How to Get Laid by Francisco Cordoba

One day when I was in college, my English professor informed me that my writing was atrocious.

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Unless I figured out a way to get laid, I would fail his class. This seemed somewhat harsh, but dedicated young student that I was, I determined to make Prof. Smith proud.

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Something exciting happened in my life a few days ago- I officially became a published author. My short story, Ever Be, was included in the Story of a Kiss Anthology along with stories of twelve other writers, many of whom belong to the Happy Author’s Guild.

Ever Be is the story of Evangeline and Greg, two surfers struggling to get over their fear of the water after Evangeline nearly drowns.

book & teaser

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Procrastination: Friend or Foe? by Emily Cooper

I have a love-hate relationship with procrastination. I loooove to wait until the last minute to do anything important. I must love it, because I do it ALL the time. And then about midway into my marathon of catching the hell up, I hate that I procrastinated.

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I’m late! I’m late! For a very important blog post date… by Emily Cooper

It’s funny. I have an entire word document dedicated to topics for this blog. It’s very special to me, and I’m so thankful to be a part of it and the wonderful group of writers involved. I am generally a planner, not a pantser, even when it comes to blogging.

However, in the last month I’ve moved states, changed careers, and started school. Then, this week, just when I thought I was getting everything in order and could even work in some writing time on my awesome new story I’m planning, guess what?

I start getting sick. Just a cold, take some nyquil, I think. Well, it gets worse. I just moved, so I don’t have a doctor. Thank God my new health insurance is in effect, so doc in a box I go. Walking pneumonia. Yep. That’s right.

And it’s no joke, dude. I could not even focus. I’m not even sure how I drove to the doctor or did anything before they jacked me with steroids. Today was the first time in a week I didn’t get dizzy just walking around.

Now, don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a pity post. I guess it’s another one of those when-life-interrupts-your-writing posts. All the best laid plans. I had made a new schedule with specific writing times and places, to get in my groove. I had done a load of research for my new story. I was so pumped.

But I think I’ve also been overwhelmed, and this illness has given me a chance to reflect/hallucinate. To remember what is important, to remember that it’s not the end of the world if my blog is late, if my story doesn’t get started this week, if I miss a week of work at my brand new job. If I don’t do any fancy meme’s or pictures or any of the things I know makes a post better than reading some rando’s rambling.

I’m one of those people who puts so much pressure on myself. I hate disappointing anyone. I fret. I know I’m not alone. But I think that if we fret too much, if we put too much pressure on ourselves, things we love, like writing, lose their charm. I have to take the time to breathe. I don’t have to have everything planned, cause shit doesn’t like to go according to my plan anyway.

And on a side note, my fever gave me a wicked idea for my story in the middle of the night.

And also, I somehow managed to become a slightly more published author with a few shorts =)

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Emily is a wannabe author, privileged to know some of the best authors ever! Please check out her short stories and connect with her! One day she’ll have a fancy mailing list and all that jazz. ❤

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Is Chronological All That Logical?

One does not simplyI’m no stranger to using dreams, flashbacks, hallucinations, and dialogue to divulge a character’s past. Let’s face it, we all know we don’t start at the beginning, that’s yesterday’s advice. We all know Timmy was born on a chilly spring morning in 1983 isn’t where it’s at. Was there a storm? Was Timmy born on a ship in the middle of the ocean? No? Who cares?

Today, we drop our characters in the action: a pivotal moment in their lives, or hell, into a fight. We drop our characters in the middle of the ocean on a stormy night and let them find their way home.

Lately I’ve been thinking about chronological order. In fact, in my current WIP (work in progress) I’ve been trying what I call Tarantino style where I shoosh back and forth through my character’s life like I’m a fucking Time Lord. images

Call me crazy, but maybe this is where it’s at. I mean, who’s to say what the pivotal moment in a character’s life is and when it has significance? We’ve all seen the book or movie that started at the end, and then took us back to the beginning. What I’m talking about is multiplying that by ten.

Don’t get it twisted, I’m not throwing in flashbacks like some hack wizard. I’m legit Time Lord-ing here. For instance, my character is a solider and the very first scene is him landing in the good ole US of A after ten months in Afghanistan. The whole first chapter is about his initial adjustments with civilian life and the aftermath of what has happened while he’s been away. Chapter Two shoots forward a year, showing just how much being a soldier has changed his family dynamics. Chapter Three swings back to before he ever joined the military. Chapter Four is in Afghanistan.

You get the gist. Each chapter is a totally different facet of his life. Each chapter: The Veteran, The Son, The Boy, The Soldier, etc, is meant to all represent his own fragmented sense of self.

