Sunday, July 20, 2014

Word Synchronicity

This post has been floating about in my head for a couple of weeks now.  Just now getting to it.

Something bothers me when I watch certain movies.  I noticed it a great deal in "Divergent".  Loved the book.  Movie was alright.  Read the book first.  That seriously helps.  If not, you'll be a bit lost.
But I digress.

Divergent is the anomaly.  Fair enough.  Our fair heroine, Tris, does not even hear the word spoken until she goes into testing to find her faction.  It's mentioned a few more times during the movie in a hushed whisper.
All good.
So far.
But then in one of the last scenes, everything previously building to a nice climax only for Tris to tell the evil villain that she's dIvergent.
Okay.
Here's the problem.
Every time it was pronounced previously...it was a soft "i".  Divergent.  No prob.  And it's obviously not a word bandied about on a regular basis.
But what is this???
Tris pronounces it with a hard "i".  What the hell?
It's that moment that takes me completely out of the movie and smacks me with the realization that these are simply actors.  Shailene Woodley pronounces the word differently than the other actors.
*sigh*
Another example would be Gandalf in the beautiful Tolkien books.  Elijah Wood pronounced the "l" specifically in Gandalf's name.  I don't particularly recall anyone else in the movies doing so.  Most pronounce it "Gandoff" not "GandaLf".

These are little things.  I realize that.  But I also believe it takes away from the momentum AND the story.
You need synchronicity for anything to flow.
Hiccups in the story will take you right out of it and lessen the impact of whatever you're viewing at the time.

Big things are important.  Obviously.  But so are the little things.  They can make or break a story.
And sometimes those are the most important things of all.
Grins*

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Terrified

Never been scared shitless to write ANYTHING before.  Never.  Pretty damn fearless when it comes to the writing stuff.
But now that's changed a bit.  And I guess that's great.  Right?  Being terrified to write something?  I'm not frightened of "it" per se...I'm scared that I will not be able to give it everything I want it to have.
Crazy, huh?
Considering I'll be the ONLY ONE who will be able to do that.
Still fucking terrified.

I spoke at the Oklahoma Library Association this last Wednesday.  Man, I love speaking on panels about writing.
But when asked about the works I have in progress, I popped off immediately with about 10,000 words left in the C&S story.  A third of the way through my Paranormal Erotic story.  And then:
"Have you ever seen something so beautiful, you're afraid to touch it?"
That popped out of me.
And it was the perfect description of this book.
I am scared to death that I'll miss something important.  Or I will not give it all the attention it needs.

In my heart of hearts...I don't believe either of those.  I will sculpt the hell out of it until it's EXACTLY what I want.
But damn.
Really???

Daunting.  Good damn word for what this one is.  Because it's huge, my friends.  HUGE.

So I simply need to calm my ass down and let the words come.  They've not failed me before.  They won't fail me now.
Onwards and upwards.
I hope.

Grins*

Sunday, March 23, 2014

I don't write porn

But I could.

I tend to get that a lot.  You write porn right?
Um,  no.  But thanks for asking.
I write romance.  Sub-genres of said romance could be Time Travel, Erotic, Contemporary, Paranormal, or Fantasy.
Erotica, in my opinion, is literary porn.
Erotic romance is explicit romance with non-PC terms for genitalia and sexual acts.  ROMANCE.
That neat little word there is an indicator of happily-ever-after (HEA).  Porn doesn't care about the HEA.
I do.

When I speak on panels, there are oftentimes questions such as the porn one.  I try to educate, but a lot of people have it stuck in their heads that any explicit romance is porn.  Maybe it is.  Who am I to judge?

Not all readers need a closed door during sexual acts.  Some enjoy reading the explicit.  Neither one is "wrong".
And that's the bottom line for me.
Read what you enjoy.
WRITE what you enjoy.

I may have one sex scene in a book.  I may have twelve sex scenes in a book.  I don't have a handy little diagram that tells me to "add sex scene" here.  And even if there was one, I would tear it up.
I let the story dictate to me the rhythm of the scenes.  Be that ANY scene.

