Summer Ends – Write on Time


Photo courtesy of Fotolia via Microsoft Word

 

Summer, is our beach time, cookouts, fireworks and baseball games and most of all, for the majority of us, Vacation Time. What a shame, it is all coming to an end. Why is it that winter seems to last forever and summer is always over in the blink of an eye?

Now that my favorite season is coming to an end, I need to get back on track with my writing and blogging. Of course, this will be in-between the time with the newest member of our family.

Meet Keelaa – our puppy!

She will be my writing mascot, there to make sure the fingers are working on the keyboard, or not :p

Keelaa is as sweet as she looks. At ten weeks, she weighs no more than 8 pounds. Her mom weighs in at about 20 pounds and we couldn’t find out what kind of dog her dad was. This doesn’t matter to us anyway. We love mixed breeds, plain and simple.

The cats don’t like her much. They keep trying to plot ways to get her into trouble, but they all keep backfiring as the cats or cat keeps getting caught in the act. Gracie is the brain behind all the scheming.

So in-between all the conflict with a puppy and a couple of cats is my writing time.

By the way, our older pup, Julie, who is going on 14 years this coming season, adores Keelaa. In fact, the two of them are best buddies.

ROW80 Check-in:

My goal for the coming season is to write every day, no matter whether it be a blog or my work in progress. If I can write a minimum of 500 words a day, I feel I will be on the right track.

Two works are going at this time. One of which I can tell you about. That would be my Sleeping on the Beach. I started to use Wattpad for the story, but it wasn’t working out for me. I find the site sort of odd to use. So, I’ve moved back to Authonomy since they have revamped the site. Hopefully, I will be able to attract some critiquing and maybe some brainstorming for this work in progress.

Sleeping on the Beach
ß click to view on Authonomy.com. (Note: Site does not work well with Internet Explorer. Need to use Firefox, Chrome or Opera to read any of the books on the site) A new feature to the site is the ability to download the stories to your Kindle or other eReader if the author has allowed downloads for viewing offline.

How has your summer been? Did you do any sleeping on the beach like Andrea? Hopefully, you weren’t sleepwalking as she was. I hear PTSD can do that to you.

Tell me about your work in progress – or did you recently publish? I’d love to hear about it.

 

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MIA – Nope, I’m Still Here!

I know, I’ve been missing in action for several months this summer. In the past, I diligently posted at least once a month. Lately, I’ve been saving my writing well for the work in progress.

So, how’s it been coming?

It’s going great. I went through a period where I was wracking my brain trying to remember what it was that I had done to get Witch Book done in that record amount of time. It seemed all elusive; there was no way I was going to be able to create another story in that short amount of time, or so I thought.

I’ve been struggling with a piece I started a few months ago. I managed to write just three or four chapters and then nothing. I couldn’t think of anything that would spark even myself. The story seemed lame, but others did comment that they were intrigued by the idea the first chapter sparked. But still, I didn’t know how to carry on with the story.

What was so special with the way I wrote, Witch Book?

I plotted that book, and even made character and setting sketches.

So I broke down this past week and dug out a book on writing that I bought way back when I first began working on, Friends of Choice. Back then, I didn’t understand a word that book said. It talked about character sketches and motivations and goals and setting sketches. Then there was the part about consistency and POV.

Four years later, I know what all those terms mean, thanks to my local RWA chapter. They’ve done a great job at teaching me the ropes.

 

The book, From First Draft To Finished Novel: A Writer’s Guide To Cohesive Story Building, by Karen S Wiesner, is loaded with worksheets, both character and setting, along with plotting, goal and motivation.

Above, is the book I’ve revisited. I know the terms in the book now, it all makes sense. In fact, after doing only half of the worksheets recommended for a proper pre-write, I’m getting that super strong urge to start writing that next chapter. Maybe even finish the darn book.

But, I’m going to hold myself back. I’m going to continue with the worksheets and use all of them. Hopefully this effect will have a springboard effect.

Come the end of September, I will let you all know the results of this little writing experiment.

 

Giveaway on Goodreads.com

I can’t forget to let you know about the paperback edition of Along Came Neil that I’m giving away on Goodreads.com. Stop by and check it out and enter to win my first of many to come YA Romances.

 



Chapter by Chapter

It’s official. It’s Summer!

Cookout time!

Beach time!

 

Rain?

Snow? – Really now? Wrong season, but it’s been so cold lately. Yesterday I was expecting to see flakes falling from the sky.

With all the rain we’ve had recently the grass should be knee high. Mike is out cutting it as I write this. I know the chickens will be feasting on a green dandelion salad when he is through.



