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20180210_092535Anyone who has ever experienced the family vacation knows the family vacation experience starts weeks before and ends weeks after the actual vacation.

 

This is about a family vacation experience, and about different perceptions.  Writing a story is all about the use of perception.  Twisting and focusing the reader’s perceptions, utilizing opposing perceptions, and even tricking the reader into thinking you are following a certain line of perception before revealing your true intentions.  What you do with this depends on your story and its goal.

 

Real life is drama.  Don’t shortchange your readers by forgetting that in your stories.

 

Feel free to skip to the parts that actually interest you.  I am also sick again as I write this, so please bear with me.

 

BEFORE THE VACATION

 

Of course, there are the “pre weeks” aka “the months you can’t get back”; the weeks where one of you spends a painful amount of time researching vacation possibilities (because travel agents are for wusses, people less cheap than you, and people with a different type of common sense).  They endlessly read opposing reviews, getting excited and then woefully disappointed by the same resorts, before finally taking a great intake of air, holding it indefinitely, scrunching their eyes tightly closed, and hitting send.  The vacation is booked.

 

And then once the vacation is booked it is the stressful “vacation time coordination”. Anyone with differing vacation in-house work rules will find this more difficult.  We are lucky in this.  Unlike some, we don’t have to definitively and un-irrevocably book vacation time all at once for the year and not be able to change plans.  Still, you have at least two people with different work vacation booking rules, plus kids/others, to try to book everyone off for the same week and it can be a juggling act.

 

Then it’s the preparation time.  You have to make sure you pack all of your stuff, that everyone else has theirs, and plan for every possible contingency and buy a pharmacy.

 

How you think it will go aka “the boring story” or “what your character wants” – You make your list, pack and purchase, and everything is packed nicely and easily.  Stress free.  And you happily and contentedly go to sleep looking forward to your vacation.  Your vacation is flawless. You do stuff, relax, enjoy, and come home refreshed.

 

How it really goes aka “insert drama here” – Ugh.  Let us not forget how real life can get.  You have a job, kids, dogs, and a house.  So, in between looking after all of that, you have to find the time for packing, lists, shopping, re-packing, and cleaning.  And, if your dogs are lucky enough that you have someone willing to house sit/dog sit so they don’t have to spend the week stressed and panicked in a boarding kennel, you also want the house clean when you leave.

 

Starting with the dogs, the husky, Roxy aka The Big Dumb Bunny, decides to pick that time right before your vacation to start blowing out her coat.  In the middle of winter and -30 to -45 wind chills.  How a dog can shed more than her weight in hair every hour is beyond me. Cue the endless vacuuming.  We call the other dog, Meeka, the “good dog”.  She does not blow out her coat, steal all your socks, or make you put her out every five minutes.

 

20180210_173118.jpgThe kids.  Anyone with kids can tell you that you really need to plan a week off kid free to clean the house for anything upcoming of importance.  This still applies when they are teens.  As fast as you try to clean, the place is unraveled around you into a bedlam of chaos and mess.  And, the virtual extra large dogs aka the Big Dumb Hair Bunnies you need to vacuum up endlessly.  You are also trying to get all the laundry done, and make futile attempts to pack your own stuff.

 

Just a quick interject – naturally, pre-vacation week you get sick (cough cough). You feel like Bill the cat from Bloom County looks. If you don’t know, look it up.  But you still must be up before six every morning, go to work, and deal with the kids, dogs, family, house, etc. every evening, plus vacation preparation.

 

Three days prior to vacation you announce to the entire household (repeatedly), “Tomorrow night I have to pack my stuff for the trip.  All my stuff.  I have nothing packed.  So let me do that or I won’t have any clothes to wear.  After I pack all my stuff, I can help you with yours.”

 

Two days prior to vacation, the “I MUST PACK ALL MY STUFF” evening, …guess what. Yes, you guessed it. Kids.  One, who is old enough to handle it in my opinion, absolutely needs your help to figure out and fill out the grade 10 course registration for next year that ABSOLUTELY MUST BE DONE THAT NIGHT OR THE WORLD WILL END.  Because it has to be handed in tomorrow, since it is due when you are gone on vacation.

