Friday, July 31, 2015

A Reminder From Annie Wilkes.

You've got 24 hours to make it happen for your characters before we all enter into the land of Editville.
Why are you checking out this blog?

Thursday, July 30, 2015

It's Almost Over!

There's two days left to my time at Camp NaNoWriMo where each morning my cabinmates bring fresh beverages and an above average amount of snark. 

I can still see the light at the end of the tunnel with my current story. But, I might need to do a word sprint or two to feel better about where I am with this story over the next two days.

And....I can finally say that I think I have a favorite line that I may not feel need even a tiny bit of editing. 

"Like a marionette on new strings, her body obeyed someone else’s commands as she sat."

It's not the best line I've ever written. Shoot, it might not actually be the best line in this story thus far. But for now, I don't hate it.

Now, let's pray I don't completely edit out this line when I start to edit on Saturday.

Meanwhile, there's only...

We ALL should be writing!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Camp NaNoWriMo Summer 2015 - 'If The Shoe Fits" - Excerpt

The following is a woefully unedited excerpt of my current project:...and why is it "woefully unedited?" Because this is Camp NaNoWriMo and there's no editing being done. This is the one and only "Camp"/Writers Retreat that doesn't talk about editing and such. We're here to write, write, write! Tomorrow, or sometime next month we can edit. Well, actually, sometime next month. Editing is still off limits until August first.

Camp NaNoWriMo - There's Less Than 72 Hours Left

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

There's only....

Why aren't you writing?
No, seriously. Camp NaNoWriMo ends at 12am August 1st. Do any of us have time to do anything other than write and sleep?
If I'm really lucky, I'll go to sleep about 1am.

Monday, July 27, 2015

On Your Mark...Get Set....

Good News....There's five days left to Camp NaNoWriMo.
**Insert look of panicked terror**
Over the next five days it is my goal to find the scenes that I lost track of, that jumped the shark or for that matter are currently just a quick note about what I want there, and complete them. And just as importantly, make notes on what areas need amping up.
Now why am I telling any and everyone what I'm doing? Because I need to be held accountable. Having others know that you've got writing goals and a timeline forces you into working towards those goals or explaining to them why you're up at 2am on Facebook and playing Candy Crush.
Okay, so I don't play Candy Crush. I play Flowerz and Bejeweled. But that's neither here, nor there and thankfully, I rarely play either of them. So, the likelihood of anyone catching me playing them online is slim.
I would say "Judge me." But I won't bother. I'll be in full "Self-Judgment Mode" beginning August 1st as I move into "Editville."
Now if only I could get off of Pinterest and had the courage to delete the Solitaire app off my tablet....

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Bon Voyage!

Although, "Normal" is most definitely a town in Illinois, there is nothing normal about being a creative person.
And that, my friend is what's so cool about being a writer. Now, I could say the same thing about musicians. But, they take being "NOT NORMAL" to another level...a different tangent...completely different route all together.
But writers?
Writers have entire worlds and civilizations living inside their fertile imagination.
Twenty-four hours a day...
Seven days a week...
Even during a meeting when they should be focusing on what the poor sap in charge of the meeting is saying, but their heroine has decided that they'd like to have a heart to heart and reveal their deepest, darkest, most scintillating secrets.
Or worse, when you're sitting in a convent at a Womens Retreat for your church and your hero and heroine get into an argument. And while everyone else is in their cell...I did say is was a convent, remember?...reading their Bible or in the hall laughing about the night's group activity, (which you enjoyed and would love to laugh about as well) you found yourself writing a hot and heavy love scene that ended with them cussing each other out and dropping the F-Bomb because that was when they decided it was most convenient to drop that scene on you?
Do I really need to tell you that I wrote in a made up word rather than the f-bomb that characters needed me to write because I had a crucifix in my face at that time? I adjusted it once I got home. But there was no way I could write it while there. 
Yeah...That doesn't happen to so call "Normal" people.
Give it up....
You are a Writer. The "normal" ship sailed without you long ago. ~ Terri Main



Saturday, July 25, 2015

Muses Do Exist Little Nora!

