Saturday, July 26, 2008


I feel honored to be tagged for this one. It seems to lean a bit toward the femine so I didn't think I would be tagged. I was tagged by my good friend, Nichole for the camp cooking blog and by my other good friend, Kim for the ldswritersblogck. This is going to be fun.

1. My Kitchen sink.

You should know I'm outdoors a lot. this is where I wash my dishes while camping or cooking Dutch oven.

2. inside my fridge

We were cooking for a large group

3. My favorite shoes
I have three. one for church, one for everyday, and one to mow the lawn. I have boots also, but you asked for my favorites.

4. my closet
You didn't expect to see my clothes did you. this is my favorite closet . . . in the carport.

5. My laundry pile
The hamper in the bedroom, and no, they're not all my clothes

6. What my kids are doing are two, The other one must have been out chasing a mouse or something

7. My favorite room . . . I have three.

My three favorites are; my camp trailer, front porch and home office. All of which are my favorite writing place.

8. My most recent purchase

An extention cord to plug my computer into a cigarette lighter. So I can write in my trailer. unfortunately I can't get enough power.

9. Fantasy Vacation:

This is Josi Killpack I love her office, but I can write anywhere and I prefer a mountain cabin with all the ameneties.

I also like the Hot Tub Idea on Kim's blog:
Then there is the sublime:

10 Self portrait
Just kidding
Isn't it scary? I keep wondering who the old guy is. Hope you had fun looking into my private life. Keep in mind it isn't really like this. I can't remember who has been tagged for this so If you wnat to do it feel free. For now, I'm going to Tag C.L. beck, Darvell Hunt, and C. Loreen Hall.

Good luck guys. It really is fun. but if you decide not to do it. Thats okay, I understand completely.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Beats Me Up

By Keith Fisher

I'm sorry for the late hour, but I just got back from fishing.

Recently, at critique group . . . well, let me go back. When I first began to write seriously, I wrote stories with more exposition. I read a few books that told me to use more dialogue. Then I learned not to use so many attributions. Also, having a lot of blank, white space on a page was a good thing because the reader can read it quickly.

After attending a conference I knew I should avoid talking heads so I used meaningful dialogue. Stuff that had meat in it, none of the:

"Nice weather today."
"Yes it is."
"What are you going to do today?"
"Don’t know—what about you?"

To be fair, I didn’t use that kind of dialogue anyway.

Then someone pointed out I need more beats, and I started to add them, and add them, and add them. Then at critique the other day, you guessed it, too many beats. I was devastated. I came home and pulled the books out. I studied everything I could, trying to figure out where I went wrong. I knew my dialogue was lacking because I’d been reading it. I added the beats to show what my characters were doing. Then I realized there is a fine line.

According to Self Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King:

Beats are little bits of action interspersed through a scene, such as a character walking to a window or removing his glasses and rubbing his eyes—the literary equivalent of what is known in the theater as stage business. Usually they involve physical gestures, although short passages of interior monologue can also be considered a sort of internal beat. Pg. 102

The line between perfect dialogue and drivel is fine, but it can be felt. When you read what you wrote and it sounds like mechanical clickity-click-clack, it needs more beats. If it sounds like you are saying, said too much, lose some of the attributions. The fine blend of beats and attributions can be heard when reading aloud. Like a musician can hear when a string is out of tune, writers and readers can hear when dialogue is out of tune.

I am learning to stay away from attributions. I’ve removed them almost entirely. I use beats instead, but I use them only when the reader can’t tell who is speaking or when the conversation becomes too mechanical. I’m learning to use beats like playing my guitar. I can feel when a string gets slightly out of tune, and I’m becoming a better writer.

Good luck with your writing—see you next week.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Night Stalkers

By Keith Fisher

She only had a minute and she’d used thirty seconds already. She pushed the button to start the timer knowing she wouldn’t have enough time to get clear of the blast . . .

I’ve been heavily involved in edits lately. I haven’t been able to think of anything else for two weeks. The edits have begun to invade my dreams. When I dream at night, I outline. My characters always solicit my attention, but they get it when I’m sleeping. The other day, however . . .

I was dreaming normal stuff. Something to do with my last job and being under pressure. The ever present plot to eliminate my boss. Then without warning, people I know from my real life turned into mythical beings. They were themselves, but my friends had turned into centaurs and elves, people like that.

Now, I wouldn’t mind, but as I’ve mentioned before, I don’t write fantasy. The world my mind created was completely out of character for me. Now you might think that since I’ve been reading Farworld by J. Scott Savage, that’s where my mind conjured the images from, but I had to set aside Farworld last week. I’m back reading it again, but the point is I wasn’t reading it at the time. Therefore, it wouldn’t have much influence over my dreams.

No, the world in my dream came from the far recesses of my mind. From a place I don’t like to think about. The good news though, we killed the dragon. I’m not going to tell you who the dragon was, but suffice it to say, I won’t be having trouble with that authority figure anymore.

Things are pretty much back to normal. If normal is spending all my non-job related time editing. My dreams, (when I have time to sleep) have also gone back to normal. But like all good dreams, I wrote that one down too. I’m positive I’ll never try to delve into the world of a fantasy writer. I have enough nightmares about normal people. I couldn’t deal with dreams about alternate worlds.

The point, if you missed it, is to write down your dreams. I have several first drafts written from something I dreamed, including, the hook I used in the first lines of this blog. Someday I’ll get that story written, but for now, I’ve got edits to do.

Good luck in your writing—see you next week.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

232 Years and Counting

By Keith Fisher

It was a hot July day. The debate in the chamber had been going on for sometime. Finally, there was compromise and the representatives signed the declaration. There would be a price to pay for their insolence, some said the price had already been paid.

Today, I sit back in my "easy chair" of American freedom with a grateful eye on those who were so blessed to receive divine help against all odds to accomplish the impossible. To those who suffered to establish this great freedom that I enjoy I say, thank you.

To those who would destroy it because of selfish desires and great pride I say, shame on you. I pray everyday that our leaders will put aside agendas and party lines in order to listen to the same divine inspiration that established our great nation.

I trust your holiday brought joy although I suspect it was somewhat wilted in the heat. I hope you were able to pause and reflect on 232 years.

I went camping this weekend and I spent time listening to the chorus of birds making music before the sun came up in the morning. It was beautiful but I had to turn my attention back to editing. I’m on a deadline and must trudge forward.

I have been reading my ARC copy of the first book in the Farworld series by J. Scott Savage. Love the book and the author’s talent. I will be stepping into the author’s scary lair soon, to interview him and review the book, which will be available in September.

Good luck in your writing, see you next week.