Thursday, September 30, 2010

M. Book Banning

All week I have been reading about book banning on other blogs. It is a real shame to live in a country with a freedom of speech and to still have to have this conversation. To all of the people out there who want to ban books, I say stop. I was reading Nathan Bransford's blog and came across the list with the top 100 banned books of the decade and it is sad. Here is the list, decade list. There are quite a few books that are on there that not only taught me through school but I can honestly say, changed my life.
If you don't like it then don't read it, if you want to oppress your children and give them close minded unimaginative thoughts then go ahead and stop the books from entering your door. Do not stop everyone else out there from finding that one book that will change their lives. If you take that from them then you are taking away a piece of their freedom.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

M. Crossing Over into 30, 2 Hours and Counting

Today is my last day of my twenties.  While it is scary to think that another decade has passed and I will never be able to say I am twenty-anything ever again.  Actually I only have two more hours and then I am thirty.
My twenties were a great time of my life, I got married during them, had children, and found an amazing career.  Even though I became ill during my last year of twenty I can still say that I enjoyed them.  Now I look forward to turning a new corner of my life and passing over the threshold of another decade.  Thirties are going to be the best years of my life, I don't know why I know this, but I just do.

Here is to Thirty and crossing over into a new decade of my life.

Friday, September 24, 2010

M. Reviewing Your Own Work

Have you ever written something then read it to check it for errors.  I am sure that you all have, if you are a writer then you have to every time that you write something down.  That really isn't what I am wondering.  What I want to know is do you ever know what you want to say then write something, thinking that it says what you want it to say, and then go back and reread it thinking that it says the right thing?  I know that is a long confusing question but I am trying here.

Think of it this way.  You want to say, I went to the hall.  But you write I went to the ball.  They appear similar aside from the B and H right.  Except you have been staring at text the whole day and all you can think about is what you wanted to say and you end up skimming over the section, possibly several times.  Maybe this only happens to me but I think that if I didn't have a partner to read behind me then 50% of my mistakes would be missed.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

M. The Abyss

Today I don't know what I want to write about and that in itself is something that I can touch upon. I give daily newspaper reporters an immense amount of credit. Somehow they have to write, in an inspired fashion, day in and day out on subjects that they may or may not be interested in. How do they do that? I am having a hard enough time thinking of a subject for today and I have full rein over what I write.
The problem today isn't what I would call writers block it is more of a lack of inspiration. The words are still there and they are flowing from my fingers okay but something is missing. I think the key word is substance.
I am missing an inspired idea to write down and that is a scary concept to me. Have you ever had this happen? You just don't know what to write about.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

M. Query Letters

A query letter not quite four letters but so far this has been a four letter word to me. It doesn't seem all that difficult in concept and execution. Basically it is a business letter that is supposed to sum up the book that you have been pouring your heart out for into one page, simple right?
At the beginning of the business letter that you are writing have all of the pertinent information that you need at the top, name, address, phone, email. How will the agent that you are querying contact you if you don't give them a way to contact you?

Paragraph one: Reach out to the agent that you are querying. This is where you want to tell them why you feel they would be an excellent fit for your novel. Just reading about them on a webpage that catalogs agents isn't going to cut it. Most agents have Blogs and WebPages that offer background information and other books that they represent that may be close to what you're writing. Do you research and know the people on the other end of the email that you are sending out. Keep this first part short and sweet though and then move on to the key of the letter.

Paragraph Two: This is where you get to sum up those 70k plus words into one paragraph. Give the main character's name, explain in quick detail the plot, the conflict, and the main idea of the story. You don't have to give the ending away, basically catch their attention. The best thing to do is to imagine that you are writing the back cover of your book to sell it to potential readers, if you can accomplish that then you will have the right information in there.

Paragraph Three: Give the agent the manuscript’s title, word count, genre, and also dabble into some of your background information. This is where I have the most trouble and doubt. I don't have any background information to give, I am just a man that writes with his wife and we feel we have stories that should be told and can be told.
Paragraph Four: Thank the agent for their time and consideration. Be polite and professional, you expect that from them whether they send you a reply so do the same for them. After this is complete you can write your salutation.
Finally I can only give one last piece of advice that I don't follow enough, read your query before you send it. Just because the spell check didn't underline the word doesn't mean that it is spelled right.

Friday, September 17, 2010

M. Location?

Where is your favorite place to write? It really doesn't matter to me as long as I am comfortable. Sometimes I write on my easy chair and other times I find myself sitting at the desk and pounding away at the keys. Then there are the late nights where I am attacking the laptop by a low incandescent light in bed. Basically, as long as I am comfortable though I can write anywhere.

Do you have a specific place that offers you the most inspiration? Do you prefer cuddling up in the easy chair like me or at a desk with perfect posture and proper wrist spacing for typing?

