When the Eyes Dance

Our eyes meet.
I was doing a little research-- no surprise there--
and stumbled on this very interesting book;
How to Read and Use Body Language
by Anna Jaskolka.
I was looking for the body language of a liar, since my next character lives a double life.
It was very helpful.
Yet somehow, I ended up with pages and pages of notes on flirting-- ah, no surprise there either.

I'll share what the eyes are doing, because each body part flirts in its own way.

Now, if someone is interested in you, their eyes make a little journey--she calls it a courtship dance--and it goes something like this ( in my own notes);

By now, our friends have faded to background noise. Perhaps they left.
There is but one question in his eyes as they search mine.
Satisfied with my unspoken answer, he lingers on my lips. The pause is brief, almost pleading, and it doesn't end there. He settles dreamily on the cusp of my neck, tasting me with his intense stare, but finally his eyes journey back to mine.
A tiny smile teases before I request it, perhaps his new question triggers it. 
This time, as his eyes wander, mine mirror his, letting him guide me in our dance. 

Now serious flirting will require longer eye contact, but this varies between the couple, and she is great at giving examples for the different types of couples out there. An example; to show interest, in general, men hold strong eye contact, while a gal shows interest with a flirting smile, yet still returns the eye contact, even if it's not as strong a hold, but more a teasing one.

So of course, I didn't let my new found knowledge end there. What are other experts saying on the subject? My research deepened, searching for more answers to my unspoken question. The Best information about site confirms that eye contact is crucial in flirting. Many others did too, but I liked their post the best, so that's the link I'm leaving you with.
Well. Enough said about that. I know just how I can use this information. Gotta go. My hunky cowboy just brought back the key my heroine is looking for. Maybe their eyes will do a little dance on paper.

Versatile Blogger Award

Elizabeth from Chandara Writes gave me this kick-a award for being versatile. Wow, thanks. Be sure to check out her site, because she keeps me inspired. Any day when I just think, why for the love of writing do I continue?, her site is where I find myself. She will have something to motivate, to push me back into my writing chair, and to remind me that I am just a work in progress too. ; Thanks E. Arroyo!

And to keep sharing in the fun, the winners can
1. Thank and link to the person who nominated you.
2. Share seven random facts about yourself.
3. Pass the award along to 5 blogging buddies.
4. Contact those buddies to congratulate them

7 facts about me that show how versatile I really am;
1. I once caught a falling cactus with my bare hands. I KNOW!
2. I speak, read , and write in French and English.
3. At work, I am the janitor, the cook, the waitress, the bookkeeper, the painter, the web designer, the reporter, the photographer, the programmer, and once, I even cleaned out the rain gutters. Yeah, I am that gal.
4. I normally talk on the phone while I fold laundry.
5. I currently have 40 unpublished posts because I have that many ideas I have no time to spell-check.
6. I know how to catch a rabbit.
7. I once drove a car without brakes down a very steep slope, across a one lane bridge, in a snow storm. Do not try this at home- I am versatile.

Now 5 sites that I find versatile, and exciting to visit;
Okay, I have to admit, 5 was NOT enough, but these are the first five that jumped off my sidebar. Have fun passing it on. And check them out because they all rock!!

The Magical Backdoor

Ever enter via the backdoor? It's naughty, thrilling, yet leaves you with a sense of doubt-- Did I earn this good time?  
Generally, I'm a front door kinda gal. I do always knock, and wait patiently.
But let's face it, when a sign like this stares back at me, I panic and look around for magic.
Really, how can you argue with logic like that?
Still... it implies there is a magical way in. That someone CAN get in. No?
Shall we find the backdoor? You with me?
Let me set the most common backdoor scene. You read between the lies.
We pull up to the club and the line-up is pouring onto the street. not. moving. Yeah.
I hate waiting. Waiting is not living.
"It's okay." My friend can see my objections already. "My girl Cindy dated a guy who is friends with the manager's girlfriend's brother, and he sweet talked the owner for me." yeah.
Even I can't follow a twisted plot like that.
"What?" (that is the only word that fits in a moment like this. no?)
So simple. And really it was.
We knocked. They let us in. We partied it up. No one questioned the magic.
We left by the front door like everyone else.

I like to earn my good times and my success.
I'd rather not get there through who I know (or who they know).
Yet... sometimes as I wait patiently, someone slips me magical beans.
"It's okay, my girl Cindy dated a guy who is friends with Jack at the Beanstalk Corporation. His girlfriend's brother gave her these. She wants you to have them."

My point--
While you wait for Tinkerbelle to answer the door, you might come face to face with a hungry giant.
Life's like that, be ready.

** this in no way reflects the dining habits of giants, or how stuck up fairies can be. As a writer I have a deep love and respect for all magical creatures as they do come in handy.

