Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Moving, Sick Puppies, Judging Contest, and Writing?

The past few weeks have been crazy for me. My office moved into a new building as of this past Friday. All 170 of us packing and moving to a new location that is across the street from what we call our main campus. I work for a very large company and this is the web side of that business. We’re not brick and mortar. But we are retail.

I was/am in charge of the move.

Fun you asked? Not so much. For six weeks I’ve been meeting with the builders for their questions on build outs. I’ve met with the people who will be bringing in the simple things like refrigerators (they’re not in yet). And, I’ve met with the people who this morning will report to their new digs.

The questions, the problems, and the concern had been answered. I thought they had anyway. That was until I went in on Saturday to set up my computer.

NO INTERNET CONNECTION!!! This is not good. Remember I said we are the web side of the business. Kinda hard to work without the internet.

So, today will be…hmmmm…interesting to say the least. It’s time to start making the punch list of things that must be done today but won’t be fixed until sometime this week. Can you say the Indians will be restless?

Science Guy (did I mention he is not Bill Nye) went to NY for his daughter’s college graduation last Wednesday. I could not go…the move, remember. While he was gone my puppies, who I promise to put pictures up soon, were sick. So, everyday after working on the above mentioned move I came home to bath them (again) and try to make them feel better. Gave them their meds and made sure they got outside bunches.

He came home on Sunday and they are finally much better. Yeah!!!

Plus I had contest entries to finish judging. Those had to be done regardless of work, puppies, home alone, and writing. I signed on as a coordinator for a category and judged as well. I don’t take my responsibilities lightly. Since they are due back at the next TARA meeting they had to be done which means reading them, judging them (in pencil of course) and reading back over them one more time just in case. Normally I wouldn’t have to read them twice but with the afore mentioned move I needed, no had to make sure that I did the job correctly.

Writing. Again, not so much. The past two weeks had produced nothing, nada, zip. My brain would not cooperate once I came home from the day job and began the mommy job to the sick puppies.

That is until yesterday. I took my Quick Pad and headed off to writer and reader heaven. Yep, the hallowed Barnes and Noble. With my Caramel Frap in hand I sat down and finally wrote. Okay, so it was only 5 pages when I came home and transferred it to my laptop. But they are 5 new pages and while they are still in the POS state they will work.

My TARA sister, Kelly R would tell me that everyone can spend 15 minutes a day writing something. She’s right, of course. I just couldn’t seem to make myself turn on the computer and do the whole BICHOK thing during the past two weeks.

I had even thought My muse is gone or maybe more apropos “Oh where, oh where has my little muse gone.” The thing is this time she didn’t go anywhere. Thank you, thank you. She was waiting on me. She didn’t go on vacation (she loves the beach) instead she waited patiently for me to come back and listen to her.

To put it all together, the move has happened, although today will be interesting to say the least, Science Guy is home (so glad about that one), the puppies are better, and I’m writing again. Whew!!! I survived.

How about you? Has the past few weeks been draining on your creativity? Do you let it happen or are you stubborn and refuse to give into it?

Writing Wishes and Plotting Dreams,

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Wedding, Renewals and Friends

Before I begin this weeks blog I’d like to ask for a moment of silence.

It’s a very sad day in Snarkville. I still can’t believe that Miss Snark is retiring. What will we do with her wisdom, honesty, Crapometer, the cluegun used as needed and just plain fun. She has stopped many of us from becoming nitwits and pulled several of us that were already there back to the other side. Killer Yapp has taken his toll on us when needed and keep her gin pail handy.

Just in case you haven’t read her blog(who in the writing industry hasn’t read her???) she will leave the blog up and you can go back through the archives of truth, wisdom, and stiletto heel crushings.

I wish her much happiness as she continues her search for Mr. Clooney and that her gin pail never runs dry.

She has taught us well. She will be missed greatly.

The Wedding Renewal…

Saturday some very good friends of mine renewed their vows. They have been married for twenty-five years and they wanted all of us to know that it does work and they love each other more now than ever.

If you knew them then you would never believe it has been twenty-five years. First off, neither one of them look old enough to be married that long. They don’t act like it as well.

I went over to Mary’s house that morning along with Dorothy, (part of the brat pack from way back) and we fixed her hair and make-up. Mary doesn’t wear much makeup but she let us do her up right for the pictures.

She was beautiful! She was glowing! She looked just like a bride should look on her wedding day minus the white dress. She wore purple. Her favorite color.

So many friends, so little time. There were people there that I used to sing with and it was great to see them again. To catch up on everyone’s life, kids, and yes, some of them have grandchildren. I do not. Not yet anyway.

This past week has been crazy for me since I’m in charge of a 200 people building move at my work. We actually move this coming Friday so once again I’ll work many hours and not have much writing done by the end of the week. Ugh!!! But this to shall pass or so I’m told.

The reason I tell you about the move/work is due to the many hours I have worked I almost did not attend the wedding. I came very close to calling Dorothy to tell her she’d have to do the hair and makeup herself.

