What I Learned From Vacation

I cannot tell you the last time I took an entire week off from work.

I am a stereotypical worker bee. I am always looking for projects and trying to apply my knowledge. Also working in healthcare, its not like we had many holidays – hospitals are always open. So for the first time in forever, I took off Spring Break with my lovely daughters. I made it my mission to not even look at work (I checked my email only twice). I cleaned the house, revisited some old manuscripts, listened to two audio books, did homework (unavoidable), and WENT TO THE BEACH. 

It was just what the doctor ordered. 

There are so many fresh ideas in my head! I have fresh revamps for work issues, book issues, and new novel ideas. Vacation is amazing. So please, share in the comments – what do you do to refresh? Is there a certain number of days you need to take?

I can’t wait to hear from you:)

What’s your style?

I am not Beyoncé.

Look, I am sure she is a nice person. People love her sense of style and her talent but, I do not emulate my style after her. However, whenever I sit in a salon chair or shop for new clothing, people feel the need to make me her doppelgänger. They want to give me her hair or use her clothing choices to give me options for my own closet. Yes, I am a young mother but unlike Ms. Bey, I’m a young corporate mother who has her own sense of style (thank you very much!). No offense to those that try to follow the latest trends, I prefer to set my own and stay true to myself.

Now, how does this tie in to writing…

It can be so easy to tailor of writing to sound like what’s “hot.” When you see those agent wish lists or get rejected, it’s easy to look at what’s hot and try to emulate that style. But you shouldn’t do that! Know who you are and what you style is. When the right agent or deal comes for you, you will be happy to know you did things your way – in your own style.

Island of the Misfit Manuscripts

What happens to things in your manuscript drawer? You know that drawer with novels or stories that you start, the momentum dies for whatever reason, and it’s hidden away. My drawer currently contains:

  • An off-center women’s fiction
  • A picture book series (which really can be a cool chapter book)
  • A family drama (women’s fiction)

I also have a bevy of ideas that started on sticky notes (or Evernote) and now have migrated to their own Word documents. This list of items includes a romance novel, a women’s fiction with two narrators, and the sequel to my current NA SciFi novel.

So what happens to these items? In my case, I used pieces of that awesome picture book (potential chapter book) to create an entirely new picture book series. I still plan on revising the family drama but it needs a lot of work – it was my first ever novel! I figure after I finish grad school (August 2014), I will finally have time again. The off-center book may get finished as either a CampNanowrimo or Nanowrimo project. I have vacation coming up soon, so I’m eager to see which project screams the loudest.

What happens to the in your writing drawer? Sound off in the comments below:)

Balancing Act

Many of my March goals have been put on the back burner. Earlier this month, I set 4 goals for completion this month and then the sky fell down.

I am a graduate student and as graduation gets closer my classes have become more demanding. Another plate I also balance is the life of a wife and mother and, oh yeah, the responsibilities of a full-time job. I think I have done a pretty good job in the past but this quarter, the plate containing my writing responsibility crashed down pretty quickly.

But it’s okay. I love to write and I love a challenge! Often times in life, we must learn how to balance so we can keep some tiny part of sanity. Since I love the release I get from writing, I know I must find a way to keep it alive in my life. So Monday through Thursday is pretty much homework all the time (lunch and after dinner). In between this I do my family thing and my work thing. I have now decided to dedicate Saturdays to at least an hour for myself – so writing and revising can get done.

How are you balancing your writing, work, and family life? Share in the comments below!

March Goals

I hope that you had a productive February. My revisions are done and the book is back out to Betas. I was able to draft a picture book story over the weekend and have been thinking of things to do in March. My list is as follows:

1. Revise the picture book.
2. Draft at least 2 more picture book stories.
3. Review my SciFi story based on Beta/CP suggestions.
4. Try to build up a bevy of blog posts for this blog and my business blog.

What are your goals for March?

February Goals: The End!

Earlier this month I set several goals in regards to a book I was revising. Without further ado, here is how it turned out:

  1. Wrote 4381/6000 new words. I originally set a goal of 6,000 new words thinking that would be needed for my story. Well after deleting, character development, and world building I came in under 6K words – and I’m fine with that. I never wanted to push the words and I feel comfortable with where my story is.
  2. Researched agents for query. I followed #MSWL on Twitter and that was super helpful. I am eager to begin the process sometime in March.
  3. Send novel to Betas/CP. It is going out today!!! Can you envision me doing my happy dance:)

I hope you all were able to reach your goals in February. I am looking forward to drafting a new project in March, so don’t forget to check in on me!

Learning from retelling (and February Goal Update)

First off, I made it to 800 Twitter followers!!!! Now on to our regularly scheduled post:

As has been documented, my novel has been going through a lot of revisions. I think I’m on like my fourth set at the moment and it has definitely been full of learning moments. Recently, I found myself glaring at my novel and decided to ask my husband what he remembered about it – because basically he read it before ALL of my changes. This was a good tool to pick up on things that I had fixed and to catch other holes. Well, his recap sounded a little like this Kristen Wiig and Will Ferrell, Golden Globes summary:

After pulling myself off of the floor from laughing, I actually did catch something. There were a set of characters that I definitely needed to flesh out a little to make more memorable. His hilarious recap of my novel helped me pick up on that.

So, my writerly advice today is to ask one of your early beta readers to explain your novel to you. I am willing to bet, you will pick up on something!
In February goal news, big goal was to write 6K fresh words and clean up my novel for send out by Feb. 28th. Here are my stats:
1. 3899 new words written since February 1st.
2. I found my last set of characters to re-tweak! Thus all my characters should be well-rounded:)
My goals for this week are to write 2101 words, and to spell-check and review before beta send outs. Please feel free to share your goals in the comments section.