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regis

Is anyone here who writes professionally?

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In order to become a good writer do you have to have years of experience and need to have read hundreds of books by other authors to

figure out what sounds good?

 

I'd like to get into writing but I have no experience and I also havent read many books. I only listen to audio books mostly horror and thriller.

 

I wish I knew somebody personally who writes professionally cause I have so many questions.

I also dont know how much having OCD would be a problem. Cause when I think for example about how to describe a certain scenario or situation

then I'm unsure and always wonder does this sound good or would something else sound better? My concern is that I'd constantly think about

sentences and then try to rephrase them.

How can you even decide if something is good or not? For example if I tried to describe the same scenario different times on different days then

basically it would always be different. It would never sound the same but then how shall I know which version is best?!

 

What I also ask myself is how in the world did authors do it in the past without computers? Today you can simply erase a sentence or change

it or you can move whole paragraphs. But in the past with old typewriters they couldnt do this. They couldnt erase sentences all the time or change

them. Does this mean that back then writing was totally different cause basically you had to be absolutely certain that a sentence which you formulate

in your head sounds good because you couldnt rephrase it? I imagine that writing was much harder when you simply had no option to correct yourself.

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Answers:

Topic: Yes, but not in english. (Keep in mind that besides here I almost never express myself in english).

1. Yes/No, depends on your objective. Every writer has it's own process, it's something very individual, most of the time the idea behind of it surpasses the quality of your styling but isn't a bad thing to have a background in what you're interested writing about, this means, life experience for example or even research. I don't believe something is remarkably untied or unrelated to be called as original.

2. Yes/No. For comercial creative demands from my experience it can be challenging but as authorial it gets less OCD impaired it becomes. It looks like you are over worried about your writing style more than the progress of the story, if I can give you a tip I would just let if flow and think about re-writing and editing after at least that chapter is done.

3. Passion for expression, writing can fulfill artistic impulses and basically instincts like communication.

4. No, most writers write for themselves or they're skilled people hired to fulfill a briefing of already fulfilled requirements.

 If I had listened to the critics, I'd have died drunk in the gutter.” —Anton Chekov

 If you want to know more about a bunch of different authors in a lot of categories I would recomend some literary specialized media like http://www.theparisreview.org

They have range.

You can get Russian popular literature, Latin american poetry, Americana and other type of authors's interviews there, in which they almost every talk about their process.

I think to master in any art is the same thing as mastering in life, so your craft in never done, the paragraph is never done.

I like to keep it in mind to just get over OCD tendencies.

"Art is never finishedonly abandoned." - Leonardo da Vinci

Edited by uncomfortable thoughts
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Yes, fiction and non-fiction. National/intl guest blogger gigs, corp. speeches, tech writing for software companies, & fiction work online at Amazon.

As a general daily activity, most writers, myself included read about 10K pages of other people's work to every 1K words we write. I read ALL the time and write up to 14-18 hours almost every day outside match days (I'm also a pro referee). I have five novels in progress at any one time. Right now two are at my editor's for notes and revisions. Should have one of them up soon. (Had to take nine months off while helping my 16 yo recover from his suicide attempts).

I don't know how a professional writer could not read. Writers need exposure to how others write, how they frame, construct and craft. Working writers have to write. All the time. Daily without fail; that's the hard work of it. Join one of the many Facebook writers' groups to get an idea of the process of writing through publishing. Once you understand the process and read often to expose yourself to narrative & story construction (there are more than one or three ways of doing things though many genre writers only use those), writing is much easier to dig into.

Market tip: if you can learn to write and write good romance (especially "romantica" or "erotic romance") that's where the big money is. Scarlett Edwards, Bianca Sommerland, Claire Thompson are a few I know making a living. YA is the next sustainable genre. Most of my colleagues in my author groups (not online) are doing romance and YA now. Have to—gotta eat.

Best of luck. It's the best job on earth, IMHO.

 

Edited by JackBQuick
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Maybe a definition of what is expected from "professional" would be great because in my tiny experience I come across a bunch of copywriters that only read articles or were into the hype getting things from thin air.

I was only once hired as tech writer for auto industry and a lot of it had research not on books.

The questions were about books.

I bet most of what hit the shelfs as best selling authors are from people who don't read books, and still, are considered professional writers and same thing applies to songwriters as for some of classic literature.

