Friday, October 25, 2013

October 25th Challenge

Hi, it’s Christina – 

Yesterday was a great day. I finished editing a story for a friend, dinner came out yummy even though I didn’t get to eat it until nine o’clock, and I attended a symposium at Princeton University where I only had to look up one word they used in the presentation. (I thought I knew what the word meant, but it did not make sense to me in the context the speaker was using it. I looked the word up, and I did know the definition, so now I’m really confused because what she was talking about was pretty much an antonym to the word she used.)

Whatever, I’m just happy I was able to hold my own at such a prestigious house of learning. I was fearful all the speakers would be using $3 words because they thought they were supposed to because we were at Princeton. It’s funny, I’ve watched lectures from a few ivy league schools, some regular universities, and even one course from Oxford (research for books comes from all sorts of resources), and there are some speakers out there who I swear are just trying to impress folks or make themselves feel superior by using words 95% of people do not know. That’s not to say I don’t appreciate learning a new word or two, but I don’t want to have to look up every third word used. As far as I’m concerned, when a writer or speaker does that, I consider them a pretentious snob and I really don’t care what they have to say, so I tune them out. I don’t think it is wise to make your audience feel stupid; in fact, it’s counterproductive.


Have you ever had the chance to meet someone you admire and they turn out nothing like you expected or you are disappointed with who they really are when you see them in person? It has happened to me on a few occasions, but I am HAPPY to say, that was not the case last night. I had the opportunity to meet two fabulous authors last night, one of which I have admired for quite a few years, Ms. Eloisa James.


At first I was rather nervous about approaching her, but I wanted to thank her in person for the advice and words of encouragement she has given me over the past two years while I was starting my writing career. Eloisa is not only an award winning, bestselling, author, she is a college professor with more letters after her name than a beachcombing airplane. She has degrees from Harvard, Yale and Cambridge, and she’s literally brilliant. As I came to discover last night, she is also extremely approachable, witty, and undeniably down to earth.


The other author I met last night was Ms. Jennifer Crusie. Again, another well educated (but she doesn’t have her PhD even though folks keep saying she does), award winning, bestselling, gifted author. She was also one of our speakers last night. Let me tell you, she’s hysterical and she tells it like it is; no candy-coating for Ms. Jenny. I loved listening to her talk and to hear the bantering going on between her and Eloisa during the round table discussion. The two of them together are a stitch.

So, that alone, plus getting to meet some other wonderful people at the symposium, made for a pretty great evening, right? Well guess what, it didn’t end there. When I got home last night, I fired up my computer to see what I missed while I was away, and I received several more items which catapulted my day from great to AMAZING.

I have a brand new cousin (several times removed on my husband’s side, but as far as I’m concerned, more family to love). Please meet Miss Francesca Rose. She took her sweet old time getting here, but we are all happy she has finally arrived. Baby, Mommy Kaitlyn and Daddy Michael are all doing well.

But wait, it didn’t stop there. Several months back I helped another author with a children’s story she wrote on bullying. (Honestly, all I did was help her reposition a few stanzas to help maintain the cadence of the story. I don’t even think it took me an hour before I returned her piece to her.) Anyway, she sent me a note saying her story was going into production. I am so thrilled for her. It is a wonderful story and I’m glad it will have the opportunity to be shared with the world.

Guess what, there’s more. I received an email notice that another author I absolutely LOVE is following ME on Twitter! This blows my mind even though it has happened several times now. Now if I can figure out a way to actually meet my “idols” in person instead of just online, I’d be a happy, happy girl.

Needless to say, after all the excitement yesterday, I had a really hard time winding down to be able to get some sleep, so I’m a bit tired this morning, but I still woke up smiling. Even the dog getting sick on the living room rug this morning has not put a damper on my good mood.

Today is an amazingly glorious day, so I think I will wash my blankets and get them hung out on the line so they are all fresh for the upcoming cold weather. Then I want to do the research for the book I will be writing for NaNoWriMo. There are several Gaelic terms which I will be using as the names of the different kingdoms in the story, so I need to find them, and I also need to brush up on my Irish folklore before I get started. I can’t believe NaNoWriMo starts in a week!

I hope you have a FABULOUS Friday, and if you happen to be near Peddler’s Village in Lahaska, PA tomorrow, please stop by Canterbury Tales Forever and say “Hi!”. I will be there with authors K. Edwin Fritz and Linda Rawlins from roughly 10 – 3. Happy writing!


Your Last Challenge was:

 Write a story using the following three words, Lily, Anger, Murder

The official ruling was suicide, but anyone who knew Lily, even casually, knows there was no way she could have done what they say she did. She had two amazing children whom she adored, a job she loved and the people there loved her, and a generally sunny outlook on life in general. True she had been having some health issues before her death, but they weren’t life threatening and she was facing them with grace and determination. A few weeks before she died, she had had knee surgery on both of her knees, so it was extremely difficult for her to walk. Even short distances caused her pain, and if it happened to be one of her physical therapy days, she could barely move after her secession. The day she died was a therapy day, so there was no way she could have physically walked the two miles to the train tracks.

No, Lily didn’t commit suicide, she was murdered, and although I can’t prove it, I’m pretty sure I know who did it. It makes me so angry, no, furious that her good-for-nothing husband still walks around town, still works at the same place, still is able to have a life, when everyone knows he is the one who drove Lily to those tracks. He is the one who left her there with no way to get to safety. But for some reason, the case was rubber stamped and no investigation ensued. It’s not like the husband came from money or prominence, he’s just your average Joe. Well, maybe not so average if he did what we all suspect he did, then go about his business as if he didn’t have a care in the world.

He makes me sick every time I see him. All I have to say is, he may have gotten away with it for now, but eventually he will have to answer to a higher authority, and I doubt that authority will be as easily fooled.


Your Next Challenge is (I think this one is going to be difficult and the responses are going to be short, but have fun with it):

 Tell a story, pick any subject you want, but no word you use can be more than five letters long.

You have 10 minutes (be honest). There is no right or wrong, just write. Spelling and punctuation don’t count and NO ONE is allowed to criticize what someone else has written. Go.