Summer Spotlight: L. Marie

Hi! I’m guest posting at Jill’s blog today! Drop by and say hi!

Jill Weatherholt

Image Courtesy of fiftyflowers.com

Do not adjust your screen. You are not seeing things. You have just entered El Space. Thank you for traveling with us.

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m L. Marie. You probably noticed that I didn’t include a photo of myself. Though I’ve published books under my given name, I established the pen name L. Marie for my blog (El Space: The Blog of L. Marie and my middle grade and young adult fiction. But I can’t say that L. Marie isn’t a “real” name, because it’s my name too.

I’m still querying agents and publishers about three of my fantasy books. So, I don’t yet have a book to go with this blog post. Sorry to disappoint. Have some virtual chocolate instead. No, I insist.

Image Courtesy of Whisper app.

Instead of three questions, I decided to answer one, since this…

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Summer Spotlight: L. Marie

Hi! Today, I’m over at the wonderful blog of the equally wonderful Jill Weatherholt! Stop on by if you have a minute!

Jill Weatherholt

It’s Me, L. Marie

Hi, I’m L. Marie. Everyone so far has been a tough act to follow. I’m a little nervous, so please bear with me. Um, let me see. You want to know about me. Perhaps this would go more smoothly if you asked me questions before I answer the ones that Jill provided. I’ll pretend that you did.

You: I’m guessing you’re some sort of blogger?

Me: Yes. My blog is El Space: The Blog of L. Marie. I blog about writing and life. Both are broad topics, so that leaves me with plenty of subtopics on which to write. So of course I’ve chosen topics like the perfect bathroom reading and the use of hand puppets to brighten one’s day.

You (momentarily stunned into silence by that remark): Um, moving on, what’s with the name L. Marie?

Me: L. Marie is a…

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Author Interview Program #17

Thanks, Briana, for interviewing me on your blog! Woo hoo!

When I Became an Author

It seems as though this week has been a good one for author interviews! Here’s another one for you before I call it quits for the week. Please welcome the wonderful Ms. L. Maire!

Where can we find you?

My blog: El Space and on Twitter. I’ll eventually create an author page under my pen name on Facebook. But not right now.  I’d like to sell the manuscript first.

 

What is your author name?

L. Marie

 

What is the title of the book you’re currently working on?

Maiden’s Choice

 

What is the genre of your book?

Middle grade high fantasy. At first I was going for the teen market. But after my beta readers read it, I realized it fits a middle grade audience. And that’s the audience I’ve always written for anyway.

 

3-4 sentence synopsis of your book:

I can do it in one long…

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Running For Boston

L.A. Byrne

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My daughter runs. She competes at the 1600 and the 800 so she trains by running 6 or 7 miles most days, timing herself as she goes, making sure she maintains a coach-determined pace. We visited France over Easter and she ran—along The Seine, across cobblestones, weaving through crowds. In the snow and rain, early in the morning or late at night, even loaded with homework and volunteer obligations—she runs.

Her hope is to PR—to set a personal record—which means shaving a second or two off a number she gave everything to achieve in her previous meet.

Running is about having the guts to work against something that has no compassion.

Running is about believing in your ability to improve, even incrementally, and despite setbacks and adversity.

Running is about the strength to do what hurts. It is about the pride to not get overtaken. It is about harvesting determination…

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The True Scent Of Spring

Love dogs? You’ll love this post by Andy of City Jackdaw. It’ll put a “spring” in your step. (I can’t resist allusions like I can’t resist bad puns.)

City Jackdaw

I think I may have lamented, a couple of dozen times or so, the complete washout that last year was.

Well we haven’t had any rain for a few weeks now, so the ground being dry, I thought it would be nice to take the dog for a run on the fields in the morning.  It was still cold, the watery sun a faded disc mostly obscured by cloud. The fields still lay yellow and sullen, though the earth was no longer as iron, the air no longer as glass.

There are definite signs these days that life is now beginning to stretch its weary limbs, not least the solitary fly last night that caused my two year old son to turn hysterical, and yesterday’s butterfly seeking out the vanguard of flowers.

