Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Why us "unattractive people" are so cool.

So, I've made an observation. Beautiful people have easier lives. They do. There have been studies I learned about in my college edjemacation that talk about how people think better of people who are good looking. They think they are kinder, nicer, and beautiful people enjoy special perks--essentially people want to be friends with beautiful people. (I know this anecdotally, too, because I'm married to one of these blessed people who gets away with murder because he's good looking.) As much as we hate to admit it, we judge people based on heuristics. So, what do the rest of us "unattractive" or let's say less-attractive people have to offer? Growing up, since I couldn't make friends on my good looks alone, yep, you guessed it, I had to actually develop a personality. Now, I have to rely on my sparkly wit to win friendships. So when life hands you a beautiful face, just remember the rest of us have found other ways to get noticed, and that makes us cool.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Why read/write fantasy?

I took an awesome creative writing course in college on short stories. When I told my teacher I wanted to write fantasy, he kind of discouraged me, saying I should write slice of life stories. Persuaded by his reasoning, I gave up fantasy writing in search of things of more literary value. Hmmm, looking back I think that was a mistake. Not that writing literary fiction or learning how to write literary fiction was a waste of time, quite the opposite, but I think there is some merit to reading and writing fantasy. First off, for me, reading fantasy is about escapism. It's fun to leave your world and completely delve into some other realm. Then you can safely come back and face reality. It's therapeutic. Second, I like writing fantasy because I can write about issues in a metaphoric way. (Uh-oh, one of those literary terms. That doesn't belong in fantasy writing...fantasy writing should be about fun.) Well, it is, but for me, there is a battle between right and wrong out there and good and evil. (Bullies evil, underdog good.) And in fantasy you can take that to an extreme. Magic can be good or bad, I can talk about issues that people don't normally talk about these days except in fantasy: righteousness, loyalty, oaths, self-sacrifice. Wait, don't these sound like literary terms? Yes, that's right, there's so much in fantasy that is of worth, just as in literary fiction. One last thought, when was the last time you were dying to read that plotless literary, high brow 700 page book? Exactly. And when it comes to paychecks, who do you think gets paid more? Just ask JK Rowling what she'd prefer to write.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Making Friends

One of my last good friends is moving this winter so you know what that means. I have to get out and make some new friends! I love making new friends. Friends are like handbags, you can never have too many. So, I thought I'd write myself a little tutorial about making friends. I should be an expert on this subject because I've moved nearly every two years in my youth and live in a high-turn-over area with lots of students, so I think I'm getting pretty good at it. First, smile a lot. Whether you are the new one or not, people like happy people, they're attracted to smiles. Why? Maybe people feel that if you're smiling you must be nice and nice people make great friends. Second, ask for and remember people's names. My hubby and I play this game at church to see who can remember the most new people's names. (I usually win, although he's got me a few times.) People like to be remembered and known. Third, ask people about themselves. This one took me years to learn. I still babble about myself, but usually when I'm trying to impress someone--waaaaaaay backwards. People like talking about themselves as a general rule. If you ask them questions about themselves, they usually know the answer. Try to ask questions that will give more than a yes or no answer unless you plan follow up questions that will bring out more. Try to avoid the old, "You like this...So to I...blah, me, blah, I...." Just ask follow up questions. (I'm still working on this one!) Fourth, do something for them. Or have them do something for you. Service is a great way to make a friend because you invest in them. But if they invest in you (just don't manipulate them into doing something for you, major friend turn off) then they will be more bonded to you. Fifth, time. Often, it takes time to make a really good friend and it requires that you spend time with them. This is essential whether you are single, married, have kids. Time is the water and feed for your friendship flower. Without it, it dies. Sometimes that requires sacrifice, so you have to ask yourself, if it's worth it. I hope it is.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Ally Condie

I'm always on the lookout for good teen fiction. A friend of mine recommended Ally Condie's Matched. She came here and her presentation was so cool. She had slides on the things that inspired her to write her dystopian novel. She talked about art, writing and poetry, music. She shared how her brother and brother-in-law were invaluable resources for learning survival skills.
I'm going to be reading her book this week! Check her out!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


No, that is not some type-o. It's National Novel Writing Month! That's right! For the next thirty days, I'm going to write a 50,000 word novel. So, I'm writing this to let you know if my facebook status updates, blogposts, emails and housekeeping are lacking, it's because I'm writing. I'll still try to blog about whatever pops into my head. For instance, I've got this great article my hubby forwarded to me that I'm dying to blog about. So stay tuned. Does anybody else do anything crazy like this?

Third Place from Book Buyer's Best Contest

A sweet romance wins third place Sweet romances can compete and win! I'm super excited for this honor.  I want to tell you, please keep ...