A bunch of classic literature work that I know was made by authors with barely any access to information or books.

I don't know, for me is easy to say that you could not read but this reading is something natural for me, I read back of boxes and a bunch of things but in a good year I read about twenty books or less.

But I agree, it's hard to imagine someone not reading and wanting to write, even tough, I don't have this kind of ratio of written pages per reading, depending on what I'm researching to write for I always set a goal of pages that I can absorb and enjoy the process but not everything is exactly on the pages.

I don't have any novels finished, I've only published advertising tech writing, storylines, I can't remember but maybe a slogan here or there.

I had a blog once, right now I'm a freelancer writer but I only get one job in blue moon if any and it isn't particularly related to the amount of reading, things are static and I'm not in any advertising agency anymore or wishing to write.

From your profile I can say you're just a little bit over two decades older than me but are a whole lot more experienced.

I liked the point of view even though not necessarily entirely agreeing with it. :)

 

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"Professional" means having specialized knowledge and/or skill (degrees, licensing, etc), deriving substantial or all of one's income from it.

Do you have a fiction writer's group? Sometimes that helps motivate finishing through publishing.

Whatever you do, go for it and never stop.

 

Edited by JackBQuick
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I think it was Fitzgerald who said the way to become a writer is to write a half million words, throw it away, and start over.  

Practice.  Journal.  Free-write.  The more you do it, the easier it gets.

 

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I'm a professional non-fiction writer. I have degrees in a scientific field and also a degree in technical writing. I'm currently self-employed as a freelance writer in that scientific field, and I've been a full-time writer for the past 13 years.

The biggest lesson that I've learned during my work, which seems like it would be just as relevant to you with fiction, is to first know what you want to say and then figure out how to say it. I can't tell you how many authors I've worked with who struggle with writing because they don't take the time to fully understand their topic and plan their writing before actually sitting down to write. On a major project, I used to spend 10% of my time planning, another 40% writing the first draft, and the remaining 50% doing revisions. Planning includes everything from doing research to make sure that I really understand the subject matter to organizing the flow of the material, developing a structure, deciding which topics to cover in which order, etc. I also think about my audience (who am I writing this for? what are their expectations? what do they already know or not know?) and my purpose in writing the document. What do you want to communicate to others? Is there a key message or group of messages that you want people to remember? Are you trying to entertain people, educate people, persuade people, etc.?

I would guess that if you're going to write a work of fiction and you simply sit down and start writing, it's not going to go well. Not that you need to plan out every detail, but you need to do some high-level planning before you jump in. On the other hand, when you write, you don't want to overanalyze every word as you write it. You'll make yourself crazy. Focus on getting your thoughts down, and polish your words later.

Be prepared to do a lot of rewriting. As I said above, you will probably spend more time rewriting than you spent writing in the first place, at least when you're first starting out. Finishing your first draft is a huge accomplishment, but it's only part of the whole process.

I wish you the best of luck in your writing!

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If you are going to want to write fiction, it helps to be a good story teller.

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On May 3, 2016 at 5:18 PM, JackBQuick said:

"Professional" means having specialized knowledge and/or skill (degrees, licensing, etc), deriving substantial or all of one's income from it.

When I said expected as "Professional", I meant the intention.

I don't know, the person who did the topic only gave an example of struggling with scenarios and the topic had OCD related symptoms while writing and book reading.

My first guess would not be related to struggles in writing a storyline or argument for a 30 seconds ad, but never know.

Maybe I'm mostly thinking about outliers but in my life I come across some accomplished copywriters who come from high school.

On May 3, 2016 at 7:48 PM, StormBeforeCalm said:

I also think about my audience (who am I writing this for? what are their expectations? what do they already know or not know?) and my purpose in writing the document. What do you want to communicate to others? Is there a key message or group of messages that you want people to remember? Are you trying to entertain people, educate people, persuade people, etc.?

Those are good tips for commercializing which I got on my main degree in Communication.

 

On May 3, 2016 at 5:39 PM, Velvet Elvis said:

I think it was Fitzgerald who said the way to become a writer is to write a half million words, throw it away, and start over.  

Practice.  Journal.  Free-write.  The more you do it, the easier it gets.

