Saturday, December 10, 2011

Q&A... of Sorts

Yes, I am still a writer.

Yes, I am still taking it easy.

It's been a while since I've posted here (no duh.) Things are still going to remain pretty quiet for goodness knows how long. Just know that I am still writing, I am still working on Life...

Yep. That about sums it up. Cheese dip, anyone?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

As the French Say...

I've been restless in my soul lately. Writing hasn't been helping that.

I need some time to experience life and not worry about passive voice and how-in-the-world-will-I-ever-get-published. I might jot down the occasional this and that, and I might get on fire and try writing again next week. But I think not. (I don't want to burn any bridges/contradict myself, etc.)

If you want to see what I'm up to, check out http://bethmeetworld.blogspot.com

This blog will probably remain quiet for awhile. Thanks for being so much fun, people. I'm not going to delete bethovermyer. You never know when I'll think of something oh-so-witty and writerly to say.

Ciao, bellas. You're awesome.

Beth

Sunday, October 2, 2011

This Post Isn't About Scottish Pirates

Arrr accck. It be October, laddies...

/talking like a Scottish pirate.

So, last month's goals. *sound of something heavy falling from a great height* Yeah, things didn't work out so well. But that's all right. *puts on "I am woman, hear me roar!" face*

RAWR!

Should I set goals for this month? I'm torn. Even as I blog this thing I haven't decided. Well, maybe I have. Okay, here are some goals that are FLEXIBLE. They're as flexible as... well, more flexible than I am. (Though I used to be able to do the splits, but that's for another post.)

GOALS OF OCTOBER:

- Finish reading Artemis Fowl
- Read one other book
- Finish mountain of laundry (AVALANCHE!)
- Outline the new shiny, aka Salem Revisited
- Write 1k on DED: God Machine

Hmm. I wonder if that's enough or too much. Oh well. We shall see B)

'Til next time.

Ciao!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Slacker

-Write 15k new words
-Do 5 crits
-Finish Game of Thrones
-Read two other books


Yeeks.

This is what HAS happened:

-Wrote 600 words
-Did 0 crits
-Finished A Game of Thrones
-Read two other books (and got halfway through two others)

Not too shabby, but I'm bummed about the wordage... or rather, the lack thereof. Ah well. There are five days of the month left :-P

Monday, September 19, 2011

Theme Music

Does anyone else have theme music? A soundtrack for their life? Please tell me I'm not alone in this!

Right now, Let That be Enough by Switchfoot is my main theme song. I know, I know, not very "Here she comes to seize the day!" music, but it's fitting for a person who is stuck in their journey.

Then there's my writer theme music, the music that reflects me as a writer. Hot and Cold by Katy Perry. Yeah. I totally fall in and out of love with writing/my manuscripts/etc.

Mood music:

Defiant - Have a Nice Day by Bon Jovi. Once someone was bossing me around. After smiling and nodding, I took off and listened to this in the car. Yeah, I was singing along at the top of my lungs ;) It also works well for rejections!

Oh, another one for defiant: Uprising by Muse

Melancholy - Superman by Five for Fighting, Wave Goodbye by Steadman.

There are prolly others, but I am now too lazy to look them up :p
___
How about you? What are YOUR theme songs? Do you have a life soundtrack?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

An Early Farewell to Summer

O Summer
Oh how I shall I miss thee!

I shall miss thy scorching kiss that pinks my cheeks and makes me break out in hot, watery bubbles.

I shall miss having my clothes plaster themselves to mine body, tanged with the reek of sweat that smells of Taco Bell.

I shall miss the sleepless nights where mine mother thought it cool enough to turn off the conditioner of air... and it was not.

I shall miss the awkward array of clothing that is made for twigs and not a full-grown oak.

O Summer
How shall I miss thee!

...

Or not. Still waaaaaay better than winter, though.

Long live Early Autumn and her sister Spring! Death to Winter! Temps in the mid 60s and early 70s! Apple cider! Pumpkins! Halloween! My birthday! Huzzah!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Shelving and Ramblings

I wasn't 100%, so I did some research:

According to a few resources (none of them I'm betting my life on), YA (Young Adult) books are targeted at the 14-21 age range. /resource info

YA themes tend to or do revolve around younger protags with younger voice. What's appropriate subject matter is open for debate. Am I right (or crazy)?

But let me lay this at your door:

My local library shelved A Game of Thrones... in the YA section.

For those of you who haven't read George R. R. Martin's rather thick tome o' fantasy: It deals with some POV characters that are younger, but the book includes (a far amount of) sex, rape, language (F, S, C... you get the picture), and some semi-gross battle scenes.

I personally loved the book, but I don't know what I think of it being in the YA section. Granted, most of the teens at 14 have heard (or at least THINK they have heard) it all. Then there's sheltered children, like I was.

What are your thoughts? Does it matter? What of Lord of the Rings? Should that be YA?
_____
I talked to a librarian in Tech services. She says that YA is 17-25 or 30 (I can't remember exactly what she said.) Below that is Junior Fiction(?). Huh.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Windbag

Music: Twilight mix tape (I'd rather be listening to Dr. Horrible, but he's lost somewhere in my supermassive mound of CDs)

Writing: Deus Experimental Division: God Machine... sort of. I haven't actually written anything this month :-/

Mood: Tense and still a little ticked off from an incident a few days ago

It's the thing I hate about the Internet. No one can read anyone's tone with 100% accuracy. I could be saying "Hey, dude!" and what you hear is "Hi, _____! How are you?" and what I really mean is "Dude, what are you DOING? Back off."

Not that I would actually do the latter--however sorely tempted. I know context in a situation helps, but if you're biased from the Hello and unable to be objective, what good will context do you?

A little background on me: I was raised to believe that "Shut up" was the equivalent of "F you," before I even knew what the F-word was. Yeah, "shut up" just wasn't said under our roof.

Imagine innocent lil' ol' me when in a stressful situation someone snaps at me to "Shut up." In my mind at the time, he might as well have said, "No one wants to hear you talk, b-tch." Now that I'm older and (hopefully) a little wiser, it wouldn't hurt me as much. Honestly, though? Words still hurt.

