Musically Inspired

11 06 2013

More times than you can, probably, count you may have heard a song on the radio, on a commercial, during a movie and found yourself transported to another place and time. Reminded of a moment you’ve experienced, a memory, and then feel everything you felt back then.

Music has the ability to move us—our memories and our imaginations.

Turn on music that you love. Listen carefully. Start writing. How does the song make you feel? Focus on the feelings—joy, sadness, triumph, love, regret. Write a piece that conveys the same emotion. What do you think about? Some lyrics tell a story; expand on that story and take it further. The song may give you a portrait of a character; fill in the blanks to create your own scene or imagine a reason or environment in which this character would develop these traits. The lyrics may take you back to a time in your past; relive that memory for inspiration and write your own experience. Writers are always encouraged to write what they know. What story would feature this music as the soundtrack? Imagine your story into a movie (we can dream, right?) and this song will be on the soundtrack. Use the song to dream up a movie-worthy plot or envision a new setting or character.

Start with the song of your choice, maybe one you have not heard in awhile, or one that always gets you singing and moving. Listen to it start-to-finish, while keeping the questions above in mind. Write whatever the song inspires, whatever you imagine while you listen (you may need to channel Disney on this one!). And let creation take over without judgement and criticism.music

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Lies of the Unpublished Writer

17 05 2013

Writers tend to be creative in many areas of life, so it’s no surprise that we can get creative with the truth. Or, as my mother said, “You lie a lot.” This is especially tempting when we are debating why we aren’t published. Before I was a published author, I embraced a few cherished lies because they blunted the pain of rejection. But the road to publication required discarding these lies and facing reality. Here are five lies I believed before I was published:

1. THE RULES DON’T APPLY TO ME.editing

I write amazing first drafts. If there were a contest for first drafts, mine would win every time. So I told myself, “Writing is not rewriting.” Other people might have to do multiple drafts, but my first drafts are so solid I could publish them as-is. For years I believed this.

One day I did three drafts of an article, and it became my first published article. A solid first draft is not good enough to be published. All those “rules of writing” that you read in Writer’s Digest, on blogs, and in creative writings classes are rules because they are true most of the time. So if there are some rules that you think don’t apply to you, think again. It might be the rule preventing you from getting published.

2. AGENTS AND EDITORS HAVE IT IN FOR ME.

Ah, those blood-sucking agents and editors. I’m pretty sure they have meetings in a secret underground lair where they talk about how jealous they are of my writing skills and how they should team up to keep me from being published.

This is a lie that is so prevalent among unpublished writers that editors and agents have to go to psychologists so they can feel good about themselves again. I know one editor who calls herself “Dream Crusher” to assuage her pain. Here’s the truth: Editors and agents desperately want you to be good enough. They make a living by writers being publishable. If you’re getting rejected it’s because you still have work to do. either as a writer or as a marketer.

3. I’M NOT A MARKETER, I’M A WRITER!

Which is exactly why you aren’t published yet. You have to do the hard work of writing a spectacular query and proposal. Notice that you have to “write” the query and proposal. You’re not being asked to do an interpretive dance or draft blueprints to a rocket ship. It might not be your style, and it might be hard work, but being a published author is hard work, complete with e-mails you don’t want to answer, deadlines, accounting and marketing!

Matt Mikalatos





Writing Despite Rejection

8 05 2013

David Mills posted a farewell to the old times saying that writers need rejection. He hated all those editors and their “I’m sorry” letters that broke his heart, but how joyous that first acceptance letter. It did not come easy, but the uphill work gave him the experience and the strength to keep trying. With so many abilities for self-publishing new writers are lacking that thick wall of trees needing to be cleared before they find their true worth. They still need help learning how to shave away the dead wood. Do not know what I am talking about? Try checking out the free sections in the Nook store or at Amazon. Get comfortable and be ready to see the difference. The story could be fabulous, I have thought several enjoyable and showing promise, but they are still lacking that magic that comes with the expertise and critical eye of a publisher. They begin with great promise and end a little deflated or they have a great story line with a few extra plots that leave you confused.
I am sure many have heard the rejection stories of Steven King or JK Rowling. You might even be hoping they shared their own little “How do you like me now!” moments when their stories became a cultural icon. But, with all the heartache comes necessary tools to become great. Look at those rejections as a necessary step towards that hopeful publication. Each form letter, sticker on your submission with “return to sender”, and the scribbled “no thanks” on your cover letter was a step in the right direction- publication. Don’t forget the possibility for those moments when publishers may really get your hopes up only to dash them in the end. After Gerald Haslam’s first rejection letter he unburdened his grief on his ex-senator only to receive a laugh for his woes and the advice to, “
Just consider the editor nuts and send the work back out. And don’t consider revising anything until it’s had at least six negative responses.”

