Hey, Everyone!
Ann Dee and I are barreling toward the end of this newest revision. I feel so lucky to get to write with someone who is so funny and so talented.
Two FYI’s–
#1 I’m holding at writing class–a month long–starting in a couple weeks. We’ll talk voice, structure, language and a few other things (like ethics in writing, beginnings and even . . . plot!). We’ll do critique, you’ll have homework (but not too much!) and we’ll end our session with a Q&A with a NY agent or editor.
If you are interested in this intimate, hands-on learning, email me for dates, times and pricing.
#2 For November (NaNoWriMo): I thought it might be cool to do a weekly writing event here at my home. Doesn’t that sound like fun? We’ll get together for a few hours of writing, one night a week. We’ll do potluck, start with a writing exercise to get us going and then just write. This event is free and limited to 15 people (on a first come/first served basis).
Please email me for more information on both events.

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Writing Practice

Get your favorite book out and copy three paragraphs at three different parts of the book. Then try to write your own paragraph with the same rhythm, the same number of words, the same punctuation. Play around with it. Maybe choose a book that is very different from how you write. Maybe try it with three different books. Read the passages from the book and the passages you wrote out loud. What do you hear? How did it feel to write like that? Can you hear the music of the lines?

Also, I need to get my brain back into writing. I’ve been editing and rereading and turning in final pages for my book that’s coming out next summer and now I need to get back into full on drafting. For some reason I think that means I should fix my spare room into an office and maybe read Neil Gaiman’s new writing book (really a collection of his speeches) and maybe do more yoga. Why is it so hard to get back into the groove of things?

Also, grapes, apples and peaches. So much to do. Love to you all. I hope you do the exercise. xoxox

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So I’m asking Ann Dee to post for me today because I still can’t get on my computer. And I expect it won’t be long before this little computer has had it, too. Until then, I am writing!
Yesterday as I was thinking, I realized something about myself.
It’s something I’ve known for awhile, so I guess I rerealized.
My best friends know this about me.
But I have to back up to explain it well.
On a Saturday a couple of weeks back, several nationally published writers in the area went to a writer’s retreat where we talked and laughed and cut up like a bunch of 12-yr-olds.
The incident that I want to talk about happened before the retreat.
I was in the car with Ann Dee Ellis and we were talking. And it was like Eeyore was driving. (Me.)
Bum bum bum bum bum.
Poo poo poo poo poo.
Wah wah wah wah wah.
I didn’t know this.
I didn’t know I sounded like Eeyore until Ally Condie got in the car.
The whole space brightened and I had to shield my eyes from how kind and happy Ally was.
Truly, and this isn’t an exaggeration. It was the difference between light and dark.
And I was the ugly stepsister in the group. The one with the too-big feet (true), with a huge frown (true) because the prince was more interested in the two gals in the car with me than me (true).
This happened in school.
When the boy asked me out and I was sure he wanted to be with my super-cute roommate and so I made us both miserable by talking about her instead of shutting the hell up and just dancing.
I can dance.
Anyway, my crappy attitude is a part of me.
But do I have to stay this way?
Here’s what the internet dictionary of I-popped-up-first says about attitude:
a settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or something, typically one that is reflected in a person’s behavior.
Someone said–in not exactly these words, but its what was meant–“As a writer, you can expect nothing more than what has happened to you in the past. You are never going to change unless you change your name or get a new, hungry agent.”
We were talking sales and notoriety and advances.
Could this be?
Am I stuck where I am, forever?
It was a hard thing to hear.
No matter what book I write,
no matter if I get all starred reviews,
no matter if my editor thinks this book will be my best seller,
I am here.
Not surviving.
I decided yesterday I am going to try and change this.
My attitude may not make more books sales, may not pay the bills, may not get my books the recognition I want them to have, but I CAN BE HAPPIER.
I can.
I will.
It’s gonna be tough.
It will take time.
But why not think I can do whatever I set in my sites. I changed a garbage disposal, after all!
So here’s this:
And this:
And this (from a Goodreads collection of quotes):
“If you can quit, quit. If you can’t quit, stop complaining – this is what you chose.”
― JA Konrath
A therapist said once that I have probably been sad since I was a tiny girl.
He didn’t say I had to stay sad the rest of my life.
Hmmm. Maybe that is a book idea.


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Last week I had an especially taxing day. There’s no need to go into details but lets just say there was a big box store involved, maybe a diaper malfunction, perhaps some screaming, for sure some forced smiles and definitely some tears by many. At the end of the day, I sat on my back  balcony watching the sky when I was supposed to be cleaning up and getting dinner ready and momming my kids, I sat there and I thought: This sucks.

