Friday, January 30, 2015

In Need of Links?

More writerly links from around the web this week....

Limitations to First Person POV to Keep in Mind - It's a Writer Thing

Deleting Words - Heroines With Hearts

Parenting Blog Needs Writers to Share Stories on ‘Simplifying Life’ -

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Quote #49 - Octavia Butler

"You don't start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it's good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That's why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence."
- Octavia Butler

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Random #35 - Over Feed

I'm so incredibly far behind in my blog reading.  I follow so many. I've thought about culling the list, but who would I get rid of?  I added each to my Google Reader, then my Feedly, for a reason. Too often I open my Feedly and there are over 500 unread posts and articles.  I know there are some people/sites that post much more than others, like Book Riot and Writer Unboxed, there are blogs that are nice, fun, friendly people writing about a book they just read or meal they just ate. I don't want to hit "mark all as read", so I scroll through sometimes and see only a fraction of what I've gathered.  There's no way I can catch up if I want to keep regular life moving forward.  I don't know how to make it better/easier. Honestly, I don't know if I want to change a thing.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Last Week #18 - Work

I didn't do as much as I wanted to this past week.  Real life has been getting in the way.  I'm currently looking for work and as many may know, that can take up loads of time, hours and hours of my day. Now that I finally have a free few moments, I'm caught between a blog and a book place.  I find that lately I've been going to my blogs first when I have free time.  I'm wondering if it's easier. I write about a book I just read, a printer that died or throw up my weekly inspirational quote.  When it's done, I have a quick sense of accomplishment.  If I work on my book for just a few minutes, I feel like I need more time, like I didn't get enough done.  I know I should just be happy that I got those thirty or sixty minutes, but I long for more.  When that time is up, though novel progress has been made, I don't get the same feeling.  I should just screw the feeling and work. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Quote #48 - Haruki Murakami

"You have to dream intentionally. Most people dream a dream when they are asleep. But to be a writer, you have to dream while you are awake, intentionally."
- Haruki Murakami

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Randam #34 - A Tale of Two Printers

The first printer was a Canon and it printed beautiful pictures.  That's what I was in the middle of doing.  We had some pictures done recently and I wanted to put them up.  I selected two beautiful pictures, one of each of my children.  My daughter's picture printed, but before my son's could come out, I got an unfixable printer error.  I went online and did everything, every trick I could find.  What I learned was that somehow, between picture one and picture two, the printhead died.  We'd had it a few years, it had done its job.  It was inconvenient, however, because I needed to fill out some forms and email them to someone.  When the printhead went, it killed the scanner part of the printer too.  Stress!

Luckily, we had a second printer.  My mother-in-law, a while ago, bought a fancy new printer and gave us her old one, which was still pretty fancy.  I knew one day the Canon would go, so I kept the HP they were giving us.  We used it a few times, but not a lot.  The Canon printed great pictures and was less bulky.  Now that the Canon was dead, it was time to put the HP into full service.  So I thought... The HP was out of ink!  Easy enough fix, though expensive.  In the meantime, the scanner was fully available, so my Hubby printed the forms at work, I filled them out, scanned them and sent there where they need to go.  Yay!  Stress gone!  Until.... I put the ink in the printer.  Print error! Nothing will print! Seriously? How could both printers be dead?  Once ink is open, stores aren't supposed to take them back. I tried all the tricks that the internet found for me (again), but nothing worked.  I contacted HP support and they referred me to the same tricks.  When I told them that didn't work, they gave me a number to call.  Then I was hung up on.

So, I called Staples, the company I ordered the ink from.  Why hadn't I called them first? Well, the ink was opened and packaging gone.  After a discussion with a customer service agent, and his discussion with his supervisor, they gave me a credit for the value of the ink.  Now, I will to buy a new printer with my Staples credit.  Probably not an HP, though I have an HP laptop.... Staples was fantastic.  I explained my problem and they helped me out.  Yes, I have to by a printer from them and it's not like the money for the ink is going to detrimentally affect their bottom line, but they could have just said, no. 

