Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Festival of Colors

I went to the Festival of Colors at the Lotus Temple here in Spanish Fork this week. It's a festival where Krishnas celebrate the coming of the spring season. A crowd joins in a mantra and after a countdown throws colored powder into the air. 80,000 people showed up this year. It was a nightmare for traffic. You know that kid Pig Pen from Charley Brown who is surrounded by a cloud of dust wherever he goes? It was like 5 acres of that.

I will never go again.

Here's what else I learned: 

  1. If you plan on being there for a couple hours, triple that. 45 minutes will be spent at the event and the rest will be for travel time. And that's if you live 15 minutes away on a normal day.
  2. The vegetarian cuisine was questionably edible after left exposed to a fog of colored powder. (Though, I hear that it is REALLY delicious, and I plan on trying it on a non-festival day.)
  3. Teenagers and college-aged kids treat this festival like Woodstock. 
  4. Most check common courtesy at the gate and douse you with powder as you trudge toward the temple. (That part was fun tho. My single friend Trevor came with us, and it was interesting to see how flicking powder at someone became a flirtation device. Flick some powder at a cute girl; if she reciprocates, she's into you.)
  5. Once the novelty wears off, your kids will be bored, tired, hungry, and grouchy, and your allergies will demand that you get the hell out of there.(IF I ever go again, I'll not bring my kids at all.)
  6. If you pay for a shuttle, you'll likely have to walk miles back to your car with your 40 pound four-year-old on your back. Backwards...in three feet of snow. (only the last two details were bogus.)
  7. Wendy's will set up a communal shower with a hose and generic handsoap out on the lawn, and the sight of that hose after walking for an hour will make you giddy with anticipation.
  8. Spanish Fork is not equipped for the volumes of people who came.
  9. When you criticize the traffic around the event, people automatically think you are criticizing the religion, which is so not true. I hate bad traffic of all kinds, whether it be from football games, General Conference, car accidents, whatever. Traffic sucks. No one likes driving stop-and-go for hours. The message behind the festival was really cool. Celebrating spring is something I've done inwardly for years. It's the season of breaking out the sandals, shopping at Home Depot for garden supplies, and letting the kids ride bikes until it gets dark. I love this time of year. I love the idea of celebrating it with a Festival of Colors. I'd like to see it spread out over a week though, with one day designated for families. That'd cut down on the traffic and allow the people in attendance a chance to really enjoy themselves without the frustrations of a HUGE crowd.
  10. You'll get some good pictures and a pile of ruined clothing.


The 40 pound 4yo.


Thing is, I'm glad I did it once. You should do it at least once too. But don't bring your little kids, and don't ask me to babysit them, because I'll know I could be watching them for longer than it takes to watch the director's cut of Titanic. Twice. 

You can read this article to see what other people thought of it (click me).

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Am I crazy?

So I just found out about a $1,000 writing scholarship in conjunction with WIFYR, and it's a YA lit. competish.

And I'm going for it.

I don't have anything more than a meaty skeleton of two teen characters.
Zero plot.
A deadline in ONE MONTH.
And an anvil on my chest.

What the what was I thinking?


Here's what I was thinking:

A) My school will never opt to pay for a week long conference. (They did.)
B) My author friends will never have time to write me letters of rec. (They do.)
C) My schedule will never allow it. (It did.)
D) I will not meet the requirements. (I do.)

And when my excuses were axed down, I shrugged. You know me. I never pass up an opportunity. 

I only need 20 pages after all.
heh. Not as easy as it sounds.
I have to plan out the whole plot before I can commit to writing. So yeah. I have to come up with the entire plot a story and write 20 quality pages in 30 days. And keep teaching, writing for the paper, babysitting, and running the household. Yeesh.

Someone tell me I can do this.
And that I can win the hell outta that competition.

I'm crazy, aren't I? 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

You know you're a Neil Gaiman fan if...

photo credit: theongoinghope.blogspot.com
1. You wish you had a rabbit named Galveston even though you're allergic to bunnies.

2. You secretly wonder if those emo kids loitering by the 7-11 are one of the seven Endless.

3. Every time you put on weight and your thighs rub against each other, you think of Easter.

4. You wanna visit London for the Underground sites. And to see champion lurkers.

5. You imagine childhood in a graveyard would be pretty cool, but you pee a little every time you see your neighbor Jack trudging up the street. 

6. You have at least one blog post called Neil Gaimania.

7. You keep an eye out for Charles Manson's progeny.

8. You know the truth about falling stars.

9. You consider naming your new dog, "dog" just in case.

10. You know how to pronounce Anansi.

Guess what I found?

A puppy.

Not really.
But I did find some cool blogs, so comparatively speaking, they weigh the same on a "coolness" scale.


I found a blog sponsored by a writer with an MFA in Minnesota. It's called The Practice Room. You should check it out. She schedules writing times and everyone has to write for an hour then meet in the chat to discuss what they wrote. You don't display what you wrote, just talk about it, challenges, break-throughs, etc.


Also, I'm going to do the Blog from A to Z challenge. It starts in April and it's supposed to help bring in readers to your blogs and challenge you to write everyday for 26 days straight. My friend did it and got 600 followers by the end of the month. That's pretty sweet. 

Join me. =)

Rena

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Bad Character Name: Although, Bellbottoms McGee would be worse, I suppose. Or G-tard.

I've been watching Damages on Netflix, and it's pretty good. Season one was by far the best. The flashes of the elevator doors, the haunting chimes, and Ellen bruised and trembling in a bloodied trench. It's pure unadulterated hook, writers. I'm drooling a little just thinking about it.

Anyway, the point.

In the third season, they writers just introduced a suspicious character with the name of Lester Wiggins. After hearing the name a few times in hushed tones by detectives and lawyers, I couldn't help but laugh. I mean try it. Seriously.

Pretend you're in CSI: Miami, dead-body at your feet, you've removed your sunglasses in a sort of reverse punctuation, and they you say...

"It's the hand-work of the nation's most terrifying assassin. Lester Wiggins."

or

"Get Wiggins down to booking."

or

"Wiggins framed me!"

or

"Bail denied for Lester Wiggins. He's a flight risk."

I mean could there be a less sinister name?

Lester Wiggins gives me a visual of that short dude with the lisp on The Princess Bride. You know, the one who says, "You never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line. Ah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha"?  Oh what's his name?

Anyway, it's hardly threatening. Unless you're worried about sipping poisoned wine from a goblet or being chased into a forest full of R.O.U.S.'s . 

That's all.

Rant over.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Riveting Reads: Partials and Smashed

I'm back, baby. 

Seriously, I've been a writing fiend this weekend. I wrote 2 articles, 4,300 words in the weight loss memoir, and three blog posts (which have been post dated). I even went through REDBOOK and planned out the whole month's worth of posts. woot woot.




I also started 2 new books:


and 


Both are fantastic. Partials has me on the edge of my seat. It's kinda like One Second After meets The Stand. I'm loving it. Smashed, I got because my author friend, Abel Keogh, who is a fantastic memoirist, recommended it as I'm putting together my own memoir. I've found it supremely helpful.

Today I graded 2 assignments from 3 different classes and I worked in my garden.

It feels like spring.

=)

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