The Time Walk-Back

Novelist, Jack Remick, does an exercise with his characters, he calls “The Time Walk-Back.”

He picks up a character five minutes before the story opens. Then one hour before, one week before, one year before and five years before the start of the story.

I think I’ll try this with my WIP for a few characters and see what happens.


Image of Jack Rimick's Titles Jack Remick is a poet, short story writer, and novelist.

His work: Coffeetown Press is bringing out The California Quartet The Book of Changes , The Deification and Valley Boy,  Trio of Lost Souls.  Blood, A Novel was published by Camel Press in 2011. Coffeetown also released Gabriela and the Widow in 2013. Click here for the press release. Coffeetown published Jack’s book of poetry, Satori, poems in May, 2014.

On Reading Deeply and Honoring the Writer

wild rabbit in snowI’ve been working on a new novel and changing content and navigation on another website.

While I was busy with index cards, representing pages on the chat room site, I came here to sit with my personal blog. I needed to see how I managed my static home page. Deadly dull, right?

Well, I’m not getting paid for the work and that freedom makes me happy.

I have been researching, building main characters and settings for my novel.  I am finally past the busy work and settling in to write some scenes.

A novel is a huge, drawn out thing. By the time I revise three times and start earnest editing, my contemporary story becomes historical.

Because of this I am planning on writing some short stories and essays in the coming year. Things I can send out to publishers and wait for contracts to weigh down my mail carrier.

They say, I don’t know who ‘they’ are, but they say a writer needs to read broadly and deeply. She needs to see what others are doing and try to divine the secrets of the best of the best.

I have been reading two books.

The Pushcart Prize Best of the Small Presses XLII, a book of Short Stories. The first story in the book is haunting me. It is Catacombs by Jason Zencka. Well, all of the stories I have read in this book are far beyond my personal writing ability. I could spend weeks dissecting them to see why they haunt me after I close the book.

I’m also reading The Best American Essays, 2017. Today, every emotion was stirred by Eliese Collette Goldbach as she showed me rape and how deeply such a thing scars our souls. The essay is called White Horse and it appeared in the Alaska Quarterly Review.

By reading deeply we honor the writer.  I am disappointed that I may never have the Art and Craft of Zencka and Goldbach. I do intend to learn what I can from their gift to me, a faithful reader.

I will try not to let so much time pass between posts and until next time, don’t touch anything sharp.

Writerly Wednesday Welcomes Kimberly Jones

Welcome to this week’s  Writerly Wednesday.

My Guest, today, is Kimberly Jones.

BioPhoto of two happy people

Kimberly Jones is a professional early childhood educator. Jones was born in the small town of Saint George, South Carolina, on September 12, 1982. She graduated from Woodland High School in 2000, Benedict College in 2004 with a bachelors of science in child and family development, and from Ashford University in 2013 with a master’s in early childhood education.

Interview

 

  1. What is your favorite marketing task that has resulted in a sale?

My favorite marketing task is attending book festivals around. It is amazing who would be interest in your books. You can also network with other authors, publishers, and illustrators.

2.   What do you like about your publisher or why did you decide to Self-Publish?

I decided to self-publish because, I have the authority of being myself of my creations. If and Agent/Publisher would like to work me, I’m open as well.

3.   What do you have under your bed?

Nothing.

4.   Are you a plotter or a pantser when you are writing?

I’m a plotter when I’m writing.

5.   Do you write in a bubble or do you prefer critique groups, writing buddies or other companionship during the process?

I write in a bubble then I usually ask for family and friends to critique my work. I ask children what do they think about my books. I am always open to selective criticism. They are the readers.

6.   When do ideas come to you and how do you capture them?

Ideas come to me when I’m cooking, watching tv, or just around the neighborhood. I completely stop everything I’m doing and write it down. If I don’t have access to a pen or paper, I usually put it my cell phone notes.

7.      What is your favorite word processing program and what other tools do you use, pen, notebooks, white board, index cards, finger on
fogged bathroom mirrors?

My favorite word processing program is Word 2016. I carry index cards in my pursed when we go on vacations. When I’m home I use my sons easel to help me brainstorm ideas.

Blurb

Book Cover Art for A Mother's LoveA Mothers Love: The E.R.B. to my soul

This book is about mothers and the length they will go for their children. My mother leaving us was the most difficult thing we ever had to deal with. A mother is something that stays with us forever and will never be forgotten. My mother was our rock and we are a piece of her. We will always cherish her and remember all the good things she did for her family and community.

