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Newsletter Dated: 9/2/2003 2:06:45 PM
Subject: Soup's On
Andrea Campbell’s Newsletter
*** Greetings! ***
This newsletter is being sent to you because you are a writer, family member, professional friend of Andrea’s, or a fan and reader of her books. If you are new to the list, welcome. There are a ton of newsletters and e-zines out there to read, thanks for requesting and reading mine. I am excited about this venue because it gives me the opportunity to reach larger numbers of people in a much shorter time. It will also contain more personal content and address things I don’t discuss on my web site.
Have questions, comments, or ideas for future publication? I look forward to your input and never turn down helpful hints. This newsletter is a continued work-in-progress and I hope you will stay around to see new features in every bi-monthly issue.
In this issue:
• From the Author*s Desk
• Research Notes: Gotcha!
• Bulwer Lytton Contest Results
• I Placed
• Notable and Quotable
• Sleuth Sayer
• Police Quotes
*** From The Author*s Desk ***
Since summer is my creation time (do others write book proposals all summer?) this month I offer some articles to get you past self-doubt and to help you to decompress. I think of creation as analogous to blowing up a balloon. You stretch the neck, blow and look, blow and look, blow and look, and, finally, you gotta let a little air out in order to tie the knot. So, this month, feel the hot air escaping.
*** Research Notes: Gotcha! ***
I just sent in to my publisher the first draft for Gotcha! How Science and the Law Catch Criminals. The chapter I had most fun with dealt with new technology. In the spirit of sharing then, I give you a couple of excerpts…
A new electromagnetic portal or gate is being tested that would allow the security officer to locate concealed weapons and danger objects that are made-up with steel—even razor blades—to prevent them from coming into schools, courtrooms or other secure facilities. This new portal would reduce false alarms with harmless objects such as keys and jewelry, unlike today’s gate which reacts to all metals.
And in a nod to the future, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has invented the 3D Body Holo Scanner, which sees through clothes and can detect any concealed weapons, even if they are nonmetallic. While the millimeter band radio waves it uses does not present the health risks associated with x-rays, right now the image generated reveals too many personal—and potentially embarrassing—details.
An amazing tool is being developed which would be able to remotely scan groups of individuals for metallic and nonmetallic weapons using a passive millimeter wave imager. Applicable for analysis in both crowd control and counter-terrorism, the system monitors the difference in heat energy emitted from the body of an individual and any objects that they carry, and presents a visual representation of the object. Since it uses passive MMW spectrum waves, the device poses no health risks either.
Eliminates the Traffic and Trample
A new way of looking at crime scenes may come through teleforensics. Teleforensics allows investigators at a remote location to view a crime scene as evidence is being gathered. A technician at the crime scene uses a camcorder that is outfitted with a wireless transmitter. The camcorder send images via radio frequency to a monitor for detectives to view in real time. A fast way to communicate, it also protects the scene by limiting the number of people allowed inside and gives police a record of the crime scene before it is altered.
*** Bulwer-Lytton Contest Results***
Bad Novels: These are the 10 winners of this year's Bulwer-Lytton contest (run by the English Dept of San Jose State University), wherein one writes only the first line of a bad novel.
10) "As a scientist, Throckmorton knew that if he were ever to break wind in the echo chamber, he would never hear the end of it."
9) "Just beyond the Narrows, the river widens."
8) "With a curvaceous figure that Venus would have envied, a tanned, unblemished oval face framed with lustrous thick brown hair, deep azure-blue eyes fringed with long black lashes, perfect teeth that vied for competition, and a small straight nose, Marilee had a beauty that defied description."
7) "Andre, a simple peasant, had only one thing on his mind as he crept along the East wall: 'Andre creep... Andre creep... Andre creep.'"
6) "Stanislaus Smedley, a man always on the cutting edge of narcissism, was about to give his body and soul to a back alley sex-change surgeon to become the woman he loved."
5) "Although Sarah had an abnormal fear of mice, it did not keep her from eeking out a living at a local pet store."
4) "Stanley looked quite bored and somewhat detached, but then penguins often do."
3) "Like an over-ripe beefsteak tomato rimmed with cottage cheese, the corpulent remains of Santa Claus lay dead on the hotel floor."
2) "Mike Hardware was the kind of private eye who didn't know the meaning of the word 'fear'; a man who could laugh in the face of danger and spit in the eye of death -- in short, a moron with suicidal tendencies."
AND THE WINNER IS...
"The sun oozed over the horizon, shoved aside darkness, crept along the greensward, and, with sickly fingers, pushed through the castle window, revealing the pillaged princess, hand at throat, crown asunder, gaping in frenzied horror at the sated, sodden amphibian lying beside her, disbelieving the magnitude of the frog's deception, screaming madly, 'You lied!'"
*** Inspiration ***
By Trish Milburn
More than likely, every writer reading this column has battled self-doubt at some point. Why am I wasting my time? What makes me think I'll ever get published? Am I good enough? If any of those questions sound familiar, read on.
According to an article at
http://mama.essortment.com/howtoovercome_rsjm.htm , there is no such thing as writer's block. Instead, the reason we're not writing is either a lack of focus, research, imagination or confidence.
