I’m not happy. No, this isn’t a post about the things in my life I’m not satisfied with. Rather, it’s a post about something that set my teeth on edge. An author I know recently released a self-published book about a character who falls in love with another character. Yeah, it’s a romance, or it’s supposed to be. What I’m not happy about is this—this book is less than one hundred pages and yet it deals with how a woman overcomes the mental and physical torment brought about by rape and falls in love with her rescuer.
Less than one hundred pages and you’re going to cover a topic that sensitive, that fraught with pitfalls, that…I can’t. I just can’t. Excuse me while I slap the back of my head to dislodge my eyeballs. They got stuck staring at my brain in an epic eyeroll.
As a survivor of sexual assault, to think that anyone can cover the lifelong repercussions of such a traumatic event in less than one hundred pages…eyeroll again. To be that flippant with such an event…Again, words utterly fail me.
To this author, though, I do have some words. Survivors of sexual assault, and especially the type of assault you write of, don’t ever recover. We learn to cope. Because this is written as an historical, your character’s coping skills would be even more hard fought and even harder won. Even today, survivors of sexual assault are shamed and blamed. In the 1800s, the terribly sad fact is while rape occurred, the survivor was doubly victimized in the blame and shame game. The destruction of trust a survivor of rape experiences isn’t overcome with a gentle kiss. I don’t care how virile, how handsome, how thoughtful, how caring you try to portray your hero. That lack of trust in all of humanity takes years to overcome, if it ever can be.
My suggestion to this author is this—the next time you decide to write a story where the main character has survived sexual assault and rape, try talking to a few survivors. You might be surprised at how little you really know about it.
Yeah, I’m not happy. I’m actually angry at how cavalierly this author treated that character and in effect, treated every single survivor. We deserve better than you wrote us.
Every year, I promise myself I won’t let the emotions in. Every year, I promise myself I will ground myself and shield myself. And every year, I can’t. Those strong emotions get past my defenses. Being an empath is never easy. It’s much harder this time of year.
As I usually do as September 11th approaches, I find myself reflecting on how much our world changed on that day in 2001. There is anger in that reflection. Anger toward those who twisted a purported religion of peace into an instrument of hatred. Anger that as a nation we said we would never forget, and yet, we are forgetting. Anger that we are foolishly allowing those who swore to destroy us from within a foothold. This day of remembrance isn’t about “some people” who did “something” as one of those who has gained a foothold by being elected to Congress has said.
That Congresswoman is correct in that “some people did something.” “Some people” allowed their hearts to fill with hatred, allowed their minds to be twisted by a cult of death. “Some people” became murderers, not martyrs. “Some people” became a morality lesson of the worst kind. “Some people,” when apprehended by a nation filled with righteous anger for what was perpetrated on her people, squealed like snared pigs in sharing information. And one, though it took ten years to apprehend, revealed what an absolute and utter coward he was. What sort of “honorable” man uses his own wife and child as a shield? Hey, bartender--in honor of May 2, 2011, I will have two shots and a splash.
And, yet…my reflection for this day of remembrance encompasses “some people” – the almost three thousand people who went to bed on September 10th, never knowing they wouldn’t see another sunset; “some people” in New York City and at the Pentagon rushed into danger to save the lives of others; “some people” called their loved ones from airplanes, from the stairwells of the World Trade Center Towers, just to say one last time, “I love you.”; “some people” onboard United Flight 93 looked death in the eye and with the words of “We’re going to do something” and “Let’s roll” made the conscious choice to die on their terms; “some people” filled New York’s harbor and the East River with private boats to help their fellow Americans get off the island of Manhattan; “some people” stood in line for hours to donate blood, that sadly was not needed on that day; “some people” in a little Canadian town in Nova Scotia saw their population temporarily swell by nearly triple when all domestic flights to the US were grounded at the nearest airport, and graciously opened their homes and their hearts to the stranded travelers.
These are the “some people who did something” I reflect on. These everyday people, who became heroes are the ones I chose to remember. There is a very old proverb, which actually comes from the Egyptian Book of the Dead, that says as long as someone's name is said and remembered, they are not ever gone. My prayer is these "some people" are never forgotten, that we never stop reading their names as etched into metal and stone in the memorials at the World Trade Center, at the Pentagon, in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. As long as they are remembered, as long as their names are spoken, they will not die. And my fervent hope is that the names of those who became murderers on September 11th are completely forgotten, wiped from memory, and never spoke again.
Originally posted: 12 June 2012
I’ve come to the conclusion that there is a let-down after sending that last round of edits to an editor. There is still one more round of editing to go, but that’s mainly for typos, missing punctuation, and formatting. That’s not changing words, tightening story lines, or filling in plot holes.
And, I’m not even sure if it’s a let-down or if it’s the realization that I’ve finally let my baby go into the world, where it will sink or swim on its own merit. Any author will tell you, there comes a time when as a writer, you have to stop tinkering, stop puttering around with the words, and let that writing go out into the world. The other night, I was re-reading the critical introduction to my master’s creative thesis, and while I thought, “Dang! That’s good!” there were still places where I wanted to change things. And, I’ve had my master’s for almost three years now. If I was honest with myself, I could have written more in that critical introduction, could have changed a lot of things—but there came a point in time when I had to let it go and give it to my master’s committee.
The same with any novel. There is a point when as an author, I have to say to myself, “Stop!” If I don’t say that, I would never stop writing and rewriting a manuscript. I have to admit to myself that it’s not perfect, it never will be, but the manuscript is as good as I can make it and live with.
For a while, I was hung up on making the first draft PERFECT. Needless to say, I never got past the first couple of pages, because I was so concerned with making it perfect that I couldn’t keep writing. One of my friends, who wrote for a while, never got past that “It has to be perfect!” in the first draft stage. And, I think the world lost a wonderful fantasy writer because she couldn’t make that internal editor shut up. I read some of her early stuff and was blown away with the detail, the richness, and the depth that she wrote. It’s a real pity that she could never get past the first ten or fifteen pages because her internal editor wouldn’t let her go on until those first pages were perfect. And, because she couldn’t make that internal editor happy, those first pages never were perfect.
What got me over needing to make the first draft perfect were a couple of things. The first was I learned how to turn off the internal editor. Even when the editor was screaming things weren’t perfect, I forced myself to keep writing. I told the editor that I could go back and fix what wasn’t perfect. And, to reinforce that resolve to keep writing, I made a sign to hang over my desk that was a quote of Ernest Hemingway. That quote reads, “The first draft is always SHIT.”
I’m not a huge fan of Hemingway, but seeing those words allowed me to turn off the editor.
I could also mention the other quote I have hanging over my desk, but then I’d also have to try to explain Derrida and his literary theory and I don’t think there’s enough time left in the universe to explain deconstructionist theory. (Even though I admit, when it came time to write critical literary papers during my master’s program, that was my favorite form of literary criticism to use, because all of life is about assumed and imposed binaries.)
The second thing that got me over needing to make that first draft perfect was my friend. It was so frustrating to hear the excitement in her voice when she got an idea for a new book, and she’d start writing, and a few weeks later, to hear the absolute dejection in her voice because she couldn’t make it perfect. And, for her, it had to be perfect before she could continue. I refused to allow the characters who spoke so strongly to me—strongly enough that I had to sit down and write their story—die a quiet death because I couldn’t get past the needing to make it perfect. So many wonderful characters that my friend created died, their voices never heard, their worlds never explored—all because she couldn’t make her internal editor shut up. I wasn’t going to do that to my characters, and I wasn’t going to be that author. If my characters die, it’s because I wrote their deaths—crying (or in some cases, feeling a grim sense of satisfaction) the whole time.
Every year, this week is incredibly difficult for me. I am sharing a blog post I wrote on 16 December, 2014.
Destroyer of the World:
It’s been a while since I’ve posted. There’s been a lot going on in my life—trying to find the funds to go play in New York City in February at Westminster Kennel Club, sending my third book to my editor, working on another book, training puppies to be show dogs. Usually I take this time to reflect on the year and look ahead to the next, but I’m not doing this for this post. Maybe before the end of the year, I will do that.
Rather, I cannot remain silent any longer. I watched with horror as a religious extremist took hostages in a mall in Sydney, Australia. My heart broke when I read the news that religious extremists within the same purported “religion of peace” invaded a school in Pakistan and killed more than 130 children. My heart aches for the families who have lost so very much. The Quran states that when you kill someone, you have destroyed the world. The world has been destroyed for so many families.
I do not claim—nor do I believe I can attempt—to understand the reasoning behind violence in the name of any god, whether that god is the god of Judaism, Christianity, or Islam. When you use religion and drape your violence and brutality and bloodshed within the precepts of ANY religion, you have destroyed any credibility for that religion you wish to force upon others. Conversion by sword point is not conversion; it is coercion and it is not a manner to gain followers to a “peaceful” religion.
When you chose to target those who cannot fight back, when you chose to target the weakest, the most defenseless, the most innocent among us—you have made the conscious choice to be nothing. YOU ARE NOT A WARRIOR. YOU ARE NOT A MARTYR. YOU ARE NOT AN EXAMPLE TO FOLLOW. You are no longer anything other than a coward, a murderer, and a heretic to what you claim to believe.
You are a coward because you fear what you do not understand and you fear to learn understanding. So, you attempt to destroy that which does not fit into your narrow-minded, frightened little world view. The thing any religious extremist fears is an educated mind. You are not enlightened in any manner what so ever. The most terrifying thing to you is not an army but rather a child with a book.
You are a murderer of the lowest form. You seek out those who are innocent, those who are the weakest, those who cannot fight back. You throw around terms like “honor” as if you understand its meaning. You have no honor. The mangiest mongrel cur in the streets has more honor that you have ever had or ever will have. There is no room in Paradise for spineless, cowardly, honor less murderers of children. I would call you a son of a bitch, which I know is the worst insult I can offer to one of your religious persuasion, but I WILL NOT dishonor my dogs.
You are a heretic to the precepts of the religion you have chosen to drape your cowardice and dishonor in. Children are to be treasured. They are a gift and you have chosen to reject that gift. You have chosen to destroy the world.
This blog was originally written April 26, 2014
“You’ve seen too many Hammer films.” (Franz Ragoczy, as quoted in “Cabin 33” in The Saint-Germain Chronicles by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro)
So, I wanted something a little different to read the other day, while at the same time being familiar. I started looking through my books and was dismayed to discover that I couldn’t find the six books by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro that I SWORE I had put away in boxes marked “Lynda’s Favorites: KEEP.” I’ve had these six books since before my son was born. I passed many an hour with severe morning sickness (more like all day long sickness) reading these books.
I tore the house apart looking for those six books. I was getting physically ill, wondering what I could have done with them. And I broke down when I couldn’t find them and went to Amazon to see if they were available in e-book format and if not, if I could find them for a relatively modest price through the “buy used” option. I was stunned to learn that there aren’t six books in this series now, there are 26 and the 27th is coming out in December of this year. And I thought when I had purchased Tempting Fate lo those many moons ago that was the end of the series. Apparently CQY couldn’t bear to let her most beloved character go.
I was delirious with happiness—until I realized I had twenty books to read to get caught up with the life and times of one Franz Ragoczy, le Comte de Saint-Germain. Other than Sustenance, which is being released in December, I was able to find the books either in e-book format or for pennies from used book sellers and most of those used books are former library books. Of the five I’ve received already, four of them still have their dust jackets intact. To a book-ophile…it’s heaven!
Since Sunday night, I have read four of the books in the Saint-Germain series. I LOVE these books. The historical detail makes me swoon. The plotting is incredible, and le Comte…oh, dear…
Anyone who knows me fairly well knows I loathe the Twilight series. I grew up in the glory days of Hammer Films and Christopher Lee as The Count. I don’t like my vampires sparkling (head desk). I like them suave and debonair. I didn’t like the fact that The Count held the brevity of a human in contempt, and that always bothered me about Dracula. So when I first read Hotel Transylvania way back in 1983, I fell in love with vampires, and one in particular.
Here was a vampire who treasured the brevity of the human life, went out of his way to protect those around him that he loved—even knowing that most of those humans would be gone in the proverbial blink of an eye. Here was a vampire who was not a monster, while the majority of the humanity around him was monstrous. (Yeah, even then, I was a geek and digging deeper into literary texts.) And, yes, even then, I got the eroticism and the sexual nature of the vampire, because after all, isn’t a bite a form of penetration? (All my Freudian friends are now skipping merrily along.)
If you want a vampire that doesn’t sparkle, doesn’t troll the local high-school (seriously, Edward—you’ve been dead for more than one hundred and fifty years and you’re still after high-schoolers? Not to mention, Eddie, you’re a terrible person to the oh-so-shallow Bella), doesn’t hold humanity in contempt (sorry, Vlad—but I’ve got to call ‘em as I see ‘em), and yet still maintains almost all of the archetypal characteristics of a vampire, start reading Chelsea Quinn Yarbro’s Saint-Germain series. This is a vampire who gets queasy when on, near, or forced to cross running water, prefers not to be in full sunlight, lived his breathing days in the Carpathian Mountains in what later became Transylvania, is so suave he makes James Bond look uncouth, and is human enough to realize his early days as a vampire give him pause and even cause him regret.
Start with Hotel Transylvania. Then, pick your next read in the series. They all stand alone. I just recommend Hotel Transylvania as a starting point because so many of the following novels incorporate Madeline into them as Saint-Germain’s confident.
Give me a non-sparkly vampire ANY DAY of the week.
Oh, and I finally did find five of the original six books. Somehow, they'd been put into the books boxed up for a yard sale. They're now back on my book shelves.
The other night on FB, I was introduced to a new-to-me author, M.A. Jewell. Jewell has written a paranormal romance that, while it is far out of my usual comfort zone for reading, pulled me into the story line immediately. How could I not be pulled in when the story opens with a dead body, a female jaguar held in a "humane" trap, and the heroine--Kelsi--knee deep in mud and tied to a tree while trying to bargain her way out of being killed by animal traffickers?
The hero--Jamie--is a shifter. He can change from human form to jaguar in a heart-beat. In either form, he's sizzling.
Though this was a mere 55 pages, it wasn't a light read. The depth of issues addressed (destruction of habitat, pressure put on wildlife by traffickers) brought a strong voice to this novella. The manner Jewell developed not only the very real issues facing the Amazon basin eco-system but the relationship between Jamie and Kelsi made me sad this was only a novella. I would have loved more.
I'm giving Jungle Rapture 5 stars. I just wish it was longer.
The buy link for this book is embedded in the image.
I will probably need a ladder to get off this soapbox when I’m done (and perhaps life support for any dog show career I might have thought about having), but I’m going to write what’s on my mind about the question of whether or not to clarify our standard to include the sable merle.
One thing I am going to stress right now is all involved in this tempest love our breed and only want what’s best for our breed. I have no doubt of this. It’s just how we see “what’s best” that is the sticking point. Name calling (as has happened just recently on FB and the subsequent retaliation) gets us NOWHERE. Have we learned nothing from the current political climate in this country? The only thing name calling does is cause both sides to dig in and entrench deeper, denying any opportunity for communication and compromise. BTW, the dinosaur meme from one side is really cute—but it might behoove all of us to remember the dinosaurs are extinct because they failed to adapt and change with rapidly altering conditions. (Just some food for thought.)
Repeating the same argument, over and over, doesn’t make it any more valid nor does the argument that the giants in our breed wrote that directive make the argument valid. Resorting to ad hominem attacks are merely the tools of those who cannot justify their position with logic or facts. Those of us who want the standard clarified have pointed out the AKC’s official position. (That’s a fact.) While the materials for judge’s education from ten years ago (the directive those who don’t want the standard to change have held up as the definitive answer through an appeal to authority fallacy) and the latest, revised, newest edition are beautifully done, thoughtfully written, and an excellent educational tool, I will repeat what Tim Thomas, VP of Dog Show Judges at the AKC wrote in response to Mrs. Gwen Means letter to the AKC: “Judges are equally as correct to apply the “directive” from the club concerning Sable Merles or to view it as not in accordance to the standard based on the fact it is specific in stating “The four recognized colors are…”, of which Sable Merles is not one.
“As long as this remains to be the case, judges may apply the color as the parent club has recommended, or may view as a deviation of standard and weigh proportionately based on the extent of the deviation in their view. The only means to guarantee the Sable Merle to be considered as accepted color/pattern for the breed would be to modify the language of the standard” (quoted in an email from Collie Club of America through Constant Contact, 19 July 2019).
Another argument is that we shouldn’t allow one judge to have this much power over our club and how dare we allow this? This judge is probably enjoying the show the hornet’s nest she kicked has provided (or that’s another part of the argument). Lovely straw man fallacy you’ve got going there. Not to mention, I’m receiving more and more information from exhibitors with sable merles that they are being ignored in the ring (at best) or having ribbons withheld. This one judge has had a ripple effect. A comment was made that no all-breed judge was going to dictate how to run a breeding program. I should hope not—however that comment is just a tad bit elitist.
Then, there’s the slippery slope fallacy the opponents of clarifying the standard are so fast to trot out. If we clarify the standard by adding these five words “may include a merle pattern” in the description of sable and white, the fallacy is we start down that slippery slope of opening the flood gates to ugly, large-eyed, blue-eyed sables. Well, no…not really. First of all, it is genetically impossible for a sable (whether pure for sable or tri-factored) to ever have blue eyes. That requires the merle gene. That’s a sable merle. Secondly, if a collie fitting that description “ugly, large-eyed, blue-eyed sable” were ever entered at a show, I can guarantee that person is a total new-comer to this game. Too often, I’ve seen a new-comer given the cold shoulder, talked about in words loud enough for them to hear, and they leave. Instead of shaming them, what if we used that as a teachable moment? None of us are getting any younger, fewer and fewer people are joining our ranks of dog-show crazies, and yet, all too often, I’ve seen these new people driven out by an elitist, snobbish, ugly attitude. What ever happened to mentoring these newcomers? I’ll bet the majority of people who are breeding these “ugly, large-eyed, blue-eyed sables” aren’t in the least bit concerned with our standard. Their only standard is as long as the check doesn’t bounce, it’s all good.
Another favorite slippery slope fallacy in all of this is if we open our standard to revision (and I’ll repeat, we don’t want to revise it, we merely wish to clarify), we open Pandora’s box with a flood of changes: to allow red-merles, bi-blacks, maltese coloration, chinchilla, straight fronts (seriously…has anyone really looked at the fronts in our breed?), and my favorite—allow harlequin patterning. Y’all better get used to seeing harlequins, because yes, there are more today than there were even ten years ago. And how did this happen? We did it. According to Dr. Leigh Ann Clark, “During domestication and breed formation, genes responsible for these phenotypes underwent strong selective pressure, including the pigmentation gene PMEL (aka SILV)” (https://blogs.biomedcentral.com/on-biology/2018/08/03/the-genetics-of-merle-coat-patterns-in-dogs/). Strong selective pressure—for the Irish pattern of white markings. Strong selective pressure to increase the Irish pattern. Blaming the sable merle for the harlequin pattern? head desk head desk head desk.
Last, but not least, we absolutely have to address the shroud of secrecy that hangs over the Collie Club of America. Allowing the membership to listen in on the meetings of the Board of Directors is a start. A damn good start. However, there needs to be a hell of a lot more sunshine aimed at all this. As members, we should know how our Board and our District Directors vote. We should be allowed to read any communication between the members of the BOD and the DDs, so long as that communication doesn’t contain personal or confidential information. This shroud of secrecy extended even to an email sent out by President Means, addressed to the entire membership. Why was that email delay for so long?
Could it be that some members of the board think the membership is not sophisticated or intelligent enough to understand the issue? It certainly seems that way, especially in light of the manner some members of the Board and the District Directors are making personal attacks on some members of the CCA on Facebook.
We aren’t going to shut up and sit down. This is just as much our club as it is yours, and the power play isn’t very becoming for anyone.
In honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Lunar Mission which put a man on the moon, I figured I'd repost one from February, 2018. Hey, when you've got almost six years of blog posts to move, there's a lot of reblog.
Unless you were living under a rock for the first week of February, you couldn’t have missed the news that Elon Musk and SpaceX have made history. Made it with a bit of flair, too. Seriously, who launches a $100,000 Tesla Roadster into space with a mannequin behind the wheel in a spacesuit as the test payload while playing David Bowie’s “Starman”? The mannequin is even named “Starman.”
I watched the launch in tears. Mars is suddenly attainable. Perhaps not in my lifetime, but most definitely in the lifetime of my children. Maybe by the time my grandchildren are adults, they’ll be able to purchase tickets to go to Mars for spring break. (Maybe not spring break, but perhaps for a whole new definition of a semester abroad.)
In case you couldn’t tell, the science geek in me was almost orgasmic.
Yes, there were a few failures on this launch. Starman isn’t going to Mars. Oops. Overshot that one. (Or, as I say when I get lost going to a dog show—I’m not lost. I’m taking the scenic route. He’s taking the scenic route through our galaxy.) The center core didn’t survive landing. However, watching the landing of the two side boosters (and I’ve watched it over and over) simultaneously and in perfect synchronicity… DUDE! That was just plain and simple showing off. I’m pretty sure I shouted “Show-off!” when I watched the landing live.
Hate to burst some Flat-Earther's bubbles, but that darn thing still looks pretty round to me.
Anyway, I digress...I spent several hours of the next ten hours or so (before the battery on the Tesla Roadster died) watching the live feed of Starman orbiting the earth. We live on such a beautiful blue planet. Such a pale blue dot, a shimmering sapphire set in black velvet. I wonder, if a future generation of Martian born humans will view Mars with the same awe that we do when we see our home planet from space. Will Mars be that fiery red dot they call home?
All of this got me to thinking. (No, I'm not planning a science fiction romance.) As a western historical romance writer, when I’m writing, I put myself into the mindset of my characters. Rapid transport in the late 1800s was by railroad and when the Transcontinental Railroad was completed with the driving of the final spike at Promontory Summit, Utah, travelling at 30 MPH was considered mind-boggling. The Falcon Heavy was doing 30 MPH before it was a foot off the launch pad. It was supersonic in two minutes.
One hundred years after the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad, plus two and a half months—we literally put a man on the moon, on July 20th, 1969.
I wonder how my fictional characters would react to this world if they were suddenly thrust into it. I’m sure it would seem like such a strange, and foreign, and even hostile place. Would they even recognize this world as theirs? After learning to travel at the terrifyingly fast speed of 30 MPH, we invented the automobile, dared to challenge the birds for the sky, split the atom, cracked the code for DNA, and dipped our collective toes into the vast ocean we call space.
Almost fifty years after that first moon landing, the tiny machines on our desks have more computing power than the rooms full of computers required to launch, safely land, and return the crew of Apollo 11. Heck, my current cell phone has more computing capability than my first laptop computer and I got my first laptop only twelve years ago.
And, by the same token, what advances will we make in the next fifty years? That is, if we can manage not to destroy ourselves in the process…
Decided today to share one of the posts I did on writing and some advice offered by more successful authors than me.
I found several good quotes from well-known authors that I have decided to share them here and how I’ve tried to (and often failed) follow the advice offered by these authors.
The first draft of everything is shit. -Ernest Hemingway
Yes, it certainly is. Sometimes the second and third drafts are just as bad. However, if as a writer, you’re totally hung up on making every word perfect, making every sentence a literary masterpiece, you’re going to do several things at once. You’re going to make yourself insane. You’re going to frustrate the daylights out of yourself. You’re going to become completely discouraged. And, ultimately, I can almost guarantee that you’re going to stop writing. Because if you’re so hung up making that first sentence/paragraph/page perfect, you’re never going to get past the first sentence/paragraph/page. The internal editor won’t let you. Suggestion: SHUT THE DAMN INTERNAL EDITOR OFF!
If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time — or the tools — to write. Simple as that. – Stephen King
YES! One of the most difficult assignments I had as a graduate student in one of the creative writing classes I took was to write a short story mimicking another writer’s style and voice. Ask me to analyze that style and voice and I could take a story apart, dissect it, and put it back together. Ask me to change my writing style—damn you, Aaron Morales—and it was as if I’d been asked to give up a kidney. However, by mimicking another author’s voice and style, that lesson became a tool in my arsenal of writing weapons. I had to read a lot of short stories to find one author that I felt I could come close to writing like in a similar voice. I can honestly say I cursed Aaron Morales for this assignment, but when it was over, I had acquired another tool to use. And different writing styles are different tools. As I tell my freshmen composition classes, there are different styles and even voices to be used for different writings.
Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. – Mark Twain
And, substitute “damn” also for any word that ends in “ly”. “Very” and those adverbs that I am in love with do NOTHING to strengthen my writing. If anything, they make it weaker. This is a battle I fight all the time, but I hope that I am at last beginning to win this war.
Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong. – Neil Gaiman
This one is almost self-explanatory. What works for one person, may not work for the next. I had this bit of sage advice given to me once regarding something like this. “If one person says that something in the scene isn’t working, consider the source. If two people tell you the same thing in a scene isn’t working, might want to think about changing it. If three or more people tell you that thing isn’t working, you have to fix it.” As the author, you’re the only one who knows what will work with your characters. You know them inside and out (or you’d better). You’re the only one who can resolve the problem.
And, last but not least: Write drunk, edit sober. – Ernest Hemingway
Hemingway knew the only way to turn off the internal editor for him was to drown the damn thing in alcohol. For me, shutting off the internal editor means putting in the ear buds, cranking up the volume, putting fingers to the keyboard, and just start writing. When I’m working on a rough draft, I don’t even like to go back and read everything I wrote the day before…or the hour before. I’ll read just a page or two, just enough to get back into the flow of things. Even though Capote said this of Kerouac’s On The Road: “That’s not writing, it’s typing” there is something to be said for just “typing.”
Stay drunk on the idea of writing. Approach the editing process cold, stone sober.
My blog is where I do most of my venting about all sorts of things--book scammers, book stuffers, book thieves (I refuse to call them 'pirates' because I won't insult pirates), stupid crap that happens at dog shows. You never know what you'll read in this blog because I don't ever know what I'm going to write until I start writing.