Friday, May 29, 2009

Blogoholics Anonymous

Hi, my name is Scott, and I'm a blogoholic! I currently follow 3,265,823.5 blogs. By days end, that number should increase by a few thousand more. It's an addiction. I can't help myself.

Stop! You're moving the cursor toward the comment section. Yes, you!!! Go ahead, click the mouse for . . . you too are a blogoholic.

Sing along with me, to the tune of Beyonce's I'm A Single Lady except the new lyrics are . . . I'm a blogoholic, I'm a blogoholic, I'm a blogoholic!

Sorry, couldn't resist a tad bit of snark this morning. Portions of this post were inspired by Lady Glamis' post about turning it off. Go here to read the post. Her suggestion to - shudder, gasp, OMG what will I do - take a week away from the Internet (insert sound of Scott's head hitting the desk as he passes out from sheer horror) is quite inspiring and . . . FRIGHTENING.

I love the blogsphere. I love the information, the banter in the comments section, the inspiration the blogs provide for me (and hopefully others as well), and the sharing of knowledge. I love the sense of community. Still, the blogsphere has a tendency to overwhelm at times due to the vast resources available within the writing blogsphere.

There are only so many hours in any given day.

Should I be writing the next epic novel instead of following so many blogs? Should I be doing 100 extra crunches rather than commenting here, there, and everywhere . . . in a house with a mouse, in a box with a fox, on a train in the rain (woo-hoo for Green Eggs and Ham)? Should I be interacting with friends/family instead of my fellow bloggers? Well, probably, but what fun is that?

Kidding! Still (yes, repetitive use of that word in this post), my name is Scott and I'm a blogoholic!

There is hope for me, and my fellow bloggers. Go here to Lady Glamis' post and read her outrageous (brilliant, perhaps) suggestion. Take a chance and step away from the blogs . . . but not forever, for you will be missed!

Have a great Friday!

p.s. I borrowed the picture off Elana's blog this morning. She and I are far too much in sync lately. The picture was just too coincidental with my post, which I typed up before going to her post, and then had to come back here and add the picture. FREAKY! : )

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Work in Progress Wednesday

Is it Wednesday already? Where in the heck is the week going? Wait, if it's Wednesday, then that means only two more days until Friday and margaritas!

Oh, wait, I'm supposed to post some info about my current Work in Progress.

In summary . . . first sentence written, basic concept devised, main character named and somewhat fleshed out, three secondary characters named and somewhat fleshed out, inserted a bit of irreverence and snark, completed Chapters 1 & 2, and have initial idea for Chapter 3!

Word Count - 3,500 approximately.

First sentence, in case you missed it in my post the other day: "You're not George Bailey and this is not It's A Wonderful Life!"

Will the sentence remain forever as the opening of the novel? I have no clue. Things change as things change. I'm just happy the words are flowing.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Today's post is, pretty much, going to start with a series of questions:
  • Do you name your characters before/after you create them?
  • How fully do you develop your characters before you begin to write?
  • Do your characters evolve from the initial creation as you write?
  • Do you (or rather, have you ever . . .) change the names of your characters midstream?

I don't know about the rest of you, but my characters rarely appear fully developed with names intact, like Aphrodite from Zeus's brow. No, life isn't that simple.

In answer to my own questions, in order of appearance . . .

Do you name your characters before/after you create them?

For the most part, I have no clue of a character's name when I first begin to create a character. I guess it's kind of like my Mom. When she became pregnant the first time, she wanted a boy and wanted to name him Steve. My sister Barb was the result of that pregnancy. No Steve for Mom. Same thing with the second pregnancy. Again, no Steve for Mom, just my sister Patti. Third time was the charm - Mom got her boy (not that she loved my sisters any less for being girls) and named him Steve. Woo-hoo. Fourth time around she got me, the favorite child. I'm just saying . . .

My current main character is named Seth. I wrote quite a bit about him before, while washing dishes by hand (yes, we have a dishwasher, there's just something relaxing about washing the dishes by hand . . . unless it's after a dinner party for eight, and then we use the dishwasher), I decided his name was Seth. I like the name. The name fits (at least for the moment) the character.

How fully do you develop your characters before you begin to write?

See above - somewhat. With Seth, I had the bare basics of the character in mind. I'd written the first paragraph before I came up with a name for my main character. Sometimes, I do an Excel worksheet with the basics - hair/eye color, height/weight, interests, family (# brothers/sisters, parents married, divorced), favorite drink . . . perhaps a margarita, and all the other jazz that makes the characters real and relateable to a reader. Then, I start to write and things will occur to me about the character. Yesterday, I wrote out one simple question: Who is Seth? I then started typing very brief responses to that question. Then, kept on writing. So, no, my characters are not fully developed before I begin to write. Are yours?

Do your characters evolve from the initial creation as you write?

See above answer. For the most part, after the first few chapters, my characters are set in stone. They do evolve in a gradual way, because isn't that the point of writing? Don't our characters have to go through an evolution of sorts to get from Point A to Point B? Don't our characters have to be somewhat elastic?

Now, I did change a secondary character from a fairly nice person to a very not so nice person in one manuscript. I needed someone not so nice and there was this secondary character, mainly on the sidelines with nothing to do. I felt kind of sorry for him, so I made him a semi-villain. This worked in this instance.

Do you (or rather, have you ever . . .) change the names of your characters midstream?

I've done this maybe a time or two. Okay, many a time. In fact, the character in a project currently in editing mode has had four (yes, four) different names over the various editing phases of the project. Hey, I'm fickle at times. As the character evolved (yes, even the character changed somewhat during the writing process), so did his name. Sometimes, a name that seems so right in the beginning, isn't so right at the end. Kind of like my friend who had the perfect name picked out for her baby until the baby was born and she just didn't look like a Brittany, she looked like a Lucy. Go figure. That's how I sometimes feel about my characters. Tim may sound like the perfect name in the beginning, but Bastian might sound like a better name toward the end. There are characters, however, whose names never change.

Okay, now it's your turn, dear readers, to answer the above questions! Have fun!


Oh, and check out this link about some interesting information on POV!

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Void is - somewhat - gone!

As any reader of this blog knows, I was lost in The Void for just a bit these past few weeks. Try as I might, I couldn't seem to find inspiration for writing. Those moments came to an end yesterday afternoon. Woo-hoo!

Now, Elana is reading my mind again. We're sometimes in sync with each other when we post. Go figure. So, check out her post on inspiration. It is, truly (sorry ahead of time) inspiring. Sorry, I really couldn't resist. It's not my fault, it just happens. I have no control.

