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How To Tell If You Are a Writer

25 Jan

You read this blog and other musings that are similar, knowing these experiences and reflections to be true and that they are shared by the majority of writers. You are painfully aware that the world, time, your family, your job, school, the dishes, the laundry, the dog, and everything else in your life should take priority in your life, but you cannot deny the itch to write. You know that writing will more than likely fail to feed your family, pay the bills, and put your kids through college. But you do it anyway. Despite everything, you still write. There is no doubt about it. YOU are a Writer.

C. L. Parson

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Every End is a New Beginning

9 Jan

On December 12th 2012, 13 days before Christmas, I found out the baby I was carrying had died. I was one day shy of being 13 weeks pregnant, but the miracle inside me had stopped growing at 9 weeks and the tiny heart was no longer beating. I could almost hear my own heart shatter. It was the hardest day of my life.

To help ward off depression, I threw myself into my book. I had finished the first draft, but the last 70 pages or so were all handwritten so I spent most of my time transcribing it on the computer. When I wasn’t writing, I was reading. Anything to take my mind off of what had happened. I wasn’t happy with my life at the moment, so I spent as much time as I could living the lives of the characters I was writing or reading about.

Now it is time to start living my life again. With the New Year comes new beginnings. We have all heard it before. Usually I would just roll my eyes. However, this year, I feel the saying is appropriate.

I finished transcribing the handwritten manuscript. I am now revising my book, which is much like writing a whole new book all together. But now I have a chance to make it a better book. I am not starting over, I am just making it better. I am better prepared for what I want the overall outcome to be and how to get there. It may not be the most fun. I don’t think anyone really enjoys the rewriting process. But the headaches and the frustration will all be worth it when I am finally able to hold my new, perfected book in my hands.

The same goes with my family and our hopes to add one more member to it. We are waiting a couple of months, but we have decided to try again after our loss. We are definitely not trying to replace our loss with a new baby. We are not starting over. Nothing will erase the pain we felt after hearing the news that our baby had died, but I know I will see my angel baby again one day in a place where there is no pain.  After our tragedy, we are now better prepared for all the possibilities, and when we conceive again, we will more than likely be paranoid and worry the whole 9 months. In the end, the worrying and the paranoia will all be worth it when I can finally hold my new, perfect baby in my arms.

C. L. Parson

MP900314066

Why Write?

7 Dec

Old Manual Typewriter

When I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders and my insides turn to jelly from the pressure of responsibility, I ask myself this question. Why write? After all, it isn’t the most lucrative career. Much like actors or musicians, only a handful writers break through to become super stars. The rest, who are just as talented, lead lives of mediocrity and midlist, never quite reaching best-seller status. If this were all about money, I would have chosen a career where I could make big bucks. I could have been an accountant, a doctor, a rocket scientist… a contender (come on, you knew it was coming). But instead, I have been working for five years now on an English degree. English majors are not known for their big paychecks. So obviously it isn’t just about the money.

Though I think of writing as my passion and my preferred career path, I still work an average 40-hour-a-week office job. GASP! It isn’t my dream, but it pays the bills. Though it isn’t about the money, I have mouths to feed at home. I can be a starving writer, but I won’t allow my family to starve. Many people would accept the careers they fell into, regardless of whether or not they are passionate about what they do. They wake up, go to work, come home, watch TV, and go to bed. Wash, rinse, and repeat ad infinitum. However, I am not like many people. No matter what I am doing, I continue to fight until I reach full-time writer status, the career I love. At work, I have a post it on my computer. It says, “I am a writer. I write books.” I have this to remind myself not to get too comfortable because there are bigger and better things ahead of me. I just have to get there. Why struggle and bust my ass for something that is never guaranteed? Because it is my passion and when one has a passion, one is willing to shed blood, sweat, and tears for it. My passion is writing books that I want to read. It is as simple as that.

Lastly, I think I write because I have an overwhelming desire to communicate with the masses. Though I write fiction, I try to include real world issues and ideas. Though there may be magic, ghosts, and dark entities, they are just mediums through which I deliver the bigger picture. I strongly believe that art should make a person cry, laugh, nod, or shake his head. As long as it causes a reaction, it is art.

That is why I write; because I have something to say, something that I am passionate about, and I want to get a rise out of you. That is the only pay I need.

C. L. Parson

NaNoWriMo Update

26 Nov

So far, my NaNoWriMo attempt this year has been laughable. When asked how my novel is going, I respond like this:

image

Seriously folks, I have spent maybe a total of two hours on my NaNoWriMo book “A Zombie Love Story”. I have maybe over 5,000 words. I only have another 45,000 words to go. Hey, glass half full, right? And I so thought this was going to be my year! Eh, whatevs. In my defense, I had quite a bit of hubbub going on. If nothing else at least I have a pretty cool outline I can flesh out into a book whenever I want to. That’s right. I have the power!

In other zombie-related news, how did everyone like the latest episode of The Walking Dead?

https://i0.wp.com/i.imgur.com/XZNND.jpg

C. L. Parson

A Little More About My Novel “ASYLUM”

7 Nov

What is the working title of your book?

