Thursday, May 14, 2015

New Author Picture

Last week I went bowling with my friend who has been my BFF since we were 12.
Among learning that I bowl like an ostrich (after the fact),
she also happened to take a shot of me while I was gazing happily upon a donut shop,
a square donut shop of all things,
and . . . well it seemed like a great author picture. 
So, that's what I'm going to do with it.
Although I will still enjoy the anonymity of the flower I use on twitter and such, 
this is the picture that will be gracing the backs of my paperbacks.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Mettle: Do you have what it takes?

Being an author is tough stuff.

Not only do you have to create something out of nothing,
portray vivid and enthralling pictures with only your words,
and tell something that has never been told before . . .
You also have to have your head on straight,
That's right. 
Somehow you have to find the balance between living entirely within a fantasy world, 
and keeping your feet firmly set upon the terra firma of reality. 


Well, if you don't you're stuck living a lie;
and really that is no way to live at all.
But also, if you don't,
you're not able to deal when all your hopes and dreams and ambitions and affirmations come crashing to the ground in a burning ball of molten goo while you stand there and watching as they turn to ash that is then blown away in the wind.
Because, let's face it, 
what are the odds that your story is going to be that one 
in several hundred million 
that actually makes it big?
(don't answer that, I'm making a point here)
The odds are not in your favor or mine.

 Which is why I have come to see serial authorage,
the act of writing and releasing more than one book/work/novel/whatever,
as three things.
1. Passion
2. Grit
3. Intestinal Fortitude

There may be more, and perhaps they vary by individual,
but those three are my main motivators. 
Think about it.
Why keep writing if you don't actually love to write?
For the money?
Better find yourself a better money maker. 
No, like all things, you have to really love something to keep practicing it. 

What about finishing what you start?
Do you? 
Or do you find it easier to leave yourself and your readers hanging?
If so, you are lacking grit my friend.

And finally, have you found the courage to try again despite having a story that totally bombed?
That's right. 
This is where intestinal fortitude comes in:
having the guts to put yourself out there for the masses to critique over and over again, 
regardless of what any of them think.
Well because you love to write and you have stories to tell.

Perhaps you do or perhaps you don't. 
In any case,
being an author is hard!
The good news?
You can do it.
You just need to dive deep and find out who you are.

Bonus: All of the above is also applicable to anything else you want out of life -
so grab it by the horns!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

My thoughts on "Wuthering Heights"

If you may or may not have noticed,
there have been quite a few quotes from Wuthering Heights on my twitter feed as of late.
This is mainly because I recently finished another reading of the book,
its words stay with me for a LONG time,
but also because it is one of my all-time favorite works. 

Within its pages I find a resonance.

The kind that speaks to your soul.

For one thing, the story is dark, moody, brooding, and has ghosts -
aspects which automatically appeal to my proclivities. 
But what really gets me, is that it's a love story. 
I'm not talking about that wishy-washy finite love-story pish that is so common these days.

I'm talking about real love.

The kind that knows no bounds.

The kind that no time, space, or distance can effect.

The kind that is as unalterable as the existence of an atom.

The kind of love that just is, and no matter what happens, always will be.

That is what I find so wonderful, and tragic, about Wuthering Heights.
It is real.
It is relateable. 

Think about it.
How many times have you, or anyone, felt like the outcast Heathcliff who despite his best efforts cannot be anything other than himself - for better or worse?
And how many people have been as Cathy, knowing the true desires of their hearts but being entirely unable, or unwilling, to reconcile what they truly want with what they think they want?

I'd venture to say every human being on the planet.

However, unlike those of us who wander so unaware of ourselves throughout life,
in Wuthering Heights, these characters know their flaws.
They embrace them.
Furthermore, they have no hesitation in recognizing that the other is as vital to their own existence as is the individual fibers that make up their very beings.

Still, life requires that Heathcliff and Cathy go through their lives,
apart and separate -
irregardless of the fact that the absence of the other destroys everything, and everyone, else that happens to touch their continued existence.
It is only when all else fades, and the only things left are those that really matter,
that these two finally have their peace . . . eventually.

How can one read the words above and not feel their heart stir?
Burn even?
That feeling right there is part of the very reason why this book has been, and probably always will be, one of my absolute favorite works. 
I get it.

Do you?

Monday, April 20, 2015

"Avowal" by Marie McKean

Apparently my writing tendencies are veering toward the poetic lately. 
Here's a new one:

Edited May 5, 2015

I changed a word on the final line. 
I'm not sure which version of "Avowal" I like better--
they both convey some very real pain.
As such, I'm including the pair of them in this post. 

Friday, April 10, 2015

Born of Cedar and Sapphire - Chapter 2 Excerpt!

We're getting somewhere. 
Aside from the massive deletion I just made to the manuscript,
which was intentional,
Born of Cedar and Sapphire is moving forward. 
As proof, here is the Chapter 2 excerpt:

". . . soul-splintering burdens lessened, shrinking into past glimpses, floating as inconsequentially as the dust in the sunlight around me. 
I was free. 
For a moment, I could truly breathe-in what may as well have been my first breaths in an eternity.
I’d made it.
I was home."

Copyright 2015 Marie McKean