Authors Helping One Another

I have a dream about how it could be for authors. Mostly my dream is for helping and supporting Indie authors, but my dream works for all authors, too. The dream is co-operation. The dream is me, not making money off of you, my fellow-struggling authors. Rather, I’d like to make a fair wage for my labors from readers. My dream is authors helping authors by pooling their resources.

Our competition is not one another. We are competing with ourselves. Our last book. How to make the next one better. How to keep growing and going as an author?

My idea is author cells. Not just authors being a member of a big endlessly growing group, but letting that bigger group be broken into smaller groups of twelve. They could be broken down by genres or by fiction or nonfiction. And, an author is not limited by participation to one cell. An author can decide how much work she or he has time and ambition to do. But it’s one book you’ve written per cell. You commit to the other eleven authors in the cell. You agree to read one another’s title via gifted pdf or direct purchase of an author’s book (1.99 or less) and review on Goodreads and Amazon. If you want more from one another, you negotiate that in the cell. For instance, you may also agree to tweet one another’s title, or post it, etc. And why not? You agree in the cell. But you need to be serious and ride it through until you’ve read and reviewed all eleven books. And then you are ready to receive eleven reviews. If you have multiple titles, it’s one title per cell. Those of you more driven can take on as much work as you want. No more waiting for your turn or a special event in a big group. These are small, productive, tit for tat groups within a larger group. We work for one another’s success as success comes back to us.

We have started the first cell here: ttps://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/18600327

It is generosity and other-centeredness bringing good things back to yourself. I believe in that principle for life and it’s no different as an author. I welcome your comments.

 

 

 

 

Don’t Give Me Your Condescending Meow!

How’d you like to face this everyday! Write, she says. Write! Write! Rewrite!

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One More Thing

I live in a small town. I do the thing where I try to support local business. But I avoid our license renewal facility at all costs. Now that I can, I do it all online. But then, they mailed me that funky temporary sticker and I had to go in.

So I go in and for a couple of decades…three, I take the number from the old hanging numbers thingy and sit myself down to wait and grow old. It’s three workers, one customer at the counter, one in the seats besides me.

Two workers–youngish, and youngish and intimidated, are without customers but shuffling around behind the counter looking pensive so I think…okay. It’s a sitcom I live in. So chill.

Now ‘youngish and intimidated’ finishes shuffling paper and she looks up and calls out the next number. But guess what? Guy in the chairs who was there before me didn’t take a number like me, the smart winner that I am. But it’s all good. I tell him, “You were here first. Go on.”

He’s very grateful and I think I sent a good message to the whole place. We CAN all get along!

So dude goes up and youngish and you-know-the-rest is helping him out.

Now dude two comes in and he doesn’t take a number, but he stands at the end of the counter. And big hair, which is the third worker, the older one, she finishes with her dude and she says, “Next!” And I stand up, number in hand, and she turns to new dude who stands at the counter and says, “Can I help you?”

What the…BLEEP!

I say, “I was here next. I’ve got a number!” I say it kind of firm, I admit.

“He’s in line,” big bit…hair says to me pointing at this big sign over dude that says four or forty things, one of which is ‘form a line.’

I have never read that…sign, but I’ve always taken a freak…in…number. Now here’s where that amazing I. Q. kicks in. I say, “Your co-worker just called out a number and you say I have to be in line, now I’m confused.” I sound like Jack Nicholson, I think. No, I do!

And she makes no eye-contact. She grins and keeps looking down. “You stand in line here,” she says.

Oh, cry for your mama.

Dude at the counter says to me, “You go on now. You were here first.” He’s got his hands out like I’m that crazy junk yard dog.

So I step up there, my eyes watering from the heat coming off my face. I’m doing my Lamaze breathing and if you don’t know what that is you’re too young to be reading this. I was a furious beast.

“They sent me the wrong sticker,” I say. I don’t sound like Jack anymore. Jack’s mom, maybe.

She says, “Oh, you’re going to get a new license plate!” Like goodie, goodie. “Let me show you those pretty new plates,” she says.

I mumble, “No. No.” But she’s got the co-workers looking for the plates now and I’m saying, “I don’t want to see…to see..,” and finally I get my act together and I say, “I don’t want to see them!”

And hair ignores me and finds one of those plates carrying on like she won the Illinois Powerball. She shoves it under my nose and I jump like it’s an arm she just dug up out of the garden.

