Thursday, June 30, 2011

I love to write

Nearing the end of writing another novel, I feel the need to write something much darker. I penned a flash fiction story for submission and started another short story, both of them dark fiction. I do not nor will I ever consider myself a horror writer. I do like writing about gore on occasion.

To be considered horror one usually needs to be writing about something supernatural, although crime stories are lumped in the same category. In writing about crime, I like to write details that may be gruesome or not, depending on the story. I don't like it to dominate my central theme of the story. I also don't think romance or any other element should either.

When I write a thriller, I want it to be about the crime, detectives, and killer. Who is he, why does he do this or that, why can't the detectives find him/her? Everything else is filler. It can be interesting filler, but it is what it is.

I like to focus on what's important in the story I'm trying to tell. In 3rd person, I like to stick to basics and write chapters that are riveting and don't read like a textbook. Something related to the crime happens in every chapter.

When I write in 1st person my story is character driven, the plot is secondary. I want compelling chapters, but all of them may or not be about the main plot. I like to write humor, and this is where I shine.

I have those days that I think everything I write is crap, but I try not to let myself feel discouraged. I had one of those days this week, but I know my WIP is good. I think that's part of being a creative person, we always strive to be better.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Armed and Outrageous

I have a new title for my WIP, a senior sleuth entitled "Armed and Outrageous." I was trying to come up with a title, and I was told it will come to me, and that's what happened.

I have certain word count in mind, and as I'm drawing closer to the end I'm going out on a limb and trying something different for me. I'm going to write the end before I start bringing it any closer. By knowing how long the end will take will give me a clue how much more I need to write.

I'm writing in first person, and it's a stretch for me from the last book I wrote. It may not work for most, but it's working for me, at least this time. I bought a book on writing and one of the things suggested are that you learn to write by writing. You never learn unless you do it wrong first. I fit that category to a tee. Also all the advice you are given you'll take when you're ready. 

My last book was so disturbing to write, and that is why I went so far in the opposite direction. I think they're both good in their own unique way. The problem this time is that you don't know a whole lot about the killer, and in the end, you'll see it's someone you knew all along.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Senior Sleuth

I'm writing a senior sleuth. My main character is Agnes who is seventy-two and likes to think herself as a pretty conservative person, but her partner in crime Eleanor, is making it near impossible. If you spend enough time with someone, they begin to rub off on you.

Agnes prefers to spend time in her garden, but since a recent disappearance of a tourist - her mind is elsewhere. So what does she do? Everything in her power to uncover the truth that leads to more questions than answers.

Warning: extreme moments of bathroom humor.

Someone wrote that if you write about a senior you should be careful not to make them appear cartoonish. I can say with certainty that I know people like the characters I portray. Yes, they are over the top, and yes, they don't give a damn what anyone thinks. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Updated Cover

It's a great thing to see all the hard work you put in to writing a book, brought to life into a cover. I have worked closely with the artist "Nick Rose" and he does what he does best, he puts his own flair into it. I felt hesitant at first, but I know that he knows what he's doing. He found reference pictures that reflect what you'd see in an operating room.

You may notice "Bonesaw" has not been painted yet, and I can't wait until he is. If you are uncertain what you are seeing, yes, that's a body on the table. We talked about how over the top we could make it, but we decided we'd rather see it have some mass market appeal. I don't want it to be so gross that people will be turned off. I want a cover that will blow everyone away.

My manuscript is being considered by an independent publisher, but even if they decide to pass on it, you will find this book being sold somewhere.

It has been a goal of Nick, and I to have him do a cover for a book I wrote. I'm excited and hopeful, but I know this is a hard business and publishers can have their pick. There are many great writers out there ready to be discovered if only we are given a chance. Unpublished writers like me that pour our soul into what we write.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Updated cover will have to wait

I wanted to give you another updated photo for the cover of "The Bone Extractor," but the artist "Nick Rose" told me, I had to wait until he posted it on his group on facebook first. I can respect that, and I will have the picture posted tomorrow.

I have all but given up hope of ever writing a word while my kids are awake. It's summer as you know and the constant interruptions are making me crazy. I do what I can, I try and balance everything that demands so much of my time. Sometimes it feels like a three ring circus around here.

I usually write late into the night. It works for me because I don't have to wake up early and haul my kids to school. I can stick to the schedule that I am so accustomed to. I stay up and write when the only sound is blaring through my headphones. I write long into the night, sometimes it's three or four in the morning before my head hit the pillow. I work the night shift, and it's not that much of a stretch for me.

This is what works for me. What works for you?

Monday, June 13, 2011

BBQ Pork

I hate to wait, but since that is the role I need to play, I have devised a distraction of sorts for the day, other than writing.

Learn to cook or try a new recipe. One of the nurse's at work gave me a yummy recipe I tried. It was so yummy! This was not a standard recipe, I just threw it together.

                          BBQ pork  
I took four pork tenderloins and pan fried them with olive oil seasoned with pepper, garlic salt (mine had a combination of garlic and parsley), and Lawerys seasoned salt.

In another pan I sauteed a sliced yellow pepper and vidalia onion and added it to Jack Daniel's BBQ sauce. I like my onions and peppers cooked a bit more than most. 

I then added the sauce with peppers and onions on top of the pork and cooked it until the pork is throughly cooked and the sauce is caramelized.

It turned out great and as you can see it's real easy. I like simple meals, and I like to make things that are easy to make. Between work, my children and writing, I hardly have time to cook, but on occasion I try to.

Friday, June 10, 2011


I have goals and I've made a commitment to achieve them. I now feel as if I wanted to be commuted from my original commitment because it feels too much like a sentence. Writing 1,000 words a day is not that hard to accomplish, if you're driven enough. There are days that I am and others that I want to toss my laptop because writers block has me in it's fist and it won't let me go. 

