Sunday, October 31, 2010
I usually post this on Mondays, but since tomorrow kicks off National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), and most everyone I know will be deep in their writing projects, a day early seemed appropriate.
But, in case you're new to the blogosphere, or somehow haven't heard of this phenomenom, or are thinking about joining but not quite sure you can produce quality work in the next 30 days, here's a quote directly from the forum itself:
Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It's all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.
Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that's a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down.
Sound awesome? Just your kind of challenge? If you need more incentive, check out David Jace’s NaNoWriMo plan for Young Writers Program (YWP), and Dawn Ember's, encouraging letter to herself about NaNo, and Anne R Allen's Seven Reasons to join the silliness.
Go forth and join up then!! I'm not participating, but I think I'm going to have a ball watching everyone freak out over word count. And cheering you on, of course, for the brevity of the undertaking. GOOD LUCK EVERYONE.
Some people I recently met:
Cinette Santange (Cinnette’s Musings): Cinette is "an aspiring writer who wants to take you on my journey to publication and fame and fortune;-) Seriously, I love books and writing, and have found sharing these loves with other like-minded people exciting and stimulating. Join me as I learn more about the business end, the writing end, and the enjoyment of it all!"
Michael Di Gesu (Gideon 86): He’s so squeaky new it seems Brenda Drakes blogfest was his first public appearance. "After fifteen years of modeling in New York, I spent the past six years as an interior designer in Chicago. I decided to take my creative talents and write/illustrate my first y/a novel, Amber and the Whispering Willows. I've been editing for the past year and have started the second in the series. I never knew how wonderful it could be to write a novel ... I'm addicted."
And he has FISH. Oh, I’ve got to get me one of those widgets! A couple of my favorite bloggers have it and I’m soo jealous. Makes me really miss the real thing in my dining room.
Cheree Smith, a YA novelist from Austrailia. Her blog title includes the phrase "Justified Lunacy". How can you resist that? On her behalf, she states: "I am an Australian author of Young Adult Urban Fantasy and Horror who moonlights as a waitress. I am currently finishing rewrites of my YA novel, Haven. "
Jamie (writers write, right) writes a variety of fiction. He is "A 33 year old writer "hopeful"...forging ahead through the constant struggle of life in hopes to one day become published. A virtual will power machine ...currently out of order" My sentiments exactly (except the 33 year old; when was I that young?).
Carolyn Abiad (Serendipity) currently lives in Conneticut, but lived for a time in Turkey and Abu Dhabi, UAE. She writes about her experiences with a "propensity for making fortunate discoveries while looking for something unrelated." I'd say that sums up her fascinating and varied posts.
Quinn (seeingdreamingwriting) has been around a while, but I'm just getting to know him. This 25 year old: "graduated from the University of Delaware in 2006 with a degree in Interpersonal Communication and in Russian Studies. I am fluent in Russian, retain some understanding of Spanish and am currently studying Korean -- that's a lie; I'm not studying, I just pick up languages easily. I am currently teaching English in South Korea and have spent the last three years doing this. Last year, I completed the first book in my Dreamwalker series, THE GATEWAY. The rest of the series is outlined. I also just finished a young adult paranormal romance titled SEEING that I'm about to start editing." Quinn participated in NaBloWriMo during October, but will be cutting back on his own blogging starting November to visit other blogs. Sweet, huh?
NR Williams fantasy author is another blogger who has been around a while, but as usually happens, I only discovered her through a blogfest. See why you should participate occasionally? She says: "I've been inventing fantastical stories since I started talking eons ago. It's fun to create new creatures and new worlds or to elaborate on this one. Come, join me, and enjoy my unique blend of interest." Check her out.
While reading C.N. Nevits post on Changing reader perspective, and he also pointed me to Tim Stretton via his review of Tim's published novel THE DOG OF THE NORTH. Wow, do I like this guy’s writing style. What variety he has to his posts; and can he lead a discussion? Fascinating. His bio is simple: I am a writer from Bosham, England. My novel The Dog of the North was published by Macmillan New Writing in July 2008.
Yeah, I’m definitely putting Stretton’s THE DOGS OF THE NORTH on my TBR list. Soon. After Alex J Cavanaugh‘s Cassastar. Or before. Hmm, decisions decisions in the SF/Fantasy genre. Oh dear. . .
And speaking of writing in general, EJ Fechenda (EJ's Rants and Ramblings) has been lax on her postings b/c of her involvement in Chris Brett - The Short Story Collective site. There are currently three consistent authors, but I hear they are looking for a few more writers who enjoy short stories to contribute. So if you ever get them whim to write a short story, and would like someone to read it, post it, go on over and submit. I've read a few of the short stories, and they are cool. Good writers over there.
I could go on for days and days regarding the newest people I've met through the blogfests and comments on other blogs . . but I'll move on to some interesting posts that I had to stop and read. With NaNo so much in everyones mind, there have been a lot of excellent writing posts.
Adam Hein (Author's Echo) has good plotting advice with his THE PROBLEM WITH THE GUN ON THE MANTEL post, and the older 5 secrets to keep you in the game. CN Nevets' had a similar post on Narrative Paradox about the same time; and Christopher Ledbetter has an awesome video by Author Joyce Carol Oats on character development.
Dare I link anything editing and publishing related while you're focusing on JUST WRITING? Of course I'll tempt you with Just Another Sarah's FEELING THE BOOKRAGE, VR Barkowski reminds us EDITING IS NOT FOR WIMPS; Author Elana Johnson (founder of Query Tracker) has more Query Writing tips that she teaches to her students; and Emma Michaels (author of THE 13TH CHIME, also on my TBR list) on the 5 P's of Publishing.
