Saturday, March 27, 2010


I don't normally post on weekends, but every now and then I like to be a rebel! So, I just want to leave you guys with this little painting I did. It was my first attempt at painting. I do some drawing, but I'm not quite versed in the painting world.......yet. I've always wanted to try and I finally broke down and bought some supplies.

This is my first piece.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Relative Writing (En/Dis)couraging

You've searched long and hard for the right set of words to open your novel. After intense mental debate you conclude that your line "It was a dark and stormy night..." just screams PERFECT!

Days go by and you add line after line, word after word, metaphor after metaphor...

Things are moving along, then suddenly you read bit of advice in a seminar handout regarding dynamic-novel-writing. It lists the most common amateur writing mistakes and sure enough you find that your opening line "it was a dark and stormy night," was a HUGE mistake! OH NO! Then you find out, as you read the other common amateur moves, that you've been doing it all wrong.

You have a HUGE choice here. You can either scrap your manuscript, turn tail and head for the mountains in shame, or you can suck up your pride, learn from your mistakes, take the advice and make the appropriate changes.

Sometimes as writers, we are faced with opportunities to grow. Often it can make us second guess our viability as a writer, but it doesn't have to be like that. Each of us will make amateur mistakes, the question is, what will YOU do when you are shown one.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Short & Sweet of it

I finished my latest reading last night. I had been reading Neil Gaiman's novel, Neverwhere. First of all, I have to say that as a story, this novel was well done and enjoyable to a great degree. There were a few unanswered questions, though in a story this rich in fantasy, there's bound to be a few. More than anything, I was impressed with Gaiman's use of language and mastery of words. I am hard pressed to name another modern author who could stand toe to toe with Gaiman in the craft of writing. I cannot begin to tell you how excellent his descriptions were and how the metaphors and allusions were utterly powerful and beautiful.

I'd rather not go into specifics of the story itself, to avoid spoiling it for anyone interested in reading, so I'll just leave you with this:

Check it out, buy it, rent it, borrow it, READ IT. As a writer, I was blown away with examples of how to better hone my skills. As a reader, I was taken on an incredible journey through a fantasy world nearly missing from my life since my childhood days of hiding from monsters in my closet.
For the record, I was so impressed by his writing, I've decided to begin another book by Gaiman called American Gods. That is very rare for me to do. I typically will not go looking for other books by an author just because I liked a single book written by them. Maybe this is a testament to how well received Neverwhere was with me.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Order of Events

So, you are driving along and suddenly you spot a dead penguin on the side of the road and it hits you


The idea for an amazing novel comes bubbling into your brain like a cheap champagne. It seems like the strangest or smallest things excite ideas, to us literary folk, that get our creative juices churning. I'm curious though, when something strikes you as a good idea for a novel, what order of events do you begin playing out in your mind. Do you take the idea and try to form a solid opening with it, or do you jump right to how it should end? Maybe you're a plot, middle of the road, planner? So, tell me, what's the order of events for you when it comes time to plan a brand new story out?

Monday, March 22, 2010

We Survived the Cruise

Top Deck where we would party!

At the beach at Puerto Vallarta... the water was awesome!

Cruisin can be rough... gotta catch some zzzzz's sometime.

In the mid ship club called Club Fusion.

Bus Touring through Mazatlan

Overlooking Mazatlan

Chillaxin on the top-deck pool at the back of the ship

Me being silly

Coastal picture in Mazatlan

Me, dancing with a group of traditional Mexican dancers for Mardi Gras Style Dance

Puerto Vallarta

Us, overlooking "lover's point" in Mazatlan