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Life Is Good (My 1st Blog Award)

26 Jan

I received my first blog award this week. Thank you to Tony Benson, luthier, musician, and writer. (Check out his blog at Fireside Park.)

The requirements of this award are:

  1. First, thank and link back to the person that gave the award.
  2. Answer the 10 survey questions.
  3. Pass the award along to other bloggers whom you think are fantastic.
  4. Contact the bloggers you have chosen to let them know about the award.

The ten questions are:

1. If you blog anonymously, are you happy doing this? If you are not anonymous, do you wish that you had started out anonymously, so that you could be anonymous now?

I’ve gone back and forth. I have a family blog that detailed my son’s pediatric melanoma and its treatment. That was public and under my real name.

When I started writing fiction, however, I was shy and wanted to stay anonymous. Plus, how cool is a pseudonym? Made me feel like a real writer. I chose Bridget Carle because it’s like my real name turned upside down and backward. After a while, though, I relaxed. Why not use my real name? I can still use Bridget Carle on a novel, should I ever get published. (Especially if my antagonists turn out too much like my ex. Heh!) Right now, I’m happy being me. Guess it’s time to update the About section…

2. Describe an incident that shows your inner stubborn side.

Right now, the attempt to answer this question. My mind is stubbornly refusing to come up with an example although I know my stubbornness to be inner, outer, and all over the place.

3. What do you see when you really look at yourself in the mirror?

Someone who’s really grumpy about having to be up so early, getting dressed, and taking the kids to school. Not a morning person. No sir-ee.

4. What is your favorite summer cold drink?

Diet cola. Any season. Love the stuff. I can’t drink it anymore, though. The sweeteners give me headaches. Also, once I start drinking it, I drink tons. Gets expensive.

5. When you take time for yourself, what do you do?

I nap, I write, I stare into space — anything quiet and private. I’m a hardcore introvert and need that time alone to recharge. I also like to take long baths and sing along with my iPod. LOUDLY.

6. Is there something that you still want to accomplish in your life? What is it?

I want to be a happy, satisfied (and hopefully good) writer, whatever that might mean. Maybe it will mean getting published. Maybe it will mean never publishing but always having the words and ideas pour forth so I can maintain that writer’s high. I’d like it to include eager readers. It will have to mean a good family life.

7. When you attended school, were you the class clown, the class overachiever, the shy person, or always ditching?

I was SHY. I tried my best to be invisible so other kids wouldn’t crush me. But I had a close-knit group of friends that stuck together from fourth grade through the end of high school. Among ourselves, we were loud, giggly, and boy/girl crazy.

8. If you close your eyes and want to visualize a very poignant moment in your life, what would you see?

Being told that my father didn’t survive a  heart attack, having to say goodbye to his body when I’d just waved a cheerful goodbye to him a few hours earlier when he left my house for home. I couldn’t wrap my mind around what it meant that he was gone. I still don’t think I get it.

9. Is it easy for you to share your true self in your blog or are you more comfortable writing posts about other people or events?

It’s easy for me to share myself in a blog — so easy that I have to edit myself. It’s much more difficult to talk about others or try to teach a concept. I see too many shades of gray, know there’s so much more to another person’s story that what I see. I don’t say that to sound wise or virtuous. I’m just afraid of being wrong or getting beat up. 😉 I’m working on blogging about writing methods and/or tips, but I need to find the confidence. I don’t feel I have the least bit of authority to be telling others what to do when I’m just flailing in the muck, learning on the fly.

10. If you had the choice to sit down and read a book or talk on the phone, which would you do and why?

Read. I have a severe phone phobia. Really bad. It’s all on my end, though. I love to get calls, just can’t make them.

I’d like to pass the award on to writer/blogger M. Howalt, who has been a frequent commenter on my blog. It makes my day every time someone steps forth from the fog of anonymous statistics to wave or say hi or talk about my entries. More importantly, the mysterious M has a great blog full of thoughtful, useful posts. Do check it out.

(The questions were surprisingly tough to answer. Sorry to take so long, Tony.)

You Cannot Fight the Elfman

1 Jan

Okay, Brain. You’ve wallowed in the darkness of our novel’s ending for a few days now. You’ve added an extra layer of misery to every character. You’ve brought the depths of despair into our real life.

To you, I say, “Enough!”

I’m whipping out the Edward Scissorhands soundtrack!

Yep. Yep. Try to fight that.

The beginning of the novel has a lot of misery, too. Remember? But it also has magic. We need that magic.

Listen… Listen to Danny Elfman’s twinkly, sparkly, billowing score and take us back to the beginning. Take us to that rutted dirt road leading to the Mortimer Woods. And let the rewrite begin.

(With luck, my preoccupation with the ending is an omen that I might actually reach said ending by this time next year. Or it may be because of the date. Terrible things happen on New Years Eve 1969/70. Or maybe George Harrison is still acting uptight and telling me, “My songs are at the end of the book, man.”)

The Misery of a Happy Song

30 Dec

Ever had a story or experience change the entire nature of a song for you?

It happened to me when Kurt Vonnegut used Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” in Mother Night. Nazis and spies and betrayal, oh my. Diana Ross will always zap me back to the morning of a heart-rending breakup. And, for no reason I can pinpoint, the song at the beginning of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind sends me into reeling, anguished, superstitious panic. The song has a name. I don’t want to think about it enough to remember it. I felt that way about the song before that movie existed, and the movie’s theme of intentional amnesia/buried memory  just makes it worse.

Those examples are due to external associations, but I can cause the shift myself, especially since I took up writing.

I’m writing a novel, so obviously I can’t actually set a chapter to music, but I do have songs that evoke scenes in my head when I hear them. One is “How Can I Be Sure” by the Young Rascals. I’d wanted to use it somehow, but it always seemed cheesy for a happy scene, verging on Eighties Musical Makeover Montage territory. Then my sister told me I had to use it. Always one to obey orders (not), I complied because I’d had a twisted idea.

Funny how making a happy waltzy song the soundtrack for the violent end to a controlling, abusive relationship changes it altogether. Why did I ever think that was a happy song? It’s creepy! And paranoid! Rather threatening. And, if I listen to the singer’s voice now, he sounds rather desperate, bitter, jealous.

But maybe that’s just me.

I also cry my eyes out over songs like “Warmth of the Sun” and “Something”. Again, my fault.

Still, seriously, look at these lyrics!

How can I be sure
In a world that’s constantly changin’?
How can I be sure
Where I stand with you?

Whenever I
Whenever I am away from you
I wanna die
’cause you know I wanna stay with you

How do I know?
Maybe you’re trying to use me
Flying too high can confuse me
Touch me but don’t take me down
[that last bit sounds like a threat]

Whenever I
Whenever I am away from you
My alibi is tellin’ people I don’t care for you
Maybe I’m just hanging around
With my head up, upside down
It’s a pity
I can’t seem to find someone
Who’s as pretty ‘n’ lovely as you
[sarcasm or obsession?]

How can I be sure
I really, really, really, wanna kno-o-ow
I really, really, really, wanna kno-o-ow

(Oh oh oh …)

How’s the weather?
Whether or not we’re together
Together we’ll see it much better
I love you, I love you forever
You know where I can be found

How can I be sure
In a world that’s constantly changing?
How can I be sure
I’ll be sure with you

 

The Young Rascals – How Can I Be Sure lyrics

 

Is it just me? 😉