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  • Archive for February, 2007

    Hay Fever and the Seven Dwarfs


    2007 - 02.28

    Cross-posted from MySpace:

    Since I’m sequestered in a hotel room right now, doing my final edit on Last Days of Krypton, I won’t be online much this week. Still, I thought I’d leave you with a little observation I made today:

    Hay Fever and the Seven Dwarfs

    I’m a bit Bashful about sharing this, but recently I’ve been kind of Sneezy, so my nights are restless, which leaves me Sleepy the next day, not to mention really Grumpy. Fortunately, even though my prescription from the Doc makes me a little Dopey, I’m pretty Happy with the results.

    Huh. Sorta makes you wonder if the person who named Disney’s seven stature-challenged mineral-extraction specialists wasn’t just a bit under the weather. . . .

    Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, to editing I go.

    ciao,*

    Rebecca

    *This multipurpose Italian salutation is used in an advised, tongue-in-cheek manner and in no way implies a corresponding chicness, shallowness, or worldliness on the part of the author. (Additional pejoratives may apply. Void where prohibited by law. Ask your physician if Ciao is right for you.)

    Q&A 1 for New or Aspiring Writers


    2007 - 02.22

    Cross-posted from MySpace:

    Do you have to get a copyright on your stories before you send the manuscripts to publishing companies to review?

    A writer’s work is considered copyrighted as soon as it is written. You don’t have to file for added protection before sending a story or novel out into the world to be sold (and putting a copyright statement on your manuscript brands you as a NON-professional, so beware).

    How did you got started on your writing career?

    Since I was a teenager, I dabbled in fiction, but never finished anything unless it was for a school assignment. My first published writing was nonfiction. I wrote math and management workbooks for the army while working for Big Bend Community College. After that, I became a technical writer for a national lab. It wasn’t until after I met author Kevin J Anderson — five years my junior — that I finally realized that no one just “gives” you the time to write. I had to “take” the time. Both Kevin and author Janet Kagan pointed out a key to writing success that had not occurred to me: unfinished stories don’t get published. I went home and finished a story, and the rest is history. Since then, I’ve written or co-written more than 30 books and a handful of short stories.

    What college courses would you suggest for someone who wants to write for a living?

    First, let me give you a warning, for what it’s worth. Just taking college English/Writing courses will not make you a writer.

    Personal Anecdote: I took creative writing in college from a professor who savaged everything I wrote. I had wanted to be a writer since I was a teenager, and I thought, “I’m a pretty decent writer. My father’s an English teacher, so I’ve always known how to string together coherent sentences, and isn’t that what writing’s all about?” (FYI there’s a lot more to writing than that, but it’s the subject of another blog.) Unfortunately, everything I did was wrong from this writing prof’s point of view. Wrong, wrong, wrong. I was crushed. Every time a student in the class wrote something that I thought just kicked butt — so good everybody in the class was saying “Wow!” — the teacher ripped it to shreds.

    After about ten years of no writing whatsoever, I realized something about the professor: his publishing experience consisted of a single chapbook of poetry — a couple hundred copies. Other than taking writing classes in college (which I also did), that was the sum total of his literary “authority.” Yet he had essentially mired me in doubt by convincing me that I was a terrible writer. Kevin has a completely different caveat about college writing professors. Ask him about it. Some profs are wonderful, while others can actually be stumbling blocks to you in your pursuit of a writing career. (Note: If you are a professor and are reading this, you’re probably not the latter type.)

    So what should you take? Since writers are frequently advised, “Write what you know,” I suggest taking a wide variety of subjects that you can use as fodder for stories. History can be particularly helpful, since it is full of potential story plots. Kevin took Astronomy and Russian History. I took lots of literature, languages, and music. I also have an M.S. in Business Administration, which I’ve always found useful in running our writing business.

    Until next time.

    ciao,*

    Rebecca

    *This multipurpose Italian salutation is used in an advised, tongue-in-cheek manner and in no way implies a corresponding chicness, shallowness, or worldliness on the part of the author. (Additional pejoratives may apply. Void where prohibited by law. Ask your physician if Ciao is right for you.)

    Putting Your Creativity to Use


    2007 - 02.16

    Cross-posted from MySpace:

    So what does your favorite New York Times bestselling author do for Valentines Day? Kevin was planning to take me to Glenwood Hotsprings for a romantic day of soaking and talking.

    Unfortunately, the day turned out snowy and only 20° F, and we decided that a 3-hour drive followed by a run through below-freezing temperatures to get soggy was, perhaps, not the most conducive to romance. So the ever-creative KevMeister improvised.

    Kevin made me heart-shaped fresh-blueberry scones with clotted cream for breakfast. After giving me a ginormous mushy card, he lit a fire and we watched movies and shows together that he let me pick out. For supper, he fixed me what we call a Love Feast: a variety of cheeses and fruits, crudites, caviar on crackers (garnished with hardboiled eggs, onions, sour cream, and capers), and bread dipped in olive oil, with grapes, stilton cheese, and chocolate for dessert. Not too filling, and very romantic. It was a lovely evening.

    Although this isn’t exactly a blog on writing, it illustrates that creative gifts need not be reserved purely for work — whether your gift is art, writing, cooking, acting, entrepreneurship, dancing, etc. Your creativity should also be used in generous portions to remind those you love of how important they are to you.

    To all of you who are our friends, readers, family, students, fans, or new acquaintances, thank you. May you be surrounded by your loved ones and wonderful books.

    ciao* & hugs,

    Rebecca

    *This multipurpose Italian salutation is used in an advised, tongue-in-cheek manner and in no way implies a corresponding chicness, shallowness, or worldliness on the part of the author. (Additional pejoratives may apply. Void where prohibited by law. Ask your physician if Ciao is right for you.)