Nov 30, 2015

7 Searches you'll have to explain


First off, Mom, these baby-name sites are for naming my CHARACTERS! You're not going to be a grandma within the next 9 months. I'm sure we've all been there. Stumped for a name, we meander over to a baby-name site and most of the time, no one's the wiser. But when someone sees it... then you have to start fielding questions. Luckily, you should only have to do this once per person.

Hypnosis techniques for brainwashing isn't actually something you want to put into practice. I'm not saying it wouldn't have useful applications in the real world, I'm just saying I personally will only use my powers for good.... or in situations that are morally ambiguous.

Dear FBI, this ordered list of how to keep a torture victim alive as long as possible is not what you think it is. If you're writing the next best-selling thriller, this may be something that puts you on a watch list. But let's be honest... being on that list isn't a bad thing. You'll gain some serious street cred... or you would, if anyone knew with any certainty that you were.

She's not a porn star, she's a contortionist... but I guess I could see how - at a glance - there could be some confusion. That position is quite... odd. If you're writing a murder mystery set in the 20s that revolves around a circus, or a modern day cirque du solelei romance... this search isn't going to seem at all odd to you, but others may get concerned about your extracurricular activities.

Whether or not someone can live without their eyelids is an idle curiosity, I swear. Okay, I'll admit, sometimes, when you're a writer, you explore some very odd... trials for your characters. I often think "what's the worst thing I can do to this character and let them live/not be so emotionally or physically damaged that they can continue on?" Often times, I have to work backward until I hit reality again. But seriously... can you live without your eyelids? how long? and how many bottles of eyedrops would you need to buy per day?

We're not really trying to bury a body in the ravine behind our house. I grew up with a ravine behind my house (it separated us from the hospital) and my step-dad was a cop. I watched way too much Law & Order SVU and then CSI. That ravine seemed like a great place to dispose of unwanted things.... So if I'm writing a murderer with a body to ditch, I might start scouring google maps for places like that ravine in the area around the crime.

These conspiracy forums I'm on are... well, I don't really think the president's brain is taken over by a parasitic alien after he's sworn in, and even if I did, I wouldn't think it's been happening since Andrew Jackson's inauguration. This one is probably going to get someone in an official looking suit with sunglasses and a scowl stopping by your house. Congratulations! You don't get a big check, but you probably won't need a cavity search either. Just hope you didn't type any search queries in that sound like threats!

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Nov 20, 2015

Insta-love: I Got No Problem With That


Confession time: I have no real problem with insta-love.

And now the clarification…

I’ve read a lot of reviews that come from people who straight up HATE insta-love as a romantic plot device and I can get that. It does seem irrational and can be frustrating. However, I’ve seen it in real life. I’ve felt it. So it’s difficult for me to back the idea that it’s unrealistic.

Love is an emotional and chemical response that defies logic. It doen’t make sense half the time and on occasion, it crashes into you like that proverbial bull into his ill-fated china shop. Sometimes, love grows from like or from what you thought was hate, and sometimes, you wake up one morning and realize that you’re irrevocably in love with the person you’ve spent your life thinking of as your best friend.

Love is weird.

So I can never look at a love story and say it’s unrealistic.* There are some love stories I wish weren’t glorified in the way they were, but those are things I can find ways to avoid.

But those are the reasons I don’t have a problem with insta-love, or friend love or any other portrayal of love, really.
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*please note, there are love stories that are wrong and that have very little in the way of actual love, but those exist in real life too… so again, I can’t call them unrealistic.

Nov 6, 2015

7 Friends You'll want to have


The Pen-Is-Mightier-Than-The-Sword Swallower – This is usually another writer and they know exactly how you feel when you want to tear the book you’re working on to bits. They talk you off that ledge and remind you that first drafts get to suck because editing exists.
The Booze Magician – we all know that person. The one who has something alcoholic on them at all times or at least knows where to find it. They’ll pull bottles from random hiding spots. These are the best people to have around when you’re in THAT stage of writing a novel. You know the one.
The Inspiration Dealer – Find someone who pulls ideas out of you on accident. When you have ten projects on standby and you accidentally pitch them a story you didn’t know you were writing, that’s not the best thing ever, but when you need to talk through a plot problem… they’re you’re go-to.
The Review Tightrope Walker – When you just can’t with a review (because you can’t stop yourself from reading them) this is the person who walks out into thin air to get you, to hand you that umbrella for balance and send you back to the safety of the platform.
The Editorial Trapeze Artist – Throwing themselves into the dark, knowing that they’ll have something to catch themselves with, these are the friends who know what they’re doing when it comes to beta-ing your book.
The First-Draft-Brain Tamer – Like a lion, first-draft-brain can be a dangerous thing to tackle on your own, these friends know to exchange their chair and a whip for tea, fuzzy socks and a movie marathon that has nothing to do with your book’s plot. (or whatever else is going to get you out of that bad place.)
And A Ring Master – This is that one person you know who could fill all of the aforementioned roles if need be, and keeps you sane at the same time. Tough love can be the method they choose to employ, but you need to hear it.

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