 

Woody Allen is another example of willingness to write. He succeed at young age, after that, from what I got from his books and his work I can say he dedicated a lot to reading and european cinema.

If Journal isn't a taking notes can be great too for saving ideas, maybe a note book?

On May 3, 2016 at 8:28 PM, jt07 said:

If you are going to want to write fiction, it helps to be a good story teller.

  

I'm adding up this quote:

 

 "I wrote stories from the time I was a little girl, but I didn't want to be a writer. I wanted to be an actress. I didn't realize then that it's the same impulse. It's make-believe. It's performance. The only difference being that a writer can do it all alone. I was struck a few years ago when a friend of ours—an actress—was having dinner here with us and a couple of other writers. It suddenly occurred to me that she was the only person in the room who couldn't plan what she was going to do. She had to wait for someone to ask her, which is a strange way to live." Didion

 

Edited by uncomfortable thoughts

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On May 1, 2016 at 0:09 PM, regis said:

In order to become a good writer do you have to have years of experience and need to have read hundreds of books by other authors to

figure out what sounds good?

 

I'd like to get into writing but I have no experience and I also havent read many books. I only listen to audio books mostly horror and thriller.

 

I wish I knew somebody personally who writes professionally cause I have so many questions.

I also dont know how much having OCD would be a problem. Cause when I think for example about how to describe a certain scenario or situation

then I'm unsure and always wonder does this sound good or would something else sound better? My concern is that I'd constantly think about

sentences and then try to rephrase them.

How can you even decide if something is good or not? For example if I tried to describe the same scenario different times on different days then

basically it would always be different. It would never sound the same but then how shall I know which version is best?!

 

What I also ask myself is how in the world did authors do it in the past without computers? Today you can simply erase a sentence or change

it or you can move whole paragraphs. But in the past with old typewriters they couldnt do this. They couldnt erase sentences all the time or change

them. Does this mean that back then writing was totally different cause basically you had to be absolutely certain that a sentence which you formulate

in your head sounds good because you couldnt rephrase it? I imagine that writing was much harder when you simply had no option to correct yourself.

There is correction tape for typewriters. It is a pain to use. Woody Allen still writes screenplays on a typewriter.

i am not a professional. My writing style is very simplistic.

Are you planning on writing horror stories? 

My daughter took a class on animation drawing and they told her the best way to learn was by drawing. That was a few years ago. She goes through sketch pads and it is just something she does in her spare time. She does have some talent naturally but the practicing helps.

you could try writing in your spare time and see how it goes.

good luck

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-> This is my reply to confused. I must have scrolled all the way down when opening thr thread. Now I saw all your other replies on top of her. I'm handicappted rtight now cause i took zolpidem and it makes me feel weird. i will read your other replies later and reply to them thsanks

 

hi,

you mean i should try writing short stories? do they teach you how to write?

for example if somebody writes 50 short stories then will he automatically get better simply by going thru this process?

I am not really interested in short stories. For me coming up with ideas for books is difficult and if i had to write many short stories

then i'd have to be more creative.

I would be happy if i had a few ideas for books. But I dont know how this works. I have no idea where I think that's something totally revolutionary

to write about. simply writing about things others wrote about is boring.

 

but even if i had a really good idea for a book and then content is also laid out to me. the characters and the dialogues and the storyline then

it would still not be easy to make a story out of it. you still need to bring this on paper and make it sound good.

 

for example when i watch a movie i often ask myself how would i try to describe a certain scene or a huge building or how i'd describe it when you see a cop

in his car driving around at night on the street with hookers everywhere and dim light.

On TV you simply see all these things and that's it you do not have to describe them. But putting scenes from movies into book-form is complicated in my opinion.

I really have so many questions. Maybe there are special forums for writers were more experienced people help non-experienced people this would be cool.

Edited by regis

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Bukowski, Charles:after the reading: [from Love is a Dog from Hell: Poems, 

1974-1977 (1977), Black Sparrow Press]

 

 

1            "... I've seen people in front of 

2            their typewriters in such a bind 

3            that it would blow their intestines 

4            right out of their assholes if they 

5            were trying to shit." 

6            "ah hahaha hahaha!" 

7            "... it's a shame to work that 

8            hard to try to write." 

9            "ah hahaha hahaha!" 

