Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Alex Cavanaugh's CassaFire Blog Party Starts Now!

Beloved author and Blogster Alex Cavanaugh's CassaFire Blog Party starts today.  It runs from February 27 through March 9.  

A few words from from Alex on this party-

"...and anyone who comments on his blog posts during that time can win a special package from my publisher: copy of CassaFire and CassaStar, a large tote bag, and a mug. (I hope to get a photo and post it on Friday, February 24, so feel free to steal it if you like!) The Twitter hashtag for the party is #CatchFire.  Alex's Blog address is 

The Catch Fire! sign up form will close 9 pm EST Monday night, February 27, so I can draw the winners. I will list those five people on my blog post the following morning. Remember, you must post the Catch Fire! information on February 28 in order to win. (Otherwise, I’ll be forced to draw another name, and that would be a bummer!)

Thank you again for supporting this Ninja! I am just overwhelmed by the number of people who’ve signed up for the party. I will visit each one of you that day (I’m taking the day off from work) I promise.

You guys rock!"

That's enough of an invitation for me.  Let's all join Alex in the launch of his new book!!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

White Cat Publications First Kickstarter Project

Just a short intermission from our "Creative Juices" series to tell you all that we've started our first Kickstarter Program to help us launch our first book "Tainted Blood" with a major US book distributor. To take advantage of this huge distribution channel, we need help with funding and Kickstarter will make that possible. Drop on by at this link and take a look:

Kickstarter is a fantastic venue for funding creative projects and we hope friends of White Publications will give us the support we need to become a strong venue for up and coming creative novelists.  We appreciate any help you can give us.  The rewards alone are worth a contribution!
MySpace Tracker

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Real Creative Juices- Part One of Four

It's not what you're thinking.

It's not sinful to taste the real secret of activating your creative juices.  You are a writer, aren't you?  You need your creative juices to flow.

Creative juices are real.  When you're in the writing zone, your biochemical balance isn't the same as someone who's tying their shoelaces.  When you're in creative mode you are physically different.  Your system is flooded with a real mix of creative juices.

It's a mental game, say the writing courses and the workshops.  It's all about theme, economy, character arc, etc.  Can't go wrong with them.  Kind of like as a writer you're a factory working assembling parts into an automobile.  Sounded great when you were surrounded by all those other students, and there was the teacher looking at you, waiting for you to nod.

But wait.

It's just you when you go home and sit down to write.

There are no machines helping you to build your story.  The other people in the class aren't there either.

You're all alone.

You sit in front of the computer.  You want to write, but your mind is kind of empty. More like completely blank.  Something doesn't feel right.  You're not in the mood.  Workshops lie- it's not just a mental game, there's a physical aspect that's as important as any trope or theme.  It's your creative juices.  If you don't attend to your personal physical chemistry and state, great writing just won't happen.

At the workshop and in all the books you've  been reading, you're supposed to come up with a theme first.  They gave you a list.  Or maybe it was a trope.  They gave you a list of those, too.

And you even received a character trait assembly kit.  Writing a really powerful story should be easy.

If only your brain would cooperate.

What if I told you that it helps to take care of your brain?  What if I told you- and I was serious- that I know six recipes to jump start your brain and help put you  into the writing zone?

Writers aren't factory workers mindlessly assembling stories.

We're creators, and we need our mind/ body chemistry to be in high creative gear.

Booze and drugs will burn out your brain.  We don't need them.  But we do need total stimulation.  We need our systems to crank up their production of creative juices.  Certain recipes will do that.  Writers aren't supposed to know.  If we did, we'd buy less books about writing and write some really good fiction.

Stick around for this series and learn with me.  It's about time your creative juices started to flow.

If we're lucky, M. Farivar, M.D or Charles Gramlich, PhD might stop by and comment on this. MySpace Tracker

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sex and the Writer- Part Five of Five


The big moment.

The heart pounding build-up where the tension is almost unbearable.

This is what they’re paying you for—to turn that unbearable tension into a successful climax.

If a writer can’t deliver, there’s no sense for a reader to climb into their reading bed.

If sexuality can teach a writer anything, it’s that a writer isn't worth reading unless they can deliver a climax that literally leaves their readers gasping.  It really is what they’re paying us for.

Are you up to it?

Are you committed to it?  Do you lust after it, are you obsessed with it, will you make the moves you know the reader needs and wants?

Or are you just writing for yourself?  If you are, why do you string them along?  They won’t be happy if you promise and don’t deliver.

You must always, always keep your partner in mind.

Who is your partner in this creative consummation?

Your reader.

If you forget them while you’re writing, you’re really just dancing in the dark.

