There are so many ways I can take this. (No pun intended)
The topic is to list our top 5 celebrities we would like to have sex with. Banging celebrities doesn’t count as cheating as I’ve been told. Not sure that matters. I’m still being asked to provide a list of people I’d explain away to my husband with, “Hon, I’m really sorry but, he got to sit at a table with Julia Louis – Dreyfus at the Golden Globes. This makes me that much closer to Seinfeld! Plus, it was either this guy or Jason Alexander.”
It will be a short post because, I don’t have that many clever things to say about banging celebrities. Here are my five:
…Or maybe Ryan Reynolds dressed as Deadpool synchronizing our movements to a soundtrack sung by Bernadette Peters while lying underneath a poster of Betty White. No substitutions. It’s all or nothing for this #5.
CHILL THE FUCK OUT FOR A SECOND! THERE IS A TOTALLY LOGICAL EXPLANATION!
Ask yourself, do you like to exercise?
Yes. Everyone enjoys some level of activity once in a while. After I’ve been behind a desk for a few hours, I like to get up and walk around. Lately I’ve been taking all the baby gates down around the house and chasing after my toddler for fun in the evenings. I assure you he doesn’t stop moving and it’s tiring for both of us, mostly me. Every so often I also like to swim and do yoga with my daughter or see if I can muscle my husband off the bed just because I’m in a jerkish mood and I’ve randomly decided the middle is my claimed resting area.
Now, do you like cardio?
No. No person in their right damn mind likes cardio. If you say you do, you’re lying. It’s an activity that isn’t fun in any way shape or form but if you are trying to become healthier or maintain a level of health, cardio is one way to say, “I….:breaths heavy:…fucking….:wipes sweat off face:….did it.” And then you take your pony tail holder out and your greasy wet hair stays in a pony tail shaped form. Cardio is also something you can’t do just once. You have to exercise regularly for there to be a benefit. Anyone can tell you, if you want to live a healthy lifestyle – you have to do cardio!
Writing can feel exactly the same way. It’s a good activity. An idea comes to mind and you jot a few things down. Maybe a turns into a short story, maybe a clever email to a friend, or a blog post that seems to be going no where. But when you actually write for the sake of real accomplishment, it’s hard. It can even feel a little painful. And truth is, not everyone enjoys writing during every moment that they are writing. When I sit down on my lunch break to write down a few words I can tell you, there are other interesting things I rather be looking at online plus a book I’ve been meaning to read. But no. I’m committed to writing and this is the moment I have to do it, whether I like or not.
This why I say the hardest part about writing is writing and why at times I hate it. It’s the cardio exercise of creativity. You can’t just write once in a while. You can’t just write what sounds fun on days that are convenient. You have to write:
-Several days a week (try at least 3, move up to 5, take the weekends off).
-At least 30 minutes a day.
-Set a word count and write until you get that word count whether it takes an hour or two hours. (This is how Nanowrimo works and why I use this method.)
-Write even when you don’t have an idea. You don’t need one. As soon as you start writing, they will come. Even if the first sentence you wrote was, “I should not have put hand sanitizer on before I ate my cookie.”
If I hate writing, why write? Well, there is that accomplishment factor that is pretty important. I don’t like writing, I’m not exactly sure if I am good at it, and my spelling is horrific. My vocabulary is pretty shitty, too. Don’t get me started on grammar. (note: I spelled grammar incorrectly ending it in -er until spellcheck highlighted my error, emphasizing my point.) But I write because I like to tell stories and I really enjoy the opportunity to use my imagination. I chose the avenue of writing because I enjoy reading. I appreciate anyone who can write a good story because they are incredibly talented and I am in awe of what some authors can do. They also remind me there are a lot of skills I need to sharpen, no denying that at all, but I can’t accomplish my goals if I don’t push myself to do something I don’t exactly enjoy all the time. I can’t wish I could run the Boston Marathon if I won’t get off my ass and try to run a mile.
It might have taken me several years to finish my first manuscript. But it took me less than a year to finish the second but I still have a lot of beta reading and editing ahead. Maybe next year I can write, beta read, and edit all in under a year. I can promise you, I’m very happy reading what I have written and receiving the positive feedback I have received. It’s been a great motivation and it’s wonderful. But writing is hard, very hard. I can’t just wish a story to magically appear on paper. I’m going to have to write it even if I sometimes hate it.
