Where Do I Go ?


I finished my first draft and I was filled with the feeling of ” oh my… Yeah, yeah” with music and beauty floating around my head and then something happened.

All the things that I would read said the same thing. It said  let your book ruminate and give it time to become something that you can then successfully read and revise without that oh so helpful thing where your mind just adds the missing words that you meant to write , so that your words make no sense to anyone else.

This phase is all about adding and subtracting and fighting the increasing feeling that you are an idiot that wrote the worse book ever written.  That your book will make people run screaming into the streets and cry and weep and scream, they will pull out their eyes and deny the fact that they ever read anything, ever. Somehow your book will actually make other books you love less good. That authors you love will read the book and say ” No, never” to your requests to write a forward.  This is probably not going to happen. This has not happened to the various dubious novels that have been written in the world, both recent and long ago. There are people that count novels that I myself view as painfully bad among their favorites. So what are the odds that no one would read my book and at the very least say it was interesting, or entertaining? And I will not bring about the end of the world. I do not have that power.

But I do have this feeling that is completely and utterly fear-based.  I am afraid of my book. Just a little but the more that I think about what it would mean if this is terrible. The fear of what would happen if I am not a writer worth reading.  I am also thinking of what might happen if I am a writer worth reading. If I write a book that is worth the notice of people that matter, people like me that love books and reading to the point that they can invest years in the lives of people and places that never were. So I am in revisions and now I am realizing that either way fear must not be the thing that stops me. If it is, then I will be a failure of epic proportions.

So if you are having issues like mine there are a few quick and dirty tips that can help to make the experience a little less terror making .

Revision Tips

  1. Start revising as soon as you can 

Figure out what is your best timing but don’t wait too long. Often Procrastination will start pretending to be something cleaner, like reflection or research.

  1. Don’t spend ages making your first draft look pretty

This is just wasting time, include all the details you need to learn, but don’t try to produce a work of art. This is a ROUGH draft. It is just that, ROUGH.

  1. Take short breaks

— Every hour, not every 10 minutes. I enjoy using the pomodoro timers to help me myself on task.

  1. Use revision guidelines 

Cathy Yardley has great tips on her blog. I add also that you should treat the revisions just like you would treat your writing , have a plan and have a schedule on what you will finish each day .

  1. Get yourself drinks and snacks

So you don’t make excuses to stop every 10 minutes…

  1. Sit at a proper desk
  2. Don’t turn yourself into a revision zombie 

There is nothing that you can do all day every day without burning out. It’s really important that you keep time to do things you enjoy… like movies, shopping, sports, Frisbee, rock-climbing, making model planes ,porn, whatever tickles your fancy… When you’re doing these try to relax and totally forget about revision.Meat_Grinder_zombie_7265759848_1

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  1. Read the book aloud when you can 

—hearing it really does help. If you can, record yourself.

  1. Find the right environment to revise

NOT in front of the TV. NOT listening to the radio. Music can sometimes be OK, but you need to find the right kind. It’s got to be something that’s just there in the background that you’re not thinking about at all. Music without singing is better as you won’t be tempted to dance around your bedroom like a big fool.

5 Reasons That Force You To Quit Blogging [And How To Fix Them]


You start blogging with all your dreams. You want to proclaim yourself as an entrepreneur. Or you may want to build that dream business you’ve always been wanting to build.

Or you want send your message out. Or may be you want to financially support your family by doing your part of “something”.

Everyone has different reasons for starting a blog.

However I am quite familiar of coming across abandoned blogs. Blog that are trashed. Blogs that are just dumped as if they are of no use anymore.

via 5 Reasons That Force You To Quit Blogging [And How To Fix Them].

Advice on Writing Your First Novel (From a Published Novelist) | WritersDigest.com


1. The world has two sorts of writers: people who talk about writing a novel and people who actually do it. I spent several decades among the former and I have to tell you, it feels great finally to join the ranks of the latter. To paraphrase Nike, stop talking about it and just do it!

2. Write a mission statement … and contract. When I started Island Apart, my mission was to use the skills I had acquired writing food stories and cookbooks over the years; the publishing and media contacts I had accumulated; and the promotional savvy I learned from dozens of book tours (and being married to a publicist—more on that in a future blog) to start, write, and finish a publishable novel within a year. Note the words “start,” “finish,” “publishable,” and “within a year.” These dictated a course of action, goal, and deadline, which made me take the process seriously.

3. The secret to writing a novel—or any book—is writing. You won’t turn out elegant prose every day. But it’s important to keep cranking it out. Bad writing eventually leads to good writing and paragraphs eventually add up to pages, chapters, and a finished novel.

