Archive for February, 2009

Where do Writers’ Get Book Ideas From

Literally from the ether. Other writers might tell you different, but the truth is writers are usually staring off into space and then WHAM. Story idea. My mind strayed to ex boyfriends, break ups and this is what I got…

 

From a young age we’ve learned to lie to keep the status quo. So, sitting across from my ex-boyfriend, I formed the lie, one of many I’ve told since my birth, “I wish you the best.”

When I really meant, I hope you burn in the hottest fires of hell.

I soooo want to write this character. I want to know they are even talking to their ex boyfriend. I want to be on that journey.

So, long story short, that’s how writers get ideas for books. Out of the ether.

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February 26, 2009 at 8:37 am 4 comments

Speaking of Being Wonderful…

If you already don’t know enough about me you can read an interview I did with a fellow Wild Rose Author, Liana.

February 26, 2009 at 1:44 am Leave a comment

Caveat: No, Really, I’m Not Wonderful At All

WARNING: I’M IN A CRABBY-PATTY MOOD, THIS POST WILL BE A RANT THINLY DISGUISED AS A PHILOSOPHICAL DISCUSSION

Caveatan explanation to prevent misinterpretation c: a modifying or cautionary detail to be considered when evaluating, interpreting, or doing something

Excuse my language, but caveats, when it applies to a person’s attributes, are starting to piss me off. I’m sick of it in fact. Hell, I suffer from it. There is no getting around it, but the more I hear it, the more my eye starts to twitch.

What do you mean, Melissa?

Here’s an example:

“Do you sew?”

“Yes. Here and there. It’s really just a hobby. I barely past muster.”

Now, if this was the truth and the timid person was just letting the other person know–one sleeve will probably be longer than the other–I could understand this caveat. Where it starts to piss me off, is when the person sews, they sew well and they still say this. Statements like these shows a sign of insecurity, but worst, most times it’s false modesty.

When did it become okay to say “No, I really I suck” over “I do this well”. Why is the former more acceptable to say in society? It’s not tooting your own horn, it’s being honest. And, really we see it all the damn time. In the writing community and, dear god, with mothers.

Instead of using a universal “you” let me just say with me it’s like pulling teeth just acknowledge what I’m good at. Even now as I’m seething about false modesty I don’t want to “out” myself.  Is it fear that what we think we are good at someone else will come along and say, “No, you do that horribly.”  Or does it really come down to we don’t want to be seen as “bragging”.

Either way, more and more I avoid forum threads where you–the universal you–are asked “what are you good at?” or “this thread is to compliment yourself”. ‘Cause sooner or later someone, several people come along with  statements like the above.

STOP IT!

Let the caveats start going like this:

 “My plots suck, but I’m the shit when it comes to editing. I mean, I have to walk around with tissue when revising. Smell me.”

That’s not bragging, that’s being honest if it applies to you.

You need another example:

“I’m not the best when it comes to crisis situations, but I let my children be children for as long as they want to be ones.”

You know what, I don’t care about the why anymore. I’m starting a movement. No more caveats. From this day forth caveats will be the ugly step-children of compliments. They will not be said in the same breath.

Let me start:

My dialogue rocks socks.

I am determined.

I am the queen when it comes to playing with my kids. They love it. I love it.

Since giving birth to my son, I can make the realist fart sounds that even makes me giggle.

I’m the shit when it comes to snark. Smell me.

I. AM. MELTHEGREATEST.

Your turn. Now if I see any caveats in the comments section you will get the smack down.

Lastly, now and forever this will be a caveat free blog. Are ya with me?

February 25, 2009 at 6:23 pm 15 comments

I Did Say the Year of the Writer

So, one of my goals this year was to work on my craft and not worry too much about submitting; in all, the business side of publishing. I signed up to enter the Mentor Program on the Romance Divas. It’s pretty much a writing book camp. It’s a three month program where you and your mentor work on your weaknesses in writing. Put together more detailed goals. If nothing else, the one thing I love the most it’s about where I want my career to go and how I can get there with the help of my mentor. That’s her job, to get my writing to match up with my goals or close enough.

I think I’m in love. It’s rare for a writer to stumble upon this opportunity. It takes hard work, excellent critique partners, detailed rejections, Beta Readers–a village and years to get this.