Yesterday I saw the following quote attributed to Nora Roberts from this year's RWA Conference in New York City:
"There's no f-ing muse. Just Write!" - Nora Roberts much as I hate to argue with her....after all, she IS NORA ROBERTS. I'm going to disagree with her and  here's why....

There's times when I am surprisingly not thinking about writing. Writing is in fact, the very last thing on my mind. I'm thinking about the cost of cable....


Will I ever admit to my real age?

Do I even know it?

Doing laundry.

Will Wise start selling those BBQ cheez doodles again?

Those things that matter the most to me at the moment.

It's during those times that I'm not necessarily aching to write when I will get the craziest dreams. Dreams so insane that I wake up not terrified and checking under the bed for the big bad boogey man. But so crazy that I instead sit up in bed and think to myself, "What. The. BLEEP was THAT about????"

The first time it happened, I dreamt that I was being chased through a summer camp by zombie pigs from outer space. I remember waking up and wondering what I could've eaten to cause such crazy dreams. The fact that I picked up a pencil and actually wrote something that day when I couldn't figure out what to do with all that was going on in my head was, as far as I knew, coincidental.

Another week or two went by and I didn't write. I was swiftly visited by the same zombie pigs chasing me through a camp ground.

By the third time it happened, you didn't have to tell me what to do or why I was doing it.

Now, if I wrote horror, I'd think, "YAY!!!! New story inspiration!" But I don't. So, I sat back and started thinking about what could cause such crazy dreams and more importantly, how to stop them.

Why did I do this and not just attribute it to whatever I'd consumed that day?

Because for some reason, I'm big on watching patterns. I'm oblivious to about just about everything else going on around me. But once I start to see a pattern, I'm good about locking on to it. The one thing that those dreams had in common was that they followed long periods, (at least for me) of living in a creative wasteland where nothing creative is willingly planted and cultivated. Each time, I sat down the same day and wrote just empty my head of whatever was there in regards to whatever story I was working on a the time. And each time I was immediately relieved of the burden of a story untold in my head.

Now some might just say, "I felt the need to write." But I can't say that. Any cues I may have had to sit my butt in a chair and make it happen were lost in the day to day management of my daily life living with an Alzheimer's patient. It took my subconscious, aka "My Muse" giving me a mental kick in the pants when I most needed it...which back then was every couple weeks, but have recently shortened itself to mere make it happen.

I applaud each and every writer that doesn't need the occasional kick in the pants to sit down and "just write." But for some of us, those of us with the attention span of a gnat and half the patience, we need a "muse" a subconscious alarm system to kick into gear and punk us into writing or suffering dire consequences. And quite honestly? I'm happy to have the cantankerous heifer in my life. She's kept me sane, motivated to write and entertained.

Her most recent offering: A Southern Murder Mystery involving Shaun Cassidy, Susan Dey, Marie Osmond and a couple of chocolate loving, amorous ghosts.

Yeah, like I said...she's entertaining, because there's no way I could ever come up with this one on my own. *big grin*

Friday, July 24, 2015

8 Days and Counting!

Camp NaNoWriMo ends in just 8 days and I don't know whether to be happy, sad, or panicked.

Or....maybe a bit of all three?

Yeah...a bit of all three.

I'm happy because...Yay! It's Over!

But I'm sad because,...It's over? Already?

I'm definitely panicked because...It's almost over and I don't really want it to end!

Why? Because I've got some awesome cabin mates who you should check out: Sunshine Taylor Reddick, Gynger Fyre, Chaeya, Tatiana Caldwell, and Dahlia DeWinters.

And although I reached my word count goal days ago. (I was writing a novella) There's still a lot left to write to make sure it all makes sense when readers reach "The End." 

So, for the next 8 days, I'm going to Write, Write, WRITE! And prepare myself for The Land of Editville: Where No Word Is Too Good To Cut!