My dog is a large eight year old Golden Retriever named Rydal. He was named after the place…

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Dear Irate Drivers . . .

You know who you are. You’re the woman on the cell phone who honked her horn today when I paused at a stop sign at the grocery store to allow a woman walking with a limp to proceed along the crossing area. You were in a car behind mine, so you obviously had a better grasp of the situation than I did. And the fact that you chose not to stop at the stop sign after I made a left turn, and roared off on your way proves that. You were in a hurry. Got it.

You’re the man who also honked his horn at the same stop sign, because last week I waited while an elderly man walked at a slow, measured pace on his way inside the grocery store.

Sorry, people. I didn’t get the memo. I should have plowed into both or hastened on my way, forcing each person to leap out of the way as best as he or she could. That’s what your honking meant, right? I should have remembered that courtesy and patience are archaic notions that have no place in the twenty-first century. Thanks for reminding me that as long as I get where I’m going, that’s all that matters. Me first.

Got it.

“No. Don’t Speak”

Movie buffs will recognize the title as a line spoken by actress Dianne Wiest, who played Helen Sinclair in the 1994 Woody Allen movie Bullets over Broadway. (Another character also echoed the line.) It perfectly encapsulates my thoughts on a movie I saw recently.

I decided to watch The Artist, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2012. Normally, you couldn’t pay me to watch a silent movie, no matter how award-winning or iconic. And I’m a huge fan of Samurai Jack, the award-winning 2002—2005 animated series created by Genndy Tartakovsky, and famous for having very little dialogue.

You see, I love dialogue. Give me a movie like The Front Page, Born Yesterday, or It Happened One Night any day. But I decided to break out of my comfort zone and give this one a try. The premise on the Netflix envelope seemed familiar in that Star Is Born sense: one star descends while another ascends during the transition from silent movies to the era of the talkies.

George, the reigning king of silent films does the “meet cute” thing with Peppy, a fledgling actress. In one scene, the director even used a staircase showing the ascent of one and the descent of the other as a foreshadowing of what was to come’

I admit I had extremely low expectations as I began my viewing, even though the film won five Oscars, including Best Director (Michel Hazanavicius) and Best Actor (Jean Dujardin). I told myself I’d give it 20 minutes. If I wasn’t engaged in 20 minutes, back into the envelope it would go.

Perhaps it was Jean Dujardin’s gorgeous, engaging smile in the role of George Valentin, the pathos of Bérénice Bejo whenever she crosses paths with George (Peppy Miller), or Uggie the Jack Russell terrier’s incredible performance (love that dog), but I absolutely loved this movie. I couldn’t stop watching it. To employ a cliché, it kept me on the edge of my seat. In one viewing it broke through the walls of my prejudice toward silent movies.

As in other silent films (and SPOILERS this film is silent 99% of the time), Dujardin, Bejo and the other actors couldn’t rely on scintillating dialogue to help them keep viewers engaged. Their faces and gestures had to tell the whole story. Even props like newspaper headlines, marquee signs, and intertitles were used sparingly. So Dujardin and Bejo showed the story, rather than told it (spoke it).

I won’t go TOO spoilery by talking about the ending (though I sat through it three times). But I came away from my viewing of this film with a desire to write something equally as memorable and wall-busting as this film was for me. But as a writer, however, words must be my tool. Yet many times in the writing of my young adult fantasy work in progress, I struggle with those words. How do I help readers see the world and keep them engaged?

Many writers follow the adage “show, don’t tell.” We use words to show the story, rather than explain it. Like the directors and producers of silent films, we help our viewers (in our case, readers) gain a full experience: the tastes, smells, etc. of the worlds within the pages of our books through the use of well-chosen imagery. We’re artists (heh heh, had to sneak in that film title), painting a picture in our reader’s minds, one we hope is a vivid, lasting image.

Well, that’s my hope for my manuscript: choosing the right words to help a reader “see” that smile of my character; to experience the agony of another. So, I’ll keep plugging away at it. But at the back of my mind is the artistry of The Artist, a film that won me over and made me a believer in the power of story in any form. Even silence.