Saturday, June 21, 2008

Summer Solstice

I have three calendars in my life. Two at home and one at work, and each one announces the beginning of summer differently.

The one hanging over my desk with an adorable kitten meowing at me announces summer on June 21, 2008 with the words: Summer Begins.

My calendar of Light Houses hanging in my bedroom says on June 20th: First Day of Summer.

The one at work from the World Wildlife Fund claims June 20th to be the first day of summer with a simple: Summer.

In New England the start of summer is celebrated with balmy breezes, cookouts, trips to the beach and bug spray.
In Florida summer is tolerated with adjustments to the air conditioner to kick it into overdrive, and a concerned eye on the tropics.

I completely get the whole snowbird concept -- live in the north in the summer, the south in the winter. :)

For me, it's always been a time of enjoying the longer days and warm nights. Whether I'm on the west coast of Florida watching the pelicans and dolphins, or strolling the sandy beaches of Cape Cod, I love the summer solstice.


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Smell the Roses

Don't forget to Stop and Smell the Roses! Okay, that is certainly the classic cliche, but no less true.

A few days ago I overslept by an hour -- something I rarely ever do. I jumped out of bed, squeaked something rather unladylike, and raced into the shower. Fortunately for me -- in more ways than one -- I live very close to my day job. So, I still had time to shower, dress, and take a moment to enjoy a cup of coffee.

I stood in the kitchen, sipping my coffee, and staring out the window. Because I was off-schedule and in the kitchen at a later time in the morning, I saw a breathtaking sight.

The sun was shimmering through the big tree in the backyard, lighting upon a massive spider web. (If I had a digital camera, I would insert photo here) :) It was sparkling in the sun, radiating white, silver and a touch of other earthy colors. I couldn't see the owner of the web, but did spot a few unlucky bugs trapped in it's clutches.

I took a deep breath and relaxed, content I was able to enjoy the quiet moment. A perfect time to slow down and put everything into perspective.

Embrace life.

Happy Father's Day!!

Monday, June 9, 2008

What's in a Name?


As a fiction writer, I strive to create compelling, dynamic characters to live and breathe in my stories. It is imperative that my characters are as real as possible to me and to the reader. Of course, this is one of the most difficult challenges we must face as fiction writers -- make the story believable and make the reader want to turn the page.

One aspect of character development -- and there are many -- is choosing a name that fits the character. Finding a name that depicts the time-period, setting, character background, and personality is not always easy, but for me, it's always fun.

I have three different books of first names that I use to help find that perfect fit. I also use the phone book, television and movie credits, and other books, both fiction and non-fiction to help find that unique name for a character.

Here are a few notable fictional characters:

Scarlet O'Hara
Jo March
Christopher Robin
Ebenezer Scrooge
Sonny Corleone
George Bailey
Stephanie Plum
Jessica Rabbit
Oliver Twist

Recognize any of them? :)
They may not have the most unusual name (George Bailey), or maybe they do (Ebenezer Scrooge), but their names fit their characters for their story.

Whether choosing the name for the hero of your book, or the villian, use your imagination (and any other means you can find) to bring your characters and your story to life!