Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Spent the day at the hospital, but thankfully, when I returned home, the power was on.

Hope everyone is well and that those harmed by Sandy are on their way to recovery.

Halloween was postponed here. Sad.

Life is ups and downs.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

# 15 Sandy's Lessons

One thing I've learned is that I should use all the things that happen to me on a daily basis as building blocks for my writing.

We're in the midst of the outer rim of Sandy. Way off west of New York. The storm hit us last night with horrid winds and constant rain. The wind knocked out the power to everyone that lives anywhere near me. So last night was spent with candlelight and blankets. It's cold. The water heater is empty and I need a shower.

I'm filing all the inconveniences in the back of my mind. Remembering how it feels to not have enough light to read. Or sitting as close to the candles as I can without catching my hair on fire.

Going to a public place to take a shower. Slightly degrading feeling. But very glad the local rec center has showers.

Watching the wind whip the trees and scatter the leaves about. Seeing the waves crashing. Lake Erie is known for its towering waves. Being as shallow as it is, the waves build quickly into dangerous, life-threatening beings. They closed some lanes of the highway that runs next to it, near our downtown. Before my electricity went out, I was glued to the tv, watching the waves break over the breakwall.

New experiences. I know I'll be able to use them. Very glad that life nor limb has been threatened by this mess.

Life is messy.

Monday, October 29, 2012

# 14 Trust

I found this tremendous book review at Wordswimmer's blog. The author reviewed a medical book and looked at it for tips on how to be a better writer. This is a novel idea, in my mind's eye. I would never have thought to look at a book on medicine for writing tips. Yet, it works. Beautifully.

"...writing, unlike medicine, isn't a life or death struggle (for most of us, anyway). If you misplace a comma, or describe a character differently in two different scenes, no one is physically hurt or injured... Yet, I think something is broken, even if it's simply the reader's trust in the writer to get things rights."

Since the day I picked up pen with the idea that I might write something, I have always had the urge to keep it right. To make sure that whatever I wrote was truthful, or based on truth, and researched. You've heard me say it over and over again. I believe research is of such paramount worth when writing. 

That little phrase above says it all, for me; finally, in one succinct statement. I have had this sixth sense that I have a duty to my readers to get it right. This sentence confirms it for me. 

I'm sure you've probably had some of the same experiences I've had when reading a book. The story is going along at a great clip, I'm enjoying the characters and the plot, and, without warning, the author writes that it takes the ship an hour to cross a sea that I KNOW takes at least twelve hours to cross. 

When this happens, I sometimes close the book. Put it away. Give it to the local library. The author has lost my trust. How can I believe the rest of the book? I'm speaking of a fiction book. If I ever saw something like this in a non-fiction book, I'd be tempted to write a letter of protest to the publisher.

This goes forward, too. I've said it before, but I think it bears reiteration. Trust must be across the board. Trust must grow as soon as I open my word processor, put pen to my yellow legal pad, or even as I lie in bed thinking about how to start the story that is rushing through my brain. In order to build trust, I must...

1. Trust myself.
2. Trust my Muse.
3. Trust my characters, plot, and venue.
4. Trust my editor.
5. Trust my agent. 
6. Trust my publisher.
7. Trust my readers.

That trust must begin from day one. With the story, with the cover letter, with the contract. I can't begin to stress the importance of trust. I build it. I build it daily. I am covered with it. I breathe it.

Life is trust.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Consistency (smiles)

My dear friends,

I know the last # I shared with you was consistency, but I've had a major problem. Too much writing.

*does happy dance around computer*

I've written five chapters in ten days!!! Good grief, I've been so excited, that I finally crashed on Saturday. I could hardly think never mind write. I finally pulled myself from the fog surrounding my brain and updated the timeline/synopsis for 'Blue.' Keeping track of this has been dizzying.

I find this fact interesting, for my very first book ever was a half a million word epic tale with about twenty characters who had major dealings with the main character. The venues were all over the place, and the plot twists kept me awake at night.

Yet, I didn't have as much trouble keeping track of that one, I think, as with 'Blue.' 

These last chapters are all part of the climax and the winding down of the tale, the bringing together of all the myriad pieces/parts that comprise the story, all the while keeping the ending from being a let down - both for me and my readers.

I'm exhausted. I'm praying tomorrow I'll be able to write Ch. 45. I think I only have about five chapters left, but I've got company coming for a Halloween party and I haven't done much in the way of cleaning yet. Though I will use moving living room furniture all over the place on Friday as an excuse for having no energy whatsoever for Saturday.

Life is exhausting.

Q. What kind of mail does a superstar vampire get? 
A. Fang mail.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

#13 Consistency

Consistency - agreement or harmony of all parts of a complex thing among themselves, or of the same thing with itself at different times. Wow! Doesn't this definition say it all for writing?

Today, as often happens, I discovered a small inconsistency in 'Blue.' I think I spend a good deal of my time laughing at myself. If I didn't laugh, I think I'd be hitting myself over the head with a hammer. 

I finished a bunch of chapters, just as I had thought, but when I put them down in the 'Progress' column, I noted that I hadn't finished as many as I had thought. Well - I really had. I just put the numbers of the chapters incorrectly. I had two Ch. 42's and two Ch. 43's as their titles. Needless to say, I've corrected that in the MS and in the Progress column.

And - I am about jumping for joy, for it means I'm further along than I thought. I wrote a little more than half of Ch. 44 today. It looks pretty good, but I'm starting to get a bit shell-shocked at the pace.

I think I'll have to put up a post-it note (yup, I've started doing that) with exactly what chapter I'm on. As well as all the other things. Because this is a magic-induced universe, I find I have to constantly go to my notes pages to find out exactly what color pine trees are. Orange, BTW. So a post-it note is on my right with the colors of the things that are not 'our' colors.' It is saving so much time.

I finished a spreadsheet with the numerology characteristics of my friends in 'Blue.' It's complicated because there are four numbers (and this is only a short look into numerology) for each of the characters. But it has been worth it. 

You might think I would know my characters. And I really do. But this 'naming' has opened up my eyes to deeper characteristics, both positive and negative, and should truly make the characters even more alive. 

Life is joy.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Brief Interlude

Spent the evening with my writing buddy laughing over numerology. She was most impressed that I took a real world concept and used it to flesh out my characters. She read aloud the description for Kathleen (my main character) and commented on the depth the numerologic study gives to her. (see post #12 - Names.)

I'm excited about it, too. Besides the strong points of the character, it also portends of her weaknesses, and that is a very good thing. I'll write about weakness in another post, but a character cannot be St. George the Dragonslayer and be a good read. There must be a weakness, a frailty, for people to relate.

I'm feeling bereft at the moment - I'm not sure when I'll get another chance to write 'Blue.' Chapter 43 has nothing on the page. Shees! I know what the chapters about. Just have to sit down and write it. I have set a goal of ending the book by November 15h. God willing and the creek don't rise. So I've got to crack the whip on this tale and not let anything (fear, writer's block, the real world) keep me from it.

Once again, I can't tell you how wonderful having a writing buddy can be. Though she spent most of last evening telling me how grateful she was that I was teaching her so much about writing, I could only respond with my gratitude for helping me return to the fervor of the faith of my youth. A truly symbiotic relationship.

Life is laughter. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

#12 Names

Figuring out names for characters can be such a drag or a lot of fun, depending upon what tools you use. . I've changed the names twice in 'Blue.' All the names. *g* I've also changed the names of the lands these characters live in. I'm very comfortable with them now. 

I like to use baby name sites to help me pick names for my characters. These sites are usually set up as male/female, origin, meaning, and timeliness. I had to giggle at this site:  They posted a tips page for authors. Somebody's been telling my secrets. Here's the home page:

This site drives me mad because of the loud commercials, but I found I can pause the nasty little suckers. I like the site because it's easy to use. Six drop-down fields at the top and color-coded, too. Since I write fantasy, I like to find names that are unusual and this site helps a lot. 

One of the problems with names is making sure it is appropriate for the time I am writing for. If the book is in the future, I've not got too much of a problem, but if it's set in the past, then I've got to make sure the name is not a 'modern' name. This can be tricky. But the baby name sites can really help.

Another site I found recently helps with character development, once I've decided upon a name, or if I'm brilliant (which I am not), before I decide upon a name. I can use numerology to discover the traits for that name. This is a fun and easy site.

