Wednesday Writer’s Cafe 3/16

Some days being a mom is tough. Like when your adorably cute six year old says “please mommy cancel my sitter and stay home with me tonight” with big tired eyes.

This week has been interesting. Time change is always a big problem for me. Compounded by the fact that getting up at five was still a struggle even though I had been doing it for 3 months. So now five is four. bleh. I’ve been getting up at the new 630. shaking head.

Which might explain why I feel like I am making zero progress with my murder mystery. On the other hand a new idea for a new novel popped into my head and despite the fact that I attempted to purge said idea by writing it down, the idea won’t leave me alone. I keep coming up with new layers to the story I want to leave me alone so I can finish this darn murder. LOL.

I finally hit 100 followers. It only took 18 months. (snort, only) A quick shout out to the lovely Sue over at Artist Path.


I’ve decided to report on my stated 2016 goals each Wednesday at cafe for a little prod of accountability.

 

– Participate in one flash fiction challenge per month.

√ er…cruddle, I really should get on this for March eh?

– Prepare and teach “Nano to Publish”.

√ This Saturday is our March workshop. We’re still overhauling our work to take it to beta next month. I also taught a special session class Tuesday on blogging to three of the N to P participants.

– Edit my 2015 Nano Novel for 2016 publication.

√ um, so this is going rather slowly right now. I decided to cut this group interrogation scene and instead work the conversations in during a reception after the murdered guy’s funeral. I’ve written the funeral but that’s about as far as I’ve gotten this week.

– Any time I am not actively working on my 2015 Nano Novel, write 2500 words per week on my spy novel until it is done. (After four years, it’s time to put this mess to bed.)

-Non Applicable at this time.

Non writing goals

– Prepare and teach two classes at the coop for the 2016-2017 school year.

√ sigh, this is all so messy. We’re half way through mock registration and NO one wants my nano class. People are lining up for the geography class I made up on the spur of the moment though. Laughing. Ain’t that always the way?

– Take better care of my body, ie. stop compulsively painting, crocheting, and writing until my back or shoulder is so tore I can barely use either.

√ I’ll admit it, there was a little too much painting last weekend.

– yoga daily.

√ laugh, snort, laugh. I did however get my son addicted to yoga though. I convinced him being more flexible will help him with capoeira.

Wednesday Writer’s Cafe 3/2

Wow, it’s March already. How the bleep did that happen? In no time at all con will be here, then Legoland, then Hawaii thank god. I expect this whole year to slide by in a wash of head shaking, “wait, where did x go?”

So the Norwescon schedule is up and I want to know what idiot thought it was a good idea to schedule So You’ve Finished a First Draft, Catching Readers, Hook, Line, & Sinker, Beta Better, and Single Combat for Writers: Creating Believable Violence all in the same hour on the same day? I need a time turner.

Also this week, our friends J and A decided to go to Hawaii with us in May. Woot. This reminded me that I hadn’t put the family passport information into the cruise website yet. Which led me to discover … my passport expired. Bleep bleep bleepity bleep.

So in between putting in a couple hours a day on the schedule for the coop next year, double checking Scripting the Truth for errors before my next order, and editing my murder mystery for Beta…I am breathless. In fact, I’m so busy I had to spend the first 45 minutes of write in figuring out what I am going to cook for the rest of the week so I can go get groceries on the way home. LOL

 


I’ve decided to report on my stated 2016 goals each Wednesday at cafe for a little prod of accountability.

– Research marketing locations for the next free giveaway for Scripting the Truth. Figure out the Reddit problem. Fine tune my categorization on amazon.

√ This is done. I might just remove this goal. I have a list of marketing locations. I joined a publishing coop for the year to get more of my face out there.

– Write 2500 plus words per week on my 2015 Nano novel til completion. (Only another 5-6 weeks to go on that, I think.)

√ Done. Already back from first critique.

– Participate in one flash fiction challenge per month.

√ I did two technically in February but both were super short. One was to write an opening line to a novel. (Watch as she sits on the couch working on her laptop, one hand occasionally petting the sleeping dog next to her.) I was leaving it open so the novel could go a myriad of ways.

The other was to put the working title of your current WIP into an anagram site and pick an anagram of your title. There were over 70K+ anagrams of Sweeping it Under the Rug. LOL. Both challenges came from Dan Alatorre.

– Prepare and teach “Nano to Publish”.

√ January and February done. People are moving forward. It’s early still but I’m excited that only the people who weren’t ready to pull the trigger in January didn’t come back in February. Everyone came back. Everyone is still working forward. We even gained a member.