 

The other kid has a mountain of homework that she absolutely cannot figure out on her own, even though she is the one going to school to learn it and knows it better than you do.  Seriously, some of these math word problems I am sure are written in some archaic ancient dead language from a planet in a far away galaxy.  Mostly I repeated the questions on the page until she started actually thinking about them and solved them herself.

 

Now, it is past bedtime for everyone, you still have laundry and cleaning to do, and have not packed a single sock.  Or maybe you did pack a sock, but the Big Dumb Bunny stole it.  At this point you are too tired and sick to know or care.

 

The Nightmare before Christmas, I mean (um), the night before vacation.  Okay, now you really need to pack.  You start your morning with slopping an entire cup of coffee on yourself minutes before you have to leave for work.  Nice.  Now you have to do laundry again because you had to pull clothes out of the stuff you washed to pack, because you don’t have enough clothes that fit.  You bust your butt at work all day making sure everything is done. You half expect at this point that your car will break down on the way home.  Somehow the stars and planets align and it does not.

 

However, and, I should have put that in all caps.  Let’s try that again.

 

HOWEVER, you get home and while you were at work the good dog puked, the toilet upstairs plugged and overflowed, and the house is a complete disaster.  The panicked teen tries to resolve the overflowing toilet by staring moodily at the toilet bowl, water flowing over its sides to flood the bathroom floor, glares at it, and starts throwing all the towels on the floor in an effort to make it all stop without asking for help, and the water continues to flood over the toilet bowl.

 

Meanwhile, on the downside, aka the kitchen, water has begun to flow from the ceiling light fixture located directly below the offending toilet.  Cue the sudden discovery by your spouse that something is wrong upstairs.  This, by the way, is next to the brown spot in the kitchen ceiling from the other kid previously trying to fill water balloons by placing them over the entire tap end, forcing the water to wash back up the space between the water pipe and the tap covering until it wets and stains the ceiling below.

 

20180210_075200.jpgIt is your last evening to pack, and you are overtired, still sick, and trying to clean, do laundry (again), deal with dramas, back up all your life’s work so you don’t risk losing it if anything happens to your laptop (because you stupidly think will all that spare time while you are up hours before everyone else every morning on vacation you will have time for writing), and attempt to pack your stuff, finally.  Only, the evening is gone before you know it, you have accomplished little if anything, the house is still a mess, you are still doing laundry, and EVERYONE HAS GONE TO BED WITHOUT YOU.

 

Oh yeah, and you still have to pack all your stuff for the week, but you can’t because everyone went to bed.

 

Vacation day!  You are not sure what time you went to bed.  Eleven?  Eleven-thirty?  You are up at two am because you are supposed to be ready to leave the house by 4 am.  Showered, dressed, and dolled up.  Your brain is mush.  You know you are forgetting a thousand things.  You have half an hour to pack.  You are constantly being interrupted despite your pleas of, “Let me pack!”  Your spouse is trying their best to help.  You gather stuff, set it down, turn, and it is gone. Your spouse packed it in their bag.  At this point you are now packing without knowing what you actually packed.  You can’t find anything because your brain is mush.  You will take stock of everything you are missing when you get there.

 

20180208_194931You will get there to find that you are missing basic essentials like deodorant, hair brush, and a toothbrush.  You will spend an exorbitant amount of money buying two of the three at the little resort store, only to find halfway through the vacation it was packed in your spouse’s suitcase.

 

After arrival and after going through the customs security screening and passing through the door of “Thou Shall Not Go Back”, the thirteen-year-old discovers she left her phone in the bathroom on the other side.  Being stupid Canadian tourists they let us through and watch in confusion as I scurry with her to retrieve the lost phone.  Later we learned how terrified our handler was that we committed such serious a faux pas, and we speculated was possibly shocked we were not arrested for it.

 

20180210_112138.jpgThe vacation.  Day one, everyone wakes up cranky.  Everyone is moody, miserable, and fighting.  The beds and pillows actually inflict pain; they are so bad.  But, once settled in, each person has the time to start living the moment instead of only reacting to a fast paced series of reactionary moments.

