Tag Archive: beach



My latest Vlog entry.  This time the subject is “CREATING TENSION IN YOUR STORY”  and covers a very important scene in my current novel “THE SHIP”  I hope you enjoy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9_Xhh6uc8o&feature=plcp


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I took these photos at the Long Marine Lab located on the campus of the University of Santa Cruz.  All of them are of a young Gray Whale skeleton that is 25 feet long and is obviously outdoors. Please make sure to click on each one to get a bigger and better view of each image.   The creature has been put up on metal pipes to keep it off the ground and give it that more caught in the moment feel.  As you can see in photo #3 it has been placed next to a path and a mere 20-30 feet from a fence that allows visitors to look over a cliff and out at the ocean.  The view there is breathtaking and can really inspire a person’s imagination.

In my case it inspired a terrifying scene for my second novel where a young female reporter has been snooping into matters regarding  Cassandra Elliott (billionaire heiress) and her lover Julie DeLuca-Cloudfoot (shamaness and internet erotic lesbian wrestler) my two leading characters for this novel.   They have been stalked by a strange figure wearing clothing straight out of the late 18th century.  He appeared in my first book “THE BRIDGE”, where he nearly captured Cassandra at one point.  The mystery man failed and managed to survive being shot several times (including int he face), and was later at the center in a fiery explosion that took out an entire structure.  Cassie and Julie thought he had been killed and are completely unaware he is still around.

He  has plans for Cassandra and has followed her here to Santa Cruz, while she is on vacation.  He cares nothing about Julie, she is just a nuisance who may need to be eliminated if she tries to interfere and protect her lover.  His plans involve only the heiress, but the moment has not come and he must keep her safe in the meantime.   But, a new threat has arisen and he must keep Cassandra safe without her knowledge.

Unfortunately, a female paparazzi has been making a nuisance of herself while pursuing Cassandra and Julie to get photos and juicy details about the couple.  Her goal is to out the heiress unless offered a good sum of money to let her stay in the closet.  But now the reporter has just run across the mysterious figure and plans on making him part of the story.  It is a fatal mistake.  For although the he appears to be alone, he has an inhuman ally with him.  His compatriot proceeds to animate the giant skeleton as if it were alive once more.  The young would-be paparazzi will be grabbed by the bony jaws tossed about and eventually flung over the railing you see in photo #3.

How this idea came to me was interesting.  I had visited the Long Marine Lab before and had simply wanted to look at the view from the fenced area.  I heard a creaking behind me for a panicked moment my imagination went wild.  I pictured in my mind the great skeleton just behind me had moved and the pipes holding it up were being bent in the process.  Looking around I quickly saw that this was not the case.  You see right nearby is a large Desalinization Plant and the metal noises were coming from there.  But still the image stuck in my mind and I filed it away for later use.  It was too good a scene to let go.  Now I’ve finally gotten the chance to use it.

So now you have an example of how just simply roaming around and checking out places, can lead to some interesting ideas for writing.  I hope you enjoyed this little view into my world.  Please leave a comment and let me know if you’d like to read more about how I get other ideas and inspirations.  Until next time, take care and thanks for reading.


Greetings all.  For some time I’ve been thinking about Vlogging (Video Blogging for those who’ve never heard the term before).  If you haven’t heard it before don’t feel bad, I only learned of it a couple of months ago.  Yes, I’m a little behind the curve some days.  I’m just grateful they leave breadcrumbs so I can follow and eventually catch up.

Now I believe I’ve mentioned the possibility of me taking up Vlogging before and I wanted to give you all an update on my thoughts and plans.  In the last few days I asked a bunch of my Facebook friends (which includes published authors) for their thoughts.  The response has been an overwhelming DO IT!  WE WANT TO SEE HOW IT GOES!   So, the plan is yes I will do some Vlogging in the future.  Just not the near future.  I do not have a camera, nor do I have the money to get one.  Gotta keep the priorities straight when it comes to everyday life and getting by.

