Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Writing Tip #3: Stick-to-itivness

I know I'm still new to the whole writing for a publisher gig.  But I try to share some helpful hints that any author can use- even if you're writing for your own enjoyment or for you college professor (which you're probably not enjoying so much).

Stick-to-itivness is the most important part (I know, I know, I keep saying they're all the most important) of writing.  You're not going to be happy or accomplish much of anything if you can't finish the damn story.  You heard me- finish your stories!  I have problems with this tip at time, too.

I am a multitasker and a putting-things-on-the-back-burner-er, but eventually I get back in the groove with those characters and finish it up.  I'm not saying that I lose interest in the plots or my characters are dull, but sometimes I need time to rethink-or in most cases come up with- my actual plot line.  My stories morph from scribbled notes to chapters and things gets skewed in translation.  Then I have all these options...and I'm not so good with the lots of options part.  You see what I mean.

By the time I think I have a good thing plotted out, my brain comes up with a new thing that I just have to get started on RIGHT AWAY.  And the process begins again.  I'm taking my own advice here and really putting more time and energy into one project at a time.  Or, I set a goal for myself and once I've reached it with one story, I will allow myself to spend some time with something else for a bit.  It's working pretty well so far.  But I still have parts of projects I've left unedited or unfinished over the last several years.  I'll get back to them...probably. 

As you can see, I'm awesome when it comes to giving advice.  But I'm terrible when it comes to taking it.  So, do as I say and not as I do!

:.See All the Neat Stuff We're Missing Out On?.:

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

No, It's MY Birthday!

Today is my twenty-fifth birthday!  Twenty-four was my year for lots of drastic changes and renovations and general settling in.  Connor started school, my family packed up and moved away, I started writing again, Temperance was born and changed our whole family dynamic...again- lots of big quakes shaking up my little world.

I don't know what to expect from this year.  I mean, I'm half of I guess I could start my mid-mid life crisis now.  I'm not as excited for this birthday, though.  Connor will be in school all day, my brother and parents won't be here, it's a weekday, the hubby's out of town, everyone else is at work.  Who will I nag with my constant singing of "Happy Birthday to ME!"? Maybe I can sing to the dog.  Precious isn't smart enough to run away.

Connor thinks my birthday is a major holiday (I agree, it should be) because we all make a big hoopla over his day.  He even wants to stay home from school so I can buy him presents-for my birthday-and let him open them. Maybe he'll paint me a pretty picture at school. 

:.Aww! My Young'uns!.:

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Dr. Tanning vs. Dr. Medicine?

It seems that Indoor Tanning Officials are now portraying doctors as vampiric, sun-hating villains. Those lab coat-toting know-it-alls are always warning about overexposure to panini grills...ahem... I mean tanning beds and something or other about skin cancer.  They act like they went to medical school or something!

I'm not saying there's anything wrong with looking healthy and 'glowy'.  But when you're pumpkin orange and your skin looks like something from the latest Loius Vuitton line of handbags, I think it's time to lay off.  These days we have spray tans and bronzers so you can get that brown look without drying your skin out. 

Laying in the sun for hours a day and scorching yourself in tanning beds make you look like a Bronzed Goddess in your teens and twenties...but have you seen these people when they're in their forties or fifties even?  My goodness! 

Indoor Tanning...Authorites (I guess is the proper term) are campaigning against Sunscreen-Pushing doctors.  Their platform seems to be "Vitamin D makes you feel better!  And we need it!  And the only way we can absorb it is by slathering ourselves in Hemp Oil and laying on ultra hot heating bulbs!" 

I say- I've been to pharmacies and even the medicine aisle at Wal-Marts even.  If you read the labels on those little vitamin bottles,eventually you'll get to one that reads Vitamin D right there on the label.  You can buy this labeled bottle and take it home with you so you can take the little pills inside with eight ounces of water....and absorb Vitamin D!!!

Surely they can come up with a better campaign than this?

:.That's A Sexy Aphrodite!.:

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Who's Got Game?

You either got it or you don't.  My poor Connor Gremlin...don't got it, lol.  Bless his little heart.  He awoke in a fantastic mood *rolls eyes*. If, by fantastic, I mean he screamed in my face when I asked him what he was doing.  Who puts their shoes on while they're still wearing pajamas anyways? His mood improved...somewhat by the time we got to school. 

Connor has been talking about a girl at school named Lolo.  I was skeptical of his 'girl friend' because we'd been watching the Olympic coverage the week before and his Daddy had insinuated that Lolo Jones had a nice booty and Connor thought that was super hilarious.  So, I've been trying to figure out who this other Lolo girl is.

Yesterday, Connor sat down with his class after he finished his school breakfast.  I watched him for a while because I like to stick around and listen for the morning announcements since Gremlin doesn't see fit to tell me anything about school.  Anywho, a little girl with really long, blonde hair was seated down the bleacher from him and was crying uncontrollably.  I don't know why she was crying, but this seemed to bother Connor.  He asked her what was wrong and she just kept weeping, "Someone hurt my feelings!"  At this point I was just hoping it wasn't Connor. I didn't want to go toe to toe with an angry Momzilla before my second thermos of coffee.

