Tag Archives: RWA

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.#


Social Media Extravaganza

Or maybe just social media with a friend at Starbucks. Christian Young Adult and Romance author Janet Brown is learning about social media with me today. You can check out her website here. If you have any awesome suggestions, feel free to share. I’m a Mac, she’s a PC, this is going to be fun. 🙂

Time Keeps on Slipping

I can’t believe June is gone. It seems like summer just started.
Somehow the days have slipped by. Maybe it’s because I’ve been so busy writing. {Can’t complain there!)
I spent today at a web designing class. It’s a skill I need to know for my day job, and it helps that I can put together something for myself before I get published. I learned Front Page, but what I’ve got at home is GoLive. I still can’t figure out how to do all the cool buttons on GoLive. I’ll get a book or research it online. But not today–because I’ve already spent two hours on the site today and it’s only my home page, links and templates for two more pages. This web design stuff eats time. And June is over. I don’t have time!

I HATE that I don’t get to go to RWA National this year. I’ve been to the last four and had a BLAST. But I decided to forgo the conference until I get THE CALL. I can hear the classes on tape and I can query an editor for 74 cents. I need to be writing that week. Once I get the call, I’ll be there. 🙂

My new WIP is the best thing I’ve written. It’s like these characters have taken over my mind. I hope it gets requested and then I hope it sells. 🙂
I wish I could write faster! I have two more ideas ready to go.

Still getting older:
I’m turning into my mother. I started watching a movie with dd and had to stop because the language was driving me crazy. I teach high school, so I don’t know why I was surprised. 😦
On a bright note I enjoyed The Real World Austin. Maybe I’m not getting too old. 🙂


I LOVE research. It’s one of my favorite things to do. I know it’s crazy, but when I find an approximate call number and can start thumbing through indexes looking for one or two or ten nuggets of information that will make my books better, I get all tingly. (I know. It’s a sickness. I don’t think it’s catchy.)
When I was working on my master’s thesis I did hours and hours of research. I looked up the history of soap and talked to the dean of agricultural studies at Georgia Tech to see how long tobacco had been a cash crop in Georgia. I researched the history of nurseries and irrigation and I researched the Civil War, slavery, slave dialects, the South and plantations, and the roll of Texas in all those things. It was glorious. I had to make myself stop the research and write the book. I loved every minute of it and I love that book even though it’s been rejected by several publishers. My graduate committee actually liked the book too. And I think they loved the research most. They asked me a question and I gave them an answer. One professor told me I’d done more research for my novel than most people did for their standard thesis papers. I figured that made sense. I was creating people from the past, living in a time I had only read about, but I wanted them to be as real as they could possibly be.
Since I love research so much, it came as a surprise when I realized I hadn’t done ANY for my WIP. I was basing my entire concept on what I thought might be true because of the movies, books and TV shows I watch. Then I started thinking about it and I realized I hadn’t really done any research for the last THREE books I’ve written. Of the two books I have out right now, one is thoroughly researched. That book’s characters are absolutely alive to me. I see them, feel them, smell them. The second book out right now was a BLAST to write. It’s hot, hot, hot and a lot of fun. I love the characters, but there’s a difference to their depth.
I’ve been fighting this depth issuewith my new WIP for awhile.
Today I took a big bite out of the problem by visiting my local library and checking out a bunch of research books. A speaker once told my local RWA® group, RRRW http://www.rrrw.org to write what we know. Her books are incredible. She’s been an Air Force pilot and she knows a dozen languages. She’s been all over the world, including in the middle of a fire fight where life and death truly were the consequences.
It’s easy for her to say write what you know. 🙂
When I was a kid I spent hours and hours in the library letting books take me away to other worlds. I learned about London and orange marmalade reading Paddington Bear. I learned about living by the ocean and the war reading Jacob, Have I Loved. I learned about the Old South and New South colliding reading The Sound and the Fury and A Streetcar Named Desire. (God, I LOVED those books!) I learned about all sorts of exciting coastal towns in Europe reading a million Harlequin and Harlequin Presents books. I learned Arthurian Legend reading The Mists of Avalon.
Today I’m going to let a different kind of book take me away to another world. I’m going to dig deep into the workings of the American justice system. And while my boring everyday normal life is nothing close to what I’m writing, when I’m done researching, I bet I can breathe my characters to life. Carefully, completely.
I can’t wait to get started!