You’re on a Nice Run and Then Life Happens

So, I was cruising along this week, more than on target to hit my goal of 7,000 words for the week despite the fact that I had three children with the stomach flu on Tuesday.  I won’t go into details because even being a horror writer, I find it too gruesome to put into words.  It wasn’t pretty.  Let’s just leave it at that.  But, I was +500 words by the end of Tuesday and finished my blog post by 7:00 a.m. on Wednesday.  I figured this week was going to be cake.  Right?

Wrong.

When will I ever learn?

About 10:00 a.m. I got the worst case of stomach flu that I have ever had in my life.  I wasn’t actually dying (obviously because here I am boring you to death yet again), but there were times I wished I would die because then the torture would be over.  I lived in the bathroom and cried a lot because I was too sick to sleep. That lasted until approximately ten o’clock this morning.

And there went my positive word count.  Now I’m in the whole by -250, if I get my thousand done today, that is.

So, I guess the moral of this story is don’t count you’re cake until you eat it.  But wait until after the stomach flu.  Ew.

Hop Hop!

gElmerMunson

Happy May everyone!  So the very cool Lisa Woods tagged me for a blog hop last week, and here I am…about as prepared as…well, what’s the opposite of a Boy Scout?  That’s how prepared I am.  I actually really like doing blog hop-type things, but this weekend was solely dedicated to finishing Camp Hollybrook (done, done, and submitted, thank you very much), and this week has seen some fairly significant issues at the day job that have sucked just about all the time and life out of me.

Enough whining, right?  On with the questions!

What are you working on right now?

Well, I have more things “in process” than I should admit (but I will…it’s somewhere around 30ish).  In the interest of brevity, I’ll stick to my next long work.  I have the first draft of a submarine novel that I’m excited to get back to.  It’s a horror…

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The FBI Would Have a Field Day With My Hard Drive

Because of all the weird stuff I have Googled in the name of research.  Let’s see, there has been a brief foray into casket shopping, the effects of cyanide, how to make a liquid napalm type substance and off shore banking.  Also, obtaining false identities and the paperwork to go with those identifies.  Oh, and how much potassium it would take to disrupt  the sodium-postassium pump and throw a person into cardiac arrest.  And maps of large public arenas.

If anybody ever got a hold of my search history, they would think that I was a deranged serial killer, that was nice enough to buy my victims nice caskets, before burning them to ashes, stealing their money and identities and fleeing the country.  Despite the fact that I am a stay at home mother with seven children.  My online life is so much more interesting than my real one, that’s for sure.  That could make for an interesting story, actually.

So, what is the weirdest thing that you have Googled, or Binged, or whatever in the name of research?  Any thing that would set of a high alert at the Department of Homeland Defense?  Or are you strictly local police radar Googler?

Also, do not forget that today is Wednesday, and therefore, the Blog Hop continues.  Go check out Matt Schiariti, Suzi M., and G. Elmer Munson to discover their titillating and absorbing answers that will put my boring ones to shame, I’m sure.

The Care and Feeding of a Writer.

What a writer, at least this one, needs to survive:

1.   Computer with an internet connection.  This is imperative, especially if your printer is on the same wireless network as your computer.  Trust me.  I went without for about 6 hours last night.  I could feel myself turning into a Golem looking for My Precious.  Wasn’t pretty.

2.  Caffeine, caffeine, caffeine.  I cannot stress this enough.  Whether it be from coffee, tea or chocolate, I would say that 98% of the literary world is fueled in some way by caffeine in one form or another.

3.  Experiences.  Be they good or bad, without them a writer is just a hack playing at portraying emotions on the page.  One cannot write about love until one has truly been in love.  One cannot write accurately about betrayal until one has genuinely been betrayed.  And one cannot write about fear without having experienced true terror for oneself or one’s loved one.

4. Imagination.  I write about vampires without ever having been one, obviously.  So for those things that are truly outside of human experience, imagination is imperative.

5.  Motivation.  Call it your muse, or call it your daily goal.  Without it, you are going nowhere and you are going there fast.

6.  Pizza.  Now this will vary from writer to writer, but I think that everyone has their go to food when they are just too mentally exhausted to prepare a meal, but require sustenance to go on.  Mine is pizza because a) I love it. b) It’s relatively cheap and c) They deliver.  What more could you ask for?  Besides the fact you can eat it with one hand.  So I guess any one-handed food would work. Even M&M’s.