A Peek Into Your Life- Richard Hughes

A peek into your life, is a segment spotlighting authors, specialists, and friends who brave my countless questions day in and day out. It's the best way I can share with you all, the many people who taught me the bizarre things I know, who satisfy my thirst for knowledge and adventure, and who keep me motivated.

I met Richard via an on-line writing community. So technically, I've never physically met him. He could be a cat with great smarts for all I know, but he's a great friend, feline or not. We just love to gab about everything from writing to life. Just by reading his interview, you'll see what I mean. He starts a discussion on blogs, on life, and on writing themes with just a few words. He's full of brilliance, and his writing explodes with voice. But best of all, he has amazing patience with my endless questions. Everyone needs a friend like this.

His site; Writing and Living was one of the first ones I followed and he forever keeps me intrigued with his incredible ideas and stories. What a a fun place to visit. I learnt some fascinating things over at his place.

Among the things I leant was how to e-publish. Richard let us peek into his life while he learnt the process first hand. Fun, I know! 
His collection of short stories
is available on Amazon.com.
 The voice in each one is unique. But, really, the only way to appreciate great writing is to read it for yourself. I wish I could tell you which one of his stories was my favourite, but honestly, I can't choose. I liked each one for different reasons.
The bizarre tension in "A Very Happy Man" had me on the edge of my seat, and I was sushing everyone so I could hear the voice in my head as I read. Which is rare for me, I'm used to speed reading. I know a story has incredible voice when it slows me down.
The theme from "Battles" gave me goosebumps, and "The Initiation" was just a fun read I plan to share with my son in a few years. He's going to love that one! 

So grab a hot chocolate and stay for a chat while I fine-tune my out of practice journalistic skills. I'd offer you cookies, but like usual, they burnt.

  Richard, what are you currently working on?
        I’m finishing a family saga/historical novel set in the first half of the twentieth century (pre WWI through the end of WWII). I finished the first draft last year and my reading groups are currently reading it, and I’m making the necessary changes. They should be finished reading it in about five weeks. It’ll be somewhere over 100,000 words.
        I’m also working on a sequel to that book, which is about 80-85% written. I’ll focus on finishing it after the above book is completed.
        I’ve also completed drafts of a couple of other books in the saga. But that’s too far away to get into right now.

Let's talk about your collection. It has three very different, yet intriguing tales. Tell us something about each one.
The three stories in the collection are very different from each other. The first story—“Battles”—was written about twenty-five years ago. The next story—“The Initiation”—was written about fifteen years ago. The third story—“A Very Happy Man”—was written about ten or eleven years ago. (Since then I’ve been working on novels.)
All three stories reflect a different period of my life and what interested me at those times.
Tell us a little bit about the theme from "Battles". “Battles” reflects the strong interest I had in the religious life and monasticism when I was in my thirties. I was married and had children, but I was nevertheless fascinated by those subjects. I was also an insurance salesman at the time, a scrupulously honest one, which causes problems in the real world of business. I had a lot of internal conflicts about what I was doing. Many of the people all around me were basically dishonest or unscrupulous, and they were very successful, and I wasn’t. I couldn’t understand why God would allow these “crooks” to succeed and not me, when I was trying to follow his will, and they so obviously couldn’t care less. As odd as that may seem, that was somewhat at the heart of my story, even though it’s a story about WWII.

Your blog is one of my fav places to visit. Your writing there speaks for itself. How do you decide what to post?
I began my blog last year and I enjoy it quite a bit. What I find is that most writers’ blogs are about writing, and that’s pretty much it. I’m trying to figure out how to write posts that will interest the general reading public, not just other writers. It’s hard to do. What I know best is writing. Of course, I know other things. But they’re not as easy to write about. I doubt the general public is much interested in the writing process. But what do they want to know? That is the question.

Short stories, sagas, blogs, what else do you write?
I’m a life-long writer. I began writing stories in high school and have never wanted to do anything else. I wrote my first novel when I was about nineteen, and quite a few others during the next ten or so years. But I never really brought any of them to a professional level of writing. I kept going from one book to the next after one draft, my imagination running away with me. It’s not until now—the past ten or twelve years—that I’ve begun to concentrate on one novel at a time and polish, polish, polish. Hopefully, I can start getting them published.
I’ve also written poetry, but I do not consider myself a poet. As much as I love poetry, I’m much happier writing fiction, and I hope to continue writing fiction, and some non-fiction, for the rest of my life.

Thanks for letting us peek into your life Richard!
All the best, always.

From the Mouths' of Tweens

Ever look for just the right words to describe something, only to have someone out word you?
I bought a beautiful pink dish soap, because I liked the description on it.
For sensitive hands. 
Sounds delightful, no? 
My daughter says it smells like;
Yay let's do dishes!
Ah. Can't you just smell the joy in a scent like that?
I'll be doing those dishes with vigour now.
 Funny gal.

Don Britt Shares

(I had to repost this. Not cool blogger. But life's like that. If you commented, I will repost your comments if you don't.)

Recently, Don came by for a visit. See HERE for his story and interview. He was moved by all the encouraging comments you great writers left, and so I posted his reply here because, well, it's my blog to have my way with as I please.

I do have to say, Don's interview generated the most page views I've had so far in one day!!!

Hi Tanya! Hi all!

Thanks to everyone for taking an interest in my 'act of insanity'. It's a great challenge to build any kind of platform as a writer these days, as Tanya and I have discussed. I'm impressed with Tanya's answer to that problem. 'Life's Like That' is an erudite and witty blog, very well written. The over the top option I've taken in hopes of finally garnering some attention is a kind of double edged sword.

First, it has managed to get people looking my way. In a way far more than I had hoped. I've gotten some national media attention and I've written an entry on stage at West Ed. The managing editor of the 3-Day Novel contest told me that no winner of the contest has ever drawn the kind of attention I have. That certainly appeals to the closet megalomaniac in me.

At the same time a simple truth remains. If you manage to get some attention using an over the top gimmick, then almost everyone will just want to talk about the over the top gimmick. Tanya is in the very gracious minority of people who have dropped by my site - she's actually read some of my stuff! That means a lot. But in terms of my ultimate goal of getting noticed by a publisher, it's not at all clear how this kind of marathon can help.

In response to Margo's question (Hi Margo!) I've had very little success with stories that I've planned out in advance. I'm a swooper, a guy who always flies by the seat of his pants. What I'm forever looking for is a character and a circumstance, a compelling starting point. And I just let it rip from there. For more on this, and why 'pre-planning' just doesn't work for me, you might like to check out my blog entry 'On Feeling Real': http://24novels.com/

Thanks again to everyone. Your comments (and even critiques!) are always welcome.


I didn't only read his work, I recommend that others do. I can fly through one in a couple lunch hours-- they're such an easy read.

If flying by the seat of your pants works, stick with it. Your writting speaks for itself. First drafts are too much fun and I hope if nothing else you enjoy your journey!!

Don't forget, Don's next live-writing is on Friday, May 13th.

Research Part 3-- Get Organized

Time to share.
In honour of continuing with the research theme... we've gathered facts HERE. We've proven them HERE. Now it's time to organize what we have.
I love organizing EVERYTHING. Love it! And here are the two simple steps I'd like to share: 
Cut photos from magazines if
this gives you a visual.
Step one:
Know why you need them
Ask yourself, why am gathering these facts? What point do they serve? When will I need them? **these are important questions, that allow you to place your facts into different groups that will be easy to access.**
As an example, for the Notebook Chronicles, I need 2 types of groups.
     1. I need to keep the real life stories straight and how they interact with my fictional ones, before I write.
      2. I need to access facts while I write.

Step two:
Use technology
I used to use notebooks and files (with cut-outs stapled, taped, papercliped-- got a visual?). I had one for each topic. Yup. Looking for that one fact that eluded me was as easy as digging through seventy files and their run offs. Painful, and often resulted in redoing the work. We've come a long way, is all I gotta say.

Microsoft Office OneNote is my new companion. 
It comes with an easy to follow instruction screen, so I won't get into how to use it, but I will answer questions if you email them to me or post them in the comments.

It allows me to paste photos and links beside little creative blurbs, and find things I filed with the SEARCH icon. It's a virtual notebook. I insert and move things on a whim. I colour code things. I can even draw in it! (Which was fun when I designed my own tattoos for my heroes.)
Ah technology. 
  • Link pages, blogs, and websites. 
  • List books, where to find them, and the pages that correspond with that theme.
  • Paste entire interviews with specialists (recorded or written!!) and include their business cards.
  • Draw in details to reflect scene changes, right on the photos. 
  • Heck, I'm even pasting in the scenes I used in the MS to remind myself that I already used that information and how I used it. 
Best invention ever. EVER.
And... if I wanted to make this baby
umm... exactly how would that work?
Seriously... anyone know?
It saves time, it keeps me accurate, and everything is at my fingertips. One place, several notebooks with neat colourful tabs and labels. No more files, folders, binders, loose pages, or scribbled notes on napkins. And if something falls in two categories? No big deal- link the pages!!!
Paradise. I am organized. Yes!

1. Keep track of fact vs. fiction before you begin.
2. Keep things easy to access by using technology that works for you while you work.
3. Smile. Getting organized just got easy.

Any other tips on getting organized? I'd love for you to share.