 

While on the drive from the airport to the resort the previous evening, you are taking in the world the local people live in through the bus window, your kids, who are sitting much closer to the front of the bus, are noticing how rude, insensitive, and disrespectful they feel some of our fellow vacationers are being towards the travel guide whose job it is to get everyone to their hotels.

 

20180209_153704.jpgWe are in a place where the local population is predominantly dark skinned.  You notice how kind and friendly all of the people working there are, how some struggle with the language barriers between them and their guests, but they still do their best to help.  Your kids, however, whose sole experience with different people in your other raced neighborhood is what they learned in school about the history of black slavery, are feeling weird and at odds over watching all these dark-skinned staff serving the predominantly white guests.  They question the appropriateness of it, not understanding it is so only because of the nature of the local population’s demographics.

 

20180210_103428(0).jpgDuring one dinner, while you are observing the strange behavior at the next table, your spouse is observing a very different scene behind you.  The table next to you, a larger group, are taking turns politely clapping each person as if each is taking a turn quietly sharing some life affirming moment.  The moment feels almost cultish to you, and you wonder if this is some sort of retreat for some group.  Your spouse reaches across the table, touches your hand to get your attention, and looks you in the eyes.

“Get ready to move fast, there is going to be a fight behind you and I think it will be ugly.”

You glance quickly at your teen sitting next to you and then at the couple quietly arguing being hind you, just at the moment the whispered argument gets louder.  The wife was very inebriated, and the husband not.

We each had a very different memory of that dinner.

 

Naturally, being a vacation of the sort we have not been on in years and may not again for years to come, everyone has to take a turn being sick.  Another wrench thrown into that perfect vacation.  Another drama, another obstacle to overcome.  I have to say, I don’t know when I felt a sickness like that.  After the vomiting the large ball of discomfort settles in to take up permanent residence in your stomach.  You are cold and hot.  Every inch of your muscles and skin hurts.  The weight of your body against the mattress is agony.  Even the feather weight of the light sheets is pain.  Luckily we packed a pharmacy.

At one point, as I lay there, my spouse thought he saw bruising.  It was only shadow.  I said I had the lividity.  That now I know what dying feels like and it hurts like hell. That I am now The Walking Dead and if I didn’t feel like such crap I would probably be eating everyone.  My spouse called me a dork.

 

20180210_075334.jpgOf course, the vacation was not all bad.  Kids and teens, being who they are, were in a constant flux between getting along and annoying each other.  Anyone with teens knows how little you see them when they start hiding in their rooms.  And, with work and kids, how little time a couple actually has together.  We had eight full days, including travel both ways, of all four of us being together 24/7, getting reacquainted with each other.  That was through good and bad, sickness (literally, with us taking turns being up all night vomiting), and health.  We still like each other.

 

20180211_144645.jpgThe trip home.  The plan was to have everything packed and cleaned up the night before and ready to go.  Everyone is up, showered, dressed, and last bit packed with lots of time to haul our stuff to the front lobby, get lunch, and hop on the bus to the airport.  Easy.  No fuss, no muss.

The reality; okay that actually did sort of work out for us.  Not so much for the other family with two small boys who were on the wrong time zone.  They missed the mandatory check out time, thus incurring the wrath of the forewarned late checkout surcharges.  The bus did wait for them while they hurriedly put their two small boys on the bus and scurried off to hastily pack all their belongings and race back to the bus.

It also presumably did not work out so well for the others who our vacation company on-site liaison, bus driver, and hotel staff were unable to locate.  They missed the bus.  All but one eventually made it to the airport, where we all looked at each other wondering what fate befell the mysterious man they kept paging over the intercom to make his way immediately to our boarding gate.

 

20180211_105331.jpgGoing through customs is its own experience.  Leaving Canada, the fourteen-year-old was randomly selected for the “sniff test”.  Yes, apparently they had to make sure a fourteen-year-old girl was not carrying or recently in contact with cocaine.  I, being the concerned parent, laughed at her plight.  The Canadian customs staff were typically Canadian, indulgent and kind about it.

And then there was the phone in the bathroom incident on arrival, which we teased the thirteen-year-old about and told her that her father would have had to contact the Canadian embassy or consular service or whatever they have there to have our government try to negotiate our release from a foreign country prison.

