Archery and Writing

  • May 20, 2019
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I got clipped by an arrow.

To be fair, I hadn’t been back to archery in over six months, had only taken two lessons, and was wearing a short arm guard.

Long arm guard in place, I resumed shooting. The instructor corrected my stance. Hips too far forward, shoulders needed to be down, chest open. I was tensing when it was time to release the arrow.

But there was that one time when I let myself breathe, focused on the target, and the arrow struck close to the center.

It made me think about writing. Are my shoulders down? Is my stance relaxed? Am I focused on the target? (Which would be the next sentence in a story.)

It takes repetition to get it right. And to walk away tired, with muscles pinging in areas I never considered, noting the hits and misses and determined to do better next time?

Yep. That’s writing.

 

Mother’s Day

  • May 12, 2019
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I’m repeating this post because, well, because.

My Mom and Writing

 

Returning to Magic: United House Wrecking

  • May 05, 2019
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I dragged fellow author Carrie V. Nelkin with me to what I considered a treasure trove of inspiration: United House Wrecking, in Stamford, Connecticut. I had written about them before but I wanted to go back and buy a doorknob.

Yes, a doorknob. Something small that would remind me of this place. I think of it as Aladdin’s cave, an emporium of wonder and beauty and sometimes plain weirdness. It’s no wonder I feel at home. Where else can you find doors like these?

Or a jade ship, ready to sail into mystical waters?

Here’s a closeup of one section. I was in awe at the detail.

Wandering around outside and dodging between life-sized lions and griffins, I found the whimsical peeking out.

In case you’re wondering, yes, I found my doorknob. I see a story in its metal but it’s content to sit quietly on my table until I’m ready.

There’s something for everyone and at all prices. (Oh, and the people are nice, too.)

Follow them on Instagram at unitedhousewrecking.

 

Birthday Pizza!

  • April 29, 2019
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It was my birthday this weekend. I was taken out for pizza (my choice) and ate more slices than I will admit to. And I forgot to take a picture of the chocolate pudding tart. 😀

 

Yes, This is Also New York City

  • April 21, 2019
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I once got an email from a friend who had never been here before and she was absolutely convinced that New York City was only a concrete jungle. So I’m sharing pics I took on the Staten Island boardwalk. (And for those who don’t know, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx are part of New York City along with Manhattan.)

For those who like to fish, there are places for your poles:

Bonus points if you can name the bridge in the background:

I’m Proud to Be an Indie Author

  • April 14, 2019
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typewriter photo

First off, let me say that if you want to be traditionally published, that’s fine. This is my opinion for myself only.

It drives me nuts that indie authors aren’t as respected as traditionally published authors. To be clear, self-publishing is not the same as a vanity press. Vanity presses take your money in order to publish your book. You should be paid for your writing, not the other way around.

It’s been said that indie authors publish garbage. Yes, there are people who write their stories and—without any real effort to edit or, better yet, hire an editor—toss their works online and proudly proclaim they’re a published author.

Ugh. On the other hand, we’ve all read traditionally published books that should never have seen the light of day, so I’m unsure why indie books get so much flack.

When I finally decided to take the step, I knew I had the background to deal with it. I was an in-house production editor, editor, copy editor, and proofreader for years, and my writers’ group consists of four other editors. My work gets scrutinized and I’m a better writer because of it.

What I don’t know, I hire out. I have no background in cover art, so I paid an artist who also knew digital publishing to create a cover for me.

And since I decided that I wanted my novel to be available in paperback as well as e-book, the formatting for the paperback was done by a fellow writer and editor. The trick is knowing my limitations. I do know how to format for e-book and though my marketing efforts need to be stepped up (really, whose don’t?), I’m happy to be publishing on my own timeline.

And yet, I’ve run into situations where people take a step back when they discover I’m an indie author, as if I’m not a real published author.

The only solution I can see is to keep writing, keep editing, and keep putting the best work I’m capable of in front of an audience when it’s ready.

Which should be the criteria for every writer, don’t you think?

 

*Photo by lil_foot_ (Pixabay)

Music to Write By

  • April 07, 2019
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Do you write to music? Does it depend on the scene you’re writing or is music just something that revs you up no matter what?

I’ve blogged about one particular piece that put me in a euphoric haze while writing a scene. My biggest regret was that it was only on YouTube. The original CD was for sale (used) at a price that made me consider whether eating was that important. Fortunately, sanity prevailed. And now it’s been rereleased and can be bought here.

And yes, I’m wondering what writing paths those songs will send me.

 

No Blog This Week

  • April 01, 2019
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pen and paper photo

Writing knocked out any blog ideas. So I’ll pass this on—go forth and write!

Writers, How to Scout a Location

  • March 25, 2019
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Go there. In my opinion, nothing comes close to actual sensory experience—the sights, smells, and tastes of an area. Talking to people in the area is a huge plus. And take plenty of pics.

Visit websites. There are different kinds:

  1. Tourism sites. They’ll promote the shiny views and usually have stunning photos or videos to watch.
  2. Blogs of people who visit the area and provide their own spin.
  3. Individual towns (for example) usually have their own website that’s aimed toward residents. You’ll find information on local news and agencies available to them as well as library hours and what month to get their fishing license renewed.

Newspapers. I’m currently subscribed to a newspaper for the town in which my next novel will be (at least partly) based. I travel there, but it’s been a real eye-opener to see what the locals do and say. The newspaper is both online and paper, and I opted for both: Paper can be clipped into a scrapbook that highlights the points I want to look at while I’m writing.

Books/magazines. Again, magazines often offer the shiny, pretty views of an area but some also offer in-depth issues that may or may not affect your story. Books can be anything—historical, memoir, tourist-based, and more, and your library can help with that.

This is what I’m using. What do you do?

 

Writers, Have Your Cameras Ready!

  • March 17, 2019
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There are three reasons to keep your camera ready at all times, especially when you go out.

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