Tuesday, April 28, 2015

My Foray Into the Dreaded Writing Group!

Like many writers, I suffer from a great desire to sit behind my computer and interact with people only through the written word.

Its so much easier.

And comfy.  (I don't have to wear pants.)

And okay, I'll admit, it's easier to deal with any sort of criticism if you can view the source as cold an impersonal.

It's strange that I should feel this way about my writing.  My day job requires lots of interpersonal interaction with people on various levels--from doing personal care to meetings with families and co-workers--and I weather that just fine.  I don't mind any sort of feedback from online forums and things like that when it comes to my writing.  But for some reason, having real live people listen to or read my work while looking at me is just too much.

Recently I've lit a new fire under my butt.  I've decided to give my dreams a chance, re-visit some of my older works and breathe new life into them--give them the attention they deserved in the first place, rather than giving up on them because an agent didn't give their stamp of approval.

Soooo... I put my big girl pants on and attended a real live writing group.  Like, one with people.  In the same room as me. It was terrifying.  And awesome.  I'm so glad I put on the big girl pants.  They're starting to feel really comfortable.

I've been in the Critters writing group for some time now and have found it valuable.  But there is something about being in a room filled with other people who also have the same crazy, passionate dream as you do... It's inspiring, uplifting, and motivating.  You're not alone! And as solitary as writing can sometimes feel, this is very important!

I highly recommend Writing at the Ledges, in Grand Ledge, if you are a mid-Michigan native.  They are a great group of people and I hope to continue to develop supportive relationships with the group.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Goodreads Ask the Author

I just took some time to answer some of the questions on Goodreads Ask the Author section.  Its a fun feature!  I hope that one day when I'm a big bad "real" author, I will get the opportunity to do things like this.  I love hearing what people are thinking as they read, their questions, how they see the characters.... Its amazing to me how a book can bring people together from all over!

Friday, January 30, 2015

E-Book Freebie This Weekend

I've been so busy lately that my poor little baby blog has been neglected. I'm thinking of gearing up and taking part in the Blogging From A-Z April Challenge.  I've really enjoyed writing little bits of flash creature fiction for this in the past, and getting to "meet" new people on-line.  Click the link for the sign up page.
Comment if you're participating this year and I'll try to make sure to check out your posts!  Also, if you have any fun blog hops coming up, I'd love to hear about them!

This weekend, my E-book, Redemption, will be free from Amazon.  If you need the kindle app, available for any device, see the headers at the top of my blog for the link!

    “You have five days to find the key, or death will visit your waking world.”  Rebecca is trapped in an endless dream- and the grim reaper wants to play.
    Rebecca must fight her way through a series of fantastic creatures who force her to face her deepest pain and her innermost fears as she searches for the key to her escape.  She finds an unlikely ally along the way- a beautiful man named Isaac who is also trapped in this nightmare world of hydras, lamia, and sadistic hooded death.  They struggle on together, revealing their darkest secrets, each finding strength and purpose in the other.  The two broken souls soon discover that this fantasy world is more than a dream, and that one of them is running out of time.
    Rebecca finds the key to their escape and returns to the waking world- alone.  Now she must use her newfound knowledge to return Isaac’s soul to the world of the living, before it’s too late.
    REDEMPTION is fantasy romance with a contemporary feel.  It explores the breadth and depth of the human spirit- and the idea that we are all capable of redemption.  This novel contains explicit scenes (language, adult concepts, and sexual content), and is for mature readers only.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Writing Courses

I wanted to share a little writing gem with you.  I recently went searching for some sort of writing course that I could use to help develop my writing. I am a bit limited though.  I don't have tons of money to spend, I work 40-50 hours a week and have a family.  I can't be jet setting to thousand dollar week long writing retreats or something like that.

Good news! I found a podcast on Writing Excuses (check them out if you haven't already!) with guest speaker David Farland.  He is a teacher and author who has an extensive biography that includes about a million bits of relevant experience, including best selling author, teaching at the college level, and work in Hollywood as a "story doctor," for screenplays, among other things. He mentioned his online courses at My Story Doctor and I had to check it out.

