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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

10 things NOT to do when writing.

Top ten list of no-no's for a writer...

We learn from our mistakes, otherwise we have suffered unnecessarily.   I tell my children every day it's okay to make mistakes-no one is perfect because to err is human and what we do next separates us as individuals.

The writing journey I've followed these past three years taught and reminded me of some no-no's as a writer and I would like to share them with you.

1.)   Don't ever write when cooking, talking on the phone, wiping your kid's butt, or eating crackers (it's impossible to get those crumbs out of the keyboard and every time you hit the spacebar hearing that crunch! you'll be reminded of your stupidity).  Focus!

2.)  You are the most important tool in your writing so just as you recharge your laptop  you must fuel your body. So when hunger causes you to stop, practice proper nutrition.  I'm not your Mom nor am I a nutritionist-you know what's best and it doesn't include potato chips and coke.  I think it's safe to include exercise here as well.  Strap on your iPod and go for a walk to enjoy nature-it will also help to clear your head and possibly generate new ideas.   Please be careful and don't reach for the 100lb dusty weights sitting in your basement.  Work up to it.

3.)   Sleep, rest, or nap whatever you can manage when you're not thinking of what your main character will say next.  You need to get those creative juices flowing and there's nothing like giving your brain some recess time.

4.)  Alcohol.  Oh boy.  Look, I'm all for a drink or two for relaxation but don't fool yourself, writing is like driving and you can't drink and drive!  So don't do it or you'll find pure dead-end crap on your screen the next day.

5.)  Drugs.  Come on, really?

6.)  Sex.  Do you recall the Seinfeld episode when the group abstains from sex?  George becomes a scholar and Elaine turns into an airhead.  There's nothing like a good mind-blowing 'O', but be careful, too much will begin to creep into your novel....look at E.L. James-she claims to have gone through a mid-life crisis while writing the fifty shades series!

7.) Music.  Knock yourself out-whatever it takes.  A Baptist choir to death metal-again, whatever it takes.  Just to warn you though, YOUR MUSIC WILL INFLUENCE WHAT YOU WRITE, so be cautious.  Especially when writing children's literature you might not want to listen to Megadeath.

8.)  If you have children, please don't forget them.  They need you more than you need to steal a few moments on your laptop.  Set aside time first thing in the morning or at night to write.

9.)  Caffeine.  Yes!  It's like a defibrillator to the right side of your brain.  Try to limit the quantity, of course, or it will have adverse effects or even stop your heart.  Oh! And try not to add too much sugar or you'll end up a diabetic.

10.)  Your significant other.  Well, they are adults and can take care of themselves but try your best to spend some time with them instead of wondering how you're revising those first three chapters of crap your built your book upon.

Have I forgotten anything?  Please add in the comment section.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Revisions and decisions...

        Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement....
              -Ronald Reagan

It's final-I absolutely detest revising.  I find myself cleaning the toilets or organizing dresser drawers instead.  Why?  Grandiose notions of birthing a flawless novel?  Hardly!  It's like driving down an unfamiliar road with thousands of exits that might take you somewhere interesting or a dead end.   Then of course there are all those places to pullover to admire or hate the view, or even to relieve one's bladder. It's so damn easy to become distracted, especially on those particularly sunny, breezy days.

            I seldom end up where I wanted to go, but almost always end up where I need to be.
                    -Douglas Adams

Then you have that little person (Sd-I call him he doesn't deserve a vowel) living in the back of your head telling you Why bother, it's not like you'll ever be published! Writing is so much fun, right?

Tell me, how do you remain focused while revising?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Hunter S. Thompson revisited.....

Just wanted to share an eclectic icon who wasn't recognized enough-although I suspect he preferred it that way.  If you've never heard of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas or Rum Diaries you know a little about the man.  But have you heard the term, Gonzo Journalism?  His name is synonymous with the term because he told the truth when he wrote through humor and sarcasm.

I've included a link to a video of Thompson's ashes shooting out of a canon which is the way he wanted to go.  So much for 'not with a bang but a whimper', huh?

I encourage you to look up some google images of him as well.  Meanwhile, here are some quotes:

“Music has always been a matter of Energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel. I have always needed Fuel. I am a serious consumer. On some nights I still believe that a car with the gas needle on empty can run about fifty more miles if you have the right music very loud on the radio.”

 "If you're going to be crazy, you have to get paid for it or else you're going to be locked up.”

“Yesterday's weirdness is tomorrow's reason why.”

“As things stand now, I am going to be a writer. I'm not sure that I'm going to be a good one or even a self-supporting one, but until the dark thumb of fate presses me to the dust and says 'you are nothing', I will be a writer.”

“Buy the ticket, take the ride.”

Hunter Stockton Thompson (July 18, 1937-February 20, 2005)

I'm back....

     Time to pull out the sandpaper and remove the accumulated rust (yes, rust not dust-I'm allergic) off this account.  The past months have been filled with revising my book and I'm hoping this is my final one with only 300 pages to go.  Does anyone else find it to be a very slow process?  Oh, and I did the unthinkable-I've begun querying.  I know I'm supposed to wait until the book is 100% complete but couldn't resist beginning the process.  Talk about a humbling experience and I haven't even received my rejection letter (if I actually get a response back at all).  It's been two weeks and I can't stop myself from looking at my emails every 15 minutes.  Pathetic?  Yes, thank you.

      So, I'm 2,000 words over as well as 2.5 weeks past my personal deadline oh and I'm still up at 5:30 every morning writing, or purging.  I have to keep in mind that no matter what I've been reunited with a passion forgone along with the degree I shake my fist at every time I look at my bank account.  Right?  Yeah-whatever I don't keep pom-pom's in my closet but clothes from a few sizes down?  Sure because you just never know....