First Readers, Fast Writing and The Bloggy Blah, Blah, Blahs

Today, I’m at the Scribes talking about the The Bloggy Blah, Blah, Blahs. If you’ve ever found yourself in a similar situation, stop by and share your tips for the blogging blues.

Also, I’m a guest at “How to Write Fast“. If you’re looking for advice on how to write more quickly, this is the blog to visit.

In other news, Mystic Storm is finally in the hands of my most valued first readers. Yay!! For those of you following along, this is Zephyr’s story. At the end of Mystic Ink, I left him in a bit of a pickle after the Fates punished him for interfering in a Hero’s Journey.

Going Giftless – Year 2

Find out about my family’s new holiday tradition – Going Giftless. Stop by the 7 Scribes and share your views.

On the Mystic Storm front – I’m slowly revising my way through the first draft. It may seem hard to believe, especially after I’ve written the entire book, but it’s taken me a while to find Zephyr and Kalli’s voices. Now that I have them, I just need those long stretches of time locked in a room with nothing but voices in my head (I know that sounds a little loony).

Daydreams and First Drafts

Today, I’m over at the 7 Scribes where I make the case that daydreaming is required – Do Not Disturb – Daydreaming in Progress.

On the Mystic Storm front – I’ve read through the printed first draft and yikes! I still have some work to do to smooth it out. So I will be diving back into the writer’s cave to clean it up.

 

Finally!

I did it. Last Sunday I finished the draft of Mystic Storm. But the work isn’t over yet. Before I can share Zephyr’s story with my trusted first readers, I have to read through it and make sure there aren’t any gaping plot holes.

In the meantime, I’m at the 7 Scribes today  – We Are Family.

WIP it Good!

No, I didn’t spell WIP wrong.  I’m not referring to a whip (like Indiana Jones uses), I mean “work in progress”.

I’ve been taking a hard look at my writing goals in recent weeks and I’ve realized that something has to give. One of those things is my weekly blog post. This doesn’t mean that I won’t blog ever again, just that I need to focus on finishing Mystic Storm and my other works in progress. One of the reasons I haven’t finished them is that I only have so many hours a day that I can spend on my writer life and I must start using them wisely.

That also means you won’t see my hanging out on Facebook or Twitter very often. Not until the WIPs are done! Of course, if I have something to announce or share, I will do so right here as always.

While I have finished another manuscript this year – Misfortune Cookie – I can’t sit on my laurels with Zephyr’s book undone. I have several friends, including my wonderful beta readers, who are threatening to go Annie Wilkes on me if I don’t finish the book. How can I argue with that? They know where I live and I’m pretty sure they know how to tie a mean knot.

I am still blogging weekly at the Scribes. Today my guest is fellow Pink Petal author – Krystal Brookes. She writes contemporary Highland romances! Hello hot men in kilts with cell phones!

Anyone else had to readjust their goals? 

Never Give Up, Never Surrender!

I saw an interesting quote on Facebook by John Rodgers – “You can’t think yourself out of a writing block, you have to write yourself out of a thinking block.”

Once again, I find myself at odds over the story for Mystic Storm. I don’t why Zephyr’s book is such a challenge, but there is no way I’m not delivering this book.

First off, I’m not suffering from writer’s block (honestly, I don’t believe in it), but I’m having what I think of as “organizational” issues. The book is plotted out and I’m proceeding according to my plan, however, I seemed to have strayed off the path.

How does that happen?

Easy.

I often let the story wander in other directions as I delve deeper into my characters. As a result, there are portions of the timeline that have been skewed. Rather than stopping completely to fix it, I’ve decided to re-read what I have, take notes, then keep on trucking.

Why?

Because the end is not changing. It’s only how I’m getting there that might differ. If I stop right now and try to fix the book, I know it’ll stress me out and I might never finish Mystic Storm.

Since I know there are people out there who would like to know what I did to Zephyr at the end of Mystic Ink, I can’t leave them hanging. Not to mention, I have Devlin’s book – Mystic Hero – waiting in the wings.

So, if you’re spinning your wheels on a plot, might I suggest skipping over that part and moving on? I’ve found that it’s much easier to keep writing and deal with it later because as John Rodgers suggests – the issue may solve itself, but only if you keep writing!

How does everyone else cope when the story is off kilter or not quite right? And do you agree with John Rodgers?

And if you have a free moment, visit the Scribes. I’m interviewing Gerri Brousseau about her debut novel – A Pirate’s Ransom.

Zephyr visits this lighthouse on his walks through the streets of Stonington Point, CT.

Stormy Weather

Finally. It’s Friday! It’s always tough to get back into the groove after a week of vacation.

It’s funny how 5 minutes on my work laptop can dissolve every ounce of tranquility.

Anyway, I wasn’t totally idyll last week. After completing the first draft of Misfortune Cookie and sending it off to my first readers, I moved onto Mystic Storm (Zephyr’s book) and Redemption (Galen’s book).

So far, Zephyr continues to resist me. Galen, on the other hand is being more cooperative. The only problem, Redemption is the next book after Ascension, which I still have out on submission. Normally, I wouldn’t spend time on Galen’s book, but he’s been itching for completion since I started in it in January 2010. Plus, he’s so much fun to write. I’ll miss him when the book is done (maybe that’s why I’m still working on it).

I have a theory that Mystic Storm is harder because it’s the next book in a published series. I admit there’s a small shadow of concern in the back of my mind. I don’t want to disappoint people who enjoyed the first book. I know I need to forget all that, but sometimes it’s hard.

I am happy to report I’m over the 30,000 word mark and that seems to be the “sweet spot” for me in my writing. I believe it takes me about 30,000 words to get into the groove of the story. At last, Kalli and Zephyr have come into their own and the story I’ve plotted seems to be flowing more smoothly. Yay!

Does that happen for anyone else? Is there a magic amount of words you need to get on the page before you know your characters?

If you have time, please stop by and visit me at the Scribes where I’m talking – Hootsuite!

Until we meet again next week, I’ll leave you with an image from my photo collection from Stonington, CT – Zephyr’s home.

This is the building that’s the inspiration for the Gallup Inn – Zephyr’s hotel/day spa.

I’m so Pretty – Beautiful Blogger Award

Yay! It’s Friday. Don’t forget to visit me at the Scribes for  – I am Not A-MUSEd!

Sabrina Garie has awarded me The Beautiful Blogger Award. Thank you Sabrina!

As most of you may have guessed, there are rules.

Rule #1 – I must share 7 things. Today, I’m going to be different and share fun facts and a secret or two about my characters. Let’s face it, you all must be sick of hearing about me!

Rule #2 – Pass this award to 7 bloggers. More on that later.

From Mystic Ink:

1. Devlin Ward has a potted plant. It’s name is Medusa on account of its snake-like fronds. He would never, ever admit that to anyone
since the real Medusa would not be pleased. And we all know what happens to men who make her angry. Let’s just say it’s not the kind of rock hard Devlin would enjoy.

2. Nix is the most independent of the fifty daughter’s of Nereus. She is adamant about earning her own money and making her own way in the world. Her Uncle Memphis fostered her independence by taking her on as an apprentice in his tattoo shop.

From The Undead Space Initiative:

3.  Cherry Cordial doesn’t like enclosed spaces. Once, when one her fellow vampires jokingly trapped her in a dark closet, she dumped dead fish in their beds for a week.

4. Jonathan, Cherry’s maker, first noticed her because of her beautiful singing voice. It was her rebellious spirit that made him turn her into a vampire. Later, whenever he’d complain about her sassy attitude, Cherry would remind him, “Tough cookies. This is what you signed up for. Don’t blame me that I have big mouth and know how to use it.”  Cherry would like to remind you to get your minds out of the gutter. She’s a stripper, not a whore. Just saying.

From Ascension:

5. Kyra was recruited into the FBI by her boss, Terence Lange after she beat him and hundreds of other veteran sharpshooters at a
regional competition. Lange is inherently distrustful of magic, but does trust Kyra. Both of their understanding of supernatural phenomena are about to be shaken up.

6. Valerian is a stickler for rules and order. Clutter drives him crazy and he can’t stand salt and vinegar chips. Galen uses this information to annoy Valerian every chance he gets. While the two are friends, Valerian is also Galen’s superior, and Galen’s cheekiness often gets him into trouble. Not that Galen would have it any other way!

And from my WIP:

7. This isn’t a character fact per se, but my latest WIP has something to do with fortune cookies and evil spirits. Don’t worry Mystic Ink fans, I am still working on Mystic Storm (Zephyr’s book), but I opted to complete this book first since it was flowing faster.

Seven Beautiful Blogs:

1. Writing Secrets of 7 Scribes – Stop by and say hello. We’re friendly, fun and love to dish about all kinds of topics.

2. Meggan Connors – She makes me laugh with her honesty and self-depreciating humor. I love Edinor and her travels. You have visit her blog to find out who or what Edinor is!

3. Janna Shay – Kind and generous, Janna always makes me smile. She’s also an incredibly supportive and I do appreciate it!

5. Marian Lanouette – A great blogger who shares great advice. Plus, she is one sexy lady. Have you seen her Facebook photo? Her debut novel – If I Fail –  comes out in September.

6. Leia Shaw – Whether she’s blogging at her own site (The Paranormal G-spot) or at Nights of Passion, she always has something interesting to say.

7. Julia Rachel Barrett – C’mon, did you think I wouldn’t pick the lovely Julia? Julia blogs every day and it’s always worth reading.

To the recipients of the Beautiful Blogger Award – go forth and share the beauty!

And feel free to share your favorite blog (s) with me! 

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!