Tag Archives: writing

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

Sabotage

9 Oct

No, it isn’t just a Beastie Boys song.

Whether you like it or not, life will always try to sabotage creative works. Just as soon as you sit down to write, the phone rings, the dog has an accident, or the washing machine begins to spew suds all over your laundry room. It feels like the whole universe is plotting against you to prevent you from writing. That’s just how it is. No use complaining or trying to prevent it. It is an unstoppable force of nature. The only thing to do to save your sanity is  to recognize it and accept it.

For me, sabotage comes in various forms.

Self Sabotage: I sabotage myself accidentally on purpose.

Example: I sit down at my computer to write. First, I decide to check my emails. Then I will start to write, or so I tell myself. An hour later, I am trying to beat my high score on the Phineas and Ferb game on the Disney Channel website.

Familial Sabotage: My lovely family members also work as saboteurs on the side. They don’t do it on purpose, but somehow, they have an impeccable ability to interrupt me at the exact time I am just about to reach my writer’s climax.

Example: I love my husband to death. He is very supportive of my writing. But for a week straight, he somehow always interrupted me every time I sat down to write. During my lunch break, as soon as the pen hit paper, he would call my cell. When I finally managed to escape to my writer’s office in the basement, fire up the computer, and start typing, the inevitable sound of his footsteps would thunder through the basement not five minutes later, right on time.

Furry Family Members Sabotage: My dog’s thought process: “Oh, she has the computer in her lap and looks all comfy on the couch. Time to piss.”

Example: My dog, Tama, is as annoying as he is cute. I could be up and about the house for a whole hour, offering him a chance to go outside every fifteen minutes or so. Did he take those ample chances to do his duty? Hell no! But without fail, the second I sit down with the computer to start writing, he is at the door giving me the you-better-get-moving-or-your-carpet-will-become-a-nice-shade-of-yellow look.

Technological Sabotage: Whether it is the dryer, the washing machine, the computer, or the entire electrical grid, if something can go wrong, it will.

Example: I get home from work, all revved up and ready to write, only to discover my water heater had finally given up the ghost, but not before flooding my entire basement. Talk about raining on my writing parade.

So these are a few examples I could think of. Like I said before, there is no use in trying to avoid it or fight it. Shit happens. Grab a shovel. Take care of it. Then write and pray the universe will give you more time before sending shit your way again.
C. L. Parson

Numbers Game

2 Oct

This post goes hand in hand with my post “Making Time”. Once I made the time for my writing, an amazing thing happened. My writing actually got somewhere. Color me surprised. And I actually was!

For each hour I wrote, my word count went up. A word count goal to a writer is like heroine to a junkie. Picture me, disheveled, sitting in my car and eagerly scratching at a note pad. Every five minutes, I pick up the note pad and begin to count the words I wrote. Shy of my goal, I grab my pen and feverishly scratch at the pad once more. Finally, I reach my goal. I throw my arms in the air, “Success!” I am sated until the next day when my fix is due.

Word count goals can also be my downfall. If I set them too high, I am doomed to fail every time. I have to be realistic. It is much more satisfying to set a modest goal and succeed than to set a ridiculous goal and fail.

Another risk I face is the temptation to stop and count my words every other minute. This can halt any real progress I am making, and my poor muse ends up with a serious case of whiplash. Instead, I try to guesstimate as I write. I know I write somewhere around 250-300 words per page. It is a lot easier to keep a page count straight in my head without having to stop writing. At the end of my session, I know about how much I wrote.

That doesn’t mean I don’t count each word after my session. Hell yeah, I do! But, at least I have the willpower and the grits to wait until my writing session is finished to count. Most of the time, I find myself within 20-50 words of the figure I ball-parked.

But the ultimate ecstasy is reserved for when I add a day’s word count to the word count total for my novel. At that point, angels sing from the heavens, the lion lays down with the lamb, and everything is right with the world. I go about my day, a stupid grin on my face. If I glowed any more, I would be radioactive. I may get strange looks from passersby, but it doesn’t matter. On these days, I’m the victor fit to wear the title “Writer”.

This is what I look like when I meet my word count goal.

Making Time

26 Sep

I was out to dinner with my mentor and we were both complaining about not having the time to write. We asked ourselves the reason for putting our art on the back burner. We came up with a spectrum of reasons from guilt to America’s puritan heritage. Would it be considered selfish to spend my time writing a fictional novel that has not made me one red cent or washed one dirty dish instead of doing something else that others may deem “more productive”? How could I battle my guilt and self-loathing for locking myself in a room with my computer when I could be spending more time with my family?

For me, it was about making the time for my writing when and where I could avoid the guilt and distraction. After looking at how I spent my time during the day, I decided that my lunch break would be perfect. It would give me an hour where I’m away from everyone and everything and I could just write.

Easier said than done. There are days where I am lazy, and I rather spend my mid-day break watching stupid YouTube videos than write. To be honest, there have been times where I skipped my hour-long writing session. However, these days are few and far between.

It is much easier to write once you have the momentum going. It is like brushing your teeth or your daily BM. Your mind knows what is coming next, so it transitions into writing mode much faster and easier than it would if you hadn’t been writing everyday.

Once I made the time for my writing, I was able to finally finish my book. Maybe it will work for you too.

 

C. L. Parson

Killing My Darlings and Disposing of the Bodies

20 Sep

Yesterday, I did some hardcore rewriting. It left me drained and oddly excited. Below are all the grisly details. Viewer discretion is advised.

Let’s start with the murders, shall we?

And by murder, I am talking about the twenty pages I completely trashed. I debated with myself about throwing away so much work, but in the end, the murdering of those pages helped make a stronger manuscript.

What about the bodies?

The twenty pages included some important information I still needed in order make my novel work. I shifted through all of the shit to find the bare essentials. I wrote them down on note cards to remind myself that these “bodies” needed to be relocated. Then on the back of the cards, I jotted down some ideas about where the “bodies” can go in the novel without it feeling like an info overload while still contributing to the natural flow of the dialogue. Below is one example.

The front of the card AKA the corpse

Back of the card

Seeing RED

After I had a few ideas about where to dispose of the bodies, I began to rewrite the manuscript. It began innocently enough. I told myself I was just going to read through it and make a few notes if I didn’t like something. I ended up doing more slashing than Freddy Krueger at a sleep study clinic. Below is a picture of the carnage. Oh, the humanity!

Avert your eyes!

In the words of Catherine Scully, a friend of mine, “that, my friend, is a lot of red ink.” (You can find Mrs. Scully on twitter @CatMScully. She also has an awesome blog: cscullywriter.wordpress.com.)

Instead of cowering in fear, I find myself rubbing my hands together, sharpening my knives (red pen) for round two. Muahahahaha! Manuscripts beware. There is a killer on the loose.

C. L. Parson

booknaked

Stripped-Down Book Reviews

Natalie Breuer

Natalie. Writer. Photographer. Etc.

philosophie et existence!

blog de philosophie imprévisible, dir. Jean-Paul Galibert

annamosca

Poetic Landscapes Of The Spirit

Street of Dreams

A literary blog of poet, playwright and essayist Rachael Stanford

ellisnelson

children's author

justlatsblog

4 out of 5 dentists recommend this WordPress.com site

HarsH ReaLiTy

A Good Blog is Hard to Find

Robin Reynolds

Writer, artist, entrepreneur. Purveyor of big dreams and glittery things. Engaged in the business of redefining creative success.

Book Hub, Inc.

The Total Book Experience

Slingshot...Fiction, Adult, Romance, Fantasy Stories

Blogging words unspoken, with Cowgirl Celeste www.slingshotbaby69.wixsite.com/slingshot

Shifa Naseer

My blog is my kingdom and words are my subjects

A Pen Full of Vinegar

Who is my ideal reader? Well, ideal means non-existent. I have no notion of whom I’m writing for. Guy Davenport

Cinthia Ritchie

Author of "Malnourished: A Memoir of Sisterhood and Hunger" and "Dolls Behaving Badly"

The Thriving Creative

Where creativity and business collide

The Bearded Presbyterian

A Confessional Presbyterian Resource

ChichiKir

A writer writes...

Katherine Alton

Houses of the Broken and Other Stories

Mesh

A science-fiction series

Books I Read

Curious reads and finds

Studio Tendra

Explorations of digital publishing, literary apps, bookish websites, and other readable creations

WHAT THE HELL

Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like

quest2publish

My journey to get published from humble beginnings to becoming a published author.. One day soon ...

Life is a story. Write it.

Author page for Timothy H. Scott

Amy Trueblood | Author

A wink, a smile, and a happily ever after