Jul 28 2014

Express Yourself My Precious



Express Yourself Meme July image

 

Andy Serkis

Jul 20 2014

Sunday Seven – Capital C

Sunday Seven image

A list of seven of something- brought to you on Sunday. What can you add?

 

Seven Capitals that begin with the letter C in US Territory

 

  1. Carson City
  2. Charleston
  3. Cheyenne
  4. Columbia
  5. Columbus
  6. Concord
  7. Charlotte Amalie

 

 

Jul 13 2014

Cooking a Gender Stereotype this Sunday Seven

Sunday Seven image

A list of seven of something- brought to you on Sunday. What can you add?

 

While shopping, it was overheard that a young boy said he did not want a “Lord of the Rings Frodo’s Cooking Corner Lego playset” because cooking is for girls. The teenager accompanying the boy responded that Frodo isn’t a girl. The boy replied that Frodo isn’t a person either, he’s a hobbit.

 

The story hits home for me because my nephew has discovered a love of cooking. At eight years old, he’s a regular helper in the kitchen, eager to assist his mom, grandma, dad, and uncle. One day, a boy like the one in the story might say something foolish to him, something like, “cooking is for girls.” I don’t wish to see him crushed. I want to see him smile with pride and fire back against a gender stereotype. Therefore, Zane, this list is for you:

 

Seven People Who are Famous Thanks to Cooking

- and none of them are girls (or hobbits)

 

  1. Alton Brown
  2. Robert Irvine
  3. Emeril Lagasse
  4. Mario Batali
  5. Bobby Flay
  6. Jamie Oliver
  7. Justin Warner

 

Cooking is not just for girls or hobbits. Read more on the blog of J Lenni Dorner

Jul 07 2014

Descriptive Writing Challenge – Bring On the Nouns and Verbs

Blue Dress Writing Challenge brought to you by the blog of J Lenni Dorner
Leave your attempts, or links to your attempts, in the comments! 

Jul 06 2014

Sunday Seven Cities without an A

Sunday Seven image

A list of seven of something- brought to you on Sunday. What can you add?

Name a city without an A image

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED! 

Cities without an A

  1. Houston
  2. New York City
  3. Delhi
  4. Toronto
  5. Denver
  6. Intercourse
  7. Memphis

 

Jul 03 2014

Express Yourself with a Childhood Toy



Express Yourself Meme July image
Megaminx
Megaminx image

It might seem strange, but this is what I took with me on long car rides, out to dinner to places where people sit around for an hour before eating, and to the homes of relatives that had no children and thus no toys.

This is much like a Rubik’s Cube, except that it’s a pentagon. It was reliably fun for hours.

I also had toy stuffed dog with long ears, but that was for bedtime.

 

Have you ever played with a puzzle game like this?

Jul 01 2014

Learn from Anonymous Beta Readers #writetip

Special thanks to:

Tony, Elliot, Keryn, Cab, Brie, Nicki, Dan, Chris, Pepper, Lianne, Seth, Chris, Rachel, and S.

 

I am grateful for the opportunity to have witnessed a feedback session done by a group of strangers. It is very interesting to learn how some minds perceive a story.

 


writetip

What I learned:

 

1- Not everyone can follow a set up. “Previously on *insert tv show name here*” does not work as well in writing. A paragraph that looks like this will not work for everyone:

      1. exciting action
      2. location, reason for current action
      3. crucial information that is foreshadowing or flashback
      4. subtle setting hint, intriguing reason to read on

 

2- It is very, very, very important to mix up sentence length. This mix up is not enough.

bad length image

- Do not use a 20+ word sentence in the first paragraph.

- Never have multiple 20+ word sentences in the same paragraph.

 

3- One joke is not enough. Just because a scene is high energy and life-or-death does not mean it doesn’t need humor. And it has to be humor that people will get- it has to be obvious.

 

4- Be careful of point of view. Even when in third person omniscient, the audience sometimes can’t follow knowing what’s going in the heads of multiple characters.

