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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Be brave, be bold, be yourself!

An important phone conversation today led me down a particular path of thought.

Someone near and dear to me is changing jobs - not careers - but jobs. However, this individual's professional world is highly stressful, intensely competitive, and filled with too many work hours for any given day. Bottom line: the right job selection is pretty darn important.

At times when choices seem so critical, it's easy to become handicapped, stifled, and fearful. Standing in place seems better than moving any direction. At least, feet are grounded and solid beneath, if you stand still, right?

The problem: it's impossible to get anywhere standing still.

So, I sympathized, empathized, and was the total strong shoulder for this individual with the momentous decision. Then I said, -- come on, you knew I'd say something -- "Be brave, be bold, and be yourself. Go for it all. Interview as exactly who you are. No gimmicks. No facades. No holding back. If the interviewer, the new boss, the HR specialist can handle you full steam, then it's more likely to be the right fit in the long haul. And what's the worst that can happen? They won't hire you; it's not the right placement; they'll envy your great looking power shoes after you leave their office. But, you, my interviewing friend, will walk out with a sense of accomplishment, of knowing that you didn't leave anything on the table. No regrets."

Regrets have always seemed like wasted effort, clutter that takes up emotional space. Regrets can't change or alter a dismissal past. Regrets can't and won't erase harsh words already spilled. Regrets won't eradicate that last awful job. Or terrible boss. Or sorry ex.

Don't misunderstand. Learning from life's teachable moments should be at the top of the priority list. Anyone can learn from the detours with enough effort to recognize and contemplate. But life is and always should be about the journey. Who we are today is a direct result of all of our yesterdays. Bad stuff serves a purpose, too. Even if it's to toddler-teach us to NOT put our finger in the fire again.

Our writing needs to come with the mantra: Be brave, be bold and be true to the writing.

Don't regret a badly penned paragraph. That's one sentence at a time of your story.
Don't regret a character that refuses to stay nicely in their story role. That's a dynamic secondary character that's on their way to becoming a sequel.
Don't regret plot holes. Fill them -- one story stone at a time until a solid plot wall exist.
Don't regret a story line that turns and bends. Think about driving down a monotonous road. Boring, and desperately hard to stay awake. No, the interesting road is the one with twist and dips, even a bump or two.

No standing still. Put pen to pad, stylus to tablet, fingers to keyboard, butt to chair. Be bold, be brave, be true to the writing . . . and that will take you and your writing forward.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

To pseudonym or not . . .

To pseudonym or not . . . that has been my question.



I'll debut my romantic suspense writing under the pseudonym: K.M. Saint James. A great deal of thought, both fore and after, went in to selecting the name. Each part of the name (initials included) has special meaning to me. I'm normally catchier if I'm long-winded -- honestly, just ask anyone who knows me -- but in this case a matter of 14 characters captured a part of me that's profound. I'm expecting my writing to live up to the name, quite honestly.

Authors tout a number of reasons for pen names:
Writing under different genres
Camouflaging their prolific abilities
Moving beyond bad books, bad reviews, bad life choices
Perhaps just for the joy to write exactly what they want, how they want, and without outside expectations.

To name a few, and famous:
Please don't respond with criticism of the order -- it's purely random.

Nora Roberts & J.D. Robb
Stephen King & Richard Bachman (if you don't know the story about his separate identities, invest the research time. Fascinating story.)
JK Rowling & Robert Galbraith
Agatha Christie & Mary Westmacott
Shelly Bradley & Shayla Black
Sherrilyn Kenyon & Kinley McGregor

Abigail Van Buren (Dear Abby) & Pauline Phillips/Jeanne Phillips

My reason for utilizing a pen name? For the joy, for the expansion beyond everything that encapsulates me currently to become more than I ever dreamed. Considering how grand my dreams -- that's a whole lot of expectations.

I'm excited for the journey to begin.
Check back for release dates and for more of the writing journey.

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