Thursday, January 14, 2010

Moonshine and Astrological Movements

Today I've been reading numerous articles about moonshine and Virginia and I'm feeling absolutely loopy. I feel like I got into some of that "shine, white lightning,moonshizzle, mountain dew, creek water, hooch, squeezings, rot gut, corn liquor." Thankfully,despite the influence,I wrote seven pages on my novel.

Then again, maybe my success at writing may be coming from the imminent conjunction of the annualar solar eclipse and the New Moon. According to a report I get, that has the same potecy as a total solar eclipse. Considering I have three sun signs in my birth chart, it has to give me a boost, right?

Well, think whatever you want. All of us who are writers are simply glad Mercury's coming out of retrograde. No more lost manuscripts, miscommunications and messed up contracts.

Full speed ahead!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Difference between Fantasy and Insanity

Fantasy: imaginary, make-believe, made-up, unreal, invented, pretend, imagined, fictional, illusory
Insanity: foolishness, irrationality, senselessness, absurdity, folly, recklessness, stupidity, craziness

I have worked in health care my whole career and started my career path by working in a state psychiatric hospital with geriatric patients. Recently I have been reminded of my beginnings when dealing with a family member who lapsed into an alternate reality due to the death of a spouse. This experience has made me re-examine the question, what is the difference between fantasy and insanity?

I have a very vivid imagination, and have had some acquaintances and friends tell me it’s a little “out there.” As a result, writing fantasy suited me. It allowed me free reign on creating a make-believe world. But, what makes my work believable and acceptable versus being considered irrational and absurd?

Ah, the crux of what will sell as opposed to what will sit in a drawer never to see the light of day again! Could it be that the only real difference between the two is perception? If you can get enough people to believe the world you’ve created, then it becomes real and not imaginary?

As one person put it on a forum board, “The real is only as real as you believe it is. What's imaginary is as imaginary as you believe it is. If you want, the real becomes imaginary, and what's imaginary becomes real.”

I pray my characters will be imaginary, not folly~that they’ll be illusory, not foolish~and finally, that they’ll be embraced not abhorred.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Writing is a Business

I spent this afternoon reading up on medical practice management (don’t ask—I know it sound odd, but there was a reason). As I read those areas practice managers must master, I realized the processes weren’t that different from what a professional writer must use to master the business of writing. Here’s the list and how the two professions compare:

1. Running a Practice with Maximum Efficiency, Quality Patient Care and To Increase the Bottom Line

Writers have a “practice” in the sense that they have a business producing a commodity that can be sold to the end-user, the reader. The better the quality controls on the writing, such as critiquing, editing, and testing the market before submission, the better it is likely to sell and produce a profit.

2. Handling the Multiple Management Tasks of Financial, Operational, Managed Care and Personnel

A writer’s multiple management tasks consist of: the financial, which encompass most of a writer’s end-put activities; operational, what needs to be done to submit, close the deal track sales, and how to turn a profit after advertising, home office and public appearance expenses; managed care in writing would be publishing discounting; personnel would include any individuals hired by you to edit, advertise, provide administrative support, etc.

3. Measuring How Well the Practice is Doing. Reporting Meaningful and Practical Financial Data to Senior Management and/or Physicians

Now we’re back to tracking sales, then submitting ARCs for reviews, checking fan reaction via author pages, blogs, Facebook and other networking sites. Make sure to let the editor know what input you’re receiving.

4. Pre-collections and Post-Collections
Always make sure you keep the publisher honest about sales. This is where an agent really helps.

Okay, I admit there are some dissimilarities between medical practice management and the business of writing, but I think I have proven one thing. Writing is a business.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

My Third Eye is in a Coma

No matter how hard I’ve tried, I can’t seem to open my third eye. It seems determined to stay closed. I sought help from the Great Swami of present day, the Internet, to find a remedy for my sick eye.

First, I consulted a great font of knowledge, the source of all input and information, Mr. Wikki Pedia. After reading what he had to say, I determined that I was not Shiva, the Buddha, so opening my third eye would not cause the destruction of the physical universe.

Then, I read that the third eye was connected to the pituitary and pineal glands and is there, dormant, as an organ that will be needed in the future. Okay, I reasoned, the future is now! Why won’t the darned thing pop open?

I decided to go into “third eye training,” like Taoism dictates, “focusing attention on the point between the eyebrows with the eyes closed in various qigong postures.” It seems the goal of the training is to “allow students to have the ability to tune into the right vibration of the universe and gain solid foundation into more advanced meditation levels.”

I guess I Qied when I should have gonged or didn’t tune the channel to the right number, because I flunked third eye training.

Then, in one last desperate search for information that would save my third eye from eternal vegetative status—who wants a third eye on life support?—I discovered an answer in a book by the Queen of Metaphysics, Doreen Virtue. She had the answer.

My third eye doesn’t open outward. It opens inward. It’s could be open already, and I didn’t even know it. She says the third eye sees my true higher self, not this body out here that is slowly going south and wrinkling up like a week-old tomato. But,to my chagrin, I discovered that my third eye is closed.

It seems that first I have to get rid of one thing that happened in my past life, that little thing about being burned as a witch. The third eye’s afraid to look inward until I get rid of my fear of burning at the stake.

Time to consult Dr. Brian Weiss ( . .

Friday, January 8, 2010

Weird Things on the Internet

There are some pretty strange things on the Internet. Yesterday, I decided to surf awhile and see what strange sites I could come across, and here are some of the things I found.

How about the MSNBC Weird Science Awards 2009-2010:>1=43001#Science_weird_2010

Top vote winner was:

Rabbit penises restored
They claimed: “That's one small step for rabbit penises, and potentially one giant hop for restorative surgery.” The experiment that gave rabbits lab-grown penises capable of fathering offspring.

Weird enough for you?
I’ve only just begun. I heard about the next on The Rosie O’Donnell Radio Show on Sirius/XM. It’s a website devoted to popping zits! The site description says, “Welcome to a zit poppers dream! has tons of zit popping videos and pictures all for your pleasure. Stop by today!!”

There’s more. Let me introduce:, “Mocking the seventies a catalogue page at a time.”

Want to know how much you’re worth?
Find out at
I’m worth $2,660,716. There is also a website.

If you want to find some more weird sites, visit this one to locate some:

Happy Surfing!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Writing Tip: So You Want a Book Trailer?

Book trailers are becoming more popular, and many writers from New York Bestselling authors to newly pubbed authors in small press are getting on the bandwagon. So, when should you produce or get someone to produce a book trailer for you? Here are my thoughts:

1.If you’re a newly pubbed author in small press, don’t do it. The chances of the video plummeting your book to the stellar heights of Number One bestseller are few and far between. They’re also very expensive. I had one published once, foolishly, for a book my co-writer believed in and couldn’t sell. We self-published it and put the trailer on our website. The company we used was great, and they gave us a deal. But the deal was $1000 for a thirty second spot (I think. Sometimes I can’t remember if that was my half of the payment or that was ours together). Due to the nature of all the details, it didn’t help.

2.It depends on the type of book you have and what you’re trying to convey. My own belief is that suspenseful books, whether they be straight suspense, horror, or paranormal, lend themselves better to a video.

3.Unless you work in video, don’t try to do it yourself. Again, IMHO, the trailers work better when there are actors in segments instead of a lot of writing and fade in/fade out still scenes.

4.If there aren’t any actors and you still want to make a trailer, use it for more than one book so you can get more bang for your buck.
Want to watch a good book trailer? Watch this one from Karen Rose posted on You Tube.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

What the Elderly Can Teach You

I've worked with elderly people my whole life,both in my career and in volunteer work. As a writer, I appreciate the lessons they have taught me over the years. Here's my short list of ten important things:
1. "Eat right live right and never fret." This saying comes from my now-deceased Great-Aunt Eva, who lives to be 100 years old. Think about it, what makes you sick or chronically ill? Primarily what you put into your body, Living a life filled with wrongdoing and negative feelings, and stress. Great advice, Aunt Eva!
2. Never stop working-You know what they say, "an idle mind is the devil's playground," and its name is Alzheimer's. Even if you retire from your chosen profession, you need to work just as hard at a new interest or volunteer endeavor. I know my second cousin Lewis was like that. Almost as old as my grandfather, he fell off a ladder painting his house at ninety-five. he broke his arm but not his spirit.
3. Enjoy nature-Have you ever noticed that the people who spend time outside admiring what nature has provided and exercising there, breathing in clean air, have a better outlook on life and a sharp mind?
4. Remember to take time for yourself every day-Life goes too fast. Take a breather every day. If you want to start with it, that's fine. I remember Granddaddy took time out after breakfast to read is Bible and pray. I discovered my husband's did also, as did his stepfather. Perhaps you prefer something in the middle of the day. Go in your office, close the door and lower or turn off the lights and meditate OR at the end of the day, go home and take a bubble bath. You'll find your own way.
5. Never stop learning-Your mind was built to be exercised like a muscle. Learning provides the fuel for the mind to operate and will also invigorate your creativity.
6. Sleep at least eight hours every night-This is the time for brain and body renewal and also allows you to delve into your subconscious. Some of the most creative people I know get their answers when they're asleep.
7. Loving others is exponential-The more you love, the more you're loved. But it has to be real and without expectation of a reward. Which leads me to . . .
8. Giving without expectation of reciprocation is its own reward-At least once a day, do something for someone, especially if it's anonymous, and feel the sudden onset of endorphins. It's exhilarating.
9. Have a regimen-When people retire and stop their routine, they risk stagnating. If your regimen changes, okay, but make sure to have one. Wake up at the same time, eat at the same time, and sleep at the same time. You'll feel better.
10. Always be grateful-The universe will bring those grateful thought back to you.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New You or Fooling Yourself?

It's 2010, a brand new year with exciting possibilities. So, as you started this year off, did you make New Year's resolutions? Did you decide to lose ten, twenty, fifty pounds? Did you decide to start exercising an hour at least three to four times per week? If you're a writer, did you decide that THIS year you would write no less than five pages per day?

For those who answered at least one of these questions with "yes," let me ask you some follow-up questions. For those who decided to lose weight, how many of you pigged out for the last two to three months of 2009, eating far more than normal, with the anticipation of dieting, come Januray 1st?

For those of you who decided to exercise, did you buy a piece of exercise equipment that has already spent more than a few days sitting in the corner of a room or being used as a coat/clothes hanger? Have you already made up an excuse why you missed your hour of work-out on at least one day it had been planned?

For those writers who faithfully pledged five pages per day, did the five pages consist of rewriting pages you'd already written? Did it include five pages of entries on Facebook/MySpace/Twitter? Did you rationalize that you "envisioned" the pages, although they actually haven't been typed or written?

We are all human, and capable of error. Still, to accomplish anything requires hard work, and even more important, determination. So this year, will there be a new you? OR are you just fooling yourself?