mollyringle: (Gutenberg)

It's a snowy day here in the Pacific Northwest, school has been canceled due to the weather, the kids are ecstatic, and I'll do what I can in the way of work today. So: we're in the second week of the daily writing tips, and today's tip is...

8.     Finish it. Unless you absolutely don’t care about it.

Finish that story! This is important! Exception: if you really, honestly don’t even like it anymore and don’t care if it ever gets finished, then go start writing something you do care about. But if you want to see the work in progress get completed, then finish it. The first draft doesn’t have to be awesome; in fact, it almost never is. You can fix it later, and anyway you’ll learn what the beginning needs (and probably the middle too) only by writing the end. This is one of those weird and annoying truths about the creation of fiction.

I also hate to tell you this, but even finishing the draft doesn’t mean you’re close to having a complete draft that’s ready for publishing. There have been more times than I want to think about where I’ve written an entire book, then looked it over with honesty, and realized I basically had to rewrite the whole damn thing if it was going to be good enough for the rest of the world to read. But that’s okay too! The writing of the substandard first draft still did its part in helping me learn what the book needed, and it definitely counted as writing practice in general.

Also, hey, I don’t know the actual stats on this, nor how we would ever get those stats, but what they keep telling is that if you finish a full draft of a novel, you’re ahead of the vast majority of people who attempt to write one and abandon it partway through. I could believe that. So yes: be one of the outliers. (Unless you seriously don’t care. Then move on to something else. But eventually, finish something.)

mollyringle: (Gutenberg)

Today on writing inspiration, my idea is...

7.     Make a playlist for your story.

Sometimes visuals aren’t enough for inspiration, and you need the help of music. With my stories, I nearly always end up choosing certain songs as the definitive songs that mean this story and these characters. It’s their song, man! Or rather, their songs, plural. Once I’ve decided what those songs are—or, more accurately, once those songs have popped up in my life and self-proclaimed their perfection for my purposes—I put them on a playlist (iTunes, Amazon Prime Music, Spotify…choose your favorite method) and listen to them when going for a walk or doing housework, and daydream about the story. I often find that I can’t listen to them while actually writing, because it’s too distracting, but your mileage may vary.

If you’re the type who can be affected by music (which is most of us), this tip can work magic on your inspiration. However, don’t expect other people to feel the same about the songs you chose for your story. Even if you have a devoted fan base (which most of us don’t, and won’t), readers will likely come up with their own favorite songs they would choose for your work. Similarly, they’ll probably have different casting ideas from yours. But that’s okay. These tips are for getting you to write the story and love it. People get to read the story and love it in their own way, just as we all have, as readers with our favorite books.

That said, if you do want to listen to the playlist I put together for The Chrysomelia Stories (the Persephone trilogy), it’s here.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and I’ll come up with more daily tips for one more week before we’re done!

mollyringle: (Gutenberg)
6.     Cast your story with actual photos.

This tip may stem from the fact that I’m primarily a visual learner, but nonetheless, humans in general do usually take in a lot of information from what they see. So use that to your benefit when trying to flesh out your characters by collecting photos of people who look like them. Essentially you’re casting the story as if adapting it for film, except you don’t have to limit yourself to actual actors, nor people who are still alive or still the right age for the part. You can cast Mae West as she looked in 1935, or some unknown civilian captured in a photograph from 1898, or someone in a modern stock photo. The important thing is that their face makes you think of your character.

Why is this any more useful than writing out a detailed description of your character’s appearance, sans photograph? Well, because if you’re like me, you don’t think of everything when you picture an imaginary person. You know their hair color and eye color and their height and build, but how clearly can you see their smile? Do you know which little wrinkles it brings out in other parts of their face? What shape are their eyebrows? Is their hairline low or high? You don’t have to copy every single physical aspect of the person in the photograph and stick it onto your character, but looking at the details of someone’s actual face in a picture makes you think about how human faces look, and what kind of realistic details you might mention. Most importantly, I find that casting the story with photos makes the characters become more alive to me while I’m doing the writing. It gets easier to picture how they’d move, what habitual gestures they’d make, how they’d dress, and so on.