 

5- Describe people and places with less adjectives. Even if the audience has never met the people and has never been to the world, and that which is described is important to the story and reveals crucial information, somehow it has to be revealed with less adjectives. BUT, don’t use more words to do this. Also, don’t offer this information right away- some people can’t handle being given a clear picture of the setting and what is at stake. Knowing where and who up front confuses some readers.

Challenge! Using fewer than 50 words and no adjectives, tell someone who has never seen a city what a skyscraper is, how to get to an observation deck, and how to locate the person pictured. No one else will have the hair color that day, but be sure once again to NOT use an adjective to describe it. Originated on the blog of J Lenni Dorner, Learn from Anonymous Beta Readers post.

Leave your entry, or a link to your entry, in the comment section for this post. The best will be selected later.

 

6- Related to point 5, the revelation must be smooth. Don’t just drop the anchor, but lower it slow as a slug. Who the characters are, where they are, what they are doing, and why the reader should care all needs to be laid out, but it can’t be all given at once. Sticking the information inside the action doesn’t make it smooth. In fact, don’t put information in with action, because people can’t understand that. It also can’t jump in with dialog tags, because that will really throw the audience.

 

7- Stay focused.

 

8- Use more dialog. Perhaps mostly dialog.

 

9- If the character has to deal with two things at once, the audience may get confused. Even if one of what the character is dealing with is the entire reason the character is dealing with the second thing, some readers will still get confused.

 

- Tolkin was able to have Frodo pause to fight a monster while on the way to get rid of the ring. The fact that the audience was able to figure that out and follow along is a miracle.

- The fact that children were able to follow along as Harry dealt with horcruxes in order to get to face Voldermort is a wonder.

 

Be that level of talented if your main character has to deal with more than one problem at a time.

 

10- Exposition is evil. No matter how relevant and important it is to the story, it’s evil.

definition of exposition

(For another view, see the “When to tell” section of the hyper-linked article.)

 

11- Relationships matter most. Also, not everyone can gather the relationship between two characters.

-For example, if the main character is a fire fighter, and goes in to a burning building to rescue the only person trapped in the building, not all readers will understand the relationship. (Person who rescues people in burning buildings + person who is trapped in a burning building.) Be sure to paint the picture very clearly. Spell it out. Even when some readers see a person rushing in to a fire, holding a fire axe, and being referred to as a firefighter– they STILL might not know or correctly assume that this character is a firefighter.

 

firefighter image

 

12- If you tell the reader the main character is fighting a fire in a building that is falling down, then show the fire, then show the building falling down, then show the fire some more… some readers will still have no idea what the main character is fighting. “The fire fighter walked through the blaze into the burning building,” is not clear enough for all readers to figure out.

 

13- Make rescue scenes more intense.

 

14- Keep situations very simple.

-Simpler than a firefighter going in to a burning building to save someone, and having to deal with some related fire drama in order to make the save.

 

15- Be cleverly concise.

 

16- Stick with the bounds of the genre of your story. People will be glad you did.

 

 

not everyone will like you

Jun 29 2014

Sunday Seven #80s throwback that compares Voltron to my books

Sunday Seven image

A list of seven of something- brought to you on Sunday.

 

 

Comparing the Voltron Lion Force to my Existence series

 

1-

Voltron – Keith, pilot of the black lion that forms the head, is the levelheaded Captain who puts his crew and planet first. His romantic feelings for Allura tend to distract him.

 

Existence – Xavier is considered the leader of the group. The needs of the world are his priority. His love and longing for Gwendolyn cloud his judgment.

 

2-

Voltron – Lance, pilot of the red lion that forms the right arm, is second in command. He’s tall, quick with a joke, a bit of a hothead at times, and a true ladies’ man.

Voltron  – Hunk is the pilot of the yellow lion that forms the left leg. His mass is attributed to his muscles. He’s known for sticking up innocents in need of a defender.

 

Existence  – Heath is considered the second in command of the group, and Xavier’s right hand man. He’s tall and muscular, and occasionally mistaken for a chiseled statue created as an ode to male body perfection. His temper comes out when he’s being protective (he’s the bully of bullies). The legend of his seduction power is almost unbelievable… which naturally tempts more to find out if the rumors are true. (They are.)

