Monday, September 30, 2013

Hashtag- Writing Problems

Here we are, the last day of September...

and I still have no idea what I'm writing for NaNoWriMo this year.

If you don't know what NaNoWriMo is, check out their website and you can search my NaNoWriMo tag to read my blog posts about previous years.

It's not that I don't have any ideas at all. There are a few floating around in my mind. However, I can't decide which one to run with and none are fully formed. Which drives me crazy.

Idea #1: Continue Working on my Snow White series. My goal for September was to finish my second draft of White as Snow, so then in October/November I could focus on NaNoWriMo and maybe get a head start on the next book, Red as Blood. For November I could work on Red as Blood. However, technically that's not what NaNoWriMo is about. Plenty of people work on previous novels they've been writing during the month of November. However, the point is to start a novel from scratch. Yet, it could be a great excuse to give me some much needed time in the little world I've created.

Idea #2: A few months ago I came up with an idea for a new story. It would include a magical theatre, a newsboy, and a dancer in the 1890s. However, part of me really likes it as an idea for a musical/play script, not a novel. It could work both ways though.

Idea #3: Think Harry Potter after they graduate... but not. I can picture a story about these characters who have some sort of magical powers and all had to go to school together, so they have this great connection because of their abilities and the school they went to. But the story would start a few years after they have left school and all gone their separate ways. They all live in different parts of the country/world and have to figure out life on their own in the "real world." Basically, everyone's life in their 20s with a magical twist.

Idea #4:  I've been addicted to Aaron Tevit's live recording of his solo concert he did at Studio 54 this past winter/spring. Basically, he did a concert based on the iconic songs of his life that have formed who he is and his career. This could be a really cool idea for a story. Some famous singer/actress does a concert and has the same idea. The story would all be flashbacks to what each song represents. Each chapter/part is a different song.

Idea #5: Maybe somehow combining ideas 4 and 5.

This is when I get all indecisive. Ideas 2-5 are all half-baked. I have concepts but no full on plots, scenes, characters, or anything really. The idea of diving into a new world and new characters is really exciting. I love character development and putting them in crazy situations. It's also scary though and so much work. It almost makes me feel like I'm cheating on my other stories that aren't finished.

Then if I do go that route - which story idea do I go with?

I also feel an obligation to focus on my Snow White story because it's just dragging on SO MUCH and I want to work on it and finish it. Yet, I feel as though that's cheating at NaNoWriMo.

There also is the option of not doing NaNoWrimo... but that's not really an option. So let's pretend I never mentioned it.

While NaNoWriMo is still two months away, I really love using the whole month of October to plan. I have my little planning notebook ready to go. Having those four weeks to do research, create characters and worlds, gather ideas, names, and quotes, get rough outlines going, get to know people in the forums... it's all part of my process and I don't want to miss out on it.

I'm also behind on writing the church's Christmas pageant. I know Christmas seems really far off... but I usually have this done by August/September. My goal is to escape to Starbucks today where they keep it super cold, listen to Christmas music, and write write write.

Tomorrow my goal will be to work on NaNoWriMo. Maybe do some brainstorming of what I want to do and make a choice so I can get going.

Especially since this week I'll be starting full-out rehearsals for two shows. One show rehearses Wednesday and Thursday nights (Nuts, Bolts, and Carnations which I'm the assistant director) and Friday night and Saturday morning/afternoon for the other show (Night of the Living Dead - I get to become a zombie!) I feel like these are going to take up a lot of my thoughts and time as it is - so I need to make some writing choices ASAP.

Or am I just over-thinking all of this?

And let's start a writers support group.

Mingle 240

Friday, September 27, 2013

Learn All About ME!

So.... I wasn't feeling today's Blogtember prompt but didn't have anything to write about.

Then, another blogger, Karly, posted one of those "11 Facts About Me" things and told everyone to do the same.

It's the perfect solution for those of us who don't feel like thinking this Friday! I'm even going to steal the questions cause that's how I roll.

11 Random Facts About Me:

1) I'm doing a Sunday School lesson  based on Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone this week. If that doesn't scream awesome, I don't know what does.

2) However, I'm still in need of a chapel service for the local high school on Monday. I found a lesson based on "What Does the Fox Say" which seemed to be great - but the lesson itself was lame.