And just for fun, check out TEASER TUSDAY'S hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading (couldn't find the MizB link) and Summer Ross' 2 minutes or less WRITING EXCERCISES.
Finally . . .
Amalia Dillon (Good to begin well . .) had an educational post titled Considering the source: Snorri's Prose Edda. I got a little lost in the discussion between mythology and creationism; but I found the review fascinating anyways. Remember Amalia's bio: I'm a writer kind of obsessed with mythology, history, animal behavior, and comic books. She's been procrastinating research for her NaNo project; but after reading that Snorri post, I don't imagine she would need much prep time for a new WIP. Wow, does she blow me away with her busy schedule.
Remember, Amalia has a new blog address, and so does Emily White. I've signed up for Emily's Goober Writers series. My writing blunder will post on 12/2, if you're interested.
Whew! This list of must reads isn't ALL that I'd like to link to. Check out my followers and blog roll for the more extensive list ;) You guys are just too fascinating.
I know some of these are pretty old, but first, I've been hoarding for a looong time; and secondly, I haven't blogged much in October. Hopefully that will change during November.
OH: I've added another link box just under my followers. I'm currently trying to build a writing/query/critiquing resource list. If you have any links you'd like to share, please put them in the comments or e-mail me any time so I can update. My e-mail is on my profile.
Thanks for stopping by; and do have a safe and happy HALLOWEEN.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Friday, October 28, 2010
ANYONE ELSE PISSED THAT GOOGLE IS NOW ADVERTISING ON YOUR BLOG WITHOUT PERMISSION?
There's been a lot of stuff happening this month. I take it people - and by that I mean writers in particular - like October. There have been a lot of blogfests and contests this month; and I've got to admit I've neglected my own writing and other writerly type committments to play around. If you've been around this blog for any amount of time you know I'm a lazy writer, and blogfests and contests at least give me prompts to create something new.
And sometimes tuck away as a work in progress.
Anyway, despite the event of NaNoWriMo coming up November 1 - or perhaps inspired by - there have been lots of short excerpt writing opportunities this month. I've hit as many as I can; but as I've mentioned, I'm a lazy writer, and the last few for the month - and beginning of next month - are a stretch on my writing capacities.
If you are interested in my activities: I've completed an extensive beta read with indepth critique; accepted the full MS from an author I've been sporatically reading/critiquing over the last several months; started a true beta read without critique from a favorite author friend (stretching my abilities to not critique, I assure you; but every writer/blogger needs to be challenged in some ways and this is a unique opportunity for writer growth for me), have a request from a writer to read his short story for a contest - uhm, wow, am I honored by this request.
My ftf writers group is accepting no excuses for lack of writing progress, and our new guidelines insist we all write something new and present it to the group at least every six weeks. So I'm diligently working on that Faerie Tale spinoff to present soon - too soon. I put myself on schedule as late a possible, but the date is too quickly approaching and I'm so excited by the story I know I'm screwing it up. Like me and computers know anything about each other. . .
And I've been working on my next FLYBYS AND SHOUTOUTS blog post for weeks. I haven't posted my collections in about 3 weeks; and let me warn you, Monday's post is gonna be massive. I will post this sucker if it blows up blogger for good.
If you're a person who doesn't like long posts, avoid me on 11/1. Seriously, I won't be offended. But if you like links, and catching up; well, you definitely want to be here. This month before NaNo has sparked some informative posts regarding character development, world building, research, dialogue tips, action scenes; you name it, there is a helpful post. I don't remember what all is in my notes; but I know I liked it just fine. But if you don't catch it on the first, it'll be up all week, b/c I have some things I have committed to that will keep me from consistent posting. Or from a lot of blog reading/commenting, for that matter.
Ya think I sound busy? Nah not for me; I'm in heaven, actually. Not sure anyone will miss me actually, as everyone seems involved in November's annual challenge in one form or another. I say Good Luck and Happy Writing to that. Just Do It; ya know?
In other blogging news, I have several posts planned. I have three requests out for author interviews - another one I'm hoping to send out in the next couple days - several published books to read and do reviews on (all blogging buddies); a post on critiquing - cuz, ya know, thats sorta my blogger platform, and the Author who's excerpts I've chosen for the critique post for examples is graciously excited; and a couple more blogfests and contests to enter. See; nothing makes sense when I'm excited by my own aspirations.
And of course there is the blogging tradition of visiting as many blogs that I follow, and those of people who follow me, as possible.
I'm all about supporting NaNo writers this next month. What an awesome idea! I won't be participating myself; I have a day job and family life that makes it improbable for me to attempt such a committment. So I'll be visiting my normal blogs, and I've assured people I'll be available by e-mail or blog contact for frustration outlet. You need to vent; I'm here to listen.
Uhm back to my reading schedule. Because I've been so heavily involved in the one project that is now complete (I'm feeling kinda lost without that constant communication) and have been putting off the other for toooo long, I've decided not to enter the next couple blogfests that I'm aware of (I know there are others out there I've missed putting in my sidbar). Trust me, its hard to let them pass.
