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Hi, I'm Jamie. I'm a writer, reader, and huge TV junkie. I just might post about all three here on this blog. Have a look around. And if you want, drop me an email and tell me what you think. Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

last things first?

So I've made it to the point of my WIP where it's time to actually start writing.

Did he just say start?

Yeah, I did. I guess I should explain.

I begin my stories with character work. I flesh out what type of person each character is going to be - things like mood, mindset and motivation - and their backgrounds. I have to know where they're coming from before I can see where they're going.

Once I'm done with each character's profile (and the minor characters get one, too!) I make it to the point where I am now. And this is where a question popped into my head:

What if I wrote my synopsis first?

Kinda crazy, I know, but I thought about it and it kind of makes since. Of course I don't know exactly everything that's going to happen - I like to leave myself some surprises - but I have a fairly detailed idea. So, I gave it a shot and quess what? I like it! Somehow, writing out a generic synopsis before writing the actual story seems to make beginning said story much easier.

The basic plot of my WIP hit me all at once, like I'm sure a lot of writers' ideas do, so what better way to salvage all that info than to put it down on paper? (I mean, that is what we do!) I took those ideas and sparks and worked them out into my version of an outline - very loose and free-flowing and definitely subject to change. But, it gives me sort of a quick reference to peruse when my muse is in the shop!

So I ask...Do you think writing a synopsis before you write the actual novel/story/whatever makes sense? How would you begin? 

Happy writing all!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

hell week(end)!

I'm sure everyone has seen or heard of the horrible storms that ripped through the south this weekend. If not, come back to Earth.

Unfortunately my little town was part of that carnage. Luckily we had no reported tornadoes, though some of us here believe we may have experienced a few, but we had enough wind and rain to hold its own against some of the hurricanes I've been through. I mean, it was rough.

My yard has several large trees in it - 16 to be exact - and thankfully none of them fell during the nearly 24 hour deluge. Just a couple of small limbs and about a million pinecones now litter my drowned lawn. Overall my little parcel faired well.

My lawn furniture, however, did not. Now I know that most of you are saying "why didn't you put it away before the storm hit?"...and you would be fair in saying it. But in my defense, we have had storms as severe as this one where my outdoor furniture survived. So I honestly had no idea things would get as bad as they did. I didn't really watch the weather beforehand, but from the bits and pieces I did see I don't recall mention of the tropical-storm force winds we would experience. But I digress.

So needless to say that my lawn furniture is no more. The chairs are still intact - though bruised and beaten - but the poor table didn't survive. It fell victim to the fury that is Mother Nature. I fell victim to the fury that is Home Ownership. I spent an hour picking up about a million tiny glass fragments out of my grass. Yeah, fun.

As if the storm wasn't enough, someone very near and dear to me - and someone under 40 - suffered a mini stroke yesterday and is now left with a paralyzed face. Luckily he didn't lose the ability to speak or walk, but he now has to live (for 3 weeks to possibly 6 months!) with a face that is half out of commission.

The condition is known as Bell's Palsy. I consider myself to be somewhat intelligent, but I can honestly say that I had never heard of this until yesterday. The doctor told us that it is facial paralysis, and that it's part of the broad spectrum of the stroke family. Basically the nerve running down the side of his face - from his forehead to the bottom of his neck - has "died" due to what they believe to be a viral infection. So he's on steroids for the next ten days until the virus clears so the nerve can begin to rejuvenate. That's where the 3wk-6mo period comes in. I pray his recovery time is much closer to the 3 week mark.

So there you have it. Definitely going into the books as one of the worst weekends I've ever had. But, life moves forward and so do we. Now I have to go...for some strange, unknown reason this weekend's tribulations has opened the flood gates of my creative mind and story ideas are pouring through faster than water through a broken levee.

Happy Writing all!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

All Seems Right in TV Land

I admittedly watch a lot of television. A LOT.

Last night's round of shows brought great joy. First up, GLEE! I absolutely love this show...the fact that it showcases (in a fairly positive light) the "creative" kids in school versus the jocks or preps or whatever other name you may have for the popular, cool kids is the best thing about this new hit. I find myself waiting each week to see what new and popular song they're gonna tackle and change up and make sound better than it does on the radio. And like all soaps (yes, even though it's on at night, it's still a soap!) there's the overly melodramatic drama of who's dating whom and which character hates which. Love it!

