Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Still Here!

No, I didn't fall off the face of the Earth. Just been dealing with the nitty gritty details of being recently unemployed. Do something with the retirement account, decide on COBRA or Obama-care, but more importantly, relax and recharge from a job that had drained me more than I even realized.

The retirement account has been dealt with and satisfactorily so. I did decide on COBRA - I'm sorry but the plans I saw under Obama-care really sucked. I take a very expensive drug for my Diabetes and since it's on everybody's tier 3 formulary, it just wasn't worth the saving on monthly premium to have to pay over $1000 at least twice before anything got paid. A copay of $70 for 90 days is much easier to swallow.

Sorry. Rabbit trail. Where was I? Oh, yeah. This is a writing blog. Supposed to be writing about writing.

Well, not much of that has been done in the last few days, either. However, I have been thinking about what has already been written and I've come up with a few of what I hope are better ideas for further rewrites. Nothing dramatic, just a change of venue for the some of the scenes and a way for my hero and heroine to meet that is hopefully a bit better than what I've got down now.

A lot has changed for me in other areas since being a full time writer working from home. I'm losing stress pounds right and left without even really trying. I don't stress eat any more, which is really helping. Not even binge eating while watch Amazon Prime. I play solitaire on my Kindle instead - unless my computer is refusing to stream, in which case, I watch Prime on my Kindle and play a game on the computer. Either way, both mind and hands are occupied so neither one gets the idea to grab hold of food to binge on.

Actually, I think the binge eating was stress eating from dealing with the idea of having to go back to a stress filled job the next day.

My only real problem lately has been giving myself permission to just do nothing if I want - just for the rest of this year, mind you. Come January 2, 2015 the daily writing requirements begin along with the training for becoming a paid copy writer. I felt I really needed to let go of the past before I could take that first real step toward my future.

And it surprised me to learn how difficult it truly is to just do nothing.

I've been working since my senior year in high school, way back in the dark ages - ok, graduated in 1978 just a couple of weeks before I turned 18, you do the math. So, the sense that I should be doing something is quite strong in me right now. Let's face it, doing nothing doesn't pay all that well.

In all honesty, I probably don't want that sense that I should be doing something to go away. Might lead in a direction that isn't good. Still, even a writer who writes every day without fail needs to relax occasionally. Makes me wonder if the pros ever not write at times. I guess it's a personal preference. I know with me, if I skip a day or two of writing, it's harder to get to it when the time comes.

Does that mean I'm just procrastinating here? It's hard to know. My friends say I need to just relax for the rest of the year. My family - well, they really haven't expressed any opinions. My mother just asked me this morning if getting things ready to put up a Christmas tree was worth it. She did ask me this question right after I'd gotten out of bed so my response was not to ask me in the moment because the answer would be no. I'm feeling better about that right now, by the way. Totally worth getting a tree up. We didn't do one last year. Or the year before, for that matter.

And it just hit me what else is bothering me. It was about this time about four years ago that I lost my last fur baby - my dog named Wren.

He had been having small seizures and the Monday before Christmas that year, I had to take him in to the Vet's office for the last time. He must have had a grand mal seizure at some point during the night. I got a call from my mom that morning that something wasn't right. When I got home, I found him with his eyes constantly trying to roll back into his head. He was still alive and somewhat aware. It wasn't really a hard thing for me to do. I knew that our time together was up and that this was the last, best favor I could do for him.

So, yeah. Probably another factor to how I feel right now. I do still miss my little Wrennie Poo but he was 13 at the time and had lived a very good life by spoiled dog standards. I would love to have another dog but the circumstances right now just aren't the best.

My plan is to spend the next 2 weeks relaxing - even if it kills me. I have a game that I've had for a while but haven't played much. It's the kind of game that really forces careful thought and strategy or the character will instantly die in combat. It's one of those turn based games where you can choose an enemy to fight if you come across them in the wild. They don't chase you down - at least, they haven't yet. With some of the enemies, it's possible for a character to die with the first blow so choosing carefully is essential. I like these kinds of games because they do involve the mind in a way that it can let go of everything else for a while.

Trouble is, I also find these kinds of games hard to stop playing. I'll just explore this next area or fight this next battle. One reason I'm trying to get into the habit of setting an alarm to remind me that it's time to stop playing and move on to something else.

On the other hand, because part of the mind is focused in this one area, it gives the rest a chance to mull over any plot issues or scene problems. I usually find resolutions for those problems while playing one of these games so this has become a part of my creative process. I had this kind of synchronicity happen while working, too. I always kept some kind of notes going on while working. Didn't always use them but they were there if I needed them. In fact, in my earlier years at my former job, I would be able to write in my head while performing my main task. I somehow knew when my fingers made a mistake and could go back and correct it then move on. Many of my story ideas came to me during that time.

And now that I'm just rambling, I'll quit and move on to something else. I'll still be doing some writing during the next 2 weeks but probably not every day.

To everyone who observes Christmas I say Merry Christmas. To those who do not or who observe one of the other holidays during this time of year, I say Happy, Merry, Good-Whatever-It-Is-You-Celebrate. I guess Happy Holidays would cover all of that, wouldn't it?

Just in case I don't make it back here before 2015 - Happy New Year to all with the hope that everyone can attain their fondest dream in the coming year.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Ok, So It's Not THAT Bad...(ramble included for free)

I am very surprised to find that doing these revisions hasn't been that bad - so far. In fact, I'm kind of having a bit of fun at the moment. Of course, that might be due to the fact that I'm revisiting previously written scenes that I loved at the time I wrote them. The basic plot of the story hasn't changed in all of the many versions so cobbling scenes together isn't that much of a chore - yet. In fact, a scene I wrote as a flashback has now become the opening scene, with some minor changes and a major addition.

I just spent (counting on fingers) several hours today slaving over the second scene, which was a conversation in yet another version that, with some minor changes, I could make it fit as a follow up to the opening scene. All the work was well worth it to hear some high praise when I read it aloud to my small writer's group. It became a necessary info-dump scene that presented the plot catalyst so it was important the scene really worked well. Apparently, I nailed the info-dump without it sounding like an info-dump.

Aside from the timing of the plot catalyst, in reviewing scenes from the most recent incarnation of this novel, I quickly realized that somewhere along the way, my plot had become so convoluted that even I had trouble following it. That version was very close to 100,000 words but was nowhere near the beginning of the end. I seem have this issue with the passage of time in my novels. Everyday something must happen. Not sure why I feel this is necessary.  I just always have and it's hard to break a lifetime habit.

