Saturday, April 16, 2011

As the pages turn ;)

I have been banging out my story lately. I can hardly write fast enough as the events happen in my head. I know it's not coming out perfect, but once I get to the end, I can go back through and beef it up--and fix the crap. I feel like I need to get to the end first so that the storyline doesn't get hung up and changed in the fixing of the details. It's hard to do though because it's a long story. On the flip side, I don't want to rush it and make the story sound forced.

I will roll like a freight train
And blow like a hurricane
Gonna run like a Mustang
Don't stop, don't stop for anything
-Jonny Lang

Btdub this was blogged on my iPhone.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Tribute to Jonny Lang

A lot of you out there have probably never even heard of Jonny Lang. Even if you're not into blues, I can tell you that you're missing out. I never new exactly how much until the other night, when I finally got to see him live after listening to him literally since I was 16. That man is probably the most dynamic single live performer I have ever seen.

And that's not even that this post is really about. I've never been one of those groupie chicks, and if you know me you'll know that my claustrophobia and agoraphobia makes me someone who doesn't usually care for concerts at all. So there are only a few artists that I would actually care to see live. I'm normally the type of person who kind of snickers at people who write letters to folks like Christina Aguilera or the Backstreet Boys saying how their music changed their life, blah blah blah. Not that anything is wrong with those artists (they are actually both still on my ipod), or those people (whatever keeps you going, right?), but I always thought it was kind of silly because that type of commercial music doesn't seem to have much of a deeper meaning to me.

I do however have one of those stories about Jonny Lang, and if I knew how to write to him, I probably would. I'll be the first to admit, I had a tough adolescence. While it didn't go nearly as bad as it does for some (i.e. sex, drugs, teen pregnancy, not finishing high school, running away, etc.), I was struggling with things like depression, anxiety and other disorders that we just didn't have names for yet. And now in hindsight, I can see that it even started much earlier than that. Music was always an escape for me, and when I was 15-17 I went through a time period where I was into classic Jazz and Blues, like Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Billie Holliday, etc. I'll never know why my Mom picked this, but one day she brought me a modern blues CD and it was Wander This World by Jonny Lang. I had never head of him and I don't think she had either, but my mom had always had a talent of grabbing random movies that no one had heard of that usually ended up being good, so I gave it a shot.

This album became a constant companion and while I listened to other things, this is the one I always went back to when I was struggling with things. It also lifted me up that Jonny and I are nearly the same age, so being a 16 year old struggling through high school, it was awesome to have a role model that was my age.

Anyway, that's the back story of why I have always and will always love Jonny Lang's music. My husband, bless his poor little heavy metal lovin' heart, will tell you he's even been forced to listen to it some. So I was only a little embarrassed that I teared up a little when he first came out on stage. It was like the culmination of everything, good and bad, that I've been through in my life, and the music that has always been playing throughout it. And there it was. Live. As I like to say: words fail.

The thing about Jonny's performance is that the music never stops. One song just morphs into the next and it is never silent. If he needs a drink, or a guitar switch, the band keeps playing. Each band member gets a solo, and if they're not playing a particular song, he's just riffin' on the guitar or scattin' along with it. Nothing like it.

Another great thing about this show was the fact at there were men and women of all races, ages and backgrounds all coming together because of one amazing band! And I got to see a young boy just a little younger than I was when I first started listening to Jonny, and that makes me so happy. The cycle continues!

And while I'm not a fan of stand up shows because of the
claustrophobia, I'm glad this one was because we were SO close. Just two "rows" of crowd in front of us, so we literally got eye contact quite a lot. Yeah I know, stupid groupie thing to say. :D Anyway, I just felt the need to write about it because it meant so much to me. And even if you don't know Jonny Lang, but you like blues or just music in general, this is a show worth seeing!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Reader's Trance (followup)

I reread one of my scenes today, and I was able to trigger the trance response by reading my own work. It was only little bits at a time, because I kept getting the urge to edit, but it still happened. This is a very good thing. Maybe it is the writer's curse not to be able to imagine a scene and describe it at the same time. Maybe you have to do it frame by frame and if it creates a scene when you read it back, you're gold! Awesomeness is abound, faithful readers.

Back to work, back to work.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Reader's Trance

Now that I am getting into the descriptive part of my book, I am trying to study other authors’ writing styles to see how they handle introducing descriptions of their characters and the surroundings. However, I find that I cannot just read the words and analyze the writing style. I keep trying to do so, but almost immediately I get caught up in the story and basically trance the f—k out! It is a great ability to have as it makes the story come alive, and it makes reading almost the same as watching tv or movies for me. I am not sure if this is something that happens in my own brain—or more generally the reader’s brain—or if I am an anomaly. Maybe I am an anomaly because of my seeming lack of the ability to choose to just read the words on the page. Or is it just the mark of a good author? I’m not sure. There have been times when I have been reading a book that I know isn’t written as well, I still see it in my head but the picture seems thinner with more holes in it. It’s hard to explain. I still trance out into the story but I have to fill in a lot more from my own imagination.

I love that I have that ability. It happens when I read, when I’m trying to fall asleep, when I am doing some monotonous activity like driving or riding in the car. It especially happens when I am listening to music and driving. That’s often how I create my own stories. Unfortunately, so far I haven’t been able to make it happen while actually writing. My deficit comes in transferring what I see in my head to words on the page that will create similar pictures in the mind of a reader. Sounds complicated, right?

So that is why I wanted to study the way other authors handle description. Not to copy anything or get ideas, but just to see how they create that response in me. What I need to do is read the first book of a new series by an author I know already is able to create that kind of reaction with me, and see how the characterization and world building are handled. Luckily for me, both Larissa Ione and Jacquelyn Frank have started new series. Now I will have to figure out a way to read the words and analyze them instead of trancing out. I may have to reread each chapter before I go on. So my biggest issue will be finding time to read, write, work, run agility, spend time with my neglected husband, and all of the other activities I like to partake in.

Once I get closer to finishing, I will create an author fan page. I am determined to be successful in this because I enjoy making up stories and it’s about time I tried my hand at doing it professionally. This is sort of putting the cart before the horse, but I’m thinking of writing under my maiden name because it is much less common. Plus, if people google Kristen Davis they are just going to get a bunch of stuff about that Sex and the City chick. What do y’all think? Coming soon: Plotting vs. Pantsing, Left Brain vs. Right Brain. Can they work together?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Take the next step

I just finished the plot outline for my book. I didn't outline my first book, I free-wrote it and I got stuck in several places. I still haven't worked those issues out. While I love the effect of free-writing, I am hoping the outline will help me to not become stuck. That's not to say that the events won't change as I fill things in, but at least it gives me an idea of where things are going.

Time to start filling in the details. I'm glad I got to this point because I can start reading again. I didn't want my storyline to be unconsciously influenced by anything I read so I stopped reading mid-book. Now that I have my story together, I think I'm ok to finish reading. This next step is both exciting and scary. This is where I will learn whether this is something I can actually do, or if my story will turn out ridiculous. I keep reminding myself that I have read published novels that are worse than what I already have so there is always hope. Plus it's fun. I make up stories all the time, so it is interesting to push myself to actually write them down.

Well, I've got my glass of Johnny red, trying to get sleepy so my characters don't keep me awake. (Larissa assured me that her characters keep her awake too, so I'm not crazy! At least not for that reason!)I can't wait to start filling things in, but I know I need to step away from it for to night and chew on it a little more. My brain doesn't agree though. Good night and blessed be, all.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A great weekend

So our dogs had a great weekend at the GMKC trial in Concord. Harley got 2 double Q's and a sum of like 59 mach points. Mo earned his open standard title so he is now in Excellent standard at barely two years old! Insane. You can read more about it on Davis Dog Sports.

James and I went out for sushi on Friday night and I told him my whole story for my book. I think he was a little overwhelmed, but it helped me work out some things just telling it from beginning to end. I know have the basic plot line for the first two "acts" in the book. The last act will be the hardest because it is the final conflict and resolution. I still haven't worked out all that is going to happen in that part, although I know what the final outcome will be.

Even when you really know your story, getting it all down can be very difficult. I just hope I am able to transfer that to print. Unfortunately, the whole process is making my already problematic insomnia worse. Because when I try to go to bed, I'm still playing out the story in my head. I'm hoping once I get the whole plot outline finished, the characters won't haunt me so much. Speaking of sleep, I think it's time. Goodnight all!

7 weddings unite same-sex couples -

7 weddings unite same-sex couples -