Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Real life romance!

It brings to mind many images in our heads. Everyone has a different idea of what it is and everyone experiences it in different ways. We all want to have it in our lives. I don't think life could function completely without a small dose of romance in it. At least I hope it couldn't. As they say, love makes the world go around.
I write about romance. I get to conjour in my head different forms of it in my books and I can tell you that I am having a lot of fun doing it! Sometimes I am making it all up and sometimes I am taking from real life. I hear stories from others, things that have happened in their lives. It can be something as common as receiving roses to couples getting a second chance.
When I was at work last week, I work at Subway, I had a couple come in and order their food. I was running the cash register at the time so I had a chance to talk with them. One conversation piece lead to another and I was told about how they had been married once before. When things didn't work out, they divorced and lived other lives, both remarrying and having families. The gentleman's second marriage didn't work and he started thinking about his life and what was missing and he realized it was his first wife. He still loved her and wanted to be with her again. She lived in Indiana and he was in Arizona. After doing a little research he found out that she too, was divorced. Since the man couldn't drive due to poor eye sight, he sold his belongings, got his bicycle and had a small trailer built to pull behind. He rode his bike up to Indiana and found his first wife. They have been together now for 10 years. I thought this was so romantic. To think that he loved her so much to go to those lengths to find her again.
My husband is very romantic. He holds the door for me, buys me daisies with three pink roses in them (one for each kid) for our anniversary, and will randomly send me a text message saying "I love you!" One year for my birthday, I woke up to find him having left for work already and on the kitchen counter was "Happy Birthday" written in tooth picks surrounded by butter knives. He always surprises me and I love him for it.
I want to hear from you. What is your idea of romance or tell me something someone did for you that was romantic and I hope your future is filled with romance from here on out!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I was sitting at my computer reading my lesson for the day from my on line class. The teacher, Kerri Nelson, asked us this very question. Are we plotters or pantsers? The term plotter is pretty self explanatory. It is a person who sits down before they write their story and plots the book out. Notes upon notes of how they want the story to go. They may do this on the computer or in a note book but they devote time and energy into figuring out how they want their story to go.

A person who is a pantser is someone who writes by the seat of their pants. They don't plot anything out, though they will jot done notes as needed. It's called free writing and this is the kind of writer I am. I write as the ideas flow into me. I have an idea of where I want my story to go at all times, but the meat of the story comes to me as I go.

Of course I do my research ahead of time, but there is always more research to be done as an idea hits me. That is what I use my notebooks for, all of my research. You will find a few story ideas in there. Small paragraphs here and there, but that is only because when I am at my computer, I write in order. No jumping ahead. So, if an idea comes to me for a spot further in the book, I write that idea down.

There is no right or wrong way to write. What works for one person won't always work for another. I have tried to plot out my story and it just doesn't work for me. The one time I tried it, I realized I was spending too much time plotting and not enough time writing.

Now, as you read this I see you saying to yourself, that makes sense, or that is the kind of writer I am. Leave a comment and let me know, are you a plotter or a pantser?

Friday, August 20, 2010

A weekend with friends

Friends of ours have a "Back to school!" party every year at their house. It's a great time for everyone to get together one more time before school starts. The kids swim, play ball, ride 4-wheelers, etc. But there is fun for the adults too. We sit around the camp fire talking, play horse shoes and pool. And we don't want forget to mention all of the food that is brought. There is nothing better then getting together with friends and having a good time.
The next morning my husband makes sausage, biscuits and gravy for anyone who spent the night. I love sausage, biscuits, and gravy and he is a great cook! Of course I can't make gravy so I am thankful that he can. But we won't dwell on that fact. ; )
I hope that everyone reading this has a great weekend. May you have fire at your camp site and many friends to share it with!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

My first on-line class

Monday started my first class. It is given by author Kerri Nelson and it is about managing your time and staying focused so that a person can do multiple projects at a time. I am very excited about the class. I am already pretty good about managing my time between my fictional world and my non-fictional world. I just want a better strategy so that I can make all things in my fictional world work together.

What do I mean by my fictional world? Well, I consider that anything having to do with my writing. At the moment I am making revisions on book #1, I am writing book #2 and I am taking an on-line class. Don't forget the competitions, querying agents, and promoting myself on my blog and Facebook. Now, if I was a published author, then I could have things like, revisions, writing, contracts, book signings or anything promotional. I am sure there is a lot more going for them then that also, and I hope to one day find out what else there is. LOL!

Good luck to those of you who are taking a class. I hope you enjoy it. I know Jena is taking it with me. To those of you who are not taking one, I highly recommend it.