That’s my take. Let’s read what some of the other authors have to bitch about:
School is now in session and my quiet morning drive has turned into whole lot of fuckery.
As is my daily ritual, I email my husband to let him know that I made it to my destination unscathed. Today was titled “Traffic Report: WITNESS ME!” and I attached the following picture.
And as it happens, today’s prompt for Promptly Penned is somewhat schooled inspired. Let’s see where this prompt takes us. It will be a surprise. Like the “proud trucker wife” decal toting, Jesus fish clad, truck I followed into town this morning that used a blinker a total of zero times.
In school tests started with a class bell and ended with a “pencils down”, outside of school things weren’t so well defined. At least not when it came to drivers training. And I suppose I shouldn’t say things weren’t well defined. The lines painted on the black top of the back school parking lot were pretty well defined in bright yellow. If the lines weren’t enough to give a hint or two, a few well placed orange cones were pretty in your face. For most of us at least. There was the quiet kid who decided to punch the gas straight for the fence. He forced his driving partner to slam on the passenger side brake all the drivers training cars were equipped with. The car stopped in time however, only one of the kids in that car moved on to the next drivers training session. One very much did not. But downfall of obtaining a drivers license is not the test, written or driving. It’s not even the parallel parking or trying not to drive through fences. It’s having a hot mom and a Ford Tempo.
I drove a ’93 gray Ford Tempo and in the passenger seat logging the required driving hours was a short blonde with the greenest eyes you’ve ever seen. To say Mom was excited for me was an understatement. So much so, she was sitting next to me fudging my numbers and turning the 35 hours I did drive into the even 50 required to get a license.
“Think of it. Now, whenever we need milk you can drive to the grocery store for me! And you don’t have to worry about getting a ride home after school. You can drive yourself.”
“Yup.” I answered. Though I was more focused on the fact I could pick up fast food whenever I wanted but sure, I would occasionally pick up a gallon of milk when asked. I like milk.
By the time we arrived at the local college where the drivers test was to begin, a very large burly man was already standing by a setup of cones with a clipboard. As I pulled the car up, he signaled us to park and walked to the drivers side.
“Hi, I’m Phil. I’m going to be your tester today. First, I’m going to ask you to step out of the car and keep it running. I have to do a vehicle check.”
I got out of the car and he reached in to activate the turn signal, walked around the outside of the car to make sure all the lights were blinking. At that moment, he noticed her. Burly man meet hot Mom.
“And who are you?”
“I’m her mother.”
“What? No. How old are you? You can’t be past 30!”
My Mom blushed and shrugged in her own little cute way. I stood there observing in my tall skinny awkward teenage kind of way.
Phil gave the car a pass though technically there was a single light out in the middle brake light located in the back window. It wasn’t a major brake light and it was still semi-functioning. Good enough to get in the car with a hot blonde and her gangly child. There was a slight problem. While Mom had no problem sliding into a back seat of a two door compact car (and I’m sure there is a joke in that statement) our flirtatious Phil was a tall, thick, “before” picture of a weight loss commercial. He hesitated only for a brief moment before climbing in one arm and leg at a time. From here on our adventure began with the car listing slightly on the right.
“I want you to take a left out of the parking lot. I also want you to physically move your head when you are checking your mirrors so I can see your checking them. I know you are probably checking them with your eyes but I can’t see where your eyes are looking so I’m going to ask you to make it obvious for me when you look at your mirrors.” Phil rolled his body to a very uncomfortable looking position to face the back seat as best as he can. My Mom sat in the middle seat unbuckled, but Phil didn’t seem to notice or care. “This has to be your oldest.”
“No. She is actually my middle. I have two older and two younger yet.”
I stopped at a stop sign. No one was coming though I turn my head dramatically to make sure Phil knew that I’m looking. He didn’t tell me to turn so I assumed we’re going straight.
“Five kids! Get out of here! You do not look like you have five kids. I don’t have any myself but I do like kids. I’m actually a truck driver as a full time job. I just like doing this on the side. I think it’s fun.”
“Oh that’s interesting and very kind of you to help kids with driving. Especially since you are so experienced.”
