Saturday, May 30, 2015

I’m Too Old for this Crap

By Keith N Fisher

Did I mention I don’t like interviews? Did I mention I loathe interviews? Well, that’s a little harsh. I want to put out a contract . . . Just kidding. Last week I wrote about similarities between pitching my book to an editor and pitching myself for a job interview. I really don’t like pitching myself, but you knew that already.

This week I showed up 20 minutes early but couldn’t find the building. It was in one of those, technology campus style complex of different buildings. It’s the old Word Perfect Campus if you are familiar. Anyway, I learned to never assume anything. I was out walking through the oldest part looking for a certain building and I had trouble breathing.

When you are my age and you take blood pressure medication, that can be a serious thing. Added to the stress of trying to not be late, on top of nerves about pitching myself and you have a recipe for disaster. I made it back to my car, rolled down the windows, started breathing again, and called trying to reschedule.

After leaving the message, I spent the next half-hour finding the right building. Another five minutes finding a place to park, and realized it would take another five minutes to walk to the door. Did I mention I hate interviews?

So while hoping I could still reschedule, I did an uncharacteristic thing and blew it off. I went to visit my father’s grave. I figured that since I was in the neighborhood . . . while driving back home, with my pulse back under control, they called and told me to go back. This time I could park in reserve parking.

I did, and I cooled my heals and they said they would reschedule. Did I tell you I hate interviews?

On a positive note, I placed my national market book in the hands of beta readers. It wasn’t edited, but they will mark it up for me.

Good luck with your writing—see you next week.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


Write about a wedding from the viewpoints of the bride's dog, and the groom's cat.

Saturday, May 23, 2015


By Keith N Fisher

Alluding to, coming changes in my life, I think I mentioned (Somewhere), my job will be changing. At the Storymakers conference, I pitched Starcrossed to Sam from Covenant. I mentioned how nervous it made me, and realized I would soon be pitching myself to potential employers.

Pitching my book shouldn’t have made me nervous, I love the book, and I can present it in very few words. Job interviews, on the other hand . . .

Sam asked me to send the manuscript, the man from HR invited me back. The whole thing reminds me of a blog post from a while ago when I wrote about writers in the nineteen-seventies, and how they didn’t have to do much promotion.

In like manner, when planning careers and the future, my generation was told: Just be punctual, be loyal, do your best. Take care of the company and the company will take care of you . . . Things change.

Although I like networking and talking about my books, I really don’t like promoting. There is so much I could do, but don’t, I feel inadequate. Am I really a twenty-first century writer if I’d rather just write?

In business, I hate trying to climb the latter. I plug away, day to day, doing my job. I don’t care if I look good or not. The same goes with interviews. I feel like saying, “I’ll do the job. I will meet, and exceed my goals. Just hire me.”

When talking to an agent or editor, I can’t say my book will be the next big thing. I can’t tell them why they should buy my book versus somebody else’s. The truth is, I tell a good story that will touch some peoples hearts. But so will the other book. Starcrossed will touch hearts, but some people might not like it. Some people are crazy, but I’m not a therapist, so . . .

Wouldn’t it be great to invent a device? I need something to wear on my wrist that will send out subliminal suggestions. “You will buy my book. You will love my book. You cannot live without my book.”

In the same vein, I could change the program: “You will hire me. I am the best man for the job. Where have I been all your life?”

Good luck with your writing—see you next week.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


Who is this table set for? Why are they meeting here?

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

From Personal Experience, Part 2

 3 Nephi 23: And now it came to pass that when Jesus had said these words he said unto them again, after he had expounded all the scriptures unto them which they had received, he said unto them: Behold, other scriptures I would that ye should write, that ye have not.
 And it came to pass that he said unto Nephi: Bring forth the record which ye have kept.
 And when Nephi had brought forth the records, and laid them before him, he cast his eyes upon them and said:
 Verily I say unto you, I commanded my servant Samuel, the Lamanite, that he should testify unto this people, that at the day that the Father should glorify his name in me that there were many saints who should arise from the dead, and should appear unto many, and should minister unto them. And he said unto them: Was it not so?
 10 And his disciples answered him and said: Yea, Lord, Samuel did prophesy according to thy words, and they were all fulfilled.
 11 And Jesus said unto them: How be it that ye have not written this thing, that many saints did arise and appear unto many and did minister unto them?
 12 And it came to pass that Nephi remembered that this thing had not been written.
 13 And it came to pass that Jesus commanded that it should be written; therefore it was written according as he commanded.

The Lord works in mysterious ways. If you feel prompted to write, then you should do so.  We may not know what purpose it will serve, we may not even live to see the effects of what we have written. But, none of us ever want to hear the Lord say: "I sent you a miracle. Why was it not written?"

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Hanging with the Tribe

By Keith N Fisher

As I write this, I’m on my way to the LDStorymakers Conference. During this past week, on social media, I’ve seen many writers post about how happy they were to see their tribe again. In fact, that is the conference theme. So, I’m off, to hang with the tribe. I’ve been listening to a book on tape, written by a British writer. The reader is also, so if I write strangely, please forgive. 

I don’t know whether you realize or not, but I didn’t post anything here, last week. The truth is I opened a blank page to write for the blog on the appointed day and after, but couldn’t shed the ideas for my work in progress. I’m sorry, but naturally, my characters beat you out for my attention. I worked on my story.

Currently, I’m drawing near to the end of this story, and tying it all together. As always, approaching the end means writing entirely new scenes. Of course, the new stuff is always better than the original stuff. There will be edits, but its coming together.

This is my second, exclusively national market story. Well, third, actually. As you might remember, I wrote my first book with the national market in mind. Then, thinking it would be easier to publish in the LDS market, I wrote a book for that Venue. The idea was to use my credits to publish the other book. I discovered the truth, but it has taken years to get back into national.

So, as I eluded, the writing is going great. The plotting, however, has never been so hard. I’ve never had trouble plotting a story. It always seems to come easy for me. But the desire to be accurate, and not like Perry Mason in court procedures, has driven me to my Facebook writer’s groups. I’ve driven them crazy asking questions. Some of them no longer read my posts. I need to thank them, though. I have, perhaps, learned as much from them as if I had taken a course. My book as pretty accurate and I feel great.

Now I’m on my way to hang with my tribe, and I wonder, just who is my tribe anyway? I started attending writer’s events years ago. I’ve met many fabulous people. I’ve seen most of them publish their own books. In the course of it all, I’ve been part of critique groups, writer’s groups, and I have personal friendships I’ll cherish forever. Who among those groups is my tribe?

I’m looking forward to networking at the conference. Moreover, I can’t wait to see my friends. A few of those people lament my lack of writer direction. Surely they are tribe?
In the conference, I will again, enter the crucible. I will chasten myself for not reaching goals. I will second-guess my decision to, not self-publish, yet. Through it all, I’ll offer my undying support to my loved and cherished writer friends and I will pick up sparks of wisdom I hadn’t realized before, or in the rush to get it written, had learned but forgotten.

Yes, everyone at the conference is my tribe. This blog was created as a resource for writers to feel they are not alone. We wanted you to know there are others who have the same desires, and understand the need to get out of bed in the middle of the night to write. There are others who also have deep conversations with fictitious people. Having written many posts on this blog, I hope you will consider me part of your tribe.

Good luck with your writing—give my love to your tribe—see you next week.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Past and Present Merging

By C. Michelle Jefferies 

I've been a student of Hatha Yoga for about ten years now. It's probably exactly what most of you think about when you hear the word Yoga. This year, however, I've become a student of Kundalini Yoga as well. Kundalini is exactly what I thought eastern yoga would be, and nothing I've ever expected to practice.

Why the change?

It's not exactly a change . . . more of an augmentation.

You see, while Hatha is great for the physical aspect, Kundalini is more for the energy and mind. Which is exactly what I need right now.

What does this have to do with writing?


Many of my writing skills are old and have stuck with me for several years. Grammar doesn't change, storytelling doesn't change. They've improved over the years but the basics haven't changed. My ideas of plot have changed dramatically over the years, as well as character arc, and world building. I will never consider myself as finished in the realm of writing. There are always opportunities to learn. Always opportunities to improve.

Writers conferences, classes, retreats, online classes, books on writing are perfect ways to augment your writing skills. Ways to add to our base knowledge.

So in addition to what you all ready know, you should be adding to your skills all the time.

This weekend is LDStorymakers conference. Will I be seeing any of you there?

On another note, Just because it's new and fancy or everyone is doing it doesn't mean you have to assimilate it into your knowledge base. For example, while many people use and love Scrivner, I do not like it, and that's okay. I think it's awesome that Schrivner works for so many people. I have a system that works for me. Might be a little old fashioned, but for me it works so why change it? That said, that doesn't mean that some day sometime I won't run into a system or program that I love better than what I have now.  

So until next time.

The Awesome in me honors the Awesome in you. Sat Nam. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


If the yellow brick road goes to the Emerald City, where does the red brick road lead to? Travel it.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

From Personal Experience

Writing about real life is hard. Especially writing about heart-tugging things.

It's almost like reliving those times again, with all the good, the bad, and the ugly. If it was an unpleasant experience the first time, it's not going to get any better the second time around. It feels a lot like digging in the dirt with a garden rake - writing it down gives it a concrete-ness, and it jabs and tears at old scars, opening the wounds all over again.

So why do it?

For yourself. It's terribly cathartic, for one thing. It's like having a cut that's never quite healed. If you open it up, and let out all the junk that's been festering for years, then it has a chance to heal again, this time properly.

For posterity. How will people know you've triumphed over adversity if they're never told the story? I would give anything if my father had written down the story of his life before he left us. I know a few anecdotal stories. Through those stories he told me is the only way I have of knowing my grandparents, his mother and father. I wish there were a hardback on my shelf I could take down and read when I wanted to feel closer to him.

For the world at large. We all love to hear stories of those who have come through dark days and survived to tell us that we can, too. Hundreds of books grace the shelves, several in my own library, that I treasure. The Diary of Anne Frank, the Hiding Place by Corrie TenBoom, The Child Called It by Dave Pelzer. They're hard to read, to imagine living through, and yet we love them because of the indomitable human spirit within them connects with the spirit within each of us.

So if you're considering writing a memoir, or a true story - whether or not you decide to publish it - take heart in knowing it is a good cause.

In the words of President Spencer W. Kimball:  Do it!

Wednesday, May 06, 2015


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

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Life in the Fast Lane

By Keith N Fisher

One of the popular songs from the nineteen-seventies, has become a favorite of mine, but for reasons you might not think of. When Joe Walsh joined the Eagles, they released a song called Life in the Fast Lane. It was on the Hotel California Album and it was intended to parody the Jet Set life, along with the people who get caught up in excess.

As you might’ve guessed, there are words and images drawn in the lyrics you might not want to subject yourself to. However, you can hear the song played here. For me, the chorus has become a mantra. It’s an expression of frustration. Like the song Mr. Rodgers sang at the beginning of his show, I sing the first line of the chorus below. It helps me when I get overwhelmed.

I won’t list all the lyrics, but here is the chorus:

Life in the fast lane (Can) surely make you lose your mind
Life in the fast lane
Life in the fast lane, everything all the time.
Life in the fast lane

I had to sing my mantra several times this week. I’ve been working through plot holes in my current work in progress and went on Facebook to get advice. Without going into details, I got lots of help and made a comment about a coincidence I set up in the scene we were talking about.

My good friend Tristi Pinkston inserted the comment that she thought it was too much of a coincidence. I admit, my pride was hurt, but having Tristi in my critique group, taught me to listen to her. I thought about it, and she was right. I couldn’t believe I’d worked so hard to insert that coincidence and messed up the scene. Nobody would believe the coincidence could ever happen, so I had to change several scenes.

Not only, did I shoot myself in the foot, I went to great lengths to load the gun. So there I was, singing my mantra and fixing the error, I mentioned my intentions to another friend. She didn’t like my solution, because of other problems. My mantra got louder. I began to wonder if the book would ever be written.

I spent that night thinking of a solution. I think it works. I hope you’ll like the story.

Last week, I talked about the Write Here in Ephraim Conference and how Rachel Ann Nunes spoke about believing in your self. She mentioned we should finish our books and I felt like she was preaching to the choir in my case. As you can see from the screen shot, I have many books written.

To quote last week’s (edited) post:

  . . . 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 the same. 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 . . .

You might be interested to know I worked on that this week. I’m getting ducks in the row. I will send two manuscripts off next week. I have two trackers to remind me to follow up, and I’m editing as fast as I can. To paraphrase Mr. Rodgers: It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood.

Good luck with your writing—see you next week.