Natasha Raulerson

It’s An Author Thing: Mood Swings

Writing a novel is not easy. It comes with many parts, layers, plot, characterization, pacing, and more. It can come naturally, or it can be frustrating as hell. The layers may fall into

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Sometimes we might get the urge to print part or all of the story just so we can destroy it. 

place, or they might decide that they don’t fit into this particular jigsaw puzzle and opt to be a pain in the ass. Authors not only have to deal with problems in real life, but with the problems in the world they’re creating. So, yes, from time to time we might lose our shit.

 

It’s an author thing.

There may be days where we’re smiling, whistling, giddy even, because we’ve managed to write 2,000 plus words to finish a scene. A scene that we absolutely love. We celebrate with coffee or wine, maybe add some chocolate in there. It could be on Friday, so we break out the booze early, because it’s five o’clock somewhere. We celebrate, because it’s an accomplishment.

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Cheers to the days when writing comes easy and the characters do exactly what they’re supposed to do. 

It’s an author thing.

Saturday rolls around and when you wake up, the first thing you notice is your possible hangover. Try not to celebrate too hard next time.

There’s another problem though. As your brain was relaxing from the copious amounts of alcohol, you realize that the scene you wrote, may not actually be what the book needs. A thought dribbles in that there’s a better way to do it, or if you do it all the crazy consequences that could shift the entire plot of the book taking it in a direction you don’t want it to go.

Damn it!

That’s never fun. The two choices are to scrap the scene then and there or continue writing to see where it goes. Neither of which you want to do because it was time tumblr_lsx4ddf9ar1qafrh6consuming and yesterday it was perfect, but today–the problems have shown themselves.

It’s frustrating, and you’ve gone from happy-go-lucky to “disturb me while I’m trying to
fix this and I will end you.”

Staring, chin holding, hair pulling, eye rolling, and so many more things happen as you analyze the text, desperately trying to figure out what to do next. Your emotions are fluctuating up and down. When you think you’ve got an idea, victory is in sight, but then, you realize crying-gif-2the five different reasons it won’t work.

So, essentially, in less than 24 hours you’ve gone from happy, to hungover, to annoyed, to angry, to flabbergasted, to sad. All your confidence as a writer is gone. You wonder if you can make it in this business. It’s a roller coaster of tumultuous emotions from being overwhelmed, just because one scene is ruining the whole book.

Oh no, I’m not exaggerating. This happens. To multiple authors. Readers don’t get emotions from novels because we’re cold, uncaring robots. They get it because it took all those emotions just to write the book.

Just as all hope seems to be lost, and you’re hiding under your desk rocking back and forth, hair wild–and maybe just a little drool dribbling down your chin–epiphany strikes. You know just want to do to make the ()#&%#(*$&#( scene work. To make the story work.

You get up, clean up, and sit at your keyboard, fingers going to work. All the previous confidence you lost has now returned. You got this.

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It’s an author thing.

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Natasha Raulerson

It’s An Author Thing: We Help Each Other

Recently an amazing author friend of mine, Leatrice McKinney, has found herself in a rough patch because her papa needs help with medical expenses-yes, insurance should be paying for it, but, not so surprisingly, they’re refusing. Don’t get me started on insurance problems though. It’s not the point.

The point is, that, as mentioned before, the writing community is small. When one hurts, we all hurt. Sometimes, we’re as poor as the next person and may not be able to take money out of our own pockets, but there is always a way we can help. It could be as simple as spreading the word, or being there for that person to have someone to listen to them. A lot of times though, when it’s something truly harrowing, we donate our services to raise money for that person.

It’s an author thing.

We’re proud of our community. The people are fantastic, the creativity is always on overload, and we know that if we fall, that community is there to help us stand. Not every author knows every other author, but once you’re in, the network forms. We care about each other. We talk, laugh, cry, and struggle with the frustrations of writing together.

To put it simply, we help each other out. That’s what community does.

It’s an author thing.

That being said, we are currently putting together an auction for the Unstoppable Papa. Struggling to afford medical treatment shouldn’t be a thing. People shouldn’t have to worry about whether they can make their next necessary appointment because they can’t afford it. Unfortunately, at least in America, there are entirely too many things wrong with our healthcare system and Unstoppable Papa is one of many victims.

If you can donate directly that’s awesome. If you’d rather wait for the auction, that’s fine too. If you can offer services to be auctioned off, that would be amazing. If all you can do is spread the word, we love you for that too.

