Come Away With Me…

Yes, it is that easy to take a trip to another galaxy and never leave your comfy reading place!

I love Norah Jones, well I love her music… I have no idea what kind of person she is but if her music is any indication of her soul, I would love to know her.

I was thinking of this as I was working on a new novel this evening.

While music resonates with my soul and who I am, my words, thoughts, and imagery are what I offer to you the reader.

As I take you on that mountaintop in Under Roswell or that fantasy in deep space or under the ocean, I invite you to come away with me.

Together we shall travel the depths of the oceans or the skies miles above them.  We can learn some secrets of the universe or what lies beneath the sea in Ghost Signal from Colorado Springs.

So come away with me through these novels that I have created.

I try not to let the news of the day affect me or my creative style, but it often does.  I see it time and time again as I witness the sheer lunacy of those in charge and the crazies out there rebelling in destructive ways.  Movies and novels are a form of escapism, so I offer you a pathway out of the trials and tribulation of life or your particular rut.  Come away with me through my words as we travel together saving a race of beings from their short-sightedness.  Might we learn something from them that we can use in our world?  Come away, and let’s find out!

I received an e-mail asking me if I really meant it when I signed my writings with “Much Love?”

“Of course I do!”

The followers here on WordPress and of course twitter and most importantly the base of readers building worldwide… They have come away with me.  What about you?

Out of thirty novels, certainly, you can find one that interests you.  Take a journey with me through Scotland in the Girl Nextdoor. This book is full of magic!

Discover that all life has meaning in the Hole in Time series.

Come away with me as we learn that love comes in many shapes and sizes.  Diamond Joe is probably my most romantic novel where part of me is in that book. I love reading it again and again as I found parts of myself, my soul within those words. I have put it back on sale through the spring for less than a cup of coffee from Starbucks.

Come away with me and listen to the seabirds calling to you too.  There is magic in their cries, can you hear it?  Come, lets listen together…

From adventure to Sci-Fi to something slightly tawdry I have tried my hand at it.  I did it to attract the many different readers out there that might want to come away with me for a bit.  Most of the comments from readers are food for my soul, and I much appreciate them and you.

As time permits, do Come Away with Me… I won’t sing you a song but, I will tell you a bedtime story, or I will entertain you on a rainy day where a comfy chair and hot tea awaits you on our journey to somewhere.

If you are so moved, please invite your readers or friends to come away with us, as we discover what lies behind that wormhole, or perhaps through that door.

Much Love -TW

Feeding your Characters, Part II

What sparks your creative juices?

 

Waves of Emotions, Does the Moon Affect them like the Tides of the oceans?

Many of you know that I have been dealing with the loss of a close friend who recently passed.  The things in life that we take for granted, the smile, knowing look, the chuckle that you caused,  and that voice on the other end of the line that you come to know as your lifeline to reality, those are precious… When those are gone, and you are left alone…the tides roll.

As one who has always “adopted” older friends it has been my privilege to know and care for many that have since passed. Each and every one unique and precious and missed.  Two of the last three I was asked to do their Eulogy, which if you have never done, try and get through it without becoming a basket case in front of countless people.  It is not easy.

The more you care, the more it hurts, and the harder it is.

Spending days writing it I finally had to remove anything in it that would trigger me, and then it was still a challenge.

Today I was dealing with their family trying to be of some assistance, and it brought back the pain all over again.  Facing the “residual” of a friend trying to assess some monetary value to it as to assist their survivors is just miserable!

The “things” the treasures that charmed them and we are now relegated to boxes of stuff waiting for an estate sale.

I often go to antique malls looking for trinkets that “charm” me but more often than not I look for things that might inspire a story.

From strange tools to old tchotchkes that someone treasured a long time ago interests me.  I once bought an ancient relic that looked like it belonged to some tribe in some dark jungle as I thought if I could imbue it with magical properties it might make a story.  Who knows.

I sift through old black and white photos of people who have long since passed that have found their way to the antique malls and make up little stories about them as I hold their picture in my hand.  If the story sounds good, I buy the image, and he or she becomes a character in a novel.

Many of you can relate to the loss of a loved one.  You know that the waves are real and sometimes they can bury you.  I keep some memento of them around me as they were important to me for decades.

How do you deal with loss?

Stuff cannot replace them.

The things we find in antique malls are just effects that meant something to someone long ago.

On multiple occasions, I have purchased boxes of “things” on eBay.  This one box I bought the person who sold it took care to wrap each individual thing in tissue.  There were old lenses from glasses.  There was a model of an old delta airplane. There was a marionette that is probably from the thirties. There were some timeworn cufflinks, a watch and just basically a drawer of someone’s stuff that was put into a box and sold. There was even a broken glass figurine of a toucan. Where did that come from and how it did come to be in that drawer and how did it get broken.

I got the box and looked at each and every little thing including the old glasses.  This was the residual of a life. The old airplane they probably got when they flew.  The little marionette might have been passed down to them from a grandparent.  The watch was old and well-worn but, it too told a story.

I carefully wrapped the stuff back up and stored it away for a future day when I need an idea.  Those trinkets will live again in some story and by them becoming part of one of my novels, the previous owner in some small way will also live again through my words.

If you are a writer, go visit antique malls.  Spend time looking at the trinkets on display, and if something sparks a thought,, you know what to do.

Some things I snap a picture of as I have no desire to haul some piece of furniture home but….I found an article that I will tell you about.

