francine's blog

Taxes

No one likes paying taxes, but they’re necessary to keep the country going.   However, the last thing we want to see is a bunch of IRS workers doing line dances and dressing up as Trekkies on  taxpayer money at conferences that tally up to $50M.  And we don’t want to hear the IRS targeting any group, be it conservative, religious or liberal.  Targeting anyone is not what our country is all about, or wasn’t until recently.  We don’t want a government that behaves like a kingdom.

Here’s my solution, not that anyone will listen.  

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Playing Tourist

Over the years, Rick and I have played tourist wherever we’ve lived.  Sonoma County is no different, except that people come from around the world to visit the wine country, redwoods and Pacific coast, and we have it close at hand.  When I’m neck-deep in a project, I don’t have time to wander too far from my computer.  Once the manuscript is turned in and I’m waiting for the editorial conversation on what more needs to be done, we are free to explore. 

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Final Touches on the WIP

After numerous reader critiques in-house and a conference call between agent and editors, the  comments and concerns were compiled and made ready for presentation to the writer – me.   I got the call early Monday morning and already knew what to expect.  Too long.  Needs major cutting.  This seems to be a common thread in my work.

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Dealing with Editors

I’ve been writing for over thirty years and still get nervous when I turn in a manuscript.  Have I succeeded in bring the characters to life?  Will the story comfort, encourage, challenge readers?  Is there any “take away” value? 

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What's happening?!

I remember this line from “Poltergeist” years ago when the teenage daughter was standing on the street as an entity was wreaking havoc inside the house and everyone was fleeing.  I’m beginning to feel that way when I read the newspaper and wonder. 

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POW Reunion and Memorial Day

My brother and sister-in-law stopped for a night with us on their way south to attend the Vietnam POW Reunion at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum that coincides with the 40th anniversary of a White House dinner hosted by President Nixon to honor their sacrifice.  Finally, after so many years, these survivors who suffered so much are again being honored. 

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Post-Project Blues

I’ve just spent three months working five to six full days a week, sometimes late into the night, to finish revision work on my current work-in-progress.  After a conference call and some brain-storming, I knew what I needed and wanted to do.  What started out as a few changes and tweaks turned into a major re-write.  I love these characters and want readers to love them, too.  But I was also trying to do an allegory, and in some cases, two in particular, the people were just too perfect.  Real people have lots of flaws.  Now the characters do, too.

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Oh, if only!

 “Now it shall come about when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself a copy of this law on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priests.  And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, by carefully observing all the words of this law and these statues, and his heart may not be lifted up above his countrymen and that he may not turn aside from the commandment, to the right or the left; in order that he and his sons may continue long in his kingdom in the midst of Israel.” &nbs

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Martyrs

The Boston Marathon bombings came as a shock to all of us.  Now everyone is scrambling for answers, asking why.  Though some politicians are loath to call this a “terrorist” attack, and are studiously cautious about making any reference to a religious war, most know it is.

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Future Tripping

Future tripping is a phrase familiar to those who work 12 step programs.  It has to do with fear of the future.  A lot of people, not just those with addictions, are experiencing this right now.  Come to think of it, is there anyone that doesn’t have some kind of “addiction”?  If it isn’t alcohol or drugs, maybe it’s texting on an iPhone or exploring all the apps on an iPad.  Maybe it’s surfing the net or playing a computer game that draws people into a time-sucking world of make-believe.  How many people feel a little down and head off to the Mall for that pic

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