Wednesday, April 30, 2014


It's the final day for the Blogging From A to Z Challenge. So obviously today's letter is Z.

Zone: This word means two things to me as a writer. It means to be 'in the zone" and to 'zone out". Both of these are equally important to me, too. Being in the zone as a writer is the most fabulous thing. It means the words are flowing, the characters are being cooperative and the writing is going better than I imagined it would. I love, love, love being in the zone with a story. It happens more frequently than it used to now that I write on a daily basis. It must be that whole practice thing.

To zone out is a great thing for me, too. If I am having trouble with a story and a break or exercise hasn't helped zoning out will. What do I mean by zone out? Well, for me, zoning out is like daydreaming except I'm consciously thinking about the story and the characters and whatever problem or situation they're facing. It's amazingly helpful.

Thank you so much to any and everyone who has stopped by my blog during this challenge. I have loved this so much! I have found a few new blogs myself. And there are more I will still visit. I will definitely participate in this challenge again. I am also happy to say that I have a renewed love and inspiration for my blog.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Today's Blogging From A to Z Challenge letter is Y.

Yarn: There are two definitions for the word yarn that apply to me.

1. thread made of natural or synthetic fibers and used for knitting and weaving.

2. a tale, especially a long story of adventure or incredible happenings: He spun a yarn that outdid any I had ever heard.

I crochet on a fairly regular basis and I love it. Crocheting is an artistic art form in my opinion. It's also something that calms and relaxes me. I can crochet and let my mind wander and often times I can work out plot problems in this way. It helps me to be more of a creative writer.

Of course, spinning a yarn or a tale is what I do almost every time I write. I love to tell a good story!

Teaser Tuesday's: When We Met by Susan Mallery

Teaser Tuesday's is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. To play along, just do the following:

- Grab your current read

- Open to a random page

- Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

- BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

- Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR list if they like your teaser.

My teaser this week is from Nook page 12 of When We Met by Susan Mallery:

"What makes you think I'm the least bit interested?" she asked.

"You're still here."

A good point.

Monday, April 28, 2014


Today's Blogging From A to Z Challenge letter is X.

X: I am completely stumped. There, I've said it - or rather, I've typed it. I cannot for the life of me think of a word that begins with the letter X that relates in anyway to my writing. The words I keep thinking of - excited, excellent, examine - actually begin with E and not X. I've even gone as far as searching for words related to writing that begin with X. Guess what? My search turned up absolutely nothing! Depending on the source there are 120 to 400 words that begin with the letter X. It does seem that the vast majority of the 400 words are no longer used in the English language, though. So the 120 is probably more accurate. It is also a popular consensus that a lot of the X words have their origin in the Greek language.

I don't have a specific X word for this post but I do feel I have learned something. For me, as a writer, I often find myself researching something for my books because I want them to be authentic. Now, I absolutely must find a way of including this information on X words in one of my books sometime soon. And yes, I am completely tickled that I have managed to create a post about the letter X after all.

Thank you for reading it.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

WriteCLub and WriteChain

Today's Blogging From A to Z Challenge letter is W.

WriteClub: I've been waiting excitedly for the letter W because I get to post specifically about the two things have changed me as a writer and I believe helped make me a better one. Since I found WriteClub first I'm going to start with this group. As I've written about before, I needed a major boost to my writing and my attitude toward being an author at the end of last summer. To put it in a slightly crass fashion, it was time for me to put up or shut up as a writer. I was unmotivated and therefore not producing much. I wrote nearly nothing for the entirety of the summer last year. It was depressing. One of my best friends (hi Julia!) was happily telling me all about Twitter and different aspects of it that she loved. Of course, I knew about Twitter and even had an account but it wasn't something I was in to at all. However, in a moment of desperation, I started searching hashtags about writing. I found #WriteClub. Which is @FriNightWrites if you are interested. Anyway, I was immediately intrigued by this concept of writers all over the world writing together on Friday nights. The camaraderie of a group of like minded people was incredibly appealing to me. The idea is to write in thirty minute sessions and share how much you write during that time. Sometimes people even share lines from their WIP's and that is always awesome. It was incredibly inspiring and I thought, I can do this. I should do this, darn it, I'm doing this! I told my husband about it and he thought it was funny. Then he realized I was serious about it when my writing became a priority again - on Friday nights. He was understanding, he was supportive. He was (and still is) happy for me for finding and becoming a part of something important to me. Another benefit, seeing the numbers other people put up in regard to how much they were writing really got me going. It's not a competition at all. It's just that I personally am motivated by seeing other people succeed. I hope that makes sense. Anyway, I love WriteClub! I love being a part of something so amazing!

