Memories of Stonehenge

Ever since I studied art history in college, I have always wanted to go to Stonehenge. Last year I had the opportunity to go while on a business trip to London. I took a few extra days for myself and traveled the city and the English countryside.

It was an amazing experience, and I am excited to share this photo and another haiku.

I visited Stonehenge in August of 2013.

Memories from my August 2013 trip to the U.K.

Haiku Challenge: Day 8

Mysterious stones;
they connect us to the past.
We still search for the truth.

Have you been to Stonehenge?

~Nicole

Advertisements

Inspiration from “Back Spin”

One of my favorite authors is Harlan Coben. I read his books that feature the protagonist, Myron Bolitar, the sports agent. His prose is consistent and I love the protagonists sarcasm. I can always count on him for a chuckle in the middle of a mystery.

I know many of the books I read are dated, but I try to alternate between paying full price for a newly released book and buying from a local second hand bookstore.

Today, I finished the book, Back Spin which was first published in August of 1997. I wanted to share a few of my favorite lines from the book for inspiration. I love how he paints portraits of characters with his words, and his use of metaphors are simply brilliant.

” A dark alley. Win’s doctored bullets. Brain matter tossed about like parade confetti.” Pg. 21

“The pain on his face was so naked, Myron almost reached out and hugged him.” Pg. 44

“An elephant gun could not quiet Norman Zuckerman.” Pg. 51

“Her tone struck the marrow of his bone.” Pg.69

“Thin. Lanky. Long-limbed. Pale as a Goya portrait, even in the summer.” Pg 76

Note: As an art major in college and lover of the arts, I encourage you to check out Goya’s work courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

“Myron trudged forward. Humidity hung in the air in a heavy blanket of beads.” Pg. 84

“Sweat coated him like syrup on a stack of pancakes.” Pg. 86

“There was grass, lots of it, all the blades kept at a consistently ideal length, like a politician’s hair in an election year.” Pg. 93

On page 147, Coben compared a golf course and its seating arrangements to the class system, i.e. serfs, feudal lords. Brilliant, I say.

“Still it was yet another nagging hangnail that needed to be clipped.” Pg. 149

“Their plates were still piled high enough to cause the occasional avalanche.” Pg. 157

“In the ring, Big Cyndi wore makeup like Tammy Faye on Steroids…” Pg. 177

Chapter 20 is a wonderful break from the stressful plot that twists and turns and causes loads of questions. It involves the protagonist, Myron, his best friends and colleagues Win and Esperanza. They chat about episodes of the Odd Couple and the Twighlight Zone, while eating pizza and drinking Yoo-Hoo—well Myron’s drink of choice. It plays out like a real life situation, it’s plausible

“His heart was crumbling like brown leaves caught in a closed fist.” Pg. 193

“She ho-hummed, sounding like a diner waitress reading off the specials in the last hour of a double shift.” Pg. 230

“The woman look blasé and raised it to an art form.” Pg. 231

“Confusion set camp on her face.” Pg. 258

“The garage door came back down, slowly slicing out the sun.” Pg 265

“He slid to the floor like wet sand through a torn bag.” 267

” The power of the blow lifted Esperanza off her feet. She made an oofing noise and folded at the waist like an old wallet.”Pg. 268

“Her voice sounded like old tires on rough pavement.” Pg. 275

“His sanity was probably ripping away like divots on the course.” Pg. 336

Other Harlan Coben books that I recommend are:

  • Promise Me
  • Tell No One
  • Gone for Good
  • Hold Tight
  • Deal Breaker

Are there any authors you recommend?

Milestone Birthday Preparation

I have a milestone birthday coming up in 2015.

I have been thinking of what I want to do for that milestone. I know this is really nerdy, but I think I’d like to attend a writer’s conference. I have taken a few online writing classes, and a couple of regular classes. You know, old school, I actually had to sit with others in a classroom. For writers, I think that is difficult. We tend to be introverted and people sometimes frighten us. I didn’t think the experience was terrible, so I am game for another live class/conference.

Here is my dilemma…which conference should I attend. I don’t have any novel ideas that have been stuffed away in the back of mind for years and years. I love reading mysteries, but the thought of writing one just sounds unappealing.

So, what do I love to write about? Me, of course. And I don’t mean that in an egotistical sort of way. I mean that I love to experience new and different things and then I like to write about them. It’s like I get to taste that experience twice. And, I borrowed that line. Here is the actual quote.

“I write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.” ~Anais Nin.

I have always enjoyed keeping a journal. I love to write personal essays and memoirs. I wrote a memoir about my trip to London last year, and I had a blast writing about it. The doggone thing was 25 pages long, and it was about a one day excursion to Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and Bath.

I also love to travel and some day, if I could be paid to be a travel writer, I would do it.

So, should I take another memoir class? How about a travel writing class? What about creative non-fiction? I love writing for magazines and I do quite a bit of research for the articles I write. It wouldn’t hurt to learn a little more about writing non-fiction.

I feel I need to answer question number one first. What type of writing conference should I attend?

Now for question number two. Where in the heck should I go? I am going to limit the course work to the United States. I live in Minnesota; are there any good conferences in the state or in the Midwest that I should attend?

East coast? West coast? Southwest? The perfect place in my mind, is a state that I haven’t been to yet. So that leaves, North Dakota, Louisiana, Alaska, Oregon, Washington, Montana or Idaho.

I hoping for a conference that not only provides me knowledge, but I also want to meet writer’s and make new connections for more freelance work.

Has anyone been to an amazing writer’s conference?

What class? Where was it? Would you recommend it?