Sunday, October 28, 2012

Scary Political Season

With the last debate behind us, we're in the home stretch to to election day. Our political candidates have put themselves into overdrive, crisscrossing the nation, trying to hit all those states in question and answer to the lies put forth by whoever was there before them.

I almost became politically active this year. I say "almost" because I find it hard to make a choice when I'm so disappointed all the political rhetoric lately. Each candidate is guilty of not telling the truth about their own beliefs and giving a clear plan. And, I guess the real bottom line is that I agree with certain aspects of each side of our political system while vehemently disagreeing with others. I find myself conservative on some issues while liberal on others.

I hope there are many others falling into my category of thought. I remember a time when our two political parties would fight and argue, filibuster and stall; but in the end, things would get done for the good of our nation. Compromises would be made. Each member of congress, whether house or senate, felt it their duty to do right by those who voted them into the positions they held. I thing that now we have a vast number of career politicians that tend to forget about the people who put them their, and work only to satisfy those special interest groups that provided them the most money while campaigning.

Okay, this is me stepping off my soapbox. This is really not the platform for that anyway. What I really wanted to write about today was my recent news, and it does have something (maybe very little) to do with politics.

Last week, all of my workmates and I were mucking it up about a co-worker that had recently been summoned to jury duty. I had mentioned that I'd never been given the honor of jury duty and we all laughed at the thought that it was an honor.

When I arrived home that evening and checked my mailbox, I found a letter from our local county courthouse. The letter was a summons for jury duty--the timing was most ironic.

So now I'll be showing up at the courthouse tomorrow for my first (an maybe last) day of jury duty. Since I've never done this before, I'm kind of excited. Do I wear a tie and suit jacket? Should I wear ripped jeans and a greasy t-shirt to ensure I won't be selected? Whatever I decide, I'm sure I'll enjoy this new experience and have to come back here and write about it.

After all, wherever I go, stupid and funny things happen. Just my luck, I guess.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Old and New

Yay, it's finally here! I feel like a kid on Christmas morning. Yes folks, my new (old) typewriter arrived today via UPS. I am now the proud owner of a 1952 Smith-Corona Sterling model portable typewriter. It is funny that back in the day, this was considered portable when the shipping weight was just under twenty pounds.

I first learned to type in high school back in ... well, we'll just call it back in the day. We started out on manual typewriters and I later found the transition to an electric typewriter difficult. I do remember that I did not do well in typing class. I'm pretty sure I signed up for the class for the same reason I attempted home-ec class--girls.

Back then, I wrote most of my work out longhand, mostly because most of my writing back then was four line limericks designed to draw attention from all my immature friends. I still have the first short story I wrote for an actual grade. It weighed in at a whopping three thousand words. While the page had relatively little red on it, I was given a poor grade. My teacher cited my choice of subject matter for my average grade. I'm almost certain she called the story "blasphemous" at some point.

One would think that such scorning would prompt me to give up lying, I mean, storytelling forever, but it had the opposite effect. That paper and the scorning it garnered only spurned me on to write more stories that I hoped would be considered even more blashpemous than the first.

I personally never saw what was so wrong with that story. It was a kind of alternate history science fiction about a small group of individuals forced to escape their home planet as it was being destroyed by meteors. Their departure was hastily thrown together and they could only make it to the next planet in the solar system. Most of the members in the craft died on impact at the new planet but two survived.

Yeah, this is where it gets a little predictable. The surviving member's names were Adam and Evek. Hey, give me a break, I was like thirteen years old. One cannot possibly be expected to come up with unique names at that young age. Anyway, you might have guessed by now that the planet they landed on was Earth, and the planet they came from was Mars. Again, I was young, cut me some slack!

This new typewriter brings back memories of clacking away at the keys, producing what I was sure would be the next great blockbuster hit. I felt like Heinlein himself when I was at the typewriter. I felt like I could easily become the next Lawrence Block, or at the very least, Jill Emerson with the use of this wonderful machine. The typewriter made my writing more ... understandable. I must admit, to this day, my handwriting is atrochious.

Now I can't wait to hear that long-remembered sound of those metal keys firmly striking the paper as I conjure up the next great sentence, phrase, or word. I will surely write some poetry on my new machine. Who knows, I might even finish that long-awaited mystery novel I've had on the back burner for years now.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Just a Few Thoughts

Today I was surfing around the Interwebs in the few spare moments I stole between playing kickball with the grandson, flushing the shower pipes with Drano (don't ask) and spending that nine or so hours in that ether of my full-time job. Lo and behold, I just happened upon my own blog and realized I've not been tending it well over the last month.

Did I mention that I also planted the winter garden only to find animals of some kind (probably cats) ate up all my beans and spinach as soon as they sprouted? Well, there it is, but I've still got onions, lettuce, and broccoli left. I've also got a big ol' box of pellets for my pellet gun.

Anyway, I've realized that I need to get back to my roots. I've spent the last year working and writing "other" stories instead of my beloved speculative fiction, mystery, and adventure stories. I did manage to complete a novel under my pen name. And no, it's not porn. It just happens to be paranormal romantic suspense, and I'm very proud of it, thank you very much!

It seems my venture into writing under my pen name has taken over and left little time for anything else. Well, now I've come full circle and am ready to return home. So, in the near future, one can expect more strolls down memory lane, rants about neighborhood cats, and writing about writing. Beforehand though, I still have to finish one last smut (okay, erotic fiction) story, and the third and fourth novel in my Immortal Desires series. I may combine book three and four to make an epic fantasy but that might limit my ability to sell paperback books.

I've also realized, after having very limited success writing under a pen name, that writing for the reader of more adult oriented stories can be addictive. Seriously, it's like playing slot machines or binge drinking for weeks at a time. The stories are relatively easy to write, although I still persist on quality, even if I'm writing something titled "Fantasy League" about a woman using her, uh ... assets ... to break her husband of his fantasy football infatuation.

The truth of the matter is, sex sells, and I must admit that it is a good feeling to publish something independently and see it climb the ladder at Amazon. I guess it's something akin to instant gratification, although any writer will tell you there's no such thing as instant gratification. Three months from the first typed word to selling on Amazon is about as instant as it gets in the writing world. For a writer though, that's pretty fast.

Don't get me wrong, I'll still write using my pen name but I've decided that I must find a way and find the time to write some of the work I love best. So, stay tuned because you'll likely see posts of story excerpts, rants about everything under the sun, and even some of my weird poetry on this blog in the near future.