Sunday, July 13, 2014

Energy and all the Writing that Goes With It

More reading about writing, I do it every Sunday to keep ahead of my school work. But this week, this week made me panic. One of the textbooks in class is The Practice of Creative Writing by Heather Sellers. It's a fine book and I had to read a few chapters one of them about tension and energy and then it hit me... do I have the energy? Am I boring? Shit, I can't do this or I can do this but it won't be any good because it is flat and boring and lifeless. I often wondered if my work was boring.

I sent my parents a copy of my novel to read over before I put in on Kindle. Honestly, I love it, my novel that is. It is twisted and demented and crazy and just everything. It is the right time to publish this book. It has to be now and not two years from now. And guess what both have said they have not finished reading it.  Horse shit. They didn't finish a short novel which my first thought was it so boring they couldn't finish it. Let me tell you that really sucks.

I read my work and I read it fast, it moves fast. But I am too close to the work, I am always too close to the work. Even when I put an editor hat on, the work is still close to me. I think about my novel everyday. Not about the story because I think the story is fine. I think about getting it ready without anyone's thoughts on it. I have to rely on myself and I really wanted feedback on the novel. Now, I am back to the self doubt again, maybe I am not a good writer.

Sure, I can write a grammatically proper sentence. I can make proper paragraphs and cohesive papers but that's not enough. Sometimes, reading books about writing is a damper. I never think about tension but I know it exists. I don't create triangle diagrams or other diagram to display the action sequences. If any of this exists in my work, I would have no idea because writing just comes to me.

I don't think about stanza or line breaks, what ever comes out comes out. It varies. Where does this leave me? Who knows? So, I am going to toot my own horn I am special and different and that is reflected in my writing.  This has to be true, right?

To me, energy is transposed from the writer to the page to the reader. If I am excited and energized what I am working on, then it's going to show without me knowing about. That is your job as a reader to discern.

This Tuesday is my birthday and I will be 34 and I know that there is something amazing for me just around the corner (in addition to the camping trip we are taking in the middle of the week). Have a wonderful week.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Books on Writing

This term in school I am taking creative writing and of course, we have these writing books we have to read. I've read a lot of writing books, I am not sure why because I really don't learn anything new. I don't learn anything at all but there is something about those books. The one I read to was Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg and I like it. She writes like she is writing a letter to me her friend...

I am old enough to have actually written letters to my friends. One in particular, I used to write long letters to. I don't know if she kept them or not and I don't even remember what I wrote. She used to write back to me, there was a lot of joy in going to the mailbox and getting a letter or a postcard. Now with Facebook there are no need for postcards or long letters or even birthday cards.  Diatribe over.

Back to these writing books, I love them and there is one thing that is common in all of them. They all talk about the joy of writing. The actual physical process of writing and makes me remember physically writing because there is still that joy when I am writing so much and so fast that the clack clack of the keyboard is almost like music.  I remember those joys of writing and especially right now where my writing is slowed down so much. There is the same message in every one of these books, just write and write. Write without excuses and just write.

I turned in a poem for the writing class and I am terrified everyone would hate it. I am also afraid that I won't get an "A" on my poem or any other writings I turned in because you know that "A" is like the pinnacle right? You know that, I know that. Of course, I have rejected A worthy poems in my day as a literary magazine editor, so what is an A really worth? I don't know. I like my poems, I know other people like my poems. SO where does that leave me? Who knows?  Maybe that is all part of being a writer.

Okay I am thinking about heading outside for a little bit. Until next time...

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Has it Been a Month?

Hell, I've been slacking on the posting. A whole month has went by and I didn't write anything. First I want to say, how much I hate Math. Thank God, this is the only math class I have to take for my degree program. Nothing makes me feel like a moron when it comes to the math class. I used to be good at math. Well good news, I only have one more week of Math and I am done. My other class I am doing real well. It's Humanities and I like art and I like talking about art.  Next term I am taking creative writing, (I hoping I get my creative juices flowing plus I should be able to post some of my work on here unless it is really excellent than I might send it away) and Intro to Critical Thinking. I am not sure how the thinking class will go but there does seem to be exams which I do pretty well at except for math.

Honestly, I've just been working on school for the past month and spending too much time on games on my computer. I really should get my priorities straight and spend more time writing. Perhaps I am on vacation. Funny thing too is I have a bunch of story ideas but not a lot of drive to put those stories to paper. Enough about that.

I am so glad summer is here. We've already went swimming several times at the state parks but those super hot days aren't here yet. Still would like to get a pool but maybe I will wait until they go on clearance. I am not talking about a large pool, but one of the ones that are taken down every year. I have a small pool already but I need a filter pump which for some reason are quite high even though the one I need is discontinued. I can buy a new pool with a filter pump for a little bit more at Big Lots. So it doesn't seem like a good idea to spend so much on a pump. 

I signed up for Amazon's affiliate program but they are going to drop me because I haven't had any clicks. I only signed up to use their advertising banners for my books and ebooks. Now I have to think of something else to do. That is on the list. Really though, I am used to being ignored. Speaking of Amazon, I did sell my poetry book for full price which was freaking awesome. I just checked today and no one reviewed it which sucks because I would love to know what other people think of it .  In the last month, I also have added two additional print books. The only one  left is Nickolaus but I am going to leave it as an ebook since it is a Christmas story.

I will be releasing a collection of Christmas stories and poems through Kindle. I will start working on it probably in the next month so it will be  100% ready for Christmas. It's weird to think of Christmas now but in the world of retail, Christmas goodies will be coming too soon for my taste.

And there you go, that's what I been up to. Once I become famous, I am so glad I will have enough money to hire an accountant because Math is for the birds. Until next time, wear plenty of sunscreen and be sure to give libations for the lost homies.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Hoodoo

A witch doctor
not in the Cajun south
or a palm lined island
waits for me in her
neat home filled with glass animals.
She sits in her black glory.

You come here for answers she says.

I just need to know.

Yours is a life of pain but
with it great things will blossom
Its kismet baby.

Why me? Why can’t I have a gilded life?

It is gilded in time anyway.

Se destine ou mete wout
la long, men tout kontantman
ini ak yon pri
Your destiny is set, the path long
but all happiness comes with a price.

No smoke, no fiery magic
she shows me out and closes
the door.
As I stand on the smooth and perfect
cement, the berry wreath sways.

I wait for some life changing,
radiating light there is nothing
as rain trickles from above.

***
I wrote this poem a little more than a year ago. I still really like it. Anyway that mumbo jumbo is creole. Now, it's probably not perfect since I used an online translator but I think it sounds cool nonetheless. I can't remember what inspired this and I don't think it really matters but I wanted to share a poem with the world.  I haven't written poetry in a long while and I really should start working on poetry. I miss writing poetry. My next term I will be taking intro to creative writing so I should be writing at least one poem. Today is a stormy day, a very stormy day. I love nature's raw appeal. Thunder was so deep and loud this morning, it actually rattled the house. Enjoy the poem and if you hate it, please tell me. I want to know.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Is that Sunhine or Just my Imagination

Here we are in beginning of May and finally it feels like spring. Fuck it feels more like summer today. As if Mother Nature just turned on the tanning bed. In one week, my yard went from growing grass to a yard full of dandelions and now it needs mowed. Times like this I wish I had a goat. Anyway so I am working hard in school this term I am taking Math and part one of Humanities. I hate Math but on the flipside, I am already doing well in the class. One of the nice things about Math is there are no discussion boards, I hate waiting around for other people to make posts so I can respond to them. In Humanities, the people seem to make their posts early on which means I can get my work done earlier in the week. Hey that's great JM but what about your writing?

Hmmm, here's where I could make a clever excuse but there is none. I haven't been motivated to write. Although I started a short story while we were camping last weekend. I plan to keep the short story as a short story and send it away. It has been forever since I sent anything away. Because I find looking for a publisher very tedious. Yes, I know that is an excuse because if I worked harder on publishing eventually I will be published the odds are in my favor, the more work I send out the better chance I have to be published. Supposedly, sometime this year I am supposed to have a poem published in Ardent! That magazine had some issues so they pushed their publishing timeline back but I suppose that is the life.

Writing is more than writing, and I wish it was just only the writing. The self-promotion is killing me because I am trying my best I still can't the word out, I can't get book sales and worst of all and I can not get reviews on Amazon if my life depended on it. I can give free copies away and there is silence. It is annoying but then I think about myself and how I don't review books either (it's not just books I don't review anything on Amazon. Okay that's not true I did write one review for my tablet case only because I wanted to share with other people this particular case fits a certain tablet). Perhaps it is the universe telling me  in a karmic way to make reviews and you will get them. Just like the line in the movie, Field of Dreams, "if you build it, they will come." On the other hand, I have physical copies of my books and I plan on selling them at flea markets alongside my jewelry and try to drum up business and fans by doing it old fashioned way. Sometimes, I need some kind of feedback. Okay enough about that.

And that's about all right now. I am going to outside fix my grill, get a sunburn and do some yard work. Sounds like fun. Till the next time, wear sunscreen and dance in the storm.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Mickayla Margarella by JM Scott

Hey all, I really should get on the ball about posting at least once a week or so. I used to be a hardcore blogger back in the day but I find myself doing other things including school work. Okay. A couple of weeks ago, I published my latest novelette Mickayla Margarella. It is a romance. I wrote this story years ago and I still think this is a good story. I spent a lot of time rewriting this story as I seemed to mature as a writer. I couldn't believe that I thought the story was good enough to send away when I first wrote it.  And this is what it is about...

Mary-Anne is a small town girl with Hollywood dreams. She is a young wife and mother who does the occasional commercial in New York City, as fate would have it an agent is at her latest commercial shoot. He takes her to a fancy party to meet a producer. And the stars are really shining for Mary-Anne as she is offered a job in Hollywood. This is her dream and she doesn't think twice and takes the job offer. At the same time she begins an affair with her agent. Mary-Anne changes her name to Mickayla and goes to Hollywood. This novelette follows Mickayla for 30 years, her ups and downs, the men she loves and the men she hurts.

I like this book cover (uh duh, right, I did make it). It started with a picture of Hollywood and then I did some editing such as playing with the saturation and brightness and then I faded it out. I wanted to make the title sparkle but when I put the sparkle effect in, there was no sparkle. The best I could do was to make the lettering gold (well as far as RGB coding is concerned). Sure it's a romance but I didn't have two people just laying around willing to do a smooch scene for the book cover except for the Barbies and the headless Ken doll. And I am a writer on a budget, so I am not paying for a picture either.

If you like a romance Hollywood type of story then check out Mickayla Margarella it's $2.99 in the US market and will be on Kindle Countdown Deals at the beginning of the coming month. So you can wait until then. Also, if you are an Amazon Prime member you can read it for FREE!

In case you haven't noticed, I am slowly working on taking my Kindle books and making them into print books.  There are three of them available right now and they are The Wolf's Red Rose, The Afterlife of Tanya Madera and Heart of Goddess.  The next ones I will be working on will be the poetry book and the Mickayla story. I am going to leave the Santa story as a Kindle book for the time being.

One last thing before I go... I am slowly working on a brand new ebook. ETA and title are unknown at this point but it is a new story and it will be HORROR. All right that is enough for one day.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Hanging in Washington DC

Hey there, I know I have been horrible at posting lately. Sometimes I am lazy and other times well I am busy doing other things. Two weeks ago the family and I packed our bags and went to Washington DC. I lived on the east coast my entire life and this was the first time I was actually in DC. I was on the beltway once as my parents drove to Florida.  We stayed outside of DC in College Park, MD and when we got off the Metro at L'Enfant Plaza, it was one word- overwhelming. Everything around me was white and massive. Unlike in New York City where I felt tiny among skyscrapers, in DC I was just mesmerized. One could just go there and stand on the street and just take in every building, of course I am talking down by the National Mall. However, our adventure started before boarding the metro.


College Park, MD
We left home right after my husband finished work for the night and the drive itself was decent just boring as it was late at night and there was nothing but trees to look at. We made it into Rockville, MD just about 2:30 a.m. I had a coupon for a hotel but the catch was we couldn't make reservations  which sucked balls. And wouldn't you know, the hotel was full for the night. Not a problem, I had another coupon and my computer. And this what really started our adventure, finding a 24 hours McDonald's so I can use their wifi. We wound up driving around the suburbs of DC for hours looking for either McDonald's or a hotel that had rooms. We stopped for gas and  the police were at the gas station searching some guy's car. The guy was cuffed and he didn't seem to be a threat but there were tons of cops. At least a dozen cruisers and officers yet two detained the suspect and two searched the car. The others were chatting. The gas station remained open. The attendant was too busy and I am not sure he charged me enough for the coffee but who cares. Also he didn't have a phone book, I suppose that is the sign of the times. Once we left the gas station, we drove from Seven 11 to Seven 11 looking for directions to anywhere by now we were in Silver Spring, MD. Finally, I found a McDonald's and I called a hotel in College Park. They had rooms. Great because we were coming there. We got the directions and went on our way. We don't have smart phones but I tell you, this was the night I wished I got my husband a smart phone for his birthday.  We checked into the hotel and we went downstairs for a quick breakfast and then we were off to buy Metro Smart cards. And our DC adventure begins...
National Museum of the American Indian

The first museum we went to was the American Indian Museum and there were a lot of artifacts in there and information about the various tribes. There was also some cool Native art.  These museums are huge and there are so many to choose from. The next one we went through was the National Air and Space Museum which is freaking awesome. It was one of my favorites. Unfortunately, I did not see the space shuttle because that is at the Air and Space museum near Dulles Airport.

National Air and Space Museum
The one we went to had a lot of stuff from the Apollo missions which I loved. There is just so much to see there. I know we spent a couple of hours in there and I am sure we did not see everything. Of course, the museums are free to visit so we plan on going back again in the future. This was the first day we were there we went to the zoo to see Pandas but missed them and we were also at the Natural History Museum but not for long as the place was packed and we couldn't see very much. We also went and saw one of my friends who lives in the DC area. We came back to the hotel and just crashed. We were up for over 24 hours at this time and we were beat.

National Archives Building
On Sunday, we started with the National Archives because we wanted to see the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
Unfortunately, we couldn't take pictures of the documents but I was surprised by them. For the longest time, I always thought they were on sheets of paper (think 8.5x11 or 11x 14) but that is not true. They are wide and just massive sheets of parchment. It was incredible to finally see those in person. I am glad that I did. Of course, it is a bitch to see them because you have these jack holes who have to read them. News flash, you can't barely read them because the ink is fading. There are some phrases that can be read but for the most part they are unreadable. It was nice to see them but it was also nice to get the hell out of the building and get some fresh air.   We went back to the zoo later in the day and missed the damn pandas again but we did see some other critters and such. Lucky for us some of the Smithsonian museums were open until 7 pm so we went back to the National Museum of Natural History.

National Museum of Natural History
Finally, I saw dinosaurs and other bones from critters long gone. This was one of the highlights of my trip because I really wanted to see dino bones. I think dinosaurs are really fascinating. Hell I would still watch Dinosaur Train on PBS but my kid makes fun of me. Anyway in addition to the dinosaurs there is the Hope Diamond. I thought the Hope Diamond would be this massive raw rock but it is not. It is a cut and polished rock that was made into a necklace. There was also some other large gemstones there as well. This is also my favorite museum. I loved it.  The bonus was it was pretty empty when we were there so we could finally look at everything we wanted to. Next on the list was to visit monuments since they are open 24 hours. The first one we went to was the Washington Monument.
Washington Monument at Night

I asked a policeman for directions and I am not sure why we didn't follow them. We wanted to see all the monuments, well that was the plan anyway. We made it to the Washington Monument and then we decided to go to the Jefferson Memorial.  There probably was an easier way, in fact I am sure there was but that is not how we roll. We were in the park by the  Washington Monument and then we crossed the street. We could see the Jefferson Memorial far off in the distance. By now night has set in and it was chilly. We walked around the tidal basin by the Potomac River, it was breezy. A helicopter kept making low passes over the tidal basin. The cherry blossom tree branches were low and it was dark because there was barely any light. I really thought there would be light. We finally made it to the Jefferson Memorial. It was one hell of a walk.

Jefferson Memorial
After doing some tourist stuff and taking a piss, we decided to head back to the hotel. We all were tired, hungry and cold. According to the Metro bus there was a stop a couple of blocks away. The park ranger didn't know but gave us directions to the main part of DC.  I was about three minutes away from hailing a taxi because it seemed like so many were driving by looking for customers. We made it to the money making building and just two wonderful blocks was Metro. Hurray. It didn't matter if we had to transfer trains or not it was the Metro. We finally made it back to MD around 11 that night and got some food. Monday would be our last day there. We looked at a map and if we would have listened to the Police man, we would have been able to see all the monuments, we just took the scenic route in the dark, that's all. The zoo was the first stop and finally I got to see my pandas.

Pandas at the National Zoo
I freaking love pandas. I think they are the cutest. I was so happy to see them in person. The one in the photograph is mother panda, they were feeding her bamboo. The baby was there as well.  We didn't spend too much time at the zoo because we pretty much saw everything over the last couple of days before and since it is free to get into, why not. After seeing the pandas we went back to the National Mall and went to the National Museum of American History.  By the time we left DC it was rush hour traffic and we had to take Metro back to Silver Spring, MD to get our car and head home. Lucky for us, the Metro crowd thinned out by the time we got to Silver Spring. Of course, our adventure was not quite over yet. Not sure how to get back on the highway, we used a map and went another way with rush hour traffic all the way. Finally, we made our way onto 270 by the time we reached Germantown, traffic disappeared. 

It was an awesome time and I can't wait to go back again because there is so much we didn't see.