Not that a novel taking place over a short period of days versus weeks, months or years is a bad thing. I've read novels like that before. Most of what I've read, however, does take place over a longer period of time. The author condenses the time down by a short narrative between key scenes. It's telling instead of showing but I suppose if the telling is brief enough, it's ok?

Which brings to mind to one of my biggest issues with revisions and polishing a novel for publication and just fiction writing in general - the rules of good writing. Sometimes, I think writing was much easier before I learned that writing rules actually existed.

As writer's, we hear phrases like "show don't tell" and "active versus passive" narrative. Ok. But what does that all mean? How do I show a scene in an active sense? I kind of know but what if I only think I know but I really don't know?

Or, many times I've read that to write something like, 'He went to the cupboard, looking for something to eat', is mixed tense. 'He went to the cupboard' would be past action while, 'looking for something to eat' is currently happening action. Yet, I see that kind of writing all the time in published works, even in debut novels. Is it ok sometimes but not all the time? When is it not ok?

One tutorial tells me to not use so many dialogue tags. Another says to use them all the time so the reader can more easily tell who is speaking. So which is it? I'm confused.

During my Writer's Digest course, I was told by the instructor that I shouldn't start dialogue with action. The action should come after the dialogue. But sometimes, in my head, I see the action first then hear the dialogue - how many others see their novels in their heads as movie and just write what they see? I do.

Because I see the action as a movie in my head, I also sometimes commit another writing crime by breaking up a line of dialogue with what the character is doing while they are speaking. People actually do that in real life, don't they? Especially if it's a difficult conversation. Rarely do people, in normal conversation, spout paragraphs of dialogue without some kind of action during said spouting.

I guess I am rambling on here but this is what I mean when I say writing was much easier when I didn't know these rules existed. Forget that the rules seem to change periodically.

Perhaps the best course of action is to just write the thing and worry about the rules later, maybe even break a few if it makes the words flow more smoothly. That's why an event such as NaNoWriMo is so much fun. A writer can legally gag the mouthy critic and editor for 30 days straight. It frees a writer to just write the darn novel and not worry about things like active versus passive or showing instead of telling or dialogue tags. How many readers even know those rules exist, anyway? I didn't until I learned about them after I'd been writing for a while.

Even though I'm in revisions now, part of those revisions involve additional scenes that have yet to be written. With the exception of the scene I worked on today, I'm hoping to write any additional scenes like it's still November. Get in the writing flow and don't worry about the rules until after the scene is finished. Who knows? I might find that revisions aren't even necessary.

That sound you just heard was collective heads of my inner critic and editor exploding.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

We Now Return You To Regularly Scheduled Revisions - OY!

Revisions! ACK! But the manic writing was so much fun! Why do I have to go back to revisions now?

Ok. Now that the whining part is over...

Hi. Welcome to Revision Hell. Won't you join me in my own personal pain?

No, seriously. Revisions are...a necessary evil if one wishes to become a published author of good novels that everyone wants to read. Or so I'm told. And yes, they can be painful.

As I look at the first/second/third/millionth draft of my chosen project, I see where I started the story a bit too late. Well, the most recent incarnation, that is. The inciting incident actually happened in the back story.

What is an inciting incident you ask? Why, that's the whole reason the story exists to begin with. Something happened that triggered other somethings that triggered a reaction that get the idea.

I've signed on for a year of writing tutorials with Writer's Digest and one of them I've listened to so far talked about the inciting incident or the plot catalyst as the instructor called it. Now, since the instructor was an actual agent and since she was talking about why queries get rejected by her agency, I was definitely sitting up and paying attention. Her agency is also the one I intend to target with my project once it's finished. Well, one of the first ones I'll send it to. I'll need to pick out a few more because it's not very smart to hang my hopes on just one agency.

There was a lot more valuable information in this tutorial. If you're interested in what the tutorials do have to offer, you can sign up on the Writer's Digest tutorial page. It's $25 a month, $199 a year. Lots of good tutorials there. It's mainly listening and looking at a slide presentation but you can do screen captures and take notes that way. Or listen to the same tutorial over and over again if you wish. I've learned quite a bit already. Which brings me back to...Revision Hell (imagine a booming, echoing voice over here).

So, since I've figured out I started my story too late, it gives me an opportunity to do a bit more writing. Kind of a peace offering or reward for actually working on revisions. My story is going to remain essentially the same, I just back up in the timeline a bit.

I had written a scene as a flashback but now that scene is my opening scene. Event timing is also about to change in which my plot catalyst will occur. In fact, already has as I write this now. Happened in the first chapter. The tutorial indicated that the plot catalyst should happen within the first 30-50 pages of the book. Check!

Now all I really need to do is sift through scenes that have already been written to find the ones that either fit better now or not at all. And there are lot of scenes. This particular project has been in the works since, oh, 1995 and has seen numerous and I do mean numerous revisions, rewrites, complete overhauls, etc. There are scenes that I have written that I really liked but I had to cut then out when the story became something completely different. Not really a good way to write a novel, I must say. It never gets done if you keep writing it over and over.

That's why I now have a deadline to get this novel through this initial revision run so that it can go out to beta readers to rip it apart and tell me where the real revisions are. That deadline is New Year's Eve - this year, 2014, just so we're clear.  I know at least two people who might be reading this who are now jumping up and down for joy. They're the ones who have been nudging me to pick something and just get on with it. Now that I have, I'd best get back to it.

Deep breath, make the leap - Geronimo!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

NANOWRIMO - One Day Left!

I'm done with NaNo but still feeling the pressure for those are still working hard at becoming winners themselves. Just keep writing, just keep writing.....

So, what am I doing now that NaNo is over for me?

Sure, I could have kept going and really padded that word count but I knew my mind would need a break from such an intense creative process and I do have other interests beside novel writing.

One of those interests is my other blog, Ten Penny Nails - yes, a blog about nail polish. It's been sort of neglected this month because of NaNo but come Monday, it's back to regular posts there, too. If you like nail polish like I do and haven't checked it out, I am formally inviting you to do so.

Now that the commercial is out of the way...

Not sure if I've mentioned it here or not but I have signed up for a course in copywriting. Yeah, I've mentioned it but I'll be starting that course on Monday - I think. It's a self-paced kind of course so I can start whenever I like and take my time if I wish. But since I'm looking to copywriting for financial support while I become the next J.K. Rowling, I think I need to take it a little more seriously than that.

Ok, maybe the J.K. Rowling reference was a bit over the top but as I know I've said before, I'd rather dream big and get half of it than dream small and get all of it (Joyce-ism - If you know Joyce Meyer, you know what I'm talking about).

Actually, I am being serious. Just the thought of going back to cube life makes my stomach hurt, my head ache and my spirit want to crawl into a hole and hide out until I come to my senses. Been there, done that, moving on now. Cube life is no longer an option for me. If I do need to find a job, it will be part time and it will be doing something that doesn't involve a cubicle of any kind.

But that's not going to be necessary. I know I can do this copywriting thing. I've only read part of the course and haven't even started the guided part of the course yet and already I'm recognizing copy in my everyday life. You know those letters you get in the mail that offer you products and services and explains why you need it and need to get it now? That's copywriting. Maybe you don't respond to something like but lots of other people do. And it's not just sales letters. It's pretty much anything you read online, in a newspaper, in a magazine, even the blurb on the back of a book is copy. This blog is copy.

See what I mean? Copy is everywhere.

Want to know what else is copy? That query letter you slave and fret over for days, weeks, months - hopefully not years - before finally working up the nerve to send it out to an agent or publisher.

There's the side benefit of learning to be a copywriter. That query letter is us selling ourselves and our newly polished novel to that agent or publisher we've been dying to work with ever since we began to put words on paper - or computer screen. The query letter is the first thing we write that they see. It's their first impression of us. I want to make it a good one and I believe what I'm going to learn will help me to do just that - sell myself and my novel. Then you'll see a published work from P.L. Thompson. Or Penny Thompson. Haven't decided yet who I'm going to be as a published writer.

Where am I learning all this? American Writers and Artists Inc. - AWAI. Their website is packed with all kinds of information and it was free to join the site. I pretty much purchased the course right away so I can't speak to what they offer for free. I watched a free webinar on the Writer's Digest site, which is where this whole thing really started for me.

Whew! That was a lot of copy I just wrote. I will be practicing the skill here so fair warning. I know I sound like a commercial for AWAI - or maybe sales letter would be a better way of putting it - but I am excited to get started on this new career path. No more cube life! Just the freedom to work as much or as little as I want. Sounds like a much better life to me.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

NANO UPdate - Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

So, as you can see by the new little doo-dad on the left, I just won NaNoWriMo! YAY!!

Yes, I was going to wait until Saturday to validate my novel but I've got so many things going on now, I just needed this part to be over with for this year.

No, I did not finish with a completed first draft but I do have about half of the novel in first draft and the rest in synopsis. I'll  know where I left off when I get back to it.

For now, though, I need to decide which of two projects will now benefit from my attention. I'm leaning toward one, my friends are encouraging me toward another.

The one I'm leaning toward is one I've been writing since 1995 and is finally in a place where I'm happy with the the plot direction and much of the writing, I just need to make some minor changes for continuity and basically finish revising the thing so that I can pass it on to some beta readers for the final polish.

The other one is also in the same place but with fewer words. It was intended as a novella while the other one is a full sized novel. Lots to consider in the next few days.

I have also begun a course in copywriting. I'll be signing up for an online version of the same course as soon as some funds show up in my checking account. I have to say that after reading through a bit of the first part of the course, I really think this is the direction I'll go to bring in some stable income while I continue to pursue that all important publishing contract.

As the second week of unemployment continues, I'm still positive about my situation and confident that I will soon be making some decent money at this new career of copywriting. It's an interesting line of work with loads of possibilities and opportunities. I can set my own schedule - potential income is only limited by the amount of hours put in. I am my own boss - I was going to say I no longer have to please a demanding boss but then I've met me so....yeah, that's not true.

I'm excited and a little daunted about this new career I've chosen. Ok, a bit scared would be a more appropriate term but I'm going to do this. I know I can be good at it and it will mean I don't have to go back to 'cube life', as a friend of mine calls it.

Still, the idea that I may never find myself back inside an office building with a regular working schedule, sick time, vacation time, work piling up on a desktop that I can no longer see the bottom of...kind of weird, I must say.

Deep breath. Life is all about change. Those who can adapt will find life a little easier to take. I plan to be one of those individuals. Who knows? You might even one day read an article or book about my experience.

Anything is possible if you believe the impossible can happen.

Friday, November 21, 2014

NANO UPdate & A Bit of Rambling

With a week left to go on NANO, I am on track for the win and might even finish early now that I have lots of time for writing. But does that mean I'll be writing all the time? Probably not.

I already knew that I wrote best in spurts. I'd write for a bit, finish a scene and then move on to something else while I considered what to write next. I do confess that I really thought that if I was ever blessed with the opportunity for all day writing sessions, it would be ideal. Truth is, that's not really the way it works. At least, not yet for me and especially when my characters deviate from the outline as often as mine tend to do.

I'm sure I'll eventually get into a comfortable routine with my writing. For now, though, I've given myself permission to just relax. Pretend I'm on vacation for the rest of the year. I'm still going to write, though. I do believe that a writer must write every single day or risk losing what little ground was conquered the day before. I can easily lose that familiarity with my characters if I don't spend time with them every day. Going back to a project after a long absence means spending a bit of time getting reacquainted and remembering where I left them in the story.

So, yes. I will still be writing on this rest of the year vacation. In fact, I want to spend the time getting into that routine I mentioned and figuring out when my best writing time will be. Despite once being an overnight kind of writer, I think mornings are going to be my best time. Get it done and out of the way before the rest of the day begins. Even though I'm no longer going to an office every day, there is still non-writing work I can now do on a daily basis.  Housework doesn't get done all by itself and I think I might just cook more now that I have the time.

I can also devote more time to blogging and maybe even earn some extra income from it. I'm still looking into that aspect. I have also found another resource that might help bring in some of that extra income - a guided study in copywriting with the potential to have the start of a client base at the end of the course. Copywriting might just fill in the gap between loss of employment and my first best seller. Yeah, I'm dreaming big but why not? As a well known preacher has said, I'd rather dream big and get half of it than dream small and get all of it. And if you know Joyce Meyer, you'll recognize that Joyce-ism right away.

Sure, there's a bit of anxiety lurking in the shadows. I no longer have a regular income. That alone could send me over the edge but it doesn't. If the financial side of this endeavor doesn't meet the need in time, I can always find something part time and might do that anyway. I have a friend who quit her day job to write full time and has found a part time job that she really enjoys. She is much more relaxed and happier now. Perhaps I'll look that direction some time next year.

For now, though, adjusting to a life free of the 9 to 5 grind requires my full attention. I have to remind myself every day that it's ok to live an unstructured life for the moment. Structure will come soon enough.