I was just plain tired. I didn’t want to drive across the bridge to the other side of Tampa.

Then I remembered the post that Carly Phillips had on Plotmonkeys
about “The One”. A small sidebar here is you will allow me. If you are not reading the Plotmonkeys daily then you are missing an amazing blog by four truly great authors.

Although I don’t see Mary and Henry that often they are part of my “The Ones” group. This day was special and I was going tired or not.

I’m so glad that I did. Old friends, food, laughing, and a beautiful day is something that you can’t replace. I did say food right? MaryDell, a woman from the church I used to attend cooked all the food. She is a wizard in the kitchen. The roast beef will literally melt in your mouth. And the mashed potatoes and gravy…well, let’s just say it was All Good.

So what about you? Have you missed something that you later wished you hadn’t? Have you went when you were just plain worn out and then so glad that you did? I’ve done both and let me tell you the second one is more often the best.

As always – Writing Wishes and Plotting Dreams,

Sunday, May 13, 2007


It’s what all of us do. We do this is in so many parts of our everyday lives. From going to the grocery store, shopping, picking out what we’ll wear to work, and even the library. Either you have a plan, a plot, for what you intend to buy, (the list), which is another blog all together) or you just head out and go. You’ll buy or not buy as the mood strikes you. Maybe you decide the night before what you’ll wear to work the next day. If you’re like me you gave that thought up along time ago. If I pick it the night before I change my mind the next morning. So, now I just wait till I get up and decide. Still it’s one type of plotting.

Writing is no different. Before I can write the story I have to plot it out. But what kind of plotter am I? Do I plot the entire book from beginning to end? Or do I just sit down and go to it. Writing whatever comes to mind.

The first way is called (you guessed it) “The Plotter” and the second is called “The Pantser”.

Before I go any further I want to tell you where you can find some great information and help on this. One of the best is Julie Leto who is doing a blog on this at Plotmonkeys. She is doing this in a series on Saturdays. This past Saturday was part 3 but you can go back and read them all. I highly recommend this regardless of which type of plotter you are or think you are.

One of the biggest things I’ve learned is that it really depends on the book I’m writing as to which type of plotter I am. However, with that said I also have learned that plotting helps me to keep my story line going in the right direction. To keep the conflicts both with my H/H and my secondary characters weaved together.

The storyboard that you will see on Plotmonkeys is an amazing thing. You can step back and see where you have to much of something or not enough of something.

I found the easiest way for me is to start labeling scenes that I want to be in my book. They can be as simple as “The First Kiss” all the way down to my “Black Moment”. I place them on the board with sticky notes that I can move around with ease.

Of course that doesn’t mean that your muse will change your storyboard. More often than not she will. Now you have a roadmap. Somewhere to direct you when you are staring at the computer screen and your fingers are moving. Yep, you know what I’m talking about, the dreaded writer’s block. For me I’ve found that with the sticky notes I can start writing a different scene. It doesn’t have to be the one that goes next, in sequence order.

What I’ve found is that I am both a “Plotter and a Pantser”. I need the roadmap but I need to be able to sit down and write whatever. This new-found way has helped me to do both.

What about you? Do you plot the book from page one to “The End”. Do you sit down and write whatever comes to mind? Do you write scenes and then go back and put them in the order you want them?

Oh, and a big shout out to Erica Ridley for helping with the html stuff. Your the best!!!

Writing Wishes and Plotting Dreams,

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

People Watching – Everywhere You Go

That’s what a writer does. Whether or not we realize it we all do it. The weirdest thing for me is now I’ve started noticing it happening more and more. I can be anywhere and the writer in me will kick in. Begging for a pen and paper my brain starts taking it all in. Everything that is happening around me and how people are reacting to the situation.

I’ve found myself hurrying to get to the car to jot it down or even asking the waiter for another napkin to write some little tidbit down.

The TV isn’t even safe. I’ll see something in a commercial and it’ll trigger the writer. Last night an allergy commercial was on and all of sudden I’m talking aloud to myself. “This is great. That could so happen in my book.” Not what I actually saw on the TV but what it triggered in my mind.

I’ve even found myself doing this during a very trying moment in my friend’s life. I didn’t mean to. I wasn’t thinking about writing, my wip, or anything remotely close to that. It just happened. It just sort of starts. Of course I sent the little muse journalist to the back of my mind once I realized I was doing it. But she only went once I promised I’d write it down when I got home.

Science guy has gotten used to me doing this now. He’ll say are you talking to me or to that thing you call a muse? Once in a while he will ask if I can turn it off for a little while. I tell him of course I can baby. I can’t. So I quietly think these things until I have to get up and go write it down.

While this is and can be a great thing, especially if you have writers block, it can also be quite annoying when all you want to do is buy a new pair of shorts, get an ice cream, or simply watch some TV and relax.

What about you? Do you find yourself people watching when you least expect it? Do you feel the need to write down what you see and how people react?

Writing Wishes and Plotting Dreams,