March 5, 2014
Today is the first Wednesday of the month, and time for the Insecure Writers Support Group hosted by CassaStar, CassaFire, CassaStorm author and A-Z coHost Alex J Cavanaugh. This month's honorable co-hosts for IWSG are Tina Downey, Elsie Amata, Elizabeth Seckman, and Julie Flanders. Be sure to visit the IWSG linky to sign up or visit more IWSG posts.
I'd like to start with a bit of good news: my short story AN ARROW FOR CUPID was accepted by eFiction Magazines New Realms edition. I don't know when it will be published; this is a themed e-zine so they have to place it with other writings of its kind and it seems as though New Realms publishes only every 3-4 months. I've long been a fan of eFiction, well before it diversified, and I've participated in many of the work groups for critiquing and editing stories for publication, so I'm honored this story was accepted.
I have one other nearly finished story to submit to eFiction, but as usual, I've let life offer a natural procrastination excuse for not finishing or submitting.
You'd think after 3 months at the new job it wouldn't be so much the "new" job anymore. I'm in a different kind of unit than all my other training podmates, and I'm feeling sooo far behind. Nevermind the explanation, its so full of jargon you'd skip reading it anyways. As if changing county's, learning a completely alien job, and worrying over getting fired every time I open my sarcastic mouth wasn't enough, I decided to buy a house prior to passing the probationary period to add to my stress.
That is where my worst stress is right now. Its Homeland Security initiatives I'm most frustrated with. My ex-husband gave me some money to put towards escrow fees, and as happy as the lender is I have cushion in the bank, they want a copy of the cleared check, his bank statement proving the same processed check cleared, and a signed affidavit from him that he gave me the money with no strings attached. You know, the kind of strings in the form of a detonator charge that Achmed the Terrorist was savvy enough to get a home loan approved to blow up a residential neighborhood.
I know, not funny, in the larger scheme of life.
No, I'm not against Homeland Security; I believe they have a tough but necessary job to do. But come on, sometimes all those protections just keep average Americans from the dream of home ownership - or travel. No airport I've been to in the last few years stocks Diet Pepsi, and I'm not allowed to take the liquid past the security check point after purchasing it at the local 7-11. A true terrorist has the foresight to keep/produce all that documentation without whining and moaning and doesn't care whether they sell Coke or Pepsi at the terminal. My addictions, and lack of organizational skills, suffer for the good of the nation!
So yeah, I'm stressing. Its starting to feel normal. It should all settle one way or the other in less than a month. In the mean time (and I do mean MEAN), anybody got a hole they're not using so I can climb into it and pull the hole in after me while I wait to be fired, wait to close escrow, wait for the publication, wait for inspiration.
Anybody else freaking out over shit so mundane its almost not worth mentioning, but it consumes your every thought and reaction?
Don't forget to visit the IWSG linky and randomly make a stranger's day by visiting someone new.
March 5, 2014
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Heellloooo out there!
I've been offline; reading, editing, traveling, and working. Well, I had this cross country work assignment that comprised my "traveling" - how often does a person get a three day paid vacation where the bathroom is always empty when you want to use it? - but I have been working and training for the day job. When I get home I think very little about getting on a computer - especially after spending a good part of the day reading reports, writing segments of reports, or reading how-to's about writing reports.
Yep, I'm starting to see why people who use a computer to think with all day don't want to go home and turn one on.
And . . . lately I've just wanted some privacy to think about things. One of those things being the direction of my writing . . hobby.
Not sure I can call this a "writing career" now that I rarely come up with anything new, but its still a hobby I'm not sure I want to give up so I'm still flogging that first women's fiction trilogy I wrote. Well, mostly just the first book. The others sit there untouched for editing/revision because I don't want to put energy into them if the first book never gets sold.
