Category Archives: Writing

A Man Above Reproach

book of love

I think good news for fellow writers is even better than good news for myself. I can talk myself out of believing my own hype, but when it comes to the incredible writers that I know, I can dive in wholeheartedly and wallow around in their well-deserved accolades.

So, it made my day to find out that Evelyn Pryce is a semi-finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest for best romance entry! Who doesn’t love a juicy Regency story with a smart heroine and an enamored duke?

Amazon announces the finalists next month and I encourage you to download the FREE sample and throw all of your five-star reviews her way. You’ll hear more from this rising star- I bet my hat. If you’re an agent, a book blogger, a publisher of romance, don’t miss your chance to get in on the ground floor with this talented, hardworking writer.

Get your free sample HERE.

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Hooked

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I wrote a dirge to a tiny, dead computer person today. Ten lines with ten syllables each carefully and lovingly constructed. This is the level of my addiction to Oregon Trail: American Settler.

To be fair, she was the first of my settlers to die. I am a fairly good mayor for this tiny town living in my phone which insists that I pick crops and make splints for the population all day. In the week since my sister got me hooked, I have built forts and silos, grown cotton, and cured cholera. I have, only once, stayed awake for an extra thirty minutes to save a villager from typhoid. Ok, twice.

I am not a gamer. My Wii connects my TV to Netflix for me, but I don’t own a single game. However, I spend a large portion of my time at work on conference calls and web meetings which allows me to plant potatoes between tasks. Or to play another word in Words With Friends (eleanorstrousers, if you want to play). And of course, to tweet, check Facebook, or text. If you see me, my face will be staring at that tiny screen.

In the interest of being a little more active in the real world, I’m setting aside two phone free hours for the evening. If someone dies of typhoid, though, I’ll have only myself to blame.

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Wake Up and Fight

Today, I made a poem. This making things business is going well. I also invented something that I call Hot & Cold Dip (take about 1/2 cup of low-fat sour cream and stir in 3 or 4 tsp. of Frank’s Red Hot sauce, or more if you’re me and like it spicy). I used it to dip some grilled chicken tenders and sweet potato fries. The Lady and I have teamed up to try Weight Watchers online this year, to keep from buying two new wardrobes full of muumuus in 2012. We each dropped over 3 pounds the first week, but then Christmas happened and well….. let’s just say that we needed to start over.

I love the New Year, a new opportunity to pretend that just once, we’ll actually get it right this time around. A time to make lists, which is one of my favorite things.

A friend of mine posted this Woody Guthrie list of resolutions from 1942 to Facebook.

I could stand to keep these in mind myself. Tomorrow, I’m clinging to #19 “Keep Hoping Machine Running” when I go to drop off a writing sample for a fellowship that I’d really like to have. And since it’s back to work after a 10 day vacation and the first day for that early alarm, I’d better hop on #33 and “wake up and fight.”

Hope your 2012 is full of new beginnings and unbroken resolutions thus far!

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Filed under Building a Better Me, Lists, Photos, Writing

Why I Just Can’t NaNoWriMo No Mo

For the last five years, every November led to frantic typing as I tried to knock out a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. I was a compulsive NaNoWriMo. Each year I swore it would the year that I finished a first draft. The year that I could say, here is my giant stack of pages ready for the world. Or at least for some serious editing.

But the thing is? I hated it. At work, I felt sneaky trying to cram in four pages around conference calls and distracted that I might get caught. At home, I felt like I needed to declare hours away from friends, roommates, or partners to “be a writer”. And to get huffy if that writer zone was infringed upon by the slightest noise, question, or once- to my great shame- when I was offered a cup of coffee. It didn’t matter what I wrote, as long as I met my daily word quotient, and when my brain got bored, my characters would get attacked by robots, all die, etc. only to be resurrected back in the sensitive literary novel the next day.

I was writing, but I wasn’t creating anything. For me, it was the difference between riding a stationary bike in a gym and biking through the countryside. No view, no sensations, just putting down words to get to that magic number every day.

I know plenty of writers who claim their success is based on forcing themselves to meet a word count every day. And lord knows, writing is a nebulous enough thing without anyone decreeing one way that it should be done.

But in my case, I not only never met the word count goal for the month, I never liked a single thing that I wrote with that word count hovering over my head.

So this year, I’m not doing it. Instead, I’m setting a goal to do some writing every day. A poem. A journal entry. A blog post (wouldn’t that be grand!). To keep myself writing. But if it’s one good sentence, instead of four pages, I won’t punish myself and get all those voices in my head going about whether I am a “real writer,” “lazy writer,” etc.

To those of you about NaNo, I salute you. It’s just not for me, anymore.

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Living a Life Worth Writing About

 

Podcamp Pittsburgh has come and gone once more and as usual, even when I only attended a few sessions and the meet-and-greet, I found something to inspire me. Britt from In Pursuit of Happiness swung through Pittsburgh to host a session on setting boundaries on your blog and shared her own story of finding those limits for herself.

I suppose in some ways, I have blogged less because life is good, but also because I’m finally dating someone who actually uses the internet. The upside? Great fun playing around Twitter together. The downside? Even with my vaguely “anonymous” format (to keep me off the radar at my day job),  I would hate to write anything that The Lady felt was a betrayal of her own privacy or would negatively impact the super wonderfulness of us, together.

But Britt made one statement that really stuck with me when discussing how to find content when you are reigning in the boundaries a bit. Live a life worth writing about. In her context, she was suggesting a way to avoid becoming boring when life gets routine, but I think that it works on other levels.

For a long time, when I was in an awful relationship, my “life worth writing about” was worth reading about because it was such a disaster. The blog was my form of therapy in many ways and venting to the world about the insanity of it all made me feel better. And truth be told, made for a pretty readable soap opera. While I’d never choose to relive that misery, it was great material. (Saying this sort of thing is why some people find writers and bloggers irritating.)

But being single also gave me a reason to fill my schedule with lots of events and adventures that made for excitement. And while I still have adventures, I’m less eager to book myself solid around the clock. Being at home on the couch watching movies makes for great romance in my world. As exhausted as I get at work, I’d rather be in my pajamas than at a five-star restaurant almost any day.

But! Now I have someone new to have adventures with. And it might be time to start writing some of those adventures down  and starting what I hope will be a magical cycle of having adventures because I want to write more and writing more because I’m having more adventures. *cue the Lion King theme*

In the meantime, expect some technical upgrades around these parts now that winter is on its way and there’s finally a reason to sit inside in front of my laptop. For now, if you like Facebook and want to like this blog on Facebook to add these adventures to your stream, you can do so here.

 

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