On Writing …

Top Ten Best Things about being a writer:

1. Royalty checks.
2. Self-Satisfaction
3. You’ve created something.
4. You can work in your pajamas and no one cares.
5. You are your own boss.
6. You can watch TV while you work.
7. You can work anywhere and anytime.
8. If you’re lucky, people will like your work.
9. You’re following your dream.
10. I love it.

Top Ten Worst Things about being a writer:

1. You can work anywhere anytime. It NEVER stops.
2. You see a character in everyone you meet.
3. People expect you to write for free.
4. People expect to pay $0.99 for your NEW book.
5. You are your own boss, which means…
6. You must be disciplined to do any work, but particularly art.
7. I’ve given 8 eulogies and written obituaries … wonder if there is a job in that?
8. You are your own time-keeper.
9. You’re always in your head and people think you don’t listen to them.
10. I only really like to write in the middle of the night, like now, but no one else gets that.

So, there’s my top ten of the good and bad. Just thought I’d put that out there. So many of us writers have the same problems. Would any writers like to add to this list? Best~ Veronica

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My Thirty-One Business

Consultant

Consultant

Want to get your hands on some hostess goodies but don’t have the time to host? I’m looking for 12 ladies to join my—-

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$60 in FREE Products (1Winner)
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Any Item for ½ off (3 Winners)
FREE Her Deluxe Backpack – 1 winner
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And the person with the highest sales will win a FREE Chill-licious Thermal

Just email me at vcronin67@aol.com if you would like to collect $100 in orders from your house or work! It’s all online at https://www.mythirtyone.com/poppies/ and you can order under “Christmas in July.” Email me first for directions! Thanks- I can’t wait to give you Free and reduced merchandise!

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The Great American Novel

Book Cover

Book Cover

Ever wanted to write the Great American Novel?
The story of 13 year-old Jude spoke to me. She lives in a 1970’s household full of violence and alcohol. How will she save herself and her sisters? A gripping story of one young girl attempting to escape her cruel stepfather and her mother, who may just have given up. This book is about the violence we witness, love, death, and redemption.

Excerpt from Pieces of Mother:
“Jude put their loot in the flowered basket at the front of her bike and they were off! She pedaled very carefully around the church, as everyone was spilling out of church and filling the street, and went home to find the car gone. She went into the house with Beth, scuttled downstairs to the finished basement, and made a fort with chairs and sleeping bags. She threw all the couch pillows into the hole she made, and put in her tape recorder, the candy and drinks, and crawled in. Beth crawled in after her. Jude put in her Barry Manilow tape. They stayed in there the rest of the afternoon.
‘Til they heard the door slam”

Since I am self-publishing, I will need the money for my ISBN number, books to sell, table and event fees for selling, gas and toll $ for traveling to independent bookstores, conventions, and book fairs. Thank you!

To donate to my cause check out INDIEGOGO:

Book Cover

Book Cover

For more of my work, Check out She’s So Bipolar at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UwRs13lUS0 and at Amazon.

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Carlos Cabaleiro – Artist

Contact Carlos:

http://cabaleiroart.wix.com/cabaleiro-art
http://cabaleiroart.blogspot.com
http://www.pinterest.com/cabaleiroart
http://www.about.me/cabaleiroart
http://www.twitter.com/cabaleiroart
Facebook: http://facebook.com/cabaleiro.art

Email: cabaleiro.art@facebook.com

Interview of Carlos Cabaleiro of Cabaleiro Art by Kristina Louise

(K)ristina: What is the first memory you have of drawing?

(C)arlos: I remember… I’ve always drawn, but I remember being four or five, and I would get excited to go to the grocery store with my parents. There was an office supply section with lots of paper and notebooks. They made mead notebooks, 6×8 with blank pages, which I really loved. My mom bought one of those, and I filled it with super hero drawings. The first sketch I remember doing was Batman.

(K) Speaking of batman, he is your favorite Hero correct?

(C)Yes.

(K) How did Batman become your favorite?

(C) As a kid my favorite thing was watching the Batman TV show reruns. He wasn’t just a cartoon on paper. They were all real people to 3-5 year-old Carlos. The world seemed attainable and real. Once my parents realized that I loved Batman, it became the easy present. I remember one Christmas, there were just tons of Mego figures. There were at least 12 to 15, for me and my brother to share. Batman was my favorite out of all of them, of course. And, I mean we got all of them. I received The Lone Ranger, Tonto, Spidey, Aquaman…

(K) That’s right. This would have been back before the licensing. (C) Yeah. It was everyone in the set, Marvel and DC characters, all under the World’s Greatest Superhero banner. By today’s standards, they were dolls, but I loved them.

(K) Before merchandising was split.

(C) That’s how old I am. (laughs)

(K) Why with all of these variations of Batman, including some pretty horrendous ones, do you think the Caped Crusader has lasted so long as a fascination for people, even those who are not comic book readers?

(C) It starts first with his origin…
No, no the first thing is the look.
Bob Kane and Bill Finger took the archetype of Superman and created this new dark and iconic image. They pulled the best parts from Zorro and figures from the 1920s and the 1930s. They made this insanely iconic look, with this scalloped cape, bat ears, and blank eyes. And the crazy part is, that if you realize how long Batman has been around and how many variations on his look there have been, so much of it really stays the same. It gets people. Batman is just a really well designed character when you look at him.
Then there is a strong sense of humanity underneath the intimidating image. He doesn’t have powers; he isn’t a super-being. He is just this motivated guy, which to be honest, is something to look up to. He is human with … with… this awful tragedy that, unfortunately, people can put themselves in. People can imagine themselves in his position. People know that pain. How would they do it? Would they have been able to turn such pain and darkness into something … which actually helps people?
Batman has the look and the emotion. Between those two you’ve got an iconic character and people really connect to it.

(Grayson barks in the background)

DSC00725

(C) Yes Grayson, I hear you.

(K) You are currently working on sequential Batman comic book pages on your own… That’s how it is described right?

(C) Yes.

(K) I, of course, love the idea of Batman in the classic theater with Joker and his goons, and the image of Batman breaking in and the light from the projector. It is all just so striking. But where does that story initially come from?

(C) The story is uh…an adaptation of a Joe R. Lansdale short story, titled “Belly Laugh,” or “The Jokers Trick or Treat.” It was uh … a print in the early nineties. It was a collection of short stories called “Adventures of Batman.” So it’s just uh… a very visually … How do I say this? The story is straight prose, but Lansdale does such a great job describing everything in such detail, every moment including the climax of the story. It came alive immediately in my mind. That’s what comic book artists do. They take words and turn them into pictures. It helps so much when you have great writing. Writing, with lots of detail and imagery and just…well done.

(C) You are hot.

(K) Should I transcribe that?

(K) With lots of comic book adaptations on the horizon in entertainment what are you the most excited for? (C) Um… I am hoping Ben Affleck doesn’t f**k up Batman in the upcoming Man of Steel sequel.

(K) I love that I asked you what you are most excited for and I think I got what you are most nervous for.

(Both Laugh)

(C) Well, Man of Steel was just so good and I am excited but nervous at the same time. I think a lot of people are more excited for the Avengers sequel at the moment. I’m really psyched for the next Spider-Man though. It is as close to a real comic book on screen that we’ve had in the modern era of Superhero cinema. TV has me really excited with Arrow being the very top show and the potential spin-off of The Flash.

(K) It was an exciting show last night.

(*Spoilers*)

(C) Oh my God! Cyrus Gold dying and getting splashed with the Mirakuru and means we’ll get Solomon Grundy at some point. There were so many nerd-gasms in the show. When he read off the Solomon Grundy nursery rhyme I thought I was going to cry.

(Both Laugh)

(K) What was the part you really liked and geeked out over? Flash’s wife on screen?

(C) Yeah, Linda Park, but she’s Wally West’s wife, not Barry’s. Just hinted at on the TV. That’s great. They pay attention to all of these little things.

(K) Changing the subject slightly, while we live in a society constantly asking for apologies and for artists to be politically correct, how do you think that weighs in with Political Correctness vs. Artistic Freedom?

(C) In today’s society, it can be hard to voice your own opinion. I find as a freelance illustrator and someone who has advanced opinions, that I have to bite my tongue to not say what I honestly believe.
We live in an online world and everything has repercussions. I want a long lasting career and I don’t want to offend anyone. I really don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. I wouldn’t want that. Plus, everyone takes everything the wrong way. There’s a joke that real men don’t use emoticons. But humor and sarcasm don’t translate so I incorporate that.

(K) I’ve never heard that joke.

(C) You aren’t a man.

(K) What do u do to get in your artistic mood?

(C) I don’t know… My brain is always going. After a while away from being creative it was a struggle to get back to thinking like a creative artist. Now it’s hard to shut it down.

(K) Mhhmm

(C) It is important to have a routine and treat it like a job. Artists, musicians, writers … they keep odd hours usually. I’m more like … like, Michael Keaton’s speech in 1989 Batman.

(Kristina laughs)

(Carlos recites)

“…You know my life is really complex. You know how a normal person gets up, and goes downstairs and, eats breakfast, kisses somebody goodbye and, goes to a job…?” I try to actually be that normal guy. I wake up. I walk my sidekick Grayson. I make coffee; sometimes I make breakfast. I kiss my pretty fiancée goodbye, and then it’s off to work. I feel that mindset in a world with deadlines and timelines is crucial. I have a leg up on other artists.

(K) There seems to be a stigma about those who work from home that is contradictory to all that. People seem to underestimate the self-discipline it takes. They are used to the 9-5 job and the stresses with that.

(C) I work a hell of a lot more hours than 9 to 5.
Firstly, everyone wants something from you for free. It’s tough with friends and family. They look at services you provide, and don’t realize you have to charge or what the prices are to start with. The other part is people don’t realize I’m always working.
“Oh you are at home, wanna do lunch?” they ask.
“No. I am busy” “I’m in the studio eight hours a day.” Sometimes 12-15 hours a day. There’s a negative stigma. Being creative– it takes work.
Benefits are I can wear pajamas and drink on the job. No one looks at you sideways at 11am if you poor yourself a whiskey.

(K) If you are alluding to me, I don’t look at you sideways on the weekends. Unless we haven’t had breakfast yet.

(C) That’s why brunch and brunch cocktails are crucial.

*laughing*

(C) And on weekends it’s beer time.

(K) Now is your time to plug. Whatever it is you want to plug.

(C) My website. I need twitter followers. I don’t get it. Unless you re-tweet or are saying something provocative, or delve into Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, or anything in the Kardashian pool it’s tough to get into the buzz. I am on tumblr and instagram. I like instagram a lot–just pictures and no words. I’m on Facebook a lot. I’m on ebay if you are looking for art. I am available for commissions. Rates are on Facebook and my website.

(K) Last words?

(C) I’ve had a lot of opportunities to do what I am passionate about, and I always picked the more “responsible” thing. For most people it is good to be sensible. The soul of an artist however, thrives on creativity. If deep down you know you are an artist, go for it. Be passionate and pursue it. You’ll be happier. In the end you will be successful if it is what you truly know and love.

(K) Very nice end to the Interview.

(C) Let’s drink.

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Mom

Mom’s birthday is today. She would have been 67. She passed almost four years ago, and I still pick up the phone to call her. We had a strained relationship for years. She wasn’t always the best Mom, but I wasn’t always great myself. What she was, well, was human. She made mistakes in life, just as I have, and you don’t really get that till you’re old enough to have made some. She was, however, many other things:

She was a fantastic cook. I never had a bad meal from her (even the lima bean dinners), she was extremely crafty; she could macrame you under the table. She was kind and gentle, and she was the prettiest mom, with a great laugh. We were always playing pranks on her or teasing her, as she was an easy target – but she took it all in stride and just laughed at us. She was a good sport. She was a social butterfly in her younger days, and she still met with her high school girlfriends on occasion. Her hand on my head was the most comforting thing in the world. She was always there when we were sick. She should have been a nurse, because she excelled at it. We could always count on her then. In fact, she was a dream when I had my baby all those years ago. She did everything for a month. It was the best gift.

Much of her life was full of sadness, and I wished I could have taken that from her, but I didn’t know how. I really and truly think she was like me, bipolar. She had many signs, and there were events that could definitely point in that direction. She just didn’t know. She didn’t realize it, as she masked it with other things. I won’t write much about her problems, out of respect, but there were many in her later years. I can see where I have the same bipolar quirks as she exhibited. I have more of them as I get older.

I finally have to forgive her. I do, for everything. Why? Because, I understand now. She did the best she could, and she did love me very much.

We all have our own rough road.

Happy Birthday, Mom. ❤

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10 Questions for Author Angela St. Clair

Bio:
Angela St. Clair an Army wife, mom to two beautiful girls, and a diva English Bulldog named Duchess. She is a full time student working toward a BA in English Literature from Grand Canyon University, set to graduate in 2015. For the moment she calls Virginia home, but originally hails from Central Ohio. In the last 13 years she has lived in Germany, Tennessee, Ohio, Hawaii, Texas, and now Virginia. She hopes to publish her first book in the next year.

1. Why have you decided to write?
I decided to finally get serious about my writing when a good friend of mine showed me that it’s possible to get published, even as a relatively unknown. I used to always dream of being like Anne Rice, but didn’t really know where to start. Up until now, I’ve always dabbled. Throughout school, I always carried a “writing notebook” and even as an adult I had a file folder on my computer of various snippets. The only difference: Now I’m trying toactually finish things!

