Bored to Creativity

It’s the holidays and the end of the year.  For me, it’s the busiest time for my other work so I often feel stressed, tired and ready for the new year.  As I have in most years, I tend to think about what is working and not working – and what I need to change.  This year, I realized that my time for creative writing time was less since it has been so busy.  So I wondered if it was time constraints or that my creativity wasn’t as strong right now.  Where were my impulses that normally drive the writing?  Was… Continue reading

A New {Year} Evolution

Time always seems to gain speed after Thanksgiving and the end of the Year is rushing towards us, bringing with it the tradition of New Years Resolutions and all the baggage that carries.

I think the last time I subscribed to the notion that January 1st is when Major Changes Should Be Made was back in the early 90s.  My change cycle and resolutions are linked instead to the major milestones in my life.

I’ve just reached one, completing my Masters degree this past week, and I’m eagerly looking ahead, contemplating what I’m going to do with all… Continue reading

ThrillerFest 14 Part Two– A Neophyte’s Do’s and Don’ts

I went to ThrillerFest this past July and posted about my experience last month. As I said then, it was the first conference I’ve attended and, predictably, I racked up plenty of boo-boos. There were some good things as well so I’ve distilled both ends of the experience into a short list of takeaways that, hopefully, will help other neophyte conference attendees.

#1       Know your purpose and goal in attending the event. I knew that my purpose was to assess whether I wanted to engage an agent for my second book, having self-published the first. I wanted to see… Continue reading

What Can Jim Henson Teach Writers?

It might be hard to figure out what Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy might have to offer us as mystery writers. And that’s just what I thought as I was listening to Brian Jay Jones, author of the new Jim Henson biography at the 12th annual James River Writers Conference on October 18, 2014. But if you think about it, what other characters are so memorable and immediately recognizable? Jim Henson board v2

That related to the first point. Practice. This type of character takes a long time to find… Continue reading

Where Do You Get Your Ideas?

After reading Britt’s post, Found, I mused about the many plot ideas it engendered. People always want to know where writers get their ideas. The answer, inevitably, is real life.

Seaweed

Seaweed

A walk on a deserted, seaweed-lined beach today, gave me an idea for a story. I’ve attempted to give you the steps I took to develop three different plots from my beach discovery.

As soon as I stepped onto the sand, I spotted movement off to my left. Covering my eyes, I saw a… Continue reading

What Happened to My Time?

writing handOne month off! Hallelujah, I can write. 

I should be able to finish the manuscript I’ve been working on. What could possibly get in the way?

Of course, I do have my doctor’s appointments scheduled for this down time, so that will take a chunk out of a couple of days. And I do have two staff meetings for work and my student’s graduation. But again, that will only pull out a few more chunks time. Oh, and then there’s the wedding, three hours away in North Conway… Continue reading

Smelling the Roses and Other Sensory Items

Margo and I chose the same topic this month discussing sensory details, but from slightly different perspectives.

valentine-red-rose-2I think we’ve all heard the old saying to “Stop and Smell the Roses.” It has its own meaning but we also have a memory of how a rose smells.  Our sense of smell is located in  the same part of our brain that effects emotions, memory, and creativity, so it is no wonder that most think that it is our strongest sense when it comes to memories.   When you hear that, do you recall… Continue reading

Sensory Detail — Did I Achieve My Goal?

When you write your story, how much detail do you provide? Is it the correct detail, too much, too little?

cameraI’m always fighting to get the small, but important, things right. When I read, I’m interested in the setting. Not only the “where”, but also how the “where” feels. I want to be there, see the place through the character’s eyes. When I re-read writing that I loved, that kept me involved in the character, I see that the writer used the senses to pull me in.

Trouble Writing? Read.

Me & Jasper

Me & Jasper

My love of reading has taken me to wonderful places with so many different characters. If you ask me what kind of books I like, I can’t come up with just one type. Reading has always been cathartic to me, and I can get hooked on any piece of good writing.

As a child, I loved Nancy Drew. Those books ignited my love for mysteries. Then, writers like Pearl S. Buck, Robert Michener and Irving Stone caught my imagination and I… Continue reading

How Do You Write?

I love learning about how each writer’s process is different.  Plotters have their method – and then among plotters there are all different processes.  Pantsers have a different method – and again, within that group, each has their own process.  Mine?  I’m a bit of a plotter and a pantser.  I usually have a beginning (which changes) and where I think the story ends (which can also change).  A few of the points in between might also be there but I know the story will shape itself as I work through it and learn more about my characters… Continue reading