Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Visualize the glories

I tend to rush things.

My husband says that patience is not one of my virtues. (Too which, I usually respond with a seductive giggle and ask what is.) …. Wait, different blog…..

I tend to want things now. Better yet … yesterday. However, I know from experience that everything worth having is worth both waiting and working for. Yes, it’s a cliché, and it’s true.

Just as with so many things, I have a vision of writing in my head. It’s a vision of the writer’s life I want. When people say visualize what you want, every minute detail, I have no problem with that. I’ve visualized “the call” a thousand times. I’ve visualized getting an ARC of my book and the books of my writing group. I’ve seen the UPS guy deliver a huge box full of my books to my front door. (He didn’t shave for work that morning. And… his wife is so excited to get a copy of my second book --- this is the second one he’s delivering --- that he waits while I cut open the box and autograph one for her.)

See (haha), I have the whole visualizing thing down.

The problem is I want it now. NOW.

The truth be told, however, I’ve skipped a few steps. I haven’t visualized typing the words “The End”. I haven’t visualized the life I want of getting up and drinking coffee all morning in sweat pants while I pound out my next great novel.

Instead, I visualize the glory. I’ve never had any problems visualizing the glory. (I’ve even imagined my RITA speech – the one I’ll give when I win for best romantic suspense. It will, of course, follow Alyson’s clever speech for winning in the strong romantic elements category.)

Perhaps I should start visualizing the plotting being done. The character sketches being so very complete that I’m sure I’ll bump into my heroine on the street. The prolific mornings and evenings when I write 5k in one setting. The glorious “The End” that I’ll someday type.

Perhaps I should visualize the little glories, the little victories along the way. Oh, I’m not going to stop visualizing my RITA speech or the book signing where people are lined up around the big Barnes and Noble. But, I am going to start seeing the little accomplishments in my head – tasting their sweet victory.

I see the big prizes out there. But this isn’t a sprint around a track. It’s an adventure race with checkpoints and little victories along the way. You know ---- making-it-through-the-piranha-infested-waters-with-all-limbs-attached-and-getting-a-good-night’s-sleep-before-you-have-to-traipse-through-the-snake-infested-forest kind of victories. Yeah, there’s a prize at the end for defeating all the monsters and not dying in the process, but there is also the amazing satisfaction of knowing I mastered another challenge.

It’s a long race. For now, it’s time to see the segments conquered, the toasts to each made with great enthusiasm, and the next phase attacked with fervent effort.

This is my writing journey, and I want to visualize and then enjoy every glorious minute!


Sunday, January 28, 2007

Totem Animals

Alyson wrote about her totem animal over at Alys on Love. She's a stag (with maybe some giraffe and zebra thrown in.) She shared that mine is a mustang. It is. It took awhile for me to see that, however. To figure out some of the ideas in the Girls class, I have to think on it, realize it isn't coming to me and then wait -- days sometimes. Eventually, it will hit me. I think I'm so linear most of the time that my subconscious needs extra coaxing to emerge and grapple with an idea.

Anyway, my totem animal is a mustang. I love it. It seemed so obvious when I realized it, like finding that perfect pair of jeans. It just fit. No denying it. I hadn't read any of the comments on totem animals at that point. I didn't want to pick out one that sounded like what I wanted to be or become. I wanted the animal to come to me and let me take what it offered. When I read about Animal Totems, I was blown away with its accuracy and gifts.

Here's some mustang info:

"The horse represents freedom and power."

"They can be a bit unpredictable and have been known to revert back to their wild animalistic nature."

"Horses feel things deeply and have strong emotions. They can sense the energy field of others and respond to whatever that energy projects. This sensitivity is associated with psychic powers. Those with horse as a totem find comfort in being touched and benefit from bodywork."

