Sunday, August 5, 2007
Friday, July 6, 2007
Why do you challenge people to be different, then blackball them because they don’t do as you want them to? Everyone has a unique talent, a special attribute that only they can call upon, but yet, to do so is societal suicide. Can you please help me understand?
Some people like to be alone, others can’t live without a mob around them. Some people like peace and quiet while others live for war zones. Some people cower in fear, staying locked away in their safe havens, but yet still others face their fears, challenging them to the ultimate showdown. We are all different. Nobody should be expected to cater to society’s whims. So why do you expect it?
If I can’t face a crowded ballroom, does that mean I should never receive another invitation? If I don’t like loud noises, should I stay locked inside a bubble? If I get bored to the point of suicide when at a gathering, will you oust me as a potential friend?
I love you, Society, sometimes to the point of exhaustion, and that’s exactly what you do to me. It’s tiring just trying to keep up with you. You wear me down with your hissy fits and societal whims. Why can’t you just let people be people and not followers of your tyrant’s tirade? Not everyone needs to do what you expect them to do in order to be liked. In fact, it’s our uniqueness that sets us apart. So, I implore you to cut us some slack. Let us be our own individuals. The world will become a better place for it.
Your faithful servants,
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Heed the Signs
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Your assignment is to pick one of your biggest pet peeves and write about it. Fictionalize it, if you must. Give your pet peeve to your character and show us how he would handle it.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
I up my speed back to the old expressway limit of 55 mph. By now, I have that stupid Manilow song spinning around in my head so I have no choice but to give in and start singing, way off key, of course. I see something hurtling toward me in my rearview mirror. It’s coming at me real fast. I’m wondering if I should pull over, but before I can, a torpedo zips past me. I figured it must have been doing a good 85 mph or so. It’s gone before I can gather the rest of my thoughts. I’m sure I’ll see an accident up the road aways, though, and get a glimpse of the torpedo that caused it.
Now I get stuck at another red light. Traffic is starting to pile up behind me now. At least I’m not alone anymore. A white van pulls up behind me. He’s got his right flasher going. Normally, that wouldn’t bother me, except this buffoon starts honking his horn at me. I’m going straight and last I checked, a red light means you have to stop. Is he color blind or something? I can just see it now: “Sorry, Officer, but I had no choice but to shoot through that red light. You see, the guy behind me had a bee in his car and apparently it must have flown into his pants. He had to get off the road quickly, so I rushed to get out of the way.” Yep, that would go over real good with the police.
Okay, so I finally managed to get off the main road. I’m going 25 mph now on the side street and guess what? Road Runner is back, or is it another one? We’re on the side street now, folks. Kids are playing outside, dogs are running around, and people are riding their bikes. The speed limit is slower, so slow down!
I’m coming up to an intersection. My way doesn’t have a stop sign, but the other way does. I’m a second away from crossing the intersection when an idiot on a bike rides right through his stop sign. Hello there! Do you want a one-way ticket to the county morgue or what?
I’m finally glad when I arrive home because now I can pry my fingers off their stranglehold on the steering wheel and relax. It’s great to get out of the car, at least I thought until I tried to cross my sidewalk and a speeding youngster almost runs me down with his tricycle.
Is there anyone left in the universe who isn’t in a hurry these days?
Monday, April 16, 2007
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Thursday, March 22, 2007
1. Spring Training
2. Spring Cleaning
3. Spring Fling
4. Spring Break
Scenes should be no more than 1,000 words.
Thursday, March 8, 2007
The superhero was spawned when a scrawny arts student named Steve Rogers, ineligible for the army because of his poor health but eager to serve his country, agreed to a "Super Soldier Serum" injection. The substance made him a paragon of physical perfection, armed only with his shield, his strength, his smarts and a command of martial arts.
This ends a long run for our shield-wearing hero, who was created in 1941, but in the comic-book world, death is never really final.
Tuesday, March 6, 2007
I just wanted to tell you about a wonderful site I frequent on a daily basis. It's located at http://writersrow.com/deborahng/freelancewritingjobs.html.
Deborah Ng is a freelance writer herself and has been writing professionally since 2000. She updates this writing list each Monday through Friday. You can sign up for her email list and receive a notice when the list is updated.
Not only does she list freelance writing jobs, she also provides a listing of blogging jobs. If you're serious about writing and looking for some work, you won't want to miss this daily list.
Anyway, apparently there are times when speaking engagements are needed over the written word. Here's a situation I'm currently involved with where my cleverly written arguments just don't cut it.
I have a subscription to PC Gamer magazine. Last year, my niece was selling subs for her Girl Scout council, so I renewed my PC Gamer subscription. I renewed the magazine for $20, which is their usual price; however, when ordering from a third-party company, apparently the magazine doesn't come with demo discs. So I contacted PC Gamer (via email, of course) and asked them why I stopped receiving the discs with the magazine. They told me the reason and they also told me I could upgrade to receive a disc version if I sent them an additional $11. I love my games and I love being able to try out games, so I sent in my additional money. It took over a month for them to receive and cash my check.
My next issue didn't come with a disc after that, so I emailed them again. They gave me some spiel about the address labels already being pre-printed and that my upgraded sub would start with the March 2007 issue. I got a disc with my March 2007 issue, hooray!
In April, my magazine came without a disc, so I emailed them. They responded with saying my current subscription was made with a third-party and doesn't include a disc. If I wanted to upgrade, I had to send them an additional $8. What????? Didn't I just go through that several months ago?
I emailed them and told them I paid $11 to upgrade my sub. I told them to double check their records. I got a response back again saying my current sub NOW does not include a disc. Argh! I tried emailing them one more time and telling them yes it does. I enclosed my previous correspondence that said my upgraded version would start with the March 2007 issue. If they can't understand this, the written word has failed me and yes, folks, I'll have to pick up the dreaded phone and try to sort this out verbally. *sigh*
Thursday, March 1, 2007
Create a horrific fairy tale as if you were the lost Brother Grimm based on an Irish legend, mythical creature, or folk tale. Extra points if you can tie your fairy tale to St. Patrick's Day in some way.
Stories should be 1,000 words or less and sent to me by March 15, 2007.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
I have lived on both sides of the spectrum here. When I was in high school, I had this scrawny little "nerdy" guy fawning over me, but he didn't measure up to my ideal boyfriend, so I ignored him. Well, that scrawny little boy grew up to be a very handsome and rich young man. He went on to be a success, while I stammered in my own wallowing and tried to eke out a living.
Now I'm seeing life on the other side. I don't do well in social situations and prefer my computer to a live person. People see me as a loser and one to be left alone. I don't live up to their ideals and to some, even members of my own family, I will be a bum the rest of my life.
Could I be paying for my mean streak as a teen? Is this karma come calling? Or do I deserve to be blackballed by my peers because I chose the life of a loner years ago?
When my family gets together, I listen to them talk and complain about what so and so is doing. That's all they ever talk about -- who is doing something wrong or not living up to their ideal situation. I'm the black sheep because I'm the only one that didn't choose a life of wedded imprisonment and I don't have a good job. Is that a reason to name me a loser, just because I didn't end up like my sisters (who aren't exactly living in bliss themselves.)?
So I ask you. Before you pass judgment on someone for their physical attributes, their mental capacity, their choice of jobs, etc., stop and think about life if the tables had been turned.
Now go forth and be good people! :-)
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Friday, February 16, 2007
Send me your links and I'll post them here.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Writers can sit for hours on end, staring at their computers, talking to imaginary friends, creating fictional worlds, and giving voice to their own special characters. They lock themselves away from “real life” distractions in order to master their wordcraft. For most, they welcome this lonely life and they prepare for many nights of being alone with their own thoughts.
