Friday, December 16, 2011

Thousand Words A Picture

The saying goes that a picture is worth a thousand words.

The person making that statement obviously hasn't written many novels because most visual arts such as sketching, painting and the like take a lot more than a thousand words to express the beauty, or explain exactly what in the world?

In this wonderful world of creating with words, we read about voice repeatedly. If anyone has any input on what it means to them, please post it.

Writer's Voice didn't mean much to me until recently while stretching my imagination in a single month to write 50,000 words for the Nanowrimo site. In that exercise, I found the writing style that I love doing, and it requires very little editing because it flows from my fingertips without much editing. It is my happy zone in writing. My inner editor took a vacation to the Burmuda Triangle, I think.

I have been hiding for the last few months....writing novel after novel. I will go back and reveiw later, but for now, I am pounding the keyboard like a concert pianist pounds the ivory keys. It may not be music that I am making, but it certainly sounds good to me.

My new laptop is making this work much to get some answers from Google about recognizing me here.

A great weekend to all who may read, but never respond.


Monday, December 12, 2011

It has Been a Very Long Time

Because my blogger site has given me a headache, I don't write here as much as I would like.

However, NaNoWriMo and December re-run has taken vast amounts of my time while creating another novel (or two). End of Excuses.

Writing is my sanity even though it drives me crazy. It is my comfort zone, my happy zone, and even my zoned zone. Writing is as powerful as any drug addiction, or television, Ipads, xbox, or chocolate is to anyone else. The journey is the best part. Like in video games, once the game is won, the thrill is in the next game.

No matter how far I stray from writing, I crave to come back. Well, NaNoWriMo is a real shot in the arm for those of us who stray from time to time. It makes us walk the straight and narrow for a month and normally, helps us get back on the right race track towards our dream goal. NaNo helped me find the "writing voice" that is mine. It is one that I now indulge myself in every moment I can tear myself away from reality - Young adult adventures, coming of age attitudes, getting into mischief, all written in first person narrative (with full attitude).

So, today is a new day.

I have decided to share me with you rather than bore you with all the same ol' crap about becoming a successful writer according to the way everyone else thinks it should be. One day, I will be published some how and no longer care about that so much. I want to write and that is what I am doing.

I have stopped querying agents.

I have stopped editing my manuscripts to death.

I have stopped the pity parties from a divorce many years ago.

Tonight, I bought myself another....yes...another....odd glass. Few of the drinking glasses in my cupboards match each other. For that matter, few of the plates, bowls, or silverware match. Depending on the mood I am in determines what plate, bowl, glass, or fork I may use. Insane? I hope so.

Speaking to myself about this, I mean, I promised I would stop buying drinking glasses. (not the alcohol type, just every day glasses) I still don't have a red one. I'll have to work on that. I justified my new purchase with the fact that I have ALWAYS been like this, but supressed me according to the expectations of others.

Well, I no longer need anyone's permisso to be me.

So, cheers to everyone with my cherry pie on a brown smokey plate with my cheep soda pop my new black smokey glass.

Life is good.

Life is good when we can be ourselves without asking permission to do so.

Have a wonderful day and try to stay warm.

Monday, August 29, 2011


What is your fear?

Not your greatest of fears making you shudder at the possibilities, but those little fears you hide with laughter, what are they?

Me? Insignificance.

Another is love. Love is a black hole in outer space pulling galaxies into it making them disappear, absorbing them into the nothingness inside a black hole. It is where you lose yourself inside someone else. They take. You give until you vanish, until you no longer are you, unless you are the taker. That is a different cup of tea, a bitter cup that has no taste unless you wake from yourself.

There is no such thing as love. Only make believe. Only self-fulfilling proprietorship.


(Warning: If my one and only true follower can stand the is good enough for me. The WWW is chalked full of websites/blogs screaming how to write, how to become a writer, etc. I want to write, not talk about it.

So, my blog - until I can move it to Wordpress or somewhere that treats me with some respect - is now all about what is in this wicked little brain of mine. It is now my muse when I have an inclination to share my thoughts, that is. I have resisted those dark shadows lurking about, yet I feel surrender edging closer and closer. Yeah...I have been reading some interesting books that really opened my eyes to some ghosts and skeletons lurking about in the dark corners of my mind. They are not scary unless looked at under a microscope. I have one in my desk drawer...hmmmmm.

Thank you for reading even if you don’t respond. If I don’t respond much to your responses it is probably because my own blog says I haven’t permisso to read my own site. Then it only lets me respond as if I am not a blogger member.)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Progress on WIP

King of Crystal Mountain is my Mona Lisa. Will it ever be finished before the eternal sleep?

This novel is now under one more editing process which I have (again) promised myself will be the last. I have posted a new update on my website under the free samples of my work.

Please, anyone interested (or not), take a look at it and tell me if I am not crazy in sticking with this work. I love the characters now that I have gotten better acquainted with them, and would love to leave this current life to live within the pages of this novel.

Take a departure from your reality and travel to the ends of the world with a reluctant king, King Zircon the Second.

King Zircon II

Thank you

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Writing exercises?

