Wednesday, May 30, 2012

My Place

So it may be the head cold that has put pressure on my brain or the whole mass chaos of life and querying, but I've been thinking about my place. No, I'm not talking about the song, In My Place by Coldplay, although, that's playing in my head as I write this. I'm talking about my place in this whole writing world. It is a mystery to me. On one hand, I feel like I'm fitting in, getting there, and being respected. Can I write and am I good? Is a constant question. The fact is--I don't know. I feel like people are honest, but then I feel like they are holding back because I'm that bad. It's a constant battle in my head. I feel like I'm losing friends for reasons I don't know--did I say something wrong? I feel lost sometimes like I'm the little kid who's trying to be bigger.

I know what I want and I know what it takes to get there. I know I'm working hard and pushing myself. There are days I want to cut myself off from the world, but be in touch. I think we all go through this crisis. It's like I'm in limbo or treading water in the deepest part of the pool.  I know enough to write a novel, I'm just not might not be good enough to get there . . . yet.  I know that you need to be determined and keep going no matter how many rejections beat you down. So why do I feel like I'm on the outside? Do I put myself there? Maybe. It can be all in your mindset. I know I need to be proud of the work that I've done to this point and that I can only keep learning to make it even better. There are days I feel invisible and my inner writer is yelling that I can and to just do. It gets to the point of numbness in the brain where taking a break doesn't cure it.

I take deep breaths and think. Let the stories come to me and write them, revise them, and make them better. This is what I wanted and I have to take the good with the bad and not care about place. I have to care about me and where I want to go.

As for goals: I'm planning them loosely. I did hit 13,000 words on my new project. I'm pantsing/loose outlining it, so many, many, many revisions are in order. These characters minds are out of control. I hope to write more this week. With the kids off, and work, not much is getting done.

What are your goals this week?

How was your weekend?

On Friday, a piece of my new stuff will be ripped apart critiqued on Dianne Salerni's blog and Marcy Hatch's blog. These gals are super sweet so I know they will be nice, and honest, but I always get scared when I put something out there.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Little moments

Life can fly by in an instant. I hear this a lot, and sometimes, don't believe it, but I look at my kids and look back on my life and think, it really does. Little moments are points in our life we must treasure. A simple hug, or a smile can be remembered for years to come. With all the tragedy in the world and life's daily chaos, simple loving gestures get you through, and can mean more in your life than you may never had expected.

With that, go and enjoy your life today. Share a little moment with someone you care about or love, even if it's just a hug or a smile.

Do you treasure little moments?

Have a great day!

Monday, May 21, 2012


Lately, I've been trying to think what I could compare my WiPs too. I've heard these questions: "What was your influence?", "What books would you compare this too?" Honestly, I don't know. I know the genre, and sure, there may be a tinge of something else that is already out there, but I can't come up with an answer for my WIPs. I know some agents like that in the query, and I'm not sure what I would write.

I also wonder what authors think when they see their work influences other books. Flattered? Upset? I think I would be flattered if my work was already published. What if their work influenced another author but that author got published first? I guess the question is how close is the influence? I'm not talking plagiarism, just little bits and pieces of some of their work in  another authors story. Now, of course the story can be totally different, but what if the MC all of sudden takes on the same characteristics as the other authors MC. Should the author be angry? Throw up their hands and say forget it, losing all interest in their own story because of one little similarity. Sure it may be jarring, but I think the one author should put their nose to the grind and write one kick ass story. The worry should be minimal, because the worry eats the creativity that would push the story further.

What are your thoughts?

I think we are influenced by many things and it shows in our work, even other authors' work. Every author has their own voice and even though their character characteristics may be similar the story itself can be written entirely different. Even the same story and same characters will be written differently by different people. Think about all the takes on Snow White nowadays. So, write on my friends and be true to yourself.

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Oh the crush. Remember in high school, that one particular person you kept dreaming about--you couldn't get them out of your mind. Yeah, those days. The thing about a crush is whoever it is they make an impression that's keeps you thinking about them. I've been thinking about this in relation to books. I'm not talking about those books that you would read over and over till your eyes bleed because the MC and story and writing were just that awesome. I'm talking about secondary characters, you know, those characters who make you crush on them (Patch (Hush, Hush) and Jay (The Body Finder) come to mind).

The thing is most books give me the whole package: great story, character arc, written well, voice, but some stories, especially second and third books in a series, tend to lose a little. Now, I'm not saying it's easy to write this so I'm not judging because I'm sure my stuff is probably not up to par, but I will read a second or third book just for a secondary character. I'm totally guilty of this. I find myself skipping parts just to find their name and read their scene.

