Friday, October 5, 2012
Oct. 5, 2012 1:30
Panel on Influences and Inspirations
Renaissance Hotel Cleveland, OH
Moderator: Laurie R. King
Toni L. P. Kelner (pen name ??)
Our Inspirations: what book, play, tv show, and music made us the writers we are today.
LRK - We’re talking about things outside your skin that shape your writing.
What first inspired you with the idea that crime fiction could be a good way to approach ideas. What turned you to a life of crime?
SJ: I read like crazy as a kid. One I loved was Astrid Lungren - Bill Birkson Lives Dangerously (also wrote Pippi L) this was a kid and two sidekicks in village in Scandinavia - bad guy comes to town and they’re the only ones who can stop them. I think that’s one of the first books I loved so much I checked it out over and over. First crime novel ever read. By time I stared Nancy Drew, crime genre was what I was focusing on.
Ed: I read all Hardy Boys, N Drew, E. Brown. But music was a big influence. I was punk rock kid. Dead Kennedy’s album song: Kill the Poor. Made me see how political policies were squeezing the lower classes. Like Swift, but with music and cuss words. Toni: I read SF In 6th grade, my classroom wasn’t finished, so they had us in the library. After work done, I’d go through the shelves, came across Have Spacesuit Will Travel. An Ordeal in Otherwhere. Asimov’s Early Asimov Vol. 1, in which he wrote about his genesis as a writer—inspiring. My triumverate. I started to think I could do this.
Zoe: I write Charlie Fox books. My first foray into crime novels was The Misfortunes of Mr. Teal. Written in 30s My grandmother got it in 40s gave it to me in 79 and I still have it. Backtracked into Dorothy Sayers and other classics, and then into more modern books.
Dana: I remember seeing Sleeping Beauty and othe Disney princesses, who were not effective as heroines Annoyed me. Admired Cleopatra and others. Still had fashion sense and great hair. Nancy Drew saved others, had cool car, hair, and fashion. Liked idea of mixing adventure and life of the mind. Dorothy Sayers, Tey, Marsh replaced N. Drew. I didn’t read Eliz. Peters until after I started writing. I did archaeology, which is looking at things through the lens of the past. During a dig, we had an incident where a guy came up with a metal detector, we told him he couldn’t do that on state property and he pulled a gun on us. Gave me a lot to think about. Inspiration for fiction.
LRK: When you write—caffeine, music, quiet—what?
Dana: Need music—need a soundtrack of the right music for the book when I write. I write in my office in overalls. Techno for fight scenes is good. One half cup of coffee—anything more is purely recreational.
Zoe - caffeine teetotaler, which should prolly exclude me from mystery writers. No nicotine or alcohol—I’m just high on life. Need music for writing. Wide variety. If stuck, I go in car and listen to loud music and that often unsticks me.
Toni: I like caffeine when I write. I often have kids in the house when I’m writing. they will text me from the other room. For one series of books, I have certain music I listen to to get me in the mood.
Ed: I like to remove all distractions first when I start writing. Before I do, I will sometimes watch an older film, in B&W—I prefer the contrast in grays rather than artificial colors. Instrumental music is good—surf music is very good to write to.
SJ: Caffeine, definitely. Pot of coffee. Just got an espresso maker. Music sometimes. Never with words., unless opera in language I don’t speak A lot of asian music. If I’m at a coffee house, whatever they have on is fine, unless it’s something I grew up with an know every word of like Beatles, etc. No booze. I don’t know how people write stoned out of their mind—I wouldn’t be able to find the keyboard. At home, I need to be alone. At my shared summer house, I have a writing porch where I can’t see anyone else. Fortum and Mason Queen Anne tea seems to work - others agree. Mentions Asimov series (___ Starr?) about a kid private eye in space (written under name Paul French)
LRK: When I was doing a book with a male protagonist, I read a lot of boy books to prepare, started to swagger, got testosteronized. Three sentences in, I was back writing as me. Some say can’t read and write fiction at same time, but do you need to immerse yourself for certain kinds of writing.
SJ: Can’t read anything similar to what I’m writing. But in other media, I can take in similar stuff. A tv show or movie to help you getting ready to writing. Between books, I can read similar things to what I’m getting ready to write.
Ed: Hard for me to read while writing, but see movies. Italian realism movies are good. Toni: Short story I wrote about a carnival. To get the voice right—I read Fred Brown, which was at right time, male voice. But different kind of story. I read it before/during.
Zoe: I’m happy to read anything while I’m writing. I try to avoid anything too poetic—makes me a bit too long-winded. I read a lot of non-fiction. Not a big fan of chick-flicks, but like a lot of tv shows—loved The Professionals, UK show.
