Friday Funfest


What do you do when the temperatures are record highs, and the governing powers have banned fireworks due to the dry conditions that would be conducive to fires, you’re under water conservation orders, and your usual plans have been thrown out the window?

You go to the theatre of course!  Air conditioning, cold drinks and theatre popcorn.  that almost makes up for the usual Fourth of July festivities.  For those not familiar with the St. Louis area, since the Fourth is on a Wednesday, the VP Fair is the weekend before.  The Veiled Prophet Fair is a long-standing tradition in St. Louis, and has turned into a huge Fourth of July deal.  There’s a parade, performers, bands, a 5K run, carnival rides, food vendors and about 6 million people getting drunk!

We try to avoid it at all cost!  Usually the headline bands are twenty years out of date anyway!  We typically attend a local fireworks display, enjoy a relaxing afternoon, really bad for you food from vendors, and mingle with our friends.  Not going to happen this year! Sometimes we have a big family gathering, with lots of food, swimming, volleyball or washers, then have our own fireworks.

Yesterday the temperature was at 107 Fahrenheit.  That’s “ruddy hot” as Tim would say.  Today is expected to reach 108, and in triple digits for next several days.  I think I’ll just stay inside the AC thank you anyway.  Which leads us back to the theater.  I took the girls to see BRAVE.  It was awesome!  I highly recommend it as a good family film.

Tonight is date night, my choice.  I originally wanted to see Magic Mike.  What’s better than gorgeous men on the big screen right? but honestly the reviews I heard from my female friends was disappointment.  I think instead we will see Prometheus.  We were suppose to see it a few weeks ago and you know stuff happens. From what I have heard it is a good movie.  I like movies that have a plot, I like one’s that make me think, that I have to stay engaged.  Of course this also makes the people who insist on talking through a movie quite annoying.

I think I’ll skip the popcorn, and share just a few sips of soda.  Honestly , once you’ve broken the soda habit you don’t want to go back!

Simple plans for our weekend here.   Sometimes you just have to slow down and smell the roses.  Or in our case, smell the furniture polish and lysol as we stay out of the heat.

What are you doing this pre-holiday weekend?  What traditions do you have for Fourth of July?  I know – it’s an American thing but hey – I’m American born and bred.

Relax, unwind, eat some watermelon and barbecue, and write on my friends write on!

 

Advertisements

An English Gentleman


You may have noticed that I didn’t get my Wonderful Women Writer series guest posted yesterday.  The previous post for those paying attention was a bit of foreshadowing on the matter.   See what I did there? I love it when the “story-spinner” turns chaos into usable material.  That’s my story anyway and I’m sticking with it!

Moving on:  Women Writers will continue through July!  (Yeah!  The crowd cheers loudly!)  I will also have some guests that are in the industry but not necessarily writers.  Thank you for the overwhelming response, it seems I’ve struck on a good idea.  You guys rock!

Today I’m handing things over to a friend.  We met during NaNoWriMo, as with several of my online writer friends.  I have truly found a family of support within the writing community.  I have the best online friends anyone could have! This particular friend is a great encouragement to me.  He is witty, charming, and has sparked many creative ideas.  He would tell you he’s cynical, but don’t let him fool you.  He’s quite the romantic at heart and well, since I am writing about fantasy, love, and romance I thought it might be good to get some input from a romantic gentleman!

On Being Ill, Writing, and Long Distance Relationships

by

Englishmaninthenewworld

 I have Cerebral Palsy and this condition makes certain parts of my life interesting. Even with painkillers sleeping can be shitty, it’s a pain but in some ways it is a benefit. I can write in peace through the dark hours without meaningless bullshit interruptions, phone calls from telesales pukes for example, even though making them cry can be an amusing hobby.  Similarly asking what they are wearing in a breathy voice or answering in fluent German can be entertaining. Working at home means that there are days where you do nothing productive as because you are home, friends, neighbours and family just drop in, knock, or beg favours because “you’re home all day of course you have time.” You have to schedule around stuff like the expectations that you can sign for parcels, wash clothes, iron and clean because being home all day the housework is obviously your responsibility. If I had the money I would rent an office just to avoid it, thank heavens that the traditional British publican has embraced words like E-cig and WiFi. I can drink and smoke in a little local pub that is older than the U.S. constitution as well as my writing and blogging.