The key to overcoming the so-called writer's block is to recognize what's causing it. If it's lack of confidence in your abilities, the article suggests focusing on what you've accomplished, not what you haven't. You can do this by looking over some of your first efforts and comparing them to your current ones. You'll likely see a marked difference. Be proud of that.
Author Kathy Carmichael has an article on her website titled "10 Tips to Banish the Unpublished Writer Blues." Areas she covers in her listing are positive affirmations, dealing with rejection, accenting the positive and the more you write, the more you grow. See her tips
Need a quick tip from someone who has faced incredible odds and succeeded? Check out the Tips from the Summit at
http://www.beyondthelimits.com/tips.shtml the website of climber and motivational speaker Stacy Allison, the first American woman to climb Mt. Everest.
Allison believes that setbacks (i.e. rejections, a bad day of writing, the endless waiting to hear back on submissions) are opportunities to learn.
More positive tips can be found in an article by Lori Soard titled "Overcoming Self-Doubt and Naysayers" at
Among the familiar ones, but ones that bear repeating, are writing down your goals, setting a writing schedule and never giving up. She also suggests reading stories about others' successes and how they overcame self-doubt.
One more place to go to seek ways to overcome your self-doubt is
http://www.wga.org/WrittenBy/1101/tools.html The article, "Kaizen for Writers: One Page at a Time" by Jerry Lazer, is from the November 2001 issue of Written By.
It explores Kaizen, the Zen philosophy of "constant, small, gradual improvement" and how Los Angeles psychotherapist Robert Maurer, Ph.D., applies it to writers and their writing.
Maurer says that writers' pages stay empty because they are overwhelmed or afraid. He suggests taking things in small steps so it's not so overwhelming. Whether it's actual writing or reading a craft book, you can take small steps each day. You might never totally eradicate the self-doubt, but it might be easier to battle when you know you're making those steps to improve your work.
Along that same vein, check out the Club100 page at author Beth Pattillo's website: http://www.bethpattillo.com/id8.html
Here, you'll learn about the Club100 concept, a commitment to writing at least 100 words a day. The concept is based on the fact that just getting started writing each day is the hardest part. Once you're writing, it's often easy to fly right by those 100 words, but you can quit with 100 if you can't squeeze out any more or if life is getting in the way. No pressure, but you've got the positive reinforcement of having met your daily goal.
**Reprinted from RWA eNotes
This year, Trish Milburn was a double finalist in Romance Writers of America's Golden Heart competition for unpublished writers in the romantic suspense category.
*** I Placed! ***
Some good news came in last month. I made it into the Top 10 group for the Writer’s Digest Best Web Site Competition 2003, out of more than 160 nominations. Yipee! The #1 winning web site can be viewed at http://www.scottjohnston.com.
The Web site Finalists will be listed in the October issue of Writer's Digest (on newsstands September 16th). I also got a complimentary subscription to Writer's Market online. So happy.
*** Notable and Quotable***
Authors Don't Have the Time to Write Blurbs:
Debunking the Myths of Publishing:
Fatal Agreement: The new edition of The Chicago Manual of Style wrestles with grammar.
Good Advice from Kathryn--
After years of being frustrated with unfinished projects, I have finally discovered a method that has worked for me. Perhaps it will work for others who have trouble seeing a project through to the last page.
When I am ready to being a new book, I first construct a chapter-by-chapter outline to get an idea of length. For each chapter I summarize the action in one paragraph. When that is completed I go back to each proposed chapter and write a first sentence. I find that doing this helps to ignite the creative process for me, particularly if I am forced to set aside the book for a few days. All I have to do is pick up from the sentence I have already written. The sentence may not always be in the final draft, but having it there helps build the rest of the book.
Author of Saints Preserve Us: An Ash Lake Mystery (Wings, May 2003)
*** Sleuth Sayer ***
Happy to announce that I am a new Contributing Editor for Sleuth Sayer, the Official Publication of the Southwest Chapter of Mystery Writers of America (MWA/SW). My contribution will be a forensic science column under the familiar catch phrase, No Stone Unturned. For those of you who belong to MWA, think about joining your regional group as well, they have a lot to offer.
*** Funny Police Quotes ***
"If you run, you'll only go to jail tired."
"So, you don't know how fast you were going. I guess that means I can write anything I want on the ticket, huh?"
"Yes sir, you can talk to the shift supervisor, but I don't think it will help. Oh, did I mention that I am the shift supervisor?"
"Warning! You want a warning? O.K., I'm warning you not to do that again or I'll give you another ticket."
"The answer to this last question will determine whether you are drunk or not. Was Mickey Mouse a cat or dog?"
"Yeah, we have a quota. Two more tickets and my wife gets a toaster oven."
"Life's tough, it's tougher if you're stupid."
"No sir, we don't have quotas anymore. We used to have quotas, but now we're allowed to write as many tickets as we want."
"Just how big were those two beers?
"In God we trust, all others are suspects."
*** Future Newsletters ***
In upcoming newsletters I hope to answer reader’s questions, share a new story or two, talk more about publishing, and provide additional writer’s tips. If there is any area of my life or work you would like to discuss, from autopsy to monkeys, just send me a note. Thanks for the read. : 0 )
Copyright©2003 Andrea Campbell If you wish to quote from here, fine, just attribute it to me and my web site.