Writing

Beyond Talks with Imaginary People: Ten Reasons the Rest of the World Thinks Writers Are Crazy*

Pintip Mermaid1. At the table of a crowded restaurant, we debate the pros and cons of killing by poisonous gas or a slit to the throat.

2. Most of our texts to our friends read something like: “1236 words! You?”

3. We return to our manuscripts and add an adjective (only to take it out later in revisions) just so we can say we hit out daily word count.

4. We call our friends to share life events – “Brynn just got into college!” or “Brynn has a baby!” – and accept the ensuing congratulations like a proud mama, even though Brynn is not our daughter. Or niece. Or even a person, really.

5. One year later, we completely blank on Brynn’s name.

6. We convince our husbands to help us out with a sticky detail by contorting our bodies into complicated sexual positions. And when we figure out just the right angle,…
Read the Rest…

Lessons in Rejection

My heart has been breaking all summer. Over problems no parent can solve. About my inability to protect my children — from hurt feelings, from being excluded, frompintip the agony of rejection.

“I’d rather get a hundred rejections than have my child go through this,” I thought.

The sacrifice of a mother? Sure. But being a seasoned veteran of rejection, I also felt I was better equipped to deal with the pain.

After all, I’ve had LOTS of experience with rejection as a writer. And I’ve learned a ton. For example:

1. I learned to temper my expectations. Seven-figure deals, international book tours, movie adaptations — I’ve dreamed them all. But they didn’t happen, and they didn’t happen quickly. And so, my dreams are different now. Simpler. And they motivate me just as much. A career as a writer. My book on a shelf. Spending my days doing what I love most.

2….
Read the Rest…

Guy Day! Welcome The Kentucky Gent to the Pond

Happy Friday Fishy Friends! I’m incredibly excited for today’s guest because simply put, Josh Johnson is a really great guy with a unique perspective. (You’ll see why below.) I also love the random way I found him. As writers do, I was Google image searching clothes for a character. My rock star drummer needed a tank top. Here’s how it went down: I typed in “Man Tank Tops”, scrolled through loads of images and then Bam! I saw this cool, adorable guy … right away I knew I was looking at Will.

Will Shorts

 

A little further digging and I found he had a blog of his own. A very awesome blog mixing men’s fashion with honest, positive and creative narrative bits that you’ll want to check out. Just my luck, he had a contact link should someone want to work together on a post. I practically shouted yes and…
Read the Rest…

Things Jamie Oliver Says

I firmly believe that by sharing what a giant goofball I am, people out there who are also giant goofballs will feel a little better about, you guessed it, their giant goofballismness.

photo credit a href=httpwww.flickr.comphotosscandic-hotels4327863806Scandic Hotelsa via a href=httpphotopin.comphotopina a href=httpcreativecommons.orglicensesby-nc2.0cca

When I wrote an English character named Oliver and needed to know what he sounded like, I went to the very best source I could think of and that my friends was Jamie Oliver. Who is cuter than he? Basically I sat and watched tons of Jamie’s shows (and he’s got some goodies–like the ones where he’s running around random New York neighborhoods at night finding restaurants people run out of their homes without permits but really good food) with my notebook and my remote. I’d pause and jot, pause and jot. And this is the list I came up with for my Englishman’s voice and speech. Some of this will…
Read the Rest…

You Complete Me? I Don’t Think So!

When Jerry Maguire popped onto the big screen in 1996, we all loved to shout out favorite movie quotes. “Show me the money!” Who wouldn’t like that? “Help me help you!” Or even “You had me at hello.” It’s what Jerry said to Dorothy right before that last one which made me want to slam my head against a brick wall. Do you remember the words?

“You complete me.” No. No, no, no. A million times NO!

If a man tells me he completed a triathlon, that’s quite an accomplishment. I’m impressed. If he completed his master’s program or an application for a job or an essay for a scholarship, wonderful! But, if a man ever said to me, “You complete me,” I would run—not walk—to the nearest exit.

First of all, I can barely complete an exercise routine. I can never complete housework chores. Sometimes I can’t seem to complete my manuscript. So why, in the name of all that’s holy, would I want to complete another human being?…
Read the Rest…

I Know I Love You…at first sight

Hello Fishy Friends!

Not too long ago, I wrote this post for ARe Cafe (I love them and they’re awesome!) except for I didn’t get any comments, which made me feel like this…

 I really wanted to chat with anyone willing to talk about the speed of love at first sight and what we like in our romance novels. So I’m reposting this here in the pond today and crossing my fins that I’ll get a nibble…

xoxo

Carlene Mermaid

“I wait all day just hoping for one more minute with you and I don’t even know you.”

Do you remember when Maggie said that to Seth in the 1998 movie “City of Angels”?

Did you believe in those words with all your heart?

What if I told you that’s where I want to start every story I write. I don’t do it, of course, but I can’t…
Read the Rest…

Renovating Your Book

I hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.

My husband and I spent ours working on our basement. Thank heavens my husband is a very handy guy because we have spent the last several months finishing our basement. It has been a long arduous task involving framing, insulating, dry walling, tiling and painting. After a long weekend of sanding and painting, my back is locked up tighter than Fort Knox and, sadly, I’m only halfway done painting the doors, windows and trim moldings.

As I labored away yesterday, it dawned on me how many parallels there are between building something and the writing process. Whether you’re finishing a basement, building a skyscraper or writing a novel it’s always important to start with a strong framework. Without a solid foundation your building or your story will fall apart.

IMG_4099 photo 1Read the Rest…

Golden Heart and Rita nominees, oh my!

SusanMermaidFriends, this is the LAST DAY in 2014 when RWA members will be in the dark. Yes, tomorrow is The Day for the announcement of Golden Heart and Rita finalists!

Hi, Rita! <3

Since you all know I’m incredibly helpful in dealing with anxiety (first lie), I offer these ideas (gleaned from the incredible brains of the young men I teach).

– play video games – watch movies – go to the gym – play sports – listen to music – lock yourself in a dark room and avoid talking (really!) – get your guitar and rock out – there is no such thing as anxiety in my world (yes, he really said that)

This, as opposed to the usual stress ideas I see on other blog posts, which usually I include references to cookies, ice cream and alcohol consumption.

Also, I have two family members…
Read the Rest…

Where Do You Write?

pintipThe place I write most often is my recliner.

My favorite place to write is probably in my bed, first thing in the morning, when I’m snuggled into my pillows, sleepy and uninhibited.

The strangest place I’ve ever written is flat on my back, under a glass coffee table, dictating to a laptop which is face-down on the glass.

I’ve written almost everywhere, in coffee shops and on airplanes, in friends’ houses and libraries, on the sidelines at gymnasiums and swimming pools, at the beach, a ski lodge, a bench at the Navy Pier in Chicago. Basically, anytime I have a free moment, I pull out my iPhone and write.

But where am I most productive? This answer might surprise you. I certainly never would’ve expected it.

In my car. Yep, that’s right. Behind the wheel, my seat slid all the way back, parked on some side street or lot. Sometimes, I’m between…
Read the Rest…

Happy Belated St. Patrick’s Day!

No green beer for me this year due to another bout of snow and a yucky cold.

But, I have to admit that I love St. Paddy’s Day! When I was in junior high, I was sent to the office for a violation of the dress code. We weren’t allowed to wear buttons with sayings, and I had about seventy Irish buttons all over my clothes. It took me a good half hour to remove them all. They didn’t say anything about the pointed leprechaun shoes or the bright green wig though.

The fascination with all things green and Irish continued throughout the years. When I was in my early twenties, I went to Ireland and decided I wanted to move there. Clearly, that didn’t happen, so I settled on getting a leprechaun tattoo instead.

What is it about St. Patrick’s Day that makes everyone happy? I’ve never been to a pub when fights break out. People share their excitement and wear green sparkles and goofy hats and pointed shoes….
Read the Rest…

Follow

Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers: