Wednesday, April 23, 2014

 

Everything I Learned About Writing I Learned From Shakespeare

Today marks the anniversary of Shakespeare's birth ... and death. At Stratford-Upon-Avon, 450 years ago, one of the best-ever tale spinners made his way into the world.

As a former English instructor, I see nuances of Shakespeare's style shine through in a lot of books that I read. He definitely influences legions of scribes who create alternate worlds and unique people and shape all those wonderful elements into a breathtaking work of art.

And, when I taught the tales of love of woe to swooning or pretentious teens - Romeoo and Juliet or Macbeth  or Much Ado About Nothing - I guided students to look for the moral lessons behind the story, the applicable story elements that resonated with each of their lives. I pointed out the craftily-worded phrases that were embedded in my memory from my teenage years (when my dad was my English teacher and pointed out the same phrases).

And, one of the most important lessons I taught students was decipher how to balance good and evil within the power triangle of themes: love, power and revenge.

It's a lesson I put into practice every time I open a book or start crafting my own fiction.

For example: Macbeth - my personal favorite when it comes to Shake's work. The quest for power dominates the storyline yet within that quest, forces of good and evil work together and against each other to create tension. Think about the actions of the witches and how they create a sort of fantasy inside Macbeth's head. Once the seed is planted, a bit of tug of war begins in his mind, until ultimately, he's converted to the dark side.

Once that storyline is established, Shakespeare introduces the second predominant theme: love. A strong love story filled with conflict drives any story. Shakespeare is the master. He pits a somewhat henpecked Macbeth against his strong-willed wife. Do they love each other? Yes, but she sees opportunity and uses her warped sense of love and desire to drive Macbeth further into darkness.

Ah, the plot thickens.

For added measure, Shakespeare weaves in strands of the revenge theme. Macbeth takes revenge on those who purportedly kill Duncan. Macduff seeks revenge on Shakespeare. Good triumphs over evil.

If you think about your favorite books, most use a combo of the power triangle because it is the easiest way to set up the underlying movement that moves a story forward. That underlying movement is conflict and tension. Without these elements, a stagnate story is born.

And who wants that?

What Shakespearean writing concepts do you use?

By LuAnn Schindler 

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

 

Nichol Hines, Flash Fiction Runner Up for Twisted

"Twisted" is an awesome flash fiction piece that will have you smiling and thinking how clever our Fall 2013 Flash Fiction runner-up, Nichol Hines, is! If you haven't checked out Twisted yet, click here now to check it out. 

Nichol has three goals in life:

Become a published author.
Learn to speak conversational Mandarin.
Learn to play the cello.

Surprisingly, opening herself up to rejection has been the easiest to achieve. Up to now, she has worked on a variety of stories in various forms and was very proud to have let a story go out into the world--and out of her control.

She is currently focusing on writing her very own fractured fairytale; so if you like her writing, or just want to say “Hi,” you can message her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @DarlingNichol

WOW: Congratulations on placing as runner-up in the WOW! contest with your piece, "Twisted." It's so funny and clever! Where did you get the idea for this piece?

Nichol: It came out of a writing exorcise, the kind you get when you have writers' block. The suggestion was to tell a story that personifies something, and to come up with a story told from that perspective. They suggested things like houseflies, or dogs, etc., but I took it a step further, and thought a story from the perspective of a sports bra would be funny. Then I had to figure out just what kind of story a sports bra would have to tell, and it flowed out really quickly from there.

WOW: I love that! Do you find it hard to write humor? (Your bio is humorous, too!) Do you have a couple tips for people trying to write humor?

Nichol: I like wit and humor in the things I read and watch, and I like to think of myself as a fairly witty and humorous person (probably more so than other people see me, but so be it); so in some ways, writing humor is easy because my mind always looks for the joke or the witty remark.

The hard part about writing humor is making sure it fits into the story you are writing. It's just like in real life. Just because you have the perfect joke, zinger, or comment, it might not be the appropriate time or place to share your moment of brilliance, and you have to let it go and move on. It can be hard because sometimes you are just that funny, but it is inevitably the right way to go.

