Uriel's Fall

Coming July 2014: The eternal struggle between heaven and hell has gone corporate. Read More
Friday, July 22, 2011
I am so very glad it's Friday. And that I have a long weekend. I'm weary. So tired my eyelids droop shut if I'm not actively occupying my mind or body. I'm on my second can of diet cola this morning. My fingers feel like lead and I have to resist the urge to drop my head on my desk and pass out.

The music bleeding through my headphones doesn't really keep me awake - I don't listen to it loud enough for that. But it does filter out the background noise. People talking and laughing about their weekends. The fax machine humming away. I haven't figured out how to make it drown out the phone yet, but people might protest if I stopped answering my phone.

My point is...not that I'm tired ^_^ I mean, that's the tip of the point, but that's not the ultimate message. I've been talking to my Sweetie this week about emotion in writing. About how not feeling it can destroy a character's voice.

Have you ever been told to smile when you're on the phone, because it will show in your voice? This is a similiar concept. Or, if you prefer, method writing. The theory is, if you can get inside your characters' heads and feel what they feel and think what they think, you can convey voice better. Or I can. Since this was all about me.

But stories are emotional things. Whether it's the adrenaline of a fight, or the pain of a break-up, or the agony of losing a loved-one. There's a lot to feel in stories. And the suggestion is I apply that to myself?

It's not a foreign concept to me. I used to be able to do it all the time. The thing is, it's not an easy thing for me to pull out of. Once I flip the switch and feel the emotion, I can't just shut it off for a moment to take care of real life responsibilities and then turn it back on when it's time to get back to writing.

Or can I? Are you a method writer? Do you feel everything your characters do, and if so, how do you make the transition back to real life without losing your mind? If not. If you can pour the emotion onto page without feeling it as you writer, I'd love some tips on how.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
I belong to a writing site: writing.com. I've met some of the most amazing people there, including pretty much all of my cp's. I discovered it about three and a half years ago, and posted what I thought at the time was the best writing in all of history.

And was quickly - but politely - put in my place. I've learned so much since then about writing and about friendship. I still post my stories there, participate in member-run contests, all sorts of fun stuff.

But now that I'm 'all growed up' and doing things like querying, having short stories published, all that stuff, sometimes I forget what it was like 'back then'. When I was just starting to learn (not that I'm done now, I just like to think I'm further along in the process).

I have one friend who reads my work and isn't a member of the site. Or any writing site as far as I know. If he is, he's not coming clean with me. I sent him a link to a couple of stories I have stored online. One of his comments after reading was "did I see right, this won a contest?"

My initial instinct was to brush it off. I mean, sure, it won. But there wasn't a lot of competition. It doesn't show up in any publications. I only wrote the story in a week. All sorts of reasons that win didn't mean anything. Except when I stopped and thought about it, it still did. It still does. It means someone read that story and liked it enough to place a ribbon (literal or metaphorical) on it.

I used to cherish every single contest win. I loved seeing my stories place. And it took an outside view to remind me of that.

So that's my reminder for everyone who has grown and learned in what they do - whether it's writing, or work, or anything else. It doesn't matter if it's not as difficult for you as it used to be. Maybe you can do it with your eyes closed now, and it's easier than sneezing.

But it hasn't always been. Whether it's creating spreadsheet templates, or writing fantasy short stories, or playing Wii with the kids and letting them win even though it's harder to do than just whooping them and walking away - you weren't born with that knowledge. You had to learn it. Be proud of that. Celebrate it. Share it. Bask in it.

And remember how far you've come when that next rejection comes in. You've made it this far, you can make it even further. Life is about growth, and you've excelled already by embracing that. Continue to do so ^_^

What's your latest accomplishment - writing related or otherwise? Brag about it. Don't tell yourself it's not good enough - it is and we want to celebrate with you ^_^

Embrace every victory. Don't tell yourself you didn't earn it.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
I was exposed to an interesting phenomenon this morning. Tawna Fenske is asking people to preoder her book 'Making Waves' from Amazon or any of the other fine booksellers who are offering it for preorder. Which I suspect is very difficult to do because no one wants to be the artist who sells their work by nagging their friends.

