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Story Videos

I am considering making videos/audios of my short stories. I have no idea how to do this, so it’s a learning process. I can’t think of a better way to get my babies out into the light for others to enjoy. I am hoping to get some hard advice. Anything I should know before I start? Dos, don’ts, warnings, funny stories about mistakes you made doing this, all will be appreciated. My kids say, “just go ahead and do it, Mom”, and I tremble in fear at doing it wrong.

I have some experience with having my story narrated by another person, and I did not like it. He read with the wrong pauses, the wrong tones, the wrong voice. I believe that if I read them myself, they will sound how they are supposed to sound and be much, much better to listen to and understand. Is this just ego, or truth? I always enjoy a Stephen King story better when he is narrating it. He knows how it should sound.

So, I’ve got a mike and some programs to learn and a few short stories ready to go. Just working up the courage and needing a little advice or horrific warnings, if that’s what you’ve got for me.

Thanks!

Writing

The Spring of Craziness

I have a few things to say about how crazy this Spring is becoming.

First of all, and this is really bothering me, why doesn’t everyone already have soap at home and already wash their hands regularly? Why is it a thing now, that people are mobbing the stores for soap? It makes me wonder how dirty and nasty all you people were before this??? Ew.

Secondly, the CV virus does not cause diarrhea. It is a respiratory virus involving the lungs, not even giving you a runny or stuffy nose, just the lungs. Kleenex might have been a wise choice to stock up on if it was causing runny noses, but it doesn’t. So, why is toilet paper the first thing people think of to stockpile? Why not cases of canned chicken soup, or vitamin pills, or lots of healthy vegetables and fruit and other foods? If you don’t have food you won’t need all that TP, and if you get sick, you might not have much of an appetite anyway, so all that TP is just going to sit there, taking up space in your house, gathering dust. Also, why do you need so much? If you run out, you can use Kleenex, paper towels, paper napkins, all kinds of other paper around the house, unless you live under a bridge. It is scary to watch the entire world devolve into toilet paper-scavenging idiots. Fistfights in grocery stores over that last roll. This is what the human race has come to in 2020. We are surely lost.

Thirdly, most people who are able to stay home and hide for a few weeks or work at home are the ones who can afford to. The ones who can’t, who have to go to work even if they are sick because they have no benefits, are the ones who are serving the public and will spread their germs all through the land. There is no point in hiding out in your cave with your ten gallons of hand soap and your four hundred rolls of toilet paper because the guy who delivers your groceries, mail or pizza has just coughed all over it and you will catch it anyway. It’s too late to avoid it.

Last, but not least, learn your facts. CV is not Ebola. It will damage and kill many people, but if you are smart and keep yourself healthy and are in generally average health, even if you do get it, you won’t die. It’s not the Black Plague either. Older and vulnerable people can be taken to hospital and hopefully most will survive, but panicking and hoarding and spreading nonsense on Facebook is stupid. Most people who catch it, live. Many people will not catch it at all. Stay calm. Keep healthy. Drink lots of water, avoid sugar (damages the immune system) and take some damn vitamins, especially Vit C, well known to prevent and help to recover from viruses. If you do get sick, for the love of Mike, STAY HOME.

Common sense will see us through this one and the many more to come, courtesy of places like China. I hope nobody loses any loved ones and if you do, I’m sorry for your loss. Stay well.

Writing

Let’s Try This Again.

I neglected this blog for almost two years and have not done nearly as much writing as I could have. It’s winter again and I am geared up to start producing more finished works and write articles in here. I now have 8 cats rather than 3, don’t ask. It was not my idea, it just “happened”.

Anyway, when I’m not changing litter boxes or breaking up fights, I have a whole box full of ideas to work on and I’m debating with myself over whether or not to start putting some of the short stories on here. I would love to share them but I’m paranoid of theft and criticism, not necessarily in that order, lol.

Stay tuned and keep on pounding that keyboard, the stories ain’t gonna write themselves, as my son is fond of reminding me. Talk to you soon. I’m going to read some other blogs to see what you have been up to… I’ll be back later.

Writing

My First Acceptance Letter!

Hi everyone!

I am happy to announce that one of my short stories got accepted today!

I am so excited and proud and in shock and it’s a good thing I had already peed before I read that e-mail or I might have had an accident! Hahaha!

I received 3 rejections straight off after sending my new baby out into the cold cruel world, but that was last week. This week someone wants my story and is going to develop it and send it out to be, hopefully, appreciated by a huge fan crowd! I am thinking positive here.

I am not sure I’m ready to read mean reviews yet, but dammit, I am going to be a published author and I am enjoying it immensely. I should have done this decades ago! What a rush!

Now, where did I put my next story, let’s see if it’s ready to go yet………

Writing

The Top Five People You Want To Like Your Stories

As I was drifting off to sleep on Sunday night, I floated in a happy cloud of satisfaction and contentment. I have only recently been brave enough to start putting my stories out in the world after years of chicken heartedness. I have been producing as fast as one story a day and then going back and polishing them off later for a few hours. Two years ago I wrote one short story and worked on making it perfect for 6 months, then gave up and put it away, frustrated and discouraged. How would I ever get published if I could never finish the damn thing?

This year I decided to pump out as many stories as I can, and while not not caring if they were good or not, just not being ridiculously picky about every single letter in every single line as if it were life or death. I was taking it far too seriously and having no fun at all. Perfectionism sucks, so I told it to get lost! It’s working great and I have already submitted my favourite one so far to a few online pubs. It’s been rejected and I survived and it doesn’t bother me as much as I thought it would. I have been able to just let it go and look forward to the next ones I am writing. It’s a kind of freedom, a new attitude for me, not being perfect. It certainly helps with getting new stories on the page, to be able to let go of yesterday’s. It’s  a wonderful feeling to be so productive and still not hate what I am creating!

So, I thought I would share with you one of the wonderful aspects of getting more stories done and out, which is actually showing them to people and hearing their opinions and helpful feedback. Of course you start with relatives, if you are lucky enough to have some that will take the time to read and reply on your new babies. Your own people’s opinions matter the most, but they are less likely to be brutally honest for fear of hurting you if they think the story is absolute crap, so they are the safest ones to start with. Then you have to branch out and show your stories to those whose opinions matter professionally because they are also writers. That was a little more scary. I’ll list for you the sequence of “first readers” that I went through, just to share the steps of bravery you have to develop to push your chicks from the nest. It was hard, but BOY it was worth it, as what happened on Sunday was the best I could hope for. Here they are:

  1. My daughter was the first one I let read the first story I thought was done. She loved it and had some excellent advice on things to work out in the story. Her enthusiasm was catching and I leaped to the keyboard and kept writing some more, because she wanted to read more. All you need is an audience of one and it makes the work of writing a story worthwhile. Thank you, Sarah!
  2. My sister has very different taste in stories than what I write, which is mainly horror and S/F, but she liked one of the first ones I wrote in my new speed mode and also had helpful ideas on how to make the ending better. Her liking the story was the main thing though, because if she hated it or it was crap, she would not hesitate to say so, while my daughter is much more diplomatic, lol. Thank you, Karen!
  3. My friend, who likes the kind of stories I write, was thrilled with it and couldn’t put it down, making her late for an important appointment. She had to see what happened at the end. You can’t get a better response than that. She also wants more stories asap, encouraging me and filling the tank of energy you need to keep going and start new ones, to not just be happy with what you did, but make more and more and more! lol Thank you, Veroniek!
  4. I submitted the story to my writing group, a random collection of writers in stages between only having written two pages, ever, and having 7 published novels. The latter is the leader of the group and I respect his advice and opinions a great deal over the two years or so that we have been meeting once a month. He liked it! He critiqued it carefully, correcting a few tiny things, but mostly leaving it as is and said several times that it was good. I was so ecstatic with his approval that I could barely pay attention to the rest of the meeting. My story was good! His professional experience and overall smarts made his a very important opinion, and I passed! I thanked him profusely for liking my story and that is why I was so happy on Sunday, falling asleep, remembering that that guy said my story was good. Thank you, Arshad!
  5. A publisher, any publisher! I have not yet had my story accepted by a publisher, but I aimed high by submitting it to those that pay the most, cents-per-word places. I know that if I keep sending it out, eventually someone will take it, but I thought, what the hell? Why not start high and work my way down and see what happens? I was kind of hoping for some feedback with the rejections, but they are all form letters so far, but I don’t care. There are hundreds, maybe even thousands of potential homes for my new child, and I will never give up until I find it, and in the meantime, I’m writing new ones to follow along the path to great writing fame and fortune! I love the idea of taking  ten of the best and put them on Amazon as a collection of short horror stories, which my writing group leader suggested would sell better than one at a time. I can do that! The possibilities are endless.  Thank you, Internet!

So, today it is back to the keyboard, and while I am waiting for the next rejection to send that little flying story out again immediately, I will make new ones to join it. I got the idea from one of the fantastic blogs on here to make a spreadsheet of submissions and rejections so I don’t accidentally send it twice anywhere.

If I had known how exhilarating and downright fun this process was going to be, I would have begun it decades ago. It was the fear of failure and rejection that stopped me for all those wasted years, my little stories begging to be born and me just ignoring them because of stupid fear. Fuck the fear. I am doing it and I don’t care if a thousand rejections come back, the 1,001st one will be lucky to have my cool story.

So there. The next story is going to be about a sentient elevator…………………………………

The End