E-cigs for those of you unfamiliar with the term are devices that heat a liquid suspension of nicotine with an atomizer to create a steam that is inhaled using a base liquid much like those used in nightclub smoke machines, being tobacco and burn free they generally are exempted from indoor smoking bans and have none of the toxic chemicals found in conventional or “analog” products.  The big drug companies hate them and so they have funded scare stories to frighten and misinform such as hyping up the fact that a trace of a base chemical in antifreeze was found in one cartridge. The fact that this chemical is the bit that stops antifreeze from jellifying and is a component of most liquid medicines is ignored in order to fuel fear. Personally I use an “ego-t” style device because the ones that look like real cigs don’t hold a big enough battery and I get annoyed when the battery dies. The best thing for me is I can go from forest fruits to a rich Cuban cigar simply by changing the liquid I use, I can even do a full three course meal of flavour if so inclined.  Start with an herbes de provence blend followed with a smoky bacon or a roast beef or if you are truly adventurous a clam and for dessert a blackberry cobbler followed by a thick rich espresso.  But moving on…

The real advantage to not sleeping though the pain is that it allows me to easily contact the woman I love, the woman I am writing this guest blog piece about in some respects.  She is my inspiration, my rock, she probably won’t ever log into this website and read this but I am playing the bragging boyfriend now talking about the love of my life.

Her being in the USA and me being based in blighty could be seen as a huge hardship and put a lot of stress on a relationship.  However, with the access I have to modern technology and being on a non standard schedule it means that I can be online at say 3am my time and be chatting to her and swapping silly little ‘ILU’s’, messages, notes about our days and the occasional steamier message.  It does mean that she has to put up with me dropping off when the nightly sedatives kick in, but we manage as best we can.  Most of my best writing is done with her beside me.  It’s almost as if we are there but rather than the fog of her breath in the cold room, it’s this orangish almost ethereal glow as my screen flashes with her missive. The air foggy with “smoke” that smells like the forest fruits liquid I use to carry my addiction,  I can almost imagine rather than the laptop battery warming my body it’s her body heat as she snuggles into my arms. We have never met in person but we have had around 6 months of nightly chats and shared intimacy to the point where we are writing together on a project that may soon be published. Sex when it comes; we will be fumbling first time lovers but we know each other, know each other’s bodies, know what makes us moan or gasp. We know how and when to nudge and caress, when to plunge hard and bite.  We know what and when we need and we do our best with each other and for each other.

We write, sleep, eat, bathe, shower and work together and I wouldn’t ever lose that. It’s just we do it currently through fibre optic cables carrying our messages as blips of light into the unknown, but I do not and cannot see our relationship being changed negatively by it becoming physical rather than digital.

Some day soon my love!

Chaos Ensues


Hot times in the summer!  It ain’t just the weather either, it’s expected to reach 103 here in two days. That’s in Fahrenheit for my UK  and other places outside the US friends. Sultry, steamy midwest summers – gotta love them – NOT!

Have you been enjoying the Virtual Blog Tour?  I love the blog hopping myself.  Each week a different guest, a different topic, and I get to travel – even if it is virtual travel.   *sigh*  Eventually I’ll get to do all the travelling I want!

I’m learning a lot from this blog tour, learning about myself and my writing.  Some of the posts are challenging  while others are easy schmeazy.  I was surprised at the one that was challenging; it was “Write a typical blog post that you would post on your blog.”  First try  – did it.  NO problem!  Then I used it on here – hey I thought it was good!  Back to the drawing board.  Wracked my brain for three days stressing over  making “the perfect post”.  HA!  Like there is such a thing.  Seriously, do you  expect perfection from me?  If you do, is this your first visit here? It seems I am the only one that puts ridiculous expectations on myself.  I don’t expect perfection from anyone else, so why do I put unattainable demands on myself?

I do the same thing with other goals such as weight loss.  25 pounds in a month is attainable without Jillian Michaels being my personal trainer right?  Right?  Which of course leads to disappointment in not attaining said goal because I don’t have 8 hours a day to exercise, nor do I have Jillian screaming at me pushing me.  When left to my own resources, I follow Newton’s First Law of Motion:  An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an  unbalanced force.

I’m not saying Jillian is unbalanced, what I’m saying is that I being human, am basically lazy and when given a choice the couch is more comfortable than the track!  Brownies taste better than broccoli, and doggone it sweating is icky!

Juggling the many hats of womanhood demands energy.  Energy that quite frankly can only be stretched so far.  I’m feeling a bit stretched and brittle at the moment.  Between domestic goddess, mother, writer, instructor, chef, short order cook, housekeeper, chauffeur,employee, oh yeah and wife, friend . . . I”m getting tired just listing them.

Jillian and Bob, ok now Dolvett make it look so simple on Biggest Loser.  Make better, healthier choices and exercise and you too can look like Ali Vincent or Allison Sweeney!  Reality is that I’m not in a competition, on Biggest Loser campus with cameras everywhere and I have demands on my life just like everyone does.

