Monday, April 29, 2013

How a Writer Thinks OR How This Writer Thinks

I've had a lot of questions from fans and readers this month.  How do you get your ideas?  How do you write?  How do you make yourself write?  What color underwear do you prefer?  (Well, it was implied.)  (Maybe just in my head.  That is the problem, after all.)

Therefore, the reader's guide to C.L. Bevill AKA Fat Woman AKA the strange writer in that one house that badly needs its front yard landscaped AKA Six-Gun Meg (Also only in my head in the really good dreams.)

1.  My ideas come from very odd places.  I might be reading something and shoot off on a tangent.  For example, I'm reading about Greek mythology right now and strange little tidbits keep popping into my head.  Especially since the one Titan whose mom was Mother Earth started eating all his children to keep them from being too powerful.  His wife tricked him on number six and gave him a baby sized rock.  (Which says something about his omniscience, doesn't it?)  Consequently, baby no. 6, Zeus, got away to conquer the gods another day.  Anyway, the point being I read a lot.  I watch a lot of things and everything in my life is constant grist for my mill.  Occasionally people suggest scenarios for some of my characters and who knows what will happen in a Bubba book.  As I live in the deep south now, I have lots of ammunition.  Here's another example.  A month ago, a rescue worker was interviewed about a drowning victim on television.  I'll quote the words because they're pretty much the most important part.  (Funniest.)  "Next, we're gonna look in the direction of down under the bridge."  (Do I have to explain why I think that's funny?)  I didn't make that up.  It was on a news station.  I swear.  Also every month someone dies in a manner that's befitting a Bubba book.  You know, man gored to death by a rack of antlers in his living room.  "Billy Joe said to hold his beer and watch this," his wife lamented sadly.  I'm inspired by everything.  (My family knows this and I have been officially prevented into blogging about specific familial events.)  Even HIM, the man to whom I'm married, does stuff that makes me laugh and then write about it.  (There's a lot I don't make up in my blogs.  In fact, I only heap on the story telling in an amusing way because that's the way I see it.)  By the way I saw this from James Rollins about where authors get our ideas and thought it was funny.

2.  How do I write?  I'm assuming that they mean what my schedule is.  When I'm writing a book, I usually set a quota per day and write to that quota.  (I do 2000 words a day now.  Any more than that and my brain short circuits.)  Very rarely do I not meet my quota, but occasionally shizz happens and I get discombobulated.  My sister got very ill in February and went into the hospital for a month and messed me up.  (Not that she did it on purpose.)  I was so stressed out I couldn't write a word.  I think I put out one whole blog the entire month of March.  Anyway, I write up an outline, which usually goes in the garbage a few weeks later, and I attempt to follow it, but then I end up writing another outline, and I write a few more weeks.  I can write up to three or four outlines depending on the book.  For example, I'm on chapter eleven of Mountains of Dreams and I think the outline is on chapter five.  (That's some messed up writer shizz.  Good thing I'm not answering to an editor or I'd be hosed.)  That's called literary elephantitus according to Stephen King.  The short answer (I am capable of succinct answers but not in this blog.) is that I write x words a day and follow an outline, until I have to rewrite the outline.  As I get toward the end of the book, I usually write a little faster.  When I'm done with the first rough draft, I collapse for a week, then I reread the novel.  Corrections in plot and pacing are usually made.  I go back and beef up parts of the novel that I felt were weak or that I didn't support the plot properly.  I look carefully for errors.  Then I give the book to HIM.  HIM gets to read it first.  HIM usually points out a few errors and then says, "It's good," whereupon I slug HIM upside the head because I want a little more input than that.  ("It's wondrous capabilities of story telling amuse my senses and titillate my soul, but only in a good way."  Would that be too much to expect?  I guess so.)  I go back over the book.  Then I send it to the editor/proofreader, Mary.  Mary works on it and sends it back when she's done.  I make corrections.  Then I reread it again.  By the time I'm done, I've probably read it a dozen times and my mind is a pile of grayish oatmeal.  Somewhere in the time that Mary has it, I get the cover done, I write the trailer, and I plan my marketing strategies.  Then I send it to the formatter.  When they give it back I put it out on Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords.  Then I collapse again.  (And you thought writing was easy.)

