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Random thoughts, inconsistent posting
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My meandering thoughts

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September 29, 2015 at 12:00pm
September 29, 2015 at 12:00pm
I can't belive it's the end of September already. So much has happened in the last month. I'm working two part time jobs and on my feet 80% of the day. Its taking a toll on my knee. The pain is hard to bare at times but we women have to suck it up and keep going.

I had a pleasent surprise. I stopped in at my husband's Dr office and I took a turn weighing. I have been noticing a movement downwards in the numbers, but not because I been on any diet. Working as limited the munching I have a penchant for. I stepped on the scale thinking is was probably about 3-5 pounds over my digital scale. My eyes widened when the numbers stopped. It was 6 pounds less!!! I looked at the nurse and said, "Is this for real?" She frowned and nodded.
I gave a fist pump and said, "I lost 6 pound since I weighed this morning."
"That's the first time I've seen some one get off the scale with a smile and a fist pump."
Well, I've at least been a little happier. I pulled some clothes from the back of my closet and Voila! they fit a whole lot better than then did 10 -15 pounds ago. I just never realized I was really losing weight.

I've been pre-prepareing for the NANOWRIMO. I'm still debating wether I will be able to make the time to write. with two jobs some days it means I work from 10-9:30. I'm not a morning person, but I will try to adjust my time to less TV and more Writing. There are days I just want to flop on the chair and shut the brain down from selling oils and vinegars or clothes.

Last night I was part of a Successful NaNo panel. We talked about our journey's and what we did to keep going. I found the other panelists to be an interesting group. What I also found out was many don't write a novel or even a story. They write a Thesis, blogs or even just write a number of short stories.

I realise the NaNo means different things to different people. I still have a bit more respect for those who put the work into writing a full story or novel in the 30 days. Writing something different isn't anything more than doing something each day to get into the writing habit. I guess that's a good excuse. I just don't think having a little halo on your picture just because you hammered out a bunch of words has any meaning. I have to back up there I guess. I thought everyone was writing a novel so I had great respect for those who had 50k or 150k by mid month. Now I just ignore them. They could be just throwing down words so they look good on the chart.

I will do what I told those in attendance. "No matter what you write, don't look at the postings. You are writing for you. You are learning more about time management and putting words on paper (on your computer) and that's all that matters in the end. Do it for you. My biggest suggestion is kick your ego to the curb.

August 2, 2015 at 1:16am
August 2, 2015 at 1:16am
It has been a long time and a lot has happened. Let's start out by saying I juggled two jobs along with getting up at 5am for two weeks and cooked breakfast for about 100+ people. Not alone but as part of a four person crew. I loved doing it but having to leave there and go to sometimes two jobs in a day, getting home at 10:30 or 11:00pm was exhausting.
By the middle of the month I found out one of the jobs had the total hours of all employees cut so there were a couple of weeks I worked only 3-4 hours for them Now I have no hours for them for a couple of weeks. I'm not sure how that job will pan out.

To further add to my aging process I received my first SS check. I'm officially OLD! I can't sign up for medicare yet so I still have that to look forward to.

Here was the kicker of the month. I've been pondering, outlining and plotting a story that had me in its grips but I struggled with the plot and where to start. It just didn't seem to be working. One girl gave me a pack of index cards and said write it all out and we'll figure it out from there.
As I journeyed to Los Angeles for a quick vacation with my husband, I wrote out my cards. After coming home and still plotting on the cards, I attended a Charater Building workshop. Afterwards I was leaving with another writer and talking about my problem. Another writer stopped to listen and offer advice.
Here is what I learned: My interpretation of the culture of my characters was not realistic. They would never do those things.
The visibility of the MC was too open when he would want to be invisible and not antagonize the neighbors. He'd never let his feelings show.
One thing after another in my story wouldn't work because in that culture they would not act that way. I finally had to admit I had a fairy tale with no fairy.
I told her thanks and that I was going to shelve the story, I had two stories going here, or more. I wanted the reader to find all the characters interconnected. I had that whole thing down pat. I decided that culture story didn't work I better drop it. I thought I'd done the research, but only part way. I'm not afraid to admit when something isn't going to work. I'd rather spend my time on something that works instead of wasting time on trying to make it work.

I'm off on my historical story. I don't know what genre as it isn't a real romance. For the lack of a better title its a little bit mystery. Its about a young Chinese girl's growth to womanhood in 1911. She discovers the real life of the Chinese in the mining towns and how opium is really used and expoited. She finds a man that protects her even when she thinks she doesn't need it and treats her like a woman, not paid to do so. She gets the story of her lifetime and a job to match. The two kiss and part, promise to someday meet if its divine will.

I'm plotting again..

July 11, 2015 at 5:29pm
July 11, 2015 at 5:29pm
Reviewing is hard work. Its personal.
When you open your email and find a review request I cringe. What will the work be? What will the writer want to hear? Do they want to be told they are wonderful writers and on their way to being the next best seller?
I review all requests the same. It doesn't matter if they have written a wonderful story or a disaster. They get my review form and I deal with the story the same.
I ask for reviews of my stories and I know not everyone will like my stories. I read the good the bad and the ugly. I look at what they liked, didn't like and hated. I weed out the personal stuff and look for the technical mistakes I need to redo or adjust. I never take the reviews personal unless they say they don't like me. Then why accept my request? That's never happened to me so its just supposition.

How do you feel when you review someone and they take it personal? "You don't understand what I'm trying to say. You didn't get it." I laugh because I remember saying the same thing when I first started posting on WDC. I tried to defend my writing ability. I thought I was good. Better than the average writer. Boy was I wrong. I found I told a good story but it was poorly written.

Don't ask for a review if you don't want the truth.

Dutchess Tina-House of Stark


May 10, 2015 at 9:55pm
May 10, 2015 at 9:55pm
Ann Bradstreet said, " if we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant." Would you agree with that statement? Do we need to have the unhappy side of something to fully experience its happier side? Why or Why Not?

I just touched on this in the previous blog. I'll add just a note here. I think its very evident that without conflict one cannot truely enjoy victory.
I saw the trailers to the movie The Giver. I'm sure there are many who were apalled at the concept and clapped when the young man fought for change.
BUT!!! We have become a society headed for that very concept. Its incidous. It creaps in with the thought, no child should be bullied. It hurts their feelings and causes some to commit suicide. The next lie that is told to our children and their parents is; There should be no losers. All children must win. Losing makes a child think they are less than someone else. That sets a bad example and these children can be scarred for life.

This concept has fostered a bunch of whimps and weak minded children and adults. If a parent can't deal with dissapointment then their kids are going to struggle. To overcome that these under achiever parents want their children to become just a recognized as other children who are more talented or work harder.
They want this Share mentality. Equality for everyone. Its a sick policy and it goes all they way to the top of our government.
The rich should share their wealth with the poor. If its such a good idea why don't they show by example and have the same insurance policy they are thrusting on the citizens of this country?
What about the children who experience disappointment? being chosen last? Being told by caring parents that hard work will get you farther ahead? That learning to play well with others makes you a better person? That giving a helping hand and tutoring someone who needs help teaches you manger skills?
Life isn't fair unless you live in the world of The Giver. If parents who know how to deal with the negatives of life pass that on to their children there would be less suicides. There is hope if you know where to look for it. There is a better life if you are willing to work at it. There is a reward both for hard work and for those who chose to believe that it can all be accomplished with God directing the path. There will be hard times and glorious good times. If you choose to end your own life the result is devistating to you, your family and all those around them.
If you learn to accept the hard times life hands you. accept you may have made bad choices and fix them, the other side of that is a life worth living.

May 10, 2015 at 9:26pm
May 10, 2015 at 9:26pm

Prompt: You are struck by lightning and now have a new talent. What is your new talent?

I just saw a man who hit his head in a diving accident and when he came to he was able to hear, play and record the piano. I saw him perform a new piece he said he just "heard in his head"
I went to a Collingsworth family concert the other night. The mother, Kim, played the piano at 3 after hearing her sister play. She had 3-5 lessons and the teacher called the mother saying, I don't know what to do with this girl." She had out performed the teacher. At age 7 she became the church pianist. She played by ear. Now I don't know if she learned to read music since as she plays with no score. She plays with more heart and soul than I have heard by many pianists.
At the concert after she played a piece her husband laughed and said, "Maybe when you get to heaven, you can ask if you can play like that." If we all could play like that it wouldn't be as special. She practiced. That is why she plays and I "hunt and "peck."
I know the notes on the piano. I can play the parts one finger at at time. I can read the notes on the page and play them, I just can't play two hands at once AND read the music and hit the right notes. THAT takes practice. I'm not that interested. I'd love to wake up one morning and play like Kim Collingsworth. Then I think, my life would change.
One of this month's newsletters spoke about the book/movie The Giver. All negative is taken from the people's life. They no longer had choices. When I read this prompt, I thought my life would drastically change. What if I could no longer choose what I wanted to do from that time on? What if I wasn't able to sit at the computer and write stories? What if my time was taken with practicing new songs on the piano?
Don't get me wrong I love the piano. I had a baby grand player. I had accomplished pianists come and record my favorites songs on it. I bought the CD's with the digial imprint so it looked like someone was actually playing songs.
If I had the choice of waking up with a gift, I think I'd rather be a writer people wanted to read. I wish that I could hide away and just write my little heart out instead of work two part time jobs to make ends meet. Life is hard. Yet the joys are abundant when they come and I appreciate them. If someone paid my way to a weekend writing escape I'd be in 7th heaven. I'm not difficult to please, just devoted to learning and executing my craft.
I think I'd leave playing the piano to a pleasant dream.
April 27, 2015 at 3:39pm
April 27, 2015 at 3:39pm
Let’s put on our editor’s hats and help someone who has handed in his novel’s manuscript. Even before the middle, you find out that the central problem is extremely weak, so weak that it doesn’t even make sense (to you) for the writer to have written as much as he has. In which ways would you assist this writer, or else, what would you say to him?

