Valentines Writing

 

Today I do not want to write. I want someone to bring me a gigantic pink cookie. I want to float on a boat to the Caribbean. I want to sleep until my body doesn’t need sleep anymore.  I want to wash my hair in chocolate. And I want my book to be done.

Yesterday my dad got married for the second time. I wasn’t there for the first one. It was short and sweet and now they’re driving the country, going where ever they’d like to go on this beautiful Valentines Day. I’m so happy for them and also so floating like a balloon in the sky for them. It’s tough to grow up even when we’re already grown.

Do you want to write today? Will you write romance? Will you write passionate kisses? Will you write about second chances at love? I asked my husband if he was getting me a Valentine and he said, “I did. I fixed the washing machine.” And you know, it was love because the pump in that thing was full of many things: sludge, legos, paper clips, sludge, hair, body parts, sludge, cars, plastic dinosaurs, sludge and probably black mold that will kill him slowly. We probably saved 500 dollars and a doctor bill for a dead washing machine repair man. That is love. It’s better than pink cookies and boats in the sun and sleep and chocolately hair.

What if today was the last day of your life you’d ever get the chance to write about love, what would you write?

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Interview with Rosalyn Eves

Today’s author interview is with the awesome Rosalyn Eves! Rosalyn has a new book coming out next month called BLOOD ROSE REBELLION Even though I know she’s super busy, she was kind enough to chat with me!

 

You have an awesome new book coming out in a few weeks! 
Can you tell us about it? How you came up with the idea? When is it released? 

BLOOD ROSE REBELLION is a YA historical fantasy—think the 1848 Hungarian revolution, but with magic. I lived in Hungary for a year and a half in my twenties and fell in love with the culture, so when I started thinking about a Victorian era fantasy, it seemed like a natural setting. The book comes out March 28, 2017.
What made you decide to start writing, and why did you choose children’s books?  

I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was eleven and my fifth grade teacher told me I might be good at it. I’ve always loved young adult books—I love how intense the feelings are and I love the feeling of possibility when your whole life is still in front of you. That said, the first book I finished as an adult was a middle grade manuscript that I started for Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers in 2010.
Tell us about your experience getting into publishing. How long did it take you?

A long time! I wrote my first “book” in junior high, and another (really, a trilogy) in high school—but then I stopped writing while I finished college, went to grad school, and started a family. It was after my second kid was born that I realized that my dream of someday being a writer wasn’t going to happen if I didn’t start now. That was six and a half years ago.
What writing advice do you have for someone trying to breakout in the market?

Read a lot—in your genre and outside of it. And write a lot. There aren’t really any shortcuts for those two things.
When you’re not writing, what do you enjoy doing?

I like reading (of course!) and watching period dramas on TV. I also like hiking and I’m lucky to live in a really gorgeous area for that.

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

I can’t listen to music when I write—it’s too distracting for me. But I did listen to a lot of Hamilton in between revision sessions on this.

If you had to live inside one story’s universe, which would it be and why?

I’d love to visit Lois Bujold’s Barrayar, which is such a fascinating mixture of high technology and an almost Victorian feudal sensibility.
Everyone writes about people they know. Who shows up in your books over and over?

This may be cheesy, but I think a bit of my husband shows up in the love interest—especially  his steadiness and his scientific mind.

Who do you think your reader is?
What do you imagine him or her to be like?

I think my reader is a lot like me at sixteen—more adventurous in books than in real life.

What are you working on now?

The sequel to Blood Rose Rebellion, which picks up about 8 months after the first.

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

http://rosalyneves.com/

 

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Magic Monday

 

For the first time in years I’m thinking about being in a critique group again.

I used to be in one.

For years I was with Rick Walton.

I met Cheri there. And Ken Baker and Randall Wright. The list goes on and on.

 

I always have so many excuses to doing this–I’m too busy, too tired, too behind.

But.

But this time, maybe, I’ll do something for me and my writing.

 

It’s scary.

It’s time-consuming.

It’s a lot of work.

But I need it.

 

What have you done for you and your writing?

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Three Thing Thursday

LoriAnne:

Quality or Quantity?

                In every writing class I’ve taken, the question of quality or quantity comes up. Each of us has to grapple with it.  I tend to go over and over the same first couple chapters, thinking I can’t move forward in the story until the first few on chapters are perfectly polished. Do I do this because I don’t  believe I know where the story is “supposed” to go? That I can’t move on there’s a perfect beginning? Do I not trust myself?

I get in my own way and don’t make enough progress toward finishing the dang draft, and in truth, spinning my wheels on those same pages doesn’t help me become a better writer.

 I came across a writing tip that was linked to a study about a high school pottery teacher’s teaching technique. How could he help his students produce better pottery?

He required half the class to produce one perfect pot. The other half was required to produce fifty pounds of pottery by the end of semester. The pots didn’t have to be perfect, there just needed to be fifty pounds of work.

What this teacher found is that those who had to do just one perfect pot got hung up. They threw the same pot over and over. Those who had to produce the quantity, learned what worked and what didn’t. By the end of the semester, they could throw a perfect pot.

So, the more chapters you write, the better your writing will become.  I’m too close to it right now, but I know that I’ve just got to show up every day and write something new. Soon, I hope, I’ll be able to ‘throw’ a better chapter.

Carol:
Ann Dee has decided to try things that scare her. She is brave. I bet she did a great handstand.
I love this challenge when it comes to writing.
This past year I started a murder mystery. I’ve never done this kind of book before, so that has been scary.
But there’s more about this project that scares me. This is a YA. How much of this raw story should I put on the page? How do I make the murdered character likable (for a while there, she deserved to be killed because she was acting so nasty)? What happens if my editor doesn’t like this book?
What are you working on that scares you?

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Tuesday

 

Today I went to yoga.

I went early at 5:30 and my friend convinced me to try to do acro-yoga which means I tried to do a handstand on someone else’s hands.

I was terrified.

I’ve decided to do terrifying things as much as possible.

Lots of things terrify me.

Doing handstands on people’s hands. Doing handstands on the floor. Telling people I can’t do something when they ask. Letting my house be a complete mess so that I can write. Having people pop in when my house is a complete mess so I can write. Writing in a way I haven’t before whether it be a different POV, a different setting, a different rhythm, a different genre. Sledding. Eating mushrooms. Thinking about death in a real way. Admitting I’m scared/lonely/overwhelmed/angry/anxious. Talking to someone who intimidates me. Talking to someone who I don’t know. Saying yes to something hard. Trying to do the splits. And on and on and on.

What terrifies you?

What terrifying thing will you do today?

I did try to do the handstand and I fell over and over and over again. Then my friend said, why don’t you try it this other way, and try not to think about it too much.

and then I did.

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ugh

I’m currently trying to revise a story I’ve been stuck on for close to a year. I’m starting to think that I may not even have a plot to this story. Do you have any idea what it’s like to write a plotless story?? It’s like drinking a cup of coffee with no caffeine.. only worse!

When I feel alone in the writing world, I like to google funny writer memes to make me feel better.
They are a good reminder that I’m not the only one drinking caffeine free coffee.

 

writingwriter2writer3writers4writers5writers6writers7writers8s

 

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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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