|Photo from Steven J. Hill via Creative Commons|
Friday, September 28, 2012
Monday, September 24, 2012
Lest I leave you all hanging again, one of my Facebook friends posted a link to a really wonderful essay* called "Date A Girl Who Reads" by Rosemarie Urquico:
"Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours, and half-baked proposals, then you're better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.
Or better yet, date a girl who writes."
But you don't have to take my word for it (she says in her best LeVar Burton voice). Go read the whole essay HERE. Yay for girls who read!
*Except for the part about lying. Lying in the real world, for whatever reason, is almost never a good thing, IMHO.
Friday, September 21, 2012
Annnnd, there's nothing posted.
Huh. How odd. So I think, "I should go send a message to my Gnomies. I mean, maybe one of them is sick, or hurt, or depressed. Maybe they need some help. MAYBE THEY NEED A GNOME-INTERVENTION! *GASP!* I SHALL SAVE YOU, MAEGAN AND RUSSO! FEAR NOT! I . . . "
Then I looked at the calendar.
That's . . . er . . . my day to post.
*shades of embarrassment*
Soooo anyway. What were we talking about? OH YEAH. Embarrassing moments. Russo has a lot of them. Sure glad I don't.
(I actually have steady streams of embarrassing moments. I'm just far less willing to put them up here than Russo is. Three cheers for Russo!)
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Today I went to the store and bought hair dye. What was I thinking? I tore out the gloves and got to work on dying my hair jet black. There was no patience about my process. As a result, my hair looks ridiculous. I have streaks of brown and black.
As if that wasn't enough, I tore out the gloves from the box. Doesn't seem like a big deal but when I took off the gloves I had quite a surprise- the gloves had holes in them. So now, I have ugly hair and black spots all over my hands. The dye won't come out; I have scrubbed and rubbed my hands until they were sore. Of course, my amigo Jameses is lying on the floor laughing his toukus off at my idiocy.
My friends, the one thing that will help us achieve our dream is patience. We have to slow down and take in the process of writing, painting, or whatever it is we love.
Friday, September 14, 2012
Hi all! Today I am so pleased to present an interview I did with my very talented friend Jennifer Beckstrand. She has published two of three novels in the Forever After in Apple Lake series. The books are part of an Amish Romance trilogy, and are a delight to read. (The first two are out; the third releases in Spring of 2013, and I'm sure will follow in the footsteps of the first two. I'll let you know after I close the last page and finish sighing.)
I create most of my characters from scratch and I find that whenever I suffer from crippling writer’s block, it is usually because I don’t have a good handle on my characters. Sometimes, it’s really hard to get inside their heads.
(Sidebar: Um, yeah. This actually sounds very structured and disciplined to me. My current weekly goal involves a lot of not watching Downton Abbey reruns online.)
How do you learn your craft? Join a writers group like Romance Writers of America or find a critique partner. Attend writing conferences. Read books on writing. Write, write, write every day.
If you want honest feedback on your writing, enter a writing contest. Even if you don’t win, the judges should give you some valuable pointers on how to make your story better.
I’ve heard that the best thing someone can do to improve her writing is to read. I wholeheartedly agree. Read good books of all genres. Even reading poorly written material can help you recognize and avoid mistakes. Volunteer to judge a writing contest. You’ll see lots of things you would do differently.
Self-promotion can be incredibly time consuming. I use Facebook and have a website, but I don’t twitter, and I try to limit my time online.
Facebook: Jennifer Beckstrand Fans
Thanks Jennifer! Now all y'all go out and buy, or borrow, or, here's a thought: buy, Kate's Song and Rebecca's Rose, so you can learn all about the Amish and feel all puddle-y and romantic. And Dudes (of the male persuasion)! Fear not your inner mushyness. This is highly readable stuff. And we'll only respect you for branching out.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
You have to learn from the rejection and move on. Sometimes this task is draining in and of itself. One thing remains-you're gifted beyond measure. If anyone can focus on the good and forget the bad moments it's you.
Keep striving, keep working. I'm behind you all the way, my friends.
*We're thrilled to announce that the author Jennifer Beckstrand will be guest posting for us on Friday. So excited to here from her.