– Edit my 2015 Nano Novel for 2016 publication.

√ Edited 21 chapters this week including some pretty big rewrites to fix some issues. It’s still not where I want it but I think I will be ready to go to Beta in a month. Start thinking about if you want on my beta team.

– Any time I am not actively working on my 2015 Nano Novel, write 2500 words per week on my spy novel until it is done. (After four years, it’s time to put this mess to bed.)

-Non Applicable at this time.

Non writing goals

– Prepare and teach two classes at the coop for the 2016-2017 school year.

√ This got so out of control. I am now teaching 3 classes more or less. laughing. It’s in flux. And of course it depends on whether people sign up for my classes but still.

– Take better care of my body, ie. stop compulsively painting, crocheting, and writing until my back or shoulder is so tore I can barely use either. Which leads me to …

√ Pretty good this week, although a long stretch with a sander left one shoulder a little cranky. I’m on another house project. This one is just a book case so no pictures, I think.

– yoga daily.

√ Nope. LOL. But at least every other day. The three weeks I was sick, exhausted, sick, exhausted, sick really killed my daily habit. But I am building it back up.

Nano To Publish February Edition

One of the things I always noticed when I was getting edumacated was there are two kinds of teachers. Those who have a plan of what to cover and stick to it like glue and those who have a plan but follow the organic flow of the class. I always liked the latter because you never know where the discussion might go when you just let people talk about ideas. I had a plan for last weekend’s workshop. And while things somewhat went according to plan the detours were really fun.

I started off talking about my feedback from my critique partner. It was pretty harsh. My book is just not that good. And even though I felt that the whole time I was writing it in Nano, finishing it off post Nano, and doing some edits to get it ready for first pass, it still kinda hurt. My critiquer knew within ten pages of finding the body who killed the victim. Ouch. What was the point of laying my pain open for everyone? Well, by asking more questions of my critiquer I found out one line in my novel gave it away for him. One line. One line I meant to be a little odd, to make the reader think just a pause, but apparently I overshot the mark. Then I turned them loose to talk to their partner and find those little extra nuggets of information that might help rework their novel.

Then we talked about what they had heard. I wanted to identify places where they felt overwhelmed by the criticism or had no idea how to address what had been presented to them. And what do you know, almost everyone felt really good about what they heard. Everyone had something to share though.

Which lead to a fabulous discussion of erotica versus romance as a genre and what might be contained in those type books to make it fall into one category or another. The librarian on duty actually came and closed the doors of the conference room on us. Oops. LOL.

Another writer was concerned about time line clarification. Her reader was confused when in the story he was. One suggestion to fix that was to read through how an author you admire handles that sort of notification subtly and then apply it to your novel.

I think if February Nano To Publish had a theme it would be that. If you don’t know how to do something but know an author who does it well in your opinion, read their works. Model the changes you need after them. I’m not talking about changing your style to match theirs, just using their toolbox when you discover your tools aren’t working for a particular problem.

If you’re following along at home, get to work on making the changes your first pass critiquer suggested to you. Ideally you want your novel ready to go to Beta readers in April. You have two whole months. Get to writing.

Wednesday Writer’s Cafe – 2/3

Cafe is preempted because I am in Portland with the kiddo, G, and her kiddo M. This trip was planned for last month but the stomach flu derailed our plans. So we went this week.

We left Tuesday after Lego class for my kiddo and Pilates for G, she is in wicked good shape. First stop was the Mount St. Helens Volcano Museum. We’re home schoolers, every trip must include some education. LOL

Of course when we got there it was closed. Yep, even though the website says open 9-5 daily, daily no longer includes Tuesday and Wednesday. So we took a short hike to let the boys get the wiggles out. Onto Portland.

Checked into our hotel, got rooms right next door to each other, nice accommodating hotel. Lemon verbena soap. Headed out for sushi at Bamboo sushi. Tasty. Kiddo was mad his California roll didn’t have fish roe on it. Sigh. But a trip to Powell’s made everything better, 80 dollars later…but I found some sets of books that are like Bob books, but star wars. Score!

Flight Museum at McMinnville. They have the spruce goose. I saw it in long beach when I was a kiddo so it was cool to take my son now. We ponied up the small amount of extra duckets to take a private cockpit tour. We caught the fighter pilot documentary as well, all about red flag at Nellis. Very cool. In between we kept popping out to the car to enjoy the bounty of tasty treats we picked up from kyra’s bakery on our drive out. Totally gluten free facility, heavenly taste. Cupcakes, cinnamon rolls, sammies, quiche. Hard to say what was the best although the raspberry cheesecake I’m nibbling right now might be winning.

