Author Archives: CLW

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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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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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

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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