This sucks.

All day sucked.

My mom hated the word sucked.

I can see why she hated the word sucked but words change, mom. Don’t be mad. And this sucks.

I also thought, the only way to save the day, the only possibly redeeming thing that could come from hours like these, was if i wrote it down.

If I wrote down how I felt. If I wrote down what was said and how it was said and who said what and the chaos. If I wrote down how alone I felt and embarrassed and mad and stupid and alone and incapable and mean and tired and alone. That would save me.

So then I put on instagram, “who wants to write memoirs with me?” Short ones. A few a week. We’ll write and then we can share or not share but we can write and we can feel connected and then some day we can look back on those days good or bad and they can be more than throw away days. They can be parts of us that we’ll remember even if we didn’t think we’d want to. They’ll be things we can talk about later and people can say I had that happen too. Maybe our kids down the road will say that. They’ll say, You did WHAT??? in Target and I’ll say, I did. And it’s okay if you do too. Or maybe we’ll say, never do that.

The point is, I’ve been posting prompts on my personal website and on instagram. Three a week. For eight minute memoir writing. I’d love it if you’d like to join.


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A baby, a monster and a box of markers

Dear Readers!

Carol had a baby!!! Actually her baby Elise had a baby so now Carol has a grand-baby and there’s no better news than this. A big congratulations to Carol and her family and brave Elise and the sweet little one who is in for a big treat–think of all the stories he’s going to get to experience.

In other news, which I probably shouldn’t even write about other news because the big news is enough, but here I go anyway, in other news have you watched Stranger Things on Netflix? My husband and I are watching it and we’re halfway through. It’s scary and weird and human and not human and eighties and makes me think about my mom (she would have loved it). Here’s an assignment: If you haven’t watched it or if you have and you want to watch it again, get a notebook and take notes. Who is the MC? What do he/she want? How many rocks are getting thrown and how? How do they begin and end each episode? What about pacing? Look at the major and minor plot-lines. How do they intertwine? How do they  help each other? Consider the problems you’re having with your story and see if this show can help you get ideas. You can call it research.

And finally, we got a lot of school supplies today. It’s a new year, new beginning, new teachers, new season. I’m ready. You?


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Kyra Leigh, Queen Bee

We finally got internet in the house.

It’s been like a dream! Sending emails through a laptop, surfing the web for things I don’t need {and cannot afford}, checking out Goodreads . . .

Goodreads. I’ve heard that it’s the devil for writers. Already someone has put my book up there, and I’m just waiting.

Waiting, just waiting.

Waiting for those 1 stars to start trickling in. The scathing reviews from people who haven’t read the book yet, but felt the need to rate the book anyway {This has already  happened to people on my Eversosecret Swanky17 group. It makes me sick to think someone would rate a book 1 star without even reading it.}.

Is Goodreads dangerous for an up-and-coming Author? Or for an already up-and-around Author?

Are you supposed to look at reviews on there?

Are you supposed to even HAVE an author account on Goodreads?

How do you guys feel about it?

Do you rate books on Goodreads?

Do you  READ your reviews on there?

Thought I’d throw this out there.

Also, how is everyone doing on writing their page a day? I haven’t written a page a day, but I am revising Book 2 in hopes that someone may fall in love with it. So far, not even I’m in love with it.

I’ll keep writing because writing is fun, even if it is hard. And sometimes heartbreaking. And sometimes exciting. And sometimes . . .  I don’t know. The best job ever.

*Unrelated note* There are men out in the front yard ripping out Me and Stu’s piping for the bathroom. They came to the door this morning to tell me to “Shower and pee because the bathroom is going to be out of service for the next 6 or so hours”
So there’s that.


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Friday’s Post on Monday

by Lisa Roylance


I took Carol’s writing exercise and ran with it.

7 days 7 different perspectives from 7 different characters.

Time set for 5 min each day.

I’m on take 4 and I’ve discovered a new way to introduce one of the characters. I’ve also tried for the first time to write a whole scene from a child’s perspective which was new, and quite challenging.

One thing I’ve also done recently is focus on the system that I use to write rather than the very large looming goal ahead of me. A link about this was also posted on the blog recently.

My new system:

Take five minutes for a writing exercise before I jump into the big stuff. This can be anything, blog suggestions to free writes that can range from nightmare retells to dating disasters.


Set the timer for 15 minutes and revise a chapter of my first novel.

If the timer dings and I’m on fire then I keep writing, but I always write for at LEAST 15 minutes a day. It feels less daunting and I’ve gotten a lot more revised.

So you know your goals, but what are your current “systems?”

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