Lost ConfidenceYes, you read the title right. How many times do we make changes in our daily lives? No, forget about the little things that drive us crazy, but major hurdles to climb or jump over. Deadlines are changed and never forward, always yesterday. If you are writing, you know the ones where the edits were due and you still have one more chapter to go through.

What about passwords?  I could write a book on passwords and their strengths, but who remembers all the letters, caps, numbers, the %%% and then the &&&, and then the oops, forgot to lock the number key. Yes, we all have to make certain our lives and our work is secure. Yet, there are days I feel like a machine that is half-broken and can’t remember where I was or where I need to start. Hey, maybe I finished and…

Yet, one thing I learned, there is so much more to be learned. Learning is one part of life that never stops and this also involves change or changes. Ya, gotta learn to roll with the ball and go around corners, curves, cut your own way, and yes have fun. I took a good look at the picture and decided PUG would be his name, gotta love that tie. You can’t tell if he is disgusted about wearing the tie, or just in one of those “so what moods.”

Moods are indicators of changes we hit along life’s highway. Angry does not get us to the next mile post. Impatience has a tendency to increase the anger, if we can’t get something like now. Do some of these things come to you through your characters? Here we are writing and need to give our protagonist or antagonist something to bring a surprise into our scene. Well, here is your chance to bring out all of your ideas on change and changes. Try them on your characters and see how they fit.

Before long, you will laugh at some of the things you are asking of your characters in trying to put them through so many loop holes. Yet, we do the same things to ourselves every day. Why be serious all the time. Laugh, Have Fun. Pretend. Give yourselves day off from all the changes. Then go back and you can change your characters’ personalities. Let them have fun too. Lighten the atmosphere. If they want to be eccentric, maybe that is just the point you need to make in this scene.

Changes will happen every day, several times a day, but you do not always have to make them. Changes are possibilities arising out of complications. Make sure you need to change, want to change, and give yourselves time to make changes, even give this time to your characters. Maybe the ARC is not happening for them or you. Don’t push the scene. Instead be like PUG, just stretch out and watch what happens, with or without the tie.

Happy Changes.  Happy Contemplations.  Happy Writing.


Where are your Purple Squirrels?

unicorn danceOkay, so  I am not a squirrel, but I am purple. And, yes, you heard right. Do you scramble for  new thoughts? Do you have trouble forming mental images? Does your creativity take deep breaths when you need help?

HAVE YOU CHOKED YOUR IMAGINATION? As writers, we cannot be without this important tool. So how do you (and me) get this important part of our writing back at a moment’s notice? First off, I’d say fire your Muse, and then I’d retract that statement. She is as bugged as you are. One word hits the spot —  OVERLOAD — and it happens to everyone.

Imagination is one word – Imagine. Kinda like the old game ‘let’s pretend.’ Sounds simple. It is, except we forget to let our ‘pretend’ side take over. Another way to look at this is ‘what if?’ Oh, you’d forgotten about that. Well let’s see what we can do to sharpen our minds, reinvent our ‘what ifs,’ and bring back the sights, sounds, and make-believes that our Muse tries so shard to knock into our thoughts.

Suppose you go outside and ‘what if” all you see are PURPLE SQUIRRELS? Hey, start here. Could you imagine writing about the purple squirrels? No. Well, what do you think of all of the paranormal attitude? Or the books way out on the limb? If a writer could not turn off the day-to-day happenings, where would all of these books or movies be? NEVER.

Is this a type of fantasy? Only you can answer this, but fantasy is not a death threat. It is an avenue to make you think way, and I mean way, “outside the box.”

Romance was once said to have a girl, a boy, a problem, a kiss, and make-up. Maybe when we read “See Jane Run,” and no one followed her, romance took a drop. But, as writers, we have come way past this emphasis. We are not kids trying to keep up with the world. No, we are adult writers trying to out-do the world.

We are into brainstorming with our fellow writers. We need the versatility of life in our stories. We need to dream and have hallucinations to spawn off onto our readers.

This is our purpose of writers: to give out readers a mental image of something they have never seen, known or felt.

This is our time, as writers, to give our readers a gift of the unknown and pull them inside with our stories and a great force of abilities to confront whatever it is out there. (EVEN PURPLE SQUIRRELS.)

Okay, ‘what if’ squirrels were purple? As a writer I’d have mine a different purple than all the others. Purple squirrels would climb higher, fly higher, and scream louder. No, not a lavender, but a deep blue-black purple and scare everyone. OR, maybe they would give the reader a sense of love not remembered, but not completely ignored,

This is our gift to our readers, our imagination. We create what the reader cannot perceive, and give them what they think they want.

As writers, we create new things and take our readers on their daydreams, or delusions, and let them fantasize their own lives. We create for them their imaginary world as they want it to be, but we let them know this is a fantasy. We do not lead our readers on without the consequences of the downside.

