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What’s Up Wednesday

ButtonSmallNoBorderWhat’s Up Wednesday is a weekly meme, started by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk, which helps readers and writers touch base with blog friends to let them know what’s up. Join in by visiting their blogs and signing in on the widget.

What I’m Writing: While battling weather and fences taken down by weather and prepping to begin the school year, I managed to revise five more chapters. I also spent time on the series bible which was fun and productive.

What I’m Reading: I’m reading Unseen by Karen Slaughter. Never disappointing but moving slow for me as my medication puts me to sleep before I get much read. Hopefully, healthier days are ahead. 🙂

Goals for Next Week:

ready set write buttonFor this week, August 15 – 21, I begin classes so I hope to manage to rework my writing schedule so that I am able to maintain revision as I also enter professor mode. Goal: ten chapters.

Good luck to all the writers setting goals for Ready. Set. WRITE! this week. Twitter hashtag #readysetwrite.

What are your writing goals this week? What do you do to motivate yourself?

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IWSG and What’s Up Wednesday

InsecureWritersSupportGroupPurpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! (Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG)

Alex J. Cavanaugh’s awesome co-hosts for the July 3 posting of the IWSG are M. Pax, Karen Walker, and Melissa Maygrove.

Insecurity sets in when we are the most vulnerable. I’m well versed in this now because I have been sick. As a healthy person, the sick thing is not something I have had to do often and I have little patience for. I’m humbled by those who fight illness chronically. Ugh. Totally, NOT fun. In the first place, it does lower all your defenses. Not only was I low physically from the illness but convinced that I was the biggest loser on the planet for all the things I was not accomplishing this summer on my writing that I swore I would. In the boxing ring of insecurity I was beating myself up pretty good. Then, the medicine began to work its magic and logic took hold. My life has been in limbo for a year and given that I’ve done remarkably well just keeping my sanity, crucifying myself for not meeting arbitrarily set goals felt cruel and unusual even for a writer. 🙂 Thus, I have a new goal for the near future: be kinder to my inner writer. We experience enough judgment from the outside. Let’s not add to it.

What’s Up Wednesday

ButtonSmallNoBorderI spent another week lost to illness. Thus, if you read above, you know I’ve already beat myself up over the whole ‘what I didn’t accomplish’ thing. Mostly, I fought to get well.

What I’m reading: Nothing. I’ve been too sick even to read. Trust me, this was a first.

What I’m writing: I did get edits made to one chapter. I’m set to begin again now that I’m actually vertical.

For the week to come August 8-14 (OMG! Is it really time for classes to begin?)

Reading: I look forward to starting a new book. Haven’t decided if it will be fiction or non-fiction. Hmm. So many books…so little time.

Writing: FINISH EDITS OF THE GAP PROJECT.    ready set write button

I am frustrated, but I am undaunted.

Go me!

How was your week?

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What’s Up, Wednesday

ButtonSmallNoBorder

What’s Up, Wednesday is a weekly meme which allows us to touch base with our blogger friends letting them know “what’s up”. If you want to join the fun, you can link up here.

It’s been a crazy week, and I’m amazed to find myself at Wednesday again. Totally excited to share the weekly update with you. I hope your writing went well.

Reading

I’ve been reading Enigma Black. It’s been a struggle for me. It begins with the main character as a teen and then progresses her forward into New Adult. It’s a cool premise, but it has moved slow for me. In the meantime, Steven James’ The King came out, and I jumped on it. I don’t bail on books so I’ll come back to Enigma but after a break.

Writing

The muse came roaring at me this week. In spite of working on the new house and other obligations, I managed 15 chapter rewrites. AND then went back and made subtle tweaks to those. (Can I ever leave anything alone? No.) This last thread that I’m weaving in is managing to come together. I am celebrating big time this week.

Next Goal

I set my goal last week with positive thoughts in mind, and it went well so I’m rolling with that again. 🙂 This week my goal is to complete rewrites of 8-10 more chapters. Phew! Getting brave…but I am seeing a deadline finally hitting. Yes!!

Have a great week! May the muse be with you!

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Random Acts of Kindness

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***This post is part of the Random Acts of Kindness Blogfest by Wayman Publishing, May 27 – 31, 2013. Visit the blogfest for free downloads of ebooks, including Open Doors: Fractured Fairy Tales.***

Not only is this a great opportunity for us to focus on the positive in a world increasingly concentrated on the negative, but it is important that we are all aware of the importance of keeping the kindness going. Check out E.C. Stilson’s blog and the other blogs participating and sign up to share random acts of kindness yourself.

Like many people, I’ve had many occasions where someone caught me off guard. It can take a lot of different forms. For instance, when I was raising small children and living paycheck to paycheck, and I wanted to write but had nothing but paper to do it on. It didn’t deter me. I had a complete novel on legal pads when my parents showed up at my door one afternoon with my first word processor, brand new and all mine. It wasn’t my birthday or a holiday. It was a random act. Not only was it a perfect gift, but it was a validation of who I was. My folks were saying they believed in me. I cried.

At an awards ceremony, my students stunned me by turning the tables and presenting me with bouquets of flowers and thanks before they moved to the high school. The flowers died, but the hugs and validation of their thank you’s did not. They graduated this year. I drove across the state of Kansas to attend their grad parties. I love them. I cried.

Like most teachers I have received many gifts over the years. However, some stick out as particularly awesome because they were perfectly geared to me. One student found a first edition of Huckleberry Finn, knowing I was a Twain fan, he brought it to me with a touching inscription inside. Another student donated money to a homeless shelter in my name. When I found out I was moving, a student brought a flower bouquet to my home so I would know she was going to miss me. Yeah, I cried.

It really isn’t what people do. It’s the fact that they care enough to do it. And it can be something simple and small. It can be unexpected in source or object. The only thing that doesn’t change is the importance of keeping the kindness going. We are all in this walk through life together. If we aren’t there for each other, it’s a much sadder journey.

Other Random Kindness Bloggers:

EC Stilson

Dena Netherton

Mayor of Crazyville

Katherine Valdez

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Feed Me Blog Topics

Storm feeding

Storm feeding

Okay, so I’m having a rocky start to the new year. Accidents, snow storms, computer meltdowns, and interruptions of every variety have sent my ‘year of organization’ right down the tube. I am still giving it my best shot but realized today as I sat at my hubby’s physical therapy session that when I ‘organized’, I skipped a week on my blog calendar. This week. Hmm. No topic planned. That’s my topic.

Blog topics are a dilemma for most writers. I’ve learned a couple of things about this particular stress inducer.

  1. Plan ahead: This organization thing has really reduced my stress. However, I realize now that I need an editor since I left off a week.
  2. Read Blogs: Seriously, other writer’s blogs will inspire your passions, your angst, or at least your interest in topics that apply to your writing.
  3. Feed the writer: This is important. The inner writer is creative and requires constant feeding. This means reading fiction in the genre(s) you write. It means putting that computer aside and playing a game or games. Board games or outdoor games or even computer or android games can work. I have mystery games on my Kindle which keep me thinking like a mystery writer. (I can rationalize almost anything)
  4. Sleep: I’m a big advocate of naps. Write for four hours and sleep for no more than 90 minutes. You’ll wake a new person and get in a fresh set of pages.
  5. EXERCISE: I can’t advocate this enough. It’s not just about weight or health. It’s about keeping your mental acuity and sending the endorphins through your system which allow the artist in you to soar.

Of course, we could also just feed each other blog topics. Feel free to start here…in the comments. 🙂

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Let’s Get Organized

Let's Get Organized!

Let’s Get Organized!

Social media is an imperative for writers but managing a balance between that and writing and life leads to stress. For writers, writing time must come first, otherwise it negates the purpose of building a platform. It’s that delicate balance that led my critique group to brainstorm topics for our group blog for the entire year. It probably makes me a nerd to say that I found it fun to select themes that transitioned seamlessly one into another. We also wanted to do this for our individual blogs as well.

In an effort to find a balance between writing and the real world and share it with other writers, we started the Let’s Get Organized blog hop.

The rules are simple:

  1. Create a 4-6 week editorial calendar (here’s a cool template). If you post more than once a week, feel free to cut this time-frame in half. Unless, you’re up for the challenge.
  2. Publish the schedule to your blog. As with exercising, people tend to stick to goals when they’re held accountable.
  3. Tag three bloggers to join in the fun, then contact them to let them know about it. (This step is optional)
  • Thursday, February 28 – Interview with Christine Denise Smith-Jarmola
  • Wednesday, March 6Insecure Writer’s Support Group Post
  • Friday, March 8The Next Big Thing Blog Hop
  • Monday, March 18 – Ninja Captain Alex’s Top 10 Movie Countdown Blogfest (scroll to the bottom of this post to join the fun)
  • Thursday, March 21 – eARC Review: Edge of Truth by Natasha Hanova
  • Thursday, March 28 – Friends Don’t Let Friends Write Under the Influence

Many of the authors I follow already organize, so it’s difficult to figure out who to tag. So, anyone who has not done this before and wants to create an editorial calendar for their blog, consider yourself tagged.

If you decide to participate, please leave a comment below. I’d love to know what you’re up to.

Do you struggle with finding a balance between writing and the real world? How do you manage your social media and have time to write?

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Oh, How I Miss You Blogfest

This week, I’m participating in the I Miss You Blogfest hosted by  Andrew Leon, Matthew MacNish, and Alex J. Cavanaugh.

It’s time to tell which blogger buddies we really miss because they aren’t posting as often, or at all. It’s also time to show appreciation for the bloggers I would really miss!

The rules: List one to three bloggers you really miss and one to three bloggers you would miss if they stopped blogging. Then go leave a comment on those blogs.

Before I start naming names, I encourage you to hop on over to Alex J. Cavanaugh’s blog and sign up to join the fun. He also has a list of other participants.

Now, for the bloggers I miss:

Kelsey Tener : This one is personal and difficult because Kelsey’s blogging days are over. We lost her to brain cancer June 6, 2012. Her journey on this earth was short but important to those of us who loved her. Sadly, we lost her mother to breast cancer this fall as well.

Nicole McClaughlin: A busy working mom during the holiday season. Yup, that pretty much says it all.

Terri Moran: A good friend of mine is a busy, and I do mean BUSY, college professor with other jobs as well. She cannot blog as often as I’d like as I enjoy her posts.

Bloggers I would miss:

There are so many people to add to this list and even though the rules say one to three, I’m gonna bend them. Some of my favorite bloggers who I would miss terrible should they leave the blogosphere include: Info Dump a la El, Natasha Hanova, Les Edgerton, Richard Thomas, Brent Spencer, and Author Laura Diamond-Lucid Dreamer.

These bloggers run the spectrum from professors and practitioners to writers working other gigs as they practice their craft. They offer their experience and knowledge with grace humility. I learn from them and I respect them. Thank you all (and those unnamed) for being amazing artists! I know keeping up with blogging isn’t always easy.

I’m off to comment on other blogs!. Better get started.

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