3) I've become addicted to SnapChat lately. You all should add me. I'm eehornburg. Just don't go all stalker/creepy on me - okay?

4) I've been trying to watch the Grey's Anatomy premiere all morning, but my iPad keeps freezing up on me. It's annoying.

5) In case you all were wondering about my health, my neck is much better. I can hold my head up for long periods of time without wanting to cry now! However, my cough is still miserable. I might have to call my doctor again.

6) I have some major things coming up at work the next few weeks and I'm terrified. So, please send prayers and good thoughts my way.

7) I always do these "facts about me" posts and then realize half way through how awful I am at thinking of facts about myself you all don't already know.

8) Now that my neck is feeling better, I feel like it's a good time to take up yoga again.

9) I haven't watched Supernatural in weeks because I'm ready to watch the finale of season 4, and knowing from the past, I'll probably want to jump right into season 5. So I need to be sure that I have a good block of time ready for me to sit and focus.

10) So instead I've been watching Gilmore Girls. Since I've already seen the show I can have it on in the background as I work on other things in my apartment.

11) Speaking of my apartment.... I really need to do dishes today.

The Questions Karly's Friend Asked Her That I'm Stealing and Answering Myself:

1) What's the one thing you're currently looking forward to?
Going home and catching up on last night's Glee premiere. I had play rehearsal and missed it! NO ONE TELL ME ANYTHING. I'm also hiding from Tumblr until I watch it.

2) What is your favorite post on your blog?
Well you know... there's just so many brilliant things I've written. Just check out the "Get Caught Up" page to see the best ones.

3) Who is your best friend and why?
Bandit of course! Cause in case you haven't heard, I have the best dog ever.

4) Are you a spender or a saver?
Spender who wishes she was a saver.

5) What's your favorite joke?
Usually any joke that references my being short I find pretty hilarious.

6) What's one hobby you'd like to learn but haven't?
I tried to learn to play guitar awhile back but quit. I wish I could just magically know how.

7) What's your favorite part of the day?
Coffee time.

8) What's your favorite dish to order at a restaurant?
This question really needs to be more specific. What kind of restaurant? Mexican? (Quesedilla) Itallian? (Anything that doesn't have red sauce) Sandwich shop?(The #2 with cheese at Jimmy Johns)  Ice cream parlor? (Cookie dough) Chinese? (Cashew chicken) Fast food? (Anything under $5.)  Really now.

9) You have a time machine and you can go back in time and change 1 thing without negative consequences. What would it be?
The Doctor Who fan in me is screaming "YOU'RE NOT ALLOWED TO GO BACK INTO YOUR OWN TIMELINE!" But since it said no negative consequences...

Kept my mini fridge from college and put it in my office. That would have been awesome.

10) Who is your imaginary celebrity bestie?
It's a toss between Josh Groban and Lea Michelle. Josh because he's hilarious and I can see us basically just laughing all of the time. Lea because she's basically fantastic and I love her. Both of them because I feel like when I randomly burst into song they'll just go with it and sing with me and give me voice lessons.


Does Harry Potter count? Cause if he does, forget Josh and Lea. Harry all the way!

11) What's the one movie you could watch over and over again?
Well... I spent a whole summer in high school watching 10 Things I Hate About You, Clueless has been one of my all time favorites since I was 9, and when I first bought the DVD of Pride and Prejudice I watched it about 5 times in one weekend. I'm still not tired of any of these three movies. And then there's always the 8 Harry Potter movies.

OK... now it's your turn!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Coffee Shop

Ever since I was a kid, I've loved the smell of coffee houses. There was a Gloria Jean in the mall and I remember walking by it and smelling the tempting aroma of the ground beans. At the time I had never tried coffee, but I was sure it was delicious because my dad drank it everyday and it smelled so good. They also had the best mugs and cookie jars my sister and I would peek at every time we were there.

Walking into my favorite Starbucks is no different. The smell is familiar and comforting. When I walk in, I soak the scent in and let my mind wander to what I'll be ordering that day.

This is my second visit today. The first was this morning when I got my fix before work. I didn't have time to sit and type - so today's blog prompt was the perfect excuse to let myself indulge again within the same 24 hours.

