Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Bullied by Life and Work

Life and work are ganging up on me right now. I'd report them to someone for bullying me but the folks I'd report them to are probably on the side of the bullies. Certainly no time to write any fiction, although the ideas are coming fast and furious. I'm gonna try to maintain my blogging for now but will be making some short posts for a bit.

Today I'll just casually drop a mention of Write With Fire, my book on writing, which is available at Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

Here's a little piece from the introduction about the book:

If you’re wondering why you’re holding a book on writing by someone who is not famous, well, most writers aren’t famous. Most of us work hard at our craft without the benefit of big advances and multi-city tours. Most of us never have autograph parties with lines so long that our hands cramp from signing our names. For many of us, writing is something that we beg, borrow, or steal the time for while our other job keeps the bill collectors at bay.

I’m lucky that as a college teacher in the field of psychology part of my job is to write and to teach and study writing. I hope that’s given me a perspective on the field that can be of use to others, but like most of you reading this I still struggle for every bit of writing success that I get. That struggle has been long, and it’s taught me a few things that I’ve tried to put into the essays that follow. I hope you enjoy.

In case you're wondering what's in the book, you can "look inside" at Amazon. But here's the table of contents below:

Part One: ……………………………………………………………
So You Want to be a Writer ……………………………………
First Words …………………………………………………….……
Writer’s Block No More ……….………………………….…………
Tipping the Odds in Your Favor ……………………….……………
Writing with Purpose ………..………………………………………
Don’t Talk, Write! ..……..…………………………………………..
Writing With Confidence …….……………………………………..
RQW3R …………………………………………………..…………
Five Habits of Publishing Writers ………………………………….
Quick Versus Slow Suspense ……………………………………….
Six Steps to Creating Suspense ............…………………………
The Mechanics of Suspense ……...…..……………………………..
Creating Sympathetic Characters …........………………….……
Characters: The Best and the Rest ….…….....…………………
Harvesting Memories ……….……………………………………….
Writing Your Past for Fun and Profit ………………………………
The First Rule of Endings ……………………………………………
The Curse of the Lazy Ending ……………………………………….
Endings: What’s at Stake ……………………………………………
The Physical Side of Writing …………………………………..……
One Way to Put a Style Together ……………………………………
Writing for Excess (With “Barbarian’s Bane”) ………………………
Writing With Attitude ……………………………….……………….
Selling and Reselling (With “To The Point”) ………….…………….
The Working Man’s Curse …………….……….…………….………
Punctuate It and Forget It! …………………….………….…………..
Problem Words ……………………………………………………….
A Grammar Primer …………………………………………………...
Rewrite, Rewrite, Rewrite ……………………………………………
By Example ………………………………………………………….
Before you Submit, Don’t Forget ..…………………………………

Part Two: ………………………………………………………………
Writing Groups …………………….………………………………...
Page-Turners: What Makes Them, What Breaks Them ..…………
In Praise of the Net ……................…..………………………………
Blogging: Pros and Cons ..….……………………………………….
Pro Versus Amateur ………………………………………………….
Expand Your Mind …………………………………………………..
Fun With Fear ………………………………………………………..
Why Horror ………………………………………………………….
Horror Writers: The Crazy Truth …………..…….………………
The Horror Lists ……………………………………………………..
Dream Stories …………………….…………………….……………
Criticism Hurts ………………………………………………………
An Error in Detail ..........................
Ernest Hemingway: A Writer’s Life and Death ..…………….……
Jack London: Two Fisted Writer …………………………………….
Ken Bulmer: A Death in the Family..………………………………..
Where Have all the Good Themes Gone ……………………….……
Writing Weather ……………………………………………………..
What the Writer Wants ..……………………………………………..
Rest in Peace: Short Story .………………………………………….
Five Years Down the Road …………………………………………..

Part Three ..……………………………………………………………
A Writer on the Run …………………………………………………
Readin’, Writin’ and Me ……………………………………………..
Death By Prose ..……………………………………………………..


Bibliography ..………………………………………………………… P. 286
------
------

43 comments:

Travis Cody said...

I do know that feeling. It seems these days that even a 5 minute diversion of my attention at work causes me to fall half a day behind.

And by the time I get home in the evening, I just don't want to have a computer in front of me anymore.

