Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Computer crash

It's true. Not if your computer crashes, but when. Fortunately I was backed-up, but not the last 30 days. Lost several chapters worth of editing. Oh well.

Purchased a new PC Laptop- tried using a MAC for a couple years, but could never get it to talk to my PC or work like I expected. Now I am convinced that Bill Gates secretly hires and underpays minions to sit up all night thinking of ways to frustrate me. They are very good at their job.

Saturday, July 3, 2010


One of the friends in my writers group finished reading his book. Took a year and a half, but it was exciting to reach the end. Another friend finished his thriller last month. A third member finished a wonderful short story. All were exciting and satisfying in their own way.

The challenge, as a writer, the group presents is being a constructive critic. It’s easy to be a cheerleader. It takes trust to point to another's weakness, and acceptance to hear my own.

We celebrate each other; commiserate over a character’s loss, brainstorm plot issues, and switch persona from writer to reader as we each tell our tales.

My lesson: The story we finished I had been following as an adventure story- a rogue DEA agent sails off on his own, takes out some bad guys, is chased, steals the bad guys money and gets away with it. As I pondered the last reading this week I realized I missed the real story. The protagonist fell from grace, slipped into the Dark Side, and sailed away into a lonely sunset of his miserable life.

Sometime the ending is Ellery Queen explaining the subtle clues of the mystery; sometime the heroine kills the monster; sometimes the hero saves the world from destruction. Sometimes it’s just a human who tries and almost succeeds.

The unexpected ending is the most satisfying for the reader.