"Before this continent became so populated, it was well suited for the mustang. The best stallions had huge herds that they alone led. They had adapted themselves to live in harsh environments on diets that wouldn't sustain most horses. However their need for freedom made them unsuited to a country whose people seemed compelled to control and dominate everything. Slowly the herds started to die and presently there are only a few herds left in parts of nine western states. Horse medicine people require space to roam and the freedom to live their own truth. If dominated or controlled by another they will run like the wind and never return." Now, this seems to speak to me in many, many ways. I've fled many times when I've been roped into the domination or beliefs of another. I need space to roam. I've been journaling in my morning pages alot lately about the need and freedom to live my own truth. (Recall my post with my favorite Johnathan Livingston Seagull quote: “…you have the freedom to be yourself, your true self ...")

"If horse appears in your life you are being given the gift of safe movement and passage into the new."

I love the idea of a mustang. The gift of safe passage into the new is amazing. A good friend of mine from work commented the other day about how I seemed different the past several months -- like I was happier and moving into a new and wonderful stage. Wow. The comment came out of no where and blew me away.

For my post over at
Affairs of the Pen tomorrow, I'm going to write about fear and warrior goddesses. Pair my mustang with my warrior goddess .... ouch! Watch out. With both of them, I can give power to alot of things I want.


Thursday, January 25, 2007

Bridges, charming roads, and hell

So, I’m working on revising sections of my story. Technically, I’m revising the bones of my outline. I haven’t even begun to tackle the deletions I know are coming in the actual scenes. And while, I’ve written some new material (a much better opening scene), I still have a long way to go in revision hell.

I’ve thought maybe I should call it something else, that perhaps by referring to it as a hell, I’m somehow attracting negative energy to the process. Perhaps, I should view it as a heaven, and thereby, attract, sweet, positive, warm energy to the process.

However, any writer knows that revisions are not the heaven of writing. Heaven is the new idea. It’s the perfect scene, dialogue and all, that comes to you in the shower (for me) or in the middle of a run (for Alyson). It’s hitting the word count goal for the day, or better yet, going over and not even realizing how much you wrote until you come up for air. It’s knowing when the muses are handing up the good stuff. It’s stepping back for space and immediately being rewarded with the spark you needed. It’s finishing. (Not there yet, but I can see the tiny pinpoints of light).

Writer heaven isn’t major restructuring of your story. It isn’t realizing that your story was a little lean. It isn’t big revisions.

I wanted revising & revamping to be pleasant experiences.

They aren’t.

I read something yesterday, though, that I’ve been mulling over.

“Revision is not supposed to get you from point A to B in record time. Revision is supposed to stroll you down all those roads not taken. And sometimes it burns all the bridges on those charming roads, leaving you no way back, but the hard way back.”
(From a favorite of mine: The Pocket Muse Endless Inspiration: New Ideas for Writing by Monica Wood)

Cheery, eh?

Well, maybe not cheery, maybe not even encouraging, although I did take encouragement from those words last night.

After a long day, I sat staring at the walls (see yesterday’s post), contemplating a scene. It’s a scene I love. However, if I make some of the changes I’m considering, it would have less of a place. Nah … it might not have a place at all. Did I say that I really love this scene? So much of the rest of the book refers in some way back to that scene. Lose the scene, lose the …. I can’t say it. Don’t make me.

Anyway, I sat staring at the wall trying to come up with any way, any thing that worked so that I could use some of what I’ve already written. Could I use the scene but move it to later in the book? (A definite possibility) Could I add urgency and more meaning to the scene? (maybe) Could I add additional conflicts that make the scene more plausible? (Sure, but what would they be?)

Frustrated because the muses were sitting with their arms crossed, and because my husband had the TV up too loud (actually, I was probably just frustrated and sensitive), I shoved the chair back and went to take a shower.

I pulled out my “Passion” bath wash and turn the water up to “almost scorching” and let it beat the frustrated soreness from me. Mid-conditioning rinse, it hit me. A plausible idea. A much better idea than I’d previously had (anything being better than nothing). An idea that didn’t have any blazing holes at first glance.

I obviously should bath more often.

So, I hopped out, tangles still in hair and wrote up notes for the idea.

I didn’t even know that road was there, but the shower helped the muses clear the cobwebs and hand up an idea. A good one (I think). Maybe this new road will be a perfect path for where I’m going. But if not, there’s always the hard way back.

