Hello Monday!

10502233_10201355538529691_2457240744323550533_nHello Monday! It has been a busy weekend. My son had his 10th birthday Saturday. His party was a success as far as kids having fun. But then what isn’t to love about box forts and water balloons?

I am excited that the kids go to school today. It means that I will have my computer to myself for a few hours. Ever since their’s have been in the shop it has been a constant stream of “Mommy can I borrow your computer?”  So far they haven’t fought over it much. They take 1 hour turns. The problem is I don’t get a turn, and it’s my computer.

I have plans of writing today. I also have to go to the chiropractor. I’ve done something unpleasant to my shoulder and my back has been hurting for days.

I am pretty sure the writing is going to get messy today. I have had too many writing road blocks lately and people have gotten on my nerves. I also just watched this video about this high powered gear chopper thing that shredded large objects. I am sensing a steam punk story with an epic battle sequence worthy of a 90’s action flick.

 

Advertisements

And The Con Goes On

I typically only post on Monday but since my last couple of posts have been rather negative I thought I would do one more for this week to see if I can turn that around.  I am LibertyCon 27.  I have all the pillows from my hotel bed stacked behind me in order to keep me up right long enough to write this.

I am tired, (I’ve been awake for about 30 hours or so now) but I have had a good day. I got to talk to a great number of talented writers, bought a stack of new books, and I’ve spent the day with my daughter. (This is her first LibertyCon) Being a member of the walking dead is a small price to pay for all of that.

If I look out my window I can see the pool and the con goer crowded around it.  I don’t have to look in order to hear the cheerful chatting of like minded individuals having a good time.  As I lay here and think of sleep, the unintelligible murmur of happy voices make me smile. I feel content and I think I will sleep well tonight. I even got the bare bones of a new story down today while my daughter was in the pool. 🙂

Shooting myself in the creative foot

LibertyCon is this weekend and I am really looking forward to it.  I need a motivation boost.  I watched a movie recently, called Author’s Anonymous.  If you haven’t seen it, I recommend you keep it that way.

I know some people who have watched and liked it. To me it was like a two hour writer’s soul sucking vampire in digital form.  I was extremely depressed after I forced myself to watch it all the way through.  I paid money to rent it so I was too stubborn to turn the thing off like I should have.

The movie was about a writing group.  It was filmed like a camera crew following each of the characters around for a documentary.  You had the older man, a Tom Clancy wanna be. (Who hated Tom Clancy) You had they younger guy who worked two jobs and had major writer’s block and too focused on the pretty blonde girl in the group. (She was the actress who plays Penny on the show Big Bang Theory.)

There was the married couple; a bad romance writer with one manuscript and her optometrist husband who only recorded ideas for novels on a digital recorder.  Then there was the undereducated pretty blonde who lived with her mother, did nothing but write and ended up with a book contract before everyone else.

I don’t remember any of the character’s names. I could look them up but I am trying to forget the whole movie.  Really, it could be a good example of what not to do as a writer. It does a good job of portraying jealously and back biting.  The older man even falls for a Vanity Publisher.  His book turns out awful with a bad cover and the blurb in Chinese instead of English.

I still haven’t pinpointed exactly why the movie affected me so much. It felt like food poisoning only for writing.  Maybe because of the way it portrayed writers?  But then a lot of what they showed was true. Extreme versions maybe, but I have met people similar.

Maybe it’s because I can identify with some of the characters. I am educated. I read a lot. But I am not as well educated as others and I am writing in between life.  I have to work because I have kids and cats to feed and so far no one has bought any of my stories.

My goal is to be a hybrid author. To both self publish and traditionally publish. The movie certainly showed self publishing in the worst light. Vanity publishers are to be avoided. There are other ways, but those were not even mentioned.

Showing all the options is too much to be expected of a movie that is not a documentary. I do realize that. I am just trying to figure out why watching Author’s Anonymous felt like shooting myself in the creative foot.

So perhaps it is because I can see a little bits of the more vulnerable sides of my own life in three of the five main characters.  I’ve never read the Great Gatsby, I self publish, and I work a job not related to writing.  I never considered these really bad things until this movie. It made me feel like a charlatan or a fraud to call myself a writer.

And if I share faults with three of the five then what about the other two?  Are there things that I don’t see in myself?  Maybe I don’t write as well as I thought I did?

Yeah this movie really crushed my ego.  Hopefully I will be able to shake off the effects of it soon.

 

Same Story, Different Voice

A_picture_is_worth_a_thousand_wordsPeople tell me things.  I don’t know why but they do.  I can be ringing up items at work or standing in line at the bank and people start talking.  Some days there is even a theme.

There was a night at work, not too long ago, where everyone I came across had a divorce story or a child custody battle to tell me about.  (My cousin is going through something like that right now.)  I have heard all about ex-husbands and wives, favorite dog breeds, the trouble with banks, what milk tastes best, health issues, money issues…you name it.

whats-your-storyThe thing is, even though the faces change and the details differ, the story remains the same. People tell me about heartbreaks, about joys, about pain and sadness.  Sometimes the story isn’t spoken in words.  Sometimes the words just frame the story, like the story of loneliness.   Loneliness usually starts out with “When my kids were young…” or “When my wife was still alive…”  The beginnings aren’t always the same but the core of the story is.

