Wednesday, September 29, 2010

All About Perception

We're preparing for our third annual Halloween party this year. We decided to move it forward in the month of October for a few reasons, the biggest being the weather. See, along with the party, we do a trail through the patches of woods on our acre and a half of property. It's not much, but with the trees and the paths we have, it leaves lots of options for some creepy little set-ups. Of course we have our graveyard. And we have our boneyard. We also have an infestation of spiders and madmen this year.

It's gotten bigger and more extravagant every year. This year more so than others because I've been working on ideas for it for months and I plan to be working on what I don't have time to finish for this years' party for next years'.

When I first started writing and my books were full of ghosts and psychos, people who knew me were a bit confused. Those closest to me of course weren't confused in the least, but so many saw me as a person who would like and write kids' books or romances. I like kids' books all right, read many to my girls over the years, but I could never write one. I like the darker, scarier sides of storytelling, even while writing my fantasy novels.

I had one reader ask me why I wrote things so dark. Dark - that word can mean so many different things, and after the conversation, I had to wonder if the reader missed the message of the story. Yes, the characters were subjected to some terribly scary things, but in the end, they prevailed. So is that really a dark story or is it a story of hope that any obstacle can be tackled, real or supernatural? I guess it's all in how you look at it.

So here's to all of us who like the spooks and monsters of the fall season but who look to the brighter side of things all the same.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Some days

I'm an optimistic kind of person. I mean really, I'm lucky enough to have several worlds to run to if one or the other isn't cooperating. During the school year it was never much of a problem. While the house is empty of everyone but me, I work. I consider work the jobs I do for other authors, the dealings with bookstores and distributors, the non-creative part of my career. The problem lately is that I'm never totally alone.

I'm hoping it won't take long to adjust because I have quite a few people who are not going to be happy with me if I can't get my mind on work to get it done in the quieter hours and start "work" on my own books.

I have a little difficulty calling my writing, revising, and art "work." It is - I have to treat it as such or else it never gets done because I'll be forever bugged by people who only leave me alone when I'm "working." And if I can't unload the bundles of ideas my characters heap on me daily, it's not pretty by the end of a week. Still, writing my own books, doing art that brings to life the images in my mind - it's fun. No, not all aspects of my chosen profession are fun. It gets tiring to constantly prove your quality of work to stores and readers. It gets tiring fixing database glitches in places that should be watching their own dealings.

Just the same, I still have days when nothing clicks, where my brain won't focus on writing, revising, editing, database listings, emails, or even reading for research. It's not anything so fancy to need a name like writer's block because it never lasts too long. This is one of those days. So, it's best just to move away from the desk and dive into something purely physical - you know, cleaning house, gardening, monster building (I'll save that explanation for another day) the kind of things that let my mind rest and reboot. At least I hope so.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fresh starts

I've not done well at keeping up with this blog, despite my best intentions. I hope to be able to change that soon, and go back to what I meant to accomplish here - blogging about my wild imagination.

I recently finished the sixth book of my seven book series. I have to admit it was one of the most entertaining to create. It all started in the front seat of my Chevy Impala on the back of a receipt with a pen dug out of my 16 year old daughter's purse while we waited for my oldest to accompany her boyfriend out of the dentist's office. It was the first time I was ever thankful for our ridiculously long grocery store receipts.

I'm sure every person who passed my car along the side of the small street that day thought for sure it was filled with two crazies. After ransacking everything in the car to find something to permanentize our thoughts (resulting in finding the old grocery receipt) we laughed, we mimicked what each character would say to the others, and had the ages, personalities, and purposes for seven new characters.

I came home and jotted it all down in the tablet I had for the Disillusionment Series. But I kept the receipt too, despite the fact that if I looked at it now, I couldn't make sense of the scratching and scrambling scrawls of ink. I still won't part with it, just in case I might, at some point, need something on it again.

And while I'm writing this, I'm reminded that, while I have managed to stock my own purse with several writing utensils, I have yet to throw a few tablets into my car. I'm an odd writer that way, I suppose, but usually when an idea hits, it bubbles and grows happily in the back of my mind until I sit down at my laptop. The day Descended was begun was unique because my daughter and I both needed something to occupy ourselves. And while I could remember what I came up with, I wouldn't so easily hold onto my daughter's input.

And now my only chore is writing Retribution. The characters my daughter and I created that day outside the dentist's office star in it as well and help me bring the series I've worked on for several years to a conclusion I hope will continue to please the readers who have loved the first three in the series.