Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Mel, I'm glad the character's reaction to theme sounded interesting to you. Years ago I attended a workshop by author Vicki Hinze. As I remember the seminar, she talked about the difference between universal theme and the theme of your book.

Universal theme is your core theme...the one that resonates deep within you, such as redemption, healing, etc. If you are writing a book against your universal theme, you may experience internal resistance. For me, my universal theme is redemption. Every book I've written has at least one character seeking redemption. When I got the opportunity to write for Madonna Key, the other authors had outlined my book to be about revenge. It didn't work for me. I floundered about until I changed the plot to have layers of redemption then the writing just flowed.

So while the current proposal will center on the character's worldview on justice, I will layer in redemption. :) Carol

Design Star

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Oh thank God, Robb is gone. For as long as the competition has been running, once more he couldn't get along with his team member. Nasty, mean and blame everyone else. And he thought people would want to watch him. Brrrrr. He so did not fit the other established hosts.

I have to admit, the beginning surprised me when the client was Wayne Newton. Then when I saw that the star was offering up his guest house for the make-over, I thought clever man. He gets the publicity without wrecking his own home in case all went south with the decorators.

I suspect the final two will be Kim and Todd. While I would love a woman to win this year, I think we may be in for another bare-chested male hunk. Carol

Charaters' Attitude Toward Theme

Thursday, August 23, 2007

A few weeks ago, I watched an hour long interview with JK Rowling. She she said one of the things that defined each of her characters was their attitude toward death. So for my current proposal in progress, I asked my characters their attitude toward justice as the central theme is the clash of legal system vs. vigilantism vs. lawlessness:

Prosecutor heroinel: society's glue
Hero: justice system has failed, searching for answers
Hero's mentor: take justice into own hands
Sociopath: I am above the law
Drug lord: survival of the fittest

It helped crystalize the characterizations for me and will also help in braidng together the main plot with the subplots. :) Carol

Another sad tale

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Animal abuse cases aren't my only hot button. I couldn't believe a news story out of a town to the north of me. The police arrested a man for abusing his invalid, wheelchair-bound wife. They found the naked woman lying on the floor under piles of garbage. She had been lying there so long a wire clothes hanger was embedded in her back. The police removed two bags of garbage just to get to her. You just know that the sob husband yelled at her as she lay helpless on the floor, calling her 'garbage' and then throwing the stuff on top of her. He came and went, going to work.

Hideous. I'm assuming she had some income, such as disability, that came in to keep him in the marriage. I hope the authorities throw away the key on him in jail. If he couldn't take being married to someone disabled, then get a divorce. Breaking vows makes him a cad; abusing his wife in this heinous manner makes him despicable.

However, the other sickening twist was the neighborhood. When the news camera panned in on the house, it was an 'ewwww' moment. The man had nailed boards over the windows during the 2004 hurricanes and never removed them. The house/yard were unkept. Then the reporter speaks with a neighbor. The neighbor explains that while they didn't see the man and woman much, but when they did see the woman, she would be crawling around on the ground, not in her wheelchair. The neighbor said she was used to it!?!?!!!!!!????

Aw come on. The house in and of itself spoke of trouble--long term trouble. If the neighbors were afraid of the man, they could have gone to a public phone, said they wanted to remain anonymous and reported what they were seeing.

We don't know for sure what goes on behind closed doors. While I would hope that I would recognize trouble, I do try to be alert to my neighborhood. Once in a blue moon, I run a predator search. When a female predator moved into our neighborhood briefly, I made sure the word got to people with children. When I saw a young boy getting too close to a van as if he was giving directions, I pulled my car up practically on the van's bumper and then warned the parents. If I see a car out of place in the neighborhood with the driver behaving strangely, I'll stand there and watch until it moves on.

This is my neighborhood and I care for people to be safe here. I would hope that if I'm ever in trouble, a neighbor would help.

Who knows how long that woman had been brutalized, but it sure sounded like people at least suspected something was wrong. I wish they would have taken action sooner. Carol

Dogfighting, a sport?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Okay, I can't believe it. People, including a certain athlete, are jumping to the defense of Michael Vick, saying dogfighting in some cultures/countries is a sport?!? And somehow the logic is that makes what he did okay?