 

3-

Voltron – Princess Allura pilots the blue lion that forms the right leg. She’s a bit naïve when it comes to romance. It turns out that she’s far more powerful than one would guess at first sight. There’s undeniable bravery in her.

 

Existence  – Gwendolyn, nicknamed Wend, is not experienced with romantic relationships due to her conservative upbringing. Powers dwell inside her, fighting to get out, but she’s too oblivious to realize the truth of her own nature. It is the change she elects, the choice to be brave and take the unknown road, which gives book one, Fractions of Existence, a major plot twist.

 

4-

Voltron – Pidge, pilot of the green lion that forms the left arm, is the smallest group member in stature. He’s a brainy scientist. He has a twin brother named Chip.

 

Existence  – Caleb and Jun are both smaller in stature than the others. Caleb knows more about animal sciences, zoology, and veterinary medicine than anyone in the world does. He has a crush on Heath. Jun is a botanist expert, but focuses his life around music, especially nightclubs.

 

5-

Voltron has a Blazing Sword and eventually Blazing Pistols.

Jezebel in the Existence Series is the equivalent of these weapons. Jez is fully aware of who she is and what she is capable of, unlike Gwendolyn.

 

 

6-

 

When not fully combined, Voltron is not at full power. In Fractions of Existence, Xavier cites the importance of reuniting his kind. His need to seek out Gwendolyn is not purely romantic. Keith would direct the group to rescue Princess Allura, not only because of his feelings for her, but because the team needs the blue lion. Without Gwendolyn, Xavier’s group is weakened, and cannot hope to defeat The Eyes in the Shadows.

 

7-

VoltronKing Zarkon of the Drule Empire is the leader of Voltron’s enemies from Planet Doom. Oppression, enslavement, and total obedience are the cornerstones of this government. A witch named Haggar, at the beckon call of His Majesty, uses dark magic to cast spells.

 

Existence  – The Eyes in the Shadows believe they must bring about Armageddon, for humanity was not intended to exist this long. They have made this choice for the world without consulting anyone. Their previous attempts have failed. They believe the failure is because “Xavier’s kind” exists. So far, they have managed to separate part of that group. If they can destroy a group member, or separate the entire group, they will be able to use an ancient dark magic to end human life on Earth.

 

 

Can you name a literary equivalent of the Voltron television series or comic books?

 

 

Jun 27 2014

Midway Through This Year Goals

goals image
Half the year is gone! Can I remain on track for the next half? Thanks to my participation in this hop, I believe that I can. So here’s my current goals and review of goals from the past:

 

The BIG MAIN GOAL:

  • Publish two decent-selling book series

 

2014 Goals:

  • Publish something every week on this blog (ie: Sunday Seven)
  • Have 5000 Twitter followers ~ currently at 3,505 — up 90 from last month!

 

Goals for July:

  • Keep up on Twitter follows
  • Remember to tweet for #WW #WriterWednesday  and  #ReaderhuRsday #RR
  • Participate in Camp NanoWriMo
  • Enter the writing contest my instructor recommended
  • Keep up with the fantasy writing class
  • Move on to the next lesson in the writing for youth class
  • Visit and comment on 30 other blogs
  • Vote and watch #WRiTECLUB2014 every Monday and Thursday
  • Update / redo what-are-they.com and existenceseries.com
  • Finish reading 2 books

 

~For those of you who want to set goals,

but are unsure where to start-

click here to check out a bucket list!

I did not write it,

but I am half way through it. ~

Choosing a goal and sticking to it changes everything quote found on the blog of J Lenni Dorner

Review of Goals for June:

  • Keep up with the Fantasy writing class I’m taking. (Only 2 parts left!) ~ Accomplished
  • Complete homework for lesson 2 for the writing for youth readers class ~ Accomplished
  • Figure out the rules/ logic for this grammar question

Survey results:

“Bob, someone is at my desk waiting to meet you. Come with me.” Said Tom.

