Wednesday, May 28, 2014


Hi, All...

Happy Wednesday!

Thanks for all the great comments about How I Found the Write Path, blog hop. The letters to our pre-writing selves were truly amazing! Thanks again Carrie for pulling it all together. SO many writers will benefit from it. I know it.

Today I'd like to talk about stumbling along in our writing progress. I must admit I'm in slight funk trying to reorganize my thoughts and get to writing again. For the past six months I've been in HEAVY revisions with my second novel and I am very secure in my belief that it is ready. I started to send out queries, but not as many as I should. I've been hesitating. BAD MICHAEL. I guess deep down I feel afraid of rejection, although I know it's part of our everyday lives. I haven't queried in so long, so I guess it's only natural.

So I am PUSHING myself. I can use a "NUDGE" guys. LOL.

I actually TRIED to dive back into my film noir novella I had started a while ago. For some reason I lost my edge on it. BUT.... At last I have been motivated. It's exactly what I needed! God always provides for us. Last night, on Turner Classic Movies, one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE 1940's Noir films was broadcasted. LAURA. With Gene Tierney. Have any of you seen it? It is so fine. The acting amazing. The detective, played by Dana Andrews, is flawless. THE PERFECT noir detective. Dark, muscular, handsome. Just like my detective in the noir I'm writing. Gene Tierney, who plays Laura is one of THE MOST GORGEOUS actresses of that time. Stunningly beautiful in her mystique. And of course, I CANNOT forget to mentions the amazing B&W visuals... Talk about atmosphere. SO uplifting. I STUDIED EVERY detail from the sets, clothing, stances, gestures, and speech and the forever lighting of cigarettes... SO NOIR!  Now to only capture that in my novella.

The cast is amazing in this film. Clifton Webb plays the elitist. A super young Vincent Price, Laura's fiancé' who is so unworthy of her. Who could ask for more, especially in Noir. If you haven't seen it, you should. It's great!
Here's the movie poster from 1944. Photos courtesy of listal.

SO I just want to tell all you writers out there that are in a funk, stuck in a mini writer's block, or just plain out of sorts. It only takes on little thing to set you back on the right path. SO LOOK for those small signs. You just might find them in your TV guide. LOL. I did!

HAPPY WRITING everyone and I hope this little bit of advice gets you over your HUMP....

How about you? Have any of you had any amazing stimulation this week? I'd like to hear about it!


  1. LAURA is a classic! I haven't seen it in a long time, but it is one of my mother's favorites and she always made a point of putting it on when it was airing on TV. (Back in the day when you couldn't order up any movie you wanted!)

    As for queries -- go for it! But it's not a bad idea to send them out in batches of 5 or 8, so you can tell the agent you're querying a limited number and also so you can tweak the query based on the response.

  2. I've never seen it I'm afraid.
    But that's what I do when I've feeling stuck - I find an inspiration, and it usually comes from a movie. (Science fiction, of course.)
    Glad that prodded your creativity!

  3. I think it's good to go slow on the querying. Lots of people say to do it in batches of 5. So just keep plodding along. Hope to get to that stage someday.

  4. I'm delighted you found some inspiration.

    Just keep those queries going, slow and steady.

  5. Going slow on your queries will allow you to learn from any feedback you get from those you have already sent and improve the future ones.

    LAURA is one of my favorite film noir movies. Noir is my style I think derived from my love of those kind of movies. Keep writing.

  6. Nudge...NUDGE! Get going with your bad self, Michael. :)
    I hate it when starting a new novel then life gets in the way and I lose the edge of it. I'm picking up one right now that I put down a year ago, determined to plunge back into it.

  7. Great Michael, since I like noir! Tierney was great in those movies. We watch them when we can, too. I never tire of the Maltese Falcon, either. Those B&W movies made us concentrate on story rather than special effects. I go slow on queries, too. I need to do a little querying too.

  8. Get busy Michael!!!! The world is waiting for your book.

    There's your nudge ;)

    Love old black and white movies, but my boys hate them, so I rarely get to watch them. My hubs would watch them when we were dating, but it seems he was just out to please me and now sides with the boys.

  9. Thanks for the rad post Michael! That's so true that the little things set you back on the right path, because that's all it takes. I'm wishing you an exceptional day!

  10. Hi Michael .. glad you're getting your Mojo back .. and getting writing .. interesting everyone is saying go slow on queries and wait for the early feed back.

    I don't watch many B&W movies ... but know I've missed out on some excellent stories ... and some of those early actresses were stunning .. and no doubt the men swoonable too!

    Keep going and good for getting on with things .. cheers Hilary

  11. *NUDGE*...!

