March Around The Web

This blog post isn’t actually a blog post.  I’ve been considering doing something like this for awhile, but shied away from it, as it didn’t fit my general blog format.  However, with some thought, I decided that there were a ton of thoughts, ideas, and weblinks that I had that were not blog posts by themselves, but when collected could be worthy of sharing and may be helpful to some who were reading this blog.  Therefore, I have decided that I will pass these on as I create a large enough amalgam of them.  I hope you enjoy!

  • I just signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo!  Starting in April, I will be, once again, participating in a challenge to crank out 50,000 words in one month!  Sign up with me at http://www.campnanowrimo.org/.  And if you do, let me know in the comments below.
  • If you are a writer that submits work to magazines (like me), check out this very useful Writer’s Digest Article on what your cover letter should ideally look like.  And if you’re one of the people mentioned there who send their work without a name on it, SHAME ON YOU.  Seriously.
  • This quote came across my eyes sometime this month, and I wanted to share it:

    I write to give myself strength. I write to be the characters that I am not. I write to explore all the things I’m afraid of.

    This was uttered by Joss Whedon of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse, Doctor Horrible’s Singalong Blog and THE AVENGERS fame.  Yeah, him.  Just my favorite writer saying that he writes for the exact same reason I do.  I’m not fangirl squeeing or anything.  Nothing to see here…

  • Another Writer’s Digest Goodie.  I’m currently editing the first draft of my novel and it’s driving me a little batty – which is likely why I found their 7 Deadly Sins of Self-Editing so on point.
  • In case submitting short stories to literary magazines didn’t already make me feel like I was never getting anywhere, here is an article that has the potential to make me feel worse.  Click here to understand why the slush pile is so slushy.


Well, that’s everything for this time around.  Stay tuned for next post where I teach you how to write like a fangirl…and believe me, you’ll want that more than you think.

Theories of a Collective Unconscious

Carl Jung once said, “…in addition to our immediate consciousness, which is of a thoroughly personal nature and which we believe to be the only empirical psyche…there exists a second psychic system of a collective, universal, and impersonal nature which is identical in all individuals. This collective unconscious does not develop individually but is inherited. It consists of pre-existent forms, the archetypes, which can only become conscious secondarily and which give definite form to certain psychic contents.”

This theory that we all share one knowledge base, inherited from our ancestral lines, which we use as our resource when we do anything else, is nice, in a ‘We Are Family’ sorta way.  I once would have thought it was a crock, but lately, I’m not so sure.  Here are three examples of some ‘Are you kidding me?’ writing moments, that may prove Jung’s theory.  They will require that you trust me implicitly, because they are pretty unbelievable.

1) The Secret Circle Scene Swap – On my lunch break at work, I had a brilliant idea for a scene in the story I was developing, The Order of the Key.  That scene involved my two magickally inclined seventeen year old leads, Jacklyn and Kyp.  Kyp has known about his powers all his life and has some practice in using them, but his romantic interest, Jacklyn, is just learning that they even exist.  In an attempt to teach her more, the two travel out into the forest behind his house and do a little spell practice (or something that sounds less dirty than that just sounded…).  They have a romantic moment, and this scene ends up being the set up for their first kiss.  

I wrote this entire scene before I got home from work that day.  I came home so excited about it, that I literally forced my husband to read it.  He gave me notes on it and we discussed it.  Then we settled in to watch the premiere episode of The Secret Circle.  

About halfway through the episode, the main character, Cassie, freaks out about powers she has just discovered and runs out into the forest.  Her romantic lead, Adam, follows her trying to calm her down.  He shows her how to do a spell, which they perform together to perfect results.  And they ALMOST KISS…and I let out a bizarre little shriek as Ismael nudged me, wide eyed.  

Really?  REALLY?  I had just written this!  

The Secret Circle was based on a book series that I have never read.  Was that scene in the book?  I have no idea.  All I know is that show totally copied off of me.  Totally.  

2) Main Character Brain Plant: When I write, I usually have some physical model in mind for my main characters, that I use to help me nail down certain things about physical appearance in the initial, seed growing process of a story.  Usually, these things evolve over time, and I end up with a very different looking or behaving character than I went in with.  But what happened with Kyp Franklin when I was drawing him up has never happened to me before.  Kyp sort of arrived in my head fully formed.  He’s an arrogant hero with a perfect memory, who firmly believes he is capable of protecting anyone from anything despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.  This alone gave me all kinds of ideas for his quirks, his mannerisms.  Physically, Kyp would need to be strong, but not overwhelmingly strong.  Jacklyn, the lead of the story, was the physical superhero out of this group, Kyp, the mental superhero.  So, while he should be tough (after all, he’s spent his whole life training to fight), he shouldn’t be muscle-bound.  As for his face…it just seemed to arrive in my brain.  I had no idea where it came from, but as I wrote, I could see this person in my head.  

Fast forward to a year and a half after Kyp had been created.  A trailer had been released for the movie adaptation of a series that I have something of a love/hate relationship with, The Mortal Instruments.  I watched the movie trailer with excitement, to see how my two favorite characters, Simon and Alec, would be portrayed.  

Alec appeared and he was Kyp.  I mean, he is EXACTLY what I pictured in my head.  Only his eyes are wrong – light when they should be dark.  Eagerly, I looked up this actor.  His name is Kevin Zegers, and while I believe I had seen him in passing before (I remember all of the critical acclaim behind his character in Transamerica), I had never seen anything with him in it before (at the time.  Lately I’ve been watching everything he’s ever been in – I have an obsessive personality), nothing to make me have such a very clear picture of him in my head.  We’re talking mannerisms, gestures, faces – I don’t know where he came from.  But I do know who I want to be casted in The Order of the Key movie, should there ever be one…

3) Joss Whedon / Stephenie Meyer / Guillermo Del Toro Wrote My Plot/Characters/ENTIRE BOOK SERIES.

Below please find a side by side comparison of stories that others came up with, and stories that I did, in explanation of the headline above.

a) Angel Plotline, by Joss Whedon: When Cordelia loses her memory, her friends lie to her in an attempt to keep her calm, but the lie unravels spectacularly when the heroine is attacked by the very creatures that supposedly never existed.

vs.

Rebirth Plotline (part of the scrapped trilogy mentioned here: When the heroine loses her memory, her friends lie to her in an attempt to keep her calm, but the lie unravels spectacularly when the heroine is attacked by the very creatures that supposedly never existed.  Nope.  Not joking.  Exactly this.

b) The Host, by Stephenie Meyer: The heroine, named Melanie, is infected by an alien parasite but it is unable to fully take over.  She ends up sharing her world with this alien being, but her infection separates her from the love of her life, and when she finds him again, he is a member of the resistance against the aliens, and said alien causes complications in any attempts at rebuilding a relationship between them.  Ian O’Shea, a friend, has a strong dislike for the alien, but eventually grows to care about it.

vs.

Dark Galaxy, by Justine Manzano – The heroine, named Melinda, is infected by an alien parasite, but it is unable to fully take over.  She ends up sharing her world with it, but her infection separates her from the love of her life, Shamus, and when she finds him again, he is a member of the resistance against the aliens, goes by the name of Shay, and said alien causes complications in any attempts at rebuilding a relationship between them.  Bobby, a friend, has a strong dislike for the alien, but eventually grows to care about it.  Still not joking.  I’ve been working on and off on this story for 5 years.  

c) The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan: – Civilization is taken over by vampires.

vs.

Eclipse (the scrapped story Ismael and I were discussing here: The island of Manhattan is isolated and overtaken by vampires.  The discovery of The Strain may have been the final nail in Eclipse’s coffin.

Evidence enough of a Collective Unconsciousness?  Well, to me, it’s either that or there are bugs planted around my house, mining for ideas.  But I’m not in the market for a tinfoil hat yet.  I’ll go with the psychologist’s theory instead.

Has this ever happened to any of you readers?  Post about it in the comments.

StoneThread Publishing Anthology – Things You Can Create Blog Hop

ImageHello readers!  I know I said I’d be discussing the married life of two writers in this next blog, but it appears I’ll have to push that back in honor of the early release of Things You Can Create, the speculative fiction anthology released by StoneThread Publishing containing my short story of the same name.  You can purchase the book, which is being released in e-book format only, here.

So, in honor of the release, I’m participating in another blog hop, the purpose of which is to introduce all you readers to the talented team of writers behind the stories in this anthology.  You can find the blog introducing this blog hop and a list of all of the authors who will be participating, as well as their blogs, here.

Enjoy the blog hop and this brief Q&A about my story.

Q: What is the title of your story?

A: The Things You Can Create

Q: Describe your story in one sentence.

A: A successful but bitter writer faces surprising consequences when she decides to kill off her main character’s love interest.

Q. Where did you get the idea for the story?

A: Writers all grow very close to our own characters.  They are our creations and they start to feel like friends and enemies.  They certainly begin to feel real.  The idea for this story came after a few too many cups of caffeine and a few too many hours torturing the main character of my novel.  At 2 in the morning, it’s easy to imagine anything – “My character would kill me for this!” isn’t much of a stretch.

Q: If your story was optioned for film, what actors would play the main characters and why?

A: Not sure.  I never pictured anybody.  I could definitely see Autumn Reeser as Laura, Kelly’s publisher.  When I think about it, I could picture Angelina Jolie as Juliana, Kelly’s main character, due to the badass qualities of both.  That is a slippery slope, because now I’m seeing a young, quiet but focused Brad Pitt as Kennedy, Juliana’s lover.  I can’t say who would play Kelly.  I feel like that would give too much away…

Q: Who are your favorite authors and why?

A: That’s a tough question.  I have favorite authors in many genres.  I love Orson Scott Card for his ability to think very far outside of the box, Kelley Armstrong for her ability to show the human condition in sub-human circumstances, Matthew Warner for his disturbingly accurate attention to detail, Suzanne Collins for her ability to make grandiose topics completely relatable, and Veronica Roth for the cadence of her writing voice.  And Joss Whedon for just everything.  Does Joss Whedon count?

Q: What else about this story will enthrall readers?

A: If you like “The Twilight Zone”, you’ll appreciate what this story has to offer you.  I’m no Rod Serling (nobody is), but there is a definite spooky feel to the piece that is very similar.  In that vein, it is much more of a character study of our writer, Kelly, than it is a suspenseful thriller or an action story, although this does contain elements of that as well.  

Q: What are you working on now?  

A: I have two more short stories completed, both of which are not genre fiction, but literary fiction.  I am currently shopping those out.  I have a third in edits.  I’m also working on the novel I discussed in my blog last week as well as two others that have taken a backseat, but are still in the works.  Basically, I’m a busy woman.

Finally, a brief excerpt of the story in question…

Some would say that the good I’ve done for her has done little to outweigh the bad, but I’m fine with that. Why? Because it pays to torture Juliana Collins. I sleep well at night despite the fact that her sad eyes stare back up at me from the ink-filled pages. Every time I see my name splashed across the newest Kelly Marin original, I take pride in it, despite the years I have spent torturing my hero in book after book of the “Chronicles of Heroism” series. It makes it all okay. I made her. She owes me. But lately that has changed.

Lately, a lot has changed.

 

 

And I promise – next blog I will actually discuss my married life with a fellow writer.  I promise. 🙂