I've been struggling to rewrite the opening of the first chapter to make it fit the writing rules I've been reading on blogs (both agent/editor and published author), writing magazines and publishing sites, and a multitude of self help books written by experts. I'm pretty sure my writing problem isn't just that I'm so busy with my day job; its also an information overload.
I think I was better at putting my butt in chair to do the writing when I knew nothing about the craft. My trilogy is actually 4 books, written within a two year period spending every free moment I had towards its completion and some editing. I have a hard time believing I ever dedicated that much time to the act of writing. But, eventually I found my way to the blogs and LEARNED so much about the craft. And as I learned how many writing mistakes I made during my frenzy to get the story down, I lost the sheer enjoyment of just reading a story because I knew "how" it should be crafted.
TMI applies to more areas than just our personal lives.
Reading Stephen King's short story collection FULL DARK, NO STARS inspired me to take a second look at some of my own half finished short stories in a different light. It made me remember why I wanted to write short stories. Mr King is one of my favorite writers, even when he went through his slump period after his van accident. Full Dark reminded me of why I love short stories, and Mr King was my first introduction to the with his HALF PAST MIDNIGHT or NIGHT SHIFT collection. I forget which came first.
Mr King's afterword best describes the theme of the anthology: "The stories in this book are harsh. You may have found them hard to read in places. If so, be assured that I found them equally hard to write in places." I was glad to read that last line because the stories were sometimes hard to read - I had some moral/value biases that I needed to work through personally sometimes to continue reading. I like the way Mr King makes me think beyond a black and white world view. This has drawn me to his writings for the last 30 years. His characters and their psychological make up could be me, or my neighbor next door, or my intended spouse or best friend. Real people faced with a "what if" scenario that becomes a crisis.
I've read really good short stories by other authors, some equally famous as my favorite and original love Stephen King, some by indi-authors I've met here in the blogs (Passing Time by Ellie Garratt ranks with Stephen King for favorite short story collections), but somehow this anthology happened at the right time for me in my self-debate about if a short story has to have a conclusive ending. and beginning, and whether it needed to end happily or just satisfactorily resolve a segment of life. And, I'm of the opinion that not everyone has the version of a "happy ending." If you read Big Driver in FULL DARK, NO STARS perhaps you'll understand what I mean about happy endings being subjective.
But where I really hope to earn my income (hobby or full time) is in novel writing. I have an off-line writer friend that encourages me to stick to my fantasy roots as my first reading love was fantasy, and I agree I write pretty well in fantasy for short stories; but my novel writing preference is in women's fiction, thriller and horror. That whole social worker nature thingy, ya know?
I need to read more Jodi Picoult, Sandra Brown and Tami Hoag; but I'm a long time fan of Dean Koontz also. I think I started reading Mr Koontz shortly after discovering Stephen King. After a couple years of steady reading though, Koontz novels started to feel . . predictable. The faces changed, the story lines were cookie cutter. I lost interest for a while.
Then came Odd Thomas series. I read the first four novels; but again lost interest. I think its more b/c I lost interest in series novels than the actual writing though. I have the same problem remaining interested in TV and movie series. Eventually, the themes all seem redundant.
My current read is Dean Koontz thriller BREATHLESS. I've a habit of reading the back-of-the-book blurb even on authors I'll read without knowing what the book is about simply to know what I'm supposed to "get" out of the novel. I bought this novel because it was on the cheap rack at the grocery store, and I already know I like the author.
BREATHLESS blurb let me know that I should expect a complex story with multiple main characters that eventually come together to resolve a magical/mystical event. Not all these MC are benevolent. Mr Koontz uses a third person omni POV that that allows the reader to experience a variety of perspectives in varying circumstances involving a singular "event." What draws me to the story and keeps me reading are the well written "voice's."
Each POV character has a voice and personality that is either benevolently serious, dangerously depressed, psychopathic, good natured and optimistic, heroically mischievous, or fatalistic. Or a combination of all. I equally laugh at the reasoning of the psychotic killer and the optimistic humor of the realist. I cried for the heroics of the Golden Retriever Rescuers and for the abusive intentions of world's leading scientists. This novel asks the hard question of "what if" the reader is faced with a miraculous event. What nature/nurture values will dictate your responses? Will your world view change for the better or worse? Will you approve of or accept who you become at the end of the experience?
Excellent questions to bring to a world that begs to see the unusual, but treats all unknowns as a threat. If you're not afraid to question your own inner values, you should read this novel with an open mind and be prepared for a magical journey into wonderment.
The writing lesson I take from reading this novel is that not all MC need be introduced in the first chapter, and transitions do not need to be concrete. I'm reading each chapter as a mini-story in itself, and enjoying the anticipation of how all the dots connect. The plot building is a bit complex with all the multiple story lines, but the plot development is simple, with a easy to follow transitions from chapter to chapter and POV characters. When it comes to getting into multiple character's heads, Koontz is a master.
One of my problems with character development for my women's fiction is TMI in the first chapter. Seeing a master at work drawing me into the culture, the world, and the perspectives of his varying characters has helped me determine that my problems with the first chapter go beyond a lack of reader connection to the MC. Maybe I need to stop focusing on all the "rules" for what should be in that first all important first chapter, and just focus on my MC and what makes her different.
I know, that last line doesn't make sense when written down like that. But I know what I mean.
You ever read a complex story and not know why you get it? You ever contemplate or accomplish an entire re-write because of a writing article and/or novel reading that changed how you think about a story - even one not in your genre? You ever wonder why you try so hard to be different?
Thursday, February 13, 2014
This is a flash fiction in response to Denise Covey's WRITE . .EDIT . . PUBLISH monthly blogfest event.
What comes to your mind - a ghost story? a treatise on the scientific dimensions of the face? a poignant poem? a photo that captures the face? artwork? Whatever strikes you as inspiration, go for it!
February 14 is Valentine's Day. You are welcome to incorporate this romantic day, but it is not mandatory! Just remember to keep your flash fiction or non-fiction to approx. 1,000 words.
This one was tricky for me to come up with a concept; I've got this mental block against posting anything in the standard romantic genre. So my couple is emotionally and sexually involved, but there is no romance between them. I'm a rebel, ya know. Uh, don't worry, there is no sex in this writing, and no foul language.
The excerpt is less than 900 words, and over researched. I'm hoping it flows well, but also that most of my readers are versed in enough Bible stories, fantasy, and general Roman mythology to recognize my characters. None of the referenced characters are my own creation; some may consider this fan fiction. The only help I will give towards terminology is that a "ward" is a magical lock on a door or mental capacity, and a Daemon/Daimon is a "benevolent or benign nature spirits, beings of the same nature as both mortals and gods, similar to ghosts, chthonic heroes, spirit guides, forces of nature or the gods themselves."
Azazel tipped the flask to his lips and drank deeply of the never-ending draught. He ignored the incessant knocking at his cell door, knowing already the impatient being on the other side. He’d experienced the temerity of Lilith for ages, sometimes partaking of her sexuality between assignments or when despair drove him to seek the confidence of his dearest friend. Lilith had been indisposed on a secret mission when Azazel had failed with King Arthur, and an eon had passed Earth side as he contemplated his purpose in the universe.
“You cannot hide from me forever Azazel. I will sit here, singing your praises, until you admit me.”
“Spare me your false accolades,” Azazel replied in a drunken slur as he waved away the wards barring entrance to his sanctuary.
Lilith flounced through the entry in a slinky, backless dress as if she feared his good will would end before she could enter. Azazel smiled at her attempt to show respect by covering so much of her voluptuous skin. He'd spent so much of his time backing the morality of the gods that his friends now considered him a pious muse. An of course she could have blasted through his simplistic wards with barely a thought, especially since she was the one being he never seriously wanted to keep out.