But, back to me! Yesterday afternoon I was finishing up reading The Fellowship of the Ring and started thinking about what writing thingy I needed to do next. Finally, I decided to start editing a project. My mind - even as I continued to read - started thinking about what changes the MS needed. So, delete this, add this, keep that, change that, and suddenly my mind began to drift off in other directions. I grabbed the nearby pen and paper and began to jot down notes. I couldn't seem to stop jotting down notes - the rest of the day, before I went to bed, and quite a few times during the day. I came up with the first sentence . . .

"You're not George Bailey and this is NOT It's A Wonderful Life." The note taking continued, I figured out the name of the main character, and I began to write. Yes, I began to write. Woo-hoo!

So, my inspiration came from reading Tolkien and thinking about other topics. I was also (as I mentioned in my comment section to Elana's post) inspired by a neat restaurant I went to that had a very eclectic group of people. I actually thought that the restaurant (and many of the wait staff for that matter) would make an interesting addition to either a past manuscript or a future manuscript . . . and it will.

Personally, I'm grateful for the crazy idea that one sentence is developing into. I'm grateful for going out to dinner with friends on the spur of the moment Saturday night. I'm grateful that I have an active imagination and love to write.

Have a great day.


Sunday, May 24, 2009


I've been thinking a lot about voice lately. Now, before I go in detail, let me just say that it's - thankfully - raining here today. Why thankfully? Well, my office closed at Noon on Friday. It was a holiday weekend and we close at Noon on Friday's of a holiday weekend. Wo0-hoo. So, I get home and Frank is digging up the front yards. Being the nice, generous, somewhat snarky, person that I am, I offered to help. I spent the afternoon with my hands in the dirt. Yesterday was a repeat experience as we landscape the new sidewalk we had put in. The point is - no time for writing. Seriously, up at 6 AM yesterday, grocery store, back home, out in the yard, plant run, back in the yard - oh, crap, I've got to get cleaned up or I'm going to be late, and then not back to the house until after 9. So, writing has not existed for me this weekend.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled program. Voice. Does voice (yes, I think the word needs italics) exist in every book?

To some extent . . . yes. To a greater extent . . . no! WTH? Let me explain. There is VOICE that shines brilliantly forth. Go here to read An Offering of Vines by Lady Glamis. Her VOICE shines through brilliantly. Sometimes, however, the voice is far more subtle and almost not noticeable. Tolkien is a prime example of this smaller voice. I'm currently reading The Fellowship of the Ring. There is not, at least to me, a distinct voice but rather a simple telling of a complex tale. This simple telling of a tale versus a voice started the old brain cells synapsing this morning, and inspired this post.

The rapidly (at least I hope it was rapidly) synapsing brain cells created this question: Is voice more important than the characters we create?

Where in the heck am I going with this? Well, I think sometimes the voice of the author shines through in the characters they create, the interactions of the characters, the snarky nature of the characters, rather than in the narrative of the story. No, I haven't lost my mind or put Bailey's in my coffee. Sometimes, the VOICE is in everything. I think this is easy to do when writing in first person, as Lady Glamis did here. In third person, for me at least, it's hard to maintain such a voice for the duration of a novel. I think sometimes, the voice we want has to shine through in our characters rather in the long, narrative passages that tell the story we want to tell.

We focus so much on finding our voice that I think we get lost in the complexity of what is voice? I don't worry about voice in my rough draft. I just go with the flow and write. Somewhere along the way the voice calls out to me. Somewhere along the way, I write a sentence like this . . . The fairy godmother (okay, it was a drag queen dressed as Glinda the Good Witch) waved her magic wand and solved all the problems of the Universe. Yes, voice exists in this sentence. I wasn't aiming for a particular voice, it just sort of happened. More often than not, I think my voice shines through in my characters.

Is this wrong? Am I violating some rule of writing that nobody told me about? Or, are we, as writers, misinterpreting the ideal of voice and agonizing, fretting, diving into the pool of angst, for no reason? Should we let our writing flow instinctively? Should we stop trying so hard to find our voice and just let our voice find us?

Now, I'm currently working on a project (well, I have the beginnings of an idea, a cast of characters, and a murder) where the tone is very laid-back and the voice is very irreverent, quirky, and a bit snarky. Go figure. I know I have an uphill battle ahead of me writing this in third person and trying to maintain the quirkiness, irreverence, and snark throughout the entire project. This will be one of those manuscripts where the voice is evident in every word.

So, what are your struggles with voice? Do you think every book you read has a distinct voice? Do you notice it right away? Or, is the voice more subtle most of the time? Does Mary Higgin's Clark write with a distinct voice? Janet Evanovich? Well, yes she does, but again, this is one of those instances where I think the voice is more in the characters. Tolkien? Guy Gavriel Kay? Tolstoy? Dickens? All of us aspiring writers in the blogsphere? Should we focus more on the voice of our characters?


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Rules for Writing

Scrolling through the gazillion blogs I follow I came upon this post by Alex Moore, which then led me to this post. So, click on both, so I can give credit where credit is due. The gist of the post . . .

Jess Walter (published author) offered the following rules for writing:

  • Revel in the work
  • Sweat the sentences
  • When you finish something, really celebrate
  • Take joy in the small victories
  • Trust your instincts
  • Be nicer to yourself
  • Keep in mind your story of how you came to be a writer

Please, seriously, go here and read the full post and the comments that followed.

I love these rules, especially take joy in the small victories. How often do we ignore the small victories - that essential sentence, the paragraph of brilliance - because we're too focused on the greater picture of completing our novel? I'm guilty, guilty, guilty, just sentence me to a life without Starbucks!!!! Noooooo, must have Starbucks, must have Starbucks . . . well, as long as I can still have my margaritas on Friday night!

So, I'm going to post these rules on the cluttered bulletin board next to my desk and try to celebrate the small victories. I'm also, as I've written about before, as has Lady Glamis, going to trust my instincts more. If something's not working, I'm stepping away from that and moving on to something else - this is something I did the other night when a chapter just wasn't gelling for me. I stopped working on the chapter, did something else, then came back and rewrote the chapter. Brilliance. Okay, not brilliance, but I trusted my instinct and things worked out.

Have a great day.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Void

The Void is the place where writing does not exist. There are no pens, no papers, no laptops, typewriters, or anything. There is only a vast silence where words do not, cannot, exist. Such is the place I currently find myself. OMG, I'm lost in space. Sorry, that snuck in without me looking. Hate it when that happens.

I'm currently in between projects. Yes, I have editing galore to do. Editing, editing, editing, and more editing. Geesh, does it ever end? No, it doesn't. There's always something I have to edit.

