Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Pulling In The Reins

Sometimes I get the feeling if I don’t act now, right now, today, a knocking opportunity will be snagged up by someone and lost to me. This feeling has led me to jump before I was dressed for the part. The end result didn’t lead to good news.

Today we're connected by the world-wide net and this urge to jump can occur almost every day. Because of the technology, our circle of friends is much larger than it was say ten years ago. Hardly a day goes by without someone sharing great news. They final in a contest or won. They've gained the interest of an agent and/or editor, or they actually signed with an agent or sold their work. I don’t know how this is possible. We feel happy for them but in the very same moment we feel something else. Jealousy perhaps or is hope that we too will grab the golden ring. Whichever, it urges us to push our unpolished baby out the door while knowing in our hearts it’s not ready.

There is truth in the old adage PUT YOUR BEST FOOT FORWARD and in FIRST IMPRESSIONS ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT. Bad first impressions take years and a ton of work to undo. I learned my lesson quickly and now each time I hear someone's good fortune I congratulate them and take my baby for a walk. Only I know when it will be ready for the public's critical eye, and I won't shove it out there just to say it's out for query.

So I’m wondering today, have you felt this way? And if so what made you pull in the reins? And when do you know your baby is ready to be shown off?

Friday, April 23, 2010


I'm at the Pink Fuzzy Slipper Writer's today. Join me there for some great weekend plans. http://pinkfuzzyslipperwriters.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Spring of Jace Lee

This week has been special week for our family. So today, instead of words of wisdom, I'd thought I share some pictures. Leave a comment, or not--as always it's up to you.

Everywhere you look spring is evident, in your world and in cyberworld. It's a time of rebirth for Mother Earth and a time of birth for those who inhabit her.

My grand daughter calls our flowering cherry the princess tree. She loves lying below it and looking up through it's branches.

Ah, Lilacs. My favorite flowers. These shrubs actually came from my grandmother's garden. Everything seems to be blooming two weeks early. I wished they'd last longer.

The birds love sitting in the Pink Dogwood, watching our Irish Setter race around the yard. And it's perfect perch to keep their eyes on our cat, Blue.

A view from our front yard.

And then Jace Lee came into our lives. If you visit my facebook page you will see more of the little guy. One week old today and he is doing well. GRANNY GRIN.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Oh, Give Me The Map

Cursor… Cursor… Cursor…

This past week I’ve struggled with a new project. I’ve completed five books and started a handful in-between them. I’ve always started with a kernel of an idea and poof I’d take off down the story path without a care in the world. I’d type and think and type and think and the story came to life as if it had mind of its own. Four-hundred pages— geesh that’s nothing to write. This week however, I thought more about the characters, their wants and needs and how those desires would play against the hero and heroine and of course a villain.

I’ve always dubbed myself a panster, but I have this gut wrenching feel my writing style is changing, somewhat. I’ve had this nagging tiny voice in the back of my mind all week, waking me up in the middle of the night, saying, “I’d think what if and why and then ask more what if questions before you commit yourself to that direction.” I’m not a plotter by anyone’s description. I don’t make charts or time lines or collages. I just can’t sit still long enough or think that way. So is this change a bad thing?

After tormenting over not exactly having flying keys this past week, I’ve come to the conclusion that the change is a good thing. In recent years, I’ve learned that editing is part of the process of producing a good book and according to most authors I’ve spoken to, editing can take longer than writing the story. Passes must be made and layers have to be added to make the characters complex, scenery vivid, dialogue real and the writing tight. The only way the editing process can be shortened is if the author has a sense where he or she is going in the first place. So instead of starting off on a journey with just the sun at back while black clouds loom ahead, I’m taking a compass, a map and some equipment with me.

As you racked up books, have you noticed a change in your style?

Today, Wednesday, I’ll be away for most of the day, having a new grandbaby , but I’ll return this evening and tomorrow to answer any comments.

Have a wonderful day. AJ

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Microsoft's Devil

Cursor… Cursor… Cursor… Cursor…

The dang cursor hangs there sometimes and stares at me, and it even has the gull to wink at me.
Damn thing. One of Microsoft’s devils.

But you know what? The devil has become a motivator for me to write. I see the winky-blink and my fingers itch to press the smooth keys of my laptop and my mind starts whirling through the hundreds of topics or projects I could write about. And there lays the problem I think many writers have. It’s not that we don’t know what to write. We can’t choose from the many voices in our heads, shouting out at us, pick me, you promised me, you need to write about me today.

Usually it’s the last scenario which wins our attention. It takes up a good chuck of our freshest muse and it’s not be our WIPs. It’s a blog post, an interview or an article due. Sigh. It’s our WIPs we really want to spend time on. What to do?

Well, we could not write blog posts or do interviews, or articles and write only your books but be warn today is the age of the world-wide info net. At some point we will need to establish a presence in the arena which will require writing other material besides our WIPs.

So how do we do that? If you’ve read any of blogs in the past, you know I make goal lists each day. The hardest part for me is to shut off the other voices which sound a lot like my four children did when they were pre-teen and focus on a project. But I’ve found if I make my list in priority order, set a time limit for the project, turn on my white noise, sit my butt in chair and stare at the cursor all this has helped me write the other projects and then drag my muse to the WIP.

So, tell me how do you handle the writing juggling act? I’d loved to learn different tactics, to change up and always beat the Microsoft Devil.