Saturday, March 16, 2013

Lessons from Jobs

Monday, February 4, 2013

Steps back to childhood



Jeanne Birdsall weaves a beautiful tale of how we need to unwrap our memories to embrace our inner child in our writing.  Soft spoken she carefully scoops you up and takes you through her process and experience.

I love her quote, "Memory what a gift and blessing they are to me."  Enjoy, you  deserve it. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2013 Resolutely Downton

photo source
It is the day, that we sternly sit in front of the blank page and dutifully self-assess.  Sometimes this is marred by the previous night bender.  Perhaps that is just me.  I discovered how to watch Netflix on my phone last night at the same time I decided to "try out" this Downtown Abby show I have been hearing about from Facebook "friends."  It was New Years eve, a girl can live it up a bit.  I came staggering out of my bedroom at ten this morning with no sleep, eyes darkly shadowed and glassy and a terrible cramp in my hand from balancing my phone and the charger plug all night.   The Facebook "friends" failed to add a warning that watching the show will transport you into the most fantastic time machine where you lose yourself and all awareness of time and prior commitments or duties.  Not putting one in the best position to begin a fresh new year.  After watching I suddenly can barely help myself from clinging to their most beautiful canter of speech they use. It is a bit more appealing to the ear than when I went on that summer long Dog the Bounty Hunter binge and spoke a most lucid form of Hawaiian ghetto slang ever heard in these parts of Texas. I finished one season last night.  Then decided if I was useless that I would only feel better about my situation as long as I had someone with me so I started my mother on the series.   It is now nearly midnight and I have accomplished one thing today....watched season one.  So much for my self-assessment.   I would like to sit here and explain how I will correct this all tomorrow but I have found season two on Hulu.  I will not come out of this for another day.

On the bright side...on this second round of viewings I have decided that this is the most perfectly written show.

Characters: 
They are all brilliant!  So perfectly broken and beautiful at the same time compelling and true to themselves.  You know the choices they will make but are shocked still.  The goodness and honor you see in them inspires but stands in stark contrast to the evil slips and character flaws they can't fight.

Setting:
What an amazing time period to tell a story in! The regular introduction to base levels of what today are considered modern tools taken for granted are their own colorful side stories.  And then there is the Abbey.  Lord be, that place is spectacular but the rooms feel familiar and are home.  There is no monologue about the history or importance of the building...it is understood.

Plot line:  
Each episode is perfect complete story reconnecting to a masterful closure yet connecting to the overall bigger picture.   It is not a single tale but a handful of them that intertwine and weave before you.  As a writer I am in awe of the skill it took to piece this together so perfectly.  There is not a plot line yet that has bored me or that was superfluous to the brand or the over arching progression of the story.  I would love to see how they have mapped this all out.

As a young, beginning writer I would have languished and beat myself up over "lost" days like this. Getting older I can see these days are necessary.  When you are writing it feels like there is no fitting this together and that it is impossible to have this many objectives and goals for a single piece you need these days...where you went on "vacation" and lost yourself completely to another writer's world and it felt perfect.  You can notch it in your belt and know that this exist and is possible and if it has been done can be done again.

In 2013 whose writing are you going to get lost in? 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Follow that dream...plan your trip

photo source
We survived yet another NaNoWriMo, a doomsday prophecy, Christmas with the family and snowcation. That can only mean one thing...it is time to get back to setting up those writing goals for the New Year.

I am a huge fan of creating list, so goal and resolutions are a yearly favorite.  Somethings to keep in mind as you start to come up with your own list...