At this point, the current project I'm working on is in self-imposed (me being the self-imposer) exile. Once I finish one editing phase, I always set the project aside for a couple of weeks to provide some distance. Distance, for me, is the key to effective writing/editing. So, that project is slumbering nicely and . . . NOTHING. There's nothing happening. Where, oh, where has that dratted Inspiration gone? Where is she (or he) hiding? I've looked everywhere! Seriously, people, everywhere! I can't find her (or him). Clever little *&%^#! How dare she (or he) hide when I need her (him) the most? It's just not fair.

Okay, I do have a few ideas swimming around in the vastness of my mind. I just can't catch those ideas. Who knew they could swim so fast? I certainly didn't!

Yes, I'm frustrated. Then, there's that little voice (I have quite a few of those in my mind as well, nothing to worry about . . . I think) in my mind saying there are other projects that need editing attention, you do have things you could be doing! I hate that voice sometimes. It sounds exactly like my mother (sorry, Mom, but it does). Do I pay attention to that voice? No, and there were times I didn't pay attention to my mother, which would explain why I spent a good portion of my childhood grounded . . . which was not necessarily a bad thing, because I was perfectly content in my room reading books. : ) Okay, I wasn't grounded that often, but Mom never figured out that sending me to my room really wasn't a punishment.

So, instead of full force writing or editing, I've been jotting down notes for story ideas. I have one idea I'm pretty excited about - just not enough to obsess over right now. Then, there's the great fantasy epic that I've rewritten so many times . . . well, it's not even funny. It's sad, pathetic, and . . . is it too early in the day for a margarita? Yes, I'm in snark mode this morning. I need to focus, focus, focus. Editing is writing, editing is writing, editing is writing!

Yes, I know editing is writing. I told you I was in snark mode this morning. I just hate The Void (can't you just hear some computer enhanced voice echoing those words over and over and over again?). I hate these - normally very brief - interim moments between projects when I seriously can't decide what to write next.

Thankfully, the moments will pass. My question: what do you do when confronted with The Void?

Have a great Wednesday.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Miss Snark's First Victim's Book Trailer

Since I'm all about the free stuff . . .

The fabulous Miss Snark's First Victim has done a trailer for Agent Demystified. You can find more information about her book at AuthoressPress.

Now, if I had the time, I'd have the video cleverly embedded in this post. Okay, if I had the technological savvy . . . which I obviously don't, so you'll just have to click on the link. Sorry.

Also, if you haven't done so before, check out Miss Snark's First Victim's blog. It's a wonderful source of information, snark, and contests. Woo-hoo!


Little Details - Part Two

40 Degrees this morning with an expected high of 77 degrees. Woo-hoo! Now what in the heck does any of that have to do with a blog about writing? Well, it’s all in the little details.

How often is the weather mentioned in your writing? Do you make it a point of giving some indication – chilly, cool, hot, humid, sweltering, so hot you could fry an egg on your windshield, damp, moist, cloudy, dreary – of the weather in your writing? Do you mention that Sally is wearing a sweater because it is 33 degrees in May, in Tennessee (or wherever your story takes place)?

Do you mention any of the following . . .
  • condensation on margarita pitcher
  • congealing cheese dip
  • salsa dripping off the chip and onto your character's pristine, neatly pressed and lightly starched white button down Oxford
  • lukewarm coffee - character is walking around, sipping coffee, doing this, that, and whatever, then takes a drink and - blech - the coffee is lukewarm or cold
  • waking up to sound of cat hacking up hairball
  • stepping on said hacked up hairball the next morning because character was too lazy to get out of bed and clean it up at 2 AM
  • opening bottle of wine
  • commenting about taste of wine
  • going to bathroom (no, not all the gory details - just a reference i'm distended and must void as a character, perhaps, stands up from the table in the restaurant and walks away, out of the scene)
  • washing dishes
  • noticing people - i.e., Jane notices that the man with the nice pecs has on a nice blue shirt, or his jeans are tight and showing off his assets
  • the color of the margaritas - trust me, some nights they are nuclear green, and some nights their a more safe to drink color
  • the taste of the margaritas as in whoa, did someone get carried away with the lime juice!!!

Just like the character details mentioned in this post, I try to mention the little details about life in my writing. I want my characters/situations as real as possible. My characters are known to make snarky comments about going to the bathroom. I have gone into detail about a character opening a bottle of wine or going blech when he/she took a sip of cold coffee. I have two characters that every night, after dinner, wash and dry the dishes together. It is a routine. They talk about the day or whatever as they do the dishes. It is one of their rituals as a couple. Washing dishes is one of their bonding moments of their day.

I firmly believe that every story needs the little details of life to make it more real, even if the story takes place on some far distant world or in a kingdom of Elves or beneath the sea. The little details weave the threads of the story together into a believable - at least in my opinion - tapestry.

So, my question: do you infuse your story with the little details of life? If not, why? If so, what are some of the details?


Monday, May 18, 2009

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Little Details

It’s the start of another dreary day in Tennessee, though the weather people promise sunshine and cooler temperatures. The rain in Spain falls mainly in the plane, but the rain in Tennessee seems to fall mainly every day . . . until today. Woo-hoo!

Am I out frolicking in the cool, cloudy morning? Of course not. I’m sitting inside, second cup of coffee steaming next to me, and tap-tap-tapping away at the keys on my laptop as my brilliance pours forth like a waterfall down the side of a mountain – that’s a simile, just in case you’re wondering. For more on similes, allegories, and metaphors, check out the this post at The Literary Lab by the other Scott.

The brilliance that I just couldn't find Friday morning, has suddenly resurfaced. It could be due to lack of sleep, the fact that Jesse (one of the Cocker Spaniels) has been whining since about 5 this morning, or just that, sometimes, brilliance happens when it happens, and not on command.

I've been thinking a lot about characters lately. More to the point, about the details of characters. Stephanie Plum (Janet Evanovich's too dang funny bounty hunter) eats peanut butter and olive sandwiches. Eeeeewwww! Bilbo Baggins (if you have no clue, I'm sorry, there's no help whatsoever for you) loves to blow smoke rings and he was discombobulated to find out he left the house without a clean handkerchief on the day his adventure truly began. These are small, itty, bitty, almost minuscule details about the characters that endear the characters to me.

What traits (quirks, perhaps) do your characters have that will endear them to your readers? Do your characters have these little quirks? If not, why?

Here's another, major question: what do you know about your characters?

Here's some info about one of my main characters:
  • Blonde hair, brown eyes, wears size 32 jeans
  • Absolutely loves, loves, loves banana pudding
  • He drinks Crown and Coke with a twist of lime when he not drinking margaritas.
  • He loves reading mysteries - Carol Goodman is one of his favorite authors.
  • He has a cat.
  • He has two sisters and his parents are divorced.
  • Casper the Ghost has more of a tan than he does.
  • He loves to cook.
  • He loves the colors blue, green, and pink, and normally buys shirts in various shades of each of these colors.
  • He has an irritating habit of biting his lower lip when he's thinking.

