Tuesday, April 23, 2013

How do we read like readers?

Happy Tuesday!

Think about this . . . when you buy a book, what inspires you to finish the story? Lately, this question has plagued my brain because more often than not, I dive into a book, ready to invest my whole mind sorting through the plot, but usually, I only make it halfway to the end. I lose interest and put it down. Recently, only a select few stories have compelled me to continue to the finish line. So I'm wondering, is it me or the books?

Maybe I've become too picky. Once upon a time, I read with a reader's mindset, but somewhere along the way, I shifted into a writer's mindset. Now when I read, my brain edits everything, and it drives me INSANE! I have NO control over it! Gone is my patience for overwriting and clunky dialog. If the story doesn't MOVE, I toss it.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not an arrogant writer. I don't approach other writer's works thinking I could do better. That's not the issue. In fact, I constantly beat myself up over my imperfections, but for whatever reason, when I read ANYTHING, it's like my brain adopts every word, as if I wrote them myself, and then, it attacks or it settles into the story.

It has become nearly impossible for me to fully lose myself in a book because my mind skims the surface, chipping away at unnecessary words or switching around sentences to accommodate my taste. This is great for my own writing, but not so fun when I want to read for pleasure.

I want to know how to SHUT OFF the writerly half of my brain. Does any of this sound familiar to you guys? How do you make the switch from writer to reader? Maybe there isn't a solution, but I thought I could at least gather your thoughts on the subject.

Until next time, happy writing or whatever makes you smile. :)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Jumper Cover Reveal


Today is an exciting day! Jeff LaFerney, over at  The Red Pen
revealed the cover for his upcoming novel, Jumper. If this awesome image isn't enough to rev you up, Jeff's blurb is sure to have you counting down the days until Jumper's release on April 30th! Don't believe me? Scroll down, and I'll make you a believer!

After spending three years in jail and others completely alone, twenty-four-year-old Cole Flint discovers an amazing ability—he can time-travel and teleport. He’s a jumper. So what should the motorcycle-riding, cage-fighting tough guy do? He should protect an innocent eighteen-year-old girl who happens to be in possession of the Staff of Moses. Following the direction of a trio of angels who are determined to shake things up in the Middle East, Cole pairs up with Hannah Carpenter and her pet grizzly while he also tries to change his past and learn the mystery of his birth. Curiously, the King of Jordan knows all about Hannah, and he’s determined to gain possession of the staff. He’ll do anything to possess its power, but is it possible that he’s no more than a pawn, manipulated in time along with Cole and Hannah?  Jumper is a mysterious roller coaster of action and a time-traveling adventure that will keep readers guessing right to the very last page.

I'm looking forward to getting my hands on a copy and wishing Jeff loads of success!

Until next time, happy writing or whatever makes you smile. :)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

That Girl Is On Fire!!!!


I haven't been away for long, but it seems like a gabillion years since my last post. Just in case any of you wonder where I've been, (probably not because you've all turned into A to Z zombies) I'm jumping-over-the-stars-happy to report I finished my first round of edits! Can I get a whoop-whoop?!?!

For a few months, I psyched myself into a crazed state of dread, wondering what kind of editor my publisher would pick for Sebastian Falls. Seriously, I had a twitching eye and everything! As it turns out, I did a ton of worrying for nothing because my editor is beyond super duper brilliant! She didn't miss anything.

Due to her great skills, I've decided she should wear a Wonder woman suit while she edits and plays "This Girl is on Fire" over and over. Not that she needs any help, but can you imagine the adrenaline this combination would produce?!?

Heck, even without the tights, cape, and powerful lyrics, my girl, Rebecca educated me on grammar, style, plus teen lingo. Did you guys know the word "stellar" expired, and no cool teen would dare speak those two syllables in today's society? It's true. Rebecca said so. (sort of) While I wait for round two, a few thoughts needle my brain, but mostly, I'm curious if "epic" is a suitable replacement or if she'll boot it out and make me stalk a group of teens to record their conversations for research purposes. I wonder how long it would take them to report me? Maybe it won't come down to that, but if Rebecca told me to, I'd do it. That's how much I trust her, and I know her suggestions make Sebastian Falls a better story.

