Monthly Archives: August 2012

Dig up Your Own, These are Mine!

I would imagine that most of you have seen the aftermath of a severe storm or hurricane. Downed trees litter the area, proof of the planet’s ability to destroy. Turning our attention to a single tree, we notice a large tap-root (most likely snapped off at ground level), moderate sized roots stemming off in multiple directions, and hundreds, if not thousands, of thread-like roots covering the entire underside of the root ball, supplying much-needed nutrients and water to the tree.

If we pay attention, we’ll notice that roots play a larger role in our everyday lives. Take for instance the ones we eat–carrots, beets, turnips, potatoes, onions, the list could go on;  but, for the sake of not sounding like a seeEnglish: Tree roots The 'underneath' of the ro...d-catalogue, I’ll stop there. Some of these roots have a smaller system of roots connected to their base. Kinda strange, don’t you think? Roots feeding roots?

All of these roots have something in common. They are necessary to the growth, well-being, and very existence of all the flora living above ground.

As humans, we are also rooted to many things: Our family, friends, jobs, and many others too numerous to name.

The same can be said for writing. As we move further into our story, we must be sure that the basic structure of the narrative is sound and firmly rooted. Just as the thread-like roots move in erratic directions, so should variables within your manuscript. This will add texture and dimension without compromising the basic foundation.

Please pardon me while I trim this tuber. It’s too big to fit into my potato gun, and my neighbor being home…I wonder if the door panel on a Lexus can take a hit….only one way to find out!  Lock and load, baby.

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Ouch, That Smarts!

 

English: A South African praying mantis (Mioma...

English: A South African praying mantis (Miomantis caffra) eating a fly it has just caught. Photo taken in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Something has always bothered me…well I can’t really say “it’s bothered me” as such, only that it has bothered me in an alternative way that actually doesn’t bother me.  At least it doesn’t bother me individually as much as it bothers me in a manner that disassociates itself with me; however, associates itself with the insect world.

Let’s examine the common honey bee.  The queen is a female (that makes sense to me).  The worker bees are also female.   (I have no opinion one way or the other with this arrangement.)

Now enter the drone, the only male inhabitant of the hive (this is where the bothersome part comes in.)

When a new queen is chosen it flies high into the sky being chased by a horde of drones.  The first one to reach the queen will mate, blast out his genitalia and then die.  When mating season is over, the drones are kicked out of the nest. Being as they come from an unfertilized egg, I picture them being one chromosome short of stupid. I can see them huddling together all winter, keeping each other warm as they drool spittle and utter phrases such as, “duh” and “huh.”

Along the same lines, when a black widow mates, she will often eat her much smaller mate, and if that is not enough carnage, after a praying mantis mates, it will chew the head off her husband…actually the praying mantis will chew the head off anything. You can see that, being a male, this sort of behavior could tend to be a bit bothersome, even though it is totally outside of my species.

Let us not forget about the radioactive spider that bit an unassuming, young student turning him into Spiderman.  Even though he fought for the cause of good, who’s to say that the same type of spider couldn’t bite a woman scorned (and you know what they say about scorned women) and we end up disappearing or at best decapitated after a romp in the hay.

Decidedly,  here comes the most difficult part of this post, tying the gruesome truth I have laid before you into anything that remotely resembles the art of writing. Maybe the best way to wind up  is to say; keep homework eating canines away from your manuscripts, chose your mate wisely, and if anything commences chewing on your head…well…don’t say I didn’t warn you.

 

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What Scares Me About This Post? To Me It Makes Sense

Through many years of therapy, meetings with counselors, psychologists, psychiatrist, and then finally psychics, and palm readers with no alleviations in my symptoms; inundated with numerous mind altering drugs designed to treat everything from depression to dyslexia and still no relief; I bring my situation to you, my faithful reader.  My problems, I will spell out in order of importance, there being three major malfunctions within my brain.

Number one:  What makes a door nail so much deader than anything else? What about a window nail? After exhaustive years of research I have learned no more than a door nail (being a large decorative nail) used in years long past was driven in the wood and clinched on the other side, effectively making the nail unable to be reused, “or dead” … but even this explanation cannot be proven.

Number two:  Happy as a clam.  Now, pray tell, how could a clam possibly have any reason to experience the internal feeling of joy? It sits on the bottom of the ocean buried in mud waiting for some infinitesimally small creature to drift by giving the clam a meal, once it filters a few thousand of these minute organisms, from the surrounding sea water. The only clams that I have actually seen were sitting on ice in a fish market, cut into strips and

Littleneck clams, small hard clams, species Me...

Littleneck clams, small hard clams, species Mercenaria mercenaria (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

deep-fried, or waiting to be plunged into a pot of boiling water–not the best formula for a happy life. Some fisherman I met in an old seafaring novel tried to tell me that the saying, “happy as a clam,” came from the appearance of a clam shell when it was open, i.e., it looked like it was smiling…I don’t know?

Number three:  If you start on the east coast and begin to travel in an eastward direction, you will first encounter the near east.  If you continue your journey, you will find yourself in the Middle East. Continue on and you’ll wind up in the Far-East… now’s where the problem begins.  Once you pass the Far-East, you will eventually end up back in North America, probably in California.  So, I just traveled twenty-four thousand miles east to end up in the west.

This brings to mind (even in my drug induced condition) that when you’re working on your manuscript you should take the time to erase silly notions from your head (such as door nails, smiling clams, and irrational travel plans) that figure into your writing…it just wouldn’t look good.

