Monday, April 24, 2017

May the (Creative) Force Be With You!

Believe me, I can use all the help I can get since this May, I will be participating in Story A Day! 




Story A Day is all about promoting creativity. The goal: write - and finish! - a story every day in May.

Now, as founder Julie Duffy says, there is some flexibility:

"Since the StoryADay May challenge began in 2010 I have always said: make your own rules. For some people, the challenge of writing a story every day is the thing that excites them the most and helps them to embrace the challenge. For other people it’s unrealistic. Those writers simply decide how many days this month they’re going to write. The key is to make your own rules and then stick to them. Some years, for example, I take Sundays off."

But she is a stickler for one thing: FINISHING.

"This is the only place where I am quite strict. There is a power in finishing a story and so I encourage you to push through to the end of your story every day. This does not mean writing a brilliant draft. Sometimes you have to cheat. You can write “[something clever happens here]” and then sketch out a resolution and final paragraph if that’s what it takes to get used to the end of the story. Doing this at least teaches you to keep the mood to keep the story moving towards a place of resolution."
So, my plan for May: write and finish a story Monday through Friday with weekends off OR five stories a week, just in case I need a little wiggle room. I hope to reconnect with the core of my writing, the joy and the passion I used to feel. I'm going to have fun with my writing again, people. 
Wish me luck!
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Have you heard of Story A Day? Plan on giving it a try? There's still time to sign up! Are you participating in any other challenges, creative or otherwise? 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Worth It

I came across the following quote right when I needed it the most. I just love when that kind of thing happens, don't you? So, I'm sharing the words here with you all, just in case you, or someone you know, is in need of them, too.

LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO WAKE UP 
IN THE MORNING WITH REGRETS,
SO LOVE THE PEOPLE WHO TREAT YOU RIGHT,
FORGET ABOUT THE ONES WHO DON'T,
AND BELIEVE THAT EVERYTHING
HAPPENS FOR A REASON.

IF YOU GET A CHANCE, TAKE IT.
IF IT CHANGES YOUR LIFE, LET IT.

NOBODY SAID IT'D BE EASY,
THEY JUST PROMISED IT WOULD BE
WORTH IT.
(Harvey Mackay)

Monday, April 10, 2017

Pillow Talk, Pink Ponies Dancing - Nailpolish Stories

The Spring issue of Nailpolish Stories: A Tiny and Colorful Literary Journal is up, and I am pleased to say it includes two of my stories - Pillow Talk and Pink Ponies Dancing.

Now don't let those titles fool you. You all know by now that my imagination does not cross at the intersection of Soft and Pretty.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

IWSG: Charge!


Click here for more information

In the March/April 2017 issue of Writer's Digest, an excerpt from Nina Amir's Creative Visualization for Writers suggests we think about what energizes us and what energizes our writing. She recommends listing these activities then incorporating them into our daily or weekly routine.

From my list:

For me - walking on the beach with my husband, early in the morning before the crowds roll in. I can literally feel the muscles in my shoulders relax as soon as I step on that sand, rest my gaze on the sea.

For my writing - knowing I am not alone in all my writerly weirdness. By being a part of IWSG, I am connected to a network of like-minded people who are all dreaming, striving, growing and challenging ourselves to improve in our craft, to live an artistic, creative life.

What gives you and/or your writing energy? Salsa dancing? Trampoline jumping? Dressing up like your characters? Imagining who would play your characters in the movie? Do you make charging your batteries a priority? 

*****

I'm excited to be co-hosting IWSG again this month! Please give the rest of the co-hosts - Christopher D. Votey, Fundy Blue and Chrys Fey - a shout out as well. Thanks for stopping by! 

Monday, March 27, 2017

A Challenge!

As March ends and April begins, I'm in need of some motivation. I saw this quote (by @rarguijo) in a magazine and thought - hmm, a challenge?


*****

MAKE TODAY 
SO AWESOME
THAT YESTERDAY 
GETS JEALOUS.

*****


Yes! I'm up for it!

How about you?

Monday, March 20, 2017

Shake It Up!

It's not news around here that I'm a big reader. If I don't read every day, I get cranky. My "To Read" list is more pages than I care to admit here, again. (If you really want to know, check out Lists Gone Wild.)  

Now, I usually say I read across genres and categories but when I looked back at the books I'd read so far this year, I realized this isn't as true as I thought. My go-to genres are historical fiction and mystery/suspense/thriller, in adult and YA/MG categories, and these dominated my choices by far.

After reading an excellent post over at Writer Unboxed - Learning from Reading: Change Up Your Patterns to Gain More by Annie Neugebauer - I realized I'd fallen into a reading rut. 

"So my suggestion for writers today is this: change up your reading habits.... If you always read within your writing genre, bust out. If you stick to literary or commercial fiction, try swapping them. Try mixing them. Risk reading a few things you may hate, because that’s also how you find brand new things you love. (And even things we hate have things to teach us.)
Switch up not only the types of books you’re reading, but the format. Always read paperback? Get an e-reader. Always read digital? Try listening to an audiobook...." 
Excellent ideas! So, while I've read - and enjoyed! - a few novels outside my usual genres, like Abby Fabiashi's I Liked My Life (women's fiction/contemporary fiction) and Alex George's Setting Free the Kites (literary fiction/contemporary fiction,) I'm going to make a more concentrated effort to try new genres and formats.

"Experiment with what you’re reading together, too. For years I was utterly convinced that I could only read one book at a time.... Nowadays I routinely have 3-4 books going at once: a paperback novel or collection of shorts, an audiobook, a book of poetry, and a nonfiction book (usually writing craft or research). This strange assortment has inspired some of my finest ideas." 

Every once in awhile, I'll add a nonfiction title or a story collection to the novel I'm reading but I usually stick with flipping through magazines. But nothing says I can't settle in with a poem or two instead, right? 

Ms. Neugebauer's post has lots of other ideas - too many to mention here! - and I recommend giving it a read. And, in case you can't decide which of her tricks to try, take heart:

"I admit to my stubbornness and foibles here because each time I settled into a pattern, I was convinced I’d found the right one. I realize now, looking at it with a wider lens, that that’s because it was the act of switching up my pattern that sparked the good stuff. Every single reading method, practice, format, and habit is valid and valuable – but none so much as trying them all." 

*****

Are you ready to shake up your reading habits? What will you do first? Anything you'd like to recommend - author, title, format?

Monday, March 13, 2017

Introverts Unite! *

* But, don't worry, we only have to unite in spirit. We don't actually have to go outside or talk to people or anything. 

I am an introvert. My husband not only accepts this but also celebrates it. He wants me to appreciate myself and all my eccentricities the way he does. Because, for a long time, I thought there was something wrong with me and the way I moved in this world. So, when my husband recently presented me with Introvert Doodles by Maureen "Marzi" Wilson, it was with the best of intentions and a heart full of love. 

Here are a few favorites from her book:








I don't know Marzi, and the only thing I get from promoting her here is the knowledge that by sharing her work, we'll all get a laugh or two, along with the realization that we're not the only ones curled up in yoga pants, binge-watching Big Little Lies and eating chocolate chip cookies. Right? Right? Oh, come on, I can't be the only one . . . .


Available on Amazon

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Are you an introvert? Do you know one? Married to one? Did these cartoons make you chuckle and nod your head in recognition? Plan on checking out Marzi's website and book?