Tuesday, August 23, 2011

You Remember...Remember?

Most of us writerly folks started at young ages. For me, I've loved writing since I learned how to write. But writing is more than just laying the words, isn't it?

You crazy buddies know what I'm talking about. Before I could write the stories, my mind played them in my head, over and over again. I would tell the stories to my family, any who would listen to crazy daydreaming AR, that is.

Oh man! Those stories in my head. Filled to the brim and boiling over. By second grade I'd learned to write well enough to transfer those stories onto paper and have them make some semblance of sense...well, as much as a seven year old could anyways. I wrote with reckless abandon. There were no barriers, no rules. Nothing but what popped into my mind.

In sixth grade, I'd already decided I would grow up to be the next Stephen King or Isaac Asimov when I had a great lesson from my art teacher. Yeah, not sure either why it was my art teacher and not my English teacher... go figure. Any-who, we were working on a project where we sketched one of those collage things. (You know, the ones where you threw a bunch of stuff together and drew it?) The five minute warning beeped and everyone started wrapping up. My teacher came by and saw my binder filled with story thoughts.

I thought I would get in trouble for writing my story ideas during art class, but instead she picked it up and read through some. I was very nervous, not many outside my friends had read any of my work at this point.

"This is interesting, but what purpose does this have?"

I thought she'd dismissed my work and I was crestfallen. How could it be that she didn't see the coolness of the ideas? The awesomeness of it? With my face burning a dark red, I'm sure, I mumbled something along the line of "they're just ideas that came" or some such thing. (My side of this story is not so important, and it was a LONG time ago, so don't shoot me.)

"The idea came, so the purpose must be there somewhere." She handed it back to me and smiled. "All forms of art need to give meaning to the recipient."

A humongous light-bulb went off and I stared at my notebook with new eyes. "Okay. Thank you."

"No problem... and don't write during my art class."

I don't remember my art teachers name. In fact, she's more a blurry face at this point, but I remember the statement... and that the art room was in the basement of my middle school and could only be accessed by weird stairwells that were a bit creepy if you were ascending or descending them by yourself.

I digress (which is often for you new blogger buddies).

Writing, for most, is a life long journey. It starts with the imagination with that spark of creativity. Moves to paper (or, really computer these days) in a basic rudimentary form. If the writer is lucky, at some point it transcends just the story and brings depth and meaning to both the writer and the reader.

Writing -- even the most commercial -- needs to give a message. It doesn't need to be overwhelming or profound. Just present and accessible to the reader.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Winners Are.....

Oh, I'm so excited...it's like being frickin' Vanna White! *looks around for the letter board*

Okay, okay, so last week (the 10th to be exact), I posted a contest to celebrate the 2 month anniversary of Duty and Devotion. The responses were awesome and I had so much fun reading the dozen or so entries. But alas, only a few can win. This was my first time using the random.org site to select the winners.

All right...here we go...the winners are...(drum roll please)

Pauline B. Jones
Liana Brooks
Colette Duke

Email me at ambernorris2000@yahoo.com to let me know what e-format you would like Duty ad Devotion in and of course CONGRATULATIONS!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

2 Months? Wow!

I can't believe it!

On Monday Duty and Devotion will have been out two months. "Happy R-day Nettie and Rinny!" (R-day instead of B-day, for release day.)

Duty and Devotion has received many compliments, a couple ratings, and a super great review. To celebrate, I'm going to hold a contest and will give away a couple copies of Duty and Devotion... in whatever format you wish.

What do you have to do?

Well, just contact me and let me know your favorite SF scene of all time, ever. (Ever, ever.) You can contact me either by leaving a comment here or emailing me at ambernorris2000@yahoo.com. I will select the winners on the official R-Day of course, which is Monday, August 15th.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Editing Abyss

AR grabs the ledge and pulls. The rain pelts down, drenching and chilling her, but she perseveres. Some of the dirt layering -- now turned to mud by the torrential weather -- slips. She grips harder, her ice cold fingers digging to the rocky underlying. She risks a look down into the abyss of editing hell...

Oh, hey... didn't see you there.

Yes, I am still alive and well. I didn't fall into the abyss, though it was close. The whole month of July was pretty much dedicated to manuscript editing. My final publisher edits for the first book in the Telomere Trilogy, Revelations of Tomorrow, and final edits of the holiday free read short story, Lasting Bonds, were due to the editor.

Remind me never to do a free read again. A couple reasons, but first, let me say that I love the final book and am excited to close some open loops for Nettie and Rinny. HOWEVER, I realized something about myself during the adventure of writing the Telomere Trilogy, which I overlooked when I signed up to do a free read for Desert Breeze Publishing.

I am not a monogamous author.

I can't keep characters going over several books. And truthfully, the characters aren't monogamous either. The characters slip into my mind, we flirt, and we all get excited and explore the journey. Once that journey is complete, I'm done and they're done. They drift off into the world I created for them and I never hear from them again. For me, the flirting process has started with a new story and characters. I'm too distracted with the new adventure.

So, any-who, August 1st came around and I sent Lasting Bonds to my editor and let out a huge sigh of relief. Then, within five minutes (could've been sooner, I wasn't watching the clock) the characters from my new novel started beckoning me. I went straight into it and spewed out over 8,000 words. Yes, 8K in 3 days... needless to say, my creativity was pent up.

My new heroine is amazing. I'm so impressed by her resilience and saddened by her past. I hope I can do her justice... plus she's got some really cool genetic make-up that is almost superhuman. I'm still working out my hero and I'm not sure if I like him much, but I think that's the point. He's got some serious jerk issues and shoulder chips, and he's going to change/evolve through the storyline into someone worthy of my heroine's love. The problems with the hero I think will benefit my heroine, and help her realize her own hang up and issues she needs to let go of if she's to find her own peace and happiness.