ARE YOUR RESOLUTIONS SHOWING?

DiamondYou are almost one full month into your 2014 Resolutions. Take a peek and see if you are on track. Did your wants for change make you go overboard? Did you set unrealistic goals? Don’t laugh. Some people go for sky-high goals and set themselves up for failure? Why? Success frightens, no scares them. Get out the list you made and see how you are doing. Do not beat yourselves up. This is an oil change, not a full tune-up.

Are you writing every day? Maybe you can’t do fifty pages, or three thousand words, or revise every page of your current manuscript. But, do you sit yourself down and write? You might be working on your blog, critiquing a partner’s work, or jotting down ideas for a new book. Take another look at your original resolution. Are your goals unrealistic for you? Make an adjustment, take the pressure off, and you might find yourself writing more than you thought.

Are you researching for agents, editors, or publishers for new submissions. Have you talked with your current publisher about new options or avenues for a new work? Sure, this is still January 2014, but have you listed what you want with a new work? Can you see the WIP or the characters? Who will be your audience.  A lot of questions and no answers, yet. Go back and see if this new WIP will be ready or are you still pushing publicity and reviews on your latest work? This is the time to make adjustments. You will feel better and your submission process will improve.

Do you sometimes look at other authors and wish you had their time to give to your work? Some writers make time seem like the most active parts of their lives. But, look deep; they also have to MAKE time to get everything. Never compare yourself to another writer. Each of you are different in the way you write, what you write, your lifestyles and be thankful. Do not try to compete. Try to complete. Fine tune your resolution efforts.

Stop worrying and focus on what you want to happen. Take the negativity out of the formula and throw in a pound of positivity. Now, take a look at your writing area. Do you have good lighting, is your chair or bed or cushion comfortable? Are your files up-to-date? A lot of stress is brought on by misplaced articles, notebooks, lost pens, and extra supply of printer ink. See what you need to do your work with ease. Then make the changes in your original resolutions.

A happy and competent you gets your writing, right.  Happy Writing.

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RESOLUTIONS? NO. A NEW WAY? YES

images_126Here we are in the period between Christmas and New Year. I get asked the same questions every go-around. “Did you make your New Year Resolutions?” My answer is always, “No.” People look like I am from some unknown species.

My thoughts….you can write something down with blue/black/red/purple ink on a piece of white/beige, notebook, or journal paper. Yes, anyone can do this and within 24 hours, one resolution is down the drain. Or you can go for weeks, even a couple of months, and then you fall off the wagon, so to speak. Your attitude turns sour, you consider yourself breakable, and you give up on all the other resolutions. Do not fear . . . you are not alone.

You want the best for yourself, and who doesn’t, but you cannot change all aspects of your life overnight. Yet, in the small time frame of the New Year, you are supposed to make yourselves over beginning in the next twenty-four hours. Go girl. Go guy. And when you find all the answers, please let me know. Nah, be kind and keep your answers to yourselves.

Have I made these famous “resolutions?” Sure. Do I make them any more? “No.” I make challenges to myself and here are some of my ways to push forward, when all else fails. Simplicity is a great companion and is always there, if you let different ideas into your head, heart, and mind.

Write yourself a letter with pen and paper. Let ideas flow from your head, down to your heart, through the pen in hand, and onto the paper. What do you want to do in the next year? What do you want to accomplice? What big surprise would you like to happen for you. Put some thought and effort into your letter. Be honest with yourself and do not go overboard. These ideas are yours, make them realistic.

When you finish, read your letter out loud to yourself, fold, and slide into an envelope marked:  FOR:__________________ (your name) OPEN: DECEMBER 31, 2014. Seal and put in a safe place for the next year. You can look at the sealed envelope, you can think about the items on the paper, BUT DO NOT OPEN. You will surprise yourself and feel good about you and your letter.

How do I know? I’ve done this for years. Sometimes things change and sometimes a subtle difference sneaks into my life. One request I have made over and over for a long time came true in 2013 – to get my novel published. Soul Mate Publishing offered me a contract for “Crushed Circle,” and we signed on December 9, 2013. Publication date still unknown. When I know, you will too. Will I stop the letter to myself. “NO.” I have more books to publish, more books to write, and when I open my letter on December 31, 2013, I will know what other things have happened this year.

