Friday, October 30, 2015

What I'm Not . . .

As an author, you'd assume I know what I'm doing. I don't.

I'm winging it just like the next guy. I'm constantly learning about the craft and will continue to do so until there's nothing left to learn . . . which I suppose is never. (And I love that!)

There's a difference between educating myself with the do's and don'ts of writing, soaking up all the tips, testing how to break the rules, etc AND a difference with learning about myself as a writer. Upon recent introspection, I've learned two major things about myself . . . and they're what I'm not.

1- I'm not a writer. Well I am ;), but I'm mostly a Rewriter. Some say it's not effective, it's not efficient, it's not the right way, etc, etc. I say, whatever (yes, with my non-writer's vast vocabulary I use "whatever"). For me, I find that writing my first draft is more like my outline. I have to see the ideas written in manuscript form before I can break them down and fix them. I revise a lot, and maybe others think it's unnecessary work . . . screw them . . . err . . . uh-NO! Kidding! Kidding! What I say is: it's my way of familiarizing myself with all the darn details and leaving just the ones I'm satisfied with. I like to see what's wrong and make it right.

I love being able to see the possibilities from the page and the words directly. For example, say . . . when you watch a movie or TV show and then rewrite the things you would change in your mind? That's what I do, except with my own work . . . over and over. And over again. I'm trying to work on cutting down the number of revisions, but overall this still makes me happy.

2-I'm not a "blow-your-mind-author." I'm more of an entertainer. There are authors who blow your mind with their genius work and wordsmith talents, and there are writers who are purely entertaining. They are there to take you away for a while from your everyday problems, well that's me. I write to take you on an amusing ride. You will not get philosophical thoughts, question your existence, or be traumatized. But you will laugh . . . given of course you can follow my sense of humor, for that have a drink or two while you read my work. 

So yeah I don't have "insightful OMGs," but I have "Hahahahah OMGs." You're welcome.

And now that I know where I'm at mentally as a writer—and apparently felt the need for you to know where I'm at—I'll continue on book three. I thought it was a good thing to share—maybe if you're feeling stuck, do some introspection of your own. No? Well you don't have to, but . . . it's liberating. Accepting myself is a good step to do an unofficial NaNoWriMo run. I'd do it officially, but "I'm not a writer." :P


What about you? 
What kind of writer are you NOT?

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Introducing the New and Improved SK!

Hi guys,

So I recently underwent some serious plastic surgery and changed my looks (cartoon looks) to resemble the real me. It's amazing really how I was captured so perfectly . . . I mean, this is exactly what I look like every single day. I even write in that dress. No, for real . . .

I wanted to create a customized "brand" so I hired someone, because you know what happened when I tried? Stick figures. That's what happened.

And I needed the picture to capture certain things about me, such as:

1-My sassiness.
2-My love for coffee, wine, and pizza.
3-My need for notebooks and pens.
etc, etc, et. . . 

I thought it would be a long process or something, but the artist nailed on the first try . . . 


I sent my wants with this grainy cell phone pic . . . 



And got this sketch:


So naturally, I said, "YES! I love it, thanks so much this is great!"

Then he said, "This is just a rough draft, calm your pants." Okay, so he didn't say it quite like that because he's a professional, but I'm a writer and I feel like embellishing a bit. Actually, he very humbly said it was just a rough draft. Just a rough draft . . . pffft! But me? I was wowed because I was sold on the "rough draft" just as it was.


Then he sent one with color! And I was in LOVE . . .

Yes, I realize I'm saying I'm in love with myself, but but but it's cartoon me . . . so it's okay, I think. Right? o_O

But she had lighter hair, so I was like . . . but I'm a brunette, can you change the hair color? And what did I do that for? It's after all an "improved me" but if you're curious, here it is:



And yes, it's great . . . but it loses a bit of spark I think, especially in the eyes where the lashes just blend into the hair. Anyway, that should teach me to trust the artist eyes in the future.

So the first one wins! Special thanks to Ricky Gunawan for the amazing work!

