Archive for Writing

I’ve moved!

Please check out my new blog on my website. All of the content from here is over there now, including the comments and pages and everything. Huh. Can you tell I’ve been procrastinating on that whole La-No thang? 🙂

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People behaving badly

The Internet surprises me sometimes. Why is it because we only see a computer screen when we communicate online that we think it gives us permission to act like an ass?

I was really quite shocked to see a post by an author whose books I quite enjoy about how she is being treated in the blogosphere, merely for voicing her opinion. Disagreeing with a person is one thing, but to go on and call her names like bitch and c**t is unacceptable, in my eyes. As a human being (whether she’s a published author or not) would you say things like this to her face? I seriously doubt it. And I don’t really get this whole “well, she’s not nice to me online, so I’m not gonna buy her books.” crap. When I read, I look for an enjoyable, well-written story. I have a few tried and true favourites I read no matter what, and quite frankly, it’s never occurred to me to judge how they behave online to determine whether I’m going to like their book or not. I think the only exception to that would be an author who was posting actual hate messages based on race or religion or was actively scamming readers. But past that? Ppffft. I got better things in life to worry about.

And, yeah, I’ve been in the middle of a few issues myself, where I finally just walked away from the computer to keep from being a little brat and sinking to this level… like my whole lawsuit issue from a month ago. Yes, I could have pointed you all to this author’s website where she has spelling mistakes on the page she’s trying to market herself as an editor, or told you that her book was one of the worst I’ve ever read, and I was only promoting it because of my involvement in it (true or not), but what good would have come of it? It’s my own conscience I have to live with at the end of the day.

So, it upsets me when people get bent out of shape when I honestly try and help. There’s a forum I frequent daily. On it, an author promotes herself as a grammar professor. Only, she’s giving out incorrect information. And THAT pisses me off. But everytime I try and correct her, not saying, hey, you’re wrong, but actually giving citations from style guides and dictionaries, she gets all bent out of shape basically saying that I don’t know what I’m talking about and she doesn’t care. Well. Ok. Fine, don’t care, but if your whole justification is because “SpellChecker” doesn’t catch it? Uh. yeah, there’s a reliable source. I mean, I blame the entire advertising industry for the rampant misuse of the apostrophe, and I’ve seen countless books that misuse of that/which/who, so to say that one copy editor in one publishing house must be right? Yeah, I’d still rather go to the style guides. (which, actually, was my advice.) And, sure I could have been snarky, but what purpose would it serve? I posted the rule. Let other people make the decision for themselves. I don’t see the point in weakening my comments with nasty talk.

Please don’t get me wrong, I can be a bitch with the best of them. Hell, I grew up with three sisters. 🙂 But I try and keep my behaviour online the same as if I were saying these things in person. Because, when you say them, you may not see anything but a computer screen, but there’s still a human being on the other end of that computer screen.

La-No-Wri-Mo Day 4

So, I’ve learned a few things.

1. I don’t like people to know I’m writing. I especially have a hard time writing in front of anyone… like Mr. Pink. I *should* be able to pull out the laptop and write away while he’s watching sports (doesn’t matter which one, so long as there’s grown men fighting over a ball or a puck.) Yet, I can’t. It could have something to do with the fact that I know at any given moment a giant head can descend, blocking my view of the screen and getting a little motorboat action. (You did read the post where I said I’m 12, right? 🙂 ) But really, I just have trouble talking about what I’m doing. It’s like writing is something I have to do in secret, then, when I’m done, sneak out and go “Hey! Look what I did.” Yes, I’m wierd. Deal with it.

2. I have way too much shit I should be doing instead of this La-No. Wayyy too much.

3. I don’t care. I want to finish this book.

So, I’m gonna try and give updates, but it doesn’t look likely. I will however keep the word-count meter current, so feel free to keep an eye on that.

And just pretend I’m not writing. I’ll surprise you at the end.

The IT industry is full of twelve-year-olds

Throughout my career, I’ve edited in all sorts of industries, from tax information to legal manuals to retail flyers to BDSM stories. Right now, I work in telecommunications, and as I’m working on today’s assignment, I keep finding myself giggling at some of the words being used. Mostly, I think, because in an instructional manual, you don’t expect to see words like dongle, plenum, and smurf. I’m convinced that only a twelve-year-old would come up with words like these. And, since I’m 12 too, I giggle.

Heck, at least it’s keeping me interested in what I’m reading… There’s not a whole lot of other excitement in directions on how to install a server. Really.

 And yes, I need a La-No update. Will be posting one later today. With a word counter so y’all can point and laugh.

A La-No-Wri-Mo Chant

I allow myself to write crap*.

Ohm.

I allow myself to write crap*.

Ohm.

I allow myself to write crap*.

Ohm

* Crap that is poorly spelled with bad grammar. I can fix it later. (snicker. yeah, right.)

La-No-Wri-Mo Starts Today

I know I’ve been talking about it, but whether it was actually gonna happen was a whole other story. But today is the day I’d planned on starting La-No-Wri-Mo (Lara’s Novel Writing Month). And, today is the day I found a jump drive that had been missing for many months that has the first chapter and some sketched out dialogue bits and a synopsis of Losin’ It, which is the story I’d planned on working on for this La-No-Wri-Mo…. It’s a sign.

Now, Losin’ It has evolved considerably since I first saved it to the elusive jump drive… for one, I’m gonna switch it from third to first person. For two, my hero has gone through some serious character changes. And for three.. I’m determined to actually finish it this time.

So, I think a chick-lit, which is what Losin’ It is about to become, is at least 80K. Don’t know that I’d be able to write 80K in one month, so my target is a rough first draft of about 50K, which works out to 6 pages a day, every day for the next month.

Can I do it? Well, we’ll see. I’m gonna publically humiliate myself here and post my daily totals. Feel free to bitch me out if I’m don’t or I’m not succeeding. Maybe public flogging is exactly what I need. *grin*

Wanna join me? Post your daily totals in here too… If there’s enough of us, maybe I’ll start a yahoogroup or something.

Ok. *deep breath* here goes.

The Weasels are Gonna Get Ya…

Funny, it sounded so much prettier when Gloria Estefan sang it.

 Yesterday was full of revelations. I was more than a little bothered by the negative response to the opening scene of my current WIP… Normally, my response to this kind of feedback is to give up. Pathetic of me, I know, but there you go. I leave it for a while until the call becomes too overwhelming, go back, try again, then find another excuse to quit. It's a giant vicious circle.

But I got to thinking…I'm a self-admitted anal perfectionist control freak. It makes me a darn good editor, but doesn't do too much for my letting myself go and just writing a rough draft. And it's these high expectations, this perfectionist behaviour that demands a publishable quality from my writing at first draft. And it is ridiculous for me to expect that…from anyone… including myself. So what if people had problems with my first draft? Does that mean I can't fix it? Does it mean I can't make it better? No… so what the hell? 

Then I started looking at what I'm writing. The best feedback I've received was for my chick-lit stuff. (Although, I'm still trying to figure out how a poser-wannabe vampire somehow made that a paranormal, but whatever. 🙂 ) So why do I keep pushing myself into writing something that I'm not as strong in? Why not let myself write the way my voice wants to write, in the story my head wants to write? 

Part of that is the market, but part of it is my own self-doubts, my own weasels who tell me I'll never be able to write a world that will completely transport my readers the way my favourites do. But how will I know unless I try?

  So I'm off to find weasel traps. Maybe if I can catch the little suckers and get them the heck outta here, I'll be on a better track.

Can’t win either way

I’ve been writing again.

 Then, I made a big mistake. I put up the opening scene of the short story I’m working on up for critiquing… and I’m discouraged by the response. This is my dilemma… there are times when I need to know if I’m going in the right direction, whether it sounds right, whether this former girl guide, goody two shoes can really write steam… and critiques send me in the wrong direction, because that’s not the way it’s “done.” Just because the fictitious rules say you have to explain, doesn’t mean that it’s wrong because I wait until a more appropriate moment… a moment when my hero isn’t ruled by his dick, but by his head. I believe there should be reality in my fiction, and I know no man who will turn down sex with the woman he loves merely because he shouldn’t. Damn the consequences, storm the torpedoes and all that.

So, I’m disheartened. Is it no good? Or should I just plow ahead and finish it the way I’d planned?

The problem is… if I wait for CPs and betas until I’m done, then I’m not in a mood to go back and rewrite the whole thing… I’m done. This is the way I want it. I’d want to know to switch tracks while I’m at the fork, not after I’ve taken the road less travelled. But if the decision to take the fork is the wrong one, and sends me to the pits of despair, then am I really better off?

 I think not.

Give me pink what?

Ok, We’ve already established that I’m a total stats whore. Fine. But every day, someone visits my blog by doing the search “Give me pink Lara” or, to shake it up, “Lara give me pink”. Now. Whatup with that? Is it the same person? Cuz, seriously? You might want to just bookmark the site if you’re going to keep coming back every day. And if it’s not the same person, just a different person every day doing a search for give me pink lara? What they heck does it mean??

 And, while I’m thinking of it, how is it pointing you here? I tend not to advertise a whole heck of a lot my pink identity over here. Just as I haven’t decided if I want to identify Lara over at a certain pink site. (And I’m not going to right now, mostly because of the aforementioned stats whoring… and certain visitors I’d rather not have making the jump) But still, what do you want a Pink Lara to give you?

Woohoo! My first lawsuit threat!

Hmm. I've started this thread a couple of times, and each post has been more me defending myself than actually having something intelligent to say. So, the title says it all. An author whose name was somewhere on this blog has threatened me with legal action if I don't remove his/her name. The name is gone now, but if you've read through my site, you'll notice it missing. 🙂

Now, a couple of things here.

1. It seems to me that I have to go with "there's no such thing as bad publicity." If I'm trying to market a book I've written, personally, I'd be happy to see it on as many people's blogs as possible. Unless, of course, they all said, "Lara's book is the worst piece of shizznit I've ever read." Cuz I think that may fall under the bad publicity rule… *grin* (And I'd hope that I had a publisher that was smart enough not to publish the worst piece of shizznit ever, too. 🙂 )

2. I have a lot of authors mentioned in here… Books I've read, books I've worked on, books I'm going to be pimping (like a gushing viral blog about the totally awesome Angel with Attitude that I've yet to write.). It's never occurred to me to ask an author's permission to mention her name in my personal diary. (And, I would imagine many of my favourites would have better things to do than worry about me putting their name in a list on a blog that gets 40 visitors a day. *grin*) And I can't imagine that the blogs that review whatever the author is reading have done that either. But, please, correct me if I'm wrong.

3. I've had other bloggers mention my blog and point people here, and none of them have asked my permission. And frankly the only thing I have to say about that is… woohoo! people read me!

So let me ask this of the blogosphere… do you ask permission to mention a name? Do you care?

And, is your name on here and you wish it weren't? Cuz seriously, a simple, hey! Lara! Would ya mind takin' it off? would totally suffice. Although, come to think about it… whatever happened to freedom of speech? And what exactly would ya sue me for? She… she.. she said my name! I want a million dollars in damages! (um, yeah, good luck with that…. there's $82 in my account. :P)

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