Thursday, April 28, 2011

Alphabet Soup

A-Z April[1]Well, if you haven’t already noticed, I kind of fizzled on the A to Z challenge.  Had I been able to preschedule the posts as I’d planned, it would been no problem.  But between work and home life and trying to write actual books, posting everyday (sans Sundays) became too much of a load. 

I haven’t given up on blogging, though, and some of the posts I had planned will find their way into my blog in the coming weeks.  For now, though, I’m going to focus on being a reader.  I’ve got a blogs to catch up on.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Not for an Age

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T: Theatre as Literature

4959I write novels. I guess that makes me a novelist. You would think because of that, my favorite writer of all time would be a novelist – you know, following-in-the-footsteps kind of thing. Yet not only did he never write a novel, but the very concept of the novel didn’t exist while he lived. He was a poet and a playwright (of which I am neither), and today is his birthday.

Probably.

Despite a childhood dominated by Star Wars and an adolescence influenced by Star Trek, Monty Python, and Comic Books, there’s not a time when I don’t remember at least knowing about William Shakespeare. Not until my teens did I actually begin to understand him as well as the awesome potential of the written word. I devoured all his works; I saw every Shakespeare film I could get a hold of. I acted in Shakespeare’s plays.

Now that I’m “grown up,” and no longer think it’d be a great idea to write a play in iambic pentameter, my love of Shakespeare has only grown. Through contrived plots, stylized dialogue, and low brow humor to rival the Farrelly Brothers, Shakespeare somehow managed to create a window into the human condition like no other writer before or since. He explored the psychology of his characters centuries before anyone knew what Psychology was. He wrote plays that were both fantastic literary achievements and completely accessible to all audiences, even a rowdy auditorium of high school students four centuries later. He was a master. The master.

Happy Birthday, Will.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Secret Stash

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S: Story Ideas

images (2)I’m not really paranoid about protecting information. I bank online; all my contact info (barring home address and phone number) is readily available on this blog. And since the beginning, I’ve not only used my real name here, but I haven’t been shy about throwing it around. What’s the point of building a platform if no one can see who’s standing on it?

I also haven’t been shy with my MS, either. I talk about it a lot, the query is posted here in three different places, and I even named three of my dogs after characters from it. Again, the more people know about it, the more they may want to know. I want people interested; I want people to talk about it.

Maybe I’m being na├»ve about internet safety, but I just don’t feel the threat most people do. My mantra: “I’m not important enough to steal from.” Maybe it’s true, maybe it’s not, but it works for me.

On the other hand, I have three projects I’m actively working on, and several more ideas after that, and you know what? I’m not saying a word about them. No overview, no blurb, no hints. Nada. Maybe I’m being paranoid, and to this point, as far I know, no one has actually stolen an idea from me, but countless times I’ve come up with a great idea only to discover it had actually been done years ago.

I recently had an idea for a dark version of Hansel and Gretel taking place after the fact. Guess what? Hansel and Gretel, Witch Hunters coming to a theatre near you, Spring 2012.

The point is, original ideas are hard to come by, and I’m a slow writer. Someone could latch onto my idea and bang out a query-ready MS while I’m still halfway through the first draft. I’m not saying anyone would intentionally steal my idea, but where do our ideas come from? I accidentally stole from Firefly and didn’t even realize it until years later when I Googled “Unification Day”.

What do you think? Am I wrong to keep my ideas under lock and key, or to think anyone even cares about them? Or is it smart to keep your WiP’s under wraps under they’re fully prepared to face the world in all their glory?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

I Want to Write You Like an Animal

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N: Nonhuman Narrators

320Last summer after I’d finally finished my first MS and after I thought I had finished revisions (note for those just starting out: you’re never done with revisions*) I did what logic and the 19,000 writing books I had told me was the next step. I researched the hell out of literary agents. Everywhere I could find info on an agent, I went. Eventually I developed a fairly efficient system and had come across probably several hundred agent sites. I bookmarked the ones that showed an interest in adult SF from an unpublished author and began researching them in detail.

