Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Mama's Boy Coupons!

Whadda Deal!

I'm running mad short on time gang, getting ready to leave for Columbus (Context). I'm tieing up all my loose ends for writing obligations and the things on the home front, but I wanted to take a minute to share this little tidbit with you, just in case you're looking for a yummy deal of the MB collection:

From the desk of Jason Sizemore, publisher at Apex Book Company:

I'm excited about seeing Fran Friel this coming weekend at Context 21. So excited, that I'd like to offer a big discount.

Get $15 off the hard cover of Mama's Boy and Other Dark Tales by using coupon code MAMASBOY15 at checkout.

Get $5 off the trade paperback of Mama's Boy and Other Dark Tales by using coupon code MAMASBOY5 at checkout.

This deal is good through tomorrow.

Once again, I want to thank everyone for supporting of me and the my crazy collection. You're an amazing bunch of friends and readers! *HUGS*

See you next week!

Wickedly Yours,
Fran Friel

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Too Fast, Beach Yammering, Cleggage and Dynamic Art

Going, Going, Gone?

This has been our first full summer here at the beach and the first time I can remember not wanting summer to end (at least as an adult). I love the Autumn and I've always looked forward to the end of the heat and humidity of Summer so I could get to the good stuff, but this year, I'm actually sad to see the leaves start to change. Don't get me wrong, I'm going to love the crisp air and Fall foliage, but I can't help but think of the snow and ice that soon follows (Yuck!) and missing these gorgeous sparkling sunny days.

Yammerings from the Beach
Anyway, I'll soon be birthing a new blog--a beach blog, to share snippets of the colorful people and the inspiration that time at the beach seems to generate with such ease. I've been taking pics and talking to some interesting beach characters, kind of getting ready to share the journey via the blog. Maybe no one be me will give a hoot about inspirations born of the beach, but they've been clamoring in my brain for expression. I'll keep you posted on the beach blog launch in case you want to see my alter-ego at work (that's the bike riding barefoot crazy lady with the camera who stalks the Bacci Ball court taking pictures of the old Italian guys with the chestnut sun burns who play the game like a religion).

Clegg Zone
Just a quick update of the mentoring progress for anyone who may enjoy a little sadistic glance into a good whoopin'. Doug's first major assignment was to work during the week Internet-free, except for email. It's been both fabulous and horrendous. Working without the distraction of the Internet gave me back an enormous amount of time and also showed me just how often I use the web as a distraction when the going gets tough with my work. It's been a revelation how often I turn to the Internet when I'm bored or tired, rather than do something I really want or need to do like ride my bike or take a nap. The unconscious auto-pilot aspect of it became very clear when it wasn't there as an easy escape.

Although the exercise was meant for only one week, it was such a success I've decided to make it my default way of working. I might add one evening a week, but not if I can help it. I got more done this week both workwise and lifewise, than I have in the last month. If you haven't tried a little net time out, I highly recommend it. It's very revealing and good for the soul.

I Love Weird Stuff
One last thing--I've been meaning to share this with you for a while now, but I really love kind of weird mind-binding sort of stuff. Following is a link to a Dynamic Art site that contains a demo of a moving piece of art. It's got a cool meditative vibe to it and a sense of spacially living images--neat music, too. Have a little look--CLICK HERE.

When that finishes, hit replay than come back here and let the music accompany the following piece, as well (the YouTube vid has no music, so it's more fun with the groovy vibe):

Have a great week. See you next weekend!

Wickedly Yours,
Fran Friel

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Surprise! No Net and Scooby Snacks

Okay, you know that cool announcement I shared with you in my last blog, the one about Douglas Clegg's extraordinary plan to give back to the writing community? Well, I'll admit, I was a little bit envious that some lucky duck was going to get the benefit of Doug's amazing guidance as his first writing mentoree in the program--a once in a lifetime opportunity for sure--but my benevolent side prevailed and I started to feel really excited about Doug's plan. Big ideas tend to create brilliant ripples that inspire others, and this sort of thing makes me strangely happy. Yes, I'm a little odd that way.

Anyway, it had been a pretty tough month at the old Friel homestead, but the dust was starting to clear and I was going along minding my own business when I get a call from Doug. Well, needless to say, I was clueless when he asked if I wanted to be his first mentoree. I was stunned...and I'm still stunned. Talk about the planets aligning, lucky stars, good karma and huge blessings all rolled into one. I'm thrilled. I'm amazed. And I'm enormously grateful, to say the least.

We've begun working together and already I've gained some very important insights into my work and into my thinking process. This week, at my mentor's request, begins a BIG change for me that will make an enormous difference in my working life--No Internet during the work week! Yup, it's a little scary and there will be withdrawal, but I know it's a very important step toward my success in the writing world (and life). I'll still be around on the weekends, but with the exception of email, starting Monday, I'm cut off! It's going to be fun...eventually.

Steve Berry and Maui Dreamin'
As some of you might have noticed in my bios, I often talk about my Maui dreaming. Well, best selling author, Steve Berry, has been living the dream at least during the Maui Writers Conference. I'm determined to find my way to this conference one of these days, but in the meantime, I'm happy to chomp on the little Scooby Snacks that are tossed my way by those who have attended. I'm a good sharer, so following is a little Scooby love for your chomping enjoyment.

In the latest Writer's Digest Newsletter (subscribe to the newsletter here--they always have excellent "snacks" for writers), Steve shares his 8 Rules of Writing:

At the 2008 Maui Writers Conference, bestselling thriller writer Steve Berry says there are eight key rules that all writers must know and follow:

1. There are no rules. You can do anything you want as long as it works.

2. Don't bore the reader. You can bore the reader in a sentence, in a paragraph, by misusing words, poorly choosing words, using the wrong length, etc.

3. Don't confuse the reader. Don't misuse point of view. Don't do too much at once.

4. Don't get caught writing. Don't let you, the author, enter the story. (E.g., "And he never would see Memphis again." How would anyone other than the author know that the character would never see Memphis again?)

5. Shorter is always better. Write tight. It makes you use the best words in the right way.

6. Don't lie to the reader. It's OK to mislead, but don't lie. If you say the character's motivation is A and it turns out to be B (and you haven't foreshadowed it at all), the reader will feel cheated.

7. Don't annoy the reader. Don't use names that are hard to pronounce or write choppy sentences throughout the entire book. It keeps people from getting close to your characters.

8. You must tell a good story. Bad writing can be forgiven with a good story. A bad story with the most beautiful writing cannot.

I hope you enjoyed the Scooby Snack. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the "8 rules." Agree? Disagree? Your own rules?

I'll look forward to seeing you all in Maui someday soon!

Wickedly Yours,
Fran Friel

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