Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wanted: Experts in Anything

If you're an expert at something (anything) then I need your help!

As you may know, I like to write. I'd like to help support our family through writing (with enough income that Matt can find a less demanding job). I'm taking baby-steps to get there, one of which is the existence of my writing blog (if you haven't visited it yet, click here).

While most of my current writing is non-fiction (articles and essays), my dream is to write novels. With that in mind, I try to incorporate fiction tips on my writing blog. On the 8th of every month I'm going to feature "Tips From The Pros".

Instead of offering writing tips, I want to provide tips from other professions - bits of info from your world that will help me (and the writers who follow my blog) create realistic characters. I decided to do this because I'm SO tired of reading novels where the main characters are writers or teachers. These seem to be favorites (probably because their the jobs with which most writers are familiar).

This is where you come in - tell me about yourself. Do you have a job that you've never seen in a book (or on a TV show)? Then tell me about it! I have no idea what city planners, sommeliers, or civil engineers do - what may seem mundane to you will be informative to me!

What about your hobbies or crafts? Do you do something different than everyone else?

Or maybe you do something "normal", but from your own angle? It could be that you're a female lawyer who's NEVER worn high heels to work. Maybe you have a degree in English and are working as a welder - how did you get there?

What I'm looking for is sort of a "Top Ten" list of things that would make a character more realistic. Feel free to take on the stereotypes and set writers straight. Our goal should be to create unique, yet realistic characters and situations, so the more we know about people, the better characters we can write.

If you're interested in this, please email me at kvbwrites(at)gmail(dot)com. I'd like to get this started in July and will schedule people as I hear from you/receive your lists. If you think you can offer some tips in more than one area, let me know that, too! Let me know if you have any questions - thanks!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Printing Problems

This picture isn't entirely accurate because the paper had been resting, but this is what life is like in my overly humid office these days:

I write an article, print it off, and it comes through the printer all curled up. Reusing scrap paper is pretty much impossible - I can't get it to lay flat enough for the printer to pull it through. Yuck.

I'm going to go wring the moisture out of my rugs now...

Monday, June 21, 2010

It's Here! It's Here!

Welcome back Summer! Please, stay as long as you'd like!

Saturday, June 05, 2010

No More Excuses

Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE movies. I love going to the movies, playing them at home, watching them dozens of times - they're a fabulous way to escape. For as much as I enjoy movies, however, I don't watch everything. I do my homework first.

It started quite a few years ago when my sister and I rented the movie "Confidence". We watched about ten minutes before turning it off (I didn't know it was possible to drop the f-bomb that many times in ten minutes). We were able to swap the movie for another one, but after that incident I decided that I didn't want any more surprises.

Enter the internet.

There's no reason for anyone to see a disappointing movie anymore. If your favorite actor is in a new movie, go the homepage and find the director. Then search for the director and see what kinds of movies he/she's done (you can get a list at The Internet Movie Database:

If you're still uncertain, you can get the whole scoop at movie review websites. I'm a big fan of Focus on the Families Plugged In Online: The website's focus is to find family friendly movies, so there aren't a lot of films that they endorse; however, I'm not looking for their endorsement. I like that they present thorough details as to what's in the movie (Positive Elements, Spiritual, Sexual, and Violent Content, Profanity, Drugs & Alcohol, and Other Negative Elements).

I've read many reviews for movies that weren't endorsed as family friendly, but that's okay - I still watched the movie because I wasn't looking for family friendly. I've also read some reviews that have made me decide not to see a film (because there was too much swearing or violence). If there's anything listed that I know I won't enjoy, then I simply avoid it.

I say all of this because of an opinion that I recently read about the new Robin Hood movie. The woman was upset and offended because of the sex and violence in the film. It shocked her to see how the screenwriter had interpreted the story and how the director filmed it.


Lady, it's Ridley Scott and Russel Crowe! Do you remember the film "Gladiator"? Yeah, well, that was them. And have you read the story of Robin Hood? That time period in history - do you know what life was like? Scott doesn't make Disney movies, and I don't think I've ever seen Crowe in a family flick.

I wasn't really interested in the movie BECAUSE I knew Scott and Crowe were involved - they make good movies, but not generally the kind that I watch. After hearing five rave reviews, however, I went...and loved it!

This movie was not typical Scott/Crowe (in my opinion). They had plenty of opportunities to show explicit sex and violence, but they didn't (except with the bad guy who, if you ask me, deserved the ickiest violent scene).

So anyway - that's my plug. Don't whine about what you saw in a movie - there are a dozen great sites online that will help you figure out if it's something you'll enjoy. If it still surprises you, then we'll talk.