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I have joined a group of Second Wind Publishing authors as we collaborate on an online mystery novel. I am Chapter 5 in the lineup, and that’s what it is: a lineup of characters who each have motive and means to kill.

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Yeah, I’ve been out of the loop for awhile. Haven’t been anything other than too busy to write. That’s not the thing you wanna be when you are a writer LOL

My latest book is coming out as soon as I finish reading the 2nd proof. I love the cover: it’ s a composite photo that includes an eye. Guess who’s eye? Pops from an old WWII picture when he was coming off a field in Guam.

There’s a treasure hunt starting around 10-26-09 involving 2nd Wind Publishing. Basically, it’s a Blog Hop. My blog will be included. Good luck, have fun, try not to kill anyone.

Before drifting off to sleep one night last month, the idea for a new novel came to me. In my head, I played the first chapter and the beginning of the second chapter like a movie.

 

I was so tired I could not move to turn on the light and write down my thoughts. No matter, I thought, I will remember everything and put it to paper in the morning. This is so interesting and new, how could I forget?

 

Yes, how could I forget? Very, very easily. When I woke the next morning, only fragments of the novel were floating around the bubble of my memory.

 

Did I learn my lesson? Maybe. I thought I would recall, in detail, everything. I was so wrong. It’s funny how your mind can trick you. My sleepy brain was saying, “No, you don’t have to move. I’ll keep it all in here for you. Just go to sleep.”

 

Next time this happens, I hope I can goose myself hard enough to get out of bed. Next time, I won’t listen to a sleepy brain.

 

How do you deal with ideas, solutions, grocery lists, etc.,  you have right before sleep?

 

 

BAM! A few days ago, I hit a writing pole. My brain could not think of anything coherent to write and I kept finding myself distracted away from writing more than usual.

Although I had not written much over the past few months due to family and health  issues, I felt well enough to jump back on the horse. Imagine my surprise when the horse I tried to jump on took off without me.

Part of my problem is I still had too many irons in the fire. I’m working on too many different genres (I’ve always juggled mystery, crime, romance, non-fiction, scifi, etc.), but for some strange reason I was having trouble staying within even one subject area.

Pulling on the past when I was a kid and had to do homework before I could play, I think I’ve found a solution. No TV. That’s the biggie right there; that’s my playground. No television until I write at least 2000 words.

Just like my New Year’s resolution of writing at least 500 words a day, we’ll see how long this discipline lasts. Wish me Luck!

(Originally posted on SecondWindPub on October 25, 2008)

Music is an absolute must when I’m writing. Because I suffer from tinnitus, it’s important to have something to drown out the zillion crickets in my head when I’m trying to think about what I’m penning.

In addition, the mood of the music is critical. The best tempo for my suspense is, of course, heavy metal. There’s something about the deep, primal beat of the drum and the mysterious wail of the bass that feeds the story I’m writing.

 

As with music, tempo is important in storytelling. I try to keep an underlying steady beat throughout the story, with crescendos matching climatic scenes.

 

Dark and heavy with small glimmers of light populate my suspense stories. The music I listen to matches the mood of the scenes: Avenged Sevenfold, Pulse Ultra, Stone Sour, Godsmack, and Papa Roach are some of the more frequent bands I listen to when I want the story to pulsate with sinister tension.

 

When the mood calls for it, I switch gears. If a character becomes lost in a memory of love long gone or a life undone, I myself become reflective. This type of mood change calls for something retro and my pick of the pack would have to be Steve Perry. Other bands that bring back the good old days include Heart, Roxette, Fleetwood Mac, to name just a few

 

For me, there is a close relationship between music and writing. Music tells a story, whereas a story can be told with an underlying beat. The smooth transitions in musical chords mimic smooth transitions in writing.

 

I write stories with music as a driving force that helps me focus. Friends and family do not understand how I can write with the cacophony of noise. I cannot see how I can write without it.