Posts Tagged With: IWSG

Being Torn

I’m torn. I’m torn about a number of things.

I’m torn about my status as a writer. I get this way from time to time.

calendar-on-waterDecember seems to be a throw away month for me in the area of my writing. The past two years I was treading water from my experience with NaNoWriMo and didn’t have the will or the strength to pull myself up on a lifeboat to write. In a way January has turned into a recovery from December. Just like the past two Decembers, I did not write a thing worth keeping in either January. But I wasn’t drowning. It was more like I was floating around on my back enjoying the quiet of the water around my ears and just how prune-y my fingers could get.

Now it is February and I will have a guilty conscience if I don’t put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). February is the swift kick in the rear that flings me into the new year. January is nothing.

I’m also torn about some news.

Yesterday I heard that a sequel to To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee will be published this summer. When I first read that my heart leaped into my throat. That one book single-handedly introduced me to a world outside of my own and one, as a small town Southern female, I knew so well it was like looking in a mirror. It is THE book of all books I hold up as my favorite (yes, even above Pride & Prejudice).

For a long time I have known that the public life was not something Harper Lee enjoyed. She did not write that book to become famous or to have people like me pour over the story in an obsessive way. It was too much for her. I also remember her saying she wouldn’t publish anything else. So, the report that a new book was coming from her camp surprised me.

Now I am wondering if, as a woman in her eighties, is it really her wish to have this book put out for the world to see. A great part of me doubts it. As much as I WANT to read it, I wonder if I should.

Are you torn about anything today? How is your writing or other goals for this year going? Are YOU going to read the new Harper Lee book?


This post is part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) blog hop where writers work to support and encourage each other on the first Wednesday of each month. You can click the image or link above to find more musings from other writers.InsecureWritersSupportGroup

The group was founded and is led by our captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh and his merry co-hosts. This month they are: Gwen Gardner, Dolorah, Sarah Foster, and M. Pax!

Categories: Thoughts, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Wants And Needs

There are plenty of things I want.

Treehouse MastersI want to be rich enough to have that guy on Animal Planet come build a writing space tree house in my backyard. I want to be a healthy size without having to exercise or diet. I want to have perfectly fitting cool clothes that I don’t have to go anywhere to buy. I want to snuggle cheerful little round babies and give them back to their parents when I’ve had my fill. I want to sleep in every morning until I just wake up. I want thick hair. I want no worries. I want to beat all those stupid levels on the Bubble Witch 2 Saga. I want a maid, a cook and a chauffeur. I want the Holodeck from Star Trek Next Generation in my basement. I want to see my books on the bestseller list.

I could go on, but you get the gist. I have a lot of wants that I am not likely to get.

There are also things that I need. These aren’t as grandiose or silly. They aren’t even as fun. My needs are what I must have to function through the everydays of my life. They go beyond the basic food, water, air and shelter that all living creatures are required to have.

Right now, at this particular point in my life, I need to make sure my daughter is getting the education she should have. I need to feel loved and appreciated. I need to accomplish something each day. I also need to write.

Besides being needs, these things are also my struggles.

Homeschooling my girl is a crazy, wonderful experience and I doubt my choices all the time. I also know that my family loves me, even when there are times that the appreciation part of it seems non-existent. And some days doing the laundry is the only thing I get done.

But writing is different. My need to put down these stories that find their way into my brain isn’t the same sort of need as I just described. It’s more of a tapping on the shoulder that won’t leave me alone.

I have to write.

The struggle here is that those stupid levels on Bubble Witch keep calling to me too. HA!

Bubble Witch


This post is part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) blog hop where writers work to support and encourage each other on the first Wednesday of each month. You can click the image or link above to find more musings from other writers.InsecureWritersSupportGroup

The group was founded and is led by our captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh and his  comrades in arms. This month they are:Elizabeth Seckman, Lisa Buie-Collard, Chrys Fey, andMichelle Wallace!

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Is It Already November?

InsecureWritersSupportGroupThis post is part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) blog hop where writers work to support and encourage each other on the first Wednesday of each month. You can click the image on the right or link above to find more musings from other writers.

The group was founded and is led by our captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh and his  comrades in arms. This month they are: LG Keltner, Donna Hole, Lisa Buie-Collard and SL Hennessy!


In my last IWSG post I was bemoaning the fact that I was in for a l-o-n-g month. My husband and I had to move our business by Halloween. The fear I faced was that October was going to kill me.

Well, I just looked up from the frenzy of packing and hauling boxes to realize we are already five days into November. Every part of my body hurts. There is a constant ache in my lower back. My hands are shredded. Falling asleep takes ages because the pain in my legs mocks me. October was the death march I feared it would be, but I survived.

