Author Archives: CLW

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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Filed under Kyra, Life, writing process

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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Three Thing Thursday


Last Monday afternoon I left my writing critique group feeling like I’d chugged a 32 oz. energy drink. In the good excited, can’t-wait-to-get-started way, not the jittery, sick-to-my-stomach way. Even though there was only two other people there that night, they had helped me find a breakthrough in a problem I was having with the ending. I was in love with the story again! I was in love with my group for helping me!

The outcome of a writers group session isn’t always this good, and I often am stressed out the day leading up to writing group because I have serious doubts about what I submitted to the other members. Or I procrastinated. Or both. I know that they are going to figure out I’m faking it, that I can’t write at all. Still, I write. I submit. I go.  There is no other way to have that rare breakthrough, like I had on Monday, without working regularly with a writer’s group. Even though some meetings are a bit boring or you sometimes walk away feeling misunderstood, stick with it. What happened the other night could not have happened on my own. It took brainstorming, and feedback from others’ points of view, that would have been impossible by myself. Writers group gives you someone to be accountable to, helps you know what’s working and what’s not. It pushes you to keep going. It’s affirming and funny. If you don’t have one, find one. Create one, reach out to those you meet at conferences or join writing social media groups. It’s worth it a hundred times over.


So, you’ve knocked out your beginning, plowed through the murky middle, and now you’re up against that terrifying monster…THE END.

If you’re like me, you’ve probably had this planned all along. You’ve thought over that last line a thousand times, revised and perfected it in your head until you are finally able to type it out. But sometimes it’s not that simple. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our character’s life that we want to just keep going after the story ends. We want to tell everyone what happens a few days later, and maybe a few weeks later…oh, all right, let me just quickly tell you all what happens 30 years later!
But we can’t do that. When the story is over, it has to end. So how do we determine that it’s over?
First, we have to be very clear on what the story problem is. The story is over when the story problem is solved. Period. But is the problem part of the plot line? Or is it part of the character’s development? Only you will know for sure. But once you know for certain what your story problem is, the ending will fall into place.

Using these ten words, write a romantic scene.












I already can see this coming out in a good way, a bad way, or with lots of kissing.

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Kyra Leigh, Queen Bee

Writing is hard.
Writing on the blog is even harder.
I’ve been so caught up in my own life, that I’ve neglected both. I don’t know how Ann Dee and Mom do it. They have kids! And almost even grandCHILD. {mom}

I’m going to try and find some authors and see if I can get some interviews! Not just about how hard writing is, but how much fun it is, too! And what inspires people to write.
I’d also like to do books reviews. I haven’t read a book  {other than the one I’m revising} in months. I miss the book life.

Stay tuned. I will find something interesting and magical to post.


PS. My friend told me August is the month where you write a page a day! Is that true? If so, I’m ON IT.


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Well . . . ?

How did you do on your July writing goals?

Unfortunately, I had a computer malfunction and so I couldn’t write on my work-for-hire piece–the 1000 words per day. (Dang it!)

So I failed at that part.

However, I wrote with Ann Dee (though we changed our project and began a massive rewrite of our first book) and we did that consistently.

I found my lost notes for my murder mystery and did the impossible for me: I wrote a blurb–just a few paragraphs long (after a failed synopsis that I felt very proud of) and the first 10 or 15 pages of the book for the proposal.

I sent to my agent.

He liked the package.

We’ll see what happens.

I also read. I finished two books and began another.

And I met with Sherry Meidell ( and we discussed a nonfiction book idea together.

What was your success rate?

What do you feel good about?


So you all notice, of course, that this is Monday.

And today is August One!

Which means A New Month to Work Your Goals Over.

I just read this:

What do you think?


I had hoped to take this semester off as I’ve been exhausted. Unfortunately, I have to teach. And the department has raised my class load from 15 to 20 students (in creative writing classes) and 5 more bodies (living ones) added to all other classes. Don’t get me started on how I feel about this. What it means is, my students won’t get the care and attention they have in the past.

Anyway, as I approach the fall, I want to give my all to three things: my family, getting organized and writing. One more big push.

What about you?


Here’s a writing exercise.

This one is for voice. Voice is the sound of your novel, the way you say things that shows these words are yours, it’s the distinctive stamp that allows a reader to know–in a few words–this is your book.

Sometimes the best writing my students do is when we start the class and I give them five minutes to write something.

