First Draft of “In Sheep’s Clothing” complete

It’s not a nano project, but I’m proud of it anyway. The first draft was completed last night, thanks to the presence of Doctor Who and a mouse in the house that’s stressing me to the point of needing something positive and constructive. I also have Anne Rice’s latest novel to draw some aspirational feelings from.

In Sheep’s Clothing is a retelling of The Boy Who Cried Wolf.

I’m not sure if I’m going to use it in another collection, or if I’m going to get brave and try to sell it as a short story solo effort since seems okay with short  single works.

Thicket Things

Here’s a proper shout out to my sister-in-law’s latest artistic venture. Pictures are worth a thousand words each, so I’ll post the Facebook page link where you can find contact information.

Thicket Things

If you like what you see, give her a shout. Like her page, share it with friends. But please don’t copy and paste the photos of her work without the expressed permission of the owner.

People in Real Life Vs People in Fiction

Does anyone else write because people in real life don’t make sense?
I think I know someone and then, out of nowhere, for no apparent reason, they turn heel and behave in a way that feels very near to a punch in the gut.
And no one needs a reason for this.
In fiction, everything has to happen for a reason. People can’t behave this way, “Just because”, because it wouldn’t make sense within the context of the story.
I write fiction because then I have a reason for people’s behavior. I read and watch fiction because even if I get to know someone over the course of their time on screen, they may change in a surprising and shocking way, but there’s always an explanation for it.
People in real life are scary and unpredictable. Even in non-fiction, the narrator/writer still has to have an explanation for their actions. But before the story is told or the research is done, everything can and will happen and it’s as nasty as it is unexpected.

Retelling The Boy Who Cried Wolf

The Boy Who Cried Wolf has a simple theme. When you present yourself as a dishonest person, people will think you are dishonest, even when you’re being truthful.

The story was probably inspired by the fact that children use lying as a way of testing their boundaries. To them, it’s a game that they win when they get adults and other children to react to their deception. They’re too young to realize that this can backfire when it becomes important for someone to believe them.

Honesty is the best policy. That’s what we teach our children. That is, until we get older and we learn that there are various categories for lying. There’s lies of omission, lies of commission, lies of influence, lying to protect someone’s feelings, lying to get something we want or need, and even using the truth in a deceptive manor. Honesty is the best policy until it becomes socially acceptable, or until we tell ourselves its no big deal.

But what happens when, in an effort to protect a loved one, we lie to such an extent that we soon have blood on our hands? Are there consequences to never crying wolf out of fear of some kind of backlash? These are themes I’m exploring in the story I’m currently working on, which is a retelling of The Boy Who Cried Wolf.

Being Thankful for my Readers

I couldn’t get online during Thanksgiving. So here’s my “What I’m Thankful For” post a couple days late. Big whoop, wanna fight about it?

I’ve been writing since I was five. I’ve been begging people to read my stuff for roughly the same period of time. Yes, I’ve been writing since I was five. Okay, I’ve been using various mediums to tell a story since I was five, which may or may not have been writing at various times in my life.

The point is, I’ve been writing for a long time. In that time, I’ve acquired readers. People who liked or didn’t like what I have written. People who have encouraged or discouraged me. The people who discouraged me have stopped mattering to me. But I’ve never forgotten the people who encouraged me.

A reader isn’t necessarily someone who paid to read my work. They are the people who have read my work and took the time to give me feedback, whether it was how much they enjoyed it, or what they thought I could do to improve it. Readers are not the people who said, “You should really have a good long think about whether or not you want to do this for a living.”

If you are, or were one of my readers, thank you.

My Birthday Is Coming Up

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about my birthday. I’ve been thinking about this because of what two amazing people on my Facebook feed have done for theirs. They made the simple request of their friends, to think of others and spread positivity. I did as they asked and it made my life a little bit happier and a little bit nicer to have such an example set for me.

Then I listened to this clip of a person asking Neil Gaiman how she should respond when someone tells her, “There are enough directors/artists/writers in the world and you shouldn’t pursue your dream of becoming such.”

Listen to the clip and hear his response.

My birthday is on December 6th. So knowing that I don’t believe in coincidences, that this particular clip was posted on December 6th of 2012, it gives me the perfect framework for making my birthday wish to all of you who read this.

If there’s someone in your life who wants to pursue something, whether or not you agree with them, don’t discourage them. Because it costs you nothing to encourage them but it might cost you everything to discourage them with remarks like, “What’s so special about what you would do and how you would do it?”

Think of all of the wonderful things we have in this world, because someone wanted to be an inventor, or a scientist, or an author, or a painter. Think of how many more of those people out there gave up on what they wanted to become, because people who were supposed to guide and teach them, suppressed and looked down upon them.

This is especially important of young people, who can’t draw on the vast amount of experience that older generations have had. When you tell someone, “No, you shouldn’t focus on your art because you’re going to have bills to pay,” you may be saying it with the intention of teaching them to prioritize. It’s true that artists do need to eat. But a child of twelve is going to believe that it’s all there is to life and in telling her that her art is not as important as finding a job that you approve of, you are telling her that her happiness will never be important.

I know from experience that the conversations that can ensue when someone shares their dreams and ambitions with you, is far more enlightening than the dead silence and the downcast frown that follows when you shut them down.

So it’s really simple. You don’t have to gush, or push them in any one direction. If someone says, “I want to be a director,” the first response out of your mouth should be something along the lines of, “That’s awesome. What kind of director?”

Pop-Up Book Store For The Self-Published

Hear me out. Please just hear me out.

For the most part, this is entirely hypothetical, as in it will most likely never see the light of day, because the money really isn’t there. It’s interesting because the money is never there when we want something and yet if we want it badly enough, we find the money. But history tells me that if more than one person (usually including myself) is needed to get a project off the ground, it will most likely crash and burn.

“Nathanielle,” you say. “How can you know for certain? How do you know until you try? You don’t know what people’s responses are going to be before you ask them the question?”

That’s true, faithful reader. But I have done a little bit of soft research by asking three local authors if this idea would interest them and the response was about as enthusiastic as if I had asked them if they’d like to try a liquid nitrogen enema.

However, just because I have an idea that I expect people will reject, doesn’t mean I won’t get brave enough to share it. So here goes.

There are a lot of self-published authors out there. I think it’s safe to say that there are self-published authors in ever single genre. But in addition to self-publishing in the writing industry, there are musicians and comedians who make their own CDs and promotional materials, film makers who produce DVDs, and self-published content creators of every medium.

If enough people got together to chip in on the rent for a small store space (not a huge one) you could comfortably fill that shop with all of your stuff. People are curious creatures. You find the right place for this pop-up store, like a busy mall, and you’ll at least get some people to look inside. Any one who wants to sell their merchandise but does not wish to pay the rent on the store, can pay a consignment fee to stock some of their things for up to 90 days.

Are you going to get rich on this? No. Not likely. But you might have some proven sales numbers that could be useful in marketing and promotional projects.  You’d also have the security of having your t-shirts, bumper stickers, and mass produced energy drinks with your band’s logo, in one spot.

By the way, I saw something like this in a DIY fair in Salem. So it’s totally without merit. If anyone would be curious about trying something like this, or if you have done something like this, please share your thoughts in the comments section.