Tag Archives: Gerardine Baugh

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group-January Blog Post

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group

 http://www.alexjcavanaugh.com/p/the-insecure-writers-support-group.html

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

January 4 Question: What writing rule do you wish you’d never heard? ~TheIWSG

There isn’t a writing rule that I wished to have never heard of: whenever someone mentions rules, I tend to fall asleep….

I have found that the more I read and delve into an idea; even those rules become more convoluted. I have a need to bricoler (tinker) inside those flow of words, meld with the colors, feel the whispers and to see how those rules were (are) played with by artists and writers, to see how they used them or didn’t.

https://www.pexels.com

I wonder if I missed the rules on writing this post…

Truth be told, I believe that all rules need to be broken. Every red button labeled ’don’t press’ needs to be pressed just so I can see what would happen: a rainbow car tumbles out a Clown Alley of critics with their trusty red markers, taking it out on my imagination.

screen-shot-2017-01-04-at-9-15-55-pm

I got past worrying about state of being verbs. Stumbled over commas, I add one every time I exhale; is that worse than using none. Or counting every ‘the’ … twelve,  just saying.

I started wondering about the path that forks out towards a Quotidian world or Balzacian or Bourgeois, let’s not forget Jamesian and Metaleptic telling or told. I started scratching my head over Metaphysics to show existence, then wiggling over to Ontology: straining to hear Social Realism whispering in dark corners. A few shakes of empty soup cans, rattling with dried peas, a sorry imitation of bongo drums. All the while looking confused at the honing steel hanging out in Kitchen Sink scenes, pointing down the hall to the fogged up mirrors of Romanticism.

The best or maybe my grandparent’s favorite was ‘bathtub gin’ it helped them not to worry about rules.

 

Fifth Video Lesson Research James Patterson’s MasterClass

Friday’s Video Lesson 5  from James Patterson’s MasterClass.

For those who don’t understand these posts. I am taking James Patterson’s MasterClass. Every Friday I will post  a few words about what I learned and what I am pondering , about this lesson. This week is lesson five. If you have questions post them here. Or, if you want to join this class, then click the link in the left top sidebar.

James Patterson masterclass lesson five
James Patterson masterclass lesson five

This lesson is about the information you will need to fill out your story.

RESEARCH

“The more you BS when you are writing a book the worse it is” ~ James Patterson

SEEK INSPIRATION

“For male readers, details can never be enough. If you get it wrong you lose them. If you as a writer can’t get your facts straight, how can your readers believe anything in the story? Don’t fake it! Don’t make it up.”~ James Patterson

KNOW YOUR LOCATIONS

“If you are writing about a city it is important in your story you need to be there. Wandering around a new city, what do you notice?”~James Patterson

My thoughts went off in the direction of  drawing up a map. You will need a map of ‘where’ your story takes place.  Your characters won’t be floating in space. They need a place to live, to move around, to cause damage.

If your setting is in a city block, how many houses are on this street? If it is in the country or an apartment building, how many people live there? How many pets? How many kids? Where are the trees? Fences and the grocery store, the library? Just like in your neighborhood show where your characters’ take a walk, and how do they get to work? A bus? A car? Do they walk or jog or ride a bike?

Can’t draw. Then do a search on Google Maps. Try your own home address. Or go right to the location of your novel. Move the map around, find the right street. Make sure you have the local flavor, the grocery store, library, or coffee shop. You will see each street labeled. You can get in closer and explore the area right on ground level.

copy a map from google maps
copy a map from google maps

Try this with any town. Take a screen shot. Copy it out by hand or print it out. You have the beginnings of your setting. Your story map.

Be as detailed as you like

Now back to James Patterson’s MasterClass.

CONDUCT INTERVIEWS
James Patterson said, “Mostly you won’t have trouble getting an interview. People like to talk about what they do.”

I wonder if in his  first interview he was nervous?  Is he still nervous? I wonder if he was ever turned down for an interview?

With the Cross book, James Patterson had to learn about forensic psychology to make his book believable.

What I got out of this, was to write about what you know- then learn the rest. Talk to people. Find someone, who can do what you need to learn. Go to the library. Look on the Internet, ask questions, find the information then write about it.

