Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Easing Into The Story...

Each of my other novels have called to me to write them.

I just glance over my idea list and poof! The one that wants to be written next raises its hand like a child in class who wants to be picked to answer the question the teacher asked. They want to tell their story and are more than willing to lay it all out there for me. In fact, when it came to the last one I finished, the heroine had been bugging me, tugging on my shirttail, since the middle of the story before hers. She was impatient and wanted the attention right then and there.

Not so with this one, as I've mentioned numerous times recently. The heroine didn't bug the crap out of me to tell hers and I never found myself thinking about what would happen in her story....But the story and the ideas I have for it have begun to surface.

I started a "brainstorming" file and have been adding bits and pieces to it as ideas come to me. The environment is beginning to take shape in my mind, the personalities are starting to show, and I'm feeling closer to finding myself writing feverishly each day instead of wandering around lost in a vice grip of idea blockage.

Maybe this time around I needed to let the ideas stew before I jumped in head first into the hot pot. LOL Writing feverishly can be awe-inspiring, but only when all the elements work in sync and hold true to the story and the flow of the plot and I sure can't force it into existence.

So for the time being, I'm letting the roots take hold for this one, allowing the seedling time to emerge on its own- so long as it doesn't take forever that is- LOL.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Floating Adrift....

Sinking down, drowning in lack of inspiration....

What is WRONG with me?!?! ACK!

I keep thinking that if I keep pushing against this brick wall, I'll eventually find some weak spot- an area that I can bust through this insufferable stalwart.

I've jotted a few ideas down, but I don't feel like I've got it "just so-so." Something is missing, something pertinent to the story, something that will make it different, unique and believable. I need an idea that isn't your usual fare, something that will stand out- like this splash of pink amongst the red.
Blossom is different from her sisters. She isn't the typical flower in this garden. She is slow to bloom and hides her secrets deep within her budding personality. Her characteristics aren't easy to see right now, her petals still closed up and the only thing I have to go on is the harsh outer signs- the thorns of who she has become and not the soft, sensitive, beautiful person she is beneath the snobby sharp exterior. I'm impatiently waiting for her open up and reveal who she really is.
My patience is growing thin, though. I wrack my brain daily, trying to think of something new, something I hadn't thought could work in her story. Since I'm writing the four books in order, I'm not sure I could jump over Blossom's and come back to it after writing Violet's, because Blossom's is going to set the pace for the one that follows.
It's say the least. It's hard enough to be in the middle of a story and get stuck, but to be stuck pretty much from the get-go is making me a little batty.
Have a great day! I'm off to exercise and then brainstorm.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Cosmic Clue?

Friday, April 25, 2008~ Aquarius (Jan 20 - Feb 18)
Your nervous system may be gently rebelling as thoughts come and go too quickly to fully grasp. You are not completely in control of your own mind, so don't try to stop the eclectic ideas from circling in and out of consciousness. It's not necessary to understand them now. Just enjoy the images and let them distract you for a while. When they pass, your tensions will subside.
I used to check my horoscope daily. Now I just do it if I'm bored...which obviously I am, but here is the strange part- The above horoscope for me today seems to express what I've been feeling about my current WIP- thoughts coming and going too quickly for me to fully grasp, not completely in control of my own mind....I have felt nervous and jittery because I haven't been able to wrap my mind around my novel at all and I haven't been able to capture the thoughts that have been swirling around in my head. Perhaps my horoscope is right for once- maybe I should enjoy the distraction until it passes and hopefully when it does...I'll understand why and be able to move forward after that.

I wouldn't normally put much value in something like this, but in some ways it makes sense to me. Sort of the way I felt about the fortune cookie I got a couple of months ago from the Chinese restaurant. I opened it and it said, "You are a lover of words, someday you will write a book." How ironic is THAT? LOL I taped it on my computer monitor where I can see it all the time. :0)

I subscribe to the notion that you should follow your instincts when at all possible. Listening to your gut and your heart usually lead you in the right direction. life has been filled with "noise" here lately and it seems the days are abuzz with activities and thoughts.

