Monday, April 26, 2010

I Have A Dream...

That one day, the Romantic Times Convention will be held in Indianapolis, Indiana...and that I will be able to go.

What workshops would I attend? Hmmm...given my past weekend horrors of discovering my chat posts virtually unreadable because of rogue html codes imbeded in my text, I'd love a workshop on How To Prevent This From Ever Happening Again. Also Protocol When Re-Joining Chat Loops When You've Been Absent For Several Months and How To Regain Your Friendships.

Can you tell I've been struggling with a few issues?

Time Management With a Grumpy Spouse.

How To Write Fresh Sex Scenes or How To Keep Sex Scenes Fresh.

How To Overcome Shyness While Visiting Sex Toy Shop.

Writing The Best Blurb To Catch Reader's Attention.

Best Time To Submit Work or Who To Submit New Work To. (Sometimes I hear authors say they send their new wips to their editors; I keep sending it as pertained to the guidelines, and waiting forever! Okay, I'll retract only seems like forever!)

Online Marketing 101.

Website 101 and Web Hosting.

POV Issues and Why Did The Rules Change?

Hand-Selling vs Online Selling: Equal, Or Is One Better? And How To Not Get Run Out Of Town For Content Of Book (a slight personal fear, lol...)

Okay; I seem to be getting carried away. I don't even know if there's a workshop for some of those!

I DID enjoy the WriteStuff Writer's conferences, and wish they'd do them again. But it was a fantastic learning experience, and gave me opportunities to talk to established authors and editors, and boosted my confidence level.

I also dearly wish I could attend the MidWest Writer's Conference, and am kicking myself for not realizing it existed while I was in college (I was on the same campus!). I also wish I could attend Lori Foster's Weekend in June, as well as RomantiCon next October. I've got a room reserved; now I just need the money to register.

I just hope my friends who DO attend will post many pictures! And I'd like to make my Model Behavior wip as accurate as possible...see there honey? I need to attend for research purposes!

Think he'll go for it?

Nah....I'll get the "But we don't have the money..." speech again. Sigh...Next year....

Monday, April 19, 2010

"I'm Productive...Sort Of..."

Hands (or fingers!)

I used this method during NaNo 2007 and it worked. Why hasn't it worked in '08 and '09? Simple.

I wasn't the only one in the house anymore.

For me to truly be productive, I need an empty (and clean) house; the music on; no other commitments. It also helps if the creativity is flowing, although a page or two of meaningless crap is okay. I can always edit it out later.

Sometimes being productive simply means getting my last load of laundry in the washer before noon. Or the 'business' side of my job (blogging, email,) accomplished in an hour instead of two. It all depends on my mood, my goals, and whatever the spouse has planned for the day.

I'd just like him to go back to work so I can FEEL productive, instead of taking a stab at it.

Y'know what I mean?

Monday, April 12, 2010

"You're The Meaning In My Life...You're The Inspiration..."

Music has always inspired me, as has other methods.

My dad liked classical music, and while riding in the car with him, or listening at home, my brain would conjure images of a storyline. I was bored one afternoon and put on his favorite mix tape. Soon I was acting out a trial; being a conductor (2001 Space Odyssey); acting out the lyrics to One Tin Soldier and Those Were The Days. In fact, several weeks later, I wrote my first story based on the song One Tin Soldier and my creative writing teacher enjoyed it, although she told me if I was going to write fiction, to be careful about using actual people (I'd had the stone guarded by several prominent sports figures, plus our own Jr. High football teams!).

As I began my writing career, I'd put the kids down for naps, turn on Hooked On Classics, and write for two hours. I'd go to the laundromat, play the juke box, and write while my clothes spun around in the washers and dryers.

I've written to Prince, Madonna, Aqua, Bon Jovi, and Frank Sinatra. This drives my husband crazy, because he'd rather watch TV. So I've learned to write during hunting shows, Discovery Channel, and even SyFy and History channels. And when my toddler was growing up, I wrote to the sounds of Nick Jr...Wonder Pets, Dora, Diego, and Backyardigans.

While watching the Olympics this past winter, the eventual Ice Dancing winners wowed me with their original dance routine, and I envisioned a love story. I've kept it on my DVR, much to the family's disgust. But until I'm ready to write that story (characters are still only whispering snippets in my ear), it will remain. Yeah, I know; I could probably find it on YouTube....

I've also listened to news briefs on the radio and had characters jump into my head (Wild At Heart is a perfect example). I've been out in the community and certain situations will send the brain spinning (like the time I discovered I was being flirted with at a store) or I'll overhear a conversation and the creative wheels will take off.

My latest endeavor was simply brain storming with others, and a suggestion from a reader. Sometimes many elements will come together to inspire the muse to insist I sit down and write.

What kick-starts your muse? Mine's been on an extended vacation, but showing signs of returning to work soon.

Friday, April 9, 2010

What Happens Next???

This seems to be my continued question with several books I read. Books which are all about the sex and discovering one's 'soul mate' within 24 hours have me wondering what happens the next day when LIFE interferes.

Longer books, where the characters declare their love for each other (finally!) has me wondering about what happens after children arrive.

So OF COURSE I love sequels! And sometimes, the more the better:)

Case in point: I spent years reading Dana Fuller Ross's Wagons West series...and there's about 24 or so. I cried when two beloved original characters were killed off, and if I ever get the last book ordered, I suspect I'm gonna cry when I read it because a) It's the last book and b) I've discovered two more characters have been killed off (maybe this is why I keep forgetting to order it???)

I love long-running sit-coms. And secondary plotlines ala Charmed and Gilmore Girls. Soap operas don't count, because sooner or later, everyone's going to end up in bed with each other.

So it appears I'm in the minority here...but anyone else care to chime in?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Classic Literature Vs Pop Fiction

Okay; I've had several days to think on this topic, as well as reading others' opinions.

How many of us struggled to stay awake in Lit class, reading such dry excerpts of Thomas Hardy, Edgar Allen Poe (NOT his poem The Raven), and books like Silas Marner, To Kill A Mockingbird, and The Crucible? When I was in college, the Greek plays were interesting enough, as was Chaucer, but who could stay awake during The Odyssey and the works of Socrates?

My roommates soon learned to leave the room if I pulled out the last three, because they knew they'd be subjected to hearing whatever book out loud; it was the only way I could retain any semblance of the storyline.

I did enjoy Silas Marner and TKAM, and even A Separate Peace and The Crucible; however, I could not simply stop with one chapter a week. No, if the story caught my attention, I kept reading. And then was bored by the papers, discussion, etc. I didn't want to dissect the book, looking for symbolism, themes, etc. I simply wanted to enjoy the story.

Contrast this with books I DO enjoy: Sometimes a particular theme will jump out at me, or I'll recognize the history behind it. I do like to discuss the characters and plot devices, but again, they are strictly for enjoyment.

Remember the Star Trek TNG episode where the planet had found a copy of Casino Royale and accepted it as 'God's Truth'? In order to make their First Contact any sort of sense, Commander Riker and crew had to go along with the plot.

God forbid anyone 2000 years from now finding Teacher's Pet and thinking this is how all society is supposed to act!