Monday, July 16, 2018

Creating New Plots

Have you ever been stuck and can't think of a new plot?  I have.  LOTS of times.

One way to get out of the plot rut is to get out among people.  Last Thursday and Friday, we went to a Christian music festival where tons of groups played.  It was fun and I saw people I'd never normally meet on my regular journeys.

These people were all nice people, which is tough to find, especially in a group of thousands every day (it was estimated to bring in over 23,000 per day last year).  What intrigued me the most was their willingness to help others, to search out for people in need.  I didn't see one nasty person or hear one argument in all that time I was there. 

As an example, one man pushed a wheelchair for a young boy who was probably about eight or ten.  I suspect the man was his father in some way, and from the looks of things, the child had been adopted.  Regardless, the man took on the father role.

We were in the mosh pit, to listen to one group, and the man and the boy were there.  Yes, it was so loud, my entire body vibrated from the sound.  But people were standing all around, dancing and swaying to the music.  The boy couldn't see, so the man picked the kid up, put his own foot on the wheelchair, and bent his knee to make a place for the boy to sit, and hoisted the kid onto his knee.  The boy could now see.  Amazing.  How many people would do that for someone else, even a child?  I was impressed.

There were lots of stories like that just from things I witnessed from walking around and listening to groups.  It made me plot in my head, and instead of heroes that beat others up for justice, how about writing about some that go out of their way to help others? 

It's a thought.

Have a great week!
SweetTale Books

Monday, July 9, 2018

New Seats at the Movies

There seems to be a wave across the nation of reclining seats put into movie theaters.  At least I THINK it's a wave.  I talked to my mom about how these seats are being put into a theater here, and she said that they're doing it where she lives, too.

So what are these seats?  They're reclining seats with seven feet of leg room (for the recliner) and are called Dream Lounger seating.  They come in a pair of seats with no arm rest between them--the arm rests are on the sides of the two-seat combo.  On the arm rests are drink holders.  The control for the foot rest is on the inside, beside the customer's thigh.  The foot rest goes up and the customer can control how far back the person goes, even tilting his/her head back.  In other words, it's a great napping position.

As for price, they're more expensive than regular seats.  For example, we pay $8.50 for a matinee (we can't stay awake for the later showings) with 'stadium seating.'  But for these seats, which are assigned at the time of purchase, they're priced at $11.50, which is the same as a 3-D showing.

My husband and I saw Marvel's Ant-Man and the Wasp yesterday, and treated ourselves to the 'Dream Loungers.'  It was nice, but I worried about the guy beside me, who was coughing.  I wished they'd put a few inches between the seating groups, but that wouldn't be cost effective.  Still, it was a nice experience and the movie was good.

By the way...if you go to see a Marvel Movie, ALWAYS stay through the end of the credits.  There's always more to the movie after the credits are over, sometimes with more in the middle of the credits.

Have a super week!
SweetTale Books

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Monday, July 2, 2018

Fantastic!!!

I just LOVE the summers, and July is one of my favorites!  I love the heat, the way people decorate with plants, and the activities.  It seems as if people are happier in the summer, and love to do things that they never could've done in the winter, especially on vacation.

This year, my husband decided we really needed a vacation.  I couldn't decide where to go, because the money was tight (or so he told me).  Also, he didn't want to take much time off, because our one daughter is coming with us (the other wants to change jobs and is thinking she'll be out of the house by whenever we leave, even if it's tomorrow).  On a whim, I told my husband that I'd love for him to plan a mystery vacation, and not tell our daughter or me where we're going.

So, yesterday, my dear husband worked all afternoon trying to book whatever vacation we're going on.  He desperately wanted to tell us where we're going and what we're doing, but I stopped him on numerous occasions.  It was hilarious!  I do know we're flying somewhere and have to be on the flight at 5:40 in the morning on the first day.  That means we have to get up around 3 AM to be at the airport at least an hour beforehand.  Oh boy.  I just tell myself it's an adventure.

Don't you just love the summers?  Add a great mystery to it, and your brain will be working overtime trying to solve the puzzle.  I'll let you know where we went, after the fact.  We're going at the beginning of August, so we'll see what happens.

Have a super week!
SweetTale Books

Monday, June 25, 2018

Every Little Experience

When writing a book, every experience in your past can become part of the plot.  For example, my husband just had me transfer money from our savings to our checking, because the guy's coming out to fix our fence today (it really needs it).  Have I ever transferred money before?  Nope.  Money isn't my thing in our house, ever since I 'lost' money in my checking account before we were married.  We had to spend part of the honeymoon figuring out my checking account register.  I think that's one of the moments my husband thought, 'what did I marry?'

Anyway, this little issue of transferring money could become part of a stumbling block to a character.  It becomes part of a conflict, where the woman, for example, transfers too much money and is now down on her luck.  For some reason, she can't undo the transfer and has to actually admit her mistake and deal with the consequences, whether it be having to talk to a bank manager, or beg someone else for the money back.  In my example, two of our kids are on our online checking listing.  So I could've taken or given them money from my account very easily.  Thus, I would have to beg them for help.

The point is, even something as tiny as transferring money could mean big ripples in a plot.  Thus, keep all of your ideas for something like this tucked away, because every experience you have can become a plot point.  Interesting concept, huh?

Have a super week!  I'm off to wait for the fence guy, to make more mental plot points.  LOL!

SweetTale Books

Monday, June 18, 2018

Piracy

Some people think it's totally acceptable to download a free version of someone else's book.  They don't realize, though, that this is stealing.  They're stealing money from the author, who may depend on sales to live. 

Piracy companies seem to have multiplied over the years, originating from all over the world.  When an author finds out that a pirate is giving that book away for free, or collecting the costs themselves, they have to issue a DMCA (digital millennium copyright act) form to the pirate.  That's only good in the U.S. though.  If the company is overseas, there is no legal recourse for an author.

The DMCA is a lengthy legal form that must include the title, the author, where the information is listed, certain statements, company affiliation, legal name and address, etc.  It must be done right, or the offender can sue the person requesting the copyright has been infringed.  It's crazy.

There's a company called Blasty that will send out DMCAs to offenders for the author.  Some of it can be done free, but a monthly fee will let them be sent automatically.  I think there are other companies that do the same thing, and of course, lawyers will do it for a price. 

All works are protected when written, but any company can dispute that fact if you don't have a copyright for your work, just like you can sue anyone for anything.  If the pirate is overseas, or from a country that doesn't have an agreement with the US on copyright, then a lawyer will be necessary to dispute the claims.

Needless to say, pirates are evil, in my book.  I've even heard stories of pirates who steal a book then claim it's theirs, just to make Amazon remove the original. 

Blasty is one way to make sure the DMCA is done correctly.  However, without a lawyer, some of the pirates are tough to fight.

Good luck out there.  It's a tough world sometimes.

SweetTale Books