Unmotivated Me

It’s not that I don’t have things to write about. It’s not even that I don’t have the time…. Okay, well time is limited right now. But I’m just not motivated to write.  I have a two book reviews I need to post, a book I need to finish reading before I can write a review, letters to friends, ideas for writing, a blog post on haying season, pictures….. The list goes on and on.

But right now about all I’m interested in doing is daydreaming and reading. I haven’t even written much of anything. Okay, that’s not true. I did write a poem just this last week titled “Elephants”. I should type it up and share it because I’m kind of proud of how it turned out.

I have been dabbling in a new piece of fiction which was inspired by ASMR and The French Whisperer over on Youtube. I seriously suggest if you are interested in ASMR to check his channel out. The tingles this guy can put up my spine….. Whew!  Magic. Puts me to sleep every time I listen to him at night.  Recently I listened to his take on the History of the Palace of Versailles.  That was really interesting for one, and really relaxing for another.  And I’m going off on a different tangent.

My reading has consisted of a bit of poetry; Rumi, Billy Collins, Rilke; an Emilie Loring, a few random fiction books, and the desire to read A Farewell to Arms and The Great Gatsby.  I have failed to finish anything nor get very far in anything.

One major reason for all this lack of motivation is right now the farming is in full swing.  What with watering, picking, and the heat….. well there isn’t a lot of down time. I am getting to the point of the season where I can spend two to three hours picking blueberries. Not to mention a few hours watering, oh and I cook two meals a day and do the laundry and pick up the house… Okay the house is kind of a joke right now.  There is way too much dust in all spots and I would NOT want anyone to come over.  Some places make me want to scream.

California is in a serious drought so watering is a conscious effort to not waste water.  Lawns? Pshaw! Those are going by the wayside except for where there are fruit trees because anyone who knows anything about gardening knows that fruit tree roots extend beyond what you think.  So the lawn around the trees gets watered.  And because this is a very dry year, the spider mites have set in.  On the positive side of things, the spider mites are the reason we have had burnt looking leaves on several plants for several years.  One would think it would be crazy to say that was a positive thing, but now I know that it wasn’t my fault in how I watered. Okay, indirectly it was because lack of water leads to the mites coming in, but it wasn’t like I wasn’t watering good enough, it was more that it wasn’t quite enough to deal with the infestation.

So, as you can see, it’s rather busy.  I hope to get a book review for a Christian romance up this week. And also Persephone Books let me read their book The Homemaker by Dorothy Canfield Fisher.  Marvelous book. I have been a bit behind with getting that review written as well.  And lastly, my post on haying season with pictures…..

So, hopefully soon this blog will be back into ship shape…. Excluding my random pages that need a serious updating.

I need a maid.

Le sigh, as Jules says.

 

Kate

Hidden Green Lace – Flash Fiction

Hint of lace‘What are you doing?’ she asked as he reached out towards her. Then, ‘Ow! Why’d you pinch me?’

‘Cause you aren’t wearing green,’ he answered.

‘I am too. See?’ and she pointed at her Kelly green eyeshadow.

‘Doesn’t count,’ he said smugly.

‘Well I’m still wearing green,’ she replied with a superior look on her face.

‘Right… Sure you are.’

‘Fine. If you don’t believe me. Turn around,’ she ordered.

‘What?’

‘Turn around.’ She motioned with her hand.

He groaned but did as she ordered.

She giggled, but then she shimmied and gave a wiggle then picked up the bright green scrap of lace.

‘Okay, you can turn around.’ When he did, she held the lace in her hands. ‘See?’

His eyes were wide and he took stock of her black dress and put together appearance. ‘Where the heck was that?’

She gave him a mystifying smile. ‘Oh if only you knew,’ she teased. ‘Now turn back around.’

When he did, a quick shimmy and tug and everything was back as it should be.

‘You can turn back now.’

He did and she giggled as he eyed her up and down trying to figure out where the lace was.

‘Now don’t pinch me again.’

He grinned. ‘Yes ma’am.’

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone. It was a gorgeous day here but not warm enough for my “Irish Princess” t-shirt. I so wanted to wear it, even if an Irishman holds more Irish in his little pinky than I have in my whole person. I actually do have a touch of Irish in me. Some great-great-great-great-great grandfather or something.  Who knows.

Enjoy the bit of flash fiction. And you can decide where the lace came from. I have my own idea, but it’s a bit naughty….

Kate

They Were Reading What?

English: Bronte Sisters statue, Haworth Parson...

English: Bronte Sisters statue, Haworth Parsonage. Taken through the window of the museum shop – sorry about the reflections on the glass! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

EH Bates, over at Bumbles Books had a great challenge this week. In her post Defined by Books, she brings up the subject of what our characters would read. What book does your hero like? Does your heroine read romance? Can you define a person by the books they read?  For the answer to that question, I say absolutely!

I just read in Lizzy and Jane by Katherine Reay (a review I will be writing tomorrow or Wed.) And in it, the hero is a total Hemingway and Greek Tragedy guy. The reasons why this guy is a Hemingway guy is kind of just because of how ‘cool’ Hemingway was. The heroine is an Austen gal.

Who am I as a reader. Um, yes. But I have personal favorites. However how do my characters stack up.

Mia who owns a bookstore is a classics girl. Fitzgerald’s Gatsby, the Bronte sisters, Austen, Zane Grey and magazines. She likes the weirdly unnoticed books like what would come from Persephone Books. She reads magazines because she doesn’t have a lot of time to read, so magazines are quick.

English: Hemingway posing for a dust jacket ph...