WOW: One of your goals is to be a published author. This story is now published! What other goals for your writing do you have?

Nichol: Sending out a story was one of the hardest things I've ever done because it meant it was no longer my baby, and it was out of my control. No more polishing, no more tweaking, it had to fly or fall on its own merits. So with that first roadblock managed, I'm going to send out some longer stories that I've been sweating blood and tears over.

WOW: Good luck! We'd love to hear from you on Twitter if you get another published! You are also active on social media (Twitter and Facebook). Do you use these as a writer? (Follow any writers/editors/agents, etc?)

Nichol: Social media has its pros and cons. On the upside, in face to face situations, I find it very hard to initiate conversations. Once I get going I'm fine, but Twitter and Facebook allow one a bit of space, and the ability to stay in your comfort zone. Also you avoid actually seeing someone reject you, and double upside, you do not have to control your own face (crying in public is usually frowned upon).

The downside is that anything that has ANY entertainment value can also become a time-suck; and when you are a hardened procrastinator like myself, the wonders of the Internet, as a whole, are dangerous, unless I have a deadline.

WOW: What are you currently working on in your writing life?

Nichol: I'm submitting some serious work to a few literary magazines, and I'm working on a YA novel about a fairy who wants to be a fairy godmother, but is no good at magic. And I'm always coming up with new ideas. The hard part is just focusing on one story at a time.

WOW: Yes, I think that happens to many writers! Too many stories, not enough time. What's your writing routine like?

Nichol: I don't have a regular writing routine, per say. It's not just a matter of procrastination, although I'll admit to that being a factor; but in reality, I thrive under the pressure of a deadline. So my most productive writing and reviewing is when I have an external deadline.

For example with short stories, I look to where I want to submit and use their submission dates as hard deadlines. This leaves me no wiggle room to charm my way into an extension, and it's do or die, with the responsibility falling on my shoulders. I also take classes, or join specific writing workshops, because then I am accountable to others, AND I get priceless feedback from a variety of sources.

WOW: Those are all great ideas for keeping yourself on track and productive. Thanks for sharing! Best of luck to you.

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Monday, April 21, 2014

 

Novelist and Playwright David Kalish Launches his WOW! Blog Tour for The Opposite of Everything

& giveaway contest!

The Opposite of Everything is a hilariously fast-paced first novel for David Kalish. When Brooklyn journalist Daniel Plotnick learns he has cancer, his fortunes fall faster than you can say Ten Plagues of Egypt. His wife can’t cope, his marriage ends in a showdown with police, and his father accidentally pushes him off the George Washington Bridge.

Plotnick miraculously survives his terrifying plunge, and comes up with a zany plan to turn his life around: by doing the opposite of everything he did before.

In the darkly comedic tradition of Philip Roth and Lorrie Moore comes a new novel from author David Kalish, who draws us into a hilarious, off-kilter world where cancer tears apart relationships…and builds new ones.

Paperback: 282 Pages
Publisher: WiDo Publishing (February 17, 2014)
ISBN: 1937178439
ISBN-13: 978-1937178437
ASIN: B00IIUUSKG

Twitter hashtag: #OEKalish

The Opposite of Everything is available as an e-book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and IndieBound.

Book Giveaway Contest:
To win a copy of The Opposite of Everything, please enter using the Rafflecopter form at the bottom of this post. The giveaway contest closes next Tuesday, April 29th at 12:00 AM EST. We will announce the winner the same day in the Rafflecopter widget. Good luck!

About the Author:

David Kalish left a career as a big city journalist and became a fiction writer, earning his MFA from Bennington College. His first novel, The Opposite of Everything, was accepted for publication by WiDo Publishing, and he's working on a second novel entitled Stoner Hero, which he often writes in his head while walking his two dogs in a forest near his upstate New York home.

