Three Thing Thursday

LoriAnne:

For the first time in a year, I’m not in a writing class. And it’s weird.  My writing group is sort of on hiatus since last semester ended. So there isn’t anyone I feel accountable to. I don’t report a wordcount to anyone, or turn in a revised chapter. I’m forced to examine if I’m going to write every day, on my own, without the points tied to grade, like a carrot dangling in front of me. Do I do what I say I love to do?

I’m happy to say yes, I am writing, and enjoying it. I’m having fun watching my characters unfold and surprise me. It’s not as often as I should be writing.  It’s several times a week, but not daily.  I’ve decided to set some personal goals in this season of goal setting — one short-term daily goal, one mid-range goal, and one long-term goal.

1.       Writing is like exercise – it’s better to do even a little bit every day, than to do nothing and atrophy, or try to do a huge marathon session in one day and have a stiff brain and wear yourself out. Just 100 words keeps your creativity muscles toned and ready whenever an idea presents itself. I always feel better about the day ahead of me if I’ve written in the early morning. I’m not looking at writing as a chore anymore, but something I do because there are moments of fun for me. Those moments are coming more often than they used to, so I keep plugging away. My only problem is do I write or do I exercise? Writing is winning hands down – literally. My hands are down on the keyboard instead of on a yoga mat.

2.       My mid-range goal is getting my writing group back together. We miss each other, and I enjoy their stories, and their insights on my story. A once-a-month meeting should not be that hard. Hope they are reading this. I’ll be sending an email today, girls 🙂

3.       Set a long-term goal, like attending a conference, and sign up where possible to meet with an editor or agent. I’ve signed up early and pushed myself out of my comfort zone to do more than sit and enjoy the speakers. This way I can make progress towards my goal of getting published. When you sign up for a workshop or writing conference, plan to have something critiqued, then let your daily writing work towards writing your piece a little every day.

What strategies are you using to set your writing goals this year? See you at the conferences!

Carol:

Last night, Ann Dee Ellis, Kyra Leigh and Kristyn Crow traveled to my class to speak about writing. Each girl has a book coming out this year and they all read from their work. AMAZING!

Carol Again:

Don’t forget Friday’s party!

Go here to register: http://www.wifyr.com/events/

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Filed under Ann Dee, Exercises, First Line, three thing thursday

Author Interview with Shaila Patel

For the next few weeks I’ll be doing author interviews with some amazing writers! Our first guest on the blog is Shaila Patel. She has a new book coming out NEXT WEEK! She’s been kind enough to give me an interview even though I know she’s super swamped getting prepared for the release of her new book SOULMATED.  Thanks a bunch, Shaila!

You have an awesome new book coming out this week called SOULMATED.
 Can you tell us about it? How you came up with the idea? When is the release date?

Thank you! Soulmated is a teen paranormal romance that’s coming out on January 24th, 2017. It’s Book 1 in the Joining of Souls series about an Irish empath named Liam Whelan who’s forced by his parents to find his empath soul mate. His search leads him to the States where he moves in two doors down from Indian-American Laxshmi Kapadia—who isn’t an empath and whose mother is overprotective and sheltering. Not only is Laxshmi not allowed to talk to her gorgeous new neighbor, but her mom is forcing Laxshmi to either graduate early to go to medical school, or have an arranged marriage right out of high school. As different as Liam and Laxhsmi are, they both struggle with parental and cultural expectations. The conflict really picks up when Liam decides that he wants to be with Laxshmi (whom he affectionately calls Lucky) despite the fact she’s not an empath.

As for how I came up with the story, I’d been thinking of how emotionally perceptive my mom was one day and thought that if there were such a thing as an EQ test (where the E stands for emotional intelligence), my mom would score through the roof. She’s always had this uncanny ability to read my feelings, so naturally, my writer-mind imagined what it would be like if empaths (people who read emotions) really existed. That was the nugget that inspired the story. Once that thought took hold, I couldn’t let it go! 

Tell us about your experience getting into publishing. How long did it take you?

I was actually quite lucky! I began writing Book 1 of Soulmated in January 2013 and hired my own editors to tell me what needed fixing. They taught me A TON. I also began networking, taking online workshops to better my craft and learn the business, joined the Romance Writers of America, and pitched to my publisher—all by mid-2015. I accepted an offer in August 2015, and the rest as they say is history!

What writing advice do you have for someone trying to breakout in the market?

The best advice I can give is two-fold: (1) Treat it like a business—invest in yourself, be professional within the industry, and network, and (2) Never compare yourself to other writers—learn from them and be encouraged by them, yes, but don’t let their successes or failures be the standard by which your judge yourself.

Do you listen to music when you write, if so, what’s your playlist like?

I love to listen to music while I write, but I typically play one song on repeat for a particular scene or chapter. I pick what moves me—it can be classical, alternative, heavy metal, opera, techno—you name it! It helps me create the tone and mood for the characters, and later, when I reread what I’ve written, I can’t NOT hear that song playing in my head. Soulmated actually does have a playlist at the end of the book of songs the characters are listening to or are interacting with in some way. Here’s that list:
Mindy Gledhill – “Bring Me Close”
Splender – “Yeah, Whatever”
Dave Matthews Band – “Crash Into Me”
Ed Sheeran – “Photograph”
Calvin Harris – “I Feel So Close”
Kaskade – “Eyes”
Daft Punk and Pharrell Williams – “Get Lucky”

What are you working on now?

I’m actually working on Books 2 and 3 of the Joining of Souls Series, as well as an adult contemporary romance.

Where can we find out more about you and your upcoming book?

You can visit my website at www.shailapatelauthor.com and sign up for my newsletter, or simply follow the links to my Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram accounts.

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Monday, Monday

Things I Have Learned in the Last Month

  1. I have found if you are always cold, your heating bill isn’t as much as when you are warm.
  2. If you make goals and then watch TV all the time, you never reach your goal. Even if you are watching all the Friends episodes. Or all the Sherlock episodes starring Engelbart Humperdinky. Or all the House episodes even when you hate House.
  3. Lots of dogs make lots of dog hair. This does not make you warmer, and yes, you will awaken with a hair in your mouth and or war. I bet even very clean Cheri earl has dog hair somewhere at her house. Maybe not in dinner, but somewhere.
  4. Grief freezes you.
  5. If you write the emotion you’re feeling when you come up with a new book idea then set the book idea aside, later when you come back to it you’ll remember why you love this new idea.
  6. The older you get the more tired you are. Unless you’re eating right and exercising. At least that’s what I’ve heard.
  7. Adult children, and writing partners, are even more naughty than little children.
  8. The more you brain storm, the more you can brain storm. This goes for ideas for new books, plots you’re having trouble with, and where to store your canned corn.
  9. Babies are amazing.
  10. Writing for just five minutes each day keeps a story alive, keeps you interested, means you’re that much closer to publishing success.

 

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Filed under CLW, Exercises, Life, Publication, Writers Block

Catch Up–Freaky Friday

Pretend Monday:

I’ve been missing Rick a lot lately.

Telling everyone I’m missing him.

Wondering why all that crap had to happen.

Wishing so much things could have been different.

I think, at the end, he was in lots of pain. But he couldn’t speak anymore, or even squeeze our hands.

Grief can inspire us to write. Or can immobilize us. I think the latter has happened to me.

 

 

Pretend Wednesday

Kyra Leigh, Queen Bee:

This year Kyra will have lots of interviews with upcoming and established authors.

 

Pretend Three Thing Thursday:

1.Come to the party we’re having this month at the Provo library!

Yahoo!

January 20, potluck, lots of prizes to win!

Go here to learn more and register:

http://www.wifyr.com/events/

2. February ERIN HARRIS from FOLIO!!! YAHOOOOO!!!!

Go here (again) to learn more:

http://www.wifyr.com/events/

3. Writing Question:

What is the worst thing you could do as a writer? Take some time to contemplate this question. If you’d like, share.

 

Freaky Friday:

Writing Quotes

http://positivewriter.com/22-of-the-best-quotes-on-writing-ever/

AND

So far I have completed almost two of my three goals I made with you all.

One and one third to go!

 

 

 

 

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Filed under CLW, Depression, Exercises, three thing thursday, writing process

2017

 

Dear Everyone,

Happy New Year!

Some things:

  1. Hopefully things will get back to normal around here.
  2. I just ate many of these things because Sister’s BIL works for Nabisco and she brought us a garbage sack full so I feel like I should do my duty and contribute to the family more this new year.
  3. I have a new book to work on, a book with Carol to revise, a memoir project I’ve been posting, and really bad hair.
  4. My goals for this year is to have no zero days (google it–beware of language). My dear friend Shar told me about this and maybe we’ve discussed it on here before. It was a post that someone put on Reddit that went viral. The basic concept is that you never go a day without doing SOMETHING towards your goal. You want to get in shape? Do at least one jumping jack or one sit up or one really painful lunge if the day gets away from you. You want to write a book? Write a sentence if that’s all you can do. Want to be a yoga master? Wear yoga pants all day. You get the idea–Make sure no day goes by with you doing ZERO towards reaching your goals. This is something I can get behind.
  5. Last night I read this article and cried and cried. I think writing has so much power to connect us whether it’s through middle grade novels, picture books, memoirs, articles, notes to each other, or essays like this one. I’ve never lost a child but people close to me have. My own mother lost a child and sometimes it was hard to understand her grief. Now my sister has lost one and others I know and this small piece of writing has opened up my heart just a little bit more.

That’s all for today. Much love in the slush and gray of January.

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Frozen Friday

Just a moment to say what I would have said on Monday if I hadn’t had a daughter in the hospital.

This new year?

I have so many hopes for what’s to come.

Last year was so hard.

We started the year off losing our sweet and amazing Debbie and ended the year losing hilarious and wonderful Rick. Before and after those terrible days, more people we loved left this earth life and moved on. It’s been a long, hard time.

Today, though, I’ve been thinking how I’ve already fallen behind with my goals.

But each day is new, right?

Each day I can stretch and reach and hope.

That’s how I hope to treat each moment in this joyous new year.

Ann Dee, Kyra and I hope you have a perfect 2017. Sure, there’s going to be hard times. But there’s going to be a new moment, a new chance, and always we’ll have the opportunity to write for the love of words and kids and ourselves.

Happy weekend!

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Filed under Ann Dee, CLW, Kyra

Three Thing Thursday

 

1. It’s our second annual WIFYR Kick-off! Our speaker this year? None other than the amazing J. Scott Savage. Scott is the award-winning author of more than 14 books and he’s gonna get us pumped up to face this new year writing.
Listening to Scott, doing writing exercises, a few drawings, and mingling with other writers. What’s better than that?
Who? You and your writing buddies are invited but space is limited, so make sure you register to get your ticket. Ages 16 and up.
When? January 20, 7:00 – 8:30 pm.
Where? The Provo City Library at Academy Square (550 N University Avenue, Provo, UT).
Cost? A potluck item and, if you’d like, a new or gently-used book for a needy library. How? To reserve your spot, click   http://www.wifyr.com/events/
2.WIFYR is pleased to host its second event of day-long writing workshops, this time with literary agent, Erin Harris, from Folio Jr, Feb 22-25. More info to come.
3. School starts again next week. Your main character is scared to go back. Why? Who or what is waiting for him? What will happen? How will your character get out of this mess?

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