Writing is hard work. I know quite a few people that don’t understand what goes into writing. To them, it’s not considered real work, just a fun hobby to pass the time away. But writers everywhere know and understand how much work can actually go into a piece.
One paragraph can take several hours to write. Then when you finally have something down, it most likely will be scrapped and you’ll have to start all over again. Even when you complete the piece, you will have to contend with rewrites and edits. It’s a never-ending process.
Research and/or knowledge are also required for any type of writing. There are certain rules to follow and mastering them can be hard work. Even when creating a completely fictional world, laws of nature specific to your world should still apply. Your characters need some kind of law and order as well or you’ll end up in a pit of paper scraps and misguided notions.
So why do we write?
Because we enjoy it. Where else can we create fictional worlds or control people and their surroundings? It’s similar to the God Complex. Every thought, every action, every place is controlled by the writer. In real life, we would never have even half as much control over things.
For me, I love to share my worlds with other people. There’s nothing better than an elated feeling when someone reads something I’ve written and gives it a thumbs up or asks that wondrous question, “Where on earth did you ever come up with something this good?”
Writing is a chance for me to steal away from reality and spend some time with my fictional friends. It’s a lonely world, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Saturday, February 10, 2007
40 tons of spilled cow intestines close part of I-43
Mess around with your mp3 player while you're driving, and this could happen: You could drive off the road, flip your truck, dump 40 tons of cow intestines and bones on the road and close part of the freeway.
That's exactly what happened to Ryan Engle early this morning as he drove north on Interstate 43 near the Sheboygan-Manitowoc county line.
Engle, 25, of Kenosha, was northbound on I-43 about 2:15 a.m. near Orchard Road in the town of Mosel, about a mile south of the county line, when the truck veered off the right side of the road as he adjusted an mp3 player, according to Sgt. Blaine Spicer of the Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Department.
Engle drove onto the shoulder and was unable to regain control as the load shifted. The truck fell onto its right side in the east ditch, the sheriff's department said.About 76,000 pounds of beef byproduct spilled into the ditch and onto the road. The right lane of northbound I-43 was closed for two hours as crews cleaned up.
Engle, who was cited for inattentive driving, was taken to St. Nicholas Hospital in Sheboygan with non-life-threatening injuries. The semi, which had to be towed from the scene, is owned by Kenosha-based Birchwood Transport.
I don't have an MP3 player in my car, but the radio could be just as bad. I remember once when I was wild and crazy. I used to go out driving around with friends, but back then I couldn't go anywhere without listening to my tunes. I was constantly distracted by flipping the radio station. One time when I had my girlfriend and two guys in the car, I was doing my distraction thing when I looked up and saw I was on the wrong side of the road and cars were headed in my direction! Thankfully, I was able to avoid a collision and get back to the right side of the road in time. I've been a bit more careful since then, but wow, what a nightmare.
Wednesday, February 7, 2007
Let me tell you a story. When you go to any business, such as the post office or the cable company, they have signs posted informing people not to use their cell phones at the desk. Well, I went to talk to someone one time about our cable bill. There was quite a long line on that day. About three people in front of me was a lady talking really loud on her phone. She got up to the desk and never stopped talking on her cell phone. She ignored the lady behind the counter and kept on talking, while the rest of us had to wait to do our business. When the lady behind her, the next one in line, told her to hang up and do her business, the cell phone user told her to shut up and mind her own business. The lady in line informed her that other people were waiting and that there were signs up on not using a cell phone at the desk. It got so bad that the two women almost got into a fist fight over it. Now how stupid is that?
Are cell phones becoming an extension of people's anatomy? It sure seems like it.
So, I ask you again, what's your take on this subject?
Monday, February 5, 2007
Go ahead and visit his site, say hi, or take a look at some of his interviewee's blogs. There are some pretty good resources there.
Friday, February 2, 2007
Thursday, February 1, 2007
The assignment this week is:
Write a scene involving the worst Valentine’s Day ever.
