Amanda Lewis

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Archive for the category “my life”

Loving the Parents

Earlier today I was watching an episode of Criminal Minds titled “What Happens at Home” (for those of you that follow the show); it’s blurb is “(2010) The team profiles a killer targeting women inside of a gated New Mexico community, and Hotch asks for help from a FBI cadet.”
 
The interesting part about the cadet is that she’s the daughter of a convicted sadistic serial killer, which makes her a key component in finding the current killer.
 
The cadet feels responsible for the families of the victims because of this connection and this feeling drives her to put her life in danger. The fantastic quote at the end of the show put a finer point on it;
 
Children begin by loving their parents; after a time they judge them; rarely, if ever, do they forgive them.
Oscar Wilde
(found at www.brainyquote.com)
 
I’m happy to say that I’ve forgiven mine. The thing with having children of your own is that it puts a rather harsh perspective on the relationship you have with your parents and knowing that I am doing the best I can with what
I have at the time makes me realise that my parents did the same.
 
I think it’s when we can’t be sure that our parents did the best they could that we find we can’t forgive them. And sometimes it’s only after they’re gone that we truly find forgiveness and peace. The Joy Luck Club is a succinct study on this very subject.
 
The dragon to me symbolizes a fighter. Everybody knows that to be in love you have to fight for it to make it work; it’s never easy.
 
So have you forgiven your parents? Is there a love that you have to fight for?
Drop me a comment; I love hearing from you guys!
 
So Happy Friday All! & Have a Great Weekend!
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Lothaire by Kresley Cole (a soft book review)

 

You know you love someone when they come home with an expensive book from your favorite author, not because it’s a holiday; but when asked why my s.o. replied, “because I said I would get it for you.” (So nice when they do what they said they were going to, even when you’re the one who forgot.)

Don’t get me wrong; I wouldn’t consider myself the type of girl that forgives only with gifts. But gifts are great all the same. Show me one woman who doesn’t like gifts and I’ll show you a woman whose insecure in some way about something. (Not a judgement… well maybe a little… I prefer to see it as an observation.)

Ahem… Moving along…

What I was getting at before I got side-tracked with political correctness, was the book in question; Lothaire by Kresley Cole which has the distinction of being # 11 (I believe) in the author’s series The Immortals After Dark in the Romance genre; of which I own all. I got into the series before I met my s.o. in 2007 so it’s been an easy but longtime loving collection of these books.

So, in anticipation of this instalment I read some book reviews… As expected; not all were glowing acclaim. Some were almost cruel calling it contrived, formulaic, and boring. Not the kind of review I’d want to read on my work.

So when it magically entered my hands with the love of my s.o. I opened it with mild trepidation.

I shouldn’t have worried.

As always I love this author’s work. How in earlier books (where the current protagonist, Lothaire, is a background character and sometimes an antagonist in past books) the character is largely taken at face value. In his own book we finally understand his motives, admittedly largely bad for everyone but him, but justified none-the-less.

Other bonuses with Cole’s work is her sarcastic, sometimes black humour, and her uncanny ability to make it feel possible if not completely plausible using local flavour and superstition to constantly bring in elements of reality.

As one who has read the series in order, I can’t realistically say that this book would be as wonderful by itself. I would not recommend reading them out-of-order as they work better as a cohesive unit (with a series arch) if read in order.

Also, I think it’s worth mentioning that each book has a prologue and an epilogue. The former serving as an introduction to the new character and the later serving as an appetite teaser for the story to come next (instead of the ever annoying excerpt.) I know they’re required here, as it makes it feel like puzzle pieces to the big picture that the series will reveal, but it is worth examining their relevance which Kristen Lamb does a great job of in her recent post The Seven Deadly Sins of Prologues.

Well that does it for me, happy reading all.

Any great books you’ve read in a while? Always looking for new material as I love to read and great writers read everything. 🙂

Writer’s Block

*sigh* It’s official. I am stuck. Can’t go forward, can’t go back; shoved in the middle where the story almost feels like I’ve already written it cuz I over-plotted. So now I guess the question is… (dreading this thought) do I scrap it & start over with a fresh idea or do I try to breathe new life into the overworked & scarred tissue?

