Sunday, October 20, 2013

What I do when I write...

I know it is a crazy title, but I bet you didn't know the following, when I write:

- I read a lot in the genre I'm writing in. While I'm into my own story, I do like to keep my mind going and not focus only on my storyline. Keeping an open mind and reading a lot helps me change the plot, as I write. Reading and real life happenings are inspirational, too.

- I have the outline of the story set prior to writing. But, it isn't always set in stone. I haven't written once, where the storyline hasn't changed. I find that as I write, I get little AHA moments and the tale begins to take on its own life. I just write how it wants to be told.

- I can write pretty much anywhere. I do admit, I don't fancy loud or populated areas. They are distracting and it is hard to tune out what people are saying at times. I do prefer quiet places. I guess that's why I like to write late at night and the wee hours of the morning.

- I often write with my faithful four legged fur babe close by. If I stay up late, he's at my feet while I'm typing away. If I'm writing during the weekend, he has himself wedged behind my computer desk, usually snoring away.

- If I'm unsure of a concept I want to place in the book, I often run things by my husband, mother or one of my trusted Beta readers.

- My mind never really shuts off with thinking. I don't know why, but it never has. I'm continually coming up with new ideas for potential stories. However, when I'm writing, my mind is in a continual loop over the story at hand, replaying different scenes, going through the motions of the book and altering things slightly to see how they would play out. Sometimes this is frustrating and other times I approach the story at a new angle and end up with a new idea to try.

- I've often been found at the keyboard with my eyes closed, leaning back in the chair and typing away at the keys. Good thing I was excellent at typing in school. :-) When the scene is difficult to get down, I often let my imagination take over my typing. It sounds crazy, I know, but it works. Some scenes run smoothly onto paper like perfectly tempered chocolate. Other scenes are difficult to describe and harder to write down. I guess I would relate those scenes to trying to climb a rocky mountain side with a heavy weighted backpack strapped on. They may be difficult, but once the climb is done (or the scene in this case), you cherish the struggle.

- I often have an iced tea or water nearby to keep hydrated and I snack on protein rich snacks and fresh fruit to keep me going.  I don't like sugary substances or carbohydrates to make me sluggish and slow down my thinking.  
- Almost forgot...if I'm running on little sleep, which I often do, then coffee is definitely present!  Right now my favorite flavor creamer is Italian Sweet Cream and Peppermint Mocha. 

Okay, enough about my quirks when I write. Now I need to get back onto the story at hand. My characters are starting to pace the floor and are giving me glaring looks. Trust me when I tell you that you don't want to be caught in one of Garrett's glares.  He could melt the soles off your shoes!  LOL!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Halloween Memories - Blog Hop/Giveaway

Halloween Memories - Blog Hop/Giveaway  - Starts October 16th and Runs through midnight, October 31st. 

This is a hard post, because there are so many fond Halloween memories from my childhood; but, my favorites all are current with my son.  I love the holidays, but I love them even more looking at them through his wonderment.

Last year would have to be one of my fondest Halloween memories.  We started out the month decorating the house inside and out.  The older my son gets, the more he wants to decorate things.  He lets me know when I've put things in the wrong place and has an excellent memory of letting me know where I had things from the year before.

By mid-October, we had an amazing field trip to a local petting farm, in which husband's parents joined us for the excursion.  At the end of the tour, we were able to go into the pumpkin patch and each pick out a pumpkin.  They were small things, but ones you could easily paint or draw on and sit inside.  My heart swelled when he asked, "I have one for me, but can yours and daddy's pumpkins go to our neighbors, so they have one to enjoy, too?"  He's always thinking of others.

When it came to picking a costume, he wasn't quite sure what he wanted to be for Halloween, so we finally decided on two costumes on an online auction.  We decided to let fate decide what he should dress up as.  The choices were a police man, so he could dress like his uncle, or Aniken Skywalker, right before he became Darth Vader, in Star Wars III.  We put our bids in and Aniken won.

