Writer Wednesday – Time

writing-timeWhen I first started in this business over 15 years ago.   A common thought was that you needed to quit your job and write full-time in order to be successful (i.e. make money).

Granted the Romance Industry is full of female writers, who maybe started out as a stay at home mom’s and wrote on the side.   I believe this is where the myth of full-time writing started.  I think of authors like Nora Roberts and Heather Graham whose mythology stories contain elements for writing from home.  If any of you think they were successful because they didn’t have a job, you’d be wrong.  Motherhood is a full-time job in itself, regardless of whether you work outside the home or not.

I read recently that John Grisham wrote A Time to Kill over three years while still working as a lawyer.

What makes these authors successful is not whether or not they wrote full-time, but that they wrote in every spare moment.

A book I’ve found helpful in carving out time is The Chunky Method Handbook by Allie Pleiter.  She breaks writing blocks down so that even the slowest writers among us can create a schedule.

What makes this so relevant to me is that as of December 1st of this year, I’m no longer employed with a company I’d worked with for 21 years.  I was released as a series of layoffs.

While my job took time away from writing, if I had made time for it I would’ve been more successful (i.e. written more books).  As I head into the new year, I’ll be looking at some serious goal setting.    For me it will be evaluating what Success looks like to me – Finishing Books.   I feel like everything else will fall into place as long as I just keep writing.

~Tina

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Writer Wednesday – A few of my favorite things

A lot of writers get asked what kind of tools they use when writing and editing.  Here are a few of mine:

Books

The Romance Writer’s Phrase book by Jean Kent and Candice Shelton – It’s a handy little phrase book, used for tag lines, body language, etc.

A more updated version would be The Emotional Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi.   I use these books when I’m in the layer process of my book.   I used to use them during the rough draft, but found I got too bogged down with particulars rather than just writing the damn book.

The Novel Writer’s Toolkit by Bob Mayer – I have an old copy of this, but found it useful for understanding aspects of the business like Sell-thrus and royalties.   I believe he has an updated version.

And of course I have a Thesaurus, Dictionary and Two Style Guides.

Online Tools

Pinterest – I use Pinterest to store a lot of my pictures for characters, setting, clothes, etc.   Of course you can totally get lost on there.

First Draught – I have to give a shout-out to these ladies, because they cover a range of topics and they talk about everything from craft to publishing.  I love their Vlog!

Jenna Moreci – Jenna is a YA Indie Writer and she has this Vlog where her topics are humorous and based on her writing experience.   I highly recommend this if you are exploring Self-publishing or are a YA writer.

Google Keep  – I sort of stumbled across this recently and use it in place of Scrivener.    I make up all these little notes on characters, settings and scenes I need to write and then I can have it on the side of my Google Doc.   I’m sort of envious of Scrivener, but the feature I was really wanting was to replace my post-it plotting system that I learned from Cherry Adair.

Last week I covered the importance of finding your tribe, and of course my tribes are some of my favorite things.

~Tina

 

 

 

Writer Wednesday – Retreats

My apologies for missing last Writer Wednesday.  I’d returned from an annual Writing Retreat for the Founders of Writer Zen Garden, and found myself forgetting.

I’ve attended this Retreat annually and the theme or tone of the meeting varies from year to year, depending on where we are at in our lives.

This year before meeting, one member suggested more writing time, and I’m so glad she did. 

We routinely do Morning Pages, Free Write and a CRAFT.

0923171204 (002)

WZG 2017 Craft

This year we added in Writing Prompts, Mind Mapping and Creative Journaling. 

The Mind Mapping and a prompt on setting were exactly what I needed.  I tend to write dialouge heavy, so this was very helpful to help me find a balance. 

If you are planning on hosting a retreat, Even a self-retreat, there are a few things I would recommend: 

  1. Have goals – This is reason for the Retreat.  Finish a book, commune with like minded writers, relax.  Whatever it is, even if each writer has different goals, this will help with making a plan, so everyone walks away with what they want. 
  2. Have a plan – Get input from all people attending your retreat.   Pick a location. Create a schedule.   Share it.   A plan will give you framework for your retreat to ensure everyone has fun. 
  3. Have Fun – So you can’t hit the park, because your location has suddenly been deluged by rain.   You spent more time chatting and less time writing – been there.  If you think of the plan as a framework and not a schedule, you can better roll with it. 

Last year I hosted the WZG Writing Retreat on my Farm.   I’ve toyed with the idea of coordinating a spring retreat for local authors at my farm or at The Smokey Hills in Minnesota. 

The goal for me has always been to catch up with authors about what they are writing and trying to re-energize my own writing.   This is for both retreats and conferences.  Before investing time and money into any event, be sure you have a goal.  My goal helps set the expectations and I can measure sucess from it. 

