Wednesday, October 4, 2017

First Wednesday Once Again

And still no rhythm...

Oh, my friends, what to do.

Oh, right... proper intro. Welcome to the Insecure Writer's Support Group and our meeting first Wednesday of every month!

I did manage to get started on a timeline... it is a story I've meant to write for a very long time but had not felt up to it. My family story... or rather my grandfather's. It is a sad tale, riddled with tragedies, but it is also one for which I want to shed light. There is a villain who needs exposing. So I am putting together the timeline of what I know and overlaying a timeline of national, international and local history, along with what I can about personalities. So that's not nothing.

And now for this month's question...

Have you ever slipped any of your personal information into your characters, either by accident or on purpose?

Rocky Point on Lake Chatcolet
Hmmm...  I guess all of them have a bit... I am not good at making it all up, so there are scraps of personality in there. I've also included a physical trait now and then. Cam and Annie in my cozy series both have the uncolor hair I have (that shade between blonde, brown and red that actually has no name)--they have bonded over the fact--it is how they became friends. Kenny and Amanda are tall like I am. Sometimes I include a relationship that I have, but when I do this, these are the shortcuts--the details that the story is NOT about, but provide a sort of grounding. OH!  Also Appearing takes place at a lake cabin exactly where my parents' lake cabin was... There is that... So I guess I do. But hopefully not too heavily.

How about all of you?

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

IWSG: Creativity Sapped


I keep trying.

Oh, right. Intro. It's been so long I forget how we do this. It's first Wednesday which means it is the monthly Insecure Writer's Support Group meeting. Hi, I'm Hart. [Hi Hart]. And I'm supposedly a writer.

Trouble is the world keeps throwing crap at me that makes it really hard to write. Not just at me. I think I am not alone.

The political scene is a disaster. Not to get political, (but I am—highlight if you want to see, if you like the current administration, you probably don't) but I feel fairly strongly we've had cruel presidents and idiot presidents but this is the first time we've had a cruel idiot president.

But right now the Pacific Northwest, including the Idaho Panhandle where I grew up and Oregon where my heart will always be, is on fire. Dozens of friends share daily about the poor air quality. People are trapped because roads are blocked. Thousands of acres including the Columbia River Gorge—my favorite place on the planet—are burning.

Texas underwater. Thousands left homeless. And friends in the path of Irma.

Money trouble from paying tuition and failing on one of my financial aid forms (so not getting the loan I intended). I suppose I will be glad in 3 years for this year I didn't borrow, but right now it's a major stressor.

How does a person even try to be creative?

I used to write dark stuff to keep life from going in dark directions—an outlet, if you will. But life went dark anyway. So maybe I should take up romantic comedy (yeahno). Satire? To do that, I'd have to find some of this funny. Sci Fi might work. Except it all looks realistic from here.

What do all of you do to find the creativity when it has been obscured?

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

ACK! Where has my brain gone!?

And here I am, second month in a row, forgetting it is Insecure Writer's First Wednesday, so I apologize! I am coming in tardy, but that is better than what happened in June.

My insecurity this month is huge. I managed a week of diligent writing and then just got caught up in summer. It has been a good month, but totally undisciplined. How does a person get the discipline back when it has fallen? I was SO GOOD for SO LONG. But I haven't finished a new novel in almost two years. I did manage a couple editing rounds. But I need to get back to WRITING regularly!

Anybody else having trouble?
See how smart I am?

And now for the question of the month: What is one valuable lesson you've learned since you started writing?

Be yourself. Emulating admired authors is tempting, but they will always be them better than you, but NOBODY can be YOU better than you.

Now go visit some people who deserve it!!!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Are You Ready to BuNo!?



Say WHAT?

June is the month my writing group does BuNoWriMo. And June is coming, so here is what you need to know.

What's it stand for? Burrow Novel Writing Month.

And what is it? Just like NaNoWriMo, but in a month you don't have to cook a big meal or Christmas shop. 50,000 words in 30 days. We run it from Facebook because I administer it and don't have the skills for a real website.

How can I (meaning you) get involved? Just request to join here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/120068351365639/

I can't remember if it is open or not, but if not, I will just admit you provided you don't try to sell everybody Ray Bans.

So you are DEFINITELY all invited!!!


As for what I am writing next month... I am going to do my first shot at horror. Well sort of first shot—my very first novel had elements of horror. But this one will have a tiny bit more supernatural (not much, just a little creepy)--but the real horror is always people with evil agendas eh?

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Do Gods Get Insecure?


Hallo fine peoples!!! Welcome to Insecure Writer's First Wednesday... gratuitous that it falls on a Wednesday... because I have a new obsessions. Lemme esplain... No. Is too much. Lemme sum up.