It's been a frustrating time.  I thought I had two printers, when it turned out I had zero. I thought I wasted money on printer ink, which we know costs about as much as a new printer.  I was so stressed when I needed to print important things.  I feel like it's all such a waste.  All those electronics and the ink.  I hope the environment doesn't hate me. Buying a new printer is nice though.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Kind of a Diary Entry....

I went to see Andrew Pyper speak at the WCYR monthly meeting.  He was fantastic.  I loved when he talked about dumping out his notes on a dining room table, then connecting them, eventually turning them into a novel.  So much of the process he described for himself is actually what I like to do or see myself doing, the more I write.  I wish I had said something about that to him when I talked to him.  He brought a box of his book, The Demonologist, to sign for attendees.  He was so polite and I felt so awkward.  Most people I know don't think of me as a shy person.  I can get really chatty, but when I'm faced with a room full of people I don't know, I get very quiet.  I get awkward.  I don't know what to say.  

I was also in a bit of a rush.  I was squeezing this meeting in because I really wanted to see what a WCYR meeting was like and I wanted to hear Andrew Pyper speak.  Other things were calling to me, waiting for me to be done.  My Hubby helped, taking care of things until I got home, but I felt the pull anyway.

To sum up, I felt dumb and awkward when I met a bestselling author, instead of telling him how awesome his talk was.  Good job me.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Last Week #17 - Novel Update

I've been slowly getting to work on my latest project.  Something about this novel is giving me the drive to finish it, to connect all the pieces I've created and make a coherent whole.  I know that somethings will have to be cut, as I look at all the short files on my computer; there's no way they will all make sense.  I also feel like I know my main character now, better than I ever have before.  I understand her, whether or not I agree with her actions.  I think that might be what I needed with this story all along, to understand my main character.  

I'm trying not to worry about marketing right now.  That's for later, right?  I need to focus on the story, though I get distracted by all the marketing and writing sites.  And by Twitter (though I enjoy Twitter).  

I thought I'd give you a sample of a scrap I found recently.  I was flipping through last year's notebook and found this page.  It's short, a scribble, really.  I don't even know if it will end up in the final piece and it needs editing, but I think I like what it is trying to say.

I didn’t know if I should follow him.  

He had woken while I was getting dressed.  I couldn’t stay any longer, coming up with an excuse for leaving so early as I looked for all my clothes. I watched him get out of his bed.  He kissed me, softly, on the cheek. I watched him walk confidently to the bathroom and heard the water turn on. I was pulling on my last sock when the phone rang, loud in the darkened room.  He was throwing on a robe as he walked, still dry, to his phone.  The steam from the bathroom drifting out to find me.

Friday, January 16, 2015

I'm Posting Links?

Thought I'd post some more writerly links.  I thought each article was interesting.

Adding More White Space To Your Life - Writer Unboxed

Openings: 5 Ways They Go Wrong - Fiction Notes

Word List: Voice Adjectives - It's a Writer Thing

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Quote # 47 - Molière

"Good heavens! I have been talking prose for over forty years without realizing it."
- Molière

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Random #33 - Skype

I'm had my first Skype interview this morning.  As some may have previously read, I lost my job just under a year ago.  I decided to be picky with my job hunting.  I was tired of ending up in the same situation.  During this time, I finished my non-fiction (which is about job loss), and spent some amazing quality time with my young children.  Though I would be happy staying at home with the kids and working on my writing, the money is about to run out.  So, I need a job.  I'd like a job not like the jobs, which inspired my non-fiction.  I'd like something I can rely on a little more.

The Skype interview, as an option, I was all for it.  I didn't have to get a babysitter.  I barely had to change my clothes!  I put on some makeup, brushed my hair, threw a blazer over my grey shirt, that's it.  I'm still wearing leggings and wool socks!  The woman I spoke with was nice.  I tried to look at the camera instead of the screen, because I do find it a bit weird when the person at the screen isn't looking at you (but they are, so you know, weird.)  It went like any other interview, we talked about the usual stuff.  I didn't have to drive anywhere, worry about being late or getting stuck in traffic.  If I could find a job where I could work from home in the same fashion, it would be amazing.

