Thanks, Jen. I Needed That.

Well, Jennifer Blanchard kicked my butt.

Again.

In her blog post, The Truth About Being A Pro Writer, Jennifer explains how she couldn’t come up with her daily blog topic. (I can’t see how she does it daily myself. I’m still having trouble coming up with things).

Jennifer explains how it’s persistence that makes the difference. Even if everything we write for that day turns out to be crap, at least we’re being consistent and disciplined to writing daily.

I can attest to the fact that the longer you stay away from your work, the harder it is to get back to doing it. But, there are times, like the past few months, that life throws a fastball and we strike out. Hey. That’s life.

I already knew all of this. Jennifer wasn’t telling me something that I didn’t know. But, her blunt, kick in the butt with reality, was something I definitely needed.

Now, back to work.

~D

 

 

I’ve been out of commission…

…for about a month. We’ve all had what some of us refer to as the “crud.” Mine started as allergies for about a week and a half, then I caught this crap that was wicked. I still have congestion.

Leatherwood Creek would have been “shelved” whether I’d wanted it to be or not. So was Taunted Dreams. I haven’t felt like doing anything.

But, it’s worked out well.

After an Ask the Author segment last night with internationally best-selling author Nikki Prince, I realized what I originally wanted to do with Leatherwood Creek will work. I didn’t know until last night there was a difference in series’ and serials. We’re never too old to learn something new, and we never know at all.

I am, however, glad I lessened the point of view characters. I think it will be easier to follow.

So, Leatherwood Creek is back in the works (or about to be). I plan to release it in segments, or episodes, that will come out fairly close together so as to not keep readers waiting too long for the next part. I now know more about how it should be done. I will be giving updates once I get going. I also still plan to add the map, a character list, photos, recipes….anything that goes along with the storyline and the South.

Now, it’s time to get back to work!

Until next time,

Darlene

Leatherwood Creek has turned into a nightmare.

I’ve shelved Leatherwood Creek for a while. I can’t seem to get it written the way it needs to be written.

You see, at first, I wanted it to be like a “soap opera.” There are several characters in this WIP (work in progress), and, at first, most had their POV (point of view) shared. It took a lot of work and was hard to keep up with. I have books of notes. But, it seemed to be too much. Plus, it made some of the scenes too small, which affects the pace and makes it read too fast. This might be okay for TV, as a friend told me, but reading it is another thing.

So, I rewrote it, and It still doesn’t work. Not the way I want or need it to work.

Therefore, the shelf. I’m going to let it simmer a while and work on something else.

And, whoever said writing a novel was easy!

Until next time.

~Darlene

Choices

Life has a way of catching up with us. Suddenly, we realize we’re no longer young. Twenty years have passed in an instant–a blink of an eye.

Do you ever wonder how different your life would be if you’d made other choices? I understand we’re not supposed to have regrets or dwell on the past. But, I feel certain some, if not all, of us, have wondered how another path, or choice, would have altered our lives.

Hubby and I have discussed it–not with regret but curiosity. Capable of pitching a baseball 95 mph at the age of 15, if his dad had made a different choice, or if he had not allowed certain things to get in his way….would he have gone pro? I think so.

Many decisions were either out of our control (or we thought they were) or made in haste. Not much thought or preparation was put into our choices. Our childhood, and the way we were raised, affected our thoughts and our view of the world.

Now that I am older, I look back and realize how important choices are. Choices have a major impact on our lives and futures. Decisions should not be made in haste because we will have to live with the consequences of those decisions–some for a lifetime.

Take the time to think it through. Consider your future and how you want your life to unfold. Twenty (or more) years will be gone with a blink of the eye.

 

Gettin’ Older Ain’t No Fun

The actual fact of getting older doesn’t bother me. I consider each birthday a blessing. Where I was granted another year, others departed this earthly existence for one of rest and peace (or, at least, we hope).

I look around and wonder what happened. Where did time go? What do you mean it’s been ten years? I thought it had been about two. We’re not supposed to be this old. Not yet! Time needs to slow down. I’m having trouble keeping up.

