vThe Spice of Life\
Click on the cover to buy from Amazon
I want to introduce a brand new writer to you today, guys. Her name is MJ Summers and she has one of the most interesting books of the year so far. “Break In Two” tells the story of thirty-one year old Claire Hatley who is running from Seattle having just discovered that her live-in boyfriend has traded her in for a twenty-two year old hostess. Devastated and alone Claire must make a fresh start. She answers an ad for a chef at a guest ranch just outside Colorado Springs and finds herself face to face with Cole Mitchell, quite possibly the sexiest man to ever ride a horse. Common sense tells them to stay away from each other, but their attraction is not to be denied. He gives her a glimpse of what love should be, but just as she starts to trust him, the past comes back to tear them apart. Join Claire and Cole as they embark on the stormy love affair of a lifetime.
Sounds like fun!
MJ, let me start by congratulating you on the release of your book “Break In Two.” What originally drew you towards writing a book?
A) I read my first erotic fiction novel in April and loved it! I read a few more and thought, ‘I bet it would be a lot of fun to think of my own fantasy world and just get lost for a while’. I have a dirty mind, an active imagination so I decided to give it a try. The characters and the story just flowed out of me as quickly as I could type.
What makes you a great writer?
A) I don’t even really consider myself a writer yet, so I definitely wouldn’t say I’m a great one. I’m someone who wrote a book. It’s an entirely different thing. Maybe someday I’ll be a writer.
Q) As a writer what do you find inspirational?
A) Wow. That question itself could inspire an entire novel. Like most people, I find inspiration everywhere. In writing this story specifically, it was the human struggle to find love, to learn to accept ourselves and appreciate our own beauty. I think women especially have trouble with this – I know I do – and I wanted to explore that for myself. What makes us insecure? Jealous? The answer isn’t all the more beautiful women out there. As I wrote, I think I figured it out and it surprised me. I don’t want to give the answer here because it would be a spoiler for anyone who will read the novel.
Q) I can’t wait to read the novel that I may have just inspired you to write! So how did you approach the concept of writing a book?
A) With this book, I had an idea for how to start the story and what I wanted the two main characters to be like. I knew what they had both been through before meeting each other and how things would end but the rest of the story unfolded before me like a movie, in scenes. I could see it all in my mind as I wrote. The needs and wants of the characters created the actual plot.
Q) What is the key ingredient of a “great” book in your opinion?
A) Characters that you can relate to, care about and learn from, great dialog, a compelling story line and seeing a character transform by the events that unfold.
Cliff Roberts! Reformed Politician… Literary Powerhouse!
Cliff Roberts is a guy who has done a lot in his life. Interviewers normally ask him about his political career, his many jobs, seek small business advice or ask him what he had for lunch. I normally delve into the life of writers I work with… sure, that’s the territory. This interview will touch upon his career, but let’s get to the MEAT. What does Cliff write and why does he write it? He has written several books. “Reprisal” was his first mega hit and we’ve seen several since then. We will cover many of them in this interview and you will enjoy the writing side of Cliff Roberts!
Q) Hi, Cliff, I am going to jump right in and ask if you are still looking for a major publishing contract?
A) Well, I’ve been self-published since 2013. I hired a PR instead of a publisher. My first book was “Reprisal: The Eagle Rises.” I was offered a publishing contract, but the more I look at contracts, the more I’m thinking it’s not worth the hassle and the cut in pay per book. I sold several thousand copies of “Reprisal” over the first month of its release. Why do I need a publisher?
Q) How long did you spend trying to land a major contract? You started writing after school, correct? I will also throw in another sub-question to spice things up: Do you believe self-publishing is the way forward for writers? Are the big publishing houses on the wane?
A) After high school, while in college, I tried a few dozen times to be published the traditional way with no success, so I put writing on the back burner to get on with life– a job and family. As far as self-publishing, I believe it is the wave of the future. Too many publishers believe they are doing you a favor by agreeing to publish your work. It’s your work that makes them money; they should be thanking the writer for letting them publish it. By self-publishing, you avoid other people trying to change your dream. They correct grammar or structure, but they can also get into the story and sometimes want to see you write something other than what they claimed they liked in the first place. I think self-publishing is going to be the only way to publish sooner than later.
Q) Let me pose this question to you: If self-publishing had been around when you left high school, would you have gone that route?
A) Like most would-be writers, I probably would have thought I had to have a publisher. But I probably would have found my way to self-publishing soon enough. I’m pretty independent.
Guest Post: William Sutton on Performing Flea
Whereas reading in public, writing in public, festivals, panels, groups, and simply talking about books – these can be the fuel that keeps the fires burning through cold winter nights at the desk.
Douglas Adams loved the collaboration of radio drama so much that he never quite recovered from the shock of finding himself locked in hotel rooms to finish novels. (“I love deadlines. I love the sound they make as they whizz past.”) I grew up writing plays, loving the maelstrom of passions that go into theatre, and the arc of creation through development through disastrous rehearsal to glorious realisation, and immediate audience response. By contrast, everything about writing books is delayed. The book I’m promoting now I finished years ago; I’m busy writing the third in the series; my researches now are outwith the first book’s subterranean world and in amongst the dark heart of the venal Victorian soul.
