"Everybody has a secret world inside of them. All of the people of the world, I mean everybody. No matter how dull and boring they are on the outside, inside them they've all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds. Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands maybe" ~ Neil Gaiman (A Game of You)


Exciting News!

If you build it, they will come.
If you build it, they will come.

Or rather,

If you declare it, they will come.  Opportunities, that is.

I declared 2013 "The Year of the Writer."  I set my goals, put my butt in the chair, and started to make the motto my reality.  And I have been wonderfully rewarded!

I received a notice this week that I was accepted as a freelance writer for the online site   I had applied near the end of last year, but I hadn't heard anything for months.  I figured either my application had been lost or I just wasn't a good fit for their program.  Happily, I was wrong on both accounts.

I will be contributing 20 articles a month.  That's about one per day, five days a week.  I've finished and submitted my first article, and I'm now waiting for editing.  I'm almost finished with a second, and have started a third.

I've already found a pattern for writing that seems to work well for me.  I start the article in the afternoon.  Then, I go to bed, thinking about problems with it or changes I want to make.  I wake up and finish the article.  Then, I'm ready to start the next one in the afternoon.

I believe this will help advance my writing.  It will give me the opportunity to write a lot.  Practice makes perfect!  I'm sure to see an improvement in my writing that will spill over into my fiction.  It gets my name out there and builds my resume.  Being a paid writer is a little more prestigious than being one of so many aspiring writers.

I'm excited for this new stage in my writing journey!

What good news have you received lately?


25 Words

25 Words

2013: The Year of the Writer has officially hit its first bump in the road.  Don't get me wrong, I didn't let writer's block get the best of me.  I put my butt in the chair and added to my story every day.  But some days, it sure felt like work.

Then, I heard about this great technique that I think will help me be more successful.  Perhaps, ahem, 1000 words a day was a bit, shall we say, ambitious.  Some parts of my story just aren't ready for 1000 words.  Sometimes I need to take a step back and get a little more research done before I can make a scene work.

Like yesterday, for example.  I needed to craft a knife fight.  But, you see, I've never been in a knife fight.  The closest I've been is watching my sons whittle with their pocket knives, or chiffonading spinach for an omelette with my chef's knife.  I needed to learn a thing or two if I wanted to make it authentic.

Needless to say, it took me awhile to eke out my 500-word scene.

I decided I needed a more manageable goal. And a friend of mine came up with the perfect solution:

25 words.

Now there's a daily goal I can manage!

It makes perfect sense.  Twenty-five words is just enough to get your creative juices flowing.  It's like a piece of chocolate or Lay's potato chips: you can't eat just one, you can't stop there, you have to keep going.  And if not?  Well, it's still an accomplishment.

So what tricks do you use to jump-start your muse?


Good Things, Good Times

Ladies and Gentlemen, drum roll please........

I have made it eleven days into the New Year with my resolutions intact!

(pause for vociferous applause)

Why thank you, thank you very much. *bows*

It has been an exceptionally good week for me.  I have been putting my "butt in the chair," and it is paying off.  I have made some great progress on my current project, my second short story in the Freeborn series. 

You know, I was having some trouble with it at the beginning of the week, and I couldn't figure out what was wrong.  Then, I was reading a book on editing, and the topic was point of view.  It suddenly dawned on me that the fast pace of this story required a first person present point of view.  I need Nick to tell me his story as it's happening.  Once I stepped out of the way and gave him free rein, Nick completely took over.  I found his voice, and my story is so much more interesting and entertaining.  That Nick is pretty funny.

My second victory came from my new online writing group.  We met this week to choose a name.  I groaned inside; I'm terrible at this sort of thing!  I sat back and let the others brainstorm a few ideas, thinking that they were so much more clever than I.  Then, someone mentioned the name Cyber Scrawlers, which I really liked.  My brain took a walk, playing with the word "scrawl," and I thought "Scrawl Space."  I typed it in, nervously, I have to admit.  Well, they loved it!  We voted unanimously to adopt "Scrawl Space" as the name for our group.

Dang, I felt so proud of myself!  And I really do believe The Universe was reinforcing my determination to make 2013 The Year of the Writer.  I needed that small validation.  I am a writer, and I am creative.  The Universe said so.

I've noticed that I have a tendency to do other writing exercises when I'm feeling blocked on my projects.  So, I guess it's a good thing that I didn't really have time to do much blogging and exercises this week.  I'll still dabble from time to time, just to keep me on my toes. 

So, how are you doing with your New Year's resolutions? 



Mmm, Chocolate

I open the top of a brand new box of See's. Good quality chocolate even smells different -- richer, deeper, not so cloyingly sweet.

I scan the varieties, looking for my favorites. I choose a round dark chocolate with swirls on top: a pineapple truffle. I take a small bite and let the sweetness melt in my mouth. I taste a slight kick of sour mellowed by creaminess. I hold it for a moment on my tongue, then let it slide slowly down my throat

I take a second bite through the crunchy dark chocolate shell; more eager now, I allow myself to chew. Only for a second, because it melts away blissfully.

I have one bite left, so I pop the last morsel into my mouth, knowing I need to savor this one. Chocolate melds with lemon in perfect harmony, and the flavor lingers even after I have swallowed. I run my tongue over my teeth, across the roof of my mouth, teasing away every last hint of chocolate.

I put the lid back on the box and slide it under my bed. I think tomorrow I'll choose a butter cream.


31 Simple Pleasures

Writing exercise:

Write down 31 simple pleasures.  Each day, write about one pleasure for 5 minutes.

  1. chocolate
  2. bird watching
  3. sunshine on my face
  4. swimming
  5. foot rub
  6. massage
  7. sex
  8. smelling flowers
  9. bath
  10. baking cookies
  11. listening to the kids laugh
  12. playing a video game
  13. finger painting
  14. listening to good music
  15. yoga
  16. meditating
  17. watching a movie
  18. reading a book
  19. dancing in the rain
  20. comedy club
  21. taking a nap
  22. dancing
  23. doing a puzzle
  24. cold water on a hot day
  25. a long shower
  26. hiking
  27. watching stars
  28. walking on the beach
  29. finding seashells
  30. opening presents
  31. holding a baby
I really enjoyed making the list, because it reminded me of the simple pleasures in life.  It was a little hard to come up with 31 of them.


Fess Up Friday

Ah, it's always nice when you have nothing but good to confess, doesn't it?

The Year of the Writer has started off with a bang.  I've done my morning pages each morning, and I've certainly kept my butt in the chair.  I've written at least 1,000 words a day, and the creative juices are flowing.  I've gotten invaluable research done on my current project, and I'm ready to bust out the next few scenes.

I'm happy.
I'm excited.
I'm a writer!


The Year of the Writer

2013: The Year of the Writer
Happy New Year all, and welcome 2013!

I have decided that this will be The Year of the Writer.

I will put my butt in the chair.

I will work on projects old and new.

I will write 1,000 words a day.

And I'll invite you all along for the ride!