• Blogging,  Holidays

    Absurbity of the Season

    Hmm… interesting, my last post was at Halloween. Thanksgiving is only two days away, where’d the time go?

    I know what happened. NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) happened. By the way, how did you do with your word count this month? I got mine. Did you get yours?

    Now that we’re done with that absurd writing challenge, what’s coming up next? Christmas? This is the craziest time of the year. It all starts with NaNo, then turkey in the oven, followed by hordes of Black Friday Shoppers heading out to the stores right after eating their Family Holiday meal. They should remain home to sleep off that bird but no, they run right out and join the crowd so they can fight over that $100 flat screen TV. See this is just the beginning of the craziest time of the year.

    We fought with our word processors for nearly 30 days straight, forcing word after word on that blank white screen. They said write a 50k word story in 30 days or less but don’t worry if it is a mess. You will have the rest of the year to try to fix the thing. That is if it is fixable.

    I wrote as though I was in brainstorming sessions. Now I have to drag and drop the chapters into different orders in hopes that I can get the timeline correct. Still that isn’t as silly as standing in line for a Black Friday ticket at the local Walmart. It’s the only time of the year when they are crazy enough to break every fire code rule.

    Have you ever taken part in that absurd holiday tradition of shopping right after eating turkey? I did one year. The crowds didn’t bother me too much. What did bother me was how hard it was to find the items listed in the Black Friday flyer. Everything was scattered about the store. I thought they were kidding when they were handing out maps. What was I thinking?

    Besides NaNo and Black Friday, I find the rest of the season pretty tame. I’m the one who puts up the tree. I’m the one who decorates it. I’m the one who tries to keep the spirit of Christmas alive. Oh wait, I feel a bah – humbug moment coming on. It will pass. I’ll inhale the scent of green pine needles, apples and cinnamon and most of all, chocolate fudge.

    Oh, Fudge, the straw that broke the diabetic diet. I have to make several batches each year. This is hard to do without having a sample or two. Then there are the cookies and pastries. Don’t forget the eggnog too.

    So, are you ready for the absurdity of this jolly time of year? No wonder people become stressed and angry; look at how crazy we become trying to take part in those traditional activities each year.

    [/media-credit] What makes the first American Thanksgiving noteworthy is, for the first time, turkeys were actually consumed after they were sacrificed to “God” (the Christian version of the Babylonian turkey god). duckglow.wordpress.com
  • ROW80,  writing

    Do Da Writing Sprint #amwriting #ROW80

     image provided by Microsoft Office

    Puppy Power!

    I remember Scrappy Do from Scooby Do. Scrappy was fearless and full of energy. That’s the way our pup Keelaa appears to be. She runs around like a miniature greyhound, doing figure eights around the older dog Julie.

    Meanwhile, Julie barks encouragement, sound as though she is saying faster, faster, faster…

    I’m not sure what she is in training for. Maybe counter-attacking the family cats who keep trying to terrorize her by pouncing on her from dark corners. I never realized, cats can be so mean when they want to be.

    Me, I haven’t actually run sprints since High School. I’m not sure if I could either. The body doesn’t function the way it once did. I have toyed with the idea of taking up running, and think of it long enough to say, “I don’t know. Can I go that quarter mile?”

    Then I’d have to take not just one dog, but both dogs, and the older dog would get to the quarter mile and require either a long rest or a car ride back home. I’m not carrying a 100 pound dog back home.

     

    ROW80:

    Sprints can be applied in different areas, like writing, which is what I did all week, except for Friday night and Saturday night.

    My secret work in progress is coming along nicely. I have the first draft at 75% done.

    It feels good to be able to write once again, after months and months of writers’ block.

    I think I needed a different creative outlet to help me think and plot. So, I thought about else I’d been doing when I wrote Aaron & Keja and Witch Book. I’d been crocheting, or knitting, or one of the many craft projects I like working on.

    My son has a requested that I make him an afghan. I was supposed to make this for him last winter, but never finished it in time. Since it is getting cold again, I’ve picked the project backup, and now I’m doing the finishing touches, as in the border.

    Since I picked the project backup, I’ve seen an increase in my word count, of nearly 5k words for the week.

    My hopes for the week are to at least match the word count for the entire week, and be done with the first draft by the end of the month.

    How is your writing going?

    Are you struggling? Have you considered changing just one thing you’ve been doing when you’re not writing?

    I think being able to channel creativity in another form can help open up the channels that fuel our writing muse.

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  • ROW80,  works in progress,  writing

    Falling Plot and finding Plans for NaNo – ROW80 Check – In

    It is fall – no doubt about that. Here I am, on a Wednesday with my Round of Words Check – In. Sadly I do not have anything to report except for my up and coming NHRWA meeting that is coming up this Saturday in Bow, NH. I’m certainly looking forward to it.

    My lack of writing does not have anything to do with writers block. I’m sure it has a lot to do with shifting gears by going from Teen Contemporary to Fantasy. The switching from one set of characters back to the other set does slow the muse down. I guess that is why some writers recommend staying with only one genre. Other writers recommend not writing series or trilogies.

    I can’t help it. My stories come in spurts. It is just the way I write and the stories come about.

    But today on our Facebook group for ROW80 one of our comrades posted a link to a post for NaNo Planning 2013. I checked it out. I must say I will need to use this when I begin work on my next story. It just might be the plan I need to get my butt in gear and get the story written.

