You Can Paint if You Want to, but Wallpaper is Easier to Clean

I am truly blessed because even as we speak I am smack dab in the middle of publishing my second novel, Eden’s Wake.rewrites

I received the first half from my publisher’s editor and after having a chance to scrutinize the text myself, I sent it back with my comments. Now the first half is complete and I am working on the finale.  The cover will be ready by the end of the week or the beginning of next week. Everything’s looking good for a release date coming soon.

This gives me a chance to look back over this novel from its conception. I originally completed the manuscript in late 2008. I put it aside to begin other projects. When I came back to begin rewrites, it hurt to read the mess that I had written. I rolled up my sleeves all the way to my arm pits and began to rewrite.  Once I finished, I was still not happy but no longer ready to shred the manuscript. I knew the story had promise which made me more determined to end up with a useable product. (Notice I didn’t say a “sellable product.”)

I continued to write, if not on new projects, then I persisted in beating my head up against Eden’s Wake. Then the day came I thought it time to test the waters. I don’t remember what year it was; it’s all kind of a disheveled blur.  Suffice it to say, I received a sufficient amount of rejections to wallpaper the complete interior of my home.

Undaunted (if you want to believe that one), I continued to find more mistakes and correct them just knowing that someday (hopefully before I was dead), that I would find someone who would publish this monster I had created.  Then upon a whim, I began a rewrite to end all rewrites. By the time my rewrites to end all rewrites had been rewritten, I had a novel that I didn’t recognize. Pleased with this new assortment of words, I just knew that the 1349th time would be the charm.

Little did I know that the wallpaper would keep rolling in. I knew there was something wrong, but what was it?

Then one day while throwing my balsa wood airplane (with a little red propeller and rubber band) from the special perch I constructed on top of my giraffe’s head, Archibald, it hit me. I scrambled down, jumped into my Land Rover and drove the grueling 38.7 feet to my back deck.  I ran to my writer’s room, opened my computer and within a month or two had my manuscript finally tweaked.

And the rest is history and so is the wallpaper.

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Sometimes I Scare Myself

I’d like to step away from writing briefly to discuss several things that tend to ruffle my feathers. I would greatly appreciate your indulgence in this endeavor.deer fly

Firstly, but not necessarily in the order of importance, are tissues that come impregnated with aloe. Have you ever tried to clean a pair of glasses with one of these greasy rags? I realize, having just been told by my personal assistant, typist, muse, editorial nuisance and all around nemesis, that these particular tissues are not intended to clean transparent surfaces.  I understand this; however, when you’re driving and the only tissue in the vehicle was purchased by your wife (and all she buys are the grease choked pulp wood sheets) there’s not much choice. Especially, when your glasses are coated in three layers of thumb prints, road grime, a dozen or so insects, and a coat of road salt. And; furthermore, I don’t like wiping my nose with a tissue that feels like it’s already been used. Nuff said.

Number two: I don’t mind spiders. I don’t mind snakes (not that I want either one napping with me at night.) They just don’t bother me in the way they do some people. But, what does rip me a new one are those yellow, green-eyed deer flies. They will attack in groups of two or three with the tenacity of an enraged, rabid wolverine. If you’ve never experienced these little gems before, allow me to enlighten you.

Imagine, several half-inch long F-15’s targeting your neck and face. They land and take off at the speed of light so that each time you feel them touch down and you move to swat one, it’s too late to stop them before they have dug in. Now that you have three organic fighter jets orbiting around your head, driving you to the brink of insanity, you began to swing wildly slapping yourself in the face. Then one makes it through. He lands on an inconspicuous spot that you cannot readily reach. (Did I fail to mention they can bite through thin clothing?) While the other two keep you smacking yourself into a stupor, the third drives a quarter-inch hollow spike several inches into your musculature. This miniature blood bank siphons off a pint and is back in the air before your brain can instruct your hand to react to the carnage that has just taken place. Occasionally, you’ll pin one (more often than not) against your temple, releasing an inordinate amount of goo as the stealthy fighter turns to mush under the pressure of a lucky slap down.

And lastly within my finite little world the thing that gets my goat, burns me up, and yanks my chain are people who constantly whine about things that bother them. I steer clear of these types at all costs. I once tried to get away from myself and almost accomplished it. The problem being, I couldn’t keep my mouth shut, so I eventually caught up with myself. So now you know why I’m constantly whining about people like me.

In a way it’s kind of comforting knowing there’s something I can do and do well. It’s just one of those little things that keep me going.

And before I forget, I despise slot headed screws. If old man Phillips had developed his head first, it would have saved a lot of wear and tear on my fingers and an overabundant usage of language that no one should use.

And another thing……

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Fun is Fun; Work is Work; and Anacondas Who Publish Books Tend to Not Know the Difference

It’s hard to imagine everything that goes into publishing a book. Once you’ve completed your manuscript, including rewrites and edits, you’ve conquered your first hurdle.anaconda

Next in the process, is locating a publisher. (Not the easiest task but one that can be attained with a never die attitude.)

Once, said publisher accepts your manuscript, then the fun begins. This is a stressful time but a good time none the less. You could equate it to navigating your way across a river tiptoeing across crocodile backs while being  chased by a horde of cannibalistic pigmies. And in case you haven’t noticed, there’s a pride of snoozing but famished lions lounging on the other side. (If you make it past the six thirty-foot anacondas waiting at the water’s edge.)

Like I said before… A piece of cake… Or maybe I didn’t say it, but I was thinking it. You’re included in the final editing. (It’s hard to say goodbye to certain parts of your manuscript, but often necessary.)

I find the most difficult task is composing the back matter, a two-line hook to catch a prospective buyer’s eye and a paragraph to reel him in and seal the deal. And we mustn’t forget the all-important photograph that’s plastered in and amongst all the verbiage.

Then there’s the crème de la crème, the artwork for the front cover. Having input makes it feel like it’s really your own.

All in all it’s a great experience. Even though there’s stress, it’s the good kind. Reminds me of that secluded Indonesian tributary I stopped to bathe in. Don’t know which I enjoyed more–being gnawed on by a couple hundred ravenous piranha or swatting them away with an abundant source of electric eels. Either way, I don’t remember a thing. Lucky the young native boy witnessed it all and pulled me to safety. And on top of all the fun, I managed to drop a few pounds.

Just goes to show ya. Fun can be had in the most unusual of places. So get out there and claim yours now!

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Hi Ho, Hi Ho; To Work I Tried to Go…That’s as Far as I Got

Imagine comparing different trades to the world of writing. I, myself, was a carpenter beginning in my late teens, building houses and then moving to commercial construction. construction workerFrom there, I became a superintendent building everything from small businesses to office complexes. Never having considered this before, I can now see the similarities between constructing a building and a novel. First, a plan or a plot is necessary to begin both. Secondly, a carefully thought out process of constructing a solid foundation whether brick or paper is mandatory. This is true throughout the entire building progression until complete.

Of course, there are extenuating circumstances in both endeavors. Construction is wrought with change orders, as writing is wrought with changes of a different nature.

Working on government jobs, strict standards, including safety, must be adhered to. I was an easy person to work under until procedures I was responsible for were ignored. Depending on the day, after an offender had been warned previously, my demeanor was unpredictable. It could surface anywhere between a stern alert to threatening to remove the person from not only my job, but the face of the earth if they couldn’t follow my request. (All done in a sweet, calm, soothing voice, of course.)

In the construction of a novel, more liberties can be taken throughout its building process. For instance, a carefully constructed building maybe smashed to smithereens by a two hundred foot tall, furry, scaly, fanged creature with bad breath and heartburn. These two symptoms (brought on by an overabundance of ingested human body parts) caused such a nasty rampage.

Remember, my yelling at an uncooperative employee? This might have just as well ended in a similar fashion as the people munching creature (even though cannibalism is not a regular part of my diet.)

How about a writer verses a flight attendant? (Even though this is not actually a trade, it bears mentioning.)  Flight attendants take a lot of flak from unhappy travelers-everything from terrorists to screaming babies and intoxicated knot heads. Either the coffee is too hot or the water isn’t cold. So and so won’t come out of the bathroom and such and such reclined their seat too far. I don’t like chicken. Why isn’t there a movie on this flight? I don’t have a magazine. BoBo can climb on the wing, why can’t I? It goes on and on and on and on. I’m surprised when the phrase “going postal” was coined it wasn’t instead “going attendant.”

This, again, is a suitable comparison to the writing world. Authors take a lot of flak when they’re not handing it out in their writing. I’ve been transported to the mountain top with a stellar review, only to be shredded into small strips of hamburger by another reviewer.

Within my novels I’m constantly looking for different creatures to create and at the same time unique ways to destroy my creations.

So you see writing does pair up with other trades and occupations. Now that I’ve written this I feel as though I’ve done a great service for the working community. Exactly what this service may be I have yet to establish, but it must be pretty important because I wrote it.

Hopefully by next week I’ll have it all figured out. If not, it’ll be another one for the ages.

