Sunday, November 30, 2008

Get back to work

Yes, I have a new computer. So why haven't I posted more? Well I have a job that takes up too much time. And I'm not at home much (it just recently occurred to me that a laptop is mobile). Plus, the holidays are hectic for me. In my family, I always host the holidays. I do the planning, the shopping, the cleaning, the cooking, the cleaning and it's time consuming.
Enough excuses, I need to get back to it. Writing group will be meeting a week from today, which means I need something to send by Fridayish.
What to send? My last story was such a success that I'm worried nothing will live up to Secret Identity Crisis. I have no new funny stuff. So I might have to go back to drama.
I have a short story, Worth Something, that examines the value of money and what it means to different people. It's basically done. I wrote it in long hand and planned to put the finishing touches on it as I typed it up, which I'm about half way done with.
I could take a section of my short story turned novella that I still have no title for. No one dies in either story but they are both a bit depressing.
There's also the option of scrounging up something super old or writing something completely new.

Aside from writing group I need to get reading. I need to finish four more books by the end of the year to finally accomplish my goal of reading 50 books a year.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Bestest Friend Ever!

Jenni is the bestest friend ever because she gave me this new awesome computer that I'm now using. It's much faster and has many more great attributes than the last one I had. The best part is that Jenni gave it to me out of love, not because she wanted free Internet.

And since I'm using terms like "bestest friend ever", let me tell you what I did last night. I went to see Twilight. I know, why, when I didn't really care for the book? I had some weird hope that the screenplay would add more action and cut out a lot of inner-dialogue, which is usually what movies do to ruin stories that I loved in book format. This movie left in all that whiny, selfish inner-dialogue and had about five minutes of decent action. No good. I wanted to leave in the first fifteen minutes. Slow moving and completely unsuspenseful. Of course, the giggling and applauding teen girls in the crowd apparently thought differently.
I dragged Slipstream with me and he says it doesn't matter if he "looks" 17, he's still over a hundred and dating a 16 year old. And that's just not right.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Reading update

Since I've been away from blogger world, I haven't had a chance to update on what I've been reading. I haven't even been able to add to
While my new job doesn't allow much extra time for writing. I also haven't had a lot of time for reading. I miss those eight hour shifts with nothing to do but read.
I'm still on track to read fifty novels this year. I'm up to forty-three. So that means a novel a week for the rest of the year.
Right now, I'm finishing "Odd Hours," the most recent book in Dean Koontz's Odd Thomas series. I go back and forth with these books. I really liked the first one. Odd is funny, even though he's not trying to be, so his interaction with others is what I like most. Unfortunately, in book two he was solo most of the time, which I didn't really enjoy. Book three brought back some of that great interaction, which I enjoyed. Book four he's mostly solo again. And it's too bad because a lot of characters, that help Odd, are real fantastic. Not to mention, the book has a very vague ending, which does set up a sequel, but left me feeling really lost.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Back in time.

When I first started I didn't have a lot of readers. Of course, I don't have that many now either. I feel like my first posts have never been read by anyone but myself, so I thought I'd repost a few. What was on my mind three years ago ? Here's a post from November 13, 2008.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Sharing your imagination
Another comic book show today and I couldn't stand to be there. No, I'm not getting tired of comic book shows or comic books. I'm getting tired of not being there to promote my own comic book. All I do is sell and by other stuff and it makes me feel gloomy. It's not that I want to make money, I have no expectation of making the big bucks or the small bucks for that matter, I just want to see my work done. I want to see my accomplishment. I want to see other people enjoying my work.I've been thinking about my writing a lot this week. With the new Harry Potter movie drawing near it makes me think. This happens often when something I really enjoy comes into the spotlight. I get envious. Not because J.K. Rowling is rolling in piles of cash or bombarded with fan mail. I'm sure those things are great but I think about how much I love her books. When I come home from work or have stressful moments I jump into these things and I feel better. I leave the world and life I am tired of and enter these amazing places and become these amazing people. I have always had the imagination to create these places for myself but it's wonderful seeing others. Sometimes you get bored or in a mental block and you can't carry yourself away. That is when you engross yourself in someone else's imagination and you experience things and learn things. It's when you get the chance to experience happy times that you don't have in your own life right now, you get to see horrible things that make you realize your life isn't that bad, or you get to see that their are other people who face the same things you do. That is how I feel about the things I read and watch. I don't know if it is the same for everyone, maybe I over think things or don't think enough. Perhaps I am even bordering on insanity. All I know is that if there is one person or everyone in the world that feels the same way I do, I want to share my imagination with them for the times when they need help breaking away.It's not that I write only for other people, I write for myself. If you told me no one would ever read my work, I'd still write everyday. I have so many thoughts in my head and I'm so afraid one day I'll forget them. I have to put them down. I don't need to be rich or famous, I've never had either and I have had a great life this far. Yet when I did have tough times I always had somewhere to go. Whether it was in my own head or in a book, when my parents yelled, the kids teased, or my heart was broken I didn't sit around and focus on how much I hated things. I ran away to a place that let me be free from troubles. Then things were good. It's those good things that give you the strength to face the bad things, because you know the good things will come again eventually. I want to give the good things.That is why I write. I'm just getting anxious because I really want to share it with as many people as possible, if they want to read it. I think about how much I enjoy diving into worlds created by others when I need a break from my imagination as well as my life. If no one else wants to see it that's okay because I have it for myself. That is how it started and I still love it.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Pass it on

Normally, I'm not down with chain mail. If you send me an e-mail saying I'll have good fortune if I forward it, I won't do it. If someone sends me a myspace message that says I'll die if I don't repost it, I'll take my chances. However, today I got a cool chain letter that I actually think could be fun. I'm asked to send a book, just one, that I've enjoyed to another person, that is named on my letter. Then I send out six of my own letters that will have the person that sent the letter to me listed on it. The people I send the letters to should in turn send a book to my sender and then send out letters with my name. So if each person sends one book and six letters they will receive 36 books.
I know it seems like most chain letters are a scam, and some are, particularly those that involve money, but I have to get behind this one. First off, it's one book. It can be used and I'm sure everyone has one book sitting around somewhere that they don't plan on reading again. Second, books are cheap to send. Ask for media mail at the post office. It's less than $3.00 for books. Third, it's basically just a book exchange, which I do with lots of people already. The number one thing I give to and lend to people is books. I like to encourage reading. It's becoming a lost art, in a world of t.v. and video games.
So I'm going for it. I'm going to do it. I already know what book I'm going to send and I plan on listing any books I may receive. I hope it works out and that the people I select keep it going because it seems like a super cool idea.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Moving On

With the new job, new apartment and a few other things in life, I've really been putting a lot of things behind me for good. And for once I can honestly say I'm happy. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't miserable before now. I've been content for a while, but right now I'm happy. Life's not perfect but it's pretty good.
Of course, during the bad times, I wrote a lot of stories. And I'm starting to think that my writing was a little too personal. Now I look back on those stories and I don't even want to touch them. That part of my life is over. No need to go back.
When I was with my writing group, talking about the last piece of the Christmas Bells, I realized I just didn't like the story anymore. And a lot of me wondered if it was because I wrote this story for a person that I had to leave behind. A person who isn't in my life anymore because it was them or me and I chose me. Who wants to look back and dwell on that?
So I'm left with the question of how much of my own life should I put into a story? And if I chose any at all, how do I push forward with my work, when that part of my life is over?
If I choose to keep my personal experiences out of it, then where do I find the ideas and the emotions to write?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Things to do

Now that I'm back online, I have a ton of stuff to do. I've missed out on so much, which means there is too much to catch up on. So I'm making a little list to keep track of what I need to do.
First, I need to get my blog in shape. I need to update my side bar and, of course, post on a regular basis. Second, I need to go around to all the blogs I use to read frequently and let everyone know I'm alive. I've actually already commented on a fair few so that one should be done soon.
Third, I need to catch up on blog and live journal reading. I'm not sure how far back I should go. I did catch a post here and there at the library, but I feel lost when reading some of them.
Fourth, MySpace and Facebook need updates. This again is mostly so people know I still exist.
Fifth, I need to get cracking on submissions, this goes for snail mail as well.
Sixth, list tons of books on
Seventh, just to be on the safe side, I should keep up on the job hunt. Just in case.
Last but most important, is to catch up with my friends. I did get an e-mail out to Jenni, but it's no where near the length it should have been. I haven't IMed with D.B. Echo in a long time. Not to mention my other friends that have moved away and I kept in touch with through e-mail.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

That's not funny. Is it?