Now, I've been following Matthew Delmon for a long time. He has some of the most fascinating blog posts I've ever read. They always involve history and inventions. Two of my favorite subjects, though I don't always understand them. But you see, I'm a LEARNER; I desire a consistent source of INPUT. Matt writes Steam Punk, and his posts are informative about the Victorian and industrial age. I'm sitting here thinking about all the posts that resonated with me, and contemplating the merits of researching his blog archives for all my favorites, and realized that if I click over there I'll never get this post finished because I can read his posts again and again, like a chreished novel, and always find something new and intriguing to get lost in. Totally lost, for hours on end. With nothing more than a "Wow, that was great" comment to show for my enjoyment b/c though I'm an info sponge, I can't always articulate how profoundly the knowledge affected me.
*shakes head* Just go there and read for yourself.
But I visited Matt's blog tonight, and there is this guest post with Jon S. Lewis, discussing the genisis of the series the GREY GRIFFINS, and as I near the end I realize there is a contest going on at Matts blog. Yes! So I scroll through and find the actual post for The Contest. And discover it is also advertised on Matt's other blogs GEAR BITS AND CLOCKWORKS and DOCTOR FANTASTIQUES SHOW OF WONDERS. I've visited Matt's Clockworks blog, but didn't know until today he had the Dr. Fantastique blog. Wow, what a versatile blogger/writer Matt is. You should check out his blogs, and the upcoming contest. I'm not entering his contest - guess I'll just have to purchase the books - but that's b/c I'm just not geek enough to think around those inventive corners. But I know a lot of bloggers in this verse that dig that inventor/creator stuff. So, go show off your ingenuity. Contest ends 11/5.
And Quinn is having a BOO Blogfest. He asks "Have you ever seen a ghost, or know someone who has?" Well, I've had a ghost experience. One that lived in my Mobile Home. "HE" moved through the single wide, 20 X86 ft trailer at odd times during the day and night. We'd see his shadow move across the living room as we watched TV; see/feel him enter the kitchen, probably for a snack, as the cupboards and fridge would sometimes open; and feel him move back to his "bedroom". We'd hear the shower on at weird times and upon investigation, the tub would be dry. We'd hear him breathe in the spare room. And sometimes, he would sit next to me on the bed after my husband went to work early in the morning. Creepy.
But, I have no time to write a proper post to this blogfest. I hope you do today/tomorrow.
Then there's the "My Writing Space" blogfest on 11/7. No links, ya notice. Cuz, I can't find where I saw this. And, I signed up. I'm waiting for my son to take a pix of my space so I can post it. (He's got the unlimited data package on his cell phone that I pay for that I can't afford on MY phone.) Its a picture people, come on! But, I can't remember where the link is. I was on the other computer when I found it and thought I'd remember . . Do you know? Have you signed up? Or did you see it and can tell me where I can link it? PLEASE?
Oh, and VR Barkowski is having a 300 followers contest that ends 10/30/10.
Of course you're following ALEX J CAVANAUGH's book blog tour for CassaStar;
And Stephen Temp's virtual blog tour for his espionage novel Break Through begins 11/1. (Link is for SmashWords e-book, but it is available in paperback through Amazon. I bought my copy there, but I'm having troubles capturing the link.)
Two other writing opportunities in the near future - you can check out my side bar for the links. Narrative Magazines 30 Below contest ending 10/29 and the Fall Festival contest ending 11/30. And the Assassins entry deadline is 11/30. Oh, and Eric W Trant has a link for submission guidelines for AN HONEST LIE's 3rd Short Story Anthology DELUSIONS OF INSIGNIFICANCE, where Debrin Case is searching for stories with a Justifiable Hiprocricy theme. Just go here to get the links for all this intriguing criteria.
Hey; if I don't see ya around for the next few weeks - either b/c you're committed to NaNo, or because I'm off doing my own writing thing during this next month, Good luck and happy writing experiences.
You are bigger than your most envied author. Diligence and heart made them; it will make you too.
Sweet Dreams ya'll.
Monday, October 25, 2010
This is for Brenda Drake's NEVER ENDING SCENE blogfest. Sorry I'm a bit late.
This is the opening for my short story ONE MORE TIME. I don't know if I've posted any of it before, but as its October, and we're liking all things spooky, well, it just seemed like the perfect entry for the contest.
And don't forget to visit all the other entrants. There are some awesome writers participating in this contest. And who knows, maybe you'll also want to sign up and post you own late entry (you know, just to absolve me from being last . .) and get in on allt he fabulous prizes.
* * * *
ONE MORE TIME
The door creaked as it slowly swayed open. Joni turned cautiously towards it, her foot hovering mid step. She knew this would happen sooner or later. It was the main reason she argued against buying a house with a basement in the first place.
But Nash fell in love with the idea of the basement even before they saw the actual room. He’d teased her about being afraid of the dark, dungeon like room as they had followed the real estate agent down the ten steps. He wouldn’t have teased - or even bought the house - if she’d told him her reason.
Joni put her foot down, took a deep, steadying breath. Twenty years was a long time to harbor childhood fears but -
The door settled with a final creak.
“Nash,” she called hoarsely.
Had he bolted the door from this side as he’d promised before he left? He couldn’t be back already.
He’d told her not to wait up; the items he needed for the set of his current theater project were not likely to be found at the local hobby shops, and he wanted to bounce the ideas off his friends first. He would have hollered up the stairs if he’d returned early. Even in the grip of inspiration, Nash wouldn’t have wanted to freak her out.
Joni slid her stocking feet a step closer and called for Nash again.
Reaching up, she examined the deadbolt. It didn’t look damaged. She peered around the heavy wood door to look at the other side. It wasn’t damaged either. The door had been opened from this side.
