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Showing posts from December, 2009

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Writing from the Dark Side

Heh! I started out calling this blog post "Blogging from the Darkside" and then went to "Writing from the Darkside" and then went on to finally arrive at "Pubbing from the Darkside".  This little tidbit of information should be able to give you a little hint over what has been happening at the Oliver Homestead since I last posted.

Big News! I am part of a great collaboration with a collection of Writers who decided that if a romance book should be done, it should be done by us! Hence, the beginning of what is now know as Welcome to Serenity Harbor, Maine.

This is huge! This is ginormous! All of the books are set around the fictional coastal Maine town of Serenity Harbor. We didn't limit genre, only that their characters fall in love in Maine.

For me, this was a return to something that I love... well, yes... it was a return to writing. I've blogged a little bit about some of my struggles with illness that left with being unable to write for a whi…

Kick Start the New Year!

Out with the old and in with the new... it's not just a cliche. If you are a professional writer than this should be your mantra for getting ready for 2010. It can't be said enough that in order to be treated as a professional we must first treat ourselves as professionals. I've been in this business long enough to know that I can't expect someone else to push me if I want to accomplish my goals. I need to do it myself. No one else can put my butt in the chair and no one else can make my fingers hit the keyboard. I need to do that myself.

Accept it...
It's about more than making resolutions and goals. We need to be able to put practices in place that show that we are actively pursuing a publishing career. It's not enough to say that I want to be published. I must say how I am going to accomplish it.

I will write 1,000 words a day.
I will log it on a daily log sheet.
If I miss a day I will go forward and not quit. But I will hold myself accountable by showing…

"Honest" Writing

I'm not sure how much grief I may get for this blog post or whether or not I understand what it is that I'm trying to say to the extent that I may convey it clearly to anyone else. But lately I've found that when my writing is lacking it's due to the fact that I have written what I would call an "honest" book.

By "honest" I mean a book that genuinely taps into emotions and conveys them to the reader. I've picked up tons of books that I was excited to read only to find that they fell flat when reading them. They may have initially captured my interest, but they failed to touch my heart. And that is failure with a book. As writers we are told to write what we know or to write from the heart. But how many of us truly understand that to do this means to put our emotions out there for anyone to see. We must lay our souls bare in order to capture the essence of our story. Notice... I didn't say our character's soul? That's because whether…

Slugging away at my writing...

Day 3: And so far I've managed to write each day. I have a measly little goal of a 100 words, but find that most days I blow that away... except today. Oh, I got to my goal. But it wasn't easy. I'm tired and cranky and had a long, long day of pre-Christmas retail work. The last thing that I could think about was being creative. Still, I manage to get those words onto the page. And I can truthfully say that I am proud of myself. Besides, there is always tomorrow to finish the Great American Novel. :)

When Inspiration Strikes

I'm up early. At least early for me. Hubby has left at this unGodly hour for work and I found that I couldn't let the characters in my head stay silent anymore. For two days I have worked long hours with only a few minutes caught here and there to be able to satisfy their need for attention. But this morning they want their time in the light. I've turned on the lights on the tree, set a pot of coffee to brew and sit here in semi darkness trying to rationalize why, on one of my few days off I'm not lounging in bed with the covers pulled up around me and dreaming of warm places.

For some reason the holidays have always been a fairly creative time for me. I don't know if it's just my minds complete knowlege that there is very little time allotted for creative endeavors. Or if it's the fact that this is the Universe's way of reminding me that this is what I truly wish I was doing. But since bills must be paid and a roof must stay over our heads, I know th…

Writing the Road Less Traveled

Surprise yourself. If you outline, be loose as you lay out the story. If you just write without an outline, hack away in semi-darkness. If you know your destination, don’t take the freeway. Explore the back roads. Visit landmarks that are off the beaten track. Ask yourself as you write, Is there another way to get where I’m going?The above quote came from Gail Carson Levine's blog where she posts about predictability. Some of you may know Ms. Levine for her young adult books such as Ella Enchanted. But she's been writing mysteries lately and she has a lot to offer in the way of help for writers.
I think the above quote really does sum up what we should be thinking when it come to writing books that satisfy our readers. She's relentless in questioning whether the point being offered is taking the easy way out for the writer and thereby cheating the reader. Frankly, she's got a point. I do think that writer's are a hard reader to satisfy. We tend to tear things apart …

Work Messes with my Writing...

Since I have yet to hit either the lottery or the NYT list it is a given that I am reduced to continuing on with my day job. The title "day job" is a bit of a misnomer in this case since I work retail. For instance, I worked until 9:30pm last night... only to turn around and work at 9 this morning. But since, I'm not independently wealthy I must continue on and write while I can.

At the recent Maine RWA Christmas party (hosted by the fabulous Diane Amos) a few of us had a discussion about one of the chapter's motivation loops. It's called the Word Ho's. And no, you're not reading that wrong. This was a yahoo list that was developed over the last year so that it could help motivate and keep members accountable. They report in on their progress and are responsible for doing as little as 100 words a day. That could be a paragraph for some... a sentence for others :) But the idea is to keep it simple, keep them writing and keep them accountable for putting th…

Blog Envy

I've got it.

I normally peruse quite a few blogs when given the chance. Mostly I read author blogs, usually ones that involve mystery or romance authors. But every once in awhile I come across a blog that really "WOWS" me.

This week it was Desperately Seeking My Inner Mary Poppins.

This blog works on so many levels. First, the writing is good. Any authors out there looking for a little bit of that sense that someone else understand our insanity will get it by reading Mary Beth's posts. (more...)

Memories of home and holidays

A couple of weeks ago my daughter and I started a fan page on Facebook for my hometown, Cundy's Harbor, Maine. We did it because there were so many of us living abroad (that is... beyond the town line) that we wanted to make sure that there was a place for many of us to go and register our thoughts. As of the last count we had 87 fans. That doesn't sound like a lot, but when you figure that Cundy's Harbor is just a small part of a bigger town and the main road is only about 9 miles long... this is quite a few of us. More are coming I'm sure. Making that turn onto the harbor road is the same for me as going home. Even as I cross Gurnet Bridge I can feel it in my bones. That familiarity. That sense of place. That part of my soul. (...more)