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE – ALL THE READERS, FOLLOWERS, WRITERS. GET BUSY WITH YOUR LETTER AND SEE WHAT POSSIBILITIES LIE AHEAD FOR YOU IN 2014.

Patricia

Write Your Life Away

9776003-audience“Why should I do that? I want to have a writing life.” Yeah, me too. Yet somewhere in the back of your mind strange thoughts emerge. What about Natalie Goldberg’s flash writing. Then, Julia Cameron sparked up her ‘morning pages.’ More and more, I am resisting these concepts of writing.

I remember writing morning pages and one morning where I wrote forever with only one simple sentence – I do not know what to write. I do not know what to write, and this continued until the alarm screamed at me. The clang brought my mind from a state of, who knows what, to an alert status and thousand of thoughts flowed through my brain. I tried to jot some down, but my daytime job called me from the depth of my abyss.

When you sign up for Na-No-Mo-Wri Month, you need the skills of speed writing, flash writing and no censor is allowed. This means, you start out with the pen on the paper, fingers on the keyboard and you do not stop for any errors, spelling mistakes, whatever else your mind tells you or Windows suggests.

There is no right or wrong. Your mind and your fingers are one of the same. You are flying on high with new ideas, new thoughts, new feelings and you have NO time to stop and  examine what you have written. This is a go with the flow. In NoNoMoWri, you only keep track of the word count, and then at the end of the month, put all your gibberish away. DO NOT LOOK. Hide your work for a month. Then take a fresh new look. You will be surprised. In among the misspelled words, no paragraphs, no commas, no periods, you see, no make that read, the beginning of a story you wanted to write, but couldn’t. Why? your censor got in the way. Without, and we’ll call it him, your Muse had the lead on your head, heart and hands.

This is no contest, except for you as a writer. Take 15 minutes out of your day, preferably in the morning when the mind is still not quite awake, and you feel the creative juices begin to flow. You have a story, but nothing seems to connect. Thoughts flow by each day and you ignore them. Now, in this state of free writing, you want to address these issues. Is he gay is he straight; or does she have a secret lover or a wandering spouse? Whose baby is she carrying; her husband’s or her lover’s? Does the whole town know or is she just imagining the stares and cold shoulders?

STOP. Get up and walk around. Do some chores. Indulge yourself into another cup of java or tea. Run the vacuum. Just get moving.

Then free write for another 15 minutes. Do not look at what you wrote, but start with what is in your head. You are the creator of these words. Listen to what your character(s) want. Can you provide these avenues? If not, what dark side of the street can you take them.? Play with your characters. Take them in unusual places and watch how they react. Would this make a good diversion in your book?

STOP – and put the pages away in your safe place. If you have time, do this process again for another 15 minutes. This time, use different characters. These could be your secondary characters or a minor character, who just might make a big impact in your story. Funny, you never thought about this.

Then STOP, really stop. With all the pages hidden for the day, take your thoughts and mind over what you have discovered. Do you feel a new life in your story? Do some characters need more work or did you find a minor player, who could change the whole story? Are there images that keep sticking into your thoughts? Visualize. Think, Ponder. Replay again and again.

In a couple of days, pull these pages out and read from beginning to end. Is there a new story? Did you change the old story? Is the old story still prevalent, but some new character adds spice? Look over your words. You are the captain of your story and you hear yourself shout,”Full Speed Ahead.”

Enjoy your free writes. They can impel you to greater tight stories and what a wonderful feeling – the censor played no part as your fingers flew across the page or the keyboard. You will always feel great when your characters tell you their story.

Keep the censor in a locked drawer. Keep your muse on your shoulder and fly with free writing.

How Do You Show Your Talk?

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We have discussed ways to write your talk, but how do you show your talk? Sometimes, we are so busy letting our characters talk, we end up with line after line of dialog. Sure, this is a great. Easy to … Continue reading

Are You Afraid of Success?

