Thursday, October 6, 2016

IWSG: Feeling a bit...defeated

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group is a home for writers in all stages; from unpublished to bestsellers. Our goal is to offer assistance and guidance. We want to help writers overcome their insecurities, and by offering encouragement we are creating a community of support. 
You can visit them here .

So, I received my editors notes, and another talented reader's notes, on LANE MERGE which is book two in the LANE CHANGES Saga and there is quite a bit I need to do. I stepped back from this book over the last two months, which means it'll be released a bit later than I anticipated. As the book and notes flitted through my head over the last few months, I realized I didn't have the amount of beta readers and friends reading it that I had with the first book. I asked, I went on social media and found only three people willing to read it. Between working five days a week, taking a college class and volunteering I haven't felt like tackling it to rework parts of the story line.

The bright light at the end of the tunnel?  A friend of mine graciously offered to read the third book and after each one she wanted the next...and yesterday I sent her the LAST one in the LANE CHANGES Saga...the seventh book. It was rewarding to know someone was reading it; they liked the same parts I did and even mentioned a few things that stuck out to her as the editor and one beta reader did. So, those scenes I know I really should change!

I still feel a bit defeated and promised myself any criticism wouldn't get me down, but it has derailed me for a bit. What do you do, as an author, to get back on the horse and keep working? I know writing is subjective to the reader, like a piece of artwork; not everyone is going to like it. But, the amount I need to work on is a bit daunting!



Friday, July 15, 2016

Very Good Advice Regarding Promoting Pre-Orders Of Your Books

Since I am heavily into editing LANE CHANGES via CreateSpace (I always find something small I have to fix) I took a break and "Liked" Smashwords on Facebook. A few posts down was this link on pre-orders. I realized, THIS IS ME! The second book will be out this fall and as I've been obsessing over book one, I realize I need to spread the love.

I need to buckle down and write a blurb for Book Two, LANE DIVIDES.
I found a great cover designer online and need to pick his brain about the cover for book two.
I need to go to all my media outlets and set up the info for LANE DIVIDES.

I'm excited! I have two beta readers reading LANE DIVIDES now, have contacted my editor who has time to read it so...look for Book Two in the fall. I'm hoping it'll be up by October as having two children in high school marching band will take up most of my weekends until November!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

IWSG: My Book Is Out There (Runs and Hides)

Insecure Writer's Support Group is a group of writers who post their thoughts the first Wednesday of every month and try to visit at least 10 new blogs and leave comments and support for their fellow authors! You can check out the webpage here.

So, LANE CHANGES is out for the public to read, enjoy, dislike, or whatever they feel like doing with my story. What is weird is I've told certain people I don't see everyday but I haven't told my family directly (parents, sister etc) and I think it's because I am waiting for more reviews to come in. I have one five star which is amazing, but getting a better view of what others think is something I'd love to see. I've asked people to read and leave reviews but those messages on FB pages, BlogPosts, Twitter get lost because so many people post right after me. Finally, a friend on Instagram found two people who wanted to read and review and so they are.

A fellow author told me besides SMASHWORDS there is Draft2Digital who helps get your ebook out there among some other sites SMASHWORDS doesn't. So, now it's out on sites I didn't even know existed! I'm excited, hesitant, scared and happy all at once.

If you are interested in  Young Adult Romance/Mystery, then you can get it free through July from Smashwords or 99cents from the sites listed at the bottom of this post.

I also made a webpage on Wix which was extremely easy! Definitely more user friendly than Wordpress.

LANE CHANGES--back blurb:


Amar: to love
That's what I associated with Rob Holland, the newest student at Naylorville High who somehow has the power to make me blush, stammer and trip all at once.

Molestar: to annoy
That should be Sam Seeley's middle name. Since seventh grade he has annoyed me to the point where I should earn a gold medal for ignoring him.

Matar: to kill
This is what I want to do to the person putting black origami roses in my locker, writing hateful notes, rude emails and texts and throwing a rock at my bedroom window.

Nadar: to swim
My one talent. A college scholarship I desperately need. Something I never thought I wouldn't be able to do until an "accident" cuts my swim season short.

Aprender: to learn

I have a lot to learn. About Rob and how emotionally stunted a person can be. About Sam and how his life isn't better than anyone else's. About how one friend's mental illness can have lasting effects. About love. About myself...Lane Meyers.

Available from the following:







iBooks: Lane Changes





Friday, July 1, 2016

LANE CHANES *FREE* For month of July!

Smashwords has a free ebook month over July, for those of us who are vacation and want to read some good books! I am participating in their promotion so "Lane Changes" is free on Smashwords! You can buy it, then put in the coupon code it generates, to get it for free! See Lane Changes Book 1-Free to download it!

On Amazon, I have elected to not participate in the KDP Select, meaning I can't offer it for free. I'd like to, as I am not in this for the money. So, I am charging the least amount that I can which is 99 cents. You can buy Lane Changes Book 1-Free via Amazon.

I hope you'll read it either way.

If you are interested in leaving a review, please do! On either site! I have one (5 STARS!) already on Amazon, which was very exciting to discover when I was on vacation this week :-)

Thank you!

Monday, June 20, 2016

LANE CHANGES is ready for take off!

Now, you can read what I've been blogging about for the last year! It's live on Smashwords, who will then parcel it out to Kobo, Barnes and Noble etc. I am working on the formatting for Amazon but it should be live there in a few days as well!

See that photo of the cover on the right? ---------------------------------->

Click on it and it'll take you to Smashwords where you can download a free sample or buy it for just 99 cents! Once it's up and running on Amazon, I'll let everyone know.

I also have a Facebook page, so feel free to come visit me there as well. It's under "Anna J. Adams" and the profile picture is the LC cover.

Thanks everyone!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Sunday, June 5, 2016

I'm Trying, WordPress!

So, I've been told WordPress is a great site to use if you want to set up a website. I know there are blogs on there and I'm trying to look for some I like to follow.

However, there isn't a search area to type in what you want to look for...which seems very odd to me. The only way I can follow a blog is to look at whomever "liked" or "Followed" me and do it back to them. Or search using an Internet engine.

I am going to keep Blogger, probably for a long time, as it's so much easier and more intuitive to use! If you want to hop over to my Wordpress site, you can do so here: Wordpress-Anna
On there, I introduce the LANE CHANGES main characters and give a bit of info about them and the book.

Still hoping for a release date by July 1, however, I may push depending on how long my ARC reviewers will be! If anyone wants to read an advanced copy and leave an honest review, let me know!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Reaching Out: Self Publishing Help

Currently, I am researching the self publishing sites and am listening to a long video about "Smashwords". In addition to that one, Amazon...are there any other up and coming free self publishing sites I should be looking at/learning about?

The cover is about 70% done (I asked if there was a teaser I could put out and my designer is working on it) so I'm still hoping for a publication of LANE CHANGES for the end of June!

Please let me know if you have an specific advice. You can email me also at: authorannajadams@gmail.com

Thanks!


Thursday, May 5, 2016

A to Z Blog Challenge: REFLECTION

This year, I thought I had my blog posts all figured out. I was going to do a Parenting one and wrote out all the advice for each letter of the alphabet around the middle of March. Then, the day before "A" was due, I reread what I wrote.

It wasn't garbage, but I felt like I was bragging about my kids and telling people what to do instead of offering advice and tricks I have learned over the years. I trashed it and went back to writing, which meant I had to play catch up.

I admit, my posts weren't all very deep and reflective. I think some this year may have been very similar to last year's A to Z Challenge. I have only made a few baby steps (one big one having "Lane Changes" professionally edited) since last year so I didn't have a lot of new information to add.

I really appreciate everyone who read and commented; it didn't make me feel isolated or that my blog was boring and easy to skip over. I really like going to the A to Z sign up list, looking for that {WR} tag and reading posts. I found so many new books that way, interesting people etc. I admit, I was a bit disappointed when some of the bloggers wouldn't respond to my comments but I get it. I tried to respond to mine as well but life, work, kids and more blogging gets in the way.  I did read them all and tried to visit as many blogs as I could.

I can't think of anything else that needs to be done or improved for this Challenge. The emails/communication was effective and consistent, the sign up was easy. I will definitely do this again next year and hopefully have a published book to talk about!

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

A to Z Blog Challenge {WR}: Z=Zones and the Art of Writing

Are you able to write in short spurts? Or do you need at least an hour (maybe two) to get in the zone of writing?

I found I need a good hour to get into that Zen-like state where I tune everything out around me and just concentrate on my thoughts and fingers to the keyboard. Now, this really only applies to writing a story. I am writing this LAST! A to Z Challenge Blog to the "Coldplay 2011 Glastonbury Concert" blaring in the background on TV.

When I first wrote, which was around 2004 or '05 and it was Harry Potter FanFic, I would get so into a zone, I'd forget to eat a meal and not be very hungry. I noticed I lost a bit of weight, which was fine as I needed to but that's not the case anymore. I don't think I could sit and concentrate so long now, ten years later.

People talk about going to a hotel room to write for a night or two without interruptions. I have a friend who'd love a cabin on a lake out in Western Maryland. I'd love to do a retreat with a few writing friends rent a house somewhere in the mountains and write most of the day, then go out to eat! Now, I'm happy with quiet and no one demanding anything of me. But, I'd take a free hotel room where I could order room service, sit and type my little heart out.

Friday, April 29, 2016

A to Z Blog Challenge: {WR}: Y=Yawn! Do your characters sleep?

I read somewhere recently that many stories open with characters waking up or going to bed and that it's not a good idea to begin this way. I  know you are supposed to dump the reader right into the action but sometimes I have to lead up to it.  Since LANE CHANGES is mostly full of teens in the first two books, I worry about their health and make sure they sleep. And eat. :-)

I remember reading an article where Stephenie Meyer was interviewed and she said it was very important to her that Bella eat meals, which is why the cafeteria was prominent in her Twilight story.

I feel sleep is important to my characters and I am quite attached to them; they are a bit like my children.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

A to Z Blog Challenge {WR}: X=X Marks the Spot

X Marks the Spot.

That spot is my hometown. I realized, as I began writing the three stories I have in the works, they all take place in a town very similar to my own. I haven't lived in a big city, a farm or in the mountains (real ones like Colorado). So, I go with what I know.

Has anyone been lucky enough to have the opportunity to travel to the area your character lives in and experience it for a few weeks or months? I know well-known authors have been able to travel to do research but some of us self publishers/non-paid authors may not have the opportunity to do this. That's when the Internet is my best friend. I look for the type of house, a specific area on maps so I can picture where my character lives and who they move through their lives in my books.

Do you write about what you know or make your main character's home in a place similar to whatever you have experienced? 


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A to Z Blog Challenge {WR}: W=What is your first book memory?

I'm in my early 40's and from the time I was little, I remember my mother saying I loved "Goodnight Moon". I remember her reading it to me when I was about three years old, along with "Santa Mouse", "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" and a book called "Heather's Feather's".

So, when I was pregnant with kid number one, I found my original copy of "Goodnight Moon" and read it to him. I read it to each child I was pregnant with, bought it as a baby shower gift for each friend's baby (unless I knew they had a copy).

I asked my 14 year old daughter what her earliest book memory is and she said, "The Lorax". Which is funny because I have a picture somewhere of my husband reading that same book to our oldest child when he was only a week or two old. I also have pictures of my husband reading his finance text books to our oldest child around the same age. I have the question out to my oldest (at college) and he said, "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" and my middle child (currently in school) says, "Harry the Dirty Dog."

It doesn't matter what you read, just read to them. But know that they do remember what you read from about age three and on so make it a good book or two or ten!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A to Z Blog Challenge {WR}: V=Visual Candy on Book Covers

We all know the saying, "You Can't Judge A Book By It's Cover".

In my opinion, you do. It doesn't mean the book inside is amazing if the cover is the best you've ever seen. And the same goes the other way.

