1997/1998 I was seven years old and BIG on mysteries. I was completely hooked on Scooby-Doo. I checked out a lot of Hardy Boys from the library. It was totally my jam. So I created my OWN Sherlock-Holmes-type detective called Detective Big Nose and wrote a series. I hope you enjoy.
Join me next month for another installment of Detective Big Nose.
I had a really weird experience the other day and decided to write about it. It might seem small or dumb, but bear with me here!
I was playing Uno with my kids, which requires a healthy amount of card shuffling between each game. … Now, I’ve never been able to shuffle. Since I was a kid, I would just kind of mix up the cards. Spread ‘em around on the ground. Or just give them to someone else! But something weird happened in my brain when I was playing with my kids. I thought
I’m going to try to shuffle these cards.
And I did it perfectly without hesitation. Shhhhhhffffft. I could even do the bridge. Fwwffffftttt.
That blew my mind. Because here I was, a woman on the cusp of thirty-one years old. And all my life I had been actively TELLING MYSELF that I did not know how to shuffle cards. I had NEVER TRIED TO SHUFFLE A DECK OF CARDS. I was just telling myself not to do it and that I didn’t know how. But I never once split a deck and actually tried to do it.
I cannot tell you how freaky this experience was for me. It was like The Truman Show. My whole reality is in question now. What else have I been telling myself I can’t do??? What else have I been telling myself I don’t enjoy? What else have I been telling myself “that’s bad”.
So that’s it. Deconstruct your Truman Show set! You can do whatever you want! You can like whatever you want! You can be you! That is all! I love you
ME: (making a dumb Dad Joke) What do you want to do, Dizzy?
CASEY: I want to go to Dizzy-land!
Lately Casey has been calling Jack, “my Jack”. Like, “Where is my Jack?” “There’s my Jack! My Jack is back!” He also has been insisting that they wear the same color of shirt everyday. So today, when he saw Jack was wearing a red shirt, he demanded to be changed out of his blue shirt.
CASEY: I don’t match my Jack! No, I need to match my Jack!
A wasp landed on Jack Heroically, Dan swatted it away.
JACK: No I wanted him! He liked me!
We went on a hike and my two-year-old starting singing aloud every single thing that was happening.
CASEY: (cheerful singing) There’s lots of sand. And lots of mud. I’m farting. I farted and mommy laughed.
The boys caught a cold.
ME: (checking in) How are you feeling?
JACK: I feel better.
CASEY: I feel cough.
On the same note. Casey’s cough worsened, which always aggravates his sensitive gag reflex. After the grossest sounding cough turned hacking gag/possible slight puke, he turns to me and very calmly and politely says
CASEY: I have a little cough.
JACK: Cock and nuts?
ME: That’s definitely not how you pronounce it…
A while ago, I wrote about Jack mispronouncing the word “freckle”. The other day, Dan and I learned that Casey calls it “a peckle”. And this is my official petition to change the word freckle to peckle.
It’s that time of the month again, where we dive into my childhood and drag back a piece of writing as early as it can be.
At estimated five-years-old I clearly remember making this story. I was sitting in church and I painstakingly drew each page with the exact words in mind. Then hired my mom as scribe and put my “first ever book” together!
There you go. I hope you enjoyed my Kindergarten humblebrag from back in the day. Haha!
It’s a journal that was given to me in May 1994 (says my mother’s handwriting on the inside of the cover). I was three years old and already loved to write. The first story I remember “writing” (drawing) was about getting the chicken pox, which Mom says happened the same year I got the journal. So, I knew I had been writing and story telling since then, but finding this thing was an absolute GEM.
It turns out I had kept it through the nineties and completely FILLED it full of my own original stories. So many in fact, that I decided to start a new blog series where I share a story I wrote in this book as a child.
Let’s start with 1994. Three years old. (For personal reference, my youngest is two and my oldest has just turned five, so… pretty little!)
The first thing I did was open to a fresh page and draw a “boney-bones” (a skeleton). Very on brand for me.