Drizel said...

Lekker lekker......Nice in various ways in my language( Afrikaans).

Chris said...

This has been sitting in my Amazon queue unordered for some time now. I have an order to make this weekend -- I'll finally make this one happen. I am certain it will be excellent!

Keith said...

I understand about life and work ganging up on you. I've got two sets of exams in front of me as I write this that should have already been graded. I'd rather be writing than working on them.

Heather said...

I hope life gives you a break soon Charles! It's funny how we get so many ideas when we don't have the time to work them out isn't it? That happens to me too - I think a busy brain just works better than a brain that has time to overthink

Charles Gramlich said...

Travis Cody, I know. I'm starting to feel like I'm already plugged into the matrix.

Drizel, cool.

Chris, I hope you enjoy it. It was a long time in the making. Those essays were written over about a 15 year span before I put them all together.

Keith, I give an exam tomorrow and am not looking forward to grading it. It'll be time for mid-terms to be turned in after that.

Charles Gramlich said...

Heather, I know, it's weird. It happens to me all the time, and I think it's kind of my brain taunting me! :)

Tom Doolan said...

I know the feeling about life and work seeming to gang up on you. But, I'm sure you been here before, so I have confidence that you will make it through again.

And I SO need to get this book. OFrtunately, my "Christmas List" will consist of me emailing the link to my Amazon Wish List. So, there's a good chance I could get it. :)

Paul R. McNamee said...

Not exactly bullying, but I seem spent for free time lately, too. Maybe it's the change of seasons. Hopefully, after this week, I will have a semi-normal routine - at least for the Fall.

Shrinky said...

It's amazing the excuses I come up with to avoid seriously sitting down to write - all valid, of course (blush)..

Just came over from X-Dell, having thoroughly applauded your comment.

Merisi said...

Between late August and Thanksgiving the days don't have 24 hours, do they?

I hope you'll soon find yourself with more times again!

I realized a few days ago that Thanksgiving is just around the corner. *hoohoo*

Merisi said...

My English is getting worse by the hour! :-(

Charles Gramlich said...

Tom Doolan, I know, so many books I want, not enough money.

Paul, next week is midterms for us but after that I hope for a step back.

Shrinky, thankee for visiting. I appreciate it.

Merisi, I am going to try to hang on for Thanksgiving. It can't come soon enough for me.

BernardL said...

No matter the interference... thank you Lord for a good day job. :)

Erik Donald France said...

*Write With Fire:* I keep a copy on my office shelf at work for ready reference -- it's both pragmatic and inspiring and reminds me always that a certain amount of discipline is important in any successful venture.

David J. West said...

I hear ya Charles, I haven't been able to get anything productive (except a couple rejections) for the last month and a half.

I'm hoping to make this a great winter of writing to make up for things-all the best in your work.

Deka Black said...

I know the feeling. I'll say something: Take notes about the ideas you're having. My notepad has saved manyideas in the past.Memory is good. But put all the eggs in a single basket isn't good.

Charles Gramlich said...

Bernardl, oh believe me I'm grateful. That's why I've gotta work hard in the next week or so to keep it. :)

Erik, thanks, man. I appreciate those kind words. Makes me feel good that it is useful and being used.

David J., Yes, I'm hoping it won't be the winter of my discontent. :)

Deka, I do jot down those ideas that really engage me, or at I start a piece and just do a couple of paragraphs and a quick outline. It helps when I come back to it.

Greg said...

Nice intro. That book is definitely on my to-get list.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Add blogging to your list and you'll know why I'm not writing. I need to go download your book - is it in eBook form?

X. Dell said...

I found many of the anecdotal discussions of writers and their approach to craft to be the most valuable (not to mention enjoyable) part of Write with Fire. The rest of the book's pretty good too. So to all who may be interested, BUY IT!

the walking man said...

As soon as i finish Hard Times by another fiction writer I will pick this one up...I assume it's not kindle or you would have said so.

Even though I have no more desires to write any more long pieces of prose I am going to assume that there is some gems in there for a poetry man.

I went and stated an opinion on Mondays post there.

Hope you find the way to kick the bullies in the ass, if you need help I ain't that broken down yet!

laughingwolf said...

tis said work is the curse of the drinking class... seems the same can be said of the artistic class, as well ;) lol

Charles Gramlich said...