You shake your head and wonder if I’ve gone off the last rocker. No way. A friend and I talked about how people are affected by this word. This got me thinking and remembering how we all go to great lengths to put roadblocks in our paths. When success stares back and you can feel the pressure of success, a few things can happen.

Sabotage – Have you ever heard of or seen people make mistakes on purpose? It happens. Why? People do not want to be known as the nerd, the smart one, the know it all, the one person that succeeded and you can name more and more. Everyone wants to be part of the group, a regular, a friend; not the geeks or brains of the group. This carries into all lives and positions.

I’ve know people, both men and women, trying to wipe the weight off their bodies. Then the pounds drop, the clothes hang on the bodies and they get scared. They do not know the person they see in the mirror, and this scares them. Instead of celebrating their new healthy lifestyles, sometimes the weight starts to add up and they begin to feel comfortable. They damage their own lives rather than face a new life.

A new employee excels at the position. The employee enjoys company of the workers, peers, and gets along with everyone. Within six months, the employee is promoted to a supervisory position. Her co-workers look at this promotion as a separation and their relationship changes. The employee does not want to be separated from the co-workers and instead of confronting them, decides to ‘screw up’ and get back the old job.

What about writers? The same sabotage happens. Writers are a group where everyone celebrates a new author, a new published book, a book signing, a contract and support all writers. You are a new writer and a new member of a writers’ group, critique group or so new no one knows your name. You attend meetings, conferences and each book signing you can. You watch and see what happens, how successful writers handle themselves and know you can do the same. THEN. . .

As a new writer you send out query letters, research the agents, publishers and e-book opportunities. This is over whelming. So the next query letter you make a few typos. They ask for 30 pages and you send out three chapters, which are 45 pages. You begin to sabotage yourself because of fear. How would I handle success? Who could I trust? Would my other writer friends shun me?

Now, you see the common denominator in all of the sabotage. FEAR. All of us are afraid of the unknown and why not? We have not traveled the road of success from the scrawny path to a huge road. It is a scary and  lonely avenue; but this does not have to happen. You worked hard with your craft. You pushed yourself forward and now you have a chance to be the success you always wanted. You can be and turn around and offer your hand to another individual. You can lead the way for others to follow in your footsteps. You can be the light for your fellow workers, dieters, writers, or whatever other position is out there.

Your success can turn into a footstep to others to climb the ladder, one step at a time. Every step up your ladder, you reach back and grab another’s hand. This is the sure fire award of success – pull others with you and share in the joy of the journey.

Drowning in E-mails

E-mails are rocking my boat. E-mails are sinking my ship, and I have neither a boat or a ship. I try to help out the “green areas” and end up with bill notices weighing down the lists. I now know to reach my doctor, dentist, eye specialist, I have to have an ID and a password. Some days I can’t even keep up with my coffee cup let alone all the passwords.

Okay, make a list. Then I changed email addresses and this adds to the confusion. Which email should I use? Will this require a new password? Then I try to tell the old email to disappear and I get the cold shoulder. My new email is waiting for places to send me, but at which password.

Do you remember the “old days”, when you got a ding…..You’ve Got Mail. Sometimes I wonder if I could get a job announcing this to all everyone? No, people would think a re-make of the movie was about to hit the theatres.

Platform is another word, we will check on later, but if you do not have a social medial network — oops. This involves more emails, more names, more passwords, more confusing areas where one little mind gets lost. Mine.

As a professional, fun-type, exercise instructor, I want to meet with everyone. I want to answer every e-mail. I do not want to offend anyone. Do I? Yep, I’m sure I do, but what  or how can I control all the e-mails that need answering. Sure, I do know spam and am not afraid to send this to the never-never land. Then I get shivers. Suppose that was a publisher wanting to talk to me; an agent who saw an e-mail I sent out.

I want to hear from everyone who has important information to share. With the publishing industry in a new updating process, we need to be able to access all information. We need all the “ins” and “outs” of the information suggested we read.

I’d love to hear how you handle all the e-mails you receive and if you give them identity numbers? You do not have to share everything, but what makes you know this is an important note. How do you prioritize your information.

