Tuesday, September 30, 2014

It's Coming!

Treason, murder, deceit, love, and a plot to kill the King. Temperance Dennison has a secret that even she doesn't know about. This won't be a regular Coming Out Season when Temperance is fielding prospective suitors and avoiding possible assassins. It is becoming clear she doesn't know who to trust, but she has to trust someone or her King will pay the ultimate price. An unexpected invitation to attend a ball at the Black Palace, thrusts her into a world where she is the biggest piece to a tangled puzzle, and some people will stop at nothing to obtain what she has. A precarious treaty between the Sable Kingdom and the Kingdom of Malerine leaves King Rabin in a dangerous position. Lord Deacon Coleburn would do anything to keep his cousin safe, even court a girl he hardly knows, who may or may not have the information they so desperately need. He isn’t her only suitor though, and not all of them have the most honorable of intention. The line between service to his King, and the love of a woman becomes dangerously blurred, and it may cost him everything he holds dear. Look For it on Amazon, October 12, 2014!!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Always so Much to Do!

I love being busy, it keeps me from getting into trouble, but sometimes busy is trouble. It is hard to get all the ideas down when I am going from work, to being a mom, to writing...I know, something we all struggle with. Sometimes I will think of a great idea and just want to sit down and start, but I can't because I am to busy. I think I may have solved this problem. Most of us carry our phones with us everywhere we go, so why don't we just email ourselves our great ideas. If you are like me, you already have a hundred WIP, but my opinion is, never let a good idea go to waste! Instead of trying to keep all these ideas in our head, why don't we fill our inbox up with them. Anyway, tidbit of the day...turn your microphone on your phone and let it flow...haha. Happy Writing, and Good Monday!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Getting Nano Ready

How is everyone feeling about Nano this year? We have one month roughly, to put something together that we can write about for 50,000 words. I know how hard it is to try to come up with an idea that you will love after a month of forced writing. I have been doing Nano for about 5 years now, two of my Nano books have been worth something, one is published, and another is soon to be, but some years the stories are absolutely horrible. Last year I loved the concept of my book but I hated every word of it, I tried to switch in the middle of the story to something more usable but I never finished. A couple of years before that I tried my hand at a YA novel, it just wasn't happening. I have had some years when I hated my characters, and other years when my characters hated me. Over all Nano is a hard, frustrating, exhausting experience, but it is totally worth it! When I tell people I participate in a month long writing competition they think I'm insane, I don't always disagree, but I try to tell them about the value of the experience. It gives me an opportunity not to care about all the technical things. I don't have to wonder if, what I want to happen can really happen, or give all the whys, and or reasons for something to happen. I get to develop my characters and fall in love with who they are. I get to exaggerate and be whimsical. I can enjoy the settings and everyday activities my characters find themselves in. It is a good reason to write with no excuses. Sometimes I think we as writers try to hard to follow all the rules, and it stifles our true voices and makes us afraid to express what we really think for fear of rejection, or that review we dread. Sometimes we need to use exclamation marks and incomplete sentences. Our writing should mirror real life, and there are plenty of times that I exclaim things! My favorite thing about Nano is that I get to be myself. So, if you are on the fence about Nano, my suggestion is to not look at the 50,000 words, or the fact that we need to write all those words in 30 days, but that we get to write at all! We get to vomit words out onto the page and not care if they "flow." We get to stare writers block in the face and tell it to take a hike. We get a whole month of unfettered, uncontrolled, unabashed writing! Use all the exclamation marks you want, and for Pete sake, have a good time!!

Monday, September 15, 2014

I Drempt the Nano Dream

I have dreamed the dream of Nano and I think I have come up with a plot! I know it sounds weird that I could get an idea from a dream, but it happens all the time. Sometimes I like to tell the kids about the dreams I had that night at breakfast the next morning. They get a kick out of how strange my dreams can be. Sometimes when I am telling them about last nights dream, they pipe up and start adding to it from dreams in the past. One of their favorite dreams to re-tell is Tinkerbell and the Tyrannosaurus Rex. Sometimes my dreams are so real I wake up and wonder why I am in bed, and not doing whatever I was doing in my dream. I have even woken myself up getting out of bed to dance, yes, dance! So all that being said I hope my Nano concept turns out to be something more than a silly dream. I know anyone who is attempting Nano is feeling the same way, hoping that the Writing Gods are smiling down on you and you get some kind of valid idea. Well I wish you all the best of luck with your Nano plans, and happy dreaming!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Early New Years Resolution

