Thursday, March 28, 2013

Bunny Hopping

It's that time again, kids. Yes, another holiday is scurrying upon us providing cause for celebration. Naturally here at The Hook we party with the best of them, as we join in the latest hop with Kathy and her blogging buddies :

Easter is big for its bunnies, its bonnets (do people still wear those things?) and its parades, but it's also known for its candy, isn't it? Most of that is chocolate and yummy, but of course we mustn't forget that infamous Cadbury Egg. Is it just me, or do those things creep you out? What about those sweet little Peeps? Are you a fan or are they just too much fluff for you? What is your favorite Easter treat? I'd love to know. Leave a comment below and be sure to enter for your chance to win a $5.00 Amazon e-gift card and an e-book copy of WISHLESS. Good luck to one and all and may all your baskets be ever-plentiful!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Writing Mind

A recent article on NPR books about the self-imposed retirement of novelist, Philip Roth, see here: got me to thinking about the Writing Mind. It's high time I face it. This organ isn't like that of the ordinary human. If you happen to be of the Writing Mind, then I won't need to explain. Then any elaboration on my part of this particular brain's traits will be utterly unnecessary. Superfluous, bordering on redundant. (You see? The WM will not permit me to stop searching for the exact right word.)
But for those of you who are like, "What is Nutty Blogger Girl speaking of this time?" I will expand. Perhaps a visual aid might make it easier to understand. I've extracted some images of what I perceive this mind might resemble:

Here you have a peek at the archive of our handiwork. In the WM, every book we have ever laid eyes on serves as an instrument of learning, a how-to guide, a comparison, a piece of our history. We may pretend we have forgotten about them, once we've closed the back cover and moved on to the next. However, there they are, stacked up and spilling over someplace behind the left frontal lobe.

Next you have the Writing Mind's Cast of Characters:
These are the folks who appear inside our heads and demand some page time. They typically arrive without any advance notice and are hard-pressed to leave. Generally speaking the C of C continues to swell in number until the writer herself fears she's one personality shy of becoming Sybil.

In the core of the brain is the Command Center, which for most writers looks a little something like this:
The blue wires represent our ideas. Eek. The black ones are the feed for those ideas to be put into application and the white are the processing of life's ordinary details. As you can plainly see, the idea wires in all their tangled glory, care not about the stilted ratio here. Their main purpose is to see to it that the writer gets a little sleep as humanly possible, in the name of almighty creativity.

Finally you have what I call the Drive Zone. Herein lies the goal that every writer hopes to achieve, the "if only" the brass ring of the fruits of our labor, which for many WM's looks like this:
Most writer's claim they do not care if they ever attain the level of success of somebody like the wildly wonderful Ms. Rowling (or this image might be that of Mr. King or some similar BSA- best-selling-author) -
stating emphatically that they simply want to "be read."
Ahem. Not.
You should also note that the Writing Mind panders toward fabrication, exaggeration, denial, anxiety, hysteria, and at times, just plain old insanity.
Is it any wonder then that Mr. Roth, at age 80, needs a nap? I think not.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Dueling Muses

It's one thing when they don't arrive for days, even weeks on end, leaving a writer wringing his hands, pacing the floor and searching the sky for a dose of inspiration. It's another thing altogether when they tag-team you, showing up at once with a partner in tow - each with a very different agenda. I'm referring to the all-elusive Muse, of course. By now you're well aware of the role she plays in the life of us writerly-type folks. With a wave or a whisper our Muses are known to bestow a much-needed plot twist, a long-sought-after line, or Yureka! a brand new idea. Or two.

So there I was minding my own very busy business, doing my thang as it were, when these lovely creatures decided to grace me with their presence. Twice. Now, far be it for me to look a gift-muse in the mouth. Never happen. And I'm not complaining but, the thing of it is, one idea is quite enough for me to handle these days. Yet, they each presented their case with the finesse of those ole' fiddle players in that Charlie Daniels' song about the devil and Georgia. (Yeah you know the one."Boy let me tell ya what..") It went something like this:

Muse 1 - Here you go, Writer Girl, (they don't seem to know my name.) I have for you this Wonderful Thing. (Muse sets the new idea down carefully on the desk. It sparkles like fresh-fallen snow in the sunlight.) Treat it gently. You should definitely work on this one right away. You're most welcome.