They’re moving quickly, working through the prompt, with little time to correct themselves or think in fancy ways.

They are more themselves.


Spend no more than 5 minutes on this exercise.

On day one, first thing, allow yourself to write from a your main character who is in a chilling situation. Get into that character’s head. Write as fast as you can. As much as you can. Be that character.

The next day, do the same thing, but from another character’s voice. Same situation. Different POV.

Keep going for 7 days.

Look through the eyes of a dog.

The neighbor who is nameless and passes by.

Don’t reread until this exercise is completed. Each new day is a different voice but it’s the same chilling situation.

What do you learn in this 5 minutes?

How is each telling the same?


Who do you discover?

What do you discover?


Happy writing. Even in the Icky Middles.




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Filed under CLW, Exercises

Sweet Friday with Lisa

Carol has asked this question.

Others have asked.

I’m sure more will in the future.

But I thought I’d pose the question yet again.

Why do you write?

Not why you wrote yesterday, or maybe got a degree in writing, but right now why do you right?

I always posed the same answer to that in the past—I have something to say, a story to tell.

Today, that answer changed.

I jumped on a plane this morning—DC to Houston. A guy sat next to me watching reruns of The Simpsons on his IPad sipping a Jack Daniel’s.

I could smell it.

The plane dipped to descend. Houston spread below us like a patient on an operating table—streets crossed like stitches and highways like open veins pulsing with blood and life.

The plane was an hour late into Houston.

And my flight out of Houston was a four-hour delay.

When they called that Salt Lake was ready to board, I jumped out of my seat and threw my hands in the air. No one else shared quite my same sentiments. Squishing into my seat, I tried to make small talk with the middle-aged man next to me and he wasn’t interested. I turned to the window, to pen and paper, and my thoughts.

As the clouds morphed from plankton scattered in the sea to the belly of a wave just crashing, I thought about why I write. And today, this is why: It puts back the pieces of my life I can’t figure out any other way.

So why do you write today?

Maybe it’s the same as yesterday.

And maybe it’s not.

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Three Thing Thursday

From me:

Look what I found!

I’m getting ready to rite a mystery novel.

And here’s a site that says more than, Just Do it.


From Cheryl:

Lately I’ve been writing short stories, which is nice, because I get to try out different styles of writing. The first was action, the second was horror, and the last is contemporary. For the first two, I used first person present tense, but for the last, it just didn’t work. The main character is a man, after all, and I really struggle getting into the thoughts of men. But when I went to a close 3rd person narrative, all of a sudden it came together. I could focus on the behavior of the character, because I knew that. He needs to always have a plan, and keeps from getting overwhelmed by focusing on just his next step. He doesn’t focus on appearance, but is aware of its importance to other people. He cares about his sister, but doesn’t say it. However, every choice he makes is with her in mind.

First person really helps to get into the head of the person. It makes that character come alive, and makes us care about them. But sometimes 3rd person works, if we need a wider perspective. In this case, I didn’t want my reader to immediately connect with the character. I want the thoughts in his head to be a mystery. I want people to wonder about his motives and his desires.

Do you have a preferred point of view? Do you ever change for certain stories?
From LoriAnne:

Fear of Finishing

“Are you finished writing that book yet?” Uughh… I’m sick of that question. For me, as I get closer to finishing this first book, why don’t I instinctively “lean for the tape” and just finish the blasted thing?

Carol likes to compare the beginning of a story to having a new boyfriend – it’s exciting, it’s sexy and you spend a lot of time with them. When you’re not with them, you think about them.

Endings are like some middle-age marriages. It’s often about endurance.

  I get caught in the whirlpool of revision, even with small phrases. To keep pushing forward, you must let that first draft be ugly. Just write and don’t allow yourself to stop and polish. But how?

1.       Show up – set the time aside, sit down and turn do NOT open your browser.

2.       Set a timer and write something about anything for five minutes without stopping, even if it has nothing to do with your book. Just get your fingers moving.

3.       Open your file and read just the last line where you left off and write for five minutes in that scene. The next day make it ten minutes. The next fifteen. You will build writing stamina and a habit.

4.       If you are stuck, skip ahead for little while and write a scene in your book that you are really looking forward to writing. Then go back and see if your brain has worked out a path for how to get your MC where you want them to go.  Then go back and write the weaving in-between those scenes.

So, if I know what to do, and how to do it, let’s see how well I listen to myself. I’ll give you an update next week.

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