Thursday, August 14, 2014

Thoughts on Robin Williams

*Note: This is a social commentary and there is some strong language in this post.

This week we lost 3 more entertainers, one of them was the talented comedian and powerful actor Robin Williams. I've chosen to write about Robin because of the circumstances surrounding his death and I needed a bigger forum than a Tweet or a FB post because the man himself was larger than life.
Here is a guy who, for all we know, struggled with a bi-polar disorder, addiction, and severe depression most of his adult life as well as Parkison disease which his wife just revealed. I say "for all we know" because how much do we ever really know about another person?

Even those closest to us will only divulge to you what they want you to know. We all have our secrets and we all have our dreams. Robin had his demons but he still went out and entertained with his comedic performances, making you laugh until you cried. His emotional roles brought more tears and sometimes even more tears. We cried again upon hearing the news that he tragically took his own life.
This is where it gets ugly. The media, in an attempt to sell stories, starts asking "why?" or "who did he leave behind?" and ultimately the slap in the face from Fox news and others calling him a coward for taking his own life!
People on social media, safe behind the neon glow of their computerized screens also label him a coward and talk about how rich he was so why didn't he just get help? He was getting help. It's not an overnight fix that's why they call it a struggle. But you sit there and you judge a man you never met and call him a coward. But you went to his movies didn't you? You enjoyed seeing his antics and he made you laugh didn't he? Was he a coward then or only now when it suits your forum?
Unless you are in that persons skin you have no idea what goes on in their life or the struggles they face. Imagine how much pain he must've been in to think that hanging himself would be the only way to make it stop.
My sister killed herself. Does that make her a coward? Say that to my face and I'll break your fucking jaw! She was clinically depressed as well. That doesn't just mean I'm sad - look it up, its extreme and leads you to do things you might not do if in your right mind.
All too often people think they know celebrities because they see them on screen. That's only the side they want to show you. But they are people all the same. People in EXTREME positions with all eyes upon them. Think about it, that's pressure ontop of illness. How well would you cope?
So to those calling Robin Williams a coward I say shut the fuck up and stop talking about things you don't understand. Stop judging. Only God can judge.
Show the man some respect for all the good he did in this world. Let his family and friends and those who loved him mourn for him.
I for one hope he found his peace and I celebrate the great legacy he will leave behind, including Comic Relief and going out to entertain the troops. The countless comedy specials, the hilarity of Mrs. Doubtfire Jumanji, Mork & Mindy, and so on.
The emotional depth of Good Will Hunting, Dead Poet's Society, and What Dreams May Come (which brings me to tears everytime I see it!) And shocking turns like One Hour Photo or Insomnia. The man had limitless range and more importantly, or as important, he had a huge heart! From all accounts he was a giver and he gave so much to everyone else that he just didn't have anything left for himself. Is that cowardice? No, it's sad.
Rest now Mr. Robin Williams, your journey is over. And thank you for the memories!


I would also like to say RIP to Lauren Bacall and JJ Murphy.


Friday, August 8, 2014

Chasing the Unicorn

Once upon a time I met a great guy. He was cut from a unique cloth, held all the qualities I admired and even some I didn't even know I appreciated. His introduction into my life was brief but intense and it changed me in many ways.
Unfortunately the Fates did not allow us to remain together and he went back across the seas to his home in Whales. But he left a lasting impression on me, one that I use as a barometer when I meet other guys.
Is that really fair? Yes, because I don't believe in settling for less than what you deserve and lately all I've met are self-obsessed jerks. So using my Welshman as a standard will keep me on a sure and steady path until I meet a man of similar merit.
Why am I telling you all this? Because trying to find your ideal man is alot like writing your ideal book. There are certain qualities only you know need to be in the book to make it work, to make you proud of what you've written. Settling for less than your best writing is like settling for the guy who says "I used to be married but we're separated now so its ok."
It's sooo not ok!
And neither is hurrying through a WIP just to race to the end and see it finished. I've been wanting to do that with my latest fantasy but I'm refraining because I owe the book, and the readers, all my attention to detail.
A book needs to come together organically. You cannot force a story just like you can't force a relationship.
Dean Koontz once said that you can't force a story to be longer or shorter, it will turn out as long or short as needs to be. 
So all of this begs a question: Am I chasing perfection? Maybe. I've always been a bit of a perfectionist but that is only because I demand more of myself than most people. It keeps me driven.
I'm not saying that I'm never satisfied, I'm just saying I know what I want and I go after it. The blinders are off. In life, in art, in relationships, never dull your shine for someone else. You deserve the best...whatever that means for you, go after it!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Tips for Successful Writing

Today is a quick update. I've been reading and researching alot of different ways to make FICTION novels stand out from the pack. Here are a few of the most usable tips I found courtesy of Bestseller Labs along with my own personal expression of what those tips mean.

