Saturday, December 24, 2011
But Ma asked if they were sure the stockings were empty. Then they put their hands down inside them, to make sure. And in the very toe of each stocking was a shining bright, new penny!
They had never even thought of such a thing as having a penny. Think of having a whole penny for your very own. Think of having a cup and a cake and a stick of candy and a penny.
There never had been such a Christmas.
—Little House on the Prairie, by Laura Ingalls Wilder (1935)
Hope you all have a shining bright penny-esque Christmas!
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Here is the mash up for this week:
Dan Wells VS Rob Wells (literary mash up, I'm sure they fought enough as kids to make a cage fight almost too predictable.)
So who will kill more people in their next novel? Rob or Dan?
Cartoon Mash up
Who does Christmas specials better?
Phineas and Ferb or Charlie Brown
Monday, December 12, 2011
I highjacked today's post because I finished, "Clockwork Prince" by Cassandra Clare last night and the ending left me needing to vent.
So here I am venting: I hate that book 3 is not out and I want to slap at least three of her main characters!!!
[SPOILER ALERT-although I will not be specific you will glean spoilers from this rant. Especially if you are unfamiliar with Cassandra Clare and her tactics when it comes to romance and therefore unprepared for the tempest.]
I know that the romantic tension of the story needs to carry through 3 maybe even 4 books, but really does the heroine have to make the stupid, sappy choice with the secondary sypathetic guy while the REAL HERO is on his way to profess his love for her? It's annoyingly short sighted of her and after a book and a half I am mad at all of them. The sappy guy for being so nice and vulnerable and likeable, the Hero for taking so long to overcome his issues, and especially the heroine for choosing the lesser of man at precisely the wrong moment. (Granted, there is hope that she can change that decision with only minor bloodshed and mayhem.)
I know that it isn't a new tale of wo for a romance to take this turn. I can see that there is hope for book 3 (if I can just wait to see what happens, which at this point is unlikely.) BUT really, I feel like I've been toyed with by Ms. Clare's machinations. I know who the real hero is and I know that he is more noble, strong, true, sexy, and awesome than the other guy. WHY oh WHY must the girl in the story be such a dunce? I wanted to throw the book. I hoped that somehow it would not go exactly the direction I saw it going--like watching a train on a collision course with a truck and hoping that it will somehow magically stop in time, only to witness the horrifying train wreck you knew was coming. (Don't get me wrong I have faith that she will pull this twisted mess apart in book three and I'll leave the story relieved and happy. I liked the City of Bones series.)
So here is what went right: The author managed to evoke high emotion in me as a reader. She left a window of hope and a lead into book 3. She made her characters so real that I wanted to slap them sometimes and kiss them other times, and she gave the reader a nominal happy ending with some secondary characters as a breadcrumb.
However, even though I usually enjoy a good romance, even if its formulaic, the forces behind Clare's romances are frustrating to me. The worst part is that I can't put my finger on the exact reason it annoys me so much.
End of rant.
What books drive you crazy, the good and the bad?
Saturday, December 10, 2011
I am in love with a TV show. It's okay, my hubby loves it too. It is New Girl. Watching this week's episode I literally almost died laughing. Tears ran down my face and I could not catch my breath. It is a perfect mix of great writing and great comedic acting. Definitely still holds the number one spot as my fave new show of the season.
Sunday, November 27, 2011
One of the best screenwriters of all time is Billy Wilder. My personal favorite of his is Some Like it Hot.
1. The audience is fickle.
2. Grab ‘em by the throat and never let ‘em go.
3. Develop a clean line of action for your leading character.
4. Know where you’re going.
5. The more subtle and elegant you are in hiding your plot points, the better you are as a writer.
6. If you have a problem with the third act, the real problem is in the first act.
7. A tip from Lubitsch: Let the audience add up two plus two. They’ll love you forever.
8. In doing voice-overs, be careful not to describe what the audience already sees. Add to what they’re seeing.
9. The event that occurs at the second act curtain triggers the end of the movie.
10. The third act must build, build, build in tempo and action until the last event, and then—that’s it. Don’t hang around.
Thursday, November 24, 2011
The turkey is in the oven, the pies are lined up in the fridge and Arlene is diligently prepping the green bean casserole, and the sweet potatoe souffle! I am taking a minute to say Happy Thanksgiving to everyone here on the blog.