Every author has needed help in some way or form. Sometimes it’s with our writing. Sometimes it’s with our life. We do our best to keep our community going afloat. We always try to have each others back.

That’s how we roll.

It’s an author thing.

11352373_1463019958.4792For more information on the Unstoppable Papa, check out the Go Fund Me page.

For more information on the amazing Author Leatrice McKinney and for more information on the upcoming auction, see her website.

If you’d like to donate your services contact us.

Natasha Raulerson

It’s an Author Thing: Don’t Piss Us Off

Let’s face it. Some people are just big giant bags of doucheholes. That’s putting it mildly.

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Once upon a time, there was this lady, who I dubbed the Evil B in 118. I had been walking my dog around the complex. She (my dog) had already done her business when we’d been farther out, as we come back, she stops to sniff some grass near the Evil B’s apartment. This lady then promptly bangs on her glass door, screaming at me like I’m eviscerating someone on full display.

I ignore her and move on. Start talking to another woman I know in the building who is also walking her dogs. Evil B comes around and proceeds to start screaming at me. My dog didn’t go to the bathroom on that patch of grass, and for the record, it also wasn’t the Evil B’s yard, as she so adamantly claimed.

It literally got to the point where she screamed that she saw her do it, and I screamed show-me-the-money-gif
back, ala Tom Cruise in  Jerry Maguire: “SHOW ME THE POOP!”

Which, of course, she couldn’t. Seriously, she harrasssed me every time she saw me for like a good year. I wouldn’t say anything to her and she would just start screaming at me.

So, I did what I do best. I took her character archetype and put it one of my books. Granted, this was my first failed book, but creating Evil B as a fictional character, making her an evil, crazy person with the likeness of hair and dress as the real person was very therapeutic. It made me smile to know, that even if she didn’t know, she would be immortalized in a novel based on the way she treated me.

Yes, we do that.

It’s an author thing.

3e7d00892fa8a33b3129a1633346ef94Pissing an author off runs the risk of finding your character likeness in a book. They won’t
have your name, and there will be enough subtle differences that it’s not actually you, but the basic archetype is there. We don’t have to add boils or grotesque features, because most times, the personality is enough to make the character ugly.

It’s really great fodder for our books, so sometimes, even as pissed off as we are, we should be thanking the doucheholes of the world for giving us so much to work with.

Well, nah. I don’t think we’d actually do that.

The moral of the story: Be careful who you piss off. You might find that our revenge immortalizes you in history in a way you would rather not be remembered.

The pen is mightier than the sword.

It’s an author thing.

Natasha Raulerson

It’s An Author Thing: Writing In Between

I’m visiting my parents in the middle of nowhere. When visiting family, it can be hard to find time to yourself–I mean, well maybe you’re lucky and have that family that actually leaves you alone when you tell them you’re going to be writing for X amount of time. Yeah, that doesn’t work with my family, as my CP group, the Walrus Writer’s can attest to.

Me: “Ma, I have my CP group at 1:30 on Skype. Just so you know.”

Mom: “Okay, no one will bother you.”

I head off to set up. Get comfortable. Dad decides to pressure wash the pool deck–and latest-loud-noises-gif-323that pressure washer can be heard clear from the back to the front, and we had the windows open because it’s been cool. I know, cool weather in Florida in May. So freakin’ weird.

Okay, so I find the quietest spot I can, which is still pretty damn loud. I start to write before group starts.

Mom takes over pressure washing to give dad’s hands a break.

1:25 p.m.

Dad: “Tasha, where you at?”

I poke my head out.

Dad: “I want you to go grab them two pork butts and that rack of ribs out the fridge and 6928d1f7-6cd0-4204-8c5a-e9ee7f842a00season em’ up for me. I’ll throw them on the grill when we’re done with the pool.”

Me: …..

When your family says they’ll leave you alone so you can write, but then magically forget about that promise and give you a list of stuff to do.

It’s an author thing.

So, if you’re anything like me, you learn to write in between the ‘I needs’ and the ‘do me a favor’ and the phone ringing.

A hundred words here. A thousand words there when you get a blissful hour of peace. It adds up. Even if it’s fifteen words or half a blog post before your OCD mom walks out looking for one of the five portable phones she keeps in the house.

Mom: “How many phones do you have?” ea365359jw1epg61d41y1g208w06okjl

Me: “One?”

Mom: “Which one?”

Cause she has them labeled.

Me: “Kitchen.”

