Day 47

Should we give up on wearing clothes? Would zoom meetings be more interesting?

How has your life been affected?

What changes have you made to affect a positive effect on your life?

I joke about naturism but I did read a blog post about naturists getting together on zoom.  How would that work?  Why?  I thought the purpose of naturism was to be one with nature?  Is it something else?

Life goes on, my friends.  We do what we must to make ends meet.  Currently, I am pulling from savings to keep everyone happy, but that can only last so long.  Sadly there are many out there that cannot scrape together $500 if they needed to.

Today the blog is not about writing; it is about being human.  If you have followed me for any time at all, you know that I am a humanist.  I love people.  With luck, one-day people will be my bread and butter.  By that, I mean studying that which we do, all end up as fodder for my novels.    Some of this stuff seems unreal that it could be made up.

Months ago, when this all started, I wrote a blog about mental health.  I knew that this much of a change in people’s lives would bring out or manifest aberrations in their personalities.

Did you see the video of the two police harassing a mum who lived in a mobile home?  Two officers banged on her door and spoke to her in a very demeaning manner.  They, in fact, talked to her as if she were stupid.  The story made the rounds on the media, and they made sure to tout the fact that she lived in a mobile home.  Not everyone can live in a gated community with $24K freezers filled with $16 a pint ice cream.

Whatever your station in life, put yourself in the other person’s shoes.  They did not need to be terse with her.  Her child plays with one of the neighbor’s children and has done so for some time.  This child cut across one of the neighbor’s lawns, and they called the police.  For real?

I was out getting the mail the other day, and my neighbor was walking their dog.  I stopped as usual to visit, but on this day, she stays a good ten feet away from me.  Her dog didn’t hesitate to get her belly scratched or give me a doggy kiss.  Are we becoming a nation of paranoid people?

A comedian was making fun of Biden.  We all know he is a little on the creepy side when it comes to women and their hair.  They said this social distancing is going to kill him.

Ok, I am a hugger.  Not any of those half-ass hugs either.  Again if you read my novels, you know that I preach about being there for the hug.  I get it.  For my neighbor who has also been in her house for 46 days, to stay ten feet away from me, is alien.

I have noticed that many are talking about how China is going to repay the world for their deception.   The more we learn about the lab, the virus escaped from, the worse it gets.  While many leaders of countries might feel like letting it slide under the rug with a few good old boy deals in cigar smoke-filled rooms, occur I don’t think all countries will deal with Xi Jinping in that manner.  I saw a picture of Vladimir Putin talking about this virus.  Somehow I don’t think he will settle for some Chinese made crap in exchange for the damage to his economy, not to mention the death and destruction in Russia.

The problems with this virus are many.  We don’t know what we don’t know.  All of the research was destroyed.  In a face-saving move, the propaganda has been prolific, but, somehow I think the chickens will come home to roost.  The WHO will need to clean up its organization, and China will need to find some way to make things right with the world.  How?  That is the question.

Please keep in mind I do not blame the Chinese people.  I know many, and I am very appreciative of their culture.

As of right now, 212 countries and territories have reported a total of 3,402,018 confirmed cases of the virus.  There are over 239,622 deaths because of this. The numbers are the highest in the United States because the US is doing the most testing.  1,131,492 cases with 65,776 deaths and counting.

This event is historical, and many of us writers should be documenting it.  Before history is changed to fit some narrative, I would encourage writers to tell their stories.  Blog about it if nothing else.

Once you put it on the internet, it will be somewhere for all eternity.

Much like these blogs, I could delete them, but trust me.  Somewhere in some vault along with 33K emails, will be these words.

Will yours be among them?

I did spend some time working in the garden today.  It was a sunny day.  You would never guess where the sun kissed me…

Much love, Stay safe.  We will get through this.  -TW

 

Negative Character Arcs

Hello people, it is I, your humble author reaching out to you once again.  Many of you are writers or authors, and I want to pay it forward.  If you have followed me for any time at all, you know this about me already.

Character arcs are a considerable part of character development, which causes your readers to empathize with them.  Much like the big-eyed boy with the black rim glasses living under a staircase, we all loved him.  Why?  The author did a great job of growing him as well as the other characters around him.

One way we do this is with character arcs.  So, Negative arcs???

I get this question posed to me often.

If you first understand what a character arc is, you know that it is basically the growth or change a character makes during the story.

Your protagonist will probably believe some lie that possibly they learned sometime in their youth.  They have lived a lie, and somewhere in your story, their ‘truth’ is challenged.

A common lie is, they are not worthy of love.  Many go through their whole life because of their upbringing, believing that.  A little secret here, I was one of them.  Shhh, that is our secret, and a lie that I had to overcome.   Those horribly abused children you read about…That was me, and I would have loved the staircase vs. what I went through.