But I’ve stumbled upon a way to rediscover my excitement about the first book. Performance.
I just sang a song at the Portsmouth Book Festival launch. At my own book launch in Waterstones Gower Street, I dueted a series of London songs and underground songs, performing a parade of characters from my novel. The previous night, I read and sang in Portsmouth Blackwells, while the lovely staff served Devils on Horseback, devilled eggs, and Victorian cocktails to the friendliest of crowds. Brilliant. A week before, I sat on a haybale in a tea tent in a Canterbury field, typing instant stories from audience prompts. Fantastic fun, and a million miles from the silence of the writers’ desk; and the voices keep murmuring when you return.
How did this come about?
I went to an amazing workshop with the ReAuthoring Project. They invite you to be silly, they invite you to be bad, they invite you to think of your book physically, pictorially, post-it-notally, musically; but most of all to find your enjoyment in it, and find ways to convey that enjoyment. Writers being retiring, we’re not always that sparkling in debate; which means book events can feel trapped in earnest conventional tropes of Q&A, panels and murmured readings into dysfunctional microphones.
Through ReAuthoring, I began to recognise how much music and joy and silliness is in my book, alongside the intricate insights, incisive politics and riproaring pace. Determined to infuse my performances with that music hall spirit, last summer, I
– read on the poop deck of Light Ship LV21 (Thanks, Päivi and Gary)
– did a one-man cabaret in Deco 5, a Whitstable restaurant (Thanks, Tizi)
– wrote coffee cup sleeve stories and communal songs at Lounge on the Farm
These were challenging, but hugely rewarding. And I met more people, readers, writers.
When ReAuthoring did a workshop in Portsmouth, none of us imagined that it would turn a loose association of writers into a real community. Fifteen writers, tentative, asked to perform improvised drama a small box, to seek out a story in the labyrinthine bowels of the Guildhall, to dissect our tales into a few choice words on sticky notes. Fifteen writers, emerging from suspicion into a remarkably confident group. From that workshop, we have performed at Victorious Vintage Festival, at Blackwell’s Bookshop, at the Square Tower, where we present Day of the Dead on October 30 in Portsmouth BookFest. Best of all was the enchanted night of storytelling at Alver Arts Festival: Gosport Ever After. We rewrote fairytales, mangled and dark, and the audience listened in delight to ten new stories, told with twisted relish.
When I was invited on to a panel at Bristol CrimeFest, I wasn’t overwhelmed, I enjoyed recounting inspirational moments that led to the book, and we put on a good show. (Thanks, Ruth.) Chatting on Express FM, I sang a silly song. Reading the AudioGo audiobook, I loved recreating the characters, deploying full voices and Victorian verve.
A fortnight ago, I was invited to Leesland ParkFest, a small local community gathering. Over the hum of a generator, I read to a dissipated crowd of smirking teenagers, deck chairs, and a few dogs; I wrote some stories for children on my typewriter; I’m not sure how useful it was to me or the audience. But I was reminded of Polly Morland’s book How to Be Brave: if you can risk ridicule among friends, you have nothing more to fear from public performance. Once you’re able to show your true self, audience feel that shining through your reading, and they may well become readers too.
This weekend I’m invited by the Big Green Bookshop to the first Wood Green Literary Festival, 2-3pm Saturday, Karamel Club, Wood Green N22, alongside @ExhibitABooks author John Matthews. Come along. And on 31 October I’ll be in the Firestation Bookswap in Portsmouth.
[Terry: He performs bawdy songs in the characters of his novels. I can’t compete. ]
- FIVE WAYS TO PISS OFF A WRITER: (AKA: TALKING TO WRITERS FOR DUMMIES) by Tawni Vee Waters (burlesquepressllc.com)
“Well, I’ll be damned,” Boyd Lemon remarked when his latest promotional campaign pushed his bestselling novel “Digging Deep: A Writer Uncovers His Marriages” into the higher reaches of the bestseller listings. It was just a natural occurrence though for those of us working the Lemon campaign. Boyd is the ultimate professional writer– not working for money, fame or as a whore to his talents. He has already claimed those accolades. As a lawyer in the heady “Mad Men” era. An era that saw him excel and became one of the most sought after legal minds of his generation. It was, however, not what he wanted. To be a writer was what he truly wanted and on retiring he settled down, cut out the lifestyle, the money and the desire to be a “Mad Man” and became a writer– and looking at his latest sales figures– he has gained a huge following.
“Digging Deep: A Writer Uncovers His Marriages” is one of those books that will keep you enthralled for days until you’ve had your fill of how the over side lives. What does it feel like to have the money, the power, the loss, the pain… What does it feel like to have a success that you don’t really care about. “Digging Deep” could be taken as a warning. If you want to go into a high powered job and nothing can dissuade you… This book just might. You just won’t want the money when you read what it really costs.
Boyd is one of the most interesting men I have ever met. As a man he is probably one of the most generous, friendly people you could meet. You could almost forget that this guy is trained to pounce on your words and make you eat your mistakes. You really could…
Now, if you are smart… You will go out and get a copy of “Digging Deep.” If you’re dumb you will just forget about it and go watch reality TV. It’s really that much of a divide… The choice is yours… You can catch more of Boyd Lemon in this months “Novel Reads By Novel Ideas.”
