Licensed to Write

Licensed to Write

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

No more WRITR for me.

See that license plate up there? I don't have it anymore. It is gone, gone, gone. That's because it was on the car that was stolen a week ago. Get this - it was taken from a parking garage that I was paying to use while I attended a hearing for the day job. That's right - my car was stolen from across the street from the courthouse. And the thief PAID to take it out of the garage. The car was insured. But the plate is gone. Even if I get the car back, the plate will apparently forever be on the "stolen" list. Like writers do when they experience tumultuous emotions, I tell myself I can use this experience. I can use that initial feeling of disconnect that emerged as I realized other car were now parked where I left my car. The optimistic belief I must have parked on a different floor that slowly seeps away as I wonder up and down the levels of the garage, to be gradually replaced with the sense of total bewilderment at the realization that someone truly has stolen my scratched and dented 5 year old PT Cruiser. The offense experienced when the first question asked by police is whether I was behind in the payments for the car (to be fair, I was offended because I thought they were suggesting I arranged to have the car stolen for insurance money, but I later realized, they were asking in case it had been repossessed.) The frustration as I waited for hours to make the official report. The hope at hearing that cars are recovered 75 percent of the time. The eagerness at each unfamiliar phone number that shows up on the caller ID (might be Metro saying they found the car!). The disappointment when that call does not come. Someday soon, a car thief will meet an untimely, but painful end in one of my stories. Or perhaps that car thief will merely end up making personalized license plates.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Planning to write - a first for me

I am what is known as a seat of the pants writer, aka a "pantser." That means I sit down and write. Many writers are pantsers, and we all share a similar experience: we cannot plan ahead, because the ideas only come in the midst of the writing itself. Most of us have a general idea of where the book is going, but now how it gets there.

Some also say that if they do plot a book in advance, they are then bored with it, and cannot actually write it. I do not say that, because I have never actually managed to plan an entire book in advance.

But lately, I haven't been sitting down and writing much - or at least, not writing fiction. So I am going to try something new. Actually, I am going to do two things.

First, I am going to try to plot a story in advance. It may be a short erotic piece, tentatively titled Stolen Kisses. Or it may be a full length sweet story, Auntie Mom. (I learned how to consider and present two side of every argument in law school. That is likely why I can write both sweet and erotic fiction...)

In the same time frame, I am going to take a mystery story for which the first draft is almost finishes, and fill out the templates for that story. I believe that this will help me 1) finish that damn book, and 2) help me revise that damn book. I want this one done by June 1, by the way, so the clock is ticking. The working title of that book is My Dog Carries a Knife.

To help me in this experiment, I am using Break into Fiction, 11 Steps to Building a Story that Sells, written by Mary Buckham and Dianna Love.

What I especially like about this book is that its templates (and, more importantly, the questions the author must ask and answer in order to fill out the templates) directly tie the concept of the turning points in the plot into the character arc.

Of course, the need for that connection is something I have understood, and even taught, for years. But I find it very difficult to do in advance (because of that whole pantser thing). So I am hoping that by forcing myself to think about these question in advance, and answering in few short sentences, I will get enough information down to guide me in my writing and make it easier for me to sit down. But it will not provide so much information to me that I will find it tedious to actually write a story I already know.

I typed up the templates shown in the book. (No, sorry, I will not send them my templates to you. It is OK for me to do that for my use - I bought the book. But it would not be OK for me to give other people copies of Mary and Dianna's copyrighted material. )

Wish me luck. And keep me honest - inquire regarding my progress!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Villains Available on Kindle

Finally. To everyone who has ever asked about when the Villains book will be available, I have an answer. Fallen Heroes: Sixteen Master Villain Archetyhpes is now available in a Kindle version.

Cool cover, huh? It was done by romance author Lex Valentine, at Winterheart Design,

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Cool house, cool writers

Last Friday, I had a great time at a reception to celebrate the release of the Las Vegas Business Press Book of Lists 09.

The event was held at the Marquis Las Vegas, in a 10,000 sq. ft. model home built with green technology. The place is a net-zero energy home, and was pretty much the coolest place I've ever seen. The house was featured in the Saturday RJ, where the combination of the latest building trends, combined with vintage Vegas decor, was applauded.

As I traveled from room to room, with its seamless transitions from outdoors and back inside again, in between the oohing and ahing over the water features, square toilets, and beautiful firepits, I had the chance to meet some of the Stephens Press Authors. Steven Kalas was there, signing his book, Human Matters. Heidi Knapp Rinella, author of Personal Favorites, The Chefs of Las Vegas was also present.

And I finally picked up a copy of Sun, Sin and Suburbia, Geoff Schumacher's book about Las Vegas history over the past 50 years or so. Since I am in the process purchasing a piece of that history, in the form of a house in Paradise Palms, it seems a good book to have.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

When worlds collide

Sometimes my lawyering and writing worlds mesh.

For example, I contribute articles to a website entitled Living Las Vegas. So I decided to do an article on a just-opened restaurant/lounge/nightclub here in Vegas, called Lavo.

How does someone like me know about Lavo, the coolest place in town, created by the same group that owns Tao Las Vegas, the other coolest place in town? Simple -- because my firm represents that group in some ongoing litigation. In fact, one of my very best briefs came out of that bit of representation.

And so, last night I found myself venturing into the domain of the beautiful people. Hey, I was “on the list!” Plus, I have the stamp on my wrist (didn’t wash off!) and the plastic bracelet to prove it.

Okay, let’s be real. I don’t drink, can’t dance, and abhor crowds. Nor am I in my twenties, blonde, or suited to wearing anything with spaghetti straps or four inch heels. So I won’t be imposing on my clients to get on that list very often. But it was fun to be among the cool crowd for the night.

The more adventurous among you will love it, though.