THE BENEFITS OF HELP   Leave a comment

I went to another critique of my writers’ group. My last critique was at the SCBWI Summer Convention. That critique was very well done and completely on the mark, however, after the critique I started to write than stopped. I stayed stopped for two years. I was very upset and it wasn’t because of my critique. My critique was right on, just like it was this time. I was grateful for both critiques.

I choose not to drag out the reasons behind my ill feelings. One it would do my writing career no good and two, it would tell you too much about me. I have decided to just let it go and move on.

Since the last critique, I have been writing and using all the advice everyone so graciously offered. I have also begun to read Starters which is a very enjoyable; and the author is a science fiction author like I am working to be. I did that wrong. I AM a science fiction/fantasy writer, I just haven’t gotten anything publish and my writing needs a lot of improvement. Lissa Price has a wonderful book and she was once a part of our little group of merry writers.


Posted 09/29/2012 by J.L. Carson in General

COUCH POTATO   Leave a comment

Oh my God! Yesterday I helped a friend put on a reception at church. I kept smiling happily at the people dropping off food and they would look at me like I was crazy, then I would remember I was at a funeral. I would quickly change my face to one sorrow with a sad smile of condolence for their loss. It was easy to do since the memory of losing my mother was crystal clear in my mind.

The reason I am in shock this morning is because I am in pain in my lower back. I did too much walking and standing for about three hours. I have had two back surgeries right where it is hurting, but I am sure that if I stretch, walk and apply heat that will fix me right up.

This is all because I finally got out of my sitting position. Now, understand I use to run miles and was trying to do my first Adventure Race. An Adventure Race is when you kayak 5 miles, rappel off a cliff, have to do a special test (usually a mind bender), then run 6 miles to the end, or something like that. I was bored with marathons. However, that was a decades ago. I have since then sat in meetings, sat at the computer, sat at coffee houses, and sat on my couch. If my program of therapy doesn’t work there’s always the Dr., shots, and happy pain pills – yippee!

The moral of the story is always keep a regular regime of exercise even if it is only thirty minutes of walking three days of week. I haven’t even been doing that and my body and mood reflect my sloth. So today I walked to Starbucks and back!

Posted 09/20/2012 by J.L. Carson in General

MOVING AHEAD   Leave a comment

I have gotten everything ready for my first critique of this new novel. It is much like the last novel just with some major refinements. It will be interesting to see what others have to say so I can get some quality input on changes I may need to make. I may even want to change the direction I am going. I do tend to get into explaining my ideas too much and not just getting to action. Heck, these are young adults and they want action.

As people have often commented I have a good imagination. It is just getting what I see in my head down on paper in a concise manner. I can only keep getting better. At least I have an imagination and I don’t think you can develop one, either you are born with it or you’re not. I would never claim to be a literary writer just a popular one.

Posted 09/15/2012 by J.L. Carson in General

SLACK’N OFF   Leave a comment

I have been agonizing over getting back into my critique group. They are very good and kind with their critiques. Except I get home and know that I will never be a good writer so why should I ever try. I should again start looking back for a job in aerospace or basically any manufacturing. Start looking for a real job.

You know what it is that keeps me going. It’s the thought that I will look back at this and say ’It was that time when I walked away from my dreams and I gave up on ever truly succeeding’. For god’s sake I don’t think I will ever be in the league of Harry Potter or even the Twight Light series. I’ll be a sci-fi writer for YA kids walking their path. I will try to create worlds that are beautiful and intelligent to escape to. The worlds I was provided by Larry Niven, Arthur C. Clark, Edgar Rice Burrows, Anne McAffey, Issac Asimov, Alan Dean Foster and Tolkien just barely skim the surface. I don’t do vampires or werewolves.

Posted 09/14/2012 by J.L. Carson in General


I was out driving, lost actually, trying to find a meeting by the Korean Bell. When you are a writer there are no weekends, but who am I to complain. I lost my job two years ago and I have been trying like mad to get a new one. I still haven’t found one. I have so many friends that have been out of a job for over two years; I don’t think we are even counted in the unemployment numbers anymore. Don’t get me started.

