Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Place to Create

Last weekend my husband and I had the pleasure of visiting the plantation called Houmas House, here in Louisiana. I have to say we were impressed. And not many things in Louisiana impress us that much. Did you know that most of the movie “Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte” with Betty Davis was filmed there? Anyway, the grounds were just gorgeous so I thought I’d share a few photo’s with you.

There were fountains and waterfalls galore on this plantation. Here is one waterfall that was my favorite.



I could sit for hours in front of this setting. I asked my husband if he would just build me this in the backyard of our retirement house. When he so politely said, “NO!!” I said, “But think of all the stories I could create staring at this setting?” He didn’t buy it. So we moved on to this next picture.

This was actually so much cooler than the picture turned out. Looking through this tunnel of vines and beautiful growth, it was very dark and mysterious. I was envisioning all the magical things that could happen while passing through this little tunnel way.

Here is another gorgeous setting I could have spent hours sitting and watching. It looks like it was made for my backyard!

If I didn’t hate to clean as much as I do and of course if I won the big mega-million jackpot, I’d definitely retire in this house.

Doesn’t it look like it was just made for me!! However, I have to admit, I was not born to live in the old days of no inside toilets or master closets!! I would have died by the time I was 16 of all the complaining I would have done. Especially after wearing all the undergarments the women had to wear back then. And no air conditioning! Yep, I would have been dead at a very young age.

And did you know that back in those days, if a man was caught looking at a woman’s ankles, he would have been jailed or killed in a duel? The men used to have to go up the stairs BEFORE the women so that they wouldn’t be able to see the women’s ankles or look up those dresses. Boy have times changed!

Here are a couple more gorgeous, tranquil fountains on the grounds.



And of course that’s my hubby. Horrible picture of him, he looks bull legged, but hey… I’m a writer… not a photographer!

How would you like to have a couple of these 300+ hundred yr. old trees on your front yard?





Well since none of the writers I know can afford a beautiful plantation setting like this, I guess God put them on this earth to inspire us writers and give us lots of things to dream about and incorporate into our make believe stories! So I think I’ll end for now and go create.

Happy writing, dreaming, creating, and reading everyone!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

BOOKS THAT SHOULD BE MOVIES

How great is it that the "Hunger Games" series is being made into a movie! While I was reading that book, I just knew this story had to be seen on the big screen. Although it’s really a disturbing concept, it was one that was very unique and well thought out. Why couldn’t I have thought of it? I am pleased to see that most of the actors in that movie are basically unknowns. I hope they are ready for what starring in that movie is going to do for their lives from here on out!

With all the wonderful books that authors create, why does the movie industry keep insisting on remaking some movies over and over and over. And now they are even reshowing some of the same movies on the big screen again. For instance, Titanic is once again on the big screen. Why not use their money to make something new? I admit, I loved the Titanic, however I will probably NEVER watch it again as I thought the parts where the boat sinks and the people are flying off the boat to their deaths way too disturbing. I really don’t want to watch real life death scenes happen over and over again.

I would love to see some more of V.C. Andrews series made into a movie. "Flowers in the Attic" was made into a movie many years ago but I have never seen it reran again. I wonder who makes the choices on what movies to show over and over on TV? I watch a lot of the Lifetime channel on the weekends but get so sick of the same movies on all the time. There has got to be millions of movies on the shelves, so why not pick something that hasn’t already been shown 5,000 times!! 

And when was the last time you saw a good love story on the big screen that wasn’t a romantic comedy? I can’t even remember. I think the last good one I saw was “The Notebook” and that was several years ago. Why not make some of Johanna Lindsey’s romantic books into movies? She was once my favorite author because of her knack for creating such great romantic characters. Her books used to be some that I just couldn’t put down. I fell in love with many of her men characters. And whoever created some of her book covers… ooh la laaa! When I was younger, I used to stare at some of those men on her covers for hours.

Another book I would love to see on the big screen is Dave Pelzer’s book series starting with “A Child Called It.” His is a true story of the abuse he suffered from his mother as a child and his journey from one foster family to the next. I don’t think that child ever received a day of love from his parents or grandparents. I believe his story is a true testament that people can survive in the worst of circumstances if they put their minds to it and forgive. I truly don’t know where he got the strength to carry on and end up living a normal, productive life and I think Hollywood should show his story to the world. His books are so sad and upsetting, but they are real life and after I read the very last one, I did feel strength. If he can pick himself up and become an author and speaker on top of living a normal family life, than anyone can.

Those are just a few of the books I’d love to see made into movies. What about you? Do you have any favorites that you think deserve to be shown to the world?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

FORCED WRITING

I’m a children’s book writer, I know that now. It took a long time to convince myself of that but in my heart, I do know that that is God’s plan for me. I never had children of my own, but have always loved them and consider myself really good with them. My nieces convinced me of that when they were little.

Even though I consider myself a writer now, I still have so many days where it’s just not in me to actually sit down and write. I’m finding that I have to be in the right frame of mind and mood. I’ve read many articles where other authors don’t believe in “writer’s block” but I sure do. I’ve had it over and over. I’ve tried forcing myself to write but it very rarely ends up working. And if I am able to actually force myself, what I write doesn’t turn out so good. So sometimes I find that it’s better for me to just walk away until another day. Maybe spend the day doing research, commenting on blogs, or other writing related projects.

