Welcome to WordCrazyAuthors

Your WordCrazy hostesses, Michelle O'Leary and AJ Caywood, welcome you to their blog about writing and hope you enjoy the mind-bending mania. Feel free to join in with your own brand of insanity...crazy loves company.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Novella Fun

To keep my readers going until I have another finished novel published, I've begun a project called DeeDeck Design, which is a science fiction romantic mystery. As I get chapters of this novella done (at least, I expect it to be novella length, but we'll see ;), they will be posted to my site for all to read and enjoy.

DeeDeck Design - In this story, Dr. Moira Bannen is making an intergalactic trip by psychic transfer from her body to her clone in another galaxy when something goes horribly wrong. The quick, creative actions of a transfer tech saves her life, but she discovers that it wasn't an accident - someone is trying to kill her. Enlisting the help of Jackson Coltier, a security specialist, she strives to find out who wants her dead and why she is a target before the killer tries again.

The first 4 chapters are already up, so if you haven't started reading it yet, runrunrun over to my site and join the novella fun! :D

~~Go to Fertile Ground to read DeeDeck Design~~

Peace and love,

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Public Readings

Last Saturday I had a public reading to do at Joseph-Beth for my short story in Appalachian Angels. This wasn't my first public reading, but because this was a huge bookstore, it sure felt like my first one. My heart pounded away, my nerves were as taught as violin strings, my palms were sweaty, and I had to concentrate on breathing correctly! I was a mess and the closer it came for my turn to walk to the podium and read into the microphone, the worse I got. There was another part of me that kept thinking how ridiculous I was being! Years ago, my husband worked in another store just a short walk from Joseph-Beth. While he was there, I'd go to Joseph-Beth and spend hours walking around, soak in the atmosphere, and feel that little ping of jealousy when authors were there to do their signings and readings. I secretly dreamed that one day I'd be able to do this, and then when I get the amazing opportunity, what do I do? Freak out.

So how did I end up handling it? I arrived at Joseph-Beth two hours early. I got out of my truck and stood in the parking lot and looked up at the huge bookstore letters sitting atop Lexington Green. I took in a deep breath and smiled. It was actually happening. I was here, getting ready to walk into this place as an author. My heart beat a little faster and I started having a daydream of walking up to the front to read and tripping and falling, or dry-heaving into the microphone as I tried to speak. I squinted my eyes shut for a second and shook the thought away. I was nervous as could be, but I told myself that I would refuse to let those kinds of thoughts ruin a long-awaited dream.

Since it was a Saturday afternoon the store was busy. There are two levels at this Joseph-Beth, and as I approached the escalator I looked ahead to see the Appalachian Angels banner hanging in all its glory from the top floor balcony. I'd brought my camera and took a picture. To the right of the escalator sat a long table showcasing the days list of visiting authors and their books. I got a little choked up. I spent time walking around the store, thinking back to those days when I was here to just walk around and dream. It helped settle my nerves. Then the editor came in with her black briefcase in hand, saw me, smiled, and grabbed me and hugged me. I pointed over the banister to the lower floor where Joseph-Beth had us set up for our reading. The butterflies in my stomach flared up, but I once again reminded myself that I was going to enjoy this day and take it all in.

We headed downstairs to meet with the bookstore employee handling our reading. Sylvia, the editor, helped her set up the podium and microphone. More authors from the book arrived and we all sat together waiting for the reading to start. I think this was the worst part for me. It took a lot to handle the height of my nerves at this point. A dear friend traveled an hour to come hear me read and as I handed her my camera to take pictures, my hand shook so hard that she grabbed it and looked straight at me and said, "It is going to be just fine. You're going to do great." I was so glad she was there. I was even happier I didn't have to go first. I took a sip of my coke and then hated myself for it--I just knew I would be burping into the microphone now. There go my nerves again.

It came my turn to go up. I could hear my heart pounding in my head. I didn't trip when I walked up to the podium. I smiled at the audience (all seats were filled) as I adjusted the microphone. I introduced myself, my story, and began to read. I didn't dry-heave or burp, but read my story with the emotion and heart it deserved. It's only a short story, and as I got to the last paragraph which is extremely emotionally charged, I heard the gasps and ohhs. They were listening, they heard my words not my nerves, and my story touched them. I finished reading, closed the book, looked up at the audience and smiled. My heart was still beating hard as they clapped. It was a wonderful dream realized. I hope I have more public readings in my future and I know I'll still be nervous, but I will not let it overtake the excitement, happiness, satisfaction, and sharing that comes from this writer's dream.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Speaking of Crazy...

I’ve had loads of caffeine and I just finished watching the movie The Cat in the Hat (Mike Myers) with my son. I can’t tell you how optimistic I feel right now. Anything is possible—keeping up with my son, finding a job, finding a print publisher for The Third Sign, and even finishing at least one of my writing projects.