Connor tried to console her and kept telling her to stop crying because people will think she's a little girl.  To which she replied, "But I am a little girl!!"  I have a smooth operator on my hands ladies and gentlemen.

This morning, the same little girl was sitting and waiting on the teacher and poor little Connor said "Hey Lolo!" She took one look at him and turned away from him! Yup, he so got dissed.  Well, this just crushed his little heart- for all of three seconds.  But at least I figured out who Lolo was, although I think her name is actually Jayla or something like that.  Close enough.

While eating breakfast, Connor waved at yet another little blonde girl and called her Lolo, too.  Maybe all blondes are Lolo now?  I guess that cuts down the confusion, give all your womenses the same pet name like 'baby'.  It's fool-proof, I tell you!

:.Wanna Share My Colors, Baby?.:

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Writing Tip # 2

Be flexible! OCD, ultra-anal time keepers need not apply (at least not to my seminars).  Writing takes time.  I don't care what sort of chapter or word count quota you set for yourself, be prepared for whatever.  Murphy's Law plays a major part in my writing schedule- anything can and does happen.

Some people can only write productively in strictly controlled atmospheres.  The sun must be shining just so, their ceramic Hippo collection has to be facing east, they need a glass of wine to concentrate...the list goes on and on.  Sorry, but some days it's not going to work out that way, Grasshopper.

I try to write two to four thousand words at a time, but I don't get to write every single day.  I probably could, but there's some days when a nap just sounds better.  What can I say? My creative juices take the day off, too.

Also, Connor and Tempe like banging their grubby little fingers on Mommy's keyboard so I have to write where they can't see me.  In those situations, it's best just to short-hand some notes on paper and save them for a more opportune time.

:.That's Not Uncomfortable At All, I Bet.:

Monday, August 20, 2012

Writing Tip #1

Hypothetically speaking- if someone were to ask me the most important writing tip I had to offer I would say...patience.
First of all- writing a project of any length takes patience to actually sit down and get it done.  Some people write it out in notebooks, most type, and a few dictate while running errands or working around the house so they can go back on their computer and edit at a later date. 

Patience is important during the actual writing process because rushing will make your work sloppy and hurried.  There's nothing wrong with taking your time.  I've heard of authors finishing whole manuscripts in 72 hours...this is not for everyone.  You're not running a marathon!

Patience is also important after the manuscript is done.  Unless you're in a serious time crunch, or you really trust (or maybe want to torture) your Beta readers, it's best to leave the manuscript alone for a couple of weeks.  That way, you can pick it up again with fresh eyes and read through it again.  It's easy to skim over mistakes or leave loose ends untied after you've read through the same chapters several times in a day. 

I really don't recommend submitting a manuscript to publication immediately after you write it.  It's better to self edit as much as you can before you send it off to the professionals.  Make an effort to put your best foot forward and all that.
:.Love This!.:

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Innovation is easier than Invention!

I never realized how creatively challenged I am until I started trying to piece together this Werewolf story I'm working on.  Shew!  I mean, I want something different...that isn't overdone (like my poor Meatloaf). 

I hardly ever research...or outline...or brainstorm before I start working on a project.  Usually I just sit down and write.  Then, I leave the finished project alone for a few weeks and go back and re-read it with fresh eyes and rework things.  Now I have a notebook full of scribbles about werewolf lore...the first werewolf accounts and so on.  I think I'm making this WAY more complicated than it has to be.

 I am determined to come across with a new, more unique werewolf tale for my readers.  So, we'll see how the next few days go.  I'll probably just sit down and start writing with my somewhat historically-sound ideas in mind.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Letting Go

From day one, we're handed this tiny squirming infant and told to hold them tight and never let them go.  Then, they get bigger...and bigger.  Today has given me my first (very bitter) taste of letting go.

Connor's fist official day of Kindergarten is today.  I dropped him off at school with a brave face.  I watched as the teacher took over my place and I walked out of the classroom without tripping over my screaming, begging child.  He waved, stayed in his seat, and reminded me to come and get him later.

In a way, I was glad I avoided the 'clingy' child routine- it was the less traumatic route for both of us- but couldn't he have looked just a little forlorn?  *Sigh*  I remember I cried a lot my first day of Kindergarten.  I didn't like being left with a bunch of strangers.  But, that's how I met my first friend.  She walked up to me and told me not to cry anymore.  Great, now I'm worried about Connor not having any friends...

Needless to say, I made it about 50 feet from the school before the waterworks started.  I cried and cried...and I'm kind of misty right now.  This is going to be an adjustment for both of us.

:.My Brave Connor.:

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Unapologetic Writing

When you decide to write and to share the things you've written, it opens the door for criticism.  Criticism can come in many forms from a standard "I liked it" or "This is garbage!  Why are you wasting my time?" Some people say one or the other without reading your story or novel all the way through.  This is annoying trolling, but you'll get a lot of that.