She walks away. I continue to write.

Interruptions suck and sometimes they can throw off a rythm. When there’s a lot going on, you have to learn to adapt, being able to stop and start as many times as is needed to hit that deadline.

Then, ya know, when it’s down to twenty-four hours before deadline, you just threaten everyone not to disturb you unless someone is dead, dying, or rising from the grave–under penalty of their own possible death if they don’t adhere to said guidelines. Then you have less than 24 hours to complete the manuscript and get it ready to go.

Yeah. That’s how we roll.

It’s an author thing.

Natasha Raulerson

It’s An Author Thing: Ideas Of The Night

The best ideas, at least for me, come when I’m just about to drift off to sleep. My brain is finally relaxed enough to let the creative juices fire through the synapses and wake those neurons up–and suddenly sleep is nothing more than a dream.

It's An Author ThingI’m awake. I have to get up and either jot down notes, create a character, or write a sample first chapter. There is no going to sleep when this happens. Not until the idea is solidified somewhere that I can review it in the morning–and not have forgotten it like the vague recesses of a fuzzy dream.

There’s nothing more annoying than thinking you’ll remember an awesome idea and wake up to find it’s faded into the nothing.

Nope. Gotta write it down before the sandman comes to visit.

It’s an author thing.

This can be annoying of course. Especially on nights I’m tangled in my husbands arms, head on his chest, his heartbeat lulling me to sleep. I jump up, roll out of bed, and he’s wondering what the hell just happened. Till he see’s the notebook.

He rolls his eyes as he turns on his side and starts to doze, cause we’ve been there before.

Then he starts to snore–and I’m the one annoyed. It's An Author Thing

No, that’s not an author thing.

The compulsion to write down an idea, because we know what fickle bitches they can be, how easy it is for them to slip through our fingers, and how sometimes they are pure nuggets of gold we may never get back if we don’t have pen scribbling over paper ASAP.

Nope. Can’t let that go. Too risky.

It’s an author thing.

 

 

Natasha Raulerson

It’s An Author Thing: Don’t Judge My Browser History

Part Four

We’re not neurotic–all the time. Okay, maybe some of the time.

Stop pressuring me!

Admittedly, it’s a lot of the time. That’s besides the point. If you had worlds forming in your head and characters whispering in your ear, you might be a little coocoo bananas too.

No, we’re not actually crazy….at least not clinically. 

It’s an author thing.

However, if you find one of us watching Forensic Files, a documentary on serial killers, using the internet to look up poisons, strange ways to dispose of a body, or rituals that require human sacrifice, do not fear. We’re not going to kill you or anyone else–at least not in the real world.

Our characters though, well they may have something to worry about.

We research morbid and terrible things to make our stories more compelling. A story can be any genre, but it still has to be believable in that, the reader must be able to aknowledge that the events could happen. Event taking a realistic situation and putting into a novel can be hard. As they say, sometimes, truth is stranger than fiction. Strange things happen, but as authors we have to make sure that our story is, on some level, believable. Otherwise, readers will not be happy.

So when we’re at an impass, we pull out our laptops, research how long it takes for rigor mortis to set in, check unsolved murder cases, look for ideas on how to get away with murder (no, not the TV show, actual ways to get away with murder), unique ways to kill people, and well, generally worse things than that.  It’s necessary.

Don’t judge my browser history.

It’s an author thing.

 

 

 

 

Natasha Raulerson

It’s An Author Thing: Part Three

The undercover writer.

When you’re visiting family, but you have words to write. They generally just don’t get it. They think you’re being a recluse and hiding away in your room. Which is rude. Okay, that’s true, probably rude, but there’s a story that needs telling, and sitting on the back porch listening to the obnoxious jerk two yards over toot the train horn on his truck is not exactly productive.

That did happen.

So, when you’re in the living room to watch a movie, totally sneak on your laptop, and keep popping your head up from time to time to talk about what’s happening on the screen. Yup. Undercover writing. Holding half hearted conversationd while knowing the words need to pour onto the page because you’re determined to get this scene written because you’re actually just that sick of it being a pain in the ass and what it to be over.

It’s an author thing.

We don’t mean to be rude, or mean, or reclusive. We just have to get it done. If we don’t find the crazy, weird, odd moments to write, well then nothing would get written. Life would perpetually get in the way of creating new worlds. Finding time to write, even in the most odd moments when people give us sidelong glances or think we should be doing something else.

It’s an author thing.