I don't want to take the hard way back, but just knowing there is a way .... well... that's something.

Others are called writers

Many people hear voices when no one is there. Some of them are called mad and are shut up in rooms where they stare at the walls all day. Others are called writers and they do pretty much the same thing.


Tuesday, January 23, 2007


I'm going to write a short post about guilt today (so that I don't feel guilty about not blogging.)

I didn't go for a run today. I sat in front of my computer for a whole hour (and a half) and didn't write a single word on my WIP.

Instead, I dinged around on the computer, read some blogs about writing, discovered some new writers, downloaded some audio books, and explored the idea of getting an eReader for eBooks. (Anyone know a good one?) Looked up this place called
Super Suppers where you can go make all your food for a month or at least a few weeks. Cool concept. Sounds fun. (Could all this count as my Artist Date? I was alone. I was exploring things I really like.)

Throughout the entire time, I kept chastising myself for my lack of discipline. But the truth is that I work hard, long hours. I come home and take care of a family, and I write. And, today, I was worn out.

It is okay to take time off. It is okay to relax. I'm also going to watch
American Idol tonight. I'm going to get addicted to it this season. (I've only done that once before.) It will be my weekly guilty pleasure.

I feel rested now. I can go cook dinner (in the microwave). I can fold several baskets of laundry while I watch American Idol. I can keep note cards handy for my WIP. I can read some articles on writing that I haven't had time to peruse. And, I can go to bed before midnight. It really is okay.

The truth is that I was raised in a family where you never slept in on Saturday. We had chores that lasted all day -- house chores, yard chores, farm chores. You didn't sit around. You worked. Rest time was for sleeping -- 7 or 8 hours at night. What was a nap? I never took one -- not even as a child (but that was because I refused). Now, I'd love it, if I wouldn't feel guilty about it.

I was raised by a woman that didn't pamper herself at all. She didn't take naps. She worked 3 jobs. She didn't waste time.

I'm not sure that pampering yourself is wasting time, however. I think you need that sometimes. It helps you stay mentally healthy.

So, I'm going to pamper myself with American Idol every week. I'm going to read more. I'm going to take a nap.

I won't feel guilty at all.

(And, someday, I'll believe that.)


Sunday, January 21, 2007

Why not gaze down?

Sometimes writing can be a frustrating experience.

You get bogged down in Act II. You discover that you don’t really know your characters. You’re not sure what the hell the book is about anymore. The outline or plot board seems an insurmountable task. The new ideas attacking your psyche seem much more interesting. Your muses shut up and hide.

I’m pretty sure from reading what other authors have to say and from talking to my writing group that these truths are fairly universal.

How do we get past them?

Well, that little gem of a writing book that I picked up to inhabit part of my sacred space – both the current traveling one and the soon-to-be permanent one – makes a great suggestion. The book I picked up is
The Pocket Muse Endless Inspiration: New Ideas for Writing by Monica Wood. It’s a collection of anecdotes, encouragements, simple prompts, and clever pictures to get the writing juices flowing, to gently tap the muses and say, “Um, could you get back to work?”

One page was titled “Memo from the Department Of Attitude Adjustment.”

Here are the profound words from that page:

“Sometimes it really does seem as if everyone you know is more successful than you. Sometimes it’s all in your head. And sometimes, alas, it isn’t. But while you’re standing on a lower rung of the ladder of success, looking longingly upward, somebody on a rung lower still is gazing longingly up at you. Why, oh why, do we always gaze up? Why not gaze down once in a while? Is unhappiness merely a function of comparing ourselves to the wrong people? Remember when your biggest goal was simply to begin? Just that? Go back there and look up again – AT YOURSELF.”

(Yes, the quote came complete with a cute, but different picture of a dog looking up, so here's one for added effect. The link for rights to use this picture was broken. If it's yours let me know and I'll give you credit or whatever.)

Is unhappiness merely a function of comparing ourselves to the wrong people?