Why does this happen?

Maybe it's a simple fantasy. Someone we might be attracted to in real life. Who knows. The author writes them with such precision, but doesn't keep the interest up with the main character, so we want to know more about the secondary character than the MC. Most of the time, I begin to find the main character boring and whiny and the "love" interest is more appealing. We also may not know what is going through the secondary character's head since we are seeing them through the MC's eyes, but hey, it's satisfying something.

My question to you fine folks is: Are you guilty of this?
Don't be shy, admit it.

Check out a new blog Writerly Rejects. Looks like it will be fun and informative. They're also having a giveaway so check it out.

Have a great day!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Put your heart in it.

The one thing I've realized this week is you have to have your heart in it. I love writing, but if my heart doesn't feel it, it shows (I know you can tell in some of my blog posts). You can see the difference. The new manuscript I'm working on has gotten me excited that I can move on and work on something else. This is something I've know before, but this one's different. The problem I'm having is I know where I want to go I just don't "see" it. When I say "see" it, I mean visualize in my head. I see things like movies, snippits of a scene that play over and over in my head. Sometimes they are so real that I begin to think they are signs from someone else's life, someone possibly who isn't living anymore, but I'm not going there.

Like I said, when I don't feel it it shows and it's scary. I know the feeling will pass because I've been through this before. My current MS had me super excited at first. It was rolling along. I had a loose outline, so I knew where things were going. Then I hit a bump. I worked through the snag, but writing is becoming a little awkward. I think maybe because it's a first draft (I've haven't written one in a year). I feel like some scenes are getting all the info down while others are just dialogue, looking like a skeleton. I think I'm trying to get it all in when I know I have rounds of revisions to do after. So, the answer is to keep moving and finding inspiration where ever I can. The other strange thing about this one is music. Usually, a song is to blame for a story to spark and with this one, nada, nothing. I'm almost dying to find music to match it to help me "see" it.

It's funny because when I wrote my first novel, I knew nothing--no rules, no crits, in a way, no pressure. I'm trying to find that again. To write it like I know nothing, getting the story out and then revise it with the critical eye. Getting back to innocence.

I know the common answer would be take a break, and yes, it does help, but I feel lost without writing anything or working on a project to get it to the next step. I try to give myself a deadline that way I can produce something.

How do you get your heart back in it?

I hope all you moms had a wonderful Mother's Day!!

Have a great day!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Fun Facts Friday

1. I'm already dreading the summer. Yes, I like summer. Okay, I actually love it, but the problem is my schedule will change. The kids will be home all day and that means I will have less writing time than I do now. I love my kids, so don't think I don't, but I've come to enjoy the three days a week that I have two hours of just me. I can do whatever and I usually sit and write. Now I have to squeeze and figure out other ways to fit this in. I know it will, but it will come with a little frustration first.

2. I've realized that no matter how many trends and rules you read about you need to write for you. Everything I've read this week (blog posts and a few articles) have contradicted each other. One writes about which character flaws may be annoying to your reader while another one stated which ones might help your character, and guess what, they were the same ones. So really it comes down to interpretation. What do you love and write it. There are certain rules that are consistent, especially with the technical aspect and the story/character arc, but let's be real, most of the time it comes down to the whole subjective thing.

3. The lovely Carolina and many other of the finest people out there (check the link for the people who are participating) are doing The Kindness Project every 2nd Wednesday of the month. It's wonderful.

4. I plan on doing a post about "the love interest" or "strong secondary characters." It's basically books you read for a character other than the main. For example, Patch from Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick. As much as I like Nora, I have to admit, I read the books for Patch. Another example is Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting. Violet's ability is cool, but I keep reading for Jay.

Are there any books that you've read for the secondary character?

Any weekend plans?

That's it this week. Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Don't be late for class.

So, I'm looking to attend more workshops or classes over the summer. The problem is I don't know where to start. I saw one locally, but I know I can only attend 1/2 of the classes due to vacations and kids' obligations. I did take a class online over the winter. It was good, but didn't quite live up to what I was expecting.
So, I'm searching again--for something to make me stronger.

I know WriteOn Con is coming. I will be checking that out.
Does anyone have any suggestions? I know many of you are not local, but maybe something online that you may have taken or heard of.

Thanks and have a great day!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Doin' Time

No, I'm not in prison. Well, sometimes I feel like I'm in some sort of prison, but I'm just referring to something that I've been thinking a lot about. Time.

A wise gal told me, "You have to do your time."

Smart words, and ones I think about everyday. Things come to us in time whether we like it or not. We have to practice, and strengthen what it is that we want to achieve. In writing, for me, it means to write everyday even if it has nothing to do with any of my WiPs. No one gains knowledge of what they are passionate about without putting their time in. No matter if they have talent or not. Sure some people get lucky, but at some point they must do their time. What they are famous for may not be their best work, they have to make a decision to make the next piece even better or just settle. It's all what you want and how much you want it. I look to some of my favorite bands who still perform and produce new music. I think of how they sounded when they started and what they sound like now (I'm talking 20 years later). Big changes.

Think about it, how long has it taken for you to become you? And most likely, you're still figuring you out.

I even look back on my career as an interior designer and realize how long it took me to get to where I am and how I could improve. It takes time. So that's what I'm doing with my writing--doin' time. Sure, my impatience is like a flea that just ate a Pixie Stick, but I know I must keep going and learn to get to where I want to be.

Sure, circumstances will pop up and they may slow us down, but if you want something and you keep working at it, you will put in your time, and your reward will come.

Are you doing your time?

How was your weekend?

Have a great day!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Friday Find

So instead of Fun Facts today, I'm doing something new. Don't worry, I'll still do Fun Facts, but I thought I would mix it up. Friday Find is something I've found that I want to share. It could be a website, book . . . anything. Today, I have a book.
Title: Fair Coin
Author: E.C. Myers
Publisher: PYR
Pages: 285

Sixteen-year-old Ephraim Scott is horrified when he comes home from school and finds his mother unconscious at the kitchen table, clutching a bottle of pills. The reason for her suicide attempt is even more disturbing: she thought she’d identified Ephraim’s body at the hospital that day.
Among his dead double’s belongings, Ephraim finds a strange coin—a coin that grants wishes when he flips it. With a flick of his thumb, he can turn his alcoholic mother into a model parent and catch the eye of the girl he’s liked since second grade. But the coin doesn’t always change things for the better. And a bad flip can destroy other people’s lives as easily as it rebuilds his own.
The coin could give Ephraim everything he’s ever wanted—if he learns to control its power before his luck runs out.

My thoughts:
I got to meet Eugene at a book signing event. He is super nice and I thought his book sounded interesting. He was also giving away chocolate coins as a promo, and by no means has that influenced my interest in the book. :) Anyway, I really enjoyed this book. It's a refreshing story from a male POV in 3rd person. You know me and 3rd person, we are not the best of friends, but in FAIR COIN it didn't bother me at all. The story twists and turns and keeps you guessing. Plus, the whole idea of the coin and what it does is brilliant. So, yes, I liked it and would recommend checking it out.

E. C. Myers homepage

Where to buy it:

Barnes and Noble

Indie bookstores

What have you found this week that made you smile or surprised you?

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope. Insecure Writer's Support Group

You know the line. Right now, I think Obi-Wan is the only one who can help me with that whole force thing. He did help me with my new idea this week so I can't complain too much.

Hope is something we rely on. I hope. Okay, I hope a lot. I hope for world peace and for all illnesses to disappear. I also hope for little things like a partial request.

Does hope disappoint?
I guess it does, but maybe I don't give it a chance or maybe I sometimes rely on it, which only lets me down.

What is hope?
According the Merriam Webster -- to cherish a desire with anticipation.
Basically, you can hope for anything, doesn't mean it will happen.

Is it wrong to hope?
No, but like I said before, I'm trying not to rely on it. Same goes for beliefs, lately they have given me lots of disappointments.

I guess my problem this week is I know the MS I'm querying will not get me there. I feel it. So why am I putting myself through the torture? For experience? Maybe. To say I tried it. I really believed in this story, but that hope and belief are fading. I'm realizing unless luck decides to join in, this story is just another story that's uninteresting.

So, what do you do?
In my case, I'm trying to go with the flow. I'm trying to focus on my new stuff and my other completed MS (and the six other ideas invading my head). Thanks to the force of Obi-Wan, my new idea is taking over, which feels great.

I will still query this one, because, for some reason, there is a teeny tiny spark of hope that luck may step in. But my belief is that it's not the one. Confusing and conflicted, I know. Welcome to my world. But aren't writers complex folks?

What are you hoping for?

Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for putting this group together. Please go here to check out all the participants.

Have a great day!