Where did my new books go?

Hey how you doing?

I was sitting in the office the other day and I realized that I had books on my shelf that I probably had not read in 10 years. (or longer)

My office is mostly book shelves. I have a wild collection of things. Posable art dolls from a Russian artist I like, little statues, faery houses, D&D miniatures, hand-made christmas ornaments, art projects, etc.  You get the idea.

Some might call it clutter, but I think each maybe the next inspiration for a story. (If I can find it). I am not that person that each book is the exact same size and aligned perfectly on the shelf. It’s more a hodgepodge of nicknacks and a wide variety of books of all shapes sizes and genres. Romance, horror, leadership & business (filed near the horror since they are closely related), fantasy, sci-fi, (D&D books are not in my office – they are in the dining room), YA, kids books, comic books, books on writing and organizing. (Which may be on the shelf upside down.)

My favorite ones you can tell from the lines on the spine.

Even reading the title I can picture my favorite scenes and maybe even pull from my brain’s deep, dark recesses the characters’ names. There are some that I have read hundreds of times. And some I struggle to remember if I managed to read them.

My to-read pile has a faulty queue system, I may have book that has been waiting patiently for over 20 years. Really, I will get to you eventually.

I had the realization that I had less books on my shelf purchased recently. They were almost all old favorites. If I plotted the purchase date over time I think there would be a sharp downturn over the last five years or so. (No, I did not graph it, but was VERY tempted.)

Holy Cats! Was I no longer a reader? Did I no longer love to lose myself in a story? How was that possible? Could I have been taken over and was now a pod person and did not realize it? (Oh, the horror.  Well, unless I get super powers.)

Then the light bulb exploded (not literally, but it was almost as messy). Even though I swore I would never love digital books as much as the real thing, the seductive ease of buying the next book in the series at 2AM won out and my digital library may now exceed the GNP of some small nations.

It made me a little sad. Was I never going to catch my son or daughter with a flashlight and a good book under the covers?

Would Pokémon Go replace their love of reading?

I was truly concerned for a moment. But then I remembered… I am/was a video game addict too. (seriously, I don’t have any games on my computer – I’m afraid I might start a game and wake up a 100 years later with them calling me Mrs. van Winkle).

My kids will be fine. I will just make sure that they too learn to love stories as much as I do and perhaps hide the really good new games on my computer. (You know, so as not to tempt them.)

Have a great week!

Do you recognize the five early warning signs of a bad beta reader for your fantasy novel?

5. They address all correspondence using your main characters first name (Dear Frodo)

4. They ask how to find the portal to your world. (is that through a wardrobe?)

3. They use 1337 speak or text short hand when typing responses (UR s0 kewl)

2. They want you to call them for the feedback using their 1-900 number.

1. They end up at your front door wearing garb from your fictional world. (Nice trench coat)

Having a Conversation

I don’t consider myself an extrovert.  Anyone who knows me is laughing hysterically at this point.  But seriously, I think we should switch up the terms or measure twice.  Once in a crowd and then one-on-one.

 

Get me in a crowd of strangers, odds are high I will not say anything. I will disengage and, well, daydream (or perhaps wander away).  I will lose myself in whatever the latest scenario I am exploring for a story.  Add in a person I know, and I will gravitate to that person.  (Hello my new BFF!)  Add in a handful and suddenly you can’t get me to shut up.

 

One on one I am fine.   I will talk about anything, doesn’t really matter.  Unless we click, it’s on you to lead the conversation.  So if you’re not willing, I will daydream once we are done with whatever level of polite conversation is needed. (Awkward silence == grab book)

 

I know they sometimes define extrovert as where you get your energy.  Are you invigorated by being in a crowd of people?  (Is invigorated defined and being a sweaty mess? or wondering where the nearest exit is?)

 

In a recent training one of the concepts was how you work through issues, do you need to talk it out or take ‘it’ and go back into your cave to think about it? (I might need to invest in puppets so I can talk it out)

 

Why this long conversation about being an introvert or an extrovert?  Because I am writing a blog post.

 

My first. (Well it would have been first if I had not managed to post my second one first.  lol  It happens.)

 

My first real one.  If I think about this as a one-on-one conversation I have a different visceral reaction than thinking I am shouting into the void or that a crowd of people nearby may or may not show any interest. (Not really sure which is worse)

 

So for my own sweet spot of interaction and piece of mind (and I don’t curl up in a ball crying) , I think I am going to think of this as talking to just a few friends,  Or a few people I have the potential to be friends with.  Or maybe an imaginary friend or a character in a story I am writing.

 

So hey, how are you doing?

 

Me?  Good!

 

What do you do?  That’s cool.  Tell me more.

 

… (time passes)

 

Me?  When I grow up I want to be a writer. (insert laugh)

 

Why do I write stories?

 

I like making people laugh.  I like exploring ideas. I like making sh*t up.

 

Why do I write dark, but tend to have a happy ending?  Honestly?  I think it’s because I’m a mom.  My mind is constantly in crisis mode as my kids narrowly miss being being a crazy statistic (Kids get away from that man-hole cover, you might fall to your death)

 

Oh yeah I have to go too.  Let me know if there is anything you want to talk about next week.

 

Have a great week!

on the Fare Side Contest – update

Hey! How you doing?

I am having a holy sh*t morning. To put it in context, I wake up when my kids do. I stay up far too late writing. (or Facebook garage saleing – you know whatevs)

So the first kid comes in and cuddles in and lets me go back to sleep. But the second kid comes in the bed and wiggles. As only a 3 year old can do (or a golden retriever). He finally looks up at me and takes my face in his hands and says, “Can we get up now?” (Love you too, buddy)

So amid the normal Monday getting kids ready, I-don’t-want-to-go-to-school whine, I get an email. (because lord knows it we could have patient zero for the zombie apocalypse in my house and there would still be time to check emails)

I won my category – romantic elements in the Futuristic, Fantasy, & Paranormal RWA chapter’s On The Far Side contest.  (wow, that was long)

Picture the long pause as I stood up and tried to process that news. I never win anything. Seriously. Never. I even lose the cakewalk at school (which is a whole other blog post about assumptions that I would have any idea what the heck a cakewalk was, but I digress).

I may have squeed. Outloud. I may have written the group of gals that are my writing go-to peeps. I may have had to sit down. And then stand back up again.

I got asked what does it mean? That proverbial record screeched to a stop.

Wow, I have no idea.

Maybe this crazy idea that I could really entertain people has some merit. 🙂

Have a great week!

Haboobs – the next big idea

One of the things that my non-writer friends ask me is where do you get your ideas.

It feels like the world is a flood of ideas.

Example: In an onsite work meeting and there is a sudden crazy downpour. The building severe weather alarm goes off because there are tornados and hail somewhere near by (but not near enough for you to see if you press your nose against the window).

It brings up the topic of haboobs. Haboobs are dust tornadoes in Arizona that are full of fungus. If you breath it in, it may actually look like lung cancer from the fungus being in your lungs. (so public safety message – if you happen to wander outside to see a haboob in action and happen to get diagnosed with lung cancer or any other lung related ailment, tell your doc you were outside for a haboob – which at this point I like typing haboob and it is even more fun to say)

Anyway, haboobs ricocheted around in my head and what-iff-ed all over (which is very messy). Since I tend to write more fantasy/sci fi (and sometimes horror) it went something like this… (caution, you may not want to continue reading if you are prone to motion sickness or if you are pregnant. May cause dizziness and a general WTF feeling. You have been warned.)

What if the fungus took over people?

What if the alien’s were using tornados to infect people?

What if the tornados were actually created by a species of sentient fungus who were actually using it as a space program to launch the first fungal space ship! (actually!)

What if a perfect storm of a MEGA tornado sent this airborne fungus across the whole world and infected every breathing creature out doors with its deadly spores?

What if tornados used the fungus to communicate?

What should we have for lunch?

Well, you see how it goes.

The issue is not the ideas which propagate like hopped up bunnies, but really how do you make ideas into anything useful? How do you not get distracted by the next great idea? How you not eat your weight in ice cream each day (which is probably a different blog post).

Have a great week.