Last night our writing group met and I took Secret Identity Crisis, my script turned prose story. It’s a bit of a parody and meant to be comical. It’s not something I normally write. In fact, as I’ve mentioned before, my writing group was actually making fun of how tragic my stories usually are. So I guess I thought of myself more as a dramatic writer rather than a comedy writer.
Although, I must admit I love comedy. I think comedy writer’s have to be incredibly intelligent to know what will make a person laugh. Tina Fey is one of my writing role models, and it was actually Mean Girls that inspired me to write Secret Identity Crisis. And for the record, I am not a fair weathered fan. I was admiring Tina Fey long before she was doing an almost scary impression of Sarah Palin.
Anyway, I never really thought of myself as a comedy writer, but I do like to write comedy, I attempt to be funny and sometimes it does make people laugh. I just don’t really think that I’m funny. But I took my comedy story to writing group mostly because I didn’t have anything else finished and I thought I would take a silly story to show them I wasn’t a completely depressing writer. I didn’t really go with high expectations.
What shocked me is the writing group’s love of the story. They thought it was funny and they liked it. One of them said they thought it was my best work thus far. Another said I should seriously look into submitting it because it was so unique.
To be honest I was shocked. I got really excited and started thinking off all the possibilities for it. Maybe I could make it longer. Or maybe it could be a comic book or movie.
Then I realized something. The first story that I got published in a literary magazine was Sweaty Palms, which was humorous, not a serious story. My most favorite thing that I’ve ever written and the story I thought had the most promise of anything I’ve ever worked on was Behind the Naugahyde, a comedy. There were agents who actually wanted to read more after a query.
So maybe comedy is my thing. Maybe I’m not as bad at it as I thought. It’s definitely something to think about.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Alive and well!

Guess who's back on the Internet in the comforts of her own home? If anyone guessed me, they're right! I'm so excited. I can't wait to get back to blogging regularly, IM chatting, checking out all my favorite blogs, and finally listing the hundreds of books that I have sitting in my room. Did I mention I'm totally excited?

Today I hope to get around to a few of my favorite blogs and say "hi". So I'm off but I'll be back tomorrow with an awesome post. I'm going to post everyday this week in celebration. Let the joyous news be spread!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Two in a row!

Over the past week, I made my first attempt at converting a script into prose. It was actually a mini-movie that I wrote. There were never any plans to make it but I always thought it would work better as a movie. If I were forced to describe by using other movies as examples I would say that it’s kind of a cross of Clueless and Clerks.
I was worried that it wouldn’t work in prose but the transition seemed to work out okay. I was able to use inner monologue for the main character and I think that definitely added something. Although, I think visuals would add to the humor.
The plan is to take it to writing group tonight and see what they think about it. I’m sure they’ll just be excited that I finally sent a story that is upbeat and funny (I think).

Saturday, November 01, 2008

I'm still alive.

It’s November 1st. The start of NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo. It’s probably no surprise that I don’t plan on committing to either of these this year. Without Internet access, NaBloPoMo would be a difficult task. And while I really should do NaNoWriMo, I just don’t feel like I can.
I have started adjusting to the new job and finding more time for writing. But I still have a lot of unfinished projects to catch up on. There is one significant change that I would like to make in my life that would give me more time to get things done but that change isn’t possible at the moment so I have to make the best of what I have.
The past two Novembers I got slammed with serious family problems. I hope that doesn’t happen again this year but I’m always worried about the possibility. While September through December is my favorite time of the year, it’s not always the kindest to our family.
So no commitment to either NaMo but I do want to at least post more than the few times I managed to post in October, which was twice. So that shouldn't be hard to do.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

It seems like nothing but updates

Sorry it's been so long. I didn't mean to neglect my blog. I miss it dearly and really wish I had the chance to write and read blogs more often. I know it seems like all I do lately is give updates. That's mostly because by the time I get back around to writing it's time for another update. So here's the news.

First off, my roommate is lending me a computer that she was going to recycle after getting a new Mac. So providing that it's willing and able, I might have regular Internet access by next paycheck. *fingers crossed*

Second, writing group met again and I got a chance to give them the last half of Christmas Bells. I'm pretty sure that if I do anything with that story, I'm going to need to lengthen it. It goes too fast and really has a lot of room for more.
Anyway, now I'm left wondering what story I should take when we meet next month. My writing group thinks I'm notorious for unhappy endings and they're right. I haven't shared one story with a happy ending. I think someone dies in almost every story I've given them. So I promised a happy story this time.
I have a few old short stories written, but they're nothing I really wanted to fuss with. I'm almost finished with my short story about the money and whether stealing is wrong if money has no value, which I've tentatively titled Worth Something. No one dies but it is a bit pessimistic. I could always write something new but I think I might attempt to turn a script into a prose. I have on in mind that's a fun parody of sorts. If not, I might take the first part of my super long short story/novella. Once again, it's a bit pessimistic but no one dies.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Behind the Naugahyde is back

MySite, is the website company that Jenni and I went through for Originally, they said "if you don't want pop-ups, you have to pay." Jenni paid, but over the last few years we hadn't been using the site much (I know, shame on us!) so we figured a few pop-ups were okay. Well, to be truthful we didn't even really think about it. That is until Jenni had a mysterious charge on her card. She fought with the MySite people and they said they'd reverse the charge... as well as shut our site down.
That's when the awesome Jenni, decided Blogspot is way more popular than MySite and it's FREE! So she started us a snazzy blog that you can see here It has all the old material, just formatted a little different. And hopefully, the new change will motivate Jenni and I to start working hard.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Getting back to business

The job at Goodwill is going well. My schedule has been a bit crazy since I'm training, but next week I go to my permanent home and hopefully, I'll get settled in.
It's quite different to have a job where I can't read, write and be on the Internet. Although, I have managed to write on my lunch breaks, since it doesn't take me a full half hour to eat.
I'm really excited to get back to writing more regularly. I have an itch I need to scratch. There's a lot of built up ideas waiting to get out. Some of them are new, others are working on rewriting, revising, editing and submitting my other works. I feel like I could burst with everything going through my head.
Slipstream has been giving me heck about not writing. He's taking no excuses. He's done everything from offering to buy me paper and pencils, giving story suggestions and just telling me I need to go home and work on a novel. He knows I hate to let people down so I guess I better get to work.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Another idea for the to do list.

While I was organizing my writing folders a few weeks ago I had another thought. There were unfinished stories that I had forgotten about long ago but what about the finished ones that have never had a chance.
Sure, I actively submit my short stories but what about the other stuff? Well none of the novels are really ready for queries, and I’m not sure if they ever will be but what I’m talking about is the scripts.
I don’t think it’s any secret that what I really wanted to write is comic books, but I started writing short stories because it’s hard to get anyone to look at comics without an artist. And after a long, frustrating search for an artist, I thought I might have more luck if I was a published writer. So I ventured into short stories, which I actually like writing.
But I still have a few comic scripts and I also have a short film script. I’m pretty fond of most of these stories and I’m really sad that they are just sitting there.
The other day I got to thinking that maybe changing them into short story format, or even novella or novel for one of them, might not be the worst idea. At least then I would know how to go about getting them published. And even though I make them into prose doesn’t mean that one day they can’t go back to their original format of comic book. Look at how many books and short stories are turned into comic books or movies.
That means I have yet another thing to add to my to do list. It seems I keep adding stuff but how many times do I write to say that I can finally scratch something off the to do list.
Hopefully, I'll adjust to my new schedule and get my computer problems fixed soon.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Back on track

The new job is so far so good. Today is my day off so I'm trying to get some stuff done. Like submissions, posting some books and catching up on blogs. And we have writer's group tonight. Due to weddings and vacations we didn't get a chance to meet in August. I was worried once school started in September that we'd be done again, but it looks like we'll get at least one more meeting in tonight.
I'm taking part 3 of 4 of my short story, Christmas Bells. I'm a little worried about what I'll do if we end up not having another group meeting now that that school's back in session. I'll be left with a quarter of my story unreviewed. One of the hazards of working with English teachers, I guess. Although, they are the best people to have critiquing your work.
Well, I'm going to try getting around to blogs now. I'll try to comment so everyone will know I've been by to see them. Hopefully, I'll get back to posting at least twice a week.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

A little info on the new job

Hello! Wow things are so crazy for me as if I haven't said that before. Thanks for all the nice comments. I hope to get back to writing on a more frequent basis now that my schedule will be straightening out.
In case anyone was curious, my new job is at Goodwill. Not only is it full time with benefits but Goodwill has an amazing mission. All of their store profits go to helping people with barriers find employment. So I'm really exciting that my new job includes helping so many people.
Well, I'm not quite sure what my new schedule will be but I'll try to post soon.

Saturday, August 30, 2008


I'm almost done with the last of moving. Once Tuesday comes around and I turn over the keys, it will be done.
And today, I type this post at the shoe store I would have worked at for four years in September. Sadly, today may be my last shift. I might work a day or two more if my new work schedule permits it.
On Tuesday, I sign over the keys to my old house and then start my new job. Oh and it's the start of autumn, my absolute favorite time of year. I hope this means good things to come. Like more time to write.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

After this week I should get back on track to some extent or it could be crazier than ever.

Status update: The major part of the move is done. I still have trash to get out and cleaning to do. Then there's unpacking at the new place.
Oh and did I mention while all of this was going on I managed to get a new job? That's right, a full-time with benefits job.
How ironic that I get the job, that would have prevented me from having to move, the same week that I move. Well, at least now I'll have a year to save up. Hurray!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

It should be over soon

I'm at the library doing a quick e-mail check. Sorry I haven't gotten around to posting sooner. Things have been so hectic. I move on Saturday. Sunday we're suppose to have writing group. Tomorrow I'll be working at the store with Internet so maybe I'll have a minute to post something better than this. Once August is over I should be back posting more often. I'll be at the store with Internet more often. Also I should make it to the library more since I won't be spending every second cleaning and packing. And maybe this move will save me enough money to get my computer fixed.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Books are my new blogs

I want you all to know that I feel very lonely not having regular Internet access. I miss my daily blog readings. If your blog is in my sidebar I most likely checked it daily, if not twice daily because I have no life. Now I only get to check them once a week.

I'm trying to get over my loneliness and utilize my time without the Internet. I'm happy to report that I'm up to 32 novels this year, which has me well on my way to this being the year I finally read 50 novels.

I finished Iron Kissed from the Mercedes Thompson series, the werewolf books, by Patricia Briggs. I was seriously surprised by the end of the last book. Usually nothing bad ever happens to the main characters. Something almost always prevents it just in time. This book did not end up like that. I was amazed the writer had the nerve to do that. And from what I read she's writing another book in the series. I'm curious to see how that turns out.

Today, my co-worker and future roommate lent me the last book of the Twilight series. I find the main character to be selfish and whiny, and I can't understand why two immortal and supernatural beings are fighting over her. Yet, I can't seem to go without ever knowing how it ends. My co-worker dropped me some hints about why I'll like the main character, Bella, even less.
After that I'm not sure what I'm going to read.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Getting organized

Over the last week I’ve been attempting to pack or toss everything I own. One of the things that I started going through was my writing stuff.
I’m not sure how other writer’s function but here is my set up. I have a two-drawer filing cabinet that’s filled with files and notebooks. Most of my short stories have their own file. All of the novels have a notebook and a few files. Then there are other files with story ideas and other writing like old articles and reviews. I also have a few folders full of research. Oh and I can’t forge the folder full of rejection notices.
On my desk is my “current” pile, which is stuff I’m supposedly working on.
That’s my system. The other day I figured it would be easier to move if it was organized. So I started off attempting to file away my current pile only to realize that the two drawers had become terribly unorganized. I decided it would be best to pull everything out and do something with it.
I have to say after all the computer crashes and file losses, seeing all of these print copies and hand-written stories gave me the feeling of not being completely lost. It was nice to be able to hold my work in my hands. Although, I still had the worry that it would suddenly burst into flames.
As I sorted through everything, I found quite a few things I had started long ago and forgotten about. When I first started seriously writing, I had started a short story about a journalist who is trying to get a story about the mafia and somehow ends up in the mafia.
There was a nother story that I started a while ago about a mysterious hotel that seems like it’s paradise but is the exact opposite.
Obviuosly, the notes and thoughts I had about each of these stories are much more detailed and hopefully more interesting. I was really excited about both of these stories when I first came up with the ideas for them. I have started both of the stories just never finished them for some reason or another. I’m going to put them on my to do list not that I’ve really been making a dent in that lately.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Quick Update

I had a relaxing weekend, despite sunburn. Ouch! Now I'm back to working, packing, selling, cleaning and dealing with companies that put a charge to my account twice.
I missed writing group this week because I didn't make it back in town on time. Everyone else in the group will be out of town for the next two weeks so we won't meet again until the 24th, which is the day after I move.
Other than that, I've been trying to do some reading and writing during my long, empty hours at work. When I'm there today I'll try to write a really good entry and post it the next time I'm near a computer. Until then...

Thursday, July 31, 2008

On the move

What's going on in my world? More things, other than having no computer, to district me from blogging and writing.
First off, it's hot. And we all know how I despise hot. I've been lucky this year, so far. There have been years where this heat has started in May and continued through September. This year it didn't really get hot until mid-July. I'm anticipating heat through August, but September better cool off.
Other news. I'm moving. Again? I know. It seems like just 2 years ago since I moved and that's pretty close to correct. But I'm broke and I can't afford my lavish life style anymore. One housemate wasn't enough. I need two. And my current house is too small for that. So I'm out.
On the bright side hopefully the money I save on rent will allow me to get my computer fixed. I'm not counting on it, just wishing.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Weekend

I have the weekend off from work. So today is my last chance to post without going a whole week without posting. Unless of course I made it to the library this weekend, which could happen.

Unfortunately, I don't have anything deep and meaningful to write. Just a few updates.

Writing group went well on Monday. Sadly, we're starting to fade out again. August is filled with vacations and weddings. Before you know it, school will be back in again. We're going to try to have a few more meetings in August and make an attempt at meet once a month during the school year. Hopefully, we can hold it together.

My summer reading list is getting longer. I started reading the Odd Thomas series by Dean Koontz, as well as continuing with my werewolf series by Patricia Briggs. I'm not sure what the series is called but I just read the second book, which was Blood Bound.

And I've given into peer pressure. Thanks to my co-worker, I'm now on the third book with of the Twilight series. Those young adult romance novels about a girl who falls in love with a vampire. Apparently, they're huge. There's a movie coming out in December and the fourth book comes out next week and they're having midnight book parties for it. I have some thoughts about these books but I'll share later when I'm done.

Also, I miss my Internet friends. I hardly ever get a chance to e-mail Jenni anymore. I haven't had a IM chat with DBEcho in forever. I've tried my best to keep up with every one's blogs. Hang in there with me. I'm trying to fix this.

And I've added another link to the sidebar. Chad is another writer who stumbled into this blog. I've checked out his blog and I think the links worth sharing.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Unsorted and unnamed

Last year my computer crashed, thankfully I had everything on a flash drive. The flash drive that eventually erased itself somehow. Then I was left with nothing. All my work gone, except for anything I had hand written or had sent to someone.
It wasn't the first time I had lost work but it was the most work I had ever lost. Someone was able to recover big chunks, but not everything. The minute the recovery happened, I spent my day saving everything to an e-mail account. I figured I'd always be able to access my work from anywhere.
Don't worry I'm not about to say that something devastating happened to said e-mail account. Everything is fine *Knock on wood*.
What did happen was that I quickly saved everything not bothering to label any of it. So now that I'm considering showing some of my work to others, I wanted to find some of my really early stuff, or at least stuff that I'm not currently submitting. That means that I had to open every single e-mail I sent to myself and figure out what the heck was in it. Thank goodness it's been slow here at work.
It's really sad to realize how much I lost. The thought of retyping everything that I have printed or handwritten makes my head hurt. Not to mention my recent computer malfunction that did take a few une-mailed documents with it. Whether or not I'll get those back remains to be seen.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I don't want to share

Sometimes I have these weird moments when I tell somebody I'm a writer and they tell me they would love to read something that I wrote. Most of the time I don't stress it because I might never see them again or at least not often enough to have it be a huge deal that I keep "forgetting" to bring my work.
There are other times when people I see everyday, finally ask to see some of my stories. That's when I seriously panic. There's no way of getting out of it other than to say "no," which of course they'll take personal offense to when really it's not them, it's me. Seriously.
I'm paranoid that they are going to think my work is a joke and I can't just not ever see them again, like when I send my writing to editors. I never have to see them. No problem. But if it's someone I have to see because I work with them or just like their company, then that's stressful to me. If my story is not good enough to be published then I can't convince myself that it's good enough to let others read.
What if these people I see everyday, think my story is ridiculous? They would never tell me that to my face, so I would spend every minute thinking that they think I'm a bad writer.
Anyway, this all started when my boss decided he was going to write a novel and decided to chat with me about writing. Now he wants to read my work. How can I get out of that? I can only put it off for so long.
Then the other night, Slipstream decided he wanted to read what I've written. And to me that is even worse. He's very accomplished in his creative work. Lots of people pay him money to share his creative genius. It's hard standards to live up to.
Sure, I give my work to my writing group but they're putting themselves out there as much as I am so I feel like it evens out. Of course, I can always share work that the writing group has already read. I know that it can't be too incredibly terrible if my writing group had positive things to say, right?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Give it up?

