Writing Like You Mean It

I recently went to a brief writing retreat at a cabin reserved for writers near the Finger Lakes. It was, to put it mildly, remote. But the windows offered a lovely view of a lot of rain on leaves that were turning color. The rain is probably what kept me writing. No temptation to go outside. It’s funny how negatives help you. No TV, no problem. Sure, you say, you can stream on your computer. Not with spotty Internet you can’t. And my sweet husband left the cozy cabin every morning for nearly the entire day so I could focus.

And I focused. I wrote 11,683 words that weekend. And I think most of them are grammatically correct and in pleasing sentences for someone to read. Or not. I’m almost afraid to look at them. In fact, when I picked it back up, I read the last thing I wrote and just went forward from there. Yes. I just moved on. Didn’t even reread what I had read. Sort of the NaNoWriMo state of mind, only without all of those other rules.

Anyway, I had written myself over a hump and into a corner. Good thing the weekend ended at that point because I had no idea what was going to happen next. Which might be good because the reader will hopefully wonder as well. For now, I am shuffling out of the corner carefully. I know it will all be changed when I revise, because everyone knows that first drafts are all rubbish. I have to get from the place I am now to the end I know. I’m not sure what happens between here and there, but it will come to me as I sit down and start to type.

I’m writing like I mean it. I’m serious about it. I’m sitting down and only looking up things if they are research for something in the manuscript. I take short pre-planned breaks to check email and social media, but mostly when I’m writing, I’m writing.

If you’ve taken on the NaNo… good luck to you. If you’re writing a novel on your own, cheers! If you’re writing poetry or short stories or memoir or journaling… keep it up! Write like you mean it. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Book Review: The Missing by C.L. Taylor

William Morrow, and imprint of Harper Collins, was kind enough to send me this book for review. I usually ghostwrite reviews for another website, but I’m trying to increase this type of content here, for you. Of course, that’s if you happen to stop by and read it…

This is the first novel I’ve read by C.L. Taylor. Genre? Psychological suspense, so if you like Jonathan Kellerman, Gillian Flynn, and some of Dean Koontz’s work, you may be interested in this one. Although I’ve compared her to all American novelists, Taylor is British, so perhaps I should throw in a Minette Walters.

In The Missing, 15-year-old Billy Wilkinson is, you guessed it, missing. The story is relayed by his mother, Claire, who is unreliable. Very unreliable. Deception, omissions, lies, and twists to Billy’s tale will keep you up at night, reading “just one more chapter.” At least that’s what happened to me!

My rating: (4.5 / 5)

Mini-Spoiler-Free Review: Mister Tender’s Girl

If Mister Tender reminds you of Slenderman, you probably aren’t the only one. There are bits and pieces of the legend of The Slenderman throughout Mister Tender’s Girl and if you know anything about him, you’ll see them. If not, you should do a little scary research sometime, though it is not necessary before reading this thriller.

Mister Tender is a graphic novel character. One that is not terribly tender, despite his name. He inspires fear in readers and actually gets into the heads of some teen girls who attempt murder for his approval.

The novel explores the daughter of Mr. Tender’s creator. Alice of paranoia and fear of knives. Everything pushes her buttons. Someone could mean her harm… is it in her head or real? Is Mr. Tender out there somewhere? Is he looking for Alice?

I read this in two sittings. I really loved the psychological elements and the suspense. If you like thrillers and don’t mind looking behind you for a few days after reading, go for this one!