Quick and Short

working in a digital means

both with words and scribbles that

perhaps some will see the images

that finish creating the illusion

 

it is good sometimes to be

reminded of where you have been

and see how far you have come

 

it has been my delight to

find that after the short time

passed

small increments of change

have become leaps of

growth

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I Have A Story For You To Write

How many writers— hobby, professional, wannabes hear that? Or from people wanting to share profits with you for ghostwriting their book?

Heard it. (You might be one of the people who said those words to me. Trust me, you weren’t the first and won’t be the last.) My answer is no.

Writing isn’t hard to do. Writing only takes the willingness to work on edits and revisions until it reads as you want. Anyone can do it.

My frustration comes from not having finely honed skills like Elmore Leonard, Flannery O’Connor, George Orwell, or Amy Hale. Working on it, but my ability is just not there, yet.

Like many moms, grandmas, too many volunteer commitments, paying bills, raising children and life’s unexpected events kept getting in my way. If you just happen to be female this paragraph doesn’t even need to be written, you know the many things that can keep you from your dreams.

Maybe this is wishful thinking, but it feels like maybe that ability is getting closer. Certainly editing has turned a corner for me. No longer is it the most painful experience it was in the beginning. Somehow it is becoming a favored experience.

No longer does my editing expectation contain the required resolution to any question or change that is needed. It is enough on a couple of read throughs that awareness a change needs to be made. What that change is, can come in a revision.

Yes, amazing that editing and rewriting is becoming a warm fuzzy moment in my writing. Something that used to be dreaded. You couldn’t have convinced me of this six years, or even last year.

The entire experience of writing a story is really becoming a joy. (Did I just write that?)

Happy reading!

 

 

Ego

The thing about ego that can be a huge problem is timing. Sometimes it is bigger than it needs to be for us to try something new and take a chance. Others, when we should be strutting around with bravado, it doesn’t even seem to exist.

Myself, I find, ego is always assbackward. Though, I have to say I have learned quite a bit being off the mark as it is. From the trouble it gets me into — speaking with a knowledge and authority that is misplaced, to the humility that puts me in my place; I have found that it is more in the ups and downs, like life, that self knowledge and wisdom evolve. 

Take for instance the publishing game. And to me, it is one, or can be if you are into playing. I am a-learn-as-I-go type. While potential exists, I also understand the likelihood of failing. I accepted that, still do, but I don’t care. 

If I never find my niche, or a massive fanbase, don’t care. My fanbase can be one, or a handful. That is my success. I accept it. I write for myself and them(Period). I don’t care if I never make a list, probably prefer that I don’t make one anyway. Why? Because I love what I do. 

Sure, I got caught up in the improvement movement (all that really takes is reading a lot and writing a ton more). I did learn from it, mostly to read, and write every chance I can. No big lightbulb went off during the pursuit of polish. Just awareness of the tremendous amount of work it takes, and a greater sense of appreciation for those who have accomplished their own and were bestowed achievements. I see and support others in seeking their own definition of success. I respect their struggle. 

What I also accepted was/is my own responsibility for success or failure. All mine. This means there are sacrifices that no one but me and mine know that were made to do this. Not asking anyone to make them for me, or on behalf of me. I took the risk on myself. I think to my personal soundtrack I need to add that old Sinatra song, “I Did It My Way.”

And you know what? That takes more than ego. It takes embarrassment, guilt, frustration, tears, quitting — briefly, and a bucket of self consolation as well as immeasurable amount of self realization. 

All of this is apart of self respect. IF you don’t have it, then it makes it very difficult to give it. My observation has revealed to me that there always will be jealousy of others success– that isn’t ego, that is a delusional moment brought on by lack of ego. Maintain your sense of self, but allow others that same courtesy. That’s healthy ego.

Getting A Life

I have a life. My life is full and rich. It revolves around me. Pretty sure your life revolves around you. That is something we have in common. 

But, this post, since I am the one writing it, is about me. Though your comments and questions can be shared below, or if you are a blogger yourself  —blog away, by all means!

Sometimes I make stupid decisions that don’t set well with me. I made one recently. Stepping up to do something that I thought was great, but turned out to just piss myself and other people off. At least how I went about doing it didn’t set well with others. Doing it at all ticked me off big time. 

I do that sometimes. Piss people off. Usually when I least expect it. When I don’t think through what, how, and whether or not I really have the time to do whatever it is. 

I have plenty of things to do. the biggest project is to finish Sinister! What the hell was I thinking? I need to be working on that story and several others, not pissing myself and people off. (Being a horrible fiction writer is a much more pleasurable way to piss people off.)

