Insipid Observations

Ramblings of a bored writer

The dangers of playing scrabble with Granny.

It’s a well known fact in my family that no one should play scrabble with my grandma. It can prove hazardous to ones psyche.

The dangers of playing scrabble with grandma:

  • She loves to be the score keeper and has the tendency to ‘miss’ the bright red triple word score under your word.
  • She changes the rules when it’s her turn.
  • She invents her own words.
  • She makes words like this:

As she placed the letters, she said, "I shouldn't do this” and smirked. Bad Granny, bad!

  • She has the uncanny ability to give you crap letters.

The result of Granny's psychic powers.

  • She can and will play you for hours.

Picture taken at 12:48 a.m.

  • She will never let you win.

I was actually an innocent bystander in all of this. She was playing against my sister and somehow the miracle of all miracles happened. My sister beat her! An affront granny will not let alone for long. I foresee another late night scrabble session in the coming days.


And then there was NaNo

As you can probably guess from my badge, I did not win NaNo. Nevertheless, I’m still pleased. I’ve gotten back into the habit of writing every day—whether it’s 100 words or 1000 words—and I’m just short of 30K. I plan on finishing my rough draft by December 31st so I can polish it January and February and possibly begin submitting it in March.

That being said, I’m off to write. Congrats to all the NaNo winners! 😀

Teaser Tuesday & NaNo Update

I’m at 19,291 words and I’m supposed to be at 25006 words by midnight tonight. NaNo has been fighting me tooth and nail, but I think I’ll still be able to catch up.  Juggling  job searching, writing and packing is harder than I expected. I was supposed to finish packing yesterday, but instead spent my time writing and researching. Not how I planned on things going, but at least I didn’t waste my time.

In just three days I’m moving 610 miles south to Georgia. Though I’m not looking forward to the ten hour ride, it may give me an opportunity to write and or brainstorm.  Only time will tell!

And without further ado, here is a little teaser from my NaNo project Earthworms.

WARNING: This is the product of NaNoWriMo. It is rough, unedited and maybe even nonsensical. Proceed at the risk of losing brain cells.

Before Brant can get his key in the lock, the door flies open. We slide out of the way as mom comes barreling out of the apartment, oven mitts on and smoking pot in hand. Coughing and sputtering she practically throws the pot on the concrete floor. Eyes eatery, she leans down and takes the lid off. We all jump back, fanning the air around us as smoke billows from the pot. I cover my nose with my shirt collar as the smell of burnt meat invades my lungs.

Brant coughs and shakes his head. “What the hell, mom?”

She glares at him through the thin fog. “Watch your language!” She closes the door before more smoke can enter the apartment. “I had a slight mishap in the kitchen.”

We both stare at her.

She slicks back her hair and purses her lips. “I wanted to surprise you by making teriyaki chicken, but when I tried to glaze the chicken…it kind of caught on fire.” She averts her eyes and fiddles with the oven mitts.

Brant edges around the still smoking pot. “So you bring it outside so the rest of the place can burn down?”

She cuffs him on the back of the head, eyes cutting. “I’m not stupid. I snuffed the fire out with the pot lid. I just didn’t want the apartment to fill with smoke.”

I glance inside the foggy apartment and shake my head. “Well. It’s nice to know that if a fire broke out we’d probably burn to death in our sleep. I guess the concept of a smoke detector and sprinkler system is lost on the fine management of our apartment. That and blinds—which my room is lacking by the way.” I fold my arms and lean against the wall. “Great place Principal Whitaker set us up with.”

Mom sucks air through her teeth. “We can hardly blame it on John. I’ll just have to have a talk with management tomorrow.”

The door across from us opens. An older lady with glaring eyes peeks out.

Mom smiles at her and picks up the pot. “Sorry for the commotion. There’s no need to worry.”

The lady huffs and wrinkles her nose. “Riff-raff.” She glares at the po,t then at us and shuts her door.

I push myself off the wall. “Wasn’t she lovely.”

Mom sighs. “Let’s just go inside.”

I follow her and Brant in, closing the door behind me.

Mom puts the pot in the sink and fills it with cold water. “So much for my surprise dinner. At least the rice and vegetables are okay.”

Brant’s eyes immediately meet mine. Mom and the kitchen do not get along. The chicken burning was likely a godsend. We may have spent the night on the toilet otherwise. She tries. Really she does. That counts for something, but it doesn’t make the end results any less painful or damaging to my taste buds.

She throws the mitts on the counter and glares at the two of us. “And stop with the looks. I used the rice cooker and the vegetable went in the microwave so it should still be edible.”  She lifts her head strides out of the kitchen and into her room.

Brant leans over the counter to inspect the rice and veggies. ”It’s salvageable.”

I stare at the pebble-looking rice and raise my brow.