With my computer down, I've been hard at work on other stuff. Thankfully, I had a full printed out version of Going It Alone.
However, the more I edit it the more I think it's an insane mess. It might be time to just let it go. There's just too many bits and pieces. Too many different formats. Too many different perspectives. Too many different stories, which means too many different characters. I just think it's too hard to follow.
There are a few scenes that are good, but I could always use those later in other works or perhaps I could add a little to make them into short stories. And then there are the short stories themselves. I still have the five short stories that can definitely stand alone without the whole novel. So it wouldn't all be a loss.
I'm just having a really difficult time with the connecting story. I feel it's too boring. And part of it was suppose to be journal entries and the other part third-person narration. I tried changing it all to third-person narration because it all seemed a bit much, but I'm still not sure.
I'm not sold on the idea of being done with it. Perhaps I'll pass it around to the writing group and get their thoughts.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Summer reading

Not having a functioning computer has given me lots of time for reading. I was hoping to have 25 by the end of June to have me on track for 50 books in a year. I have 26 books read and am working on 27. YAY!

I finished the Thirteenth Tale and it was pretty good. There was a crazy twist at the ending. And the author wrote it so that the clues were there all along but they weren’t obvious clues. I enjoyed it.

After that I didn’t really have anything on hand to read so I started reading an Ann Rice book I had on hand but had never read, The Mummy. I haven’t read all of her stuff, just a few things. For the most part I like her work, but I wasn’t really getting into this book. I had been reading it for three days and only had 50 pages done. For me that’s not normal.

So I went to the library looking for Dean Koontz, James Patterson and Patricia Briggs books, all which have been recommended to me, and I promised I would give a try. I went to a smaller branch that didn’t have much in stock, except for books that seemed to be in the middle of series and I can’t dive in like that.
Then I remembered a movie preview I had seen when I went to see Get Smart, which was hysterical, go see it. Anyway, the trailer for this movie looks funny so I thought I would check for the book, He’s Just Not That Into You.
It was a short book that I read in a day. Not funny at all. In fact it was non-fiction but I can see how they would get the idea for the movie from it. It got me thinking about situations that myself and my friends have been in or are in and it bummed me out. Of course, this book is just one guy’s opinion but if he’s right, which seems logical, then I must say ‘boys are stupid, throw rocks at them’.

Then I finished up my Ann Rice book, because I really can’t start reading something then stop. It got better the more I read it, but the ending was a bit boring. And overall it just moved too slow.

After that I did find the first of a Patricia Briggs series, Moon Called, and the book was really good. It revolves around the lives of werewolves, which I thought was interesting. Usually, they rarely show the human side of werewolves, it's more a "they're scary and will eat you" kind of thing. This book really went into how they live normal lives and how they control themselves, so that they can blend in with society. It seems like this is pretty common with modern vampire fiction, but this was the first time I found it with werewolves. Maybe I just don't read enough werewolf fiction.

Now I'm reading Atonement, another book about a writer writing. I saw the movie, which, I really liked and was worried I wouldn't. I thought it was going to be a cheesy romance and I was happy to be wrong, even though the story was tragic.
I find it really interesting how the movie stuck so strongly to the book, even with what the characters were wearing. At least as far as I can remember. Maybe I'll have to watch it again once I'm done with the book.

Just saw: Hancock

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Good news for a change

I realize my last post was a bit depressing. Well all my post of late have been a bit depressing. So here’s a post filled with nothing but goodness.

The first news is that I wrote a short story. Well, a very short story. Flash fiction. I think I mentioned the idea before. It’s kind of a Romeo and Juliet of one-night stands. That’s mostly why I kept it very short, and didn’t give any of the characters names. I wanted it to be short and anonymous, just like a one-night stand. I think it worked well.

And so did the people in my writing group. Yeah, that’s right, I said writing group. It’s not a new one. It’s the old one. I took a chance once the school year was over, and assumed that maybe my writing group members might be less busy now that they weren’t teaching for the summer. And they weren’t. We met last Monday and we all had work.
It felt very productive and I was excited to show my new story.
I think I’m going to edit my holiday story, Christmas Bells, for our next meeting, or at least part of it.
We’re trying to meet every other week. Hopefully, all goes well.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Not again...

Okay, I have a really good excuse for not having posted. My computer is down and out. It’s not recognizing its software. I don’t know when I’ll ever have money to get it fixed so it could be a while.
Isn’t it funny how I always seem to have major computer problems in the summer? Of course, maybe it’s better this way. I always notice that less people visit my blog in the summer and people seem to post less often during the summer. Probably because they’re out in the nice weather, where as in the winter there’s nothing but cold outside so what better to waste away time than being on the Internet.
My computer being down is just as well. I don’t usually get much typed in the summer months when I’m not in air condition. And my house is not air conditioned.
Besides I actually seem to get more written when I don’t have the Internet to get caught up on. Sure, I have to write by hand and type it in later but I actually prefer that. I feel more connected to my work when writing by hand. Plus, typing it in later is a chance to edit.
And aside from getting more written, I’ve actually spent time walking Kreeg, cleaning, organizing, riding my bike, working out and other kinds of productive stuff. I will make it. I think.
On the bright side, there is always the library and I can use the computer at work when I get a few spare minutes. So I will try to keep posting and checking everyone’s blogs. How often I’ll get to it, I’m not sure. Just know I miss you.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Sunday night, someone I really cared about said somethings that hurt me more than I ever thought possible. In the middle of the night, while I couldn't sleep, I wrote the best piece I think I will ever write.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Another book about a writer writing

My friend, Ray, just lent me a book. She thought of it when I was on my search for books about authors writing for my Going It Alone query letter.
The book is called The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. It was #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list. And it has a wicked cool cover of old books piled up, which is actual what interested Ray about. Yes, she judged a book by it's cover but she says it's because she's an artist, thus she judges everything visually to some extent, and therefore is excused. Or something like that.
Anyway, I'm only a few chapters in but I'm intruiged already. I'm excited that it's not only about stories an author wrote but it's main character helps run a used/antique book store. There's lots of talk about selling old books, which definitely interest me since owning a successful book store is right up there with becoming a successful writer.
I'm curious to see if this book will be something to mention in my query letter. I'm not sure that the Golden Notebook is the right thing, seeing as how it's older and gives very high standards to live up to since it was written by a Nobel Prize winner. So maybe this book will be a better reference.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

'Hey, did you know your work was in a magazine?'

I was hanging out with my RC Car painting friend today. I feel I've mentioned him enough that he needs a better blogname so from here on I'll call him Slipstream, since that's the name of his airbrushing business. The term has something to do with RC cars but I don't really remember what.
So I'm hanging out with him today and he hands me a national RC magazine and turns it to a full page photo of a car. I stare at it trying to figure out what the heck I'm suppose to be looking at. Perhaps some sweet paint job that he wants to attempt or something he thinks looks like crap and can't believe it got into a magazine. I'm not an artist so sometimes I don't exactly notice the little technical things that really make a difference, one way or the other.
Then I realize 'hey, that's your logo!' How totally awesome for him that he got a full page picture of his work in a national magazine! The issue was from April and he didn't even know the picture was in there until one of his customers mentioned it to him. He didn't send it in for consideration, someone just took a picture of a car he painted for a pro RC racer and it was a sweet enough paint job to end up in a magazine. Needless to say, I'm super happy for Slipstream and he was pretty excited. Now I'm trying to find a back issue of it because I totally want one.

It got me thinking how cool it would be to have someone just walk up and say 'oh I read your story,' and have it be a total surprise. Of course, that doesn't exactly happen in writing because it has to be submitted, it's not something that just gets stumbled upon. Although, it always seems that way in the movies doesn't it. The incredibly talented person, who thinks they're not talented at all, somehow or another finds out they really are talented when their work happens to fall into the right hands. They make it look so easy.

Anyway, I just wanted to write about how awesome it is for Slipstream to have such a cool thing happen, because he's super talented and really deserved it.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Simultaneous submissions. Go for it. There's nothing to lose and lots to gain.

My absence was too long. Don't worry I have excuses. I'm busy. And I'm having computer issues. I think. I'm not really sure what's going on with me anymore.

Now onto a subject I've been meaning to write about for a while. Submissions. A few weeks ago someone came to this blog searching for advice on whether or not to obey the rule when certain publishers say "no simultaneous submissions". And it was just a few days ago that I got a submission back in the mail that got me really motivated to finally write about it.
Just to clear things up for anyone who has no clue as to what I'm talking about, with magazines, agents and book publishers, some will look at work only if it's been sent to them exclusively, others don't care.
Obviously, most writers prefer places that accept simultaneous submissions. Rejection rates are high and it takes most publishers/agents a while to respond. On average a few months but sometimes up to a year. So if a piece of work is not sent out to more than one potential at a time, it could take years before it finds the right place to be published.
Part of me thinks that it seems unreal that publishers would actually expect a writer to not send submissions simultaneously. Of course, I can understand their point-of-view. They spend LOTS of time going through LOTS of submissions. So no simultaneous submissions would cut down on that pile. Also, how frustrating would it be to spend so much time reading subs, finally find that perfect story, then find out it had been sold to another publisher while it had been lost in the pile. I can see how that would be annoying.
Some publishers get around this problem by requesting that a writer tell them in a query letter if the work has been sent to more than one publisher and to let them know if the piece they submitted is accepted elsewhere. Fair enough, I think.
So the question comes down to, does a writer listen to the publishers who say "no simultaneous submissions"? Honestly, how would they ever know that you had sent it elsewhere? Besides, in a subjective world full of rejection, what are the odds that two publishers would both accept the same story? And what could they do to a writer if they did send a simultaneous one to a publisher that didn't accept them?

My thoughts on the whole thing is that I have been respectful and always mentioned in my cover letters that my submissions are sent out simultaneously. And I don't send them to magazines that request not to get simultaneous subs. However, I do get frustrated with publishers that don't list their policy either way, then when you send them a submission that you labeled simultaneous, they send it back without a glance because they don't accept simultaneous submissions.
Postage, supplies and time wasted for the writer for being honest and the company would have looked at it if the writer had just failed to mention it had been sent elsewhere.
So my new policy has become that I will send simultaneous subs to anyone that accepts them. If they don't accept them, I guess I'll continue to respect that. But if they don't say one way or the other, I'm sending them anyway, but not telling them so because life is too short to wait for your dreams to come true.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Follow the links and pass it on. Please. And thank you.

I know there aren't many people reading this that don't read Supertiff's blog and have already read all about Daniel and Leanne but there may be someone out there who hasn't seen this. Also maybe for those who already read it on Tiffany's blog but have yet to take action, perhaps this will motivate you somehow.
A while back I was reading a post at Supertiff's and followed a link to a blog called Following Lingling As She Gives Lymphoma a beat down. That is where I read the overwhelming story of this amazing family. (Thank you Tiffany for the link.) Anyway, I've checked back from time to time to see how things are going and I'm happy to report they are going well.
Leanne is healthy now but their family is still trying to help others with lymphoma. So once again Daniel is going to go on a hundred mile bike ride to raise money and he needs everyone to cheer him on by making a donation.
I don't think I can tell their story anywhere near as well as they can so I ask everyone to follow this link to read their story. Then go here and donate.
Got all that? I can't imagine reading their story and not wanting to help even if it's just a small amount.
So please read it and even if you can't afford to donate, just give a link on your blog.
I thank everyone for taking the time to read this and hope you'll consider helping.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 ever gonna bring me down

Okay, I'm done complaining. I had a great weekend that I got to spend with the most important people in my life. They all exceeded expectations in making my days. I am no longer giving up on all of humanity.

I spent too much time enjoying my companions and time off to get anything written this weekend, but I'm okay with that.

Now I figure I better mention my thoughts on Wicked before I forget what it was about.
I'm a huge Wizard of Oz fan. In fact, when I was little, my grandma, Dorothy, told me the movie was about her. I cried for days feeling so bad that she had gotten carried away by flying monkey's. I really thought it was about her and that's probably why I love it so.
Anyway, Wicked, obviously, didn't have the light-heartedness and childhood optimism the Wizard of Oz movie had. I've never read that book so I can't say how Wicked compares on that level.
Overall, I thought the book was good. It was an interesting take on the story of the wicked witch, who wasn't really wicked at all. It just depended on who's point-of-view you were looking from. And according to this book even Dorothy didn't think she was wicked, no one really did.
I questioned some of the freaky sexual behavior that was thrown in. It didn't really seem to be relevant to the story most times.
I have to say I liked the first part of the book, way better. The characters' growing up and at school were the best parts. After that it seemed a lonesome road that spanned way too many years with not much going on.

I hear the musical is quite different and it seems it would have to be. I think a few friends and myself are going to attempt to see it when it's here in August.

Now I continue with my Lord of the Rings trilogy. And I have another book lined up to go after that.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Burst Into Flames

This has been in the works for a while but today has set me off beyond belief. I have another excellent reason why I want to become a successful writer. I want to be able to move out in the middle of nowhere with no one around and no one to deal with except an occasional editor and a few choice people. Why, you ask? Because I am sick of humanity. I can no longer stand the selfishness and distrust of everyone I come in contact with.

I am tired of listening to people whine about the fact that no one bothered to waste their time making the absolute perfect shoe for one single person's feet and only charge $10 for it. I just want to say to them, 'yes it sucks that you can't find a shoe that is the exact size, price, comfort, look, color, heel, toe, back, front, top, bottom, side that you want but get over it. You're too friggin' picky. Stop acting like the whole world is out to get you. You're just lucky that you can afford shoes and they are available for you to buy. Their are people all of the world that would take two shoes that were falling apart, two different styles, two different sizes and just be grateful that they didn't have to walk miles everyday barefoot.'
I don't know if I'll be able to hold my tongue for the next person that jumps out of their luxury sedan and gets attitude with me because the store I work at doesn't have a white sandal for them to take on their cruise, then asks me "well what am I suppose to do," as if I should drop everything in the world to solve this problem.

And I'm tired of the people who e-mail me because they did not receive their $10 item exactly five days after they paid for it. I'm sorry, sometimes there are way more important things in my life than driving to the post office everyday to get every package out on time. Look I have to sell my stuff because my hours got cut and work and I can't pay my rent. I have to wait for your money to transfer from paypal before I can afford to pay the shipping. I don't want to have to post my possesions on eBay everyday. I'm sorry that I try to save time and money by only going to the post office 2-3 times a week. I'm sorry that my Internet got shut off and I couldn't answer your e-mail the minute you sent it. I'm sorry that I need to work, help out my family and take care of my own problems, thus not giving me time to drop everything for you. I'm trying really hard here but I'm not perfect. Your package got out late, it's not the end of the world. If that was the worst thing that happened to me I'd be filled with joy.
And before you act all big and bad behind your harsh words typed on your keyboard hundreds of miles away, check my excellent feedback and realize that I am not, in fact, trying to rip you off of your $10 and perhaps, just maybe, you could think about all the reasons that the package might be late other than me stealing from you. For instance, something bad happened to me or someone I care about, there was an error somewhere along the way or perhaps the seller has a life outside of selling stuff on eBay and had a lot going on that was extremely important to her, and thus your package got in the mail a few days late.

But if all of the shoe shoppers and eBay buyers took a few minutes to realize that the world is not perfect and that it doesn't revolve around them, what would I write about? Freedom, Love, Beauty, Peace, Truth, Joy, Love, Compassion, Understanding, Kindness, Courtesy, Sharing, Harmony? I don't suppose anyone would want to read about those. The concepts would be to foreign. They wouldn't relate to my work and they'd go online and bash it under the title of 'anonymous'.

Okay, I'm sorry but I just really needed to say that. And speaking of flaws into humanity and the wanting of the perfect shoes, I have finished Wicked and will write my thoughts on it shortly but right now I need to do something, I'm just not sure what.

*I have written this in a not-so-happy state. Forgive me for run on sentences or spelling and grammar flaws. I just needed to get it out asap.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Beginnings, Middles and Ends

My access to the Internet is no longer restricted. Yay.

Thank you to everyone for their concern about my family's bad news. I don't really want to go into it much, I'll just say that we knew that it was going to happen and we figured it would be soon. And even though we still don't know much, the news is still hard to take. If any of that makes sense.

It's been a crazy week and weekend. Lots going on. Work, baby showers, promotion parties, match making, quality time with loved ones. Just tons of stuff really.
I know that I still need to write my post about Wicked, as well as the post about submissions. I promise I'll get one or more done this week. Right now I just have a lot going on. Stuff to ship, bills to figure out, people that I need to spend time with. And did I mention I started a new job this week.
I wish I could sing a joyous song about my exit from the shoe store but that won't happen for at least three months. My news job is at an elementary school. Their school year is about to end so in three weeks I'll be on summer break, which they don't pay me for. So I need to sell shoes until then and maybe longer. I'll have to wait and see.
I'm super excited about working with kids. I think they're fun. They imaginations are full of wonder. I'll have some good experiences to write about, which may come in handy if I ever do write a children's book. That idea has definitely crossed my mind more than once.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Excuse me

I didn't finish reading Wicked. I didn't write the post about submissions. I didn't write the post about research on painting lessons.
My plan was to write or read while at work tonight but we were actually busy. And to be honest I'm not really have the best of days. I'm restricted to Internet access at work only, which is bummerish . My car is broken, which is frustrating. And we got some bad news in our family to day, which is devastating.
So I haven't gotten much of anything done and my mind is so out of it right now that I probably couldn't get much done even if I had time.
I might not get to post for the next few days but I'll try. .

