Hello all. Today, I’d like to tell you a story.
A few years back, I was working as an entertainer in a karaoke show room. We not only sang the songs, but made up dances and comedic skits as well to go to the music. It just so happened that after my first year there, I got a promotion. I became the Lead in that room. That meant I was in charge of coming up with all the bits and skits. I’ve always been a creative person, but after a few weeks, I hit a wall. I was blocked. At this point in time, I had only fiddled around with short stories and poetry, not really giving free reign to the “novel” idea in my head.
As luck would have it, I was reading an amazing series by an incredible author named Ms. Christine Feehan. One day, I randomly looked her up online and she had an email address where you could contact her and I thought “why not?” So I wrote to Ms. Feehan, not really expecting an answer, about my job and my creative block and asked if she had any advice. Lo and behold, she wrote me back. She gave me some amazing advice which not long after, led to the birth of my first novel. I will always be grateful to Ms. Feehan for giving me those words of wisdom and setting me on this path.
The advice came in handy at work and the show went off without a hitch for a good long run and when I finally did start my novel, another writer comes into play. Now, remember, I’ve never met anyone in this blog in person. I just contacted them by email. So here’s the story of what happened next.
I had started my novel and ideas were flying fast and furious and I was sure I could finish my novel in 2 weeks at the most. (surrreee, like that was going to happen) So I decided to look into length of novels, how to set up a manuscript, and all that jazz and that led me to Rebecca Sinclair, an extraordinary woman who is the very soul of generosity and a darn good writer. Ms. Sinclair had written an article online that answered all my questions and following some of her links, i found an email address. I wrote her to thank her for the extremely useful tips and she emailed me back. So I wrote her back and a friendship was born. I’ve never met her in person, but I consider her as one of my very best friends. I would have never finished that first novel if it hadn’t been for her cheering me on through all the ups and downs and doubts. (took me two years.)
What I’m saying is this, two women who have never met me or heard of me, and are extremely busy, still made time to answer an email from a newbie. These wonderful women are just a small part of the writing community but as time has went by and i’ve joined more groups and read more blogs and interracted more with my fellow writers, i’m seeing that generosity of spirit is a staple. We all cheer for each other, even if we’ve never met by dropping by to offer some small words of encouragement when someone posts about a rejection. We cry together, we laugh together, we rejoice on encouraging news, and we help where needed. To all my friends old, new and as yet unmet, the next time you pick up a book, stop for a minute and think a good thought for the author. They deserve it.
What is depression? If i had to describe it, I would say soul sucking blackness that threatens to overwhelm your every thought and action until you become a sniveling idiot crying on the bathroom floor because nothing in your life is going right or even kind of good. That’s my personal opinion because that’s what i feel like. Do i want to be depressed? No. Am i depressed anyway? Yes! Is there a reason? Of course, but you don’t really want to listen to me ramble. So i’ll pass on the full on explanation and instead say i’m miserable and depressed and there’s not a damn thing i can do to change it. I have no choice in the matter. Why is it every time i have a chance of happiness, someone swoops by and yanks it away? I hate you, swooper. You’re a killjoy and a homewrecker and if a sinkhole suddenly opened beneath your feet, i’d feel sorry for the sinkhole. Wishing you the eternal unhappiness you cause others,
August of 2007, I was injured in a car wreck and it completely changed my life. I went from healthy, active, athletic, and employed to sullen, depressed, bitter, angry, in pain and unemplyed. As if that wasn’t bad enough, I lost the court case when i sued the guy who hit me, because I couldn’t explain why it took me so long to go to a doctor. (No one would take me because A.) I had no insurance and B.) I was M.V.A.-motor vehicle accident and it takes too long to get their money.) I couldn’t say this because it was immediate grounds for a mistrial. So i lost the court case and now i am 11,000 dollars in debt with medical bills from the accident. On top of all of this, I am so hurt I had to file for disability which will take up to two years! to process. So I checked into unemployment and saw that there was something I just might qualify for. I went to the unemployment office and they gave me a number to call. I called and found out I WAS NOT IN THE SYSTEM!!! My last employers, where I worked for two years, never reported my wages and so I am a Ghost in the machine. Basically, i’m FUBAR’d. So three years without a penny to my name and it’s looking like that’s not going to change anytime in the future. Something’s got to give. There has to be a solution. If anyone has any ideas, let me know. Until then, I hope your day goes much better than mine.
Today, I’d like to talk about Obama’s ignorant decision to ban drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. Louisiana and several other states in the South depend upon the oil industry for a big part of their employment. The crews of the rigs, the crews of the crew boats, the helicopter pilots that ferry crews to and from the helipad to the rig. The people who operate the helipads. The Oil tankers, all the people who work on those boats. The catering companies and their employees who work on the rigs and boats alike. There are many more, but i don’t want to blow your mind. All of these people no longer have a job and the few who are lucky enough to still be employed are now being shipped overseas. An overseas tour is not 14-14, the normal work time, or even the 21-21 that has recently been going into effect in the gulf, it is 28-28. That’s a month gone from family. That means 6 months out of the year, these men and women will not be around to see their children grow up, they won’t be able to celebrate the holidays with their families, and the six months doesn’t even take into account travel time. Say if the rig was sent to Africa, where there is drilling, it’s a 2 day plane ride to and from. That means the time gone increases from 28 to 32. That’s a long time to be away from your family. All of this is not because of BP, this is because of OBAMA, the man who is currently President of the United States. I do not hold BP blameless, they did cause the spill after all and it could have been avoided.
On each rig, there are systems set up to prevent such things from happening. There is not one backup plan in case the first safety measure fails, there are several. The Deepwater Horizon had these measures but they were not in working order. BP had been told of the problem and they ignored it and did not repair the rig. Their refusal to follow the rules is something that has happened before with similiar results. If you will remember, the Texas City Explosion happened at a BP owned facility. There too, they were told of faulty equiptment and they refused to fix it. That decision led to the loss of 15 lives. The Deepwater Horizon decision led to the loss of 11 human lives, numerous wild life lives, and the decimation of the wetlands. I certainly fault them, they are responsible for their part.
However, the ban of drilling is all OBAMA. The Deepwater Horizon Explosion is the exception, not the rule in the gulf. The men and women offshore are extremely cautious and I can say easily that in the 30 years that my dad has been offshore, there has never been an incident even remotely close to the Horizon. I speak from personal experience and i hope that you listen to this post. I’ve emailed the President. I’ve emailed Senators. I’ve even emailed Oprah, because we all know how close she is to OBAMA, but no matter who i email, I can’t get a response. I try because I care. I worry about the people of my home state and I worry about the Gulf. I worry about the children who no longer have insurance. I worry about the parents who are struggling to keep a roof over their heads or food on the table. I worry about the people who can no longer keep the lights on because they have no money. I worry and I cry. I do not understand how OBAMA can spend the weekend blithely playing golf while children suffer heat stroke because the air conditioner got shut off when the lights did. I do not understand how OBAMS can sleep at night when the U.S. people are crying out for help. I do not understand. Do you?
In just a few short minutes, the first episode of Season 3 of True Blood will be coming on. I can’t tell you how excited I am for this. I first fell in love with the show last year and since then I’ve watched every episode and read all of the Sookie books. For those of you who do not know this, Charlaine Harris is a genius. Her blend of real life, myth, and magic all come together seamlessly and in a totally believeable way. I cannot recommend this series enough to you. If you haven’t already, take the time and read the books. They’re amazing.
As for the show itself, my hat is off to Alan Ball who took Ms. Harris’s vision and made it a reality in True Blood. Anna Paquin was a dynamite choice and an insanely good actress. Also, I love how Lafayette gets a bigger part in the show than he does in the books. My favorite episodes are the ones about him. If you are in the mood for some oogle worthy guys, True Blood is the show for you. Between ‘Bill’ (if you like romantic 1800’s figures) ‘Eric’ (Drool-if you like powerful, norse god types) ‘Sam’ (the guy next door/best friend) and the newest swoon worthy character ‘Alcide’ (gorgeous, muscled, and mannered, with a streak of wildness), this is definately a crowd pleaser. So happy season premier everyone and enjoy the show.
Have you ever dreamed about getting a book published? I highly recommend it. It’s an enlightening experience to say the least. I’ve always been an avid reader and after I got into a car wreck that made working every day jobs impossible, I decided to put pen to paper,(actually it was more like fingers to keyboard) and write my novel. I’ve written two to date and have yet to be published or even the step before that which is Agented.
I’ll explain. Write your book. Go over it with a fine tooth comb. Then do it again. And again. When it’s as good as it can be, then start research. You’ll find a guide of agents on the internet. Decide which ones best suit you and your novel. I can’t stress this enough. A romance novel does not go to a fantasy representing agent. Ok, you’ve picked them out. Now write a query letter that’s so good you snag the agents attention out of the hundreds of submissions they recieve each week. Did you do it? Okay, now let the waiting game begin. It takes anywhere from 5 minutes to 6 months to get a reply and some never reply at all. If you do get a reply, it will be one of two things. One could be a rejection. Don’t worry about it. We’ve all gotten them and we always will. It’s part of the business. Or, it could be a request for a partial or full submission. Yay! You did it. You snagged their interest. Now guess what…..Wait some more. It takes some time and you might get “The Call,” as some of us in the writing world affectionally call it. The Call is when an agent calls to discuss your book. Now, don’t be too hasty. The Call is an incredible thing to experience, but it’s not necessarily a call telling you they want to represent you. Sometimes, they’re on the fence and if you blow it on the phone, they fall the other way. But if you’re one of the chosen, CONGRATS. You have an agent. Guess what? Now you wait. And wait. And wait, while your agent tries to sell your book. It could take days, it could take weeks, months, years, or sometimes, even though an agent loved your book, publishers feel differently. It takes a strong person to be an author and I for one salute everyone who’s ever tried. The writing community is an amazing thing and I strongly recommend you join it. The next time you pick up a book, think of the struggle that author went through to put it in your hands, and silently thank them for not giving up.