Will You leave the Important Things Unfinished?

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I’m not a fan of surprises, but life has a way of jumping out from behind the curtain like a room full of people at a birthday party and scaring you half to death. At unexpected or traumatic times we think about the things lying unfinished in our lives; whether it’s business, unfinished manuscripts or expressions of love.

Currently, I’m working on a short story collection (coming out soon, I hope), two novels, and a memoir. I haven’t pushed to get these completed. Like many people, I believe I’ll have plenty of time to get things done. But, time is elusive and slips through our fingers like sand in an hourglass.

I don’t expect to rock the literary world with the stories and novels on my computer. I simply want to leave a tiny fragment of myself to those I leave behind and a small reminder to the world that “I was here.”

Many great writers left behind unfinished manuscripts. John Steinbeck, Truman Capote, C.S. Lewis, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Mark Twain, and Charles Dickens to name a few. You can read more about these authors and their unfinished works, here.

The only thing we have in our control is what we do this moment, this hour, this day. I’m trying to get my words out and pray when I leave this earth not only will my manuscripts be finished, but more importantly, my loved ones will know they were loved, appreciated, and my inspiration to write – those are the words that shall not be left unsaid or unfinished.

What about you? Do you have unfinished business?

I’d love to hear your comments. Talk to me. Tell me your story and look for me on Facebook at SheilaMGood,  PinterestBloglovinTwitter@sheilamgood, Contently, and Instagram. You can follow my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.

Friends, We’re in A Dilemma

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Pixabay

I’ve followed politics since my thirties but never as fervently as I have since 9/11. I remember the long, months after the terrible terrorist attack on our country.

As a nation, we were grief-stricken, angry, and scared, but everyone came together; race, ethnicity, or gender never entered our minds. Although shaken, we were united as one nation, determined to survive and come out stronger. And, we did – for a while.

Unfortunately, we didn’t stay united. Over the last eight years, our nation has become more divided than ever – people of all races, ethnicities, gender and economic status are being pitted against each other. Jobs have been lost, cities decimated, crime has increased, and in some areas, is out of control. Instead of pulling together as a nation, we’ve allowed anarchy.

Universities and our schools have turned into kindergartens, catering to overly sensitive students who, unable to handle differing points of view, demand “safe places.” Rather than teach critical thinking, we’ve allowed the grievances of some turn into riots and lawlessness – calling it free speech. We accept excuses rather than discipline and allow people to throw out labels like confetti, rendering others silent.

Today, even our law enforcement must not only defend themselves on the job but also for doing their job. And, before someone gets offended – I get it – sometimes the police get it wrong, really, wrong – so don’t start. As imperfect as it is, we have a justice system – let them do their job.

People rage about inequality, but no one is willing to step up, lay responsibility where it belongs, make the necessary changes or hold the lawless accountable; including those in high places who believe they’re above the law.

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Pixabay

We are in a dilemma. Change is never easy and when it happens not everyone will be happy.  An amazing number, 66% of the country, believe our nation is headed in the wrong direction; so, what are we going to do about it?

Stick with the status quo or make a change? We are on the precipice of which I believe there is no return.  We are, indeed, in a dilemma, my friends.

Personally, I’ve had enough of the status quo. Choosing change may make us nervous, but I’ll take my chances.

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Pixabay

I’d love to hear your comments. Talk to me. Tell me your story and look for me on Facebook at SheilaMGood,  PinterestBloglovinTwitter@sheilamgood, Contently, and Instagram. You can follow my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.

Manuscript Panic

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I’d love to hear your comments. Talk to me. Tell me your story and look for me on Facebook at SheilaMGood,  PinterestBloglovinTwitter@sheilamgood, Contently, and Instagram. You can follow my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.

What’s In a Name?

whats-in-a-namehurrah-10Do you always name the characters in your stories?

I’m not talking about the character who passes through a story or scene, but main characters.

Although I have a couple of novels in the works; I also write flash fiction and on occasion my characters remain nameless.

Suzanne Vincent, the Editor-in-Chief at Flash Fiction Online, doesn’t like the idea of nameless characters. In fact, I think she said it made her roll her eyes – a language I understand well. 

She made some good points, and her comments got me to thinking about my stories. I appreciate Ms. Vincent’s candor. It’s rather nice to have an editor share a perspective from the other side of submissions.

In her article from the Slushpile Avalanche: Why You SHOULD Name Your Main Character, she discusses why she rejects and dislikes a story with unnamed characters. You can read her post here.

 “… not naming a main character in a story makes very little sense to me.  And if you’re just doing it for the hell of it–if you don’t know WHY you’re doing it–you shouldn’t be doing it at all.” Suzanne Vincent

I imagine Ms. Vincent has most likely rejected one of my stories but does every editor feel the same way about names? Typically, I agree with what she had to say; especially with longer stories or novellas. But, what about flash fiction? Does the genre make a difference? For me, I think it does. I’ve written stories without naming the characters and I did so precisely because of the story.

For example, in one of my stories a serial killer preys on lonely women. I did not name either the killer or his victim and here’s why – the point of the story was the random act of a killer and his nameless prize. Here’s an excerpt from Maybe Next Time – you be the judge.

“He couldn’t take his eyes off her. Confidence and sexuality draped her curves like a second skin. Men flocked to her side, but she turned them away; it pleased him. He liked a discriminating woman. Maybe, this time could be different.

He waited for the perfect moment before making his move. There it was — the downward shift of downcast eyes. It didn’t take long for her to respond; it never did. He had his approach down to a science. The right suit, subtle cologne and brief penetrating eye contact worked every time.

A nervous smile parted her red lips. He stood as she slid from the stool and walked toward his table. Ever the perfect gentleman, he pulled out her chair and smiled. They always took the bait.

Like every fucking woman out to catch a first-class meal ticket, she thought he was hers; it’d be a crime to let her think otherwise.” From Maybe Next Time.

What do you think? Do you agree with the editor? Are there exceptions? Give me your thoughts. Do you always name your characters?

I’d love to hear your comments. Talk to me. Tell me your story and look for me on Facebook at SheilaMGood,  PinterestBloglovinTwitter@sheilamgood, Contently, and Instagram. You can follow my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.

The Truth About Writers and Social Platforms

publishingtalk.com

publishingtalk.com

In her article, Do Fiction Writers REALLY Need a Social Media Platform? Angela from  WOW’s e-zine, The Muffin, finally answers this question and tells me what I’ve longed to hear. Thank God!  Her answer?

“No, you don’t have to participate in social media as a fiction writer.”  (Tweet This

I swear I wanted to kiss her! I’ve heard forever the need for writers to have a platform. So, like many, I signed on to Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. I belong to other sites as well – Tumbler, StumbleUpon, Reddit, and Bloglovin to name a few. God, I’m exhausted just typing all these.

I’ll admit I hate trying to keep up with all this social media stuff and writing – it makes me want to pull my hair out!
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There are only so many hours in the day, and it’s amazing how quickly they disappear once you sign on to Twitter or Facebook.

So, if you have ideas, please pass them on to me. What do you think? Do writers NEED all these social platforms? Be sure to stop by WOW and give Angela a shout-out.

leavecommetgif I’d love to hear your comments. Talk to me. Tell me your story and look for me on Facebook at SheilaMGood,  PinterestBloglovinTwitter@sheilamgood, Contently, and Instagram. You can follow my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.