Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Huzzah for 50 & Pirate Week!

I completely forgot to mention this last week, but I just reached 50 followers. Huzzah! Thanks to everyone who follows and comments. It's much appreciated!

We are so, so close to the release of Dead Locked now! I can't believe how fast summer has gone by. I'm relieved to be in the home stretch, but it's a little scary too. So in anticipation of its debut, I'm hosting Pirate Week on my blog! Yes, friends, pirates will rule amy & the pen as well as the seven seas. I'm planning for it as we speak and will announce the dates soon. I can tell you there will be fun, prizes, and lots of swashbuckling! Stay tuned!

What exciting things do you have cooking right now?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Rising to the Challenge

I am a sucker for competition shows. Project Runway started it and I'm still an addict, but it eventually spread to all manner of shows, regardless of the subject matter. This past weekend, I had a few mini-marathons of a few of the shows I like. And I realized that the people who seem to do the best are often the ones who do not gripe about the challenges. (I've also realized that contestants who specialize in certain areas always perform the worst for the challenges related to their field. But that's another topic entirely.) I'm always surprised by how many of the contestants get all in a huff when presented with a challenge. Isn't that the point of the contest? And, really, if you're never challenged, how can you grow?

So that got me thinking about my writing. When I'm thrown out of my comfort zone, do I complain and give up easily or do I get down to business and do my best? Of course, I can't say I never complain. I certainly do. But Dead Locked has taught me a lot about rising to meet challenges when it comes to my writing. I know I've done plenty of complaining along the way too, but I got it out of my system and kept pressing forward, which I'm very happy about now. Looking ahead though, I want to work on having a better attitude toward future challenges. Writing is more exciting when you're not complaining about it. And I know lots of challenges await me.

That is my revelation for this week. What writing challenges have you faced and conquered?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I'm a fan of placeholders while I write. I use them for names, scenes, moments, and pretty much anything else I'm not tackling right that second. For instance, you can't write everything at once but sometimes ideas come in clumps. So instead of either jumping around and finishing nothing or feeling paralyzed because I don't know what to focus on, I take a minute to write a brief placeholder. That way I don't forget about my idea, but at the same time, I can keep moving forward with what I'm already writing.

It's basically in-line note taking. It's right in the manuscript so I can't lose it. And I won't forget to work on it later when I have time. I write my placeholders in all caps because I've found they're easier to see that way when I'm scrolling through my book. It's also a handy method when you haven't named a character yet but you don't want to stop to figure one out. I often just put "NAME" as I write.

Do you use a similar method when you write or something totally different?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Back to Business With Fresh Eyes

Getting back into non-vacation mode has not been easy this week. But I have loved getting back to writing. I could have technically worked on my book or another piece last week, but I chose not to. And I have to say I made a good choice. I had a long writing session on Tuesday and I felt looser and had more fun than I've had in weeks! I read last week so I know that's helped, but I do think just the break in routine has a lot to do with my fresh energy. It's time to get this thing done!

So I'm climbing back on the wagon and you'll hear a lot more from me next week.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

At the Beach

While I have a minute, I thought I'd share a few photos from my beach trip so far.
In the car after about 15 hours. Yikes!
My friends in front of the Medieval Times "castle." Great show by the way!

The beach as seen from my chair as I sat and did nothing for one glorious afternoon.
A funky pirate statue thing at Broadway at the Beach in Myrtle Beach.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

People Watching

I'm using my beach vacay for some serious people watching. Between the beach, the pool, and the patio right below our room, I've already gathered some fodder for future characters or situations. I especially pay attention to the details. How people walk, gesture, carry themselves. I like to observe relationship dynamics, especially between family members. Public arenas like this are a writer's petri dish.

So that's my thought for this Tuesday. What do you pay attention to when people watching?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Reading to Recharge

I don't have as much time to read as I used to, but reading fiction really helps me to refresh and write my own work with more energy. When I go too long without reading, I feel empty - like I'm out of fuel. So while reading is an important tool to learn how to write well, it's also an energy source.

So finding the time to read is really the trick. Once I started writing my book, all the spare time I used to read turned into my time to write. That's not going to change any time soon so it's time to find another way. I'm coming to a point where I need to read to keep sane. I haven't figured out what to do at home, but I'm using my upcoming beach vacation to read the first book in the Gideon Trilogy. It's taunting me from across the room as I write. Just a little bit longer, and it's all mine!

As a writer, how important is reading to you? What do you like to read? How do you make time for it?
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