All You Ever Wanted To Know Is In A Book

This is a top ten list of the writing books that I believe are invaluable.

1.  Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight V. Swain

2.  Creating Character’s Emotions by Ann Hood

3.  The Joy of Writing Sex: A Guide for Fiction Writers by Elizabeth Benedict

4.  GMC by Debra Dixon

5. Roget’s International Thesaurus

6. The Female Brain by Louann Brizendine, MD

7.  The Male Brain by Louann Brizendine, MD

8.  You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation by Deborah Tannen

9.  Manuscript Makeover by Elizabeth Lyon

10.  Self-Editing for Fiction Writer by Browne & King

Female Friday with a Celtic Twist

In honor of St. Patrick’s day, I decided to devote this Female Friday to Irish women. There are many Irish women that deserve attention but I’m focusing on two women.

KIT CAVANAGH

Kit Cavanagh was born in Dublin in 1667. Her childhood was spent on the family farm in Leixlip, County Kildare. During her teen years, she was seduced and she fled to her aunt’s pub in Dublin. SHe inherited the pub after her aunt’s death and married Richard Walsh. Four years after the marriage Richard disappeared. Pregnant with their third child, Kit searched for her husband for a year but learned nothing about his disappearance. Then she received a letter from the Netherlands. It was from Richard, explaining that on the day of his disappeance he had gotten blind drunk and awake in Holland. He had been conscripted and had to fight for King William III against the French.

Kit had her mother care for her children, cut her hair and dressed in male clothing, she enlisted in the Duke of Marlborough’s infantry under the name of Christian Walsh. She was nicknamed the “pretty dragoon”. It seems Kit had a talent for fighting. Though injured in Battle of Landen (1693), her true sex wasn’t discovered. The men in her regiment didn’t unearth her secret either, though she ate with them, slept alongside them and even urinated with them, using a silver tube with leather straps. Through the this, she continued to search for Richard yet the war ended in 1697.

However, hostilies rose again in 1702 and she promptly re-enlisted again. She was wounded again, this time in the hip yet her secret was safe. In 1704, she was guarding prisoners after the Battle of Hochastat and watching a soldier from another regiment being embraced by a Dutch woman. When the man turned around, it was Richard. She revealed her secret to him and she decided that she wanted to stay in the army so they would live apart. However, in 1706, Kit was wounded again and this time, her secret was discovered.

Though, she remarried Richard and twice after that, her life ended as many in military life find themselves. She lived on charity from army bass and others who knew of her story. She died in 1739 and was buried with full military honors at St. Margaret’s Church, Westminster.

ANNE BONNY

Anne Boony was born to a servant, Mary, and her married employers, William Cormac, a lawyer. Because of the scandal father, mother and daughter departed Ireland and settled in Charleston, South Carolina. William purchased a planation which her ran successfully. Mary died and Anne grew up as a spoiled daddy’s girl. Anne had a fierce temper and was strong and sturdy. When a male attempted to rape her, she beat him up so badly he had to take to his bed.

Disowned by her father, she soon married a pirate James Bonny. The couple made their way to New Providence, which is now Bahamas, a place with disruptable inhabitants. She soon tired on her husband and took up with Captain John Rackham also known as Calico Jack. Her husband took her to court for desertion where she had to appear naked. James Bonny got an order to prevent Anne and Jack from meeting. Anne ignored it and join Calico Jack’s ship, The Revenge.

Once on board, she earned a wild reputation and befriended fellow female pirate, Mary Reed. WHen the British government issued a King’s Proclamation pardoning all pirates who gave themselves up. Calico Jack took advantage of this. However, afterwards, Calico Jack was broke and went back to sea and a pirate life for he.

In November 1720, a pirate hunter Captain Barnet attacked The Revenge. However only Marry Ried and Anne Bonny stayed top deck, ready to fight while the men cowered below. And the ship was so overrun. When brought into port for trail, Anne claimed to be pregnant, which postponed the execution. When Calico Jack’s day to hang Anne and him met again where she yelled at him for not fighting like a man.

