Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ten Things I Learned On My Ten Hour Shift

I worked 4AM - 2 PM on Black Friday.  It was a first, and  I can't say it's a favorite memory.  I'm told it wasn't as bad as other years.  Having no frame of comparison, it did seem dead at times, and I didn't expect that on the "biggest" shopping day of the year.  More proof our economy is not recovering.

I never understood the Black Friday hype.  To me, you can get the same price another time.  My store has sales every weekend.  The coupons change; the prices don't.  Personally, I'd pay ten extra dollars to sleep until morning.  And I'd rather not cut Thanksgiving short to save a few bucks.

But it was an experience to add to life's resume.  And like all experiences, I walked away with new knowledge.  I'm not sure this knowledge will ever be useful, but it's still knowledge nontheless.

1.  When you need to fall asleep at 7PM, Benadryl is your best friend.

2.  The majority of people waking to shop in the middle of the night do not shower first.  Or brush their teeth.  Or pop a mint.  Or even get dressed.

3.  Despite number two, they have no problem getting up close and personal with their retail associates.

4.  It's possible to feel tired after seven cups of coffee.

5.  Checking fantasy football stats from games you slept through is not recommended until after clocking out.

6.  Sitting, kneeling, or squatting may be disastrous for associates, as said sitter, kneeler, or squatter may require assistance returning to his or her feet again.

7.  When going to lunch at 9:30AM, you're hungry again when it's actually lunch time.

8.  Someone will always pick Black Friday to perform the most complicated return possible.  That same person will be the one to complain about long lines and inefficient checkouts.

9.  Five weekly workouts do not prevent the physical pain to come.

10.  Long weekends don't exist in retail.  Neither do weekends, but I already sort of knew that.

Are you a Black Friday shopper?  Are the deals worth the insanity?  Has it changed since the recession?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Losers

A good friend e-mailed this video yesterday.  I found it both accurate and powerful, so I wanted to share its message.  Please be advised the clip contains language some may find offensive; however, the words are, in my opinion, needed to convey the issue realistically.

This is one of the most moving pieces I've found on the issue.  Please take a second to watch.



Thoughts?

In other news, be sure to visit the blog of Author K.M. Walton who reveals "something big" today.  I know nothing about it, though I'm sure it relates to the upcoming launch of CRACKED (1/3/12).

Oh, and fantasy football needs to not exist.  Ever again.  That's all.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Writing Exercise: Creating A Soundtrack For Your Novel

I got stuck yesterday.  Rather than performing my normal routine of staring at my laptop and pretending to work, I gave myself a challenge.  Since music is critical in my writing process, I turned my WIP into a soundtrack.  In other words, I went through my writing playlists and selected the song I feel best captures the events and mood of that scene.  Some were obvious; others proved more difficult - either a song wasn't the perfect fit, or, there were multiple "perfect fits" and it was hard choosing (sometimes I forget I'm not graded anymore).

The process was insightful and allowed me to look at the story from a different lens.  Here's what I came up with:

Chapter 1: SECOND CHANCE (Shinedown)

Chapter 2: BREATHE (Greenwheel)

Chapter 3: I'M JUST A KID (Simple Plan)

Chapter 4: JUST LIKE A PILL (Pink)

Chapter 5: LONELY DAY (System of a Down)

Chapter 6: MAD WORLD (Gary Jules with Michael Andrews)

Chapter 7: CREEP (Radiohead)

Chapter 8: LITHIUM (Evanescence)

Chapter 9: BRING ME TO LIFE (Evanescence)

Chapter 10: TIME AFTER TIME (Quietdrive)

Chapter 11: UPTOWN GIRL (Billy Joel)

Chapter 12: SOMEWHERE ONLY WE KNOW (Keane)

Chapter 13: IT'S GONNA RAIN (Bruno Mars)

Chapter 14: LOVE SONG (311)

Chapter 15: SET FIRE TO THE RAIN (Adele)

Chapter 16: HAIR (Lady Gaga)

Chapter 17: I DON'T CARE (Fall Out Boy)

Chapter 18: WE'RE NOT GONNA TAKE IT (Twisted Sister)

Chapter 19: DEFYING GRAVITY (Idina Menzel)

Chapter 20:  UPRISING (Muse)

Chapter 21: UNDER PRESSURE (Queen and David Bowie)

Chapter 22: MISERY (Soul Assylum)

Chapter 23: CLOSER TO THE EDGE (30 Seconds To Mars)

Chapter 24: FIX YOU (Coldplay)

Chapter 25: RUN (Snow Patrol)

Chapter 26: FALLEN (Sarah McLaughlin)

Chapter 27: DON'T CRY OUT LOUD (Melissa Manchester)

Chapter 28: NEVER TOO LATE (THREE DAYS GRACE)

Chapter 29: STOP CRYING YOUR HEART OUT (Leona Lewis)

Can you think of a song that represents your WIP?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Inquiring Mind Seeks Input



The chapters in my WIP do not have names.  I don't plan to name them, though I have ideas for things I could do based on the novel's content. 

I'm not sure why I pondered this today.  But I did.

It got me thinking...

Fellow writers: What are your thoughts on naming chapters?  Is this something you do while drafting your manuscript?  How do you decide if chapter names are appropriate?  Do you have a preference?

Fellow readers: Do chapter names add to (or subtract from) your reading experience?  Do you have a preference?

I'm curious what insight/opinions others have on this topic.

Have a great weekend!