Motivation

BFF = Brave Fiction Fan

Think it’s hard being a writer? Try being the best friend of a writer! My BFF, Danielle, reads everything I write before anyone else. She is joining the Waterworld Mermaids today to give us her side of the story.

Brief History: D and I have known each other since we were five years old, but we’ve been BFFs for the last 16 years. I live in Arlington, VA, while D is up in Pittsburgh. We have many differences, but we do share the same sensibilities regarding tanning (always wear SPF), Nora Roberts (we heart her), Pittsburgh sports teams (they’re awesome) and the movie Newsies (yay!).

Warning: D and I have a tendency to be silly and go off topic. Enjoy!

Kerri: Do you know we’ve been BFFs for 16 years? BFF: OMG, we are that old already? Those years have been filled with some crazy times, haven’t they? Kerri: IKR! When did…
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#&*$%@$ Day Job!

I know, I know . . .  potty mouth.

But, lately I’ve been very frustrated with the amount of time my day job is taking away from my writing life.  Now, I love my job and it is very fulfilling – I’m an attorney for U.S. Navy and you couldn’t have a better group of clients.  And, this working thing isn’t new. I am not independently wealthy and while my husband is a few years older than I am – he’s no Sugar Daddy. (Although I hear that “the Hef” is now available and apparently has room at the mansion and rockin’ party already planned and paid for)

So, when I began down the path of publication and took this compulsion to write seriously, I always had to work it around the day job.  I write in the evenings after the kids have gone to bed and I can usually get in a good 2-3 hours before my comfortable bed beckons from across the room. And, sometimes I can squeeze…
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Resumes and Synopsis . . . So Much Alike!

I will have to say I haven’t had time to get on-line as much as I would like to lately.  Recent situations in my ‘real’ life have interrupted much of my normal routine.  Having had a rough 2010 with my hubby laid-off (he has a solid job again and I thank God every day) and the economy the way it is, we’ve had to accept the fact I can no longer be a stay at home Mom in which we’d both agreed to eighteen years ago when my oldest was an infant.  When my second daughter came along 3 years and eight days after the first, it didn’t make sense to work just to pay for daycare.

Now that the oldest is in college and the youngest is two years away from high school graduation, it’s time for me to beat the streets of the job market.  Years of volunteering and various jobs from home (everything from in home party sales to helping my father-in-law with his insurance company) I’m now…
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Calling All Underdogs!

 

Doesn’t everyone want to be inspired?  Let’s face it.  We all have that hunger to be the one-in-a-million shot.   And if we can’t be it, we at least want to root for that underdog.    

The first movie that had me sitting on the edge of my seat was Rocky.  With my heart pounding with excitement, I watched as he beat the odds.  I remember being so disappointed and even dumbfounded that Rocky didn’t win that fight with Apollo Creed.  I’m not sure I even knew that he didn’t win until years later.  I couldn’t imagine it.  Where’s the happy ending?  Between Adrian’s red beret falling off and her running, running madly for the man she loved and Rocky not caring a fig that the announcer was declaring the winner and him shouting, shouting soulfully for the woman he loved, it sure felt like he won. 

But then, I got it.  It was about GETTING THERE.  Getting the shot and not being afraid to take it. 

Everyone assumed Rocky…
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The Very Hungry Caterpillar: Artist Date and Bento Box

When I was four years old, I made a caterpillar in preschool. I glued together cut-up egg-cartons to form the segmented body and stuck pipe-cleaners on the “head” to form antenna. When I finished, the teacher instructed me to put the caterpillar into my cubby hole, and the class went outside for recess. When we returned, the caterpillar was gone. In its place was a beautiful butterfly.

I remember staring at this butterfly, in delight and astonishment and wonder. Its wings stretched out in an array of color, and glitter dusted its body. Life was all about discovery and exploration, and anything was possible in this world. Absolutely anything.

