Who Is Your Muse?

We as writers are constantly looking for the inspiration, drive and desire to sit down and pump out a story.  Sometimes it flows naturally, (like those 2 am instantly, awake ideas that just have to be jotted down) and other times we sit at our computers staring at the blank screen hoping something will jump out at us.  As a pre-published author I’m not under the gun to perform on deadlines–yet, but I do like to set goals for myself on a specific book.

So what do you do when there is no thoughts running through your head?  What inspires you to write that story? (For my last story, it was a hot picture of Hugh Jackman over my desk). 🙂 LOL.

Yes, I’m suffering lately, but thanks to a good friend of mine, she inspired me the other day to sit and write 1,000 words in one hour on my latest endeavor.  I did 1,069.  Sometimes for me, my Muse…
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Wizards, Witches and Muggles, Oh My!

I woke up at four-thirty in the morning the other day with an idea for a scene and instead of rolling over and going back to sleep like any sane person, I instead rushed out of bed and down to my computer to spend the next two hours writing. Why you ask? Because I’m a writer and that’s what writers do. We take our thoughts, ideas, dreams and musings and transfer them to the page, hopefully, creating dynamic characters, witty dialog and conflict along the way.

But why lose sleep? How important could one idea be anyway? I mean really, people have hundreds of ideas everyday. Is one idea really so important that you should stop every thing? Roll out of bed to get it down before it evaporates into the floating mists of dreamland? Can one idea for a book or a scene or a character really…
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Practice Makes Perfect, or How My Daughter Made a Swimmer out of Me

I’m the first to admit, I’m not good in the water. You know that little girl who sat on the sidelines clutching her stomach so she wouldn’t have to take the swim test? Yeah, that was me. Only I wasn’t faking. I was so nervous I literally was sick to my stomach. And then there was the time I went to beautiful Cozumel with my then-boyfriend, now-husband. We paid hundreds of dollars to go scuba-diving… except I never made it past the training exercises. Yep, me again, sitting on the sidelines, tears rolling down my face as I waited for my husband to come back from his underwater excursion. I had nightmares about drowning for six months afterward, no joke.

Fast forward a whole bunch of years, and imagine my dismay when I have a couple of children who love being in the water. This summer, in particular, my daughter begs me to take her to the swimming pool nearly every day. So what do I do when she looks…
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A Little Reconnaissance

Lately, I have become obsessed with book reviews. Not in terms of what I should read, but what I should (or shouldn’t) write.

The whole thing began when a writer friend of mine, who is very much published, lamented about stinging reviews. As a very entrenched NPI (non-published individual), my only concern with the other side of the fence (getting published) is how to scale it. I never once gave thought to what I would do if.. gasp!.. I’d ever make it over the hump. But being able to perch on my friend’s shoulder as she navigates through this publishing maze has opened my eyes. And those eyes went straight to reviews.

As I scour through the reviews, I’m fascinated, riveted and scared witless. In many instances, they are like a bad car wreck (i.e. carbeque). And even though I know I should look away, I can’t turn my head away from the good, the bad.. and the, oh, holy moly, OUCH! And there are many ouches out there. From…
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Still Searching for a Tagline…

I’ve been on a quest to find the perfect tagline. That elusive phrase that summarizes all that there is to know about moi the writer and aspiring author. Why is it important since I don’t have an agent (yet), or a book sold (yet)? Well, it’s all about marketing in the new era of author as business owner (can I get an AMEN).

In this new age, you can’t just sit back and rest on your laurels. You must create the foundation for success by getting on board the marketing train and tooting your own horn. You would think I could do this with my eyes closed. After all, I am a professional marketer. Have been for 25 years. But nope…and you ask why?

I’ve hit a brick wall.

I just can’t come up with that clever catch phrase, and “I’m smart. I know things.” (Think Godfather II, and you’ll get the reference:)…But clearly I don’t know as much as I thought about creating a brand for me (versus clients or even offering…
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Spotlight on Our Voices

Two weeks later and I am still thinking about the spotlight session on St. Martin’s Press at RWA’s National Conference in Manhattan. 

I had decided to take that particular day and have a little fun.  Choose workshops that weren’t necessarily honed in on craft, possibly pop in on a book signing or two and I’m so glad I did.  I had no idea what the “spotlights” on the publishing houses were going to be about but one of my favorite authors writes for SMP and so I found a seat and debated whether or not I’d need my notebook.  Just to be on the safe side, I dug it out of my overstuffed bag and relaxed into my seat.  I scribbled a header on my blank note page and thought that I’d probably be jotting down submission guidelines once things got started.  What I found myself voraciously copying down once the ladies of SMP began their presentation was not just information I could easily find on a website somewhere but…
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Make a Wish

Today is my birthday. Those wishing to send me elaborate gifts, let me know and I will provide my address. 😉

Every year on my birthday, my BFF writes some variation of the following phrase in my card: This is going to be the best year ever!

Outwardly I roll my eyes, but secretly, I love reading that. It’s more than just a sweet sentiment. It’s reassuring, in a very uneasy time in my life.

The past year has been a big writing year for me. No, I didn’t get published or bag an agent. I didn’t even win any contests. Hell, I didn’t even enter any. But I found something more important. My writing mojo. It was gone for awhile but I just feel so assured that I’m on the right path now.

So this birthday I’ve decided to take my BFF’s advice and have the best year ever. More specifically, I’m going to have the…
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Writer PMS

Lately, there has not been enough chocolate in the world to satisfy me.

Also, the Washington Post’s review of the last Harry Potter movie made me cry – and I’ve only read a few of the books and seen two of the movies, it’s not like I’m invested.

Finally, I’m a bit …. how should I put it … snarly.

So it hit me today, PMS has snuck up on me again. Yeah, I’m real quick that way.

What does my TMI have to do with writing? Well, just as scientists have declared that men get PMS too, so do writers. Ours is a special strain and by using the following self-diagnosis chart you can determine if you are suffering from Writer PMS.

1. Is Everything You Write Crap?

Now, that’s not what other people say about it. That’s what that cranky-pants who lives in the back of your head whispers to you while you’re staring at your computer screen.

2. Are You Unable to Spell?

Most of us have…
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C’est La Vie

Happy Bastille Day, everyone!

I spent the morning trying to figure out how to make this blog post relevant to June 14th, but I could not come up with anything decent regarding the rise of the bourgeoisie or cake. (Anything decent about cake.) I went through a few popular French phrases: Ou est mon chat? and Lassiez les bon temps rouler! and Ceci n’est pas un pipe, but none of those really spoke to me. And I only have about fifteen minutes to write this blog post, because the Fairy Goddaughters spent the night (the internet is down at their mom’s house) and I had to make sure they ate, and I had to tell them some more stories about my recent trip to Vermont and give them a few things to do around the house today because I have to get read for working a none-hour shift at the bookstore today.

Notice how nothing in there included writing? That’s right. I’m having an abundance of Life right now. So…
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Exercise and Writing–Yea, Write! . . . I Mean Right!

How many of you find yourself working on that scene—you know the one where your characters are finally getting into the juice of the story, working on that love scene you just can’t walk away from until it’s finished and bam, another day has gone by while you promised yourself you’d start exercising again? Okay, maybe it’s just me. Lately I’ve been so focused on my writing/editing/researching and yes, checking out blogs/websites/Tweeting—all in the name of my writing career. In the meantime, I’ve managed to find my clothes a bit snug and soda cans piling up in my trash can. My favorite words lately—‘Just a few more sentences. Let me finish this scene.’ By the time I’m done I don’t have the energy to work out or it’s time to fix dinner, or some other excuse. That was me, a year ago. I was spending time applying to jobs on-line along with my hubby who’d been laid off (I was…
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