Critique-How, Why and are you Qualified?

Is your ego ready for this?

As a writer of over 32 novels and counting, I have not had the benefit of a critique partner, or group.

Grammarly and other artificial intelligence can only take you so far in the creative process.  Typos and other grammatical errors are inconsequential if your story sucks.

The problems are many, but mainly we writers are a solitary bunch.  Many days, if it were not for my business, I would speak with no one. My characters and stories become my life, as I am confident, do many of yours.  We sit here in solitary with the keyboard making its little clicking sounds as, “our music.”  That is ok to me, and probably many of you too.

“Is it really ok?”

First, we must recognize that we are social creatures and are meant to be that way to keep from being maladjusted in this world of other social beings.  Some of us live out in the country, and I envy you!

If you are reading this, you have the internet. With that tool, you no longer need to be an island all on your own.  We, you and I share a bond, the many do not share.  We share the passion for creating things with our minds.  We create realms, and people, and are very much like God him or herself. Yes, I did it; I assigned God a position in life by anthropomorphizing God as a being, like us.

With this internet and access to this blog and others like you, we, you and I can share stories or ideas.  You and I can, in fact, offer constructive criticism on your WIP.

When starting, your ego might be fragile, and it is ok to ask your partner to go a little easy.  I have stated in previous blogs, for the person offering the criticism to look for the good stuff and mention it, before you deliver the crushing reality of what they are doing wrong, “in your opinion.”

Allow me to emphasize that opinion part.

I sent a story out to my critique group which is comprised of all types of people.  The nerd among them who I respect, and care about, tore the story apart as the science in his “opinion” sucked.  The story was a romance based around weak science much like the flux capacitor. The science was, in fact, a focal point only to build the story.

In most romances, the characters are the focal point and the “event” is the supporting trope.

The others in the group loved the story.

As you think of your audience, you should also consider what they tell you from their viewpoint. As my mother used to say, “Consider the source.”

We will be talking much more about this in the future, as I very much like to pay it forward, to other writers out there.  “Yes, that means you!”

Along with this subject, I will be spending much more time writing about all aspects of writing.  Why?

As I learn, one of the best ways to cementing that knowledge is to “teach” it.  Why not teach you, my followers, if that sort of thing is of value to you.

As we move into the holiday season, many of you will have some time, and I pray that you use it to spend with family and friends.  We writers need to divest ourselves of the computer every now and then and live.  I know what I am asking because I would much rather spend time with my characters and you, then family.  Truthful I know, but it is what it is.

What can you do?

  • If you are not already a follower of me here, do that.
  • Offer some opinions on my writing here, if nothing else.
  • The novel I let the group read is Tipping Point, and it is free on Kindle Unlimited. Read it and give me some feedback before I re-write it.

Currently, I am teaching myself more about Dialogue, and I will be sharing what I learn with you here, as again, I am a firm believer in paying it forward.  Dialogue is the most essential part of your fiction, and if you blow it, you are wasting your time.

If you have a subject that interests you, let us know here in the comments.

Share this with your friends and followers as we strive to perfect our craft.

Much Love and Happy Holidays!  -TW

Presidential Assassins

As a writer what are your goals?

 

During the last few months, I wrote Presidential Assassins.  The editing of it and so forth took time, but it is quite good.

The quite good is a quote from some of my beta readers and some initial feedback.

One of my readers told me that my book reads a lot like some movie that is being advertised currently.  I have not seen the leads for it, but it is about a shadow government and assassins.

My novels are selling well, and people are giving me good feedback thus far. Someone was telling me that if you write a book where the hero is a kick-ass woman nobody will buy it. FFS!  Did they happen to see the movie Wonder Woman?

I don’t like misogynist at all.  Women can indeed be badass assassins, just as good as Tom Cruise.

This novel is aching for another volume.  Waiting to see if enough readers demand it. I hope that they do.  I already have some ideas of where I would take it.

If you take the time to read it, let me know what you think.

Before I get an agent, you can acquire my novels very inexpensively. Why? An agent has a team of people who they assign your book to.  Some editors fix the participles and antecedents and split infinitives.   They look for grammar punctuation and of course inconsistencies in the story.

Now they do other things as well, they look for parts of your story that need punching up or deleting.

I liken this part of the process to what my art instructor did to me on several occasions.

I would paint this exquisite painting that I loved and then she would come by and tear it apart.  One time she took a rag full of turpenoid, (odorless turpentine) and wiped the canvass clean.  Well, it was a gray mess. I was gobsmacked!  I was happy with mediocrity, and she knew I could do better. Painfully she was right, I could, and did.

Agent’s, if they take you on as a client can push you to the next level.  Now I know that my books even though they are selling around the world with the right agent, they could be a lot better.

Query letters and begging for representation is not my thing.  Query letters take a minimum of four hours to produce.  In four hours I can write at least one chapter, and maybe two.

My time is worth something to me.  I need an ROI and “if you never hear from us consider it a pass.” Does not get it!

These books will make some agent a ton of money and right now that money is going to Amazon and Smashwords who push them out to the big e-tailers like Barns and Nobles.