Lilith was created by Samael to be a lover and guide for Adam when the youngling El determined to set himself up as the one God and changed his name to Yahweh. Such arrogance was unheard of in the Realms, and Azazel was as surprised as most that the Elder Gods did not intervene to stop the madness. Earth had proven itself to be an unpredictable environment, cosmically speaking, and many of the Gods had abandoned it soon after its surprise emergence.
The Daemon Chieftain Samael became the voice of opposition to Yahweh’s claim to sovereignship. Although he had not openly chosen sides in the debate, Azazel silently supported Samael’s campaign to dislodge the fledgling God.
“To what do I owe the pleasure of your company, Lilith. Last I heard you were influencing the Queen of Sheba to corrupt Solomon. How’s that going?”
“Yester year’s news Azzy, do try to keep up.” She conjured bread, cheese and fruit on a low table and situated it between them as she sank onto a velvet divan.
Azazel grunted as he floated a juicy papaya into his hand. In truth he knew all about Lilith’s disastrous exploits with the young female warrior Joan of Arc. Even in his withdrawal from the Universes, his mind refused to block out all telecommunications from Earth. It was rumored among the Daemons that Yahweh himself spoke to the child, leaving an imprint that even Lilith could not dissuade with all her considerable charms.
Azazel empathized with her failure with Joan. He knew well the weight of an untimely death of a promising prophet. He sank his teeth into the papaya and opened his mind to the world of Earth. Images filled his psyche, and he grimaced against the influx of emotion from all corners of the ethos. Empirical science had become the new face of theology, and even the existence of the One God Yahweh had become a much debated question. It was this lack of faith that had sent Azazel into seclusion.
“What do you want of me?” Azazel asked.
Even in his sabbatical Azazel sensed Samael’s and Yahweh’s distress at the Renaissance phase of humanity. Every Daemon in the Cosmos had been alerted to the birth of Leonardo da Vinci, but as a resident of the 7th Realm of Heaven, only Azazel had known of the prodigy’s existence prior to his birth. He'd laid claim to the babe with little ambition to guide his potential.
Azazel had kept minimal connection to Leonardo, intervening only to place the boy in his father’s care at the age of six. Azazel sensed that Leonardo would impact the world without his constant attention, and opted to allow nature to descry the course of his life.
“My master wishes only for you to continue your neutrality in the Free Will debate between himself and Yahweh. They have agreed that certain scientists will remain ‘off limits’ to both, as long as you have acknowledged your mentorship of the scientific philosophies the individuals were born to invent.”
“What’s the catch?”
To his surprise, Lilith opened her mind to his insistent probing. As the first demon created by Samael, Lilith wielded considerable powers, in many ways rivaling Azazel’s. When she chose to mentally protect her secrets, she was extremely effective. She allowed him to witness the agreement between Samael and Yahweh; and he garnered acceptance from both entity’s.
He thought of the possibilities of infusing scientology to human beings. Minor nudgings against the concept of heaven and hell would be all that required. He could allow his natural inclinations to observe without interference draw him back into the Earthly Realm. After much consideration, he spread cheese on a slice of bread, and washed it down with a healthy swallow from his flask.
Lilith laughed around a hunk of pineapple as he tasted goats milk instead of mead in his never-ending flask. Azazel didn't mind the change though; he was tired of the debauchery of inactivity. He was ready for the challenge he read in Lilith’s mind, and her suddenly amendable body language.
"Shall we seal your acceptance with original sin?"
* * *
Remember I am an agnostic, so my general comment to any religious debate in the comments is that "I can neither confirm nor deny the existence of any God" so please do not try to convert either me or any other viewers to your specific beliefs. However, feel free to expound upon your own beliefs as long as you are RESPECTFUL to all views.
Visit the linky at Write..Edit..Publish to add your own interpretation on this February challenge.
