3.18.2017

My Netflix Addiction

Some might call my addiction to Netflix bingeing a problem. I call it... Well, I can't argue with them. I can't watch just one episode of a show. Oh, no. My bingeing got so bad that I had to stay off Netflix for a while or wouldn't get any writing or housework or accounting....or anything done.

I'm ging to list the shows that I've binged to see how bad an addiction I have. So here goes:

Leverage
Burn Notice
CSI: Miami
CSI: New York
Criminal Minds
Forensic Files
Crossing Lines
Revenge
The Killing
Midsomer Murders
Bloodline
Blue Bloods
Death In Paradise
The Glades
Hawaii Five-O
Sherlock
Person Of Interest
Jack Taylor
Lie To Me
Broadchurch
Vexed
Hinterland
Reign
Wallander
River
Marcella

(I know I'm missing a few.)

There seems to be a pattern here. I'm obviously obsessed with murder and revenge, but that kind of goes along with my writing genre. Let's call it research. That was a good reason to watch all those shows, right? My theory is that even when I'm not adding word count on a manuscript everything I read, hear, and experience contributes to my writing. Yeah, let's go with that.

There's one more show that I've binged, but I don't know how it fits with the others. I've seen every single episode of Gilmore Girls. So how does that fit in with my suspense genre? Wait. Wait. I've got it. I'm researching characterization when I watch dramedies. Yeah, that's it.

So when I'm watching Netflix, I'm really writing. Whew! Now, I feel better.


3.11.2017

How My Family Copes With My Writing

This is the family. Left to right: Me, my daughter, my son, my son-in-law, and my husband.



This post is supposed to be about how my family copes with my writing, but I don’t think they cope with it.
Sometimes, I get a distant look in my eyes, and I stare at nothing. For a while, my son thought I was upset with him, and he would ask me if I was all right. I’d say, “Sure. I’m just writing a scene in my head.” Now, he just nudges me and says, “You’re writing again, aren’t you?” I’ll nod and then go back to my inner thoughts. He’ll shrug and leave me alone. We have an understanding.
It’s embarrassing to work out dialogue in my head. Well, it’s supposed to be in my head, but sometimes, it comes out of my mouth. People think I’m talking to myself, but I’m not. I’m putting myself in my characters’ heads. My family knows I’m not talking to people that aren’t real. Not really, because my characters are real to me. My daughter just ignores my odd behavior. She knows what I’m doing. (Thank God, for Bluetooth in my car because I can talk out the dialogue and other drivers think I’m talking on my cellphone. Sweet, huh?)
My husband gets my obsession with my characters. He reads all my books before I publish them, so he gets acquainted with them. We talk about them like they are real. Some of my best ideas happen when we are discussing why one of my characters did that stupid thing that they did. When he says, “Tess would do that, wouldn’t she?” or, “That sounds like something Gray would do,” I know he loves them as much as I do.
When I told my husband I needed to go down to south Louisiana to do research for my book series set along the River Road and in New Orleans, he helped me plan the trip. Once we were there, he made some great suggestions about where to go and what to do. That trip added so much to my knowledge of the setting for the book series.

I think my family isn’t just coping; they are supporting and encouraging my writing. They are right there in it with me.

2.25.2017

The Power of Words

Hello, my name is Denise, and I’m addicted to books. My reading addiction began when I was a teenager. My friend Brenda had begun reading Harlequin romances, and she let me borrow one. I was hooked from the first read. The emotional rise and fall of the plotline pulled me in and wouldn’t let me go. So I bought a few of my own, and we traded books for the rest of our high school years.
In the beginning of my writing career, I called myself a romance writer, but I don’t think that’s really what I am. In those old Harlequins, it wasn’t the romance that attracted me. I particularly enjoyed stories where something or someone sinister was lurking in the background of the romance trying to keep the couple apart. It was the conflict that hooked me. Would the hero and heroine overcome the odds to be together? The suspense always pulled me along to that moment when the couple overcame whatever obstacle they faced. Yeah, that was the moment that got me. The romance...that was just lagniappe.
The power of words has always fascinated me. The right words strung together can enlighten, entertain, inspire, frighten, soothe, motivate, or destroy. I’ve always loved the power of words, but lately, that power has begun to scare me. There have been a lot of powerfully negative words spoken or typed in the last couple of years. Not just here in the United States, but all over the world. Angry words. Mean-spirited words. Degrading and condescending words. Hateful words.
Sometimes, in the midst of all the ugliness, someone will say or write words that are encouraging or uplifting, but it is hard to find positive words when the world is inundated with so much negativity. At times, there is so much meanness that it seems that is all there is left. It’s overwhelming. I live with the constant awareness that something bad could happen any moment and change my life forever. The depth and intensity of the hate makes me want to crawl under my covers and hide from the world. But I can’t do that, can I? Isolating myself isn’t good for me or for the world I live in.
During the past presidential election in the United States, I have kept my opinions to myself, at least, publicly. My opinions are going to stay with me. This isn’t a harangue at either the right or the left. I’ve seen ugliness come from both ends of the social and political spectrum. No political ideology is immune from this disease.
Please, for the continued existence of humanity, if you engage in contentious or controversial conversations, I beg of you, don’t call those with whom you disagree ugly names. That’s not going to change their opinion or yours. All it does is make you look like an asshole, and it feeds the frenzy of anger and hatred that seems to be boiling over in the whole freaking world. So stop already. Before you tear someone else down because you really don’t have a good argument to support your shallow opinion, take a deep breath before you speak or write. Back away from the argument. Is losing your decency worth being right? Because words aren’t just words, they can be two-edged swords, not only cutting the one you attack, but stabbing and killing your humanity. Hatred, anger, and bitterness are the poison pills one swallows in the vain attempt to destroy someone else.

If you can’t manage to respect someone or their opposing opinion, at least, have a little self-respect.
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