Of course, Smashwords and Amazon don’t do anything for their 30 odd percent. By anything they don’t advertise them, they don’t edit them or create the cover art.  They don’t even read them and tell you what might need to be fixed.  They host them on a site, and the rest is up to you.

I recently plugged myself into to a writers guild with hopes of making connections and getting others to critic my work. Stay tuned in here, as I will be blogging about it.

If you follow me, you know that I am about paying it forward.  If I can assist any of you in your endeavors through what I am learning, you can count on me doing so.

Thanks again for the follows, retweets and indeed if you are one of my customers, you rock!

People are buying these books all over the globe, and it is heartwarming!  I appreciate it, I genuinely do.

 

Much Love!  -TW

Tinfoil Hat Election Skullduggery

This would be easy to do and hide.

 

Allow me to preface this blog with, “I am a science fiction writer!”

We writers think outside the box.  Today much of what we have in the way of technology was dreamt up by the likes of who?  Science fiction writers. 

We have this Russia Collusion, voter fraud and Putin’s Bitch mentality going on in this country which is adding to the vitriolic rhetoric and the intolerance of the left and sadly some on the right.

  • Who takes a pickax to a star on the walk of fame?
  • Who dresses in all black and becomes a violent mob actually propagating fascism?
  • Who is stirring the shit?
  • Who does it benefit?
  • Is there really a way for China or Russia or some country that ends in STAN to screw with our elections?
  • Is there really some old rich guy playing god with his millions of dollars just to see what chaos he can cause?

I would offer that our next most significant concerns will be with Social media and those that set themselves up as the thought police.

  • Could our elections be stolen?
  • How would they do it?

In 2010 the Stuxnet virus was implanted in printers that made their way to Iran.  Through print sharing, soon the virus was set free on the uranium enrichment facilities in Iran.  This was a Cyber weapon that nobody will take credit for.

Anyone with a brain would guess Isreal had something to do with it. 

I point that out to proffer my tinfoil hat election tampering idea.

The machines that we use for voting are not connected to the internet or even a phone line.  While they all link together via a switch, there is no connection to the web, ever. That is my understanding.

This would make one think that the machines would be free from tampering.

What if these machines have a worm or Trojan in them waiting to be activated at a specific time and date to skew the numbers?  Is that how Trump won, or Hillary lost?  Maybe this is a new excuse for Hillary to use on her book tour on why she lost.

Before you write me nasty things let me be clear, I don’t think that happened but, it could have.

Not only in this country but abroad in other countries where there is widespread corruption at the higher levels of government, this could be a real possibility.

dianne

Let’s face it. If Dianne Feinstein can have a Chinese spy for a driver for over 20 years, just possibly a trojan written into firmware is worth looking for.

If you want to secure the elections from tampering, you must use positive ID and a paper ballot which of course will once again give us dangling chad!

In an age where we rely more and more on technology, we must stay vigilant with not only our elections but, even these gadgets that we buy to make our lives easier.

Anyone who does not want a positive ID or to take precautions to safeguard our election is probably wanting to cheat.  There is no viable argument against picture ID!

Orwell was a smart guy, and 1984 is a book worth reading in case you have not read it yet.

I would encourage election officials to find a way to download the firmware in the machines, picking random machines from tightly contested areas and have your guru’s see if there are algorithms or viruses in them to “turn on” at certain times?

The Trojan could quickly be written to self-destruct after it had performed its task.

As far as this country is concerned both Trump and the media need to ratchet back the bitterness.  Hyperbole or not, there are loons “pix ax guy” and others who listen to the likes of Maxine Waters and take her acrimony as permission to do violence.

Several petulant individuals need to fade into history before some loon does something unthinkable at there behest.

 

Presidential Assasins is selling well on Amazon, get your copy soon. 

Much love! -TW

Is someone watching and listening to you inside your home?

Does that camera on your PC see more than you think it does?

 

 

Have you masturbated in front of your computer?

Were you being watched?

 

Ever since spying on citizens has come into vogue with recent news reports, did we ever think in an Orwellian way? Probably not.

When laptop computers were given to school kids soon enough we learned that some folks in the IT department had programmed their machine with a bot which would allow them to spy on schoolkids in their bedroom.

Having been a digital forensic expert since the 1980s, the creativity of which scammers work just amazes me.

 

Going through my e-mail today I find this e-mail.

 

It came from ir billing at gangstagraffics.com

 

The subject was this: Yоur соmрuter hаs а gооd саmerа, I hаve yоur рhоtоs.

 

Hi

Dо nоt mind оn my illitеrасy, I am frоm China.

 

I uрlоаded thе mаliсiоus рrоgram on your systеm.
Sinсе thаt mоment I рilfеrеd аll privy bаckgrоund frоm yоur system. Аdditiоnаlly I hаvе sоme morе соmрrоmising еvidеnсе. The mоst intеrеsting еvidеnсе thаt I stоlе- its a videоtаре with yоur mаsturbаtiоn. I аdjustеd virus оn а роrn wеb sitе аnd аftеr yоu lоаdеd it. Whеn yоu dесidеd with thе video аnd tарped оn a рlаy buttоn, my dеlеtеrious sоft аt оnсе sеt uр оn yоur systеm. Аfter adjusting, yоur саmеrа shооt thе vidеotаpе with yоu sеlf-аbusing, in аddition it sаvеd рreсisеly the роrn vidеo you mаsturbаtеd оn. In nеxt fеw dаys my mаlwаre сollеctеd аll yоur sосial and wоrk сontаcts.

 

If yоu wаnt tо deletе the rеcоrds- раy me 350 eurо in BTС(cryрtосurrency).
I prоvide you my Btс numbеr – 1Cot7RaTfFQyeJ2yj5bxUsSX2zBf131Umo
Yоu have 24 hours aftеr reаding. Whеn I get transfer I will destrоy thе videotaре evermore.
Othеr wаy I will send thе tape to all your cоllеаgues and friends.

If you had or ever have done something like what he is describing your blood might run cold as you read his or her message.

You might even be trying to figure out how much 350 Euro is in relation with your money.

The scams are many and this is one of a thousand.  I try and highlight the interesting ones from time to time as I appreciate the effort that they put into them.

Thier mistake is sending them to me.

 

What this toad does not realize is, I could very possibly walk up to him or her in a crowd with a little effort and ambition on my part.   If I can do it, the Feds can most certainly do it.  This e-mail did not come from China.  It actually originated from Washington State. Would you like to know the cable network and the IP address that it came from?

This is extortion and the FBI should be all over this.  Why aren’t they?

I wonder how many will fall for this type of coercion from kids in their mother’s basement.

The wild wild west is in your living room, and your computer hosts it.

 

Make sure you use common sense practice with your computer and have good anti-virus software running.

 

My novels are selling well and if you are one of the purchasers of them thanks so much!

 

Much Love -TW

 

 

 

 

1947 Roswell NM

A different take on the events through the lens of a creative author.

  • If Roswell in 1947 was a real event what would it look like today?
  • If you discovered an alien spacecraft that reacted to your commands what would you do?

Elliot grew up in New Mexico raised by his aunt and her husband.  His parents mysteriously disappeared on their ranch around an outcropping in an obscure area of their ranch. First, his father went missing.  Much later his mother also went missing in the same area.

Moving to California after college Elliot secures a job with a large tech firm Ohmicron.  Developing his own inventions while being the fair-haired boy, Elliot has a moral compass that is not in line with the company.

Providing him an assistant who was primarily to spy on him goes awry when his assistant falls in love with him.  Elliot a bit of a risk taker learned to rock climb back in New Mexico.  When his friend Greg was too busy to accompany him, Susan his assistant decides she must learn enough about it so she can get Elliot to notice her.

Secretly taking classes with her friends, she learns just enough to invite herself along.

Romance blossoms when Elliot shows Susan his love of rock climbing.  Some of those were even too much for her as she slips and lands on her bottom near a dry creek bed.

Allowing her time to pull herself together Elliot coils the ropes and gets the gear ready to make another ascent when everything changes.  Watching a lizard escape the heat scurrying under a crevasse in the rocks, Elliot assumes that there must be a small place or opening.

Dislodging some small pebbles in that same direction of the lizard’s den, while wrapping up the rest of the gear, Elliot hears a mysterious metallic clunk from far below them.  Susan also heard it as she was now no longer thinking of her fall.

What they were both unaware of is how that “clunk” would change their entire lives.  They also had no idea of how that discovery would affect the lives of every human on earth and some races who were in another galaxy.

Under Roswell was inspired by the early termination of Stargate Universe.  Never trying my hand at writing I was always one to be entertained, never the entertainer. When the writers were struggling toward the end of the show with the droid robots from hell, the writing was on the wall.

I was not surprised when the show unceremoniously ended.

Not ready to let them be stranded between galaxies with an uncertain fate on a lark I tried my hand at fan fiction.

Two hours into the project I came to the conclusion that I could tell a story.

Scrapping the project, I started Under Roswell.

Four years later I wrote the end which is probably the only book that I have ever written with the words “The End.”

Thirty published novels later I am still writing as time permits.

The saga of the Starduster is my number one best seller.

Trying my hand at many different genres, from Science Fiction to romances of various kinds, it has been a fun ride. Yes, I have even written a few slightly tawdry novels including some same-sex love.

Some of the e-mails ask why I tried the LGBT stuff.  “Why not?”

Other than some minor plumbing differences, we are all the same. It is my goal to unite us as a people instead of following in the footsteps of the media and others that would seek to destroy us through bigotry and yes ignorance.

In some of my novels, I address things like labels and using sexuality as a weapon and yes being a bully.

Under Roswell is a science fiction that is actually YA.  Taking some of my characters through Russia while taking others into other galaxies is just part of the fun.  You too can ride along as our heroes save the earth from inevitable destruction.

Thanks for following me and reading along as I take you on a journey with me through the trials and tribulations of being an author.

 

Much Love – TW

 

 

 

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