Sunday, June 28, 2009

Where Do Writer’s get the Material They Write About?

Have you ever read a story and wondered how in the world did the author come up with this idea? Usually, it’s not the story that is different, but the way it is presented by the writer.

There are no dull subjects. There are only dull writers.
H.L. Mencken

A writer uses what experience he or she has. It’s the translating, though, that makes the difference.
John Irving

Personally, I myself write using the headlines of today. I also use my life experiences and the life experiences of others around me. I believe everyone should be careful of what you say or do around an author. It’s dangerous. You could end up in a book.

The man who writes about himself and his own time is the only man who writes about all people and about all time. George Bernard Shaw

I have found that if I have had a difficult relationship with someone, and they don’t want to settle our differences I can always put them in my latest book. In that way, I can show them how our disagreements should be settled.

Any writer is inevitably going to work with his own anxieties and desires. If the book is any good it has got to have in it the fire of a personal unconscious mind.
Irish Murdoch

Often a reader will get tired of a writer because they write the same story over and over. Authors only have so many stories in them before they become repetitive unless they can make some important change that makes the reader think it’s new.

I think one writes and rewrites the same book. I lead a character from book to book, I continue along with the same ideas. Only the angle of vision, the method, the lighting, change.
Truman Capote

My theory is that writers are continually learning their craft and about life. It’s the learning experience in both areas that helps change the direction of a story, but it is never going to be new because someone has done it before them.

I have a friend, T.J. Killian, who is a fantasy/sci-fi writer who admits many of her ideas originate from the Bible. Inspirational authors use the Bible as a guide for their characters.

Writers, where do you find ideas for your stories? For my readers, what would you like to see in the stories you read? Do you have any suggestions for new material?

Have a great week everyone.


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father’s Day

Hello Everyone,

Happy Father’s Day!

Today, I’m blogging about different kinds of fathers, some good, some mediocre, and then the really bad ones. When I get done with my examples let me know where you father falls in the mix.

Here’s my idea of a good father. He provides a home, food, and clothing for his family for sure. The man puts in overtime to make more money to provide for extras for them. He spends time playing, talking and possibly building something for his children when he’s not working. He hands out discipline when it is needed, and when he’s home to give it.

Okay, the men who represent good fathers to me are my Uncle Ray, my brother-in-law, Jon, my hubby and our son, Mike. All right, all right, so they aren’t perfect. We know no one is perfect, don’t we?

Uncle Ray worked way too many hours in his business, and if he ever dished discipline I never saw it, but he always played with his boys, his nieces, and nephew. He attended his oldest son’s sports events, took the family camping and went to church. He provided a lovely home, food, and clothing for his family. His one fault is that he burnt the candle at both ends and died young at forty-eight trying to please everyone. In the end, he was not able to be there for his family..

My brother-in-law, Jon, ranks up there as a good father. He worked hard providing a home, food and clothing for his family. He attended his daughters’ sports, singing and dancing events. He played all kinds of games with them, attended church with them, and was always willing to listen to them. He’s always been there to help his children even as they grew into adults. His fault is that he never disciplined his kids, and that was all left to their mother. Lol There always has to be one bad parent.

My hubby, Ron, ranks up there, too, even though I didn’t see him with his children when they were young. He worked hard to provide a home, food and clothing for his family. Like all fathers’ including the two above, he built a patio and worked in the yard. He played catch with his boys, and convinced his oldest son he should have a part-time job to make spending money. Lol Ron was a worker, and that is really all he knew how to do, so that was mostly what he did with his kids. His job required him to have seniority to get special days off, and because of that he was prevented from attending his children’s activities and special events when they were young. In those days, people were honest and didn’t call in sick. They needed and valued their jobs. The lucky guy was the soul disciplinarian. His one fault that I saw was that he was a nagger. He went over the same thing over and over with his kids. I especially saw this with him, and his youngest daughter and son. For some reason, once wasn’t enough to get through to them. Lol

Our son, Mike, is another good father. He worked hard to provide all the necessities and more for his family. He played with his children, took his son fishing, attended all their school activities and was there for them all the time. If he dished out discipline I never saw it, but I’m sure he talked to his kids. Did he talk as much as his father did to him? Only, our grandchildren know that answer. Grin. His one fault was he wasn’t a handy man. Sorry, Mike. Love you!

Now, we’re getting to the mediocre fathers. These were difficult because some people would consider them bad fathers, but there are even worse fathers than these.

My father is one of these. He tried to provide a home, food and clothing for us when we were kids, but in truth he didn’t do any of these things. My maternal grandparents provided our house and grandma made our clothes. My mom raised chickens to provide food for us and to make extra money to buy other food items. Dad gave mom grocery money, but it was never enough. The things I remember most doing with my father, although fun when I was young, were mostly his fun things. For instance, he liked going to field trials with his dogs (our mom made these into picnics for us kids) and he liked playing pool and partying (none of which we enjoyed), but he would buy us ice cream cones. He was fun to be around. Did he work? Yes, he drove a truck and was out of state a lot. He would give his shirt off his back to a stranger, but often didn’t provide enough food for his family. He was mostly out of my life after I turned thirteen. His biggest fault was he was abusive. I had the belt taken to me until I was lying on the floor still being beaten with my mother trying to stop him. He never ever hit my mother. I will defend my father a bit because he grew up with a father who did the same. Then at nine his father died and he was left to fend for himself because his mother remarried and her new husband wouldn’t raise her children.

This next father I’m not going to give a name to. This father has provided a home, clothing and food for his children. His twenty-one year old daughter is dying of esophageal cancer and he’s in denial. He’s an alcoholic and his daughter is in the last six to eight weeks of her life needing twenty-four hour care. He will not allow hospice to come to their home because that would mean she’s dying, so they have a visiting nurse. The visiting nurse has shown everyone how to give the young woman her pain meds through a port and how to flush it out. The father is sleeping on the floor beside the hospital bed, but when he goes to sleep from drinking too much his daughter cannot wake him when she needs him. She fell on the steps trying to get to the restroom and called for help, but couldn’t wake her dad. Her dad can’t do the meds, and she has to either do them herself or suffer when he’s with her. You may ask where her mother is, but her birth mother has been out of the picture for a very long time, and she’s an alcoholic, too. The step-mom (the father and her are divorced) is trying to make sure someone is with her stepdaughter at all hours, but she has no rights, and she has a job. None of the good fathers would ever allow alcohol to stand in their way of taking care of a dying daughter.

Next, are the bad fathers and I’ve never known any of these. These men might be called monsters even. These men break the bones of their small children and are way beyond abusive. Some of these men have raped their children, even killed them. I’ve never met a father like this, but I have heard of them. We have been lucky indeed if we didn’t have a father like these men.

One other I’m going to add is that all of us are a product of our environment or of our genetics.

Tell me about your father and where he falls in this mix.

Until next Sunday, have a great week.


Sunday, June 14, 2009


Do you believe in censorship? I’m adamant when I say I do not. It makes me angry when I think of being told what I can read or not read. If a book offends me I will not read it, but I won’t tell anyone else they can’t.

How dare a few people tell me what’s good or bad for me, or my family? I have been taught right and wrong, and I’m perfectly capable of deciding for myself what is evil.

There are so many wonderful books that have been banned and if they had stayed restricted, we would have missed out on so much. Hamlet, Macbeth, King Lear, and Twelfth Night and others by Shakespeare may never have been seen.

The books that the world calls immoral are the books that show the world its own shame.
Oscar Wilde

So many books show our shame. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou talks about her rape as a child. The book is often banned for sexual content, violent imagery, and vulgar language.

Other books that show society’s shame are Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe and The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne just to name a few. All of these books have been banned, and yet they are considered classics today.

Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.
John Milton

Milton has expressed my feelings very well on censorship. This is such a valuable liberty that we have. Why would anyone want to take it away? My belief on this topic is that you will remain unconcerned until some right you wish to keep is seized from you.

Knowledge cannot defile, nor consequently the books, if the will and conscience be not defiled.
John Milton

Assassination is the extreme form of censorship.
George Bernard Shaw

Words can make you aware of the wrongs in this world, but if you do not read about them, then you’ll surely learn the hard way when the event happens. I’m a strong opponent against censorship.

Even children’s books are barred because someone thinks their child is being taught to be naughty or about witchcraft. Where are our imaginations? I grew up on Peter Pan, and even that book is not sacred. Some people have tried to remove it from libraries. There are those who look for reasons to remove a book, and often it’s out of fear of the truth.

Those whom books will hurt will not be proof against events. If some books are deemed more baneful and their sale forbid, how, then, with deadlier facts, not dreams of doting men? Events, not books, should be forbid.
Herman Melville

I do believe that not all books are appropriate for everyone, and each individual has the right to decide for themselves what is suitable for them and their families. Small children cannot make these decisions, but once they are on their own they have a right to make their choices.

Okay, folks, what do you think of censorship? Are you for it, or against it? All opinions can be expressed and do have value here.

Until next week, have a good one.


Sunday, June 7, 2009

Is Sex Necessary to a Story?

Recently, I was telling a friend that my next book, Addiction, has a lot of sex in it. She seemed offended and told me I should close the bedroom door on those scenes. I wasn’t able to explain the reason why it was necessary to show those scenes then, but I’m going to try to do that now.

To leave out the sex in Addiction would leave out the reason for the heroine’s actions. It’s about why she is the way she is. This character is needy and has low self-esteem, and it’s not enough to tell the reader about her, but we must show her. Once you read this story, you’ll recognize this girl if not in yourself in someone you know. I have had friends like this, and I swore I would never allow anyone to use me like that.

Sorry to digress. Now, I’ll get back to the topic. I do not go out of my way to write love scenes in my stories unless they are essential. For one reason, they are the hardest scenes in the whole book to write. I would rather write a fight or an action setting than a love scene. That’s why I bow down to those who can write them.

Okay, you already know I’m not comfortable writing these scenes, so why did I do it. I wrote the sex and love scenes because it was only fair to show the progression and growth of this character as she grew into a more self-assured young woman. With the help of the hero she learns to value herself, and I felt these scenes between the hero and heroine shows that development.

Other writers may have written the sex scenes behind closed doors, but then much of the intensity and emotion would have been left out of the story. The love segments are not the only intense moments or even the focus of the book, but only with time will I know if Addiction is well received.

Personally, I skip over the love scenes unless they are well written and don’t bore me to death. The good ones can be pretty exciting. You guys don’t know what you are missing out on. Laughs.

To the writers, do you find it necessary to put love scenes in your stories, or do you close the bedroom door? To the readers, do you favor sex scenes or do you choose to skip over them?

Feel free to leave a comment. Don't be afraid, we all have our opinions and no one will get knocked for theirs. I allow free speech on my blog. Just don't get nasty.

Have a great week everyone.