1) Choose your genre so readers can find your books.

This can fall under the old K.I.S.S. method. Keep it simple. Readers are used to certain genres (ie Romance; Fantasy; Sci-Fi; Etc) and within those genres are sub-genres. Its fine to say Paranormal Romance or Dark Fantasy but if you try to get too fancy with Contemporary Pop-Romance Paranormal Chick-Lit, then you'll be stuck in the obscure section of the bookstore/library.

2) Create a unique brand that stands out from the crowd.

This can mean distinctive characters, the narrative, plot structure, setting, style, voice. Deliver something that is uniquely yours that your readers/fans can relate to each of your books. This is also what they mean when they say 'develop your voice.'

As an addition sum up this distinctive point of difference in your tagline. You have a tagline right?

3) Write a series.

This is a new one for me as I've come to realize the power they have. Every time I have a stand alone out on display at a convention the audience inevitable asks me "Is it part of a series?"
The reason why a series is so successful is that readers want to get emotionally invested in the characters. They want to be able to follow them through their adventures, root for them and feel for them. Look at Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, Conan, etc. These are all examples of successful series, each with a lead character or group of characters that are present throughout each novel.

4) Know who your reader is and target them.

This goes back to choosing your genre. Readers of each genre expect certain things when they read their favorite books. You want to deliver these things in each novel whether its pace or character, etc.

5) Use your author platform to attract readers.

This goes into how to market and promote yourself as an author. I've written quite a few topics on this throughout my website here and I will be delivering more and more because its a complicated issue in an ever changing career field. The three things you should focus on to begin with are a blog; a Facebook page; and a Twitter account.

6) Commission beautiful book covers that sell. They are the billboard for your book.

This tip is mainly for self-published authors. If you are working with a publishing house they usually have their own cover designer. But I cannot stress this enough: a book cover should represent the uniqueness of your story. It should not be a cookie cutter clipart promotion overpriced at some hatchet designer website. I've seen it time and time again "insert title" and "insert author name" selling for $300 or more! What madness is this? Before you purchase something like that ask yourself how many other people have the same cover. You worked  hard on your novel, the cover should reflect the beauty of the story inside. People are visual creatures and unfortunately they DO judge books by their covers. Do yourself a favor and don't short change your novel when it comes to this. If you need a reliable designer I offer design services through my website www.OriginalCynAdvertising.com 

Have a blessed day and keep writing!

Live Your Dreams,
Cynthia
"Original Cyn"

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Holy Freebies! Books on sale!!

Wow, have I got something special in store for you! ALL of my titles are discounted and/or FREE to download. I'm even giving away a print copy of The Crescent along with a poster!

Why you ask? I write for readers to enjoy my books. I WANT you to read them, I WANT to hear what you think...so here now I present the books specials:

Every single one of my titles is 50% off at Smashwords.com
Follow the link below and enter "SSW50" at checkout to get great savings!
https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/origcyn


I'm giving away a signed copy of my latest novel The Crescent with a poster! You can enter to win at the link below, please spread the word! https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/98360-the-crescent-victory-over-adversity

Not quite sure what The Crescent? Read the review
"Cynthia Vespia has written a historical novel full of action, romance and a pace that keeps the reader turning the pages until the book is finished." Read the full review at the link
Read more at http://guardianlv.com/2014/07/the-crescent-by-cynthia-vespia-being-made-into-a-film/#Awm8CzWblK6EcGjt.99



And especially for my blog followers I'm offering DEMON HUNTER: SAGA for FREE! For a limited time using code CR34K at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/134912















And finally I'd like to announce that Original Cyn Advertising is revitalized and ready to help you make a lasting impression! Specializing in book covers, business cards, logos and more!!

OPEN FOR BIZ!