Kimberly MacCarron

What’s the Point?

Our actions should have points to them. Characters in books generally have a point—an arc that shows where they’ve been and where they’re going. But sometimes I feel like nothing has a real point, or we’ve covered the real thing with glitter to hide the underlying problem. Here are things that I can’t quite understand. What’s the point?

Giving free t-shirts to participants in walks for the homeless. Ummm. Not sure I get this one. I have five kids who have participated for years at their school. They get free shirts and walk around the school to help the homeless. First of all let me say quite clearly that our family volunteers and gives plenty to our local community action center. I’m not being insensitive here. I’m just wondering if we couldn’t serve the homeless a little better by actually giving them plain t-shirts or the money that it costs the companies to make them. Wouldn’t that serve the homeless a little better? I get that it’s publicity, but do…
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What Happened to the Giving?

by Kimberly MacCarron

In the midst of twinkling lights, sparkly trees and holiday music streaming through every department store in America, what happened to giving?

I don’t mean giving in the sense that we’re grabbing crap off the shelves before the next person can snatch it. I don’t mean that panicky feeling of buying anything because we have no clue what someone needs. And I don’t mean buying something for a “Secret Santa” gift that the person clearly lists the three things that would be sufficient.

This year I told my husband not to bother with the Secret Santa farce at his office. You pull a name from the jar, and that person lists three things they want in a specified price range. The three things are generally gift cards to their favorite stores. Then they pick a name and their choices are generally a gift card or a specific item. How about we nix that idea completely and just go buy ourselves what we want???

I’m not trying to…
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Shrugs, Smiles and Sex

by Kimberly MacCarron

As writers, we’re supposed to write what we know. Apparently I know lots about shrugging, smiling and sex.

If I do a find and replace with the words ‘shrug’ or ‘smile’, there would be a gazillion replaces going on. Now, the sex is another story. I don’t use the word much, but, boy do I like to write about it.

This poses a significant problem for me because I write YA. Teens tend to smile and shrug a lot. I’m sure they even have sex. But shouldn’t it be a little bit harder writing sex scenes for teen readers?

Apparently not.

During this month of NaNo, I started writing a paranormal adult contemporary. I’m about 9,000 words in, which totally bites when we’re way past the halfway mark. On the other hand, I started a YA book at the beginning of October, which I had trouble writing. I’ve gone back and forth between these two books like the fickle woman I am.

Yesterday, I got to the…
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How Far is Too Far?

I have opinions!

I have strong opinions. That must come as a complete shock to those who know me, but I do.

I also feel torn sometimes between what I believe and what I used to believe. We’re human and our opinions can change based on life experience. As we grow older, sometimes those thoughts mellow and soften or they harden us to other people’s views.

As writers, do you have characters with strong beliefs and opinions or do you end up deleting them so as not to offend half of your readership? And if you do that, are you being true to your characters? Shouldn’t they have views on religion and politics? Shouldn’t they have enough depth of character to feel things strongly?

I’m torn here. I write YA (Young Adult), and I hesitate sometimes to put in a comment about race, religion or politics. I hesitate because I don’t want to put my own views out there to be criticized. I don’t want people to think that I’m…
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My Summer Reading Log

Trying to keep my kids reading throughout the summer is like pulling teeth and performing a root canal. Not so for me. My favorite part of summer at the pool is reading. The only time my body comes into contact with the water is to hang on the ladder for ten seconds when I get too hot. Then it’s right back to the book.

My kids had to fill out their reading logs and keep track of the books they read, so I decided to do the same. So many times someone will ask what books I’ve read recently, and I draw a complete blank. It’s not that I didn’t like the book. It’s that I read too many of them to keep track.

Without further ado, here is my reading log: 1. BOUND by Erica O’Rourke 2. THE FARM by Emily McKay 3. GRAVE MERCY by Robin LaFevers 4. PUSHING THE LIMITS by Katie McGarry 5. MY LIFE NEXT DOOR by Huntley Fitzpatrick 6. DEATH, DOOM, AND DETENTION by…
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Obligated to Set Ourselves Free

I woke up today thinking about this blog post, and I readily admit that I became stressed. I thought about just ditching it again and taking a nice, long walk on the beach.  Who would really care?  I’m on vacation.  Not only that, but I couldn’t think of one thing to say. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. But I have to post something because other people rely on me. Other people expect me to fulfill my obligation to the blog.

That made me wonder about life and obligations and why we do the things we do—both professionally as well as personally.

Sometimes I’ll catch myself saying, “I have to call my mother today.” Do I really? And if I make it sound like a duty or an obligation, is the actual act of doing it insincere? And if it’s insincere, should we even do it?

How often do we complain about doing our job or fulfilling a promise hastily given? It made me think about my kids’ field trips. They aren’t busloads…
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My Hell on Earth–Revising and Housework

For me, revising is like housework. It’s Hell on Earth.

I have five kids. My house is a wreck—all the time. Needless papers make their home on top of cluttered countertops. Soccer shoes and cleats and backpacks litter the floor to the point where people have to step over stuff to get into the house. Dishes pile up in the sink at an alarming rate, and the recycling bin overflows several times a week.

When I stand in the middle of the chaos, I feel…chaotic. Some people, who love to clean and organize, would rub their hands together gleefully. Oh, the corners I can clean! I can’t wait to get started. Not me. I shut down. I look around, not knowing where to begin, so I go find something else to do.

Same goes with revising. I love to create the story. I love bringing my characters to life. I love making them overcome obstacles to achieve their goals. I just can’t seem to do it myself.

This is why…
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Just Another Day

 

by Kimberly MacCarron

As writers, don’t we love to read interesting stories? Some people wonder where we get our ideas. Sometimes there is a random story or an idea, but other times it could be just a day. Just another day.

Take February 19th for instance. Google it. Research some of the most interesting things that have happened on that date throughout history, and you have yourself a story. During my fun research project, I must admit that I’ve read more than I ever wanted to about cannibalism and murder for hire. But it sure does get your creative juices and just plain curiosity running.

Wouldn’t it be interesting for a character to know some strange and random piece of trivia like the first prize was inserted in a Cracker Jack box on this date back in 1913?

Or maybe one of the 800 people killed by one of the sixty tornadoes in the southern U.S. in 1884 was the great, great grandfather of the character in your book….
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12—12—12… Are You Lucky or Unlucky?

People have been talking about this day long before they began the Armageddon discussion for the 21st. Some people plan to get married today because they feel it’s a lucky day. Others plan to be extra careful because they don’t feel hopeful.

There is so much hype about the end of the world and the year 2012. I have to admit that I’ve fallen victim to its lure. The National Geographic channel has done nothing to curb it with their Doomsday Preppers and Apocalypse shows.

But this blog is really about luck and whether we have the good or the bad kind and how we react to situations that seem lucky or unlucky.

Who Wants to Hump with Me?

Who immediately took that innocent question straight into the gutter? For shame, for shame!

I meant with NaNo. For those of you not familiar with this, it’s a time when we writers decide to torture ourselves for one entire month. We try, and sometimes succeed, in writing a 50,000-word book in one month.

Usually when I first start my book, I’m a little bit excited but mostly fearful that every word I write will be utter and complete crap. Then, a week into writing the novel, I start to enjoy it. My characters pick up speed. It starts to feel real. Although I may not see the light at the end of the tunnel, I can certainly see that I’m staying on the tracks. And then…

And then comes that damn hump. It’s a big one, too.

I’m looking at it right now. Although it’s not Wednesday anymore, today will be my own “Over the Hump” day. It’s when my story should very well hit 25,000 words. But I’m a…
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