Saturday, December 27, 2008

Finding Your Groove

Imagine, if you will, the perfect quiet household, soft music playing in the background, everyone asleep and there's nothing but you and the words you pour out on the page. You're in the zone, everything is perfect, and the book will be done. Not only that, but it will be done early, need little to no edits and the editor will say it's the most brilliant thing you've ever written.

That's not my world.

If the world was perfect and nothing interrupted, writing would continue to be a breeze. That's not the way it works in the real world. Ever. :) I have a toddler who's far more hyperactive than most children (this from professionals LOL! He's my first kid, so how would I know the difference?). Work is a constant stress. I wake up at OMG that's early in the morning. And my husband has a full time job of his own. Where is that soft quiet time? The perfect writing moment when the muse speaks?

I have to fight for what I want. What I need. And writing IS worth it to me. It's something I feel passionate about and something I love. So ask yourself before you set the new goals for 2009: What do I feel passionate about? What do I want and am I willing to carve out time to make it so? Being frustrated is normal. If I waited for my fickle muse to get around to inspiring me, another home catastrophe would interrupt his magic.

If you think it's a silly idea, let me tell you a story. There's a guy I know, a strong willed man who was passionate about cooking. It was his hobby and he was really good at it, and since his retirement from web design, he had nothing but time to perfect it. His wife adored his cooking and wished he could reproduce some of those recipes, but he was a by the seat of his pants kind of guy.

One day, frustrated with his inability to remember some of the best recipes in the world, she convinced him to take his love of cooking and combine it with what he used to do for a living. Give him a place to put his creations and give him an interactive way of staying interested.

His excuses were many and the wife countered each one until the cook was forced to try it out or listen to her nagging for eternity. Since he was deaf in one ear already, that wasn't a comforting prospect.

Finally he did it, with his wife following him around with a notebook and pen to write down all his ingredients and preparation. The first recipe went up and the cook realized it was kind of neat to be able to go back and find his recipes again. So it continued. He struggled to find a way to make it work and the wife soon left him to his own devices, where he had to rethink the way he cooked. Instead of flinging things into the pan like always, he had to remind himself to take notes, to think his way through, to create the perfect recipe for his imaginary readers.

Writers are like that, don't you think? We start out young and fresh, slamming out words and stories until one day we make our sale. Then things change a bit. Now you're published and there are certain things expected of you. Learn your craft, write the story for reader's ease, make things easier on yourself by writing the story well to start with...

Continuing with the story...

So he created this blog, expecting no one to care, wondering if anyone paid attention. Suddenly strange things started happening. He got emails requesting help on this or that, received comments for his recipes, had others making his recipes and posting comments about it.

He perfected his art: photography, content, voice until he received acclaim from many other food bloggers and publishers in the food biz. He honed the tools necessary, and yes, some days it was a struggle. Some days he wondered why did what he did but at the end of the day he looked back over his work and I did that. And it all started from one moment. One key moment that made him say, I can do that. Let me try and he's still doing his thing.

What tools do you need as an author? A good grasp of grammar, understanding conflict/resolution, finding that groove and sticking with it, muse or no muse.

The food blog market is flooded with bloggers, all trying to make a niche for themselves. Did he work hard to get what he needed? Yes. Did he have to work long hours outside his full time job to make it happen? Yes. Did he need to figure out how to balance his day job, family, and his blogging hobby? Yes.

You can too. But first...find that groove and set your 2009 goals. Good luck!

-- Dawn Montgomery

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posted by Anonymous at 4:45 pm 2 comments

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Best Laid Plans...

I'm a little late posting this, but at least I remembered! I have reminder upon reminder set up yet I still manage to miss things from time to time - especially things like blogging dates. Grrrr.

So... what I've been up to lately... lots of writing, lots of waiting to hear back on things I submitted last Spring... lots of gnashing of teeth. In short, typical writer's life things. ;-)

I'm writing a new paranormal novel. It's creeping toward completion at a steady pace and features a really sexy vampire, a lone wolf, a fey knight and some interesting shifter secondary characters including two selkies who just showed up unexpectedly. Of course, now that they're here, boy-o-boy do I have plans for them!

I plan to have the first draft finished by Christmas. Then I plan to turn back to a manuscript I nearly completed last month - the fourth installment of my Resonance Mates series - Grady's Awakening. That will be my next submission to Samhain and hopefully will release mid-to-late next year. It's been percolating at the back of my mind because it needs a little work. I put it aside to think about it and plan to do the necessary repairs between Christmas and New Year's, if all goes according to plan.

