Wednesday, January 28, 2015

What is the best?

So, I've been working on my whole deal-with-everything mode. As you can tell it's rusty and is still in the works. In order to make sure I keep my writing time, things get passed over like blogging. This led me to think about social media. I do take breaks from it for good reason (it can make you nuts and feel totally inadequate). But I started to think which platform people are on. It's not like I have a career to promote at the moment, but I do like to be on top of these things.

At one point, blogging was the hot ticket and I was (if you look at my archive) blogged everyday. After a while, I ran out of things to talk about and felt as though I was repeating myself. I didn't have anything exciting to discuss nor did I feel like I was an expert in anything to help with anything. So, for me, my posts made a decline. It was hard for me to keep up. I did enjoy the community though. It was supportive and it felt like I belonged to something. But a lot of folks were in the same boat as me, I think, where they needed the blogging time to write. Makes sense.

Then there's Facebook. I tend to use this for more personal things even though I discuss my writing woes and triumphs, but for me this is more for close friends and family. At the moment, I don't need an author page so I'm not familiar with the success of that.

Let's jump over to Twitter. Fast paced to which I can't keep up. I do post things but I never know why. I can't stay on it long because it takes up a lot of time, and really, do people even care what I have to say. I'm not witty. At least, I don't think I am. Other than chatting with friends and posting my writing status, I will promote other people's books and put up links to helpful posts. Again, I'm not sure how much of a difference it makes in sea of constant tweets.

Now onto Tumbr. Um. I do have an account, but all I seem to post on there are links and some book promos for others. In fact, it confuses me a little. Maybe I'm too old to get it. Not to mention the time it takes to go through all the posts.

Google + ? I have an account but never use it. I think I did it to check it out, but haven't used it since.

So there you have it. This is what I've been on and I'm not sure what is working and what isn't. I know there are other sites, but I really don't want another time sucker. In fact, I'm trying to focus on writing more than anything else, but it is nice to discuss things now and again. I guess I want to hear from you.

What are you on and why?

What works?

Should more time be put into one at different stages of you?

I'm not sure of my blogging schedule. I'm sort of leaving it up to how my week goes. Fridays are starting to become more hectic than before so I may be posting randomly for a while.

Have a great day!!

THE INQUISITOR'S MARK by Dianne Salerni

The Inquisitor's Mark (Eighth Day, #2)

My good friend Dianne Salerni's new book, THE INQUISITOR'S MARK was released yesterday. I'm so excited for her! I'm really looking forward to reading it!! It's book 2 in THE EIGHTH DAY series.

Check it out!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Clearing out a holiday foggy mind

Happy New Year!! I'm writing a post. Yes, yes I am. Do I want to talk about goals? Nah. Everyone is talking about them. I want to talk about that cloudy head. You know what I mean. It's the holiday hangover and you don't know where to start. I did take a few weeks off from writing as I'm sure many people have. For me, it was mostly because of life things, but it was good in a sense that I could clear my head of the crazy schedule I tend to fall into. But now starts the whole getting-back-into-a-routine thing. Of course wrapping up in a blanket and laying on the couch with a bowl of chocolate sounds nice too, but there's work to be done. I do think it's important to have a routine and to stick to it. Vacations are great, but there's a life to get back to. Starting a routine or getting back into one can be slow and discouraging at times, but forging ahead and sometimes taking baby steps will help. Let's face it, you're not becoming a marathon runner overnight. If you are, I will bow down to you.

Yes, you will feel like your brain is foggy without a lighthouse in sight or that you may never get that groove back. But it does come. Trust me, it happens to me all the time. Keep in mind, the brain is a muscle and needs to be exercised. Of course, there is that rusty feeling. That's when you start to freak out and think you can never have an original or awesome thought again. I've been there. Actually, this past week. You may have heard me grumble. Wheels may squeal when you try and type. The words on the page might not make sense. It's like you're a small child learning how to write. It may also feel as though your story has blindfolded you and placed you in a dark room of nothing, leaving you grasping at air. It's okay. Your brain needs to be worked and molded back to where it was. Think about it. When you stop ice skating for years and then one day your child asks to go and you go out there and try--you wobble, but there is a familiar feeling. It may be distant, but after a few or more laps you get a groove back. You won't be joining Disney on Ice anytime soon, but if you started to go on a regular basis you would build that confidence and strength back. Again, Disney may not be in your future, but I think you get the idea.

Same goes for writing. If you take time off, coming back to it may make you feel like a fish out of water. Like you may never write again. You may read past manuscripts and wonder-- did I really write that? I can't do that. Oh, but you can. It may take time, but routine and challenging yourself will get you back into your groove and onto a new adventure.

I'm finally thinking like my old self again, well, almost, but I know it will come back. ;)

So, how was everyone's holiday?

Is your mind cloudy?

Have a great weekend!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Finally finding calm

Whoops. It's been a few weeks but I have good reason. Life took over again, plus let's face it, holiday madness. Anyway, this time of year I tend to reflect and regroup. I over think a lot. My mind, as you know, doesn't stop. For once in this writer journey, I'm at ease. I can't really describe it. I feel like I've found my place and am set to move forward. Part of it may be that my skin has become quite thick (rejection tends to roll off), but I also am ready to challenge myself even more to grow. I'm not in a hurry and I'm not seeking validation, I'm just being. I'm proud how far I've come and am eager to move forward, but in a way that's real. It sounds strange, I know. It's like new wisdom is seeping into me, calming me down and allowing me to open and think about things in a whole new way. Not only in my writing but in everything I do.

It's like I've opened my eyes and realized that where I am is exactly where I'm supposed to be. Weird, I know. The bumps in life are there because we have to learn, grow and gain that experience. Maybe because I'm getting older. I don't know. I also have been watching Sonic Highways on HBO. It's all about the Foo Fighters and making their new album, but Dave Grohl's wisdom is what I've been taking from it. How he's looking at his past and other's and talking about how they came to be. What they went through and how they now realize why. It's interesting.

It's a crazy little thing . . . life. Learning how to not only deal with yourself but with others. What's proper, what isn't, and all along we hope to learn from it and grow, not go backwards.

So that's where I'm at. A peaceful part. A part where I'm working towards something without all that anxiety and competition. I'm not letting doubt eat at me. I'm doing it for me.

Have you found the peace in your journey?

I may be gone again for another couple of weeks, depending on the life part.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday and a fantastic new year! Eat lots of cookies!!


Friday, November 21, 2014

Cover addiction

 

I have to say, I'm addicted to beautiful covers. I know, it sounds shallow, but I have to admit it. I'm drawn to them. It's like my chocolate problem. It doesn't mean I don't read books that don't have a sweeping jacket. It's just an interesting cover catches my attention. Of course, the premise of the story has to fit my liking too. I don't buy them to sit on the shelf and look pretty, they must do their job and live up to what their shell is exposing.

I just finished RUIN AND RISING by Leigh Bardugo (yep, I'm a big fan). The writing is gorgeous as well as the story is interesting. It takes a lot for me to stay with a series. The cover is pretty, but it's not what drew me to the book first. Between reviews and word of mouth that's it's super awesome, I had to dive into the world of the Fold and the Darkling.


I just picked up SNOW LIKE ASHES by Sara Raasch. The cover is what drew me to the book first. Then after I read the premise, the purchase was made. A first person, present tense fantasy--sold.

Snow Like Ashes

(Very pretty.)

Maybe it's the design gene in me to be visual first, but covers are important after the story of course. 
Then again, this whole business is subjective so this is my opinion and I hope I'm not coming off as stuffy. It's just an addiction of mine.

As you can see, I'm reading fantasies. It's not only for pleasure, but research. The book I'm writing now is, well, a fantasy. If you are writing or about to take that first step, don't forget to read, read, read. Know what's out there in the genre you want to be in and how others do it. They are an incredible teaching tool.

What is your favorite cover?

Am I the only one with this problem?

Have a great weekend!!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Pump it up

Well, I'm holding to my promise. I'm slowly getting back into this one day a week. I'm not guaranteeing me commenting  a whole lot yet, but I'll get there.

Last weekend, I went to the SCBWI of Eastern PA Fall Philly. I was only able to make it to one day of the two day event and had a critique with an agent, which was helpful. The one thing that this conference did was get me pumped. I've been up and down with my writing (sometimes to very extreme levels) and this gathering of writers put it all in perspective. I also went to the conference with a more seasoned mind. I'm not new to this so those dream expectations were held at bay. I went to learn, not to be discovered. That sort of mentality can overshadow what the purpose of going is. Not to mention a total downer because I'm not that lucky. Let's just say, I was being realistic.

I enjoyed myself and took in what the speakers had to say. Even though the agent I was paired with didn't represent scifi, she had some great points on why I wasn't getting great responses from agents. In the end, it was a help.

It's always great to hear inspiring stories. Kit Grindstaff won the Crystal Kite Award for her book--THE FLAME IN THE MIST. Kit is a wonderful lady. I was lucky to have the chance to speak with her.
The Flame in the Mist
The other thing I really enjoyed was the Keynote speaker, Regina Brooks of Serendipity Literary Agency. She was a wonderful speaker and her speech included lots of encouragement and inspiration.

My point is this. We writers need to venture out into the world of other writers that we don't know. It's not easy. I get caught up into life, wishes, hopes, dreams, expectations, and stories. But sometimes, especially when we are stuck or down, we need to get out and share. You might find out there are others just like you.

Have you been to any writer events lately?

What inspires you?

Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Dipping my toe in the water.

So I'm trying to get back on a blogging schedule. I might go for once a week. Friday perhaps. I don't know, we'll see. I think I needed a break to find out how to balance things. I'm getting there. I don't thing you fully balance anything. It's a cycle of what you can deal with and how you can change.

As you can see, I'm sprucing up the old blog. This process will be slow, but I'm cleaning it up and getting it back in order. I think holding myself to a post once a week will get some of my practice back in. I feel a little rusty but that's okay. Some say blogging is dead, but I found the motion of blogging something little like a journal entry can't hurt the old writing wheels.

I also slowed down so I could read more. I'm a slow reader just like I'm a slow writer, but I'm beginning to fit it in here and there so I'm confident I'm going to make it work.

Right now, I'm reading RUIN AND RISING by Leigh Bardugo. I like it. This is the last book in Grisha Trilogy. I'm anxious to see how it all ends.

It's a part of a writer's life to read. To me the books are a teacher. I'm always trying to see how the author accomplished what they set out to do and if it worked.

I'll also post about different blogs or sites you can go to that will strengthen your writing. Currently, I have a piece up for critique at Dianne Salerni's and Marcy Hatch's Mainewords blog. It's called First Impressions. Every month they critique the first page of a writer's work. It's extremely helpful. Check it out if you haven't done so already. I think this is the third time I'm participating.

That's it for today.

What are you reading?

What are your favorite ways to strengthen your craft?

Have a great day!