She backed up several steps to the counter and snatched a butcher knife from its sheath, knocking the block over in her haste. When the clatter died, she listened intently, straining her ears for the slightest sound. Was that the swoosh of the heater coming on? Or the sigh of the madman lurking in the basement? she wondered.
Joni let her eyes travel up the gleaming, six inches of steel, to her thin and trembling hand, and gave a brief thought to a mad dash out the kitchen door.
“You’re being silly,” she admonished herself.
Laying the knife silently on the counter, her hand hovered near the phone. The sleek, black shape was intimidating. So was the thought of calling the police. She sucked on her bottom lip with indecision. Should she call Nash? He’d laugh at her for sure; ask if she’d been down there to check out the noise.
If I did that first there’d be no reason to call you, she yelled at him in her mind
If there was a deranged killer in the basement she’d be dead, and her ghost could haunt him for not listening to her protests about the house. If there’s nothing there, she’d never need to humiliate herself with the call. He was still laughing over the last time - he kept the little mouse as proof there was nothing to fear down there.
The basement door stood silent and imposing in front of her. Closer too. While she’d been deliberating the merits of calling or running or being brave she’d unconsciously snatched the knife and moved closer. Her feet were such curious traitors.
* * *
OK, I'm already leaving to get back from lunch LATE. This is pretty rough b/c I only had, like, 15 minutes to post and didn't have time to edit. My bad . .
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Lots of Halloween fun this months. Today is Roh Morgan's Monster Mash. Her rules are pretty simple:
2) Keep it to 999 words or less, if possible. If you go a few over, I promise not to haunt you. However, bear in mind I have no control over the poltergeists! (OK: I missed the word count. I also wrote for Palindrome's PRIZES FOR PROSE contest, which ended tonight. Going over word count all the time is like being late all the time. Right? I wrote about two thousand words tonight, which is more than I've written in the las two months. I get a pass on poltergeists, yes?)
3) Blogfest entry deadline is Saturday, October 23. And since I usually celebrate Halloween the entire previous week by attending as many costume parties as I can, you have a whole week to get your story posted and make comments on the other entries.
"Hey Gordo, that ain’t much of a snack. And how come only one.”
“Ewe, what is it,” Franca asked, flicking her forked tongue in the prospective snack’s direction as Gordo propelled it toward the oaken bar.
“Sure ain’t a snack,” Hugo repeated gruffly.
Waldo whinned a little and covered his nose with a hairy paw. Winnie shook her shaggy head and sneezed, spraying her chewed arm bone dinner onto Waldo’s shoulder. The wolf turned his head and gave it a sniff, just as the would be treat lunged at couple.
“Whoa, little fella,” Gordo snarled at the green being.
Stalk eyes turned this way and that, looking first to the spew on Waldo’s matted fur, then at the mangled carnage in Winnie’s raised paw. A hole in its motled face opened, and a double row of razor sharp teeth thrust towards the meat.
“Uh uh,” Winnie snapped, lifting her snack higher.
The teeth and stalks protruded further, and the thin purple neck elongated.
Winnie howled, planted her furry legs on the stool, dipped the arm up and down. The effect on the green monster was hilarious, and even Gordo joined the howls, screeches and snorts of enjoyment as it levitated, a little at a time, its teeth stretching further and further from its putrid mouth.
“Stop playing with your food, Winnie,” Waldo snapped at his mate.
“That is not food,” she growled.
“Dude, what is it?”
Gordo wrapped his fleshless fingers around the beings gelatinous middle and pulled it away. Winnie whimpered at the loss of her fun, but immediately went back to chewing on the bone.
“No clue,” Gordo answered.
By now the crowd of werewolves, vamps, ghouls, goblins, zombies and witches had migrated from the empty buffet to get a look at the oddity.
Gordo, a young ghoul by supernatural standards, had a flare for luring the choicest snacks to their parties, and he and Vic had been sent out when the last human remains had been ingested. No one went to waste.
Zoggy and Tash sloshed through the larger beings, their dry tongues lolling hungrily. Gordo shook his head at the zombies, wondering if there was anything the pair wouldn’t eat. To his surprise, his green guests teeth lashed and snapped the hand right off Zoggy’s broken wrist.
Again the screeches and howls filled the darkened bar. Zoggy and Tash moaned their distress, stopping as suddenly as the rest as the green guy spit out the hand and stepped away from it. Meekly, Gordo thought. Maybe it didn’t want to offend it’s new friends.
“Maybe it don’t like Zombie,” Franca the witch woman cackled.
Her sisters screeched along with her. Black oily wings and a foul odor interrupted their mirth as Zeda screamed and dove for Zoggy’s decaying hand. The coven gasped and turned their black clad backs on the sight. The Harpy had been an embarrassment to them for ages.
The crowd returned to their own business as the organ began its grind again. Gordo steered his prize to the corner where his ghoul friends staked out their territory.
“Gordo, Gordo,” Sloth mumbled, shaking his misshapen head. “You dissappoint me.”
Gordo fidgeted, clicking his elongated forearms against his spindly ribs. Only Sloth and his chosen ghouleh were allowed tattered clothes. “This thing ate everything there was to find.”
“Everything?” Verse rarely spoke more than a few words, and always with displeasure.
“Bars, cars and morgues, all empty. Vic found a blood bank and we emptied it.”
