A World Of Worlds – Flash Fiction

She fell down through the sunshine sea. Down through the
Paradisiac Picture
bubbling water. The waves,waves,waves, down, down, down. Until

she fell through the snow lit sky of Paris. Till she landed

feet first on the frosted rooftops. Till she stood in her

bathing costume. In another world below. She looked up and saw

the sun through the ocean. So far away. Just a little pinprick

in the wintry sky. She was far away now. And to go home was

much further than just up.

This picture just grabbed me and there you have it. I feel I could run with this thought, but not sure. Who knows. Sometimes the little things are much better.

Kate

Plot? Who Needs A Plot?

plotdiagram

 

I was reading a blog post today by Alex, from over at When Alex Writes. It was on being a panster plotter. You know, writing by the seat of your pants and coming up with the plot as you write?… Um, welcome to why I do not have any finished novels. Plot? Who needs a plot? I can get by perfectly fine without a plot. Right?

 

I have written about this in the past. My plotless novels. Which, by definition, can it even be a novel if it doesn’t have a plot?  Oh sure, I do have a general idea of where I want the story to go. Obviously the hero gets the girl and the antagonist goes away. I know, really thought provoking there. ( I deal in lots of sarcasm. It was right there, by the way)

linus-roache

The reason this post and thought came to mind was because I had a dream recently where I was called by a senator who had read a letter I sent him and he wanted to have dinner with me. Fortunately the senator was Linus Roache  so a sexy senator.  Anyways, the dream made me want to write out a romance story of a woman who meets a senator who wants to have a relationship with her. I suppose it’s a little bit alongside And American President, but whatever. I still had ideas.

 

I just have no plot. None. Just drabbling it out in stages here and there.

 

This is not going to work.

 

Now comes to Alex’s post. Plotting for Pansters: A Brief How-to

 

I suggest you check it out. The whole thing is quite brilliant. Though I am a little boggled by the first part….

 

Start by taking the scenes you want to write, settings you’d like to explore, snippets of dialogue or even feeling and place and compiling all of your ideas into a folder or word doc. Then draw parallels with the information you need to communicate and the imagery that inspired you to write the story in the first place. You’re trying to create a complete image, develop details and ideas into full-fledged scenes, plot points and story arcs. This is, essentially, the brain storming phase.

 

The bold part…. I’m not even sure what that means.  But I suppose I can try.

 

And I loved her suggestion about using an online whiteboard… Or as Castle calls it, the crime board…  I love this suggestion also because years ago, Mims told me how her friend used sticky notes or post-its to write out key plot details and she could move them around at will. I’ve always loved that idea, but I just could never get it off the ground. Mind you, I don’t have any place I could actually do this except on my ceiling, and no, I’m not going to do that.

 

So, I shall attempt, hopefully, to try and organize my thoughts a bit more. Sometimes I just like writing and seeing where the story takes me.  I had this whole idea of how I wanted another character to act in a different novel, and as I wrote, this person became her own self. It wasn’t me in that position. It was her and she was doing things I wouldn’t have even come up with. I worry I will lose that by plotting.  But, seeings as I have never plotted properly, what harm will it do to try it?

 

Kate

 

Duke du Gare and Captain Awesome – Flash Fiction

via Bing © Frans Lanting/Mint

“Mwuaahhh haa ha!” The evil villain gave a maniacal laugh as his plane soared over the jagged looking rocks.  “You will never make it out of this alive, Captain Awesome,” Duke du Gare said evilly. He glared at Captain Awesome who was tied up in a neat package near the open hatch of the plane.  

Down below were the needle-like formations of rock that could pierce a man through and through.  Duke du Gare was certain his nemesis would finally be out of his way. The do-gooder that he was.  How was the Duke to take over the world with Captain Awesome always getting in his way and stopping him?

The Duke gave Captain Awesome a little shove with his boot and the gagged Captain made a muffled cry. The Duke loved toying with his victims.  

“Die, Captain Awesome!” he shouted and shoved the Captain out of the hatch…

Dum dum dum…..  What will happen to Captain Awesome? Has the Duke won this time? Tune in next week as we continue the Amazing Adventures of Captain Awesome….