Yeah...that's going to be fun.

No, seriously! It's going to be great to polish this story up and make it shine. And if I'm brave enough, I might even post an excerpt. *smile*

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Camp NaNoWriMo: July 2015 - "If The Shoe Fits" - Blurb

If clothes made the man, then it was shoes that made the woman.
Kayla Thomas was as devoted to her family engineering firm as she was to The GodMother Foundation. The foundation brought in millions to help young, financially disadvantaged students attain their goals of attending college and once there, make sure they had no excuses on doing what they were there for. They helped with everything from scholarships, to free, tutoring and daycare, to providing a place for them to stay if need be. Each year, their annual Glass Slipper Ball and what she considered her choice in “inspirational” shoes, brought in a good portion of the funds they needed.  But when the perfect shoes are virtually stolen from her, she has no one to blame but an overbearing French man with far too much testosterone and Armani on speed-dial.
The last thing Dayne Louissaint planned to do when he bought a pair of shoes for his sister’s birthday was put the pending business partnership with Thomas Engineering and Louissaint Construction in danger of falling apart before it’d even begun. But now with the deal on the table and a multi-million dollar project on the line, it was all falling apart because one all too sassy, curvy woman thought that “dibs” was a business term that had to be honored by all.
Especially him.

I see what hour it is.

And if you're up this late and not practicing the Horizontal Mambo, there's only one thing you should be doing and you know what it is.
The internet will be here when you come back.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Hemingway Said It Best

"There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed."
~ Ernest Hemingway
It's the truest thing anyone's ever said about writing. Writing forces you to expose a part of yourself that others may never know exist or hope to see. You literally pour out of your spirit the thoughts and dreams and inner workings of a mind so active that most people would stagger under the weight of it.
Sometimes writing is easy.
And sometimes.....
Yeah,...this is so me right now.

I feel like I'm just banging my head against the keyboard. 


          ...and with force.

I've reached the point in my current story where I have to figure out how black the heroine's "Black Moment" should be and I'm not necessarily frustrated; but indecisive. I honestly can't figure out what should happen next. This my friends is the danger of being a Pantser and waiting for inspiration to dance off the tips of your fingers like rain off leaves during a storm. Or in my case, turning on the tap and waiting for the sound of water running to trigger....


There's a very good chance that I might find myself writing out each variant of what could happen next just to see what has the biggest impact on the scene and move forward. It won't be fast. It won't be easy. But, if I do it right, I'll be happier in the end.

So, I guess I don't have to tell you that I'll continue to open that vein and bleed.

Now to find that scalpel....

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

As Neil So Eloquently Put It...

Dear Lord, when Neil is right...he's seriously right.

Writing isn't about telling people that you're a writer. It isn't about continually spouting to others about the brilliant idea you have for a story. It's about sitting down and getting it done even when it's most difficult. That's includes when you've had a crazy busy week like I had last week. Weeks where you know the time you have is limited so you put as much of it on paper as you can and keep it moving until the next time. Which could be during the wee smas of the night, or days later.                           

Thankfully, I've reached a point in what I'm writing currently that I'm close enough to being done that I can see the faint change in lighting to indicate that there might indeed be something new or different, some form of freedom, at the end of the current dark corridor that I'm in.

But seeing the change in the darkness is difficult at best currently. I have to do what every person who creates, regardless of the medium, must do if they want to see what they envision come into being....I have to keep pouring words on the page. One after another, after another, after another.

I advise you to do the same.

Friday, July 17, 2015


Pinterest is my latest and most truly "useful" addiction. I decided to start using it when I thought I'd lost pictures for the muses of a story I've been working on off and on for a couple of years.

The pictures for the male muse are so difficult to find online that I nearly wept at the thought of permanently losing them because he doesn't have a website and whatever blog I found him on is long gone. He's been "Nikhil Ra'Jar" in my mind for the past two years. But, I haven't a clue as to his real name or how to locate additional pictures of him. Nearly losing the pictures I had for him and his best friend Parshen, terrified me.