Spring is bringing things back to life and it's filling in, and in some ways intruding on, the "quiet" I had during the Winter months. There is no place to find the peace and calm I need to bury my head in my book. Stubborn, stubborn mind would prefer the busy bee days of Spring than sitting here writing.
My flowers are in bloom(Orange Symphony African Daisies) I'm tempted to move my swing down to the back of the yard near the swing set so that my daughter can play and I could sit and lazily swing and think and perhaps open the gateway back up to inspiration.
(Soprano Purple African Daises to right)-
I just have a tough time committing myself to doing nothing but sitting and thinking and pondering right now. I feel like I should be doing a lot more than just sitting and relaxing. Deep mediation wouldn't work for me at the moment. My brain is buzzing as much as the bumblebees and wood bees, fluttering like the hummingbirds(who are already back since I put out the feeder the other day.)
The blue birds are busy building their nest in the tree out front and the other birds whose chicks just hatched on top of the column on our front porch are busy finding food. I'm not sure what kind of little birds they are, but the male is mostly brown other than having a bright red breast, but they're not robins. These are smaller and they sing the prettiest little songs, especially now when they are feeding their babies right outside my front door. They work together. It's heartwarming to see how they take care of their babies.
I suppose I've rambled on enough this morning...jumbled thoughts transcend upon, flitting in and out(just as that horoscope says! LOL)
Hope everyone has a great Friday and wonderful weekend.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Lions and Tigers and Bears! Oh My!

Actually, it's more like~ Spring Fever, and Distraction, and Exercise, Oh My!!

Stubborn old Blossom is still not talking to me. I did a character profile on her the other day, but still nothing! Truth is, if she were talking to me, I'm not quite sure I could hear her over the spring fever that is settling into my bones and roaring in my ears.

You'd think with such a flowery name, she'd pop out and bloom for me right now, but that ain't happening.

So what do I do with the time on my hands? I spend it doing laundry and dishes and cooking...which I do anyway, but I also spend it outside checking my flowers and letting my daughter do sidewalk chalk art on the driveway, play on the swing and slide, and blowing bubbles. And when we're not outside, I'm on the Gazelle or doing housework. I'm up to walking or should I say~ "gliding"~ 3 miles a day, broken up in 1 1/2 mile increments. I'm feeling more energized physically, though my mind still wanders to where Blossom is hiding herself and that makes for poor dried up inspiration.

I've thought about doing some free-flow writing...just let my mind wander on its own, but when I think about it, I realized that writing my blog is sort of a free fall of thought as it is.

Falling, falling, falling into randomness, mumbling about trival things, such as~ Why does my daughter only hangs all over me when her Daddy takes a day off of work? Or why do I hate washing dishes so much? Why does my cat go from being calm and collected to running mad through the house like she's on speed and then leaping 5 feet in the air and hanging from the doorframe, claws dug in, looking around wild-eyed like she's certain something on the floor might get her? Her invisible monsters, perhaps? Or a bad LSD trip? LOL

But anyway...I've waxed on enough for this morning. Time for the Gazelle and hopefully an opening of my mind's eye and my writer's heart. Perhaps it's been whispered to me and I'm just not listening.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Stubborn Streak

My next heroine, Blossom, is still being stubborn. I got a start on her story- 2,513 words, but that was on Sunday morning. Since then I haven't been able to get her to come out and talk to me. I've scarred her and destroyed her livelihood. I think she's mad at me. ;o)

I had to though. She wouldn't learn anything if I hadn't and she wouldn't be worthy of the hero. Maybe I need to do some character profiling for both of them and hope that gets her to open up and become chatty. Her oldest sister was the chattiest.

Blossom has withdrawn into herself though, which might actually be the side effect of the car accident. It's the depression. If she's not screaming at everyone because she's in so much physical pain and so angry about what's happening, she's just plain not talking. That's going to make it really hard to write her POV when she's resistant. I'd rather give her the reins and let her lead the way. If only I could convince her of that! :o)

I really don't mind riding shotgun with my characters. Sometimes they know better than I do what their story really is and I like it when they tell it. It brings them to life and gives them real characteristics and allows me to almost become a "reader" of their life and not just their storyteller.

