Sunday, March 31, 2013

I Is Losted

For three solid years (2010 thru 2012) I didn't let anyone or anything stop me from achieving my goal of being a published somebody. I developed serious tunnel vision as I motored my way through from a seed of an idea that was planted in my head on Super Bowl Sunday to a first draft, second draft, editing, re-editing, third draft, re-re-editing, contract, cover, trailer, first galley, second galley and finally e-publication, with print publication taking place this year.

With that success still fresh, I decided to tweak a novella so that I could continue my journey of becoming a published somebody. That particular item occupied my time for another two months or so, as I re-edited and re-wrote the novella until it was a high glossy finish, and began the laborious process of querying and submitting.

While that was going on, I decided to work on my slush novel, so that I would have something in the on deck circle once I had succeeded in landing my novella with a publisher.

However, a problem quickly raised its very ugly head and has threatened to permanently derail this new project.

No passion.

Try as I might, I am seriously lacking the passion to actually write this thing. Whether its because I have the daunting task of completely re-writing 12 chapters and merging a chapbook into a viable product, or the fact that I plan on using my Dragon software to write this entire thing from beginning to end, I honestly can't say.

With my previous book, the passion and drive was there. I mean, I wrote that thing on my computer at home, on paper in my backyard, on paper at the park, you name the location, I cranked out at least a few paragraphs.

With this project, the passion and drive is definitely not there. It's more like, "Gotta sit my ass down and make a go of this. Oh wait, I should write a brief outline/synopsis so I know what the F this thing is all about, then I should do a little research for new character names, maybe come up with a new direction/twist...." and so on and so on. Anything to avoid to do actual writing.

To be honest with everyone, this issue is actually part of larger problem, which is the lack of original writing. I have not written an original word since April 2010. As of this post, that's coming up on 4 years.

4 years.

Four years of no writing putting me into a sour mood is bad enough, but when I'm reading the various blogs and Facebook pages of fellow writers and I see all of these updates by everyone of the fantastic progress that everyone is making with their writing, not only does my sour mood turn ugly, but now I'm become just a tad unglued.

I actually have nothing against my fellow writers for doing what they're doing and I'm all for them, but comparing their progress with my lack of progress (among other things) puts me into the type of frame of mind that makes it a daily struggle not to act like a total Richard.

So, how does one deal with the reality of when one's passion/drive for writing rides off into the sunset for a seriously extended vacation?

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Why Yes, I'll Legally Discriminate Against You

Disclaimer: I am not trying to be funny, snarky or offensive with this post.

As most of you know, either on this blog or on Facebook, I have no problem shooting my mouth off on things that bug the crap out of me. One of the things that has been bugging me and fact, always bugs me, is a silent side issue when the hot button topic of gay marriage rears its non-ugly head.

For those of you who may have been unconscious or been preparing for the apocalypse, this week the Supreme Court has taken up the thorny issue of gay marriage. While I have a basic idea of where everyone in my blog world and/or Facebook stands and everyone has a basic idea on where I stand (fence straddler, my main beef now is the word "marriage", and it took a lot of years to get to this point), this point isn't about that.

It's about the one last legal form of discrimination that is tolerated: discrimination against single hetero couples.

I won't go into the history of gay marriage and/or civil rights for gays because you already know what they can and can't legally do. However, what is being battled for by the gay community seems to disappear under the water when it comes to others.

For example: gays/lesbians in a civil union/domestic partnership in this state were always able to put their partner on their health insurance. That has changed slightly as in this state gays/lesbians can now get married. Of course, the state put the caveat in that in if you are gay and were in a civil union/domestic partnership and you wanted to keep your partner on your health insurance, you had to get married. No marriage, no insurance. Come to think of it, isn't this exactly what gay people are telling the guv'ment NOT TO DO: INTERFERING WITH THEIR PERSONAL LIFE.

However, because we don't have the concept of common-law marriage in Connecticut, a hetero man or woman who wanted to put their boyfriend or girlfriend on their health insurance can't. Even if they're in a long term committed relationship (just like gays/lesbians could be) and don't want to get married (just like some gays/lesbians might choose), they can't.

