Sunday, April 29, 2012

Things to do before Doomsday

I thought New Year's resolutions would be a waste of time this year, since a resolution implies that I'll make a firm decision to do something. And well, we all know I won't.  Decision-making is for wimps anyway.

We only have until December 21st to get all of those things done that must get done so it's time to prioritize. Therefore I contemplate the following:

1. Eat more chocolate. There is no reason not to have a strong heart come doomsday.

2. Exercise less. I still have several series to complete on Netflix and exercise would take away from that time.

3. Have lunch with David Gandy. After this momentous event, I might not mind dying anyway. Bring it on, Mayans.

4. Read all of Charles Dickens' works. All of it. As long as I can still watch Netflix.

5. Use the balance of my sick time at EDJ. I have approximately 107 days built up, which if I calculate correctly, means my last day of work will be June 6th. More time for Netflix and Charles Dickens.

6. Finish writing my great American novel. When I'm done I'm going to feel so good because it will never need to be edited! I plan to finish the day before Doomsday so I can twitter about it before the world ends.

7. Sky dive. I will do this right after I finish the novel because if I my 'chute doesn't open, there was only one more day to live anyhow.

8. Finish War and Peace.

9. Reach 5,000 followers on Facebook (or Twitter.) You can help now BTW.

10. Tell everyone I know that I love them. I love you, guys!

And speaking of gods. Doomsday requires plenty of David.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Tell A Story Blog Hop

An original short story by Eliza Lloyd

I was arrested, tried and convicted of killing a man I never knew.

The lengthy investigation flamed, stalled, sputtered. My neighbors spoke in whispered concern and outright lies. I listened. I heard. I thought I was aware of every aspect of the inquiry into the double homicide.

A crime of passion was how most people described the troubling episode.

No one paid a bit of attention to me until someone remembered they’d seen me with him.

But I was still surprised when they came for me. A knock on the door. A warrant for my arrest. A phone call. Ridiculously high bail. And then the waiting.

My defense attorney, a bright and shiny advocate fresh from law school, stood by me. He assured me that the jury would never believe I had a thing to do with this murder. He said I had a certain air of innocence and naiveté. My alibi was weak, but then anyone who lived alone would have the same predicament.

The victim was found naked, in bed with a woman of astounding beauty. There was no mistaking the man’s reason for being there. Do I need to mention that she was also naked? And stone-cold dead?

Opportunity? We lived in the same apartment complex. I thought it seemed like a nice place to live when I’d moved in two years ago—close to work, near the mall and my favorite restaurant.

Means? The crime scene photos caused me to turn away. They weren’t gruesome, just passionate. A single shot in the head for her. A single shot through the heart for him. Based on the blood smatterings, they thought he’d been killed after the woman. Perhaps he’d turned to beg mercy from the killer. Perhaps he laughed. Would anyone ever know?

Bang, bang.

Motive? During the trial, they said he was a professional gambler and cheat. They said he used women to get what he wanted. They said I was typical of his victims.

Other photos were displayed. Him with other women. Him without a care.

They said the case was all about him.

The case revolved around circumstantial evidence, and I began to feel relief that the end was in sight. My attorney had thought he was cock of the walk, until two days before the trial ended when a search warrant had turned up the gun used to kill them. Him, really. She was just an afterthought. They’d found the gun where I had hidden it. Inside his casket.

I had worked at the mortuary in charge of his funeral. Possession of the gun would have been something of a problem to explain. My anxiety had fled in a moment of crazed relief as I’d read the clipboard with the duty assignments. After the autopsy, his body had been sent to me.

I don’t know about poetic justice. Perhaps it would have been, had I gotten away with the crime.

Typical of his victims? No. His other victims had let him get away with the swindle and heartbreak. His other victims would quietly nurse their wounded pride while he went about the business of emptying bank accounts, ruining lives and living large on other women’s ignorant generosity.

My grandmother always said we were a family of passionate women.

I found out the night I killed him, she was right.

Even though he was my lover, I never knew him.

Thanks for stopping by TELL A STORY Blog Hop. Don't forget to leave a comment. Here is the link to the rest of the hop participants:

And back to Allison's blog where you can also track through:

Writing Means Editing. Accept It.

The writer's journey is filled with...edits! And everytime I write on the blog, the real decision is whether to post beautiful men or talk about writing. Writing wins this time though I am giving you a David Gandy treat at the end.

Edits. Every writer has them. Every writer handles them differently.

I don’t have a formal procedure for handling edits but I do have a process. It all starts with the writing of the manuscript. I tend to edit as I go, down to the punctuation. I do not like to finish a sentence that is not as polished as it can be. Each sentence has the exact period, quotation marks at the end.

Now, if you were to ask my editor what my main problem is, she would probably tell you that it is the comma. She wouldn’t like the comma I used after the word now. Some of this is house style, but I haven’t gotten used to it. Yet.

Descriptive tags at the end of my sentence don’t exist. If I write ten tags during the writing of a manuscript, I would be surprised. I tend to avoid them all together. I think the dialogue is much snappier without any sort of identifier. If it is a long conversation, I will include a “he said” in the middle of it as a reminder of who is talking and to keep the reader focused.

One of my favorite examples of a descriptive tag is used by Ken Follett who wrote Pillars of the Earth. In this monster novel, he used this phrase twice and it jumped and screamed at me both times.

…” she said techily.

I had to look it up! It means: peevishly, fretfully, irritably.

I also pay particular attention to the end of my sentences, paragraphs and scenes. I do not like pronouns at the end of a sentence. “He didn’t mean anything to her.” Well, if you are in “her” POV, why include it?
Do you see that “it” I just wrote? I hate ending sentences with it. There I did it again. Why not turn that boring old phrase by transforming the “it?”

For example, “I hate ending sentences with the most boring and trite of all phrases.” I love the amp factor that replacement words can provide.

Once I’m done writing, another of my secrets is to add one more sentence to each page of my manuscript only it must be an emotional sentence – something that adds feeling and depth to my characters. Well, I’m not saying it works, just something I do during the editing process.

Oh, and I just thought of something else my editor would probably chide me for. The echo. I am stunned by the number of times I will reuse the same word within close proximity. It must be a brain function. A phrase may get locked in your brain as you write and then it’s the first one you grab when you need another quick word. Surely, there is a study that helps explain this phenomenon.

Having a clean first draft is the most important reward I can give myself as an author.

Well, happy writing folks.

And for those of you who made it to the end, check out your reward below – the beautiful David Gandy.

And my next two book covers... What do you think?

Friday, April 6, 2012

Words With Editor

Here's a silly post.

I played Words With Friends today - with my editor! She spanked me, but I must say it does give me even more confidence in my editor's abilities. There is something comforting about knowing the person who is evaluating your work has a strong command of the written word!

Here's the end puzzle. She killed me at the end with AFOOT and GAMINE when I was sitting with a tray full of vowels! Rematch.