Of course, then I grew up, and school was no longer about art projects and magical transformations. It revolved, instead, around analytical…
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Rewriting: the Love/Hate relationship of writing and how we manage it

I have a draft open on my laptop right now:  “Lucky Numbers v12 100p June4”.  Tomorrow, the version 12 will be version13.  One hundred pages will have been re-read and minute changes made, for the thirteenth time.  If I can finish those hundred pages tomorrow it will be submitted, along with the synopsis (currently version 14) to an editor who requested it at the WRW retreat in May.

But my secret is, I didn’t write all of it.  I’m putting the final rewrite on a manuscript I’ve been writing with a collaborator for two years.  This is the most recent version of the tale, and it’s been a long and complex production.

How do you handle rewrites?  Is putting the story down a breeze, and the rewriting a slog?  Do you plot as you go, and then have to go back and patch up all the holes you left behind?  Or is it all carefully planned, with minor time needed for…
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The Muse…To Tell or Not To Tell?

Today I happened to be innocently surfing the web, in search of…well, a kick start for a character, yes…a muse.  I came upon the official website of a talented and handsome actor and decided to check it out.  The website was under construction but there was one active tab I could click on.  So I did.  And it was a link to contact the actor through email. 

That is a dangerous thing in the hands of a writer on the search for that little something to give her some oomph behind a character.  My first reaction was to click on the link, type something cheesy about how talented and handsome he is and to be clever, add a little thank you for being my inspiration today. 

Thank goodness my secret sense kicked in just in time before I made a fool of myself!!

And it got me thinking…as a writer, which aspects of your personal process do you feel should be kept secret and which ones do you think are safe…
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I’m a Romance Junkie

Hi, my name’s Avery and I’m a romance junkie.

It all started in middle school with purloined copies of my mother’s V.C. Andrews and Jackie Collins. So brazen did I become that my sixth grade teacher – oh, she of the see-through blouses – sent my mom a note ratting me out for bringing The Thorn Birds for my independent reading time.

That wasn’t enough to rid me of my demons. No. I scoured used book stores for dogeared Harlequin novels. The sweet and sheltered heroine whose innocence reels in the arrogant and demanding hero (who later in life I realized was often a total prick). I’d devour the books in one marathon session in the tub, refilling it with hot water as necessary. Then I discovered Johanna Lindsey’s regency romance novels. Independent, smart, spitfire heroines out to right a wrong. And the heroes? Oh, yeah. Brawn and brains – and a title to boot.

The list goes on and on,…
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Who Are You Meant To Be?

You know how some things are a secret? Like the chocolate stash behind the canned vegetables at the back of the pantry. Yep, no danger of anyone finding the mini candy bars hidden there in my house.

Writing was one of those things for me.

I grew up in a less than ideal home and I used writing as my outlet. Over time the journal entries and poems of my youth evolved into short stories. Not very good ones at first, but it was still satisfying to see the story in my mind come to life on the page. And yes, for those of you wondering…I do in fact carry on conversations with my characters. In what other profession is it possible to get paid for talking to your imaginary friends? Yeah, in most places they medicate you and introduce you to a little thing called a straitjacket!

But I kept…
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At Least I Have Choices

Choice is a concept that is scary and liberating all at the same time. I find, as I sit to write another manuscript, I am sometimes frozen by having choices. The choice to use whatever word I want, to depict whatever emotion I wish, to whatever characters I create. But choice also gives way to fear: what if I use the wrong word, the wrong description, the wrong simile? This conundrum of choice reminded me of my decision to pursue another Masters degree, this time in something other than finance or economics. This was my essay that helped garner an admission and I find it more relevant than ever, now that I have forced myself to sit down at yet another book.

I knew if I focused my gaze on the greasy Kalashnikov slung across his back, I could disassociate myself from the rough hands that were fumbling my threadbare coat. The solider who was rifling through my pockets was looking for money, gold, diamonds or whatever other treasures he…
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