Monday, February 10, 2014
Today I'm helping Crystal Collier celebrate the release of her book Moonless
In the English society of 1768 where women are bred to marry, unattractive Alexia, just sixteen, believes she will end up alone. But on the county doorstep of a neighbor’s estate, she meets a man straight out of her nightmares, one whose blue eyes threaten to consume her whole world—especially when she discovers him standing over her murdered host in the middle of the night.
This is really hard to answer. I'm not much of a romance reader; but there are a couple fictional characters I might choose as an arranged marriage. Connor McLeod, The Highlander. According to the movie storyline, McLeod is: Immortal, a race of near-invulnerable and long-lived beings who wander the Earth concealing themselves from mortal humans; Immortals can sense each other through a form of extrasensory perception called “The Quickening” and can only permanently die if they are beheaded. As such, they participate in what they call “The Game”, an eternal contest between Immortals that will only end at the time of “The Gathering”, when the final Immortals are drawn together to battle each other until only one is left standing.
Now tell me ladies: who wouldn't want to have a man around who remains gorgeous, and doting, for 50 years or so? I could put up with a few quirky drawbacks - he carries a sword, cuts off people's heads, is sterile - just to have something pretty to look at as I grow old.
What's your dream arranged marriage?
Find the rest of the hop below!
And while you're at it, enter to win one of these great prizes!
$2 coupon from the publisher (expires on 2/14)
Coupon code: LQJM3F84
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Sorry my friends, but I'm just too frustrated with blogger to continue fighting this battle. I don't know how I screwed up, but it has to be something to do with signing in on a mobile device and cancelling access to my laptop. Yep, about a month ago I checked my blog on my tablet, had to sign in, and now the only way to post is from the tablet.
For a while I've been able to post by clicking the maintenance icon on a published post, closing it, then creating a new post, but now even that option is gone. And I won't tell you how long it took to recover even that much rights to my blog from my tablet.
The three inch screen that is mostly taken up with the on screen keyboard is not my idea of effective blogging. Over the last couple weeks I've tried every suggestion online blogger help and some knowledgable friends have given me and I still cannot access my blog dashboard from my laptop computer.
I'm pissed off, not willing to switch to wordpress, but really ready to delete the blog - its blogger help's consistent suggestion - and let all the online writing stress go. I can still comment on my posts and your's, even on the laptop . . but that's only half blogging. I already gave up my desk computer, now my laptop is inefficient.
I dislike this trend to mobile computing. There are no links or pictures on this post because I do not want to learn how to accomplish these maneuvers on my tablet. This is not the IWSG post I've been drafting, but I refuse to complete it on this tiny device. Do you know how small a viewing window is on a mobile device is with lots of open tabs?
I apologise to the IWSG host Alex Cavanaugh and this month's helpers for such a bitchy post with no supportive links, but I really am at the end of my online rope here.
This blog will either be deleted or fixed within the next couple weeks; my very busy day life encourages giving up this "hobby." I've had a wonderful about five years of writing support from this fabulous community, and I hate to leave on such a negative vibe. Shit happens, ya know?
I have to ask though - is anyone else having troubles switching from one device to another? Or am I just not keeping up in this trial and error, figure it out without a manuel world?
Saturday, February 1, 2014
Did you see the post this morning over at Writer Unboxed titled 4 WAYS TO SURVIVE THE COPY EDITING GAUNTLET, written by Ariel Lawhon?
We've all experienced critique partners that rip our well crafted stories to shreds. Ms Lawhon says this about the copy edits she received back the copy editor at Double Day on her novel The Wife, The Maid and the Mistress:
"Of my 412-page manuscript only one page remained unmarked. The fact that I write historical fiction exacerbated this problem. Not only was my copy editor looking for typical grammar issues, repetitive phrases, and gaps in consistency, she followed up on every single historical detail. Dates. Times. Events. People. Locations...
Like me, your copy edits might focus on verifying historical details. Or maybe you’ll get hammered on grammar and semantics. Regardless, here are five ways to survive this part of the editorial process:" (read the full article here)
Ok, I'll cut Ms Lawhon some slack on the editing error that the title states 4 tips, her narrative suggests there will be 5, and four are presented as promised.