I was having a pleasant drive, even though I was lost, I was musing to myself about a conversation of a scuba diving accident, actually death. I very emphatically said you dive with two, not one, not three, but four. You always have your buddy. I use to dive and I had my buddy. But he, or it could be a she, was an all-around buddy. I said let’s run a marathon and he said, “okay”. Next I said let’s go Mt biking, and he said, first let me buy a bike and then he said, “okay”. I said let’s go backpacking with absolutely no experience, up into the roughest country around the Sierra Nevada’s. He said okay if I can find the highest passes so we can go over them? And I said, “okay”. Unfortunately, for all his athletic ability he had a case of pulmonary edema. If you wondering what that is I didn’t know either at the time. Basically he was drowning in his own fluids. Normally, this doesn’t happen until you usually get to about 14,000 ft. give or take a thousand ft. We barely made 10,000 ft. so it was very unusual that this happened. He survived and we got home. I towed him everywhere around the beach on my bike with his roller blades as he drank a beer. Seems the cure is to get to sea level.

That’s what buddies do for each other they make having fun easier and cushion the bad times. They take the 1:00 a.m. call when your date takes you to a sushi restaurant and you’re allergic to sell fish. You decide to try one strip of blue fin tuna. You get it down, but soon you are sweating and you know you don’t have much time. You have to escape before everyone gets to see that piece of blue fin tuna again.

Buddies go places, do things, talk to you and fill your life up. Never take you buddy for granted.

Posted 08/22/2012 by J.L. Carson in General


I’m feeling rather chipper this morning. It’s Saturday and I have already gone for my run along the beach and gotten my grocery shopping done. For those of you that don’t live in such paradise believe me I do know how good I have it. I have lived for a time in the high desert outside of San Diego called Ramona. It was never less than 100 degrees to 110 in the summer and never higher than freezing in the winter at night. Rumor had it, San Diego use to clear their jails by shipping their prisoners up to Ramona because it was just far enough away that they couldn’t really walk back.

Why am I telling you about Ramon? Because I got some great characters from there! There were old me so wrinkled you could barely see the glint of eyes and a big knobby red nose sticky out. They had mouths that were either slammed shut so you couldn’t pry them open even if you wanted to. Others had wide mouths laughing, with their yellow smoked, stained teeth and never a full set at that. These men had had a hard life. They were moved from their mother’s tit to a beer bottle and at ten to a whiskey bottle. They knew bar rooms, court rooms and jail rooms. The woman who hung off them only knew humiliation and survival at all costs. They stuck like leeches to the man that would protect them the most even if that man beat the hell out of them later. They popped out babies who learned the same things that they had learned. And so it went.

Those are only two character types I saw and there were many others, the drug addicts that hid under the bridge, the billionaire horse rancher with a cause, the foul mouthed old lady that tried to collect the uncollectable and save them, and many more.

I watched people but I mostly gripped about no Starbucks or movie theaters. Luckily for me even when I’m not aware I am watching all that is around me. I promise next time it will be on a lighter note.

Have a nice day.

Posted 08/18/2012 by J.L. Carson in General

Fun with Word Press   1 comment

As I said in my “Purpose” statement I am not really keen on doing a blog at all. Having to fight Word Press for every change I make to my blog format only contributes to my dislike. However, I did finally figure it out. It took a trip to starbucks and two Venti latte’s and the poor guy sitting next to me on the couch. I tend to talk to my laptop when it’s misbehaving and I think the guy just wanted to shut me up. You think! Now I’m back at home and can’t seem to find my own wireless connection. I’m piggy backed on someone else but I don’t see why mine isn’t showing. lkjsg’pdfhpo Sorry about that, my cat jumped down from the top shelf and used my back as a midpoint to the ground. Maybe I shouldn’t slouch so much when I type.

Well now that my blogs up I’ll have to find out what happened to my wireless. It’s probably been like this for months and I never noticed. Then I will get onto my writers web site and submit something for a small contest. Not only have I not been blogging but I haven’t been writing at all so I have to get going again.

Have a nice day.

Posted 08/16/2012 by J.L. Carson in General