Motivation Monday….

Last Monday of the month this means a recap…

Things finished in the writing world~

(1)    A suspense romance novella

(2)    The Christmas Space Opera

(3)    The full length space opera (while it’s not complete, I do think it will be by Thursday so I’m going to list it)

Writing goals ~

(1)    Blog regularly on both this one and the nice me (Tasarla Romaney) one – done.

(2)    Update Website – nope L I’m really questioning keeping it

(3)    Write an average of 3k a day – yup

(4)    Work on promo opportunity – L – nope. Nothing materialize that I had in the works

Personal goals ~

(1)    Stay on the diet train only getting off at the Oktoberfest depot ~ close enough I’m saying accomplished.

(2)    Evil exercise program 6x a week for at least a 21 mile weekly total ~ yup 😀

(3)     Do a blanket for the Linus Blanket Project – nope L

(4)    Track spending with coupons to see the proof that endless hours (or what feels like endless hours) cutting along dotted lines is worth it. An average of 39% savings – so I see a lot of paper cuts in my future.

Reading goals ~

(1)    At least 4 books in month’s selected genre (horror/romance horror/hauntings – basic Halloween stuff) – done

(2)    At least 4 young adult books – done

So that’s October… Now on to November. I’m going to do a NANO novel as Tasarla. I need to get that part of my writing back in motion. I’ve been gone too long and I miss it.  But I haven’t decided what I’m going to tackle on the adult side… so far no characters are screaming at me.  I just learned last week that I’m getting back rights to several of books so I’ll need to spend some time getting them ready to re-market.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by 😀

Not following the rules…

I hate following the rules. A rarely leads to B in my world. Heck 99% of the time I don’t even start off at A. My hubby often says “Oh, that rule is for everyone but you right?” It’s not that I think we don’t need rules/laws and that I’m above them. I just need to understand that there is a valid reason for it. Like while I love to drive over 70 I understand that roaring by schools at 75 is not a good idea nor do I.

The lack of rule following holds true for my writing. Yesterday, I just finished my short suspense-romance novella. The plotting/planning for this WIP? I picked names and a place and started writing. The story morphed in my head at least four times while I wrote it.  I’ve tried the plotting/planning thing. Really I have. But my mind just isn’t wired like that. I become bored and disinterested and every story I’ve tried to plot and plan has never taken off.

For the longest time, I honestly believed I couldn’t call myself a writer if I didn’t do some sort of plotting. Even the articles that promote non-plotting ways of writing has the writer do more planning than I do.   So again I would try to force myself into the writer cookie cutter…and fail. This was a sad circle that led to a lot of M&M’s being eaten.

Finally, I stumbled across yet another ‘writing without plotting’ article. Only this one was different. Apparently, Stephen King does NOT plot!!! He starts withOUT an outline!!!! He has NO scene list.  A big sigh of relief.  It’s amazing that I still need that validation but I did.  I need to remember that we all have a slightly different beat that leads us through life (mine happens to be the Banana Boat song and I love this video clip of it from Beetlejuice ~ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQXVHITd1N4)

Thanks for stopping by!

Writer’s Wednesday

Writer’s Wednesday – Writing a project???
I’m currently taking an on-line class offered by Savvy Authors – Project Management for the Creative Soul. Now at the recently ended day job, I had projects dropping out of my ears so I really hesitated taking this class. I didn’t want to look at my writing as a project. I wanted to enjoy it and everyone knows you don’t enjoy projects… they are work, they require organization, and they aren’t fun.
….BUT….
Writing is a project. Yes, I needed to consume mass amounts of M&M’s when I finally realized this. Please no comments on me being blind to my nose on my face – my family reminds me enough :^} The amount of steps you have in your writing project will differ from mine but we all have them.
In the class I’ve come to realize my steps are far different from my classmates… again no need to point out I always move to my own beat – again the family has that covered. For the plotters a large amount of the project time will be spent doing whatever plotters do. For me this is a two-step process.
#1 – grab baby name book (LOVE 100,000+ baby names by Bruce Lansky)
#2 – grab the notebook I’m going to keep ‘notes’ in. IE the characters names, when I pick them out, their eye color as I write it, ect. Now as a shiny object note here – I do tend to spend some time thinking about the notebook style. Will it be a journal? A spiral notebook that I decorate to fit the theme of the story? A sketch book with pictures and notes??? Here are some examples of notebooks I’ve covered
014writing 001002
Now that my massive planning stage of the project is over I can start writing  Because my planning is on the ‘light’ side my writing tends to be slower. The writing stage of my project has A LOT of steps….
So while I bulked at the idea of viewing my writing as a project, now that I do I think it has helped me settle into a rhythm. Because as my projects at the day job were managed far differently than administration or my co-workers liked none could argue with the end result. The same is true for my writing.
How do you view your writing??? Is it a project or this mysterious thing that forms through the layers of fog?

