Friday, November 27, 2015

I swear I'm not going to swear!

It is time for me to admit to you all, that I have what my great grandmother would've called "a mouth on me". My grandmother would've said I talk like a drunken sailor denied a refill. And my mother...well she's constantly telling me that ladies don't talk "like that". Even my loving mate and partner in crime, David, once in a while will tell me to "watch my mouth", which I think he says reflexively before remembering who he is talking to. I often frown and have a moment of guilt, wishing I could be the type of person who can recognize when I'm about to say something offensive and reel it in. I should be banned from the public eye! Flogged for my indecency! Someone should glue my f--er, my mouth shut, and then...and only then, would I be allowed entrance back into the glistening white walls of a welcoming society fully reformed and ready with my new arsenal of acceptable words. Like: "fiddle-faddle, goshdarn, dagnabit" etc.

Then I hear a small voice in my head that sounds suspiciously like my dearly departed Uncle Bob..."What the fuck is their problem?"

Well said U.B. Well said. I can honestly say, I don't know what their problem is, but their solution seems to be censoring me with a wagging finger and a glance down their noses.

Okay, okay, I get it. I have language issues. Yes, I come from a place where it is more acceptable to go hungry than to go without a pair of designer jeans. We weren't the most sophisticated lot by the standards of some (insert subtle finger display), but we were, and still are, street wise and able to handle sh--stuff that would make the silver spoons lose their fookin' minds! ( Doesn't count!)

Some of my friends that I grew up with would say no less than seven F bombs in a fourteen word sentence and I understood perfectly what they were trying to say. That's just how we talked. It's how some people I still talk with from school converse even now. I don't judge them, because I know that's how it is. I changed my address, I changed some of my habits, but that doesn't mean others have to. They live in a harsher environment, they express themselves differently.

But here's the real question: When you're writing about an environment described above, how authentic do you keep your dialog?

I've seen people who have full on cuss-strong writing works, whether it is a screen play or a book. I've read those pieces and I've enjoyed them. I don't know if other people will or if they'll feel strongly that the book/play is ruined. Who can tell? My personal opinion is that it takes a good writer to let the audience know they're in a highly slang-tastic region without having to paint a colorful picture that leaves readers slack-jawed and feeling violated. But that doesn't mean you should p...wuss out. If your character is facing some next-level trauma, and you have them saying "darn that really sucks", they better be someone who aspires to be the next saint.

Basically I'm saying you have to find a happy medium. Know your audience. If you're writing for John Oliver or an HBO series, by all means, F-bomb like you're trying to win a war. But if you're writing for a more sensitive audience, use your skills and choose your words wisely. You don't want to come off as a writer who is trying to sell shock value any more than you want to be known as a writer who writes a teenager with the soul of a mid century grandma. Maximize your stories potential by keeping it friendly to more readers.

Or you can tell me to go fiddle-faddle myself.

**Please excuse all typos and nonsensical sentences well within my control but outside of my ambition!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Visiting Rochester Hills Public Library's Young Writers Program!

A few days ago, I had the honor of visiting a young writers group at the Rochester Hills Public Library. And though it would have been nice if the weather hadn't been horrible, the company was awesome.

Lining the pushed-together tables on my right and left were eager young writers, ready to tell me all about their books and poetry and comic ideas. And I do mean ALL about their books. :) I had to stop a few of them from revealing everything about their ideas, trying to instill a little bit of social media paranoia I think is healthy for all writers. (There are times I refuse to even tell anyone the title of the book I'm working on.) But in truth, I hope to do more with these writers. I hope to visit again in the future and this time offer a little critique on their first chapters. I want to be surprised by what they've written. No spoilers for meh!

So there it is...for any of you sneaking over on my blog to see if I mention the visit. You better get to writing because I want to see some pages!! :)

I can't explain just how awesome it is to come to a group such as this and give them a quick overview of the publishing world. Letting them know that someone out there takes them seriously, regardless of
their age, is the greatest feeling in the world. I left the library remembering those who furiously scribbled notes down as I spoke, and I smiled. I have high hopes for the group.

Yes even the dark, dark, dark poetry writer obsessed with Nazi references. I'm convinced there isn't anything any of you can't accomplish. Thank you for letting me into your group for an afternoon of conversation (okay, more like me babbling) and visually pretty weather.

It takes a serious writer to brave a snow storm just to hear some writing advice and to talk about your projects. I hope you all made it home safe and sound. Your stories need to be told! :)

Thanks for everything,

Friday, November 6, 2015

It's all about the ME!

There's plenty of time to be selfish in the coming months. By February, when my book comes out (On Edge- Feb 2nd from Poisoned Pencil Press. :) ) I plan to talk to anyone who will listen to me, at whichever venue I'm at, and tell them all about my book, my process, and my accomplishments. I plan to excite the masses with my action adventure thriller mystery young adult novel. (There's a lot of adjectives there, I know. But I have genre commitment issues.) I plan to even over-share a bit to--well I'll be honest, I do it on accident because I'm not good at holding back stories or refusing to answer questions put to me.

But, with all of this me, me, me...I find myself uncomfortable. It is part of being published, yes. And I agree, if you can't deal with being out in public and under a microscope, you should definitely not be an author (or actor, musician, etc. because there's always that one in a million chance you might become a household name.) But my lack of comfort isn't as much being an extrovert phobe. ( :) See what I did there? I cheated.) No no, for me, I get uncomfortable talking about myself and my accomplishments at times because I'm no different than the people I'm talking to. So why should they care what I have to say if I give them nothing for listening to me?

So I decided I'm going to start doing classes, seminars, or maybe even a club or two this coming year for teens and adults who are looking to understand the writing world and the publishing world. I'm totally excited! I've had some good experiences that have qualified me to talk about the industry. I've had two different agents, I've tried different kinds of publishing, I've tried different kinds of marketing, and I learn differently, so the writing process was a struggle. (Still can be.)

There's a lot of good things I can share to balance the conversation with those who come to visit me. I think that's how I prefer to "market myself".

I'll post updates on the blog for when I plan to hold any of these events! If you have an event in mind, feel free to message me on Facebook!