Oh, and check this out: Noble has a new meaning! http://jswayne.wordpress.com/noble-romance-publishing/
Oh, and check this out: Noble has a new meaning! http://jswayne.wordpress.com/noble-romance-publishing/
Another week, another snow storm. This one’s ice and freezing rain as well. Ugh! Despite having grown up in the Northeast, I am not a fan of snow, or cold weather in general, yet there are some good things about it – the holidays, and hockey (read: NY Rangers) season. That’s really about it, as far as I’m concerned.
But today’s post is not about the weather. It’s about inspiration. Writers live for inspiration, and when it strikes, it’s a truly fantastic feeling. It often pops up in unexpected places at unexpected times. Sometimes at really bad times, too. That’s happened to me more times than I can count. Nothing worse than driving the kids to school (or dance class, or sports, or parties) when an idea for a really hot story pops into my head.
Sometimes, I get my inspiration from various fiction genres, whether it’s a TV show, a movie, or even another book. Sometimes a bit of dialogue will trigger something, and the next thing I know, I’m off and running in a new world with new characters. I wrote a whole book based on one line of dialogue from a character in a campy 90’s TV show called Dracula: The Series. There are also times real events and real people will also spark my creativity. I think all writers are the same in that their inspiration comes from many different sources.
Lately, my inspiration has been coming from two of my favorite animated shows, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and Dragonball Z. Both shows have recently come back into my regular viewing orbit, thanks to my son, who adores both of them in their current rerunning on Nicktoons. (YAY! Someone to share them with!) As my friends know, I tend to get obsessive about my fandoms. Highlander and Harry Potter are my two favorites by far, but I have many many others, as well.
In rediscovering Avatar and Dragonball, I’m reminded of the incredible talent of their creators. The rich world of Avatar is steeped in Eastern philosophy and culture. Yet at the same time, it is vastly different in so many ways. The characters are complex and conflicted in various ways, and the mythology of the series, while at its core is a basic struggle of good vs. evil, is deep and multi-layered. Many things that seem unimportant in one episode turn out to be of major importance in another, as Aang’s saga progresses. There are many dramatic moments, just as many comedic ones, and yes, even romance. Characters act heroically, yet they also act un-heroically or childish (the core characters are all under 18 so that is to be expected), but they are REAL. In many cases, I find their reactions or behavior to be more realistic than some of the current prime-time drama shows. In addition to the core good and evil battles, it is also a story of redemption, for several of the characters. The way they grow and change, yet remain true to themselves, simply draws me in.
Dragonball Z is another example of a world where good must defeat evil. Goku, the Saiyan warrior who vows to defend Earth, is always fighting off some threat to his family and friends, and the general population of our dear planet – when he isn’t stuffing his face, that is! I love Goku, but I do find him a little “too” good for me. He’s at his best when he’s angry and fighting, in my opinion. As I tend to prefer the villains in general, Raditz, Goku’s brother, and Vegeta, the Prince of the Saiyan race, are two of my favorite characters from the show, and both are most definitely on the side of evil, at least at the beginning of the saga. Raditz, sadly, ends up dead very early on, which irks me to no end. He is one of my all time favorite villains. Oh, if he had lived… And that hair – he simply has the most gorgeous hair, and for an animated character, he is one of the hottest males I’ve ever encountered. I love to imagine just what he could do with that tail of his!
Vegeta, also superbly evil with apparently no conscience, also dies, but thankfully, he is wished back to life using the Dragonballs. Vegeta’s story is one of redemption as well, at least, I interpret it that way. Sadly, as he is not our noble heroic Goku, we don’t get to see as much of his journey to the “good” side. He still retains his gruff exterior, even though he goes from being selfishly focused only on himself and his needs and wants, to showing concern for others and even proves his love for his family in a most dramatic way. Yet, always lurking deep inside is his embrace of the dark side. He fights against it, but it’s still there, lending a dangerous edge to his personality.
Both of these shows have given me some ideas for books. While I currently have my Magiste series at the forefront of my work, I have been working out various scenarios for other worlds in which to play. Magic and other superhuman skills play a big part in my characters, which may be why I am so drawn to these shows. Yet at the same time, I realize I must find something lacking in them as well. While they may inspire me, I build my own worlds and characters with my own sets of rules, tweaking and reworking them until I get them right where I want. Right now, I am learning the planet Aldarra is in turmoil, and citizens of the Aldarran race are going to have a big effect on a few people right here on Earth. An entire race is in jeopardy and needs the help of us lowly humans to restore the balance – and so good will triumph over evil. Yet, good is a relative term in my worlds, maybe it’s more appropriate to say the lesser of two evils? Currently, I have the beginning of the first book written, but as more characters have come to life in my head, I can see at least three total for the saga. My spreadsheets are getting bigger every day.
So what inspires you? What sort of things trigger an idea, a character, or a whole new world? Do you like to repeatedly write in that world, or is one time enough? I’m always fascinated by others’ world-building techniques, and love to hear about them.
As I travel around the web, I’ve come to the realization that my blog is rather plain. Sure I have a pretty background design, but that’s about it. I see so many really cool blogs with animated graphics, rolling pictures, etc. I’ve tried to add a couple of pictures with links on them, but I screwed that up and still have not been able to figure out. I keep playing around, but nothing seems to be working.
I do some web work at my day job – most of it consists of adding product information to an information repository that auto feeds the data to various pages on our site. The rest of what I do web-related is provide information and articles to the web marketing group, and they do the programming and uploading.
I’m in awe of some of the sites I’ve visited and follow. I want to jazz my page up a bit, but I’m not sure where to start. I’d love any input or guidance anyone might have, and I might even be willing to pay for some design services, though, being the penny-pinching bargain hunter I am, I’d prefer to keep the costs down as much as possible.
