I was reading Mirror Mirror by Gregory Maguire (of Wicked fame).  I don’t know what it is about these stories of his, but he manages to take a story that we know so well, it’s part of our psyche, turn it into something completely different, and yet… the same.  The stories suck you in, and it’s not Snow White you’re reading about, it’s Bianca de Nevada, and her father, and the dwarves–Heartless and Mute, Mute, Mute, to name a couple–and the Borgias (real dead people, Lucrezia being cast as the evil stepmother/witch, jealous of “Snow White’s” beauty).

Anyway, all I can say is: if Gregory Maguire wrote it, you should read it.  Right now.

Post Secret, how I love thee.

So, here’s how it works. Every Sunday, Frank (of Post Secret) posts a series of post cards he received through the mail. Each one of them, each anonymous one of them, tells a secret. They’re beautifully made pieces of art that expose a corner of the sender’s soul or life.

Some people find the site depressing, even disturbing. And some of the post cards can be. But I am so in love with the idea of freeing yourself from something you’re ashamed of. So ashamed, in fact, you’ve let it take over your life. Just put it out there and go on. It’s the stuff good fiction is made of, isn’t it? More importantly, it’s the stuff great lives are made of.

FYI: I wrote the word post 5 times. :-| I is a writer.

I don’t care who you are, there’s some perverse pride in writing in a notebook like this. It says, loud and proud, though without actually speaking, “Yeah. I’m probably writing dirty sex scenes. You gotta problem with that?” Or something like that. Maybe that’s just me, your mileage my vary.

I want to apologize for being MIA for so long. I had some issues with my internet provider… and by issues I mean they canceled my internet and the four subsequent orders for service.

I finally gave up and went with someone else. Very good. And then I lost a dear friend suddenly. She was my first reader. And I don’t mean first reader as in the first person I showed my stuff to, I mean my first reader ever. Of course, losing my reader isn’t the thing… it’s that she’s the first person I ever felt safe exposing myself that way. I said this, to her, at the time:

I love you too. You’re the only person in the whole world I could show this to. I don’t know how to put into words what that means, but it’s very special to me.

I don’t guess that actually says all that much to the untrained eye, but that was the best thing. She knew.

Anyway. I’m back. I’m going to keep pushing on because even when it makes me crazy, it makes me whole. And because that’s what she’d have done. And she’d have kicked my ass if I quit.

City Kitty WalletMuch as I am afraid you’ll see this, rush over to modcloth.com and buy them all, I have to share how adorable this wallet (and dozens of others) are. My only consolation is that I probably don’t have enough readers to overwhelm the warehouse there. At any rate, go look at this and all the other fantastic products–some one of a kind. And yes, Mom. This would make a fabulous birthday gift.

Sorry, that wallet is, in fact, no longer available.  The link now takes you to a plethora of wallet and bag choices.

Okay, I’m not up to the level of fugging punniliciousness as these fuggers, but I tried.

Go Fug Yourself, if you feel like wasting a few minutes making fun of very badly dressed (and occasionally nipple-flashing!) celebrities.

Every Thursday, I’ll be adding links to sites that I enjoy or find offensive (or both, who doesn’t love both!) or find just plain unbelievable. This isn’t the blogroll and this isn’t sites to see (which are purely writing related). These are just sites that caught my attention. If you have an idea for one, email me or post it in the comments.

The category name is a shout out to those Orbit gum commercials, which I find hilarious. If you’ve never seen it, keep your eyes open, and you will. And then you will laugh, inappropriately.

Since this is, in fact, Friday we’ll start with this one.

Sassy Kitchen Towels These dishtowels are for the disgruntled housewife in all of us. With phrases like: DRINK COFFEE Do stupid things faster with more energy or If you want breakfast in bed then sleep in the kitchen, all with a retro spin, who wouldn’t want these?

edit: Apparently, someone else thought those dishtowels were rather awesome, too, because the link just showed an empty page the last time I checked.

I bought GMC by Debra Dixon. It’s genius, I’d heard, and it’s true. It’s like having someone explain brain surgery in a book you can read in a day or two, and you finish and say, “Duh.”

Before I go on, I’d like to point out that used copies can go for more then $40 on Amazon. I love Amazon, nothing against Amazon, but you can purchase the book from the publisher for $19.95. Worth every dime, btw.

If you really want to know how useful it is, just google GMC and Dixon. You’ll find thousands of hits. That’s how widely accepted, adopted, and appreciated her work is.

The GMC one sentence checker (my name, I can’t remember THE name) works perfectly. Character wants GOAL because MOTIVATION, but CONFLICT. It really is that simple. I know–duh, right? It’s full of these nuggets, like an external goal can be experienced by the five senses. Well, that makes it easier. Now I know revenge isn’t an external goal. It’s internal, because internal goals are about emotion.

However, once you have your “Duh,” moment, this hits: “I am so screwed.” Or it does if you’ve written a word. I always knew I was a little vague on my goals. I think I even started out with goals, but… maybe I didn’t like what having those goals said about my characters, so I… got vague. Either way, I think I figured out why my first act was so slow… pointless?

But, I’m making my charts, and I think I can fix it. Maybe. Doesn’t matter, not for this–my point is buy the book!

My site disappeared for a few days. I wrote my very friendly hosts and asked what the problem might be. Seems my server died and went to pc heaven. If I had a backup of the site, they’d be happy to restore it for me.

Um, a what?

So. They somehow found a backup for me from about six months ago, and really that was above and beyond. But one of my graphics lost all her little kilobytes. She is kaput. And I have no backup of that either. Yes, I know. Shocking.

So, for now, I’ve made a placeholder one. But… maybe this place needs a new look anyway. Is it too … feminine, maybe? I liked it at the time, but I’m thinking I want something a little more fun. So… maybe we’ll see a new look. Not a new layout. You have no idea how long it took me to get the layout right. I am working for myself on this one, and I’m cheaper than anyone else I can afford, so we’ll (I and my designer) will just have to make do.

Upside, I found the entries that had disappeared.

I know, ink diva sounds a pit pretentious. But, I think we should all be divas, at least in our own minds. So monumentally great at whatever we’re passionate about, we reserve the right to, at least, think diva thoughts. So, I’m a diva. So are you. Take a moment to enjoy your fabulousness.

But, you’re now wondering, why ink? Maybe you’re not wondering that, but in my head, you are. And in my head, I get to be the boss. Sometimes. So, why ink? Who writes with pen and paper anymore when backspace is so much less messy than correction fluid?

I do. Not always. Sometimes, there’s nothing I enjoy more than a brightly lit screen and the clatter of keys. But sometimes, there’s something so real and organic about taking pen to paper. The potential of a blank sheet of paper is infinite. The weight of the pen, the pull as it glides across the paper. Being able to flip through twenty handwritten pages and see it and touch it and even smell it. The reality of it. It’s intoxicating.

And, honestly? I really love pens. I have probably a hundred pens. All different in their color, the intensity of the ink, the way my fingers grip them, the way they write. Even my handwriting is different, depending on the pen.

So, yeah, I’m an ink diva. And I am fabulous.