Friday, September 28, 2012

The Power of a Computer

                                                         

I've always thought the best way to write is with paper and pencil. I can't explain it. Sitting down in the evening with a little background music playing, taking a moment to enjoy the peaceful evening- maybe even stepping outside to look at the stars for a moment, and then grabbing a cup of hot coco (or coffee) is always the perfect writing setting.

Inspiration comes from daily activities, random ideas, books, movies, newspapers, and even magazines.

Once a writing topic has been decided, the rest of the evening will be filled with magic and a new world to enjoy- your creative writing world will come to life. Words flow onto the page. Steam pours out of your fingers and onto the paper as the words continue to flood page upon page. Ideas continue to develop. And by the time you choose to stop writing for the evening, there is a story that will show the progress made.

Whether you choose to edit the story the same evening (or I recommend as early as the following evening) it is time to share a little bit of your writing with the world. In this case, my writing was supposed to be for my blog.

Being a fast typer, I planned to copy the story I had onto the computer. It would only take a minute. Until you realize the power of the computer. It was late in the evening that I realized the power cord no longer works. The computer will no longer charge. The frustration to share my writing, as it is my day to post, is impossible. The computer battery is dead. And as much as I love writing on paper and pen, sharing the story is impossible if the computer doesn't work. Had I worked on the computer earlier I would have known it wasn't properly working. What to do? ARG!!! A trip to Batteries Plus this weekend will be a good start. And if that doesn't work, a computer technician is another great source to utilize.

But until then, I've raced to the nearest computer to attempt to post a blog that is fitting for the situation.

Happy Writing!
And much luck with a properly working computer. :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Let's pretend it's the 25th...


Yesterday when I was getting ready for work I thought. “My blog date for GRRWG must be soon…” Then I realized that I’d missed it by two days. LOL whoops!  That’s sort of how my life has been lately though.  (I back posted this so it looked like I posted on the right day though... LOL!)
As many of you know my 97 yr old Grandpa lives with me and my mom.  He’s got Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and Dementia.  Just under two weeks ago he started to decline in his health.  In fact he declined so quickly that out of town family was called and I seriously thought he wasn’t going to make it more than a few more days.  But, being the strong willed guy that he is, he’s still hanging in there.  He’s definitely still declining and is showing the signs of end stage CHF, so we’re getting ready for the inevitable, but for now he’s hanging in there and so are we. :)
With the extra stress though there’s been little to no writing, some knitting, and lots of games on FB and Pogo because those are pretty much all I have the brain power for.  Plus my attention span is that of a gnat on speed.  I’ve done a little reading too, in fact when all this first started I read a whole book in one sitting since I couldn’t sleep.  Basically I work and then I’m home and I’m okay with that.  It’s hard and it sucks but I know that having my Gramps home is the best thing for him and the hospice people are pretty cool most of the time.
I am going to get a little break this weekend though.  My best friend and I are going to a Twilight convention in Novi tomorrow.  LOL It’s a first for both of us, but we’re both Twilight geeks and thought it would be fun.  If anything, I’ll be able to write a Twicon into a book now, right? :)  I can only imagine some of the interesting things we’ll see.
Sorry again for the late post. I hope your muse is playing nicely and your word counts are high!
Hugs,
Kel

Monday, September 24, 2012

Dreams gone Wild--Arianna Skye

Dreams Gone Wild? More like a Muse Gone Wild :)
By Arianna Skye



A lot of my story ideas start out as dreams. Usually it’s just a scene or just a glimpse of something that helps bring insight into a  project or WIP I’ve been struggling with. However, this last dream was a full blown story in a genre I’ve dabbled in, but not to the extent that I’m that sure I’d do the story justice. And, from the dream, it would be some awesome story, if my words could actually capture the imagery that the dream exuded.

In a way, it’s kind of funny. My brain always manages to pull my thoughts away from the current project.  Sadly, it’s a common affliction with me. I’ve come to the conclusion that I have a muse with ADHD. Henry—that’s what he’s told me his name is—is constantly flitting here and there from demons to faries, to regency hunks.  If I didn’t already have obligations, I’d be more than willing to make an attempt at putting this totally amazing dream on paper. Hopefully I don’t forget it when I have free time.