This book was created for parents explaining loss of a love one to their children. It’s always good to explain death and cry for someone you love. When a loved one dies, children feel and show their grief in different ways. How kids cope with the loss depends on things like their age, how close they felt to the person who died, and the support they receive.

Momma….Momma…. MOMMA!! The void will never be filled , and our hearts will forever remain lonely. Empty of your presence (talking about Edna’s excellence) and your motherly touch. We’re your product in which you loved so much. As every day goes by and the hours pass you’re finally in your Heavenly Home with Esau, Elijah and Mama Cora at last. We feel your strength even though you may not be around. In fact, we all know you’re in Heaven looking down.

Amazon Buy Link

See the other three titles by Kimberly Jones 

Thank you Kimberly Jones for being my guest.  I am wishing you best of sales.

Cleveland Chronicles – Dog Days of Summer?

Welcome to a delayed post of Cleveland Chronicles.

We are hanging out.

cleveland making a faceAccording to The Old Farmer’s Almanac we are past the Dog Days of Summer. Cleveland is stretched out on the hardwood floor casting me a doubtful eye.

So, here is the scoop..

According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, while you can find online and also on your oldest relative’s oak bookshelf, the “dog days of summer” refer to the period between July 3 and August 11 when the “Dog Star,” Sirius, rises just before the sun. This is called heliacal rising.

We haven’t been doing much. Cleveland can retrieve my shirt from a drawer and close it when he is done.. this is a behavior I wish I could teach to my DH. Cleveland can also turn off a light and close the door.

We have Public Re-certification coming up in mid September. We will be brushing up on our manners and keeping our teeth and hair brushed as well.

Till next time, don’t touch anything sharp.

Writerly Wednesday Presents Safdar Muttaqi

Welcome Back to Writerly Wednesday.

My Guest this week is Safdar Muttaqi

Safdar Muttaqi photo
Safdar Muttaqi

Safdar Muttaqi’s 

Bio:

Part Myth

Part Legend

All Reality

Loved By Few

Hated By Many

Understood By None

The Dark Romantic Of The Night and the only guy on the planet who writes Unsophisticated Fiction For Those Who Don’t Belong.

Check out Safdar’s Website

Dark Musings | Ahh I Am Dead

Official Site of evil thoughts and badly written fiction by a guy who should be a best selling freaky author & radical poet

Interview:

1.   What is your favorite marketing task that has resulted in a sale?

Advertising my website with a sinister visual on the back of one of my leather jackets. When it comes to writing – marketing – or whatever else I’m involved in – I like to think of myself as the walking definition of unconventional.

2.   What do you like about your publisher or why did you decide to
Self Publish?

Traditional publishers weren’t interested in my style of fiction. Self Publishing  was the next best thing.

3.   What do you have under your bed?

Spiders – dust – a box of comics – and plenty of broken dreams that can’t be fixed with glue or a needle and thread.

4.   Are you a plotter or a pantser when you are writing?

My brand of fiction is more about character and dialogue than plot. It’s a style of storytelling that only certain types of people will find entertaining. As a matter of fact – most critics would write my fiction off as – ‘All Style – No Substance.’

But that’s okay – my stories are designed to be read by those few individuals who are looking for something different and are sick to death of reading the same old crud the mainstream guys keep publishing.

5.   Do you write in a bubble or do you prefer critique groups,
writing buddies or other companionship during the process?

I work with only music and a cup of coffee for company. When you’re the God or Goddess of your own fictional universe – you don’t need anything else.

6.   When do ideas come to you and how do you capture them?

My ideas often come from comic books – late night B grade horror movies – music – and sometimes dreams. My most recent book – Safdar Muttaqi’s Forever Drifting Through The Great River Of The Sky was inspired by a woman I’ve never met but only seen on TV.

7.      What is your favorite word processing program and what other
tools do you use, pen, notebooks, white board, index cards, finger on
fogged bathroom mirrors?

Microsoft Word on my laptop when I’m in the house. When I travel I usually stick with a pad and pen.

The Secret To Unsophisticated Thinking: The Love Misery Cycle – Book One

cover art Blurb: 

A love sick fool.

A writer with problems.

A young mum looking for answers.

A little girl dancing with death.

A dark force from the past.