They were excellent tips, with good examples from her own writing experience. And a good reminder that no matter how many times an author reads the manuscript (Ms Lawhon admits to at least 90 times), you can still miss important details. And a critique partner, unless trained in copy editing, can also miss major errors.
Also in my inbox this morning was a newsletter message from author Jessica Bell (The Alliterative Allomorph) announcing that:
"The WRITING IN A NUTSHELL all-in-one edition has gone NUTS in the Amazon charts, ranking Number #1 on numerous bestseller lists. It's even outranked Stephen King's ON WRITING in the Words, Language & Grammar Kindle list. This is insane! I don't know how long this is going to last, but fingers crossed it maintains its status for a while, because it seems to have happened organically (i.e., no forced promotion)."
Cool huh? Congratulations Jessica, that is quite the auspicious feat! There is further good news for all you Tweeters out there as Jessica's excitement continues:
"I am going to give away a paperback of this book to two random people who tweet the following (I will notify the winner next Saturday):
No.1 Amazon #Bestseller! Gr8 learning tool for #aspiringwriters—#WRITING IN A NUTSHELL by @MsBessieBell #writingcraft goo.gl/DFceJc
Thank you so much for your support! Every little bit helps immensely."
(Dang but that was a lot of links! I hope I got them all embedded.)
So, are you thinking the writerverse is trying to tell us all to buck up and edit this weekend?
Have a productive weekend everyone. See ya'll on Wednesday for the Insecure Writers Support Group - if I get my post written with all this editing incentive.
January 24, 2014
This is for Denise Covey's Write . .Edit . . Publish monthly writing prompt. This month's theme is NEW BEGINNINGS. I'm late getting my entry up; all that tweaking and its still . . clunky. The excerpt itself is only about 514 words. I'm still working on developing it offline - that's a warning its raw and unfinished. As always, all critiques and comments are welcome.
WHO YOU'D BE . .
I walked away from the grave marker with my head hung low, my shoulders drooping. The ground beneath my feet seemed to absorb my steps, slowing me down as I turned my back on the only love I've ever known.
We’d grown up just a few blocks apart, attended the same schools and church youth group. She wore designer clothes fresh off the racks; I bought WalMart knockoffs until the new had worn off. She smiled at me every day for as long as I can remember.
She was on the fast track to college; I was getting credit for showing up every day for the few classes we had together. I didn't love her the way a boy loves a girl. How could I; I’m a girl myself. But I loved Sandy; more than a sister, more than a best friend. No lover completed me as her soft caresses, or tender kisses to my forehead. No one ever hugged me like I mattered.
Sandy loved Jesus. She embodied the Gospel. She believed. I struggled with the concept that God created the Heavens and the Earth; that he created Me; a deviant sinner. She came to my house in the evenings to help me with bible studies. She was my constant partner on missionary assignments. I would have long ago left my faith behind except for her encouragement. I cried when she left for Brown University, knowing her travels would not end such short distance away.
Sandy had a destiny in cultural anthropology; I had a job opportunity at the local One-Stop. We parted ways for the first time in 18 years. She glowed with potential; I sucked in her aura for life support. My boyfriend Danny was glad her influence was withdrawn. He celebrated with a bottle of Jack, I mourned my loss from the same fount.
Fourteen months later she was gone. Like Danny, Sandy had disappeared into the unknown. Danny rode an Oxy line to its inevitable end; Sandy flew into the wind on a day trip to Great Abaco with her future husband on March 13, 2003. Many believe the Bermuda Triangle to be an area of alien abduction; I believe it to be a portal into the heavenly realms. Why else would God take such a benevolent being into his custody in the prime of her life?