As I posted on message forum I wanted to share with all of you about some ideas about writing exercises. We all know that exercising anything from muscles to our brains produces stronger minds and bodies. So, it is true that when we exercise our writing, we become better writers.

Please share here your writing exercises.

My favorite writer exercise takes an entire month to complete. It takes a writer on a frenzied writing experience while tossing their editor's cap across the room. Each November, National Novel Writing Month takes all who dare to participate on a wild and exciting experience for a lifetime while they write 50,000 words in a single month - the month of November. They offer prizes, but not ones you take to the bank. Amazon offers any who accomplish this frenzied writing of 50,000 words a free proof copy of their work or any work they wish to see in print. No obligation for self-publishing by Amazon...just a personal copy of your book.

Google it and read it for yourself. Then take the plunge into a wild and crazy month of abandon. Great forums and support both on line and in local communities - world wide!

Okay, that sounded like a promotional. I don't work for NaNoWriMo, nor do I gain anything from spreading the news about it....I did it last year and produced a reasonably publishable (still needs some editing when I get back to it) novel of 80,000 words. I plan to do it again this year.

Aside from that exercise, one exercise I do in order to get to know my characters as friends, enemies, or family, I ask them a lot of questions. Sometimes it is as though I am "digging things up" and learning who they are, what THEY want to do next or even what they don't want to do. Once we know our characters aside from ourselves, we can learn to appreciate it when they rebel and refuse to allow us to make them do something against their character.

Character Exercise: get to know your characters by asking questions. Type the conversation between you and them on your computer in a word document. Ask them why they are running through the woods like something is chasing them and what that something may be. Ask how they got to where they are in life - success, failure, drugs, marriage, etc. Where have they been all their life.

Yes, our characters must be real to us before we can make them real to the reader.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

3:36 A.M

Good morning.

Today is a new day. The dust hasn't settled, nor has the last box been emptied. Life almost grabbed me by the shirttails attempting to drag me back to the other side of writing.

This morning at 2:45, I stopped. For the past year or so, I have edited, rewrote, and lamented at the publishing process. Reading all the professional advice, admonitions, and renditions of those who have been successful, or not so successful even, absorbed my time like a sponge soaking up water.

Repeatedly, I read their promotions of their work, suggestions of how it is done, and ideas on how to write that winning novel. I read. I listened. I read some more, until I wanted to scream, “I don’t want to do this anymore.”

Then, last night, I realized I had allowed “publishing” to weigh down my writing to a point that it had become laborious rather than exciting, fulfilling, and something that causes one to turn on their computer at 3:00 a.m. So, I am now writing again, creating a world with words, and getting to know my main characters again.

My original intentions for my blog was to educate myself and my readers of the publishing process by providing resources, “Links” to other such places. Deliberately, I steered away from promoting my work too much and didn’t want my blog to become my daily diary.

However, today is a new day. I am writing a new chapter in one of my books. That is where I will be for some time now – leaving the last box for another day. It isn’t going anywhere, but then, neither has my writing of late. Today, I write. I will continue my blog, but only in regards to where my writing takes me each day, each week, while I walk in the worlds I create.

For all who follow this blog, I am grateful and appreciate your dropping by from time to time. You are always welcome here. If you would like, I know I would like it, you may relate your progress in writing. Let me know your latest work, difficult chapter, writer’s block, or your joy in creating that winning story. Share here with me our journey and struggles towards those wonderful words, “The End.”

Back to that chapter…and another cup of coffee.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

One Last Box...

Only one box to go and I will be finished unpacking (not counting ones I shoved into the hall closet for later investigation). Last night, I wrestled with my computer's wireless connection until 3 a.m. and I won. I am now back on line and trying to get caught up on all the hundreds of emails, blowing off the cobwebs of blog and twitter, and catching up with my linkedin spot.

Each time I get something accomplished (pay a bill, update an account, etc) I think of a hundred more still needing attention. As the boxes began fading away, I promised myself that I won't move again for 7 years or a publishing contract, whichever occurs first.

It feels good to be back and look forward to getting back into the writing/editing and blogging state of mind. I wonder if that last box to be unpacked that I may find my mind.

After I get settled, I plan to haunt as many writer's blogs as I can...consider yourselves warned.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Day Job

In the last couple of weeks, I have neglected my blog, emails, and twitter. However, I have not forgotten where my heart beats the loudest.

Within a month, I will be relocating to a new residence. So, please be patient with me as I blow the cobwebs off my belongings and move.

It won't be long before I am settled and ready to get back to doing what I love most in life - writing.

So, please accept my sincerest apology for neglecting you.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Reading for Writing

Ever since I started writing, I have read that a writer reads, or should read. At first, I excused my lack of reading on several things.

1. There is no time for reading; I am writing. The excuse held water like a bucket without a bottom (not just a bucket with holes). After a while, I understood why there is an important need for a writer to read: to learn to write better. If we do not have time to read at least about writing, we have no time to write. Many successful authors recommend that any wannabe writer should read the genre that they are pursuing in their writing. Read to find out what is selling and while reading, learn by reading their styles: what made them successful?

