Thursday, August 30, 2012

Good Griedf - Round Fourteen (at least)

Just got back from follow-up for eye surgery. Didn't go very well.

I am spurred on to finish this book. At least I must get Book One of 'Blue' done and in the can. I spent a good few hours after the appointment writing Ch. 37. It's coming along great.

I found out what a bit of my Muse's problem is. If she gets stuck, she quits. Stupid Muse. (Oh! I hope she didn't hear that!)

So I've decided I have to help her. When she stops, I'm gonna yell and say, 'Come on. We've got to finish this.' That should help. If it doesn't, I'll have to resort to violence. Or take away her ice cream.

BTW - I'm pleased with what I've done so far with Ch. 1 of Book Two. 

Life is an adventure.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Running Late

I am running late this morning and that always puts a crimp in the day. I've got a doctor's appointment this afternoon and physical therapy late afternoon. I will be bringing my handy-dandy notebook with me, but I can't guarantee that I'll have time to write.

I printed out Ch. 36 and 37. I'm going to play with them at my local Panera's. Got to have a salad for lunch. Trying to eat healthier. 

I also printed out 'Sorrysorrysorry.' I want to be ready for the critique. Only a couple weeks before that happens at the local SCBWI conference.

Do you have any idea how incredibly exciting it was to start a new folder entitled, Book Two? It just felt so awesome. I had to change the file's name. Created a new 'master' folder entitled, Nothing But Blue Skies. then I created two new folders. One entitled, Book One, and the other entitled, Book Two.

Good grief - that means I really must think up the names for these books. Though I know publishers can and do take over this task. Bummer! Naw. I don't care. They might come up with something better. I just hope they leave the series as 'Nothing But Blue Skies.' It's come to mean so much to me.

Let if go, Sharron, let it go. *g*

Life is good.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Sleep Study

Had a sleep study test last night... hence why I didn't post yesterday. My mind was all aflutter over the test. I was not a happy camper, thinking about it all day. It wasn't too bad. Hardly slept though. *g* The technologist kept waking me up to fix leads and such. *shudders* Finally slept through from 3am to 6am. THEN - she woke me up. Shees! Talk about sleep study. Should be called wake study. Or interrupted sleep study. 

Besides that (I did survive the thing), I wrote the first chapter for the second book of 'Blue.' Honestly. I don't know what came over me, but the Muse screamed that she wanted me to do it, so I did it. 

I think the series should be entitled, 'Nothing But Blue Skies.' That does mean a name change for book one. I don't have time to think of such things at the moment, however. I want to continue writing Ch. 37. And also, I've got to input Ch. 1 of the new book so it's not lost. I wrote it on my handy dandy yellow pad.

Felt really good to begin the new story, too. I know where it's going and had a few more ideas thrown at me by the Muse. 

She is feeling proud of herself.

Life is fun.

Sunday, August 26, 2012


Having folk read my story causes some major problems. One of my readers loves my dialogue. Another my action scenes and another my similes. 

The problem with that is that they want more. More dialogue. Longer action scenes. Similes to die for. 

I can add dialogue. That's not too much of a problem. I like writing it. For years, I thought I could only write descriptive paragraphs. Not so, not so. I do a mean dialogue. But it took awhile to get the hang of it. Now, I close my eyes and see the characters who are speaking. I hear them. Honestly. I hear them. It's great fun.

Longer action scenes. I get a bit embarrassed about my action scenes. I love writing them. I think I get proud of them and then I start thinking I'm too prideful and so I end the scene. Not fair to my characters. Or my story. I'm learning to accept what I can do. I'm learning to really blow up those scenes. 

As for similes (yes, that's the plural of simile - you know me - I looked it up - I had to do research!). Similes are hard. At least they are for me. I don't usually 'see' two different things. I see what I'm writing. Once in a great while, I'll write something and 'see' something wildly different that it represents, but not often.

*Scratches head* Must try to 'see' similes. I know I can do it. 

Life is an adventure.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

You Know It Don't Come Easy

Thankfully, when I put my mind to it, the writing does come easy. 

As I told you a few days ago, I finished Ch. 36 and started on Ch. 37. Fate's a funny thing. What I've written for Ch. 37 belongs with 36. So I am now kind of finished with 36. It's a longer chapter than many before it, but such is life. 

I told you I hate putting my characters to bed in a story without a natural chapter break. Well, that's what has now happened to Ch. 36. The characters are sleeping and the chapter has a natural break. I am satisfied. I now have to cut some stuff from Ch. 36. 

There are times, when I'm reading my chapters, that a phrase or a paragraph or whatever rubs me wrong. It seems well written and carries the story forward, but something doesn't feel right. Usually, if I delete these troublesome passages, it works. That's what is going to happen with Ch. 36. There are a few places where I am uneasy as I read them aloud. I'll cut them and see if that makes the chapter stronger. I have some leeway, now that I have added a scene at the end.

