Thursday, June 29, 2017

Just Creative or Am I Schitzophrenic? #MFRW Authors #26

I've had a love of stories since I can remember.  I loved being read to, and was thrilled when I learned to read myself.  But somewhere about the 2nd or 3rd grade, something interesting happened:  I'd read a book or watch a movie, and would continue the story line with my Barbies or want to act it out.

Which, you might think is brilliant.  BUT....I didn't know how to communicate the ideas in my head, and would get mad at whoever was playing with me for going 'off script', which was weird, since there was NO SCRIPT!  (For more on this, go here)

When the concept of Creative Writing was introduced to me in the 5th grade, I was THRILLED!  Finally, all those story lines and characters in my head could be written down on paper!!

From the 5th grade through HS, I wrote fairy tales, essays, my own ending to Star Wars, poetry....anything that popped into my head during English class assignments, or even if they popped into my head after school.  Then I hit college.

In Jr high and in HS, I'd devoured the teen romance books, and even branched into Harlequin and the few romance books and adult fiction that my mom let me read.  But there was no dedicated series for college, unless you count the 50's series by Anne Emery and even a few by Rosamund Du Jardin which, by the 80's, was a bit outdated.  My prom dresses had puffy sleeves and looked like ball gowns, not layers of tulle!  Sleeveless?  Shudder...I didn't have enough 'on top' to hold it up!  But I digress.....

After going on a blind date, I decided to write the book I wanted to read.....and my alter ego's Arbor University series was born.  I was 'born' Feb 20, 2008, when more adult situations were being written by our collective brain, and the 12 year olds where reading AU didn't need exposed to more adult situations.

So back to Why I Write....I just gave you the long answer.  The short answer is, my head would explode if I didn't get these characters out of my head!  Yeah, if an outsider eavesdropped on a group of writers talking about their characters, he/she would wonder why these people aren't on medication or in a padded cell.

Truth is, the stories we write keep us out of that padded cell!

If you want to see why other authors do the things they do, click here:)

Thursday, June 22, 2017

My Dusty Bookshelves #MFRW Authors #25

What are my favorite books to read?
Since I'm involved in VBS (Vacation Bible School-does that shock you?  LMAO!), this post will have to be short, since I stupidly volunteered to create the 1st newsletter!  I've been photographer, Snack Lady, and Keeper of Wayward whistles/name tags/Golden Ticket7s.   And in some instances, that pest who's always got her camera trained to capture every spontaneous moment....

So, in no particular order, the books which, no matter how often I read them, never get old.

1)  James Michenor's Hawaii
2)  Little Women
3)  Dana Fuller Ross's Wagons West series (though Colorado and California have similar plots)
4)  Key Trilogy by Nora Roberts
5)  Born Trilogy by NR
6)  Access Denied by Jacqueline Roth
7)  Brotherly Bonds by Brynn Paulin
8)  Woman of Substance series
9)  Winds of War/War and Remembrance by Herman Wouk
10) The Dutchess by Jude Deveraux
11) Separate Beds by Lavyrle Spencer
12) Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter #4)

What are yours?  What about others?  Go here

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Pasta....Steak....Chicken....How Can I Choose? #MFRW Authors #24

If I Could Eat ONE Last Meal?

Pasta, how I love thee.....let me count the ways.....

*needle scratch*

Filet Mignon, how I love thee.....

*needle scratch*

Grilled chicken, how I-

Okay, okay, we get the point!  Just pick one already!

But it's sooooo hard!

Yes, I know.  But the topic is-

Screw the topic!  I want Filet Mignon with a side of Grilled Chicken in Pasta with Pesto sauce.  And Broccoli with Hollandaise sauce.  And cheesecake for dessert.  Or chocolate cake.  No, make that blackberry pie.

*writing on pad*  So you want for dessert a blackberry pie with a slice of cheesecake and chocolate cake?

Yes.  Or yellow cake with chocolate icing.  It's my last meal, so I'm going out with a full stomach.

