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Bite by Bite…

Bite by Bite…

BIte by Bite

 

What can I say. I abandoned my blog. I have not been out here in so long that I figured when I came back it would be dead. I was wrong. People have continued to check in and I feel bad that I haven’t had anything new for them to see.

I have not given up writing. I continue to work on different projects and this is the year that I will complete a novel and attempt for some kind of publication.

I did not mean to abandon my blog but I have been dealing with some scary life issues. My close friends know what has been going on this past year but as you can see, I survived.

I plan to blog as often as possible. I would like to start out posting something once a week and then see how it goes. Call me the come back kid. What can I say, I missed my blog.

The Bite by Bite theme describes my goal this year. I only have one goal and that is to complete a novel length project. Since writing a novel is such a huge task, just thinking about it can be overwhelming. I am fine until I think of all the work and to be honest it scares me.

Over the years I have heard other writers describe the writing process. They say it is the same as eating an elephant. It can seem impossible. But if you do it one bite at a time, it becomes possible. I happened to find this calendar and journal on Amazon with the elephant on front. It was developed by a writer and has goal setting information for how to break down your goal into smaller goals that are easier to achieve. It helps you feel good about the process along the way instead of waiting for that big reward at the end of the year.

I am not going to make blogging one of my goals but I will post each week about my journey.

Just so you won’t be too bored, I will post about what is going on with the different writing groups that I belong to and also some more author interviews and book reviews. I have been reading a lot this past year and I have met some very interesting authors. I was fortunate enough to attend a few writer’s conferences and would love to share whatever might be of interest.

My first bite for my goal this month is to finish my character sketches and my outline for my current project. It is a romantic comedy with a few characters who won’t seem to go away. I decided the only way I will get any relief is to tell their story. Next month I plan to participate in an on-line writer’s camp with a closed group I belong to called –  The Perley Writer’s Colony. We have these camps several times a year. Unlike Nanowrimo, we don’t have to write 50,000 words. We each set our own goal and then post our progress on our Facebook group page. We can ask questions, work out things when we get stuck and motivate each other to reach our individual goals.

I love to write and I am also interested in the writing process. Since I am in the pre-writing stage of my project, I would love to hear from you. Do you pre-write or do you just sit down and start typing? How do you start a new project? Do you outline? Do you know your characters and how well?

If you are published and would like a featured interview, please let me know. I am always happy to help out a fellow writer.

Keep reading and writing – until next week.

Virginia

 

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2015 in What's Happening, Writing a Novel

 

Liebster Blog Award

Thanks to Dawn Allen for Nominating My Blog

First a little information about Dawn I pulled from her blog site

She is a professor and workshop presenter, the founding member of critique group, Novel Clique, and an active member of Midwest Pen and Ink. Her stories have appeared in Soft Whispers; A Fly in Amber; and articles with First Opinions, Second Reactions. Her short story, Taking Out the Trash, is in an anthology of revenge stories, Don’t Tread on Me. This says a lot about her and her writing. She holds an MFA in Writing from the University of Nebraska.

She can’t cook, but had the good sense to marry a man who can.Their two boys live in Oklahoma, and she’s proud of them every day. They are good human beings and gainfully employed. She has horses named Blaze and Storm. Life is never dull. Her parents live close and have been among her biggest writing supporters. Unfortunately (for them), they also provided her with a lot of fodder for her stories.

http://dawnall.wordpress.com/2012/10/13/liebster-blog-award/

Liebster Rules are:

1. Answer the questions posed

2. Think of 11 questions of your own.

3. Choose 11 worthy bloggers(who have fewer than 200 followers) to interrogate and pay it forward.

4. Link back to the person who nominated you.

5. Post a comment on your nominees site to let them know they were nominated.

The Questions I need to answer:

1. In the future, resources are limited. You must choose between chocolate or wine. Which do you choose? Definitely chocolate.

2. Favorite genre to read besides the one you write? Women’s fiction.

3. That infernal deserted island everyone asks about…do you want the male model with you to pack boxers or briefs? Neither.

4. Favorite form of exercise? Walking or stationary bike so I can read while riding it.

5. Does your main character listen to hard rock, symphony, country or some other form of music? Oldies rock and roll.

6. How bad ass is your hero/heroine? What comic hero could yours best? (Spiderman, Wonder Woman, etc.) She is pretty bad ass since she is a witch and can use magic. She could handle Superman because he would be so charmed.

