Monday, February 28, 2011

Why We Write

I know you've heard me say a million times how much I love meeting other writers, learning how they write, why they write.

I love how much we're all alike, how much we're all different.

I love learning why each of us writes.

I've always been an avid reader of fiction. My jobs have always involved writing in some way - copywriting, ads, marketing material, proposals. Definitely not fiction.

Unlike some of you, I never wrote poetry at the age of three or wrote a book at eight or worked on the high school newspaper. I had other things to do. Like dance. And piano. And softball.

A few years ago, I learned quite by accident that not everyone carries around bits of stories and characters and settings in their heads. I always thought everyone did.

About the same time I learned this, an opportunity came along that allowed me to try my hand at fiction. The urge to write had been building for a little while, and I jumped at it.

Short stories poured out, some fully formed. I got tapped for some non-fiction. I learned I loved flash fiction. And I also learned my biggest love for both reading and writing is still the novel.

The more I write, the more bits and pieces fill up my head. They'll always be there. I'll continue to explore them. And while some of my short work is around here and there, maybe one day I'll write a novel worth publishing.

I hope that day is soon. And I hope you'll read it.

Why do you write?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday's Top Ten

Top ten ways to make a fortune:

10. Print it yourself

  9. Barter for it

  8. Steal it

  7. Win it

  6. Marry it

  5. Inherit it

  4. Invest well

  3. Discover it

  2. Create it

And the number one way to make a fortune:

  1. Time Travel and bring it back

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Words, Words, and More Words

Words I like the sound of:
slather
kerfuffle
hullabaloo

Words I hate the sound of:
nauseated
gelid
ointment

Words that make me smile:
funky
wonky
giggle

What words do you have that fit these categories?

And remember ... Thursday is National Tortilla Chip Day!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Monday, Monday

So here I am, Monday morning, barely awake. I'm sure it's Monday because the first sip of coffee burned my tongue. That only happens on Monday.

This is writing day, and so far I've run through about half a dozen possibilities of what to chat about. Yes, definitely Monday - LOL.

We've talked about Mondays here before and learned we have the Yea! It's Monday - I get a fresh start group. And we have the Please don't tell me it's Monday again - the weekend wasn't long enough group.

Although I'm coming to have a new appreciation for Mondays, I'm not totally on board yet. I'm still a good 80% in the Please don't tell me it's Monday group.

So what about your characters? Your main ones, I mean. Hero and heroine - one of each would be a good mix. Both falling in the same group would be an entirely different story. What about the antagonist? What's his - or her - view of Mondays?

Extend this and think about my favorite day of the week - Friday.

How do you view Fridays?

What about your characters?

Happy Monday!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday's Top Ten

The top ten things about umbrellas:

10. You never have one when you need it

  9. Ones that keep you snug and dry are huge and clunky

  8. Ones that might keep one drop of rain off you if there isn't a hint of a breeze fold nicely and fit in your bag

  7. If you hold them to keep the rain off your face, your face hits a lamp post

  6. They need a viewing panel with a wiper

  5. In a wind, they throw out quills like a porcupine

  4. In a sea of drying black umbrellas, does it matter which is yours

  3. Do you really want to be the one with the hot pink and tangerine umbrella

  2. Do real umbrellas only live in tall tropical drinks

And the #1 think about umbrellas:

  1. They're absolutely necessary if you want to be Mary Poppins

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Mid-Month Motivator

Positive Motivation
You're such a great writer with fantastic ideas. I know you can get your story finished before the noon deadline.

Negative Motivation
The story is due by noon. If you haven't turned it in by then, you'll lose your front-row parking privileges for a month.

Fantasy Motivation
I have two tickets to the Middle Earth Games. Are you ready to write? Oh, may I call you Frodo?

Sci-Fi Motivation
We are proceeding at warp speed. Is your writing keeping up?

Mystery Motivation
We unlocked the room and found the body. Are you the writer or an impersonator? Can you prove it without making us feel stupid?

Romantic Motivation
Clothes flew in every direction. His hands tangled in her hair and the touch of his lips set her heart aflame. Is that smoke? Uh-oh. My computer's on fire. I hope I hit save.

Journalistic Motivation
On Thursday, the Downtown Writers Group met in the back room of the Public Library to discuss motivation. The librarian woke them at closing time.

Monday, February 14, 2011

When I Should Have Been Writing

I've been doing a lot of thinking about the beginning of the story that I'll work on after my WiP is finished.

And I started thinking of things that remind me of beginnings:
babies
shopping
new deck of cards
wedding

When I realized those things really had nothing in common except for me, I moved on to middles:
apple
trampoline
hammock
lake

And, of course, endings:
divorce
funeral
flat tire

Pacing:
ocean tides
horse race
pogo stick
hills

Plot:
skeleton
ladder
fence
trellis
map

Characterization:
onion (no brainer...how many times have we all heard this one)
pomegranate (thanks to Holly's comment on my post last Friday)
day and night
jigsaw puzzle

What about you?
Do you think about these things?
Does it do any good for my mind to wander into this territory?

Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday's Top Ten

The top ten red Valentine's Day foods :

10. Watermelon

  9. Cherries

  8. Raspberries

  7. Strawberries

  6. Red Velvet Cake

  5. Tomatoes

  4. Marinara

  3. Salsa

  2. Rare Steak

And the #1 red Valentine's Day food:

  1. Red Wine - Chianti being my personal favorite

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

"Then it doesn't matter which way you go," said the Cat.*

*Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll

Last week Nancy at N.R. Williams, Fantasy Author offered a choice of three different awards to her recent new followers, of which I am one.

Given the title of this post, you're probably not surprised I chose this one:


I love cats, even though I'm allergic to the little sweeties. So I enjoy them in other ways.

Not only do I love cats, but I'm lazy. This was the only award choice that didn't come with requirements that I actually DO anything :)

Since Nancy passed the award to new followers, I'll do that as well. If you see your photo included in the mug shots in the right column, this award is for you. If you become a follower anytime this week, this award is for you.


All you have to do is smile.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Meeting Our Goals

I began 2011 with lofty writing goals. And broke those down into month-by-month goals.

How did I do for January?

I met almost every goal I set. The first goal I didn't meet was finishing the current draft I was working on with my WiP. However, I did finish that draft during the week. I don't think being a few days late is too bad for someone who hasn't had a structured writing path for more than a year.

It was good enough for me that I gave myself a quick pat on the back.

The other goal I missed was finding names for every main and secondary character in my next manuscript. Again, I came close.

Now I have new goals for February.

One of them is to see if I can increase my writing time by half an hour a day. I know that doesn't sound like a lot, but it will take a little doing on my part. I have two ideas on how to accomplish this, so I'll have to experiment to find which works best. Or if neither works and I have to find another way. Or if I have to use both of them.

Another one is to decide on names for the three remaining nameless characters in my next manuscript. All males. And find a name for a business that involves food.

In addition, I want to complete the next draft of my WiP, but that's a HUGE goal all by itself. It may not be possible, but I'm going for it.

How about you?

How are you doing on your 2011 goals so far?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Friday's Top Ten

The top ten things about February:

10. It's the shortest month of the year

  9. It's the only month with a leap day

  8. American Heart Month

  7. Black History Month

  6. President's Day

  5. Abe Lincoln's Birthday

  4. George Washington's Birthday

  3. Groundhog Day

  2. Valentine's Day

And the #1 thing about February:

  1. National Tortilla Chip Day

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Groundhog Day - Texas Style

Everyone knows Texans are a little . . . different. It's a good thing, if you see it from the Texan's point of view.

So it should come as no surprise that we have our own version of Groundhog Day - ARMADILLO DAY!

Sometime around 12:30 this afternoon, Bee Cave Bob will come out of his hole to tell us when spring will arrive. Let me just say that it's cold enough here to freeze his little B.C. Bobby butt, so I hope someone brings along an armadillo-size snuggie.

If the lazy bums in Austin would've done it this morning - like the good folks in Pennsylvania - there's no way Bee Cave Bob would've seen his shadow either. I'll pop in with an update as soon as I hear what BCB has to say.

In the meantime, I suggest we all do a Bring On Spring dance to help Punxsutawney Phil hustle things up a bit. It will also help us stay warm.

Happy Groundhog Day!