Wednesday, March 1, 2017

IWSG - Re-working an Old Project

Happy Wednesday! It's time for to post to Alex J. Cavanaugh's brainchild, The Insecure Writer's Support group. To learn more click on the link =

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a brave space where writers of all walks of life get together to share and receive advice on what we're insecure about.

Have you taken out an old idea that you were passionate about and reworked it? That's what I've just done, and I've found a publisher! I don't want to talk too much about it yet since the full manuscript is being commented on by the end of this week.

As if pulling out and reworking an old idea wasn't anxiety inducing enough! I will always be the most insecure about letting go and hitting send. 

Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for listening. Is there a routine you go through that you might care to share?

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

IWSG - Writing changed my Reading like Riding changed my Driving

It's the first Wednesday of the month. Time for a post to Alex J. Cavanaugh's brain child, Click the link to join!

I've always been an avid book nerd, but when I became a serious writer I became a serious reader. Our great Southern Gothic novelist, William Faulkner told us to read it all. Read the good. Read the bad. Read everything, and I try. The more I read, the more I stumble across styles innovative and different. Work that leaves me thinking, "What eloquent delivery and amazing execution. This is really good. I should try that!" I'm reading not just as an audience member, but as a wordsmith. 

Octavia Butler's, Kindred made me want to try my hand at Science Fiction. I have an idea for a Cyber Hex novel I'm developing. Loren Eisley's, The Star Thrower made me want to write more philosophical shorts. I've started a Schopenhauerian story about a child's puppet stage.

Expanding the mind!

When I was taught how to ride a motorcycle I learned a lot about traction and the road. After I got my M1 license my driving changed dramatically. I was way more conscious and aware of what was around my car and how to brake under different weather and road conditions. Riding a motorcycle made me a better driver the same way writing seriously made me more conscious a reader.

How has writing changed your reading? 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Meet author, Chrys Fey. Today we're checking out her new title: Tsunami Crimes!

My Question for Chrys: What's the best writing advice you've ever been given? What's the worst?

"The best advice I’ve ever received did not come from another writer or a teacher or a family member or a friend. It came from me—Don’t give up. I was seventeen when I first told myself this. At that time, I wasn’t in school. I was suffering from depression and not sure how my life was going to get any better. But I didn’t give up. Instead, I started to rewrite a series from book one, page one. I reminded myself of my mantra several times since then, such as when I received rejection after rejection.

Don’t give up!

I continued to follow this advice even when I got the worst advice. And this awful advice came from my inner critic. Quit. My inner critic would become nasty when rejections poured in and I saw the success of other writers.

Just quit. Quitting is easier.

But the other voice in my head was louder.

Don’t give up!

That voice, that drive has shouted these words to me even recently when my inner critic, empowered by stress and depression, became uglier than ever before. 

Why put up with this anymore?

Quitting seemed smart, but I can’t quit. I can’t give up."

Well put! Thank you, Chrys.

Check out Chry's new release below!

Beth and Donovan have come a long way from Hurricane Sabrina and the San Francisco earthquake. Now they are approaching their wedding day and anxiously waiting to promise each other a lifetime of love. The journey down the aisle isn’t smooth, though, as they receive threats from the followers of the notorious criminal, Jackson Storm. They think they’ll be safe in Hawaii, but distance can’t stop these killers. Not even a tsunami can.

This monstrous wave is the most devastating disaster Beth has ever faced. It leaves her beaten, frightened. Is she a widow on her honeymoon? As she struggles to hold herself together and find Donovan, she’s kidnapped by Jackson's men.

Fearing her dead, Donovan searches the rubble and shelters with no luck. The thought of her being swept out to sea is almost too much for him to bear, but the reality is much worse. She’s being used as bait to get him to fall into a deadly trap.

If they live through this disaster, they may never be the same again.

On SALE for $2.99!


P.S. Hurricane Crimes and Seismic Crimes are on sale for 99 Cents!

Chrys Fey is the author of the Disaster Crimes Series. She is a blogger, reader, auntie, vegetarian, and cat Lover. Get Lightning Crimes (Disaster Crimes 2.5) for FREE!



Wednesday, January 4, 2017

IWSG - Why "Show Don't Tell" is a confusing rule.

It's the first Wednesday of the month. Time for Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group Post. IWSG is a safe place for writers to get together, share our insecurities, and offer feedback and support.

Click !!!HERE!!! to join. 

