Category Archives: Writing
Since moving to our new house right before Christmas, and the months-long push to get Kill Me out into the world, my mind and my dedicated office space have been suffering from a severe case of the Clutters. Tonight, after putting in a eight hours at the day job, I came home to do something about it.
I figured cleaning up my office would get my household moving in the right direction. Little did I realize it would also juice up my creative side via a trip down memory lane. But I’ll get to that in a minute.
First I want to show you my office-in-progress. It’s mostly organized and once I get all of the computer tower chords tucked away, it will be decorating time! (I have so many Pinterest ideas!) So here are the before pics and I’ll come back and post After pics at some point.
Now, about that trip down memory lane…
I organized three filing boxes into one and had to go through sooooo many files. Some of those were things I’d written up to twenty years ago. I cringed at some of my melodramatic, flowery poetry and stunted prose. It was bad. Very bad.
I also discovered that I had the bare bones, scribbled on multi-colored bits of paper and tucked in several folders, of a dozen novels that I’d completely forgotten about.
A dozen novel ideas. Some only a few paragraphs, while others had a fleshed-out synopsis, chapter outline and pages of notes. Cleaning reminded me about why I write, and just how long I’ve been at it. And it was just the kick-in-the-pants that I needed to get working on something new.
While I do that, you can enjoy (not) two of my early little ditties. Be kind, I wrote these as an impressionable teen and over-tired young mother. And I’m embarrassed enough all on my own, thank you very much!
(This was written way back yonder when I worked on greeting card scripts.)Seasons pass, and years go by We ditched a class and learned to fly Spouses appeared and children were had We’ve reminisced on the times we were Bad So many memories, we have shared And when it mattered most, I knew you cared Storms came and went, and in the end We’ve weathered it all, because we are friends.
(Then there is this… not sure what else to say about that.)When the question is posed to me- at my job, online, in a bar- Who am I? What Am I? What singular word describes the Who of Me? I speak, I type, I slur- one word, on compulsion (a habit I don’t recall forming) It falls out of my mouth like errant food. dropped on my blouse A stain to wear all through the day Like a badge, a dull cookie-crusted badge of reproductive capabilities Who Am I? What am I? I am a Mother.
(That’s all Folks!)
I posted this as an update for my Kickstarter campaign yesterday, but then it occured to me that I should share it here to, as it speaks to the many things that must be done before publishing a novel. (Not to say that shorts and novellas don’t need a second eye or two, but those are easier to come by. ) Here’s the post!
I’m excited to say that I’ve sent KILL ME out to two Beta readers. For those not in the biz, Beta’s are people that read and critique a novel or story. Some offer general feedback while others will get down to the nitty-gritty pointing out grammatical errors, illogical word choices or any other problems that can break the flow of a story.
My two Beta readers are proving themselves very helpful, though I did have one ask if the novel had been edited previously, because of the low amount of errors she was finding. The other commented that the draft was fairly clean and she was glad to see that, compared to what shape most novels are usually in.
On the flip side, I’m reading both beta’s novels as well. We are basically bartering services. I’m enjoying it. It’s fun to see someone else’s process and read a novel prior to publication. It can also be a great learning experience, but even if I don’t pick up anything new, the fact that I’ve helped another writer along the journey to publication is reward enough. It’s like Literary Karma– and I could use all the help I can get
I’d love to hear from you guys if you’ve used Beta Readers in the past and if you have any suggestions on where to find them, how to structure the relationship or anything else that could be useful for other Indie Writers out there!
I’ve been busy slaving over Blood Chord edits and haven’t had the chance to post much lately, so I thought I’d give a quick little run-down of what been going on behind the scenes here at Quirky Gurl Media.
First, I decided to polish up a short story from a few years back and release it as an ebook. Right now, it’s only available on Amazon, as I’m still on the fence about taking it Select exclusive. The story, titled Just Desserts, is about a woman coming to grips with the death of her abusive husband. This isn’t your typical survivor story. Rather, it’s the story of a woman angry that she was robbed of the chance to defend herself by a stupid twist of fate. It takes a conversation with her dying Aunt to help her move past the anger that’s been holding her back. Check it out if you get a chance.
I’ve been working on edits for Blood Chord and I can honestly say that the end is nigh! On top of that, I added another 10,000 words to it as part of the Kindle Boards 60k Feb writing challenge. The additional words furthered the plot, but they’ve also given me fodder for future books in the series. One of which goes straight back to 16th Century Italy and the Medici family. That one should be delish!