“Bob, someone is at my desk waiting to meet you. Come with me,” said Tom.

image of survey results

Expert answers:

http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/he-said-she-said

For a short line of dialogue, attributives usually go at the end, like so:

“Help me find my leopard skin pillbox hat,” said Daphne.

http://www.itsuckstobejoe.com/jdn/writing/punctuation.html

INCORRECT :

“I’m looking for some trash bags.” Said Murdock.

CORRECTED :

“I’m looking for some trash bags,” said Murdock.

(“said” is kept lowercase, and a comma is used, NOT a period.)

  ~ Accomplished

  • Visit at least 30 A to Z challenge blogs on the “road trip” ~ Accomplished
  • Celebrate Native American Citizenship Day on the 15th ~ Accomplished
  • Celebrate my dad on Father’s Day on the 15th ~ Accomplished
  • On June 16, be 1 of the 32 #WRiTECLUB2014 ~ I’ll get back to you on that
  • Work on my fantasy book series/ collection ~ Mentally, yes. Actual writing… umm…not as much as I’d have liked.
  • catch up on Twitter follows ~ Partly Accomplished
  • post results from the vestibule survey and contest ~ Accomplished
  • Spread the word about my assistant’s aunt’s missing cat ~ Accomplished (Cat still missing though.)

 

 

Review of Other Previous Goals:

  • To get 300 signers on the what-are-they.com guestbook.  ~ currently at 117
  • To get a literary agent.  ~ Still working on it.
  • To finish writing book two of the existence series.   ~On hold.
  • Work on Fraction of Existence rewrite ~ Not much progress this month
  • Work on the other fantasy book series ~ Not much progress this month
  • Work on query letter ~ Not much progress this month

 

query tip

 

Jun 25 2014

Survey Says

Congratulations to Jan Lee, winner of the Is Flash Intro a Vestibule contest!

For those who were hoping to know, here are some of the survey results:

Some people are easily lost. A vestibule confuses them to the point that they cannot shop at large stores or eat at certain restaurants. It's very sad.

Some people are easily lost. A vestibule confuses them to the point that they cannot shop at large stores or eat at certain restaurants. It’s very sad.
vestibule image

reason for visiting the site

Some people are not very committed. When intentionally going to the site, if there is an introduction, they will leave rather than click past it.

That is disturbing. One wonders why intro is even an option. I also wonder why people quit so easily.

 

Interest level in books after seeing video

current mood

post video viewing emotions

Should youtube replace my flash intro

Looks like I’m going to need to redo my website!

 

 

Have you ever heard of the Lenni Lenape Native American tribe

I wish that result shocked me more.

Jun 23 2014

Express Your Latest Read and I am 9 on the blog of @TwiterHero



Express Meme June image
Children’s: BEARS: Fun Facts and Amazing Photos of Animals in Nature (Amazing Animal Kingdom Book 7) by Emma Child
I hate writing reviews of books that I do not love. I would give this a 3 out of 5 stars. It is alright, but in my opinion, they editor fell a bit short. There’s a certain “snap” missing, which matters to me when reading to a child. It does give a basic bear education, which is good.

Classic Fiction: The Time Machine by HG Wells
I’d forgotten how enjoyable this book is. It earns all five out of five stars. It is a classic for a reason.
I also forgot how much smoking was once part of the culture. I can imagine censorship groups and anti-youth-smoking groups battling over certain passages.

 

I’m reading a few other books at the moment, but have not finished them at the time of writing this post.

KITTY HAS! Click for Pin.
line break image

I’m number nine on the follow blog TwiterHero this week!

SCREENSHOT:
TwiterHero Twitter Hero I am 9 image

For those who desire an increase in followers on Twitter who are real people, this is a very big deal. I’m excited. How excited?

 

(Some readers may recall that I was #23 back in April.)

Jun 22 2014

Initial Forenames Sunday Seven by J

Sunday Seven image

A list of seven of something- brought to you on Sunday. What can you add?

People with initials for first names.

