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Welcome to the DebiLyn Smith blog site. If you like what you read here, check out her website at www.debilynsmith.com

Friday, April 30, 2010

Body Transplant, Please

I'm not only aging, but it appears I am out of "the know."
"What?" my friend squealed as she rubbed her thumb viciously across the frown lines between my eyes. "You've never heard of Botox before? Oh, girl, you are so overdue!"

Since that day, whenever I look in the mirror, all that looks back at me are those deep furrows.
I frown at them, making them worse and soon find myself running to my computer to look up the word "botox." It's found under plastic surgery, along with a procedure called forehead lifts where they make an incision across the top of your head and literally pull your face back up into place. There is "dermabrasion" where a high speed sander grinds the wrinkles from your skin. Eyelid surgery removes excess bags. "That last one's for me," says another friend. "Lyposuction, I've had that on my neck!" says another. Where have I been while all this has beeen going on around me? And Botox? "Nothing to it," two of my buddies chide. "A needle goes in between your eyes to paralyze the muscle. Do this often enough and you'll never frown again!"

What's the fun in that, I wonder? How will I be able to threaten my kids with just the slide of an eyebrow- or show my husband it's time to quit chatting up that long, legged bimbo with her hand on his thigh NOW just by making my eyebrows touch in the middle?

I look my aging face over. She's right, though, the frown lines are deep enough to grow seeds in and the crow's feet look more like ostrich tracks. There's also a round mark on my forehead that the more I stare at, the uglier it becomes. I could have that lasered off, I'm told. Probably wouldn't cost as much as having those breasts readjusted or getting my ears pinned back.

My arguement is if I fix one thing,the other parts are going to look out of whack. I'll have a baby's bum forehead and a turkey neck. Besides, where do you start and where do you end?

I think I'll wait. And when I hit 80, I'll do a complete overhaul. "New body, please."
Body transplants. I'm sure they're the next thing. I should be able to afford one by then if I go without the Botox and face grinding now.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Pre-Immortilization

It's late and I'm almost finished celebrating! This evening I feel confident enough of both my books to quit editing for awhile. Don't get me wrong. The picking will continue until the day they're printed. I know because I've done that to everything I've ever had published, both fiction and non. And after it's immortalized on a page, I berate myself every time I read it for not saying "this" instead of "that." That's why it's so important to get it right. Who knows who might be one day reading my work? Maybe an overly literate grand kid that I will have embarrassed or possibly another writer who's work I admire. It would be like meeting them with a ring of ketchup around my mouth.
Next on the list is writing the synopsis and book jacket blurb. I have already done that for the first book, Not Just One, so judging by that, it won't be an arduous task. Possibly a few days. It's a fun part of the job, digging through all the best lines and then tightening them even tighter to make short, action and visually packed, sentences. Like tuning a guitar string, you can hear the words, eeeeEEEEE until they sound like the sentence is going to snap right in your face. That's when you know you have that line at the best it can be.
You do know you can't judge a blog by it's cover, though, right? Who has time to edit their blogs? This is merely the overflow outlet which I use as a nightcap to settle me back down before bed. No murder here. No bad guys and heroines struggling their way through pages of onslaughts. Just words. Nice words. Like, have a Goodnight.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

6 Hours of Slash and Slice

I'm exhausted. For six hours I've been slashing and slicing and ripping and shredding. Sounds like a horror show but it's only another editing session. You write a thousand words and concentrate that into six hundred quality ones.
The best part of writing though is being able to play God. Call me weird, but it's fun to kill someone then change my mind and edit them back to life again. Simply because they were too nice to die. Wouldn't it be great if that worked for real? If we could edit people back to life?Well, maybe not. Then everyone would still be here and the world would get pretty overcrowded. We could just bring all the great ones back. Like Mother Teresa, Diana, John Lennon, Martin Luther King, my Mom.
Sigh.
Well break time is over and I'm pleased to announce edit number three is almost over. I should be starting the fourth by Monday. With any hope, it should only take five before its ready for the conference.
Off with the heads, I go!

Friday, April 23, 2010

A Blue Thumb Gardener

This has been the best Spring that I can remember. There was no season of "indecision", of rain then snow, then more rain with muck climbing up the side of everything, women in town wearing smart looking skirts and dresses with gum rubber boots. This year, everything is dry. We went from winter boots right into heels and runners.
Despite the lack of water, the lawn and buds are greening nicely. There are shoots of daffodils and tulips everywhere you look, although not in my yard. My thumb is more of a blue shade than green. Blue as in depressed that anything I plant dies, grows upside down, never flowers, or takes over the entire flower bed because it was actually a "pretty"weed. One year I planted hundreds of dollars in perenniels, but not knowing that meant the flowers would regrow the following year, pulled them all out when they didn't flower. I figured they had all been duds. Same story for the potato plants. I was pulling the plants and hilling up the weeds. Little hard to enjoy mashed garlic weeds.
So, I have put all gardening talents on hold and have started using my head a little more practically. Tomatoes recently went on sale for $1 a can and I bought 6 flats, or 72 of them. Then when my friends say they are canning their tomatoes, I merely smile and say, "I'm already done mine."
I plan on making the farmers market a regular stop every Friday and then by late August, my friends get to that wonderful stage where they're absolutely sick of eating and processing their zucchinni, their beans, their (fill-in-the-blank) and I get called to come to the rescue.
It all works.
Still, maybe I should look into planting some silk flowers just for some color. I hear you don't even have to water them!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Kamikaze Woodpecker

It was one o'clock. I finally managed to clear my "to do"list enough to get myself strapped into my writer's chair for some serious demolition editing. I need to go from 82,000 words down to 80,000, so somebody's slow-moving scene was going to go. I felt ruthless. Ready. My characters were cowering in anticipation.
I opened Microsoft Word and ZAP! The power went out!
A walk down the long, gravel drive of ours was met with a stench of burning feathers. It seems one unlucky Kamikaze woodpecker discovered the shocking bad news that hydro poles are not the best places to build a nest. BC Hydro dispatched a team to the rescue. Of course that will take 2 hours. We live in a remote place so I figure 2 hours is not all that bad.
So, plan B? I jumped back into bed, as you would, to finish the Klondike novel written by Vicki Delaney. Vicki will be attending the same Bloody Words conference as me in Toronto in May. More important, Vicki will be critiquing my two novels and will be reviewing them with me. I thought I would do her the same service. Actually,the truth is I wanted to see if she was a writer whose recommendations I would value. Just because you have published something doesn't mean it is "good" by all concerned. A conference I attended in Nelson years ago had a published author of 4 books amidst us students. I tried to read one of them and couldn't get past the first chapter of gibberish. It was terrible! But, I am happy to admit I enjoyed what I read by Vicki and will most definitely listen to any and all advice she has to offer. I will be brave before her. She will not see any lip trembling, blurry, teared eyes or hear any keening. I will listen, take notes and then make a run for my room and the emergency kit that is already packed. Inside is my family-sized bar of dark chocolate, a back -up bar of dark chocolate in case the first isn't enough and a fantastic bottle of red cab sauv. I will feel better in no time. Like taking off a band-aid. We're gonna do it quick- get it off, and then get it on! Make these books happen!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Beginner Blogger

Wow. From webless writer to a writer with a web page and a blog. All these distractions. As if I didn't have enough in a day. I am finding it hard to get any real work done. Never mind the guilt from not keeping in touch with all my e-friends. But writing is writing and a writer usually agonizes as much over an e-mail as she will over a chapter in a book she's writing. It's all about finding the precious time. We need 30 hour days!
The Bloody Words Mystery Writer's conference in Toronto May 27-30 fast approaches and I am re-editing the re-edits and polishing every last line to a squeak. I feel like I am about to face Simon or Simonette on American Idol. I have signed up for a professional critique on Not Just One and Double Dip, my first two mystery novels, and will also pitch them to a publisher and an agent.
I have to get these books up and running! I want to start the third but I need deadlines and goals to help me better prioritize. It's hard to keep writing when I haven't seen a lot of validation. Being short listed for a fiction piece recently had me on a high for about a day. Then I was back to square one. I want to write a lot of books, but need to get to the next step first. Some real validation. Something better than friends and family (not saying I am not greatful everyone) saying it's great. I need a cheque in my hand. A book with a cover and my name on the front. That would prove it to me!
Now, back to that writer's chair at my own desk! (this is my husband's seat I am in taking a break to write my first blog. My lap top is currently trying to upload a few pictures too many to my daughter. I may have to stop it and try something else. Sigh. Another distraction. Ah...but I love her!)