Unusual Thanks

Two posts this week – Today: Unexpected Thanks & Tomorrow: My Book Cover Reveal!!!

It’s Thanksgiving here in the U.S.  We all have obvious things we are thankful for: God, family, friends, good health, etc. I wanted to have a little fun with this post and decided to ask, “What unusual things are you thankful for?”

Here’s my list:

  • Kindness in strangers. Especially when its unanticipated. You know, you’re standing in line at the grocery store with your box of double fudge brownies and the person in front of you is pushing two shopping carts and has a binder full of coupons. Not that I don’t condone saving, cause every penny counts. I know, understand, and practice that, but sometimes the need for chocolate superceedes  my patience. There’s a certain amount of joy and appreciation when that person turns to you and says, “You can go ahead of me, if you want.”
  • Quiet places. I have twins + one. Anyone who spends a lot time around young kids will understand this one.
  • Quirky humor. I’m a sucker for corny jokes. My son once asked, “What does a monkey order at a restaurant?” “I don’t know, what?” “Oooh ahh ahh with a side of oooh ahh ahh. Because monkeys can’t talk.” I’m still laughing about that one. Feel free to share this one I made up. “Why did the chicken cross the road? Because the cow said, ‘moooove’.” Silly, I know, but it made my children laugh, and few things are better than the laughter of children.
  • Aglets. Okay, I’ll be the first to admit, I might watch too much Phineas and Ferb, but have you ever tried tying a shoe without the thing on the tip of the shoelace. You have to twist it, pinch the tips with your fingernails, and hope all the strands will make it through the first time.
  • Select A Size paper towels. Because they help me save money by using less. See “Kindness of Strangers”.
  • The sound frogs make. Frog song? I don’t know how to describe it, but it soothes me.
  • And last, before the list gets out of control, climbing trees. I’m by no means a professional tree climber (It’s a real job. Click here, if curious), but I do enjoy relaxing in a tree.

Now, it’s your turn. What unusual things are you thankful for?

Thankful Thursday: Bad Guys

This Week’s Thankful Thursday Topic: What’s your opinion of writing from the perspective of the “bad guy?” (think Dexter) — since this is Thankful Thursday, Jessie tweaked the topic into how writing from the bad guy perspective has improved her writing — something she’s always thankful for.

Me too. Truly understanding the ‘bad guy’ and what motivates them to do the things they do — whether we agree with it or not, or if it’s even moral — helps round out characters. In my current WiP DARK INTENT (formerly “Bloodlines” for those of you who’ve read snippets in blogfest I’ve participated in), the ‘bad guy’ is power-hungry, controlling, manipulative…. You know, the typical antagonist. But she’s also a mom trying to save one daughter from an agonizing death and prevent the other one from dating an ‘unsuitable’ guy. Knowing her disposition helps me figure out how she will respond to a variety of situations and people. Although I don’t agree with her methods or motivations, knowing them has helped me flesh out Celia in a way that makes her real in a way people can relate to and hate, if they so choose.

I can’t remember if I read this technique in a book, heard it at conference, or learned about it at my weekly writer’s group, but I’m thankful for having it. Writing from the ‘bad guys’ perspective, even if it never shows up in the novel, has profoundly improved my writing. And to answer Jessie’s question below, you bet I like reading stories from the ‘bad guys’ POV.

What about you — do you ever try to examine your story from the perspective of the bad guy?  Do you like reading stories by or about the “bad guy”?

Hope you’ll join the fun for next week’s topic:  What’s the worst writing blunder you’ve ever made that you realized later was actually a blessing? Click here to find out how.