You can’t. I’m serious. You can’t overcome writer’s block, no matter what others tell you.Odds are that your case of writer’s block is unique — this virus is constantly mutating, depending on its host.Writer’s block, as those times when a writer feels that he simply can’t write anymore, regardless of how much time he spends staring at a computer screen, is one of the biggest frights in my line of work.
To understand writer’s block you have to realize that it’s all coming from inside. It’s your brain telling you to take it easy. You know, trying to help.
Writers Making Movies, Mayhem And Huge Sales Figures…
I have a real treat for you, today! A full interview with bestseller Cliff Roberts and rising star Charlie Flowers. What do these two guys have in common? Well, Cliff rose to fame after the release of his novel Reprisal: The Eagle Rises, and Charlie? Well, Charlie just got the Novel Ideas “book of the year award” for his fantastic spy thriller Hard Kill.
Charlie is currently in the process of making a movie out of Hard Kill, and Cliff has turned down one offer in the hope of a better deal in the future. It’s a wonderful time to be a writer.
So, what do these two immensely popular writers do to make their books stand out? Let’s find out…
Nick: Hey, guys, great to get you both together for an interview.
Cliff: Hi! Thanks, it’s a pleasure to be here!
Charlie: Hola! My pleasure!
Nick: Okay, so let me start by asking you, Charlie, how do you feel about writing? How did you approach the idea of writing a book?
Charlie: Blimey that’s a toughie! For me, I don’t think I DO think about it. It’s almost like an “automatic writing” process. Sometimes, I’ll get a strong image in my head and feel compelled to write about it. An example– the abandoned airfield in the second Riz novel. I was haunted by the image. In fact, I even drove up there to take a look at the base. It’s… creepy.
Check out Terry Irving’s New Paranormal Thriller,
OK, I’m not a Mixed Martial Artist or a SEAL but occasionally your fictional hero pretty well has to “hit somebody” (Warren Zevon song about hockey players). Now, I have a problem with a couple of things about both book and TV/Movie violence.
1. My understanding is that if you hit someone in the face with an unprotected fist, the fist is likely to lose. It you cut your hand on the teeth, your hand will blow up like a balloon from the infection.
2. How do these people know precisely how hard to hit someone on the head with a pistol to keep them unconscious for exactly 3 hours with no lasting effects? 4 years of Med School?
3. Hitting someone over the head with an object (say a tire iron) would seem to risk a Murder rap. Or at least years of paperwork and civil trials.
4. Anyone who discharges a firearm anywhere but a firing range is in serious trouble. A cop is going to be doing paperwork for years and, from what I read, killing someone is a major traumatic act (for the killer! I know it’s traumatic for the victim!) So when is firing a gun an acceptable risk?
5. Every time I get a “wound,” (say a hangnail), it doesn’t go away when I shake it off. And I really doubt that a “flesh wound” means that you can go through a 15 minute bar fight in the next couple of weeks, let alone hours.
So, I did buy “Throwing Lead: A Writer’s Guide to Firearms (and the People Who Use Them)” on Kindle and LOVED it. It tells you which revolver will probably break your female protagonist’s wrists, where those pesky bullets go after they miss the target and why hiding behind any part of a car but the engine block is completely useless.
and now, I watched this guy Travis Roesler of the Fight Smart Training Program run a bunch of neighborhood toughs ragged by simply dodging their punches. He’s also got a YouTube subscription channel that essentially shows you a series of ways to win a fight in a rational way or simply avoid one. (I once had an Aikido teacher who said it’s very effective to just keep slipping blows until the other guy just starts laughing)
So, just because you’re a wuss (like me,) is no excuse for having silly-ass slugfests or bullets that end up killing some 3-year-old a half-mile away. Here is a short list of stuff from Kindle
The Gun Primer: A Writer’s Guide To Firearm Facts For Fiction
Science Fiction Weaponry: A Guide for Writers (Throwing Lead Singles)
Writing Fight Scenes
Write The Fight Right
Armed and Dangerous: A Writer’s Guide to Weapons (Classic Wisdom on Writing)
and, of course, if something does go wrong.
Books, Crooks and Counselors: How to Write Accurately About Criminal Law and Courtroom Procedure
These probably aren’t the best books (and I would greatly encourage suggestions) but at least it will keep your protagonist from simply looking like an idiot when you really want to look cool.
Marisa D. Lyon
Daydreamer. Passionate Writer. Music Lover. Photography Taker. Spirituality seeker. Sarcasm Master. Travel enthusiast.
Blocks from the sand, yet only a short car ride from both NYC and Philly, I’m provided with the best of both worlds. I have a background in business, advertising, marketing, hospitality and real estate/mortgages, but none of this even begins to accurately describe who I am.
I have sense of humor. I show my emotions. A song, or even single note, can bring me to tears. I can put on my most professional face when needed, but I’d rather be my silly, corny, sometimes outrageous self any day.
My love of inspirational and thought-provoking words lead me to pursue my career in writing. To see and hear others beautiful work is inspiring, and to be able to experience that which they have generously contributed to this world is a privilege.
I enjoy portraying stories and evoking emotions with words. I especially love to combine my passions for music and writing. For me, both are as essential as breathing. All I want from life is to be moved by people, places, things and experiences. That’s what music and writing do for me. Since I’m not exactly next in line for American Idol, nor can I currently play any instruments (although piano lessons are in the near future!), my contribution to music is celebrating it through written word.
In addition to writing and music, I love to travel, explore and capture moments through photographs. I’m happiest when I can feel the sun shine, hear the waves crash and have a pen in my hand. Although, the pen is interchangeable for a cold beer or margarita. During the summer months I can most likely be found at the beach or an outdoor music festival.
This blog is to showcase a collection of my work, as well as serve as a creative outlet. I write because I have a lot to say. I write because I want to share my thoughts and feelings with others. I write for the release of creative energy. When it comes to things I’m passionate about and that interest me, I could write endlessly. My hope is that I can reach others through my words. Even if only one other person has an emotional reaction or connection, it feels like a success. And writing makes me feel alive. It makes me happy. So either way, it already is.
To contact me about freelance opportunities, or just for a quick hello, please complete the online form located here. Alternatively, you can email me directly at lyon.marisa12 (at) yahoo.com.
I look forward to hearing from you!
I was recently approached my Murmurations, an online arts and creative writing magazine, to join their team of talented writers. I’m excited to share this piece not only because it’s my first contribution, but also because it’s the first I’ve written about my own writing. A short excerpt from this piece is below, but my full article is available here- The Truth Behind My Writing. Definitely check out their blog and website, and if you’re a writer or artist, submissions are currently open for the upcoming issue!
Without the ability to sing, paint, draw, design or craft well, if at all, I accepted the fact that I was not blessed with the artistic gene. I spent most of my life thinking analytically, pursuing careers and goals within the realm of business and practicality. But that lifestyle and mindset left me unfulfilled. After the initial satisfaction of completing a goal wore off, I was left feeling empty.
I’ve always been able to write. After all, this is one of the first things we’re taught in school. Out of habit, I approached writing logically and systematically. I focused on structure and grammar, rather than emotion or imagination. With regards to art, my mind was stuck in one dimension, blind to the colorful paths that lead off course.
Yet there was always an elusively faint glow in the distance. A dim light that shined brighter as I methodically made my way down the a straight and narrow path, until it’s magnetic force grabbed hold and inescapably pulled me in….
Some inspirations to kick off a fantastic Memorial Day Weekend. Enjoy!! Design Your Own Life Model – Thought Catalog This article is everything I believe about our current (and past) society […]
This Week’s Internet Inspirations 1. Cover of Home (Phillip Phillips) by The Piano Guys – Wow. These guys continue to impress me with every song they release. The music is intricate, […]
For photography purposes, the photo below is my favorite I’ve taken. It may look familiar as I’ve posted it before. When actually reading the lyrics of October’s Storm by The […]
It’s Friday! And I wanted to celebrate it by sharing some things I hope will make others smile, the same way they made me. The amazingly inspiring, Kristen McKee has a […]
Some words of advice…. Quit that job you hate. Stop putting every penny into savings. Get out of that dead-end relationship. Don’t wait to start living. You can’t sacrifice now […]
I am beyond thrilled to have the amazingly talented, Ashley Sapp, as a guest blogger today. I was privileged enough to stumble upon her work and was immediately drawn to the depth […]
[Terry: Wow, what a professional website! Makes Hey Sweetheart look like a part-time thing. Oh, wait, Hey Sweetheart IS a part-time thing.]
Two Words Writers Should Avoid
Keith Cronin on Jul 09 2013 |
Over the years I have witnessed and/or contributed to critiquing many writers, through my longtime participation in online writers’ forums, through reading agents’ blogs, and through attending some major writers’ conferences.
In my experience, the most brutal critiques tend to come from established literary agents, who typically pull no punches in criticizing the first few pages of aspiring writers’ manuscripts, or in evaluating the effectiveness of their queries, pitches, or loglines. Watching how these agents tear apart the work submitted to them – like a hungry spider relentlessly dismembering a fly caught in its web – reminds me that this whole writing-to-get-published thing is a full-contact sport, and not for the faint of heart.
Conversely, the most gentle critiques I’ve seen were posted in well-moderated online writers’ forums like Backspace, where rudeness is not tolerated, and even harsh critiques are expected to be delivered with diplomacy, helpfulness, and – this is important – accountability. (This is something you’ll find in a forum with a paid member base, where the site administrators know who everybody is, which in turn helps eradicate the vicious posting behavior that internet anonymity enables in some rather poopyheaded people.)
Whether delivered with a sledgehammer or with a spoonful of sugar, these critiques will often inspire a knee-jerk response from the writers, particularly those who are relatively new to this pursuit. And regardless of what genre they are writing, their response almost always begins with two words:
When a novelist is challenged on something he likes – one of his darlings – the first two words out of his mouth are almost always Yeah but.
It’s understandable to want to defend your own work, and that’s what most people do the first time its quality has been called into question. As Stephen King notes in his wonderful On Writing, “When a novelist is challenged on something he likes – one of his darlings – the first two words out of his mouth are almost always Yeah but.”
