Posts Tagged With: books

I’m not a turkey

It’s that time of year again. Time to get up early, take on a few turkeys, and spend countless hours preparing for that big moment.  Friends and family will gather, and though there is much to be thankful for, the occasion will be bittersweet. It is the end of an era, the end of a tradition, and yes; it is the end of the Twilight Saga’s midnight premiere!

It all started July 7, 2008—over four years ago.  My daughter was eleven and had been anxiously waiting for the release of the final book, Breaking Dawn. I had not yet read the books and wasn’t sure what all the hysteria was about, but being the “supportive” Mom that I am, I escorted my daughter to our local Borders book store for a midnight release. Barely able to stay awake and totally confused by the Team Edward/Team Jacob debate, I watched my daughter as she answered trivia questions with delight. It was four months before I read the books for myself.

I have always been a fan of vampires, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer was my all-time fave. I didn’t watch it when it was a popular TV series, (I was a late bloomer) I purchased the seasons on DVD. Years later, I introduced my daughter to the sometimes corny but always entertaining Buffy. We spent an entire summer watching every episode. I knew our bond was special when I discovered she secretly rooted for a Spike and Buffy love affair. And who can resist the love triangle between Stephan, Damon, and Elena on Vampire Diaries?

When the Twilight movies hit the big screen, it became an annual event of sitting in long lines, playing games, and standing up to all those die-hard-twi-hard fans that were certain we were there to steal their seats. This year, things were different. It began in the morning with a short stint in line for an 11:20 showing of the first movie, Twilight. With thirty minutes between shows, we sat through four movies before the big finale, which didn’t disappoint!

I won’t lie; I dozed off a few times. (Am I the only one that thinks Jacob is a big whiner?) But the big moment came halfway through Breaking Dawn Part One. Since having my sinus surgery in October, my head has never been clearer. So now that I can breathe freely, I have discovered allergies. Yes, I am sneezing twenty times a day.  In a quiet and very dramatic scene, I sneezed five times. But it didn’t stop there. I felt the tickle of a lingering sneeze and fought to hold it in.  Impossible.  It came out in a high-pitched ACHOO!!  My girlfriends giggled, and snickers could be heard around the theatre. Then, the room fell silent again–you could have heard a pin drop. That’s when I went into a giggle fit that I couldn’t control. It was contagious. The more I laughed, the more my girlfriends laughed. I was a slobbering, snorting, tearing mess as I held my hand over my mouth and made a quick escape to the lobby.

This is a tick that has haunted me since I was a young girl. I once laughed myself to the principal’s office when a giggle fit started in class during testing. I was terrified to be in trouble, but for some reason, I couldn’t stop–even as I sat in front of the principal, who by now was questioning my sanity. To this day, I don’t know what was so funny.

As children, we laugh at everything—farts, burps, it doesn’t matter. As adults, laughter is harder to obtain and most often comes in the form of a chuckle or snicker. But just like crying, which has healthful benefits—stress relief, removal of toxins, and an increase in endorphins (the good mood hormones)—laughter is healthy too. Here are a few things laughter can do for you:

  • Boost immunities
  • Bring joy and zest to life
  • Relieve stress
  • Reduce anxiety and fear

It’s not always easy to laugh, trust me; I know. So here are a few tips for this holiday season.

SMILE:  It’s where laughter begins and is highly contagious!

SURROUND YOURSELF WITH POSITIVE PEOPLE:  People who laugh at life’s absurdities can find humor in ordinary events.

KEEP A HEALTHY PERSPECTIVE:  Remember, many things in life are beyond your control.

LAUGH AT YOURSELF: I do this frequently. The best way is to talk about the times you took yourself too seriously.

COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS: Consider the good things in your life and be thankful. A state of sadness means you have less room for humor and laughter.

DON’T BE A TURKEY:  Be the positive in someone else’s life and it will make a difference in yours.

Spread the love, share a smile, and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Categories: Holidays | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

I’m a very sensuous kind of girl.

Before you think I’m about to make a disturbing confession, let me say I am speaking of the senses. Touch, smell, taste, sight, and sound, I love them all. Now, I don’t claim to be an expert in the art of crafting a story and I think the day that I do is the day I stop learning. But nothing can bring more perception to the reader and to the world we are creating better than the senses.

When I smell cinnamon and spice, I think of Christmas and all that comes with the holiday season. Cold weather, a limited number of shopping days, baking, decorating, family gatherings, and gift giving, all rolled up into one heavenly scent. But that might just be me. For you, that same fragrance might remind you of your Great Uncle Phil and the air freshener he sprayed upon leaving the bathroom after a 30 minute hiatus with the newspaper and the swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated. And for that, I am truly sorry.

Not everyone has had the same experiences or been moved to tears by the same music. But when our senses are stimulated, we become a part of the story and we can travel to places we’ve never been. Even if we’ve never been near the ocean, we can imagine how the salty air might taste on our lips. We can feel the gritty sand polishing our bare feet as we walk along the beach, hear seagulls squawking in the distance, and see the sun melting into the water like an orange Dreamsicle on a hot summer day.

In movies, the background music or film score tells us how to feel: fast-paced and edgy for a fight or flight scene, soft or whimsical for a love scene. And when the orchestra of music dies down to one single instrument, and then slowly rises with intensity, we know for sure it’s time to curl into ourselves and hold our breath because “the bad guy” is about to rear his ugly head.

In writing, we don’t have the luxury of awesome sound effects and music. Therefore, it’s up to the author to get the reader’s heart pounding when the main character finds herself lost in a creepy forest, on a dark and stormy night, heading towards the rushing sound she can hear in the distance, hoping she stumbles upon the highway and not the 50 foot waterfall she spotted from the helicopter just before it crashed–she can still smell the burning fuel. She covers her mouth to filter the air from the heavy smoke and warm thick liquid oozes from her lip. The taste of rusted metal and copper pennies trickles down her throat and she gasps—blood. **insert dramatic music here**

Categories: writing | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments

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