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Making the Words Flow

English: Books on legal writing at the law lib...

English: Books on legal writing at the law library of the UC Berkeley School of Law. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve been blogging for years. Writing has been a struggle right from the get go. Self-published writers have lots to learn. Almost too much to learn. I’ve come a long way in the past five years. Between learning how to format books, distribute, and market, I’ve been also learning more about the craft of writing. Sometimes I think the learning process has slowed me down. I have to think more about what I need to say. I care about how it comes out. The grammar has to be just so.

I remember how I got started with writing. My first time was when I was in third grade. I made this cute little picture book that even my parents were impressed with. The story was The Poor Cucumber. (lol) It makes me laugh to think about how silly that story was, but it was a story none the less. I even drew stick figures for the pictures on the pages. I think I was eight years old then.

The next time I gave a stab at writing was in my senior year. I had to do this term paper for Biology on the social behavior of ants. I dug up so much information it sparked a story. I don’t remember the title of it. But I did write the first four chapters of it before setting it aside with my hopes dashed away by my parents. I had told them that I wanted to be a writer after high school. They thought it was a waste of time and energy. Needless to say, I didn’t finish that story. I think it fell into someone else’s hands and ten years later, a similar story came about. My story was very much like Bugs Life.

If it had been my story that sparked that Pixar movie, then I feel honored to have my idea stolen. Maybe someday, karma will come back around with a reward on my end.

After publishing five books over the past five years, I was hit by writers block. I believe it is due to fear of not being able to write something decent. Not being able to write anything much longer than a novella. Not going deep enough with character development. When I joined RWA, I began trying to change all that by going to workshops and conferences and taking the online workshops too.

Health also has a way of getting in the way of writing. My recent episode put me in the hospital for three days after having major surgery. I’m looking forward to going back to work next week.

Pets can make you stop writing too. My writing mascot, Keelaa, she has the tendency to come along with a tug rope expecting me to play at any given moment. She has this little sound or grunt she makes that comes across as though she just said, “Mum.”

My family used to bother me too, but they don’t do that quite so much anymore. Must be because I’ve moved to an office where most of my writing is done.

Now that I’m coming back around again, since my recovery from surgery, I want to make a new push of getting the flow of words going. What better way to do so than with blogging on schedule. I did this before with ROW80. (Which I still do take part in.) But I want more blogging in my schedule.

ROW80 takes part 2 times a week. On Sunday and Wednesday. I propose to blog on an additional schedule of Tuesdays and Thursdays with my own blog hop. You’re welcome to join. We can cheer each other on while getting our words flowing once again.

 

Making the words Flow

http://www.linkytools.com/basic_linky_include.aspx?id=258369

Linky list for blog hop

Writers hold each other accountable and help support each other to make the words begin to flow.

 

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Some Plugins Just don’t make the Grade :(

WordPress dashboard interface

WordPress dashboard interface (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I guess you can’t have it all. I’ve come so far in the blogging world since I first ventured out in 2008. That is the same year that WordPress was born. It was just bare bones back then. Now look at it, over 2000+ plugins. Some of them work excellent and others are only wishful thinking.

I came across one today. It was for posting stories to your site. What a shame that it didn’t work. It was some fanfiction plugin that had real potential, that is until I tried to use it to post work in progress.

Oh well, I’m still amazed at what a lot of the plugins do. When I first started blogging, I was on MySpace. Do you remember that site? It was a great place to blog and find readers who would cheer you on while you learned the craft of writing. There were even those on that site that would give lessons in poetry.

Lots of groups too.

I was sad when they changed the site to an all music site. I’ve only been back there once or twice since, just for old memory sake. Funny how something like that can stick with you even when you can’t use it anymore as you had. FaceBook came about and we all went there instead. Some tried to blog on that site, but it just didn’t jive well.

I poked about on WordPress when it first came out, not being able to make heads nor tails of the site. I then found a website company that hosted a blog on their site. I used that for almost a year until I bought Microsoft Office 2010. That was when I discovered the ability to post direct from MO.

I did do a stint on Blogger, but I didn’t like working with their dashboard. Then I went back to WordPress, blogging at least once a week.

I began to accumulate many different sites. This past year I decided it was time to start consolidating. There was too many to choose from to post on. What better place to write than on your own domain WordPress. So I took the jump this past week.

Plugins Galore. The free WordPress doesn’t work with plugins. Or, I haven’t figured out how to get them too. But now that I’ve got a site that is hosted outside the free zone, things changed.

I’m sure I will be blogging much more now. It feels almost like how it felt on MySpace. Though I don’t have any followers on this site. Hopefully, they will come J

Works In Progress:

I’ve been out of work for almost 6 weeks due to major surgery. Four of those weeks, I barely sat behind the keyboard, it was too uncomfortable. Now I believe I’m ready to get back in the swing of things, and back to work. It wasn’t much of a vacation. All that time was spent healing.

Oh yeah, works in progress. I have a few that I’m working on. There is this one – my main one – that is about a woman who wants to be a Knight/Dame during the medieval period. It’s one of those swanky romances, to be published under my other name.

I’m also gearing up to give my Fantasy, Aaron & Keja an overhaul. The story is pretty good. I published it a few years ago, but my style and voice has changed so much. When I go to work on the third book in that series, it may not sound like the same person. This means that I will also have to re-write Witch Book too. When I do, both books will get new covers too.

So lots going on.

How about you? How has your writing been going?

Now if only Grammarly made a plugin for WordPress, blogging would be a breeze.

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What it takes to be a 21st-century Writer

Do you belong in this day and age as a writer? Do you feel comfortable being an author of the 21st-century?

Over the past five years the face of publishing has changed drastically. Gone are the days where writers wait years to find a publisher who will like their work and see to it that it makes it into print.

We have entered into the age of instant gratification. In this day and age we want it and we want it now. Long gone are the days of having to search a street for a payphone to make a needed call. Almost everyone has cellphones.

Then there is the internet. In the beginning it was all dial up. At first it seemed instant but as time went on we learned that there were faster methods out there for us to use. That gave way to the birth of DSL and broadband.

Social Media began to develop next. We began to reconnect with friends we hadn’t heard from in ages. My Space was one of the first, quickly followed by Face Book and Twitter.

How has all this affected publishing in the 21st century?

Our Instant Gratification has led to an army of self-publishing authors who are taking the writing world by storm. They are like the zombie armies in the movie World War Z and they can climb over giant walls to get their books published and out there for their readers to find.

Being an author in the 21st century means you need to learn how to do it all. You need to learn to be your own marketer, your own publishing house and your own cheerleader. You have to be bold and persevere.

You need to learn that even though we are in a time period of instant gratification you need to learn to wait. Selling books to readers who do not know you exist does not happen overnight it takes time.

So if your book sales are not where you think they should be then do something about it, but make sure it is the proper thing to do.

You ask, what should that proper thing be? Well – just write another book and after that write another and then another and so on, eventually they will find you.

How are you surviving as a writer in the 21st century? I would love to hear about your trials and travails.

The Blog of an Introvert

Kristen Lamb cracks me up every time I read one of her Blogs. She is funny and witty.

I just started following her blogs recently and she does have a point when she writes about the importance of blogging among writers. It is an important tool that does help a writer learn to write better.

I have seen my writing skills improve over the past two years. I have gotten faster with my typing skills and it is getting easier to think up topic content for each post.

But with one of Kristen’s recent posts it sparked a thought.

Her question was: How many of you are introverts and this is making you maybe peek out from behind the curtains?

How did she know I was peeking?

Granted I don’t get out much. I don’t spend the necessary time socializing. My schedule in life is redundant but it works for me. It helps keep me focused on being a writer.

I get up in the morning – check emails – check Facebook – check Twitter

Go to work – this is my day job – this is when I work as a weaver and weave specialty cloth and maybe do an odd job here and there at work. It pays the bills. I chat with a few co-workers but it is kept to a minimum so I can get my work done on time.

Go home – my day job is done for that day, I get to go home, maybe run a few errands, but then it is home, to my family. My family at home consists of my Mom, my other half – Mike, my son – when he is around – which isn’t much these days – he is getting his life back and sees it, our dog – Julie – she will be my crit partner for this month’s NHRWA challenge. I am to read Aaron & Keja to her and maybe have another shot at the story with a possible additional edit by her. Maybe the other two cats – Gracie and Sam will join in. This story does feature a dog and a cat so we will see what they think. (LOL)

At home – I split my time up during the week and the weekend. I try to focus most of my time on writing but it doesn’t always go that way. I have to do a bit of this and that. This helps keep me from becoming burned out on any of the other things I like to do. This being, crochet – I’m working on two Afghans. One I already ran out of yarn for and need to buy more of that color. The other one is made by making Granny Squares. I’m half way done making these then I get to put it all together.

Then the other time I’m not writing – I’m gaming. No not Facebook games. I am a World of Warcraft Player. I use WOW as my reward for a writing job well done. This is my chocolate, my socializing, and my fun time.

Am I an Introvert?

Maybe – well just a little bit. But I do have my game World of Warcraft to brighten my day.

#ROW80 Goals for Round 4 with Anticipated Book Signing

During the last round of Round of Words in 80 days I never really made any of my goals consistently.

First I tried to blog more, but that got in the way of my regular writing time.

Then there was the inspirational post about keeping a log about what our daily activities are throughout a day. This was to help us discover if there was any where one could become more efficient in their daily writing activities.

What I discovered was I was doing more blogging, but less writing and not setting aside any time for the other things I like to do in my daily life.

So for the new goals this round I will include the things that I like to do besides writing. Hopefully I will be able to find some kind of consistency with not just my writing. That means I now need to set aside time for knitting mittens and hats for my grand-daughter for Christmas. And then there is my other favorite thing to do – World of Warcraft.

Blizzard Entertainment just released a new expansion for World of Warcraft. I now have a Panda Monk named Musuu. I love that panda. It is kick ass with round house kicks and fists of fury. So I have to be able to find time to play this game too, maybe a minimum of three nights a week and one day on the weekend.

Knitting will be for only an hour or two a night. The rest of my time I will try to dedicate to writing.

 

 

 

 

Blogging will become limited to three nights a week instead of everyday.

Fridays will still be set aside to recap my favorite books of this past year.

  1. If I can write a minimum of 500 words a week, that would be good for me.
  2. Maximum word count will be set at 5k in a day. (But if the muse takes over, I promise not to argue with it.)
  3. Post on Facebook at least once a week.
  4. Post on Twitter at least once a week.

Hopefully I will be able to finish up Road Salt before NaNoWriMo happens next month.

 

Stop by the Linky List to see more ROW80 Goals for round 4.

 

Oh and I almost forgot to mention the Book Signing Event – I will be hosting my very first local book signing this Saturday at The Toadstool Bookshop in Peterborough, New Hampshire. I will be there with my friend, Linda Kepner.

<- See previous post for more information about this event.

I’m excited and nervous. But I am sure it will be fun.