Category Archives: NaNoWriMo
The moderator of my new writing group was kind enough to edit my latest horror story’s opening gore scene two weeks ago. Finally, after a week of not-so-great moments, I pulled myself together to address her notes, as I’ve given myself a personal deadline of completing a first draft by Sunday, 5 October.
But how to go about it? On Saturday, Texas A&M played against Mississippi State (you can never get tired of typing Mississippi…Mississippi…Missississp..oops!),Ole Miss against Alabama, LSU played Auburn, and Michigan State played Nebraska. I usually hunker down when intense writing – telly vision and phone off, mood music, tea kettle on perpetual boil – but there’s a deadline AND football! What to do, what to dooooo…?
I decided to give distracted writing a chance. I left the ArtHouse, arrived at the poolhouse, set the telly to Game 1 and began to review edits. By the time Mississippi State posted 24 points over the Aggies, I finished her notes, and expanded in ever so gruesome detail the horrors of that particular scene, channeling my frustration with Kenny Hill and the entire Aggie offense, and yes, even you Seals-Jones!, into Scrivener.
While Game 2 was on, a gaggle of tween girls entered the house to use the computer terminals. No biggie; as long as they didn’t interrupt my football watching or my train of thought. They loudly looped a very popular song, much to my chagrin, then started to sing boisterously along with it! I tell ya, nothing will get your skin crawling, nay, UNDULATING, like 11 year old girls singing, “I’m gonna love youuu/until you hate meee…” at the top of their just-started-menstruating lungs. Which inspired another gore scene. Thanks creepy girls!
Between Game 2 and Game 3 I got into a heated text-fight with the BF. To comfort myself, I sought either a bowl of cheese or a burger, to which a visit to Local Family-Friendly Sports Bar was in order. I got the manager to kindly put Auburn-LSU on the top screen, Michigan State-Nebraska on the lower screen, ordered a medium rare Angus beef burger, and continued drafting hate-fueled sequences in my writing journal.
All at once, I was eating, watching plays, writing scenes, fact checking data, web searching points of reference, maintaining all at a constant flow:
As Auburn was metaphorically stomping LSU’s nuts, I took to physically macerating a character’s genitals. Nebraska and Michigan State were putting up such a frenzy, I used the excitable energy around me to describe a shoot out. Not trying to be an entire asshole, I text-apologized the BF between burger bites. By Nebraska-Michigan State’s half, I had finished my first draft!
Man, do I feel accomplished! And happier with the SEC. Big 10, well, you know I’ll always love you, heck, my protagonist’s family hails from East Lansing, Michigan! Kenny, get it together for next week, or at least, fail so miserably I’ll have no choice but to kill a character in my next story.
Ya never know what’ll work until you try it!
Hello friends! On April 4th of this year, I released my debut novel, I Blew Up Juarez. Proudly, I sold several copies and ran out of printed books!
I intended to put out the next “book” this holiday season, but I have another idea, and this is where I need your help!
On AUGUST 31, 2014 I’m sending out a quick survey for all readers of I Blew Up Juarez via email to collect your thoughts on how the story continues, even if you’re not finished reading the book! Exciting, right?
If you are interested in becoming a participant, please send an email titled “FOCUS GROUP” to firstname.lastname@example.org by AUGUST 30 so that you’re included.
It will be a bcc interaction, so don’t worry about your individual opinion being lost in the mix.
I value your insight. Thanks!
Author, I Blew Up Juarez
Growing up, it was simple: “Are you American?”
If you weren’t American, the next question was, “What are you doing on our base?” If we didn’t like your rationale, we took our American liberty to whoop your ass.
If you were American, the next question was, “What base you from?” To which, you’d want to offer a city we liked, else we whooped your ass.
See? Simple living.
I didn’t grow up with the tendency to cubby-hole all the social interactions I have, like insular Americans (what I call Americans who have ONLY lived in the United States) put in full practice in their modern living. The working vernacular is “marginalization.” That’s defining your comfort with a person based on how they appear, what color they are shaded, how they smell, and which socially acceptable attributes they display.
Because it is not natural for me to pronounce my race/sex/ethnicity/nationality/sexuality/etceteraetcetera, I don’t do it with my art. You don’t see emblazoned across my website banner VON SIMEON – ULTRA-BLACKTINO NON-NATIVE WOMAN WITH SEXUAL TENDENCIES YOUR PARENTS DISAPPROVE OF… I mean, honestly, that’d be a busy header! Instead, I go with Plato, Socrates, and Cato: Von Simeon – what I do, thus what I am/who am I to others without intention/where my mind is when affected by society. Nice ‘n’ Neat.
I promised myself when I released my novel, I would not campaign with an adjective before the word ‘author.’ I am merely that – the author of my book. The last two months I did decent with general sales but absymal in representing my work without getting forced into a social cubby-hole. I received derogatory statements regarding my sex, my race, my ethnicity, and those statements then erroneously defined the quality of my book.
Bookstore owners demonstrated the same abject marginalization. There was an opportunity for I Blew Up Juarez to be featured in one of Tampa Bay’s [adjective] bookstores. According to the bookstore owner, she is well connected in her sub-population and felt her endorsement for my work would be a step up in the [adjective] reading community. A bystander to our convo in her store looked me straight in the face and pronounced, “We need to support all [adjective] authors”, then provided a heavy nod to indicate insistence, or maybe because he summitted that soapbox too quickly? To which I blinked my large brown eyes to him and replied, “Thank you for that, I have copies in my car, would you like to purchase one?” The bookstore owner looked at him, and he said, “I wasn’t prepared to purchase a book today.” Ah. Yet you’re in a bookstore…for…?
Like so many other [adjectives], everyone’s ready to politick about what should be done, but no one necessarily wants to be the one to take action. I retrieved my review copy of I Blew Up Juarez from her last week; I didn’t care to play to grandstanding, even if they are my “people.”
Don’t get me wrong, there are some hilarious moments. I gave you some negative examples, but my common exchanges are mellow; if anything, people tend to react much like Brian does at the dinner table:
All I can do is laugh, because otherwise I’d go on a killing spree. :D
As in ‘go’, as in ‘green light’…clean ups on every page. Especially check out my I Blew Up Juarez tab…did I answer your questions satisfactorily? Think I covered ‘what is the book about?’ and ‘where can I find it?’ as succinctly as possible. And please do Like the page, but only if you mean it ;)