First, this is America and dogfighting is a crime, not a sport; that is our culture. Moreover, Vick painted black the building where the fights occurred to camoflage it... Hello, he knew what he was doing was against the law. And let's not mix apples and oranges by dragging in the argument that other athletes do this and that, including offenses against humans. Yes, if an athlete does drugs, hits his wife and/or kids, etc., that is all wrong. The book should be thrown at them and their hideous butts tossed in jail.

I suspect the main caution the public may take in other situations is when there is a 'he said/she said' scenario. Remember the lacrosse team? Public outcry was fairly substantial with news coverage all over the players until the truth came out. Here the pitiful animals couldn't talk; their condition had to speak for them.

And yes, I'm painfully aware of the fine line between food supply and what can happen to animals. Still, Vick purposely tortured the dogs. Electrocuting or hanging a dog that couldn't live up to his standards is inhumane in its worse form. He enjoyed inflicting pain and watching something in pain. The experts have written about serial killers/psychopaths beginning their long dark paths of harming another human being by torturing/killing animals. The conduct cannot be condoned or tossed aside lightly.

Sport? Give me a break. I think I'll have to make another donation to the Humane Society. Carol

Terry Fator!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm so thrilled with the results of America's Got Talent...indeed we do and his name is Terry Fator, ventriloquist extraordinairre. He's absolutely fabulous. I hope he gets a TV show ala Muppets. Doing Las Vegas is great, but I want to able to see him and the puppets sing. Congratulations and have a wonderful career, Terry. I'll be watching. :) Carol

The Reyka & Vick cases

Monday, August 20, 2007

More than 1000 tips and counting. I hope one of the public's tips leads to the dangerous people who murdered Sgt. Reyka. May justice prevail and these cretins are found.

And thank you to the US attorneys who put the case together against Michael Vick! His actions were heinous, and he needs to pay. Whenever I think about what happened to those poor animals, I give Maddie a hug. How anyone can abuse an animal is beyond me, but it is only a small step from abusing animals to worse. Carol

Design Star

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Oh goodness. I can't believe. One of the most obnoxious contestants ever on Design Star has made it to the final four. I cannot stand Robb's snide comments and his manipulative behavior. If he wins, I will so not watch his show. He has nothing to say about design elements that I want to hear let alone tolerate his behavior. I just hope someone else wins; it would be a travesty for this drip win. Sigh, Carol


Friday, August 17, 2007

My heart bleeds for the lost and injured Utah miners. What heroic efforts and such sacrifice. This tragedy just can't seem to catch a break. My thoughts and prayers go out to the affected families and the mining community. Carol


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Although Sabra was not my personal fav dancer, I really wanted a woman to win this year so I'm ecstatic at the results. I still thought the finale was a wee bit too long; they could really cut the singers as far as I'm concerned. However. I did enjoy seeing all the highlight dances from the season. My all time favorite remains the Lacy-Neil number choreographed by Mia. Kudo's to all the contestants! It was a fabulous season with really talented dancers!!!! Carol

To the Murderer[s] of Sgt. Christopher Reyka

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

You will be found. When you are, may you die a slow agonizing death. To ambush and execute a man like Deputy Reyka is unconscionable. I won't even liken you to being an animal because animals have more morality. I hope you were watching the funeral today because you would have seen 5000 mourning the loss of a good man. When you die, no one will care. The world turned darker when Sgt. Reyka died; it will grow brighter with your passing.

And to those who have information about the murderers, know who they are, where they are, or where the car can you not contact the authorities? Do you think these murderers are capable of redemption? If so, you're either a fool or lying to yourself. In fact, since these cretins ambushed a law enforcement officer, if they are aware you have information, your life is probably toast. Do the right thing for once in your life and contact the authorities.

Here's the link to information about the hunt for the car and killers, who are believed to still be in South Florida:

The vehicle's description is:

Vehicle Description:Full-size American made passenger vehicle Tinted windows White Manufactured in last 10 years F16 8UJ

Let's catch these scum before they kill again...and they will. Carol

Maddie's Bad Day

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Maddie here. My, I mean Carol...was mean to me today. Can you believe it? She dropped me off at the vet and left me there ALL day. First, the meanie vet stuck me with a needle for my annual vaccination and then he stuck me again for a thyroid test. Carol's been worried because any chemical drives me crazy. I said I just had hypersensitive skin, but nooooo. The vet had to tell Carol that because of my diet, I have fragile skin. So he gave her special shampoo to use weekly [a bath every week!?!], icky vitamin supplements, and then Prednisone to help calm down my latest skin flare-up.