Keep in mind that editors are thoroughly overwhelmed. In a letter to Small Press Review, an unknown editor of a small magazine wrote, “I received 26 manuscripts today of 4-24 poems each. Most editors would consider the day that provided two acceptable manuscripts a good one.” Another free lancer, Larry Levinger, has developed a response to rejection letters that is both practical and idealistic: “The thing to do is keep sending the stuff out: pay no attention to suggestions for a rewrite, no attention to opinion. Write. Write and send. If it comes back, write something else. And send it again. The main thing is don’t change the writing to prevent the rejection. Believe in what you’re doing.

Perseverance is a necessary trait. Somebody will tell you no. It’s going to happen. It has probably happened already. It might happen today, or tomorrow, or every day next week and then some. Maybe it happened five minutes ago and the pain is still searingly fresh, or maybe it’s on its way, looming dark and ugly on the horizon, five minutes from now. Somebody will tell you no. Not every story you pen will be a great work or even a good one. The only one that is going to stop you from writing is you. If you keep going you will keep growing and you will keep learning.reject





From the Desk of The Cultural Purveyor

31 03 2013

I love following this genius at work. Any time I am stuck, unmotivated, experiencing the usual writer’s angst, I turn to The Cultural Purveyor for relief, insight, motivation, and a dose of reality.  All writers should be checking in with this guru (my personal opinion).  Here’s my dose of reality for today.CPphoto

WRITING MOTIVATION  by THE CULTURAL PURVEYOR

What inspires us to write? There is something inside us that must be let out… a craving to express ourselves with the written word. Our efforts might  be as short as a haiku, as long as War and Peace or anything in between. It doesn’t matter as long as the wordsmith muse within us is let free.

The Cultural Purveyor encourages the Arts in all its forms, most especially the Art of writing.

How though do you become inspired? Today we are sharing a short piece written by +pio dal cin .  His inspiration was a memory of an event in his past. For  him the memory was sweet and loving.

Not all memories are pleasant, nor do they have to be in order to be expressed. Today take your 15 minutes of writing time (you do carve out time to do that don’t you?) and think about something from your past. It can be humorous, sad, joyful or simply nostalgic and let your creativity flow.





Author interview with murder mystery author and fiction memoirist LT Bentley

17 02 2013

I recently did an interview with Morgen Bailey.  Be sure to check it out.

 

Author interview with murder mystery author and fiction memoirist LT Bentley.

via Author interview with murder mystery author and fiction memoirist LT Bentley.





Written by Anonymous, the First Recognized Author

9 01 2013

The inhabitants of ancient Mesopotamia, where Iraq now stands, are usually credited with the invention of writing. Clay tablets from slightly before 3,000 BC show a predecessor of the script called cuneiform, which records the affairs, and presumably the language, of the early Babylonians.

But did writing really originate on the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers? Not according to archeologist Günter Dreyer, director of the German Institute of Archaeology in Cairo. If he’s right, the Earth-shattering invention occurred on the banks of the Nile.

In a December press release that was picked up by many wire services, Dreyer said he’d found writing on a group of small bone or ivory labels dating from 3,300 to 3,200 BC. Writing, here, means a symbolic representation of language, not pictures representing concrete objects.dreyer1

The labels were attached to bags of linen and oil in the tomb of King Scorpion I in Egypt. They apparently indicated the origin of the commodities.

Like the symbolic systems of pictographs that preceded writing, the inscriptions contained symbols. Pictographs, however, are not truly writing, but rather drawings that represent specific words or objects.

Thus a pictograph of an eye might stand for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.
But Dreyer maintains that the labels he’s studied carry inscriptions with phonetic significance. That would make them a symbolic representation of language — true writing.
And if he’s right, they are the earliest known writing.

Almost. In fact, he says the labels helped him decipher earlier inscriptions on pottery found in the same cemetery. If Dreyer is right, these inscriptions, dating from 3400 to 3,300, are the first known writing.





Author Blog Hop- My Newest Book

14 11 2012

Many thanks to my friend Siggy Buckley for inviting me to participate in the Blog Hop where authors answer questions about their new books. Check out her latest book when you get the chance.

For those of you who aren’t aware, I am a pretty new writer.  This year I released two novels, Fatal Compulsions (July, 2012) and Daughter of My Heart: Cela’s Letters Home (September 2012).  As an author, it has been a red-letter year for me.  What a way to burst on to the scene!  Little did I know, however, that after Fatal Compulsions was released, that there would be a clamor for a sequel. So, I began my third novel, Shattered Gemini (working title) which I hope to released sometime in 2013.  Thank heavens for an amazing publisher who is already excited for this sequel.  It drives me even more to complete the manuscript.

