Monday, August 19, 2013

Is being a writer worth it?

There are no stupid questions, but when someone asks me if being a writer is worth gets under my skin. Ugh, ugh and UGH! I'm going to break this down into bullet points, because I like them and it might calm me down a little.

  1. A writer has no choice. Writing is about emotional release and vanity. Yes all writers ARE and MUST be VAIN. Editing a novel involves reading the same thing over and over again. If a writer doesn't love his/her work then they would never write. Holy crap paradox! 
  2. It's not nice to tear someone down even if they're asking for your advice. If you don't have an art form, I suggest you get one because it's great.
  3. Imagine you're dying of a rare disease and saying goodbye to all your family and friends. You love them right? Is doing something you love worth it??? Duh!
  4. Going back to number 1 again: When someone says, I've always wanted to give writing a book a try, it's BS. There is never any amount of try in writing.
  5. I'm getting off my soapbox with: Writers continue to write everyday even when they aren't involved with a book.  We have facebook comments and texts paragraphs long. Face to face we may hold back but on the Internet you can't shut us up. We are spacey and daydream because we are thinking about what we want to say next and if/why it's important. Taking my last line from the tv show Monk (Written by writers), it's a gift and a curse.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Teen Book Swami

I have had this idea of creating a book review blog for awhile. I know they're very common but this one is a little different. It's fun! Any book that I (well Swami) loves gets featured on the blog with an emphasis on character development. How am I going to do that? I'm giving book reviews based on character evaluations and not on plot. Basically how much I (Swami) loved the character and why.

Check out Teen Book Swami for a great young adult read!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Don't think, DO!

Artists are always trying to weasel out of what make us happiest. Creativity is a known stress reliever which generates the question; why do we procrastinate? I think it is a horrible technique we abuse ourselves with to generate inspiration. There is one problem. It actually postpones inspiration. In this spirit to combat creative floggings I am introducing the Scaring Away the Plague campaign.  This campaign focuses on less thinking and more doing to prove that creativity is the key to happiness. Art doesn't only come from darkness but light too and I believe the light is more productive.

I need to prove that daily creative ventures scares away that which plagues us all, self criticism. Stop thinking about what you want to do and talking yourself out of it. Stop thinking and just do!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Vloggers: How to make me love you?

Let me count the ways:

1. If you make me laugh I will subscribe. Take something trivial and blow it out of proportion to ridiculous and I'm all over that subscribe button.

2. I'm looking for entertainment not to fix your problems. Please don't air your dirty laundry. Your underware might be awesome but it starts to stink after awhile and will only haunt you for the rest of your life. The internet is forever. Don't forget that.

3.  Teach me something. Tell me what is going on in the world through your eyes. Even if I don't agree with your point of view I still care that you have one and respect it.

4. Have a passion and share it. What is your secret hobby? (Origami Nudes would be funny awesome!)

5. Have a long standing secret that you hint about and never share. For instance "My doctor told me at my last appointment...oh never mind I didn't believe him anyway." The next day show up with a symptom and then another day and then another day. Sneeze on the camera, slur your words, pass out at wrap ups, have spots on your tongue but never acknowledge the symptoms.  Then after a few weeks name it: Sherfigganmanitis.

Now, show me what you got and post your links in the comments. I can't wait!!!!


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

YouTube Teen Views Rise from the 1970's (Ha!)

Today's teens spend more time looking at a screen than their own parents. Between texting friends, Facebook, ipad and then there is YouTube. YouTube serves as a form of quick entertainment with it's little five to ten minute vlogs. I am just as guilty myself. I could be on YouTube every hour of the day without my kids, hubby and writing to make life interesting. A realization hit me today after I watched a clip with Shel Silverstein on The Johnny Cash Show and it got me thinking.

1. It was in black and white. (Of course it was, it was 1970 but I'm thinking in the perception of the teen viewer.)
2. The dialogue was slow paced and easy going.
3. The songs were serious and sad.

 My beautiful mother would say it was the sign of the times. In 1970 we were at war with Vietnam and quiet entertainment was perfected. Teens were being drafted at eighteen out of high school. The show was basically lulling me into submission.

Our YouTube videos today are:

1. Colorful and HD vibrant
2. Fast paced (Jump cuts to the point of epilepsy)
3.  Upbeat focus with zany craziness

Some would say, Michelle teens watch traditional media also. Link below:

I would say to my imaginary friends you are diluting yourselves.

I'm guessing many views are unable to be tracked because Fred is a sensations and Fred gives me a fricking old lady headache. From the YouTube channel charlieissocoollike, teen heartthrob Charlie McDonnall made a million subscribers last year. Craig Benzine, the Wheezy Waiter himself admitted to changing some of his format to fit a younger demographic. In which I respond, BOO! Unfortunately Wheezy is right. I've seen blips his concerts on his channel alwayswheezy and there isn't a person with a wrinkle. Boo! Boo! Boo! (I like Wheezy, especially his videos from early last year.)

Wrapping the rant: Good or bad YouTube is a sign of OUR times. Parents, to make your teens look at you, you need to start doing jump cuts.

Friday, August 3, 2012

A Ridiculous PDA

The other day as I walked down a bookstore isle, I looked to my left was Fahrenheit 451 and to my right was I Remember Nothing. I stood there between two works by authors that inspired me to be a better writer. Two authors that had recently died. Then something unexpected and ridiculous happened. I began to cry. I had never met Ray Bradbury or Nora Ephron but their absence upset me like they were dear friends.

Why was I crying in a public place where anyone from high school could see me?

I can only come up with it was the compelling characters I could identify with as a young adult were somehow dead to me now too. I will never meet Bradbury and Ephron to thank them for the comfort they afforded me.

So here I lift my glass to you both. Thank you for all the characters that distracted me when I was sick, sad or stressed out.  I hope one day to pay it forward.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

New at Writing? Query Rejection? Don't Hit Yourself!

Rejections letters should never be taken negatively. You wouldn't hit a baby, would you? Then why hit yourself in the first ten years! Let me explain.

Most rejections as a group just mean you're WRITING is not there yet. Everyone complains about the process at first, but the truth is you aren't ready to be published until you write and study craft for five years.

Five years...take that in...five years.

Ok now get ready to hear you probably won't be published for another five.

Give the baby ten years and treat your writing like a growing child. Not a particular novel but you're writing as a whole. We all start with one novel. The novel isn't the baby your writing is. Remember to handle your writing with care.