Saturday, November 4, 2017

To Be Or Not To Be...... Two Be Or Not Two Be.... Too Be Or Not Too Be....

One of those dratted to's keeps causing problems.  Meant to write this awhile back as my little one's English comp lesson focused on the trials and tribulations of the 'to' words.

Then today, on FB, sure enough, there it was. Someone shared: 'You can have your cake and eat it to.' Of course, it lacked an 'o.'  Someone commented that it was missing a zero. Well, of course, zero's and o's can get mixed up too, to, two ????

So here's a note - and enjoy the wonderful world of 'to.'

Too - not used as frequently - that's a tip.... 

Use instead of also, or besides, or very....  Or when something is excessive....

I like cake, too.  (also)

You are too kind.  (very)

It's too hot today! (excessively hot)

To - used a lot - another tip.... and it's a preposition. (sometimes)

I went to the bakery to pick up a cake.  (going towards something)

Will you bring that ball to me? (towards something)

Time to go to bed, sweetie! (going towards something)

Make sure to look both ways when crossing the street. (direction)

And to is an infinitive. (Yikes! Just means it's part of a verb.)

I'm going to smash that spider! (to smash)

You're going to fall, if you're not careful. (to fall)

OR -- (thoughts, feelings, speaking, trying)

I want to go with you. (to go) (feelings - I want)

He promised to love me forever. (feelings)

Try it yourself.... And if you've got a question as to how to use these, just put it in the comments and I'll try to help. (giggle)

She tried to/too do her homework all by herself.

I want to/too go with you, but I can't.

There are to/too many choices.

Do you have to/too go to/too?

Am I to/too fat?

Hope this helps. Of course, two simply means the number two.


Monday, October 23, 2017

Sleeping and writing

Ah! In the old days, I used to stay up till four in the morning, writing with gusto and a wee bit of abandon. I put those days aside, after health issues forced me to keep regular intervals of sleep. This caused deep problems for my writing. My mind could not envision writing at 'normal' hours. I've read of authors who keep a nice schedule. Wake at eight, breakfast, write until noon, more sustenance, then continue writing until four or five. Leisurely dinner, perhaps a walk, time with the family, etc. etc. etc. Never did write that way.

I miss it. That furious scramble to get the words in before sunrise. The thrill of finishing a chapter. The apparent ease of completing a book.

Now, it's four o'clock in the morning and I can't sleep. My usual remedy is to get up, watch some old, but dear movie, and then try to go back to sleep. I'm wondering if I should just forget the healthy approach to writing and do it this way instead.

My dog, Pippin, does not approve. He sits on the bed, once in awhile woofing his displeasure, and waits for me to return. After a bit, he traipses to my desk, paws my dressing gown (it's really only a pajama, but the writer in me insists upon calling it a dressing gown), and growls. Not tonight, Pippin. Tonight I write.

Blessings to you all, continue writing, enjoying life, and being a friend.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Yikes! Conference Notes...

I have decided I must be a masochist. Believe me!

The seminar was very good. Chuck Sambuchino shared quite a bit with us, and, a lot of it, things I didn't know. He shared some good printouts with us. One thing that continually bothers me -- in this day and age of technology -- why people would present and not use a Power Point presentation??? I know the perils of presenting. I've been there -- even with a technician available, a huge presentation that I had prepared for a Utah LOTR convention didn't work. (Thankfully, I knew my material backwards and forwards and the audience seemed to be captivated anyhow. Who wouldn't be when it comes to Tolkien and New Zealand. :)_.)

Publishing options today.  Chuck had us look at what WE wanted and then use that to choose whether to self-publish or go the traditional route. Well, I'm still not sure. He also suggested that we try the 'agent' route first.

Agents:  Follow agents on Twitter.

Query Letters: Gave us a great 7-point plan to pitch in a query letter. This was most interesting. More detailed than I've seen before.

First Page Reading / Critique:  He said he was being kind. I don't believe it. I was one of the few who had her work critiqued. He spent a lot of time on pajamas. I'll not go into it, but it was a tiny part of the first page and easily correctable. Why he focused so much time on that, I don't know.

And then -- dread after dread -- just shoot me now -- I can't believe it --

He suggested I start in a new place. Honest to goodness!!! Do you know how many times I have been told to start 'Sings' in a different place!!! The last time was at Skyline -- which I truly felt was valid -- where I chopped off THREE chapters.

My friend, D, had her's read, too, and all Chuck could say was, 'Weird. Perhaps if I had a cover letter to tell me about the story, I'd be able to say if it was good weird or bad weird.'  He couldn't figure out the main character -- whether it was a parrot (the character's surname is Parrot). Or if it was a kid. Yet, it distinctly stated the character had rubbed arthritis cream on his legs. What boy uses arthritis cream. I have to give Chuck the benefit of the doubt... No. He didn't listen. Or read. Oh well.

Social Media and Blogging: The interesting part of this subject was looking for a niche.  Loose subject connection -- meaning not having the blog talk about my book at all, but bringing it up every now and then, and having an image and link on the side of the blog of the book.  Altogether different blog - not associated with writing whatsoever but still with the image and links. And last, Writing focus -- which is what my blog tries to be. He also shared SEO -- Search Engine Optimization. Related key words that I should be using to help people find my blog (or FB or Twitter) account.

I left the seminar feeling demoralized, but I was not in the best of health that day. My friend, D, felt just about the same. Too numb to consider what had occurred. I was ready to chuck writing entirely, but today, after a good night's sleep, I have reconsidered. :)

Working on 'Sings' tonight. And will continue.


Friday, September 29, 2017

Flushed With Success

Another session with writing. Another part of the 'daily grind.' I forced myself to work on 'Sings'  because I need to submit for October's Skyline meeting. And it's true. I need to submit. I've wasted too much time, of late, on not writing. I felt, if I didn't submit soon, I'd fall into the void again. And I did NOT want to fall into the void. Too hard to find my way out.

A few years ago, I created a map to go with 'Sings.' When you create a new world, a map is a necessity. Besides that, male readers love them. I don't know why, but they do.

I digress. When you create a world, it helps to figure out the name of the world. :)  Long hours were spent devising names for the characters, the kingdoms, the cities, etc. etc. But I needed a name for the world as a whole. Like 'Middle Earth' for Tolkien's world. And the world of 'Dungeons and Dragons.' Or even, the world of Equestria (My Little Pony). A world needs a name. It eluded me. My poor world. An orphan. No name.

Two days ago, the Muse struck. And now, I have a name. My world is Nagarra. Saying it sends shivers up my spine. It is delightful. To me. Hopefully, it will be delightful to my readers.

And so tonight, as I prepared to attach my map to my submission, I reveled in the Power Point map that lay open before me. There it was. Nagarra. With its cities and its mountains and its kingdoms. Talk about a head rush! Phew.

I attached the next chapter and the map to my email and sent it off.

And now, in the glow of this moment, I am looking forward to tomorrow. To the seminar. To my critique.

Of course, with #3 from The Four Agreements in my head, preparing me to not make assumptions about what will happen, but with an open mind, ready to accept the feedback and #2 - not take it personally.

Life is good.