In addition to the longer form, his short fiction has been published in Temenos, Knock, Spectrum, and Poydras Review; his non-fiction in The Writer's Chronicle, and a short film of his, "Regular Guy," was selected into film festivals here and abroad. As a reporter at The Associated Press, his articles appeared in major newspapers such as Los Angeles Times and The Chicago Tribune. He is currently working on a comedic theatre script for a Latin version of A Christmas Carol, which will be performed at the Proctors Theater in Schenectady in December. He lives in Clifton Park, New York, with his wife, daughter, and two canaries, as well as those two dogs.

Website: http://www.davidkalishwriter.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7171274.David_Kalish

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dekalish

Twitter: http://twitter.com/dekalish

-----Interview by Crystal J. Otto

WOW: David, first off – thank you so much for choosing WOW for your tour. It is such a pleasure working with you!

You received so much advance praise for The Opposite of Everything! Congratulations on that, but it may make it hard to answer my first question: Who was your biggest supporter when it came to writing and publishing your first novel?

David: I have to credit a handful of writers who graduated with me from Bennington College’s MFA program for fiction. After graduating, we formed a group to exchange feedback about each other’s writing. Every two months we’d meet in Massachusetts, which was midway between where we lived, and talk about what worked and what didn’t in our work. I’d share chapters from my novel, as well as short stories that became chapters in the novel. The group’s feedback was crucial to shaping my novel into the final version that was just published. They gave me exactly the support I needed to finish and publish my first novel.

WOW: Support is so crucial and it sounds like you have an awesome network of friends and supporters! So, when did you know The Opposite of Everything had what it takes to make it in the publishing world?

David: Interesting question. I suppose I knew I’d “made it” in spring 2013, when I signed a contract with my publisher. Up to that point, it all felt surreal. Over the years I’d amassed a stack of rejection slips from agents and publishers, and had revised my novel so many times, that I thought this was how I’d spend the rest of my writing life. So when I awoke to the reality of – OMG, I’m being published – it took a while for me to believe it.

WOW: Well, you better believe it now! You’re big stuff and you deserve this! David, there were many points at which I was laughing out loud--was that your intention? At what point did you decide to turn a dreary situation into a comedy and why?

David: Interestingly my book, which is loosely based on events in my life, began as memoir. My life was pretty dramatic, and the format seemed to fit. In just four months in 1994, I was diagnosed with incurable thyroid cancer at the same time my first marriage fell apart. I later got remarried to a doctor, and underwent chemotherapy. But after numerous rewrites, I decided the first-person approach wasn’t working. The writing felt stiff. I didn’t know how to express how I felt about my pain. My characters were stick figures.

I decided to create some narrative distance. I tried humor. I made my characters do things their real-life counterparts wouldn’t consider. I told the story in third-person. I replaced real names with offbeat ones. I stretched truths for dramatic effect.

My book is still a story about one man’s struggle, his search for renewal. But I’ve handed it over to actors who are free to do all sorts of crazy things. It’s liberating. I can focus on the story’s narrative arc. I can go to town on my life.

WOW: David, I love the humorous approach and am incredibly happy you shared your story. The Opposite of Everything is anything but stiff and you definitely chose a great way to express a difficult time in your life.

I happen to know you let your lawn go to crabgrass … so if you wouldn’t mind, tell us more about how that came about and what the future has in store for your lawn.

David: Eleven years ago, when I moved with my family from a Brooklyn apartment to a four-bedroom house upstate, we went from zero backyard to a half acre of lawn. So one of my first phone calls was to a lawn care company. But the applications of herbicide, announced in cautionary yellow flags stuck in my lawn, made me nervous. As our puppy and young daughter played on the lawn that first summer, I worried about liver cancer. I imagined weed poison stunting my daughter’s growth. The second season I told the lawn company to skip some treatments. Seizing the opportunity, crabgrass sprouted around the edges of our property. The next season I thought of my own slow-growing cancer, which I’ve battled for many years. I fretted over poisoning the water and earth, for the sake of aesthetics. Something snapped in me. I cancelled the lawn care company. The hell with the neighbors. The crabgrass was ecstatic.

