Thursday, September 29, 2011

Writing Bug!

The "Writing Bug" has gotten a hold of me! I don't know about you, but for the past 5 months I live, breath, eat, and sleep writing. Family and friends, especially Facebook friends, wonder what's up with me.

A little over a year ago I was sitting in my gift shop and had this story going through my head, but didn't do anything with it at the time. For me, I always have stories going through my head and tend to dismiss them as fantasies I dream up. In February 2011, due to the economy and a business partner who disappeared into the night. I closed my physical gift shop but continued to create custom gift baskets and keep my online business going.

Five months ago, tired of laundry and housework, the story in my head was stronger than usual, I picked up a notebook and pen, and my journey began. Three notebooks, 4 pens running out of ink,more than 20 hand written pages that still need to be typed, and over 70,000 words typed so far (I only type with 2 fingers), I know the Writing bug has got it's hooks into me!

Some people are naturals when it comes to writing. Am I a natural writer? I'm not sure. I know I had over a notebook written, before I told myself to do some research on writing. Am I any good? Once again, I'm not sure, that would have to be up to my readers. I do hope, as many writers do, that my book will pull the reader in, get them hooked, and keep them turning the pages to the very end.

I have always had stories go through my head and a great imagination. (Tea time with Elvis was one of my best ones when I was about 5!) So here I am, a 53 year old mom with three grown sons and am starting on a new journey in my life. Yep, the writing bug has definitely gotten me. Either that or I have completely lost my mind, as some of my family and friends seem to think and I couldn't be happier.

My question for you is.... Have you always had the writing bug?

If not, what, when, and where did it hit you? I'd love to hear your stories.

Wishing each and every one of you a very happy writing bug day!


Monday, September 26, 2011


I will update my blog later today, but thought you might like to check out a couple of links while you are waiting.

Here is Rachelle's new blog post

And here is a fun link on analyzing your book title

Have fun writing! And reading today!

If you have a great blog you'd like to share or would like me to follow post it here on my Facebook page!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Epilogue or Happily Ever After

Do you write an epilogue? Or do you just write the Happily ever After? I've been doing a little research on the differences but would like to know what other writers feel about the two. See the ending of my story will partly be a summary of what happened in the character's lives. It takes place 17 years in the future. And it is told mainly in the second person point of view.
I did find some info here
But by  #4 Avoid the "happily ever after" trap. Happy endings are uplifting, but they should not be used as a way to minimize the conflict that occurred in the novel.

 I am thinking they are telling me not to change my "Happily ever after" into an epilogue.

I will continue to do more research, but I would love your viewpoints on the two.

Wishing you all a great weekend and as always, "Happy Writing"

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Heroes and Heroines

I was reading a friend's post this morning on facebook how the heroine is so bad she makes your eyes bleed. Yep she really did say that. And I told her that's what I was going to blog about this morning.
You can check out her FB page here!

What makes a character so bad that you roll your eyes at them? Are they too sweet? Too demanding? Too emotional? Or just plain ditzy?

Most of the reviews I've read where they complain about the characters, they are referring to the heroine and not the hero.

Also, Do men view the characters the same as a woman does? Maybe we need to have a review contest of sorts and compare the results. :-)

I know when we watch movies we will make comments like,
 "What did he do that for?"
"Why do they make these people so stupid?"
" I could have done a better job of acting!"
Well you get the idea....

And I'm not talking a specific genre, I'm talking all of them.
I know characters are going to different in all genres,
but overall character traits are basically the same.
We all have the same emotions, sadness, happiness, sexy, soft, tough,
no matter if you are reading a romance,  paranormal, horror, or comedy.

What traits endear you to the characters?
What do you want to see in the characters?
Do you want to see the softer side of men?
The tougher side of women?

As always would love to hear your viewpoints!
Have a great day! And keep writing!

Monday, September 19, 2011

To comma or not, that is the question....

Actually that's not the question, but a part of it! I want to talk about writing rules and how closely everyone follows them.

"Rules were made to be broken....
Well maybe not broken but bent just a little...
I was checking out a blog the other day, can't remember which one and the writer of the blog said,
"You should write by the rules, no exceptions." Okay that was his personal opinion."

Then I was looking into a publisher who said that only proper names for body parts should be used.
So I'm guessing breast are not boobs, and a penis is definitely not a tally whacker!

