Monday, July 25, 2016

Introspective Books of Today

In the past few months, I decided it was important I take the initiative to set aside READING TIME every Monday and Tuesday no matter what. I missed reading any spare time I had. Anything I could get my grumpy small hands on. Biographies, mobster books, historical, fantasy, military... I just love(d) to read period!

Lately, my reads are books I find in the library on display, happen upon, or recommended to me. The AMAZING part is that each of my more recent reads contain very introspective characters. They don't glaze over anything or thought. They ponder it with the upmost scrutiny. Some to a page-long fault, and others, just right.

But, because of this, I've wondered how much self-analyzing does my MC have, finding hers is nothing in comparison. Which is super helpful to defining her more. So, to these books listed that I've recently read, I say THANK YOU for defining your characters more with layers of introspective writing, in turn helping me define mine more with another layer of introspective thought!


Books read: Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman (story of love and entanglement with the young Blackbeard), Resist by Ilima Todd (the finale of saving a "freedom"-less world), and Sunk: Shawn's Story by Jolene Perry (bad boy's second chance at life and love)
Book reading: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Movie watched: Pixels (second time seeing it, still as funny as the first)
Why I've been away: Family from FL came into town (always fantastic when family is around!)
What chapt I'm revising next: 20! (I have a thing for round even numbers)
How hot it's been here: 70* (the highest this week is 72*, jealous??)

1) Have you read any of these books?
2) Any you've read recently with introspective characters, too?
3) Now look at me, am I introspecting you right now?

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Logical Argument Writing

You'd think the title of this post should be "Writing Arguments", but in this case, it's not. Why? Because originally, when I drafted my MS, the argument dialogue between the husband and wife were pretty close to what I'd callously say in an attempt to get back at the MC's husband for being a jerkface. Which is ironic considering in those scenes, I wrote him that way...

Ok, let's think of it this way. When you're heated in the moment of what goes from a small misunderstanding to both sides in full argument mode, your rational brain side tends to black out and your creative side takes over with maybe some colorful choice words, insults, and odd comebacks. Look at you being creative! To the jerkface...

So there I was, locked in this dialogue and I got one beta comment of "too mean". Should I discard that comment? No! I'd already revamped my girl to be more in tune emotionally, and now to take that all away and make her a major B during fights, wouldn't make a lick of sense.

If she's going to be more sensitive to her feelings, she has to be more sensitive to the feeling of others, too. Like the jerkface...

I ended up re-writing my arguments, being careful that my girl is less of a biotch so that the reader doesn't grow to hate her even the tiniest bit because she...fights like a girl. Girl meaning immature woman. Not a jerkface...

Writing logical argument scenes, especially when your MC has a sassy comedic side, is a little harder than expected. I had to make her feel susceptible, and not be overly brassy. Brazen but not unwilling to see both sides. And that's hard because the reason people fight 80% of the time is because they feel might be think know they're right!

Reading now: Resist by Ilima Todd & Sunk by Jolene Perry (Male POV overload!)
Book finished: Who Do You Love by Jennifer Weiner (lovers cross paths over decades) ****stars
TV series started: Barbarian Uprising on the History Channel (IN me)
TV show reminisced with: Battlebots (remember that? Apparently still going strong!)
Hubs new purchase: a big truck! (finally a car on my "cars to buy" list is marked off)
Hubs is now doing: lots of favors to me (seeing as this was a bit of a blindsided purchase)

1. At what difficulty do you find it writing argument dialogues?
2. Do you tend to throw in unreasonable comebacks?
3. Ever record yourself to see how cray cray you argue when you do?

Monday, June 27, 2016

Writing the Dark Spot

Oh my gosh! I swear the last several chapters I've revised have needed extra tender care. Like no other. Let's back track...

One of my fab beta readers, SK Anthony, was unfortunately going through eye problems during her initial beta read. She was very willing to make it up to me considering how she thought she wasn't as attentive as she could've been. She's silly. But what a doll, right?
I asked if she'd be willing to read it as I redid each chapter per beta suggestions, and tell me if all sounded glorious. Of course, she was very willing. Again, this girl is too sweet! Now, that brings me to these last several chapters...

If you looked at a *beat sheet by Blake Snyder*, I was just past mid-point writing doing the "All is Lost" and "Dark Night of the Soul". That's write! I mean, right! I'm at that tragic moment where everything is going down the crap drain and throwing the biggest pity party for it. But why is it taking me longer to write???

(Artist Sara Riches)
This weekend I finally figured out WHY and why I re-sent them again to SK (which is a first). She's making me dig deeper. Emote it all out. And I'm loving every minute of it. I can't be comedic in these touchy areas. My character can't bypass it when she wants, and think of other things, even though in real life we do. Readers are going to want my MC not to be insensitive to what just happened, but in fact be completely broken/vunerable in the moment.
I dug my heels in, the red Vera Wang pumps, and pulled emotions into those chapters. I read them back and they FELT powerful, affective, and moving.

I feel so blessed for all my beta readers. Each one of them gave me wonderful advice. If it weren't for them, the Dark Spot wouldn't be as dark as it needed. Thank you to Elizabeth Seckman, Carrie Butler, Tara Tyler, Chrys Fey, and SK Anthony!

