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Writing is a Lonely Sport

I woke up at 4:00 AM, rolled over saw the time, went back to sleep. Woke up again it was 4:10. Tried to sleep some more — alas I figured it was fruitless because my mind was racing with ideas for my new mystery novel I am writing. So I am up with coffee in my hand or at least close by writing.

Writing is such a lonely sport. It is you, your pen and the ideas swimming around upstairs. Your hand is moving in compulsively, too bad most of the time it cannot keep up with the commands of the brain, especially if you want to read it later on. It is as if the mind is feeding off the flow of an unseen spring.

It is quiet. Lynda and our beagle, Roxy are still sleeping. It is a perfect time to let the mind roam that thin line where reality decides to step aside for a little while and let the pool of fresh ideas spill forth, only to be refilled anon.

I surely hope you all have a wonderful day and not filled with murder and mayhem like my mind is doing early on a Monday morning!

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Mentor a Young Writer

I encourage all of you to mentor a young writer. In this day of truncated words, abbreviations that can barely be understood without a lexicon of texting in your back pocket and less face to face time, it is important to preserve the English Language. How as writers do we accomplish this? We write, and write, and write some more, until that final sentence before our maker calls us home. We can also help a young writer to find their words.

Why is that important, you may ask? We owe a debt to our readers to bring forth a fresh voice and new way to look at the world. You may ask what is the reward? If you have to ask that then you aren’t ready to mentor. The rewards are enormous and some are even self-fulfilling. For me, the reward is watching a young person grow and to find their words. For me, the reward is having someone to share with ideas, thoughts, and dreams; and then to have some shared with you. For me, the reward is keeping me writing — even if it is one word, one sentence, one paragraph, one page, one chapter. It keeps my pen moving and the ideas flowing. It also keeps me young.

How does it keep us young? I am sixty-four years young. I like to tell everyone that I am twenty-one; but the body just isn’t cooperating. Hearing new fresh ideas, helps to keep my ideas fresh and new. As you already know, my granddaughter asked me to write a book she could read. I have used my two young protégés to review my first children’s book to make sure it is age appropriate and touches on subjects that they can relate to. Both the mentor and the protégé end up winning in the relationship. To see how this works, I recommend that everyone who loves to write watch the following movie: Finding Forrester staring Sean Connery and Rob Brown. It is probably at the top of my list of favorite movies that I have seen.

Thank you, Jacob and Maggie for letting me help you find your words. You can’t begin to imagine how much it has helped me to keep mine fresh and flowing.

Scott

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Who is the Bully, Cover Design approved

I have approved the cover design for my children’s book, “Who is the Bully”:

Cover Design

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A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Epilogue

As you all know I have been writing my first children’s mystery novel, Who is the Bully. It is the shortest book I have written to date. A funny thing happened on the way to the epilogue; I started writing my next children’s mystery novel, Who is the Stranger starting a series called the Magdalena Mysteries. The next in the series is starring Maggie Johnson (of course) and her cousin Sammy. I am stoked! I look forward to writing more of this genre. There is a certain freedom and lack of pressure that comes along with this type of writing; a catharsis you may say. I am enjoying writing these books. I am dedicating them to my grandchildren and they seem to just flow. For example, last night as I was sleeping I dreamt about Who is the Stranger. An FBI agent came into the picture along with his name and a history as to why he showed up. The dream also told me that this book is really about good vs evil at its very core. This also to cover how we have the power to battle successfully evil with ourselves. The ideas are just bouncing off the inside of my brain waiting to come out through my finger tips.

I have finished the first book and sent it off to my editor; because as sure as I am sitting at my computer typing this there are going to be spelling errors, grammatical errors and or the wrong choice of a word (ie. to, too, or two). Such is the life of a writer and the inability to observe your own errors. Since this is my first attempt at writing a book suitable for the 9 – 14 age group, I have asked two members of that group to read my unedited manuscript (while at the editor) to make sure that I am not writing below their comprehension level or too far above. Both of these children are aspiring writers. I have been mentoring them and encouraging them to write and to let others read what they have written; something that was lacking in my early development of story telling. The youngest of these I sent a writing prompt home with her mom in a letter encouraging her to write. Her mom thought she had forgotten all about it and suddenly she came out of her room and asked her mom to read her response to the prompt. It the first time her mom has read anything she has written. Both are excited.

I have been looking on Amazon.com for books that deal in a fictional manner about the problems and dangers our kids and grand-kids face every day. There are very few of them out there. I remember as a child of that age that I would pick up a fiction book before a “what is it” book. A history text book is more interesting.

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Getting to Know Your Characters

I have found that when I am writing a story, I get to know my characters as living, breathing, soul-filled people. They seem real and alive. I cheer for their successes, I cry when they are hurt or sad, I am despondent when something bad happens to them

My current book that I am writing as you know is titled: “Who is the Bully”. I don’t want to give away the story by sharing with you, Chapter 12. It is a pivotal chapter in the book. It tells my readers who the bully is from the mouth of the one who is the recipient of the bully’s abuse. One of the characters of my adult mystery novels is Nikita “Niki” Borisyenko, a six-foot-seven Ukrainian; who you would say that you wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley. He has become the mentor of Brad, the character who is the bullied boy.

Niki reveals that he received the same type of abuse as a child in Ukraine. They begin to cry with one another when Brad asks Niki for help. As most of you know, I hand write all my books in my journals and then transcribe them to the computer. I remember crying when I wrote this long hand and now that I am transcribing chapter 12, I again find myself crying right along with them. Boy, this makes typing very difficult. I guess to make it worth it, I hope my reader cry along with them, too.

To make your character real to your reader, you should be able to cry, laugh, smile, frown and be scared right along with them.

Scott

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COMING SOON

As most of you know, I am writing an adolescent mystery for my granddaughter. I am getting close to being done. The title is “Who is the Bully” and I wanted to share with you the cover art I am going to use:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Journal Writing When You’re Tired

I like to write all my stories, poems, book in my journal, long hand. There is something about paper and pen the gets my thoughts flowing. I can sit at the keyboard for hours and the thought stagnate. With pen in my right hand, the left side of my brain starts taking over; and sometimes the pen really isn’t necessary. I have been know to wake at two or three in the AM with the urgency to write down a dream or thought or a sentence. Needless to say, I go through an average of three to four journals per year.

Now comes what I call the “Tireds”. This morning, I was up sitting at my desk at 05:00 AM writing in my journal when the “Tireds” come visiting. I find a blue line going down the page or squiggles in the middle of my words. My mind is racing and I must get the thoughts down but the eyes are not cooperating. This is what causes a huge dilemma. This morning, I chased the “Tireds” away by getting out my MP3 player and turning on classic Bob Dylan. I started to listen to the words, just the words. The music became just background. I was awestruck by the quality of the words and how they described, spoke and emoted. This caused me to wash away the “Tireds”. As I listened to his word, my thoughts formed words the flowed from the pen to paper. Before I knew it, I had complete six pages in the adolescent mystery that I am writing for my granddaughter.

I am getting near completion of the book with the working title “Who is the Bully”. I now find that I am having to put on the brakes to keep from speeding to the end to quickly. Luckily, my wife, Lynda is my editor for spelling and grammatics. I am also very lucky to be a member of a writers group called VisionScribes who will read my manuscript to make sure that I haven’t strayed and the characters remain real.

I guess writing when I am tired is something I can do. How do you work through it?

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