Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Writer Friends

Go to any writing site and you can find a list of very important writing tools. A good computer, a thesaurus, a way to back-up your files, etc. But I don't think you'll find one of the most important, invaluable tools for a writer's life. That would be writer friends.

Today a writer friend of mine commented on this blog. We haven't been in touch lately, we live quite a distance away, we're both busy with our lives and we've lost daily, weekly and even monthly touch. I guess life happens. But writer friends are so important for us.

We have coffee with them. We travel to conferences with them. We spend practically a whole day with them at a Chapter meeting. They're the only people who really get us. They understand our excitement over a new project, they understand when that excitement turns into dread as the project takes shape with a saggy middle, they understand our frustration when we get back crits, they understand the heartache when we get rejections, they understand the voices we hear and most importantly they understand that all of this is normal.

Good writer friends are not a dime a dozen, they are rare and should be treated like the treasures they are. There might be a little pettiness, a little jealousy, a little disagreement of what the opening scene should be. But that stuff is unimportant and needs to disappear as quickly as it came.

I've learned over the years there are only a handful of friends I can trust with my story ideas, with my dreams and with my heart. If you've lost touch with a writer friend now would be a good time to send an email, post on her blog or give her a call.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

3 Pages, Writing & Surfing the Web

All I really want to do today is write. It's been a long time since I've felt that way. But there are things I need to do before I can indulge. Ideas are swimming around in my head, I hear snippets of dialogue. It feels good to be back.

This morning I did my three pages and I changed my mind about the explosion. It just doesn't work. But I was able to come up with something else that works equally as well for the story, if not better. So I'm a happy camper right now.

There is a breeze coming in through my windows. It actually feels nice today, not as humid as the weatherman said it was going to be. In fact, the forecast is for 82 on either Tuesday or Wednesday. Wow. I'm having a hard time remembering what 82 degrees feels like.

I finally finished up the things I needed to do and was able to sit and do some writing. I got three pages written, that scene was something I worked through my Morning Pages a few days ago. Those Morning Pages (MPs) helped me get into the head a the secondary character my heroine was dealing with, to understand why he was doing what he was doing. The MPs helped with his characterization, I know him better and understand his relationship with my Heroine better.

I did take some breaks the day to check email & surf the web. I visited Stephanie Bond's website and read her blog. She's just announced her new deal with Mira for a romance trilogy. So she's writing about what goes on when you pitch, brainstorm, plot and write a trilogy. Check it out when you have a chance.

Have a great rest of your weekend!


Friday, July 16, 2010

3 Pages, 2 Shih-Tzus and 1 Revision

3 Pages:

This morning I got up and wrote my three pages. During the process I found out my heroine's biggest mistake of her life and it turns out it almost cost her her life not just her career and marriage like I thought. Maybe this process does work? I think I'm going to stay with it for awhile. I mean, I've been looking for this secret for months. Months and months. I knew it was there. I just didn't realize I'd have to dig for it at 5:30 in the morning. Oye!

2 Shih-Tzus:

I'd like to introduce you to my two best little buddies. They are loving, sweet, sometimes naughty, and always enjoyable. Susie is six and Billy is five.


Three words to describe her: Princess, Adventurous, Sweet


Three words to describe him: Loyal, Protective, Playful

You'll be seeing a lo of them. They are my little writing companions. Though it's mostly Billy with me at 5:30 when I writing my morning pages. Susie prefers to sleep in until about 6:30 or 7:00 (Princess, remember?).

1 Revision:

The manuscript I'm revising is a Romantic Suspense set in a small New England town. That's all the specifics I'm going to share about it. I've learned to keep my stories and story ideas close to the vest. Revising is daunting. There are scenes to add, scenes to tighten, scenes to lengthen, scenes to cut completely. How do you handle manuscript revisions? Any little tricks to keep track of what needs to be added, to be cut? I'm dealing with a lot of crits from my critique group. I'm trying to work in there suggestions where I believe they work. The next scene I have to write is a brand spanking new one that ends with an explosion. Hmm. I have to learn how to build a crude bomb over the weekend. Ah, a writer's life.


I have a confession to make. Here goes. Hi, my name is Debra and I am obsessed with exercise DVDs. There's no need right now to air my dirty laundry (how many I own). Lets just say it's a lot. I love to exercise. My friends think it's an illness. But I've found another group of equally obsessed people who think I'm very normal. I like them. :)

Anyway, my workout today was Leslie Sansone's Walk Slim Fast Firming.

27 minutes of one-on-one with Leslie Sansone and a resistance band. It's a quick workout but the resistance band packs a punch and I'll feel it tomorrow. Today's weather is so horrible I didn't feel it was safe to do a longer workout. I think this did the trick by giving me a short, efficient workout fix.

I think I'm going to wrap this up and feed Susie & Billy, who are curled up with me in the study. Spoke too soon. They both just dashed out to the living room. I better go see what's going on.

Have a great night,

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Once Upon a Time...

Once upon a time there was a writer who had a story to tell but she did everything she could think of not to tell, or revise, the story. She needed to do something different, something to revive her revision. But what?

She already has a lot of shoes. No, what she needs a revised manuscript. So that means she needs another idea. Hmm.

Fast forward a few days when...

This writer decided to shake things up a bit since for the past few months I've done pretty much nothing in terms of writing. Sure, I've thought about a lot of things - need a plot, a concept, a germ of an idea? And I have two first drafts completed. I need to get them from first draft to final draft, aka ready to be submitted to an editor. Hmm. I realized something needed to change.

But what would the change be?

I'd like to say "the work". Hahahaha. But really the answer is: Duh! Me. I am the work.

With that clarified I needed to decide what I would be changing.

I considered doing something I tried a few years ago and I actually liked it but of course it fell to the wayside. But trying once and not succeeding doesn't mean I can't try again. So here it goes. Morning pages.

Not familiar with them? Let me recap.

First, lets give credit to Julia Cameron (author of several books including the Right to Write, the book I have).

She instructs writers to write first thing in the morning and the writer needs to write three pages by longhand everyday. These pages aren't meant to be perfect prose. These pages may not make sense, probably won't be related to your current WIP, the grammar will be horrible, your spelling may suck and you may not be able to read your writing (remember, this is first thing in the morning).Your pages will probably read like you've just dumped
a clump of information that doesn't connect to anything and that's okay.

The reason for doing these three pages in morning before anything else is to allow your creativity to flow without any barriers, internal editors or interruptions. You'll be surprised what you'll find after you repeatedly write Morning Pages.

So, here I go. Morning Pages it is.

Since this is brand new to me, I have no idea what you'll find here. Snippets of my life (the good, the bad and the WTF moments), my journey to becoming published, a favorite recipe or two, an interview with a fellow writer, writerly wisdom (I've been told I'm insightful...seriously). What I do know you'll find here are pictures of my dogs - Susie & Billy. I love those little mops, I mean Shih-Tzus.

My focus these days is revising my manuscript, so my new home on the blogosphere may look a little sparse. I'll spruce up the joint as time goes by and make it look more like a real blog. So pardon the appearance as I settle in.

Okay, I think it's time to wrap this post up.