7. You’ve won the Pulitzer Prize. What’s the first line of your speech? Well, it’s about time.

8. Your antagonist is on death row. What does he request as his last meal? Lobster, baked potato with butter and sour cream, chocolate and lots of hard liquor.

9. Your favorite pet? (cat, dog, bird, etc.) Dog

10. Cold weather or hot? Hot

11. Favorite food group? Chocolate.

Blogs I’ve Chosen to Nominate:

1. http://cherylstjohn.blogspot.com/

2. http://margotkinberg.wordpress.com/

3. http://moongazygirl.blogspot.com/

4. http://leahkonen.wordpress.com/

5. http://inlovewithjournals.wordpress.com/

6. http://thewritersjunction.blogspot.com/

7. http://overachairfeet.wordpress.com/

8. http://occupiedandpreoccupied.wordpress.com/

9. http://haphazardtruths.blogspot.com/

10 .http://lesliemcruz.wordpress.com/

11. http://helpfromcyranette.wordpress.com/

Questions for my nominees to answer.

1. If you write novels, are you a plotter or a pantzer?

2. Do you start with character or plot?

3. Do you outline?

4. What is your writing day like?

5. What is your favorite writer’s conference?

6. What writer’s organizations do you belong to?

7. How long have you been writing?

8. What was the last book that you read?

9. What is your favorite genre?

10. How many rejections have you collected so far?

11. Who is your favorite author?

 
5 Comments

Posted by on October 13, 2012 in What's Happening

 

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Power of Positive Energy

Today my local chapter of Romance Writers of America met to retreat. One of the members who had to drive the furthest, also brought breakfast. A great egg, sausage, and hash brown breakfast, homemade cinnamon rolls and orange juice. Most of us stopped at the local Caribou Coffee for our shot of caffeine and then we focused on writing until 12:30. After lunch we went straight into a workshop on using cliches and ended with each one of us sharing the goal, motivation, conflict and inciting incident for the story we are currently working on.

Do you determine your characters’ goal, motivation, and conflict when you plot your story. Do you plot, or do you sit down and write letting the story tell you where it wants to go?

Love spending time with my writer peeps and look forward to the next time. Actually it won’t be that long. Our monthly meeting is next Saturday. If anyone lives in the central Iowa area and is looking for a writer’s group. My RWA chapter and my Sisters in Crime chapter meets the third Saturday of every month. Romance in the morning and mystery in the afternoon. Let me know if you’d like more information and check out our website – http://www.iowaromancenovelists.org/. For Sisters in Crime Iowa you can find us on facebook.

What have I been reading?  I’m half way through ‘Maybe this Time‘, by Jennifer Cruisie. If you like ghost stories, you need to read this one. It has plenty of humor which should be no surprise but it does have a few spooky moments and a great story line. I did guess that her inspiration was ‘Turning of the Screw’. Her blog says she took the story and told it the way she thought it should have been told. Very entertaining.

I recently finished reading ‘The Girl Who Stopped Swimming‘, another story that surprisingly had a few ghosts too. This was an audio book I listened too during my commute to and from work. The author narrated it and she did a superb job. Loved the southern accents and her ability to read in very distinguishable voices. Loved the relationship between the sisters and the authors ability to weave all the subplots together with the main story into a tapestry of emotion, action, and conflict as beautiful as if it were the finest literary silk. Will watch for more from Joshilyn Jackson in the future.

Happy reading and writing,

Virginia

 

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2012 – Prioritizing and Perfection

The holidays felt like a blur. So many things to do and so little time, I enjoyed the time with my family and I did manage to carry out most of my personal traditions but many didn’t feel so important this year. I managed to get the tree up the Tuesday before Christmas and the presents wrapped the next night. Instead of setting out the Christmas Village, I left it packed away. I can remember years when I was wrapping presents Christmas Eve knowing they would be opened later that day. I hated those years. I used to decorate almost every room and put up two trees. I don’t try that hard anymore. A person could drive themselves crazy trying so hard to be perfect. I no longer seek perfection. I hung red ribbons on the outside lights, a big wreath at the top of the stairs and I set out my big Santa Clause next to the tree and called it good.  I bought candy instead of making it. I shopped a little bit each week so that it wasn’t a mad dash to buy everything in one shot and though it was still hectic, it was doable.

I learned something important from the holidays this year that I intend to carry over to my writing. I don’t have to do everything. I only need to do what is important. My word count did not grow very much on my current wip. With the holidays, I did feel a little overwhelmed so instead of trying to meet my writing goals, I fit in what I could each day. Instead of actually writing, I continued to note story ideas, build my characters, and work on plot and structure. I know that I need to quit with the perfectionism, especially with the first draft or it will never happen. I can accept that the first draft won’t be perfect.