If you did NOT know what the initial stood for, and could NOT refer to the person by surname, other nicknames, or substitute in other words, here are seven people you would have to call by letter(s) :

 

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien
  2. M. Night Shyamalan (I’ve never heard anyone refer to him as simply “Night,” have you?)
  3. H.G. Wells
  4. F. Scott Fitzgerald (Do people ever just call him Scott?)
  5. J.D. Salinger
  6. J.K. Rowling (Before the world knew it was Jo, many referred to her as J.K.)
  7. E.B. White

 

Related topic:

The “S” in Harry S. Truman does not stand for anything. The initial S was his middle name, in honor of his grandfathers, Anderson Shipp Truman and Solomon Young.

 

So really, it is acceptable (and preferable) to just call me J. :)

Jun 19 2014

Express Yourself with a Scary Movie



Express Meme June image

1h33m38s

Granted, I saw this movie when I was younger, so that is probably what freaked me out. Well, that and the “based on a true story” stuff.

Horror movies in general do not freak me out. Most make me laugh.

 

Jun 16 2014

Celebrate Award Joy

Today my writing was awarded.
I cannot, at this time, discuss the award. It is top-secret.
I wish to thank those who honored me with the award.
There is at least one person who has been to my blog before who will know what the award is – and to that person I tip my hat and give my deepest thanks.

celebrate the small things

Jun 15 2014

Sunday Seven of Citizenship to honor Native Americans and Fathers


A timeline to citizenship and voting rights

 

1630- Export of Native American slaves becomes a notable business and popular strategy to depopulate the land

 

1730- The number of Native American’s exported far exceeds the number of all other slaves imported to the Americas

 

1863- Emancipation Proclamation

 

1867- A record number of slaves (or “vagrants who are forced to work without pay”) in the California area are Native American

 

1868- Citizenship granted to people born in the United States, including those born as slaves, under the Fourteenth Amendment. Phrased to specifically excluded Indians.

 

1870- Fifteenth Amendment passes. “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” (Many states had been able to make it almost impossible for a person of dark skin to utilize the right to vote before this.)

 

1879- Judge Dundy declares that Indians are people. (Not citizens, but the law now recognizes that the Native American population consists of humans. Previously only a few tribes had this luxurious title.)

 

1919- Indians (Native Americans) who had served honorably in the armed forces are granted citizenship.

 

1920- The Nineteenth Amendment grants citizens that are women the right to vote.

 

1924- Citizenship is given to Native Americans born in the United States. The law states an Indian may be enrolled in a tribe, live on a reservation, and practice the culture of the ancestors and still be considered a citizen of the US.

 

1948- Indians living on reservations in Arizona and New Mexico are granted voting rights. (As opposed to Colorado, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Utah, Washington and Wyoming- where they were still not allowed to vote, despite the Fifteenth amendment.)

 

1957- The Civil Rights Act ensures that citizens can vote in federal elections (such as voting for Congress and the President). It prohibited states and people from intimidating, coercing or otherwise interfering with such voting activity.

 

1965- The Voting Rights Act strengthens the Native American right and ability to vote, though some are still denied by their state.

 

1971- Under the Twenty-sixth Amendment, citizens as young as eighteen have the right to vote.

 

2006- South Dakota is ordered to be fully compliant with federal laws regarding Native Americans- particularly their right to vote and to be recognized as citizens.

 

2012- Approximately 57% of eligible American citizens vote in the Presidential election. Barely half of the country utilizes the right that so many fought for and still fight for.

 

2014- Noncompliance with the Voting Rights Act continues in parts of the United States. Some Native American citizens are still fighting for the right to vote.

Sunday Seven image

A list of seven of something- brought to you on Sunday. What can you add?

 

 

Today in America marks not only Native American Citizenship day (90 years!), but also Father’s Day. This Sunday Seven list is a tribute to the forefathers as well as to my fellow Native Americans.

 

 

Being a Citizen of America means being:

 

  1. part of the project, the work in progress, that is America- defining and redefining freedom, democracy, and opportunity.
  2. grateful to those who were bold enough to force change for the better, even when the cost was life.
  3. a participant in change, not just a lazy voice in the sea of complaint, so that those in power will remember they are accountable to those who put them there.
  4. someone who effects small changes first.
  5. involved in conversations about injustice, for only by keeping it in the discussions of the people will it ever be defeated.
  6. someone who moves society forward.
  7. part of a social system that is meant to benefit all people, and speaking up any time that it fails to do so.

