“Artists, Sex, and Inspiration” A Guest Post on Queen of All She Reads (Book Tour Day 3)

KissDay 3 of 10! This is my third guest post on the book tour for my new novel Permanent Spring Showers.  I have already had two different guest posts for the tour (you can find links here and here). I’ve spoken about writing and spring, now for something a little… different.

Today, I am on Queen of All She Reads discussing the arts and… well… sex. The post is entitled “Artists, Sex, and Inspiration: The Importance of Passion in Permanent Spring Showers.” Here is an excerpt from the beginning:

Vince is a charismatic young painter. He can lose days lost in inspiration. His hands are usually covered in paint or clay, and his clothes may be stained with work and sweat. And yet, even then he still looks good, because of the charisma and passion and inspiration propelling him forward. Vince has an energy most of us can only dream of.

Vince lives each day to the fullest. Carpe diem has nothing on Vince. Life is almost as much a work of art as the creations that drive him. A day with Vince is a day lost in ideas, theories, deep conversations, and art. It could almost be considered a mini-vacation from the stress of everyday life.

Vince is sexy, with his intense eyes and unwavering convection on everything. Many women in the new novel Permanent Spring Showers are fascinated with him (as well as one of the men). Some act on it, some regret that they acted on it, and others won’t even admit to dreaming about him. Still it is there.

You can read the rest of the post here.

There is also a brief excerpt from my new novel, as well as a giveaway that will be Permanent Spring Showersrunning throughout the tour to win a copy of the book. Wait! Hold the phone… or iPhone… or browser…

The eBook of Permanent Spring Showers will be on sale during the tour! It is on sale for only $1.99. So there is no better time to grab a copy! You can find it on amazon for Kindle here and for the NOOK here.

 

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Editorial Being Shared by Danica Winters

Jane Austen talking to agents and publishersBestselling paranormal/romance fiction author Danica Winters is sharing my editorial “”What I learned From Having A Literary Agent” on her blog today! Very cool.

You can read my editorial on her site here, and also learn more about her books and her writing. I hope you will check it out.

Thanks for reading!

An Editorial on the Novel Travelist

A Jane Austen DaydreamToday, to help support the release of A Jane Austen Daydream in April by Madison Street Publishing, I am pleased to have an article up on the Novel Travelist. The Novel Travelist is a fun site for writers hoping to explore the world, writers, and history.  Here is the beginning of my post, Writing Advice – Leave Home:

We writers are isolationists, introverts. How else do you explain the fact we spend our time alone creating friends and worlds?  We are not made for the outside; we’d rather stay inside, thank you very much.

When I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree, as much as I cared about the degree, I was more interested in something else. It was always my dream to be that young traveler/writer by himself going through Europe, with nothing but a notepad and a few paperbacks in a bag. I saw myself sitting under trees in Jane Austen’s garden, opening my soul to the romantic poets, or wandering the halls of Charles Dickens’ home hoping for a message from beyond. I even sometimes thought about smoking a pipe (I didn’t, but wouldn’t it look cool?)

What I actually experienced though really was not at all what I expected. The rude awakening of being thrown out of my “universe,” my norm; well, I had to adjust for that in a major way.

There were no little safe places to go, like I could when I wanted to write or just read at home; here everything was new and different (as well as the people around) and for an introvert it can make one’s hair stand on the back of one’s neck… permanently.

Still, I know that this experience made me a better writer. I look at what I did before I went on that six-week trip and what I did later and I see a more imaginative, more creative, more introspective, and more worldly writer.

You can read the rest of the editorial here. I hope you enjoy it.

Are the Oscars Really Necessary? (2013)

I always wondered why the sword...I wrote this post last year about the Oscars called Are the Oscars Really Necessary? This is how the post begins:

The Oscars always make me feel a little queasy. Award shows in general around the arts make me feel that way.

Oh, I’ve won some writing awards (it’s the reason why my books MY PROBLEM WITH DOORS and MEGAN were published- they were both honored in a writing competition), and was very grateful, but it still feels odd to me. I have no problem telling someone that a story they have is great, for example, or another writer that their story needs work, but to say one is better than the other… there is that queasy feeling again.

You can read the rest of the editorial here.

As I stated in the editorial, awards around the arts always make me feel a little uncomfortable… but… in saying that… I hope Argo wins.

My Reasons… Election 2012

I have only written two political posts on this site. Here are the links to both of them:

Whenever I go to vote I always think first about what kind of a world I want to create for my children. So when I vote tomorrow for President Obama it is going to be about more than one issue. I’m voting for him because of the environment, good education (for all), women’s rights, civil rights, gay rights, social security, health care, and, yes even the economy (for all, not just those on top). Yet, to be honest, I have no idea how Governor Romney will govern. I bet you I could find two conflicting statements by him on any subject; YouTube is a wonder for that. The only thing we really have to point to about his true beliefs is his choice of Rep. Ryan as his running mate. And the idea of being 80 someday and having to find my own insurance via a voucher system terrifies me.