3.  How do I make myself write?  Occasionally I don't want to write.  This happens because I'm very tired or sick or stressed.  Usually I do something else and let things just percolate in my head.  It's like watching a movie.  If I'm stuck at a certain point in the novel, I just kind of let my mind wander and scenarios roll through my head.  They're kind of like mental what-if-this-happened-then-what-would-happen?  I can work out all kinds of things in my mind.  Remember it's telling a story and telling a story shouldn't always be predictable, so when I run through ideas in my head, sometimes it's the bizarre ones that really get my attention.  Playing those kind of games usually gets me right back on schedule again.  What if...?  How many what if questions can you think of in five minutes?  What if the sky was green?  What if I was a man?  What if I had four arms?  What if we all walked on our hands?  What if Henry XIII's wives all got together and chopped off his head?  You're basically teaching your brain to go down different paths.  It works for me.

4.  Underwear.  Anything but white.
I do not wear this, but thought it needed to be included.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Everything but the Kitchen Sink OR How I Plan to Aimlessly Jump from Subject to Subject (Warned Ya!)

Warning: Changing subjects may occur at a - what was that?  A flying, albino two-headed chicken?  My fingernails need to be trimmed.  I'm making meatball soup today.  What was I saying?  Apologies in advance to unsuspecting vegetarians.  (You'll understand when you get to that part.)

Recently I went to the grocery store, which is usually good for a laugh.  You should go and just look sometime.  You find (well, I find) the oddest things.  But don't fret.  I had my droid and my droid has a CAMERA on it.  (You'd think the employees in the store would be used to people taking pictures of their stuff.  You'd think.)

My first selection goes for comedy relief.  I dare anyone not to laugh at this.  Anyone who doesn't laugh at this is probably dead or your sense of humor is woefully inadequate.  (You poor sorry bastard.)

Yes.  I've got a potty mind.  You know it.  I know it.  Pretty sure anyone reading the blog knows it.  Oh come on.  Someone really put this on a jar and expected people not to comment.  Really?  Seriously?  Really?  (Just think.  Does KFC still use "Finger licking good?"  I don't think so.)  (I can still sing the whole jingle from the seventies.  Supposedly Barry Manilow wrote it before he was a showgirl named Lola with yellow feathers in her hair and a dress cut down to...  "Get a bucket of chicken.  Finger licking good.  Have a barrel of fun.  Goodbye ho-hum.  Come on everyone!  Sing this stupid jingle with me!")

Onto selection number two.  In fact, I found this in the same aisle.  How could I not take a picture of this?
Must I say it?  Must I?  I mustn't.  I didn't make up these labels.  (But I could have.)

In an aisle far, far away (Kudos to the person who automatically got the movie reference.  See, warned you about subject changes.) there was this.  This confused me and I had to READ the label.  I even read the label twice.

I want to emphasize what it says on the label under FriChick Original.  It says, "Delicious Vegetarian Alternative to Chicken."  Then on the yellow label it says, "The Taste You Love is Back!"  If I want to eat chicken I'm going to eat chicken.  I'm now going to offend all vegetarians.  (Probably.)  Eating chicken is practically like eating vegetarian anyway.  And by the way, I didn't know that the taste I love was gone.  What the hell is this stuff anyway?  And also I was not in the vegetarian aisle.  No, I wasn't.  I was in the canned meat aisle, where obviously all thwarted vegetarians go to seek out their delicious vegetarian alternative to chickens.  (Note to people.  I went to Google what the ingredients were to this product and I saw this advertisement, at which point I didn't go any further.  The advertisement on one webpage said, "Canned, fried chicken-like, precooked vegetable protein product that can be eaten right out of the can."   AM I THE ONLY ONE THAT THINKS THAT STATEMENT SOUNDS WRONGITY-WRONG-WRONG?  I cannot be.)

Okay, subject change.  Same store.  Look what they had sitting in the middle of the aisles!  Not only does this store sell groceries and canned, fried chicken-like (that's the part that really bothers me) precooked vegetable protein product that can be eaten right out of the can, but they have CARS, too!  Jeez, what was I thinking going to a car dealer?  (Another handy note here: the kid is not for sale.  But now she wants a green Mustang.)

Yes, the kid is wearing her socks over her pants.
She says it's in style.  I just pretend I don't
know her in the store.
I want everyone to bear witness that these cars were being sold under the guise of MEAT.  (Go ahead.  Look at the photo again.)  That is strangely ironic.  For some stupid reason I could not fit the green Ford Mustang into my shopping basket.  (Note to store: if you want to sell cars in your store, you have to have large enough shopping baskets.)