The list goes on and on and on. Are these little details vitally important? Well, to me, yes. I want to know the little details about the characters I'm reading. I want to know their quirks, their favorite drinks, books, movies, and the fact that they absolutely love, love, love banana pudding or peanut butter and olive (eeewww) sandwiches.

Why am I writing about this on - just in case you're wondering - a still dreary Sunday morning in May? Because sometimes these little things are missing in the books I read. The characters are well developed, don't get me wrong, and I attach myself to the characters, but sometimes - the little things - there's something missing.

My advice: add in some quirks, some little things, that, years after people have read your book, they'll remember about your characters.

Well, that's it for today. My next post, sometime this week, is also going to concern little details, but in a broader perspective than just the characters. Stay Tuned!


Friday, May 15, 2009

Random Friday Things (Updated)

I had this big, huge, brilliant blog post all planned out for this morning. My little mind was feverishly working last night as I lay in bed and tried (that being the key word) to go to sleep. Why couldn't I sleep? Did you miss the part about my mind feverishly working?

Well, the road to a very hot place is paved with good intentions. I tossed out my brilliance - well, I think it snuck away at the crack of dawn, I'm really not sure at this point - and decided on a different route for the blog.

I'm going to share some of the brilliance on the blogsphere with you this morning. Yeah, it's a bit lazy on my part. It's Friday. The sun is shining, the grass is glistening with dew, and the birds are chirping up a symphony. Did I mention it's margarita night? So, without further delay, you might want to drop in on Tess, LitGirl01, Alex, or Rachelle, and KT Literary. Then, if you have time you can stop in and see the other Scott, or Michelle, and there's always The Literary Lab and Lady Glamis, not to mention a ton of other blogs - just click on any of the pics in the Followers widget, and a wealth of brilliance is waiting for you.

Okay, check out Lynn Behler's blog here - she offers a list of what she looks for when she receives a submission.

Have a great Friday. I promise, the brilliant post that should have been here this morning will arrive, but probably not until later this weekend or first of next week.


p.s. Tess did do an absolutely brilliant post. I'm just saying . . . (so he wrote with a grin and a wink).

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Narrative Passage Thursday

Okay, dear readers, here it is: Narrative Passage Thursday.

As stated before there are really no rules. My personal preference, no dialogue. That's just me.

Now, I read and read and read and read and read some more last night looking for just the right passage to post here. I couldn't make a decision. Go figure. So (note to self - stop using the word 'so' so (dang) often), I decided to post various small narrative passages.

Jake was beyond furious. If rage had a color, his would be the most vibrant red tinged with just a hint of yellow for drama queen effect.

Rage, unfortunately, did not have a color. Rage – silent for so long, if he didn’t speak the words, they wouldn’t come true – only had an outlet now: his mother. She stood across from him in her newly updated – granite counters, stainless appliances, hardwood floors – kitchen. She had wiped away the kitchen of his childhood, just as she had wiped away the truth regarding his private adoption 32 years ago.

Jake turned around, away from the pain in Ophelia’s eyes, and out the window. Night had fallen over Nashville. The majority of the downtown buildings were brightly lit. Traffic moved at a hurried pace on the streets below. Time seemed to slow in the condo. Ophelia’s life – her carefully constructed lie and the truth she and Cordelia kept hidden from Ophelia’s family for thirty-two years – was about to implode around her, and in a very unpleasant way. Tomorrow – Friday the 13th to be exact, a most fitting day for bad news – would see the truth about Esmeralda DeMarrco’s unnamed beneficiary released to her family. The DeMarrco family – particularly Esmeralda’s son Antonio – would have a name to direct their hate towards, an actual living, breathing person who allegedly tricked his mother into leaving all her wealth to them, instead of to her family. Little did Antonio – or Ophelia, or their children, or anyone know – that everything Esmeralda did was to right a wrong done so long ago, and to unite a family that should never have been divided. I will grant you anonymity until the day the courts – trust me, they will – declare me competent. Only then, shall your name be released to my family. Only then, shall the wicked game I have in store for you, for my family, begin. I don’t do this out of spite, or even revenge at Ophelia, though she deserves more than I could ever plan for her, but to bring you home to us, where you belong. So spoke Esmeralda in a DVD. He took her at her word – now, even though he doubted her for a number of years. She had been right about the competency hearings. She had been more than prepared for the inevitable fight over her will, and the lengths her son would go to in order to claim her wealth. He trusted she would be right on every other tidbit of information she provided in the DVDs.

Friday the 13th dawned bright, clear, and bitterly cold. Jake found it extremely fitting for the day life, as he currently knew it, to end. He stood at the windows of his condo, coffee cup in hand, and looked out at the city. In a few hours, the DeMarrco family would learn his name. He sighed. Life was about choices, forks in the proverbial road, left, right, or gaily forward. Each choice is a different path, a different possibility, and every choice not made, every path not taken, is a different possibility. For the most part, Jake never thought back about the choices he made in life. He did not dwell on the what ifs of life, but rather the this is the choice I made and I must live with the consequences of that choice. He had made some bad choices in his life. He moved past those moments, on to the next, and did not bother to dwell on what might have happened had he taken the path to the left rather than the path to the right, or just went gaily forward. Life was life, perhaps not totally predestined, but still life.

Now, a different place and time, so many bad choices behind him, he faced the ultimate question: what if? There were so many of those questions in his mind now. What if his mother and aunt had told him the truth from the beginning? What if his aunt had not made that fateful choice that changed so many lives, hers – possibly his as well – most of all? What if he had never befriended the old woman in Borders? What if he never learned the truth? What if the ultimate lie never happened and he had lived a totally different life? Would the abuse he endured never have happened if that ‘what if’ occurred? Would he not be scarred – emotionally/physically – if his aunt had chosen a different path? Would he be a fundamentally different person? Would he not be afraid to open himself up to another man?

Jake sat at the piano in his condo, his fingers poised over the keyboard, his right foot hovering just above the pedal. He closed his eyes, inhaled slightly, saw the notes form in his mind, lowered his fingers to the keyboard, and began to play Girls of the Night from Jekyll and Hyde. He let the notes rise into the room, the music surround him, and his mind focused solely on the music. There was nothing else. Nighttime is where we live, night is where we give everything we have to give. The words to the song seemed to float in his mind. Somewhere I know there’s a someday, just for me, everybody has that someday, so why not me? Effortless, no thought, just him and the music. Most lovers can rejoice, we don’t have a choice, we just know we have to give. There was only this, here, now, and nothing else existed – not his mother, not the lies of Ophelia, not the wicked game he found himself playing against his will. Ask me to share your fantasies . . .