Monday, November 17, 2014

A Different Kind of Update

Something happened for me today that most everyone would probably consider to be a bad thing but for me, it just means I can now put plan B into action.

Today, I was let go from my job of 24 years and I have to say that I couldn't be happier. It did happen a little sooner than I thought it would but that just means I get to call myself a full time writer much sooner than expected. I really thought I would end up leaving under my own steam and forgoing a severance package. So glad that I didn't have to do that. 

Sure, it's bit on the scary side with a lot of important details still to iron out but just to be able to spend more time doing what I love makes this a lot easier to take. In fact, I was a lot happier about the whole thing than the people who were giving me the 'bad' news. I told them, my plan B has been in place for a long time. I was just waiting for the right time to put it into action.

What is that plan B?

For starters, I will finally be able to treat my writing as a full time job and get that writing done during my optimal writing time, which used to be late at night but now I can give it an entire morning, at least. I will set a larger word count goal for the day - probably just double what it is now and see how far that takes me. I think 4000 is a pretty good goal to shoot for but I intend to be flexible with it. If, for instance, I need to play chauffeur that day, I might lower it a bit. I live with my parents (another reason I'm not freaking out about this) who are in their mid-70's and have lots of appointments to keep. My dad doesn't like to drive in bad weather so me being home is an answer to that particular prayer.

I do have to finish and win NANO first, though. Then I will shift focus back to the project that is nearly through third draft state. I'm hoping to get it up on Amazon before the end of the first quarter of next year. 

This also means that I no longer have to deal with the stress of a full time job that I had come to dread going to each day. Not the job itself, so much, but the environment in which I had to perform that job. Don't get me wrong. I worked with a lot of incredible people. I will miss them terribly but I hope we can remain in some kind of contact. 

No, it was the stress of things going on in the background that made me wish and wish that I had another option. Things I could see coming down the road but had no way of getting confirmation that what I was seeing was correct. I even said in a survey that I didn't mind staying until the bitter end. I just wanted to know when that bitter end would be. If I had only known that day would be today and surprise, it wasn't really that bitter. 

So, tomorrow, when my alarm goes off at 7am, the first day of my full time writing career begins. Here's hoping it's the first day of a wonderful rest of my life.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

NANO Update

The first week is over. I broke 16,000 on Friday. Didn't get a chance to write yesterday - ok, I was slacking but I needed a day completely off from work and writing.

I have been averaging over 2000 words a day so far - including the days I didn't write, of which there have been 2. My NANOWRIMO dashboard says I'll be finished early if I can keep that average up, which means I now have to write everyday in order to do that. And I will.

The first non-writing day happened because of the twist my story took away from the synopsis/outline I had in place. I was able to rework the synopsis/outline to accommodate, knew where I was headed again on Friday and then another twist happened. After breaking the 16,000 mark, I decided to spend the rest of my writing time that day once again adjusting the synopsis/outline.

I guess you could say that even if you do have a synopsis or outline before beginning to write, you must be prepared to see that change. Unless you are so thorough in your synopsis/outline that you've thought of every possible twist and turn that story could possibly make. I'm thinking that would take a long time and the actual writing would probably never begin.

So here's to writing a synopsis/outline to give a general direction but be willing to take a few side trips along the way. The writing experience is much more fun when that happens.

Monday, November 3, 2014

NANO Update!

It's day #3 of NANO and I've already posted over 10,000 words. I know, right? Kind of hard to believe it myself but there it is.

I have to admit, for someone who has resisted outlines for so long, the one I did for my NANO project has really come in handy. I'm not sticking to it completely but close enough that I'm well on track with the story so far.

I have identified a few scenes that will need to be written during revisions. I've done some synopses I can refer back to when the time comes and yes, I am counting those toward my word count. They were written during NANO so...Scrivener allows me to add pages of text together so it's been pretty easy to insert the scenes where they need to be and continue on. Speaking of which...

By the way, if anyone else is participating in NANO this year, feel free to post your word counts in the comments. And let me know who you are on the NANO website. I'm PennyT18. We can be writing buddies. I know I'll need the encouragement later on when the going really gets tough.

See you there!

Saturday, November 1, 2014


So, the madness has commenced. I have over 3000 words already. Taking a bit of a break while I regroup. Something new popped in as I wrote so the outline has already seen a deviation. But it seems it might be an interesting twist. We'll see as we progress.

Writing while not editing is a challenge. I have done minor edits. There are a lot of names I need to come up with, though, as well as fleshing out that little twist that happened - in the first chapter, no less. But that's the joy of writing for me. I have a plan but then I also have characters and they sometimes have their own plan. Gotta go with the flow sometimes.

I'm hoping to end the day with 5000 words having been written. Want to make a nice dent in that 50,000 word goal within the first two weeks so that if there is a lag in the second half of the month, I'm still on track.

That's the plan, anyway. I'll keep updating every week with my word count. If I can keep it up, I may even see 75,000 words at the end of the month. What I'm working on was supposed to be just a novella but with the new twist, it may well be a full size novel before I'm through with it. We'll see what happens.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

NANOWRIMO is almost here!

NANO is less than a week away. Are you ready?

Yeah. Me, neither.

I do have the chapters of my project in outline form now. Scrivener has really helped me out with that and I've discovered that it is much easier to have a sort of outline than it is to wing it. I have 11 chapters in the outline so far but that will probably grow as I flesh out each chapter with a synopsis.

No actual writing has been done yet, I promise. Even if I don't get all of the chapters in synopsis form, with them all outlined on the virtual index cards in Scrivener, I at least know where I want to go with the story.

One thing I am doing, however, is jotting down bits of dialogue as it occurs to me while I'm doing the chapter synopsis. If I don't and if it's good, I'll completely forget it by the time I get to that chapter. If the dialogue still fits, I'll use it.

I have to say that it's been quite difficult not doing the actual writing at this stage. Much harder than I thought it would be. Doing the synopsis has helped but there's still that temptation to just go with it that has to be resisted if I want every word written to count come November 1.

Starting a new project is always exciting so I'm hoping to make a huge dent in the goal during the first week or two. That way, if I do slow down, I'll still be on track to hitting that final goal and perhaps even exceeding it.

If you plan to participate in NANOWRIMO, I wish you happy writing.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Two Week Warning!

Because NANO is only two more weeks away!

Prep is going well. Last night I worked on the first chapter synopsis. As of today, I put aside all other projects so that I can get all of the chapters in synopsis form before November 1.

I'm finding that even though I'm only writing a synopsis, the personalities of my characters are already shining through. My heroine is going be the kind of girl that tries to show a tough exterior even when she's scared and my hero really does have a good heart. The antagonist is showing his jerk side early so all is truly well in synopsis land at this time. Hopefully, it'll stay that way.

Actually, I do have one more plot point to shove into my 3rd draft project before I temporarily abandon it. Came up with it on the the way home from work. I try to go backroads whenever possible, which gives me the opportunity to let my creative mind go to work while the non-creative keeps an eye on the road. I've come up with a lot of good ideas while in the car. Some I've remembered long enough to get them down on paper when I get home. Some, not so much.

This idea is pretty well seated and will fall nicely within the plot of this particular novel. It's something that needs addressed anyway so I don't believe I will lose it before I can get it into Scrivener.

Excited and nervous for NANO. I just don't want to get stuck and let this project fall by the wayside. One reason I'm going about this novel a bit differently. I don't think having a synopsis for each chapter will inhibit creativity but it's kind of nice to know how each chapter will play out so that I don't have to worry about what to write next. If an idea hits that I haven't already though of and it works for the plot, I'll find a way to get it in there, even if I have to just make a note of it and move on. NANO is for a continuous writing flow, after all. Fixing the parts that don't work is what 2nd draft is for.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Multiple Projects or How to Drive Yourself Nuts in One Not So Simple Step

So, I'm preparing my NANOWRIMO project - doing the research, making fundamental decisions about plot and such. All of which means, I'm not working on other projects as often as I would like. World building is no simple task. While a lot can be taken for granted, a lot more just can't. Even the seemingly simple matter of creating a space ship requires many decisions, large and small.

And this is what I'm working on right now.

Google images have helped a lot. I have a good idea of what my hero's ship looks like as well as some of the interior. Unfortunately, there's a lot of Trek in this ship and that's only because those images make up the most of what Google finds for me. But at least I have an idea of what things look like so that I can describe them but only just enough for the reader's mind to take over.

I do have some of the characters created, however, which is a major step forward, along with names and appearances. Appearances courtesy of Google images as well. Again, they aren't all exactly as I pictured but I now have enough to describe them.

I even have some blurbs written for some of my characters to remind myself of their role in the story. Personalities must also be decided, which means lots more blurb writing to get done before November 1. I use Scrivener for my writing but haven't always used some of the more helpful functions since I usually write by the seat of my pants. For this project, however, because of the need for an intensive writing flow once the writing part gets started, I'm using the outlining tools so that I know what happens in each scene. Chapters will be decided later.

Not as easy as it sounds without doing more than just writing a synopsis. I tend to want to go further but I am trying to restrain myself. I want every written word to count once I'm writing scenes next month. I do have a pretty good idea of where things are going to start as well as some of the early plot points. There is a tutorial on Writer's Digest right now about plot structure and I plan to listen to that this weekend.

As for the other projects in the works...

I now have the 2nd draft project more or less completed. The newly written parts are now connected up to the original last quarter so I can now go back and read from the beginning to see where it needs more work. I do know that the first draft ending will probably change a bit. There is one plot point that will need revisited but I'm now thinking it will not be resolved in this book. Since I have a series in mind for this one, that's where many of the loose ends will be tied up.

The 1st draft project is still on hold and will remain so until NANOWRIMO and the 2nd draft project is completed.

That's where things stand for now.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Life Happens - And Then There's NANOWRIMO!

We are less than a month away from the madness that is NANOWRIMO. Anyone else going to dive in? I have my story idea already in synopsis form and it feels pretty solid. Don't think I've ever been able to say that before.

Then again, I don't usually do a synopsis before I actually begin to write something.

The two projects I currently have in the works will be put aside for this. The one that is in second draft is coming along but slowly. Changes made in the first part also changed things in the latter parts. I actually lost a good chunk of what had already been written because it just didn't fit in any longer. But that's how it goes, I guess. I do like the flow of the thing now and I'm about to join up the new stuff with the current last third of the book so that's a good thing.

The other project that is in first draft mode is sitting on the shelf at the moment while I plow on with the second draft project. I have been taking them in turns so that it at least feels like I'm concentrating on one at a time.

Truthfully, I hit a wall with the first draft project and had to backtrack a bit. It was starting to sound like something else I have written that is only waiting for my Amazon library to be built before it's submitted to a traditional publisher.

I must admit that I haven't been writing 2000 words a day lately but I will have to get back to that practice with NANOWRIMO on the horizon. I would like to get the second draft project completed before I have to put it aside to do some further preliminary work on the NANOWRIMO project. I still need to decide my main characters and get to know them before I start writing their story. You know. The little things. Like name. Appearance. Personality. What they do.  Who they are. What they believe. That kind of thing. Kinda makes writing their story a lot easier if I've actually met them first.

How do I make those decisions? So glad you asked.

Always before, I would write the opening scene to see how the hero and heroine will interact. I pay particular attention to how they appear in my head as I'm writing. Once I have a good feel for them, I'll then do a search for a specific look and review image results to see if anything strikes a chord. When it does, I do a copy and paste of the image into my Scrivener and write a short bio for that character.

Can't really do that for NANO. Well, I could but then I wouldn't be able to count the opening scene in my total word count and I want the entire first draft written during NANO.

I have also used a particular book in the past that deals with astrological signs and how they interact with each other but I haven't had to use that method in a while. Instead, I've let the characters tell me how they are going to be with each other. Unfortunately, that seems to give them a sense of power and they also tend to tell me how they want their story written. I don't always agree but when they get obstinate, doesn't give me much of a choice in the matter.

All that said to say this. No matter where the second draft project is, I will have to abandon it in a couple of weeks so I can spend some quality time with my NANOWRIMO characters and do a little ahead of time plotting. This is going to be new for me so I have no idea if it'll work the way I hope it will. All I want to have to concentrate on during November is writing the story. I don't want to get stuck halfway and not be able to finish out the month.

I also don't want to have it written in stone so hard there is no wiggle room. I've always thought that written in stone outlines hamper creativity. We've all read the books where the author clearly had a written in stone outline and doggedly followed it until the end. I don't want my books to read the same way. I want to surprise the reader with a twist they weren't expecting. I'll know I've achieved that when I get surprised while writing the thing. I believe it's true that if the story doesn't evoke an emotional response for the writer, the reader won't feel anything either.