2. Their style is their style; mine is mine. I feared accusations of stealing or copycatting because surely other’s influence would ruin my unique style. Now, I laugh at that because my style eight years ago could have used some strong influence. Reading a successful novelist does not mean their style is going to over-power you and wrestle your unique style away from you. Reading similar books to yours is not going to brainwash you or force you under their control. Read to learn from the masters. Many artists throughout history have studied the greats. Studying the greats is not the same as becoming so absorbed in the artist that you forget your own art. Learn, and then experiment.

If you ever get a severe case of writer’s block, try reading.

Reading inspires us.

Socrates said, “Employ your time in improving yourself by other men's writings, so that you shall gain easily what others have labored hard for.”

Reading opens up a whole new world to a writer. Let the greats take you for a long journey, and then inspire others by your great work.

Reading is also a great way to get away from editing and rewrites for a while – take a picnic lunch and head for the beach, lake, or park.

For some links to some great people who have books on writing, see the bulletin board on the left side bar to my blog. If you have any links to anyone you would recommend, please let me know.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


In searching for links to pin to my blog and website, I sometimes enter a website that feels like something is not quite right. Of course, I listen to my inner voice and vamoose.

So many fear the unknown, but we must trust someone, sometime, somewhere.

By living on this planet of 7 billion human beings, we encounter a large variety of people from poverty-stricken, war-torn, and under-developed nations to the prosperity of civilization. Ignorance breeds prejudice. Prejudice blocks the mind from education. Prejudice is a type of fear where we tag everything according to our limited knowledge of a particular situation.

Lack of trust is a type of prejudice against all apples because of one rotten one. One bad experience or even a lack of experience makes us cautious. However, if we allow fear to rule us, we wouldn’t venture very far from home, much less into the internet where there are so many just waiting to pounce us. To trust means taking a chance, but not to trust at all leaves us locked inside our own fears.

If we don’t trust anyone, anywhere, anytime, then we must ask ourselves if we are trustworthy.

Fear is common among new writers – fear of someone stealing their work, fear of computer virus, fear of ID theft, fear of rejection, and of fear itself.

Below are some pointers to help ease your mind about venturing into unfamiliar territory – the great www.

1. When entering a website, explore the site. Don’t get all jittery and excited about the gold mine you just discovered – it might be fool’s gold. At the same time, consider its quality and don’t be too hasty in discarding it. It may have something real to offer. Think about what you see, read, or feel. Listen to your inner voice, ask around about the site, and Google it if you are not sure. Absolute Write Water Cooler is a great place to throw out a name, a website, or publisher to get a feel of what others have experienced. If one person nay-says, consider it, but if a whole lot of people tell of bad experiences – believe them.

2. Take your time. Test the waters. If you are not confident in exploring around the internet for whatever reason (new at it, uncertain, or just heard too many war stories), try a pseudo-name. When I got my first computer (what a relic – Windows 98 that froze up every other sentence. Try writing a book when you have to save every other word to keep from losing your work!), I was scared for more than one reason. Married to a controlling and violent man was fearful enough, but venturing into the unknown where he couldn’t find me, was absolutely exhilarating! I carefully chose a new name and went bravely across that line into the forbidden, uncharted lands of Cyberspace. Oh, I didn’t run. Each step I took was slow and careful as I explored a new world as someone else. You can learn without leaving breadcrumbs back to you.

3. When you begin querying your novels, take your time (redundant? Sure – but this one is worth repeating many times – take your time), RESEARCH: Google the agent’s name, look them up in sites like AgentQuery, Preditors & Editors; are they a member of AAR or AAA (UK version); what authors do they represent, etc. If a publisher offers you representation without an agent – trust me! That is a RED FLAG! If an agent/publisher charges a fee – again, RED FLAG. Don’t be afraid to explore and learn, but don’t let your dream of being published turn into a nightmare. (Stay away from PublishAmerica as if it has the plague). The websites I have pinned on my blog under the Bulletin board are ones I myself frequent. I am not going to pin something up there just to take up space. These links are here because I like them, have learned from them, and most times am too lazy to hunt them up again later.

Another bit of advice for when you go to an agent’s website – READ their site prior to submitting. Read their submission guidelines, but also take their advice to heart. Even though Andrea Brown Literary Agency declined to represent my novel, I learned a great deal from her website. I followed her links to author’s websites, read their tips on the industry and how they became successful, and ended up finding other sites such as Backspace.

4. Don’t be too happy about someone taking an interest in you or your writing. Professionals sound professional. Uh, right. Even professional con artists. However, that is what writers write for – for others to read. Please remember, though, that not everyone is out to steal your hard work. In fact, when we begin writing, most writers don’t want to do all the editing and rewrites required to bring our best sellers up to par. Trust trustworthy sites. Take your time, but also explore and become familiar with those who are professional enough to care. There are a lot of them out there - honest people trying to make it through this economy just like the rest of us.

5. Take advice to heart, but not to the death of your novel. Advice is just that. I recommend keeping an Advice Log to sort out what you need and what you don’t, and what you may need later after you gain wisdom the hard way.

