Tag Archives: Wrting

I’ve Never Experienced Writer’s Block, I’ve Never Experienced Writer’s Block, I’ve Never Experienced Writer’s Block, I’ve Never Experienced Writer’s Block…

Imagine acquiring a literary agent. This agent quickly finds a publisher for your first book. You’re given deadlines to complete various parts of your manuscript. Things are going fine until your well-oiled machine slams into a concrete wall. Sound familiar?

Oh no! You’ve run into that immovablewriters_block_400 force known as writer’s block. This will send the average author screaming toward the hills.

Are you picking up what I am carefully placing down for you…?…Okay, good, let us continue.

What once was on schedule has now begun to slip behind. No big worries so far, but pandemonium may lie in the future if this problem is not corrected…sound familiar yet?

Guess what kids?  We’re now in the future which has been carefully renamed the present. Your publisher with much foreboding is insisting you complete the remaining pieces of your manuscript. You assure said publisher the remaining chapters are complete and will be sent next week after your final edits.

Your next move is to write the remaining few chapters.

Next week has come and gone and your publisher is threatening to cancel your contract. Your agent is also threatening cancellation and possible law suites to follow. Now, I ask again, does this sound familiar? If it does, you’re in a world of trouble and should have paid more attention to your deadlines.

As for me, I’ve been unable to coerce an agent so far. I have come close, but we know that close and three dollars will get you a cup of coffee. Until that day I’ll rely on small presses; they’re wonderful to work with.

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Good, Bad; Just Words? I Think Not.

When writing my blog, I normally try to take a piece from within the book I’m currently working on. I then fumble with that racingpiece until it fits nicely into our 21st-century world. Finally, I attempt to twist said piece into a humorous story that will bring a smile or maybe even a chuckle to my readers.

Lord knows we need it. I hold nothing but contempt for the “if it bleeds, it leads” mentality we’ve allowed to rule our press for quite some time now. What would be so wrong with a little good news amongst the overabundance of bad? You don’t live your life that way; at least I hope you don’t.

Consider your last family reunion or get-together. You may have spoken with other family members of someone who passed or a particular unpleasant incident, but for the most part you sat and laughed and recounted silly stories of your past.

It’s like something very important that my mother told me when I was but a lad during one of our many beach vacations. I, my sister, and the matriarch of the family were all bouncing in the waves. A light shower passed overhead and my mother in all her wisdom uttered these words, “Let’s go in before we get wet.”

One thing you didn’t do is mess with one of mama’s children. Here is a story to illustrate that point.

It was the day of the big race. I was around four years old and fast as greased lawnmower clippings. My sister was seven and a two-to-one favored. It was a quick sprint from the magnolia tree to the back of our ‘59 Chevy.

My uncle was the official starter and would also determine the finishing order.

“Ready…set…go!!!”

I jumped to a quick lead but my sister overtook the scorching pace I had set. As she passed, I knew the race was lost, but I could see the arms of my loving uncle ready to embrace his nephew, consoling him in the midst of the worst loss in his young life.

Just a few more steps; Wayney, Wayney, his open arms imploring me come, come, and be comforted. I spread my arms to embrace my hero. Only one more step and my Wayney sidesteps my loving advance causing my poor wittle head to smash into the back of that ‘59 Chevy.

“Uh oh,” Wayney utters. “It appears as though my rear end is soon to be lawn clippings, for the screaming little banshee that just went inside to awaken “Big Momma” and we know ‘Big Momma’ don’t take no prisoners.” While events at the time were anything but comical (i.e., stitches in my head and a great fear for my uncle’s life) it is something we are able to laugh about today.

Humorous situations can be found locally, nationally, and globally. Of course, if you live in Texas and hear of a lighthearted event in Madagascar that would be an example of a global event for you. This same happening would be local if you lived in Madagascar. Now, if you resided in Africa, you could call this a national event. What it all boils down to is: Every incident is located close to some folks, further away from others, and far enough away from most folks that it’s getting close again.

Since I prefer the local, I’ll regale you with another childhood tale and one for the life of me I have never been able to understand. As I said, when I was a youngster, in the house in which I was raised and in my grandmother’s house (just to name two among the many at that time) there was a room that no one dared enter, the carpet and furnishings pristine. It was called, “the living room.”

It existed for one purpose and one purpose only and that purpose being to entertain visiting dignitaries. From the way the matriarchs maintained the “the living rooms,” I figured they were expecting the president, the Pope, and the like.

What this means to us: as much bad news as we have crammed down our throat, we need to look for the good, embrace what we find, and remember, there’s always something to laugh at. If you don’t believe me, look in the mirror. It always works for me.

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The Beginning or the End?

As I stare into a blank computer screen, the idea of a world all but covered in water, my only thought, I begin to pen the book that would one day be called, “Rising Tide.”  My biggest fear was that this in some way would be misconstrued as another “Water World”  even though that was far from the reality.

Imagine if you will, as I have said earlier, a world covered mainly in water but with land still available.  The Appalachian range was now the east coast; the Mississippi River had become a tidal basin; the Great Lakes was now one huge body of water referred to as the Great Lake; and the area between the Sierra Nevada’s and the Rocky Mountains now formed Grand Canyon Bay.  World wide only cities built higher than 2000 feet above pre-twenty-first century sea level survived the deluge.  In the Bay of America, only one drilling platform remained in the world simply because it could supply all the crude the world needed.

