Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Insecure Writer's Support Group

The month of August was a total loss as far as writing is concerned. With the kids home, vacation, birthday party, and so on, writing didn't just take a backseat; it got thrown from the car entirely.

One of the highlights was a trip to Lake Gaston in Virginia to visit family. I learned that tubing is like Trix: for kids, you silly rabbit! My back is spasms just thinking about it. Kayaking, however, is right up my alley, so much in fact, that I'm getting one for my birthday. Hopefully, we chose one light enough so I can maneuver the thing onto the top of our car. (My back spasms just thinking about it.)

There's six more days until the kids go back to school. Six more days until the writer's gun goes off in my mind and I can get back to my short story. It's going to be a race, 'cause this baby is due on October 1st. I swore I'd never let a deadline sneak up on me like this, but here I am. My mind spasms just . . . okay, I need to stop that.

The trick here is not to think: I'm so totally screwed. No! I must think: Wow! It's been so long since I've written anything. This is going to be so much fun! I can't wait to dig in and write the heck out of this sucker, for hours, in a row, every day. Yeah!

It's a juicy combo of parents estranged over a seriously ill child mixed, the Mexican traditions with The Day of the Dead, and a hint of the supernatural. Just the ticket for a release date of November 1. I hope.

Finally, I'd like to give a shout-out to two authors whose books I read and loved recently. First, Leesa Freeman's Into The Deep End and The Wisdom To Know The Difference. Both have top-notch characters and strong narratives. And for the cat lovers: Avalon, by Vanessa Morgan. Heartbreaking, but also funny. Excellent stuff. I love reading stories that create an emotional impact. BTW, I discovered these authors during last April's A to Z Blogging Challenge--something to keep in mind for marketing.

Huzzahs to Alex Cavanaugh for running the IWSG show. Be sure to stop by his page and check out the posts of this month's cohosts: Julie Flanders, Murees DupĂ©, Dolorah at Book Lover, Christine Rains, and Heather Gardner.

Ever let a deadline get out of hand? How did it work out? 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Question of the Month with Michael D'Agostino

Hey, y'all! What's shakin'? This month's question from Michael is:

What was the best job you've ever had?

I’ve had three paying jobs: movie theater concession attendant (popcorn girl), zookeeper, and math professor. While the second has its share of unique tales, the first is actually my favorite.

I started working at Beaucatcher Cinemas the summer after my high school graduation. It wasn’t my idea. My beau at the time was quite the movie buff and it was his plan that we both get jobs there. Unfortunately, I got the gig and he didn’t. Poor guy ended up washing pots all summer in the kitchen of a low-end chain restaurant. The theater wasn’t living up to its name, at least, not yet.

Despite this little peccadillo, slinging overpriced popcorn was the perfect gig. First, there were the freebies. All the popcorn you could eat (with or without the butter-flavored diarrhetic). All the soda you could swill (with or without the ice). Plus—and here’s the best part—all the free movies you could watch provided you were off the clock. Pretty sweet deal, huh? We also got a stack of free tickets for friends and family.

Unlike other jobs, “movie week” starts on Friday. New films would come in Thursday afternoon. We’d have a private employee showing after the lobby closed Thursday night for the big ones like Terminator II and Total Recall. If the movies came in on a Wednesday, we could have a private show Thursday morning. This is how I saw Ghost and Steel Magnolias a day early.

While the freebies were great, hanging out with a bunch of high school/college age folk was even better. It was like living in a soap opera: who was crushing on whom, who was dating, who was breaking up. Drama, drama, drama. And yeah, I was part of all that. After drifting through high school as the quiet ghost who wrecked the curve, it was heaven. I’d finally joined “the cool kids”, which were often “the crazy kids”.

Some of the nuttiness was tame, like answering the concession stand phone with a snappy, “Frank’s Pizza Palace, how may I help you?” whenever the ushers called down from their station. Others were completely mad, like The Lost Boys Game.

The theater curtains moved from the floor up to the ceiling before the picture started. There was a heavy bar across the bottom and the idea was to grab the bar, hold on for dear life (literally) and ride that sucker up to the top. It looked a bit like flying, vampire-style, hence the name.

The worst part of this job? The video machine right smack by the concession stand playing the ditty “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! Heroes on a Half Shell! Teenage Power!” over and over and over throughout the six-hour shift until I wanted to bring in a sledgehammer and show those terrapins on steriods some real power.

Somehow, I managed to resist the urge.

This is a blog hop, so please join the fun! You can find the linked list at A Life Examined. Thank you Michael for hosting this monthly event.