Thursday, December 27, 2012

Thursday's Children - Embracing the Chaos

It's the holiday season and everyone is sunning around like crazy people. Or is that just me? Either way, trying to keep to my regular writing schedule during this time of year is more than a little daunting. We've had four family holiday parties so far and one left to go. It's madness.

But, I'm trying. I know that if I don't - if I just blow off all my writing duties (like bloggging) - I'll have a harder time getting back into my story when things are less chaotic. But sometimes we just have to embrace the insanity and do the best we can and get back to our writing later.

So right now, I'm going for ninty percent embracing the insanity and ten percent normal writing schedule. It's a lot like working out to keep up my stamina so I'll have enough energy to run that marathon when the holiday madness is over.

If you celebrate any of the holidays this season, I hope you're all enjoying time with your family and friends. If you don't celebrate, I'm still hoping you're having a great end of the year and I'm wishing us all a wonderful and productive new year!

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Thursday's Children: The Time is Now

Something I hear from a lot of people is "I'd like to write a book, but I just don't have time."
The sad thing is, this is true. If you operate on the belief that you don't have the time to write, you won't. If you don't make the time to write, to carve it out of the chaos of everyday life, it won't happen. You won't write that book that's lurking inside you. 

It's not that writers are less busy than other people. To the contrary, writers are probably the busiest people I've ever met. Not only are they managing their own lives and often the lives of their families, they're also creating and keeping track of the lives, and sometimes deaths, of a whole host of fictional characters.

If writing a book is important to you, you'll find the time to do it. You'll stay up late, get up early, give up things that are less important that your story. Take a look at your life - what can you get rid of. Obviously the kids have to stay. :)  The day job probably does too - at least for now. But there are probably things you can let go of. Like excessive TV watching or internet surfing.

In addition to cutting things, you can also more effectively use the small pockets of time you do have. Instead of being cranky that you don't have time to write, keep a notebook with you, write while your kid is getting his braces adjusted. Make notes while you're getting your oil changed. Work on character studies while your kid is at practice or you're making supper.

Are these ideal situations in which to write? Nope. But they're usable. Would we all rather sit uninterrupted for hours at a time and focus only on our stories? Absolutely. But those aren't the lives most of us have. We have to take the opportunities we have, even if they don't look like much. Those found opportunities will add up the story you've always wanted to write.

When I start feeling overwhelmed by life and my perceived lack of time, I remind myself of this quote by E.B. White: “A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word to paper.”

I don't want to be the person who never writes the stories she wants to tell, so I'll keep finding time even it's not perfect. There are too many stories not to.

We'd love to have you join and tell us what inspires you and your writing! Here's the code for your blog if you'd like to join us! 

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

This is what Christmas looks like at my house. o.O

This is what our tree looked like until the cats got to it. It was a lovely and peaceful two minutes.

 Willow making herself at home and trying to put an end to an evil acorn.
 Possibly plotting the demise of Kanga and Roo who are hanging just out of view.
 I don't even know what got her attention here.
 Making herself really comfortable.
 See that little blonde faery? Yeah, Willow took her out later that night. Still have to glue her back together.
 Bored now.
 Morrighan has joined her sister in the tree.

Morrighan prefers shipping boxes to the tree, but when there are no boxes, she'll cheerfully climb.

So yeah...this is the naughtiness at my house. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to fix a faery, a mushroom and a pirate ship - all casualties of Willow and Morrighan, the holiday terrors.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Thursday's Children - What does inspiration smell like?

I think that everyone knows that scents are capable of evoking strong emotional memories. Fresh baked bread, lilacs, oranges and cloves, incense, peonies - I have strong scent associations with all of those things. Hell, even the smell of fresh cut hay and cow manure bring out the nostalgia in me since I spent a lot of my childhood summers on working dairy and sustenance farms.

As beginner writers, we're often reminded to utilize all of the senses in order to more effectively bring our stories to life for our readers. In a lot of books that I read, I've noticed that scent is probably the most neglected of the senses. It's an important one, though. Its inclusion adds a subtle depth to scenes, helping to anchor the reader more firmly in the realities of the stories we read and write.

I'm a big proponent of aromatherapy, and I even use it while writing. In addition to using specific music to set the mood, I also use scents - either perfume oils or scented candles. Yes, I know the candle thing sounds like a giant cliché, but the scents really do help put me in the right frame of mind to get down to work. They also help with description to more effectively and evocatively describe the scene - especially since I can't always drop everything and head to the lake shore or the the woods!

 And if you're in the market for some inspiring scents, may I recommend, The Mindful Mushroom?

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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Thursday's Chidren - FINISHED THE BOOK!

I'm so excited! I finished my book, Eventide, last Friday morning at 8:49.

I don't think I've ever been more pleased with something I've written. I hope that's a good sign.

I often use visual cues while writing, so I thought I'd share some of the things that inspired me while writing it. And the (very rough) blurb is below the pictures.

Also, the act of finishing it has motivated me to start the next one in the series. Images and phrases that I wouldn't allow into my consciousness while I was finishing up this story are now jumping up and down hollering, "Pick me! Pick me!"

It's funny how finishing one book can immediately inspire you to start a new one. I'm just gonna roll with it. Why look a gift idea in the mouth. ;)

Devon Greer has a secret, and it might just kill her.

Responsible for the death of her best friend and an outcast in her community because of it, she’s got even bigger problems. She’s pretty sure she’s losing her mind. Despite the fact that Rachel was buried four months ago, Devon has been seeing her everywhere. And she’s not alone.

In the wilds of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Devon encounters the impossible—white stags, otherworldly warriors, changelings and the Faery Court of the Sidhe. And most of them want her dead.

Devon’s got one chance to put things right. One chance to save Rachel. If she can survive long enough to do it.

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