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Persistence Prevails When All Else Fails—Being an Outlaster

this posting from the famous Kristen Lamb is really excellent. But don’t read it if you like to procrastinate. Alice

Kristen Lamb's Blog

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Monday we talked about The DIP, so it seemed like a good idea to talk about being an OUTLASTER. I had years of honing this skill. Some of you may not know, but I dropped out of high school twice. 

***Note: I am the reason for the current Texas truancy laws 😀 .

Returning to high school and graduating at 19 was seriously humbling. My GPA was so low, my classes (very literally) were one step above Special Ed. When I took my SAT, the scores were so bad, I thought they might check me for a pulse.

Really glad they gave me some points for spelling my name correctly, LOL.

After a year and a half of junior college I won an Air Force scholarship to TCU to become a doctor. Six months in, the school didn’t close when we had a bad ice storm and I slipped…

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Is Romance Devolving?—50 Shades vs. No One Puts Baby in a Corner

This thoughtful blog by Kristin Lamb is well worth reading, especially since she is critical of 50 Shades. Thank God somebody is.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Image courtesy of Lisa Weidmeier WANA Commons. Image courtesy of Lisa Weidmeier WANA Commons.

I’d hoped I wouldn’t have to go here, but alas, here we are. Today, 50 Shades of Grey the MOVIE will open for…*record screech* Valentine’s Day. Nothing says I love you like predatory emotional manipulation, sociopathy, abuse and non-consensual sex acts.

Find THAT on a Hallmark card.

And yes, I know there have been other kinky books like this, but 50 Shades sold over 100 million copies and the movie (despite ZERO plot) is expected to gross in excess of $60 million which means I just threw up a little in my mouth this “story” has tipped from fringe to mainstream and that scares me more than a little bit.

No, I didn’t read the book. I don’t need to. Nor do I need to watch gang-rape prison porn to know it probably is unhealthy for the future of women (or even men)…

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Happy New Year with a Rainbow

Greetings All. We got to spend most of the Christmas holiday at our house on Dauphin Island. It’s a barrier island south of Mobile, Alabama. I love being there in the cool/cold weather because we have a fireplace. But I’ve been known to build a fire without its being cold outside.

The time was relaxing as I am recovering from hip replacement surgery on Dec. 11. I’m doing really well now, and have started out-patient physical therapy. What Fun.

What I wanted to share with y’all is these two pictures of a rainbow that appeared on Dec. 27. In the second shot you can just make out the double one. It was magical.

 

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Planning on being more productive here in the coming weeks. I’m very behind on my latest manuscript – tentative title, The Taste of Faith. Not entirely satisfied with the title, but it’ll do for now.  Am trying to figure out how to add the cover of my last book: The Taste of Her. It’s available on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1z41veY  It’s kinda creepy, but a romantic suspense with the promised Happily Ever After.

TheTasteOfHer600

Blessings for a wonderful, prosperous, and healthy New Year.

How to create a character

This posting is for writers. In the process of crafting a blog posting for the Write Way Cafe, posting on November 20, I remembered that my friend, John Foxjohn, created the most thorough and exhaustive list of questions, topics, etc., to define a character. This list is below. John claims that very few of these details actually appear in his stories. http://www.johnfoxjohnhome.com/

It seems to me that writing a story is an exercise in delayed gratification, and the effort involved in answering all of these items, for me, gives rise to dozens of plot ideas and twists . The euphoria from typing “The End” is short lived, and the time until a contracted story appears, either online or in print, is so long as to make the actual event an anti-climax.

My latest story, The Jury Scandal, is due out in five days. Watch for the announcement. I’ve only worked on this one since 2006. Egads.

Here’s the list. Please let me know if you use it and how it worked.

Name:

Age:

How old do they appear:

Weight:

Height:

Type of body/build:

Glasses or contacts

Shape of face:

Predominant feature:

Distinguishing marks

Hair color

Distinguishable hair feature (bald,  receding hairline, etc.):

Type of hair (coarse, fine, thick, etc?)

Is s/he healthy? If not, why not:

Full description:

Physical disabilities:

Character’s favorite color:

Favorite music:

Expressions and this also includes unique mannerisms

Way they speak, words used most often

Mode of transportation:

Daredevil or cautious?

Smokes, what?

When and how much?

Drinks: What?  When and how much?

Hobbies:

Hometown:

Type of childhood:

First memory:

Most important childhood event that still affects him/her: Why?

Education:

Religion:

Finances:

Mother: Relationship with her:

Father: Relationship with him:

Siblings: How many

Relationship with each:

Extended family?

Close? Why or why not?

Does character have child(ren)?

How many children does character have?

Are all children with the same partner? If no, Why? If no, what is the custody
arrangement?

How does character relate to his/her child(ren)?

Which child is character’s favorite? Why?

What is characters most favorite memory of his/her child(ren)?            Why?

What is characters least favorite memory of his/her child(ren)?  Why?
Is relationship with children important to character?

