The Faster I Go, The Behinder I get!

My granny used to say that. What did she expect? She had 11 kids!

Anyway, I’ve been so busy lately I haven’t taken time for myself, my writing, my house or anything, but I’m trying to stop some of the madness so I won’t keep getting ‘behinder’. Remedy? I’ve decided to move my office to another room.

Right now, my office is a little corner of the recording studio. Well, with all of this publishing stuff with Paperback-Press (which I love), I find myself on the phone a lot  while my husband is trying to record, mix or master someone’s music. Ha! Talk about tedious. Sometimes he plays the same line over and over and over. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad he’s a perfectionist in that aspect of making it sound the best he can, but really? Most of the time I leave the room so I can conduct business I need to tend to.

When I’m away from my desk I don’t have my computer. No computer, no helping authors with editing, cover art, character development… okay, I can help with character development… I’m just sayin’, something’s gotta give. So, I’m outta here!

Now, as it is, Hubby and I are together almost 24-7. That’s pretty hard to do and stay married happily ever after, but we manage. However, I’ve been looking forward to my new office digs. It will mean aloneness, quiet time, no music blaring in my ears, no dogs running in and out of the dog door, no cussing from the other side of the room when the old man reads the news!

At least that’s what I thought until a while ago. You’re not going to believe what idea he came up with today. Are you ready? A STUPID INTERCOM SYSTEM! That’s right, an intercom. No, no, no and NO! Get your ass up and come into the other room if you want to talk to me. No intercom, no yelling across the house, and I’d like to leave my cell phone in the same room he’s in. That way when he calls, maybe he’ll answer too. Hahahaha! That’ll show him!

No, I’ll need my phone, that’s the main reason I’m moving my office, right?

<sigh> I guess we’ll get an intercom.

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Friends/ORAcon2013

Panel speakers

I’ve attended many writing conferences over the years and enjoyed them all. As a matter of fact, I coordinated five ORA conferences in the late ’90’s and early 2000’s, it’s not an easy job. So, (I know, you shouldn’t start a sentence with, so. LOL) I’d like to give applause and say ORAcon2013 was one of the best conferences ever! Bravo to the coordinators and all the volunteers, you did a GREAT job! I’m already looking forward to ORAcon2014!

Over the years, I’ve come to know and love many writing friends, a lot of them attended the event, and it was good to see them. I’ve partnered with some in writing, publishing, editing, teaching, etc., and I’m proud to say I have high respect for each and every one. I don’t have to drop names, they will know who they are if they read this post.

I think it’s amazing how writers pull together to support each other, whether it be to critique a draft manuscript or promote a finished book, we seem to get it done. (Social media has had a big hand in our ability to do so.) Like Cecily White said at the conference, ‘we’re a community’, and I’m proud to live in the neighborhood.

It was a great time Saturday and I learned a lot, but most of all I enjoyed seeing old friends, meeting new ones and getting back in touch with the writing world. What I mean by that is, though I’ve never really left the writing world, this weekend I learned there are sooooo many new avenues to walk down in our community a person could never learn them all! The information age is upon us and it’s definitely moving faster than this old gal! I love it.

Oh, and the book signing on Friday at B&N was a big hit as well.

book signing

 

Grandparents Day

Teeny Tiny Chairs

Teeny Tiny Chairs

Grandparents Day is the one day we get to see how our grandkid’s spend their time in school. Well, today was that day for my seven year old granddaughter. We’ll call her AK.

I started the day with my phone alarm going off. It’s a very annoying high pitched ring and my husband hates it, so I grabbed it before it woke him up. I looked at the reminder that told me I needed to be at AK’s school at 8:00 a.m. We were in the middle of a thunder storm, rain tapped on the window, dogs cuddled up hiding from the noise, and I didn’t want to get up. I forced myself, grabbed my coffee, dressed then it was time to go.

I was almost at the school, but they must have moved it because it sure wasn’t where I thought it was. I don’t know who I was talking to, but I said, “Where the hell is it?”

There was a car in front of me that had a bumper sticker that read, Honk if you love Jesus, Text if you want to meet him today. I texted my son anyway.

Me: Is it on Nicholas?

Son: What?

Me: School, Nicholas or Gregg?

Son: Gregg?

Okay, I wondered why there was a question mark after the word Gregg, but it didn’t take me long to find out. My phone rang and caller ID said…SON…”Yes?”

“Where are you and what are you doin’?”

“I’m tryin’ to get to the school by 8:00, but I’m gonna be late?”

“8:00, she doesn’t even go to school till 8:45. Why are you so early?”

“My phone alarm woke me up at 6:30 and said ‘school 8:00’ so I thought that’s when I was supposed to be there.” By this time I’d found the stinking school and was pulling into the, almost empty, parking lot. (I want to know which phantom wine bottle put that time in my calendar!)

“Monster.”

That’s what he calls me instead of Mother. “What?”

“It’s not until 1:40 this afternoon.”

