Saturday, June 19, 2010

Back Space


As an aspiring writer, I’d like to think I traffic in words. That I have a pretty decent grasp on them, and can use them to adequately express my intensions. And because of that, the meanings are conveyed without confusion and without undue influence.

Right. And my side job is a secretary for the Tooth Fairy.

I’ve stuck my foot in my mouth so many times, I can taste the sole of my shoe before the end of the sentence comes. Over the years, I’ve become more cautious and choose my words more carefully. Becoming a step-parent as young as I did made me all the more aware of the words I chose…because nothing is more sobering than a two-year-old repeating them back at you. I have been on the speaking end of this foot-in-the-mouth disease so often, I’d forgotten what it was like to be on the receiving end of it. Until this week.

The rhyme goes: Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me. I’m sure whoever developed it did so with good intension to make children feel better about being made fun of. They’re just words; they can’t hurt you.

Whoever said that was a liar.

No, they can’t break your bones, but they can reach a deeper part of your soul where pain is defined on levels that could make DEFCON 1 look tame. If words couldn’t hurt you, then how can an author bring you to tears at the emotional climax of a story? How could they make you tighten the blanket around you and send your eyes darting into the shadows of your room as the hero searches for the bad guy you know is lurking? How could they make you laugh when the heroine says something witty at the precise moment of impending doom? How could they make your heart race, your palms sweat, your mouth go dry as you follow your favorite character’s path towards redemption or destruction?

Words don’t just hurt. They make you feel. They evoke emotions, fueling the fire of passion that lies within. I’ve been trying to teach that for so long, I forgot what it was like to be on the learning end. Lesson learned. There but for the grace of God go I.

Words are power.  Choose them carefully, for once they are said, they cannot be unsaid. Unlike writing, life does not have a backspace button.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Control Issues

Obessions. I'm sure that most have them. Heaven knows I do. My reading habits are complete indications of my obsessions. Same with my photography habits, my cleaning on and so forth. I'm not one to do a little at a time. It's an all or nothing world spinning around me. When I do something, I DO something.

Take my photos. When I shoot a wedding solo, I end up with somewhere in the neighborhood of 800 to 1200 photos. Now that's not how many the bride gets. Many are duplicate shots, fuzzy shots, throw away shots. People blinked, its slightly out of focus because someone moved. I weed through them, clean up the keepers, do some photoshop work where needed, pay special attention to the portraits...when all is said and done, the bride ends up with somewhere around 400 to 500 photos for an eight hour wedding. A sane individual would work it down from the 1200 to the 400 over a period of time. Not me. I end up doing all that in like two days.

Another example is my reading. When I find an author that I like, I read everything I can get my hands on by that author. When I find a story that I like, I read it. And then read it again. And then read it again. When a new release that I've been waiting for comes out, I will read the book in one sitting. I can blow through a 400 page book in about seven hours. If that release is in a series, I will read all of the books prior to that one coming out, and then the new release. Just so everything is fresh in my mind. I let a friend of mine borrow one of my favorite paperback books the other day. She commented on how beat up the binding was. I told her I coudln't help it, I've read it like twelve times.

Yes, twelve times.

Prior to my new kick, the last 17 books I had read were by Richelle Mead. Yes, I know she only has 12 books out. I read the succubus series twice in a row. I will read all the VA books again at the end of November, preparing for The Last Sacrifice release in December.

I get tad obsessed with things. It's all or nothing over here. And it's happening again. I've heard many people say good things about Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series, but I've been putting off reading it. I'm not sure exactly why. But whatever had kept me from them, it was a stupid reason because I can't put them down. I'm desperately trying to stretch them out because you can only read a book for the first time once, and these are great. The reluctant hero is witty, sarcastic, interesting, and gets himself involved in more problems than any crime-fighting wizard should feel compelled to. In two weeks, I've read six of the twelve books that are out. I'm pretty proud of myself for making them last this long. I won't make it out of this month though. They're way too tempting.

I have control issues, what can I say?

On a side note, congrats to Erin and Adam on their engagement. I love you guys!

And if you haven't listened to the interview on Silver Moon, Bloody Bullets, check it out in the sidebar. Book still not available on Amazon, but you'll hear me yell when it is.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Interview for Silver Moon Bloody Bullets

Hi all!  I had a wonderful opportunity to participate in an interview promoting the upcoming release of the anthology Silver Moon Blood Bullets today.  You can listen to the interview on the side bar here.  I had the chance to talk about my short story, what inspired it, my novel, and the importance of writing groups.  Seriously.  If you write, join a writing group.  There are so many, you are sure to find a fit for you.  I participate in two.  First and foremost is the writing group attached to Kelley Armstrong's forum at .  Called the OWG, they are an amazing group of people that have become my friends and really have shaped my writing.  I also participate at .  It's much larger and less personal, but just as useful.  Don't be mistaken.   They can make you cry and make you feel like you can't write.  And they can make you feel like you're flying when you nail something.   Writing groups are hard work.   But it's worth it.