I don’t expect the future of my lawn to improve. But I wish my neighbors saw the light as I did, so my grass wouldn’t feel so inadequate next to theirs.

WOW: It wouldn’t take much for me to jump on that bandwagon of crabgrass – I can’t believe your neighbors weren’t more excited!

David, you mentioned you’d be happy to offer a guest post for one of our blog stops and the title was “Nature and Mindfulness,” would you be able to give us some insight into that particular topic?

David: Every morning, I take a brisk walk with my two dogs through a nearby forest, my thoughts unleashed like the dogs. I think deeply, or at least I think I do. I ponder themes for my next novel. Work out dialogues between my characters. I wonder if the earth will survive the whims of humankind. Ruminating while immersed in nature is a strong combination for me. Naturally, I’ve pondered a guest post on this topic, about how communion with the trees helps free up one’s muse.

WOW: I’m glad to hear you’re pondering themes for your next novel as well as communing with nature. How exciting! What has been the biggest challenge to overcome when it comes to publishing The Opposite of Everything?

David: Today’s publishing world demands the author be his/her own publicity agent. I learned this for the first time last year, when I finally found a publisher that accepted my novel. Signing the contract, I was forced to shed my naïve notions about the journey to the bookshelf. I once thought that once my first novel was accepted, I’d pop open the champagne, do a couple of book signings, and work full-bore on my second novel.

But since my novel was acquired, I’ve barely touched my second. Instead I’ve plunged into social media, a requirement for first-time authors like me. Today, I spend oceans of time blogging, harnessing Facebook and Twitter, participating in Goodreads, updating my author Web site, soliciting reviews, and arranging my book tour. Overcoming my own trepidation about self-promotion was my biggest obstacle to my book’s successful publication.

WOW: I’m certainly happy you’ve allowed WOW to be part of your plunge! What advice do you have for other authors?

David: My advice to aspiring authors is to never give up. And always try to improve your writing. It’s a tough business, so it’s supposed to be tough. If you’re passionate enough about writing, you’ll persevere long enough to succeed. So be persistent, join a writing group, network with knowledgeable people, ask tons of questions, don’t be afraid to make mistakes, and keep writing.

WOW: David, that’s awesome advice; we’ve all got to start somewhere! What’s the next big project for David Kalish?

David: I’ve written a musical comedy, The Gringo Who Stole Christmas, that will be performed at Proctors Theatre in Schenectady in December. It’s a Latin twist on the Dickens’ classic, A Christmas Carol, and I wrote it in collaboration with Alex Torres, the Latin musician and composer. This is my next big project – to continually refine the script as it wends its way through rehearsals these next months and to the big stage.

WOW: There are so many exciting things going on for you; thank you for taking time with us and we can’t wait to see more!

----------Blog Tour Dates

Monday, April 21 (today!) @ The Muffin
Stop by for an interview and book giveaway!
http://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com/

Tuesday, April 22 @ Blue House Review
Follow David Kalish and The Opposite of Everything as his WOW! tour heads over to Blue House Review with a 5 Star Review and giveaway!
http://www.bluehousereview.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, April 23 @ All Things Audry
David Kalish visits All Things Audry and offers a giveaway of his first novel, The Opposite of Everything and also shares a guest post about David's awkward experiences as a newbie to social media.
http://allthingsaudry.blogspot.com/

Friday, April 25 @ Choices
Choices hosts author David Kalish and his awesome first novel, The Opposite of Everything. Today is your chance at a giveaway as well as an opportunity to hear from Kalish with his "Ruminations on Nature and Mindfulness."
http://madelinesharples.com/

Monday, April 28 @ Selling Books
Don't miss today's author interview as David Kalish visits Selling Books and offers some details about himself.
http://www.sellingbooks.com/

Tuesday, April 29 @ I Would Rather be Reading
Today is a giveaway of David Kalish's first novel, The Opposite of Everything as he visits I'd So Rather be Reading and shares a bit about how he turned tragedy into comedy!
http://www.idsoratherbereading.com/