I discovered, when I used this website's tool, that three characters' names in 'Blue,' all had, according to numerology, similar characteristics, destinies, soul urges, and dream numbers. Not exactly what I had wanted. I am not going to change the names again, heaven forbid, but I am going to make the characters who are opposite of these three more dynamic and a bit more substantial. I'm looking forward, once I get into the 'real' editing phase, to focusing on the dynamics more for each character. Should be fun to see Kathleen and Kaspar and Flynn grow even more.

I got this idea when I was watching an episode of Dr. Oz. He had a numerologist on. When I used a tool numerologists use, I found my number pretty much described me. So - needless to say - I used Kathleen's name. That was exciting. Then I used Kaspar's and Flynn's. Great stuff.

Life is name changing. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

# 11 Cut And Paste

Watched CBS Sunday Morning. Insane story about plagiarism. In this day and age, with whistle-blowing software available, I was stunned to see blatant stealing of whole passages, not just sentences, stolen and used in a book which subsequently was published. These fake authors are now scarred for life. Who will believe that anything they write is their's? 

The ONLY thing I should cut and paste is my own writing. Everything else is stealing. These things come back and bite you. Truly. I've seen it over and over again. The one adage in my life is 'Do not lie.' Stealing is a rotten, smelly offshoot of lying. 

Be ethical. The same is true for sending out manuscripts to agents and publishers. I will not fudge my credentials. I will not lie on my cover letter. I will not even hint at anything that is a shaded lie, a half-truth.

On a lighter note, and filled with such joy I can hardly type, I finished Chapter Forty-two. Holy crumbs! So close to being done. And this chapter took a great turn, which I didn't expect, AND used something I had written of in a chapter many chapters before. *contented sigh* Goose bumps on my arms, dear friends!

Life is awesome.

PS - I seem to be getting better, too. Got on some more natural stuff and dropped one of my meds. Hoping to drop another one soon. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

# 10 Balance

I'm going to try to explain this, but I'm feeling inadequate. 

When I searched balance and writing, I discovered the topic mostly goes towards how to balance life so that I can write. I'm going to put only three links here, because I want to keep this a balanced post. *g* If I paste more links, then my balance is out the door. And so is yours, dear reader. So here they are. I'll continue what I am finding for myself below the links.  (I opened this one cause I once wrote a short story about an eagle and its eyre - how could I pass this up?)  (I opened this because a lot of what is on WritersDigest is pretty good)
With National Novel Writing Month coming up, I think a lot of writers are trying to figure out how to balance their lives to accommodate this dedicated event.

Enough of the links and such. Let me begin with something that happened awhile back. I had friends who were totally religious. Good women. Dedicated to their families and their community. When they could. That was and is the crux of the matter. They prayed all the time. I came to realize they were obsessed (and fearful) and so they prayed to get through life. It worked for them.

The same is true with ice cream. I used to eat a lot of it. I became obsessed and fearful that if I didn't eat it, I wouldn't be happy, successful, whatever excuse I needed to keep eating ice cream.

I have since found that I pray when the spirit moves me. I feel the presence of the One or the Higher Power and I respond. Then - I do what the day calls for. I used to feel guilty that I wasn't praying more, or working more, or writing more, or whatever.

I've come to this conclusion. For me. If my spirit calls me to do something, I'll do it. Without regrets. Without becoming totally obsessed by the task. 

I've discovered that balance doesn't mean that 1/4 of my day is spent doing this, and another 1/4 is spent doing that, and another quarter - you get the drift. Balance means whatever is needed for today. If it's 100% writing, then that's the balance that day calls for. If it's playing with the little one, then that's what that moment calls for. 

It is so freeing. To not worry about whether my day is balanced according to the gurus. To be free to listen to my inner self and do what that self needs to do. 

Life is balance.

PS - Ch. 42 (Blue) is almost complete. Will work on it tomorrow, if the spirit so moves. Oh, I do so hope the spirit moves because these last few days have been so invigorating. And yet, I'll listen to that inner spirit, that Higher Power, and be balanced in the way I need to be for the moment, the hour, the day. Not the balance that this world would demand of me. Laden with guilt and exhaustion, but the balance that brings joy.