Okay, that's it. Just a few tidbits of narration. Nothing major. Have a great day.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Work in Progress Wednesday & Other Things

My current work in progress (first draft phase, which follows the rough draft phase, which is the initial writing of the next brilliant masterpiece to hit the publishing world) is done. I finished the last of the edits last night. Now, I'll set the project aside for at least a week before I go back for the Second Draft phase of the writing process.

Random Things

Since there is Teaser Tuesday and Work in Progress Wednesday I jokingly suggested when leaving a comment on another blog that there should be Descriptive Passage Thursday. I really shouldn't joke, because sometimes I take myself way too seriously. This is one of those times. So, tomorrow, on this blog, I'll post a descriptive passage from either my currently out to query project or the WIP that I just finished editing. Are there rules to posting? Of course, what is life without rules? A heck of a lot more fun, but I digress. The only rule is that the passage cannot contain dialogue. Not one word. The passage is (and descriptive is probably the wrong word, perhaps Narrative Passage Thursday - yeah, that's it) a chunk of narrative whether the chaotic thoughts of a character, a striking scene that will knock readers over and make them gasp in amazement and then have them quickly type up their own blog post with a link to that post and . . . well, I'm quite snarky for whatever reason this morning.

So, tune in here tomorrow to see which stunning narrative passage, which small scene, I post to amaze and thrill even those who think they cannot be amazed or thrilled. Dang, I need to calm down. My co-workers aren't going to be happy with me today. : )

Just to make it official . . . tomorrow is Narrative Passage Thursday. I challenge every reader of this blog to post a passage of their brilliant writing on their blogs. You know I'll be watching!

Now I know this next question has been posed by many a blogger in the blogsphere, but, since a friend asked me this question in an email this morning . . . how many of your 'real world' (i.e., non-blogger) friends know that you've written a book, or 2, or 3?

Wow, talk about the start to my day. My response . . .

Very few of my real world friends know that I write. It's really not something I share that often. I have no clue why. I just don't. Now, let me change that comment somewhat . . . very few of my friends that I see on a regular basis know that I write. Yes, that's kind of odd, isn't it? The majority of people who know I write are people I see once a year at the conference in MA (not a writer's conference, btw). Go figure. Writing has, for the most part, always been intensely private to me. There's also the thing where, when people know, they're always coming up to you and saying "well, you know, I have an idea for your next story". So, I keep my writing to myself. My blog link is out there on my Facebook page, so if people want to find it they can find it.

In no way am I ashamed of my writing, or anything like that. I'm just normally - this blog the main exception, well, my other blog to - not that talkative about my writing. As we all know, sometimes people just look at us in a strange way when we say hey, I'm a writer. So, I keep that little secret to myself . . . for the most part. Do you? How many people have you told? How many people haven't you told?

On that note, I bid you adieu . . . for now. There are other thoughts rambling around in my brain this morning. Too many to post here without boring, or possibly scaring, my readers. Have a great day.


p.s. sorry about the multiple spaces between paragraphs. It all has something to do with the photo. Now, you know why I rarely post photos. : )

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Teaser Tuesday

Okay, obviously I've been left out of the loop . . . again. Who knew there was such a thing as Teaser Tuesday. I sure as heck didn't, but both Tess and Elana did. Thanks guys, for sharing this valuable information . . . okay, that was a bit snarky, and I'm only kidding.

So, in the spirt of Teaser Tuesday . . .

“It’s a mockery.” Antonio stood facing the tomstone, his hands clenched into fists.

“It’s a reminder.” Jared spoke the words softly.

Antonio looked at him, one brow arched slightly. “A reminder? Of what? My idiocy? My affair? The lie my . . .” he stopped. Some words could not be spoken.

“Was told, so very long ago, and kept secret, until a wicked witch decided to play a wicked game.” He grinned slightly. “The witch told the truth to a man who did not want to know that truth. She stripped everything from him – belief in his mother, belief in the truth, and even his free-will. She knew what he would do for love. She wasn't wrong. He bowed to her demands. He gave in, time and again. He swore, to the greater powers in the Universe, that he wouldn't care, and that he would walk away, at the end of the year, without a second thought. His friends and his mother warned him that he loved too hard and got hurt too easily. He didn't listen. They were right. Still, he persisted and protected the unforgivable lie, the truth that could never, never, never come out for fear it would destroy the two people he loved most in this life. He would suffer what he must suffer, to protect them and . . .,” he shrugged, “perhaps to protect himself.” He paused and slowly exhaled. “The truth, it doesn't matter. It isn't what happened yesterday, or almost thirty-three years ago, but rather what happens today. Do we let the past rule our lives, or do we move forward, moment by moment, to tomorrow? Do we let the lost child remain forever dead, the circumstances of his death forever held secret, and let the child who lived keep on living?” He looked at the grave. “I am not the lost child, Antonio, and I never will be. I am, for better or worse, Jacob Marcus Cavanaugh. And, at least according to my lover, I’m a damn fine person.” He laughed softly and looked back at Antonio’s face and his pain ravaged eyes.

Antonio nodded his head slightly. “Does justice and punishment not exist? Doesn’t somebody always pay the price?”

“Too many somebodys have already paid the price.”

The above conversation takes place towards the end of the project I'm currently editing. I'm only in first draft phase, so there's lots of work to go.

Happy Teaser Tuesday!



For any one who cares, Lady Glamis inspired this post, in an offbeat kind of way.

Lately, in the comments of the gazillion blogs I follow, I've noticed quite a few comments (go figure) about dialogue. For me, dialogue is one of the easiest parts of writing. I love, love, LOVE writing dialogue. My mind is filled with endless conversations for my characters to have in any type of situation. I love the emotions behind the words, and the interplay of words in dialogue. Not everybody has this love of writing dialogue. For some writers, dialogue is a major pain in the . . . nether regions of the backside.

So, sometimes before the crack of dawn this morning, after I fed and let the boyz out (at 3:30 AM in case anybody cares), I could not fall swiftly back to sleep. Okay, part of the problem was that my cat Squeaky decide to park herself on top of me and gnaw on my ears, neck, and chin, no matter how many times I told her no dumpling, daddy's tired. Okay, I didn't say it that nicely, but the thought was there. It was almost 4 AM people, give me a break. Still, not able to fall back to sleep my mind began to wander and I, for whatever reason, began to think about dialogue. Well, the floodgates opened. I jotted down notes in line at Starbucks, at every red light I thankfully (yes, there are times I'm thankful for a red light) came to, and even while driving down the road (yes, I did, sorry, I was inspired).