One of my hats – instructor – is currently causing the main brunt of the stretching and brittleness.  I was originally given a deadline of July 11th to have the manual edited, updated and ready for printing.  Last Thursday I was given today as my ‘has to be at printers’ day.  the manual is 257 pages long.  Ever notice how other people’s decisions have the effect of throwing your world into chaos?  Yeah.  I hate that.  This of course causes a ripple down effect on other areas of my life, including the getting enough sleep, blog posting, MLO work, as well as meal preparation.  I’m thinking the family is going to get cold sandwiches for dinner!

Of course when it rains it pours.  It must be something in the stratosphere that causes other areas to go wonky at the same time to cause the maximum amount of chaos to ensue.  At this point I don’t think more coffee is going to help, more coffee would ensure faster reaction time to harm anyone within reach.  Probably best to be left alone for a while to handle things.

Murphy was an optomist!

Write on my friends, write on!

 

Virtual Blog tour – Meet Doug Simpson


I am honoured today to host Mr. Doug Simpson.  He is sharing his thoughts on his current read Many Lives, Many Masters by Brian L. Weiss, M.D.   Doug, author of  Soul Awakening,  shares his perspective on reincarnation.  Enjoy the cyber treats (cake, punch and hot coffee) as Doug shares his delightful review.

Many Lives, Many Masters

by Brian L. Weiss, M.D.

Dr. Weiss graduated from Columbia University and Yale Medical School. He is Chairman Emeritus of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami, Florida. A nationally recognized psychiatrist, he risked his reputation by going public with the story of his personal experiences with a seriously-traumatized, intellectual young lady he has called Catherine. After endless months of minimal success in dealing with Catherine’s phobias and resulting traumas, he resorted to deep hypnotic therapy and the unexpected happened. Catherine, without any prompting, commenced talking about her past lifetimes. At first Dr. Weiss could not believe what he was hearing and sought all sorts of alternative explanations for the source of the information that freely flowed through his difficult-to-help patient. To make his case against reincarnation even more difficult, over a short period of time Catherine commenced to systematically shed her phobias as she uncovered their origins in past lifetimes. Dr. Weiss was very relieved when he eventually confided his unthinkable discoveries to a few close colleagues and they conceded that they too had made similar discoveries but were also reluctant to go public with them.

I originally read Many Lives, Many Masters, in two days in December of 2009, just before I commenced my second career, writing articles about reincarnation. That initial reading of Many Lives, Many Masters,  was the final push I needed to go public with my personal beliefs. I had spent a number of years studying and analyzing the readings of the legendary American mystic, Edgar Cayce.  Over a period of forty-plus years Edgar gave in excess of fifteen thousand psychic readings while in a deep, coma-like trance state, so deep that in the early days of his readings a group of disbelieving medical doctors performed sadistic experiments on his body while he was ‘out-of-it’, in an unsuccessful attempt to prove he was a phony. Edgar never noticed the torturous damage to his body until he came out of his self-induced, trance state. Needless to say, he was furious.

Over ten thousand of Edgar’s readings were medical readings where he was able to identify medical problems for individuals, many of whom he never set eyes on and who could be hundreds of miles away at the time of the reading, and at times, recommended procedures and medications which had not yet been invented. As interesting as the medical readings are, it was the approximately twenty-five hundred life or reincarnation readings which mesmerized my mind.

My original reading of Many Lives, Many Masters confirmed much of the information that I studied in the reincarnation readings by Edgar Cayce. To add to this stew-pot of reincarnation information, I had taken four past-life regression sessions with a local, licensed hypnotist and uncovered twelve of my previous lifetimes. My shotgun was now loaded and in January of 2010, my first of now over twenty reincarnation articles, titled Edgar Cayce’s Story of Stonehenge, was published in the United Kingdom.

Two and a half years later I decided I needed to refresh the knowledge I acquired in my initial reading of Many Lives, Many Masters, and that is how the book, that Dr. Weiss had so much faith in that he would risk his reputation on taking it public, became my current reading material. Boy, am I delighted I did. I was once again so thrilled with the revelations described in this miraculous true story of the discovery of past lifetimes, that I started dancing on the table, until my wife caught me and ordered me to get down. No sense of humor!

© Doug Simpson 2012

Doug Simpson is a retired high school teacher who has turned his talents to writing. His first novel, a spiritual mystery titled Soul Awakening, was published in the United States in October of 2011, by Book Locker. Check it out at http://booklocker.com/books/5754.html. It is available in print and eBook format through most book stores around the world. His magazine and website articles have been published in 2010 to 2012 in Australia, Canada, France, India, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States. His articles can be accessed through his website at http://dousimp.mnsi.net.

What are you reading?  Are you reading something motivational? Educational?  Controversial?  Or are you reading for entertainment?  Leave a comment for Doug and share what you’re reading.

Thanks for stopping by!

Summer Fun


The Sun

Take Two!   Apparently WordPress objected to my first blog today as all it showed was the SEMO logo.  So let’s try the remix.