I also said in last month’s post that I was going to participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) unless I was dead. Again, I’m not dead. It only seems that way.

Like NaNoWriMo, I’ve just been through a thirty (-one) day marathon to accomplish something HUGE. I was a participant in LoMoBusMo (Local Move Business Month). Unfortunately, there is no winner’s certificate for that accomplishment.

Now I’m debating with myself about whether or not I should go for NaNoWriMo. I haven’t been able to plan a bit and I am NO PANTSER. Plus, I am already five days late crossing the starting line. The perfectionist in me doesn’t like to start something I don’t know I can finish. And blah, blah, blah…more excuses.

The truth is that I love NaNoWriMo. It is a kick in the rear sort of camaraderie that shakes the words right out of me. My writing is freer than it’s ever been. There’s no editing and no self doubt. I just go for it. Plus, last year I finished the 50K by November 23.

I know I can do this. I just need to decide to do it.

So, who out there is facing the NaNoWriMo challenge? Add me as a buddy (Read Faced). I’ll add you right back. Encouragement would be much appreciated.

Participant-2014-Web-Banner

I’m also on Twitter, Pinterest,  Google+, Tumblr, & through Email!

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October Just Might Kill Me

We’re moving.

movingIt’s not our home. We’re moving our business. The reason why is a long drawn out story that I don’t even like thinking about. I only mention it because it has all but stopped my creative flow in the form of putting butt into chair and entering words on the keyboard.

When the decision was finally made, I was three-fourths the way through the second draft on my current novel. I wish I could have squeaked out that final quarter so it would be in a good resting place, but it wasn’t meant to be.

During free moments (like when I’m falling asleep, riding in the car or brushing my teeth) I’m plotting in my head. The story isn’t dead. I just can’t work on it while I’m packing boxes and trashing things I don’t even know why I’ve kept.

The move will be done before the end of October. Unless I’m dead from the strain of staring at ancient invoices, I’m planning to do NaNoWriMo. That will surely get me back in gear or send me right over the exhaustion cliff.

If you’re participating in NaNoWriMo this year look me up. My user name is READ FACED. I’d be happy to be one of your buddies to cheer you on while maybe you can encourage me to show up.

Please send my way any words of wisdom on having to stop writing when your juices are really flowing or even on making moving easier.

Thanks!

Leanne


InsecureWritersSupportGroupThis post is part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) blog hop where writers work to support and encourage each other on the first Wednesday of each month. You can click the image or link above to find more musings from other writers.

The group was founded and lead by our captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh and his band of merry cohorts. This month they are:  Kristin Smith, Elsie, Suzanne Furness, and Fundy Blue!  Please share the love.

 

Find me on Twitter, Pinterest,  Google+, Tumblr, & through Email!

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The Fortune In My Cookie

I love fortune cookies. It’s the second time I’ve written about them on the blog.

It’s not so much the dust, dry cookie part I like. Usually I just smash the thing and move on to the crispy paper filling. YUM!

When I was in college, my friends and I would play the ever popular “In Bed” game. Maybe you’re familiar with it too. Everyone in the group takes turns reading their cookie out loud to the rest of the party. Then, at the end of the reading, you have to add the words “in bed.”

Here’s some examples: “You will go on a long journey…in bed.” “Every day brings new challenges…in bed.” “Your feet stink like the Ganges River…in bed.”

HA!

Now I tend to collect those little slips of paper from trips to a Chinese restaurant. They are hanging from my refrigerator and taped to the bathroom mirror. I have one or two stashed in my wallet. A few even are hiding beside me in the desk drawer.

I’m not a superstitious person by nature, but for some reason I feel like these little pieces of paper hold some grain of truth. It could be that it’s a bit of hope during trying times. Maybe I just want to believe in forces bigger than me. Or it could be that the sayings are so general they could apply to anyone. Whatever the reason, I’m glad they arrive with the check at the end of a good meal.

The other night I got the following fortune in my cookie:

Good writing is clear thinking made visible.

When I googled the quote from my cookie, I found out that it is attributed to Ambrose Bierce (1905). He was a newspaper satirist and short story writer who also fought in the Civil War. Like me, you may have read his amazing short story An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge (If not, you should. At the very least, look up the Twilight Zone adaptation).

The idea that I just need to put my thoughts in a clear manner seems so simple. The problem is that my thoughts aren’t always clear. I have precise intentions when I set out writing, but the characters don’t always cooperate.

What I’m choosing to take away from this fortune is that I need to work on making my thoughts clear and then I will strive to make them visible.

One final thought: My husband got the following fortune:

Keep on Keeping on…in bed.

Hahahaha!

May all your thoughts be clearly visible,

Leanne


InsecureWritersSupportGroupThis post is part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) blog hop where writers work to support and encourage each other on the first Wednesday of each month.

This month the IWSG is being hosted by the founder Alex J. Cavanaugh  along with Laura at My Baffling BrainMark Koopmans, Shah Wharton, and Sheena-Kay Graham!

PLUS – Happy Third Anniversary of Posting to IWSG!

 

 

I’m also on Twitter, Pinterest,  Google+, Tumblr, & through Email!

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Failure to Post

Last week is the first week I didn’t post anything since beginning this blog back in September. Part of me has guilt about this because I told myself I would write something to share at least once a week.

The other part of me says, “Pfffft!” bunnyPFFFT

I’m deciding to cut myself some slack because last week was amazing in regards to my Actual (with a capital A) writing. I finished the second revision on my novel. I am pleased to say, it is less full of plot holes. I would like to say there are no holes, but who am I kidding?

I also know how I want to rewrite the first chapter.

All is right with the world.

Bring on the third revision!

Take Care,

Leanne


 

InsecureWritersSupportGroup

Click image to visit IWSG

This post is part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) blog hop where writers work to support and encourage each other on the first Wednesday of each month.

This month the IWSG is being hosted by the founder Alex J. Cavanaugh  along with Sarah Foster, Joylene Nowell Butler, Lily Eva, and Rhonda Albom!

Check them out!

I can also be found on Twitter, Pinterest,  Google+, Tumblr, & through Email!

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Bailing Water

WIPpaperboat4Last month I discussed how I was lured away from my finished first draft by a shiny new writing idea. This one was just going to write itself. All I needed to do was show up.

Well I did show up.

It didn’t write itself.

Since my last post about it, I’ve been struggling with the forward motion on that project. My thoughts kept returning to the series I put on hold.

After a long talk with my daughter (she is wise beyond her years), I came to the conclusion that I’ve been procrastinating the rewrites.  It’s no good having half-finished messes everywhere. I always expect her to finish what she’s started. It’s time I took that advice for myself.

So I chucked my fear of what was going to be in that rough draft and I started reading it.

You know what? The story is good.

Of course there are some holes in the plot that are letting in water, but I’m a strong bailer. I’m even excited about the work. I have faith that I can keep this story afloat.

Wish me luck!

Leanne


InsecureWritersSupportGroup

Click image to visit the IWSG!

This post is part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) blog hop where writers work to support and encourage each other on the first Wednesday of each month.

This month the IWSG is being hosted by the founder Alex J. Cavanaugh  along with Krista McLaughlin, Kim Van Sickler, Heather Gardner, and Hart Johnson!

I hope you’ll visit them!

Please follow me on Twitter, Pinterest,  Google+, Tumblr, & through Email!

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Juggling Ideas

InsecureWritersSupportGroup

Click image to visit the IWSG Linky List

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is a great group of writers who post writing insecurities and/or triumphs on the first Wednesday of each month. It’s open to all writers, so feel free to join.

The June 4 blog hop is hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh and C. Lee McKenzie, Tracy Jo, Melanie Schulz, and LG Keltner! Please visit their blogs and give them a hearty THANK YOU!


I  currently have two completed manuscripts in first draft form. They are books in a series, the first of which took me several months (by several, I mean many) to complete. The second was the book I wrote for NaNoWriMo this past November and December. A third book to follow these is in the works, but hasn’t been drafted yet.

In late January an idea for a new book (and subsequent series) woke me out of a deep sleep and demanded to be outlined. For the better part of a week I put pencil to paper trying to make this story work. When I was done with that, I couldn’t put it aside. So I started writing the first draft of this book. It is my current WIP.

That left the other two books I drafted sitting alone on a shelf. To make matters worse, ANOTHER story idea has found its way into my mind. I feel like a juggler…and trust me; this is not how I normally work.

juggling-ideasI know, in my heart, that I need to focus on just one story/series: draft it, draft it again, edit it, edit it again, share it with compatriots and continue editing until there is no question it’s the best it can be.

What I would love to hear from my fellow writers is how you pay attention to the task at hand and not let those new ideas distract you from getting the writing done. I hope I’m not the only one with this sort of problem.

 

 

I’m easily found on Twitter, Pinterest,  Google+, Tumblr, & through Email!

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IWSG and April A to Z Posts, post April

A2Z-Pride-and-Prejudice_REF

InsecureWritersSupportGroup

Today’s post is going to serve as my contribution for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group and my 2014 April A to Z Blog Challenge Reflections. These are both blog hops that encourage sharing the love. I hope you’ll follow the links above after you read my post.

The ISWG is a wonderful group of writers who, like me, from time to time need a little encouragement in the crazy, mixed-up world of writing. We post our insecurities or triumphs on the first Wednesday of each month. The blog hop is hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh and his band of merry co-hosts ( Mark Koopmans, Joylene Nowell Butler, Elsie, and Lisa Buie-Collard!). Please give them a visit and a word of thanks (THANK YOU!).

