Freeing the voices in my head

Posts tagged ‘Reading’

Mumbling and Fumbling

I have no ideas for tonight’s blog.  I need to email a couple of trusted people to be First Readers for my manuscript; the original Readers are all too busy, I haven’t heard back from any of them in months and really NEED input!  But the two people I have in mind are going through major family issues right now and I don’t want to intrude.  *sigh*

I’ve been spending my mornings painstakingly describing a location and am bored with it.  My writing weakness is not enough description, moving too fast, but I get bored reading (and writing!) descriptions!  I know it’s necessary, but I want to move on to the action part of my second manuscript!

Is it foolish to write the second manuscript in the series when I’m not even sure the first one is marketable?  Nah, I’m following my main rule: Write for me first, because it gives me joy.  If others like my writing, cool!  Maybe that’s why I’m bored.  Describing the location isn’t really what I want to do, even though, for something that might be published someday, it is necessary.

Reading the blogs of others is a break of sorts, but I know I’m just delaying…I need to finish the stupid description and dive into the blood, gore, monsters, heroes, FUN part of my story!

Yeah, I think I can, now, I’ve had my break…Onward!  🙂

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Hollywood Needs Revamping

Or we should just shut Hollywood down, oust all the movie moguls and start over with fresh blood.  And television needs a make-over, too.

There are a few movies I want to see in a movie theater: Big action adventure movies are worth the price.  Nothing else will motivate me into spending fifty bucks.  The other types of movies are readily viewed on the big TV at home, in comfort, where I can mock, um, talk back to the movie, laugh loudly, cry, cough, smoke, eat, play on my laptop…

I forced myself to watch about ten minutes of “Twilight” one night.  The dialogue was terrible and so were the wooden dolls, um, actors.  I clicked it off.  I had already lost a couple of hours of my life by reading the horrible book; I’m too old now to lose more time to dreck!

What Hollywood has lost is the ability to create good movies using good actors.  They seem to think we want pretty people on the screen at all times.  Pretty is okay, but even the richest dessert makes you sick if you eat nothing else.  Pretty does not equal talented.  I’m tired of seeing no-talent actors in movies with no plots.  Sure, I know the moguls are going for the cash from the 12 to 25 year old pockets (or, rather, their parents’ pockets).  And I know they all think the public is stupid and only interested in stupid shit, but come on, skateboard and bicycle movies?

I can’t even address the horrors of television (non–)programming today.  There are a rare few shows that are still halfway decent to watch, the rest is Reality TV, which sucks.

Anyway, here’s what we should do…to find good actors, go to any restaurant or bar and hire the oldest waitress, waiter and bartender in the place.  These people know how to ACT!  We may not be pretty skinny plastic dolls, but we know how to smile in the face of chaos and cruelty, tell the most outrageous lies and be believed, pretend we like you when what we really want to do is shove a butter knife down your bitchy throat.

As for storyline and plot, stop using the newest best-selling book.  Most books of that genre are dreck pumped out in two months to feed the stupid people who can barely read but need to have the newest thing piped into their tech devices.  God forbid they buy an actual BOOK!

Yes, comics and graphic novels have been great.  There are lots of them out there, find them and please stop remaking Spiderman, Batman, Supes, Hulk, etc.

I do like the Ironman movies and The Avengers.  X-Men was good, Thor was cute, one of the Hulk movies was okay, and the first Punisher movie was really good.   But there are more to choose from, like, um, shit, I can’t think of one that can stand alone.  Oh well…you get my point, I hope.

“The Help” was an okay book and a good movie.  Would I have enjoyed it in a movie theater?  I don’t know; watching it at home let me react the way I wanted (until hubby returned from golfing and teased me for crying).

Years ago, my older son and I went to see the movie “Braveheart.”  We came out of the theater, blinking back to real life and amazed that we had been immersed in there for three hours.  We had lost all sense of time passing, of Real Life existing… Now that, to me, is the sign of a really GOOD movie!

Yes, bring back movies that suspend real life for hours, movies that make you sigh in remorse when they end because you want more.  I’m tired of movies that have me sighing with relief when they are over and I can go home.

Movies, like books, should transcend Real Life, take you away, help you escape.  If I wanted to see Real Life, well, hell, I could drive to Wally World or go visit my relatives!  shudder….

Restart…

When the “new & improved” Microsoft Office that came with my new laptop basically trashed my manuscripts, I fought to recover & rework them into Manuscript format instead of “Blog” or “Office” format (quotation words are Microshit Office’s descriptions).  I then discovered my new, oh-so-fab laptop hates WordPress, going offline within moments of logging in.