So there you go… there are my reasons for voting for President Obama summed up in only a few sentences. New post on Wednesday and I promise there will be no politics included in it.

Oh, yeah, and save Big Bird!

I Love PBS

Sometimes I feel guilty when I write something.

It happens. I am only human, but whenever I write an editorial it is coming first and foremost from a good place. Usually my negativity, when it is presented, is because I believe there are better ways that things can be done (the bad in a way acting as an introduction to me explaining why I am giving the advice in the first place). I have never written a negative post for the sake of attacking. I’m not wired like that.

Basically, I just want to put in my two cents … Which, in a way, is the entire point of having a blog, right?

I’ll get to my apologies in a bit.  Let’s start with the love…

I would estimate that when it comes to TV, PBS makes up 85 percent of all of the television my family watches. From PBS Kids in the morning (my son loves Super Why, Dinosaur Train, and especially Wild Kratts) to History Detectives, Masterpiece Theater, Great Performances, Ken Burns documentaries… Well, the list can go on and on and my DVR is full of just that one station.

Yes, PBS owns my DVR. Continue reading

Rewatching Sunset Boulevard: A Struggling Writer’s Nightmare

I have always been a fan of classic movies. While it may sound almost cliché to say this but Casablanca is my favorite film of all time. Period.

And while I love the film and watch it yearly, it was another black-and-white film that has influenced me more with the decisions I have made around my writing career.

That film is Sunset Boulevard. I have seen the film three times. The first time was before I moved to Los Angeles to try my hand as a screenplay writer, the second as a student at the University of Southern California, and the third a few days ago.

Sunset Boulevard (not the musical) is the 1950 classic written and directed by the genius Billy Wilder. It stars Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond a rich forgotten silent movie actress and William Holden as Joe Gillis, an out-of-luck writer who happens by chance into her life.

Now when most people think of Sunset they latch onto the character of Norma. It’s not surprising really, it is an amazing performance and—just like in A Streetcar Named Desire with Blanche—we watch this interesting character be driven more and more into madness by her own delusions. Her performance was nominated for an Oscar (as was the director, the picture, and most of the rest of the main cast; it won for best screenplay), and rightfully so. It’s hard to look away when she is on the screen.

But for me, when I think of Sunset Boulevard I always focus more on Joe Gillis, our unlucky writer. Continue reading

Writing Advice: Never Be Happy

I am never happy with my writing and I consider that a very healthy mindset to have.

I want to forget about past books, destroy old short stories, and hang my head in shame over screenplays. This does not mean I think the work is bad, far from it. It’s just I am always a different writer in a different “place” when I look back at past work, and that old writer who slaved over those chapters or scenes… well… he ain’t in this house anymore, and the new tenant isn’t into it.

In my last writing editorial (“Leave Home“), I discussed some of the pluses and minuses around most writers being introverts. The dangerous fact for writers is introverts like to be in a rut.

A rut is safe.

There are no surprises in a rut.

And for a writer that means genres, characters, scenes, plots, dialogue, expressions, and even favorite words may find their way again and again into “new” works. These ruts are like a warm blanket on a cold winter evening, why would you want to go get out from underneath all that security? (And if you are lucky enough to make actual money off your writing, it makes it that much more difficult.)

Some might find offense in my saying all this, but frankly, the answer to that question in my opinion is the difference between being just a writer and being an author. Continue reading

The ending of a story… the beginning of a new one

All stories come to an end, and this is true for more than just books and movies. The hard fact is that it is also very true for each of the stages in our lives. Yet, I have always believed, a great sign of maturity is the realization and acceptance that such an ending has occurred for oneself. Because, endings happen all of the time, brothers and sisters of Wyoming, yes they do.

Since writing my editorial “The Fall of the Vikings”  (which can be found here) I have heard from a lot of people. (A lot, a lot of people.) And one of the most disappointing things that I have learned over the course of this experience is how many former alumni of both Rogers and Park can’t seem to let go of their past. These fellow alumni are fighting the consolidation, tooth and nail, as if someone is trying to take something away from them in the change. Continue reading

Relearning to Write

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has a theory of flow, which defines flow as “‘the state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter; the experience itself is so enjoyable that people will do it even at great cost, for the sheer sake of doing it.” (You can read more about it here).

For me, this is more than a theory, this was my reality as a fiction writer. I can’t begin to tell you the days, weeks, and months, I would lose with a project. This is how my creativity used to work:

  • I would get a spark of an idea, scribble down a few notes, but chances are it will sit in my head from anywhere to a few months to years.
  • Suddenly, for some unexplained reason, my creativity is ready, and the idea is ready to be born, all I have to do is sit down.
  • I will start to work on the idea, not always in chronological order, allowing my creativity to dictate what to work on and when.
  • Bliss. Continue reading