Two for Tuesday

Every writer has what they view as a resource they couldn’t write without.  For some it’s a dictionary or a grammar reference, for others it’s a ‘craft’ book like Hero and Heroines Sixteen Master Archetypes by Tami D. Cowden, Caro LaFever, and Sue Vider (one of personal favorites).  While I find all these useful, the one resource I’d be lost without is my subscriptions to Cosmo and Budget Traveler.

This writer’s romance bible 🙂

Cosmo provides my muse with several different inspirations. Of course, there are the articles – like Late Night Sex and the quizzes which spark ideas for my ‘steamy’ love scenes. Recipes named Party in my Mouth (mentioned in Tide of Love) and drinks like Cowboy Killer (used Knock Knock). And the models in the ads become characters. I dress my characters from the fashions highlighted.

 The setting is key to a story. Many writers view it as a main character. I feel that it sets the tone of the story and I work not to fall into the stereo type setting.  Budget Traveler is a great magazine for developing locations – not just exotic but local. The little blurb about an ‘off the beaten path’ shoreline town grew into the setting for Tide of Love. I combine the shops of an Ozark village with the restaurants of downtown Dallas and the history of colonial settlement for the setting of my new suspense romance.  

If I can’t go physically go there, I can mentally and take my characters with me

 What are some of your favorite magazines?

 

Monday Motivation

First Monday of the month, so it’s time to reflect on the last month and goal setting for this month. October was a horrible month for writing, probably the worst I’ve had this year.

The goals I had for October were:

 Finish my naughty fairytale

Outline my cupid series and start first book – completing at least ½ if not more depending on the naughty fairytale rewrites go.

Write another Cabin installment (The Cabin ~ Toria and Neal is the first)

Take a writing class – there is a couple I’m looking at

PROMO!!!!!!! – schedule to be part of at least 1 blog hop for my upcoming Halloween release & find some young adult promo ops

AND sadly, I completed NONE of them 😡  I think part of my problem is I don’t have a critique partner at the moment so no one is waiting for chapters and I don’t have a call deadline I’m focused on. So the goals for November…

November’s goals:

Finish my naughty fairytale

Outline my cupid series and start first book – completing at least ½ if not more depending on the naughty fairytale rewrites go.

Write another Cabin installment (The Cabin ~ Toria and Neal is the first)

Take a writing class – there is a couple I’m looking at

PROMO!!!!!!!

AND

Outline new YA story. This idea has been bouncing around in my head for a couple of months so it’s time to get it to paper.

With so many taking part in NANO I’m hoping this will spur me into action. So how did you do for the month of October? And as I reflect on month’s failure, I’m wondering about a weekly accountability group. Does anyone belong to one? If so I’d love to hear about it.

WIP Blog Hop

I was tagged by Krystal Brookes at http://www.krystalbrookes.com

In order for the tree of promise to live, Goldie must choice the right bear

Here are the rules:

•Give credit to the person/blog that tagged you

•Post the rules for this hop

•Answer these ten questions about your current WIP (Work In Progress) on your blog

•Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them.

 

1. What is the working title of your book?

            Goldie and The Bear

 

2. What genre does the book fall under?

            Paranormal/fairy tale

 

3. Which actors would you choose to play your characters for the movie rendition?

            The Bear – Aidan Turner  and Goldie – Juliette Barnes

4. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

            Goldie must pick the right bear to save the world.

