Wednesday Randomness: Best and Worst – Writing Process


This week we’re sharing a new feature – Best & Worst. It’s not the best and worst for everyone, but what is best and worst personally for the blogger. For example, this week we’re talking Best & Worst Writing Process. So I’m going to share what writing process is the worst for me, and what is the best.

So I’ll start with…The whole “vomit the first draft” thing. For those unfamiliar, it’s the idea that you just write the first draft without fixing anything – you just write it all out…word vomit. This does not work for me. I know, for some people, this is awesome and works super well for them. I am not one of those people. I get incredibly anxious and frustrated, and it actually makes it difficult to write at all.

Now for what works best for me. I think a lot about the main characters. And, I mean, a lot. About them, their motivations, their familys, their lives. I don’t write all of this down. I will jot some notes down, especially if something is going to factor heavily into the story, but that’s it. It’s really just me, spending some time with the characters, getting to know them.

I outline my stories. Now, by outline I don’t mean tons of pages with every detail (that process isn’t the WORST for me but it’s a close second. Long outlines with every minute detail makes me feel as though I’ve already written the book at that point.) My style of outline is a list of the big moments. Things that absolutely have to happen to get my characters from the beginning to their happily ever after at the end. For series that have an overarching story arc through several books, the outline is a bit more detailed but not much.

Once I have that, I start writing, working my way to that first big moment, then the next, then the next. I try to be flexible, because some of the best moments in my books, in my opinion, were when the story or characters veered off of my intended path. That’s when I start talking to myself.

The answer to that, sadly, is yes, yes, we do.

It’s not a complex process, but it works for me. A bit of structure – a wee roadmap with all the main points on it – and some flexiblity to accept and work with the sidetrips my brain (aka story and characters) take me on.


Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease | Jessica De La Rosa | Siobhan Muir

Wednesday Randomness: Top 10 Things I Should Do But Don’t

Before I start in on my top ten, I want to say thank you to the fantabulous Kris Norris. You may notice that my website and blog have had a makeover. And Kris did the heavy lifting in that! And it looks beautiful and I love it so much. So THANK YOU, Kris!!! MWAH.

Now, on to the top ten things I should be doing but don’t. In no particular order…

Quit smoking. 

Sleep more. 

Eat better.

Drink more water.

Exercise regularly.

Write daily.

Treat my writing as a career.

Take more me time.

Stop procrastinating. 

Be less harsh to myself.

 


Bronwyn Green | Deelylah Mullin | Gwendolyn Cease
 Kris NorrisSiobhan Muir | Torrance Sené

 

January 2018 Check-in

Wow, already the end of January.

I didn’t really set goals for January – not specific ones anyway. So we are just going to say that January was…okay. Not the greatest, but not the worst. LOL I did all my blog posts, got some quality family time, my house is mostly in order, and I’m still up and moving. I’ll call that a success.

I’m just going to keep my eyes forward, then, at this point. For February:

  • Complete all scheduled blog posts
  • Write daily – and try for some big numbers the first week of Feb while in Michigan.
  • Coursework – I’m taking a class in February, so keeping up with that is a big thing.
  • Take time for myself – beyond the typical self-care that needs to happen, some time doing something I just *want* to do, not that I have to do, is important.

And I’m going to leave it at this, this month. Baby steps and moving forward – my current motto. 🙂


Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease

January 2018 Song Fic – “Dog Days Are Over”

It’s time for the first flash fic of the year. This week, our inspiration is one of my favorite songs – “Dog Days Are Over” by Florence + the Machine.

Though, I’ve found, just because a song is a fave does NOT mean it will be easy to come up with a flash fic! But I’ll give it a shot… LOL Going off the opening line:

Happiness hit her like a train on a track
Coming towards her stuck still no turning back

Loosely connected to my (poor, super-neglected) serial, Your Lies.


I didn’t bother turning on the light as the shadows lengthened around me. Sitting in the dark… Well, it helped. Not nearly enough, but enough for the moment. And I wasn’t thinking beyond this moment. Soon enough, I’d have no choice, but for now, I was just going to sit.

I didn’t regret what brought me to this point. I couldn’t…not ever. Not with my daughter sleeping down the hall.

When I’d met her father… God. I scrubbed my palms down my face, cringing at the wetness on my cheeks. Meeting Sam was like getting hit by a train. Before I knew it, I’d fallen in love him. Worrying about his magic, and what that would mean—for him, for me, for the family we’d start—didn’t even enter the equation. Not at first. Not even as early as it should have. I wasn’t stupid, after all. I knew how magic users were viewed, the dangers they faced. But what was that in the face of love? Maybe I was stupid…because Sam was gone now. Taken, killed… I didn’t even know.

And I couldn’t even properly feel, properly mourn. Not when I had to keep my daughter safe. My Delia, who had her father’s magic flowing so strongly through her veins. Who wielded her power with hardly a thought. Who could be taken from me just as easily, as suddenly as Sam had been.

I straightened in the hard kitchen chair, shaking my head at the thought. No. No one was going to take her. I wouldn’t let that happen. I may not have been able to stop Sam—the fucking nobility that had helped me fall in love with him had driven him to risk far too much for others like him—but I could keep Delia safe.

Nothing else mattered. Not my feelings, not my grief, not my fear. All that mattered was Delia. Her safety. I closed my eyes, pictured Sam in my mind. I’d do this for him, for the love we had. The living and breathing love that was our little girl.


Bronwyn Green | Deelylah Mullin | Gwendolyn Cease
 Kris Norris | Siobhan Muir

Wednesday Randomness: Wordless Wednesday

Reclaiming My Writing Corner (goodbye, Christmas tree), Cleaning Stresses the Dog, Cold Travels, Lazy Days and Wha??


Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease | Jessica De La Rosa | Kris Norris
Paige Prince | Siobhan MuirTorrance Sené

January 2018 Photo Fic – “Winter”

Happy New Year!

Today is a photo flash fiction – we’ve rounded up 12 images and will be writing something inspired by them…1 a month through the year.

Here’s January’s image:

“Winter”

“Come on, Nic. Look how gorgeous it is!”

I didn’t even look over at my brother. Sitting stubbornly and stiffly in the passenger seat, seatbelt still fastened, I stared out the windshield.

He wasn’t wrong – it was gorgeous. The blanket of white covering the ground was only marred by the tire tracks of another idiot who had ventured out after the snowstorm we’d had the night before. Snow clung to the bare branches of the trees and the wooden fence that lined the tiny country road. Yeah, gorgeous. One might even say picturesque.

But that didn’t sway me – I wasn’t deceived.

“Seriously,” my brother continued, “just a quick walk. It’ll be refreshing.”

I snorted. “Yeah, right. It may be pretty as fuck, but winter is just like the stuck-up popular girls at school.”

“Really?” he drawled.

I could feel his intense stare but kept my gaze focused on the deceptive scene before me. “Yep. Gorgeous enough to take your breath away, but underneath it all, a complete and utter bitch who will only hurt you. And in the end, you’ve only yourself to blame, because deep down, you knew it. You just let yourself get swayed by prettiness.”

“Wow.” A long pause. “Just wow.” The engine roared to life, then he said, “You’re going to die alone, you know that, right?”

I lifted a shoulder lazily. “Yeah, probalby. But I’ll be warm and won’t hate myself.”


I don’t even know… Seriously, blame my sleep-deprived brain for that little nugget. Oh, and the fact I’m in the UP right now – one of the most beautiful places on Earth, IMO, and enduring snowstorms and freezing temps. My feelings for winter may have bled through.

Be sure to check out what the image inspired the other bloggers to write!


Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease | Kayleigh Jones
Kris Norris | Siobhan Muir 

December Song Fic – “Chances” by Five For Fighting

Last song fic of 2017! This week, we’re inspired by “Chances” by Five for Fighting.