I wrote a chapter that I feel is not worth a shit. I will revisit it in draft two and I will somehow weave magic into it to make it one of my best. (I can always hope can't I)? You would be surprised how what you think is shit actually turns out to better than you first thought. Never judge a bad chapter by the first draft.

Think about what sleep you want to lose. Would you rather lose it first thing in the morning or lose it at night? For one glorious six days I didn't have to choose, I could do it whenever I wanted. Now I'm back on nightshift, and it's proving challenging.

My goal is to pound out as many quality 60,000 word books that I can this year because, (I love my night job that much). If you want to be successful you need to be driven enough, and the past year I have been a complete sloth. I let people and self doubt get in the way, never a good thing, but it's reality for many writers.

Everyone is a critic they say and I believe it's true. I'm very careful who I allow to read my stories, and I will take all critiques with a grain of salt they were meant to be. If you sift you fingers through the salt you may find something useful but usually you only find salt.

I have an editor and friend Barbara that I funnel my ideas through and she finds a way to tell me what she thinks without making me feel put upon. She gives me examples and that helps me tremendously. It's not always what you say but how you say it. Do you want to be someone that inspires others to do more than they thought possible, or do you have some kind of self serving purpose to discourage every other writer. That way they can feel better about yourself. I think there is great writer in all of us if we don't let negativity overwhelm us. Don't let it change who you are.

I hope everyone has a great weekend! 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Destination Unknown

New books are fun, and fun is good, right? I read on Facebook that when you start writing a new book there is a honeymoon period. I agree, and the honeymoon ended around 27,000 words. I trudged on and managed to make it to 30,000 words. How I did this is simple - I killed someone. 

How do you take a light funny book and let it take a serious tone? It's a hurtle that I needed to climb. I have solid characters that have had their fair share of amusing moments, but there is nothing about murder that is amusing. If I attempted to do so I know I will fail miserably. 

In this book there are no gory details or gratuitous sex. Everything is very tongue and cheek, and at times, over the top. Sex will be referenced, but no details. My characters are elderly, but they are not dead. I just don't think someone would want to read a sex scene detailing older people. It's like a metal image stuck in you head (like your parents having sex). The reality is older people do have sex, they're not dead yet. It will add to the humor as I have tried my best to portray the insanity of my characters. Nothing like ruffling someone's feathers. 

I'm currently at 30,000 words and plan to get 30,000 more before the end of the month. I have a 1,000-word minimum a day goal and I take it seriously. I want to get out there in a big way, and that won’t happen with one a book a year. 

I have my self-doubting moments, all writers do. It's every writer’s downfall, and I don't plan on letting it be mine. I bought Scrivener 2.0 for Mac, and although, this is another tool I need to learn - I will be more organized. I can keep track of all my characters, reference, settings, and chapters at a click of the mouse. No more notebooks or index cards, yea. I have a few more tricks I use that one day I'll share them, but none of them are easy. Nothing I do is easy, I always take the hard way, but that is the only way I see the missing road. The most frustrating thing for me is that most editing software for writers are only available for windows. I think these people are really missing the boat here. 

I strive to improve my writing and hope it will well received when it finally gets out there. I backtracked and put up a free website. It goes against everything I said in an earlier blog, but it was suggested by a friend that you need one even if you don't really use it much because that's what people look for. Like I said - hard way. 

I consider myself lucky that I have a supportive partner that helps me in ways you'll never know, but I know I have to be the one proving I can do what I say I can. You will see a mixture of genre, because I'm trying to find out what I write best. I think each of them are good in their own way. You will find disturbing, followed by lighthearted, followed by who knows what. 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Getting personal

My mom has been battling breast cancer since last year and she's suppose to be okay. I hope that remains to be the case. My dad found out he has melanoma and had it burned off, they're doing a biopsy. If it's malignant they may be taking some limp nodes out. It's scary, what are the odds that both my parents would get cancer?

My parents aren't that old, seventies, but I have seen people much younger die. The thought that it can strike so close to home is without question, one of the hardest things I have ever had to deal with. I cherish both of them and would hate to have anything happen to either of them. 

My mom helped me out when I needed it the most. She watched my kids when I worked (before I met Nick) and she takes my daughter to school if I work the night before, because I don't get home early enough from work. Not long ago she even retrieved my car keys because I locked them in my car at work. I can't tell you how thankful I was. She didn't even question it, she just came. My mom is the sweetest person I have ever known, and she never has a bad word to say about anyone.

My dad is the typical male, strong, opinionated, and we have butted heads when I was a child. He was strict and I needed it, but truth be known, I was a good girl for the most part, because I was afraid of my dad! He didn't want me to date until I was eighteen and threatened he'd throw me out of the house if I ever got pregnant. I love the fact that he put the fear of god into me, because it never happened. He even worried when I got pregnant at age 34, lol. I think he still thought I'd move in with him. He just didn't want to have to raise his grandchildren, who could blame him. When I was a teenager, he told me I always had to have the last word (it's true too) and I now have a son that does the same damn thing, lol. It's the mother's curse I tell you! 

For those that don't know what the mother's curse is, let me tell you it can come back and bite you in the ass. The mother's curse is that you will have a child just like you when you have children.

My dad always took us fishing and camping. We didn't have a camper we had a tent. You can't call it camping unless you really rough it, and no better way to say you're roughing it than sleeping on the ground. I remember the tent fell down on one of those trips during a thunderstorm.

On the way home, my dad stopped at every little fishing hole, I just wanted to go home. The only thing worse than that is Christmas tree shopping. He'll stop at every damn tree farm there is. It's all about finding the "perfect tree." I wonder if I thought that was insane when I was a child?

I'm lucky to have such amazing people for parents.