For the record, I’m actually a good driver. I didn’t need my Mom to help me with the test. And she wasn’t. She was just being polite but man – was Phil laying it on thick.
“You have a really nice shade of blonde hair. Not many woman can pull off such a beautiful color like you can.”
“It’s highlighted but I am a natural blonde.”
See Phil, the carpet matches the drapes and you didn’t even have to go there to find out. Keep that mental image for later. Which is probably exactly what he does because he seemed mostly satisfied with where this conversation with my Mom is going and spends a little more time telling me were to turn and what to do. We go through a couple of back roads, jump on the highway for a few, exit to get some city driving in, and about thirty minutes later we’re back in the parking lot of the college.
Phil announces that I had passed my test and did a wonderful job. He only said, “You should use your mirrors more but then again, I tell almost everyone that. I’m sure you were using them and just not turning your head enough for me to see.”
Teenage self wanted to yell at him. “If you weren’t facing the back seat the entire time you would have seen I was using my goddamn mirrors!” I didn’t. Rather I thanked him for the note, promised to do better, and once more thanked him for driving with me.
On the way home my Mom seemed in a good mood. She rehashed how well I did on my test and how proud she was. Then she listed off all the documents we would need to get before we head to the DMV to finally get my license. While I’m sure my Mom was still on Phil’s mind, Phil was only briefly on my Mom’s. “That tester of yours was sure chatty. Very nice though. I think you were lucky to have such a nice one. Oh, before I forget. Swing by the store. We need milk.”
How exactly do you write to your future self? No clue. I’m not sure who came up with this prompt. At this point I’m not even sure if you are still writing with the same people I am writing with now. And you can’t blame anyone other than yourself, you never suggest any prompts. Work on that. As you already know, and I am still learning, the group grows, people get busy, stop blogging as much, lose interest, and then a new round of fresh faces joins in. Maybe in the future, I won’t be the only non-romance/erotica author in this blogging group. Doubtful. People do like their healthy dose of long lost love and dicks.Who knows, maybe you should get into writing romance or erotica and join the crowd?
Everything she was saying felt right but his fleshy turkey neck tucked under his belt to hide his erection from pitching a tent for four felt so wrong.
Okay. Writing sexy things is not for me. But, if this letter is really for future me, I hope my future self doesn’t forget my past self.
Why did I write for this prompt? Why did I join the blog group? Why do I write at all?
Well, future you, I wrote this letter as a reminder to keep writing. I also hope you are still reading, too. I hope you are still enjoying the art of written words with others. And I hope you are educated and experienced enough by the time you read this, you are helping other young writers discover their love for writing.
One more thing, do more yoga. That’s just a general reminder. It makes you less fussy and no adult likes to be called “fussy”.
P.S. Remember on twitter when Bronwyn referred to spiders as “Satan’s snowflakes”? That was freaking hilarious.
I don’t know exactly know what to talk about when it comes to how I create/build my characters.
I just create them because, to be honest, character building is one of the easiest parts of writing.
First, I create a spreadsheet and just brain storm different people. Give them a name, an age, and a purpose. “He feels stuck in his career and often too pessimistic enough to notice positive changes in his surroundings.” or “She is a gogetter but also thinks this other character is a total asshole and enjoys making his life miserable for her own amusement.”
Developing characters can be a lot of fun and as I have found, can lead to a story just in itself. Character A is unhappy, why? Who made this person unhappy? Why did they do that action? What is character A going to do to fix it?
Also, google is your friend. There are a ton of character sheets out there to help build a character from, what is their favorite color to – if they went to college, what would they have studied?
Recently I’ve watched my husband assist people in building D&D characters. I noticed this is the same process. SPOILER: Titty Sprinkles from my “How to Name Characters” post and my song prompt serial is making an appearance. My offer to cosplay by wearing leather heart shape pasties was met with mixed reviews.
Here is the most difficult part of character building in writing: CONSISTENCY!
What ever you name your character, what ever they look like, they must be consistent through the story. Yes, characters can grow and change but it must be gradual and the reader must be able to follow along with these emotional changes. Happiness, anger, depression, hope – these are normal emotions and your character should show emotions through the story as the story unfolds. But your character should not go from wallflower to life of the party for no explained reason. Also if they have a talking pattern, they need to keep this pattern throughout the story. No, “I always enjoyed the theatre.” in chapter 1 to “Yup, love them shows.” in chapter 10.