4. There’s no one right way to write a novel. Some writers start with a plot (vague or meticulously planned); others use as their point of departure a phrase, character, situation, or moral dilemma. Some writers craft meticulous outlines before they start writing; others let the characters drive the story. Island Apart began as a title—not that title (more how and why it changed in a future blog). My original title was The Hermit of Chappaquiddick and the minute I had the title, I knew the who of my story (my protagonists) and the what (what would happen). What I didn’t know was how to get from the beginning to the denouement. Fortunately, I didn’t have to make the journey alone—I had the characters to guide me. They knew where they needed to go.

(Agents get specific and explain what kind of stories they’re looking for.)

5. Write with your eraser (or delete button). In the course of writing Island Apart, I jettisoned whole characters, situations, and chapters. I probably wrote 1000 pages of manuscript to wind up with a finished book of just under 300 pages. It hurt and I fought every deletion (my wife was a ruthless editor), but the final book is better for all the cuts.

6. Take the time to celebrate the milestones in your writing process. When you finish a chapter, take yourself and significant other out for dinner. When you finish the first draft, uncork a bottle of Champagne. (Not prosecco, real Champagne.) I timed the completion of the first draft to coincide with my birthday. I made a great ceremony of typing the words “The end” just before my birthday dinner. I also took the time to make a sententious speech to my children about the value of setting goals and working hard. I’m sure the latter went in one ear and out the other, but it sure made me feel good.

Advice on Writing Your First Novel (From a Published Novelist) | WritersDigest.com.

These Dreams


Houston Police Department memorial

Houston Police Department memorial (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

When i came to Houston, I barely knew what a recruiter was.

 

Now I feel it is my calling, my life’s work that’s writing but recruiting is definitely becoming a passion of mine. The ability to give someone a better life , a better job, new opportunity well it just feels wonderful.

 

For those of you who aren’t on any of my other social networks I have a new job which in essence is my old job. I am, once again, recruiter. The job that I have, the place where I’m working and the people I’m working with have transformed me in one week. I feel so blessed, so happy, 100 percent where I should be. Where I should be! It has made all that I’ve been through this year worth it. Between this blog, my wonderful followers, my friends and family, and now professional development , I feel like my life is on track to be coming what I should have . So I’m grateful to all who have helped me, believed in me and just listens to my insanity at times.

 

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What is Sexy


I am in the beginning stages of my novel . I am enjoying the writing and it is moving forward but I have found that the first chapter is almost lurid with the detailed sexual scences and I am gaining fear that it may send the wrong message, or it may be seen as titillating for the sake of titillation.   I have decided to allow an except of the text to be viewed with the hopes that people will critique it. I am going to do a larger piece in the company of writers but since those who read this blog are my first readers I thought that I should begin here, with the people that I hope to touch in future

 

He had loved her in white. Her body in the taut fabric stretching across her body threatening to expose her naked flesh beneath. He loved her in white. She was so sexy in white, her tanned skin shone against it so well. She was wearing white everyone she came to him, she was in white when she died. The next time he saw her they had become the ruined grey of funeral vestments.

She liked to tease him, he knew that. He would watch her at the bus stop, stretching unnecessarily. He tried not to let her know that he was watching, she was in white then too, a tee shirt, with blue jeans and a bra visible through the light cotton of the shirt. The bra was the soft pink that he had come to most associate with the color of her nipples. He had seen those nipple. She had seen him passing in the backyard of her house and she had looked at him then removed her bra, she looked at him, she wanted him to see

She wanted him, she had finally told him as much one day when he was working at the store. She had entered with the gaggle of her friends, all giggling and loud girlish voices. It was odd to him that they always seemed to be yelling or giggling, or both. She had stayed behind, having manufactured some pretext or another, forgotten soda, or incorrect change.  She had come into the aisle and looked at him. She had gotten close and in her breathy little girl voice she had asked if he thought she was “hot”

He hadn’t answered, he wasn’t sure why she was doing this but he was sure that she was playing some game. Then she leaned in and said “I think you are smoking hot, I always have,” She gave him a smile of infinite slyness and sweet sexy desire and said “I want you, I don’t know why but I just do”.

She ran from the store after that, taking her place among the giggling swarm and more than likely covering for her friends having seen her talking to him by expressing that she thought he was “weird”. She had tossed her hair and walked with her friends but she had spared one glance over her shoulder, giving the store and him inside a slow, sly, sexy smile. That smile was genuine. It was all want. A week later, she had shown him her naked breasts and her nipples, the soft bubblegum Pink color of them.