WriteChain: I wiill say right here and now that I LOVE the WriteChain Challenge just as much as I LOVE WriteClub! There, it's said, done and in writing, out to the public. I found WriteChain through people from WriteClub posting about it in September. The challenge is to do something writing related everyday and earn a link and make a WriteChain. Write everyday? Well, that was something I had just started doing anyway. Would this challenge make a difference to me? I knew immediately that the answer was yes. Again, it was the camaraderie and the inspiration of success (for others and myself) that drew me to this challenge. I love seeing the participants WriteChains grow. I love the people (Hi Skye!) I've come to know in a writerly way through the challenge. It's the best thing to see people achieving their goals, setting new ones and having success. It's a mixture of inspiring and humbling.

So, I am so, so thankful to these two groups. I know that I am a better, much more focused writer as a result of having found them.

Friday, April 25, 2014


Today's Blogging From A to Z Challenge letter is V

Voice: The other day I wrote about style and voice came into my post a little bit. It's a topic often spoken (or rather, written) about my authors or those who claim to be experts. For a period of time I worried about whether or not my voice was being interpreted the way I wanted it to be in my writing. I have, thankfully, stopped worrying about how my voice is perceived. The reason is fairly simple, I'm true to myself with my writing. I write what I enjoy and I write what I hear in my head. As a result, I no longer feel any pressure to come across 'a certain way'. I am who I am and I write what I write. I imagine (meaning I really hope!) I come across the way I hear myself and my characters as I write their stories. The last thing I ever want to seem as a writer is a phony hack. I attempt to write entertaining stories with strong characters that are often overcoming something within their lives. I hope my writing voice tells their stories well.

Thursday, April 24, 2014


Today’s Blogging From A to Z Challenge letter is U.

Understanding: This is an emotion and a sentiment I am extremely grateful to have and be able to give in my life. I am ever so thankful for the fact that my husband and children are understanding to the fact that I must write. I also appreciate that they show an interest in what I am writing. My husband even likes to give me story ideas and plot twists. Of course, the majority of them crack me up and usually have nothing to do with anything I’m writing, but still. He understands me, I understand him and it’s all good.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Time and Thank You

Today's Blogging From A to Z Challenge letter is T.

Time: Whether your passion is sky diving, scuba diving, making music (like my husband), painting or writing (mine!) it's a challenge to find the time to fit it in. Right? Finding the time for the extras has always been a challenge for my husband and I. Yes, we've heard people say, "So make the time." For the longest time (ha!) that irritated me so much. Where in the world was I supposed to make time to write? Then at the end of last summer it finally dawned on me that it was a matter of priorities. Was it worth it to me to make writing a priority in my day? Was it worth it to me to take the time I have in a day and make some of it be all about the writing? My answer was a resounding yes!

So, near the end of August of last year I decided that I could devote at least thirty minutes of my day to focused, daily writing. That went incredibly but I quickly realized thirty minutes wasn't going to be enough for what I want to achieve and decided on an hour a day. And it didn't take long for me to realize that what I needed to do was set a daily word count because I could easily fritter away an hour of so-called writing time. This was near mid-September (when I started the WriteChain Challenge - more to come on that) and my life as a writer changed for the better. I am a better writer than I was eight months ago and that is because I decided to make time for myself and be the writer I want to be. I made my writing a priority and will continue to do so without regret.

Thank You: I know this challenge has six letter (or one week) to go but I want to say thank you to all who have stopped by as a result. I also want to say thank you to the organizers of this amazing challenge. It has helped me to realize that I do still love blogging and I will make my little corner here more of a priority come May and moving forward.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Today's Blogging From A to Z Challenge letter is S.

Style: I strongly believe that a writer's style - along with his or her voice - is very important. Of course, one should write in a way that is true for them and their style will hopefully come through to the reader. Not everyone is going to like my style. I know this and I am all right with this fact. I do intend to stay true to my style and my voice and my beliefs within my writing, though.