That is why they say everything has already been written.  Everyone has the same stories, MedievalWeavingTLLivingWisdomSacredthey are just colored by our point of view. That is a good thing.  The common thread joins us together.  It is what makes people focus on stories.  The voice telling the story gives it enough separation from what we already know to make interesting.

When writing, the “originality” of the tale doesn’t matter as much as the voice we tell it in.  A college student, a widow, and a cat lady have all experienced loneliness.  It is the voice of the person telling of the experience that makes it different.

Foggy

o'connorSitting down at my computer to write a blog post is an interesting thing.  Most of the time I don’t know what I am going to write until I start.  Sometimes there is a phrase or a general idea that gets me started.  Sometimes I just sit down and write.

I am moving slow this morning. It is foggy and misting rain on this cool St. Patrick’s Day.  Good Irish weather I suppose.  I thought about doing an Irish post. I have Irish blood, not just today but everyday. HappyStPatricksDay

Some of my ancestors were Irish. They came from Ireland to America after a brief stop in Australia.  I have always wondered if that lay over was willing or not.  Did they set out on a ship looking for smoother seas and greener hills?  Or did they get shipped out for not paying taxes?  Either is a likely option.  There is a story there, if only I had the resources and the talents to excavate it.

irish fogMy thoughts are as scattered as the water droplets hanging in the air today.  Not condensed enough for actual rain, just thick and damp.  I am on my second cup of tea too.  It’s just not kick starting my synapses.

I found an old book on sailing ships I forgot I had. I think I am going to go flip through it for awhile and day dream about what it must have been like to cross miles and miles of open ocean, traveling to a place you’ve never been but hoping for a good new start.  irish-blessing-with-text-larger

A Birthday Post

birthday cakeThirty five years ago, at 7:01 on a Monday morning, I was born.  I was brought complaining into a wide and wonderful new world.  I was blessed with two loving parents.  I have been blessed my entire 35 years with new experiences, friends, family, heart aches, love, and laughter. Life.

I am thankful for cupcakes and candles, for birthday wishes, laughter and smiles.  I am thankful for the feeling of dirt under bare feet in the Summer baloonsand the view from a high tree branch.  I am thankful for my little brother and the cousin that are as close to me as siblings.  I am thankful for my children and that I get to watch them discover life as well.  I am thankful for the people I have gotten to meet.  For hot tea and warm socks.  For the good books I’ve read and the bad ones too.  (The bad ones help me appreciate a good one when I find it.)

I lot of people don’t like birthdays because it means they are getting older.  As with most things, I think it depends on your point of view.  I would rather get older that the alternative. 😀

a toastTo me, my birthday means a chance to celebrate that I have lived another year.  And starting tomorrow I will be stepping into the beginning of a whole new year of life.  Birthdays are just personalized New Year days.

So lift up your glasses my friends, here’s to all the days past and all the ones to come!

“Are you a good witch or a bad witch?”

I think my computer problems have been solved.  I am going to try writing this post and see what happens.

So,

Once Upon a Time, when I was a kid…

I lived in the middle of nowhere. We had trees on three sides and my grandmother and the family church were on the other.  My cousins lived behind us.  We had a small trail worn granny and papawthrough the patch of trees that separated our houses.  There was a proper path but it led past my granny’s house, down a hill and over the trickle of a stream.  Cutting through the woods was faster and more fun.

Two of my cousins were years younger than me and between them and my brother I had my very own minions.  My other cousin, John, George-The-Sheriff-of-Nottingham-the-sheriff-of-nottingham-7270307-440-685was just a month younger than me and always bigger.  He was my mortal enemy.  (Unless there were adults watching or something good was on T.V.)  He was the villain to my hero, the Sheriff of Nottingham to my Robin Hood. (Really.  If I read a book it wasn’t long before we were playing it.)

We fought constantly.  We traded bruises.  Well…I collected bruises and tried to return the favor.  Things were simple.  If John was going to do something then I automatically knew it was a bad idea.  That didn’t always stop me, but at least I knew going in that it probably would end in tears.  (I fell into the creek sooo many times…)

I miss my cousin John.  He was killed years ago in a motorcycle accident.  We had managed to come to some silent mutual understanding during our late teen years and didn’t fight so much.  (We didn’t interact much.)

Back then I knew what trouble looked like. It mostly wore my cousin’s face.  Today stressproblems are more faceless.  Bills, Stress, Work…nouns without faces attached, though we sometimes add faces.  We look for people to attach blame for those things to.  We need our villains and our anti-heroes.  If we can’t find them, then we become them.

I think that is why we love/hate the bad guys so much.  Loki, Darth Vader, The Wicked Witch, The Nothing.  They all bring vivid images to our minds and fill a need. Without villains, there would be no heroes.  That is why they are so important in life and in fiction.