Tag Archives: K.M. Fawcett

Laugh Today

Everyone loves funny animal videos right? Okay maybe not everyone, but most of us do. Well, I saw this YouTube video the other day and it made me laugh. Though, I must admit feeling bad for the dog. He looks so concerned. Poor guy.

I hope you can use a laugh today too. Enjoy!

Ultimate Dog Tease

~K.M. Fawcett

Advertisements

The Problem With Heroes

Okay, I’m doing something different on the blog today. Usually I try to share my thoughts or pass on some karate knowledge or writing tips. But I’m stumped and I need YOU to share your thoughts, knowledge and tips with me.

The problem is my hero.

I LOVE my warrior hero, Max, from CAPTIVE (book one in the Survival Race Series). He’s an alpha male. Strong, capable and fierce. He is a tortured loner…until the heroine comes along, of course. 😉

So now that I’ve been writing book two, I created a different alpha hero. He’s still a warrior, strong, and capable, but not so fierce. He’s a leader of his people, not a loner.

I think I’ve written my heroes differently enough from each other as to avoid them being cookie cutter.

The problem is…

I don’t feel that my Book Two Hero (B2H) is as strong of a hero as Max.

Also, I fear Max overshadows him in the few scenes they share in book two. Max’s reactions are immediate, physical, and fierce. B2H is a leader; his reactions can’t be physical every time. For some reason, this is making him appear weaker to me.

How do I show B2H’s strength/power without making him physically stronger or have physical reactions to situations? I want to avoid cookie cutter heroes.

I tried Googling, “How not to make your heroes all sound alike” but came up with nothing, which means I’m probably not on the right track. Can you help? Whether you’re a writer or not doesn’t matter to me, any thoughts are welcome in the comments section. I’d love to hear any advice, tips, or links you’d care to share. If you are a published author, how did you make your alpha heroes different? Especially alpha heroes in the same series. Thanks!

~K.M. Fawcett

Posturing

When in a confrontation, a cobra makes itself larger by rising up and spreading its hood to intimidate its prey and prepare for a swift attack. A mongoose rises up and makes its fur stand on end to appear larger to intimidate its opponent. Both animals show their fangs/teeth and make noise.

Many animals posture instinctively. People need to train for it.

Posturing is making yourself appear confident, strong and intimidating to your attacker so they lose their will to fight before the confrontation even begins. It is both a fighting position and attitude.

Perhaps you’ve seen someone about to get into a fight stand a little taller, puff out his chest, stick out his chin, shout, swear or flat out take a fighting guard. This is posturing. And it could help you defend yourself.

Sensei Advincula tells a story about a two hour self-defense class he gave in which he taught a woman what to do if grabbed: “Jump back, scream and get into a position and act like you know what you’re doing. Give them your meanest look.” In other words, posture. The next day in an airport a man grabbed this woman. She jumped back, screamed and postured. The man ran away. Why? Because an attacker is looking for a victim not an opponent.

Remember an attacker fears two things: getting hurt and getting caught.

A fighting stance and attitude may be all it takes to avoid an attack – for your characters or for you.

~K.M. Fawcett

Summer Writing

Me, Rayna, and Melinda at the Grand Central Publishing book signing (RWA ’12)

This summer has been tough. Great, but tough. The end of June and beginning of July was spent working 12 – 16 hours a day on my revisions for CAPTIVE. I was so entrenched in my own world that I forgot to eat. I know that’s difficult to believe. I’ve never forgotten to eat before. Ever. But I did! In fact, one afternoon I took out some ground beef from the freezer to defrost so I could make tacos for dinner that night. I went back to my revisions and a little while later my daughter asked if I could tuck her into bed. I checked the time and it was 9:30! Where had the day gone? I had no idea it was so late. Who knows what the kids ate that night (probably chips and popcorn) but we all went without dinner. Bad mommy. 😦

On July 13th I finished my revisions five pound lighter (note: as a registered dietitian, I DO NOT recommend Revision Hell as a means to weight loss. There are easier ways. Trust me on this). I caught up on some housework I neglected for a month and then left for California five days later for family vacation, karate training with Sensei Advincula, and the Romance Writers of America conference. I’ll write more about RWA and my first ever book signing in a future blog. I returned home for four days (just enough time to wash loads & loads of laundry) before leaving for Lego Brickfair in Virginia where my son displayed his awesome D-Day moc of the invasion of Normandy (moc = my own creation). Click on the image to enlarge it. I got back on Sunday night and apparently had lost track of time again. I totally forgot it was my turn to blog this week. Ack! Hence no blog post last Monday. Bad blogger. 😦

The good news is: with my trusty laptop, I can write anywhere – hotel rooms, airport, airplane, Brickfair. The bad news is: when writing in public places, people tend to interrupt me to discuss their books or their idea for a book they’d like to write someday. I don’t mind discussing these things at all, but it does eat up my precious writing time. *sigh*

Of course, writing at home during summer vacation isn’t much better. I’m constantly being interrupted by kids needing something – usually it’s food or a ride to/from dance lessons, band practice or karate class. Cooking and driving tend to eat up a good chunk of writing time too. Unfortunately, I’m the type of writer who needs A LOT of time to think and create. I can’t squeeze in 20 minutes of writing here and there. It takes me that long to get back into my world after a disruption.

