The Month of May is Wonder #IWSG

[I wrote this post as a member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our worries and also offer support and encouragement to each other on the first Wednesday of every month. If you’re a writer like me and you’re looking for a bit of support, you can click the link and sign up here]

This month’s awesome hosts areJQ Rose, C. Lee McKenzie, Raimey Gallant, & E.M.A Timar!

And thank you to founder Alex J. Cavaugh 🙂

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I love the month of May. As a kid I’d look forward to outdoor adventures in tents near the lake, or in the middle of Kansas on my dad’s land in a grove of trees staked inside a dried up river bed. I’d live imagined adventures and dream of characters I’d read about in books.

Maybe it’s the warmth. Maybe it’s the way sunlight slips into every crack of life. From early good mornings to lingering evening sunsets, reminding me how peaceful endings are always possible no matter what happened in my day.

This month’s IWSG question asks; “It’s spring! Does this season inspire you to write more than others, or not?”

Most mornings, I tip-toe down the steps to my writing workstation just off the side of the kitchen island. I brew my coffee and open the Celtic patterned curtains because lately, the sun is already peeking over the horizon. The birds are clearly awake too, chirping in the trees. Just yesterday, I glimpsed a couple of rabbits outside wrestling around in the grass in my backyard.

My answer is yes.

I’ve always loved spring. I’ve always loved flowers. Sunshine motivates me and trickles into my thoughts, changes my words sometimes, and my fast flying fingers sing.

Currently, I’m researching solid historical patterns before I revamp an old manuscript. I’m also waiting on edits from my last new YA Sci-Fi and I am very nervous, but with the sunshine over my shoulder, each day feels a little brighter.

On the reading side, I also just finished reading Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. It’s fantastic if you like YA.

So if May is your month like me, then why not use it to best of your goals and dreams? Even if it’s not, there’s something good to be found in every season.

Happy Wednesday, IWSG Day all.

Sequencing human interaction #AuthorToolboxBlogHop

Author Toolbox Blog Hop

The Author Toolbox Blog Hop is “a monthly blog hop on the theme of resources/learning for authors: posts related to the craft of writing, editing, querying, marketing, publishing, blogging tips for authors, reviews of author-related products, anything that an author would find helpful.” Want to jump into the writing tool box? Search #AuthorToolboxBlogHop or to join via blog, click here.

Thank you Raimey!

***

When we speak, a series of steps has already occurred:

  • An external action
  • An emotional reaction
  • A thought blooms from the above mentioned steps.

The result is return dialogue or reactive action.

It’s human nature.

Writing scenes and paragraphs should ideally follow the same logic we use when we speak or react.

Writer’s Digest suggests: “… get your reader to invest emotionally in your character, and you’ve laid the foundation for every action scene.”

A year ago, I came across a writing article on sequencing sentences. I hadn’t thought about the pattern of action, emotion, thought and reaction. I didn’t know how much it mattered until I wrote for it. I wish I could find the article and share it today. *Big shoulder sigh.* I lost it in the move to my new home over the summer.

Consider two examples:

Example One

    The moment Henry stepped out of the door of his apartment complex, he shivered with a chill then violently sneezed three times. With his shoulders arched up, he froze under the awning. Germs. He hated them. They hated him. Or at least he’d pictured it as an even exchange to survive.

   Henry’s hand trembled as he reached into his back pocket for his hand sanitizer, but stopped short with his thumb resting on the ridges of the cap. Something in the wind drew him. A cry so soft it couldn’t be a man or woman. A lamb? No, not in L.A. 

   He listened, shuffling down another couple of steps to the paved walkway.

   There. In the shadows. The barely there cry came again.

Example Two

    The moment Henry stepped out the door of his apartment complex, he shivered with a chill then violently sneezed three times. He removed his sanitizer from his back pocket and shuffled down the steps. Cars zoomed past the street. The wind tickled his nose. He shuffled backwards and peered around the corner of the building. He swore he heard a sound. A cry. Soft, like a lamb, urgent and hungry.

What’s Different?

    In the first example, Henry is moving, leaving his apartment when an outside irritant stings his nose and he sneezes (external influence/action).  He hates sneezing (thinking). He reacts to his phobia of germs and reaches in his pocket for his hand sanitizer (result of what we are thinking).

    In the second passage, we go from action to action to action. We miss a point about the character. We miss his phobia. We miss the connection between the first action and the second action. Then we miss the reason why he turned and went back to the building.

   So as we write, don’t forget motive, intention, and the process which leads our characters into action. Write for logic and sequence.

Celebrate the Small Things: Manifest Self-Miracles #FridayFeeling

Fridays are all about celebrating the Small Things thanks to a weekly blog hop created by author Lexa Cain. Joint co-hosts this week are authors L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge Tonja Drecker @ Kidbits Blog The mission coincides with what I’m hoping to do with my own writing, inspire and focus on the light when those slippery shadows creep around our shoes. Want to sign up? Click Lexa Cain’s link to find out more.

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Do you make lists?