My goals were met, so I would call the retreat a success. 

Here are some other great blogs on planning retreats:

http://rawdogscreaming.com/8-things-learned-planning-writing-retreat/

http://www.alexrwhite.com/how-to-plan-a-writing-retreat-part-1-goals-and-rules/

https://www.janefriedman.com/value-writing-retreats/

https://jenniferlouden.com/create-your-own-writing-retreat/

http://www.writersdigest.com/writing-articles/by-writing-goal/improve-my-writing/do-it-yourself-writing-retreats

Join me next week as we continue my query journey.~Tina

Tina’s Teaching

****Please Forward to your Writing Groups****

S.E.N.D presented by Tina Holland
Workshop begins: August 7, 2017
Class length: Two weeks
Cost: $15 (free to RWA® Online Chapter members)
Registration opens July 24, 2017

Link to registration: http://rwaonlinechapter.org/?page_id=466

Workshop Description:

Submit your work

Establish your brand

Next book

Discover your strengths.

Are you struggling to find a home for your finished manuscript?   Have you submitted your book, but have no idea where to go from here?   Tina Holland’s SEND workshop may be for you.  In this class, you’ll learn:

1) How to research and SUBMIT to a publishing house and get what you want.

2) How to ESTABLISH your brand, even when writing different genres or standalone books

3)  The importance of working on the NEXT book

4)  DISCOVER your strengths as a writer and learn to use them to your advantage.

About the Presenter:

Tina Holland was born in Frankfurt, Germany and is now settled in the Red River Valley of North Dakota. She lives on a hobby farm and enjoys horseback riding, camping, travelling, and reading books by her favorite authors.

Tina has been published since 2005, and continues to release books as her schedule allows. Tina is a member of RWA Online, Zen Writer’s Garden and the F-M Word Weavers. She hosts a blog at https://tinaholland.wordpress.com/ and you can reach her at  tina@tinaholland.com
Deadline to register is August 7, 2017

FMI: http://rwaonlinechapter.org/?page_id=466

Or email Patti Fischer at fisc40pa@aol.com

You do not need to be a RWA® member to take the class.

Note: RWA® Online conducts all workshops via a message board system located on this website.  However, access to the site is restricted by login and password to ensure that the workshop is only available to those that are authorized to attend.

Teaching at Writer Zen Garden

wzgI’m teaching my FEARS workshop this weekend at Writer Zen Garden if anyone is interested. Classes are free to members. Membership is free.

http://writerzengarden.com/forums/

Feel free to share with any writer friends.

AuThursday – Lourdes R. Florido

Please welcome published LGBT Author Lourdes R. Florido, to the Clog Blog.  Lourdes, how long have you been writing?

I wrote my first piece of fiction when I was in the 2nd grade. I remember it was a very short story about ants.  But of course it all started with a love of words and reading.  When I first learned to read I became immediately fascinated with words, driving my brother and sister crazy as we sat in the back of my parent’s car, when they were driving us somewhere, and I would read aloud every street or business sign we would pass.  That fascination was soon funneled into the books my parents would buy me and eventually into my writing stories.

Q:  What books have most influenced your life most?

I have five that I feel have influenced not only my writing but my interests in literature:

The Outsiders – S.E. Hinton

A Separate Peace – John Knowles

Wuthering Heights- Emily Bronte

Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson

Lord of the Rings – J.R.R. Tolkien

The Outsiders and A Separate Peace cemented my love of “bromances”(if you want to call them that) and my fascination with exploring friendships between two guys which of course is a major part of Nicolas’ and Henry’s story in a Whisper of Angels, except these two best friends happen to be soulmates who are secretly in love with each other.   Wuthering Heights best exemplifies the type of historical romances I love. I’m a big fan of the Bronte sisters, Jane Austen, E.M Forster, Edith Wharton, Thomas Hardy, and others. The last two novels, Treasure Island and The Lord of the Rings touch on two areas of fascination and reading interests for me: maritime history and fantasy literature, both of which are reflected in A Whisper of Angels which is a paranormal love story.

Q:  Do you have a specific writing style?

I don’t think I have one specific style, but with A Whisper of Angels, I tried in my writing to exude the tone that is found in so many of the 19th century classic romances I love.

Q:  Do you ever suffer from Writer’s Block and how do you move past it?

Yes, sometimes.  I have to get up and away from the computer and take a walk (preferably with my dogs) to see if a breakthrough of ideas comes.  I also try to skip forward to another scene that perhaps I’d thought about ,but not started writing yet, to see if that gets the words flowing.

Q:  What do you think is the biggest misconception in LGBT fiction?

