I ordered this on my Kindle about a week ago and I’m still reading it. I find the premise of an AI machine program cloning people fascinating and perhaps a bit larger than this book and it’s that sense of scope that’s lacking that sometimes pulls me out of the story. Read more
One thing you need to know about me is that I’m reading polygamist. I normally read at least two books at one time. In my past, I could be at various stages in more than five books at a time, but I’m trying to keep my limit to three these days. Those three include one physical book I can open up, one on my Kindle that I read while I’m putting my son to sleep, and one craft book that I read during the weekends.
Last year I read 23 books. By my standards, that number was completely unacceptable. I normally read at least one book a week, if not more. Books are what keep my creativity flowing, they are what I study to hone my storytelling abilities, in other words, they are necessary. So when I see how few books I read last year, I cringe.
As for writing, I only wrote three poems, two halfway completed short stories, two completed rough draft short stories and one novella last year.
I once saw a video by Anthony Marra, author of A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, where among other things he talked about his revision process and how he typed his story over and over. That moment was special for me. Angels didn’t sing or anything, but it was the first time I had ever run across another author who revised the same way I did.
When I came to the end of my Ashborne drafts, I printed them out. Then I proceeded to type them in again–line by line. I worked on the language a little more. saw the story in a new light. I encountered each page and each scene as if I were discovering it anew day by day. Read more
As some of you know I’m a member of the Stockholm Writers Group, a select group of writers founded over twenty years ago to provide feedback, encourage each other, and support each other with their writing goals. We meet on a regular basis and offer feedback to those who’ve submitted their work. In addition, we pair up with a writing buddy. Some terms we switch buddies, some terms we keep the buddies we have. At the moment, my buddy is a wonderful writer named Rebecca, and this past week when we met, the conversation turned to blogs.
We’ve decided to both revisit our blogs with a concentrated focus. She’s studying craft books and enjoys the exercises these books provide. She’s decided to focus her blog on those exercises, or insights she’s gained from the process. Read more
Maybe I’m giving away my age here, not that it’s a secret, but I remember these words growing up, ‘To boldly go where no man has gone before.’ Anyone else remember those? The words made famous by Star Trek, a sci-fi television show I didn’t watch, but knew all about because some of the kids I hung out with talked about it.
I’m not sure why I never really watched it growing up. For one thing, there were long periods of time where we didn’t have a television. But I think it had more to do with in my head there were Star Trek people and there were Star Wars people, and I was definitely a Star Wars person. Is that a thing? This delineation between the Wars and the Trek? Or did I just imagine it all those years? Read more
I was in a mom situation about a week or two ago and ended up defending my children during a play date. Later, I had conflicting emotions about the episode. Sadness. Anger. Frustration. Guilt. Eventually, my husband came to me and said I should never feel guilty for being the champion our children need at times. Shortly before this play date, I ran across an article, or maybe it was just a paragraph or two in a book, about mission statements. I think the idea was successful people lived by mission statements and these feelings prompted me to think about creating a mission statement for myself. I spent two days writing down what I believed and my mission as a mom, a wife, a sister, and a friend. Defending my children, even in difficult situations or against friends, was in there. When I finished, I felt much better. Read more
Instagram is my favorite form of social media. Twitter to me is like an endless autobahn. I use Facebook the most, but I really enjoy Instagram and I’ll tell you why. Facebook, loaded with political memes, angry judgements, and a sense of divisiveness, makes me feel angry or frustrated or judged or a number of other negative feelings. Mostly, I’m reminded of that old Monty Python skit where the guy wants to have an argument and he keeps running into rooms like Abuse and Hitting You Over the Head (love that skit). Read more
I’ve been listening to The Story Grid with Tim Grahl and Shawn Coyne. It’s a writing podcast which pairs up the flailing new writer with an experienced editor and they talk about all things story related. Shawn relies heavily on Campbell’s Hero with a Thousand Faces and Robert McKee’s Story, so if you’ve studied either of them, you’ll find much of Shawn’s work familiar.
One of the first things that struck me was how Shawn categorizes the different genres, but the more I dug into them, it made sense. I write Fantasy and Science Fiction. Sometimes I veer into the creepy, the edge of horror. Read more
Aliens have invaded our home. Last week my husband decided I needed some classic sci-fi material logged into my brain for recall later. Ships. Robots. Technology. Things like that to stick in the back of my mind for general reference. Feedback from my writing group over the last two short stories I wrote hinted at a Blade Runner feeling, despite my having never watched Blade Runner. After this revelation, my ever-helpful husband picked himself off the floor and promptly ordered the film, along with the Alien series, for educational purposes, and I think a measure of good-natured sci-fi snobbery, because how dare I write sci-fi without having seen the classics? The weekend dawned rainy and full of angst for the entire world and a very personal upper respiratory infection that forced us to spend the Swedish Midsummer sick in bed. In other words, the perfect opportunity to watch a bunch of old movies. Read more