Books finished:  The Other Side of the Stars by Katherine King (post WWII love story), and Such a Clever Deception (prequel) and Such a Secret Place (book 1) by Cortney Pearson (heroine tasked with stolen tears) *****stars to each!
Movie watched: Troop Beverly Hills ("we don't need no stinkin' pah-tches!"; memories!)
Best recipe tried: Pioneer Woman's Peach Dumplings (calls for lemon-lime soda!)
So happy for: 10 chapters left to revise!!!!
Excited for: Son coming home Saturday, graduating Navy Sea Cadet Boot Camp! (I miss him!!!)
Best time this week: 3hour motorcycle ride along the beaches. (free bird, right here!)

1) is emotional writing hard for you?
2) best advice given towards it?
3) do you write in red pumps, too?? Don't lie men!

Monday, June 20, 2016

My Significant Writing Support

Here's a fact for ya, my husband is not a reader. In fact, in our many years of marriage, I've only seen him read one book! I was so astonished, I took a picture of it. Wanna see?

Feb 2013
I captioned it: "I think the world is coming to an end...first time I've seen my husband read a book, that wasn't about a manual for something electronic he bought! Guess he loves military books, who wld hv thought!"
The book was Chris Kyle's American Sniper. Am I shocked? No, not at all! Funny thing, in my MS, @PIMPBOOKMAMA, the MC's spouse comes from the "loin" of my own spouse. In it, I say something like how he would only read something if it were a how-to manual on installing a sex swing.

Sorry, did I shock you? Well, my book has some fun grit like that, and if it didn't, it wouldn't be a book I wrote.

Ok, let's baseline back to where we were. Sex swing of no importance anymore, right? I was saying...while I'm in revision mode, I don't expect my hubs to raise his hand to offer his expertise. In fact, I'm sure he'll finally read it when one day (fingers crossed) it's published. And when he does, he'll look at me and say, "Is Jax me?" And then I'll say, "Order that sex swing, honey."

I'M KIDDING!!! REVERT TO BASELINE, DANG IT!! I'll just say yes...(winks)

And although he's not totally into this whole book, writer, blogger thing, I love that I can come vent to him. Yeah, sometimes he just nods, eyes glued to the TV. But other times he offers this sage advice and I think, crap... has he actually listened this whole time?? GENIUS!!! And he'll even say writer terms, and I'll be like who IS this man?

He's my Significant Writing Support. The other in my life everyday, in person, that when needed, is there. He'll love me from beginning to end, and never tell me to get over it or myself. He'll support me and always, always, take my side, no matter if I'm possibly (very rarely happens people!) wrong with my writerly opinions/emotions.

Book almost finished: Such a Secret Place by Cortney Pearson (when you get to a climaxing end, you read slow to savor it, 90% done)
New deal tried: Taco Bell's $5 Cravings Deal (****stars, I don't like their burritos)
Best smell of the week: hubs grilling burgers (I love grilling smells!!!)
Sad moment: sister moved back to FL (jerk!!!! kidding, I'll miss her SOO much)
Best stroll down memory lane: googling KOA'S (every summer, weeks at a time, growing up)
Nervous for: My 12yr old son is going to Navy Sea Cadet Bootcamp for a week Saturday (anxiety!!!)

1. Who is your significant support?
2. Ever include them IN your writing (or other projects) in some form?
3. What kind of how-to manual would YOU read? :D

**SIDENOTE: if you're interested, I'm talking about eyeliners and how to create "wings" on my group blog, the Really Real Housewives of America, this week. *Click here* to fast track to the post!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Writing Updates: Validations and Ideas

It's been a month since I've blogged! What is wrong with me?? I used to blog way more than this! Trust me, I'm going to rectify that. With that said, let's talk about my writing!

I'm taking my time on the 2nd round of revisions for @PIMPBOOKMAMA. Why?? Because, quite frankly, I've read it about 6 times and don't want to NOT love my story. Sometimes I get a lot done, and sometimes I ignore it for a week...or two.

I used to think I was a total slacker for this. But, then I listened to my friend, Evelyn Skye's, podcast on 88 Cups of Tea, where she did the exact same thing. For someone who wrote such a standout book, The Crown's Game, I finally felt validated I'm not doing anything more wrong or right than the next writer. Which is fantastic! (of course I had to tell Evelyn right away how empowering that made me feel)

I don't NEED/HAVE to feel terrible for allowing myself to ignore my own story!

The other side of it was thinking I had only one more book left in me that played to my strengths. Of course I have many ideas, but I don't think they're something I should write. That bothered me a lot. One more story? Is that really it? Then what? Give up and no longer write?

Miraculously, over a week ago, BOOM. Two storylines fireworked in my head. One speaks stronger than the other, but all will be written. And that makes me SUPER EXCITED! Sometimes, I think about the plots, grinning wider and wider. But I remind myself, finish this one first. Stay on task, write it later.


Movies watched: Aloha (it's my fallback fav), Angry Birds (funny!), Zootopia (fell asleep)
Book started: The Next Best Thing by Jennifer Weiner (love her)
Book recently finished: Riding on the Edge by John Hall (Pagan motorcycle shenanigans **stars)
Book still reading: Such a Secret Place by Cortney Pearson (great book so far, 1/2 way done!)
New thing done: kite flying with the kids (so relaxing, yet so fun!)
Seasonal task: strawberry picking at a farm with the family (so juicy!)
Can't wait for: revising 2 prepped chapters this week!! (fresh eyes are the best eyes)

Questions to the Readers:
1. How long have you gone not working on a story (or other project)?
2. Has something someone said given you much needed validation on it?
3. Please share!!!