The April A to Z Blog Challenge asks those who sign-up to post daily (except Sundays) throughout the month of April. One letter for each day. The reflections come AFTER April, when we look back at the success or struggles we had during the month.

I think these two blog hops work well together (rationalizing the combined post)…plus it doesn’t hurt that there are a ton of bloggers who are active on both lists.

 

I’m not going to lie to you. April was difficult. I had my A to Z theme (What I LOVE about Pride & Prejudice) mapped out before the month began, but that doesn’t mean I really knew where I was going. It was a daily dash to get a blog post ready for the next day. I read, researched and dug up/created images for each letter. I think I walked around in a Mr. Darcy daze half the time.

As hard as it was, I also loved it.

  1. Not only did I get some new followers (thank you folks…you know who you are), but I also made some new friends. It’s amazing how many people love Jane Austen and her most famous piece of writing (I wonder if she were alive today, would she join ISWG?….hmmm).
  2. I also learned SO MUCH. I knew the story of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy really spoke to me, but going over it with a fine tooth comb made me appreciate it even more (glad it wasn’t for a class…I never HAD to read P & P in school. I discovered it on my own as an adult).
  3. The A to Z Challenge reminded me that I can do anything day in and day out…simply because I wanted to do it. Writing 26 coherent (I hope, at least) blog posts on a beloved piece of literature will do that for you. I didn’t even care if no one read the posts (well, I care a little). This theme was for me.
  4. I also have this overwhelming appreciation for the coordinators of the A to Z challenge and all the teams who worked tirelessly visiting everyone on the list. It was a real undertaking and I want to say THANK YOU. We could never have pulled off such a feat without you.

 

As for my own novel I was writing before April began, it is exactly where I left it. The last saved file on my computer is dated March 30, 2014. There was just no energy left after working all day and posting all evening to get anything else done (I barely did laundry). This is why I usually only blog once or twice a week. The REASON I write a blog starts to slip away when I DO write a blog. I just need to find a balance.

 

If you didn’t catch my A to Z blogs on Pride & Prejudice, I hope you’ll take a look. I have them linked below.

 

You can also follow me on Twitter,   Google+ and through Email!

Categories: Book Recommendations, Thoughts, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

IWSG – Curse Of Being An Over Achiever

This month’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group is being hosted as always by Alex J. Cavanaugh. His co-hosts this month are Tina Downey, Elsie, Elizabeth Seckman,  and Julie Flanders!   Thanks!

Once you’ve read my post, please Click here  to “hop” to another blog on the list to support and share with others.

InsecureWritersSupportGroup

I’m not perfect. Far from it. I know this, but still…I set these expectations for myself that tend to get me in deeper than I planned to go. I’m not saying I am drowning here, but the water is too cold to let it be edging up here around my neck.

Here’s what I mean. I’m doing the A-Z Challenge Blog Hop this year. I’ve only been blogging since September, so this will be a new experience. Blogging daily isn’t such an unknown concept for me. I posted something every single day in November to go along with NaNoWriMo, but this will be different. The theme isn’t going to be sharing my word count and how I rallied myself to wake up by 4:30 each morning. I have come up with an actual topic that will take me through all 26 letters of the alphabet. I’m excited about my theme, but it is going to take a bit of research.

You would think that would be enough for me.

Well, it isn’t.

I then joined the A-Z Challenge Theme Reveal. It’s a great idea to get us A-Z bloggers started down the road to preparedness. If we have a theme squared away by March 21 that’ll just make the blog hop in April that much easier (and more social).

Then, to go along with the A-Z Challenge Theme Reveal I’ve been working on a new theme reveal for this blog. That has included countless hours on Photoshop making the perfect backgrounds and headers to express exactly who I am and what I want my blog to say about me (without having to say anything – you know the whole “a picture is worth a thousand words” shtick).

Plus, I have a full-time job and a full-time family.

And I’m writing the rough draft of my fourth novel.

And I’m late getting my IWSG post posted.

And my head is starting to spin.

What all of this information I’m laying out for you means is that I’m not really getting anything done. My boat is taking on water faster than I can bail.

The worst part is that I know I should be telling you that I have to give up something. If I want to get my A-Z post finished before April, I need to stop making new headers on Photoshop. My family and job come first, so I may not get ahead on those A-Z blogs. I have to focus on my book because that is really why I’m writing in the first place.

The over achiever part of me doesn’t want to eliminate anything. That is why it is a curse.

I can just say that March is going to be a very long month, but not long enough (Okay. Fine. I’ll quit playing on Photoshop).

You can also follow me on Twitter and Google+

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , | 19 Comments

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