Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Great premise. Shitty book.

I weep for these situations.

Premise is basically the idea of the story.  The foundation on which a writer builds his/her story.  It is germane to the entire creation.

I'm a voracious reader.  I find myself bending toward teen fiction right now.  Easy reads.  Interesting plots.  So on and so forth.  I've also taken to downloading ebooks from Overdrive.  I can read them in my browser, and if I really enjoy them, I may pick up the paperback.

But it's a sad day when I read the synopsis of a book and pick it up, only to find that I'm incredibly disappointed with the finished product.
I'm trying out the first book in a trilogy about witches and paths that they choose.  Great premise. But the heroine?  She's not TSTL (too stupid to live), but she's highly annoying.  She's whiny and angsty and so helpless that I want to flick her to see if she can focus.

Because...MY GOD!!!  You have so much material here.  You could have made it a fantastic story where I wanted to keep reading until the wee hours of the morning.
I'm right under less than halfway, and I'm believe I'm done with it.

It pains me.

If you've a brilliant premise, then please!!!  Please put everything you've got into it.  Make your characters live and breathe and cry and scream.  Use vivid descriptions.  Utilize dynamic dialogue. But most of all???

Do the premise justice.  Do YOURSELF justice.  It's not easy, but it's a hell of a lot better than half-assed storytelling just so you can type "The End".


Monday, March 28, 2016

Where everybody knows your name

Names have power.
I firmly believe this.

We're encouraged to wear name tags at work.
Mine is at my desk.

You have members of the community that you really don't want to know your name speaking to you with a familiarity reserved for decade-old friends and family.
Excuse me.
You DO NOT know me.

Or the time a gentleman asked me my name while I was working on the floor, and I told him.
No, I most certainly didn't want to.
Then the asshat went to the front desk and threw my name out like I referred him for the job posted.
Oh, I was so displeased.

I'll answer to Ma'am.  Miss.  Crystal.  Chrys.  Various other names from family and offspring.  Mimi to grandson.
But there is an intimacy in a name.  Your identity and experience are tied all up in there.

I'm often asked why I kept "Inman" as my last name after the divorce.  Quite simply, all my children have that last name.  And I wanted to keep THAT tie even though I severed the one with their father. So I'm building my professional career on a name that I married into and divorced out of.

That is what's important to me.  And it's a name that my children can now be proud of having.


Monday, March 21, 2016

Do what you want

Permissive, aren't I?

I sometimes wax philosophical.  This last weekend, quick though it was, seemed to be a stellar time for this.
And it came to me Saturday evening...what if everyone did what they wanted???
I'm speaking occupationally right now.
What if all people who wanted to be teachers were teachers?  And doctors were doctors?  And artists were artists?
What would that look like?
I firmly believe that we wouldn't have 50% in the medical field while only 10% in the teaching profession.  I honestly think it would all even out.
Because how many people out there are NOT where they want to be?  Working that 40+ work week with minimum wage but maximum stress?
Maybe you'd like to be an artist but went to nursing school.  Maybe you're a teacher but would like to be a lawyer.  Maybe you're a carpenter but would like to study ballet.

I think it would be beautiful.

What's that saying?  Love what you do, and you won't work a day in your life.  I'm paraphrasing and too lazy to look it up right now.  It's past four o'clock on a Monday afternoon.  I'm lucky my eyelids are not at half-mast.

But could you IMAGINE???

I'm not speaking of some dystopian clusterfuck like Divergent.  I'm not about the pigeonhole or anything of the like.
I'm speaking of true aptitude and need for spirit to find its niche.

It would be beautiful.
I simply know it.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

What weekend???

I commute.
A.  LOT.

I drive an hour each way, and it tends to wear on me come the end of the week.  Friday is completely shot since I don't arrive home until well after six, closer to seven.  Saturday should be the day of rebalance, but it never seems to be.  I'm sitting here and trying to remember what I did yesterday. Honestly.  Right escapes me.  Today was church and then food prep for the week.
I've found out that the more I plan out during the week, the less stress I tend to accumulate.
Because, dear ones, isn't life stressful enough???