I’ve been lately watching the show Ink Master on Spike & I can see sometimes when a tattoo is going to turn out badly because the artist is over-thinking it right from the start. So how do you see it in yourself before it’s too late?

Is it better to be a “pantser” and ride the wave of the story as you’re writing it? Or is it better to plot; to make sure you have a workable story with believable characters? And how can you tell when it’s become staid, boring, and too… (aweful word) predictable…

The truth is that I don’t know. But I do know that I can’t write if my emotions are a havok. I can’t write if I’m distracted. And I can’t write if I can’t talk through it.

Iknow I have to stop putting limitations on myself, but anyone who wants to judge can go away. Accepting that you’re neck deep in your problems and limitations is the first step to recovery. (And for those of you that haven’t been paying attention that last “I can’t” paragraph was me facing my limitations.) I don’t belive in the “fake it til you make it” addage. I believe in stopping to face and name my problems and then work at overcoming them.

But the truth is that I would take any advice or tips that anyone has on overcoming obstacles like this. Because when you’re a work at home mom of a 2 year old like I am it’s difficult to find a moment to yourself that isn’t a night-time one.

xoxo happy wednesday 🙂

 

On Writing and My Life (my thoughts)

If you read the image then you might have an idea as to what this post is about. On the other hand I’m being presumptuous… oh well.

I’ve been reading Kristen Lamb’s Blog for a while so I decided to get one of her recomended reads “On Writing” by Stephen King. An amazingly candid book that alternately makes me laugh out loud and stop to think about my own life. So, in that vein, I’ve decided to make this very first post all about what made me want to be an author.

In truth, the writing bug hit me in my teens (when my writing was anything but shining) soon after I actually derived pleasure from devouring a ‘required reading’ school book; “Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle-Stop Cafe” by Fannie Flagg (I think). We had to read the book and then watch the movie and compare them (the movie of which won an Oscar). Needless to say; I hated  (nope) despised (*sigh*). Disliked (there we go) the movie for it’s total lack of depth. The book however, carried out an amazing roller-coaster ride I haven’t forgotten 10 years (EEEP! am I that old?) later.

So I ditched the idea of reading a book first and then watching the movie because that first experience ruined it for me. So instead of caving when the first Harry Potter movie came out, I waited (ummm yep something like) 10 years for the movies to be completely finished before I even picked up one book. I like being amazed. Movies are a quick fix of amazement (the rather large collection sitting in our living room can attest to that). We all have our favorites. My 2-year-old loves anything cartoon (but prefers cgi to trad. cell amimation any day), my husband loves roaring action (fun stuff), mind-numbing comedies (gag me) and other totally guy stuff, and I prefer movies with a point or a meaningful ending.

But I’m getting off topic (sortof).

The movies are really a large part of why I got back into writing. It was not something I stuck with in the 10-year interim that was the shiftless, lost years of my life. The time when the majority of my biggest mistakes were committed and my greatest memories were realized.

The worst of my mistakes was listening to what everyone else wanted for me so much so that I convinced myself it’s what I wanted too. But in the end I failed everything I tried to force myself into. The things I’ve been really happy and successful with are the things I’ve chosen for myself.

🙂 Call me sadistic but I’m really quite happy with the looks I’m getting now when I tell people that I’m writing a book. Too many people know “the look”; the smile leaves their eyes, the mouth slowly follows suit, a small, “oh” slips softly past before they can censor it and they end up almost sneering at you before they quickly paste a big (fake this time) smile on and politely say “well that’s nice” or “what are you writing?”. But you can tell that they don’t really care, not because they’re mean, but because they’ve already decided that you’re akin to the rock with the crawly things underneath; interesting but totally uncharted territory.

Even with the looks and the husband eye rolling and my mother-in-law clapping her hand over my mouth trying to stifle all the writer talk, it’s still better than working a dead-end job that wanted to be priority #1 and realizing that if I placed it in that spot I’d never have left. It’s frightening to picture yourself 20 or 30 years in the future never having acomplished anything with your life. And a perfectly logical (albiet childish I know) response to run screaming in the opposite direction.

Thus the kick-start to my current situation in a nutshell. I am a wife, a mother and a writer (in the order of appearance :).) and happy for it.

I’d love to hear about anybody’s ‘kick-start’ or epiphany.

Happy friday. TGIF

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