I do think that a writer should have a place that they enjoy doing their work but that shouldn't only be one place in the house or where ever they like to do it. In the world we live in with wireless internet and laptop computers it makes it possible for us to go anywhere and write anywhere, so I say go out there and find your place, maybe even unplug a cord. If that fails you then there is always the old fashion way, which is sometimes my favorite, pick up a pen and paper and just write.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

M. Inspiration

What is your inspiration?  Is there a certain outlet of creativity or a person that inspires you to write?  For me my wife is my inspiration and without her I know that my writing wouldn't be anywhere near where it is today.  We sat down together and started this venture as a way to pass the time and it has turned into something that fills my soul.  Every time my fingers hit the keys I feel as though I am releasing pent up creativity that has been dying to be released.  I also know that I wouldn't be doing this if it wasn't for my wife.  Ideas flow from her like water from a faucet and all I can do is hope to not spill a drop of her creative juices.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A. First Day of School

Yesterday was the kids first day of school. It was both sad and happy to see them walk in the building. They go to private school, in the area we live it is our only choice. It tough too on us to pay the tuition, but it always seems to work out. I love being a mom and I love the business that's goes with it. Both of my children play football, yes my 6year old daughter plays football and loves it. My son plays too, he is getting really good even with his new diagnoses of JRA he is still pushing through. My husband and I are on the football board also, this is our first year and we had no idea what we where getting into. Then there's also my sister we took in she is doing cheer leading this year. So along with the first day of school comes all the extra activities. This year so far we will have, Football, dance, cheer leading, hockey, wrestling, and basketball. That's just the kids. For me have work, PTA, Football, and of course writing. Like I said we are busy, but I love it.

M. Characters vs. Plot

What makes a great novel?  Is it the plot that doesn't let up and carries you through the book until you reach the end only wishing and praying that it will continue.  Or is it possibly the characters in the story its self?  Do you fall in love with the charaters to the point that when the author does something to them or causes them pain it causes you some sort of pain.  What does it for you?  Is it some of both and is there a balance that has to be in a book for you to keep from becoming too bored?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

M. Outlining

As a writer I have found that I am a structured outliner. Normally I need the roman numerals to guide my way as I travel from one chapter to another. I don't always stay on the outline and sometimes I have an inspirational idea that adds to the story in the middle of writing a chapter but generally speaking, if the outline isn't set then I get confused.

Some are able to sit down and use the steel trap that is attached to their necks and pour out word for word and line for line until the story has been told. I, however, am not one of those people.

My wife and I find that our best outlining time is during long car rides that involve us sitting in a car with nothing else to do. I am not sure what sparks the creative fire but something about sitting in an SUV turns the gears to our brains.

What type of writer are you? Do you outline or do you just fly by the seat of your pants?

M. Happy B-Day

Today was quite an interesting day, it started at five o'clock in the morning with my wife making a family recipe known as Congo Bars for our son's birthday. He turned eight today and while that doesn't seem so old, it feels too old to me. I still can't believe that I am the father of a child that is eight. I can remember being eight. He opened a few presents, one of which was a guitar, and then we were off to grandma's house. For the most part the day was filled with fun and enjoyed greatly that is the main reason that I am posting this blog so late.

Originally posted on September 8th.

M. Hello All

Hello world,

I would like to take an opportunity to say hello and say nice to meet you. I am an aspiring writer like many others out there, but unlike most writers I am only half of my pen name. My wife A. is the other side of our writing team and together we are working to become published authors. The fact that we write together and share a pen name could be considered unconventional but we are a team and together our work is stronger. Why change something that works.

Since March of this year I have been ill and unable to work to the capacity that my job requires. Instead of just sitting around and sulking or feeling sorry for myself I picked up a pen and paper. With the help of my wife one page turned into two, then two became ten, and finally after a few months of writing my wife and I have gotten two novel rough drafts done, one young adult rough draft complete, and a few short stories. This is something that I have wanted to be able to say that I did my entire life and now we are working to go to the next step, getting published.

As a person that has spent no time in the publishing industry I have relied on the internet and sources that are out there to see how this obtainable. I can honestly say there is plenty of great information and sites that basically teach you how to do it from start to finish. As I learn and use these outlets I will be posting information and hopefully will be able to help another in the same boat as I am in.

Originally Posted on September 6th.

A. First Day

Today is my first day of blogging, not really sure how to do this so I guess will just start with my day.

Tomorrow is my son's 8th birthday. We had what he calls a "fake birthday" today at my parent’s house. I can't believe he is going to be 8, sometimes he seems so much older and other times he is still my baby. So today we did a lot of remembering when I went in to labor with him. We talk about it every year and I remind him of my 40 hours of labor to wind up with a c-section. He thinks it’s funny every time we tell him the story, one day I am sure he will be sick of it.

As for writing today we took our second novel to my parents today to work on it out by the pool. We didn't get a chance. I was helping my mom redo the business office. My parents own their own business and I work there 3 days a week. The just re did the whole office and updated it, so now we have to find a place for everything, so that’s how I spent the morning. Then I helped my mom cook and had a few cocktails. Did not get to any proofing today, my husband is going to work on some tonight maybe.

Originally from September 6th 2010