My Writerly Resolutions for 2013

2011-year-resolution-400x400_3I have never been a big believer of writing New Year’s resolutions, mainly because I know that I am made up of 10% ambition and 90% lazy. Well, at least when it comes to things unrelated to writing. You know the “I’m going to work out and eat better this year.” Yes, I would love for that to be actually plausible but let’s face it. I hate working out and I love to eat food that isn’t green. It is true that I will still probably subject myself to the treadmill and “salad only” phases throughout the year but I can promise you that it will not be consistent and it will not be fun.

I have never made a writerly resolution list though, and I think that making one and trying to follow it actually will be fun. Of course, there will still be times when I want to throw my WIP across the room and then set it on fire while my three cats pee on it simultaneously…but, I digress. The overall fun-ness level should stay relatively high.

Here are the resolutions I came up with this year for 2013 as it concerns my writing goals. I have first listed the goal and then in parenthesis the “ambitious” version of the goal. Really, the ambitious version is my actual goal but, as I said before, when you realize that you are made up of 90% lazy, you have to make yourself feel good when you exceed expectations.  If I reach some of my “ambitious” versions of my goals, I will be thoroughly impressed and may reward myself with a cookie…or ten. Continue reading

Audio Book vs. Head Voice

kindle-fire-hd-89I have never been one to borrow or buy audio books and listen to them; I have always preferred just reading the book myself. However, I just got a Kindle Fire for Christmas and now this audio book thing has become a very possible alternative. With the technology right there in my grasp, the idea of me just sitting there and listening to a story started to intrigue me enough until I finally found some classics that I could download for free along with the audio versions. I also found out that I could borrow books from my library in this same fashion.

Unfortunately though, I felt like I was missing a lot out of the whole “reading” process by just listening to the story. Here were some problems I had with “digesting” a book audio-style: Continue reading

Building Up Your Story – Tension is Everything Pt. 1

tension_fullI have read enough books on the craft of writing to know that building tension is everything to a story. The reader has to feel it growing so it pushes them farther into the story and makes his or her desire to know what is going to happen so unbearable that it is a race towards the end. When I started writing The Beholder, I definitely had a few ideas on what “bricks” I was going to use to build up the tension in order to make the climax the highest point it could be. Think of your plot as a huge mountain and the more tension you stack onto it the higher your climax point. The higher the reader has to climb to get to the climax, the more exciting the view will be from the top when they reach it.

After reaching the 20,000 mark (click here to relive my virtual happy dance about that milestone), this is a good time to reflect back on what those tension building blocks are going to be. There should be new ones to add, old ones to revise, and even ones to maybe throw out, depending on how your story has changed in this initial phase. I also think the 20,000 mark is a good place to do this because, at least for me, this is where I have already done some major writing at the front and back of my story, but the middle is kind of hanging them all murky and evasive-like. I need to know more about what I am building up to in order to connect my super hooky beginning with my star-studded ending. Without realizing it, I created a “building up” exercise that I think will come in handy for any future novel I write. Here is what you do:

Continue reading

Reaching The First 20,000 Words In a Novel


That’s pretty much what I feel like right now. For some reason the amount of 20,000 words seems like a substantial goal in the quest to complete my first novel. It has definitely not been the easiest journey so far but I have pushed onward and have reached an estimated one third benchmark. Just thinking that only 10,000 more words is an approximate halfway point is even more exciting! Continue reading

Judgement Day

No, I am not referring to the looming end of the Mayan calendar on December 21st. I am talking about the day that the winners of the writing contest are announced, you know, the one that I have been blabbing on and on about for the past month. I am sure those that follow this blog are glad to see it is finally over.

I thought long and hard about if I should post this before or after the winners were announced. I finally decided since I had already started this blog post with a promise to not mention said writing contest again that I guess I need to have the results to keep that promise.

So what happened? Am I about to victoriously do a virtual tap dance across your computer screen or do I need to end this post right now so I can wallow in my self pity and defeat?


Continue reading

The First Idea Is Not (Usually) the Best

bright-idea1I have been working on The Beholder for over a month now and I am still in a pretty confident state on mind. I even had some breakthroughs for my series that I put on hold, so my creative fountain is just gushing right now.

I have to say, though, that one of the biggest things I am noticing while writing The Beholder is that your first idea is not usually the best idea you can come up with. Now, the main concept that got me to start the story – yeah, that kind of stayed exactly the same (so far). But I’m willing to put almost anything else on the guillotine if it makes the story stronger. Nothing should be sacred here except the ultimate goal of creating the best story you can.

That being said, I have already had a ton of changes occur in my story and I am only at the 15,000 words mark. Through these changes, I have come up with a few strategies to see if your writing could use some reconstructing in order to spice things up.  To better lay this out for my fellow aspiring writers, I have decided to use a listing format….because, let’s face it, who doesn’t like a good list? Continue reading

When the Writing Dream is Under Attack

I like to think that I have my head on straight when it comes to my expectations for a writing career.  Ultimately, the goal is to do this full time and that has to involve making money, so I can’t say that I am in it just for kicks. I love it enough to want to devote many, many, many (many) hours to this craft. I do not expect to be the “next big thing” in the writing world but, yeah, sometimes I let myself dream about what it would/could be like if it did happen. The hubs and I have conversations that revolve around what our lives will be like when I am a household name and we discuss where we will have our vacation houses and what car he will drive when it’s raining outside as opposed to the car he will have for when he is feeling dangerous and, of course, we had to decide on a limit for the amount of cats I would be allowed to have on my cat farm.

However, knowing that I have not even gotten through one querying process yet (which will probably flat out kill me since I take criticism as well as a feline takes to water – so cold and wet and unpleasant!), even considering that future is kind of laughable. But it is still fun. I draw the line at fun though, as it will probably never be a reality. But just HAVING a writing career? Now that is a different story. Continue reading

Poems By An Eight Year Old Me

So my mother was going through the massive amount of things she has hidden and tucked away in her basement and she found some old papers of mine from my school days as a second grader. She must have been a meticulous mother back then or just very bored sitting at home with children because she dropped a few binders worth of my grade school career on the kitchen table when I was over yesterday.

About 98% of the stuff was mundane, everyday school work like spelling tests and math quizzes but there were a few hidden gems deep within the endless supply of graded 100% papers (I had a fetish for being perfect when I was little). Continue reading

Outside Riff-ter

Since the writing contest I wrote this for is now over, I can safely publish this on my blog. The prompt was: Submit a story about two people who have become the way they are because of their close relationship with each other: either as best friends or worst enemies – or both. Write it in 500 words or less without using either the words “friend” or “enemy.”

Outside Riff-ter

For the fifty-eighth time today, I scan over the list of solo acoustic guitar performers competing this year and I can come to no other conclusion but this: first place is going to come down to Caleb and me again. Continue reading

How Did You Know You Wanted to be a Writer?

Sorry to pass over the almighty “destiny” speech but the truth is, I didn’t really know that I wanted to be a writer until I was 26.

However, reading and writing has always been an important part of my life. I was reading books by myself by age 3. I will never forget the story my mom has always told me about how, as a wee little one, I would have my grandmother read books to me and I would let her know whenever she missed ONE word from paraphrasing. Needless to say, she soon refused to read to me and, instead, insisted I do the narrating. Soon after, I started my own stories. Continue reading