Then I stumbled upon a blog that said, "why name the body parts at all"

Every where you turn you will find different rules and different opinions.
I am thinking that we need to stick to the basics, and then the rest,
 well bend them a little to make them work.

Not everyone write's the same and there are times when we can't agree on the rules,
 so maybe we need to bend just a little.

Which comes to my title "To comma or not." Guess this is a debate that has been around for a long time!
 I was taught to write the sentence, The car is red, white, and blue. And yet others disagree. You can check out a discussion on the famous comma here!

Below are a couple more links for writing....
I loved Margaret Atwood's rules on the above link! And Roddy Doyle's

So what rules do you stick to, what ones do you bend and what ones do you throw away altogether??

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Am I Backwards?

Good morning! As usual I have questions and tend to do every thing backwards.
 Is that unusual or do you happen to do this too?

I have had a fantasy roaming around in my head for about a year now and just about four months ago I decided to write a book about it. So sitting down with pen and paper I started writing. When I was into my third chapter, I told myself, "Wait a minute, maybe I should do some research on how to write a book" So I did find a blog that I thoroughly enjoyed and had thought I had bookmarked and can't seem to find it now. (But I will and will share it with you at a later date.)

Anyway, I was reading his blog and he had a checklist and helpful advice on what you need. So I was going through his list and saying, "Okay I've done this, and I've done that. Great it looks like I was doing everything pretty much right and was on track." When I came to his comment, "Now you need to have an ending. Your Happily ever after." OMG, I have no idea how this story is supposed to end! And I stressed on it. Mind you I was still only on my third chapter. I walked around for two days trying to figure out how to get my Happily Ever After. Lucky for me I woke up on the third day and there it was in my head. So my ending chapter has been written. Phew, now I don't have to stress on that.

   Currently I am on the 12th chapter! And once again jumping forward. I have been researching publishers, literary agents, synopsis, and how to write query letters!

I have decided I'm not backwards, I just tend to jump forward and get ahead of myself and then have to go backwards to get me back to where I should be! :-)

I did get a notice yesterday for a group on Facebook where the writer wrote his novel from "Ending to Beginning" I have to hand it to him. I don't think I would be able to accomplish that!

We all have our own writing styles to get us from point "A" to point "B" or visa versa and I will talk about those in my next blog.

Happy Writing everyone!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Dan Dillard: Hide and go Muse...

Dan Dillard: Hide and go Muse...: So often the muse isn't about the ideas, but the desire to write. My desire to write is on vacation this week... could be stress at the day ...

Monday, September 12, 2011

Check out If I Win the Lottery

Check out If I Win the Lottery

Stumbling Block

Good morning and Happy Monday everyone!

   Today I want to talk about "Stumbling Blocks", Not "Writer's Block", per say, just stumbling ones. Have you ever been so engrossed in a book, and just finished reading a great chapter and are anticipating the next one, when all of a sudden the writer seems to have stumbled through that chapter? Yes the chapter needs to be there to carry on the story and yet it just goes flat....There is a favorite song of mine where the guitar riff is going great and then the guitarist throws in this one note and it gives me the impression that his hand slipped. It's like, "Okay, where did that come from?"

  This past week I have been having a stumbling block on the chapter I am currently working on. And yes, it needs to be there. The scene has played out in my head a dozen different ways and I know what needs to be said, but every time I start typing it up, I feel like I am stumbling through it and I really don't like that feeling...

So my question to you is...How do you get through it and keep your readers engrossed instead of giving them the impression that you fell flat? Love to hear what you have to say. And as always, all opinions are more then welcome!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Details and Descriptions!

I stumbled across a blog the other day and one of his posts was titled "12 1/2 Writing rules." Now when I first read through them the one that got my attention was #9 Always bring a notebook. Always bring a spare pen. And even though I have one of each on the dining room table, the couch, the end table, and the dining room chair, I don't take one with me everywhere I go. I will find I am here or there and will have an entire conversation going through my head and by the time I sit down with my notebook, I have forgotten half of the conversation. I also remember reading somewhere that you should keep one by your bed, just in case you wake up during the idea with a brilliant idea!