I bet many of you have run into this. But if not, here are a few examples of what I’m talking about – see if any of them sound familiar:
Yeah, but it gets funnier after the first five pages.
Yeah, but James Patterson did this exact same thing in a book that sold a bazillion copies.
Yeah, but you needed to know that this character used to be a professional ping-pong player 20 years ago – it’s essential to you understanding his arc!
Yeah, but it’s just that I’m no good at writing queries. The book itself is totally awesome, believe me!
Yeah, but the protagonist becomes much more sympathetic after the first couple hundred pages – honest!
Yeah, but you just didn’t “get it” – that’s why you don’t think you’re interested in my awesome book.
Far too many writers build an audience of the WRONG people. As a writer, you craft a work that is meaningful to you, and you wonder how you will connect it to the world. So you begin engaging with people online and off, telling them about your writing.And guess what? Guess who is MOST interested in this journey you are on? Readers? Nope. Oftentimes, it is other writers.So we do what feels validating and welcoming: we join amazing communities such as WriterUnboxed.com. We forge relationships, we grow our platforms with people who want you to succeed as a writer.But therein lies the problem.
In other words: YES, engage with other writers. But don’t stop there.
Every single week, learn more about who your readers may be. Engage with them in tiny ways online. And off. Learn what it is about your writing that cuts to the heart of why your ideal audience readers. Discover what it is about one of your stories or books that jumped out at people.
How do you begin engaging with readers? Just a few ideas:
- Read. Read books similar to yours, if possible. Engage as a fan would. Leave reviews online, recommend books, consider who else is doing the same.
- Understand what other books are like yours, especially those published in the past 5 years. Where are they shelved in bookstores, how are they displayed, what comes up in “People who who bought this also bought…” in Amazon?
- What is the language that other readers used again and again in reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, LibraryThing, and other sites?
- Who are these readers – specifically? See their Goodreads profiles, understand what else they read.
- Talk to readers. On social channels, follow them, comment on their updates, and learn about them. Engage as a fan of similar work, not an author trying to promote your own books.
- Develop a group of beta readers.
- Everywhere you go, ask the person standing next to you: “what do you like to read?” Then ask why.
- Join book clubs, attend events at bookstores and libraries – do anything possible to chat with other readers about why they read. Study the expressions on their face, the cadence of their voice as they talk about reading.
- Talk more about other people’s books than your own.
- Create profiles of your ideal readers. Create lists of where you can find them online and off. Go there. Often.
- Craft messaging that gets readers interested in your writing. Test this again and again, both in person, and in digital channels. Revise constantly.
Greetings! My name is Vergielyn, yes, the same Vergielyn that you probably heard about around the blogosphere. What Is A Writer is a new site of mine and this is probably where you’ll find me on the upcoming days. I look forward to write new beginnings of my life – as a writer and as a person. See you around folks!
More About Me.
I was the blogger behind the writer’s inspirational blog – The Writing Corp. I decided to build a new website because I realized that I needed something new. No, I didn’t leave The Writing Corp behind. It will be run by my trusted fellow writers and I know that they will keep it alive. Currently, I’m working in the computer industry, trying out new things and exploring boundaries as well as trying to get out my comfort zone. I still write, still write to pay the bills and to inspire.
Of course, aside from writing I do other stuffs too. I love philanthropy, kick boxing, food trips, traveling, city walks (during night time, don’t know why), business-related talks and I ultimately love great conversations. Got questions? Drop them below! I may not be able to respond to all your messages but I’ll try my best to do so.
Do me a favor, go HUG your dad and tell him you love him. Do me the favor of doing the thing that I didn’t have the guts to do for the past 7 years of my life, the thing that I wasn’t able to say – not until when he finally left me.
It hurts living by myself (but don’t think my life is that miserable, God blessed me awesome friends) but what hurts the most is losing the man who had been with you since you first gasp for air. Months ago, I lost my father and the pain was unimaginable. I don’t know how I get over it but it still hurts. I know, wherever he is right now, he is “mutually” proud of me. He’s proud that I made it through on my own (plus my awesome friends), he’s proud how I learned from my mistakes and he’s proud of who I am. Pa, this one is for you.
The Father, The Daughter and The Writer
THIS IS NOT A FICTION
Some ten years ago..
“Hey Pa!!” I almost yelled those words with glee. Then I walked closer to reach the forty five year old man who was holding a white bag which was filled with something — something that I really really really love! Gee! It was my favorite tropical fruits!
The man was wearing his regular white shirt, rugged denim jeans and his all-time favorite blue slippers. His forehead was sweaty as he only walked that long distant from work to home, even though the heat was ranging that one sunny Saturday noon. “What’d you got?” I asked smiling, gazing on the bag that he was holding. Duh – I obviously knew what it was; I was just trying to play naïve.
“Oh I saw the vendor selling these on the streets, I knew he’ll pass by here and if you’ll see him you’ll only get jealous if you wouldn’t be able to taste ‘em today.” Said by the man in a giggly mood and then he handed the bag to me. I smiled and accepted it. Then in a sweet voice I uttered;“Pa?” The tone of my word sounded as if I was asking and then I looked into his eyes giving him that puppy look on my face.
“I know that kind of look!!” He exclaimed in between his mirthful words. “You need something?”