It's interesting to me when a book or a series (or even movies or music artists) become quite popular but I really don't like the book or movie or song. That is in part taste in genre but it's also tastes in style, I believe. There's a very popular, bestselling author that a LOT of people apparently like but I just do not. I've tried to read two books by her and I was so incredibly irritated by them that I was actually angry. It seems silly as I write this but it's true. I read several passages from the books to my husband and kept asking him why this person was published and so successful. The books were full of mistakes and continuity issues. I felt like they weren't even edited but they had to be. As I said, this is a very popular author. The only thing I can wrap my mind around is that I simply do not care for this author's style. As I said above, that's all right. There are plenty of books for me to read by writers I do enjoy quite a bit. Let those who enjoy this person continue to read her books.

I know no one can ever please everyone so I'm not even going to stress over it. I'm going to honor my own writing style and voice and strive for the best.

Teaser Tuesday's: The Guestbook by Holly Martin

Teaser Tuesday's is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. To play along, just do the following:

- Grab your current read

- Open to a random page

- Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

- BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

- Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR list if they like your teaser.

My teaser this week is from Nook page 32 of The Guestbook by Holly Martin:

We didn't have a girl's name; we were both so sure it was going to be a boy. But Willow, after the cottage seems to fit perfectly.

Monday, April 21, 2014


Before I begin today's post, I have to say that I have no idea why in the world P and Q show up without any words. It's completely bizarre. So, I'll have to try and remember exactly what I had been attempting to say and fix them. Of course, that is assuming this post will show words. I hope it does.

Today's Blogging From A to Z Challenge letter is R.

Relationships: I seriously considered writing about romance as it's the genre I write most and think it's something that should be a part of everyday life in some way. Then I thought about the fact that all of my books and stories - regardless of their genre - are always about relationships in some form. And I thought about the fact that it's the relationships in my life that add to forming me as a writer.

Relationships are crucial to every story. I really don't think it's possible to have a story without relationships, whether they're love relationships just beginning, between a parent and child or even enemies, it's still relationships at the core of a story. Can you imagine a book with only protagonist characters? There has to be some kind of an antagonist to add a layer of interest to the story. At least this is my opinion. And I honestly can't think of a book I've ever read that didn't have an intentionally unlikable character. If anyone knows of something like this please tell me.

Thank you for stopping by today.

Thursday, April 17, 2014


Today's letter for the Blogging From A to Z Challenge is O.

Opportunity: I've really been trying to take to heart the idea of being open to opportunity. In a way this may sound odd that as a writer I'm working on being open to the idea. The thing is though, in some respects, I'm kind of shy. I think most people that know me will be scratching their heads over that sentence. The thing is, when it comes to the act of sharing my writing it is absolutely true that I shy away from doing so. I think that that is due in large part to a fear of rejection. So, I'm actively working on getting over this and embracing opportunities to share my writing. It's not an easy thing for me. For example, my husband has asked me to read something I've written out loud on more than one occasion. I can't do it. I physically cannot stand in front of him and read a chapter or even a paragraph of something I've written to him. I don't mind if he reads it to himself but I can't do it. I have to get over this and I know it. To a degree, I feel like I should be able to read and share my own writing with people I know. I know that I am becoming a better writer everyday. Now I just have to create and accept opportunity to move another step forward with my dream.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


N is today's letter for the Blogging From A to Z Challenge.

Networking: As in any field, networking within the writing community is very important. I didn't used to think so but have definitely changed my mind about this topic. Whether you're going the traditional publishing route or self-publishing I believe having a strong network of people in your corner is key. I also believe it's beneficial to have a network of writer friends who understand exactly what you are striving to achieve.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Today’s Blogging From A to Z Challenge letter is M.

Music: This was another definite topic for me to blog about. I am, and always have been, extremely inspired by music. The majority of my childhood memories have music attached to them in some fashion. Of course, as a teenager, music ruled my life. I discovered the ever so amazing Duran Duran at the age of twelve and have never stopped loving them. My daughters even love them, thanks to the fact that they have always been exposed to their music.

Music inspired me as a writer as well. The majority of the time when I’m writing, I’m listening to music. All of my books and stories have a soundtrack. Now, whenever I hear a song that I associated with writing one of those books, I think of that book and those characters. It seems a little funny and yet I’m certain I can’t be the only writer who does this.

Right now, my main female character is a flute player in a symphony. This is proving to be a very fun person for me to write as I was a flute player through school. I’m enjoying writing about what it’s like to be a part of the world of classical music and auditions and rehearsals and the thrill of performing. I’m also rediscovering a love for classical music through listening to it. Another positive to this is that my kids have discovered they like classical music, too. They even want to be in band! Right now they’re saying they want to play flute but I’ll understand if they change their minds. J

We love all kinds of music around my house. Duran Duran and classical, as mentioned but also Country, some Top 40 and my husband loves hard core techno. And it’s all inspiring to me as a writer.

