Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Moving on the the letter S

I could say S is for snoring.  For that is what Rourke is doing as he lays on his bed, to my right this time.  He lays to my left when he curls up on the rug.  Don't ask, it's a dog behavior that he has developed on his own and one he refuses to explain.

S by contrast is also for silence or quiet that I blogged about only two days ago.  The silence that I often need when I write and somehow get by blocking the canine snoring.  To be fair, he doesn't always snore - but sometimes...  Maybe there lies my answer to how people work in coffee shops, they block out the noise.  Thank you letter S.

S is also for summer, a season we're looking forward to on the prairie where snow is still being punched and pushed and reconfigured to encourage those last few piles to melt.  I suppose we could mention that other S - snow but we don't like to encourage that party animal who needs no invitation to show up unannounced.

And one other thing, S is for soda.  Hey, I needed that word for the picture.  I was getting a little tired of posting the party animal's pic - you know the one, read up a line or two, it begins with S too.  Shhh!

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What Are You Reading?

I'm one day behind on blogging the alphabet.  Does being one day ahead in the earlier letters give me any banked credit?  I thought not.  I also see that my reading might be a little behind too.  Possibly it's having five books on the go that's the problem.  Possibly it's those two book I'm trying to do edits on.

But all that aside here's some of what I'm reading.

Luckbane (Otherworld #1)Luckbane by Tony Breeden
In a dystopian future, online gaming is the ultimate escape… until one corporation gives a few lucky players the chance to play their favorite sword and sorcery game live and in person on a distant planet. In the inaugural Ƙtherworld campaign, the winners will face monsters, magic, warriors, dragons, and betrayal as they quest to find a weapon capable of stopping the dreaded Firelord and his armies.

Against Her WillAgainst Her Will by Peter Martin
Rape is every woman’s worst nightmare, an act so vile, so devastating, it robs the victim of any sort of dignity, leaving scars that can last a. lifetime. Having family and friends rally round can make all the difference in the world. But without this support the victim may never fully recover.
Donna is such a victim. 

Against Her Will is a dark story that draws you in right away and interestingly enough, written by a man.  Luckbane is a rollicking, fast paced story that took me into the amazing world of gamers.  So far, I'd recommend both.

What are you reading?

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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Q is for Quiet Spaces

It interests me, the people who can write in coffee shops and train stations and airports and other such public places.  I can glean ideas from these places, jot down observations, take those kinds of notes that will eventually become a story but to be able to write fiction in such a place.  Never. 

The most noise I want to hear while writing, is sometimes only the dog snoring, as he is this afternoon, to my left.  Sometimes I'm a little more open to distraction and I'll have music playing - classical with no voice to distract.  And sometimes I go for the gusto and it's music with lyrics combined with the dog snores from - you guessed it, the left hand corner.  It all depends on my
mood, how much noise I can tolerate. 

Today, it's one of those dull days.  You know the kind, a day when even the weather is dull.  It feels like Sunday, which is the slow day of the week, when in actuality it's Saturday.  It's a good day to get some work done amidst the quiet.  Even the television cooperated with offering curling as a distraction to writing - not. 

Are you one of those writers that finds their best work in a public place?  Or do you seek quiet and solitude to get your best writing done?

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Friday, April 18, 2014

P for Pushup - Don't Do It!

And now I'm going to contradict my own title.  Pushups, you should do them.  And I do, except this morning when I did the darn things wrong.

Okay, here's the thing.  I do my pushups as the coffee starts up but I do a bit of stretch first.  Bear in mind that this is the beginning of my morning, a few quick exercises in the time it takes the coffee to brew.

I know, I know.  At least I know now.

It's not enough time to stretch correctly.  And this morning, as it always is, the pushup was the last exercise and I did a few more than I normally do.  And that's when I felt the slight twinge in my shoulder that turned into a nagging pain that has troubled me all day.  Nothing major but annoying all the same and a reminder of why exercising without a proper warm up is really, just a bad idea.

Somehow it's so much easier to write about exercise than it is to do it.  Why is that, do you think? 

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

O is for Obstinant

If I hear one more blog, post or comment about luck I may scream.

Alert people,  making a living at writing isn't the result of winning the lotttery.

Sure, luck has a factor in some instances, right time, right place, right environment.  And yes, sometimes the writing is less than the hype but usually no.  Writing is a skill and a talent.  More importantly it is a skill  that needs time to be developed, a lot of time.  Writing isn't a home run stratosphere event.  It's like any other trade, a talent proceeds skill, followed by obstinance and then ureka, or at least we hope - success!

Confused?  I don't think so, it's fairly simple but it's not what I've been reading too much of lately.

Luck is what I've been hearing.  Maybe it's because the two worlds have converged, that of the stratosphere star and that of the earning writer.  One is more often than not short-lived and the result of luck and the other, well there's talent and sweat and longevity.  Pretty clear lines that we're all getting confused right now as the publishing arena proceeds to flip on its head.


Its not a valid way to go through a career never mind a life.  Luck is the office drone standing in the lotto line week after week. 

Are we saying writing is the same?

Here is how I see it.  Yes, there is luck, the kind that sky rockets books to the number one best selling issue to glow in the suns rays for a day, two, a week or longer.  But they're not the norm,  they're not the Nora Roberts, the Stephen Kings.

Success takes many skills; not just one, or two.  Yes, luck is a factor but if you don't have talent your readership won't follow you far.  And if you're not
obstinate, talent isn't going to get you far.  These days persistence read (be obstinate) is what takes talent all the way.

Talent - that's in the "blogging the alphabet world T and talent falls on Wednesday.  Stop by but in the meantime let me know, is it just a matter of luck or is writing not for everyone?

Without talent the great books wouldn't survive through the years that they have.  Luck is for the lottery, a short-termed bitch that carries you only so far.  Hopefully when she picks you up she's holding that one time lottery ticket because she's not coming back again.

A bit of luck combined with talent and a healthy dose of obstinance, now we're getting somewhere.

To obstinance, talent and a dollop of luck

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A New Day

I went shopping today, not meaning to.  It was one of those random encounters as I headed through the mall toward the parking lot.  But not before I encountered the sale.

I suppose I should back up a bit from the sale.  It's snowing today.  That has a lot of us a bit bummed out as on April 16 we should be well into spring, not looking at snowflakes sprinkling what remains of the old snow.  It's the time of year when I should have put my winter jacket and boots away but wimp that I am, I'm still wearing my toque too.  So when I saw the sale, and saw all those lovely summer dresses, I couldn't resist.

Because you see, it's one of those days when, so far, on a personal level, good news has far
overshadowed the bad.  Now, I must admit that on most days things are fairly stable not too much news of any kind.  But today was different and with snow in the air, new summer clothes were definitely in order. 

And on the subject of new, I found a new author - one I'd known about but had never read.  I discovered in a waiting room (one of the top ten places to get caught up on your reading) that this author I couldn't put down.  Not the delivery man thumping past me or the sporadic ring and ding of incoming calls and texts from fellow waiters deterred me.  I was caught in the world of the story.

New clothes - new authors and tonight some new poetry.  It is not just a month for poetry but a day for poetry as well, for today I discovered the Lai which is a nine line French style of poem.   And as this month is Poetry Month, the Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan has invited me to a poetry reading tonight.  Now all that sounds pretty impressive but the reality is that the Lieutenant Governor has invited the entire Saskatchewan Writers Guild to the event.  Pay your dues - get the invite.  Last year's was fun as our Poet Laureate was a bit of a story teller.  I'm curious to see what this year's poetry will be.  I'm not a poet but maybe after it is all over, I may try to write a Lai, I haven't been this intrigued since Haiku.  Besides, to write good fiction, you need to stretch.

What do you do to keep your work fresh?

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