I’m so freaking excited.

So, the question is how did you take your writing to the next level? Or how do you plan to take it to the next level?

February 22, 2009 at 8:08 pm 7 comments

Another Milestone In My Career….Urk

Let me give you some back story first. The lovely ladies of Yosemite Romance Writers, asked me eons ago if I’d do a workshop. Now the caveat was, I’d do the workshop if they needed someone to fill in for a month. They’d let me know ahead of time so I could prepare. Since I am a member of this chapter I knew how awesome these ladies were.  On any given occassion they could find someone more authoratative than me. To be honest a newbie who wrote their first novel two weeks prior to doing a workshop, could be more authoratative than I.

Let’s fast forward to the beginning of February. I get a call and these words changed my life. “Are you ready to do the workshop?”

$%*#@, What?, is my internal reaction. Then I remember what I agreed to those eons ago and say, “It’s been crazy I’ll start getting some stuff together.”  I tried to keep the utter panic out of my voice, but I think it’s leak through in my e-mails. “You’ll do fine” is there mantra.

I digress.

So, the next step of course is denial. This lovely, intelligent woman would realize who she asked to do a workshop and bow out. She would realize she’s asking ME, Melissa, Nerd of the Century, to do a workshop.  And, then I saw the Flyer for the month of February: “YRW’s Speaker for February 2009, Fresno’s own Melissa Blue.”

So, now there is no backing out on her part or mine. She’s told people. Lots of people. These people have paid money to hear me speak. Like I know what the hell I’m talking about. They are coming with the intentions that I’m this smart, intelligent woman who has it together.

 Oh. Dear. God.

Right now it’s about to turn 9:00 my time. I have 4 hours to get my face out of this brown paper bag and speak. Thankfully, I got my act somewhat together and have notes. The talk still might last 5 minutes ’cause being nervous makes me talk like I’ve had 50 cups of coffee.

Now, you ask, why did I post?

I need moral support even if it’s through the internet.  I really can’t call these smart and lovely ladies of my chapter freaking out. I’m still trying to fool them that I’m sane-ish. Oh. Dear. God. I’m doing a workshop.

February 21, 2009 at 6:30 pm 8 comments

Dear Morning,

We’ve had a long, rocky relationship since I was born.  Truly, you are the Spawn of Satan. You come all bright and cheery. You always come too soon.  Did you not get the memo? Only a handful of people like you, but that doesn’t deter you from coming out, every, single day.

God, I still remember when I lived next door to a rooster. You almost caused the murder of innocent animal. Do you not feel any shame? Do you not care I suffer every time you come around? It’s a deep suffering that only coffee and griping until your sister comes along–noon.

*Le sigh*

Go ahead. Ignore my plea. Yeah, you morning. I see you there streaming through my window without a care.  Cheery, once again. Spawn of Satan. One day I will defeat you. I will wake up and flip you the birdy with my own cheeriness.

Until then I must fortify myself with more caffefine. You evil, evil Spawn.

Sincerely,

Melissa Blue

February 18, 2009 at 4:47 pm 23 comments

I’m a Story Addict

UPDATE: This was waiting for me in my e-mail.

best-book-of-the-week-lasr

I would love to thank everyone who voted for me. I appreciate and now you can find me at the top of that page as The Best Book of The Week. “!!!!!!”

I’ve always known this about myself, but I never knew the extent of my addiction. I knew it explained why I loved history. It explains my love for books. But it dawned on me it’s also why I sit down and watch TLC, PBS, History Channel, Court TV and recently why I’m obsessed with The Moth. It’s oral storytelling of true stories. And, This American Life much longer and much more real and fascinating.

For me stories are secrets disguised as words. You get inner thoughts, emotions, and most importantly the outcome is wrapped nicely in a bow. You’re getting a glimpse into someone else’s live. It’s also why I could never be a reporter. I’d want to know more than whatever story I’m working on. I’d want to know every little tidbit about who made that person who they are.

The great thing is I’m not alone in my addiction.

So, give me some recommendations. What podcast are really good? An online serial story? Forums, communities. Give me the goods on what feeds your story addiction.

February 16, 2009 at 8:33 am 8 comments

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