Along with the usual detritus: proper query format, no attachments, don’t ever, ever, EVER call us, I noticed on several agent sites a very unusual and specific caveat: no animal narrators.

Why? Has there been a glut in animal narrator submissions, or is there just something anathema about Fido (or Fluffy, or Trigger) telling a story? If there can be 700 million** vampire novels, and a clamor for more, then what is it that causes agents and publishers to slap a “no dogs allowed” sign on the proverbial storefront window?

I happen to like stories told from an unusual POV. I also like characters I can root for, characters struggling to survive (literally or figuratively) against overwhelming odds.  Who doesn’t love the underdog, and who’s more of a underdog than animals, who are at the mercy of their environment?  Pets get abused or abandoned (or worse) everyday; wild animals suffer not only from the harsh realities of nature, but also from human encroachment. 

I find stories of survival against impossible odds and perseverance through terrible events fascinating and fulfilling.  Your character doesn’t have to be human to epitomize the triumph of the human spirit, whether it’s a group of homeless rabbits, a pampered pet who suddenly finds himself a sled dog in Alaska, or Robert E. Lee’s trusted horse, an entire kingdom (literally) awaits the intrepid writer (and reader) willing to ignore convention. 

Although I’ve read plenty of books with animal narrators, I never considered writing a book from an animal’s POV.  At least not until I’d read those decrees forbidding me from even thinking about it.  Since then, several furry-themed notions have been dancing around my head.  If they coalesce into a solid MS, I guess I’ll have to go it without an agent.

Unless, of course, I made them vampires, too, then I’m home free.  Because, you know, there’s never enough of those, apparently.

*ever

**just the ones I’ve seen; there may be more.

Friday, April 15, 2011

I Am in Blogs Stepped in So Far…

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M: Midway Point Check-In

A-Z April[1]It’s April 15th, Tax Day (although it’s been pushed back to Monday this year). I could have used M for “Money” and written a post about it, but why bring everyone down? Besides, I took take of my taxes in January, then took care of the refund in February.

No, this is a quick first half review of the A to Z Blogfest, for which all these April posts have been written.  So far, I’ve managed to post all the letters, despite being what some people refer to as a “pantser” (not sure if I like that term).  My directory’s taken a few hits as some of the posts are not on the subject I’d originally intended.  Also, I’ve copped out a few times, posting a rerun for K and a video from Sesame Street* for I.  Still, I’m not only am I squeaking by on my letters, but I’ve written a few decent posts (if I’m allowed to say that) that I wouldn’t have otherwise considered.

On the other hand, I’ve really sucked at commenting.  I started out pretty good, but lately I’ve only managed to get to a few blogs a day, if that.  In fact, I’m backlogged on responding to the comments I’ve gotten.  I think I’m just now on the H’s.  I will get to them all, though.  Hopefully.  Maybe.  In the meantime, I offer a blanket thank you to everyone who’s commented and/or followed since this fest began.

The bottom line: I’m having a good and writing more (blogs, sure, but writing is writing), so I’d call it a success.

 

 

*yes, Sesame Street.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Thousand Points of Lit

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L: Literature

I was never an English Major.  I was a theatre major, an education major, and even that last refuge for the truly undecided: a communications major.  For some reason, though, I never tackled the big E.  I loved books and thought myself a writer-to-be, but I never thought to go that route academically.  As a result, I only took the basic English classes, and my only Literature class besides the theatre-related classes like Shakespeare was American Lit 101 (or however they numbered it).  As a result, I never got the academic deluge of literary theory that most writers get. 

Comic from XKCD.com. Check ‘em out.

Does it make me a lesser writer?  I don’t think so.  If I am a lesser writer, it’s because of my talent level, or because I don’t spend as much time as I should on it.  It’s not because I didn’t spend my twenties reading critical essays on Dickens or analyzing the use of the letter “R” in Thomas Hardy’s later works.*

One thing I did lose in the exchange, though, was my ability to discuss the ins and outs of literary theory with any kind of intelligence.  In fact, I struggle to answer the basic question: what is Literature?

What makes a book literary as opposed to just a good book?  Beats me.  I can give you examples: Moby Dick, Fahrenheit 451, The Amazing Adventures of Cavalier and Klay, and can give you examples of those that are just good books: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Watership Down, The Shining, American Gods.  What I can’t tell you is why.

Does it matter?  For practical purposes, no, not really.  I don’t have any designs on writing literary fiction; I just want to write good fiction that people enjoy.  As for reading, my tastes are eclectic, and I really don’t care what others think of them.  I’ll read Terry Pratchett if I want, or I’ll read James Joyce.  Actually, I like to switch between quick reads and things a little more challenging.

Anyway, not being able to offer a concrete definition hasn’t adversely affected me or my writerly pursuits so far.  Maybe there is no true definition after all, maybe it’s as subjective as art.  I read a comment on another blog that argued passionately that The Hunger Games was literature.

So at least I’m not the only one that doesn’t get it.

* I made that up, but there’s probably a book out there.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Requiem for a Grumpy Kitty (Redux)

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K: Kitty

The A-Z’s have officially kicked my butt.  If this were an official contest, I’d probably be disqualified for cheating.  Since it’s not, what follows is a rerun – er, “classic” post.  Since I posted this in late October when I had like, five followers, it’s probably new to most of you.  It’s also my favorite post.

Enjoy.


rgk


As I type this, it’s T-minus twelve hours to the start of NaNo; by rights, I should be scribbling  a post about writing: my anticipation and trepidation about the month ahead, personal tips or maybe a pep talk, even an anecdote from my writing life.  However, circumstances have intervened, and this post has nothing to do with writing.

rgk2It’s Halloween morning, and I’m in my back yard burying a cat (a dead one – I’m not like that).  Early yesterday morning our oldest cat, Digit, died.  It came as no surprise and in fact, was something of a relief.  He’d been sick about a month, a tumor-like growth that he’d had on his side for years ruptured and slowly began eating away at him.  I’ll save save you the gory details, but eventually it was just too much for him.  Even before he got sick, we new his days were numbered; he’d been on a sort of “death watch” for a couple of years now.  I guess I should mention he was twenty years old.

Digit was a shelter kitten.  My brother-in-law, Chad, got him as a birthday present for my sister.  Digit and Leonard, a female tabby mix, stayed with Michelle and Chad for five years until the couple’s first baby was born.  Neither cat took to the new arrival, and Michelle and Chad scrambled to find a home for them.  Almost to the week of their asking me, I had broken up with my live-in, allergic-to-cats girlfriend, and with a suddenly empty apartment, I took the refugees in.

Over a month into our co-habitation, I still had barely seen either cat.  Only the tousled litter of the cat box and the dwindling food and water levels were the only hints that I even had cats.  Eventually, as we all do, they came to terms with their situation; the mom and the dad, and even the strange crying, pooping thing that had been their world were gone.  rgk3This apartment with that strange guy they kind of knew was their world now.  Leonard was fat and happy; she loved attention, especially if she didn’t have to move to get it.  Digit, however, wanted nothing to do with anybody.  He accepted the apartment, and later the house, as his home, but it was just that: his home.  I heard it described somewhere that dogs have masters, but cats have staff, and that was true of Digit, who was soon to earn the affectionate nickname “Grumpy”.

Routinely, he’d sit on a desk or counter and face the wall, staring at it for hours.  He’d let you pet him, sometimes, but only on his terms.  Every once in a while, I’d violate his house policy, and he would voice his displeasure in creative ways.  Once, he peed on me while I was sleeping.