Writing isn’t a competition. When we treat it as such, the muses simply wear out. They aren’t into competition. They’re into creation. It isn’t how can I catch up or surpass so-in-so. It isn’t: I can or can't write better than her. It’s simply this story, this idea, this instance with the muses. It’s a ladder we climb as a journey and an experience, not a race.

I for one think stopping to look down is a healthy step. Look how far you climbed. The ground is a long way down there now. And, yes, the top may still be out of sight, but would you turn around now? Would you just stop? Nah, you’ll keep climbing because that apex (if it’s there) is much closer now. However, I like to think that once you get to the top of this ladder, it really is just the starting point on another. It’s the climb that counts.

Anyway, that’s my 2 cents. Hopefully, it was encouraging to you. I know it was to me.

Glance down. Then move up one more rung today.


Friday, January 19, 2007

Take the writing seriously

I read Romancing the Blog occasionally. It seems like a good thing to read – a bunch of romance authors writing about writing.

Today, I read Jordan Summer’s blog. Very enlightening.

She started off by saying that she’s going to be giving a presentation in a few months about going from unpublished to published. For obvious reasons, this captured my attention. I read on.

She said the biggest thing is to “DECIDE TO TAKE THE WRITING SERIOUSLY.”

Yeah. I’m there. Quite frankly, I’m obsessed. I love learning about writing and the writing industry. I love reading really great books and hoping to be that good someday. I love reading really not-so-good books and thinking, hell yes, I can do better than that. I love it all.

I even love writing. I love coming up with ideas. The muses are always throwing the ideas up at me, and I have to keep saying, "Wait, let me finish this one first." That alone might be the biggest incentive to finish my book -- those idea filled muses pestering me about a new story.

However, sometimes I use the Internet to “learn about writing” as a chance to avoid actually doing it – which is the hard part. We’ve been learning about blocks in the Girls in the Basement class. I think the Internet and all the great stuff out there about writing is a block for me. It’s easy to justify – I need to know this….it’s important to my career…what if not knowing this one thing keeps me from getting published.

What if not finishing my book keeps me from getting published? Isn’t that the problem I should be worried about? (The correct answer is yes.)

Hopefully, my goals will help me with this. I’ve got minimum word counts to hit each day. I’m not taking off from learning about writing, but I am setting some limits. Instead of signing up for every $25 workshop I can find, I’m really looking for ones with a purpose and trying to take them when I need them. For example, I NEED a plotting class and I will need a synopsis class soon.

It’s hard to say that learning about writing is a block for me because I defend that need ardently. However, that alone should be my biggest clue. What I really need is to write, to work on my plot, and to get the words on paper.

What I really need is to take my writing seriously. Anyone else on board?

The theme for this year is taking writing from hobby to career (aka taking my writing seriously.)

Thanks for the reminder, Jordan.


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Daily stress

Ever have those days when you just can’t go to sleep. I know I should be really, really tired, but I’m not. Perhaps, I was so tired earlier this week because my psyche was weighed down with a meeting that I really dreaded today at the bill-paying job. It was one of those “I told you so” meetings – meaning I could have said that to everyone because I called this 2 years ago (and no one took me seriously). Since my prediction was correct and since I also opened my mouth back then with several possible solutions to said problem, yours truly got stuck in charge of another project --- again.

Please remind me to JUST SHUT UP next time. However, it’s just another reason that in my next life, I’m going to be incompetent (but that’s another blog altogether).

It did, however, get me to thinking about stress and how it wears you down and how it stifles the muses. They just don’t function under the stress. They curl up in little corners with big thick blankets to weather the storm.

For example, last night I wrote 80 words. Yes, that really is 8 x 10. Eighty. Pathetic. I also didn’t exercise, didn’t work on anything craft related, didn’t even set the coffee pot to start automatically this morning (that’s when you know your stressed).

Today, however, the meeting is over. It was largely successful – meaning no one threw stones. They started to, but I think realized a pragmatic approach was best. Stress relieved. No resolution yet, so before the next meeting, I’m sure I’ll get the big “eighty” words again. Nevertheless, today was a good writing day. 696 words in less than 40 minutes. I had to check the word count twice. Hehe.

I also did an interview with my hero. He’s not he most talkative, but wow, he really came clean tonight. He also shared some great songs with me. He’s the biggest CCR fan. Loves the Stones, too. He got me to download some great tunes, so we’re on our way to a soundtrack for the book. WooHoo.

Now at 11:40 pm and counting, I’m writing a blog. I could write on my WIP, but I doubled the word count I expected so I’m stopping at an interesting point so I’m excited to come back tomorrow.

Remind me next time I can’t get the muses to speak that it might be stress. Sometimes I don’t know I’m stressed out until it’s over and the relief washes over me. I’m not ungrateful for the lesson, though. I just figured out the stress/silent muse thing. (So something good came of it.)

So, uh, I guess I have to try those guided meditations, huh?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

2007 Goals

As promised, here are my goals. Hold me to them.

Take my writing from hobby to career.

Dream: Get RWA PRO status and submit my best work for publication.

Objective: Finish and sub my current manuscript– 35 to 40K to complete plus revisions.
1) Get ideas on plot board by 1/15, but with the realization that this is an ongoing process.
2) Write 6 of 7 days per week.
3) Weekly word goal: 3500 words. Weekdays (can take one off) = 325 words per day. Weekends total of 2200 words over 2 days. (This allows me to take off the week of winter break if I want to.)
4) Spend 15 to 30 minutes each day working on plot or characters or mini-revisions.
5) Goal finish date is April 1st.
6) Revisions finished by April 15th.
7) Query letter and synopsis finished by May 1st.
8) Research and have 3 places to sub it by May 1st.
9) Out the door by May 1st.
10) Apply for PRO as soon as I get a letter back.

Objective: Write and finish a novella for an anthology by 7/1.
1) Research and pick out a target anthology by March 1st.
2) Plan and plot novella by April 1st.
3) Be ready to write novella when my current manuscript is complete. (At that time, determine daily word count.)

Objective: Start the next book after the anthology.
Tactics: TBA

Dream: Become a published writer.

Objective: Get noticed and get outside feedback by entering contests.
1) Research and find 3 contests to enter by Feb. 1st.
2) Select contests where the final round judge is an editor and provides feedback (just in case).
3) Make sure to enter before deadline.

Objective: Hone my craft & get a better grip on story structure.
1) Find and take an online plotting workshop.
2) Find and take a synopsis class or buy the CFRWA synopsis book.
3) Read from a craft book 30 minutes each week.
4) Read a novel from a targeted publisher each month or a novel of an author who does something well that I need to learn. (Read 20 minutes everyday.)
5) Spend 30 minutes each week researching agents and publishers. Keep a notebook of agents and publishers.
6) Sign up for RWA National as soon as registration becomes available. Get plane ticket to Dallas by the end of March.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Your true self

I blogged a long one over at Affairs of the Pen today. Check it out.

I wrote about a moment and some words that are powerful to me.

Just think about this:
“…you have the freedom to be yourself, your true self, here and now, and nothing can stand in your way..” Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Wow. Intense stuff.

I have the freedom. My choice. I GET to choose.

To be my true self. Even if others think the dreams and hopes and wishes of my true self are fanciful or unrealistic. I'm the only one that knows whether they are or not. I have to trust myself to dream big enough to challenge me and real enough to give myself a chance.

Here and now. Not next year when I have more time. Not after the kids graduate. Not when I'm a better writer. Not when I've honed my skills. Here. Now. This minute. My choice.

Nothing can stand in my way .... except me. That's the thing about dreams. I'm the only one that can get in the way of my dreams. Life may throw up a roadblock, but I'd better be ready with 4-wheel drive or have some hiking boots and survival gear in back because nothing, not one thing, can stand in my way.

I believe that. It was good to find my old, tattered copy of Jonathan Livingston Seagull and re-read those words.