So, Skype, I kind of loved using it this way.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Last Week #17 - Two Novels

Ready to work!
Last week I talked about my confusion, that I had started thinking about my two novels.  I've decided, that with the older novel, I'm going to gather all the bits and try to form some kind of outline.  Not only do I feel that this is where my creativity is heading, but I also feel like I need to do it for my own piece of mind. If I were to focus on the newer novel, I'd be working on it, while thinking about the old one.  Makes sense, right?  So, I've gone into a gathering faze. I'm searching through my notebooks to find the notes I've scribbled, the conversations that popped into my head over the past couple years.  I'm collecting them, and sort of labeling them.  Once that's done, I'll try to arrange them, connect them, then see what I have.

I just found this today, something my main character says to someone (either her therapist or her sister). "Sometimes I don't know if I'll make it out of this story alive.  Why?  All because I fell for the desperately intriguing face on the other side of my door."  She says this seriously, because she honestly wonders if she is going to die.  I'm wondering what else I've had her say that I just don't remember.  I'll be finding out soon!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Quote #46 - William Shakespeare

"Is she kind as she is fair?
     For beauty lives with kindness."
- The Two Gentlemen of Verona, William Shakespeare

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Random #32 - Old Blog Posts

Do you ever update old blog posts?  I just did. I recently wrote on my other blog, a couple posts and referred back to books I read many years ago, 1984 and The Queen of the Damned. I cleaned up the posts to match the ones I write now.  I started The Eye of Loni's Storm a long, long time ago.  8 1/2 years ago!  Back then, I was unfamiliar with blogging and didn't have a personal blogging style.  The posts were much shorter.  I would spew out my thoughts after finishing a book or watching a movie, throw up a picture, then hit "publish".  That was it. As I looked back, I saw the posts and found them too messy.  Am I going to go back and rework all the posts from back then? No. I think just the ones I direct readers too.  There are too many.  I don't rewrite them either. If I wrote five sentences, then that's what it will continue have. It is only the formatting I change.  I wonder, though, if I should leave these old posts alone. Are they better as they were? More original? I'm not changing the content at all, just a bit of the presentation.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Last Week #16 - Old Novel vs. Blank Book

That's my pen not doing anything
because I don't know what to do!
Before I began work on my non-fiction project, I was working on a novel. Though circumstances inspired me to focus all my writing energy on my non-fiction, I still thought of the novel.  I'd occasionally write bits and pieces, putting them aside for the time when my non-fiction was completed.  

Then something happened.  I was given a blank book.  I thought, wouldn't it be cool to write a page every day and see what happens in a year?  So, I started.  For about three months, I wrote a page about some characters I created and their story.  It's a bit crazy, I want to go back and kill some people off, but the point was not to edit it until the book was full.  I realized, however, that the non-fiction needed even more of my time, so I stopped working on that fictional project too.  

I have time now, finally, so I started working on the blank book again.  It was the story I was working on most recently, so I thought I could more easily find that momentum again.  This week though, my mind hasn't been on the blank book, but on the old novel.  I've thought of a way to revamp the old novel, to make it possibly more interesting, to make the main character more interesting.  There also aren't as many characters in the old novel as in the blank book.  I'm wondering if that's part of my problem.  There are too many characters.  Yes, there are main ones, but they are part of a larger group making a journey.  Am I doing a disservice by not describing them all completely?  I was letting the blank book grow organically, letting myself be inspired by what I was reading and watching and other random things in my environment.  In my analyzing, I think I've lost some of that. 

Do I keep working on the blank book, or do I take a break from it and work on the old novel for a while?  Do I push through the blank book until it's full, making notations for adjustments I want to make?  I want to finish both; can I work on two novels at the same time?  I'm not sure what I want to do.

So, after all the holiday events, when I finally get a few hours to work on some writing, I find myself stuck, not knowing what to focus my energy on and wondering about the mistakes I've already made in both stories.  I can be my own worst enemy.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

What I Read in 2014

These are the books I read in 2014.  I compiled the image using Goodreads.  It was a little crazy seeing it up there on the screen.  I think it's the most I've ever read in one year.  I don't expect it to happen again, but it was nice.  What will 2015 bring?!

Happy New Year!!!

Happy New Year!  Wishing everyone peace, love, and happiness.