The green thing latched teeth onto the table, chomping steadily towards the center. Everyone grabbed their goblets and scooted back, splashing blood and body fluids on floor. The stalk eyes swiveled to a large, saturated mass in front of Verse. The teeth were quick to follow. It ate the wooden floor along with the chunk.
Jessa leaned forward, her red eyes flaring with interest. “Wow, doesn’t seem to have a tongue.”
“Teeth and stomach,” Verse added.
“Those really eyes, or a weird form of nose,” Sloth asked, pushing Jessa away.
Gordo jumped as a cold hand tapped his shoulder. He’d forgotten there was a party going on in his obsession with the monster.
Gordo would have grimaced if he had better formed lips. That shade of pink just didn’t look good on such an ancient vampire. And the glitter turned his stomach. Something should eat that crazy author.
“Oh, um,” Gordo started, glancing at his newfound prize.
“Deed e find a new girl to trance?”
The misery in that question tore at Gordo’s heartless chest. Since she started with the sparkly looks, Vic had been known to prowl the streets without her.
Groans and snapping teeth distracted him. Verse was poking at his green friend with the metal pole that used to hold up the table.
“Think it’s a Martian?”
“Oh. No. He didn’t trance anyone. He got chomped.”
“What?” Seemed like everyone in the bar heard the remark. Without humans to torture and snack on, the bar was eerily quiet.
He looked down at the eating machine that was eyeing his knobby knees. Green lids covered the orbs and it collapsed squishily into a square package.
“It was much bigger before it sicked up, ah, everything." Everyone stared as he held his hands shoulder high.
Except the zombies. They were gruffing and sneering.
"Vic said he got what he came for. He went into a music store and I headed off to the cemetery. I figured whatever happened to the living in this town didn’t matter much to us that don’t mind the dead. I could still bring back something.”
A wet sound interrupted him and he took a step back.
“I heard Vic yell and then a lot of crashing sounds before I got a block away. When I ran back to the store I saw this little Martian snag Vic right out of the air.”
Mang fainted, theatrically it seemed. Gordo grunted. Well, someone would pick her up eventually. There were always the younglings trying to suck her potent blood. Maybe losing Vic was a good thing for the rest of them.
“Gross,” Jessa stated as she and Sloth stepped over the Martian. It made a flatulent noise and flattened out.
“Must be full,” Gordo offered with a shrug.
“You coming,” Verse asked.
Sloth shrugged his powerful shoulders. “Where’s this cemetery?”
Gordo was torn. He felt responsible for the poor blob oozing on the floor. But then, the goblins were sneaking up, and the witches stirred a smoking pot and grinned and pointed at his green buddy. The vamps were flapping through the skylight or disappearing in a flash of movement.
The party was over for another year.
“Wait up,” he called after his clan.
Inspired by MAELSTROM, written by Ann Pino; and Blondie's RAPTURE. Embedded disabled by request.
OH: And don't forget Brenda Drake's NEVER ENDING SCENE BLOGFEST ON 10/25 and VR Barkowski's 300 FOLLOWERS GIVEAWAY ending 10/30.
Have a ghoulish weekend.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Donna had a post - or two, or three. Lots to choose from. Lots of projects to report out on. And people to shout out and introduce.
Yep, Donna had a post, and that post was amazing to see. But . . .
Donna also has a committment to a much BIGGER project. And a deadline she sent the author. Who sent back the equivalent of a happy dance and confetti parade.
Ok, Donna can't ignore the enthusiasm. So many projects - - only one I want to focus on today.
Enjoy Levi in lieu of a long, lengthy post.
Ok, I had a different one, then listened to the whole thing and went . . uh, not THAT for this. So I save it for later and settled on this today. Cuz, it's all about the compromise.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Cuz I'm tired of being serious. Maybe a little fun and laughter will make my crits less - well, opinionated. This is, of course, Larry Hyatt's fault for sending me something so enjoyably funny all I had to do was tell him how awesome it was. And it made my day.
But now I don't want to be serious. I want to play and have fun. So does The Bug. So one cool, talent show comes at his recommendation, the other from my FTF critique group - posted on Face Book this morning.
This one's from my awesome crit partners:
Cool, huh. I remember when break dancing and Mime was all the street corner rage. Now its Free Style which seems to combine both. This dance style shows so much more talent, in my opinion. And the next one comes highly recommended by my Bug. Anything that excites him so has got to be worth posting, right?
Stick with it a minute, there is music . .
Friday, October 15, 2010
As you'll note, I wrote (most) of this post a couple weeks ago. It was poignant and relevant to me then, as since so many of my family members were/are in hospital or suffering disabilities. After writing it - late in the night, as most of my profound inspirations seem to hit me - I tucked it away in my works processor and decided it was too embarrassing to post. It was just . .
Well just NOT. Here goes anyway, because so many other things in my real/blogging life have reminded me of my initial response to Hart's post since October 1. From that start . .
Cruising the blogs I discovered Hart Johnson's Megan Kehew Baroni: Warrior Extraordinaire post. Regarding her Wizard Warriors, Hart says: "It’s amazing how people can touch each other so deeply without ever coming face to face—how much of a group mourning process this really is. Reactions vary, and none of our friends or family in real life get it."
That resonated with me. Because people in my day life tease me about my blogging obsession. I feel like Loren Eaton when my co-workers ask me why I'm in such a rush to go home and sit at a computer all evening.
I have some friends - good friends, I consider - that I blog with. I know their history, their problems, their marital or personal woes. I know them better sometimes than I know my BFF that sits in the cubie across from mine at the office. After all, my work buddies don't post an archive so I can remind myself of important occurances in their lives. They rely on my own faulty memory . .