    If that doesn't work, I can go get my vice grips. :P
    (Ask Mark Koopmans. he he he)

    Seriously, I feel for you. I've never queried, but from what I hear, it's not just about facing rejection, but (possibly) using up your only chance with certain agents and publishers. Wondering if you're really ready to take your only shot has got to be maddening!

    I also hear wonderful stories of writers finally finding the right match for them - someone who really *gets* their story. So go forth and query. If you don't, that'll never be you.

    Best of luck, Michael. I'm rooting for you. :)

  12. Dianne makes a good point about sending a few queries out and see what the response is so you can then adjust the query if necessary. And I find all kinds of inspiration in movies, books, the newspaper...

    Good luck Michael!

  13. What a perfect way to find inspiration. I've actually been motivated to get back to my WIP because I finally finished most of the big jobs around the house that have been hanging over my head.

  14. I love Laura. When Gene Tierney was a patient at Meninger's Mental Hospital in Topeka, Kansas, she worked at Billie's Dress Shop. It was before we moved to Topeka, but a lot of my mother's friends remembered her being there. They didn't seem at all impressed by Gene Tierney. I couldn't possibly be that blase about her.


  15. Nice! I haven't seen that one, but I'm sure I'd love it. Thank goodness for that hand that guides us when we're in need, eh?

    I wishing you AMAZING success with your querying, and a ton of motivation on your current baby. Rock it hard...with cheese, of course.

  16. Very nice! A little thing can set us back on the right, I mean write, path!

  17. Hey Michael,

    Dude, I know you've been eagerly waiting for a comment from me. I know, who is this commenting? :)

    If a movie, or good heavens, even American TV can inspire you, more of that then.

    Please don't push yourself too hard, my good friend. That can create unwarranted pressure. A nudge from my humble self would be to not be afraid of rejection. Rejection only makes us more resilient.

    As for writer's block, or blogger's block, I have no idea what that is. Besides, I always have a certain superstar dog to take over my site. And she is trying to teach me how to write way betterer n' stuff.

    Embrace those positive distractions, my friend.

    Gary :)

  18. I can't help but hit on a few things. the last line for said stimulation and it all went south from there! LOL. another is you posted my pic twice on this post. next time ask me and I wouldn't have dressed so indecent! I'd covered up my neck too!
    I just call them old flicks, so this noir jargon is new to me. I used to watch old flicks about ten years ago. all the time. and loved them. black and white, colored, didn't matter. the older the better. and I loved how they always yes lit cigarettes but did you notice how fast they just HAVE to say their lines!
    I'm glad seeing it reminded you of the little sprinkles to add to your own work. you'll do fine running short shorts man. keep ur chiseled chin up, biceps bulging to show off the gun show, and query like your mama smacked you!

  19. ... the forever lighting of cigarettes... that made me smile...

    I have PLENTY to do... but I think the A to Z sucked quite a bit out of me... never mind - I'll get there... and so will you!!

  20. I'm in a bit of a funk, due in part to have the MS out with beta readers. I know I should be working on the query and the next book. But it feels so good to just take a break. Besides that the kids are off school so I'm still struggling to re-schedule and fit writing time in. It'll work itself out.

    Glad you found some inspiration and motivation! Ride the wave!

  21. She is gorgeous! I love all that you shared~ I follow signs often and am always amazed what arrives! Thank you Michael-I will check this movie out~
    I too am struggling a bit! The artist wants to write poetry and the poet wants to go climb a mountain. There aren't any mountains nearby-lol! My muse just wants to watch Mad Men. It is good to know we aren't alone. I must go back and check out this blog challenge-I was moved by yours~

  22. I'd say this means your cable TV bill should be tax deductible this month!!!

  23. Michael! I've missed you! I managed to post throughout the A-Z but what with the move and the new job, couldn't keep up with comments the way I thought I would. It's taking me all of May to do the April rounds, ha ha!
    You know what's funny (well, not laughable funny but interesting funny) -- seeing other authors in a funk over the exact opposite situation that we're in. You've been so busy editing, which is what I need to do but am stalled and just can't seem to get into.
    Whereas drafting is fun! I'm glad you found a source of inspiration. It's always exciting when we come across visual or other stuff related to our stories.

  24. I totally agree with your assessment of Laura. And I'm glad that was the push you needed to get moving again.

  25. Hooray for the kick of inspiration!

    I think it's a good thing to send queries out a few at a tiime---new ideas for the query letter may pop into your head, and this way you'll get to acutally use those ideas. Plus, it eases the sting of rejectino to know that there are still other options out there to be pursued. But make sure new queries go out each week!

  26. ...lovin' the classic movie poster, Michael!
    Most excellent take on pushing onward despite the obstacles...well done ;)


  27. Rejection hurts, big time. But I've read your writing and it's Excellent!
    Michael, I'm a black & white movie fan. (I believe I've seen them all) I love the movie Laura. And you're right Gene Tierney was absolutely gorgeous!

  28. I can relate this, Michael. I was at the point where I was barely querying my books. They say the best way to handle querying is to start writing your next book. Problem was when I did this, I forgot to send out queries for the book I'd finished. And I can tell you now that is now a very effective way to land an agent. lol

  29. I'm glad you said that . . . because I'm looking for that "thing" to help me out right now—at 1 a.m.—watching movies. Sigh. lol

    Glad you found that inspiration you needed. :)

  30. Hi M! Just hopped over from Hilary's blog and noticed you mentioned "Tea with Mussolini"--such an intriguing movie--loved Cher in it as well. I enjoy watching Turner Classic Movies, especially the B&W ones, the photography, use of mirrors, etc.

  31. I still remember that film from a class I took years ago in college. The professor used it to show us what he considered to be THE noir classic everyone in that genre should emulate.

    Just remember that if someone rejects your work, they're not rejecting you. Hard, I know, but that's the only way you can keep at it.

  32. I haven't seen Laura, but I want to go watch it now!

    So glad to hear you found inspiration. Looking forward to seeing what it produces. :)

  33. I haven't seen Laura but with Vincent Price in it, it's now on my To Be Watched list!

    Oh this post is timely. i just finished what may be the most amazing series I've ever read and in it I found so many hints to story ideas that I've had. Ideas that were in my mind BEFORE I ever discovered this series. Strange or serendipitous? I'm now in a I stay the course, seek out the story I started writing OR do I need to hunker down and sift through the ashes of what I started to find a new "nugget" I can use? Argh!!

    Ah well...happy weekend! Thanks for the encouragement. I shall be looking out for those "little inspirations". :)

  34. Glad you found some inspiration!!! Happy writing!

  35. Laura sounds like a great noir flick. I do find inspiration in TV/movies as well as reading.

  36. Querying is a scary time; there's no way around it. But you have to play to win. Good luck! I dimly remember "Laura." Gene Tierney was stunning...and wasn't there a piece of music written for that film? It's quite lovely and famous, also named "Laura." Have a great weekend!

  37. Inspiration is all around you, if you're willing to open your eyes and see it. I've been in a funk with one of my projects, but something else recently just started flowing, so I'm going with it.

  38. Sounds like you have a great premise for your book. Since you have so much passion for that era, and a sharp eye for detail, I'm sure you'll wrap this baby up in no time. Just roll up those sleeves (if you own any), and get to work! Hey, you could play the lead in the film version, and all you need is the right dame, see! Sorry, I got a little caught up in the noir. Now I also want to watch Laura! This was fun, Michael!


  39. I do love that era and Noir as a premise. So psychological and glamourous. :) Best of luck!

  40. i love TCM and i've seen Laura, what a prime noir example for doing it right!

    so glad you got psyched up!
    you can do anything, buddy! keep at it!

  41. I dropped by to say hello! I have been absent from blogging for a while, and I did miss your posts. It’s good to be back.

  42. I have no seen this film before, but I love black and white movies. I will have to see if I can find it somewhere. (Especially since it has a detective in it. I do love a good mystery!)

  43. Oh, and that is wonderful you were able to get inspiration from it! That is a wonderful feeling when that happens

  44. Love that movie, Michael! Laura is one of the few films I can watch over and over again. But then I write contemporary noir. That morally complex darkness shows up in all my work—even when I'm not trying. Ha!

    And you offer great advice. Inspiration will come as long as we keep searching. It's only after we give up that there's no hope. Querying is the worst, though. I don't know if I could stand up to that process again. Rejection is one thing, but querying often feels like throwing one's manuscript in a black hole.

    VR Barkowski

  45. I've never seen Laura but I'm so glad you came upon it at just the right time. Amazing how sometimes we just need a little shove.

    I just came back from Martha's Vineyard and wanted to let you know that my book is for sale and on display in both of the bookstores on the island. I know how you love the Vineyard so I thought you would get a kick out of knowing your cover art is there in the store windows! I can never thank you enough for that cover. :)

  46. Hello Darling!!! So lovely to be back!! Gosh, its been a while!! I l do love the smoky glamour of the 1940's flicks. Gene Tierney is sublime! They certainly don't make starlets like old style hollywood these days. Curling up on the sofa watching a classic black and white on a sunday afternoon is one of my fav things to do!

    Good luck with your new round of queries!!! Don't even entertain rejection as a bad thing, its a positive way to get feedback and improve and hone our craft! Like fine wine, darling, the best bottles take their own sweet time.

    Chat soon! XOX

  47. Is it weird that I LOVE classic movie posters? I got so excited when I saw one in your post! :)

  48. I've not seen that movie and now I want to watch it! hehehe.
    Best wishes for your querying. Just keep sending them out.