June 6, 2011

Brain Spaz

       Warning: This post may be completely scattered at random. 

     This week, I vowed to put down this book and not even look at it. I won't perfect formatting, I won't question myself, I won't plan more marketing strategies, I won't... I won't... I won't. 

    It's been a much needed break. My housework is all caught up, I've seen family and friends, and done a lot of fishing. I love fishing. The best part, though, has been cracking open some old works rewinding back in time when I wasn't ready to start putting things out there. This very moment, I have one finished novel, and six other novels in the making. After not looking at some of them for literally months, they were all fresh and exciting. I can't wait to look at my published list one day in the (FAR) future and have all of them done and in print.

Anyhoo, I wanted to talk about something. I have this habit of nicknaming my characters. They start off with a typical name, and somewhere along the line, it usually gets shortened. It's strategically incorporated in the hopes that my readers can feel closer to these characters by having something more personal to call them. It's something we do in everyday life. I don't remember the last time I called my daughter by her name. Since she was a wee little tot, she's been "Sassy". My husband, also, has been "Cricket", and my son, "Pepper". I wonder why I have this incessant need to nickname everything? Just ask Robert and Richard, two men who I used to work with, better known as Bobert and Dickard. Do you nickname your characters? Or is this just another of my strange quirks?

Back to fishing... (I warned you). While I was patiently waiting for something to bite, I was scribbling about on my notebook. Here's a glimpse of what goes through my mind while I'm scribbling to myself: 

Fishing is all about trust, or at least trying to mimic it. The best way to catch a fish is to gain it's trust. If you can put something out there that the fish believes is an easy meal, well, there you go. 

My fishing trip tonight has made me think a lot about trust. I think it's the single most fragile thing in the universe, and so important at the same time. Trust should come in a padded carton, like an egg -- instead it hangs by a thread out there in the balance just waiting to be dropped and broken. 

Another random thing -- I was going to post a pic of my notebook instead of typing it, but I fear no other human can read my handwriting. Thank heavens for keyboards. 

I also wrote out a life motto. What's a life motto? --  you ask. It's sort of like the golden rule. It's a code of ethics that I think everyone should write for themselves, and reflect back on it frequently. I'm not going to post my detailed code out here, but the last line of it, I really use a lot. 

Before you do anything, ask yourself: How many people will this hurt?

Enough randomness for one day. If you have character nicknames, tell me what they are. Also, if you have anything to add to my excerpts on trust and ethics, feel free to share. I love to hear what other people think about these things. 


  1. Great stuff - LOL! You nickname your characters and I talk to myself while writing! All part of a writers's life, me thinks :o)

  2. I used to think this deeply. Now I'm lucky if I can focus on a piece of writing (much less a thought) for five minutes.

    Love the comparison between trust and an egg. How to put it back together again?

    And while I don't give my characters nicknames, I do talk to myself while I write, like D. U.; thus is it rather embarrassing when I've shouted some dialog and my husband pops his head in the door. "What did you want?" Focus killer! Gah!

  3. I don’t nickname any of my characters… yet; I do almost everyone I know, so I just might start doing it. I just never thought about it really, and probably wouldn’t have progressed there on my own.

    I do see how it would help the reader connect to the characters… I mean, who doesn’t like nicknames?

  4. I love the idea of the life motto. I've made a few of those myself, and it always helps me to feel centered when I go back and read them.

    Oh, and I like the new look of your blog!


  5. I love the idea of life motto:) Maybe i should have one or make one of my own :D

  6. @D.U. -- yes, I think as writers, we are entitled to do things that others may find disturbing. It's one of the many perks.

    @Court - now when I think about trust I can't help but see Humpty Dumpty falling off the wall

    @Jeff - I dunno anyone who doesn't like them. I don't even mind all the ones I get stuck with that are usually in reference to my height.

    @Scott - thank you! I thought it was time to stray away from the default templates

    @JoRoss - You definitely should. It helps you to "practice what you preach"