Saturday, June 23, 2012

Random Thoughts – Writers Are Like Everyone Else

Source: MicroSoft

I'm talking about writers. We make poor decisions every day. We’re egotistical, narcissistic, too. We are stubborn, selfish. Gosh, we’re lazy, as well. Let’s not forget moody – talk about drama queens, lol.

We don’t like taking responsibility for our actions. We are conflict avoiders, which ultimately turns us into bitter, complaining (or maybe grumbling is a better word) cowards at best, or scheming backstabbers at worst.

We love to point out the bad in others without ever looking at the bad in ourselves (because obviously they are worse than us). We hate whiners but love to whine. Of course WE have good reasons.

Having said all that, I mean to say writers are like everyone else on this planet. Yes, there is good in us, too. But it’s all this other junk that I’m thinking about now. Why? Although we are like everyone else in that we’re flawed, creative writers are different in one way: we can take all this ugliness and create stories.

We use the brain’s power of creativity to put last night’s bad decision into context. Somehow, if we’re lucky, we may then come to some sort of closure regarding our foolishness. If we're really lucky, we learn from our mistakes (Still working on that one).

Hmmm. I don’t know. Just free writing. Now, back to being lazy…

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Chance To Win Pass To ThrillerFest in NY

I figured I'd pass this item along. If you like thrillers and can get to New York next month, give this a shot.

I saw this on Win a pass to ThrillerFest, featuring Lee Child, Ann Rule and more. The event runs July 11-14. The free day pass is for July 13. To enter, you have to go to the Writer's Digest blog and in the comments section tell them who your favorite thriller author is. Hurry, though. Deadline is 2 p.m. Friday.

The winner will be announced next week (Week of June 18,2012).

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Mall Demons Series Returning

As I mentioned in my previous blog entry, I have been on a writing sabbatical over the last few months. That kept the Mall Demons series on hold.

Over the next few weeks, I'll be working on the series again. Beginning Tuesday I'll republish the previous chapters in preparation for the release of new chapters in the coming weeks.

The plan had been to publish "The Chosen..." in January 2012. Although I don't have a firm date for it, I'm now looking at publishing late this fall or winter. The biggest hurdle is finding the right cover art. 

More on that later.

You can still find the prelude to "The Chosen..." as a Kindle e-book on 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Time To Write Again

Earlier this year I decided to take a break from writing. I'm not working as a full-time journalist anymore, so it's a luxury I can afford. Yes, I thought about writing every day. I read about a dozen books during my writing sabbatical. I did some free writing using writing prompts a few times. But for the most part, I didn't write much over the last few months.

All my major projects remained on hold. Don't know if the inkwell was empty. Why the break? Just because. I kept teaching, kept living. 

Recently during a 27-hour road trip, I listened to my thoughts in the way that a person can only do on such a trip. Your wife and children are all asleep in the van. It's 2 a.m., and you're still two states away from your destination. Nothing much on the radio holds your attention. The landscape is a running silhouette of trees, farm houses and corn fields. The words started trickling out.

Two states later we arrived. Still in the middle of the night at my mother's home. We transfer sleeping zombie children from the van to the house. We unpack the van, chit chat a bit with mom. Then off to feel the comfort of a bed. My wife is gone a few seconds after her head hits the pillow. I've only had four hours of fretful sleep during the trip - taken in 30-minute to 1-hour increments.

Yet my mind is racing. I doze off only to be roused an hour later by words aching to break free. I form sentences in my mind - appease them. Then, doze again. Half an hour later, the words shake me to consciousness again. 

I form more sentences in my head. Paragraphs, too. I create mental outlines. I repeat the outlines several times. It's how I sear topics to memory when I either don't want to jot them down, or don't have materials to jot them down. My way of not losing material.

I close my eyes. Futile. This time the words only allow me about 15 minutes. I'm exhausted, but the words wake me in a way coffee, Red Bull or 5-hour energy drinks could never do. By 7 a.m., I've outlined three ideas for personal essays. 

My brain is overflowing. Sabbatical's over. I have no choice in the matter.

Quote Of The Day: The Surefire Way To Never Meet Your Goals

This one is attributed to hockey legend Wayne Gretzky: You miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take. This is so true. I have b...