 

This book is not going to be for the faint of heart or the prudish of nature but I would like to not be associated with porn.  I mean , there is definitely an aspect of this that will be fully sexual and it is about a serial killer ( did I ever say that before , not sure) but I don’t want it gore for gore sake or sex for fuck sake .

Don’t Speak


The Six word story or  the six word novel is a concept that was supposedly started by Earnest Hemingway . It is said that he was bet by a friend that he could not write an effective story in 6 words. There have been  many that said that it was not Hemingway that actually wrote the passage but I like to think that the very Manly Hemingway did think up the sweet , sad story of a life cut short, and hope dashed.  Funny , takes more words to explain the story than it was to write .

For sale: baby shoes, never used. – Six Word Stories.

Ernest Hemingway's 1923 passport photo

Ernest Hemingway’s 1923 passport photo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With Permission


With Permission.

lincoln-gettysburg-address-speech-analysis

Somebody’s watching me


We live in an overly cataloged and documented world. We are doing it to ourselves, of course, but it is true. I am attached via name and face to no less than two dozen sites, I have Facebook , LinkedIn , foursquare, twitter and Google+ to name a few. I do reviews and comments enough to earn a “top contributor” on the internet. I am online. I am locatable. I don’t mind that because my world and my goals in this world are a want for recognition. I am trying to build a brand for both my writing, my day job and myself.

Still and all that means that my image is attached to many things. As, probably, is yours.  That brings me to today’s topic. I recently upgraded to Microsoft Office 2013 and one of the fantastic little updates is that you can sign into sites right through to your outlook. I did because I love stupid little things like that, they know this, and the people that made that feature are tech geeks.

The thing about that is, I can see the Facebook attached to my candidate’s emails, when they come into my inbox. Which for the most part is fine, but that begs the question, “if your employer or potential employer saw your Facebook profile, would that cost you anything?” I hope that the answer is no. However, for some of you …

We have all seen the chick whose Facebook photo is her breasts or her behind. Unless you are in the sex industry that is not the image that you need to portray.  The person whose profile picture is his weed stash or some other unflattering image.  Do yourself a favor and take that down, right now! First, I do not care who you are, you are better than that, trust me. Second, if your name is something rude, crude or sexually explicit, take that down too. Same thing for your email address, while I have you here, if you are “sexytramp69@yahoo.com “for the love of GOD get a new email address. Potential employers will not be impressed at how “real” you keep it. Just think of this; if you are standing in a room full of family members, and you have to give your email address, your YouTube name or your Facebook handle, would you be embarrassed? If yes, change it. Does your employer need to know that you are “Dabaddezbitch”, “DatNiggaDarrall”, or even “Jackdaniels4lyfe”?

 

The bottom-line is this , treat your name and image like it is your product , because now a days it is just that.

If I had a Hammer…


If you asked a person that never saw a hammer, what a hammer could do, what do you think that they would say? A hammer in the hands of a child, or an animal like a monkey or raccoon is nothing but an object to destroy. A bludgeon, a blunt object or a weapon. A hammer is useless to those with no knowledge of them. Does that mean that a hammer has no value in society? The hammer is stupid, in other words?

If you answered yes, I need you to stop reading, right now. I am serious, not another sentence. I don’t want or need the thoughts of a person that says that getting into my head via my writing, which I sometimes feel is a conduit. If, on the other hand, you read the question and wondered in utter puzzlement, where I was going with all the hammer talk, please read on.

I have read that LinkedIn is an utter waste of time. I have read that about Facebook marketing, Twitter accounts, YouTube … I have read through several sources that all these things, all the social media ( side bar, when did that become something I say every day? Social media? I don’t know) sites are just filler and fluff and that people that use them are time wasters. I think that 800 years ago, or whenever Hammers were invented, they would have said the same thing about them. I will use my rocks and boards thank you, they would snark at the hammer users, and you can play with your stupid little toy. They are the people that damned sewing machines, TV, computers and cell phones. They are the people that will always be and always be proven wrong. We used to call them nay Sayers.

The fact is that calling a tool stupid is, well, stupid. It shows that you have no idea how to use said tool and instead of wanting to be taught you would rather damn the product. Can LinkedIn be a waste of time, oh hell yes. It can be something you play on for a few hours, following Richard Branson and Conan O’Brian’s words around and end the day with nothing accomplished. You can spend a whole day connecting with people for no reason, until enough of them complain and you are put into LinkedIn jail and have to have email addresses to connect with anyone. You can endlessly see who looked at your page and wonder how they found you. You can even develop a crush on someone and go peeping at their page every few hours to see if they changed anything. I actually have one of those. He is always there, checking me out.

On the other hand you can do amazing Boolean searches and find people that fit your needs perfectly. I needed a CPA, with a Master’s degree and 8 years of experience in oil and gas … boom, found!  From Texas, educated at Oxford. DONE, says LinkedIn, what else you want? I found my amazing first placement there on LinkedIn. She was just there for the cherry picking, and I didn’t even know all the uses at that point (gotta love beginners luck) and I found a woman so perfect for the role that even I was impressed with myself. On LinkedIn, I found her, placed her and got paid. From the waste of time site. Yeah.

I think what I am trying to say is , if you are waiting for the hammer to explain to you how to use it, it will sit, stupidly , waiting for you to pick it up and whack you thumb with it. If, on the other hand, you take the time to learn how to use the hammer, how its weight affects things, what way to hold it, and put that to use you can build a home. You can build a boat to sail the world. You can build a business making furniture, or racecars … ok not race cars but you understand where I’m going with this. You cannot damn the hammer, for your lack of knowing.

Power


 One of the corniest things ever is the renewing of vows. It is taking something that is already done and restarting it. It makes very little sense logistically and has no real function in the schematic of life. You are married and then later you will be married still. Nothing, has changed. It is not as if you can change your mind mid renewing and that would undo your marriage. So why do so many people do it? Why do they take the time, and very often the expense, to renew already agreed upon vows? Because it is not hokey, it is renewal. It is a done deal but every now and again you need to hear those words again and re-acknowledge what your commitment is and make sure that it is, in fact, still your commitment. And with that in mind, today I have decided that I am going to reaffirm my commitment to myself and my goals. I am renewing my vows, to myself, so to speak.

I have gone on a journey of self-awareness, self-improvement, and self-forgiveness that sometimes gets lost in the minutia of everyday living. It is like a marriage, sometimes you are so caught up in the bills, kids, problems and struggles that you forget how much you love the person you married, or how much better all that is with someone that you care for by your side. In my case, I forget how lucky I am, how blessed I am and how much I have because of the day to day struggles of trying to get to the next thing. I am reading “Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude: How to Find, Build and Keep a Yes! Attitude for a Lifetime of Success   by     Jeffrey Gitomer” and I have to say that he has some wit and wisdom that, while not ground breaking (seriously, at this point all positive thinking books are relatively the same) is brought to me in a different way. There are some thoughts that I like very much. One is to start off with Thank you when you are getting bad news. As in “you forgot to get me the report by the deadline” instead of going “I’m sorry” or “I would have but * didn’t do their part and so …” just say “Thank you and “. No excuses, no sorries, just thank you. I love that but I would like to expand on that and say just start off with thank you all the time. Every time I have gotten an email since I started reading the book an astonishing 16 hours ago I start with “Thank you” and I feel better about it, no matter what.

Another thing that I have learned is that I have almost all the things that people complain about sewn up. People generally grip because they do not like their Job, their coworkers, their living place, their spouse or themselves. I like all those things. I am so grateful to realize that I am again in the top percentile for things that I have that are important that ensure happiness. I love my job, I love my coworkers , I love my spouse , I love my city and I love myself. These are the essentials to ultimate joy and I have them all in hand, so when I find something to complain about I will remind myself that it is a filler thing and all the major things in this life, are great. That is a powerful awareness.

So I am adopting, or reaffirming to be more accurate, an attitude of gratitude, today. I want to live with as much YES in my life as possible and this is why for every moment of everyday for the rest of my life I will have a small secret yes in my mind and heart. And as of Friday on my body! I am getting a tattoo that simply says “yes”. That is my commitment level to

Crazy Man, Crazy


131008-140951I happen to love my job. It is not an easy job, it not a simple job and I can see why some people just do not have the stomach for it. It is sales but not sales. Moreover, I have to sell to the client and to the product! Imagine I have to convince someone to buy my broom and then convince the broom to join this family.

In a job like mine, you have to wear many hats. There is the recruiter, the salesperson, the career counselor, the negotiator, the travel agent … and the therapist. There are probably more but the Therapist is the one that sometimes is the hardest to deal with, for me. The truth is that I want to help everyone that comes into my inbox. I want to get the job for the guy who has been out of work for 5 years for no understandable reason. I want to help the kid right out of college. I WANT to help the person that was retired and now wants to go back to work because retirement is not for him. For the most part I CAN NOT HELP THESE PEOPLE. I am a recruiter; someone has to pay for my services. Companies do not pay for fresh faced kids, unless they did something amazing in school that put them on the map. Companies do not pay for the chronically unemployed, and usually the chronically unemployed have applied everywhere anyway and I have no one to whom I can market you. Companies largely do not pay for people that may retire at any moment. If they are going to pay a fee, at minimum, they want 3 years from this person, and really, they want closer to eight. So you don’t send these people out, you reply politely to their inquiries and express that if you get something that fits their experience you will be in touch.