To say my son was enthused, was putting it mildly, until the costume arrived.  It was much nicer than the ones available at all the stores.  Plus, with him being a Star Wars enthusiast, he had to put it on immediately to give his "Seal of Approval".  The completed look, with lightsaber, was amazing!  Our son's hair color and skin tone matched that of Hayden Christensen, the one who played Aniken, so he looked like his mini-me, literally!  My husband and I had wanted to dress him up like this years earlier, but he was always too short for the costume.

Halloween day came and we joined with several of our friends for a party, followed by trick or treating.  The neighborhood we went to is not that far from our own, but what we found floored us.  Almost all the houses were decorated for Halloween, plus one block, just to make things easier, had all the neighbors lined up in chairs handing out candy.  They wanted to be able to see all the trick-or-treaters and to save the parents from the extra walking.  Almost too good to be true.  He usually had his pumpkin pail only get a fill to maybe half or less, but last year the thing was almost to the top.  He was super delighted.

This year, being a Star Wars nut, I tried talking him into Darth Vader, because it fit him like a glove.  But, he had his own ideas and is a x-ray skeleton instead.  I can work with that, since we are studying what the names and locations of the bones are anyhow.

Looking forward to another amazing Halloween and Fall!

To enter my giveaway, via Rafflecopter, for a chance at a $5 Amazon gift card:  

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Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Life of an Author

Funny title, I know, but I'm being insightful today.

At one time, when I first started writing, considered myself a hobby writer.  I would write when the mood struck, but I didn't have a timetable or follow any specific rules to things.  Now that I've managed to complete a couple of books, I find that I look at myself as a part-time writer.  While being a full-time one would be ideal, it doesn't actually fit into my life's schedule.  For me family, along with their needs, come first, then writing comes second.  It is becoming more and more of a career; one of which I love!

The first book was one that took forever to write, because I feel victim to the naysayers that I shouldn't "waist my time".  Well, you see how much I listen.  I do admit I stopped more than once and almost gave up, but I truly do love writing.  I have found that it is my stress relief, it allows me to put really 'out there' ideas on paper and see if they could potentially work.  I let my dreams become my stories, or maybe it's my stories that are becoming my dreams.  Either way...I get to share my thoughts, my false realities, my fantasies with others.  Isn't that what life is about, allowing oneself the right to be heard?

I thought that after the first book, the writing would get easier.  In some instances, it has and in others it has not.  I know an explanation is in order.  In one respect, the more my work goes to the editor(s), the more defined my writing gets, because I see my mistakes and try to prevent myself from making the same ones continually.  I find that instead of rambling on about a scene, I am able to get directly to the point without compromising the information.   So there are plus sides to continued writing...the more you write the stronger one should get. 

On the flip side, there is also self doubt.  Yes, I know I shouldn't succumb to that, but once a book is out there, you have the added pressure of the next book having to be at least as good, and most likely better than the last.  You wonder if your words and thoughts are equal to those that you have written before.  You feel the need to make your mark on the writing world and have your name be known.  Well, that would work if that's all I was interested in, but it's not!

Granted, it would be nice to have my name known more.  But, I find success in the mere fact that I'm following my dream and putting my words out there for others to enjoy.  I write for pleasure, for fun and just because I want to. 

I am no longer a wannabe author.  My words are now sealed in paper and electronic form for a long time.  Some will enjoy my stories, while others do not.  While my preferred audience is in the romantic spectrum, I do plan to grow and challenge myself to jump outside my comfort zone and seek to write in areas that intrigue me.  My world is still very much my own, following my family's schedule, but I now incorporate timelines, due dates and potential release dates into the mix of things and I couldn't be happier! 

For those who are wondering what I'm working on:

"Loving You" - the second book in the Remembrance Series, is about to go to the formatter this week.  It is set to release in November 2013. 

The second book in the Learning Series, "Learning to Let Go," is in the making and is due to the editors on December 1st with a potential release date early 2014, with the final installment (possibly final, still undetermined how many books will be included in this series) due in May 2014.