  • Time is ticking.  Be honest with yourself and the restrictions you have on your day. By setting up a clear regular schedule you are preparing your brain for writing. The same time everyday the process becomes easier and you can slip into the flow of it faster.  
  • Re-writing takes time.  It is the beautiful stage where your lump of clay becomes refined with an artistic hand.  Make sure that serious time is given for this process, it is not one that can be rushed.
  • Final edits are important.  There is nothing more frustrating then reading a book and tripping over the text because of grammar and spelling issues. If you feel it is at the stage where it is time to pass it on don't be cheap, pay someone else you trust to look it over and weed out the problems.  I have been on the receiving end of this before...please make sure that you have given it an honest attempt to fit within the commonly acceptable guidelines of our English language before expecting your poor friend to fix your pile of random words.   
  • Publishing is a business for a reason.  All artist want their art shared. The process to getting it out there is scary, heartbreaking and requires just as much and sometimes much more research than writing your sweet labor of love. It is important to give this time but to also remember to keep writing. Don't let yourself get swallowed alive and stop the creating that you love. 
I have a huge favor to ask....please take my survey.  I will not track your name, or anything like that I just need information to better serve you, dear reader.  



Thank you.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Day 4-6...no really I'm not cheating

photo source
I am learning a great lesson this week.  When you want something to happen get moving and seek your blessings.  You have to reach for them that is when the magic happens.  

In the process to better define my writing company I have had more writing opportunities come to me...or maybe I went to them. I have been researching, writing, rewriting and editing for the last 4 days.  From when I wake till I go to bed.  I love it!! 

A contract that I started prior to the challenge has resulted in a flood of work the last few days not to mention an article that I wrote in May needed further editing. In between all of that...I have stayed strong and continued my personal growth experience. 

My novel- I write and write and write...then had to erase 2k words the last few days.  I got rid of one of my favorite chapters.  It didn't work with the plan.  I love the writing and lovingly copied and pasted it in another document but it won't work for this book so it is out of there.  I have been putting that off for a while but not any more time to get this done. 

My blog- I have started the rearranging of the blog. (As you may have noticed.) Moving to the two columns gives me more possibilities and I can start setting up for sponsors and add a more uniform method for my dear readers to follow me and my misadventures.  Who doesn't want to do that?

I also have been working on marketing and branding.  So far the focus is on social avenues.  I think this will be the easiest to start with because of the low entry cost.  I am excited. When I wonder away from my social networks I forget about all the incredible people you meet this way.    

My business- Thankfully my contracting work has been prolific.  I am still working on the business plan...which is a little behind schedule for me.. But it will get done.  In the meantime as I work on it I am doing it.  I have contacted a few freelance groups and am looking forward to getting more work.  

My growth- Again...this part is continual. Everyday I open up my WIP and trudge through that business plan I feel validated in my growth.  I know that when I get that feeling that I am intimidated to submit something or contact someone for possible work I am growing again.  

This process is interesting.  To my family it looks like I am chilling on the sofa.  Meanwhile, I am emailing, writing, researching my butt off.  I have noticed a strange cramp starting in my right hand..pointer finger.  Pretty sure it is the early signs of carpal tunnel.  All athletes get injuries.  Maybe I need to start stretching.  

Write on folks.  

How are your challenges going?  What kind of progress are you seeing?  Any suggestions of stretching to ward off carpal tunnel? 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

PSP Challenge: Day 3

photo source
The adventure continues.  I have found that I am enjoying the structure to the day. I did get one day off because of unexpected "life" stuff but am back on it.  

My Novel:  For the last three days I have added 1k words to my WIP.  The restructure has really helped me to focus what I have and to shape it into a stronger story line.  I am happy with it.

My Blog: Well...I know how I want it set up but when I study html it makes my head spin and eyes cross.  I will have to keep working on this.  Lucky for me I have a few more days in the challenge.

My Business:  Found a great posting on this subject...well, besides the amazing ones I have been putting out there. The blog is The Self-Publisher's Notebook and he has a pretty extensive list that completely matches what I have been finding as I have been going through this process.  Swing over and check out what he has put together.

I have been researching...a ton on this.  And have more questions as I go.

My Growth: Next week will be better.  I am focusing on (this sounds redundant but...) focus.  I don't know about you when I am writing it is a full spurt of writing that blast out 200-400 words then a good twenty minutes piddling on the interwebs bouncing back and fourth between Facebook, Pinterest and what ever my ADD clings to. Then I wonder back to my writing. It is a wonder I have been getting my word counts.  Next week I am closing out all of the tabs and all of the documents and focusing on one, just one.