Monday, 30 April 2007

Thank God You're Here

There's a new and exciting television show called Thank God You're Here. Popular comedians test their improv skills by dressing up in a costume and allowing themselves to be thrown in the middle of a scene with absolutely no idea who they are, where they are, or what they're doing. The object is to be funny on the fly.

Improvisation comedy isn't scripted. A performer must rely on his or her wits in order to come up with a hilarious performance. This type of performing isn't necessarily better or worse than rehearsed, but it's certainly a different way to approach your craft. It's also great training.

In some ways, writing can be approached in similar ways. We can do detailed outlines and research, carefully plotting each scene with a definite goal in mind (rehearse), or we can simply throw ourselves into the middle of a scene and come up with something that will capture the reader (improv).

I'm trying both ways, just to see which method suits me. I think improv is winning.

That's me as Captain Jack Sparrow. I love Halloween.

Thursday, 19 April 2007

I've Been Kissed, But Never in New York

I heart New York. But I've never been there. I can only glean my impression of the city from the books I have read and the movies I've seen. The romance, the vitality, the architecture... I could go on and on. Alas, I may have to win the lottery or get the big advance before I witness that beautiful city with mine own eyes.

Last fall, my daughter had the opportunity to go on a school trip with her high school art class. The teacher wanted me to accompany them as a chaperone, since he knew I was an artist, too. Regretfully, I had to decline, since we could only scrape up the funds for my daughter to go.

Maybe, just maybe someday I'll stroll down the sidewalks of Manhattan, peek into the coffee shops and delis, and look up at the facades of those big publishing and agent type buildings. Maybe one of them will have my name somewhere in their file cabinets.

--Photo courtesy of the one who went. Can you see Woody waving from his window?

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Welcome to the Flight

I have come to the conclusion that I am a 'fly by the seat of my pants' writer. My current novel doesn't remotely resemble the outline I had set out for it.

I pounded out 2000 words last night - the second half of a car chase in the mountains. Every time a new twist presents itself, I find it necessary to go back and make adjustments in the first chapters so everything doesn't get completely unraveled. So far, it's holding together.

I don't know why I didn't think of this writing stuff more than two years ago. It's fun.

On a non-writing note, it was finally warm enough today to walk to my car without shivering with cold. I think Spring is finally here. Which means..... venturing into the back yard to get rid of a winter's worth of dog poo. Oh, joy.

Wednesday, 11 April 2007

I had a dream

Since I was a child, my dreams held such vivid clarity that I remember some of them almost forty years later. I remember flying, fighting with a purple octopus, fighting in a Crimean-type war, and being chased by elves.

Some of my dreams had sound tracks. Honest. Even credits at the end. Maybe I watched too much TV, but there you have it.

A few months ago, I had a dream that inspired the beginning of one of my current WIPs. I remember standing in a window, looking down into a courtyard. A man with a gun raises his weapon and shoots. After the initial panic and confusion and noise, another man appears at my door. He is, well.... let's just say that he is my next protagonist in my new novel.

Now I just have to think of a plot to go with all that hotness. It's coming along. Honest. Maybe this one will have credits at the end. And raunchy rock music.

Sunday, 1 April 2007

Boy + Girl + Hockey

Where can you possibly go wrong? I mean, hockey players have muscles - probably more than NASCAR drivers, and they're definitely better looking (with apologies to Jeff Gordon fans). If Harlequin can have a NASCAR romance line, why not an NHL line?

Girls love hockey. I think there's a place in the romance market for more hockey romances. I've seen a few out there, and I feel there's room for more.

My current novel under submission is a hockey romance, its tentative title teetering (try to say that fast) between Bad Ice and The Lost Season. It opens with a shooting in an arena during a professional hockey game. The heroine inadvertently foils the murder attempt, thus saving the life of a hockey player.

Last night during a Leaf game, a fan collapsed in the stands. The players sat at their respective benches, anxiously watching the drama unfold.

I checked the news this morning, and discovered that the person who first attended to the heart attack victim was a female fan, a nurse wearing a Darcy Tucker jersey. She performed CPR on the gentleman and probably saved his life.

Life imitates art. Sort of.