Speaking of this last mission impossible, while waiting for inspiration to strike on the dozen or so unfinished WIPs on my writing plate, including the sequel to The Huntress and the second book in The Sunscapes Trilogy, I had a moment of crazy and let my characters out of the box. I can see my writing partner Anna giving me that look, so I’ll come clean—I have lots of moments of crazy. But this one’s a little loonier than most. The natives are getting restless waiting for me to finish their stories, so I created a little conversational platform called Character Talk where my well-loved (but often vindictive) characters gather together and have a brainstorming session on what to do about my writer’s block.


Well, I did warn you. And no, while I appreciate the offer of antipsychotic drugs, I’m doing just fine with the caffeine right now. I can offer some reassurance with the fact that my characters don’t actually yammer on in my head and this is only a piece of fiction. Mostly. You can find Character Talk on my site, Fertile Ground, at:

I hope you enjoy! Please feel free to tell me what you think, and keep that thorazine handy. I may need it later after the caffeine wears off. *wink*

Peace and love,

P.S. We love blog comments here at WordCrazyAuthors, or you can always reach me at my email: michelleoleary1@yahoo.com


Monday, August 17, 2009

Article Writing vs. Creative Writing

I never believed that I could write articles. Since I got involved with Constant Content, a site that brings writers (and artists) together with buyers, I've discovered that I'm not too dang shabby at the whole article writing thing. But article writing is a very different animal from creative writing.

I can't speak for all creative writers, but I know I'm not alone when I say that creative writing requires fire and passion. If I don't feel impassioned about the subject, than my muse gets bored and goes on vacation. ~insert evil name for muse~ That dang fickle creature is so sensitive--she's turned off by any number of things, from life stress to storyline glitches. And sometimes for no apparent reason. Urgh. Getting the muse interested and recovering the fire and passion takes some serious effort, and usually requires waiting until the planets are aligned just right and the wind is blowing the right way. (Bribery does no good--I've tried.)

On the other hand, article writing is more about a formula and facts than about fire and passion. It helps to have some lively phrases and unique voice, but it's not a requirement. I've written articles under all kinds of conditions, from my son screeching in my ear to during phone calls to riding in a car to sitting in front of the tv. Writing articles doesn't seem to need the "perfect conditions" that creative writing does for me. The only time I can't seem to write an article is when I'm dog tired and brain-wiped. Then I'm no good for anything, let alone writing. As long as I've done my research on a subject and know the rough outline of the piece, I'm set. I'm not as fast at cranking them out as I'd like to be, but I'm working on it.

So if you're a creative writer and are thinking of branching out into other writing areas, consider article writing. It's not as bad as you think, honest. Remember that formula you learned in high school, about an intro paragraph, body paragraphs, and conclusion? There ya go.

For those interested in Constant Content, try my author referral link:


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Summer Days Drifting Away...

By 8:30am today I was actually able to sit down at the computer and get online. It's been approximately nine weeks since I last had the chance to do this. Why, you might ask? Well, nine weeks ago was the start of summer vacation for my youngest and it was her duty to monopolize the internet during that time. It wasn't just her though, my husband calls it when he steps in the door in the afternoon and there he stays until late evening. Between those two, my own work, household chores and errands, I never had a chance. There were a couple of times I noticed the empty desk chair, hurried to finish up what I was doing, turn to head over to the desk and it's just too late--the chair is occupied once again. There's no use arguing or fussing about it really, but sometimes it does get frustrating for me. I do need some time online to get to my email and stay in touch with my publishers and editors, as well as sending off manuscripts. I always had to ask for one of them to get up and let me have at least five or ten minutes to get those things done. A constant summer internet struggle.

But there's always a flip side. I'm online this morning because it is the first day of school for my internet hogging daughter. The desk was dark and the chair empty. Free and clear it was, and I felt the force return within me! I did my morning chores and errands and fixed my breakfast. With my coffee cup half full, I made my move, leisurely, over to the computer desk. I logged into my email and read what I needed to read without an impatient internet junkie standing at my side. I answered emails, prepared a newsletter to send out, and even surfed around a little! I let out a deep, satisfying sigh. And then it hit me, how quiet the house was. There would be no sleepy-eyed kid wandering into the living room giving me a backwards glance to see if I'd notice that she'd be getting online not long after shoving the covers back. There would be no more rolling of the eyes when I demanded that her chores be completed and lunch eaten before she got anymore online time. There would be no more huffing when I announced that it was time to turn the computer off because she'd spent enough time on it for the day (plus her dad would be coming home soon). The word "no more" gets seared into my brain as it must for all parents with almost grown children.

As I sit here, enjoying my morning internet time, I know I'll savor these last few summers with my internet hogging daughter, because I know more than just summer days will be drifting away. Someday soon, she'll have her own computer in her own place. I wonder, as she heads over to sit at her desk, if she'll glance back over her shoulder and miss me as much as I'll miss her.