Now I'm sitting here at my desk.  It's almost six.  And this day is just...gone.  Poof.  I've done food prep and dishes and treadmill, and I'm flat tired.
I've looked at the day job schedule, and the week stretches out in front of me like that road painting that Wile. E. Coyote splashes on the rock, and the Road Runner zips right through.

I'm entirely convinced that this world is spinning faster.  That an hour, twenty years ago, is not the same as an hour now.  If time is wibbly-wobbly, then I believe it's wibbled a bit quicker over the years.
Rarely do I have time to simply enjoy.  Sit with the sun on my face.  Tap out a story with my writing playlist in my ears.  Weed the flower gardens and plant some seeds.  Sit with my grandson and just enjoy his perspective.

I've come to realize that time is a precious commodity, and I've also come to the point where I don't like to waste mine.  If I open a book, and it's complete trash...I'm done.  If I start a TV show on Netflix, and it numbs my mind...I'm done.

Time is ephemeral.  While some may think that's redundant, I believe it's quite apt.
Sixty seconds can be a lifetime.  Sixty years can be gone in the snap of your fingers.

Think I'll work on this a bit.  Maybe try to work my way around to not feeling like time is slipping through my fingers.
Work on being in the present.
Love those sixty seconds like the gift they are.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Truck love

I tend to treadmill in the evening.  On the weekend, I walk during the day, and my treadmill faces the car wash.
I watched three men buff their trucks.  It was the damndest thing.
They were different ethnicities.  Two white trucks and one dark blue.  And they were polishing the hell out of these inanimate objects.
It tickled me.
Not going to lie.  I didn't understand it.  But I had to respect the commitment.
Then I began to wonder...are they like this with all facets of their lives?  Do they polish their relationships with friends/spouses/children?
I found it fascinating.
Or were they simply showering their love on this machine that didn't give two shits about them?
Was it all for show?  Was it pride?  Something else?
I wanted nothing more to swim in their heads and pluck out the answers.

I wanted their STORIES.
And I wanted them badly.

Did they grow up poor with old automobiles?  Did they procure a dream job that allowed them to have the truck of their fantasies?  Were they like male birds preening and polishing to attract a mate?

I never found out, of course.
It's a pity.

But I think that I'll file that away for another day and another story of my making.
Everything is fodder, dear ones.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Let there be site!

My website.

Handy having the Honey who has a Master's in Computer Science who can help create webpages and whatnot.
So I'm working on a website now.  No damn pop-ups which my old one has.
Well, you know, free is free.  Over 5700 views.  And I worked my ass off on it with colors and fonts matching and pictures of my books.
I'm still incredibly proud of it.

But now I will have an official site that I help design.  Excited!

Links to Amazon and Goodreads with my books and reviews.  Tabs for free stories and whatnot. Different entrance for my Erotic Romance.  18+ disclaimer on there.  So much to do!!!

Off tomorrow since I work Saturday.  Not quite sure what I'll be doing besides a bit more editing. Going to be busy working on that for the next few.  And I don't feel like death like last weekend so I should be gold.

On a personal note, my youngest is uber excited about baby boy's first birthday.  I can't believe it. Little Man will be one at the end of April.  Seems crazy.  Going to see his little booty today after work and grab some smooches while I can.  Feels like an eternity between smoochfests.

Totally random.
I have Netflix now.  Yeah.  I know.  Welcome to 2016.
Anyway, I wanted it SO bad for "Jessica Jones".  Didn't finish that.  I'm savoring it like expensive chocolate since the new series doesn't start for a freakin' eternity.
But I started watching "Bones".  And holy shit.
I love it.
And I don't mean...blah blah it.  I mean OMG!!!  I had no idea it was this good.  I'm only on Season 3, and I haven't found an episode yet that disappoints.
The series now has a coveted spot on my Amazon Wish List.
So.  Damn.  Good.

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

You can have my nose spray when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers

This still holds true.  You try to grab my little plastic bottle of joy, and I will cut you.

I've had a horrible cold since last Wednesday/Thursday.  Spent Thursday/Friday/ most of Saturday in bed.  Still fighting having to BREATHE through my nostrils.
It sucks.