Now back to context.

If we had been joking around in a light situation, and X had told me in a playful tone to shut up, I might have laughed it off. But his tone was clearly PO'd, and the situation was a tense one.

Then we have the world wide web, where trolls abound as do misunderstandings. You might say one thing, mean it one way, but if I look back at what you've just said, I take it the total opposite.

There are two solutions: people, try to think before you type. Could the person I'm talking to read this wrong? Am I being clear enough? And Beth, yes you, stop taking things so personally.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

September Goals

-Write 15k new words
-Do 5 crits
-Finish Game of Thrones
-Read two other books


To me, these goals are lofty. We'll see how I do.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Write Life

As a writer, I am bound to the following oath:

I solemnly swear that I shall tell the whole truth, nothing but small embellishments of the truth, and the occasional over-inflated memoir.

I pledge my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater romance stories, my hands to faster typing, and my health... well, we'll find a way to slip that in there somewhere... For my books, my short stories, my readers, and Bilbo.

I'm a writer, but I can edit, if I have to... I guess.

I have the right to remain silent. Anything I write can and will be used against me in a court of my peers.

And lastly, but not leastly:

I hold this truth to be self-evident: that all stories do not require a sequel.

So let be written. So let it be done.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Books Read as of 8/8/2011

Here are all the books I've read thus far in 2011:

1. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
2. I, Robot
3. The Missing: Found
4. The Boneshaker
5. The Count of Monte Cristo
6. Holes
7. The Hunger Games
8. To Kill a Mocking Bird
9. Storm Front
10. Blameless
11. The Missing: Sent
12. Hush, Hush
13. Ella Enchanted
14. The Penderwicks
15. Catching Fire
16. Mockingjay
17. Crescendo
18. First Light
19. Crocodile on the Sandbank
20. Hex Hall
21. The Liar Society
22. City of Bones
23. Paranormalcy
__
Twenty-three down, seventy-seven left to go O.O

A Blog in Which I Further Humiliate Myself

I am in horror. Terror. I am completely and utterly astonished and bewildered by how horrible my writing used to be:

Exhibit A:

Chapter One


"This specimen," said Dr. Grobe, a Clinic scientist, "hasn't walked for a year, and has been blind for fourteen. Go ahead." There were several loud snaps and the bitter scent of latex filled the air. "Sarah, you can check her vitals."

"Is she dangerous?" a woman asked.

Dr. Grobe laughed. "No, no; we only keep class two mutants on this level."

"'Class'?" asked a baritone voice.

Broghan winced as two rough fingers pressed down on her vein, and she was overwhelmed by the stench of "Sarah's" sweet perfume.

"Yes. We classify each mutant that comes through here based on the danger of their mutation. Nightingale—that’s our pet name for this one—is a class two mutant, for the simple fact that her mutation isn’t powerful enough to harm anyone."

Another woman spoke up. "The gloves, then…"

"Are mainly for her safety, correct. Nightingale is what we call a 'healer,' a mutant that can speed up cellular meiosis by touch. Until recently, it was believed that she controlled the outflow of healing energy when in skin-to-skin contact with another living being. However, one of my esteemed colleagues discovered that—"

"The outflow is predominantly out of her control," said Dr. Hanson’s legato voice. "Steven, could I have a word with you?"

"Certainly, Dr. Hanson. Interns, Dr. Ericson will show you the rest of level one, and I’ll catch up with you on level three."
__

Okay, not GAG ME WITH A SPORK awful, but still... not good. This one's worse:

Exhibit B:

They had stopped outside the door. Bailey stood there for a split second, weighing the pros and cons of locking the door, turning off the lights and pretending the building was empty. "Too late," she groaned as the door swung open.

"You’re even shorter than she is! How can she look up to a man that is actually shorter than she is?"

"I’m not shorter. I’m six inches taller, at least."

"Well, that settles the matter," Digby laughed.

Cree scowled. "Since when did height have something to do with anything?"

Bailey cleared her throat, and the two young men took notice of her. "Good afternoon, Cree, Digby. What brings you here?"

"Mother sent me to fetch some more, er—" Digby paused for a moment, looking pained. "Daffodils? No, that can’t be it."

"Dandelions?" Bailey offered.

"Yes, dandelions!"

She nodded sagely and attempted to walk the boys to the door. "Well, I’ll bring a quart over later. Take care."

"Actually, I was, er, rather wondering if you had the rent." Digby shifted his weight from foot to foot and stared at the shelf behind her.

Bailey batted her eyes. "Is it Wednesday already?"

"It was Wednesday two days ago, actually." Digby leaned in and whispered, "I told old stone-head that you’ve been fighting a fever and couldn’t possibly be disturbed." He paused and looked at her in earnest. "You—You have got the money, haven’t you? I mean, Jonas is as dumb as an ox, but eventually even he is going to notice that you’re up and about."
__

Thank you, Critique Circle, for bringing my writing to a point of improvement. Without you, I would still be wallowing in a swamp of ignorant bliss.

Beth

P.S. I'm tired, and those examples might not be as bad as I think they are. *shrugs* Just thought I'd find SOMEthing to blog about.

Ciao, bellas! and, er, dudes B-)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Anagrams

Bad
Authors
Don't write,

Won't
Read,
Ignore
Teaching,
Edit
Rarely

#

Swell
Writers
Edit,
Learn
Lots,

Will
Read,
Invest
Time,
Earn
Readers'
Support

#

Eat
Dirt,
Inconsistencies,
Typos

Monday, July 25, 2011

Dear Beta:

Unfortunately, you are not how I thought you would be. You're much wordier than I had imagined possible, and how you managed to find your way to a keyboard in the first place is beyond me.

I must admit, I was expecting a quiet companion for my writing. I mean, all the other writers were getting betas. Some agents even said they expected writers to have a beta or two. Boy, do I regret the first time I met you.

Here's what a beta should be:

-Quiet
-Easily pleased
-A good fighter
-An excellent swimmer
-A funny face-maker

You, my friend, are none of these things. If I had to do it over, I would go for a goldfish or a shark or something really, really cool.

