Tag Archives: RRRW

Finding Flaws

Sometimes you need a lesson. I’m getting one now.

Thank God for lessons.

A long time ago author Helen Myers, told my (now disbanded 😦 )romance writing group if you’re going to write, you have to be willing to bleed on the page. I’m trying to channel the emotions into the story I’m working on. I think I might need to take up kickboxing and channel some emotion in that direction, too. (Okay, not really. If you know me at all, you know there is zero percent chance of me kick boxing. I would hurt myself.)

It’s funny because in critiques I’m always telling my friends they’re committing the nice-nice sin. Making things too easy on the characters. I see it in their work because it’s a huge flaw in mine. I like the people I create. I don’t want to put them through hell. But those struggles make the book so much better!

 

 

 

 

Coffee Time Night Owl Writer Reporting For Duty #MyWANA

My little addiction

My little addiction

WAAAAAYYYYY back when I started writing again, my (no longer existent) local writer’s group met at Jackye Plummer’s house. I blame Jackye for my addiction and insomnia.

Jackye was an amazing writer, a fantastic hostess, a true joy and MEAN with her red pen. Nine times out of ten she’d hand a manuscript back, say “chunk the first three chapters” and then talk about what you’d done right in the book. The group would spend hours around her table trading pages of our WIPS. We loved Tuesday nights. We’d eat, drink coffee, read, comment and laugh for hours. I’m not sure what Jackye put in her coffee, but we could work for hours on it.

It’s been years since I participated in those Tuesday night critiques, but I still drink coffee when I’m working. I’ve tried NOT drinking coffee, but the words don’t seem to work without it.

Problem? I usually write at night. I don’t know why, but for some reason my creative brain kicks into gear around 10 p.m. If I could write all night, I would. But unless it’s summer, I have the day job to consider. The last thing in the world my students need is a sleepless Mrs. Lee reporting for duty. 🙂

I’m finishing up my late night coffee, remembering Jackye and saying a silent thank you to her as I write this post.

What about you? Coffee at night? Creative brain on night owl hours? Someone who made a huge impact on your life and art?

I’d love to hear your stories.#

 

Meeting Goals

I’m loving the new book. And hating it at the same time. It’s been TOUGH, but writing is taking place on a daily basis in the Lee household and that is GOOD NEWS! The new book is about forgiveness, redemption and letting go of the past. It’s targeted to Love Inspired. I hope to have a proposal ready to go within two weeks. I’ll actually have the first three chapters totally done before the end of this week. I hope to have the synopsis completely done by Sunday. Then I’ll let the proposal sit a week while I continue writing. Then I’ll go through the proposal one more time. Goal: to have the proposal on the way to LI editors by Feb. 28.
What changed: A lot. The budget crisis certainly lit a fire under me. I also realized that when DD graduated, something in me switched off. For almost three years, I’ve been treading water in life. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. In that time, my relationship with God has really blossomed. And DH and I are truly best friends. I’ve learned a lot about me. It’s been a “growing up” time again. Kind of like that time between 25 and 30 was for me.
It’s kind of weird to look back on a clump of years and realize how I sunk into this deep funk.
Menopause certainly didn’t help, I’m sure. The ankle compounded things probably.
You know, God uses these times though. If I hadn’t been in this time of “treading water” I don’t know if we would have gotten involved in the college ministry at church. I think that’s been more of a blessing to us than anyone!
When I went to RRRW this month, I was ready to fully recommit to writing. I’ve been writing again for a while now, but there’s a difference between actively writing and writing. If you’re a writer, you understand that statement.
I’ve committed to writing 1 page every day this week. At RRRW we call this a WWG (weekly writing goal), and we check in to hold each other accountable. It’s been a long time, but I’m glad to have that. I’m writing one single spaced page a day. Yesterday’s page was crap, crap, crap, crap. Today’s was better. The revisions were awesome. (hopefully I still feel that way in a couple weeks!)
That’s the nature of writing, I suppose. Some days are good, others not so much, but even in the not so much, there’s something to learn. I’m glad for that.

Decisions and Cold and Why it Matters

A conversation with my body.
Me: Time to go.
Body: No
M: But the meeting…
B: NO!
M: But it’s going to be fun.
B: It’s -30 out there.
M: Windchill. Come on…
B: 5 real temp. And windchill is what I feel.
M: I lived in Minnesota. North Dakota, too.
B: You were a baby and in grade school and you had a snowmobile suit and a ski mask and a parka and those cute little mittens and that hat with your name on it your Aunt Barb made.
M: I have a coat now.
B: A Texas coat.
M: It’s a coat. Coats are all the same.
B: Tell that to your blue fingers and toes and …KNEE CAPS. No. You’re staying in. They just ran a crawl across the TV warning you to stay inside because it’s DEADLY out there. You know like the tornado crawls and massive heat wave crawls you’re used to.
M: But…
B: The eyes watered when you walked outside. The nose thought about freezing shut. Think about that!
M: But…
B: You go out there, I’m not responsible for what happens.
M: I told my kids today about a book I read where a guy gutted his horse, crawled inside the body and lived through a North Dakota Blizzard.
B: One. No horse. 2. If a horse happened upon the scene, you’re afraid of them.
M: True. You win. For now. Might change my mind.

Deep POV

Cindy Dees came and talked to my local RWA group once. She was incredible. Her character worksheets have helped me get into my characters in a way nothing else has. She suggested we write what we know. I choose to research lots instead. (My life is BORING. I don’t want to write what I know!) My new WIP is another one of those research things. I’m watching a lot of the Food Network since my hero cooks. For some reason all this watching made me think I could cook. And actually supper tonight was awesome. It was the cleaning up I had a problem with. Somehow I took the edge of my thumb off with my new Pampered Chef slicer.
😦
So much for research.

affirmations

At today’s RRRW meeting, our speaker, Evelyn Vaughn, talked about the magic of writing and the power of affirmations. The power of speaking, of writing, I am a writer. And then of taking it a step further. Being even more specific. It was wonderful. Definitely what I needed to hear. 🙂

Critique Partners Rock

Once upon a time I had a great group of critique partners. The fabulous Sheila Curlin will be published one day and when she is, review writers are going to compare her to Luanne Rice. I’m just warning you. Get ready. It will happen. It might be a couple years, but it will happen.
The awesome Karen Kelley keeps stunning me. She didn’t start off writing hot books. She started writing funny. And then one day hot just sort of happened. And then it happened again. And then she sold to Brava and it happened again and again. And I thought well isn’t that sweet? Karen’s selling these hot Brava books and she’s doing an awesome job. But then, sometime in the last six months something remarkable has happened. The hot books have gotten hotter, the stories faster, bigger, better than ever. I love that I get the sneak peek on these books. They challenge me to kick my writing up a notch!
I can’t imagine writing without my CPs, and I can’t wait to share in all our successes.

Ugh

My RRRW meeting was today. Everyone there talked about National conference. Inspirational. Exciting. Editors asking for everything. I should be pumped.
Instead I’m in this crazy funk. I can’t seem to shake the what am I doing wrong feeling. It’s driving me crazy. I HATE feeling like this. I want it to go away. Now. But the more I try to make the feeling go away, the bigger it gets. I remember the days when I first started writing. I’d spend hours typing in the void of the unknown. Who cared about rejection?
I’m missing that big time right now.
Ugh.
This is not what I was supposed to get from my meeting. It’s not what I wanted.

Wow

The mini-conference is over and I’m completely exhausted and totally jazzed about my writing.
Lori Wilde, super cool Blaze and Warner author, talked about High Concept. I’d actually heard of high concept in the past, but Lori worked with us to make our concepts concrete enough to really fit the bill of what a high concept is.
The amazingly talented, friendly, outgoing, margarita machine party throwing Jane Graves talked about Kickin’ it up a Notch, or as she put it taking your writing to the next level. Whoa. It was amazing to see how perfectly fine writing can be outstanding with just a little more concrete information.
And finally, the incomparable Helen R. Myers talked about how to really get there. She just turned in her 40th book. She’s amazing.
Once again I was completely blown away by how giving the multi-published authors, in the midst of crazy deadlines and busy lives, give selflessly to my small 17-member RWA chapter. The tips they shared and lessons they taught are just what I needed to hear.
The big thing I learned is I’ve got to be concrete in my pitches and my synopsis.
I’m so excited.
Tonight I’m going to sleep because I haven’t slept more than a couple hours the last two nights. Tomorrow, after church, I’m writing. And then I’m writing some more. 🙂

Priorities

What follows is a waaaa major venting post.

I spent a little over four hours putting together my chapter’s newsletter this week. You can find it on our website: http://www.rrrw.org once our fabulous webmistress gets it posted. She really is awesome.
For the third time in a row I received no articles from my chapter members. Actually I rarely get articles from chapter members. I don’t know how to get them to submit. I’ve tried not doing a newsletter, but no one seems to care. Newsletter: great. No newsletter: uh, okay.
Four hours is a lot of time.
Sometimes I spend more.
I like doing the newsletter, but I’m thinking I might give it up next year. I could do something like write 18 pages in four hours.
UGH!