 

Ah, sometimes the best image sparks a marvelous piece of flash fiction. I was looking at the Bing picture of the day, which is Tsingy de Bemaraha, and my first thought was how a villain in all the James Bond-y type films has to tell his evil plan then do something drastic…. like throw the hero out of a plane over nasty rocks… Of course the hero always survives…. But I always love how the villain has to tell his evil plan. Mwuuaaahh ha ha!

Kate

 

 

Photography at Nature’s Serenity

Moss button

Moss button

I futz with photography on a daily basis. I sell my photo cards in town and I am forever fiddling with my images. I love it. I LOVE photography and one day I want a good camera. Right now it’s just a Powershot from Canon, but I have gotten some spectacular images from it.  It’s a challenge and a great hobby, and also something really fun to talk about with people.  I linked my photography blog to here, but I’ve never talked much about it.

So, check it out at Nature’s Serenity.  And enjoy. I am trying to update it more and I have a ton of pictures to load, so keep checking from time to time.

Kate

An Open Letter To James M. Sama

Dear James M. Sama,

I’m writing and open letter to you because I can’t send this in person. The irony is this letter is about writing letters. One thing I love about your posts is how you promote chivalry and the right attitude when it comes to dating and relationships.

In this day and age, making contact with prospective suitors is so incredibly easy what with emails, texting, Facebook, etc. Instant gratification is the norm and there is no waiting for a reply anymore. You don’t have to wait days of anticipation for a response. And I think it is that instant  response that has made it so men in particular, don’t have to work to court women. I think it’s our (women’s) own fault. We make it so easy, almost as if we were desperate, to be at the beck and call of a man. I’m not saying this as a cut on men; far from it. I love men and I am looking for a good man. A man who is willing to win my affection. And in the past, which includes up till the past  week, I have been willing to be at the beck and call of any man that shows interest.

What if instead of women giving out their email, we gave out our mailing address instead? Okay, yes, there are stalker guys/girls out there, so instead there is always a work address as well. What if instead of instant gratification of a text or email, you asked a guy to write you a letter and send it to you?

For anyone to send another person a letter, you have to sit down, take some time, and think while you write out a letter. Then you have to wait for a reply. It could be a two day wait if you live a couple hundred miles from each other. It’s still a wait within the city. And what is a day waiting for a real letter when sometimes it takes a person days to write a reply to an email? I am one of those people. I rarely jot off a reply email. Really, email only makes us think we are getting an instant response when in reality it can take as much time.

When my parents were dating, my father, who’s handwriting wasn’t very easy, painstakingly wrote my mother who was working as a nurse at a summer camp several hours away. My mother’s previous fiance wrote her while she was in Africa for a year. When my mom was going to college, a man she was with wrote her letters; poetry.  He never mailed them to her, since they were on the same campus, but he gave them to her.

I called my grandmother today and while my grandfather was in the military during the Korean war, and she was in college, they wrote each other every day. She mailed a letter every day, he sent them almost every day (come to find out, sometimes he would send three at once!)

Courtship was done by letters and rare phone calls.  There was the wait and anticipation and longing that comes from waiting for a letter.

I think we all could stand to slow down and take our time dating and getting to know each other. We need to stop promoting instant gratification, because it leads to having it in other areas of life. If a guy is willing to sit down and write you a letter, especially if you ask, tells you that he is willing to take the time to get to know you.

Now, I will conclude this letter/post by stating that I love email. Underscore love. But even I think I use it too much and need to get back to writing letters even more, and I’m someone that likes writing real letters. Since I have a Post Office box, I think I’m going to attempt to see if a guy will write me instead of email me in the future. It’s just an idea, and I thought you might like it.

All the best to you. I do enjoy your posts and I’m always pleasantly surprised, though I need to stop being that way.

Sincerely,

Kate

A Writer’s Toolbox

For a writer, you have your basic tools of the trade. If you are like me you have your pens, paper, notebooks, scraps of paper, fountain pens, pencils, and things to do all your writing by hand. I do a lot of writing by hand. Then you have your computer, laptop, typewriters, word processors (though most of those have gone by the wayside).  These are what make a writer create there work.

But sometimes, you need extra things other than just a pen, paper and your mind.  That’s where the Toolbox comes in hand.

First you have your hardware: the book thesauruses, libraries and other various methods of information.

Then there are the online sources.

First, let’s start with the blog A Writer’s Path.  Over there, Ryan has compiled a nice, neat list of links for places online that really do help a writer out. Mr. B would say it’s cheating and what did writers do before there was the internet? To which I reply, there were an awful lot of John’s, Jane’s, Mary’s and Frank’s as character names…. Just saying.

‘The little Nudge’ from The Santa Clause 2. Because we all need a little nudge…

Ryan, has links for random name generators, plots, clothing, body language, etc. , to help you get going where sometimes you just need a nudge.

Then he has links for traditional publishing and self publishing.  They are all really great links and I urge you to check them out because, as of yet, I don’t have my own list of links for a Toolbox. I really should consider compiling one for myself.

So, check out his Toolbox, but I also have a few links to add to this.

First off:  Fantasy Name Generators   This link has everything. Place names (fantasy, mixed with real, Asian, inns, bars, lakes, mountains, castles…), Fantasy names, real names, constellations names (fake), mineral names (fake), and I could go on and on. This site is rather remarkable and you can spend so much time futzing.

Treasury of Latin Prayers  If you are writing anything that needs a latin prayer, well here you go. I haven’t searched through the whole thing, but wow, both translations, so you know what’s being said. For all those historical novels, this can be quite useful.

Random Romance Novel Title Generator   Yes, I know, but hey, some of use do write romance and honestly, coming up with a decent title for a romance is harder than it looks. Especially without it sounding too cheesy.  Just try it out.

And for Westerns…. Random Western Novel Title Generator

For unique women’s clothing  DevilNight has a remarkable amount of cool clothing. Vintage, Victorian, Gothic, Retro, Wedding, Medieval….

These are just a few extra places to check out. There are so many resources out there for writing.

I love Tumblr for writing prompts. Some of my best pictures for writing have come from there. Bing and Google have an exhaustive image archive, for whatever it is you are looking up, and don’t forget Pinterest and WeHeartIt.  These are all great spots to help with writing as well.

So, does anyone else have some great Toolbox links?  I think I should start compiling a list and put it on it’s own page. Maybe right up there with ‘Methods of Madness’ a page I have yet to fully finish.

Kate

Praise for : The Ocean at the end of the Lane

I had heard about Neil Gaiman‘s book, The Ocean at the End of the Lane a couple years ago by chance. I sort of keep tabs on what Mr. Gaiman is doing because he’s such a fascinating writer/author.  But it wasn’t until recently when I was talking to one of the volunteers at my library, that I found out that my branch held a copy of this book. The volunteer had read it and she said it was rather disturbing and found she couldn’t read it at night. She had to keep putting it down because it bothered her, even though she enjoyed the style of writing.

Well, I decided to see if the library still had the copy on the shelf, and with luck, it was there. That was on Tuesday.  The volunteer mentioned that ‘oh, so you want to try this disturbing book?” and because, yes, I was checking it out, I did.

“Ocean at the End of the Lane US Cover” by Source (WP:NFCC#4). Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org

I finished the book Wednesday afternoon.   That could mean one of two things. Either one, I loved it, or two, I just had to see what happened.  Let’s go with love. I’m not sure that’s a strong enough word, but it’s adequate.

I have not read a lot of Neil Gaiman’s work, but what he is very good at doing is pulling in the mythical and the  nonsensical and turning it into a captivating and utterly wonderful story. With The Ocean… he has maintained what I call The Neil Gaiman. It is so him it is perfect.

It wasn’t a disturbing story. I could have read it through the night had I wanted to stay up. The story left me wanting more, as his usually do, and I absolutely love this little novel. For those not used to Gaiman’s work, though, they might find him very strange indeed. But for me, as a writer myself and one who has read her fair share of juvenile fantasy (which includes Harry Potter, Twilight, and others of that ilk) he is a brilliant writer. He makes you feel things you didn’t know you had in you and the story captures you.

I could go on and on about this book, but suffice to say, I won’t be taking this particular volunteer’s opinion any time soon. Another thing, Erin Morgenstern, author of The Night Circus, absolutely loved this book. I love The Night Circus, so, you see, this is clearly my style.

If you are a fan of Mr. Gaiman’s work, or of that style, I highly recommend The Ocean at the End of the Lane. It is a quick and unique read. Brilliant in every way….

Now to go hunt down a copy for myself.