How do you manage to reign in your muse when he or she decides to pull you in multiple directions?

Take care!
Arianna

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

How to get your child interested in Reading


Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you. My name is Lisa Orchard and I’m a Young Adult Author. This is my first time blogging on the GGRWG site and I’m excited to be here. J


When I was thinking about my topic for the day I thought about a post that I had done on my own blog about four or five months ago. It was a topic that received quite a few views so I thought I would share it with everyone here today. J


When I found out I was pregnant with my first child, I was ecstatic! I started making plans right away about what kind of parent I wanted to be and all that motherly stuff that I’m sure all new mothers go through.


One of the main things that I wanted to do was create a desire for reading in my child. After all, reading improves social and analytical skills along with building self-esteem. Of course, I wanted my child to have high self-esteem, what parent doesn’t?


So, I took the bull by the horns and started reading to my son before bedtime. We would rock in the rocking chair and I’d read nursery rhymes. My little tyke would be lulled into sleep mode. I would finish the story and put him in his crib, where he would promptly scream bloody murder. L So, I’d have to get him out of bed, because what parent can listen to a screaming child for any length of time? Certainly not me. J
 

My wonderful plan had backfired. My son could care less about the story; he just wanted to be rocked. J The joke was on mom! J

Never the less, I continued reading and rocking my baby. And when my second child was born I read to him too, without the rocking. J

We continue this habit today, but it’s changed; now my sons read to me. It’s fun to see what their interests are. They range from the weather, to dinosaurs…and even Transformers.


Now, I can handle the weather and even spiders, but Transformers? Give me a break! J But because my sons are interested in them I bought some Transformer books and I’ve got to say I’ve either read them or heard them a million times.

I know everything about the Decepticons and the Autobots and the fall of Cybertron. Do I really care about these things? Not one wit, but my children do and if it keeps them reading I’m all for it. And here’s the thing, my youngest was reading to himself before he started school. I attribute this to his strong drive to learn, but also to the Transformers that became his passion during this phase of his life.


So, when my son pulls out that Transformer book full of anticipation, because now he can read to me, and I’m cringing inside because I know the story by heart. I take a deep breath and paste a fake smile on my face, because I realize that maybe by reading that story one more time I’m saving myself future grief and money. Yes, because reading builds self-esteem, it’s been proven. J So, I think of all the money I’m saving on future therapy bills just because I endured that story a million times. J


So, encourage your child to read and the most successful way to do this is by letting them read what they want. It really is that simple. J And if you’ve got a tween/teen who still isn’t interested in reading check out my Super Spies series. I’ve had readers turn off the TV to read these books. J

The links are below.
 

“The Super Spies and the Cat Lady Killer”

 


 

“The Super Spies and the High School Bomber”
 

 


 

You can find me at these social media sites:
 


 


Thanks for stopping by! Leave a comment and tell me about your parenting experiences! I’d love to hear about them! J

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Writing Time Wars

No, this isn't a challenge to other writers to hit certain word counts, sorry if I got you excited. Although, our own Ready! Set! Right! Conference (see the 2012 Conference tab above) is right around the corner, along with NaNoWriMo.

Rather, I mean the battle for my available time, and the current violence across the globe. It's Fall. I need to pull out out my summer garden and put the beds to rest for the winter. I also need to can the last of the harvest, clean off the funnel spider webs that pepper my doorway (for the upteenth time this summer!), clean out the garage so I can move the lawn tractor in for winter, and loads of other tasks needing doing around the house.

You see, as I begin each new task on my list, The Scot pops up – he's an interesting character with exciting links to Hitler, WWII and what is going on at present – and starts feeding me tidbits about his story line and how that all ties into the fact that the world appears (to some at least) to be on the brink of World War III. And then all I can think about is grabbing my laptop, plopping down in my comfy chair and writing everything he is telling me. Alas, I still have to pull up those plants while it is daylight and can the remaining harvest before it all rots. I can only hope I can remember what he told me the next time I see my keyboard.