Even though I love this song, it took me a while to come up with something, but I finally did. I’m actually revisiting a flash fic I wrote – the first song fic I wrote for 2017. Kind of bookending the year. LOL

You could read this on it’s own, but if you want to take a look at the piece – it’s a short one,

Albatross by Susan McKeown


God, I was going to barf.

I fiddled with the coffee cup in front of me and focused on breathing slowly—in and out, in and out—hoping it would calm my nerves.

A simple coffee date shouldn’t fuck me up this much. I didn’t even know if this could be considered a date.  And it was so far from simple it wasn’t funny. Meeting your husband for coffee after not seeing, or even speaking to, each other for nearly a year… Yeah, not remotely simple.  I bit back the hysterical laugh that bubbled up.

I had no idea what to expect. The last time I’d talked to him had been right after he’d left me. Oh, how I’d hated him them. Or I’d thought I did. Who knew? Maybe I actually did in that moment. Hated him as much as I loved him. Because the love hadn’t gone way. Even when I was drowning in the pain that had eventually driven him away, I’d loved him so much.

Now, months later, there was no hate. Just gratitude that he’d done what I couldn’t. I would have clung to him, to our marriage, until my last breath. And I had a feeling that would have killed the love—slowly and painfully and to the point of no return. He’d been strong when I couldn’t be.

Now, I was filled with a sickening mix of hope and fear. The fear was winning, by far. For all I knew, he’d moved on, and this was some kind of act of closure for him. I swallowed thickly and straightened in my seat. If that’s what this was, I’d deal. I may not have been strong then, but I was now. And I wouldn’t fall apart.

The bell above the door jingled, drawing my gaze as it had every time, and my breath caught painfully. Fuck, he looked good—healthy and tanned, his dark hair wind-tousled, his jeans and t-shirt molding his body.

Seeing me, he smiled and strode through the shop toward me. I rubbed my damp palms over my denim-clad thighs and pushed to my feet. He didn’t hesitate when he came close—he pulled me in a tight embrace, face turned into my hair. I heard him inhale deeply then let out a long sigh.

I squeezed my eyes tight, trying to hold back the tears that threatened. Wrapping my arms around his waist, I leaned into him, soaking in his warmth. When he pulled back, he brought his hands up to my face, cradling it as he stared down at me.

“I missed you,” he murmured roughly. “Thank you for meeting me. I was afraid you’d… I wouldn’t blame you if you told me to fuck off after…everything.  I…I’m so sorry.”

I shook my head. “No apologies. Please. It took me a while, but I know you did what you had to. For both of us. It’s okay.”

He pressed his lips together then huffed out a short laugh. “You were always too forgiving. Especially with me.”

I rolled my eyes, then we both sat at the small table. “Oh, do you want a coffee?” I asked.

“Not yet,” he said quickly. “We need to talk.”

My stomach dropped. This was it. Shit.

He reached out and took my hands. I looked down and couldn’t hold back the tears this time when my gaze landed on the gold band circling his finger. The sight pushed the hope inside me higher.

“How have you been?” he asked quietly, his thumb dragging over the ring that still sat on my finger. Was he as relieved by the presence of my wedding ring as I was by his?

“I’m good. Better. Still have some bad days, but I don’t think that’s ever going to go away. She was our baby, and she’s gone” I took a deep breath and met his gaze—so full of understanding. “But I’m not lost in the grief anymore. I’m…good.”

“I’m glad.”

“Are you? Are you good, I mean,” I blurted. “Did you get what you needed by leaving?”

“Yes…and no.” His fingers tightened around hers. “I hated myself for doing that, but I…we needed the time and space to heal. It was too hard—dealing with my own grief in the face of yours. I just wanted to make it better for you, and I couldn’t, not when everything I was feeling was so—”

“I know,” I said when he choked on his words. “I know.”