And to top off my bad day, I embarrassed myself by wiggling, wagging my tail and slurping Carol's face when she came to pick me up. I planned to be mad and ignore her, but dang, when the vet brought me out, I was so relieved to see her that I forgot to be mad. She even cooked me chicken tonight.

However, where there's a mad, there's a way. I've been trying to torment Little Darling all night, but Carol keeps breaking it up. I guess I'll have to forgive her for even that as I really need to cuddle close with her tonight. What's a poor doggie to do? Maybe I can conjole more chicken out her by playing the old guilt trip. Later, Maddie

A bizarre SYTYCD program

Monday, August 13, 2007

I had to scratch my head over how the producers ran the SYTYCD program tonight. 1) It was taped last Thursday but not shown until tonight. All season long the results have aired on Thrusday night, and as I recall, Fox didn't run any program that would rise to the level of pre-empting SYTYCD. 2) mBecause they didn't want the results to hit the air early, they made a big production of asking the audience to leave.


Although I would have preferred Pasha over Neil, I'm not unhappy with the final four; they're all great dancers. However, I still want a woman to win this year. It's time. :) Carol


Sunday, August 12, 2007

I'm a HGTV junkie. Often when the regular stations have programs that leave me yawning, I switch to the home improvement shows. I've learned a lot over the years that hopefully I've used in my own home.

So I've been watching the DesignStar show as a guilty pleasure. The contestants often shoot themselves in their own shoes. However, one obnoxious guy...from Florida no less...has so far escaped the elimination rounds. I don't know the invidiual's name...I'm trying hard not to remember it...but if he wins, no way will I watch any show featuring him. Tonight he hid materials he thought the other contestants would want and bragged about it. He's also one of those whiners where it's always someone else's fault, never his.

Like SYTYCD, I'm hoping a woman will win this year since a guy did last year, but there's only two remaining so odds aren't good.

My favorite part of the show is when the judges speak as to design elements and vision. Hearing concepts articulated helps me. :) Carol

America's Got Talent

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

I have to admit that I'm in overload with reality shows. However, because I often do day job work at night, I'll tune into reality shows for 'white' noise. The shows don't require 100% of my attention.

Tonight I had on America's Got Talent. While the judges made me yawn, I was blown away by the ventriloquist. I grew up watching Sherry Lewis and Lambchops, and this new ventriloquist was fabulous. The puppet sang better than the other singing performers. I even felt compelled to go to the network's website and plug in a few votes for him.

Even if the ventriloquist doesn't ultimately win, I hope big things for him as I would love to see future performances. :) Carol

Bourne Ultimatum

Sunday, August 5, 2007

After taping, priming and painting two doors and the cabinet in the TV room, I treated myself to seeing Bourne Ultimatum today. Two thumbs up. What an action ride! Who would have thought Matt Damon would turn into such an action hero?!?

I also bought the self-adhesive tiles for the flooring in the makeover room. The only thing left for me to do major painting is the bookcase that covers an entire wall. Before I can begin painting it, my neighbor's going to help me brace the mid-section that's sagging a bit. I figure the bookcase alone, with sanding, priming and painting, is at least a 3-weekend project. Then laying the floor... Now you know why I kept putting off the project for several years.

But it is looking good. Love the colors and it looks so much larger than with the dark paneling.

I'll give myself a break over the week and map out secondary characters for my work in progress, not to mention the day job. :) Carol


Thursday, August 2, 2007

To the victims of the Minnesota bridge disaster and their families. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Carol

Mayhap no Magna Carter ancestor

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

While The Billingsley Family in America is the quintessential for our family research, as I'm gathering from research message boards, there are a few glitches. There appears to be a debate on which John Billingsley is the Magna Carter connection, and I think ours is going to turn out not to be the right one. One guy seems to have done a lot of in person records research so I'm trying to track his postings. :) Carol