Kate

The Waiting Game

The ticking as time moves on.

The ticking as time moves on.

The agony of waiting. Writers are always waiting on something. From plots to be figured out, to having the time to write, waiting is a big part of our lives. We wait while our story percolates for a couple months after the first draft, then we have people read it…. so another wait. then the wait for an agent or publisher to accept the manuscript. Always waiting.

I just sent off a piece of flash fiction to two literary magazines. I have one more magazine to submit to before February.

Now comes the agonizing wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. Not one of my strong suits. I don’t do waiting well, and I might have a wait of four months! How does anyone deal with the wait?  I will probably be fine in a weeks as I continue to write other things and it just goes on the back burner of my mind.

When I finally got my first rejection letter, it came out of nowhere. I hadn’t been thinking about it. Needless to say, I burst into tears. It was rather embarrassing at the time. But you forget what you have done and when you have sent it in.

Which reminds me. Write down when you have sent something in ant to whom you sent your work to. Date books are really good for this. That way you won’t totally forget when you sent something in. Plus, you’ll know time frame so you know when to throw in the towel and hunt for a new place to submit your work.

So, it’s good I’ve taken the steps to send in work. I’ve been holding off because it requires research about who’s accepting and what the requirements are. And don’t get me started on each submission having different requirements. It’s enough to make you go batty. Trust me when I say to keep track of submission guidelines for each place. Because they are all different.

Kate

Words & Writing Magic

She was fascinated with words. To her, words were things of beauty, each like a magical powder or potion that could be combined with other words to create powerful spells.
Dean Koontz

I rather like this quote. I feel that I am this way. Hence why I write. There is something so special about finishing something and going, “Wow! I wrote this.”

Do you feel this way?

 

Kate

Do You Deal In Conflict?

Life is messy. People are warped and messed up and we are living in a backwards, far from utopian world. How you choose to move through life, though, determines a lot.  As Eve in Serendipity says: ” Life’s a mess, Sara. It’s… it’s chaos personified.”  Life is a mess and when you mix in people’s opinions, emotions and beliefs with relationships, chaos can be a big part of it.

And as we go along in life, how we interact with people says a lot, at least I think so. How you deal with an argument determines your level of maturity, or lack thereof. We all have our childish moments. We all through some sort of tantrum, even as adults. We want our way. We want to win the argument. We aren’t willing to say the other person might be right. It’s human nature.

And we make mistakes.

Right now I am in an argument, if you can call it an argument through emails only, with Boris.  What it’s about is unimportant. But it got me thinking about maturity levels and whether or not a person is willing to fight for a relationship, or just say “fine, I’m not winning so I’m going to walk away without trying to make this work.” There are two kinds of people; those that try to find a solution even by means of an argument, and those that just walk away.

Where do your characters in your novel fall into place? Do you even think about how your character will deal with conflict?

While I would rather not be in an argument, it is a life lesson, if not just for myself, but just to view a specific type of relationship.  I’m actually using it in some ways to write about my character, Phaedra. She is in a relationship with a country singer who is going to be on the road. There is going to be conflict. Something is going to happen where Phae has the choice to walk away, or to fight for what she wants.  Does she walk away from the singer? Or does she stand her ground and demand for her say; her rights?  Do you make your character a pushover? Or do you give them strength? And how much is enough.

This is where living life gives you that experience to write. As children, we can’t evaluate situations and really understand  or learn from them. But each interaction we have with people helps shape and mold our writing experience.  You have to be a part of the world and pay attention.

Now, having had this experience. I’m rethinking how much of a pushover I want Phae. See, I’m usually a bit of a cream puff. I will argue with my family, but in public, I don’t cause conflict. I’ve never been in an actual argument with past boyfriends. Either they backed down, or I did. We never went at it. I’m not saying going at it is healthy, but if you are a passionate person, shouldn’t your responses be passionate?  I think so.  So, Phae is a passionate person about her life. She’s a photographer that sees things that others don’t. She lives life to the fullest.  So, she’s not going to just back down in life. That doesn’t mean she’s going to go out swinging, but she might land a well placed kick here or there.

So, do your characters have conflict? How do they deal? And would you change them if you could?

Just something to think about this Sunday. Hey, it’s Sunday, you might have some time to work on your WIP and rethink your characters.

Kate