Greg, thankee, man

Alex, I'm afraid that one isn't. Just paper.

X-dell, thanks for the kind words, man. I'm glad you enjoyed.

Mark, there is some stuff about poetry in it. And quite a bit of stuff applies to prose and poetry I'd say, but it is more for prose writers.

Laughingwolf, I know. I finally got home this evening just exhausted. Gonna be hard to get anything done this evening but I need to.

Cloudia said...

Definitely worth mentioning!

Hope you shoot the rapids with grace-





Aloha from Honolulu;

Comfort Spiral



> < } } ( ° >

><}}(°>

Ron Scheer said...

On the cusp of retirement, I find myself doing what I feel like doing, even if the papers are stacked up and waiting for me. It's my last chance to get fired. Ironically, my boss asked me again today if there was some way he could persuade me to stay another 10 years. Ha. No way.

Charles Gramlich said...

Cloudia, I doubt I'll manage much grace but I'll probably live through it. :)

Ron, I tell you, I'll be so ready when I get the chance to retire. I won't hesitate a second.

Angie said...

Got it, read it, good stuff. [nod]

My last 24 hours or so have been fairly well full of suck, so I empathize with your busyness.

Oh, hey, while I was walking through the New Orleans airport yesterday, I saw a big billboard thing on the wall for Xavier University. I waved and said "Hi Charles!" :D Then the shuttle actually drove past it on the way downtown and I did it again. That was pretty cool, for a totally random reason. [grin]

Angie

Charles Gramlich said...

Angie, cool. Xavier is hard to miss with the green roofs. Locally, they call us OZ, after the emerald city, not the prison. ;)

Rick said...

Charles, "Writer With Fire" is still one of the best writing books out there. As for life and work ganging up on us, it's time to hire a doppleganger. Think of how much fun you could have with that.

sage said...

I found your book, "Write with Fire" to be very helpful and enjoyed it and have recommend it to others. As far as a busy life, I hear you!

Charles Gramlich said...

Rick, I've fantasized about a doppleganger several times. I could get stuff done and still get some sleep.

Sage, thanks, I appreciate that, man.

Elaine Ash said...

Now this was a good commercial, because I'm going to Amazon to buy it now.
Elaine Ash

The Golden Eagle said...

Hope you get some time soon!

It sounds like a great book on writing--I'm definitely putting this on my list of nonfiction to read.

Charles Gramlich said...

Elaine, cool. I hope you enjoy.

Golden Eagle, I'm pretty proud of it. I think it brings together a lot of important information in one place, although I wouldn't mind revising it and expanding it too.

ivan said...

We seem to play tricks on ourselves.

So one finally quits the job, puts his eggs in one basket, rents a cotttage so he can devote all his time to writing or painting.

So what happens?

Blank canvas feeling.

Now is the time to bring up all those ideas you had while you were still in the portrait painting crapcan of work.
But no.
Blank canvas.

Lord, I can't seem to complete a novel unless my balls are in a stock and I am raddled with work!

Harry Markov said...

Congrats on the new book release and I hope that your situation improves. It sucks when two things coalesce to exclude writing.

Charles Gramlich said...

Ivan, the older I get the harder it is for me to work that way. Or maybe I'm just getting more and more lazy.

Harry, I guess I had a light spell at school, but now it's coming back full circle to heavy again. Just gotta live through it.

JR's Thumbprints said...

I know a little bit about bullying ... more so with my personal life than at work. Heck, it's taken me six months just to get back into a "semi-routine." Still getting used to my new writing place.

David Cranmer said...

"... we beg, borrow, or steal the time." Amen to that, Charles.

Charles Gramlich said...

JR, disruptions certainly take their toll!

David Cranmer, a truism, for sure.

Mary Witzl said...

I swear to God, just reading your table of contents has made me want to write! Although I think I know a lot of this stuff already, much of it I've never sat down and organized in my own mind. And for those things that I DO know, it's good to have them validated.

I really do need your book. I'm going to put it on my Christmas list, along with half a dozen MG/YA novels I want.

Charles Gramlich said...

Mary Witzl, well then I hope Santa brings it to you. :)