Photo courtesy of Linda Nelson’s personal collection

 

ROW 80 check In:

It has been a while since I last checked in for ROW80. I’ve been suffering for the past four months with a writers’ block, and the block has finally broken.

I’m not sure if the NEC Conference or the Deb Dixon Workshop had anything to do with it. Maybe it was the fact that I had an ah ha moment today with Scrivener. I can now work the split screen function on my own.

You say big deal. I say for the simple minded it is a big deal. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has been stumbling around with that complex program.

It might be complex, but I do love every bit of it.

Now I am relearning accountability on my part. It was something I had done way back when I was on MySpace. That seems so, so long ago, almost a century ago. It was back before Facebook became the thing it is today.

So where am I doing this accountability?

Why, I’ve been visiting Wattpad of course. It has been around for a few years. I just never knew how to use it until now. Kind of the way I have been learning to use the Scrivener Program.

I’m on Chapter 3 of Sleeping on the Beach. Please feel free to follow along. It is a work I am panstering. Note: Usually, I’m a plotter.

That’s 900 words for the week. It is better than nothing.

See the link for my Wattpad story in my right hand sidebar, if you are interested in following along.

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My Month of Conferences and Workshops

Finally, a gorgeous weekend, though, I’m not saying that the past few weekends haven’t been nice. The sun has broken through the clouds melting all the snow. Winter is over, and we are about to skip spring. This happens every year in New England. Spring seems to last only a week or two and then – bam – its summer.

Don’t get me wrong. I love summer. I just wish that spring time temperatures of 70 +/- would last more than a week or two.

My last two weekends have been busy – busy – busy. First I went to the NEC Conference for RWA. It was my first Conference, and I loved it. I learned a lot too. I am looking forward to going back again next year. I’m hoping to make it an annual event.

Last weekend was my NHRWA Chapter’s Deb Dixon Workshop. We had a terrific turnout, more than was expected. Talk about a pack load of info. Now I want to go and buy her book GMC – Goal, Motivation and Conflict.

I can’t wait for our next Chapter event, whatever that may be. I will keep you all posted if I hear mention of anymore events.

Between the Conference and the Workshop, I was able to find the motivation to get my butt back behind the keyboard and start pumping out the word count. I successfully hit 3k words today. It has been quite a while since I was able to do that kind of word count. I know all I actually needed to do was to give in and just write. Drop all my censorship, create a world, and let the story to write itself. The story has been there all along. It’s the fear of telling/showing how the world needs to be perceived to the reader. I need to remember to let go of any world rules one would think belongs in a world of fantasy, and only focus on how the world will be explained by my own rules to the reader.

It’s not a historical. It’s just a fantasy. All the world rules are up to me to create. The freedom to create world rules is what has always drawn me to fantasy. The escapism and freedom to do what I will with my characters and the world they live in.

I have three works in progress going at this time. I don’t know which one I will finish first. Probably the one where the characters scream for attention the most, just as long as the story can flow.

So, if you ever get the chance to attend a Deb Dixon Workshop – do it. You won’t regret it. I hear she only does a couple of workshops a year.

 

 


Our Deb Dixon Workshop – Write a Book in a Day

Photos Courtesy of Kathy Hills


My NHRWA Chapter, Photo Courtesy of Kathy Hills

 

Going to Happy Places

Finding That Happy Place:

This past week I got to observe my son while he found that happy place that he had lost so many years ago. It made me want to giggle inside to see the boy that I once knew reappear before my eyes. He was cheerful, excited and so full of life.

You see; my son is an addict. This is a huge deal for an addict to find their happy place. It lowers their need to use to acquire the same feeling. And when they do use to find that feeling, their outward results are not the same. They exhibit false excitement. Their excitement is caused by their drug usage as an after effect/side effect of using that particular substance. It is not real.

And when it comes to be full of life, they become tired and sleep their life away. This is also an after effect/side effect of using the substance.

His happy place was rediscovering his love for fishing. He was always pretty good at setting the hook in his younger years. Once again he had no problem setting that hook to catch his first largemouth bass in over five years. That’s right! It has been a good five years since he went fishing. One can’t fish while sitting in jail or rehab.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The fish my son caught.

Seeing him happy reminded me of how I once found my happy place. I remember it well. It was when a friend/past co-worker made a VHS tape of some home movies of mine that I had not been able to watch in years. You know those old 8mm tapes that have gone the way of the dinosaur. They held all the happy times in my life when I had no cares or worries and was able to dance away, not caring about what others thought. The innocence of a five year old child is a cherished moment.

 

Coming Events:

Talk about excited and happy moments!