With Nano approaching I have decided I need to work harder at blogging. School has started, the kids are working hard, and I am spending a lot of time on WIP, so a few minutes to keep my readers updated shouldn't be a problem. So, as an early resolution for me, is to start writing every day and doing updates for those who may be following me. Update one: All the kids are in school now, yeah, free time!! Actually I have found myself staying busy with things that have been neglected for the past few years. I have cleaned my couches, scrubbed my kitchen floor, worked in closets and gone through clothes. I have had lots more time for writing, true, and it has been really nice, so I am pulling out old projects and dusting off some fun things, it has been a whole new world. Update two: I have a new book that is almost done. I don't mean first draft done, I mean back from the editor and working on a cover done. It is called, Temperance and Treason. Fun project, it was a nano book from three years ago and it has been fun to get back into it and get to know the characters better. I am hoping for a release date sometime after Christmas, so keep your eyes open, I promise to do more updates on "Temperance and Treason." Update three: I bit off a big chunk of crazy, and I am going back to school. This is an idea I have been thinking about for a few years, and now that the kids are gone most of the day it is going into affect. I will be getting my Bachelors in English. Luckily I already have an Associates so it is only a 2 years project, and I get to take some really fun classes! Last update: I can't think of a nano plot to save my life!!! I know I still a month to bring something together and I am drawing a blank. Who else is having this problem? I thought all this "creative" time on my hands, I would be inspired, but it just isn't happening. I hope that something I see, or read with flip a switch, often times a dream even gives me a good idea, so I am on the hunt. Well there you go, an update, long overdue. I hope you are all doing well, I hope if you are writing the muses are with you, whispering sweet ideas in your ear. If you are a reader, I bless you with good reading, and great experiences. Good luck in all your doings and I will check in soon.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Perfectionism!

Sometimes being a writer is really hard.  Writing takes thought, organization, skill and a hint of wild abandonment to make it really work.  The problem with all of that is, it is really hard to abandon all the organization which is sometimes required to write a good story.  This, my friends, is my main problem.  When I want to tell a story I sit down and start pounding it out.  The part of the story that has driven me to the madness of writing flow freely, as if the Muse Goddess was sitting on my shoulder and sprinkling me with magic writing dust. But then there are the other parts of the story that I am driven to because plot, or character decisions, or whatever else, that stops me in my tracks.

I don't know about you, but sometimes writing feels like an exercise in frustration. You know what you want to happen, you know how it is suppose to happen, but then for whatever reason in the world you can't make it happen! This is what I call Perfectionism- the inability to move past something because it didn't work exactly the way you wanted it to.  This "P" word is the exact reason I have an entire back log of unfinished manuscripts just mocking me in my Word file.  They are a constant reminder of all the stories that didn't go as planned, but really, what ever does go the way we want it to? 

I like to use the analogy of traveling with children. Before you even leave the driveway things have stopped going as planned.  What would happen if we abandoned every trip, or vacation because the itinerary got messed up before we even had the car loaded?  Perfectionism is holding us back fellow writers! We worry about what others are going to think about the story before we even get the whole thing down on paper. We wonder if our book is going to be the next Harry Potter, but we never finish the dang thing because one of our characters grow a personality and throw off the whole plan.  What we need to do is stop trying to have perfect rough drafts, that is what edits and revisions are for. No one has ever written a perfect rough draft. that is why it is call a ROUGH draft.  So lets stop with all the frets and worries. Lets just get  the story down on paper, and then we can go back and start polishing. Not even diamonds are born perfect. 

So here is my challenge, and my goal for myself.  Instead of stopping when it gets hard, I am going to push through it.  I might have one or two chapters of complete trash, but somewhere in all that mess of words is a great idea, but I can't have it until I write it down.  Next I am going to open up that dusty old Word file and start working on a story in there.  I wrote what I already have because there was something to love about it.  A character who needed to be heard, a story that needs to be told, so I need allow myself to fall in love all over again. I'm going to say goodby to Perfectionism and say hello to story telling.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Plugging along!

How has your 30 day writing challenge been going?  Mine had a rocky start, but I am pulling it together.  I find that I get a lot of joy out of writing, even if it is hundreds of words a day.  The story I am working on is a remix of my Nano book this year. It is fun to delve farther into my characters backgrounds, get to know them a little bit better.  The story takes on a whole different life when you are not so rushed to put words down on the page.

Just the other day I was trying to work through a plot twist.  My MC ran into big trouble that I wasn't counting on, and it really threw me for a loop.  It doesn't change the overall outcome of the book, but it sure throws a wrench in all the plans I had made.  Now I have to figure out how to get her out of trouble but stay in love with my Hero.  Oh the joys of writing!

I hope you all are able to pound some words out here or there.  I know it can be hard with the demands of life, but why not do something that makes you happy.  A few minutes in my imaginary world with my imaginary friends makes a whole lot of difference in the real world.  So do something for yourself and your readers and get creative!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

30 Day Writing Challenge

OK, I am doing this mostly for me to get back on track this year, but I am going to do a 30 day writing challenge.  I have lots of projects I want to be working on but I don't find the time to do it, so this month I am going to make time.  This isn't going to be like Nano, I am not going for a word count, I am just going for quality writing time.  I don't care if it is 10 words a day, but I AM going to write. 

I recently saw something about writing that said if you are not dedicated enough to your craft then you will not succeed. I want to enjoy writing, but also be productive. So anyone who wants to join me I hope to be adding updates every few days about my progress.  I am not starting a new project but working on something I started during Nano.  This is my hope that this year I can get a couple more books published and I think this is a good way to start. Good luck fellow writers and I hope your New Year's writing goals are a success!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Pants-er!

Are you a pants-er?  Do you sit down and make it work no matter what happens? Then you might be a great Nano writer!

Last week I covered the way that I do Nano, but that isn't the only way, no sir, you could Pants it!  I tried the technique a few years ago and failed miserable so it doesn't work for me, but it might for you.  As far as I can tell you don't do much planning at all, accept maybe a concept and a title, the latter less important than the first.  Then when November 1st rolls around you just start pounding it out.

I can see the appeal in this method. A great idea can flow better then something plotted down to its last breath, and you have all the creative liberty in the world not being married to an idea.  I have on occasion Panted parts of my manuscript, and it can be quite liberating. The reason it doesn't work for me all the time, is because I tend to clam up when I can't come up with the next idea. I like some sort of idea as to where I am going, so if I get stuck I can refer back to my notes and pick up the pieces and move on. 

Still if you choose to Pants I wish you all the luck in the world. Technically, spontaneity and free flow really are the purpose of Nano in the first place.  It helps you to put away the annoying personal editor that talks to us all the time, and have a great time doing what we love, writing!  No matter how you plan on approaching this feat of writing craziness I wish you all the luck in the world, and may the Pants be with you!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

Meet Mortianna DeWinters, the villain for my upcoming Nano book.  She looks harmless enough until you know just what is going on with her.  Fueled by jealousy for her dead half sister, she is determined to ruin the reputation of the newest young Opera Star, her niece.  When the girl is married to a wealthy Count Mortianna did what every other crazy woman would do, she murdered him!

There you go, how do her open arms look now? Hehe!

One of the things I have done in the past for Nano books, that has stuck throughout all of my writing is assigning a picture to my characters.  After my character interviews I start looking for someone who fits the bill.  In Mortianna's case I knew I wanted a woman who was still beautiful even thought she was older.  I wanted a red head of sorts, mostly because I think red heads are very clever and have a whole lot of common sense, even if they are on this side of crazy like Mortianna.  (Let me preface this by saying I have a number of red headed friends and family members and they are all great!) I also like this picture because she has very innocent quality about her until you find out that she is a murderer.  I wanted her to be eccentric enough that she could pull off her character traits but also have the qualities of a normal human.  Also Julianna' Moores performance in "An Ideal Husband," played largely into my choice. 

Having a visual also helps me to refer back to some of my characters traits without having to scroll through the bio's.  I can clearly see their features and the look on the faces that help me to write a more believable character. 
This is Paige Orr the niece in my new book.  She is beautiful and innocent looking as well. But the look on her face is also determination.  We can get that she is young with dark hair and eyes.  She looks rather petite and quiet but again the look on her face says a whole lot more.  She may have been beaten once but she isn't going to put up with it anymore, and if you don't believe her, just try something. 

Sometimes when I write I get characters mixed up with other, especially if they have a lot of the same characteristics. It is easy for me to look at this picture of Paige and remember many of her traits that is important to her character.  In this case I choose an actress I know nothing about so I haven't been influenced by her acting so I can't make her anything I want as long as she fits my character. 


Sometimes I browse pictures of actors and actresses online until I find what I am looking for. Take this talented man for example. If you know who he is you know exactly how he can be cast as a book character.  Not only his appearance but his amazing presence can lend itself to a character. 

Nano tip of the day.  Use visuals when you write.  This isn't limited to characters. Landscapes, buildings, maps, flowers, etc. can help make your story more down to earth and bring it closer to home for your readers. 

Happy planning!!