10          "ambition rarely has anything to 

11          do with talent. luck is best, and 

12          talent limps along a little 

13          bit behind luck." 

14          "ah haha." 

15          he rose and left with an 18 year old virgin, the most 

16          beautiful co-ed of them 

17          all. 

18          I closed my notebook 

19          got up and limped a 

20          little bit behind 

21          them.

 

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5 hours ago, regis said:

 

for example when i watch a movie i often ask myself how would i try to describe a certain scene or a huge building or how i'd describe it when you see a cop

in his car driving around at night on the street with hookers everywhere and dim light.

This is the hardest lesson Hubs teaches to his middle school students.

"She walks outside her house and goes to the grocery store"

versus

"A tall stooped older woman stumbled out her front door and while trying not to land on the grass, desperately fought to remember why in the world she left home." 

 

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8 hours ago, regis said:

-> This is my reply to confused. I must have scrolled all the way down when opening thr thread. Now I saw all your other replies on top of her. I'm handicappted rtight now cause i took zolpidem and it makes me feel weird. i will read your other replies later and reply to them thsanks

 

hi,

you mean i should try writing short stories? do they teach you how to write?

for example if somebody writes 50 short stories then will he automatically get better simply by going thru this process?

I am not really interested in short stories. For me coming up with ideas for books is difficult and if i had to write many short stories

then i'd have to be more creative.

I would be happy if i had a few ideas for books. But I dont know how this works. I have no idea where I think that's something totally revolutionary

to write about. simply writing about things others wrote about is boring.

 

but even if i had a really good idea for a book and then content is also laid out to me. the characters and the dialogues and the storyline then

it would still not be easy to make a story out of it. you still need to bring this on paper and make it sound good.

 

for example when i watch a movie i often ask myself how would i try to describe a certain scene or a huge building or how i'd describe it when you see a cop

in his car driving around at night on the street with hookers everywhere and dim light.

On TV you simply see all these things and that's it you do not have to describe them. But putting scenes from movies into book-form is complicated in my opinion.

I really have so many questions. Maybe there are special forums for writers were more experienced people help non-experienced people this would be cool.

I am sorry. I shouldn't have replied since you just asked for people in the profession.

I am interested in the replies.

 

These are the sort of things I was thinking and then I will get out of your thread:

Sometimes, websites will ask for submissions. I have had a couple of things posted, they aren't paid, but it could help build confidence. They weren't fiction though, just personal experiences, opinions.

There are writing clubs. If you are in the US you might be able to find a meet up group. I have never been to one.

 

Edited by confused
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hi folks,

thanks for the many replies.

i'd like to ask a few more questions which come to my mind:

1) how do you go about writing a book? i'm have only written homeworks and paper for the university i'm a student.

but generally at the start i already know the final results and

what i want to "prove". i couldn't just start with something and then not know how it's going to end.

but stephen king said that characters develop and so on it sounds like the story

isn't really set in stone and things can always change. how do you do it? is it bad when you

know how it's going to end right from the start?! i see no reason why this should be bad.

 

2) how do you plan a book? i mean when you have the story and know how it's going down

then how do you "make sure" that you get enough pages? i imagine this to be tricky.

i know this from my homeworks. basically i can never really tell when i'll be finished and often

times i write WAY too much and then even have additional stress because then i

have to throw stuff out.

do you start with determining the "major" chapters which really bring the story forwards and

then say i'll try to make every chapter at least X pages long so that i can make sure

i get enough pages and then you leave room for additional chapters in between which basically

contain filler material which could as well not be in the story and it wouldnt really

matter? or does everything you write about have to be important and add something to the story?

i know that in movie commentaries the directors often say stuff like "we decides to

cut this scene out cause it added nothing to the plot".

 

3) how do you work? i mean do you just sit down for X hours every day in front of the computer and then

try to come up with something? for me this wouldnt work at all. if i sat there

and had to come up with something right from the spot i'd feel under pressure. in the movie "misery"

for example paul sheldon (who's an author who's being held hostage by a crazy women) is forced to

write a book for her. and then you see him in his wheelchair sitting down in front of the

typing machine and then he starts writing. is this how it's usually done?

i'd rather go for a walk and then try to come up with ideas or come up with sentences

which sound good and record them with a voice recorder and then later when i'm on the computer i'd

listen to the notes and the sentences which i recorded earlier. this way you have less pressure

you dont have to come up with stuff right from the spot. instead you already have material

you can work with.

this is also how i do it with homeworks. i use a voice recorder to record ideas and

when i'm on the computer i work on making the sentences sound good.