I think I'm done now.  Onto my meatball soup and how it uses real meatballs, not canned, precooked, fried chicken-like vegetable protein product.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Trials and Tribulations of Moron Cat and the Boxing Rodent

For those of you who don't read my blog regularly, my daughter has a cat named Megaroy.  I do not know why she named the cat Megaroy, but keep in mind that she also has a bonsai plant named Bathtub.  Megaroy is some kind of Maine Coon mix, whom we rescued and have kept ever since.  I've gotten a lot of literary mileage out of the cat and will probably continue to do so.  I'm maintaining that the cat is basically the dumbest cat in existence.  Pretty sure.  Of all the cats we've had over the last decades, Megaroy is the bottom of the heap.  This doesn't exactly make him a bad cat, but then he does weird shizz and that's more logs on the fire.
There.  This shot encapsulates Megaroy's innate
Case in point.  Megaroy loves to go into the garage.  Why?  Because there are mice out in the garage.  Why are the mice in the garage?  I do not know.  I will have to ask one, someday.
Why does the mouse have chicken legs?
I do not know.  I thought it
looked good and I'm kind of
tired right now.

Yon stupid cat catches the mice, brings the mice into the house, and then releases the mice.  Yon mouse, who is obviously smarter than the cat, runs like hell and hides.  Yon humans also run and hide and throw in screams for variety.
If I had legs like these, I'd be really,
really, really pissed off.

Yesterday was no exception.

Here's a brief interlude for the person who just asked, "If the cat does this, then why, pritheetell, do you allow him to go back into the garage?"  Well, I did restrict him to daytime hours when the meeces don't seem to be active and it made him happy, because he's stupid and he doesn't realize that the meeces keep nighttime hours.  However, one mouse was obviously up and about during daytime and made the mistake of coming into the garage when the cat lies in wait.  I believe this particular mouse was stupider than the cat.

I will explain.

1.  As I've said, the mouse pranced into the garage during daylight hours.

2.  The mouse did not look right in front of him where the cat was just sitting there waiting for any mouse to prance in.

3.  The mouse did not immediately turn and run back outside.

4.  When Megaroy brought the mouse inside the house (I rhymed) and let him go, the mouse did not take the opportunity to run like hell.  Instead, the mouse turned, got onto his hind legs, and batted at Megaroy's face.  Imagine being chased by a Tyrannosaurus Rex and stopping to bat at the dinosaur's face.  Yes, exactly.  Dumb cat.  Dumber mouse.

5.  And instead of running outside, when the front door was opened for it, the mouse went for the sideboard where the moron cat laid on his side, idly pawing underneath for the pugilistic mouse.  And Megaroy, being moron cat, did not catch the mouse.  In fact, he eventually gave up and wanted to go back into the garage, where he might be able to catch a lesser violent mouse to play with.

Stupid cat.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

On Shopping OR OH NOES, Fat Woman Went to the Store Again With Her Handy-Dandy Droid

Yes, there may be ranting or a bunch of words that could be construed as ranting.  Oh, the hell with it, I'm going to rant.
I call him, Mr. Cresty.
(I may need help with legal
fees when Crest sues me.)
Recently, as many of my stories begin, I went shopping at Target.  (Also a frequent contributor/participant of my blogs.)  HIM, the man to whom I'm married (Also a frequent contributor/participant/target of my literary wrath.) requested toothpaste.  Having been married to HIM for a number of decades I knew he wanted Crest paste.  Plain old paste.  (No other would do for HIM.  HIM would die, would wither helplessly on the floor of the bathroom, if I had brought home...insert death march music here...gel.)  I went into the toothpaste aisle and stood there for about twenty minutes.

There was an entire shelf of Crest toothpastes and amazingly all of the boxes looked pretty much the same.  There was Crest gel.  Crest with Scope.  Crest with stripes.  Crest with glitter.  Crest with sparkles and glitter.  Crest with a cherry on top.  (You have to take a moment to imagine six feet by six feet of pure Crest products and me standing in front of it as if I had been hypnotized.  I had been trapped by...more death march music here...merchandising.)

Think of this picture except the ENTIRE wall of crest in boxes that all look the same.
I mean I stood there and couldn't find a single damn box that said paste on it.  Now I will tease HIM, for HIM's OCD tendencies are what led me to that sorry state of affairs.  HIM only wants Crest paste.  Not Crest gel.  Not Crest liquid mega-white.  Not Crest that makes you shoot stars out of your butt.  (Idea for Crest, since they already have everything else.)  No, HIM wants Crest paste and I couldn't find it.  I thought about finding a shopping thing (which is what I call the clerks/employees of various stores) but the idea of them staring at me stupidly while saying, "I dunno where that is," just makes my stomach twist into knots.
See. That one is Crest Pro-Health whitening.  Because it can't be anti-health non-whitening.  No that would be insane.
This one was Crest complete extra fresh because all the other Crests are secretly NOT complete.  Maybe they think it's like a secret they're sharing with you.  "Psst, dumbass in the toothpaste aisle, don't buy the just Crest paste, buy the Crest complete extra fresh because the Crest paste is icky-poo-city."  (Note to HIM.)

They also have Crest 3d.  And I believe it was Colgate that has the moniker, optic white.  While I can understand the need for adjectives that enliven and perk up your product, I think these guys are going overboard.  (AN ENTIRE SHELF, FROM FLOOR TO ONE FOOT OVER MY HEAD, filled with various types of Crest toothpastes.  That's a lot of frigging toothpaste.  So obviously they had to get jiggy with the adjectives.)
Crest Sensitivity.  Original formula.  Odd, I didn't know they made other types of Crest Sensitivity.  And look, it's maximum strength for sensitivity.  It's the strongest, sensitive tooth stuff you can buy for your pussy teeth.

Let us now examine adjectives in our life.  Let us now rephrase that.  Let us now flipping examine mother**king adjectives in our bleeping life.  Do advertisers, wait, barglefarping advertisers think that we need colorful, wondrous, tremendous adjectives or else we will not be interested in their bland, underwhelming, boring products?  I think yes.  So why doesn't Crest come in twenty different boxes with distinct color variations?  Because once your mundane, snurglepoofed eyes get caught in the mind-numbing wonder that is the flipperific eyesore of the Crest aisle, they hope you won't look away.  (Or at least until you've bought more Crest stuff.)

Somewhere there is a study where Crest looked to see if people who were trapped in the Crest toothpaste aisle bought more Crest stuff.  (I've gotten tired of using bleeping adjectives, you'll forgive me.)  And now I'm going to make the toothpaste carton talk because I've gotten completely off the sanity train.
See, Mr. Cresty is just a good ol' comedian.
What does this have to do with finding the Crest paste in the toothpaste aisle?  Well, nothing, but it amuses me and there you go.
And an entertainer at heart.  He wants to
clean your teeth AND sing for you.
Anyway I finally found the the very bottom on the left.  There were three tubes left.  Apparently HIM is the only one left in the greater Alabama area who wants to use paste and not gel.  Well, HIM has to have the paste for some reason.  I just wish I hadn't been caught like a deer in the headlights of a speeding car at the Target toothpaste aisle.
Also Mr. Cresty wants to find the right woman.

And there is the end of my sad, toothpaste lament.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Crimson Bayou - A Mystery

Now available online...

Crimson rays from the sun's morning light shine on an isolated bayou and expose the body of a young woman.

Mignon Thibeaux, a renowned artist and recently returned local, is adapting to the slow-paced life of the Cane River and its enigmatic people.  It is she who finds the young woman floating in the bayou, strangled and left in the timorous dark waters.  It is also Mignon who will become embroiled in the hunt for the person who is responsible for the young woman's death.

Mignon will discover she has more in common with the dead girl than she would have ever imagined, including being related to Mignon's murdered mother.  The exotic world of the Louisianan Creoles has bloomed into a locale providing the impetus for a vile murder.  Danger and knowledge vie for dominance, and only Mignon can unravel its secrets.

Buy it here at B&N.

Buy it here at Amazon.

Buy it here at Smashwords.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

More Things I Learned While Traveling...

Of course, you had to know that I wasn't done ranting.  Why?  Because I hadn't yet made the plane ride home from Spokane.

Due to circumstances I was forced to fly three planes home and started off with an on time flight from Spokane to Portland (Oregon).  All was well but I didn't get to see mountains because it was cloudy and because the man next to me in the window seat shut his window cover and couldn't take his eyes off the flight attendant's cleavage.  (Pretty sure he needed a special eye doctor after that flight.)  I don't know how she managed to have cleavage in that outfit, but she did.  It was Alaska Airlines and they have a little cloth bustier thing that made this lady very happy.  However, she didn't really care for the man's attention because she kept mentioning her "boyfriend", her "child", and the fact that she lived in "Medford" (Oregon), and hated it.  (Sorry Medfordians, I didn't say it.  She did.)
Anyway, it turned out that watching the sixtysomething man drool over the twentysomething stew's cleavage was the "good" flight.  I got to sit in 1B and I was the first one off the plane.  (I do not know how this happened.  It will probably never happen again.)  This would be like an omen, a sign of impending doom for the day to come.  (The first thing is good.   Then everything rolls downhill.  Like poop, except smellier and with wings and perky flight attendants.)

The next flight was from Portland to Atlanta.  I got the window seat this time.  I also got adolescents.  Two of them.  Boy adolescents.  When they saw that they had to sit with me in the same aisle, their little horndog hearts broke on the spot.  (I heard the noise.  I did.)  For the empty window seat, they'd been hoping for the twentysomething supermodel/hooker with a heart of gold/billionaire stripper who travels economy looking for cute young things to hook up with.  Seriously, their faces went like this:
Please.  Please. Please. Please.  Please.

Upon realizing that I was to be their seatmate, they went to this:
Oh, poopcicles.

It was very sad.  I didn't really mind as I cannot possibly be mistaken for the twentysomething supermodel/hooker with a heart of gold/billionaire stripper.  However, the skinny little fifteen year old in the seat next to me kept snatching his elbow back everything he accidentally touched my side, as if his arm had been dipped in acid and then looking at me as if I was a troll.  (I was getting tired by that time and I might have looked like a troll.  I certainly felt like a troll with my ass permanently attached to the seat.  Seriously, I had to ask the flight attendant for a spatula.)  About the twentieth time he did that, I snapped, "I don't want to touch you anymore than you want to touch me, kiddo."  It turns out that you can fit two adolescent horndogs into one airplane seat, because after my snarkiness, the kid moved so far to the left, he was practically sitting on his brother's lap.  (Their mommy was sitting toward the front of the plane.  Smart lady.  She came back precisely twice on a four hour flight to check on them but only because she was genetically required to do so.  She was enjoying her man-alone time and no, Daddy, or possibly Daddy-replacement number unknown, did not check on the two demon spawn.)

Also, personal note to the young woman with the TWO boxes of Voodoo Donuts who got on at Portland, you can sit next to me anytime.  (Voodoo Donuts makes voodoo doll men donuts, Captain my Crunch donuts, bacon maple bars, which DO have bacon on them, and the triple chocolate penetration donut.  See here.  I'm totally not making it up.)
Think I saw this guy in Atlanta.
The third flight I was in the middle seat, which is inarguably the suckiest seat to have, but fortune smiled!  No one was in the window seat, so I moved on over and slept with my head against the window.  I don't remember the flight because by this time, it was midnight and the flight had been delayed for two hours AND the person manning the boarding pass checking machine was too stupid to have that responsibility.  (She took someone's boarding pass, scanned it, listened to it bleep in dismay and flash RED, RED, RED!  Then she scanned it again.  Same boarding pass.  It did the same thing.  She did this twenty-two times.  I started counting after the third time.  Twenty-two times.  After the tenth time I was ready to shriek at her and possibly fling feces at her, for good measure.  After the twenty-second time she scratched her bouffant hair.  She looked confused.  Then she went to her computer and left the other people waiting to board just standing there.  Me included.  We just stood there looking at the estimated take-off time change from 11:50 p.m. to 12:05 a.m. to 12:15 a.m.  Then she finally just let the people with the weird boarding pass on the plane without doing anything else.  So much for security because that fine, outstanding, airline representative was on the job doing her thang.)  (This is why they sell $7 alcoholic drinks on planes now and people do buy them.  I totally got the rum and coke for $7.)  Of course, we sat in the plane for about twenty minutes while the bouffant consulted with the flight attendants about proper boarding pass machine procedure before the door was finally shut and everyone sighed a massive, simultaneous sigh of relief.  (Kind of like gas but not as smelly.)

Finally, we landed and I swear my luggage was the last one (LA-ASSSSSSS-TTTTTT) to come out of the tunnel/chute/thingymabob.  This I fore swear.  Also the next time I buy luggage I'm buying neon pink zebra striped ones so I know exactly where mine is.)
See.  This kid knows how to travel right.
I hate flying.  I hate flying.  I hate flying.

Coming Soon - Bubba and the Curse of the Boogity-Boo. Available December 21st, 2018 It’s two weeks until Bubba’s wife, Willodean...