I wonder if writers have a natural born instinct to open their senses to allow the other voices into their heads and hearts. Almost like meditation....I know I'm not the only one who thrives on those moments where the characters take over and begin channeling their voice through the writer.

It's those moments that your fingers fly feverishly over the keyboard and everything else just sort of fades out- sights, sounds, smells. You get wrapped up in the story, deeply involved and in a way you become one with the characters, feeling the same emotions and conflicts in your heart. It's as though you're actually there. And when something major happens, and the scene ends- the curtain closes- you look up through teary eyes and think, "Wow...."

Time really gets away from me when I have writing days like that. I lose myself in the words and I don't stop to wonder where it's coming from. My momma taught me not to look a gift horse in the mouth and it is a true blessing when the characters cooperate and give of themselves so you can get the story written. Not only does that give you a sense of accomplishment, but it also opens up doorways in your mind for other voices to come out and speak up.

Mind you, some try to come out when it's not their turn (as in Blossom's older sister Juniper. She kept interrupting when I was writing their other sister's story.)

Blossom's going to be booger though. She's more self-centered and arrogant than any of the four sisters. She's vain and shallow and I think her story is going to be the biggest personal transformation. It's a transformation that has to happen before she can find real love.

They say (though who that "they" is, I don't know) that you have to love yourself before you can be loved by another. Well, that wasn't Blossom's problem. She loved her outer beauty~ to a fault~ and thought everyone loved her for what she looked like. When that "perfection" is stripped away after the accident, it will reveal a deep lack of love for who she really is and her insecurities.

She will have to grow and change ~ go through a metamorphosis ~ in order to become a woman who loves herself inside, if she hopes to win love, which is something she's taken for granted for years.

I know she can do it. I know she will eventually come out to play. Just a matter of luring her out and telling her it's okay to talk about it, because in the end, she gets her happily ever after...and she's a better person for it.

I'm off to have some breakfast, get my behind on the Gazelle and then dig into some personal profiling of my characters and see if I can get some of the story out of Blossom. ;o)

Have a great day!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Finished (FINALLY!)

Ok... Can I do a Happy Dance?

Jiggle Jiggle, Wiggle Wiggle

That's enough...I finished the first draft of novel #6 (aka #2 in my four book series).

Of course, it's come in 4,500 under the first one. I think that's what's been stumping me...the word count and page length. I think I'm going try to stop worrying about that stuff, get the other two books written and then tighten up and get them as close as I can to each other.

Anyway..I wanted to share my good news...Now to ponder on Blossom's novel and hope that I can get right into it.

Have a great weekend!!

Ramblings of a Writer- Stuck...

Between the lines, there are ideas I've yet to capture. Like running through a dark forest, shining a light on the ground, getting off the path and following the trails deep inside, I pick and pluck the foliage out of the ground and run with it.

That's writing on a good day.

But when the batteries die in the flashlight, I'm left standing, turning, lost and confused about which way to go and what to pick. Should I randomly grasp what I cannot see in the darkness, I'm liable to find a pretty poison that could destroy my novel, the characters, the plots and subplots.

Right now I feel like that...I'm wandering through a pitch black forest, hands outstretched, feeling around for familiar surroundings to guide my way through the brambles, trying not to trip over fallen limbs and dead ideas. I know there's a beacon of light around here somewhere, but I've yet to see it to help lead me through and find my way to the end of this jungle of stalled inspiration.

I feel like I have idle time on my hands, the panic of not knowing how long it will take to find my way through this mess. It's hard to lead with my heart at the moment when my writing heart, the soul of where my stories come from, has gone into hibernation. Perhaps it has crawled off to sleep and rest. Or maybe it's fearful of something that has already changed the story in a way that doesn't work.

