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Hello

It feels like it’s been a long time!

We went on vacation. It was a good vacation but we did have to drive 14 hours to get there and 14 hours to get home. And I have four small children.

This means I have been taking a vacation from my vacation ever since I got back. Clothes are piled, toys are scattered, our yard looks like a sad lifetime movie set. It’s been rough around here and I realized, as I made myself do the dinner dishes, that I could probably clean all day, every day, and not be done. I could follow my children around and clean and clean and clean and it wouldn’t make a difference.

I could actually follow myself around and it wouldn’t make a difference. 

And the problem is, I like things clean even though I’m a messy person. 

The other problem is, I want to write books. 

And not clean. 

Or do yard work.

Or make dinner.

Or wash my hair. 

I also want to lay in the sun on the sidewalk and let my kids crawl over me. 

It takes guts to “be a writer.” It takes embarrassment guts for when people stop by and you deodorant is sitting in the middle of the front room floor along with some cheerios, five thousand cars and a small baby. 

It takes guts to ignore emails and facebook and people.com and all other kinds of distractions to write. 

It takes guts to say I am going to do this even if I don’t want to do this. I am going to write and write until I feel like writing. 

It takes guts to say no to people like Carol said. 

But you have to do it. I keep telling myself, writing is important. it’s worth the sacrifice.

List five things that distract you from writing.

List what you are going to do when these things try to distract you from writing.

List all the things you are going to work on with your WIP. Make a plan. 

This is my goal for tomorrow. I am going to be a writer. 

 

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Good Friday with Debbie Nance

Good Friday – by Debbie Nance

I was trying to think of four good things to write about today.

#1.  Day 26 of Chemo Treatment and I still have hair.

#2.  Red tulips are growing outside my bedroom window.

#3.  A good quote to share: “There are all kinds of readers in the world, with all kinds of tastes; it takes all kinds of writers to please them.” - Lee Wyndham, WRITING FOR CHILDREN & TEENAGERS

#4.  This Sunday is Easter and because of the event that day commemorates, EVERYTHING will be okay.

I hope you all have a lovely day with your family!

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Three Things Thursday

From Cheryl Van Eck

Today I want to discuss censorship.

This is difficult for me, because I am religious and there are many books I choose not to read based solely on content, regardless of literary merit.

However, the point is that I choose not to read them. I make the decision to censor myself. I don’t ask (nor do I want) anyone else to decide for me.

The topics, words, and scenes that typically get a book banned do not, unfortunately, exist only within the pages of that book. They exist in reality, even in a teenager’s reality. To take away those books is to take away tools that can help them to form their moral universe. I learned more from characters who did everything wrong than from characters who did everything right.

I don’t believe the government, the schools, or any other group should have a say in what children or adults are allowed to read.

I don’t believe in banning books.

 

From Brenda Bensch
Saw a tiny, adorable, little girl at the grocery store this a.m. with her harried mom.  She was too little to reach almost anything in the store . . . until she got to the sunglasses display . . . which went ALL THE WAY DOWN to the floor. She was trying them all on. But, of course. Then Mom made her put them back. Well, with help . . . those racks are tricky! 15 or 20 minutes later, the little girl ran behind me in the checkout line, reached up on tippy-toes as far as she could, and shoved 3 small packaged toys onto the conveyer with my purchases. And she was wearing . . . you guessed it . . . sunglasses. A little red pair. Mom was nowhere in sight. But, soon, I heard her calling the little girl’s name. She ran to mom, who began to walk away from the checkout line, admonishing the child to go return the sunglasses. Again.
“Wait!” I said. “She has 3 toys here too,” and I handed Mom the toys. She just shook her head and walked away.
Write a scene: Are you, or your MC, the observer, as I was? Are you/MC annoyed? Or laughing, like I was?
Are you/MC the checker who recognizes the girl? Are you annoyed, laughing, or just trying to check out the lady at the counter who packed too much stuff into the cart and now has two more customers waiting?
Are you/MC the harried mom? Are you angry, loving, fatigued, too busy to take note of everything at once?
Are you/MC an adorable 3-year-old, feeling her oats? Are you disappointed the checker lady didn’t give you the toys back? After all, you put them up on the counter like Mommy always does. Then she gets to keep all that fun and yummy stuff!
And if you’re writing fantasy, sci-fi, western, romance or whatever, which things can you change up to make the basic idea still work in YOUR genre?  That’ll stretch your imagination!
From Carol
In my spam today was this lovely message: Men–stop the dribble.
I don’t even want to think of it.
But I have to.
Is this a message to basketball players?
People who put too much liquid in their mouths?
Could this be a warning to hockey players?
Is it about the weather, with dribbling rain?
Oh, our beautiful language. And oh, what we get to do with it.
I hope each time you write, you choose your words wisely.
I hope each time you write, you make things sound new–different.
I hope each time you write you create a world-even in contemporary writing-that sings with beauty because you have constructed the sentences.
Last night I spoke at the Orem Public Library about Writing Like a Writer.
My goal, as you all know.

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chocolate and sweat pants

Sometimes I wish people would pay me to do things like see how long I can wear sweat pants. 

Or see how long I can live on chocolate and popcorn.

Or see how long I can waste time not writing books.

But no one is paying me to do those things, thank goodness. And I am trying my hardest to do the opposite–wear real clothes, eat vegetables and maybe write a book.

Today was a step in the right direction. I did wear sweat pants all day. I also found a chocolate egg under my bed BUT I read through my entire WIP which has now hit the 40,000 word mark. 

Forty thousand words! And I’m not even close to being done! This is a big deal for me because my first book was about three words and my second was five. My third is a few more. Like twenty. I’m not trying to write more words, by the way, it just keeps happening.

So this is exciting.

But there are problems.

Problem #1: I don’t know what should happen next and everything I try feels wrong.

Problem #2: I think maybe I just need to mess around in the 40,000 words I already have to figure out what needs to happen in the last fourth of the book but then I’m worried I’ll mess around too much and make things worse.

Problem #3: I have a sinking feeling that besides the ending, the whole book needs something more. A new layer. Or a few new layers. And in order to do that, I’m going to have to tear the whole thing apart, throw things out, move other things around, all to make room for some new elements that might not work. 

Problem #4: I may be lazy. Because I don’t want to do it.

Tomorrow my goal is to mess things up.

I may start a new document so it doesn’t feel as painful.

Where are you in your WIP?  

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