Thanks for nothing,

Al G. Pond

Thursday, July 21, 2011

To the Story That Wouldn't Sell:

So long, farewell
Now get thee in my drawer!
My drawer, my drawer,
I am a novel whore.

Diddly diddly dee
Deedly deedly doo.

Good-bye, small fry
Get thee to a shredder!
A shredder, a shredder,
You ain't gettin' no better!

Googly goggly dee
Goggly googly doo.

I'm glad you're dead
I cannot tell a lie.
You suck, you stink
Now, burn, burn and die!

Dimmily deemily dee
Deemily dimmily doo.

Good bye
Good bye

Gooooooood BYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!
__
Sooo...

That's how I feel sometimes. What writer doesn't? This particular flash fic I am writing to and about was more of a joke than a story. Maybe I'll post it on my blog, and we can all have a good laugh... or stare at one another awkwardly and then lie through our teeth.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Update

As you can see from my word count meters in the sidebar, I am making some progress:

-God Machine (formerly known as DED: Deus Experimental Division) is almost to 12k. Huzzah!

-Charlie has been queried

As for other projects, I've been picking at them when I can. I'm trying not to overwhelm myself, see? I don't want another brain freeze.

Oh, and I composed a ballad. O,o <<
Signing off.
Beth

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Book Trailer!

Here's a link to my book trailer for "In a Pickle" (MG Historical Adventure): Click me!

This was just for fun ;)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

That's Your Horrorscope for Today

Horoscopes for Writers!

Not that I believe in this bunk (heehee), but I thought it would be fun...

Aries
Today someone very close to you will die. Bury him in your bottom drawer and get over it. Be alert, as that blog comment will come back to haunt you.

Taurus
Do not hit the tequila today. It will hit back. Semi-colons are not your friends. Seek out the tall, dark stranger and kill him.

Gemini
Rejections will come in twos today. Be sure to pack Kleenex and wear your best thinking cap. And yes, your critique group is out to get you.

Cancer
The people you critiqued yesterday had thinner skin than you thought. Run when the screaming starts. They are not rabid fans vying for an autograph.

Leo
Like a cat, today you will nap. Drool will spill down your chin and onto your keyboard, which will then fizzle and fry as it dies. Beware! Do not shed your tears over the surge protector.

Virgo
Today our lucky pencil will break. Many deaths will ensue.

Libra
Avoid caffeine like the plague, and be sure not to shower or brush your teeth. After staring at your blinking cursor for fifty-blinking-five minutes, your keyboard will cease working.

Scorpio
Your favorite agent is laughing behind your back. They haven't read your manuscript, but it's so funny that its humor radiated through your query letter. You're that hysterical (or horrible.) Avoid the delete button.

Sagittarius
Today will bring tomorrow. Be certain to rearrange all your furniture... twice. You will write much nonsense today.

Capricorn
You will discover that your main character is pregnant and that you are the father! Congratulations! You just did the biologically impossible. Go smoke a stoggie. They're good for you.

Acquarius
Your social skills are lacking. Never go out in public again.

Pisces
The world will end when you type the end. Start a new book immediately or civilization as we know it will be eaten by giant apes.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Non-Writers Say the Darn'dest Things

A snarky post. Not for the faint of heart. I make no apologies.

NW: Are you even published?

Me: The tone implies that without having your work in print, you are not a writer. In reality, a writer writes (always. :P) An author is published.

NW: I could have been a/n writer/author. I've had this great idea for years. I'm too busy to put it down on paper.

Me: That's insulting. You've never dedicated the time and effort to produce work, and you think you could just sit down and type out something wonderful without the practice? A monkey could sit down at a typewriter and hammer out words. That doesn't make it a writer.

NW: When are you going to get a real job?

Me: Even though it may not provide a steady income (or any income), that doesn't mean writing's not hard work. Oh, by job you meant where you get paid to sit at a desk and play solitaire? Yeah, I do that, too, but not on company time and I don't get paid for it ;)

NW: I just finished your book. When will it be published?

Me: You mean after I write several more drafts, feed it to beta readers, write and polish a query letter, synopsis, etc., and hopefully (but most likely not) snag an agent? Oh, and after that agent sells the project to a publisher? I don't know. Maybe several years.

NW: You're a bit cranky. Spending all that time alone behind a desk must have drained you of your people skills.

Me: Bite me.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Kickin' Back

No energy lately. Can hardly type straight.

I have not forgotten you, dear reader. I'm just not myself right now.

See ya later,

Beth

Thursday, June 9, 2011

I'm Back!

After some computer woes, I am here! Miss me? 0:) Here's something I wrote while I was "gone":

I'm not in the mood to write. "They" say I should write anyway, despite how I feel. I assume it's the same "They" who tell me to never break the rules, to never write for publication, and to never write what I don't know.

Well, who do "They" think they are?

Definitely not Shakespeare. He'd say something like "Thou cannot avoideth the Plague of the Pen, be it by design or indifference."

Nor could it be Poe. "Writer, I am not mad! Bend and break the rules... I'll bury your body on the floorboards afterwards... Just don't look at me like that!"

Dr. Seuss? "I will not write for print. I will not write for mint. I will not write for published word. To write for print would be absurd!"

There can be only one culprit behind these mindless words that are planted and re-planted in the dark recesses of our brains until we accept them as Truth. The culprit?




ZOMBIES!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

What's in a Name?

I know I've done this before, but see if you can't guess the true book title:


Snobbery and Preconceived Notions

Master of the Looped Jewelery Pieces

The Wizard's Pebble

Me, Mechanical Humanoid

The Result of Famine Recreational Activities

Pre-dawn

Quiet, Quiet
__
Good luck. Oh, and feel free to entertain me with your own!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Reads of '11 (As of 5/18)

-The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
-I, Robot
-The Missing: Found
-The Boneshaker
-The Count of Monte Cristo
-Holes
-The Hunger Games
-To Kill a Mocking Bird
-Storm Front
-Blameless

My goal is still 100 by January 1, 2012. I need to kick it up a notch!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Honesty and an Over-used Analogy

To be honest, things haven't been going that great lately. I've been caught in a rut. A wasteland. A desert. Etc., etc., etc.

