Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Done That

Blogging just isn't working for me today. I've thought of lots of things, but none of them merit a whole blog. First I thought about character development. I know there's plenty to say about character development, but that's the problem; every blogger in the blogosphere including me, has already said it all. On that subject I'll just say I'm getting tired of weird, off the wall, loaded with hang-ups characters. I just finished reading Captive Heart by Michele Paige Holmes. I can't tell you how nice it was to meet a heroine I could actually identify with, someone I could imagine sitting down to dinner with, and actually becoming her friend and care about her problems.

I thought about background details and I have to say I'm a minimalist. If clothing, scenery, and sunsets aren't part of the story, leave them out. Of course I don't want all those characters running around sans clothes, but I really don't care about styles, flounces, and designer logos unless the book is about some facet of the fashion industry. I want just enough background and setting to give the story a realistic feel. I don't want all fourteen colors of the sunset detailed and I don't want to count every blade of grass on the prairie. Please leave something to my imagination.

All right, this next one is a pet peeve of mine, but something some readers actually like. Name dropping. I don't mean just the conversational use of famous people's names a person uses to make themselves appear more important, but the use of designer labels on clothes, cars, electronics, exclusive resorts, and foreign dishes. Some writers use them as a means of establishing certain qualities such as shallowness or snobbery in a character and in moderation they work. Overdone they say more about the author than the character.

I could always blog about the weather, but that's a little overdone too. As long as I can remember, every ten years or so, we have a sequence of weather that breaks records and makes life miserable one way or the other. This seems to be our year.

I could write about my new book, If I Should Die, but I've already done that too. Being a reviewer, I can't ask bloggers to review my books or send them free copies, but I love it when one buys my book and comments or reviews it on his/her own. Here's the first one I've run across. It's by Julie Bellon, a writer and teacher I respect a great deal. Believe it or not, even writers who have published many books are nervous and jittery about what readers will think of each new book and anxiously await comments and reviews.

Okay, my inability to concentrate on a topic may have something to do with my speaking assignment tonight. I've been asked to speak to a book club, not the usual kind of book club I often speak to. This one is Spanish and the participants speak varying amounts of English and, sadly, I only know about five words in Spanish. The dear lady who invited me and is hosting the club tonight once worked with me at the City Library. We had some great times, a few sad times, and one scary time, which come to think of it, would make a great topic for another blog.


Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Jennie, I love, love, love your new book. It was a great way to kick off my summer reading. I'm so glad you saw/liked my review! :)

Scotty & Emily said...

I have those days too, when I can't think what in the world to write on our blog... it doesn't happen often, because as previously established, I have two children who provide PLENTY of fodder! Used to, I'd ramble about just about anything just for the sake of writing every day. I have taken a fresh approach now, where I write nearly every day.

I wish I could get into the habit of writing something every day... elsewhere. I've been working on journaling every day and I'm about three for seven. Then I don't care if I blather because I'm the only one reading it! :D

How did you like the rambling comment you just received!! :) As always, I love reading your blog posts. :)

Stephanie Black said...

You thought you didn't know what to blog about, but ended up writing a great blog anyway!

Congrats on the new book!

Sara said...

I am so happy to find out that my favorite author is a real person! Actually last year I sat in the temple and did sealings, and I couldn't figure out how I knew the cute lady in there. When I left I about died because I realized it was you, and I recognized you from book covers. I was star struck! Anyway, I love reading your blog, but I usually don't comment, but I am dying to read your new book! If I don't win, though, I know I will anyway. Thank you for all of your hard work to keep me entertained!

Jennie said...

Thanks Julie, Emily,and Stephanie. Sara, I'm so glad you made a comment. Next time you see me in the temple, let me know who you are. I love the Oquirrh Mountain temple and I love it when someone lets me know we have a connection and share a commitment to temple service.