Sunday, May 23, 2010

When life imitates art...

So, I'm having a crappy week, which turns into a shitty weekend and I'm thinking to myself . . . why can't I just write my way out of this? Or go back and do edits on my life? Wouldn't that be nice? Yeah, it would. Too bad I can't, in all of my supposed talent, make it happen.

The red pen would be all over the pages of my life. A bloody, gory display of all the mistakes and idiotic descisions I've made throughout my almost 40 years of life.

I wish we all had referees in life. There would be this guy standing on the sidelines, maybe he's wearing the obligitory black and white striped shirt. Maybe he's dressed like the Grim Reaper. But anyways, he standing there, just waiting for you to fuck up. And when you do, he calls an "off sides" or a "foul" or whatever other sports term you'd like to plug in there. But at least, someone would be there to catch you when you're doing something really stupid. Something you don't even realize is going to create a bad outcome when it all plays out.

But it's too late, the ripple is set in motion and you can't stop the ripples rolling over the water any more than you can stop the rock from being thrown in. Maybe these things are meant to happen. Perhaps its the reason we don't  have referees in life. If we did, we might not learn what we should have from said fuck-up. Maybe that's the point of it all.

Maybe our referees are our friends? But what happens when your friends don't stop you or they are the cause of the fuck-up? WHAT THEN?? I guess when it comes right down to it, you really only have yourself to blame.

Solution: I think I'm gonna hire a guy to follow me around to watch out for potential fuck-ups. I might even make him wear the stripes . . . but it's negotiable.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Writer's block . . . Causes and cures.

So . . . I have a new book I'm supposed to be writing. It's a YA dystopian novel which was based on a short story I wrote. I had sent my manuscript for Gather the Broken to an agent, who said I was a talented writer, but she couldn't represent my book due to the fact that she had sold something similar a couple of years ago. She asked that I keep her in mind for anything else that I write. So I proceeded to tell her about the short story. She liked the basis of it and told me that if I wanted to flesh out the story, she'd be happy to look at an outline and the first 50 pages. Sweet right?!

Yeah . . . except that besides the plot outline, which graciously presented itself to me about a week ago, I've only written about three pages since then.

Normally what happens when I write is that I just sit with the material . . . meaning that I let it wander around in my brain while I'm going about my daily business. It floats there and I think about it, but not heavily. Somehow during the course of doing menial tasks, it all clicks and comes together and I know what I'm going to write about. It's almost like magic. A lot of writer's will tell you that they have a process and a lot of them will tell you that they don't always know where the story comes from—it just appears. It presents itself like a mirage on a lonely stretch of desert and you question the "realness" of it. Yet there it is, fleshing itself out on the computer screen, flowing from your fingertips like a concerto on piano keys. It's beautiful and inspiring and makes your soul sing when at last it happens.

This is NOT what's happening to me with this new genre venture. Keep in mind that while I do have one book completed and I grew immensely during the writing of it, not only professionally, but personally, I now find myself questioning my own talent. I have the vampire novel thing down. The first book is done and the second one is coming along better than I hoped. It's flowing and it comes easily. This switching gears thing is harder than I thought it might be.

I was just talking to my good friend about the fact that I'm choking on this simply because I'm afaid. At first, I thought it might be due to the fact that for the last 2-3 years, I've lived in Vampville while writing Gather the Broken . . . living and breathing the characters that grace the pages within. They're like my buddies, my babies. Do I subconsciously feel like I'm abandoning them by moving onto to another genre and a different book entirely? Perhaps. While I'm aware that these are fictional characters in my head, they've become such a part of me that perhaps I shouldn't ignore that fact? The insane part of what makes you a great writer is the fact that you can immerse yourself into the world you've created. I do live there while I'm writing about it, and even sometimes when I'm not writing about it. Being yanked out of bed by fictional characters at three o'clock in the morning to write, is the proof in the pudding!

Maybe the cure to my writer's block is to have a meeting with Shane and Danie and Gabriel and the whole Order of the Shadows crew and simply tell them . . . I'm not abandoning you . . . I simply need you to share my brain with these new characters. They need to live too and there is plenty of room in there for you all and plenty of love to go around, my children. Now play nice, and let Mommy work!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Snippet of the week from Gather the Broken ~ Chapter Two

Shane proceeded to look her up and down very slowly, hand on his chin, taking in the sight of her again. This of course made her uncomfortable and her defenses raised all kinds of walls and barriers, closing herself off. She decided to give him a pissed-off look.

“Ouch, this one bites!” he clasped his hands behind his back. “It is my estimation that a ‘Daniella’ wouldn’t dress in head-to-toe black.”

“That’s a ridiculous estimation on your behalf,” she said, crossing her arms over her chest. “I however, could deduce from your meager attempts to ascertain my character solely by means of taking in my appearance, that you judge a book merely by its cover, rather than its content.”

“Touché. However, I should point out that certain tactical settings require such snap judgments. In fact, ascertaining character by even the subtlest of nuances could mean life or death,” he smiled wryly at her. “To clarify: By definition, estimation is an approximate calculation, not exact, and therefore open to interpretation. Speaking of definitions, do you always speak as though you’re reading a dictionary?”

The fact was, she did this when she felt that her intelligence was taking a back seat to her pretty face. In most cases, when a man obviously found her attractive, she pulled out the dictionary-speak to fend them off. Usually it sent them running to their mommas, but this guy wasn’t budging. It only seemed to egg him on, and now he was turning it back on her, the smartass!

“Annoying: To cause annoyance; irritatingly bothersome,” she recited from the dictionary. “Oddly, I don’t recall seeing your name in the definition,” she replied with a face of mock confusion.

“I’ll notify Webster’s of your finding,” he returned.

“Annoying and arrogant.”

“Two for the price of one. Act now and you get a set of Ginsu knives. But wait! There’s more!” he continued in an infomercial-type tone.

She rolled her eyes at him, but wanted to laugh.

“Just concede and I’ll stop.”

“Yes, I’m Danie, okay? Are you pleased?” she conceded, arms flopping to her sides. She could stand here looking at his face all day; but really, she wanted to smack that smug look off his gorgeous face. Besides, work was beckoning.

“No. Not really.”

“And why is that?”

“I’ve offended you somehow,” he said, staring at her with his arms crossing his broad chest, one hand covering his square chin and full lips.

His immense biceps taunted her eyes. Not wanting him to know it, she looked away.

“I’m offended by everyone, don’t take it personally.”

Friday, May 14, 2010

Snippet of the week from: Gather the Broken

She slowly opened her eyes, glaring at him like a lion waiting to pounce. “You bring out the devil in me,” she said, in a tone that made his stomach quiver.

“Oh God, I hope so.” His eyes struck out at hers like daggers.

The fire he had been stoking within her had now become a backdraft of desire. It sucked the air out of his lungs then rushed forward, piercing his heart like a knife. His hands flew up to her hair, pulling it at the nape of her neck, cradling her head in his forearms. Her hands grabbed at the back of his jacket between his shoulder blades, pulling at it to keep her balance. Gabriel slowly moved in closer, stopping just short of her mouth. He slowly pulled her head back further by pulling on her hair, exposing her neck. He wanted to bite her, but instead slid his tongue slowly from her collarbone up, trailing the side of her neck. The cool tip of his nose sent shivers through her. He felt her nails dig into his jacket, pulling it down further. He moved to her ear.

“No doubt you have experienced intimacy with a human. Would you like to experience it with a vampire? It is infinitely superior,” his voice resounded deep and slow in her ear.

She sunk her nails into the flesh of his back at his words. “I cannot,” she said through gritted teeth.

“Oh yes you can,” he said in her ear.

“No,” she said, unable to move her head from his grasp. His every word struck at each nerve ending like a giant bell ringing, the sound reverberating over her. The sensations whipped over her in waves with each word in her ear.

“It’s easy—just say yes,” he whispered.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


As a writer, we are constantly striving to express ourselves. To bring forth our own truths and lay them out for the masses in an attempt to find others who either agree with us and pat us on the backs to say: "Yes, you are right!" Or, we are hoping to bring something more, to push the fundamental boundaries of what we consider to be the truth, to engage peoples minds and hope to give them a new perspective on what they feel is "truth". I am definitely of the latter persuasion.

The journey I've made over the last five years, when I began to take my writing seriously, and found my drive to pursue this as a full-time career has been an enlightening one. I've learned that I do have important things to say. And while not everyone needs to hear them and there are many who are above my message(s), I do have an audience. 

The most important factor in all of this, was not finding the audience per se, but finding my own voice with which to speak my message. Another contributing element to my journey was the fact that while I personally feel the call to spread my message to the masses, I didn't think my message was important enough. Who would listen to the ramblings of a woman who does not hold a college degree? What right do I have to speak my truths to others and spread the messages I deem worthy?

The conclusion I finally came to, and what propelled me forward on this journey is this: We are all given gifts. This is my gift. I know it to the core of my being. I struggled my whole life in one profession or another and completely denied my passion for writing. Like a scribe being dragged out of bed in the middle of the night, I could no longer ignore my calling.

I have something to say, I'd like you to listen. You can agree with me or disagree...either way it does not matter. What matters is that I am fulfilling my destiny by listening to my passion. What matters is that I say it. That I write it and I put it out there. It matters not what the populace at large thinks. Just the simple act of fulfilling my end of the bargain is enough. If I'm able to reach one person and turn them around on something in a positive way...then I become richer than a sultan.

Do I care if I actually become a published author? Hell yes! Do I want to sell loads of books? Yes, please! But for now, I'm on my journey. I'm making it happen by simply putting myself out there. And it will happen when it's meant to...