That said, I WILL be Vlogging eventually in addition to my Blogging.  I won’t be dropping one for the other.  I want them to supplement each other.  After all I can’t video a section of my books, the written word is needed for that.  So I will be continuing to post snippets here of my work as well as give insights to what’s been going on in my life.  I’ll also continue taking photos of places where some of the action in my novels occurs.  I noticed that my recent shared photo of where I go for inspiration seemed to be very popular and would like to continue doing that.

So please sit tight and before this coming weekend is over I hope to have another photo or two up to share with you all.  Thanks for all your support and I look forward to hearing back from you all.  Take care and have a great week everyone.

 

Inspiration


Inspiration

This is one of the many places I go to roam when I hit writer’s block or I’m trying to sort through a scene and can’t quite get it to fit. There are a lot of places like this in Santa Cruz which help me get the ole’ noggin’ working. Hope you like the image everyone. More posts coming soon.


Short and sweet entry here folks.  Gotta get to class and study for a mid-term tomorrow, then another big exam for Thursday.  Didn’t want to leave you with nothing.  So here’s a small sampling from what should be my 2nd novel “The Ship”.  It involves Cassandra and Julie, two of the main women from my first novel “The Bridge”.  Cassie is still recovering from wounds suffered during the final battle of that book and has gone to Santa Cruz with her new girlfriend Julie.  This scene takes place on the sands near Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.  Enjoy…

“Are you sure you’re up to this Cassie?” asked Julie.

The smaller girl nodded.

“What about your wound?  Are you sure its going to be all right with this salt water?”

Cassandra nodded, “It’s healing pretty well and with the wetsuit covering it, I’ll be all right.”

Smiling the tall muscular brunette shifted the surfboard under her arm.  “Thanks again for all this, I always wanted to try surfing.”

“Well, I hope you have better luck than I’ve had,” Cassie laughed. “I’ve never been able to stand up on the board for more than two seconds.  And this is my fourth time taking the class.”

Their instructor, a well-toned blonde in a black wetsuit blew a whistle.  “Okay gang, remember what you were told and stay close enough so you can hear my instructions.  We’re going to paddle out a ways and get used to sitting on the board.  Pay attention to how it moves in the water and how it responds to your movements.  Let’s go.”

The group of twelve slowly waded out into the water and lay down on their boards and began to paddle as instructed.

They all wore black wetsuits like their instructor.  To Cassie, they looked like a bunch of small Orcas who got bored floating under their own power.  She could hear the sea lions calling to one another around the pier just a few hundred yards away.

On the other side of it was the famous Santa Cruz Boardwalk.  She must remember to go there with Julie and ride the carousel.  It was one of the oldest ones in existence that still allowed you to grab a brass ring.

A large swell interrupted her thoughts and reminded her to pay attention.  Balance had always been an issue for her.  Ballroom and Yoga were some of the few things that allowed her to compensate for this problem.  But, if she had one of her seizures and zoned, she’d be in trouble.

Luckily she had one ankle attached to the board by five feet of cord.  This was so the surfer couldn’t become separated from it by any great distance.  And of course Julie was nearby and she was a strong swimmer.  Everything should be all right.

Just then something bumped her board from underneath.

Immediately Cassie flattened herself and gripped the edges of the board with a vengeance.  Maybe this wasn’t one of her better ideas after all.

“Miss Elliott?  Is everything all right?” called the instructor some distance away.

Cassandra realized she had been lagging behind.  The rest of the group was well ahead of her, including Julie.  Something was wrong.  She started to feel uneasy and cold inside the well-insulated suit.

Once more she felt her board being bumped by something below.

She felt her panic begin to rise.

“Stay where you are I’m coming,” shouted their teacher who began paddling towards her.  Julie was following close behind.

Cassie tried to remain perfectly still, when suddenly she felt the back end of her board sink slightly.  A moment later there was a splash and a barking sound.

Twisting to look over her shoulder she saw a baby sea lion near her feet.  It had mounted her board and was sitting quite contentedly enjoying the movement of the waves.

“Showoff,” she muttered, and tried to sit up and straddle the board as she had been taught.

