April (Word) Showers

I’ve temporarily changed the old saying, April Showers bring May flowers,  to April Showers Bring Lots of Writing Hours.

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Last April I participated in the A to Z Blogging Challenge,  and this year I’ve decided to head to Camp for the month of April. Camp NaNoWriMo. I will still be reading the blog posts of those participating in the challenge, however, and I encourage others to as well. There are such amazing themes by such creative minds, and it’s fun to be part of that community in any way I can. After all, supporting each other is what the blogging community is all about.

The past couple of weeks I’ve allowed myself to become somewhat lazy–okay, very lazy–in the writing department. I finished the 2nd edit of my mystery, Shear Madness, and along with it came the whole self-doubt crash. While it’s something every writer experiences, it’s hard to remember that while in the thick of it. So I’ve decided to let my manuscript cool a couple of weeks before beginning the next edit.

I’ve been wanting to write some short stories for a long time now, something I haven’t written for many, many years (we won’t say exactly how many 🙂 ) I’ve jotted ideas, plots, etc, but have continually put off the actual writing part. Until now.

For April’s Camp NaNo I’m going to let my hair down–or pull it up in a pony tail–and let loose the words to short stories I’ve been thinking about. I’m going to actually write them on paper–or computer–and have fun doing it. I’ve got my notebook, colored gel pens, computer, Camp NaNo coffee mug, my lantern, and the ingredients for s’mores set and ready to go. Heck, maybe I’ll even pull out a sleeping bag. 🙂

NaNo Coffee MugS'mores

It’s not too late if anyone wants to join in the camping experience. It’s among the most fun campgrounds I’ve ever camped. And rather than getting wet by rain showers, we get productive with word showers. That being said, it’s not necessary to commit to 50,000 words as is the case in November’s NaNoWriMo, but rather you set your own word count. While mine’s not set at 50,000 due to April being a busy month, I still set it high enough to challenge and stretch myself as a writer.

So–if anyone wants to join and has questions, head on over to the Camp NaNo website, or simply ask me in the comments section. I would love to help anyone get going on setting up a project. The more the merrier in this camping experience. And it’s one you’ll find yourself looking forward to every year. It’s too late to plan it at this point you say? No worries–and no excuses–there’s another Camp NaNo in July. 🙂

See you at Camp!

 Bonfire-Brainerd

Carpe Diem

 

TGIF – Gratitude Friday

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Getting back to the Friday posts on gratitude that ended when the A to Z Blogging Challenge began. 🙂

The top three things I’m especially grateful for this past week:

1.)  Thursday afternoon off work to snuggle up with a light blanket and Roxie (my dog), a cup of tea and a good book while listening to the rain outside.

2.)  Lying in the warm softness of my bed with my pen and journal in hand, the house beautifully quiet, knowing everyone is tucked safely in bed, including Roxie asleep at my feet.

3.)  A caramel sundae from McDonalds, with extra buttery caramel. Yum! 🙂

Please share what tops your list for the week.

Peace.

My Writing Process

I met the talented Rachel Carrera during the 2014 A to Z Blogging Challenge and was invited by her to participate in the Writing Process Blog Tour.  I’ve been reading the answers to the given questions by other bloggers who have participated and I have to say it’s been enlightening to not only read about other writers, but to see how their process works.

I don’t know about you, but I’m always open to learning something that may work better or enhance what I’m already doing.  I will be  the first to admit that I simply write because I love to write and never gave the rest of “the business” much thought until the past year and a half.  For me it’s a learn-as-I-go process.  And how I love to learn! 🙂

Be sure to check out Rachel’s blog. She is a brilliant ray of sunshine and has a contagious love of life. Thank you Rachel! 🙂

Here are the answers to my questions, followed by the links to three + other bloggers I have tagged so you can check out their answers on May 26th.

1.  What am I working on at the moment?

I’m currently working on the final revision of my novel, The Inheritance.  Through the years I’ve written a few first drafts that lay cozily tucked within a filing cabinet drawer, but this is the first I’ve chosen to carry through to publication.  Let me tell you, it’s given me a whole new respect for published authors as I realize all there is to do after the fun of getting the story down on paper–or to the computer.  The things I thought I was good at–like grammar–I’ve learned there is so much I didn’t have down like I thought I did.  However, now that I’m able to see the finish line, I’m getting renewed energy and enthusiasm to take my latest first draft, The Last Resort, through to the finish line as well.

2.  How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I’m not sure it differs from all others in my genre, or it would be in a genre of its own. But if I were to mention one area that I have noticed, it’s that despite it being women’s fiction and it has it’s share of relational content, it covers real life issues without the “drama mama stuff” that is exhausting in real life. I like to portray real life issues but also show hope–showing light in the darkness. I also try to avoid profanity and unnecessary crassness because I truly believe God blessed me with my ability to write and my love of writing.  That being the case, He is the One I want to please more than anyone with my writing. I choose to tell a story by honoring God rather than promoting what goes against Him.

3.  Why do I write what I do?

I write what I do because I love to read the kind of fiction I write – fiction that shares the joy of living a spiritual life without being preachy.  Although I love to read a lot of other genres as well.  And I have stories that come into my head that I can’t wait to share with others.

4.  How does my writing process work?

I don’t really have a tried and true process yet. I guess I could say it’s a work in progress to find what works best.  I work full-time in a job that pays the bills, I’m a mom to two grown boys whose lives I’m so fortunate to still be a large part of, grandma to one toddler and step-grandma to 5 , and wife to an amazing husband who I love to spend time with. Whew! So with all that, I try to write daily, but am not always successful with that goal.  With The Inheritance and The Last Resort I wrote the first draft in 30 days by participating in NaNoWriMo.  The revision process has been the biggest learning process and is what I’m trying to achieve with the least amount of pain. But the pain has also been my biggest motivator and teacher. 🙂  

Jacque @ http://godisms.wordpress.com

Marie @ http://writingwingsforyou.com

Angela @ http://authorangelachristinaarcher.wordpress.com

Amanda @ http://insidethelifeofmoi.wordpress.com

 

“Z” is for…

Zoey and Zig Ziglar

Yes, you read that correctly.  My favorite “Z” word in the whole world is Zoey, my precious granddaughter. There is none so perfect as she. 🙂 Especially in her sassy little leopard print dress.

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And Zig Ziglar? I couldn’t think of a better way to end this remarkable blog challenge than with one of his quotes.  This adventure has led me to the good habit of writing every day (which I hope I can keep), it has helped me get to know acquaintances better (My NCW comrades), and has brought some amazing blogging friends into my blogging life. It has been an amazing ride and I hope to stay connected with all of you. Every one of you has a special place in my heart.

“Success is the doing, not the getting; in the trying, not the triumph. Success is a personal standard, reaching for the highest that is in us, becoming all that we can be. If we do our best, we are a success.”
Zig Ziglar

“D” is for…

Delete.

One of my favorite keys on my computer?  That tiny little delete key.

My biggest enemy on my computer?  That darn huge delete key!

I love the delete key when I type something in error, or when I change my mind on what I’ve written.  Keeping the delete key depressed and watching the words quickly disappear is a simple thrill.

However, I’ve also been on the opposite end, accidentally depressing the delete key, erasing a brilliant thought or musing–okay, maybe not so brilliant, but something I wanted to keep, nonetheless.  And then the only thing I wish I could delete were the words all too quick to come from the same mouth with which I strive to praise God.

The “key” is being mindful of my actions and my words.  To delete that which is intended to be deleted, and to not allow what cannot be deleted.

When my kids were young I used to teach them that words are like toothpaste–once it’s out of the tube, no matter how hard you try, there’s no getting it back into the tube.  Once words are “out there,” there’s no taking them back or erasing them.  Unless, of course, I accidentally delete them and then I can’t remember them for the life of me.

Today I strive to live mindful of my thoughts, words and actions, so the delete key function is not necessary.

Delete Key

Peace.

“C” is for…

 

cre·a·tiv·i·ty

[kree-ey-tiv-i-tee, kree-uh] 

noun

1. the state or quality of being creative.
2. the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.; originality, progressiveness, or imagination: the need for creativity in modern industry; creativity in the performing arts.

I LOVE #2.  To transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns…to create new ideas, forms, methods…

Transcend means to go above and beyond what’s traditional.  It drives my adrenaline into high gear as if I’m breaking the rules, yet not doing anything illegal.  (My day-job is in the legal field, I can’t be doing anything illegal.  And my Judge is none other than Christ himself–I wouldn’t want to purposely disappoint Him. 🙂 ) But I would be lying if I said being untraditional didn’t make me feel just a little bit…rebellious.  And I have to admit I was always the one who loved the narrow college-ruled notebooks but would get a little thrill from writing outside of the lines or in the margins.  Or I would strive to color inside the lines so I could get the teacher’s praise, but would get that familiar little thrill when I colored things colors no one else would have thought of.  It was a moment by moment guess which would emerge, the perfectionist me or the creative me.

Although, perhaps that’s more befitting for the other “C” word–CONTROL.  Oops–wrong post. 🙂

We creative types are prone to dancing to the beat of our own drummer, so maybe that’s how creative writing got it’s name.

Today I will strive to create amazing words and to color outside the lines.

Creative-Pablo Picasso

Peace to you.

Calm Before the Storm

Since I was at the NCW Writers Conference–which was amazing, by the way–and using every molecule of brain power trying to absorb everything I could, I didn’t post my last usual Gratitude Friday and Weekend Quote posts.  But rest assured, tomorrow begins April and the A-Z Blogging Challenge, for 26 posts in 30 days.  God willing. 🙂

APRIL-CALENDAR [2014]

“See” you tomorrow. 🙂