Then it occurred to me: If my tank has no fuel, my car isn't going to run and I'll be stuck in the desert FOREVER.

Without fuel, a car can't run (and neither can the AC--It is HOT in this desert.) Likewise, if I don't feed the artistic side of my brain, I will be stranded in a literary desert. No words. No ink. No hope.

Fortunately, there is a desert oasis/gas station. It's called The Library. So, fellow traveller (am I stretching this metaphor too far?), I am taking a pit stop. No use hitting the gas pedal when there's nothing in the tank, right?

It's not just about reading lots, though (I have been reading some, but that's about to be upped.) There are many things that fuel a writer's brain. They cover the five senses:

- Art. Painted, sculpted and photographic types of art. (Sight)
- Music. (Sound)
- Diet. Yes, eating nutritious and new foods, I believe, help stimultate the senses and thus fuel creativity. (Taste and smell)
- Exercise. Walking, jogging, aerobics, yoga, pilates... they all get endorphins pumping. (Touch... sweat, feet hitting the ground, the feel of your clothes sticking to your body...)

I've already started refueling my body and brain with diet and exercise. I'm going to add in some more variety of music, and I plan on visiting an art museum and a flower garden in the upcoming months.

Sound like a good plan?
___
What do you do when you run out of fuel?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Excuse 331

All of my notebooks are half written in. All of my pencils are missing. What a good excuse not to write today.

Actually, I have tons of spiral notebooks and nice mechanical pencils lying here and there throughout my house. I think I’ve unwittingly started a collection. “Oh, I don’t have anything to write in,” I often say, then pick up a new notebook at the local drugstore. When I get home, I realize I have twenty. Then, I’m always losing pencils in couch cushions, behind chairs, under chairs, in drawers. So, it’s off to the drugstore to by a couple dozen more. Of course, the second I get home, flush-faced and smiling with a fresh package of number two pencils, they go missing.

“Mom, have you seen my pencil?” is the most common question around here. In the back of my mind, however, I know that it was her devious plotting and scheming to steal my beloved writing utensils.

Twenty notebooks and no pencils, this can be no good. How am I supposed to get any writing done around here?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Awkward Moments

Being the only one to give a standing ovation (happened this past Friday.)

Being the only one to laugh at a joke.

Being the only one NOT to laugh at a joke.

Applauding too soon.

Applauding too late.

Snoring in public.

Drooling on the stranger next to you (strangers no more, eh?)

Pronouncing rendezvous how it looks to an American eye.

Laughing 'til you wet your pants--and you're in your twenties.

Realizing your shirt is inside out... at the end of the evening.

Realizing your fly is down... when the opposite sex points it out.

...

What's YOUR most awkward moment?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Change of Direction

Breaking radio silence o.O

I'm thinking of changing my direction, or perhaps narrowing my focus. I loved writing In a Pickle, which is middle grade. I had been writing stuff more geared towards adults, but I think I have a child's heart.

I definitely have a younger sense of humor. (Can I get an amen?)

Plus I've been convicted. I tried my hand at romance, but it's something I don't want to be writing. Not sayin' it's wrong, it's just not right for me. A child's heart.

I'm not shutting any doors. I'm just walking away from them... for now, at least. Who knows? I might change my mind tomorrow and pull out my women's lit project (not the same as romance. I realize that.)

Anyway, thought I'd break the silence and tell you what's been going on in my world :)

__
What's YOUR favorite genre to write in? What age group/s do you write for?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Doubt

Doubt creeps in on little fairy feet
Spreading its poison over brain and paper
And then moves on.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Lord of the Rings Vs. Harry Potter

Gandalf (LOTR) vs. Harry Potter (HP)

Gandalf wins by a landslide. While Potter has a wand, Gandalf has a whole freakin' STAFF! ... and he can grow major facial hair.

Legolas (LOTR) vs. Dobby the House Elf (HP)

Dobby's off to a strong start. He deflects all of Legolas' attempts with his own House Elfy magic. Legolas strikes again, but his long blond hair gets in his eyes. He is distracted by his reflection in a puddle, giving Dobby the momentary advantage. But the H-E never was very good with sharp, pointy objects. Watch out for that arrow, Dobb--Ooh. Not pretty. Legolas wins... by a hair ;)

Orcs (LOTR) vs. Inferi (HP)

For a first, I think HP's world would win. While fire or heat hamper Inferi attacks,
and only sunlight can slow Orcs, Orcs can be killed. Inferi? Well, they're already dead. Hard to destroy something like that without magic, which Orcs don't have.

Gollum (LOTR) vs. Severus Snape (HP)

What? They're both pale and greasy and like dark places. Anyway, Sevvy would win with sheer wandage powerage (Avada, anyone?) Though I think Gollum might try to eat him first and give it a fair attempt...

Balrog (LOTR) vs. Hagrid (HP)

After Hagrid tries to make the Balrog a pet (Aww, the lil' tyke) and fails, the Balrog decides he does not like being called "Bessie" and sets the half-giant on fire.

Worm Tongue (LOTR) vs. Lucius Malfoy (HP)

Both cunning in their own oily ways, the two make fast friends and live in mutual hatred of each other. Everybody loses.

Sauron vs. Voldemort

Both evil with no apparent reason (mommy issues?), both not entirely alive or dead, both with life forces tied to earthly objects, these two wizards would have to find each others rings/Horcruxes and destroy them. Voldy has seven. Sauron has one. Both have many obstacles set in the way, along with loyal followers.

And the winner is...









I can't say without a certain side killing me, so I'll just leave it at that ;)

___
Who do YOU think would win?

Somedays

Somedays 300 words is a lot of words.

Somedays you want to throw in the towel, and you do... for a day.

Somedays you opt to check email a million times. Sometimes two million.

Somedays are harder than others.

And sometimes days turn into weeks that turn into months!

The point is, you keep coming back. You dust yourself off, you find your chair glue and you open a vein and write.

Right?

To all my fellow weary soldiers: Writing is a journey. Every pothole and every "wrong turn" lead to growth. So when you're feeling discouraged, feeling like you can't pound out another word, remember:

We've all been there. We all will be there again.

