Friday, February 24, 2017

Nothing is Ever Wasted

I am deep into writing the 12 Crochet Mystery which means I start looking around me for descriptions of places information about situations I'm wring about. I’m always surprised when I realize some experience I have had in the past is suddenly useful.

Since the Crochet Mysteries take place in Tarzana which is technically part of Los Angeles, the entertainment industry is part of the backdrop. This time there is an acting teacher who puts on acting workshops. It was only as an afterthought that I remembered I had my own experiences in similar workshops.

Over the years I have taken a number of classes through the local community college’s extension program. On a dare, I signed up for am improv class. It was certainly not in my comfort zone, but turned out to be an interesting experience in a way I hadn’t expected. The people in the class all had different reasons for being there. One woman was a professional actress who thought it would help her with auditions. A guy who stuttered wanted to be a stand up comedian. Another man wanted to start a second career as an actor and go out on auditions. Then there was the very proper looking woman. Her hair was always neatly combed and her clothing very proper looking. I want to say round collars and skirts, but I think that was more the image I had of her than the reality.

Pierce College where the class was held has an agricultural school and a large part of the 400 acres is devoted to farm animals and crops. Our class was held in a small building in the midst of a very dark area and we parked near the farm area. Anyway, I gave the prim and proper woman a ride to her car after the first night of class because she was nervous about going to her car in the dark. She seemed pleasant and on the dull side and didn’t seem to have a story like the others in the class.

And then on the last meeting of the class, the teacher suggested that we continue the workshop outside of the college. There didn’t seem to be anything inflammatory about what he said, but all of a sudden Miss Prim and Proper starting screaming at him and the group. Every other word was the f one. And then she stormed out. We all just looked at each other mystified and surprised that none of that had showed up during the weekly classes. And I kept thinking about being alone in my car with her as I drove her to some dark isolated part of the campus.

I also took an acting class. It was more about a challenge than any plans to become an actor. There were no melt downs in the class and it was a little duller than the improv class, but do have some insight about what goes on in an acting workshop to use in my fictional one.

It is kind of cool how my past comes in handy!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

A New Adventure

Hello everyone. I'm Christina Freeburn and am joining the wonderful and talented writers at Killer Hobbies. I'm excited to joining and sharing with you my love of crafting, writing, and reading. Today, I'll tell you a little bit about myself by confessing my word of the year. When I first saw posts about choosing a word for the year, I thought about it for a few days before giving up. No one word seemed right. Everyone I picked, I talked myself out of why it what's right. But then one found me. Change.

I'm a planner at heart. To-do lists are some of my best friends. My middle daughter always teases me that if there is ever an epic-movie disaster taking place (aliens attack or a Sharknado hits West Virignia), I'm the first person she's calling. Contingency plans, the more improbable the situation means its more likely I've thought about it, are a specialty of mine. The problem with having a love-affair with plans is that a change of the status quo can turn my world topsy-turvy.

A few weeks ago, I left a job. I hadn't planned on it but circumstances required it. There were changes made to policies I couldn't in good conscience comply with so I gave notice. It wasn't what I planned, and some days I question if I made the right decision, but in my heart I know it was right. For someone who thrives on structure, it was hard a decision to make.

Along with planning, I enjoy challenges and stepping out of my comfort zone--as long as I planned for it. I love trying new hobbies (crocheting) and traveling to new places (going to Disneyland...I mean California this year). If the new adventures fit into my goals/plans for the year, I'm set and excited. It's the unplanned ones, the ones I didn't see coming, that have me fretting and questioning what I'm thinking.

This year, I plan to share with the readers of Killer Hobbies my changes. You'll see my adventures through scrapbook pages, other craft projects, bits and pieces of work and progress, and the thoughts I'm brave enough to share.

The most important new to add to my life is new friends I'll meet through Killer Hobbies.

Christina Freeburn
author of the Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery Series

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Yikes! Time to Write.

I've been grumping here a lot lately about all that's going on in my life, including edits and puppy care and how it all has been interfering with my writing.

Well, I turned in the most recent edit.  I also don't currently have any writing organization meetings I'm going to, at least for a week or two.  The puppy situation is still time consuming, and I hope to start Cari's official training next weekend if the weather cooperates.

But what am I really saying here?  I actually have some time to write!

Not only that, but I might wind up with additional time to spend doing whatever else I need to accomplish.  I have to figure that out.  Not that I don't have plenty to do but I've shoved so much aside for a long time that I need to determine what's next.

One thing I do a lot is blog, not only here.  I've another blog appearing today at The Writers in Residence, and I wrote about writers groups of various sorts.  Here's the link:

Of course this is likely to be just a short-term respite.  I've got a lot of things going on again soon, including blogs and talks and writers conferences.  And family stuff.  And dog stuff that continues.

But for now, just thinking about it, I feel a bit overwhelmed about... nothing!  Except figuring out what comes next.  Oh, and I do have that manuscript to keep on writing with a lot less time to finish it than when I started it and kept getting interrupted.

So maybe I do know what comes next... that, and plotting the new idea that's been mashing around in my mind that I didn't have time to flesh out much before.

Oh, and soon I'll need to start promoting my new books that'll be out starting in May: Bad to the Bone, a Barkery & Biscuits Mystery, and, in June, Protector Wolf, an Alpha Force paranormal romance.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

English Major's Lament

So now I have flu.  Went to Urgent Care where a doctor stuck a very, very long and thin Q-tip up my nose, took the result away and came back with the diagnosis – did you know they can do that?  Modern medicine, amazing.  But so much for the flu shot I got a while back.  Pretty much bedridden for two days, I got up yesterday and by noon actually got dressed, though by nine I was back in bed.  Later today I’m going to take a shower, the long, hot kind where after the final rinse you stand for a while with the water beating down on the nape of your neck.

As long as we’re talking recipes using cream cheese, here’s one I really like.  Take a room-temperature pack of cream cheese and add a tablespoon of mayonnaise to further soften it.  Add at least a tablespoon of curry powder (YMMV, I like a lot of curry in my curry dishes), mix thoroughly, and spread it directly on a dinner plate.  Scatter a drained can of broken shrimp (not baby shrimp nor whole shrimp) over the cream cheese mixture, and top that off with chopped green onions.  Serve with a fancy butter knife next to a bowl of Ritz crackers.  Delicious!

Are you one of those persons people who doesn’t know when it’s there or their or they’re?  Or always guesses whether to use its or it’s?  Weird Al Yankovic offers this annoyed grammatical ditty on those little structural issues you might have been missing.