Real Beauty…Fake Funny

I’m going to spare you one of my wordy posts today (YAY! all six of you who read this blog are shouting).

The following clip has been going around Teh Internets recently, and it made all the Girls of Megacube cry (Yeah, there was much sniffling going on at work that morning. Don’t tell our boss. Of course she’d cry too, I’m guessing). Anyway, it speaks oh, so eloquently about the way we as women see ourselves…and the way we should be seeing ourselves (and, I’m fortunate enough to be able to say, the way Mr. Bud sees me).

This parody response came out just last week, told from the male POV. It’s a riot…and even Mr. Bud admits that there’s more than a grain of truth in it.

I couldn’t find this next one on YouTube, but here’s a link to another version of the parody, with different drawings of the men:

Dove Real Beauty Sketches Parody II

You know, at first I was a little miffed that someone co-opted and parodied such a beautiful message, but the more I thought about it the more I realized that I needed to get a clue (and obviously, a sense of humor). It takes a lot of guts to so thoroughly skewer your gender as these parody videos do.

You go, guys and gals! We all rock, don’t we?

Need help with editing? Have I got a book for you…

Any of my Megacube mates would tell you that in my day job as a marketing writer and editor I’m fearless (and bossy) with a red pen in my hand. However, I’m the first to admit that I can’t diagram a sentence to save my life. Yes, to my shame I suck at the mechanics of grammar. Although I know how to use words, I just can’t tell you why I use them. So I’m always up for articles, classes, etc. on editing, so I can back up my bossiness with hard facts.

"Editor-Proof Your Writing"  by Don McNair

Add some (lean) muscle to your writing library.

In August, 2012 I took a class through WritersOnlineClasses.com (lots of great classes here, btw) called “21 Days to Fog-Free Writing,” taught by Don McNair. As I always do, I checked out Don’s background to be sure I’d actually learn something from him. Well, Don’s edited magazines, produced PR materials, headed his own marketing communications firm, written articles, published non-fiction books, written  novels, and now edits novels for other writers…whew! I figured this was a guy I could definitely learn from, so I took the class.

I learned SO much–not only things I could use in my fiction writing, but in my work writing, too. The class focused on cutting out (quoting from Don here) “foggy writing–writing that’s full of unnecessary, misused, and overused words. Foggy writing drives editors crazy, and it’s the number one reason most manuscripts are rejected on first glance.”

Continue reading

Since I’m part of the fledgling Women’s Fiction Writers Alliance, I wanted to spotlight Orly’s very interesting post. It’s exciting to be part of something from the very beginning!

Writers In The Storm Blog

by Orly Konig-Lopez

When the idea of writing morphed into a dream to get published, I quickly realized I had a lot to learn. I sought out writing organizations that would provide the opportunity to meet other, hopefully like-minded, writers.

What I discovered is that there are a lot of writing organizations. Some niche focused, some general. All had great things to offer. But none were focused on what I needed as an aspiring author of women’s fiction.

Then someone recommended an online chapter under Romance Writers of America that was dedicated to women’s fiction. I couldn’t believe my luck!

In the two years since joining, I’ve met amazing writers—multi-published authors (can we say fan girl squees?), debut authors and aspiring writers, treading water just like me. I met my fabulous critique partners, learned heaps about publishing, and gained the confidence to go after my dream.

As many of our…

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Linda’s Casting Couch, Part II (or, This is Where You Find Out the Identities of the Hot Men on the Storyboard)

So in the last post I discussed my character-casting process (is too a process, albeit a convoluted one). As a reminder, here’s the storyboard I made for the Always characters (and I forgot to say in the last post, I keep this up where I can see it as I write):

The Always Storyboard

Now here’s a list of the actors and actresses who will bring Always to life once a Hollywood producer snaps up the book (ooh, it’s so pretty here in my fantasy world, isn’t it?), and a few notes on the most important characters and why I chose these particular actors/actresses to be their models. Continue reading

Linda’s Casting Couch, Part I (or, How Those Voices End Up In My Head)

Where the magic happens (excuse the mess)

Okay, I know the title sounds icky, but just wash that dirty mind of yours out with soap because the story is that I usually cast the characters in my books while I’m sitting on the living room couch with my laptop. Our super-comfortable leather recliner couch (left) is usually where I do my writing these days (and a big reason why my butt’s so big—it’s so comfortable I hate to get up).