But, I’ve never met them (fav bloggers) face-to-face. None of their real life friends or family know I exist. No one in MY day-to-day associations know of their existence. None know the moments we have shared online - blogging, e-mail, the occasional chats from various sources. True, there is the rare moment where I share a thought or ancedote from my ethereal friends; but who's to know if THEY believe in this world that so consumes me.
I have a few blogger friends I've lost over the last several months. No, not to untimely death thank goodness (that I know of). But, they disappeared completely, or left a courtesy post with something like: Gone for personal or health reasons.
I wonder. I worry.
We hear all the time about people who are not what they seem. Brad Paisley's song Online is only one medium that warns people to be wary of online connections. Rightly so, as a general rule.
This community isn’t a chat room, however. How many people do YOU converse with who don’t have a verifiable google profile? Who don’t post a writing excerpt at least once in a while? Do you follow someone just because they have a blogger ID? Just because they followed YOU?
I check out everyone who follows me or comments on my posts. Yeah, if you follow and don’t publicize your e-mail, web site, or blogger ID, chances are I pay you no attention. How can I; you haven’t left me a link back to your site. I like followers, but I love people who introduce themselves to me more. To do that, you have to let me in.
Scary, I know.
Me? I’m still a lurker at heart. I’ll read several past posts when I click on your link. I don’t care who your current followers are; their criteria for following may be different than mine, even if I follow THEM. I’ve tracked bloggers for as long as six months before I noticed I wasn’t following. (Every 3 - 4 months I check my blog roll to be sure everyone I’m following is listed for easy access. For myself.)
You? You’ll be impressed with my blog roll or not; you have your own to manage. If you’re like me, you only look at the blog roll of other bloggers to see that you’ve missed any interesting posts; and not often. Well, maybe that’s just my own blogger style.
I do another thing not every blogger does. I read comments on other blogs.
I’m nosey. I want to know what others are saying, and who is having a response. Maybe it’s the social worker in me. But, I’ve noticed that when other bloggers do the same - click on commenters and comment on their blogs - their followers explode.
Word of mouth works.
Wish I was better at that also.
Have I digressed? I think I'm getting back to the main issue. Give me moment more.
Recently I read a blog post titled something like DO YOU TRUST YOUR BLOG FRIENDS. Trouble is, I was cheating with the NetBook, and although I sent the link to myself in an e-mail - uhm, its not there. (If you read this and you recognize the post as your own - or if you read the post and know the author please, please let me know so I can link it.)
What was most exciting to me about the post - I read it several days after its post date so didn't leave a comment - was that most bloggers do trust their community friends not to plagerise, or even repost without due citation. Why? Well, because we have a common interest.
We're not just a group of people who randomly met and hoped to form a temporary connection. Shhsh, sometimes it can take AGES to garner a decent number of followers. We're forming bonds that will enrich our personal and professional (writing) lives for years to come. (Please visit Elliot Grace for confirmation.) We meet Agents, Editors, Publishers, Authors (published and unplished); all who share our ultimate dreams. Sometimes we connect only through social networking - collegues who share a mutual vision. A publishing goal we not only hope the other can assist us in achieving, but one we are willing to pay forward in hopes that someone we know will remember us if they get there first.
But mostly we blog and involve ourselves in this community because we NEED to connect to others of like mind. Write in solituds, share with community, accept feedback. We don't care what you LOOK like, we want to know if you can WRITE. So you're 5'2 and live in your mom's basement. Can you sustain a story idea? Do your characters engage us? Do you know how to world build? Do you know the in's and out's of HTML? (Sorry; date hunting a geek/writer!)
There have been several e-mails at my day job over the last few weeks regarding people who have left our employ. Moving, new jobs, family emergencies, or other personal or professional reasons. Some I didn't know. Some I knew were leaving. Some came as a shock. Especially those I conversed with on a consistant basis and they never let on they were struggling with life issues. "Hi, how are you, how's the kids, did you get that car loan, is your Lead still a pain, where did you go for your vacation . ." Nope, no clue they were dealing with cancer, incapacitated family members or whatever lead to their decision to drop out of the Agency. A serious decision, with life altering decisions for a variety of concerned members.
People I've known by sight, name, unit, job description or phone number. (I spent today explaining the details of case management to a person I've never met, but I know exactly her job description, so could give her info based on what she would need from me to perfom her function effectively. And if her paperwork goes out correctly, I can process my end with no hassles.) I don't visit their homes, even though they live four blocks up the street in a very small town. I party with them when the occasion arises (much like contests or blogfests) with a work related event, and see another side of these mutual employees. Woh, uhm . .
There are over 500 employees in our dimunitive Agency. All working effectively and efficientyl together.
So are we, in the blogger community, much different in our on-line personae's than in our every-day lives?
Do we disclose our entire life history to the blogverse? Do we keep our presonal crisis as close as we would in a day job? Do we have specific bloggers we are close enough to disclose intimate secrets? Does anyone miss us when we're gone?
A few days ago I visited a blog - sorry, didn't think to save the link - and the author asked if anyone had seen a few specific bloggers. He tried to locate them and they were not reachable. So, he asked his writing community for info.
I'm impressed. And I hope you are too. Are we not friends, of a sort?
My face-to-face writers group went on hiatus for three months. We looked for FB and e-mail postings from each other. "Are you there" was a frequent post. "NO" might be the response. It was a response.