The baristas know me by name and know what sorts of things I like to drink. I don't have a regular, but some favorites. They all know now what sorts of combinations to recommend to me. (They recently had me try chai in a pumpkin spice latte. FANTASTIC!)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Awesome Female Role Models - The Bakers Wife

As I look back at my childhood, I realize I was a weird kid.

I remember when I was in fourth grade I first listened to the Phantom of the Opera soundtrack and made my best friend listen to it at her house. She was all...

"That one song is cool I guess..."

So, it shouldn't be much of a surprise to you all that I used to spend afternoons with my sister watching an old VHS tape of the musical Into the Woods. 

When I would see Bernadette Peters on TV I would be all "That's the witch!" It is one of my all time favorite musicals ever. Between this show and Disney movies, it most likely explains why I love fairy tales so much. 

Lately, this musical has been popping up in conversations with my director and friend Kasey recently and how we both desperately want to do this show someday. She was in it (as Sleeping Beauty who has one whole line!) in college, but didn't get a larger role because she screwed up the audition. I did the same thing in college - but I didn't get any role at all. Basically we're the same person.

I want to play Red Riding Hood in case any of you want to know. However, the other roles would be amazing as well. Cause... they're just all so great.

Today, I want to introduce you to the Bakers Wife. Who is basically all around amazing.

For those of you unfamiliar with Into the Woods - here's the basic premise.

The first act is a bunch of fairy tales thrown together. Cinderella, Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel. However, for the show the story of The Baker and His Wife is added, and they tie everything together. One day, a witch (Bernadette Peters!) comes to their door revealing that years ago she had placed a curse on their family making them unable to have children. In order to break the curse, they need the cow as white as milk (Jack's cow), the cape as red as blood (Red Riding Hood's cloak), the hair as yellow as corn (Rapunzel's hair), and the slipper as pure as gold (Cinderella's shoe. And no, her shoe was not originally glass go read a book). They have three midnight's to do this task. So, they set off into the woods to find the items and run into all of the other fairy tale characters. 

The second act is what happens after "happily ever after."

The whole musical is on Instant Play on Netflix. If you haven't seen it - go change that right now. It ran against Phantom of the Opera in 1986 for best musical. While it didn't win overall, Johanna Gleason (The Bakers Wife) did win best actress in a musical. Which is pretty amazing. 

You also should watch it because this post will have spoilers. Don't say I didn't warn you. 

At first... the Baker goes off into the woods on his own to accomplish the task. However, the Bakers Wife, being the awesome person she is, decides to help out. 

This is one of the first times you see how amazing she is. She wants to partner with her husband, not just let him run off and doing everything for her. She realizes that marriage is a team effort and challenges her husband to see it the same way. She knows he just wants to protect her and take care of her, but eventually they learn, that "It Takes Two."  

The Bakers Wife is also clearly the brains of the whole operation. She is the one most successful in obtaining the four items and has a way with convincing the other characters to give them to her. 

She also takes care of everyone along the way. She and Cinderella become good friends and gives her a chance to process and "ooooo" and "aaahhhh" over the ball and Prince Charming. 

She has a fantastic sense of humor. It's dry and witty, and she delivers the best one-liners.

She isn't afraid to be girly and to dream big dreams. She loves to hear about the ball from Cinderella and plays with her dress. She can get lost in a good story - almost too lost. 

The Baker's Wife becomes mother to the younger characters in the second act. When Red Riding Hood and Jack loose everything, it's the Baker's Wife who is there for them. When tragedy strikes the kingdom, she keeps it together and helps lead the way. At least for the time being...

She is the glue who holds everyone together. As the show goes on, everyone learns to lean on her guidance and confidence. She helps everyone get through "the woods" and accomplish what they need and want. She's one of the only characters who has a decent head on her shoulders. 

The Baker's Wife will do anything for her family and to achieve their dreams of having a child. Sometimes she does things in a bit... unorthodox manner (like pretending to be a prince and pull a girls hair out of her head)... but it's all for the love of her husband and unborn child.

The Baker's Wife learns that you have to go through trials to grow. You need to experience new things, challenges, and hard times to get what you want and grow closer to the people you love.

However... the Baker's Wife is not short of faults. She always dreams of more. She loves her husband, but dreams of what could be. Which gets her in trouble with Cinderella's prince, and in a way leads to her demise. (I told you there would be spoilers... if you haven't seen the musical and just read that, well... I warned you.)