 

4) do you mix different styles of telling a story for example describing stuff in detail

like stephen king and then at other places you forget about details? or do you stick to one style?

i think king is always detailed no matter what it is. but this requires a lot of imagination.

you cant describe something in detail without being able to envision it. i think this is something

you cant really learn. king said he has a huge imagination since being a child.

he also brings out so many books in such a short time i have no clue how he even does this.

i mean how can he even manage this?

 

5) in your opinion what's more important the story itself or how crafted the storyteller is?

i want to listen to listen to twighlight some day not because i like the movies but simply because

i want to know how well the author writes. her books have been so successful that i'm really curious how good she is.

 

6) i'm pretty good at trolling. i have been to forums where i started off being serious and asked many

questions and then sooner or later people became frustrated with me saying i'm a troll and this encouraged me to actually start trolling.

i can without any problems  create thread after thread with troll content and i find my stuff really funny. sometimes i mustnt even

think about it cause i cant stop laughing but i also dont know if everybody understands my kind of humor.

anyway, i dont know if this has any relevance to being a writer.

 

@ jackbquick

 

Do you mean cheesy love stories for women with spicy sex scenes which are described in detail

without being too pornographic? i think describing sex scenes isnt that complicated.

i could easily come up with stuff without thinking much about it in advance. but i bet there are many

people who write such books i dont know if you can really add something to this

or improve on it. if it's like the rest then it also cant be very successful.

 

 

Edited by regis

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On 4.5.2016 at 3:15 AM, confused said:

There is correction tape for typewriters. It is a pain to use. Woody Allen still writes screenplays on a typewriter.

i am not a professional. My writing style is very simplistic.

Are you planning on writing horror stories?

i ask myself how typewriters eg. the lack of computers affected authors.

maybe they would take longer to finally formulate a sentence but once they had written it down there was no way of going back. You cant erase every sentence and then

change it a bit and so on.

On the other hand if somebody sits on a computer and then modifies stuff all the time or takes passages out and then doesnt know if to include them somewhere else or to

totally dismiss them then this is also crippling. this happens to me all the time when i have to write a paper. I have whole passages which are all written out and then i dont

know if i should throw them out or if i could just use them somewhere else. this is really annoying. even if i have more than enough material for a certain chapter and all i have

to do is put paragraphs together and make it sound fluent then it still takes an awful long time until it's finally finished. usually one would think that if you've done 99% of the

writing and only have to add it all together to form a homogenous text. but at least for me it's not. even if i have enough material to work with it still takes very long to decide

how to put it together like a puzzle.

but this is also because of how i work. i dont sit down and then write and pick up the next day where i left. i start by gathering ideas and taking notes and then i convert them into

written text. the disadvantage is working like this is that a lot of stuff repeats itself and then i end up with various passages which all contain similar thoughts and then i have to

cut stuff out otherwise it's too repetitive. i have a lot of voice records which were recorded over a longer period of time and then i dont remember if i've already talked about

something or not. it's really quite chaotic.

 

i have books at home written by professors which i skim through to look for stuff which i can use. these books are often hundreds of pages long and they contain probably

thousands of citations from other authors! i really have no clue at all how these authors even managed this. even today with computers i couldnt do this but many books

are from a time before computers. how on earth were they able to read all these countless books and articles by other scientific writers and then take notes and record

where this note is taken from (author,title of the book, page of the book) and THEN incorporate all these citations into their own text.

how did they do this? imagine you use index cards and you use 1 card for every citation. then you have piles of index cards lying around but how do you include the citations

in your own text? imagine you write a chapter about topic and for this very topic you have 100 citations from other authors then i wouldnt even know at which point in the text

i needed to use a citation. and in order to even decide if and where you use a citation you have to know them so that you can even decide when to use them.

for me it's like when i find stuff in a book which i want to quote or refer to them i copy the exact passage or sentence from the book into a word document and also attach the author,name of the book and the page which it was taken from.

and then i end up with 1 or more documents which contain all these quotations. and then when i write my stuff i basically have to scroll up and down these documents ALL the time and quickly skim over the quotations to see if there is anything I can refer to right now or in the chapter which i'm at.

and then i copy all the quotations which can be relevant for where i'm at now into a new document and then the whole thing starts again. then i have a shorter collection of quotations and still have to go over them again and again to see if there's something relevant for where i'm right now. it's totally exhausting but i dont know if there is any better way to do this.

now if i imagine that authors pull of this stuff with thousands of quotations then i really wonder how they do this. i'd probably go mad during such a writing process.

Edited by regis

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regis

Yes. Things are easier/different with computers. I remember spending half my time on science reports just trying to get the data tables to look neat. And, that was just something short.

You sound like you have a good system with quotes. 

I hope you get some more helpful responses.

 

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i dont know if my quote system is good. i cant imagine how other people do it.

but it's still totally chaotic.

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      Anyway, being injured for two months and another 4-6 weeks in PT & rehabbing the knee I should be able to go back to work just in time for league finals and HS season. Yay! An entire season without income also SUCKS! (more so when you suddenly have to hire a defense atty to protect your son).
       
      So I had even more "free time" to work on the fiction author stuff. One of the four novels is a stretch piece. I've never written a Romance or Erotic Romance before. I did an initial round of queries to pubs, get the ole chestnut, 'love your work send us more... but this one we can't use right now.' yay. Whatevs. stock and trade. Not that big of a deal.
       
      But I want this thing out there and off my shoulders. So I want to go the indie route but I need an indie editor. I need some beta readers too because I've been celibate against my will for 14 years so I have no fucking idea beyond my research (reading a shit ton of other people's EroRom work) what's "hot" to the median 39yo female reader and fan of EroRom.
       
      I friend who's a copy editor some how decides after like a year of my going on about this friggin story asks me for the logline. I pitch it. She loved it. turns out she's a huge fan of EroRom. Her guilty pleasure YAY! progress, finally!
       
      Chapter 3 is the big rip roaring floor furniture and chandelier chapter. and I have no idea if it's laughable or legit. She gets to the end of Chapter two and her life blows up. OFFS. So I get 8 beta readers. mostly not the demographic and only two admitted EroRom readers. One person stops at chap 1 and says, hate it. Awesome I figure I got 7 others and two I really need to listen to. Weeks, months go by. I send inquires of them. SILENCE.
       
      So betas readers who say they want to read and don't  and don't even have the moxie to say, I can't do it just totally SUCK too.
       
      The other three novels and now five shorts over the summer I have regular betas for. Suddenly this week as I'm ready to send them stuff they've been asking for all summer as I worked text me and say, 'sorry, I'm out, my life blew up (divorce dead parent, etc.).' Aw fuck. What can you do, right?
       
      So a friend at a Con says, hey I know this editor who's between things and she loves your work. Awesome. I contact her. She gets back to me and says, I'll do it, but right now I have three friends dying of cancer in MT, VA and PA. Hopefully by December but I definitely want to do it. YAY.... December. I have four novels, five stories I'll have completely editor ready by Oct 1st.
       
      Sure I'll still be pounding out content in the meantime, I'm a workaholic and I work around the clock since I can't work games until my knee is 100%. But the shorts could be out there now if I had the editorial support that I lost. At least one of the novels could be out there too. The production plan was Oct 1st but everyone's lives blew up.
       
      That totally fucking SUCKS.
       
      Oh yeah, my website disappears on me, and the ISP domain host can't figure it out and when I tried to reupload it something weird happened and it's inaccessible. Awesome. I meet with a designer friend who said four months ago she could help with the platform tech. YAY. This week she says she's retiring "to follow her bliss."
       
      Jeebiz fuck me. Now that I've wasted an hour writing this rant, I better get back to work. When the dam finally breaks I don't want to be all, 'uh, i bailed out.' I just have no one to talk to so... yeah.
    • By baepolar
      I'm young. I'm dumb. But I have potential. At least I think I do.

      What do I mean by this?

      I want, more than anything in the world, to become a famous writer.

      Not for the money. Not for the connections.

      For the validation.

      I want to evoke emotion from people. I want to make them feel things.

      This has been a struggle of mine for as long as I can remember.