In the past I thought show don't tell meant more dialogue, less exposition. My first two books are packed with conversations. 

I get it. When exposition sounds bad it roars like your drunk Uncle Steve at a karaoke bar. Exposition as backstory is like medicating your child who is a touch hyperactive. What was once an exuberant child is now a drooling overmedicated fat kid. Exposition can slow down and anchor a plot. Why put a torpedo bra on something that's already nicely shaped?

Inversely, exposition can be artfully done when you show don't tell.

But, we're storytelling. As storytellers being told "show don't tell" can be a bit confusing.

An example:
telling: Voodoo dolls lined the wall of the Black Magic Voodoo Lounge.
showing: Inside the Black Magic Voodoo Lounge dolls made of Spanish moss, dark twigs, and clay heads wrapped in paisley cloth stuck with multi-colored pins covered the wall facing the street.

Show don't tell simply means, don't be so damn lazy. When it comes to 'the rules of writing' I tend to overcomplicate what isn't complicated. Does anyone else do that?

Do you have a beef the show don't tell rule? 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

IWSG - Ghost Ship Fire - Oakland - R.I.P.

It's the first Wednesday of the month, time for Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group post! The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a safe place where we get together to share our insecurities. To join and/or learn more CLICK HERE!!!!

Inside the warehouse before the fire.

It has been a devastating weekend. An artist collective located in an Oakland warehouse was destroyed during a Golden Donna concert. It was the last 'first Friday celebration' of 2016. 

Every first Friday of the month at the warehouse most popularly known as Ghost Ship, artists got together to showcase their work and make merry. Last Friday the ship caught fire.

Ghost Ship post fire.

Like many of the 'affordable' artist work/lofts in the area, the place wasn't up to code. As a result a confirmed 36 artists and attendees lost their lives.

At first, news reporters were portraying Ghost Ship as a group of irresponsible "ravers" ruining neighborhoods, and endangering our youth. Mainstream media has since changed their tune. They are now mourning the lives of writers, musicians, visual artists, and scholars. 

As a writer soon to be out of grad school, I am devastated, not just for the artists and educators who died and for those who mourn them, but for the artists who are struggling to remain here in the Bay. This needless tragedy was in big part a result of the housing crisis. We are literally loosing our artists!

"Why can't you go live somewhere more affordable?" Residents who work in industries unrelated to the arts have asked me. 

This is where our community is! There are tech employees renting closets in my building. Pretty sure that's not legal either.

I'm insecure that because I'm a freelance writer, novelist, and academic my community doesn't see me as worthy enough to keep around.

What do you think? We've been pushed out San Francisco and into Oakland, now we're getting pushed out of the East Bay. What should we do? 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Performance Art Collaboration With Guillermo Gomez-Pena

Guillermo Gomez-Pena and Belatronica, the cyborg poet held a Performance Making workshop at San Francisco's Center for Sex and Culture in collaboration with California Institute of Integral Studies' Dancing With The So Called Dead festival.
The performance culminated around the creation of two human statues and then make an altar. The two living altars were juxtaposed to each other. The concept was an altar to America: The Fallen Diva! This performance piece left the Center for Sex and Culture and was reconstructed back at the Desai Matter Gallery to be created into a seance! 
This was a beautiful piece to be apart of!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Attended an awesome workshop with Sean San Jose, then saw Nogales. Amazing!


by Richard Montoya and directed by Sean San Jose

After attending an intense workshop led by Sean San Jose at California Institute of Integral Studies I went to check out Nogales at Magic Theatre. Here I was told an amazing story of a murder, investigation, and performance making that can truly instigate change.

On October 10, 2012 Jose Antonio Elena Rodrigues was shot fifteen times by a US Border Patrol Agent. The investigative performance given by Carla Pantoja, Richard Montoya, Sean San Jose, and ensemble was informed, intelligent, raw. Nogales magnifies truth and highlights chaos.

When confronting such crushing social justice issues you have to be able to laugh to stay engaged with the terrifying testimony.  Nogales is no exception. The quick wit and cutting  reality was delivered unapologetically and kept us on the edge of our seats. Most of us stood up to give a standing ovation.

“Thank you friends for your standing applause! For those of you who remained seated, please have a safe drive back to Walnut Creek!” Richard Montoya kept us laughing past the end of the performance. I observed the people who had remained seated. They laughed in spite of themselves. Bravo!