In this old downtown store, there was this small desk that belonged in a classroom from eons ago. The chair was in front, and the actual desk with the writing surface that lifted and a place to store crayons and such were underneath the writing surface.

This was designed very differently in that the chair in front of the person who used the surface of the desk was contingent on the person sitting in the chair not moving the desk.  It was, in fact, a piss poor design to get the maximum amount of students in one small space but…Wow!

I immediately thought of “Good Night John Boy!”

Many of us go into such places looking for something to charm us to purchase it.  I look for fodder for stories.  I never know what will “trigger or spark” an idea.

Search “box of crap” on eBay and see what comes up.  I used to challenge people to pick up an item and write a story about it.  I would have a box of stuff and tell them to reach in and grab something without looking.  Take it back to their desk and write.

To you my pretties, feed your characters.  Find an item and write something on your blog, and tell me about it.

 

Much Love -TW

 

Is your inbox anything you could share with your mother?

We live in an exciting world. When we can hide behind pseudonyms, it makes it easy to say things that you would not speak to someone in person, hopefully.
Here are a few answers to some e-mails that I get.

“What is wrong with “dick?” Don’t you lesbians use dildoes anyway?”

Hmmm, how do you respond to someone like that? Oh, wait…Who said I was a lesbian? Who said I wasn’t? I abhor labels, and if you read any of my novels, you would see that. As far as phalluses, who would want a moron like yourself on top of them?

If you truly understood the difference in the sexes, you would not make such statements.

I mentioned that I get a lot of dick pics in the e-mail inbox, and that is the intelligent response I get.

My interests in people are not what they look like, or what plumbing they have. I like intelligent, thoughtful, insightful people who may or may not agree with me but, they must respect my right to say what I wish, as I do theirs. Many of my friends and I don’t agree on everything. Perfect! Let’s talk about it over tea and let it go.

“Why do you write about lesbians?”

I write about all sorts of people. If you read my books, you will find that I have traditional relationships and then some which are just flat out taboo fantasies.

We all need a mental vacation at times, so I provide it in my novels. I have several friends who identify as gay, and I love them dearly. I happen to think that writing about lesbian relationships fills a void in this world. Diamond Joe is my favorite novel of all time for lesbian fiction. That book of all of my stories is one that I wish Hallmark would break their mold of man and woman, and make a movie of it. That novel is actually YA which is different from many of my books.

Diamond Joe will have you laugh and cry and allow you to see what some people have to go through to survive in this world. Same-sex marriage is a hot topic, and I don’t shy away from it.

“Have you ever been to a nude beach, is it really like that?”

I will admit to being nude around others in settings like I portray. Yes, it is very much like I depict in many of my novels. If you are curious, I would suggest that you pick up this latest novel, Kitties, Titties & Winks or the last series of Nudists of Shangri-La.
The issue with naturism is that there is indeed is no mystery. Once your clothes are off, and you realize that nudity is not what many make it in their minds, to quote the politics of the day it is a “nothing burger.”
That is why in many of my books I mention it, walk you or the character through the process and then spice it up with something else as naturism by itself is truly healthy and truly not enough to write a book about.

I do love the feel of the wind and sun on parts that are reserved for shadows. I never tire of that.

How do you find time to write so much and keep a day job?

Harold, I don’t sleep. That is not really true, but I am an insomniac. If the characters are active so am I. I cannot tell you how many times that I have crawled out of bed at 3 am and worked on a project till it was time to go to work.

If you are passionate about what you are doing it is a small price to pay. We can all rest when we are dead. Right now, today, this is for the living, and I live my life. I went out with friends last weekend, and the conversation focused on what was on TV worth watching.

I had zero input. I don’t watch TV. I have this incredible 4K, 55 inch set in my office that I might turn on when I am eating, and then it goes right back off. I do like YouTube. I love individual musicians, and I want to teach myself to mimic them on the guitar. I find that playing a musical instrument keeps me sharp and mentally alert. Playing also allows me to wind down and at least start the sleep process.

“Why do you use such hard words?”

Oh Phil, bless your heart.  I laughed at that one. Really? If you are reading it on kindle just highlight it and improve your vocabulary. I have an excellent command of the English language. That does not stop me from making grammatical missteps, or from typing you instead of your or you’re, but I do share my knowledge with you.

When I was young, I kept a dictionary with me whenever I read. Later in life, it was a college dictionary. I looked up every word that I did not readily know. It paid off.

Today we have tools that are marvelous. No, I will not dumb down my writing style. Unless I write that children’s book, I will juxtapose words with more than two syllables with everyday words that you might hear on the playground.
Those were a few of the dozens of e-mails that I cherry-picked.
Thanks for them even the snarky comments. At least you cared enough to stop by. As for the rest of this week…Read my books!
Seriously this book is worth your time, and I look forward to the feedback!

Much Love -TW

Would you remove your clothing on a webcam? Why?

Trisha could not believe her friend was about to remove her clothes in front of the web cam.

For me growing up as a child, there were two states of a fact.  It was binary actually. Was it truthful or was it a lie.

When I was young, cursing would earn a bar of soap shoved in your mouth, and a deliberate lie would usually get your seat warmed up.  It did not make a difference if you were a boy or girl.  Lying was just not done.  It did not take long to learn that the truth, good or bad was better than the alternative.

Is that why I like to write about a delicious spanking now and then?  Maybe I should tell a lie… Ok back to the theme…

While many of us prevaricate to spare someone’s feelings or protect a friend, I think we have taken it to an extreme today.  Why?

The family unit is in disarray and economics play into the scenario. When June Cleaver was parenting the Beave, her job was “housewife.” This was also true of my mother.

Clearly many might see that as misogynistic. I do not, as those were different times back then.  Our roles were clearly defined by the mores of the time.  Advancing from the dark ages and actually allowing women to vote and smoke and what have you, there were unintended consequences.  The family unit suffered.

Soon it took two working parents to make ends meet as there were more workers in the workforce.  More supply equals less demand aka cheaper wages.  We have stopped teaching economics today.  We must as the media and politicians are trying to convince us that more workers are a good thing.  No people it is simple economics.  Supply and demand.

The snowball picked up speed and soon even two parents working kept many below the poverty line.  The losers were the children and society.

Honestly, I would like to see one parent home with their children.  I don’t care which one, but children need supervision and a role model.  The job of a parent is one of the most critical tasks you can have.

What if we paid parents to parent their kids?  Children are actually a resource which any government depends on to succeed.  Children grow up to be taxpayers.

To take the place of both parents working, Cable TV made the scene filling our homes with more than a half dozen channels that actually stay on past midnight.  Because it is cable, the content is not as regulated thusly, now you have R rated material in your living room.  Before Cable, one had to go to the drive-in on the south side of town or a movie house that specialized in those kinds of productions.

Shortly after cable, we had Video Tape and then DVD and blue ray!  Now we stream everything!

TV soon took the place of books.  TV took the place of other forms of entertainment as well as shaping our ideas of morality.  Hollywood was now showing our kids the way.  After this #mee2 movement one has to wonder just what Hollywood is up to.  Never the less, Big Bird and the Count raised many children. I still think that is why many people today have an attention span of about 15 minutes.

Mr. Rogers had a hand in it, and I understand they are going to put his likeness on a stamp!

Our worlds were rocked when children were suddenly abducted, and then others killed by their own parents.  We built walls and fences and had our kids stay inside instead of allowing them to roam the neighborhood to play with their friends.

Screens of many different kinds entertained not only our kids but occupied the parents time as well.  Taking mom and or dad away from parenting into a virtual world of cops and robbers or stealing virtual cars and collecting whores.  Or it could have taken them to some other made up family trying to make it work in a make-believe world. It is called escapism and we do it unbeknownst to ourselves.

It is not hard to understand why our values as a people are changing.  Garbage in Garbage out.  When you allow Hollywood to captivate your attention for entertainment and you watch media outlets who have an agenda, the fabric of society will take on a different pattern.  In short, my childhood days will not look your children’s childhood days.

When you want to take over a country you first take over the media.  Our media is corrupt, and only half the country see it.  Others do not want to see it. Then you have both parents working or you have children in a single-parent home where the children become orphans.  They rely on the TV, school and older children for guidance.  Role models if you will.  Today we see Mylie Cyrus who now admits that she was high while filming her infamous Wrecking Ball, as a role model.

We also see older kids selling drugs and our children witness this and see it as a way to make tax free cash.  “I don’t need no stinking education!”

Drugs of all sorts pervade the music industry and the movies depicting the use of them as normal. Not only the movies and sitcoms but also in music.  Destructive behavior is glorified, and then people wonder why this child or that child overdosed. A complete surprise!

The entertainment industry knows bloody well why but they will not admit it as money talks and a few dead children to them is nothing.  When Dumb and Dumber released there were stupid people who actually tried some of those stunts including laying on the road where there was traffic.

A recent commercial for insurance of some sort depicting a child putting his toys down the toilette had many that I personally know calling plumbers out as their kids flushed their toys down the commode after seeing that commercial!

Much like James Dean and cigarettes pervaded the movies making smoking look cool.  Drugs in the movies do the same thing.  We have not learned from history and are doomed to repeat it.

There is no honor in dying from an overdose!

Why am I picking on Mylie or James or the music industry?  I am not actually.  While I don’t judge people or try not to, I think those in the public spotlight have a duty to understand that many will emulate them as a form of flattery and some will do it just to be cool. What they do and what they say has a larger impact than what you or I do or say.  Why?  They have no special insight into anything.  They can remember lines and emote.  Hardly a reason to worship them but people do. What they do have is a large megaphone! You and I may not have that.  Even with Social media without thousands of followers, your lone voice in the wilderness gets lost in the noise.

A year ago I wrote a book called Cyber Subs.  It is a somewhat naughty story about two girls who cannot make it in rural Kansas.  The story depicts what life was like in a small agrarian community.  It then moves them to a large city where a connected life changes their world.

While my reasons for writing the novel were many, one of the things that I was trying to do is call attention to a real-life scenario happening today.  Close to 2000 ladies are now on this one site, at any given time basically being a slut for tips.  I don’t really like that word and I hate to use it pejoratively like that.  What else could you call it?

When one of my twitter followers had in her bio “CyberSlut,” I was taken aback.  Understand the world that I came from, girls actually cared about being virgin when they married.  While young men I am sure had much looser standards, one did not want to be that girl that was talked about especially in a small town and one certainly did not want to be that girl that went away for several months.  I remember the boys were happy to make third base, but when it came time to marry these same boys looked for someone who was not a “lending library.” Assholes huh?

Believe it or not getting pregnant or something that required a shot of penicillin was about the worst that could happen to you back in the day. Aids is a relatively recent invention and a possible consequence as far as a lack of sexual morality goes.

Today I spent a few moments on that site to see what if anything had changed.  WOW!  Just about 2000 models during the middle of the day doing their best to lure men or women into their “room.”

One girl was talking to the crowd of 344 users when she mentioned that there is a market for “dirty panties.”

“What?”

She lamented that she did not like to sell them as it was a hassle to go to the post office.  “If I cant make 50 dollars for a  pair, it is not worth it!” Her words.

I totally concur that going to the post office is a headache but $50 for nasty panties?

I remember watching an Amy Schumer skit where she said something to the effect “don’t you just hate it when you pull your panties down and it looks like someone blew their nose in them?”

The audience laughed and I gaged, and then changed the channel.

So tell me followers of mine, who would pay good money for dirty panties?  How would they explain that to their mate, if they have one?  “Yea funny thing about those, I ahh got them off eBay yeah eBay and they were supposed to be new …. for you honey…”  Would she buy it?  If your mate is on that site, I suggest you spice up your sex life or get some help.

Do you think Vickies is missing an opportunity?  They could have models wear their product and then sell it on eBay… Nah, probably not!

The problem with sites like this as I see it, they cheapen human life.  They, in fact, dehumanize the girls on it and probably the miscreants paying good money to entice more ladies to partake in this type of behavior. If there were no desire, there would be no market.

While I do think that prostitution should be legal and regulated where health is concerned I also believe that this type of thing on the internet where any age of a child can access it, is wrong.  Young folks cannot possibly process what they are seeing and if they are exposed to it, what will it do to their psyche?

Women are screaming about being treated poorly by men, and then there is this.  This is only one site of which I know of many more. Which is it?  Respect as a person or just sexual object?  We are sending a mixed message, and the receivers of that message could be your husband or your three-year-old.

I did go to a lingerie show with some friends one day for “charity.”  You could purchase the item from the model, and she would take it off and hand it to you at your table. We thought it all great fun, but we were actually looking at the product and not the models wearing them.  “Is that a lie? Is that a lesbian activity?” This was so long ago I think they had pasties on.  As I remember these were real women, you know with curves.

“Nothing but the Bass”

I guess I should have waited to write the book as the site has evolved since I last checked it out.  The book gets over 3000 hits every day, so people are interested in it.

As a writer, I must tell you that if you are observant, there is plenty of material out there.  As much as I would like to understand the “models” mindset I would not mind trying to understand the person who would actually buy a pair of dirty panties. Maybe not.  I wonder how many she sells? There is a difference between lingerie on a model in front of you and dirty panties.  C’mon there is a difference, right?

I try hard not to judge people.  We are all here doing our thing.  I write for the masses, and those girls are performing for them.  What I write is the creation of pure fantasy, and they are providing an illusion of a visual kind for those that need it or desire it.  Men are undoubtedly visual creatures, and ladies are more intellectual when it comes to erotic fun.  Reading a story from a good author, the picture in our head is much better than an actual scene in some movie or on a computer screen.

In a book, for instance, we can put ourselves in that characters head and soon it is us taking off our clothing for those 344 users.  If written correctly we should be able to feel what that model felt.  Including the slap on her ass.  Ouch!

I tried to imagine what it would be like to remove your clothing on camera for several hundred people at one time.  Would it be an adrenalin charged adventure or would it be just ho-hum? Would it turn into ho-hum after a few times of performing? If you read Cyber Subs, both of the characters are so fun.  Trisha is delightful. Honestly, she is someone I would love to know.

Do those models fantasize too?  Do they imagine that all those men want them…  If you are a model on any site like that, please feel free to drop me a note.  Check out my website at www.authortwscott.com.  From there go to the contact page.  Please, guys, no dick picks.  Unless you are …never mind, no dick pics.  It is just amazing how many hard human parts find my inbox. No, I mean as in e-mail.  Naughty boy.

I write about nudists in my latest series Nudists of Shangri-La.  After much research, I tried to put myself into that mindset so I could write about it. Much of what I write about comes from actual life experiences, I will just leave it there.

This weekend try to love someone and make them feel special.  We need more genuine love in this world.  It is too full of hate, contempt, and bigotry all of which I rail against.

 Love and sex are two different things gentlemen.

We are much more alike than we are different.  Who we listen to and where we were raised, slants our mores but if we could all get together on the same page we would find we have much more in common than that which divides us.  The media for some reason are working overtime to drive us apart, but it is not true.  You even have more in common with the civilians of Russia than you know. The Gods don’t want you to know that, but it is true.

Yes, my newest novel Gods and Insects is coming along.  That is a tease….

That is actually what Nudists of Shangri-La is about, although it is a titillating novel it also has some enlightenment philosophy in it.  When reading that try to put yourself into Hal’s or Judy’s head.  Since it is narrative driven it is easy to do.  If you liked 50 shades you will love this book!

Much Love- TW

Would have, Should have, Could have!

How badly do you want it?

Does that sound like you?

Many of you know that my closest friend was sick. My friend passed, and last week was the funeral. I was tasked with providing the Eulogy.

As a writer, I am blessed as I can turn a colorful phrase, provide an anecdote that people will resonate with, and make sure that I keep it light.

As a friend, this was one of the hardest things that I have ever written. I knew this person intimately. As a matter of fact, I knew them better than anyone else alive. It was only fitting that I was tasked with the Eulogy.

There are many stages of grief, and I am still at the guilt stage. I wanted them to hang around longer, fight harder and don’t let the bastards win. My friend was tired of the battle and the doctors and ready to go be with the lord.

The guilt is from I was thinking about me, and not them.

I am sure I will be turning the corner and running into lonely soon enough, as the hard cold facts settle in.

My friend is no more.

The phone number will cease to work and my caller id will no longer pop up with that name.

The difference between myself and even my parents was that when I breathe my last breath, I am hoping not to have too many of those “I should have or could have done this or that’s, undone.”

You are in control of your destiny. It is easy to blame someone else, but when it comes down to it, you are in control.

How badly do you want it?

To distract myself while my friend was in the process of dying I accepted a challenge to write a novel that is somewhat racy. A complete work of fiction of the 50 shades variety has garnered more attention than any of my other published works, and I just released it.

An email from a naturist wanted to read a book about that subject. They had just red Cyber Subs and liked it, so I blended naturism and 50 shades type material together.

It was not a matter of should have or could have, it was a matter of just doing it.
It is one of those fun reads that you read late at night on your Kindle when the kids are asleep.

If you are like me when I read before I go to sleep, often times I find elements of what I read in my dreams. Kind of fun if you have a vision like that and don’t wake up with red stripes on your backside.  🙂

My friend that passed knew me well too. My friend was a constant companion for many years and in fact my personal cheerleader. If I wrote a Sci-Fi great. If I wrote a young adult story, Great. If I write something like Nudist of Shangri-La, great! If I write about witches super. Whatever I write about is just that, a creative story that will resonate with some, and not with others. That is ok.

The question is, what do you want to read? What will sell?

I was editing the story last night before I went to bed. You can make notes on your Kindle, did you know that?

Anyway, I was reading the 11000-word sex scene that will entice you to not put the book down. Reading it from the frame of mind of an editor, I didn’t recognize my handiwork. If you did not know me one would wonder what kind of person I was?

I am a writer that can put myself in any mindset I choose to. I could be a nun or religious nut in one story, or a mass murderer in another. I can pilot a spaceship from one galaxy to the next, and stand toe to toe with NASA’s brightest in the next.
I am a writer. I am only limited by my imagination and time.

“You can be that too.”
Many of you who read my blog are bloggers and authors. I follow you, and as time permits I look at what you have written. Most of you are quite talented.

Turn all of your “should haves” into “I did that!”

When the bell tolls make sure that there is nothing left on the table. Live your life!
Thanks for all the well wishes during this somewhat rough patch of road. Who knows, tomorrow I may meet a new person who will need a friend like me.

Much Love -TW

Grammarly 101

Gram 2

gram1

Folks those words checked are my words in these books that you see on Amazon and these blogs.  

Ok, I got enough e-mail asking for it, here it is….

Before I go on to the meat of this blog, you will notice my award and subsequent information from Grammarly. Why is it here, am I bragging?

No, I shared this with you so you would have an idea that I might know something about this subject.
I have a love-hate relationship with this program. It could use some more work.

When I first downloaded it, I allowed it to run as I typed. Bad mistake! When you let it run it stops word from doing incremental saves of your work. Yes, I lost several hours worth of work!
If you run Word’s Spell check and its version of Grammarly, it gets most of the biggies but, it does not get the nitty-gritty.

If you are a writer, the story is the first thing that sets you apart and above the rest. Tell me a good story that captivates my attention, so much so that I don’t want to put it down!

As a writer, you must be able to string a noun and a verb together in the same sentence and make it appear like they belong together. Some who blog here cannot do that. Not judging, practice!
Spelling and punctuation are killers, and I will confess my absolute loathing for the ubiquitous comma!
Unlike math, English is not an exact science. The rules are subjective in some cases, and that is why English and journalism class are buggers! If you are going to take either, know who is teaching it and find out what they like and despise.
Grammarly will examine your writing, and it may or may not give you good advice. More often than not the “nit” is worthy of examination. Every flag it throws up I examine why. Some of them are utter nonsense, most are not.

Well, TW, how do you use Grammarly if you don’t leave it run as you type. Why don’t you allow it to run other than the backup thing you mentioned?

Whenever you write it is imperative that you leave reveal codes on. Trust me, after a while, you will not be able to write without them on. Grammarly has a tendency to toss crap numbers “hidden” in your document when you edit. Not sure why or how but it does. Unless you catch them when you upload your manuscript, it will toss the proverbial monkey wrench into it.
Grammarly uses tons of horsepower to run thus slowing your computer down to a crawl. You will be writing along, and the program will freeze. Yes, I have lost entire documents like that and believe me I was pissed!
So my friends here is the way I use Grammarly.

I don’t, I don’t until I am finished with the manuscript and only then do I use it judiciously. What does that mean, judiciously???
I open the saved manuscript, underscore saved, and then I open a second instance of Word. Now I CTRL X on a chapter at a time and put it onto the other instance of Word. I then run all of the options of Grammarly against it.
If it is simple commas or regular typos I allow Grammarly to correct it. Word choices you must be careful about because it seems to be weak on context. “has instead of have.”

Context is king in a lot of different things, and your manuscript is no different.
Pick the kind of document you are working on and allow it to do its thing. If you decide to edit other things than what Grammarly flagged, such as adding a paragraph, turn Grammarly off until you are ready to check again. Once you are prepared, turn it back on.

If you should notice that your computer is starting to act wonky with Grammarly running, it is a good bet that you are out of resources for the program to run. Stop and save everything immediately!
I would suggest to any serious writer that you have a computer that can handle the most intensive game on the market. I don’t care about the video I am talking about CPU power and memory! Word and Grammarly together are pigs! They will suck the cycles from your computer more often than not.
If your document gets too voluminous be aware.
Book number 26 (Ghost Signal from Colorado Springs) was published on Amazon and

Smashwords yesterday. Many of you are already reading it. Tell me what you think!
I run the reports, and people all over the globe are reading my books, and I am anxious to know what you thought. While it is heartening to see so many of you enjoying my writing, I would love to know what you thought or think.
Yes, it is about affirmation! LOL

I admit it. I write for you my readers and for the bloggers who follow me.
I hope that my experience with Grammarly is of some assistance to you.
Much Love -TW

Writing Tips Revisited

You don’t have to have a near death experience to write but it is a game changer.

 

At the end of each blog post, I encourage you to share, press, tweet and otherwise assist me in getting my brand out there.  I repay that kindness with similar actions, and I post some delicious stuff from time to time. This blog is one you want to pay attention to if you are a writer, author or just think you might want to be someday.

If you look at any of these sites where independent authors publish their manuscripts, you will quickly discern that everyone thinks they can write.  By everyone, I mean everyone that can string a noun and a verb together in the same sentence feels that they are the next Hemmingway or Tolstoy.

I especially am interested in young people with limited life experience with a penchant for painting pictures with words.  Reading great writers will undoubtedly get your juices flowing.  I have read some young people’s writings and was impressed. Blog before you publish.  Like walking before you run you have this opportunity that those that came before you did not have.  You have technology that is incredible, and you have access to the world through the internet.

Google does not replace life experiences nor does any form of social media. Do something.  Become a missionary or go see Machu Picchu for yourself!  If you walk among the locals, you will all of the sudden develop an appreciation for what you have, and you will meet others with a different culture.  In short life experiences can inspire a writer to be a better writer.

Me personally, I have traveled extensively and still have more to do.  I may start out with a tour bus but I will explore, and I will visit with the locals.  From the local pub to another social event.  Those are life experiences that if you are aware of those that you are talking with, will reward you in kind.  From the street vendor to the waiter they all have a story.

I will get their name and talk with them as we are equals.  Why, because we are.  I can disagree with everything that they believe in but, I can still respect them and find something in common even if it is merely that we both bleed red.

Now that paragraph sounds very altruistic, and I am not that philanthropic.  If someone appears deranged or dangerous, I will not bother them or try to engage them in conversation; I am not that brave.  My first trip to Manhattan I was told not to look the locals in the eyes.  Don’t talk with them unless you are in a setting that they expect interaction such as a business environment or restaurant.

Folks, I talked with everyone I came across.  Now when I started out my greeting with HOWDY, they knew that I was not from around there, and felt strangely at ease with talking with me.

Yesterday I was on twitter, and some author put out a statement that I took issue with.

“I carefully craft each sentence rewriting it as many times as necessary, before going on to the next.”

If I wrote like that, Under Roswell, my first novel would still be in the first paragraph, and the other 25 books would still be future events.  Respectfully I would say that she is in the wrong line of work.

You cannot be that anal or obsessive-compulsive with your manuscript.  Writers are creative types.  We don’t think in dotted I’s and crossed T’s.  We don’t give a damn about a dangling participle or my favorite the split infinitive.  We are writers not English teachers.

In short, we tell stories, and we do it in such a way to engross the reader in the story.  When I write, I or my characters are telling the story as they see it at that moment in time.  As you read it, I hope that the picture of where they are, and what they are doing, is etched into your mind with the assistance of your imagination, using my words as the pigment and brush.

As long as the “stream” is flowing, I will press on, sometimes three or four chapters at a time.  If the stream switches off, I go back and do a rough edit looking for consistency and those nasty little participles.

Writers, like an artist, are a work in progress.  When I look at my first painting, I want to gesso over it and do something else with it.  My child will not let me as she loves it! It was my first attempt at putting oil on a canvass.  As we do this time and time again, we develop that critical eye one must have to paint. To paint and be any good at it, that is.

Writing is the same way.  Write short stories. Blog about your summer vacation.  Write, write, write, and with each paragraph, strive to improve.

Two quick stories that I think you will appreciate.  Once upon a time I golfed.  I sucked at it.  I went to these par three courses where you use the short irons and putter, and I played round after round. Mastering the drivers next, I was suddenly playing with business executives and influential people.  My five iron was still eating my lunch.  Every time I pulled it out of the bag, the ball would find the water or trap or the weeds. WTF!

Back to the par three course with you guessed it, only the five iron and a pocket full of balls. I felt kind of manly with all those balls there at the beginning of the first nine.  (a joke in case you missed it)

After several rounds with that five iron, I could play it with confidence every time I played.  Golf is about muscle memory and your mind.  If you don’t think you can do it, you won’t!  You must convince yourself that you can, then you will.

Twenty-Eight Years ago I was in a head-on collision with a drunken driver who was also on drugs.  This changed my life.  I could no longer do what I was trained to do.  In many of my novels, you will see that someone dies or has died in an accident with a drunk driver.  That little factoid is part of my life, and I want to drive that home just a little bit with whoever reads it.  I don’t preach; I just put it out there.

Along with ending my golfing career, not that I had one, it ended many things that “normal people” do.

I accepted my fate and re-invented myself once again.  Computers were just coming into vogue, so I took some classes and began learning all that there was to know about computers.  That last statement is pushing it a bit because I soon discovered that statement is an impossibility.  I have certifications in Novell and Microsoft and Cisco and it all changes overnight.  The people who put on the classes get rich, and of course, the testing centers make money.

I went into Management of IT. I had a good run of it until I was replaced by an H1-B person. The company got to write off their salary (half of what they paid me) to take over after I had updated the company to the latest greatest of everything including redesigning and upgraded their computer room.  I did all this in just a few months.  I was at the top of my pay quartile, and they were not willing to pay more for my talent, so they had me do all of these projects working 70 hours a week for months.  Expecting a bonus, I was laid off.  “We don’t need anyone with your talents anymore so thanks for everything here is your final paycheck!” That was a lovely life experience that I will not repeat ever!

Many of my novels I talk about technology, that is where that comes from so yes, the bits and bytes are not far off.  It makes some of the stories interesting when they use forensic technologies to find the bad guys, which is what I do now.

One of the things I did before the wreck was, played musical instruments.  Nerve damage in my wrist and well everywhere else made that untenable.  I have an excellent ear and “yo dog your pitchy” resonates with me.  “If I cannot do what I did then, screw it…” I was wrong.

A few months ago a friend saw my guitars and ask me if I played.  I kept them out as a reminder to never even think about drinking and driving.

“Yes I played 30 years ago or so why?”

“You should pick it up again.”  Those words sat hard with me.

After he left, I picked one of the instruments up and plucked a few strings realizing that I needed new strings.  My cheeks were damp when I tried to play stairway to heaven to only hear what an awful sound it was and that it scared my cats.  I couldn’t blame them.

Like golf, you take the good shots that you get in now and then and try to do better with the bad ones.  Practice practice practice.  Is this sounding familiar?

There are some great apps for a guitarist that I found.  Even an awesome tuner.  People who have strokes may have to learn to walk again.  I had to reteach myself how to play again, with my new abilities.  Notice I did not say disabilities.  Things are just different than what I remembered them to be.

Finding boring old tunes with three chords then four and then the dreaded bar chords I practiced.  After a few weeks of messing around with that guitar trying to keep my emotions in check, I have since purchased two more; the last one is a Taylor, which I am rather fond of.  Playing no less than two hours a day I can finally make bar chords “ring” again.  It chokes me up actually. Every time I play a song that sounds half decent, I often find my cheeks are wet and my eyes are blurry.  It is a good thing, those are happy tears.

You see that careless SOB took so much away from me with his drinking. Music resonates with my soul, it is my happy place.  When I am making it, that music is much more special than if I am listening to it.

There is not one minute of any day that I am not in physical discomfort to outright pain.  I don’t take pills or anything, I exercise and stretch and endure.  Oh yes, I don’t sleep much!

Will I ever be as good as I was, who knows?  My calluses are back, and the will is there.  I listen to the different artist and try to emulate them and see what I can do with the cards that I now have in my hands, pun intended.

If you are still reading this rather long blog, bless you.  This is the kind of life event that makes it into my stories.  Now I am not suggesting that you hit another car head-on doing 85kph.  As a matter of fact, I would strongly advise against it.

One side note that is rather interesting.  I have legs today because I drink coffee.

You see I had stopped minutes before the accident to fill up the car and purchase a thermos full of coffee.  The thermos, a Stanly Steel thermos was sitting on the seat next to me.  As I topped the hill passing a red truck, there was a Cadillac in my lane headed straight for me!  This was a divided highway and he should not have been there.

I locked up anti-lock brakes and bent the brake pedal.  Time slowed to a frame by frame sequence of events as glass from the window beside me tumbled horizontally by me as the steering wheel came up and impaled me, crushing my chest and face.  The thermos fell to the floor, and I saw it tumble as if on some purpose other than obeying the laws of physics. Time stood still, literally, frame by frame.

From the time I topped the hill, to the actual impact I said, “oh shit” bang! “Oh, shit may have been my last words.”

We ended up in the center part of the divided highway.  The pain was indescribable.  There was an elephant on my chest.  Blood was flowing from everywhere, and I merely thought, this is how it ends.

Oddly enough, I was ok with it.  That sounds strange but it is true.  The mystery of what the sting of death would be was answered; I thought.

There is this old story about people seeing the white light before they die.  My vision was failing.  It started with sparkles, and not too much longer I was pretty much blind, but I could still hear.  Then there was this rushing wind sound in my ears, so I guess that was the next sense to lose its ability to function.

My brain was being deprived of blood flow and oxygen and that is what it is like to die.

The red truck I passed was a guy that worked for the local fire department.  They took the old bastard out of his car who did not have a seatbelt on and was under his dash before they cut me out of mine.  He had one small cut on his forehead and was released from the hospital that night.

When they finally pulled me from my car, as they laid me back, my hearing and then sight returned.  The pain also returned, and breathing was not comfortable, to say the least.

The guy in the ambulance said, “I am going to put some liquid sugar water in you and this needle is going to sting, it is 18 gauge.”  My teeth were through my lower lip, my nose was broken up, my chest was crushed, and I was losing more blood that I thought I could spare,  and he thought that I gave a shit about a needle prick!

They took me to the charity hospital I guess because it was the closest and it showed.  The doctor was a complete ass as we had interrupted his game that he was watching.  Suddenly I was a sideshow as they cut my clothing off with police and who the hell all knows who all were looking down at my nude and bleeding body. Suddenly I was not a person or human but a piece of flesh to be poked and prodded and well pieced back together.

The cop was an arrogant piece of work.  I have many friends who are police.  This person was a total ass!  I had removed my seat belt thinking that would stop the pain.  It didn’t. I think the bastard was going to write me a ticket for no seatbelt until the purple streaks across my chest and waist that were caused by the belt were self-evident that I indeed had it on.  The man, I kid you not, looked disappointed when he saw it! This guy and the doctor too wanted this to be my fault.  I am pretty keen on reading people, which can be a curse.

They checked me for drugs and alcohol and all kinds of stuff.  “Nope, I don’t do that stuff.”

Because my heart was bruised they could not give me anything for the pain.  In a way that was ok, I remember thinking as long as I am in pain, I am alive.  It was ok until they stitched me up with no anesthesia.  That hurt like well, you can imagine.

Later another doctor came in to fix my nose, long hemostats up the nose crunch crack, thumb placed on one side pushing things back into place and then stuffing a whole bale of cotton up my nose with no anesthetic.

I spent a lifetime in that sorry little emergency room listening to the beeping monitors, having to get assistance to pee every 30 minutes being careful not to turn my head because my inner ears were severely screwed up.  Any movement caused a case of vertigo.   The last thing I wanted to do is throw up!   I wouldn’t be surprised if this doctor were also the town vet.  Thinking back, I would not have been shocked to have seen an animal on the next bed.

Minutes turned into hours and hours turned into days.  With all the cotton up my nose, I could still smell myself, and it wasn’t pretty.  Finally getting some kind nurse from California to bathe me, I felt a little more human.

When all the results came back that I was not under the influence, the cop went away probably disgusted because he just knew that the young person had some culpability. Hick!

The old guy that caused the wreck was drunk and on drugs, and he went home. I know this because we shared the emergency room with a curtain between us.  I heard everything, including his wife scolding him for drinking and driving. She actually came over to me and apologized.  She stroked my forehead which was still spattered with blood and told me “I am not supposed to say this, but we have good insurance.” BFD!  Lady, I am in pain here, and I may not live to see tomorrow.  Didn’t say it, but I thought it.

Instead, I asked her how her husband was.  When the words came out of my mouth as angry as I was, I knew what my true character was.  I was actually concerned about that old fart!  That still boggles my mind.

She went on to say that he had recently wrecked their last car, so she bought him that Cadillac so if he hit another tree or something he would not get hurt.  Wonderful logic!  Let’s put more old drunk guys in tanks and set them loose.  Wait, maybe that was the mayhem guy?

Years later I found out why the old guy went home and not to prison.  I was cleaning out the filing cabinet and found the file folder from the infamous day that I about died.  Reading the police report, the bastard cop only wrote him up for left of center.  Now I get that the guy was 84.  I understand that he was well known in the community.  But the guy was drunk and on drugs, prescription or not; he should not have been behind the wheel!    Yes, I am still pissed and every move to this day reminds me of that fateful day 28 years ago.  And the limitless insurance, same outfit as me.  Want to guess how that worked out? I had to fight to get my car paid for!

Oh yes, the coffee and legs.  The thermos that traveled from my seat to the floor wedged itself between the frame of my seat and the firewall.  Since it was full of coffee, it did not compress with the impact thus keeping the steering column from going through my chest and the dash taking my legs off at the knees. There is this whole hydraulic thing I will not bore you with.

The engine and front wheels were under the front seat.  Steam or freon was still escaping from somewhere as they hauled me off to the ambulance.  The violence of the crash turned my vehicle sideways.  The sides were split open and my stuff was scattered all over the highway.  It is amazing that I am not driving a Volvo, which is close to a tank I understand!

God was there that day.  Not sure why he allowed my life to be so drastically altered, but he did.

Maybe he wanted to teach me to forgive… Not there yet.  How do you forgive someone like this?  If you know please tell me.  I do pray about it, it is in my heart and only hurting me.  I cannot forget about it, as I have constant reminders.  The ringing in my ears is a result of the damage from the wreck.  The arthritis is of course where everything was injured. Anyone that has ever played sports knows what I am dealing with.

My doctors tried to give me that handicapped plate and I refuse.  I can still walk.  It is painful but once you stop, you die.  If you are coasting you are going downhill.

I now drive a full-size truck, fuck gas mileage. I don’t pass unless I can see down the road, even on divided highways, but I do travel.  I love road trips; I am just a little more cautious about them.  I stay in the right-hand lane unless I am passing and, I don’t care if I am up to the speed limit or not.  I would rather get there in one piece, than five minutes earlier.

When you read my books, snippets of this story are in them as well as many other stories.  I think one of my favorite books that I have written to date is Diamond Joe.  No car crashes, but that is such a great story, I like to read it again and again.

And my point to this is what exactly?

Go live your life and have adventures.  As Sally from The Girl-Next-Door discovers, life is about adventures. You cannot write with passion if you have not lived a life.  If you live your life through the tellie and or other people’s books, that is not living, that is existing.

Steve Erwin who I admired greatly died doing what he loved.  He lived his life in his 42 years more fully than most people do in 84 years.  There is a man I can admire and did.  I actually used to talk with him on e-mail, told him he was nuts.  In a good way.

Please please please don’t drink and drive, and put that damned phone down!

Thirty percent of all drivers statistically speaking are under the influence of something.  God only knows the percentage that are texting while driving and under the influence.

If you are like me and live in pain every day, don’t give up.  Hang in there and feel free to connect with me here on the blog or the website http://www.authortwscott.com. If I can re-invent myself as I have, and live without pain meds, you certainly can.  I am a wimp with this stuff, so I know.

This blog is the creation of yet another sleepless night where insomnia once again has scuttled my attempt at rest.  One day I fear I will end up giving in to the need for medication, and I will most likely hate that day.

Much Love TW

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