He ruffles my hair and goes around me into the kitchen. “Trust me. I can work with it. There’s still some leftover chicken. I’ll whip something up.”

Vanity, thy name is self-esteem…or is it blue eyes?

Turn brown eyes blue:

Apparently, via a new laser treatment brown eyes can permanently be changed blue in two to three weeks with a twenty second procedure.

Aside from the possible ramifications on ones sight (they claim there are none, but give it ten, maybe even twenty years and then I’ll believe it). How do you feel about this? Good, bad, indifferent?

Some argue that people should be happy with who they are and leave it at that. But is there really any harm in wanting to change something about oneself? I’m not talking about people who get cosmetic surgery for deformities or medical reason. Nor am I referring to something as big as wanting to change your race (that’s a deeper issue). Just your eye color, the length or girth of your nose, the cheekbones you always wanted…

Is it taboo? Or rather, should it be taboo?

We all know of some celebrities that are addicted to plastic surgery. Michael Jackson, Jocelyn Wildenstein, Heidi Montag, Lil Kim, etc—though it’s obvious there’s something much deeper going on than simply not liking ones looks. Should people stop before they get ahead or be able to indulge themselves a little?

My take on it?

The danger lies in going overboard. Thus, moderation is key. If someone wants to get a nose job, I say let them. Of course, if the procedure is number one on a list of twenty and or their face looks like abstract rendition of their former self, that may not be in their best interest. Basically, it comes down to the individual. Some people will never be happy with how they look and will head into a downward spiral. Others may have one thing that makes them insecure and when it’s ‘fixed,’ they feel better about themselves. Is there really harm in the later—granted they don’t go overboard?

Whether the end result is a Picasso or a Botticelli, multiple surgeries is too much. It’s not even about the results being less than stellar. It doesn’t matter if others can clearly tell how many procedures you’ve been through or it looks natural, there is more to worry over. Too many people base their dislike of extensive plastic surgery on the results rather then the root problem.

I myself have no plans on getting any type of cosmetic surgery. Sure I look in the mirror and think one thing or the other can be improved, but it’s not a necessary and I’m quite content with my Plain Jane, average looks. But who knows? When I’m sixty, sagging and sporting triple chins I may change my mind.

If you don’t like this, there’s something wrong with you.

…not really. But i’d like to think so. :p A little piece of greatness to brighten your day!

I love it!

Wrapping up the fourth day of NaNo & the importance of NOT editing.

From this day forth I, Della Odell vow to not edit my NaNo novel until its completion. Why? I wrote 1638 words today but you wouldn’t know it since I edited out 536 words from my previous chapters, bringing my total word count to 6457. I’ve cheated myself.

I always feel the need to edit and overanalyze what I write, which ultimately leads to me deleting and rewriting half a day’s work. I need to get a grip! I’ll never make my word count goal or even finish my novel if I keep this trend.

Well, here’s to not holding myself back!

Best of luck NaNo’ers!

Starting NaNoWriMo

I’ve started NaNo off on a good note. I got 2,629 words in today! I hope I can keep it up! 🙂 For NaNo I’m focusing on my novel Earthworms.

Here’s a quick, not so great summary: Leigh once thought her biggest worries were putting up with her dad’s crazy antics, eating her mom’s peach cobbler and dealing with her brother’s pranks. But when tragedy strikes, her carefree lifestyle comes to an end. Instead, the soon to be sixteen year old finds herself mixed up with a new world and new people that may not have her best interests in mind.

Although I’d love to finish Panmnesia, it’s not at the top of my list right now. Maybe when I finish Earthworms my inspiration will come back.

I hope I’m able stick with NaNo till the end. I’m moving from Maryland to Georgia this month, so I’m trying to make up for the days I know I’ll lose early on. My goal is to write at least 2,000 words a day. Not sure if it’ll happen, but trying doesn’t hurt. 🙂 Best of luck fellow NaNo’ers!

Teaser Tuesday = Semi-success?

So, I planned on making today Teaser Tuesday and providing a teaser from one of my novels. I wanted to write a new scene, but seeing as how I started at 11:25, I’m pretty sure that won’t happen. I’ll give it a go though. If all else fails, I’ll use an already completed scene. I will not fail you Teaser Tuesday!

Update: So…It didn’t happen. Instead here is a teaser from Panmnesia:

The globular mounds bounce, jiggling in every direction. The scent of cherry and alcohol invade his nose as he’s pushed against a wall. The paintings on the walls rattle to the bass of the music while candles and pictures are knocked from tables and bookshelves by thrashing arms and gyrating bodies. Fog machines run throughout the basement, clouding it to the point where it’s impossible to make out a face from across the room.