Thursday, May 1 @ Book Worm
Check in with Anjanette Potter as she reviews The Opposite of Everything by David Kalish.
http://bookworm66.wordpress.com/

Monday, May 5 @ It Starts at Midnight
Shannon reviews The Opposite of Everything by David Kalish and offers a giveaway of this fabulous novel!
http://www.itstartsatmidnight.com/

Friday, May 9 @ Create Write Now
Today is a great day for a giveaway of The Opposite of Everything by David Kalish as well as an opportunity to hear from David as he tickles our funny bones with his wry essays on ordinary life!
http://www.createwritenow.com/

Tuesday, May 6 @ The Lit Ladies
Find out what The Lit Ladies have to say after reading The Opposite of Everything by David Kalish. This is also your opportunity to participate in a giveaway to obtain your very own copy of this fabulous novel!
http://www.thelitladies.com/

Wednesday, May 7 @ This Mama Cooks
The Opposite of Everything makes a blog stop at This Mama Cooks today and is offered as a giveaway to readers who also will hear from David Kalish as he shares his thoughts on the therapeutic value of writing.
http://www.thismamacooks.com/

Monday, May 12 @ CMash Reads
Today's Author Showcase at CMash Reads is none other than David Kalish and his debut novel The Opposite of Everything!
http://cmashlovestoread.com/

Tuesday, May 13 @ Chaos in the Country
Today's feature review at Chaos in the Country is the amazing and resilient David Kalish and his debut novel The Opposite of Everything!
http://www.chaosinthecountry.com/

Wednesday, May 14 @ Words by Webb
Today is a special treat as Jodi Webb interviews author David Kalish and offers readers a giveaway of Kalish's fabulous novel, The Opposite of Everything!
http://jodiwebb.com/

Thursday, May 15 @ Romance Junkies
Don't miss this great interview with David Kalish and check out this fabulous review of his book The Opposite of Everything!
http://www.romancejunkies.com/rjblog/

Friday, May 16 @ Poeticous
Stop by Poeticious for a surprise post!
http://www.poeticous.com/

Tuesday, May 20 @ Steph The Bookworm
Join Steph The Bookworm as she reviews The Opposite of Everything by David Kalish. This is also your opportunity to participate in the giveaway to get a copy of your very own!
http://www.stephthebookworm.com/

Thursday, May 22 @ Kristine Meldrum Denholm
The Opposite of Everything makes a blog stop with Kristine Meldrum Denholm today and is offered as a giveaway to readers who also will hear from David Kalish as he shares his struggle with the writing process.
http://www.kristinemeldrumdenholm.com/

Keep up with blog stops and giveaways in real time by following us on Twitter @WOWBlogTour.

Get Involved! If you have a website or blog and would like to host one of our touring authors or schedule a tour of your own, please email us at blogtour@wow-womenonwriting.com.

*****BOOK GIVEAWAY*****

Enter to win a copy of The Opposite of Everything by David Kalish! Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below. We will announce the winner in the Rafflecopter widget next Tuesday, April 29th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Good luck!

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Sunday, April 20, 2014

 

Finding A Writing Eggs-travaganza

When the Junior Halls were wee little tykes, they’d play Easter Egg Hunt.

All we needed were a handful of snap-apart plastic eggs and a couple baskets (or a sock, in a pinch). I’d stuff surprises in the eggs and hide them throughout the house. Then off those kids would scramble, keen on the hunt and eager to stuff their treats in their baskets (or socks).

To be honest, the treats might be the leftover jellybeans no one would eat. Or maybe the stickers from the dentist. But hey, they had fun. So I thought we’d have our own Easter fun today, eggs-cept I’ve stuffed the eggs with writing treats. And I promise they’ll be much better treats than what my kids used to get.

Ah…I see you’ve found the green egg. That’s morgueFile. I love this site that’s packed with free photos for you to use. And not only are the pictures free, but they also require no attribution. So if you need a photo and you’re not looking for something too specific (for example, I wanted a photo of Easter eggs for this post today and I was able to find plenty), then morgueFile is eggs-ceptionally sweet!

