Solitary Sky ~ Free!



Trailer Hitch

I love book trailers......and movie trailers. Sometimes I like them even more than the actual book or movie, but that's not where this post is going.  Over the past year or so I have looked at maybe hundreds of book trailers, before and after the making of my own.  Some were remarkably well-done......others were remarkably, well......unremarkable.  And there were a few that were outstandingly bad, to the point where I began to think it might be on purpose for comical effect. ;o)

This was not a surprise to me as the books they represent run the same gamut......but no matter their quality (or lack thereof), they mostly kept with a similar format:  pictures and/or video, words across the screen, and mood music all put together in various, creative ways.  Some had narration, but not many--narration is a hard thing to pull off well.  And then there were the ones that bucked the book trailer norm...... movie-like trailers by authors with a big publishing house behind them, or plenty of $$$ to put into their production. They were amazing 〜 animation and live-action......actors & actresses......memorized lines & plenty of drama.  It was like watching a mini-movie, but without a conclusion.  I have to admit that one of them did get me so intrigued I actually felt like I had to rush out and get the book......so I did. =)

I have to say, though......there was one tiny thing that bothered me as I watched the really well-done mini-movies. They didn't feel like book trailers......they felt more like movie trailers.  They left me wanting to see the movie more than read the book.  Also, the typical book trailer leaves a lot of work for your imagination......with these types of trailers, it's all laid out for you.  It's like watching the movie before reading the book (which I don't mind doing, but I know a lot of people do).

From a creative standpoint, I enjoyed the challenge of representing my story through pictures, video clips, music, and limited wording.  It definitely was a challenge, but I enjoyed every second......and fraction of a second of it. ;o) If I had a huge budget, I don't think I would've gone the mini-movie route. The only thing I might've done with a larger budget is hire a male lead for pics & video......and maybe make a few more videos...they really are fun to do. =)

I don't want to give the impression that I don't like them.  They are hard not to like and usually pretty impressive.  I guess I'm coming off with a purist-sounding attitude with regard to book trailers......but I can't help it.  It's partly a visceral reaction for me......and I know it's all subjective......progress and whatnot. ;o)
That's why I want to know what everyone else thinks.  Is it just me?  Do you get a different reaction from seeing a movie-like trailer versus one made in the more standard format?  List three reasons why or why not in paragraph form......or you could just comment.

xox paxamo,

photos courtesy of-- CopyrightFrode Evensen, Norway & 


Would you like a Happy Ending?

I am conflicted.

Life is not overflowing with happy endings.
So when I'm reading a work of fiction, I like having one.  I hate when a story I've become deeply involved in ends on a sad note.  I feel cheated...heartbroken...the story doesn't feel complete to me.
I realize not everyone feels this way...and an unhappy ending doesn't mean an automatic dislike from me...but I do prefer them.
All my favorite books have happy endings...or at least not unhappy ones.

When I became a writer, I had an unspoken understanding with myself that all of my stories would have happy, or "complete" endings.  I don't want readers' hearts to break at the end of my stories...I want them to be uplifted...and/or affected...tearing up in a good way, not a bad one.

Therein lies my problem.  I'm currently writing a short story that has  [gasp]  a sad ending. =(
And it's not just a sad ending.
It's a gut-wrenchingly sad ending.
And it's making me crazy.

You would think that, as the writer, I could just make some adjustments to the plot and have the story turn out less tragic...but it's not that easy.  I have tried to come up with ways around it...but the story is it's own entity now...and it's not budging.  The problem is that it's not just some random short story I thought up one day.  It's a prequel to the next series of books I'm writing after Solitary Sky.
The tragic ending has already happened inside my head...it's unavoidable.

I'd like to know what everyone else thinks.  Is a happy ending necessary?  Is a tragic end a deal-breaker?  I keep telling myself that readers will forgive me, but can I forgive myself???

I read somewhere recently that as a writer, you have to be a little sadistic in order to do all the horrible things you must do to your characters.  I don't think there's a sadistic bone in my body...maybe I'll just have to grow one.  ;o)


 photo courtesy of Scott Freiheit ~ http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Comedy_and_tragedy_masks.svg


Night Writer

I am a night owl. I hate mornings (the getting out of bed part...not the amazing sunrise part). All throughout high school and college I had trouble getting to bed at a decent hour and often overslept. When I had a baby, I was one of those awful moms that let her baby stay up later than 8pm...but the bonus was I didn't have a baby that woke before sunrise. ;o)

When I started writing my book, I had a tendency to write all night long. I went to bed as the sun was coming up and my early bird husband was going to work. It seemed crazy to other people (hi, mom!)...but for me, those were prime writing hours.  Writing during the day was just not the same...and writing in the morning was out of the question.  Everything just flowed better at night when the house was quiet (except for snoring) and there was nothing else to distract me from my writing.  

Everyone I know either claims to be a morning person (like my husband) or a night person.  My mother (a definite early bird) thinks I'm the only one who does this and that I am doing great detriment to myself by staying up all hours of the night. I try to tell her that it's not just me and it's ok as long as I'm getting 8 hours (and don't schedule any morning appointments)...but seriously, it's a waste of my breath.
I googled it and read studies that say early birds are not just annoyingly chirpy people in the morning, but happier overall...and they're more successful in business because their "chronotype" is more geared toward a corporate world.  However, we night owls might have some advantages...according to this article, "...studies reveal [night people] tend to be smarter and more creative than morning types, have a better sense of humor, and are more outgoing..."

But we are woefully out-of-sync with the corporate world.  I disagree that this makes us less successful.  It just means we pursue other avenues to success, and perhaps have a different definition of success than what this article implies.

What do you think?  Are you a morning or night person?  
Early bird or night owl?
And do you really think it matters?



I'm a Rider

You write a novel and you're a writer...right?

Not exactly.  

Writing a novel is only the first curve of a long ride you're about to take---a ride full of ups and downs, more curves, weighted decisions, and plenty of blood, sweat, & tears. Ok, maybe not blood so much... unless you actually do punch your computer screen instead
of just fantasizing about it... but sweat and tears, definitely.
It doesn't sound like any kind of fun, much less anyone's life dream...why would someone willingly put themselves through all that stress?  I don't know the answer, but I can tell you what I think:
    --Some do it because they truly, madly, deeply love writing and would die if they couldn't write. (they are also extremely fond of hyperbole)
    --Some are propelled toward this most arduous goal by visions of $$$ that dance in their heads (ha!).
    --Some don't do it.  They crumble under the pressure and walk away.
    --The rest are most likely certifiably insane...like me. ;o)

But there does have to be some part of your sanity you're willing to surrender while huddling beneath the patchwork quilt of emotions the writing process lays over you~
  • Happiness that comes from writing a really great scene or clever line that gives you chills... or hearing positive feedback from readers, reviewers, or agents... or simply from the fact that you completed a paragraph... a chapter... a whole novel! =)
  • Sadness from getting your 1st rejection letter---or 53rd... or from missing all those things you used to do before you started devoting so much time to writing. 
  • Fear that no one is going to like what you wrote---or even read it... fear of the literal or metaphorical slush pile... or fear that you're in way over your head and maybe you should just give up.
  • Anger at losing thousands of words you just wrote when your computer crashed... again.
  • Frustration with yourself at your inability to read any page of your already edited manuscript without wanting to make "a few more tiny changes"...  or at all the hours you scrounged from your schedule to spend time writing, wasted battling writer's block.
  • Confusion when it comes to the decisions---some small, some huge:  Indie or trade publisher?  CS or LSI?  This agent, or the other one?  White paper or cream?   Query letter...where do I start?  What about a blog?  A Facebook page?  Do I have to Twitter?  Should I outline or pants it?  What about cover art...layout...formatting...trim size? 
  • (head spinning)
  • Love for the characters you created and have given up so much headspace to...for the gift of writing that has been an outlet for the deepest parts of who you are and given you the truest sense of accomplishment... and for the far-beyond-crazy life you signed up for when you typed that first word.

    After more than 2 years on the ride I have completed and published my first novel in both paperback and e-book... I have written, directed, and produced a trailer for my book (see it here)... I have set up Facebook pages & Twitter accounts and I've done everything pretty much on my own (see above-referenced insanity).  Even after all that, the ride isn't slowing down.  Every time I finish a project or reach a goal, there's always another one or six waiting.  The journey I've been on the past 2 years is not over.  The ride is like a merry-go-round...all the emotions, the hard work, the late nights, every experience circling around again, over and over. 

    Wanting to be a writer...or actually writing a novel is not what makes you a writer.  It's also embracing the good & bad times, the mistakes and failures, the successes and accomplishments... and the neverending learning process that is writing...aka laying your soul bare.

    When you've taken that ride... and you keep on riding, you are a writer.

    And a rider.