Wednesday, April 29, 2015

WRITING PROMPT WEDNESDAY


Write a description character sketch of the perfect hero for your story.  Then write him into a short story, as the villain.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Advantage of Not Publishing


By Keith N Fisher

What? There is an advantage to not being published? It was a joke between me, and a presenter, and I’ll explain in a minute. I attended the Write Here in Ephraim Conference today and I wanted to tell you about it.

The conference is small, like Storymakers used to be. The presenters did well, and I learned many new ways of doing what I do. Rachel Ann Nunes. (I know she goes by other names these days, but I met her before the pseudonyms.) Anyway, Rachel delivered a great Keynote address about believing in your self, and I was thrilled.

Oh yes, I believe.

I mentioned Storymakers and the size that conference used to be. I think I posted a blog about that once. Anyway, At the Ephraim conference, I made a comment about a time when we could fit the whole Storymakers conference in one small room. I remember marveling at that first event, about all the people who wanted to write. Then, within a few years I looked out over the mass of humanity. Oh my.

Now, self-pub and e-books have taken off. Many of my friends have published piles of books. James Dashner and Jeff Savage are rock stars. Yeah things have changed. I couldn’t help but feel nostalgic when I saw writers I met then, come back now, bringing their children who probably hadn’t been born, then.

I’ve been attending these events for many years, I’ve seen writers come and go. Every time, however, I get a fresh prospective, and that leads me to the unanswered question in the title.

While walking into Rachel Nune’s classroom before her presentation about romance, I said hi. She recognized me but probably didn’t remember my name. She made a comment about me attending a lot of the writer things and how she kind of wished she could just attend, sitting in the classes and absorb the wisdom. I said, well, that’s the beauty of not being published.

I suppose that’s true, (except as you might remember from my post about LTUE), You become a fixture and people tend to think you aren’t serious about writing. I don’t really care about that, though. I write several thousand words every day, and I can’t not, write.

During the keynote, I remember thinking Rachel was preaching to the choir in my case. Later, in a candid conversation with a good friend, I lamented over all the self-pub books she has produced in such a short time. She pointed out that I ought to do it, too. I agreed I should. Now I think of Rachel’s kick in the behind as a battle cry. I say to myself, “Finish what you started you idiot.”

I write, but I don’t publish. So here we are. It was a great conference. Short, but sweet. I stayed in my trailer in the campground in Manti. I got lots of writing and editing done. I can move on. I’m not sure I ever want to be in Rachel’s shoes, with a desire to just attend and not present at an event. As you can see from all my blog posts, here on the Blogck, I can teach.

I started this post with a desire to talk about the art on the Snow College Campus. I took a couple of pictures, but those at the bottom are awesome. If you can’t see, somebody took different colored and textured stone slabs and made them look like books on a shelf. There were two of them. I think they are beautiful, but there is a metaphor there. If you write good books, they will stand the test of time. They will be as stone, a monument to your creativity, a work of art.

Good luck with your writing—see you next week.    



Wednesday, April 22, 2015

WRITING PROMPT WEDNESDAY


"I shall eviscerate you in fiction."

Think of the last person that made you mad, write them into a scene to get even. You don't have to be nice, or even truthful, no one will ever read this but you.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Acknowledge the Lords Hand - In All Things

Recently, I was given an assignment.  I'm not sure how else to explain it. It's a project that I've been thinking about, toying with, and simmering on the back burner for a while now, but it's never come to anything more than that. Until recently, when it was made very clear to me that now is the time for this particular project to move from back burner to full steam ahead.

As LDS people, we believe that the Lord communicates with us. We believe that He talks directly to our prophet and church president, as well as giving us revelation regarding ourselves, our lives and our families. It's the biggest singular difference between us and every other Christian church out there. We believe that our Lord truly takes an active hand in our lives.

So why would He not do that with our writing? Of course He would!

Each of us have our talent for a reason, and that reason is to serve our brothers and sisters here in this old world. If our talent is words, and we are truly striving to magnify our talent, then the Lord can lead us in the way that we can make the best use of them.

My latest project, with promptings from the Holy Spirit, is now in the works. I have been blessed to find others who are just as dedicated to this cause as myself, who are now working together to see this work done. I truly believe the Lord has a purpose in mind for this project, and that I am being prompted because someone out there needs to read what I need to write. At the risk of sounding zealous, I praise the Lord for the talent He has given me, and now is directing me to use to the best possible use.

When was the last time you thanked the Lord for your talent as a writer, or your desire to write? Have you asked Him lately what He would have you write? Do you pray about what you are writing, and ask for guidance or help in using your talent to the best of your ability?

Perhaps it's time to start.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Writing Spaces, Again


By Keith N Fisher

Do you remember when I posted a picture of the oval office in the White House? I said it was my new office. In that post, I talked about writing spaces. And asked about yours. I had a couple of minutes to chill at work the other day, so I did a Google image search. I looked for the writing spaces of famous authors and came up with some interesting pictures.

I thought of my office, in transition, and wished I could do a total remodel. I would build a balcony and knock out the wall into my daughter’s bedroom, but alas, She isn’t old enough to leave the house and I don’t have the money, anyway.

As I’ve said, I write in coffee shops, reception rooms, and behind the wheel of my car. Where do you write? I’m not only fishing for comments, I want you to send your picture. Like in my Google search, I want to see images of your writing spaces. As I said, and from the picture you can see, my office is in transition. It needs something. Show my your pictures and give me ideas.

Send your pictures to bloghole57 at yahoo dot com and I post them here. Let us see where you hang out, and where you get your wonderful ideas. Here’s your chance to give us a tour of your inner sanctum. Let us see your writing snacks.

I will start, by showing you the condition of my office and where I write. Start clicking those shutters.

Good luck with your writing—see you next week.



Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Monday, April 13, 2015

GOALS AND PRIORITIES by Coniie Hall




By Sister Connie Smith Hall (C Larene Hall)
 
I feel so honored that Keith asked me to come back as a guest blogger to tell you what I have been doing with my life since August 22, 2012. I have actually missed my weekly blog and I’m not sure why I ever stopped other than the fact that life got crazy and priorities changed.

My last blog on LDSWritersBlogck was about persistence. I’ve always believed in being persistent and as my blog said I was going to the gym regularly. I continued to do that because when I went I felt better. Most of the other original bloggers had quit blogging and somehow I also quit, but I continued to write.

Just two days after that blog I announced on my personal blog clhall.blogspot.com that my first book in my “A Magical Journey to the Past” series was coming out in September. The name of the book was “Mary’s Spyglass”, and was published by Idea Creations Press. 

My book signing was on September 8, 2012 and it was in honor of my husband whose birthday would have been that day. He was always a huge support of my writing before he passed away March 15, 2011. We had a huge pirate party with most of my family helping with games, refreshments and other things that were needed. Some of them even dressed the part. 

I continued to write on my personal blog sometimes but I was not consistent, and my last post was on May 7, 2013. I was trying to get my next book ready for publication. The second book in “a Magical Journey to the Past” series came out the end of June 2013. It is called “Crusaders of Warwick Castle.” I once again had a book signing party at my home and my family helped with games, refreshments, and once again some dressed the part of characters in the book.

It take a lot of time to promote books and to do book signings. I was still working my part time job and fulfilling my church callings. I was trying to help other authors promote their books by reading and giving book reviews. Life got crazy and I knew I had to find time to write my books that were demanding to be written. There are only so many hours in a day and with my personal, working, and church life there was no time left over. I’ve always been big on time management and I knew something had to go. It didn’t matter if it was something I enjoyed I just couldn’t fit anything more into my life at that time. Blogging and book reviews had to go.

My next book, “Friends for a Season” is written, and it has been edited, but I haven’t had the time to finish the corrections. It is not in the series, but a stand- alone book. I didn’t want to put it aside but I found something else that was beaconing me and just couldn’t put those feelings aside any longer. I thought for a couple of years that if I served in the Temple that would be good enough, but soon learned that it wasn’t all that I was supposed to do. I’m not getting any younger and since I have always wanted to serve a mission for my church I put my personal things aside and did all that I needed to do to turn in papers for a mission.

I’m excited to be serving in the Independence Missouri Mission. I entered the MTC on October 13, 2014. It’s not easy to leave home and family behind. Couples have each other but single sisters are mostly alone except for God, and strangers. I know they don’t stay strangers for long, and you do have a companion, but it’s not the same as having family and friends nearby. Thank goodness I get to call them. 

I have no idea why I decided to serve for 18 months, but that is what I agreed to do. I didn’t realize how much I would miss home and all my friends. When winter hit I was sure that I had made a huge mistake. I don’t like COLD weather. I have a hard time staying warm on a hot day. Somehow by learning to wear layers I survived. No, I’m not looking forward to another winter here but there must be a reason that I’ve been sent here and I’ll stay and find out why.

Missouri is a wonderful place. I love the small town Albany that I’m living in. The branch is small and the people here are great. I serve in the community a couple of times a week and I love all the people here. It doesn’t matter what church they belong to, they are all God’s children. On warm days I enjoy walking and meeting new people and animals, mostly dogs. I’ve never seen so many squirrels, or eagles, and I guess there is a fox living nearby. If you haven’t already guessed we are out in the country near the Iowa boarder. We do lots of driving to visit the less active people that live in our branch. Many of them have long drives to come to church.

My book will be ready for publication when I get home, and hopefully I will have others almost ready for editing. I do have some time to write, but I have to be careful and not overdo it. I still have to do the missionary work here, attend meetings and spend lots of time studying.

I guess what I’m trying to tell each of you is that you do have to be persistent in what you do, but you also need to know that goals and priorities do change and you do need to look at your life regularly and make the adjustments that are best for you and your family. What is good for me might not be good for you. For me serving the Lord on a mission seems like the right thing to do at this time. I know He has put me here for a reason and if I pray continually that purpose will come to pass.



Saturday, April 11, 2015

Wow it’s Wednesday Time to face the World


By Keith N Fisher

I know this blog will probably post on Saturday, but I always try to write these posts early so I’m not doing it last minute. Usually, what happens is, an idea begins to percolate on Sunday and by Wed, I know what I want to write.

No. This won’t be one of those I can’t think of anything to write posts.

Sometimes ideas don’t come until I’m late, other times, something happens in my life or in the news that stirs the juices and I must put down my thoughts. Often, you don’t get to see those thoughts. We have a reputation here at the blogck and I don’t want to jeopardize that. I also, don’t want to start arguments.

There is so much, this week, to write about, but it becomes journal entries. There is wisdom in keeping journals. Mine helps me clear my mind without insulting people. I guess I could mention the LDS General Conference, though. It’s true, Elder Hales said we should stand up for religious freedom. He also said, “ . . . We must not forget that moral agency is part of God’s plan for all of his children . . . No one should be criticized, persecuted, or attacked by individuals of governments either, for what he or she believes . . .”

Freedom of religion doesn’t give anyone the right to infringe upon other people’s exercise their moral agency.

In trying to come up with something about writing, I realized now is a busy time. I’m attending the Write Here In Ephriam conference next week. I will also be at LDStorymakers. I hope to see you there.

I recently joined a Facebook beta readers group. I miss my critique group and I need to help, as well as to be helped. I’ll let you know how it goes. I’m writing another national market story and I’ve been plotting others. My LDS fiction is on the way to the publisher. My cookbook needs editing. It’s interesting to see what things we put on hold, because our interests have changed.

My life has gone in strange directions during the past few years, but I’m adjusting. With all the upheaval, I’ve noticed a certain flakiness and I hope you aren’t one of those who fell by the wayside. The fascinating thing, though, at least to me, is through it all I still write. The bits of stories in my computer, both LDS and otherwise, will keep me self publishing for years.

Yes, its Saturday. Good luck with your writing—see you next week.

   

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Is Your Toner Dying?

by C. Michelle Jefferies 

By toner I mean the tone and style of your writing.

What genre do you write?

Is it happy romance? Creepy mysteries? Cold Scifi?

Does the tone of your setting and other details fit with your story?

If you write lighthearted romance, are your characters generally happy? The setting bright and cheery? The conflict serious but not life shattering?

If you write horror is your setting dark and creepy? The antagonist dark and rough in contrast to the protagonist? Does the plot and conflict reflect the dark of the story?

If you write scifi is your setting cold and vast? The characters intelligent and technical? The plot full of scientific twists and turns?

If your setting, plot, characters among other things do not reflect your genre readers are going to notice.

Be authentic and take the time to really flesh out the little details that creates a connection between reader and story.

#timetorechargethetone

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Not what I wish I'd Said


By Keith N Fisher

With all the great weather we’ve had lately, at least in my part of the world, I was sitting on my front porch, sleepily plotting a story. Suddenly, a car pulled up across the street. The driver slammed on the brakes and bailed out. Yeah. It caught my attention.

The driver set out chasing a little black streak. I thought maybe his animal got away and he was trying to catch it before it got into trouble. Then, I wondered if he was chasing my daughter’s cat, so I headed toward the car. The driver came back in a few moments, empty-handed. I asked what he was chasing? He muttered something about a dog and animal control. Then, he did a u-turn and sped back the way he came.

I assumed he was still chasing the dog and it made me angry for a couple of reasons. With the comment about animal control, I thought he might be an exuberant, off duty, dogcatcher. I also wondered if he was kidnapping animals. Motivated by the recent disappearance of three cats from our porch, I followed.

I had worked at my physical job the night before, so I started my half-hearted chase, using a cane for my sore and stiffened ankles. I didn’t really think I would catch the guy, but I thought I might see him on the next street over, trying to intercept the dog.

I found him parked in a driveway down the block, talking on a cell phone. When he got into his car, he came toward me so I stood in the road to stop him. When he barely cracked open his door, I asked, what makes him think he had the right to chase dogs through my neighborhood? He said something about almost hitting the dog, and that he’d called animal control.

What I should’ve said was, So, you missed your chance to kill the dog with your car, now you want to finish the job by chasing the poor animal. What do you plan to do if you catch it? That’s what I should’ve said.

Of course I didn’t think of that. Instead, I said, “I repeat, what makes you think you can chase a dog through my neighborhood?”
“It ran in front of me. I almost hit it?” he said.

Of course, my uncouth self kicked in, I tried to point out that if a dog got itself killed then it would be the dogs fault, nevertheless, I swore, and said something about driving like a maniac through my neighborhood.

Yeah. As you might’ve guessed it didn’t end well. I lost control and raised my voice. He asked something like who is the maniac now? He closed his car door, and drove away. I felt like tossing my cane, or a rock, through his back window, but I didn’t. Instead, I took down his plate number. When I got home I called the police.

The dispatcher said there was a call from my area for animal control, and that she would let the officers know, about my complaint. I hung up, knowing that would be the end of it. It is an interesting type of road rage that makes a person chase the dog. Especially, when all, that dog did was cross a road at the wrong time.

What do you think of my story? What does it have to do with writing? Other than, being an example for a scene that I might use in a book, it brings up my inability to banter with words. Do you have that problem? Are you able to say the perfect words in the heat of the moment?

I spend hours, crafting the best dialog I can write, but do characters really speak that way? Do your characters speak with perfect inflection, saying the right things or do they do like I did, and never think of the right words to say at the right time?

Good luck with your writing—see you next week.  
   

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

WRITING PROMPT WEDNESDAY


Write about a famous event from the past as if it's happening 100 years in the future.