Tag Archives: books

Breakthrough!

Two of them actually.

I saw Stephen King last night and I saw John Brown today. It was just the kick to the pants that I needed. Stephen King prefaced his Q&A session with his two most commonly asked questions, “Where do you get your ideas?” and “What was your childhood like?”

 

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He’s like the daddest dad that ever did dad. And he totally kicked so much ass

 

His idea answer was perfect. He’d find something fun to play with in his daily life. Something shiny that would be fun to play with. Where he got his idea for Cujo, for instance. It was so nice to hear someone has the same creative process as I do. And especially nice that someone with the same creative process as me had a room full of people cheering and clapping for old books in a huge back catalog.

 

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Well…. maybe not

Today, the Utah chapter of the RWA met with John Brown for a presentation. It was along the lines of what Stephen King said. It’s about triggering something in the reader’s mind, it’s about saying, “A Chevrolet” instead of “a sedan.” You have to make a real, actual place in the reader’s mind. Make it lean, make it vivid. Find the big important chunks. Don’t describe every little thing about a character, just the big identifying features. Something that makes them ping in your mind. Same for environments and objects. Make it stick.

 

Anyway, these two presentations I watched, well, it gave me that little push that I can do this. I can fucking do this and write my stories and share them with the world. My writing processes aren’t terribly different from theirs. I can do this. I want to do this, this is what I always gravitate to, this is where I belong.

 

adolescentevergreenelephantbeetle
He’s trolling, right? God, I hope he’s trolling

And my second breakthrough (this is a 180º from writing): I think it’s my cortisol that’s making it hard for me to lose weight. The hubster is still doing his travel work and it’s rough on my little brain when he’s gone. I’m running the show, making all the decisions, herding dogs and babies and all that. My stress level is pretty high when he’s gone. There are some studies I’ve run across showing high cortisol levels can hamper weight loss and I’m thinking that’s probably what’s happening to me. And this is important because if I don’t lose this weight (another 15 pounds!) I have to send this asshole $50. I’m not sure how to fix this, but having a suspicion of what’s going on is a good first step.

 

Feels good to be figuring things out. And it is so nice to feel like I can do this, that I can be a writer and write and share these stories. I guess that means it’s time to get back to revision… 😦 heh

And one last thought: The idea there are no “rules” when it comes to writing is freaking out my little autism brain. I need and love my rules. But, here’s the rulebreakers, I guess. ha!

Ideas

I don’t remember where I saw this quote, only that it went something along the lines of “Writers are just people who notice their ideas and turn them into stories.” Or something along those lines.

I was chatting with a friend on Facebook and she asked where I got my ideas for my stories. Truth is, most of my stories start with the tiniest kernel of, “Well, what if this were to happen?” and then I can’t stop playing with it.

The idea for LuLo came from walking out of a gymnastics meet with my sister in law. What if a collegiate gymnast fell in love with a scruffy parkour guy? She was Talulah, one of the names I had put forward for my kid, but my husband had vetoed. I thought about naming him Reese, but then she became Talulah Reese and suddenly she was a person. He was still nameless, but I had an idea of what I wanted from him. Her opposite in so many ways. Then I was watching Doctor Who and this slightly annoying character named Tallulah showed up and she was in love with pigman Laszlo. A little research into the name Laszlo et voila, he’s got a backstory and we’ve got a big fun sandbox to play in.

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I haven’t watched Jessica Jones because I can’t bear to see the Tenth Doctor be evil

 

It’s fun when you catch a wisp of a story. A little something will float past your subconscious and you go, “Waitasec. What the hell was that just now?” And you grab it and look at it and poke at it and find a blue papermate in your purse and ask your waitress for extra napkins and write like a crazy person and get the guts of your story scribbled down.

Usually those kinds of napkin stories are persistent and won’t leave you alone until the story is done. Those are convenient because then you just *blup* and there is your zero draft. There’s no, “Okay, I really should write something tonight.” It’s more of a “Well,  I can’t stop thinking about this story and it just needs to come out and you know how my brain is, but we’ll get brunch when I’m done,” kind of thing. It’s waking up from a dream and going to the desk and working before the sun is up.

Sometimes, that strike of inspiration will just hit and it will be amazing. Game of Thrones spoiler!
Continue reading Ideas

It’s a start

Well, I’m up before my family and sitting at my writing desk. It isn’t the 5 or 5:30 I had originally planned, but I’m up and sitting here and my family is still all asleep.

I’ve never been the most graceful about waking up early, but I was working at a cafe and I had to be there at 5:30 in the morning. I came to love being awake so early, before the rest of the world. Of course, once I stopped, I went right back to “Wow! Nighttime is so goddamn cool!” And, I’ve taken a bunch of 7:30 classes too. I’ve done it before. I shouldn’t use all my excuses about it being too hard or too early or I’m too tired or whatever. Because I was waiting tables while I was taking a 7:30 chemistry class and did just fine at both. Of course, this was over a decade ago and I didn’t feel so old and creaky then. 😂

So. Here I am. I know I’ve said I’d do it before, but I never followed through. I might not have been up when I was planning, but here I am. I think I need to clean off my writing desk before I can get a whole lot done, but, I think I might just work in my dirty space for now. I can clean later when the Entropy Machine begins bouncing through the house.

Now, to catch up on The Embezzling Oma and see where I need to go and what needs to be written and what to do on it. Because… I think it’s been over a month since I’ve worked on it. It’s been sitting in the same place on my kitchen counter for two weeks. And I’ve been feeling the call, but honestly, by the time the Entropy Machine is down, I just am done. So totally done.

Anyway. I’ve been neglecting things that are important to me. Writing has always been something I have needed to do. I’ve needed an outlet for the thoughts bouncing around in my head, something for the extra cycles in my brain to work on. And instead of lessening my anxiety, it’s been increasing it because I have wanted to do it, I have wanted to sit down and let these ideas in my head come out and play and I didn’t have it in me.

I wonder if my diet and eating better made it easier for me to get up earlier? Maybe. Oh, that’s going great by the way. I’m feeling better, I wouldn’t say looking better yet, but I’m definitely feeling better and it’s easier and easier to make better choices.

Anyway. I knew I needed to get a quick blog post out, but I definitely need to get some scribbling done before the Entropy Machine wakes up.

Here’s to finding time for yourself. Here’s to finding it and doing it and making it happen.

Writing Update- Guess who’s going to Khazad-dûm?!

I was soundly scolded for having seven finished manuscripts (maybe more actually, I have a hell of a time counting them) that need revising. I know I’ve complained about revision before and I know I’ll complain about it again, but it’s time to put my shoulder to the wheel, my nose to the grindstone, the pedal to the metal, metaphor, metaphor, metaphor.

I reread my NaNoWriMo story from last year and I absolutely loved it. I don’t think I’ve talked too much about it, but it turned all goofy all quick.

 

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yeah, this is what the rambles in my head usually sound like. It’s a noisy place in here

 

Continue reading Writing Update- Guess who’s going to Khazad-dûm?!

And suddenly, I am remarkably busy

I joined the Romance Writers of America group. Not gonna lie, I joined and felt like hot shit. Well, the fact of the matter is, I should have joined forever ago. I signed up for two workshops right now. “What to do when a horse shows up” and a revision workshop.

I’m pretty city and my exposure to horses is quite limited. In Mort, her horse plays a big role. I’m glad to finally be learning real things about horses and how to do what needs doing for him. I read a lot of Robin McKinley as a kid and learned a lot about horses from there, but I’m curious to actually learn by being taught as opposed to reading horse stories, you know?

And, as far as the revision workshop goes… omg. I am going to have buckets of work from it. BUT I think Cop Drama is going to be such a better story for it. I think that is going to be the more active work and the horse workshop is mostly going to be my brain having adventures learning new shit.

AND on top of all this, I’m still working on my other manuscript. I like to have a project I’m working on, you know? That I’m writing. And I’m enjoying it. I’m coming to one of those bottlenecks where I need to really meet and learn about a character and what she does before I can move on. She’s a secondary character, but still important to the story. I don’t quite know what she does and that’s important. So… gotta figure that out. The hills are starting to dry out, so I should be able to go hiking soon. Hiking is about my favorite way to puzzle through things.

Anway. I’m feeling totally busy. That first week of classes get your syllabus and figure out your schedule and buy a new notebook this semester is going to be awesome! feeling. Nice to feel that way, even if I’m a 35-year-old toddler wrangler who kind of really doesn’t care about a lot of stuff. 😀 Feeling good, feeling excited, feeling like I can turn Cop Drama into a decent work of fiction. Thinking about doing a second edition of LuLo in a couple years when I’ve figured this writing stuff out better. But that’s not for some time. The stack of manuscripts I have here are all crying out for attention. God forbid I bring LuLo back.

Ok. I’ve got some writing to do tonight.

A Cop Out? Maybe, but I’ll Take It!

I signed up for an intensive revision workshop for next month. I decided I would let Cop Drama sit until then. I don’t want to do all this work on it just to find out there was a better way and then have to do it all over again.

I know I’m pretty, “Woohoo! Tim Ferriss!” but he has some good stuff.

  • Effectiveness is doing the things that get you closer to your goals. Efficiency is performing a given task (whether important or not) in the most economical manner possible. Being efficient without regard to effectiveness is the default mode of the universe.

    swiped from wikiquote from The Four Hour Workweek

On the flipside, I’ve found my new project. I hate not having something to work on. I hate not having something for my brain to move forward with. Revision is all fine and good and very, very necessary, but I need something else for my brain to gnaw on and work through and go over.

Anyway. I’m looking forward to this workshop. I joined the Romance Writers of America group and I went to the local chapter meeting last weekend. I learned so much. It’s just a shame it took me so long to join because it is just a treasure trove of information.

You’ll also notice my wordcount has started to not suck so bad. I think I’m over that hump. I’m back into things and my brain is working towards what comes after The Defiant Canary. I’m feeling like the words are coming back and everything is going forward.

A Thought

I think I’ve been having trouble with revision because it isn’t as easily quantifiable as writing. Those numbers for writing are a big motivator for me and when I don’t have that, it’s hard for me to feel like I’ve done enough.

That said, I realized I have to do almost a full rewrite of Cop Drama. It just needs so much more than a revision. It needs— at least— two more characters and a subplot. There just isn’t enough and it needs more. Part of me is super bummed out by this. There is no way that it can be finished for an April release. So now I’m trying to decide if I push it back or if I will pull The Reluctant Veterinarian out sooner. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

And I’m pretty sure this isn’t just an evasive maneuver for me. I got my daith pierced for my birthday to help with my migraines and it kind of Office Spaced me. I thought it was just the holidays being over, but I have a massive, raging case of IDGAF. My anxiety is at an all time low and I am just *shrug* whatever. I don’t think it’s that. But, whatever. I’m digging it.

In any case, my plans for Cop Drama have expanded. I think that first chapter is going to remain the same, but there is going to be a huge overhaul. I kind of dread it and I’m kind of really looking forward to it. Feels like the first day of school, actually. In any case, this is an interesting thing to work through. And I’m looking forward to just getting another title out soon.