Thursday, May 16, 2013

Me. What I Do and Why I Do it

So, I get antsy, always. When I don't get antsy, which doesn't happen often, I'm lazy.
I get depressed. I get mean. I get maudlin. I've come to understand that part of why I do this is because it's kinda fun. Also, I figure I'm entitled to get emotional. Everyone else does.

I still haven't decided if I want to stop doing that. On the one hand, it's kinda invigorating and it's good to get frustrations out, on the other, I'm like an aging former prima dona after a while. You just can't get me off the stage and I still think I can play a seventeen year old girl with jiggly breasts even though my own have long since deflated. I need to recognize when the fat lady has sung and figure out what the fat lady and her singing, is in this context.

This is a post to explain what I do.
I got very depressed somewhere around last November. It was real. It was bad. It was really, really painful and it lasted way too long. This was actually when I could write. There was National Novel Writing Month and I had a decent story. I didn't finish, by the way. The third week I couldn't function. Go figure. Still, I've finished since then. That story is The Wind-Up Terrier which you can read about here on my, I'm Writing, page.
Eventually, I got over my panic and other stuff. But one thing that I began to do which is a habit I'm proud of is to work. I always have something I'm doing when it used to be that I felt I was entitled to put things off because I was special, I guess. What I mean is, I do dishes, I cook food, I empty dishes and I clean. I also have some hobbies that I had begun long before I was stuck in the situation where I got so depressed but that I actually completed projects of which had been enormously difficult for me in the past.

So, I do stuff. Now I'm in the mood to do even more stuff, which is fortunate because I had been in a mood to barely write and have difficulty reading pretty much anything. Because of this, my book wasn't quite as good as I'd like it to be (little typos, not many but enough and some small inconsistencies) Now I'm fixing it and biting my lip that I can't add another twenty thousand new words of stuff. That would be making it a different book.
 Instead, I'll put the stuff I want to tell you about in the other Through the Wormhole book I'm currently working on, Snow Sands: Through the Wormhole, Book 1. I think it'll be a blast. You can believe me on this. I only say things like that when I'm in a good mood and when I'm in a good mood, I'm prolific and florid, but in a good way.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

WW2 To Die or Live

Well, look at me. I remembered that I needed to post on Wednesday. I even remembered earlier today, then I completely forgot until now, two hours before it won't be Wednesday anymore.

I'm a silly, willy goose, aren't I, Just?

Here's something I wrote when I was feeling depressed. Since it's me, it became about a murder, not a suicide. I might pursue the story some time in the future. I was watching Sherlock at the time and Miss. Marple and Poirot so I guess it made sense to switch it to a murder. I'm watching Midsomer Murders right now so I'll probably be able to write more about it later.
I hope you enjoy.

To Die or Live

I want to either die or to live. I do not want to have this half-life. It’s either and, at present, it seems like my most accessible option is to die. I have nowhere else to go. I have no money or lands to my name and my mother’s name is severely in debt. Should she die before me, I will be without home and paying off promises that I myself had no part in the making.  It is a matter of continuing to live without prospects and almost completely alone in my mother’s house on this forsaken bit of bog until she dies and I am thrown out or to die with some modicum of dignity in a manner and time of my choosing. I say to you I choose to control my life and my death.
I choose to die.
Three hours after penning those last four little words, Maurice Pennington was found drowned in the bog just outside his mother’s cottage by a group of hunters and their basset hound, who had been looking for duck.
This was quite odd since Maurice had never intended to drown himself. He was not weighted down so it was determined by the hunters with mutters of, “Nasty business, aren’t it?” that he was helped to his death by someone pushing his head under and keeping it there until he stopped his struggles. His mother was quite distressed and stood wringing her hands at the window, her rheumy eyes staring out in the general direction of her son’s body both before and long after the constabulary came to examine the body and it was taken away. Some generous soul had come up with money for the poor boy and so he went from there to the undertaker. 


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Perfect Book Blurb

...Once again, I have had an epiphany  The blurb and extended synopsis aren't right. Instead of an exciting shot of emotion invoking prose, I have a sedate walk in the desert complete with a tea party.