Cheating on your husband for a one night stand with a prince is not a good life choice.

However, she does learn from it. In the end, she appreciates everything she has even more. If she didn't die a minute later - I'm confident she never would have done it again and lived a long happy life with her husband. (Again... I told you there were spoilers.)

Then, even when she's gone, the other characters can still draw upon her strength to defeat the giant who has invaded their kingdom. They follow her example and become their own little unique family. Even the Baker learns how to take care of his child on his own by trying to think of what she would do. 

The Baker's Wife is far from perfect - but I think she's still an awesome role model.

Awesome quotes:
- "I've never lied to royalty before."
- "We can't do this! You have a princess and I have... a baker."
- "You may know what you need, but to get what you want, better see that you keep what you have."
- "I need that shoe to have a child!"
- "Oh these are no ordinary beans. These beans carry magic."
- "This is ridiculous. What am I doing here? I'm in the wrong story!"
- "Oh if life were made of moments, then you'd never know you had one."
- (To Cinderella) "Is that all? Did you dance? Is he charming? You know they say that he's charming."
- "Let the moment go, don't forget it for a moment though. Just remembering you've had an 'and' when you're back to 'or' make the 'or' mean more than it did before. Now I understand and it's time to leave the woods."
- "If the end is right it justifies the beans."
- "Oh my husband is in the woods somewhere. He's undoing a spell."
- (Singing with the Baker) "We've changed, we're strangers, I'm meeting you in the woods. Who minds, what dangers? I know we'll get past the woods. And once we're past, let's hope the changes last. Beyond woods, beyond witches, and slippers, and hoods. Just the two of us - beyond lies, safe at home with our beautiful prize. Just the few of us. It takes trust. It takes just a bit more and we're done. We want four, we had none, we've got three! We need one. It takes two."

Have you seen Into the Woods? Do you love the Baker's Wife as well? Who is your favorite character? I can't decide! They're all awesome!

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Daily Routine

After our final performance, I sat in front of the large mirror next to the actor who played Joseph as we scrubbed away at our faces, attempting to remove the heavy lines of Egyptian makeup around our eyes.

"You know, I get now why people want to do this for a living," he said to me. "Everyday you come in, do your show, and then go home."

I nodded in agreement. It's one of those things that's hard to explain to those who haven't experienced theatre the same way. There's something beautiful and awesome about the whole routine. Coming in with caffeine in hand, hanging out back stage, putting on make up and costumes, then for a few hours you're someone else and bringing the audience along with you for the journey. In many ways it's the same thing day in and day out. But in so many other ways, it's different every time. You never know what will happen that day.

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Whisper

"You've heard the whisper," she told me and she leaned against the bathroom sink.

Only an hour or so earlier we had finished play rehearsal and had hung out in the bar downstairs for a little while. It was time to go home, but we had stopped in the bathroom before leaving. Her voice echoed in the room and she looked at me confidently.

"You know, God gives us a lamp for our path. The lamp will only show our next step, not the whole journey. If you've heard the whisper, then you need to listen and go."

It wasn't anything I hadn't heard before - I had been surrounded by church talk my entire life. I was familiar with conversations about God not showing us the whole picture of his plans and learning to trust in his voice guiding us. Although, it struck me in that moment how often I needed to be reminded, in spite of hearing it over and over again in life.

"He'll lead you and guide you. If he's given you the whisper, then he'll provide."

So... maybe I'm not so crazy after all.

Blogtember Prompt: React to this word - "comfort."

Thursday, September 19, 2013


Prince Aldric
To say I was dreading the dinner party was the understatement of the century.

How had it come to this? Everything was under control until ... well... it wasn't.

I stood in the mirror and puffed my ascot to give myself more of a regal look. Mother and Father may be putting me into exile, but I would at least leave with dignity. I had told my man servant to not pack my best suit yet so I could wear it to the dreaded farewell dinner tonight. Although, come to think of it, all of my trunks were mysteriously gone from my chambers.

Ah well. Perhaps they had been put in the carriage early. Ah well. I had stored away the belongings I truly wanted with me under the bed. The next morning I was to leave for the kingdom of Norfolk, but I had no intentions of going. Chantal had other arrangements for me and I was going to leave as soon as everyone had gone to bed.