor next door is a huge problem.

He has a lovely family.

They visit ALL the time, have family celebrations for every possible event.

The grandchildren visit—almost every day after school—and get to know each other and their grandparents.

In fact, is it exactly the big happy extended family I grew up in: lots of kids, adults playing with them, cheering them on, always in watchful attendance lest the kids get on anyone else’s lawn.

Love/hate relationship

I envy them.

And I hate them. Continue reading

READERS: the drug of choice

Yesterday someone left a trace on my blog: he or she read ALL of Pride’s Children posted to date, and a huge number of my other posts.

I am on top of the world. Squee!

Even though my mystery guest left no comments. Continue reading

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 13, Scene 1

This week’s post begins Chapter 13, with Scene 1 (1.13.1).

Nj is getting more beautiful – in Spring it really is the Garden State. The forsythia – with its unbelievable yellow – is out, as are the daffodils. Gladdens the heart. Weeding is a pleasure.

 

Thanks to Quozio.com for making these inserts/teasers look nice. Really easy – and free.

Additional beta readers welcome – contact me if you’d like to participate (and get to read things earlier).

Typo reports extremely welcome! Thanks!

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

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PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 13, Scene 1  [Kary]


Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013-2014.

Writing with CFS: the Lookback Period

Know thyself

I’m baffled yesterday, I’m baffled today.

Don’t I have this ‘process,’ this self-discipline, locked down? Don’t I know how to get myself from out of bed to butt-in-chair – and writing?

Well, yes, but that is the strength of the mental situation we call brain fog: you can’t recall what you know as well as you need to.

Lost time, lost IN time

Time passes for us brain-fogged folk. Without any consciousness of it. We turn around, and realize we’ve been staring at the wall/watching TV/surfing the web (which we said we weren’t going to do, but then decided to just ‘take a quick look’ at).

I know that happens for many people who are otherwise well, and are wasting time or procrastinating, or even simply unfocused right now.

But, for myself, I have been missing a red flag: the Lookback Period. Continue reading

Writing too MUCH nuance

Not wanting to leave too much to chance – or the possible misinterpretation of a reader – leads to a phenomenon I will call ‘too much nuance.’

Here’s a sample paragraph with it (it leaves little to the imagination – I blame brain fog):

On the morning of his important day, which was on the 12th of April that year, and which that year fell on a Wednesday which was unseasonably cold and blustery, Terry and his mother (well, not his actual mother, but the woman who adopted him when his biological mother abandoned him at the orphanage) walked into the Food Court on the lower level of the Grantham, Oklahoma, Freedom Mall which was opened in 1989 and has only been closed two days since, to find themselves at one of the food booths which sold a nutritious hot breakfast, including the option of getting the egg-white-only omelet that Terry always ate because his doctor said that his cholesterol was too high and he shouldn’t eat egg yolks at all, or, if he did, it shouldn’t be very often (and he defined very often as more than once a week), before they went to the Sears department store at the south end of the Mall for Terry to have a job interview as a salesperson in the lawnmower department, because he needed a job.

Here is the same paragraph, stripped to a bare possible version of its former self: Continue reading

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 12, Scene 4

This week post is the last scene in Chapter 12, Scene 4 (1.12.4).

Feedback welcome. Thanks!

It was warm (75°), sunny, and I got to work in the garden because I FINISHED TAXES SATURDAY NIGHT! I prefer pulling weeds to doing taxes. I LIKE pulling weeds.

—–

Still looking for more beta readers; if interested, email me at abehrhardt [at] gmail. Commitment? Reading chapters as I polish them and giving me your honest opinion – and feedback about what you like (!), don’t like (X), or find confusing (?). You don’t get raw work, you get as close to publishable as I can manage without a couple of whole-book passes.

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

Previous chapter: Chapter 11

PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 12, Scene 4  [Bianca]


Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013.

Writing with CFS and brain fog: Tradeoffs

The old me

Since last year – at about the same time of year (!), when I posted my 3 part series, Rules 1-10, Rules 11-20, and Rules 21-30 – at the height of try to get control of my body and brain so as to get some reliable regular writing output – an enormous number of things have changed.

Because I finished taxes last night, and have a few brain cells still firing tonight, I thought I would post about how things have CHANGED. Yup, changed. Improved. Become better. Gotten reliable (sort of). Continue reading

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 12, Scene 3

I’m on my third batch of daffodils inside.

I am growing alfalfa and wheat grass for the chinchilla (we’ll see if she likes my alfalfa better than the farmers dry stuff).

Spring is such a promise.

As soon as taxes are done (tomorrow – cross fingers), I will be able to spend more time getting everything weeded, cleaned out, Preen’d, and HollyTone’d – for perfection in perennials for the spring, summer, and fall.

There are lilies spreading everywhere. The Forsythia is about to explode. The now-retired hubby is playing with the grass.

This week’s post continues with Chapter 12, Scene 3 (1.12.3).

Feedback welcome. Thanks!

Still looking for more beta readers; if interested, email me at abehrhardt [at] gmail.

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

Previous chapter: Chapter 11

PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 12, Scene 3  [Kary]


Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013.

Thanks, rude person, for helping me write a difficult scene

The ‘writing a difficult scene’ part

One of my characters is dealing with a punch in the stomach, at first in the character’s own mind, not in a scene with other people.

I don’t want to blunt the effect it has on him/her, paradoxically, by putting too much of a reaction into his/her first attempt to deal with things: I want it pure and simple and visceral and real, exactly how it would hit ME.

The ‘punch’ is in the form of a short piece of particularly nasty work (which I have written out and made as mean as possible), and my question for my character was: how do I feel immediately after I read the piece?

Now the ‘rude person thanks’ part

In an online writer’s blog where input was specifically requested by the blogger yesterday, I wrote a short and, I thought, coherent answer to the blogger’s question, expressing my own opinion and labeling it so. Continue reading

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 12, Scene 2

This week’s post continues Chapter 12, with Scene 2 (1.12.2).

Additional beta readers welcome – contact me if you’d like to participate (and get to read things earlier).

Feedback welcome. Thanks!

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

~ ~ ~

PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 12, Scene 2  [Andrew]


Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013-2014.