      There would be times in my life where I would get so upset with my parents that I would cut or burn to provide them with tangible proof that I was in distress, because I could fathom no other way to express my emotions other than by injuring myself. My intentions were to physically demonstrate the excruciating emotional anguish that I felt was inflicted upon me.

      In short, I have always wished to dramatically convey ideas with the goal of eliciting a raw, guttural response.
    • By Evenstar
      Non MI related. I just want to post my short story.. which is actually based on real life events. I've been wanting to write a book for the longest time... but my attention is too damn short to write a goddam book!!! So I ended up writing stuff like this instead, so here you go if you care to read..

      Twelve Years

      My nights are plagued with thoughts from twelve years ago. When I first saw the girl in the hallway of my school in college. I was a freshman and she was a junior. And I knew nothing of how relationships work within the walls of that school. But she captivated me. For a moment, our eyes met and there was this inexplicable connection. I didn't know what it was only that it stirred something in me that I had no name for. For how can a girl like me feel something so strange for another girl? I wasn't like that. I was barely eighteen and I never had a boyfriend. My last suitor broke my heart when I found out my friend was already his girlfriend while he was still courting me and the boy I had mutual understanding with had a girlfriend and he can never decide what I was to him. But there were no boys in my school. Still, I never thought any of it. I kept seeing her, that girl. For some reason, we kept bumping into each other and she kept looking at me strangely. Until I found myself looking forward to our next encounter and anticipating where I might see her next. I was surprised one day when I went out of the library and there was a box of candies there at the baggage counter waiting for me. It said they were from Layzie. That was her nickname. They were from her! I didn't know how I should feel but there were butterflies in my stomach. I couldn't keep from smiling and I thought what an idiot I must be, feeling that way toward a girl! I wondered how it should work... if two girls were to be together. I mean, I knew girls like that. I had a close friend from my previous school who had a girlfriend and it just didn't make sense to me. I knew it was wrong and my parents would never approve of it. But the way she made me feel made me forget about everything else. She sent me more gifts and cards, and I was really puzzled more than anything, why a girl would like me that way. She didn't look like a boy. She had deep eyes with light circles around them, her cheekbones looked cute when she pouts and she had dimples that took your breath away when she smiled. Her black hair went down to her shoulders and it was the softest and shiniest hair I ever saw. I can still remember the first time she called me on my cellphone. Her voice was husky and she didn't know what to say. It was so silly. I had nothing to say either so we ended up giggling and asking each other what we ate that day and said goodbye after a few more nonsense questions. I felt so stupid.

      It was twelve years ago and I can hardly remember the other details but on January of next year, I decided I will say yes to her. She was so happy while I on the other hand was trying to understand what I've gotten myself into. The only thing I know, the one thing I remember the most is how I loved her. And I loved her very very much.

      February 2003

      Layzie waited for me after class. I had World History and I couldn't wait to get out because I hated that professor. When I went out, I found her beside the door. I smiled at her and she took my hand, gave me a quick kiss on the lips and pulled me downstairs. We walked holding hands and when we reached the 3rd Street Gate where there were benches in the open area, I saw her friends. She introduced me to them one by one. They were so many and they were all smiling at me with such fondness and I guess a bit of curiosity. There, shaking my hands, hugging and kissing me were a bunch of third year students and they were all so kind to me. I thought, so this is how it feels to have friends from the higher batch. But Layzie pulled me away from them and said she would take me somewhere where we could be alone. I followed her to the grounds and up a staircase right after the chapel. Up there was a wide veranda that seemed unfinished. I never saw that part of the school before. It wasn't a romantic sight but we were alone alright. She walked me to the edge where we could see the other side of the street. Our school was in the middle of the main road and a high-end village. Up there, we could see the houses and lots of trees. She leaned on the baluster smiling while the soft breeze touched her hair. Her teeth were unbelievably white. We didn't kiss or make-out. We just stood silently through the hum of the houses that were cozily lit until it got dark.

      The next day, she said that she would take me home and I decided to introduce her to my family. We took the jeep and rode the tricycle to our house. We lived in a compound with my grandmother and other cousins and our house was in the second floor up the wooden staircase.

      “This is my best friend, Layzie.” I told my mom.
      “Hello, Layzie!” my mom said. “It's so nice to see Jack's best friend.”

