Category Archives: 6 Friendly Friday

Success is often accidental

success kid

How many times have you seen somebody trip, or do something stupid, then they act like, “Oh, I meant to do that?”

The reverse is actually more interesting: you did something random and unintentional and it turned out great.

I didn’t write a silly blog post with the intention of WordPress putting it on the front page. Which is probably why they did. You can’t force it.

Here’s that post: How weird news teaches us great storytelling Continue reading

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Mixed Writing Arts is to writing as MMA is to fighting

Since the dawn of time, writers have spent their lives toiling in their own secret tribes and guilds, each clan claiming to have mastered the One True Art.

  • Copywriters swore their kung fu was far more powerful than that sissy screenwriting nonsense, because if you can’t sell tickets to a movie, the movie doesn’t get made.
  • Working journalists cranking out two stories a day scoffed at poets spending all week on five hippie lines about trees and clouds, while poets saw the mass-production lines of the Priests of the Inverted Pyramid as lacking any sort of soul or art.
  • Romance authors gathered in huge, organized conferences while mystery novelists gathered in small secret groups to put a dent in the global bourbon supply while trading secrets and lies.
  • Speechwriters clutched their tomes with 2,000-plus years of wisdom from Plato, Aristotle, Burke and countless other giants, who were inventing rhetoric and drama and comedy long before Syd Field arrived in Hollywood and Blake Snyder started saving cats.

To me, with a foot in all of these worlds, it felt false.

I got started in journalism and speech, my sister is a screenwriter and I have a great literary agent (Jill Marr!) after writing a novel that won some award.

It hit me, again and again, that I got better as a writer not when focusing like crazy on one thing, but by being exposed to other aspects that often would never have entered my mind as an option. Like hanging out with romance authors and editors, who have made me 100-times stronger as a writer. NOBODY COULD HAVE PREDICTED THAT.

Hear me now and believe me later in the week: There is no one supreme writing art.
Continue reading

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Filed under 4 Writing Secrets Wednesday, 6 Friendly Friday, Fiction, Romances; also, novels with Fabio covers, Speechwriting, Thrillers and mysteries

Some of my favorite editors OF ALL TIME

Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment. So come closer and listen to what I’ve learned from experience: Editors are a writer’s best friend.

Not when they’re patting you on the back, because anybody can butter you up.

They’re your best friend when they take a red pen and blast through your complicated writing pets, when they check your wildest instincts and find order out of the natural chaos that comes from banging on the keyboard to create anything of length and importance.

So it’s wrong to say that every writer needs an editor.

You need more than one, if you want to get serious about any sort of real writing. Continue reading

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This video — and this man — defines determination

Scott, I salute you. Inspirational.

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This is Guy Bergstrom the writer, not the Guy Bergstrom in Stockholm or the guy in Minnesota who sells real estate or whatever. Separate guys. Kthxbai.

Guy Bergstrom. Photo by Suhyoon Cho.

Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot. Wrote a thriller that won some award (PNWA 2013). Represented by Jill Marr of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.

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The happiest hurdler in the world deserves more screen time

I remember seeing this clip, way back: Australian hurdler Michelle Jenneke, not nervous and freaking out before her big race — just happy to be there and filled with infectious joy.

And now she’s good-humored enough to do this video.

Happy Goddess of Australian Hurdlers, I salute you.

If anybody ever deserved to have their own reality show — a show people would actually watch to see somebody fun, instead of human train wrecks like Snooki and the cast of Jersey Shore — then it should be you, Michelle the Jenneke.

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This is Guy Bergstrom the writer, not the Guy Bergstrom in Stockholm or the guy in Minnesota who sells real estate or whatever. Separate guys. Kthxbai.

Guy Bergstrom. Photo by Suhyoon Cho.

Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot. Wrote a thriller that won some award (PNWA 2013). Represented by Jill Marr of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.

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C.C. Humphreys: author, actor, fight choreographer

If you live in the Seattle, or the Kirkland — or even Denver, Portland and Instanbul  – there’s an author on tour you should meet. (See when and where below.)