Tomorrow we hit the Oregon science museum, sub tour, and a few paleo food trucks before we head back home.


I’ve decided to report on my stated 2016 goals each Wednesday at cafe for a little prod of accountability.

– Research marketing locations for the next free giveaway for Scripting the Truth. Figure out the Reddit problem. Fine tune my marketing strategy.

√ working on it. I really need more reviews, hence my new give away on offer. Review Scripting the Truth and get an e-copy of my murder mystery free when I publish it later this year.

– Write 2500 plus words per week on my 2015 Nano novel til completion. (Only another 5-6 weeks to go on that, I think.)

√ done until I get my first critique back.

– Participate in one flash fiction challenge per month.

√ it’s February. Another sorry will appear soon.

– Prepare and teach “Nano to Publish”.

√ I suppose I should get started on the February class, lol.

– Edit my 2015 Nano Novel for 2016 publication.

√ Houston, we’re in a holding pattern here. First critique is out. Waiting for it to come home.

– Any time I am not actively working on my 2015 Nano Novel, write 2500 words per week on my spy novel until it is done. (After four years, it’s time to put this mess to bed.)

√ I should be working on this right now but I’m using the time to get to some other important projects of the ground.

Non writing goals

– Prepare and teach two classes at the coop for the 2016-2017 school year.

√ there’s some stuff brewing, it looks like I might be teaching much more than n to p but we’ll see how it shakes out.

– Take better care of my body, ie. stop compulsively painting, crocheting, and writing until my back or shoulder is so tore I can barely use either. Which leads me to …

√ two thumbs up.

– yoga daily.

√ made it to daily this week with one 90 minute session. I’d love to get that up to a couple of times a week.

Wednesday Writer’s Cafe 1/13 – late

Last night’s cafe was preempted by an emergency meeting at my son’s coop. Why does everything have to happen on Wednesday? Serious? There isn’t another night in the week that people could make things happen?

So there were some issues with the financial future of the coop which the board is now  handling in an appropriate manner in my opinion. And there are a lot of open positions at the coop that need filling. But all in all it will survive for another year. LOL.

I’m on the scheduling committee, which I love. I love to put everything in it’s place. It’s that OCD part of me that would have allowed Napoleon to take Russian, even in winter. LOL. Went out with the other ladies on the committee last night after the general assembly which is why I didn’t get about to posting til I slept that off.


 

I’ve decided to report on my stated 2016 goals each Wednesday at cafe for a little prod of accountability.

– Research marketing locations for the next free giveaway for Scripting the Truth. Figure out the Reddit problem. Fine tune my categorization on amazon.

√ Finished “How to publish a best seller” This week. A post on it will be up this weekend. I’ve also been following a number of blogs where bloggers detail marketing options and sites they tried and their response to formulate a list for myself to try out as soon as I get to ten reviews on Amazon.

– Write 2500 plus words per week on my 2015 Nano novel til completion. (Only another 5-6 weeks to go on that, I think.)

√ I think I finished writing my first pass this week, I’m not really sure though. There is so much clean up work to be done but since I am kicking off the Nano to Publish year long workshop series this Saturday, I will allow it to be done. As a humorous side note, I apparently gave my main character a dog in a throw away line at the start of the novel and never again mentioned him. As I sat on my couch one morning I actually said “I have a dog?” when I read the line and my dog lifted his head and looked at me. Never a good sign when your own dog thinks you’re an idiot. LOL Words: 1534 written and 2 chapters edited with about an even trade: words removed = words added.

– Participate in one flash fiction challenge per month.

√ Finished my flash fiction for January and just on time. LOL Posted last Friday. You can find it here if you missed it.

– Prepare and teach “Nano to Publish”.

√ Preparation underway. Outline and handouts for the class are done and waiting for Saturday.

– Edit my 2015 Nano Novel for 2016 publication.

√ Just started first pass editing, 2 chapters done this week.

– Any time I am not actively working on my 2015 Nano Novel, write 2500 words per week on my spy novel until it is done. (After four years, it’s time to put this mess to bed.)

-Non Applicable at this time.

Non writing goals

– Prepare and teach two classes at the coop for the 2016-2017 school year.

√ I actually wrote my proposal last weekend. I submitted Nano to Publish. I was thinking that was going to be it but after talking to the scheduling committee last night, I will be writing a proposal for a cooking class today for submission as well.

– Take better care of my body, ie. stop compulsively painting, crocheting, and writing until my back or shoulder is so tore I can barely use either. Which leads me to …

√ One incident of excruciating shoulder pain because I painted too long. sigh.