So although I love my kids and the sunny weather, I find myself wishing September 6th would just get here already. I long for uninterrupted writing time again. I’m probably the only person on earth eagerly awaiting summer’s end. Tell me…does anyone else out there want school to start now? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

~K.M. Fawcett

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

I have recently returned from a fabulous trip to Okinawa, Japan for a Cultural Martial Arts Tour. I have so much to share with you in the coming weeks! However, before diving into those posts, I wanted to share something else with you. Something that I have been planning for months. The day before my trip, I made a big change.

I cut off 11 inches of my hair to donate to charity. Here is my before picture…

And after (with hair straightened)…

Yes, I realize now that I should have put on makeup and worn something nicer. *sigh*  Here’s another after shot with hair curly.

I didn’t have time before my trip to mail my ponytail to Locks of Love, the charity that I had donated to in the past. Now that I am back home and the kids are settled with a regular school schedule, I am ready to do this. However, a friend shared with me her reservations about sending to this particular charity, and now I find myself wondering if it is or isn’t the best place to donate my hair.

This is where YOU come in. I need advice. Have you (or someone you know) donated your (their) hair? Which charity did you use? Why do you think it’s the best one? I’d like to weigh all the options before putting my 11 inches into a bubble mailer and sending it off. I appreciate any information you can give me.

~ K.M. Fawcett

Long Live The Okinawans

Okinawa, Japan (the birthplace of karate) is home to a people with one of the longest life expectancies in the world. Not only do Okinawans boast the highest rate of centenarians (people who are 100+ years old), their incidence of heart disease, stroke, and cancer is extremely low. Women in Okinawa experience fewer complications from menopause, such as hot flashes and hip fractures. 

Why do Okinawans live so long, and why are they so remarkably healthy into their senior years? Some credit can be given to genetics, but most evidence points toward their lifestyle.  

DIET – Okinawans eat a low calorie plant based diet. They eat many colorful veggies (more colorful = more nutrients), fruits, seaweed, soy products, green tea, fish, and some pork. They also practice Hara Hachi Bu. That is, they eat until they are 80% full, unlike American’s who tend to eat until their supersized plates are clean even though they’ve already loosened their belts a notch.

EXERCISE – Okinawans have an active lifestyle. They engage in regular exercise, like walking, gardening, dancing, and practicing karate as a part of their daily life. Just think of the core muscles that are constantly engaged in order to sit on the floor rather than a chair. It’s not as easy as it looks.

IKIGAI – A reason for getting up in the morning. A sense of purpose. Okinawans discover which activities bring them joy and contentment, and engage in those activities. A sense of accomplishment and satisfaction in what they are doing gives them a sense of purpose, and brings meaning to their lives. In the US, so much of our ikigai is tied to our careers, and then retirement strips that away. Finding something to retire to will increase longevity, though you don’t have to wait until retirement to find your ikigai. I believe I’ve found mine in fiction writing (even if I never *gasp* get published, writing brings me joy).

FAMILY/COMMUNITY – Being surrounded with a support network increases longevity. It is not unusual for aging parents and grandparents to live with their children. Okinawans also seek out like-minded people to be with, for example, a gardening club, dance circle, or friendship club.

SPIRITUALITY – Faith and religion keep many centenarians feeling balanced and protected from life’s troubles.

LOW STRESS –  Whereas punctuality is paramount in Japan and the US, Okinawans believe in an unhurried lifestyle. It doesn’t matter if a task is finished in an hour or three hours, as long as it gets done.

How does your longevity stack up to the Okinawans’? What area (or areas) do you need to improve? Do you have an ikigai? What is it? Please leave your thoughts in the comments. 

Live long and stay healthy!

~K.M. Fawcett

Recommend A Book For My “To Be Read” Pile

This is my current “To be Read” pile on my nightstand. These are some of the books I bought at the Liberty States Fiction Writer’s Conference last month (except for the bottom parenting book.  Though the rest of the titles keep rotating, this one seems to remain a permanent fixture.  But  I digress.)

Anyway, I’m sure you all have a similar pile next to your beds.

Inside my nightstand’s “cubby” are more books. Some I’ve read. Some I haven’t…yet.  Yes this line up goes three rows deep. If you’re curious about the titles, click on each picture for a larger image.

The novels on my office bookshelf (bottom left picture with guest appearance by Yoda, middle picture without him) and my basement bookshelf (bottom right) are mixed up with keepers and books I’ve yet to crack open. Most of the books that I’ve already read have been given to friends, donated to the county library’s book drive, or are stored in tubs in the basement (there are just some books I can’t bear to part with). Oh, and in case my husband is reading this, let me just say… no, Dear, I didn’t buy all of these books. Some were freebies from attending conferences over the years and some were given to me by friends. 😀

Though I haven’t read all of these books yet, I can’t help myself from wanting more, more, MORE! This is where YOU come in.

I want YOU to tell ME…

What are your favorite action books?

What authors do you feel write action well?

Whether it’s a thriller, romance, sci-fi, historical, mystery, young adult, middle grade, or something else, I’d love to hear your recommendations. I’m always looking for more great stories to add to my TBR piles and shelves.

Feel free to promote your own action-packed books, or those of a friend. 😉

~K.M. Fawcett