After that nothing more of Anne is known. There is no date of execution. How her days ended is a mystery? And perhaps a great story waiting to be told.

A Farewell to my Favorite Border’s

Border’s was my go-to bookstore where I can find that one jewel of a book. I always found something good, usually an obscure book or the long sought after book. Today was no different. I purchased Letter of a Woman Homestead Well this time, I didn’t lay my money down on the counter at my favorite Border’s store on Park Avenue.

My favorite Border’s is one of 200 stores being closed. In fact, I went to the store one last time. Windows were covered with Everything Must Go signs. Inside, someome still greeted you but the rest of the business was just a little different. Red signs with 20% in block white letters were pinned on top of the dark honey shelves. The same shelves were in disarray and half empty.

On the second floor, the cafe was closed. The few tables and long bar was closed. Yellow tape with caution on it was taped across the section where I had spent hours drinking coffee and working on my writings. Now that was gone.

I must admit that I purchased books. I will always remember that Border’s being there since I can never remember anything else in it’s place. Sad to see a bookstore go for what will probably be a spa or something another.

Although, I’m sad to see my favorite Border’s closing, I feel for the employees, now jobless and in this economy. I hope they find employment soon. And I feel for the bookstores that are vanishing like the malt shops of the 50s.

So please support your local bookstore, it may or may not make a difference but at least, you tried.

Did you have a favorite bookstore that closed and you miss it’s presents, if you do please share.

Where the Magic Happens

My desk.  This is where I write my stories, where I waste time on twitter or check my email.  The desk is my writer’s place.  I sometimes wish I had the fancy office with a chaise lounge to spread out and become inspired by my characters and look out over my view of Malibu or Paris or Madrid.  Where everything has a place and some interior design magazine is dying to photograph because of it’s utter perfection.

But for me, this corner is perfection.  I’m surrounded by things I love and inspire me.  My office is perfect.  I have all I need to write.  Now I just need to get my book published.

Do you have an office you love?  Is there a place you’ve dream of writing?  Where do you write now? Kitchen table? Bed? Please let me know.

Female Friday

In honor of the Haute Couture shows in Paris, I decided to honor female fashion designers.

Madame Gres

MADAME GRES

This woman invented the bias dress, which means the fabric is cut at a diagonal or 45 degree angle.  Cutting fabric that way wastes a great deal but it falls oh-so-lovely over the body.  Today the bias dress is a designer staple and when done right like John Galliano [designer for his own line as well as Dior] does, the dress is utter perfection and gossamer light.

A bias dress by Madame Gres

ELSA SCHIAPARELLI

ELSA’S DESIGN

How many out there owned or still own anything in a hot pink?  Well you have Elsa to thank. An Italian by birth but working in Paris as many do today.  Her designs took inspiration from surreal artists since she considered herself one as well.   She had talent and dressed some of the wonderful women alive in the era between the World Wars even the Duchess of Windsor.  Elsa and Chanel were enemies.  Imagine being in a party when these two ladies entered, the tension, catty wit.  Paris must have been entertained by these two smart talented ladies.  After the war, sadly, her line closed but if it were around today, Lady Gaga to Madonna would wear her designs. 

                         

                              

Claire on Time

CLAIRE McCARDELL

Claire is the mother of American Sportswear and most likely you are wearing or have an item that is inspired by her.  She believed in everyday relaxed dress.  Ballet slippers as everyday footwear.   Cynthia Rowley, Donna Karan, Marc Jacobs and Annie Sui each have been inspired by her.    How many would purchase this outfit or own something like it already? 

CLAIRE’S JUMPER

EDITH HEAD

Edith and her Oscars

Edith Head was a costumer designer for both Paramount and Universal.  She dressed everyone from Mae West to Steve Martin.  Countless designers are inspired by her costume for flicks that starred Hollywood icons.  No doubt you’ve seen movies featuring her creations.  Grace Kelly in To Catch a Thief and Bette Davis in All About Eve.  Few have that many Oscars.  I have none.

Many women fashion designers run wonderful lines, Donna Karan, Stella McCartney, Diane Von Furstenberg, one of my idols, Betsey Johnson, Carolina Herrera, Annie Sui, Sonia Reykeil, Tory Burch, and Stella McCartney.  And more will come and share their vision for what will be the modern woman.  I can’t wait to see the beautiful design and how it fits in the perception of womanhood and what it means to be a lady. 


Happy Birthday, Virginia Woolf!

Yes, today would have been the iconic author’s birthday.  In the Books section of Huffington Post, I read this post about 59 things us reader might not have known about Virginia Woolf.  I even found that I have some things in common with her.  Some I wouldn’t want — depression and suicide just not me.

Here are the three that you might not have known about me and Virginia:

 9. Woolf was highly critical of her friends’ eating habits at the dinner table, often reproving them for eating with either too little grace or too much enthusiasm.

I too can’t stand how some people eat and I’m highly critical.  I have banished people from my table and even taken away their food because they can’t eat with their mouth closed or they shovel food in like someone is going to steal it.  Learn to eat properly, I don’t need to see you mashed up food or hear you chomping away. 

14. Woolf delighted in the physical act of writing words on paper. From the age of 11, she was continually experimenting with different kinds of pens in hope of finding one that would provide the perfect sensation.

I have hundreds of pens.  I too believe that when you hold the right pen, it can do something to the writing and paper connection.  It’s almost as if the words flow down my arm and onto paper without a conscious thought.  I love those moments.  I believe Annie Proulx writes out her entire novels by hand.  For me, though, each day, I might use a different pen because the sensation stirring up in me is different.  I wonder how she would have feel about a MAC.

21. One of the things Woolf disliked most in life was being peered at or having someone take her photograph.

ME! [WITH LONG HAIR]

I hate to have my picture taken.  I think I look horrible.  The light never falls right and casts shadows over my face that makes my nose looks big or eyes too deep or my mouth too big.  Just a bad experience.   That’s why I don’t have a lot of pics.  As for people looking at me — I can’t stand that either.  It’s as if they are intruding in on me.  My skin starts to prickle and my ears burn.  It’s just horrible.  I lower my head especially when guys look at me.  Not good.  Oh well.  My inner neurosis.  I imagine when I’m old and gray and look back at the few pics I do have, I will wish that I had enjoyed my youth more.  A lesson known now but certainly not learned.

 
If you are interested in reading the whole post, just click here and please if you like share you similarities.
http://flavorwire.com/143610/59-things-you-didnt-know-about-virginia-woolf

To Be Read…Eventually

I fear that my TBR pile is growing, turning into the paper equivalent of the Blob. Some books have been on the shelf for almost three years. That doesn’t stop me from putting down cash for new ones or heading to the library for others.

I suppose I should join Books Anonymous, BA. I’m Mageela and I’m addicted to books. I become excited when I enter a bookstore or the library. So much knowledge and entertainment existing in the world that I want to soak up. There’s a quote, “Wear an old coat and buy a new book.”
That’s how I pretty much run my life 🙂

The worst is the choice that has to be made when I must decide which book to read. They are all so interesting. Each one seeming to be a shiny jewel that I chose by doing my-mother-said. Other times by the feel of the book in my hand, the sound the paper makes when I flip a page or the print or if my eyes can stare at my Nook.

The choice are difficult ones that don’t affect the world but can us, the reader. Every reader decides in their own way, how do you choose?

Female Friday

This Friday will be a dedication to Female Writers.  There are many great ladies to choose from Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, Nora Roberts and Jodi Picoult to name the “Superstar gals”.  Women writers seem to rarely get the respect we deserved yet we are the majority of readers.  When Nicolas Sparks writes a love story such as The Notebook or Dear John, those aren’t considered romance yet Rachel Gibson writes See Jane Score it is.  Some might argue that those stories are different perhaps or perhaps not but that doesn’t matter.  Today, I’m recognizing those women that inspire me either through their writing, which is how I know most or through the women they are.

