Monday, March 2, 2015

Motivational Monday


TO AN OUTSIDER, I JUST SEEM LIKE
A LIST OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS.
TO ME, ALL THERE IS
IS HOW OFTEN I FAIL.
(Junot Diaz)

This is definitely true for me. How about for you?

Hmm, maybe we need to start looking at ourselves as outsiders do. Maybe then we'd truly see and appreciate how wonderful and successful we really are . . . . 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Motivational Monday


I LIVE WITH THE PEOPLE I CREATE
AND IT HAS ALWAYS MADE MY ESSENTIAL
LONELINESS LESS KEEN.
(Carson McCullers)

I was in the middle of a conversation with someone when I started to say, "My friend, Harriet...." I caught myself in time. See, Harriet isn't "real" - she's the protagonist in my WiP. 

Now, obviously, if I was talking to another writer or to my husband or to another person I thought would "get it," no problem. But, in this instance, I was sort of embarrassed. 

At first. 

Because then I realized that if Harriet and the rest of my characters are so vital and complex and alive to me, then - hopefully! - they'll be that way for readers, too. 

Let's embrace our characters! That includes not only our protagonists, but also the cashier who's only in one scene, the lurking monster who has no place in an historical romance, and the old man with the metal detector, who has no name and who never finds anything, yet insists he's an important part of the story. And don't forget the antagonists. They need love, too.  

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Book Promotion Tips and Writing Contests

Cathy Yardley's "How to Create a Promotion Plan 'Story'" and Sharon Bially's "Simple Promo Tip: Call Your Book By Its Name" are two excellent posts about book promotion. They definitely gave me some good ideas, and I hope they do the same for you.

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The deadline for the WOW! Women on Writing Winter 2015 Flash Fiction Contest is coming up soon - February 28th! With a literary agent as the guest judge and lots of great prizes, why not give it a try? Good luck!

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I admit it. Since my story, "The Empty Nest," appeared in the original Hint Fiction anthology (ed. Robert Swartwood, 2010,) I have a special place in my heart for the form. So this contest, sponsored by West Hartford Libraries, really drew my attention. The deadline isn't until May but why wait? Give it a shot!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Motivational Monday


WHEN I FEEL FLAT AND BORED,
I FAKE IT.
I TRAIN BY SAYING YES 
TO WHATEVER COMES MY WAY - 
DRAMA, COMEDY, TRAGEDY, 
LOVE, DEATH, LOSSES.
YES TO LIFE.
(Isabel Allende)

Okay, I need to train my body to eat right and to exercise, but I also need to train my mind to say yes more often, way more often than I do. I tend to either hesitate or I just say no - fear and worry and anxiety forcing the word up my throat and through my lips before the fun, creative, imaginative side of me - she's in there somewhere! - even knows what's happening. 

How many wonderful opportunities are passing me by? How many learning experiences am I missing? How much fuller can my life be if I just say yes?

If you're someone who already says yes to life, please share with us how you do it. If you're more like me, let's practice saying yes together, not only for this week but for always. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Podcast: With This Ring - MASH Stories

"With This Ring" (MASH Stories, September) is now a podcast, narrated by the phenomenal Kate Baker. It's less than five minutes long but the quiet, creepy chill of Kate's voice and my words will hopefully stay with you much longer.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Midweek Miscellanea - Monotasking, Poets, and Minions

I recently read two excellent - and somewhat related - posts over at Writer Unboxed: 

Liz Michalski's "That Crazy Friend" discusses the distraction of social media -"Shortly thereafter I realized that if the Internet took human form, I could arrest it for stalking."

Therese Walsh's "Monotasking: The Forgotten Skill You (and I) Need to Re-claim, ASAP" talks about our struggle to focus - "Our minds have become fragmented because we are living fragmented lives."

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And speaking of being distracted and not focusing. . . have you ever wondered "Which Famous Poet Are You?" Me neither. But I still took this fun quiz and found out I am most like Emily Dickinson.  

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And more distractions . . . a whole YouTube channel of Minions! Swing those pants, baby!  



Monday, February 9, 2015

Motivational Monday


THE WORLD EATS WRITERS
FOR BREAKFAST,  LUNCH AND DINNER.
IT'S AN INCREDIBLY HARD TASK TO GET YOUR WORK 
SEEN, PUBLISHED WELL, REVIEWED AND READ.
YOU MUST HAVE AN IRONCLAD SENSE THAT YOUR WORK
IS WORTH EVERYONE'S TIME TO HAVE A 
TOUGH ENOUGH HIDE FOR THIS BUSINESS.
(Janet Reid)

I'm working on it!

How about you?

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I wrote this post awhile back, having no idea I would receive a special mention in literary agent Janet Reid's flash fiction contest this past weekend. My entry was named "Not Quite A Story But Oh My Godiva, YIKES." Now that's how you start off the week!