Sunday, March 31, 2013

I'm Doing Research

by Keith N Fisher

It's been a busy week and I'm doing research on the inside of my eyelids. I'll be back next week. I have a blog post half written. you might like this one, so come back.

good luck with your writing---see you next week

Saturday, March 23, 2013

It Was Tough

By Keith N Fisher

We buried my mother in law this week. I’m still sorting the issues. I learned that God will forgive almost everything, but we must forgive everyone. Christ’s atonement covers everything, but we must leave it to him.

I also learned there is a heavy end on a casket. I didn’t want to be a pallbearer, but who else? That’s another issue, but I actually chuckled as I limped over to wait for the casket. Without getting specific, I’m having trouble walking on level floors but it’s really hard on uneven surfaces. We stumbled over headstones and carried that casket up a hill. Why they parked the hearse downhill from the grave, I’ll never know.

As you might be able to tell in the picture, I almost dropped the casket. Then I fell backward from the platform. My wife caught me, but it took awhile to recover from the trek.

On the way back, I asked the funeral director if there was a heavy end to a casket and he confirmed there is, and I had it. It doesn’t matter though, there were only two young men. The rest of us were old guys. The task of being a pallbearer should be left to young Grandsons.

After the funeral my writers mind took over and I plotted a scene where dropping the casket actually happens. I know, it’s been done before, but my scene was serious drama.

Good luck with your writing—see you next week.

I'm Coming, I promise

By Keith N Fisher I just got off work and havent posted a blog. I'll be back later to post one. have a great day

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Mothers, Monsters, and Writing with the Window Open

By Keith N Fisher

One of the last times I talked with my mother in law was confrontational. She accused me of turning my wife’s affections away from her. I rose up on my haunches and tried to point out how controlling she had been over the years. I tried to address her problem instead of convincing her that I had nothing to do with my wife’s opinion.

I don’t want to make you suffer through an airing of all the dirty underwear. Just let me say, it was difficult. Now, my mother in law is gone. After five years of suffering from Alzheimer’s, she went home. I’m surprised to feel regret.

Have you ever noticed that men address the problem rather than deal with emotions? I battled with logic for years and alienated many people. I always wondered, why can’t people just use logic? During the last five years, I’ve learned that people, (especially women), don’t want to fix it. They just want to vent their feelings and get empathy from their companion.

Since I started writing about women, for women to read, I’ve made a lot of progress. I don’t mean to say I’m perfect, I still leap for a solution to the problem, but I’m getting better at listening. I deal with emotions and try to impart empathy.

Some might accuse me of becoming a better woman, but I think I’m becoming a better man. I wish I’d learned this lesson before my mother in law got sick. I’ve been compiling pictures for a slideshow as part of the funeral, and it’s hard. I keep wondering how the vibrant young girl became the woman she was. I hope that she’ll forgive me of my insensitivity.

On a lighter note, many of you know I like to write in the cab of my truck. It’s kind of fun to watch a snowstorm while you work on the next plot twist. Lately, however, we’ve been having some great weather where I live. It’s even better to write with the window down. Especially after a winter like we’ve had.

Good luck with your writing—see you next week.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

It's a Good Day for It

By Keith N Fisher

People think we’ve had unusual weather this year. I listen to news casts and comments and wonder. Some people claim global warming, others claim the opposite. Still more critics point to biblical prophecy. I’ve been pleased.

It’s true, there have been weather issues in the area where I live, but it’s happened before. Floods in places where towns didn’t exist twenty years ago, are not indicators of climatic change. The floods have happened before, but nobody noticed.

Don’t misunderstand. I’m a great believer in the changes in the polar ice cap, but we’ve had a normal weather year where I live.

Outside, currently, the wind is blowing. The sun is shining, and there’s mud in the fields. In other words, It’s March.

As a child, I was taught that March was the month for flying kites. I remember days, however, when the wind blew so hard, it ripped my kites apart. Those were days when I wanted to enjoy the sun, but the wind forced me to wear my coat. It was early spring.

In those days, when I couldn’t fly a kite, I tossed a newspaper in the air and watched it play in the breeze. I lived in a place with few houses, so the paper soared for miles. Today would be a good day for it.

In my life, I’ve seen many cycles of nature. The rabbit population increases and the coyote population follows right behind. The rabbits decrease, and the coyotes die out. It’s all part of the circle of life, like in the lion king. Part of those cycles has been an increase of spiders and garden pests because of warm winters.

Our cold winter, this year, will take care of the majority of my garden slug problem. It’s been hard to deal with the extended cold periods, but I remember waiting for the school bus in sub zero weather and everyone complained. There were also periods of fog that brought excitement to our neighborhood. It was fun for a group of kids to hide in plain sight.

Learning to live with the weather was easier for us kids. Now we are older, we forget the paths we’ve been down before. We go from the box we live in, climb into another box and drive to the box where we work. We complain about road conditions and forget the romantic mystery of a fresh fallen snow.

Take time to remember. Get out of your box and enjoy the diversity. Don’t worry about the weather. Did you ever slide down a hill on your back, making tunnels in snowdrifts? Revisit the weather fun of your youth. Whatever it was, It’s a good day for it. Of course, if you spent your childhood in front of a computer, you have a whole, new, world to explore.

Good luck with your writing—see you next week.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

More Than Subplots

By Keith N Fisher

I read an article in Writer’s Digest that made me feel good about my writing. It was called building subplots from multiple viewpoints. It talked about the problems of having too many subplots, and I thought of my novel, The Hillside.

I got the idea for the book from the guest journal in the bed and breakfast room where I stayed once. Some of the guests use those journals to tell about themselves, and their experience at the B&B. I considered a book, that would be like the Love Boat or Fantasy Island combined. I felt it would be a great story, but I didn’t want to write it.

After trying to convince others, I felt compelled. There were several stories and they needed to be written. I began to draft. I almost quit, when I realized how difficult it would be to keep all the POV’s straight. Still, I persevered. The one thing all of the arcs had in common was the bed and breakfast. It was my grounding point. I ended up with thirteen main characters, and six different points of view.

Not all the characters interact, but the owner of the B&B knows them all, and she cares about them. After several chapters, I realized I had been writing several different books, and I had to make an intersecting time line to keep track of what came next. Eventually, I had to list each character on a whiteboard along with what scenes still needed to be written. Finally, I had to organize each chapter so everything fit together. I attached a picture of my spreadsheet. Each POV has a different color.

At one point, I re-wrote a story line to start it sooner. Another problem was finding plot holes where a character talks about something that hadn’t happened yet in the other story line.

In the Writer’s Digest article, the author talks about the problem of shattered focus. Readers complain that it was hard to keep the characters straight. Without really trying, I think I succeeded in writing individual characters. You will love some of them and hate others, but they are separate. A good test, is to ask yourself is there enough depth in that character to sustain a sequel to their story?

All things considered, I think I wrote a great book. After reading the article, I feel good about the end result. I wrote the story I didn’t want to write and even my critique group liked the characters.

Good luck with your writing—see you next week.