As an example: You need to learn how to fly a hot air balloon. Check out the Internet. Find a company who will take you up in a hot air balloon. Then once you are up in the big blue yonder, you can start asking questions. Always be polite and request that interview instead of cornering people.

I just did a Google search on ‘Hot Air Balloon’ rides near me and found, Nostalgia Ballooning. So many beautiful pictures!

Lesson Five has a workbook,  a comment section, and a video critique if you have questions on this or any lesson, you can post a video for Mr. Patterson.

From me: read, read, read, you will learn a lot about how to write,  by reading and picking apart someone else’s stories.

See you next Friday for lesson six of James Patterson’s MasterClass. If you want to take this class, click on the link in the -top-left sidebar.

Fourth Video Lesson Plot James Patterson’s MasterClass

Lesson 4 Plot James Patterson's MasterClass
Lesson 4 Plot James Patterson’s MasterClass

Video Lesson 4 PLOT

“Story is about the thrills, and twists and turns, but more than anything else it’s about revealing character.” ~James Patterson

What I learned from Jim Patterson in lesson four.

  1. Characters are revealed by their action
  2. Try to write every chapter, as it was your first chapter in a book.
  3. Set out to write a number one story thriller, with a number one story idea.
  4. Don’t write a single chapter that doesn’t ‘t propel the story forward
  5. Leave out all the parts readers are going to skim.
  6. Tell my story, map out my story, in ten or fifteen minutes

James Patterson mentions E.M Forster and his famous description of a plot.

The king died and the queen died is a story

The king died and the queen died of grief, is a plot

What does this mean? What I see… When that Queen died from grief you can add the love story, the reason for her death. The cause of her death, from there you have the beginnings of a story. From there you add in the ‘why’ that Queen loved the King so much she died when he did. You will wonder how the King died. You get it?

James Patterson said to, “Find the conflict in your characters.”

He also used The Great Gatsby’s plot: Gatsby has everything anyone could dream of except love. Gatsby gets love. Gatsby loses love and loses everything. And that’s Gatsby.

The rest are all those questions, problems, and the reasons why Gatsby did what he did.

Listen carefully to lesson 4 video, do the assignment. Have a question ask it. Have a comment post it.  Watch that video as many times as you need to.

See you in class.

The writer finished James Patterson’s Masterclass.

The writer finished James Patterson’s Masterclass then wrote a mystery.

 

Second Lesson Passion & Habit James Patterson’s MasterClass Writing Friday

Friday’s writing . I am on lesson two in James Patterson’s MasterClass.

Video two: Passion & Habit

James Patterson starts with, “someone said, you’re lucky if you find something in life you love, and it’s a miracle if someone pays you to do it.”

Now I have heard other people say something similar, but for me, at this moment, James Patterson said it in his second video lesson.

This second video was filled with a positive, uplifting talk on his path to being a writer.

He spoke of his Vanderbilt professor, Walter Sullivan.

He tells us he stayed a week in a Trappist monastery trying to find himself {or was it the inner writer?}

Read. Read. Read! Practice! Practice! Practice!

James Patterson’s grandfather loved to sing on the way to work. His grandfather’s advice was, “…just remember when you go over the mountain to work in the morning you got to be singing.” Which, that advice, flows into ‘find something you love to do.’

Hmmm! My Grandpa’s advice was, you work until you die. Singing came with a beer, baseball and lobbing pigeon eggs at his neighbor.

James Patterson said, “Pick out what you think, you can handle and deal with…”

His first novel was turned down by thirty-one publishers. After five rejections he could have given up.

I can tell you what I learned from these video classes.

*Pick a time to write each day and write!*

This class may or may not click for you. It is possible that after listening to James Patterson’s video lessons, you will jump up and yell, Ah-ha! I got it! You will hug everyone and say, I now understand how to become a well know, well-read, rich author. Or not…

Feel like it. Get into that habit. That ritual. Make writing a joyful thing.

“Be driven by passion”

James Patterson still has the same passion he had when he started writing.

He tells us to force yourself to write whenever it is comfortable for you to write. Once it becomes a habit you won’t have to think about it.

His first book never got published. Mr. Patterson said, “that was yesterday today is today. He has been through rejection insecurities. He admits he has had a lot of rejections. He has the scars from those rejections.

Patterson said, “Keep that passion alive, it keeps you going through the hard times and makes you enjoy the good times”

Making a new habit is hard. Writing is hard. You have to open your imagination to create something new. Habits are easy when they come with immediate gratification.
For an example, cell phones; you get a new phone. Pretty buttons. Yeah, look at me with the shiny new toy. So you call, text, show it off. You feel good. So you keep using it. It feels even better than chocolate. You just developed a habit. A habit of using this phone and it started with ‘instant gratification.’

The million-dollar question is, how can I get into that habit of writing daily? A habit that comes without all the bells and whistles and a million likes. Do this; Elbows bent, hands held at shoulder level, palms up; add a slow silent shoulder shrug. That stupid grin is just for effect.

I have been trying to set a  habit of writing each morning. Ignoring the phone. Ignoring everything that calls out that isn’t writing.  Research has a tendency to pull me off track. I found that writing straight through, no editing , no wondering about details. Just writing.  I got to get rid of that delete button…

Write, write, write! Write without a pat on the back. Write without showing my stories to family and friends. Write to set the habit of writing at the same time, in the same place, every day.

Set up your habit. Do your happy dance with a song.  Pat yourself on the back. Then tell me about it?

Bucks are dangerous when they are trolling~ Deer mating season in Hampshire

A walking path is never even. That was the thought in my head this afternoon when I headed out through the garage. The winds were coming at me from the northwest, cold and strong. First thing I wanted to do was collect one large bag of trash from the pole barn, there seems to be a never ending supply of junk in that barn.
As I opened up the barn I kept talking out loud to myself, I was hoping that the skunk who lives around the barn would scurry away when it heard me coming.

I consider it a good outing when nothing furry tries to chase me down:-)

After I had one bag stuffed and tied off I looked off towards the back path, or what use to be the back path. My tractor had stopped working this summer, as well as the gas mower. So parts of my lawn /field grass were ankle to waist high, making my walk an arduous excursion. I still had the narrow path that Uriah had carved. I decided to take a walk, before deep snow erased that path.

I stopped my non-stop, keep-away-animal chatter as I hit the lowest part of the path. I followed a line though the grass then turned to the left and walked on the incline, sidestepping a section riddle with burrows.

I made a mental note to bring with a small saw or heavy clippers next time, and cut the invading Bog Willows away from the old path.

I continued on towards the east invisible fence line. I turned towards the north and a wave of sadness hit. I kept walking.

I was in an area where, years before, I had been charged by a forty pound raccoon. At that time I had three dogs with me, they all saved my life.

I stopped and listened. Winds blasted over the oldest Bog Willows and rustled the tops of the four to five foot dried grass , then blew past me.

“ I think I need to walk a different path …” I said that out loud.

Instantaneously, a buck stood up, not more than forty feet from where I was standing.

I can’t speak for the buck,..for me, that moment moved in slow motion.

I stopped breathing and froze! I was hoping that he wouldn’t notice me standing in front of him wearing a bright orange jacket, I closed my eyes ..I really wished that would make me disappear!

A male deer’s mating, or rutting season is around November. Bucks are attitude with pointy antlers. And I found myself standing too close to one. If he charged at me he could use those antlers or stomp on me, yes they do that! Ouch!

When the buck rose up from where he had been resting, he slowly turned in my direction. I could see the wind slightly ruffling his fur as it blew towards me, lucky for me I was down wind. He snorted as he stood up and again as he faced me. He stomped the ground, and raised his head up and smelled the air.

At this point I was trying to become a turtle and shrink into my coat.

I didn’t breath! I didn’t move, that is supposed to work right? Or it that only for bears?

After a minute he turned and took a couple of steps away, snorting indignantly. Then with three effortless jumps, he disapeared in the trees. I got an impression he had springs for legs.

It took me a couple of minutes to relax and head back to the house.

Note to self… Tomorrows walk will be taken in the open, empty farm field next door.

oct pic. leaves have fallen off
Tall grass hidding deer

Male deer are called bucks, bulls, stags or harts. Female deer are called does, cows or hinds. Young deer are called fawns or calfs.~ http://www.veganpeace.com/animal_facts/Deer.htm

April poem a day challenge!~

 I haven’t posted since the end of the Haiku challenge. I have been busy, busy, busy- pulling my hair out and wondering what sort of blockage is holding my muse for ransom..

Then a couple of days ago I stumbled on an article, then lost it later or I would post the link here:-( That article was an interview with a new author  he or she was asked when the next book would be out, the writer said “never!” That writing that one book was horrible, he/she had no life and the mental distress it caused him/her was over whelming.  I had a good laugh, then pulled out my crumpled up chapters and started over.

“You must keep sending work out; you must never let a manuscript do nothing but eat its head off in a drawer. You send that work out again and again, while you’re working on another one. If you have talent, you will receive some measure of success – but only if you persist.”
~Isaac Asimov    I also decided to make an attempt at a daily poem for April- April is the month for a poem a day challenge. I wrote a little blurb on the examiner.http://www.examiner.com/writing-179-in-chicago/gerardine-baugh I started-I am following, Poetic Asides by Robert Lee Brewerhttp://blog.writersdigest.com/poeticasides/

 

I have been sending my submissions to him through email, instead of posting on his site in the comments section. But today, I will post that poem here, and on his Blog.

 

I don’t get feedback by emailing him, I really don’t even know if he is getting the emails. I wanted to keep some poems unpublished, and that would be done by entering his poem a day challenge by email and not on a public forum.

 

I have great admiration for William, his muse never sleeps. http://www.williamm49.blogspot.com/

 

Uriah is doing well, he wants the weather to warm up so pecan go hunting rabbits  not that he ever caught one.

 

 

 

For April 4, 2011, Robert’s instructions were to “pick a type of person and write a poem about him or her”

I picked it apart so many times I didn’t know what I started with, I cut it up to only a few words then decided on the longer version.

 

Without further ado here’s todays poem.

“Teenager”

By Gerardine Baugh

None is more obvious than in the stance of a teenager waiting for the morning bus,

Dragging her feet across the gravel driveway she stops and stares down the road, facing away from the winds that burned her cheeks and lodged dust in her hair and eyes.

With a heavy sigh she brushes hair from her face she was hoping for a few quiet minutes on the bus to study for an algebra test, all but forgotten last night, opting instead to spend hours on the phone texting about guys.

The bus pulled to a squealing stop floating heads lean asleep against the windows no one is talking that morning ritual was left back at middle school when everyone was a chattering cercocebus.

Now excited banter is used on the ride home, an unspoken rule set by upperclassmen studying or partying or sleeping in unison, until they wake up to off color humor and mistrusts.

In one fluid movement she sets her book bag on her lap as she takes the last empty seat behind the driver hoping for a day free of surprises.

Fishing around in her bag she pockets change for the cafeteria, and pulls out a math book falling into its pages unaffected by her growling stomach and the erratic rocking of the school bus.

Finished National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo then I got sick

Hello, everyone! I finished the NaNoWriMo , with 50,163 words.  Articles with writing tips, on the Examiner, totaled out at 9,508 words.

  http://www.examiner.com/writing-in-chicago/day-thirtieth-of-the-national-novel-writing-month-winners-rejoice-at-endings

Add in the thirty videos, and I had a busy month.

 Then I got sick, and posted this video. Cold medicine makes me loopy. 

 

Woman hating Rooster free to good home!~ Or, how not to pull grass!

Careful they cut deep!

I was in the local grocery store yesterday, I was reading the bulletin board, and someone was giving away a rooster free of charge.

I pointed it out to Michael and mentioned we could get some hens and have fresh eggs. He started laughing, and told me to re-read the flyer and if I really want it, it’s fine by him. He just wants my camera to take the video of me and the new rooster..

This is what the flyer said:

Free Rooster- it hates kids and women- if you want him he’s yours..

Later that evening;

I was typing with one hand while Michael was muttering and snickering.
Earlier, at sundown, I was pulling weeds in the garden. Uriah was wandering, sniffing around trees and piles of cut grass for rabbits, ground squirrels, and moles.

I saw a large clump of grass, about a foot high, next to the strawberries. With my tunnel vision turned on, I knew that area had to be cleaned out. I had only a few more minutes and then I would be pulling weeds in the dark.