So, here's to NANOWRIMO. May everyone who participates see their most prolific writing ever!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Well.... it's been a month. And it has been such a month. The way this past month as gone is exactly why I am so happy it's finally Fall, which means that first hard frost is just around the corner, which means ragweed's days are numbered!

I have been writing, though. In fact, I now have two projects in the works - one of which is the original first draft that is now going through second draft rewrites - and the synopsis of another one completed. I'll be doing the third one for NANOWRIMO. Since I am working two projects at the same time, I am splitting my time up between them - 2 weeks on one, then 2 weeks on the other. Once NANOWRIMO is here, though, both of those will have to move aside so I can meet the daily word count for the third one.

In fact, I plan to completely outline the third one so that all I have to do in November is write the story. This a new approach for me and I really hope I can stick with it and not let it hamper my creativity.

Normally, I'm writing by the seat of my pants. No outline and sometimes, not even a clue about most of the plot. I just make it up as I go along or I let my characters tell me what they want to do. However, this method does have its issues. While the creativity is allowed to flow freely, it's also allowed to come to a screeching halt in the middle of the book with no hint as to what should be written next. That's usually when I end up starting something new and shelving the stalled project. By the time I get back to it, I've usually forgotten where I was headed with it.

Not this time.

This time, I hope to utilize the outline method while keeping the flow of creativity alive, well, and happy. The outline will only be to remind me the plot direction I had intended. At that point, I can either work my way back on track or outline a new track and go from there. Either way, I think some kind of an outline will really help and since I use Scrivener, that should be easy enough to do.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Goals and Sticking With a Plot Written in Stone

Sitting here at Panera right now, working on rewrites and realized that I had my hero doing something before he knew he could do it. Had to go a bit backwards again but as I've said before, that's what rewrites are all about.

I've done more reading recently than actual writing. Still trying to get the hang of active description. It's also ragweed season and it hasn't left me as untouched as I would prefer. Feeling bad like this makes it hard to concentrate on writing. To concentrate on pretty much everything, really. I'm so looking forward to that first hard frost.

This brings me to the idea that I have to feel perfectly good in order to write. It's probably a lie that I tell myself when I think I can't write when I'm tired. I'm tired right now but I've done a bit of writing tonight so I know I can power through that feeling when my brain is too fuzzy to cooperate. 

My brain is kind of fuzzy at the moment. Once I got the addition done to a previous scene that introduces this new talent for my hero, my mind decided it had done enough. 

I can remember when I first began writing how I would sit down in the evening and keep at it until the small  hours of the morning and feel as if I'd only been writing for a few minutes. Lost a lot of sleep during those years. It can still happen now, just not as often as I would like. Now, I supposed it could be said that I write in chunks of time. I've read that in one of the books I have on how to be productive. Writing in smaller chunks of time instead of marathon writing sessions was a suggestion that really resonated with me.

If I know I only have a short amount of time in which to finish a particular scene, I do tend to write in stream of consciousness mode instead of allowing my inner editor to correct as I go along. That is kind of what I've been doing with this novella. I've told my inner critic that it's ok for me to just go at it without considering things like dialogue tags, perfect grammar or even descriptive text. All that can be changed or added later. I just want to get the basic story elements down so the thing is done. So far, my editor has been good at that but she will let me know now when I'm leaving a plot hole behind, like she did tonight. 

Like most writers, I have so many projects started but not finished. One in particular is one I've been working on since 1995. It's current version bears very little resemblance to what I first wrote. Even the main characters are different from when they were first born. They're older and he's definitely much more likable than I originally created him. 

The reason that one isn't what I would call finished is because I kept getting these great ideas for plot elements that usually completely changed how the story progressed. Still have a habit of trying to change things whenever I work on that one. 

With this current project, I have had moments where an idea will come to me that this could happen or that could happen but happily, I have resisted those ideas. I have made the conscious decision that the plot of the first draft is written in stone. All that can change now are the minor elements that help the plot flow more smoothly and move forward. 

So far, I've been able to stick to that conscious decision. Here's hoping I can keep doing that. If I can, I anticipate completing this second draft by the end of September. I am taking vacation time the week of Labor Day and I hope to get some good writing time in then. The end goal is to have this novella up on Amazon for Kindle sometime during the first quarter of 2015.

I think I have finally learned that it's helpful to have goals. Those goals have definitely helped me to stay on track this time around.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Quick Belated Update

Been busy writing additional scenes for the novella to fill the holes I found during edits. I finally have those done but there also needs to be some changes made to the next scenes as a result. Word count on the additional scenes is 4543.

I'm now calling the 1st draft my outline. I'm also thinking that the 2nd draft might go into next month as well, considering the extra scenes that need to be written and the changes that need to take place. I was hoping to keep this to around 50,000 words but might have to rethink that. I'll just see how it all comes out when I'm done with draft #2.

I'm also developing some ideas for my NANOWRIMO project. I may or may not write the next book in what may or may not be a series triggered by this one novella. Lots of idea swirling around in my head that I need to get into some kind of brief outline or premise statement. I've also seen some very good prompts in my Facebook news feed. All of which reminds me of one thing.

A writer's mind can be a very busy and at times, a rather frightful place to live.

Friday, August 1, 2014

The Editing Has Begun

And I've already found some sizable holes that need filling. 

I did start writing the scenes tonight that will fill those holes. Amazing how an author can lose sight of something foreshadowed in the beginning but that is what editing is for. I also found a lot of inconsistencies. Like one minute my hero has blue eyes, the next they're green. What? His eyes change color? Nope. Just forgot what I'd already written.

My hero has green eyes, by the way. It's the heroine that has the blue eyes.

Anyway, I'm sure many who are reading this blog right now know exactly what I'm talking about. Unless you're the kind of writer who plots everything else out first so that all you have to do is write the scenes. That's what I'm hoping to do with the next book. I think if I've already got things plotted out, there might be less editing. 

I might also find out otherwise but I'm still up to finding out.

So, that's where I stand at this point. I'm not going to keep a daily word count as I go into this 2nd draft since editing involves more reading and taking notes than actual writing. I think for this, I will go with a minimum time spent editing and rewriting. Let's say 2 hours a day. That's lunch and my hour early in the morning before work during the week. Weekends, I'll wing it - more, less or none. 

I did start to read my scenes from the beginning for my writer's group tonight. They've not heard much of this one as it has been coming to life. Just bits and pieces. Now they'll get the whole thing with some scenes as they are now and some will be as they change. 