Anyway…

During the plot, they go through twists and turns and discover that their ‘truth’ is indeed false.  This can create a crisis for them, which is fun to write.  This would probably happen during the climax where they ‘shift’ their thinking.  Letting go of the lie and accepting the truth as their new mantra.  Because the lie and reality are probably apparent to your reader, they can empathize with your character, which will engender support for your writing style.

Yeah You!

What about a negative character arc?

There is the same lie, but the truth remains elusive and, the character now embraces their lie even more and spirals downward into less than proper behavior.  Breaking Bad is a perfect example of a negative character arc.

Had I not learned the truth, I dare say that drugs and alcohol might have been my undoing.  That would have been a negative arc.  Death can be part of a character’s negative arc.

In my novel, Presidential Assassins, Kelly’s arc is compelling.  Before going into the military, her stepfather met an untimely demise, after attempting to rape her.  While it appeared as an accident, this action put her on the radar of a group that works outside or above the law.

After her mother re-married…Kelly became a military brat, enlisting as soon as she could to get away from her parents.

She was a pilot in the air force, shot down and tortured by the enemy.  Kelly, unknown to her captures, is a real badass.  She learned as a military brat, at an early age that she had to be tough. When she saved a school friend from being raped by a gang of older boys, she came close to killing them.  Her friend brought her father back to the scene in the nick of time.  He stopped her from breaking their necks.  She had them all down, and now she was going to end their reign of terror, one at a time.

Realizing that he now had a debt to repay, he hatches a plan.  Taking the gangly redhead under his wing, teaching her his ways would benefit her.  As a master of martial arts, he teaches her discipline, among other things.  While some of her talents come from her heritage as a red-headed green-eyed Irish woman, the lethal talents were taught to her by this man.  She became a master.

Fast forward past the war and her time in the exchange program on an aircraft carrier, she finds a job as a reporter.

After an explosion in California, Kelly is sent to research who was responsible.  During her flight, the plane she is on is hijacked.  Guess who kills the hijackers and flies a shot up 737 back into Scottsdale during a storm.

This novel is so full of action you will not be able to put it down.

Kelly has what we call a ‘flat character arc,’ or possibly a slightly positive arc as she does adapt and change to the situations.  I say that because, in reality, she arcs positive, negative, and then just kind of flat because she is who she is.  She is dynamite with a temper to match.

I don’t care what your gender happens to be; you will fall in love with her.

There is a secret organization that controls world leaders, and she is recruited….That is about as much as I can tell you without spoiling it.

A flat character arc is one where the character does not change who they are.  Some examples of that would be Indiana Jones or James Bond. To a large extent, it is Kelly McGuire.

I will put a link to the book here, Presidential Assassins.

If you honor me by reading it, please let me know what you think of it.  This is an adult read. There are sexual situations, some violence, and people Die!

My friends, I hope that you are all safe, and staying inside, away from those who this virus could be fatal.  With 7.4 Billion people affected, and the world’s economy headed for the toilette, we will be talking about this in the history books for some time.

Much Love…Stay Safe…-TW

The Last Strad, a Tease.

 

It’s very late or very early, depending upon your perspective of things.  Insomnia is either my friend or my enemy, much like time itself.

Little Cat feet came to mind as I made my way from the bed to the window where everything glows from the ambient light, scattered by the small droplets of water.

It is not unlike me at 3 am to put the kettle on, and sit outside, and watch as the world sleeps.

My mind reels with the events of the previous day and this time l reflect on the last week.  I am troubled by the loss of life, and how much consternation that must cause to the survivors of those family members.  Italy is in my mind; my heritage in part is from a little town very close to where the famous violin maker created his works of art.

She came to the states when she was 16.  Through digging in Ancestry, we know the name of the ship that carried her to our shores.  My Italian blood runs deep, as does my English blood.

Care to guess what she brought with her?  Somewhere in a climate control vault lives a 1721 original Stradivarius.  The chain of custody was from her (his mother) to my grandfather, to my mother, to me.

One of the tuning pegs has disintegrated.  I was looking into purchasing to luthier tools, to repair it when I noticed the label.  Could it be a copy?  Who knows, even the experts are not sure.  Owners of Strads do not want it to be one, as that would lessen the value of theirs.

Still, it would be nice to have it repaired.  Can you imagine learning to play on a Strad?  Yes, I play musical instruments, and I think I would pick it up reasonably quickly but not to the level of those on stage.  Muscle memory is required, much like most musical instruments and typing for that matter.

