Archive for June, 2010

30
Jun

More Than A Lamp

Posted under That's Life Wednesdays 3 Comments

I was working on a synopsis when the call came. The moment I heard my eleven-year-old’s voice, I knew something was wrong. She was cleaning her room, moving things around, when it happened. 

Her beloved Tinkerbell lamp fell off her cubbies and broke. 

If you knew my daughter, you’d know how tragic this really was. She’s a die-hard Disney lover (like her mom), with Tinker Bell being among her favorites. The lamp had been a gift from me when we moved out on our own three and a half years ago.

I remember the day I gave it to her…the way her eyes lit up and the sound of the happy squeal right before she threw her arms around me. And I remember the way she placed it on her cubbies with pride, using the night light feature every night before bed (she loved the purple hue it gave her room).

When we moved to New York last year, the lamp was one of the first things to find a place in her new room, the fairies that adorned the base of the lamp a forever nod to that sweet innocence she proudly holds onto.

And then Friday happened.

Sure, the tears were for the lamp, itself. But I think they were just as much about the memory, and the symbol, and the feeling of “home” that lamp provided. So while I listened to her sob in my ear, I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that this was one boo-boo I had to fix…

A fix that should be arriving on our doorstep later today.

So tell me, is there something you or a loved one own (s) that you wouldn’t hesitate to replace (even if it’s no longer available in stores and therefore the purchase price is twice what you originally paid) in the event of a mishap?

~Elizabeth

29
Jun

Summer Reading

Posted under Reading Tuesdays 5 Comments

 With summer stretched out before me, I have just one question…

What’s on your summer reading list this year?

Me? I’m tracking down the rest of Emily Giffin’s books.

~Elizabeth

**I’m blogging with the Harlequin American authors today under my romance persona, Laura Bradford. Curious? Click Here.

28
Jun

Take Two

Posted under Dreamer Mondays 2 Comments

Here’s a good one to ponder…

If you could relive one moment in your life all over again, what would it be and why? Would you do it exactly the same way all over again or would you make some changes?

~Elizabeth

25
Jun

Summer Lovin’

Posted under Bits & Pieces Fridays 10 Comments

There are just certain things that scream “summer” to me…

1) Reeces Peanut Butter Cup milk shakes at Barnacle Bills in Ortley, New Jersey.

2) The sound of kids playing outside after dinner.

3) Lazy days spent reading.

4) The beach.

5) Corn on the cob.

So, with that in mind, I come to you with some fun summer questions. Ready?

1) What’s your favorite summer drink?

2) What’s your favorite summer food?

3) What’s one thing screams summer for you?

4) What’s your favorite season? Why?

~Elizabeth

24
Jun

Creating Tone Through Setting

Posted under Writing Thursdays 4 Comments

Let’s try another writing exercise, shall we?

This one focuses on setting a scene, making it so vivid your reader can imagine being there thanks to the use of as many senses as possible (without going overboard)…

I’m going to start this off by naming a location. The first person to comment will use their senses (hearing, seeing, tasting, touching, smelling) to describe the location. Then they will throw in a monkey-wrench. Something that–should it happen in your location–might determine tone in conjunction with setting.

For example:  Classroom.

See: Chalk dust, pencils, wall clock, kids hunched over their desks, etc.
Hear: The buzz of the overhead lights, coughing, pencils dropping, etc.
Smell: Spoiled milk, body odor, perfume from classmate next to you, etc.
Touch: Crinkled paper, smooth chalk, etc.
Taste: (sorry, drawing a blank at the moment)

Monkey wrench:  thunderstorm.

See: Kids looking outside. Trees swaying. Concern in teacher’s eyes, etc.
Hear: K ids crying, screaming, teacher giving instructions, perhaps a siren in the background.
Smell: Smell of rain wafting through the windows, etc.
Not sure touch and taste would change…

Get it?  Okay here’s the first setting:  Major league baseball stadium.

~Elizabeth

23
Jun

From a Very Small Mountaintop

Posted under That's Life Wednesdays 6 Comments

I’m, essentially, an introvert (novel concept for a writer, eh?). I enjoy listening to others talk but find it hard to volunteer stuff about myself unless I’m super close to that person. It’s simply the way I am. When bad stuff happens, I don’t share it. When good stuff happens, I don’t tend to share that, either.

So today I’m stepping out of my comfort zone to share a few recent good-news-tidbets (simply because I want to tell someone).  Ready?

*KAYLA’S DADDY, my first ever romance with Harlequin American, has sold out. I’ve  only uttered this aloud to one other person and she knows who she is.

*A MOM FOR CALLIE, my second romance with Harlequin American (written under the name, Laura Bradford), hits store shelves on July 13th! You can find it in Wal-marts and Borders (among other places) nationwide! If you can’t wait, it’s available on the eharlequin.com website right now.

*I just got word that DEATH THREADS is on the Barnes & Noble national mass market mystery list for its 7th week in a row (first I’m sharing this)!!!

That’s it. Now it’s your turn. Tell us something special you’ve accomplished recently!

~Elizabeth

22
Jun

In an Instant

Posted under Reading Tuesdays 10 Comments

A few years ago I had the great pleasure of working in a bookstore and, aside from getting to spend my days with booklovers, I got to be around books. Lots and lots of books. Seeing as how I worked the register most days, I got to see the hot sellers. One of those was Emily Giffin.

Her books always stood out to me because of the relatively plain covers and fun-sounding (at least for me) titles. Yet, in the interest of hanging on to my paycheck, I never bought one.

But I wanted to.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago. I was meeting a good friend at a bookstore (bad idea) before heading off to lunch. On the new release shelf was Emily Giffin’s latest, HEART OF THE MATTER. I flipped open the book, read the jacket copy, and marched up to the register.

Boy, am I glad I did. It was outstanding–the writing, the characters, the description, the story, etc.

I’m going to share the book description that is shared on Emily’s website and then get to my book themed question (don’t worry, you don’t have to have read the book to participate–that’s the beauty of my Reading Tuesdays).

Tessa Russo is the mother of two young children and the wife of a renowned pediatric surgeon. Despite her mother’s warnings, Tessa has recently given up her career to focus on her family and the pursuit of domestic happiness. From the outside, she seems destined to live a charmed life.

Valerie Anderson is an attorney and single mother to six-year-old Charlie–a boy who has never known his father. After too many disappointments, she has given up on romance–and even, to some degree, friendships–believing that it is always safer not to expect too much.

Although both women live in the same Boston suburb, the two have relatively little in common aside from a fierce love for their children. But one night, a tragic accident causes their lives to converge in ways no one could have imagined.

So there you have it, HEART OF THE MATTER in a very tiny nutshell. I will simply say it was great. Really, really great.

Now, my thought-provoking (and, hopefully, my discussion-stirring) question for all of you:  Have you ever had a life-changing moment–one that changed your perspective in ways you never could have imagined? If so (and you’re willing), can you share?

~Elizabeth

21
Jun

Close Your Eyes

Posted under Dreamer Mondays 4 Comments

When it comes to special days (birthdays, graduations, holidays, etc), I like to go all out, crafting as many surprises as possible. It simply makes it more fun. For everyone.

Sometimes they know a surprise is in the works, and, at those times, they don’t try to figure it out. It’s as if they love the surprise factor as much as the gift or outing (or whatever) itself.  And me…well I feel as if I’m getting to be a fairy godmother for a little while, sprinkling fairy dust on someone’s special day.

So tell us, what’s the greatest surprise you’ve ever had and/or the greatest surprise you executed for someone else?

~Elizabeth

18
Jun

Pieces of You, Pieces of Me

Posted under Bits & Pieces Fridays 7 Comments

I went to an art show at my daughter’s school the other day, and one of the projects they’d made was a name depiction of themselves. They wrote their names in big block letters, then added pictures of their interests in and around the lines.

My daughter turned the top of one “N” into a basketball hoop, the straight part of her “J” a palm tree. A violin was nestled inside her “E” and, well, you get the point.

So tell me, if you were given such a task now, as the person you are this minute, what sort of interests/hobbies would you choose to depict?

~Elizabeth

17
Jun

Dialogue

Posted under Writing Thursdays 14 Comments

 For today’s Writing Thursday, I’ve decided to share a few dialogue tips. So here goes…

# 1.  When writing dialogue for characters, read it aloud. You’ll be amazed how quickly you can pick out what’s wooden and what’s natural.

# 2.  Beginning writers tend to think that people speak perfectly, with little to no contractions or skipped words. But this isn’t true. To prove this point, try being a fly on the wall at a coffee shop or mall or wherever. Listen to the way people talk. They’re not as perfect as you might think…or as perfect and wooden as you’re trying to make your characters talk.

# 3.  Try a fun writing exercise to illustrate my # 2. Come up with two characters in your head. Put them in conversation but don’t allow them to say more than three words at a time. While this is an extreme, it illustrates how few words we really need to say to get our points across. Watch…

A: Where ya’ going?

B: I don’t know.

A: Taking the bus?

B: I guess. Why?

A: Just wondering.

B: Kinda bored lately.

A: Oh?

B: Yeah.

A: Hoping this helps?

B: Can’t hurt, right?

A: True.

B: (Points at bus) Here it is.

A: Well, have fun.

B: Yeah. You, too.

Pretty cool, huh? This was an exercise I used to do with my Basics in FictionWriting Class at a community college in Missouri.

Go ahead, give it a try in the comments. Three words, no more. And see if you can set a scene in our heads through your dialogue!

~Elizabeth