Sorry for writing a book- blog, but I wanted to share with you the road I have traveled that led me to creating this blogspot. It is a road of hard knocks learned the hard way, and sometimes I had to to wipe the egg off my face because I thought surely I had the next best seller with a movie contract in the works if someone would just READ it. I visit the sites I pin here and want you to trust me. If you find anything wrong or questionable in any of the links pinned to my blog or website, please don’t hesitate to tell me about it. If I don’t know about it, how can I correct it?

Thank you for reading and hope to see you around more often. I’ll leave the light on for you.


Monday, May 9, 2011

Query Tracker Contest

This doesn't qualify for a new blog. However, this entire blogspot is Missing Link in Writing...

So, hurry on over to Query Tracker and enter a contest.

"The contest entry window is 24 hours and will end at 9:00 am Eastern Standard Time on Tuesday, May 10th."

If you write YA novels, now is your chance to enter a contest and get your first page read by an agent. However, don't take too only have 24 hours.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Editing Extremism

Fledgling writers are eager for flight! Flight being publishing contracts, book signings, fans, and monetary gain derived from it all.

That is all very understandable and no successful author can deny those early days of learning whether in a classroom or through experiencing the road of hard knocks.

My experience has been one of Editing Extremism where I write a novel, short story, poem, or essay only to learn of my mistakes in grammar, sentence structure, or any number of goofs. Studying, reading blogs, reading books written about writing, reading novels, accepting serious critiques, and striving to become the best at the craft possible, sometimes can cause us to over correct much like driving down a road and swerving to avoid hitting an animal.

Sometimes, we swerve too hard and then have to swerve to avoid running off the road on the other side. A cop pulled me over once thinking I was a drunk driver – I was falling asleep at the wheel from driving too long too far. I sped up, swerved across the centerline, slowed down (falling asleep), and was disoriented when I stopped. Does that sound like it could be our writing methods?

Some of my earlier manuscripts have suffered from my “Drunk Driving...or Editing” swerves where I have thoroughly run amuck from ditch to ditch and even drove the WIP off the cliff into the gully far below (no hope for those).

In recent edits, I have learned to take a deep breath and firmly get a grasp on the steering wheel (my voice in one hand, and advice from all other sources in the other) and considered the road I was driving upon (the novel) with the goal or finish line (published) in view.

My Advice for what it's worth:

1. Save As. The files in my computer have multiple editing projects because I have learned to “save as” before I begin a major rewrite or edit because from experience of butchering a WIP beyond recognition, I like being able to put it in reverse and start again. In itself, this poses another problem – remembering which car you were driving last. In the latest revision, I type a note to myself at the top of page one – Current Edit with a date of edit. If you are tempted to delete the others because you are a neat freak, or suffer some sort of compulsive thing, make a promise to yourself to clean out all the scraps AFTER the final MS is published. That is the only time all the other stuff is no longer useful. Until then, ignore it.

2. Take critiques seriously, but not to extreme. Remember that all advice, critiques, and opinions are just that. They are useful, but after you have heard contradictory expert advice enough, you begin to sort them out and apply only the ones you need. What works for some does not mean it will work for you. Robert Fulghum dared to defy the accepted writing styles and became a best seller.

Be careful of extremes. Don’t be so careful that your writing is boring, yet don’t be so brazen that you scare people away. Establish your writing skills and once published, experiment with those extremes.

3. Make a list. One way to avoid extreme editing is create a log or record of all advice or critiques, or those blogs you read about how to write your books. By doing this, you are building your own “Elements of Style” where you can reference them or add to them after researching other sources. This list can help you weed out contradictions BEFORE swerving into a ditch.

If you have anything to add to this, or any links that are helpful for better writing tactics – you know, things that keep us fledgling writers OUT OF THE DITCHES, let me know. I will pin them to the bulletin board as well as the Writer’s Resources on my website.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Blog Neglect due to Stresssssss

Sorry for not hunting and posting updated blogs for a long while, but job hunting took priority in my life. In order to continue my addiction to writing, I must have a day job to support the addiction.

However, I have been keeping the "Links" updated whenever I find a good one. Tonight I stickpinned a new link under "Elements of Style" and also on my website under "Author Resources" Grammar Divas. There is another author listed on my website. An author and a teacher, James Scott Bell, seems like a great resource for learning the craft.

Anything to make our journey towards publishing success a little easier...

As soon as I get employed, I plan to turn the fire up on those WIP on the back burners, and to post a blog more often. Until then, please be patient and don't wander too far away. If you find a website that has great advice or ideas about writing, please post it to this blog or shoot me an email.

Thanks for dropping by...

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Are You Your Own Character?

For actors to act their parts, they must come as close to being the person they are representing by their acting. They must put themselves into the mind and heart of the character. If an actor allows himself to show through, then he is not acting, but merely memorizing script and reciting words. Great actors become great by studying the character to a point that they seem to lose their identity and take on the character’s identity.

Same as with writing, if we keep coming in, injecting our thoughts and our personality into the plot, characters, and interaction between the characters, our characters will be flat and our plot will be boring. I am not saying that we are boring, but be realistic and honest with yourself. Would you want to read about you? Honesty? Unless you are a celebrity or great inventor of great things, most people get bored while reading ordinary life experiences.