I think about what her journey must have been like.  A square mast sailing vessel that depended upon the winds to move it along.  Long before the Titanic set forth on its one way trip to Davy Jones Locker, there were the real sailors.  No, I was not dissing those that work on ships today.  Think about what that would have been like being tossed about by the wind and waves.  Those old ships creaked and groaned and leaked.

The ships not only brought people and things, but they brought rats and disease.  History is rife with stories of such things that we in modern times are all too willing ‘forget.’

I stepped outside as the steam from my tea made little wispy curls those water droplets joined the trillions of others before me.  Iridescent colors only faintly color the otherwise gray surroundings flashing lights catch my attention.

What will this day bring?

How many more have stopped breathing?

When will it become too much for the healthcare system to handle people who are in need?

How long did it take Italy to get to the point of administering last rights, instead of putting people on the life-saving devices that are in short supply?  Today we were ordered to ‘shelter in place.’

What does that mean exactly?

I was forced to run a ‘mercy mission’ today, well Sunday, as there are people I know that needed TP and food.  Taking from my supply will extend their need to get out to ‘shop.’

A week without eating out has been rougher than I thought.  With the options dwindling, the desire for fast food has crept into my brain.  Now it is I who must find the mystical TP.  Not today or tomorrow but soon.

Monday, I will take the time to get my characters busy again.  So many of them are nestled in the pages of over 30 of my novels on Amazon and Smash words and, of course, many other places.

It is time to set them free and stop bemoaning my predicament.  This is just a speedbump on the journey of life.  Tap the breaks and move on.  It is bigger than I am.

As for the Strad, I am going to write a novel called ‘The Last Strad.’

I go and visit it on occasion.  It seems to be haunted.  It is almost as if I can hear it playing some melody from long ago.

 

Much Love -TW

Who are you? Who do you want to be?

There are times I look into the mirror and don’t recognize the person looking back at me.

I am often amazed at the conversations I hear at writer’s conventions and other gatherings.
Some are so philosophical, and others are somewhat whimsical. Before I get into what I have in mind, I was thinking, I  would love to take a cruise with a group of writers. Most of us are so introverted it would be a safe bet that you would not have trouble finding a seat at the shows.

Can you imagine 3000 writers all texting each other, instead of talking?
Ok, not my reason for this blog.

I love a healthy debate. Often on this very blog, I put out controversial issues and invite discussion, conversation or at least a comment. Guys, I do this for you.

I should be working on one of my many works in progress.
When I am not creating, I am editing and if not that I am marketing.

That is the life of a writer. Now, I take that a step further, I live my life. While I will not jump out of a perfectly good airplane, I will undoubtedly fly one.

While I might not jump off a cliff with a bungee cord attached to my ankles, I will traverse the cliff in Peru to see Machu Picchu. Peru is lovely this time of year.
When I was young, I took jobs where I traveled a good bit. I learned that when you boil it down, Maslow knew a thing or two.

Years ago, I hit that part of ‘self-actualization.’

In many of my novels, I address it as part of a plot, but I call it Enlightenment.
I maintain that many of those around us are asleep. By that, I mean they are going through life on autopilot. Much like birds build a nest, copulate, lay eggs, bring food back to the chicks and they somehow leave the nest, knowing how to fly, and repeat the process.
We call it nature because we don’t understand it. I think it is something more. I believe in genetic programming. Why do you suppose we are inherently repulsed by creepy crawly things? Spiders and snakes, for instance, are phobias of many.

How is it that birds know to do what they do?

Yes, this is a cliché, but Bees, the same thing applies.

Maslow states that it is not until the first layers of our needs are met, can we get to, self-actualization.

As a writer and humanist, I happen to love philosophy. Some of the Sufi philosophy gets my attention much like Socrates and Plato do as well. I don’t know about you but, I love ‘thinkers.’

You might love those with lots of muscles and brawn or possibly curvy women with booty but, I appreciate someone who thinks. I find that attractive, sexy, and satisfying.

People often confuse our sex organs with what is below our waist. Your sex organ or the part of you that is attractive is between your ears. No, you will never see a valentine with a blob of gray matter on it saying ‘hey baby.’
I would chuckle but, that is just me.

Many of my novels I weave some of this into them to hopefully leave this world a little brighter, happier place than what I found it. I want to leave something behind that others can learn from without writing stuffy textbooks that will be replaced when some government or group with an agenda tosses them into a book-burning pile.
If you want to know the state of our society, watch what is trending on Twitter. It should scare the piss out of anyone with a brain.
Let me know what you think.
Much love -TW

Bloggers or Boogers?

“What If?”

This is a short blog post on just something I noticed. It is the ‘What if’ that I told you was coming.

Over the years, I have developed a nice following of people such as ‘yourself’ who read what I write, some of you comment and most of you hit like.  When I take the time to go and look at your blogs I find that we are more alike then we are different.

