Music is Life, Life is Music

The parking lot at work lately has been a lot like Hotel California – anyone can get in just fine, but you must have a parking permit to get OUT. Does that seem backwards to anyone but me? They’ve had the entrance gate open several days in a row, but the exit gate stays closed.*

Speaking of music, I saw the a Criminal Minds episode the other night which always makes me laugh despite the trigger-warning nature of the plot, because a key element in the story is the similarity between the songs “Total Eclipse of the Heart” and “Making Love Out of Nothing at All.” Both songs were written by Jim Steinman, and I heard a radio program (a Westwood One program, I thought – Flashback, maybe?) about Air Supply while driving cross-country once which discussed that exact thing. I love both songs, and the writers managed to do a fantastic job of lightning a cringe-worthy episode by having the criminal go through and point out the differences much as they had in the radio program.

And, since I’m on the topic of music, I am working (short-term) at a place I last worked three years ago. Many of the people I knew then are still here, but some have left. One who left was also a DJ. Last time I worked here, he proclaimed “Band on the Run” to be one of the best songs ever written. He gave reasons, too, but of course I don’t remember all of them. I do know that I have never listened to it the same way since. I didn’t think much of it before, but it is now one of my favorite songs, and I think of him and smile when I hear it.
*yes, technically one could leave through the entrance gate, but it was a week before I thought of that – not much of a rule-breaker here…

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Blue Apron vs The Manuscript

*looks in fridge at tons of food from this week’s Blue Apron box plus some from last week’s box*

*looks at MS, waiting patiently on computer screen, begging for words*

*tosses all veggies and poultry in crockpot, freezes other meat, goes back to computer*

MS wins.

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I Write Like…

I Write Like: mostly Stephen King, after analyzing six pieces.

When I analyzed my the manuscript for my first book as a whole, I got Stephen King. Considering how popular he is, who am I to complain? I loved the JFK time travel book. Not really in to horror, although I loved the movie of The Shining. I analyzed books two, three, and five as well (two novellas and a novelette), and they got the same thing. I suppose at least I’m consistent? 🙂

When I analyzed a novella I recently submitted to a magazine, I got Neil Gaiman! That one really made me happy. It probably lied, but it made me happy anyway.

The third thing I analyzed was a short story. I got Arthur C. Clarke for that one. I loved his books when I was a kid, but it’s been a long time since I read them, so I don’t know exactly what to think there.

I have a few more things to analyze, but they aren’t in word files yet. They’re all individual scenes in Scrivener, and I want them in one big file before I analyze them. This has been interesting, though!

Here’s the link, if you’ve never used it:

I Write Like

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How to Write Serial Fiction

Reblogged from Justin McLachlan’s site, which is absolutely fantastic. And this post makes me feel that I’m planning it right. 🙂

The opportunities to tell ongoing stories — serial fiction — have never been better. Here are five tips to help you when finally jump in.

Source: How to Write Serial Fiction

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I wrote a lot of poetry when I was younger. A LOT of poetry. I slowed down about fifteen years ago, then ten years ago tried my hand at haiku rather than free verse. Most of my poetry is lost, unfortunately  (or fortunately, depending on your point of view 🙂 ), but I still have the haiku. A few old friends have copies of some of my poetry. I no longer speak to any of them. Not going to speculate on what that says about my poetic skillz.

Lately I’ve been thinking that I should try to find some of it and/or write more, but I haven’t been in any way inspired to do so. Tonight, I did. I’m not sure what did it, but it just popped out of me like an alien out of somebody’s chest on the Nostromo.

Maybe that was a bad comparison. It’s late.

But it made me think that I might try it again sometime. Maybe get back to writing poetry like I did twenty-five, thirty years ago. Only without all that teen angst. 🙂

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Bad Joke of the Day

I have the horrible urge to use this joke in the blurb for my book (or on the back cover, although I guess e-books don’t have back covers):

“An atheist and an Irish Catholic walk into a bar… and fall in love with a Greek goddess.”

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New Year, resolutions, etc.

Wow. I can’t believe I haven’t posted for two months! Between school, work, the holidays, book revisions, and moving, I have been a blog bum. But! It is a new year, and I am determined to post on a regular basis from now on. I love writing prompts and have several books of them, so I thought I would use some for blog inspiration. I wish I could use my school posts, since I have found my classes incredibly interesting, but I’m going to guess that would get me in a lot of trouble. 🙂

For now, I’m going to leave links to posts by four of my favorite authors/bloggers. I have editing notes back on my novel and three of my novellas. I plan to start publishing a novella series in June, and each of these posts has great information for the author who is just starting out – even the one for the mid-career writer. It gave me something to look forward to. 🙂

Kristen Lamb: Brain Games post

Chuck Wendig: Some Thoughts For You Mid Career Writers Out There

Bob Mayer: post on Platform, Product, Promotion

Hugh Howey: So You Want to be a Writer





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Sympathy for the Devil

blog post about aforementioned song

The above post is fascinating. I heard “American Pie” a while back and intended to look it up and find out what all the references in the song were to – now I know one of them, and that apparently the Rolling Stones wrote “Sympathy for the Devil” in response. I will probably spend hours on the internet now, following link after link about old rock songs… 🙂

I searched for “Sympathy for the Devil” to begin with because it seemed to fit my antagonist, and I wanted to find another song to fit him as well. I’m still having a hard time finding a second song, but I’m glad I read that post!

