Technical Difficulties

17 May

AGAIN.

Apparently HostGator failed to transfer my domain and I had to renew through WordPress.com.

 

Hopefully whole site will be up and running soon.

 

 

Inspiration Monday: the truth lab

11 Feb

Important news: I’m working on transferring this site from free WordPress to self-hosted this week. This process should be invisible to you all, but just in case there are technical difficulties – be warned. And wish me luck!

In other news, ooooo, look at all the great work this week! And Chris has another pub credit to his name, in AntipodeanSF. Great stuff, Chris. Not that any of us are surprised. : )

LadyNimue

ARNeal

Raina

Oscar

Parul

Chris

Steve

Carrie

Elmo

LadyWhispers

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The Rules

There are none. Read the prompts, get inspired, write something. No word count minimum or maximum. You don’t have to include the exact prompt in your piece, and you can interpret the prompt(s) any way you like.

OR

No really; I need rules!

Okay; write 200-500 words on the prompt of your choice. You may either use the prompt as the title of your piece or work it into the body of your piece. You must complete it before 6 pm CST on the Monday following this post.

The Prompts:

the truth lab

let me cry

go back to the end

the woman behind the curtain

sounds like danger

Want to share your Inspiration Monday piece? Post it on your blog and link back to today’s post (here’s a video on how to do it); I’ll include a link to your piece in the next Inspiration Monday post. No blog? Email your piece to me at bekindrewrite (at) yahoo (dot) com. (I do reserve the right to NOT link to a piece as stated in my Link Discretion Policy.)

Plus, get the InMon badge for your site here.

Happy writing!

-

* MC = Mature Content.

Opinions expressed in other writers’ InMon pieces are not necessarily my own.

3 movies every writer should see

8 Feb

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! If your sweetheart is a fellow writer and you’re planning a movie night for Thursday (or, like me, you are celebrating Singles Awareness Day and need verification that you are not alone in the world), try one of these three writerly movies (okay, only one is technically a romance, but work with me here).

 

Inkheart


What it’s about:

A bookbinder with the power to make literature come alive by reading aloud must dodge the villain he let out of a fantasy novel, while trying to rescue his wife, who’s been trapped in the same book.

Why it’s a must-see:

  1. Favorite pieces of literature stumbling into the real world
  2. Author-meets-characters scenes
  3. It’s a decent adaptation of the book (I highly recommend reading the whole trilogy, which is a more mature, in-depth exploration of the concept)

Meggie: You’ve been to Persia, then? 
Elinor: Yes, a hundred times. Along with St. Petersburg, Paris, Middle-Earth, distant planets and Shangri-la. And I never had to leave this room. Books are adventure. They contain murder and mayhem and passion. They love anyone who opens them. 

 

Midnight in Paris

What it’s about:

A hack Hollywood screenwriter aspiring to be a novelist is vacationing in modern-day Paris when he stumbles through a time rift and ends up partying with the likes of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and T.S. Elliot.

Why it’s a must-see:

  1. Who hasn’t dreamed about talking life and literature with their favorite authors?
  2. Owen Wilson is adorable
  3. Quotes like this:

Gil: I would like you to read my novel and get your opinion. 
Ernest Hemingway: I hate it. 
Gil: You haven’t even read it yet. 
Ernest Hemingway: If it’s bad, I’ll hate it. If it’s good, then I’ll be envious and hate it even more. You don’t want the opinion of another writer. 

 

Stranger Than Fiction

What it’s about:

An author struggles to think of the most poetic way to kill off her main character, unaware that the character can hear her narrating his life and is doing everything he can to avoid his imminent death.

Why it’s a must-see:

  1. More author-meets-character type stuff
  2. It explores the remorse a writer feels from killing off beloved characters
  3. It questions the value of tragic endings versus happy ones
  4. Dustin Hoffman is hilarious as the rather indifferent literature professor who advises Harold:

Professor Hilbert: Little did he know. That means there’s something he doesn’t know, which means there’s something you don’t know, did you know that?

 

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What’s your favorite writing-related movie? Tell me in the comments!

 

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Inspiration Monday: many names

4 Feb

So I just started watching Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse on Netflix. It’s pretty interesting so far. Also very similar to a book idea I got from a dream. Darn it.

If you have a minute, lend Olive some first paragraph feedback over here. Also, Chris had a short story published in Slit Your Wrist Magazine!

Now read some InMon!

Chris

LoveTheBadGuy and another

Raina (MC*)

Carrie

Oscar

Sabrina

LadyWhispers

-

The Rules

There are none. Read the prompts, get inspired, write something. No word count minimum or maximum. You don’t have to include the exact prompt in your piece, and you can interpret the prompt(s) any way you like.

OR

No really; I need rules!

Okay; write 200-500 words on the prompt of your choice. You may either use the prompt as the title of your piece or work it into the body of your piece. You must complete it before 6 pm CST on the Monday following this post.

The Prompts:

many names

it has teeth

exactly as it seems

fearless child
too much time

Want to share your Inspiration Monday piece? Post it on your blog and link back to today’s post (here’s a video on how to do it); I’ll include a link to your piece in the next Inspiration Monday post. No blog? Email your piece to me at bekindrewrite (at) yahoo (dot) com. (I do reserve the right to NOT link to a piece as stated in my Link Discretion Policy.)

Plus, get the InMon badge for your site here.

Happy writing!

-

* MC = Mature Content.

Opinions expressed in other writers’ InMon pieces are not necessarily my own.

3 tips to avoid writing a cheesy, shallow romance

2 Feb
Image by benketaro

Image by benketaro

Two attractive people meet. Adventure ensues. They get shot at together. One or both of them shares a moving past experience with the other. Suddenly, it’s love.

Sound similar to the romance in your story? Sorry, it’s also the romantic subplot in pretty much every action movie.

Or maybe yours sounds more like:

Two attractive people meet. One is awkwardly hesitant. One is powerful and forward. They are inexplicably drawn to one another. There are a lot of smoldering gazes and fluttering hearts. It doesn’t matter that they’ve only known each other weeks, days, hours. They know they can’t live without each other.

The problem? You’re just making Cool Whip. The relationships are based on nothing but physical attraction and a few gushy player lines. Corn syrup, oil and air.

You might have done this unintentionally. You might have intended to write something that spoke to the human condition…and watched with horror as the cheesy Jerry Maguire you-complete-me dialogue came oozing out of your fingers. “I’m supposed to be the next Markus Zusak,” you spit at your computer, “Not Stephenie bloody Meyer!”

I know. It’s happened to me.

So here’s the approach I’m taking: Try to forget for the first eight tenths of your book that there even will be a romantic relationship.

Develop the characters individually before you develop their romance.

It might help to think of primetime dramas instead of movies or books—the ones where the two leads are always dancing around a relationship. They work together, struggle together, probably see the best and worst of each other, and still go home alone at the end of the day for years. This means:

  • The audience really gets to know the characters.
  • The characters really get to know each other.
  • You build a ton more tension.

Pretend you’re writing about two people becoming friends.

In literature, as in life, it’s best to build the friendship first. This will force you to stop depending on the cheap thrills of his devastating smile and her million stomach butterflies, and start finding substance on which to build a real relationship, like:

  • Values, fears and interests they have in common.
  • Things they can teach each other.
  • Ways they can grow together.

For some reason, we don’t usually think of these things when we think of romance. Perhaps because most of it’s so cheaply crafted. But a few classics remain shining examples; Pride & Prejudice just celebrated its 200th anniversary.

Sure, it shares elements with a lot of shallow romances: things that appeal to our most basic desires:

  • To be singled out by someone selective.
  • To be adored and sacrificed for.
  • To be protected and provided for.

But it goes much deeper. The heroine and hero of P&P:

  • Value each other’s integrity and intelligence.
  • Discover their own faults by interacting with each other.
  • Become better people from having known each other.

They should fall for each other’s actions, not each other’s words.

There’s little mention of Mr. Darcy’s looks, and no pretty words but one impassioned proposal, which didn’t work for him anyway. It’s Darcy’s actions that win our hearts, from his awkwardness in pursuing Lizzie, to his strength in saving her sister whilst enduring horrible humiliation.

And while Edward Cullen is immortal by way of being undead, Mr. Darcy has been alive and adored for centuries. And, by all accounts, for centuries more.

Aspire to that.

 –

 

 

 

 

Inspiration Monday: time thief

28 Jan

What a week. My cold is only allergies, but that means I still have it. : (

Fortunately, there was a lot of good reading.

Jubilare

Raina

Craig

Carrie

Elmo

Chris

Sabrina

-

The Rules

There are none. Read the prompts, get inspired, write something. No word count minimum or maximum. You don’t have to include the exact prompt in your piece, and you can interpret the prompt(s) any way you like.

OR

No really; I need rules!

Okay; write 200-500 words on the prompt of your choice. You may either use the prompt as the title of your piece or work it into the body of your piece. You must complete it before 6 pm CST on the Monday following this post.