Dana: Writing Anna Hoyt in short stories was a little difficult - 18th c tavern owner, embattled. I tend to read apocalytic stuff, but when writing her I read military fiction, field and stream, stuff to help me look at thing through a different view. TV shows: Band of Brothers, Sopranos, stuff to help me look at things from a different viewpoint. Q&A - Next book for each?
Dana - Seven Kinds of ___ ? (missed it) young archaeolgist who doesn’t realize she’s a werewolf
Zoe - next Charlie Fox -in New Orleans - called Die Easy
Toni - protagonist deals with a family skeleton in the closet- actually a skeleton - under pseudonym
Ed - next book’s on my website. Don’t ever like to talk about next book.
SJ - thought I’d never do this. Book is called Blood of the Lamb - co-written supernatural book - under pseudonym - Sam Cabot
LRK - cowritten book - Arvon Book of Crime Writing. Also Books to Die For essay anthology.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
The drawback of owning a smartphone that holds all of your apps, photos, music and more is the possibility that you may lose the device. With all of the information and content iPhones hold, it can be frustrating to lose the device in one fell swoop. There are a number of apps and services, such as Find My Phone and Apple’s MobileMe, that will help track your iPhone’s location if the device is lost. Today, TekTrak is entering the mix with its app that allows you to track the GPS of an iPhone remotely from any web browser.
(Click the quoted headline above to continue reading).
Having used it, my impression is that it's a nice, simple app that does what it says it will do--from a web interface, it tracks your iPhone's location either continuously or (to prevent battery drain) at timed intervals that you can adjust from between 10 and 60 minutes. You can check your location history on the app (which could get a bit dicey if you wind up somewhere you shouldn't be) and you can use it to ring your iPhone remotely as well. It's a nice piece of functionality for $4.99.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century by George Friedman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This was an interesting book in which the author attempts to predict what will happen in the world over the next 100 years. I wish I could give it 3.5 stars instead of 3.0 or 4.0, as I really was somewhere in between those ratings on this one.
Some of the predictions left me bummed out, particularly the one that space will inevitably be militarized. The author argues that the control of space will be just as crucial to being on top of the hierarchy as controlling the seas is now. It does make some degree of practical sense, but I just really hate the thought of space becoming militarized. I just have these visions of the Grand Moff Tarkin from Star Wars, but with US insignia on his uniform. Blech.
The author posits Turkey and Japan as coming rivals for power with the US, and he has some dire predictions about the intersection of the relatively small Gen X and the unfriendly immigration policies spurred on my 911 (the section on this issue would be interesting tandem reading for another of my goodreads books called The Age Curve by Kenneth Gronbach, which I really enjoyed. in the long view, the author urges readers to see most conflicts and seemingly important contemporary developments as minor points in the history of US foreign policy, which he argues is primarily used to keep potential rivals and antagonists off-balance and playing catch-up. I don't know if I necessarily agree with that, but it's interesting to step back from current events to try and see the overall pattern over time.
I'd recommend this one for those who enjoy contemplating how the future may unfold are interested in stepping back for a more long-term perspective on contemporary issues and events.
View all my reviews >>
Sunday, June 28, 2009
The Adweek Copywriting Handbook: The Ultimate Guide to Writing Powerful Advertising and Marketing Copy from One of America's Top Copywriters by Joseph Sugarman
rating: 3 of 5 stars
This has some good stuff, especially for print advertising and direct mail. I actually didn't end up finishing it because the kind of writing I'm looking to hone is for the internet, and some of his rules go out the window in that medium. And that's why I gave it just three stars instead of four. For many other kinds of copywriting, it should be a great resource, however.
View all my reviews.
I'm starting a business-related blog at WebDarter.com, so I may be posting some of my business-book reviews like this over there as well.
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
I've been on quite a ride over the last few years, and it might be helpful to me if to no one else, to have a place to reflect on where I've been and where I'm going.
"What sort of ride?" you might ask, if you were extremely bored and happened to have stumbled over this blog in your cyber-wanderings--not likely, but we'll just pretend, for fun.
My life--the ultra-compact edition:
I was born,
went to college,
got married a month after graduation,
went to law school,
had two kids, and
until I saw that the kids needed much more attention.
So I quit and became a full-time mom.
Within a little more than a year, one of my kids had been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder and my husband had jumped ship. Bye-bye, honey!
So. I went from being a kid in my parents house to dating my future husband all in the space of a few months at 18. Never dated anyone else, never on my own before and here I am now twenty-something years later, with two kids, two mortgages and a defunct wedding ring, captain of the ship at last.
It's an interesting place to be--not what I would have chosen, especially for the kids (who will pathetically drop hints about "The Parent Trap"--would someone please run an 18-wheeler over that movie?),
but as rides go, it has been...interesting.
That gives you the general idea, anyway.