Writers

The Help of Others

A guest post by writer Jessica Loftus: I’ve always thought that the idea of writing being a completely solitary lifestyle was a myth. The act of writing is solitary, not the life of a writer. Especially a fiction writer. For those of us that have the characters in our heads all the time, we wish we were alone sometimes. I have times in the middle of the night where I’m trying to relax and then my characters start having fights. It’s even worse when I’m editing because I hear them say, “Hey, I changed my mind. My house didn’t burn down after all.” Being the pushover that I am, I sometimes just let my characters run rampant with my story. Outside of our own insanity, a writer has their support system. Whether it be your significant other, your best friend, or your writing group you have a su...

The Many Faces of a Writer

Last Sunday, I watched the “In Memoriam” segment of the Emmy’s telecast. Sitting quietly, watching as the faces of many actors and actresses whose work I’ve known faded in and out, I wondered how many of the characters they had played on-screen had resembled, in ways big or small, their own personalities? How many times had a story line reflected their real-life choices and experiences? During the montage, the face that stood out to me the most was Larry Hagman, who brilliantly played J. R. Ewing in both the original Dallas, and the reboot. Was he anything like that greedy, corrupt, unprincipled character that he seamlessly portrayed? According to every piece I’ve ever read about him, he was not. But there must have been something in him that understood J. R., the man; or, at least, someth...

Writing: The Importance of Word Choice in Translation

For those of you who are fans of Star Trek (or, like me, grew up with a brother who loved all things science fiction), have you ever fantasized about having communication tools like the ones Captain Kirk and his crew had? I have, and I find myself doing it all the more lately. Why? Social media. Daily, the Internet provides readers and writers with the opportunity to connect with new people involved in the book world, and to interact with speakers of many different languages. While I firmly believe that diversity of people, in every possible way, is one of the two greatest strengths the human race collectively possesses (the other is love), I do find diversity challenging when it comes to language. This is not because I can’t learn to speak another language; I can and do. The reason is bec...

A Special Goodbye: Charles Moss

A Special Goodbye: Charles Moss I’ll never forget the Sunday afternoon three-wheeler rides with our little gang of misfits. I was the youngest, I think, in my teens. Every Sunday we would meet up at my grandfather’s store, each other’s houses, or at some point in between. We all rode Honda three-wheelers. Our destination might be a sandpit, logging trails, river beds, or just a nearby mud hole. Most afternoons, at some point along the way, we would gather in a lazy circle, eat Nabs (that’s peanut butter crackers made by Nabisco, for you non-southerners) and drink a Pepsi. It was during those times Uncle Charles told his stories. His deadpan delivery never failed to make us all laugh. Even when he told horrific tales of being trapped in foxholes in Vietnam, we laughe...

Dear Barnes & Noble, Part Four

You’ve finally done it this time, Barnes & Noble. What I’d really like to know is who isn’t listening at your corporate headquarters? Who are the ones so rooted in the past that they would rather collapse your future than step aside and make room for innovation and re-branding. Who should be the recipient of our communications, the ones we self-published authors keep sending from the front lines of writing, publishing, and marketing books? The blog posts and tweets we’ve been so passionately writing to you for a year, Barnes & Noble, obviously aren’t getting through to a person who can effect change — big change — within your organization. Here is some advice. Right now, right this very second, call a meeting. Start a national conversation and hold it in your bookstores...

Nice To Meet You

I am behind on my Twitter communications. …wait. What am I saying? I am behind on everything. Anyway, here I am, going through page after page of Twitter, looking for new friends, one bio at a time. I tried one of the highly recommended auto-follower programs for about two days six months ago, but I did not enjoy it. For me, the purpose of Twitter is to develop a community of “sometimes like-minded and sometimes not” people whose tweets, blogs, Facebook posts, and other social media I find interesting. There is so much to learn and, to my way of thinking, diversity is the first step in creating a balanced world. Auto-follow does not help me to accomplish that goal. It’s impersonal; and I don’t like impersonal. I’ll leave that to the spammers, numbers hunters, and SEO folks. If I’m fo...

The Cool Factor

Everyone wants to be cool. You can deny it, but I won’t believe you. What I would believe is that your idea of cool and my idea of cool quite possibly differ in some, or many, ways. Why? That oh-so-aggravating little word, stereotypes. A word that sums up specifically what kind of cool we want to be: jock, nerd, preppie, goth, loner… You get the drift.  Why am I thinking about this? Am I experiencing terrible flashbacks of my high schools days?  No. I loved my experience. Rather, what occurred to me this morning as I was working my way through a growing list of social media accounts, is that these stereotypes exist for books, too. Genres are, in my opinion, stereotypes. I decided to spend a little time researching this idea and began by looking into the concept of the stereotype. Some of t...