Monday, July 21, 2014

Turn, Turn, Turn



One thing I have to remind myself of constantly is that there is a time and place for everything.

Just because I used to do it, is no reason that it is a good idea now.  The things I may do now I never did twenty years ago, and probably won’t do in another 20 years.  Each year of our life is different. We have different needs, health, family, jobs, etc.

Looking back and wondering where the ‘me that used to be’ went is no good. That me doesn’t exist right now.  But I exist. And I like myself. I just can’t live by the same hobbies and goals I used to have.  The things that have dropped by the wayside were let go to make room for better more important things.

And that’s all right.

A little while ago I realized that an author I respect was turning 40.  40!  I hope they don’t take this the wrong way but I thought they were older. This person is barely a year and a half older than I am and has at least a dozen books published.  I guess it was a blow to my ego to realize they were so close to my own age, because what have I accomplished? It's come at an interesting time, as The Engineer and I  have been making plans, giving up on some ideas and accepting new ones. A time of flux.

Everyone takes their own journey. Everyone has their own set of crazy to deal with. To everything there is a season and a time and place for everything.  It’s natural for us to compare ourselves to others, to always long for what we don’t have, or haven’t accomplished yet. Striving to make ourselves better is one of the things that make us human. Or maybe one of the things that make us divine. And perhaps that’s why we have to keep reminding ourselves that there is a time and place for everything, and sometimes just being is enough. 



Monday, July 14, 2014

I'm back!

Hey all!  The past two weeks have been a whirlwind of driving, visiting, driving, swimming, driving, eating, and driving.  Good times, but it's nice to be home. 

Two weeks away from the WIP was a nice break but now I'm ready to dive into more revisions. I still might be able to be querying before the end of year break. 

I have a lot to catch up on in the blogosphere but here are a few interesting things I've found.

Agent Andrea Hurst opens up to submissions until September.

An article about how the average income of writers is getting smaller. 

A thought provoking post about diversity in writing.

A post about how writing is a mind altering substance.



So, what's new with you?



Monday, June 23, 2014

Family Break

We're going to be hunkering down for some family time so I'm not going to be posting for the next three weeks. I hope everyone is enjoying their summer and I'll see you in July!


Monday, June 16, 2014

Someday...



There is danger in the word ‘someday’.  Someday I’ll work on this goal. Someday I’ll accomplish my dreams.  

Someday is vague and nebulous. Someday may never come.  

Choose to start today.

Whether it’s that rewrite you’re contemplating, the blank paper waiting, the friends you could find, the promotion you want. Someday won’t be soon enough, what can you do today?

There are times when something must wait for that ambiguous ‘someday’, but only because there is a more pressing ‘today’ to live.  

Find your someday, and make it today. You won’t be sorry.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Big Reveals



Hey all, sorry  for the problem with comments earlier today. I think I have it fixed now. Thanks for your patience. Now, on to the post.


There are times when the author can raise tension by holding information back. There are also times when the author holds something back for the sake of holding it back. The author gives hints and says things such as ‘I wouldn’t think about that now’. It gets old and the reader figures it out. If this is the case, when the author finally gets to the Big Reveal the reader is bored. The book has lost momentum because the author was continually holding back, never moving us forward.  

I've seen an increasing amount of this recently and it's a little disturbing. The author doesn't need to shove everything into the story at once. Information should be given when it is pertinent. That could mean up front, or it could mean later in the story. But, the reader shouldn’t be kept in the dark if everyone else in the story knows. It creates a lack of trust between the reader, the book, and the author. And if the only tension or build up the author has is these kind of reveals, then there really isn’t much going for the book. 

It would be much better to create a forward moving story, focused on the events of the literary present, rather than the past. While the past does affect the present in novels (and in life) we shouldn’t be hung up on it. Keep the story moving forward. Don’t hold us back.  

Have you seen much of this?  What do you think?

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Thailand again

Here is another post about how books (and movies) are being used in Thailand to protest the new government. Books do make a difference, which is both exhilarating and terrifying. There is great responsibility as an author when you're deciding what to put down on the page. You never know how it will be used. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Reading as protest



One thing we see in many dystopians  is some sort of banning of books and literature.  Unfortunately, it doesn't just happen in books. There are times in history and places in our world today where people can’t read anything they want, where people are only allowed to learn or know what their government approves.  I saw an article here, where the people of Thailand are using reading as a form of peaceful protest against the new  military rule. It remains to be seen what, if anything, the government will do with these protesters.  
  
But it makes us wonder why. Why is reading an act of defiance? Why are books some of the first things to go in restrictive or dystopian governments?  Why does that scare us so much?

Reading can expand our minds, teach us new things, show us that their way isn’t the only way, give us strength to say no.  A government, real or imagined, that wants to control the people need to control how they think, how they see the world. To do that they must control what people put into their brains. They must make sure that only literature supporting their decisions, or making their decision seem logical is available to the masses. Otherwise the people might just start thinking for themselves. But  they can never take away whats already there, the things we already know, all the books we've already read.

Sometimes, reading can be an act of defiance. I hope those people in Thailand that are using books to show their discontent are safe. I applaud them for standing up for literature and for the society they want to have. I wonder if I would be so brave.