Now that I've finished my Sophia Petrillo digression . . .

For me, dialogue needs to flow naturally. I don't like it when dialogue seems forced or stilted.

So, how do you achieve natural dialogue when dialogue is the bane of your existence and you'd rather go to the dentist and have him drill away at every single tooth instead of writing the necessary dialogue? I have no clue. All I can do is write about what works for me, and hope that you can glean some small bit of knowledge from that information.

First - the dialogue needs to flow naturally. I achieve this by paying attention to my friends, co-workers, people in restaurants, bars, movie theaters, or wherever. I'm a people watcher. I study their habits as they talk. I listen (okay, I eavesdrop in hopes of picking up some juicy tidbit of information I can use in my next novel) to their conversations. I pay attention to how they speak, what they say, and any little conversational quirks. I apply everything I see/hear to the characters and their conversations.

Now, all of this doesn't really help, does it? I mean, writing dialogue is difficult for some people. True, but if you can write brilliant prose, descriptive passages, delve into the emotions of your characters, then you can write dialogue as well. You (Major Generalization) have conversations everyday with your family, friends, coworkers, store clerks, bank tellers, and whoever. You don't stumble and fall flat on your face in those conversations, do you? You have arguments with people you love, right? You get your point across? Okay, then the basis for dialogue is right there! Have you ever had a conversation in your mind with somebody? For example, you're mad at a friend and plan to confront them, so you go over the conversation in your mind first? Well, next time you're doing that, write the conversation out. Go ahead, try! Trust me, you'll be surprised at the dialogue that unfolds before you.

Now, here are a few tidbits of information I pay attention to when writing dialogue.

Do your characters, when having a conversation, . . . talk with their hands, bit their lower lip, quirk an eyebrow, drum their fingers on the table, furrow their brow, get a red spot just above the bridge of their nose (this happens to a friend of mine when she gets overly excited during a conversation), cross their arms over their chest, tap their foot, rub their fingers together, spit just a little bit, tug at their ear, twirl a strand of hair around their finger?????

WTH does any of that have to do with dialogue? Well, it has everything to do with dialogue because people do not just stand frozen in place when they have a conversation. The actions of your characters during the dialogue moments are, sometimes, just as important as the dialogue.

When your characters are having conversations do they . . . lose their train of thought, misspeak a word (Walmarts instead of Walmart, for example), curse, stutter, stumble, go uh, uh, um, yeah, like, well, uh, maybe . . . or any other thing.

The above aspects are important as well, at least to me.

Another important, again, at least for me, aspect of dialogue is the words the characters use. I know there have been a few posts about using curse words. I use them - sparingly - in my dialogue. Why? Because some of my friends use the F word, and some of them don't; therefore, some of my characters use the F word, and some don't. Again, this all comes down to the dialogue flowing naturally. You can write a book without a single curse word. It's possible, it's feasible, but, if your story takes place today (here, now, 2009) is it really likely that not one character in your novel uses the F word? Is the dialogue truly real if there isn't one F word in the book? I'll leave that up to the individual writers out there.

Another aspect of dialogue, again for me, is to stay true to the characters I'm writing about. One of my favorite English teachers did an in-depth lecture about the connotations of words and the empowerment of words. Her examples: Bitch, Faggot, Fairy, and the N Word (sorry, don't like the word and I'm not going to even type it out). Basically, she said that women often take the word Bitch and make it a power word, thus lessening the derogatory impact of the word. Her example: Yeah, I'm a bitch. Okay, so she thinks she's a bitch, which makes the word less derogatory when someone else throws the word at her. The same goes for faggot and fairy when used by gay men. Yes, gay men throw those terms around each other all the time. Why? Again, by throwing those words around, adding a different connotation to the words, the derogatory nature of the words are lessened. Therefore, if I'm writing (which I do) about gay men, I'm going to toss around those words in the conversations my characters have. Why? Because it's real life, people, and that's what needs to show up in your dialogue. There needs to be a realness to the situation.

Okay, I've gone on a very lengthy diatribe this morning and better stop while I'm ahead. My questions, since there must be questions, are . . . What works for you when writing dialogue? What doesn't work for you? Why doesn't it work? What are the problems you're having with dialogue?

p.s. blogger is doing some lovely format things with this post, and I don't have the time to figure out how to correct them, so . . . my apologies. : )

Monday, May 11, 2009

At what point . . .

. . . do you push the baby out of the nest? No, I’m not talking about an actual baby. Please, I’m not heartless. The baby I am talking about is . . . the writing project you’ve been endlessly editing for years and years and years (OMG, where did that grey hair come from??).

Why is Scott writing this post, you're thinking? Okay, maybe you're not thinking that, but this is my blog and I'm allowed some poetic license. Go here and you’ll see the inspiration for my post. Davin’s wonderful post, and all the great comments, started the thought process for this post.

How many edit processes do you go through before you’re ready to query? One, two . . . twelve? Do you ever feel you are ready to query?

At what cost, brilliance? Does the brilliance of your writing suffer if you (sorry English teachers everywhere) query after the fifth draft? The sixth? The twelth? Does your frustration increase if you never, ever, not in a trillion years think your writing is good enough? Where/when does the madness end?

I look at my work as the building of the human body. The rough draft is the skeleton, and each subsequent draft is the muscles, organs, skin, etc., until the finished product is before me. Now, this may seem an odd way to look at my writing, but it is what works for me. Writing is a process. Editing is part of that process. Rough Draft to Fifth Draft is a process. I do a complete read through every time with a colored pen in hand to scritch-scratch away as I read. I add/delete here, there and every where. I’m never truly satisfied with the final product.


Yes, you read that correctly: I’m never truly satisfied with the final product.

Still, that’s just me. I want everything perfect. I just understand that, based on my criteria, perfection does not exist. If I hold onto my ideal of perfection, then the baby will never be pushed out of the nest. It will sit on my desk, endlessly, collecting dust until the next edit phase, and never journey out into Queryland. I want my baby to journey out into Queryland. I want to push it out of the nest and, like every parent out there, hope it flies as far as it can fly with as few bumps along the way as possible.

Is it wrong to want such a thing for my baby? Is it wrong to want to share the brilliance of my writing with a truly unsuspecting world? Of course not! It is the dream of every writer.

So, the point to my rambling, boils down to a simple question: at what point are you ready to push your baby out of the nest?

Now, before you answer that question, please go here, read Davin’s post and all the comments, and truly think about your response. Do you have not so good sentences and paragraphs in your beloved manuscript? Are you truly comfortable and confident with what you have written?

Here, dear readers, is the . . . well, can’t think of the proper word, hate it when that happens . . . Basically, if you are comfortable and confident with what you have written, then send it out to Queryland. Take a chance, take a chance, take a chance (dang, shouldn’t have watched Mamma Mia for the gazillionth time) . . . on your writing.

What all this doesn’t mean, is never stop aspiring for perfection as Scott (not me, the Scott from Literary Lab) so aptly put it in his comment to this post. Keep honing your writing, polishing it to a brilliant shine with every word you write and edit. Just don’t let your polishing become so obsessive that your baby never leaves the nest. I’m just saying . . .

Saturday, May 9, 2009


No, I'm not asking for sympathy based on the fact that I'm sleep deprived (EXHAUSTED) after a week at the conference. I had a great time. Way too good a time, in fact. Such is life. I survived.

This morning, as I prowled through the blogsphere, and a part of my mind was obviously elsewhere (hate it when that happens), I started to think about sympathy toward characters, especially the main characters, even if that character is an evil despot out to rule the Universe.

My main character in my currently out to query project is sympathetic . . . I think. Truly he is, I have no doubts . . . I think. So, my fatigued mind begins to track over the events of my character's current situation and - dang, I don't think I'd really feel that much sympathy for him since he seems kind of flighty. Okay, it wasn't that bad. I just realized I need to tweak one or two really minor - Code Blue, crash cart, STAT - things. Seriously, they are really minor tweaks. The tweaks are not major plot twists or reveals, and only require minimal work on my part.

How sympathetic are your main characters? Is there something about them that might turn a reader off? Does Priscilla (just a name picked at random, not an actual character of mine) do one thing that totally skews the reader's perspective of her? Does that one thing cast her in an un-sympathetic light that makes her ultimate decision not so much a grand fireworks display, but more a flickering candle amid thousands of candles? Yes, that is similar to the dilemma I face.

My character is sympathetic. He realizes he has a decision to make. The decision is not an easy one. I chart his struggle, his frustration, his desire to do the right right thing and, hopefully, not hurt people in the process. It all seems pretty straightforward. Yes, until the character does this and that and then suddenly, there is a pattern which totally skews the readers perspective of the character. I mean, why care about somebody who is allegedly going through a life altering event if they did this and that? Personally, I wouldn't care, and I would feel robbed!

So, I must eliminate this and that so that the struggle makes more sense. For this character, in this instance, a pattern cannot exist.

Are your characters sympathetic enough? Are they too sympathetic? Is there something about your characters (preferably main, the drivers of the story) that might make a devoted reader suddenly go . . . HUNH!!!! Is there something that might make a reader think why keep reading?

Sometimes, it is the small things that make all the difference to the reader.

Oh, and since I brought up the whole evil despot thing . . . too often when I wrote villains, I wanted them to be sympathetic. I wanted to understand what made them the way they were and to - ultimately - redeem them at the end. Sometimes, redemption is not an option. Sometimes, people do bad things for no other reason than they want to do bad things. Don't try to redeem every bad (i.e., evil, villain like, etc.) character. I'm just saying . . .


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Work in Progress - Wednesday

First, how come it wasn't until recent weeks in following a gazillion blogs that I realized there was such a thing as Work in Progress Wednesday? I had no clue. Somebody was not keeping me informed. Okay, I'm that somebody, but that's beside the point.

In the spirit of WIPW - I am almost through the first revision stage of the next project I want to query. Querytime for that project is far, far down the writing road. Still, I only have about four chapters left to edit and then I'm done with this phase of editing. Woo-hoo!

Now, to my next question: What if . . .

I'm currently reading Mary Higgins Clark's latest Just Take My Heart. Very early on, surprisingly (so he writes with a big grin on his face) someone is murdered. No. A murder in a Mary Higgins Clark novel!!! Say it isn't so!! What's the world coming to??? Sorry, I'm in one of those moods this morning. Here's my question: what if the character lived, but was in a coma?

Next question: how often do you wonder what would have happened in your novel, if you changed some minor event?

In my current WIP, there's a huge, major, life altering secret that a few of the characters now. The revelation of this secret would have far reaching ramifications for one family. The main character is protecting the secret at great cost to him. Other characters begin to suspect the secret, but I never reveal the full secret to those characters. Now, what if I did?

Well, it would change the ending of the story. It's one thing to think you (sorry LitGirl01) know a secret, and another thing to really KNOW the secret. Why? Because, sometimes, it is easier to live in the Land of Denial than the real world. The full truth, no matter the reasons behind what created the secret in the first time, would devastate a family and rip it apart. Knowing but not KNOWING the secret keeps the family intact . . . well, at least in the end of the current WIP.

The events in MHC latest just got (sorry) me to thinking about how a minor change in any novel could create a dramatically different ending. Thoughts . . .


Okay, that's it for today. I need more coffee and then must run off to a meeting. Joy of joys!! Did I mention I left seven straight days of rain, only to find it raining in MA! Give me some sunshine, people.

Monday, May 4, 2009

This Week

My posts and comments will - probably - be greatly diminished this week. I head out of town tomorrow for a work (the work that pays my bills so I can follow my writing dream) conference and will have limited time to blog, comment, or even write for that matter.

Never fear, I'll drop in on all the blogs I can, and comment as I have time. I might even generate a post or twelve. You just never know with me. If you don't see my comments popping up, it is just that life is too crazy this week. Take care.


Sunday, May 3, 2009


happiness is a journey, not a destination . . . Souza

for a long time it seemed to me that life was about to begin - real life. but there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. at last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life. this perspective has helped me to see there is no way to happiness. happiness is the way. so treasure every moment you have and remember that time waits for no one.

The above words are on my coffee mug. I look a these words every morning. I remember every day that not only is happiness a journey, but so is life and, ultimately, so is writing.

I think that I (possibly we, but I'm going to try and stay away from generalizations, for the sake of all English teachers in the Universe) sometimes forget the part about the journey. I get too caught up in the writing, the searching of blogs, the endless revisions of the query letter, the frustration of the generic - not right for me - response, and so many other things. These things are the obstacles that get in the way (not that I'm going to stop blogging).

The writing is everything to me. I love to write. I love the journey I take each time I sit down in front of the computer to write. I find happiness in my writing. You see, writing is part of my journey to happiness. It is not an obstacle to happiness. Oh, no, far from it (okay, I ended a sentence with a preposition - so much for those English teachers)! Writing is just one of the stepping stones on that path to happiness.

So what I am trying to say? Live for the moment. Quit obsessing about the future moment of publication. Invest in yourself, invest in your writing, and - somehow - find happiness along the way. Forget about the doubt (yeah, I know, easier said than done), forget about the endless mountains of revision looming before you, forget about the potential jealousy of other writers. We (gasp, horror of horrors, a generalization just occurred) have enough to worry about as we attempt to hone our talent, without adding a few other things.