Working quickly, and using both hands, I grabbed a handful of the thick, woody, very dry grass and pulled.

The grass stayed in the ground.

I tugged harder.

I had a very tight hold on that grass, as it slipped through my hands. It gave me an Indian burn and sliced along my palm and fingers.

Uriah had wandered back, and was sitting in front of me, when I made an odd sounding squeak. He jumped up, with a look that said. “Whatever bit you isn’t going to get me!” And he ran and hid under the deck.

One of those heavy blades of grass, had sliced my little finger open wide and very deep. I saw that with the first glance. Clutching my hand, I headed into the house.

Michael was on the Xbox, playing; Red Dead Redemption, when I walked in trying to not drip blood on the carpet. He kept looking at me like I was speaking a different language.

Calmly, while holding my left hand out in front of me in a tight fist, I said for the third time. “I think I cut my finger off with a blade of grass..!”

Then he started laughing. I was not amused!

Then he began describing how he had to have stitches on his finger years before.

If you don’t know, you will now. I am very phobic of needles and sharp objects! Really! Michael is use to me not freaking, just warning doctors who take blood, then I get up and run.

So here he is telling me how they stitched his hand. Deadened the area, laid it open, scrapped it clean, and used a sharp needle to sew him up, five stitches…Wow! I’m getting very dizzy writing this.

Michael kept saying, “Time for the ER!”

I insisted that it wasn’t bleeding that bad- it finally stopped two hours later.

Michael asked, “You’re not going to bleed to death on the couch are you?”

I was sort of positive I wouldn’t. No blood squirting on the walls and I was still awake, all was good!

“No! I’m fine! I am stronger than a blade of grass! It was really sharp!” I shook my head and held my hand tight.
I washed off my hands and danced around the kitchen. I realized later the stinging was from the Indian burns and slices on the rest of my hand.

“Are you sure, you’re fine?” He asked again.

“No problem!” I smiled a goofy; I’m going to pass out look if you keep mentioning how they stitch up your fingers! “All’s good. The finger is attached!” Even if it wasn’t I would just flap over the skin, and use some old fashion duct tape to hold it in place….

So no surgery for me!

Not even my pinky finger.

Time for leather gloves!

When I took Uriah out this morning I had a hard time looking at the grass. Each blade seemed unusually sharp today.:-(

I found this site on needle phobia.
http://www.needlephobia.info

Jack Frost came to visit early!~ or, Did Uriah find bigfoot

Odd, big mushroom

For the second day in a row I stepped outside to frost on the grass, and plants that looked like I stuck them in the freezer, all wilted and mushy.

I had slipped on my sandals and headed out back. 

My toes felt the cold first. With the sun shining brightly the rest of me really wasn’t cold.

Uriah ran on ahead and pointed out the raccoon scat right in the middle of the back path. I was relived when he looked back and me and walked past it, I was not in the mood to give him a bath.

I walked past the odd sounds coming out of the tall grass to my left, Uriah couldn’t help himself. He stopped cocked his head to the right and whined.

“No way! Uriah, keep walking!” I shouted out the command, then turned and continued walking.

I was hoping he would follow. I wasn’t in the mood to run into any wild animals today.

Uriah sneezed at the grass, then trotted after me. He jogged past like a middle aged over weight male, pretending to be in shape. He stopped after about twenty feet, panting and waited for me to catch up.

I tried to avoid the large stones that had been kicked out of the muskrat’s hole.

I walked around a scraggly mulberry tree.

I walked looking at the ground as I passed under the cedar’s low branches.  I could see the odd, large,- I think mushroom- I haven’t look this thing up, yet. It is the size and shape of a large watermelon with the look of an old dried out football. Brownish with a yellowish powder, when I touched it the surface broke easily, similar to a cooked meringue. I found a second one, on the other side of the cedar tree.  I never saw anything like it. Have you?

As I hit the back section of the path, I made the turn to head home. At that point, Uriah disappeared into the trees and started to bark. His bark changed to a scared howling sound. I stopped, worried.  

“Uriah, Come!” I stayed on the path and waited.

I heard him bark.

Still I stayed on the path.

This is the area where Uriah and his brothers had killed a forty pound raccoon when it tried to attack me. His brothers are no longer alive and I know Uriah isn’t strong enough to kill anything bigger than a small rat. 

So I stood my ground and yelled again. “Uriah, Come!” 

He came out of the trees doing a fast jog. I knelt to pet him and he raced right past me. I glanced at the trees. I didn’t see anything coming out, but why wait for it.:-)

By the time my dog slowed up, he had put fifty feet behind him. We both walked side by side quickly, which is unusual for Uriah.

I check him over when we walked into the yard.

Nothing bit him. He seemed fine.

Deer like to hide in those trees. Maybe that’s what he ran into, a momma deer will kick at him and Uriah doesn’t like to be kicked.

Uriah didn’t stop at the there. He took off to the house. Glancing back at me, he crawled under the deck.

I don’t know if you saw my video of the three deer that came to visit. Here it is.

Here’s a link on BigFoot

http://bigfootsightings.org/2009/08/31/bigfoot-in-illinois/

Dark and clear night, farmers out in droves!~Or, Look up what is that star constellation?

I am tired, sore and jiggle eyed. Last month I spent my spare time working on the examiner articles, then, my completive streak snuck in and I tried to write some articles for their sponsor, HomeDepot.   I wrote some really bad articles… I have to write about cats, but that will be done slowly.

 I know what I enjoy, and this Blog is what I love to write.

 I still have my change jar in the back of my closet, slowly filling with dollars, for that elusive laptop which will help me write anywhere in the house, or on a jaunt outside. I see that happening by spring.  

I plan on finishing a novel, and submitting some of my writing.-I should get competitive about this.-

I am well, happy and back.

 This evening I was sitting on the couch watching, Julia & Julia, and lost track of time. I had left Uriah outside, in his kennel, and forgot to bring him in when it got dark.  

 I had to turn on the outside lights and then the bathroom light downstairs, the one closest to the dog kennel and the office where this computer is located.  

 I turned on the driveway overhead light as I opened the garage door.  

 It was a clear dark night. The air was cold enough that I saw my breath. Lights were shining out in the cornfields behind the house, near the back path. Farmers were out harvesting crops, trying to outrun the rains.

 Uriah started whining when he heard the door open. He hasn’t been very brave the past few months. When he hears a noise in the dark he would rather stand next to me and growl, than run off barking.

 This past Friday, Michael and I made a pretty good attempt at waterproofing the deck for winter. We never got around to cleaning up, that will be done maybe tomorrow- or not.  Everything is lying around and will need to be stored away for the winter anyway, so I’m in no hurry to straighten up the outside when I can barely stand straight today.

 I stumbled over a board and the hose I had left out.  

 When I got to Uriah, his kennel was lit up due to the glow from the bathroom light. I was very glad I remembered to turn that light on.

 Uriah stuck his nose in his large empty water bowl.  I had moved it to work on the deck and now it was empty.  I pulled it back under the deck where it belonged and felt around in the dark, in the cold damp grass for the end of the hose.

 Uriah stood patiently waiting. As I finished filling up the big water bowl, I spotted in the shadows his small water bowl, still filled to the brim. While Uriah was slurping up water, I looked inside the kennel.  His water bowl in the kennel was still filled.  I laughed and shook my head. Silly dog!

 As I waited for Uriah to relax and roll in the grass; I stared up into the dark night sky, a string of clouds drifted near the eastern horizon. The rest of the sky was clear. Pinpoints of white lights glittered overhead. 

 Have you ever stared upward, with out blinking, so you could see stars beyond the ones that caught your attention? I could do that tonight.   I could see clusters of stars out of the corner of my eye, if I looked straight at them they would blend into the blackness.

 Supposedly, tonight has a waning crescent moon tonight, 29% full. I didn’t see the moon.

 Star gazing has been getting harder to do with the naked eye. With all the lights and pollution our children and grandchildren are loosing out on this simple pleasure.

 Rumbling of farm equipment and the occasional rustling in the garden were the only sounds.  Uriah nosed around in the Blue Spruce next to the garage I let him, I didn’t want to go backing into the brightly lit house, not just yet.

I didn’t get a picture tonight, but here is a video I took last week of a sunrise.