Tag Archives: work in progress

Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…


writing-hub

Writing:

Maybe it’s naughty but I submitted few pages of another manuscript to our current Writer in Residence over the weekend. This time it was the manuscript I am currently working on, The Twesome Loop. A romance with a touch of erotica and a reincarnation twist. It is two time periods – 2000 and 1874 so the chapters go back and forth between the two. The four main characters in each time period are linked by reincarnation and as you get to know the characters you will come to notice similarities in personality coming through.

My meeting on Sunday with Richard van Camp our current WIR was excellent. He gave me a ‘light bulb’ moment on one of the characters. This will give me a new boost in creating her in a whole different light. Now I need to find the time to revise all the scenes she is present in. An expression he used was to ‘echo’ the characters to entice the reader with the similarities between the modern day and past personalities.

I also submitted the initial draft of the book I am ghost writing to my client for her review. Fingers crossed it will meet with approval!

And – agreed to be a beta-reader for two author friends so the manuscripts are piling up!

Books:

i-can-see-you I completed this novel – here is my review: Great story with well rounded characters, especially Emma whose bravery inspires.
A story of spirit, love and overcoming fear.
The tension builds with unforeseen twists and turns.
A well written narrative by an artful author, I will certainly be seeking out her other books.

I am now reading:

ava-moss

Writing Tip:

You don’t always need an outline. Give discovery writing a try.

Do you have a writing tip to share?

What book can you recommend?

 

 

 

 

Stress Blocks Creativity…


We all tread this writing journey with a certain amount of trepidation. Even the most successful authors have concerns.

Will my novel be good enough? Is the story strong?

Will I get good reviews? Have I written my best?

Is there another novel inside me?

It is human nature to agonize over these worries but with support from family, friends and a writing group you can lessen them.

stressed

What makes you most anxious in your writing life?

Unfortunately, stress has a detrimental effect on the creative process so we must try to elevate it. There are a few simple methods to help us.

Firstly, walk away from the project and find somewhere quiet to take some deep breaths.

When our body is stressed it tends to hyperventilate with short low breaths. Breath slowly and deeply.

If possible, take a day away from the project – obviously this isn’t always possible – but try to take at least an hour.

Time away enjoying something else refreshes the brain.

If the thought of leaving the project adds to your stress, take notes of how you want to proceed. They will help get you back into the mindset and you have a reference to guide you.

Focus on each step instead of overwhelming  yourself with the ‘whole’ project.

Give yourself a reasonable time frame.

If it helps map out each step from start to finish – you have set goals per day, week or month – but ensure you have factored in extra time for each one. That way if a step takes longer than anticipated you still have a buffer of time to complete it.

How do you cope with stress?

This link has some great ideas – http://theadventurouswriter.com/blogwriting/8-stress-management-tips-for-writers/

What are your de-stress methods?

Take A Break Mug Showing Relaxing Or Tiredness

Hidden Stories Found and Friday Fun…


I read this article concerning ‘lost’ stories from Truman Capote with interest.   http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/09/books/lost-stories-by-capote-are-published.html?_r=0
Truman_Capote

I wonder how many other authors or poets have work stuffed into the back of drawers, filed away in dusty archives or were discarded into the garbage? As modern writers we have the ability to store our writing on memory sticks or within computer files. They can be recovered (or not) at our leisure or wiped clean if we feel the compulsion to do so.

Would you want your work to be ‘discovered’ at a later date?

Would it reflect your current writing style or be completely different?

I have a couple of novels saved on my hard drive that were my initial foray into this writing life. My experience and skill has increased since and I know that they would need a lot of editing to bring them up to par. I return to them from time to time and ponder re-writing them so cannot delete them. They show me how far I have come and for that they are precious. Maybe one day they will see the light of day and be published. I just need to get all the other projects bouncing around inside my head on paper first!

Have you re-written a project?

What did you learn from the experience?

Quotes

You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what’s burning inside you, and we edit to let the fire show through the smoke.” – Arthur Plotnik

You become a good writer just as you become a good joiner: by planing down your sentences. ~  Anatole France

Today’s prompt : Re-write the first line of your first story.FunDay

Share it here with the original.

Excerpt from Willow Tree Tears – WIP: Name changes and setting described:

Original: Willow rode past Shanna Deeks into the rodeo arena. I’m goin’ to beat you, bitch. You might have stolen Ryan from me but you’re not getting’ this championship.

Revision: Madison rode toward the rodeo arena entrance, shifting in her saddle to ensure Amber Fire’s girth was tight as she weaved through the crowd of people and horses, attending the year’s final rodeo.

Ideas for Novels Spark From Everywhere, From Anything…


Great idea

Our creativity can be inspired from the smallest word to a globally known news worthy article. I was in the grip of such an idea this weekend. It formed from the merging of several obscure news items into a cohesive story and took ‘root’ in my mind. Once I began writing the protagonist came to life and the words flowed. I put down 1000 in less than an hour!

As many of you know I am a free flow writer so apart from a vague idea where I want the story to go, it is a mystery to me. That is the thrill for me. It is an adventure I willingly travel with my characters. They lead and I follow with frantic typing.