As part of this wonderful Blog Hop I have been invited to be part of, I get to introduce Shattered Gemini to those who are familiar with Fatal Compulsions and to new readers who aren’t.  So let’s get started, shall we?

Ten Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing:

SHATTERED GEMINI

     What is the working title of your book?

The working title for my next book, a sequel to Fatal Compulsions is SHATTERED GEMINI. I don’t want  to give too much away with the title, but since I write with a definite psychological bend, the name is a play on words that hopefully, will excite my readers.

     Where did the idea come from for the book?

As this is a sequel, the idea was already in place long before I published Fatal Compulsions. SHATTERED GEMINI is the continuation of Audrey Sampson and Everett Allen’s story. After all, you can’t expect two sleuths to just sit back on their laurels. Besides, I was already getting demands from my beta readers to continue with Audrey and Rett’s love story.  Hopefully SHATTERED GEMINI will appease my readers who are so heavily invested emotionally in this couple.

     What genre does your book fall under?

This particular book is a psychological murder mystery.  It is one of my two preferred genres.  The other genre I enjoy writing is fictional memoir.

     Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

If given the opportunity to see SHATTERED GEMINI on screen, I’d want to see Emma Watson portray Audrey Sampson. Ms. Watson has just the right touch of innocence coupled with determination and drive to portray the young, unjaded Audrey. Greg Vaughn portraying Everett Allen would definitely show the bad boy exterior, good guy at heart aspects of Rett, Audrey’s love interest. Mr. Vaughn could pull off both character strengths with ease. As for Gemini, well, that would have to be just as unknown as who or what Gemini is.

     What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Audrey Sampson and Everett Allen team up to stop a serial kidnapper/murderer, one who is preying on identical twins, who seems determined to keep the pair apart… permanently.

     Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Hunt Press, Inc. published Fatal Compulsions as well as my second book, Daughter of My Heart: Cela’s Letters Home.  I see no reason why SHATTERED GEMINI shouldn’t be published by them as well. I have certainly been pleased with the quality of work they help me put out.

      How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Good question.  SHATTERED GEMINI is still a work in progress.  Hopefully, I should be ready to submit it to my editor by January 2013 ( I seriously, hope she doesn’t hold me to this deadline).  That would slate it for release sometime in early Fall 2013.

     What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

     SHATTERED GEMINI is written along the same style as many of Dan Brown’s works.  I really admire him as a researcher and as an author and enjoy the way he lays out a story chronologically. You might also recognize a bit of Clive Cussler-esque style in my writing.

     Who or What inspired you to write this book?

That is an easy question if asked about my first two books.  I would have to say that Fatal Compulsions and its two main characters Audrey and Rett inspired the sequel.  When you give birth to such great characters, it is hard to contain them within just one story.  Some characters need several stories to live through in order to fulfill their life’s purpose.

     What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

I am a dark writer; meaning I am graphic without being gross and I try to build a visual picture in my reader’s mind without chasing them from it with blood, gore, or gratuitous violence or sex.  I don’t think any of that is necessary to tell a great story. I will however, not pull punches if it is called for.  After all, a murder scene can’t be neat and tidy and covered in pink ribbons and daisies.  It would defeat the purpose and leave the reader wondering what exactly is happening. My murders have clues left for the reader, but they have to watched for.  I never leave anything blatantly out in the open.  I am definitely a storyteller who delights in stringing the reader along to the very end then showing them how I’ve thrown all their preconceptions and theories out the window. Critics have called my writing, “the ultimate experience in who-dun-it story telling”.  Want to play Clue or Sherlock Holmes?  SHATTERED GEMINI will give you a similar run for your money.

Where might we find your other books?

Fatal Compulsions is available at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com, and Lulu.com. You can find the Kindle version at Amazon and soon, B&N should have the Nook version.

Daughter of My Heart: Cela’s Letters Home is available at Lulu.com and should be available at Amazon.com in time for Christmas 2012.

Thank you again, Siggy! Can’t wait to read your newest book.

And now to Deep In My Psyche!

Watch next week for five new authors joining the Blog Hop.  Diane Adams Taylor, Sharon Jacobson, Harry Dodson, Colleen Sayre, Elaine Benton, and Greg Randall.

You won’t want to miss reading about these wonderful authors upcoming projects. They will be joining the Blog Hop next Wednesday, November 21st, so be sure to check them out then.  You’ll also find their blog links under AUTHORS I FOLLOW.








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