Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Writer dreaming: Would I rather hire a maid or a cook?

Writer dreaming: Would you rather hire a maid or a cook?
I’ve decided to take a short visit to fantasy land since in reality I can afford neither, but it’s nice to think about.
As a writer my time seems to be gobbled up from every direction. There are distractions, things that just need to get done and a whole lot more that can keep me from accomplishing in a day what I want to accomplish.
So, once in a while, I ponder that question above. If a genie were to grant me a wish or I was to get just enough money, which would I rather have, a maid or a cook?
It’s a question that’s tougher to answer than one might think at first. There are good sides to both.  And both or either would certainly cut down on the chores I have to get done myself. So who wouldn’t want that?
 If there was a cook in the house, that would eliminate a lot of headaches. But I do like to cook at times. And, I have to admit, my usual escape hatch when time is pressing is throwing an interesting combo into the slow cooker in the morning and presuming it will produce something both edible and enjoyable by the time my writing day ends somewhere around 4:30. Ah, the writer’s daydream. Presuming having a cook would guarantee seriously good meals neither overcooked nor overdone and the smells of such excellent cooking would fill the house even as I continued to write in my study, well that has a lot of appeal.
On the other hand there is always that slow-cooker to fall back on.
Now if there was a maid in the house that would mean all the dusting, cleaning, vacuuming  and picking up would happen without me doing the work. It would be like magic. Things would be dusted, vacuuming done (though I’d have to give some thought to all that noise going on while I’m writing in the upstairs office), dishes would be done.
I’m lucky, I have a husband with whom I split the work around the house, both cooking and cleaning. Nonetheless, wouldn’t it be grand to have to do none of it? Or to have one totally taken care of and need only split the work of the other? Yep, a true writer’s dream.
 On the other hand, maybe what I need is a painter and around the house handyman. I do quite a bit of that myself around the house as well and am currently in the idle of repainting all the kitchen cabinets…then there’s the door frame and the downstairs bathroom cabinets…and…hmmm, maybe I just need to win the lottery to finance my writing.
But I got off track. Maid or cook? In the end it doesn’t matter, I’ll take either!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

A Hero’s (protagonist’s) Worthy Goal

           Taking time out to put something simple and basic out there for the writers who join us here – readers too who enjoy getting a peek into the writer’s world and just what goes into a good read. What a writer wrestles with to come up with that eyeball-grabbing story that keeps a reader up half the night because the book just can’t be put down.


          It’s plainly written above. It’s very basic. Is the goal that’s been set for the hero of the story a worth y goal. And by that I mean,  there are lots of things a hero can strive to achieve. BUT choosing the right one, the one with the right outside motivation, can be tricky and can require a lot of thought on the part of the writer. Is it a big enough goal? Is it a goal that is worthy of the hero?

          It sounds pretty direct, but without thinking about it, deep down, the reader is automatically asking questions while the story unfolds.  Does that goal  set for the hero fulfill a basic human need? Safety and security? Love? Belonging? Physiological? Some fulfillment of self-esteem?

          Why are we all looking for that element? Well, it reminds readers of their own goals and desires, then draws them into the story to find out whether the hero does attain his goals and desires, and if so, how.

          Another question regarding that worthy goal is, is it logical and attainable? Really, if one is wrapped up in a story, there is little worse than the exclamation, “that doesn’t make sense!” or seeing through a paper-thin plot and knowing deep down that this guy couldn’t really accomplish that goal no matter how willingly the reader dives into the pool of suspended disbelief.  If that happens the writer has lost the reader. Not good.

          The next test is does the hero have an emotional attachment to the goal? Is he or she passionate about achieving whatever it is whether it is saving the life of a puppy, preventing a bank robbery or curing cancer? The protagonist absolutely must be passionate; must have a soul-deep motivation for plunging into whatever circumstance follows. If the attitude is a wimpy, it’ll be nice if I can achieve it, then the reader follows the same path, doesn’t care and gives up on the story.

          Related to the emotional attachment is the question, what happens if the Hero doesn’t succeed? What’s at stake?  Does the world explode? Is a child’s life at stake? Will an evil force succeed? Will a ship sink at sea? If he doesn’t get back in time to donate a kidney will his wife die?

          There has to be a powerful motivating factor and hit has to be real to the reader. It puts a lot of pressure on the writer.  See, readers, see what you do to all those slaving writers out there?

          And at the same time, readers motivate writers to always improve, to come up with the next fascinating, exciting, dramatic, love-filled tale of adventure, success, mourning or joy. 

          Readers keep reading and the writers will keep writing.  That’s a given.

Monday, January 18, 2016

One Writer's To Do List

It’s a bright and sunny day and I thought for this round I’d just bring everyone up to speed on what’s going on my my writing world.

As is my usual state, there’s a lot on my plate (and no, I didn’t intend for that to rhyme.) At the moment it’s quite the juggling act. I’m helping a fellow writing out with his first book, giving a few hints on what beginners frequently do, watching for over used words, editing and evaluating what looks like it’s going to be a trilogy. Go John!

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, so to speak. I’m working steadily with my creative partner, Charlene Brash Sorensen on our comic book series, Planet Of The Eggs. We already have three adventures published (two in kindle and paperback editions and the third about ready to hit paperback as well as the currently published Kindle edition). We have great plans for the series and if you want to be updated and in the inner circle all you have to do is visit our Facebook page at and sign up for our newsletter which is about to debut where we’ll offer exclusives, giveaways funny quizzes and updates as to what’s happening with the legendary eggs. There’s a trailer for Cracked Open (the first comic in the series) too.

 A real fan already? Then we have a great CafĂ© Press shop with all sorts of items emblazoned with characters and more from the series at www.

Aside from all that, which takes up an enormous amount of time, I’m working on a romance of the fantastical variety, set in the ocean’s depths. It’s about ¾ of the way complete and I’m hoping to get some time to finish it up before the end of the year.

That is, if we can manage to create a script to present for Planet Of The Eggs in preparation to offering it as a kid’s TV series.

And, I continue to create blog posts for Larry Brody’s TV Writer about twice a month.  Come on by and check out his great site. Lots of info for writers of all persuasions and for those who are curious as to the writer’s world. 

All of this explains why my posts here have been a bit erratic recently. There’s not a lot of spare time tucked in amongst the various projects. For me though that’s good. I very much enjoy a variety and a brisk pace. Only thing that slows me down is something like a cold which I’ve come to believe is nature’s way of saying would you take a nap already?

That’s the update from my writer’s central. I can only hope you're as happily busy as I.

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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Get things done in 2016 – or Not

Who am I to tell you how to get things done?  I mean really, have you seen all those articles? How to organize your year. How to succeed in 2016. How to write what you don’t want to write.

Is that the way to start a year? Well, maybe, depending on you.  It’s up to you to determine how to get things done, get yourself a plan…or not… and have at it. And it’s up to you to decide whether you want to get wrapped up on all those “whoopee it’s a new year” articles on how to launch into said new year…or not.

Really and truly it gets to be a bit much getting slammed with all this stuff each year. Every year.  It’s as if writers, instructors, whoever, in grasping for ideas to keep that content filled, keep coming up with the same thing year after year. Yep, look, even I’m doing it! It’s hard not to get sucked into the maw.

But I guess I’m in complaining mode because in the same vein I’m also sick of all those ‘old year’, ‘new year’ – old geezer and new baby cartoons.  Enough is enough already. Let’s cultivate a little imagination and get on another track.  I highly recommend putting on blinders and ignoring it all. Including me. Go away, stop reading. Go do something you want to be doing. Oh, wait, maybe this is it. Okay, read on.

Here’s the thing. New Year is either a big deal or just another day. A fresh beginning, or the continuation of what you’ve been doing. Either way it’s good. Don’t let all the hoo-ha get to you. Sometimes we stress out over that stuff and very simply, we shouldn’t.

So I’m offering simple advice. Keep on doing what you’re doing – or change direction – but do it because it’s a decision you’ve made, not because you’ve made some kind of required ‘resolution’. Take it or leave it. Up to you.

Personally I'm getting back to work on Planet Of The Eggs - the Comic Series I write and create with partner Charlene Brash-Sorensen. It's more fun than getting twisted up in the New Year thing.

Oh, and I promise I won’t write about this again next year. Happy 2016.

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