Teaser Tuesday's: The Collector by Nora Roberts

Teaser Tuesday's is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. To play along, just do the following:

- Grab your current read

- Open to a random page

- Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

- BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

- Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR list if they like your teaser.

My teaser this week is from Nook page 13 of The Collector by Nora Roberts:

The apartment complex hugged an entire city block, and that offered little glimpses into other lives. Other lives just fascinated her.

Monday, April 14, 2014


Today's Blogging From A to Z Challenge letter is L.

Love: Love is the first word, feeling, emotion that came to mind for me when I was planning a blog post for the letter L. Love is the topic I have decided to stick with. I write mostly romance stories. When my daughters ask what I'm writing about I tell them love. This answer is true but it's also one they understand. They know their daddy and I love one another. They understand that they, as sisters, love one another. They hope that they'll fall in love someday, too. While I have the same hope for them I'm perfectly all right with them taking their time on that, though.

The thing is, there are many different types of love and most of my stories contain more than one of them. In addition to romantic love my stories nearly always contain love of family. I really believe the foundation (whether good or bad) we grow up with shapes up as humans. Of course, I also believe one can overcome a bad childhood. And often my characters are overcoming something difficult in their lives as they find the positive love(s) that will strengthen them and their surroundings as they move forward. I'm all about people being strong, happy and self-confident and that appears in my writing over and over again.

Another reason I chose to write about love is the fact that I love writing. It's as simple and as multi-layered as that. I love most things about love.

Thank you for stopping by; for this post or any other. Have a great day.

Saturday, April 12, 2014


Today's Blogging From A to Z Challenge  is brought to you by the Letter K. Wait, this is my blog, not Sesame Street. Now you're possibly scratching your head and wondering if you're in the right place. You are, and I'm using my K topic to write about the particular lights of my life.
Kids: I have two kids whom I love with all of my heart. They are my first priority always. After I had my first I stopped writing. I think that's somewhat normal. My husband and I were new parents. We were completely in love, in awe and severely sleep-deprived. It makes sense to me that some things in life would be put aside for a while and for me that was my writing. I started writing again when the first was a little over a year. Then repeated this cycle with our second child. However, I missed my writing more quickly the second time. Then I struggled with balance. I wondered if I could give my writing the attention I had before and still be a good mom. The answer is yes but it took me a while to realize and truly accept that I could - and should - continue with my writing. The reason I said I should is because following my passion and my heart's desire has truly made me an even better parent. My husband knows this, our daughters know this, as well. My point is, always follow your dreams and show your children that your dreams are as valuable as theirs.

Friday, April 11, 2014


Today's Blogging From A to Z Challenge letter is J.

Juggling: It turns out that this is a very timely topic for me. This entire week has been nothing but an amped up juggling act for me. Actually, my extreme juggling is continuing until Tuesday. It's true that I make time to write everyday. It's also true that juggling everyone's schedule is a regular occurrence. It's something that I don't mind, though. My kids' routine is busier than mine and my husband's were when we were kids but that's somewhat a product of our times I suppose. This week though, oh my gosh. It's been an amazing week but it has been cram packed with extra stuff. Granted, it's been fun stuff but quite time-consuming. So I've added a few extra balls to the juggling act this week. I'm happy to say that so far every thing has come together nicely. We're all a little tired and there's still more that needs to be done but we'll get there. I'm pretty sure that come Tuesday evening everyone in my family will be breathing a giant sigh of relief. I know I will. I'm also happy to say that I've still managed to fit in my writing each and every day.

I must admit, I love my juggling act.

Tomorrows letter for the challenge is K. I hope everyone has a great weekend - whether you're relaxing or juggling your own stuff.

Thursday, April 10, 2014


Today is for the letter I in The Blogging From A to Z Challenge.

Inspiration: I used to stress out about inspiration. I used to wait until I was feeling inspired to write. People ask me somewhat regularly where my inspiration comes from or what inspires me. In fact, I would say questions relating to inspiration are what I'm asked most when people want to talk about my writing. The interesting thing is, the answer(s) is not black and white. I'm inspired by many different people or things. My husband and children inspire me. I have been inspired by reading a really good book on more occasions than I can count. As stated in my A post about Authors - I was originally inspired to be a writer by Madeleine L'Engle and her book A Wrinkle in Time. Sometimes the amazing beauty found in nature inspires me to write and other times it's the beat of a song. I've also found that the more I write the more I'm inspired to continue to write. There's no clear cut response to what inspires me but I am certainly thankful that I stay inspired to write my stories.