I want to be there for everyone, answer each e-mail, and give as much as I receive. BUT, the balloon I carry got pricked and soared upward away from me. Please send in some of our solutions to the email process. If we get enough, I’ll make a special report and include a listing of solutions to e-mail overload. No names mentioned.

Until then, think up something you would dress and represent Hallo ween.

Happy Writing. Great Writing. Keep Writing.

 

Welcome to patriciachats!

Yes, Hello World, and welcome to my first blog with WordPress.com. I hope we can have great conversations, discussions and learn new ideas. I want YOU to be a part of this blog and bring your comments to the table for further learning for all of us.

I am a retired 9-5 worker in many different fields: newspaper, circulation, accounts receivable, accounts payable, payroll, office manager. But upon retirement re-invented myself into a real people person. I am a certified fitness instructor for senior citizens, known as SilverSneakers. This is my joy. I take classes to keep up my certification, leanr new choreography, and keep my class members wondering what is next. I have the best members and have seen so many surprise themselves with exercise and balance and strengh. We are having a “Fall Festival” after our Wednesday afternoon class. Photography is not something I’ve ever mastered, but will try to get pics up. I am a writer, a poet, a reader, a lover of words, a mother, a grandmother, a great grandmother. I have a wonderful son and great daughter-in-law. (I’m quite lucky.) I have wonderful friends and neat acquaintances. I am a member of the Atlanta Writers Club Organization, Georgia Romance Writers and Romance Writers of America. I have a completed manuscript ready for the road to publishing land and working on its sequel. I also have two manuscripts ready and waiting those final revisions. I started out writing poetry, until the poems got longer and longer, thus novels became the new for me. In 1999, I published a chapbook with Sparrowgrass Chapbooks, Sisterville, West Virginia, named “All About Life, A collection of Poems.” I still go back to writing poetry when words get clogged in my thoughts.

I’ve dreamed about a blog and now this dream has come true. But, to work, this is OUR blog for OUR ideas, YOUR input, YOUR thoughts, OUR discussions, and think of this as our patriciachats around the breakfast table; coffee, coffee, tea, tea, and talk. Then how about a luncheon on a patio. We are outside and the sights, sounds, smells stir our emotions into new avenues of writings. Okay, there will be times we are at dinner catching up on happenings and ideas. We might be at a diner, a dive, or a drive in. Sorry, Guy, could not resist some of the best food on television. We might relax over a glass of wine from a hard days work and let our thoughts flow across the table or even under the table. These patriciachats are for everyone and will include everyone. I will need your feedback, your desires for chats. We will need to discover a new writer, a new book, and let everyone know with a short review. I want to come in sometimes and give you tips on new exercises, Tai Chi, health information, diet, NO not how but the foods to eat and the foods to walk away from. I might even throw in a new item to cook.

I want this to be a good time, but we also have to keep up with the publishing industry, the Indie Books, and check for new ideas and new platforms to keep us up on our writing and the industry. We also need to share any new events going on in our areas: your area, my area and any other area. Writers Conferences and how about writers retreats. Wouldn’t it be a hoot to rent a cabin, and write all the new stories we want over a weekend. Think about – no make-up, a bathrobe all day, everyone helping cook, (and the dishwashing). Just a ‘good ole girls’ weekend.

All of us have lives to live, pressures to assume, problems to surmount and a lot of other things. On this blog, we are just us. Remember the old saying, “let your hair down and scream.” This is where I want us to connect minus the scream.

Okay, now you have an idea of the blog. I will post three (3) times a week and welcome your comments seven (7) times a week. Let’s make this OUR blog and if you want to discuss any topic, please suggest one. If I am unaware, I can research; better yet, maybe one of the readers is the top dog in this area.

I still have a lot to learn about WordPress, so overlook any sloppy mistakes. I will be a quick study and a quick learner. I will learn to link this to different areas, so we can share with our writing friends on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Tweeter. But, for tonight, may I wish you great dreams, and fantasy thoughts.

Patricia, Happy Writing, Happy Blogging

Dreams do come true, if you dream long enough, hard enough, and BELIEVE.