Sunday, November 6, 2011


          Why am I having such a hard time finding the time, energy and motivation to write anything these days? I wrote my first rough draft while raising 5 kids and working two jobs. I am still raising those 5 kids but only working a part-time job now. So, why is it that I can't fit in a few hours a week to write? Fighting with health issues and keeping up with the kids and such is only part of it. I need to get excited about a story again. I have several ideas jotted down, partially outlined, and even started but I can't seem to get in to any of them.
 I put them aside and brainstorm a new idea? Pick one and just get going on it and hope my enthusiasm kicks in? Sigh...I guess it's time to hide away somewhere and get busy. I know I can make the time to do it, it's just wanting to. Go away dark cloud hanging over my head. :/

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Eenie Meenie

          I haven't accomplished much by way of writing or revising this month. I need to get motivated for Nano wrimo. I have the story in my head, so I'm set there. My problem now is that I've come up with a new idea for a revision on a current novel. It will involve re-writing several chapters. I tackle both? Work on the revise until Nov. then take a break? Hold off on the revise? Decisions, decisions.
          Then there's the middle-grade book I need to get going on. It's going to involve some mathematical figuring before I can work on it. It might have to wait until next year.
          This month has been crazy busy and next month will be worse. Time to break out the creative techniques and notebooks. A laptop would solve that problem. I wonder if Santa will surprise me this year.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Shuddering at just the thought

          I had plans to attend an author panel and book signing with my oldest daughter last night. Her day was changed when her friend returned home from South Korea after being gone for several months. Instead, I took my eleven-year-old. I wasn't sure how she would like it, but she had fun...except for standing in lines. She didn't complain, though.
          As I listened to them answer questions I couldn't help but think how terrified I would be to do that. I've suffered from a social anxiety disorder my entire life (selective mutism) and public speaking is at the top of my list of fears. I have become comfortable with having my writing read and critiqued (the first few times were pretty nerve-racking), but the fear of having all focus on me and my mind going blank is horrifying.
          Hats off to Becca Fitzpatrick, Michelle Hodkin, Elana Johnson and Moira Young. They were awesome!

Friday, October 7, 2011

What motivates you to write?

          In my case, what motivated me to begin writing was a couple of friends persuasive attitudes. I was busy at the time, working two part-time jobs and being a mom. Looking back, I don't know when I fit in time to get much writing done and wonder why now, being less busy, I find it hard to do nearly as much. Maybe I'm just getting old. ;-)
          Hoping to get published, of course, is great motivation. For me, writing is also a great escape. After parenting 3 hormonal teenage girls and a pre-teen daughter, along with a son with ADD...a fictional world of my choosing is a fun place to visit. Maybe it's my way of getting to be in complete control. I dunno.
          Trying to keep up with a critique group is motivational, too. In fact, I need to decide which book to focus my attention on next or I won't be sharing anything after a couple more weeks. Hmmm...eenie meenie...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Best thing I've done

          How many times do you revise your manuscript? How many readers do you have go through it? At what point do you decide it's ready and move on to querying?
          If you decide to self-publish, do you put as much work into it? Do you still have it critiqued by multiple people who know what they're doing? I think it's way more important to do those things when choosing this route.
          Have you ever ran across a self-published book and wished you could help re-write it?
          That is what critique groups help prevent.
          If you aren't a member of one-find one to join or start your own. You not only get wonderful suggestions for perfecting your manuscript, but get to enjoy reading others. (Even if they sometimes make you feel inferior because they're so amazing. ;-) )
          Workshops and seminars are wonderful, but joining a critique group was the best thing I've done for my writing. My critique friends are awesome!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Doing things the hard way

          After critique group last Friday, I had planned on blogging about the importance of getting into all of your characters heads; not just the main ones.
          I am grateful for an awesome critique member who caught a big OOPS! in my writing, because I wasn't fully into that characters head when I wrote it. Lesson learned.
          So, now that I've touched on that, I want to write about something else.
          Sitting on one of the many full bookshelves in my home are three thick binders. Inside these binders are lovingly typed out history pages that my eighty-nine-year-old grandma made for each of her grandchildren.
          Many relatives offered to teach her to use a computer. They told her that it would be quicker and easier. She refused, wanting to use the old typewriter we had played with as kids. (I remember having contests with my brother to see who could get the most keys stuck sticking up). This is one of those typewriters with the carriage that moves as you type and then has to be manually returned. No cut and paste. No delete. Mistakes were covered with white-out, then re-typed. Tappity-tap-tap-ching!
          How easy we have it now.
          I was at my grandma's house today and asked her if she still uses that old typewriter. She responded that she does occasionally, but needs to be careful because she doesn't know if she can get new ribbon for it.
         I doubt any of us will convince her to switch to a computer. But, those books are even more special to us because of the extra effort it took her to complete them.
          The next time you're dreading glad that you aren't doing it on an ancient typewriter with a bottle of white-out. :)

Friday, September 30, 2011

Pizza toppings and missing restrooms

          I had the thought the other day about books compared to pizza. I've been reading a book, by an author I usually love, but it is too detailed for me. It's like a piece of pizza with everything, including anchovies, and I want to get rid of those anchovies. I love a good slice of pizza and, even more, a good book. Sometimes, though, a slice of plain cheese pizza is between those slices with everything (except the anchovies).
          On another topic, last night I had a dream where I was in a massive, never-ending building. It included everything from a chapel to a gymnasium to a dentist's office. The only thing it didn't have was restrooms...and that's what I needed. Another comparison popped into my mind. How many times have I had a story in my head, filled with cool locations and characters, but missing an important element... maybe a decent plot or a thought out ending. How many times did I just drop the idea, rather than putting some effort into working it out. (Like as much effort as I put into trying to locate a restroom in my dream--which I almost succeeded at, but then woke up).
          Sometimes it's worth the extra effort to put more time and thought into an idea. When you've already got the crust, sauce and cheese, it's time for some creativity to finish off those toppings. What started out as a twinkling of an idea might become your favorite story.