Wednesday, April 23, 2014

This was sent to me not too long ago by an old friend/mentor/teacher/reader. The man is amazing, at 93 he reads everything I send him- including the erotic paranormal stuff.

“An original writer is not one who imitates nobody, but one whom nobody can imitate.” Francois-Rene, Vicomte de Chateaubriand

"The best way to be a writer no one can imitate, is to simply be yourself. You are the only you.
It’s true that some writers have a unique style all their own that clearly sets them apart in a way that other writers can’t imitate. But you don’t have to have an off-the-wall style to be different. Nobody says things the same way you do. Nobody has the same body of knowledge or the same life experiences. No one else sees life through your pair of eyes. No one else has lived through the things and places you have. No one can add your twist on words. Learn from the greats, but in your writing, be yourself."
   Every now and then I need that reminder. 
I probably could have used some words to encourage me to not be so distracted by nice weather, animal antics, or other creative outlets. However, I did find a way to make some of it work for writing. I had watched and listened as the young calves next door moo'd, heads turned upward looking into the trees-only to have the moo returned from across the road. What ensued was a sort of Moo-co polo game. Every time the moo-let next door heard the return of his/her call (I haven't looked that close),it would rotate and look up, and then around, it seemed perplexed, and then it would do it again. Cheap entertainment for an afternoon. I scribbled down all that transpired...because one never knows when you will have need of just that tidbit of life for a story. 
     Little kids are great too, a long time friend sent me a video of her youngest, sitting on the floor-laughing hysterically when a tree frog slid down the rain-x covered glass sliding door and then would jump back, making a rather disgusting sound as it hit the glass only to slide down again. Things that we'd normally gloss over, are perfect examples of how a character could act/react in a story.
     I apologize for any 'oops', I'm doing this one eyed...I managed to catch a flying object from the mower with one...not a catch that needed to be made but, eh, that's the way it goes. Happy Spring, and much writing to you all.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Holiday Traditions

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m Lisa Orchard the author of the bestselling Super Spies series and I’m back today to talk about family traditions. Since it’s Easter Weekend I thought it would be appropriate.

In my opinion, it’s these holiday traditions that keep a family together. When kids are young, it’s all about making memories for them. I’m sure we can all remember waking up on Easter morning with anticipation running through our veins, because we get to search for hidden eggs that we decorated the night before. I felt this same anticipation at Christmas too. I mean presents! What an awesome thing to wake up to, right?

As we grow older, the focus changes, well at least for me it has. Now, instead of getting presents and candy it’s more about giving and family. I don’t know about you, but I don’t see my family as often as I’d like. The holidays are an excuse for everyone to get together, share news, and enjoy each other’s company.

I think holidays are important because it gives us something to anticipate. What would it be like if there were no holidays and every single day was the same? I think it would take much of the joy out of our lives. In my opinion, we should be striving to put as much joy in our lives as we can, because let’s face it life can be hard. As adults, we’re always striving to deal with all the responsibilities that come with adulthood so moments of pure joy come less and less often.

So this Easter, take a little time and savor watching your kids hunt for Easter eggs and maybe even participate. Who knows, it might wake your inner child. You might experience a moment of pure joy. J

This photo compliments of Creative Commons on Flickr. Photographer Shannon Ramos. Here's the link to license:

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Switching Genres

Every year GRRWG has a Winter NaNo competition. This year I decided to try something different and ended up with a story that is nothing like anything I've written before.

Normally I write in paranormal genres, ones I can have fun with because there are no hard and fast rules about what my characters can do. The month that we started our Winter NaNo, our presentation included writing exercises and I really liked what I got started. I decided to just run with it.

Originally I thought the story was going down one path. But the characters decided to go off the intended path and got "naughty". I don't normally read romance books (unless written by fellow GRRWG authors), and I lack a lot of the instinct for writing explicit romance well. Still, I followed where the characters took me.

Imagine my surprise when the main character took me down a road with her best friend, only to have her boyfriend join in a little later on. They then added in a psychopath, an affair with a police officer, a car accident, a shooting, and some intoxicating mousse.

I was convinced my writing was a juvenile as say 50 Shades, as I ran out of vocabulary options early on, but I kept plugging away. The characters were so much like ones from Suzanne Graham's and Simone Anderson's books that I swear some of the unfound characters had decided to take up residency in my brain to feed me this story.

I'm a big fan of pushing oneself out of one's comfort zones from time to time and this change in genre was definitely pushing my limits. The story is not yet finished, there's an ending still being written, and I last left off with four naked people in a pile on the floor. Definitely not something I would normally write, and nothing I'd ever written before.

Being a member of GRRWG has a big benefit - we have writers in multiple genres who aren't afraid to give an opinion if asked. I decided to wait until I managed to talk Suzanne and Simone into reading parts of the story. I was surprised to learn that it is not as badly written as I was expecting.

This just proves that you never know what you can do until you try. So I will write the ending to the story, hopefully it won't be too formulaic or sappy. Now to work out the details to have Suzanne co-author the story with meand help expand my vocabulary.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Winning at Writing

Almost all people want to be successful at something they enjoy. In our case, we are all writers continually striving to be the best at our trade. Through writing exercises, critiques, advice from others, etc. we push ourselves to the next level in hopes to further our skills. We all want to be winners.With this in mind, I've found articles that will help us be the best we can be.

"People Who Are Winners"
By: Coach George H. Allen
  • People who are on time
  • People who are in shape
  • People who are enthusiastic
  • People who are self-disciplined
  • People who are committed to a goal
  • People who are dedicated to their job
  • People who are organized
  • People who are tough mentally
  • People who enjoy helping others
  • People who are innovative
  • People who are loyal
  • People who enjoy life
Does this apply to you in your personal life? It's good to apply this to your daily life- as it will keep you on schedule. Now, does it apply to your writing? If not, get to it. Make it happen. These tips on how to become a winner will make you stronger in the end.