However, with more and more people self publishing, the covers of books...the quality of the covers...seems to be going down. I can tell when someone uses a free stock photo then superimposes (is that the right word in the CGI world anymore?) a cat or a dragon over top. So, when I went out to find a cover for "Lane Changes" I went to a friend whose hobby is digital art, fantasy mainly but since LC isn't fantasy we are changing it up.

We have our background of a school hallway. Remember those lockers and all the times you spent hanging out at them? That's what we have and already I love it and it's not even 50% completed. We aren't talking about $ as this is fun for him and he's trying out his hand at book covers.

I feel that some people rush for their covers or maybe aren't familiar with other ways to get them, like through Fiverr. Fiverr is something I had never heard of until a friend--you can find her on Twitter at: @Talieee_d--told me that is how she found the cover for her book THE TAKERS, and I think it's simple and elegant and it cost her $5.

The hot covers now, for YA fantasy and romance, seem to be people on the cover looking introspective, are underwater, or are sitting with their back to the reader looking out over a sunset or ocean. I can't remember exactly when they went to this underwater theme as the first one I ever saw was a photo taken by my writer friend, and photographer Lani Woodland and she published it in 2014. Here is a link to her first book: Intrinsical, Book 1. She took this and the other photos in this series. She paid someone who is trying to put a portfolio together and got a dress on sale for her to wear.

So, there are other ways to get a cover and make it appeal to your reader. I know many people don't have money and the writing is a hobby but the cover is important; don't let anyone else tell you otherwise!

Monday, April 25, 2016

A to Z Blog Challenge {WR}: U=Ugly, Unlikeable or Unusual People in Books

When I was a teenager, I loved romance teen stories and one I remember, but not the title, was about an overweight girl who--either at the behest of her parents or herself--joined a fitness club and learned to play racquetball (I'm 90% sure that was the sport). The instructor, of course, was a cute guy. I can't remember the ins and outs of the book but she turned into a fit teen at the end and caught the eye of the instructor.

I know we want to escape to a world where things are better than where we currently are, for just a bit, and having good looking characters are a huge part of that. I do like reading a book where the ugly duckling turns into a swan, but I'm still trying to figure out WHY that is?

In typing this blog, I am STILL trying to figure out the title to that book I mentioned. I think it was from the late 1980s but in searching I came across this link: Blog--Top Ten Fat Books. I have read "Duff" and "Eleanor and Parks" and didn't remember that Eleanor was fat. I think I was so entranced by other things in the book, her looks didn't matter to me.

These are just rambling thoughts about characters in a book. In "Lane Changes" I have Lane's best friend who uses a cane, but the requisite good looking people are in there. I guess I like to create a world and imagine myself in it, as one of them or snagging the good looking guy in high school, as I didn't really do that the four years I was there :-)




Saturday, April 23, 2016

A to Z Blog Challenge {WR}: T=Top Books to Movies or vice versa?

Recently, my daughter and I were talking about good movies (Princess Bride) made from a book that wasn't great to read (Princess Bride). That got all of us talking about the title above of this blog.

Books to Movies

We like: Pirates of the Caribbean=movie made out of a themed ride at Disney, Forrest Gump, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, Outlander (so far, so good).
 I am the only one in my family to see 50 Shades of Grey but I thought the movie was better than the book, Game of Thrones up until this season...no book to read for Season 6!

Didn't like: Princess Bride, first Twilight movie, The Lightning Thief

I'm sure there are others out there that I have seen and didn't realize was a book while watching the movie. But, are there any that should be added (or taken off) this list?

Friday, April 22, 2016

A to Z Blog Challenge {WR}:S=Sitting around without a laptop

Waiting at the doctor's office for 45 minutes until child #2 gets called back means there is a lot of time to think, and it is usually about one of my books.

I have hit a wall with one of them and am trying to get around/over/through it. Driving is a great way for ideas to come to me as is listening to music but sitting here listening to people hack and cough is not working. (Though, it is letting me write my blog post on my phone!)

What are some of the ways you overcome writer's block? Does physically jotting down ideas with pen and paper help?

Thursday, April 21, 2016

A to Z Blogging Challenge {WR}: R=RIP Prince

I interrupt this Writing Blog...

When I first got wind of someone being found dead on Prince's estate my reaction was, "oh no, not him."

An hour later, it was confirmed.

I was a child of the 80s. Am a child of the 80s. His songs were my teenage life. He wasn't my very favorite musician, I never saw him in concert and didn't see any movie he was in. But, who didn't think about his "1999" when 1999 actually happened? Even if you aren't a fan, you could probably name at least one song that he sang.

Music is important to me. I write to it, I play songs on repeat to write a certain scene. I listen to music to feel happier, to get excited about something, to pass a long drive, to just fill in the silence.

RIP, Prince aka "the artist formerly known as Prince"...you had many fans. And you had respect. I hope you lived your life the way you wanted.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

A to Z Blogging Challenge {WR}: Q=Queer, Gay, Straight...

Queer. I don't hear the word much anymore. It's usually gay or straight, transgendered etc. Is it even politically correct anymore to say it about a person?

In one of my stories, generation 2 of "Lane Changes", a secondary character is gay. I didn't set out for him to be that way but after I began creating his character and college persona, he became gay. And I love him. He is one of my most favorite characters in the whole series. I don't know very many gay people, I know many straight and have come across all the other "abbreviations" but I don't have much experience in writing a gay male character.

What is interesting is I had a love interest in mind for him and when I began writing about him, I realized he isn't gay. He is straight and there isn't any other way for him to be.

It's amazing how our characters take a life of their own or smack you in the face and say, "Nope, I am not that kind of character, I am _____."

Have you ever had a character planned out in your head only to have him or her go another way once you began writing about them?

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

A to Z Writing Challenge {WR}: P=Prequels--Yay or Nay?

I had no idea Diana Gabaldon, of the "Outlander" fame wrote a prequel (or as it's listed a "novella") until I was on my Kindle scrolling through new ebooks. And there it was, "Virgins", so I clicked on it excited that there may be a new book! You can find it here.

It is about Jamie and future brother-in-law on a mission with a beautiful woman in tow. This was written before Claire is even in the picture.

I think with the detail Diana wrote about Jamie and Claire that I don't need to know much more about his life pre-Claire. Especially his sex life, since it we all know he was a virgin until his wedding night.

I'm not a huge fan of prequels. Even if JK Rowling wrote one about Harry, I don't know how excited I would be. These authors did such a fantastic job of putting everything you should know into the "now" in order for you to know their character.

What are your thoughts? I'm still trying to sift through the books I have read to see if I have read any prequels I have liked and I'm coming up empty...for now.

Monday, April 18, 2016

A to Z Blog Challenge {WR}: O=Openness in Writing: Do you write in secret?

How open are you with your writing? Do your friends and family know that you write/have written a book? Do you use your real name when publishing?

My circles know I write, a few know I am self publishing a book and only my immediate family, the guy doing the cover of my book and a friend helping with the web end know I have a pen name.

I don't think I am afraid of criticism or people hating my books. I know everyone is different and likes certain books, but I want to wait until I get "Lane Changes" book 1 up on the Internet before I post it to my Facebook and Twitter feeds. Before all my other friends, acquaintances and those people from-high-school-you-have-on-FB-and-wonder-why-since-you-don't-really-talk-to-them-anymore find out!

Best of luck in writing my friends!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

A to Z Blog Challenge {WR}: N=Nine Lines from my book "Lane Changes"

A day late! I have out of town guests coming tomorrow and spent the weekend buying a new minivan, cleaning the house, working in the garden and grocery shopping. Now, I have time to sit and blog...ahhhh!

So, I am excited that my book is done. Edited. Beta read and all that jazz! "Lane Changes" is a novel in the same genre as the 1980s John Hughes movies. It's about life. Love. School. Growing up and navigating that first relationship. Sex. Friends. The cover for "Lane Changes" is in the works and I'm hoping to get the book up on Amazon etc by June 15th.

Until then, here are Nine lines from "Lane Changes", Book 1!