I make these plans, but they're always flexible. Something else might pop up that's more urgent, but at least for now, that's the strategy until January. After New Year's I hope to launch a writing challenge on my blog and a bunch of the Daughters have said they'd help out, so look for more info on that when it happens. I like to spend the first few months of the year writing because by April things start to get busy in the way of conferences, traveling and such. So January thru March is prime writing time.

I am a planner. I plan and plan and plan. And then things change. I try not to get too upset about it, but I guess it's better to have too much on your plate than too little. I detest boredom. ;-)

Oh! I should mention that I have a new print release this month. Davin's Quest will release in print on December 30th, so look for it! :) Here's wishing you all a very Happy Holiday!

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posted by Bianca D'Arc at 12:00 pm 0 comments

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Back in the frozen north

So Im back in the frozen north where -35 degrees celcius is the norm and having a day with a high of -20 degrees celcius feels like high summer. So this week, I've had 5 men working for me to take care of my every whim. Sound exciting?
Okay so maybe it was a little LOL Unfortunately I've gotten no writing done in the past week.

Well, the skidoo's are out, the truck's door is frozen shut every morning, if you don't wear your scarf wrapped around your face you get frost bite in 10 minutes and yet....I'm loving every minute of it.

So I've decided to join the big cribbage tournament here at site, now all I need is a partner LOL Wish me luck.

It's getting late and I need my beauty sleep as they're sending me another man tomorow to finish fixing my fume hood.

Night All and sweet dreams.

posted by Aline de Chevigny at 2:32 am 0 comments

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Is There a Writer in Your House?

Hi everyone,
I hope this post finds you well.

The month of November is more than a the traditional Thanksgiving holiday.
If you have writer in your house it's also: National Novel Writing Month aka NaNoWriMo

Last year was my first year to take on the NaNo challenge. I went in going at whatever speed I was comfortable and deliberately not pushing for the 50,000 word count for the month. (Which equals out to be around 220 pages or so.)

This year was different.
What changed my mind?
A cheap kitchen timer.

I used that old timer and set it for 30 minutes to see how close I could get to the designated daily word count.
Minimum is 1667 or roughly 7 pages a day.
Three times I set the timer and each pass my word count got higher or stayed the same at the end of an hour and a half I proved I could do the 1667 words.

When Nov. 1 arrived I had marked off my plot points, had my main character and secondary characters sketched out.

BUT, when I put my butt in the chair the story took off and I only used half of what I'd written down. I kept going with the flow and scribbled the new stuff down.

No, I did not make my pages in an hour and half. It took me HOURS to get those damn pages done but I did do it.

I also wrote in a genre I've never written in before: Young Adult.

I'm thrilled myYA Paranormal is finished and isn't crappy. I like it. A lot.

Making myself do NaNo was the boost I needed as writer.

If you haven't tried NaNoWriMo, please consider it. I now have more confidence and the assurance the projects I've got planned for next year will be on schedule.

I'm excited about what the new year will bring-contracts.

From Red Rose Publishing:
Coming January 15 Sanctuary Moon First Howl (Keelia Greer)
Coming Soon: Cowboy of the Night, an erotic romance time traveling vampire
posted by Tambra at 9:23 pm 1 comments

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

I have an announcement...

The contract is in the post.  So, today I am officially a Cave Girl :D

Ellora's Cave said yes to my 'Succulent' theme story - Flesh and Shadows.  It will release in May 2009.  I'm very, very happy, lolol 
Here's the blurb:

Flesh-fruit. The First Minister's favourite delicacy and, thanks to her boss, Agent Niamh Sullivan's responsibility. A coup on the planet where it grows has forced a change of administrator. Now she must cross the quadrant to evaluate Zeta-Draconis-prime's new leader, Isaac Rand. Rand intrigues her, tempts her...but she has her orders. Her duty comes first. Always has. Always will.

Rand has a secret. He's been bitten by one of the deadly shadow-snakes who also share the planet and he's changed. He will go to any lengths to see that he remains in charge of his planet, including using his alien abilities to convince Niamh to lie to her superiors. His plan is simple, but what he doesn't realise is that his venom is an aphrodisiac. With it, Rand has become irresistible.

Now Niamh must deny their overwhelming mutual attraction. But as their need for each other spirals out of control the danger becomes apparent. Rand will take her humanity, take who and what she is. Niamh has to make the choice. Turn him in. Or succumb to his forbidden temptation.

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posted by Kim Knox at 1:42 pm 1 comments