Pinterest, by the way, is a handy place to collect these photos. You can make a board for your story (mark it private if you don’t want others to see it) and start pinning pictures on it, adding your own notes and captions. You can also include pictures of the setting: the city or part of the world where it takes place, or landmarks your characters visit. Or pictures of fashions they might wear. Or really any photos that spark thoughts about your story. Let your visual-learning abilities help your creativity. Just a caveat: it’s really easy to waste hours on Pinterest, so pace yourself lest you fall into a rabbit hole of procrastination.

More story-inspiration thoughts tomorrow! 
mollyringle: (Maurice & Clive)
For those of you who share my slashy-romantic tastes, I recommend to you the Mexican film Cuatro Lunas. Watched it last night on Netflix and found it beautiful. Happy spoiler: no one dies! (Yeah, I'm scowling at you, Brokeback Mountain.) Many gorgeous men/boys and tons of heart. Read subtitles (if your Spanish isn't quite up to scratch, which mine is not) and enjoy.
mollyringle: (Gutenberg)
5.     Interview your characters.

Sometimes, despite your enthusiasm for a story idea, you find yourself uncertain where to take the story next. Or a character just isn’t quite coming to life for you—which often, actually, is the reason why we’re finding it hard to move the writing along. One trick I like to employ when this happens is to interview my character(s).

I usually do it silently, in writing, in a separate document from the manuscript itself, though you can try conducting the interview out loud if you like. It could be that imitating the character’s voice is what really animates them for you. I recommend recording the audio if you do it that way, so you have a record of what you came up with. Whichever way you do it, ask them the basics about their background: what was your life like growing up, where do you live now, what are your hobbies and passions? Then ask them about the problem we’ll be dealing with in your fiction: how’d you get into this situation? What do you feel about it? What would you like to do to fix things, and what’s stopping you?

These are of course all the same kinds of questions you’ve already considered in coming up with the story in the first place. But I find you’ll get more lifelike responses if you put the answers in the character’s mouth, rather than in your own omniscient-narrator voice, which is likely to be more detached. This exercise also helps you hear how the character talks, what turns of phrase they’re inclined to use, what dialects or slang they embrace, what tone they take when describing their situation. Will they be polite and hold back emotions, even though we know they’re under there? Or will they rant and complain? Or perhaps display dry humor? Getting them to talk is the way to discover their individual voice.

Tomorrow I’ll post another idea for bringing characters to life, so check back for day 6. And have a great weekend!
mollyringle: (Gutenberg)
4.     Outline it. Or don’t.

Once you’ve chosen what your fiction will be about, how do you start writing? Well, this is where it comes down to the question: are you going to be a plotter, or a pantser?

Being a plotter has worked for me a lot of times, if I need to figure out what this story even is. If it’s going to be on the complicated side and/or my initial idea is still hazy, I benefit from writing out a synopsis of how things might go. (This always gets changed later, as I do the actual writing of the book, so don’t worry about having to stick to the outline too closely.)

However, if I have a good enough idea where the story will be going, and I have no crazy magical rules to figure out, nor intricate cat-and-mouse games to plot, I’ve also successfully written in “pantser” mode—that is, writing by the seat of my pants. (Apparently that’s the origin of the term “pantser.” But I also like the idea of “pantsing” the novel; i.e., just yanking its pants down and getting straight to business without any fancy planned striptease. Not that I actually think of novel writing as sex. Although…hm. You know what, metaphors can be a serious sidetrack. Moving on.)

I don’t think you need to commit strongly to one side or the other, outlining vs. discovery-writing. In my experience, every book’s creation has some elements of both. There are parts you’ll probably have to stop and work out ahead of time in order to proceed properly. But there are sure to be other parts you won’t know about until they happen, springing serendipitously from your keyboard and delighting you with how right they feel even though you just thought of them. So ultimately that’s my advice, which is sort of anti-advice in this case: don’t worry so much about “plotter vs. pantser,” a.k.a. “outlining vs. free-writing.” If you can’t figure out where to start or where it’s going, try some outlining. If you’re eager to get in there and write and just see where it goes, do that. You’ll be all right.
mollyringle: (Gutenberg)

Welcome to day 3 in fiction-writing Ideas Off The Top of My Head! Today's tip...