Life is troubling.

PS - Started Ch. 37 -- again!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Frog Goes Motoring

I try to use action words as much as possible. Action verbs are a hoot. I attended a workshop where the speaker handed out a list of action verbs and we wrote a story using them. Odd things like convinced, motored, solved. They really can make a story vibrate with life.

However, they can cause the opposite. Working on 'Blue' last night, I thought I might use motored for the dragon. Then I realized. Even given some leeway to have a brilliant new verb added to the tale, if it didn't fit (I mean really - what dragon can motor!), what good was it.

Anything that will draw my reader from the story is useless. It's well and good to have a great verb, but if it doesn't fit, all my reader will do is sit back and say, 'Hm, unusual place for that verb.' A great verb has been wasted. But worse than that, the reader might even (Heaven forbid it) put down the book in disgust! Yes. That could be an outcome.

Much as I'd like to burn my readers with flaming verbs, I cannot get a dragon to motor. I can have him balance on his toes, if he's a light-footed dragon. I can have her launch into the sky, though that's a bit of a stretch. And I can have him belch fire. 

And that's a fact.

Life motors along.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Twiddling My Thumbs

I hate it when my characters insist on a bit of sleep. Stops the whole story. Of course, I don't let them sleep long. 

Chapter 37 is coming along well. I added a great little action sequence. I do so love action. Then, it was time for them to sleep. My book doesn't have breaks in it in the middle of chapters, just at the end of a chapter. I do so love those little places where other writers put in extra line breaks. Or those little curly thingees to denote a new scene. !*!*! Things like that. 

I don't like to use those. I try to keep the chapter going until there is a natural pause. Then I end the chapter. Neat and quick and definitely not easy. Ah, to just change a thought or a scene with a squiggle. Not my modus operandi, I notice. 

It's like all the little things that I do to try to make the story tight and taut and flowing. As few adverbs as possible, one person POV, no unnecessary words, scenes that are action-packed, or scenes that are lyrical in their beauty. A challenge I have given myself, but I find I like the story better when I do these things.

Life is challenging.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sitting On My Hands

So many things happening. My mind and body urge me to send off "Sorrysorrysorry" but I am going to a conference in a few short weeks and I hope to send it off to a publisher who will be at that conference. They are a sole submission publisher, so I've got to sit on my hands. I am submitting it for a chance for a free critique in front of a group by one of the speakers. I've got my fingers and toes crossed for that. Though there is trepidation, too. Hate to have it torn apart in front of my peers, but such is life. I know it's good. Very good. Just have to bite my tongue and expect only the best.

I had x-rays Monday on my foot. Thought I'd broken it. Thankfully, not, but it's going to take awhile to heal. Planning on going to NZ in the late fall. Changing eating patterns and doing chair-dancing and weight lifting. All in preparation for NZ. Started physical therapy to regain strength in my legs after this year of illness. It wasn't fun. For that matter, neither has the year been fun, but such is life. 

Ah -- one of these days I've got to write a book entitled, "Such Is Life." Mine has been full of that saying -- for about the last twenty years. *snicker*

As for 'Blue,' it's coming along well. I'm starting on Ch. 37 tonight. If my intrepid characters ever make it to the mountain, I'll be one happy camper.

Life is good.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Computer Down

Since early morning Saturday. AT&T came out on Sunday and fixed it. Died again a few hours later. AT&T man came back today. Hopefully, all is well. *crosses fingers*

Went to my writers group's conference. It was pretty good. I'll find my notes and share later, but wanted to let you know I'm still alive. Though I did twist my ankle while walking the grounds of the conference's venue. Drat. X-rays today. Haven't heard the outcome. Used to be - you'd get an x-ray and they'd tell you right off whether or not you had a break. Doc promised he'd call, but it's now the next day and I still don't know. I'll go onto their website and see if the results might be there. I am walking like I was 98. *g*

I'm hoping my writing buddy will call and want to come over tonight. That would be great. I did edit Ch. 36. I'm pretty happy with the chapter.

The critique for the stranger went very well. She seemed very receptive to my suggestions. Another member of the writers group also critiqued her. We had about the same thoughts. This, IMHO, cements the comments. If more than one person agrees with me, then it probably means I (she) should review the thoughts and perhaps make changes.

Looking forward to bed. Foot is sore.

Life is sore. *g*

Friday, August 17, 2012

Editing For A Stranger

Yikes! My little writers group has their yearly conference tomorrow. We decided to add a mini critique session for those bold enough to try it. We got a few entries and those were apportioned out to the group's members to critique.

THIS is hard. When I don't know the person, have no history with them. How do I critique? With broad strokes or lots of red marks? 

I suppose the wisest, caring way to do it is WWIW. What would I want?

