One book leads to another...

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

IWSG - Staying on Course

Welcome Readers and fellow Writers, to the July 2018 virtual meeting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Founded by author Alex Cavanaugh and comprised of writing members just like you (and me), featuring writing tips, resources, articles, contests and IWSG swag! See what we’re all talking about here and join us as we share our writing journeys.

*Normally we meet on the first Wednesday of every month, but as tomorrow is the 4th of July, many of us may be busy celebrating. Enjoy!

Regrettably, my word count has drastically dropped since my last post. I’m quite sure I am ineligible for the 500 Club – have you heard of it? 500 words per day. Easy, right? Clearly, I’ve had a little trouble staying on my writing course of late. But I have, however, pounded the lettering off of my 10-key. This too shall pass, as will any obstruction along your course as well – you’ll see!

As far as writing goals, all I ever wanted to do was write. Over time, three things occurred to me in route to my writing Polaris that have served as proverbial carrots; not only keeping my goals in sight but expanding them as well. #1: Much as I loved journaling, I discovered a tendency to tweak chronicles of tedium into missives of near-fantastical fiction – and I liked it! I liked it so much I wanted to share it. #2: Thanks to encouragement from casual readers, I wanted to be published. And #3: I had a lot to learn about the publishing industry. For instance, Traditional publication requires that you’re either extremely talented – or very fortunate, and even then, it’s not a given. Independent publication mandates ultimate ambition and an unwavering belief in yourself as a writer with the capacity to be your own Star. 

By the way, if you haven’t yet read the IWSG Newsletter, I highly recommend it!

Are you a stargazer? You can see the roadmap to the Milky Way via the Summer Triangle in the eastern sky tonight!

Fun fact for Crime Writers:  Although it is legally (and morally) forbidden for lawyers to offer counsel, clients sometimes seek advice before committing a crime.

Happy Writing!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Proceeding Titles

Welcome Writers! And a Happy Great Outdoors Month to everyone! 

There is so much to celebrate this month, and not the least of which is today, and here’s why:   Take a look around our awesome group by clicking the links below and check out the extensive list of writing tips and resources offered by the Insecure Writers Support Group, founded by Alex Cavanaugh, right here and right now on this first Wednesday of the month, when IWSG members convene through blogging, Facebook, and Twitter to talk about whatever is on our writing minds and agendas. See what we’re all talking about here

As for me:
I’ve chosen to answer the optional question of the month: “What’s harder for you to come up with, book titles or character names?”

When you think about it, Titles are pretty important. In describing your status at work, a title can inspire you to strive for a higher position. Along with a registration, a title will prove that you own the car that might have traveled a half-mile over the speed limit.  If not for titles, can you imagine having to search for the exact piece you’d been working on in an endless succession of unnamed “documents”?  

In fact, I usually have a title in mind whenever I begin a new manuscript, though I know it’s only temporary. For instance, The Lawn Mower Wheel sounds like an absolute yawn of read until you consider the hilarious chain of events that occur after one (wheel) shoots across the lawn on an otherwise ordinary afternoon. Add to that the unfortunate concussion incurred by an over-zealous developer intent on mowing down a picturesque neighborhood for the sake of a glass-walled high-rise and the finished story might well be called “The Mower”; a title more likely to pique a reader’s interest. In relation to books, titles aren’t simply important; they are highly potent marketing tools.

I love naming Characters! I’ve actually named a few who went unnamed in a story, if only for my own reference. On occasion (when it fits) I’ve named a menacing rabid dog Sweet Pea while her diminutive mild-mannered owner went by the name Thor.  In my experience, the perfectly normal propensity to discover and use the most unique, and therefore memorable, character names can backfire.  If the name is too long, too unusual, or frankly, forgettable, so becomes the character to the reader (also my experience). It can be challenging at times, but in the interest of keeping a reader’s interest, it’s worth considering 😉

So, how’s your journey? What will you write this summer? What was the last Drive-In movie you went to see?

Happy Writing!

Monday, May 7, 2018

2018 A - Z Challenge - Reflection - Say Cheese!

Let’s be honest, after publishing your final A – Z Challenge post on the morning of April 30, 2018, who didn’t breathe a sigh of relief, dance a little jig, or flash an irresistible grin at your reflection in a mirror? I can’t think of a more enjoyable and satisfying way to sharpen your writing skills than through social engagement, can you?  And who, besides me, is already thinking about next year’s challenge?  Congratulations, Survivors!

Congratulations, as well, to everyone who attempted the challenge but for some reason didn’t finish. The challenge of writing every day can seem formidable; given life’s propensity for interference at times, but all it takes is a toe in the water to decide you want to get your feet wet. Next thing you know, you’ll be swimming!

My theme this year was Things We Appreciate, but in reflection, I’m compelled to mention the people behind the concept:  Arlee Bird (founder and blogger extraordinaire), as well as congenial and gifted assistants such as John Holton and J Lenni Dorner who do so much to make this annual event such a success!  

For anyone who may be harshly judging themselves by the number of visitors and/or comments they receive, I offer this (loosely) coined phrase by Ben Jonson (playwright and poet) “Happiness consists not in the multitude of friends but in a few well chosen.”  And while the Challenge has ended, the blogs (and bloggers!) remain – go visiting!

Personally, I find the timing of the A to Z Challenge to be an added bonus as nature provides an incentive in springtime inspiration to keep on blogging, keep on writing, don’t you? Were your fingers restless when it was over? Good! We’ll be seeing you around, then ;-)

In closing, I’ll share a fun fact I learned while camping with kids one year - Wintergreen Lifesavers visibly spark in the dark…but so does any hard (sugar) candy when crunched ;-)

Happy Trails this summer!