Leonard’s death changed him, however.  He was still grumpy, but he became more tolerant.  Instead of the jerk that kicks your chair out from behind you, he became the old curmudgeon, cranky and irritable, but always willing to sneak in a kind word or deed when no one’s looking.  He was with me when my first marriage fell apart, and through my sometimes disastrous attempts to put my life back together.  Eventually we found Kristy and her boys, and her cat, Keiko.  We added three dogs and a few more cats to the mix, and Digit was recognized by all as the elder statesman of the four-legged family members.  He even became the alpha dog somehow.  He would never admit it, but he was happy.

rgk4Digit collapsed Friday night walking to the kitchen (food was his passion).  I gave him a bath, redressed his wound, and put him in bed.  The last few hours of his life were as comfortable as I could make them, wrapped in blankets and snuggled between his mom and his dad.  When I woke up in the morning he was gone.  His eyes were open, but there was nothing in them.  I let him rest there a while longer, then wrapped him in a towel and put him in a box.  When I went to gather all the linen for the laundry, I noticed a wet spot on the bed; death must have released his bladder.  Digit’s last act on this plane was to pee on my bed.

He would’ve wanted it that way.

Thank you for indulging me.  He was more than a cat; it’s hard to explain.  My next post will have something remotely to do with writing, I promise.


rgk5

Digit the Cat

1990-2010


Thanks for letting me cheat.  No more reruns for the rest of the month (maybe).

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Jenny Say What?

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J: Je ne sais quoi

FerrisSo what makes a good novel? Better question, what makes a great novel? An entire industry has sprung up over the years to try to answer that question, or at least to convince the askers that it even can be answered. I have a whole shelf, a long one, dedicated to books about writing. They teach you the craft. They can even give you advice on how to maximize your natural talents. But not one of them can teach you how to make even one person fall in love with your book. And that’s what we want, isn’t it? Sure some people are about the money, or the awards, but ultimately, we all want to be read. We want readers to embrace our writing, to devour our words. We want them to fall in love with our books.

How do we that? By honing our craft? That’s part of it, I guess. A book that can’t convey its message because the author doesn’t understand the fundamentals will be hard to read, much less embrace. But does mastery of craft guarantee undying adoration? No, of course not.

How about plotting, or storytelling? Maybe it’s the slick use of metaphor or irony or even alliteration that takes their breath away. Maybe not. So what is it? What’s the secret formula that can take your book from a pretty good book to a book whose characters people will name their children after?

The answer is, I don’t know what. Like, literally, that’s the answer. The French call it je ne sais quoi, or “I don’t know what”. It refers to a quality that exists but can’t be defined. Millions of teenage girls don’t love with a passion the Twilight series because of the way Stephanie Meyer crafts her sentences or her use of imagery or dramatic irony. They love it because they love it. Are there other YA books out there that are just as good or better? I’m sure there are. But something about Twilight speaks to them the way the others just don’t.

As writers, we spend small fortunes on writing books, we attend conferences hoping the price of admission includes the secret to writing books people love, we agonize over query letters that ultimately mean nothing, since a good query does not necessarily mean a good book, and vice versa. So how are we as writers supposed to not only recognize this elusive something but capture it, giving our books that same immeasurable appeal? Well here’s the answer:

I don’t know.

What I do know is, you should write what you feel, write with passion, write with the writerly equivalent of Vincent Van Gogh, who painted with such fire and passion, it was as though he were leaving his entire being on the canvas, write as though your heart will explode if you don’t. If your voice is strong, if it’s bursting open with fire, people will hear it. Think about craft and structure and “the rules,” but don’t agonize over them. Write a book for you. Empty yourself into it, and people will find it. And they’ll embrace it.

And they might not even know why.

Monday, April 11, 2011

I is for Nostalgia (Okay, so I can’t spell)

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I: I got nothing

I had planned to write all my A to Z posts in March and preschedule them so I wouldn’t have to struggle each day to rush in a post at the last minute.  Yeah, that happened.  I’ve been particularly busy these past few days (and anyone who knows me knows I’m normally busy, so there you go), and I haven’t had the time to devout to my posts that I would like.  I don’t want to drop out or skip any letters, so here is the biggest cop out so far.  Hopefully, it’ll be the last.

Capitol I–Sesame Street

Anyone over thirty-five or so should appreciate this.  Anyone under that, just chalk it up to crazy Gen-X nostalgia.

Enjoy.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Thing With Feathers

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H: Hope

hopebobI’m going off the board again.  I was going to write a piece on heavy-handed writing, but I’m not feeling it.  Besides, I’m a day late for “H”.  Fortunately it’s Sunday, so I can slide it in before iMonday tomorrow.

Despite the fact that I’m feeling drained today, I’m also feeling pretty good, so I thought I’d write about the tool that every writer needs in order to even step into the arena of aspiring author: hope.

We’re all in this business on spec, to use a screenwriting term.  There are no guarantees, not for an agent, not for a publishing deal, certainly not for wealth.  There’s not even a guarantee people will like your book.  We operate exclusively on hope, or faith, if you prefer that term.  Even people who are 100 percent confident of their eventual success are operating on hope: even “sure things” end up not selling sometimes.

That doesn’t mean our efforts should consist only of closing our eyes and imagining ourselves prancing through daisy-covered fields clutching our new book contract in our arms.  Hope opens the door for effort; it doesn’t provide an end-around.  Without hope, there’s no reason to try.  As long as hope exists, even in the tiniest amount, you should water that hope with effort.  Effort turns hope into opportunity, and opportunity and effort, of course, are the parents of success.

Hope gets kind of a bad rap sometimes.  It’s seen as too passive.  I don’t see it as verb at all, though; it’s a noun, real, tangible.  Hope is what gets us moving.  It’s what allows us to think that we can be better, do better.  Hope is what dares us to dream.  I may never actually be a best-selling author, but as long as I have hope, I have everything.

Friday, April 8, 2011

I Now Pronounce You...

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G: God’s Wife

3899I had planned a post about Grammar today, but you know, there’s so much stuff already written on the subject by people far more qualified than I am to talk about it.  Besides, I found this article a couple days ago and it fascinated me so much I wanted to share it.

Does God have a wife?

I’m spiritual, but not religious, so find this endlessly fascinating.  In fact, as a writer, all I really see is the mountain of potential story ideas.  Is it true?  Who knows?  And does it even matter?  Either way, though, it sparks the imagination, and for a writer, what’s better than that?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

That’s Social - Demented and Sad - but Social

F: Facebook

Friends, Fans, Followers, lend me your status updates.  I come to bury Facebook, not to praise it.

Okay, enough of that.  facebook_icon

I was of the first people among my friends, family, and acquaintances to start using Facebook.  It’s hard to believe that I could be at the (sort of) forefront of something not only technological, but social, too.  With the prevalence of status updates, one could comment on anything from how your day’s going to the political situation in Southeast Asia, to whether or not you think trees dream.*  Anyway, I didn’t need an object lesson to realize that this wasn’t a private journal to share with only your closest friends.  What you put on your wall, you might as well post on the jumbotron in Times Square regardless of your privacy settings.  And we all know it’s easier to explain the infield fly rule in Klingon while reading a cell phone bill than it is to try to understand Facebook’s privacy settings.  The point is, it wasn’t a good idea to post anything negative about anyone or anything that you wouldn’t want to tell the whole world.

Some people, however, seem to treat Facebook like there own personal journal, as though everyone in the world couldn’t access their page if they wanted to.  People complain about their jobs, about each other, things best left said in private or not said at all become “headlines” in this 21st century town flier.  Across the country, people have lost their jobs, their friends, their spouses because of Facebook.  Facebook is a wonderful tool, but like any tool, if not used responsibly, it can harm the user.

I don’t really use Facebook anymore.  It’s kind of boring, actually.  I’ve networked my blog into it, and whenever I post, it shows up on my page.  But I rarely do status updates, and I comment on other’s statuses only if the mood strikes me.  The novelty has worn off, I think.  It’s just for business now, and for keeping up with friends and family.  Beyond that, the “social network” craze has kind of passed me by, and I’m okay with that.

Until the next big thing comes along. 

