Stop your complaining…and get busy writing

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Words From The Floor

So, you don’t think you are a writer because an editor said your writing sucks. Well, maybe it does, but that does not mean you are not a writer .

Editing is a treasured art only appreciated by writers. If an average editor is worth his/her weight in gold, then a good one is worth twice that and a great one is worth your first born child.

As an artist paints, sketches, molds, chisels, or snaps a shot, an editor meticulously reads each word, examines every punctuation mark, assures the story flows, and the characters remain true to themselves. It is not easy to do.

My recent book, Fly Paper Soup went through seven betas and each one found something worth correcting. Now, let us make something clear, a Beta reader reads for substance, for flow, and their job is to tell the author if the story works. Did it move them, did it capture their attention, was it interesting, or did it drag on, no spark, and cause the reader to jump off a bridge. After they dried off, they may find flaws in word usage, grammar, or any number of things. Your perfect work is not so perfect.

An editor digs, grinds, examines your story from top to bottom and then does it all over again. They are brutally honest and should be. If you have an editor that hands out lollipops and sprinkles everything with sugar, get rid of them.

You want your book top rated.

You want your book to compete.

You want your book in the hands of readers all over the world.

You want to make money…I hope.

If so, then stop being so timid. Write with passion. Write with zeal. Drive those pros and splash those cons. Have no fear. Read your work over and over again aloud, have others read it as you write. Take criticism constructively, even if presented with harsh and cruel honesty. The only way to grow as a writer is to know your faults and correct them. Then write, write, and write. Then write some more. When your betas deliver the news, be open to rewrites or changes they suggest.

Now when the editor delivers your manuscript back and it is dripping in red ink do not be discouraged. Examine the edits. Learn. Grow. Ask questions but never throw the manuscript away thinking you are a lousy writer. Make the chances. Accept your humanity. Swallow that pride.

You are a writer, first and for most. You write…that is what you do. Edit the best you can and move on…NEXT. Leave the real editing to the pros.

Sleep Time Dreams

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Dreaming, I was told once that dreams are nothing more than my subconscious expressing abstractly what my heart desires…I guess my heart is desiring a murder, witches, warlocks, goblins, ghouls, fairies, dwarfs, giants, dragons, wizards, and a small man named Waldo. Not to mention money, sex, and a beautiful woman named Roxanne.

In many ways, what I was told is true, but then again not. We do dream about things we desire, but more often, we dream of things totally unrelated to our daily lives. I wake up from a dream and try to write it down and retain some miniscule part of it. However, it soon fades. Occasionally I will have a dream that affects me deeply. Those dreams linger long enough for me to write them in detail. Like most dreams, they are confusing, very abstract with no meanings on the surface.

What do dreams mean? Got me. Perhaps they are nothing more than entertainment. If you are religious, it might be God’s way of communicating to you. Also, maybe dreams are not meant for our interpretation. Maybe they require an oracle.

According to the Bible, Daniel interpreted King Nebuchadnezzar dreams. Then again, John had dreams an angel interpreted for him.

Mystics, palm readers, soothsayers, all try to tell us what our dreams are, but no one can really tell.

As for me I hope I continue to dream…I am an old man, and in the later days old men will dream dreams, and young men will have visions. So I dream, and if God wants me to understand the dreams then he will make them known, if not they will remain abstract entertainment while I sleep.

Today has been one of those deja-views days.

Some people have deja-view moments…a passing glimpse of something making them feel like, “Hey, I have been here,” or “I have done this before.” Me too. None, however, that has lasted this long.

It started just after Mid-night. I took our basenji out for a late night stroll. The spring evening constitutional I hoped would help resolve an issue in my current story. While he sniffed about I noticed the air…it was still and smelled fresh, warm. Leaves, hung as solemn ornaments. Humidity was on the rise, I could feel it. Standing on the edge of grass and concrete, I gazed down Ken Dr. and felt the deja creep over me.
I lived in this neighborhood all my life. This view of street, trees, and star filled sky was familiar but last night it was surreal. I found myself in a summer’s night after a very hot day. The air felt sticky but cool. Dead still, no noise, not even from the nearby interstate or from the busy streets. Silence. At what point in time I do not know, but I felt young again.
Pepper rubbed against my leg, pulling me back. I did not want to leave. The place he wanted me to abandon was peaceful, familiar but yet different.
Inside the house, although with unlike furnishing, remains as it was back in my youth. Good friends lived here and I spent days to numerous to count in the yard or out on the porch.
My sleep was void of dreams. Several times a jolt woke me after a few minutes, or hours. I do not know what the jolt was. It felt like an electrical shock.

Now, along with the deja, the word “breathe” populates my thoughts. I pick up a book and the word jumps out at me. It is everywhere. Even while browsing through blogs. Don Charisma post today is about breathing, and Pink Floyds song, Breathe.
What this means I do not know. Something uncanny I suppose, but still not sure of its meaning. That is, if it holds a meaning. Sometimes I think I allow my imagination too much control.
Well, anyway, I will breathe and take things easy for the rest of the day. I wonder how long this feeling will last?