I'm still searching, exploring the forest without a light to lead the way. I'm retracing my steps, over and over in my mind, wondering if I took a wrong turn somewhere on this journey. I know I'm close to the edge of the woods, but the sun has not come up, so I will continue to turn over stones and stumble along until the night ends and brings with it the shining rays of a break through.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

I'm a Slug

Even after my little vacation away and not really thinking about my writing, I'm still not in a "groove" so to speak.

My thoughts keep straying to other things that I need to do around the house as well as missing my hometown yet again. It's not the going up that gets's the coming back.

I think of how much I'm missing my family and my friends and the fact that no matter where I roam...that place will always be home. Always the one and only place that the roots of where my dreams of writing began and it just makes me misty-eyed to think that I can't just plop down and sit on my roots longer. They're too big and deeply embedded to dig up and bring with me. LOL

I did get the chapters broken up, but right now I'm going back and AGAIN doing another read-through in hopes that when I get back to where I left off...I can finally finish this booger.

My head's just not in the game. I'm burn out, but at the same time, my novel stays on my mind as much as home it's hard to escape either one.

I have been doing well on my Gazelle, so that's one good thing I have going for me...I've done about 6 miles on it so far this week. Yay Me! LOL

Well, I'm off to stick my nose back in this WIP and see how much farther I can get. Toodles and Happy Writing!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Chapter Play

I've played around with the chapters in my WIP to where I'm fairly happy with them. I know "the end" is close and I'm trying to match up the same approximate chapters/word count for each book in my series. Right now...fingers crossed, I've got the last three chapters to write, though I'm not sure how the word count is going to turn out.

That brings me to ponder about which is more important and which one I should aim closer to ~ Number of Chapters? Word Count? Page Count? What matters most when books are in a series?

The first book has 29 chapters and around about 65K and a little over 300 pages. This one I'm only 3 away from 29 chapters, but the word count is what I'm stumbling over and I'm not sure I'll hit close to 300 pages or's about 10K off of 65K and I'm not sure I'll get that close to it once I'm done, either. I suppose that's where editing will come in later so I can try to get each book as close as possible in one or more of the above "ponderables."

This morning I came across one of THE cutest videos on You Tube I've seen in a while. If you want to see it, go to YouTube and type in "The Mean Kitty Song" or you can click the link below. I love cats, but I know EXACTLY what he's talking about in this funny little song!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Chapters of Life

Last night I went in and broke up my chapters, though I'm still going to have to play with them and see what does and doesn't work within them. I can't figure out how I ended up with so few words in my count, and yet almost more chapters than the other besides how I added a few pages each to the chapters to start with. Perhaps that's it. Will I ever get this figured out? LOL

I sure hope so since there's two other stories in this series and I want them to be as close in word count/chapters/pages as possible since these stories belong together. I suppose I need to figure out too whether each story needs to work with the others as a whole or whether they could be read as stand-alones. If read as stand-alones, I'll have to add more details in the one I'm currently working on to explain who the previous characters are just a bit in case a reader doesn't read the first book, but starts with the second.

We'll see. It's quiet here this morning. Hubby and son are off to work and school and my daughter is still asleep...still not used to being back on our time just yet. I've got the country music channel playing in the background...low...and just taking inventory of what I should work on today. I might devote today's writing work to going back and seeing how I broke the chapters up and playing around with it a little until I'm satisfied and feel I'm ready to "put a finish on it."

Hope everyone has a wonderful Monday!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jig

Well, I'm back home now from visiting my family up in the 'Burg. Washing laundry and getting back in the groove of things this chilly Sunday morning. It's good to be home, but I also miss L-burg, too.

School will be back in session from Spring Break for Chris this week and we'll be getting back to the ol' routine. While I was gone, I tried to do some brainstorming on my novels and I realized what was holding me up on my current WIP- I broke the chapters up differently, so the novel is stalling on me because it's not like the 1st one I wrote in this 4 book series, so this week I'm going to be breaking my chapters up to match the other one a bit better.

Hopefully that will get me back on track to finishing it. Not to mention that the 3rd sister hasn't really come forward to "talk" to me yet and her story is next. She is a runway model and stuck on herself, but she doesn't want the changes that are going to happen that I'm going to put her through, so I think she's withdrawn into herself at the moment and she's not speaking to me about it. LOL

I'm tired from the traveling, but I know I need to get my brain back in the game this week. Today I may still relax and just get back in the groove of being home after being away for a week, but tomorrow will be time to get back to my Gazelle AND my writing.

Have a good Sunday!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Haven't Disappeared

Just now getting around to checking in online. Having a great time and beautiful weather here in my hometown. Haven't gotten any writing done, but did do some brainstorming a bit, but mostly spending time with my family and visiting and taking my daughter to the parks to play. Weather is supposed to turn off and change on us tonight or tomorrow, so we're enjoying this while we can.

Is it bad that I don't feel guilty that I'm letting my brain vacation as well? I can't really use anyone's computer though for writing and I'm just not all that good at concentrating and hand-writing out stories anymore. Used to be I could sit on my bed for hours and write and write and write....I guess the technology of having a computer to write on changed that. Plus I prefer that if thoughts come quickly, I can type them quickly rather than trying to get them down with my slow handwriting! LOL

Anyway! Hope everyone is having a great week! Will check back in soon!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Read-Through Editing and the Gazelle

The past couple of days I’ve been doing read through edits on my current WIP, so I’ve not really gotten any writing done, but my brain doesn’t want to continue the story until I do the rest of my read-through so I can see what’s come before and prepare for what’s to come for the end of the novel. I feel like I’m taking a refresher course in my story.

As I mentioned, I finally got my Gazelle Edge exercise machine and I’ve done it the past two days. My calves and arms are feeling it. The first day I "walked" about 1 1/4 mile. Yesterday I "walked" 2. Today I’m going to do it again and hope for at least the same so that my muscles get used to this. I’m enjoying it though, especially since I had to wait since February to get it because it was on backorder. Right now my body is tired and sore, but I know it’s because I’ve not been used to getting up and exerting myself. LOL

Before I moved here, I was pretty active about walking wherever I needed to go and sometimes a friend I worked with and I would go for walks around town in the evenings, so I know walking does wonders for my body and it helped me keep my weight down and feel better. I’m hoping the Gazelle can do the same for me since I can’t just take off and go walking out here in the country where I don’t know my way around and people drive crazy up and down our road all the time. I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.

Next week when I'm up visiting my folks I won’t have my Gazelle to work out on, so if it’s not raining the entire time I’m there, my mom suggested I should go walk at the new park. Or she said I could get on her treadmill if it is rainy out. That way I won't go an entire week of not getting exercise.

Today I need to try to get all the laundry caught up and the dishes and start figuring out what to pack and dig out the suitcases for me and my daughter. I need to make the short grocery list for tomorrow night and a list of things to do so I can get things organized. In between times, I’m going to finish my read-through edits and hopefully get some more written on my novel.

Hope everyone has a great Thursday. I’ll try to check in as often as I can while I’m out of town.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Over the Hump

I'm climbing over the hump day...Monday I didn't get anything done on my novel...instead I got my Tony Little's Gazelle(FINALLY) that I ordered back in February as my birthday present. I got a workout just from wrestling it around and putting it together! LOL

Yesterday I spent the afternoon alone, since the grandparents took my daughter with them and the other grand kids bowling and I did my Gazelle exercise. I "walked" about 1 1/4 miles. I also did another read-through edit on my novel, checking for misspelled words, things that seemed to be missing, grammatical mistakes, etc. I'm going to finish up the read-through this morning, do some exercise and then dig in and get some more done on my novel.

Funny after I posted Monday about how I wish I had a laptop already, my hubby brought it up yesterday and told me to jot down the things I feel I'd need for it so that he can take care of it the week I'm going to be gone. A shame he hadn't brought it up sooner...I could have taken it with me when I go up to visit my family. LOL

Anyway...I'm off and gone. Happy Writing!