All to often we take those around us for granted. We leave too much space between us and communication flies out of the window. Then one day we wake up to find that person gone, never to feel the sunshine on their face, the breeze blowing through their hair. It is now too late. I am guilty of leaving too much space between myself and Rick. He is gone and the world seems like a shadow without him in it. Rick was my graphic artist, who became my friend, my confidant and a person close to my heart. Today I give tribute to the man and his work, I will miss him terribly. This is only a small portion of his work.
Good bye my friend
I have been sitting on my duff for a bit, taking a sabbatical and getting healthy. During the process of being feed grapes(I could only dream), my friend Ken has been maniacal with his writing and extended works. After Ken’s release of The Wrong Magic, he has moved forward completing his first romantic novel, Heaven Enough. His philosophical memoir on success, Climbing Maya will be e-released in April by Kal-Ba Publishing, including an afterward by Ken. And if that’s not enough a new 3rd Wall You Tube page will be available for Ken’s comedic side coming in December. Yes, he also has audio books and on March 15th, The Most Amazing Book You’ve Ever Heard in Your Entire Life will be revealed. Whew!! I am exhausted just following his news. Congratulations Ken, you never cease to amaze me.
And don’t forget to check out his podcasts, available on iTunes!
Once again Ken hits it out of the park. I’d like to have his drive. The cover’s simplicity is particularly appealing.
In the early 70’s, in the middle of the night, on a dried out lawn in a broken down neighborhood in the Southern Californian community of Santa Ana, Nate Brewer’s mother held him as they watched his father leave them to an uncertain future. After that, it was every man for himself.
At least, that’s how Nate and his brother, Ira, saw it.
Now, Ira’s 45 years old. He’s losing his wife. He lost his career. His mom is losing that same home in Santa Ana and Nate thinks he may be losing his mind.
That’s just the beginning of indian paintbrush, a darkly, bitter-sweet comic tale told by Nate himself. He thinks he’s writing a journal for his psychiatrist but, as his recollections grow darker, he realizes that he has let every bad moment in his life keep him from reaching for anything good. This could be his last chance at remembering just what it is he can’t live without.
Some people grow up hoping things will change but, very often, the only thing time changes is our memories… Maybe there are times when “family” comes down to a group of people you just can’t stand, who you actively hate. And these are the people with whom you will share some of your fondest memories.
Follow Ken’s writing career at www.kenlasalle.com
And, on YouTube
And don’t forget to check out his podcasts, available on iTunes!
Today my guest author is Melissa Bowersock. I wonder if she ever sleeps. Her book trailers alone will keep you busy. Her promo page is loaded with her works, and social media sires. Please visit, you won’t be disappointed.
There are a lot of things that writing is not. It’s not mechanical (or shouldn’t be; knowing the mechanics is just not enough). It’s not often governable because inspiration is not governable. It’s not a simple modular process. (Subject + verb + object = quality sentence.) It’s fluid, dynamic, protean, mutable, nebulous, and highly subjective.
I am guessing that some non-writers think it’s a simple process of jotting down all the right words in the right order, checking spelling and voila! Instant book. Not so. It’s not like there’s an absolute amount of the right words, or an absolute right order. It’s more like herding cats.
I often equate writing to building a brick wall. I write linearly, from start to finish, and as I’m writing the first few paragraphs, the first few pages, I feel as if I am laying down a foundation for a wall. Each word is a brick, carefully chosen and carefully laid in. If I don’t have the exact brick/word that I want, I stop building the wall. It’s not unheard of for me to stop writing for minutes, hours, days, waiting for the perfect word that I want to manifest in my brain. I know some writers will go ahead and put in a close substitute in order to continue writing, then go back and edit later. I don’t do that. Just imagine building that wall and say I’ve got three or five or ten courses of bricks built up. Then I go back and find there’s a brick on the bottom row that doesn’t fit right or is the wrong color. Pulling that brick out and trying to fit another one in could weaken the entire wall and would likely look like what it was—a second-thought repair. I would much rather build the wall as best as I possibly can from the start, and edit as I go. I hate to rewrite, so I do as little of that as possible.
I remember one time I was working with an editor on a book he was publishing for me and we got into a discussion of this very thing. When I told him how I worked, he said, “My God, I thought that was a myth! I have always heard of writers who work like that, but I didn’t really think they existed!” Yup, they do. At least I do. And it works for me.
So now I’m happily writing away, steering the story where I want it to go and suddenly, what the heck? That fluid dynamism raises its head again and I realize my story has been co-opted. This is often difficult for non-writers to understand, but it’s not uncommon for a story to take on a life of its own and suddenly veer off in a different direction. Going back to our wall, it’s as if I’ve laid one course of bricks just ever so slightly off center from the last course. This new layer is now 1/8″ off to one side. Without noticing the difference, I keep building, and before I know it, the whole wall is leaning. When I realize that the wall is not going where I want it to go, I then have to demolish however many layers until I get back down to the solid and straight foundation, then start building again.
But how does that happen? I’ve been asked, “You’re writing the book. How can it go a different way than the way you want it to go?” I honestly don’t know. I just know that it does. Obviously I don’t have the entire book scripted in my head; it does not exist in some fully-formed way. It evolves as I write. New ideas present themselves; new aspects to characters reveal themselves. I’ve got options for new directions, little side trips. And sometimes I’ll pick a direction and it just evolves in a way I hadn’t intended or foreseen. The good news is that this taking on a life of its own is when I know the book is truly alive, that it’s not just me mechanically putting words on a piece of paper. It’s viable, it’s growing; it’s real. The bad news is it can transform into something that I’m not expecting.
I began writing my last book, Stone’s Ghost, about a ghost that came over from England with the London Bridge when it was transported to Lake Havasu, Arizona. When I first conceived of the idea for the story, I had in mind that it would be a comedy, the ghost experiencing a light and fluffy culture shock between 18th century England and modern Arizona. Several chapters in, I realized that not only was it not going to be a comedy, it had a distinctly dark side to it. Surprised the heck out of me. And even though it’s not the story I had planned to write, it turned out great and I love it. This is one time when that leaning wall became more beautiful than the straight up-and-down plan.
Okay, so I’ve built my wall, I’ve told my story and it’s done, ready to publish. Hold on, not so fast. How do you know when it’s done? In proof-reading my stories, whether it’s my own early copy or a final galley proof, I’ve found that doneness still evades definition. I might read a paragraph that was perfectly satisfying to me when I wrote it, but now suddenly it lacks something or it feels clunky and contrived. I rewrite it, sharpen it up, cut it down. Two days later I re-read the same paragraph and decide that the way I had it to begin with worked better, so I change it back. What I’ve realized is that any story, any book, is what it is only on any given day. Any other day, depending on my mood or frame of mind, it might need to be something completely different. I could look at a book every day for a year and probably have 365 different opinions about it. Even when I re-read my already published books, I can still see places that—at that moment in time—I would change slightly. So pronouncing a book finished is a very elusive process; it can change day by day and it’s never an absolute. Only by chipping away the less than perfect parts, grinding it down by finer and finer edits until I’m finally down to moving commas do I get to the point of completion. Today.
Tomorrow all bets are off.
I’d like to welcome L.Leander to my blog. I hope you enjoy her interview.
I am fascinated by your title Inzared, Queen of the Elephant Riders. Does Inzared have a particular meaning?
Thank you. And no, it doesn’t have a special meaning. I couldn’t come up with a name that was exotic and different enough for my character. I brainstormed for several days and made up a lot of names before I settled on Inzared. It fits her.
Why does Bertha Maude Anderson want to be part of a gypsy circus?
Bertha Maude has only ever known the small Appalachian town in North Carolina where she was born. She has always dreamed of travel and excitement and her parents are very hard on her. The don’t understand why she is so different from her brother, who is content to stay and work the farm. It’s not that Inzared has always dreamed of becoming a circus performer, it is just the first chance she gets to escape.
What is it that fascinates you about the circus then and now?
Everything! The sights, the sounds, the smells. As a child I really loved the circus and that hasn’t changed at all. I think as a creative person I like the total abandon and silliness, yet I know a lot of hours of work goes into performing.
Life was changing and difficult in the nineteenth Century, especially for women. During your research about European immigrants, what is one thing that that has remained a constant?
The Gypsy immigrants I researched were part of a clan. The women were the backbone of life in their communities and stuck together. The husbands could be a little wayward sometimes but wives stoically endured their marriages, raised children and worked right alongside their mates.
What do you want your readers to take away from Inzared?
That women are strong, independent people and can weather any storm they encounter. And, I’d like them to take away the opportunity to be a child again and just enjoy something for no reason at all.
You compare yourself to Huck Finn, how are you like him?
Huck Finn was an oddball. He had a creative mind and was unafraid to try new things. Basically he chose his own path and even got others to join in following along. Even when faced with adversity he didn’t back down but stood up for what’s right and his own convictions. I don’t know if I’m an oddball (you’d have to ask my friends and family) but I definitely possess the other traits.
You are a songwriter. How is the songwriting process different (or the same) from writing a book (other than the length)?
You are trying to tell a story in four minutes or less when you write a song. There’s no room for embellishment so the story has to be concise and well understood. I write almost all of my music with a guitar. It’s easy for me to put words to music and I write both as I go along. A book gives you the opportunity to tell a fleshed-out story and you have more room for creative endeavor. Both are equally satisfying to me although I have to approach them in different ways.
Do you feel one process is more emotional than the other?
Definitely songwriting. I write country/folk music and a lot of it is based on true things I’ve seen, read or heard about. I love being able to create a great tune and set a story to music. You really want the listener to connect and listen to the words as they are moved by the music.
Is there a song that people would recognize that describes you?
Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head – I’ve gone through a lot of trials and adversity and even though the raindrops fall I’ve managed to stay afloat and do what I love – write!
Will there be a sequel to Inzared?
The second segment of the series is titled Inzared the Fortune Teller and it’s currently available on Amazon. I’ll be writing the third book in the series to be published in 2014. It will follow Inzared’s son, Timmon into the Civil War years as he joins a regiment and fights for what he believes in.
L.Leander is a best-selling author, freelancer and award-winning songwriter. Her first novel, Inzared, Queen of the Elephant Riders was published in June of 2012. The second book in the series, Inzared, The Fortune Teller (Book Two) is now available. The author has also published a short non-fiction series titled 13 Extreme Tips for Writers, targeted to the beginning writer.
Ms. Leander manages a blog titled L.Leander’s Reviews and Interviews that offers book promotion to Indie Authors. The author currently resides between Wisconsin and Mexico.
Books by L.Leander:
INZARED, Queen of the Elephant Riders http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008FD5O1E
INZARED, The Fortune Teller (Book Two) http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00C83YH1K
Video Trailer for INZARED, Queen of the Elephant Riders: http://youtu.be/lQHtsFQGAP0
13 Extreme Tips to Self Publishing http://amzn.to/Vlcq2v
13 Extreme Tips to Marketing an eBook http://amzn.to/Xu0Qk0
L.Leander’s Website: www.lleander.com
L.Leander’s Reviews and Interviews: http://lleandersreviewsandinterviews.wordpress.com/
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/L.-Leander/e/B008IVRNU8
Facebook Page: http://facebook.com/lleanderbooks
The Fortune Teller is the second book in the Inzared series.
Please view my trailer at http://Youtu.be/yN1xzuUAZjg and view more of Rick’s work