Next weekend I will be going to my very first RWA Conference. Granted it is not the main event, just a chapter event, but the same, I’m going to a conference. Can you tell I’m excited?

The New England Chapter of RWA is holding their annual Conference, and I decided to attend it. I can’t wait to meet these girls. I’m looking forward to their workshops they have scheduled.

Then the following weekend I will be going to the Workshop my own chapter has planned. It is a Deb Dixon Workshop.

We will see if the workshop lives up to its name, A Book in a Day. I will be spending that following Monday at home trying out her techniques.

 

ROW 80 Check-in:

It has been a while since I have checked in.

The writing has still been going slow. In the past two weeks, I have managed to add no more than 3k words to the next Orgarlan Book. I also have two other works that I have been dabbling with, one of which is my little story on Wattpad.

Sleeping on the Beach is a panstered story – unless I break down and plot the thing out, I really don’t know where the story is going or what it is about, except that the main character is having a bad bout with insomnia. It appears that sleepwalking is the result of her insomnia.

Oh, I just had an ah-ha moment. I know what to do with the story next. I won’t tell you – you’ll have to read the next chapter. (lol)

The third story I have been plunkering with I won’t tell you anything about it. I don’t want to get your hopes up. Not yet anyways. Right now it is just a junk story. (Is plunkering a word? It is now. I just made it up. I just Binged it, and it is a word. J )

 

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Lifting the Fog


Original image via Bing Creative Commons, courtesy of 55Laney69 on Flickr Photos

Spring is about to be sprung in my part of the States. After going through such a cold, seemingly long winter, I am ready for the warmer weather. It may have had something to do with the reason why I had stopped posting and work on my work in progress slowed down to almost a complete halt.

I kept saying, next month I will get my butt in gear. Well, you know what? It is the next month, and it almost passed me by in a blink of an eye. It is April, and I need to get myself in gear and get some writing done.

So what have I been up to during my little disappearing act?

I worked a little bit on the next book in my Orgarlan Saga. I am eating that elephant one bite at a time. There is not much to say at this time, except I am meeting my character and relearning them. Aaron is bored, and I need to find something for her and her friends to do. I could burn down the tower where they are staying, but how many times are you allowed to burn things down before your characters are accused of arson?

In the meantime, I have begun exploring Wattpad. That is right! I joined Wattpad back in 2010, and I never went any further with the site other than creating a profile, which I have since then have changed. They have a neat feature on the site. You can post short stories you are working on or even chapters of a story, one at a time. Readers can then vote and comment on your stories.

I hadn’t done anything like this since posting on Myspace back in the heyday when that social media site was bigger than Facebook. It changed when the site began leaning toward music after Tom left the site he built from the ground up.

This past weekend I began working on a side project I want to build on Wattpad. I’m calling it, Sleeping on the Beach. It is about a woman who hears strange noises in her home when she is sleeping. After making a few discoveries, she begins to believe she is sleep walking. I’m hoping readers will help me brainstorm this story line since I am panstering instead of plotting.

I’m hoping to post a new chapter once a week.

 

My free book promotion period is over. All three books did better than I had planned. Now if only the reviews would start coming in, that would be neat.

 

Thank God the Brain Fog has finally lifted!


Original image via Bing Creative Commons, courtesy of Lida on Flickr Photos

 

Overcoming my Writer’s Laryngitis – #ROW80 Check In

After suffering for the past few months of writer’s block, I believe I have begun to break through and piece words together again. It was sort of like having writing laryngitis, if there is such a thing.

Twice this week I was able to add over 300 words to the work in progress. It is a start.

Our challenge this month for my local RWA Chapter is small bites.

“How do you eat an elephant?”

“One bite at a time.”

That’s what I have been working on this week, though my blog posts seem to suffer from putting my bites on my wip instead of the scheduled post. But I’m here now and that is all that counts, right?

So, for my ROW80 check in for today I can report that since Wednesday I was able to add 1k words to the work in progress. Not too shabby for someone suffering from Writer’s Laryngitis.

I remember many years ago, when I had come down with a very bad case of Laryngitis while I was working for Ames Department Store as a customer service representative. Part of my job was to answer the phone. How funny is that when you have laryngitis? I had to have someone else take my place that day. Customers thought they had reverse prank calls. It was funny. You had to be there, I guess.

I haven’t had laryngitis that bad in years. It was kind of weird too. I didn’t have a cold, or a sore throat. Though, it was very cold that winter. It may have been due to the dry air.

How is your writing going?

Have you been having trouble with Writer’s Laryngitis? I like the sound of that better than Writer’s Block, don’t you?

Stop by and share how your week is going. I’d love to hear.

One more moth to go until Spring arrives!

I can’t wait!

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