Friday, October 7, 2011

Friday Five: In the Wild

1. I promised my kids an adventure today, which means we walked to the park and looked at Halloween decorations on the way. It was such a nice day, perfect for a walk, and I took a book and planned to read while they played at the park for about an hour. But my plans completely changed when I got to the park. it was an early release day, which meant all the schools in the county got out two hours early. And the park we walked to is very close to the high school. It was absolutely overrun with groups of high school students. My kids didn't want to leave, but the moms huddle up and stared at the teenagers, who sat on the slides and refused to move so the little kids could get down. They climbed on top of the swing set, threw pinecones at each other and basically acted like teenagers with no structure do. There were two separate groups playing games, one Ultimate Frisbee group and one pick-up basketball game.

As a mom I was a little uncomfortable. Partly because they were in the way of letting my kids play and partly the language they were using. (I'm not a prude really, and my kids all know the swear words because they've heard them come out of my mouth on various days, but the teenagers were being teenagers and talking about things I don't want my kids to know about yet. I don't want to explain what giving head is to my six year old--thank you very much.) But as a writer I was fascinated. It's been awhile since I've seen teens out in the wild with no real restraints--because a bunch of moms at the park aren't going to make a teen curb behavior the way being at school or at church does. I was surprised at how i could pick out the social butterfly and the couples and the interchangeable couples as quickly as I could just by watching. The boys that needed to show off, and the ones that didn't. Really it was fascinating, but I had to be careful because I didn't want them to think I was some weirdo.

We left when some of them began smoking a joint next to my kids. And that was the exciting part of my day today.

2. I love the fall. It's the time of year when I feel most alive. The cool weather comes back and I can move again. And the leaves start to change, which hasn't happened quite yet. And there's the wonderful smell of leaves when they crunch. It makes me so happy. So this week I've been pretty happy.

3. The stress has been fairly high at my house this week, but with that said, I've made it a point to carve out some writing time, and I'm surprised at what I've managed to get done. I feel like the story is so much more authentic, and stuff is coming into play that didn't the first time around, and it's a lot better for it. Rewriting or starting over and nailing the voice is so worth it. I remember thinking that it was just silly to waste the time to do that. And I can see how much I've changed in that attitude. You need to do it over again until you get it right.

4. I noticed last week when I posted that the last four weeks I've used the same title two weeks in a row. It made me laugh, but also pointed out how awfully bad I am at titles. Some people have a real gift for them and then others really struggle. I love the titles of Ally Carter's books. They are fun and totally fit her stories. I like Melissa Marr's titles too. I wish I was blessed with some titling fairy that could wave a magic wand over my work and bless it with a beautiful title. Maybe someday that will happen.

5. Last week I wrote about time sucks, and this week I cut my television viewing way back, and I took all of my books back to the library unread. Sigh. That was hard. But it helped, like I said I carved out some writing time in a pretty stressful week. I want to get this draft done in the next two weeks, and it means some serious focus on the writing to make it happen. But I can make it happen. I know I can. What are your writing goals this week?

Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Five: Cooling Down

1. I didn't post last week because we were at the beach. After a few vacations with me trying to work the whole time, my husband has (and it's okay that he has) expressed the desire for me to unplug when we go on trips. This is honestly hard for me. i think part of me is a workaholic, while the other part of me is this lazy person that totally lacks motivation. Which may not make any sense, it doesn't to me some days. Basically I think about work whenever I'm not doing it and feel guilty. But some days that isn't enough to make me focus. But the beach was nice. It rained, which was nice, because it wasn't too hot. I'm not someone who loves to be hot. Sunbathing has never been my thing.

2. It was a rough week. I had my first meeting with my son's teacher about his behavior. He seems to have developed some class clown tendencies, which the teacher finds concerning. I think he is a first grade boy with a lot of energy who is going to act like it doesn't bother him, when he is singled out again and again to be still. But I know that's the mom in me coming out. I'm my child's advocate, and it was tough. I made myself sick worrying about the meeting, and sat through it. And came out of it not feeling much different than before going into it. He's noisy when he's bored. He gets his work done, and he's performing at or above grade level depending on the subject. Sorry for the random tangent.

3. This week I was waiting all week to read Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins, because I thought Anna and the French Kiss was a perfect book. Absolutely perfect. Anyway I thought it came out on Tuesday, because most books do, and I was sorely disappointed when I realized it was Thursday. I got the book, read it in one sitting, and smiled the entire time. it wasn't quite as perfect as Anna and the French kiss, but it was good. Really good. If you need a good contemporary YA romance it's worth your time. Definitely worth your time.