I was happy to find a beginner course that sounded like it would be a good fit for me. It was pricey (by my admittedly cheap standards :) but I've found it really worth the money.  The courses are online.  You read/listen/watch material at your own pace, and there are several on-line meetings each week that you can join as you have time.  I love that you get to talk to Dave personally and ask him any question that pops into your head.  In addition, he gives you assignments throughout, which he then provides personal feedback on.

For me this has been a great way to fit a class into my busy schedule and still get to actually interact on a personal basis with a professional writer and teacher.  I highly recommend his courses.   Take a peek. Happy writing!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Don't Write Every Day. Or do. Whatever.

The question I've continued to struggle with lately has been how in the world to keep... slogging... forward...

... but then it occurs to me, this shouldn't feel like slogging at all! Writing is my dream.  It should feel good.  Even when it's awful, it should feel GOOD.  Like running, or losing weight, or really rough sex...oops!

It seems like when you are a writer, one of the biggest pieces of advice that gets drilled into your poor, overwhelmed, overworked brain is WRITE EVERY DAY. You must do this, no matter what.  It is the only way to get anywhere, the only way to improve. The only way to eventually be someone.

I have a problem with this, and I've been beating myself up over it for a long time now.  (Cough, years, cough).

Writing shouldn't be this painful.  It never used to be.  It was easy to try my best to write every day.  When I was working 30 hours a week and my kid still occasionally took naps.  Then I got a better paying job, complete with lots more overtime, my daughter started school... in short, life. I'm so exhausted that I have to write in spurts, whenever it occurs to me and I have a spare 5 min. Sometimes I go a whole WEEK without writing! Gasp.

And you know what? That is absolutely OKAY!

Say it with me.  Not writing every day is okay!

You aren't worthless.  You aren't a failure.  You aren't weak willed.

You are human.

What's important is that you do keep writing.  On whatever schedule you can.  Chasing your dreams at the expense of your health, your family, your job (you know, the one that pays the bills, provides you with food and shelter) would just be stupid. Romantic, but stupid.

I don't get to write every day.  Hell, I don't get to write on a consistent basis for any set amount of time in a day, week, month, year... but I still somehow get stuff done.  I complete novels.  Granted, it's slower going these days, but you know what? How many people in my personal circle of friends can say they did something like complete a novel (or two, or three) in the course of a lifetime- let alone a year? None. Zero. Zip. Zilch.  So, how can I not be proud of that?

We are so good at crapping on ourselves.  I say STOP it.  Give yourself some credit.  You earned it.  Wrote a chapter this month? Good for you. A paragraph? Great.  One measly freaking sentence? Fuck yes! Good job! Cause you know what? It's still more than nothing.

All those people who are lucky enough to be blessed with unlimited stores of energy, free time, and no worries outside spending 2, 4, 20 hours a day writing? Forget 'em.

They don't matter.

All that matters is your story. Your happiness. Go forth and conquer!  One letter at a time, if need be!!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Free E-books This Weekend

I have two freebies this weekend:

Pooka- Fantasy romance short story featuring everyone's favorite shape-shifting goblin.
Survivor- Paranormal romance featuring a heroine with a disability.

Take a minute to pick these up for free and give me some feedback! Happy reading :)

Monday, May 19, 2014

Your New Writing Goal- 750 words

It's been a long time since I've found time (and energy!) to blog.  But I had to share this link!!

This website, 750 words, is a place where you can log personal writing and you are rewarded with a point system.  Now, the creator uses it more like journaling to clear his mind, but I am finding it to be a useful tool for word count.
I recently read a post about tips for writers who complain of not having time to write (ie: me when I work 50 hours at a draining job, have a 5 year old child, and other miscellaneous crap to do).  One tip was setting a very small, achievable goal for every day. For example, writing for 10 min. a day.  Or writing 750 words.  It's totally do-able, and 750 words every day would mean you could finish 3 NOVELS in a year's time!

So think about trying this website and let me know what you think.