I just finished a steamy love scene between my POV character and the completely unsuitable, dangerous man she falls for. Honestly, I almost shed a tear. Maybe all the emotion the two characters endure during their adventure finally got to me, or maybe it was just the questionable quality of the writing:)
Just a bit of complaining about the little things in life that get in the way of writing.
We’re emerging from two weeks of mind numbing illnesses at our house. My poor Rick, who is a strong and manly-man, came down with the full-blown influenza, the Swine Special, a freight train of a virus that roars through your system with the fury of a hurricane . (Of course we got shots!) For some reason the flu is raging out here. So, if you’re in Colorado, cover your mouth when you cough and wash your hands – a lot.
And then, a few days ago, my lower back exploded. A herniated disc. God, who gets those? Me apparently. Hurts like hell, but I’m on my feet – most of the time.
Hence the title of this blog. Sorry, I just couldn’t resist.
Needless to say, my WIP is limping along, no pun intended. However, for the first time in days I am able to sit down at the computer, outline a scene, and claw my way back into wordland.
So, what’s the writing holdup at your house these days?
My critique partner and I are working on new novels with the usual thrills and chills! Yesterday I received her gentle rant concerning a problem fraying the nerves of writers world wide. Spellcheck. Here, in part, are her comments:
“I’m literally a walking dictionary. Words that I’m familiar with, or their derivatives, don’t even show up on Spellcheck or are marked as wrong.”
Spellcheck in Word is different in Scrivener in iPage ad infinitum. Some spellchecks are US English, others British English – on and on. So, you may have to spellcheck in several softwares or just go with your gut.
“Thank goodness for my 1978 dog-eared paperback Roget’s Thesaurus, yellowed-pages held together by an old rubber band. It is still the best writing resource I own.”
While pondering this spellcheck mess, I stumbled on a fantastic thesaurus lurking on Scrivener.
Go to thesaurus. com and check it out. Not only does it have more synonyms that the Word thesaurus, but it has sorting options that I’ve never seen before except on clothing and shoe buying sites.
“I would much rather NOT have spellcheck’s screaming red lines pull me away from my initial intent and focus.”
Turn it off. Word, iPage or whatever you are using should have a toggle to toast the offending red lines. How do you feel about spellcheck? Is it an invasive, dull-witted pain in the butt or the saving grace for your writing?
Next time your muse deserts you and you’re banging your head against the keyboard and praying for ideas, try this: what was the worst too-dumb-to-live decision you ever made? Seriously. What decision made you wonder, during or later, what was I thinking?? If you don’t want to face your own demons or you never made any bad decisions, ask your friends. I guarantee you’ll hear the most hilarious, tragic, and bizarre tales of human misbehavior ever.
You cannot make this stuff up.
Use the unlimited resources of your own life or the lives of others to populate your stories and novels with chaos and pathos, humor and heartbreak. Don’t forget to change the names of the crazed people involved. Also, remember, since you are the boss here, you can change the outcome, making bad decisions have great results.
Either way, it’ll be fun or frightening.
It’ll leave you thinking, holy s**t, that was a close one!
What was the dumbest thing you ever did and lived to tell about?
First in a series (hopefully a short series) of updates on synopsis for my second novel.
Synopsis still in the grinder. Why? WHY?
Never let it be said I don’t listen to advice. I don’t always take advice, even if it’s good council, but I always listen.
First, Lynette mentioned how my POV’s snarky voice sparkled in my first novel. It never occurred to me she might be hinting my second novel synopsis needed that same sarcastic tone and gently suggesting I need to let loose.
Then, after reading Kristen Lamb’s blog What is Writing “Voice”, I realized I’ve actually dumped my voice. Maybe writing in third person is unfamiliar enough to rattle me, but somehow my synopsis became rigid and far too serious. I am writing SFR here, not The Kite Runner.