Some people think that LGBT fiction is written only by LGBT people for gay audiences. While obviously it is for gay audiences, it can extend to general audiences too.  I’ve had many people tell me that they were surprised that I, a straight woman, had written a story about two gay young men, and then these same people having never read a gay story before mine, told me they were pleasantly surprised to discover they enjoyed the novel and the different genres it encompassed.

 Q: Would you tell us your story of getting “the call?”

I’m not sure what “call” you mean, so I’ll just answer it in a couple of ways and hope that will suffice. I you mean the call to write I explained it in the first answer, and would just add that the call extended itself into my professional life.  For a while I worked as a fulltime print journalist and now teach composition and literature.  If you mean “the call” to write LGBT fiction, I would say that it was my main character Nicolas who drove that decision. That’s just who he turned out to be – a gay young man in love with his best friend, in a time period when that would never be acceptable. Another influence was probably the fact that I’ve always had gay friends and experiences with the LGBT community.  It started during my middle school years with my best friend’s mother who was a lesbian who lived with her partner during a time when most people did not publically divulge their lifestyles.

Q:  What are your current projects?

I’ve been working on a historical romance set in Key West for a while.  But I’ve set it aside for now to work strictly on Book 2 of “A Whisper of Angels”.  It’s written from Henry’s viewpoint, which is challenging because he has a very different voice.  The book will wrap up a few loose ends that lingered from the first novel as well as introduces a few surprises from Henry’s past life.

Q:  Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

Look for me and contact me on Goodreads and Facebook:

https://www.goodreads.com/llrodrig1

https://www.facebook.com/lourdesrfloridobooks/

AuThursday – Kara O’Neal

Kara (1 of 1)Please welcome my fellow Resplendence writer,  Kara O’Neal, to the Clog Blog.  Kara,  How long have you been writing?

I wrote my first novel when I was pregnant with my oldest child, so I’ve been writing almost sixteen years.

Q:  Do you have a specific writing style?

I’m not really sure. I write where the characters take me. Sometimes I’m more descriptive than usual or sometimes I find I’m writing wittier conversations. I never know what’s gonna end up on the page.

Q : Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?

So far I haven’t faced that terrible situation. I’m sure I will, but right now I’m lucky to have created a town that has a variety of characters. These people keep leading me down roads that allow my imagination to run free. It’s been a lot of fun!

Q: How did you deal with rejection letters, if you received any?

I received several rejections. The first was hard, and the next dozen or so were even harder. I didn’t know what I was doing wrong, and I couldn’t figure out how to fix it. I’m sad to say I did stop sending my manuscript to people. I didn’t quit writing, but I did quit trying to get published. It was hard to keep submitting when I felt like I was sending out poor material. I finally started entering contests and the suggestions, comments, etc. I received helped a lot. I also found a critique group, which was the scariest thing I’d ever done, but it paid off. I became a better writer because of these things, and it only took one year for me to find a publisher who liked my work.

Q:  Would you tell us your story of getting “the call?”

Oh, what a day that was! When I read the email from Resplendence Publishing indicating they wanted me, me, to write for them, I promise I sat in silence for probably thirty seconds and blinked at the screen. Then I rushed to my husband and made him come read it. I was so afraid I was misinterpreting the communication. When it finally sank in, I called my siblings first. They are my inspirations and my biggest fans. Then I called my parents, and made my dad promise he wouldn’t ever read any of my books. They are romance, after all! (He has completely ignored my command and read every single one of my books.)

Q:  How did you come up with the idea for the PIKES RUN series?

TRR The Sheriff's Gift

TRR CowboysCharmsTRR MillerBridesSaving Sarah TRR

 

 

 

 

I wanted to write stories about a family. One that lived, laughed and loved as mine does. Several of my characters are based off of people I know, and they are perfect models for the Lonnigan and Davis families. Many of my favorite scenes are when they’re sharing a Sunday meal and teasing each other.

Q: To date which of your books was the hardest to write and why?TRR Welcome Home

Without a doubt the hardest to write was my first, Welcome Home, simply because it was my first. I was trying to figure out how to write along with finding my voice. I can tell you it was difficult, but I kept writing. And rewriting. And rewriting some more.

Q:  What are your current projects?

I’m about to send book seven, Love’s Redemption, to my editor and book eight, The Editor’s Kisses, is going through the critique process. I’ll start book nine, The Ranger’s Vow, this week.

Q:  Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

Many places!

My website: www.karaoneal.com.

My facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/KaraONeal84/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/karaoneal7/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Kara-ONeal/e/B00FL19TH8/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1465007993&sr=8-1

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/kara+o’neal?_requestid=845025

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KaraONealAuthor.

Join me on Saturday when we read a sexy teaser from Kara’s book Love’s Promise. ~Tina