Write Anything Wednesday

Write Anything Wednesday – July 27, 2016

You know the drill, write something. Why? It’s a great day to write and I say why not? Write absolutely anything. Try your hand at flash fiction or write a poem. Make an outline or character sketch. Write a chapter, or as many chapters as you can. Nothing to write about? Try making a list of ideas or free-write. Make Wednesday your weekly no-matter-what writing day. If this isn’t a good day then pick another. The important thing is to simply write.

If you feel stumped grab a timer and do ten minute sprints. The first time you do this might not garner great results but the more you do the more you get used to it and your muse will shine.

If you would like a prompt:

  • Write about your character’s experience visiting a new town/village/city/world.
  • You’ve found a messenger bag full of money. What do you do?
  • Come up with a list of blog posts you’d like to write. If you have time, write them!

Happy writing!

Saturday Six Minute Challenge

It’s another busy weekend but I hope you can find at least six minutes to write. Squeeze it in where you can. Write while you’re eating breakfast. If you take a daily walk or run, use your phone to dictate. Cooking dinner tonight? Write while you’re waiting for water to boil or something to finish up in the oven. Write-stir-repeat. Pretend you don’t have ten shows on your DVR to catch up on and work on a story/poem/outline/blog post/etc instead.

Sneak into the bathroom, assuming you’re left alone at a time like that, and write on your phone. Got little ones? Write during nap time. Better yet, schedule a ‘quiet time’ every day where everyone in the house does no noise activities for thirty minutes (or however long you can manage), such as coloring, reading, etc.

I’ve been known to sit in the parking lot at the grocery store and hand write for a few minutes before or after I do my shopping. You can also dictate using your smart phone while driving.

If you have nothing you are already working on, then free-write for six minutes. If you’re lucky, maybe it will turn into an hour. If you already have an hour – set a timer for ten minutes and write as much as you can in that time. Keep doing this until your hour is up.

The point of these tips are you have more opportunities to write than you realize. Take advantage of these times and the words will add up.

Good luck and happy writing!

 

Saturday Six Minute Challenge

It’s another busy weekend but I hope you can find at least six minutes to write. Squeeze it in where you can. Write while you’re eating breakfast. If you take a daily walk or run, use your phone to dictate. Cooking dinner tonight? Write while you’re waiting for water to boil or something to finish up in the oven. Write-stir-repeat. Pretend you don’t have ten shows on your DVR to catch up on and work on a story/poem/outline/blog post/etc instead.

Sneak into the bathroom, assuming you’re left alone at a time like that, and write on your phone. Got little ones? Write during nap time. Better yet, schedule a ‘quiet time’ every day where everyone in the house does no noise activities for thirty minutes (or however long you can manage), such as coloring, reading, etc.

I’ve been known to sit in the parking lot at the grocery store and hand write for a few minutes before or after I do my shopping. You can also dictate using your smart phone while driving.

If you have nothing you are already working on, then free-write for six minutes. If you’re lucky, maybe it will turn into an hour. If you already have an hour – set a timer for ten minutes and write as much as you can in that time. Keep doing this until your hour is up.

The point of these tips are you have more opportunities to write than you realize. Take advantage of these times and the words will add up.

Good luck and happy writing!

 

Write Anything Wednesday

Write Anything Wednesday – July 20, 2016

You know the drill, write something. Why? It’s a great day to write and I say why not? Write absolutely anything. Try your hand at flash fiction or write a poem. Make an outline or character sketch. Write a chapter, or as many chapters as you can. Nothing to write about? Try making a list of ideas or free-write. Make Wednesday your weekly no-matter-what writing day. If this isn’t a good day then pick another. The important thing is to simply write.

If you feel stumped grab a timer and do ten minute sprints. The first time you do this might not garner great results but the more you do the more you get used to it and your muse will shine.

If you would like a prompt:

  • Come up with one new character, one new location and one new important prop.
  • Write a piece about saving. Saving money, a life, time, etc.
  • What is most important to you (or your character)?

Happy writing!

Saturday Six Minute Challenge

It’s another busy weekend but I hope you can find at least six minutes to write. Squeeze it in where you can. Write while you’re eating breakfast. If you take a daily walk or run, use your phone to dictate. Cooking dinner tonight? Write while you’re waiting for water to boil or something to finish up in the oven. Write-stir-repeat. Pretend you don’t have ten shows on your DVR to catch up on and work on a story/poem/outline/blog post/etc instead.

Sneak into the bathroom, assuming you’re left alone at a time like that, and write on your phone. Got little ones? Write during nap time. Better yet, schedule a ‘quiet time’ every day where everyone in the house does no noise activities for thirty minutes (or however long you can manage), such as coloring, reading, etc.

I’ve been known to sit in the parking lot at the grocery store and hand write for a few minutes before or after I do my shopping. You can also dictate using your smart phone while driving.

If you have nothing you are already working on, then free-write for six minutes. If you’re lucky, maybe it will turn into an hour. If you already have an hour – set a timer for ten minutes and write as much as you can in that time. Keep doing this until your hour is up.

The point of these tips are you have more opportunities to write than you realize. Take advantage of these times and the words will add up.

Good luck and happy writing!

 

Distractions

As the title implies I am distracted today. By what? Everything it seems. It doesn’t help  I’m feeling indecisive as well. Actually, I suspect the indecisiveness is the cause of how easily distracted I am.

I’m seeing squirrels everywhere in the form of people sitting down to eat or coming in and out of the two doors I can see from here, wind moving tree branches outside, the really nice girl who cleans the tables and chats with me a bit, the other girl who cleans tables who has no use for me, the lady sitting in front of me who has the most annoying ring tone set to her texts, etc.

Could this be avoidance? Fear? I have my suspicions but it doesn’t help. I went out to write because I figured I’d be distracted at home, by kids, dogs, life, whatever. I’m not sure I’ll get much done today. Now that I think about it I was the same while working out. Maybe it’s just one of ‘those’ days.

My plan is to work on a loose timeline for my entire trilogy. I have the initial story board (index cards) set up but I made so many changes in the last few months I need to adjust it. Instead of trying to sort through the old one I’ll make a new one using the other as a guide. I’m keeping roughly three-quarters of it but with some additions and minor changes to the keepers. What it boils down to is I’ll have to take down over half the cards, even though I’m keeping most of the planned scenes. I’d rather start over and avoid confusion.

Since I’m not at home I took a picture of the boards and I’ll write up my timeline and planned cards here and make the adjustments that are bound to come up, such as plot holes or time holes. Then I’ll make the real scene cards at home and pin them up on my giant cork board wall. Each book is a three act story and my wall is already set up for it.

20160420_151304

See? These are 12 inch cork squares (cheap if you want to try it). The top row is for character info or whatever extra stuff I want to see everyday. The bottom two rows are set up the way screenplays are done. Three acts, eight sequences. I don’t actually need the labels anymore but I set this up when I first tried this method. I was a bit enthusiastic, but it turned out for good reason.

The three act structure doesn’t work for every story but it does for this big one so I’m glad I went all out. The middle row is about eye level (I’m 5’8″) so it’s perfect for me. This wall was being used for nothing and it faces my bedroom door. I see it everyday, each time I come out of the room. It’s so easy to see what is missing once I pin up all the scene cards I’ve done.

If you’ve never tried this method I highly recommend buying Screenwriting Tricks For Writers: Stealing Hollywood by Alexandra Sokoloff. It’s $3.99 for the ebook and $12.17 for the physical copy – an 8 x 10 paperback, on Amazon. I understood the three act structure before buying her book but using the 8 structures and modeling a story after a screenplay was something I’d never tried. I fell it love. I’m not an affiliate and get nothing out of someone purchasing from this author. I’m just a huge fan of this book/method. I’m sure the picture above made that obvious haha.

So, I have to make my basic timeline so I can make my story board for the first story. I will make ones for the other two stories but they will be on poster board and pinned over my bed, which is the only blank wall in my room. The others are covered with nerdy stuff, tall book cases, and more cork boards.

Well, I better get to work! I’ll post an update on how it goes next week.


WR

Jolteon

To The Pokemon Party Poopers Out There

Does what others do in their free time really matter to you? What is it about someone having fun with something you don’t care for that bothers you so much?

It’s amazing to me to see so many aggressively uninterested people on the attack. Maybe it’s me. I don’t like watching golf, nor playing it, but I don’t get on Facebook and write long posts about how awful it is that others like it and play all the time. I am not into racing but I don’t tweet negative crap about the people who are.

There are things out there I actively despise, such as really badly written books some women obsess over that get made into really bad movies. But I don’t hate the authors or write about how terrible the obsessed ladies are just because I don’t understand the appeal. So yeah, it could be I simply have no experience with this kind of nastiness, except what I’m seeing.

Someone I know recently posted a rant on Facebook. It consisted of all the things they were fed up with, including politics, hatred, etc. In the list was Pokemon Go (which inspired this post). Now this particular person had a negative experience with someone playing the game so I understand her frustration and I want to address the bad stuff about it, especially because I expect to be yelled at for all this.

Any leisure activity taken to extremes is bad. Obsession to the point of neglecting responsibilities is stupid and destructive. When I gripe about Pokemon haters I am not talking about the ones who are upset because someone took it too far.

I’m talking to the casual haters. Like the older lady at the gym who gave me the dirtiest look as she watched me catch a Pokemon in the locker room. I was standing in front of my locker, nowhere near anyone or blocking anything. I was hurting no one and affecting no one. She looked at my phone, glared and turned to her friend to piss and moan about how kids these days should find better hobbies. She talked about some girly things and they walked out in a huff.

First and foremost, I wanted to thank her for calling me a kid. I said she was older but I mean maybe 20 years older, not old. As a 40 something woman, I will never be upset at being thought of as younger.

Second, piss off lady! I can’t stand to do needle work or crotchet. I don’t want to make quilts or play whatever the hell card game she mentioned. I didn’t give her a dirty look and disparage her hobbies.

I just don’t see how playing a game, any game, for fun is any different from what others do for entertainment/hobbies. Do you come home from work every day and watch an hour or three of TV? What are you accomplishing while sitting on the couch for so long? Relaxation and fun is what you’re accomplishing, just like me when I’m playing games.

Are you watching every baseball/basketball/hockey/football game of the season? What do you get out of it? Recreation, fun, excitement, whatever, same as me and my family when we’re playing or talking about our games.

Do you play golf? You know what I’m going to ask here. Well, my son and his friends, including the new ones he’s made playing, get what you get, they have fun, competition, exercise in the form of walking and possible sunburns, just like you!

So why are people so irritated? Sometimes I think most simply want something to be pissed off about. Other times I think it’s misinformation. Such as the assumption it’s only young people who play the game.

My whole family plays. One of my writer friends posted about seeing a group of nurses who roamed around the park for part of their lunch break catching Pokemon and having a blast. I caught two at the gym, taking all of 30 seconds before I began my work out. Another writer friend played when she couldn’t write and wasn’t at work, affecting no one. I personally saw a man pull up to a Poke Stop with his family in the car. They all were clearly having fun as they played. Oh and the man old enough to be my father I saw playing seemed to enjoy himself too. I should ask him to come to the gym and meet quilting lady.

So to all the Pokemon party poopers out there, you do you’re thing, I’ll do mine. I promise not to get angry at your hobbies and you will probably continue to be negative and unhappy (and I’ll keep not understanding you). All the while I’ll have fun and bond with my children and enjoy the silly times with my husband as we keep playing Pokemon Go until we get tired of it, if we do.


The picture is of the beauty I caught at the gym, Planet Fitness, not a Pokemon gym.

 

 

Write Anything Wednesday

Write Anything Wednesday – July 13, 2016

You know the drill, write something. Why? It’s a great day to write and I say why not? Write absolutely anything. Try your hand at flash fiction or write a poem. Make an outline or character sketch. Write a chapter, or as many chapters as you can. Nothing to write about? Try making a list of ideas or free-write. Make Wednesday your weekly no-matter-what writing day. If this isn’t a good day then pick another. The important thing is to simply write.

If you feel stumped grab a timer and do ten minute sprints. The first time you do this might not garner great results but the more you do the more you get used to it and your muse will shine.

If you would like a prompt:

  • Your character is late and now half the city/village will die…
  • How did the boy get into the building with no windows and no doors?
  • Write about your pet peeve.

Happy writing!

Everything Update 7/12/2016

Writing: I’m struggling a bit. I want to write, I need to, but once again, names are distracting me from the actual act of writing. This time it’s place names. I started with placeholder names such as: the central realm, the desert city/state, the glass desert, the forgotten race’s valley, Vanaiya’s realm (west), the northern realm and the icy wastes.

I figured if some good names came to me I would find and replace those. There was no hurry as I know it’s hard for me to come up with the perfect names (yes, I overthink and I’m picky). However, today all I can think about are these places.

I’m logical/experienced enough to know this is fear. I’ve spent so much time preparing to write, I’m nervous about getting on with it.So my muse throws out new novel ideas, stuff from books I’ve put on hold, short story plot seeds, and now, after dodging those roadblocks, out comes the desire for details in this project. I don’t need to do this right now, but I want to!

Did I mention I also keep thinking about object and smaller place names? For example: the seaport town, the twin trading villages and the capitol. There is an important scepter in this work. At present I refer to it as the God Scepter. I’m not going to keep the name but it works for now. I also refer to a group of horses as the God Herd and where they live is the God Herd grazing grounds. There are several more places and items beginning with ‘God’ as well. Again, this is so I can go back later and just find/replace when I figure out their real names. I guess today could be the day.

Now I know some of you out there will be appalled these people, animals, places, and things didn’t have names from the beginning. First, we all write different and there is no correct way or order to do it. Second, this story is fairly sprawling and I was exciting to jump in. I didn’t want to spend weeks trying to figure out every detail first. Third. I started this story in 2003, back when I was still afraid to write and being actively discouraged from doing so. All I really wanted was to write as much as possible before I inevitably gave up on writing again. Thankfully I’ve changed and kicked the discourager (probably not a word) out of my life.

The story is nothing like the idea I had all those years ago, which is good. I’ve said this before and I maintain I was not good enough to write the story I wanted to write back then. Once I let myself just be a writer, the story evolved and now I can finally write it. I’m actually glad it was on the back-burner for so long as my fear has lessened while my skill has grown. If I’d stuck with it I wouldn’t have written 80 short stories and 12 novels (at various degrees of completion).

So back to the names issue. I don’t know what I’ll do about it. Maybe I’ll spend some time this morning trying to figure out a few and then try to write some scenes involving whatever I’ve named. I might do some short stories involving these places/things just to give me a feel for what they want to be named. If I do, I’ll post some soon.

What is clear is I’m not ready to jump just writing the story today. At least not in a linear fashion. Perhaps if I jump around to write about my trouble places or items, I can trick my muse. If you are also a writer then you know you can’t bully a muse. It has to be enticed, cajoled, placated or tricked. If you’re not a writer, trust me on this. Forcing one’s muse is a good way to ensure writer’s block.

I definitely will not be working on any other project. The triple E story is calling to me but it will have to wait. Even The Order of Life is trying to worm its way into my head but I’m shutting it down. Today is The Glass Desert day, no matter what part of it I do.

Photography: I decided not to do the advanced photography class until after my vacation. With my writing work in progress going mostly well, I know I won’t have time to dedicate to an involved class. I believe the next time it’s available is September. That’s actually perfect because by then my kid will be back in school and I should (fingers crossed) be finished with the first draft of my novel and hopefully be working on revision.

I signed up for a Photoshop and a Lightroom class. Both start right before my vacation but they are work at your own pace classes so it will be fine. What is not fine is my copy of Lightroom is the devil. It won’t load, it won’t uninstall and I can’t figure out how to fix it. I’ve tried so many things I want to scream. Hmm, perhaps this annoyance is why I’m so distracted with my writing today. I shouldn’t have tried with the damn program again this morning.

I haven’t been out to take pictures in weeks but I have the very best excuse. I live in west Texas (south plains, but more northern), and it’s been hot. We’ve had days top out at 109, but mostly around 105. I’m not only a wimp in the heat (look up weird facts about redheads) but I also burn easily, even with sunscreen on. No picture is worth that!

Reading: I read a little last week but not what I thought I would. I have a novel by a friend to read but I was in the middle of a long series when I got it. I had put the series down but when I wasn’t feeling good last week I picked it back up. One day I read half a book. I never have time to read that much!

I read for 15 minutes twice a week after physical therapy when they hook me up to the stim machine and have me lay on the hottest heating pad thing on the planet (and if I’m early I read in the waiting room). If my back starts hurting during the day while I’m at home, I’ll pick up my book and read for 10-20 minutes while I lay down. If I have an appointment I’ll take a book and read while sitting there. Oh and occasionally for a bit before bed. That’s it. The rest of my time alone is spent working on my own book. It was nice to read a little more than normal though.

Working out: I still go to the gym every day, except the day I was feeling so yicky last week and I haven’t gone yet today. Since I’m still in physical therapy I only do cardio, mostly on an elliptical, but occasionally I get on the recumbent bike. To keep from hurting my back I do 10 minutes at a time, then pace around for a minute or two. I always do at least two sets of that time but the third depends on how I’m feeling. If I feel no pain I do another 10 minutes or get on the bike for five (it hurts my tailbone to do longer).

If I do the bike then I tend to get back on the elliptical afterward for 6 minutes. If I’m in pain then, depending on how much, I either stop or do one more set for 6-8 minutes.

It’s so complicated with back pain. Sometimes the pain means I haven’t done enough and other times it’s too much. I can normally tell the difference but I’ve been wrong and in this case, being wrong seriously sucks!

Physical Therapy: Speaking of sucks, PT is not going well. In the beginning I felt pain from between my shoulder blades down to my surgical site (lowest disk). The higher pain is only occasional now but the mid back pain (muscular) is about the same. The lower back pain hasn’t gotten better since the initial week or two. Therapy works but only to a point. I’m almost at 6 weeks and I’m disheartened at the fact that it no longer works for me.

I did have a little setback when one of the therapist did some stuff that hurt me. I’m hoping this is the issue because a setback doesn’t mean I’m done, it only means I have to keep going a little longer. However, I don’t believe it’s the problem, but we’ll see. Oh, and that guy won’t even look at me now.

Other Writing: NO! At least not for today. I’m sticking to my WIP! Maybe later in the week I’ll try to write some flash fiction. What I need is some really good ideas or writing prompts. Even my own prompts aren’t working for me. I think I’m simply not in flash fiction mode.

Everything else: I got to see my Grandmother last night. I don’t see her very often so it was great. I’m in pain from sitting on her couch, which desperately needs to be replaced but it was worth it. Actually, that couch is the reason I went out to write before going to work out. I was getting ready and kept thinking maybe I would just work out and go home. Then I thought maybe I would just stay home. These thoughts kept evolving, making me stand in the middle of my bedroom hesitating.

When I realized there was a chance I might do only one thing this morning, I chose writing. If I don’t go to the gym I’ll survive because I have physical therapy today. I’m due for them to make it harder anyway. If I didn’t write, well, everything from writer’s guilt to getting further behind would be the result. Not happening! So I took some Tylenol and got in the car.

Before I started writing I caught a Pokemon lol. I got curious so I downloaded the silly game. The one I caught was sitting on my laptop. I took it as a sign to put the phone down and get to work!

My daughters are playing the game and since I’m a cool mom, I took the youngest around to all the stops so she could get stuff, which meant I got stuff too! I won’t play for long but for now it’s cute and fun.


WR

 

 

Saturday Six Minute Challenge

It’s another busy weekend but I hope you can find at least six minutes to write. Squeeze it in where you can. Write while you’re eating breakfast. If you take a daily walk or run, use your phone to dictate. Cooking dinner tonight? Write while you’re waiting for water to boil or something to finish up in the oven. Write-stir-repeat. Pretend you don’t have ten shows on your DVR to catch up on and work on a story/poem/outline/blog post/etc instead.

Sneak into the bathroom, assuming you’re left alone at a time like that, and write on your phone. Got little ones? Write during nap time. Better yet, schedule a ‘quiet time’ every day where everyone in the house does no noise activities for thirty minutes (or however long you can manage), such as coloring, reading, etc.

I’ve been known to sit in the parking lot at the grocery store and hand write for a few minutes before or after I do my shopping. You can also dictate using your smart phone while driving.

If you have nothing you are already working on, then free-write for six minutes. If you’re lucky, maybe it will turn into an hour. If you already have an hour – set a timer for ten minutes and write as much as you can in that time. Keep doing this until your hour is up.

The point of these tips are you have more opportunities to write than you realize. Take advantage of these times and the words will add up.

Good luck and happy writing!