Here is what I've done in the past. I review what I know.
I will write the author the following:

A. This is the main character and this is his/her goal. As I see it.
B. Here is what I think is motivating him/her. There seems to be a disconnect near the middle. He/she has lost their motivation, or it could be the story is lacking conflict.
C. I may offer some ideas of conflict or pick a sub-character to expand to offer the reader/writer a different sub-plot. I tip toe to interact with the writer as much as they are willing to accept help. This is the tricky part. What does the writer really want? If they continue to ask questions and give answers or suggestions for my input I will continue to help. If they stop talking or become defensive, then I back off and tell them I think I've done all I can for them.

I'm in the same boat. I have a middle that I can't find a subplot or sub character to expand to. Where can I insert a subplot that won't take away from the main story? Will I have to pick up this new sub plot earlier so it isn't jarring when I cut to a chapter about them? I have these two characters on a course set for them. I need to work on I wish I had someone that would take my outline and help me go forward.
there is the wife Of MC2 and her children. They are heading out of town. Could I pick up the fact they can't tell any one why they are leaving in such a hurry?
I saw this conflict in a movie. Enigma about Alan Turing. At one point in the story they discovered the clue to decripting the German codes. BUT they couldn't just dump the information into the system or the Germans would figure out they knew the codes. They had to pick and chose their battles, thus playing GOD so to speak. It was a turning point in the war, but one of the men had a brother who was lost when his ship was sunk because they couldn't tell anyone they knew where the german subs were.
What they did was a choice. I have the same situation. If the bombers succeed, The MC2's wife and family live. Other families may lose someone. If they announce the airport is under threat, there will be a mass of people running and they won't catch the bombers even if they do detonate the bomb.

I have dropped this story for a while and have started redrafting an old story.

Tina Weaver-Published
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April 3, 2015 at 6:24pm
April 3, 2015 at 6:24pm
I began listening to a book my sister suggested to me. The story was about a possible terrorist attack on an airplane or was it an accident?

The setup of the story was interesting and hooked me right away. The MC's wife had been on the original case and this was the 5 year anniversary. She told the MC about the case and asked if he was interested in the outcome as it seemed to have conflicting information.

After listening to the MC interview a number of people I got the case down pretty good. A number of people saw or heard the crash. They all gave similar and some conflicting information. I got that. The forensic points were A, B C,D,E. Then as the story went on a few more chapters of character development and a lot of swearing, points F,G,H were added. Fine. Now what?

Here is where it got interesting. For the next eight chapters or so I had to hear the same A-H and singular parts hashed and rehashed by different people. I was bored.. I kept listening hoping something new in the case would come through. Nada.

Then the MC and his wife were found out and punished by being sent out of the country for 3-4 months in seperate countries. I thought THE END. Nope that didn't happen.

Fast Forward 3 months and the MC returns to the USA and before the ink was dry on his passport he was questioning again. We were off again but the same tract. A couple new things were added, but I still had to hear forms of A-H AGAIN.

This author is prolific. I don't think I'll be buying another audio tape of his again. At least with a book in my hand I can skim if he gets too repetitive.

As a writer I found this author's style of repeating evidence to death irritating. It is one fact I will keep in mind as I write my terrorist story. There will be no reinforcing evidence or banging it over the head of the reader incase they didn't get it the first four or five times.

Those of you who read this and are writing remember the reader as you write. Keep them interested not bored.
March 6, 2015 at 9:04pm
March 6, 2015 at 9:04pm
Do you feel that a book that was signed by the author has more value and meaning or do you love the book for the story itself?

Well, As a published author who has signed a few books now, I hope its both. I don't have any signed books. If I did its because I loved the book and that means I love the author who wrote it. To be able to meet an author and talk to them is great!
I attended MFW meetings for a couple of years. Then they demanded I join RWA ($100.00 a year) I didn't want to pay for something I wasn't ready to use. I left the group. I met published and famous authors like Kathleen Eagle, Lois Greiman, Roxann Rustand, Rosemary Heim, Michele Hauf (before she became famous writing for Harlequin Romance)
I sat in awe of these women, thinking they were in tuned with the Muse God who handed them plot bunnies and spoon fed them ideas. I found they were regular people. They just had a number of successes. What they didn't do was to encourage the new writers. I would have thought they (MFW) would have directed me to writers groups.
I still look up to these successful women and hope someday to be able to speak to them as an equal.

