Thursday, June 27, 2013

Name that Picture

Ok, I have to admit I'm not feeling very inspired these days. My mind just isn't coming up with any good ideas to write about. So I decided to get on the wonderful world wide web and look at pictures. I've done this before and it really works. Just looking at a picture that is mystical, funny and cute, or mysterious has given me magical inspirational ideas.

So I decided to just have some fun this week and picked out several pictures I thought were really cool. Let's see what kind of inspiration we can come up with. If you feel like playing, pick one or two of your favorites and just tell me either what you would write about from this picture or what you would title the picture.

Picture 1
 
 
Picture 2
 
Picture 3 
 
Picture 4 


Picture 5
 
Picture 6 


Picture 7
 
 
Picture 8 
 
Picture 9 
 
Picture 10 
 
Picture 11 
 
Picture 12 
 
 
 
Ok, so I got a little carried away with the photo's but there are so many cool ones out there it was hard to stop! Anyway, I hope you'll play along and have fun!
 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Man of Steel

I've found a new reason to live. What is it you ask? My new reason to live is so I can look at the new Superman, Henry Cavil some more. I always loved Christopher Reeve, but this new guy... well he's just dreamy. I can tell he is in love with me too because his eyes were focused directly on me during that entire movie! Can you tell he's got his eye on me here?

 
 


Henry may be a gorgeous creature, but now it's time for all you Superman fans to get ready to hit me. Be gentle though, please. Now comes the truth about the movie, at least from my point of view.

For my husband, the movie started out slow which I sort of agreed with that. It seemed to drag on and on telling the story of how he came to be. And then they really didn't even show us how Superman ended up on his parents doorstep. We knew it happened, but weren't actually shown it. That was disappointing to me.

Then when we finally got to the present, we were excited. There was action. Then there was more action. And more action. Then there was blowing up. Followed by more blowing up and continued on with more and more blowing up. Then there was about 5 minutes of acting. Then more blowing up. Followed by more and more and more blowing up of buildings, machine monsters, people from the planet Krypton. Then finally more blowing up. Just when we thought they were finished with blowing up things and that the bad guy General Zod had to finally be dead... here he comes again and there was 45 more minutes of blowing things up.

The parts of the movie that were missing were scenes where Superman starts to become a real hero to the people of Smallville. I was craving a simple scene where he rescues someone in a building fire, or a bank robbery, or even a puppy about to be run over by a car! But there was none of that.

This movie was beyond ridiculous to me. I mean really, there was about 30 minutes in this 2 hr. 30 minute film of actual acting going on. The rest was computerized blowing up of things. It never ended!

I don't want to spoil the movie for those of you who haven't seen it yet so I'll shut up now. I'll just end by saying they pushed the limits for both my husband and myself, and that's bad when a husband who loves to watch things blow up was sick of it. This movie was brutal for us and we were very happy it finally ended. We won't go back for Superman II.

But as much complaining as I've done, I do have to say it's truly amazing what we can do nowadays with computerized effects. We truly do have some amazing technical geniuses in the movie industry.

Also, I need to end by saying don't let my opinion of this movie sway you into going or not going. I'm just one person on this huge planet and I have no doubt that more people will absolutely think this movie is amazing then won't. But it is a free country and this one opinionated person just had to get her say so out of her big mouth!

But in truth, I don't care how much blowing up goes on, the new Man of Steel can rescue me anytime!







Thursday, June 13, 2013

Picking The Right Age Group

The question “How did you know what age group to write for?” has come up several times in my writing career. Curious readers or people who are thinking of writing a book seem to need this question answered a lot.

To me, it’s an easy answer. I simply love little kids and making them giggle and have fun is what drives me to write picture books.

When I first thought I might want to write children’s books, I began with creating a MG novel. It was a blast, but I have to admit, I got stuck mid-way through and still to this day have not finished it. But when I researched and read a ton of picture books, the minute I finally sat down and started writing one, that’s when I realized my passion for picture books.

However, when I actually read my book in front of a crowd of kids, my heart crumbled and without a doubt confirmed for me that picture books are what I should be doing.





Some may think writing a picture book isn’t really writing, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Writing a picture book is tough and must be done with tender loving care and strict guidelines. You can’t mince words or use words that aren’t important to the story or carry the story forward. Descriptions are a hard thing to carry through as well. You can only use a certain amount of words so they have to be chosen very carefully. In picture books a description of something can only be used when absolutely necessary; otherwise the author has to rely on the illustrator to bring things to life. So any words you do use need to be powerful, dazzling, and reminiscent replacements -- words that will offer an illustrator wonderful clues for pictures.


Writing a picture book that will be accepted by a publisher takes a lot of research, practice, blood. sweat, and tears. You can’t just sit down and write a story, it’s absolutely necessary that for a picture book to be accepted, you must do the research and follow the million guidelines required. And it’s surprising just how many rules there really are in the picture book world.

 

Writing for children, no matter the age, is so important and a pure pleasure. As an author, you have the power to not only bring laughter to their life, but it gives you a perfect opportunity to share some of what you’ve learned over your lifetime. Authors can inspire, teach, challenge, and bring magic to a child’s eyes and that’s the real reason I enjoy it so much. I love the opportunity to make them think but at the same time, help them dream.
 
What about you? Was it as easy for you, as it was for me, to decide what age group you should write for?

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Break those Blocks!

Blocks. I hate them! I never knew that being a writer could make so many show up. What am I talking about? I'm talking about Writers Block, Confidence Block, Idea Block, Blogging Block, Editing Block, and Marketing Block.



It's so frustrating when I get the Writer's Block and just sit dazed, glossy eyed, and dumbstruck at my computer screen because I can't think of one word to write!






Then there's the Confidence Block where I sit down and begin writing only to stop mid-way because I'm doubting everything about the story. All the sudden, I'm worrying that the whole story is sucking!






One of the worst blocks is Idea Block. I search and search and search my brain for an idea for a story but nothing comes. I toss and turn at night not able to sleep but my brain still comes up with not one single idea!








Of course every week I struggle with the Blogging Block. What on earth do I have to say to people that anyone would want to read or even care about.











Editing Block is one of the rarest for me but I still get it. The days that I look over my story and can't find one single thing wrong with it, or a plan to change it, but I know darn well it's still not good enough!









And the Marketing Block. I must say I am lucky by the fact that I do have a book published and actually have to face this problem, but it's still not fun. I am not a sales person, so this is one of my most terrifying blocks.




Sometimes, outside encouragement helps with these blocks. But as writers, one of our biggest challenges is learning to rely on only ourselves. If we need constant encouragement from others, then most likely, we won't last in this business. We have to keep charging ahead and breaking through those blocks even when they are trying to force us to give up!

I know that many times I have often wondered what the true meaning of a successful writer is but I think I've finally discovered what it means to me. A successful writer is one that breaks through those blocks and doesn't let them take over. The love of writing prevails over all the obstacles.

I might be a published author but I have a ways to go before I'm a successful one. I need to get on my boxing gloves more often and beat those blocks to the curb!



How about you? Have you destroyed your blocks yet?