Tomorrow, I'll post some pretty ambitious goals for the year. Check them out tomorrow. I'm putting them up because I want my road labeled, no veering off and announcing my destination before I get there. Everyone will know where I'm headed, including me. I've got my pack full of survival supplies. And most of all, I have my true self, and that's all I need.


Sunday, January 14, 2007

This Inner Artist Thing

I'm taking Barbara Samuel's new class called The Care and Feeding of Girls in the Basement. It is designed to "help inspire and encourage you, to help you learn (or remember) how to nurture your creative spirit. It’s a chance to renew your joy, tap into the original delight you once felt for writing, and start the year with a powerful commitment to yourself and your writing."

Quite frankly, it's depressing the hell out of me.


I'm having a hard time keeping all the girls in the class straight, for starters. Of course, that's probably a mindfulness problem. (Mindfulness is something we're supposed to work on every day as part of the class. I fail this miserably, as I usually remember to be mindful as I turn out the light after working all day, trying to write, taking care of my husband and 4 dogs, and in general doing all those nagging things you have to do as a grown-up, like laundry and dishes. So, of course, I just go to sleep, mindful that I failed at mindfulness for the day.) Perhaps, if I printed out the emails and kept them together I could "get to know" everyone better. However, that would mean one more writing notebook to add the box currently ready for me to move. Oh, and it's been ready since Dec. 22. Oh, and no one seems to know when the f*&%ing renovations will be finished. So... no new notebook.

Second, everyone seems to be the really creative type. ("Aren't you a writer?" you say. "Aren't you a creative type?") Well, yes I am, but I've never given much thought to sacred spaces and creativity alters and artist dates and muse personification and being the wild woman and wolves and such. I feel like I can't really set up the sacred space because mine is waiting for paint and lighting and a f*&%ing bathroom to be installed, among other things. So, I have yet another box where I'm collecting these things so I can move them and then set them up. However, I don't have a place to put them that's mine. Right now, it's all common space. I can't tell if they work because I can't set them up.

I think my biggest problem is that I truly did ignore the creative side of me for a long, long time. I ignored my need to just be. I was too caught up in achieving and in proving that I not only could do anything to which I set my mind, but that I could do it better and more perfectly than anyone else.

I've had the discussion with my mom recently that part of my intensity comes from the constant praise I received for achieving. There were very few "I love you because you're you's". There were alot of your smart, your at the top of your class, your really good at this or that, and we value you for those things. Being the "good girl" and the "people pleaser" that I am, I worked damned hard to always be smart, top of the class, really good, etc. Of course, mom says no way, she loved me just because. However, I think when you hear praise for THINGS all the time, you start to associate your self worth with accomplishment. And in my case -- perfect accomplishment. It wasn't enough to just be me with hopes and dreams and flaws and indecision and quirkiness.

So... I drove myself to a point where I wasn't sure at all where I was going.

Now, for about a year, I've been on a path to rediscover my creativity. I felt great about it until this class. Everyone is witty and enlightened and far more clever than me. I guess the hardest thing is that I see how analytical I am compared to everyone else's intuitive nature. The women in the class are able to look inside themselves so much better than I am. They can open up their soul windows and see. When I open mine, I wince and then think how can I improve, accomplish and succeed. Those old drives are like barnacles on a boat. I'm just going to have to dive down and scrape them off.

Diving down is the hard part, but I'm just going to keep working on it. This class isn't a competition. It's a self discovery. I think somewhere down deep is a waify little spirit that needs exercise and some healthy love (I almost wrote praise...yikes...see how hard this is) and some serious coaxing. I want to be with that artist inside me, to feel at home with her and her needs, but I haven't worked out just how yet.

I guess, I just keep looking for her. It isn't any wonder why the following has ALWAYS been my favorite song:

I have spoke with the tongue of angels
I have held the hand of a devil
It was warm in the night
I was cold as a stone
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for
I believe in the kingdom come
Then all the colors will bleed into one
Bleed into one
Well, yes, I'm still running

U2, I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For


Saturday, January 13, 2007

Affairs of the Pen

I'm blogging at Affairs of the Pen today. Check it out.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Suzanne Brockmann

"Some of the best romantic suspense writers today are most well-known for (say it with me) their characters. Just about everyone loves Suzanne Brockmann's heroes--particularly her Navy SEALs. And Brockmann herself says she writes around 80 pages of backstory for each of her characters before she even gets to the first actual page of her novel." Tracy Montoya in her Polishing your Manuscript: Pushing yourself from Unpublished to Published workshop at Kiss of Death (RWA's Romantic Suspense Online Chapter).

