Author Archives: Lisha Cauthen
Hello. Miss me?
I’ve been working like a demon for months and months on my current WIP. And am now halfway through my final pass, mere weeks away from being done.
So I thought I’d get back in ye ol’ blogging habit. Today, let us consider:
SEVEN TUMBLRS I WISH THEY WOULD UPDATE
- Sad Etsy Boyfriends–Their mission statement: “Dedicated to the wretched creatures abused for economic gains by their Etsy girlfriends.” Oh, lawsy. How I wish they’d post a few more specimens. Guys in undersized knit hats, guys in pink hoodies with green applique whales, and half-nekkid guys wearing nothing but feathers. ALL SAD.
- Paula Deen Riding Things– “We adore Ms. Deen, and the last thing we want is to upset her.” Naw, this blog doesn’t upset Ms. Deen. Just because these two guys photoshopped Paula riding the Easter bunny, Anthony Davis’ eyebrows, and most famously, sticks of butters.
- Tom Hanks is a Bunch of Animals–Animal photos and gifs, with various Tom Hanks heads attached. You haven’t lived until you’ve watched a parakeet with Tom Hanks’ head, rolling around on a tennis ball. Please, please, please, post some more!
- Halloween or Williamsburg–I want this tumblr to be my best friend. Pictures of people dressed, um, eccentrically. And you’re supposed to guess if they’re wearing Halloween costumes or their usual attire. HINT: It’s never a Halloween costume.
- Kim Jong-il Looking At Things–What a classic. The Dear Leader liked to…how should I put it? Oh yes. Look at things. Fairly intently. There aren’t going to be any more posts, I’m pretty sure you know why. What a shame.
- Texts From Bennet–This tumblr has been picked up for publication, and hasn’t been updated for nearly five months. Woe. Is. Me. Because “These are text messages I exchange with my 17 year old cousin Bennett. He is a white boy that thinks he’s a Crip, is currently unemployed, has a girlfriend named Mercedes…by the way, this blog is 100% real.” Real HILARIOUS.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Noses–Heroes on the half-shell’s heads superimposed atop human noses. YESH.
One of the best things about having writerly friends, is celebrating with them when they cross the finish line. One of my talented friends in such a position is LOUISE GALVESTON, author of By the Grace of Todd.
Louise tagged me in the #myworkprocess blog thinga-do. Here’s her post on her work and how she produces it, and below, mine.
A. What am I working on?
Currently, I’m revising a perky little YA manuscript that involves cellular memory, serial killing and sex. And also, bad words. Although this story is quite dark, it’s a lot of fun for me. It’s set in my home state of Texas, and recreating the rhythm of Texan speech patterns, as well as idioms peculiar to the state, is like wrapping myself in a warm serape.
B. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I write books for guys that girls like to read too. If it’s a subject that’s usually discussed in whispers, I wave it like bunting on the Fourth of July. My stories are gritty and realistic, but always with a small twist that makes the world skew a bit toward the weird.
C. Why do I write what I do?
You’d have to ask my psychiatrist.
D. How does your writing process work?
I believe in vomiting out your first draft–just GET IT DOWN. As I write, characters’ names change, the plot careens wildly and I might try on different tenses and points of view. DOESN’T MATTER. Then, I choose which tense and point of view I like, and rewrite for plot and story elements. Then a third draft concentrating on character, setting and cleaning up plot holes. Then a last pass to clean up anything I missed. I. Am. Thorough.
NEXT WEEK, MAY 5TH (may already) GO SEE MY PALS’ POSTS ON THIS VERY SUBJECT:
Heather Trent Beers’ blog, I’M JUST SAYIN':
Heather is my adorable friend who writes articles for magazines and periodicals, local and national, for kids and parents. She also writes charming picture books, as well as edits for cash money. We like to travel together under aliases. http://heathertrentbeers.blogspot.com/
Tessa Elwood’s blog, INK & ANGST:
Tessa is my cool friend who writes YA novels and designs websites and also is a photographer extraordinaire. This gal’s got her fingers in so many pies *CORN ALERT CORN ALERT* we call her Marie Callendar. She also lets me post on her blog sometimes. Is that a pal, or what? http://inkandangst.com/
Heather Ayris Burnell’s blog, FROLICKING THROUGH CYBERSPACE:
Heather is my cyberfriend. We met on Twitter and have yet to coordinate a meeting IRL. BUT I HAVE FAITH. She’s lives on a mountain and raises things–crops, critters and kids. And writes picture books, as well as a YA here and there. I love her madly, and am so curious to get together in person so I can hear her voice. I imagine it is smooth as a lamb’s ear and fresh as goat’s milk. http://frolickingthroughcyberspace.blogspot.com/
Now that we’re all good and melancholy, here’s the point of this post:
Have you noticed that like and share buttons have disappeared from your favorite blogs? Or perhaps, even your very own blog?
