Did You Know?

Endless books, DVD’s, silence and comfy chairs… and, depending on your location, gardening and volunteer opportunities… Where is all of this at, you ask? Check out your local library, no, really, do it. Some libraries have container gardening (for free) and opportunities to volunteer with children at rodeo’s, and an assortment of other activities.

Most people think of towering shelves with old, dusty books and a librarian holding a finger to her lips, but that’s just simply not the case these days. Your local library is perfect for an aspiring author who needs resource materials and a quiet place to read/write. (There are many books on the craft of writing and getting published!)

It’s also great when it comes to trying new things and getting involved. In fact, I’m learning a second language via their free Rosetta Stone service! So check out your library (find them on the net, it’s real easy, just type in ‘library’ and the name of your area). Most librarians should be super helpful to tell you all about their many opportunities and what they offer.

So enjoy it, that’s what it’s there for!

Writing: The Mud Effect

Several times in my writing career, I have happened upon what I call the Mud Effect. We’ve all had that dream (well, a fair amount has, anyway) where we’re running and desperately trying to get away from someone or something, but just can’t. It seems as though we’re running through the mud, or that our legs won’t move. Writing can do that to you.

Whether you’re drafting a chapter in the middle of the book, or slogging through revisions, there will usually come a point where it feels like it’s taking forever. Progress is snail slow. For some odd reason, as I go though my marked up draft, read through it, and fix any marks on the computer, I find that it’s big news if I manage to get 4 pages done. That’s right… 4 measly pages all in one day! Granted, I can’t seem to tolerate very long sitting sessions with it, either… Usually I can write for hours.

Basically, I wanted to write this post to encourage not only myself, but others as well who find themselves smack in the middle of a w.i.p and feel that it’s taking forever for the pages to turn. My best advice, to myself and others, is to just keep plowing ahead. We’ve made it this far; we must see it to the end.

Happy mudding.

Have You Tried Audio?

Hi there. Just a quick post on the perks of an audio book. If you’re anything like me, you might find that you love reading books, and that you even love writing them. But with life so busy as it often is and that deadline ticking away on your manuscript, or any other task, you might find that making time to read is a bit difficult.

Regardless if you’re a writer or not, reading is both a pleasurable and valuable past-time. If you’re not getting enough words in a day, you’ll be pleased to know that there is a solution! Audio books.

Almost all books have an audio, though this isn’t true for all of them. You can find these on You-tube, Amazon, or your local library… possibly even retail store.

I use audio books when I’m cooking. Cooking is like an art for me, and I enjoy listening to a good book while I prepare dinner; two pleasurable experiences in one. Other good times to pop in an audio story is when you’re in the car, while cleaning, or while taking a walk. It’s a great way to listen to a book and not only hear a story, but to build your craft as well.

There’s a reason that the advice writers give to aspiring authors is to read, read, read. It is by reading (or in this case, listening) that we learn the craft.

So if you are feeling crunched for time, or your eyes are just tired, pop in an audio. You might just find that your reading life soars.

*Currently, I am listening to: Dragon Rider, by Cornelia Funke. It’s a fast read, full of entertainment and adventure. Readers of all ages will enjoy this intriguing fairytale. 


Childhood Inspiration


What inspires your writing? This is a question that authors get asked often. For many, it can be something as simple as watching others, or striking news in the the headlines. For me, however, it is two things…

One great source of inspiration comes from my childhood. I find it is often rich with memories and things I’ve experienced that I can tie in with new experiences. For some, it is therapeutic. For me, it is raw and real, putting the real in realistic fiction.

My second source of inspiration stems from my 2nd grade year of public school. I remember reading Rumpelstiltskin and other fairytales and being enthralled. It is the fantastical that sparkles and grabs my attention, fueling the fire of my inspiration.

Find what works for you; what gives you ideas? What makes you excited to write? Tap into those resources, and get to writing!


Stronger Writing

Just a quick tip for stronger writing. If you want more vivid writing that’s absorbing, do an adverb check, and cut them when you can.

This may be a bit hard and you might find yourself tempted to leave some, but only do this when there’s absolutely no better word or phrasing. Good writing is rewriting, and this takes focus and thought.

Yes, it takes more work but it’s a good thing. Checking and cutting adverbs forces you to write with stronger nouns. It can even help increase word count!

Make each word count. Here’s to stronger, vivid, absorbing writing!