Sunday, August 9, 2020

Weekly Goals 10-8-20

My goals are pretty simple this week.

The new story still needs more time to germinate, I think.  I need to figure out how to write a story in which the main character, at least at the beginning of the book, doesn't really speak.  I tend to use dialogue a lot to move things along, so it's going to be a challenge to write a character who chooses, for a variety of reasons, not to talk.

So while my brain does the heavy lifting on that, I'll keep working on revising SHOOK.  It's not terribly exciting work, but it needs to be done and it's something to do while I wait for the next round of critiques to come back on Standing Too Close.

What are your goals this week?

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Celebrate the Small Things 7-8-20

This post is part of Lexa Cain's blog hop, Celebrate the Small Things. Head on over there to sign up!

What am I celebrating this week?

My quiz team won the quiz this week.  It's the first time in a few weeks, and we've had a couple of truly dire performances recently, so it felt good to be back in front.  

It's the weekend!  This week has been long and quite boring so I'm grateful it's the weekend and I can do something different for a couple of days.  Even if that different stuff is going to be mainly housework and cooking...

I finished the critique I was doing for a friend and should be editing SHOOK.  But instead I'm still toying with my new, fun idea with the incredibly damaged main character.  The details of the story are slowly coming to me and the characters have told me their names now, so I'm almost at the point where I feel like I need to start writing. Just the first chapter or two...

What are you celebrating this week?

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

IWSG: August

It's the first Wednesday in August, so it's time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group!

This month I'm not going to answer the optional question because my friend Chris Frey is doing a blog-hop in support of her book Keep Writing With Fey (I posted about it here).

It's a book about overcoming writer's block and depression and all those things that keep you from actually writing and she asked us to share how we deal with these things personally.  So here goes...

I don't actually tend to suffer from writer's block.  I get stuck, of course.  I think all writers do.  But I always have more than one project going, so when I get stuck trying to figure out something on one project, I leave it alone and move onto something else.  Maybe a MS that needs revising.  A short story.  Editing or critiquing for someone else.  Just something different.  And generally, I find that by the time I've finished that work, I've untangled whatever was knotted up in the other story and I can move on.

My main problem is with finding the energy and brain-space to write.  I write most of the day at work across a variety of things: press releases, government documents, webpages, newsletters etc, and by the time I finish at the end of the day, I find I don't have any words left for my own writing.

When I don't write, I get antsy, irritable and depressed because writing is the way I make sense of the world and my own feelings about things.  So it's important that I do find the time to do it.  If I'm feeling particularly frustrated, I sometimes take a couple of days off just to write and that's usually enough to get me back on track, re-set and able to use my hour or so of writing time in the mornings productively.

How do you deal with writer's block or other things that keep you from getting that butt in chair?

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With these sparks, you can begin your journey of rediscovering your creativity and get back to what you love - writing.


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Sunday, August 2, 2020

Weekly Goals 3-8-20

I was naughty and did absolutely no writing over the weekend.  I read books instead and it was glorious!  So no regrets there.

But because I did that, my goal this week is to finish critiquing my friend's book and then to move on to finishing the edit I started on SHOOK.

The new story can just keep brewing in the back of my head.  I may write a chapter or two soon, just to get Harley's voice onto the page, but I am not going to dive headfirst into writing a new book just yet.  Hopefully it will keep until November and NaNo.

What are your goals this week?

Friday, July 31, 2020

Celebrate the Small Things 31-7-20

This post is part of Lexa Cain's blog hop, Celebrate the Small Things. Head on over there to sign up!

What am I celebrating this week?

It's the weekend!

And I have absolutely nothing planned which is something to celebrate in my book.

I finished and published a major document at work this week, which is always something to celebrate, and have made some very good progress on another.

I've been critiquing a book for a writing friend, and am more than halfway through.  I hope to get the rest of that done over the weekend so I can get back to my own writing next week.  The new story that's brewing away in my head may just need to be written.  Or at least started.  These characters are pretty insistent on getting onto the page...

What are you celebrating this week?

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Books I've Loved: Far From the Tree

Okay, so I loved this book.

It has everything I love in it.  Kids with real problems.  Found family - in this case, actual real family.  Damaged boys.  Lesbians.

It's about three siblings who have grown up apart.  Two were adopted into good families, the third has been in foster care his whole life and not all his families have been as great as the couple he's living with now.

The book follows these three as they discover each other exist, meet and deal with some major, life-changing events.

Grace has just had a baby she gave up for adoption, and naturally this brings up questions about her own birth family.  Maya's perfect family is falling apart and for the first time her sarcastic sense of humor isn't enough to pull her through.  Joaquin isn't used to being settled or loved or cherished, so when his foster parents ask to adopt him, he's not sure how to react.

Against the background of these individual issues, the three siblings find out about each other and meet for the first time.  As each deals with their personal crises, they begin to bond and discover that their problems are easier to deal with together.  

The characters in this story are beautifully drawn, each with their own set of rules, values and ways of dealing with the world.  Yet as soon as they meet, they start recognizing similarities.  I loved the way their first meetings were strained and awkward, yet they warmed to each other and learned quickly to rely on each other for support and friendship.  

Definitely one I'd recommend.  Strongly.

But don't just listen to me.  Here's the blurb:

Being the middle child has its ups and downs.

But for Grace, an only child who was adopted at birth, discovering that she is a middle child is a different ride altogether. After putting her own baby up for adoption, she goes looking for her biological family, including—

Maya, her loudmouthed younger bio sister, who has a lot to say about their newfound family ties. Having grown up the snarky brunette in a house full of chipper redheads, she’s quick to search for traces of herself among these not-quite-strangers. And when her adopted family’s long-buried problems begin to explode to the surface, Maya can’t help but wonder where exactly it is that she belongs.

And Joaquin, their stoic older bio brother, who has no interest in bonding over their shared biological mother. After seventeen years in the foster care system, he’s learned that there are no heroes, and secrets and fears are best kept close to the vest, where they can’t hurt anyone but him.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Weekly Goals 27-7-20

Isn't it typical?  I'm working away, getting a bunch of different writing projects finished, and I get an idea for a new book.

I promised myself I wouldn't write a new book until I've finished all these partially done ones.  But this idea is brewing up there.  The characters don't have names yet, but that'll come.  A lot of their backstory is revealing itself to me each day.  And I already have a few scenes brewing in my head.  This one has even come with a title!  In fact, the title kind of inspired the story.

I dashed off a few notes yesterday so I won't forget what I've been thinking about, but I know from experience that won't be enough.  Once a story starts haunting me, I need to write it.  So it looks like I may be writing a new book soon, despite my plans not to do that...

I just need to wait until these characters tell me their names.

What are your goals this week?