– yoga daily.

√ 3 out of 7. Ouch. This week was rough.

Wednesday Writers Cafe 1/6

I met with my good friend S tonight before Cafe to hash out the outline for the class I am teaching next Saturday, with her assistance. We keep joking it’s my baby but she’s playing Doctor Spock. Ha-ha. So the class is actually a year long seminar/workshop series called Nano to Publish. Basically we are taking anyone who shows up through the process of turning their raw Nano novel into a published quality novel by Nano later this year. So that’s been a lot of this week.

I also came to the shocking realization that I am almost out of book reviews. AHHHHHHHHHHHHH. I did very little reading during Nano and since then I’ve been reading my way through the Flavia de Luce series, but I already reviewed the first one in the series. I need to read some other stuff pronto. Except I’m already reading a homeschooling guide, a marketing guide, and a craft book right now. Ahh what I wouldn’t give for five more hours in the day.

We all actually worked at cafe tonight. I was sitting next to R, who was all about her laptop which made it easy for me to be all about mine. Some nights I love that and this was one of them. I needed to get work done. And I got it. Thanks, R, come sit next to me every Wednesday. LOL

So tell me, when you want beta feedback from someone, what are the three most helpful things they can do?


 

I’ve decided to report on my stated 2016 goals each Wednesday at cafe for a little prod of accountability.

– Research marketing locations for the next free giveaway for Scripting the Truth. Figure out the Reddit problem. Fine tune my categorization on amazon.

√ Reading “how to publish a best seller” right now. 2/3 done.

– Write 2500 plus words per week on my 2015 Nano novel til completion. (Only another 5-6 weeks to go on that, I think.)

√ A little low this week as I got a cold right after New Year’s and needed some extra rest to kick that down to livable. ~1500 words. I will have an exact count going forward

– Participate in one flash fiction challenge per month.

√ Need to write the one I promised to Dan Alatorre this week. 500 word story in the adventure genre, containing my obituary, staring “a courageous 39 year-old woman, who comes from a wealthy background, lives in a fisherman’s cottage and tends to be a bit forgetful” invoking the emotion guilt. Oof. I’ll post when it’s done so you can laugh. This was put together using some random generators. Not my choice.

– Prepare and teach “Nano to Publish”.

√ Preparation underway. Lots of new research. Outline for the first class half done.

– Edit my 2015 Nano Novel for 2016 publication.

– Non applicable at this time.

– Any time I am not actively working on my 2015 Nano Novel, write 2500 words per week on my spy novel until it is done. (After four years, it’s time to put this mess to bed.)

-Non Applicable at this time.

Non writing goals

– Prepare and teach two classes at the coop for the 2016-2017 school year.

√ well, since one of them is Nano to Publish, I am kind of working on this as I go.

– Take better care of my body, ie. stop compulsively painting, crocheting, and writing until my back or shoulder is so tore I can barely use either. Which leads me to …

√ I’m doing ok more or less on this, this week anyway.

– yoga daily.

√ Not to channel Meatloaf but four out of five ain’t bad. LOL

 

2016 Goals

With the new year in front of me and my first free giveaway just behind me, it seemed like a good time to consider where I want my writing to go next year.

A quick recap of the free giveaway. On one hand, 282 people downloaded Scripting the Truth while it was free and I already got a new review, here’s hoping for 281 more, LOL. But in the grand scheme of things I am bummed. Reddit never allowed my posts, which means my advertising was minimal, only word of mouth and Facebook friends. Which means my positional gains on the best seller list were minimal. But I can do another free run in three months, which leads me to item number one on my goals list.

  1. Research marketing locations for the next free giveaway for Scripting the Truth. Figure out the Reddit problem. Fine tune my categorization on amazon.
  2. Write 2500 plus words per week on my 2015 Nano novel til completion. (Only another 5-6 weeks to go on that, I think.)
  3. Participate in one flash fiction challenge per month.
  4. Prepare and teach “Nano to Publish”.
  5. Edit my 2015 Nano Novel for 2016 publication.
  6. Any time I am not actively working on my 2015 Nano Novel, write 2500 words per week on my spy novel until it is done. (After four years, it’s time to put this mess to bed.)

Other non writing goals?

  1. Prepare and teach two classes at the coop for the 2016-2017 school year.
  2. Take better care of my body, ie. stop compulsively painting, crocheting, and writing until my back or shoulder is so tore I can barely use either. Which leads me to …
  3. yoga daily.

