musings, thoughts, and writings of Barbara W. Klaser

October 31, 2004

Verse of the Vampyre by Diana Killian

How much trouble can an American schoolteacher get into while on sabbatical in the Lake District of England? When the schoolteacher in question is Grace Hollister, and when ex-jewel thief Peter Fox is involved, the result may be disaster.

Verse of the Vampyre opens with Grace Hollister hiding in a graveyard, late at night, waiting for—well, spying on—Peter Fox, who’s to meet with a mysterious woman. (more…)

— Barbara @ rudimentary 1:27 pm PST, 10/31/04

October 26, 2004

Why We Write

It’s a writing day for me. The coffee is brewing, and my mind is busy working out scenes, turning over words, trying out new ideas and word combinations. I think about why I write. Why is it I feel so driven to share my words?

Words are a human phenomenon. They’ve exploded with our population into every part of this planet, even into space. Each of us has so many words they spill over into others’ lives, more today than ever. We may not write letters the way people used to, but we remain an utterly wordy species. Email, blogs, cell phones, text messaging, personal websites, 40,000 people a year participating in National Novel Writing Month. Books, films, songs, news, television, junk mail—all of these incorporate the written or spoken word.

This reminds me of the singing of birds. One bird sings a sweet song, but a hundred birds singing in one tree sound like pure insanity. It can be overwhelming. We live in an age of information overload, and much of it comes to us in the form of words. Why are we so driven to keep adding more? (more…)

— Barbara @ rudimentary 11:05 am PST, 10/26/04

September 26, 2004

What I’m Reading

I just picked up a book I’ve had on my shelf for a long time but neglected to read. The Writer’s Journey, Mythic Structure for Storytellers & Screenwriters, by Christopher Vogler, provides a guide for writers to universal mythic structure, drawing on Joseph Campbell’s The Hero With A Thousand Faces. Vogler examines how this pattern of the hero’s journey has been used in motion pictures, including his work on Disney productions.

My copy is the first edition, dated 1992. It’s been updated since, with a 2nd edition from Michael Wiese Productions in October 1998, ISBN: 0941188701. You can find more information at Vogler’s website, The Writer’s Journey.

— Barbara @ rudimentary 2:18 pm PST, 09/26/04

September 20, 2004

How Is Your Commitment?

Checking in, with apologies for not posting more this past week. After my motherboard went out on my laptop, and I lost a few days of work I hadn’t yet backed up, I acquired a refurbished laptop and spent some time setting it up. The refurbished one works better than the old one did when it was brand new, which is a nice surprise.

I don’t use my laptop to post here, but keep it disconnected from the Internet, to encourage focus on my fiction writing. So I haven’t been online much while getting the new computer set up and catching up on some of the lost work. (more…)

— Barbara @ rudimentary 1:10 pm PST, 09/20/04

September 14, 2004

Dances With Cats

I’ve always had a cat. I’ve loved these creatures since early childhood. I love their mystique, their grace and delicate beauty, as well as their tenacious strength. I love the way a cat will get this “I meant to do that” look when he’s occasionally caught in an awkward stumble, or slides across a slick kitchen floor right into the refrigerator. I love purrs, meows, eyes that see in the dark, soft fur, and a tail like a flag in the air to tell you when she’s happy.

I don’t want 20 cats. I only want one, perhaps two, special cat friends living with me at any given time. They’re subtle creatures with complex personalities, who deserve individual attention. Right now I have one, named Emily. She’s a fluffy gray who showed up to steal puppy food from our patio, days after we brought our dog home.

EmilyEmily 9-5-2004

My husband looked outside one day and saw a grayish cat stretched out on the patio, looking like a queen, licking her chops. She’d eaten the puppy food he’d left outside. As soon as he opened the sliding door she slunk away. I was out of town at the time, and he decided to start keeping the puppy food inside. (more…)

— Barbara @ rudimentary 1:14 pm PST, 09/14/04

September 7, 2004

Unanswered Questions

Yesterday afternoon my husband was out front talking to the neighbor, when a small brown pickup truck turned abruptly into the neighbor’s driveway, two men jumped out, ran between our houses, and continued down the hill in back. (more…)

— Barbara @ rudimentary 9:59 am PST, 09/07/04

July 19, 2004

Who Is This Shrinking Violet Person Anyway?

I live in Southern California, with my husband, in a house that is way too small for us, our pets and our hobbies. One problem with the size of this house is it doesn’t hold enough books. For us, books are a priority. All kinds. First edition hardbacks, mass market paperbacks, novels, anthologies, self-help, and professional texts. There are never quite enough shelves to hold them, so they spill over into places they don’t belong. I keep a pair of binoculars (more…)

— Barbara @ rudimentary 3:12 pm PST, 07/19/04

June 30, 2004

Shadows Fall

UPDATE 2/2012: Shadows Fall is no longer in print.

“The past has driven me back here,” Beth Gray says when she returns to Wilder with her little girl, fifteen years after being convicted of murder. Sheriff Les Kendall advises her to leave, but he doesn’t know Beth can’t escape her nightmares. (more…)

— Barbara @ rudimentary 12:00 pm PST, 06/30/04

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