So I did it again, or rather I didn’t do it again. I didn’t stand up for my own work choice. I chose to go back to school to study creative fiction. But did I say that? Nope, I said I went back to school to stay busy. I didn’t even mentally call myself out at the time. That took almost 48 hours and several knee jerk bad decisions later before it hit me what I had done.

I started working to be a writer as a conscious choice around 2000. Then life happened, things like my father’s death, unforeseen changes in career and family income made me put writing in a lower priority. Life evened out for a while and I had myself writing again by 2003.

For the next six years I stumbled and bumbled around. Reading and researching publishing houses, attempting a blog before blogs were cool, and looking for a formal writing program. Several decent story plots were sketched out and lay lurking way back in the pile and files, fairly productive time haphazardly spent.

Then another hiccup bounced me back out of pocket again when I decided to take that step to formal writing study. This time my mind was blown to think that I was smart enough to even consider nursing. Scratch that, the correct haunting term “nursing would be too hard” for me. Those words haunted me and when the advisor asked if there was anything else besides writing I had ever considered doing, I let that one slip.

Aren’t writers the least paid and most likely to fail career choice out there? Or is it actors? I have been blogging for several years again with more success than that first effort, but the whiff of a respectable, fiscally stable career lured me away.

Once more I broke up with writing when the advisor took a look at my transcript and college admittance test scores. Oh, yes, the grades and scores suggested that passing the nursing entrance exam was definitely possible. When it appeared that I might be smart enough, sure, I gave that entrance exam a shot, and put writing again on the back burner. What do you know? I passed that entrance exam first try. I even passed a licensure exam first try, too. I was working on my RN when it hit me —this was not what I had set out to do.

Back to the keyboard, pens, pencils and paper I went. Oh, but now I had conviction that I knew for sure what I was doing. Everything was lining up like stars in the night sky to say, “Yes, this is my calling. THIS is what I must do.”

But did it last? Well, no. The first conversation face to face I had the opportunity to tell one of my spouse’s colleagues—” I am a writer and working on a story to publish the end of this year ,”  I caved. Those words about “keeping me busy” were uttered. Worse yet, I ignored my inner voice and stuffed it with bacon wrapped scallops to shut it up. Two days, two whole days later and I realize that every action from that moment forward was a knee jerk reaction to my own moment of denial. I self destructed. I had a meltdown in confidence.

I am taking a step back and reminding myself what my priorities are. Writing is my first priority outside of eating, sleeping, the hubs, and family. Specifically, I need to finish writing Sinister. The days are flying by and that story needs to be finished. 

Some of my characters are paper dolls. There is a thinness to them, they lack depth. To create layers that make up depth, I have been considering some details of who these people are. What makes them tick? Why would someone act this or that way? Imagining character backstories; doing more thinking or maybe it is procrastinating rather than writing. 

Most of it won’t make the story itself. Inventing character motivation helps me imagine the story as a movie playing in my mind. Then when I write, especially dialogue, it is from a point of sharing that imagined movie to you. 

That is how I work. That is how the best stories with the most positive response have, over been created. Writing, working this way, takes time, takes focus. It isn’t something that is tangible in the moment. 

I haven’t in the past realized just how much work it took to complete a story until the end. At the end I gather all the files. Save them to a disk, and print them all off. Then I can see what it took, all the rewrites, edits, rough drafts to finish the story. 

A few  people have seen the accumulated piles of writing, and illustrations for the children books. Their comments made me aware that all those pieces of paper, even the handwritten drafts, are symbols of time and effort.

My recent rash action reminded me that I am not free to give away time and effort. I made a choice to be a writer. I made a commitment to write. I have and continue to study the art of storytelling, to include classes and workshops. One that looming on the horizon to begin later this month will challenge me beyond my skills. That frightens and excites me to stretch my writing skills into the unfamiliar. 

I wasn’t thinking when I spoke about keeping myself busy. I wasn’t thinking  about how much time and effort I have already committed to what I love doing, nor how much more I need to commit in the future if I am going to be the writer I want to be. 

That was a tough wake up call. I take a lot of things in life seriously, too seriously. My work choice should be one of them.  

Sojourning Soul

Landed. Trying to get life unboxed and working to finish the story in time to publish later this year.  Plan right now is to finish it, work on making the best story possible and then polishing it for a week or two at the very least before release.

We are going to try something different with this – maybe, this is not a for sure thing- but a resale before the release. Starting about 90 days before the scheduled/planned/hope for release of October 31st, there may be some promotions to pre sell it.

Regardless the writing mania is on, so is the sketching of the cover. Whether I should attempt art or try to stage a photo remains to be seen. I wasn’t happy with the children’s picture book illustrations, so I am working with digital sketch tools. Whether or not that will create a cover image is yet to be seen.