Here are a few things that I am grateful for this year:
Three wonderful children
Fabulous friends who understand me (especially the awesome Inkers!)
Loving family, even though they are far away.
A loyal dog (I'm missing right now as we are out of town.)
My husband was going to be at the top of this list, but he just mocked me so he's fallen off the list momentarily. (Seriouly, he mocked me on Thanksgiving while Arlene and I are preparing a feast. He'll be lucky if he get a giblet much less a turkey leg.)
Back to the list:
A warm home and enough of everything I need, but not all that I want so that I still have things to reach for.
What are you grateful for?
Monday, November 21, 2011
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Larry Correia posted about some struggles our friend Robison Wells is having and how we as a writing and reading community can make a difference.
Check it out!!
My daughter (12) has loved writing for several years now. She's pretty accomplished.
But my son (10) has never loved it. In fact his teachers and I have struggled to find ways for him to write anything. When the rest of the class was writing on a preassigned topic he was free to write about anything he wanted. Just so that he would actually write.
Yesterday as I was driving him and two other Inkers' children home he announced that he loves writing now. I almost wrecked the car for shock (not really). I haven't read his work but I am just so happy that he loves to write.
Then the other Inker children talked about how much they love to write as well.
As mothers, we will influence our kids for good or bad. But I think its pretty cool that our kids are following in our footsteps and expressing themselves on paper.
Saturday, November 5, 2011
I just finished reading Matched by Ally Condie, a Utah based author. Matched is the first of a trilogy, YA, dystopian. The second book, Crossed, was just released last week, and the third is due next November.
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Check it out and see how it expands your world! Or at least your World Wide Web.
(If you want an invite, leave a comment with your email and I'll send you one.)
Monday, October 31, 2011
Saturday, October 29, 2011
With some trepidation after my bad experience with American Horror Story, I watched the pilot episode of the new NBC series Grimm.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
1) Cruella DeVille vs Professor Umbridge in a cage who walks out?
2) Angry Birds vs Pikachu in a cage who bleeds first?
3) Thor vs Wolverine in a cage? (I'll admit to alterior motives on this match up;)
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Really, you have?
I am so proud.
Have you ever read a book and once you finish it, you want to read it again? Now that you know the characters better, do you want to go back and see all those character traits again?
Kind of like when you finished watching Sixth Sense and (spoiler alert) you find out he's been dead the whole time. You want to go back and see how you missed that through the whole movie.
I just finished a book with four young men as the main characters (with a two girls as well). They are all immature and wealthy. (I am sure you can imagine where that leads to.) Their interactions were so fun. Towards the end of the book I was laughing hysterically. I had to stop reading because I was blinded by tears of joy.
Now I want to go back and re-read it. Now that I see how they are, I want to see their interactions in the beginning, when I hadn't fully appreciated them.
When I write, sometimes I want to spill the beans completely. "This man is bad!" "This girl is a heartless flirt!" But sometimes the joy is in savoring the reveal. Taking time to let us know the characters.
So may we write so that our readers want to reread our books.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Like many of you, I often feel that I don't have enough time for the things I want to do. My responsibilities wreak havoc on my time and the things I really want to do get pushed to the bottom of the to-do list. My children are getting older and need me more for homework, chores, a shoulder to cry on and a ride to where ever it is they need to go, but the side effect is that I have to use a schedule and calendar more to manage what precious time I have. Happily, I think I'm making some headway in this arena.
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Our families are like characters in a long-running book series. You're introduced to these folks and witness all their experiences over the course of life - the highs, the lows, the weird, the amusing. Some change dramatically over time, some are consistent, reliable.
I will admit that some of my characters have been inspired by family members (some heavily). Who can pass up such an intriguing cast that you know so well?
I'm curious to know what fictional families you think have been written well, either in literature, movies, or TV.
Monday, October 17, 2011
I love the TV show, Psych. In my opinion, hands down the best comedy currently on television. So, in honor of the new season that just started, I thought I'd blog my favorite Psych-isms.
Sunday, October 16, 2011
I'm reading Sylvester by Georgette Hyer, on loan from Inker Donna after a soujourn at Inker DJ's house. It has been refreshing after reading a very good, but emotionally heavy story followed by three other books that I started but did not care to finish.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
I just showed up on a podcast called The Appendix. Check it out if you dare: http://www.appendixpodcast.com/
We talk about my trip to Worldcon and about speculative fantasy. Plus, we recorded this on Rob Wells's book launch party day, so go check out his national debut: Variant. He couldn't be there for the podcast, because he is now famous and happy.
The Appendix crew includes Sarah Eden and Marion Jensen--two of my favorite people--and so it was a blast. Sarah Eden writes excellent Regency romance novels and Marion writes superhero, go-West dystopia, and comedic books (thus far, but nothing is stopping him from writing swashbuckling pirate adventures . . . wink, wink).
These kids are so fun (and so hard all in the same breathe). But they never give up.
Two of the boys in there are determined to make friends with another boy. Let's make up names for them all. "David" is the short 6th grade boy. "Aaron" is the tall 6th grade boy. And "Henry" is a 5th grade boy who doesn't interact with the other kids.
David and Aaron both try to make Henry their friend. They will come by and hold his hand. Henry doesn't even notice. Aaron brought Henry a bag of cookies with Henry's name written on it (mom must have done that). Henry didn't want any of the cookie. David tries to talk with Henry (David is only partially verbal) and Henry doesn't look up. David will shake Henry's shoulders in a friendly way trying to get Henry to look at him. And Henry doesn't.
Henry can be disruptive. He can scream with high pitched screams. He takes the full time attention of one of the adults (me) in the class. He gets food when the other kids don't.
David and Aaron could look at him with a jealous eye. They could easily resent him for not being friendly. But they don't. Each day they try again to get Henry's love.
They NEVER give up.
Sometimes, as "functioning" adults, we give up too easy. We stop trying to be nice to someone (I'm guilty there). We stop trying to figure out a difficult puzzle. And we stop seeing the beauty in everything around us.
I challenge you to find something you've given up on and try again. Is it running? Writing? What?
For me its writing. I must keep plugging away at it.
Sunday, October 9, 2011
Saturday, October 8, 2011
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
So what does this have to do with writing? I drive the same stretch at approximately the same time many days of the week. As I pass on neighborhood I see the same woman out walking. Again, so what?
She's impressive because to leave her neighborhood she has to climb an impressive hill (that'd be enough to keep me walking in circles and not leave my streets). She also has a significant limp. Yet she's out walking every day with a huge smile on her face.
Often, when it comes to my writing, any sort of obstacle is enough to stop me dead in my tracks. Any minor hill, or hiccup in my skills and I am ready to take a break. I've decided that every time I see this inspiring woman I am going to remind myself to write. I am going to ignore my limps and weak writing. I am going to ignore the giant hills that occur in character or plot and I am going to trudge on through. Because I'll get better if I keep writing. My limp may never go away, but I will become stronger.
So to you, dear faithful reader, take on something and conquer it. Ignore the obstacles and power through!!
Monday, October 3, 2011
Second, the return of Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man. Of all the superhero movies, it ranks high on my list of favorites. He's funny, smart, and completely believable in the role.
Sunday, October 2, 2011
Friday, September 30, 2011
So one of the highlights at the Worldcon in Reno last month was meeting the Orbit Publishing team. While listening to their presentation, I could tell that they're delving into ebooks and ebook marketing in a new and refreshing way. One of the features I especially liked is the program they have called the Orbital Drop, in which each month they give away certain ebooks for $3.00 a pop in any format you want. It's one of my new favorite places to get ebooks. Check it out: http://www.orbitebooks.com/
Thursday, September 29, 2011
When you get a fortune cookie that says "something unexpected will happen at work or school next week," what do you think of? Me, I think of fun and surprises like a big bonus check or my daughter winning the spelling bee even though she is an average speller. I have been focusing on the power of positive thinking and energy.
The most unexpected thing to happen at work or school this week, however, was my 10 year old son breaking his collar bone while playing flag football. The timing was not bad because I could take a few days off work to help him. So was I being too optimistic with my outlook on my fortune? I'm not sure. There have been plenty of good unexpected things as well, like that same son starting band the day before he broke his collar bone so he has something to do while he can't play soccer.
When we have prophecies or fortune's or predictions in our writing there are good and bad things that can come from the same events. It just depends on how they come about. I'm trying to remember that in my new project. Would my characters see an unexpected turn of events as good fortune or bad and how would they react to it?
In my life I hope for the good and handle whatever comes in the best way I can. I'm pretty sure that I'm not unique in this outlook to life.
What was your best fortune cookie lately?
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Saturday, September 17, 2011
We turn to Fall this week, and thus a slew of new TV offerings. I've tried in recent years to not take on too much new programming. Hubby and I really only have 1-2 hours of free time in the evening once the kids are in bed, and I do have a novel I'm trying to finish.
Friday, September 16, 2011
I'll miss you, my friend. Until we meet again . . .
Saturday, September 10, 2011
- Jerry Maguire
- Remember the Titans
- Caddyshack (tee hee)
- The Bad News Bears
- Space Jam
- Brian's Song
- Karate Kid
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
New teen staralicious Thomas McDonell brother to author Nick Mcdonell just debuted in "Prom" by Disney. Does he remind you of anyone?
Like this fellow Mr. Johnny Depp in Don Juan DeMarco. Maybe its just me =)
There is a point to this little display. I'm struggling to pinpoint my hero! I've started a new project and I have a dastardly villain, a spunky heroine with red low lights in her hair that match her fiery personality, a pseudo hero (beautiful and flawed), but the elusive Pimpernel of the plot it still hiding. I can't seem to find him. So I'm going to spend some more time reading about my favorite heroes and see if I can channel a younger sexier version of an old favorite.
Hey, if Disney can do it, why can't I?
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
I was going to protest again this week, but I read this and totally needed to share.
I've met authors like this and it turns me off of them. Off their books, their classes, etc. Since we try to take authors out for dinner, it even turns me away from a dinner date (with 6 other people).
What are your thoughts?
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Thursday, August 18, 2011
I am so ready for my kiddos to head to school. We need the schedule and routine enforced by the eight hours of school.
Hope your Wednesday wasn't destroyed by my lack of writing. :) hee hee
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Thursday, August 11, 2011
What do writers and Olympic gymnasts have in common? The impossible dream? The hours of dedication and sacrifice? Or maybe just the twisting and bending. Gymnasts bend, flip, and twist their bodies, while writers bend, flip and twist their minds.
Recently, while slowed down by illness I got sucked into a TV Series about elite gymnasts preparing for the Olympics in 2012. The fictional account of the struggles of 4 teenage girls to reach the goal of being on the medal stand at the Olympics struck a cord in my mind that was buried deep. I dreamt about the Olympics and couldn't get the stories out of my mind. And then during one episode where all looked lost for one of the girls her mother said something that put it all into perspective. While talking about the sacrifices everyone had made to support the gymnast in her dream, Mom said (something to the effect of), "You can't ask if its all worth it, because you're here and for better or worse you have to go for it. It's who you are."
Writing a novel, editing, honing, selling, and publishing can feel like an Olymic dream sometimes. Few succeed, but the pay off in the end is worth it and the journey is worth it.
Gymnastics is an individual sport in the end, but almost anyone who has walked the beam will tell you that it takes a team to win. Writing is also an individual art that requires a team of spotters, supporters, believers and dreamers to win.
No one could ask for a better or more inspiring team of all-stars than the Inkers. We dream big, and train hard and work late and never, ever give up.
So what's your dream? Are we dreaming big enough for the talent we have? Are your dreams Olympic size? If we're going to put in the blood, sweat, and tears, we might as well reach for the Gold.
Saturday, August 6, 2011
Thursday, August 4, 2011
My dear son came to me the other day and said, "Mom, did you know that you can lift 5,000 pounds with 100 strands of Duct tape?"
I wasn't even surprised. Because Duct tape can fix, make, and stick anything, it is my theory that it is an Alien technology brought to Earth with the ships that crashed outside Roswell, NM in the 50's.
Other Alien Technologies include:
and powdered non-dairy creamer (which by the way is incredibly flammable and makes an awesome explosion.)
What alien technology do you use in your everyday life?
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Thursday, July 28, 2011
These images were captured by the Hubble Telescope. A project made possible through the NASA Space Shuttle Program that came to an end last week. The next horizon in space travel and particularly manned space travel is iffy at best. Since the program scheduled to take over for the Shuttle project has been redirected by the current administration. But this isn't really about the fact that the final Space Shuttle retired last week, it's about how dreams are formed, pursued and evolved.