As soon as she started to put her legs in the water, the little mammal began to bark insistently at her.

Again the cold feeling of something not being right swept over her.

“You’re afraid of something in the water, aren’t you?” she said to her passenger.

The little creature gave a nervous look around and barked at her with mounting urgency.

Cassie got the message.  There was something in the water and they needed to get out of there.  The water was becoming rougher as if a passing boat had sent a swell their way.  But there was no vessel in sight.

Carefully she paddled the board to face the shore.  She’d try to catch the next swell and ride it while lying flat.

At that moment a voice came over the water, “Hurry child!” it said.

            She froze.  She’d heard that voice before.  Only once, but it was unmistakable.  It had belonged to the man who had blocked their retreat that night on the bridge.  Looking up she saw a figure wrapped in a black cloak on the top of the nearby cliff.  He was looking down at her.

A wet nose nudged her foot, breaking the moment.  The little sea lion loudly continued his warning.

Looking around she saw a good size wave was coming and she readied herself for it.

“Stay flat and just ride it in,” called the instructor from nearby.  “Just do as I do, I’ll be right next to you.”

Cassie nodded.

The swell came. She felt the board lift up and pressed down and forward to ride it in.  Suddenly, the board was hit from behind.  She heard the panicked cry of the sea lion and then a splash.

A moment later she found herself dumped into the surf.  She scrambled to find her board, knowing it would be nearby thanks to the tether.   With a lunge she pushed upwards and her head broke the surface of the water.

Gasping, she searched for her board only to find it drifting farther and farther away.  Reaching under the water she found her cord had somehow broken, leaving her adrift with another wave approaching.

“Swim to me!” shouted her instructor from nearby.  She had gotten off the last wave and was paddling towards her.

Cassandra did as she was told and within moments was safely on the woman’s board.  Together they rode the coming wave to shore.

They had barely climbed out of the surf, when Julie rushed over to them.  “Are you okay Baby?” she cried, grabbing the heiress into her arms.  “What happened out there?”

“I’m not sure,” Cassie replied.  “Did anyone see what happened to the sea lion pup?”

Her two rescuers shook their heads and stared back at the empty water.


Writer’s block.  We’ve all had it at one time or another.  I’ve heard many suggestions on how to deal with it.  Here’s a few of my own:

1-Uncontrollable sobbing in the nearest corner.  This does not necessarily solve the problem, but it gets some of your frustrations and emotions out of the way.  NOTE: Doing this for two or more days straight may signal a bigger problem, men in white coats with big nets come to take to you to a much happier place.  At least they did with me.  You know, I always picture Disneyland a lot bigger and more colorful.  The white padding in that room just didn’t really scream Mickey Mouse to me.

Okay that got the silly out of the way.  Here are some real suggestions.

Go out and exercise.  Take a walk, swim, do some kind of physical activity that gets you away from the computer.  Your brain will still be working quietly on the story mind you.  I’ve had more than one occasion to be hitting the treadmill when a path suddenly becomes clear in the story and I keep working it while I’m exercising.  As soon as I’m done I hit the laptop and move on.

A change of scenery, go to a beach, a mall, a forest, a mountain… whatever’s available where you live.  A different perspective can trigger ideas.

Work on a different or later scene in the story.  Sometimes this can help lay groundwork for ideas of how to reach this later part of your story.  You may inadvertently come up with some background ideas that can suddenly get you past whatever’s got you stumped.

Another suggestion is look at the section your on.  How important is it to the story that it remains in this form.  I’ve written several pages in a scene only to hit a roadblock and finally come to the conclusion that the scene just isn’t  working.  I’ve revealed too much or some of what’s going on in it does nothing for the rest of the story.  Or certain revelations I’ve put down here might work better elsewhere.  So I’ve literally torn sections up and did them over from scratch in a totally different manner that led to a better story arc.

So there are a few of my ideas.  How about you all?  I’d love to see and hear what you folks have found to work for getting past the dreaded “Writer’s Block”.  Please leave comments and thanks for reading.

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