Recently I read a series and one of the characters changed suddenly. From the last book to the newest installment, the character all of a sudden began cracking jokes while others commented how this was normal with an “oh, you” slap on the knee, “aren’t they funny?” But, this character isn’t funny in the previous books. I don’t think this person cracked a single joke. To be told in chapter 1 as characters are reintroduced “remember, this guy is funny!” it was jarring. I wanted to reach through the book and smack the author upside the head with their previous. Did you forget? You created this character, he was never funny.
In summary, characters are fun and easy to create. Have fun, be free, and make them however you want. But, when it comes to the story, stick with the character you created and don’t change them. When you edit, ask yourself “Should my character act this way in this situation? Is this consistent from earlier chapters?” If someone read a paragraph or dialogue to you omitting the names, could you pick out which character is which just by their actions and the words they said? If the characters are consistent, you should be able to.
Thanks for reading as always. Check in with the ladies to see their take on this topic:
I’ve been working on my second manuscript and if you are a regular reader of my blog, this really isn’t news. However, this week’s topic is “behind the scenes of my current project” which brings us to, well, my current project.
Let’s reel it in a bit more and answer the question, what goes into inventing a story?
Answer: A BILLION THINGS!
For one, no one’s full time job is writing. Okay, I can think of a few lucky bugs but those people are not living posh lives using mother of pearl spoons to serve caviar on ritzy crackers. No. They just sit around eating store brand Ritz crackers. Or, a pound of peanut M&M’s with a suspicious amount of M&M’s missing peanuts. That writer knows who she is. But realistically, we all have a lot to juggle to make this writing thing happen. And even when we have a good thing going, it doesn’t take much to fall off the wagon. Before you know it, a month has passed and you have missed more than one scheduled blog. Forget working on your manuscript, you probably haven’t even looked at it.
But you thought about it.
And that’s a start.
And that’s exactly how mine started. I thought about the characters and I started to outline them and build dynamics between them. Even with characters as a start I had to build a story around them. What were they doing? What were they going to do? Most importantly, what happened to them to make them who they are?
This is where I searched, not “researched” but just simply searched. What did I find while working through my day that caught my attention and held it? Why? How can I use this in a story?
For example, I had in my possession a VHS tape from my Dad. The tape was titled “Challenger.” Back in the day my Dad would set our VHS player to record events whether it be a sports game he didn’t want to miss or copying a movie off TV to watch again later. On this day he decided to record the Challenger lift off and caught the explosion. The rest of the tape were clips of news reports from that evening and any report he could catch the following days, weeks, and even months. He had hours of footage. Many news anchors and so many mustaches. I watched it all again recently, sitting in front of my TV, like a little kid watching the Saturday morning cartoons. I could not get enough of it. Of course, we know now what happened but after watching the hours and hours of footage my Dad had captured, they still only speculated. The tape ends as the news reports get shorter and shorter. Leaving off with more questions than answers.
I wanted so much to incorporate this into my story but, I couldn’t find a way to fit this with my characters that made it feel right. I moved on to the next thing that caught my attention. Just ends up this was story I went with…
My current story which is work-in-progress titled The Guilty Ones is about a sister and brother living their life in the shadow of their older sister who died, but not before she attacked her own high school. The story takes place several years later when the siblings are now adults. They begin to question their feelings of guilt, their life choices, and who their sister was and why they feel she did the things she did. What they discover about her, and their family, is more than what they expect.
At this point I’m about 75% through and I’ll be honest with you…I killed off a few people when I got bored and I have zero clue where this story is going. It’s a rough draft. Those people might live in the final edit. Or they might not exist at all by then. This is the fun thing about writing.
While I like my first manuscript, I see so many mistakes now once I’ve started to work on a new story. I realize I have grown as a writer but at the same time, this is only my second attempt and I’m still finding my personal formula for what works and what doesn’t. This is where many writers would say “read.” Read to learn what you like and want to write. Read to get ideas for a story. Read and educate yourself on writing techniques and editing. Then read more, just to take a break and fall into another world for a little while.
Behind the scenes of any writer is a laptop and a mess. Piles of crap everywhere. But our goal is by the time it gets to you, our crap makes sense and most of all…you enjoy it.
Thank you for reading. We, and I personally, hope you enjoy the work we do. Because while it’s for our happiness and feeling of fulfillment to create something new, we do it for you and your entertainment.
Nostalgic movies aways sound good in theory until you watch them again years later and realize, it’s best not to revisit your heroes. Here are my top 5″And I used to like this movie because…why?” Movies
Movie #1: The Last Unicorn
Boob Tree and Jeff Bridges. This movie has a lot of weirdness but as a kid I loved this movie. For one, there is a unicorn. But a prince, a magician, a cat who has more personality than I do, and we can’t forget the drunk skeleton. Though my husband did until I yelled out “UUUNNN -IIIIIII- CCCOOORRRNNN!” To which he responded “OH YEAH! That part.” I’m not going to try to explain this movie. It’s best left at just knowing there is a boob tree without actually having to watch that scene. But the deal breaker when watching is as an adult is Jeff Bridges voices Prince Lir. As an adult I associate Jeff Bridges with The Dude.
I have issues. I realize this. I just can’t get over the voice acting. Also he sings and it’s just really uncomfortable.
Movie #2: Little Shop of Horrors
This movie is beyond ridiculous. Plant from outerspace is matched with a guy who is down on his luck. Together they change the world and eat a few people. The plant does, not the guy. Feel I should clarify that. I repeat – the main character Seymour does not eat people. I want to also note that this movie is a musical and with enough alcohol…let’s just say I no longer drink and watch Little Shop of Horrors for reasons my husband won’t let me forget. Really that is the only reason this movie is on the list. I am embarrassed at how I can’t watch this movie without singing along. (Husband edit: I see no problem with this.)
Movie #3: Mac and Me
I don’t even fucking know. We’re just going to keep moving.
Movie #4: Super Mario Bros.
Do you have any idea how many hours I have invested in this video game?
Do you have any idea how excited I was for a movie version?
Do you have any idea what this thing is?
I DON’T EITHER! It sure is hell not from the video game. Google says it’s a goomba but I refuse to believe this because this is a goomba from the actual game…
I hate the person who green light this. I’m still okay with you, John Leguizamo. You’re still cool.
Movie #5: Teen Witch
Besides the fact that the guys face in this screen shot is priceless, Teen Witch was by all accounts a fun movie to watch when I was younger. Everyone had their John Hughes movies and while they are classics, nothing is as good as Teen Witch when it comes to coming of age movies. Then it was on Netflix not to long ago. I watched it and hid my face in shame. I use to love this movie but there is a particular rap song you just really need to see for yourself.
That’s all I’ve got for this post. And below are the other girls who I dare to top that.
Okay, I’ve got business to attend to so lets write this bitch.
“Promptly penned” is where we pen a story that was prompted. Going for brevity on the explanation.
This would normally be where the story ends, if this were a story; the world has been saved, the prince found his bride, and there’s nothing left to do. Only this isn’t a story and the loose ends that are left belong to people that aren’t the prince, or the dragon, or the little goose girl. Fantasies lead you to believe there isn’t a story beyond the last page of the book. The bears come home and Goldilocks runs away but, what about the baby bear who no longer has porridge? Do they go to bed hungry, having to portion what is left of their meal for them to eat? Do they eat at all? Losing their appetite after finding their home and sanctuary violated. Though to be honest, who goes out for a walk with uncovered food on the table? You’re just asking for ants.
But here I am, sitting at a round table with a real cloth, table cloth. Not the sticky and scratchy vinyl stuff. Watching the wedding party dancing on thickly lacquered wood floors, lost in deep thoughts. Thoughts about where stories really end with a few tangent thoughts about what the bartender over in the corner has on his mind. Doubtful it’s the porridge he left cooling on his dinning room table. His eyes glance up to the bride and groom dancing the night away, enjoying a dream come true and I helped them. I threw the party where they met, I encouraged them to court when both asked me about the other, I invited them to my house for events where they could attend as a couple, I listened and counseled them when they fought, and encouraged them to work through the rough patches. I’m also pretty sure they banged on my couch. I’m not exactly thrilled about that last part but my dog also puked on the same couch so the defiled rating for that piece of furniture is pretty high.
Their story as husband and wife will continue to a two part movie sequel involving buying a house (part one) and having kids (part two). My story was part of the script until it was cut out and left on the writer’s floor. An important detail but not necessary to the fantasy anymore. I’m just a loose end to someone else’s fantasy and my story is unfinished. Today, I think I am going to write the rest of my story. I will be the Frasier to their Cheers, the Mork and Mindy to their Happy Day’s, and the Torchwood to their Dr. Who. Sure, it’s a spin off story at best but, the bartender is smiling at me and for the record; Penguins of Madagascar is still a better movie than Madagascar. By all accounts, I still have a good chance my story can be the fantasy I dreamed of.
Thank you for reading. Here are the other participants:
Life got in the way of writing. However, the goals are simple and I know I can finish my manuscript before November. I can’t say nothing was accomplished, I still wrote a large amount. I just have a little more to go. Then I can pack that mound of word vomit away and edit it another day. Like the fact that after 50,000 words in I realized two characters are named after my mom’s dogs.
It was completely unintentional and I plan to fix that in the future.
Any rate, this installment of Random Wednesday asks the question, if you could rewrite any book, what book would it be and why?
Good question, here is the story:
Many years ago we were at a friends house, doing what friends do, hanging out. A guy in our group came up to me and my future husband to tell us about this amazing book he recently read. He’s not the smartest cat in the clowder and he’s named after a car so, for the sake of this story, his name is PT Cruiser.
PT Cruiser is the kind of guy that hops jobs not looking for a career but just to find that job he can make the most money at without it being too demanding and inconvenient. His full time dream is to be in a band that has some level of success while this pasty tattooed guy screams inaudible nonsense into a microphone. The fact that he picked up a book in the first place was overly impressive and that he liked it so much he was recommending it to his book-ish friends was something both my future husband and I took note of.
Whatever this book was, it was serious business. Very metal indeed. “It’s got vampires. You’ll fucking love it.”
The book was purchased and sat on a shelf in the “need to read” pile for sometime. My now husband had a busy hobby schedule and I found some free time before he did so I decided to pick up the book and read it first. I don’t like vampire books and was only reading because PT Cruiser talked it up. If this book captivated a non-reader so much, it has to be good.
Chapter 1 was completely awful. I sat on my couch arguing that I didn’t buy a word of what this teenage girl was saying, feeling, and whining about. Chapter 2 didn’t get any better. Chapter 3 – Game Over. That bitch went right back on the shelf and was used to hold the better books up.
Then it happened.
This book quickly became a best selling phenomenon. It took months of me hearing about Twilight that I finally made the connection, “Holy shit. That’s the shitty vampire book! We own that!” It was so popular my niece carried a copy in her purse at all times and my mom, who also isn’t a dedicated reader, picked it up and asked me if I had read this book yet because it was “amazing.”
At this point I felt like a cult was pushing me to join them in a suicide mission. How could these people love this book? Why don’t they see what I see. To this day, I still don’t understand.
My husband did eventually read it in it’s entirety. But only as part of an agreement with another friend who also recommended Twilight, that she would read Harry Potter. He was not persuaded to finish the Twilight series, she did read all of the Harry Potter books.
I get it. People make fun of Twilight for one reason or another because that is the fun thing to do. I’m not doing that here. I read the book all hipster style, before it was cool, and determined it was not worthy to push forward. I can honestly say without prejudice, I did not like the book and felt it was poorly written. I could not connect with the main character and found the writing lacking. Twilight was not able to hook me into the story and for that reason, I shelved it.
If there was a book I would rewrite, it would be this one. Problem though…I still don’t like vampires and while I wouldn’t mind reading a book that might convince me differently, the market is saturated with vampire books. While working through agent profiles I have actually seen the words, “Please, no vampires” more than once. To find the one book I might enjoy is a needle in a haystack.
Maybe one day, I’ll take a stab at vampires. Pun intended. If there is a story out there I want to read, maybe I just need to write it myself. Until then, I’ll write poorly written literary fiction with characters accidentally named after a couple of boxers.