Saturday, July 25, 2009

Still Writing

I've been writing so much those little muscles under my shoulder blades are hurting. But I'm not complaining. That friend I was telling you about put in a good word for me with an independent publisher and now he's going to look at my book! I'm floored. I'm also working my fingers to the bone to complete the revisions.

Now I've got a new job writing an ebook. It should start about the time I'm ready to show my book to the publisher, so the timing couldn't be better. I can't believe I've been hired to write another book though. It's amazing really. I know I can do it, but it's still a bit daunting.

I've started a new blog - A Serial Story by ArtAmbrosia - where I write a story in chapters, one each week. I should finish it in ten. Come check it out. So far it's pretty good. :-)

I'm sorry I have to dispense with the teaser that I promised you, but I don't know how the editor would feel about that. Some don't like it, do I'm taking the high road.

©2009 T.S. Witt

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Writing Again!

I've had two freelance jobs in the last week that have kept me hoppin' and writing! It's been great. The best part is I finally opened up that dusty file with my book in it and started editing again. I got so into it I forgot to eat and had to have cereal at like 10 PM. lol. Then I kept at it until I couldn't see the page any more. If I didn't have other work to do today, I'd be at it right now. I'd forgotten how much I love my characters, my people. They're so real to me. I hope that means they will be real to my readers too. I'm thinking of posting some teasers to see if anyone has anything to say about that. My friend and author of seven, soon to be eight novels, Jason Gehlert, used that method and it worked well for him. In fact, he posted one whole novel once - a chapter at a time as he wrote it. Isn't that cool? You can keep up with Jason and all his work at He's got a new novel just coming out called Europa: Rise of the Carnelians. You can find chapters and character bios on his website Jason was also insrumental in getting me through my writer's block. I don't think I put it in my 7 ways to beat writer's block, but talking with other writer's can really help to get you motivated in your own writing. Gotta go, lots of writing to do. Look for those teasers soon.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Heroes: NaBloPoMo

I met a woman on a forum just now who has had a very difficult life. Her 15 year old son who had ADHD and was constantly bullied, committed suicide. She was thereafter diagnosed with carpel tunnel syndrome in both hands and had to have painful surgery. Her father and mother who she cared for in their last years, wrote her out of the will inexplicably. Now she struggles with depression. But she wins. Every day she gets up and takes everything one step at a time, looking at the positive side of whatever might be facing her. Her hands still hurt, perhaps arthritis is setting in. But she doesn't let that stop her. Her victories are small ones to be sure. Getting out of bed, getting dressed, doing housework, finding a good doctor. But in the scheme of things they are really huge. With the darkness she faces every day, to find the little lights that enable her to more than just function, but to actually live, is miraculous. And throughout it all she maintains a strong belief in a positive outcome. She believes when others would fold. This woman is a true hero. She perseveres against incredible odds and wins. Right now they may be small victories, but I believe she is going to continue to grow and to win until she's beaten back the worst of her demons. I never had a doubt when I read her post to me that she was a true hero.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Writer's Block: A Test of My Creative Abilities

I've just been hired to write product reviews for a comparison shopping website. I've been asked to write articles about various products by discussing some of the benefits and unique features of the product. The problem is the products. Some of them are like, for example "a box of 250 Acco paperclips". Okay, that's not one of them, it's just an example. How do I write, creatively, 250-300 words about a paperclip? I mean, I could do it, but it would be fiction. So, needless to say, I'm struggling. I took this gig on a flat fee - big mistake. I have 10 articles to write and they're going to take way longer than I thought because so many of them deal with tech and I'll have to do research. Of course that helps with my word count. Talk about writer's block. A paperclip? Really.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

News: Obama and Medvedev, Hotdog Eating Contest, China Riots, Monorail Accident

Yesterday, the morning was just filled with all sorts of news. From Obama and his agreement with Medvedev to reduce arms, and more importantly to let the U.S. move arms over Russia directly to Afghanistan, to a hotdog eating contest where a man ate 68 hotdogs in 10 minutes! Then there were the terrible ethnic riots in China, killing over 140 people, the news about Defense Chief McNamara's death, and the horrible monorail accident.

I stopped to comment on each of these stories as I read them - except the hotdogs. My son and I just had a good laugh about that one. I mean how does anybody eat 68 hotdogs period, much less in 10 minutes. It's grotesque.

