Wednesday, October 31, 2012

We're thinking of and praying for those hit by Sandy, and hope that you are surviving. 

To all who celebrate, have a happy All Hallows Eve!

Monday, October 29, 2012


A little while ago I received some awards.   First I got the Leibster Blog award from Livia. Then I received the Super Sweet Blogger award from Tammy Theriault.  Thanks to both of you!  Both involve questions so I'll answer a few from each. 

1. Name your favorite movie.  Well, I don't know if it's my favorite but a movie that always makes me giggle just by thinking of it is It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.
2. Name your favorite holiday. Either Thanksgiving or the Fourth of July.  

3. Bacon or tenderloin? BACON!!!!

4. Name your favorite comfort meal. My mom's stew.  Yum.   

5. Do you daydream? All the time!  It's hard to stop, much to The Engineers dismay.

6. If you were on a deserted island, what would you bring? My family of course.  Then lots of food, books, computer, and sunblock.  I burn easily. 

1. Cookies or cake? Cookies!  I much prefer to have food I can carry around and eat without plate or fork.  

2. What is your favorite sweet treat? I'm a total mood eater so whatever I'm in the mood for.  

3. When do you crave sweet things most?  Again with the mood thing here. I think I usually crave more when I'm busy stressed but...shrug.  

Thanks so much! 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Rewrites Again

I’ve had some questions generated by my last post about what exactly I consider a rewrite.  For me I use rewrite for in two ways.  Now, let me say upfront that this is how I think of it.  I’m guessing others might have different ideas and I’m open to correction or thoughts. 

The first way I use rewrite is a general umbrella to cover rewrites, revisions, editing, and polishing.  Because sometimes it gets tiresome to type out each word, and really aren’t we all trying to cut word counts?  Ok, not really, I’m just lazy. 

The second way I use rewrites is for the heavy duty part of, well, rewrites with the first definition.  It’s like the part of construction that uses the big machines, the bulldozer, the backhoe; the ones that change the landscape.  For me, that sometimes means, taking a scene and writing it from a new POV, or with a different emphasis and better dialogue.  I’m rewriting if I move scenes around, and have to change transitions.

Revisions are a bit smaller.  The basic arc is set, the characters are themselves and not nebulous.  But you may still move things around within a scene or change part of it to bring out a theme or provide better foreshadow.  They’re like using a jackhammer, or a floor sander, changes are being made but only within certain boundaries.  

Editing is like using hammer and screwdrivers.  They’re the tightening, straightening and fixing of each sentence and paragraph. 

Polishing is using the Windex to make it shine.  You change the word “ran” for “darted” or “galloped”. You weigh each word separately and as part of a whole to make sure it carries the weight it needs. 

Personally, these tend to blend together. Rewriting may change to revision without conscious thought.  It’s not like crossing a state line where you can say, Now I’m in Ohio and now I’m in Indiana. It’s more of moving from country to town in Wyoming (If you’ve ever been in Wyoming you know what I’m talking about)  First there’s just one random building, then there’s two.  There’s some animals, maybe a dog or kid, the houses get closer together and more plentiful.  Before you realize, and without leaving the freeway, you’re downtown. 

I don’t think you have to “rewrite” the whole book to have it be a rewrite.  Maybe the beginning is fabulous but your ship changed course and you need to get it back on target, so you just reshape the middle chapters.  Personally I have not yet ever taken a story and rewritten from scratch, either keeping the plot and changing the characters, or vice versa, or some combination of the two.  If you don’t keep any of the scenes is it rewriting or drafting? 

Now once again this is all my opinion and if there are actual definitions of this then I’d LOVE to know. 

How do you define rewriting?  I’d love to hear everyone’s ideas on this so tell everyone to come on over and let’s get a discussion going. 

Monday, October 22, 2012


I found these two quotes on writing. I read them on someone's blog but I can't remember who, so if it was you let me know and I'll link over there.

Michael Crichton wrote, “Books aren’t written–they’re rewritten. Including your own. It is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the seventh rewrite hasn’t quite done it.”

James A. Michener once said, “I have never thought of myself as a good writer. Anyone who wants reassurance of that should read one of my first drafts. But I’m one of the world’s great rewriters.”

I especially loved the line "It is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the seventh rewrite hasn't quite done it."   I've been working on my novel for three years and done well more than seven edits.  It is worth it though. Even if I never get more than a form rejection (Please let me get more than a form rejection) I've learned so much about the writing process.  I've learned how to rewrite and even how to enjoy it. Rewriting really is the only way to grow as a writer.  Drafting novel after imperfect novel will only teach how to continue in imperfection.  Rewriting is where the hard work, and therefore the joy of accomplishment is. 

What have you learned from rewriting?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Around the Town

I wanted to link to a couple posts I found fascinating this week.

First is Elise Fallson talking about writing and depression.  Do we really need to be depressed to write?  Is depression the natural offspring of writing?  It was a fascinating read. 

Second is Stina Lindenblatt discussing the emotion behind the scenes and how to show it.  Great read. 

Hope you enjoy them!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Bread of Life

I came across this statement,  "People need stories more than bread itself.  They tell us how to live and why."  At first I thought it a little over the top.  I mean really, food is pretty darn important to life.  But then again, have you ever been in the middle of a great book and you just can't stop reading long enough to eat?  I have.  It was a great trade off, I much preferred reading to eating.  I did that with a whole series once, lost a  bit of weight. It was great.  

But the more I thought about the quote the more it made sense.Stories aren't just for entertainment, though that's not a bad thing.  Even if it's not a fable or allegory or even a mathematical story problem, stories teach us.  They teach us of choices and consequences, of universal themes such as trust, betrayal, hope and determination.  Stories teach us who we are. 

Every book that I love, that I want to hug and make a part of me has taught me something about myself, about what I would do in certain situations, about what I'm willing to put up with, and what I think most important. 

Do you think stories help teach us how to live?  Do you like them more than food? 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Letting go

I had big plans for this week.  It was going to be fun and relaxing.  The kind of week where I rewrite my novel in five days and do Halloween crafts with my kids and eat Cheetos and just be happy.  Instead, I've  been running around crazy and have hardly written at all.  It's been a week of trying to keep my kids from having breakdowns while everything starts to fall apart, but then miraculously doesn't.  But it never fixed itself until after I'd worried about it a bunch.  The other night I was trying to get some writing done and I was so tired it took me four paragraphs to realize I'd switched from first person to third.  Granted, third is my preferred choice but still, this character has been so determinedly first it's not possible to write her in third.

Writing is kind of like that.  Not the tired part, the not turning out as you thought part.  Though I'm guessing most of you can relate on the tired.  Sometimes the  scenes you think will be the easiest to write, or the best scenes in the book just don't work.  They're slow or boring or just don't progress the plot. Sometimes we need to change our expectations, or let go of our preconceived ideas so we can enjoy what's there.  Even though it wasn't what we planned.

If we can do that, we just might find some fun things.

Monday, October 8, 2012

It's a Monday

Today life hit me like a truck.  A big truck.  I don't know what it feels like to be run over by a semi but it can't be comfortable.  So, I don't have a post and can't scrape together enough brain cells to think of one so I'm leaving you with a link to an interview with agent Russell Galen.  I thought it was really interesting, hopefully you'll enjoy it too. 

See you all later this week.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Non Writing Craftyness

First I must apologize because this post isn't going to have much to do with writing. I haven't done much writing this week (sick again) so it seems appropriate. I had a comment or two on my post on monday asking about the presents we make and since I didn't have anything else planned for today, and I like showing of The Engineer's skills I thought I'd highlight some of them.  Yes, I'm totally bragging about him, but he deserves it. 

We've done a variety of presents, a bookcase for sister, a desk for brother-in-law, a table for mother-in-law. We try to meet a need, therefore not only is it memorable, it's useful.  We like being useful.  I've also made aprons, lace, baby dresses/blankets and jewelry.  Last year I made a necklace for my mother based off the description of the necklace Jamie gives Claire in OUTLANDER.  I don't have a picture of that, which is probably good because it's my interpretation based on the description and may not be exactly how the author, or other readers, envisioned it.

I did a quilt for my brother with a bunch of different birds quilted onto it.  I thought I had a picture but I can't find it.  I'm simultaneously relieved and sad about that. I love quilting but don't get a chance to do much of it anymore.

 As for children's toys, we've made a few. We did stacking rings one year.  If one were to hide this on a closet shelf, and it were to fall off onto their head when they opened the door it would hurt.  A lot.  There is a ball that goes on top, but we found it was just the right size to fit in a toddlers mouth and then that toddler might not be able to get it back out, so it has been relocated to a dark drawer somewhere.

These cars are great because they're easy to churn out and you can make them from any scrap two by fours you've got lying around. 

Last year our son was obsessed with Phineas and Ferb.  How could we not?

This is still one of my favorites, and our nephew, whom we made one for, loves his too.  

So, there's a few of the presents we've made for family and friends.  Next week I promise to get back to writing.

Do you do any crafty, creative stuff besides writing?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Write Club

I just wanted to remind everyone that Write Club is still going on and it needs your participation!  The preliminary round was extended to give as many people as possible an opportunity to participate and because of that people are voting less and less frequently.  If you don't know what Write Club is head over and check it out.  You have to be signed up on the linkey list to vote but so very many of you are already signed up, and if you're not, I think you maybe still can.  So head over, support your fellow, albeit anonymous, writers.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Forward Motion

It's the beginning of October.  Not only is it the beginning of a new month it's the beginning of the end.  The end of the year, anyway.  We have only three months left in 2012, which means it's also the beginning of the holiday season. 

Stop freaking out, I'm not the kind of person who gets out Christmas decorations in October.  But really, if you have to make Halloween costumes for kids, and if you're like me, you need to start now because last minute Will. Not. Work.  Also, I have to start planning for Christmas and finalizing gifts because for one, I want to spread out the financial obligation, and two, we like to make gifts for people and need to avoid the last minute thing we spoke of earlier.  Not to mention that any going to family generally need to be mailed before Thanksgiving.  Then there's the fact that agents usually stop taking queries in December as they try to clean their desks for the holidays.  Put that together and it's time to get working. 

If I wait until I hve time to write I'll never write. I have to make time for it. I have to sacrifice other things for it.  A finished novel isn't going to fall in my lap, neither is a clear and easy two hours a day to write it in.  But making the time for something I love and am passionate about is worth it. 

October is going to be my month of progress I'm going to work hard, and get lots done before the crush of November and December.  What are you doing in October?