When I was a very little girl, I saw the first Space Shuttle launch from Cape Canaveral in Florida, just one more advantage of being a Florida girl. After the amazing history making launch of the Colombia Shuttle, many more followed. For years we would get out of class during elementary school to line up on the playground and watch the Shuttles launch from 50 miles away. They were amazing. But the most amazing thing about it was imagining what the astronauts would discover in their experiments. I dreamed of seeing the world through the shuttle window. I dreamed of a space station that orbited the Earth and gave us all a chance to experience life in space in some small way.
I never really imagined seeing actual pictures of deep space as beautiful as these.
At the time I couldn't imagine that the US and other countries, such as Russia, would work together to build an international space station. Yet in the decades since I first dreamed of going to space, many things have changed. I recently learned that every 48 hours humans create and share as much information as was recorded from the beginning of the world up to 2003. Billions of bits of information, writing, thoughts, discoveries and news are shared every day.
What is left to dream about? What do young people today dream of accomplishing? Where does Science Fiction go when reality is catching up at such an alarming pace? I can't wait to find out.
I'm sad to see the Space Shuttle program retire, but I'm excited to see what the next big adventure will be.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Is a blog good?
How about a Facebook page for your blog?
What else can you do to get your name out there?
Saturday, July 23, 2011
I'm heading out on a date with hubby today to see Harry Potter 7.2. I know we are late to the party, but that is how things work in our world.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
At a recent meeting for my job, I found myself in conversation with a British man, a New Zealander, and a graphic artist with no distinguishing accent what so ever. (I suppose we'll just say he's American.) I know this sounds like the beginnings of a bad joke, but really its about how our word choices give us away.
Even without the accents and with my eyes close I could have told you who said the following sentences:
"Is there a problem with one color being dominant?"
"I think its brilliant really."
"Let's try this design and see how we get on, yeah?"
I'm not going to tell you here which chap said which thing. What I will say is that in a recent Regency Romance I read written by a contemporary author the dialogue had flashes of fabulous period phrases, but fell sadly flat as all the characters spoke with the same accent using the same words, except for one bloke who blustered his way through a conversation using "Capital" repeatedly as an exclamation.
So tell me if I can sit in a cafe in Utah and have a conversation with three people with distinctly different backgrounds and individual voices, then certainly a character in Regency England with the many sundry social statuses will find themselves with lots of interesting accents, voices and phrases surrounding them. Dialogue done well can paint a vivid scene in a minuscule amount of words, but dialogue done poorly is the kiss of death to an otherwise sympathetic character and/or dashing hero.
Have you heard, read, seen on TV or encountered any great dialogue lately?
PS we are still trying to fit the words "Mind the gap" into the business brochure we were discussing at the meeting. It is so quintessentially British.
Saturday, July 16, 2011
Thursday, July 14, 2011
True life tale: I walked into my kitchen on Sunday to find the watermelon that my friend had purchased on Friday looking almost exactly like this one. Rabid and foaming. I then of course did what any good mother with small children would do. I took it outside to cut it and find out why it was foaming. Bugs? Chemicals? Paranormal activity? What could it be? Well when I barely sliced the thin outer layer of the melon it exploded into two equal halves of sizzling mess, spraying myself and my daughter with rancid juices.
Only three images of foaming watermelons appeared on the Internet and this one is from 2006. Freaky huh?
Story prompt: Foaming watermelon...why? How? So what?
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Last week I shared the sad news that I had to give up one of my dogs. This week I'm going to tell you why I'm glad I did. AND I'll tell you why it has been good for my writing.
I've had the chance to work exclusively with my dog, Scout, and see him go from pulling me around on his leash to healing next to me without using a leash at all. Amazing! In just a few days! And the best part is that he's happy to comply. I don't have to bribe him with treats. He's happy if I give him big hugs and tell him what a good boy he is mysense of satisfaction working with him has increased exponentially.
The last part is what I want to focus on in regard to writing. This strictly my opinion, but I think sometimes we get stuck on an idea or character or scene that we like, or even LOVE, but it's not working. We put a lot of effort into these ideas to the point that we feel like we're beating our heads against a wall, but the thing we haven't realized is that it's time to cut ties. No matter how much we love it, if we're wasting precious time and energy on it and it's not going anywhere then it's time to let it go, cut it, put it to the side or whatever it is we need to do and work on something that IS going somewhere. Not unlike Scout and Rusty. Scout's potential was overshadowed by Rusty's constant time-sucking-going-nowhere needs. I love Rusty and I miss him, but my relationship with Scout is so much more fulfilling now. It's going somewhere useful.
Our stories should have a similar progression from point to point. If there's no progression it's time to figure out why and make the tough edits.
Saturday, July 9, 2011
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
This is excerpts from an email chain earlier this week:
me: Can I just say that I am totally bored. No its not cause I don't have a million things to do, its just that I have no group/project/organization that is in need of my mad dog brain skills. Why can't I apply my genius to my home? Not sure. But I am going totally agro on scout committee just cause its the only thing I am involved in. ;( I am having a boring summer. Kinda. :)
Linda: Apply your genius to the haunted house story cause I want to read it. :)
Kirk: Yes, or write one of those nature children's stories that you seem to have a knack for! You could whip one out in a couple hours, and we could review it next writers group. . . So get busy writing, DJ! Put those mad brain skills to work!
a few hours later:
me: THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!! I just outlined a ... book with ... Thanks for the challenge and getting my brain working!
So, in a few hours I had outlines, written the rough draft, and discovered a whole niche of writing that suits my skills perfectly. All because I am in a writers group.
So, go to and find yourself a writers group!
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Saturday, July 2, 2011
Thursday, June 30, 2011
I've been watching H2O Just Add Water on netflix with my kids. In the show three Australian teen girls get transformed into mermaids. Its cute and the mythology is fun. They have super powers all related to water and life is hard on the Gold Coast of Australia if you instantly grow a tale when water touches you.
Here is what the transformation looks like:
So the thing is that their clothes morph with them and when they dry their clothes, including whatever shoes they are wearing, morph back to normal. Is clothing optional when it comes to transformation magic? I have a shapeshifter in my latest story (not a mermaid) and I'm trying to figure out the clothing issue.
Should clothes morph with the magic, such as in the mermaid story or should it rip up and fall off like the shapeshifters in Stephenie Meyers' stories?
What do you all think? Dress to fin or fin to skin? Both scenarios present obstacles and advantages.
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
I digress. We met and tried to write. Linda, Arlene, and Donna all did great. Debbie was sitting next to me and she wasn't in the mood to write. Add to that the fact that I haven't written anything for months and I was less than prolific. The biggest struggle I had was because its been so long for me. I opened several WIP's and tried to get back into them. They are good and I need to finish.
The other Inkers are all plugging away nicely. Sir Kirk-A-Lot is working on lots of freelance projects. So, do find people that make work difficult (in a totally fun way)?
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Saturday, June 25, 2011
- People who don't say thank you
- Businesses whose employees/owners act like they're doing you a favor by taking your money
- ...among others
Thursday, June 23, 2011
In a lesson on character development once I heard that the instructor always gave their characters a secret. Not that the readers would necessarily ever know it, but just something deep inside the character couldn't tell anyone. So I added a line to my character sheets right after the name of the character that is their deep dark secret. Things about them that even their best friend doesn't know.
We all have secrets that we rarely share. Are you afraid of spiders? Do you fantasize about being a figure skater? Do you have six toes, a receding hair line, or a relative you are ashamed to claim as family?
Sometimes our secrets are harmless and sometimes I give my characters harmless secrets as well. But other times the secrets that we keep can haunt and hound us until they seem impossible to face. Our characters should have these secrets too. Not every character needs a drastic, life threatening, ax murderer type secret, but everyone of your characters will be more realistic with a secret and a dream. It makes them easier to write and almost automatically more interesting as you write them.
So now your either thinking about your secret or wondering what mine is. Which ever it is you can channel it into your character development.
I had a character whose secret was that she was a fairy godmother, posing as an attorney and old maid. She couldn't tell because then she would lose her powers. Obviously this one the readers were in on.
Another one hated her mom's famous meatloaf, but ate it everytime mom made it because she couldn't bare to hurt her mom's feelings.
What secrets do your characters have? Why can't they share them?
Saturday, June 18, 2011
Friday, June 17, 2011
Its me by the way (DJ Rose), in case you were totally confused.
But I read this post (and even though I follow his blog I usually don't read it. I must have been inspired to read it.) and thought I totally needed to share it with all of you.
One Good Piece of Advice
Summed up, it says you need to give yourself permission to suck. And I so needed to hear that today. I am way too hard on myself and my writing. So, starting today, I am going to keep writing and not worry about the massive amounts of suckage that is pouring off of my keyboard.
And go read the article for crying out loud. Its a good one!
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
First- Writing short stories is a lot of fun. I keep telling Donna that I'll eventually work on a short story that I love enough to develop into a full-length novel, but it hasn't happened yet. So, I keep writing short stories. Two things I've realized while writing are: a.) short stories don't write themselves. I still have to put some time and effort into them and it has taken me much longer to write one than I thought it would. And b.) writing short stories is a great way for me to practice important aspects of my writing such as meaningful character and plot development as well as good pacing and development of scenes.
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Antagonists are my writing nemesis. I love a great antagonist like Snape from Harry Potter. He is complex and duplicitous but consistent in his actions once you understand his motivations.
However, when it comes to building an antagonist from scratch for my novels I find that I don't channel evil well. They usually are shallow and show up many just to torture my protagonist. Which is the antagonists job of course but a job doesn't make a character well-rounded. Their hopes, dreams, goals, and heartbreak make them who they are.
Take Dr. Doofenschmirtz from Phineas and Ferb. He has ambition, drive and a dream of ruling the "Tri-State area." All that he does is to meet that one goal. Obsessive yes. But also funny and quirky and fun. Not very complicated.
I've spent about a week trying to capture the essence of my antagonist and build an evil soul-stealing witch into something real and scary rather than just a cookie-cutter bad girl. Wish me luck. I'm trying to channel the dark side and my own fear of the dark makes exploring these traits a true exercise in creativity.
What antagonists do you love to hate and why?
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Monday, June 6, 2011
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
How about the kids in your life? Do you keep them reading? Do they change their reading habits?
I love reading outside in the summer time. Summer I usually read middle grade books, especially award winners. I set a goal years ago to read all of the Newberry Medal books. I'm still not there (cause some of them are downright depressing and I just don't go there. There is a reason my nickname is DJ Rose.) But for whatever reason I love reading about kid books during the summer.
Some of my favorite medal and honor books are:
A View to a Saturday
Out of the Dust
The Graveyard Book
Al Capone Does My Shirts
My list could go on and on, but its my boys birthday and I am needed in the kitchen!
You can see a complete list of winners here.
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Friday, May 27, 2011
imminent, eminent, and immanent
Here's the low-down and how to remember which is which.
"Imminent" is something that's impending (use that for those mnemonic lovers out there). "The imminent storm will knock out the talk radio station tower." (Depending on which talk radio station, such storm destruction would be eminent as well.)
"Eminent" is something or someone prominent, well-known, famous, conspicuous. "John Williams is eminent among twentieth-century composers and musicians." (Can you tell I'm a fan of his eminence?)
"Immanent" is the rarest of the three and so is not used in everyday speech or writing (unless someone is getting creative in trying to spell one of the other two). It is akin to the word "inherent," as something indwelling or innate, and it also connotes a sense of being limited to one's experience in a Transcendentalist sort of way. "Her immanent beauty had not an ounce of artifice or addendum. It came from the original source of light."
So there it is. The imminent tip of the day, in all its eminence and immanent Merriam-Websterness.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
First the Authors and why I like them:
Brandon Sanderson (author of Mistborn and many other NYT Bestsellers)because he is friendly and loyal and is willing to travel far distances to hang out with his friends or save a small town indy book store. Plus he's pretty good at writing too. (understatement of the year)
Dan Wells...oops! Wrong Dan Wells.
I'm talking about this Dan Wells today.
(author of I Am Not A Serial Killer)
Putting aside the brilliant trilogy he has written (which is the only thing from the horror section of B&N that I've read since I was 14 and forced to read Stephen King with friends while camping), he is very professional and has a charming wife, who believes in his writing. Dan is friendly and genuine. Mainly though he really knows his stuff when it comes to both writing and publishing.
Bree Despain (author of The Dark Divine series)
Bree is an inspiration to me. She is patient and interested in people and she writes intriguing stories with heart and meaning. She has not had an easy road to publishing, but her road and her story inspire many. Bree has some of the most loyal fans ever and mostly because she cares about people.
Second the tips:
1) Respect personal space.
2) Be friendly, like "visiting with a new neighbor" friendly, not crazed stalker "I know what you did last summer" friendly.
3) Listen-Everyone likes to talk about themselves.
4) Food is a good bribe and an ice breaker.