Chaos ensued until the pollution from underwater cities and tank-farms could be cleaned not by man but the regenerative powers of the Earth. The economy settled into a “have” and “have-nots” scenario causing an economic nightmare for most of the population.  As the two sides settled into their respective roles the silent but treacherous struggle for power began.

A world on the brink of civil war…

Can the growing supernatural power rescue this world …or is all lost?

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To rewrite or not to rewrite

As I sit here in my writing room, surrounded by shelves full of leather-bound classics, exuding what could only be compared to that “new car” smell of the literary world, I nestle into my pleated leather chair with my faithful Iris setter by my side, as fire reflecting from the stone hearth, dances off  the opposite wall, bathing the room in a welcoming glow. Smoke encircles my head trailing from the cherry-scented tobacco in my pipe.  I let out a satisfying sigh as another wisp of the fragrant vapor exits the corner of my mouth.

I squirm as I ponder the re-writes on my next novel.  As I ponder this vast challenge, I also ponder (I like to ponder a lot) what writers of the past (Hemingway, Wells, Fitzgerald, Poe, etc.) may have pondered when pondering their re-writes; and then with the realization of a baseball careening through your window and into your favorite Ming Dynasty vase,  the reason slams home–they did less pondering and more drinking and opium.

Think about it… you’re a nineteenth century writer.  All you have is a chunk of metal capable of doubling as a boat anchor with angry misshapen levers attached to circular discs. These discs are embossed with letters, numbers, and symbols, which take the pressure of three grown men to push in order to transfer ink to paper. (I think they called it a typewriter)

Now imagine that you have just finished a five hundred page novel and your publisher tells you that you have a mistake on page forty-three, need to add a question mark on page six and twelve thousand words have to be rearranged throughout the novel………what would you do?………………….exactly!  Pop the cork and fill up the pipe!

We now pause for a message from our sponsor….

“Rising Tide” , the soon to be, hopefully, best seller available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and any other on-line bookseller you can think of.  Kindle users: see the Tate Publishing website…….

….now back to our story.

So, in conclusion, appreciate your computer for the ease it affords you when rewriting or editing your manuscript, for you could be just as easily sucking down a bottle of rum and token opium through a corn cob pipe.

…and just to clear my conscience…. I am sitting in a room with a flat screen TV, in front of a computer with a  27″ monitor and a kickin’ pair of 3-way  speakers (to blast out the cobwebs now and then with some good ‘ole rock and roll).  Besides, I don’t read too many of the classics… not that they are not wonderful books, but most are not quite to my taste…and if there really was an Irish setter in this room, he would be running around in circles like a crazed wolverine chewing up all my classics so that I couldn’t read them if I wanted to…and don’t get me started on the fireplace…

With this, I bid you ado until next time.

Lynn

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Salutations…

…was how the spider introduced herself to Wilbur in E. B. Whites’, “Charlotte’s Web,” that along with, “The Enormous Egg,” was my introduction to the wonderful world of literature… oh!…and I mustn’t forget, “James and the Giant Peach.”   Now that I’m older, my literature preferences have changed but my passion still remains and even that has taken a different direction.  You see, I went from a carpenter to a published author………………………(I’m pausing so that you can fully appreciate my accomplishment)………………………………..Okay.  I’m done, now back to my introduction.

First I’ll tell you a bit about myself.  I’ll skip the first forty-some years and get down to the good stuff.  In 2006, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.  As if that wasn’t enough fun, two months later, I was informed that my department was closing and I was losing my job of sixteen years. In the months that followed, I began a drafting business that was going gang-busters.  I was working fourteen hours a day.  When the economy tanked, so did my business. ( Side note: if you really look for good stuff, you can find it anywhere.)  Thank God for a sense of humor!  It will get you through some of the darkest times.

Now for the really, really good stuff…….

On a fishing trip with my son, he made the off-handed remark, “Dad, why don’t you try writing?”  I had written several short-stories years before.  He was in high-school at the time and into creative writing himself.  Something clicked and I began penning short-stories after we returned home.  (In case you were wondering, we didn’t catch any fish.)

Now you have to understand, I have the patience of a beer guzzling monkey with a three-hour wait at a port-a-john.  So when I begin a story, I wanted to hurry up and finish it. That’s why the thought of writing a novel never crossed my mind until the idea of “Rising Tide,” (which is the name of my first published novel) popped into my head.   It took me four months to write, about eight months or so to edit and re-write, all with the help of my (lovely) wife who is typing this for me now.

When you have delved into the world of writing and publishing and marketing, not to mention agents, it’s enough to send you running and screaming in the opposite direction, but since I can’t walk anyway, I stayed there against my better judgement.  You see most publishers will not accept unsolicited manuscripts.   Which means now we get to throw another pile of castings into the can of worms by trying to find an agent.  Now to make things even more interesting, most agents do not want to represent writers unless said writer has been published.

Exit to my saving grace……..I found a publisher who was more sympathetic to first time authors (I say sympathetic because by this point, sympathy is needed with my sanity hanging by a thread).  This publisher receives thousands of manuscripts a year but only accepts a few.  I submitted my manuscript March of 2008 and against all odds had a contract by May of that same year. It took a year  to edit, develop front and back covers, and interior designs. “Rising Tide” was finally released April 2009.

So that’s my story up to this point; or at least part of the story, since I’m now working on my forth novel.  I’ll be using this blog to tell the rest and create more in the weeks and months ahead.  I look forward to making new friends and having some fun along the way.  I invite you to share with me as well.

Your buddy, (even though you may not know it yet)

Lynn

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