Now, get back to writing! ; )

Monday, August 16, 2010

Memorable quotes

I know we all have one; a favorite quote. We use them all the time. You say them to cheer people up when they are sad. Maybe you have a quote hanging on a mirror to read and use it to make yourself stronger when trying get through tough times. Quotes have even been used to bring a nation together. We can't forget, "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." John F. Kennedy

Quotes have been used for centuries. Sometimes people are asked to make a quote and sometimes a quote is made accidentally. One quote that I use all of the time was made by Dr. Seuss and it says, "Those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." Whenever I sign a wedding card, I always write off to the side, "May you always have what you want and may you always want what you have." I got that one from my Aunt; not sure where she heard it.

What I want from you is to post your favorite quote here. I will randomly choose a winner from all of the quotes to win an autographed copy of Veronica Wolff's new release Devil's Highlander, A Clan MacAlpin Saga.

"They share a haunting past... and an unspoken passion."

After Scotland's Civil Wars, the orphaned brothers and sisters of the MacAlpin clan reclaimed the abandoned Dunnottar Castle as their birthright. Hardened in battle and haunted by family secrets, these fiery Highlanders must rely on each other as they right the wrongs of their troubled history.

"Before she can give herself to him, he must forgive himself."

Cormac MacAlpin lost his innocence too young- he's always blamed himself for the kidnapping of his twin brother, Aidan. He turned away from his childhood friend, Marjorie Keith, denying the prospect of happiness with the young woman who loved him.

Now a tormented war hero working as a fisherman, Cormac is speechless when Marjorie comes to him with an appeal for help.... a poor city boy she has been caring for has disappeared, reminding her of long lost Aidan. Their bond of shame once thwarted a budding romance, and threatens to again- but Cormac and Marjorie are adults now, with needs to powerful to keep locked away....

Please check out Veronica's site, to learn more about her and all of her books.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Back to school

Today was the kid's first day back to school. I am sad for them because that means their summer is over but I am a little happy because I get my sanity back. The house is quiet and with my faithful Pomeranian laying next to my chair, the writing begins. I mean it. Since I have no one hollering "Mom, tell bubby to leave me alone," and I don't have someone coming up to me asking when they can use the computer. I can get more things done now.

My blog has been a little behind and so has the writing. For this I apologize. But stay tuned! There are exciting things to come.

So, from here on out I will send my kids off to school with well wishes for the day in their ear and a kiss on their cheek. Then I will loose myself in the Highlands where my other world awaits me!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

My faithful notebook

The computer is a marvelous instrument in the writing industry. The things we can do with it are unbelievable and I am so thankful to have mine. I wonder what my book would look like now if I was still writing it in a notebook. I mean, with all of the changes I have made and research, I think I would have sacrificed several trees by now. Having a laptop is is even more useful. The ability to take it with you and jot down notes, do research or make revisions at the drop of a hat is great. But, there will be times when even that isn't going to work. That leaves us with our trusty notebooks.
On Friday, my kids and I went to pick up my son from camp. While I was going down the road, a revision idea came to me and I told my daughter to get my notebook out. She instantly became my secretary. Today we are going to the river to celebrate my mother-in-laws birthday. Yup, the notebook is going with me. You just never know when an idea will hit you or you are able to catch the scent of something and want to describe it.
I am sure I'm not the only one out there who feels this way. With all of our technology whirling around us these days, sometimes going back to the basics is sooo much easier.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

To have a mentor or not?

Have you ever sat in your chair with your WIP (work in progress) in front of you and you are at a stand still? There is a question that you need answered and you are unsure where to go? I have been there. I have had a few moments where I wish I had had someone I could talk to. Writing a book isn't easy. Yes, I paid attention in English class, but I have been out of school for xx number of years, ( you didn't think I was actually going to tell you did you?) and I will admit there are somethings that have slipped my mind.

I'm not just talking about the grammatical aspect of writing either. Once my first book was done, I had a whole new set of questions. What is the difference between a synopsis and a query letter? How do I find reputable agents? What is waiting for me in that great big world of publishing? There are writers out there who do not have a mentor, whether it be there choosing or they just haven't found one yet. I have one and I am so thankful for her. I didn't set out looking for a mentor, it just happened. One question to the right person lead to another question and before I knew it, she was there anytime I needed her. I will forever be thankful for all of the help I have received. I am sure I would still be sitting at my computer with a look of complete confusion on my face and I doubt I would be as far as I am today with out her guidance.

I also have my two critique partners, (CP), and they are a valuable asset to me. Many writers have them and I imagine they would say the same thing! It is nice to have someone to bounce an idea off of. These girls have gone through and found mistakes that my eyes have missed since I have re-read my own work a thousand times. They will tell me if my battle scene is rough enough or if my sex scene is plausible. Believe me, it makes sense. Haven't you ever read a scene between two people and in the back of your head you are thinking, "Is that humanly possible?" It isn't bad to have the help of others and I think it is important to remember that if you are going to surround yourself with others, to make sure it is people you can count on, trust, and respect.

So, if you have a mentor and/or a CP, make sure you let them know how much you appreciate them! I want to say thank you to Lizzie and Pam, my CP's and my mentor, you are all wonderful!!!!!!!