*And if so, do they have that one where they’re naked in class, and they have to give a presentation on cultural economics, and there’s no pointer, and…never mind.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Next Page

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E: eBooks

I love books. 

images (3)That’s not exactly an earthshattering statement on a writer’s blog.  I’ve entered kind of a Renaissance over the past year-and-a-half in reading.  I hadn’t read a lot over the course of my mid-thirties for whatever reason, but now I’ve taken up the page again and have managed to always stay in the midst of some book or another.  I’ve read quite a few paper books in recently, but the majority of my reading has come from the artificial soul of my little friend, the Sony Reader.

There seems to be a lot of animosity in the blog world about eBooks (even as there’s excitement about the potential of ePublishing – which seems contradictory).  This post in no way is an attempt to “sell” anyone on eBooks or convince them that eBooks are better than paper books.  I certainly don’t want to suggest that paper books are on there way out.  I hope not, because I love paper books.  I still go to the library, for crying out loud.

The only point I want to make in this post is this:

I love my eReader.

I mean, I really, really love it. 

When I first saw the readers come out, my impression was generally, meh.  I’ll take my paper books, thank you.  Then wife decided to get me one for Christmas, and since my wife can keep a secret the way a politician can keep a campaign promise, she told me.  Because she told me, I was able to research, and anticipate.  By the time I opened the package, I couldn’t wait to fill its empty shell with the contents of human knowledge.  Or the part of it I could afford anyway.

My Sony Reader is awesome.  I have just under a hundred books on it, and room for lots more.  I can read in line at the DMV, or in a hospital waiting room, or anywhere  want, since it fits in my pocket.  If I’m going away somewhere, I don’t have to decide what books to bring; I just bring the Reader and decide what I want to read.

I’m freer to try new things now, since a lot of self-published works are only 99 cents.  Why not give something knew a try at that price? 

Anyway, I understand the love of the paper book.  I have it, too.  It’ll be a sad world when all the books and bookstores and libraries are gone.  That’s one thing that makes me feel good about being older: I’ll probably be gone before that happens.  On the other had, I read a lot more now because of the Reader.  If this technology can help increase reading, make people who wouldn’t think about picking up a paper book read an eBook, if it in any way increases interest in reading, then I’m all for that.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Word is Worth 1/1000th of a Picture

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D: Description

7479I’ve never been good at description.  At least I’ve never considered myself good at it.  In fact, I wasted several years thinking I was a playwright or a screenwriter because I didn’t think I could ever paint worth a damn a vivid world and vibrant characters using nothing more then the twenty-six letters of the alphabet as my palette.  My dialogue was fine.  Plotting, no problem.  Ask me to describe a scene, or a character’s face, or the contents of a living room, and I’d be stumped.

I got over it, of course.  Writing was inside inside me, something I had to do.  Therefore I had to learn.  I never took writing classes in college, but I consumed writing books, and I read, and I wrote.  I could breeze through a page of dialogue or a chunk of exposition, but when the time came to paint the scene, nothing would come.  I could see it in my head, but to translate it to words took effort, and many stories died on the unforgiving alter of description. 

I’ve overcome that now.  In fact – and to my shock – most people who read my work comment on the description above all else, how they’re able to clearly see the world I’ve painted.  I’m by no means an expert, and I doubt I’ll ever be able to paint like the literary masters.  It takes a long time, too.  For me, a lot of my so-called writer’s block, isn’t really a block at all.  It’s just an inability to get past what for me is the really hard part of writing.

On the other hand, despite the effort it takes – or because of it – nothing in my writing gives me more personal satisfaction than a well-written descriptive passage.

What about you?  What’s your Achilles’ heel, and how do you overcome it?

Monday, April 4, 2011

About a Girl

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C: Character

istockphoto_1026463-dancing-girl-silhouetteSix years ago, I met a girl. She just showed up one day, out of the blue. Her name was Thea, though I didn’t know it at the time. Neither did she, for that matter. She didn’t know much about herself or where she came from. Everything that made her tick, made her unique, made her a living person, was locked away in the subconscious mind. My subconscious, not hers. And she needed me to get it out.