That's putting it mildly.

So what about you?  What would YOUR last meal look like?

To see others, go here.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Reality vs Ideal #MFRW Authors #23

Ten years ago this fall, when my kids were all in school, I was pounding out close to 1000 words per day.

Three years ago this month, I had turned over baby-sitting duties to my oldest granddaughter, so I could write Best of Both Worlds and turn it into my editor by July 1st.  Yes, I managed it.

During Word Wars on Twitter, where several friends and I devote 45 minute word sprints to encourage each other to get our books written, I was managing anywhere from 300-700 word counts....IF the words were flowing, I wasn't hearing "Grandma/Mo-om!", or distracted by conversations on Facebook.

Two years ago, I was trying to homeschool my youngest child, rid my house of a bed bug and lice infestation (thanks to the granddaughter's biological father), and write three books.  Only two were written; my child did manage to finish the 4th and 5th grades, and while we got rid of the lice, we still find a bed bug or two.  Bottom line is, they're under control.

So yes, my IDEAL word count would be that 1500-2000 per day.

What's my REALITY, though?
-We took possession of two abandoned houses and are in the middle of sorting, selling, donating, etc, the contents of both houses.

-My older grandkids are here for the summer

-We moved to our new house in December and I'm still cleaning out a storage unit.

-My youngest granddaughter is now five, and wants to spend more time outside in our larger yard.

-The only writing I seem to accomplish these days are two weekly blog posts, my morning FB updates, and the 300 words I can crank out at my weekly writer's meeting.

But hey, I've been here before, back in 2011.  Two short years later, I could barely write fast enough as the characters dictated their woes.

So do they really matter?  Only if you're on deadline.  I found out in 2007 that I have MAJOR perfectionistic tendencies.  If I've told someone of a goal, I'll sacrifice everything to attain it.  (I've eased up, somewhat....that's why I still have a book that's now 2 years overdue!)

It all depends on what goals you've set for yourself and how hard you're willing to work toward those goals.

Or if you're like me these days and LIFE has smacked you upside the head.

To see what other authors have to say on this subject, go here .

****If the topic was how many words are in a book, then my short stories run 4500-6000; my longest book is 54K; my 'comfort zone' is 30-40K.  Sorry if I've misunderstood the topic.*******

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Changes In Reading Habits #MFRW Authors #22

Ten years ago, if someone would have asked me what my biggest pet peeve in a book was, I'd have said, "Dry writing; reading older books with lots of description; not enough dialogue."

Now, I notice head-hopping.

Purple Prose.

Spelling/punctuation errors (specifically, those exclamation marks!!!).

Thanks to a Certain Trilogy, there are words I can't stand, as well as someone writing in 1st person-Present tense.

Granted, my old Steele, Roberts, Michaels (Judith, not my own, lol!), and other books I devoured from 1980-2006 are still in storage, so it will probably be several months until I get around to rereading them (I'm hoping to unearth them this fall!).  It will be interesting to see if I can keep my editing hat 'off' while I read them.

What do other authors take issue with in books? Go here to find out:)

So How Was The Race?
Spectacular!  It was routine until lap 54 when Scott Dixon and Jay Howard tangled, sending Dixon's car flying into the infield fence and nearly taking out a cameraman.  I'm amazed Dixon only ended up with an injury to an ankle!  They stopped the race to repair the fence (1st time I'd seen a red flag that wasn't weather-related), and the other amazing thing was this was the 1st year the line to the women's restroom was SHORTER than the men's.

And yes, I was thrilled when Takuma Sato won:)  The only thing I wasn't happy about was, Rookie of the Year went to the rookie who finished 29th, rather than the one who finished 3rd.  What a break in tradition!

Again, forgive me because I'm traveling home this weekend.  I should be able to check in on Saturday!  I didn't realize how tired I'd be last Monday; I read everyone's posts, but just didn't have the energy to sign in and comment.  Guess being stuck in traffic for 2 hours really takes a toll on a person.