Five years after her disappearance, I left Sandy’s memorial with one thought in my mind; who would she be today, if she had fulfilled her life’s mission? What awards would she have won? What goodness would she have brought to the world? What would her future children accomplish; those that will now never be. How will I continue on without my life’s compass?
We were both born too soon; the NICU nurses still talk of how two babies came into this world side by side from different worlds; the one always looking to the other for emotional cues. Shall I now look to her God for moral support? Should I embrace her philosophies on life and love?
How do I begin again?
Thanks for reading and offering feedback if you are inclined. You can read other entry's to this monthly bloghop here; perhaps you will be inspired to join in the writing exercises next month.
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Its late *yawns* and I give up!
Notice I figured out a side door to get into my blog for a post, so I'll disclose the results for my Battle of the Bands voting. It was looking like a complete shut-out in Nirvana's favor, but at the last minute Mr Bowie recovered with three votes. So it was still Nirvana, just by a landslide instead of a complete slaughter.
That was fun, I may do the battle again the 15th of next month! As long as blogger lets me. It keeps giving me the pink error line as I type this that my changes have not been saved.
I spent the last couple hours tweaking my Write..Edit..Publish excerpt, and all I managed to do was make it worse. My eyes are tired from concentrating on words on a computer screen all day. Today was slow at work so my Supervisor suggested I dive into Division 31 and familiarize myself with the guiding principles behind reporting timelines. I desperately hope there will not be a test later . .
But, the excerpt needs more work than I thought - much more than I'm willing to commit to tonight. Perhaps I can accidentally sneak an extended lunch tomorrow and take another attempt at it. Or dump it and start again. Which means the WEP post may not be up until Friday.
Right now I'm trading this tiny white screen for a larger, more colorful screen. Raylan Givens
(Timothy Olyphant) is so much-more-better-easier on the eyes. An early bedtime with the possibility of pleasant dreams of a lawman with a big . . gun . . is an enticing way to spend the night.
Good night all. Hope your week isn't dragging.
January 15, 2014
Battle of the Bands (BotB) is the creative concept Faraway
Eyes Series (aka FAE to some of her friends). I've frequently enjoyed the posts by FAE, Steven T. McCarthy, and others in the course of my time wasting research of . . well whatever . . I thought perhaps I'd give the bi-monthly fun a shot.
Not that I'm a music guru, so don't ask me to explain anything about tone, or acoustics, or timbre, or anything except a simple "I like this." Well, I do recognize a difference in sound between an acoustic guitar and bass - maybe. For this post however, I can't tell you which version of THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD I like best: David Bowie (1969) or Nirvana (1993). I guess that's why I need your learned opinions.
According to imb Biography: David Bowie is widely regarded as one of the most influential writers of pop music. Born David Jones, he changed his name to Bowie in the 1960s, to avoid confusion with the then well-known Davy Jones (lead singer of The Monkees). This Dude is older than I thought! I was enjoying The Monkees in syndication on Saturday mornings long before I heard David Bowie's name and one of my most favorite songs titled Space Oddity.
I guess I should say I've loved Bowie's style of rock more than I've liked the artist. He's a hit and miss type musician and actor in my opinion; does really really well or sucks big time. Ahem; this is a song he did really really well with. To use a bit of coloquial Californian: Like, totally awesome Man!
Now, Nirvana is one of those bands that never misses, in my opinion. Oddly enough, I didn't know of this band until about 12 years ago when one of my sons was introducing me to the alternative rock/new age genre of music. Grunge, I think is what he called it then. Anyway, he wanted me to listen to a couple songs on the CD I bought him for Christmas (picked randomly form a long wish-list) as he thought I'd like the acoustics. Turns out he was right. Y'all know I'm a Pink Floyd fan, and for my Butterman Time Travel experience (by author/blogger PK Hrezo) I booked the Pulse concert as a coveted destination. Well, Nirvana's Unplugged in NY is probably a close second choice. Or toss up, depending on my mood on the departure date in question.
According to Wikipedia: Despite the fact that lead singer Kurt Cobain was suffering drug withdrawals, and insisted on playing the entire acoustic rendition through his "security blanket" amplifier, and the unusual changes to the program's preferred hit-list parade (Kurt insisted on playing never before heard music instead of their popular hits to date), the album topped Billboards list upon its post-humus release Nov 1, 1994. "Promo singles were released for "The Man Who Sold the World", "All Apologies", "Lake of Fire", "Where Did You Sleep Last Night" and "Polly". Of the songs on the album, "About a Girl" became the biggest hit, becoming Nirvana's fourth number one on the Modern Rock Tracks chart, and was also a top ten hit in Australia, Denmark and Finland. "All Apologies", "About a Girl" and "The Man Who Sold the World" were also released as single music videos and charted at number 7, 33 and 72 respectively on the MTV Year End Countdown of 1994 with the latter in 1995."
Alright, there's my battle-bands. Two very good versions of the song MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD. As mentioned earlier, I'm not sure I can pick a favorite. Perhaps my viewers can. I'm supposed to come back on the 21st and post a winning band based on your votes for best band. I'm ambiguous enough to agree with popular opinion. I have a morbid post for Write-Edit-Publish monthly bloghop New Beginnings scheduled for Jan 22, so I may combine the posts. I'm such a blogging slacker these days, lol.
So leave a comment and tell me which band/version of THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD you prefer and why, then visit Far Away Series and Steven McCarthy (Ferret Faced Friends) to see their posts and find out who else is posting for this game.
See y'all in the comments!
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Hello; and welcome to 2014. Wow, how weird to have written that date so few times this year. In my old job I would be written or stamped it about 100 times by now. I've been assured that the prolific dating and signing of my name will resume as training moves out of the classroom and onto "the floor." Much sooner than I'm comfortable with . .
I'll keep my submission for the Insecure Writers Support Group short this month. I told myself I didn't have any insecurities at this time as I've not been writing, or blogging or anything else in the writerly world (including answering e-mails timely); but it seems my day-life change in job has brought about MANY insecurities, and a lot of those will surround writing up the paperwork.
The last about five years I've been an expert in my day job; the person to go to with questions about procedures, regulations, and yes, entering data into the computer system and making it all work out. I knew everyone in my building, who was best at what parts of their job, where all the secrets lie, and who to go to for afternoon munchies. Why I traded all that in for less pay, more expenses, and a feeling of complete incompetence is beyond me.
Now I work in a different county, doing a completely different job, in a building that makes the old one look like a closet, learning a new computer system, trying to memorize Welfare and Penal Codes, and I can't find the soda vending machines let alone my assigned desk. I told my training supervisor I'm thinking of changing my name to Lost Girl.
In all this new, I was surprised to hear something familiar when the CSD (Childrens Service Division) Lawyer came by to give us his admonitions for writing court reports - which is where social workers are expected to "earn their money."
Ever hear/read any of these in your writing life:
- Remember that once this is published, it is a reflection of your writing for all time.
- Please edit your work before submitting it.
- Read it out loud to be sure every word is spelled and used correctly.
- Have a friend (or legal services) read your report; their red pen is your best friend.
- Obtain a dictionary and Thesaurus and use them frequently.
- You're all college graduates, use proper grammar.
- Every time you use an apostrophe you kill a puppy.
Pretty funny, huh? He had a lot of other writing tips, these are just the ones that stand out for me. And, I promised to keep this short. I was just wondering if anyone else ever has their writing and day jobs overlap that way?
I'm slow at visiting everyone - got all that new stuff constantly running through my mind, making it hard to concentrate on fiction writing - but I'll be around. Visit the IWSG website for the linky list of participants and to see who Alex's helpers are this month. With over 300 members, I'm sure Alex and the helpers would appreciate if you visited 5-10 people you don't know as well as those you are familiar with. You might just make some one's bloggy day, or learn something new.