Oh! I think that’s the half blue, half pink egg in your hand. That’s all about naming your characters. If you check out “Tips for Writers” on BabyNames, you’ll find a list of do’s and don’ts when it comes to finding the perfect moniker for your character, whether it be male, female, or even eight-armed aliens. You’ll also find a ton of name resources. Who knew choosing the right name for your character was such an integg-ral part of the story process? (Okay, put your hand down. It was a rhetorical question.)

Speaking of the story process, I believe you just picked up the swirly-colored egg! When I came across this mixture of science and fun at The Periodic Table of Storytelling, I laughed out loud. But after perusing the chart more closely, I found there was a molecule of story-telling truth across the board. And be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom where you’ll find the elements in action. If you like what you see, you can get a poster. Upon closer eggs-amination, I think this chart might be just what I need for writing inspiration!

Or maybe I need a bit of dialogue instruction. Quick! Grab that thrilling purple egg to your right! I wanted to exclaim, or shout, or maybe even bellow. But now that I’ve read about dialogue attributions over at The Kill Zone, I should probably keep my attributions simple and let my action do the talking. Fourteen suspense and thriller writers share their tips over there every day, so you’re bound to dig up even more egg-cellent writing treats.

Well, friends, I can’t seem to find any more eggs right now—plus there’s a HUGE chocolate egg with my name on it. But if you have anything eggs-tra to add, I’m all (cute, little bunny) ears!

~Cathy C. "Hoppy" Hall

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Saturday, April 19, 2014

 

Top 10 Writing Quotes by Famous Female Writers

I collect quotes from writers about writing because they inspire me. Sometimes a short sentence or fragment on writing is enough get my pen to paper (or my fingers to keyboard). Here’s a short list of inspiring quotes on writing by some of the western world’s most famous female writers. Enjoy!

10. A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction. Virginia Woolf

9. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
9. I ask questions. I watch the world. And what I have discovered is that the parts of my fiction that people most tell me are 'unbelievable' are those that are most closely based on the real, those least diluted by my imagination. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

8. Writing is an extreme privilege but it's also a gift. It's a gift to yourself and it's a gift of giving a story to someone. Amy Tan

7. For women, then, poetry is not a luxury. It is a vital necessity of our existence. It forms the quality of the light within which we predicate our hopes and dreams toward survival and change, first made into language, then into idea, then into more tangible action. Poetry is the way we help give name to the nameless so it can be thought. The farthest external horizons of our hopes and fears are cobbled by our poems, carved from the rock experiences of our daily lives. Audre Lorde

6. There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you. Maya Angelou

5. If there’s a book you want to read, and it hasn't been written yet, you must write it. Toni Morrison

4. I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before delving [her] talent, [she] would be wise to develop a thick hide. Harper Lee

1. Margaret Atwood
3. Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report written on birds that he'd had three months to write, which was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books about birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him put his arm around my brother's shoulder, and said, "Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird. Anne Lamott

2. If you’re going to write a good book, you have to make mistakes and you have to not be so cautious all the time. Zadie Smith

1. Writing down a story is always a gesture of hope. Why? Because you are assuming there will be someone alive who will be interested in it and who will read it later in time. That’s a truly hopeful thing. Margaret Atwood

What are some of your favorite inspiring quotes on writing by female writers?

By: Anne Greenawalt, writer and writing instructor

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Friday, April 18, 2014

 

Friday Speak Out!: On the Write Track

by Michelle Parker

I decided that after I retired from my day job I would write a novel. As you know, day jobs can take up all of the leftover time after everyday life. Thus the novel would wait . . . and wait . . . and wait, until three years ago when I got myself on the right track. Don’t wait as long as I did! Here’s what I’m doing to keep on track:

• I am a member of the Parker Writers Group. The group meets for two hours once a month at the Parker, Colorado library. Local authors provide advice and guidance in the form of mini workshops. However, the most important aspects of a regular writer’s group meeting are getting together with other writers to renew the enthusiasm you share and to remind yourself why you call yourself a writer!