Summer time and the livin’ ain’t easy!  Making family time a priority is more challenging than you’d think.

Last Friday we spent the day in Cape Girardeau, at Southeast Missouri State University for a scholars luncheon. I’m going to brag on my daughter here, it’s a mother’s right.  She took the ACT and scored a 28, which qualifies her for a Regent’s Scholarship.  She retook the ACT a few weeks ago – we are waiting for score – and if she can get a 30, she will qualify for additional scholarships such as the Bright Flight program.  After 18 months of unemployment, we need to explore every option for scholarships!

The campus has changed dramatically since I was there.  My friend Ben teased me about how shocked I was at the changes.  Cape Girardeau, Missouri is not exactly a metropolis of population explosion!  I expected it to grow, but wow!  The population of Cape Girardeau is around 40,000; it swells to over 100,000 during the day.  Not exactly London!  It has more than doubled in size since I was there. Yeah, we could use the ‘way back’ machine to go way, way back to my college days, but we’ll bypass that.

SEMO had a beautiful campus when I attended.  Today it’s a gorgeous campus!  The Recplex is like a resort area!  the River Campus Center for the arts is astounding, and the new dormitories are amazing.

The presentation for the scholars luncheon was informative, the lunch was very nice, and the tours were greatly appreciated.  Halfway through the tour of the recplex, my younger daughter announced that she wants to attend my alma mater as well.  Can’t say that I blame her.  I joked with my older daughter that maybe I’d go back and take some graduate classes and we could be roommates.  Her expression was priceless.  I suppose I really shouldn’t tease her like that, as her expression held  enough fear that she thought I might actually do it.

My daughter was invited to another luncheon at the School of business at SEMO.  She’s excited to attend that one as well.

I’m excited for her, for this stage of her life.  As most parents will attest it arrived more rapidly than I had anticipated.  Which is part of the reason I want to do fun things over the summer with them, so they have good memories of home.  One less thing to add to the therapists bills down the road.

My girls are spending the day at Six Flags with friends.  In the past we’ve gone as a family, but it’s important to have friend time as well.  I’ve got a large work load over the weekend so it works out well.  On Sunday however, we will have some family time.  We are going to have a good old-fashioned back yard barbecue.  We’ll set up the volleyball net, chill the watermelon, and have a blast while the pork steaks, baked beans and corn on the cob are cooking.  Later we’ll relax and enjoy the fresh peach cobbler and homemade ice cream.  Live – love -laugh!

If you happen to be in the neighborhood stop on by. Good food is always best when shared with good company!

Write On my friends, and enjoy life!

 

The True Work of Writing


I mentioned on Tuesday Tidbits that I intended to post about the edits.  I’ve been asked through emails,  pm, and a few unpublished comments on blog – wasn’t ignoring them, just didn’t seem to fit with threads so I’m addressing now – how I edit.  Most of the Facebook pm comments, and emails  came after Editing Isn’t For Wimps.

There are probably as many varied styles of editing as there are for writing. If you’ve followed for any time at all you probably realize that I rarely take a direct path to anything.  It seems to be totally random things that make you wonder what in the world am I thinking or how am I ever going to tie these things together, but in the end I usually do.

Rabbit trails.  Have you ever seen a rabbit hop in a straight line to anywhere?  The hub has often said he’s going rabbit hunting if I go off on yet another tangent.  It may be frustrating for some of you and for that I apologize.  Trust me, the lines can get tangled.  So how in the world can I edit such a jumble of trails?

I use a multipass system.

  • Step 1)  Set aside finished work for at least 3 days.  I usually let it sit for a week. This allows time to clear my mind and be able to take a fresh look.
  • Step 2) Read it through in its entirety, making marks as I go.  If it’s in digital format, I have pen and paper on the desk, and jot down page number and corrections needed, but don’t actually make any changes here.  These are things like questions that I don’t feel are explained very well, notes to expand this; cut that;  clarify; check spelling; research locations and names.  I must say here that 500 to 3000 word articles were much easier to tackle in this manner.
  • Step 3) Make corrections noted in full reading. Does the story make sense?  Are the denouements tied up?  Are there any openings left for a sequel or follow-up?  (I tend to work in trilogies.)  Are my characters consistent?  Does my plot and subplots work?  Are there any holes you could drive a semi through?
  • Step 4)  This is the tedious part;

pass 1: grammar check

pass 2: chapters, breaks, transitions.  do they flow together?  Do I need more transitions, are my breaks at kep points; cliff hangers or right after a climax;

pass 3: suspension of disbelief – is it believable?  Can I suspend my disbelief to think that in the scenario I’ve set up that what I’ve written is actually possible?