The other day I heard the state of Illinois is recalling those plates. Nobody likes them. In some sick way…it made me smile.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Writing and No Garlic or Chapter 2 on Writing and Garlic

What I was going for in that last blog was a piece about writing. I got to thinking and garlic seemed like the perfect connection to the process of using words. It made perfect sense for two minutes. Then I started writing and I got into thinking about garlic–garlic chicken mostly–and I forgot what garlic had to do with writing.

I still can’t remember. So I wanted to say that, and this–about writing.

I don’t know a thing about it. When I was eighteen I did. But then I knew everything. Now…nada.

I know you must do it. Simply do it. I know you can’t think your way to it, you have to do it. Write.

I know I spent years rewriting. I don’t do that anymore. You might say I should return to that practice, but I’m telling you much of that rewriting was insecurity.

I’m still insecure. But I can’t fight that on the page. That comes later. In reviews, book sales, and Christmas parties where nobody likes me. It comes later when I start another story and think, “What am I doing?” But you know, that four word question has preceded all ultimately great acts in my life? It’s the truth!

I said it when I went to college, I said it when I kissed that one guy, I said it when I made a baby and didn’t know nothin’ about birthin’ no baby, I say it anytime I’m about to do public speaking, and I say it the whole time I write.

Doesn’t stop me. But I say it. I sincerely do.

 

 

 

My Failed Article on Garlic and Writing Because I Have No Pride

Garlic wards off vampires. We all know that. And writing or words can’t do that. Vampires don’t care about words. Well, one might. If he’s written his biography and he hopes to sell a lot of books, that vampire might care about words. But mostly, from what we’ve been told, vampires will bite you even if you have “Mom,” tattooed on your neck.

Garlic is very sensitive to how it is handled. For all it’s pungency, garlic is a sensitive fellow. You put it through a press and you’re like a garlic abuser. You are beating the flavor right out of the clove. So a gentle handling can bring more flavor to your dish.

Still thinking about the word, ‘pungency?’ Thought so. Anyway, how you cook the garlic is also important. Once garlic is brown…dum-da-dum-dum. Ruined, as in bitter. And bitterness eats YOU.

Here’s my leap: Words have to be handled carefully. I don’t mean a continual censorship, I mean…carefully. It’s not so you can say nothing. It’s so you can say something…well. So you can bring out the flavor in the words.

Now I have to prove my case about handling words carefully. This is what the writer wrestles with.

Please call me when you get home.

Call me when you get home. Please.

When you get home, please, call me.

Please. When you get home, call me.

Call me, please, when you get home.

You get home please–call me.

Call me when you get home? Please?

Now go eat some garlic bread.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fall in Love With Tonio

Field Day

Deep in the Heart of Me. The adventures of a farm boy in the post-depression Midwest. Tonio is the beloved first son of a proud Irish/Italian family. He is tradition and land, pride and heart. Tonio falls in love with the new sheriff’s lovely daughter, Sobe Bell. All is not as it seems with the sheriff. He and Sobe come from a dark past that threatens the peaceful existence of Tonio’s world. And Tonio, by nature a hero, will go the distance to protect his true love. He will lay it all down…for her. Deep in the Heart of Me is a heart-wrenching, ultimately triumphant romantic story filled with adventure. It will stay with you!

 

Tonio Clannan, beloved first son, age 2 (1923).

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The beautiful Sobe Bell, age 3.

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Tonio’s Maman (center) and her sisters on her wedding day to Tonio’s father.

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Review Summary: (4-27-17)
It currently has 25 reviews.
24 – 5 STAR
1 – 4 STAR

Review Extracts:
Few people can tell a story like Diane. The way she describes people, places, dialogue, and events, is nothing short of transcendent.
— Diane Munier is one of the most gifted writers I have ever encountered. Her first-person narratives are fascinating…
— This author’s writing is so very rich. Lots of details that really demonstrate a level of research that is often not present in love stories.
— Again I am mesmerized by this author and another awesome story. Great twists and turns…

3DCover

About the Author
Diane Munier broke into writing as a feature writer for a local newspaper. She spent the majority of her working life as a marriage and family counselor. She was born in Chicago, but grew up in a four-family-flat in the city of St. Louis. She has lived rurally for most of her adult life with her husband on their beloved flat land in a small, fascinating farming community. This locale and a large, active family fuel her writing.

 

Book Details
Word count: 145,571
Genre: Literary fiction, Historical Romance

ASIN: B01I3H8XYQ
ISBN-10: 1520296754

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Contact Details
Email: dianemunierauthor@gmail.com
Website: http://www.dianemunier.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dianemunierauthor
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/dianemunier
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dianemunier

 

The Miserable/Exhilarating Valley of Change

I’m getting ready to hang it up. Sounds drastic, no? Well, it is drastic. I’m in one of those places–spaces. I’m not good at ending things. I kind of love people who can’t end things worth a damn. I’m good at good-byes. I like them short and sweet. But I can’t end things I invest in. Invest what? Me. Time. Me.

