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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Book Review: Point Surrender by Anne Carter

Anne Carter, a high school friend of mine, has written a passionate and intriguing tale. Point Surrender is a charming and heartfelt love story. Ms. Carter knows how to pull it all together and draw you in. A fascinating tale packed with suspense and mystical occurrences.

Amy Winslow, pregnant and broken hearted is trying to make a new start. She finds refuge in helping her brother refurbish an old lighthouse. A lighthouse filled with mystery and death.

Case McKenna, a handsome marine veterinarian, runs into trouble with his boat at Point Surrender. While waiting for the repair, he becomes intrigued with the lighthouse and helps Amy with the restoration.

During the renovation, secrets are discovered. Secrets that could change everything.

I commend Anne Carter for making believers out of us. Point Surrender is a wonderful novel radiating emotions and tears.

I'm looking forward to reading her new novel. Cape Seduction.

I will be interviewing Ms. Carter here on my blog, Stay tuned for dates and announcements.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Playing It Safe

Should we as writers play it safe?

Should we hold back and take the advice of all our readers? Make a change or compromise our voice because someone said we should?

As writers, we need to listen to that little voice inside and know when the advice is on target, know when it feels right in our gut. When it doesn't, we need to recognize it.

How do we do that?

Advice is only good when it feels right. When we have to force ourselves to take it, kicking and screaming all the way, that's when we know we need to take the risk. Take a stand. It's our work. It's our voice.

On the other hand, if we have the feeling something isn't working, and one of our precious readers points it out to us, then we know, without a doubt, it needs to change.

What happens when two different readers have two different opinions? Does it mean our work is unclear? Not necessarily, it could mean we've created a very practical and diverse piece, one that's thought provoking and intelligent. But here again, we really have to go with our gut. We shouldn't assume that just because one person loves our work and another hates it that it is confusing. Not everybody likes the same thing. The same style.

I've read things that I've considered so horrible I had to ask myself what the heck was that all about? Then someone else will come along singing high praises for the same piece. Opinions are subjective.

If I receive two or three different suggestions regarding my work, well, author's choice. It's up to me to sift out the good with the bad. Find the stuff that resonates with me. It's not my responsibility to take every suggestion and put it into my work. Where would that leave me? Where did my voice go? It's mixed up somewhere in between Beth's, Penny's, and Tom's. But of course, when Beth, Penny and Tom are all in agreement, a change is certainly on the horizon.

Surrounding myself with friends who want to talk about writing and the process, the hardships and disappointments, as well as the successes, has helped me grow as a writer and I've become more of a risk taker. I cannot stress the importance of this enough. I've found Mentors who are encouraging with great ideas and wonderful support. You know who you are.

I'll take the bad along with the good. Weigh each view and suggestion with heavy hands and heart. Experiment with the unusual, and possibly stir up the pot enough to spill over the rim a bit. It is my opinion writers need to take risks. Dive into to the unfamiliar, shake things up. Take control and venture out to uncover the raw and sometimes agonizing story. Bringing words to life on paper and making them full of truth is what counts. Playing it safe doesn't cut it.

Please feel free to comment with your own experiences. And if you don't write and just want to comment as a reader, that's okay too.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

And Now For A Bit Of Fun

And now for a bit of fun.

The Fourth Of July weekend is in two days.

Happy Independence Day!!

And thank you to all the men and women fighting to keep it.

Enjoy the holiday and be safe!

Not My Usual Uppity Self

I had considered putting a caption at the top of this post: Warning, deep depression alert. Or Warning, may be too gloomy for some readers. But I'll try to keep it somewhere above that level of disgust. The general overall mood of this post is quite different from the last one.

It's one of those days. You know, the ones where you wake up and say, "What the heck am I doing? Who do I think I am? Do I really think I can write?"

Quick, someone toss me a rope before this swill pools so deep I won't be able to stay afloat.

Yeah, that's where I am today. Down, down, down in the slosh puddles of self-doubt.

Oh, you don't have days like that? Well, I think you're telling sweet little lies. No? Okay, we'll just go with that for now.

I'm not normally the pessimistic type. I'm usually the one stoking others with the "there there nows, every things going to be just fine, you're a terrific and worthwhile person'.

Reading, writing, reading some more, writing some more, long stories, short stories, even shorter stories, trying to learn this crazy craft of writing, reading blog after blog, blogs I follow, some I don't, but should. After reading all the wonderful and interesting blogs I follow, and there are some really good ones by the way, some days, like today, I just get a little overwhelmed by the talent of my fellow writer friends. Yes, I have some. At least I like to think I do. Don't get me wrong, I am proud to call them friends and proud that some of them actually find my blog worthy of following. I'm new at blogging, but I have to admit after reading theirs, I find myself a bit in awe.

I woke up this morning, always a good thing, but this overwhelming feeling of not being good enough, not making the cut and worrying about rejection snuck up on me.

On the bright side, (right now you're thinking, thank God, this post couldn't get any more depressing) don't call the suicide hot line just yet, I'm here to tell you, I am learning something new every day. Things like; back story--how much is too much, increasing tension and motivation, getting rid of the unnecessary.

So yes, I know I am improving, the more I read, write, read some more and write some more.

I know, you say, all writers go through that. Some say they go through it every day. Well fine. Dandy. What do they do about?
I'll tell you.

They keep writing. Period. Simple. Just keep writing. It's like breathing.