“What? $#!+!” You can imagine what that word is.

Laughter, laughter and more laughter…”I’m sorry for the mix up.”

“You are not.”

Later, at 1:40, I got to the school…AGAIN…got to the gym, saw a fantastic second grade singing show, (of course SHE was the cutest of them all) then went back to AK’s classroom. Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m a bit over weight. Have you ever seen the itty bitty chairs they want you to sit your big ole butt in to do ‘find the word’ puzzles?

Well, let me tell you, mine was hanging over the sides. Stop laughing. No, really, stop laughing because if you think that’s funny, you should have seen me trying to get off that thing when it was time to go. My poor little granddaughter’s neck is never going to be the same after I pushed down on her head to hoist myself out of that teeny tiny chair. Stop laughing. Where are those big bouncers from the neighborhood nightclub when you need ’em?

All in all, it was a wonderful day. Time well spent with AK. I gave her a silk rose with a little bear on top. She loved it and didn’t want me to leave, but all good things must come to an end. The hug she gave me before I left? Hey, that made it all worth while.

One of the things I love about being a granny is…when you get tired, you can send their little hind ends home!

Becoming a small press publisher

Paperback Press Publishing Logo

Paperback Press Publishing Logo

 

 

Becoming a small press publisher is a trying, but gratifying experience. My husband and I have had A & S Publishing for years but mostly publish music, so publishing books is a new venture for us.

Our focus is on independent authors who want to keep their own rights, royalties, and every other aspect of their work, while we help them get their stories to the public in a professional way. Our indie authors will be able to use our logo’s, publishing company names, ISBN’s, bar codes, and our formatting expertise for all types of publishing.

A & S Publishing has four imprints, Paperback Press Publishing, e-book Press Publishing, Audio Book Press Publishing and Kids Book Press Publishing. We hope to launch by the first of October, but already have clients waiting. THAT’s exciting!

My real concern is that I won’t have time for my own writing. I a member of some local writing groups and I think they’ll keep me focused. At least I hope so. I have one project that I’ve been working on for a few years now, and can’t seem to get it finished. Maybe I’ll get to write tomorrow seems to come out of my mouth quite often. However, right now I’m thinking, maybe I’ll get to write today.

Point of View

povWhy is point of view so important in our writing? It shows your characters personal thoughts and feelings, and allows the reader to experience the story through that character.

Point-of-view should be used to reveal information, as the reader needs to know it, from the character who can wield the greatest emotional impact–the character that has the most at stake in the scene. A character’s POV is relayed through introspection. Every character could have a point of view, but it’s best to limit viewpoint characters to three… hero, heroine, and villain. The secondary character’s points-of-view should be relayed through dialogue. We should always be sure the reader knows whose point of view they are in, and avoid author or omnipresent POV.

What is author POV? It’s the same as omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, or “God-like” point-of-view. Author POV should be avoided at all costs. When in the author’s POV no emotion can be conveyed since there is no character to identify with, only the voice of the author ‘telling’ the reader what they want them to know. When the reader is being ‘told’, all emotion is lost. The author POV is always telling and not showing, and it pulls the reader out of the story instead of involving them in it.

An example of using author’s POV would be, “They all sat on the sofa and watched television”. The author would be the only POV who would say “they” to indicate all the characters in the scene. Author POV becomes the all knowing, all seeing entity who suddenly begins to tell the story. New writers often switch into author POV without realizing it, and in some scenes it is very tempting and easy to slip into.

Another example you may have seen: They loved into the morning hours, lost in their passion. That is the author watching the hero and heroine, rather than the hero or heroine seeing himself/herself with his/her lover. With that scenario, the reader is told what is happening, but has no emotional involvement so it shows the reader nothing.

Properly handled POV involves the reader emotionally, and the only time you can convey emotion is while in a character’s POV. POV is critical to our stories, and it is imperative we study point of view and use it well.

Featured Writing Q & A, Day…a few days late

My apologies! I’ve been out of commission since the weekend, but hopefully I’ll get caught up soon.

When we create a character, they have a personality, mannerisms unique to them and many other things that make up that character. I think that’s why today’s question is important.

Today’s Question: Is it okay for me to take my protagonist out of character from time to time?

Answer: When a character you created says and does things that are not normal for their basic personality and ethics, that character may become less believable to your reader. (If he’s a cowboy, he wouldn’t suddenly put on a pair or shoes to go to the barn.) You can only get away with them being out of character if you have given good reasons and motivations for their behavior. Usually a slip in character will happen when a character is tested under extenuating circumstances, and is expected to succeed, and to make choices about tasks and situations out of their element. If their dialogue sounds unlike something the character would say, and there is no reason given, then the character would be speaking ‘out of character’.

Remember, motivation is the key to any character’s actions and speech. In general, each character will act according to their particular personality traits. So if you ask them to become super-heroes, you must give good reason, and be certain they have the capabilities necessary to carry out the act.