Then there are the wild cards, those people that are looking; have a good background and are all go-go-go on the job market. Something is off about them but you just are not sure what.  Why did you leave the last position? Better opportunities. All sounds right. Then You get a call after the send out that this person bitch slapped the receptionist or drooled throughout the interview and you are left with that “ I knew it , I just didn’t know what IT was” feeling. So what can you do when you have put your reputation on the line and someone did a Hadouken to it? Do your best to laugh about and learn from your mistake.

Mine went this way.

  1. Person calls me and I feel that he is a little arrogant, a bit full of himself ( red flag!)  but I like his background and I decide , what the hell , meet him . Not everyone conveys well over the phone.
  2. I meet him and he seems perfectly lovely, except for getting lost on an almost impossible to get lost road ( red flag!) and acting as if we had somehow hidden the building on purpose. Once inside he was amiable and interesting.
  3. I get him an interview, on the day of the interview he gets lost( OMG REALLY!), and ends up late to the interview.
  4. I get my prerequisite call after the interview and he tells me “ everything went so great, I hope they can wait for me to wrap up my current contract”
  5. The client calls and asks me, basically, what the hell I was doing sending them a Looney tunes!

(1)    He got an attitude about getting lost as if it was their fault (where did I hear that before?)

(2)    He was completely arrogant and acted like his questions were more important than the interviewers ( damn)

(3)    He asked the person he would be replacing how much more he would be making at his new job (ok, what?!)

(4)    He asked the owner of the company how much he had paid for the company ( nope , I’m not taking a hit on this one) .

  1. I called my candidate and asked him, for the love of god ,WHY?

What I did was apologize. I apologized to the client, to the owner, to my company and I learned to listen to my gut feelings and not the little therapist in your head that wants to believe that everyone deep down, is good. Yes, I would get everyone a job if I could. The college kid, the old man, the man who can’t stay off the internet ,or whatever it is that keeps getting him fired from every job. Everyone. But I can’t. If I could I would. What I can do is find the best people, with the occasional snafu that I can use as an object lesson.  Sometimes you also have to give yourself a pass. Because … let’s face it. Crazy people are sometime interesting, intelligent , funny people . Right up until they bitch-slap the receptionist.

Crash


houston

houston (Photo credit: araza123)

Its a fundamental truths here in Houston that pedestrians and get no respect. Houston seems to regard the very act of walking as an  affront  to their way of life here. When you are like myself, carless, you have to be wary of the others, careless. Today I was nearly ran over not one not twice but three times. None of the people that v nearly ran me over even try to slow down.
They seem to regard to the fact that I was in the road as proof that I was lacking in normal human rights. Like the countless animals that I pass then have been folded spindled and mutilated by oncoming traffic, I too was at the mercy the Houston driver. The level of disrespect that Houston pedestrian receive can be summed up this way, when I got the crosswalk the driver of the black Ford F 150 screamed on the window at me to get out of the road. I, and all walkers, have the right of way. And just for the record, even if I was in the wrong, which I wasn’t, you don’t have the right to kill me because I’m in your way.

Running for my life


I need a writing partner , someone that will keep me on my track. Someone I can keep on track too because I really do work better when it’s not just about me .  I need someone that is , like myself, has the desire and the talent but something in the way of execution just isn’t happening. I want this soon because I am writing, I am WRITING a lot just not my novel.  or not as much as I would like to on my novel.

 

Art

Art (Photo credit: A.Currell)

 

 

 

Everyday I’m hustling…


Flickr friends

Flickr friends (Photo credit: Meer)

 

I’m carving a very strange little life for myself. I am living extremely nomadic. I have no roots at the moment and the lack there of is getting to me. I have more Friends then I have had in two decades but have less care in my life then in those two decades. I guess the thing that upsets me is that I am used to being slightly princess… Cared for… I don’t feel cared for.

 

Living on a prayer


Serendipity

Serendipity (Photo credit: Hiro Sheridan)

 

There is this moment in life that you have to give over to faith , you have to be absolutely sure that your next move is the right one, if only because it is your only logical next move.

 

I am not talking about God , unless that is your thing, I mean faith. Faith in something. Faith in something outside of yourself. Law of Attraction,  Serendipity or Karma, something.