4. It was interesting to talk to my husband about the book, because he wanted to know if I liked it. (I had been talking about for at least a week, if not longer) and when I said I did but not as much as the other one, I was able to talk about things like character motivation and likability and such. It made me realize that I've grown as a writer, since I can recognize the specific things that bothered me on one read through, whereas i've had to read a book a few times to pull the specifics out in the past. That said, it is a really good book. Really and you should read it.

5. Do you ever question your actually commitment to a project? Or ask yourself why you can't get motivated or going. This week I've been looking at my time sucks and priorities. And the television season is starting up again, and I know that I need to let go of some of my shows, so I an really write. Since I get my best novel writing done in the evenings or I need to evaluate my schedule and rework things. Maybe both.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday Five: Cooling Down

1. Woke up this morning, and it's chilly outside. When you've had an exceptionally hot summer, 60 degrees feels cold. The kids' wore jackets to the bus stop with their shorts, and every time I've gone out it feels a little cooler. I'm so happy because fall is one of my favorite times of the year. I love the way the colors change on the trees, I love that I do not need to run the air conditioner or the heat for about two months. I love the smell of wood smoke outside. I love that it gets dark earlier so my kids go to bed better. I

2. I didn't write last week because my mom was in town and we went to Great Wolf Lodge with the kids. It was a lot of fun, and everyone was worn out by the time we got home. My kids loved it, and they had a good mix of stuff for the older kids and my youngest who didn't want to go on the biggest slides. We also discovered Magiques, which involves running around the building with wands and completing missions. The kids ate that up. When we go to Myrtle Beach in a few weeks, we may have to visit the official Magiquest center and pay for them to play there.

3. The kids have completed a few Magiquest adventures at home. My husband has plotted out clues and things to collect and acted out parts in different areas of the house. He is hilarious to watch and I love the way that he actually gets down and plays with the kids on their level. It also made me think about how I'd have fun writing adventures for a similar game or idea. I'm not a gamer (though hubby is) and I've never really thought about the story lines in games. It's funny because one writing conference I went to I had Tracy Hickman lead my workshop group, and he got his start writing manuals for D&D or a similar RPG company. It was a good conference.

4. Well I entered my query for Lexy in a query workshop at Bookends back in February. I wrote the query as soon as I figured out the plot for the book, so I wouldn't have the query problems I had with Isis. It was critiqued on Wednesday. I got some great feedback. You can go check it out if you want. It'd also give you an idea on the world I'm living in right now.

5. I'm on the lookout for some good books to read. I've read everything recommended to me that's already out, and I know there are some books I'm super excited to read in the next few months like Lola and the Boy Next Door, and After Obsession, but I'd love something to hold me over until then.

Happy Writing!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Friday Five - A Day Late

1. Summer is really over, and I'll get my mornings to myself now. My youngest went back to preschool. A really great preschool where I don't feel guilty dropping him off, and he gets to play and explore and i get to work. So that is my most exciting news of the week. Well exciting to me at least.

2. At the end of every summer, I'm excited for the kids to go back to school so they have some structure, but then I forget what that structure means for me. I always wondered how stay at home moms managed to stay so busy once their kids were in school. There are so many time pressures now that have to do with having kids in school. Getting to the bus in the morning, and picking them up from the bus. The homework in the evenings, and getting them to bed on time. So much stuff that has to be done. But I do get time to work now without feeling guilty. That's nice too.

3. It is easy to get discouraged, and lost along the way. I've had the times when I'm super focused on my writing, and times when I've been so discouraged. I've had my share of almost there moments and falling short. This week I've spent a lot of time thinking about it. Do I keep going forward? Am I just kidding myself? Is this a reasonable and attainable goal for myself? Do I just write to write or am I really striving for publication? And if I do decide whether this is achievable, am I willing to really put in the time to make it happen?

The truth is that eight years ago, I decided I wanted to be a freelance writer. I didn't know how to start. I went and got books at the library, and read them. It took a few more years for me to actually start applying for jobs, and a few months before I landed my first job. I've built up what I do to the point that I have a niche that I write about. I make a very respectable hourly wage. I did it. I reached that goal. I write for a living.

And I can do the same thing to reach my next goal, which is writing novels for a living. I know what I need to do. But I need to be committed to making it happen. My first book may not be the book. Okay so it wasn't. I wrote it several years ago. But my second book may not be it, and maybe my third book won't either. But if I quit now I'm not going to make it. If I keep working and trying, I will. Just like with anything that is important but difficult to achieve, I have to make the time commitment and keep going no matter what.

4. I love the beginning of the school year, since it is a chance to reset my goals and my schedule to make it happen. In addition to my writing goals I want to lose some weight and exercise two hours a day. That feels like a lot to me, but I know that's what I need to do to reach my goals. But I'm building up to it, gradually, so that it will become a good habit that will stick.

5. I'm having a hard time coming up with a fifth option. So instead I'll ask a question. What goals are you guys working towards?

Happy writing!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Friday Five - A Day Late

1- This week has been exciting at our house. My kids have a fascination for natural disasters. And an earthquake and hurricane in one week was enough to send them over the edge in gleefulness. The reasons to the earthquake was to watch some National Geographic type shows on the earth moving. And the hurricanes means a lot more weather shows. We were driving during the earthquake and so we didn't feel it. That's happened to me more than once, but my daughter still counts it. Right now we are watching the trees blow around and waiting for the rain to come. It looks like the storm isn't going to be as bad as predicted in most areas, which is good.

2- The first week of school went well. I don't get why we only had two days of school, but it's fine. My kids are positive about their teachers so far, which makes me happy. And Jacob is excited to start preschool. I'm excited too. The youngest needs lots of attention because he gets lonely without big sister and brother home.

3- One thing I love about the new school year is it's a great opportunity to set specific goals and get into a different routine. I love setting goals for myself, though I tend not to e as realistic in what I can accomplish. So that's one of my goals is to set realistic goals. And I used to consider myself a very disciplined person. In college I took those early morning classes and juggled working a lot of hours between 25-30 while going to school full time. But now it's tougher. I think that it's part of being a mom. I've got other things (people) I'm responsible for that aren't quite so easy to control or to make fit into my perfect schedule. But I'm making my goals and establishing my routine. I can do this!

4- Writing wise I'm so excited to be focusing on Lexy. She's this awesome character. She can totally kick butt, but she's also genuinely nice even if she is confused. I'm kind of balking because in my first draft, I didn't nail Jason, her love interest, the way i wanted to. He's a super tough character to write, because by the end of the book you have to like him even though he is really, really mean. So I have to work extra hard to get the reader to like him from page one. A huge portion of the premise for the novel rides on me nailing it. Really getting it right.

5- I have been thinking about how I want to grow this blog and attract readers. But first I know i need to start posting regular worthwhile content. So that is my goal. But I want to do something that is uniquely me, and not like all of the other (wonderful) writing blogs out there.

Have a great weekend and stay safe!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

School Has Started

I have time to write, to shower, to think without screaming and fighting kids. And preschool starts in just one week, and then i will have alone time to write.


That is all. Back to your regularly scheduled day!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday Five

1. This has been a week. My car battery died, but with our schedules we couldn't fix it right away, so I didn't have a car for two days. Not a huge deal, until my boys got into a water fight in the house, and took out our electronics. The modem, our phones, our Roku box (how we access any television), our DVD player, our Wii and the PS3. Talk about an ugly evening. Some little boys were in big, big trouble. Then to top it all off my cell phone stopped working. No water involved, and it turns on, just won't call out or accept calls. And this happened on the day that we were cut off from the rest of the world. My kids were besides themselves, and it was this weird sort of twilight to know that we couldn't communicate with the outside world. It was also my most productive day of the week, which makes me wonder if we should unplug a little more often.

2. I am counting down and we have six days until the kids go back to school. SIX DAYS. I can manage six more days without killing them and hopefully they won't kill each other in the meantime. The water fight in the house should indicate the type of summer we are having, and the relief we all feel as we try to go back to school and get on a good schedule. This should involve more time for me to reach my goals. At least that's what I keep telling myself, in SIX MORE DAYS, I won't feel guilty when I write. I won't have to break up fights when I write. Bliss.

3. To illustrate how crazy I've been this summer, I started this post more than ten hours ago, and I only got two items done, and that was with working on it more than two separate times. My writing will improve next week, and I'll have more time to focus on the blog as well.

4. My kids are still up and it's 10:00. The summer has not been structured as well as I'd like for bedtimes. But the truth is if they stay up late, they sleep later, and so do I. Next week is going to be miserable, for all of us. Before I got married i was a morning person. I seriously went to bed most nights around 10:00 (even in college (but not weekends--I did stay out late on weekends)). But Rob is a night owl, and I've adjusted to his sensibility. So now I tend to get a lot done late at night, and that's means some craziness as we try to make it out of the door.

5. After I completely rewrote Isis for the millionth time I came back to Lexi, and decided to start completely over. I've been back and forth about whether or not she should be in first present or first past. And this version is first present, and I'm liking it. The original version which I was more than 20,000 words into was in past tense, but I didn't like the opening. I'd written it over and over. Then when I sat down and decided just to go from the beginning, because I feel like I've improved so much as a writer in the past few months. And I am pretty happy with my beginning. Not that it probably won't change a million more times, but I like it much better.

