"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." - Anaïs Nin

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


"Outside a dog, a book is probably man's best friend,
and inside a dog, it's too dark to read."
- Groucho Marx

As you know I'm a Night Owl writer. My family safe is warm, snuggly and sleeping in their beds. I can focus 100% on my writing. But I have one companion who never leaves my side - my adorable Tiny Toy Poodle Coco. Every night when I sit down at my desk and open my laptop, that's Coco's cue to curl up on her princess pillow beneath my desk and commence snoozing and snoring; keeping company. She never complains or is impatient. She knows that just after the sun rises - a few hours before our home explodes with the activities and sounds of my fine ass man and our three amazing children getting ready for work and school - we'll take a walk along quiet tree lined streets before curling up in my bed. Our routine is always the same, except for tonight...

For the past few days I've been on a writer-bender. I'm so close to finishing my first wip, my muse has decided to go into overdrive (and I'm SO not complaining). But I've been putting in longer hours than usual, writing all day on top of my Night Owl gig. And when I do come up for air Mamma-hood takes precedence. Well tonight Coco decided enough was enough. She sat at my feet and cried until I picked her up. Of course I can't type or take notes with a poodle in my lap. But every time I put her down - crying. I finally grabbed a tiny blanket and made a nest for her on one corner of my desk. Coco was happy and I settled down to work. Every once in awhile I'll scratch her little furry head and she'll wuff a plot idea to me. I swear that she understands every word I say. Yeah, she's the best. Okay back to work. I've got a sunrise date with a poodle in a few hours ;-}

'Til we meet again,




Monday, May 13, 2013

Do Not Pass Go...

Photo: New America(.net)

"...I write chapter outlines so I can have 
the pleasure of departing from them later on..." 
- Garth Nox

Hey! I know that I have not posted in about a month but I'm still here ;-} I've been wrestling my wip. Until now, I've been happily flying by the seat of my pants - 30,000 words' worth (yay). Then... crickets. Enrolled in a few RWA online workshops, a few lightbulbs and a bit of inspiration garnered another 4,000 then those damned crickets returned (Grrr). Plan B: return to my bread and butter - research. Deborah Dixon (G.M.C.) Angela Knight (Passionate Ink), Buckham & Love (Break Into Fiction). The ladies helped quite a bit, but they also filled my head with a cacophony (grimace). After yet another night, when squeezing out a sentence felt like passing a gallstone, I 'stepped' back and ruminated on the/my process. Let me tell you, it was not a pretty sight. 
There I was, on the raggedy edge...

Solely 'pantsing' was obviously not working; but writing out intricate diagrams and charts for my nearly dozen characters (major, minor and walk-ons) SO did not work for my flow either. I thought that I had to be either a pantser or a plotter. I chose one and stubbornly clung to it. But, as this journey continued, and I struggled to fit my metaphorical red tipped feet into too small stilettos (ouch!), I realized that I became caught up in semantics.   What if I'm not one or the other but a little bit of both - defined by my own particular spicy flow? Isn't that what a writer does: take the bits and pieces that fit and file away the rest for possible future use? Time to mix it up a little.

I grabbed my trusty notebook. I wrote major character templates before I wrote a single wip sentence. But they were never complete. Now I realize that's because I'm discovering new things about my characters as the plot develops and new conflicts get thrown into the mix. Cool, I can work with this. But I've started a 2nd notebook - all plotting to keep it clear. One short paragraph for the overall chapter's theme, one sentence for each scene within that chapter, then I get my pantser on and keep adding layers in no particular order. I'm finding that my 'Temple outline' keeps me focused and gives me clear direction (even if I make changes in the interim). Before I knew it I had pantser-plotted my way to the end - hallelujah!

I've given myself a tentative completed draft deadline - 1 June. And for the first time I think that I just might actually make it. Alright back to work. Send me some positive vibes. Allons-y!

'Til we meet again,