I also snagged a new critique partner. Someone who was right in front of me looking for someone to work with and I am so glad she approached me.  Carrie belongs to my local RWA chapter. She is our 2012 Board President and she has written a non-fiction book about Winterset, Iowa. You know that place where Bridges of Madison County was set. We plan to start critiquing in February, so now I have to actually start writing. Having a partner who expects something from me will make me produce. I hope to be able to write at least one blog a week but forgive me if I skip  once in a while and know that I am working on my novel. When I do post, I will try to write about where I am in the process as well as what I have been reading.

As far as reading, I finished ‘I Am Half Sick of Shadows’; the latest Alan Bradley novel. I love the little protagonist Flavia De Luce. She is an expert with poisons and chemicals and somehow always helps the local police solve murders. If you haven’t read this series you really should check it out.

I am currently reading – a paperback of  Jennifer Crusie‘s ‘Maybe This TIme.’ and Claire Cook’s ‘Life’s a Beach‘ on my nook. I normally try to read only one book at a time but have found that while the nook is re-charging it’s nice to have a real book handy.

Happy reading and writing…

Virginia

 

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Live and Learn – Always

If you are anything like me, I am drawn to everything writer related. If I hear about a gathering of writers anywhere, I tend to check it out. I guess it is like that saying, “Birds of a feather flock together.”

Over the years, I have been fortunate to be able to attend several RWA and mystery writer related conferences and workshops, including one RWA national conference in Anaheim and Love is Murder, in Chicago. Today I’d like to promote a local writer’s conference – the 2011 Montezuma All-Iowa Writer’s conference. This is the second year for this conference and I was lucky enough to attend last year’s. For the first year, I thought it was a very informative day-long event that I have no doubt will be even better this year.

This year’s speakers are Iowa authors Lesley Langtry, Kathy Bacus, Kimberly Stuart, Carol Bodensteiner, S. C. Sherman, Mary Zucker Reichert, Rebecca Janni, Colleen Bradford Krantz, and Sharon Helgens. The all-day event promises writing tips, as well as tips on choosing a publisher and marketing.

The conference is held at the Montezuma Community Schools, 504 N 4th and runs from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., with registration at 8:30.

For a registration form and more information go to http://ourfrontporchbooks.com/about/.  Price is only $25 .

I have always felt that workshops and conferences are necessary for a writer to grow. If you spend one day and only pick up one new idea, it’s worth it and that doesn’t even consider the networking possibilities.

I continue to work on my novel and am thoroughly enjoying Cheryl St. Johns on-line workshop on Conflict. If you were unable to participate in this one, Cheryl frequently has workshops and I will let you know about them as they come up.  What really surprised me about this workshop is the number of participants who are multi-published. Don’t want to be a name dropper but if you signed up, you know what I mean.

Today is my day off from my real job so I have to get back to working on my novel.

Currently reading – Louise Penny’s latest ‘A Trick of the Light’. Love, love, love Louise Penny. Someday I hope to meet her.

As far as author’s I have met, Teresa Weir has a memoir out ‘Orchard’ and Oprah has picked it as her # 2 pick for the October O magazine. Might check it out; I met Teresa years ago at an awards luncheon for my local RWA chapter, Iowa Romance Novelists. Teresa lived in Iowa, at the time. She wrote several award winning novels using her own name back then. She currently has several paranormal suspense novels under the name of Anne Frasier now. Her memoir sounds interesting, another book to add to my- to be read list.

Happy reading and writing,

Virginia

 
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Posted by on September 13, 2011 in What's Happening

 

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What’s Happening in July

Francesca Hawley’s book Protect and Defend is now also available in print from Elora’s Cave/Jasmine Jade Enterprises.  The buy page is http://jasminejade.com/p-7481-protect-and-defend.aspx.

Carla Cassidy has a new release this month – Pregnsia.  You can find it at your favorite bookstore.

Lois Greiman is part of an anthology that came out in June  – Faeries Gone Wild – at your favorite bookstore.

Watch for new author updates  and interviews coming soon.

August –

Richard Jay Parker, Lori Wilde, and Kylie Brant

And as always, if you want more writing related articles, check out Cheryl’s www.learntowritefiction.com 

Keep writing and of course keep reading.

Virginia

 
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Posted by on July 26, 2009 in What's Happening

 

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