Okay -- say it with me -- What the hell? I love Suzanne Brockmann. I just started
Flashpoint. I'm listening to it on the unabridged CD in my car while I drive to and from the bill-paying job. Her characters are so real. It truly is one of the great things about her writing. However, I'm 1/3 of the way into the second CD out of 11, and I've already met 4 POV characters. (Say it with me -- 4 x 80 = 320 pages before the first page of the story.) The last book of hers I read (also on CD) was Hot Target. Very, very good. (5 POV characters, if I remember correctly, for 400 pages of backstory before the first novel page.)

Of course, this explains why she is so very good. It also explains why (although I love her books and have been known to drive around my block several dozen times while listening to her because I can't go home until I find out what happens) I'm always a bit depressed when I read her. To me, she's a gold standard in romantic suspense. She writes a book about her characters just for her before she writes her book. I think I have 10 pages of character stuff (backstory) total for my 4 POV characters.

Apparently, I'm just a little behind. (And here I am typing this blog instead of doing the last 100 words I need to get tonight.)

Ah, well. The point of taking this class (in which I'm largely just lurking and printing the lectures for later use) was to find ways to go from unpubbed to pubbed. It's good to know Suzanne Brockman's way to write, but I can quite honestly say, I won't ever write 80 pages of backstory for one character. I'm not sure I could write 80 pages of backstory about me and I've known me for, well, many, many years.

There's a point when you just have to write and quit worrying about how everyone else does it. I'm there. And I'm also off to finish those last 100 words for tonight.

.... And maybe, just maybe, add a bit more backstory to my character worksheets.


Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Work every day ... no matter what

"Work every day. No matter what has happened the day or night before, get up and bite on the nail." --Hemingway

This is what I want -- work every day, no matter what. Sometimes my mind seems to go in so many directions that I can't figure out where to start or end. Tonight, the tug of war is between deleting the last 10 pages of my WIP and then re-attacking it, hammering out more of the plot on the evil plot board, or sitting down with my goal notebook and really figuring out what it is that I want and devising a plan to get there.

"Work every day. No matter what ..."

So I need to work on the book -- either plotting or writing. I gave myself this week to get the kinks ironed out of what I've written so far and get headed in the direction that seems best for the story. I also need to tackle that goal notebook. It's the key to ultimate success.

I guess I'll do both. Thirty minutes of mindful thought toward the goals, followed by thirty minutes of mindful work on the WIP (well, maybe a shower in between -- especially since the really great ideas hit me there). During that time, there won't be any cheating to read email or check out Alyson's blog or read a novel. Thirty minutes x 2. Mindful Work. No matter what. Bite the nail.

Monday, January 8, 2007


I saw The Holiday a few days ago. Loved it. I love romantic movies. Of course, I love adventure movies, too. However, almost every movie that I really love has a romance element of some sort.

I love the boy-meets-girl-and-they-overcome-the-big-obstacle thing.

They meet. They are all wrong for each other, maybe don't even like each other, or maybe they do. They're both interested, but they dance around it for awhile. Finally, they recognize it. Then, they're afraid to admit it. Once they admit it -- after great deliberation or after a weak, impulsive moment -- they face rejection for one of any score of reasons. The black moment descends and all is lost. No. Wait. The heroic couple make sacrifices and it turns out okay and they love each other. HEA.

I love that story. No matter how many times I hear or read it, I love that story!!

Sunday, January 7, 2007

This is it!

This is the year I take writing from something that's more than a hobby, but less than a job to career status. With sound, measurable goals, this will be a year for change, growth, realizing the potential of the artist in me, and getting it done!