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Before Dorothy and Toto went over the rainbow

My mind was pretty much made up but after the swaying of Missy and Whim, I decided to definitely go with Wicked. And so I'm in the middle. I probably could have finished it in one work shift but I did other stuff too. I'll post a little more about that in a minute.
While reading Wicked there are some interesting points about good and evil and how they are different for everyone because of how each individual perceives things. This was interesting to me because I've been pondering an idea for a short story about whether or not taking money is wrong if you don't actually value money or if money has no value to you.
These two things intertwine a little bit and so I'm curious to see where this goes. Because so far in Wicked, Elaphaba ,the future wicked witch, is actually a good person and Glinda, the future good witch, is not so nice. Not to mention that the lovely wizard that attempts to help Dorothy get home is a bit similar to Hitler. So needless to say I wonder if there will be a turn of events or if it's all going to be about perception. Did each writer have different values that made certain characters good and others bad? Curious to find out.

On another note, I did do other things at work. Some work on my novella, which is what I'm now calling it since it's longer than a short story but potentially shorter than a novel. I know I could just name it but that would be to unconfusing.
And I did some submissions. No, I didn't write my long post. No, this is not that post. But I will say it's about submissions. I also have another post about my novella research and the answer another artist gave me about the first lesson in painting. Not to mention I will have another Wicked post once I'm done.
All to come this week. Stayed tuned!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

How to fill the time at work

My plans had been for a longer post on an actual topic, but I have a ton of books to put on Also I work at the incredibly slow store tomorrow so I'll have plenty of time to write a longer post.
I'll also have time to write and edit other stories. Not to mention I might get some reading done. I finally started on the Tolkien collection. Last week I reread the Hobbit and I must really not have payed attention the first time around because I didn't remember much particularly the ending. Now I feel I should read the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but I'm not sure I will.
It seems most logical but we've been talking a lot about Wicked the book because Wicked the musical is coming back to town after it sold out in record numbers here last year. Most of the discussion has been about how different the book is. So I might read Wicked next. And thanks to a really crazy story, I do happen to own a copy of Wicked so I can read it any time. The only reason I'm thinking now is a good time is because others want to borrow it when I'm done and because it's not like the Hobbit is part of the LOTR trilogy, so it seems like a good time to take a break.
Is it just me or do I seriously over think which book to read next?

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

What to do

It's true. Be careful what you wish for, you might get it. I wished for one thing and got two. Now I have to make a choice. Both have pros, both have cons and the decision will affect my immediate and my long term plans. I'm pondering a lot right now. Neither has much to do with writing, but I still needed to share.

In writing news, I chatted with an artist friend today, Ray, the artist I formerly referred to as R. I felt the name Ray was a bit more characterful, plus her vibrant outfit choices are like a ray of sun.
Anyway, she gave me extensive notes on what the first lesson in painting would be, which is what I wanted to talk to an artist about. Apparently, color charts are the way to go. I learned a lot about colors. Although, it's a hue, a tint or a shade. See I'm listening. So now I can write my next scene in my short story that is now a novel. I think Ray is going to be very helpful. I'll have to have her read it for accuracy when I'm done. Yay for a degree in Fine Art!

Also, I worked on subs today. Nothing huge, just a few here and there.
Postage has or will go up soon. I'm too lazy to check on the date. Another $.01 increase. At least this time I won't have to buy extra postage because of the forever stamps. I wish I had extra cash so I could stock up.

Thursday, May 01, 2008


Ugh. I'm starting to feel like even attempting to have a relationship with someone is just more trouble than it will ever be worth. Although, when it goes bad it makes for great story material.

I didn't really have much to say other than that. I did have a long and boring day at work which left time to edit Going It Alone, work on submissions and on my current story. Before I can carry on with the new story I need to hunt down one of my artist friends and pick their brain.

I also thought of a really interesting story idea about right and wrong and how they are defined by what we value. For instance, is stealing money wrong if it doesn't have a value to you? Something for a character to ponder.

I had to get up super early today to get some stuff done before work so I have still not caught up on my sleep. Early to bed for me tonight.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I'm sleepy, I smell like taco meat and I want to go home.

Okay, I didn't really have anything important to say but I felt I must post because I haven't in a while. Also, the title of this post was seriously my slogan at work today and I felt that it was so awesome that I needed to share it with others.
I stayed up way too late the other night reading My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult. It was a good book, a tear jerker really. I know many debate about whether her writing style is the best but for me I couldn't put the book down because I was so anxious to find out what happened to the characters. And I felt a bit personally connected to them in ways. Anyway, in short, I stayed up way too late. I have yet to recover from all this because I haven't had a chance to properly sleep.
So I'm tired and then in my hurried state I somehow thought Taco Bell sounded good for lunch. I hadn't been drinking, which is about the only time I really crave Taco Bell, so I'm not sure what brought this on. My stomach, my breath, the after taste and the grease I drizzled all over my sweater, all made me regret this lunch decision before I even got to work. That's why I smell like taco meat. And it's pretty cold here today so going without the sweater was not an option.
Plus we're in the middle of our SAS sale, which brings out all the wackos and they are not wackos that can help themselves. Well, they won't help themselves. They need EVERYTHING done for them regardless of how many people you are trying to wait on at once.
All of this is why I wanted to go home. And here I am. I'm getting ready to edit a short story and send it to a contest that's deadline is tomorrow. Then I'm sleeping. I'm not even going to read before bed tonight because I'm so tired, plus I have no book to read.

Just watched: The Mist
Just read: Batman: The Long Halloween
Currently listening to: Refuge-Tom Petty

Friday, April 25, 2008

A Long Day

Yesterday I spent over eleven hours at work. I spent most of that time finishing the Golden Notebook and working on my short story-turned novel.

The Golden Notebook was definitely not what I was expecting. There was a lot of communism and a lot of women sleeping with married men. And there were quite a few characters with similar names as characters in Going It Alone such as Anna, Richard, and Tommy. Odd, I know. Also, there were a few similar things that happened to certain characters.
The book did cover an author and the stories she was writing and how her everyday life inspired those, which is what I wrote about. I definitely think it would be a good reference for a query letter but I almost wonder if it's too good of a reference.

As for the short story-turned novel. I'm not sure it's going to be a full novel but we'll see. Part of me thinks I could shorten it and part of me doesn't want to. Also, this is the first time that I've written a story out of order. I know what most of the scenes will be and every now and then I get inspired for something that will happen much later in the story than where I am currently working so I jump ahead. Yesterday, I actually wrote what should be one of the last few scenes.
Of course, this could end up being a big pain if I decide to change something.

Another day of work tomorrow and then I'm off for two days. Although, it never feels like that.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

We have a winner...sort of.

Okay it looks like the results are in and according to Jenni and D.B.Echo it can go either way pairs or pair. So I wasn't wrong and my boss wasn't right, which makes me happy. Not to mention that Missy, Jenni, myself, two fellow employees and a customer all thought that pairs sounded better so in theory I'm more right. Yay me!
Thanks to everyone for their research and opinions!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Which pair(s)? Huh?

I'm awful. It's been almost a week. How did this happen? Anyway, I have been hard at work. I've done submissions of two different stories, I have been editing Going It Alone and I've been writing in my new story. Also, I'm almost done with the Golden Notebook.
Other than that I don't have much to say. Although, we did have a question at work that I thought would make a good blog topic. I already messaged Jenni about it but I'll share it here as well.
Is it "2 or more pairs" or "2 or more pair"? We were trying to come up with a sign for work that advertised if you buy 2 or more pair(s) of shoes you double your coupon. My boss, the English major, said I was wrong but then two other employees and a customer said I was right. I'm curious. I should go forth and look it up. I'll post my findings.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A field trip to other blogs

I was out and about on the Internet yesterday, checking out what fellow writers have to say. I found a few interesting posts through Author's Blogs.

The first was a very interesting post, about a writer's best work and how to know when you've written your best work.
I've never really given much thought to what piece of work is my best work but I hope that I haven't written my all time best work yet. The post really gotten me thinking.

The second had some great links to information for writers. I was happy to follow the links for advice on the importance of others critiquing your work. It had me longing for my defunct writing group and wishing for a new one.

The third blog had a post about what kind of things not to begin a novel with. Both of my novels start with something on the list so I stressed out. Then I read the comments and people talked about how there aren't any rules and everyone's got to do their own thing, which I agree with. That made me feel better, and while I may consider an eventual change, I won't be freaking out and changing the beginnings before going to bed tonight.