We read the exceptional, the exotic, the strange, the bizarre, romance, and anything that will help us take our minds off ourselves for a few moments. If we write only how WE feel, how WE would react in a certain situation, then the character has no chance to break free from us. Get to know the characters – be daring. Inflict some pain on them, see how THEY react, not how YOU react.

Read a riddle to someone and watch their reaction to the hidden, but so obvious answer, and watch their face light up when they hear the answer. People thrive on the unexpected, the twist or uncommon reaction to a situation. If you are like most people, those quick on your feet responses normally come way passed the opportunity to say them. Heroes are born when they react in uncommon ways. Even your antagonist can grab the reader with his wit and charm.

Last week, I read about a man who got a job by his answer to a riddle. No one else interviewed for the job answered it quite as he did. There was no wrong answer, but his answer made him stand out.

If you were driving along in your Mercedes and saw three people were waiting at a bus stop, an old woman needing to get to the hospital, a friend who once saved your life, and the future love of your life. There is only room for one passenger in your car. Which one would you give a ride, the old woman to save her life, the friend to whom you are indebted with your life, or the mate meant for you?

His answer: I would give the keys to my friend, thus paying that debt, and while he takes the old woman to the hospital, I would stay with my future love of my life.

I couldn’t find the exact wording of that interview question again, but I think you know what I am getting at. He created his own options, a fourth choice outside the expected answers. People love characters that can do the unexpected, say the unexpected and react perfectly to situations that come their way. I feel it must be that we normally look in our own mirrors and say, “I should have said that.”

People don’t read books for the ordinary. They read them for the extraordinary, the sensation of victory over weakness, villains, and obstacles in ways we could never imagine. They want short and to the point dialogue without a lot of boring explanation or rambling. The most remembered lines are those that are very short with a punch of a thousand words. Make your characters a picture worth a thousand words.


If you have a favorite link to writing memorable characters, please share.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Free Samples of my Works

Sharing makes the world go round a little smoother. Therefore, I updated my website to include free excerpts of my books, novels, and poetry. Included on the sidebar of my blog are links to each of those pages.

The non-fiction book that I am working on now will be among those soon. Check the list often because I will add or change them from time to time.

I welcome any comments about them. Yes, you can be brutal. (but please be gentle in your brutality - smile) If you don't like something, please tell me why you don't. If you like something about what you read, please share with me.

Have a great day - and write


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

You Tell Me. Writer? or Author?

Is a Writer an Author?

Although the titles are similar, and have a few things in common, one being that they both write normally for pay, there is a distinct difference further in Webster’s definitions.

Both are writers, who write books, stories, and articles professionally for pay, normally.

A writer can be as simple as someone able to write and has written something or is engaged in literary composition as a profession, an author, a writer of novels. A writer can be professionally engaged in a wide range of occupations from insurance to operation manuals. A writer is also a title of rank in India (not quite the definition we are talking about).

An author, though a writer, is the beginner, a first mover of anything, a creator, an originator. An author composes or writes books and is distinguished from and editor, translator or compiler. Yet, Webster’s also includes two additional definitions: the editor of a periodical and an informant.

I have often thought of a writer as someone writing for a living, but never fully engaging in completion of novels or full-sized books. And for a long time, I thought of an author as someone published. However, I now realized that upon putting The End at the end of a novel qualifies for the title Author, whether or not we are published. If we are published, then we get the honor of adding to that title with, Published Author.

You tell me. What are your ideas on this? Know of any great links we can tack to the bulletin boards?


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Fine Tune Writing

So, you’ve written a novel.

What an accomplishment!

Now what? What’s next?

Publishing, right?

Rushing out “there,” novel in hand, visions of sugar plums and castles in the air make your feet float across the ground. Then it happens…


Think of writing a novel, short story, or other form of writing intended for an audience, (Diaries don’t require such intensity) as turning on an old transistor radio.

First, the premise is the radio wave blasting through the air unseen, unheard, and unnoticed; nonetheless, it is there, everywhere. When an idea for a novel first hits our thoughts, it seems our minds will explode if we don’t write the next best seller. However, if we tell someone about it before we write it, the air fills with too many “other” broadcasts. No one else can hear our radio signals quite as we do.

Second, the first writing is finished. It is the best ever written, a real classic. Turning the knobs of the old radio to find that perfect signal, we listen to our favorite tunes ignoring the static around the edges. (younger people today may not appreciate this analogy) While ignoring the static, we get lost in the words of our ingenious creations and cannot comprehend why others don’t hear them as well as we do. However, we can’t give up now; if we adjust the knob on that old radio a little more, it will be perfect. This is the realization of the need for a re-write.

Third, sometimes we fiddle with the knob too much and loose the signal. No problem. The radio is still on; we can find another station, maybe come back to the old station later. Turning that knob to refine the station is much like our efforts of re-writing, editing, and begging for input on our writing. Some advice causes us to turn the knob too far in one direction while other advice clouds our editing into thinking we have the next best seller already. No matter what, we can’t seem to turn the radio off once we turn it on.

