Monday, November 16, 2009

Poetry and Such

My poem, 'Grim', appears online today in the November 16th issue of The Cynic Online Magazine's Cafe Del Soul.

I also received two more poetry acceptances over the weekend. That makes a total of four received last week. Crazy stuff. Good, but crazy, again, in that unreal sense.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Lucky Thirteen

Tomorrow is Friday the thirteenth and in the past, the day has always held good luck for me, not bad. Thirteen is my favorite number and when I count by twos, I usually do so in odd, not even numbers. One of my quirks, I suppose.

I received two poetry acceptances this week from two different magazines, one online, one print, and while they occurred before Friday the thirteenth, they happened in the same week. I'll provide more details about those poems at a later date and will, of course, post links when they are available.

I'm hopeful that tomorrow will bring good things. If nothing else, perhaps a really good writing day. I've been writing quite a bit lately and not just my WIP. The muse has birthed poetry, my first freelance article, and several short stories, most of which have not been dark suspense/horror.

Life is good.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Characterization

A few weeks ago, I bought a book by an author I really want to like. Authors that I love rave about his stuff. I read the book and when I finished the tale, I was very disappointed. I thought about it and realized that while some very terrible things happened to the characters in the book, I just didn't care. The characters were flat and not real enough for me to care.

I probably will not buy another book from that author, regrettably, but it started to make me think of my favorite authors and why they are my favorites. The answer? Their characters. All of my favorites are masters at creating characters so real, I can almost smell the shampoo in their hair. No, scratch that almost, I can. When they hurt, I'm sad, when they are happy, I find myself smiling as I read.

Give me a book with the most amazing plot ever created, a world so extraordinary it might leap off the pages, but if the characters aren't 'real', the book does nothing for me. As a reader, I want to care. I want to laugh and cry and when I finish the book, I want to be filled with the need to read it again, just to be part of those characters' lives for a little while longer.

In my opinion, that's what the best books give to the reader or at least, to this reader.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Inspiration

I get inspired by many different things. The inspiration for Ink came from my son's tattoo; my new WIP was inspired by the sight of a scar, and yesterday, while walking my dog, the sight of dead foliage provided a poem. This, on top of a short story born from the sight of my own hair earlier in the day. Yes, my muse works in odd ways.

All of my novel ideas have started as what-ifs, then the words take over. My short stories and poems just sort of spring forth like water from a faucet. What I feel to be my very best short story was written in one afternoon, edited later that day, sent out that same night, and oddly enough, it was the first one accepted for publication. The main character in that story is going to have his own novel eventually (I feel it floating around in my head like a wisp of smoke), but not until the current WIP is done.

Speaking of novels, I never outline or plan anything out. I usually have an idea of the ending, but it's not set in stone. I prefer to just let it happen. My characters often surprise and frustrate me, but I don't fight them. It's their story, after all. I'm just the messenger.