Checkered Scissors - Extras

Additional miscellaneous stuff (interviews, art, etc.)

\"Field of Frames\" (art of Checkered Scissors)
I found this drawing which inspired a later scene in Checkered Scissors that describes how Max travels across the land.

Field of Frames

\"The Garden\" (art of Checkered Scissors)
I found this picture which was how I first envisioned the garden in the story. Not all the features are there, but you get the jist.

Edwin\'s Garden

20 Questions with Douglas Schwartz (self interview)
On my LiveJournal blog, I began posting author interviews in which I ask each participating author the same set of 20 questions. If you are an author who would like to participate, you can find the questions here. Here are my answers to the 20 questions.

Get Barbara (game inspired by Checkered Scissors)
In one of the earlier chapters, Edwin attends a party in which people are playing a game called \"Get Barbara\". Here are the basic rules for Get Barbara. Enjoy!

History of Get Barbara:

Originally, \"Get Barbara\" started as a family joke. When I visit my parents, we love to play all sorts of games, especially card games. My mom, Barbara, is excellent at playing games. No matter who is ahead or behind, and no matter what the game, someone usually declares, \"The scores are such and such. You know what that means... It\'s time to get Barbara.\" Before anyone adds angry comments to this blog for me teasing my mom, what we say about getting Barbara is all in jest, and is a huge compliment to her and her game playing ability. Did I mention she is excellent at playing games? Well... She is.

When mom and dad read the above mentioned scene in the book, they had a good laugh at the inside joke, and thought it would be fun for me to invent an actual game called \"Get Barbara\". The supporting characters in the book play it as a drinking game, but my kids and I have come up with a set of rules for \"Get Barbara\".

Writing-related books I recommend
Below is a list of writing books I\'ve found most useful for developing my skills as an author:

The Anatomy of Story by John Truby
A fantastic step-by-step guide for mastering the craft of storytelling.

The 38 Most Common Fiction Writing Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them) by Jack Bickham
It\'s exactly what the title says. A very useful book.

The 10% Solution by Ken Rand
A self-editing guide for anyone who writes (stories, essays, technical manuals, etc.).

On Writing by Stephen King
Details the history of Stephen King becoming a professional author, how he recovered from his near fatal hit-and-run, and his writing tips.

The Bugaboo Review by Sue Sommer
A reference book for all the word pairs writers commonly confuse.

Elements of Fiction Writing by various
Each book in this series targets a particular aspect of fiction writing: character development, dialog, scene, plot, etc.. Some are more informative and entertaining, while others are dry, textbooks, but each is very useful.

Interviewed by Rita Lee Chapman
Another fellow writer interviewed me and I\'ve appeared on her guest authors page:
Rita Lee Chapman
Thank you, Rita!

Interviewed by Mary Harner
Fellow writer, Mary Harner, interviewed me similar to the 20 Questions that I offer. Here are my responses to her questions:
Interviewed by Mary Harner
Thank you, Mary!

Interviewed by Duane L. Martin
Fellow writer, Duane Martin, interviewed me about Checkered Scissors
Thank you, Duane!
Duane L. Martin\'s blog

Interviewed by Creative Barbwire
A fellow writer interviewed me and I\'ve appeared on her blog:
Creative Barbwire
Thanks, Barb!

Organizing Thoughts
Shortly after I got married, my wife and I sometimes had too many ideas of what we wanted to do on the weekend. That\'s how I often feel with my various projects. A friend once told me that if I work on too many projects, then nothing gets done. Too much to do, not enough time. My wife taught me a method for sorting out our thoughts and coming to a decision.

Start with a stack of Post-It notes, index cards, or scraps of paper and something to write with. On individual cards, write down everything you want to do. Take these cards and find a flat surface to organize them. Spread the cards out and then move them around to arrange them in a way that makes sense to you. When arranging the cards with more than one person, nobody during the arrangement process. Eventually, the card arrangement will settle into a pattern that satisfies all involved. Finally, interpret what the arrangement and groups of cards mean. It\'s okay to talk at this point, even if it is to yourself.

Between my wife and I, this helped us decide what was important to us and what could wait, what to do Saturday and what to hold off until Sunday.

I recently did this with a stack of nearly forty cards. After I had arrange them the way that felt right to me, I discovered that about a quarter of the cards were things I needed to do on a regular basis and added those items to my routine. Another quarter of the cards where my top priority with items that were in various states of completion and projects I wanted to start on soon. The other half of the cards returned to the back burner to be handled (or not) at another time. I took the one quarter of top priority cards, and went through the same process with a smaller subset to figure out which items had the greatest urgency.

I am very much a List Maker. Lists help me itemize and focus. But, I find this method as a tangible way of dealing with too many thoughts colliding around in my head. If you use this technique, I hope you find it helpful, too.

Current Projects


Author : More information about Douglas Schwartz
Fiction : A list of the stories by Douglas Schwartz
Store : Where you can buy the books.
Extras : Additional miscellaneous stuff (interviews, art, etc.)
Reviews : Book reviews for Checkered Scissors and other works.
Karma : A few different ways this one author tries to help his author peers.
Return to the main Text-version of the Checkered Scissors site
Return to the UI-version of the Checkered Scissors site.