The series I've been most excited about since Game of Thrones has started...

Neil Gaiman's American Gods.

This is a stellar cast, a stellar director, Gaiman himself is involved in productions. And it is BEAUTIFUL! So what is there to be insecure about?

Well see... to survive, Gods, like writers, need believers. If they don't they start to fade. And when that happens sometimes they can get a little desperate...

I'm feeling like right now my god-level relevance is about Hermes. I'd much rather be Dionysus. Or Athena. Wine or wisdom. I'll take em. Instead I'm a messenger with popularity issues.

Which God are you?


Oh, yeah, right... and the question for the month... What is the weirdest/coolest thing you ever had to research for your story?

The one I had most fun with was probably the Roanoke Ghost stories. I tried to trickle then in backdrop for my cozy mystery series. Sadly, I only got to do three books, so they thread didn't go as far as I wanted.


Okay, now go see some other insecure people!

Some people are mentioning finding American Gods. As I understand it, it is Starz in the US and Amazon Prime in other countries. I believe Amazon Prime in the US can also do Starz as an add-on (so you don't need full cable pricing?)

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Ode to A to Z and First Wednesday



I love A to Z, but some self honesty has led me to admit that while I BLOGGED A to Z the last few years, it really has been a few since I adequately participated enough to ask anyone to visit me, which was missing the spirit of the thing, so I opted out this month. This means this is probably my only post for April, since I know most people will be way too swamped with A to Z for any other distractions. But in the spirit of support, I have attempted to write y'all an ode...

Ample alliteration amplifies atmosphere
but barbarous boasting brings banality.
Clacking cacophony causes chaos and
Desired doses of description delight deities.
Exclude exaggeration except when excited.
Frank facts flounder in fiction, while
genres generally give grins.
Hyperbole hastens heart hammering and
Iambic idiom is intriguing.
Just jotting jargon jinxes the job but
Kindergarten keynotes keep kangaroos and koalas kosher (but don't eat them)
Lilting lyrics lure languorous llamas, but
Many metaphors make mockery of manuscripts.
Nobody needs non-specific nouns.
Onomatopoeia outrages ostriches and orangutans while
people perfecting pace and lot pursue paradise.
Quaint queries question quality but
Rabid reading reinforces radiance and
Singing sentence structure satisfies.
Tragedy and thrilling tales turn pages.
Unless unlikable urchins undermine everything.
Vigorous verbs are vibrant and vary
Whenever writing wins wonder we
X-ude x-actly x-cellent x-amples.
You yearn for yonder yarn
Zen.

And for the question of the month... have I taken advantage of A to Z? I have. And my first few years when I worked really hard to get around, it was absolutely effective in meeting new people who I continued to interact with. But as I mentioned, the real benefit (and the karma of it) comes not from the daily blogging, but from the commitment to get to lots of people. Which I somehow seem to not have time for anymore. (My day job has gotten less flexible and my nights have filled with other obligations—I am not even writing as much as I'd like).

But I hope all of YOU are having a wonderful time with it. Now go meet some other A to Zers or Insecure writers!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Rework WHAT? And some MADNESS!!!



Hallo, fine peoples!!! I can't believe we are already here. But I guess there are only 28 days in February...

So two things are happening today. One I can take care of quickly, so let's do it.

March Madness is HERE and I have a plan. BUWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! *cough * I am going to finish Summer of Bones this month (I have about 70 pages, so need about 200-250 more). And I need to be efficient because I have a week mid month that I am traveling for work. I don't write well away from home and I have also never been to New Orleans PLUS my husband is going with me, so non-conference time will be sight-seeing time. If you want to join March Madness, check my last post.


But YOU are probably all here because it Insecure Writer's Support Group First Wednesday. And this month's question is this: Have you ever pulled out a really old story and reworked it? Did it work out?

And my answer, broadly, is... sort of.

I have a plan for my very first that I have never undertaken. But I have taken books back up that have sat for years... but they sat with me KNOWING I was coming back to them—that they needed serious revision. I write fast intentionally. I can take a tangent like you wouldn't believe, and writing fast keeps those to a minimum. But writing fast (for me anyway) means serious revisions. I skip sections if they aren't coming with just notes as to what broadly has to happen. It leaves wiggle room.

So there are THOSE kind of revisions. (not just those... my draft # typically runs about 10 before I consider a book done). But there are also things like changing PoV—third to first. And there are big plot adds that change a lot. Those things don't happen too often, but HAVE happened.

What about you? Have you pulled out something really old and reworked it?