English: Hemingway posing for a dust jacket photo by Lloyd Arnold for the first edition of “For Whom the Bell Tolls”, at the Sun Valley Lodge, Idaho, late 1939. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rafe, Mia’s hero is a total Hemingway guy along with books from the 1920’s and 30’s. He’s into jazz so the older style is totally him. He likes John Le Carre and the suspense/spy novel. You would see him reading Flemming. He’s classic and old school and totally like Patrick Warburton in the National Car ad. You know, sexy.

 

My character Rena, who’s a lot like me, would read like me: Emilie Loring, Sir Walter Scott, Tennyson, Bronte, historical romances, contemporary romances, Harlequin, non fiction herbal books, cook books, gardening. She refers to her authors by first name. So you have the Emily’s – Emilie Loring, Emily Dickinson, Emily Bronte. Can make for confusing if she asks for a book, but it also signifies that her books and authors are her friends. Books are her friends so she refers to them in the first person. (Silly, I know, but it is a quirk)

And lastly Phaedra. Since she’s a photographer, she reads a lot of books on photography, as well as travel guides and historical information. Things she can use. But she likes cheesy and girly. Fairytales and silly romance. Her favorite guilty pleasure show is Once Upon a Time, so you have to figure silly romancey fairytale.  I also picture fan fiction. She’s a total Captain Swan girl so she reads fan fiction late at night. She won’t tell anyone that, but oh, we know she just eats it up.

 

I had never thought that much about some of what my characters would read. Rena yes, since she is most like me. Mia more so since she owns a bookstore. But Rafe is a new addition to thinking about it.  I have other characters that I could list, but I need to think about them more.

This was a great writing challenge and I think it will help me with my character depth as well.  Check out Bumbles Books. Her posts are great and thought provoking.  And also, think about what your characters read. I’m going to ping John Guillen since I think he might appreciate such a post or for him to think about.

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

 

 

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

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

He Carried Her Shoes – Flash Fiction

tumblr_n9c28myQXb1rj31pmo1_500He carried her shoes. Like a true gentleman, he had slid them off her feet when she had sat down and mentioned she was tired. She hadn’t said the  no-no of the female world; “my feet hurt,” but he had still known what the problem was. Down on bended knee, like the prince in Cinderella, he had unbuckled the strap and slid the shoes off. Well, then he had been the devil himself when he had kissed her calf and skated his fingers up under her skirt.  She had giggled and tugged his hand back out. The naughty man.

Now they walked to his car, her feet padding while he carried her shoes.

Ah, men, sometimes when they are gallant…(stop, just stop, I can’t help myself tonight, because Galavant is on right now! And the words are too similar…Never mind, I’m stopping)

Whew, got to get a hold of myself. Anyways, I love this image. And flash fiction! Finally!

Kate

A Writer’s Depression

Writers have been known to have trouble with depression and yes, suicide. I think it comes with the territory. We are melancholy people to begin with, though I have to say I do have my giddy moments. But everything has a melancholy twist to it. The ying and yang of life.  The light and dark. I used to dwell much more in the light of life, and my writing reflected that, but as time goes by, I grow up, and write more, the dark has a way of infiltrating.  While I hate to admit that at times I get depressed, it’s a fact of life. From the self doubt that comes with the whole writing thing, to just general depression in life. Not enough to go and end anything, gads I’m not that desperate, and I am not mocking people that are. It is a very serious thing.

I hate to sound like one of those people that thinks they know everything, but I really do think writers struggle with the down moments in life more than other people. Maybe it’s all the thoughts jumbled together. Maybe it’s how we look at life. But there is something to be said for true writers having the down times.

For me, I can definitely say that is my issue.  It doesn’t help that my muse is 19 time zones away and it feels like a solar system or two in distance. It doesn’t help that I’m a woman and well, women always have those down times of the month. Mix that with cold weather, the frustration of where to submit one’s work, and the self doubt that “my work isn’t good enough to ever be published…”

Portrait of Virginia Woolf by George Charles B...

Portrait of Virginia Woolf by George Charles Beresford

Heck, just writing about being depressed is depressing, but come, we all know it happens. I actually started thinking about it because of a post Nathan Bransford did a couple years ago. It was more the suicide thing, but still it applies. See here  Writers and Suicide.

That being said, I’m not going to say that all depression is a bad thing due to the fact that I feel depressed writers write the most amazing things. Would Keats have written half his poetry if he had been with Fannie? And they were a happy couple with money and no worries?  I doubt it.  Granted, Virginia Woolf is another story.  And Ernest Hemingway had a medical condition. So I give him some leeway.

I have written four or five poems in the last week. I’m horrible depressed, but it’s doable. And if I can type out poetry because of that, well, so be it. My forms of depression are usually short lived. Thankfully. Usually donating blood helps. I actually have one of the genes that is related to why Hemingway killed himself.  Hemochromatosis is a disorder where your body stores too much iron in every part of your body. Including the brain. And iron oxidizes. Just think of your brain on a rusty nail. No, I do not have hemochromatosis, but Mr. B does, and I happen to carry the one gene that tends to make one absorb and store too much iron. Hence why I donate blood at least 4 times a year. And it helps, but that doesn’t take into consideration my general nature. And that I’m a woman.  Getting the picture?

So, once my muse is back stateside and I can actually feel like I can contact him….. the damn man….. and physiological things level out, I should be fine. For now, the depressing poetry shall continue… I just can’t seem to write light things. I am not Tyler Knott Gregson.  Yes, I am using his name all the time, but I keep reading his book. Sorry, but it’s just too perfect. And sometimes way too cheery, but I can always use cheery.

Kate