But I digress (as usual). Back to my character “casting” process…I need to hear the characters’ voices and see their appearances in my head when I start to write. The easiest way to do that is to “cast” each character, so I can channel them as I’m writing. So what I do is start looking for actors and actresses who are the same ages as my characters by flipping through IMDB.com, Google images, and YouTube videos until the right person clicks in my head.

Then I create what I call my storyboard, with photos of the actors and actresses I’ve chosen. Yes, technically, it’s not a storyboard, because that has…y’know, a story, but this is my process so suck it up, nitpickers. I label each photo with the character’s name, and add a few scrapbooking embellishments to go with the theme of the story. It doesn’t take all that long, and it’s a lot of fun.

As an example, I thought I’d show you who I “cast” as my characters in Always, the book I recently completed: Continue reading

Sweat, Determination, and…Delusion?

“A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.”
–Colin Powell

I’ll admit, the hard work that writing actually is was a bit of a surprise to me when I started writing fiction. But it was work I took to immediately–it’s the first “job” (non-paying at the moment, of course) I’ve ever had where I’m happier the harder I work. I’m like a pig in mud, as they say, when it comes to learning more about the craft of writing, which I’ve done through reading, taking classes, joining professional associations, networking with other writers, and going to conferences. It’s a LOT of work, and it takes up a lot of my time (ask poor Mr. Bud, again, the most patient of the patient). And I love every minute of it…

…even though sometimes (okay, lots of times) it seems like I’ll never pay back my investment of all this time and effort. I still despair that my work will never be good enough to be published, because there’s just too much to learn and it’s all so contradictory and confusing.

But once in a while, I’ll read back over a paragraph or section–or even a whole chapter–I’ve written, and I’m shocked by how good it is because I’ve subconsciously applied something I’ve learned in my studies, and I think, “Wow. Maybe I do have a chance of being published one day!” Then I read something I did that absolutely sucks and think, “Or not.” And that’s when I realize–the reward in my writing may very well have to be my own personal one, and even if I never get published, maybe I can at least leave some really, really good manuscripts that my nieces (and nephew, but I don’t think he’s much of a chick book reader) can read and say, “You know what? Aunt Linda was an amazing writer!”

Oh, well, live in hope, die in despair as an obviously cynical friend of mine used to say.

One thing I think (hope) I’ll never be, though is as deluded as this little guy. And if I am, you hereby have permission to smack some sense into me.

Why Would Anyone Want to Read This?

So at last I’ve joined the ranks of the bloggers. After all this time wondering why people want to read the random musings of other people, why did I make the jump? Because it’s late night on the 4th of July (actually, now it’s the 5th) and I was bored, but I don’t really feel like going to bed yet, so I thought I’d try this out.

So do I have any idea what in my life is worth writing about? Not the vaguest. I lead the most average existence you could possibly imagine, hence the “Mundane Musings” title of this blog. I guess I could write about my downstairs neighbor playing his stupid stereo for something like 12 hours today, but we don’t want to go there right now (trust me, if you become a regular reader of these posts, you’ll eventually get the entire story).

And do I have any idea what I’m supposed to be doing in this completely foreign role of “blogger?” Absolutely none–your world frightens and confuses me. What’s a label? How do I make the font bigger? Will I cry if I get nasty comments? Perhaps “Linda’s Clueless Cluckings” would be a better title…

Oh well, I guess I’ll leave my first post here for now. I’ll hopefully be back tomorrow with something more interesting. Tomorrow is my weigh-in day at Weight Watchers, so if I show a gain again, trust me, you’ll have all the fascinating angst-filled musings you can handle!

Night, all.