pass 4:  fresh eyes.  This is where I have prereaders.  I print 5 copies of edited manuscript, or load to flash drives.  I’ve also sent digital forms to friends as well.  I give the printed manuscript in a 3 ring binder; a red, blue, black and green pen and designate what each is for.  I give them a sheet of standard grammar markings to use; and 10 blank sheets of paper for them to make notes on, asking that they do not mark up the manuscript.  After they complete this part I give them a $25.00 gift card.  I’ve used restaurant cards; Wal-Mart; clothing stores, manicure, etc.  add a couple of pieces of chocolate and a thank you card in a small gift bag.  (I’ve only had one person ever say they didn’t want to do it again!)  When I get it back, I make note of their comments and recommendations.  Sometimes I can use their comments, sometimes it’s just a matter of opinion.

The very first time I did this, one reader had hundreds of questions.  As they read they marked out questions, and added different questions.  In the end she only had five questions for me.  It was interesting to see the way I had provoked her to think ahead.  A different time, a reader asked me questions that I knew, but never added into the story.  Valid point, which is why you need someone elses eyes on them.  Sometimes the back story needs to be included.  For taking the time to read my stuff, I gave them a thank you gift.  It’s not required, just something I do.

Which leads me to my current dilemma.  My friend across the pond, Tim Wigley has been editing some of my work.  He is also a writer, and makes some very good observations.  He calls me on poor grammar, on inconsistencies, and when my characters say or do things that are inconsistent.  He pointed out at one point in Kiss Of The Dragon where I had referred to my main character as Lexy instead of Izzy.  Lexy  is main character for another WIP, Faere Guardian.  One of the drawbacks to working on simultaneous projects.

I haven’t figured out exactly how to thank him.  I mean, I really don’t see a gift card for a mani-pedi being his cup of tea.  Likewise a gift card to Wal-Mart or Ruby Tuesday’s wouldn’t work.

What do I get for a man in the UK?   Can’t exactly send him a little gift bag filled with fru fru girly stuff and chocolate!  I must figure something out, as he’s been a tremendous help to me.  Plus, I like giving gifts.  It may be just a little thing, something quirky or even something from the dollar store that I put with a card.  I think it’s important to let people know they matter!

That’s  probably way more information than you wanted.  With some things I tend to be very systematic, following a precise order.  Editing is one of them.  There is a point though that the writer must cut the umbilical cord and send their baby out into the world.  Did I mention that I tend to be an overprotective mom?

Write on my friends, write on!

Interview With Penelope Price


Are you enjoying my Wonderful Women Writers series?  There are just so many wonderful women out there; I could probably keep this going for a long time!  Today’s guest is Penelope Price, a friend from my online writing community.

There are some people who you meet or cyber meet that you are ok with, then there are those that you feel a kindred spirit with.  There is a kindred spirit I feel with Penelope.  Someday hopefully soon, when I can begin travelling – hopefully for a book tour or something (hey I’m allowed to dream!) that I would love to sit down for lunch with Penelope and have a real face to face!

Without any further delays, y’all came here to hear what Penelope has to say right?  So let’s welcome today’s guest!  (AND THE CROWD GOES WILD!)  Yeah, yeah, yeah!  *Men in back row stand up wearing body paint*

Alright, alright, settle down.   *Tall handsome man with  a sexy salt & pepper Van Dyke and dark curls stands up with large sign and yells:  “I LOVE YOU PENELOPE!”*

My guest turns ten shades of red, then whispers “Jack sit down!”

I lean over and nudge her arm, “He’s a hottie, I’d keep him!”

We exchange smiles.  “Shall we move on to the interview now that the men are settled?”

 

Tell me a little about yourself.

Greetings, I am the writer/dreamer/gamer/nerd affectionately known as Penelope Price. The vital statistics are as follows:

Age: 32

Sex: Please. *badum ching!*  (girly giggles)

Stale jokes aside, female.

Location: Pennsylvania, USA (though I’m a West Coast girl, born & raised)

Website: www.penelopeprice.net

Facebook: www.facebook.com/PP_TheWriter

Twitter: @PP_TheWriter

 

What genre do you write?

Genre is a weird subject for me. I find my own stuff pretty hard to classify beyond “fiction” and “fantasy”. There are so many sub-genres and niches! My current WIP (and its sequel) are modern-day fantasy set in a mostly rural region. It features several main characters, one of whom is a fifteen-year-old girl, but it isn’t exactly a “YA” novel… or maybe it is. Definitions have changed a lot since I was a “YA” reader exclusively. Anyway, generally, I would classify myself a fantasy writer.

Until “Incandescence” and “Inferno”, I had never really tried my hand at modern-day or real-ish world settings. Not since my very earliest novels (circa Middle School).

I think writing is one of those amazing things in life where you are not limited by labels. You can have a romance story set on a futuristic alien planet, or a mystery in the old west, supernatural happenings in a fictional world, or just about anything.  I like to think that in all my works, they are more than ‘just’ the genre. There’s romance (and even lusty erotic moments, in some cases) in my war-based epic fantasy. There are life lessons set amongst the modern-day mages and their fight against the apocalypse. There is chocolate in my peanut butter…. No wait, that one is another stale joke.

 

How did you get started?

I started writing pretty much the moment I could read. I started putting those short stories and character ideas into ‘novel’ form when we got our first computer, around Christmas 1990. I was 10. I started typing into the word processor of that Tandy 2000 and never looked back.

Words have always been important to me. I’m a… linguophile? Someone who loves languages and linguistics? (Works for me, we are writer’s.  We are allowed to make up words, right? Honestly I don’t know if it’s a word or not – let’s just go with it, it should be!)

Is that a word? Probably not. Anyway – whatever the term, I’m one of them. Words are life. Words are what separate us from (most) animals. Words are… dude, I can’t even express how important words are. To me, at any rate. I cannot express myself as well (or at all *cough* have you seen my artwork?) any other way.

My handwriting is terrible, but these days, I seem to do better when I’m scribbling into a notebook, old school-style. Probably because of the interwebs and their multitudes of shiny distractions.

 

Ooh Shiny!  (We both watch as the back row does a shirtless wave.)

Where were we? (fumbles through index cards)  Oh yes question 4.

Describe your writing routine.

My routine has been disrupted the past couple of months, due to my fiancé, Jack, and his whole ‘widow maker’ episode. People have joked that it’s a good thing we weren’t married yet, or he’d never have survived it (being that I can’t be a widow since we’re not yet legally joined on paper). Hah. (That had to be scary!)

Anyway – typically, I would get up a couple of hours before heading off to my day job and try to sneak in a solid 45-60 minutes of work. Then, snatch any downtime at work for quick bursts of writing time.  Then, after the day job ended (and while Jack was still at work), cram in a little more writing time.  It seems like a lot more time than it really amounted to, but I managed.

These days, I’m blessed to be working my day job from home, but there’s very little downtime so those 8 hours are pretty much writing-free.  Not having a commute (or taking the time to get dressed, hah!) saves me a few minutes daily, which is nice, but since Jack is always home, it seems like I have even less time than I used to have. Probably, because he (like a small child) requires much attention.

(We glance over, noticing Jack is chatting with one of the shirtless men with a stern expression, and nod to each other.)

And yes, because we play LoTRO (him daily, me – usually only on the weekends).

 

How do you manage writing with the rest of your life as wife, mother, grandmother, employee and/or any other hats you wear?

.This speaks a lot to the previous answer, but I don’t look good in hats. I think that’s why I have so much trouble wearing intangible, symbolic ones. I’m not yet a wife or mother, but I am an employee, a friend, a fiancée, a gamer… and I hope to add wife and mother and puppy-haver to that list one of these days.

( We ooh and aah over pictures of my puppy, Ginger.  OK, so she’s 5 yrs old but she’s still a cutie!)

I tend to move in cycles. One week, I am a great housekeeper, to the detriment of other roles. The next, I’m writing like a fiend and other things fall to the wayside. One weekend, I spend 12 hours watching a whole season of some TV program that I’ve never seen before, (*cough*Last Weekend. True Blood. Season One. *cough*), and not get any writing or anything done.

Finding balance is very difficult for me. I have an addictive personality and I do tend to get obsessed with things – single-minded, as it were. Which is great when it comes to pounding out words for a novel. But is bad when surprise guests arrive in the middle of a manic writing cycle and the toilet isn’t scrubbed and the floors aren’t mopped and AARRGGHHH!!

*ahem*

Moving on.

(Runs mental checklist of domestic responsibilities left unattended, hoping no one opens any closet doors!)

 

How long did it take you to have your first book published?

I sent my first query when I was eleven years old. I received the nicest rejection letter ever, encouraging me to keep writing and making up characters and to never stop dreaming.

I never did – but I have not tried again in the years since. Fortunately, the internet has taken over the world of publishing and there are many other options available to a writer today. A mere 20 years (twenty?!) later, I will make my mark on publishing by releasing my latest novel electronically. As it is in a stage of editing at the moment, I have not really begun to look for a small press or imprint to query – but I intend to do so over the summer.

So how long did it take me? I’ll let you know. Twenty years and counting, I guess.

 

What method will you choose and why?

I haven’t yet, to be honest. I would of course, adore to be traditionally published one day. Who wouldn’t? But I don’t think that getting my work out there requires that. Regardless of whether I choose to hire an editor and send my baby out into the world by uploading it to Amazon myself or I choose to seek out an indie press – I’m finally ready to open myself (and my work) up to the outside world. I will let the pieces fall where they may.

 

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

. It seems a little impertinent to offer advice to other ‘aspiring authors’, being that I too am just a fledgling. But what I will say is something that another writer told me (and he was quoting Chuck Wendig from TerribleMinds.com).  DO NOT CALL YOURSELF AN ASPIRING ANYTHING!!! You either write and are a writer, or you don’t, and are not. Period. You may aspire to be published, aspire to make someone cry with your words… things like that. But you cannot be an aspiring author or writer. Either you get off your butt (or, if you write sitting down, on it) and author something… or don’t.

Here’s a link to Chuck’s article, entitled “25 Things I Want to Say to So-Called Aspiring Writers”: http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2012/02/21/25-things-i-want-to-say-to-so-called-aspiring-writers/

 

Love reading Chuck!  He’s very in your face, get over yourself!  He has a way of putting things into perspective that jerk me right out of my little pity parties.  Ahem, moving on. . .

Who are your favorite authors?

I read pretty voraciously across genre-lines and the bounds of good taste. A smattering of my favorite authors: Shakespeare, George R.R. Martin, Victor Hugo, Melanie Rawn, Kathryn Anderson, Patricia Cornwell, JV Jones, Kate Elliot, David Gemmel, Dave Duncan, Paula Volsky, Kaya McClaren.  I could go on 🙂

 

 

You can find Penelope Price and info about her upcoming releases at:

Facebook: http://facebook.com/PenelopePriceWriter

Twitter: @PP_TheWriter

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/PenelopePrice/

www.penelopeprice.net

Thank you Penelope for stopping by Quotidiandose.  ( Jack stands applauding wildly, gives the row of shirtless men glare until they stand and applaud as well. We exchange glances giving the knowing nod.)

Do you have any questions for Penelope?  Please feel free to leave comments!

Thanks for stopping by and Write on my friends, write on! 

 

 

Tuesday Tidbit


Ever have those days when you have a jumble of things on your mind that you have to sort out?  Yes, well it’s one of those days er, weeks actually.   I’ve been rather surprised by the overwhelming response for Love Notes.  Chapter 5 is posting today, if you are so inclined to  click over there and check it out!

This may cause me to rethink my stance on “Pantsing” my stories in the future.  Love Notes started as an impulsive inspiration.  (For the readers here’s a little insight into the  catacombs of how my mind works.  For the writers, the chambers vary but many are familiar with the process.)

What if?

The magical star stuff that fiction is made of.  During a conversation with a friend, I got the spark of an idea. One spark was all it took and I was off and writing.  I didn’t stop to plot things out until chapter 5.  So I suppose if y’all start commenting differently past chapter 5, maybe I should go back to pantsing.

The same sort of inspirational spark happened for Kiss of the Dragon. While having a conversation with my daughter, a reference was made about the ‘Dragon Complex’.  My eyes lit up, the gears clicked into place and my daughter said I got a strange, somewhat scary expression before I darted down the hall and began writing.  Seventeen pages later, I asked her to read it and tell me what she thought.

She glanced down at the pages – my masterpiece – and looked back up at me like I was crazy for expecting her to be able to read my furious scribblings. (OK, so my handwriting isn’t the best!)  From those seventeen pages it has blossomed into something much greater than I ever imagined. I’m discovering details as I go, and I am anxious for people to read it.

It’s sort of like the same satisfaction of preparing a great meal.  When everything comes together it looks, smells, tastes fantastic!  It may even sizzle.  Waiting with bated breath for the reaction of the person dining; the expression of satisfaction, the moan of delight.  Verbal praise or approval really isn’t necessary when you nail it!  You know, you just know when you hit the ball out of the park!

You can prepare the same meal a thousand times.  Sometimes it just doesn’t turn out right, but there’s the times when the family requests to have this again because it was that good.  Writing is like that on a much larger scale.  It takes time, a great deal of time to write a book.   I have the whole story completed inside my head.  Finding the time to get it down is frustrating at times.  I know though that I nailed it.

I cook our family meals, and I’m a darn good cook!  (Do you think I’d be overweight if I wasn’t?)  There are times when I surprise myself, both good and bad.  I’ve made the worst fried chicken I’ve ever attempted to eat – really it was bad.  Conversely I’ve made the best coconut cream pie I’ve ever had – as well as the others who inhaled it then asked for the recipe.  Here’s the down side to being a dump cook: when you tweak the recipes you don’t always write down everything you did. So I spent several months trying to reproduce exactly what I did to make the perfect pie.  Honestly, how much pie does one family need to consume?  Ahhh, but when I ‘happened’ on the perfect combination again –  I knew.  The expressions, the slow savoring over each bite told me.