Monday, September 10, 2012
"You set all kinds of creative processes in motion just by giving yourself the freedom to write bad stuff for the first draft."
It must have worked, because I pounded out almost 900 words this morning on the chapter I'd been struggling to start. That may not sound like a lot, but for me, 900 words in one sitting is HUGE. I'm tempted to include more awesome quotes, but I think y'all should just read "Take Control of Your Creative Process."
We also have an author interview coming up this Friday. Jennifer Beckstrand writes Amish Romance novels and has kindly guest-posted for us once before. Check it out here.
Friday, September 7, 2012
I've got a kid who wears the most whackdoodle clothing combinations I've ever seen. Like, Lady Gaga calls her for fashion tips. Got a lovely pearly grey sheath? Pair it with construction-cone-orange wellies. Find a narsty 1970's print midi skirt at the thrift store? Plunk down three dollars, then ratchet that baby all the way up to your armpits, throw a belt around it, slap on a cropped jean jacket, and voilá! I don't know what you have, but it's totally cool. Especially paired with the India-beaded stilettos you also picked up for two-smackers. Can't decide which of three sweaters you're going to wear today? Wear them all! What the heck! And throw on two different necklaces. And then roll your jeans up to your knees because . . . just because!
And it will all work. Do you know why? Because you're wearing it like you did it on purpose. That is how my kid gets away with it.
And guess what else this little attitude works with? Everything. By watching this child, I've figured out that when you make a big social blunder *cough* rip the ballet barre off the wall *cough*, cook scary food for guests, blow a public performance, or write something completely pitiful--if you just shrug, smile, and breathe, most people will either forgive you, or start copying you. And it's all cool.
Life's too short to get all self-conscious and worked up about things, I think. We're all people. We just want to succeed. And I don't think any of us really wants the other guy to fail. At least not nice people. And most people are nice.
So that's my message to you today by way of my cool kid: Whatever you do, do it like you did it on purpose. And smile. If it doesn't put people at ease, it will make them wonder what you're up to. And that's almost better.
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
I'm 6'2 with long legs. I've never been graceful. Usually when I meet someone for the first time I make a great first impression by tripping over my own feet and collapsing to the floor. This time was no different.
I walked gingerly into the ballet studio. I was nervous as all get up to meet my teacher. The instant I meet her I scuffed my feet on the wooden floor and fell right on my butt.
The teacher gasped all dramatically about my lack of grace and said, "My dear, walking should not be a challenge."
Everything about this woman was pointy, her hips, her nose and her fingers had no soft cushions of flesh. She had a harsh attitude and worse of all; she was out to get me. She had us all line up on the bar.
I immediately pulled out my hand sanitizer and got things un-germified (If that's a word.)
She snagged my hand sanitizer and the class stretched and dipped in ways I never thought possible. I attempted to mimic these movements but I looked as graceful as a rooster in a tutu.
The more I made mistake after mistake, the more my teacher became instilled with the dream of making me graceful. If I moved the wrong way, she wacked my butt with a fly swatter. No joke, a fly swatter. Yeah, if we lived in a time period where human sacrifices where still allowed, I would have thrown this woman into the volcano pit. She was that menacing.
The more the hour went on the more I made this woman crazy. She kept plucking along and as it has it, I did walk a bit more gracefully. I became aware of my surroundings. I did a demi-dip (no, this isn't a real ballet term; I made it up to annoy her.)She half-smiled at my mediocre progress. The boney woman believed the fly swatter had gotten through to me. Bo,y was she wrong.
The last five minutes of the class I accidently ripped the ballet bar off the wall. I then tripped over the air and sprained my ankle.
I swear, I thought her head was going to inflate and explode. She turned her head and coughed all hoity-toity-like and said, "I would prefer never to see your face again."
My sister snorted out loud and laughed so hard tears rolled down her cheeks,
My eyes opened wide with her sentence as I said, "Fine by me."
We paid for the broken ballet bar and left the studio. We treked next door for some frozen yogurt. All the while, giggling at my lack of grace.
Yep, ballet is not for me but at least I tried something new, which is the message for today. Get out there and truly live, my friends. I'm rooting you on all the way!