In fact, I kind of feel like I'm hearing it for the first time. I've even found myself laughing at parts - parts that are intentionally funny, that is. I've always heard it said that if a writer can move themselves while writing the story, the story has a better chance of moving the reader. I believe that is true. At least, I hope it is. Guess I'll find out once this book is in the hands of my draft readers.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

It's Finished!

The first draft of the novella is finished as of tonight. Now the rewrites begin. OY!

The final word count is 47,824 according to Scrivener. Word has it at 47,785 and 237 pages. If I'm wanting this to stay at around 50,000, that does give me some words to play with, which is good because if I  know me, I need to add some descriptives in here. 

I'm just so excited to have it done. One step closer to getting it out into daylight. I'm also excited that the climax went exactly as I envisioned it and that rarely happens for me. Usually, some character or circumstance will just pop right in there without warning and then I'm stuck trying to figure out how to write around it. Not this time. Just went straight through with only a few steps back for dialogue issues. Even my inner editor kept her mouth shut for once. Now that I'm about to start draft #2, she can get to work.

How do I feel? Tired. Very tired. It's very tempting to sit back and just enjoy the accomplishment for a while but I don't dare. I know me. If I do that, I'll never get the 2nd draft done and then all this effort will be for nothing. 

Nope. Not gonna do it. Gonna get a good night's sleep and begin plowing through the edits tomorrow so that the 2nd draft is done by the end of August and into the hands of my draft readers on September 1. 

And I now know what I'll be writing in November. Kind of alluded to it at the end of this one. I'm going to go about the second novella a bit differently, though. I'll be using the full ability of Scrivener to plot out the story before I start writing it. This will be a new way of writing for me but I look forward to a more structured writing experience. Not that I'll refuse an unexpected event like a new character showing up. Those are sometimes happy interferences that actually improve the story. 

Gotta be flexible, right?

Another exciting thing happened tonight. My little writing group met a very nice lady who just had her first book published traditionally. She'd already self publish one then landed a contract with a small publisher. I got it on my Kindle and started reading it tonight. 

She had overheard our conversation and came over and introduced herself then talked to us about her experience. Her advice? Be patient and keep on writing. She really encouraged us and I'm thankful she felt moved to come talk to us. I think it inspired all three of us. I know we didn't spend a lot of time chit-chatting and got right to work. We may even spend some time writing together tomorrow night as well. I'll be editing, of course. 

Exciting day but I'm exhausted now. I feel as if I've run a long marathon and maybe I have. I've done more consistent writing over the last few weeks. Much more than I think I've ever done and I have to say it feels pretty good. 

I think I can say with full confidence that I am finally taking this writing thing seriously.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Belated Update


Sorry I didn't post yesterday. I had an awful migraine all day and didn't even feel well enough to get any writing done. I also haven't been keeping up with my 2000 word a day goal. It seems getting in that extra hour in the mornings works better for me than writing in the evenings. So, next week it's back to getting to the office an hour early for a writing session.

As a result of the failed evening experiment, I've only written 7,125 words since last Wednesday. On the other hand, I had to do some backtracking again because a scene I've been working on for the last two days was going to a place I couldn't allow it to go. I also forgot about a character that should have been in this scene but wasn't there. Once again, backing up a bit and restarting worked out better than the original writing.

I'm back on course with my outline and about two or three scenes away from the finish line. I believe I'm still on track for completing this novella by next Thursday. I also have an idea for what I'll be writing in November. Once I've finished the second draft of my current work, I will do the preliminaries for it so that all I have to do in November is sit and write.

As well as writing, I've spent some time reading. I find that reading as I'm working on my own project really helps my writing. I also like to pick up debut books from new authors and I am excited to share the one I just finished, The Undays of Aralias Lyons by K. L. Horvath.

This book was kind of a departure from what I normally read but I'm glad I took a chance on it. I found it to be an engaging story, so much so that I had trouble putting it down. Her imaginative prose and fast paced, witty dialogue kept me reading, even late into the night.

Aralia Lyons is a proper English gentleman who can also travel backward through time thanks to his unusual physical characteristics. His son, Jack, can also travel through time but he also has the ability to, as Ms. Horvath puts it, "unravel time from the future."  Little does Aralias know that an old enemy is intent upon stealing young Jack away in order to use this special ability and not for good. When Aralias and Jack discover an ancient pocket watch bequeathed to a woman named Clara Heartwell, they decide to deliver the watch to her. What happens next leads up to a climax that made me lose sleep because I could not stop reading until I got to the end.

The setting resembles regency England with time travel fantasy elements combined with a dash of steam punk. There are also magical creatures, iron dragons, and lots of good action with a delightful romance between Aralias and Clara. Clara brings a certain amount of stability into the chaotic world that is Aralias' life.

I loved this book and will most likely read it again, just to see what I might have missed from the first read through. If you like quirky heroes and magical creatures in fantastical worlds, this is the book for you. I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Writing Update

Hello and checking in. Not doing as well this week as I was last week. Aside from blog writing, I did no writing over the weekend.  I also haven't been able to go in early to write for an hour before work.  I am still writing for an hour at lunch but not getting in quite 2000 words. Since there are two weekdays left and I am meeting my writer's group for writing time tomorrow night, I'm pretty confident I can make up the slack and be back up to speed by Friday.

Since my last check in, I have written 9518 words and have about 20,000 words to go before the novella is finished. I might even finish it before I get to that mark. I'm close to the final quarter, ready for the big climax.

A few more characters showed up to the party, though. There are a couple of them that even I'm not sure whose side they're actually on but I suspect they are good guys in disguise. I can see them going that way and I think that's what will happen.

This is why I hesitate to do any outlining before I get started. It always seems to happen this way - I'm headed in a certain direction then a character shows up out of nowhere or my main characters do something completely unexpected and suddenly everything changes. Not quite that bad this time, however. I did manage to get them all back on track for the ending I had in mind. We'll see if that lasts.

I have noticed that since I am writing nearly everyday, I have very little trouble picking up where I left off the day before, even if it's in the middle of a conversation. I do finish sentences, however.  I've also not gotten stuck in a scene until today. I know we all have times when we feel as if all that's hitting the page or computer screen is garbage. That's kind of what happened to me today. I say kinda because once I finished the scene I had been working on, I wasn't sure where to go from there. Or more correctly, I knew where I wanted to go, I just couldn't see how to transition the completed scene into the next major scene. There is a lull in the action while they travel from the planet to a ship in orbit so there's really not much going on. I could just jump right into the next scene but there's a few things I need to get straight before I do and I suppose this transition scene is a way of helping me do that. It could probably be eliminated but if it doesn't go on too long, I may just leave it.

