Tag Archives: goals

False Verse

I have two kinds of poems in the pile: those based on a truth, however faint and hiding behind paint and glitter to make it more interesting, and those based on nothing. Often the nothing verse is technically better because I wrote it in school, carefully, for a grade. One of my nothing poems that I’ve lost now was about a beach in Rhode Island, where I’ve never been, and the professor, an acclaimed poet, said it was good. When I revealed the lie (because someone said the color of the water was wrong), he laughed and gave me an A. I felt good about that back then; I don’t now. (I wish I still had that pome however.)

The reason my poetry was often based on lies/nothing in the early years is because I hadn’t done anything yet. I hadn’t gone anywhere. There was no drama in my life, no big heartbreak. The poetry professors agreed with me that poetry could be fictional; only other students thought this was breaking some rule. I never questioned my own stance back then, since the professionals were on my side. And yet… and yet…

I’ve changed my mind, at least with respect to my own work. When I reread my old poems, I immediately know which is which. The false verse is hollow and dead on the page, no matter how “good” it is. It has no emotional resonance to me, no layering. But when I read one of the truthy poems, I feel the truth again, however old and buried. I know exactly what inspired me to write that pome. Of course I don’t know what someone else would feel reading it (maybe nothing ~ maybe they’d feel more reading one of the false verse poems), but the point is that I know.

I haven’t written false verse since I began writing poetry again several years ago. No matter what I write about now, something in the pome is true, even if it’s just one line or one emotion. These aren’t just words strung together for a grade ~ they actually mean something. Also, the old pomes I poast here for my loyal blogfans are the true ones only. No false verse for you.

Happy May! ❤

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Chasing Amish

In my continuing mission to read a variety of romance subgenres (cowboys and dragons done and dusted), I have now turned to the Amish. Apparently this is quite a big fu… fudgy deal. Justine McDaniel gives a nice overview of the bonnet ripper phenom, which is what inspired me to check it out myself.

The other day, I downloaded four Amish romances for my Kindle (free in Kindle Unlimited, natch ~ you didn’t think I would actually pay for these, right?) and got started.

First book: Fruitful Love by Michelle Eastwood. This is possibly the worst thing I’ve ever read. There was absolutely no plot, no conflict, nothing interesting in any way, shape, or form happening in this story. The characters were boring and had zero personality, no quirks, no flaws, no shiny spots, nothing. Girl meets boy, girl gets boy, the end. WTF? Saving grace: it was super-short.

Second book: An Amish Choice by Diana Morgan. OK, here we have a real story. I liked many things about this book. The protags were surprisingly real and flawed. They were extremely relatable and could have been any religion. The hero is a good man, but speaks impulsively and hurts people’s feelings. This is a problem for him throughout. The heroine is also a good person, but sometimes bitchy and irrational. Both of them are confused and have a hard time figuring out what they really want. Just like it is, you know?

Problems with AAC include POV shifting, typos, and annoying rando paragraph indents. Writers! Use block formatting for Kindle! Indenting looks like crap, and sometimes the uploading process double indents, or otherwise screws things up. Yucky. (I may not have fixed all mine yet, so shhhh.) But these could be (and are) issues with any books and have nothing do do with Amishness.

So, I had one good experience and one bad… and I bailed on the last two. I kinda get the idea now: a lot of baking, a lot of buggying, and a smattering of German.

Danke.

Sexy Amish

Ketchup

Hai hai howarya? It’s been a while. Hope all is well with my favorite blogpeeps. 

I know Anna Fondant has been busy… check out her latest poast.

I just finished It Ain’t Me, Babe, a super hot, super thrilling story of romance and bikers and cults and gore galore. Sort of like Sons of Anarchy on amphetamines. I told Anna about it and she was all like, DUDE, that inspires me to write a biker-dragon story. Oh yeah, Anna’s been writing dragon romance (what a nut). 

Me, I’m just trudging along writing that book that never ends, it goes on and on my friends… started in nineteen-eighty-nine, to finish would be so fine… but it’s the book that never ends, it goes on and on my friends…

I’ve also been writing dark poetry like a 14 year old, so that’s um er… interesting.

Sadly, I have not tried any new cupcakes, but I did notice something you can put on your list for my birthday next year ~ oooOOOOooo!

No cat pics today. Come back tomorrow. *mwah*

Quickie on Self-Publishing

This article came up in my personalized newsfeed and I thought it might be of some interest to writer peeps.