Then there's my other character Merie, who - as one of The Chosen - is intimately linked to the planet, telling me I really need to get the outdoor tasks taken care of as we are going to have an early and hard winter. Her unspoken hint being that I should have plenty of time to write after the snow starts and I really need to tackle the growing list of to-do's.

My Etsy shop also calls; it's pathetically poor item count reflecting equally slow sales and the nudging need to update my shop by adding new items, and reminding me that Halloween is quickly arriving, only to be shortly followed by Christmas.

I also have ROAR projects to finish, a conference decision to make and then plan for, and my regular day-job. If I could just win a big enough lotto to pay someone else to do my to-do list while I write, I might actually be able to get some things checked off the list.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Don't Let Fear Win


I’ve been trying, for days, to decide what to write about in my first blog on the GRRWG site.  I’ve rejected idea after idea as not witty or interesting enough and I’ve been stuck.  Then I finally decided, write about what’s causing the indecisiveness…write about the fear.

Writing is scary. 

Okay, maybe not the actual writing; I don’t usually fear sitting down in front of my computer, although sometimes there is some fear involved there, too.  Too much white space gives me hives.

The fear comes about when thinking of letting anyone read something I’ve written.  I have my own blog, I take comfort in the fact no one actually reads it.  I have pages and pages of stories started that no one has ever seen and no one ever will.  But, at some point, someone is going to have read something.  That’s just how the game works, you want to get published therefore someone has to read your written words.

It’s a strange contradiction.  I want to be a writer and I want to be published, but I’m scared to share what I’ve created.  The thought of anyone ripping apart the pages I have spent hours on is disheartening, to say the least.  But the scariest thought of all is having someone tell me I’m no good at writing, that I should abandon all hope and never write another word because no one wants to read them.  So I hoard my stories.

I finally got up the nerve to share something with a friend of my mine not too long ago, a friend who has designated herself my critique partner.  She insisted on reading it while sitting on my couch, with me right there.  Talk about nerve wracking!  She had good things to say, which I heard after the ringing in my ears subsided. 

So, that was the first step.  This blog is the second.  Next I might try entering a short story contest, but I don’t know if I have the guts yet to do that.  Slowly but surely I’ll work up the courage to let others read what I’ve written, so at one point I may actually have the nerve to send out some query letters, knowing full well where they might lead.

But I don’t think the fear will ever go away, I just have to decide…do I give in to it or do I rise above it?

Friday, September 14, 2012

Birthday Giveaway!

Hey, since it's my birthday, I'm doing a giveaway on my blog. Hop over there to check it out: http://joselynvaughn.com.

Have a great day!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

We All Need Vacations

by Brynn Paulin
 
Sooooo... don't you love looking at other people's vacation photos, lol? After years and years, I finally took a real vacation -- a non-working vacation where my only focus was relaxing and spending time with my husband. I have to admit it was the most refreshing, wonderful time and I can't wait to do another. 

But what have I learned? Listen up, writers. I know how it is. We don't leave our jobs at the office. The writing and creating is always with us. We're always working, trying to fit in a few more words or meet one of the never ending deadlines before us (self-imposed or not). My time away reminded me that sometimes you need to completely leave it all behind. From time to time, we all need to forget the writing, the editing, the deadlines, the promoting and other business of writing. Sometimes, we need to just relax and find ourselves again.

Below are a few pics from my trip to Alaska. Enjoy!






















Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Side effects are bad deal but good research!



By W.S. Gager
I’m going to stray a bit from the normal blog post. This post is about taking charge instead of something about writing. I love writing but good health and doing what is best for you is more important. As writers we have a terrible reputation for not taking care of ourselves. The stereotype is that we smoke and drink too much and never get any exercise.  While that is probably not accurate, we do sit too much at our keyboards and I for one am a bit too fond of sweets, especially when I’m writing.

Because of these issues and that we rarely have good posture or are in a good supportive seating with the computer at the optimum height, we have health issues. This past year has been a horrible one for me with my body rebelling. While I don’t want to dwell on the bad, I do want to talk about one. I knew at the time it was a bad idea but I didn’t question the physician or ask for another way or wonder why this was a standard protocol.