Thanks to Rebecca, images of misplaced commas won't haunt my dreams, and my protagonist will eat sausage for breakfast. She'll eat it because that's what her grandma fried in the pan. Not bacon. There never was any bacon, but somehow, Meadow Parker's sausage magically morphed into bacon, and my eyes were blind to the mistake until my editor pointed it out.

Even though Rebecca will probably never read this post, (she doesn't even have  a Facebook account, gasp!) I wanted to take a minute to share tidbits of my great experience with her and express my gratitude for the time she's put in on Sebastian Falls.

Until next time, happy writing or whatever makes you smile. :)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Terror- An IWSG Post

Well, crew, looks like we're here again. It's the first Wednesday of a new month, so it's time to confess our struggles, triumphs, and/or fears that come with writing.

A big shout out to our Ninja Captain, Alex Cavanaugh, for bringing us together. To see more posts from other insecure writers, click on this link: http://alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com/

In a few days, I'll have my first round of edits, which is exciting. Nothing about this part of my journey shakes me, but something farther ahead does. More than anything, writing book two in this series, terrifies me. I have lots of ideas, and I know my writing has improved, so where's my confidence? I ask myself that question over and over. Truthfully, I wonder if I can write a sequel that measures up to the first story?

Maybe I should put my current WIP aside and quit avoiding the sequel--stop making excuses and write the dang story! When I do, I think it'll be an even greater accomplishment than book one, because this time around, I'm not naive about the work ahead. I know the joyous agony!

Sorry for the short post, but I like to make speedy confessions. Tell me, did any of you go through book two terror?

Thanks for stopping by! Until next time, happy writing or whatever makes you smile. :)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Touching A Touchy Subject

Hey! Happy Monday!

Today, I felt like discussing beliefs. Hold up. Before you exit my blog, I'm not about to preach a sermon. Mostly, I'm digging around to see how much our personal views (political, spiritual, and social) effect our writing. I mean, they have to, right? After all, our beliefs make us who we are.

Now, if it were up to me, we'd all step away from our picket signs and snatch each other up for a universal group hug. As crowded as that might be, I think it would do wonders for the world. I'm not saying we have to agree about anything, except the fact that we're all human--people caught in the trenches of an ever darkening planet.

Nobody can argue, our population is divided. One side is ready to abolish guns while the other would lay down their lives before surrendering their weapons. Voices rage about marriage. Violent tongues saturate the airways with hatred. They burn to the core in the name of God--the God who tells them to win people over with love.

How, in this mix of madness, can we be silent? For me, it's hard to contain my emotions. I get angry, but not at people who disagree with me. I'm more disgusted with some of those sharing my values. No matter how much I'd love for people to embrace Christianity, I'll never judge them for their unbelief. I'm not fit for such a job. So when I see these radical groups crashing funerals and spiting out condemnation, I'd like to caution them, one day, they'll be judged by the same measure they judge with. Oh, and I'd love for them to zip their traps, and stop pouring mud on the face of Christianity.

When I see the state of our world, I try not to let the craziness consume me or let the sadness steal my joy. But I do want people to know the truth. God is alive, and even if you don't believe He exists, He still loves you. I won't pretend my words are strong enough to change a heart. No human has the power to open a closed up soul, but in my writing, I try to at least make people wonder about The Guy who came to save us all.

I know not all who read this post are believers of my beliefs, but I'd like to know if  your passions seep into your writing. Are you bold? Or do you whisper your thoughts across your pages? Don't tell me you say nothing because that can't be true. Whether a lot or a little, it's impossible for who we are not to touch our characters in some way.

I'm not out of thoughts on this subject, but I'll stop here because I'm anxious for comments.

Until next time, happy writing or whatever makes you smile. :)