West Wing image Decisions are made by those who show up Quote

Jun 13 2014

Express Yourself with one Adjective



Express Meme June image

unique

Jun 09 2014

Express Your Favorite Games



Express Meme June image

Fav video games: Civilization V, Sims 2, Fable II, Morrowind, Words with Friends, DrawSomething

Board Games: Monopoly, Life, Scrabble, Loaded Questions, Cranium

 

Jun 08 2014

I can end a forename name for boys on this Sunday Seven list

Sunday Seven image

A list of seven of something- brought to you on Sunday. What can you add?

 

Male first names that end with the letter “i”

 

  1. Levi
  2. Dmitri
  3. Yuri
  4. Eli
  5. Giovanni
  6. Vasili
  7. Loki

 

 


Image of Loki, a villain with more fans than the hero

Jun 05 2014

The #amwriting #whywrite #process hop

The Writer’s Blog Hop

Mention the person who tagged you. Answer four questions. Tag three people.

(Those three do the same on their blog.)

 

My thanks to Lisa M. Lilly for tagging me in this hop.

 

Lisa M. Lilly is an attorney and author. She lives in Chicago, where she serves as vice president of the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists, a group dedicated to preventing DUI injuries and deaths. She has a novel entitled The Awakening.

 

 

1 – What am I working on now?

 

I’m supposed to be working? Wroot wroo, Shaggy…
Kidding.

 

I’m working on an epic fantasy with a strong female lead. I’m also revising Fractions of Existence (the first in my Existence book series). Apparently, moving most of my characters 80 miles may improve the story. We’ll see.

 

2 – How does my work differ from others its genre?

 

MY EXISTENCE BOOK SERIES

 

There has been a trend in recent book sales of dystopian or post-apocalyptic stories. As I read the Hunger Games and Divergent, I couldn’t help but wonder what happened before these stories. Divergent, for example, takes place in the ruins of Chicago. This new way of governing has come up. What happened to the old one? How did shy-town fall? This isn’t some little city with a population of less people than a NYC public high school! It was while reading books like this that I realized how my Existence book series is really different from others, especially in Urban Fantasy.

 

It’s different because I’m different. I suppose a fair amount of readers weren’t bothered not knowing how North America became a selection of Districts while they read about Katniss and her bow. On the other hand, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I didn’t just want to know how this came to be, I wanted to know what happened beforehand and if it was preventable.

 

Terminator Salvation (the fourth one) was an alright movie.

It is difficult to appreciate it without seeing the others.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day is the movie that gives John the most character.

 

For anyone who doesn’t know, in the second Terminator movie, the world is a place you already know. With the exception of some time traveling, there is little in the film that seems impossible, improbable, or unlikely. (And, really, even time travel isn’t that much of a stretch for most people to accept.)

 

When I wrote Fractions of Existence (the first in the series), I put the setting just a few years ago. (There is a reason for the dates selected.) The world is one the reader already knows. I put in my fantastic characters, which are disguised as people that a reader could believe to be among the population. The story of this group is not just about what will happen after a certain apocalyptic event. It isn’t even only about the event itself. The story is in how they come together, the mistakes that are made, and how the few who will survive manage to do it. (If only I could shove that in a query letter.)

 

I created the website what-are-they.com because that seems like the first and most obvious question the audience should ask. This is a Speculative Fiction series with an Urban Fantasy book. These city-dwelling main characters are not ordinary humans… so… what are they? But the better question, the one that may take a few books, will be, “what can I do to survive if this really happens?”

 

And that’s the rub. What I’ve written isn’t so impossible for most to believe. No, let me put that another way– good luck proving that I’ve written fiction.

 

Ha ha. Alright, I’m partly kidding. It is fiction, after all. Even if the characters and situations were true, the story comes from my head. The movie Titanic was fiction. Yes, there really was a ship, and it really did crash, and people really did die. A fictional story was woven in to the facts. It would be crazy to think that what I’ve written will happen.

 

You know what’s crazier? Three times so far, my fictional words came true.