 Asylum.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I go to school in Dahlonega. It is a very cool little town in North Georgia and I thought it was time to write a novel set in the old gold-mining settlement. As for the actual plot, I noticed I’ve read a lot of books about the paranormal and the supernatural, but these books rarely have ghosts. So, I thought it was time to write a scary ghost story. Other than that, it just kind of came to me as I sat in my kitchen. I was working on another book that didn’t really go anywhere. I let my mind wander and came up with the outline for Asylum. I was so excited about it, I scraped the old book and began working on Asylum.

What genre does your book fall under?

 Horror.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in the movie rendition?

I would love for Olivia Wilde to play Jet. I believe Wilde would be able to portray the evolution of Jet. There are some emotional and violent scenes in this book and I believe Wilde’s talent would be put to good use in portraying what Jet goes through and how it affects her. As for Sawyer, I think Joe Manganiello would be a good choice. He can be tough as well as vulnerable, a flexibility that is essential to properly portraying Sawyer.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

Jet infiltrates the oldest asylum in Georgia to discover the truth behind her sister’s suicide only to be admitted as a patient and forced to fight for her own life.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I hope to go the traditional route and get an agent. But first, I must finish polishing my manuscript.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

A little under two years.

What other books would you compare this to within your genre?

I would compare it to Neil Gaiman’s American Gods only because we both include myth and legend as real beings in our novels. He is certainly a much better writer. I would also compare it to Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stakehouse series because the humor element is similar.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

Eventually, I would like to quit my day job and write full time. I hope to someday support my family comfortably with my writing, so that is really what drove me to finish this book. That and I absolutely loved the plot and characters.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

It is a unique story I have never seen done before. I wouldn’t have written it if it had been done to death. It is a ghost story that contains other horror elements revolving around the cultures of different groups in the US like the Cherokee.

C. L. Parson

And We’re Off… Kinda

1 Nov

It is that time of year again folks. It is that wonderful, magical month filled with caffeine-fueled dreams and wastebaskets stuffed like cornucopias with pages and pages of trashed ideas and dangling plot threads. Yes, it is officially time for National Novel Writing Month aka NaNoWriMo.

If you are not familiar with NaNoWriMo, it occurs every year in November. You have 30 days to write a 50,000 word novel. That means you must write at least 1,667 words each day to reach the goal. What do you get if you win? The ultimate in prizes: bragging rights. Sounds easy enough, right? 1,667 words a day doesn’t seem too bad. You might have the will power and discipline to complete your daily word count goal. (I know at least one Wrimo who can write all 50,000 words in 24 hours.) For the rest of us mere mortals, it can be a little difficult finding time for NaNoWriMo somewhere between work and family life. But as Mom used to say, it isn’t whether you win or lose.

The point of NaNoWriMo is to have a blast while writing alongside your fellow writers. The forums are awesome plot fodder in and of themselves. This will be the fourth year I am participating in NaNoWriMo and I have not won once. Why do I keep coming back year after year? It is just good clean fun. How am I doing so far this year? Not so hot. I have not written a single word as of yet. However, I did create an awesome book cover for my novel.

So give it a go. Everyone’s doing it. You know you want to.Visit their website http://www.nanowrimo.org to sign up and join in the shenanigans.

C. L. Parson

Using Podcasts for Inspiration

12 Oct

I am a podcast fiend. They help me get through the monotony that is my day job. But they have started to serve a much more important purpose other than just a mental escape to help me keep my sanity. To my surprise, podcasts have become wonderful inspirational tools for my writing.

First, I started to just browse around for podcasts that interested me. I am a huge fan of “We’re Alive”, a radio drama podcast about survivors of the “zombie” apocalypse. As I waited for new episodes of “We’re Alive”, I explored the realm of podcasts a little deeper. I am big into paranormal experiences, legends, etc, so I found a few podcasts about those subjects. These podcasts were like a match to a keg of gun powder. My mind exploded with ideas for my next novel. Though the podcasts don’t include all of the information I will need for the new plot lines, they provided a great springboard from where I can start my real research.

Podcasts are also useful in other ways. There are podcasts for everything. There are even podcasts about podcasts (shout out to “We’re Not Dead”). Even the most off the wall podcast has plenty to offer. There are some podcasts whose hosts make me cringe with embarrassment for them. They are obviously not cut out for radio. But that doesn’t mean they are boring. Far from it. The less polished the podcaster, the more I am able to “see” the personality of that person as they really are. I am talking about characters, people. I note their speaking patterns, the phrases they use over and over again but always in the wrong context, whether or not they have a slight wheeze to their voice, etc.

These subtle character traits help me develop dialogue that feels more true to life. Think of it as people-watching, only you don’t get those ugly glares back from the strangers you are staring at. And you wouldn’t believe what kind of personal information a perfect stranger will tell a microphone for millions to hear yet won’t tell a curious writer on the street.

I’m telling you, podcasts are a never-ending goldmine of plot and character ideas. Give it a shot and see for yourself. No need to thank me.

C. L. Parson

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