Thank you for stopping by my blog. Please come again.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


The Blogging From A to Z Challenge continues today with the letter H.

Home: My youngest daughter just came in and saw this post. She said, "Home is nice. Home is where we live and love our family." I had a different beginning in mind but what she said is even better. Home to me is also a safe place where I can be myself and that helps me to create. Home and family play a role in every book I've ever written. I feel safe in saying that the elements of home and family will continue to be in each of my books. It's important to me that my husband and I give our daughters a safe, happy place to call home. So my daughter saying what she said has touched my heart in an enormous way.

Her quote is exactly what I hope to convey in my stories, as well. Often, my characters are either struggling with a big issue or have something from their past that needs dealing with. I admit that there have been times that they haven't come from the best of families so I try to make up for that in their present situations. In my opinion home is a place but it is also a feeling and a sense of security.

This is a quick post tonight but please don't think that makes it less meaningful. Tomorrow I'll blog about Inspiration and Integrity for the letter I.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


The Blogging From A to Z Challenge continues this evening with the letter G.

Goals: I wrote a post a few months ago all about goals. I think it's good to re-evaluate goals every so often and determine whether I'm on track or way off. I also think it's a good idea to determine if some things need to be changed or simply left out of the routine.

I made a goal to continue writing everyday and I'm happy to say I have kept up with this one. It's my passion and I'm aiming to make it my career. In regard to making a career out of writing novels I need to be a whole lot better about revising my work and querying it. So, going forward, I will continue to write every single day. I also believe I need to commit to at least thirty minutes of revision per day with queries to follow.

Another goal I had made was to exercise four to five days per week. I was keeping up with this and feeling really good about it. Then, almost two weeks ago, we had a weekend of earthquakes and aftershocks here. I'm a tad embarrassed to say that I haven't been out for a walk or run since. I'm a little bit afraid to go alone. I know I need to get over it but it's very freaky to me when the earth shakes like crazy under my feet. And I really, really don't want to be alone when it happens again. Anyway, I'm going to force myself to do some sort of exercise tomorrow, even if it's simply to put on a yoga DVD at home.

Water. It's part of the life force. I like water and it makes me feel good. Then why am I so bad about drinking enough of it? I had a daily goal of drinking fifty ounces per day. I started off really well and managed to keep it up for about six weeks. Then I started drinking less and less. Now I'm back at a pathetic amount per day. Beginning tomorrow - no, make that right now, as soon as I hit publish - I'm getting back on the healthy track of drinking a lot of water. It's healthy and I want to be as healthy as I can possibly be.

So there's an update and a re-evaluation of my goals. Do you make goals and if so, how are you doing with keeping them?

Teaser Tuesday's: Dash of Peril by Lori Foster

Teaser Tuesday's is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. To play along, just do the following:

- Grab your current read

- Open to a random page

- Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

- BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

- Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR list if they like your teaser.

My teaser this week is from Nook page 46 of Lori Foster's Dash of Peril

She was already on the ragged edge. She didn't need Dash adding to her confusion.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Blogging From A to Z: Family

The Blogging From A to Z Challenge continues today with the letter F.

Family: Family is my number one priority. So it is not a surprise to me that family was the first thing I thought of for the letter F in this challenge. My husband and our daughters mean the world to me. My husband and I often joke that our kids have a busier schedule than we do. It amazes me how many things related to school (that aren't actually done during the school day) fill up their non-school hours. And I do my best to be involved in as much of it as possible. This was something that my husband and I agreed upon before we even had children. So, there are times (this week and next, for example) when my writing is scheduled around many hours at or for their school. I don't mind it and actually cherish the fact that I'm able to do this for my kids.

I will admit that I used to get a little cranky when I was getting my time to write, though. However, making the commitment to myself to write daily had a positive impact on my family as well as myself. They know I have daily goals for my writing that must be met and are very supportive. My husband doesn't always like the topic I'm writing about but I can always count on him to be a sounding board when I need one. Our daughters have taken to writing their own stories, which I love so very, very much. Someone asked my youngest daughter who her favorite author is and she said, "My mom." It made me teary-eyed, of course. My daughters also illustrate covers for my books. They haven't read any of my books yet because I don't write children's books but they are still so adorably supportive. I love all of them so much.

