A dark coming of age story. Seth McGrath goes through hell to raise ten grand to find a girl. What would you do to find your true love?
This young man is the son of an icy neurosurgeon and a pill popping debutante who send him away to be raised by his Grandmother. Seth will sell drugs, arrange bum fights for hire, and steal from anyone. What does it take for a psycho to become a CEO? Find out in this chilling tale, written in contemporary literary beats. A MMA style of writing that will keep you up reading.
I have a Bachelor’s Degrees in Literature and Art from
Scripps College and a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) from . I have been writing, taking photographs, and living a creative life since I was a little girl. Claremont Graduate University
After college, I muddled along making a meager living as a performance poet and painter. I married my college sweetheart (after eighteen rocky years we divorced).
With children to feed all by myself, reality became such that I must work hard to sustain myself and family.
In 2008, I joined a writing group in
. I ghostwrote a couple thriller novels for someone. In the end of 2009, I came out of the closet (after blogging on Blogit in secret for ten years prior) and decided to self-publish a series of seven short stories. This first project became tied up in litigation. I have now edited and put all seven stories together (to be released sometime after August 29 2012). That group of short stories (Cardinal Sins) seems long in my past. Los Angeles
My writing process
I am a planner. I believe all people should write out their one, five and ten year plans. Without a point to work towards, and a method to break down the steps on the path, we are lost. My planning includes my creative work, family, financial, spiritual, and health aspects of my life.
My daily schedule:
I wake up at 5:15 every day. I don’t need an alarm clock that rings. The coffee machine downstairs delivers an aroma and I jump up.
For two hours, I work on the long form novel. This time is important because it is when I am fresh and ideas from the past day are ready to flow. I work on the kitchen table wearing a Darth Maul baseball hat. This goofy hat indicates to my children that Mom is working. My house is quiet until my son
wakes and grabs something healthy to eat. If it is a school day, I made his lunch the night before and he now has his permit (soon he will drive himself to school yippee). Carson
From eight to nine AM I check emails, Twitter, Goodreads, my blogsite, now new on Pinterest, write a few responses to emails or publishing events, book appointments etc. I use an egg timer to limit my time on twitter and other sites that get me off tangent reading. I do not use any auto tweeting or auto-bot marketing services. I dislike the feel of receiving the junk mail tweets and junk emails – therefore I have decided not to use any of those type of tools. This has worked very well in finding readers.
I take five and ten minute breaks to stretch and complete the daily chores on the weekends, but on weekdays I work my “Day job” in mortgage and will switch hats to complete that set of duties. I carry with me a separate cell phone connected to my writing platform and will check that when I am waiting in line, waiting on hold, or doing anything that allows multi-tasking. I don’t have a formal lunch, I will spend the hour writing a blog post or editing.
Evenings Monday – Thursday I write from 5:30- 9:30.
Weekends usually are nine hours broken into pieces.
This gives me about 40 hours writing, five hours marketing and planning, and 40 hours job.
On the weekend, I shop at the farmer’s market, plan dinners and have five twenty minute meals half prepared. Eating healthy is vital to support your creativity and ability to sustain a pace. I wrote a post about diet for creative people here if you are interested: http://carolinegerardo.blogspot.com/2012/01/brain-food-for-writers.html
What we put in our bodies and our minds does come out in the work.
I always carry notebooks. Handwriting patterns of speech, an idea to express emotion through how someone uses their hands, a moment of synchronicity that becomes a poem and more are drawn, scribbled and rarely written in pretty handwriting. I have been seen writing poetry in the bleachers of one of my children’s Lacrosse games on a regular basis. Allow information to fill your soul. Be a sponge for great information. Read all the time. Be unafraid to tackle hard subjects, those that make you ache inside might connect the most with those in our time.
Time is the most important thing we own. I do not squander minutes it on junk television or agreeing to do things that keep me from goals. Learn to say no thank you upfront and save yourself from working on deadlines for others. I used to do a great deal of fundraising for causes, but I do not have the luxury of time to give in that direction today.
Physical exercise is important for creative people. I hike, run, hot yoga, and play sports with my children. Last Saturday I hiked eight miles in
Red Rock Canyon and Sunday ten on the Kern River. In my backpack I had a gallon of water, notebook, camera, and “protection.” My oldest says I should not go alone, but arranging someone who wants to leave at the minute I am ready, well is difficult. This weekend, I went with the Laguna Nursery to Lotus Land in . Santa Barbara
I will post photographs of the amazing mini-climates, rare plants and my experience on my blog and Pinterest. Getting out of your own surrounds adds new ways to see, opens the creative person to thinking and combining better art.
My writing process for novels:
· First draft 150000 words
· Write seven days a week
· White board with graph of story
· Photograph images of story, character, drawings of characters
· Outline two pages of the narrative
· Read it aloud
· Then edit two times after you beg friends to read and comment
· Let it rest.
· Edit one last time (lost my two best beta readers last year –Tony, and then my Mom can’t after her stroke)
· Send to professional editor.
· Decide on cover art from the photographs and images after the book is completed. All covers are created from my own artwork/ photographs.
· My original outline may not be at all like the end product novel. The characters direct the story and take over. My work is often character driven.
· It takes me about a year to finish a book.
My recent novel:
The Lucky Boy is a dark bildungsroman. Seth McGrath’s a boy who experiences trauma at home. I will not reveal you if he has ADHD or is disturbed or has a guardian angel who helps him.
The story is set in 1965- 1972 when these types of modern labels went undiagnosed. In The late sixties, it was acceptable to spank your children, but this boy is actually beaten. The trauma of not receiving love, scars the young boy, until he is sent away to live with his paternal Grandmother. Something spiritual in Grandmother’s approach leads him towards finding love and connections. It as if she is a psychology and neuroscience expert before her time. Then suddenly she dies, causing Seth to stress to the point of ruin. He regresses to bad choices. Evil friends arrange what they label “bum fights” or illegal betting fights, selling drugs and stealing lead Seth into the wrong pathway. Somehow, he maintains decent grades and works hard at sports. These are not enough to make him feel accepted or grounded. Seth decides to run away to find his true love.
In order to write the fight scenes I trained in a Mixed Martial Arts studio.
I hope you will read The Lucky Boy and feel free to contact me to let me know what you think.
I am easy to find on twitter: @ cgbarbeau
I just started on Pinterest and have about 40 photographs that I enjoy sharing.
CHAPTER SIX Excerpt
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