Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Elisa Lam

I recently read an interesting article that was brought to my attention by Patrick Whyte of Conspiracy Culture on Facebook. It is about a girl named Elisa Lam who died at the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles. The hotel is said to be haunted and a couple of serial killers, one being Richard Ramirez, have stayed there. People have committed suicide and have been murdered there.
There is a video recording of Elisa in an elevator of the hotel just before she died. It looks like the elevator isn’t working because she presses the buttons, but the doors don’t close. Then it looks like she hears something outside the elevator. I think she heard people arguing or someone being threatened because she peeks out of the elevator then tries to hide. When she steps out of the elevator, she waves her arms around. Some people think she’s crazy. I don’t know about her being crazy. Lots of people dance around and do silly stuff when they think no one is looking. I know I do. Maybe she is feeling a cold spot where a ghost is present.
After she is gone from the elevator, the doors open and close three times. Later she is found dead in a water tank on the roof, naked. The door to the roof is still locked and has an alarm that wasn’t triggered.
Maybe she took the stairs since the elevator didn’t work and made it up to the roof via the fire escape. I don’t even know if you can get to the fire escape from the stairs. There are details missing from the article that would be interesting to know. Like where did her clothes go? And did she have a history of mental illness? Were the elevators broken at the time?
There are other interesting tidbits in the article that I won’t repeat here.
If you want to read the full article and watch the video, go to Vigilant Citizen:  http://vigilantcitizen.com/vigilantreport/mysterious-case-elisa-lam/

Friday, October 25, 2013

Gifts For Writers

I found the following site that belongs to the L.A. Public Library. It is an online store that sells cute little items for writers. I didn't even know the library had online stores like this. If you are a fan of Moby Dick, there are several items to choose from.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

NaNoWriMo November 2013

Against my better judgment, I’m going to do NaNoWriMo next month. It’s so tough, but I think it will be good for me. I will be working on a completely new first draft of the novel I was working on last year.

I have a better grasp on what I’m doing now as opposed to last year, so I hope I can reach 50,000 words in one month.

After a year, I still don’t have a good title for my book. The one I had last year sounded good to me, but in reality, it sucks. No one is going to read a novel called The Residents of Wolfhelm Mansion. It just sounds like a bunch of senior citizens living together in a big house with werewolves. It’s so not what my book is about. It’s not about senior citizens or werewolves.

It involves teens, supernatural powers, a ghost, aliens, genetic engineering, and romance. Oh and kickass moves.

I have a week and a half to get it together. Ready, get set, go!

“You can fly! You can fly!” “She flew!”

For my sister-in-law’s birthday we went to iFly Hollywood. That’s where you get to fly in a wind tunnel with an instructor. It’s sort of like sky-diving, but without the threat of death.

We had to wear flight suits that had handles on the back and shoulders so the instructor could pull us into position. My kids got Superman suits to wear, so that was cool.

The suits are functional, but not flattering. People say a camera adds 20 lbs. to your appearance. Well, the flight suit adds 50. I looked like I had one too many donuts.

And those goggles! They smash your face, so you look like your features are rearranged. I had monster eyes. I didn’t even recognize my husband.

Other than that, the flight was awesome! Everyone had a blast. I smiled so much my mouth dried out. I flew high in the air, but there was no sinking feeling in my stomach that gave me the sense of falling. It wasn’t scary at all.

Marco was our instructor and he was super nice and patient. He did tricks in the air and landed with precision in the doorway. We all got two turns to fly plus a DVD and photos from iFly. For a small fee, of course.

It’s expensive, but we all want to do it again.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Dad is Fat

I was in Target last week and was happy to see a book by one of my favorite comedians, Jim Gaffigan, on the shelf. It’s called Dad is Fat. I never read books by comedians, but I wanted to read this one. The first few paragraphs were funny, but what sealed the deal was the back cover. It just had a photo and 2 lines that read: Buy this book. I is a good writer.

I’m currently reading the book and can say there are a lot of laughs in it. If you are a parent you will totally relate to it. He has five kids. I’m surprised he still has a sense of humor.

I admire comedians. It’s hard to be funny on a consistent basis. I told my husband that my best friends are my best friends because they laugh at my stupid jokes. Other people would just raise their eyebrows at me or think I was saying something offensive.

Books I’m currently reading are Dad is Fat, Shiver, The Host, and I’m still reading Dark Life.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Kat’s giveaway

Kat is giving away a couple of autographed books again on her YouTube vlog katytastic to celebrate having reached 30,000 subscribers. Wow, that number has grown so much in the last month! Here is the link for details: http://www.katokeeffe.com/

Whatever money she might get from that many subscribers must go to buying books. That girl reads more than I do! I have read about 85 books so far this year, but she reads 100 books per year. I’m shooting for 90. Some of the books I read this year are manga, so that’s kinda like cheating since those are mainly drawings. I might read more Blue Exorcist and kick my book count up to 100 this year or maybe next year.

I’m not going to try for the giveaway this time because I have way too many books to read at home as it is. I have almost a thousand books on my Kindle and my bookshelves at home are overflowing.

I’m currently reading Dark Life by Kat Falls and Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater.


Monday, October 7, 2013

To Outline or Not to Outline - Help From Stacey Kade

One of my favorite authors is Stacey Kade who wrote The Ghost and The Goth series. Since I am a fan of hers on Goodreads, I saw her post about writing tips today. It was just what I needed.

I have been struggling with my outline for my current novel for way too long and was wondering if I should just use part of it and wing the rest. It has been bothering me for over a week. Stacey uses a partial outline and wings the rest. She does have her ending in mind when she writes her novels.

She recommended the following books:

Goal, Motivation, and Conflict by Debra Dixon

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler

On Writing by Stephen King

I left a comment for her at the end of her post and she actually wrote me back right away! That was so awesome! It’s amazing how technology can bring people together so quickly and easily.

I was so frustrated with my novel and prayed that an answer would come to me in some way. It came via Stacey Kade and Tom Clancy.

Yesterday, I read that Tom Clancy passed away. I have never read any of his books, but I’m sure they are good since he is so well known. Most people have heard of him or at least his book The Hunt For Red October. He didn’t use an outline when he wrote and I know that Stephen King doesn’t either.

So, I’m going to go with my gut and write with only a partial outline. I know my ending, at least.

My high school English teacher said I was a good writer and that I should pursue a career in writing. She suggested Journalism. That turned me off right away. The second thing that turned me off was doing an outline. If I had known I didn’t have to write outlines, I might have started my writing career sooner. Back then I would write my story out first then write an outline based on my story just to turn it in to get credit for doing an outline. I still got an A or A+ for my stories.

My next challenge will be to split my book into a series. I already have an idea for a second and maybe a third book, so here’s hoping I don’t bite off more than I can chew.

I tried to cut characters out, but some of them just keep coming back. There’s just too much story to fit in one book. I can’t “kill all of my darlings” as they say. My characters are standing there staring at me waiting for me to write about them. They won’t leave me alone. Does this happen to other writers? I know I've written about this before, but d-aagh! It's so frustrating!