Then there are those days where I’m in the mood and have a story dying to come out… I suddenly turn into a dragon on fire and nothing is more enjoyable to me than to create, edit, and finish a new story! And when I actually throw that story in the mail to a publisher, then woo hoo, I am on the moon!

Does that make me a bad writer because my writing moods are so wishy washy? What is your opinion of what makes a good writer? And for those of you who don’t believe in writer’s block and just continue to write on those days, how does your writing actually turn out… good, bad, or normal?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Giveaway and Never Give Up!

Hello everyone! First I'd like to tell everyone that I am doing a blog tour this month on sporatic days so I can't give you definite dates at this time. But don't worry, I'll let you know when they come up. The first stop on my tour is at Sweeps4Bloggers.com where she has done a review of my book The Pea in Peanut Butter and sponsoring a giveaway. Check it out for your chance to win a copy of my book. http://sweeps4bloggers.com/2012/03/giveaway-the-pea-in-peanut-butter-by-allyn-stotz-ends-31812/

********************************************************************************
Now to move on.

As I sat contemplating on what to write for today's blog, I realized I was feeling a bit depressed about the lack of what's been going on in my writing career so far this year. Then I went to the mailbox. And I bet most of you writer's can guess what was in there! Yep... another rejection. So I thought today I would pass on an article I came across on Dawn Kinzers site, Seriously Write. This article made me feel so much better and reassured me that I am definitely not in this alone. It helps to hear that other writers struggle, just like me, but they never gave up and ultimately their indeavors paid off.

So I am sharing that article with you, written by Renee Andrews where she interviewed several other authors that share their struggling efforts. I hope you enjoy this article and maybe some of you that are going through your own struggles, will feel a bit better after reading it. Happy reading! Here's the link.

http://seriouslywrite.blogspot.com/2012/03/perseverance-never-give-up-never.html

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Tag... You're It!!!

What a fun game! I’ve been tagged by two exceptional writers which means they ask me questions, I answer and then I have to come up with questions to ask more writers. Thank you to Ellen at http://ellenwrin.blogspot.com and Courtney at http://www.ctnyrene.blogspot.com. for including me in on this enjoyable game!
I have also been awarded the Kreativ Blogger Award from Rick Starkey at http://rjstarkey.blogspot.com. This award consists of me telling my readers 10 things they didn’t know about me. Thank you, Rick. I am honored.
However, I am going to cheat and combine all of these into one. I will answer five of Ellen’s questions, six of Courtney’s and then my readers will know 11 things about me they didn’t already know. Here are the answers to those questions.
Ellen’s questions to me:
1.     If you could live in a fictional world, where would that be?
I would live in whatever world I could find where I could fly and everyone loved each other and didn’t judge. (if anyone knows where I can find this world, please let me know!)
2.     Do you read in noisy or quiet places?
I definitely have to read in a quiet place. Any kind of noise going on distracts me too much.
3.     Do reviews influence your choice of reads?
Yes they do, sometimes. If I’m reading a book by an author I don’t know, then a review will definitely persuade me. However, if it’s by an author I know, then probably not.
4.     Fiction or Nonfiction?
Fiction, most times. However, I do love a good true crime story or one about a person who went through extraordinary times. I enjoy some biographies as well.
5.     Audio books or Paperbacks?
I’ve not read an audio book as of yet so I’d definitely have to say a paperbook.

Courtneys questions to me:

6.   What is your favorite animal?
      Definitely dogs. There is no better animal to me than a cute, sweet puppy dog.

7.   Do you have one place on earth that you dream of visiting?
      Hawaii would be awesome!

8.   What is your favorite paranormal power and why?
Definitely flying. Why? Because I dream of it all the time and just think nothing would be more fantastic than the ability to fly and see whatever there was to see. I’ve had such vivid flying dreams that I’ve often woken up and really thought maybe I could! But darnit… it was just a dream.

9.   Coffee?
      Dah!! Who doesn’t need coffee to wake up? I definitely do.

10. Who is your favorite storybook character?
      Well as silly and nerdy as this sounds, probably Cinderella or Barbie!! I have all the Barbie video’s (shhh…I don’t have kids so don’t tell anyone!). And Cinderella, I just love how pretty she looks and the magic of that story.

11.  Do you believe in magic? Why or why not?
      My adult brain does not believe in magic, but in miracles. My child brain definitely believes in all things magic and lives for it!

That was fun. Now here are the rules for this tag game.
The Tag rules
1. You must post the rules!
2. Answer the questions and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged.
3. Tag five people and link to them.
4. Let them know you’ve tagged them
I am going to ask the same combination of Ellen and Courtney’s questions to the five people below and I’d also like to pass on the Kreativ Blog Award to you as well! Congratulations. The rules to that are to thank the giver and then tell your readers 10 things about yourself that they might not know and pass on to five other blogs.
Ruth Schiffmann at http://outonalimbshywritergoessocial.blogspot.com/ (I see you’ve already received the Kreativ Blog Award but I’d like to tag you anyway!)

So to reiterate, here are my 11 questions again:
1.   If you could live in a fictional world, where would that be?
2.   Do you read in noisy or quiet places?
3.   Do reviews influence your choice of reads?
4.   Fiction or Nonfiction?
5.   Audio books or Paperbacks?
6.   What is your favorite animal?
7.   Do you have one place on earth that you dream of visiting?
8.   What is your favorite paranormal power and why?
9.   Coffee?
10. Who is your favorite storybook character?
11. Do you believe in magic? Why or why not?

Have fun!