PSS - I realize after writing this that it corresponds with Ruiz's The Four Agreemeents #4 - Always Do Your Best. Incredible chapter. Sorry - I had to put the link!!!

Friday, October 19, 2012


I'm sorry - there will be no # 10 today. I'm engrossed in 'Blue.' Incredibly (I can hardly believe it myself), I have finished Ch. 41. I've been working on it all morning and the ideas kept coming. I think the Muse must like October. 

I'm going to spend the afternoon baking (school event tomorrow requires dessert - pumpkin brownies).I hate to stop writing, but the little one has to come first.

I am sooo excited. Forgive me. 

God willing and the creek don't rise - I'll finish off Ch. 42 and 43 this week-end. Then onto the very last chapters and I'm done. Good grief. Should I say such a thing? Is that asking for lightening to strike? Hope not.

I'm also looking at signs. I've been getting a lot of blog updates from folks who are talking about the publishing process. Whoo hoo! I'll link them here in the next few weeks.

Life is incredible

Thursday, October 18, 2012

# 9 Imitation

So --- I get this critique of 'Blue.' The person writes that it is a good example of the Cinderella fairy tale. I'm stumped. It's not that at all. But as I read his comments, I realize what he's saying - that it imitates some of the 'pieces' of the fairy tale. 

One of the things I've made a point not to do is read tales that are anything at all like what I'm writing at the moment. This goes against the advise of 'those' experts we're always told about. In looking at things like this, I fear that I will take some part of another's story and use it, subconsciously. I don't want that to happen. What's the fun of writing something if you're mirroring someone else's story? Where is the joy of sub-creation? 

Sometimes I wonder if this fear is because I lack confidence in my own writing. It could be. I've started to read other peoples' works and have discovered that reading their stuff does help me. First, not very humbly, I see my story with renewed joy. I find that my story seems better to me. (I told you - not very humble at the moment). And yet, I wonder if this is a necessary part of being a writer. To be secure in my own writing ability. To see what I wrote as good. To feel confident in my writing style, my characters, and my plot. I like to think so.

Now - to get back to imitation. I discovered that some teachers promote the theory that having children read and then imitate the masters makes them better writers. Gives them a basis, a foundation, to build upon. It sounds like a pretty valid theory to me. Here's some websites of proponents of this teaching method.

To get back to 'Blue' - for all things must return to the reason for researching such things - I was watching a Doctor Who Christmas special tonight. I know, it's October, but that's when the station showed this repeat of the Charles Dickens' 'Christmas Carol.' I suppose if it's good enough for Doctor Who, it should be good enough for me. 

I will accept the critiquer's thoughts that 'Blue' is a remake of Cinderella. But I will accept it with pride, adhering to the adage: Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I am now flattered by such an insinuation. However... I'll be VERY careful to keep 'Blue' my own; I'll make sure it doesn't not copy Cinderella (or any other fairy tale for that matter); and I'll be pleased as punch that 'Blue' reminds someone of a great and enduring fairy tale. May 'Blue' turn out to be the same - great and enduring.

Life is pleasant.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

# 8 Signs

Driving down the street during an election year (and when isn’t it an election year), I found a self-evident truth.  WAIT – this is not about politics, honest!

Most tree lawns have one or two signs. Some have six or seven. Those signs are the ones I’m talking about. If I look at the main sign (say the presidential race), I get the idea of what the lawn owner believes in. Now – that means that the rest of the people whose signs litter that lawn have about the same beliefs. So I don’t have to research (well, I still do but this gives me a definite leg up.) All the people on the lawn kind of follow the same philosophy and believe in the same values.

WRITING – I told you this wasn’t about politics. I am trying to make the same thing true in my book. I look at my characters and those who hang out together. They should pretty much share the same likes, dislikes, beliefs, etc. If they don’t, then I best have shown why. For ‘Blue,’ I know that Kathleen and her friends, though from disparate cultures, still have the same beliefs, follow the Code of Chivalry, and guard each others’ backs. For my antagonists, ah ha! They should be doing the same.

I’ve been tempted to put sticky notes all over my walls. Have one wall be protagonists, another antagonists, another sundry characters. It might make my life easier. I used to be known as the sticky note person at one job. I now use spreadsheets and notes at the bottom of my chapters to keep me in sync. But sticky notes have an allure. Ah, bright yellow or pink all over my mauve walls. Nice.

