Sharing The Love

I like to share the love. It is in fact possible that I go beyond sharing into recruiting. And by ‘possible’ I mean ‘everyone who knows me is aware of this thing’.

When I find a thing I like, I want to share it with people. It makes me happy, so it might make them happy, so why not, right? If I find an awesome new shop, or blog, or trick with broccoli, it needs to be shared!

Which is why I spent half an hour at a NaNoWriMo write-in extolling the virtues of my favourite bra-shop to every other large-busted lady at the table because they were having a sale. (Seriously, specialty sizes tend to cost $70- $150 per bra, sales are important). I was writing down the name and address and handing them out like party favours.

I have also been a fervent recruiter for bento box lunches. I adore bento boxes, when I was working I had half a dozen of them and filled one nearly every day, and that is also a love I want to share. With the world. I have recipes and I know the best sites to buy from online and I read bento blogs and my enthusiasm must be shared!

I also like to cook. I have been planning a food-blog for a while, (Cooking from the very beginning – simple instructions for the total amateur!) and I read food blogs and I like talking about food and our NaNoWriMo group – being ninety-nine percent of the people I associate with because I don’t get out much – has already had one Cooking Day where those of us who like to cook got together and made sushi and meatballs and pikelets together for the rest of the group. We’re planning to do it again. Like I said, I recruit.

I actually do this less with new fandoms than I do with food and shopping, because I’m willing to concede that fandoms are more subjective than the need to eat or put clothing upon our bodies when in public. But if I fall in love with something new, I’ll still ask people if they’ve seen it and try to find – or encourage a friend to become – someone to share my enthusiasm.

I do try not to be pushy about this. If someone’s not interested in cooking or Being Human or whatever, that’s fine. I will ask someone else. But I do always ask, because fandom is even more delightful when it’s shared.

So I’ll be sharing some of my favourite links with you. And if you’re wondering what they have to do with writing, well, there’s a lot. I’ve blogged before about how important it is to mention food in your writing – not only do people need to eat, but what they eat tells you something about them. Food blogs can provide wonderful inspiration not only for your kitchen, but for your characters’ kitchens. Sometimes during November I’ll pack myself a cute little bento and make myself earn it with word-count, which makes for a less guilt-inducing reward than buckets of chocolate, and also means that if you get on a roll you have something healthy to eat without having to get up. Promising to buy yourself a nice box set if you win NaNoWriMo or finish your first draft is also a nice incentive.

I wordle this blog frequently, and often put chapters of my novels in there to check word frequency. If ‘and’ is one of your biggest words, which did happen to me once, your writing has a problem. Plus, it’s just fun to see a word-picture of your work. I use doll-creators to work out at least an approximation of how my characters look, since I can’t draw myself. As for the tiny houses – well, I love them because they’re adorable play-houses for grownups and I want one, but they’re also a good reference for how big a little cottage or one-room shack actually is, and what you can and can’t fit into one.

So in the spirit of sharing, here are some sites that I like featuring things that I love:

Continue reading


Inspiration (Where DO you get your ideas?)

Ideas come all over the place. I’ve gotten them on the bus, in the shower, listening to music, lying in bed trying to go to sleep, everywhere. Most writers do, from the answers I’ve heard to the question above.

And from watching movies and TV, of course. It happened just yesterday, actually, when I took my kid to see ‘Rise of the Guardians’, because a two-year-old is a brilliant excuse to go to kid’s movies two or three times. Had a plot-bunny come and start nibbling on my brain, which is still there this morning. And did it have anything to do with holidays or guardians of childhood?

Heck, no. That would make sense. My brain doesn’t hold with that.

No, somehow *my* brain went from ‘Rise of the Guardians’ to the original ‘Little Mermaid’ to a bitter, sardonic mentor-figure in soot-stained clothes, perpetually holding a cigarette that she never smokes, working off her karmic debts so she can go to Heaven, because that’s an entirely logical progression, right?

I have always loathed the ending of The Little Mermaid, because the mermaid is offered a chance to earn a soul of her own not by her own actions, but by passively observing humanity. So I went from there to earning your way into Heaven through *action* and then I started wondering who has to earn their way in. The good get in automatically, the wicked proverbially do not, so who gets the penalty round?

Accidental killers, my brain said. Drunk-drivers, bullies who drive someone to suicide, idiots who got careless with a gun, that sort of thing. Murder through carelessness or willful cruelty is still murder, and if you caused someone’s death then you’re going down – but if you did it without meaning to, you get one shot at working it off. Earning forgiveness by becoming a Penitent, a ghost of sorts, balancing the cosmic scales with life and joy for the pain and sorrow you caused.

I’m still working on the story that goes with it, but it’s got potential. I’ve always liked stories about Death and the Afterlife that are heavier on the justice than the treacly sentiment. Forget coming to terms with your death, forgiving those who hurt your feelings, etc – I want to see someone dragged before Anubis or St Peter or whoever’s handling the dead in that ‘verse, and brought to account for their own actions.

As for Giulia, the woman with the cigarette? Well, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire was started by a carelessly discarded cigarette. 146 people died. That’s a lot to work off.

Does anyone else’s brain go off on wacky tangents when inspired, or is it just mine?