Monday, September 8, 2014

Bullets for Breakfast

I haven't tried a bullet point post in a while. Those are fun. They are bite-sized thoughts. Who doesn't love bite-sized goodies?
  • When I was a kid I used to love to tell (anyone who would listen) what happened on a TV show. Usually, it was M*A*S*H, but not always.
  • Now that I am older, and my mom lives with me, she loves to tell (anyone who will listen) that I would take an hour to rehash a half hour show.
  • Apparently, this drove both my parents *crazy* when I did it... all of those years ago.
  • Do you remember your parents saying things like, "I hope that when you have kids they are just like YOU!"
  • Well, I didn't have any kids, but I have my mom who is *crazy* for this TV show Heartland. She is watching it from the beginning on the Up Network.
  • Last Friday night we went out to dinner and she talked the entire meal detailing what happened on the last episode of Heartland. When the check came, I said, "You and dad wondered where I got that endearing trait of relaying TV shows... well, it was from YOU."
  • I am here to tell you that karma always happens. It comes back to you. Sometimes from your kids. Sometimes your parents, but it comes back. And it is annoying. I can see why I drove my parents *crazy.*
  • Battle of the Bands... I appreciate everyone who listened and voted in this most recent installment of Battle of the Bands. You rock!
  • The song was Up The Ladder To The Roof. The combatants were The Supremes and The Nylons.
  • For a LONG time, this battle was a tie. Back and forth it went. Man, that did my heart good. ::air kisses for you::
  • And then The Supremes pulled ahead and The Nylons did not regain that ground. 
  • The final vote: 15 to 10. The Supremes take it.
  • Make it 15 to 11. I vote for The Nylons. I love that group. I found them in the 80s and wore out the tape on my cassette One Size Fits All. When I went to college, turns out I wasn't the only one who loved it. My freshman year, someone would put that tape in and we would sit around playing euchre (if you're from the north, you know what that is). Such fond memories go with The Nylons.
  • I am so happy with those of you volunteered to read my novel. Seriously, you guys are awesome.
  • Elsie sent me some comments about the first scene (or two) along with a note to cut the word "that" whenever possible. Yesterday, I ran the Find Function on the word "that." Holy cow. I kid you not, but that word "that" is Everywhere. I think it snuck into my writing and bred like rabbits. I deleted the unnecessary ones, but couldn't always delete the space it created. 
  • Solutions sometimes create different problems.
  • Last night I read a blog over at The Kill Zone by James Scott Bell. It was called Revisiting the Mirror in the Middle. Or something close to that. You can click the link to read it for yourself. Essentially, he said that if you go to the middle of any book, movie, etc. that in the middle is that mirror moment for the character.
  • Of course, I immediately logged out of blogger and back into my novel. I needed to know what was in the middle of my book. 
  • It was what I call the Revelation scene. Woah.
  • And then I had a revelation of my own. Let me tell you about it...
  • Back in 2006, I wrote the scene that was the inspiration and eventually Back Story for this novel.
  • At first, I used it as The Prologue.
  • Then I read how so many people didn't like Prologues and absorbed it into Chapter 1.
  • I have moved it all over Chapter 1, still not that happy about where it is.
  • Last night, I moved it to the Middle. It belongs in that Revelation moment. Of course it does.
  • Ironically, James Scott Bell talks about starting in the middle and working forward and back.It turns out by putting this scene there... that is kinda sorta what I did. 
  • I haven't read his book (yet) about writing this way, but I think he means that the inspiration for your story is very likely the moment, the crisis, the event that started the character on this path. That point in the middle is the place where the MC questions all of it. Maybe things are starting to make sense or maybe it is all crazier than ever... but it is that point where the MC pauses and says, "Holy crap. What am I doing? What have I done? Where am I going? Can I continue like this????"
  • Naturally, this is going to force me to rework the middle scene, the revelation scene. 
  • Solutions sometimes create different problems.

Have your kids or parents thrown any of your bad habits back at you? How did that feel? Did you vote in Battle of the Bands? Did the outcome surprise you? Have you noticed in your own writing, reading, watching of movies, that the main character has a mirror moment in the middle (sometimes with an actual mirror and sometimes not)? Have you ever written the middle first and worked forward and back? Have you read any of James Scott Bell's books on writing?


  1. Oh yes my parents have thrown some of my bad habits back at me - good naturedly of course :)

  2. Yay for the Supremes. I've never watched Heartland but I saw the main guy (I think he was) on the show on Colbert Report and it mildly aroused my curiosity. But, I don't have the time to get involved in shows right now. I happy things are going well for you on your ms. It sounds like an intriguing plot. Good for you Robin. High Five and go.