6. Sheer fortitude.  It taks guts to face a blank page everyday and create something from nothing.  I overcome writer’s block every single day.  I dread opening that document of whatever story I am writing on that particular day knowing I have to produce or fail to meet my personal goals.  And let down my mentor.  Who is really, really mean and says horrible things about me and makes me cry if I don’t meet my daily goal.  Okay, that last part’s not true.  But the thought of disappointing him me does makes me want to cringe.

7.  Caffeine.  So nice I had to list it twice.  Or whatever.

8.  Booze.  No explanation needed.

What am I missing?

Feed me pizza!

Feed me pizza and liquor!

Crash and Burn: How I Failed Miserably

There is no other way to say this than to come right out and say it:  I completely and totally didn’t even come closethe same ball park of my weekly goal of 7,000 words this week.  Not even by half.  As a matter of fact, my total word count for last week was only 3,319 words.  This means I failed by 3,681 words.  Or if you a glass half full kind of person, you could say that I have 3,319 words more than I had at this time last week.  But I am not a glass half full kind of person.

I have no excuse except life got in the way.  The last half of the week was rife with crisis after crisis, and the weekend was filled with Russian food, vodka shots, a new tattoo (these two things are surprisingly unrelated), a bedroom makeover and two blissful days with no children.  That would have been the perfect time to write, but since I haven’t had a child-free weekend in almost 14 years, writing seemed a little too much like working, so I skipped it.  And now I live with the consequences.

To be honest, this personal accountability stuff sucks.

But, now it is time to stop my self-mortification due too my laziness and get back on the horse again.  Hopefully, 7,000 words will be within my reach this week.  If not, it may be time to reevaluate my goals.  And I’m okay with that.  It’s still a learning process at this point.

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I am ready.

Making Noise in the Backseat

A new audiobook available from Tim Baker!

blindoggbooks

In April, 2004 my brother-in-law and I drove from Rhode Island to Florida in a 22 hour non-stop marathon. In order to save us the trouble of thinking of stuff to talk about, we stopped at Cracker Barrel in RI and grabbed a couple of audio books to listen to. We made sure they were action-filled spy stories, hoping they’d keep us awake.

It worked…we stayed awake, listened to 2 good books and returned them to the Cracker Barrel in Florida when we arrived.

Prior to that, my only other experience with audio books was during high school English class when we had to read Shakespeare.

Our teacher was a young woman who, I believe, could still identify with our difficulty in understanding old-timey English. She mercifully allowed us to listen to a recorded version of the story (Romeo and Juliet) which made it much easier for us.

Believe it…

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Featured Author: Armard Rosamilia

Since I began writing in earnest at the beginning of the year, I have slowly found myself immersed in the world of independent writers, that is writers who self-publish their own works or are published through small, independent publishing houses.  These are writers with Facebook pages that interact with their fans and each other on a regular basis.

I have been lucky enough to get to know some of these indie authors and their work over the past several months.  They are a diverse and entertaining bunch whose writing I admire very much.  So, on my blog, I will occasionally feature these talented individuals in my posts.

I will start with a man who cannot only churn out thousands of (well written) words a day, but still makes time to take new writers, myself included, under his wing and provide advice and support.  That, readers, is a true gem of a man.  Of course, I am talking about my personal mentor and ass kicker, Armand Rosamilia, who not only tells me I can do it, but that I will do it whether I like it or not.  It is because of him that I wrote my first and only (to date, hopefully there will be other soon) published story “Die With Your Boots On” which is included in the zombie erotica anthology, Fifty Shades of Decay, available at Amazon and Smashwords. Armand’s story, “Dying Days: Chris Gray”, is included as well as many other great stories.  He simply left me no choice but to write and submit it and then figuratively held my hand while I had a panic attack about it afterwards.  (Go ahead and buy it right now. I’ll wait for you to get back.)

Back already? Okay, then.

Armand’s published works are to numerous to list, so just go here so you don’t miss anything.  He is particular well known for his zombie series, Dying Days, but make sure you don’t miss Death Metal and Tool Shed which are two of my favorites.  Everything is a good read, though.  So, don’t just sit here.  This post is over.  Go find something to read!

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Armand Rosamilia

“Dying Days 3” First Draft Is Done!

Armand Rosamillia talks about the future of his ever popular Dying Days series and he just happens to mention yours truly, as well.