Enjoy the moments you write, the moments of creation when happiness truly exists. Accept the obstacles for what they truly are - momentary detours during our journey to happiness.

Life is not about things being easy every single day. We must endure the obstacles, get past them, and continue our journey.

With that line of thought, I'm going to end this post with a quote from Catherine Cash Spellman's Bless the Child . . .

"What will I do?" she cried into the hot desert wind.

"You will fight against Fate and the Devil and the world and God and everybody, if you must! That's where the dignity lies. You can't control what they do to you. Only what you do in return. This is no fair game we've been sent to play here. Hateful things happen. People die. People suffer. People are born with no limbs, no sight, no hearing. Courage! That's all there is!

We must have courage to keep going, day after day, as we write, as we journey to happiness, and as we journey toward publication.


Saturday, May 2, 2009


Who out there in the writing-sphere, at some time or other, perhaps constantly, doesn't doubt their ability to write? Who, rejection after rejection - this just isn't right for me, blah, blah, blah -doesn't begin to doubt their talent?

Writing, as my best friend tells me from time to time, is a talent. We (writers) are talented. There's just so dang many of us out there.

Lady Glamis, as usual, had an excellent post about the love affair writers have with their work. I agree with her 100%. As usual, her post inspired me. Go figure. In fact, the following is what triggered the thought process for this post: "I hate to tell you this, but you are as good as you think you are." Those are the greatest words - okay, an agent calling and offering representation are probably the greatest words, well, maybe the fact that a publisher . . . - a writer can hear. Why? Because we all doubt our abilities.

I never planned on being a writer. It just happened. One day, I started to write, and I haven't stopped since. The years have flown by. The unfinished projects sit on a shelf in my semi-messy office closet. Why? Doubt!

Doubt is such a subtle entity, slipping in when we least expect it, and sabotaging all our grand imaginings about our brilliant writing.

It is NORMAL to doubt. Just don't let your DOUBT paralyze you and stop you from what you do best: writing.

"I hate to tell you this, but you are as good as you think you are."

Those are simply magical words that erase the doubt that rests within every writer, every artist, every person. Every now and then, every writer needs to hear those words . . . or something similar. I remember the first time an English professor told me that my writing (on an essay, for that matter) was wicked cool. I'm sorry, that was probably the greatest compliment ever. Another professor, again, after reading a writing project for class, told me I was gifted. WOW! Talk about a doubt eraser. These were people that knew writing, and saw the good, the bad, and the very ugly on a daily basis. My writing was wicked cool and I was gifted.

I hate to say it, but those were turning points with my writing. Why? Because the doubt I harbored, cradled within me, began to lose its power. No matter how much I had written, no matter how much I might write, I still didn't fully believe in my writing . . . or myself. I doubted . . . ME! It took the words of professors to make me realize I could actually write, and it wasn't the piles of crap I thought it was. Time and again, as I grew with my writing (even with the dreaded essays required in college) my professors would comment (good for the most part, though there were the requisite grammatical errors of college writing) about my writing, and in a good way.

We, as writers, as humans, need the affirmation of our ability. We (English teachers worldwide gasping at such blatant generalizations) need to know that the love affair we have - thanks Lady Glamis - is worthwhile.

We are, as humans, conditioned to doubt. We are - it's a hard knock life - taught, time and again, that no matter how good we think we are, there's someone better out there. The doubt becomes a part of our life. The critiques of our work wound us to the core. The negative comments eat away at our belief in our selves and - again, as Lady Glamis so aptly put it - we stop listening to our own instincts.

Any time I doubt myself, I pull out the old essays with the wicked cool and you're gifted comments, and I scroll through my old emails and look for the ones from my best friend, for his words, his awe, and his belief in . . . ME.

We cannot, sadly, exist in this life without belief in ourselves. We cannot exist if we wallow in the doubt. Not everybody who reads the brilliance we write, will like that brilliance. Reading is subjective. Subjectiveness does not make you (another major generalization - I think a few English teachers just passed out) a bad writer.

So, what's the point of this Saturday morning ramble . . . believe in yourself, click your ruby slippers together three times, tell yourself there's no place like home, there's no place like home, there's no place like home, and keep writing, keep plugging along, and remember the compliments you receive, even if they are few and far between.

Doubt exists. Talent exists. I believe (finally - well, that came many years ago, but still . . . ) in me, and what I do. I believe that my writing is worthwhile and all the frustration and angst are worthwhile as well. I write, because I love to write. Every single day that I write, I hone my talent more and more. I love my writing. I love the blogsphere that allows me to connect with other writers. I love the knowledge offered by every writer in the blogsphere. I love the fact that I can - when necessary - cut the chapters that must be cut and sacrifice the characters that shined brilliantly in the beginning, but faded over time and became, well, unnecessary.

I will doubt again. I will not wallow in my doubt, however. Why? Well, you see, there's a mantra I live by, an anthem of sorts: I, because Gloria Gaynor tells me it's so, will survive!


Friday, May 1, 2009

Schoolhouse Rock

For those too young to remember . . . Saturday mornings were not just about cartoons, but also about Schoolhouse Rock. Grammar, Math, History, all became fun with the short little cartoons produced back in the . . . well, sorry, not going there this morning. : )

For whatever reason, I started singing Lolly, Lolly, Lolly get your adverbs here at around 2 AM this morning after the thunderstorm woke me up. I have no clue why. I don't want to know why. The song just got me thinking about Schoolhouse Rock (btw, I own the 30th Anniversary DVD - drat, double drat, I just gave away how many years ago it was), which was a fun way to learn about grammar.

Ah, dear readers, you figured out my train of thought on this post: Grammar. How many out there have at least one, if not two, if not three, books about grammar to help you with your writing? Come on, now, raise your hands. You know you have at least one book someplace handy. I have more than one.

But . . . Schoolhouse Rocks . . . well Rocks! In the interest of it being Friday, and needing something fun this morning . . .

Lolly, Lolly, Lolly get your adverbs here . . .

Conjunction Junction, what's your function . . .

A noun is a person, place or thing . . .

Got home from camping last spring . . . we unpacked our adjectives . . .

Verb . . .

Preposition . . .

Reginald was home with the flue . . . the doctor cured the infection, with one small injection, while Reginald uttered some interjections . . .

There are so many more out there, just go to YouTube and search Schoolhouse Rock!

Lastly, because I just love this one . . .

I'm just a bill, yes only a bill, and I'm sitting here on Capitol Hill . . .

Have a great Friday and enjoy some of my childhood memories.