Muse 2 - But, Writer Girl, I think you should see this. (Second Muse jockeys for position, placing her equally shiny New Idea down before me.) Notice how it glitters, it's fine curves and perfect angles. All you have to do is set it free, as quickly as possible. You're also most welcome.

Muse 1 - Well? Which will it be? Mine or hers?

Muse 2 - Yes, and I urge you to choose with care!

Me: Wow, Highnessess. This is so generous of you, both, but I'm afraid I couldn't possibly take on two different projects right now. I simply don't have the time. If it's all the same to you girls, um, your Grace's, I'll take one for now and save the other for later.

(It appeared I had angered them. Each Creature took a turn glowering at me and then at each other. I'm guessing they didn't take kindly to be told to wait their turn in line. At once it was a flurry of wings - each Muse adjusting their Idea again and again, edging them closer and closer to my face until I saw nothing but a big blob of blur. Sensing the impending doom, I reached for my reading glasses and studied each of the gifts, quick as I was able.)

Muse 1: This is absurd. I'll just take my Wonderful Thing and be on my way.

Muse 2: Well, my New Idea and I don't need a brick house to fall on our heads. We're out of here.

Before I could protest, in the snap of a golden finger they were gone. Just like that. Easy come - easy go? Not so much. I might have panicked, too. Yet those girls didn't know that I'm something of a trained speed reader with a memory like a steel trap. All I'd have to do is write those ideas down to be sure I got all the details right.
But, only, oh damn it! Where are all the pens when you need one?? And - oh no- paper! I know I have some, somewhere around here. No problem. I'll just type it on my laptop...which is...not.. turning on. The sweat began to bead at my brow. I grabbed a lip liner pencil and the flip side of a receipt from Stop and Shop. Another thing those Muses don't know about us writerly-type folks.

We sure do know how to improvise.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Did Somebody Say Fire?

It may seem as if we've gone a bit contest crazy of late here at The Hook. Well, that may be the case. But if you ask me, nothing cures the winter doldrums like some fun and games. Don't you agree? This next giveaway is so super-awesome I just had to take part. If any of you guys haven't had a chance to check out the Kindle Fire, I urge you to do so. And now you could win one of your very own. Okay, I'll fess up. I still ADORE books in print. The way they smell. The feel of the binding in my hands. However, more often than not, I'm reading manuscripts and novels and such on my Nook. It's quicker and easier than a trip to the bookstore, although I will confess that B & N is arguably one of my fave places to shop. So be sure to enter for your chance to win. Oh, and if you already have a Kindle don't fret, you could receive some dough instead (and not the kind you bake with, ya dig?) Good luck to all!!

Kindle Fire HD Giveaway!

The winner will have the option of receiving a 7" Kindle Fire HD (US Only)

Or $199 Gift Card (International)

Or $199 in Paypal Cash (International)

Sponsoring Authors

The Stone Guardian by Theresa McClinton

Blood Oath (Gabby Girls Adventure, #2)Return of the Dragon Riders: Book Two of the Dragon Stone Saga (Dragon Stone Saga, #2)Hidden HeartA Tale of the Other Kind (Therian, #1)AuraPrison NationFamily Magic (Hayle Coven, #1)The Conduit (Gryphon, #1)Shifting PrideFire Within (Guardian Witch #2)Fall of Sky CityReflectionThe Light of Asteria: Kailmeyra's Last Hope (Kailmeyra, #1)Kiss Me, I'm Irish (Time For Love #1)Grace DollThe Stone GuardianLegend UnleashedInnovera Yakov: The Journey of A Thousand EyesThe GiftedFor What It's WorthForbidden Temptation of a VampireOwlet (Society of Feathers, #1)Cascade Brides: The Complete SeriesTwenty-Five Years Ago TodayAlexander Drake's Extraordinary Pursuit

Giveaway Details
1 winner will receive their choice of a Kindle Fire HD (US Only), $199 Amazon Gift Card or $199 in Paypal Cash (International).
Ends: 3/31/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the authors. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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