3.     Don’t write it unless you love it.

When choosing what to write your story about, pick the idea (perhaps from your story idea file) that excites you right now the most. Not what you think will sell the best, or what your friend says would be really cool to read, or what would make your high school English teacher proudest. Unless you get a crazily rabid fan base (which most of us won’t), it’s safe to say no one will care about this book as much as you do, nor spend as much time with it as you will. So pick a plot and a set of characters you will seriously freaking love.

That said: keep in mind you probably won’t love them immediately. It’s fine if you only like them at first. In fact, this rule, while lovely and simple and very important to follow, is actually perhaps one of the hardest to follow, because it’s not always easy to zero in on what you most want to write about. So start with the central bits, the idea(s) that you’re almost certain you want to include. A particular couple who should fall in love. A certain magical location. A historical time and place. A mood, even: funny, scary, romantic, suspenseful. Thinking back on stories you’ve loved will probably help you choose what you most want.

Then when you have your central kernel or two of inspiration, start embroidering around it. What might you do with this couple, this magic, this time in history, this idea of scariness or hilarity or what have you? Specifically, what do you want to do with it? Presumably this is going to be a book you wish existed in the world, because you would love to read it, so what kind of stuff would happen in a book like that?

It’s all yours. Make it happen. Keep working on it, and even if you don’t feel the love at first, it will engulf you as you write further, as long as you’ve chosen subject matter you can seriously dig.

mollyringle: (Gutenberg)
Welcome back to day 2! (See yesterday for day 1.) Today's fiction-writing tip:

2. Keep a story idea file.

You probably come up with a cool idea for a story from time to time, but are too busy to do anything with it, and in fact aren’t sure you’ll ever use it. But still, it is a cool idea…so write it down! Keep a story idea file. I use a regular old Word document, but you can use a notebook if you’re old-school, or a note-keeping app on your phone, or whatever you like. This is a small file; this isn’t where you expand your ideas into full story outlines. This is where you write down a sentence or two about your idea, so that later, if you want inspiration, you can look at your list of ideas and spark your imagination with one of these lines.

Where do you get story ideas? Anywhere, really. Could be an anecdote someone told you about their grandma. Or a quirky story in the news. Or a vivid dream you had. A piece of art (visual, musical, you name it) that enthralls you. Anything that triggers your curiosity. For me, books of fairy tales or mythology are instant story-idea generators, so that’s another good source: take an old story you like (as long as it’s in the public domain) and tell it in a new way, with your own unique changes. (Given I wrote a trilogy based on Greek-myth characters, and also a novel inspired by a Christina Rossetti poem, I obviously am fond of this source of ideas.)

Gender-swap is another fun tool for adapting old stories or common tropes into something new. Imagine a Sleeping Beauty who’s male, and a female in armor trying to fight through the brambles to reach him. Or a Taming of the Shrew where the tamer is a woman and the shrew is a guy. POV change is also interesting: pick a character whose point of view we don’t usually see, and tell the story from theirs. (Disney’s Maleficent, for example.)

So brainstorm a few crazy ideas, even if you aren’t going to use them anytime soon. It’s a good exercise in creativity, and no one’s going to see and judge your file except you; and hey, maybe you will turn one of them into an awesome story someday.
mollyringle: (Gutenberg)
As I’m between book projects and feeling antsy about it, I am turning my mind not only to the next book I ought to write (which I’m still figuring out), but to writing other stuff in the meantime. Such as blog posts. So what I’ve decided to do, to give myself some writing-related homework, as well as food for thought for anyone who might be interested, is fourteen days of writing tips. I’ll compose one brief post each day for the next two weeks, on the subject of writing fiction.
So this is day one! And tip #1 is:

1. Analyze books you love. And TV shows and movies. Stories anywhere, really.

Take one of your absolute favorite novels, or TV episodes, or films, or plays, or other form of storytelling. Read (or watch or listen to) it again. Pick out exactly what the features are that make you love it. The setting and the way it’s shown and used? Certain characters’ personalities, and the way they change (or refuse to) over the story? The dialogue? The beauty of the language? The overall atmosphere and mood?

Then once you’ve listed the stuff you love, make another list; or rather, more like an outline, a sequence. What happens in the story, briefly, and in what order? Reverse-engineer the plot. How does it begin? How does the story introduce us to the characters and the conflict? How does it make us care what happens? Notice pacing: how quickly (or slowly) does the story unfold? What are the big events, and how much time do we (and the characters) have to recover and react between them? Notice mood too: how does each scene make you feel, and how did it accomplish that? Also notice what each scene is there for, because each one most likely serves some important purpose in the story.

