Color Tools for the Writer

In the book, “Lolita,” Humbert Humbert describes his little nymphet with “lips as red as licked red candy.”

Wow.

How gorgeous is that description? Can’t you just see the deep red and glossy sheen of a wet lollipop? The fact that he’s describing a 12 year old girl’s lips makes it all the more provocative and disturbing. Perhaps that’s why it works on so many levels. When I heard that line for the first time (I was listening to the audiobook) I stopped and rewound it four times just so that I could appreciate how utterly amazing Nabokov’s writing was. And then I set fire to my current manuscript in a fit of despair as I realized I would never come close to the level of descriptive mastery that writers like Nabokov showed. Continue reading “Color Tools for the Writer”

All in the Name of Research

Sugar. It’s everywhere. Too bad we can’t run cars on it.

My main character, Roland, goes through quite a transformation over the course of my novel. He cleans himself up, stops acting like a dick, and quits smoking… all for a girl. He also loses a bit of weight and starts exercising. This is a painful process for Roland. He’s never exercised a day in his life.

As the author, I owe it to Roland and the readers to paint a picture of Roland’s roller coaster ride of ups and downs as he goes through this transformation. Part of me can use my imagination. I watched my dad quit smoking so I can draw from that, but I’ve never successfully quit a bad habit myself. I think it’s time to put myself to the test, all in the spirit of getting inside my character’s head.

Soo… two weeks ago I decided to give up sugar for 8 weeks. Continue reading “All in the Name of Research”

This is a work of fiction…

I just saw The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo the other night and am now reading the book. Naturally, I was disturbed by some of the scenes I saw in the movie and will take no pleasure in reading them when I get to those parts in the book, but I understand why the author included them. Bad things happen to people in real life; to ignore them in our fiction is to bury our heads in the sand. But it made me wonder… Could I write scenes like that? You know what I mean- the gritty, horrible, sadistic, cover-your-hand-over-your-eyes-because-you-feel-dirty-watching-them scenes.

Yes, yes I can. The problem (for me) doesn’t lie in imagining them, or putting them to paper. The problem lies only in, What would my mother think?? Continue reading “This is a work of fiction…”

Poor Reviews: A writer’s best friend


I just wrote a review on Amazon for a book I didn’t exactly love. But before I posted it, I decided to read the other reviews to see if readers had the same issues with the book that I did. Turns out, they found even more flaws.

Aside from the obvious relief of knowing I wasn’t the only one disappointed with the book, I learned something valuable: negative book reviews are super important for writers to read. Continue reading “Poor Reviews: A writer’s best friend”

In search of Harmony


Well, April and May were tough months for me. Shortly after I gave myself that pep talk to get back into daily writing, I succumbed to Yesman disease where I couldn’t say no to some friends with a business opportunity, overextended myself far beyond what is humanly possible, and neglected my family, my house, and my writing all for somebody else’s dream. In no time I was diverting all my efforts toward something I didn’t really care about. I became irritable, stressed, and unhappy. Thanks in part to my husband, I realized what was happening, swallowed a heavy dose of whatthefuckamidoing, and finally just said no. Continue reading “In search of Harmony”