Little Rakasha

Hello my fellow Miscreants

Those that know me in real life know I am going through a very rough time. It has affected my blogging and I promise to be back to ‘normal’ as soon as I can. 

Last night, my daughter went and got me a rescue kitten. He is small, cute and needs me, a very good combination.  He reminded me of my other cat Buster (the one born in the wrong body). I have decided to name it Rakasha after my book, even though in truth, the adoption fees were more then my book has made. 

Last night he was on guard – watching and protecting me as I slept. At some point, he saw something evil crawling on my head. Being that he is a natural hunter, he moved into position, found his high grou

nd and leapt in and attacked. He used his kitten sized teeth and his baby claws, to tear and scratch and drive this intruder off of me.  It was three am on his first night and he saved me.

On another related note, I need to teach him the meaning of the word “Ear” and what one looks like, I would bet after last night he has the taste down. 

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How to be a Happy COW (Child of Writer)

So as some of you noted from comments, I was asked about COW (Child of Writer) this is an even broader subject then POW & WOW so I will start by narrowing it down.  If you are a semi –mature, living on your own, human being (possible with spawn of your own) and your Parental unit suddenly wishes to become a writer, you’re out of luck. I have no advice for you, or at least not in this article.

This is for the small ones.  First of all, congratulations. If your dad is the writer, you are one in a million.  Twenty years ago male writers were not considered adequate breeding stock. The odds of you being conceived, even when adjusted by the level of alcohol your mother drank before meeting your dad, would never creep above the “not really going to happen” level.  Now adays, a writer can hide this mental condition until they are able to knock up whatever human female dropped her guard long enough.

If your writer is a mom, the odds of your birth go up by an astronomical amount. While it is a cliché to say that you could put a 600Lb troll in a dress, stick it in a bar and someone would take it home. It is none the less true.

So what does being a COW mean?  A couple of things.  First and foremost – never lie to your parents.  A typical child can lie, get caught and get grounded for a week. You however are a COW, your lies not only will be seen through as fast as your counter parts, but will be judged on the quality.  Often it will end something like this “Little Johnny, your protagonist actions are unrealistic and you used a passive voice in addition to poor word choice, your pacing mood and tone are completely out of sync your grounded for a week for lying, and a month for poor story telling”

A good cow will also learn to read their writer. Asking if you can go to the park to play just as they are sitting down to write probably won’t get the desired result.  But once their fingers are flying and they are staring a hole in their computer screen, that’s when you ask if you can take out some kitchen chemicals to try a recipe you found on-line.  Your writer will be so distracted, that you won’t end up in trouble and they will have to explain to their spouse where your eyebrows are.

The last note is if you have to give your writer a letter from the school, its best to wait till they are in editing mode.  This mode is easy to see, they are moving the mouse, up and down, talking a lot but not really writing.  This is when to present the letter from the principal about the incident at school. Your writer will be so locked into editing, they will correct the English and grammar they will miss the letters meaning.  Your writer will write a reply something like this:

                  Dear Mr. Principal,

                  Concerning your letter about little Johnny: When listing responding agencies you should separate them with a comma – using an ‘And’ in front of the last one. It should have read Police, Fire, Paramedics, FBI and the EPA.  Also, while you can use a contraction School’s for School Has, it can be confusing. Next time just use a ‘THE’ in front. The sentence should have read ‘THE school HAS been rendered uninhabitable’ and in closing when listing possible consequences, please note the proper spelling is expulsion. It is also redundant to mention a jail sentence on top of expulsion, being as I doubt you can, in fact do both.

Little Johnny’s writer

So being a COW is a manageable condition, it’s also a kick. Your writer will want to research things, and will take you along both to attempt to bond and to gain your young insights.  Rock climbing, off roading, Paint ball arenas, Concerts, the list is endless of the actions your writer will want to take with you in order to experience something new, even if they are doing it through your eyes.

And on a final note: if your writer does horror don’t tell them there is a monster under your bed, they will only ask you to describe it.

The Difference between a POW and a WOW.

Hello all,

Not even 2 hours after I completed my WOW article  I was contacted by a parent asking if the WOW information applied to being a POW (Parent of Writer)

I debated my reply thinking “you should ask someone who knows as I really don’t” and “Here is some advice” although the last statement made me nervous being as I am not an expert, I’m unsure of what I am saying.

Of course a few minutes of watching various TV news casts and Politicians reminded me of a basic truth: You don’t need to have a clue what you’re saying in order to say it.

So here is my attempt at advice if any of you want to chime it please feel free!

How do you know you’re a POW?  Much like a WOW there are warning signs. These are almost identical to the WOW but there is an additional sign. If your child is requesting books for their birthday not just Twilight or Harry Potter or the Hunger Games but Indie books like “Jamie Ryder:”  or  “The Hope Series”  or “Legends of Windermere” . Unlike underground bands, Indie authors to kids are unique. There is no extra cool factor for knowing about them or having read them before everyone else. No matter how you cut it the main stream child will think reading is geeky/dorky/uncool. Fret not; in a world where ‘Main Stream’ means doing something dangerous, malicious, destructive, or just f^*&ing stupid on YouTube is cool! This is a good sign for the future.  The only reason your child would read these is because their work is outstanding and the authors should be break out sensational hits. Your child wants to join them.

So sadly you’re a POW and your child is a Writer. I know it can be disappointing. You probably hoped they would be grow up to be food service personal or a piano player at the local brothel. Fear not your child could still have a future. And with some proper intervention, a good one.

So what as a POW can you do? Well there is no simple answer to that. Children are stubborn. The more you discourage the more they will want it. However reverse psychology will also fail, kids always see right through it.

The only thing you can do is breath and let it happen naturally.  Unlike WOW’S with Children/Young writers destroying their computers and breaking fingers will more likely result in charges then in your actually stopping them.

My advice: encourage them while being their parents.

Find out what indie author they really enjoy and contact them. You will be surprised how easy it is to get an introduction.   Of course as a parent you want to be sure this author is not a drunken miscreant idiot.  You can maybe tolerate 2 of the 3 but try to avoid a hat trick.

Then once you are comfortable with them, let your Child introduce themselves then see where things go.  Indie authors are some of the most supportive people you will ever meet. Most will encourage your writer, giving tips, showing tricks, and helping with motivation.  Unfortunately Indie authors are also human so some will be a$$holes that frankly should not be allowed into society unsupervised.   Treat them like you would any of your other children’s online friends and contacts: watch them like a hawk!  If you start to see them pushing your POW off the writing path [or worse], be a parent and intervene.

Your writer is going to face all the same problems that other authors do (Editors, Trolls, Predator Publishers, the list is endless) but your writer is going to have two extra hurdles to face:

1)    Peers:  Children are funny creatures.  From what I have been able to gather there are more donors/incubators then there are actual parents!  When your writer puts out their first published piece they should expect some their Peers to try to bring them down. Look at all creative musical types that get torn down all the time, right up to the day they fill a stadium with 50K fans.  There is something about artistic types that bring out the green-eyed monster in kids. Their donors/incubators have done little to teach these hell spawn how to effectively deal with these feelings so they lash out at the source IE your writer.

2)    Sobriety:  unless you live in some permissive southern state your child will not be indulging in any ‘author juice’ to get past the monsters mentioned. If they are, we need to talk about whether you’re a POW or an Incubator/Donor.  As a POW you have to support them and help them past all the problems. Help them find their strength. [By the way, once you’ve done this, you are not allowed to go beat up their trolls or peers] You’re Indie author can help, but the heavy lifting for this will fall on you. On the Plus side: having a parent support and helping them find their own strength is worth a 24 pack of ‘author juice’

I also advise the same thing I told the POW for the same reasons:  Never read or critique your child’s work. You have the exact problem that your WOW counterparts have, with the added complication that you CAN’T be objective.  A WOW ended up with their writer by some form of choice. Some feature that hinted at their desire to be a writer. Be it their love of books or the fact they said on the 4th date “one day I want to be a writer”.  As a POW, the writer is yours.  You’ll love whatever they write if for no other reason than it’s your own child/teen showing a talent. Maybe one you had but never developed or maybe something new in the family tree. Even if you try you can NOT be as objective as your writer will need – hence the whole ‘find a writer to help you’ thinking.

The only last piece of advice I have: Once you have come to terms with being a POW sit back and enjoy it, but don’t start shopping for a new import sports car.  The current twisted world of publishing isn’t about POW’s getting new cars.

But that’s another post all together.

How to be a good WOW

Greetings all, no real news but I have been thinking about something that I find interesting, and decided if I liked it you may (after all you’re reading my blog)

I should note this is less for my readers, most of which are fellow authors like me, and more or your significant other.  They are WOW’s or Widows of Writers.

I know your writer isn’t really dead, but they are in their head, practicing their craft, and putting their stories to paper. They aren’t ignoring you (intentionally) but sometimes, when they are in the zone there is little attention left for you.

How to tell you’ve become a WOW is easy enough, just watch the signs.

The signs are easy to see, one day your loved one started to spend more time in your house library. Another sign being your house has a library.  You have more books in your house then you have food items.  You spend fifteen minutes shopping for clothing, but at least an hour at the book store.  They start spending money on EBooks, and try to deny it by claiming it was on-line gambling or porn.  They spend time not only reading books but rereading, studying the techniques and plots.  They can’t tell you your birthday, or even their own, but mention their favorite character and they can tell you their birthday, their parents’ names, and the dates or times of all the important events in their lives.

Once you know the signs, you will realize your significant other is now a Writer, so what to do about it.  One option is to smash all your computers, laptops and break your spouse’s fingers hoping that the pain meds and maybe some psychological help can cure this problem.  The other option is to let them write. (And if my own WOW is reading – I am advocating Option 2)

Once you accept your now a WOW, you should learn how best to support your Writer. Assumedly you also want to do what’s best to support your relationship.  The answer to both is simple.

Never read their work, and never critique their work!

If your heads have stopped spinning, I should point out that the last statement was not intended to be funny. Think about this carefully: Your Writer has poured a piece of his soul into the paper or photons that he is asking you to read.  If it’s great, they will never believe you, after all you’re their spouse; you’re obligated to like it.  If their work is the worst thing to have even been put on paper, and as you read it you wished you had gone to option number 1 above, how do you tell them this? It will be a double crushing blow after all you’re their spouse, your obligated to like their work.   Worse yet, what if it’s good, but not a genre you enjoy? Now you’re really stuck! You can lie [because lying always works so well in a relationship] or you can be brutally honest [because that works even better].

The best way to get out of the entire mess, don’t enter it.  It’s your spouse; odds are you know their password. If you want to read it on the sly for your own sake, that’s safe. Just never tell them.

Other things you can do to help them, help them be 5 places at once. It’s inevitable they are going to start a Facebook author or writer page, they are going to have an amazon page, they are going to have twitter, and Google + and Linked in and Goodreads, Pinterest, the list only grows.  Help them manage their media, even if all you do is let them know there are comments they need to reply to or there are updates they need to make, its support. It shows you care.

I have more advice for WOW’s but I don’t honestly know if I should do more, or just leave it here? Thoughts?

Movie Revew – (Star Trek – Into the Darkness)

Hello all, I was tempted to mention my new and psychotic idea for my rejected stories, but that will have to wait for another day.

For tonight, I would like to address the movie Star Trek – Into the darkness.  I have 2 reviews for the same movie, 3 if you consider the cautionary tale!

For those of you that have never watched star trek, are not trekies in the least, only tolerate the shows when it’s on and your too intoxicated to change the channel, this is a good film, you have to suspend your believe a bit, and remember that SciFi is not always accurate to the laws fo physics.  Enjoy the show and happy trekking.

For those of you that, like me are closet trekies, the ones that while you can’t quote the episode numbers or the season, know the plots of most of them, have watched all the Star trek shows, got misty when Spock died in the 2nd one, or when Data was killed or…. (You get my point)  this movie is one 2 hour-long skull f@^k.  by about ½ way through I was thinking “they must not have ever watched an episode of star trek, that’s why they are so off target”  by the end, it was clear they watched everyone, 2 or 3 times, and made sure to cram as many “F@6K You Trekie” moments in it as they could. I am not sure if they are trying to drive off the trek fans, or trying to never have to make another trek movie, good thing is they should get either result.  The only other thing I can think of is they are trying to start a civil war between the soon to be fractured fan bases.

The only other note is to my fellow authors.  If you have seen the show “Misery” and thought to yourself “Fans don’t really get like that, not for books at least”.  You need to rewatch that show again.  Not that you have to plot things how your fans want, but its worth remembering that once they become fans, they have a say, if you kill a main character, or you do any number of other screwed up items – your next book signing could be your last!! Seriously there are some things that you just cant do and expect to have anyone ever read your work.  If you want a prime example of this, watch a dozen of the original star trek, and the first 5 movies.  Then go see star trek and pay attention!

Now Siri is trying to help

Hello All,

My “second book” is almost done.  I put second book in quotes because I still haven’t published my first!  But forgetting the semantics for a moment, I was re-reading the second and editing (something I do when I don’t feel like writing and this close to the end of the book, I tend to drag my feet, just so I don’t have to finish!) and read one of my favorite parts that was written thanks to a combination of ADD, Siri and letting my fingers run.

The original scene, the kids (who have switched bodies) go to a place where an ogre is being rounded up and relocated. After the relocation, they talk to the team leader, and he tells them how to fix their problem. Because I use the Harp Twins music (see the post ‘musical peanut butter’) I put “Sweet Child of Mine” in the scene (an excuse to describe one of my favorite tracks)

So I lazily hit the button and tell Siri to play “Sweet child of mine”. (I should have remembered there is a reason I never use Siri)  Instead of the harp twins version, it started playing the original version.  I like that version, but I can’t stand the original artist! After a chuckle, I integrate that distaste into the scene and put in the version confusion. So now my heroes go in, play the wrong version,  get tossed around like rag dolls before someone starts playing the harp version.  I also put the harp girls (hereafter called the harpies) into the scene, so the Ogre gets a live performance. (If I don’t get one, at least my monsters can enjoy it)

It was at that point that my mind let my heroes talk to the harp girls, and a quick moment later, some small part of my brain said “What if the harp girls could do Sign Language?” then my heroes could talk to them, interact with them (something I unlikely would ever get to do, combination of being too poor to go see them, not sure they will ever come to Colorado, and then finding time and money to go to whatever performance.) but  its ok, my heroes can interact with them, and I still have them on my Ipod.

Of course because I put in “they can do sign” they figured out the heroes switched bodies (no other way to explain why the deaf girl can’t use sign, and why the demon hunter she is with is not carrying any weapons) so they start to advise the kids how to fix the body swap, and scene is almost over.

Except, the antagonist of the story: Ivan the Demon, he wants to have his fun before they kids fix things.  I decide that he is not going to miss a chance to be, well himself.  So now the harpies have a demon putting his hand on one of their butts and being his normal perverted self.

The solution, in my mind I decide that the harpies know a move I learned back in my security days. They grab the demons fingers, pinning him and promising him more pain if he doesn’t shut up and behave.  It was a blast letting my Harpies be bad asses to my Demon, and having them stop a charging ogre with just a song and a smile.

By the time I was done, my simple lead in paragraph (maybe 2) ended up being a full chapter.

And for those wondering, the ‘ADD part of this?” when I was poking around the harp twins Facebook page today (To avoid the editing which I was doing to avoid the writing), I looked over their ‘about’ information, turns out they do know sign language, and are into Martial arts.  I must have known that but filed it away in my trivial information file in my brain.  I swear I am always amazed by the things I didn’t even realize I knew.

Going to have to edit the chapter (no need for the ‘team leader’ now, the harpies dealt with everything) and change out the Harpies. I can’t have them resemble real people that closely without risking getting sued. I just hope there are no other people who I know or like that I find lurking in my book.

Writing Excercise.

Hello all,

Today I took a seminar by a woman named Ann Randolph. It was interesting, we did timed writing exercises, and we talked about morning writing, there were a few other things like that. if you ever get a chance to take one of her classes, do it. sorry I don’t know if she does classes for people outside of the Denver Metro area, she mentioned ‘onine classes’ but I missed details. (if you really want it I can dig it up)

After the seminar we had a beer, her, I and 2 others. And the discussion came up about how they use digital recorders. I don’t I have a different way of holding my thoughts.

I use musical peanut butter. This term, for those of you that don’t know, is a reference to that ANNOYING as anything song that once you hear you can’t get it out of your brain? No matter how bad you want to. Examples, “Dreamer” by Super Tramp, ‘Livin’ La Vida Loca’ by Ricky martin. ‘Red Solo Cup” by [I forget who]. I would like to apologize to those of you that are now humming one or all three of these songs. Before you go to YouTube to find ANYTHING you can to clear your ear holes, finish reading then look up the “Harp Twins“, their music is awesome at clearing your head of peanut butter, or as effective as you can get.

Anyway if I am driving, and I get one of my killer ideas, I will put on my ‘peanut butter’ play list, and burn the idea into my head, using the peanut butter to stick it there. this works for me incredibly well, at the cost of damaging my limited sanity from putting music in my head that I can’t get out.

Then again I am a writer, so it’s not like I had a lot of sanity to begin with.

Any thoughts about this? Is it a crazy but useful idea, or am I just psycho and should be getting help of some kind?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6ugC3LU6pw is the link for the girls I mentioned.