Archive for ‘Writing Bites’

March 1st, 2010

I’m not dead. I’m writing a novel

by Venomous Kate

I know, I know. It’s been, what, forever since I updated my blog. And, yes, I owe you Caption Contest winners. (Will you take a check?)

It’s not you. It’s me. Or, rather, it’s this damn novel I’m writing. I finished the first draft and gave it a rest while I did some major advance Spring Cleaning of the Venomous Homestead. (Hey it’s not MY fault winter won’t surrender its icy stranglehold!)

There’s something dispiriting about revisiting one’s “inspired” creative efforts and trying to rework them so… well, so they don’t suck.

The very process of revision had sapped my self-confidence, my crotch-tingling certainty I had thought up a tale worth being told. Ergo, I have the shiniest, most fresh-smelling toilets this side of the Mississippi. You read that right: lately I’ve found deposits of poop and dribbles of urine FAR more fascinating than whatever I could churn out at my computer.

Today, though, I finally sat down to (re-) write. According to my calendar, I haven’t done that since December 13. Yeah, I hate re-writing and revision THAT much.

Then I remembered: even God’s first draft was a disappointment to Him, the ultimate Creator. Thus He took the bare bone of his first draft and perfected it.

And that, boys and girls, is how we got Eve.

So, the blogging will resume shortly. Meanwhile, I’m off to investigate this strange crotch-tingling sensation. Send antibiotics if you don’t hear from me by the end of the week, m’kay?

November 7th, 2008

Kansasfornication?

by Venomous Kate

On the recommendation of an acquaintance, I’ve been watching the Amazon “watch it now” episodes of Californication, HBO’s series about a one-hit novelist starring David “I’m a Sex Addict” Duchovny.

Meanwhile, I’ve spent the day struggling to piece together an op-ed piece before my 8 p.m. (Central) deadline. Up until my first glass of champagne this evening (No, I’m not celebrating anything; I just like champagne), I’d manage to eke out perhaps four paragraphs. It would have been more and probably was, without all the deletions and do-overs. But, as with so many times I sit down to write, that little editor inside my head kept screaming at me.

Midway through my second glass of champers, I realized why so many writers are lushes, including Duchovny’s character, Hank, who discovered in Episode 6 of Californication that “Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder.”

The reason why writers drink so much is simple: because editors can’t.

September 13th, 2008

Sarah Palin’s Appeal In Small Towns

by Venomous Kate

My article, Why Small Town Folks Heart Sarah Palin is up at Pajamas Media.

December 17th, 2007

I Kine Da Kindle

by Venomous Kate

One of my errands this morning was a quick stop by a second-hand bookstore, the same one I’ve been visiting twice weekly for a month or so. Unfortunately, there don’t appear to be a lot of other readers in my town, because the selection hardly ever changes. The same picked over used books that didn’t interest me last week still don’t interest me this week.

So, I wound up running by Wal-Mart where I picked up three paperbacks for a whopping $24. Yes, I probably could have gone by the local library to see if they had copies, but they only stock hardcovers and I find those a bit too heavy for bedtime reading.

Which is why Kindle, Amazon’s new electronic reader, remains the #1 item on my Christmas Wish List. Yes, it’s pricey, but I want it anyway. I figure, if Santa Claus is buying, who cares about the cost, right? (Meanwhile, I fully realize my chances of actually getting one are as realistic as the fat man in red himself.)

Of course, I’ve since found an even better reason to want one: the Kindle currently allows readers to email themselves books in PDF format and, although the support is currently experimental, they plan to enhance it rather soon. So, instead of the $9.99 that Amazon is currently charging for each book, I could also use the Kindle with other ebook sites which offer recent titles at almost half the price.

Another advantage? Since they’re in digital format, no one would know if I was reading, say, electronic romance books instead of something intellectually meaty like War and Peace.

Frankly, that just makes the Kindle even more attractive as far as I’m concerned.

December 17th, 2007

Writers’ Guild Not Earning Its Due

by Venomous Kate

Between this past year’s movie releases and the network prime time lineups, I feel absolutely zero sympathy for the striking Writers’ Guild. Seriously, when was the last time any of the movie studios or networks managed to come out with a season full of fresh, original concepts?

Well over half of the movies we’ve seen in the last year are simply reworked versions of flicks from my childhood or sequels to movies we intentionally skipped before.