I nodded, biting my lower lip. “Yeah, a few bucks for a few new pieces of papers and a black pen.”
He smiled and said; “Oh why did I even asked?” His right hand reached for coins from the right pocket of his jeans. Then he handed me a few pesos, enough to buy what I wanted. I opened the bag of fruit, picked a few from it, gave the bag back to him and with smile on my face I started to walk away from the man while popping the juicy sweetness of those summer fruits.
“You are spoiling your kid so much.” I heard another man’s voice though I didn’t bother to look back
“Let it be. It’s her only happiness.” I then, again heard Papa’s words.
January 22 2013….
“You have to live. C’mon Pa, my book’s going to be on the best seller’s shelves and we will going to have millions. Don’t worry about the bills here in the hospital, this awesome daughter of yours is gonna find a way to erase ‘em all.” I tried to cheer up my voice though deep inside, I was already shattered watching him struggling to grasp for air using that oxygen breather. He kind of giggled after he heard the word bestseller. I knew, deep inside him, he believed that I can do it, that I can be the writer I dreamed I would be. I held his hand and he held me back, squeezing my palm, giving me the assurance that he trusted me.
January 25 2013
Past one in the morning, January 25, year 2013, my Papa died and I witnessed how he lost his last breath. He was bed ridden for four days and can’t barely move. Yet, a minute before he passed away, he rose from his bed to reach for me and then hugged me tightly. I uttered a melancholic goodbye for I know that, that was it. I told him I love him. A few seconds after we let go of each other (as he lay back in bed), he left me. It was the most beautiful yet painful thing I have in my life on which I know that will stay in my memory forever (or whatever the mature version of forever is). Writing this, at this very moment is making me cry. I lost the man who taught me what moral is, the one who taught me how to love and give unselfishly, that one person who guided me to the right paths and the one I used to constantly argue with because we had different principles in life. There were parts of my life where I think I had the baddest father in the world, but then, the past year of our life changed everything. We had good times, we shared great laughter, sang songs together. At the end I realized, if I had a bad father, then how come on Earth that I am on the right track on 95 percent of my life (even if we were struggling in poverty), how come I become who I am right now? All of these, all of who I am, I partly owe these to my father.
I know we had issues, but still, he is the best to me. My heart is broken. All I am holding on is my promise to him that I’ll make him proud.
April 04 2013…
“I would give anything I own, I give up my life, my heart, my all….” The melody from the classic Bread song was captured by my ears. It was a usual day of an SEO geek in the office. I was busy working on my desk, when suddenly; realization came to me. Tears started to ran down from face. Then I heard his voice in my head again, as if I can still hear him talking to me with these words, “when you hear this song and I’m gone, you’ll remember me, my daughter, you’ll remember me…”
AFK (Away From Keyword/Keyboard) Saturday – Yes, geek reference it is.
My colleague, her brother and I decided to stay away from crazy coding, one morning in June 2013. Our feet led us to the highest mountain in Cebu Philippines – the Osmena Peak which is a thousand meters (and more) above sea level.
Robert Medak is a retired Communications Technician turned freelance writer, blogger,editor, proofreader, and reviewer learning marketing.
He was born in southern California, and lived in Kansas until moving to southern West Virginia with his wife and their cats and dogs. While in California, he and his wife Connie ran an animal rescue where Robert wrote job descriptions, flyers, and was treasurer.
Robert is a small business owner of Robert Medak Freelance Writer. He works as a freelancer and entrepreneur working from a start-up learning along the way about marketing, social and networking, creating Web sites, and web content.
He is a writer, blogger, editor, and reviewer learning marketing and book promotion.
Robert continues learning about publishing, and branding. He applies what he learns to help others and is willing to answer questions. He believes in paying it forward, ethics, and being 100 percent original in all he does.
His goal is to create an income as a full-time freelance writer, and also have some stories he is working on published. Robert’s working on a nonfiction book titled “Taming the Freelance Market”.
Robert worked as a copy editor, and edited manuscripts. He was a reader/writer for Real Time Publishing.
Robert created a course on procrastination for Writers’ Village University WVU, an online site where writers help writers. He facilitated his course, and other courses at WVU. Robert co-founded a Creative Writing Workshop at WVU.
Specialties: Robert has a working knowledge of HTML, SEO Keyword articles, copy editing, and proofreading. He has a working knowledge of Microsoft Word Track Changes. Robert continues with ongoing learning of internet/social media marketing, and publishing.
Robert Medak’s ExperienceFreelance Writer/Blogger/Editor/Proofreader/Reviewer/Markete
Many writers and others periodically suffer from procrastination, especially when beginning a new project.
It’s easy to over think about what you face beginning a new project or while working on a project by trying for perfection. Everyone wants their project work to be perfect. Forget about perfection; just get to work.
Striving for perfection in your work is admirable, but perfection can also stifle creativity. When you hamper creativity by not seeing perfection in your mind, it’s easy to shelve the project by finding something else to occupy your time.
Creativity, especially when writing is a singularly lonely time. You need alone time where there are no distractions. A time for you to sit with yourself, and do your best work possible.
Get your project completed to best of your ability that’s all you can do, your best is good enough.
This doesn’t mean you settle for less than your best. Each subsequent project should be an improvement over the completed one. Push yourself to learn and improve.
Striving for perfection is a goal, but not if it makes you procrastinate or drive you crazy.
When writing, the goal should be to finish, then take time to edit. You don’t have the time to worry about things like is it good enough, do I know what I’m doing, I’m not good enough, or some other excuse that makes you sit back and procrastinate instead of charging ahead with your writing.
This is especially true when copywriting. If you plan on writing for a living, or for businesses, procrastination is the creativity death nil for you. It’s up to you if you let it happen. Are you going to let procrastination via your internal editor, or ego get in your way? Not if you want to call yourself a writer.
I may not be as subtle as other writers, but I try to impart some knowledge from years as a freelance writer. I don’t sugarcoat things. I try to work with honesty, integrity, and quality.
To this end, all of my content is 100-percent original, and my opinion only.
About the Author:
Robert Medak is a retired Communications Technician turned freelance writer, blogger, editor, proofreader, and reviewer learning marketing.
He was born in southern California, and lived in Kansas until moving to southern West Virginia with his wife and their cats and dogs. While in California, he and his wife Connie ran an animal rescue where Robert wrote job descriptions, flyers, and was treasurer.
To be famous, Or not to be…that is the question!
Does the average writer today want to be famous? Do you want to be famous? If you got an offer today for six figures but you would have to do public appearance son TV shows would you take it? Fame is something that many people pursue with a burning intensity that can destroy their lives, but when was the last time you heard of an author PURPOSELY trying to become famous? Usually it is something that happens by chance and pure luck, after lots of hard work, but I can’t honestly say I’ve read an Interview where an author says they wanted to be famous and had started writing with fame in mind. A few weeks ago I had writers block…like bad! I had started writing my second draft and read over what I had wrote and incredulously enough I thought it was excellent. Amazing even, I hadn’t really expected it to be good enough for my expectations. My family suggested that I submit it to agents when it was finished but I post-poned for quite some time and my writing stopped. What was causing the writers block? Fear. Are most writers afraid of being known for something as personal and revealing as writing? I would have to think so, but I honestly can’t say, how do you feel about fame? While my friends talk about how cool it would be for me to become the next JK. Rowling, my goals are much smaller. Make a couple thousand, remain a virtual nobody and keep my values in sight. Maybe even someone saying ‘hey I like your story’ every once in a while. That’s it. What about you? How would you react to a major deal like this?
Like the great American buffalo, the Chris Keys’ brand of writing is diminishing. Times were when writers would spend months, years even, hunched over the typewriter turning out a manuscript that would be as close to perfection as the human eye could make it. But now, more often than not, the scene is that more and more writers turn book after book out within weeks. The market is flooded; and just like that buffalo, the traditional writer is a rare breed.
J.W .Northrup lives in Utah. He lives in a relatively middle class area with a warm and loving family to call his own. He wanted to meet the elusive Mr Keys and I was happy to go along for the occasion. It isn’t everyday that one gets to spend time with two of the most important, explosive and traditional writers of our age.
As the first glasses of wine are poured, Chris poses a question to the ever-serious Mr Northrup. “I loved The Gold Slaves. How is it doing?” J.W. shrugs and with a smile takes his first sip of a fine white from the nearby state of California. “It’s doing its thing… Climbing up a bit further everyday.” Chris settles back and nurses the glass in his hands. “I thought it was one helluva book.”
J.W. is a new breed of traditional writer and can write almost any way he wishes. I have seen him turn out a manuscript in days, and I have seen him spend hours working on one sentence. It’s hard to know what you will get from J.W. Northrup–he is as unpredictable as writers can be.
- Double Trouble: Carol Bond Meets J.W. Northrup | Novel Ideas (getmerewrite.me)
- A Life Well Lived…. Northrup Naked! (nickwale.org)
Meet the new boss… Not the same as the old boss at all. J.R. McLemore has been writing for a long time. He has several books, short stories and compendiums on sale. His sales are pretty solid and his ability to write a good story is well documented.
I wanted to meet J.R.
My first experience of this great writer was a pretty simple, straightforward read of one of his books. The book was called The Old Royal. It’s the story of a man who wants to achieve the greatness of his idol writer. He achieves it with the help of a typewriter.
The story was a sensation! So, here on Novel Ideas I want to present its writer to you.
Oh! Why do I call him ‘the boss’? Well, that’s simple! I call him the boss because one day soon he will be the biggest selling author on the face of the planet!
believe in happy endings
The Official Blog of Writer Vickie McKeehan
Author of Freeblood, Marny Copal
Marny, first of all I’m so impressed you have a background in anthropology and archaeology, two of my favorite subjects. I once considered archaeology as a major because I loved to dig in the dirt. Seriously though, tell us what exactly drew you to these two fields of study? And were you ever on an excavation dig? If so, we’d love to hear what you were looking for?
Who doesn’t like digging in dirt? I remember actually eating dirt as a very small child. (I guess Mom couldn’t watch me every minute.) Plus, my mud pie collection was the envy of the neighborhood.