Suddenly, like a retina-bending explosion, the truth emerged. The voice I hear in my head, the bad bold voice, isn’t there. Where the hell did it go? For some reason, it’s quiet – replaced by nervous chatter. As you patient readers know, writing the synopsis first is new for me, but I’m still convinced it’s the right direction for this novel. So, I’m letting the acerbic voices of my characters loose, and they’ll lead me from beginning to end.
How do your characters’ voices sound in your head? Are they the real you or someone you would like to be?
Usually, I don’t blog about personal experiences other than the frustrations and victories of the writing life, but the last week and a half has been unique! I’ve darkened the door of two very different religious institutions while dodging the bolt of lightning my sassy husband predicted would strike me.
Day one: Lauren, my friend of 36 years, died after a short illness.
Day two: My sister, Liz, arrived from Florida for her first visit back to Colorado since 1974.
Day six: I visited the Denver Krishna temple with my devotee sister, and I participated in a joyous evening of chanting and feasting with a friendly and vibrant group of locals. All my long misconceptions about Hare Krishna dissolved in one night.
Day ten: I spoke a few words at Grace Place, a nondenominational congregation in Berthoud, CO, during the celebration of Lauren’s life.
After all this emotion I needed some grounding, so I plunged into research.
My sister had reminded me, with a twinkle in her eye, I was under the mistaken impression that Hare Krishna was a cult. Briefly, here’s what I found out:
Hare Krishna, in full International Society of Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), popular name of a semimonastic Vaishnava Hindu organization founded in the United States in 1965 by A.C. Bhaktivedanta (Swami Prabhupada; 1896–1977). This movement is a Western outgrowth of the popular Bengali bhakti (devotional) yoga tradition, or Krishna Consciousness, which began in the 16th century. Bhakti yoga’s founder, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (1485–1534?), advocated the pursuit of mystical devotion through repetitive chanting, especially of the Hare Krishna mantra.
So, it seems ISKCON is like many other religions, ancient and evolving simultaneously. I also discovered the Krishna Food for Life project is the largest vegetarian/vegan food-relief program in the world. They feed anyone who is hungry from college students to victims of war and chaos – worldwide. And, as an added plus, no animals are harmed in this endeavor.
I visited Grace Place to honor my friend and found a loving gospel centered congregation. Its mission is community outreach which it does on many levels, from assisting young and old in the local area to advancing Social Justice Awarness (bringing forward the issue of Human Trafficking.) Its pastors and members are among the kindest folks I’ve met in many years.
I was fortunate to have these experiences and, once again, I realized how much alike we humans are, whether or not we care to admit it. We sing the praises of the life we are given in many ways, sending our faith in things unseen into the universe and beyond.
I was listening to country music at dinner the other night, a xfinity streaming station called True Country. My husband put it on, and it sure brought back a flood of memories from my brain aquifer. Long ago in a cultural detour far away, my girlfriends and I went through what we in Colorado call a cowboy phase. (It’s the hats and boots, you know.) Honestly, I knew practically nothing about country music except my Dad sang with the Sons of the Pioneers in Oklahoma. Dad also saw Bonnie and Clyde pass through his dusty hometown so you have an idea of how old the music was.
Fast forward to the late twentieth century. There was a black-hat cowboy working at our drafting company. He busted himself (his words) rodeoing, so he was stuck in the civilian world making a living. This mysterious man recognized my curiosity about country music. He brought in personally recorded tapes (anyone remember those?) for my listening pleasure. It was wonderful discovering such unique music. I fell in love with George Straight. OMG. For weeks I listened to new tunes, stories of romance and heartbreak, everyday life and love of USA, pickup trucks and bar room brawls. The emotional voices of country and the natural feel of the lyrics enthralled me.
My music tastes moved on through a variety of styles, finally landing on ambient space music, rowdy Latin Jazz, and a few old timers – George Thoroughgood, Bob Marley, and ZZ Top. But, the other day at work, early in the morning before the boss came in, someone tuned into a country station and I found myself instinctively two stepping across the office. Drifting up from the past, the embedded dance made me smile and my co-workers laugh. Some things you never forget, no matter how far they fly away.