I do this sometimes. I don't deal with difficulty by recognizing it immediately. I see a problem and then try to deal with it, becoming satisfied that I have until some time has passed and my brain has had more of a chance to figure out what exactly the solution is. I can do this several times. It's how I edit books and it's apparently how I write a blurb.

This time, I'm more prepared, perhaps so much so that I can, write a damned decent blurb for once!
I've been doing research on other blurbs and I've been looking at resources on how to do a blurb/synopsis properly.

http://www.lightmessages.com/lmjom/writing/229-how-to-write-a-book-cover-blurb.html

http://romanceuniversity.org/2011/11/23/5-top-tips-for-writing-a-compelling-book-blurb-by-amy-wilkins/

I will restate what I have gleaned, as well as what I have learned on my own.

A book blurb is not a mini synopsis, at least not the first paragraph which is to a blurb what a lure is to a fish which is why it's called a hook, I say as if that wasn't obvious. I say paragraph, because it is but the first one can and probably should be a max of three sentences. Hook, lure and line, I guess.
the hook is an intriguing sentence. The lure is the motivation and the line is something mysterious or a teaser that something else is happening that you have to read the book to find out.

Here are my past attempts at writing a blurb for Snow Sands. It's really, really redundant and if you don't care to read something similar over and over and over again, you could just scroll down to the latest. I won't be offended. I was struck by how banal they were when putting them on here.
Happy writing.

Attempt OneA girl, an undead talking cat, and no way to get home from a desert country many worlds away from their own.

Attempt TwoHayley and Oliver are stuck in a desert in another world, one with magic and war brewing, where everyone has an agenda, even when they say they only want to help.

 Attempt Three: Hayley wakes up to find that she is in a desert, her bedroom furniture is in the desert and her cat is in the desert, supposedly doing calculus in the sand. It seems to be his fault that everything is in the desert. Hayley is surprised. Sure, Oliver disappeared for a while and then came back talking, claiming that he had died and come back because of her drawing a sketch of him, but that wasn’t so odd. He was her cat.

Attempt FourHayley is a cheerful, robust girl whose only recent trauma was losing her cat. She was very sad for a long while. Now she's not so sad because her cat, Oliver, came back from the dead and can talk. He can also, apparently, use magic and move her and her bedroom furniture into the middle of a desert in an unknown location. Hayley is not happy with Oliver. She also would really like some clean clothes, and some ice cream.
Attempt Five:Hayley wakes up to find that she is in a desert, her bedroom furniture is in the desert and her cat is in the desert, supposedly doing calculus in the sand. It seems to be his fault that everything is in the desert. Hayley has trouble coping and hides beneath the bed-sheet, hoping it will go away. It doesn't and she finds that the cat doesn't know how to get them home.

Attempt SixHayley woke up to find that her bedroom was in a desert. She was displeased, no, shocked, especially when her cat admits that it’s his fault they ended up their in the first place. Hayley wants to get home. Oliver, her cat, despite having transported them in the first place, has no clue how to get them back.

Attempt Seven: Hayley is a teenage girl, rather gullible and slightly manic but happy enough with her life. That is, until waking up in an alien desert accompanied by her cat, Oliver, who is the one who put them there. Hayley feels pretty unhappy about all this, especially since he can’t get them back. All they can do is walk and see if they can find someone to help them in what turns out to be another world with lots of magic but showers few and far between. 

Attempt EightHayley is suddenly thrust into a world she doesn’t understand with her cat, Oliver. She discovers magic and makes friends but her driving force is to go home.
 
Attempt NineHayley is special. She came through a portal in the sky and she can do magic even though she doesn’t have blue eyes. She also has a talking cat and wants to go home. People are only too glad to help her though their motives are unclear.

None of these work. Some get close and then I seem to lose it for a bit but none really work. With that said, here's my latest. It's almost there, not quite but almost. 

When Hayley wakes up on a desert world, she blames her cat, Oliver and hides under the sheet, hoping that this is all a dream. It isn’t. They set out to find a way home but in this world of magic, shape shifting and sand that gets everywhere, nothing is as clear-cut as it seems.