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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Bunny Ears on a Car?

Guest Author Simon Rose is here tomorrow.

Check out this video and learn more about this fascinating science fiction/fantasy children's author.

Real life has been overtaking me in the last couple of days, but I've been getting ready for our first author interview tomorrow with Simon Rose. I hope that all of my readers who are also writers will drop by to chat with Simon. He will be interviewed by me and then he will answer your questions throughout the day. All you need to do is come by and read the interview. Then leave your comment and Simon will answer it.

So the other day my daughter and I were on our way to get our coffee when we pulled up next to the strangest looking car I'd ever seen! I had to look twice and then check again to be sure. But, yes, those strange pieces of material sticking up out of the backseat windows were bunny ears!!! Yes, it's true. Someone put bunny ears on a car!!! I was in shock so I didn't have my phone out to take the picture, but we caught up with the car on the entrance to the highway. Here it is. You have to imagine the part facing the road has pink on it. The car is white.:) When I saw it I started laughing and this is probably the most ridiculous example of holiday decoration I have ever seen on the road. Bunny ears on a car!!!! With everything that is going on today in the economy it's kind of hysterical that someone took the time to fit out their car for these appendages and either made them or bought them and attached them to the ear holders.:) This has to give you a laugh and you will want to share this so your friends can get a laugh. Trust me. The image of this is going to stay with you and if things get you down just picture this car driving along with bunny ears.:) It should at least put a smile on your face or crack through the despair that sometimes hits when you try to please too many people and fail. At least it does for me.:)

Choosing the Right Critique Group
I haven't been dwelling on writing topics too much, but yesterday I got my copy of Writer's Digest in my email and browsed through it as I usually do. Sometimes this publication has great ideas for writers and sometimes it talks too much about topics that are of no interest to me.:) This time I found a great article for writers on how to choose a critique group. The article isn't talking about online groups. This is a whole other discussion. The writer of this article talks about choosing an in person Critique Group Club.

I actually have quite a bit of experience with in person critique groups. I've been in a couple for poetry ones and one for writing. A couple of months ago a new friend of mine on Facebook told me he had one with an opening when I asked if there were any in Westchester. So I was invited to join this group for an introductory session. I brought the first three chapters of my novel which had not come back from the publisher yet. The writers who contributed to the discussion and shared their work before me seemed serious and several were published authors. We all got along great and I was feeling very comfortable and thinking I had found a new group when the last member to arrive walked in the door. He hadn't been there for the whole night, but when he walked in the group deferred to him. We were in the middle of discussing my chapters and I was very anxious to hear what people would say. The comments were going fairly well and most people were tactful, which concerned me. When people are tactful it means they didn't particularly like what you wrote. Then this guy who hadn't heard my reading wanted to read it and comment upon them. When he finished his comments were harsh and condescending. I wasn't treated like I had written anything worthy at all. He picked my work apart and I felt uncomfortable. What had been a convivial, but wary situation turned into an I-must-go-home-and -put - my -head- under -the -pillow feeling. And this guy didn't even share his writing claiming he was in the middle or some other story. The meeting ended shortly afterward and I had a feeling this wasn't the group for me. A few days later my new friend on Facebook sent me an email saying that they weren't expanding the group after all and were going to stay with the original members. I didn't care, although rejection is always hard to take. I would rather have said to him that I didn't want to be part of the group. I'll never know if it was the published women author who didn't like my writing or that they felt as a group that I didn't fit in. Whatever it was, this wasn't a great experience. She was a picture book writer and had shared a story about talking animals. She didn't know much about young adult at all.

For someone like me, who almost never gets that kind of response from people it disturbed me. My friend recommended that I search for another critique group here in Westchester. I am a member of two online groups and one, YA-authors, though it has very little activity now, was a big, big help to me. My current group, KidsMuse, is filled with great writers who understand what the author of this article has said. That there is a kernel of good in every piece of writing and that you have to be able to see that and help the writer move forward. Currently I am sharing my second novel with the group, but they did help me a great deal on my first, which unfortunately was rejected. That's another thing I have to do. I have the name of an agent and should be sending out a sample to him soon.:)

American Idol Country Night
I'm going to end with my comments on last night's American Idol. Like most of the media I had mixed feelings about Adam's interpretation of "Ring of Fire". I read one account that said that it reminded them of Jim Morrison of "The Doors". In some strange way, Adam might have been channeling Jim Morrison last night. His oufit and the psychedelic way he sang that song with the sitars in the background were very like his performance. But on the other hand, Adam brought a 21st century feel to it with his vocals. Morrison sang full out all the time, but Adam did not sing out full. Instead he seemed almost to be holding back as if tortured. Johnny
Cash, who enjoyed different versions of his songs, might have enjoyed seeing this interpretation. Whatever it was, at least he stayed on tune for the whole song and it wasn't boring.:)

The other surprise was the emergence of Anoop and the quality of his voice. He was excellent and so was Matt. Though people think Michael might go this week, I'm not sure. It could be Scott, because that would make three piano players on the show. The other one who might go is Lil Rounds, because though she is awesome sometimes, she has shown that she doesn't have variety. I don't want her to go, but she didn't do that song justice last night. Alexis seemed like Dolly Parton, but only about a half of her.:) She doesn't have the sparkle and the voice of Dolly. She tried hard, but she should have picked another song. Later last night my daughter and I watched the Top 100 Countdown for Country Music Videos on CMT and it was obvious that Carrie Underwood's song would have been much better for Alexis. The judges said that, but until I saw the video I thought that Alexis might pull through. Now, I'm not so sure. I also liked Kris, but have a feeling that he won't be there much longer. He may make it through this round, though. Danny did his usual best and so did Scott, though their inspirational songs are getting to me. But the lowlight of the evening was Megan. She had the flu, but her singing was like a form of throat singing. There is a tribe in Mongolia that does this and if you've ever heard this form of singing it sounds a little like what she did last night. Her outfit too was very torch singer and not at all country to me. I'm not thrilled with her usually so if you like her at least she had the guts to perform with the flu. Also looked pretty good, but that explains the non-expression in her eyes.:) Yes, I guess that is a little catty.:)

Why do I watch American Idol? It's a phenomenon that no one has analyzed yet, but I think it's because I enjoy seeing talented people who have not had the breaks rise to the top. I suppose it's survival of the fittest played out in a TV show setting. It's like when the Romans watched the gladiators fighting in the arena and bet on the one that would be killed. What is the difference between not voting for someone on American Idol and them being taken off the show and betting on the gladiator that will be alive at the end? Certainly there is no bloodshed on American Idol, but people are eliminated. My husband once told me that he loves when there are a lot of people and then they go down to only one. It may be that fascination that keeps us watching AI. Or maybe people enjoy watching other people look miserable. Or on the other hand, it's fun to watch the winners be happy. I'm pretty sure we don't watch it for the talent. Or could it be the interaction of the contestants with the judges or the judges bizarre behavior, especially Paula's, could be the reason.:) What was up with Paula smelling Simon's arm last night? Or was she snorting something off of that arm?LOL

Until the next time, I am hoping all of you will be joining us tomorrow for my first Guest Author interview with Simon Rose. He will be here in the afternoon to answer your questions so please come and bring friends.:) Thank you to all my readers and the wonderful comments you leave that help brighten up my day and warm my heart.

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