 

5. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

            I’m planning on subbing it directly to publishers

 

6. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

            FOREVER – this has been the hardest book I’ve ever written BUT I’ve learn a lot writing it

 

7. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

            Any adult fairy tale retelling

 

8. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

            Nothing really the idea just came to me this summer

 

9. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

            I think most people enjoy fairy tales and this has an adult twist. Revenge, three handsome bear shifters, and of course a love story.

 

Question #10

 

Tag, you’re it!

 

I ’tagged’ the following authors:

Jessica Subject ~ http://www.markofthestars.com

Wendy Ely ~ http://www.wendyely.blogspot.com

Ella Jade ~ http://www.wendyely.blogspot.com

Brain Collier

Liza O’Connor

Get ready, get set, WRITE!

If you’re a writer than you probably know November is National Write a Novel In a Month. While I don’t necessary official participate, I do enjoy hearing how other writers prepare for this. This past week I’ve read Lynn Viehl’s Way of the Cheetah – How to Boost Your Productively. She offers this as free resource during this prep time (at http://pbackwriter.blogspot.com/ )

 One of the first sections is motivation. The cheetah’s hunts because he has to survive – as Ms. Viehl points out there are no cheetah Burger King.

 So why do I write?

 Because I enjoy it. I have other ways for making money to pay my bills – so survival isn’t my driving force.  And this offers a conflict in her number one principal – give writing 100% of my focus. In the past I have wrote when I ‘felt’ like it or could squeeze it into my day. If I’m going to move to a fulltime write, I need to change this mind set.

 How do I make writing my number one focus?

 Since many writers will spend November making this their focus by altering their schedule for ultimate output, I’ve decide to become a more active member of the event.

 My kick-off writing schedule:

 5am – 9 am Blog/breakfast/taking dog for a walk/house upkeep- Since I’m not a plotter I plan on using this time as a ‘mental brainstorming’ period. What better to take my mind off moping than planning a steamy love scene 😉

9 am – 3 pm  New writing (small breaks of no more than 10 minutes with ½ for lunch – this is the longest block of time I’ve ever tried to do any SINGLE activity)

3 pm – 3:30 pm Social networking, e-mails

7:00 pm – 10 pm Edits/new writing/working out plot hiccups

My daily goal to start out with is about 6k new words a day.  Now I have no idea if this writing schedule will work, like I said I’ve never done a major time block for writing.

Do you do writing spurts or large blocks?  How do you keep your focus in during the marathon? Or how do you refocus after each spurt?

Motivation Monday ~ going for the gold

With the Olympics ending it’s hard to think about motivation without thinking about those who were part of them. Be it swimming, track, kayaking, basketball or one of the other sports athletics competed in the desire to be the best shone in them all. No athletic there would say he/she made it to London on their own. I’m sure they could name coaches, parents, siblings, spouses, and the list goes on of people who inspired, supported, or pushed them to be the great athletic they are (and I think anyone competing in the Olympics has outstanding dedication, motivation, and ability). Another thing all Olympic athletics have in common is their many ‘milestones’ along the way.

 

From a new project – A Year at the Beach Blog

As writers we also share many ‘milestones’ along the way that can act as motivators. Finishing our first novel.  Getting our first novel published (these may not be the same novel – I know several writers whose first novel are hidden away. It was the finishing that was important the honing of the skill came with the second). Receiving our first review (good and bad). Etc.

The ‘milestones’ change for writers as they develop their career as it does for an athletic. For one it maybe mastering a new swim stroke for another it may be to set a new record.  Each is motivated by different things. As with writers. I’ve said in previous post, I’m not extremely competitive so to join a yahoo group that focus on daily/weekly/monthly word counts does nothing to superglue my butt to the chair and keep me off facebook.

I’ve really struggled the last weeks with finding my motivation – hence the reason for Motivation Monday. While my switch from my full time EDJ to full time writing sounded great what I didn’t think about was the personal satisfaction element.  Don’t get me wrong I LOVE e-mails offering me book contracts but it isn’t the same as working closing with a student and helping her/him achieve a goal.

So after WEEKS of gorging myself on M&M’s to the point I can’t wear anything but yoga pants (which have never been worn to a yoga class) and my sweat shorts I realize it’s not the motivation I lack but the sense of accomplishment that I helped someone bury a personal demon. That we made a small step toward good.