What obscure stimulus has sparked an idea for you? 

How do you approach new ideas? Frantic notes? Plot arc? Character descriptions?

No matter what system we use, an idea can grow exponentially once it takes hold. This is wonderful, of course, the only downfall being if we already have a bucketful of ideas already.  I had not wanted another project just at the moment. My children’s chapter book, Ockleberries to the Rescue is in final stages of illustration and formatting, while I am working on edits for my western romance, Willow Tree Tears. These two projects are time consuming enough without a new one being added. My plan for 2015 was to re-visit two previous projects and re-write, edit and revise them. Now I have a story demanding to be written and it is impossible to resist.

Have you experienced a story unwilling to stay quiet?

Obviously, I will have to reschedule my plans and go with the flow. My older projects will have to wait a little longer.

Idea spark

 

Where Is Your NaNoWriMo Manuscript Now..?


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So it’s seven months since the frantic November writing frenzy. It’s hard to believe time has passed that quickly. We participate in NaNoWriMo for various reasons and levels of success but what happens to those fifty thousand or more words once the 30th November deadline has been met?

Where is your manuscript from that month now? Has it been discarded? Are you working on it or did you publish it?

Do you have a stack of NaNo manuscripts piled up somewhere from previous years left in limbo? Will they ever be revisited?

My NaNo manuscripts have seen a variety of outcomes.

Life in Slake Patch – speculative fiction – awaiting revision and editing.

The Twesome Loop – reincarnation romance -awaiting revision and editing.

The Rython Kingdom – published as an e-book and print book – Smashwords and Amazon.

Ockleberries to the Rescue – edited and awaiting illustrations – launch October 2014

Willow Tree Tears – cowgirl romance – in editing and revision mode.

Maybe it would be an idea to revisit past NaNo manuscripts – would you like to ‘finish’ them for publication or utilize the theme to re-write a new narrative. We should not let all those hours of creativity go to waste.

What outcomes have your NaNoWriMo exertions had? 

3d3df1f7d1f382285315cbfd851c3329b33bce46-thumbLife in SlakeTwesome Loop 001

 

Writing Retreat Reflections…


Strawberry group 2014Brenda

 

I am honored to thank the wonderful writers I spent this past weekend with at Strawberry Creek Retreat. Unfortunately, Brenda was not in the group photo (unsure why!) but I found one to add. These marvelous women shared their stories – fictional and real – with each other and found fellowship, encouragement and lots of laughter in each others company. We wrote our words, commented and assisted each other, walked in the spring sunshine, explored the many trails and enjoyed the most delicious meals with copious amounts of wine – for the fortification of our respective Muse’s of course! We all succeeded in accomplishing our goals for the weekend but more than that we found a camaraderie that inspired us to create, safe in the knowledge we were respected and honored. My work in progress, Willow Tree Tears, a cowgirl romance was read through, edited and 3000 words added. So I feel accomplished. After settling into our respective rooms the weekend began with an excellent meal, after which a short questionnaire and writing exercise were handed out to complete (or not) over the weekend. Then it was down to writing our projects and utilizing the glorious spaces, inside and out. With communal areas and private rooms and  nooks, there was somewhere for everyone. Whether you wanted company or not. Every meal was shared together and laughter was a dish served at each one. We paired up, strolled alone or grouped together over coffee – getting to know each other better or for the first time. No matter which, we all found a gift given and received of generosity and caring. I recommend writing retreats to all writers – it sparks the muse, and gives us the opportunity to share with fellow creators.

strawberry-creek-lodgeShare your writing retreat memories.

Elements of a Writing Retreat…


strawberry-creek-lodgeThis coming weekend is not only a long weeked (whoop!) but also when I am spending four wonderful days fully immersed in my writing at Strawberry Creek Retreat. Anticipation is high for my fellow wordsmiths and I. My plan is to read through, revised and to some extent edit my current WIP – Willow Tree Tears. The novel is a cowgirl romance, with the heroine a champion barrel racer, enjoying rodeos and a ranch lifestyle. She finds herself having to choose between an old high school friend who lives a similar horse ranch life, or a suave, handsome wel- traveled Italian. There are numerous plot twists and several other characters and it does include adult content. Currently standing at 25 chapters (50,365 words) – I am aware it requires additional descriptions, dialogue etc. It was my 2013 NaNoWriMo novel so is rough to say the least! For an excerpt go to https://mandyevebarnett.com/current-project-2/

When we attend a writing retreat there are many personal aspirations and goals set – it is a time to have 100% focus on our work but we must decide on what our level of interaction will be within a group retreat. There are simple ‘rules’ that can be set out at the start of the retreat, such as a closed door means no interruptions, meals are taken together, prompts or short workshops will be available, exercise/walks can be taken in a group or solitary – no matter the format you should decide on what works for you.

Vital elements to the retreat are of course your means of writing! Bring your laptop, charger and memory sticks, notebooks, pens and pencils, research material, and any other related material that will assist you with the task in hand. Secondly, think about what you want to achieve within the time limits of the retreat. Make realistic goals so you enjoy the process but are not too exhausted to enjoy sometime away from the computer screen to refresh your mind, body and muse.