And our course there's the Tuesday night staple that is American Idol. I admit that when this season began, it didn't hold much promise: Ellen being a new judge scared me (but she's awesome as a talk-show host!), and the talent didn't seem to stand out like years past (think Carrie Underwood and Chris Daughtry). Thankfully I was wrong.

Ellen seems to be holding her own. She reminds me a bit of Paula in that she tries to be nice even when she's not being nice, so I like that. And the talent has definitely improved. With the exception of Crystal Bowersox, who's been amazing since she first opened her mouth, the rest of the group has come a long way. Even Tim Urban, the last-minute replacement, has raised his performance level. Overall, the show last night was a good one.

And that brings me to a long-time favorite of mine: LOST.

This show has been at the top of my list since the first episode. Outstanding special effects (did you see that plane crash!) and super-cool story line (press the button every 108 seconds or we all die!), this show had everything going for it.

Notice I said had. A couple of seasons ago things seemed to veer to the south just a bit. Too much of this and not enough of that made the show a tad annoying. But I stuck it out and I'm so glad I did. This season LOST is back, and it just keeps getting better each week! I won't go into a full-episode review, click here for that. I just wanted to say that I'm so glad Jack and Claire finally got to acknowledge that they're brother and sister! The way-too-short scene in the jungle between the two was very touching. It only took what, 5 years? 'Bout time.

I have yet to watch V (gotta love DVR!), but I'm hoping that with the other great shows I watched last night it's not a disappointment.

Any shows you're interested in? What's your favorite?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Your Chance to Win!!

Just found this great contest by Cindy Pon that you should check out!  Click here or paste this link in your browser...


Go forth and enter to win a couple of really cool looking ARCs!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Dark Places

Just wanted to mention a great book - "Dark Places" by Gillian Flynn. Check out her website at http://www.gillian-flynn.com/ for her bio (which is cool) and another of her excellent books, "Sharp Objects".

If you can handle some adult subject matter, "Dark Places" is an awesome book. Amazing writing with very creative description that doesn't overpower the story, which is well developed.

The main character, Libby Day, is the sole survivor of a massacre who grows up under the eye of the public and without the proper guidance or support to handle what happened to her family when she was a child. Her brother is fingered as the killer by her and spends his life behind bars while Libby tries to deal with her new life.

Enter a secret "Kill Club" who likes to delve into true crimes that approaches Libby with questions about her testimony all those years ago. After prompting questions, Libby begins to wonder about her brother's guilt. To avoid giving away anything, I'll just say that the truth finally comes out and it's a shock - to Libby AND to the reader.

This novel isn't very long, but by no means a quick read. It pulls you in from the beginning with it's short, precise sentences and excellent pacing. You immediately begin to care for the characters - especially Libby and the horrendous trauma she experienced. With chapters written from the point of view of both Libby's mom and her brother on that horrible day, you find yourself caring about them as well.

"Dark Places" is recommended as a great mystery with spot-on writing, perfect pacing, and excellent characters...enjoy!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Bowling for Kids

Tomorrow I'll be bowling with my coworkers for the annual Big Brothers Big Sisters' Bowl for Kids' Sake. If you're in Pensacola, FL (and you happen to read this!) then come on out to Liberty Lanes and show your support! It's a great cause that is also a lot of fun!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

And so it begins...

Well today marks the first day of my blog. This is all very new to me...I don't know much about computers other than turning them on and surfing the internet. It took me nearly an hour just to set this up! But I digress.

I've decided after several years of trying to become a published writer (let's face it...everyone who can write is a writer, so being published is the only difference!) and getting nowhere that I would take the plunge and put myself out into the virtual world. This not only marks the first day of my blogging life, but it is also the first time I've told anyone else that I want to be a writer. "Major Step" is an understatement.

Back in high school - and yeah it's been a few years - I won a couple of writing contests and even received a Creative Writing scholarship to college, so the talent has always been there. Over the past decade or so I've buried that talent beneath random jobs and HUGE mistakes and just plain Life. Now I've decided it's time to dust off said talent and see if it can still hold a shine!

So anyway, that's where I stand: alone and nervous and hoping that opening my eyes to the virtual world of writerdom will set free my strangled muse...maybe she hasn't choked on ten years of rubbish!