Do you write notes to remember tasks you need to do?

Have you ever made a list about all the good things about you?

I’m revisiting an old blog hop called Celebrate the Small Things. It’s a wonderful way to remember all the sunshine in a day when skies seem dark and the wind is so cold you can’t seem to find any warmth, on the inside.

This week I’m picking self -miracles. Those choices you’ve made in your life because you believed in yourself and the work you knew you’d have to do, but you did it anyway.

The idea for today’s post came from my son’s homework assignment. I’ve spent the last two days home with my son who’s had a fever. He had a reading passage on Jackie Robinson, a famous American baseball player, and I enjoyed reading it and reflecting on the questions as much as my son did. Mr. Robinson believed in himself. Mr. Robinson inspired me. I’ve been reflecting of specific choices I’ve made to focus on being a mother these past almost 10 years, and to also live a few of my deeper passions by giving up some larger less weighted ones.

So how am I manifesting self- miracles?

I’m celebrating two accomplishments this week. On the work side, I built a bridge in the office and really listened to what others were saying in order to develop graphic concepts that mattered to a team and not just me.

On the personal side, I’m celebrating my choice to leave a fast-paced traveling career so I could be there as a mother for my two little ones. My son has had a fever for half the week and I’m thankful I’ve been home with him. I’m thankful my current job is so understanding. I’m thankful I’m a short distance away from my kids’ school so I can be there in the event of any emergency. So I can have lunch with each of them once a week. So I can meet all their friends and be involved with their lives.

The key to self-miracles from what I understand, is believing in yourself so much, you “bet on yourself.” You realize what you want and love and need, and you go for it.

As a result of “betting on you,” tiny miracles begin to grow. Faith begins to grow and take over. Before you know it, you’re growing too.

Happy Friday, all. Make that list 😉

“This ain’t fun. But you watch me, I’ll get it done.” ~ Jackie Robinson

Conquer Your Rain With A Clear Umbrella #IWSG #WednesdayMotivation #Amwriting

[I wrote this post as a member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our worries and also offer support and encouragement to each other on the first Wednesday of every month. If you’re a writer like me and you’re looking for a bit of support, you can click the link and sign up here]

This month’s awesome hosts are: Olga Godim, Chemist Ken,Renee Scattergood, and  Tamara Narayan!

And thank you to founder Alex J. Cavaugh 🙂

***

I think it’s fair to say, most of us have lost that shiny feeling about where we are or what we are doing at some point in our lives. Whether it’s personal, professional, or just a block we can’t seem to see through, life, writing, anything might very well seem too large to conquer.

I recently finished something new I didn’t think I’d like doing at all. But my writing friend challenged me to try it. Excited along the process, I’d send her snip-its and she’d text me, “I can’t wait to read this book!” Her excitement was one of the pivotal points I found in an article on how to motivate yourself from time.com :

  •  “Get Positive”
  •  “Get Rewarded”
  • ”Get Peer Pressure.”

I finished my new manuscript in the middle of February and since then I read a fantastic new book as a reward and now I’m getting back on an old horse, an old manuscript I’ve fought with for years.

So this month’s IWSG question asks:

“When your writing life is a bit cloudy or filled with rain, what do you do to dig down and keep on writing?”

My answer:

  • Work hard.
  • Try until it hurts then keep trying.
  • Giving up doesn’t exist.

Sure, I hurt. Sure, emotion sucks me dry some days, but with the force of optimism there’s no chance I’ll stay in the clouds and the rain for long.

I found this one on Totes.com 🙂

By the way, did you ever have one of those clear plastic umbrellas as a kid? It was the best tool in the whole wide world to me. I could look up through the rain and watch it pelt the top of the plastic umbrella and my hair and face were both still dry. That’s what it takes. See through the rain. It still may pour, but with shiny bright eyes, and a dry head of hair, you might surprise yourself with what you can do. 🙂

And while I’m talking about optimism, I’m really excited about Tick-Tock coming up!

Have you heard about the new anthology? If not, be sure to check it out when it hits Amazon and the book shelves in May because …

The clock is ticking…

Can a dead child’s cross-stitch pendant find a missing nun? Is revenge possible in just 48 minutes? Can a killer be stopped before the rescuers are engulfed by a city ablaze? Who killed what the tide brought in? Can a soliloquizing gumshoe stay out of jail?

Exploring the facets of time, eleven authors delve into mysteries and crimes that linger in both dark corners and plain sight. Featuring the talents of Gwen Gardner, Rebecca M. Douglass, Tara Tyler, S. R. Betler, C.D. Gallant-King, Jemi Fraser, J. R. Ferguson, Yolanda Renée, C. Lee McKenzie, Christine Clemetson, and Mary Aalgaard.

Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these eleven tales will take you on a thrilling ride into jeopardy and secrecy. Trail along, find the clues, and stay out of danger. Time is wasting…

Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime

Anthology

Mystery/Crime/Thriller

Print ISBN 9781939844545

EBook ISBN 9781939844552

Release date: May 1, 2018

Last note of the day: