Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Writer's Conference On My Computer

Found Myself a Bargain:
Earlier I wrote a post titled The Best Writing Instructors (Mar 4 in the archives).  I still believe that the best instructors are the writers you love to read.  But I'm also open to any help I can get to make my novels become "can't turn the pages fast enough" kind of stories. 

That said...I am a very big fan of Writer's Digest; the magazine, the daily email tips, some of the books they offer and so on.  They have been very instrumental in helping me feel more confidant in my writing.  I love the author interviews in the magazine and the speciality articles (an article on suspense would get my attention, or one on novel writing, or one on finding an on poetry or children's books would not).

Today I did something I would not normally do.  I spent some money on writing helps.  I found a link on the blog post "My Name Is Not Bob" that took me to a special Writer's Digest is offering for writers.  It's called "Writing Mysteries and Thrillers Kit"  For those of you who have been reading my book reviews, you know my novels of choice are the edge-of-your-seat suspense books.  This sounded like something that I should check out.  But the main reason I decided to try this was the price and what I would get for it. 

If you've been reading my blog, you know I'm divorced, living alone, on a fixed income (semi-retired) and very careful with my money...always looking for that good deal.  But I considered this an investment.  And a good one.  I could never get this much in the way of instruction for this price.

For $85 I'm getting 3 on-demand webinars, 1 digital download plus 2 books.  The regular price is $300 but for a limited know how it goes...anyway its a really, really good deal.  I've never purchased an on-demand webinar (where you actually can listen to the instructor that's teaching you)  because they usually charge that much for one.  But I'm getting all the other stuff.  If you're a writer of suspense, or like me, working your butt off to become a writer of suspense and mystery, check out this link below.  Fabulous deal.  It'll be like going to a writer's conference on my my sweats...with no make-up...and I can hit 'pause' when nature calls...woot woot!!  :)

I can't wait to sit down and listen to everything they have for me in this kit and I'm waiting anxiously for the 2 books to arrive in the mail....doing a happy dance just thinking about it (picture a 63 yr. old woman who's a little overweight doing a happy dance...not pretty).  So if something like this interests you, check out the link below.  Hopefully the sale will last for a while.

Do You Feel Entitled?
On a little more serious note...yesterday on my way home from work, I was confronted with a car passing a semi on the two-lane road I was 55 mph. He was in my lane coming at me. He didn't get over, he just kept coming, right at me. I knew the trucker had to be applying his brakes to let him in, but it wasn't happening fast enough. I was braking and pulling to the side when the young man finally met up with me. He'd been able to get over in time, thank God. But if you've read many of my posts, you know I have a teeny, tiny issue with road rage...quietly in my I laid on my horn and yes, I flipped him off. I know...not very nice behavior for a grandma. But hey, I was pissed (also not nice language for a grandma).

But this wasn't my first experience with an inconsiderate driver that feels he's entitled to drive faster than the limits on this road. Oh yes, entitled. You know the kind of driver I'm talking about...the one who feels that where he's going is much more important than where anyone else is going, so speeding is okay for him.

Well, this brought back a memory from 2010 that still makes me shudder. Another entitled driver. Another thoughtless person. Another set of headlights coming at me. Same road. Same speed. But much scarier. And because of this incident, I wrote a letter to my newspaper (Letters To The Editor) and they printed it. This is the letter from then:

To the person who ran me off the road: On Saturday evening, Dec. 18th I was on my way home from Arlington. I was northbound on St. Rt. 68 when I came up on a rise in the road. Your headlights were all I could see. You were passing 3 cars with a yellow line in your lane. Thank God for reflexes because I was able to swerve off onto the side of the road while you frantically scrambled to get back in the line of cars. Do you have any idea how scary that was for me and the people in the 3 other cars? Were you scared? I hope so. Maybe you won’t pass on a yellow line anymore. They're there for a reason.
Once I was back on the road, I had the thought that 3 seconds, just 3 seconds, could have made the difference for so many people. If I had been 3 seconds later coming over that rise, there wouldn’t have been time for me to swerve. It would have been a head-on collision. And that would have changed Christmas for so many people. Not only for my family and yours but for the families of the people in the 3 cars you were passing because there would have been collateral damage.

I have 8 children, 17 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. My family is still recovering from the death of my mother last month so I can’t imagine them burying another family member. I was traveling at 57mph and I know you had to have been going faster to pass those cars. Seat belts and air bags wouldn’t have helped much at those speeds.

I want to thank those people whose reflexes were as good as mine for being able to brake quickly and let you squeeze in front of them. You may not read this letter but maybe someone who does will think twice before they pass on a yellow line.

I have thanked God numerous times for letting me spend a wonderful Christmas with my family. You should do the same.

I guess the reason I'm posting this is because I see this happen way too many times. Maybe you're someone who does this. If you are, please don't do it again. Make sure you have plenty of time before you decide to pass another vehicle. A lot of time. And for the rest of defensively because you never know when another driver that feels entitled may be about to change the course of your life.

Quotes of the day:
I have been successful probably because I have always realized that I knew nothing about writing and have merely tried to tell an interesting story entertainingly. ~ Edgar Rice Burroughs

Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don't see any. ~ Orson Scott Card

It takes 8,460 bolts to assemble an automobile, and one nut to scatter it all over the road. ~ Author Unknown

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