The cherry scented girl brings a red cup to her lips, takes a few good swallows of a vile-smelling concoction and tugs the jewelry around Ciarán’s neck with her other hand. That punch is definitely spiked. Ciarán looks down her glassy green eyes and can’t help but let his gaze trail lower. A laugh threatens to escape his mouth.

Seduction for Dummies 101: Rubbing up against a guy with a potato wedge lodged between your breasts isn’t the personification of sexy. It’s a freaking potato wedge. How can she not feel that?

“Honey.” She hiccups. “I don’t know what drugs you’ve been taking, but you got a rotten batch.” He can barely understand her slurred words. She moves closer, lips brushing over his. “Better yet, you should quit.” She tries to tap his nose with her pointer finger, but misses and pokes him in the eye. “Drugs are ba-a-a-a-a-a-d.” She giggles and lays her head against his chest. “I sound like a sheep. Ba-a-a-a-a-a-a-d.”

Oh, for the love of…she better not puke on me. He’d had the impression the party would be at a club, but it ended up being at someone’s house. He’d actually been having some fun up until this point. He’d danced with Sophia, watched the drunken antics of people in the crowd, and most of all, was memory-free.

He squints his eyes and scans the room. Blobs that he assumes are teenagers lounge everywhere. The stairs, the floor, counters, tables, you name it.

The girl hiccups and bangs her head against his breastbone.

She’s been hanging around him for an hour now, completely plastered. He tried to enlist Sophia’s help, but she just shrugged and went about her way. He almost ditched her a few times, but after observing some of the shady characters floating around the house, the gentleman in him opted to stick with her.

“Julie.” A short blonde squeezes between the undulating bodies and grabs hold of Mystery Girl. Julie, huh?

“Come on girl, you’re wasted. I’m taking you home.” She tugs on Julies shoulders.

“No,” Julies cries, one hand gripping her cup and the other Ciarán’s arm. “I’m busy.” She snickers. “My prince charming awaits.”

The blonde gives Ciarán a dubious look. “Right.”

I think I should be offended.

She shakes her head. “Well, I’m sure prince charming will like you a lot better if you come with me and freshen up.”

Julie’s eyes widen and she pushes herself off Ciarán’s chest. “You’re a genius, Becca!” She wobbles down the hall with the help of her friend. “I’ll be back,” she yells, arm stretched out like a forlorn lover.

Ciarán nods. The moment they disappear into the fog, he runs the other direction.

Absolute Write May Blog Chain

It’s time for the May Blog Chain! This month’s prompt came in handy! I wrote a scene that will (in some form) be used in my novel Withdrawal. I really struggled with the tense in this. I’m so used to writing in present tense…hope it came out alright! If not, at least I managed to keep the word count less than 1000. :p Before me was aimeelaine and after me will be jkellerford, please do check them and the rest of the participants out (a list is at the end of this post)!

This month’s prompt: Relationships

Show a character’s approach to relationships in a short scene. A harmless exchange between mother and daughter? A submissive character overwhelmed by a dominant partner? A passionate lover’s quarrel? A forlorn, unrequited letter?

Use your characters’ interaction to show the dynamics of their relationship, show how they’re growing together or growing apart, or just have silly fun. Character descriptions at the beginning are forbidden this time around–let them speak or act for themselves!

Here we go:

From behind the counter she pointed a finger at him, mouth agape. “Hey! You thief! That’s my cat!”

Collin took a step back, dropping the organic cat food he’d intended to buy on the floor. “I beg you pardon?”

“I said that’s my cat, you cat-napper.” Collin’s accuser handed the elderly lady in front of him some change, then slammed the cash register shut. The old woman shuffled out the door, leaving him alone with the open-mouthed psycho.

He cleared his throat and squared his shoulders. “I’ll have you know this is my cat. I’ve had her for a year now. What could possible make you think she’s yours?”

“Besides the fact that I recognize her, she’s struggling to get to me, her tail is bent in the exact same place as my missing cat and that she’s probably the only black cat with blue eyes in the state of Kentucky?”

Collin looked down at the twisting cat in his arms and tightened his hold. “Yes.”

She pointed behind him. “That.”

He turned around to a board littered with pictures of a black kitten with blue eyes, a tuft of white fur on its nose, and a crooked tail. Collin took his time and searched the board from top left to bottom right, looking at each photo for a discrepancy that would prove the kitten wasn’t Layla. When he reached the end, he nodded his head then twisted around to face his opponent. He made eye contact for a moment before looking off to the side. “Could be her twin,” he mumbled. Really brain, is that the best you could come up with?

She shook her head, the ends of her curly black hair bouncing with the movement. “You can’t be serious.”

He stepped closer to the counter and his eyes trailed down to her nametag. “Yes, Carolina. I’m serious. It’s not impossible…just highly unlikely.” Not proving my point. Think fast.  “And why do you have a collage of a cat? She’s not a kid. You’re not one of those crazy cat ladies are you?” He raised a brow and cradled a now calm Layla to his chest.