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
You can view this wonderful blog at:
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Monday, January 29, 2007
Friday, January 26, 2007
In order to write great horror stories today that leave the reader wanting more, we need to understand what it is they want. So I ask you the following:
- What are the elements that make for a good horror story?
- What ruins a horror story for you?
Thursday, January 25, 2007
This was the first week this season that we actually got some snow and ice and every day that I go to work, I come home all in a tizzy. I deliver newspapers each morning and after traipsing through mounds of snow and slipping several times on icy sidewalks, I'm in a foul mood by the end of the day.
I remember a couple of winters ago, when I first started this job, I had to wade my way through huge snow drifts that were higher than my boots. What's up with that? Are people today too busy to be courteous, or are they just plain lazy? I feel sorry for the mail carriers and delivery people that have to plow through on a daily basis and make their way onto icy porches.
I tell you, I could make a small fortune by bringing a shovel with me and asking my 200+ customers if I could shovel their walkways every time it snows. And that's not to mention the people in my own neighborhood, where every other house is blocked in by snow that you can't even see where their driveways are.
To the good people out there that actually do clear their walkways, porches, and driveways, I applaud you. Thank you very much. But for the rest of you, I hope you burn in eternal agony. :-)
Monday, January 22, 2007
Okay, so now that I laid down the rules, what would you wish for more than anything? :-)
Saturday, January 20, 2007
- Interactivity -- You will be able to tailor content to provide for your visitors -- feedback forms, polls, surveys, contests, queries, etc.
- Promotion -- Had anything published or want to put up something you have written, even if it's just a partial? Then this is the place for it.
- Articles -- Show off your writing by adding some resourceful articles to your site.
- Store -- You can sell your books, or anything else you want, right at your website.
- Information -- Provide your visitors with valuable resources and fun information.
- Profile -- Let the world know all about you and what it is you do.
- Writing -- Share your thoughts with your own blog or newsletter.
But I won't lie to you. Having a website can be a lot of work. You can't just slap one online and expect to have a constant flux of visitors or have publishers/editors come tracking you down online. It requires your attention on a regular basis. Even still, I strongly believe that everyone should and could have a site of their own, no matter how small or large it might be.
Feel free to contact me if you want to discuss websites more.
Friday, January 19, 2007
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Okay, you ready? Here is your first line:
I hated driving at night, and tonight was the worst when my car broke down in the middle of nowhere.
Monday, January 15, 2007
When I first started this blog, I was the proud founder and president of a local horror writing club, The Michigan Horror Writers. We had been in business for over three years. However, last year, the group took a turn for the worse. I’m not going to accuse anybody on a public board here or badmouth them for causing the group’s downfall because as its founder, I should have taken better care of her and asked the troublemakers to leave a long time ago, but since I’m the type of person to give people chances, I didn’t, and things went from bad to worse in a few short months. The day after Thanksgiving I tendered my resignation and turned the group over to some people who I thought would treat her well. It turns out they couldn’t handle it, and they dissolved the organization recently, which made me feel wonderful having the knowledge that its members were left out in the cold. Well, we can’t have that, so I’ll be starting up a more informal group within the next few weeks. It will be open to writers and fans of horror, sci fi, and fantasy. If you’re interested in joining, please email me and I’ll send you a personal invitation once I have the new domain and website up.
The Michigan Horror Writers site has been cancelled and will be removed soon. Please do not send anything to that group any longer.
Friday, January 12, 2007
Anyone have any thoughts on this or any other brain challenges to add? Should we put it to a test of our own? :-)
Thursday, January 11, 2007
SP: What genres do you like to read?
Em: Horror, Sci Fi, Mystery, and Thrillers.
SP: What is it that you like most out of your favorite genre?
Em: I like the suspense. Any book is good if it keeps you wanting to come back for more. The more suspense that builds up, the more I want to read it....
SP: Why did you pick that genre to fall in love with?
Em: Well, I've always been a sucker for sci-fi, suspense horror kind of things. It just kind of happened, I never have really been into the romantic type of stories. I've read both romance and horror genres, and the horror always interested me more. Of course, a story that has both romance and horror can be good as well.
SP: When you read a story, do you like to identify with the main character?
SP: If you can't identify with at least one of the characters, does that turn you off of the story?
SP: Is there anything you would definitely not want to read?
Em: Call me crazy, but I love the gore aspect. I hate reading anything about animals being tortured. I have always loved animals, and I hate to see or read about them getting hurt....
SP: Would you continue to read a story if the main character was killed off, or furthermore, read other stories from the same author afterwards?
Em: Yes, I would, just to see if it turns out good. However, I prefer for the main character not to die, considering a lot of times, it destroys the story in my opinion.
SP: How often would you say you do any reading for enjoyment?
Em: To be honest, not very much. Books I have read lately haven't been good...I just can't find the right one....I like to read books that start out with a hook and continue to interest me all the way through. Books that are so good that I don't want to put down.
SP: What factors influence whether or not you want to pick up a book?
Em: Definitely the description they put on the back (or inside cover). I always read those, and ones that sound interesting I read. That's my number one reason for buying a book. If the book was really good after I am done reading it, most likely I would then look up other books by that same author.
SP: What, if anything, are you reading now?
Em: A little of both -- fiction and non-fiction.
SP: Do you prefer strong male leads or strong female leads, or does it not matter as long as the story is good?
Em: Doesn't matter to me. Any story can be good with either a male or female lead.
SP: Tell us a little about yourself.
Em: Um, okay. I'm 19 and currently going to college over in Iowa. Taking courses in speech, english comp II, american government and math this semester. I like hockey and Supernatural. My favorite book (I believe is a biography actually), is A Child Called It. Really sad story, a little graphic, but really well written. I have read it a couple times already.
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
My dream has always been to write. Ever since I could remember, I wanted that little place in the country where I could spend my days writing and enjoying life. Well, I’m not exactly living that dream. In fact, I’m not even close. But I have no one to blame but myself. I spend more time researching the issue on how to become a writer than I actually spend on honing the craft and selling my work. I have too much knowledge rolling around inside my head that it gets confusing at times and I don’t know where to begin. But I feel, and I’ve been told as well, that 2007 is my year, so after all this time, I’ve finally found my footing and decided to get serious.
If you write full-time, if you write part-time, if you’re living a dream now, how did you do it? Come on, tell us your story and allow the rest of us to gain some insight into the workings of a successful, happy lifestyle. Do you have some advice or helpful tips for the rest of us?
Tuesday, January 9, 2007
Some of my favorite, most recent posts from him include:
- The Hall of Fame
- Interesting and Fun Lists
- The Death of Literary Classics
- The Dead Pool
- Concept Then Plot
Make sure to check out some of his images, where he's put his face on some of the classics. I love his creativity.
So if you ever get bored some day, stop in and visit him. Say hi, post a few comments or two, and enjoy yourself.
Saturday, January 6, 2007
Today, I just learned about another email preview club from Bantam Dell Publishing. It's a mystery and thriller book club called Booked for Breakfast. Each Monday, a new Bantam Dell author/title is featured and you'll be sent a portion of that book via email each day. You also have a chance to win free copies. To join this list, go to http://www.randomhouse.com/bantamdell/bookedforbreakfast/ .
Thursday, January 4, 2007
Make a list of ten resolutions for one of your main characters. It could be a list for your hero or villain. Try to come up with some creative resolutions and not the usual humdrum ones we all think up. Losing weight, stop smoking, etc. -- no no's. But how about if your hero resolves to destroy the Demon Lord's den or your villain resolves to kill three martial artists this year? Well, I'm sure you get the gist of it and come up with something more creative. So get cracking. Feel free to comment with your lists.