2. What are your writing “tools,” those things you must have around you while you write?
Coffee. I must have coffee! Wine helps, too, if it’s a late-night writing session.
A notebook is a must, as well. Even though I write on a computer, I make notes so then when I’m not in front of the keyboard, I can elaborate on those thoughts.
Music and/or noise-cancelling headphones, too. I’ve stolen my husband’s Beats headphones before if people are running around my house, just so I can focus. If everyone has gone to bed already, then I just play whichever playlist apeals to me on Spotify.

3. What other types of art are you into?
Music is big for me. I grew up as an “orch dork,” I played viola from 4th grade through graduation, and even after that I still dabble with it. I actually miss playing as a group, but it’s hard to get situated in an orchestra when we move every 2-3 years.

4. Why have you decided to write in your genre?
I have always been drawn to Paranormal, even as a reader. I’m trying to stay this side of disgusting though– my mother would shake her head and tell me, “You have talent, but why do you have to write so nasty?” So for her, I’m trying to keep the blood and gore down to a dull roar in my books.

5. What is your best and favorite medium of writing?
Thank heavens for Microsoft Word! I do love writing on paper, but I have a really bad perfectionist streak. Well, I call it perfectionism, some people say it sounds like OCD. If I make a mistake, I’m compelled to start all over again. My grades suffered for that in school, because I absolutely refused to turn in assignments that weren’t perfect. I don’t have that issue on a computer, I can just backspace and go again. Still I love the idea of notebooks full of original work.

6. What do you do immediately after writing?
Usually, I go to bed. Some of my best writing is after 9pm at night. Sometimes, I have to cut myself short and go to bed before I’m mentally done, and then I have to read a little on my Kindle before I can get some sleep.

7. Do you use journals, cards, an outline…?
I’m starting to plot more. I do a “chapter summary” in the document I’m working on, and then I can go back and fill in the details later. I’m borrowing this style from my good friend, April, and so far, it seems to be working.

8. What is your pet peeve of non-writers?
Oh my. I would have to say it’s a tie between not respecting how much work writing really is and bad grammar habits. I have a bad “grammar police” streak, so things like “their/there/they’re” and “to/too/two” drive me crazy. Oh, and don’t get me started on chat-speak!

9. What kind of pop culture do you follow, and how much does social media play into your day?
I am addicted to “Sons of Anarchy” and “True Blood.” I love those shows! As far as social media goes, I’m frequently on Facebook and I’m trying to learn the nuances of Twitter. I also skim through writing blogs, as well.

10. Who are your favorite authors?
Anne Rice, Stephen King, and Diana Gabaldon. I’m also getting really interested in newer indie authors as well. T. Michelle Nelson has a vampire series that takes place in my hometown of Mount Vernon, Ohio. April London is my writing buddy/cheerleader and has her first book out now.

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Best and Worst Books

This week, Mountain Springs House has us writing about our favorite and least favorite books. Why do we like them? Why do we detest them?

My favorite books, in no particular order:
1. Jane Eyre
2. The Mists of Avalon
3. Jude the Obscure
4. Hemingway on Writing
5. An Unquiet Mind
6. To Kill A Mockingbird
7. Memoirs of a Geisha
8. Angela’s Ashes
9. Sarum
10. The Complete Works of Emily Dickinson

Jane Eyre is my favorite book of all time, with the Complete Works of Emily Dickinson a close second. I love that Jane is her own person, and will accept love only when it is on her terms and not someone else’s. She went through her own hell to happiness, and even that is fractured. A true heroine. Emily is my favorite poet, so it is natural that I would choose her as a close second. Reading her poetry makes me feel alive, which was probably not her intention, maudlin as she is.

Hemingway’s book is one of the best books on writing that I’ve ever read. Every writer should read it. I picked it up at his house in Key West. An Unquiet Mind is the best book on Bipolar illness that I’ve ever read, written by a psychiatrist that has the illness.

My least favorite books, in no particular order:

1. Anything by William Faulkner
2. White Oleander
3. Heart of Darkness
4. Most Celebrity Autobiographies
5. Fifty Shades of Grey
6. Anything by Cotton Mather
7. 1984
8. Animal Farm
9. Any Romance novel (just not my genre)
10. Sex and the City

William Faulkner is one of the worst writers of all time. Yes, that’s a big statement, particularly for such a beloved writer, but he intentionally confuses his audience with his experimental grammar and sentence structure. If you confuse your audience, you put them off, and then they don’t read your work.

Sex and the City the book is terrible. It’s hard to follow and is like an episode of “Seinfeld,” being that it’s a book about nothing. The thing is, the show is fantastic, but then you are talking about two different writers.

Fifty Shades of Grey is simply a poorly written book. I had to force myself to read it to keep up with what everyone is reading, and I am glad I borrowed it and didn’t spend my money on it. Words are repetitive, as well as plot devices, and it’s boring.

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