EDITH WHARTON

EDITH WHARTON

I love Age of Innocence and The Buccaneers.  I admit I’m not crazy about Ethan Frome but Edith Wharton is the greatest.  I read her books over again and each time, I’m swept into Old New York.  I know the next words yet I’m always thrilled by them.  I’ve felt a connection with her when I first picked up one of her books.  It was as if something came through the pages and into me, connecting me with her for forever.  She is the person I would have loved to dine with.  She is the reason why Paris is the place I want to spend my days and she decorated homes too, which is a passion of mine.  Edith was and still is a perfection for me.

JACKIE COLLINS

JACKIE COLLINS

Jackie Collins.  I love her and her juicy tales of Hollywood and scandal.  My whole life I’ve wanted to visit LA.  There isn’t a particular sight that I’m interested in.  All I want is to feel the sun and smell the air, or smog.  But the closest I’ve ever gotten to LA is the airport on my way to Honolulu.
What’s really great about Jackie is that she doesn’t try to be anything else.  She’s fabulous in fact she’s better than Fabulous.  She’s Jackie Collins.

DOROTHY PARKER

DOROTHY PARKER

Dorothy Parker was a founding member of the Algonquin Round Table and the only female included.  She had a sharp wit that it seemed just the thing to have in her age but few possessed or as I like to think, displayed.  She wrote screenplays, most notably A Star is Born.  She also wrote the line, “Men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses.” She proves to be first, speak you mind and others will fall over themselves to be around you.

LOUISA MAY ALCOTT

LOUISA MAY ALCOTT

Everyone knows Little Women and loves it.  Most ladies vow that they’re Jo or perhaps Meg or Amy.  But for me, I would like to believe I’m a Jo but I am a Beth.  I remember being sick as a child in the hospital, looking out the window, or watching it rain and while others played outside I was stuck in-doors.  I couldn’t get wet because if I got too cold, I could get sick.  So, I was Beth.  And at least I had someone to keep me company.   And Louisa finally made me happy to be a girl when I only wanted to be like my big brother and play football.  I did too though my mother never knew.  And I could tackle the boys since I was taller than most of them.

J.K. ROWLINGS

J.K. ROWLINGS

I must admit that I’m not a Harry Potter fan.  I’ve never read the books or seen the movies.  But I must give her credit.  She was on the dole and wrote out her book on a legal pad.  J.K. never quit though there must have been people who told her otherwise.  She created a world that has entertained millions across the world.

LEANNA RENEE HIEBER

 

LEANNA RENEE HIEBER

I’m proud to say that Leanna is a friend of mine.  She’s an award winning author.  But what makes her one of my favorites is that she invites everyone into the wonderful Victorian paranormal world of hers and it weaves a spell about you so you never wish to return to everyday life.  She amazes you with her kindess, talent, and selflessness.  I suggest if you haven’t read any of her books pick up her Strangely Beautiful series or just click here.  http://www.leannareneehieber.com/

I know people are going to say Jane Austen and I agree but I just wanted to include some others.  If you think I missed someone please add to the list.

Ricky Gervais

I didn’t watch the Golden Globes but the press is all stirred up by the comments Ricky Gervais made as the host.  And Ricky said that after this broadcast, the Hollywood Foreign Press wouldn’t invite back as a host.

For me, I love Ricky Gervais.  When I first watched Office, I was captivated by the show.  I don’t watch the US version.  However, I get my Ricky Gervais fill by watching his show on HBO The Ricky Gervais Show.  I must admit I love to hear Ricky laugh that high-pitched squealing laugh.  I can’t help but join in.  But there are funny comments from Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington as well.

With the second season just an episode in, I say watch it if you want to waste time or just want to have a good laugh. 

Beginning again

I have passed GO and collected my 200 dollars and now is the time to start my new manuscript. Starting a new work can stir up many feeling–excitement, stress, impatience and worry. Right now, my mind is racing with all the possibilities that can happen between my hero and heroine. I know that it will be a happy ending but like the saying it’s not the destination but the journey. So, I’m getting my ticket ready and my bags packed and off I go to bring my characters to their final destination.