Some other stuff I found as I searched for signs.

A sign is something which stands to somebody for something in some respect or capacity. From ‘Signs of Writing’ by Roy Harris.

'Six Signs It’s High Time To Give Up Writing. That teetering tower of rejections,' In my mind, if you’ve got a teetering tower of rejections, that means you’ve got brass, chutzpah, and a fair amount of passion. I wouldn’t think it was time to give up if I had the guts to keep sending out letters. Hurray for you!

One that’s pretty self evident is 'DailyWritingTips 12 Signs and Symbols You Should Know.' I expected things like signs an editor uses. Not so. These are asterisk, the cent sign (you can’t even find the cent sign on a modern keyboard) and others. Not very substantial page, but I’ve liked some articles I’ve read here, like the '35 Synonyms for ‘Look.’ I do so love synonyms. I’m compiling my own list.

Life is signage.

Monday, October 15, 2012

# 7 Progress

Whoo hoo! Chapter Forty is complete and now resides to your left in my Progress column. Ch. Forty-one is now empty, but I know exactly what it covers. Ch. Forty-two is 2/3 done as is Ch. Forty-three. Getting very close to the ending. Well, of the writing of the draft. Shees! But that is a good thing.

So my thought for today is Progress. I guess it's kind of like looking a gift horse in the mouth. Take each forward progress and rejoice in it. Then look at the next part. But only once you've had a tea party of congratulations for yourself. I think one of the best things I ever did was to create the Progress column on this blog. It is a constant reminder that 'Blue' is getting there. That I am making progress even in the midst of strokes of writer's block, or correcting errors, or adding to an already completed chapter. Keeping progress public also creates accountability to someone besides myself. And that is a good thing, too. 

Here's a neat blog I found to help you track the number of words you are writing. It's a fun blog. However, I don't track words as much as chapters. I have a specific number of words that I'd like each chapter to contain, but that is like chaff in the wind. If the chapter plot dictates more words, it's going to get them. If the chapter plot stops, then, word count or no, I'm stopping..

Life is progress.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

# 6 Research

I know I've said it before, but it was brought up again today. The great and prolific mystery writer, Patricia Cornwell, was interviewed this evening. She said she puts herself in the moment and believes that's why her stories are so believable. 

I got a kick out of the extent that she goes to because she donated a 'crime room' to The National Forensics Academy. She spends time actually researching true cases to see if she can 'break' them. 

So once again my dear friends, I strongly encourage you to research (not down to the tiniest minutiae) but pretty tiny, and then write away. I do the same thing with emotions, too. They can make or break a story.  

I go to web sites for my 'hands-on' research. I can't afford trips here and there to avail myself of the knowledge I need 'NOW.' But it suffices. In fact, it works even better, I think, because I get a kick out of finding what I need and seeing it from all angles. (Love google maps world view).

Now - I think I might be finished with Chapter 40, but I want to go over it again for this draft. Ch. 41, as I've said, if half done as if Ch. 42. 

My eyes are closing on me. Didn't sleep well last night. Gonna do some tightening/relaxing exercises tonight and hope it helps.

Life is nodding.

Friday, October 12, 2012

#5 Grammar

Found a succinct place for the lay - lie grammar problem. I was sure I was rock solid when it came to these verbs, but when I started to write seriously, I found I too often questioned myself. I think this will help in those moments of confustication.  My goodness, I love the English language.

Been having a truly difficult time with pain the last few days. That condition causes my writing to shriek to a halt. Furrowing my brow does nothing to promote character development or story arc or anything sane. I'm not sure what's caused my condition to flare, but I'm drinking lots of water and taking vitamins and supplements to try to quell it.

As for 'Blue,' I'm forcing myself to write through the pain. Perhaps my poor heroine is in pain. Yeah. That's the ticket. She's in pain and I've got to feel it so I can write it. Balderdash! If that's the case, I'll just drown her and get on with my life.

I find that 'Blue' is taking on a life of its own at the moment. I thought I was close to being done with Ch. 40, but that chapter will be too long. So I moved part of it to Ch. 41. However, Ch. 41 is now pretty much a full-blown chapter, so the part I thought was going to be Ch. 41 is now Ch. 42. 