Sometimes it’s hard to find your path in life…

Now don’t get me wrong, I understand finishing a book is an accomplishment but for me it doesn’t propel me to take the next step.  I started writing as a type of ‘therapy’ to handle the ‘darkness’ of my job. Gone is the darkness and with it the motivation to write.

So now I have identified the problem, how do I fix it? How do I make myself write? Well, first I decided I need to volunteer or do something that allows to me work with people. I need that interaction and that sense I’m contributing.  Not to return to the darkness that accompanied my EDJ but an outlet for my writing this time.

As each Olympic athletic has their own personal motivation pushing them toward the gold, writers also do it for a variety of reasons. Now that I have figured out what mine is hopefully, I can finish these two WIP‘s before I outgrow my yoga pants.

This month has been one hiccup after another. A death in the family – my brother-in-law – preceded a three week visit from my daughter (she’s in the Navy and stationed overseas) and now I’m looking at August. NONE of July goals were met 😦 When I was terminated from my EDJ, I decided this was the time to shift to a full time writer.  I’m so far from being where I need to be. Currently, I feel like I’m trying to move Alaska so it’s off the coast of Florida with a paddle.

Right now two of my WIP should be completed and I should have outlined (using my new plotter technique) my new suspense romance and young adult fantasy. Of the four, I’ve done NONE. It’s hard to keep a flow of new releases when you don’t write anything… just saying.

So I find myself at a cross roads.  Do I evaluate my six month writing ‘to-do’ list then trudge on and put my nose to the grind stone as they say for the month of August? This would require high production for the remaining five months (including December) so I can get close to where I need to be. Can I keep life away for five month? I doubt it.

Were my goals out of reach to begin with? Did I set up myself for failure? No, I think they were on the high side of obtainable but it really doesn’t matter because I didn’t even get 1/4 of any of them done, so it wasn’t like I came in a close second or third, I didn’t even start the race.

 

Ice coffee – a must have when making life decisions

Life changes are difficult under the best circumstances – but when it’s a raging storm they can seem impossible. Alot of intense soul searching is on my agenda for today. Can’t waste time ‘pondering.’ Alaska will never move if I sit and think about it. So off to think and drink ice coffee….

Transformation Step 2 – The Dreaded Outline

The word “outline” will send any pantser running for a bag of M&M’s and a bottle of wine. Yet I knew I had to figure out a way to work this into my writing.  Step 1 was using a calendar to keep track of the events and make sure my timeline remained accurate (so I didn’t end up with everything happening on a Tuesday and six Fridays in a month).  I tried adding brief notes to the days but it wasn’t working – I needed up with a mess.  I’d put down an event and then realized something had to happen first, etc.

So after several deep breaths and putting on my big girl writer panties, I set out on a mission to find an outline process that wouldn’t send me into an M&M’s overdose.

I like the flowchart idea and read several great articles on using it for your writing. BUT when I tried the software (a couple of different kinds – trial so no money spent) my stomach knotted and my left eye started to twitch. However like I said I did like the idea so I used my creative side and made adjustments.

My ‘flowchart’

An excuse to buy more colored pens – a passion of mine

On the giant sheets of paper I did the “what if’s” and it was great for brainstorming. If I decided an idea wouldn’t work I simply left it alone but if an idea did fit my vision of the story I made a note besides it like #SP1  (subplot 1) and then on a separate sheet I wrote out the details of that idea. Now I didn’t say what chapter each detail will happen… no sense getting too plotter.  BUT now I have the main events listed with the cause and effects of each and all the subplots so I don’t have to worry about a ‘dangling’ string.

Once I’ve written each detail/event into the story I’ll make a note of it on my calendar (the chapter number on the day it happened) and mark it off my ‘flowchart.’  

Another reason I like this versus the software – it’s portable. The pictures were taken on my porch which is where I did the plotting/planning. I wanted something I could move to where I wanted to write – my porch, my backyard, the family room while I watch Food Network J.

I’d have to download any software to my laptop and desktop.  My laptop doesn’t have internet access so that was a barrier (I save everything to a flash drive from my laptop). 

What are some of the ways you outline?