Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Writing Goals for Week of July 12

I'm so off-track on my writing goals, so I'm going to catch my breath and dig back in.

  1. Word count: none for this week: I want to re-focus by doing some research. I suspect some of my  failure at writing on my WIP may stem from some unanswered questions. 
  2. Out of Genre Reading: continue James Rollins' Amazonia with attention on setting. This is going slow, primarily because I don't normally read adventure/horror
  3. 3. In Genre Reading: continue with re-reading, paying attention to exposition
  4. I'm not going to set definite blog topics this week. Instead, I want to tie up some of the series I'm doing though my adoption entries will most likely be ongoing.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I am the @CraigyFerg of bloggers (Part 1 of 2)

Everyone who's watched Craig Ferguson on the Late Late Show raise your hand. Uh-huh. Nobody.

Craig Ferguson took over the duties of the Late Late Show way back in 2005. If you noticed, raise your hand? Yep. Nobody.  Actually, over 1 million viewers tune in to Ferguson every night - his high is that of 3 million. That's not counting those of us who watch via DVR or VCR (if you're low tech). According to  Ferguson, though, nobody watches...not even the biggies at CBS. 

Regardless of the numbers, every night Ferguson jokes about the lack of viewers and his need to lure in a studio audience by promising " to give hobos free chicken". Every episode, Ferguson plays the show as if nobody watches and nobody cares. By sticking to this assertion, Ferguson actually frees up his creativity and allows it to flow over those of us who do watch.

At any given moment in time, madness will seize the moment. Sid, the cussing bunny, will pop over the side of the camera to discuss his "dirty mouth". During his monologue, it's not unusual for mayhem to break out or, perhaps, a song Such as this one. Bob Barker "surprised" Ferguson and took a hammer to the Late Late show set, Betty White attempted to explain World Cup soccer, audience members help with answering question from The Twitter or e-mail, and the insanity just goes on and on.

Let's insert an awkward pause here in order to allow Bloggerland to contemplate what I've said...

Everyone who feels envy for Ferguson's situation raise your hand...and everyone should.

There's a sense of freedom to Ferguson's comedy that lacks on other talk shows. By assuming that "nobody's watching" Ferguson takes his comedy to a new level: his opening monologues often include deep and real anger or sorrow. He speaks honestly and seemingly from the heart. Having seen his show taped (yes, I was a hobo and no, we did not get chicken) I know that his monologues are about 50% pre-written and 100% off-the-cuff (and that equation does add up if you watch his process). I love how his monologues seemingly ramble and then he hones in on his point and drives it into the viewer's minds. His recent ramblings on BP were an excellent example (too bad you missed it).

As one watches the insanity, there's a freedom attached to it: bits succeed or fail independently without affecting the rest of the show. If Sid's cussing offends, the flop won't affect the success of Ferguson's interview.  Ferguson hasn't a problem with admitting the piece was crap and will save it by claiming it doesn't mater as nobody watches anyway. If the interview falters, well then Ferguson cuts it short and throws in a pre-recorded skit (my favorite are Michael Clarke Duncan reading love advice from Jennifer Love Hewitt's book). If the interview succeeds, then Ferguson lets it go long and the second guest of the night is pushed to another night. Nobody's watching, right? So who's to care? Nobody.

What freedom he must feel: nobody watches so do what he wants. Nobody cares, so play as he likes. If he's a naughty boy, preface the naughtiness with a sly look and a quick "CBS cares" comment. Embrace obscurity and live for the moment.

In Part 2: how I've learned from Craig Ferguson's madness and how I'm applying it to my writing.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Writing Goals for Week of July 5

How I Did Last Week

Well, last week was a "meh" week. I did a lot of writing, but no so much on my WIP. I definitely hit 2500 words, but only half went into my WIP. I also read more of Amazonia - boy, Rollins' really does setting well. I've set aside Tessa Dare for when we go to Comic Con, but I did read in my genre (mostly re-reading older books). Plus, I did do my blog both Wednesday and Friday, but Friday was another in my Adoption Process series and not a writing exercise. My roughly sketeched Thursday has moved to Tuesday (tomorrow)

1. Word count: 2500 words by Friday morning (we think Lovely Boy's coming for the weekend)
2. Out of Genre Reading: continue James Rollins' Amazonia with attention on setting.
3. In Genre Reading: continue with re-reading, paying attention to exposition
4. Blog: Wednesday's topic: What I Learned From Reading Dave Kellett's "Sheldon"; Tuesday is scheduled already (Thoughts on @Craigyferg) and I've roughly sketched something out for Thursday.

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Adoption Process Part 3

When we last left our story, we'd said "no" to the three jawas and decided to pursue Lovely Boy. We're at January 2010.

By this time, Lovely Boy was featured on various adoption websites and featured on our local Fox Station as a Wednesday's Child. Hubby and I both felt that someone else must have seen his wonderfulness and put in for him. He's charming on the tape that ran on TV: quiet, smiling, sweet. Surely other people saw his potential and put in for him.

Apparently not.

When we called, it took a couple of days before we received the word that our profile matched Lovely Boy's needs. We agreed to the next step: full disclosure.

At a full disclosure meeting, our social worker, and LB's two social workers (one regular and one adoption) sat with us to disclose the "good, bad, and ugly". We also received documentation regarding Lovely Boy. However, we asked that we not receive his full file, just the overview documentation. Overview documentation exist of a written "snapshot" of where the child is at on all levels: emotionally, physically, academically, etc. It lists known relatives, the meds the kid's on (all foster kids seem to take some sort of med), any major illness/injury past and current, etc. The snapshot allows us to see Lovely Boy in the moment without prejudice caused by previous events in his life.

While we saw nothing alarming I found myself voicing this one concern: why hasn't this kid been adopted long before now?

The reality? Federal law requires that public agencies must attempt to reconcile the child with a blood relative. Every time our Lovely Boy received an opportunity for placement with a non-relative, someone would show up and say "I want him", so the agency would work to place him with that relative...only to have the placement fail and LB return to the system. Sometimes LB was moved from a foster home because Federal & State law require that siblings in the system be placed with one another if at all possible. So, LB would pack up and move to a new foster home to live with a sibling...and it would fail and he'd pack up and move again.

He moved SIXTEEN TIMES in 14 years. He's attended TEN schools.

His history makes him appear unadoptable, however, hubby and I previously spent time with this kid. We already had initial impressions of a bright and wonderful kid. A NICE young man. We wanted to move forward. We heard only heartbreaking news on his behalf, nothing that stopped us from wanting him.

We're not idiots, though. We knew we needed help. That's where TIES for Families comes in. I'll write about that in the next adoption post.

You see, getting TIES involved means that the adoption process comes to a halt. It's suppose to take 4-6 weeks for them to evaluate the foster child. For Lovely Boy? It took FOUR MONTHS.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Versatile Blogger...me?

Thank you to Elizabeth who bestowed upon me the new moniker, The Versatile Blogger.   I actually had to leave the computer to wash my face and pour another cup of tea (Earl Grey, thank you).

Only vaguely familiar with the award, I needed to research this lovely honor. I genuinely couldn't find the origin of the thing, but found instead a group of amazingly touching stories as blogger after blogger recounted their lovely feelings for receiving it.  I've concluded that the Versatile Blogger award really represents a virtual hug, pat on the back, an official way of validating words of other people.


My morning lovin' came from Elizabeth at Musings of an All Purpose Monkey, blog of potpourri that includes book and music reviews along with personal chit chats and musings. It's one of those blogs that I visit when I need distraction from my writing and want short, quality essays.

So...here are the rules for receiving the Versatile Blogger:

  1. Thank the person who gave you the award. (Done. Thanks Elizabeth. )
  2.  Share seven facts about oneself (hmmm....will need to think about that)
  3. Pass the award along to FIFTEEN (yikes!) recently discovered bloggers, who also happen to possess an air of fabulousness.

Well...here are my seven facts that people probably don't know about me.

  1. I like to eat whip cream straight from the can.
  2. I believe Hash browns were invented by angels, especially when said browns are smothered in real butter and fried extra crispy.
  3. I can still sing my high school theme song...and the theme song to Kimba the White Lion. (And, no, I'm not going to sing either one for you.)
  4. I fantasize of studying history at Cambridge, if only for a semester. I'd  study Victorian England and how the upper society compares to the Victorian upper societies of New York and San Francisco.
  5. I can play Sims3 for eight hours non-stop...ok I lied: I can actually play it 18 hours non-stop. Sheesh.
  6. I collect carnival glass.
  7. My husband woo'd me by quoting from ARMY OF DARKNESS. No, I'm not kidding.

Now I have to pass it along to 15 bloggers. Hmm. I'll need to think on that. I'll past my 15 choices on Monday.

Thanks again, Elizabeth!