Let me say that again, we have more in common than we do that divides us.

Years and years ago, my uncle piqued my interest in Amateur Radio.  I was five at the time when someone he was talking to was told that I was there visiting with him.  When they mentioned my name telling me hello from ‘New York.’ I was amazed.

I was five.  I had no clue where New York was.  All I knew that it was not anywhere close to Minnesota, where he was at the time.

I remember with crystal clarity the scent of freshly cut hay.  His radio tower was in a field.  The afternoon sun was sinking, and the shadows from the trees to the west crossed the field like vast swathes of darkness over an otherwise golden vista.  As soon as the shadows hit you, the air-cooled off several degrees.  For a child of five from Texas, it was magical.

We listened to many different people that afternoon when we picked up some fellow from Australia.  His accent was so awesome I knew I had to get into this.  I was five.  I know I am repeating it because it is crucial to the story.

At eight, I had taught myself basic electronic theory and by thirteen had my first FCC issued license.  In those days we used tubes and the test was not multiple guess.  You had to know Morse code and oh, by the way, many built their own equipment.

The transmitter I built from old TV parts scavenged from garage sales and a borrowed crystal from a local radio club.  Yes, I got shocked a few times but I am here to talk about it. Hobbies like this are not just for boys.

Also, in those days, there were countries we could not legally talk to its citizens, if we were in some war the Feds could tell you not to use your transmitter.  Our speech was restricted to technical things about the hobby and weather.  ( I think it still is, however, I hear politics all the time.) We could not discuss politics or other things that might tip the enemy off…

The enemy…think about that.

I got into radio to meet you, or people like you, who were like-minded.  I did.  I talked to the kings of countries, which are no longer countries. I have spoken with people from all walks of life from surgeons to bricklayers.

Here on this blog, I speak with many who have a love of writing or reading and telling a story.

Many of you who follow me, are from countries that I would love to visit, Russia being one, Ukraine is another. India is another, which I would love to visit one day.  I cannot mention all of the countries that people live in who read this blog, or write to me, rest assured those communications are probably monitored by all kinds of secret spies looking for Boris Badenov or Natasha.  You will not find Moose and Squirrel on this blog.

If you read my sci-fi books you will find the technical details for building a ‘matter anti-matter bomb.’  You will also learn how to time travel and get from one galaxy to another in months.  Under Roswell holds all the secrets to some of the most powerful weapons of the century.  BWAHAHA!  God, I hope some government buys it just to find out that the computer of the ship is into controlling humans for its own deviant enjoyment.

If you want to learn how to cure cancer, I have that for you too in Saga of the Starduster.  I also tell you the fate of the Earth with the knuckle draggers in charge.  Want to see into the future if we don’t change our ways?  Read my number one bestseller.  Oh, and you also find that you are running around the galaxy in a ship full of nude aliens.

My point and the ‘what if’ is this.  Those of us on this blog, if we could all be in one room together; what do you want to bet we would all get along famously?  I don’t care what country you are in or where you grew up.  I don’t care what race you are or gender.  You might even identify as a gender not created yet, but, I would bet money we would all get along.

It is the ‘megalomaniacs’ of the world that stuff it up.  They stuff it up so they can control the herds.  As long as you perceive the other guy as bad, that is all they need.

Those craving power by controlling the masses with lies, and whatever other leverage they have, are the ones who screw up society as a whole.  The media is their accomplice and you have to wonder what hold they have over them to lie to the world.  Someone tells them what to say, and they all repeat it like reading some damned script.  They even use the same words.

What if…an alien race came and monitored our radio and video.

What would they think?

Do you suppose they would want to be ‘friends’ with us and share technology?

I think they would come closer to exterminating us and taking the raw materials for their own use.

I don’t think the world as a whole is immature and backward but, I do think there are some knuckle draggers who make the human-race look like an ant colony might to aliens. Pests.

For the record alien dudes, if that is your plan, I promise you there are people on this planet that are not mere troglodytes for the ‘elite.’  Some of us actually think.   Start with the followers of this blog.

That is my ‘what if’ that I promised you earlier.

#bloggersunite

In the blogosphere and seemingly on other social media we are relatively free to say what we want.  I wish all countries had this freedom.  I think you would be pleasantly surprised that once we dispelled the lies that we grew up with, that the people of the world could unite in ways that would astound you.

I know we are being lied to because I have ways to communicate with people in other countries.  The trick is how do we get the truth out to the masses?  How do we get our respective governments working for the people again, and not their own effing bank accounts?

The answer is we take the power away from the government, and give it back to the people.  That sounds easy but just wait until you try.

Much love people and thanks for the follows.

Comments are always welcome as long as they are civil.

TW

Orwell or Conspiracy?

As a writer of all things fiction, I cannot help but notice the news articles slowly creeping out from different agencies.

Today we learned that the FCC had been investigating wireless carriers for selling data acquired from its users to third parties.  The data just happened to be your location.  Where you went and when you went.

Google was already busted for this.  Even with the phone in airplane mode, it still captured your every movement. Also, if you climbed stairs or your elevation from getting into and out of a car.

Smart speakers, TV’s and anything connected to the internet could indeed be a spy for the Chinese.

Alexa, Apple, and Google smart devices could very easily be listening to your every word.  Even that smart remote could be collecting data for someone.

Information is power.  Who benefits most from knowledge?  That depends on the information gathered.  It is not surprising to me as a writer that I find advertisements for things I just happen to be talking with someone about on the phone. Coincidence?

I had installed security cameras in my home as I travel.  One day I happen to notice the camera was not focused on what it was supposed to be but rather a door to the bathroom that I very often leave open.  I have since changed companies and cameras.

The American government has grounded Chinese drones used in different services.  Wonder why?

While all of this might make excellent fodder for novels like my novel Presidential Assassins the truth of it is, we are probably being spied on.

Do you have a right to privacy?

The laptops, desktops all in one computer’s phones and Alexa units with a screen, have built-in cameras and microphones.  Is your image on some server somewhere?

Unless you want to live like Fred Flintstone, using pre-historic birds to deliver your mail, just possibly we need to give up on privacy.

From the porn scanners at the airports to the cameras on every light pole that you see, someone somewhere is watching.  With all of these smart devices, someone or something is listening as well.

Your purse or wallet is littered with RFID tracking devices built into your credit cards.  As you pass by specific scanners, it would not surprise me in the least for them to be collecting data on which cards you have with you.

Toll tags not only make an easy way for you to pay for roads that your tax dollars might have contributed to, but they also give us that traffic data on the map which can be used for good or for evil.

Who controls the puppet masters?

Those government agencies that are responsible for oversight of entities like this seem just as flawed as the DMV totally bereft of any loyalty of who they work for and who pays them.

As the progressive left lobbies for free this and that I cringe thinking about what it would be like for those that run the post office and the DMV to be in charge of my health, my security, and so on.  We saw it with Veterans hospital and that was just the tip of the iceberg.

As the allure of free everything, causes you to think that maybe an old white guy who lies for a living has all the answers, think again.  The art of winning the political game is to lie to the masses in an obscure convincing way while blaming the other side for your poor decisions.

History is rife with examples.  Millions upon millions die when people like that get into power.

Vote for you who like, just remember, you can vote your way into socialism but, you will need to fight your way out. That will be with real bullets, not sticks and stones.  If you are disarmed, prepare to have numbers tattooed on your arms and learn to eat insects for food.

Giving up rights for promised security is foolish, and the stuff of novels much like mine.  Read history before that too is expunged from the records of life.  Unless you know what has been, you will repeat it.

Megalomaniacs live in DC and in other ivory towers around the globe.  That ass wipes that know better than you have armed guards. They will toss you and yours to the dregs of humanity as those are their useful idiots.

My novel Presidential Assassins is worth the read.

Check it out and leave me feedback.  As always, I love to hear from you.

Cheers from the wintry south!  Tomorrow night 28, the next day, ‘summer.’  Stay tuned!

Much Love -TW

Nude In The Woods!

Tonight I want to tell you about a novella I wrote a year or so ago and recently

re-released it but first….

I bought a book I want to talk about.  Writers, you will want to pay attention to this as it involves marketing.

If you follow me, you know that I write what sells.  I can churn out a story on damn near any topic.  Writing prompts are a favorite pass time.  What sells and why?

I go to book stores and I shop online like most of you do.  So here is this book with all kinds of pants on the cover, including undies of different sorts.  The title is Take off Your Pants.

What the hell, it made me look!

That is what I was talking about in a previous blog, when you want to charm some intern who is going through some agents ‘her mothers,’ slush pile.

You want a title that grabs the reader.

The truth is, I bought the book, but have not even looked at it.  The book is about modifying the way you write, if you are a pantster, as I am.  Hello, what I do works, why change what is not busted?

Why did you buy it then?

I bought it because the title and cover were captivating and amusing.

Now, if you don’t know if you are a plotter or pantster, you might get some mileage out of her book.  It is an e-book that went to my mac instead of my tablet for some reason.

“TW, what is this nude in the woods about?”

So here is the deal. I have been nude in the woods.  I know the honesty just drips out of me at times.  I actually love nature, and I love to be in it as God made me. Yes, it can be intimidating at times and yes, you do feel vulnerable, at times.

When I wrote Land of my People, I captured the first time I did it.  I re-lived that moment, including the ‘thinking tree,’ and much of the other parts of the novel are actually from real life.

I cannot say this enough, if you want to write compelling stories, you have to be willing to pull off your undies, or said another way, live your damned life like you mean it!

The Bucket list spoke to me, not so much for the reasons they had in the movie but, for fodder for gripping tales.  How the hell can you write stories if you only watch TV or read what others write?

Go out and skin your knees, get your skin scraped up with briars, and stand on sticky things with your bare feet.  Or better yet, feel the sun kiss you in places reserved for shadows.  Allow the wind to whistle through your nether regions and live in the moment.  Do it by yourself, so you can listen to the whispering trees.  Learn to pee without getting yourself wet, and if you do, so what.

In this novella, which I hope you will read, you will see some of what I went through to write this story.  Guess what, I would do it again.  I would sit on that hot rock or pick those yellow flowers.  I would dive into that lake with only that old deer as my witness.  When your heart is pounding in your chest, as you pull off that last stitch of clothing, only then can you write about it convincingly.   As you leave your clothes behind on that ‘thinking tree,’ turning your back on civilization, only then can you honestly know what it is like to be exposed, to be truly naked. When you walk through a spider web, and the ‘huntress’ leaves your chest while slowly making its way down your belly toward your…yeah, you are alive!  You think and act without the safety of the remote control.  While respecting all life, could you do what she did?

In Perpetual Palpitation, I write about the antics of two lovebirds who find places on a cruise ship where he takes a picture of her while she performs lewd poses.  Care to guess how many ships I have been on?

You have to live my friends.  You cannot write good stuff if you only do it by reading the works of others.  You have to use all of your senses, and you must remember what it was like when you are at Hippy Hollow, as I write about in Nudist of Shangri-La.   Yes, I know about it, because I was there.

There is a beach in Florida that you will get ticketed if you are wearing clothing on it.  How do I know?

Not from the internet, I assure you.

Tan lines should be a sin.  Until you rip the Band-Aid off, you cannot honestly write about it.

Now I have not written about sky diving because I will not jump out of a perfectly good plane.  I can write about flying because I have spent my fair share of time behind the yoke.  Until the ground disappears beneath you, and you are in control, you cannot write convincingly about it, like I did in Presidential Assassins.

No, I have not killed anyone, so you do have to use your imagination but, and I say this with all due candor, you have to live.  I have killed, hunted, stalked, been stalked, been in the woods nude or naked, and done much, tried much, and would do more if I needed, to experience it, to write about it.

You can get a small sampling of that in Land of my People.  I did spend about a week in the woods, as my main character did.  I describe my first time as his daughter did.  I think you will love it.

I hope that this blog, like most, will inspire you to write convincingly.  I also hope you will assist me by spreading the word about this blog, and my books.

Much Love -TW

Feedback.  How should you use it?

This is a cover I created for Diamond Joe.  The island  I took while on holiday, the ladies I drew as well as parts of the horses.   Diamond Joe should be a movie.  Too bad Hallmark does not do same-sex movies.

AHHHH!  I don’t want to market my books, I just want to write the damned things!

Sound familiar?

I am a natural-born storyteller.

As a kid, I was the one with the flashlight making up stories about the zombie bunny that would be all cuddly and cute when you were hugging it.  As soon as your eyes closed, the fangs came out!  The claws turned in to razor-sharp daggers that it would use to rip your throat out!

Can you imagine how many kids tossed their velveteen rabbit books in the trash after that little story?

Whoever heard of evil bunny rabbits? Gives all new meaning to biting the ears off that chocolate Easter bunny now, doesn’t it?  Die you SOB…you’re not ripping my throat out!

I always wondered why nobody wanted to sleepover at my house… Was it my breath?  Is it possible that my invitations to parties were not lost in the mail?  BOOO!

Stories are part of who we are.  If it were not for them, we would have no bible, no Jesus, no Zeus or Pele’.  We would have no folklore at all.  The magical kingdoms of the Scots, we would never know about.

While history is written by the victors, the stories that entertain, are written by writers.  That is right, baby, who is your mama!

Before the written word, they would lie around at night and look up at the skies and wonder what all those dots of light were.  From constellations resembling things they might recognize, much like clouds today, they made up stories.  Those passed down through the ages have most certainly changed much like the ‘telephone game, ‘but never the less, we have them.

This week I got one of my novels back from a beta reader who had some interesting comments.

Tonight I want to talk about feedback and how to use it.

Let’s deal with rejection first.

It is going to happen.  Those excellent agents must have material that they don’t have to sell.  It has to be so good that it pops off the page without even reading it.  There must be linguistic magic that enchants the person who even thinks about opening the e-mail.

“This is not the kind of thing we handle, or your book is not right for us.”

“Son of a bitch!  Let me take the old Underwood out and shoot the damned thing, and go back to waiting tables!  At least there I get a pinched ass for a few dollars, and hey…I get some attention.”

Ok, that might be a little on the extreme side.  I haven’t waited tables, while since I was a kid. I do have an old Underwood that actually works, but of course, I don’t use it either.

Rejections are a starting point. Here is how to handle them if traditional publishing is your path.

Send out your baby, gird your loins, and while you are waiting for the offer letters to come in like the proverbial tsunami, start another book.

Absolutely, positively, do not rest on your laurels!  Are you listening? Tell me, you heard that!

You spend your time writing your book, and you send it out after you have languished over every god damned word in the thing. Send it out and move on!  Do you realize that the average book is over 70k words and writers suffer over every one of them?  Is this the right word?  We agonize, trust me on this one grasshopper!

When you get the boilerplate letter weeks to months later, file it away, and send it out again.  Someone out there is looking for what you wrote and just possibly with weed so much more prevalent, you might catch them in a stoned moment, and they might laugh at your hook or characters and in a weak moment, they send you an e-mail with all kinds of miss spelled words telling you that you rock and please submit the entire manuscript!  Hey, it could happen!

On the flip side, you find the agent who is genuinely seeking what you wrote and is ready to do what it takes to sign you.

Happy days!  It could happen.

Tonight I just uploaded a new version of Diamond Joe.  After applying many things that I have learned over the years, I have made this lesbian love affair, an affair to remember.

That sounds tawdry, and it is not.

The beta reader told me that she loved the story and was amazed that my characters each had their own voice.  ‘Hello, they should have their own voices.”

This is a romance with romantic subplots, family issues, and oh yes, a racehorse!

What is not to love about a rags to riches story, where a young lady discovers who she is and better yet, captures the heart of a young rich widow, who has no idea that she would love another woman?

I walk you through the entire thought process, and I take you down the dark road of, ‘what if she is after my money?”

Oh yes, there are gold diggers out there, gay or straight or is it gay and straight?

This is a heart wrenching, feel-good story that they should make a movie out of but, Hallmark has yet to make a movie with same-sex couples.  Why is that?  This book would be such a killer hot movie.  Maybe Netflix should pick it up.

I am trying to figure out who would play whom…

Back to the feedback.  What you want from them is what they liked and what did not work for them.  That is all you want, as that is all you need.  If they start to tell you, it would have worked better if…Stop them!  You don’t want to know the ‘if’ part.  The reasons are simple.  If they render an opinion and you should be foolish enough to take it, guess what, it is now their story, not yours.

So ladies and gentlemen, if you read my novels and you should be so kind as to offer me feedback, just tell me what worked and did not work for you.  Allow me to figure out why.  I am the writer and in my little office, I am a god!

That sounds crazy but think about it.  I create worlds, people, places, and situations. I even create evil little rabbits.  That is what a writer does, and if you don’t respect any writer that you know, you might find yourself in one of their stories, tied to the bed, surrounded by hundreds of chocolate Easter rabbits, without their ears.  Since they cannot hear you, they will never know if you are loving, or hating your throat being eaten out.  It is just payback after all.

Write! Write! Write!

When I get a rejection letter, which I do on occasion, it just drives me to improve my craft.  Since they hardly ever tell you anything other than, ‘we don’t sell this shit’ (paraphrased,) you send it out again while learning your craft even better.  That is what drives me.  Yes, I would love to know what exactly they didn’t like about it but, it is probably their twelve-year-old child going through the slush pile while playing some game on their phone.

  • Put some magic in your hook!
  • Cast a spell on the reader.

Write something so overpowering that even the twelve-year-old will stop looking at the phone long enough to say ‘WOW!”

I have said it many times in different ways, you cannot be a one-trick pony.  Write your story, nobody is perfect and your story will not be perfect.  Send the thing out and start writing about evil little bunnies, or not.

If you are like me, you are on fire at the keyboard.  You can go hours without eating, or even thinking about food, as your characters are running through caves or jumping off cliffs, you cannot leave them!  Continue on, and don’t let the bastards or twelve-year-olds get you down.

Agents are always looking, even though they might profess to be too busy.  If they are good, they are looking.  You might try sending your queries to agents in states where pot is legal…I kid…nobody gives a damned if it is legal or not!

I am probably one of the few who has never tried it.  I don’t smoke, but I hear some gummies are to die for…Bwhaaa!  Are they rabbit gummies?

Much love peeps.  -TW

Know the Rules, and Break Them!

Make it your story.

As writers, we are ever cognizant of the rules.

From show don’t tell to use simple sentences, we have all heard them.  There are even books on the subject.  “Shocking!”

One of my readers contacted me to tell me that ‘big’ words threw him out of the story.  My first response was, ‘only in my head, of course, was’  “bless your heart.”

That begs the question, do we dumb our writing down to appeal to the masses?  Is the reading public getting dumber?

Personally, I would rather lift people up than encourage them to read at a fifth grade level as adults.  It used to be that we would write for a seventh-grade level which is still insane but, to lower our standards to a fifth-grade level, one has to wonder.  Why are companies hiring from other countries instead of America?  Could it be that we are saying it is ok to stagnate at a fifth grade level of reading?

Here is another rule. ‘Simple sentences work best.’ Pro Writing aid will tell you many things, including identifying such sentences.  To me, this rule also has to do with the pacing of your story.  We want people to turn the page, not struggle over complex sentences.  Does that hold true for words like perpetuity?

Should we not endeavor to leave people a little more educated than when they found us?  Kindle makes it so damned easy to look up a word.  Personally, I rejoice when I read a word that I have not heard.  Possibly that is a quirk but I will own it.

As a child, I kept a dictionary close and looked up every word that I did not know.  I used a word in my second-grade class that the teacher called me on.  I mentioned that my sibling was obstinate.  She peered down over her long nose through her poorly fitted readers and pointed her crooked finger straight at me. “Do you even know what that word means?” She crowed.

“Stubborn, pig-headed, inflexible.”

This person was not impressed.  This individual should have retired years ago but ‘loved’ kids. PFFT!

I was ‘that’ child in school.  The precocious child who used words better suited for late teens, possibly college kids.  When you read, you tend to have a respectable vocabulary.

I wrote in a previous blog about how you get a glimpse into the heads of the author by reading what they wrote.  This is especially true for children and ‘stories.’

An astute teacher can glean much from those short stories, including trouble at home.

I learned the rules.  I know them, so now I break them with impunity.

Thunder over the water sounded like two pirate ships in a heated battle; before one of them would meet Davy Jones.  The crusty old captain was not going down without a fight.  His younger rival had studied him, and knew what his moves might be.  This was the first time a woman would lead men into battle, and she was untested.

Her red hair blew about her, as the acrid odor of gun powder filled their noses. The splinter of wood sounded like the thunder itself, as the mainsail was the first casualty of the battle.

Susan saw the story in her head as she sat on the screened-in porch watching lighting dance in the clouds well in the distance.

Her mother was due home at any moment.  She could see down the mountain road and there were no lights from any cars.  In fact, there had been no traffic for what seemed hours.

A chill caught her attention as the winds from the impending storm blew through the screen, with a whistling sound that reminded her of the sounds coming through the open canopy of her father’s aircraft.

Never start a story with the weather… Hmmm, I think that start gets your attention.  This open or prologue took less than three minutes to concoct.

  • Who is Susan?
  • Where is her mother?
  • How old is she?
  • What about her father?
  • He is/was a pilot. Where does the story take place?

While allowing the reader to do some of the work, we the writer have this picture in our mind.  We know it is a cabin perhaps, in the woods may be up a mountain next to a lake left over from the glacial days.  We know that Susan has an imagination and pirates play into it.

I like strong women and red-haired women at that.  Wonder why?

Know the rules and then write the damned story.  Make it your story.

Comments?  I love to hear from you as always.

Much Love -TW

 

Mars..Are we from there?

It would be fun to write a blog on the men are from mars and women are from Venus book. Different topic…

It is no secret that I am a science fiction writer.  If you did not know that, you are not reading things too carefully.  I was looking at this old picture of mars.

Mars-NASA

Here you can see what they are calling the Grand Canyon on Mars.

I would think this is more like the Marianas Trench on mars.

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It takes little imagination to see that there were once great oceans covering the red planet.

mars

  • What happened?
  • Was there life on Mars?
  • Did we come from Mars?

Whether we are descendants of the red planet or not I think it would behoove us to learn where the atmosphere on Mars went and where did the water go.

As I was researching this I found that scientists are finding plastic bags and other forms of trash in the Marianas Trench.  Just possible we should go look in the trench or grand canyon on Mars for trash or other signs of a past life…or the water…

Thoughts comments and conjecture on this subject are welcome here.

The revised version of Tipping Point now 92K words is on Amazon and it is a free read on Amazon Kindle Unlimited.  Jeff Bezos is getting a divorce and his ex-bride needs money…So read my books, and help her out… 🙂

If you like my novels please consider leaving feedback.  Once a book receives over 50 (feedbacks) Amazon actually starts to assist authors like myself at that point and suggest it to other purchasers.

-TW