90 Second Review: Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott

Living Dead Girl Cover Wow, was I unprepared for this book. It’s powerful, heart-rending, and potent. And I don’t use those clichés lightly. The sparse, sometimes poetic, writing gets under the skin and the story lingers long after finishing. I’m not ashamed to admit that I had to set the book aside a few times and have a good cry. Just be aware this book deals with a disturbing subject matter (spoiler alert—highlight to read: child molestation)—but don’t let that frighten you away.

Personal rating: 5/5 stars

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90 Second Review: Hollowland by Amanda Hocking

Hollowland Cover Fun-filled zombie mayhem and brain candy at its finest. A well-worn story tweaked to be interesting. The writing was easy to digest and captivating. The pace was fast, but not breathless. And the characters, especially Remi, were sufficiently endearing. The romance angle, however, felt tacked on and the editing was atrocious with at least one grammatical or syntactical error every other page. Unfortunately these errors created unforgiveable stumbling blocks throughout the reading. Otherwise the rating most certainly would have been higher.

Personal rating: 3/5 stars

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Wordless Wednesday 011: An Experiment in Inspiration

An Experimental Background Design
(acrylic and gesso on paper)

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001: Links for Creative Folk (Authors Included)

Interesting, informative, and inspirational links found while cruising the internet.

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A Publishing Schedule (I’m Just Thinking Out Loud…)

This blog is updated erratically. That must change.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy writing this blog, it’s just that my mind jumps around quite a bit and sometimes I become so paralyzed by the possibilities that I don’t get around to writing at all (or I do and the result is…erratic). But I’ve been thinking about this blog and my hopes for it and realize it needs a tighter focus, but I still want it to incorporate all the things I enjoy: writing, reading, art.

With that thought bouncing around in my head, I decided I should sit down and sketch out a rough publishing schedule with planned topics. Part of the reason I didn’t do this sooner is because I had a strange notion that blogs (well, certain blogs under which my blog fell) should be spontaneous and shouldn’t be planned lest they become dull and uninspiring. What a silly notion that was. Because I now realize that this blog’s posts can be planned and still be inspiring and fun.

As it stands I’ve planned out a 7 day publishing schedule with a different area of focus for each day. One feature I’m particularly excited about is the (Short) Short Story Sunday where I plan to publish 5,000 (or fewer) word short stories based on story cubes or an inspiring picture. I also hope to open this up to other authors who may wish to participate. I figure it could be a fun writing exercise.

For now I’m happy with the proposed publishing schedule and I am praying it doesn’t become an exercise in futility.

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Yes, I’m a Creative. No I don’t Support SOPA/PIPA.

I was going to write this really elegant post about why authors should be concerned about two bills going through legislation, Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act, and how these bills would affect them. But someone’s already done that.

So, I’ll just add my spare change: I’m a creative type. I write. I make art. Take photographs. Create software. I even make music. You know what else? I’ve also had my work pirated. In some cases I didn’t mind because, well, it was free advertising, but in a few instances, it stung for a minute until I brainstormed ways to (successfully) use it to my advantage.

But I’m veering too far off course. My point is, although I’m a creative, the type of person these bills are essentially designed to protect from piracy, I think it’s all a crock. These bills will do absolutely nothing to curb piracy or protect people like me and will do absolutely everything to stifle creativity and innovation.

Scenario: You write something that criticizes something else, using excerpts under Fair Use, but the person whose work you’re criticizing decides she doesn’t like it and calls foul. She then posts a link to a seedy pirate site on your site via comments (you know, so you look like a pirate supporter) and then all she’d need to do is send a letter to the ISPs and payment processors and advertisers (assuming you’re selling your books or have advertising on your site) to have them deny access to your site and cut all ties with you—due process be damned. If you’re not flush with money to fight it, you’re dead in the water.

Yes I believe something should be done about piracy, but SOPA/PIPA surely isn’t it.

Take a moment to learn up on the subject at AmericanCensorship.org and then call your congressperson.

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Telling the Story, a New Mantra

In previous years I’ve tried the resolution route—telling myself I’ll do this, that, and the other—but it’s never quite worked out as I’d hoped. This year, I’m moving forward with a new attitude: Change. (Do what you’ve always done and get what you’ve always gotten.)

I’m not making unreasonable demands of myself and expecting to be a completely different person in a day or two, I’m setting small reasonable goals which will (I hope) lead to the accomplishment of my larger goals.

Page from my writing journal

One of those new smaller, more reasonable goals is simply to tell the story first and then refine it later. One of the reasons I have difficulty finishing a writing project is because somewhere during the process I start questioning the eloquence of the writing, the logic of the situations, or the general quality of it. No more.

Will it work? Not sure, but it’s certainly worth a try.

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The Will to Write

It’s always about the will to write.

Sometimes I write like a woman possessed for hours on end. Words drench the pages like a frenzied summer storm. Other days a drought has settled.

Sometimes the block sneaks up on you. You start a brand new work with zeal for miles only to have that passion fizzle out a few pages in.

Then the block stays just long enough for your inner critic to set up house in the forefront of your mind and tell you all the reasons why you shouldn’t even bother writing in the first place. (Most of which seems to begin with, “You don’t know how to start that sentence.”)

But, in learning to fight this internal demon — The Block — I’ve discovered there is really only one thing you can do to disarm him: Write.

Write a postcard, write a fleeting thought, or write a grocery list. What you write doesn’t matter so much as the fact that you’re writing. Then, write a little more each day and keep it flowing.

And if that demon begins to rear his ugly head again, pick up your sword and cut him deeply with your words.

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