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It is becoming a habit not to post suddenly or maybe since it is almost another month maybe not so suddenly. I am going to have to remove the post a day icon if I can’t get myself into gear. Well this month has been crazy too but for completely different reasons. Good reasons this time. WOOHOO.  Although at the same time not so woohoo.

Why crazy…well normal everyday life, school, job but I am also participating in NaNoWriMo. That in itself is huge cause I was not sure I should even try it.  I got a lot of encouragement and decided to go for it.  This is the WOOHOO.

The first week I started writing and I was doing okay… mostly hitting the word count. But it was drivel. And the worst kind, you know, written word just for the sake of word count.  I think it was because I didn’t believe in the story anymore. I mean it is still back there but it does feel like something that can become a novel.   So like a crazy person (and that whole changing horses midstream) I changed stories.

Probably not my smartest move, but I am writing steadily. Not hitting the word count with this one though. Which is a bummer that’s why not so woohoo.

One smaller piece of news. I entered the November’s Short, Short Story from Writers Digest. There is one every month. It goes from the 16th of 1 month to the 15th of the next. So the next chance to enter is right now  till December 15th .

I called it “Toe to Toe. ”  It was taken from a writers prompt I had buried in my plot bunnies folder for a while that I couldn’t find anything to do with it.  The prompt tell a story from the viewpoint of your body or body part.

After I find out if I won anything … they require first rights. I will post it here and see what everyone thinks.

On that note, I just found out what first rights are. I did not know putting my work on sites like fictionpress.com, and fanstory.com made it ineligible for contest /publication entry. From what I could find out if the public sees it, the first rights are gone and no publishing house wants it.

It’s a good thing that they are not crazy about publishing short stories or poems (that are not part of an anthology) or I would be sunk.


Normally I don’t do much posting over the weekend due to focusing on papers for school and house hold responsibilities but the last two days have led to some awesome opportunities.  First, on Thursday after my post I was contacted by a writing group for to guest blog.  I am also going to help with challenges and publicity.  This is the coolest thing that has happened as far as my writing in quite a while.

Second, I committed to the Novel in a month after reading the comments on the blog. Even if I do not make it my  can’t do attitude has been seriously checked at the door.

Third and this has nothing to do with writing but I have signed up to walk the 5k/10K walk on October 21st. Which means as of Monday October 22nd I can cross one item off the Ms Magoo’s Escapades.


November is coming, November is coming! And I am not ready for it. I mean I should have been preparing for the last couple of months but no not me. Guess what, I know me well enough to know I am going to whine and complain that I wasn’t ready and I can’t do it again this year.

November is novel in a month, month. You are supposed to write 50,000 words which roughly boils down to 1650 words a day. Which as 99 percent of the writers agree isn’t too much on days that the ideas are flowing and everything is going just fine. But those other days, like mid-terms and papers for classes done.

I have this story idea that has been running around in my head for a little bit now and I thought this would be perfect for the challenge. Some of the scenes I can see so vividly that they practically write themselves when I get to a place I can write. But I wanted to try something different.

In the past my writing has been what I keep hearing as organic. When I try to plan it, nothing works. When I let each scene write it’s self I tend to jump all over but it not wooden or forced. My main problem with this is I write and get the chapter; scene or whatever over and then I have to put the writing on the shelf due to some kind of responsibility. When I come back to it… I don’t feel the story anymore or I don’t know where it is going and the muse is gone.

So I was hoping that if I sat down and wrote the story out in outline format even if reality got in the way I could have a place to return to even if it is embellishing the outline.

But I am excited for one thing I am submitting a “short short story” to Writers Digest. The deadline is October 15th and the maximum word limit is 1500.


The PLINKY prompt of the day on September 23 is:  You’re writing your autobiography. What is your opening sentence?

“Jack of all trades, Master of none and that was Fathom’s biggest regret.

From the time I was little, the one expression I heard more than any other was, “if it doesn’t work one way then try another.” This of course was typically when I would whine and complain that I couldn’t do it and my parents were usually at their wits end. This of course moved into other portions of my life and I soon became good at many different things. Normally this came from the fact I would play with something and tweak it until I got the desired result.

But alas, when I figured it out was when I would stop and go on to something completely different. My grandmother called jumping horses mid-stream.  Today it would probably be considered ADD. It wasn’t though or at least not in my book. The thing was I figured out what I wanted to know that was good enough for me. And of course that whole concept continued into my adult years.  By this time, I should probably call it a habit.

When I was young, I thought this was cool that I knew and could do many things. I just thought I was eclectic in my interests. Today I wish I had stopped jumping from thing to thing, just learning what I needed to know and starting the next project.  I wish I really learned it, I mean from beginning to end or inside and out. Hence the Master of none.

I have heard it said that it is a plus to know a little bit of a lot of things but maybe it is just my ego talking when I want to be really, really good at a something.

How would you start your autobiography?


At work, we are doing this health and wellness thing. Yeah it’s a thing. Why? I am not much of a joiner and these things either bore me or just anger me. To be fair the anger isn’t so much the program it’s the veiled threats and bribes to be part of it. Last year I refused to join. I did not feel that my job needed to know all of my medical issues. Yes last year they bribed us as well. It was 600.00 of the principal of our medical insurance for a year.  I wasn’t tempted because I knew that is when the threats were going to come.  I was wrong… or I should say I was two years early.  You see they are offering the program again this year but the bribe is bigger this time. $1000.00 off your yearly amount to pay for your insurance.

Nice right! Could be but there are strings, major ones.

  1. You still have to let the company know everything about you. From what you eat, to how you sleep, to how many times you blow your nose. Okay that last one was an exaggeration but that is what the health questionnaire felt like. Then they get to take blood for your cholesterol, and whatever other test they want to do, your height and weight, as well as your blood pressure.
  2. Now comes the threats if we don’t join they keep the amount we have to pay for our medical down. If we do not show improvement in our life, we will be removed from the plan and have to pay extra.

But, I digress. I didn’t mean to get on a rant. What I wanted to say right now they have a wellness challenge. It can be to help you improve your life, mentally or physically.  It’s called Change a habit change your life.  Here is how it is supposed to work.  For 30 days you do something you haven’t, something that you keep meaning to do.

So I thought about it. (I did not say the program was totally bad.)

My first thought – do 30 days as a vegetarian. Yeah, I don’t think so. I like meat so I think I would miss it too much.  Especially seafood, which is my favorite. Living on two different coasts gave me a taste of shellfish and other fish as well.  As for chicken and pork, they would be easier to let go but not completely.  Although, I think I am going to institute Meatless Thursday. (I know, normally its Monday but since I have class, I do not have time to stand over the stove and cypher a recipe.)

Then I thought something to do with fitness.  But I am already working on training for the 5k, I don’t want to overdo it. And I am already writing as much as time will let me.

So what to do? I thought it was a good idea and I didn’t want to give it up just yet.  I am going to try something simple.  And for a non-people person like me, it is huge.  Every day, I am going to introduce myself to someone new.  Maybe after that I can work on having a conversation with someone new every day, but for now this will work.

Hi I’m Fathom. Nice to meet you.


I kept hearing about writing software that was supposed to help you organize your work and create a better writing experence.I found several. I am trying one right now and so far I have been happy. But in my search I found something really good.

How many times have you had writers block. You might write but cant stand what you have written and normally just get rid of it moments after you type.  Yea me too.  So while I was searching for a writers program I found something called    Write or Die. It is completely AWESOME!!!

You choose the amount of time you have to write 10, 15, 20 minutes and so on. Then you choose what kind of punishment you get for not writing. From just a warning to deleting what you were typing.  I don’t know if this would work for long fiction, but maybe if you are having a problem with a scene but it is a fantastic tool for flash fiction.

It comes as an app for your desk top ($10.00) or tablet or ipad ($4.00)  and an online version for free. Here is the link for the online version of the app.  Write or DIE

Right now I am using 1 sentence writing prompts as the first line and going from there.

——————

Here is my first attempt.  I am sorry it is awfully dark. I was given some terrible news and needed to work out some of the emotion.

Life or death. There isn’t anything less complicated than that. Unless it is choosing how you die. Most often than not you don’t even think about it, but today you do. There is the revolver laying on the table. You would have chosen a better way to it but today you have no choice.  You think of the mess it will leave for your family to clean up and wish again that you never made this deal.

You look around the room at the hooded 12. They stand there as the silent witness and most likely one of them will finish you off if you can’t manage to pull that trigger. Again you wish it could be something kinder like pills that make you go to sleep and don’t let you wake up. Even criminals get that much.

You pick up the gun and study the shiny black metal and for the first time in your life you realize that the design of the piece is beautiful. And here even the weight seems different as if to say …stop and think about what you are doing.

The twelve have started to chant. You think once more about family you are about to leave behind and wonder if they will understand the decision you made. You hope so because only that would make it senseless.  You take a deep breath knowing that you are procrastinating.

The metal is cold as the barrel enters your mouth. A giggle escapes as you think about the spit that is running down the barrel. You think to yourself ‘you can do this.’ A thought, a silent goodbye and you pull the trigger.

Click.

You pull the barrel from your mouth in confusion.

“Congratulations, child you have passed the test.”

You reel in confusion. Test? You were supposed to die. If this was the test maybe it was better you had died, because what was next was bound to be hell on earth.


Today I was doing a search for writing and of course on link lead to another and I am not sure how I got there but it was a writing forum. Here is the rub… or I should say more like a thought. I have been told anyone who puts words on the page for others to read is a writer. So where is right that people get to determine that what we can write.

I know I’ve lost you because you are so thinking, they don’t. But they do.

One of the comments I have heard the most is — Write something original and stop stealing other people’s hard work. This was the comment made today. I admit I wrote and still have several pieces in my writing that are fan fiction.

Let me explain something. Fan Fiction is not easy and it is not stealing. Truth is there are two different types of Fan fiction writer. First is the one who just loves whatever they are writing about and want to share with other lovers. For example, the person who Leverage but knows very little about plot, pacing, character creation.

Then there is the writer. Yes writer. who also loves the show but can see other possibilities than what is in the story. Your fan fiction writer has to have a massive amount discipline. Why, first, while there is set of characters and a setting that is all your writer has.

He or she must keep the characters true and yet let them grow. For example you have Obi-Wan and he is a jedi who trusts the Jedi council with all that he is, he would not trust his gut over a direct order. You have to get and keep the pacing while inventing messes to put them in and get them out. The writer tries to give you additional adventures or an alternate story line. Don’t like the fact Qui-Gon died in the Phantom Menace and if he hadn’t would Anakin have turned.

The thing a fan fiction writer does is the same thing that a regular writer does. Ask the question what if and then answers it from their world.


Yesterday and today I took time from writing to focus on reading. I waited months to get the next book in the series. Only to be disapointed. The book wasn’t terrible, it was not badly written. When reading several books by an author you come to expect more. Not just more but better with each book and when that does not happen you feel let down.  Kim Harrison is good writer and I read both series that she has created. One for adults and one for Young Adults. Both are urban fantasy and create a different idea of the “ware” “vampire” and “reaper” story lines.

So this brings me to my question for other authors how do you write a series and not have on in the middle that is a flop for your readers. How do you keep from writing the same story with different sences and characters book after book?