I’ve made it a point to keep my goals things that are within my control, more or less. I would love to make have 10,000 followers my goal or sell 5000 copies as a goal but those are dependent on other people. And with my mind control abilities on the fritz these days, shrug, gotta focus on what I can directly do. Which brings me to my last … thought? I hesitate to say goal.  I need to reconsider my twitter ban. I just don’t know if I can go there. sigh.

So tell what are your goals for the 2016 year? Or even one goal? or even what you think of my goals? What do you think of Twitter?

 

Fiendish Friday – 5AM

So a couple of weeks ago I started getting up at FIVE AM.

I am not a morning person, in fact I rarely come alive until after dinner, so what prompted this insanity?

I realized I am not unhappy with my life. In fact, my life is pretty much fabulous. Hate me if you like. LOL. But I did realize I was the only person in my house not getting their needs met.

My dog is pretty simple: 2 meals a day, belly rubs, ball throwing, an hour walk, and once a week massive hike. √

The hamster: clean it’s cage weekly. feed it about weekly.√

My hubby: good food, clean clothes to wear to work, a happy wife, and a healthy amount of mumble mumble (move along folks, nothing to see here). √

My kiddo: home school, good food, coop, specialty classes, play dates, cuddles with Mommy, and Legos. (Never underestimate a six year old boy’s need for Legos.) √

Me: yoga, writing time, reading time, crafty/TV watching time.

Yeah – I guess I ask lot given I am a stay at home mom. LOL. For those of you not in the know, stay at home mom means no time alone.

So I started getting up at five, oh god, I’ll say it again, five. So I could write, yoga, then walk the dog and start my day. I am still not a morning person. But what it comes down to is this, I can be either “not a morning person writer” or I can sleep in. Because you have to actually write to call yourself a writer and not much of that was happening post Nano, pre five AM.

So now I am writing. 500-1000 words each day on my nano novel. It’s progressing really well. I think it helps I ended Nano with my novel at the all down hill from here point. But still, words are accumulating. Some days, when I don’t have anything planned for the morning, I actually take two whole hours to write and then yoga after I walk the dog. (kiddo likes his morning TV, don’t judge.) It’s kind of nice to have the time to be flexible and to prioritize my writing. I used to just shoehorn it in where ever I could fit it. Now it has it’s own space.

How do you give your writing (or substitute other passion) it’s own space? Do you go to extreme lengths? Or lengths that feel extreme to you anyway? LOL

And Merry Christmas to those who celebrate. Happy Friday to those who don’t. My book, Scripting the Truth, is still available for free download until the 27th.

Wednesday Writer’s Cafe

Good evening my friends. First off I have to say thank you for all your support yesterday. It’s nice to hear I am just a standard insecure writer basket case as opposed to a special blend of crazy.

And what a difference a day can make. I wrote more than 2000 words today on my Nano Novel. At that rate I’ll finish this puppy by Christmas. Because we all know it works just like that. LOL. Snort. LOL.

On the way to write in tonight I saw a motorcycle with a fully lit Christmas tree in the side car. How freaking awesome.

Speaking of awesome things, if you’ve been waiting, the time is neigh. The kindle version of my novel, Scripting the Truth, will be a free download from December 23rd to December 27th. I’ll post a link when it’s available. But save the date now.

In the mean time, I think I need to go home to bed. My explanation of why I need to stop writing for the night was so convoluted someone wrote it down to add to their work in progress.  Um, glad to know I can be so amusing when I make no sense.

 

 

 

Tuesday Tremors

Yesterday, talking with a friend, she mentioned how my book has a similar feel and pacing to the TV show Nero Wolfe. That started rolling around in my head. Imagine a gentler pin ball, bouncing off all my insecurities and issues.

And then I saw how hard I was getting flamed on another blog I participate in. And I started to think, wow, I can’t even make myself understood here.

And then this morning I read a post about how sad it is when writers think they are great, that they have awesome talent, and really it’s so bad you can barely follow their line of thought in the blog ranting about how great they are.

I am a copy cat, with no talent, and no ability to form logical trains of thought.

All of this, has led to a triple word score of I suck today. I sit here looking at my nanonovel from 2015 wanting to add more words to it. Needing to add more words to it, hello I have a class to teach in a little over a month and I need a nano novel to demonstrate on. But I can’t write a word.

I have suckitis. And who am I to think I have anything worth saying to a class full of Nano publishing hopefuls.

What do you do when a case of suckitis rears up and takes over your creative brain? Surely, this happens to others? Help me out here.

Or maybe I just suck and should quit while I am ahead.