ARMAND ROSAMILIA

I finished what I believe is a damn good first draft of Dying Days 3, my zombie novella. The first two parts of the story clocked in at about 25,000 words each, but my goal on this one was to get more story and make it about 35,000 words. The final first draft ended up being over 40,000, which I am quite happy with. 

There will also be a companion short story like in the other Dying Days releases, with a return of Tosha Shorb and her sister, and I might add in another short piece or two. My goal is to get the final product over 50,000 words and be a nice solid release. More bang for your buck, as they say. I think someone says that, anyway. 

Then readers (you are out there!) of the series will be happy to know I can finish up Dying Days:…

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Blog Hop

Armand Rosamilia sent me these questions to answer as part of a blog hop, so here are the answers though I doubt they will outdo his “subversively interesting answers”, whatever that means.  At the end, I will tap three more authors to answer them as well.

What are you working on right now?

I’m currently working on a story about a zombie with a conscience.  And then there the whole seven kids thing.  That keeps me pretty busy, too.  I feel like I spend about seventy-five percent of my time matching sock, actually.

How does it differ from other works in its genre?

Well, my zombie still has feelings and emotions.  Even though she is compelled to attack the living, she really feels badly about it and wishes she could stop herself.

What experiences have influenced you?

Life, in general.  Really, it is the things in life that I have no control over that I seek to create and bring to a satisfactory conclusion (to me anyway) in my projects.

Why do you write what you do?

I write in order to have a socially acceptable method of channelling my fears and anger over the unfairness of the world.  And so I don’t punch mean people in the face.

How does your writing process work?

In fits and starts.  I get an idea and I have just a vague notion of a beginning and an end.  Then I start writing and wing it.  Sometimes, I get very frustrated with myself and have to step away from it for a couple of days until I feel creative again.  Other times, I have to push myself through the bad times by just typing something, anything, for an hour.  I will almost always come up with something by the end of the hour that will put me back on course.

What is the hardest part about writing?

It is a toss up.  Trying to write every day with as many kids as I have is always difficult.  The other thing is editing.  I just hate to edit because after re-reading my own work so many times, I only see what I want it to say.

What would you like to try as a writer that you haven’t yet?

Maybe a good mystery thriller or a super creepy ghost story.

Who are the authors that you most admire?

There are so many that I admire and for so many different reasons that I couldn’t possibly pick any favorites.  I think anybody who sits down at a computer and looks at that empty page and flashing cursor and creates something from nothing is worthy of admiration.

Who are the new authors to watch out for?

Well, me of course, LOL!  I read  “Words With Fiends” by Matt Schiariti and I loved it.  It was fast-paced and creepy and made me never want to play Words with Friends again!  He has a novel, Ghosts of Demons Past, that should be coming out soon.  I just happen to know it is wonderful.  Be on the look out for him.

What scares you?

My biggest fear is that something will happen to one of my kids.  But, I am scared of lots of things: heights, small spaces, clowns and demons are the ones that jump to my mind first.  Especially clowns.  They’re just creepy.

Now, to continue the fun.  I’m tapping Matt Schiariti, Suzi M., and G. Elmer Munson to join the blog hop.  Their answers are sure to be more interesting than mine, so be sure to head over to their sites next Wednesday to check them out.

To Set Goals, or To Not Set Goals?

That is the question of the day.

Personally, I have been hesitant to set daily goals for myself simply because with seven kids and a newborn grandson under one roof, I never really know what the day will hold.  I could be totally open all day, besides the usually chores of cooking, laundry, etc.  Or I may be busy with dentist appointments, grocery store trips (which always turn out to be all day excursions) and the unexpected trips to pick up sick kids.  As I was writing this, I was interrupted to hold the baby while his mother attended to some personal chores.  Couldn’t have predicted that, but that’s the way life with kids goes.

However, someone recently pointed out that it possible for me to set weekly goals.  That would allow me some flexibility to make up what I couldn’t do one day over the course of a week.  So I am, very tentatively, going to set a goal of 7,000 a week.  That is, of course, 1,000 words a day, including weekends.  At first, I has hesitant to add anything on the weekends, but then I figured I could at least get in two 500 word sessions, or four 250 word session on Saturday and Sunday.  Surely, I can type that much around the kids for two days.

Okay, maybe more hopeful than sure about that last one.

I am posting this in order to hold myself publicly accountable.  And to subject myself to public humiliation if I fail.  Which is possible.  Or likely.  Whatever.

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