Future purpose of the blog will likely be some short stories. I was going to self pub a freebie ebook – but heck. why don’t we just put it on the web and make it really accessible, huh? Can’t think of a reason not to, so there ya go.

 

Work It, Girl!

While I am starting a big new adventure, I asked a fellow writer (ignore the fan girl squeals) that I love to read for a blog post. She was so sweet to do so! And she had a new book coming out as well as a new paranormal series about to bust the scene. So, without further ado – Here’s Maggie Adams!

 

While it’s true that some indie authors do make quite a decent living from writing, let’s face it – the majority of us need a full time job to pay the rent. So, we write in our spare time; oh wait! We have spare time??? Well, it may not be “spare” but I try to carve out a nice of time every day to do what I love – write!    

 

But for my “real” job, I own a daycare in my home. See, I live across the street from a grade school, so it seemed a pretty good way to make an income and still stay/be home for my kids. Oh, and did I mention I thought I would have enough time to write? Yes!

Now here’s the problem – I thought I’d have time. But between my own kids and the daycare, it was the hard to carve out the time, until summer. Teachers around here still get the summer’s off, so I’m basically free to write my heart out! And that’s what I did.

Here’s what I came up with this year:

  • On April 24th, I will be releasing my women’s erotica bundle, entitled Lustful Legacy. It’s a sensual type of erotica, chronicling the adventures of a woman known only as The Widow. It’s definitely 18+, but it has a ‘happy ending’! lol
  • I was also honored to be chosen to write a short story for the Dress Blues: Memorial Day Anthology, which will be out around Memorial Day, of course. But the wonderful part is that the proceeds will be going to our wounded warriors.
  • I’m also doing another project near and dear to my heart. Tempting Fate is an anthology with stories about overcoming seemingly impossible odds to become stronger and take control of your life. The proceeds from this will benefit the Cancer Research Institute.
  • And I’m very happy to announce my first paranormal romance series will be released June 1st! The Legends Series is based on Native American folklore with a shifter kick! The first book, Legends: Catori, is the beginning glimpse into the world that lives with us, and yet, we never know their secrets.

You can find all of these wonderful books on my website as well as many others. Oh, and if you’d like to find out more about me, please check out my other social media sites, or, better yet, sign up for my newsletter! I’ll send you a free book, plus you get special access to subscriber only giveaways and sneak peeks at what’s coming up.

Maggie Adams is an Amazon Best Selling romance author. Her first book in the Tempered Steel Series, Whistlin’ Dixie, debuted in Amazon’s Top 100 for Women’s Fiction, humor, on November 2014. Since then, she has consistently made the Amazon best seller 5-star list with her Tempered Steel Series. Her series has launched the tiny town of Grafton, Illinois, into international recognition with sales in Mexico, Ireland, Scotland, Australia and the UK. She is the recipient of the Dayreader Reviews Best of 2015 for Leather and Lace, the Readers Favorite Award for Something’s Gotta Give in 2016, the Indie Romance Convention Romantic Comedy Award 2017 for Forged in Fire and the 2017 New Apple Awards nomination – Suspense for Cold as Ice.
She also writes erotica, paranormal romance, young adult romance and women’s fiction. Maggie’s books can be found on eBook and paperback on her website and all book sites.
http://www.maggieadamsbooks.com – website
https://www.facebook.com/maggieadamsbooks – book page
https://www.facebook.com/groups/maggiesminxes -reader group page
https://www.amazon.com/Maggie-Adams/e/B00PKHNK6E- author page
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9867300.Maggie_Adams – goodreads
https://twitter.com/AuthrMaggieAdms – twitter
https://www.pinterest.com/maggiesminxes/- Pinterest
https://www.instagram.com/maggieadamsbooks/ – Instagram
https://www.linkedin.com/in/maggie-adams-006a8b142/ – LinkedIn

Spring? Really?

This morning I spied some frost on the rooftops and checked the ground next. Yes, there was markings of frost and the dogs sure didn’t want to go out this morning.

We are in remodel mode on several fronts.  I am still researching that darn story. I have to call and make some appointments for some interviews this week and get some more details down.

Have you ever been on the edge of a life change? If so, do you remember the chaos that preceded, at the same time, and immediately afterward?  I am in that chaos somewhere.

This post is short and sweet due to that chaos thing that is perpetually tossing up changes in my day. Maybe next week it will be a bit more controllable?

We started painting the living room. Done. Now in the midst of painting the kitchen. I ditched on the hubs to come make a blog post so I can’t stay long.

Have a better week then me!

j

See Ya

Next week will be a big week for me.

Things are changing.

We have a chaotic week ahead of us, me and my wheel hub of my world.  So expect my next post to be very late next week— weekend at the longest.  A lot depends on how smoothly all the stuff that is in line for doing is done.  We lost two days this week from the creeping crud. I still am not eating normally, yet.

Did you know?

That in Williamsburg Virginia there is a focus on UnKnown Women of the forming of our country. Interesting huh? This month of Women’s History it seems appropriate, even if it is late (not sure how long that link will work).

So, here I sit, trying to write the last daily blog post for March, finish up some end of the month work that should have been done when I was sick,  and set up information about a free ebook down for the children’s pen name during the Easter weekend. (leaving that here incase you have children or grandchildren)

Don’t confuse the two. The initial is a signal it is a grown up subject matter (stealing dead bodies isn’t really for little kids). I have even made my profile logos different enough you should be able to notice it quickly, and my photos have a puppy or not, another signal (Snowball is about a puppy) that you are looking at something that is general audience, kid friendly, children’s author.

But.

What I have for sale isn’t yet grown up material. All you have seen and read is the Sinister Rough (if you have) on here which is really rough and full of errors. That is really what a rough draft is, full of errors and what ifs. That is a rough draft. A draft, not meant to be seen by anyone else but the writer. I exposed myself here. I let you look over my shoulder at what the process looks like.

Why? If you haven’t been following all along, so that anyone who has thought about writing a book, or story for any reason will have some of the stigma of doing so removed. Your first original rough draft isn’t supposed to be perfect. It is what it is, rough. Gnarly, bad even, but the purpose is to get the idea, the concepts, the characters, events, all of it that is in your brain down in as much detail as you can, even if it comes out of order. All pretty words and organization is what comes in when you start cleaning up that first rough draft. That would be a second or even a third – because you don’t have to do it all in edit, or rewrite.

You can choose as you edit what focus is your edit on? (I leave spelling and grammar to last.) Sure if I notice something I change or correct it, but my second is about content, characters and  looking for holes in the story itself. (Go check out my second draft page, there are still errors in it.) Then I do another read through edit after filling holes. Here I start getting very into the story’s flow. Where does it flow, where is it awkward, can I fix it? Then I do another rewrite. Now the next edits are for grammar and spelling and I start calling on others to help me find them because by now I won’t see them for anything. My brain, like everyone’s, when you become too familiar, the changes happing in my head and not in the manuscript. People used to doing this are a great help, at any stage, but know first before you go looking what kind of an edit you are looking to have done, whether it is the story, the mechanics or formatting set up. There are some specialize in all or just one. Research and ask for references, there are any number of ways you can find the best editor for you. Do your research first. (I hesitate to give a lot of advice because by the time you read this, some of that information may be out of date, and there maybe new websites and defunct ones between the time I post this and the future day it is taken down.)  Or educate yourself and practice (which is good even if you hire out) editing yourself.

I am between the second draft and third. Filling in holes and writing, editing and rewriting scenes that will be added to fill those holes. So I expect to be reading and editing the complete story by July at the latest (I hope). Then those polishing edits, with additional eyes for grammar, spelling.

See ya soon,

J

 

Whatever

This is a tough day to write.

There is no inspiration.

There is no energy.

This is the recovery day after being sick.

You know how this day goes.

Tired of sleeping. Aches and pains still hanging around. Fed up with laying on the couch and bed. Neither are comfortable, but you don’t have the strength to sit up for any period of time whatsoever.

You are ready for solid food, but fear eating anything because, well, you know . . .

That right there is the mood this post starts from.

One more day left in my daily postings for March. What can you expect in the future? I don’t know.

Will be posting some short stories this summer. Free samples of my storytelling you could say.

While the warmer weather might possibly be approaching finally, I have to kick my focus into gear. While this is fun and allows me to just drop whatever is on my mind into the digital world, it does nothing at finishing the story that I want to publish this year.

This YEAR. October. I am doing that procrastinating thing and setting myself up for a scramble at the last minute. I still have some research to do for some possible tweaks to the tale. And I may be finishing it up down to the wire.

While I am behind on the story completion part, it is past time to start working on a cover image. I have been doing some free word thinking. Because my working title had far more to do with our own inner sinister reactions to expectations those we have for ourselves and for others as well as how expectations held by others to us and failing all of those leaves us in a very negative place.

How the heck do I portray that in an image?

So these are the thoughts on my mind while recovering from the ick from yesterday. Full of questions and no clear answer. Maybe another nap will clear the cobwebs out of my mind.

 

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