Hang in there, buddy.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

An Alphabet of Writerly Stupidity

A is for adjectives and adverbs when a stronger noun or verb will do.

B is for bullying book reviewers when they don't like your book.

C is for calling an agent that clearly wants you to email or snail mail.

D is for distracting yourself from writing by writing a blogpost ;)

E is for excessive use of semi-colons.

F is for forgetting to run spellcheck.

G is for groaning over how unfair the Industry is.

H is for head-hopping.

I is for ignoring writers' guidelines.

J is for juggling too many projects.

K is for kindness to your characters.

L is for listening to bad advice

M is for making people believe you're something you're not.

N is for not doing research

O is for opening with a dream sequence every time.

P is for putting down other writers.

Q is for quitting.

R is for run-on sentences.

S is for sending that manuscript off before it's ready.

T is for talking when you should be listening.

U is for under-use of narrative (we don't want to read all dialogue!)

V is for venting in public.

W is for worrying.

X is for xenophobia.

Y is saying Yes when you really want to say No.

Z is for zookeeping, the career you might have gone with, if not for this writing business.

Things That Keep Me up at Night: A Poem

RATED S for Stupidity and Slightly Silly Sequences.

There are cats on my bed
Everywhere I look.
*snap* *snap* *snap*
And adverbs and adjects
All over my book
Book
BOOK!
*snap* *snap* *snap*
I see
The way
You look
At me
It keeps me up
All night
Like "if" "but" or "and"
At the start
Start
START
Of a sentence,
It ain't tight.
Without a hint of repentance
I hit backspace as I type.
And if I open with a dream,
I'll never dream again.
For the entire world
Will take away my pen.
Pen.
PEN!
*snap* *snap* *snap* *snap* *snap*

YOW!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Takin' It Easy

Hello, gang!

Just a note to say I haven't evaporated into thin air, been abducted... or joined the circus, for that matter...

I am currently on a lovely desert island with no outside connections besides the coconut and bamboo computer a scholarly friend made for me. I need to keep this brief, because the power could go at any time. Or, I should say, that skinny guy's legs could go at any time. He's been pedaling like mad for the last twenty minutes!

Here in my tropical paradise, I've seen all kinds of exotic adverbs and adjectives. Rest assured, I will leave them in their native habitat and not try to smuggle any home in my extensive luggage.

You would not believe the size of those nasty typos. I keep swatting them away, but they're out for blood.

Blank pages abound in silent flocks, and words float around the lagoon like dead ducks. Every time I come near them, though, they take off at top speed, silly dears.

That's how I'm doing. Well, I must go. There are several others vying for this contraption.

Until then,

Beth

Saturday, March 26, 2011

When was the Last Time You...

Gave up on writing?

Un-gave up on writing?

Read a book?

Re-read a book?

Nurtured your inner child?

Saw a play?

Googled your full name?

Ate chicken?

Threw a pillow at someone?

Spoke in Pig Latin?

Played your armpit in a band?

Made up languages from what you THINK Enya is singing?

Mooned someone you thought was a total stranger in the car next to you and it turned out to be your boss?

Ate a fire ant?

Gave yourself a pickle and peanut butter facial?

__
Please tell me... especially if you did the last few. I am extremely interested.

Monday, March 21, 2011

"Send"

You know you sent your first novel query when...

10. Your email has been checked twenty times in the last two minutes
9. Throwing up does not sound like that bad of an idea
8. You could either run circles around the house or *see above*
7. Query Tracker has been added to your Favorites
6. You just checked your email again before reading number seven
5. You keep mistaking heart palpatations for your phone vibrating in your shirt pocket
4. You're already revising your query letter in your head
3. You can't tell if you're tired or about to faint
2. Even your mailman has heard the news
1. Oh, go ahead, stop reading and go check that stupid email, for all I care

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Why Shakespeare Couldn't Email

Once while Shakespeare was at the computer--yes, he had a computer--he had a case of writer's block. Wasting time, he took apart his keyboard and put it back together. What he didn't realize was that he had switched the A and E keys. This is the madness that ensued:

To ba or not to ba: Thet is tha quastion.
Whathar 'tis noblar in tha mind to suffar
Tha slings and errows of outregaous fortuna...


Then he spied the word "fortuna" and nearly had a stroka... er, stroke. Something wasn't right. Perhaps if he moved a few keys around...

Ir ti take arms against a sea if tribles...


"Tribles?" he said. "What in the name of Lady Macbeth's bloody hands is a 'Trible'?" One "B" and a few episodes of Star Trek later, old Willy switched all the keys back to their correct places. Or, so he thought.

And by @$$@#ng *nd th*m? T@ d#*: t@ sl**p;
N@ m@r*; and by a sl**p t@ s*y w* *nd


He swore and switched back to parchment and quill, for 'tis nobler in a bind to suffer not the keys and arrows of outrageous technology.


The End.

Writer's Block, A Poem

....................................................................... ........................... ........ ....................... .. ..........................
................................ ............... ............ . . . . . . . . . .

......



.....

.


The End

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Minister's Cat

How to play: The first person says "O, the minster's cat is an _____ cat." The blank space is filled in with an adjective beginning with the letter "A." The next player says, "The minister's cat is a _____ cat." The blank here is filled in with an adjective beginning with "B." And so forth and so on.

This is more fun in person, so I'm adding a twist:

If, in the next twenty-four hours, all twenty-six letters are used, I will sing one page of the last two posters' manuscripts (or two poems) and post the composition on YouTube, link provided here. The other great bit? I will sing in whatever style(s) the winners tell me to.

One last rule: No posting twice in a row and no more than one adjective per post! Though, you may post as many times as you like.

I'll begin:

O, the minister's cat is an aggravating cat.

Simile

As:

Black as...
the back of my ink-stained hand.

Bold as...
telling a story in present tense.

Brave as a...
querier, making their first query.

Busy as a...
procrastinator trying to meet a deadline.

Clean as a...
manuscript, twenty drafts later.

Dry as a...
repair manual.

Large as...
a 72-pt font
___
Do you want to play the Writer's version of Simile? Here are some starters. Have a go!