Lips tightened, Carolina tapped her fingers against the counter. Her eyes narrowed—one much more than the other—until it was almost closed.

That certainly doesn’t make her look murderous.

In an instant, Collin surveyed the room and found his escape route. Dodging paparazzi finally comes in handy. “Well. You know what they say. Finders, keepers.” He darted down a small isle and squeezed past a turning display. Something fell to the floor behind him, but he kept for the exit. He pushed the door open and looked back just in time to duck a projectile pooper scooper. “Losers, weepers.” The curses she volleyed at him were muted only by the door shutting behind him.

He took off down the street with Layla tucked under his arm like a football. After a mere two blocks of running, his calves begun to burn. Damn legs still haven’t healed. A brown sign with the words Rock Creek Park came into view. He slowed to a jog and turned down a dirt trail leading into the park. He ignored passersby and followed a few twisting paths before coming to bench in a remote area of the park.

He loosened his grip on Layla and let her settle in his lap. He winced as he stretched his legs out and leaned back on the bench. Eyes closed, he concentrated on breathing and not thinking about the pain that shot up his legs. The sound of feet stomping against gravel broke the quiet. Alerted, he opened his eyes and sat up straight.

Carolina stood before him, hair tousled, fist clenched and breathing at an even pace.

“Lonely cat lady and a crazy stalker? You really have a lot going for you.”

She stepped closer to him. “I want my cat”.

“Then you shouldn’t have lost her.”

“Ah hah!” She folded her arms and grinned. “So you admit she belonged to me first.” Her brows crease, then she scowls. “And I didn’t lose her. My ex got rid of her while I was at work.”

“Take it up with him, not me.”

“I did, trust me. And I still would, but the restraining order I still in effect.”

Collin half-smiled and pressed his back to the bench. I do hope she’s kidding. He took in his surroundings: semi-secluded alcove in the park, pissed off woman to his right, no others people in plan sight, a wooded area to the left—the perfect place for dumping a body. “I’m sure we can work something out. Let’s discuss this back at the store.” He motioned toward the path with his free hand.

“Don’t tell me what to do you crook.”

“I’d never.” He fixes his grip on Layla. “It’s just, err…didn’t you leave the store unattended? Your boss may be upset.”

She lifted her head higher. “I am the boss. I can do what I want.”

“Oh.” Can nothing get this woman to move? Then…there’s another worker there? I didn’t see one. Perhaps they’re in the back?”

Her arms unfolded and her face blanked. She blinked a few times before her eyes widened and she took in giant breath of air. “Shit.”

Eureka! Time to make my escape. Before he could stand from the bench, Carolina stepped forward, grabbed his left arm and yanked him to his feet.

He staggered and barely managed to hold onto Layla. “Wait. What—”

“Shut-up. Just you wait. I’ll have my cat by the end of the day.” Her nails bit into his arm as she pulled him down the trail.

orion_mk3 – (link to this month’s post)
Proach – (link to this month’s post)
Yoghurtelf – (link to this month’s post)
AuburnAssassin – (link to this month’s post)
aimeelaine – (link to this month’s post)
Della Odell – ME!
jkellerford – (link to this month’s post)
LadyMage – (link to this month’s post)
pezie – (link to this month’s post)
xcomplex – (link to this month’s post)
Inkstrokes – (link to this month’s post)
dolores haze – (link to this month’s post)
Ralph Pines – (link to this month’s post)
juniper – (link to this month’s post)
ElizaFaith13 – (link to this month’s post)
Steam&Ink – (link to this month’s post)

Dumbing it Down

Someone told me that I should “dumb down” certain aspects of my writing, because most YA readers wouldn’t be able to connect the dots…

I find that insulting. This person is a YA reader herself. So is she assuming her ‘superior intellect’ isn’t shared by others?

Maybe I’m being overly sensitive? I’m glad she thinks I have some intelligence, but I would like to think that most readers can put A and B together, whether they get C, Z, pizza, kumquats or diapers as their answer is really up to them. Isn’t that the beauty of writing? Some things don’t have to be set in stone. Some things can be left unsaid. Maybe it’s preference, but I don’t like every little thing pointed out to me. It ruins the fun!

And on another note: I’m trying to write a blog entry every day, or at least every other day. I won’t be able to implement this plan until next week but, each day will have a theme. For example:

Sulky Sunday
Meltdown Monday
Teaser Tuesday
Weird Wednesday
Tame Thursday
Friend Friday
Star Saturday

The themes won’t always be the same. I doubt I’ll be able to post daily, but I hope to get at least three short blog entries a week or 1-2 in-depth ones. *crosses fingers*

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