Thursday, December 29, 2011

Mantra for 2012--By Chuck Wendig

The Second Writer's Prayer, from Revenge Of The Pen Monkey, by awesome Chuck Wending.  Found it on TerribleMinds, Chuck's blog, and couldn't resist sharing it...  One, because Chuck's is a blog I think everyone should be following, and two, because the prayer is the most fuckin' uplifting thing I've ever read.  Made me want to climb to a rooftop and shout it out in a powerful Mercutio voice...  And, now I think of it, maybe I'll do just that.  Every day of 2012.

I am a writer, and I am done fucking around.

That which has prevented me lingers no longer. I am wind and storm and lightning and I shall huff and I shall puff and I shall blow all the barriers down. Then I will drink whisky made from the fear-urine of my loudest detractors and find power in their disbelief.

I don’t have time. I make time. I reach into the universe’s clockwork brain and I take whatever time I jolly well need. I cobble time out of sticks and mud and the finger-bones of naysayers. I am a motherfucking time wizard and with a wave of my pen shall create universes to conquer. Pockets of possibility. Born of my desire to have them made.

Fuck doubt. Doubt is a goblin on my back. I will reach for him with my ink-stained hands and grab his greasy head and fling him into the infinite nothing. His screams will thrill me. The resultant word-boner shall be mighty, and with this tremendous oaken stalk I shall swipe it left and swing it right and sweep all the road-blocks and brick-walls out of my way.

My distractions whimper and plead, their backs pressed against the wall, but I am no creature of mercy. Triple-Tap. Mozambique Drill. Two in the chest and one in the head. I laugh as they fall because their death clears the way and gives me purpose.

I will put myself on the page. I’m all in, with every card face up on the table. I am my stories and my stories are me. I do not merely write what I know: I write who I am. I’ll reach into my own chest and pluck out my still-beating heart and milk its juices like an overripe grapefruit. Squish.

That’s my blood on the page. The helix-spirals of my DNA wound around every word, every character, every plot point and page number. If CSI came here right now with one of those UV lights, you’d see the spatters and stains of my many penmonkey fluids because I can and will no longer contain my seed. You’ll take my inky seed and you’ll like my inky seed. It is a delightful moisturizer.

I do what needs doing. I ride the Loch Ness Monster through the gates of Carthage. I learn forbidden power words from the Undead Shamans of the Tulsa Underground. I kung-fu-kick a hole in the fabric of space and time and stick my head through to see what exists on the other side. I eat planets. I drink oceans. I piss rivers and I shit mountain lions. No task exists that I cannot accomplish on the page.

I write from a place of honesty. My stories are lies that speak truth.

Nobody tells me who I am or what I can’t do. I tell stories. I write characters. I make true shit up out of thin air. And nothing is more perfect than that.

My doubt is dead.

The dream is no longer a dream.

My desires are made manifest.

This is my reality now.

It’s time to load the guns, brew the ink, and go to work.

Because I am a writer, and I am done fucking around.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Lost Pleasure of Reading (For a Writer)

In an interview with Joselyn Vaughn on Amy Corwin's blog (do check out the interview--great stuff, great author), something came up that made me stop and go "huh."  It was Joselyn's answer to the question: "What makes a great book?"

This is her answer:
"When you start writing, you notice the writing in other books. You don’t get to read for pleasure very much anymore. You notice that they repeated a word or phrase within two sentences or you pick up the sly hints/foreshadowing much too easily. For me a great book has become one where the story is so engaging that I don’t notice any of this stuff—that is allows me to read purely for pleasure.[...]"
 Huh, I went.  Because this is so totally f*cking true.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Vaclav Havel: The Notion of Identity

Bon voyage, Vaclav Havel--and thank you.

That Shakespearean Rag has a great post on Vaclav Havel's passing here--go ahead and read it, it's a powerful obituary.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Defining Right And Wrong

While discussing my WIP, Restoring Experience, with some really excellent beta readers, a question came up that I thought would be interesting to share with you.  See, Alexia is going to have to make a decision, sooner or later, about the way she's going to live her life--whether she's going to do what she's supposed to, or what she wants to.

This led me to thinking about how our concept of "right" and "wrong" is so often defined by what others expect of us and not by what we really believe ourselves.  And actually, even that belief, the inner thoughts and commentary we provide ourselves with, is also based on others' expectations, in some degree, isn't it?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday (December 18)

Welcome to Six Sentence Sunday!  Hard to believe that next week it'll be Christmas already, but there you have it--2012 is done, ladies and gents.

This excerpt is from Chapter 8 of Restoring Experience, one of my current WIPs.  I promised you'd meet Dan, Alexia's boyfriend of seven years (yikes!) and... here he is.

“Come walk with me,” he said, shut the door behind him.
I tried not to fidget as I watched him come around to my side.  It was so stupid, having to wait inside the car for him to get the door for me, but all the men I knew insisted, and the hurt on their faces whenever I did it myself generated enough guilt to make me desist.   
I didn’t mind when he held a door open for me, or when he pulled out a chair for me at a restaurant--I liked it--but when it came to the car it made me fidget.  I felt helpless, locked in.  None of the other girls seemed to mind, and it never looked awkward with them--just with me.

Thank you so much for your visit, and triple thanks for your comments and feedback--they make my day, every time.  Plus, I really want to know what impression you got of Dan so far.

Have a fantastic Sunday, y'all, and remember to visit the other Six Sundayers--one day you'll see a new bestseller at your local bookstore and say, "Hey! I read a piece of that online, when it was just a work-in-progress, at Six Sentence Sunday!"

P.S.--I'm celebrating this weekend because a short story of mine was published Friday at Fiction365.  If you're in the mood for a creepy story about legends that won't stay *just* legends, take a hop over and read it here.  I'd love to hear what you think about that one too!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Mischievous Moonlight Published Today!

The wonderful folks at Fiction365 graciously published my story, Mischievous Moonlight, as their feature today.  Hop on over and take a look--it's "more than a little spooky", according to a reader.  I hope you like it, and if you're so inclined, you can leave some feedback at Fiction365's Facebook page (or follow the link on their site).  As all writers, I think, I love to hear what you think--good or bad, feedback's always always welcome.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Bad day? Blow something up.

No, not really.  But Janet Reid posted this on her blog and I just HAD to share it.

Please don't blow anything up.  And yes, it's office-safe.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday (December 11)

And... another Six Sentence Sunday!  This is the last excerpt I share from Chapter 7 of the WIP (Restoring Experience)--next week you'll meet Alexia's boyfriend.  I know you're all rooting for Michael here, but poor Dan also deserves a chance :)

Michael just tried to kiss Alexia before leaving for Acapulco, and she's outraged.  Now, she's a good Mexican girl who's been in a steady relationship for seven years, but...  I can't help thinking she's overreacting a bit.  What do you think?

“A kiss is not just a kiss.”  
What did he mean, ‘just a kiss’?  A kiss is—surrender.  Silver-screen romance ends in a kiss, princesses are woken from cursed slumber by a kiss, marriages and other worthy commitments are sealed with a kiss.  A kiss is acceptance of everything else to come.  It’s the beginning of…  well, everything.

Michael is a broad-minded guy and I'm sure he'd have been open to all sorts of reactions...  But I don't think he was expecting this one.

If you're getting tired of this story please do let me know--we'll switch to the new WIP, the NaNo novel, see how you like that one.

Thanks for stopping by, everyone, and remember to visit the other SSS participants this week.  Great talent there, and some awesome blogs to discover.

Happy Sunday, everyone!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday (December 4)

It's December already, people.  Where'd the year go?  Can't say it hasn't been productive--I quit my office job, writing full-time now, mortgage be damned--but it just went by so fast.

One of the nicest things, though, in this new writer life of mine, is the Six Sunday community.  There's a bit of everything, something for every taste.  And the people are fantastic.  Remember to stop by and visit some other SSS bloggers--make your Sunday special :)

And--back to Alexia and Michael, about to kiss in the language school lobby.  Enjoy!
A muscle in my neck, more sensible than I, contracted--my head twitched and his lips met only the tiniest portion of the corner of my mouth.  Disgusted at the unreasonable twinge of disappointment, I pushed hard at his chest and went for outrage. 
“What the hell was that?” 
Instead of exhibiting remorse, like any good Mexican boy would, his mouth opened into a big O.   
“Why’d you move away?”  
“Michael, you were going to kiss me!  What were you thinking?”

*Sigh*.  I was kind of hoping she'd let him kiss her.  But--there's a boyfriend involved.  A serious boyfriend, with whom she's about to move to Italy with on a graduate program.  And Michael...  Well, he's only here in Mexico for a few weeks.  The attraction's strong, but--is it worth it?  There's just too much to lose, isn't there?  

What would you do?  Take the fling?  Stay faithful to the boyfriend?  What does your decision hinge on?  What's more important, in the end?  The moment?  Or loyalty?

Friday, December 2, 2011

White Christmas in Curaçao

Yes!  This year Curacao hosts a white Christmas, thanks to Simon Kewing of Spellmaking.  Ok, maybe not all Curacao, but in THIS blog it's a freakin' snow storm :)

Scott Schiller originally wrote the code--a BIG thank-you, Scott.  For all of you winter-spirited bloggers, if you want a snowstorm on your blog, just cut and paste the code below into an HTML gadget and--presto!  All that's missing is the sleigh-bells :)

<script src="" type="text/javascript">
snowStorm.snowColor = '#99ccff';
snowStorm.flakesMaxActive = 128;
snowStorm.useTwinkleEffect = true;
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