Say bye bye to this image:

 . . . It was great while it lasted! lol

And say hello to this:




Our resemblance is on point, right?
Right? RIGHT? :P

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Research—It Gets You in Trouble!

Doing research for your novels can get you in trouble, did you know?

At the moment, I wan't to believe that the FBI is closely monitoring all my activities. You see, I spent a good amount of hours looking into their infrastructures, locations, ranks, and many many more details of all things FBI. Obviously I needed it for my books. But like I said, I want to believe I've raised some kind of flag . . . the reality, however, is they saw me looking, they did a two minute check on me, laughed their butts off, rolled their eyes, and went out looking for the bigger scarier fishes out there. Pffft. I can be dangerous . . . ish. Ask my kids :D

So when I say research can get you in trouble—unless you're a real criminal—I don't mean with the big guys. I mean with more important people, like your family . . . 

. . . or  you know, people like your husband. Why are there so many half-naked men on your desktop, Darling SK? Oh, for my covers.  And why are there detailed descriptions of romantic scenes with your name and theirs? Well, I'm a writer. I have to put myself in the character's situation and . . . kidding, this didn't happen. But he has wondered if I'm working or enjoying myself when looking for casts. Like for Kevin. It wasn't my fault half the internet guys came up shirtless when I was looking. Or that it took a couple hours to find the right set of abs, I mean guy. But to answer his last question, of course I was working AND enjoying myself . . . it's the reward for the tough writing moments I go through.

You can also get in trouble with your kids. Umm, I may or may not have forgotten to make their dentist appointment the other day. Why? Well, I went online to look for the number and suddenly thought . . . hmm what if I have a fighting scene in a dental office? I need to know what equipments they have, the proper names, descriptions, etc. So then I spent the whole time researching and never make the appointment. But let's be honest, as writers, we all know this: by the time I'm done absorbing all the dentist-related information I'm a master and I can deal with my kids teeth check-up on my own. In fact I WILL call that office and demand they hire me . . . err, anyway . . . (Yes, I did finally make the appointment. Yes, I'll be taking notes while there. And yes, I'll be offering tips to the dentist, based on my knowledge.)

I can't imagine I'm the only one who gets sidetracked with research or who has questionable history in their browser. I mean, so what if we forget to make dinner because we're watching Netflix? It's research. What if you see an attractive person and you want to take a picture of them? It's for description purposes. What if you jump in and offer advice to complete strangers during their conversations? It's nosey-experimental research. Based on how your writing would go, you need to give them options and then listen in to see what happens. Or you know, run before they put a curse on you.


What are some of your funny experiences that happened because of research?

Monday, October 12, 2015

Guest Post: What You Think of Me is None of My Business by Karen Helene Walker

Today, I have the lovely Karen Helene Walker and she touches something all of us writers can relate to, read on to find out . . . take it away, Karen!

WHAT YOU THINK OF ME IS NONE OF MY BUSINESS
By Karen Helene Walker
Thank you, SK, for hosting me today.
Being a writer is not easy. Most of us are alone a good deal of the time with only our imaginations and stories and the characters swirling inside of our head to keep us company. I’m an introvert, so that suits me just fine. When I go out in the world, I have to shift from my inner world to dealing with other people’s thoughts and feelings and actions and behavior.
In the past, I’ve done that by people-pleasing. I was so desperate to be liked and to fit in that I subrogated my own feelings in order to please. I lived in fear that someone would get upset with me and stop being my friend.
You can imagine how that translates to a writer who puts her heart and soul into a book for six years and is now putting that book out into the world for others to read. What are they going to think? Will they like it? Will they hate it? Will they hate me for having written such a book? The thought of someone having bad thoughts about me made me so anxious it was almost intolerable. Until I read this sentence somewhere, I can’t remember where: What you think of me is none of my business.
The wise woman in me knows who she is and feels good about herself. She knows she was called to write this book and that she did the best she could with the story. So truly, if someone doesn’t like it, or doesn’t like me or makes some assumptions about me because of what I’ve written, there’s nothing I can do about it. Nor should I even try or even want to.
As writers, we are told to develop a thick skin, but that is easier said than done. We make our living with words, but words can harm us if we allow them to. Remember that saying from when we were kids: Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never harm me. I never realized how true that was because I lived my life allowing words to harm me. I’m hoping that with this book, that way of living my life ends.


Here’s the scoop on The Wishing Steps:
Three Women and a Single Story That Unites Them Across the Millennia
“Totally engrossing. A must-read for today’s wise woman!”Rev. Kathleen McKern Verigin, minister/priestess
Brighid, Ashleen and Megan: Bound through time by a curious light, a mysterious voice and a call they dare not ignore. Yet in obeying this strange force, the women must face soul-searing trials that call into question everything they know and believe — about themselves and about the world around them.
“Guaranteed to inspire you to a deeper level of spirituality and a new appreciation for Goddess.”Rev. Clara Z. Alexander

Karen Helene Walker is a widely published essayist and author of the 2009 memoir, Following the Whispers. When she isn’t writing, you will often find Karen performing in nursing homes and retirement communities as part of the Sugartime or Sophisticated Ladies musical groups, traveling with her husband of 20 years, Gary, or relaxing with a good book at their home in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Visit the author’s website at www.karenhelenewalker.com
The Wishing Steps will be available for purchase on October 31st in both print and ebook versions at: Amazon.com. You can also purchase it as an ebook on Kobo, I Tunes, and at Barnes and Noble.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

You're Dismissed — IWSG (26)

This is going to sound negative. Because it is. 

I don't like basking in negativity. But sometimes you feel down and disappointed, you know? And what is the use of a blog if I can't use it as an outlet from time to time? Besides, maybe some of you will relate. And if you don't, lie to me so I don't post about you next time! :P

I should start by saying that me, SK—the writer, is a complete secret to about 98% of people who know me in real life. Not that you guys aren't real, but there's a higher chance of at least one of you being a robot. Anyway, so the people who I've shared it with, obviously it's because they're important to me. The people in *this* life who I've shared the real me with, obviously are also important to me.

Over the past years that I've been doing the SK thing . . . rocking it, I might add. I've been extremely supportive to all these important people. In whatever aspect of their lives. I'm there if they happen to need encouragement, an ear, even as a cheerleader. I'm not saying this because I want a pat on the back. I'm not saying this because I expect much in return. I do what I do because I genuinely care. 

The thing is, at some point, you notice how you're the only one who cares. Maybe my writing is seen as just a hobby. Maybe it's my personality. Maybe it's because I don't voice my issues often enough. My concerns. My excitement. I'll mention things in passing, and I'll get talked right over. Yes, from people on both sides of my life. I like privacy and I'm an introvert so for the most part, this suits me just fine. But when I take time to tell you exactly what makes me sad or what makes me happy or say, "Gosh, I wrote a post I really liked." . . . Don't dismiss me. You know what I would do? I'd go check out your blog. I'd let you be sad, cheer you up, or be sad with you if that's what you needed. I'd happy right along and celebrate whatever needs celebrating.

I recently figured out that this is part of the reason I distanced myself from blogging. Also why I had a tough time getting Static to the finish line. If the people who are supposed to care about me—especially my closest ones who are even in this writing world just like you and me—don't care about what I have to write, why would others? 

But most importantly, I realized it wasn't me. It wasn't about me being selfish or wanting attention. It's a matter of respect. I share this important part of ME—the writer—with them, the least they can do is say "Yay, go you!" once a year. Once a year kills no one. Does it? Someone look it up for me.

Not having the support, we as writers need, hurts. So what took me so long to let it out? I wasn't ready to tell them this before—not that they'll read it. But, guys: You're dismissed. I no longer expect anything from you, and I shouldn't have in the first place. I'll still be there for you, because it's still who I am, but . . . Carry on.




I do have to say, moments like these help define us. It toughens us up. You think a low review feels bad? Nah, the people you care about dismissing you feels bad. I say dismissing them right back is step one, step two is don't leave this community of writers . . . they understand and care ;)


What about you? 
Has anyone in your life dismissed you or your writing?





This post is part of the Insecure Writer's Support Group hop.
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!  Posting is first Wednesday of every month. Click here for more info.