A ghost that’s labeled “Boob” hahahaha
Then I redrew the ghost and labelled it “Book”
A little character I drew in November 1994 (so, now I’m technically 4)
I figured out how to draw a tape dispenser. I have a vivid memory of being really excited about this haha
This one I don’t remember but my mom’s caption says it’s a story about a father and a son.
Tune in next month for some serious kindergartener author action hahaha.
Let’s check in on some of these resolutions shall we?
MAKE A LIST OF THINGS TO PUT TOGETHER IN THE NEW HOUSE; DO SOME OF THE THINGS:
Things are HAPPENING! Let me tell you I am THRILLED. The first half of the year, I thought things were going so slowly, but now as more and more things are checked off the list, I see just how much progress we’re actually making! It’s great! We even checked off our two biggest projects this quarter. Fixing our irrigation system and putting new lights in the basement. Man, you know you’re a boring adult when you do some remodeling and then that’s all you want to talk about. Every time anyone comes over I’m like, “Look at these lights! Have you seen how bright it is?? You shoulda seen it before! The paint color is different! Aren’t these great lights? Look, they’re smart lights I can make them Christmas colors wheeeeeeeeee!”
MAKE A HABIT OF STRETCHING EVERY DAY, SLOWLY BUILD UP A YOGA ROUTINE:
Well, this one suddenly died. Pffffffft! I don’t know what happened! I was doing so well and then suddenly I wasn’t doing well anymore!
CLEAN WHILE THE BOYS ARE IN THE BATH
And then this one suddenly came alive. HAHAHA! What happened was Jack started going to school every day. And so I was like THIS IS IT. I am DOING A FREAKING CLEANING ROUTINE. And so far it’s going well. I don’t know why I can’t have a cleaning routine AND an excersice routine. It’s like one or the other. Like I have to just pick one to win at in life.
WRITING WRITING EVERYWHERE
I mean… I don’t know. I’m at a little bit of a loss. I’m now in the middle of two books. Both paranormal thrillers. Sooooo… I JUST DON’T KNOW! I was doing great with the one and then suddenly I stopped writing in the middle of May. And I have not been able to pick it back up. It kind of freaks me out. This happens to me a lot. I will be PLOWING forward on a new project and then get burnt out at thirty thousand words. HOW DO YOU GET OVER THAT HURDLE??? Comment any advice please!! At least I’m back to blogging so that part is okay. Short story I don’t know. But first draft done by fall?? UGHHHHH! JUST LET THIS HAPPEN FOR ME PLEASE MUSES!!
A long time ago, toward the beginning of the 2020 quarantine, I posted this joke:
And well YOU ASKED FOR IT.
So here are my top three break-down theories on Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. (Spoilers. But if you haven’t seen this movie yet, I really don’t know what you’re waiting for)
1 Cameron Fry is the protagonist. Ferris Bueller is the narrator
The last time I watched this movie, I thought to myself, “This would make an excellent YA novel from the point of view of Cameron Fry.” That’s when the dynamic really became clear. This movie is Cameron’s story. Not Ferris’.
At the beginning of the movie, we see Ferris Bueller… super cool, untouchable, clever, and mischievous. And at the end of the movie, we see Ferris Bueller… super cool, untouchable, clever, and mischievous. He remains constant throughout the movie, he doesn’t have an arc. He doesn’t change. And he’s not supposed to! He acts as a constant change agent that shapes all the other characters around him. (More on that in point two).
In the contrast, we see Cameron at the beginning of the movie- sick, miserable, “not dying, just can’t think of anything good to do”. The character has a problem to be solved, like all good and compelling protagonists. He’s about to make a change. It’s The Hero’s Journey. He’s had the literal “call to adventure” and is now being forced out of his comfort zone into this crazy escapade with his best friend.
It’s not even Ferris’ DAY OFF, if you think about it. Ferris has already missed school nine times up to this point. This is Cameron’s Day Off.
Ferris is the narrator for Cameron’s story. Even stylistically, he breaks the fourth wall to look into the camera and address the audience directly. If you still don’t believe Cameron is the main character, consider this: Ferris doesn’t talk about the other characters. He’s not telling you how he met Sloane. Hardly the only thing he says about Jeanie is that she got a car and he didn’t. Throughout the movie, he tells the audience about Cameron. His cold relationships with his parents, his character flaws. Cameron Fry is the focus because he is about to make the biggest change (AKA protagonist)
2. Ferris helps the characters grow up not down
At a quick glance, you might think that Ferris is encouraging his friends to go off on a childish adventure. But he’s not. He’s forcing them to challenge authority and assume their own identities as adults. They’re not skipping school to go to the local arcade (which is what Rooney thinks they’re doing). He’s taking them to art museums, fine restaurants, and even the stock exchange. At every moment he’s challenging them to give up their passive childhood for an independent adulthood. Even Sloane is challenged by Ferris in this way when he asks her if she wants to get married.
It’s not about the irresponsibility, although he knows how to do that well. As the active change agent in the story he has a motive for each person. For example, it’s not about stealing the car, he’s getting Cameron to challenge his father.
In the B story, Jeanie is also forced to change in this way. She constantly gripes and moans about having no control in her life (If I was BLEEDING out my eyes you’d still make me go to school). Then after a therapeutic conversation with Charlie Sheen, she has FERRIS busting his a$$ to beat her home and SHE is the one to save him from Rooney. In parellel to Cameron’s story, she takes back her control.
3. Ferris Bueller is actually John Lennon
You really think I could go one blog post without mentioning this guy??
Okay but this is FOR REAL. I know a fellow Lennon-obsessed writer when I see one. And Hughes no-doubt-in-my-mind modeled Ferris Bueller after John Lennon. He basically tells us upfront.
Ferris first directly name drops Lennon to the audience, by quoting; “I don’t believe in Beatles, I just believe in me.” Then he tells us, “I could be The Walrus.”
Ferris spends the movie as the leader, challenging authority and encouraging mischief and mayhem a la “A Hard Day’s Night”. Hughes even recreated the same shot of them jumping in slow motion with their arms raised.
Then of course to cap it all off. He lip syncs to Twist and Shout on the parade float. And I really don’t know how you can get anymore obvious than that.
If you don’t believe that Hughes would go to such lengths to model a character after Lennon, consider The Breakfast Club, when the janitor readily admits that he wanted to “grow up and become John Lennon”. Or when Brian the Brain whispers to himself about being The Walrus.
At the very end of the film, Ferris leans back in his hands and says the classic line, “Life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop and look around once and a while you could miss it.”
…Which is supposedly a derivative of this quote…
I truly feel that I would be amiss to not lead you into this excellent conspiracy theory from the inner depth of Redditt. The theory is that Ferris is actually a figment of Cameron’s imagination. It’s a more compelling theory than you would think! I’ll leave the video here, so you can have your mind blown.
Hey guys. Here’s a stream of consciousness writing update.
It’s really hard to stay motivated sometimes.
In May I took a break from writing for two weeks because we had friends and family in town and now I’m really struggling to jump back into it. My Beatles book has only been querying for a few months but the rejections (although an important part of the process) can be hard hits sometimes.
Not only that but I discovered that Disney Hyperion picked up a series a similar idea as the one that I’m currently working on. I don’t know if that means the market is good for mine, or if I’m SOL. Now, I’m trying to shape this book into something that can stand on it’s own two feet. It’s different enough that I’m confident to finish, but still feeling that pressure knowing I’m going to have competition right out of the gate.
I’ve just been thinking about the back end of publishing too hard and it’s effecting my art. I don’t want to write for a publisher. I want to write for me. But then, can I really feel successful even if nothing happens with my writing? I’d like to think that I would. My bookcase is already filling with manuscripts faster than I thought it would. Soon I’ll have an entire shelf of my own completed work. But still would be nice to share some of these stories with you guys.
My electrician surprised me the other day by asking me all about my writing. When he asked me if I could send him the link to “my shop” I sheepishly gave him the name of the anthology I was published in three years ago. People asking where they can buy my work is happening a lot more often. I’ve always considered at some point self publishing. Even for curiosity sakes.
I told my critique partner that if I were ever to self publish Love Me Do, it would do the absolute best as a radio-play type audiobook. I envision this as being it’s highest and most entertaining form. There’s a lot of music in it; Beatles, 50s, and even new, original songs. I think being able to hear the quips from a Lennon impersonator would be fabulous. I could do the narration and the main character Em. That really wouldn’t intimidate me. But anyway, not to get your hopes up about it, because to be able to bring exactly what I imagine to light would cost a lot in production. I would have to find some bang up impersonators AND an impersonator band. Figure out copyright and legality. All the actors and sound production and music to mix. It would just be a lot. Even though that’s probably the best form this story could take.
I wanted to cheer myself up, so I had a graphic designer help me with a book cover. Not for any other reason than to put the thing on my shelf and feel better about the hard two years that went into it.
Thanks for hanging in there with me. I’m sure it’s not fun hearing about projects that are not available to read. I’ve had a lot of brainstorming over this blog and well, about you guys! I’ve been playing with some ideas. Ways to bring you into my writing world a lot more! A fun community to build!
So that’s all I want to say I guess, is thank you from my inky writerly heart for supporting me and reading what I have to say and letting me have a voice. I love you guys.
My heart is so full right now. I am thrilled beyond belief to announce that I have finished all the edits on my Beatles time travel book! If you’ve been following along at all, then you know I have been pouring my soul into this project, off and on for the past two years. Typing ‘The End’ feels both relieving and a little sad haha (which I did NOT expect to feel that way).
There are just SO many people that I need to thank for the completion of this book:
DAN for enduring the countless hours of my absence
MY KIDS for playing quietly on occasion and allowing Mommy “book time”.
MY MOM for calling me early in the morning just to demand to know what happens in the next chapter. (Making me feel like maybe this book isn’t the worst thing in the world!)
MY CP MERRILL for all the feedback, creative insight, advice and emotional support
LIZETHE and STORMIE for being terrific invested beta readers and encouraging me through the drudgery of editing
TAYLOR for watching my kids a couple of times so I could write
KATE FRIDRICKS for being my Liverpudlian eyes and ears and teaching me all things Scouse.
The wonderful BILL HARRY for being very, very kind and answering the oddest questions, sending his articles my way and sharing his incredibly precious memories of John Lennon.
JOHN, of course, for being such a freaking interesting and dynamic person to write about
And EVERYONE for their support, related memes, interest of any kind, reading this blog post lol
So I’ve already started the query process (aaaaaaaah). I don’t really know what will come of it, but it feels good to have another manuscript completed and on my shelf.
Hey so it just occurred to me that I haven’t even told you about the project I started for NaNoWriMo.
(If you haven’t heard me blabber on about NaNoWriMo yet and you don’t know what it is. It stands for National Novel Writing Month. All of these authors around the world commit to writing 50k words in the month of November. It’s a fun challenge. And I do it every year that I can.)
So let me introduce you to the new book I’ve been working on. Ready?
Dun Dun dun DUN!
It’s an adult paranormal thriller called, “The Glass Box Town”. (working title but we’ll see). Here’s the cover I made for it once upon a time:
Having just stolen her father’s car, Hallie finds herself lost on a desert road. Then the unthinkable happens, a strange woman from nowhere hurls herself in front of the moving vehicle. When Hallie goes to an eerie small town for help, they accuse her of the woman’s murder and force her to stay. The longer she stays the more the town’s diabolical motives begin to unravel.
If you follow my work, you know I’ve been writing Rom Coms for the past… forever. So switching to this one was definitely intimidating. A bit out of the comfort zone, but in a good way.
I won NaNoWriMo even though I felt like I was losing my mind almost every day. I also made a short video on my NaNo journey if you haven’t gotten a chance to see it yet!
Stay tuned for more updates on this novel. And thanks for checkin’ in!