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The Terror of Lost Data

I almost lost 15 months worth of writing. Over 300k words. October
2013 to December 2014.

Before I got my new computer, I was having trouble with Scrivener. It
would freeze, sit there not responding, and/or close unexpectedly,
usually while I was in the middle of a scene that was trying to pour
out of my fingertips faster than I could type.

Unsure if it was my dying laptop or the fact that I had so much stuff
in one Scrivener project (which they assured me was unlikely, since
text takes up so little space), I went ahead and tried the cheaper of
my two options – buy a new laptop or split my project in two – and
separated my Story Bible/Daily Writing Journal into a Story Bible and
a separate Daily Writing Journal with folders for this year’s writing
and the last.

It didn’t help. I bought a new computer.

Over a month later – yesterday – for some reason I really looked at the DWJ
and realized that only my 2015 folder was there.

I wrote constantly in school. I had a short story published when I was
in junior high, and another in college. College, however, was not a
good experience for me. I stopped writing fiction and turned to
poetry.* After my husband died, I stopped writing poetry for a long
time, too. The only poetry I’ve written since the 90s has been a few
dozen haiku over the last ten years.

I’ve lost most of my old writing, too, unless I can find hard copies
in storage. I had backup text files on a computer, but then the
computer disappeared.

So you can imagine exactly how much I COMPLETELY FREAKED OUT when I
saw that over 300,000 words I had written when I finally came out of
my twenty-year funk and started writing again had disappeared into the
cloud and gone POOF.

I have Scrivener set to back up to Dropbox. Dropbox updates constantly. Apparently,
one of the many times over the last month when, exhausted from work
but determined to write, I fell asleep with my hand on the mouse, I
deleted that 2013/14 folder – and didn’t notice it for a MONTH. By the time I noticed it yesterday? Dropbox had done as I “asked” and, well… updated it away.

Thankfully, I apparently hoard electronics. I am writing this from my poor old
laptop. It took me five tries to turn it on, but it finally came back to life
(thank you, Hermes), and the DWJ project on here still had the 2013/14
folder. I made sure the WiFi was OFF, and I created a new project just
for that. Then I compiled each month’s folder to a word document, and I
am now emailing them to myself so I have emergency archives in case
this happens again. They aren’t pretty – the individual text files
don’t necessarily go together, they are just random writing – but at
least they EXIST. And they will back up to OneDrive, so I will have
duplicate backup. I’m going to do this with every month from now on.

And maybe try writing some poetry again.
*Actually I learned to love writing poetry in my high school CW class,
but in college I went all freeform, and I’m guessing it was all very

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7x7x7x7 writing challenge!

Hey all! @saperlmutter of tagged me in this challenge from PitchWars! I saw something about it earlier today, but I spent the day editing. I know I have more edits to go (never-ending, right?), but I got this pass done, including adding a couple of scenes to help continuity (ie, if the MMC was shot and hit his head on a concrete floor, why did he not have a concussion or any lasting damage? HMMMM. Fixed that). Yay! So, here is the 7x7x7x7 writing challenge!

Here are the rules (given to me by Sarah):

7x7x7x7 Rules:

Step 1: Eat a cookie (if you don’t, the rest of the steps are ruined)

Step 2: Scroll to the 7th page of your work-in-progress (WIP) or the story you entered into the lovely PitchWars

Step 3: Go down to the 7th line

Step 4: Post the next 7 lines

Step 5: Tag 7 writer friends

Here’s my entry!

Title: The First Two Lives of Brandy Grey

Genre: Adult Mythic Fiction

“Well, it better not be adamantine,” Atropos began, “because if you are even thinking of giving her adamantine claws -”
“No, no, no!”
“Steel? Like nerves of steel?”
Clotho sighed and used her free hand to run her fingers through her hair. She pulled out a piece of alpaca wool. She needed a comb.
“You were closest with the silver, but it’s not actual silver. It’s a silver lining, from a cloud.”

Okay, technically it’s eight, but my OCD made me include the end of the sentence on the 8th line. 🙂

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