I don't hold it against her. I read her blog because she's entertaining. Which is also why I went and bought her book, in a genre I don't read. Because I suspect it will reflect the same voice I enjoy online. And when I love it, I'll recommend it to my friends, my family...probably not my coworkers but only because they're all guys and may not appreciate the story for what it is. But I will recommend it to their wives.

That was the first bit of the phenomenon I recognized. This is something I've only just recently started doing. Buying these books from these witty, entertaining, intelligent bloggers-who-are-also-writers.

The second bit I recognized was that a lot of you have already figured this out and have a similar habit. Because if you scroll down on the Amazon page, you can see "people who bought this book also bought..." and they're all books by writers who fit a similar profile.

So I started analyzing this, because that's what I do. I analyze things and draw conclusions from my observations. At first I was skeptical, because what it said to me is we're the people buying our books. Big deal, said the cynical part of me. I have 150 followers, I say I have a book out and maybe if I'm lucky, 10% of them go buy a copy. Yay, right? That's 15 people. Not exactly a screaming success.

Except...if my books read the way my blog does - voicewise - and they read my blog because they like that voice...then with any luck they like the book. If they like the book, with any luck they tell the people they know, the same way they would with a movie, or a good TV episode. "Hey, check this out...this Tawna Fenske woman is epic funny. No, really. Give it a read."

And suddenly, your name is out there.

I went through this thought process all this morning, and then went and got coffee and wondered if I would ever wake up. But that's not the point. The point is, until today I was skeptical of building platform and audience through blogging. No, really, I was. I adore the people who read and comment, and even those who read and don't comment. I don't so much adore the people who don't read, but they don't know that because..they're not reading :-P

But I didn't think it was really a means of selling books. It was more of a community/bonding experience. Except now I've recognized this new habit in myself and in the rest of you. What better way to get reading recommondations? I know, you've already all figured this out, but I'm slow on the uptake.

So, support an author today. Tell them you love them and why. And rest-assured that if you're genuine (and I know you all are), it'll all come back to kiss you on the cheek when you're looking for the same ^_^

What was the last book you bought because you read the author's blog and loved the way they talked?
Monday, July 18, 2011
Thought for the day: it's always morning somewhere. Just like a broken clock is always right twice a day. Which, when you think about it, is a ridiculous saying when so many clocks are on phones or digital now and a broken digital clock is only right once.

It's an overtly warm June day, and working from an office with no air conditioning is proving impossible. That's okay, because it's the last day I'll have to do any work here, and people are going to curse my name next week anyway when they realize how much I left behind. Maybe they should have considered that before they devoured my soul and spit it out to the demons who rule the eleventh plane of hell where only bureaucracy is master, and paper cuts from endless forms are the ultimate torture.

But I promised I would see this thing through until the bitter end. I gave my two weeks notice, I swore I would continue working, and dinner is on the boss. Don't ask me how he got permission to fly 2,000 miles to collect my laptop when I could have handed it in to the local office just fine without the supervision. Don't ask, and I won't have to tell you I suspect seeing me off is a convenient excuse and a separate rendezvous is planned.

Shh...you didn't hear that from me.

I'm so disappointed this job has slid downhill so much in the last three years, though. It started out as a great opportunity. But something important to keep in mind: if a client is resistant to taking a certain path - especially if they're almost obstinate about it - don't make them. They'll sabotage your efforts and,well, devour your soul. I'm hoping that I can get mine back soon. Or at least grab a new one at the new job. That's a standard benefit package, right?

New jobs terrify me, but I hope and pray that this next one will be amazing. I've got my fingers crossed, which would make it hard to type if I were working, but I'm not.

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