Self-publishing used to be synonymous with unprestigious “vanity publishing,” where well-off authors who couldn’t get their books into print by traditional means paid small, independent presses to publish them. But with the advent of e-books, social reading sites and simple digital self-publishing software and platforms, all that has changed. An increasing proportion of authors now actively choose to self-publish their work, giving them better control over their books’ rights, marketing, distribution and pricing. (Amy-Mae Elliott)

A good chunk of the article is basically an ad for Wattpad, which I’d never heard of, so I checked it out for my loyal readers. K, pain in butt… that was easy. You can’t browse for stuff like on Amazon; you have to log in and join a “community” to see what books are there. Stupid!

But this did remind me of how I’d planned to put Burnt Offerings up on Smashwords and forgot. So I’mma gonna do that today!

Anyway… point is, self-publishing is getting cooler and more mainstreamed all the time, just like online dating! Er, hopefully with better results. 🙂

HNY

Driving on empty road towards the setting sun 2014

 

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR to all my friends, fans, lurkers, stalkers, and the assorted nuts and bots who check out Light Motifs from time to time. Thanks for making my hitcount rise! Someday it will all translate into big bucks for me ~ I’m sure of it. 🙂

And a very special toast to my good fiend Roy at Blogorahmah who, according to my WordPress stat report, was once again my top commenter for the year. WOOHOO! Thank you, Roy!

I’m planning to have a happy, healthy, and super-productive/creative 2014. How about you?

Cheers!

Shades of Grey

I haven’t read the book(s). Though there is a side issue, raised by Julia Molony, which is that romance novels in general (and their sluttier cousins erotica) have been “hijacked” by consumerism. As though it’s not bad enough for women to be swooning over impossibly handsome men with bulging muscles, rapier wit, and the ability to read our minds and bodies at every moment, we also are swept away in rapture by the size of their enormous … wallets.

This disturbs Ms. Molony. If it’s not some glittering duke in his obnoxiously huge castle (with a swanky townhouse in London, natch) or a swaggering hunk of a pirate captaining the largest ship on the seas, it’ll be a ruthless CEO in an Armani suit slitting the financial throats of his competitors. Why can’t heroes be math teachers or cable guys or pharmacists? Must they always supplement their mad bedroom skillz with gifts of expensive jewelry and luxury cars and tropical trips for their ladylurves?

Oh, I don’t know, Julia. Why doesn’t Playboy ever have a 45 year old overweight centerfold? It’s so bothersome…

Actually she’s wrong. Like many writers these days, she has to find something to complain about to get an article published and bashing romance novels is always popular. In fact, there are plenty of ordinary guys in romances. Cops are a big fave and last I heard, they don’t make zillions of dollars. The novel I have slated to read next features a hunky Idaho veterinarian who is holding a kitten on the book cover (he’s bare-chested, so this is very brave). In 27 Dresses the actual hero Kevin was a struggling journalist.

So yeah, there are insanely wealthy men featured in some romance/erotica lit. And there are normal middle class heroes in other books. (True, you probably won’t find the unemployed drug addict. That’s a different genre.) And while back “in the day” romances did over-feature the 17 year old impossibly beautiful slim goddess virgin heroine, that isn’t true now either. You’ll find older women, heavier women, women who’ve been married and divorced, with kids, with problems, et cetera. There are a lot of books out there ~ all kinds of shades of grey, as it were. But sure, take a few and do your selection bias, Julia.

Well, I don’t care anymore what people think of romances/erotica. It’s one of the hottest markets and not easy to break into, despite the piles of trash out there. But that’s true for any genre and even “literary fiction.” This is why I’m thinking of going the self-pub route, for both romance and my other stuff. I work full-time and writing will always be a hobby, not a career, so I don’t want to spend much of my free time on researching various publishing houses, fretting over query letters, making submission/rejection charts, etc. I just want to write when I’m in the mood to write. That’s it.

The Tsunami

I’ve been stressed lately. Things pile up; you know how it is. There are good things too, but even so. I don’t do well with any stress. I like none, zero, nada. Stress makes me worry about more stress. It’s a spiral, a rabbit hole I dive down quickly. And I eat the cake.

I had the tsunami dream a few nights ago for the first time in years. It shocked me. I had assumed all the water/drowning dreams were gone forever. I was high up in an office building, with some other women (I don’t remember if I knew them), and my cat. I saw out the window that the water got sucked out of a pool first, which was different from past tsunami dreams, and of course silly. I was very worried about the kitty. We were right near the ocean, like always.

Asbestos Dust said once that dreams don’t mean anything, and I think that’s right. I don’t think anything really means anything, not even thoughts. We were talking about that the other night at writing group, how thoughts are just the output of a bodily organ and you would do well not to feel too tied to them. Detach and you’ll feel better. You don’t feel tied in the same sense to the output of your liver or kidneys, right? You are not your thoughts. If someone  insults your beliefs then, they aren’t really insulting you. Maybe this is what makes us (retired) flame warriors a little different from the norm. We just don’t really care, right? I don’t anyway. It also helps with writing.

As soon as I write something, I almost don’t care about it anymore. I can take any criticism. It’s nice to hear positive remarks; and of course it’s great to sell something. But negative feedback doesn’t bother me. I think this is why I had fun as a Usenet flamer too (except for the colossal waste of time, which I admit now became a significant issue) ~ while I posted I was in character, and when something was “out there” it was part of a story, more or less, and separate from me (whatever that is). So no insults touched me. The other veterans were relatively the same, I think. New peeps were horrified by this, natch. And you couldn’t explain it to them.

Anyway. Yesterday would have been my father’s 83rd birthday. Today’s the 5th anniversary of my mother’s death. At the end of the month I’ll be 52. That seems so old. My daughters are both in their 20s now.

I’m still trying to write a bunch and do all the things I want to do. But I’m tired.

Sprinkles ATM Cupcake

OK. I finally got to try a Sprinkles ATM cupcake after all this time ~ the ATM is only in select locations, the closest one to me being in Beverly Hills. I ended up there early in the morning on a Sunday, and I won’t regale you with my parking adventures, but trust me, they were epic, as usual.

Sprinkles ATM

As you can see, it is pink, and states quite clearly that it is a CUPCAKE ATM, so that you do not confuse it with something else. So far, so good. But things went downhill from there. First, it was early morning, as stated, and the sun was glaring right on the screen making it impossible to read anything at all. I had no idea what I was doing. None. But I could not leave without a cupcake! So I slid my credit card through the thingie and hoped for the best. (Hoped I did not get charged for 500 cupcakes or something.)

Nothing happened. I shaded my eyes every which way and barely made out some squares on the screen. I touched one. Still I had no clue what was going on. Could not see anything because of the glare. But I must have done something because things whirred and clanked and a box appeared ~ my cupcake!

I peeked into the box… bummer. It was a black and white (chocolate cake with white non-buttercream frosting and choccy sprinkles). Oh well.

Finally I could see the main screen a little bit ~ turned out there were only three cupcakes available that day: the B&W, an all-choccy, and a doggie cupcake. Ugh. That’s a terrible selection. I was a little worried about my credit card as I had no idea how much was charged, and there was no receipt, plus also no way to say I was finished with the transaction. But it turned out to be $4, no big deal.

I drove home with my precious. And I was determined to judge fairly, even if I had a little bit of a sad over the choice of cupcake ~ maybe it was a good thing to try a new flavor, right? Right!

BnW

The cake was very fresh. Peeps might think it wouldn’t be, coming out of a machine, but it was soft and nummy, and super-chocolatey. Even though choccy cake is not my fave, this cake was tasty plus. The frosting disappointed. I can deal with non-buttercream (I heart Sprinkles strawberry, forex, and it’s NB), but this was just… white. Had a nice texture, but its taste was sugarbland.

So there you go, the ATM cupcake review, done and dusted. I will eventually try Sprinkles ice cream, but not when the weather is so freezing.

My new year got off to a bit of a rocky start with many hours wasted on things that made me feel bad and not good, so I’m going to change that this weekend. It just takes paying attention to what I’m doing and remembering which things I want more of in my life, and which things less of (or eliminated). That sounds easy enough, right?

Preemptive Weenie

I don’t think I’m going to do NaNoWriMo anymore.

Last month I made it: I wrote 50,000 words of a novel. I did this in 2011 as well, but it took around 6 weeks and I “inadvertently” did it in September-October due to a request from an editor to novelize a short story. And several years ago I managed to hit the goal a few times as well. So, I’ve proven I can do this; it’s not a one-time fluke.

But it took a lot out of me. I totally messed up my sleeping schedule and now it’s a week later and I’m still exhausted and not in a good place. Sleeping erratically is  bad for migraine sufferers. I hardly went to the gym in November (maybe two or three times in the month instead of per week like I should) and feel bad about that. But I’ve been too tired this week to go after work. I also didn’t eat right because of trying to spend all my free time writing rather than bothering with much grocery shopping or meal prep. So it was basically carb city around here. I had cinnamon toast for dinner many nights.

I don’t think it’s worth it.

It’s not like I never write otherwise, though I have to admit I would never write this much. And it isn’t “all crap” as some people like to disparage the NaNo output. I have some good stuff to work with and will definitely turn what I have into another romance novel and submit it somewhere. I’ll need about a month to edit and add to what I wrote in November and it’ll be good to go.

Yet I’m not going to do it again. That’s how I feel today anyway.

I want to get all my current writing (romance and non) in top shape to market and then begin new work. But this will be at a normal pace, not a frenzy. I need to have a regular routine of sleep, exercise, and semi-decent meals. I can’t live like a freaking hippie.