A to Z Challenge 2013

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Blog Chain - Challenge Yourself

It's blog chain time and guess who is starting off this round?  You'll never guess.  That's right, writer fans.  It's your friendly neighborhood Spider...er...I mean little ol' me.  So jump on the crazy train (queue Ozzy Osbourne music) and ponder these questions:

What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of being a writer?  What is your greatest reward from writing?

For me, the most challenging aspect is finding time to write and actually starting to write.  Once I get going and my fingers are typing away, I get lost in the story and everything flows pretty well.  But at the moment I'm juggling about a thousand different balls and writing is but one small part of that.  I haven't yet figured out a good way to balance them perfectly yet, but my life is a work in progress.  Hopefully with a happily ever after ending.

The greatest reward I get is when I'm in the groove, the words are just flowing along, and I feel like a writer.  Like when I look back at a particular phrase or scene and I can honestly say "Oh man, that's awesome."  That's when I really feel good about being a writer, when the words are dripping from my virtual pen like sweet honey straight off the comb - or like acid dripping from the fangs of a xenomorph.  It just depends on what I'm writing, though the latter is more fun.  Yeah baby, that's when all the planets are aligned and everything is good in my universe.

Now I'll pass the torch to the ever-awesome Michelle H., who should have her answer up tomorrow.  But feel free to tell me your thoughts in the comments.  What are your challenges and rewards where writing is concerned?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Blog Chain - What The Heck Am I Doing?

As you can tell from the lack of posts this week, school is demanding the greatest portion of my time right now.  With that in mind, I'll be mostly unplugged this month as I try to catch up.  Sorry, but working my way through this current class has me feeling really thick-headed and slow, and I don't have much mental energy for anything else.  I'll be back in Sept though, starting with a guest appearance on the 1st by the talented Cassandra Jade (and I'll be posting on her blog that same day).

Today's blog chain query however, comes from the funny, the inspirational, the awesome writer Cole.  She asks:

Are you querying? Gearing up to go on submission? Writing? Revising? I'd love to hear what's new with you. And if you'd like to share a snippet of your WIP, even better!

I'm nowhere near ready to query or submit anything, and I've stopped writing new things due to time constraints.  So that leaves only revising (which you can tell how much I love it from previous posts).  It's a fairly slow process for me, both because of how little time I have to spend these days on writing as well as how hard it is for me to revise.  I see all the things I need to fix when I'm looking at a piece, but figuring out what fixes it is always a long process.  Still, I do enjoy when I have trimmed off excess or changed wording and the sentence comes out better.  The end result is worth the headache.

Below is my snippet, and for anyone who wants to give feedback here, my goal during these revisions is characterization, characterization, characterization.  One of the resounding themes during the critiques was the lack of description and characterization in my writing, so I'm attempting to combat that as best I can.  Enjoy, and don't feel like you have to say fuzzy bunny comments if you don't like it;  I got the flame suit on ;)

“This can’t be it”, Jeremy said as he looked around. The street was empty, other than a rusted orange Volkswagen on blocks. Hairs on the back of his neck stood out as he felt someone watching. Jeremy examined the building’s covered windows, sheets of plywood and scraps nailed up haphazardly across them. The front door was grimy, the dirt-brown paint peeling, but it was accessible. Shrugging off his uneasy feelings, Jeremy knocked on the door. It opened a moment later without a sound.

He looked in, feeling very uncertain. Beyond the entryway was a front desk of sorts, reminiscent of an old hotel. The ceiling and stained walls were engulfed in cobwebs and a thick layer of dust lay over everything.


“Come in and have a seat.” The dulcet tones contrasted against the dingy interior before him.

Jeremy couldn’t see who spoke, but the voice compelled obedience. He took a step in, grimacing at the dust swirling around his badly-shined shoes. Jeremy didn’t want to make a bad first impression, but there was no way he was going to sit down here.

“Ahh, there you are.”

A woman entering the room captured his attention immediately, and he couldn’t help but stare. She had long dark tresses that fell past her waist, caressing an hourglass figure. Her sky-blue eyes mirrored the iridescent dress she wore, and the hue of her skin was like a barely ripened peach. The neckline plunged dangerously low, threatening to spill its contents at any moment. Jeremy tried unsuccessfully to keep the flush from his face, hoping the woman wasn’t a mind reader.

“Uh…yeah…I...I’m here to apply for the…a…the job”, Jeremy said. “I mean, the IT position.”

“Of course you are. Follow me please.” Spinning on high heels, she turned and led Jeremy through a door. A cheap folding table dominated the center, with three chairs positioned behind it. Jeremy stumbled as he noticed all three women. They must all be related, he thought; the resemblance between them was unmistakable. The woman in the middle identically mirrored the first blue-eyed beauty, but one generation older. And the matronly woman on the end continued the trend. He nearly fell into the chair.

“Anything wrong, Mr. Franklin?” The coarse voice reminded him of an elementary school lunch lady.  How appropriate, he thought.

So that's a glimmer of what I'm working on.  If you didn't get the chance to read Sandra's post, head on over there.   Tomorrow we'll all get to see what Michelle H. is up to.