I think I’ve nailed a  couple of my stories here.  I”m still working on them.  Trying to balance more writing time with family time, a job, a blog, and all those little unexpected things that come up.  Stick with me and I think you’ll like the finished project.

Which leads right into the part that I had planned for today’s post – editing.  After Editing Isn’t For Wimps, I received some emails and pms asking me how I edit.  I will share that part on Thursday.  It would make today’s post too long, and I’m sure everyone has other demands on their time just like I do.

I recommend you check out my friends over at  Storytime Trysts.  Free stories, who doesn’t like free?

Write on my friends, write on!

Virtual Blog Tour – Meet Laci Paige


How do writer’s get inspired?  What work moves us to begin the creation process? My guest today is Laci Paige, and she is going to share an author  that has inspired her. Take it away Laci!

Everyone, give it up for Laci Paige!

 

Vampires

The Sookie Stackhouse Series, by Charlaine Harris used to be my favorite thing. I have a soft spot for vampires, and her writing is saucy and fun. The book series as of late has been sizzling out for me though, and from what I’ve heard for other people as well. Too much of a good thing maybe.

But I will continue reading her latest works as they come out, holding out for a little bit of the spark that used to be. In the books I was totally in love with Bill, and then came along Eric, and lastly Alcide.

My decline in interest might also be from the HBO series True Blood, which is based loosely from the Sookie books. The show started off just as good as the books, if not better. I fell in love with the story, with the characters, and with the sex appeal.

In the HBO series, I wasn’t as in love with Bill as in the books, but I fell for harder Eric. And now Alcide is pumping my blood again.

It’s funny how you can “read” one character to be one way and “watch” him to be another. I often wonder if True Blood hadn’t come out would I have lost my oomph for my favorite books.

How do you feel if you’ve read the books and watched the program?

Or have you had the experience of other books ruining movies or TV shows for you? Or vice versa?

***

Laci Paige released her erotic debut novella, Let’s Keep On Truckin’ in May, and has several more in the making. You can check out her eBook novella here:

http://www.decadentpublishing.com/product_info.php?products_id=540&osCsid=heouue77psie2qpugv82f3qkq0

Laci loves to hear from fans, you can find her at these following sites:

http://lacipaige.blogspot.com/

https://twitter.com/#!/laci_paige

https://www.facebook.com/lacipaige

https://www.facebook.com/authorlacipaige

Same Difference


There are times when people say the stupidest things, and you’re suppose to play it cool.  Grammatical errors are common place. Some have become the norm.  This happens to be one of my “pet peeves” .

While attending a barbecue, one of the guests–Sue– announced she would not be eating the meat, she had become vegetative.  I couldn’t help it, I sprayed tea all over my daughter in an instantaneous reaction.  So much for playing it cool.  The woman spoke volumes.

In my defense, I respect those individuals have decided to live a vegan lifestyle.  Maybe it’s health concerns, maybe it’s moral conscience, whatever it is I applaud you.  It leaves more meat for me.  And yes, I know where meat comes from.  My parents raised poultry, and  I gathered eggs.  I’ve seen the big brown eyes of cows.  I’ve seen the adorable baby pigs.  And yes, I even like venison.

I eat meat.  There!  I’ve said it, and I’m not changing my mind.  Grilled, baked, fried, roasted, smoked, and especially barbecued; I enjoy meat.  Of course, I’m not prejudice, I eat veggies too.  They fill in the space beside the meat on the plate. Let’s not forget the fruit and dairy.  I do have a fondness for dairy.  Ted Drew’s’ livelihood depends on dairy, and I fully support his career choice. If you visit St. Louis, you must have a Ted Drews! While my omnivorous diet isn’t for everyone, it’s definitely for me.

I thought about going vegan once.  Ten minutes later, I heard the honey-glazed ham calling my name and resigned myself that it was destiny.  It’s good to be at the top of the food chain.

In Sue’s defense, she may have actually been commenting about her mental state.  I’ve questioned her brain activity before but figured that since she was able to walk and talk–not necessarily at the same time–she was merely clueless.  Sue is a very beautiful woman who is tall, slender and could easily be a model.  I have a theory that really thin beautiful women are actually so starved of nutrients that their brains can’t function and have shut down the intellectual synapses to conserve life-sustaining functions.

After apologizing for my faux-pas and trying to wipe up the tea, I explained that I thought her misuse of words humorous.  She looked at me like I was a Cretin, and said “It’s the same difference.”

For the record vegetative refers to the absence of brain functions. This condition usually requires life support systems.  Vegetarian refers to the dietary choice to not eat animal flesh or animal byproducts, sometimes  including milk and eggs.

Apparently to Sue, they are one and the same.

Have a great day and go eat some barbecue!

Write on my friends, write on!