Dead as a...

Tight as a...

Free as a...

Gentle as a...

YOUR simile HERE

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Bad Ideas

- Saving your Word documents generically on a shared computer.
Someone might just think of the same file name and replace your work with theirs.

- Hitting "Auto-Summarize," panicking, hitting "save," and closing the file.

- Eating or drinking over your keyboard.

- Using liquid hand sanitizer over your keyboard.

- Dusting your computer... five years later.

- Clicking on that blinking ad.

- Sticking a mini CD-rom into the floppy drive (who uses those anymore, anyway?)

- Hitting keys that you're unfamiliar with, by accident or design

- Blogging after three in the morning.

__
These "Bad Ideas" might seem obvious no-no's to you, and you might think them unfunny... They aren't funny. I've done them all! :-O

What are some of your bad ideas?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What Books Say About You

If you read Dan Brown, JK Rowling, Jim Butcher or Stephanie Meyer, you are evil. Period.

If you read Jane Austen, you are as dry as toast.

If your favorite novelist is George Orwell, you suffer from acute paranoia. Please seek professional help immediately.

If you like Tolkien, you are a long-winded... windbag.

If you enjoy Agatha Christie, you drink lots of tea, love your mustaches. Oh, and you killed the butler.

If you cozy up with Oscar Wilde... I won't judge.

If you're a fan of Gaston Leroux, you can speak French and enjoy haunting operas... and pubs. Tsk-tsk.

If you're into Suzanne Collins, you are a realist.

If you crave Shakespeare, you're either very smart or very dumb.

If you read the funny pages, you know that I'm totally being sarcastic.

If you read the news, you know I am totally lying when I say I'm being sarcastic and that I have a hidden agenda in here... somewhere. Oh, and I can't speell worht a dern.
__

What's wrong with YOU--I mean, what do YOU enjoy reading?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

What's on the Nightstand...

Besides a wedding invitation, an empty CD case, some papers, a pocketwatch, a battery pack, and... you get the picture...

What's on my READING nightstand:

- i, Robot
- The Ruins of Gorlan
- Catching Fire
- Mockingjay
- The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (and other stories)
- A Little Princess (still)

and many others.

What are you reading?

Friday, March 4, 2011

Writer Pick-up Lines

If you were a story, I'd read you.

Is it just you, or is there a plot in here?

You are the full-stop to my run-on sentence.

You complement me.

In a world of adjectives, you are a noun.

I wish you were a redundant sentence, so I could read you twice.

___
What's YOUR favorite pick-up line, writerly or otherwise?

BTW - wordfoolery, you need to claim your prize by April 1, 2011! Send your name and FULL address to bethovermyer[at]gmail[dot]com!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Contest: Closed & the Winner is...

wordfoolery!

Congratulations, wordfoolery! You may have your pick of one of the three prizes. Note: if you live overseas, there is a chance the Penguin mints and the Isoflex ball (containing unknown materials) may not be legal to ship to you and will therefore be taken out of the first prize. That still leaves:

-The Elements of Style
-The Bic pens
-The Moleskine journal

should you choose 1st prize

-The pocket watch

should you choose 2nd prize

and..

-"Ophelia Joined the Group Maidens Who Don't Float"

should you choose 3rd prize.

Again, congratulations, wordfoolery! Be sure to send your ENTIRE mailing address to bethovermyer[at]gmail[dot]com!

Please respond by April 1st.

Thanks again,
Beth

Note: Despite what the time says, it is March 1, 12:00 AM EST

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

One Week Left!

There's only one week left to turn in your Time Warp submissions! Two entries so far, and they are good ones!

Friday, February 18, 2011

On the Menu: A What If...?

If Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice had a restaurant...

NOW HIRING!

Mrs. Long proudly presents her new cafe, "Eat a Little, Talk a Lot."

...

"Why, hello, have I got the dish on... ice cream! Of course. You want to know our flavors. Here are our just desserts:

- Plain Jane Vanilla
- Bing(ley) Cherry
- Collin Daz's Preachy Pompous Peach
- Banana Bennet Bonanza
- Cantaloupe Elope

"But don't forget to take a look at our lunch menu! We serve:

- Longbourne Steaks
- Crow
- Humble Pie (Miss Caroline Bingley's favorite!)

"And our cocktail/cafe menu:

- Bloody Mary
- Fizzy Lizzy
- Mock-Bravado (Mr. Wickham's own invention!)

"Oh, you're admiring my signs?"

Sign #1: DO NOT STEAL. IT IS A CAPITOL OFFENSE!
Sign #2: WANTED: A MAN IN POSSESSION OF A GREAT FORTUNE

"Thank you for stopping in, Mr. Darcy. I hope you come ready to eat! For there is no greater amusement for young people!"

*Mr. Darcy wants a Fizzy Lizzy... and that's all... to go.*

__

Don't forget to enter "The Time Warp" (link provided above with my tabs.)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Love 'n' Literature

Happy Valentine's Day, dear Reader/Writer! In honor of the day, I present you with romantic lines from some of my favorite novels!

"Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same" - Emily Bronte, "Wuthering Heights" (spoken by Catherine Earnshaw of Heathcliff and herself)

"Reader, I married him" - Charlotte Bronte, "Jane Eyre" (Jane on Mr. Rochester)

"Of love... daroga... I am dying... of love" - Gaston Leroux, "The Phantom of the Opera" (spoken by Erik)

"You pierce my soul" - Jane Austen, "Persuasion" (Captain Wentworth in a letter to Anne)

__
Have a very happy, love-filled day! Also, don't forget to enter The Time Warp contest, which closes in two weeks.

~Beth

Saturday, February 12, 2011

10 Commandments of Internet-ing

1. Thou shall not post things on blogs, writing forums, twitter, Facebook, etc., when in emotional distress or anger. Chances are, you don't have perspective on the situation you're about to blab to the world, and it will mostly likely come back to haunt you.

2. Thou shall not troll. Anywhere, at anyone, for any reason, whatsoever. EVER.

3. Thou shall not feed trolls. Yeah, it may seem fun at first, but you're probably just making enemies for yourself.

4. Thou shall not bash the business, editors, agents, fellow writers, or anyone online (or in person, for that matter.) It makes you seem like, well, a not-so-nice person. And who wants to work with a meanie?

5. Thou shall think hard before you hit send. Will this hurt someone? Will it eventually hurt me? (Yeah, I'm not always the best at following this rule.)

6. Thou shall not put yourself down. The meek shall inherit the earth, however... those that bash and abuse themselves will draw more sympathy than respect. A few funny jabs at yourself are fine (who doesn't love someone who can laugh at themself?), but things like "My book sucks" or "I suck" are no-nos.

7. Thou shall speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth... unless you're being sarcastic to make a point or a joke (at no one's expense.) If you are not JK Rowling's best bud, but you say you are, there are ways to verify. Yeah, I've got Jo on speed dial... I'll call and ask her, so help me!

...

'hem

8. Thou shall avoid lecturing on subjects you know nothing about. I'm not going to post about antecedents, because, honestly, half the time I can't remember the definition. If I learn more on the subject, maybe I'll have an antecedent blogfest or something.

9. Thou shall not complain. About writing. About lack of representation. About lack of blog followers. Anything... except the snow. Now THAT is something to complain about. Try to be positive on the Internet as much as possible. Gloomy Guss is soooo yesteryear.

10. Thou shall be true to thineself. Don't blog about what you don't want to blog about... unless, of course, you want to. Hmm. That sounded better in my head. Perhaps I should think hard before hitting "send."

__
Don't forget to enter my contest! HERE

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Time Warp Contest!

I've done it: I've completed my first draft of "In a Pickle." And I intend not to be the only one who benefits from this.

"In a Pickle" follows a boy on his time travels. In Charlie Pickle's honor, I give you the...

TIME WARP CONTEST!
Write a paragraph on what era (be it past or future) you would want to travel to and why. Tell me in fewer than 200 words and no fewer than 50. Post your paragraph in the comments section between now and February 28th to qualify.

RULES and ELIGIBILITY
-50 to 200 words
-Post in the comments section
-Post no later than 11:59 EST on February 28th
-You must be at least eighteen (18) years old
-RULE CHANGE: You don't HAVE TO be a resident of the US. It would be nice, but if you're not, I won't have a cow ;-)
-You must have fun!

My three favorite entries will be announced on March 3rd.

PRIZES:
-Third place: A copy of "Ophelia Joined the Group Maidens who Don't Float: Classic Lit Signs on to Facebook" (a very funny read for any lover of classics)

- Second place: A replica of an antique pocket watch (time travel appropriate, no?)

and last but not least:

- First place: A writer's goody box, which includes:
1 box of Bic pens (12)
1 Moleskine ruled notebook (pocket)
3 boxes of Penguin Caffeinated Chocolate mints (nom!)
1 Isoflex stress ball
1 hardcover copy of Strunk and White's "The Elements of Style"

Sound worth playing for? Then get a-writin'! And be sure to tell all your friends.
____
Oh, entries go in the comments below

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Why Does It Snow?

Snow is made when it's cold. We all know this... I hope.

But I want to take things a step further: WHY does it snow? Not the how but the purpose.

Some say snow helps fertilize fields for excellent planting soil. Rubbish. It snows for this one simple reason. Are you ready? I'm ready. The truth is:

It snows to keep writers inside, writing.

Yes, my fellow writers, we are to blame for this icy mess. It's God's and Nature's way of forcing us to do what we do best and often times what we want to do least.

When the weather's great we have excuses like "I need to soak up some vitamin D" or "I need a tan" or "Today's too nice to waste indoors," etc. But when it's chilly and flaky out, we have no excuse.

Cold? Curl up with your laptop. That should thaw out your lap in no time.

Tired? Sleep on your keyboard and sort out the jumbled mess of letters later.

Sneezing? Screens are a breeze to clean with your elbow-patched writerly sleeves.

Bored? Kill someone... in your manuscript, of course.

Telephone line goes out because of heavy icing? Perfect! Now you have no Internet to distract you.

Power line goes out because of strong winds? Pretend to be Laura Ingalls and write by the light of a candle, you big baby.

The list goes ever on and on.

So, yesssss, my preciousssesss: We are to blame for winter. Let's do the write thing and write until our fingers fall off. How else can we make spring come faster?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Writers are Like Dogs, Not Cats

Writers feed off of praise.
So do dogs.
Cats? "Unless you have catnip behind your back, don't talk to me."

Writers complete complicated tasks. Writing, editing, staying off the Internet...
There are dog shows where dogs heel, sit, and do other tricks.
Ever been to a cat show? "Meeeerrrrowww! I've been sitting on my butt in this cage all day while some jerk in a white coat pokes at me through the bars. Not cool." *SCRATCH*

Writers are constantly learning about and honing their craft.
We've all heard of dog training...
No one ever mentions cat training.

Writers can feel lonely at times because of their job.
Dogs can feel lonely when Master is gone.
Cats? "PARTAYYY! The humans are gone... finally."

Most writers like writing.
Most dogs like begging.
Most cats? They like sleeping. That's about the only thing writers share in common with felines.

If dogs and writers are so much alike, why do cats seem to be the prefurred pet? Opposites attract, I guess :-P

Cats rule and dogs drool... do writers drool, too??

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Why I Won't Critique a Story

These are the top things that stop me from critiquing a story, in no particular order:

- Poor formatting. Don't forget to double-space paragraphs or at least indent!

- I am very picky within that genre. Example: I'm a little prejudiced against some Science Fiction, but The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was a hit with me. Why? The humor. I'm a sucker for out-there humor. But that's just personal preference. In other words, it's not always you; it might be me.

- So many grammar and spelling mistakes right off the bat that the story is either too hard to understand or makes me want to grab a red pen.

- Long paragraphs and super-long sentences can sometimes turn me off to someone's story.

- A poor hook. Though, I usually give things a chapter or so before I give up on it.

- Gore, rape, extreme violence. Again, personal preference. Even if I'm half way through the book, I might put it down because of those things.

- If someone wants me to start critiquing halfway through the story, I might do it, but ten chapter in... I probably won't connect with the characters or understand what's going on/worldbuilding, etc.

___
That's some of my list. I wonder what turns other people off to critting.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Rabid Rabbits

Title got your attention? ;-)

I've got a lovely bunch of rabbits (deedily deedily?) Yes, writing projects are like rabbits: There's no such thing as just one... with me, anyway.

Last I counted I had fifteen. I think I've added two or three since then :/

Yes, my resolution to work on no more than two projects at a time has crumbled to dust, which has since been blown into the wind. I'm weak, what can I say? So far this month I've worked on maybe three or four of them.

And these rabbits can be RABID, let me tell you, man. "Pick me!" "Write me." Demonic bunny voices yell at me "NOW!" Fortunately, I threaten them with the hose and they scurry back down their holes and leave me in peace (not pieces, as I almost typed on accident.)

Then I get (temporarily) stuck on one bunny, so I call to my peeps, "Yo, get your cotton tails over here." Again there are the demonic bunny voice, "ME!" "Pick me!" Etc., etc., etc.

The point of this post? That it's not bad for me to have more than one project at a time. In fact, it might be healthy. How do I know? Well, no one's come with a size XL straitjacket yet... have they?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Caught in a Bad Snow Dance

It's snowing right now. Proof? The sweat stains under my arms from shoveling sidewalks.

That has nothing to do with today's post. Neither does the title. What I want to talk about is fads and peer pressure.

I tend to walk to the beat of my own bagpiper. I wear mismatched socks--inside out, of course--and my hair has been dyed numerous colors in the past. "I, Rebel" could have been my slogan as a teen--though, in a well-behaved sense of the word.

Who cares what they think? Right?

One definition of a fad: "A passing fashion or fancy imposed upon by groups, nurtured and fortified by peer pressure." (HiTops. Great play. Anyone seen it?)

Peer pressure. It can be good. (Oh!) But it can also be bad. (Oh.) Very bad. (Yeck!)

So, how can you tell what fads in writing are good and which are bad? My answer: don't write for the fads. They come and go. WRITE WHAT YOU WANT TO WRITE.

As for peer pressure...

Bad: A group insists that semi-colons are the new full stop. You follow this advice--and many editors die a little inside.

Good: I'm writing today. You should write today, too! Even a sentence will suffice!

Bad: I wrote five-thousand words today. I know I have flexible hours and you barely have enough time to breathe, but you must write 5k as well, or else you are a bad writer.

Not that anyone (I hope) would come out and say the last bit, but you might feel like a bad writer if you can't keep up with other's goals/ideals/routines.

Again it comes back to: BE WHAT YOU ARE.

... But also be open to healthy change ;-)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ne'ermore

Happy Birthday, Edgar Allan Poe!

In your honor, I post what I had deleted:

I want to hug the Trees. Not a tree. The Trees that gave me Jane Austen.

I want to kiss the ink-smeared blotter of Bronte. Which sister? Pick one.

I want to hold hands with the clock that ticked out the time while Leroux penned "Phantom."

I want to tongue the pen that gave me the Pit and the Pendulum.


If this makes me creepy, I'm proud. Thank you, Edgar!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Regarding That Last Blog...

Yeah, that was me trying to be humorous. Instead, I think I came across as creepy. Yep.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Poetry

Food for the soul.

Devil's food cake.

Strawberry cake.

Strawberry soda.

Soda pop.

Popcorn.

Corn Flakes.

Flaked coconut.

Nuts.

Peanuts.

Peanut butter.

Butter.

Buttermilk.

Milkshake...

Man, poetry makes me fat.

The End

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The First Five Days

So far this year I've been good. Then again, we're only five days in. Yeeks.

I've:

- Worked on only two writing projects (rewriting London Towne and writing Shift)
- Read one book (To Kill a Mockingbird)
- Started to read a second book (The Count of Monte Cristo)
- Started Alpha reading for a friend
- Raided a not-so-local bookstore because there is not a single bookstore within twenty minutes' traveling distance (horrors!)
- Bench-pressed a twenty pound cat... with my feet! (feel them muscles, baby!)
- Self-dianosed self with ICP (I Cause Paranoia. Long story short: I had a friend and myself convinced that someone had hacked into her Apple account)
- Boldened random words to make people think I meant something important
- Invented the word Boldened

Yeah, man.

What have YOU done? Or not done. I'm not picky.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

100-Word Sentence

The very first thing I noticed when I died on that dreary and cold December sixth evening at precisely six o'clock plus six and sixty seconds—a mark of the beast of a burden that death was becoming—was that, although my eternal sleeping box was made of the finest cuts of pine and plywood, and despite the fact that the entire enclosure was lined with the best and most expensive stuffed leather and pleather, it was not well ventilated and there were red ants, which brought me to the following conclusion: death was dead uncomfortable and far too itchy.
______
Enter the fun: http://elenasolodow.blogspot.com

Bozo

This year I am resolved to work on a harmful habit of mine: juggling. Some people can juggle. I can juggle scarves, but...

*cues circus music*

I can't juggle projects. Or, rather, I SHOULDN'T.

She tears out her hair with the greatest of ease,
The stupid Bozo with projects totaling fifteen...

It's hard to quit cold turkey, so here's what I'm going to do: I am allowed two projects MAX a month. Period. When the month's up, I can continue with those projects or move on to a new one or two new ones.

The line-up will look something like this (subject to change):

JANUARY - Emily + Steam-Beast

FEBRUARY - London Towne + Anti

MARCH - Shift + In a Pickle

APRIL - DED + P&PJ

MAY - Emily + Anti

JUNE - Steam-Beast + London Towne

JULY - In a Pickle + DED

AUGUST - Wooing Miss Austen + Shift

SEPTEMBER - P&PJ + Steam-Beast

OCTOBER - Anti + In a Pickle

NOVEMBER - DED + London Towne

DECEMBER - Shift + Anti

__
This way, if I get stuck on one project, I can move on to the next. But if I'm stuck on the next, I have to go back to the first.

Yep. That's my plan. Oh, and those aren't all my projects. There's a least five more.

2011

HAPPY NEW YEAR!