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