Sunday, July 8, 2012

DRAGON DANCER - Six Sentence Sunday

Simone lifted her eyes to gaze into his face. He pushed back from the table and stood, never once releasing her from his hypnotic stare. Trent’s muscles bunched in anticipation of the kill. Hunter and hunted. She stepped back, slamming into the side of the refrigerator.
       They were a hairs length from one another.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Professionalism in the Writing World

I've waited quite some time before drafting this post for one main reason. I didn't want to become a member of the society I'm about to malign.

I was recently humiliated in a public forum. It was a slap of cold water in the face and absolutely stunned me speechless. If anyone knows "me," you'll realize exactly how shocked I was. Speechless is not something I do well. My first reaction was to write an angry blog about the exchange that embarrassed me. I didn't. My second reaction was to apologize to the individual who decided it was necessary to smack me down. I did that. My third reaction was to get the hell out of dodge and disconnect from an association that harbored the "I rule the world" mentality. I did that, too.

The individual who felt it necessary to slam my knuckles with a poker in front of many of my peers believed they had that right because it was their forum. It might be your forum, sweetheart, but you are no professional. This is the heart of my post. Professionalism. In this day and age of being able to interact via the internet opens a wide door for misbehavior. It is NOT OKAY to purposely embarrass someone. When circling through a writer's world, you never know who can help you build your dream or offer an insight that opens a door. You NEVER KNOW. Why would you take it upon yourself to purposely alienate and offend? Stupid, if you ask me.

This same mentality is blowing up all over the internet with the argument of "indie v. traditional." I am so sick of the circular thought patterns and direct attacks on authors from other authors, I just want to scream. Who gives a flying f*ck whether you have published traditionally, independently, or both? Are you selling books? Do you have a fan base? Are you happy? It's about the READERS people. Get over yourselves. We write because telling stories is what we're passionate about. We don't write to get rich. Sure, it would be wonderful if every single one of us were successful enough to write full time. That's our goal, right? To write full time! Not to drink champagne and eat bon-bons all day long. At least, that's my goal. I love my job but balancing work and writing is exhausting. If I ever reach a level where I have the luxury of choosing one over the other, it will be a difficult decision. I'm lucky enough that my passion lies on both sides of the road. Anyway, the point being here is that we strive for our stories to be our jobs. And that's an awesome goal. Keep it in focus!

This is a business. In business, people behave professionally. If you are traditionally published only, please don't think you have a clue about what it is to write as an independent author.Your opinions are ridiculous, because you don't know. If you are independently published only, please don't think you have a clue about what it is to write as a contracted author. Your opinions are ridiculous, because you don't know. If you are published both traditionally and independently, your opinion is helpful to those trying to determine which path is best for them. You may compare the two avenues as it adds value.

The bottom line here is that we write because we have stories to tell. Our first thought needs to be to the reader. If you have crafted a great story, the reader doesn't care who published it. The reader isn't out on the internet Googling the mud-slinging blogs that are so link-worthy in the writer's world. If we spent more time honing our craft and less time arguing the publishing basics, we would all be better writers.

This is a new world for writers, and I say get over yourselves and just write on!!! Oh, and please be professional and courteous to all. Support one another. Do not, under any circumstances, publicly embarrass a fellow artist. You never come out looking smart or savvy or knowledgeable. Ever. It's simply not a good thing.

Peace out.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

All Creatures Great and Small...

As a young reader, I inhaled all the James Harriett books. I blame him for this morning's stray from sanity.

I have a wonderful backroad, countryside commute to work. This morning was stunning with bright blue skies and streaming sunshine. Living in the humidity-filled South, I always appreciate the snap of crystal air. My commute began around 7:30 a.m. and around 7:45 a.m., I delved into the land of the clearly-not-in-her-right-mind.

Rounding a bend, I glanced to the right, and what do I see? A poor, pitiful newborn calf all alone. I mean ALL ALONE, people. His mother apparently needed to have the animal version of DFCS called on her. She needed an immediate smack down. As an advocate of all creatures great and small (thank you, James Harriett), I pulled over.

What on earth did I think I could do? I glanced down at my feet. Clearly, I had not donned the appropriate footwear for traipsing here:

I did what every other right minded animal activist would do. I got out of my car and opened the trunk. Much to my dismay, I apparently did not have a stray pair of sneakers hidden beneath the piles of reusable shopping bags.

With a sigh, I glanced at the tiny little creature abandoned by its hideous mother. It truly wasn't so tiny. In fact, even if I still owned my gas-guzzling Expedition, this poor baby would probably not fit. About this time, a soft breeze ruffled my perfectly coiffed work-do, and on that soft breeze, an undertone of eau-de-manure assaulted my senses.

An image played around in my head. What if I managed to shove this little forgotten piece of steak into my sporty, leather adorned Fusion? Would I be cow stealing? I searched the horizon for any sight of a barn, farm, tractor, man, woman, missing she-bitch-of-a-mother. Nothing. Nada. Nunca.

Reality dawned. Here I was, standing in knee high weeds, in heels and a skirt, contemplating shoving a 150 pound calf into the back seat of my car. I imagined making it a quarter-mile up the road before the blue lights of a sheriff's car pulled me over and arrested me for cow stealing. I imagined having to call work and explain that I needed to be bailed out of jail for cow stealing. I imagined having to call my husband and explain why the back seat of my beloved car was shredded and scented like a milk barn because of cow stealing.

I apologized to Mignon (yes, in all this imagining I named him) and prayed his mother would return. I then continued my commute to work. I ask, though, if faced with this:

Would you, too, not be tempted to turn into a bovine's superhero?