1) First sentence: Two hours before I derailed from the path I worked hard to maintain, I was asleep in my bed, curled up under my warm purple comforter.
2) Lane and her best friend, upon meeting Robert (Rob) Holland--foster child and newest student--for the first time:  "I’m Julia Wiles, and this is Lane Meyers in case you were confused."
3) Thus begins the tug of war between Sam and Rob in regards to Lane: Whatever Rob did shut Sam up for the moment, something I hadn’t been able to do in the six years he’d been taunting me.   
4) Sam's girlfriend, Sarah, is one of the more bearable girls on Lane's swim team:  I was surprised when, a month ago or so, Sarah began hanging out in my corner of the locker room.
5) An "accident" causes Sam to hurt Lane's shoulder, risking her chances of losing a swimming scholarship: .  I should’ve felt mortally embarrassed but by the time she laid a gown over me and pulled back the curtain, I was happy to be dry and warm
6) Someone is leaving Lane "presents" in her locker, which escalates throughout the book:
Someone swooped in and grabbed the rat, tossing it down the hall.
7) Sarah has a secret...
She was much heavier than I would've thought for someone thinner and shorter than me. 
8) Sam vs. Rob. Rob vs. Sam. This is how it'll be for the next few books in the Saga:
It was unsettling to be holding Rob’s hand as he pulled me one way as Sam pushed from behind.
9)  Last scene in the book, Lane texts Rob from college...the same one Sam attends:  
Wish me luck, going to my first college party with Chantell.
 
 

Friday, April 15, 2016

A to Z Blog Challenge {WR}: M=Madeline L'Engle--YA Authors I loved as a kid...

I discovered "A Wrinkle In Time" on my teacher's bookshelf in 4th grade. We were allowed to 'check out' books so I took it home and read it in two days. I read that book whenever it was on the shelf. I asked for the set for Christmas and read it until there were creases in the paperback spine. Sometime in middle school, I forgot about it, and her other books, including "Meet the Austins".

When I heard they were making a movie about it, I found my old original copy and asked my middle school daughter to read it, but she won't. I find if I try to suggest books for my kids to read they push back. So, I'm just leaving it on my shelf until the time she may run out of fantasy books to read.

Other books that I enjoyed as a preteen: The Face on the Milk Carton, Stranger With My Face, Harriet the Spy, Nancy Drew, Follow My Leader, The Bobbsey Twins, Trixie Belden, The Happy Hollisters, Cherry Ames (those last ones were hand me downs of my mother's).

I'm sure other titles will hit me after I write this post! Any books you may still have from your childhood on your bookshelf?




Thursday, April 14, 2016

A to Z Blog Challenge {WR}: L="Lane Changes" Saga is going to be self published--advice?

I am going to self publish the "Lane Changes" saga. I have done some research on the different platforms like Kindle Scout, Amazon. I've heard of Smash Words but don't know much about it and have very limited knowledge of Wattpad. All of these I will be researching even more in the upcoming weeks.

I have a website in the works, this blog, Twitter and will be setting up Instagram soon. I don't plan on it, right now, walking into our local bookstores asking them to carry my book. (A bookstore near me is owned by Nora Roberts' husband and that's a bit intimidating to walk into and ask them to carry my book!) Right now, I plan on only doing digital copies. I will do an ARC if I can and try to drum up some reviews.

SO: if you'd like to be one to review a YA to New Adult Romance book, let me know and I'll keep your contact info. If you have any advice, I'd love to hear it.

Thanks in advance!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A to Z Blog Challenge {WR}: K=Killing off a character

Have you killed off a character? Have you killed one off without planning it ahead of time?

This happened to me and it was one of the hardest scenes to write. Thankfully, I had music to help me along with the depressing scene.

"Lane Changes" (the "Lane Changes Saga" is coming out later this spring) continues beyond Lane's college life into her adult life. I hit a wall when she was an adult, a mom, married. I had to figure out if this was the end of writing about her and her family or if there was another obstacle she needed to overcome.

So, I killed off someone. A main-ish character. One that people will know for book after book and like or hate.

I cried. For three days I was depressed that I did this. However, once I got over that hump I realized this was the way it was SUPPOSED to be. It gave me more stories, more emotion and while I know it was for the best whenever I reread what I wrote I still get tears in my eyes.

In time, probably a year or two from now, it'll be out there for people to read and I'll be interested to hear what my readers have to say.  (*fingers crossed there will be readers!*)

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A to Z Blog Challenge {WR}: J=Juggling Different Stories

I have two stories I am writing right now and there is a third one in the background "on pause". Sometimes, I need a break from one of the worlds I create and it isn't hard for me to move between them. However, when I go back and reread to edit, I find some similarities. For instance, I must like the name Alex because I have three different characters in three different stories named Alex (all male). There is one Alexa as well in a fourth story. I also find lasagna is a popular dish for my characters to make or for their parent to make. I have no idea why! Maybe because I like it? Or, it can feed people over a few days?

Are you able to have multiple projects going at once? Do you have a common theme or find similarities, like above, in your works?

Monday, April 11, 2016

A to Z Blog Challenge {WR}: I=I Do/Do Not Have a Writing Schedule

I write when I feel the need to, usually every day if I am not away on vacation.
My laptop is on all day, when I am at home, and I write most during the day. I used to be able to stay up late but that was before a job!
I don't really have an office or one spot; I try! I want to so I can have everything within arms reach but the sofa is comfy! If a kid comes in to watch tv or something I can easily move to another spot or even my room if I need privacy to write (which I do).
Do you have any routines or quirks when you write or create?
(If I didn't live in the mid-Atlantic and could live in FL this would be my writing spot. I would have to move in with my friends though! Back to cooler weather and reality tomorrow!)

Saturday, April 9, 2016

A to Z Blog Challenge {WR}: H=How Do You Write?

Back in the 80's, when I was a teen, I hand wrote my stories. Fast forward to present day and I use a laptop. I have very little in the way of handwritten notes except a timeline for a character's family.
However, I read some people are using notebooks and hand writing scenes. 

Do you do this or find it helps if you have writer's block or something? I don't think I have the patience as I type faster than I write now!

Friday, April 8, 2016

A to Z Blog Challenge: {F} and {G}--Florida and Good Names

I forgot about F given I traveled to Florida so...F is for Florida. Go even the weather back in the mid-Atlantic is crappy, I could move here!

G: good names for characters: how do you pick your characters names? Usually, for me, the name comes to me for my main characters. For secondary first names I like and sometimes people that I know :) Remember: "be nice to me or you'll end up in my novel!" I also have gone back into my family tree to find names.

Last names are harder but usually I make them up or remember ones I have heard and like. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

A to Z Blog Challenge {WR}: E=Endings Of Books

What is the best and worst ending to a book you have encountered? (And other random thoughts).

For me:

*Worst: "One Day" by David Nicholls. I wanted to chuck the book at a wall, set it on fire, rant and rave about it until the cows came home. I invested so much time and energy to have it end "That" way? I don't want to spoil it...but I would not see the movie when it came out.

Tied with "One Day" is "Elegance of the Hedgehog" by Muriel Barbery. It's a book that has been translated and I thought it was a lovely book, then the ending happened and I was sad and pissed. I was so invested in the main character, I wondered how in the world the writer could have written it, published it all without wanting to call it back and change the ending!

Best: Harry Potter series. Enough said.

Also, waiting to see how the Stephanie Plum series ends. I think I'm ready for it to; I've had enough of her waffling between the men and she has to choose. I think Evanovich could give this series a great ending...

"Outlander" is my favorite book but I did not read the last one and only skimmed the second to last one. It needs to end, I know Diana Gabaldon loves her characters but at some point it has to end! The main characters will have to die and readers will need to move on. I have NO idea on how she'll do this, and it'll be a day of mourning in my house when this happens...

*However, are these really the "worst" endings? If the author made me that mad and pissed, one could say it was one of the best written endings and he/she was a genius.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

A to Z Blog Challenge {WR}: D=Doing It...(random thoughts)

I just read a book called "Wrong" by Jana Aston knowing it was going to be rated M novel from the description, but didn't know quite how much! It was a bit over the top with the words she chose to use and was way too sexual for something I'd usually read. The story line was a gripper though, once you dug through all the bedroom scenes (and kitchen and office and shower) so the basic parts of the books were good. It was well written, intense in parts and had a good story line for this type of book.

I don't mind sex in books (anyone read "Outlander"?) and I know there are people out there who prefer "clean" books. I've read both, have liked both but I found I need a compelling story line to keep my interest. Just like with any book whether mystery or thriller. But...Erotica? I read the first few pages of one years ago and it was horrible. It was like reading a script to a 3am Cinemax "movie" that you'd try to watch as a teenager without your parents knowledge, but written at a 3rd grade level.

As a writer, when it's time for one of those scenes I try to not be crude and rude, which is how I feel some authors like to write. Not sure if it's for the shock value or what, but I guess there is a following for that kind of story. Just not me!

So, there are my random thoughts after finishing "Wrong". Anyone else have random thoughts on sex in books?

Monday, April 4, 2016

A to Z Blog Challenge {WR}: C=Cliffhang...

..ers.

This word came from a Thomas Hardy story where the main character was literally hanging off the cliff at the end of the book.

I like them, it's what keep me turning from chapter to chapter and sometimes shutting a book thinking, "This story has to go on! Is there going to be another one?"

Have you read a particular story where this happened to you? The first one that comes to mind is "Twilight". I found it just after it was released and read it in the car pick up line. I finished it and thought, "Well, there has to be more Edward and Bella. She can't end it there!" Thus, I went on the Internet and was relieved to see book 2 was in the works.

I honestly can't think of any other book or movie where this happened, where I scoured the Internet to see if there was going to be a sequel. However, recently there was a TV show where I had to watch the next episode...and the next...: "Man In The High Castle" and now I have to wait! Season 1 is done and Season 2 should be out sometime this year...

Saturday, April 2, 2016

A to Z Writing Challenge {WR}: B=Be Trusting Of Your Instincts

My first thought on what to post for the A to Z Challenge were parenting tips. I have three teens and figured I'd may have some words of wisdom for others. I sat down in March and wrote up 26 tips.

When I went to post the first one, I read through and found they all sounded preachy and braggy...so I trashed them.

In my writing, I do the same thing. I write a scene and sometimes when I take a break and go back to edit, my instincts tell me it doesn't work/is not entertaining to read or doesn't evoke an emotion. So, I cut it out and put it into a sepearate folder of "Deleted Scenes."

I trust my intuition in many things, big and small. And while writing isn't as life-saving as your intuition telling you to not take a certain route to the store, I think it's a small unconscious part of me telling me what will not work. Some say it may be God's hand, some say it's your own self-preservation or perhaps it's some form of ESP.

On the flip side, sometimes I get a story idea and go full on into writing and it takes a turn I wasn't planning on...but I call that "my story taking on a life of its own!"

Do you listen to your intuition in writing or other instances? Or do you stick to the plan and power through? If so, has it worked for you?

Friday, April 1, 2016

A to Z Blog Challenge (WR): A=Always Be Reading/Writing!

Welcome to April's A to Z Blog Challenge! I struggled with what to write about...parenting tips? When I wrote them it sounded like I was telling people, not advising people, and I wasn't happy with it. Self Publishing Route? I JUST began that so not much to add there. I did writing last year but those posts are so far back, I figured I'd do writing/reading this time.

Thanks for reading. Would love any thoughts or comments. Feel free to link to your blog!

*******

A: Always be Reading or Writing.

Throwing my laptop against the wall I hoped to break down writer's block. My laptop slid to the floor in three seperate pieces. Writer's Block feels taller and more menacing than the The North Wall.

Okay, I didn't actually do that but I have felt like it. That's when I close the laptop and walk away. I watch one of the few tv shows I love (The Goldbergs, Big Bang Theory) and try not to think. Then, I find a book to read in the genre I am writing about (YA/New Adult Romance) and try to read the whole thing before I pick up the laptop again. Sometimes, this helps me relax enough or stimulate new ideas that will chip away at the wall o' Writer's Block. Reading also helps you grow as a writer. I just read a book about how you should read six books in your genre, takes notes about what you liked, how you were drawn into the story or characters and use that as notes for your own book.

What helps you over come Writer's Block?