The War of Words

(Or, Word War I)

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This is me at my new place. Note the happy face, the rosy cheeks, and the sleepy eyes. This picture was taken after loading a 15′ U-Haul and then unloading (with family help). Still, note the excitement. This has nothing to do with the article except to put an updated face to the writer.

 

Now. Serious business.

“PORK THE OTHER WHITE MEAT” (Seen on Illinois’ Pork Producer’s Association marquee, 2009)

“PORK THE ONE YOU LOVE” (Seen on same marquee, 2016)

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It Might be Time for a Reboot

This is a writing blog. I haven’t written (much) in the past few years, so this blog has fallen by the wayside. And I’m about to pick it back up. It only makes sense that I don’t load a new pic for the post, since it’s a writing blog and not a mullet (Business in the front. Party in the back). I want it all to be a party, and bangs would just look emo.

I’ll start by greasing my rusty writing hinges; Hello, World! I’m ready to shaaare myself again!

The primary focus for this blog is professional updates on how I understand writing to be, in all its forms: literary and artistic reviews, updates on my work, and helpful hints along the way. I grew away from this professional blog due to (excuses) and now that I’m able to focus more on the often complex and changing needs of novel writing, I can also step back into this place.

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Writing Insecurities

I’m writing on a novel I haven’t touched in nearly two years. Its only 20 pages (with seven added today). It’s about a character I created, who came to reside in the apartment above me, in my actual apartment. Oddly enough a year and a half ago a woman actually moved in upstairs, and she was nothing like the character I created.

Which has nothing to do with the story, really. I didn’t stop writing because of her. I stopped writing because the silly story required a kind of melancholy, a kind of vulnerable insecurity, where my chest is open and bared to the screen. No adventure. No thrill of the hunt. No meeting new people. This book is about an intimate relationship with a woman I’ve never met, who doesn’t exist, to a man I’ve come to see as a lofty ideal so distant from humanity he isn’t even human. He is the Overman, the Great Observer, and while she fights to find transcendence, he fights to find his humanity. Through their similar pursuit of “purpose,” she walks in the steps of a god. Continue reading

How to Look Like You Know What You’re Talking About

(I’ve run into these people several times while working. One of which decided to unfriend me and remove me from his life because I didn’t read his book fast enough. I wish him all the best. Try not to fall into those pitfalls of expectation.)

 

Professionalism is more than domain name deep. Treat people well, and aim for quality.

Source: How to Look Like You Know What You’re Talking About

The Great Hunt, Leviathan Wakes, and Six-Gun Tarot

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I’ve been reading a lot more of late. Having begun Mark Twain’s Autobiography, Leviathan Wakes (Now A Major Syfy TV Series, The Expanse), The Six-Gun Tarot and the second of the Wheel of Time Series, The Great Hunt, I’ve had ample opportunity to cross check the writing styles.

For me, great writing stands alone. Back when Tolkien’s LOTR novels were being made into movies, there was an outpouring of novels with the phrase “Like Middle Earth but better!” on the backs, or “Greatest fantasy adventure since Tolkien!” The spinoff books–some very successful–all playing off the idea of his works (Like Terry Brooks’s Sword of Shannara series and Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series) had the same feel of Tolkien, only light. In fact, I’d call them Tolkien Lite. As a disrespectful term.

Now I see “Think Game of Thrones with Bocci Ball!” or “John Doe, and his family, has a coolness factor so high, it’s like Harry Potter had John McClane as a father, AND THEY WERE ALL LANNISTERS!” While this isn’t exactly what I’m reading on the back of boring old fantasy novels, I’m not being hyperbolic. I did see a similar phrase somewhere.

These people, while possibly successful, are not great writers. You can’t take a powerful writer and say, “This writer is JUST LIKE another writer, ONLY BETTER,” and get any respect. If ever I get picked up by a big publisher, and they say anything of the sort on the back of my work, I will straight-up drop the publisher. One of the books I’ll discuss today is touted as a Martin Lite, even though he’s nothing of the sort.

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Ultimate Guide to Setting Up a Freelance Writing Business

An excellent article about freelance writing!

Jennifer Keishin Armstrong

from iClipArt from iClipArt

I switched from being a staffer at Entertainment Weekly (where I worked for almost ten years) to being a freelance writer in 2011. Believe it or not, I had dreamed of being specifically a freelancer since I was a little girl. I had always wanted to be a writer, and I loved the library. I spent a lot of afternoons there looking up stuff that interested me in the card catalog, then reading all I could about it. When I read books about writing, I learned the word freelance. I was 8. I thought it sounded so wonderful: Freedom! A lance! Writing! So when I was finally able to make the transition 27 years later, the move was long overdue.

I made the transition as I do most things: responsibly, and with a lot of forethought. And yet I also made lots of mistakes along the way…

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