Of course, I guess it doesn't matter what my first novel begins with because I doubt I'll ever try to publish it and I kind of knew that when I started writing it. It was my test run, a lesson in novel writing, before I get to my best work.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Today's not as bad as it seems

I must admit, there are a lot of things that happened today that would put me in the not best of moods, but for some reason I'm doing okay. I have a few ideas as to why I'm not so upset. Maybe I'm learning not to sweat the little things, maybe I'm just becoming to use to things going badly, maybe there are actually good things in my life out weighing the bad. Maybe it's a little of all of the above.
All I know is that I had intended to complain about all the reasons I'm annoyed with my boss, fellow employees, the United States Postal Service and the state of Michigan, but after a few minutes of annoyance I've calmed down.
Now my plan is to take it easy. I'm getting into bed with a notebook and a novel. First, I'll write in the notebook and then I'll read the novel until I'm sleepy.
I'd say I'll hope for a better day tomorrow but today was actually pretty good, despite all the bad things. I think that's a win for me, right?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Post-Birthday Report

I'm officially a year older. I had a pretty good birthday. Once again, my partner in crime and writing, Ms. Jenni, hooked me up. I got a Superman lunch box filled with wicked cool stuff. I got a pen, a journal, editing pencils and a new flash drive! Of course, the best gift was getting to see Jenni! YAY!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Fake out phone calls and hopefully no fake candles

There are a few science fiction and fantasy stories that I have had laying around for awhile. My only problem is that there aren't a lot of magazines that publish this kind of fiction. At least not as many compared to those that publish literary, mainstream and contemporary.
So eventually I happened upon the Writer's of the Future contest. Yes, the same one started by the creator of Scientology.
They look for unpublished science fiction and fantasy writer's. This isn't the first time I had sent a story for their contest. In previous times they have sent an e-mail "we got your entry" and another "thanks but no thanks". Needless to say I was floored when I got home and found a message from them on my machine.
Don't get too excited that's what I did to. No, there weren't any problems with my entry. The lady that entered my entry noticed my address and realized she had grown up right near where I live. She wanted me to call back and tell her all about Lansing.
I knew she had nothing to do with who wins the contest, but it can never hurt to be nice or to "know someone" so I called. Sadly, there wasn't much different about Lansing except we have a minor league baseball team, the Lansing Lugnuts. And they no longer make sense since all of our GM plants are now gone, which was also a highlight. Anyone who has lived here before last year can tell you how weird it looks now that the GM plants are no longer standing.
Anyway, she didn't think I would call and she was super nice. She told me this was the best contest to get a start at and to keep writing. She also said she would root for me to win.

It was pleasant but I still can't help feeling it was a little bit of a bad joke like birthday candles that relight themselves after you blow them out. Maybe that's not the best analogy because the phone call was not meant to be a joke. I only used that comparison because it made a good lead in to the next thing I was going to say.

Tomorrow is another birthday for me. I get a three day weekend. I have lots of stuff to do but it's my birthday so if I don't get it done, it's the one time I can't be mad at myself.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Writing, editing and reading novels while slacking off at work

Yesterday, I worked a 12 hour shift. Since there were few customers I managed to write, read and work on submissions.
I worked more on my short story that I'm pretty sure needs to be a novel now. I've just barely got the story going and I'm already at 10,000 words. Novel for sure. Yikes, how did that happen?
I continue to read the Golden Notebook, and of course someone lent my Magic Study yesterday. I'm going to end up with another giant "to read" pile.
I'm heading off to work tonight at the slightly busier store so I'll probably work on editing Going It Alone.

It's a short post so here's a video from Going It Alone's playlist.

Someday by Nickelback

*Question: My spell check says it should be play list but my music player says playlist, any thoughts?

Monday, April 07, 2008

What was your name again?

A while back I gave a pseudo-description of the style in which I wrote Going It Alone, in hopes that someone would be able to suggest a book written in similar fashion, that I could then reference in my query letter. One of the suggestions was The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing.
At the time I was still absorbed in the Sword of Truth series but I figured I'd get around to reading it once I was done.
I kind of forgot about it until I was at the library today looking for Magic Study, the sequel to Poison Study, but that was checked out. Since I'm a little financially challenged at the moment buying the book I wanted was out of the question so waiting on that book was the only option. But what to read in the meantime? How about the Golden Notebook, which is not only reading but research to see if it really was the book I was looking for.
They had it and I started reading it and I was flustered by the first page of the story. Why, you ask? Because the book's main character, who is writing about writing a story, her name is Anna. Guess what the main character's name, in Going It Alone, who is a writer writing about writing a story, is? Anna.
And yes the book does seem to be written in similar fashion, so it would be a good reference in a query. I just don't know if I should use it now. Should I change my character's name?Or reference it without changing the name. After all it was mere coincidence. Of course, they could assume I'm doing a The Hours/Mrs. Dalloway thing where one book is written about the other. That assumption would be wrong since I hadn't even heard of the Golden Notebook until Going It Alone was finished. Hmm... something to think about.
I guess I should finish the book and look for any other similarities before I stress about this.

Just watched: Disturbia

Friday, April 04, 2008

Another long day

I spent eight hours at work yesterday with a total of three customers all day. Needless to say I got a lot of writing done on my story. I also went through my Writer's Market trying to figure some things out.
And to top it all off I started a new book. It's called Poison Study by Maria Snyder. It's published by Luna the fantasy branch of Harlequin. I didn't know that when I started reading it. Not that I have anything against romance novels, they're just not usually what I read. Anyway, I started reading it with optimism. It was recommended to me by a friend with similar reading interest and it has four and a quarter stars on So far it's a good book but no romance yet. I can see very slight potential for a romance but I'm nearly half way through. I guess we shall see.
It's also got a sequel as well, Magic Study so if this one is good I'll have something to read next.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The good kind of rejection

I got a rejection letter for one of my short stories, Something Better, in the mail today. I'm usually bummed by rejection but I've gotten used to it. Today was a little more pleasant than usual. It wasn't just a "Dear Author" letter. Of course, it got my hopes up slightly when it's actually addressed to me.
The magazine took the time to write me a letter telling me their thoughts on my story. They thought it was a good idea and that it was a good start but that too much happens too fast. They suggested that it could be flushed out into a novel.
I had never really considered it for this story, but the more I think about it the more seems like I could merge this story with an idea I had for a novel. It might work. It's definitely something to think about.
Regardless, it made my day. I get so many generic rejection letters and I wonder if my work was even given a fair chance or if it was just not that good. Even if the letter I got today was still a "no" the fact that they took the time to tell me why is more than most so that must mean there was something good about it. Maybe it's not a major accomplishment but it's reassuring and some days I need that.
It also motivates me. I push myself to try even harder when I start to realize that maybe I'm not so bad at this.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Another Life

As promised, here is the second post I mentioned writing last week. My birthday is coming soon,which always puts me, and I'm sure lots of people, into thoughts about what I've done and what I'm doing with my life.
It also doesn't help that my current job has this feeling of impending doom, that has put me on a search for employment.

One of the things I've always loved is books. So I've always had this desire to work with books, whether it be writing, editing or selling. I love the library and book stores, so in my recent job search I've been continuously applying to the library as well as bookstores.
Unfortunately, I haven't had a lot of luck in those areas. I have a few guesses as to why not. Everything from Michigan's horrible economy killing any and every type of retail and there's also my fear that little, pointless things I've said about the library on this blog, that may not have been necessarily positive, have been found in a search of my name on one of my many attempts to apply for open positions at the library. I guess my love and support for the library, since as long as I can remember, counts for nothing.

Anyway, I've been trying to figure out the best way to fix this situation and the only idea I had was to open my book store, which is just nuts. Or is it?
Obviously, I'm not exactly financially able to do that at this point in my life and I'd probably be nuts to try it in Michigan right now. So how can I start a business with very little money and be able to reach lots of people not just local people?

I started a book store on!

I wanted to wait and post about it until I had over a hundred books listed. I've been out and about searching for good deals on books. And so far business hasn't been bad. Anyway, I'm trying to build until I have a huge inventory. And everything I make is going right back in to buying more books. I'm also considering getting into rare and antique books that can't be listed on I've found quite a few in my search of books. I'll also be using me eBay/ account to sell comic books, magazines and other reading materials that lack ISBNs and can't be sold on
I'm still getting used to pricing. There are lots of things to consider, for instance, whether the shipping allowance will full cover an item, how many other of the same item are listed, the books condition, and a books demand. I'm learning as I go along.

My store is called anotherlifebooks. I'm giving used books another life and reading a book is like living another life.
Here's the link to my online store and I'll be putting it in the sidebar. And if anyone is ever looking for a particular, harder to find book let me know and I'll keep an eye out on my never ending book search. There are a lot of good deals out there but I can't buy them all so if I know someone wants it I won't pass it up.