  3. Do you remember going on and on and on to your parents (and anyone else who would listen) how handsome that young guy was in the episode titled 'LIL' in the 7th season of M*A*S*H when Lil said to Colonel Potter (something like), "Look at that boy over there. He should be on a playground, not on a battlefield", and then there was that huge close-up on a very handsome young man asleep on a cot in Post-Op, recuperating from his injuries? (This was the episode when Radar was upset because he thought Colonel Potter was cheating on his wife with the M*A*S*H-visiting Lil.)

    GIRL WONDER, if you answer "No", you might as well delete my blogs from those you 'Follow' because we b through!(!!!)!!

    I'm not saying that handsome young man was me... or anyone I know... but... we b through... done... kaput.


    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American... Handsome Boy On A Cot, Recuperatin''

    1. I am tiptoeing through this comment. First, I don't recall that episode, so I must have MISSED it entirely. I think I already told you (before I knew you were on that show) that the first few seasons were my faves. I really preferred Col Blake over Col Potter and Trapper over BJ. And, my goodness, I barely tolerated Winchester after the deliciousness that was Frank Burns. I don't mean that he was deliciously handsome... they didn't call him ferret-face for nothing. Hahaha. The irony of that just smacked me in the face. ::still laughing::

      But now I want to watch that episode, Lil, just so I can appreciate the handsomeness of that wounded soldier and what I am sure is an extremely finessed sentiment that he uttered. I will even tolerate Winchester so that I can make it to the amazingness of the afore-mentioned moment.

      Note: You can't get rid of me that easily. So, we not b through!


      I loved, Loved, LOVED your reply! It truly made me laugh-out-loud several times.

      Not to worry, I was TOTALLY joking all the way through. Yeah, I really was that (handsome) recuperatin' young soldier, but I could point to other more memorable episodes that I appeared in. (For crying-out-loud, I was one of the soldiers leaping and dancing for joy when "The war is over!" was announced, and I was even in the background when Klinger got married. I spoke in a few memorable episodes, however, my favorite was an episode in which I said nuttin' and I was not at all focused upon, but quietly acted like I was drunk in the background at 'Rosie's Bar'. OK, seriously... please don't tell me you don't remember 'Rosie's Bar'.)

      This may seem sacrilegious to you but, in truth, I was NEVER a M*A*S*H fan, even during the five years I worked on it. To me it was just "a paycheck".

      I will say though that my favorite people in the cast were, first, Gary Burghoff, and second, David Ogden Stiers. Those two, I got to know best on a more personal level.

      I will also tell you (coming from a professionally-trained actor) - and again this will likely seem sacrilegious to you - that BY FAR the best actor on M*A*S*H was David Ogden Stiers! Viewers may have liked the Hawkeye or Hunnicutt or Trapper or Blake or Potter or Hotlips or Burns or whichever character best, but the BEST ACTOR was David Ogden Stiers!

      >>... they didn't call him ferret-face for nothing. Hahaha. The irony of that just smacked me in the face. ::still laughing::

      I KNOW! You just "got that", huh? Don't feel bad because it took ME at least a year or two before I MYSELF "GOT IT".

      A year or two before I started blogging at some Liberal woman replied to a review I'd written (for the movie 'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest') at and said: "I hope Hillary (Clinton) DOES get you and the rest of your ferret-faced fascist friends."

      I later took that "insult" and made it my blog's title. But it was still another year or two before I realized that the nickname "Ferret-Faced" was a reference to Frank Burns on M*A*S*H (who, by weird coincidence, was ALSO a major supporter of Senator Joe McCarthy!)

      The title of my main blog is ALL a result of Liberal Slander, Mystical M*A*S*H mechanics, and McCarthy Magic!

      Don't worry, GIRL WONDER, we not b thru.
      I wuz jus' jokin' from the outset.
      Surely, you know what a goof I be.
      (U dun seen my astro-UN-logical chart.)

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal UnAmerican Overground'

    3. Okay, I am going to make a confession. One of the episodes to make me cry actually was a Winchester storyline. He amputated this guy's hand. I don't think he thought much of it, because it needed to be done. And then the guy wakes up and goes ballistic. Turns out, he was a pianist. DOS just nailed that episode. Nailed.It. He thought the guy would be relieved because he saved his legs, he could still walk, blah blah blah. And the guy was a freakin' pianist. And no one loved real muzac more than Winchester. I don't recall if he cried over that or not, but I cried buckets. The only other time I remember being reduced to tears over that show was when they killed Henry Blake.

      I think Winchester's problem was that he was just too classy for the 4077. And me. hahahaha.

      No worries. I knew you were joking. I would send you back something in rhyme, but I am just no good at that sort of thing. In fact, I make my best jokes strictly by accident. (see ferret-face above)

  4. That "mirror moment" thing is fascinating...

    And I have been doing Doctor Who rehashing to Laurie, and now she's watching it with me in self defense...