I’d been having horrible headaches and very high blood pressure. The key was to figure out which was causing which. The other problem was the headaches would wake me in the early hours of the morning and I couldn’t sleep. The lack of sleep and pain was making me a little crazy.  We’d tried a couple of things and nothing would work. The last course of treatment was an anti-depressant that would help me sleep.
I’d never taken any of these before and I knew it was a bad idea.  But I just wanted to sleep. The problem was the pills had the exact opposite effect on me. I was wired. I was the little energizer bunny all night long walking the floors and not even able to stop or concentrate.  The other change was more subtle. It was the voice in my head that said life wasn’t worth it anymore. Basically I was having thoughts that if allowed to run unchecked could have resulted in suicidal thoughts. If you ever met me, I’m one of the most positive people you would ever meet. 

Fortunately, I had a little intervention and ended up in the ER. While I still have headaches, they are not severe and I have a natural remedy that helps me sleep. My point is never take a drug for its side effects. It is too great a risk and not a guarantee you will have the same side effects. I was very lucky. Thanks for the soap box. Now back to writing! And just a positive...I've done the research on how to write about a brain taken over with bad thoughts and hearing voices. My main character Mitch Malone will be encountering some strange characters soon!


Award winning mystery author W.S. Gager has lived in Michigan for most of her life except when she was interviewing race car drivers or professional woman's golfers. She enjoyed the fast-paced life of a newspaper reporter until deciding to settle down and realized babies didn't adapt well to running down story details on deadline. Since then she honed her skills on other forms of writing before deciding to do what she always wanted with her life and that was to write mystery novels. Her main character is Mitch Malone who is an edgy crime-beat reporter always on the hunt for the next Pulitzer and won't let anyone stop him. Her third book, A CASE OF HOMETOWN BLUES, was a finalist in the 2012 Daphne Du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. A CASE OF VOLATILE DEEDS, her fourth in the Mitch series will be out this fall.
 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Marketing Resources




You've put your heart and soul into a book and it's finally completed. You've sent it off to a publisher who has accepted it. Or perhaps you've self-published and it's now available. What's next? After the celebration comes the "morning after" when you realize you need to promote your book. People aren't going to buy it if they don't know about it. So you need to spend a lot of time talking it up – literally and figuratively.
Other than your family and close friends, who is going to hear about your book? You will announce this news on Twitter and facebook, on your blog and everywhere else. You're going to buy bookmarks and postcards and maybe buy ad space in a magazine. But then what?
This is when it really helps to have a network of fellow authors. Once you reach out, hopefully they will pass on your good news to their friends and family, and if they like your book they'll pass the word on, too.
So how do you find these networks? One of them is right here at GRRWG. Make sure we know about your successes so that we can share. When you let us know about your accomplishments, we'll pass the news on, here and on facebook.
This summer I joined two other groups that are dedicated to helping you get the word out about your work. One is called Authors Helping Authors. It's a great group of authors headed by Alicia Dean. There's a database where you enter you book titles, buy links, and a suggested tweet for each of your books. And then each day an email is sent out with three to four suggested tweets, which you then send out to your followers. If everyone in the group (right now there are 71 members) sends out your book information to their followers, imagine the number of people who will learn about it!
The second group I joined is Marketing for Romance Writers. This is more of a place to learn about trends in self-marketing. Members share their publishing news, but more than that we share what works for us. During a recent three day "Marketing Camp" I learned so much about various online tools available to me. They recently sponsored a Pitch Day where various publishers were on hand to "listen" to pitches, and in the days before that there were mini classes on the best way to present out books.
I know there are lots of other author groups out there, but these are two I've found helpful. Both groups can by found by going to groups.yahoo.com and doing a search for them. It takes time to go through all the emails, but I've found the benefits have been worth it. By reaching out, I've made lots of new virtual friends, and find out about what's out there. Marketing is a lot of work, but it's something you have to do to sell.
Oh, and you also need to get going on your next book so that you can do this all over again. 

Patty Kiyono