Yet, I don’t want to slow down. I’ll look at something that needs cleaning. My mind says it’s an easy job and shouldn’t take much time or effort.

My body laughs.

What used to be easy, and even fun is either hard or impossible to do. It’s frustrating and frankly, a pain in the butt.

Some of us are lucky. We’re still in good physical shape, look good, and go and do as if we’re a lot younger. Others, like myself, have to accept the fact we can no longer do things we once could.

That is the frustrating part–your mind telling you it should be easy. Your body saying, you no longer can.

What are your thoughts on getting older? Any stories (funny or otherwise) you’d like to share?

Until next time,

~D

A Light Bulb Moment

Earlier, a post from a Facebook friend gave me one of those “light bulb moments”.

I’ve never wanted to blog about the actual art of writing-one, because there are already so many other people doing it, two, because I assumed everyone already knows everything, and three, I’m not sure if anyone would want to hear what I have to say on the topic.

Ah, what ever gave me that idea?

I’m still learning. Things change almost daily. We pick up tid-bits on how to do things and how to approve our writing all the time, and, we can also forget things (or get slack).

One of my favorite things about being an author is the fact that most you meet are willing to help. Everyone wants to see everyone else succeed (at least, most of the professional authors I’ve met, anyway).

I have spent years, years learning, and most, if not all, I’ve learned from others. I have read articles, books, taken courses, excelled in college English classes…but most of what I’ve learned I have done so by learning from others who took the time to put the information out there for those of us who were just learning, willing to go the extra mile, look things up and post it so we could all learn.

So, with that in mind, I thought I’d pass along some bits of info.

If you have a question on a particular thing, ask. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll try to find the answer. But, I’ve learned a lot over the past twenty or so years. Surely, I’ve learned something that could help. 😉

Tibit for today: Use adverbs sparingly, especially the -ly adverbs.

I know! I know! How are you to do that? How on earth am I supposed to let the reader know that Cassie is upset if I tell them she stomped heavily across the floor?

Well, I have to say this is a lame example, but go with me here.

You can do it with a little tweeting of the words and showing her doing it.

No, it isn’t always easy. And, yes, I have been known to “cheat” and use them when my mind refused to give me a description of the adverb. But, whenever possible, we are supposed to show that Cassie is upset in other ways.

Instead of writing: Cassie stomped heavily across the floor to the fireplace, picked up the candlestick and threw it forcefully towards Max, we say …

Well, stomped tells us that she is upset by itself, so here we could just leave out the “heavily”. It’s redundant, anyway, and not to be used (that’s another lesson). And, if she “slung” the candlestick  towards Max, then she’s apparently ticked. Ask Max. 😉

For beginners:

The first thing you need to do is to decide what you want to write. Is it Fiction or Non-fiction? Memoirs or articles? Perhaps, it is Sci-Fi, Horror, Women’s Fiction, Romance? What is it that is calling to you? Write what is of interest to you, not what someone suggests or what is trending. Stay true to yourself and your stories.

Worry about the publishing, etc. later. Let’s just get you writing for now.

Next, network with those of us who write and publish in that genre. I can’t tell you crap about writing Sci-Fi, unless the “rules” apply to all genres (and, some will).

Learn about POV (point-of-view) and which is best for what you want to write.

Learn how to stay in a character’s POV and not “head-hop.”

Learn how to “show and not tell.”

Here’s one that so many don’t thing about: learn your grammar! This is a “biggy”! Learn the correct tenses, learn punctuation, correct sentence structure, etc. I learned things had changed since I first learned about the dreaded comma. I think it’s to the point that no one knows any longer what the correct usage is.

No, it isn’t as easy as putting words onto paper or a screen. There is much more to the process. Some folks will say, no, there isn’t. But, don’t be fooled. If you want to make a career out of writing, if you want to be published and read, then learn all you can about the craft. And, continue to learn. As in anything worth doing, it pays to read and soak up all the knowledge that you can.

Until next time,

~D