Posts Tagged ‘writing

25
Jan
19

Which of These Is the Best Snake Name? Input Needed

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So, I am working on a story and need a name for a pet snake.  I’ve come up with a short list of names and would like readers’ input.  Which do you prefer for a yellow and white/albino python found in a forest setting during summer vacation?

Summer

Sherwood

Stacy

Whitney

Amber

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03
Oct
18

Sue Grafton…Dead? I Am Late to Z Funeral.

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I am, by far, a lousy reader and never thought I’d give any author enough of my time to read more than three of their books.  And, if I say or ask anything that’s published on some website, obviously I haven’t sought that out and read it, either.  I’m not even doing a good job of looking over my notes from the books.  I just want to write something quick and heartfelt.  But, like Kinsey, I have habits that are hard to break and am complicated.  😀

P Is for Pitiful Reading.

But, I’ve been keeping this under a thin blanket.  I read 20 books in Sue Grafton’s alphabet mystery series, from A Is for Alibi to T Is for Trespass.

A Is for Accomplishment.

And, I would have continued reading had my life not been rocked back in 2015 by a stupid injury which sent me spiraling down a pathway into writing one of my own books about the scary medical experience (with a bit of exaggeration/imagination).

Now, I just heard the white-wine and quarter-pounder-with-cheese obsessed author passed away last December, shortly before the new year dawned.  And, she finished book Y but not Z??  THAT’S…

H Is for HORRIBLE!!

She wrote so long and so many books, shooting for 26 in a series (which I am sure–without looking is dwarfed by some of the more famous authors who seem to be so full of words they write books in their sleep and showers….practically vomiting hardcovers daily)…and she fails to complete the last book in the series.  [Did she anticipate her own death that she wrote an accompanying book about Kinsey before finishing the series?]

And, she had so many resources at her disposal.  How many cops, lawyers and insurance people worked with her on this series?  Plenty.  She had access to case files–which I am sure she borrowed a lot from for various books–and obviously did a lot of hitting the road to get all the necessary details right.  [If anything was inaccurate, how would I know, anyway?]  I wish I had a fraction of that support for and assistance with my books.

A close contact got me to read that series, as she has gotten me to read another by another deceased author who had some “friend of the family” or “super fan” take over writing stories about the characters.  [Which, after reading one book in the series, does NOT seem fit for “young adults” other than the difficulty level of the reading.]  And, I will be surprised if no one takes up the task of writing that last book to complete the series.  If no one will/does, I’d even be interested in contributing to the book.  But, I don’t want to write it solo.

I’ve got the title all picked out.  And, it’s a hoot.

Z Is for Zinfandel.

Perfection.  Right?  It’s the story of Kinsey finally thinking about cashing in her P.I. chips and settling down (though she perpetually claimed she could not be that sort of person and had to just settle for sleeping around with guys oozing machismo, like that vice cop and that “Rob” guy (based on another detective series author) who couldn’t get out of a lousy marriage).  She might just settle for retiring her present car, putting that tired old dress she kept in her car into mothballs or giving up a particular diet item/habit.  But, she will go down fighting with a big box of white wine right by her side.   It could just be a break from all the chasing, lying and violence and having Kinsey relax with her guilty pleasures, reminiscing about past cases/years.   Or, maybe an elderly Kinsey busts one more creep, proving old age didn’t slow her down enough not to bring the jerk to justice.  [Can you imagine this old white-haired lady flipping over some burglar and securing him before calling the cops, including the descendant(s) of that guy she hated contacting (whose name slips my mind).]

Come on, people!  No way that series ends one letter away from 26.  [But, knowing my luck, it’s already in the works and decided.]  Can I help anyone work on this last chapter?

At any rate, Sue?  You had me at L Is for Lawless.

[I’ve been just a tad infatuated with your Kinsey Millhone and her lady friend (at the insurance place who wore those very 80s outfits and hooked up with that shorter doctor guy)…at the same time I was bothered by some of Kinsey’s decisions.  And, yeah, the white wine thing realllllly got on my nerves.  I’m also itching to try a number of items on Rosie’s rotating menu, sample some of Henry’s baked goods and send his paranoid brother somewhere far away.]

Without further ado and any other foul habits…

S Is for Suspenseful.

U Is for Ugh!  Not another white wine fix or QP binge!

E Is for Erotic, Mildly.