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Eden’s Wake

snoopyDear Followers and Readers,

I am thrilled to announce my latest novel  Eden’s Wake  (sequel to my first novel Rising Tide)  has been accepted by my new publisher Christopher Mathews.

Regards,

Lynn

 

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Monkey See; Monkey Do. Monkey Has the Sense to Run Away Screaming

Let’s say you’ve just completed reading the latest and greatest best-selling novel. What are you going to do now? You have several choices. Realize how bad your work is, writer_1369645drop into the depths of depression, burn all your manuscripts and/or never write again.

Use the excellence you have just experienced to inspire your own writing ability and pen a novel to rival the masters. What would this masterpiece contain? If we look back to your last read (the latest and greatest best seller) we find that it was written crossing several genre lines. Starting with mystery, plunging through steam-punk romance, taking a slight detour into the world of sci-fi and fantasy, and finally finishing with a bunny rabbit named Boo hopping through the pages of a children’s book.

First, you must decide which direction your plot will lead your protagonist and characters. Perhaps you will take your manuscript along a different course, one never seen in the literary world. How about three protagonists, four antagonists, two sets of Siamese twins, one male, one female and a mule named Scorch?

I can see the climax now. Just picture the final showdown…

The three protagonists unable to decide who is in charge form a blue-ribbon, fact-finding commission to rectify the situation. Four antagonists with no one to antagonize meet for drinks awaiting the commission’s decision. The Siamese twins left with nothing to do, decide to marry, the ceremony officiated by a cactus and witnessed by the mule. The four newlyweds and mule ride into the sunset having absconded with a sleigh and a pack of reindeer.

Of course, this is only a suggestion; it’s your novel so creative control falls upon your shoulders.

Now, if I was a bettin man, I’d wager that you might feel more comfortable writing within your genre. Since we have no clue as to what your genre may be, we’ll choose for you. We want something adventurous and heart pounding, but nothing that will keep you awake at night. It must be sensitive; yet, not enough to think the characters a cast of sissies; suspenseful with horror incorporated lovingly; and romantic without hugging, kissing or any other public displays of affection. And finally, who can resist a great “who done it?” That’s correct; a murder mystery with no one actually dead.

Once you choose your genre; you may begin your masterpiece.

Now, not to dissuade you in any way or hack into your enthusiasm about writing this amazing book, there are several things I would like you to know.

Once you complete the rough manuscript, you will spend months writing, rewriting, rewriting, editing, rewriting, editing and eventually proofread while rewriting and editing.

Then, you will spend enormous amounts of time and energy trying to interest an agent or publisher in your work. This isn’t very difficult, if your name happens to be Stephen King. You see, about a thousand new titles are released each day. Now, if you divide the number of agents and publishers by the number of authors attempting to garner their attention, the odds end up being a bazillion to one.

If you manage to catch someone’s eye and become published, you will once again spend enormous amounts of time and energy to market your book to the world. You will be vying for attention with well over a quarter of a million books released each year.

I’m glad I was able to share with you the delightful and positive aspects of becoming a published author. If there are any other ways I may lift your spirits or interject inspiration into your world of writing, please contact me through this site.

Good luck and happy writing.

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Sorry to be Such a Downer, But Sometimes it Comes With the Territory

“In the spring, a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.” This quote, uttered by Alfred Tennyson in his poem “Locksley Hall” written in 1835, still rings true today…or does it? Consider the differences from Tennyson’s time in the 19th century, through the 20th, and into the 21st century; a full one hundred eighty years.jack the ripper

  • The 19th century produced great literature such as A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  • The 20th century produced literature of a different kind, but great in its own right, like Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series and Needful Things.

 

  • 19th century bathing practices were mainly in cold water unless you had a way to heat the water before it went into the bath tub. During the summer, many bathed in open water. The poor would bath approximately once a week, while the more well to do, as much as twice a day.
  • 20th century, except for hot water, see paragraph above.

 

  • 1879, Joseph Lawrence develops Listerine.
  • 21st century, bad breath still exists.

 

  • 19th century, over 13 million deaths in major wars.
  • 20th and 21st century wars, claimed over 160 million lives.

 

  • In 1888, Jack the Ripper savagely murders at least 5 prostitutes in London.
  • 20th and 21st century, too many examples to mention; sadly, it not only continues, but escalates exponentially.

 

It seems the more civilized we become, the more barbaric our actions.

God help us all.

Just don’t be afraid to ask.

“The bitterest truth is better than the sweetest lie”  Griffin MIB III

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