    Just think – NaNo is right around the corner. I’ve been using this challenge for the past three years to get my stories into motion.

    Hm… Maybe that is what my muse is waiting for.

    But I do remember one of my goals for this round is Deliberate Writing. So I had better go and get to work by planning and plotting.

    I hope your writing week is going strong.

    Check out how other ROWers are doing and what kind of goals they are working towards this round by visiting the Linky List.

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  • Blogging,  ROW80,  works in progress,  writing

    Marching your Manuscript Onward

     Now that we are three weeks into September I have noticed how I have not been posting as much as of late. I have decided to try and actively change this. And, thanks to Kait and her ROW80 Challenge, I believe I’m ready to get my butt into gear and stick with her posting schedule. My focus this year will be on writing discipline.

    So, now that I have you all here I have to tell you about a newbie writer who recently attended their first critique session. I heard how she was not fully prepared for what she was about to walk into. Supposedly this session turned out to be a horrific experience for her. What a shame, critique sessions are meant to be a writer’s tool. The feedback one gets from such a group is priceless.

    Maybe some people think that just because they are college graduates the first book they write will be perfect.

    I don’t know about that unless you are some kind of genius who has the imagination of a schizophrenic. The writing process just does not happen that way.

    We all think our stories are great when they are coming straight out of the box. Pride can get in our way in the beginning. The best writers have replaced their pride with a deeper understanding as to how great stories are created.

    You may call it collaboration when a critique group is used, but when you bounce a story idea off someone else’s mind and they tell you what they understand your story to say is two different things.

    I saw this with Along Came Neil. This book took part in my first critique session. One chapter, mind you, can change the whole course of your story. Just one chapter is all it takes to rid yourself of anything that comes across as back story, or that unnecessary prologue. – who reads prologues anymore anyway?

    So to that newbie writer – my heart plays that sad, sad song for you  🙁 , but what are you going to do about your manuscript? Do you give up that easily? Why did what they say hurt so much? Could they possibly be onto something?

    If I were you, I wouldn’t give up. Listen to what they said. Critique groups are there to try and give you a view of your story from a reader’s angle. Use it as for what it is, your very first review. If you reacted to the critique group that way, how will you take your first one star rating? Believe me, we all get them at one time or another.

    Which leads us to another topic for a future date: Revisions and editing…

    ROW80 Check-In:

    Revisions – for the past two months I have been working on Revisions of all my previously published works. I’m kind of on a roll with only one book left to go.

    Since Along Came Neil came out during the beginning of July I decided to revise the whole series, which does have its benefits, like fixing proofing errors, and story gaps. This is a good thing. By starting at the beginning of the series, this helped me make sure that the story remained on track, right to the end. Along Came Neil brought a lot of closure to the story. I can either continue the series or let it end. I feel confident that I did achieve a decent ending. Now all I can do is wait for my readers to tell me what they think about the story.

    In the meantime, I moved on to my fantasy series. I actually had no choice but to go over the story once again if I’m to start working on the next book in this series. I don’t keep a time line. (I should – shouldn’t I?)

    So by doing a revision of the fantasy series I am not only raising the quality of the story but I am regaining where I was at with the story.

    I have about thirteen chapters left to go. Maybe I will be done by this weekend so I can start coming up with my next plot.

    So while I regroup my fantasy series I hope, even if you have had a terrible critique group experience you will keep your Manuscript Marching Onward. The parade only stops if you stop marching.

    Stop by and cheer on the progress of other ROW 80 writers by following the Linky Link, or better yet, come join us!

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  • ROW80,  writing

    Are Blogs Really Worth It?

    Here’s a great example of how an Author Blog helps gain fans.

    I like to scope out blogs of others from time to time. Today I stumbled across Tawna Fenske. I had never heard of her until today. She too is a RWA (Romance Writer of America) member.

    It only took a few minutes of my time to read her last two posts and wow… She is a riot. This prompted me to not only follow her posts via email but to also check out her books and add them (all of them) to my to-read pile.

    If she writes her blogs the way she does I can only imagine how her books are.

    This is what the experts are talking about when they say how important a blog is to a Writers Career. I may never have come across her works before today but just that brief little bit in her blog made me want to read everything she writes, even if it was the first book she ever wrote.

    This brings me to the next thing – Growing as a writer

    How funny is it to see your own writing skills change over time? It is even funnier to see all the mistakes you made in the beginning of your career. And when you can go back to the beginning and look at it all those mistakes and laugh then you truly know that you have grown as a writer.

    Kudos to Tawna, she has acquired me, her newest fan, just from keeping a blog.

    ROW 80 Check In:

    Two weeks into the year and after finishing up my last book, Road Salt, I have started on the next story. At first I was going to go back to my fantasy series but after my last RWA meeting I’ve been hooked. Now I have to go on with the Wings from Ashes series.

    I am happy to report that I have started this next book. I am 3k words into the story and I think I have dug up a pretty good plot for it.

    Plots are what I like in my stories, that and lots of conflict. Everyone has at least one nemesis in their life and Karla has one too. That is Maggie.

    Maggie will do anything she can to get back at Karla and she does not need much of an excuse. How this effects Karla’s next relationship is to be seen in Along Came Neil.

    My goal is to make this story my first official Teen Contemporary Romance.

    Would you like to see what other ROW’ers are working on? Come and check out our Linky List

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