 But the next day after reading his blog, rules #2, #5, and #10 have become stuck in my head or at least my interpretation of them. And my interpretation of them is detail, description, and stereotype. Did I tell you I'm a big, BIG fan of Stephan King? I love his work. (Well his written work, not so much his movies.)  How he can pull you in and keep you hooked for hours on end, but more importantly how his words and descriptions let you see and feel what he sees and feels. And that's what every writer should want to achieve. Yes you have this fantasy going through your head. If it's an erotic love story you want the reader to be turned on. If it's a horror novel, you want them to be scared, but it's not going to happen if you don't tell them in words and descriptions that you see and feel. The difference between a book and a movie is with the book you need to describe in detail what you want the reader to see, compared to what they notice when they watch a movie.

Here's a couple of examples;

You are lying in bed and a hand reaches up from under the bed and grabs your leg.

Okay that's the basic detail, but now let the reader feel what you feel and see what you see.

 "She's lying in bed. The air is hot and stifling in the room, so she has one leg outside the covers. When all of a sudden a thin bony hand reaches up and grabs her leg. It's nails are like talons as they tear into her skin"
I'm not a horror writer but you get the point.

The second example will be a combination of stereotyping and detail;

Let me set the scene. He's a bachelor taking the girl to his apartment the first time.
As they walk in the door he tells her "sorry about the mess. I haven't been home much this past week."
She looks around and yes the place is a disaster area. He clears the papers off the couch so she can sit down.

Okay that's my stereotype, because most people tend to think bachelors are slobs. Sorry guys. But go into detail and you could come up with something like this;

As they walk in the door he tells her "sorry about the mess. I haven't been home much this past week."
Smiling she looks around at the apartment. It's really not that bad. The living room is sparsely furnished with a couch, chair, and a TV on a stand in the corner. There is a empty pizza box and a couple of empty beer bottles on the coffee table and a pair of his shoes under the table. Walking into the kitchen there are just a few dishes in the sink. The trash could go out but it isn't overflowing onto the floor. Overall the place seems to be pretty neat and tidy or could be with just half an hour of work.

Now if you wanted to elaborate you could go into the color of the couch or a blanket tossed across the back of the couch giving her the impression that he's been sleeping on the couch.

These are just a couple of examples. Now how much detail do you want to use and how much do you want to leave to your reader's imagination. We all see things differently. We could all look at the same picture and some might notice the sky, where others are fascinated by the green of the trees, so no matter how much detail you put in, the reader is still going to see and feel it in their own way.

 Your job is to get them to see and feel what you do and pull them in and keep them mesmerized until the very last word.
 Have fun writing. And check out Joseph's Blog and read all of his 12 1/2 writing rules.

 A big, "Thank you" to you Joseph, for letting me see and feel my my own novel.

  12 1/2 Writing Rules! Great advice!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I hope I have grown

As my title states, I hope I have grown, not only as a person, but also as a writer. Ten years ago I was attending college working towards my AA Degree. At that time my goal was to open a board and care facility for the elderly. Since then things have changed. I had just started my final semester and one of the classes I was taking was English Composition 101. Two weeks into this class my brother passed away suddenly. Instead of stopping right there and taking the semester off, I decided I would get through. It would have been what my brother would have wanted. As it was we had lost our mom during my first semester that I started attending college, just a year and a half before my brother. So in honor of my brother I had decided that every assignment I was given in my English class would either revolve around him or he would be mentioned in the assignment at some point. One of the assignments was to write a story showing opposites. I decided to write about people I knew that were listeners and talkers. Recently I found my story sitting on the shelf where it has been for the past ten years. Reading back through it I can't believe that I had written something so badly and that the professor actually gave me an "A" on it. As I reread it, I found that it really wasn't a story, but more of a statement of facts. Yes there are a couple of interesting lines, but as a reader it really would not have held my attention. Keep in mind that at the time, the thought of being a writer had never crossed my mind and that I was dealing with the emotional aspects of losing my brother. My goal at that time was just to muddle through and graduate.

   The people in my story are real people. A couple have passed away, there have been divorces, people that were thought to be strong and assertive, sweet and kind (nephew in law) turned out to be not so sweet and kind, and crabby and sullen people have changed over the years.

    I am embarrassed by my writing skills at that time in my life, but feel the need to share and to hope that I have grown not only as a writer, but also as a person. Here's my story exactly as it was written March 9, 2001.

                                                                    People I Know
   The people I know consist of my family and friends. These people are interchangeable. I consider my family friends and my friends are a part of my family. They are all unique and special in their own way. They all fall into two main categories, which consist of several smaller categories.
   The two main categories are listeners and talkers. The sub categories are their personalities. There are not as many listeners as there are talkers. First, I will describe the listeners. My son Bobby has an upbeat type of personality. He is generally congenial and considered a good listener. My son Adam is the quiet type. He always seems to be in a good mood. He gives you that impression, because he is always whistling and singing. I also see him as the strong, silent type and you never know what he is thinking or feeling. My niece Lorie looks like "the dumb blond" type, yet she is quiet and intelligent. My soon to be nephew in law is strong and assertive. He also is kind and gentle. My niece Stacy is a giver and taker. Normally she does not come around unless she needs something. She feels she needs me to lean on, but what she does not know, is that I get a lot of my strength from her. The last listener on my list is Cindy. Cindy is my best friend. She is always there when I need her. She is one of the best listeners I know. She is sweet and kind and always there to lend a shoulder to cry on. That is it for the listeners. Let us move on to the talkers.

   The talkers are an interesting group of people. Normally, people who are talkers, are often complainers as well. They have problems. And they want you to know about these problems. My sister Joyce is always smiling. People are attracted to her like bees to flowers. Once you get to know her you find that she has a multitude of problems that she likes to talk about. Joyce's son Anthony is not actually a complainer. He gives the impression that he is lonely and that nobody ever listens to him. My nephew Freddie talks, mainly because  he has a guilty conscience and can not handle silence. All you have to do is look at him and he will say, "What? I didn't do it." My son Jarrod constantly talks. He likes to be heard. He can talk about anything and everything. My great niece RaeAnna and my great nephew Andrew are small children who talk to be noticed and get attention. The award for the most talkative in my family goes to my sister Linda. Linda is sullen and crabby. She feels the world owes her something. When she talks. she expects you to listen. When the phone rings at my house we all say to each other, "You get it, I got it the last time." The reason for this is Linda calls constantly to borrow money or complain. One time Linda had called. My brother Bruce had answered the phone. After ten minutes of listening to her complain he quietly handed me the phone.He told me to listen for awhile. Bruce told me to throw in a couple of uh-huh's every now and then and Linda would not know the difference. After five minutes Linda said, "Bruce are you listening to me?" I could not help it I started laughing. Then Linda said, "Who is this?" I told her it was me. She then proceeded to ask, in a very shrill voice "What are you doing?" Finally she got mad and hung up the phone. That is all my talkers. Imagine the stories I could tell if they would just give me a chance to speak.

   There are two people that could not be put in either list. They are Bob and my brother Bruce. Bob could not fit in the listeners list because he is not a good listener. He either does not pay attention to what I'm saying or he misunderstands what I say. As for talking, he seldom speaks to me. Bruce would have fit in both groups. He was a great listener. You could tell him anything. He was also a great talker. He could sense when a person was in a bad mood. He knew when to speak and when to be quiet. He always had a kind word.

            That is my listeners and talkers. I hope you enjoyed them.

NOTE: I typed this up exactly how I had turned it in 10 years ago. I will stay with writing fiction, where I can mold and shape the characters the way I want them to be. And leave the non-fiction to others.

Wishing each and everyone of you a very happy and productive day. Keep smiling and writing!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Adding Characters

   I was reading a book review the other day about how a writer threw in a new character on page 170 and the reviewer wasn't happy about how the writer added this new character. I haven't read the book so I don't know exactly how the character was introduced into the story line. But what I'd like to know is, "Is there a certain protocol or etiquette a writer should follow when adding new characters?"

The reason I'm asking is because I too have added new characters further into my current novel, but have introduced them in a way that lets the reader know who they are and why they are there. I find that these new characters are important to the story line at this point, but they also might not make another appearance in the remainder of the story.

I look at it as watching a movie, you might have a character be there for 5 minutes and yet they are a vital part of the story line.

Agent or Publisher?

Good morning and Happy Friday to everyone!

 My question today is Literary Agent or Publisher?
When you wrote your first book, which did you go through and why?
How did you find them?
Were they referred to you?
And what are the traits you looked for?

  My fear is that I will choose the wrong one and after jumping through all the hoops
I will find myself right back where I started from.

As always would love to hear you views, comments
and any helpful tips that you have learned along your path
to being published!

Have a great day and a beautiful weekend!