Author Archives: CLW

Kyra Leigh, Queen Bee

Today all I’ve really talked and thought about is writing.

I went to the library and gave myself some “me” writing time. I just down at a private table, turned on Chopin {my writing jamz for this latest novel} and actually got some real work done.

Lately I’ve just been telling myself that I am a writer before any other job.
It helps me believe in myself.

I love writing. It makes me happy. Just seeing the words on the page makes me smile.

I’m so happy for all of us.
Those of us who aren’t published, who keep working for our goal! And for those who are, and who continue to make bigger and better goals.

We rock!

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Monday, Monday

No message today.

Just murmurings.

Wondering.

 

This morning I am driving two people to the dentist.

And doing housework.

Then the laundry.

 

School is almost over.

Will I write more when Tuesday, Thursday and Saturdays aren’t dedicated to my students?

Goal–2,000-3,000 words per day until Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers.

 

Preparing for library visits, school visits and out-of-state visits. (Plus WIFYR)

Looking to go through the house and de-clutter more.

But always in the back of my mind are two things–’Will I ever find a permanent place to live?’ and ‘I can’t wait to write.’

 

 

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Track Record – by Debbie Nance

Some of you know that my cancer is no longer in remission.

Ah well. I’ve come to look at it as a chronic disease like Diabetes or Crohns or any number of other diseases. I caught on to the symptoms earlier this time so hopefully the chemotherapy will work quicker. The biggest side effect this go round is fatigue.

Yesterday was supposed to be my low point for blood counts with regards to my current chemo cycle. And it felt like it. Even though I got 9 hours of sleep, not quite uninterrupted, I woke up with no energy.

Tuesday had been a good day after a good night’s rest, a solid 9 hours. (I didn’t know I could sleep that long.) And Wednesday was a good day for me with lots of energy. I wrote an article for a work-for-hire. I emailed people. I worked on some critiques for our upcoming WIFYR novel class http://www.wifyr.com/.  I did a very small amount of housework, ran an errand, and cooked dinner. Several of my grandkids visited me with their parents. I held and snuggled babies/toddlers, and admired and listened to their just-older-siblings. And I went to bed early.

But Thursday the sleep didn’t matter. So it was a day to rest.

I understand that everyone has some thing, some obstacle(s), in their life that keeps them from doing all they want. Be it a lack of time, money, sleep, energy, support, health, or the opposite an abundance of children, work, chores, distractions, duties, activities, or a combination of all of those things.

But some people seem to be successful anyway. Take for instance, the writer I know who had a bunch of little kids and used her laptop and wrote and published books amongst the chaos. Or another writer I know who, with a busy family and a disease that makes it hard to type, keeps on going no matter what.

What do you do to keep yourself going on hard days? Maybe we should compile a list and if one thing doesn’t work, move down to the next. Or print them on strips and put them in a jar and pull them out one at time in random order.

Watch TV.

Eat Chocolate.

Exercise.

Drink Green Smoothies.

Call or Text Friends.

Crank Up the Tunes and Dance.

Browse FB or Pinterest.

Power through.

Pray.

I saw this post on FB, which might be of help:  “On particularly rough days when I’m sure I can’t possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100% . . . and that’s pretty good” – Author Unknown.

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Three Things Thursday

From Cheryl Van Eck

In rereading ON WRITING by Stephen King, one passage really stood out to me.  He spoke about “killing your darlings,” or getting rid of any words or sentences that don’t work. For me, that always meant cutting out the parts you liked, but weren’t actually any good. However, for him, it means cutting anything that doesn’t contribute effectively to the story, whether it’s good or bad. 

“Certainly I couldn’t keep it in on the grounds that it’s good,” he writes, “it should be good, if I’m being paid to do it.  What I’m not being paid to do is be self-indulgent.”

This struck me in a new way. If I’m expecting to be paid, everything I write should be good. Instead of finding ways to rationalize why a certain passage should stay in (“But my writing group thought it was funny!”), I should be focused on making every word worthy of payment.  Each word needs to submit to a higher power…which, in this case, is the almighty Story.

As Carol always says, “Pretend you have to pay a dollar for every word you use…then see how carefully you choose your words.”

Speaking of the devil–From Carol

Writing a novel in poetry (THE BRAID) or short choppy lines (my novel GLIMPSE) means thinking of all the words you use. Each is weighted. Each plays an important part. There is very little to throw away.

Take an important section of your book.

Rewrite in short sentences.

Think Ann Dee’s work EVERYTHING IS FINE.

Play with structure.

Cut excess words.

Tighten.

What do you have when you’re finished? Do you like it? Does the novel lend itself to this kind of style? What have you learned?

From Brenda Bensch

A couple of months ago in an issue of Writer’s Digest, I saw a photograph of three people – at least two of them were children – walking hand-in-hand along a snowy path between trees. The misty air in front of them obscured whatever may have lain at the end of their path. Readers had been invited to write the first sentence of a new story based on the photo, where the ten “best” openings were published.
It made me think of a good exercise: using an old favorite painting, print, or photograph hanging in your home (or something from an art book, magazine, newspaper, whatever) write ten one-sentence beginnings to new stories. Which three sentences are the best? If you’re brave, show them to relatives, friends, or your critique group, and get their votes. Which one fires the most interest in you, the writer? Which one could be a good short story, poem or even the beginning of a novel?

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