Monday, June 23, 2014

Our little film

I taught a childrens acting class this past winter and had a blast doing it. I'd never taught kids or anyone before so I didn't know how well it would work, but I found out two things: kids love games, and kids love games.  So we played a lot of improv games, I taught them how to speak in front of a camera, gave them some tips on acting and auditioning, and then made a little movie for them to learn from and hopefully also have fun with.

This was my first time directing as well, unless you count my Madonna La Isla Bonita video of 1988, but I'm not counting that. I can tell you that technology has come a LONG way since the days of a VCR and a video recorder. I had to get really creative cutting and splicing using those two devices. Making movies is way cooler these days with all the apps and great computers we have.

So here it is, my kids acting debut titled, Lemonade Stand. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Hello Flo's Hilarious New Tampon Ad, 'First Moon Party'

Confessions of a Hopeless Pre-pubescent

First off, this post has nothing to do with writing or anything except my sister-in-law sent me the funniest commercial! *Men and boys will not want to read this. Trust me. Stop here.

She sent it to me because I did something similar when I was young. Here's the story:

When I was in fourth grade, ( nine years old) I walked into my room one day and found a medium sized box sitting on my bed. It had a picture of a girl on a beach looking out into the vast ocean, all dreamy-like. Remember this? Anyone? I opened my new gift and found all these boxes with little packages of large sized band aides I assumed were to be used if you ever fell on your head and broke it in half. I was super curious, but I wasn't sure what to do with this new gift. Lucky for me my older--much older--sister was schooled in these things, so when she got home I asked her about it. Now you may be wondering why my mom didn't tell me, but that's the way it was at our house. The box was sitting there and I was left to read the pamphlet.  Plus I was number three girl and number five child and I think she didn't want to have 'The talk' again or yet or something. So she gave the job to my sister, who was more than happy to tell me a very short, vague story about some long word called MENSTRUATION. 

Apparently, my sister had "started" and my mom decided to get a 'two for one deal' and get me a box for the future. It sounded pretty cool and grown up. I couldn't wait till it was my turn, which I was sure was going to happen any day since I now had all those huge band-aids tucked under my bed. A few weeks later I went to the bathroom. (now we are getting personal, sorry.) I probably wiped a little too hard and there was a little bit of blood on the tissue. (sorry again, but what the heck.) So I told my sister, who squealed and screamed and called her friends, my other sister, my mom, my dad,(Seriously!) my brothers, (gross!) my best friend, my cousins, the old neighbor next door and anyone else she could think of. "Becky started her period!"

After my initial embarrassment wore off I went along with it, got all padded up, and waited for the magic to happen. 

It didn't. Happen. At all. Now what was I supposed to do? 

I waited some more. Still. nothing. What now? Tell them? No way!  I didn't want to admit that it had been a false alarm. Everybody had seemed so excited and surprised, like I was probably the youngest girl to ever start her period, and I didn't want to relinquish that title as I rarely won anything. 

And I kinda liked the attention. So I found a solution, because that's what I do.

I spied my sister's lipstick. It was a nice plum color. Just right, I decided, so I painted the pad with Cover Girl's continuous coverage in Passion Plum. My cousins offered me congratulations. My mom sighed, her little girl was all grown up. My sister was giddy. My stomach churned with guilt as I painstakingly covered my tracks just in case someone checked. 

I played along for several days. Too long if you were the one using the passion plum on your lips-- unaware of its alternate function. Gross!

Eventually, I couldn't keep up, nor did I want to and the lie played out. I was in fourth grade. I didn't want to deal with that crap every month for the rest of my life. So I came clean and relinquished the title and the box back under my bed where it sat for several more years. And thankfully nobody threw me a 'new moon' party. Thank you Mom.

I should have bought my sister new lipstick, but, well, I was nine and funds were scarce. So sue me. 

Maybe I should send her some new Passion Plum Cover Girl lipstick. What is the statute of limitations on a thing like this, anyway?

Monday, June 9, 2014

Ode to Research


I'm so busy writing my novel that I haven't had time to update my blog. Today I am forcing myself to say hi. So...Hi. How's your summer going? It's going great at our house. Have any fun plans? We have a few that are always subject to change, as life is never dull. Speaking of life, life has changed dramatically since I began writing five years ago. My kids are growing up, they are more independent and two of them have jobs! One will be leaving us in the fall and our number will diminish to four "full-time" children. These days they need me physically less, mentally more. It's a challenge. It's also wonderful. I may get this book finished by the end of the summer. That would be exciting! I'm on page 175, not that I'm counting.

Today I want to talk a bit about the importance of research. I have done more research on this book than on any other novel ever-put together! I find that when you have a prayer in your heart the Lord will bless you in your efforts, even when you are writing a  love story. I have had some interesting experiences while writing this manuscript. I wish I could share them now, but I think I better hold on a bit longer. What I will say is that if you are writing a novel do not underestimate the importance of research. True life is often stranger than fiction, and if you dig deep enough there is a story or a certain item that will enliven your current w.i.p., leaving you with something far better than what you could come up with alone. Keep at it, dig until you find that nugget that is waiting for you. I've found a few wonderful gold pieces that not only make my story better, but also teach me something about myself, or life in general. I love writing! So don't forget about me. I'll have something really fun for you to read soon.

Here's the deal, I'll keep writing, and you keep doing what you're doing and we'll all meet later in the fall. Deal? Deal.