I just had another disturbing thought…If a reanimated door nail traveled east, meeting up with a frowning clam at the coast, they then traveled together through the east, ending up on the west coast of North America. After traveling a short distance inland, if a giant redwood tree fell on the pair in a secluded area, smashing the clam shell and driving the nail deep into the ground, would the tree make a sound and would anyone care?

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Take a Peek Inside

Since my last post asking my readers to help with a grass-roots campaign to market my book, several people have requested  that I post a sample from the book itself.  Your wish is my command…..

I have taken two excerpts from two different chapters and created a “page” for viewing on this blog site.  Notice at the top of this page a tab that says, “A Glimpse into Rising Tide.”  Just click on that tab and you’ll be able to read the two excerpts provided.  I hope you enjoy them.

Kind regards,
Lynn

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Spread the Word!

Author Fair 2007

Author Fair 2007 (Photo credit: Homer Township Public Library)

I’m attempting to start a viral campaign centered around my first novel, “Rising Tide.”

Due to a physical disability caused by Multiple Sclerosis, I am unable to go on book tours or visit book clubs. As much as I’d like to, I just can’t attempt to sell my book the conventional way.

So I am doing something that many folks struggle to do: I am asking for your help.

In lieu of touring, I am aiming to spread the word via online action and social media. This is where you come in.

Would you consider helping me build a grass-roots movement by spreading this message to others? Share on Facebook and Twitter, post comments, leave reviews, spread the word. It’s completely up to you how you share it.

For more information, you can view the book’s official trailer here, and you can purchase a copy via Amazon here. My book is also for sale at a variety of online book sellers, including Barnes & Noble.

Thank you for taking part in this literary experiment!

Regards,

Lynn Steigleder

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Count to Ten Before Mouth Opens…If Necessary Keep Counting

A Christmas tree at Santa Claus' Park. In 2005...

A Christmas tree at Santa Claus’ Park. In 2005 this was close to the entrance. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What type of person are you? When I ask this question, I am referring to your personality; and to delve even deeper, are you a patient soul or do you fly off the handle at the drop of a hat? Since I’m the one doing the talking and you’re doing the listening, I guess that’s a question you’ll have to ask yourself. So, let me tell you a little about myself.

I’ve never been known as an individual with an over-abundance of patience. In my younger days, I would tend to not so much fly off the handle as eagerly voice my frustration…frequently, with colorful language that when I think back makes me ashamed that I kissed my mother with such a dirty mouth. On rare occasions (and when combined with alcohol), these releases of frustration could result in the destruction of objects within close proximity.

As I have gotten older, I have acquired patience with some things through trials in my life and become less patient with other things–case in point, children. Let me be perfectly clear, I love children. I just recently became a grandfather.  What I’m talking about is raising children. That’s why grandchildren are so nice.  You can spoil them to the nth degree then play dumb and hand them back to Mommy and Daddy.

I also learned when one wishes to acquire patience unless they’re willing to go through torment this is not something you should pray for.

To tie this post into writing, I am going to take a different approach. My first novel, has received reviews, mostly positive.  I got one the other day that figuratively ripped me to shreds. There was nothing positive in the review and this person actually took the time to write three disparaging paragraphs. They stopped short of a personal attack but just barely.

Thankfully I am thick-skinned and expect negative reviews but this one stuck in my growl for some reason.  What I was able to determine, was that this person was angry about the book’s content. I am a proud Christian and my writing tends to lean in that direction.  I can only speculate that my nemesis was of the atheistic or agnostic persuasion. The novel is written in such a way that if you know the Bible, you will pick up similarities, if not, then, it is just another work of fiction.

So in conclusion, don’t let criticism that is not constructive and helpful to your work bother you. On a different note the summer’s coming to an end and Christmas is just around the corner. Now what I want you to do is sing the song to yourself, “Here Comes Santa Claus.” After you finish the first verse, I don’t want you to think of this song anymore today….how do you like me now?

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Who is this “Chad” and why is he hanging?

US Capitol Building Front New

US Capitol Building Front New (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m going to do something I promised myself I would not do when I started this blog–that something is talk about politics. Now here is what I know (which I admit is not very much) about the aforementioned: It is a necessary evil; it can be cutthroat; it can very rarely be polite and gentlemanly; and the saying, “absolute power corrupts absolutely,” holds true.

I have found that most politicians are interchangeable, although there are a few that I trust totally… Unfortunately, all of these are dead.

As you all know, we are in the midst of an election year. All I can say about that is get out to vote if you can, and most importantly, God help us all.

It just so happens I am on vacation while penning this post. Now being at the beach and thinking of politicians draws my thoughts surf-side, where many bottom-feeders dwell. Unless you’re in the tropics, most ocean water seems murky so that while swimming you are unable to see the bottom. Please allow me to inform you that this is another gift from God.

I have only seen beach water clear once. I was on vacation in the Outer Banks, and even after wading out up to my neck, could easily see the bottom. There were more creatures running from me as I walked than I thought lived in the ocean…and they were staying just inches ahead.

Now back on the beach in the sand, we see the pounding surf roll in and as it recedes, it deposits another layer of compressed sand, shells, and other oceanic leavings. As beautiful as this menagerie of crushed, ancient, sea-life is, this is not something you want to incorporate in your writing.

Keep your story concise and clear, and not muddled with attractive refuse. What might first appear appropriate may later prove to distort the narrative.

…so now you know my view on politics, politicians, and crabs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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