Coming home, we learned while in line to check our luggage that the rules for carrying going the opposite way are different.  We hastily shifted items from our carry on to our checked luggage.  On the way to security I ended up having to throw out my chapped lip stick because that apparently is illegal.  Every man woman and child went through a cursory pat down.  The Dominican customs people were all very understanding and kind while processing all of us.

On arrival in Canada, and after a slightly bumpy landing, it is time to breathe a sigh of relief.  It is over.  You are home.  Cue laughter.

We are in the back quarter of the plane.  Naturally, disembarking is done from the front to the back.  Everyone is collecting their stuff from the overhead compartments and beneath the seat in front of them, committing incredible acts of acrobatics trying to squeeze through the ten-inch aisle with their stuff to the front of the plane, and stumbling numbly down the tunnel ramp on legs and buttocks that are no longer functional after a more than six-hour flight trapped in tiny uncomfortable seats with their legs pressed to their chins.

20180211_144010.jpgLiterally, with the last of the rest of the plane passengers passing through the door at the end before us into the great terminal beyond, an airport worker hurriedly rushes to the door and closes it in our faces.  We, and our fellow back of the plane passengers, are left staring dumbly at him as he motions us to stay and runs off through the secondary set of doors.  We look at each other.  There are a few nervous chuckles.  We are literally in a dry aquarium.  A glass-walled prison with no way out except to race back to the plane, whose door is presumably closed by now, and no place to shelter.  Is there some sort of airport security event?  Should we be afraid?  But, this is Canada, so the worst it might be is that someone forgot to say please and thank you.

After some moments of the same man who locked us in and another worker looking around in confusion, the other trying his swipe card on some random card swiper at a desk through doors the rest of the plane did not disembark through, a third airport worker came along and let us through.

20180211_143714.jpgAt last, we are home.  Or at least on the last leg of home, driving home with a slight detour that involved going in completely the opposite direction of home for some distance before realizing we are going the wrong way, and made it home.

The vacation, naturally, does not end there.  Because now you have to catch up at work and do all the other post-vacation stuff.  But the real story has already ended and that stuff happens after you cut to end story.

 

And that, my friends, is how an unexciting vacation story becomes filled with obstacles and drama.  Real life throws a wrench in things and so must you when you write your story.

 

While we were all in this together through various stages, every person would have had their own unique perspective and experience.

 

There is more to the story, of course.  The monkey on the beach, the walk off-resort through a possibly sketchy area, and the salami taxi.  But that is the fine details you flesh out later in your story.

 

Now, if I were to re-write this from each person’s perspective, each would tell a very different story.

 

Follow me on my blog.

You are here:  The Intangible World of the Literary Mind

This blog is about writing, being an author, and life.

 

LV Gaudet, author

This blog is for the fans of dark fiction, those stories that slither softly into your dreams in the night to turn them dark and foul.

 

 

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re-gifter

 

‘Tis the season of re-gifting.

 

Or, in some cases, re-re-gifting, or maybe just giving the appearance of doing so.

 

Playing “Guess the Gift” is something of a tradition in our family.  When your shopping is being done on budget, and one that is never enough to begin with, most of your shopping is done in search of “The Great Bargain”.

bargain shopping

Bargain shopping typically does not come with the fancy shmancy boxes to wrap the gifts in so the receiver of the gifts can’t guess what it is just from the feel and shape of the wrapped gift.

 

biting the giftThe gift-wrapping challenge begins.  The gift recipients study their gifts carefully, resorting to thoughtfully weighing, sizing up, feeling up, shaking, and even biting, their gifts trying to figure out what they are before unwrapping them.  While you seek out boxes whose dimensions and shape will hide the true nature of the gift inside, stuffing the boxes so items can’t rattle, or even adding a strategically placed fake rattler.

 

re-giftedAnd then the gift opening fun begins.  The wrapping paper is unceremoniously ripped off, or perhaps that is the ceremony, revealing the box within.  And then the joke emerges.  What did you get this year?  I got the Sony radio/cd player I bought myself this past summer, re-gifted something I already owned.   My twelve year old got a Dremel saw, used only once, re-gifted.  My partner got a tissue box, the ultimate in re-gift, since the tissue papers it once held have all been used.  Of course, the boxes are only camouflage for the real present inside.

happy holidays

merry christmashappy hanukkahhappy kwanzaa.jpg

 

 

 

 

… or whatever else you celebrate at this festive time of year.

 

And now my gift to you …

Garden Grove Cover-FinalGarden Grove can be downloaded in multiple ebook formats FREE on Smashwords using coupon code YV67F until Dec 31/15.

 Can you handle a little darkness in your life?

 https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/587705

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newbieI’m pretty new at the publishing game by any successfully published author’s standards.  So far, my publishing credits include a number of flash fiction and short stories published in writing e-zines, one short story in a mystery anthology published by Second Wind Publishing, and a novel also published by Second Wind.  My contribution to publishing them involved writing them, a great deal of editing, and pressing “send” on the email.

While I’ve been writing for years, I’m a publishing newbie and there’s a lot I don’t know.

With the ever-changing landscape of the publishing world, no matter how much any of us learn there will always be more to learn.

Articles discussing the finer points of how to write fill the internet in droves, but there seems to be very little information on the other side of writing – the business side of writing.

The how-to articles on writing better also tend to be a confusing overwhelming glut of opposing opinions.  Do you listen to the blogger who vehemently insists you must mercilessly gut your writing of all of what they consider unnecessary extra words, streamlining it to a tight bare-bones written masterpiece?  Or do you listen to the blogger who just as passionately says that it is the flow and artistic expression of the writing that matters most and that you must not sanitize it by worrying about gutting it of what another might consider extra words?

The truth is that regardless of the area of the writing advice, what you need to follow will probably lie somewhere in the middle.  It can be difficult to decide which advise to follow and when.  Too much contradicting advice can leave you feeling even more confused and uncertain.  The best writers will take the advice to heart and figure out what is best for their self and each particular story.

Writing is entertaining, can help you explore questions and issues in your life, and can be used as an outlet for the unpleasant emotions we as humans tend to bottle up inside.  But if you want to be published, writing is a business too.

While exploring the answers to my own questions it occurred to me that I’m probably not the only one asking these questions.  So, I decided to share my discoveries.

I make no claims to be an expert.  Actually, I definitely am not an expert.

Like a lot of writers, I’m learning as I go.  Mostly from researching online articles from various sources and comparing notes on what they say.

The first rule of thumb with online information is “take it with a grain of salt”.  In other words, never assume the information is accurate and always question the quality of the source.  So with that in mind let us go forth and learn the business together, and be forgiving when I do get something wrong.

Corrections are always welcome.  You can’t learn from your mistakes if you don’t know you made them.

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First I would like to thank Beth Fehlbaum for inviting me on this blog tour.

Beth Fehlbaum is the author of Big Fat Disaster (Coming from Merit Press in March, 2014!) and The Patience Trilogy (available for acquisition!).
Chapter previews of all her books are available online.

Beth is also the founder of UncommonYA.com, “a group website of traditionally published authors who tell it like it is.”

Beth Fehlbaum
Author websites:
Beth Fehlbaum Books.com
Bloggity-Blog

Library Science Student website:
La-la-Library Science Bloggity-blog

Follow Beth:
Facebook
Twitter

On this blog tour authors are asked to answer four questions:
1) What am I working on?
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
3) Why do I write what I do?
4) How does my writing process work?

Who is L.V. Gaudet? L. V. Gaudet is a Canadian fiction writer who writes mainly the darker forms of fiction. L.V. Gaudet’s writing is influenced by growing up with a love for thrillers and horrors, sneaking down as a kid to watch old Vincent Price movies and devouring thriller novels.

I am a fiction writer with flash fiction and short stories scattered about the web. Also, the short story “Falling” published in the murder/mystery anthology Mystery in the Wind published by Second Wind Publishing.

1) What am I working on?

It might be easier to ask what I am NOT working on. My husband likes to tease me about my level of multi-tasking in everything I do. Right now I am working with the publisher Second Wind Publishing on getting my debut novel Where the Bodies Are published this summer.

In addition to getting this novel out, my ongoing projects include:

 Editing Garden Grove. Something sinister is behind the strange events happening at the new Garden Grove Meadows community being built in a cozy little bedroom community. With a string of petty vandalism, the poisoning of the work crew, and strange human bones being planted around the job site, what could they possibly have in common?

 Nicely aging and waiting their turn to be edited are these completed works:

 The Gypsy Queen. The era of the paddlewheel boats is coming to an end and two intrepid young men looking to strike it rich come up with a plan after sneaking on board a gambling paddlewheel boat and finding themselves overwhelmed by the opulent richness surrounding them. They find a decommissioned old paddlewheel left rotting up a dried up river tributary. Purchasing the boat for a song, bringing her back to rebuild the one famous Gypsy Queen proves to be a bigger stake than they bargained for. Up against a mafia mentality shipbuilders union and the wealthy owner of the only riverboat casino, who is not open to the idea of having new competition, the young men find themselves quickly in over their heads. To add to their troubles the Gypsy Queen is haunted and she wants her revenge.

 Forgotten Princess (working title). In a long ago time where debtors were arrested and placed in workhouse prisons to pay off their debts, many lived in poverty, and few owned the land which so many lived and worked on, children were often left orphaned by circumstance. This is the story of the survival of the orphaned children brought to one of the vilest orphanages in the country. A darkness poisons this orphanage from deep within its walls.

 The McAllister Farm. This is the prequel to Where the Bodies Are. Once you have read the first book you will be filled with questions. Here you will find answers.

 Works in progress include:

 Blood. This is my 2013 NaNoWriMo novel based on the flash fiction story of the same name. I surpassed the 50,000 word goal; however the story did not end there. Death is real and he is dead tired. He has brought across to his world a younger man to become Death’s unwilling apprentice. Is this possible? Can Death be replaced? And will the young man escape Death’s clutches to return to his world?

 Unnamed. In the dark ages where superstitions were believed true one man is obsessed with eradicating the evil he believes plagues the world, the eaters of souls.

 The Men of Twelve (working title). The queen dies of a mysterious ailment, poisoned! Blinded by grief, her husband, the king, rides out in search of his own swift end. His men at arms rush to follow, to protect their king, but can he be protected from himself? Wallowing in the dark pool of his loss, the king charges recklessly into danger only to return at last with something even more dangerous; a new queen. The strange woman brings with her her own stranger servant and dark purpose, putting the king’s daughter in peril.

 The Illopogas. Based on the flash fiction stories of the same name, Ghost Ship (The Illopogas) and Ghost Ship 2: Return The Illopogas, this is the story of The Illopogas, a ship that is a ghost itself, created by the evil that once filled its hull.

And for the kids, to be published under the name Vivian Munnoch are these tantalizingly scary works in progress:

 The Latchkey Kids. These are the tweens and early yeas teens too old for daycare but still young enough to be considered kids. With working parents they have the responsibility of getting themselves off to school and home again, to wait alone at home until their parents come home. Alone they each have their own little world of problems. Brought together by unforeseen circumstances they are pulled into a bigger problem, a danger that lurks beneath them, coming into their homes through the basement at night.

 The Wishing Stone series. This series of books explores the adventure Madelaine is forced into when she is kidnapped from the tent where she sleeps with her family. Only Mocha knows how Madelaine vanished and she can’t tell. Mocha is Madelaine’s little dog. With a bravery bigger than her size, Madelaine’s younger sister runs away with Mocha in search of her sister.

 Butterflies in the Garden series. There are butterflies in the garden, but they are not what they appear.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I’m not sure how I can say my work differs from others of its genres. While the stories all share a certain darkness, they bring together elements of multiple genres to create a range of reading experiences. Some are more fantasy, others mystery, and some more of a supernatural thriller.

3) Why do I write what I do?

I have always had a love for the dark stories. I grew up sneaking downstairs in the night to watch old Vincent Price movies, absorbed the old Tales from the Dark Side and Twilight Zone shows, and Ray Bradbury Theatre. I devoured every horror book I could get my hands on.

4) How does my writing process work?

My writing process works through unadulterated creative drive. I write what the urge strikes me to write, throwing myself into the writing, letting the writing flow drive itself. If it isn’t working for one story I move on to another.
I usually start with little more than a vague feeling or scene and the story grows from there, driven by its own purpose to become whatever it will be. The story metamorphoses and turns as if with a life of its own. Even I don’t know where it will go when I sit down and start writing. I outline as I go, creating a roadmap of where I’ve been as a reference tool when I need to double back for the sake of consistency.

I will let a story sit and quietly age for months or more between writing and editing, and each edit.
When I edit I want to look at the story with a fresh mind, an outsider looking in. Those early edits bring with them additional depth as scenes that were hurriedly jotted down to move on with the thread driving me are revisited and rewritten. Characters grow deeper personalities and events a personality of their own.
It’s the later edits that can be a story killer, when I start obsessing whether I edited it enough and risk editing the life out of the story. There is a wealth of writing advice out there, a deluge that will drown you if you are not careful. The best advice I can give any writer is to devour that glut of advice. Devour it, absorb it, learn it, and know when to ignore it. For the most part it is good advice, but creativity cannot be set down to follow a strict set of rules. No piece of advice and no writing rule fits every story.

I’m one of though people who just are not content to have one project on the go. If I find myself stuck with nowhere to go on one project that usually means I’m missing something in the big picture. The best cure for that is to take a step back for a while and approach it again later with a fresh mind. But that does not stop the urge to write or the flow of ideas.
If one story is stuck in the mud with no ideas there are a hundred more waiting to be written. And even when I am making an effort to push myself to finish one particular story and find myself stuck, moving on to write something else gets the creative juices flowing and opens the floodgates that will get me back on track with finishing the other project.

Samples of my work can be found on my blog:
The intangible world of the literary mind
What secrets of the mind lurk beyond the mist enshrouded bridge?
https://lvgwriting.wordpress.com/

Follow on Facebook (author page):
http://www.facebook.com/LVGaudet.Author

Coming soon:
Where the Bodies Are
Tentative publishing date: July 1, 2014
through Second Wind Publishing, LLC
http://www.secondwindpublishing.com/

I invite you to join Susie Kearley on her blog as part of the blog tour – My Writing Process.

Susie has written two books on ‘Freelance Writing on Health, Food and Gardens’, and ‘Healthy Sustainable Living, God’s Way.’

http://susiekearley.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/blog-hop-my-writing-process.html

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Exhausted by Sidney Gaudet (9 yrs old)

.

Exhausted is like the color gray.

Like a hungry wolf that spend the whole night looking for food,

Or the soot you cleaned out of the fireplace.

It is like the clouds on a rainy day that woke me from my slumber,

Like the huge rock I tried to bring home.

Exhausted is like a heavy fish on the end of your fishing rod,

Like the smoke that comes from the chimney that you tried to clear all day.

Exhausted is like the cement you got stuck in before it dried and you have been using all your might to get out of,

Like grey eyed people’s eyes after a long day.

Exhausted poem by Sidney Gaudet

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Ok, I admit it, I’m a comma junkie.  I write mainly by the seat of my pants, my fingers flying across the keyboard and barely (not always) keeping up with the words flowing through my head.  And I can type faster than I can hurriedly scrawl illegible scribbles mimicking words.

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Apparently I like commas.  I mean I REALLY like commas.  I don’t worry about things like sentence structure, punctuation, and spellings when I write.  Later I’ll get a good laugh at the ridiculous suggestions Spellcheck gives me that often rendered sentences moot.  All that can get fixed in editing after the story is written.

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I just let the words flow as they will, living in the moment of the story, and trying my best to type fast enough to keep up.

When I go back and edit afterwards, it’s a cornucopia of commas everywhere that I didn’t even know I put in.

Even on the fourth and fifth rounds of editing I still find myself removing excess commas.

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What can possibly be more annoying than getting an unwanted telemarketing call?  Just read on and I’ll tell you.

Apparently there is some unwritten rule that they must happen when you are (a) in the middle of eating supper, (b) in the middle of getting your kids to do something important like bathing, (c) on the toilet or in the shower, or (d) any other time it is entirely inconvenient to drop whatever you’re doing to race for the phone.

 

The Three Annoying Types of Calls:

Generally, we get hit by three main types of calls.

1.            The talks too fast to butt in forcing you to be a rude schmuck and hang up on them calls.

These are the ones who also generally think that any words sounding similar to “No thank you”, “No thanks,” and “I’m not interested” really mean “Oh please please please tell me more.  I’ll just totally die if you don’t go on for another 30 minutes on your products and/or services!”

They also are entirely unable to grasp that “No” means “No” and will try to send or sign you up for crap regardless of how emphatically you say “NO!  NOT!  NO I DON’T WANT YOUR F-ING CRAP!”

And to add that final insult to injury, they take on the injured tone and ask you “Why not?” as if you’d just told someone you don’t want to be their friend after all.

And, of course, some of these are the outright scams like the caller who tells you that they are calling on behalf of your internet provider because your IP address has been used for questionable online activity and you could face legal problems, but its ok because you are probably the victim of a hacker or virus and if you just give them remote access to your computer they can fix it all up (for a fee) …  yeah, and I’m the  Queen of Sheba too and know darn well they could not possibly be trying to both hack me and bill me for doing it too.

 

2.            The dead air calls. 

Yeah, we’ve all had those.  You drop everything, dodge kids and dogs, leap over obstacles of toys and laundry baskets in a mad race to catch the phone … and there’s nobody bloody there!

“Hello?  Hello?” you say, pause and wait.  “Hello?  Is anybody there?”  You pause again, listening for any background sounds, wondering if you just got butt dialed or a friend or relative’s toddler is playing with the phone, or if someone dialed and got distracted.

You half expect to start hearing the laboured heavy breaths of a prank caller or some kid to ask you if your refrigerator is running followed by the warning, “Well then you’d better go catch it.”  Both of which would probably grate my annoyance nerves less than telemarketers intruding into my home via telephone and trying to push crap on me that I don’t want.

And eventually you or they hang up with the sure knowledge burning angrily through you that you just wasted those moments on a freaking telemarketer spam-crank calling you with their automated dialler.

 

3.            The telemarketing machine calling me because I’m not even good enough for a real person call.

Yeah, it’s frustrating and you ask, “What?! I’m not even good enough for a real person to harass and annoy me?!  You have to send a flipping machine to do your dirty work?!”

But they are, at least, the least annoying of the three.  You don’t feel guilty for hanging up on a machine, and you don’t waste time talking to dead air.

 

And then things turn from annoying to ugly.

After days of repeated hang-up dead air telemarketing calls at home – one per night every night at about the same time and all originating from a different long distance number …

… and this despite the fact we are registered on the National Do No Call List

 

I am now getting harassed on my freaking CELL PHONE!

Yep, not only am I now having to drop everything and race to answer the phone (and this is a number that almost nobody has and is used only for calls from immediate family members or for the kids school or daycare to reach me anytime anywhere), but I am now also PAYING PER CALL TO ANSWER AND HANG UP ON A FLIPPING TELEMARKETING AUTO-DIALLING ANSWERING MACHINE!

To top it off, I’m not on an unlimited monthly plan or anything like that.  I’m paying prime $$$ for those handy but expensive per minute pre-paid minutes that are more economical for people like me who rarely use their phone.  And if this keeps up, I’ll have to go buy more minutes because they’re getting used up a telemarketing pre-recorded auto-dialling machine.

You got it!  I’m paying to be annoyed and harassed by a machine spewing out a pre-recorded message!

Silly me, I thought since cell phones cost the consumer money every time they answer it, they were legally off limits to telemarketers calls.

Apparently Air Miles Canada (or so the recording claims to be) has a very important message that I need to spend $$ just to listen to.

I wonder if they get a cut from the cell phone company.

 

 

Anywho, while I have to chose between turning off my cell phone and missing an important call from my kids’ school or daycare or wasting my money hanging up on telemarketing machines, I have added the cell to the do not call registry – for what its worth.

Since they’re calling me at home too and I’ve had that phone on the list for a few years now, I already know the registry only works for the ones who chose to follow the rules.

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