The Prompts:

time thief

ounce of courage

too young to live

never before seen

in cahoots

 

Want to share your Inspiration Monday piece? Post it on your blog and link back to today’s post (here’s a video on how to do it); I’ll include a link to your piece in the next Inspiration Monday post. No blog? Email your piece to me at bekindrewrite (at) yahoo (dot) com. (I do reserve the right to NOT link to a piece as stated in my Link Discretion Policy.)

Plus, get the InMon badge for your site here.

Happy writing!

-

* MC = Mature Content.

Opinions expressed in other writers’ InMon pieces are not necessarily my own.

January Wallpaper: tell your ego to shut up

25 Jan

So I’m doing wallpapers now! Just a little “Hey, it’s the last Friday of the month; let’s take it easy and enjoy some free stuff” kind of a thing.

I’m no expert at this art/typography thing. I hope you like it anyway. The quote comes from the first post of the month.

wallpaper

If you want it, just click on it. That will take you to a page with only the image. Right click on the image and click “Save image as…” It should fit fine on a 1440×900 desktop.

 

Inspiration Monday: this is how it starts

22 Jan

Sorry I’m late, folks. My Internet was down last night, as was/is the Internet of many others, apparently. For a few minutes, I sat in front of my computer wondering if this was how the apocalypse would begin. Then I went to bed early. I think I have another cold.

LadyWhispers

Mike

Chris

LoveTheBadGuy and another

-

The Rules

There are none. Read the prompts, get inspired, write something. No word count minimum or maximum. You don’t have to include the exact prompt in your piece, and you can interpret the prompt(s) any way you like.

OR

No really; I need rules!

Okay; write 200-500 words on the prompt of your choice. You may either use the prompt as the title of your piece or work it into the body of your piece. You must complete it before 6 pm CST on the Monday following this post.

The Prompts:

this is how it starts
written in code
smother
off again
voiceless

 

Want to share your Inspiration Monday piece? Post it on your blog and link back to today’s post (here’s a video on how to do it); I’ll include a link to your piece in the next Inspiration Monday post. No blog? Email your piece to me at bekindrewrite (at) yahoo (dot) com. (I do reserve the right to NOT link to a piece as stated in my Link Discretion Policy.)

Plus, get the InMon badge for your site here.

Happy writing!

-

* MC = Mature Content.

Opinions expressed in other writers’ InMon pieces are not necessarily my own.

Fraternization – revised!

18 Jan

The unbearably schmaltzy story is back – now edited according to your suggestions! 

Big stuff that changed:

  • I kept the Times job, but gave our heroine a little more control over her emotions
  • I made up a specific memory from the relationship to be more showy, less telly
  • I reworked the boss’s character based on the “you look like a zebra” line from the original
  • I deleted some fluff, and with what I added, it made for a story about 100 words shorter

I also tweaked some wording and corrected some tense inconsistencies – with all three tenses in the story, it was easy to get them mixed up. (Read the original here.)

So kick back with some bon bons and let me know what you think!

Picture by Jodi Michelle

Phhoto by Jodi Michelle

Fraternization

It’s the first day of my dream job. Everything is perfect. I sit at my mahogany desk and try not to cry.

I didn’t even apply for this job. The offer came out of the blue, on the heels of seven other unsolicited offers. Higher salaries, better benefits, but I turned them all down. I didn’t want to leave him.

But I couldn’t resist this one.

The worst part was telling him. I was shaking that morning as I rode the elevator to the fourth floor. No amount of daisy-petal pulling could compare to this moment.

I was finally going to find out if he loved me.

I imagined how it would go – you know, fairy-tale scenario.

I’ve received an offer for the editor position at the Times, I’d say, You know how much I love working here, but this is the job I’ve dreamed about for as long as—are you alright?

 I’d interrupt myself at this point because I’d notice how crestfallen he had become.

Christy… he’d stammer, I just…don’t think I’m ready to lose you. I know I’ve never told you how I felt, but—I’ve always loved you.

Of course that wouldn’t happen. But I was hoping for at least a hint of disappointment. Something that would show he cared for me as more than—well, you know.

I arrived at his office. His door was open, as usual, but he was hunched over his address book. I knocked; he looked up. He looked tired, sad, nigh despairing! I wondered if he’d already heard. If he was already grieving for me. He welcomed me in, his eyes searching my face. I sat down across from him, took a deep breath.

“I’ve received an offer,” I began. His expression froze. “For a job,” I dropped my gaze to my fingers, twisted in my lap. “As an editor. At the Times. It’s um—”

“Christy, that’s fantastic!”