Um, be that as it may…I’ve found the problem.
IF YOU ARE A FIREFOX USER WITH THE ADBLOCK ADD-ON, GO TO TOOLS>ADBLOCK PLUS>FILTER PREFERENCES>FILTER SUBSCRIPTIONS AND BY JIMINY, DISABLE FANBOY’S ANNOYANCE LIST.
Yes, I understand some tracking might be perpetrated by a couple of social media sites. But lawsy, don’t you want to be able to share an interesting post on Tumblr, with one click? Or, perhaps, see what’s what on your own personal site?
You may have noticed my absence from social media for the past several months.
Or maybe you haven’t.
I’ve been madly revising my current manuscript to the detriment of all other aspects of my life. Especially housework. Of course, it doesn’t take much to get me to give up on housework.
But Tumblr, Twitter, Pinterest, this blog, the other blog, Sub It Club…etc., etc. Regretfully, they have been mostly on hiatus while I finish my WIP.
So I would like to offer this situation as a shining example of the role of Social Media in a writer’s career. It is incredibly important, but all things stem from THE WRITING.
When necessary, we should be willing to let all other things go to hell in a handbasket.
Oh, were you looking for cows?
Geez Louise, I despise New Year’s resolutions. I never keep them, and don’t even remember what I resolved past January 3rd. Usually, along about October I find the notebook I was supposed to write in every morning, stuffed under the car seat or kicked under the washing machine.
Then I despair.
Not this year, bucko!
I don’t want to generate failure anymore. No more promises to work on habits and goals that I don’t really want, no matter how many Good Writers recommend them. Instead, whatever interests me, I’m just gonna do it.
And when it doesn’t float my boat anymore, I will stop.
Maybe I’ll end up making the same changes in my life that a New Year’s Resolver does, but I won’t feel like I’m being punished, and I sure won’t feel guilty if my self-improvement ideas don’t work out.
No, I have not abandoned my lovely blog. But I’m starting to feel the need to revamp.
I’ve blogged here with varying degrees of enthusiasm since 2008. That’s over 5 years, my dear, sweet readers.
So it’s time to redesign, refocus and reverberate. I’m going to mess around with design and style for the next few months, and think about the direction to take with this platform.
BUZZ WORD ALERT
I watched a documentary the other night about Harper Lee, called “Hey Boo“.
I’d been thinking about her upcoming court battle with her current agent. Imagine. Stealing the rights to one of the most beloved American novels of all time. Allegedly.
And I wondered why Miss Lee hadn’t written another book since To Kill a Mockingbird. I mean, nearly every page of that masterpiece has one quotable passage. Or two. Or even three.
The documentary indirectly answered the Mystery of Harper Lee’s Retirement for me:
It took her eight years of bumming around in odd jobs before she had a manuscript. She gave it to Tay Hohoff at Lippincott, who described it as a string of stories rather than a novel with a beginning, middle and end. But she saw something in Miss Lee’s writing, and guided her through several rewrites for two and a half years.
How often do editors do that sort of thing anymore? How would they have time? And how many brilliant novels have we lost, because there was no editor to guide the writer?
There have been a lot of conspiracy theories floated, claiming Harper Lee did not write To Kill a Mockingbird, one of the suspected authors being her childhood friend, Truman Capote. But I think we know now who helped Miss Lee write her book.
Oh. And she loved Gregory Peck playing Atticus Finch.
PEOPLE OF EARTH.
There is something extremely nifty going on in Omaha on Saturday, September 7th, 2013. Not only can you see my blue hair, you can learn a thing or two.
Jenn Bailey and I will be running a Writers’ Boot Camp for SCBWI-NEBRASKA.
Jenn starts the day with Scrivener 101. You’ll see how to storyboard, organize research, revise using keywords, and a lot more. Imagine being able to pull up all of your main character’s dialogue at once to see if his speech pattern remains the same. Track a secondary plot thread. Check your research–videos, pdfs, sound files–right in your Scrivener program. Save time and write a tighter, multi-layered manuscript.
Next, Twitter Tune-up. Learn how to connect with agents, editors and other writers, or movers and shakers in any industry. Where and how to join a chat. And find out how to hashtag, MT and RT with the best of them. We’ll demystify the lingo and let you in on the etiquette of successful Tweeting.
Last of all…face it. You know you need a website. If you’re like me, html and CSS might as well be Aramaic. But there’s a way for anyone to put together a beautiful website, with or without a blog. I will hold your hand and take you step-by-step through the WordPress Workout. We will set up a site together, so you can see exactly how themes, headers, titles, widgets, pages and blogging work. We’ll talk about the dreaded SEO and how to get recognized by Google. You’ll leave with your very own site, ready for your personalization.
Everyone’s invited, whether children’s writer, adult writer, business person, student or teacher. Anyone who wants a bit of web presence or must produce documents should come.
Also, Jenn and I are a ton of fun.
