01 February 2013

Annoying Song Lyrics

There’s nothing like a catchy song to get me playing the drums on my steering wheel and singing along while I drive. More than once I’ve been caught having my own dance party at a red light. However, like many writers, I pay close attention to the lyrics and find it irritating when they contain blatant grammatical errors or don’t even make sense.  
Here is my list of the top five songs with lyrical flaws that annoy the bleep out of me…
I Cry, by Flo Rida
“When I need a healing, I just look up to the ceiling, I see the sun coming down, I know it’s all better now…”
Really? You see the sun through your ceiling? No x-ray vision or skylight is mentioned here, therefore I can only assume you were grasping for a rhyme or taking hallucinogens.
Beauty and a Beat, by Justin Bieber
“’Cause all I need is a beauty and a beat who can make my life complete…”
Sorry Justin, you’re wrong. You need a beat THAT can make your life complete. Not WHO.
Thank You, by Dido
“Push the door I’m home at last and I’m soaking through and through. Then you handed me a towel and all I see is you. And even if my house falls down now I wouldn’t have a clue…”
Are we in present tense or past tense here? She says she’s pushing the door right now, but then someone handED her a towel? Ok so now we’re in the past. Then, she remarks that even if her house falls down NOW she wouldn’t have a clue…I guess she’s a time traveler. Cool.
Love You Like a Love Song, by Selena Gomez“And it feels like I’ve been rescued. I’ve been set free. I am hypnotized by your destiny.”
There are a number of goofy things I could pick on in this song (how does one love someone like a love song, anyway?). But what really gets to me, is the line quoted above. How in the heck can you be hypnotized by someone’s destiny? What does that even mean? She can see his future and it is so awesome that she falls into a trance?
And that’s not even the worst one. Here it is…my number one pick for most annoying and nonsensical song lyric EVER:
Our Song, by Taylor Swift
“When we’re on the phone and you talk real slow ‘cause it’s late and your momma don’t know.”
This is just stupid. So the next time I have to say something private to someone I should just talk at full volume but say everything reeeeeaaal slooooow(ly) and no one else will be able to hear me. Excellent.

What song lyrics drive YOU crazy? Leave a comment and add to my list!

(image from freedigitalphotos.net)

25 January 2013

Are You Team "Traditional Publising" or "Self-Publishing"?

In the first ebook of her series "A Field Guide for Authors," literary agent Rachelle Gardner shares her wisdom with writers looking to decide between traditional publishing and self-publishing. Although I've always pictured myself going the traditional route, I see more writers these days deciding to self-publish. The industry has evolved much in the past several years, making both publishing routes viable options for success. So what is best for you? It's a big decision.

That said, Rachelle's ebook is aptly named How Do I Decide? Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing (A Field Guide for Authors)

I'm reading it now and hope you'll join me (click on the picture above for a link). In the meantime, what are your thoughts? Have you already self-published or gone the traditional route? Both?

21 January 2013

Write Just a Little Bit

How do you make time to write? No, seriously. That wasn't some kind of thought provoking opening sentence, it was a plea for help. Remember when I posted about how awesome I was at making time to write? Even going so far as to bring my laptop to my best friend's wedding? Well things are different now. 

I'm the one getting married. I can't bring my lap top to that wedding.

So I'm neck deep in rsvps, construction paper (for my favors), and running around to a zillion appointments regarding this and that. In the midst of this I'm very happy and blessed to be in two other weddings and not so blessed to have been in a minor car accident.

So there ya go. I have no time (said the girl who knows she's just making excuses). I can't possibly write (said the girl who knows she could absolutely write even for just 15 minutes a day). Woe is me, I am just way too busy (said the girl who seems to think that every other writer has copious amounts of free time).

Ok I'm done yelling at myself. Let's have a little grace here, eh? This is a season where I can't write as much as I want to, but I can write a little bit. How about you? How do you make time for the things you love? And if you're not making time, what are your excuses? 

We may not always be able to pump out novels, but let's write just a little bit.  

(image from freedigitalphotos.net)

24 December 2012

The #1 Most Valuable Tool for a Writer

Aside from your computer, what is your favorite tool to keep handy when writing a novel? Is it Google? A dictionary or thesaurus? Flash drive? They are certainly must-haves but there is one thing that tops them all. This thing can completely change your perspective on your novel. It can bring clarity to your prose and alert you to inconsistencies in your writing or flaws in your plot. It can also gauge the authenticity of your characters as well as setting. No matter your skill level, this is the one thing all writers need yet it’s not always easy to come by.  

A beta reader.    

The greatest tool for any writer, in my opinion, is someone who reads a manuscript in its entirety and provides thorough feedback. The ideal beta buffers constructive criticism with lots of encouragement and offers practical solutions to any hiccups in plot, narrative, character development, etc. Often, they understand a writer’s needs and goals because they are writers themselves.

I love beta-reading for many reasons, including the fact that it makes me a better writer. Carefully combing through someone else’s novel heightens my awareness of the nuances in my own work. Other added benefits are building valuable relationships with other writers and getting a sneak peek at a manuscript before it’s published.

Now, just because I do some beta-reading for other people doesn’t mean that I don’t need one myself. I wrote a novel for National Novel Writing Month and am looking forward to finding a beta-reader once I’m done editing. If you need a reader too, let’s exchange manuscripts!

What are your thoughts? Do you think it’s important to have a beta reader? What’s your favorite writing tool?

(Image from freedigitalphotos.net)

30 November 2012

Life's Purpose: More About the Elusive Finish Line

A friend posted this video on Facebook this morning and it went so perfectly with my blog topic from last week, that I had to share it!

Please enjoy your journey today my friend, don't get too hung up on the destination. If you sing & dance to life's music, THAT is SUCCESS.

22 November 2012

The Writing Finish Line: Do We Ever Really Get There?

When I was younger I thought that I'd be satisfied just to write a novel, even if no one read it. To know that I followed through on such an ambitious project would be enough for me. So I wrote one. Not surprisingly, my goal changed and so did my definition of success. 

Becoming published became my new goal. I fixated on it and even once said that if I was a published author I could die happy. How naive was I to think that I could be satisfied so easily and that I wouldn't change my definition of success once again. 

Publication is still one of my goals as I draft my second novel during NaNoWriMo, but what I've come to realize is that there is no "finish line" in writing. I can't fool myself anymore with sentences that start with "If I just..." and end with "...then I can die happy".

Networking with published authors who struggle to market their novels and still don't feel as though they've "made it" has taught me to cast off my illusions about the finish line. I will still have the same insecurities and desire to do better even after my book hits store shelves or online shopping carts. Hence, I'm adopting a new attitude: that doing whatever it is I feel called to do, not just in writing but in life, is all I need in order to die happy. 

If I'm content with who I am and where I'm at, whether I'm pre-published, post-published or in between, then I've already "made it". Hmmm. I guess there's a finish line after all.

What about you? How do you measure your success?

(Image from freedigitalphotos.net)

12 November 2012

The Understanding

I'm taking a quick break from NaNoWriMo to let you know how honored and excited I am to have one of my flash fiction pieces featured on the blog of good friend and talented author, Thomas Pryce. Please hop on over to Cenozoic Publishing, check out my story "The Understanding" and also be sure to read Pryce's amazing work.

Tell him I sent ya!

Now back to resting my forehead on the keyboard, er, I mean writing a novel...