One of our group members dropped out of another entertainment group at the same time. She posted frequent updates on FB, and none of her group commented. Hmm; I don't consider myself popular; but I'd like to know there is someone out there in this community that would at least send an e-mail that says "Yo, where are you?" if I completely disappeared.
Do you have that support system? I know I do.
The bloggers I have lost mean something special to ME (even if you are acquainted with them yourself). I'm sure you have your own circle of friends/followers that you miss. Treasure.
I did not know Megan Kehew Baroni. Yet she meant enough to Hart to post about her passing. And what that meant to Hart.
And it got me to thinking about my own online relationships.
Are you feeling your own losses? I don't mean to be morbid; but its getting to be that time of year when we all assess what people mean to us. Maybe I'm just early. Do I send a simple card, or something with some emotional depth, or is a present required? How well do I know you, like you? Would I miss you if you're gone?
More important: As my blog friend; how do I express my concern that you are "gone" for whatever reason?" Who will listen or respond if not you personally.
Most important to me, as a solitary, introspective personality, is what will I risk to get to know you?
I'm not sure this post went where I meant it to. I've been lax myself on visiting blogs in favor of a beta read/full critique. My way of paying it forward with a friend I only know on-line. I have another Steam Punk read I've been putting off for a few weeks. But tonight The Bug decided to shut off his game in favor of a movie, and he picked one that totally fit this post sentiment, so maybe all signs lead to getting this out there.
We watched CITY OF ANGELS, with Nicholas Cage and Meg Ryan. Its a story of sacrifice and need to belong. To connect to something outside the normal expectation of a daily life. We do that here, in my mind at least.
I hope you got something out of this post. If not well, thats OK; it was for me, after all.
Monday, October 11, 2010
The object of this blogfest is to see if you have established that hook agents and editors curse and hoot about.
Things to ask yourself (as a reader/reviewer and a writer):
Who is the character I am relating to?
Does he/she have a personality that I crave to read?
Is the world around them set up to compliment the character as they are introduced?
Are there secondary characters to assist the hook along, with conflict or pace?
Lastly: do I love the character? Do I want to read more about him/her?
So I'm offering my stalled fantasy. I don't know if I've posted this before. I've done a little revision and editing since it was written, but there is still some holes I haven't figured out yet.
Any and all feedback is welcome on this excerpt.
Darkness ruled the land of Timralte; a cloying stillness that defied all but the bravest of its inhabitants to light the way.
Wynter, warrior mage of the ------, stood her solitary vigil wrapped in woolen silence against the soundless night. Against her back was the solid stone wall of the apothecary; to the fore across the deserted cobbled street the grungy edifice of the two story inn called Palpits Tavern.
Occasionally, the chill breeze brought the distorted sounds of raised voices and the discordant hum of the current troubadour. Wynter would have sighed with boredom, but the plume of her breath might have given away her presence. Her muscles ached with the stillness and damp air, but her training forbade her to acknowledge her discomforts. Even her eyes were shrouded within the dark folds of her hood, the cloak so heavy it hung lifeless around her stiff, slender body.
She blinked in the sudden glare as the heavy oaken door across the way swung open with a bang, and two burly men tossed a shrieking mass of dark cloak off the damaged porch.
“And stay out, you lousy cur,” one of the silhouettes roared.
The other laughed, clapped his muscled mate on the back, and they stomped back inside, slamming the tavern door behind them. Wynter stayed were she was for the moment, not wanting to fail this mission for the wrong drunken patron. Palpits was a reputedly rough saloon, catering to any number of miscreants and plain fools. The man she hoped to capture tonight was no fool; even when drunk.
The ragged lump in the street moaned and rolled over, vomiting and cursing noisily. Wynter watched in disgust as he slowly dragged himself to his knees and finally wobbled to his feet. Muttering incomprehensible curses, he trudged towards the planks he’d been thrown from, patting the splintered wood as he leaned left, then right.
Malchi, did you see his face? Wynter sent telepathically to her familiar. Is he the one?
She waited impatiently for the raven to respond, unwilling to risk giving away her position by so much as glancing up where she knew he should be perched. With an angry grunt of exertion, the drunk crawled on hands and knees towards the door, his hands slapping and knees thumping as he continued his desperate search.
Malchi! If you fell asleep again I’m going to wring your filthy neck.
Not a natural night bird, he had a tendency to tuck his head under his feathers as the darkness thickened. The magic that bound him to her also imbued him with special abilities - long life, vision at night, basic human like intelligence.
Shh, girl! I’m reading his luscious thoughts. A tart sense of humor.
Anything we can use?
An annoying clicking in her head she considered his evil laugh. We really need to find you a mate, she thought testily.
You are my mate, he immediately responded. Now hush, I’m working here.
Gritting her teeth in annoyance and no small amount of frustration, Wynter stilled her mind with a silent meditation. As the mantra’s comforting magic calmed her, she opened her senses to the nearly frantic man on the porch. She could feel the cuts and splinters in his knuckles, wrists and elbows as he delved deeply into the ragged holes his violent search had produced. She felt every inch of the strain on his muscles as he stretched to the limit of his reach, his pounding heart throbbing in her own fingertips.
She stretched her own neck with the effort, and for a moment he wavered, shoulder deep, his face lifting to the sky. Forgetting for the moment the urgency of her mission, she focused all her instincts on sending healing to his battered hand and calming the emotional stress the loss of the -
Stop it, Malchi screeched in her mind. You’re putting me to sleep too.
