Ooopsie-daisie

Oh.My.Gosh. It’s been almost a solid month since I last posted! So, my son-in-law did get my original DVD of PotO out of my old player, but alas, it’s scratched. *sighs* I do have the new blueray DVD, of course – which I can only use in the den. Once I’ve paid a bit off on my Amazon account, I’ll purchase another DVD for my bedroom, again.

I’ve been besieged with author requests to read and review their work, and I’m actually happy to do so. For the most part. However, I hit several blech-y books in a row – extremely poor editing, if any; atrocious spelling, grammar, and punctuation; awkward sentence structuring; tense issues; and, point of view mishaps. Two of the books were less than one hundred pages, each – yet it took me three or more weeks to get through them because of the errors! Some of these ‘writer’s’ are churning out a book a month, for crying out loud. If they had been edited, I’d be the first to offer immense kudos for working so hard… but, these also happen to be the same authors that spill forth with the afore mentioned issues. It’s obvious they aren’t writing because they have a burning desire to tell a tale, rather, they wish to earn some quick cash. *sighs*

I also watched and reviewed a newer web-based series that likened itself to decent goth such as “The Woman in Black” (James Watkins, D. 2012). Ha! What I watched was crude and vulgar with no psychological thrills and chills, whatsoever. My reviews can be found on Amazon or one of my other domains, here. That’s my Scribes Canvas domain, btw.

Of course, most understand in order to improve their craft, they must read, read, read! Some of what I read had high stars and I can only assume the readers were either friends with the writers or too soft-hearted to critique the way they should have. Because quite frankly it was drivel! I hope, when I finally get back to writing and publish, the reviewers will be as honest as I was. How else is one to learn? It is a way to help polish and finis our work, right?

K, I am so outtie….

Darkness

I’m a huge Gerard Butler fan, no doubt about it. Like many writers, I am sure, I model the leading males in my stories after celebrity males I consider drool worthy and visual personifications of a true alpha male. Gerard is one of these males.

When describing these alpha males, I have a picture of the celebrity male on my corkboard. Actually, I try to find two males that are… not so much similar, but at least complimentary of each other, and combine bits and pieces of both in the stories alpha male. That’s my way of not only creating the perfect male character for the story, but also help if I should be lucky enough to sell movie rights, they are not locked into an exact description that only Gerard Butler could fill, or Brad Pitt, or Dwayne Johnson, etc.

Besides the images on my corkboard, I’ll often have funny or romantic movies featuring the males used, playing on DVD; I also play music when I’m very into the writing and know I won’t be looking up at the TV screen, whatever suits my soul and needs for the writing at the time.

When writing a romance, I tend to keep romantic ideology around me as much as possible. I fall asleep to The Phantom of the Opera (2004) every night. Until my DVD player died, that is. With the disc still inside it. *sighs* I bought a new player, my daughter will do her best to pull my DVD out of the broken player – if she can’t, I will buy a new one. So, I started watching some of my other favorite Gerard Butler movies to help keep me where I needed to be… The Ugly Truth (2009), Olympus Has Fallen (2013), London Has Fallen (2016), and Law Abiding Citizen (2009) to name a few. Each of these films show various kinds of love the character Gerard is playing, has for others in the movie. There are several other films, too, but these are my “go-to” movies. Phantom is the main movie, and I miss it, a lot.

Watching Law Abiding Citizen (2009) was not a good idea for me, at this time. I empathize for Clyde (Gerard Butler) as well as Jamie Foxx’s awesome portrayal of ADA Nick Rice. Feeling for Clyde ended up pushing me into wanting to watch Sons of Anarchy (2008-2014), so I just finished a marathon of watching. I found my head entering a very dark place as season 5 ended; halfway through season 6, I was feeling very dark… the only bright spot was my grand daughter’s 4th birthday. Her party rocked! I never laughed so hard, watching her bounce – and be bounced – on her trampoline. It was awesome….

But when I came back home, I stuck the DVD’s back in. Even after joking with my daughter earlier in the day about where my head was at when I’m supposed to be writing a romance. Sheesh. I told her I should probably go back to work on my serial killer story cause that’s how dark my head felt.

I finished the series about an hour ago. Betrayal, death, matricide and more still reverberating inside my head. Wow. And no Phantom to pull me back. Damn.

So, I likely won’t work on Robert & Allison’s story tomorrow – their story is romance, it’s light but with some action… it has one dark scene in it that was influenced by my SoA marathon, but it does work in the story so I’ll keep it. But the story shouldn’t have any more dark stuff, so I need to purge myself before pulling Robert & Allison back in. *sighs*

That’s where I am at. Damn. I am so outtie….

