Wednesday, July 1, 2015

IWSG Day: Catch Your Dreams

Don't you just love IWSG Day? It comes around the first Wednesday of each month and we get to visit hundreds of blogs that are filled with encouragement.  IWSG stands for Insecure Writers Support Group and was founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh.  If you're interested follow other IWSG members here or on twitter using the hashtag #IWSG. We also have a Facebook page.  Hey, we even have a tee shirt!

What have you accomplished since our last IWSG posting? You know, don't you, that if you actually write down your goals, you'll come near achieving them. At least that's what I've heard. I'm a list maker so I've always written down goals, right along with my grocery list and things to do. Unfortunately, sometimes I don't look at my list.

I've accomplished a few things during the past few weeks. I've always wanted to write a series of books about friends. A few weeks ago, I started my series. Every morning I crawl out of bed, grab my coffee and go into my office to write. I've finished rough drafts of Book 1, Book 2 and tomorrow I start Book 3. My intention is to write three 15,000 word stories and wrap up the series with a 30,000 word novella. My four friends will show up in each stand-alone story. 

I'm pretty excited about this series, but even more excited that I've been able to keep my momentum and write. I hope I'm not disappointed when I go back through and read these rough drafts. A couple of times I've sat for a moment or two, wondering what was supposed to happen next, but as real writers do... I just opened a vein. Okay, I'm kidding. I opened my heart. I love my characters. Their problems are real. I'm doing the Camp NaNoWriMo thing too--trying  to hang on to that momentum.

Another thing I'm excited about is that I'll be speaking at the Texas Gulf Coast Writers mini-conference in August. More about that later.

What are you working on? What have you accomplished since last month's IWSG day? We need to get busy and catch our dreams. Let me hear how you're catching yours.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

IWSG DAY: Unfinished Business

Today is IWSG Day because it's the first Wednesday in June.  IWSG stands for Insecure Writers Support Group and was founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh.  You can follow other IWSG members here or on twitter using the hashtag #IWSG. We also have a Facebook page

The purpose of IWSG is to share and encourage. So today I'm wondering ... have you ever started something that you never finished? Whether it was a novel, a knitting project or a jigsaw puzzle, I've read that the number one reason we quit a project is because our motivation fizzles. I must be queen of the fizzlers because I have a lot of unfinished projects--from jewelry projects to journaling to braided rag rugs to novels!

When it comes to my writing, I often give up when I hit a rough spot. What I really need to do is focus and plough through the brick wall I've created. I've noticed that usually the reason I can't go forth is because I've taken a wrong turn, put my characters in a predicament that isn't conducive to my plot or the story, creating an impossible action/reaction--or next scene.

When I wrote The Last Daughter I never had such a problem. You know why? Because I brainstormed and outlined; I had a plan. First I identified all my characters and wrote character sketches for each one. I knew my theme, what the word count needed to be and had a deadline. I followed the "breadcrumbs" I created to the end of the story and successfully completed it.

I wish I could train myself to immediately go into outline mode with each new project, but I don't. I tell myself that each book has its on personality and therefore, its on birthing process. That's true in a way but it only takes me so far. If I know beyond a doubt that I write better and to completion by outlining, why don't I just do it?

How about you? How many notes do you make about a project before or during the writing process? How extensive are they? Do you have any unfinished projects? Any plans to finish them? Share.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

IWSG DAY: Ever Blog A Book?

Today is IWSG day-the first Wednesday of each month. IWSG stands for Insecure Writers Support Group and was founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Our purpose is to share and encourage.  You can follow other IWSG members here or on twitter using the hashtag #IWSG. We also have a Facebook page

I have a question: Have you ever blogged a book? If so, what kind of book--fiction or nonfiction? And how did you go about doing it?

I have several nonfiction book ideas and I'm wondering if I'll accomplish more if I start blogging about them. Not sure what avenue to take. Or exactly how to do it.

One book I'm writing is about the experiences of a woman who went blind for many years, then God restored her sight.  I have hours and hours of Q&A with her. Her life as a blind woman is amazing but I can't figure a way to blog about her in short posts without writing the entire story. And I'm not even sure I should blog her story.

Any ideas? Would love to hear your thoughts on blogging a book, and any experiences you've had doing it.

Monday, May 4, 2015

A to Z Reflections

I love the A to Z Challenge. Believe it or not, I think about it all during the year and wonder what I should blog about. This year was a no-brainer since I'd just been through renovation hell. But, I never jot notes or plan posts ahead of time. I figure I'll learn more if I write off the cuff, like a newspaper reporter who just happened onto a story, and writes it five minutes before they put the paper to bed.

For anyone who has never tried the A to Z Challenge. Do it! Make a plan to participate next year. You can plan your posts or you can write "off the cuff." Either way, it's a blast!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Z is for Zealous

We've reached the end of our A to Z Blogging Challenge. I made it! It sure got tedious reliving my renovation experience. I'm glad it's over! For more information on the challenge and its creator, and to read other bloggers please visit:

My Z is for zealous. I remember how zealous my contractor was when he began our construction, and how that enthusiasm tapered off after the first week or two. That describes me too when I start a new writing project. I jump in with energy and excitement, but then I reach a tough spot and put off dealing with it. Procrastination sets in. Often I never pick up that project again. I start a new one.... only to do the same thing.

Sometimes you hear writers compare writing a novel to building a house. I see the similarity. When it comes to finishing my projects, I'm as bad as Mr. Contractor. In our case, we had to let our contractor go--he couldn't be trusted to do the job right. We hired others to finish the project.

I'm wondering--should I turn my many unfinished projects over to another writer...? Mmmm.

I've enjoyed the 2015 A to Z Challenge. I hope you have. See you next year?

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Y is for YouTube

We're closing in on the end of our A to Z Blogging Challenge. For more information on the challenge and its creator visit:

Today I'm honoring YouTube because that's the one place you can find the answers to anything and everything. Seriously, if you want to know how to lay flooring, pull up flooring, build shelves in your garage or kitchen, connect your toilet, you can find instruction on YouTube. You can even post instruction on YouTube if you want to share your expertise with others. 

Let's take it a step further: Even if you aren't planning to do these renovation jobs yourself, watching and listening to the YouTube presentations will give you knowledge about how the job should be done and the right questions to ask a contractor or handyman.

Want to make a pretty scarf: try YouTube.
Interested in making jewelry: it's on YouTube.
Want to plot a book: yep, go to YouTube
Want to learn how to fold fitted sheets: it's on YouTube
How about demolishing a house? Need I say more? It's on YouTube

Monday, April 27, 2015

X is for Xenophobia, I think

We're closing in on the end of our A to Z Blogging Challenge. For more information on the challenge and its creator visit:

For X I've chosen the word xenophobia. That means an unreasonable fear, distrust, or hatred of strangers, foreigners, or anything perceived as foreign or different. Someone who is xenophobic might distrust a neighbor he's never met, or someone who lives halfway around the world. He might distrust people because they seem — foreign.

Okay, I realize this is a real stretch, but renovation was pretty foreign to me, and because I've been through a traumatic experience with our renovation, I now have a fear and distrust of contractors, builders, handyman types and anyone who comes to perform a service for us. Unreasonable? I don't think so, but whatda I know?

We're almost finished with A to Z! Aren't you glad you don't have to read but two more posts about my renovation? I am!