Wednesday, September 30, 2009


I say Mother Nature may burn me with as many maladies as she can and I will continue to rise from the ashes - just kidding MN, please, no more...

I'm just about on the road to full recovery once more, at least I think I am - all the road signs look familiar. If I can just reach the interstate I think I'll floor it and not be visiting here again anytime soon. I'm not rushing back into things this time. I'll make sure I have a clear road before I put the pedal to the metal. Thanks to everyone who has left comments of good cheer and speedy recovery.

So, the 'to do' list is still waiting, and, of course, growing. At the moment, I don't really care about any of it except the reading I promised to do for a friend - that will get done, but I'll be in the right frame of mind to do the job justice.

What laid me out - again? I have no idea but I'm suspecting salt & pepper squid. It shall be a long time before I eat at that restaurant again and probably longer before I indulge in seafood once more.

I've also been thinking a lot about my writing (surprise, surprise). As many of you know, I'm a big fan of the writing advice given out by Alexandra Sokoloff. She hasn't been giving out the same sort of advice recently due to promotional appointments (oh to have those issues), but one thing she has been constantly advising writers to do is to make up top ten lists. The idea is to identify the types of things that you like in a book/movie and use those techniques in your own work.

For instance, I've noticed recently I like feel good movies which have a seriously flawed character involved. Chaos Theory, Things We Lost in the Fire, even big blockbuster versions like Armageddon can get to me. I watched Legally Blonde last night and found that enjoyable (mostly).

So I like something that rings (mostly) true (or I can at least suspend my belief for), may be able to bring real men close to shedding a tear (not me, just some other guy I know), have major conflicts, and that allow the reader to empathise with and feel good about at the end of the movie.

Yes, I like horror flicks, thrillers, and other darkly good things, but I like feel good best.

Some of my favourite books/movies of all time are kid's flicks (Charlotte's Web, Monsters Inc) or chick flicks (Titanic, Dirty Dancing) or straight up literary classics without a whisper of darkness within (To Kill A Mocking Bird), or true stories (Reach For The Sky). There are plenty of others but I think you get the point. (And yes, I got slack and couldn't be bothered providing any more links, sorry)

Inner Voice, my still current work in progress (of which this is the second week in a row where I've not written the last thousand or so words), is a feel good book. The tale of a socially awkward teen who does good, and gets the girl, by using brains instead of brawn.

I've come to one of those crossroads we as writers find in our journey (quite often as we try to find our feet). It's time for me to take stock and understand where I'm at and where I want to head. Don't get me wrong, I'll always pen tales of misfortune and disturbing situations - it's fun, but it is no longer what moves me the most. In truth it has never been, but I hadn't fully accepted that until now.

Of course, this could all change when the next big idea hits me in the head, but I think it will go a long way to forming the core of all my future work. After all, aren't we the result of lots of little (and some not so little) light bulb moments in the trials and tribulations of learning The Craft?


  1. I seem to live for the flick of a switch anymore. It happens with less frequency than I would like.

    Beware the calamari.

  2. We are all growing and developing. One wouldn't want to stagnate...

  3. Little light bulb moments indeed. :-)

  4. Squid is hard to digest. So, if you have a bug brewing and aren't used to squid/octopus, it can certainly tip the scales!

  5. Glad to see you're getting back on the horse. I'm a list girl and I love top tens. Hmmm, maybe we could kick off a Meme or two.

  6. D - might take me a while to form these top ten lists. I really want to sit back and think about it, but once I've contemplated my belly-button lint long enough, I think that would probably be the way to go.

    Nat - I love you, but you're a worry...

  7. I'm curious about these lists of yours. I might have to try them myself...

  8. I like that list idea, mostly because I'm not really sure what I would put on my list. I may have to try it.

    I hope you're on your feet again soon so you can finish IV. Maybe those last thousand words are what's making you sick! They're stuck--you have to get them out!

  9. I so see what you mean about making lists being helpful-- what an excellent post! Funny what we learn from our patterns. And by funny I mean awesome. I'm sure I can't resist now!

    I'm with you on the flaws, and with the honesty.