Fourth, calming that inner hunger with reality, we focus on the fine-tuning with determination to remove all the static by reverting to grammar school basics. Reviewing basic writing rules, the do’s and the don’t’s of grade school through MFA degrees, is where we discover the way to remove most of the static. Where to place that comma (if at all), word choice, capitalization, passive voice, tense, and all the tiny details surrounding our wonderful creation becomes static until the station we are listening to becomes a full-blown job.

Grammar Guide

Fifth and final, one more adjustment. Just one more…until we have fine-tuned that old radio until there isn’t anymore static only to discover…HD Radio.

Good luck in all your endeavors in getting published – either traditional or self-publishing.

NOTE: The world has been buzzing lately about traditional publishing verses self-publishing. Blogs, Twitter, and news articles banter about which avenue is best. Peeling away all reasons discussed, boil the cabbage down (as the old saying goes), and one aspect rarely talked about emerges…perfecting the craft. Self-publishing on your first book removes the hoops, those fiery hoops required to jump through in traditional publishing, and gives a smooth, well-paved highway for putting your novel in print regardless of its imperfections. Without critique and editors, without hearing the static of imperfection, how can we grow? How can we perfect our talents if we don’t realize they are not perfect? For those who have beaten through the wilderness, carved the highways (built solid platforms) for fans to easily find them and love them, self-publishing is a good way to go for they have already fine-tuned the old radio. Seeking traditional publishing helps us improve our writing regardless of our base knowledge of the craft.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Writer's Flowchart by Kate Hart

Kate Hart has a great flowchart that would make a great addition to any writer's corkboard or taped to their well-organized writing desk.

This is one link that will help you know what stage of writing you are currently working your way through…


Just in case you lose the link or forget to anchor it to your favorites, I have included this link in the sidebar of my blogspot under in “Great Resources for Writers,” which is where I am putting valuable links for improving our writing.

If anyone has Links to add to this list, that is what my blog is all about…finding all the Missing Links.


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Why Write

Recently, on twitter a hash tag #whyIwrite tweeted all over the place. One writer answered numerous times, while one author, Jason Pinter, wrote some awesome reasons for writing.

Giving it a little thought, I wrote one. Then more thought, I wrote another. Now, I have slept on it and thought about it some more.

Why do we write? Why do you write? And why do you read what others write about writing?

Some answers in the hashtag as well as answers I have read on other blogs and writer forums, say they are compelled to write as if they have no choice. But why such a compelling drive? What happened in life to cause such an unquenchable hunger to create worlds with words?

So, I am taking that question on step further…

Why do you write?
What does writing do for you while you are writing?
What motivates you to write?

Are we all really addicted to it? Are we insane, obsessed, or demented?

Some days I feel like I am losing my marbles, so I keep them in a drawstring bag in my armoire just to prove I still have a few of my marbles left.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Snarky Altitude

After another night of no sleep, it is difficult to maintain an even keel without resorting to creative powers of Snarky-tude. This morning, after my third cup of coffee, I had no resistance to the high-in-the-sky Snarky Altitude. I let her fly.

Writing resumes when there is no substance to hold the ink to the paper is more frustrating to me than the dreaded query letter. Query letters are an art form all by themselves where we condense our sometimes years of hard work into a single sentence, the hitch…er…I mean pitch, (sounds a lot like a marriage proposal – better make it good) and then choose the right words for only one page of sales and information about the book in quest.

Monday, I went for a job interview. My hopes were flying around in the sky with the spring birds celebrating warmer weather here. However, while sitting on the outside of a large mahogany desk, I got an out-of-body experience.

Mr. Big Lawyer had my resume neatly in the center of his cluttered-just-enough-to-look-busy desk. His questions were so off the secretary position requiring no experience that I felt unsure if I should answer at all, but I did. My resume was neat, tight and concise, but my work history while attaining the education, the skills, and abilities needed for clerical work fell short, uh, no, they fell off the page, onto the floor, and then hid in the darkest corner they could find.

Suddenly, ( “ly” word) I noticed a trend in my life. I write. No one reads beyond the resume of me. I apply. No one listens beyond the resume of me. Sounds like a pity party, right? Not. Right now I am listening to some crazy Native American music, Aero, drinking what is left of that pot of coffee @5pm, and laughing at my new attitude and the poor recipient of my latest application for a job.

After stripping all job history details from my resume, adding each and every single skill, talent, or ability I could think of listing, (I even mentioned that I could make a good cup of coffee) I re-wrote the Objective, but refrained from simply saying: “My objective is to be published, rich and famous.” So, I did show some control.

“Objective: To rise above the stigma of NO EXPERIENCE = NO JOB. To use the skills I went to college to learn regardless of my work history experience. To learn and grow with a company for a very long time. It is not what I have done, but what I can do!”

After butchering my resume to reflect my revamped snarky-tude, I proceeded to apply via email to another law firm seeking a secretary with preferred experience. Now, that was one email to read. I even had to disclaim that I was not a crackpot sending them a virus. (Think they believed me?)

Finally, (another ly word...I’ll just never get there, will I?) my snarky-tude shook hands with an astounding realization. Maybe it isn’t astounding to everyone else, but when we get those lightbulb-moments, we are genius and not a single other person ever thought of it before, right?

Well, (a very deep subject) I compared this experience with seeking publishing for my great and stupendous novels. Employers fail to see the potential of a dedicated hard worker solely because of a lack of DOCUMENTED proof of experience much the same as agents fail to see beyond the marriage proposal, I mean pitch and query letters to the novel. It is not their fault entirely (ouch another one), but a glitch in the matrix. It is the system, the long-accepted method of doing things.

Someone ought to write a book - “Rising Above Ourselves” (Let me know if there is already one out there...I’ll buy I get a job, that is. Right now I am still a full-fledged member of the Starving Artist Society.)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

“But Mom, I don’t like reading Shakespeare…”

When I was younger, I dreamed of writing stories, poetry, and novels. Daydreaming about adventures, heroes, and faraway lands got me into trouble more than once. These adventures often manifested into reality in my life, but mostly they helped me survive the nightmares of abuse.

Then the biggest nightmare of all time, the big “D” and I don’t mean Dallas, released me from a lifetime of being a mouse. For several years after, I roared like a lion. In recent years, however, I try to find a beast somewhere between the squeak of a mouse and the ferocious roar of the king of the jungle. I’ve yet to find one, so if anyone has any suggestions…(smile).

Before signing the papers in 2001, I purposed to make writing much more than the daydreaming of my youth: I started writing. Oh, how I wrote in a fevered pitch. I wrote short stories and poetry and then sought publishing. If you are a writer, a regular one without degrees directing your path, then you can guess what I did next.

With my head in the stars floating around in the galaxies, I had my first book in print. I thought I was that good! PublishAmerica victim number…uh…numbers don’t really matter unless you are a cheese or wine. (hmm…why does that word make me want a glass of it at 9:30 in the morning?) That was a costly lesson, but one that started me on the road of P.E. (Publishing Education), which is more enlightening than the gym classes in high school. Fortunately, that book was a mere compilation of short stories and poetry and not a novel.

Writing one more short story before leaving for work, I leaned back in my chair and read over what I wrote. “This is no short story! This is a book,” I said to my computer. (yes, I talk to myself…er…I mean my computer.) Six months later, it was a binder-bulging 147,000 words and the most awesome fantasy adventure the world ever knew. However, the world didn’t know, and still doesn’t. I was ready. I was a writer! I drove all the way to Washington DC, the Library of Congress and got it copyrighted; I had to protect my work from…well you know.

Then, I asked people to read it for some feedback. Why wasn’t everyone as excited about it as I was? No one wanted to read it, much less give me some feedback. Of course, back then I didn’t know where to seek such beta readers, nor had I ever heard that term before. Reading one particular “help” site, I kept seeing the acronym, MFA. The way it was used made me think surely that it must be some form of swearing about someone’s attitude. So, I googled it before adding my two cents. Yeah, I got a good laugh.

Finally, I got my oldest son to read a little of my great, fantastic, and wonderful book. He read the first page and said, “Mom, I don’t mean to be mean, but I really don’t like reading Shakespeare.” I took a deep breath and sighed relief! Finally, someone cared enough to take a look. He was more than right. I took his advice and rewrote the book, but it remained over 140,000 words.

His words, his honesty with me, helped me embark upon the long, difficult journey of learning the craft of writing BETTER. Reading books on writing, blogs, and participating in writer’s forums, my writing evolved. Another P.E. is now pegged at the top of my browser window – Preditors & Editors where I was not surprised to see PublishAmerica listed as one of the worst places to go if we are serious about writing.

So, let’s bring this long story to a stopping place (it’s not over until…I sing), unlike my first novel (now a four book series), which I have dubbed, “My Mona Lisa” because it may never be finished.

If we endure our critics with an attitude of learning, growing, and evolving our craft to perfection…

If we survive the praise and insincere doting of friends, co-workers, and family…

If we overcome our own insecurities and fears as well as our success before we succeed…

If we take our nightmares, our daymares (a word I learned from David Morrell), and chain them up with the power of the pen (okay…MS Word documents)…

If we imagine the descent into the valleys of doubt, frustration, discouragement, failure, and rejections as one big roller coaster ride…

If we can still see those valleys when we finally stand high on the mountain peak, spread our arms like eagle’s wings soaring through the heavens…

Then…we are writers.

Love Lucy

Monday, February 28, 2011

Suspense of the Suspended

One crazy weekend, back when I was a member of the Young and the Wreckless (nope, not the soap opera), I jumped out of a helicopter just to say I did it and to know how it felt.

It's quite obvious I survived, but how loud did I knock on death's door? The first two jumps out of a perfectly good helicopter were flawless. However, the third jump hit a snag, which ended my career as a skydiver.

Oh, no loss really. I never wanted to do it for a living, just wanted the experience of hanging around in the sky for a few minutes.

Writing about a young girl held captive who defended herself by shooting her captor with his own gun led me to a shooting range just so I could describe what a 357 magnum felt like when shooting it. The safety course cost me $75 (which meant ramen noodles for a while), but no loss because I gained the experience.

