Why do I “want to be” a writer?

This is what greets me this morning.  Two writers that I admire (including one that I personally know) each write blog posts that essentially say, being a writer is really hard work that you have to actually WORK at to be better and you, you crazy wannabe, will never make it.

They both come to the same conclusion: you most likely will fail, but what you can do is Write. A thousand words a day come hell or high water, or more, if the spirit moves you.

see: www.terribleminds.com

and: www.johnhartness.com

Gotta be honest. I’m not writing a thousand words a day.  I’m not blogging every day. I’m most likely breaking every single rule ever invented about writing.  And I am doing it heartily.  (Ha! Look Stephen King, I used an adverb.)

Sometimes I write a lot more than a thousand words. Sometimes none.  Now, keep in mind I am talking about fiction words. I must write something in the area of a gazillion words if you count my paycheck work, which I don’t.  I just wrote a letter to a woman who wanted to know why preventive health screenings make sense and who stated, categorically, that all they do is create false-positives and unnecessary stress.  I disagree, so I told her why.  I had to be clear, reasonable, and fundamentally tell her my side of the story. But it doesn’t count because it isn’t fiction coming out of my head.

Why do I want to be a writer?  Because I am a writer.  Nothing I can do to change that. If I don’t write, the voices in my head become louder and my head gets crowded.  Now, being a fairly decent writer is up to me, and being a published writer is up to the Fates, who I definitely think are conspiring against me.  Nope, don’t think–KNOW they are. I can just imagine them with their one eye taking turns looking at me and cackling, “She wants to be published! Who the hell does she think she is? Let’s just let her dangle there, shall we?”

So, I’ll write.  I’ll work at it.  I’ll do all the things I can do that are in my control, and I still may never be published, continuously rejected. That is just the chance I am going to have to take because the writing isn’t negotiable.  I wrote my first story when I was seven, pecking it out on a typewriter. It was about Jack the Horse, whose one leg was shorter than another.  When you start writing at 7, I’m pretty sure the path is chosen for you, not the other way around.



If Angels Can Fall, Can Demons Rise?

Story Idea:  What do you think? Thoughts? Feedback?

A child is conceived through rape.  The mother’s Guardian Angel is so upset that she closes her eyes just for a moment.  A demon, named Sin, slides into the fetus as it is conceived.

Sin cannot leave the body and experiences birth and life as a human. Staying true to what it knows, and what its Master expects, the demon continues to poison the mother thoughts and feelings over the years as the child grows. Meanwhile, the soul of the baby, Hope, is engaged in an epic internal battle in order to save her own life and her mother’s soul.

We know Angels can Fall, but can Demons Rise? What happens when a demon experiences human beings’ gift of free will? Ultimately, can Demons have Hope?

New Book by Andrea Phillips Sounds Super Cool

Just saw an announcement of this new book and think it is a must-read.  The basic premise is that reality can be changed and nudged through changes to the Wikipedia-like description through the company Verity.  Yeesh. Weird. Can’t wait to read it.

Read the first three chapters for free, here.   Here’s a good quote:

“Hasn’t Ben told you what Verity really does? Verity isn’t in the business of reporting reality, they’re in the business of making it.” She clapped her fingertips to her mouth with faux horror, and her voice became syrup-thick from bitterness. “Silly me. Not for me to spill his secrets. Forget I said anything.”

What’s up with Thor’s vision quest in the pool of water? Baffled.

I just saw Age of Ultron.  If you have not seen it and don’t want any SPOILERS, do NOT read this post.

I have a major plot question.  What was up with Thor going off to find his scientist friend and then finding some mystic pool of water to understand his vision in?

I. Just. Don’t. Get. It.

One, he said it would be dangerous.  It was so brief that we saw no danger whatsoever.  Two, I thought the whole Asgardian thing wasn’t really magic but technology we couldn’t understand yet. The vision pool thing really has me confused.

It is obvious that there was more to this part of the plot that was filmed and then cut out.  But other than seeing Thor/Chris spring up out of a pool of water, and I’m not saying that isn’t nice, I don’t get this at all.

So, Marvel fans…explain it me.

(And really, he can’t see Jane even for a minute?  I guess Natalie Portman wasn’t available for the movie.  Loved seeing Peggy/Haley though!)

Break Every Rule

Just finished J.H. Moncrieff’s guest blog on terribleminds.com.  My favorite comment is to Keep Breaking the Rules. She writes,

Keep Breaking the Rules

When it comes to writing, I break every rule in the book. I don’t outline. I don’t write at the same time every day. I don’t know the end of my novels before I start—and yet, they always work out the way they should. Whenever someone tells me I should change my way of doing things, I smile sweetly and keep on writing. (If I’m in a good mood—if I’m not, my response is a little on the blunt side.)* 

This makes me giddy.  I have trouble with the traditional outline, although I do enjoy the process of just trying to define my character in a few sentences.  That is a very helpful technique. But the outline has always escaped me.  I was really bummed to hear Jim Butcher say that his first successful novel was the one in which he finally gave in and outlined.  (He said this during his appearance at last year’s DragonCon.)

I’m not sure if every writer outlines and J.H. and I are the real outliers, but I’d like to hear what others do…leave a reply.

visit her on: http://www.jhmoncrieff.com/ 


The Princess Bride Meets Die Hard

The fabulous Chuck Wendig (www.terribleminds.com) proposed a flash writing contest where the challenge is to mash-up two different movies, books, video games, etc.

Since this was my first time at this, I sorta did it wrong. I really created more of a fan fiction “gmish” (Yiddish for mixture, peoples) that combines the characters and classic lines.  But I thought it was really fun and it made a few people laugh, so here it is…

The Princess Bride Meets Die Hard

The Nakatomi building roof is not your normal roof. It is a green roof extraordinare, with a very large tree. The large tree has a knot in it. If you pray to the spirit of your father, holding a sapier, you may find your way to that particular knot and open the secret passage to the mysterious, hidden torture chamber beneath.

There, you will find Hans Gruber holding a gun to John McClane’s head and Count Rugen happily strapping a raging Wesley into the life-sucking machine.

Count Rugen looks at Hans with contempt, “I am infinitely more evil than you, Hans! I torture people. I don’t just kill them. I am scientist with deeply evil and somehow oddly academic experimental tendencies. You are just a brute!”

Fezzik pops in, “Yes?”

Rugen says, “What?”

Fezzik, “You called for the Brute Squad?

“You ARE the Brute Squad! Go away. Can’t you see I’m having a serious discussion here?”

Hans interrupts, “I am much more evil than you. I am stealing $600 million dollars, and killing people while doing it.”

Inigo pops up, “If you killed my father, prepare to die!”

Rugen waves him away. “You do not win, Hans. You are nothing compared to me. Look! I have 6 fingers on one hand! I am menacing. You are a small time thief!”

“I am an exceptional thief! And since I’m moving up to kidnapping, you should be more polite!”

Rugen chuffs. “Hans, bubbe, what exactly are you trying to accomplish here? You kill this guy. You get some money. You walk away. They think you are mostly dead so they don’t look for you. What then? A vacation home the overlooking the Cliffs of Insanity? What will you do to keep your wits about you?”

Hans, “Ah! That is how we shall solve this. A battle of wits.”

Wesley weakly whispers, “Hopefully this guy is smarter than the last one.”

Rugen replies, “A battle of wits? You mean you put your gun away and I put my machine on neutral and we try to kill each other as God intended? Skill against skill alone?

Hans says, “Yes, or we are at an impasse.”

“You are that smart then?”

“Let me put it this way. Have you ever heard of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates?”

Rugen looks at him askance. “Yes.”

“Morons, all of them.”

“I accept. To the death?” says Rugen.

“Since you like torture, how about to the pain?”” replies Hans.

“I don’t know what that means. Get on with it!” says an exasperated Rugen. “I have life to suck.”

“I will torture you with your most hated fears. I will spend eternity screeching “Humperdink, Humperdink, Humperdink” in your ears because I will leave your ears perfect. As you walk through the crowd unable to relieve yourself of this auditory hallucination, you will hear the children yelling, “God, what is that thing?”

Rugen looks puzzled. “I like Humperdink. He’s the only one that calls me Tyrone. And he loves to watch me work. He’d be here now except he has a wedding to plan, a bride to kidnap and a country to frame for it. He’s swamped.”

An ROUS scuttles past.

Hans flinches. “What is it about this place? Don’t you have any traps? Poison? Something to keep these infernal rats away?”

Rugen considers. “Poison, yes, we have that. It is odorless, tasteless and colorless. Not sure what it is called.”

Hans reflects for a moment. “Iocane. I’d bet my life on it.”

Humperdink leans into the torture chamber. “Rugen, don’t do this! Hans, this shit-head doesn’t know what kind of man you are, but I do!”

Both Rugen and Hans yell simultaneously, “Shut up, Humperdink, you pansy!”

Humperdink looks chastened. “As you wish.”

Wesley garners a little energy, “Hey! That is my line!”

Karl galumphs over, blond hair swinging. “Boss, why are you dragging this out?”

Hans glares at Karl. “I am more evil than Rugen. We both know this. If you had listened to me 20 pages ago, he’d be neutralized already.”

Karl huffs, “I don’t want neutral. I want dead.”

“Patience, Karl. You want him dead, he’ll be dead.”

Karl squints at Rugen, takes note of his extra finger. “It will take a miracle.”

Hans backhands Karl across the room, “Stop rushing me! You rush a miracle, man, you get rotten miracles.”

Valerie pops over and hands the injured Karl a chocolate pain reliever pill the size of a golf ball. She looks up, “The chocolate makes it go down easier.”

Rugen looks at Hans. “This is getting ridiculous. We don’t have that much time. Didn’t you set the roof to blow?

Hans looks up. “Good point! We’d better get on with it.”

Rugen eyes Hans up and down. “Okay then. First question: What sports team is on the grandson’s pajamas?”

Hans looks around frantically. “I don’t know! That is not fair.”

Rugen replies, “Life isn’t fair. Anyone who says differently is selling you something.”

“Fine,” says Hans. “My turn.”

He thinks for a moment. His eyes go narrow. He looks at his walkie-talkie. He fondles his walkie-talkie. Just for fun, he hits buttons on his walkie-talkie and murmurs into it in German. When he is satisfied, he says, “What is Holly Genaro’s real last name?”

Rugen replies immediately, “McClane, numb-nuts. Everyone knows that.”

Hans manages to look very Teutonic, constipated and like he has to go to the bathroom urgently, all at once.

Rugen says, “I am ahead by 1. I will ask you a second question.”

Rugen walks around the torture chamber, humming for a moment. He absently flips the switch on the life-sucking machine and Wesley cries in pain. Rugen looks delighted. “Now, how does that feel? And remember, this is for posterity.”

Wesley moans.

McClane jumps up trying to rescue Wesley. He knocks several glass beakers over and steps on them with his bare feet. They start to bleed and he drags his bloody foot across the floor, leaving an obvious blood trail for anyone who wants to follow. He fails miserably to rescue Wesley.

Hans puts his hand on McClane’s shoulder and pushes him down to the floor.

“Continue, Rugen!”

“What is the Dread Pirate Robert’s ship’s name?”

Hans thinks. “This is tricky but I know my ships, planes, helicopters and other modes of transportation. Ah-ha! I HAVE it! The Queen’s Pride.”

Rugen looks impressed.

Hans says, “Now we are even. I shall ask you another question, and if you know it, I shall be very put out.”

Hans mumbles to himself. He consults his computer expert, Theo. “Theo, can you help me break this man?”

Theo replies, “You didn’t bring me along for my sparkling personality.” Theo steps forward, looks out the torture room window (what torture room has a window?) and says, “All right, listen up guys, there are four assholes coming in the rear in a standard two-by-two cover formation.”

Rugen and Hans jump to look through the glass. “What! How?” exclaims Rugen.

John laughs, holding his bleeding foot, “It is the police, dickheads. My good friend, Sgt Al, otherwise known as “the black guy they put in everything when they can’t find another actor,” called the FBI!”

They all look out the window except Wesley, who is still sobbing because he had one year of his life sucked away.

Down below is Fezzik with four white horses. Inigo is with him, plus the mustachioed leader of the Brute Squad and a random pirate from the Dread Pirate Robert’s ship.

Buttercups runs in. “Wesley! I love you.”

“Fine time to say that, dear,” says Wesley as tears continue to stream down his face. “It is too late for me!”

“Inconceivable!” cries Buttercup, running over to him, her sleeves flailing in a non-existent wind.

“I am absolutely certain that you do not know what that words means,” mutters Vizzini, from the side hall.

Rugen looks at Hans. “You know, Hans. You seem like a pretty smart guy. Maybe torture isn’t the way to go. Maybe money is. Or, as we say in Guiider, Tweasure!”

Hans rubs his chin. “Are you proposing a partnership? A kind of…mawwiage?”

“I am. But lay off the mawwiage stuff.”

John leans one hand up to stop then, his white t-shirt stained in a manly manner with sweat, blood and gunsmoke. He runs his other hand through what remains of his hair and says, “You can’t! You still don’t know which of you is the most evil. How will we finish this without a final, explosive ending? I still have the detonators!”

Outside, Richard Thornberg is eagerly reporting live from the Guilder Torture Room.

Fezzik waits with his white horses. The random pirate taps his foot impatiently. The mustachioed man smooths his mustache.

Holly Genaro is in the back corner trying to help a pregnant woman find a bathroom.

Inigo is practicing grasping his heart.

Buttercup is kissing the useless Wesley all over his face.

Hans and Rugen hold hands. They climb out the window and sail magically, gently down and land with complete accuracy on the white horses, somehow without hurting their boy bits.

“We’re outta here! Yippee-ki-yay, motherfuckers!”

Welcome to Slippery Words

Welcome to Slippery Words! This is my site about my personal efforts at writing and publishing, and books in general — especially books by authors I really like. General musings, some random posts about family, and a few minion cartoons may make it in here, too.

Words are slippery and hard to grasp and pin down. You have to wrestle them to ground and make them submit. It takes work. As Julia Roberts says in Pretty Woman, “slippery little suckers.” She’s talking about escargot, but still. It applies.

Because words are slippery little suckers