July 2021

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Saturday, July 24, 2021

WeWriWa: A New Project Begins . . .

A new WIP was born while away last week at Lake Michigan with three author friends. In our rented house, without any distractions (excepted for a planned day trip to Lake Michigan and one of its very fine breweries/restaurants), I’d expected to be elbow deep into the story by the time we packed up to return to our daily lives. Here’s me hanging my head with only a Prologue and the first two pages to show for it. And then, a weeklong visit from my grandguy. No way I’ll feel guilty about sitting in a theatre with Vin Diesel and the F&F gang, going to the zoo to feed mosquitoes, spending a day in Lansing’s quaint Old Towne shopping and dining, or even watching Supernatural reruns for the __th time with him. But now, no more excuses. It’s back to work time with this first look at the second book in my as yet unnamed romantic suspense series.
They sprinted along the edge of the road, three young girls with hands laced over their heads against a long overdue downpour. Their laughter mingled with the sound of raindrops pelting dirt as hard as concrete. Bookbags flopped against their backs in time with racing footsteps.

They didn’t hear the vehicle’s approach over the rumbling thunder until it was almost upon them. Startled, the three leapt as one into the dry grasses on the shoulder as a cargo van rattled past, muffler growling like the heavens above. It slowed to a stop just ahead of where they stood frozen as startled fawns. Backup lights flashed on as the vehicle slowly rolled backwards until abreast of them.

When the side window rolled down, a strange man leaned out, the expression on his pale face one of concern.

“Are you girls okay?” he yelled above the storm’s mounting fury. “Didn’t mean to give you a fright.”
Looking forward to your comments to get me excited about this new project! And to seeing what you’ve been up to!
Weekend Writing Warriors

Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their #8sunday posts.

Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

WeWriWa: Read to Me! . . . AN UNTARNISHED HERO

When I was a preschooler, I was always eager to have my mom read to me. And when she did, a magical story would unfold. That pre-lights out ritual taught me an important lesson: Words and imagination create a doorway to another world, one you can visit any time you open a book.

I was reminded of that lesson while struggling to get through a final edit of my W-I-P. When going over the document, I found that all I was doing was making changes, making it different but not better. With the keyboard in front of me, I couldn’t keep myself from playing with the words on the page. Eager to get on to a new project, I came up with an idea while the family was away for the afternoon. Instead of reading what was on the page, I let my computer read the words to me. I leaned back in my chair, closed my eyes, and let the story unfold while listening. Eureka!! I was finally able to turn off that internal editor and discovered that my work was done. I’d finished the story I wanted others to read. Here’s a snippet . . .

“You are the only woman I will ever love, Willamina Redbone. That’ll be true ‘til the day I die.”

His abrupt confession wiped the playfulness from her mood. For a long moment, she studied his expression, seeking some chink in his sincerity. Finding none, she swallowed hard then gripped his face between her palms to challenge, “Prove it to me, Jim,” and hauled him down to her lips.

Their kiss expressed everything recent conversations hadn’t touched upon: The tortured longing, the aching loneliness, the desperation of need and lust and fear easing down to pure, heart-stripping devotion. Pausing only when they grabbed for breath, they leaned brow to brow, eyes closed.

“Need more convincing?” he whispered, voice low and gruff.

“Yes, I do, for as long as you can keep the conversation going.”

His eyes opened, stare locking on hers. “Even if it takes ‘til daybreak?”

“Even if.”

“Well then,” he drawled, “I’d best get started.”
About that new project . . .

I am so excited to be escaping for a 5-day keyboard retreat with three writer friends a stone’s throw from the shores of Lake Michigan. We’ve rented a two-story house with a patio and grill and lots of separate writing spaces. Of course, our Michigan weather has decided to turn cold and wet but that will keep us working instead of lingering at the lake. And if those clouds break, meandering along the shoreline, listening to the waves, is a wonderful balm to the imagination. Hopefully, I’ll have new words to share in the near future! As well as pictures.

Sorry to have missed the last few weekends. I’ve been out of town and out of time. But now I’m ready to settle in and get work done. I can’t wait to see what you’ve been up to!

Weekend Writing Warriors

Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their #8sunday posts.

Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.

Wednesday, July 07, 2021

IWSG: When They Pry my Cold Dead Fingers from the Keys!

Our Insecure Writers Support Group’s optional question for July is thought provoking: “What would make you quit writing?”

All of the road blocks that come to mind, I’ve already run into during my 30+ years as a published author (not to mention those that came before that first contract). To name a few of those Things That Want to Make You Quit:
  • Rejections – Check.
  • Stalled projects – Check.
  • Lose agent – Double check.
  • Line you write for closes – Multiple checks.
  • Genre you write for tanks – Multiple checks, which is why I’ve written in so many of them.
  • New baby – Check. Book 3 due same day as son two, and both were early!
  • Young kids at home – Double check. I wrote while they napped or were playing outside within earshot. Mom’s with kids can hear through walls!
  • Lose editor – Check.
  • Return to the work force (after 15 years of mom duty) – Check. Got up at 4:30 a.m. to get my pages in before the drive to my law offices where working the desk gave me plenty of new ideas!
  • Divorce (after 24 years), sale of house and move into apartment – Check. Stressful but still doable.
  • Surgery – Check. Carpal tunnel and two knee replacements.
  • Lack of motivation – Check. Rx of sleep in, take a day or two off for whining, reading, binge watching, and relaxation then schedule a back to work date. Ideas swarming by then.
  • Well of ideas runs dry – Naw! Never happen. All I have to do is look in my old idea file and I have enough storylines, series ideas, and character sketches to last two lifetimes.
  • Technology – Check. My first books were written long hand then typed on a manual typewriter using correction ribbon! Eight books were saved on 5¼ “ disks! To reissue my first 20+ books, I’d have to have them professionally scanned. This old dog hates learning new tricks . . . but I do them.
  • Self-publishing – Check. Thank goodness for my virtual assistant who handles conversions and my critique partner who is a phenomenal cover artist! I do love doing the promo!
  • Lack of advances – Check. Going from five figure advances and multibook contracts to self-publishing really hit the savings account hard but it didn’t seem to make a difference to those stories that needed telling.
I’ve come to terms with all of the above and they don’t deter me from sitting down at the keyboard. The one thing that I have a hard time getting past that takes some of the joy out of what I do has four letters – F-R-E-E. Working hard to produce the best possible product only to have the market flooded with an endless supply of horribly written, unedited dreck may someday be this writer’s final straw. When readers sniff at paying $0.99 for a book that should have sold for $6.99+ and say why pay when they can get books for free? . . . sigh! That’s a hard one to swallow. Readers who don’t value a professionally written book might be that bridge too far.

Here’s hoping a discerning audience will never become a thing of the past!

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.The awesome co-hosts for the July 7th posting of the IWSG will be Pat Garcia, Victoria Marie Lees, and Louise – Fundy Blue!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG