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Posts Tagged ‘Writer’s Life’

I thought it might be time for a tiny little excerpt from my book. You know, just to change things up. This is while Josie is working from home Christmas week so she can working on a drawing commissioned by you-know-who.

It was a lovely, quiet existence that almost allowed Josie to forget she now lived in the city until a knock at the door that afternoon. Josie wiped her dough-sodden hands on her equally flour-covered apron as she hurried to answer it, casting a doleful look at the lump that was supposed to be cinnamon rolls. Her sorrows over the baking disaster were forgotten instantly as she pulled open the door and stared into the handsome face of Keith Richardson. Her mouth dropped open and she half wondered for a moment if she was hallucinating.

He smiled at her, politely not noticing the dough stuck on her nose. “Hello, Miss Grant.”

Nope, definitely not a mirage. That smile, smooth voice, and the responding thumping in her chest could not be faked. “Mr. – Mr. Richardson.” She stammered, trying in vain to push stray hairs back into her braid. “What are you doing here?”

“I was out this way for a client, passed a sign for Linhollow, and thought I might as well swing by and see how things were going.”

“It’s not ready yet.” Josie blurted, anxiety creasing her face. “But I’m working on it! I only took a break to make something for my mom, and – you know – to work – but I promise –“

“Whoa!” Keith held up a hand, almost laughing, but catching himself as he realized how in earnest her panic was. “I didn’t mean I was checking to see if you were working, Miss Grant. I seriously just wanted to see how it was going.” He dropped his hand to adjust the checkered scarf that the wind had already broken lose from its hold. “And, I confess, I was curious to see the farm the drawing will be based on.” He added as he looked around at the softly falling snow. “Though, now, that I think about it, I’m guessing winter isn’t the best time to see what a farm looks like?”

Josie actually managed a smile. “That depends on your point of view. Personally, I love it in the winter- but for a picture of summertime? No, probably not. You can still see some of the landscape, though.” She added quickly, as if afraid he would de-commission the painting based on her comment, motioning across the yard with just enough of a flourish that a stubborn piece of dough flew from her hand onto his Dolce and Gabbana coat. Her hand flew to her mouth and Keith looked down, ostensibly to wipe the dough off, but truthfully to school his features before he gave away the fact that her mouth was now also covered in flour.

 

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Okay, so, things that have happened since last I wrote:

  1. My computer broke
  2. Finished my final paper for my class
  3. Spent the weekend in Lancaster with my friend Ashley
  4. Bought a new computer!

In essence the last couple weeks of the month consisted of being stressed, trying to get my paper done, and getting a new computer. But, as partly a stress reliever, I have also discovered book giveaways!

First things first – Daniel and I decided with how much I use my computer, we couldn’t afford to skimp so we bought a nice one – I got the Microsoft Surface Pro, complete with a smart pen that lets me hand-write on it if I want, and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT! It is tiny and portable and has a detachable keyboard, and can be a tablet, and has a long battery life, and is super fast, and the keyboard is SO easy to type on and, well, I am sorry, old computer – but you have definitely been replaced. I thought it would be hard to get over my old computer, because I loved it so, but new computer (who has yet to be named – maybe Jeeves because it makes my life so easy?) is making the break-up a breeze.

And now that I’ve basically told you all to go buy new computers, let me tell you about these giveaways. So, it all started with my friend Rissa, and was enhanced by that writer’s conference I went to. Rissa told us all about how she enters goodreads giveaways as part of her morning routine (best routine EVER), and so of course we all had to start entering them too. I had entered goodreads giveaways off and on in the past but never kept up with it because, really, how likely is it that you, out of all the thousands entering, are going to be the one to win? Turns out, if you enter a lot, you have a fair chance, since Riss said she had won more than once and, since entering regularly, I even won one! So, start with that, and then add in the writer’s conference.

One of the speakers at the writer’s conference said that, as writers, we had to be on twitter and we had to follow publishers and authors so we could be in the loop with all-things-writing-and-publishing. So, I obeyed. It honestly had not occurred to me before – I thought of twitter as a political/friend thing, not a potential networking opp – but BEST THING I HAVE EVER DONE (other than buy this computer). I see all the new books coming out, all the tips, all the contests and, what has turned out to be most helpful, SO MANY BOOK GIVEAWAYS! Now, in full disclosure, I am mostly following just Christian publishers and authors since that is my genre. But did you know there are blogs that host giveaways like, almost daily? Because I love you all, I am going to let you become competition, and post the sites/people below. For the record, I’ve won two books in the last month from these giveaways.

  1. https://justreadtours.com/
    • these people are pretty cool. They post stuff all the time on instagram, twitter, and their website, and their giveaways often come with other stuff along with a free book.
  2. https://www.prismbooktours.com/
    • Great interviews, and, like the previous one, often gives things away in addition to the free book (like gift cards).
  3. https://lenanelsondooley.blogspot.com/
    • This blogger/author hosts contests on her blog a lot! and because it requires a comment on the blog to entire most of the time, the competition isn’t as stiff as some other places. Plus she always has great descriptions of the book and author to go along with it! Both nonfiction and fiction books!
  4. https://www.instagram.com/suziewaltner/
    • This instagrammer lets you know about all the recent giveaways!

Beyond the giveaways though, seriously, make sure you are following publishers and editors and authors on twitter and instagram – it’s amazing to see how inspirational it is to see constant contact from the community you want to call your own!

Publisher to book writer holding up 'Get on Oprah' sign: 'So that's the extent of your marketing plan?'

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Over the last week, I’ve been far more faithful than I have in awhile to work on my book. As anyone who has been reading this for longer than a few months knows, I’ve been [painfully] trying to edit my sappy romance novel (it’s technically named God’s Masterpiece – but I don’t think I like it. It doesn’t work. I’ve rarely had so much trouble with a title before).

I really do think this revision will make it better – and by re-writing that one scene by hand and then transcribing it BACK to the word document, I’ve rewritten it like three times – but even now as I am typing it back in (and consequently editing it again), I keep thinking it isn’t right. But then, isn’t that what all writers think? It will never be ready?

You know, I am probably the person that is actually true for, unlike others. 😛

But, as I mentioned very, very briefly in a recent tweet – here’s my current issue: So, Josie is supposed to be quiet and shy and pretty awkward until someone gets to know her (yes, basically exactly like me). But at the same time, she is more confident when she is on her own turf (a.k.a., her home) – and i know this is accurate, because it is exactly how I am. But when trying to translate that to a book, I feel like it comes out, 1. like she is inconsistent character-wise and 2. Like she is annoyingly awkward and can’t stop blushing, which no one likes to read about.

So, that is what I’m trying to work through right now. How to make a heroine that is awkward, without being annoying and still at least a little endearing, shy and uncomfortable, but able to hold her own especially on her own turf, caring, but still gets impatient with her very sick mother (who, by the way is a conundrum herself, since she has cancer, is weak and sick, yet never stops talking and nags part of the time and is loving the other part of the time).

Characters. They drive me up a wall sometimes. Kind of like real people. In which case, maybe it’s okay?

And – that’s my ramble for today.

Writing_Problems_from_Writers_Write

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So, I worked on the book during lunch today – but rather than continuing the normal editing process, I decided, particularly after discussing it with a friend, that I just don’t like this section as it is. So I am going to try actually re-writing it as opposed to editing it, and then comparing the two sections and seeing if I can make something out of that. So I began rewriting it – by hand. Sometimes I think that writing by hand really helps with creativity. You can’t easily see the previous words – especially if your handwriting is as awful as mine – and it is a lot more difficult to go back and erase and rewrite and rewrite again. So sometimes when I am having creativity issues I’ll try writing by hand for a little bit and that helps significantly. Since this section needs a lot of help, hopefully it will do the same.

Writing stages

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I am on page 51 of 104. Sometimes I think that, rather than editing this entire section where Keith is snowed in at Josie’s house I need to just push aside what I have and write it again. There is so much that just seems awkwardly phrased. But then again, the part is supposed to be rather awkward, so maybe it is just the situation and no matter how I write it, I will be unhappy. So I will struggle forward and see what happens. And also Josie’s mom is kind of whiny. But then again, she is sick, and who isn’t whiny when they are sick? Being a writer is so hard. Sigh.

00688-funny-cartoons-writer

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We had company tonight until almost midnight. I woke up at 9:00 AM and immediately started baking. I took a break to get some supplies from Costco and Whole Paycheck – er, I mean, Whole Foods – and then cooked some more. I made a lovely cake roll filled with pudding and whipping cream, Chocolate Revel Bars, Lemon Bars, Caprese Skewers, and beef stuffed crescent rolls. A rather good spread, if I do say so myself especially since we didn’t know we were hosting until yesterday. It was really fun actually to focus on some baking. I do love it and I rarely do it now that I am ALWAYS on a diet.

But anyway, although it is now almost 1:00 AM I did my 10 minutes of editing! I am on page 50 of 104, so not nearly as far along as I originally thought. I think this section focuses far too much on telling rather than showing, but I haven’t quite figured out how to “show” something when it is one person struggling through realizations as opposed to conversations. I wonder if other authors have trouble with that too?

ediing

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I am supposed to be working right now, but apparently after working 9-10 hour days all week to make up for being sick last week, and being extremely productive while I was at it, my brain is a little tired now. No, it has nothing to do with being up until 12:30 last night. Nothing at all. So I decided to talk to you all instead for a few minutes.

And yes, you caught that right, I was sick AGAIN last week – this time with influenza so I was definitely out and it was especially not fun since my mom was here again for training. Daniel had to take care of most hosting duties. Which means this is the first “normal” week since like early February, and we’ve been trying to work back up to the whole diet/working out/getting up on time thing again.

Unfortunately, the need to make up the 8+ hours I had to take for being sick (and that was with working from home!) has really taken away most of my writing time. I keep meaning to sit and work on stuff, but then I am catching up on food prep and cleaning the house and trying to fit in devotions (how wrong does that sound? I know it is supposed to be the first priority in my life, but sometimes it is difficult to rearrange my brain), and all the other things that go along with rejoining the human race after being sick.

Anyway. I am tired of sitting around and thinking of writing as a second priority (doesn’t that sentence sound familiar? How many times does a person have to come to the same realization before it actually sticks?) and am once again going to give myself a challenge. This challenge is to work every day for at least 10 minutes on editing my book God’s Masterpiece (You know, the light-hearted, sappy, hallmark-like book?). And I am going to do the same thing I did on my last challenge – check in on here every day to briefly say whether I did it or not – since that worked well for keeping me on track for my 15 minutes a day challenge.

My goal is to finish editing it (I actually think it will only take me like a week  if I work on it regularly), send it to one more person to read (this person says she will actually get me feedback, unlike most people I sent it to the first time), implement any edits, and then submit it. Soooo, instead of limiting myself to a week, I am going to say I will do this until I FINISH EDITING IT! Keep me accountable, guys, keep me accountable.

PeanutsEditing

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