She hounded me until I wrote her story, during which we worked as partners. Whenever a phrase or event or line of dialogue hit the page, she would remember. Details of events, character quirks of her supporting cast, images of her world, she helped me get it all right, and the product was a nice story of loss and courage, too long for a short story, too short for a novella.

I put the piece away and for the next two years gave little thought to Thea and her world as I started and scrapped four different novels. It wasn’t until I reluctantly pulled the story out for new friends that I heard her voice again. “More,” it said. It came from the mouths of my friends, as they thought the open ending left room for plenty more story, but the voice was Thea’s. I wasn’t finished telling her story, and she wasn’t going away until I had.

Three years and 150K words later, the first draft was complete. Long before I had finished, though, I realized this book is only the first part of her story. She’s going to be with me a long time. That’s okay, though: she’s become part of the family. Even my wife’s become attached; she named our new puppy Thea.

That may be why my “getting published” ambition has slacked off recently, and why I don’t rend my clothing at every rejection. It’s not about the publishing contract or the potential fame. It’s not even about me. It’s about giving voice, and life, to a world of people that would otherwise remain silent. Call me crazy if you want, but they’re real, in every way that matters.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Around the Alphabet in Thirty Days

A to Z BLOGFEST – click sidebar button for more ‘A to Z’ers

B: A to Z Blogfest

A-Z April[1]Today is day two of the A to Z blogfest, replete with over 900 – yes 900 – bloggers.  For those two or three of you out there who might not have heard about it, it’s a blogfest hosted by Arlee Bird at Tossing it Out, as well as several other cohosts.  The challenge is to write a post every day in April save Sundays, and each post has to do with a different letter of the alphabet starting with A and continuing southward to Z.  Today is ‘B,’ so there you go.

I had planned to write all the posts in advance and pre-schedule them, so all I’d have to do is try to read and comment on 900 posts a day.  But you know what they say about the best laid plans.  I’m not giving up though.  Barring an unforeseen crisis, there will be 26 posts, and they will keep to the directory posted yesterday.  Unless I change my mind.

Also, speaking of crazy things to do with your time in April, good luck to everyone who’s decided to do NaNo’s April counterpart: write a screenplay in a month.  I’ve written (bad) screenplays, and churning one out in a month is no easy feat.

Friday, April 1, 2011

You Are Now Free to Move About the Alphabet

(A to Z BLOGFEST– Click sidebar button for more ‘A to Z’ers)

A: April Blog Directory

istockphoto_5540474-alphabet-blocksThe following are the topics about which I’ll posting in this merry, merry month of… um… April.  In compliance with the A to Z Blogfest, each post will revolve around a different letter of the alphabet.

1st: A – April Blog Directory

2nd: B – A to Z Blogfest

3rd: Sunday – Take a Break

4th: C – Character

5th: D – Description

6th: E – eBooks

7th: F – Facebook

8th: G – Grammar

9th: H – Heavy-Handed Writing

10th: Sunday again – Listen to the Birds Sing

11th: I – Illinois vs. Indiana (not a basketball matchup)

12th: J – je ne sais quoi

13th: K – Kinetic Energy

14th: L – Literature

15th: M – Midway Point Check-in

16th: N – Non-Human POV

17th: Sunday – You have a beach near you? Go watch the sunrise over the ocean/lake/fjord/pond/inlet/reservoir

18th: O – The OED

19th: P – Self-Publishing

20th: Q – Queries (Duh!)

21th: R – Revisions

22st: S – Story Ideas

23nd: T –  Theatre as Literature

24th: Last Sunday – Have you started that garden yet?

25rd: U – Uncle Tom’s Cabin

26th: V – Villains

27th: W – People Watching

28th: X – XIII (It makes sense, trust me)

29th: Y – Yes (not the band, though that’d be cool, too)

30th: Z – Zebra*

Looking forward to you stopping by. Enjoy.

*What? It starts with “Z”.