So let's all quit slinging mud on things that aren't our cup of tea.
And roll those sex dice.
Grins*

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Getting it right the first time

When I'm writing my lovely stories, I'm not a fan of the delete or backspace key.  I use them, but I use them sparingly since, to me, that's wasted time.
Editing at the end is different.  Snip here.  Change there.  We're not talking brain surgery here.  I'm not reinventing the wheel.
So imagine my disappointment, okay---pissed off at myselfness--when I realized that an entire scene from my current book is shit.
SHIT, I tell you!
What was I thinking?
Was I thinking at all?
Who wrote that drivel?
It doesn't even fit with the two characters.  Okay, ONE of the characters, but still!!!
WHAT HAVE I DONE???

*breathing*

I tried to fit the square peg in the round hole.  I do that on occasion just to make sure I still can.  But this???  This is wasted time.  This is squandering my precious writing time.  This is...unacceptable.
And I didn't get the click.
I should have known better.

So I'm going to open up my latest writing venture and do some surgery without anesthetic.
Take out the scene and write it as it should be written.
Because meeting my own approval is simply brutal, folks.

On a lighter note, I'm eating Easter peanut M&M's.
Life is good.

Grins*

Update:  Gutted the last third and made it work.  Damn bossy characters.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Cave Girl?

Please explain to me why the blue hell choosing food has become such a bitch.
After living on sausage balls for nearly a week, I decided...screw this.  So thought I'd do a bit of research and find some more nourishing noshing.
HA
And HA some more

Let's see.  Vegetarian/Vegan?  They suggest using tofu and soy.  But those are "processed".  So that goes against Paleo, right?
And no little cute cartons of egg whites as they are likewise processingarily compromised.
Oh, help me.
Paleo sounds okay, I guess.  I don't mind eating a bit cleaner.  And after looking it up, I'm a bit scared.  Not a fan of root vegetables or "rabbit food".
Now.  I like me a salad.  Don't get me wrong.  Don't care for croutons.  Not a big fan of meat up in there, either.
Simply clean eating?
Um, okay.  But that's a bit of a strict regimen, isn't it?  I'm  not saying I can't live WITHOUT an occasional breaded something.  I'm just saying I shouldn't have to.
Butter vs margarine?
Butter, in all its full fat glory, seems to be healthier than margarine.  Score one for me.  How about ghee?  Should we be purchasing that and using it?  Coconut oil?
*rubs forehead where a nice headache is forming*
And pasta?  I've tried the whole grain.  I...didn't care for it.  So I asked for and received a lovely little tool for Christmas where I can run it down my defenseless zucchini and make "zoodles".  Pretend pasta, if you will.  Still waiting on trying that.  Perhaps this weekend.
Also picked up some spaghetti squash.  Yes.  I love pasta.  But white processed stuff makes me tired.  That's indicative of an allergy, right?
Pass the water.  I think I'm safe there.
Grins*

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Don't mind me

My life has a way of getting back on the right track whether I'm ready for it or not.  Mostly not, quite honestly.
When I was in the last relationship in a massive rut where neither of us was happy, but we just stuck it out...house fire.
Little extreme, I'll admit.  I mean, seriously.  Who wants to lose everything they own just to make a fresh start and new beginning?
Oh...and to add insult to injury--the ex and ex-best friend hooking up.  Really?  Wouldn't have been easier to drop a house on me or something?  I rather thought so at the time.
But look at me now.
I'm happy.  Imagine that.  I have a great job.  Great friends.  And I have someone who supports what I do no matter whether I'm immersed in the writing or not.  Brilliant.

Oklahoma has been doing its best impression of the arctic lately.  Icy slick roads.  Weather closings.  And wouldn't you know...my effing car decided to die.
DIE!
Battery was just like...eh.  I'm done here.  So my poor little Escape is frozen in my driveway.  Baby Chicken has been ferrying my ass to and fro.  Love that child.  But guess what?
I go home dragging ass most everyday of work.  My body has its own set of issues, and they tend to tug at me and wear me down.  Today, given no other option, I'm staying at work probably a couple hours past quitting time.
And I'll write.

My life and its situations have this way of snapping back to where I should be whether I realize/appreciate it or not.

Back when I was more of a control freak, yeah--I owned it, I would worry the hell out of myself that things had to be "just so."
Until I had to go to the doctor with severe stomach pains where they found a nice large ulcer.  Because I'm an overachiever even when I'm jacked up.
True story.

I've told friends and family that I sometimes don't catch subtleties and nuances.  I tend to be a bit thick when someone is not hitting me over the head with something.  Then there are those times, without trying, that I am so intuitive it's scary.

Bottom line is this...sometimes we miss the little signs on our road that say "turn here" or "slow down"...but we usually pay attention to the one that says "bridge out".

So I'll be happy with my lot.  I realize that even if I venture off my path, I'll be guided back whether with a nudge or slap.
Entirely up to me.
Grins*

Saturday, November 09, 2013

OCD

Afternoon my lovelies.

Time to crank out a blog and then get to writing.

I've pondered over a question asked at the Author Panel I went to last Saturday.
How do I concentrate with OCD?  How do I shut everything else out and write?

Not easy.

First of all, I've been to a therapist/counselor.  I've not been properly diagnosed, but I'm most certainly OCD.
Sometimes it's worse than others.  Whether I have to check the lock my magic number of times or check my alarm the same number.
But thankfully, it doesn't rule my life.

Blocking out everything to write is difficult enough.  But it's a real bitch when I have to make sure that certain items are where they always are.  That I've done everything else that needs to be done.  When I have my water nearby and my ear buds in so I can concentrate ONLY on the story or stories.

This five-book series requires me to listen to my Writing playlist on iTunes which consists of beautiful music sans words or Enya-type or Celtic Woman songs.
Because it fills in the holes I need filled to work on the writing.
I need the background noise so that other things don't bother me.  My phone is on "Do Not Disturb".  I will give the death glare to any who bother me when I'm working in the zone.  And God forbid you interrupt.
While I'm a fairly nice person on any given day, I am a snarling bear woke from its hibernation when jacked with in the middle of a nice writing jag.
Ear buds in.  Writing on.  Woe to anyone who doesn't respect that.
And I mean WOE.

Food has been consumed.  Water sits to the left of my laptop.  iTunes is about to be fired up and put on repeat.

Shall we begin?
*******

Sunday, November 03, 2013

To dream the impossible dream

It's scary, isn't it?
Putting yourself out there.  Leaving yourself open to criticism and unkind words.  Cutting yourself open and leaving bits of yourself exposed.
Terrifying is probably more appropriate.

I'm reminded of that ol' "sticks and stones" rhyme reiterating that physically we can be hurt, but words won't harm.
That would be a bunch of bullshit.

Ever been called stupid?  Worthless?  Ugly?  Fat?  Skinny?
Ever had something you've been beyond proud of decimated by words?
EVERYONE has.

Take that in.
Those who utter those words have probably had them thrown at them more than a few times.
And while there is no excuse for all that hatefulness...I tend to feel bad for them.
There lives must be miserable.

When I spoke yesterday at the Author Panel, it really hit home for me that there are a lot of people scared to put themselves out there.  They want to write, but they are scared, unsure, and fragile.

Some people will love your work.  Some people will hate it.  Some people will cherish it.  Some people wouldn't stop to wipe their ass with it.

So fucking what?
Seriously.
Think about that for a minute.
So what?

If you tamp down that part of you that wants to create, then you are EXISTING, my friends.  You are not living.  You are suffocating such a beautiful part of yourself out of FEAR.
And that's unacceptable.

Write that book.  Paint that picture.  Sculpt that statue.

LOVE your creativity and embrace it tightly.  And then set it free into the world.  Give it wings to fly and enough courage to stand on its own.
Not everyone has the strength.
But you're doing yourself a disservice if you're not even trying.

Grins*


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Everybody has 24 hours

This is what I tell myself, anyway.
On those days where I struggle to dress, make it into work, go home, make dinner.  There are people out there who do more before nine than I do all day.
heh
No shit.
I don't have that in me.  Just saying.
But surely to God I can fit a bit more in than I usually do.

Started to try and fit in treadmill/walking time.  Then there's the writing.  I would love to be able to simply have the writing as the full-time job.  I have literary envy for those that can do that.
Taking care of groceries/paper products/bills.  Making sure every one has food, clothing, and shelter.
You know, the basics.
Then why do I feel like a rag someone has twisted tight?
On a daily basis?

Always thought I had my business on lock.  But lately there doesn't seem enough time to do all I want to do.
Which brings me back to that lovely "everybody has 24 hours".
Waking up earlier will not happen.  No one would be able to be near me.  A morning person...I'm not.
So that means squeezing time in during the day job on breaks and lunch.  And also going home after feeling like someone worked me over with a ballpeen hammer and wringing the last bit of intelligence from my gray matter.
Ouch
Really?
These are the options?
They suck.

But adjustments need to be made.  They say 21 days until you make something a habit.  I guess if I don't end up in a padded room, it may work.
This ought to be...interesting.
Grins*  

Author Panel at Newcastle Public Library

I have the honor of speaking at an Author Panel this Saturday, November 2nd, at the Newcastle Public Library.
Here's the release:
****
The Newcastle Public Library has a wealth of writing knowledge coming into its doors, with six local authors taking part in an Author Discussion Panel at 1 p.m. Saturday Nov. 2, at the library, 705 NW 10th St.
Panelists for the event will be Darleen Bailey Beard, Caitlin Hensley, Crystal Inman, Merline Lovelace, Linda McDonald, and Mel Odom. They will discuss their careers, the books they’ve written and writing in general. Members of the panel have dozens of published books, including more than 140 alone by Odom.
****
I've been on Author Panels with Merline Lovelace and Mel Odom.  They are always a good time.
So if you're out and about and looking for something fun to do next Saturday, please come by and see us!
Grins*

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Turning over a new leaf

Actually, at this point I will require a leafblower, but let's not split hairs, k?
It's rather easy to not do anything.  Most days I'm on autopilot in the morning getting ready for work.  I swear to you that I have no recollection of washing my hair as I'm straightening my wayward bangs.
Autopilot can be great.
Or it can be total bullshit.
I'm leaning toward the latter.
Because sometimes you have to CLAIM those minutes/hours.  Which is not the easiest thing when the day job decides to totally stress you out and monopolize and inhale everything it can.
Selfish shit.
It's like sleeping with someone who is a cover hog whether it be a significant other or animal.  Sometimes it's just easier to shrug and freeze under your sheet.
But really...what kind of favor is that?
None to yourself.
Shrug off the martyr mantle.
Damn it all to hell...you deserve covers, too!
*pulling myself back from my tangent*
AHEM
To continue...time is fleeting.  And the older I am, the more I realize that little factoid.  It'll pass whether you're productive with it or not.
Minutes are extremely apathetic to the human condition.
tick tick tick tick tick

While I have a bit over 40,000 words on book one of my five-book series, I feel the need to write something else.  The other book is not on the back burner so much as occupying another closet in my mind that the door is cracked.  I'm sure I'll go in and wander about when taking breaks from the other work.
But this new piece is different.
And we all need that every now and again, don't we?
Grins*

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Buzz Buzz

No, sorry.
This blog post is not about vibrators.  Some of you may want to switch pages now.

In almost every facet of every job you have "buzz" words.  And most you will hear so often that you want to choke the everloving shit out of anyone that dare utters one or more.
And I get that.
But I'm about to throw one out there.
High concept.

That's what every movie/book/song hopes to achieve in some way, shape, or form.
Original and unique with mass audience appeal.

But with this idea comes...wait for it...a lot of pressure.  Loads of pressure.  Sleepless nights.  Days monopolized with fictional issues.  Dialogue.  Plot.  Characters.  It's a LOT.
And I'm so excited!!!
Nervous as hell.  Bursting with anticipation.
While my daughters are the children of my body, these books are the children of my mind.
This latest one is pushing on me, but I'm not quite ready to begin the process of putting it on paper.  Still fleshing it out, so to speak.

Send good thoughts.  I'll be living in my mind more than usual for awhile.
*grins*

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Frenetic

That's how I feel most days.  Rushing here and there.  Working at the day job.  Working at the house.  Making sure my kids have what they need.  Having a relationship going on four years.
I'm...busy.
But isn't everyone anymore?
Seems like.

The only time I truly think about my writing and stories and ideas and whatnot is right before I go to sleep.
Not exactly a lullaby, you know?
But I guess it's not only then.  Anytime I'm not occupied with life in general and can take a minute to let my mind wander...it does.
Back to the writing.  To the stories.  To the voices in my head.

But you know what really sucks?
I only let them put a foot in the door.  There is only one time in my life I've let them bust the door wide open and accepted all of it on a day-to-day basis.  And I wasn't working 40 hours a week then.  I'd write 4000 words easily per day up to 7000 on my most prolific.
I immersed myself in them.  And it was glorious.

Balance is not easy.  And I'm not much of a balanced individual.  (Hush, people)
I run till I fall.  Balls to the wall.  Throwing myself into whatever it is that I'm in.

I HAVE to make room for the stories.  Because right now I feel lopsided and out-of-sorts.
Nothing more satisfactory to me than writing.  Nothing feeds my soul like the words.
I need to get past the feeling that I'm being selfish with my time.  How does one do that?
Definitively, one would guess.

And what do I want to work on?
Well, then.
First book in a five book series.  And a few others in the series.
Erotic Paranormal.
Short romance.

Wish me luck.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

I'm cranky

Most of you will stop reading right there.
*grins*

There's nothing more upsetting than being subjected to selfishness all day long while other people hop and skip through life like they deserve anything and everything.  Just bend and flex around them because their needs are SO much more important than others.
No...they're not.
I wish someone would explain that to the egocentric individuals.

Everything seems to be in flux, as of late.  It's so damn hot here that I come to work sweating and go home the same way.

I need a vacation.
No.  Seriously.

The many stressors in and around my life are distracting.  I'm tired of being distracted.  But it seems as soon as I shore up my defenses and get some perspective...something else happens.
That seems to be my motto as of late...and then "something else happens".
How incredibly rude.

I would love to have the occupational freedom to take a chunk of time off to hole up in a hotel somewhere, with Simba the Wonder Kitty, and write.  Write until my brain oozes out of my ear, and I'm so exhausted that I crumple unconscious on the bed every evening.

I need a writing purge.  And some Crystal time. 
I don't see either happening anytime soon.
Hell, most days I'd take a candy bar and five minutes to myself.
My needs are so small, people.
hahahahahaha

But I'll persevere.  I'll shelve this annoying shit and get a grip.  Rock on with myself and the writing.  While it's never a smooth road...it's my road...and I'm going on an adventure.

Grins*

Friday, July 05, 2013

Writers need professional help

I went to a meeting Wednesday with a lot of managers in it.  People stood and talked about conferences they went to and new ideas to implement.
One woman stood and talked about seeing an author panel and how the authors went on about "how hard it is to write" "how difficult it is to be published" so on and so forth.
Everyone laughed.
I did, too.
But how funny is that?  Really?

I've been on at least half a dozen author panels.  I've attended at least that many as part of the audience.
It never fails that some author(s) bring these facts up.  Every time.
Because, let's face it.
Writing is fucking hard.

