Thursday, March 31, 2016

What I've Been Reading

A large part of being a good writer is being a good reader. We wouldn't want to write stories if we weren't in love with stories!

One of the perks of being a teacher is that I get to share my love of reading with my students. We read Lord of the Flies recently. I did skip a little bit of the pig killing part and instead of "sucks to your ass-mar" I said "Stinks to your asthma!" My students are 14-15 years old and boys. They loved it! They understood the breakdown of the society into tribes, bullying, the need for both meat and fire, and we talked about how heat can make you hallucinate. They drew maps of the island. We made a pig's head pinata and named her Lulu.

It was great fun. My students have special needs and had never made anything with paper maché before. They chose not to fill her with candy and break her. She is now our classroom mascot.

I've also read the Splintered series by A. G. Howard. @aghowardwrites on Twitter

This is a twist on Alice in Wonderland. I've been in a Wonderland mood lately. I even used Christmas money to order a mug.
My next series is Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor. @frankbeddor on Twitter

My stack of 'To Read' books is large. I probably won't get to them until summer.

What is my class reading next? Number the Stars
Did we do The Giver? You betcha.

What are you reading?

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Here's What This Writer's Brain Has Considered This Week

Writer-type things I've been looking at this week:

I'm thinking of taking Enmityville Chronicles, which I am co-authoring with my husband and publishing it to Channillo. They only publish serials. You have to make your own covers and do your own marketing to get people to read it. People pay a subscription fee per month to read a few series'. They make sure that what you have to write is worth reading. For authors, there is a short application process. What needs to be done is an edit of the first few chapters, a cover made, and then deadlines set for the rest of the series. Hubby and I can them write for these deadlines.

Checked out the webpage for my local Writer's Conference. For those of you who don't know, I live in Indiana. This conference offers networking, opportunities for professional ($$) headshots, tips, speakers, and chances to speak to the 'professionals' one-on-one. I'm not feeling ready for this, however. First, I feel like I need to have a query, an almost finished manuscript, and a direction. I need to have questions to ask. This is possibly untrue, but I prefer to be prepared.

I'm finishing up a course on email marketing. I know this is the first big step from me talking talk, having a blog, and having a writing hobby. If I am to get serious, I need followers. Followers with emails. Followers with emails who will want to review and buy my books.

GOAL 2018
I started writing again in 2008. I met a lot of great writers, old and young. I learned that I had much more to learn. I'm thinking that by 2018 I want to have a book finished that I am proud of, that I can sell, and that I can market and maybe launch myself off from. I have a couple of ideas that are quite different, though. We'll see how it all works out.

No More Winter Creative Blocks: 10 Minutes A Day Promise

Hi all of my lovely readers!

I hope in the interim you have enjoyed my posts on my personal blog about Generosity. I'm sorry I haven't been here in a couple months.

I should have forced myself to write more.

But it's also winter.

While I always thought that I was less creative in winter, studies show that our brains DO NOT seem to be affected by winter, that it's really our attitudes. I say lack of seeing the sunshine is part of it.

I can't blame winter for 2 reasons. 1, This has been the mildest, weirdest, and un-winter-like winter in a long time for my area. We missed the big February snowfall, the sleet didn't even turn to layers of ice, and the largest accumulation of snow in January was a few inches. And 2, work has been all-consuming. I have been so burnt out from the trials of the day with the addition of paperwork that I came home simply to not think about it.

I should have been 'not thinking about it' by creating new characters, scenes, settings, or doing fun research for my writing projects. I should have worked on some outlines.

It's my attitude that influenced by work habits. I did what I felt like doing, which we all should do sometimes, but it wasn't what I should have been doing. I felt like being a lump. I felt like not thinking for a while. This is not really healthy if it continues over long periods of time. They say for every day you take off from writing, your Muse takes off three..

I did write a little Ficlatté about the death of my Muse.

Detective Hawk reached a gloved hand to the light switch. In the moment before the room was bathed in light, she braced herself for a scene of unknowable atrocity. It was not difficult to kill a muse, they are quite delicate, but at times the results can be quite macabre.


She squinted. Stark reality was hard on the pupils. A lithe figure, white feathered wings drooping from two graceful shoulders used to bearing the weight of the world curled around a body stooped limply yet stiffly across the top of a writing desk. Ink cascaded down a single white page and puddled on the floor thickly. A pale head, thankfully turned away from the Detective, rested on the ink stained page. Her feather quill had fallen to the floor. Elegant legs were still tucked under the desk.

She could have been asleep.

Unfortunately, the Detective had no choice but to walk over and stare into the vacant, open eyes of crystal blue.

"What happened to you, goddess?" she breathed in awe.

She began to search for clues.
It's not the best thing I've ever written, but it was a way to cope with the loss of being creative in any way.

To free up my creative energy, I am going to try to freewrite for 10 minutes a day. It might become longer, but a promise to myself of just 10 minutes should do wonders for healing my Muse. Truly, she is not really dead, but in a coma.

A person can do a lot of things in 10 minutes.

What can you do in 10 minutes?

Also, comment on ways you fight against creative blocks, not just writer's. :) I'd love to hear some strategies!