Chagrined, she pulled her senses back, blocking off the traitorous Paladin training. But she knew the damage had been done, even without Malchi’s warning cry.
He’s got it, and he knows you’re here. Move, girl, before he gets away.
Wynter ran, but didn’t get two steps out of hiding before a wall of air thrust her roughly back against the wall. Malchi, stay with him.
Her quarry was fast, having already extricated himself from the porch and disappeared around the building in the two seconds of conversation. In his rush to get away however, the spell was weak, and it only took Wynter a few seconds to break it’s hold. Her feet barely touching the frozen ground, she raced down the dark alley he’d disappeared into.
She felt the spells sizzling effect instantly, and wondered if Malchi was as blind as she. The darkness had a heavy feel, like trudging through the thick mists of Sarya in the Darde Province. The Druids that dwelt in the marshes cared little for the trials of this world, focusing their vast knowledge and arts in the discovery of other realms.
Being a curious race, however, their domain was accessible to those with powers, and the right training. She hoped she’d learned well at their feet.
The trick was to say the counter spell quickly, with confidence. The longer she remained in the void, the deadlier it became.
She waited in the deathly silence for his response, then began the difficult counter spell. It would have been stronger with her familiar to echo the formula, but the spell had marooned her. Halfway through the counter spell, she felt the darkness begin to move and shift around her. She stuttered over the next phrase, and felt a burning pressure envelope her.
Don’t panic, she admonished herself, and started the sequence all over again, her lips forming the familiar phrases like a novice instead of the mental recitation of a journeyman. When her mind drew a blank on the next stanza, the pressure became a constriction, and the unprotected skin on her hands and face bubbled with the acidic touch.
The cruel prediction of Master Straeker met her groping mind. “You are doomed to failure, Wynter, and if you are our only hope of retrieving the Book Of Enlightenment, then we are undone before we begin.”
“Not yet,” she told the old magician’s memory, and reigned in her terror.
Saturday, October 9, 2010
Hey, I found this gem in my e-mail. And since its my birthday on Monday, they feel sooooo close to my funny bone at the moment.
OK? Ok. On with the funnies, if I can get it off my e-mail.
LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD (yep; I resemble this one)
Belle (Beauty and the beast)
SEEMS LIKE ONLY YESTERDAY
BARBIE DOLL has her 50th birthday this year......
And what about our other childhood Hero's:
Hope you're all smiles now.
But let me leave you with this image as I head out for my night of drinking and carousing with the girls (and hopefully a guy or three)
SEE YA'LL MONDAY FOR THE BLOGFEST.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Psych! Not really. I don't participate in Face Book's obsessive Farmville Craze.
But, since it is October - and harvest season - and I need to be
GONE READING: BACK IN A FEW DAYS
I thought I'd leave ya'll with a few toys and tunes to enjoy. Its what's cluttering up the roads in my nek'a'da' valley.
And this one, you know, because Kenny is soooo sexy
See ya in a few days . . Have a good week.
Saturday, October 2, 2010
This is for Tessa Conte's THEY'RE PEOPLE TOO blogfest. I thought I signed up for this, but I guess not. (rectified that) After sitting here for the last couple hours trying to write an excerpt about the Gods, I realized WHY I didn't. (having second thoughts about participating, but already signed the link) I enjoy reading mythology, but haven't a clue how to write it. Ghads, the research it took for just this little 350 word offering.
For those who typically write this ssstttuff, I salute you. Go ahead and laugh at my fickle attempt though. It won't offend me at all. I can definitely cross one genre off my list of "wish I could write." But blogfests are all about experimentation, right? Stretching the skills to the frustration point?
Well, I did exactly that. I give you . .
“Why is it raining?”
“Because I’m sad.”
“Why are you sad?”
Iris stirred a dark cloud with her caduceus, ignoring her grandmothers blue-green, ethereal transitions from solid to spirit.
Gaia cloaked Iris’ ewer in a rainbow, anchoring it between sky and earth, then asked again; “why is it raining?”
Iris allowed her tears to fall, hoping they would seep into the sullen cloud and continue to rain on the ship directly below her. Instead, they drifted into the ewer. Iris sighed, knowing it would do no good to argue for the change in weather, but determined to act out her fit.
“I’m bored, Grandmother. Why do my sisters get to go off and have adventures with the humans, and I’m stuck monitoring the weather. Its not fair.” She stamped a slender, bare foot, causing a little more moisture to drip from her creation.
“I hardly call stealing food from Phineas an adventure.”
This time Iris’ tears were for herself. “They only torture him because I visited him. Zeus has no call to be angry with him. He shouldn’t have -”
Gaia’s dress became a contained, raging storm, purpling her normally gentle features. “That man has caused no end of troubles for the Gods. Troubles you are too young to understand. Careful where you bestow your passions, or you may suffer the same fate as your love.”
Iris blushed and gasped, sucking the moisture from the cloud she stood on. In response, it dissipated and floated away. The rainbow brightened, and Iris could hear faint cheers from the sailors below as the sea calmed.
“There now, that’s much better.” Gaia smiled, brightening the sky to a glaring azure. “First love is always the hardest, Child. And it clutters your mind so.” She pointed a turquois arm at the massive ship that had survived Iris’ temper.
“You can have your vengeance, if you think before you act. There is Jason, who has been charged with the task of rescuing Phineas.”
“Nevermind,” Gaia admonished. “But perhap -”
Iris didn’t hear the rest of her grandmothers advice. She clothed herself in a desirable aspect and floated down the rainbow.