Saturday, September 18, 2010

New Look, New Recipes & Book Mapping

It's starting to look like fall around here. Pumpkins, mums and the changing of leaves. This is my favorite season. I love the cool weather, the sweaters, the aroma of pumpkin bread baking. Autumn is like a fave blanket, it just envelopes you.

When grocery shopping this morning (I bought my first butternut squash today to make soup - can't wait to taste it) I saw the new issue of Cooking Light and grabbed it.

Yum! I've only had a few minutes to flip through the pages but I already know I'll be cooking and baking a lot from this issue. I promise to share the results.

You'll notice there's a new look on my blog. The pink was too bright for me. I guess I like things a little toned down. And with a new season on the doorstep I figured it was a good time to change a few things.

Today I wrote a draft of a new scene for my WIP. I'll spend tonight and tomorrow fleshing it out. That's my plan for the weekend.

While surfing the web earlier I came across a blog and the writer talked about book mapping for the panster. Hmm. I'm going to give it a try as I go through this revision. If it works, I'll share the details of it and where I got it from. If not, I'll probably end up forgetting about it so I won't update you. :)

I should get back to work.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Is it really Thursday?

I just inhaled a deep breath. It's Thursday already. Wow. Where has this week gone? I didn't get a chance to blog last night and I really think I'd be able to sit down long enough tonight to write this. But here I am.

I'm behind on my class assignments but all our laundry is done. I haven't written since Monday but all the dishes are clean and put away. Sensing a theme?

I'm not the kind of person who can let laundry and dishes and dirt pile up. I can't focus. The good news is that when I sign-off here, I'll be going to my WIP to do some writing. And tomorrow evening I'll be able to spend time on it also.

In the past I'd beat myself up for not writing at all (like what happened the past two nights) but I've learned doing that stuff doesn't make me more productive, it just makes me feel bad about myself.

Lesson of the week: don't beat yourself up, be kind to yourself.

Gotta go and write.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Tuesday Update


I wrote this post yesterday in keeping with my blogging every day this week. I just forgot to post it last night. Oops.

In my Conflict Grid class the long holiday weekend is over. Today we got Lesson 3 and two assignments. The two types of conflicts focused on in this lesson are the Conflict of Circumstance and the Conflict of Relationship. Hmm. In the first conflict, it's about how the world sees the heroine and hero and their should be a significant difference, which would create conflict. When I started thinking about my two characters, I realized that this is a perception people have and not really who my characters are. Essentially, they've been labeled.

Labeling is easier for us. It short-cuts us building a relationship with someone. Rather than find out who the person really is, what she stands for, what she values, slap a label on her and move on to "lets get together for lunch". We've all labeled someone at some time and at some time we've been labeled. I know I have. Once people hear that I'm an only child, well it takes them less than 30 seconds to write out that name badge with "I'm spoiled".

That's what labeling is like - slapping one of those sticky things on your chest (which by the way, I hate those things). Why bother developing a personality when all that matters is appearance?

But sometimes being labeled hides a truth, a past that we don't want anyone to know. That's the deal with my heroine. Her label, people's perception of her masks the truth she doesn't want revealed. It also keeps quiet her greatest fear.

I better get to my assignments.


Monday, September 6, 2010

Happy Labor Day

Happy Labor Day! It's a beautiful day here in Connecticut. In fact, the entire weekend has been great. For many, this holiday weekend is the unofficial end of summer and the fact that I saw pumpkins for sale at my local grocery store on Saturday confirms it. Since I love autumn, I'm not sad to say good-bye to summer. I'm ready to put away the flip-flops and cropped pants and pull out my boots and sweaters. I'm ready to put out my fall decorations and to make soup. I'm ready to change out the light cotton bed linens for flannel. I'm ready to hunker down and write as the days get shorter.

This morning, like yesterday, was cool. It felt so good. This is truly my season (okay, I know it's still officially summer).

I'm finally starting to feel like my old self again. A writer.

Maybe it's the new idea I got yesterday and can't stop thinking about it.

Maybe it's the classes I'm taking.

Who knows. All I know is that I'm embracing it.

I said I would blog about my classes and I want to do that. I want to share the ups and downs of the classes. I had signed up for three classes this month. Unfortunately one of the classes got canceled. I was really looking forward to the novella class. Hopefully it will be rescheduled at a later date.

That still leaves my Conflict Grid class and "Yes, You Can Quit Your Day Job" with Kara Lennox. This class is just starting with the invites and the official welcome email being sent. But the Conflict Grid class is in full swing. I've already had two homework assignments.

For the first assignment we had to choose Archetypes for our heroine & hero. I've never done the Archetype thing formally. I've heard about them, I know writers use them, but I never applied them to my characters. For this class I've chosen to use two characters from a book I'd like to write, which means I know very little about them. And the assignment was eye opening.

My heroine is a Crusader/Nuturer. My hero is a Chief/Lost Soul.

Just by identifying their Archetype I was able to immediately get a grasp on who they were and how they would clash with each other. Even though both are chasing the same external goal of finding the murderer, they will do it differently and that will cause conflict. And that's what I'm going for. Conflict.

The next assignment was to set their short-term and long-term goals. The short-term goals were simple. Within minutes I had them written down. The long-term goals? That took longer. They were harder. Though by the next day I had them. I turned in my assignment (which turned out to be difficult for most of the class) and got a "well-done" by the instructor, Lyn Cote.
Yay! My goals rocked. LOL.

Going into the second week of the class, I'm seeing there might be something to this pre-writing thing. Who knows, I might just become a member of the plotter's society.

Today is also the Murder, She Wrote marathon! I love that show. It's like visiting an old friend and there is a group of episodes back-to-back that are set in Cabot Cove. I can't wait! This morning's first episode was about a dog who inherited a family fortune and was framed for murder. Luv it!

I will have to catch episodes sporadically throughout the day. We have a trip to the home center to buy new garbage cans. Exciting, huh? And I have some things to do around the house and I have a new scene to write. I also want to take the dogs for a long walk some time today.

My goal for the week is to post each day this week. That's seven posts. Hmm. I think it's a good idea to give you a heads-up that I have no idea of what the content will be. I'll be winging it. :)

I hope you had a great holiday weekend!