I'm not ashamed of the things I write.  I've written anything from erotica to contemporary romances.  A lot of people ask me about projects I'm working on, and then ask why I chose to write about lesbians, or why I don't write Inspirational novels.  I'm sorry if I've somehow let friends and family down by writing what comes naturally to me.  I could write other genres, but it wouldn't be my best effort because I just don't feel it. 

If you're a writer, you know what it's like to attempt writing something that you don't really understand and you just don't like.  You might continue to try and sort through your problems and persevere for whatever reason- be it money or a favor-  only to lose interest and start typing away on something else.  That's me.  I write what I feel and I feel what I write.  If you don't like it, don't read it.  And if you feel ashamed to call me friend or relative, that's fine too.  I'm sorry you feel that way, or if I've somehow made you uncomfortable, but it will save us all some rather uncomfortable Thanksgiving Dinners if we diverge now.

Since my little Connor Gremlin is starting Kindergarten in the next week or so, I decided to treat myself to some new books to keep me occupied while I camp outside his school or classroom for the first few days.  I always vowed I wouldn't be that creepy Mom who spends all of her free time shadowing her child, but I feel my Motherly Instincts kicking in. 

I'm pretty sure I mentioned the little book store down the road.  Like I said, I only go there for special order books I can't get at Wal-Mart.  While there, I stumbled upon Delta of Venus Erotica by Anaïs Nin.  Now, before you get in a huff, it's not the kind of book I'm going to be seen toting around the elementary school, but it is some very interesting reading.  Nin was born in Paris and became an erotic writer whose short stories, essays, and journals span over 60 years and have been published and read worldwide.  Delta was published after her death in 1977.  If you write or plan to write erotica, you should definitely pick this book up.  The prologue is very influential and reminds erotica writers that we don't just write mechanical, anatomical, clinical sex, but sex with love, feeling, tears, and devotion. 

I'll go ahead and warn you that some of the short stories are not for everyone due to its content, but the writing itself is beautiful, moving, and inspirational.  She was a woman living in a different time, writing about sexuality and sex from a woman's point of view.  We can thank writers like her for paving the way for us to make our dreams come true.

         "Women, I thought, were more apt to fuse sex with emotion, with love, and to single out one   man rather than be promiscuous.  This became apparent to me as I wrote the novels and the Diary, and I saw it even more clearly when I began to teach.  But although women's attitude towards sex was quite distinct from that of men, we had not yet learned how to write about it."

"Here in the erotica I was writing to entertain, under pressure from a client who wanted me to 'leave out the poetry'.  I believed that my style was derived from a reading of men's works.  For this reason I long felt that I had compromised my feminine self.  I put the erotica aside.  Rereading it these many years later, I see that my own voice was not completely suppressed.  In  numerous passages I was intuitively using a woman's language, seeing sexual experience from a woman's point of view.  I finally decided to release the erotica for publication because it shows the beginning efforts of a woman in a world that had been the domain of men." - Anaïs Nin, Delta of Venus. Xv.

:.Anaïs Nin.:

Friday, August 3, 2012

Back From Hiatus!

I haven't been posting new blogs lately- I know for shame, Jessicca!  I've had a lot of stuff going in between writing, promoting, hacking myself into a coma... Being ambitious and being sick don't really jive.

Connor just came home from visiting Mom and Dad.  He's not really thrilled about starting school, and I'm not either.  I know he needs to go and learn, but I feel like I have to go back to school, too!  So not fair!  I spent sixteen grueling years in school and now I have to go through all of that again?  Ugh!

I'm more nervous than Connor because I know what to expect.  I worry he won't make friends, he'll back-talk the teacher, and be that kid that all of the parents whisper about- making me that mom who has to kick some other parents butt.

I hope he'll do fine and I hope he'll learn quickly.  I don't want to get pulled into the principals office every day.  Shew, I'm working myself into a panic attack all ready!  Breathe in...breathe out...

Connor had a lot of fun visiting my mom and dad.  He went to the aquarium and saw Mighty Mike.  He's a huge Gator- and he looks a little intimidating.  I wonder if I can rent him as a lawn ornament?

Connor bought his Sissy a little squeaky Gator toy, and it's driving Precious (our Jack Russel Mix) batty every time she makes it squeak.  I didn't know Percy hated noisy toys.  I need to buy more of them.    Maybe that will keep her from nesting in the closets.  ANyways, he also bought her a little pink Gator change purse.  It's so cute!  I bet badass, Mighty Mike loved the idea of little pink purses made in his image.

On the way home last night, Connor sat in the back to give Sissy her bottle and keep her company.  I was so proud of him for being a good big brother and helping me out so I wouldn't have to stop at night beside the road.  He's a good kid, and I have faith in him. 

Really, I can't complain too much.  I've been blessed with two wonderful, healthy, beautiful children, loving friends and family members, and a budding literary career.  Is it too much more to ask for my kids not to grow up so fast?

:.Look how happy!.:

:.Connor & Mighty Mike Have the Same Look on Their Faces.: creepy!.: