Everyone has something that helps them get cranking on whatever writing projects they have going on. Some folks need music, others need to be in their local coffee shop. So I decided to make a list of the things that help me put words on the paper.
My Andrés Segovia Bach CD on repeat.
Soft rain outside my open window (especially on weekends when I can stay in my chair all day.)
A hot cup of coffee (or a cold glass of berry tea.)
Sudden ideas that pop into my head when I’m driving or showering. (Why haven’t I bought bath crayons to write these down on the shower wall?)
The peaceful silence of my house early on a weekend morning when I’m the only one awake.
The peaceful silence of my house late at night when everyone else is on their own computers.
A long car trip with […]
Continue reading Things That Help Me Write
I stayed up Saturday night live-streaming the Hugo Award ceremony. (Well, okay, technically I watched 2/3 of it, since I was editing stories for The Weird Wild West until past 11 pm) It was an entertaining event – David Gerrold and Tananarive Due were delightful together, and there’s nothing that isn’t made more fun by the inclusion of a Dalek. I can’t imagine that anyone, at this point, hasn’t at least heard the basic results – No Awards for most of the literary categories, and Best Novel going to The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu (and announced by Dr Kjel Lindgren direct from the International Space Station – how cool is that???) Honestly, if you want to hear what more-informed people have to say about the situation, feel free to go search it out on the googlewebs, because Sunday was the Day of the Hugo Post-Game Wrapup, and really, […]
Continue reading An Editor’s Commandments
My husband’s mother died last Monday night.
It wasn’t a shock. She’d suffered from dementia for several years, and was living in a nursing home, because she needed full-time care. On Monday, July 27, the nursing home called to let us know she’d been sent to the hospital with pneumonia, and that it wouldn’t be long. She lingered for a week. In that time, I went to a funeral home and made her arrangements. One of the duties I had to handle was writing her obituary. She was a good woman, but she hadn’t accomplished anything that was going to make her well-remembered to the world after she was gone. I even went online today and searched her name, but all I found was her obituary. Yes, the one I wrote. I went two pages in before I stopped hunting. The only result I was finding on this woman was […]
Continue reading Remember Me
Last week I read an entertaining article from Barnes & Noble’s SFF blog about the ten characters John Scalzi identified with most vividly, and it set me to reminiscing about my own wishes when I was a kid. As I’ve mentioned before, I used to hang out in the marsh near my house, hoping that if I stayed quiet and still long enough, the faeries would show up and take me to their world of magic and wonder. Alas, it never happened, so I had to start creating worlds of magic and wonder on my own. But when I read, I often feel the desire to be one or two of the characters created by my favorite writers, in the same way Scalzi talked about. So I figured I’d share a few of those with you today. I hope that when you’ve finished reading my choices, that you’ll comment with […]
Continue reading Who Do You Want To Be?
To be. Is, are, was, were. The most used verb in our (or probably, any) language. It has a purpose and a place in writing and in speech. But use it too much, and suddenly your stories become bland and dull. Want to know how I know? Because my editor challenged me to take every instance of the verb “to be” out of the story I owe him.
John Hartness, you’re a cruel man and I love you for it.
You see, I agree with his assessment. The problem with “to be” lies in its calm. When someone screams or leaps or scrambles or argues, something happens. I, the reader, ride along on the wave of action the writer creates. If I use various forms of “to be” instead, I run the risk of my action falling flat. Let me illustrate.
With “to be”:
She was dark haired, and her […]
Continue reading To Be Or Not To Be?
I love going to cons. Very often it’s my only chance to see people I adore, since we don’t all live close enough to have coffee dates. But not only that – it’s just fun. I got home from Congregate a few hours ago. While there I moderated a panel on diversity in SF/F and its fandom (which was incredible! I wish you all could have been there!) served on panels about the Weird Wild West, settings in fiction, and Kickstarters, read my work out loud to an appreciative audience, and appeared as the middle bottom square in a truly hysterical version of The Hollywood Squares (John Hartness sat next to me, and I just can’t describe how crazy the whole game was!) Friday night I shut down the bar with a bunch of people, and Saturday night my husband and I flitted from room party to room party until […]
Continue reading What the Actual?