That's all the exciting news for now. I'll post any store updates as they come along.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Hopelessly devoted to writing

Can't stay and chat. I'm busy writing a very long short story. Here's a preview from the playlist.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I've been reading for months. Now it's time ot write.

Yes, I was suppose to have a post about something to do with my future and what I will do alongside writing, but I've been hard at work on other things so I haven't gotten around to it.

I started what I thought would be another quick short story but it's turning out a lot longer than I expected. I'm thinking it might be over 20,000 words. At what point does it become a novel?
It's a story that has a lot to do with me and a relationship in my life. So it's kind of like therapy and it's helping me to work out my problems. I've put all other writing aside because I feel the need to write it right now.

I've had plenty of time to write now that I finally finished the Sword of Truth series. I'm no longer obsessed with these ridiculously long books. I can't go with things unresolved in my head no matter how bad the books are. So I muddled through the eleven books. The first four were pretty good aside from being way too wordy and repetitive. The fifth and sixth were okay. The seventh and eight were completely pointless. The seventh one didn't even feature any of the main characters until the last 100 pages. The last three too the series back to pretty good. I just felt like the whole series clubbed me over the head with politic speeches and constantly reminding me what happened, not only in previous books, but what happened in the book that I was reading.
Also I felt like there was a lot of detail, almost too much. There were pages describing one room. I try to hold by a rule that I read in Stephen King's On Writing, which says to walk into the room and write the five most important things. Terry Goodkind could have moved his books along a lot faster if he had went by that. In the end I started skimming through quite a bit.
I really did like the characters. If not for them I might seriously have given up, but I had to know what happened to them.

Well, all reading is a writing lesson and I felt like these books were a good lesson.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Blog Plans

As promised, a post about new ideas for my blog.
The idea I had is about searches. I check my sitemeter every now and again to see how people are randomly getting here. Posting the quote by Stewie to Bryan about "How's that novel comin'?" from Family Guy has gotten me a lot of visitors and I ended up putting a link in my sidebar to the post that has the full quote.
Then after I wrote about writing a speech on leadership, I had a few searches for quotes on leadership and speech writing. I also get an occasional search for mix tapes and Batman's wedding guest list as well as my Batman sonnet.
I thought that maybe I should look into posting about interesting searches when I can. I could give information that I have that may be helpful in case anyone else is directed back to my blog for a similar search.
I'll also put links to posts that get a lot of searches. Eventually, I'd like to figure out how to work out the HTML to have a separate link section for searches but so far I don't know how to do that.
To start this off I added a link in the sidebar to my Batman sonnet for anyone who has searched for Batman poetry and Batman rhymes.

*While I was editing the links in the sidebar, it occurred to me that I should finally take down the link to Writer's Post Journal, since it's out of business and no longer works. I'm a little sad now.*

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Slacking off just for today.

Yay! It's my day off and I've done nothing productive.
I had two other post that I thought about writing today but decided against it for a few reasons.
One is another new "idea" I have for my blog. This idea has something to do with past posts, searches that lead to my blog and links in the sidebar.
The other post was about my future and what I plan to do along with writing. It includes details about my current job, the search for another job and what I'm doing about the sad situation of both of those.
Is anybody out there confused and/or curious yet?
Well good. Come back this week for each of those post.
In the meantime know that I'm actually attempting to enjoy my day off. I'm in the third to last book in the Sword of Truth series. I'm trying to get that long journey finished and now the end is in sight.
I've also become horribly obsessed with a game called Knighthood, featured on Facebook. If anyone reading this is on Facebook follow the link to my profile on the sidebar, scroll through my profile and find my Knighthood, then join with me as your liege. If anyone reading this is not on Facebook, I must ask why and then demand that you join Facebook, then follow the previously stated directions.
Now off to write to Jenni, who by the way is my vassal in the Knighthood. Don't make Jenni be lonely in my castle!

Just watched: Children of Men
Just watched: Hot Rod
Currently Reading: Chainfire by Terry Goodkind

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Welcome to the play list

Okay so I've been thinking about how my blog is kind of boring and I need to update more so I've decided over the next few post I'm going to have a few new ideas. The first being that sometimes I don't get a post written because I actually am working on fiction and it's a choice between one or the other.
I get tired of writing post that go something like "well I'm working on "something" so I don't have time or anything to write about."
Although, I haven't really written anything exactly like that in a while. One, because I figured people were tired of reading of it. Two, because I haven't gotten a ton of work done on other things lately. Three, because it gets a bit discouraging writing about stuff that's going no where fast.
Anyway, so I've often expressed that music is a big part of my life and that it inspires my writing. Also, I have a play list for everything I write.
I find myself entertained by videos when I go to other blogs so I thought maybe when I'm working on something instead of writing on my blog everyday that "I'm working on 'something'" I'll post a video of one of the songs on the play list. This will allow me to post more often since it's fairly simple and will hopefully be somewhat entertaining. It will also give readers a feel for the story without giving too much away.
Yay to that!
So for my first post of this kind, I'll be at work where it's much easier to edit rather than to write. I feel it's not as difficult to stop in the middle when a customer walks in. So I'll be working on Going It Alone. Here's a song on the play list that I listen to while working on it.
Beautiful Disaster performed by Kelly Clarkson.

You should be a science fiction writer

You Should Be a Science Fiction Writer
Your ideas are very strange, and people often wonder what planet you're from.And while you may have some problems being "normal," you'll have no problems writing sci-fi.Whether it's epic films, important novels, or vivid comics...Your own little universe could leave an important mark on the world!
What Type of Writer Should You Be?

Monday, March 10, 2008

I'm pretty sure it's no longer happening

Well, I started it last summer in hopes of getting it published for the holiday. Yes, Christmas Bells is completed. Well, in rough draft form anyway.

Now the question of what to do with it. I mean, eventually I will send it out to get published but in recent months, before sending out stories, I got used to having a writer's group look through my work, telling me what worked, what didn't, pointing out grammar errors, as well as spelling typos and just reassuring me that my work was not, in fact, complete and total crap.

I'm afraid that the writing group may be done with. I can't actually remember the last time we met. I believe October or November, but I would have to check post archives to be sure and it's not really that important. What is important is that we have continued to schedule and then cancel meetings for some reason or another. It's not any one person's fault, we're all busy and I am forgetful. I don't send out reminders or try to set up meetings as often as I can.

Anyway, it's frustrating because dates are suggested and then shot down. I just don't think that we'll ever have another meeting. I don't want to badger them about it anymore either.

So I think we're done for now. Maybe in the summer things will be different. We all seemed to have loads of time then.

For now, I have to figure out another way to have my work looked at. Hmm...

Sunday, March 09, 2008

My apologies

Okay, I'm really behind. I haven't posted in over a week. I haven't written anything new. I have gotten much work done on anything. I haven't researched anything. I haven't written a review for RENT. I haven't found a job. I'm a bum.

Last week I got stricken with the flu something fierce. I was knocked out for four days and half functional for another three. All of this happening at the worst time possible. As if there's ever a good time to get sick but it was a really hard time for me and my family. All I wanted to do was get out of bed and help out and do anything to make things better and I couldn't move. My body ached too much. My head felt completely out of it. Sleep was all I could think.

I've bounced back and aside from a slight cough, I feel back to new. Things in my family are still crazy and I doubt they'll get better anytime soon but I can't sit around waiting for things to be perfect again.

I'm off to get stuff done so I'll have something to talk about in my next post.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A little something upbeat

I'm sorry to burden everyone with sad post. It's not good so here's a post about a little something that is good. Literally, there's good in the name. I'm talking about
I joined back in October, but I wasn't on it much at first. My co-worker, R the artist, invited me but hasn't been on it since to approve our friendship. So I felt lonely but then I found someone I knew and then someone I knew found me then I started sending out invites.

I think it's a really cool site for serious readers. Anyone can discuss books, review books and rate the books they've read as well as list books they're reading or that they want to read. There have been dozens of times on here I've been trying to figure out what to read or looking for a particular book and I feel like this site is perfect for just those occasions.
Lots of times I find that I want to read a really good book but how to know which one? The only books I ever hear much about are classics and popular, mainstream books. So hopefully GoodReads will be full of suggestions about lesser known books that are great reads.
Who knows maybe one day I'll have my own book on there. Ian at En-Blog has his short story anthology Chopper listed on GoodReads.

Of course, I sent Jenni an invite and she's hooked. I also sent D.B.Echo an invite but he has yet to list any books!
I've added a widget (what an adorable name!) to my sidebar. A few of my highest rated books are listed and clicking on GoodReads goes to my profile where the above mentioned friends can be found.
Now I'm off to read. It gets my mind off of things and I'm also eager to list another book on GoodReads!