Me and The Doubt Monster – At Jill Archer’s Blog

Cats do fear the Doubt Monster

Stop by and say hello! I’m guest blogging at Jill Archer’s today. I’m sharing my tips for dealing with doubt.

Cats do fear the Doubt Monster
Cats do not fear the Doubt Monster

Flying Monkeys and Cat Cuteness

Happy Friday! Want to hear more about Mystic Storm? Please join me today at the 7 Scribes and find out why I say – When in Doubt, Throw in a Flying Monkey . . . or Three!

Also, our new cat Nene has settled in nicely. Here she is on my lap.

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There’s a Gremlin in my Book!

Happy Friday everyone! Be sure to check out my post over at the Scribes – Stagnant Brain Syndrome.

This week, I’ve been furiously re-reading my manuscript – The Undead Space Initiative so I can hand it in for final line edits.

And man, let me tell you, I swear there is a little gremlin sitting in my computer deleting words (that no one seems to notice are missing). The gremlin also likes to play with formatting and add extra spaces or delete space that should be there.

I know that all manuscripts have typos and missing words. It comes with the territory. Very frustrating, especially when you have a perfectionist personality like I do.

One way to combat the gremlin (besides the obvious thing – using spell checker liberally and often) is time away from the book. I haven’t read USI since last year. I’ve had time to forget what I wrote and see it with fresh eyes.

The other helpful tip: read in short, focused bursts. That way you won’t get sucked into the story and forget to check for those pesky errors. Any time I caught myself actually “reading”, I stopped and did something else.

Another suggestion: scatter the order of the pages. But, I converted the document to the publisher’s format and removed the page numbers. I had printed the entire book when I realized what I had done. Oops. Maybe next time!

Of course, time away has a downside – the urge to change everything. I nipped that in the bud when I realized I was letting The Doubt Monster mess with my head again. My editor at Pink Petal Books enjoyed the story and asked for minimal changes, so Doubty can go torment someone else.

You’ll have to forgive me today, if I answer comments later than normal. I’m having fun with my family and I’ll respond as soon as I can.

Tell me about your gremlins. Perhaps you have one that eats the socks in your dryer or likes to steal your favorite pen off the table. Or maybe something more interesting?

So I was Like….

Happy Friday everyone. Don’t forget to stop by the Scribes. My guest today is Sharon Buchbinder! Don’t miss a chance to say hello.

So here’s how my week has been. I’ve had this stuffy nose (either a cold or sudden allergy onslaught after the freak warm weather here in New England).

Needless to say, I’ve been dragging my sorry carcass around with a box of tissues and a grumpy attitude.

And when I attempted to write, my characters decided to give me crap.  Kind of like this:

Me: “Zephyr, I’m so sick of you.”

Zephyr: “Who me? I haven’t done anything wrong.” He spots a bag on the dining room table and reaches for it. “Is that a new book?”

Me: I ignore the question.  “Why are you making my life so difficult?”

Z: “Don’t look at me. It’s all in your head.” <plastic crinkles>

Me: “Sure be a typical man. Deny that you have any part in all of this. Why did you have to go and piss off the Fates? You’re making my life hell.”

Z: “If I hadn’t you wouldn’t have a story to tell, now would you?”

Me: “I don’t appreciate the cheek. If I wanted that, I’d go find Devlin.”

Devlin: “Did someone mention moi?”

Me: “No Devlin. I’m too stressed out to deal with you today.”

D: “Well pardon me.”  He turns to Zephyr. “Has she been like this all week?”

Z: “You have no idea.” He pulls out  J.R. Ward’s Lover Reborn and brandishes it in my face.

D: “Hey, she’s reading about those vampires again. What? We aren’t sexy enough for you?” He flexes his muscles. “And you have the nerve to complain that your word count is bad.” <wags finger> “For shame!”

I sit in the corner, chanting, “I’m the Author Goddess. I’m the Author Goddess…”

Zephyr, examines his nails. “Yeah, keep telling yourself that, sweetheart. Devlin, up for a round of drinks?”

Devlin says, “You bet your windy ass I am. Oh, mighty Author Goddess, have fun with the Black Dagger Brotherhood.  Too bad they aren’t going to write your book for you.”

They leave me muttering to myself like an idiot. I’m so pathetic even The Doubt Monster feels bad for me this week.

And on that note, I leave you with this great comic. Thank you Toni Andrews. You don’t know how badly I needed the laugh!

 

Guest Blogger:Donna Shields- Do You Remember the First Book You Ever Wrote?

Happy Friday everyone. Don’t forget to visit me at the Scribes today. We have a special guest – Australian Visual Artist, Glenise Clelland. Be sure to leave a comment. One lucky person will win a copy of her book – LOVE FALLS IN LOVE WITH LOVE.

I also have a special guest blogger today. My fellow Soul Mate sister – Donna Shields. Donna will also be visiting the Scribes on 2/17 to answer our interview questions.

Take it away Donna!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Do you remember the first book you had written? I don’t mean the first published. I’m talking about that first completed story. The one you shoved under your mattress or stuffed onto a shelf in your closet never wanting it to see daylight again. So afraid to show your masterpiece to the waiting world.

After a while, you get brave. Maybe join a critique group or sign up for a writing workshop. And little by little, eventually you make connections and show off your baby. And that’s just the beginning of the nail-biting experience.

Secrets of Jenkins Bridge is my baby, my first love of writing. And just like your first child, you have a very hard time letting your story go. And that’s me. Even though I already have one published novella, it’s just not the same as this one. I have taken my time with Secrets of Jenkins Bridge.

My experience from the beginning was a bit backwards. I began writing it in the fall of 2007. Within six months, I had finished, edited it, and sent off a query letter to Harlequin. Mind you, this story was vastly different back then. It had only taken them two weeks to reply back requesting the full manuscript. I was over the moon! I sent it in and waited. And waited. About a month later, I received a reply. A semi detailed rejection. And being the first, it hurt. A lot. I did the worst thing a writer could ever do. I tucked it away and didn’t write at all for almost two years. Please don’t do this. I’m still kicking myself in the bum for wasting all that time.

But, I eventually began to write again. I joined a critique group whom I wouldn’t give up for anything now. I revamped the story and passed it along to my critique partners. They really helped in so many ways. I also joined Savvy Authors and took some workshops. And finally finished Secrets of Jenkins Bridge November 2011. My editor loves it. She can’t wait to see it published.

My advice to new and unpublished authors? Don’t ever give up on your dreams of writing. Keep going. Join a critique group. Take a workshop. Polish that baby and learn that eventually you will have to let it go and rejection is part of the process. Before you find the perfect home for your special story, you will go through a few rejections. But, you can’t become published if you don’t write.

You can find me:

At my blog: http://donna-realworldwriting.blogspot.com

On facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/#!/shieldsdonna

On Twitter: @Donna_Shields

On SMP’s Author Blog: http://smpauthors.wordpress.com/

You can buy Secrets of Jenkins Bridge at: http://soulmatepublishing.com

Coming soon to Amazon and Barnes and Noble also.

Thanks Donna! 

How about you? Have you ever been tempted to give up your dream? Or even take a break for a while?

I Did It My Way

Happy Friday everyone. Please remember to check out my Friday post over at the 7 Scribes. Today’s topic – Casting Call – If my book was turned into a movie.

Last week I was in a bit of a tizzy about the beginning of my WIP – The Undead Space Initiative. I’m happy to report that I have moved past it. I’m more that halfway through the editing process right now. And I’m so excited to share this book with my trusted first readers for their reaction.

I have set an aggressive goal: complete revisions by the end of this weekend!! Can I do it? Time will tell.

Tune in next week to find out!

The Revision Blues

Greetings and TGIF. Please remember to visit me at Seven Scribes for my Friday post. This week – book vs. the movie version.

So draft one of The Undead Space Initiative is done. Yay me!  Now on to the hard part. Draft clean up.

Right now, I’m still in the first chapter.

Why? (Especially after almost 12,000 words a week for a month. At that rate, I should be halfway done with revisions.)

Because I let myself get bogged down in doubt (the crappy monster is at it again). I thought I was writing more of an urban fantasy with strong romantic elements.

But then, I decided to play “what if”. What if I moved the meeting of the heroine and hero up to the beginning of Chapter One – so it’s more like a romance?

A little slicing and some dicing later and now I have two versions of chapter one. Eek!

After a few slaps to the head and a week later, I’ve realized what I’m doing. Avoiding revisions. I don’t need to obesses over the first chapter. I can deal with that later. Geesh.

So moral of the story – don’t play “what if” during rough draft clean up. Save that for later, when you’ve given the book to your first readers. Then torment yourself!

Halfway There!

Happy Friday! Please remember to visit me at Writing Secrets of 7 Scribes for my post about Change.

This week, I’m pleased to report that I’ve surpassed the halfway point. Total word count to date is 59, 806.

Due to family obligations, I had a few days where I was only able to hit 1,000 plus words. With vacation coming soon, I hope to be back on the 2,000 words a day track and possibly even surpass it.

The story has reached the mid-point climax and is rolling towards the black moment/reversal (hopefully next week).  After that, the final wrap up. Next, I’ll re-read the draft, plug the plot holes, fix the word boo-boos and ferret out any other transgressions.

This kind of aggressive first draft approach is new for me. I usually stop after the first act and re-read what I’ve done and make corrections. Not this time. I’m blasting through to the end and then reviewing the plot as a whole. I’m not sure if I’ll do this for my next book. We’ll see. Depends on how the process goes.

I’ve resorted to this method because, often times, I start second guessing the plot and playing the “what if” game and then I believe the whole story is crap, resulting in the urge to toss it out.

When I finish the first draft, I will share the blurb for the book. I can tell you, it’s something new for me and not like my other books.

See you next week!