I thought it had gotten better only to wake up this morning and not be able to breathe ANY out of either nostril.  Silly me didn't bring my little bottle back to the bedroom.  I left it in my purse.
Lesson learned.
I'm thinking of making a little scabbard/pouch for it and strapping it to my waist.  Rather like Robin Hood's sword or Billy the Kid's gun.  I need it close by in case of sinus emergency.

Yes.  It's my medicinal crutch.
I've made peace with it.
Others need to do the same.


Beta Readers

I've never had a Beta Reader or two.  I'd like a couple now.
I have more perspective when I've put a work down for a couple of weeks and then pick it back up.  I see things I wouldn't otherwise have caught.  And that's great.  But I need some fresh perspective from people who can give constructive criticism and ask questions I may not think to ask.

But, then again, I write extremely close to the vest.  I don't put titles out or character names.  I don't feel comfortable with that.  However, I'd like to cultivate some Beta readers that I feel comfortable with.  I need a writing social circle.
Which, by the way, would probably be bigger than any other social circle I have.
Being the ambivert that I am.

Think I'll ponder this some more as I have time.

Saturday, March 05, 2016

Finding an Agent AKA Damn it! This is a great story!!!

Hello out there.

Yes.  I see you.  You're a writer.  You have voices in your head and calluses on your fingers and you mumble to yourself when you're really feeling it.
Grand, isn't it?
That rush when you're in the zone.  The feeling of all cylinders clicking away while you tap tap tap until the voices fade, and all you have is harmony.
Until you finish.
The End.
Now.  Take a moment there.  Breathe in.  Breathe out.  Because that, my friend, was the easy part. Bleeding over verb usage and dialogue tags and passive writing was just an appetizer.  Now you're about to get down to it.
You are going to look for an agent.
Don't hide your eyes.  That sentence isn't going anywhere.  And neither will your story.  Unless you find an agent.
They're mystical creatures that can make or break a writer's heart from a thousand miles away with one simple email that starts out, "We're sorry..."
Dry your eyes.  Toughen up.  How hard can it be?

Let me learn you a thing or two.
This writing business is hard as hell and twice as nasty.  You will be asked to divvy up your literary delight in so many ways that you'll hardly recognize it.  Because each agent has different wants and needs for their business.
I can respect that.
Out of seventeen different agents, not ONE will want the same thing as another.  I guarantee it. Some want a synopsis and bio.  Then the first five pages.  Wait.  The first ten pages.  Writing history. Qualifications.  First three chapters.  First fifty pages.  One page synopsis.
If you have any hair left, you can pull it out now.
I have so many damn tabs open in Microsoft Word right now my eyes are beginning to cross.
No one said it would be easy.
Thank God.
Because I'd be tempted to beat that liar's ass.

Good luck to you.
I've always said it.
Good stories find a home.
Now make it so.

Make it so

For some reason, my body has been in revolt this year.  I've been sicker these first two months than in the past two YEARS.
Right now my body composition is mostly nose spray.  One spritz every four to six hours?
You're so cute.
I spritz until I can feel air passing through my sinuses.
Still can't taste or smell anything, but by God!  I can "breathe".
Two sinus episodes and one incredibly violent vomiting spell?
Color me done.  The rest of the year best be anti-climactic.

Even though I feel like someone beat me, ran me over, and then beat me again, I've decided to work on the writing and querying.  At somewhat of a crossroads on the third book.  I think I've puzzled it out so that won't be banging around my cranium any longer.

Gathering up my notes and making sure I have everything together so I can piece and polish my words.

Got to thinking about writing while I was having some breakfast.  It's not like I could taste my food so my mind started wandering again.  I'm always writing.  I think, perhaps, the only time I'm not writing is when I'm reading.  If it's a good book, then I disappear into it with nary a thought to the outside world and my own stories.  If it's a bad book, I throw it at the wall and don't waste my time.
But there's always SOMETHING.  It could be that indefinable something that pricks at your subconscious until you recognize it.  Or it could be that mystery meeting between characters that defines a scene.  There's always something, isn't there?

Part of me wants to simply curl up with Rainbow Rowell's "Carry On".  I've started it, and it's brilliant.  But the so-called "adult" in me knows I need to bang out some words for my own stories.  *grins*
And let's just say I'm glad that I can do this from home.  At my desk.  With my Einstein hair, pajama top, and bare feets.
Carry on, indeed.