Enjoy the interview.  Naturally, I'm the last to go, but that just means you have to listen to all the other amazing authors too. 

Listen to internet radio with Page Readers on Blog Talk Radio

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Silver Moon Bloody Bullets

Okay, second post today because I can't contain the squee.  Short, sweet, to the point.  Cover art and blurb from Pill Hill Press regarding the anthology.  It's not for sale yet, but coming this month!

Coming in June

Silver Moon, Bloody Bullets: An Anthology of Werewolf Tails
Edited by Jessica A. Weiss
ISBN-13: 978-0984261093
Silver Moon, Bloody Bullets is a collection of twenty-five claw-biting short stories that explore the myth of the werewolf and the lure of the full moon.
From gladiator fights and cursed blood lines to secret societies and anonymous meetings, the following talented authors have turned the mysteries of the werewolf inside out: Matthew S. Dent, Jay Raven, Kelly Metz, Christopher Jacobsmeyer, Mark Souza, Dale Carothers, David Bernstein, Scott M. Sandridge, Marianne Halbert, Donald Jacob Uitvlugt, J. Leigh Bailey, Dylan J. Morgan, Edward McKeown, F.J.R. Titchenell, Patricia Puckett, Jessy Marie Roberts, Ben Langhinrichs, Kiki Howell, D. Nathan Hilliard, Frank Summers, Christopher Heath, Rob Rosen, Carl Hose, Stephanie L. Morrell, and Lawrence R. Dagstine.

Memorial Day in Pictures and Writing Update

Two weeks in a row? I'm on a roll now.

Memorial Day last weekend, after pausing to explain to the kids what it meant and why it was important, was a day of fun with friends and loved ones. And goofy pictures.  What is it about kids and camers?

But regardless of the goofy faces, it was a lot of fun with the trampoline, horshoes and football.  And food.  Good times.

And on the writing front, two notes.  First, my short story Uninvitied is being published in the anthology Silver Moon, Bloody Bullets: An Anthology of Werewolf Tales  and the publisher has arranged for an online interview with the authors of the stories in the anthology.  It's scheduled for Monday June 7th at 1pm.  I believe that's eastern time, but it doesn't designate.  Check it out:

And secondly, a friend in my writers group asked us to show off our writing space.  So I decided to share here as well.  Not only is this my writing space, but it's also my photography space where all the post-processing magic happens.
Before we had bought the house, my space was a tiny corner of our tiny bedroom. When we did buy this place, I was thrilled that I was not going to have to use my bedroom as my office. Granted, it's not a dedicated office. It's the family room, but it gets used so little because everyone wants to watch TV or play video games on the 52" TV upstairs, so I pretty much have the family room to myself.

This is my corner of it. Large cheaply made corner desk that houses my 22" screen surrounded by my favorite books. You can't really see it, but the entire shelf top left is all Kelley Armstrong books. There's two other books shelves in the room overflowing with other authors. But I keep these handy because they're my favs.

Two printers. One is a scanner combo while the other on the far right is a tremendous epson photo printer that can do 13 inch borderless prints that look absolutely stunning. Worth the price I paid for it and necessary for my photography.

Between the epson print and my desk is the tower. Yes, I'm still PC despite my need to go MAC, but I'm fully invested in my photography software and lack the thousands that it would take to convert. Right now anyways. It's slated for the future. While the tower reads Dell, the only thing that's Dell is the shell. It's completely new, including the brand new 500 gig hard-drive that replaced the one that fried last month. Combined with the ram and processer I have, the CPU is fast and can run many programs at the same time, including my design software that usually bogs systems down. Sitting atop the tower is my brand new 1 terra external hard drive. Though I was able to recover all my data in the crash, let no one say I didn't learn anything. Everything's backed up now.

Netbook for floating around the house and yard, check. External CD drive for netbook, check. Wireless keyboard and mouse for when I feel like writing from the sofa, check. Two white boards for ideas and story lines, check. Tons of post it notes for momentary thoughts when the whiteboards are dedictated, check, check check....etc.

Software for Photos:  Adobe Lightroom, Adobe well as the entire Adobe Creative Suite CS3 Master package.  It's a beautiful thing.

Software: For Writing:  Word. I have YWriter and try to use it, but I'm a creature of habit though I've been trying to break it. I use Word. For me to change, I'll have to fall in love with something else.

Oh, I'm a handwriter too. On the right of the desk, you can see stacks of note cards for my rough outlining. Right there, you are seeing my NANO piece I completed in December, and next to in my clipboard that has the remnants of my copyedits from the short story I sold. I like editing by hand. I catch a lot more that way.

For being a photographer, I know I'm light on the photos in this space, but I'm picky. The only ones hanging are the marching band pic from my senior year in high school where I was a drum major, my BSBA, my father's purple heart and a picture of my dad when he was in the marines back in the 60's. But it's my room. It works. I love it. Though we really call it the family room, its my office and where I spend large chunks of the weekend.

The way I see it, everyone needs there own space for whatever it is they do to relax.  This is mine.