Once you’ve vivisected a beloved story in this way, you end up with a better idea of how to construct one you’ll enjoy working on yourself.

That’s all for today. Come back for tip #2 tomorrow!
mollyringle: (Froud - bad faeries)

Hi everyone,

A very belated happy new year! I'm glad to have this news to share with you today: my new novel The Goblins of Bellwater, though it won't be out until fall, is at least up for pre-order now on Amazon and other sites, and you can admire the cover art in the meantime:

If you're a Goodreads user, I also encourage you to add the book to your shelves over there. It's no commitment or cost, and it will help your friends learn about it, and lead to more readers being interested in it, or such is the theory.

You can read the back-cover blurb on those sites, but I'll put it here too to save you from clicking through:


A new novel inspired by Christina Rossetti's spooky, sensual poem "Goblin Market"...

Most people have no idea goblins live in the woods around the small town of Bellwater, Washington. But some are about to find out. Skye, a young barista and artist, falls victim to a goblin curse in the forest one winter night, rendering her depressed and silenced, unable to speak of what happened. Her older sister, Livy, is at wit's end trying to understand what's wrong with her. Local mechanic Kit would know, but he doesn't talk of such things: he's the human liaison for the goblin tribe, a job he keeps secret and never wanted, thrust on him by an ancient family contract.

Then Kit starts dating Livy, and Skye draws Kit's cousin Grady into the spell through an enchanted kiss in the woods. Skye and Grady are doomed to become goblins and disappear from humankind forever, unless Livy, the only one untainted by enchantment, can unravel the spell by walking a dangerous magical path of her own.


By the way, you can read Rossetti's "Goblin Market" for free online. It's one strange Victorian paranormal ride, I'll tell you right now. Great fodder for a modern paranormal romance.

In related news, you can read a new interview with me here about my writing. I tackle, among other topics, that infamous "Which books would you take with you to a desert island?" question. Actually, I evade it, more like.

Hope you are reading lots of good books lately! Touch base and say hi.

mollyringle: (parfumerie)

It’s been easy for everyone to bemoan how much 2016 sucked. I don’t need to rehash the more traumatizing parts of the news for you.

Instead I’m going to write a post of things that were good in 2016. For me, at least.

Of my novel-writing projects:
Immortal’s Spring was released in June, and wrapped up my Persephone-myth-based trilogy. By that time I had also finished writing The Goblins of Bellwater, about which you’ll hear more soon, and started writing (rewriting, actually) Boy in Eyeliner, a guy/guy love story in modern day with many a nod to '80s new wave music and fashion. I just finished a complete first draft of that and will be hitting up some beta readers to critique it in a couple of weeks here. I have been completely loving it, proving that immersing myself in a creative project I genuinely dig is the way to save my sanity.

Of music:
The Monkees released a new album, and it was awesome. Yes, I was as surprised about that whole sentence as you are. Such a treat for us lifelong Monkees fans.
A few other groups I’ve discovered this year and adore (not to say they all have new albums this year, just new to me): Bleachers, Børns, Nicole Atkins, Julian Casablancas, Temples.

Of TV:
Grantchester has been a British-murder-mystery delight.
New Girl is appealingly funny so far.
Gilmore Girls ran their revival (discussed in an earlier post).
I’ve watched the first episode of Call the Midwife and am much inspired and will watch more.
New Sherlock underway, hurrah!

Of skin products:
My fussy, sensitive skin is actually liking the routine I give it now, with many of these products being ones I first tried in 2016. None of them cost ridiculous amounts, either, which is good because I’m also fussy about not spending too much on products:
Wash morning and night with CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser (and wash really well, but with fingertips only, no washcloth or other harsh scrubbing)
In morning: simple rosewater as toner (I like the food-grade Cortas brand; comes in cute glass drink bottle, and you can in fact put some in your drinks or cooking too if you want), and follow up with a little bit of Toulon Cellular Defense Face Moisturizer.
In evening: I usually don’t bother with toner, and put on some Oz Natural Super Youth Retinol Moisturizer.
Special treatment for the aging eyes: I like the movie-star trick of dabbing a tiny bit of petroleum jelly around my eyes, morning and night. Also, DON’T RUB YOUR EYES. Yeah, it feels good, but you drag the skin around and cause more wrinkling, bagginess, and discoloration over time. Crow’s feet from smiling, though: I embrace those.

Of perfumes:
Some tried in 2016 that I loved:

Geoffrey Beene Grey Flannel: a “Dad’s aftershave” kind of scent, nice and cheap too, but especially fresh and bracing. Hint of powdery violet in the mix as well.

Agent Provocateur: also nice and cheap. Considering I usually only LIKE rose scents, not love them, I’m surprised how much this has grabbed me. Musky, elegant, reminiscent of red lipstick; reminds me of something Satine in Moulin Rouge might wear.

Gres Cabochard: yet another that’s inexpensive. Handy that way. A lot of similarity to Robert Piguet Bandit (which I also love), in that it’s a strange but captivating green-plus-leather blend. Bad-ass in an old-fashioned way.

Etat Libre d’Orange The Afternoon of a Faun: “vegetal” is a good word for this one. It almost smells like celery sometimes, but in a sweet and earthy way, thanks to the immortelle and other notes. It lingers and stays warm and alluring, and is decidedly unique.

Tauervillle Incense Flash: this is a big YES for those of us who like smoky incense scents. With a suggestion of campfire in this one. Beautiful.

Profumum Roma Audace: vetiver done smooth. Warm and green like an overgrown humid summer riverside.

Solstice Scents Sycamore Chai: warm slice of pumpkin pie with whipped cream, drying down to a lovely and non-cloying marshmallow-vanilla.

Solstice Scents Maplewood Inn: sweet mug of chai with a fire burning in the hearth and freshly split pine logs next to it.

Papillon Salome: makes me think of Colette’s stories: a woman's apartment dedicated to shameless sensual luxury; cigarettes and long-slept-in bedsheets, but also fresh pretty flowers brought in daily, and the nicest of soaps in the bath.

...and I'll stop there. For now.

mollyringle: (moon over ocean)

Look at news, see Carrie Fisher has died.

Step 1: Don't cry.

Step 2: Fail step 1.

"I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out..."

Carrie, you were unvarnished and eccentric and troubled and hot and smart and sassy, and showed us that a female icon can be all those things at once. Thank you.

Love to her friends and family, and to all the hurting fans whom 2016 has trampled thoroughly. (Shout-out to George Michael's memory too...sigh.)

mollyringle: (winters jewels)

While (badly) playing songs on piano tonight from my book of Christmas sheet music, I found myself amused, as I am every year, by the repeated insistence on figgy pudding in "We Wish You a Merry Christmas." I mean, it's the subject of three of the four verses. So I tweeted about that, and got an even more amusing response out of the blue within minutes.

Speaking of holiday carols: as someone slightly more inclined toward paganism than Christianity (though I have a Christmas tree in the house and Christmas music and all that--I count as a "cultural Christian" when it comes to some of the holidays), I have to tip the hat every year to "Deck the Halls," which is possibly the only popular carol that doesn't reference Christmas or Jesus anywhere in it. It's all about Yuletide and greenery and harps and gay apparel and fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la. Also it's ridiculously cheerful.

So, I wish you a merry Christmas, a happy new year, a joyous Yule, a happy Hanukkah, and good times in whatever else you might be up to at the end of this calendar year. And of course I really hope you get figgy pudding. If that's actually any good. I'm not sure I've tried it, to be honest.

mollyringle: (winters jewels)
I have finally caught up to the rest of the Netflixing world and watched “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.” I give it a B on the whole. It rarely hit the perfection of the best Gilmore Girls episodes of the past, and often felt aimless (much like its characters’ lives right now), but it had its thoroughly charming moments and ended strong. Well, ended on a cliffhanger, of course, but…we were warned.

Below, my notes in order, jotted down as I watched. SPOILERS, obvsly.

Read more... )

mollyringle: (Gutenberg)

This month Persephone's Orchard is a free download as an ebook (see Amazon, B&N, Kobo, and other sites too), and I've been contributing guest posts on my take on Greek mythology to many lovely book bloggers to help spread the word.