      Of course, I couldn't tell them that she was my girlfriend. I heard their comments about girls like that when they went to my school and she said that it was disgusting.
      We giggled our way into my room at the thought of introducing her as my best friend.
      “I love you, Jack.” Layzie said and started kissing me on the lips. It was the first time I've really been kissed. The feel of her rough lips on mine was strange because it was cold and warm at the same time. Then she started sticking out her tongue inside my mouth and rolling it around and around, and I felt an unfamiliar sensation between my legs. It was like she was kissing me there. I was so young and inexperienced, I didn't know how to kiss her back. But she led me and showed me patiently by kissing me more. Her kiss was intense and so passionate that there is nothing I wouldn't give just for her to kiss me like that again one last time.

      The school became such a wonderful and happy place. We wrote to each other and she'd give me cards with poems on them even though we saw each other everyday. We celebrated every month on the day that I said yes to her. But on March, when summer vacation came, she told me that she had a problem with the school. She may not be returning on June when school resumes because she still had a balance on her tuition fee and her father still couldn't pay it. I became very distraught at the thought of not having her there. I cried and sometimes, we cried together. On our fifth month together, her sister told her that she wanted to run away from home because of the same problem. I couldn't remember exactly what their problem at home was only that the two of them couldn't go to school that year. She was going away with her sister and applied for work at a food chain and because I couldn't bear to be away from her, I suggested that she stay with me at home. I talked to my mom and told her that Layzie needed to work while studying and her workplace was near our house so she would be staying with us for a while. She agreed and Layzie slept with me in my room but it only lasted a short while.

      One time, while Layzie was taking a shower downstairs, my mother talked to me and told me that she knew that something was going on between us and that she must go. We were fighting and shouting when I noticed Layzie was at the door and she must have heard it all because when she left, she said that she was going for good. I was so furious with my mother for calling her a tomboy and so mad at myself for letting her hear it. I asked her where she was going and she said she would stay with her sister who went to her boyfriend's house. As an act of rebellion, I went with her. I told my parents I was sleeping over at my friends'. But soon, their aunt talked them into going back home. So I went back home and they went back home, and that's when we started drifting apart. She was now so busy at work while I waited at home for her texts and calls. School was soon starting and she grew more distant from me. Until I found out that there were people at work who were interested in her and somehow I had a feeling that her attention had shifted to them. She didn't cheat on me. But I knew that I had lost her. June came and I started going to school again... without her. She came to my house and I asked her if she still wanted to be with me and she said that it had been hard for both of us and that it would be best for me if we weren't together. I was shattered. I couldn't bear the thought of losing her. She didn't breakup with me that day. But eventually, she did. She said that she loved me so much and that I will always have a place in her heart.

      The days droned on but I can never perform well in school. My friends became worried about me when they saw me crying at the bench alone, in the washroom and sometimes, in the middle of class. It took a while for me to pay attention to class again but I was never the same until the day came, after a year, that she returned to school but she already had a boyfriend. I didn't talk to her. I was still mad at her for leaving me and I still loved her. Only, I didn't admit it. And after two years, before my classmates graduated, it was my time to leave the school for the same reasons she did. Only, I never came back.

      I ran as far away as I can from St. Paul QC. I never looked back and focused on my work. It took me at least four years to recover until I met Bob.

      It's been three years since Bob and I broke up but my thoughts are filled with her... only her.
    • By saintalto
      I decided to fill my time a bit by entering an online art competition. Because I am very private about recent work, I dug out a series that is not old, but not part of what I am doing currently.

      All the works will be used together as one big piece. They will tell a fairytale. The competition requires voting, so I don't know how far I will get, to be honest, but it's something to do that is not hugely stressful.

      Anyway, I have around 18 works to get through that will be made into a larger whole. I have scanned them all, but they all require individual tweaking in photoshop to match up the colour and tones with the originals. There is also re-sizing and such. It's going to be a good week or so to finish everything, perhaps more.
      Here are a few I finished working on today. They have been matched to the original works colour and tone wise. Enjoy


      http://www.crazyboards.org/forums/index.php?/gallery/image/8551-untitled-work-in-acrylic/

      http://www.crazyboards.org/forums/index.php?/gallery/image/8550-untitled-work-in-acrylic/

      http://www.crazyboards.org/forums/index.php?/gallery/image/8549-untitled-work-in-acrylic/
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