And so on, again

So, Jake & Marie have finally told Allison that she is their biological daughter. She has most, but not quite all, of the details. Henri can’t wait to tell Kara – he’s got a bit of trouble maker in him! *laughs* And Robert has finally set his eyes on Allison, so the romance part will finally start heating up and kicking into high gear. The Kara-jealousy angle should prove some fun, too.

Now comes the big decision… a sweet romance, like Lynette & Lachlan’s, or something steamier…? To help make my decision, I’m going to skim my “How to Write Erotica” book by Valerie Kelly. It was written in 1986 so I’m not really sure if it’s too outdated… maybe I’ll do a quick Amazon scan, as well.

Either way, time to get my fingers tapping away at the laptop keyboard, so I am so outtie….

Onward

Life isn’t perfect, but it is definitely good. Until the bottom falls out. Again.  — Allison Bolden, age 11

But, when I feel like I’m ready to change, I look for woods. Solitary areas deep within the woods. Spots totally away from humans. Places where I can wolf out and run free, sniff all the interesting scents bombarding me and run with the other wildlife – okay, chase ‘em. But still. I’m not trying to go all Freddy Krueger on humans, so I’m even different from what these sites say are proven truths. Sheesh, even my werewolf self is a freak. — Allison Bolden, age 15

Snippets from Robert & Allison’s story, after some major incidents in Alli’s life. *grins* She hates to be called Alli, by the way, but Robert thinks it suits her.

I’m writing the final scene of chapter 8, a big reveal. This chapter also offers a glimpse of Robert’s budding feelings for Allison and is the start of the actual romantic part of this romance novel. Earlier, Robert did show interest and intrigue in Alli, but other stuff was going on that needed to be dealt with, so, here we are. I think it works as is, and will wait till after I finish it in its entirety before going back for revision work.

Currently, I have roughly one full chapter – two scenes – of backstory via Allison’s memories which hopefully show why and how her personality is as it is. I’m waiting to hear back from a faithful reader with comments, i.e. my daughter. *grins*

Any-who, that’s what I’ve been up to and am heading back to, so I am so outtie….

the art of editing

M’kay, I was quite proud of myself for finally getting back into Robert & Allison’s story and doing some cosmetic revisions way back on the 19th… then I got hooked into watching all four seasons of Wentworth because the new season came out and I re-watched the preceding three seasons because I couldn’t recall the story arc well enough. And I honestly did finish the new research I mentioned, too… and then, like I said, got hooked on the telly! Argh!

I honestly don’t mind editing, although acknowledge it can be a pain in the arse as well. I also admit I still make some grammar errors as well as over use comma’s. That’s likely the biggest area I edit. I still miss Mom & Don’s editing skills – they not only pointed out the grammar and spelling issues, but offered revisionary-type stuff, as well, that sometimes changed the story arc and almost always improved the story. Which is why I periodically mention my intention to find a writing/critiquing group to join. I still intend to find and join one.

Previously when I edited a piece, I color-coded everything. I changed the font color for whatever I changed during an edit to make it easier to find changes… back when I did all of my writing in Word, that is. Now that I’m finally exclusively using Scrivener for my writing, I simply make the changes. And, if the changes are somewhat huge, I save the changed copy with a different name so I have both versions available to compare. I’m sure there are better ways to go about this, or more efficient, or more detailed, or whatever….

I mentioned I finally backed off on my Sim City BuildIt addiction, and I haven’t logged onto the Herding Dogs game for (I think) about two weeks now. I finished Wentworth two days ago and planned on getting back to Robert & Allison and was kind of hit with a comedy of errors-type thing… apparently, the port connection for my Internet service was failing. I had noticed my net and TV connection was acting up a bit, but honestly, it wasn’t enough for me to complain, just more of an irritation. There have been some heavy thunderstorms rolling through that have been sending Stevie into panic mode, which makes it difficult to sit and write or concentrate on anything other than her. So, two days ago after watching the final episode of season four, Wentworth – following an all-night binge of watching, sans sleep, I figured I’d catch a couple hours sleep then awake refreshed enough to get back to writing. Ha! I couldn’t fall asleep; I realized I was almost out of cigarettes so decided to hit Starbucks and get my smokes, then go to sleep.  I heard some rolling thunder moving in and saw Stevie going into full-on panic/idiot/moron mode, but crated the girls so I could get my running out of the way. For some weird reason I didn’t turn the TV on for the girls before I left. I typically leave the telly on so they can hear something, whether it’s music or a TV show. But, I didn’t bother to turn the TV back on after finishing my show and took off. Was only gone for 20-30 minutes, or so. Decided to check my email before trying to sleep and kept getting an error message… that’s how I found out my modem was fried. I did all of the testing via the AT&T tools and diagnosed the problem, then used the chat feature to have the tech’s do their official diagnosis – and was scheduled for a repairman to arrive, yesterday. He came, agreed with my diagnosis, switched out modem’s – and still had connection issues. That’s when we discovered the port issue. So he left and did those repairs; came back and finished up here, and right as he was walking out of the door, another issue popped up which hinted at the DVR/uVerse box going bad! *sighs* So he switched that out with a new, smaller one – fits even better in the allocated spot than the previous one did, but said these newer boxes can be quite slow to start up. Naturally, mine appears to be one of the slower ones. But hey, it works.