I’m sure I’ve got some internet tech-savvy friends out there – can anyone enlighten the clueless? Because after that, I’d love to learn how to make trailers, banners and other types of graphic promo materials. Then again, maybe I’ve got pipe dreams
Another blog hop – though I haven’t quite got the hang of getting all the good stuff in here (like the really cool logo!). I’m working on it! See below for the details:
Join us for Trail Us Teasers.
Readers – do you want to meet some authors you’ve never read before? Hop onto the blog hop, stop at each blog and leave comment.
Authors – If you write paranormal, historical, romance, join our blog hop and meet new friends!
Bloggers – Do you review paranormal, romance, historical, whatever? Add your link.
Here’s how it works:
•Follow as many authors as you like. Just follow the Linky list and hop from blog to blog. The idea is to find some new to you authors and new reading material. Leave us a comment as you hop from blog to blog! We’d love to hear with you!
•Follow the Trail Us Teasers host Brita Addams along with the wonderfully talented authors and bloggers on the list. Enter your name and blog/website url into the Linky tool.
•Grab our super cute button and place it in a post. (THIS IS IMPORTANT!) If you don’t create a post for the hop, your readers won’t have a place to comment, and the hop will stop with you. You have 150 characters. Put the name of your blog, a sentence from one of your books, etc. So create a post, paste in the Linky code and start hopping!
•Please share the Linky list in a post on your blog! Follow the link and grab the code.
I was invited to join a blog hop by my fellow Noble author, Brita Addams. It seems like a really cool idea, and a good way for readers to meet new authors, and vice versa. And as a reader too, it gives me more options to find new books and authors to read myself. I’ve decided to participate, and can only hope I got this all right. My somewhat decent technical agility has abandoned me when it comes to this blog!
Anyway, leave a comment, and then take a look at the list below and see who else you might like to meet/visit. And perhaps find some great new books to read as well!
So, tonight at my parents’ house for dinner, where I go each Sunday with the kids, we got to talking about home remedies. It started because while I was in San Diego, my team and I sat around talking about what their parents would give them – for everything. One guy had cod liver oil, another had something else, to be honest, a lot of beer had been drunk that night, so I don’t remember it all. But I do remember the horrified looks when I told them about one of my grandmother’s remedies – one she gave to my mother and my aunts. For a sore throat, a spoonful of Vaseline with sugar on it was the norm.
I mentioned this to my mother, and she started telling me about other things, which then brought up the point that most drugs that are illegal today, weren’t until the 1930’s or thereabouts. She dug this up to point out some other things either she, her friends, or my grandmother had been given. Probably my great-grandmother, but we have no way of knowing – she left her husband and daughter (my Grammy) to run away with another man when my grandmother was a baby.
Anyway, I’m sure this isn’t the first time this is out there, and I wish I knew who to credit it to, but I got such a chuckle, I thought I’d share. Of course, this is also one way of stalling with the scene I’m writing, as it’s not going as smoothly as I’d hoped. And oddly enough, I have a story idea for some of this, but I doubt anything will come of it. One of those “sounded like a good idea at the time” sort of things.
WHY OUR GREAT-GRANDPARENTS WERE SOOO HAPPY
Why Our Great-Grandparents Have Such Fond Memories Of Their Youth…I’m surprised that they could remember anything!!
A bottle of Bayer’s ‘Heroin’
Coca Wine, anyone?
A paper weight
Opium for Asthma
Cocaine Tablets (1900)
Cocaine drops for toothache
Opium for new-borns
It’s no wonder they were called, ‘The Good Old Days’!! From cradle to grave … Everyone Was Stoned!!!
School is starting! YAY! Although this year, we are starting late – September 13, to be exact. Why so late? Because our district observes the Jewish Holidays, just like many districts around here, though there are several that do not. And since this year, those holidays are the week of Labor Day, our traditional school opening week, it made more sense to remain closed the extra week. Either way, I am so glad to have the kids going back to school.
This year, my little guy is starting kindergarten, and my daughter is entering 8th grade. Last year before high school. When the hell did that happen? But it’s going to be an interesting year, since now both kids will have a heavy schedule. Between sports, dance lessons, CCD, National Honor Society and Girl Scouts, community service hours, not to mention homework, I’m going to be spending a lot of time on the road. Add in my own personal commitments, full time job, writers’ meetings and critique groups, and hopefully other writing-related events to increase in the coming months, and I’m going to be ready for a rubber room by November. No wait, can’t do that, taking the family to Disney in November. December then. No, then it’s the holidays. January is daughter’s b-day. Okay then, reserve the rubber room for February.
But as crazy as that all sounds, having the school year start actually does make life a tiny bit easier. No worries about who has to go where, do I have a babysitter while I’m working, etc. Plus, the kids are so damn tired after their crazy days, that they are all tucked in and usually close to or already asleep by 10:00pm. Then my time kicks in.
It’s going to be nice not to have to chase anyone off my computer (or stand in the kitchen with my work laptop) so I can write. I’ve even outlined a schedule for myself. I have two almost completed WIPs that I want to get wrapped up in the next couple of months. I have another one that I started recently, that stands at about 5K words right now. Big goals with not a lot of time to fit them all in. But if I keep myself organized (ha!) and focused, I should be able to do it. Of course, it would be so much easier if I didn’t have two business trips looming – one at the end of September, one the end of October (and don’t forget Disney in November!). They’re going to be huge time sucks, both during the day while I’m working, and even at home while I prep the household for my absence.
I’ve resigned myself to learning to function on less than 5 hours of sleep a night – for the next stretch, it looks like that’s all I’ll be able to fit in. And then that rubber room is going to look very welcoming.