So explain to me, without using the tired cliche (at least to me) of  "well, they can always get married"*, why it's okay to discriminate and treat hetero non-married couples in long term relationships like second class citizens. If it's illegal to discriminate against married couples for certain things and it's growing increasingly illegal to discriminate against gay married couples/gay non-married couples, why is it legal to discriminate against non-married couples?

*No, they don't have to get married. If it's not right for the guv'ment or anyone else to tell the gay community that they can't get married, then it's not right for you or anyone else to tell a hetero couple that they have to get married.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Dabbling Here

I often find myself, from time to time, dabbling in genres that I either don't read much of (crime fiction) or very seldom (horror). And when I do dabble in those genres, it's more for personal curiosity than for actual publication.

Take horror for example.

I don't read much in the way of horror these days (sorry Charles), nor do I write it for publication. However, I am fascinated enough by a certain aspect, namely cannibalism, that I do enjoy writing little ditties/flash fiction about.

I'm not sure why the fascination with cannibalism had decided to take up residence inside my head. I don't think I did anything to ecourage it, beyond reading the usual stories some twenty to thirty years ago about it. I did have a small obsession with true crime back then (still do to a certain degree), so maybe that had something to do with it. Certainly didn't watch horror moves then or now either (unless you count Zombieland).

But nevertheless, the fascination with cannibalism has made me write weird pieces of flash that have popped up on the blog from time to time. I've also written two very strange short stories for my now closed short story blog, one of which I may try to submit to e-zines again, once I decide to fix a few continuity issues that a writer friend had thoughtfully pointed out to me.

In any event, weird pieces of flash cannibalism will continue to pop up on the blog from time to time, which usually springs from my fertile imagination whenever I'm having shitty day at work.

Up next, another genre that I dabble in from time to time..

Friday, March 22, 2013

A Writing Vacation We Did Take, But Did We Actually Write?

Last week, I decided to take a two and a half day vacation from work so that I might be able to do some writing, 'cause to put it bluntly, I have not done any original writing (i.e non-editing or rewriting) since 2010. Yes, I know it sounds hard to believe, but there was a plan of attack behind the drought, in that I would always have something on deck while I was attempting do something with a previously completed manuscript.

In other words, while I was busy trying to get Line 21 published, I had a completed novella on deck, so that when I finally was able to get Line 21 published, I would have something to start the process all over again. So as you can see, I'm kind of anal/linear when it comes to my writing.

Anyways, now that I'm going through the submission/querying process with my novella, I once again need a completed manuscript in the on-deck circle.

Thus, the basic idea behind the writing vacation.

But as you undoubtedly have come to know in your life, the best laid plans are often just that.

So after a 3 1/2 year hiatus, I took out that slush novel (A Lascivious Limbo) and sat down this past Monday at the library to familiarize myself with the various plots and rationales behind the novel. For two hours, I read all 115 pages from beginning to end, trying like hell to remember what I was writing about. Sadly, when I had finished reading, I came to the realization that there was simply no way on Father Nature's green earth I was going to be able to finish this particular slush novel, if ever.

Did I go back to square one? Well, I did spend the next few hours feeling sorry for myself and lamenting over the fact that I didn't get any writing done, so yeah, you might say I went back to square one. After I had gotten the pity party out of my system, I got to thinking on what I should work on next. And truth be told, it quickly became a no-brainer on what I should work on next.

The novel version of my self-pubbed chapbook, Betrayed!

Long story short, back in 2009, I spent several months waffling on whether I should publish a chapbook version of my novella, or give up the self-publishing ghost and concentrate on writing a full length novel. In the end, I did both. I self-pubbed my chapbook and wrote about 10 chapters of the novel, which I ended at the beginning of the chapbook.

Five years later, I now have a project to work on. On one side of the equation, I have 10 completed chapters of a novel. On the other side, I have a chapbook/novella of the exact same thing. So if you can believe it, I got a chance to create something completely new out of two different versions of the same story.

I'm actually looking forward to doing this, because this will give me the opportunity to apply what I've learned in the past five years of writing. Plus, it will give me something to write about on the blog, since having a published outline to a novel is definitely something worth exploring.

First things first, I need to come up with a new title for the novel. The original title was "A Betrayal of Vows" and I'm not too thrilled about keeping it, since I plan on doing a semi-major gutting of the novel and the while the overall plot will remain the same, I want to incorporate a few other things into the mix.

So my question to you is this: what should the title of this new novel be? If you need a refresher, you can click on the link up above which will give you a brief synopsis of the chapbook.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop, The Intro

Here we are at part 2 of The Next Big Thing Blog Hop, where I get to answer 10 questions about my current writing project and everything associated with it. Since I don't really have anything that I'm working on, today's post will focus on my commercial debut:

Line 21
 1} What is the title of your book?

Line 21.

2} Where did the idea come from for the book?

One morning while I was in that state of being between not quite awake and not quite asleep, an idea for a short story about a woman in debt to a loan shark having to go into adult movies popped into my head. After mentally writing it for several minutes, I woke up and as soon as the opportunity presented itself, I attacked my computer with this story.

3} What genre does your book fall under?

Paranormal adult erotica

4} Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie?

I know this is going to sound cliche, but I would have women and men who are not only very comfortable performing graphic sex scenes but who also have the talent and the chops to act. In other words, very talented adult movie actors/actresses. Now who those might be, I really couldn't tell you beyond the minimal requirement of being women of color.

5} What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

Playing the game of public sex is tough when the family loan shark wants a piece of your action, but when your symbiont wants a piece as well, it's enough to make you question your sanity.

6} Is your book self-pubbed, pubbed by an independent publisher or represented by an agency?

It is published by Solstice Publishing.

7} How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

About a year and a quarter. Original draft took about two and a half months, with the remaining time spent editing and revising the living daylights out of it.

8} What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

My answer is hampered by the fact that I haven't read much in the way of erotica over the years, so I honestly wouldn't know what to compare it to. Not sure how may stories are out there of the paranormal variety in which the lead character has a symbiont for a sister and becomes an adult movie actress while at the same time introducing her sister to the joy that living in the real world can bring.

9} Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Specifically, no one person inspired me to write this book as it was more people and a t.v. show that inspired me. The idea popped in and once I tweaked the general premise to include a symbiont (inspiration for that came from the Star Trek series Deep Space Nine), the words simply poured out. The general inspiration came from the strong and fiercely independent women that I have met and/or became friends with in the past decade. I really wanted to make my characters as strong and as believable as possible, and those women served as the perfect inspiration.

10} What else about your book might pique a reader's interest?

First of all, while the main plot revolves around Jeannie (the main character) making adult movies, the book explores the rationale behind Jeannie becoming an adult movie actress; it explores her reservations in doing so to gradually accepting and embracing the natural attributes that God gave her, while at the same time struggling to remain true to her values and to herself. And it explores how her sister gradually goes from being a symbiont to becoming an almost real human being. Plus, it has enough action and intrigue to keep the reader involved to the very end.

Click on the book trailer for a quick synopsis and click on the picture for details on how to purchase Line 21 from your favorite retailer or from me.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Number 456, Take Duece

Today's repeat will feature a new twist on my b'day, as post #456 was published on my b'day in 2010. Whereas that post from almost three years ago was somewhat bittersweet, today's will not. If you get a weird vibe from reading this, chances are that weird vibe is probably correct.

My family rarely celebrates my b'day on the actual day. Why? Because my b'day is on the 27th of May, and in the larger scheme of things, that is the kick-off to the summer camping season (Memorial Day weekend). If I want to celebrate my b'day with my family on the actual day, I usually have to drive up to Litchfield (although this season, I'll have to drive down to Bozrah), waste gas for two+ hours and spend a (usually) dull afternoon with my wife and mother, 'cause you know, the kids really can't be bothered much beyond saying "Happy B'day, Dad!"

Last year though, it really wasn't that dull. In fact there was a lot of excitement, which was due to an encounter of the moronic kind with an officer from the state constabulary. For those you who have not had the displeasure of listening to me grump about this, either in person or on Facebook, there is a seriously major legal battle going on between two ownership groups.

Anyways, long story short, the state constabulary was called in and I came within minutes of having a very unpleasant experience with that particular egotistical wannabe military man. Fortunately, my lovely wife grabbed me by the arm and shooed me out of the way.

So the usual thing that happens (which has been going on for about 15+ years), because more often than not I do not go to the campsite, is that we go out later in the week to celebrate my b'day.


So while a b'day is something to be savored, remembered and celebrated, to me, my b'day is just another day signifying that I'm another year older (48) and the start of wondering what the hell am I gonna do to improve my life in the next 365 days.

Friday, March 15, 2013

So You Got Books To Sell

Congratulations on becoming a published somebody. More importantly though, congrats on scoring your first book signing gig. And because you're all pumped up to (hopefully) sell some books to the reading public, you're probably not giving any though to the myriad of issues that come with personally selling your book.

So yours truly is stepping in to impart a half dozen or so genuine pearls of wisdom that I've acquired in the past four years. These delightful pearls of wisdom will not only help you take advantage of what you do to the fullest, but will allow you to keep Uncle Sam and Auntie 'Bama out of your pockets.

1} Get a Federal ID #: This is a necessary item to have if you want to file Schedule C (business loss/profit) with your personal taxes. Easy to acquire as it takes about 15 minutes talking to the IRS, and you can set yourself up as a sole proprietorship. More importantly, you need this because you also need to get....

2} A Sales Tax permit: In most states, if you sell something (like a book or crafts), you must collect the sales tax. No sales tax permit equal major headaches in the short and long term with your local Department of Revenue (click here for the sordid story). My state requires that you file quarterly reports, regardless whether or not you sold something.

3} File a Schedule C: having the first item on this list will allow you to file a Schedule C, thus helping with your personal taxes. Contrary to popular opinion, the form is pretty straightforward and it's the easiest way that I know of to learn basic business skills.

4} Use your deductions wisely: With a Schedule C, you can deduct various things that are related to your writing, but just like everything else connected with the IRS, use judiciously.

For example, this past year, even though I spent about $600+ for my writing, I wound up deducting the following items on my Schedule C: rental of box, postage, and service fees. This directly due to the fact that I didn't sell a lot of books the previous year. Therefore, if I tried to claim everything related to my writing, it would surely raise a large red flag with the IRS.

5} Track, track, track: Because I created a little business for myself (Books By George), I have to track what I sell and what I buy. I have to track what I sell quarterly for taxes and yearly for the IRS. So among other things, I have a little cheat sheet that has the beginning inventory for all of my books, which I have to make sure is accurate right down to the last book. Pain in the butt...

6} Separate bank account:  The main reason why I can deduct service fees is that I have to keep the money I earn from writing (sales and royalties) completely separate from my 9-5 earnings. This is basically a catch 22, in that the bank whacks me with a service charge because I don't have a minimum balance (and I can't tie this account into my others) and I can't simply put more money in to get to the minimum balance because that would invite questions from the IRS.

7} Post Office box: Having a P.O. box will allow you to keep your writing endeavors separate from your personal affairs, because if you're like me, you really don't want your readers knowing EVERYTHING about you. A P.O. box is the best way to have a privately public persona.

I'm sure there a lot of other useful tips out there that you can do as a writer, but these seven are what I deem to be essential if you're doing the self-employed thing with your writing.

If you have any other suggestions, by all means let me know about it in the comments section.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop, The Outro

Imagine my surprise the other day when fellow writer Avery Debow dropped me a line on Facebook and said, "G.B., ya wanna play along on a blog hop?" (not those exact words, but it's creativity in action here). I said, "Sure thing. What do I have to do?"

My friends, that was the wrong question to ask, 'cause little did I know that I would have to blatantly pimp myself, not once, but twice. But, as they say, trial by fire is the operative phrase of the day, so here goes nothing. And I want make it clear that to everyone that I'm having a bit of fun with this post and I genuinely thank Avery for not only thinking of me, but for picking me to participate in this blog hop as well.

So, just exactly what is a blog hop? For starters, it ain't no Easter Bunny rabbit thingy. A blog hop is a way for the casual and hardcore reader to discover new authors in genres that are in or out of their comfort zone. With bookstores downsizing (B&N) or going bye-bye (Borders), it's important for readers to find out about new authors any way they can, and a blog hop can only compliment what your favorite independent bookstore already does for you.

For those of you visiting Cedar's Mountain for the first time, I here to tell you a little bit about my paranormal/erotica novel, Line 21, and direct you to others who would be deserving of your time. Also, you should stop by a week from today (20th) to read a little Q&A about Line 21.

Since it has been suggested by others that I need to be a bit creative with this blog hop, instead of writing a short blurb about the book, how about I show you a video about it?

Line 21 is currently available for your Nook, Kindle and in print. Please check my book blog for further details.

Again, please stop by next week for a pretty funky Q&A, and please stop by Avery Debow's blog, 'cause it will be worth it. And check out her Facebook page as well.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Querying 2011 vs. Querying 2013 (2)

click here for part 1

The Submission

Now that I had all the major parts done (query, hook, mini-synopsis & synopsis), the next logical step of progression was the submission. The first time around, as you can well imagine, was absolutely mind numbing. You can read about it in greater detail at the tag for Line 21, but the short version was that I did a wicked amount of research in a couple of writer's forum and queried both publishers and agents. The end result, as you're no doubt aware, can found at my book blog and at my publisher.

This particular phase lasted about a year.

As for ASWR, I believe the querying/submission process will be much easier for a couple of reasons.

1} I know what genre my novella is in.
2} I'm peddling a novella, instead of a novel.

Because I'm peddling a novella, zero agents will be interested in it, and because I know what genre it is (paranormal/fantasy) it will help me narrow my focus on what publisher (including my own) I should query/submit to.

The one thing that both of these projects will have in common are their own pages on this blog. I had a lot of fun tracking my querying journey with Line 21 and I intend to have the same kind of fun tracking the querying journey with ASWR.

Beyond that particular issue, I will be charting a different path on the blog with ASWR. That is to say, that unlike the various posts I wrote for Line 21 that chronicled my every move, from asking my readers questions about certain aspects of women's appearances to writing about how to write a good synopsis; or even the slightly hilarious posts I wrote about self publishing Betrayed!, I intend to explore more of the content and the mindset behind writing ASWR.

I think the only way one can really grow as a writer is to challenge yourself to write something that is both within and outside of your perceived comfort zone. And because ASWR falls within that hybrid, it's something that I really want to explore, because after all, isn't exploring one's head and asking pointed questions about yourself and your writing the one key component that helps you win the latest round of the querying game?

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Write Me An Update Uncle Social!

Is but a short post today as I got a lot of writing related things going on this week that I want to give everyone a head's up about, especially since it'll swell my typical weekly blog post count to something that hasn't been seen since last year.

Anywho, Tuesday's post has been moved up to Monday, which is part 2 on the then and now of querying (part 1 can be found here). The reason why Tuesday has been moved up to Monday is because on Wednesday, I'm participating in part one of a blog hop. Never participated before, but it should be interesting.

Also, I think I have an interview coming up this week at another writer's blog. Not entirely positive about this 'cause I'm scheduled for the 3rd week of March and being on the near side of burnt toast, my memory isn't what it should be.

Finally, I have an original piece (yeah, that's a blinding case of the obvious) about why I dabble, but never really plan on publishing, in certain genres that I'm thinking about posting in two parts, with part one posted on Friday and part two the week after. Does that sound like something you would be interested in, or would you rather see an updated old post and save the essay ('cause that's what it's turning out to be) for next week, when it can posted in is entirety?

Also, if you can leave in your comment, a number from 2 to 942. I'm updating my list of old post numbers, so I want to give myself plenty of material to work with (my list is up to 18).

And a postscript to the finally: I'm taking the first of many mini-vacations starting on the 15th. I say "many mini-vacations" because I'm near my vacation cap (feel free to yell at me) and if I don't use my time, I won't get to earn any more. I won't tell you where I'm at for a cap, 'cause then you'll throw stuff at your computer screen. Anyways, this mini-vaca is going to be a writing vaca, which means I plan on getting off my lazy ass and will dive directly into my slush novel. This also means I'll probably won't be around much in cyberspace this weekend.

Oh yeah, one more very important addendum to my postscript: If you've been interested in acquiring an autographed copy of my novel but not really thrilled about using snail mail, I now accept credit cards via PayPal. Please check out my book blog's purchase page for further details.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Don't Touch That Dial, Bad People Are Ruining It

We have a local radio station where I live that for the past three years has managed not only once, but twice, to shoot itself in the feet. The first time was back in 2010, when without warning, they started terminating well known (and higher paid) talent and replaced them with lesser known (and lower paid) talent, often with no explanation for the sudden disappearance.

As you can imagine, the reaction to this

was brutal, succinct and over the top. People were incredibly upset that their beloved radio station (that played the type of hard rock that you normally don't hear on commercial radio) was being heavy handed and short sighted of their purging of on-air talent.

So a lot of them, including myself, took to their Facebook page to register their displeasure over this short sightedness.

However, being super thin skinned to legitimate complaints and/or pointing out faults, they began purging of comments and blocking of people who they felt were simply spitballing.

Like myself. Who got the pumpkin treatment up above in 2010 (you can read about it here), for being critical about how they were treating their listeners.

Fast forward to 2013.

About a week or so ago, I was listening to another radio station when they were plugging a segment called "Five Seconds with Fish", in which you had five seconds to bloviate on any topic for five seconds. So he started giving examples on what you could bloviate about, like that other radio station changing formats. With my curiosity piqued, I turned the proverbial knob to the station in question to check it out.

Lo and behold, the station done blinked and changed to a classic rock format.

The response was pretty much like this:

When our local paper announced it on their entertainment blog, the comments were fast and furious. More importantly, they eviscerated the program director who managed to insert both feet into his mouth up to his knees by stating rather stupidly, that they didn't need the current crop of listeners, as they were more concern with listener in the 35-50 age range.

For the moment, this radio station is holding their ground, in spite of the overwhelming dissatisfaction of their radio audience, which has created a Facebook page to vocalize their annoyance with the station.

So in a small way I have been vindicated, in that my comment about them not really caring about the listeners but caring more about the almighty dollar was basically on the money. Most of the time, a Pyrrhic victory is not something to savor.

But in this case, it's a good to make an exception.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Querying 2011 vs. Querying 2013 (1)

As some of you may or may not know, I just started playing the querying game with my latest project, a novella entitled A Shadow Warrior's Redemption. And as a semi-seasoned veteran of this particular game, playing it the 2nd time around seems to be a whole lot easier (if not less aggravating) than it was playing it the first time.

Playing the querying game is a lot like playing a board game. The first time you play a board game, half of your time is spent playing it in fits and starts, while the other half is spent with nose buried in the "How To Play The Game" booklet. But the second time around (and beyond), it becomes easier, simply because not only have you learned the rules, but now you know which ones to follow and which ones to discard.

So for the next couple of weeks, I thought I would do a comparison on my version of the querying game, specifically what I learned and did in 2011 and what I plan on doing for 2013.

For starters, let's compare the two manuscripts that were and is part and parcel to the querying game.

1} Line 21: Started writing it Super Bowl Sunday 2010 and finished the final draft by spring 2011.

2} A Shadow Warrior's Redemption: Started writing it in 2009 and finished the final draft in 2013.

Now on the surface it looks like that I spent some 4 years writing ASWR, but in actuality, I spent about the same time on ASWR as I did on Line 21. The initial draft took me about two to three months to write, while the remaining nine months that were spread out over four years, were spent editing, tweaking, tightening and ultimately completely rewriting the novella into a high glossy finish.

The Query Letter

Because I really had no idea on how to properly write and format a query letter, it took me almost three months to create the one for Line 21. Two thirds of the time was spent coming up with a hook and a mini-synopsis for the letter, while the remaining one third was spent in researching what it took to write and format a query letter.

As for ASWR, it was much easier. Since the plot was pretty much straight forward (revenge) and the length was ridiculously short (18,900+), it took only a couple of days to create both a hook and a killer sub 80 word synopsis for the query letter.

Another thing that made the 2nd letter much easier to write, was that I had the first one to use as a template.

About the only thing that was consistent with each was the author's bio.

The Synopsis

The synopsis for Line 21 was, if you pardon my bluntness, a major bitch to write.

Because again I had no clue or idea on how to write one, I had to troll and cull from the World Wide Web, information that showed me how to write a decent synopsis. I won't bore you with the details of where I got it from or how it should be written, because frankly I don't quite remember where I had pulled all of my info from.

However, I will say that my first attempt a synopsis resulted in a 2,000+ word/8 page monstrosity that did everything for my ego but zero in making me stand out. After printing it out, I sat down an using the short story mentality that I had tucked away, pared that bad boy down to something a hell of lot more manageable, which you can read here (note, it is on my adult blog, so you may not be able to access this from work).

Overall, it took me about two and a half months to write this synopsis.

Now the synopsis for ASWR, while it didn't take two months to write (it took about a week and a half), had its own brand of difficulty.

Most writer guides state that a synopsis has to be writing in the 3rd p.o.v., regardless of the p.o.v of your novel. But what if your p.o.v. is 1st person/present tense, then what do you do?

If you're unlike me, you write the synopsis in the 3rd and hope for the best. However, if you're like me and enjoy having a challenge for your writing, you write the synopsis in almost the exact same p.o.v. I say almost, because whereas ASWR was rewritten in the present tense, the synopsis was written in the first person narrative. If you're slightly confused, the best example I can come up with is this blog post, which is written in the first person narrative.

Because I already had a basic idea on how to write a synopsis, and by using my synopsis as a guideline, this one took me about a week or so to write, and that includes the time it for editing as well.

Up next, part 2

Sunday, March 3, 2013

But Is A Quote A Window Into The Soul?

I believe it is.

In the blog world, people are very found of putting quotes, famous or otherwise, on the masthead of their blog.

What I find interesting and what my personal belief is, is that the quote gives a very small window into that particular person's soul (or character if you find the word "soul" a bit too deep and/or personal). It allows us a brief moment to contemplate the "why" behind the meaning of that particular quote as it applies to that individual.

A good majority of the blogs that I follow/read/subscribe to have a quote, famous or otherwise, and each of the quotes that I've read not only have I found to be very interesting, but from time to time, I try to guess (without prying, which is the only way to truly play the game) the reason why that particular quote is up there to begin with.

Take me for example. The quote I use on my masthead is self created: "A little bit of heaven in the middle of suburbia."

Long term readers of this blog already know this, but for some of my newer readers, the "why" behind the quote stems from the fact that I consider the neighborhood where I live (hence the name of the blog) a slice of country in the middle of suburbia. When the mountain and neighborhood is in full bloom, you can't hear anything of the outside world, and with the one major side road effectively closed off to traffic, you really do feel like you're in the country.

But with some of the other blogs that I read, the quote that those bloggers have on their masthead, have definitely piqued my curiosity. However, being the respectful person I am of other people's privacy, I simply don't come out and ask why they would put a quote of MacBeth on their masthead or a quote from Vikram Seth. Instead, I try to guess why that particular quote is there from reading their blog.

While the main reason for reading someone else's blog is because we find them interesting, a smaller reason (at least to me), is trying to find out the reasoning behind a given quote on blog masthead. To me, putting a quote, famous or otherwise, is the ultimate piece of privacy that we willingly allow ourselves to share publicly.

Think about for a moment.

We blog about what we are comfortable enough to share with others, and we briefly blog about the reasoning behind the stuff that we aren't comfortable enough to share with others. And even if we don't share a personal picture of ourselves because we believe that certain aspects of life should remain private, we will always give people people a very small glimpse to who and what we really are, simply by putting a quote up on our mastheads.

Quotes: the best window to the one thing that a private person can comfortably hide on a blog.

Their soul.

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