Author photos taken by Robert Abrams in Paris, France.



THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY - Rebecca Buckley's Blog
Hello, I'm Rebecca Buckley, and I write books! Welcome to my blog. Here I'll talk about almost anything. Depends on the mood of the day. I'll also talk about publishing, writing techniques, and editing ... subjects close to my heart. So today, anytime you feel like it, feel free to jump in ... click on the COMMENTS link at the end of a post and give your opinion. If you sign in "anonymous" to comment, it's easier, just be sure you say who you are in the content of your comment.

Friday, September 17, 2010

CREATIVITY INCLUDES MUSIC

I wonder ... what is the connection between music and the writer.  Is there a connection?  Have you noticed that many writers are musicians as well as painters?  It's all the arts, that's what it is.  There is a tremendous connection in my estimation. We're lumped in a pile of creative artists.  Now maybe we aren't as good at music as those who use music as their uppermost talent, but then those individuals aren't as good at writing as we are.  Or maybe we don't paint or draw as well as those who use that talent as their focus, but then they don't write as well as we do either.

Regardless ... it all works hand in hand.  I truly believe that.  Creativity is creativity.  And when we focus on one talent above another, it works, doesn't matter which talent. 

I've spent many years delving in music (singing and piano playing) to no avail, and have also spent many hours painting and selling the paintings, to no avail ... until I arrived at the point where I am today.  I've finally understood and realized that my calling is writing.  So all my focus is on writing (and publishing others).  That's who I am and where I want to be.  It's taken this long to realize that. 

So the singing and piano playing is for relaxation only, of course, for my own enjoyment ... heaven forbid anyone would ever hear any of it ... aside from my son and daughter in law (fellow Karaoke enthusiasts) ... and my paintings adorn my walls only these days.

But my writing ... now that is my prime reason for being.  I do take it seriously, it is my strength, and I do improve on it with each book, I would hope.

Interesting how it all has turned out ...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

BOOK BURNING - WHY THE KORAN?

Here is a paragraph from Wikipedia: 

"Some particular cases of book burning are long and traumatically remembered - because the books destroyed were irreplaceable and their loss constituted a severe damage to cultural heritage, and/or because this instance of book burning has become emblematic of a harsh and oppressive regime. Such were the destruction of the Library of Alexandria, the obliteration of the Library of Baghdad, the burning of books and burying of scholars under China's Qin Dynasty, the destruction of Mayan codices by Spanish conquistadors and priests, and in more recent times, Nazi book burnings, the burning of Beatles records after a remark by John Lennon concerning Jesus Christ, and the destruction of the Sarajevo National Library."


And now in this present day in our land of inalienable rights we have a pastor of 50 parishioners threatening to burn the Muslim's Koran. What is that all about?  Has he read the Bill of Rights? So is he thinking it is his right to do so while not giving any thought to his infringement upon the rights of others?  

Here's an interesting piece: 

"In his 1821 play, Almansor, the German writer Heinrich Heine — referring to the burning of the Muslim holy book, the Qur'an, during the Spanish Inquisition — wrote, "Where they burn books, so too will they in the end burn human beings." One century later, Heine's books were among the thousands of volumes that were torched by the Nazis in Berlin's Opernplatz."

As a result of the news of late, I purchased a Koran (Quran) and am reading it (84 cents - Kindle version).  So far I see nothing that is offensive, on the contrary, it is not too far from the teachings of the Old Testament in the Bible, although Jesus is depicted same as Moses and other spiritual leaders of the time (so far).  And it also talks about the Muslims who make trouble in the world, and how they are not following the teaching of the Islam religion.

Now I don't present myself  as an expert on religion, far from it, but I'm curious enough to read the books to see for myself what their beliefs are and compare their "Bible" to the "Bible" of others.

I wonder if this Christian pastor, Terry Jones, who plans to burn a pile of Korans on September 11, has read the book?  On CNN he said he's read part of it.  I wonder which part?  I hope to have read it entirely by September 11, and I would urge him to do so.

You know, it's one thing to protest and remember the happenings on September 11, 2001, but keeping it in perspective is of the utmost importance.  Putting the blame where it belongs is also a must.  In all racial, religious, and political bodies there are villains, bad guys ... they're the culprits, not the masses.  They are a small percentage that ruin it for the others.  Target them, not the masses, and definitely not the books - that's insulting to the good guys.

If we are to ever win this war over terrorism, we have to stand together ... all races, all religions, all political arenas.  We have to let them know terrorism will not be tolerated. 

And, Mr. Jones, your actions, although you believe you're doing the right thing, are unacceptable.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

SO, HOW DO I START WRITING? WHAT DO I DO FIRST?

First thing you do is write the words.  That's it! That's all it takes to start a book. 

If you're going to write your life (autobiography), or a portion of your life (memoirs), or a book of fiction based on your life or someone elses, or a novel from your imagination ... regardless, you must put it on paper. It doesn't write itself out in the blue somewhere.  And this you can start doing right away.  If you have a story to tell, tell it, write it.  (Some do research first, some don't, they fill it in later. Some make outlines first, some don't, they let the characters write the story. Nonfiction needs an outline.)

Once you start writing, write it straight through without editing. Best way is to write it in segments - each segment a story in itself. One of my best-selling mentors sez write five pages at a time without stopping. She writes by hand, pen and paper. Finds that she's more creative that way.  Not me.  So, whichever way you choose, just write five pages a day ... simple.  Some say ten pages a day. But at least set a goal of so many pages a day.

At this point, you needn't be concerned about the spelling, punctuation, and grammar. That will all come later, after you're written the first draft of the manuscript. But do your best as you go along, no need to be sloppy and disjointed. The primary objective is to get your thoughts down on "paper" this go 'round. You can do that without any help from anybody.

Also in your spare time, after you've written your ten pages on a given day, learn about the craft of writing. The magazine "Writers Digest" is one of the best for learning and informing yourself about the technical aspects of writing as well as the business you're entering. Yes, it's a business, whether you like it or not. AND the magazine "The Writer" is also excellent for that purpose. If you buy those two mags a month, and read them from cover to cover, that will be all the homework you need to do right now.


Maeve Binchey writes one chapter a day, by the way. No matter what. A chapter is equivalent to a written scene of a movie to me. So some of my chapters are very short, two to four pages. I can definitely write more than one chapter a day.  Christina Dodd writes ten pages a day, which means that in thirty days a first draft could be finished.
 
Oh, when you write in chapters, you'll want to make sure you have written a complete thought in that chapter, or what I call a mini-story within the overall story. The chapter will have a beginning, middle, and end - just like the entire book. Each chapter will tell a story all of its own. It should end on a high note or shock, a mini-cliff-hanger, that will drive the reader immediately to the next chapter, not wanting to put the book down, which is what you want. So you might want to think in those terms as you write.
 
Either a certain number of pages, or by chapters.
 
Again, nothing happens if you just keep the thoughts in your head.  You have to let them materialize and write them. And that's how you get started.
 
So ... write, write, write.