Have you been on a writing retreat?

What was your experience?

Any thoughts or tips you care to share?

006_strawberry-creek-lodgewriting_as_professional 

 

 

 

 

Utilize Your Wonder and Respect for The Natural World Within Your Narrative…


 articles

My upcoming children’s chapter book, Ockleberries to the Rescue, centers around two woodland sprites, who help all  the forest animals through illness and injury. The theme was inspired by my lifelong love of the natural world, whether it is exotic animals, such as tigers and red panda’s (my personal favorites) or the more common species, such as rabbits, squirrels or birds. The knowledge and wonder shared with me and my siblings by our parents, lives on in us and we have passed on the message to our children. Every single species has a purpose and is intricately linked to another. The ‘food chain’ is the basis for this but there are so many other relationships in the natural world that we are still discovering.

bee-flower

We have all enjoyed the fluttering of a butterfly but have you ever watched a spider make its web? Such industrious behavior is fascinating to behold, similar to ants rebuilding a damaged nest or a bee collecting pollen. These activities are born of instinct and self preservation. Even with all our technology we cannot manufacture a structure as fine and strong as a cobweb or create a completely natural substance from so few components as honey.

Beetle

The smallest bug or insect is a wondrous thing to watch. Did you know woodlice carry their young under their bellies? My daughter at the age of 4 taught me this one! You may not see or consider a beetle scurrying across your path. But look closer – see its colours, its antenna and its shape. There are many different kinds of animals and insects we ‘miss’ in our everyday lives because we are not looking. Sit on the lawn or near a forest trail and watch the tiny world that is so often under your feet and ignored. You will witness a whole new world of activity and renew your connection to nature.

Our interests can be a vital component of our narratives and will give depth to the story because of our knowledge and love of that particular subject. Delve into your depths and find those links to broaden and heighten your subject. It will show in your writing and engage your reader.

What interests have you incorporated into a novel (or novels?)

OckleberriesProof copy cover only. Illustrations and new cover in process.

 

Sunday Snippets…19 May


sunday_snippets2Apologies to everyone for missing the snippets recently. My back problems are making sitting, standing or even lying down difficult! I’m on the mend so hopefully back to normal soon.

Please visit these other authors excellent blogs:

http://mermaidssinging.wordpress.com/

http://caitlinsternwrites.wordpress.com/

http://ileandrayoung.com

http://jennykellerford.wordpress.com

http://jennifermeaton.com/

http://richardleonard.wordpress.com

http://jordannaeast.com

http://itsjennythewren.wordpress.com/

http://wehrismypen.wordpress.com

http://jlroeder.wordpress.com

http://letscutthecrap.wordpress.com/

http://ashortaday.wordpress.com

http://www.michellezieglerauthor.com

http://joeowensblog.wordpress.com/

Todays word describes my body’s complaints to a T:     Inveigh – definition: to protest or complain bitterly.

Sunday Snippets – 24 March …


sunday_snippets2Sorry for the delay – this section is from my novel, Life in Slake Patch, a speculative alternative future novel. Men and women live in separate compounds with visiting on only one day. It is from the viewpoint of the main character, Evan. I’m interested in what imagery you get from this.

I entered the laundry to the familiar sound of heavy hoof beats. At the rear of the building were six oxen harnessed to a tread wheel. The motion moved a system of pulleys by way of thick ropes, high in the ceiling. Through a series of cogs the ropes turned wooden struts, which were submerged in large vats of soapy water, twisting the clothes. The water was heated by a furnace situated between the laundry and the brewery house.  The machine had been built using a plan found amongst the books in the library ten years previously, which made the laundry duty a much faster and more frequent process. The lye soap aroma had me remembering how I would watch my mother and sister make it. They mixed the lye with melted lard and water then boiled it. I can remember running out of the cabin shouting.

“That smells so disgusting Mother.”

“That is as maybe my boy but without it you would be blacker than mud.”

Later when the mixture thickened it was poured into shallow pans and once it had hardened I would help cut it into blocks. It was not a favorite chore but once the blocks were completed mother allowed me to deliver some to her neighbors. It gave me the opportunity to play ‘seek and hide’ with other boys in the compound, an enjoyable excursion from chores.

Jacob had told me that before the laundry machine had been built, men would wear their clothes until the smell was too much even for them to bear. At that time washing was limited to bashing the clothes with rocks in the river and then only when the river bank was clear of ice. In the winter months, so Jacob says, it was all you could do to sit next to someone. The stench within the long houses had many men risking the bitter winter cold just for relief from it.

Fellow Snippet Bloggers:

http://mermaidssinging.wordpress.com/

http://caitlinsternwrites.wordpress.com/

http://ileandrayoung.com

http://wyrmflight.wordpress.com/

http://www.mandyevebarnett.com

http://womanbitesdog.wordpress.com/

http://jennykellerford.wordpress.com

http://jennifermeaton.com/

http://richardleonard.wordpress.com

http://jordannaeast.com

http://letscutthecrap.wordpress.com

http://writerscrash.blogspot.ca/

http://joeowensblog.wordpress.com/