If you've simply enjoyed the finished product, congrats.  The level of blood, sweat, tears, curse words, time, sacrifice and difficulty mean nothing to you.
Along with...why the hell do I have to wait so long for another book from this author???

To a writer...it's a birth.
It's sending a child out into the world walking ten miles uphill both ways.  It's literally taking nothing and shaping it into a beautiful story that will be hated and adored, loved and loathed, by readers who know nothing of you and your struggles.
You will be judged simply by your offering to the literary world.

Writers are odd creatures.  If a writer seems to be normal, believe me, they are simply pretending.  We see things others do not.  We feel things others refuse to feel.  There is a deep and abiding psychosis waiting to suck us in and have its way with us.
And we love it.
Have you ever felt pleasure so keen it's pain?
It's a glorious torture.

Writing is masochism at its best.  Cranking out a story that has been tumbling about in your head for months is neither easy nor fun.  Even when you're finished with the story, there is more to be done.  There are worries that invade even the happy thoughts of publishing.

Only a writer will understand another writer.  Nothing against readers or doctors or lawyers or mechanics or any other profession.  I adore you all.
But unless you've been kept up by stories and voices in your head and dialogue and characters...you're not quite sure why writers bitch and moan about words.
For the love of God...they're just WORDS!

But what I do with the words is my secret.  My skill.  My love.  My passion.  My voice.
I can make you weep with me and laugh aloud.  I can make you scared and excited.  I can weave the words into a story that will transport you from wherever you are into my world.  The world I created.
And for that period of time you read my words...you're mine.  All mine.

There is simply nothing better.

So before we lump writers into a needy profession that loves the sound of their own voice, postures for approval from the masses, and needs attention to function...realize this:
My pleasure comes not from book sales or author panels or good reviews.  It comes from the simple art of putting down words in such a way that a story is born and flourishes and lives.

That's why I write.  The simple truth stems from the reality that I have to.  That something in me that needs writing as I need air to breathe.  For when I don't write...I suffocate.  Parts of me atrophy and wither from lack of attention.
It's a slow death.

This morning I'm off to the writing cave to work on at least one story, perhaps two.  I'll put my ear buds in and listen to my "writing" playlist I made in iTunes while gingerly stepping and finding my way again.
Yes.  I'll curse and step back and close my eyes and do everything in my power to tap out words that I love and can't live without it.  I'll mutter under my breath and talk to myself and sweat and motion with my hands and be off planet for awhile.

But what a trip.

Grins*


Saturday, June 29, 2013

Everything has a season

Hello all!

Half the year is over, and here I am.  Realizing that the last story I submitted was July last year.  And shame on me for not keeping up in the meantime.
There are excuses, of course.  In no particular order:
Two daughters graduating
Two daughters getting their license
One daughter taking off for another state
That daughter coming back
Two daughters coming and going
Painting the house
Migraines
Health issues
Expensive car issues
Meeting in-laws
Grandson birthday
Other grandson birthday in July

But these are just THINGS.  Roadblocks, yes.  Pains in the ass...OMG...YES!  But in the still of the night when I try to unwind, I see my stories.  I feel them.  I can taste them.
Same five-book series in progress.  One erotic romance that I really do love and can't wait to get into a bit more.  Maybe 10,000 in on that one?
I miss the words.  I miss the immersion.  I miss becoming pissed off at the characters and glaring at them through my computer screen.

So what am I going to do about this?  I have a short week next week with the holiday.  Closed for business Thursday, and I took off Friday.  I think it's time to quit letting all these external forces sit on my chest and beat at me with closed fists.

I ran into a dear friend yesterday at Wal-Mart.  He writes horror stories.  Always been a storyteller, even when we were young teens.  And the joy I felt in speaking with him, with another writer, lingers in me still.

I'm never fully anything until I let that part of me breathe.  So I'll try and wake the creativity from its hibernation and make nice.  Apologize and see if we can hold hands and be friends again.
Because I can't live without it.

Chrys*