CONNECTION

Two friends“Hey, Ethel, did you see the title of her new blog? Bet she got this from our friendship.”

“Edna, we gave her a great picture of connection. Let’s see what she has to say.”

Look at the blank page before you begin writing. Do you know what your mind has for your fingers to create? This is like a blank canvas and your mind can develop anything you want. But, have you thought out your picture? What about your story? Pictures and stories seem to coincide. Your picture can stir up thoughts of a story and your story can create pictures in your mind. Yep, they go hand-in-hand. Sometimes as writers, we have looked at pictures as prompts and encouraged to write twenty-five words about the picture. As an artist, we read a story and see everything in pictures or paintings. Some are lucky and can do both–me, let’s just say do not put a paint brush in my hand. I cannot do good on walls, let alone a small piece of paper.

What if you have started your story and had to stop. Do you go back and take the time to read what you have written. No, not just a sentence or two, but maybe a chapter. You need to keep the characteristics of your characters the same and plod forward. You do not want that meek character to turn into an arrogant creature in the next sentence. This is where you connect from reading a few pages back.

Once you are into your story and spend time with your characters, it is easier to pick up where you stopped. You now their behaviors, their dispositions, and their voices. Voice is important for all of your characters. Even without naming the speaker, the reader knows the voice. The character uses their specific words to express themselves and the way they articulate their words. The reader ‘knows’ this person you have created.

If you are writing a singe title book, the characters are there just for this book. But, what happens if this is a series? You will need to carry your characters over to the next book with some their same traits. Of course, they may change as you give them opportunities to grow. Guess what? Now you have more choices to make and more time with your characters.

This is where the pictures in your mind help you connect. Be free with your pictures and your characters will show you their other side(s). Most of all, have fun with your writing and let your characters lead you down different paths.

Happy Pictures. Happy Characters. Happy Writing.

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CREATIVE CHALLENGES

energyDo you have them? Do you ignore them? Do you not believe in them? What do you do with them?

A lot of questions with no set answers. Why? Because every writer has their own version of creative challenges, and it start at the beginning…or does it?

What if you were to start writing the ending and then travel back to the beginning? Would your story have a different ending or a different beginning?

How many of you remember or saw the movie, The Spanish Prisoner? What did you decide after seeing this film. It could be anyone of us out to play with the possibilities of capture or secrets.

Then the movie, Memento, pops into my mind. Was the guy crazy? Did he really kill his wife? Or did he watch his best friend commit the crime?

This is a challenge to all writers:

Start your story at the end and create as you travel backwards to the beginning. This makes for a different type of writing. You have the ending, but how did this story begin?

The ending hits your heart and soul, but why? Dig deeper and see where you came from and then stop. Let all of these scenes into your head and fingertips. Your writing will take you back to the beginning at a slow pace. You will see and feel everything in a deeper way and a more vibrant color, than starting at the beginning and going to the end.

Confused? Yeah, a little. Okay, start a different way. You write down the first scene that comes to your mind. This is the story you want to write. You know the characters, who will be in your story, their lifestyles, their loves, and their secrets. It is a beginning, but as a writer you feel empty. You plot your scenes and know there is something more, but what? The ending must come first. So you begin at the end, and this is a summary of my thoughts, at this time:

“Stop. You cannot close the casket. She is not dead. I just talked with her and she needs to tell me more about the argument.”

“Ma’am, she is dead. There is no chance for error.”

“Then, why do I hear her pounding on the casket lid?”

People quiet. There is no talking, no noise, no cranks of the equipment to lower the casket further, but there is no sound.

“Shh, I hear her talking.” The casket lid opens with a slight push, and her gloved hand slips into the open space.

‘He is here. Find him.” Her voice comes out sure and strong. The lid closes again, and her voice is quiet.

Okay writers, start your story backwards from this point and work your way to the beginning. A love story backwards. A mystery with the death before the why.

Have a great time with this scenario and let your thoughts push your writing into another depth.

HAVE FUN. WRITE BACKWARDS. EXPLORE NEW DEPTHS. HAPPY WRITING.

86,400 WHAT?

YouFirst question, is this money? Maybe mileage on an airline pass? Or a collection of items in a hobby? You have scratched the surface of your life. This is TIME, the amount of seconds you have every day of your life.

Now that you know you have 86,400 seconds each day of your life, how will you use them? As writers, the answer would be writing, but we cannot write every second of every day. Our well would run dry. Our fingers on the keyboard would not be efficient. Ideas would soon become a jumble and certain thoughts drained out of our heads. So what can we do with this precious gift given to us EACH day?

There are quite a few seconds we need to sleep and rejuvenate our mind and body with good healthy practices. Then we would need seconds to feed our family, like cooking, and getting groceries. We would need seconds to run errands and, of course, check the media part of our lives. We would need seconds to visit friends, go to meetings, and share our thoughts with other people/writers. There would be seconds needed to read for pleasure and research.

Now, this gives you something fun to do and see how many things you can consider. Yeah, you hear the word list and this is a great place to start. Analyze your life for one day, or 86,400 seconds and see where you spend your time. Do you spend time or waste time? Do you give your time to someone else and watch transformations on the other person’s face. Do you volunteer and help others?

These 86,400 seconds are worth more than if there were a ‘$” sign in front. Money comes. Money goes. But the seconds are there each and every day. This is a bank that never runs dry. Yet, living a full life, happiness runs all over the place, and time does have a way of racing by quicker than we think.

When you get up each morning, decide how you will spend your 86,400 seconds. Live Life.  Love well. Stay Happy. Your writing will flourish, your friends become many, and the opportunities you may have overlooked, become plentiful. Have fun with your 86,400.

Until next visit,

Happy Writing.

WHAT IS WEIGHING YOU DOWN?

Great ImageThis past weekend, I attended the GRW (Georgia Romance Writers) Moonlight & Magnolias Writers Conference entitled “On the Write Path” and what a fabulous group of writers and speakers. There was not a workshop scheduled each day that could not help any writer improve their craft.
All of the classes had a little something for every romance writer. Sweet romance, paranormal, how to write great sex scenes without going overboard, and so many more it would take a spiral notebook to name them all. Then a workshop caught my eye – Draw Me a Story. Fascinating, innovative, and I will never look at another picture – newspaper, magazine, billboard, television without questioning every aspect of the image.

Now, I look forward to the 2015 conference, where the hard workers are already getting speakers and planning events. This is what writers do: SUPPORT EACH OTHER.
The whole weekend, I thought of nothing but writing. Then I returned to reality and the world around me. That is why I titled this blog, What Is Weighing You Down? STUFF. STUFF. STUFF. It is as simple and complex as this word.

When we begin our week, or even our day, we think about all the stuff and this suffocates our writing. Yes, we do have jobs, a family, responsibilities, but what about our writing. This is important to us, as writers, and we have a tendency to put our writing last.
One thing I came away with, that I am putting into action, is my time to write. We make appointments for the dentist, the doctor, the hairdresser, the car maintenance, the laundry, the grocery store, the manicure, and I could go on and on. These are important. But, damn it, so is my writing. No, I do not mean to be so abrupt, but we need to look at our writing as a continuous job in process.

Some of us are early risers and think clearer early in the morning. If you truly believe in your writing, then it is as important as keeping the dentist appointment. I am an early morning person. My thoughts have not yet coincided with the stuff of today, and I can think of all sorts of positions to put my writers into. So getting up at 5am and writing until 7am fits into my schedule. Yeah, some days the eyes do not open, the pillow feels too comfortable, and then I think about the last scene I wrote and left unfinished. Why? To guide me back to that special place and find the ending or rework the whole scene.
All the other ‘stuffs’ can be worked in during the day, which leaves me some part of the evening to read. A writer does not just write, a writer reads, corresponds with other writers,
And—oh, yes—works on revisions. Sometimes, the revising process is best done in the evenings or at night. We are concentrated on the work before us and not the work we want to do.

I have found dust bunnies love company, so a once a week distraction to them is okay. Football weekends, unless you are one of the addicted ones, can be the time for laundry, and ugh, house cleaning, and grocery shopping. I find during the game, stores are fairly clear of rampage in the aisles

May you find what weighs you down and clear up the downs and add the ups. We all need to make choices, but these are choices that fit you, your lifestyle, your family, and most importantly, YOUR WRITING.

I have pics, thanks to my SilverSneakers® Camera Guy. Now, I need to practice downloading and uploading to you. There is one more to add, but my computer is working against me. Don’t worry, you will get to see the whole group.

SS 57th FIGHTER 10-15-2014 001SS 57th FIGHTER 10-15-2014 003

 

 

 

 

Have a wonderful FALL WEEKEND. Enjoy the start of the cool weather and map out your own way to clean up what weighs you down.

HAPPY WRITING.

 

 

HAS YOUR ‘JOY LIST’ GROWN?

I hope you have been busy adding to your ‘Joy List.’ The more you add, the more you become accustomed to freeing your mind and opening the realm of possibilities you have not begin to try.images_080

I added to mine and feel rewarded with bloodshot eyes, time tables to meet, and yes, the revision pages of my book came in by the editor–more work–then it hit me. Of course, but the end result will be publication and isn’t that one of the goals of all writers? To get ahead and where we want to be, is not just wishing. It is hard work.

I received an email with a request to be a judge in a Romance Writers Contest in Tennessee. I had enough to do, but this is something I’ve never done and was honored they emailed me. I have guidelines to follow, which makes the judging even and straight-forward. But, what writing I have encountered. This is a Paranormal Contest, and there are many, many vivid imaginations to encounter. These contestants have turned loose their Muse or maybe hidden her in the closet, while their fingers and thoughts hit the keys. I am impressed and intrigued by their stories.

Have you ever thought about writing in another genre? One you never thought you could or are you comfortable in your present genre. If so, then what about writing in a different POV. Try something different and your ‘Joy List’ might increase in size. Be inquisitive and shake up your mindset. Remember the Christmas Snow Ball, where you twist, turn, and watch snowflakes fall inside the small ball? Try twisting and turning your thoughts the same way and see what falls out on your computer screen or in your handwritten notebook. You  never know until you try.

This is another thing with a ‘Joy List,’ the more you add to it, the more joy you create for you as a writer and you as a person. You will have more to give to others and share a different side of you..

Take advantage and surprise yourself and others. Soon, this list will become a part of your daily lives and you will experience much joy, happiness, and a new freedom of your mind. Things start to become new, fresh, and a joy to try, taste, or tempt your muse.

Have fun with yourself. Have fun with your writing. Have fun looking forward to something new.

HAPPY YOU. HAPPY WRITING.

Are You Still Journaling?

images_028I hope you are, because letting your mind run wild gives you opportunities to explore your life.

Today, try to focus on a heroine and a hero in one of your books from a shelf in your home or from a story you have finished, or from a story you want to begin.

Now, describe the heroine’s journey and see where you are in her journey.Are there parts of her wanderings you’ve never traveled? Then ask yourself, why? Keep writing and find where you’d like to travel with the heroine. If your heroine is in a different time, say the 1800’s or way in the future, put yourself in her time periods. Write about the clothing, home life, social activities, but do not compare your current life to your heroine’s life. Give yourself permission to indulge in a different time. You need to feel the experiences and capture this in your journal.

No, you aren’t finished. Look at the hero’s journey. Where is he traveling and how? Go along and feel the exhilaration of seeing the first train, ever, and even a first train ride. Then think to your first train ride, Scary? What if the hero you picked had been or is a gunslinger, astronaut, or pilot. Can you picture yourself on a journey with him?

Do not sensor any of your writings. You are on their journey and forget the gender. We have female readers, male readers, female authors, and male authors, and this time we get to see both sides of their journeys.

The next time you are stumped in a plot situation or your character’s journey, remember all of the journeys in your journal.

Have FUN. Travel FAR. Learn a NEW writing experience.

 

Happy Writing.

WHAT? A TIPSY TUESDAY?

images_080While gathering thoughts for Monday’s blog, I thought about the magic wand. If it worked once, why not again.  Waving the wand in my mind, something incredible happened. Monday disappeared and Tuesday popped up on my computer: the day, date, and time. Where did Monday go? How could I lose one day?

The wand, the magic pen, took over my life without notifying me of this change. I started out and the cold, wind, and rain hit me in the face. I wanted to take you on a Monday journey, but all I can offer is a “Tipsy Tuesday. No, this is not induced by any beer or wine or whatever. This is a Tuesday.

Why do Tuesdays come at a writer in full force? Full force of what? Nothing. What do I do with a Tuesday? Come with me and let’s get this mysterious day out in the open and full of new ideas for a writer.

Think of this as a way to stretch your imagination and writing skills to another level. Have you ever thought about screen writing? No. I am a fiction/non-fiction writer. No movies for me.

Oh, really? You dream of a movie of your book, your book gets published, you write your book. When you began your novel or non-fiction novel, movies did not have a part in your writing. Then you went to the theatre and watched something similar to your writing.

How can this be? With the help of a Topsy Tuesday, you started your writing from a movie that controlled your mind. No. You are not copying, but using the feelings of something you write conveyed into a movie. What movie have you seen lately? Can you picture your story on the screen?

Go back to your movie. Check a copy out from your library or if lucky, you have this in your library. Watch. Watch. Watch again. Look for the emotion of each actor. Feel the tension between every one. Take a deep breath and close your eyes. Can you see your writing in each scene?

If not; you need to go back to your written pages and read from the beginning. Are you conveying all the emotions, feelings, and actions of your characters? Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Picture your characters in the movie running through your head.

Maybe you need to go back and find the areas where . . . Oops, here’s this Topsy Tuesday. The magic wand, the magic pen stopped for a reason.  Be thankful for the starts and stops of your writing.

This could be the time we need to step back and take a look at our writing, but in the form of verbal reading of our work. Whisper. Talk with venom. Listen to our written words. Do not hesitate to digest all and delete…..(no. no. no.)

Hold tight. Revise. Research. Be willing to delete some words, sentences, paragraphs, to get to the heart.

Okay. I promise not to raise the Magic Wand or Pen on a Monday.

Happy Writing, any day of the week.