Life Experiences

There’s this saying about writing what you know and it’s true. Even when we write about what we don’t know, things we’ve made up, there are certain elements to the writing that we bring to it through our own life experiences. Many writers make a character loosely based on someone, sometimes several people, they know in real life. I know a few of our characters have several character traits from multiple people, which, in turn, makes them, their own person.

The reason I wanted to talk about life experiences is because my husband and I have regretted moving away from Casper, WY to Savannah, GA. We don’t like it here. We tried so hard for the first couple of months, but it just isn’t for us. I want mountains back. I do not like the swamp. Yes, Savannah, GA is a swamp, no matter what anyone says. Some would think its beautiful, and it is in certain aspects.

There is one aspect here that I cannot get use to and that’s the smell. The stench that some days smells like someone farted in your face. Other days it smells worse. The worst part is that it comes and goes, so there isn’t really a way to get use to it. There can be several days in a row where it doesn’t stink. And then, there are days where you go to a movie and when you come out, the outside smells so horribly it nauseates you. That’s something I can’t get use to.

The beach life, for us, is not worth it. I know this is going to sound odd, but we don’t really care for the beach that much. It’s only okay. That, right there, is something we would have never known had we stayed. Nor would we have been able to experience the heat down here that seems to oppress you. We’ve experienced extreme cold by living in Bismarck, ND. I guess it was time to try the humid heat. Not a fan. Now we know for a fact and learned something we can add into our novels.

The people here are okay. They aren’t much different from the people we left behind in Wyoming. They talk about southern hospitality, but I don’t know if that truly exists anymore. There are just as many rude, inconsiderate people here as there were back in Casper. Probably more, since the metropolitan population of Savanna is roughly 384,000, and the population of the entire state of Wyoming is 585,000.

My point is (if you’ve stayed with me this long) is that although we regret moving here, we wouldn’t have ever had the experiences we’ve had. We would have never seen a person trying to squeegee off ice on a windshield (one of the few times there’s ice down here). That one had us giggling for quite a while.

It’s these experiences that have shaped us. Being here has given us several fantastic ideas for one of the series we’re working on. I don’t think these ideas would have come to us had we stayed back in Casper. That’s kind of the point though. Our paths are set before us. We can choose which way to go. Sometimes these choices don’t always work out in our favor. Sometimes they do. It also depends on how you choose to see life. For us, we choose to see life as a learning experience, as a way to improve ourselves.

Our writing might have taken a hit after we moved here, a little over a year ago. Part of that is because my husband’s mother was killed in a car accident due to a driver texting while driving. The other part is we decided to let ourselves be miserable while here because we didn’t like it. Because it didn’t work out like we had hoped it would. We have another year ahead of us to allow us to pay off some bills, so we have a few choices. 1.) Stay in the same mood and do nothing, waiting for time to pass. 2.) Write and enjoy ourselves and try to enjoy our surroundings. 3.) Or continue to absolutely hate it here and delve into writing to forget the outside world. We have made a vow to attempt number 2. Out of the options, it sounds like the best one. That’s the thing. We have control over a lot in our lives. It’s all in the way we choose to see things. So, today, choose those life experiences. Choose to look at things in a new light.

For the other writers who need a reminder: Remember that life experiences bring life to writing. These emotions we have felt have helped us delve deeper into some of our characters. The things we have seen help us with story development. Everything we go through in life, both good and bad, help with our writing. Don’t fear going out and having life experiences, even if they don’t work out like you planned. Without them, what would writers have to write about?

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Book Review: To Catch a Bad Guy

To Catch a Bad Guy (Janet Maple Series Book 1) by [Astor, Marie]

2 out of 5 stars

Oh my gosh, where to begin? There was so much about this book that I didn’t care for. Too much character background that bogged down the story, not enough of a plot line to even be considered a story, and a whole bunch of boring.

Janet Maple, the main character in this books, seems like all she can do is whine. It was so irritating to keep reading. I’m not even certain why I continued to do so. Dennis Walker, a guy trying to uncover fraud, isn’t any better. He knows he’s good looking and can get girls and blah, blah, blah… Tom Wyman, the lawyer, Bostoff’s securities hires to cover their tracks, also knows this. To me Tom and Dennis are basically the same guy, only one is trying to catch bad buys and the other is a bad guy. That was the only difference in character.  Lisa Foley, supposedly Janet’s friend, is a self-centered, money grubbing lady. Jon Bostoff, is also greedy and decided to go into questionable business just so he can up his social standing. Oh and everyone seems to be on a diet and trim or fit. I felt as if the characters were really one dimensional.

 

 

Book Review: Loss of Reason

Loss Of Reason: A Thriller (State Of Reason Mystery, Book 1) by [Maxwell, Miles A.]

3 out of 5 stars

I wasn’t all the impressed with this book. I kept reading hoping it would get better. It’s supposed to be in the thriller/mystery genre and it just didn’t do it for me. The only mystery there was in this book was who launched the nuclear attack. Everything else was just kind of meh.

The writing wasn’t horrible. That was a big highlight. If the writing hadn’t been as good as it was, I probably wouldn’t have finished this book.

Anyway, the story line follows two brothers, Everon and Franklin, who are only step brothers and are connected through their sister, Cynthia. The two brothers go into New York City, where the attack happened, to look for their sister. As they do this, they end up saving some people from the subway and some people on the road trying to flee. As you continue to read, you see the situation through some random peoples’ eyes as well. For me, this part took me out of the story more than anything else.

The ending wasn’t really an ending. I know it was meant to be a cliffhanger to get you to buy the second book, but there just wasn’t any kind of ending to the book. It just ended and left me dismayed. However, since I did finish it and there was nothing wrong with the writing, I gave it 3 stars. Maybe someone who reads this genre will like it? I can’t honestly say as the book left me disappointed.

Book Review: Whispers of the Skyborne

Whispers of the Skyborne (Devices of War Book 3) by [Blooding, S.M.]

5 out of 5 stars

The third book of the Devices of War Trilogy was a great book. Fantastic story line and ending. The characters stayed true to themselves. However, I do feel the ending was a little rushed. There were a lot of unanswered questions. Maybe this was done on purpose though to set up another book in the future.

I would recommend people to buy all 3 books. It was a fantastic story and one I won’t forget soon.

Updates, Writing, and Control

Although we are still very much into Mass Effect: Andromeda, I decided I should do something a little more constructive than playing a video game. It hasn’t been all play though. We’ve worked on book 2 of the Magna Luctus series. Book 1, The Hunt, isn’t out yet, it’s still being edited and changed a bit as book 2 progresses. We’ve also been editing Hartland book 4 and have come up with a name for it finally! It’s called The False Gods.

Anyway, I wanted to talk about how writing allows the author/writer to be in control of everything, and I mean EVERYTHING. Sure, your characters can go off and do something you didn’t expect, but it’s your choice to go with it or change it to something else. More often than not, we go with it, even if it works us into a bit of a corner. It’s at these moments, your writing gets real creative.

The control comes from being able to add anything into the story you want. Someone wronged you in the past, you can put that in a book. Although we do recommend caution with that! Be absolutely certain it’s something you want to put in there, and be absolutely certain to include something like this at the beginning of the book: This is a work of fiction and a product of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or situations is purely coincidental. As authors, I believe a lot of our characters and things are based on real life. Experiences give us things to write about, even the unpleasant ones. If someone didn’t want that experience to go down in writing, they should have treated you better. At least, that’s our opinion.

We love that writing gives us control over things in our books that we don’t necessarily have control of in our lives. We can create people and make them act how we think people should act; with kindness and forgiveness. We can also create people on how we’ve experienced others acting. There’s a lot of cruelness going on in the world right now, which can give writer’s plenty of fuel. I choose to try to see the good in people. Try to see the reasoning in why someone would do these things. Sometimes it isn’t pretty, but it helps as an author to understand characters which may end up in one of your books. Evil is a perspective.