Now, as any writer knows, doing actual work correcting a manuscript can kill the creative process.  I wanted, needed, to WRITE, not mess around fixing what Microshit had ruined!  I did finish the fourth draft of my main manuscript & emailed it to my First Readers.  Now I just have to wait for their reports.  Finally, I could work on the rough draft of the second book manuscript, but I faced 148 pages of Microshit mess.

So, I dug the old laptop out of the closet, hoping the originals were still fine and that it would finally let me into WordPress as well.  Ta-da!  It works!

Okay, I can hear the questions:  Why FOUR drafts of one manuscript?  Well, to me, it’s a fourth draft; to my First Readers, it’s the third draft.  I write off the top of my head, a brief summary, idea or character moving my thoughts and fingers.  That’s right, I don’t do Outlines well at all.  As I write, the backstories of the characters, the locations, and background info gets written in a notebook; I jot things down as they pop up (I write notes to myself all the time, anyway.  Can’t keep a thought in my brain for longer than 30 seconds these days!).  A dictionary, thesaurus and Gregg’s Manual sit on my desk as well for quick checking of words, punctuation and grammar.  If I need to research something, I jot down a key word to check it later online because I don’t want to stop writing, creating, to get bogged down reading & researching.  All that can be put in later.

So that first draft is the roughest one, the idea growing, building, and no one sees that one!  By MY third draft, it’s a well-rounded story that can be shared – it’s been proofread, polished, and filled in, but by that point, I need outside input to find what I’ve missed because I’m too close to the world I created.  Too close to see what else needs doing.  Thank you, First Readers, for any and all criticisms and input!  🙂

I’m not a “published author.”  I’ve had a couple of stories published in magazines (years ago) and articles published (when I was a reporter for a local trade journal publishing house).  I don’t know how authors work.  I write for me first because I love to play in and with my creations.  I love letting others read my stories and enjoy the feedback, enjoying their pleasure from reading what I’ve written.  Will I ever have a published Book?  Don’t know, I hope so, but it isn’t the main goal.  My main goal is to just Write because it brings me Joy.

Okay, so why do I have a new laptop that won’t do what I need it to do, and why haven’t I returned it and gotten another or gotten that new one fixed?  Because it was a gift, specifically, a gift from my husband.  After thirty years, I’ve learned the hard way to NEVER return or reject anything he gives me.  Hey, I like gifts and want more!

Return the beautiful laptop he bought me?  Nah, I don’t think so!  It works for other stuff and I’ll eventually figure out how to fix the weirdness.

For now, I just want to write, to play, to get my joy fix each day as the words flow and my worlds come to life.  But even play needs to be practiced to be enjoyed, so I’m going to fire up whichever computer wants to behave!  🙂

 

 

Fumbling Along

I’m back, maybe, sorta, kinda.  First, thank you to Jumping In Mud Puddles for awarding me the Versatile Blog Award!

http://dyingbraincells.wordpress.com/2012/02/05/versatile-blog-award/

 

Also, thank you to dragonfae for the honor of the Kreative Award.  (The pic is somewhere.  Drat, I’m gonna have to come back and edit later, or I’ll never get this blog done!)  You can find this lovely lady here:

http://dragonfae.wordpress.com/2012/02/11/kreativity/

 

I posted the one award in an earlier blog, and I do appreciate every one I get, every reader who pops in and says hi!  I roll my eyes a bit at the bloggers who turn up their noses, pooh-pooh awards or mock them.  People, these are your READERS!  The whole point of a blog is to have Readers see your Writing and enjoy it.  To receive such lovely feedback in the form of a nice little Award is wonderful and a nice way for us/them to show their appreciation of your work.

Oh, they aren’t the general public?  They aren’t the people buying your “serious” book, or , gee, it’s just a blog (or worse, gee, it’s just from another blogger).  Excuse me?  Why are you writing a blog if you don’t appreciate each and every person who checks it out?

The best affirmation for a writer is feedback in any form, positive and negative.  It keeps us going when we’re staring at blank screen or struggling to put our thoughts into coherent sentences.  Every blog I read and write helps me be a better Writer.  Each one teaches me something.

So, yes, I’m Thrilled to receive awards!  To me, they mean someone enjoyed my writing, that I can put words into a coherent form and capture someone’s interest.  So, yes, Thank You!

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My good friend (and an awesome author!) Melissa Crandall posted an important blog Sunday.  A Quarter Beneath My Tongue (name of her blog).  Once I’ve gotten today organized, I’ll edit the links, but you all are smart, I think you can figure out how to get to these bloggers.