So, no writing for awhile again, but my ‘net is fixed, TV is working fine, bills for the month either paid or payments scheduled, do have to run to the store to pick up a few grocery items and once again my sleep-schedule is fubar’ed (fucked up beyond all recognition), as in, I was reading last night and unexpectedly fell asleep around midnight, woke at 4:30 this morning and ‘just’ finished my last cup of coffee from the pot. I know, none of this really has jackshit to do with editing, k? Guess my brain is scattered from sleep deprivation – among other things. Any-hoo, I am so outtie….

ahh, to write

Title should show my relief, I would think. Yes, I am finally writing again, thankyouverymuch. *grins* I finished the minor changes with the early revision work; recall, I started revision work due to the length of time away from the story, I had to re-read before writing again and my eyes were totally fresh. The changes were mostly cosmetic….

I have two scenes finished in chapter seven now and will begin the final scene in this chapter when I head back to my bedroom – after posting this, I should think. Trying to decide if it’ll be a long scene – the beginning of the big reveal to Allison concerning her parents. Or, a shorter scene leading up to the big reveal and having the reveal take up chapter eight, instead.

I did the arctic wolf research and decided to keep Kara’s hair color as-is; according to my research, although arctic wolves are primarily white in color, the color itself is not what determines their species… it concerns where they live and some genetics, i.e. smaller ears, thicker coats, somewhat smaller stature. The smaller stature part – I’m not changing the size of the big males in Kara’s family, either, although her mother is petite, just like Allison. Marie – their mother – is French, and father Jake I sort of figured is French Canadian. Both are ‘pure’ wolves, coming from a clean lineage, which is part of the storyline between Robert and Allison.

You know, I just may use Kara’s jealousy more, feed into that for the final scene in chapter seven… Jake and Marie have been asked by son Henri who the mysterious ‘Michelle’ is, and instead of having them reveal their past to Henri only, I can get Allison back to their house so she can hear it at the same time… hmm, have to think about which way to play this.

M’kay, time to get back to the book… oh, and I need to finish reading the book I’m part-way through and get the review written. The book, sorta blah, I’m just not into it, mainly because of the character setup and portrayal. Both the male and female were created to show people with extremely bad luck and disappointments before finally meeting one another and (I suspect) everything changes to puppy dogs and roses there after. But all of the sad-sack buildup crap left me totally not caring about either character. So, I am so outtie….

stormy fronts

Not a ton of new writing going on, still reading a lot but also doing some revision work on what was previously written, i.e. Allison & Robert’s story. The ‘stormy fronts’ title is meant to be taken literally for this post… every time I sit down to write, either a flash thunderstorm or one I actually was given advanced warning about, hits. And then my scared-y cat of a Collie – Stevie – either burrows under my feet, crawls into my lap, or hides under my desk. Okay, you try being creative and actually writing with a sixty-five pound, quivering mass of fur pinning you down, m’kay? *sighs* Naturally, the mom part of me takes over all creative juices and soothes the not-so-savage-beast until she settles down and is once again assured mom will keep her safe – and by that time, I’ve lost whatever flow or idea had been working through me. Argh!

So, on the revisions… I mentioned I changed Allison’s hair, and am seriously thinking about making some minor changes to Kara as well. But if I do that, I’ll have to be sure to go back to Lynette & Lachlan’s story too, since Kara makes her first appearance in it. Kara was originally written to have coffee-colored hair, worn in a long plait, but I’m wanting to lighten her hair, I think. Allison is her sister, even though neither one knows it yet, and she has silvery-blond hair; Marie, their mother, has honey-blond hair; Jake, their father, has light-brown, salted with gray hair… the thing is, when Allison shifts into her wolf self, she is a white – Artic – wolf. So far, Kara has not shifted into her wolf self and in Lynette & Lachlan’s story, I kind of pictured her as a lighter gray to brownish wolf. But that was before I realized she would be Allison’s full, younger sister. Hmm, maybe I better head back to my Artic wolf research again and double check the wolf colorings. Allison is a pure white wolf… the brothers – she hasn’t met any of them yet – aren’t fully described because they haven’t made an appearance in either story. They’re only mentioned, only in my background notes so far. Yeah, for the sake of continuity and all that, I’m closing this and double checking the Artic wolf articles.

Oh! My new xBox One just arrived. Yeah, baby, yet another distraction! *laughs* Kay, I am so outtie….

now what…?

So I finally got my procrastinating butt in gear and started working on Allison and Robert’s story today. Since it’s been so (very!) long since I last worked on the story, I chose to go back to chapter one and start reading, get my mind back into the game, more or less. Glad I did because I made a few changes that I think will play better. For instance, I originally had Allison have long silvery-blond hair, but today changed it to a shorter length… a beginning scene has her in a tight, sweaty space and I liked the visual of her swiping her hands through her hair and spiking it. However, a bit later there’s a scene where she has a ponytail, so I met myself in the middle and called it shoulder length. Still short enough for long, droopy spikes but long enough for a short ponytail. *shrugs* Added a few sentences to better visualize some other scenes, just generally really getting into the groove of things, ya know?

BOOM! Crackle, crackle, sizzle…BOOM!

Enter a flash thunderstorm. Power blinks out. No biggie, really, since I’m working on one of my laptops and can work off of its battery.

Have you ever seen any one of the thousands of pictures posted on the Internet of people trying to work around their cat or kitten sitting in their laps and leaning on to their keyboards? M’kay, substitute that itty-bitty five to ten pound furball for a sixty-five pound Collie and you can begin to see my dilemma.

Arms pinned down by a quivering heap o’Collie – my protector, mind you… keyboard? Somewhere under all of her hair – even though it didn’t matter I could still see bits and pieces of it since my arms were pinned to my lap with sixty-five pounds of tri-color jelly! (Laptop is fine, by the way.)

I’m a writer, this is a funny scene – but no place for it in Allison and Robert’s story. It had to be told, and now I am so outtie….

Protagonism

Yes, I am quite guilty of this. I am a writer that has not been writing. Barely blogging – unless you count my once every one to two weeks post (grrr), nothing new – or revised, dammit – to my novels, although I did settle on a cover artist for Lachlan & Lynette’s story, at least.

I have excuses, galore, some of them pretty reasonable, mind you… a teenaged granddaughter visiting for a length of time that needed some supervision on Internet usage, among other things… one of my Collies received an unusual, semi-serious neck injury of unknown cause that led to a somewhat serious infection that caused a fever and a delay in her annual shots – she’s still recovering and requires daily meds, too… I came down with a stomach illness that caused severe cramping and made moving – let alone thinking – almost unbearable for two days… my damn black laptop – the newest and most up-to-date, mind you – is still acting up sporadically and of course it also happens to be the one I do the majority of my writing and editing on… my home AC stopped working over the holiday weekend, and while the heat didn’t really bother me that much, my poor PC’s, Collies and granddaughter were really lagging and chugging along ($195 later, a new capacitor and filters all around fixed the problem)…. I am proud to say I’ve tempered my usage at the herding dog game, although Sim City BuildIt is still garnering too much of my time. After stumbling with a book I had been reading – it was such a boring, unsatisfactory read and kind of turned me off reading for a spell – is now finished and review written, plus I read another YA book for Book22 Review – just finished last night, reviews submitted today, I plan to read another book, something light and fun. Hopefully, that’ll help get me back into the swing of things so I get back to my own damn writing!

Still having troubles sleeping, which, unfortunately, is normal for me… but lack of quality sleep and stiff neck/body makes it hard to be creative. I’m really considering buying a new heater for my waterbed and going back to sleeping on it instead of my beautiful new bedroom set, because I truly didn’t suffer the majority of these aches and pains when I slept on it. Maybe I just can’t handle a regular mattress anymore… maybe the mattress isn’t a good enough quality for me, who knows. The thing is, my dreams reveal a lot of information for my writing, as well as life in general, so I’ve been dealing with a huge, overall feeling of being unsettled and out of place. *sighs* K, I am so outtie….

oh sigh

Big intentions? Check. Story ideas? Check. Backing off of game playing? Check. Sorta. Sitting down and writing? Fail. *sighs* Still playing the Sims BuildIt game, too much. If it was regular Sims I wouldn’t feel so guilty because that actually ‘tickles’ my muse quite a bit and allows her to choose directions I might not have come up with.

On the other hand, I have gotten some house work done that I had been putting off. *sighs*

I recently finished a book. A mystery. It had a lot of promise, the blurb sounded so intriguing. It did not live up to the blurb. The protagonist was totally unlikeable and I could not muster any empathy for her, at all. Took me a long time to finish that book, in fact, in my review I even stated it was a tedious read. So that even put me off of reading, for crying out loud. Grrr.

Still haven’t written anything, other than blog posts and now a review – but I did start another book that I’m liking. Maybe I’m back on the right track? We shall see… m’kay, I am so outtie….