And that’s only half as much fun.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sex and the Writer- Part Four of Five


As in can't get enough.

As in can't be put back into the bottle.

As in the opposite of methodical planning.

As in the opposite of sterile writer workshops group  and group critiques.

Look around at the people in your writers group.  Are they obsessed with your story?  Has it taken them over so completely they can't sleep at night knowing it must be told but still isn't finished?  Or are their comments just playing to the "group dynamics?"  Take it a step further- are you obsessed with your story?  Because if you aren't, no one else will be either.

You might object that obsession can be unhealthy.  Over-focus to the point of counter-productive.  Sure that can happen.  It does happen.

But when darkness pushes daylight over the edge of the world, we can still see because Thomas Edison was obsessed with giving us the electric light.  When common people lived in misery during the Depression, John Steinbeck obsessed about their plight.  Because of that obsession, he went and worked  as a migrant laborer to personally experience their suffering.  This magnificent obsession gave us "The Grapes of Wrath."

The great world builders of literature like J.R.R. Tolkein and H.K. Rowling obsessed over their stories, their characters and their themes and now we have "The Lord of the Rings" and Harry Potter.

Obsession is the total focusing of all our energy and desire on one goal.

Margaret Mitchell's "Gone with the Wind" was a product of her personal obsession with finding a man who would love her like no woman had ever been loved before.

So take another lesson from sexuality.  

Write a story worth obsessing over.

If your story isn't worth obsessing over, write a story that is.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Sex and the Writer- Part Three of Five

Five's the big number.

Sight, smell, hearing, feel and taste.

I see her picture.  I can smell her and it is the insistent awareness of a tigress concealed by the fragrance of cherry blossoms.  Her whispers make my blood roar.  I can feel the royal velvet luxury of her skin.  I can taste the salty moistness in the hollow of her throat.

All that from the picture.

Does your writing have that power?

Does your writing engage your readers' senses?

I've talked to them and their answer is no.  You try.  They know you're trying.  They appreciate it, really they do.  

But you're so focused on he said she said that you forget they (your readers) have five sense, not one.

And you're so focused on he did she did that you forget that they (again, your readers) appreciate the visual plot sequence you've constructed, but, again, they have five senses, not one.

As a writer, you tend to think of only one thing at a time.  Dialogue (hearing).  Who did what (visual).  More dialogue (hearing) and more visual (sight)?

Why?  What happened to the other senses?  Why did you forget to include them in your last story?

Because you ignore sex while you're writing.

Sex jams every sense you have into high gear.  We know them all and they are euphorically overwhelming.  We feel, we see, we hear, we taste and we drink in the smell of our lover.

Sex engages all your senses.

Why doesn't your writing?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sex and the Writer- Part Two of Five

You have to have it if you want to write.

It's hard to find because it's hiding somewhere between cliche and moral blindness.  But you have to have it.  You really have to want something.  You have to lust after someone or something in order for people to want to read what you write.  It's that simple.

Lust puts us in motion.  We have to move to get want we want.  We have to move to be interesting.

Lust keeps us focused.  

Really, you can only lust after one thing at a time.  Multi-tasking is a myth for writers.  A writer can "what if" their story to death.  What if this, what if that?  What if we just stay on point and tell the story?  But writers are creative.  After all, we're just making this stuff up.  So how do we keep the story on track?

Lust takes care of that.

Lust prioritizes.

Have you ever videotaped yourself while you're writing?  Do you  seem consumed with passion when you type?  Does your intensity threaten to melt your keyboard?

Or do you look boring?  Maybe you are bored.  Maybe you're writing the way you do when you you're having sex while watching television over your partner's shoulder.

Maybe you don't really love your story.  Maybe you aren't really obsessed with bringing your characters to life.  Maybe they aren't really your friends and lovers or enemies.

You could use a little lust in your writing life.

Your story could, too.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sex and the Writer- Part One of Five

Our sexuality empowers our writing.  

Family members hate to hear writers discuss such things.  Ever see a child recoil at the thought of their parents having sex?  So if you're going to read this series of posts, please don't tell your family.

Our readers don't like to think about it, either.  It's okay if our characters are sexually attractive or charismatic, but not you and I.  We're the storytellers.  We're supposed to be the trusted narrators of their stories, not vicarious participants.  

"I wish they'd take writer's pictures off of their books," one reader told me.  "It spoils my image of their characters."

Now that's odd, I thought.  We write the stories, but they don't like to think of us in the stories.  That's especially true when it comes to sex.  We'll take a closer look at this phenomena in the next post.

After that, we'll explore the complex relationship between sexuality and creativity.  I won't look at sterile, stilted surveys and studies, but I will be exploring why only sexually driven writers can create intensely engaging fiction.  I'm not talking about creating sex scenes, I'm talking about the ability to create powerful fiction.

What about the great social fiction that has nothing to do with sex?

It might be a great topic, but it's not our topic.  But to deal with the question tangentially, I believe only writers who are intensely sexual can create powerful social fiction.  Our creative power comes from our sexuality.  Social tensions, if you really examine, are strongly rooted in out sexuality.

It's a complex topic, but let me start you off with something to think about- when you write your story, have you ever considered the image your reader has of you, the writer?  Are you good looking- as a narrator?  Are you a man or a woman? Are you powerful?  Are you ruthless?  Are you lonely?  Remember, I'm talking about the way you come across to your readers, not your characters.

Think about it- who are you (as a narrator) to your readers?  Who do they imagine you to be?

Monday, February 06, 2012

He Needs Your Help

Who is he?

You don't recognize him, do you?  You should.  All he's asking for is some recognition.

You grew up with him.  

What happened to him?  Oh my, you really are out of touch for a writer, aren't you?  He's a character in your latest book.  

I'm afraid you've fogotten the true source of your stories.  Let's try another test.

Recognize her?

Oh, no! 

How could you forget her?   She could use a little recognition, too.  She's a character in your first book.  The one that got you noticed.  The one that made everyone think you could write like the love child of Jane Austen and John Steinbeck.

No?  Still doesn't ring a bell?

Have you forgotten where all of your great characters and great stories can be found?  I was afraid of this, so I'll remind you but don't tell anyone else or they'll end up being great writers, too.

Your childhood. 

Keep it to yourself.  Every great story begins in your childhood.

Think about it.

Every great character is someone from your childhood all grown up.

Really think about it.  It will improve your writing.  But don't tell anyone I told you.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Meet the Guy Telling Your Life Story

What's that in his hand?

Why, it's your life story.

You're a writer and maybe you thought the value of your writing life would be written down by someone who investigated and contexted your personal history, the evolution of your feelings and ideas.  Maybe you were hoping your biographer- and we all like to think someday we'll be successful enough writers to be written about- would have a little empathy and understanding for your life.  That maybe he or she would actually care about your first kiss, your first love, the birth of your children.

Well, sure, but he's a little busy now. And he's a little amused that writers don't understand how their biographies are being created these days.

There are only two sources to look at to compile the meaning of a writer's life, he says.

First, your credit card receipts.  They reveal what you actually do with your money, which, he believes, kind of says who you are.  Every penny you spend reveals a little more of yourself and fortunately for him, it's actually accessible.  Why listen to what a writer says or writes when you can actually see what they did, where they did it and how much they did it just by contacting Equifax or TRW.  They have everybody's real history, including ours.


You're nervous now, aren't you?  Writers create fiction, about themselves and their characters.  But credit receipts don't lie.  According to your biographer, they are you.

But wait, there's more.

You've been telling on you.  Yes, blabbing your life away telling all sorts of things you shouldn't.  Writing down the evidence of your attitudes, who your friends are and what you all are doing.  Ouch again!  You squealed on yourself.

It's all written down- that's what your biographer says.  Why bother reading your fiction when he or she can read the real stuff.  Where do they get it?

The picture's below is a clue.  Yes, now you get it.  Between your credit card receipts and this rendition of the details of your life you've provided to your future biographer, your fiction can pretty much be ignored.  Your online life tells the world your real story.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Scandal is Good for Creativity

I'm confessing- I'm the guy standing in line at the grocery store reading all the gossip magazines.  Scientifically speaking, writers are natural born busybodies.  And what better way to keep us wondering "what if..."

But here's my darkest secret- before it's print demise, I was the single greatest fan of the Weekly World News.  Now that it is available only online, I am still addicted.  It has such great headlines as "Bat Boy Found in Cave" and many other memorable news articles such as "Kim Kardashian's Butt Explodes."  Don't laugh- their stories are thoroughly researched.  In the interests of public service, they even have email alerts that will notify you whenever aliens land on earth.

You can see why my dream has always been to be a writer for this icon of creativity.

They tell you the things other news outlets don't.  Most of you probably don't know that a volcano erupted this week in Cleveland, Ohio or that Megan Fox is a man.  Or that L.A. real estate agents use predator drones to improve their business.

Also, in this week's issue, they unveil proof that not only does "Eating Causes Weight Gain," but also that "Yoga Causes Mental Illness."

So if you've got a bad case of writer's block or are desperately trying to kick start your creativity, go read the "Weekly World News."   It'll change your paradigm.