Anyway, our desktop crashed.  We have no idea why.  Hubby spent five hours coaxing the hard drive to find my manuscripts and all his more important work files.  I tried not to freak.  I do have a printed copy of the main manuscript and the final draft on the laptop.  What I did not have were the most recent revisions on the flash drive or the laptop.  Back up all files before walking away from your computer!  Yep, I’m terrible at remembering to do that.  Now, the flash drive is sitting right here and will be used religiously.

I explained to Melissa why I hadn’t read her blog yet – the desktop needed Windows re-installed, it’s all needing to be re-entered, and to enter WordPress on the desktop, I’ll have to enable cookies.  I’m afraid to.  We still don’t know what crashed that computer.  Since we both use it and browse lots of links, it could have been anything, even WordPress!  So, to protect hubby’s work, I won’t enable anything on it until he gets home.

Boot up the laptop… I read Melissa’s blog and perspective sat me firmly down.  Two people she cares deeply about have major crisis in their lives, and I was whining about a computer.  I’m sorry, Melissa, thank you for reminding me of what is truly important.

Valentine’s Day.  Hmm, well, shove the commercial crap aside and use this day to Hug everyone, be aware of what they need, be helpful to those you love.  Keep it in Perspective; Life is hard, so try to make it a little better for those around you.

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Lastly, a small rant before I go and try to get more rewriting done:  I loved Whitney Houston’s Voice.  Pure, Awesome, Gorgeous.  A huge talent.  I did not love who she was or her personal choices for her life.  I have ZERO tolerance for drug addicts and despise seeing celebrities and sports stars treated to front page news, and receiving millions of dollars just for existing.

My celebrities are every soldier, law enforcement officer and firefighter out there just doing his/her  job for mere pennies.  They should be our front page news, not some drugged out singer who destroyed her talent.  There, rant over.

Enjoy the day, and Thank You, again, for reading my blog!  🙂

 

 

Versatile Blogger Award – What? Wait! Me?

Coming out of a depressive episode since last Monday – Christmas thru March 1st are bad times for me – and decided to catch up on the week’s worth of blogs I’d missed reading.

susanwritesprecise gave me The Versatile Bloggers Award!  OMG!  I’ve written 18 blogs and am just so thrilled!  Thank you so much, Susan!  Now, of course, I have no idea how to link back to her blog, but I’ll learn & either re-post this or edit it.   http://susanwritesprecise.com

Did that do it?  Not sure…I’ll check in a min because I want to get this done before I get dragged away from the computer or the power goes out or Comcast decides to do a test and trash my Internet connection or lightning strikes…Worst-Case-Scenario-Sucker, yep, that’s me.  If I hear sirens right after hubby leaves for the store, I just know he’s crashed and dying a block away.  If a ship is attacked by pirates and the crew taken hostage, I’m certain it’s my son’s ship.  If there’s a shooting in Tucson, I’m sure my younger son and daughter were shopping there and are part of the horror…yep, I’m frantic til someone answers their phone or I read the news and discover all is well.

Damn, wandered off on a tangent there…

Okay, I think this is the award where I share seven things about me.  I don’t know!  I was just so jazzed to get an award, I started blogging about it!  Lemme go see what the rules are….

Yep, seven details and choose 15 bloggers to award.  Mmmm, that’s gonna have to be another blog while I learn more about linking and downloading and getting my computer to behave long enough to allow me to learn!  (Note to self: tell hubby I NEED a new computer!).

My details, not organized in any particular order, maybe, kinda, sorta…

1.  I’m not a victim or a survivor; I just AM.

2.  I have a “group” soul.

3.  I like people…

4.  …But there are too many humans and we’re killing our planet…

5.  …So, come on, Mother Nature, exterminate us already! (Do 3, 4, and 5 equal one thing? Gack!)

6.  Ahem, um, where was I?  Oh, I’m absent-minded.

7.  I HATE, loathe, despise, need to escape, Texas!

8?  I talk too much!

Now to go hunting for my favorite or most versatile bloggers I follow, or just lurk on other blogs, going to new blogs, reading more….Hmm, this may take awhile…Thank you again!  😀

 

Update:  Am attempting to learn how to do links…hopefully, you can now go to susan’s blog by clicking the link of her URL.  🙂

Urgent! Read this, please!

There.  Now that I have your attention, I’ll launch into a shameless plug for a book I just read.  When I’m done extolling the virtues of said book, it would be awesome if you would go order it from the author.  You can find her right here on WordPress (and FaceBook).