There are so many things I have done, will do, and dream of doing just to make my writing credible. Sometimes those feelings are too real for comfort, other times I feel I haven't reached deep enough to enable my writing that level of injustice, betrayal, pain, and anguish that writing a burning success requires.


until then...I need a job, but writing a resume is worse than writing query letters to agents. Query letters are about someone else's life of glamor, suspense, adventure, pain, etc. Resumes are...about me.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

V is for Victory!

Two days of frustration and muddling through html, xtml, tutorials, and starting over from initial html document (always! always! make an extra copy so you can go back to page one), I discovered (er...learned)the difference between "align" and "valign" and the whole time I knew it had to be some simple design layout thingie. Yep, just the letter "v" made my stuff go where I wanted.

Working with publisher has spoiled me. I like to be able to click and drag something where I want it. No resistance.

After all the searching the web for some great tools, tutorials, etc...I found a great software that is completely free. Microsoft offers it as a free download. Download, agree, and then select all four installs, then explore the wonderful world of website building.

I may just forget about writing books and start designing websites using that little baby.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Birth of Characters and Story Ideas

Sometimes ideas come from the most unexpected places and times.

Always be prepared for the Muse to send you searching for a pen and something to write it down on so you won't forget it. Stuffed inside a drawer of my desk are hundreds of notes written on grocery receipts, restaurant napkins, corners torn off other papers, and yes, even toilet tissue (I won't go there with that one).

A great resource for characters and stories is found in our personal lives, experiences, our secret desires. However, this cannot be used excessively because then our characters become clones of us which eventually will become very very boring. (unless of course, you have a golden and charming personality...then by all means exploit that.)

My daughter read my short story, "Sassafras Summer" over at and said she saw me in the character. The character is male, but still I came through somehow. I was glad she said that she saw it because she knows me....whew.

We never know when a book idea, character idea, etc will pop out at us. Yesterday, after talking with my neighbor's five year old, I now have the title and story for another children's picture book.

Writing is such an adventure!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Ever feel like running away, tossing in the towel, giving up on it all and no one really listens to you for they have their own problems?

Well, I have a solution for you!

If you have your own, you are blessed...sorta. Even if you have to borrow one for a while, get alone with a toddler (preferably one who doesn't suffer from separation anxiety when away from mommy too long).

Say anything you want, tell her your problems, and nod your head and smile. Talking to the wall, window, or other objects won't work. You must speak to this child like they understand what you are talking about. They will smile back at you and agree when you ask them a question.

Results: You said it. You cried about it. You told your problems to someone who won't go blabbing it around town. Best of all, they won't give you stupid advice on what you should do about your problems, attitude, or that things could be worse. They won't judge you either; tomorrow is a new day and what you told them is soon forgotten.

Oh, one more thing. They don't charge by the hour. In fact, if you play it right, you get paid.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Website construction

If you have seen those "smiles" that are either banging their heads on their keyboards, or taking a sledge hammer to their pc's then you know how I feel this morning while searching "free" website html templates.

Even spiced coffee hasn't help...

Oh, I find all sorts of cool sites, but what on earth do I do with the templates after I find them.

I am not looking for fancy-smancy busy website design, just something simple using simple codes that even I can adjust to what I want. I have a website that I created for college finals, but it is so...unprofessional and pretty.

So, once again, I am asking for links, advice, and your opinions here.

Link me up, okay.

btw - that spiced coffee is scrumptious!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Can a Writer write...

Can a writer write when life is good?
Or must life always throw us fiery darts to motivate the words to form a world where we escape the burning heat?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Inspired by the Great Artists

History has it that Andrea Verrocchio resolved never to touch the brush again because his pupil had far surpassed him. Later reports consider this a great exaggeration.

Great art inspires great art. Without the greats, art would never grow to new levels of creativity. Rather than quitting with a feeling that we can never be one of the greats, allow the greats to inspire us beyond ourselves, but never to defeat us.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wanted: Synopsis Writing Links

Writing the novels? Nothing to it, right? Writing the poetry, the short stories - again, nothing to it. Write a synopsis of that novel after editing, proofing, and rewriting for the hundredth time - and I break out in a sweat, wake in the middle of the night with nightmares, and finally resorted to putting cocoa in my coffee. Nothing helps.

Anyone have some great links? I have been following Agent Query and found some info: Synopsis

Also,HL Dyer contributed a lot through the Query Tracker news letter.

While you are snowed in, you have time to hunt for links, right? Take a break from the creative muse and hunt down those missing links for me.

Agent Query
BookEndsLLC BlogSpot

Monday, January 31, 2011

100-word Sentence

100 words for 100 dollars Blogfest

A tired and withered Renuzit air freshener, long past any ability to change the aroma of the dungeon-like room from burned chemicals to a tropical rainforest, blended with the jars, the papers, and the clutter with its forgotten purpose until the loud slamming of a door over head thundered throughout the laboratory shaking the overburdened metal shelves rattling glass bottles like chimes in the wind while a loud baritone voice broke the concentration of the mad scientist’s relentless search for the next discovery of a miraculous cure or  to win a Nobel Peace Prize  by his unique combining of earth’s curious elements.