I’m currently reading Hush, by Anne Frasier. It took me a few pages to get into (but that may be the head-cold talking) but once I found my rythem I’m clipping along nicely with it. So far, so good. I’ll share my full impression when I’m done.
That’s all folks. I’m off to work on that writing challenge before Theraflu and bedtime!
For lack of any serious drive to edit my forthcoming novel, Blood Chord, I decided to spend the evening in mindless Computer-dom. Enter wicked-kewl website Polyvore! I first noticed this site over on Shea MaCleod’s blog and then again the other day while hopping around the IWU Christmas Blog Hop, over on Christine’s site. Polyvore looked like the perfect way to waste away an evening, and I was right. Sort of.
Aside from the few hours I spent searching for the perfect inspirations for two of the main characters from my upcoming release Blood Chord, I discovered something interesting: I have a moderate boo-boo to correct in the novel. Confused yet?
I still am a little. You see, while compiling the polyvore board for one of my secondary characters, Bette, I discovered that I made her do something completely out of character towards the end of the novel. How did I figure that out, you might wonder? Well, I spent over an hour crafting Bette’s board and when I was done, I compared it to what I know of Bette in the novel to see if everything gelled. It didn’t.
Bette is sultry, seductive even without trying. She is controlled and coiffed. Bette is courtly, reserved. She is above flagrant dislays of emotions, especially in the presence of others. And I made her wig out- a complete scratch-your-eyes out hissy-fit. Bette would never do that. She’d rather take a stake to the chest, but that’s another topic altogether. So now I have to fix the gaffe, but I’m glad I discovered it sooner rather than later.
So I didn’t exactly waste my time tonight playing on Polyvore, now did I? On top of making my novel better in the long run, I’ve now discovered the first place I’m going to stop when creating new characters. It’s a perfect way to get to know the people inside my head that much better!
So what do you think of the Polyvore boards below?
Often while toiling away in my daily life, whether I’m at work designing custom art for industry musicians or knee-deep in a pile of dirty laundry, I’m struck by a flash of sudden story inspiration. SSI for you folks who like to abbreviate everything.
(No that’s not my head. I do many things to my hair- the current expression being chocolate with a literal blue-streak, but if I shave my head my spouse would probably give up entirely!)
Don’t chuckle at my affliction, please. It is a real and depressing condition. Seriously. Harvard is giving away grant money to studies that are actively seeking a cure. I promise! Merck already has an expirimental drug. I’m all over that… just as soon as they eliminate a few of the “explosive” side effects.
But I digress. Imagine, if you will, being a writer without enough time to get all of those delicious stories out of her head. They crowd and jostle. It feels like when drank too much Kool-aid as a kid. I can practically feel the sloshing-around. Can you feel my pain yet? Of course you can. You’re probably like me: a voracious reader, writer and overall busy person.
So, without the ability to clone myself or the funds to hire a maid, I’ve decided to set some of my little gems free. So without further ado, here’s my inagural Writing Prompt #1:
I heard someone say that every seven years, the human body goes through one complete cycle of replacing its cells. The person you were seven years ago is physically an entirely different than the one you are today. Now, I have no idea if this is actually true, but think of the literary possibilities!
What if, instead of genetic replicas of the former cells, a virus is activated. Maybe it’s a curse unleashed by a relic. Or a deadly consequence from clandestine experiments. Whatever the cause, slowly your body’s cells are replaced by these mutants. So slowly, that none of your friends or family notices until that crucial tipping point is reached. You begin to act completely out of character. Maybe you are discovered gnawing on a fluffy little bunny-wabbit in the back yard. Or maybe you begin to lose your memories one at a time- one for each cell that’s replaced.
What if the affected person is your spouse, your cherubic toddler, your boss? What if it’s the ruler of the free world? Or that sweet little old ladie that always gives you her peppermints?
What does the “replaced” person want? How has the cellular switcheroo affected them? Do they crave human brains marinated in tobasco sauce? Do they go off on an altruistic journey?
Are they even human anymore? Is it contagious? If so, how is the virus (or proton, amoeba, etc.) spread?
Now that I’ve given you some food for thought, what will you do with it? If you decide to craft a story or novel from this prompt I’d love to hear about it! Feel free to leave links in the comments below so we can all see how one idea can spin off into infinite directions!