We’re bloggers, which means we love to write AND read.  I will often stay up all night reading, but I went even further this time.  I read this book at the bar during karaoke in the semi-darkness, I read it while walking the dogs (and walking into a tree), I read until I finished because it is one of those books you just can’t put down.

Within the first pages, I was engaged, enthralled, eager to learn more.  The descriptive power, the word-play, and the characters pulled me in and I gladly submitted.  I didn’t just read this book – I entered the author’s world and lived there.  As any avid reader knows, that is the best kind of book, of Writing – to leave the (supposedly) Real World behind and submerge into a writer’s creation…That, my friends, is the Art of Writing.

Go now, seek out Melissa Crandall and her book, The Weathercock.  Support this author and her excellent word-crafting!  Enjoy!  😀

Over The Rainbow

When did I first learn to read?  I don’t know.  I do have a clear memory of sitting on the landing of the stairs in the house in Schenectady, reading “The Wizard of Oz.”  I’m very small, very young in that memory, not quite understanding the entire book, but deeply immersed in it.  I wanted to verify the memory and asked my brother about it.

Harry said, “You were always begging to be read to.  I think I got frustrated and just handed you the book.  You read it in a week and begged for another one.  Pretty amazing; you were five years old.”  Really?  FIVE?  Did I understand all of the book?  No.  Some of it?  Yes, apparently, because Harry grilled his little sister over it.  He told me I seemed to enjoy the story and the characters, even got some of the themes (the second part of Oz is kind of dark), but most of all, that little girl wanted to BE in the book, be part of the fantasy.

My brother and I have had our problems; we were part of what is now recognized as a dysfunctional family.  In the beginning, right up until his freshman year of high school, we were a pair.  Mary Lou ( my older sister) and Christine (my younger sister) were the other pair.  Harry and I were the dreamers, the lazy kids, the quiet ones.  Mary Lou and Chris were smart, fast-talking, loud, bold and gorgeous.  Oh, we all fought, called each other names, hurt each other in awful ways, but sometimes, one of a pair would defend and protect the other.

No matter what, I’ll always be grateful to Harry for sending me “over the rainbow.”  I was a middling-to-good student.  Teachers would say I had potential, but was lazy.  Nope, I’d spend the first days reading the entire textbook and then be bored with the class, so I daydreamed through the rest of the school year.  I had unicorns, spaceships, robots and aliens dancing past my eyes inside my head and so vividly that the Real world was the dream.  I filled my workbooks with my own stories.  If a teacher asked a question, I usually knew the answer.  I’d read the textbook, after all.  I didn’t understand why we had to plow through it chapter by chapter, page by page, for the next nine months.  Unfortunately, school doesn’t want you to just KNOW something, they want you to WORK to get there and show your work.

Case in point: Geometry.  I failed it, big time, for a number of reasons.  I had no use for math, it didn’t interest me, only words mattered to me.  I could look at a problem and KNEW the answer, but show how I got the answer, step by step, in a theorem?  Fugeddaboutit!  I needed the class to graduate with a NY Regents diploma, so I had to retake it.  Good friends did my homework for me, tried to teach me; they helped just enough that I ended up with a “D.”  Science class, specifically – Earth Science.  Loved the teacher; she took us places!  Spelunking!  I still love wandering through a dark cave!  The labs were interesting and she made them fun.  The workbooks, not so fun.  My lab partner was a sweet boy, but after we did the experiment, Rob would go to sleep  while I was writing stories in my workbook.  Mrs. Stamos gave us the middle grade – a “C” – because we excelled in everything but lab workbooks.  She decided we learned through osmosis!

I sucked at sports, any sport, but I could sing, draw, and write.  I was the slowest kid, the clumsy kid, but I could dream and act out those dreams, share them with like-minded friends.  When we played “Pretend,”  I became that character, I wasn’t acting or playing; I WAS that person, alive and real, and Eileen the klutzy, dumpy retard no longer existed (yeah, I got called that awful word, by my family, by teachers.  My IQ proved them wrong, but all they saw was a lazy daydreamer who walked into walls and fell out of perfectly good chairs.  Oh, nothing physically wrong with me – I just was in another world – which made navigating my body around in their world a bit of a problem.).

I’ve lived an interesting Life, I think and have been told.  For much of it, Eileen sat to the side while her other selves lived “over the rainbow.”  Will you join me there, in my stories – real and imagined?  I’ll try not to put you to sleep with endless fields of poppies.  Instead, grab a sword and bring on the flying monkeys!