Wisely, I restarted my tablet for the first time in probably two or three days, and all of the pictures magically reappeared.
Thank, God.
Thankfully, before I found myself curled up in a ball on the floor crying like a baby I decided to pay attention to what all my writer friends were doing on Pinterest and I saved copies of the pictures there!

For writers, Pinterest is a great place to save photos and clips of videos that inspire you to write in general, or create boards for specific stories.

Not too long ago I started another board for the current story I'm working on for Camp NaNoWriMo: "If The Shoe Fits."

I've become far too addicted to this board. It has everything that I love.

A sexy man.

A heroine I can relate to.

And SHOES!!!!!


However, for as helpful as Pinterest can be, its like a giant vat of quicksand waiting to pull you in if you let it. And frequently, I let it because it's also the quickest way to locate visual notes for whatever story I'm working on, or thinking about working on in the near or distant future.

To check out what I'm doing on Pinterest, and discover what author is using little old moi as inspiration for a book she's currently working on, look me up!

And if you want to check out the pictures I thought I'd lost: Nikhil and Parshen.

But make it quick. We both need to get our butts off Pinterest and get back to writing.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Just Write.

We're at the halfway mark with Camp NaNoWriMo and I don't know about anyone else, but what I've written thus far....I wouldn't let even my best friends and biggest cheerleaders read. So I'm giving you the same advice I'm giving myself...
Just write the story.
We'll worry about polishing the pig later.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Go Ask Alice.

What's Your Excuse Today?

There's one motivational quote that applies across all industries, all faiths, all athletic pursuits and forms of entertainment.

What excuse are you using to not work toward your goals or dreams?

Life happens. 
Life, if we're lucky, happens to everyone for a long time.

"Life" makes us well-rounded individuals. The good and the bad of it all builds character and gives us stories to tell our grandchildren.
But, somewhere in the middle of all that living, we should all be pursuing our dreams. Working towards that thing we told ourselves and perhaps no one else that we wanted to achieve. Even if all the time we have to work on our pursuit is a few minutes stolen here and there each day.

Don't worry about what people will think or what they'll say. They're busy making excuses about their own inability to pursue their life's dreams.
Doesn't matter whether or not you dream of hitting the best sellers list, traveling the world or just organizing your closet. At some point, if we truly want to achieve our goals, we have to stop making excuses and start working towards our goals.

"A year from now you will wish you had started today. ~ Karen Lamb"


Monday, July 13, 2015

But Captain, it's the Doctor!

So, should I mention that I rarely write without Doctor Who playing in the background?
Like most people I like writing with the appropriate mood music playing in the background. For me, it's usually some form of epic music. But not so long ago, I realized that I had made it a habit of writing while watching television. Well, not really watching, more like I thought I'd make use of the extensive number of commercial breaks during some shows.
At first, it was because I love to watch the various home repair and travel shows and if I'm not up getting more tea during the commercial breaks, I'll start flipping channels and forget what I started watching. So, I write and halfway listen/watch whatever's on HGTV. But, about two or three months back I noticed that I get the most writing done, when the Doctor is saving worlds in the background....He's currently helping Craig save Sophie in "The Lodger."
Kiss Her!!!
Yes, I really do write and not watch. Well....not watch much. 'Cause, you know...Craig...Sophie...declarations of love. And there's all this epic music playing in the background. The more intense the scene, the better the music, the more I write.
Anyway, I tend to just put on a DVD and replay it until I've hit my time limit...or it's 3am (or later) and my only choice for the night is sleep sitting up with my fingers on the keyboard or laying down like a relatively normal adult.
I like to pretend to be normal at least once a day.
Do you have what some would consider "strange" writing rituals? If so, what are they?

It's Monday...

To Quote Magneto....

Sunday, July 12, 2015

I Am A Writer

Let's just make sure that we're describing it correctly, Mmm-kay?

*Mimi wanders off to research the weather in London in July compared to the rather sweltering weather in Syracuse, NY...*

Saturday, July 11, 2015

The Weekend Is Upon Us.

It's Time To...
Challenge yourself to go over, if not double your daily word count over the next 48 hours and make it happen.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Explain To Me Again.

Whatever You Do....

...Don't miss your Muse when she's ready. 
Morning, Noon, or Night. Be ready and in place to receive the creative inspiration you need.
Just make sure she's had her coffee first. She can be rather cranky without it.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Don't Make Me Point Out The Obvious.

The Rules

 The Rules of Writing  (During NaNoWriMo)

  1. Write a crappy first draft. - Don't think about editing. Use your strikethrough key, if you realize that what you wrote 1.375 seconds ago sucks and continue writing what's in your head at this moment in time. Trust me. Strikethrough's your friend when trying to just get it out of your head and on to the paper or screen without editing.
  2. Write Now. Edit Later. - Editing is like potato chips. Once you start, you can't stop until you're done. So Don't Do It! You will KILL your pacing if you start editing your story before you're finished. (See Rule 1)
  3. There are no mistakes. Only creative opportunities. - Don't worry about how you say it. Just say it and worry about the how later. Later, you'll remember all the $5 words that will show everyone how smart you are, and alienate readers....or you'll wisely use the smart "dense" words that say tons in as few syllables as possible.
  4. Rules? There Are No Rules! - Write what you want. You're your harshest and most honest critic.

Monday, July 06, 2015

We're entering....

 ...of Camp NaNoWriMo and there's still time to sign up for the challenge. Ignore anyone saying that it's too much or too hard. Find a few like-minded friends/people/miscreants who love writing...doesn't matter what they write, epic novels, poems, grocery lists...whatever, and join in the mayhem.

You're currently editing a story and not actively writing (or outlining) something new? Okaaaayyy...we'll talk about why you can't do both at the same time later. But guess what? You can do your edits during Camp NaNoWriMo!

You set your own word count goals and make it happen at your own pace. The point isn't to reach 50,000 words per se (although if you set that as your word count goal and achieve it, how awesome are you?).

Your goal can be as low as 10,000 if you're working on a novel. July's one and true goal is for you to write every day.

Doesn't matter if it's only three hundred words or a thousand words each day. The point is to do something creative each and every day to keep the Muse calm and happy....and to more importantly grow a bit each day creatively.

The point is, if you're just finding out about Camp NaNoWriMo or ready to commit to working on whatever your Muse is bringing to you, it's not too late to join those of us pledging to write (or edit) a book during July's Camp NaNo.

Sunday, July 05, 2015

If You're Reading This....

It's Sunday...

....but let's put that pen to paper anyway.

Normally, Sunday is the one and only day I don't write. I'm usually so busy with church that the first thing I do when I come home is nap wherever I sit down first. In fact, last Sunday, I sat down and fell asleep within moments of finally relaxing. But today? Today I'll drink a sports drink with a healthy side dose of vitamins, eat light and perhaps pop a few of the aforementioned vitamins to help me make it through the next day or two. And when it's all over?
Let's put that pen to paper anyway and see what happens? After all, nothing beats a failure but a try. And I refuse to fail. How about you?

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Happy 4th!

Freedom is awesome! It's wonderful! It's for EVERYBODY!!!!!

Except me if I don't reach my word count today.

Yeahhhh...See what had happened was....

I've got a kiddy birthday party to attend today...out of town. Thankfully, the party isn't until later in the afternoon. But I'll take my tablet with me and get whatever I can get done on the ride there and back.

Happy Independence Day!

Now get back to writing!

Friday, July 03, 2015

Since You Asked....

Now, put that phone down.

Get off Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Pintrest and all that other crap and let's make this happen.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Stop Talking....


..and get to writing. You're wasting time and creative energy telling everyone that you're participating in Camp NaNoWriMo this month, if you're not actually writing. about you put that butt in a chair and get your hands on that keyboard and move your fingers about in an orderly fashion? We can talk about this later.