But that's an editing issue. Editing is forbidden while free writing. Well, I did do some backtracking on that one scene but I believe that was necessary to keep the rest of the story from going to a place I really didn't want it to go. I like the change much better and it's more fun to write, actually. My hero can shift into a wolf and some scenes require me to write from that point of view. It's a nice change.

That's all I have for this update. I think I will continue to keep Wednesdays as my update day. I think it's good to take stock in the middle of the week so I can plan what I need to do with the remaining days to meet my goals as well as stay on track for the main goal of finishing this first draft by the end of this month.
Then I can begin the second draft August 1.

After that, I get to brainstorm what I'm going write for NANOWRIMO. Oy!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Mid-Week Writing Update

Hello. Reporting in.

This week I am experimenting with an additional hour of writing time during the week. I can already write on my lunch hour but can't always write 2000 words in an hour. That means there needs to be another chunk of writing time at some point during the day.

A tutorial I took on Writer's Digest, suggested to experiment to see when was the best writing time for me. So on Monday, I got up an hour early and went into work so that I could write for an hour before my start time at 8:00am. Worked out pretty well. Between the morning session and the lunch session, I wrote 2902 words. Couldn't go in early on Tuesday and didn't write when I got home from work so only wrote 1285. Today, I also didn't go in early but in the 1 hour for lunch, I wrote 2150. This was a rewrite for a scene I written yesterday that just didn't come off well. Something happened that totally pulled me out of the scene and I figure if it pulled me out, it would my readers, too, so it had to change. Changing the scene meant the scene after it also changed so I just backed up to the point before the event occurred and started over. The result was a much better scene that makes more sense.

In total, I've written 6337 words since Monday morning - more than made up for not meeting the goal yesterday. Since I started this 2000 a day commitment, I've written  10,889 words. I keep this up, I'll have the novella I'm working on done by the end of this month.

So, that's my goal. Once the first draft is done, I'll do a 2nd draft, to be completed by the end of August, and then I'll turn it over to my writing cohorts so they can tear it apart for me.

Since I have been writing everyday, the ideas have been coming fast and furious. I think that's why it was so easy to back up and rewrite the one scene. I knew what needed to happen and even though I wasn't finished when I stopped at the end of lunch, I will be able to pick back up where I left off and, hopefully, with the same momentum.

I'm hoping to continue with the hour of writing before work. At least a couple of times a week, anyway. It was freeing to know that I had my goal met for the day by the time I got home so I didn't have sit all evening thinking I needed to be doing something. I could if I wanted to, but it wasn't necessary. I'm sure there will come a time when I spend more time getting the writing done but for now, it's baby steps.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Well, I Had Good Intentions When I Started

So, when I started this blog, I really didn't know what I was getting myself into. Didn't really have much of an interest in it, obviously. Then I joined the nail blog community and found that there's more I want to say besides talking about nails and polish and all the things that go with it. But those things don't really belong in a nail blog. They belong in a blog dedicated to saying those particular things so, here I am, beginning what I hope to be a regular thing - posting on a writing blog.

I've been a writer since I wrote my first story in 1995. As an avid Star Wars fan, I had been reading the books that came out in the extended Star Wars universe. The books were excellent and I still go back and read them from time to time but I was getting tired of waiting for someone to write the one where Luke finds Mrs. Luke. That's when I decided to write that one myself. Unfortunately, I kept trying to take the love scenes farther than I figured would be allowed in a Star Wars book. That's when I wrote my first romance story. Well, I wrote the love scenes and then put in a plot. Not a good way to write a novel.

I have no idea where that one ended up. I lent it to someone to read and never got it back. I could probably recreate it and improve it beyond the smut filled tome that it became but I've got other unfinished projects that have lately been calling my name. A lot of unfinished projects. You see, I tend to start things that never get finished because something else occurs to me and I have to get that down on paper before I forget it - at least, that's my excuse for abandoning something I think I get bored with to start something new.  It's the newness that attracts me.

To get over this problem, I have finally done something I've been thinking about doing for a long time. I finally purchased a month of tutorials from Writer's Digest, one of the top writing resources out there for writers. And guess which tutorial I watched/listened to first? One about getting consistent, productive writing time and why I might be procrastinating.

Yes. I am a procrastinator. There. I said it. I don't like it but then I am the only one who can change it, aren't I?

But how to you change a lifetime habit? One step at a time and this blog post is that first step. 

In this post, I will publicly commit to writing 2000 words a day and actually scheduling writing sessions each day in order to accomplish that task. I am also committing to doing the NANOWRIMO this year. For those that don't know, NANOWRIMO stands for National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to write 50,000 words in a month. I attempted it a couple of years ago but didn't finish. Actually, I gave up about a week or so into it. That procrastination thing, again.

Anyway, I am going to participate this year and hopefully, get a first rough draft of a new novella to put up on Amazon. I'm already working on one that I want to complete before NANOWRIMO starts so I am also committing to have that done in time to edit, revise and post to Amazon during my vacation on Labor Day week. And if my two writing pals are reading this, I know they're going to be the first to prod me into meeting this particular goal. They already have works up on Amazon and have already informed me that I will be joining them. I always do as I'm told...(cough-liar-cough).

Another thing I want to do as I follow this path to being a published writer, is to blog along the way. That's where this blog comes in. I may not post on a daily basis but I will commit to post my progress on a weekly basis. Feel free to post your comments and give me nudges as you are inspired to do because I need all the nudging I can get right now because I must admit to a bit of fear in this endeavor. If I find success, my life will change. Part of me wants to embrace that change but there's this other part that is hiding under the bed, eyes squeezed shut, all the while muttering, "I don't to do this. It's too scary. What if I fail? What if they hate me? What if no one ever buys my books?" 

You know what? So what if all that negative stuff happens? I'm still a writer, I will still write. Why? Because I love it. Nothing better than getting so lost in your own work that you lose track of time and it's 5:00 in the morning before you know it. I love when my characters suddenly do something I wasn't expecting and take the story in a completely different direction than the one I had planned.

I write because I want to know how it ends. Simple as that. And there's no better time to start than right now....well, right after lunch, maybe.....and then I do have to go to the grocery store at some point and then there's polish swatching I have to get done this weekend and, oh, the helmers out on the back porch that need put together and all those little polish bottles waiting to be stored in the proper drawers and.....

See what I mean? I really need prodding to put the butt in the seat and the fingers on the keyboard and get the writing done. That is the only way I will accomplish my goal to be a full time writer.

I just need a little help remembering that.