At first this seemed confusing, but the more I went with it, the more it made sense. There is no way to portray each of these pieces in order with the same effect. The more I ripped through time like some sort of maniac with a time portal, the more I wondered… is chronological all that logical after all?

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Let’s face it, it’s your story. You’re the wizard, you’re the time lord, you’re the boy with the magnifying glass scattering the orderly little ants into chaos. Go wherever your pen (*cough* keyboard, iPad, voice recorder) takes you. Whatever we were taught about order, screw it. You’re the person who knows when and how to reveal what’s going on. And trust me, there’s a kind of powerful feeling about throwing some of the rules right out the window.

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Emily is currently writing for fun, although she has published a few short stories. She is trying to focus on finishing a novel this year, hopefully her fairy tale. Connect with her and/or read her amateur blog!

And for all my wonderful fellow WWLR-ers:images (13)

Status Quo

Writers are a bunch of insecure, sensitive, emotion-driven people. We put our art out in book form or in electronic form, and wait to see what happens. If we sell 100 copies of our books, we might get 8 reviews. If we post 47 blog posts, and have 600 plus followers, we’re lucky to get 10 comments. Soon we are asking, does anyone read this blog? Does it just show up in the email in box and get ignored or deleted?

This blog right here will be number 48, we have 600 plus followers, and we have about 10 comments. But the better news is, the posts have been reblogged 72 times, and shared on Twitter 52 times. So somebody is reading it, not just the group of insecure, sensitive writers who post the bloody thing.

I am not any better about the whole feedback for blog posts thing. And only because I decided to do this subject have I realized. I read lots of blogs, and almost never comment or like or reblog any of them. This could all be Karma due to my lack of action.

I don’t make resolutions for the New Year. I look back at the past year, and find at least 3 things I did that I never have done before. In 2014, I published my first novella, I retired after 24 years with the same employer, and I handfed baby cockatiels and lovebirds. In 2015, I will have 4 short stories in anthologies published, I will have the follow up book to the first novella published, and I will probably start my own humor blog. But I am going to make one more thing happen and I will start right now. I am going to comment on every blog I read. That’s right, I will go say thanks, or good idea, or something to express my appreciation for the work of the writer.

How about you? Do you just take the entertainment provided by these writers, and not say thank you once in a while? Do you like the blogs you read? How hard is it to type those words? If you didn’t like the post, you don’t have to be nasty. You can simply say you appreciate the different point of view.

I also suggest that you make a point to review books when you have read them, especially for up and coming authors. Steven King may not really get a kick out of your review, but someone like me or any of the published writers on this blog (Mika Jolie, Sue Seabury, May Burnett, just to name a few) really want to know what you think. Feedback is vital in almost any pursuit. Give it a go, and see what good Karma comes back to you.

We’ll post again on Wednesday.

Herding Cats

I am blessed with a community on-line through Scribophile, and in that community, a “neighborhood” called Writers Who Love Romance.

Along with my membership in Romance Writers of America, this community has done more to motivate me and keep me focused on writing, editing, and publishing than anything else I’ve tried.

Another huge part of the Published-Author-Making-A-Living-Through-Writing puzzle is marketing. This starts with self-promotion. And I recently discovered many introverted authors are terrified of that.

Understand that I love to do public speaking. At my current employment, whenever a speaker is needed, my peers know I will gladly volunteer. So it never occurred to me that some folk would be scared of blogging. Really? You can sit naked at your computer, post your blog, and delete comments that you don’t like. Why be worried about that?

Using the theory that there is security in numbers, I proposed to the neighborhood that we do a group blog. The response has been overwhelming. Now, getting these shy and creative creatures to all to the same process is similar to herding cats. And it’s not a simple process.

Step One: Create a log-in and password on WordPress.
Step Two: Send me an email so I can invite you to the blog.
Step Three: Be sure I have the correct pen name to use.
Step Four: Find a topic and write your blog, some place besides on WordPress. I’ve lost a number of blog posts through crazy, random happenstances before. I finally figured out that I need to write the whole thing in a Word doc or similar program, save it there, select all, copy, and paste it into the blog.
Step Five: Select your name as the category, so that people will know it’s yours, and select or create tags, to tie in to Google searches.
Step Six: Make sure you put it out on Twitter, Facebook, and any other social media platforms that you use.
Step Seven: Look for comments over the next few days, and reply if needed.
Step Eight: Start thinking of your next post.

That’s all it takes. Easy Peasy, Lemon Squeezy.

The actual group of authors is a mix of published, unpublished, expert bloggers, and first timers. They are all charming, funny, imaginative folk whom I am proud to call neighbors and fellow bloggers.

I ask that you read the future blog posts with an open mind and a cheerful heart. Let us know when you like things and/or have suggestions. After all, we are doing this to connect with you!

See you next time.