In the United States, anthropology is typically divided into four fields: cultural anthropology, physical anthropology, linguistic anthropology, and archaeology. My first true love was cultural anthropology. Various customs, religions, mythologies, folklores, social structures, attitudes, and healing practices have always been intriguing to me, and those interests went hand in hand with my devotion to fantasy and science fiction when I was growing up.
As for archaeology, I took a fieldwork class one summer to fulfill degree requirements and really liked it. Once I graduated, I found work in archaeology, and I’ve been on excavations throughout Oregon. Mostly we found stone flakes, which are the byproduct of stone tool manufacture, but we also came across projectile points and other implements. I also worked on historic sites in the region. Finding dates and places of manufacture for old bottles and pieces of pottery is a lot of fun for me.
I’ll just get this out of the way now. I LOVED Quinn, Del, and Kasey, your main characters in Freeblood, the first book in the Quinn Chronicles, an urban fantasy / thriller. Plus, I loved your take on the vampire and the setting of Portland made it all the more compelling. What inspired you to jump into the vampire / paranormal genre?
Thank you! I’m glad to hear that the characters resonated with you. I have always been fascinated by myths and folklore, and the vampire yarn is one of my favorites. I also like the gritty feel of urban fantasies, and the old Portland—the real historic city—was a rough place, particularly on the waterfront. Mainly I jumped in because I felt compelled to write Quinn’s story. The tension surrounding the character pulls at me, and I feel the need to explore it.
I am an author. I mainly write dark fantasy, but also scifi, short stories, and sometimes horror. I mix other elements into my work, at times bending away from believability in order to keep my reader’s self-rationalization in check. I like to teach lessons in the stories I tell, using allegory, symbolism, and allusion. Most of my heroes tend to be female, but I do not fail to include strong male characters as well. My stories are violent, whether through personal altercations or descriptive renditions of war. They are not for the faint of heart, but they aren’t exactly Clive Barker, either. (I’d say it’s pretty balanced.) trista digiuseppi Also, romance plays a bit of a role in my books, because what is an adventure without it? An adventure may lead a hero to agony, dismemberment, or death, but I cannot deny my characters their emotional pursuits. I love to build worlds and then destroy them, and I love forcing characters to change and grow – or die trying.
I tend to write stand-alone novels, wrapped up in their own, isolated mythologies. My favorite type of book is the kind I can pick up without having to know the fifteen other novels preceding it.
Recently, Six Letter Press published my novel “Nails Jane” – check Amazon for reviews. Purchase information for Nails Jane (paperback and ebook) is located here. Also, browse this site for free short stories and free chapters of Nails Jane.
Currently: I just finished writing a second novel. It is under wraps and publication date is TBA. I have begun working on my third novel, as well as an anthology side project. There is much to come for my readers, so please sit tight and keep watch for updates.
Interests include: dark fantasy books/anthologies/graphic novels, open world RPG video games (e.g. dragon age, elder scrolls), hiking/kayaking, sushi, felines, Rasputina, Green Day, Chopin, Beethoven, Star Trek, offbeat/inappropriate humor, knives, and lipgloss. (Also, for some reason, I know too much about xenomorphs.)
I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and studied psychology, writing, studio art, and anthropology. I worked for ten years as a public school aid, teaching disabled children how to read and write. My experience has lent itself to my writing style and deep fascination with mythology, science, neologism, sketching, and the overall human condition. I often incorporate such elements into my work.
Interesting fact: I publish under my maiden name. It’s almost like my former identity is now my pseudonym.
For me, writing is a full time job. I dedicate three to five hours every Monday through Friday, penning my novels.
Keep checking the site as newer material is advertised.
Block. It puts some writers down for months. It puts some writers down for life. A not always brief or minor form of it mutes all writers from the outset of every day. “Dear Joel . . .” This is just a random sample from letters written to former students in response to their howling cries as they suffer the masochistic self-inflicted paralysis of a writer’s normal routine. “Dear Joel . . .” This Joel will win huge awards and write countless books and a nationally syndicated column, but at the time of this letter he has just been finding out that to cross the electric fence from the actual world to the writing world requires at least as much invention as the writing itself. “Dear Joel: You are writing, say, about a grizzly bear. No words are forthcoming. For six, seven, ten hours no words have been forthcoming. You are blocked, frustrated, in despair. You are nowhere, and that’s where you’ve been getting. What do you do? You write, ‘Dear Mother.’ And then you tell your mother about the block, the frustration, the ineptitude, the despair. You insist that you are not cut out to do this kind of work. You whine. You whimper. You outline your problem, and you mention that the bear has a fifty-five-inch waist and a neck more than thirty inches around but could run nose-to-nose with Secretariat. You say the bear prefers to lie down and rest. The bear rests fourteen hours a day. And you go on like that as long as you can. And then you go back and delete the ‘Dear Mother’ and all the whimpering and whining, and just keep the bear.”
When I first started writing seriously, all I wanted was to publish a novel.
I thought my intentions were honourable—that I wasn’t just another wannabe with dreams of making it big—but there was always that little part of me that still wasn’t ready to put in my dues.
I wanted it all, and I wanted it right away.
2. Writing short fiction can make you a more accomplished writer.
3. Publishing short fiction can make you a more marketable writer.
- The Future of Short Fiction is Looking Good (pageturnerblog.wordpress.com)