Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Tang Soo Do update

On Wednesday I tested for my second green stripe. I did everything my instructor asked of me even some situps and pushups. Not many, my body doesn't allow too many right now. As I did my double up front kick my Instructor smiled and said "theres proof that a pregnant woman can do almost anything" I walked on cloud 9 for days after that.

The next Monday I recieved my second green (red) stripe. This last friday I broke a 12x12x1" board doing a jump side kick. WHOOHOO!

I love my class, I am having a blast.

Just a note, the last two "red stripes" on the chart are now midnight blue.

Friday, June 18, 2010

In hindsight

As you know. I have struggled the last few months trying to add emotion to my current MS. The one that I am going to be sending back to the publisher that rejected and asked for revisions.

While I was just adding some internal thought the edits were going well. I got to chapter 17 and began to think that what I had been doing was not enough. I talked to the editor, researched adding emotion, read articles and lectures and blog posts all over the web and tried to wrap my head around the "adding emotion" concept.

The more I read, the more confused I became. The more I tried to insert the ideas and change what I had written, the harder it was to even formulate a coherent thought in regards to the MS. In frustration I closed the laptop and didn't go back for almost TWO WEEKS while my brain tried to decompress.

One thing that frustrated me was I felt that the emotion I had added even if it was in exposition was sufficent for the character.

After the two weeks I went back to the LT and restarted what I had been doing at CH 17 out of desperation and finished that type of edit. When I was done I sat back and felt oddly satisfied. Without hesitation I sent the MS to the editor that is helping me and explained the enormous block that had occured and that I had done as much as I could.

A week later I was sufing some random blogs and ran across a post about not being able to change the manuscript to the specs that the crit group wanted. The reason eventually came out after much contemplation the soul/subconscious rejected the changes because they were not right for the story.

I paused and stared at the screen. Was that why I had so much trouble with what I was trying to do? Were the changes just plain wrong for this story?

Part of the frustration was that the SAME character in the second book has plenty of emotions after changing his life around. And the apparent lack of emotions in the first book seem to fit the current chatracters state of mind and the "feel" of the book. The "new" emotions in the second book seem to reflect the changes that happen to the main character in between books #1 and 2.

As I have thought about it over the last few days I know that this is what the problem was. The lack of emotion in the first book reflects part of the "theme" of the book. The emergence of emotion in the second book also completes the move from lack of, to experincing emotion in the second book.

What frustrates me most is that it wasn't untill after many weeks of self inflicted torture. Then sending off the MS w/o knowing why it had bothered me so much, that I found out why. So in hindsight, whether I knew why or not at least I followed my gut and did what I should have for the better good of the story.

Who knew?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

character interview blogfest

I saw this on the 700blankpages blog who got it from Elizabeth's blog who signed up on Sangu's blog.

The idea is to interview a character and post it on your blog. While Wyan's interview with his author went swimingly well. Teehee! I don't know if an interview with my character Noble would be any better. While Wyan is stubborn and rebellious, Noble is more of the silent type. And to be honest, he isn't the main character of the first book. The main character of Emergence which is the first book is Antony Danic. I wonder which one would give me more info. Probably neither. Hmmmmmmm Sounds like I should flip a coin.

No coins down here in my dungeon of an office. This might be interesting. . . . .

Maybe I should go alphabetically. Antony starts with A. Besides, Antony is the first character you'll meet in Emergence you don't even meet Noble untill the second book Latent. Maybe I'll catch Noble later this afternoon and add him later.

So here we go. I Michelle (M) will be interviewing Antony Danic (AD) the main character of the Emergence the first book in the Prophecy Rising Series.

M Good monring. How are you this morning?

AD I was asleep. And I'm hungry. Got any food? (Rummages through my cupboards.)

M Sorry, I was inspired.

AD Your inspiration gets you in trouble especially when you talk to your trouble making friend. What good is toast if you don't have any butter?

M I have cereal and milk.

AD Bleh, cereal isn't breakfast it's a snack. Elite would have woken me up with a plate of scrambled eggs and waffles.

M I'm not Elite.

AD I know. (Grins.)

M So anyway. . . The purpose for this interview is to let my blog readers get to know you better.

AD I'm invisible. (He raises an eyebrow.) Remember?

M This is just for the blog. So where you work, and what do you do?

AD So straight to the heavy hitters. Well lemmese. My Name is Antony Danic. I am a Human Resourses director for a company called Hurst Enterprises. I travel all over the world training employees. (Hides the glock .357 in his waitband.)

M Human Resourses. Right. (I roll my eyes.)

Ad (Stares at me unflinching.)

M Moving on, tell me a little about yourself.

AD My name is Antony Danic. I am a human--

M We allready know that. What about your past?

AD What about it? (He folds his arms and leans back in the chair next to me.)

M Where were you born?

AD Donno, I was found in a basket on the steps of a church in Dunedin New Zealand. Probably Dundein?

M Grew up?

AD We moved to Auckland when I was little. My parents owned a sheep ranch and I lived there untill I moved to Asutralia and joined the Austrtalian Defence Force.

M When was that?

AD When I was 17.

M What were your parents and childhood like?

AD No comment.

M (Silence.)

AD (Smirks.)

M Moving on. What do you like to do in your free time?

AD Free time? Whats that? I help Elite do what she needs to do. We go places and do things. Just took a trip to Tahiti. (Touches the gun in his waistband again.)

M (changing subjects) Speaking of Elite, what do you like most about her?

AD You're kidding. I love everything about her. There's nothing to dislike. Well except that church argument we have on Sunday mornings.

M Church? Please explain.

AD Nothing to it. I am an atheist. (chin reaises defiantly)

M I see. Well I can see we're going to get some deep thoughtful answers today. Favorite color?

AD Black

M Favorite music?

AD As if you dont know it. You chose it for me. Alternative music from the 1980's on.

M More specif--?

AD Ultravox. Period.

M Favorite clothes?

AD Loose shirts, (pulls the back of his shirt over the butt of the Glock.) Jeans. cowboy boots.

M Favorite food?

AD Asian.

M Favorite car?

AD Dont drive a car. Or a shuttle for that matter. Too expensive and Elite gets car sick. Although I did see this sweet Dodge Prowler a few weeks ago.

M Favorite weapon?

AD No comment. (Folds arms again.)

M Any Tattoos?

AD Birthmark. Maybe. Why?

M Nevermind. (Grins.)

AD (Raises an eyebrow.)

M Anything else, you'd like to say?

AD Um. . . . You have something on your shirt. (Points at me.)

M I do? (Looks down)

AD (Smacks my forehead before disapearing.) PSYCH! (He laughs)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I am done!!!!!!!!!!

ELEVEN days short of a year and I am done with the line, content edit and revisions that have been requested of me. I have sent the MS back to my friend and I will be preparing to send it back to the publisher that rejected it and asked for the work I have done this last year.

This has been the LONGEST year of my life I think. I am brain dead and mentally exhausted. Yet very happy in the knowledge that I am so finished with it. I know what it feels like to not be able to STAND one more look, pass or edit of the MS. To want to throw the laptop out the window if someone asks one more thing of you concerning the MS.

The MS is great. I have people who can't wait for it to be published because they only read the first chapter. I had a reader that had to read it twice because the first time they were so caught up in the plot and story the forgot they were proofreading it for me. My BFF and I have worked the plot on this puppy to perfection. It is a great story and now it is clean and shiny, I even added emotions to it. :)

This is a major milepost in my writing career. Something I have been working for, for the longest time. Therefore it is a time to celebrate. Since I have nothing to give you my devoted readers I have come up with a unique idea to thank you for the long years of support you have given me.

Those of you who comment on this post will recieve thier first names written into the sequel of this book as characters. Or book #3 if I run out of secondary characters in #2.

So comment away and come celebrate with me. I am pulling out the sparkling cider and eating at least a few brownies tonight. :)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Learning writing from other sources. . . .

Over the past few days I have listened as my daughter has watched season one of "Criminal Minds". I don't watch TV and rarely watch movies. But I have learned something as I have "listened" to my kids watch this or that. For example, there are alot of Disney movies that have really strong points in one writing point or the other.

As I was listening to the TV/revising my MS I realized a few things. When a series usually starts they introdouce the characters doing someting that is unique to that character and you remember the introdouction. Also as the series progresses it often has episodes that highlight one character or the other.

Do we as writers do the same thing? Do we introdouce our characters doing something unique? Will our readers remember that character? When we have a MS that has more than one character POV. Do we use scenes or chapters to highlight a character that is in the story?

Have you listened to a movie or episode and realized the uniqueness of the dialogue and howit identifies the character even if you can't "see" who's speaking? Try it sometime. :)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


I KNOW that emotion. I am really familiar with it.

I am at the cusp of sending my manuscript to the publisher who asked for revisions. I have done everything they have asked except adding emotion and internal thought. I even researched adding emotion and putting the MS away for a while to give me some distance.

I feel emotions, the frustration I am experiencing is real and I can identify with it. But my character isn't allways frustrated and that would get quite boring. The guy's an assassin who basically shuts down emotionally when he is on a hit. I'm okay with that. But what about when hes not? I dont know. Why is this so hard for me?

I am so close to being "there". I can almost feel that acceptance in my hands, like standing on the top of a hill ready to take a wild ride down the other side. Yet this hiccup seems to want to rip any thought of success from my hands.

Yeah I know frustration I am living a version of it right now.