So I’m in a career change. I’m hanging up something I busted my butt to develop and grow. I really can’t imagine my life without it. Nor can I continue in it.

Oh, misery.

And knowing I shouldn’t…perceive it this way–it became a huge chunk of my identity. Which is, on the deepest level, a bunch of baloney. I am not what I do. Well, I sort of am, but only temporarily. Once I stop doing it, yeah, I have to know something more about myself.

I love that part in Lord of the Rings where Lady Galadriel says, “I shall diminish…”

I am getting ready to diminish on one front, and rise up like a tempest on another.

But right now, I’m in that valley between. I have a lot of loose ends to tie up. A lot to do to complete one journey and prepare for another.

 

Writer’s Blockhead

I don’t believe in writer’s block. I know that’s not unique. I may be a one of a kind snowflake, whatever, but I’m still made out of frozen precipitation just like you. And while I’m at it, I don’t believe in all the drama surrounding writing. I prefer to leave that to my stories.

But I believe in the magic of creating a world and letting a character or two speak in that world, move in it, live and die in it. Now that I believe in. It’s like this: I sit in chair A, my story in chair B. Overhead is a spotlight on a swivel. If I keep the light on myself, voila, writer’s block and all the other personal nonsense. But…if I move the light, yes, with my own hand and shine it on the story, progress. Creation.

I think it’s a matter of energy. What do you, do I, want to give my energy to? Personal angst or the angst of my story?

 

Lovers and Language

Lovers often have their own language. I mean literally. I remember dating my husband and having words between the two of us, almost…baby talk. Yeah, it pains me to say that. It was…baby talk. I can barely own this. He refuses. To own it. But I’m writing it here to make a permanent record. It happened, people. Oh yes, it did.

One night a million years ago we were eating supper with my parents. We were in the hot and heavy dating stage, my husband and I and well…he doesn’t have a whisper. He has one tone. It’s on the soft side, but he didn’t come with a volume button. So we were eating dinner and he leaned over and said, “I need wah-wah.”

And my dad said, “Wah-wah?” And my dad and mom took off laughing because…it was the kind of thing my family lived for, you know?

Husband should have gotten out then. But he turned a brilliant red and he weathered it. And he never said wah-wah to me again. And…I never said…whatever happened to wah-wah? Because, yeah I laughed right along with my parents. I tried not to…but come on.

 

 

My Dad and Running With Monkeys

My dear father is 95 years old. About a year ago we moved him into a Memory Care facility. It’s in the same town where he grew up. Same town where he was run over by a Model-T Ford. They lifted him from the street and carried him into a near-by house and laid him on the dining room table to assess his injuries–broken ribs, broken leg. You can’t live 95 years and not have had a colorful life. His outfit received the Belgian Cross for their service in the Battle of the Bulge. He came home to a stalled economy and a poor job market. That led him to create five businesses, each one a stair step to the next. He’s been successful.

Yesterday he was telling me another story about his time in WW2. He was in an outfit of seven guys and all across Europe they looked out for one another. One day Dad’s best friend, Ritchie, was missing. He was just gone.

“I searched for Ritchie for two days,” Dad says. “I went to every medical tent. I’d call out Ritchie! Ritchie!” Dad’s eyes fill with tears and he makes a choking sound.

I reach for his frail arm and hold on. “Oh, Dad, did you ever find him?”

“No,” he says. “I never saw Ritchie again.”

I am deeply honored Dad would share this with me as he’s never told me this before.

But a few emotional minutes later, Dad says, “He wrote me a letter after the war telling me he got married.”

My head snaps up. “You mean…Ritchie lived?”

“Oh, yeah. He was really happy.”

That’s when I remember Dad’s dementia. Did Ritchie exist? Sure. I believe he did. Did Dad search for two days? Sure. Why not? But Dad let me spend 4.7 minutes thinking poor Ritchie had died?

Yeah. And then he went on happily eating the strawberry sundae I’d brought him.

Well, I based my book, Running With Monkeys, on Dad’s post-war life. It’s loosely based. So loosely based it’s almost entirely made up. Let’s just say, Dad inspired me.

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ttps://www.amazon.com/Running-Monkeys-Wheels-Diane-Munier-ebook/dp/B01N9MRL3C

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