Fantastic. Fan-bloody-tastic. His whole face lit up when he said it.

I dutifully put in my last two weeks, but it didn’t get any better. The best I could get out of him was “We are going to miss you around here.”

We. Not I.

It’s replaying that part of the conversation that makes me finally break down. I know it sounds stupid, but when you meet another human being who not only knows but appreciates James P. Blaylock books as much as you do, and who volunteers to waste an entire Monday with you trying to recreate Cap’n Binky’s burnt-jungle-mud coffee from The Disappearing Dwarf because you’re still trying to get over your mom’s death, well. It’s hard to come to terms with the fact that you’ll probably never see him again.

And here in my new office, I don’t even know where the tissues are. I’ll have to make a break for the bathroom to bawl my eyes out on a roll of toilet paper.

I collide with my new boss as I’m bursting into the hallway.

“What’s the matter with you?”

“Nrrthing,” I say—the first half of the word drowning in my snotty throat.

She arches an eyebrow. “Has someone died?”

I shake my head.

“Seriously injured? Diagnosed with cancer?”

“No, no. Everything’s fine. Just…allergies.”

“Well good. As highly as Steve recommended you, I’d hate to find out you were one of those hypochondriacal schoolgirls who’s always dealing with some kind of crisis.”

 “Recommended me…” heart drops to gut. “What?”

But I already understand.

He knew I was in love with him. I hadn’t hidden it as well as I thought. And rather than hurt my feelings, he found a better position for me elsewhere. All those offers. He must have been calling in favors all over town.

“Shoot,” (she uses a different vowel) “I wasn’t supposed to tell you that.”

I can feel my mouth twisting up as I lose control of the muscles in my face. But four feet of no-nonsense pantsuit stand between me and the ladies’ room, and I know if I open my lips to excuse myself, all that’ll come out is a sob.

“Oh,” she squints at me. “I know what’s going on.”

She pushes me back into my office and shuts the door. Now my chin is trembling. Barely five hours at this job and I’m going to get fired.

She bends down to open a cupboard. “If she’s so perfect for the job, I said, why the heck”—she uses different consonants—“are you trying to get rid of her? And do you know what he said?”

I sniff, shaking my head.

“Because—and these were his exact words—‘I constantly have to remind myself not to kiss her.’ You see?”

I stare at her.

She hands me a box of tissues. “Your boss couldn’t make a move while you still worked there. It’s got to be against company policy, right?”

“He…he didn’t say that…”

“Are you calling me a liar?” she plants her hands on her hips.

“I…” I’m floundering now, lightheaded. “That’s not…”

“And now here he comes to take you to lunch, and I’ve screwed up the surprise.”

She’s looking out the window down at the parking lot. I lean forward to see. It’s him. Heading for the door like he’s on a mission. A bunch of flowers in his hand.

I look at my new boss. She grins. “Told you.”

I smile. I forget to breathe.

“You have about twenty seconds to get that eyeliner cleaned up. You look like a zebra.”

She turns on a heel and walks out. I scramble for more tissues.

First day of my dream job. Everything is perfect.

 

Inspiration Monday: don't touch the floor

14 Jan

This week, on adventures in novel plotting: tacking colored index cards to my wall. Exciting stuff, folks!

Now, on to the real excitement:

Oscar

Elmo and another

Chris

Craig

LoveTheBadGuy

Veronica

Sandra

LadyWhispers

Mike

MindofShoo

-

The Rules

There are none. Read the prompts, get inspired, write something. No word count minimum or maximum. You don’t have to include the exact prompt in your piece, and you can interpret the prompt(s) any way you like.

OR

No really; I need rules!

Okay; write 200-500 words on the prompt of your choice. You may either use the prompt as the title of your piece or work it into the body of your piece. You must complete it before 6 pm CST on the Monday following this post.

The Prompts:

Don’t touch the floor
He arrived bleeding
History unravels
If you can read this
The middle of everywhere

 

Want to share your Inspiration Monday piece? Post it on your blog and link back to today’s post (here’s a video on how to do it); I’ll include a link to your piece in the next Inspiration Monday post. No blog? Email your piece to me at bekindrewrite (at) yahoo (dot) com. (I do reserve the right to NOT link to a piece as stated in my Link Discretion Policy.)

Plus, get the InMon badge for your site here.

Happy writing!

-

* MC = Mature Content.

Opinions expressed in other writers’ InMon pieces are not necessarily my own.

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