G Is for Gal Pal Power!

R Is for Racing Heartbeat to the End of Each Book.

A Is for A Slow Burn.

F Is for Fierce Fighting Female.  [Not foxglove and all those digitalis cases.]

T Is for Thanks for Writing Something That Made Me Want to Take Notes.  [I really had to backtrack to find the source of the “death cap” mushrooms.]

O Is for One Sassy Little Pistol (and All of Her Guns).

N Is for No Way I Am Reading the Rest of the Series Without Z.  [But, I’ll hang onto my notes and memories as long as I can.]

21
May
18

New Novel in the Works

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I’ve been commissioned to write a novel about my wondrous relationship with the lovely Taylor Swift.** It’s a love story. So, when I ask you to support me in my effort to get it published, just say yes. [Ha.]

It’s called *The Taylor and the Writingbolt.* But, my agent and one publisher said “Writingbolt” should be two words, like lightning bolt.

They also wondered why I misspelled “Tailor.” I told them it’s a little joke and that I’d work in how she fashions various things, like weaving compelling lyrics and grooming her image.

I was looking at this one picture of Taylor the other day, and it got me thinking of cover designs and an old love song.

TASwift-valentine-fluffyredheart-cloudybluesky-longcurlyhairphoto_ap-CSPP-2018-85x11-2J

So, I whipped up a few dozen variations of a theme. Let me know what you think of these samples. I think most of them are quite professional-looking and mildly amusing.

**Commissioned in my dreams. This is just me fantasizing about living with this fine young woman and having her help me write a glorious epic based upon our real relationship, sitting by a sunlit window overlooking lush greenery or a placid beach.

Obsessed?  Maybe.  But, definitely inspired.  It’s amazing what a lil infatuation will do.  Imagine what shared love would bring.  😀

21
May
18

Short Story Writing Challenge: Tell-Tale Silhouettes

carmensandiego-ish-silhouette-circle-10pk_ap-CSPP-mini-2

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I had the impulse to craft some Carmen-Sandiego-ish, Dick-Tracy-ish silhouettes one day. Here is a sampler.

I propose a small creative writing challenge to those who happen to stop by this post. Can you conceive a short story that takes our female detective/explorer from the first image on the left to the last image on the right? Where did she go that day? What happened along the way? And, what did she discover at the end?

Place your (very) short story here in the comment section. [You won’t be glared at for writing a long one, either.]

26
Apr
18

Nature’s Tattoos

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I’m sure I’ve said it more than once. I don’t need any tattoos. I can be quite “judgy” about them on other people. I’m an artist who likes tasteful art in good places, not emotional outbursts carved into one’s temple like graffiti. A lousy tattoo is like marring a desk in school or defacing an old sculpture.

Let it be known to those who only see the judge in me, there ARE tasteful tattoos which I don’t mind as much and might even approve. I’ve seen women with gorgeously painted arms and cute star patterns on their shoulders. [But, I still think a woman will age and change her mind and not look at those tattoos the same way, later. And, I think women should be natural, even if they choose to groom a bit…or a lot.]

But, these are all just scattering thoughts clouding my original reason for putting fingers to keyboard, like a swarm of “river fleas” (as I call the little flying things that swarm near rivers when the air is warm enough).

What I aim to discuss is how nature provides plenty of tattoos, and that is one reason I don’t need someone to put one on me. What are nature’s tattoos you might ask? I’m talking about the “scars” we acquire from living, having accidents and picking up new skills/trades. Here is a short list of nature’s tattoos you might not have considered.

@ GENERAL SCARS from scrapes and/or surgeries. [Unless they heal or can be repaired some other way, they kinda stick around.]

@ BONE REPLACEMENTS AND REPAIR COMPONENTS that may show beneath the skin when you flex a certain way. [And, as your skin thins, they become more apparent.]

@ HAIR LOSS. [Yep. It’s kind of like a permanent waxing job without the wax]

@ PLUMBER’S BUTT CRACK. [Just another tool of the trade. When you decide to kneel and take a look under the pipes to see how things work, you seem to acquire this depletion of backside coverage. Apparently, this counts as certification in the field.]

@ WRITER’S BUMP. [This one is actually temporary, provided you take enough time away from using a pen or pencil. It’s the hard knob that typically forms on one side of the middle finger when you write enough.]