Don’t let the crowns fool you.
It’s always a thrill when someone you know publishes a book–a double thrill when it’s someone in your critique group. I give you Anola Pickett, author of the new middle grade novel, Whisper Island.
Interesting where ideas come from, isn’t it?
Here, Anola tells us a bit about the Lifesaving Service:
So it’s quite a predicament for Primmy, the 12-year-old main character:
They say a writer tells the same story over and over in each novel, just with different characters. Anola’s characters are always plucky kids overcoming great obstacles. Makes for exciting reading!
Here, Anola talks about the conflict between Primmy and her mother, reflecting on a bigger picture, in my opinion:
One of Anola’s strengths as a writer is her attention to detail of setting. Here, she talks about research, and why Whisper Island is an important book for kids:
Here are a few of the fascinating details Anola found out about living on the Outer Banks in 1913:
What a pleasure to read an historical fiction written by someone so dedicated to authenticity! Like in Anola’s first book, Wasatch Summer:
And as one of her critique partners, I can tell you she’s researching diligently for the novel she’s writing on now:
When she’s done with that…will Primmy appear in a sequel?
But if you’re going to read the sequel, you’ve gotta read the first book. Here’s someone who might inspire you to do just that:
Where did her name come from?
Poor kid. I agree.
I’m so excited for Anola’s book, I’m giving away an autographed copy, with some Island gee-gaws, donated by Anola herself.
And lastly, I just have to squeeze this clip in. All published authors who have done the rounds will appreciate this audience question:
Enter my blog contest for a free, signed and personalized copy. All you have to do is Tweet, Tumbl or Pin about Anola’s book, and leave a comment with the link to your handiwork. DEADLINE: MIDNIGHT CST, SUNDAY, AUGUST 4TH. The winner will be drawn from the proverbial hat and announced on Monday. Prize may or may not include the mermaid bookmark. OH JUST KIDDING.
I don’t give a rat’s ass damn why Edward Snowden blew the whistle–whether he’s a spy, a patriot or a nut.
What I do care about: I have been classified a criminal.
And so have you.
Our government feels it is equally important to collect information on you, me and Al Qaida.
On September 12th, 2001, Americans agreed with an array of security measures in order to feel safe again. So now the government bugs reporters’ phones. I don’t remember agreeing to intimidation of a free press.
Parents of a deceased Navy Seal who have questioned the circumstances of his death, have reason to believe their phone has been surveilled. I didn’t agree to harass grieving parents.
Think of it. Who you called, when, and for how long. Maybe even what you said. Your photos, your documents, your messages, purchases, bank and credit card transactions, your geographic location. What you surfed on the web. Information all gathered without rationale, without showing a judge probable cause, without a warrant.
I am damn sure I never agreed to that.
Anybody remember what happened after 9-11 when the FBI tried to demand lists of books that patrons checked out of libraries? The librarians told them to take a flying leap, that’s what happened. ALA’s standards are to protect their customers’ privacy.
There have been previous NSA whistle blowers, who contended that U.S authorities were violating Fourth Amendment rights. Nobody cared.
Well, care now.
The IRS goes beyond the scope of its warrant to gather files concerning the financial dealings of an employee of a health institute, and seizes the health records of ten million innocent people, even though workers inform them they are violating HIPPA laws and their own warrant. (Yes, that is a horrible run-on sentence. I am blind passion.) Oh, well. At least the IRS has canceled its spyware purchases. Probably because they got caught.
A 95-year-old lady with leukemia, in a wheelchair, is forced to remove her adult diaper by TSA.
Have a fender bender in New Jersey, and soon the cop might be able to confiscate your cell phone. Ostensibly to see if it contributed to the accident, but what if you’re videoing your interaction for some reason and the cop doesn’t like it? (Which you can do.)
All those laws that chip away at your freedom sound like a great idea at the time, but guess what. If they can be misused, they eventually will be. Because when citizens allow their government to treat all of them like criminals–without reason, without provocation–it isn’t long before disagreeing with the government becomes a crime.
Tell the truth. Since you’ve found out that Google, Yahoo and Facebook turn over aggregated data to the NSA, have you thought twice about retweeting something? Posting something on Facebook?
Writing about certain topics on your blog?
If we really want to be safe, we can allow Homeland Security into all our homes, let them inventory all our stuff and microchip us. After all, that’s what we’re currently allowing, virtually.
I don’t want to be that safe. I want my business to be my own–not because I have anything to hide, but because dammit, it’s none of anyone else’s effin’ concern.
I am a lawful citizen.
I demand privacy from my government.
My life belongs to me.
Tags: aggregated data, edward snowden, Facebook, fourth amendment, Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, Google, government spying, government surveillance, Homeland Security, Internal Revenue Service, IRS, National Security Agency, NSA, personal data, privacy, right to privacy, surveillance, tsa, whistle blower, Yahoo