 

 

THE EPIC FANTASY

 

I’m still working out how my fantasy story is different from others, exactly. There are little parts, of course, such as locations and creatures that others didn’t have. There’s the difference in how certain positions are given to people. It has a religion that I believe to be unique (since I made it up).

It’s also different because I used mostly “simple or common” names. (And yes, I have an actual reason to do so.) There are some excellent fantasy books out there with names in them that look like alphabet soup was used to select them. There’s nothing wrong with that, it just isn’t what I have done or intend to do. Perhaps I’ll be criticized by current epic fantasy lovers for not using such names.

Maybe my take on the elf or elf-like characters will draw as much attention and shock as Stephenie Meyer got for her take on certain vampires. (I’m alright with that, so long as I also get the $125 million.)

 

3 – Why do I write what I do?

 

Hang on, is this question implying that I have a choice???  ;)

 

I write what I write because the characters in my head inspire me. They come alive in my mind and prove to me that they are worthy of my time and attention. It is a great deal of time, so they really need to do a song and dance if they expect to be on a page. (Alright, that’s why I can’t answer questions like that. I have two of them in my head right now doing a strip tease dance while singing… and one of them really can’t sing well, but is unaware of that reality.)

Now playing inside my head:

Perhaps this question also pushes the point of why don’t I write something else? I am in a class now where the instructor would like me to turn one of my fictional short stories into a non-fiction article. Essentially, I can keep all of the research, but I have to throw out the characters. I’m struggling with this. It has no soul. It’s a true piece, and it isn’t bad, but I no longer have any emotional attachment to it. Like a grocery list or a while-you-were-out memo, I just don’t care. I don’t think my voice is still in it. I’m certain that anyone could have written it. So what do I do now? Do I turn in this article? Do I fail the assignment by writing something that has passion instead? I played in the non-fiction world. I’m good at it. I don’t care. I have won awards for it, but I seldom mention them, for they mean little to me. An award for gathering information and aligning it in a way which someone could read and understand without being bored to death… thousands of people do that every day. A few find a flare for it (Barbara Walters, Katherine Boo, Walter Cronkite), probably because they have a passion for it. I do not. It could make me a million dollars and still not have my heart. Naturally, I will do the assignment, because I lack the gene or whatever that allows someone to defy a teacher. I’m curious about what others would do though:

 

 


4 – How does my writing process work?

 

I prefer to sit in silence and type.

 

Before the full story is on the pages, there will be numerous documents and spreadsheets of information. Dates, character information, inspiration, research on various facts, etc all get computer folders.

 

Then there is editing. Combing through the words to see what isn’t needed. Checking the sentences all enrich the character, provide necessary information, and/or move the plot forward. I’m rereading each scene for sensory details. Making sure every part is worthy of reading and has a clear and accomplished goal which is vital to the plot. Writing is comparatively easy and fun. Editing is the bear a writer need to fight for the last scrap of food.

 

The three people I am tagging:

 

@WriterJoMalby
Jo specializes in health and nutrition articles. She’s been a freelance journalist, a feature writer, a staff writer, and a ghostwriter.

@SpookyMrsGreen
Catherine is a published adult paranormal romance author.

@HarveyBurgess
Harvey is an award-winning journalist, former police officer, and a fiction writer. He is the author of Kiss Her Goodbye: A Houston Cash Novel – available on Amazon.

Jun 01 2014

Maleficent Sunday Seven

Sunday Seven image

A list of seven of something- brought to you on Sunday. What can you add?

 

 

Seven reasons I love the movie Maleficent:

 

  1. Angelina gives an incredible, award-worthy performance full of striking emotions.
  2. This version of Sleeping Beauty is packed full of truths and life lessons.
  3. I had a feeling about how the “TLK” scene would work, and I was right. (I love the scene not only because I was right, but also because I prefer this less-creepy version.)
  4. The nickname “Beastie” cracks me up.
  5. Dragons make me happy.
  6. Stunning visual effects, which should get an award for how seamlessly they fit into the world.
  7. We writers discuss character arc at length. This movie is an impeccable example, showcasing how moving and powerful character arc can really be.

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