Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Quotes of the Week

Cheap paper is less perishable than gray matter and lead pencil markings endure longer than memory. Keep a notebook. Travel with it, eat with it, sleep with it.
—Jack London

There is no great writing, only great rewriting.
—Justice Brandeis

Only bad writers think that their work is really good.
—Anne Enright

Marry somebody you love and who thinks you being a writer's a good idea.
—Richard Ford

A word aptly uttered or written cannot be cut away by an axe.
—Nikolai Gogol

It is perfectly okay to write garbage—as long as you edit brilliantly.
–C. J. Cherryh

Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work. 
—Stephen King

Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work. 
—Stephen King

Your writing is never as good as you hoped; but never as bad as you feared.
—Bertrand Russell

A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
—George Bernard Shaw

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Chuck Palahniuk’s 13 Writing Tips

Here are 13 Tips from Chuck Palahniuk
  1. Set a timer: “When you don’t want to write, set an egg timer for one hour (or half-hour) and sit down to write until the timer rings. If you still hate writing, you’re free in an hour. But usually, by the time that alarm rings, you’ll be so involved in your work, enjoying it so much, you’ll keep going.”
  2. Don’t be afraid to experiment: “Your audience is smarter than you imagine. Don’t be afraid to experiment with story forms and time shifts.”
  3. Mull it over: “Before you sit down to write a scene, mull it over in your mind and know the purpose of that scene. What earlier set-ups will this scene pay off? What will it set up for later scenes? How will this scene further your plot?”
  4. Be surprised: “Surprise yourself. If you can bring the story – or let it bring you – to a place that amazes you, then you can surprise your reader.”
  5. Go back: “When you get stuck, go back and read your earlier scenes, looking for dropped characters or details that you can resurrect as ‘buried guns’.”
  6. Spend time with people: “Use writing as your excuse to throw a party each week – even if you call that party a “workshop.” Any time you can spend time among other people who value and support writing, that will balance those hours you spend alone, writing.”
  7. Not knowing is okay: “The longer you can allow a story to take shape, the better that final shape will be. Don’t rush or force the ending of a story or book.”
  8. You’re in charge: “If you need more freedom around the story, draft to draft, change the character names…Or worse, delete a character, if that’s what the story really needs.”
  9. Use different types of speech: “The three types are: Descriptive, Instructive, and Expressive. Descriptive: “The sun rose high…” Instructive: “Walk, don’t run…” Expressive: “Ouch!” Most fiction writers will only use one – at most, two – of these forms. So use all three. Mix them up. It’s how people talk.”
  10. Like what you write: “Write the book you want to read.”
  11. Get photographed when you’re young: “Get author book jacket photos taken now, while you’re young.”
  12. Write about upsetting things: “Write about the issues that really upset you. Those are the only things worth writing about.”
  13. Don’t give up.
--I Love number Six.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Monday Musing

It’s Monday again in Marty’s World. 

The Coffee is very good today. The magical mystery kind of coffee that is excellent for no reason I can think of. Maybe it's because I slept so well. Maybe I am what's different and it tastes better because I am tasting it better.

I love sneaking out of bed before dawn and feeding the cats so they won't bother Brenda with anything but love and warmth as she sleeps in.

My coffee is consumed in my den as I listen to music I love. I also look at beautiful photography and art as I soak in the java. Images that inspire me.

As the sun comes up, the birds outside my window feast in my feeders. In the winter the sun comes directly into my den. The snow makes it brighter still. It's a kind of Stonehenge light. Ancient in some way.

On Mondays, after I have fed my soul a bit with music and art, I open my calendar and plan my week. Some weeks this is a bad idea. But on those weeks I will then open the traffic report and my good humor returns because traffic is no longer a concern and it triggers a Pavlovian counting of my many blessings.  The writing begins.

I usually start by blogging for an hour. Scheduling posts. Select the image that inspired my writing last week. I paste in the writer's quotes I have collected in my wanderings over the last week and a short Scifi film I liked. Maybe make a new comic. This week I will finish a new short story titled, THE TWO DAVES, and a back cover blurb for my next published novel.

Then I will go make something out of wood.

--I'm still counting my blessings. She's awake now...

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Quotes of the Week

I have found that a story leaves a deeper impression when it is impossible to tell which side the author is on.
—Leo Tolstoy

There is no friend as loyal as a book.
—Ernest Hemingway

I think it’s terribly dangerous for an artist to fulfill other people’s expectations. They generally produce their worst work when they do that. 
—David Bowie

I would think, 'not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.' So finally I would write one true sentence, and then go on... 
—Ernest Hemingway

Begin with something interesting rather than beginning with something boring; begin with action rather than beginning with background information; speak about the characters after they have appeared rather than having them appear after having spoken about them.
—Alexandre Dumas

We need stories to understand ourselves. We’re the only creature that does this unusual thing of telling each other stories in order to understand the kind of creature we are. 
—Salman Rushdie

We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.  
—Ray Bradbury

If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.
—Stephen King


Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Quotes of the Week

Life is short, Break the Rules.
Forgive quickly, Kiss SLOWLY.
Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably
And never regret ANYTHING that makes you smile.
—Mark Twain

I do not write with ease, nor am I ever please with anything I write. And so I rewrite.
—Margaret Mitchell

I have been successful probably because I have always realized that I knew nothing about writing and have merely tried to tell an interesting story entertainingly.
—Edgar Rice Burroughs

The creative process is a process of surrender, not control.
—Julia Cameron

Writing a book is like telling a joke and having to wait two years to know whether or not it was funny.
—Alain de Botton

The difference between the almost right word and the right word is … the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.
—Mark Twain

The most beautiful things are those that madness prompts and reason writes.
—Andre Gide

My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way.
—Ernest Hemingway

Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.
—John Muir


Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Three years ago today...


Three years ago today I quit my day job to write full time. Here are several things I learned: 
  • Keep your overhead low.
  • Ensure you have zealous spouse support.
  • Better yet. Make sure the spouse can retire too.
  • Write every day.
  • Take the business side of authoring seriously.
  • Help others with their writing and publishing.
  • Increase your personal networks.
  • Create an excellent writing environment.
  • Create a Pavlovian association with writing and that space.
  • Read a lot. Write a lot. Take lots of notes.
  • Find inspiration everywhere. Music, art, TV, movies, nature.
  • Focus on the positive things. 
  • Ritualize things you love, like coffee.
  • Make short and long term goals.
  • Reward yourself when goals are achieved.
  • Avoid topics and people that piss you off. It's wasted time, energy, and focus. 
  • Don't sweat the small stuff.
  • Don't use an alarm clock. Wake when you're rested, sleep when you're tired.
  • Eat good food you love.
  • Exercise even if it's just going for a walk. Take control of your health.
  • Explore the world. Walks, road trips, travel, hikes, places in the world around you
I highly recommend it. Stop asking permission. You won't be sitting in a rocker at 99 years old wishing you had spent more time working for the man... 

Monday, February 8, 2021

Monday Musings...

I have been posting Marketing stuff on Mondays lately. I don't feel like that today.

Outside it's a clear, cool day and sun is shining in my window. I have plans to spend time in my woodshop building something this afternoon. Don't know what yet. Making sawdust usually makes me happy, so sawdust it will be.

Not that I am un-happy.

It just feels like there is a turning of the tide beginning. An emerging from a tunnel. like the photo. Spring is on the horizon.

I can't explain why I'm feeling it. Maybe it's because the writing is going well. I just finished the first draft of my next novel. Maybe it's my next audio edition is going well. Maybe it's because my guitar lessons have me sounding better. Maybe it's Zooming with friends more often.

The world is still a mess. Covid, Asswipes on the news, and Politics are just as bad as ever. Bias social media keeps getting worse and worse. Orwell is turning in his grave...

So I will keep drinking coffee and making stuff up. I plan to publish a new short story this month (More on that later). I will make stuff with my hands, read more books, view art, photography, write more adventures, dream of sexy nuns smoking cigars, listen to lots of classic LPs, and live.

I have Falling in Love with my wife again on the calendar for this week. So I got that going for me. 

--Happy marriages are mostly screaming "What!" from the other room. Enjoy it when it happens! 

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Quotes of the Week

Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.
—John Muir

Writing is an exercise in sculpture, chipping away at the rock until you find the nose.
—Stanley Elkin

I admire anybody who has the guts to write anything at all.
—E. B. White

But with writers, there's nothing wrong with melancholy. It's an important color in writing.
—Paul McCartney

An age is called Dark not because the light fails to shine, but because the people fail to see it.
—James A. Michener

There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it.
—Alfred Hitchcock

You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book.
—Dr. Seuss

A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit.
—Richard Bach

Say what you mean. Say what you see. Make a photograph, if you can, for the reader. 
—Stephen King