Since the posts are fun and brief and a nice diversion from the news, here's a roundup of them for anyone interested:

10 Things I Like About Persephone. E.g., "She has an interesting marriage story..."

10 Things I Like About Hades. For one: "He does not have blue flames for hair. No one except Disney has ever said so, and they are making things up."

"No one ever knows about all my cats": The Inscrutable Divine Trickster Hermes. "Yes, he’ll screw you over sometimes and drive you crazy. But he’ll also surprise you with unexpected gifts."

It's always the right time to immerse ourselves in good books, and it can be especially therapeutic in stressful eras. Hope you are all finding time to read something excellent!

mollyringle: (Uncle Sam WWII - by pear_icons)

What I've basically been seeing in online discussions this past week (a condensed parody, if you will):

The left/center: Holy crap, I’m scared and sad for women, the LGBTQ community, Muslims, immigrants, Jews…
The right: Ugh, we’re FINE with women and gays and whatever religion you want, srsly, stop whining
The left/center: Um. That. Right there, that. Did you…did you just see that?
The right: Well everyone’s entitled to their opinion. Hey JimBob, good to see you! Great week, huh? Come on in, help yourself to snacks.

See, it's not that I think my right-wing friends are racists, sexists, xenophobes, and homophobes. I know you're not. You wouldn't be my friends if you were. The problem is that those on the right are a little bit too okay with sharing the party with people who are those things. This shouldn't even be a left/right issue. This should be a "decent person" issue. I'm not seeing enough denouncing of those attitudes from those on the right, and that is what bothers me. The response keeps on being, "We're not all racists! YOU'RE racists!," which does not really answer to the problem nor help at all.

If you want denouncing from me, of liberals wrecking property and being violent, in the rare events where that's happening, then yes, I do denounce that. I even denounce liberals carrying "Fuck Trump" signs, because we absolutely would not condone "Fuck Hillary" signs if she had won. Let's be adults and let's be decent people using respectful language just as we're asking everyone to do, I say to my own side.

So, those on the right...can you do a little more denouncing of the absolutely clearly wrong verbal behavior and attitudes, please?--which I am seeing EVERYWHERE online, by the way, without even having to look for it; this is NOT a myth or a few scant incidents. It's happening to me and my friends when we express even mild concern. The trolls have been unleashed, it's worrying, and surely it's not the America any of us want to live in.

I don't plan to discuss politics a lot on here. I've never liked it and still don't. But I want to put this out there in the interests of healing a wounded nation and trying to understand what's happening. Discussions welcome; flames and ranting not welcome. From either side. You have the rest of the internet for that. Thank you. 

mollyringle: (Maurice & Scudder)

I want to pull out my mom voice on the entire internet today:
“Don’t flame people you don’t even know! You were raised better than that!”

Seriously, please, everyone on both sides - on ALL sides - remember the complex human beings at the other end. Today I talked a flame-commenter around to a “You’re right, I’m sorry for saying that” because I responded reasonably and respectfully, and found common ground with them. There IS hope for the country if we all do that.

mollyringle: (Buxom Angel of Freedom)

Preface: Some of you have been around long enough to remember when I used to call myself a conservative (or at least a libertarian), because like a lot of people in their 20s, I had a phase where I read Ayn Rand and listened to charismatic and persuasive conservative friends and didn’t like taxes. But that isn’t me anymore, in case you couldn’t tell. (Well, I still don’t LIKE taxes, but I’m more at peace with them.) In reverse of the “liberal at 20, conservative by 40” trope, I’ve long since come back over to the liberal side, and embraced the values that were, to be honest, always at the heart of my thinking. I mean, I did spend a lot of my supposed conservative phase arguing with those conservative friends, because I was never fully okay with the LGBTQ-derogatory attitudes, the misogyny, the over-reliance on religion, or the stingy healthcare, to name a few issues.

So, though I wasn’t worried about the election of George W. Bush back in the day, I’m not feeling all right today. (But really, in hindsight, doesn’t Dubya look a lot more appealing now in comparison?)

Anyway. For posterity, here is a record of thoughts I posted on other social media, between last night and tonight:

Nov. 8, 7:38 PM Pacific time (while votes were still being counted): Dude, okay USA, we'll save you, but you have to not make fun of our organic kefir habit for like a month after this. Love, the West Coast.

Nov. 8, 9:45 PM (as the vote became clearer): Me before tonight: I don’t know, this story I’m writing about a gay couple encountering prejudice, maybe it’s outdated.
Me tonight: Oh no it f***ing isn’t.

Nov. 9, 6:04 AM (because I woke up too early, unable to fall back asleep, and finally gave in and checked the news): Last night I dreamt I was in a big crumbling house, but friends had made their rooms in it really beautiful. Comfort from subconscious.

6:50 AM: This morning's thought that has helped boost me: well, new wave music arose and flourished under the era of Reagan, Thatcher, and the Cold War. So, creative types (and really everyone is creative if you find the right medium), we are needed and our time may be now.
Everyone line up and get your eyeliner and your mousse and your ruffly shirts! OK, I suppose the dress code is optional, but it could be fun.
Make beautiful stuff, guys. Don't ever stop.

5:28 PM: Nov 9 problems: not wanting to smile at people because I don't want to seem happy about the news, but not wanting to seem hostile by NOT smiling.

And finally, because I hope it gives you at least a brief laugh the way it did for me:

mollyringle: (autumn leaves & cup)

There's no way to write a subject line like that and not sound like a spam generator, is there? Nonetheless, here you go; three life-hack-ish tricks I have found useful lately:

1. Borax and sugar to annihilate odorous house ants (a.k.a. sugar ants or soil ants). You can find various methods for this all over the web, but basically you mix equally parts sugar and powdered borax (not Boraxo) with a little water in a small low container (I used bottle lids) and put it where the pesky ants keep getting into the house. They'll zero in on the sugar, take the mix to the nest, and get themselves and their nestmates killed by the borax. These teeny ants have plagued us ever since moving in, and despite regular exterminator visits, have been invading the kitchen this season more than usual. So in desperation I tried the borax trick, and hey! Invasion over! They swarmed the lid for about a day (which in itself was an improvement, since then it meant they weren't roaming the dining room table), then their numbers dropped dramatically. Fully worth the cost of a box of borax.

2. Alternate hot and cold water in the shower for overall well-being. This is an ancient custom, of course; the Romans with their many-temperatured baths knew of it, as do spas all over the world. (Those intrepid Scandinavians sometimes like to hop from their jacuzzis straight into a hole in the river ice. Naked. You're hardcore, people.) I'm more or less switching from 30 seconds of comfortably hot water to 30 seconds of "as cold as I can take it without screaming," back and forth a few times. The cold part is not particularly fun. But the process does seem to leave me feeling rejuvenated, and many people claim it's excellent for your circulation and immune system. So. Try it if you dare.

3. This isn't new, but is worth a repost, and anyway you can't have just two items on a list; you must have three: my cure-all spice drink. Helps with headaches, digestive issues, bloating, colds, PMS/hormonal blahs, and probably more, given all the crazy-high levels of antioxidants in herbs and spices. I'm having a cup right now and my "been a long week" headache is already improving. We all might need it as Election Day draws nearer, eh, America? (Seriously, world, we're so sorry to have subjected you to this.) Be kind to each other out there, everyone.

mollyringle: (iPod)

It has come to my attention today that I've been included in an AP article being picked up all over the country. It's not about my writing, my books I've spent years creating, NO, OF COURSE NOT. It is, like last time, about a moment of online frivolity, and, once again, is not representing my original post quite accurately.

The article this time is about whether "ballot selfies" are legal (answer: depends on the state), and they include a few tweets from those of us who posted a photo on Twitter with the #ballotselfie hashtag. This was mine:


And you will kindly notice, if you have eyesight, that my ballot is EMPTY in that photo. I would not go posting my filled-in ballot. That's just tacky. Nonetheless, some of the versions of the article, such as this one, say stuff like, "They're posting selfies on social media with their completed ballots," followed directly by the link to my tweet. UGH. NO I AM NOT. Would you LOOK before writing the article, please.

What was the other time I made the rounds in an AP article, you ask? That was back in 2010 when I won the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest with one silly sentence, and was rewarded with headlines calling me a bad writer, because too many people do not understand the BLFC. (i.e., Those sentences are not from actual published books; they are all one-offs, written to be deliberately bad, for fun, by language-loving people with a bizarre sense of humor.)

But, in any case: go vote, my fellow Americans.


mollyringle: (Default)

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