Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Busy Day? There's Still Time to Write!

I found this great piece titled Writing and a Busy Life? Four Tips for Making it Work by Elisabeth S. Craig. It's on a wonderful site I've recently discovered that encourages, inspires and promotes women writers called, Women Writers,Women Books

She's a busy woman, as are so many of us! Busy with work and kids and home-some days the demands do seem endless. I am always happy to read something motivational that not only gives me tips, but gives me encouragement as well. And Ms. Craig's article definitely does that!

A couple of her tips that I particularly liked were: 1) use little downtime moments to brainstorm characters/plots/settings; 2) Set realistic writing goals that you have an shot at achieving.

This second goal is SO appropriate for me-and something I've recently embraced. Yes, I can write 3000 or more words in a day. I can write a chapter in a day. But can I do it daily? Sadly, no, and I doubt few do. We all have our inspired days, but those days come as the result of days where you spend more time researching and writing, or editing and tweaking. It's the in-the-trenches writing that sets us all up for those gold medal, marathon moments.

That's one reason I am truly enjoying participating in a current writer's challenge. I set an extremely modest goal of 250 words a day. I knew I had editing to do on two other books while writing the sequel to The Shell Keeper (not to mention researching Colorado's wine country for this book!), so I knew there would be days when little writing was done. Still, if I can glue myself to the keyboard to crank out 250 words, it often turns into more.

Yesterday it turned into 1361 words! If I'd set an unrealistic goal of 3000 words a day I would have had a down day for certain. But instead I felt good about myself, the process, and the book. In so many ways writing is a mind game, but clearly it's a game we can set ourselves up to win!

Click HERE to read Ms. Craig's article!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

New Cover And A Blurb!

Okay, as promised here's the latest on the cover for Framed. My graphic artist, Julie Beckett with Almond Advertising has tweaked the original to give us an indication of trouble ahead! See what you think and let me know. The back of the cover is still a field of green awaiting a blurb!

I owe much to Lana Williams, my writing buddy, who is always there to give me her thoughts and make some tweaks of her own, which are very appreciated! So now, you get the first sneak peek the back cover blurb for Framed:

When housing contractor Kay Conroy finds her son’s soccer coach dead on his kitchen floor, her well known dislike for the man soon turns into a motive for murder.

Now, anxious to aim the finger of guilt elsewhere, the quick-witted but daydreaming single mom must squeeze her own investigation in between car-pooling her son and overseeing the construction of a home for a local socialite. The evidence she discovers puts her at the top of the suspect list even though she knows she's being framed. Meanwhile, there’s an attractive landscaper she'd like to know better and an amorous CEO she’d like to lose.

With the aide of her salty-tongued best friend and the sixth sense of her puppy, Kay digs for dirt. What she finds are broken hearts and bottom lines...not to mention danger!

What do you think? Let me know, I'm always curious what does and doesn't catch a reader's eye.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Is Page 99 REALLY My Best?

I found a fun little website the other day for authors. You upload a brief description of your book, and then page 99 from your book. Then anyone who cares to can read your submission and comment on whether or not they'd read your book!

The whole concept here is that by page 99 you've settled into your rhythm and style-you're no longer over thinking every word, you have any idea where you're going-or you should!-and the real writer in you is starting to show up: good, bad or ugly!

I'm not so sure about the concept. If you are being totally honest (and you know the Pollyanna in me made me be a good girl--well, pretty good!) and posting your real page 99, it's kind of a crap shoot what you come up with. Some page 99's are full of action, thrills, spills and S-E-X. Others find your protagonists in a contemplative mood, which a reader might not totally appreciate if they haven't already covered 98 pages of character development.

I've posted page 99 from both The Shell Keeper and Framed (my upcoming book) and if ever there were two different as night and day examples, I think these are the two! Check them out, see what you think, and let me know what you think of the whole Page 99 concept.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Inspiring Snowy Days!

It's a snowy day in Colorado and I'm posting this shot of the view from my office window. Mom heard in Texas that we were going to get 40 inches! Sounds like one of those tall tales they tell down there...but it is definitely over a foot so far!

Still, it's just the right sort of day to sit at my keyboard and work on the sequel to The Shell Keeper. I'm calling it SK2 so far. Not sure what to title it, but I'm sure that will come in time.

SK2 is set in the wine-making country of Colorado's western slope and the chapter I'm working on today starts on a hot August morning, which is keeping me warm and toasty at least in my thoughts. The hot cup of tea sitting beside my laptop is helping to warm my chilly fingers and encourage them not to give up and give in.

I'm tempted to sneak away and grab a good book to go with my cup of tea...but I think I'll just write one instead!