Where does character work?
For how long?

How does s/he feel about co-workers?

Get along with co-workers?

Like his/her job? Why or why not?

Character’s dream job:

Character’s short term goals:

Character’s greatest fear: Why?

What is the worst thing that could happen to him/her?

What single event would most throw character’s life in complete turmoil? Why?

Character is most at ease when:

Most ill at ease when:

Priorities:

Philosophy:

How s/he feels about self:

Past failure s/he would be embarrassed to have people know about: Why?

If granted one wish, what would it be? Why?

Greatest source of strength in character’s personality (whether s/he sees it as
such or not):

Greatest source of weakness in character’s personality (whether s/he sees it as
such or not):

Character’s soft spot:

Is this soft spot obvious to others? If not, how does character hide it?

Biggest vulnerability:

Which of the 7 deadly sins does your character fight (or give in to, willingly or not)?
(lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, pride)

Which of the 7 virtues does your character have (or fight against)?
(chastity, abstinence, liberality, diligence, patience, kindness, humility)

Optimist or pessimist: Why?

Introvert or extrovert:  Why?

Drives and motivations:

Talents:

Extremely skilled at:

Extremely unskilled at:

Good characteristics:

Character flaws:

Mannerisms:

Peculiarities:

Biggest regret:

Minor regrets:

Biggest accomplishment:

Minor accomplishments:

Character’s darkest secret:

Does anyone else know?

If yes, did character tell them?

If no, how did they find out?

One word character would use to describe self:

One paragraph description of how character would describe self:

What does character consider best physical characteristic?

What does character consider worst physical characteristic?

Are these realistic assessments? If not, why not?

How CHARACTER thinks others perceive him/her:

What four things would CHARACTER most like to change about self?  (#1 most
important, #2 second most important, etc.)
1.
2.
3.
4.
Why?

If change #1 was made, would character be as happy as s/he thinks?

If not, why not?

Is character divorced?    Why?

If divorced, how many times?

Has character ever cheated on significant other?

How does character relate to others?

How is s/he perceived by…

Strangers?

Friends?

Wife/husband/lover?

Hero/heroine?

How does character view hero/heroine?

First impression: Why? What happens to change this perception?

What do family/friends like most about character?

What do family/friends like least about character?
What does friends consider character’s best physical characteristic?

What do people who first meet the character think about them?

What emotions to the character instill in others?

Long range goals:

How does character plan to accomplish goals?

How will other people around character be affected?

How character reacts in a crisis:

How character faces problems:

Kinds of problems character usually runs into:

How character reacts to NEW problems:

How character reacts to change:

Favorite clothing

Least favorite clothing:

Jewelry:

Where does character live?

Where does character want to live?

Spending habits (frugal, spendthrift, etc):

What does s/he do too much of?

Too little of?

Most prized possession:

Play musical instrument?

How did s/he learn?

Lesson when she was young

Person character secretly admires:

Person character was most influenced by:

Most important person in character’s life before story starts:

Back to Business

Great news! After three months of nursing a sore back (pinched nerve), I am finally back in business. I’ve done the first-round edits on both of my publications due out this fall. The Jury Scandal is due out in November, and The Taste of Her in December – if all goes well. Both are romantic suspense and set in New Orleans. Here are the covers:

TheJuryScandal

TheTasteOfHer600

Both are being published by Soul Mate Publishing through Amazon exclusively, and I’m proud to be one of their authors. See their authors web page:
http://smpauthors.wordpress.com/

More later about these two books, and I’d love your comments on these covers.

The Joys of Writing

I’m a happy woman when I am writing. Welcome to the Soul Mate BLOG HOP. After you’ve enjoyed my comments and pictures, please return to Cheryl’s site to continue hopping.
http://www.cherylyeko.com/

My writing schedule is three to four hours a day, whether creating a new story (that’s the best) or editing and fixing one (harder but still satisfying). I don’t try to work on Sat or Sun, mostly because there are too many distractions when my husband is home. God Bless Him, he seems to think that a ‘quick question’ is not an interruption–where’s the grocery list? Did you see my glasses? What are we having for dinner?
The rest of my household (my younger son, his wife, and son, and my older son) are usually gone to work or school and/or sleeping in the mornings, which is when I write. But we can’t forget the three dogs and two birdsIMG_0828IMG_0660
Here are two of the dogs – our pug and the nine-month-old Golden Retiever. The Golden is a rambunctious and high energy dog who stirs up the other two. The third one – our yellow lab IMG_0537
is shown here with parrot poop on his head. Was standing in the path when I carried the parrot into the kitchen.IMG_0021The point of all this that I have an endless supply of ideas and incidents to include in my stories. The first one doesn’t have any pets, but all the rest do. The Taste of Her has an akita, and we had one until she had cancer. Miss her still.IMG_0027

Happy reading and enjoy my novella–The Red Halter Top, and watch for The Taste of Her–coming soon. Back to the BLOG HOP http://www.cherylyeko.com/