March 3, 2015 at 10:08pm
March 3, 2015 at 10:08pm
What is your opinion on the idea of competition? Is competition a good thing or a bad thing, and does it promote progress at all?

Competition gives a writer deadlines, criteria and specifics to meet. It makes a writer write tightly and makes every word count. I don't think it leads to progress in writing unless a writer uses the reviews they get as a stepping stone to better writing. Now its a great way to get your work noticed and to encourage people to visit your port if they like what they read. That is always a good thing. I hope to do this more often. I've been a bit busy lately with promoting my book and working on a new project.

February 27, 2015 at 5:50pm
February 27, 2015 at 5:50pm
Our topic is a hair cut or style gone awry. Did the stylist give you the wrong dye, or was talking on the phone and took a hunk out of your hair. Maybe the razor slipped and you now have a huge bald spot. Let's see what you can come up with.

I rushed into the bathroom, tore at my zipper and managed to get seated. I hate getting old. I was going to have to do something about my bladder and soon. I sighed, relaxed. and hoped my bladder would take advantage, so I wouldn’t have to make another run for it with in the hour.

I heard the main bathroom door open and snickering followed.

“Girl did you see her hair? She said she had just had it done. Lord, if that were me I would have put a bullet through that stylist's head to prevent further atrocities.”

I recognized that voice. It was Jill, my coworker and best friend. Who was she talking about? I kept quiet waiting for the response.

“Jill, I could hardly keep from laughing. Did you see the highlights? It looked like she ran into a herd of Zebra’s and the stripes rubbed off.” I recognized Betsy’s voice, her cube was just down the row from mine. There was more tittering and muffled laughter.

My face began to heat. Last night I gave into my young stylist’s urges and let her darken the color and add light blond highlights. I thought that the change had made me look a little younger than my 51 years. Had I gone off the deep end and become the laughing stock of the office?

Jill sounded concerned, “What are we going to do? We can’t just let her run around the office like that. She probably thinks she looks young and hip. “

“More hippy than hip." A snort was cut short.

“Look when she comes back to her desk, we’ll get her to come to the break room, sit down and tell her the truth.” Becky responded in kind.

“You do the talking. I don’t think I am going to be able to keep a straight face. I feel bad, but she looks so funny." There was the sound of hand washing, then the door opened and there was silence.

Tears flowed down my cheeks in embarrassment. I yanked at the toilet paper, wadding a huge pile that I used to scrub my face and blow my nose. I had to come up with some way to get from the bathroom, to my desk and out the door before I faced anyone else.

I stood, taking the courage to get out of the stall. Besides, I grimaced, If I sat any longer I might be permanently sealed to the seat.

At the washbowl, I didn’t even want to look in the mirror. The soap was comforting and I scrubbed like a doctor before surgery and planned my escape. I wet my hair enough to get it to lay flat against my head. Thank goodness I wore a raincoat with the hood. By going down the back stairs at the end of the hall instead of the elevator, I will miss my co-workers but I will have to cross the main lobby. Oh well, I don’t care what they think and I will have my hood on. I am not going to let anyone make more fun of me than was necessary.

I checked for mascara smudges, took a deep breath. Before I could reach for the handle, the door flew open and a woman rushed passed me. A blur of black and white hair rushed for a stall. Sobs were heard from behind the locked door.

The main bathroom door burst open again and in came Jill and Betsy. They slid to a stop when they saw me.

“Is she in there?” Jill asked me.

“Who?” I hadn't recognized the blur as it passed me.

“Carla, are you in there?” Betsy called as she pushed the stall doors open.

There was a muffled sob. I pointed to the handicapped stall. Betsy and Jill stood by the door.

“Carla, we are so sorry. Honey, you had to know. It just isn’t you. You are soft and fun; this hairstyle is Cruella de Ville. We love you too much not say anything.”

I sagged against one of the washbowls. They hadn’t been talking about me. They were talking about Carla!

“Elle, what did you do to your hair? It was so cute this morning and I didn’t get a chance to tell you.” She whispered as she took my arm. “Did you see Carla?” I shook my head. “We need to be strong for her.” I nodded, my head bobbing like a dog in the back window of a car.

Betsy finally convinced Carla to come out of the stall. I saw the hot mess.

“I tried to give myself some highlights but it must have stripped the color and I didn’t know how to fix it.” She was sobbing. I handed her a stack of paper towels and she rubbed her eyes, ruining her eye makeup.

“I’ll call my stylist and see if she can fit her in,” I whispered to Jill and headed out the door.

When I got to my desk, I grabbed my cell and pressed the speed dial. As I started back to the bathroom, I hooked my raincoat over my arm. She was going to need this. I would tell her my great plan of escape.

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