Monday, June 9, 2014

On Blogs, Vlogs, and Shameless Plugs

I realize not only that it's been a while since I posted but that I've only ever posted maybe once or twice - and for both of these things, as well as a host of others, I'd like to apologize. The truth is that I fell on some pretty hard times physically which sent me back to physical therapy and landed me back on meds. The PT worked wonders where the medication did not. Needless to say, I lost a lot of time and work during that period and am just now getting back around to doing the things I was plotting when this calamity befell me.

One of those things is writing more, and more often. But I have to say that I have moved on from blogging - not altogether, mind you (obviously) - I just feel that it has served its purpose and, despite what some may claim, the point was never money nor fame nor any such thing; for me, blogging was about learning to let go - to stop trying to craft every sentence so perfectly, to stop worrying if every single word was as singularly specific as it could be, if every thought or idea advanced the plot or added depth to the character or story. The point, for me, was learning to write - to write well, to write succinctly (or verbosely, as I was so inclined), and to write quickly.

I've certainly never been one for deadlines.

So it is that I wanted to stop by and say that while I'll still be dropping by from time to time, both to comment as well as enter the errant post, the technology has finally advanced to the point that I feel a different mode of communications is calling. Some call it "vlogging" (idio... Internet slang for "video blogging"), others call it "podcasting," still others call it any number of things. We've no format at this point, no real talking points, nor any plan - much the way I started blogging back in the late '90s when it was called "weblogging" and was used specifically by webmasters to inform visitors as to what we were working on, the techniques and programs we were using, and so forth.

We also do a comedy show on the weekends wherein we "riff" a movie - that is, mock and comment on it as we watch it IRT - specifically in the vein of the classic TV show, Mystery Science Theater 3000. The movies are not screened before we sit down to rip them apart, although we've often seen them and even riffed them previously (as we've been idiots for far longer than almost anyone would imagine), and the entire show is performed live and unscripted before your very eyes. If you miss it (well, I don't know that "miss" is the best choice of words but remember what I said regarding singularity and specificity of language and how blogging helped me learn not to give a shit about it and we'll move right along), the recording is available the following day on The Weirding YouTube Channel.

I love writing and always have; I vividly recall the first "real" story I wrote, as well as the second. By the fifth grade, I wrote a story every week featuring my unmarried, former nun, teacher and her beau. The entire class had to write these stories, employing that week's vocabulary list, and I never failed to dazzle, baffle, and amuse. I was hooked. I wrote and performed plays in highschool, and had already been published twice by the time I was a highschool Freshman.

Writing is what I do and always will be.

But I am excited by this new frontier and the opportunities it presents - which includes the option of scripting material, both to be delivered as well as performed. And I'd really love for some of you to follow along, or at least check it out from time to time (we'll get better eventually, I promi... inevitably - I mean, we have to, right? Right!?). In return, I'll drop by from time to time and give you a written... whatever - update, report, look behind the scenes.  Who knows, maybe we will even end up collaborating on something at some point.

Meanwhile, keep writing and keep reading! I met Christine some five years or more ago on a blogging site and she hasn't given up yet, so I don't think she's going to anytime soon. Take a page from her book, as corny as that sounds, and do the same.

Also, come check us out. We have big things planned. We are not very likely to actually do these Big Things but they are planned. Well, we have discussed setting aside some time in the future for planning. So. You do not want to miss that!

- C Harris Lynn, 2014

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Miss Mabel's School for Girls by Katie Cross

Never underestimate the power of a determined witch.
Letum Wood is a forest of fog and deadfall, home to the quietly famous Miss Mabel’s School for Girls, a place where young witches learn the art of magic.
Sixteen-year-old Bianca Monroe has inherited a deadly curse. Determined to break free before it kills her, she enrolls in the respected school to confront the cunning witch who cast the curse: Miss Mabel.
Bianca finds herself faced with dark magic she didn’t expect, with lessons more dangerous than she could have ever imagined. Will Bianca have the courage to save herself from the curse, or will Miss Mabel’s sinister plan be too powerful?
Miss Mabel’s School for Girls is the first novel in The Network Series, an exciting new fantasy collection. A gripping tale about the struggle to survive, it will take you to a new place and time, one you’ll never want to leave.

I love a good book. One you can crawl into and get lost in and this is one of those books.  Introducing Miss Mabel's School for Girls by my little friend, Katie Cross
I fell in love with the characters as soon as I started reading.  You've got all the elements of a spellbinding story here.  Like any high school, you've got your popular girls and your book worms, but these girls all have a little something else. You've got teachers who make the learning process fun and those who make the students cringe at the thought of being called upon.  Oh, did I mention the creepy forest surrounding the school?  
You'll notice that I'm not giving anything away with this book because I firmly believe you've got to read this one.  I will tell you that it's got everything you could ever want in a magical YA book.  And it's done in a way that is actually believable.  I've read a lot of books of this nature that were just so far out there that it could never happen in real life.  But MMSFG is different in the fact that you think that there could actually be a school out there where high-school aged girls are learning the mystical arts.  
As a first novel, I really think Katie did an awesome job.  And one of my favorite things about it is that it's a great read for book lovers of any age.  I can't wait to see what she comes up with for the next installment.
Want to keep up with everything going on with this book and the others coming up?  Check out Katie's fanpage on Facebook or the Miss Mabel's site.  

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Writing About Online Deals and Sales

So, as anyone who's actually read this blog knows, I'm working diligently on finding ways of getting back into the writing game.  I'm looking for all kinds of things to write about, no matter how silly they may seem.  I've even thought about getting into an area I'm not too proud of...writing erotica.  Don't laugh, I didn't do it and I'm not so sure I could even if I did decide to do so.  My father would turn over in his grave.

A couple weeks ago I finally found a flash drive I'd thought I'd lost that had almost 10 years worth of my writings on it.  I grabbed that drive yesterday and started going through some of the things I'd written.  I'd forgotten just how much was really on that drive until yesterday.  I opened one of the folders to find it filled with several other folders, which had even more folders in them.  I just sat there kind of shocked.  But, one of the folders I'd found struck me like a lightening bolt. 

I used to write for a guy who became a really good friend of mine, Garry Conn.  He taught me a lot about writing online and how to make money blogging.  If it wasn't for Garry, I'd never had gained as much as I did back in the day.

Anyway, some of the posts I'd written, had to do with writing about online deals, online sales, and that type of thing.  It was pretty easy work and once I got the hang of it, I was pumping out regular articles for like 3 different blogs each week.  So, what does a girl who's looking to get back into the game do when she's backed up against the proverbial writer's blocked wall?  She starts another blog and calls it Online Deals and Sales

I've created this blog for two different reasons.  First and foremost, to see if I can start making money blogging again.  I mean, after all, isn't that part of the reason we write online.  Not the only reason, but one of the reasons.  The other reason I started this blog was to get back into writing and making myself practice.  If I can get back into a regular blogging ritual again, it won't be long before I'm finding myself as a real force in this world once again.  Okay, maybe it will be a force of one, but a force none-the-less.

I do have another blog out there that I'd planned on doing the same thing with, and if I can make this work, I might just get it going again.  It has to do with the world of collecting and the things we all collect.  No, not dust bunnies.  I have some cool ideas for that site, but I'm just now getting to the point where the thought of writing doesn't cause me to freeze up and curl up into the fetal position anymore.

The new site still has a ton of work to be done to it, but I'm pretty excited about it.  I've spent a lot of years following all the mommy bloggers, deal bloggers, and online sale sites out there for my own personal use.  Now it's time to put that to good use.  Wish me luck, kids.  I'm going to need it. 

Happy writing my babies.  :)

Monday, March 17, 2014

Keep An Open Writing Mind

As I work toward my goal of writing for a living once again, I'm finding that there are a lot of things I need to remind myself.  The main one right now is that I have to keep an open mind in my writing opportunities.  I love writing in fiction, but I spent years writing articles to make ends meet.  So, if I work it just right, I could have a ton of opportunities at my disposal.

As a fiction writer, there are a lot of ways I can get my writing out there.  Writing a full-length novel is usually the first thing that comes to mind, but it's not the only way to go.  There are a lot of smaller lit magazines out there that pay for short stories and I have to admit that I'm a lot better at writing those than I am at writing novels.  I love a good short story.  Something you can sit down with, fall in love with the characters, and get to the ending in time to do a few other things in your life.

I've been doing some research into a few of the sites online that accept short story submissions and am finding quite a few of them.  I was pretty amazed, now just have to get some of mine put together and get them out there.  I've found that most of the sites I've visited have to do with the paranormal and/or horror genres and those are NOT my strong suits, but doesn't mean I won't give it a try.

As far as non-fic goes, I'm going to try and start doing short e-book pieces via  I read a pretty cool little e-book about doing just this thing.  It's called Full Time Writer and Single Mom by Samantha Fegely.  It's a very quick read and she gives her readers ideas on how to go about making a full time living writing non-fiction for Kindle.  I figure what the heck, I'll give it a shot.  I've come up with some pretty cool ideas, but we'll see how it goes. 

I've also got a couple other ideas in the works, but those are just thoughts at the moment and I'm not sure how far they're going to go.  You know, those odd little thoughts that come along at 3 in the morning when you're kind of asleep and kind of not.  Ya, so we'll just stew on those for now.

So hopefully, I'm on my way back to getting paid to be a writer.  It's been a scary ride since I made the full decision to do this, but it's something I have to do for myself.  I can do this, I know I can.