Random

Seven things …

Source: morgueFile photos
Source: morgueFile photos

My fellow Sister in Crime, Sheyna Galyan, tagged me on Facebook the other day to talk about “seven things about my writing habits.”  It was a fun exercise and since I don’t have any of my craptacular pictures to share with you, I thought I’d repost this here:

Seven things about my writing habits:

1) I have to play music while I’m writing. In fact, I tend to build playlists for my books as I go along. Music is essential to my character building process, it also helps me set the scene.

2) I like to edit my stories by printing off my draft and using a pen to mark the hell out of it. I don’t have a problem creating a story on my computer, but when it comes to edits – I think better when I’m dealing with hard copy.

3) I have a terrible habit of abandoning projects in favor of “greener” pastures. So, right now, I have three fairly fleshed out stories that I’ve been working on over the past ten years or so. As you can imagine, this causes lots of problems when I come back to the projects that I’ve shelved. So, anymore I work on one thing at a time.

4) The current story that I’m working on (I call it “After Life” or “AL” for short) is the first book that I started writing in my adult life and I will be so happy to get it done. Every time I’ve set it up on a shelf, it’s the story that keeps bugging me to be written.

5) When I first think up a story, I just the story go where it will take me. But the older that I get (and the less time I have), I’ve found that I creating an outline of my story helps immensely. It helps to keep me on track and it helps when I have to switch my focus from working on fiction to other tasks.

6) Although I feel like I’ve been writing stories my entire life, I’m really awkward about admitting that I’m a writer. Which is weird, because it’s what I do in my professional life, but I’ve always worried that folks would think I’m delusional if I told them that I write novels in my spare time. Then I realized that they probably already think that, so that’s a hurdle I no longer worry about. 🙂

7) I’ve been writing since I was a kid, I’ve been a professional writer for over 15 years, but I’ve only been treating the novel as a “career” for the past three years and I’m constantly amazed at how much I learn every year that I write. I just sincerely hope that my next book won’t take so effing long to finish.

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Friday Fare, Internet Articles, Random

Friday Fare … But not today!

Friday FareI have read articles this week, but it’s been one of those weeks where time is short and what has captured my attention has to be pretty damn good.  This is what spoke to me this week – a Tumblr feed from my home state of Iowa.  Someone wrote on Facebook that they thought the pictures of all of these old, abandoned buildings were sad, but I see a lot of pride and beauty of the old lines of these buildings.

Have a good weekend, dear friends!

Editing, Fiction, Process

April Fools Day … Joke’s On Me

So – I have good news and I have sh*tty news. Because I’m pragmatic and my crappy news colors the rest of this narrative, I’ll start with that.

It’s April 1st. My latest round of edits for After Life (AL) is not done. I’m 3/5ths through the book and I’ve had some really great insights as I’ve been going through my story in preparation for my beta readers, but that’s not done and I haven’t hit the really scary parts of my book yet – the parts that were added later and still need some work.

I’m not happy with this news, but I’m also pretty honest with myself and the progress that I’ve made. I have a major work project that’s sucking the life out of me. I am a mom and while I think my kids fart rainbows, it’s really hard to get anything personal done during their waking hours. (Let’s not even talk about the stuff I’m happy to ignore – looking at you, laundry pile.) I have a triptych of priorities that I established after my kids were born: 1) Family/Friends Who Double as Family, 2) Fiction, and 3) Work. There are days that #3 edges over #2, but since #3 provides my paycheck, I’m not going to get too pissed off about it.

What am I going to do about this? Here’s the good news: My problem child of a work project will go away on April 13th (its due date). I’m going to take a couple days of PTO that week and ask the babysitter to stay late on a couple of days so I can power through the rest of my draft. The new deadline is April 15th.

Life is good. I am on the right track with my book. I wish sometimes it was a speedier track, but it is what it is. I also have some good things that have been happening with meeting some other AWESOME writers and my Twin Cities Sisters in Crime group, I’ll share those tidbits on Friday!