I'm so sick and tired of many of the shows I start to watch getting dropped, cancelled, kicked to the curb, whatever you'd like to call it. This seems to be a recurring theme for me over the last few years.
I thought 'Alcatraz' was doing very well. It appears to have started out strong and kept losing steam = viewers every week! And of course last night's 2 hour episode - the season finale (possibly the SERIES finale) - was a total cliffhanger! My head has been exploding going over what happened last night and what the scenes and clues might have meant to the storyline.
Here's an article I'm sharing about 'Alcatraz' and its possible cancellation.
Alcatraz: to be canceled or renewed for season two? | canceled or renewed TV shows | TV Series Finale
Another one I watched and it HAS been canceled already is 'Terra Nova'. Another cliffhanger...
I've read that 'Fringe' is not looking good for a renewal. At least I got a few years out of that one!
I also watch: 'Are You There, Chelsea', 'Ringer', and 'Whitney', which are all NOT looking good according to TV Guide. And those were all new 2011-2012 shows.
I've listed quite a few shows if you think about it. I have several others I watch, too, that thankfully will be renewed or are "looking good".
Several of the listed shows, I admit, I was wary of dedicating myself to them, week after week, with concern that I'd really get into them just to have them be canceled. Hmm, seems like I was right, although I haven't actually heard the final outcomes for all of them yet. Maybe several will survive.
Maybe I just need to watch movies and read more books. And WRITE more books!!
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
What a person experiences on a day-to-day basis can influence his/her future thoughts, choices and actions. Life: The good and the bad and the blah.
Sponging up knowledge,learning from mistakes, rejoicing in success, creating new relationships with a variety of people, offering or receiving help, dealing with death or other health issues, financial woes or the opposite of sudden prosperity...these conflicts, encounters, and joyful or dreadful resolutions shape who we are.
Writers are especially sensitive to these life episodes.
Enter: my cat, Jessie.
I was NOT seeking a pet of any kind. I've had pets throughout my life...mostly dogs. In fact, I had three dogs at one time and each lived a long, pampered life until their deaths several years ago (from old age). All three died within a 1 1/2 year timeframe. Quite devastating to me.
So when Jessie wandered on our property, I had no intention of adopting her. I assumed she'd disappear by the next day or so.
Then again, I fed her. Oops! (I know, I know. If you don't want an animal to stick around, DON'T feed them!)
But she looked and acted so sweet. Tears are in my eyes right now as I write this for some reason. I suppose it's my love for animals. And I'm a sucker. And it proves that I really do care for and love her. Did I cause tears to brim YOUR eyes now? :)
I tried to find her a home for about five weeks. No one wanted her. Or else I didn't consider the prospective living conditions acceptable for Jessie because she was "too good" and too tame to be kept as an outdoor cat. She deserved to be inside...in my mind.
I cannot imagine how anyone could have dumped Jessie (what we believe happened to her). I guess it's possible she roamed too far from her original home and never returned, got lost, didn't like her living conditions there...who knows? I wish I could read her mind and find out what actually happened. But I might start bawling or be super mad if the information is unpleasant.
Well, you know how the story ends. I adopted her - I became her human mommy - I opened my arms and heart to her and she is part of the family as an indoor cat. And very well taken care of, I'd like to add.
Jessie. Jessie Cat. Jessie Girl. Baby Girl. Jessie Marie. Yep, those are all the names we call her. Even my husband. Well, I don't think he's called her the ones with "girl" in them...but she's has definitely had an effect on us.
And on my writing.
I have been struggling with my next novel (I currently have two published books). I hate to call it writer's block, so I won't. Especially since I kept messing around with the current work in progress. It wasn't like I found myself staring blindly at the computer screen. I just kept re-working, rewriting, rearranging, and restructuring the outline and the first six chapters.
I took a break and walked away from the book writing for a while. During that time Jessie fully integrated herself into the household. And I researched other writing projects and ended up creating a cat care website! I loved working on it! http://catstheboss.com. Plus I've been studying a few writing programs.
And perhaps the "break" was meant to happen...Just like Jessie becoming a part of my life was meant to happen. My storyline wasn't jiving like it should have. My excitement and passion to write the next page wasn't there. So I hit the pause button.
But now...I find I'm inspired to dive into my novel again. Finally.
Enter: my cat, Jessie.
Thrills, chills and slight revisions to the storyline are being put into play, all due to Jessie Cat inspiring me. Yes, that means "cat stuff" will be added, in seriously interesting ways. Remember, my genre is paranormal thrillers, urban fantasy, young adult. So you never know just how interesting that feline influence could be :)
When an author sits down to write, life experiences can spark ideas for emotional, engaging content and unique characters. At least that's the intention!
(Special thanks [snacks] to Jessie Cat for her involvement.)
Sunday, March 18, 2012
I just posted over at my Enter Paranormal Blog about 'Dark Shadows' - 2012 - with Johnny Depp. Since the topic completely entwines with my Author Blog right here, I thought it would be nice of me to let you know about it, but not necessarily do a duplicate post :)
Dark Shadows Article
Dark Shadows Article
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
I know there are tons of writers who have cats. And it seems to be a theme because tons of readers have cats. My side project - a cat care website especially for newbies loaded with info and even some laughs - called Cats The Boss has prompted me to post an article about cat hair. As we cat lovers know...it is everywhere including our keyboards. Yep...there goes a few stray cat hairs I just blew off of mine!
Well, here's the link for the article and please do browse the cat site. I put an immense amount of time and effort (which I totally enjoyed!) into it:
Well, here's the link for the article and please do browse the cat site. I put an immense amount of time and effort (which I totally enjoyed!) into it:
Monday, March 12, 2012
This is a partial re-posting from a blog I subscribe to & LOVE by Kristen Lamb...by Author Kristen Lamb
Today, we are going to talk a bit about failure. All writers who dare to dream seem to have this same fear–FAILURE. It can seem larger than life and everything fades away in the face of this looming beast. I want to let you in on a little secret. For many years I was the best, the Big Kahuna, the Big Gal on Campus. I was positively THE most successful person…at failing.
A little about me…
I was a high school drop out at the age of 15, then again at 16. I worked as a waitress, but, to tell the truth, I was a really bad waitress. I lost my job and returned to school. I finally graduated high school at the age of 19. No one figured I would make much out of my life since it’s highly likely I graduated last in my class. I think by the time you get a GPA as low as mine was, I think they just start listing you alphabetically.
I came from a military family, so I decided to enlist in the Army…only I got sick in the middle of the physical and failed. Doc gave me a medical disqualification (DQ).
So, I dusted myself off and attended junior college. I figured I’d go to school and try the Navy. I come from a family of Squids, so that wasn’t so bad. I put in all my paperwork…then they found out about the Army. Sigh. Apparently a medical DQ lasted two years.
No Navy for me.
Back to the drawing board (school). I knew the medical DQ would run out, so I worked really hard and ended up winning a full military scholarship to become a doctor. I didn’t really want to become a doctor, but this was the best scholarship and I was broke, ergo not picky. I transferred to T.C.U. and began pre-med. I swore in to the Air Force (yes, I made my rounds of all the branches) and pledged my life to serving my country as a future military doctor.
Two years in, I was a shining scholar with a 3.79 average. Then, in March of 1995, Fort Worth was hit with an ice storm and T.C.U. refused to cancel classes. On my way to class, I slipped and fell and hit my lower back on a concrete curb…and fractured it.
Bye, bye military. Bye-bye scholarship. Bye-bye medical school.
I returned to school a semester later. I had to use a cane for eight months as my back healed, and there was no such thing as handicapped access to anything in those days. It seemed every class I had signed up for was on the third floor, too. But I did my best and took it one class at a time.
I didn’t want to be a doctor if the DoD wasn’t picking up the tab. Didn’t have the money. So I changed majors because I could no longer afford to be on a medical track. This was all well and good except that it set me back. Instead of being a junior, I was back to being a sophomore.
Felt a little like high school.
But, I had changed degrees and really loved political economy. I studied the Middle East and North Africa and felt I could make a difference. So you can imagine my excitement when I was asked to help with a business development project in Syria. I would live in the Yarmouk Camp (a refugee camp in Syria) and help modernize a paper facility.
Well, that was the plan at least.
The day after graduation I hopped on a plane. I was full of hope, dreams and passion, and just knew I would make a difference. I would knock this project out of the park and it would look SO awesome on my grad school application (I was applying for a special doctorate program).
It was a great experience but pretty much a huge failure. No matter what we tried, we hit a wall of bureaucratic red tape and corruption. I came back to the States and gave up on grad school. The hallowed halls of academia were too far removed from reality, and I realized it was no longer for me.
I went to work in software sales and then paper sales and was dismal at both. I was a hard worker. I worked harder than anyone else, but it always seemed that I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and the competition was eating me alive. Thus, it was only a matter of time before my position—and me—would be eliminated.
I failed at high school, failed at the military, failed to become a doctor or a professor and now I was quite possibly THE worst salesperson on the planet.
…and I wouldn’t trade one minute of it.
My failures taught me far more than success ever did. Many of you reading this are terrified of failure. I want to let you in on a little secret–Failure is not the end. Failure is a teacher. It will guide you to who you should be. Too often we give failure too much power. We think it is the end, when in reality it is training us for a better future. What if I HAD been successful? What if I was now a military flight surgeon? I wouldn’t be doing what I love and I wouldn’t be here to help you guys, to let you know it isn’t as bad as you might think.
If we aren't failing, then we aren't doing anything interesting.
Failing in school taught me to keep pressing on, even when that meant being embarassed. It was humiliating being a 19 year-old in an English class full of 14 year-olds.
Failing at the military taught me that some doors shut for very good reasons. Sometimes our prayers are answered, it’s just the answer happens to be “no.”
Failing in Syria taught me discernment. I jumped into a project before I thought it out fully. I wouldn’t trade the experience for all the gold in the world, but the project was doomed from the start. I should have done more research and planned better. But it prepared me for a future that I never could have envisioned at the time (for those who are curious, read this post Amazon--Beware of Greeks Bearing Gifts).
Failing at sales taught me that trying to do everything myself was a formula for disaster. It taught me to form teams and that relationships are the most important possession we have. When I was in sales, I didn’t want to bother other people and I tried to do too much on my own. My failure was the end result of an inability to delegate and form a team I could depend upon.
I now understand that any success I enjoy is not because of ME, because I am anything special. It is because of opportunities, blessings and support granted me from other people.
Our success is only a culmination of a lot of team support. There are no self-made best-sellers.
We can’t do this alone.
Failure is scary, but failure is priceless to the person who can embrace it. Failure should be rewarded because it means we are taking a risk. Show me a person who has never failed, and I will show you a person who's never tried anything remarkable. Nothing great was ever created in the comfort zone. Sure there are people who seem to succeed at everything they do, but the Midas Touch is not the norm (and most of us find those people annoying, anyway). I don't know about you, but I want to learn from great people who failed yet pressed on and succeeded despite setbacks. I want to learn about creating wealth from Donald Trump, not the latest lottery winner.
Many of you who read my blogs want to be successful writers. If I can give you any advice, it is to learn to embrace failure. When we are in the middle of the storm, it is hard to see the bigger picture. It is tough to see how these setbacks and disappointment might actually be shaping a more brilliant future than we can ever imagine.
When I was a little girl I dreamed of being a famous writer and teacher, but I was told that was a foolish dream. So I traded in that dream for more practical dreams—a military career, becoming a doctor, sales. And you know what? I thank God every day that I failed at everything I ever tried because eventually I failed so much I no longer feared it, and THAT is when success started coming my way.
I took bigger and bigger risks and was more willing to throw my heart and all my passions into something because I finally understood failure never meant the end…it just meant the beginning of something new and I would be stronger for it.
The strongest blades are forged in the hottest fires. Adversity is the fire that removes the impurities in our character. Failure is the forge that creates excellence. One of the strongest forms of steel in the world is Damascus steel. Damascus steel is fired, folded and hammered hundreds of times, and it is this fiery brutal birth that makes it so strong. What about you? Are you a failure, or are you on your way to being Damascus steel?
(For the rest of the blog post, click here-Kristen Lamb.)
Monday, March 5, 2012
How Do I Prepare to Write a Novel?
As ideas for a story pop into my head, I write them down. Depending on where I'm at, I might use scratch paper or a notebook. All the preliminary thoughts and brainstorming are written on paper, not typed in the computer. In fact, the entire outline is normally scribbled into a notebook, tending to look like a pen exploded on every page from my constant revisions. I've described my outlines as looking like chicken scratch or a jigsaw puzzle.
I did type one outline into the computer but will not do it that way again. I seemed to elaborate too much and it was (oddly) more difficult for me to follow along. The "flow" of how an outline should look just wasn't there for me. Hard to explain.
I try to figure out the number of chapters I want the book to end up with and the approximate number of pages for the "book" which then helps me calculate the number of words and about how many pages per chapter. In my eyes, this gives me goals to shoot for as a write and creates a balance to the way the novel appears.
As I create the outline, a timeline is marked next to each chapter. It tells me when the scene took place, if it was over one or more days, morning or afternoon or night, etc.
Before I start writing the story, I have most of my characters figured out – names, physical attributes, mental quirks, what part they play. With the Unknown Touch-Werewolf Series, I thoroughly mapped on paper a family tree and friendship connection with the werewolves.
Lots and lots of research is completed before any major writing begins, too. Of course there is always more research needing done as the plot thickens and background info needs explained or details on people, locations or anything I don't have in depth knowledge on enters the picture.
I've heavily researched specific locations and printed maps, for example using Google to zoom in on a forest to better "see" where an action scene takes place. I've used the Driving Directions to discover the distances between two locations and the time it estimates it takes to drive from one spot to another.
I've researched popular names during certain times in history so my characters would have appropriate names for when they were born and not something that conflicts. I've also searched combinations of first and last names in search engines if I'm trying to come up with a name no one currently has or at least very few people have.
Since my stories involve supernatural goodies, I've done much research on werewolves, vampires and witches. That was (and is) incredibly fun! I have to choose my "rules" on how my different beings live and survive in the world I write about. For example: my werewolves can transform whenever they want to. No full moon or any moon required. They have three forms: human, beast and wolf. The mythology rules can become quite involved and complicated. These are written or printed out and kept handy for reference.
I've used separate index cards for each of the main characters. On the cards, I write their names and anything specific about their personality or their special abilities or physical features. If I think of something awesome, but don't want it to enter the storyline until later, and in the meantime I don't want to forget the idea, I jot it on the card, too!
I'm an author that cannot write by the seat of her pants, as the expression goes. I'm in awe of those that do or can function and create that way. I must have an outline to follow. And my outline is usually lengthy-many pages (up to 20). Before I begin writing, I already know how the story will end. I do change some details or even add new characters as the story unfolds, but still need an outline to go by.
One mistake I made recently was creating an outline that was too long. Too much story already figured out. You're probably thinking, "But that would be wonderful having all that extra plot and details done in advance!" Yeah…but when I started to actually write the novel, it felt like I was writing it for the SECOND time – as if I'd already completed it and was writing it all over again. Very weird.
Every writer has their own preferred methods to prep for a book and how they go about the actual writing. No one way is right or wrong. Authors must use whatever style works best for them in order to be able to complete a fabulous story. Be creative, polish the content, clean up errors but the most important thing is to give the reader what they want – to be entertained!
Top priority when preparing for a book: How can I emotionally engage and provide maximum entertainment to my readers?
Till next time...Blissful Reading (to Readers) and Dynamic Writing (to Writers)!