 • I ride the RTD Light Rail. For those fortunate enough to live where there is an excellent public transportation system, you may find some writing time during your commute to your day job. Make writing a required activity each day, just like feeding the dog or brushing (and flossing) your teeth. The most important reasons to write daily are to keep your dream alive and the creativity flowing.
• I write even when I don’t feel like it. Writing can be like exercising. You don’t really want to go for that run or climb onto that stationary bike, but once you are five or ten minutes into it, you feel good about yourself. The most difficult step is the first one or two. Well, maybe the first twenty or thirty. The first few words (or sentences) might be tough, but just get them down and before you know it that good feeling will ignite you. You may have to backspace over those first few sentences, but there will be keepers, really good ones.
• I tell all my friends and family that I write. So many people know that I write, that I am frequently asked, “So, how’s that book coming?” Make a commitment to your friends and you’ll finish your novel. Trust me! They will keep asking you when they can read your book!

In a year I will retire from my day job and begin writing full-time. Until then, my trusty laptop and I make our daily commute to downtown Denver. Share how you find the time and/or what you do to keep your commitment to write every day.

* * *
Michelle E. Parker grew up in Santa Barbara, California, where the story in her first novel, More Than Thoughts, takes place. She currently makes her home in Parker, Colorado with her husband, John, and their Boxer dog, Otis Campbell Parker. 

You can visit her website at www.FictionbyMichelle.com.


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Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!
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Thursday, April 17, 2014

 

Navigating Road Blocks - I Need Your Help!

Here it is, my turn again to write for the Muffin. These Muffin days are seriously my favorite days of the month. I hope you look forward to them as much as I do. The best part is the feedback and conversation from each of you - the readers! Since Easter is right around the corner, I was hoping to come up with something profound that might tie in with an Easter theme. Then I reminded myself not everyone celebrates Easter. I talked myself into a spring theme and talked myself right out of that one too…I think the snow outside was the determining factor in throwing that idea in the trash. It’s April in Wisconsin and I’m still sending children off to school with snow pants, hats, and mittens…I’d tell you what I think of that but the expletives are inappropriate.

Organization? Motivation? Determination? Time Management? My mind has been reeling about what to write. Another book review? Author interview? I talked myself in and out of so many titles and topics it is ridiculous. Truth be told, I do this to myself every time I sit down to write. I have an internal conversation about whether I should write a post for my blog, work on my book, read a book, review the work of others for my writing club, and the list goes on and on. Most days I talk myself out of writing and I scrub the floor, wash diapers, or fold laundry. The more I thought about this I realized I had found my topic. Unfortunately, my topic isn’t really profound at all, but hopefully will inspire some great conversation from you – my friends! (I'm sure you've noticed many of my road blocks in the two paragraphs you've already read...)

Here goes the great big question: WHAT IS STANDING IN YOUR WAY?

If you’re anything like me, YOU are standing in your way. That little voice in your head is telling you:
• That idea isn’t good enough
• No one is going to read that
• Don’t you have better things to do
• Your effort could be spent better elsewhere

Those are my road blocks, but I’ve heard some others as well:
• I want to go over this one more time before I send a query
• My book hasn’t been well received, I’ll ditch the idea
• I can’t stand one more rejection

And the follow up question: HOW DO YOU GET AROUND THOSE ROAD BLOCKS?

Here’s where I want to hear from you...
• Do you have an accountability partner helping you stay focused?
• Do you have a cheerleader reminding you about your goal?
• How do you get around your road blocks?

Crystal is a mother, church musician, business owner, active journaler, writer and blogger as well as a dairy farmer. She lives in Reedsville, Wisconsin with her husband, three young children (Carmen 7, Andre 5, Breccan 6 months), two dogs, two rabbits, four little piggies, and over 200 Holsteins. You can find Crystal blogging and reviewing books and all sorts of other stuff at: http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

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