Buy Link 

THE SECRET TO UNSOPHISTICATED THINKING: LOVE MISERY CYCLE (Saf’s Unsophisticated Fiction For Those Who Don’t Belong Book 1) – Kindle edition by Safdar Muttaqi. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading SAFDAR MUTTAQI’S THE SECRET TO UNSOPHISTICATED THINKING: LOVE MISERY CYCLE (Saf’s Unsophisticated Fiction For Those Who Don’t Belong Book 1)


Second Title by Safdar Muttaqi

FOREVER DRIFTING THROUGH THE GREAT RIVER OF THE SKY: LOVE MISERY CYCLE BOOK TWO (Saf’s Unsophisticated Fiction For Those Who Don’t Belong 2) – Kindle edition by Safdar Muttaqi. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading SAFDAR MUTTAQI’S FOREVER DRIFTING THROUGH THE GREAT RIVER OF THE SKY: LOVE MISERY CYCLE BOOK TWO (Saf’s Unsophisticated Fiction For Those Who Don’t Belong 2).

Buy Link

Thank you for being my guest this week.  Your’s was a great interview to celebrate the return of Writerly Wednesday.

Come Back Soon for Another Writerly Wednesday Spotlight and Don’t Touch Anything Sharp!

 

Fiction Friday – Dysfunctional Office Scene

A Really Dysfunctional Scene

Welcome to Fiction Friday.

I haven’t posted a Fiction Friday in ages. This week I have a scene with Greg, an easygoing office manager and his employee, Mack, a type A who is doing everything he can to undermine, demean and resist his boss’s efforts to complete a big project. It is an example of a dysfunctional relationship.

out to lunch sign

“Hello Mack, how are you doing, today?”
“Okay, still working on this project.” Mack closed his manila folder and looks up from his desk. “Did you need something?”
“I just wanted to tell you I have the article for the front page written.” Greg held out his file.
Mack took the file and flipped it open. After skimming or pretending to read it, he says, “I don’t think you understand. You should redo this.”
Greg is flabbergasted.

Okay, now what do I do? Pick my battles? Screw this. I’m tired of it.

Greg shifted his stance, stood as tall as he could and squared his shoulders. “Mack, you are doing a great job but you seem a bit confused.”
Mack shifted in his chair and shot a look toward his computer screen. “Confused?”
“Yes. I am the lead manager. I am the guy in charge of this project. When I give you a file it is not for your approval. I’m not asking for edits, opinions or permission to go ahead.” Greg waited.
Mack shifted in his chair again. He shifted his gaze from the computer to Greg. He raised his eyebrows and waited.
After an uncomfortable silence, Mack spoke, again. “Well, I’m going to have to disagree.”
“You do know this isn’t a democracy.”
As Greg turned to leave he heard Mack mumbling behind him.

He always has to have the last word.

Greg shrugged off the tension in his shoulders and headed down to the coffee shop.

Greg returned a half hour later.  He rounded the corner and stepped into his office.

He sat down behind his desk and leaned back in his office chair.  Greg looked up and saw his file had been stapled to the ceiling page by page.

He reached for the phone. Superglued. Drawers, superglued.  Anything that could be glued down was, well, glued down.

“MACK.”

“I always get the last word,” Mack said as the elevator swallowed him and his cardboard box.

“Who took down the sign?”

Elevator with an Out of Order Sign

Don’t touch anything sharp.

All Fiction Friday Posts are available at Fiction-Friday.com

Fiction Friday Short Short – Eraser

clip art of a pink eraserThe Department of Defense has perfected a new weapon, code named Eraser.

Much like Facbook’s Block Option, the US Government can find and make individual people disappear. Going beyond the limits of Facebook’s Block, this weapon makes the person vanish from everywhere. Poof. Without a trace. No records.

What are you writing about?

I’ll Do It, I’ll Do It

I have been so busy I’ve neglected my blog.

I inherited The Writer’s Chatroom.  When Audrey was at the end of her rope with work, family with health issues and life in general she mentioned closing the Chatroom Site.

Of course, as a true addict to the regular chats, my hand shot up, like Horshack on Welcome Back, Kotter.

I’ll Do It, I’ll Do It

clipart hands in the air

During the past, several weeks I built a new site and moved some information from the original site over.  I added a variety of bells and whistles.

Then a group of people suggested a Forum.  Now, I’ve had courses in CSS, HTML and JavaScript but a Forum runs on PHP.  A forum also requires commenters to have membership on the site.

man and his broken website

Two things came together on Thursday evening leading to the destruction of more than a month of work.  I could not build a Forum.  The Forum I was building had changed twice and both applications were owning my pale white butt.  Then I began to worry about all the people coming into the site and randomly registering and gaining privileges to make changes to my site.  I am very security conscious and this wasn’t sitting well with me.

I opened an offsite forum for people to use to solve my issues with registered users and potential site wide hacks.  After doing this I went to the user restriction area and made a change. During this change, I broke the site.

I tried to fix it for many hours of mind sweating drama.  What began as a 500 Error became a 404 Error on all pages.  I couldn’t even look at them.  Only the main page showed and I couldn’t post or make changes.  I couldn’t add pages.  I couldn’t do anything. Of course, by now it was TOO LATE to backup and start over with what caused the demise.

In the meantime, I had assigned the Forum work to one of our Moderators.  CB and her committee got the forum up and running while I spent Friday and Saturday rebuilding the website from memory.

Today, I am tending things I let slip away.

I need to write another article for the Cleveland Chronicles.  I need to get back to the novel I set on the back burner, again. I need to chill.

Thank you CB and company for the great work you have done on the Forum. I never could have regained my sanity without you.

As you go about your day, don’t touch anything sharp!

 

Cleveland Chronicles

photo of flowers

photo of flowers

Welcome to an overdue Cleveland Chronicles post.

“I’m here, take a break, give me something to do.”

I’ve taken a handful of classes about web design, HTML, CSS and JavaScript.  Audrey Shaffer recently stepped back from her role as web/newsletter/chatroom moderator at The Writer’s Chatroom.  She mentioned shutting the site down.  Of course, my hand shot up!  I could finally put my developing skills to work.

The Chatroom has been around for twenty years and Audrey has kept it going for twelve of those years.  Audrey has been there for me as I learn the ropes.  She is still a chatroom moderator.

While working on the new site for hours at a time, Cleveland would come up behind me and give my left arm a little nudge, as if to say, “I’m here, take a break and give me something to do.”  Without his input I would have stayed at the keyboard until I became a solid ball of stress.

Cleveland Sunning Himself

Shirt

Cleveland and I are working on a command called ‘shirt.’ It involves opening a drawer, getting a shirt, closing the drawer and bringing the shirt to me.  I’m sure he did this countless times in advanced training but my house is different, distractions are different and the drawers I am using are completely different

Cleveland is an enthusiastic learner.  Early on he brought me the entire caddy of drawers.  Now, he has most of it down but still occasionally brings the actual drawer to me.  The drawers are plastic storage type drawers and the caddy is on wheels. .

Castor and Leda who is now Jimmy

One of the tortoises still chases him around the room. We make it difficult by playing fetch.  Castor cannot keep up so he gets exercise.  These sessions don’t go on for long.  I switch out Castor for Leda who is now Jimmy because she mysteriously turned into a male.  Jimmy does not seem at all interested in Cleveland.

___

I’m going to go ahead and post this installment of Cleveland Chronicles and I will make an effort to not let so much time pass between posts.

Don’t touch anything sharp.

 

 

Welcome Back To Writerly Wednesday

Welcome to Writerly Wednesday

Cup of Pens ClipArtIt has been awhile since my last Writerly Wednesday post. Welcome back. If you haven’t been here before, I post Writerly things here. I sometimes spotlight people in the Writing Arena, Authors, Editors, Publishers, Agents and people with mad marketing skills. I have guest guidelines here on the site if you are interested.

What I really want to share is news about The Writer’s Chatroom.

The Writer’s Chatroom has been open to guests since the olden days of the internet and it has gone through at least two major incarnations. Now it is going through another change.

Our head moderator, Audrey Shaffer has been running the place for twelve years and felt it was time to close up shop or pass the torch.

I’ve been hanging out in the chatroom for about eight years and it has become a habit. We have a mix of visitors and regulars pulling up virtual chairs every Wednesday and Sunday evening. I couldn’t envision my weeks without this chatroom so I volunteered to take up the torch and run with it.

The Chatroom is moving to my subdomain. I am keeping much of the content from the main site but bringing the core of the chatroom up to modern standards and expectations. The look and feel will be different but I am one of the few people in the world who things change is good. Change is growth. Change is good for our minds.

I want to invite you over to the new digs.

The Wednesday and Sunday Chats still happen at the regular site. This will eventually resolve at the new site. Join us at http://writerschatroom.com/Enter on Wednesdays at 6PM MDT and Sundays at 5PM MDT.

Audrey Shaffer is not completely disappearing, she is still running a lot of the background magic. We are thankful for the things she used to do and the things she continues doing.