‘What if there were no more PURPLE SQUIRRELS?’ Oh, No. Then you need to take yourselves out and walk through parks, walk through woods, or any place that takes you back to your beginning and start again.

Imagination is there. We just forget to use it, improve it, and most importantly embrace it.

Your job for the next week is to stop to have fun, and be sure to watch the ‘Purple Squirrels.’ they know more than what you think they do.



images_028Yes, you read WRITE. Have some fun with your work and sharpen your skills at the same time. Sound intriguing? Let’s get started.

First you need to use your current WIP or one you just put up because nothing seemed right – or both, but separately. It might help to print out the first five chapters.Why? You are going to critique your own work and you need to be comfortable and have a red, yes red, pen ready for action.

When we write, we use our words to paint pictures. Sometimes, the pictures are cloudy, or we use the wrong color, or stick our fingers in where we shouldn’t. Maybe your reader cannot feel the painted words, or the color does not set well with the them. Whatever, the reason, we have not given our reader a true picture with our words. We can see them, but we need THE READER TO FEEL THEM.

Now, go to your video and pull out a movie. Your choice, but try to get one in the same genre as your work. All set, ready to go? Not quite, until you turn off the sound. I hear groans and why’s all over the place. Because, this is one way to see what you need to write to get the picture over to your reader.

In movies, we always see what is happening. In writing, we need to let the reader see what is happening with words. Watch certain movie scenes and, if any can match some of your scenes, hit the “STOP” button at any time and shuffle through your printed pages. Do you find yourself telling the reader what is happening? If so, grab your red pen  and mark NEED TO SHOW. Then go back to your movie and see if you can put into words what is happening on the video.

This may take several rounds, but once you get a handle on the movie scenes and your work scenes, you can have lots of fun, put new phrases together, and learn the art of showing by painting word pictures.

Now, when you get stuck in a scene or on a scene, grab a video. When you go to the movies, enjoy each scene with the recognition of ‘oh, that’s how they do that.’ And come home and see what you can do to your writing. Even movies have to have a written script, but it is the director and the actors who make the film come alive.

You are now the director, and all the actors of your novel. Make your words jump off the page right in front of the reader, or pull the reader into your novel with your picture words. You can do it.

Happy Directing. Happy Acting. Happy Writing.


An IdeaWhat? I have to think and think before I can create.

You are a writer, right?

Yes, but what does this have to do with creating?

You have to train, train and keep training.

Even if you have the position of a ‘gopher,’ you have to learn new ways to go for this and go for that.

But, you are a writer. You need to generate ideas or your story will go stale and never appear, even in your head. Look at all the things, yes things, around you. How creative can you get tying shoelaces. Go for the small ideas and make them gigantic.

Look at newspapers, magazines and small free mags in your city. Is there something you see that looks out of place. Check it out. This makes you stretch your imagination and gives you more ideas. You see a story about a special jewel. What makes this so intriguing? Could this jewel be part of your next suspense story? Where did you find it? If you are into romance, where did your lover get this expensive stone, when he does not even have a car? When he slips it on your finger, does your stomach do flops, your heartbeats race, or do you take it off and throw the ring down on the floor.

Your imagination is in full-throttle. Do not waste a second, and remember to take your notebook and pen with you on the way out of your door. Whatever your chose as the holder of your scribblings is your choice. I love a steno pad. Why? I can write on one side, turn the whole notebook over and write on the other side. Makes everything more interesting.

Observe what is around you: sights, sounds and smells. Each leaves a different avenue for you to travel. Do not use your computer or smartphone. No, get your body outside and walk different streets, stop in unusual stores, check out unique restaurants and look for a park.

Now, you have a few ideas in your head; put these down on your word document any way you want. They become pages of ideas and writings. Before you get too excited, look at what appears on the pages. Did you color your imagination with cliche’ tags? Look again at all of your writing ideas and delete the cliche’ words. Insert new thoughts, new ideas and new ways of writing the old standby words.

Change your pace: speed up your words or slow down and watch how the sentences change the entire store. Stop and read some of your favorite authors. Look at how they shorten sentences to make the pace faster, and then turn around and lengthen the sentences to slow the reader down.

Angry? Maybe your character is so mad you cannot show these actions. Make your sentences choppy with no real answer. Sad? Lengthen your sentences and expose your reader to an unhappy lifestyle. Paranormal? Let your character soar to another planet, one of which the partner has no idea of existence.

These are just a few ways to zap into creativity. In a few days, we will tackle more avenues for your creativity to hide and pop out at a moments notice.

Practice getting your creativity out of your head and onto the paper or screen. Get yourself out into the world. Look, see, pretend and soon you will have no problem to grab creativity by the hands full.

Go. Get started – like now.

Enjoy the hunt, Patricia