Friday, January 8, 2010


The project I’m currently working on requires tons of research. Despite common assumptions, you can’t always find what you need to know on the Internet. It’s inevitable that you’ll have to crack open a book, resort to shopping on e-bay and/or Amazon searching for out of print material, that kind of thing. It’s all very time consuming, but it can also be quite invigorating. I am exhilarated, at this stage of the game anyway. A mile high stack of books stares me in the face. Post-Its all around.

Whilst immersed in this research mode I get so enthralled I end up delving in far deeper than necessary—out of sheer curiosity and the hunger to learn more. I’ve got to exercise a little more restraint. Goodness sakes, there are only so many hours in the day. And I’ve got to get some bloody writing done! Not to mention the peskier details of life, feeding, sleeping (not getting much of that), paying bills, car maintenance, laundry, grocery shopping, BLOGGING AND VISITING MY PALS BLOGS, whew! (Wiping brow)

As with so many things, one thing often leads to another.

I am reminded of the days when schlepped all over town looking for the perfect samples to bring to a client, and how I’d get utterly carried away, picking up ideas and inspiration for my own house, future clients, or my parents and friends. So varied and compelling were the choices, I just couldn’t limit myself. My SUV would be jam-packed with wonderful fabric swatches, tile boards, cabinet door samples, squares of stone, carpet, wood, and stacks of wallpaper books;
yay, wallpaper’s back, better patterns and colors than ever before, and with a vengeance, I might add. Well, you get the picture.

Whoa, I think, slow down sister. Don’t bog yourself down. Go in, find what’s crucial, and get out. The writing’s the thing. You can always poke around for more facts if need be. Quit pigging out on knowledge as if you’re some greedy Roman with a trough to spew in when you get too full. I wonder; can one’s brain get too full? Sensory overload?

No matter, I’m a fiend, that’s the short and long of it. I’m on a roll, behind the eight ball, and it feels fine.

FYI: why I wrote that last fantasy post about getting in a car and driving somewhere alone? I pictured myself recharging as I sped along the highway, and words pouring out and onto the keys of my trusty laptop, (once I found a non-descript roadside motel to stay for the night, so as to avoid distraction.) A girl can dream can’t she?

What about you? How are all your projects coming along? What’s you current fantasy? Keep it clean ;-)

All Rights Reserved. © 2009 by Elizabeth Bradley.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Like Barbie

I have never climbed behind the wheel and gone on a road trip by myself. Like Barbie in the picture, I always seem to have company. What if I did get get in the car and strike off on my own? Where would I go? How would I manage to get myself free from entanglements in order to do something so unheard of?

What about you, have you ever gone on a road trip alone? And if you could pull it off, where would you set off too?

I'd head for Taos New Mexico, that's where I'd go, if I could leave today.

All Rights Reserved. © 2009 by Elizabeth Bradley.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Bossy Lizzy Rules the Roost

Last night I was talking AT The Husband about something terrible that happened to us, just running off at the mouth, when he suddenly said, in the most heart-wrenching tone, “Are you trying to make me feel worse?” I continued on with a few more defense-laden sentences before I HEARD MYSELF. One last pitiful spurt and I then trailed off, my motor sputtered down.

Did I sound like a pessimist? I pride myself on not being one of those people. The Husband loves and likes me because I am upbeat, supportive, and capable. I’d like to report that my performance last night was an isolated incident but after analyzing myself for a long spell during the wee hours of the morning, I came to the conclusion, I’m developing into a whiner. Oh no. God forbid. I was raised to pick myself up by my bootstraps, to pursuit the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, to show strength in the face of adversity. I haven’t been performing well of late.

Life has a way of beating us down. It’s easy to see how. We pay the price mentally and eventually the mental blows take a physical toll. It’s our choice, how we perceive any particular life event. The well-worn cup half empty or half full adage applies. My cup is truly brimming, when you get right down to it. I know that. Then, why am I letting things bring me down?

I made a promise to Whiney Lizzy last night, I told her that she is still lovable, but she has to get a grip. I read her the riot act. She was listening, Bossy Lizzy rules the roost after all.

Of course, this morning I couldn’t help but consider the characters in my WIP. Are they three-dimensional? Nobody is courageous, idiotic, shallow, thrifty, selfish, altruistic, or beautiful or ugly one hundred percent of the time. Nobody.

Human beings encounter moods, setbacks, accidents, highpoints, death, flat tires, rewards, potholes, irritations, illness, regret, and react to these various incidents in various ways. It’s impossible to know how we will respond at any particular time, we never know. I’ve laughed when I should have screamed.

Do your characters surprise you? I say it’s good when they do, because if they surprise the author, chances are they'll surprise the reader and keep them engaged.

All Rights Reserved. © 2009 by Elizabeth Bradley.

Monday, January 4, 2010

My Saltmine

There’s just too much work at hand. I’m buried. I’ll be in my office all day and all night. Forgive me for being such a terrible blogger. But, I really don’t have much of a post today. My head is so full I can’t even come up with anything to say here. Zilch.

So I leave you with a thought provoking quote from an extraordinary author:

~~ A story is not like a road to follow … it's more like a house. You go inside and stay there for a while, wandering back and forth and settling where you like and discovering how the room and corridors relate to each other, how the world outside is altered by being viewed from these windows. And you, the visitor, the reader, are altered as well by being in this enclosed space, whether it is ample and easy or full of crooked turns, or sparsely or opulently furnished. You can go back again and again, and the house, the story, always contains more than you saw the last time. It also has a sturdy sense of itself of being built out of its own necessity, not just to shelter or beguile you.

— Alice Munro

All Rights Reserved. © 2009 by Elizabeth Bradley.