  5. I don't think any of our characters have mirror moments. Then again, we mostly write comedy/horror, so either the characters are goofy and just clowning around or they're brutally murdered.

    ...This comment was darker than I intended. :)

  6. OE ~ Good naturedly... of course.

    Manzi ~ My mom is not a big TV watcher, so this whole infatuation with a television program is new for her....

    CW ~ Watching TV in defense. I like it.

    ABFTS ~ Clowning around or brutally murdered. Ouch. Was that a mirror moment for YOU????

  7. Your prologue has been on quite the journey.
    No kids here either, but fortunately no crazy parents either.
    And sorry, this came up in my reader earlier but when I went to the page, it said it wasn't there. Came back to look, just in case.

  8. HI, Robin,

    I like MASH too... It was an awesome show with incredible writing and acting. It wouldn't've been on the air for so many years if it wasn't!

    Interesting about the mirror concept. I have to see if I have it in my centers... Food for thought for sure...

  9. I'm just like you (and your mom). I can talk for hours on a show that I love. And, if it's a comedy, watch out, I'll try to tell the jokes then fail miserably and just ruin them. Yet, I keep trying.

    "That" creeps in on me all the time. So does "actually", run on sentences, and um, well just about every mistake you can make. My poor CP. I'm so glad he's a patient guy because I know I drove him insane in the beginning.

    Side note: I'll be working on your book again in a day or two. Need to get some time in on mine haha

  10. I have always talked a lot. And I would ask a lot of questions. My family would play the 50 questions game with me. After I asked 50, I had to quit.

  11. I voted for the Supremes, sans the fabulous Diana.

  12. I remember working at the university TV station when the final episode of MASH aired. It was playing on every TV. It's nice that you and your mom both get excited about your favorite TV shows. We're also addicted to our programs. I'm glad you've already received helpful input on your book. I'm also guilty of using "that" too often. It's right up there with commas and explanation points for me.


  13. Glad to see the Supremes 'put a run in' those Nylons. (Sorry I couldn't help myself.)

    I have someone in my life who likes to give me a blow by blow of certain movies. Mostly those they know I wouldn't see in a million years. SHEESH! It about makes me crazy.

  14. Our daughter used to give unbelievably detailed accounts of every single thing that happened in every single program she and her brothers watched when we went out for the evening. (It got so we almost dreaded asking her what happened when we got home...) Tricky girl, she's the only one who decided not to have children. Kind of a drastic way to avoid a repetition of history...

  15. "Holy crap. What am I doing? What have I done? Where am I going? Can I continue like this????" I've been asking myself the same questions these past few years. I was so much happier when MASH was on TV and my Mom made me watch it too. (I know, how does that make me happy...)

    Tapes... I remember those. They remind me of a time when you had to put in some hard work to finish a single tape. Now it's all about easy downloading and throwing music in the trash can after a couple of days. The days of instant gratification. ;)

    So.... how's life?

  16. I'm glad to have seen the Nylons put up a good fight. They are an excellent group.

    I never got the M*A*S*H fever--didn't care for the show and watched very few episodes. It seemed like everyone I knew back then would be gathered around the TV when that show came on and I'd just be off doing something else. Can't say that I watched more than 3 episodes and not the one StMc was in (though I'd like to see it now). Also agree that David Ogden Stiers was the best actor on the show. He was an acclaimed stage actor and did a great turn in Doug Henning's Broadway smash The Magic Show.

    I'd like to read your book but didn't volunteer because I've already got a bunch of books downloaded that I still need to read. Reading on a computer is so difficult for me--and I keep getting distracted wanting to check emails etc. You probably know what I'm saying.

    A Faraway View

  17. this was two tons of fun!
    love all the details =) keep at it you crazy kid!
    and when my parents said i hope your kids are like you, i agreed with them, until my oldest son turned 14. he's an ornery cuss!

  18. My oldest son is a people pleaser like his mama, and I hate to see the ones closest to him trying to take advantage of him. He's a lot stronger than I was about it at his age though (26). Not sure if that's a guy thing or a military thing, but I'm glad. Those very closest to him though, he'd turn the moon inside out for... not always a good thing.

    Good luck with your writing!!!

    Your right, sometimes solutions cause other challenges.

    Have a good weekend. :)

  19. I am awestruck. Truly my dear- awestruck. There is so much going on in your world and so much that is so good. I can just 'see' and 'hear' it in your blogging voice. First your book is so much closer to real, I can tell. And you have a playfulness that is just shining through. Although I loved you when I met you, there was an undercurrent of all the medical issues that weighed on you. I know that wasn't your fault and I know those issues are not all gone. But the way that you are handling that is amazing. Like you drew me into some of the BOTB stuff, you just may get me into the more serious side of the writing after all. It was a childhood dream of mine...


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