He smiled, eyes glistening. “So, yeah, I got what I needed, but I missed you so fucking much. I missed us.”

“So, this isn’t you…breaking up with me for good?” I joked weakly, even as panic tightened my throat.

“What?” His eyes widened. “Is that what you thought?”

I lifted a shoulder. “I didn’t know what to think, to be honest.”

He stared at me for a long moment. “I spent the last month trying to build the courage to call you. I was so afraid you had moved on, maybe found someone else, who could give you what you need.”

“You did give me what I needed,” I protested. “Even if I didn’t see it then, even though it was so damned hard and hurt so much. You were always good at that—giving me what I needed.”

“I love you,” he said simply.

I inhaled sharply. “I love you, and I missed you, too, missed us. There isn’t anyone else—how could there be? And, yes, I have moved on—away from that dark place I was in—but not to where I wouldn’t want to be with you.”

“I’m not asking to come home,” he continued. “Not yet. I don’t think rushing into that would be good for us. We can’t pretend the past year didn’t happen.”

I nodded slowly, practically holding my breath as I waited to hear what he had to say.

“But I do love you and want to be with you, so much I can taste it, but I think we need to go slow. Would you…” He wet his lips. “Would you go out with me?”

I laughed, feeling light for the first time in a long, long time. “Yeah, I would totally go with you. So, this,” I gestured around the coffee shop, “is a date, then? I’d been wondering that since you called.”

He grinned, relief clear in the way he relaxed back in his chair, still holding one of my hands. “Absolutely a date.”

With that, the hope overcame the fear, and I found myself looking forward to the future again, to trying to get back something I’d lost and building something new, something stronger. And no matter the outcome, I knew it ‘d be worth it, because if anything was worth taking a huge risk for, it was love. My love for and with this man.


Bronwyn Green| Gwendolyn Cease | Kris Norris | Siobhan Muir

Wednesday Randomness: Top 10 Gifts for Writers

I can only speak for myself of course, but I’m gonna share my writerly wish list. Some of these will be very general and some specific.

In no particular order:

Books – Fiction books, books on craft, books on self-publishing and promotion… Doesn’t matter. I will take ALL THE BOOKS. 🙂

Notebooks – I’ve never met a notebook I didn’t like. Well, that’s not true. But regardless of how much or little I like a particular notebook, it will never be wasted. I have them and use them everywhere and can always use more.

Pens – I have a problem with pens. I have so many and will always always get more. From simple ball point pens to fancy fountain pens…I want them all. And when I find a pen that writes well…I stock the F up. In a big way.

Comfy seating – So, I don’t have an office – comes with having a houseful of kids and family. So I want this

to be able to write in bed without my back paying me back for days afterwards.

Booze – Wine, cider…I’m not pick. And this…I honestly want this just for the name/bottle, but I do like a good splash of whiskey. 

New computer – While my trusty MacBook is trudging along, I would love a new computer, right now.

The last three? Not gonna lie – come straight from my Etsy wishlist. 


Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease | Kris Norris | Paige Prince

Wednesday Randomness: A Genie Grants Me 3 Wishes…

…for my writing career – What are they and why?

  1. Money – not to be super outrageously wealthy or anything, but enough to have the freedom to focus on writing (and not feel obligated to take on other jobs to help support my family.)
  2. More time to get away to write – Retreats and vacas with writing friends. To have time to write and not have to worry about the every day stuff. I don’t want the every day stuff to disappear but a break from it now and again is nice…and needed.
  3. The ability to more easily (and without guilt) eliminate obstacles to writing – mostly things that suck my time

Let’s be real – at the end of it all, all my wishes come down to time, yeah? LOL It seems as though getting pulled in a million different directions is the norm nowadays (and I know I’m not alone) and that is what I whine about on the daily.

So yeah, my wishes would all center around freeing up my time to write. Whether that was on an everyday basis or letting me get away for retreats regularly.


 Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease