Scribbles and thoughts ...

These are ramblings from J L Wilson, published author of romantic suspense, mystery, and paranormal -time travel fiction....

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Recharging time

I am once again struck by how coincidence can work ...

I'm leaving on Monday for a weeklong vacation (getting away from it all -- literally -- to a cabin with no Internet, no TV, and no phone).

And last night I finished writing another book. This means on Monday I can start with a clean slate and delve into edits, then consider starting another project. I love how these things dovetail -- fate, karma, serendipity, coincidence ... call it what you will, when it happens, it's cool.

So no blogs from me for another week ... I'm off to enjoy fall foliage!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Blog etiquette ... or blog intelligence

We're interviewing to fill a position at work, and discussed candidates, etc., that we've seen in the past. Some candidates put their personal blog addy and web site addy on their resumes ....

Sometimes a big mistake. I've reviewed some the resumes and gone out to the blogs and web sites and what I found was NOT appropriate material for a professional. Yes, it's a 'personal' site, but you're telling professional people to go look at it, so you'd better make sure it's also professional. Either that or keep your professional and your personal life separate (as I try to do by using initials, never alluding to details about my day job, etc.)

This brings up a 'duh' question: why would someone do this? Do they think they're so fascinating that people will overlook the obviously inappropriate information ("I'm really hung over today and can barely focus on the computer screen"; "had fun at the game last night, we harassed a bunch of X fans who were idiots")? Or do they believe employers won't check?

Believe me. They check.

A reality check for us all. Remember: what's on the Internet doesn't STAY on the Internet. It's liable to come back to haunt you.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

No deep thoughts, just fun today

I'm blogging today from offsite -- I'm out of town and logging in via the hotel's wireless. Having a great time. I'm at a casino with some friends and we're brainstorming books, eating, drinking, and gambling. I've lost $7 so far in 2 hours of gambling, which I think is pretty good. Last night was Native American night at the buffet so there was bison, elk, venison on the table, as well as wild rice, etc. All EXCELLENT fodder for one of my books in which the hero and heroine go to a funeral dinner of a Native person and sample the food.

Ain't it neat how serendipity happens?

Must go -- doing a bit of gambling before our morning 'session' starts!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Progress report

My latest mystery is zipping along. I've hit a few speed bumps on the way but Miss Sockeye Salmon is still one of the villains, I've thrown the main characters into hot water (literally and figuratively), and I have a clear idea of how I'm going to finish.

At least, I thought I did until I realized ... hmm ... this book is set around Halloween. Maybe I need to work in some trick or treat action. I don't know about you, but it always spooks me when I answer the door at Halloween. It's the perfect time for someone to pull off a murder. Everyone is in costume, it's usually dark and spooky, and toy weapons are everywhere. Who knows if one might be real or not?

So I've decided to rip up chapter 14 and change my timeframe a bit. This means going back to the start, making sure my dates are right, and changing the fall foliage colors slightly and making the weather a bit colder...

Gee, it's fun being in charge of stuff like the weather. Don't we wish!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A very rewarding event ...

I had a book signing at my writing group today and it went very well. I was pleased with the turnout (about 20 people) and with the panel discussion that followed.

It was especially gratifying because this group has been slow to embrace the e-book concept to the point that I wasn't sure if they actually considered me published (the rules of the governing body sort of dictate that, but that's another story).

Anyway, I had 20 people or so who were attentive, asked a lot of questions, and seemed genuinely interested in my publishing journey.

I plan to convert the world to ebook technology one reader at a time ...

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Politicians make excellent villains ...

Yes indeed. The more I read about the GOP ticket, the more I'm working people like them into my latest WIP. I've got the woman who ran away from her home and kids after being forced into marriage because of an unwanted pregnancy. And I've got another character with anger management issues who blows up every time someone disagrees with him. He's an old guy and I plan to have him die of a heart attack during a tirade. He's not a villain, really. He's a dupe of the younger woman who's using him for her own gain.
What fodder for a writer! You know, someone once said that fact is stranger than fiction, and it's true. I couldn't make up characters like this, no one would believe them!

On a more serious side, I'm very worried about this election. I feel betrayed by the GOP because they left out the moderates, focusing on the power elite (McCain) and the radical right (Palin). And I feel betrayed by the Dems because they passed over a qualified person who also happens to be a woman. My main concern is the environment, because if we don't fix that, it won't matter about oil or war or the economy. The environment drives it all ...

That's where my vote has to go this fall. We're on a precipice and we've got to back away and find another path. If a candidate can address that issue, I'll listen. Otherwise, I'll have to go with personality and my gut instinct, which tells me to look beyond the media hype and look for substance. The result will depend on who you are, but I keep thinking about this: we've got a candidate who's elderly and has had 4 bouts of cancer.

Do I really want a hockey mom to run the country?

Saturday, September 06, 2008

A real friend helps you hide the body ....

... no, I didn't kill anyone, but being forced to watch Sarah Palin every time I turned on the TV, I was tempted. The good thing about being an author is I can kill off a character like her in a book, and you just might see that sometime soon.

No, a real friend helps you figure out your plots. I was a bit stalled on my book. I didn't have a clear motive for the crime. Without motive, I don't know WhoDunIt. My critique partner and I met on Thursday, as usual, and I mentioned I was a bit stalled.

She threw out a bunch of good rapid-fire ideas, none of which I could really use. But later, when I was home, I took the gist of what she was saying. By chance, the GOP VP-nominee was on TV. "Hmm," thinks I. "What if I make her the villain? Why would she be a villain?" (beside obvious political reasons, of course).

Voila -- I got a REALLY cool idea for motive, a plot twist, and a red herring. It totally energized my writing.
So you see -- there are benefits to annoying people on TV and good friends are worth their weight in chocolate!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The trouble with holidays ....

Well, they end too soon, that's for sure.

But the real problem is this: whenever a holiday is coming up, I think, "Oh, I'll do that after the holiday." I make these little mental lists and put off some tasks, etc., until "after".

Of course, now it's 'after'.


There's also that sense of anticipation, of something to look forward to. The next "anticipation" date I have is 2 weeks away when I'm taking a half-day off.

Sigh again.

So it's back to the old routine. At least my WIP is going well -- I spent the weekend getting it off to a good start. Now if I can only continue that, it'll carry me forward to my next holiday....