Monday, February 11, 2013

Smart Talk - We could all use a refresher...

(from my review for this book over at

For anyone who has ever had to talk to another person, this is a great book. From the very basics of introductions, and shaking hands, to any type of public speaking, this is the book that should be on everyone's shelf, or (audio version) iPod.

Lisa B. Marshall has the education and experience, and makes it seem so easy. I know I'll be using the parts about giving and getting feedback on a daily basis, in both my writing, and as my position as a business owner. I now know I could have  been communicating with my employees so much better. Where was this book 17 years ago?
From Amazon:
Have you ever lost out on a promotion? Struggled with a difficult conversation? Been put on the spot and blanked? Imagine if... were better at persuading others and negotiating for what you want. were more fluent at introducing yourself, making conversation, and following up. were better at delivering feedback, receiving criticism, and using positive language. were perceived as more diplomatic and charismatic.
Smart Talk applies up-to-date communication research to everyday situations and gives smart, practical, step-by-step directions to achieve results. Smart Talk is no ordinary book— it's the Swiss Army Knife of communication—a comprehensive set of tools to build strong relationships and avoid communication breakdowns.
With proven strategies and practical action plans, Smart Talk will help you resolve conflicts, strengthen your natural charisma, and master the art of persuasion. Never again will you dread a holiday party or be rendered speechless at a business meeting. Backed by solid research and written in an engaging narrative style with a warm sense of humor, communication expert Lisa B. Marshall translates her wealth of experience into practical, fresh advice to help you navigate any complex situation, and achieve professional success.
We could all use a little help "talking smart."

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Rewriting and more rewriting..or time to stop?

I've been rereading all of the Gotcha books to see all of the editing mistakes. Wow, Prey must have been garbled in the uploading process, because I didn't see all of the errors on my last read through. I'm sure there's a gremlin that invades computers in the uploading process. Haha, really!

I'm procrastinating, but at least I'm working on my writing. I'd been stuck on the process of writing What a Meth, and while editing I was able to get unstuck. It's amazing what happens when I let go of the novel I'm writing and move on to another project. Suddenly, the original novel becomes so clear, and it's easier to continue writing.

I've got a TV pilot and three features to finish editing and rewriting, so I have plenty to keep me busy. I have to admit, editing is much easier when I've put the project away for a long period (a month or more). And there are scripts and novels I'll never finish, because they just weren't meant to be.

The famous quote reads, "Writing is rewriting." Truer words. But with any story there is a point where you have to stop rewriting, or as I call it, beating a dead horse. Either the story works, or it doesn't. Putting all of your eggs in one basket, and rewriting to the point where the Spackle is easily visible is a mistake. There is a point when it's time to move on. When enough people have turned the novel/script down, know when to say when, and just move on to another story. I've had to move on many times, and I've even put a story aside after writing 200 pages, knowing it's not the right story. (I'm full of cliches today). It's a tough thing to do, because 200 pages equals many, many hours, and it's hard to look deep inside and know this just isn't the right story, no matter how many times we rewrite it. I'm at that point now on one of the screenplays I wrote. There is just no way any manager/agent/producer is going to want the script, I've come to grips with it, and put it away, never to see the light of day. In the process, I've come up with a better story to tell.

Such is the life of a writer, and I wouldn't have it any other way.