Just remember, when writing, you have control over everything that happens. I find it therapeutic. I also think it’s why there are sooooooo many romance novels out there… Just saying.

Routines? Not us.

I’ve read several author interviews where the author has written to a routine. They get up and have things they go through before they sit down and write. We’ve read suggestions and or advice (whatever you want to call it) that say you should write to a routine. We have never had a routine. We write when we can. There are some days where we only write a sentence or two, and then there are other days where we write pages upon pages. And, it has nothing to do with routine. Some days, we write in the morning. Other days, we write in the evenings. And then, there are days, where we stare at a blank page with nothing that comes to us. Or, as we stare at that blank page a sudden idea for a new story pops into our brains and we have to hurriedly write down everything before we forget it. Those days are certainly interesting. We might not have made much progress toward the current WIP, but we came up with a new one.

We have tried writing to a routine, but it just gets so monotonous. I guess that’s also the reason we don’t write to an outline. We have a general idea of where the book is headed and we go with it. I count ourselves lucky that we can do this. I just can’t imagine waking up every day, going through a set of things that I do every day just to be able to write. Whereas, it’s wonderful to set aside a specific amount of time to write every day, it isn’t necessarily needed. As long as you can find the time to write something, what does it matter if it wasn’t between 10:30 a.m. and noon? or 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm?

Part of me wonders, if we could get into a routine if it wasn’t for my husband’s job that has him working all sorts of odd hours, and we never know when he’s actually going to get off. Maybe if he ever finds a job with a set schedule, we’ll explore the routine thing again. Right now, this is what works for us and we don’t plan to change a thing.

We say, write to whatever works best for you. Each writer is different. Don’t worry about what the “pros” say and do what’s best for you. Writing doesn’t have to be difficult. Writing doesn’t have to be something you do between a set time. Writing can be flexible as long as you remain flexible. Just have fun with it and keep at it.

Book Review: Fall of Sky City

Fall of Sky City (A New Adult Fantasy Adventure Novel) (Devices of War Book 1) by [Blooding, SM]

4 out of 5

Oh my! Where do I begin? I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and honestly can’t wait to go onto book 2. This is a steampunk genre. The first book I have ever read in this genre. The only reason, I didn’t give it 5 stars was because of the repeated errors found throughout the book. Otherwise, it would have a solid 5 stars.

The plot is fast paced and easy to read, minus the errors which kind of throw you out of the story for a moment. I would recommend the author to have another look through and fix these. There is one where she called one of the characters whose name is Varik by Virak.

The book is written in 1st person and you, as the reader, get to delve into Synn’s mind, what he’s feeling and what he’s thinking. The author did a fantastic job with this. She did a fantastic job with all the characters. I have read books where some of the characters are so similar to each other, you grow bored.

After his Family the El’Asim are reunited with the Ino Family. These two families are joined together by marriage. Almost from the moment, Synn steps foot on a letharan from his air ship, the story line thickens. The Hands have struck. He and his father board their ship to try to draw away the Hands, who are more technologically advanced than the Families.

Synn is soon forced into being a prisoner to one of the 4 Queens of the Hands.The Hands and the Families are at war and have been for quite a while. The Hands have been systematically wiping out the Families. And, the Families hide from the Hands, but it’s getting worse and worse for them.

While Synn is a prisoner to Queen Nix, it is not pretty what happens to him here. She eventually compulses him, meaning she has control over him. And when he does escape, he is compelled to go back to her, but manages to fight it. Now, with the help of the Families, mostly his mother, he brings the fight to them.

There is so much more involved in the book. I don’t want to go into too much detail and ruin the wonderful world for you. Read the book and enjoy the story. You won’t be disappointed.