Thank you for stopping by. Please come back tomorrow if you'd like to read about my writing goals.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Energy and Emotions of my Writing Life

The Blogging From A to Z Challenge continues with the letter E.

I admit that I had a bit of a hard time coming up with a topic that relates to my writing and the letter E. Now, as the day is more over than not, I have a good idea:

Energy: Writing requires energy for me. It requires physical and mental energy. I know that I am a much better writer when I am well rested or have recently completed some exercise. Speaking of exercise, I have the best brainstorming sessions when I am working out. I get so much clarity for my stories in the midst of a workout. If I am having a problem writing a scene or something about it just feels off I usually go for a walk. I can guarantee that during that time I will figure out what I need to do in order to advance or even fix my scene or chapter.

I have also been known to get some really crazy ideas while working out. Some of them I have used while others I probably won't. However, I try to write down all of my ideas, regardless of genre. You know what they say; Never say never.

I've noticed that food also plays a part in my writing. What I mean is, the healthier I'm eating, the better I feel I'm writing. It makes sense to me but it's still interesting to see and feel it in motion. That's not to say I don't have a stash of chocolate because I do, believe me.

Emotions: Emotions are actually two-fold: Mine and my characters'. My emotions definitely play a role in my daily writing. It's a fact that if I'm in a good mood my writing flows a lot better than if I'm in a funk. Although, sometimes I get a lot done if I'm mad, too.

There have been times when my emotions or moods have bled into my characters lives. I try really hard to avoid this as I want them to be authentic but it is true that small pieces of my life appear in theirs now and then.

Thank you for stopping by. The challenge takes Sunday's off so F will be brought to you on Monday. I know for certain I'll be discussing how my family and friends play into my writing life. We'll see if I come up with something else to add.

Friday, April 4, 2014

D: Daily Writing

The Blogging From A to Z Challenge is up to letter D today.

I want to devote this post to something that is very dear to me and has changed me as an author -

Daily Writing: In one statement, I write everyday. I haven't always practiced a daily writing routine, though. In fact, my writing habits used to be very sporadic. I'd write a lot for a good chunk of time and then write nothing at all for another chunk of time. I had the idea that I needed to wait for inspiration to write. That's a method that works for a lot of people so I'm not putting it down. It's simply that I discovered - for myself - waiting for inspiration was becoming a big waste of my time.

Last summer, I wrote virtually nothing. I wasn't keeping track of my word count at the time but I know I hardly wrote at all. By the end of the summer I was depressed, feeling uninspired and generally unhappy because I wasn't making any progress toward my writing goals. How could I make progress when I wasn't 'inspired' to write? After my kids went back to school in August I decided it was time to make a change. I started writing a bit more frequently and I was happier. I had discovered writeclub on Twitter and it was really motivating me. Then I learned of writechain on Twitter and decided to give that a go as well. (I'll be posting more about both writeclub and writechain later in the month).

I decided to start writing fiction daily in the middle of September. I have now written for 205 days straight. I can honestly say that I am a better, stronger and faster writer now that I was six months ago. The inspiration I was always concerned with is a daily part of my life now. I found that the more I wrote, the more I was inspired to write. In fact, ideas began coming to me so rapidly that I began writing them down in a journal so that I wouldn't forget them.

Daily writing has also made me more confident. I've had a short story published and have made a couple other strides toward making my writing dreams come true. So I am a definite believer in the power of daily writing. It doesn't have to be an enormous amount that you write, either. Although, I will say, that the amount I write each day has increased since I started this new path in September.

As I've said before: People say "just write". I say, "Just write daily."

Thursday, April 3, 2014

C: Characters and Conflict

Today's Blogging From A to Z Challenge is the letter C in my writing life.

Characters: I feel safe saying a writer absolutely must have characters. Without characters we'd have no stories. However, creating these characters isn't always an easy thing. I want my characters to be as fully developed as possible. That means I want my protagonists to have flaws mixed in with their positive traits. I want them to have hopes and fears and dreams and goals. I want them to have achievements as well as screw-ups. Basically, I want my heroes and heroines to be people you'd want to have a beer or a glass of wine with and call them a friend. Developing this sort of character takes time and love and patience but it's so worth it to see them come alive in my imagination, on paper and for other people.

As far as the not-so-nice characters (and sometimes their outright villains) I want you to loathe them. Of course, they may have a moment where they are so human you almost like them but that never lasts. I hope to create characters people can love or hate and feel as if they've really gone on someone's journey with them.

Conflict: Conflict is necessary in a story. The truth is (for me anyway) sometimes adding the conflict is painful. I love my characters and I'm sure that is probably true for most writers. Since I love them, I don't want to put them through bad things. And yet, as I said, it's necessary in order to move the story along. It's necessary to help the characters grow, as individuals and together as friends, lovers, families, whatever the relationship dynamics may be.

Thank you for visiting. Please come back tomorrow and learn about the letter D.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

B is for Books and Blogs

The Blogging From A to Z Challenge continues today with the letter B.

Books: At first, the only thing that kept looping in my head regarding writing and the letter B was BOOKS. It makes sense to me that an author would think about books a fair amount of the time. I do; books, in some format, are always on my mind. Books, books and more books! I write books, I think about writing books while I'm doing other things, I even dream about books. Wait, that makes me sound a little obsessed. Well, since I am extremely passionate (that's a better word than obsessed, right?) about all things book related, I'll stick with this confession. I go to the bookstore just so I can smell the books. I have a Nook, which I love and use often, but there is just something about the smell and texture of a paper, glue and bound book that speaks to my soul.

I'm happy to say that I have passed my love for books on to my daughters. They love to go to the bookstore with me. They love the library as much as I do. They even have the dream of a home library. In fact, they have recently begun to tell my husband and I that we need a bigger home so they can have their own rooms and our own library. My husband just smiles and nods his head. He's used to the home library discussion as he's been hearing it from me for nearly fifteen years. Now he has all three of us making the same request. We will get our home library. Eventually.

Anyway, I figure a love affair with and for books is a requirement for any author. If I didn't have this love I wouldn't be writing so of course they must go hand in hand.

Blogs: As I sat down to write this post I literally thought, well, of course. How did I initially forget about blogs in relation to my writing? I believe blogs and or websites are as much a part of a modern writer's life as a computer and a printer. I visit the blog or website of an author at least once per day. I love the fact that so many authors have turned their blogs into really enjoyable places to visit regularly. Yes, they are mainly for promotional purposes, I know that. However, I think it's fabulous that some are interactive as well. For example, Susan Mallery's blog has a section entirely devoted to her fabulous Fool's Gold series. It has a timeline and a who's who sort of feature and little tidbits of ongoing information about the characters. It really allows a reader and fan of the series to become and stay immersed in the fictional culture. I think it's brilliant marketing but also just plain fun for a fan. It seems to me that it is becoming the norm for authors to create blogs along these lines. It makes sense to me and I hope to follow in this path.

Thank you for visiting my blog. Please feel free to come back tomorrow and find out what C is for in my writing world.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Teaser Tuesday's: Shadow Spell by Nora Roberts

Teaser Tuesday's is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. To play along, just do the following:

- Grab your current read

- Open to a random page

- Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

- BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

- Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR list if they like your teaser.

My teaser this week is from page 82 0f Shadow Spell by Nora Roberts:

"Do you hear it? Do you hear the music?"

A is for Authors and Agents

The Blogging From A to Z Challenge begins today. This is my first time taking part in this challenge and I am very excited about it. I've decided to blog about things that are related to my writing on a daily basis. So, without further babbling on my part, A is for:

Authors: I've read time and time again that in order to be a good writer one must read. I believe this with all of my heart. In fact, for me it was an absolute love and adoration of reading that prompted me to write my first story in elementary school. I was so fascinated and in awe with the works of Madeleine L'Engle that I wanted to try my hand at writing something so exciting and adventurous. To say that I was nowhere near her caliber would be an understatement but she fueled my grade school imagination and I am forever grateful for that. To this day I am deeply inspired by my favorite authors: John Steinbeck, Nora Roberts, J.K. Rowling, Madeleine L'Engle (still), Lori Foster and Susan Mallery to name a few. I am so grateful to amazing, talented authors for sharing their story telling gifts but also for the continued inspiration in following my own dreams to be an author.

Agents: I know many people self-publish now. However, if you're going the traditional publishing route it's beneficial (though not always necessary) to have an agent. I don't have an agent as of yet but I believe I shall fairly soon.

Thank you for stopping by my blog. Please feel free to come back tomorrow and find out what B is for in my writing world.