Thursday, August 31, 2017

Habitual Offender....#MFRW Authors #35

*checks watch*

How much time do we have for this?  LOL....

Again, I'm not sure if this pertains to writing or life, so I'll do both.

*Looks around*
The one bad habit I'm *allowed* to keep is biting my fingernails.

There.  I said it.

Can I also keep my 1/2 shot of vodka in a cup of Kool-Aid while fixing dinner habit?

The one I'm diligently working on is breaking my carb addiction.  My favorite go-to lunch if we're home is pasta with pesto.  I think this may have contributed to my testiness with my older granddaughter at the beginning of this month.  It's hard to battle your cravings and a headstrong teenager in the same week, lol.

I also have a bad habit of unintentionally 'offending' some of my friends.  This is when our views on FB over Current Events don't exactly match up.  It usually goes like this:

I see post after post which I don't agree with, so I keep scrolling.

Later that evening, I find a mild one which lines up with my personal opinion and share it.  This is usually around midnight, but it could even happen in the middle of the day.  I log off and go about my business.

I log back in an hour or so later to find I've managed to 'offend' the majority of my friends, who then feel it is their obligation to take me to task.  My 'friend count' either drops or the thread is so out of control I feel compelled to delete it.

I then bite my tongue until the 'hot button' issue settles down and my FB feed returns to *normal*.

Sometimes this happens on my blog also, as the Great Christmas Lyric Scandal of 2007 showed me.

Okay, enough about that.

*flexes fingers*

Now, as to my writing.....I used to have the following bad habits:
-Adverbs (before I learned they were a no-no)
-Head Hopping (this before I knew the *rules* had changed....hey, I learned from the best!)
-Using certain words over and over....and then replacing them with more tired ones...(that, which, so, as, now, when...also beginning a sentence with 'And' or 'But'.)

Now my bad habit is procrastination.
-Short, to the point sex scenes (but is that really a bad thing?  LOL!)
-Using the same name over and over (Last check, I had 4 'Brians'....thankfully, one of them told me his name was 'Zachary Brian', so he became 'Zach'.)
-Not using enough description or using too many nicknames.  In one of my latest short story effort, I used complicated names and in some instances, shortened them.  I confused at least two beta readers who don't read that genre.....but the ones who DO read it had no issue!  So????)

If you ask my crit partners, they could probably point out more....

Want to know others' bad habits?  Click here.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Taking Notes....#MFRW Authors #34

 Open or Closed Doors?

I'm an open-door person.  Having been raised in an easy-going household, I like having the doors open on mild days; if there's only family around and I'm in a hurry, I will leave the bathroom door open when I do my, er, business.  I hate to sleep with the bedroom door closed.

The only times my bedroom door is closed is when I'm either getting dressed after a shower or need privacy.

*needle-scratch*  Oh wait, you mean in my books?  The bedroom scenes?

In that case, the bedroom door is wide open, and I'm standing beside the bed, taking notes on what my characters are doing between the sheets, or even on top of them.  (LOL!)

At least, that's how it was when I first began writing sex scenes.  Now, while sometimes every action is described, I will tend to leave some things to the imagination.  For example, once my characters have been to bed, I don't think it's necessary to describe every sexual act unless they try something new, or it's been a while since they've taken their time.

Truthfully, when I first began reading romances, I devoured every bedroom scene.  But now, I tend to skip over them and read more of the plot.  Does that shock you?  Maybe I'm simply burned out on sex scenes, having been pretty much immersed in them the past seven years.

I went through this issue once before, then purchased Anny Cook's Daffodil (currently unavailable, but if you have an old copy or know someone who owns it, I highly recommend it!  Esp her Phantom's Rest!) and read every single word.  Maybe I need to do so again?

To see what others have to say on this topic, click here.  

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Karaoke, Anyone? #MFRW Authors #33

If you're a FB friend, or regular reader of my other blog, you know I have a bi-weekly habit.

I'm a closet-rocker who has been hurting the ears singing karaoke for the past six years.  I get to unleash my inner rock chick and inflict my voice belt out Bon Jovi, Journey, Styx, and the occasional Foreigner songs, as well as going through the song list alphabetically.  On Saturday nights, I'm up to the 'N' titles.  On Thursday nights, well, I'm going backward, so in the past year I've gone from Z-W.  I also see if my Thursday night KJ has songs that my Saturday guy doesn't.  So for fun, here's my songs for the coming week:

No More Tears-Donna Summer/Barbra Streisand
No No No Song-Ringo Starr
No One Is To Blame-Howard Jones
No One Like You-Scorpions

When The Children Cry-White Lion
Leave A Light On-Belinda Carlisle
When The Going Gets Tough-Billy Ocean
Invincible-Pat Benetar (redeeming song)

I also took up needlepoint last year, and find it very relaxing.  I discovered a love of embroidery and cross-stitch when I was ten, as well as spool-knitting (my great-grandmother tried in vain to teach me how to needle-knit!  I did fine at her house, but as soon as I got home, I'd completely mess it up.).  I now have about six or eight yards of spooled yarn that will 'one day' be turned into a rug.  Every once in a while I'll come across that bag and work on it some more.

My kids finally got me interested in this online app, and so far I've binge-watched Star Trek DS9; Frasier, Coach, and am now on Season 7 of Criminal Minds.  I'm also on Season 1 of Friends, when I get tired of all the brutality of CM.

I'll admit, my reading time has greatly suffered in the past seven years.  My granddaughter has discovered the joys of the Kindle, so I have to hide mine when it's not in use.  I do tend to read more when I take various family members for doctor appointments and on the weekends when the granddaughter is at her dad's.  Right now, my 'unwinding' at night consists of NetFlix or my daily Solitaire Challenge.

So what do YOU do to recharge the creative batteries?
Find out more here. 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

"Magic 8 Ball, Please Tell Me...." #MFRW Authors #32

*shaking vigorously*

Where do I hope to be in ten years' time?
-Family-wise, my kids will be 35, 33, and 23; granddaughters will be 26 and 15; grandson 25.  My oldest will be teaching at the junior high level and on his way to getting his Masters of Education, if he hasn't already.  He may or may not be married with children of his own.  Daughter will have a steady job and a place of her own; my baby either be in college or working somewhere.  Granddaughter Alex will be in high school; Granddaughter Ariel will be pursuing her Culinary Arts career.  Grandson will most likely be in the Army or Marines.

-Parents will be in their 80s, if still alive.  Spousal unit will be 73.

-House-wise, with having the house finally to ourselves, all my possessions will be out of boxes and the house arranged the way I want it.  The other two houses will have been demolished and a nice yard in their place.

-Both dogs will probably be gone.  Pit Bull Dexter is already 6, and shepherd mix Cheyenne is nearly 8. 

-Career-wise, I want to be at the level where I am PAID to attend conferences, or at least have the means to attend the ones I want.  All current unfinished WIPS will be published.

Of course, if we go to war with NK in the coming months, I hope I'm one of the ones who are killed instantly.  I do not want to suffer any radiation poisoning.  I keep praying that another solution to this threat, as well as the terrorism threat, can be found soon.

I also dearly hope that the health care issue has been resolved, and I'll finally have GOOD medical insurance!

Magic 8 Ball, please tell me
What kind of future do you see?

"Future Cloudy.  Check back later."

What do you see in YOUR future?

Click here for more. 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Aunt Mommy/Aunt Grandma #MFRW Authors #31

"The Good Ole Days" (before I was pubbed):
The year was 2000.  My youngest child was off to 1st grade, since Kindergarten was half day 'back then' and since I had a tendency to lose track of time while on the computer, I did other chores while keeping an eye on the clock.

So when she was off to school all day, I would happily get them off to school, watch the news until 9am, them turn on the radio, check my email, then get down to writing until both kids arrived home at 3:30.  Or I'd stop at 2:30 and go pick them up.  Homework and dinner would follow.

Fast-forward seventeen years:  I have 21 books published, plus five that need re-pubbed; three children (a caboose arrived in 2004), and three grandchildren (only 1 biological).  My two adult children are working and one is even going back to college later this month; my oldest granddaughter decided this summer to live with us and go to school down here; my baby is in 7th grade, and the youngest granddaughter enters full-day kindergarten.

In other words....I get my LIFE back!

But no more all day writing stints.  Oh no.  Now I have to check in with social media; manage 3 email accounts; check in with chat loops (I really only keep up with 2 instead of 17); manage 2 blogs; and do my daily FlyLady housecleaning. 

All before lunch.

Depending on Grumpy Claus's plans, I'll either run errands with him (which sometimes includes lunch!) or stay home and either attempt to write, or dive into 'decluttering' mode and work on either of the two houses we're cleaning out, or sort through the storage unit.  As previously mentioned, I'm also waiting on him to install some electrical outlets downstairs so I can set up my stereo and home office.

After dinner, I freely admit I'm a TV addict.  I have many shows that I love to watch, and depending on what days, sometimes mine end up on the DVR.  If I get too behind, then some of my daylight hours are spent watching them, or even late at night.  On the weekends, I enjoy getting up early to do this also.  I'm also binge-watching Criminal Minds on NetFlix, so at least 2 hours a day is wasted  spent lying on my bed....

So while I would love to lead you to believe I write from 9am-3 again, it's just not possible.

Maybe when all my kids are grown and that 'empty nest' is finally here??????

Come back in 2030.  I'll let you know.

Want to know other authors' schedules?  Find out here.

Again, this weekend I'm promoting my books (and a brand-new author's 1st book!) at our local Watermelon Festival tonight and tomorrow.  I'll check in either Sunday or Monday!