If I can overcome some of the excess energy that is flowing around these chapters, and if I can focus on finishing each one, then I'll have three chapters done in no time at all. Wow! I'm pretty surprised, if I say so myself. 

I'm not sure how to explain this excess energy. I have written what normally would be each chapter, but I can tell there is more to be told in each one. Some bridges and more explanation and description. These chapters are full of action as they are the climax. Phew. I'm quitting for now, but I'll be back. Going for a nice calming cup of tea. And maybe some popcorn.

Life is popped.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

#4 Character Development


My writing buddy and I met Tuesday night. She is doing tremendously. I am so happy for her. She's not writing, at the moment. She's preparing. Another friend had given her a book entitled, Novelist's Boot Camp.

I'm linking to two of the author's sites because they are both different but good.  General site. And then this one -- especially see Drill # 35 (there are two pages)

I am most impressed by the thinking of the author. I had poo-poohed the book (a pastime that gets me in trouble way too many times) thinking it an odd way to look at writing. But my friend's recent plunge into character development using this book's techniques, I find, is most intriguing.

If you don't have the time to read even the links, the main focus seems to be to get so into my character's head that I know what she ate for breakfast yesterday, last week, last year. It is a concept that daunts me. I thought I knew my character, but I don't. Not to this depth. I don't really know if that kind of depth is necessary (you can shoot me if you think I'm wrong), but I know now that the depth I have on my characters is not deep enough.

So - along with everything else, I'm going to create a spreadsheet with my characters' names and more detailed information. Then, I'm going to create a bio for the most important characters in 'Blue.' I know, in my gut, that this is needed. 

Of course, I'll continue writing. I am almost finished with Chapter Forty and have quite a bit done on Chapter Forty-one. I got the biggest kick. I was watching waterfalls on tv and decided that's a good way to an end for my characters. I do try to see 'Blue' everywhere. The story and characters do not let me even see a sunset without thinking of them.

Life is a boot camp.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

#3 Discipline

I started this blog to learn discipline. I thought if I wrote every day, or as near to that as possible, that I would learn discipline. And I have. Thankfully. Still, aways to go with it, but I hope I'll be learning 'til the day I die.

Ending a book is extremely difficult, I think. Knowing that I'm on the last chapters, the last words, makes me antsy. I want to skip things. I want to write quick. I want it to end. 

This would spell doom for 'Blue.' All this time spent crafting the tale and the characters and the world. Why would I want to sully it with a poorly written or shoddy ending? 

I'll tell you why. I'm excited that it's almost done. I want to do everything possible to have this under my belt, so to speak. I'd do anything to push it along, to make it end quickly.

Poor characters. They are howling. 'Stop!' they shout. 'We want more. We want to know why this happened, what will become of us, will there be a happy ending?'

I owe it to myself, my readers, and my characters to take it slow. One word at a time. One scene at a time. One event at a time. 

There is so much more that I can do to flesh out these last chapters. And I deserve to have a fully-fleshed-out tale. I know I do.

So good old discipline and I will take hands and hold onto each other until the tale is really and truly finished. To my satisfaction and my characters.

Life is jaw-ripping action.

Monday, October 8, 2012

#2 Listen

The powers that be advise writers to read their works out loud. I have found that to be quite beneficial. 

I found this great site from UNC (one of my favorite colleges - the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill). I think you'll get a kick out of the reasons for reading out loud that are part of this article. 

The reason it was brought to mind was because I read a piece late last night that dripped of the overuse of one particular word. I sat back, after finishing the first paragraph, and couldn't help but consider how repetition can really destroy a work. Not the repetition of an idea, or a line in poetry, but the repetition of a word that the author seems to have absolutely fallen head-over-heels for.

To me, the most important thing about reading out loud, or having someone else read my MS, is that I 'hear' things that I wouldn't if I were reading in my mind. Like using a word too often. Does that make sense?

I was taught to be a proofreader and I'm pretty good at it. I usually don't have problems with punctuation and such. It's the little things that trip me up. Like writing trip four times in a three-sentence paragraph. Even if I've read and re-read the paragraph, I often times miss the fact that trip tripped me. BUT - when I read it out loud, the word trip jumps at me, in fact, it trips me up and I 'see' it for what it is. A word used too oft. Nothing worse. Well, not much worse.

Nothing to report on 'Blue' today. I was busy reading other folks works. Having a great time with some beloved characters. Enough of a break. I'm on the last few chapters of 'Blue' and starting to get antsy over the thought of being so close to finishing. I'm wallowing in the joy of it. The hope of finishing this book. 

Life is good.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

#1 Self Doubt

The SCBWI conference in September, in my opinion, dwelt on the dangers of self doubt. I found a good article on the same by Chuck Sambuchino of Writers Digest. Link below. In a funny way, Chuck describes how self doubt can sound. This struck a chord with me. Believe me, I've heard all self doubt's lies. I think every writer has. My trick is to shake my head, literally, and pronounce myself and my writing - good. If you've got a trick that helps you overcome this author-destroyer, I'd love to hear it.

Now - for 'Blue.' I don't know why, but yesterday exploded with writing. I'm this close to finishing Chapter Forty. The team enters the castle in an attempt to rescue a friend and, needless to say, all heck breaks loose. Isn't that what's supposed to happen? *g* It was a fun chapter to write.

I told you about the huge amount of editing that sat on my lap the other day. It put me in a catatonic state. Sanity finally won out. I realize that I will use the new things I've learned (add more to my action scenes, add description) to the chapters that I'm working on now and in the future. When the time comes, and the book is complete (whoo hoo), I'll go back to the beginning and do the edits.  I think it's kind of like that adage, one day at a time. My mantra will be one chapter at a time. I can handle that. I can deal with that.

Life is good.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Knowledge Sharing

Honestly, I know I said I was using this blog as a kind of 'what my life as a practicing writer is like.' But I saw this program on PBS the other night. It was based on a book called, Half the Sky. An incredible book and an incredible documentary, about turning oppression into opportunity for the women of the world.

One of the interviewees said that she had to share her knowledge with those about her. I thought that was a terrific idea. In today's culture, we are told to think first of ourselves, to think 'what's in it for me.' But these women give and give of themselves in atmospheres of horror and heartbreak.

So I've kind of vowed that I'm going to try to do that too. In a small way. In my own backyard, so to speak. I promise I will share what I learn about writing with you. I will still write of my struggles and triumphs as I write 'Blue' and other things. As I forge forward to publish them. In each blog, I promise I will write something. Most times it will probably be just a one or two line thingee - not sure what I'll find to share with you. But I'm going to trust and know that even tiny little things can change the life / writing / hope for a friend.

So - that's today's little lesson. Sharing is awesome. Helping another writer to become successful or even just proud of what she's done is worth it. Fear is counterproductive. It keeps us away from each other. It keeps us from growing. It keeps us from sharing. And sharing makes your skin younger. Honest. Well, that's my own theory.

Enough said. I won't share about my writing on this post (though it went extremely well). I'll share some more about that tomorrow. As well as some stuff I learned from my SCBWI bulletin.

Life is exquisite.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Good Lord!

I was tempted to put MIA as the title for this post, but somehow it seemed inappropriate and callous. MIA was created, I believe, to stand for Missing In Action. I just can't sully such a concept by using it for not posting to my blog. Enough said.

Sorry I've been away. There was really no intention of stopping writing. For all intents and purposes, I found I had. All writing. (Though, of course, 'Blue' and her characters kept shouting at me.)

Sitting here trying to figure out what happened. 

I think it's because of the last critique I received. The changes suggested are small ish.... but enough to boggle my mind, in the sense that I will have to go back and edit the first chapters.

Now - editing is a blessing and a privilege. It means I've written something that I think is good enough to try to get published. (Wouldn't need to edit if it was for me alone.) 

However, the first thirty chapters I had thought were of the quality meant to be sent off to agents and publishers. 

I see now that the critiquer is correct. I have to make these changes and additions. The action parts are too short. I've got to add more description.

I'm disheartened and yet, looking on the positive, bright side of this, I'm happy because I know 'Blue' will be even better and more fun to read.

It's just the thought of going backwards.... No! I'm going forwards. Every edit is a forward motion.

So - bear with me. I'll restart the engines and go forward. 

Life is looking forward.