I'd like it to be honest. What's the sense of having something critiqued if it's all praise with no substance. On the other hand, I don't want to destroy a person. Nor end up flaunting my own importance/intelligence/ego. 

I wrote a bunch of good stuff at the beginning. And ended with a bunch of good stuff at the end. And wished her the best of luck. In the middle, I offered some suggestions, noting that rules change. That some people feel one way and others another. I tried to give her options to do what she thought necessary.

Thankfully, we won't pass the pages over to the author. We get to meet and explain. That, I hope, will help. The story I was given was quite good. Riveting. Something I would not read in my daily life. It affected me.

Life is experiences.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Lights, Camera, Action

Met with my writing buddy tonight. She shared what she's planning for the next chapter of her own tale. It's fun to 'watch' the creative process through another's eyes.

After that, and a bit of wine and chocolate and laughter, she read my next two chapters, fourteen and fifteen. She was effusive, as always, with her praise. And yet, and I'm glad she's progressing to feeling secure enough to tell me exactly what she thinks needs improvement. Tonight, she spoke of action.

Now, I've always been proud of the action sequences in my writing. I know I do them well. I know they are choreographed before hand. Yet, she says I don't follow through on many of them. And she's correct. She echoes what another reviewer told me.

I think I might get a bit bored after writing an action sequence. Or perhaps I want to forge onward to another part of the story. Whatever the cause, I have been found guilty (and quite agree) that I finish such a scene before it should be finished. 

The sword always triumphs. The bomb explodes. The dragon eats the victim. But the end comes too quickly.

I know exactly what she means. I'm going to go back over the tale and flesh out these portions. 

Ah - I remember that word. I've used it before. Usually, I have to cut stuff. In this instance, I must add. *claps hands in glee* I do so love a good battle.

Life is splendiferus! 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012



I'm very excited. My pitch for 'Blue' was posted today. I got a lot of really great comments. I still have a ways to go on this pitch, but I can see the difficult spots by the comments made. If you'd like to see it, this is the blog it's at.

Otherwise, I've been editing Chapter 36. I hope to write Chapter 37 tomorrow or the next day, as I'm in the zone and ready to send my poor characters off to their doom. No. The book does have a happy ending. Sort of.

Life is an adventure.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Success! One Chapter At A Time

I have done it. I have finished Chapter Thirty-six. My gosh, it feels awesome. I don't have a clue as to why this chapter was so difficult. But it's done and in the can. Yeah! Right! I've got to edit it, but I'll give it a couple days to simmer. LOL  Sometimes, I think writing is a bit like cooking. Putting things into the pot, with a pinch of this and a pinch of that, and then letting it simmer until it tastes just about right.

Writers group was excellent. The critiques I received were very enthusiastic. One of the members said she can't wait til it's complete so she can buy a copy for her fourteen year old son. She said she knows he'll love it. What better compliment? Wow!

There were suggestions for changes, and I'm most grateful. Some of them, I know right away that I'll make. Some I'll have to ruminate upon. Almost every time I receive a critique, I learn from it. It amazes me. And fills me with a sense of security. To know someone has my back. 

I made that old mistake again. Even after 14,000 re-reads, I wrote the wrong name for the character I was writing about. VERY glad one of my friends caught it. 

I also presented my hook. One great suggestion was to take out the word 'abused' - they said it might take agents/publishers thoughts into an area I really don't mean for them to go. 

On Thursday, my writing buddy surprised me by calling. We met with great results. She said something that was really profound. She said that there is power in trimming. She's so right! Even one trimmed word can make a sentence or thought powerful. You know I've spoken of power words before. Now I've got to remember power deleting. *g*

Life is powerful.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Patience Should Be My Middle Name

I was at my daughter's all day today, so I didn't get a chance to do anything on my story. The little one craves my attention as I crave her's. *g*

My Saturday critique group meets today and I am presenting Ch. 30-32. Read them over today and they look pretty good. I didn't get anything done with Ch. 36, but I am more hopeful, at least. I read over Ch. 30 - 35 yesterday and I know where I'm going. 

I had two 5,000+ word MSs to critique for today's meeting, so that took top priority. I could not open one submission and the other came late last night, so I didn't get to critique those two. I wish I could have, but what can I do.

As for 'Blue,' I'm really very happy with it. I'm excited about the critique tomorrow. And very excited about the critique in September. The SCBWI people got my MS yesterday and my checks, so I'm already to go.

I want to get to Ch. 36. I am hoping tomorrow, after the meeting, that I'll be fired up and ready to finish this long-suffering chapter. *g*

Life is struggles.

Thursday, August 9, 2012


I suppose I'm supposed to be learning patience. Never mind. I am keeping positive. That's all there is to it.

Going out for breakfast now and bringing two MSs from my writers' group. They are last month's submissions. I wasn't able to make that meeting. I vowed if I joined a group that I would critique the things sent to me. I didn't receive any for this month. Makes my task easier.

I'm also printing out the last two chapters of Blue. Another vow (which I've given before - drat it all) - finish chapter thirty-six.

I'm off today, so I have the chance. The house is fairly clean. The laundry is done (except for towels) and I have no excuses left. *g*

Didn't meet with my writing buddy this week and that makes me sad. We do have such good times together. Hopefully next week.

Out of town guests will be staying Monday night. They were here last Saturday night and we had a great time watching the Olympics. The wife is a writer and we chatted about writing, but not enough. I'm gonna make her sit down and giggle with me.

I sent off my first twelve pages of 'Blue' for the SCBWI conference. *fingers crossed*

Life is full of giggles.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


I was reading an article about blogging and how I should be giving advise and such. One of the hints was to give advise about publishing.

Well --- I can't. I can't give advise PERIOD. I don't like giving advise. Who am I, I wonder. Even if I were published, I don't think I'd be giving advise. 

Showing(*g* not telling) would be more like it. I share my own experiences. If my readers glean advise or wisdom *g* from anything I've written (or will write) then I am happy. I'd like to think I'm helping other writers as I help myself. I guess it's kind of like talking to myself. 'Ok. You can do it. Yep. This is what you should write next. Whoa. Why are you making the character do that.' Things like that.

As I watch the Olympics and see how the athletes struggle to win, place, or show, and then see the struggle they've had just getting to the Olympics... well, that's what I'm trying to do with this blog. Showing my struggle in the hopes that it will help me to succeed. But also help you.

I'm hoping that my struggles (though not the same as my readers) will at least bear fruit in helping you as we go along on this incredible journey of writing. 

We won't have the same experiences or feelings or whatever, but someday, we'll hold a book in our hands (yes, I'm quite confident) and the book will have my/your name on it.

I can see it now. by Sharron Walsh. Whoo hoo!

Motivators tell people to 'see' their goal. I'm seeing mine. Why don't you try it, too? Can't wait to 'see' your book on the bookshelf.

Life is incredible.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Shaking In My Boots

I'm doing it again. I must be a glutton for punishment.

The North Ohio SCBWI conference is coming up in September. As I posted previously, I signed up for a critique of 'Blue.' 

I've spent the last two days poring over the twelve pages that I'll be sending. Criteria dictates sending only twelve pages, so I've decided not to put in a summary. It's not required. It might be a mistake not to send one, but there you are.

I have heard, and believe it, that a good editor or publisher can tell within the first two or three paragraphs if a story is well written and will bring in readers. Technically, that means all a conference could require is the first page of my story. Yikes! That's daunting.

My twelve pages are done. I just sent them out to my editor for a final review. Tomorrow, I'll ship the two copies via FedEx to the conference people.

Now - my stomach is roiling and I feel sick. Unbelievable. I feel like I'm offering myself up as sacrifice to the gods. Why? I have no clue.

So here I sit, shaking in my boots, and wondering why on earth I would put myself through something like this. And yet, I write for the fun of the story and for the fun of sharing it with others. This is the only way I can share it - by having it published, either traditionally or via the Internet. Whichever way, it's got to be done if I am to plunge forward and continue to grow.

Life is exhausting. 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Be Myself

I finally have caught up with all the Olympic tapings I'd done. Time for a  breather and a moment here. I truly do not mean to leave my dear followers in the lurch, but the Olympics occur only once every four years.  I love every event. I found some sports I'd never heard of. Rules have changed on other sports. Life is so incredibly interesting in the world of sport and human behavior and tenacity and *happy sigh*

I do want to share this with you. It's not sports related. I wrote a story and received this comment from a reader.  "What a story. This is brilliant, and unfortunately puts most of my efforts far to shame on characterization."

I remember having the same feelings when I first started writing. It seemed, at the time, that everything I wrote could not hold a candle to the books and stories I was reading. 

Thankfully, a friend told me that I had to be myself. I bless the day. 

Life would be horribly boring if we all felt, said, thought the same thing. The same is true with writing. Horrible boringness would exude from pages. Not a pretty sight.

I write in the style my Muse tells me to. She knows what she's doing. I can accept that style and even blush in a bit of humble pride as a chapter is completed and rings true and good and fun and suspenseful and wondrous.

My editor called the other night and we discussed the new portion to chapter 32. She liked it buts wants to see the whole thing. I'm sending it tonight. 

I've got to really word on my MS in the next two days. It must be at the critiquer's by the tenth if I'm going to receive a critique at the SCBWI conference. Thankfully, it's only twelve pages and I've written those again and again and again. I think they are finished. *yeah* *sure*

Life is wondrous. 

PS - I will try not to leave you again for such an extended period.