And on television? It’s one reality show after another: Surivivor, American Idol, Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares and now… American Gladiator, which both qualifies as something out of my childhood and a reality show, too.

Which kind of makes me wonder just why on earth there’s a writer’s strike in the first place. Do they even HAVE writers in Hollywood anymore?

October 18th, 2007

NaNoWriMo Next Month!

by Venomous Kate

Last year, I spent the entire month of November the same way thousands of others did throughout the world: plugging away at a novel for National Novel Writing Month (see NaNaWriMo’s site for details) in the hope of meeting my 50,000 word goal.

Well, I did it. I met the goal. Does that mean I have a novel now?

Hardly.

What I do have is 50,000+ words of a very rough, unfinished first draft that bored me to tears halfway through writing it. The hard copy printout has been gathering dust in my desk drawer ever since, the digital copy long since lost to hard drive errors. I doubt that I ever revisit that project again.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m glad for the experience. Forcing myself to sit down and write creatively every day last November regardless of my mood or whether it even came easily was a good experience for what I do online these days. I can’t remember the last time I had “writer’s block,” come to think of it. NaNoWriMo taught me that the real trick to writing is quite simple: write.

Glancing back over the blog(s) for the past year, I can see I’ve definitely mastered that trick. These days, my brain begins blogging right about the time my feet hit the floor in the morning — sometimes I even mentally compose entries while brushing my teeth.

But I still don’t have a novel, do I?

Oh, I’ve got plenty of ideas for one, though. There’s a fantasy story I’ve been writing in my head nightly for some time now, a movie of sorts that I play in my mind while I try falling asleep. (The fact that I do fall asleep while telling myself that story might be one reason I’ve yet to find the incentive to actually write the thing out.) There’s another I came up with over the summer as I sat in traffic court listening to a man’s convoluted — and ultimately unbelievable — sob story. A real “who done it”, that one.

I don’t really have time to think of writing a novel these days, now that I’m actually trying to make money writing online. (Read more about that at my latest site, Blogging for the Money.

So, I’m not sure that I’ll be participating in NaNoWriMo this year. I can’t figure out how I’d squeeze in that commitment on top of my other obligations while still earning a living… unless I could hire someone to do it for me. But, somehow, I’m pretty sure that’s against the rules.

September 18th, 2007

The Wheel Turns

by Venomous Kate

The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again.

Robert Jordan, author of the Wheel of Time series, passed away Sunday. I read the news today. Oh, boy.

I have been a long-time fan of RJ’s blog at DragonMount, having been introduced to his series years ago by De Doc (who remains Strangely Silent of late). I enjoyed the books so much that I even sank money into the somewhat disappointing video game then loved it solely because it brought me one step closer to the fictional word he created.

Jordan had been battling amyloidosis, a progressive metabolic disease which causes protein deposits within organs. Since amyloidosis is incurable, Jordan has known for many years that his death was more imminent than most, and yet he battled against it with all of the ferocity and humanity of his fictional heroes, including some explorations into “experimental” remedies.

To say that the fantasy novel genre has lost one of its heroes is an understatement. The world lost one of its heroes, too. Jordan was more than an author of some damn fun reads: he was one of the good guys, too.

Born James Oliver Rigney, Jr., he did two tours in Vietnam, and earned the Distinguished Flying Cross with bronze oak leaf cluster, the Bronze Star with “V” and bronze oak leaf cluster, and two Vietnamese Gallantry Crosses with palm. He later received a degree in physics from The Citadel and worked for the U.S. Navy as a nuclear engineer.

He was also, as I’ve mentioned, the author of some damn fine reads.

Jordan’s family has asked fans not send flowers. Instead, they would like donations sent to help fund further research into finding a cure fore amyloidosis. Donations may be sent to:

James Rigney
Mayo Clinic Department of Hematology–Amyloidosis Research
200 First Street SW
Rochester, MN 55905

And thus the Wheel of Time turns. A legend has come to pass.

April 17th, 2007

Return to Middle-earth

by Venomous Kate

For 30 years, Christopher Tolkien has been quietly piecing together fragments of his father’s last work. Now, it’s here and I can’t wait to learn more about the struggle between good and evil in Middle-earth: "Children of Hurin," by J.R.R. Tolkien.