The news about Obama's progress with Medvedev however was a little more relevant. While the reduction in nuclear arms can be seen as progress to some, I wonder what the world is thinking as the U.S. systematically dismantles its military bases, reduces its personnel, and reduces its defensive capabilities at a time when countries like Iran and North Korea are not only increasing their offensive capabilities, but flaunting them. Perhaps this is the time for a show of agreement to reduce arms from two of the superpowers. Perhaps the thought is that it may help to defuse the situation some. I don't know. From my perspective, however, it seems odd in the extreme.

The timing is just off. We have the Ayatullah Ali Khomeini, the supreme leader of Iran, blaming the west, specifically the British and Americans for the demonstrations and unrest in his country. They are actually going to try several British Embassy personnel for inciting unrest or some such nonsense. But it won't be nonsense if they are found guilty. It will be Laura Ling and Euna Lee all over again. Remember them? They are still languishing over in North Korea.

I don't understand what the riots in China were all about. Apparently one group said another group was trying to steal their homeland. But this is China right? And they're all Chinese right? Boy, I know I'm being naive on this one. I read the whole story and still didn't understand the dispute beyond that. They didn't delineate the factions very well, who they were and what they wanted. Apparently, an exiled woman living in Washington is being blamed for inciting the riots. Go figure. I'll have to look into this some more.

That monorail accident was just heartbreaking. The boy who was killed was only 21. He was conducting one of the trains. Apparently 5 or 6 passengers were treated at the scene. Disney still wouldn't release any information about how the monorail system worked. I think they are going to protect their secrets to the bitter end. I'm sure there will be more information on this today.

Last, but certainly not least was the story of Robert S. McNamara, the Pentagon Chief who is credited with escalating the Vietnam War and causing nearly 100,000 casualties. He died at 93 with a clear understanding of the mistakes he and others had made in that war - and understanding that was obviously too little too late. After the war, he took over the World Bank and did good things but nothing, most would argue, could erase the horror of Vietnam.

I wrote about these news stories today because each one of them touched me in a different way. I was pulled in and gripped by the stories, even the one about the riots in China that I don't fully understand. Trying to understand the world around us is part of human nature. It is also part of good writing. Understanding events gives us background and substance for our writing. I wouldn't be surprised if one of my stories has a man eating 68 hotdogs in it one day, or two countries negotiating for rights to fly over with arms for a foreign war. You never know.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Power of a List

Never underestimate the power of a list. I made one last night before I went to bed to detail how I wanted to handle my morning so that I would use my time more efficiently. Well, it worked. My morning couldn't have run more smoothly. Unfortunately, I fell off the list after breakfast. :-). I expect I'll jump right back on as soon as I've finished this post. After all, this is on the list.

In keeping with my declaration yesterday, I'm trying to start my day earlier so that I can accomplish more. So far, it seems to be working. I certainly was up and ready much earlier than normal. Let's see just how far I can travel on motivational speaking. I need to be editing my book. When I start doing that on a regular basis and keeping up with my other work, then I'll know I've made some healthy powerful changes.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Writer's Block is More Than a Loss for Words

I was thinking this afternoon after my second trip to the grocery store and while I was taking my first walk in, well, forever, that writer's block is also about being blocked in other areas of your life. For instance, if you aren't physically healthy, how can your writing be healthy and robust? If you are constantly worried about finances, how can you create a new character? If you are just plain weary, how can you convey energy and zest in your writing? So, I've decided to improve myself in as many areas of my life as I can and see if my writing doesn't also improve. As part of my plan, I went to my storage unit and dug out my copy of Tony Robbins' "Unleash the Power Within" and I'm totally committed to listening to all six CDs. It may sound hokey, but if it will improve my writing, I'm all over it. I know that walk I took was a direct result of being motivated by one of those CDs. I'm willing to bet that healthy habits, for body, mind, and spirit, will make for very healthy writing. Let's find out. Maybe Tony Robbins will become one of my heroes - that is the theme for this month's NaBloPoMo. I think I'll go turn on the CD player for a while.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

You Don't Know Me

This is for all our troops abroad.

You don't know me.
You stand in line for your new clothes
a uniform you will wear with your unit

You don't know me.
What do you think as they issue your gun?
Do you think of Dying? Killing?

You don't know me.
Your family sits home and worries
tears no cloth can dry

You don't know me.
But I know who you are
I think of you every day

My heart aches and my tears flow
I know what you do is for me
You are my Hero.

©2009 TSW

National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo)

I just joined National Blog Posting Month. It's not like NaNoWriMo in that there is no specific month in which it is done. This month, the theme is hereos.

I'd like to start off with a poem based on an unfinished poem that I found in my desk recently. Of course I promptly lost it again. :-) So, I'm going to write a new one now.