Thursday, March 30, 2006

Quote from Stephen King & My Comments

"Can I be blunt on this subject? If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that. Reading is the creative center of a writer’s life."
- Stephen King

I never fail to be amazed at the number of writers who I meet who tell me they don't read. Or they take their inspiration from movies and TV, which would be fine if they were writing screenplays and scripts, but they're writing novels. Different mediums with different requirements. I don't see how you can learn and understand the novel form if you don't read novels.

A lot of writers quote a lot of "writing rules". They tell me "show, don't tell." They tell me don't use adjectives, adverbs, or dialogue tags. And on, and on, and on. But if they were to read as much as I do, they'd see that none of those, or the myriad of other so-called "rules of writing" aren't as simple as "do this" and "don't do that".

Pro writers appear to break those rules all the time. Why? Well, because the rules were generated to help writers in specific situations, but eventually they became broadly applied to every situation because applying a rule is easy. You can fool yourself that you're a good writer because you know how to follow the "rules". But unless you've thought about why you're following the rules and whether you should break them this time, you're not writing at your top level of quality.

What should you do instead? Read, read, read. Look at what the writers of the good books do. Do what they do. Think about your writing as you write and compare the way you're using techniques to the way the pros use them. Then go back and make your writing quality as good as the best books you read. If you can't do that, you're writing's not ready for publication.

Good luck!!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Past Life

From PBW:

Your past life diagnosis: I don't know how you feel about it, but you were male in your last earthly incarnation.

Not surprised, but I like being female. (grin)

You were born somewhere in the territory of modern Hungary around the year 1775.

Ooookay--I'd have thought England in the 1800s. Or somewhere around Tuscany.

Your profession was that of a leader, major or captain.

Huh? And I'm a "timid, constrained, quiet person."

Your brief psychological profile in your past life: Timid, constrained, quiet person. You had creative talents, which waited until this life to be liberated. Sometimes your environment considered you strange.

Creative talents is the most spot on thing it came up with. And, for the record, my environment still considers me strange. Ask my sons, if you don't believe me.

The lesson that your last past life brought to your present incarnation: Your main lesson is to develop magnanimity and a feeling of brotherhood. Try to become less adhered to material property and learn to take only as much as you can give back.

Good advice for anyone.

Do you remember now?


Thursday, March 23, 2006

Too Funny

I found this on Agent Obscura's blog. The author's blog can be found here: Nancy Fulda

Let There Be Write
By Nancy Fulda
18 April 2005

(1) In the beginning the author created the concept and the story.

(2) And the story was without form, and void; and blankness was upon the face of the page. And the fingers of the author moved upon the face of the keyboard.

(3) And the author said, Let there be plot: and there was plot.

(4) And the author saw the plot, that it was good: and the author divided the plot into two characters.

(5) And the author called one character protagonist, and the other he called antagonist. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

(6) And the author said, let there be a problem in the midst of the story, and let it divide the characters from the characters.

(7) And the author called the problem Conflict. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

(8) And the author said, let the story bring forth setting, and imagery, and nifty neat scientific gizmos, or cool magic, each story after its kind: and it was so. And the evening and the morning were the third day.

(9) And the author said, let there be turning points in the conflict to surprise the protagonist and the antagonist, and to be for signs, and for foreshadowings, and for cliffhangers, and surprises. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

(10) And the author said, let the story bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life: supporting characters, and background animals, and pets with personality, each story after its kind, and let them multiply, and fill the pages of the story. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

(11) And the author said, let the story bring forth themes, and subthemes, and philosophical lessons to fascinate and taunt the reader, and let them have dominion over the setting, and the imagery, and the host of background characters, and over every lesser thing which creepeth upon the pages.

(12) So the author created the story in the image of his fantasy; many stories, created he them, and he said unto them, be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish my bank account, and bring me prestige and literary acclaim, for you are my greatest work. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

(13) And on the seventh day the author rested, and he looked again upon every thing that he had written, and behold, it was a piece of junk.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


I had a followup visit with the doctor. I have a treatmeant plan. It includes lots of Motrin, which makes me sleepy. But there's progress and if that continues I may be able to avoid physical therapy. I'm OK with doing it, if it does become necessary. It's paying for it that's the problem.

Paul and I are leading the Lenten service tomorrow. It will be the first time I've sung solo in about 30 years. It will be cool because the music is good. Ladyesong is doing a really nice version of Amazing Grace and O Bone Jesu by Palestrina at Prince of Peace on Sunday. Lent/Easter and Christmas seasons are great because we get to sing more.

I hope this shoulder gets better soon, but it looks like at least two more weeks of frustratingly slow, one-handed typing. I'll have to keep entries short, but I really want to get back to more interesting topics than my sore shoulder.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


So, now I get to wait for the results of the x-rays. The hardest part of this injury is that showering and dressing make my arm hurt. I'm tired of sitting around in my bathrobe and mostly being stuck at home. I may have to do some clothes shopping, if it turns out that I'm going to be one-armed for a while. Skirts and tops or dresses are easier to manage than the jeans I usually hang out in. But they have to be long because pantyhose are impossible. And they have to be pullover or button down the front. I only have one pair of shoes that I can wear with dresses, so I'll need a pair of flats, too. Hell of a way to get a new wardrobe, huh?

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Going to the Doctor

I found a low-cost clinic & am getting my arm looked at this afternoon. I'll be glad when I'm not posting about health problems. I hope you all are doing better than I am!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Black Cloud

I think there's a black cloud over my head. Yesterday I tripped and hurt my arm. I'm typing one-handed, which is very uncomfortable.

OTOH, it gave me a chance to read Rebel Ice by S.L. Viehl. Go read. I'll write more when I can type again.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Sleeping, mostly

I've had a horrible bout with some sort of stomach bug. I've been mostly sleeping this week. I'll be back when I'm better. I cannot believe how many minor illnesses I've had this year. I've never been sick like this before in my life. Oh, well. I am getting better and will be back posting soon.