C.C. Humphreys is not only a literary muffin of stud, but a former actor and FIGHT CHOREOGRAPHER (bonus points). He actually knows how to use a sword, which gives me an excuse to play the Best Swordfighting Scene in Any Movie Not Involving Lightsabers.

He’s a genuinely interesting human being, a man who speaks with one of the sweetest British accents on the planet, maybe because he grew up in the U.K. despite the fact that he is technically Canadian. Is all that legal? I DON’T KNOW.

author cc humphreys, a literary muffin of stud

Author C.C. Humphreys is a literary muffin of stud, and a genuinely decent human being. Visit his blog or visit him on his book tour. DO IT NOW.

This accent gives everything he says an extra bit of charm and gravitas, even if he’s telling you, “Listen, you’re being rather beastly.”

All you want is for him to keep talking.

So: he has a new novel out, A PLACE CALLED ARMEGEDDON, which is about the siege of Constantinople, though you have to say which siege, because the place got attacked all the time.

“Alexander the Great, what are you doing this weekend?”

“Oh, the usual. Maybe drink a bit of wine and take a long ride on one of my horses. I have a stable or six full of those things.”

“Come with us. We’re gonna sack Constantinople — it’ll be great.”

“OK, that sounds fun.”

C.C.’s novel is about the siege of 1453, a particularly good year for a siege, hearty and full. It goes well with filet mignon. Anyway: This man can write like nobody’s business, and the novel is worth it.

a place called armageddon by cc humphreys

A PLACE BY ARMAGEDDON, the latest novel by C.C. Humphreys.

Also: If you go to a writing conference and hit one of his seminars, you’ll remember him, because he puts on a show. This may be because he was an actor on stage and screen. I believe all of his grandfathers were actors, too. It’s in his blood. The man played Jack Absolute, the 007 of the 1770′s, and he also played Caleb the gladiator on an NBC series.

Also-also: most of his readers are women for some reason, even though he writes swashbuckling historical novels about battles and blood rather than romances involving men in kilts.

EITHER WAY: I truly like and respect this man, and his books. You will, too, if you (a) see him on tour, (b) buy one of his novels, (c) lurk on his blog, which you can read here, or (d) chat with him on the Twitter at the mysterious handle of @HumphreysCC.

C.C. Humphreys book tour: the when and the where

Sept. 22 & 23rd — Kirkland Book Fest, Kirkland, Washington.

Sept. 23rd at 2:30 p.m. — Elliot Bay Bookstore, Seattle, Washington

Oct. 1 at 7:30 p.m. — Tattered Cover, Denver, Colorado.

Oct. 9 at 7 p.m. — Copperfields, Petaluma, Sonoma, California.

Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. — Powell’s Books at Cedar Hills Crossing, Beaverton, Oregon.

Oct. 19 to 21 — Surrey International Writers Conference, Surrey, British Columbia, in the Canada.

Nov. 24 & 25 — Istanbul International Book Fair, Istanbul, Turkey.

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This is Guy Bergstrom the writer, not the Guy Bergstrom in Stockholm or the guy in Minnesota who sells real estate or whatever. Separate guys. Kthxbai.

Guy Bergstrom. Photo by Suhyoon Cho.

Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot. Wrote a thriller that won some award (PNWA 2013). Represented by Jill Marr of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.

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Thank you, beautiful and brilliant blog readers

I’m at the same seaside cabin where my silly blog was born. Have I been kidnapped again by attorneys wielding bottles of Riesling? Maaaybe.

image

So: this is a thank you to the kind and witty people who read this blog, comment, tell their peoples about posts and talk smack to me on the Twitter.

A dialogue takes more than one person. At least that’s what they tell me. THEY COULD BE LYING.

Also, it’s not clear why a chat involving three people isn’t called a trialogue, or a menage a chat.

So I thank you, and I encourage you to (1) post witty comments for the world to see, (2) challenge my paradigms or whatever so you learn what it feels like to lose a debate and (3) make insane suggestions or requests.

BRING IT.

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This is Guy Bergstrom the writer, not the Guy Bergstrom in Stockholm or the guy in Minnesota who sells real estate or whatever. Separate guys. Kthxbai.

Guy Bergstrom. Photo by Suhyoon Cho.

Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot. Wrote a thriller that won some award (PNWA 2013). Represented by Jill Marr of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.

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Friendly Friday: Amanda the Nelson of DEAD WHITE GUYS: An Irreverent Look at Classic Literature

We all read them in high school, then college. You know the books I’m talking about: the classics.

LORD OF THE FLIES and WAR AND PEACE and GIANT NOVELS BY RUSSIANS WHO REFUSE TO CALL ANY CHARACTER BY ANYTHING LESS THAN SIX NAMES.

I’m talking about literature, except true literary snobs pronounce it “lit-RAH-sure.”

It’s these Great Books that we all flipped through at three in the morning, cranking out a term paper fueled by beer with fish on the can and Camel cigarettes bummed from your roommate as you dream up phrases like “the author’s framework includes a subtle critique of dialectical materialism buried within the character’s clear delineation of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs” until you hit about 7:15 a.m., with the paper due on the professor’s desk at 8 a.m. sharp, so you start busting out sentences like “The last chapter’s use of the hierarchical opposition of day and night, does, in fact, highlight the artificial constructs of love/hate, life/death and hunger/satiation, when clearly there are no such boundaries except as defined by man — or woman,  or cyborgs, sufficiently intelligent dolphins and chimpanzees trained in the art of ESL.”

Amanda the Nelson reads the classics for us so we don’t have to.

Then she writes  about these books with insight and hilarity.

Her blog is a public service. Continue reading

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Friendly Friday: Gwen the Hernandez, Scrivener Goddess

Chances are, anybody writing a novel, screenplay or regular-old play has come to love and hate Word.

Mostly hate.

Whenever a piece gets long and complicated, Word starts to fail you.

After 5,000 words or so, it takes five minutes of fussing with the mouse to scroll around to where you need to work. Anything of length becomes a chore. Navigating your immense document becomes more work than writing more words.

This is where Gwen the Hernandez can help.

Gwen the Hernandez

Gwen the Hernandez is literary muffin of stud. Also, not even the peoples who INVENTED Scrivener know more about it than her.

She is not only an author and blogger, but an expert at Scrivener, which is designed to help writers crank out stuff that is long. Especially novels and screenplays.

This was an accident. Gwen didn’t go to college to major in Scrivener or whatever.

From using it, and writing helpful posts on her blog, she branched out and is now busy writing SCRIVENER FOR DUMMIES, and getting paid to be, I don’t know, some kind of world-class expert on the thing.

This is good for Gwen, good  for writers and good for America.

(Sidenote: I’m not leaving out writers in the UK, Australia and whatnot on purpose. It’s just that the Bob Dole triple-play doesn’t work unless you end it on “good for America.”)

SCRIVENER FOR DUMMIES

SCRIVENER FOR DUMMIES by Gwen the Hernandez. If you’re a writer of novels or screenplays, and you are even thinking about using Scrivener, you want to check her blog and maybe, one day, save your pennies to buy her book.

Also, Gwen the Hernandez is blonde, wrote some kind of novel that was a finalist for some award, likes to puts on a gi to punch people / get punched and has ties to the Air Force.

It’s as if I have a female doppleganger on the East Coast.

Gwen, I raise my massive mug of caffeine in your direction.

Visit her blog — and sign up for the thing by email or whatever: 
http://gwenhernandez.wordpress.com/

Also, follow her on the Twitter:
@Gwen_Hernandez

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This is Guy Bergstrom the writer, not the Guy Bergstrom in Stockholm or the guy in Minnesota who sells real estate or whatever. Separate guys. Kthxbai.

Guy Bergstrom. Photo by Suhyoon Cho.

Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot. Wrote a thriller that won some award (PNWA 2013). Represented by Jill Marr of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.

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Filed under 6 Friendly Friday, Barons of the Blogosphere, Worthy citizens of the Twitterverse

Friendly Friday: Theresa Stevens, Glowing Mystical Being

Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away … I wrote a love letter to editors.

You can read it here: The evil secret to ALL WRITING – editing is everything

And in that post, I called editor Theresa Stevens “a glowing, mystical being.”

Now, it is true that Theresa the Stevens is a professional editor of novels, and her red pen is wickedly sharp. Continue reading

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