Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy Solstice, and getting creative with time

Happy Solstice a day early! Writing has taken a back burner to getting ready for the holidays, but a bit of reading here and there has helped kept me grounded, though.

Now is a good time to remind myself - and anyone else it could help- to take advantage of the 'thinking airtime' when doing the more mindless household and holiday (you know, dishes, wrapping, baking, cleaning, etc.) tasks to keep your head wrapped around your manuscript so when you do get back to it you can rock and roll!

Happy Holidays everyone!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Comedy in our writing, what is the perfect amount?

I've noticed something in the current fiction book I am reading, there is a threshold for comedy.
Who knew, right? This author is brilliantly funny . . . which I love, but because there is so much of it, the jokes have less punch than they would if there was more space in between punch lines. The zingers are getting lost among joke after joke after joke after joke. Each one of these jokes, independently, would have me on the floor in hoots laughing, nearly peeing my pants. But the sheer volume has made me numb to them. Shoot!

How can this be? I love to laugh when I'm reading. I had no idea you could have too many snappy lines. Dang!

So, how much is too much? How much comedy is just right? What amount for each story is at that perfect equilibrium, that perfect harmony that makes each zinger have zam!

Good question. Hmm, how about trust the handy tips of reading your work out loud and asking your trusted writing partners for a read-through. There is also the completely tangible you'll just know.

Whatever you decide, good luck!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Writing Conflict in Scenes

A writer friend of mine laments her ability to write conflict in scenes. First off, she is way too hard on herself! She writes scenes with fantastic, unexpected conflict. But the topic raises an interesting question - how do we put more conflict in our scenes, and not just any conflict, fresh conflict? As a writer you want your work to be new and fresh. That includes the conflict.

I love the idea of conflict that makes you laugh, too. I want to laugh when I'm reading novels and writing conflict can give you an opportunity for that, a comedy of errors sort of thing.

So, have fun with your conflict! I know I am!

Happy Writing, Happy Reading!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Writers' conferences

I know I'm a bit tardy checking the stats for this, but my blog got a fantastic spike during the month of August. The steamy month of August prompts people to check out romance novelists blogs? Maybe . . . but I'm guessing it has more to do with me being a panelist at the When Words Collide Conference that was held in August in Calgary.

Take home message to other new writers - get out there! I had a great time, and got advertising to boot. Sure I had those public speaking butterflies. You know, speaking, about romance writing, to a group with a lot of non-romance writers in the crowd was a bit intimidating and made me second guess what in the world I had been thinking. But it was awesome!

So if any of you are wondering if you want to jump into something like that, I hope you do, and I hope it is an incredibly rewarding experience!

Happy Writing and Happy Reading!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Scene Sequences

Right now I am working on scene sequences. . . shuffling, moving around, finding just the right place for each scene I've have so far. I know there are writers way more methodical than me, but this is how my creative process rolls.

A story idea kicks around in my head. I start writing, sometimes writing and writing and writing, before I decide it is time to hammer out a rough outline. And to me, outlines are more a suggestion to follow then set in stone. Then writing those scenes, give or take, from the outline.

And now I am finding the joy. . . and maybe indecision . . . with scene sequences. Hmm, about that methodical approach, might have some gems in that . . .

But through it all, I can say I am having a great time! That's one of the cool parts about writing, even when you are working on the mechanical parts of a story - where do I put everything - it is still creative and fun and figuring out how you are going to communicate your characters' stories.

For all of you writers out there, hope you are having a blast. For all you readers out there, hope you are digging what we are writing!

PS, I finally saw Pearl Jam in concert last month - now I know what the big Eddie deal is. Ok, not fair, the whole band rocked! Thanks PJ.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Page Turners

Hey friends. I was just reading a romantic suspense, a genre I am quite fond of, btw. The story started good, plot interesting enough, tension between the characters good, dialogue good, but it started to fizzle. I kept reading, hoping it'd come back around. It had a few bursts of inspiration, then tanked enough I put the book down. Aw crap. I hate that. I started out caring what happened to the characters, but then I found my mind wandering to what else I had to do that day, what I should make for dinner, etc. Red flag, but the book down and go make dinner, or run those errands, whatever.

Silverlining? Gets me thinking how I can write stories that keep my readers engaged, riveted even? What do my stories need that will keep my readers turning page after page after page, running late for work or staying up way too late at night because they are so into the story?

Those are the kind of stories I am striving for. Those are the stories I love to read.

Hope everyone finds a fantastic new author they love today!

Happy reading, happy writing!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Women's Writers' Weekends

I'm scheduled to participate in a Women's Writers Weekend. Hours of writing intermixed with discussion, assigned topics, and I'm thinking wine. Excellent. I've never participated in one of these before, but sounds like a great idea/time to me.

I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

When Words Collide, Calgary 2011

This weekend is the first annual When Words Collide conference/festival in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I popped in yesterday for way less time than I would have liked, but what I did experience was wonderful! The sheer volume of attendees was inspiring. Special thanks goes out to the lovely woman working the registration table who helped this frazzled panelist get to the right spot on time! Thank you!

So yes, I had the great pleasure of being a panelist in one of the sessions. It is pure magic sitting in a room full of writers, of all genres. Writers coming together is such a powerful thing. And fun! Talking about romantic components to all genre fiction writing was great, especially with that crowd. To everyone who attended, thank you, hope we helped, and have a GREAT rest of your weekend. Happy writing! Especially the tension parts. . .

Take care writers and readers! Happy Summer!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Calgary Stampede, Camping, Writing, When Words Collide, oh my!

Good grief, summer is blasting by! What fun, though!

The novel continues. For anyone who ever wondered about writing, try it. It's REALLY fun! Each time I get back to my manuscript, it feels so good diving back into my characters. Fantastically fun. Try it!

The Calgary Stampede was last month. I went three times. . . I'm a bit horse-happy. Incredible animals. Just being near them makes me a happy kid.

I also went to see Kevin Costner and the Modern West perform. I had no expectations, just thought it sounded like fun to check out. I had a great time! His voice and the actual playing is good, but it's the energy of the songs and lyrics that pack the real punch. Some music you listen to and are entertained. Other music you listen to and you feel it it at your very core. Nice work Kevin and company!

Special thanks to my friend who accompanied me. You know who you are. What a blast! Thanks for the straight up good fun! And the mini donuts.

Last weekend was the Long Weekend in Canada. I had the pleasure of camping in Kootenay Lake country in British Columbia. Dang, that's heaven! I just want to go jump in the lake!!

I've got a Women's Writing Weekend coming up. What's that? I'm so glad you asked. It is when a group of women writers congregate at the same spot for a weekend and write write write. Ok, there might be a bottle of wine in there sometime, too.

Then there's the When Words Collide conference/festival. Stay tuned for more info!

Happy Day!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Book Signing

I have my first store book signing this weekend. Exciting and nerve-wracking all at the same time.

So I wrote of writing schedules the last post and I have to say I'm digging having one. Ah focus, it's a powerful thing.

Happy Day Eveyone.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Type A

I'm thinking I could use a bit more Type A in my personality. Anyone else? I feel this amazing drive to organize everything in my, well, life. How exciting. Must be spring.
Anyway, I was playing back a conversation I had with a friend of mine who is very organized. She loves order, and structure. I was marveling what a different life I would have if I followed that. Hmm. something to ponder.

That leads me to writing schedules . . . pro or con? When is writing creative and when is it on a timeline. How can I effectively reconcile those two energies and make them play brilliantly well together?

Guess you guys know what I'm doing this weekend.

Happy Day Everyone. May the World have a Great Weekend!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

climbing and bouldering . . .

My climbing chronicles continue. I checked out Stronghold on the weekend for the first time. Ooh, I am delighted!! I'm still sticking to bouldering. That height thing might get in the way of the whole fun thing. And, I like not having to fart around with harnesses and ropes . . . and scheduling playtime when climbing friends can come out for belaying partners.

Ahem, if you guys are reading this, seriously, lets go!

Anyway, so I went. And had a ball. Now might be a good time to share my love of green runs for skiing. How does this apply to my climbing adventures? Keep reading. I can ski, by myself, all day on green runs. I know, sounds boring to many. Why stick to green runs? Well, I don't go often, so the few times I do go I want to play all day, not scare the bageezes out of myself in the Rockies. So, I stick to green runs, and have my happy, safe time. . . I did ski my first bowl at Kicking Horse, though . . .

Back to bouldering. So I stayed on the simple wall for the most part. Had a great time just playing and practicing moving across the wall. I tried some of the wee overhanging walls and learned I need to work on building up my giganto muscles (that was a joke). Tons-O fun and I did a lovely job of ripping open several fingers. Writers need callouses, too! How about that. :o)

Spring . . . kinda

So spring is here. . . technically. I saw a robin when I opened the curtains on Spring Equinox (I know I'm tardy writing about it, equinox was a week and a half ago). Anyway, the robin, that was cool. A welcome sign. And a smile in what was a rather grumpy start to such an extraordinary day.

Writing continues. It is different going for the full-length novel instead of the novella. Different, but I dig both of them. Storytelling is storytelling. And I love it.

On the reader front, I was ecstatic to find a new-to-me author, Christie Craig. I read her Shut Up and Kiss Me first, followed by Gotcha. I enjoyed both, but Shut Up and Kiss Me was my favorite of the two. I like it when a book inspires me to laugh out loud. Well done Christie!! Your characters - awesome! Thank you!

Happy Day!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Climbing Gym and bouldering

I finally went to a climbing gym for the first time. Wall climbing was fine, but bouldering was incredible.
I loved it.
When can I play again?
And again, and again, and again!

Now, which new character is going to climb? He's going to be really hot.
I love writing romance novels . . .

Went to a writing workshop on the senses last night. Tune into your senses. Now that is another way to be present.
That and climbing.

Happy Day everyone.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Why do we love the characters we do?
One of my yardsticks is do I want to have a coffee or beer with them. Some of my favorite books have characters I want to be friends with . . . you know, if they were real and all. :o)

Of course I love strong characters that have vulnerable sides/facets - often hidden, tucked away to emerge only with certain people, experiences, etc., but are overall strong, alpha.

Ok, and hot. I write romance.

I love writing. I love getting to know characters as the story progresses. Like getting to know a friend, I guess.

Happy Day All!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I bought my dog one of those dogie backpacks. My plan is to maximize our walks and try out the whole concept of dogs having a job, i.e. carrying the backpack. I'm taking Cesar Millan's advice (just read Cesar's Way). Ok, and the advice of my local pet store's, too.

Now, if the weather could lighten up on the -35 degrees, that would be great! Didn't bode well for the busted furnace at work, either. Brrr.

Story plots and character development really do flow on those dog walks, too.

Happy night everyone!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ah friends! Life savers, really. :o)

I have a story that has a million, ok maybe twenty different directions it could go. So what do I do. Well . . . I might have done a bit of fretting. Maybe even a bit of cursing. And I shook my fist at this story and these characters and wondered what in the heck they were trying to tell me.

Their seemingly chaotic limbo is really just a way for me to settle down. Then they'll settle down.

I asked a friend for help, too. What a beautiful grounder. Thank You!!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year Everyone! 2011, WELCOME!!

I'm so excited for this year. It's a great feeling when each year feels even better than the last. I'm totally digging the current story I'm writing and more are banging around in my head.

So now the question, one story at a time, or not? I'm sticking to that for now, but geez, some of these other stories are certainly loud. What fun! It's a good issue to have that - multiple stories bubbling up.

Cheers to more time writing! More time playing! More time Living!

Happy New Year indeed.