Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2009 quote book title contenders

Unless I find more before midnight tonight, one of these quotes will become the title for the 2009 book. I already have a favorite among these, but I will wait until January 1st to make my final decision. Then I will open up a new Moleskine Cahir notebook, write "2009 Quotes" on the front and my chosen quote on the inside of the front cover.

Hey G, you might recognize the last one. I took it from one of your posts.

1. If you want to find something, you have to stop looking

2. Miles to go before we sleep 

3. Everyone has their own story

4. Without a life, there can be no death

5. You'll never succeed if you're afraid to fail

6. Grab the guilty pleasures over the bran flakes

7. So much yet to see

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The quote book

I collect a lot of things, from books and pens to DVDs, CDs, and magnets, to name but a few. What a lot of people don't know is that I also collect quotes. 

What do I do with all these quotes? I put them in a book, one for each year I've been collecting them. The ones with the red spines are record books printed by Wilson Jones. The pile here runs from 1996 to 2007, with the exception of 1997. I can't find that one anywhere. There are also three more books before these, from years 1993-1995, that are similar in looks though smaller and yellow in color, which are also MIA at the moment. 

I would buy a new book, usually during the month of December, and start getting ready for the new year. Each one has their own title. I would go through the current year and pick one or two (or three or four or more) favorites and toss them around. One of them would become the title for the next year's book. 

At the beginning, I had a special pen I would use to write with. Over the years I've used whatever has been handy, not caring whether it was a pencil or pen, the ink red or blue or black.

2008 will mark the 16th book I've placed on the shelf. 

So what kind of quotes do I collect? Some are famous, like "The New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus, found at the Statue of Liberty, or funny (to me, anyway), like "...and the voice of James Earl Jones." Don't ask - too goofy to tell now, years later. Some are song lyrics (usually pasted into the book instead of written down) while others are phrases from books, movies and TV shows I've watched over the years. 

The older ones I no longer remember what I had been reading or watching at the time I came across the quote. Newer ones, such as those from this year's book (the open one on the Macbook, a Moleskine Cahier notebook) I can tell you exactly what I was watching or reading or which song I was listening to. 

By the titles I can sometimes tell what I was writing or researching about. 1998's title of "Far seen and far seeing" refers to Whitby Abbey on the coast of Northern England. You can kind of get a sense from the photograph if you click on the name. For more information about the abbey, check out the Wikipedia article found here.

Here are the titles, for what they're worth. Those without a title are MIA.

1996 The glimpse through those far off windows
1998 Far seen and far seeing
1999 Imagine what you will know tomorrow
2000 The past is the past. Your future awaits.
2001 A woman's destiny, they say, is not fulfilled until she holds in her arms her own little book
2002 Believe and be ready
2003 Discover what it is you're good at
2004 Go beyond your comfort zone
2005 This is your time. Now go out there and take it
2006 ...for if I do not succeed today...tomorrow
2007 Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself
2008 much you'd give up if the chance came along
2009 ?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

2008 notes and goals

Every year, on the first day of January, I create a list of things I want to accomplish for that particular year. Not all are writing-related. As a matter of fact, writing-related goals are rarely on the list. My goals usually involve buying something, like finding a frog cookie jar (going on the list for 2009) or obtaining my passport (which I can now remove - got it in February.)

One goal I had this year, which I hope to at least get caught up with, and continue through next year, is using this pocket diary (weekly, 18 months) from Moleskine to keep a list of items to start new stories. The diary started in July and goes until December 2009. I use the spaces to makes lists of items to include in stories. When I hit a rough spot, I go through and pick around 4-6 items and try to come up with a story and include all the items I chose. 

There are 184 days from July 1 to December 31. I have written on a total of 20 days. I'm a lazy writer. But I will add this project to my list for 2009. 

A sample: abandoned safe, small plane wreckage found, piano with the strings cut, cracked/broken mirror with piece missing, dressmakers dummy, forged birth certificate, antique car with skeleton inside, pages torn from a diary, abandoned safety deposit box, vandalized tombstone, reading glasses, apple and cinnamon muffins, Bigfoot scare, kidnapped heiress, out-of-date/expired passport, hoodie with torn pocket, forgotten Christmas gifts and 20 years worth of diaries.

So I have no excuse not to be working on something. There are ideas everywhere. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Originally uploaded by mysterywriter
I had a great time with my friends in NYC.

I got to see Central Park, Chinatown, the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall and had the best lunch at Ellen's Stardust Diner. The singing waiters and waitresses were great. Ken was worth the entire trip, singing "It's Raining Men." 

More pictures on my Flickr account.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Road Trip

I'm headed to NYC this weekend for a quick road trip. The best thing about the trip, besides traveling with my BFF, is that I don't have to drive!!! We're taking one of those bus trips, 12 hours up, 12 hours back and 12 hours in the city. I can't wait!!! Plus, we're going to see the Rockettes' Christmas show. How much better could it get?

I've got a small notebook to plot out new stories from my time spent in the city. I've been to Chicago, Atlanta, and Washington, D.C., but never to NYC. I'm so excited that this work day is dragging by so S...L....O....W...L....Y.

The above photograph can be found on Flickr. The house on the left hand side of the is the Vanderbilt mansion, owned by Cornelius Vanderbilt II. The house in no longer there (torn down) so the Bergdorf Goodman store could be built. Here is a front view of the house.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

If I were a serial killer....

...and didn't care who or why I killed, it would be a smorgasbord out there right now. People are rude, pushy and just plain nasty during the holiday season. 

Why the hurry to get in front of me while driving? Afraid I'll get seated in the restaurant before you? Afraid I'll buy the last XYZ gadget that your kid just has to have? Afraid I'll get that parking space a little closer to the door? 

I, for one, will be glad when the season is over. 

Monday, December 1, 2008

What do I do now?

Now that NaNoWriMo 2008 has ended, I find I'm at a loss for something to do in the evenings. Oh, I can always turn the television on and catch NCIS reruns or knit or read or clean my bathroom (I don't think so!) but I can find things to keep myself out of trouble.

I was thinking last evening, coming off my buzz of writing a 50,000 word novel, that one thing I need to do is to keep writing. I'm a lazy writer. I have lots of ideas, but I never act on them. I write down the idea, sometimes an index card, sometimes an entire sheet of paper, but that's as far as it goes. I need to actively be working on something. So that is my plan. Work on something.

I've also been neglecting my other interests. I'm a cross-stitcher. One of my current projects is The Hermit by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law. You can check out her site at Shadowscapes. The Hermit is under the Tarot designs. I ordered the XS pattern from Heaven and Earth Designs.