@ GUITARIST’S or SEAMSTRESS’ CALLUS. [Sort of like becoming desensitized to horror and/or violence, you might pick this one up while practicing one of these skills, gradually diminishing any pain you might experience.]

@ CROW’S FEET and other wrinkles. [Those little arrows of wrinkles near the eyes that look like a bird stepped on your face. Sure, there are ways to soften, mask and potentially even undo them, but they can stick around like a dimple in your cheek or chin.]

@ MOLES and “CHERRY ANGIOMAS”. [The latter, for those who don’t know, are the technical term for the red dots that appear on skin which can grow to become knobby like some moles; the redness is from gathering blood vessels, similar to a knit garment forming those little fuzz balls or bumps that some pick at or shave off when they are hasty. Potentially removable by *cosmetic* surgery. Potentially hazardous when exposed to sunlight among other conditions. And, they’re not usually nice to ogle. Thems be one ugly sort of nature’s tattoos.]

@ FRECKLES. [The typically nicer alternative to moles which can sometimes complement someone’s good looks. I particularly like them when they form a bridge across a woman’s nose and cheeks. They can make interesting patterns which seem to carry some hidden messages from the cosmos. Still, some may change into hazardous things; thus they must be monitored and protected.]

 

So, you see, with all of those to either steer away from or endure, who needs tattoo artists? And, how might the garden of an “inked” tattoo look different if it was violated by one of the above “weeds?”

 

If you can think of any I’ve missed, any “tattoos” from aging, accidents or certain talents/trades, let me know and I’ll add them.

 

 

19
Apr
18

Apology to the Valiant Poets of this World

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Your hearts are bleeding in verse.  It’s your choice of language.  It’s easier than speaking in clear sentences, instead of telling the cold, hard truth.  I get it.  I speak in metaphors, sometimes, and they can boggle the sharpest minds.

It’s just…  And, I’ve said this many times, before.  I’m so sick of poetry.  I’m sick of my own metaphors and creative explanations when they only cloud the minds of those we want to reach.

It’s too easy for a casual reader to breeze by and approve or take a snapshot of something they understand only as their eyes can see/read it.  The creator might get a false sense of appreciation or achievement.

And, while I’d like to peel through so many onions and find the root of your messages, the task brings a little vomit into my mouth.

I used to write poetry in high school.  It might have been well written, but it was depressing, grim crap.  It was the product of a soul coming to terms with an empty social life and childhood.  It wasn’t very cathartic.  And, looking back, I wish I had stuck with the comical limericks about frogs.

So, forgive me if I slight you, dear poets of the world.  [Though one or two of you might be so lucky to have me grace your pages with my wit and even the depths of my heart.]  I just cannot stomach much poetry, anymore.  [Yet, there is so much of it here.]

Maybe one day you’ll reach this stage, too, when you finally get tired of putting lace and blood on pages, stop scrapbooking life and start ripping the hard, cold, raw material from your gray matter and clenching chests.  You’ll wipe away the mime makeup and expose your scars.

I still wear a mask here and other places.  But, that’s…well, it’s just reasonable defense, considering circumstances.  But, if you talk with me “like a real person,” you’ll get what you give…just maybe in a delayed fashion if I don’t warm up to you fast enough.

I’m not one who sees much value in the word “sorry.”  If you’re sorry, you make up for what you regret.  But, I’m saying it now just to let you know why I cannot say anything good about what you have to share…when I know, to some degree, you seek that approval.

I’m sorry I can’t digest much poetry.  And, right about now, I’m at the breaking point.  I’m full.

14
Mar
18

Help Me Think of Names!

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And, get famous (whenever I publish) by having YOUR name (or a pen name you supply for yourself) worked into my latest book (project).  You could wind up a primary character, opposite the protagonist(s), a neighbor, CEO, taxi driver or police officer, for example.

The names I direly need are LAST/FAMILY names.  So, go nuts combining letters, words and/or sounds to get something special.

I am looking for:

  1. A name that incorporates the word “BUN.”  BUN could be any part of the name, start, finish or middle.
  2. A name that incorporates the word “TRESS” or “TRES.”
  3. A name that incorporates the word “LOCKE” or “LOCH.”
  4. A combination of three names (female first, female middle and last/family) that create a word or name with the initials.  IE Jane Ellen Trisket = JET

Submit your ideas to my mailbox (on the contact page) or in the comment section below.

Get brainstorming.




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