Happy Writing!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday Five

1. It's been so long since I've done a Friday Five that I'm sure this is going to be in more random than usual. I'm currently counting and we are thirteen days away from school starting back up. And I'm anxiously waiting for it. The summer has been hot and the kids and i are driving each other nutty. Once school starts I'll look forward to the days off and the time we spend together again. I just need so mommy alone time.

2. We recently junked a car that we've had for years. We bought it the year after we got married, and it was used. The transmission gave out after 200,000 miles, and it just wasn't worth getting fixed anymore. That doesn't make it easy. We've sold our other cars, but this felt different, as I watched it get towed away. Plus it was the car I brought my babies home in. It was the first car we purchased as a couple. I don't know it's weird how sad I felt as i watched it being towed away.

3. To be completely honest my novel writing has been hit or miss lately. First I paused my Lexy story to totally rewrite Isis again. And to be honest I think I've nailed Isis. She's good to go. I'm going to rework my query again, and send it out. And I started over from scratch on Lexy. Originally I thought, I'd just plow through to the end, since I'll rewrite the entire thing again. But then I thought about it and I realized how much stronger I feel as a writer, and I figured why not nail the best first draft ic an so when i rewrite it will be that much stronger. I changed to present tense, which is a little tricky for me, but it feels right for this story.

4. I've spent a lot of time reading this summer. And I've enjoyed many good books. And I've been disappointed a few times with books that came highly recommended. In fact I've been avoiding books that everyone has been raving about, because I don't want to be disappointed. So I was a little reluctant to pick up Divergent by Veronica Roth. If you follow YA books at all or the writing community, this book has been getting rave reviews all over the place. And I just figured that it couldn't live up to the hype. Well, I'm glad I picked it up, because it totally lived up to they hype. It's an awesome, awesome book, and I've been recommending it left and right ever since. If you haven't read it yet, you really should.

5. I'm really thinking about what I want this blog to be. And where I want my career to go. I work as a freelance writer and it's nice to be home, but with my youngest just a year away from kindergarten, I'm starting to think about the change in dynamics in our home. Right now it doesn't make sense for me to work outside of the home, because the cost of daycare washes out the amount that I'd make at a steady job compared to what I make now. But then there is the instability of working freelance versus a real job. And then there is the fact that i just want to be novelist. My dream job. We'll see what this year brings.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Another Contest

I wanted to share another great contest opportunity with you guys. Rachel at Blackbird in My Window is doing an agent judged contest of your first 500 words of the novel. The agent is Lauren Roth from Bookends. It's a great opportunity and you should check it out.

I've been pretty blog silent for awhile. But the summer is coming to an end, and my kids are going back to school. This should mean some sanity and a chance to get going on the blog again. In the meantime I plan on posting a Friday Five from here on out. In September I'll decide what else I can do to ramp up what I write about.

Keep writing!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Another Pitch Contest

I've got plans to get back to blogging again. I've got post ideas and everything, just not the time I want with the kids being out of school for the summer.

But I did want to let you guys know about a great pitch contest over at Beyond Words with agent Vicoria Marini. It's a two sentence pitch, so you can add more than with a twitter pitch.

Good luck! The deadline is July 29th!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Pay It Forward

Shelli over at Market My Words is having a Pay It Forward Contest.

Along my writing journey I've had help from a lot of people. Heather who helped me find the voice for my character and was the first persion who I didn't know personally that expressed an interest in helping me. My local writing group who read version after version of my draft and my most recent beta readers Laura, who I met at a writer's conference, and Carol who is starting her beta read and notes over after her computer crashed when she was going for a second read through. I should also add Lisa and Laura, who gave me a 25 page critique recently.

But mostly I need to thank my husband who supports me 100 percent. Sacrificing his time to give me time to write, and coming home on the days I'm the most discouraged and telling me that I can do this. He has believed in me and supported me in a way that no one else can.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Awesome Contests

You must enter this contest. It is for a substantive edit by editor Deborah Halverson. The contest is easy to sign up for and definitely worth trying for. She is celebrating the completion of her bookWRiting Young Adult for Dummies. So go check it out.

Also Nathan Bransford is having his annual first paragraph contest, entries end tomorrow. The prize is a copy of his signed book and a recommendation to his agent.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday Five

1. The plan at the beginning of the school year was to write (for my real job not my novels) every Monday, Wednesday and Friday while my youngest was at school. In theory (remember my previous post about theories), this would mean a lot less guilt free time working, a significant income boost and a more balanced household. I am here to say that three hours is not what I thought it would be. Too many distractions at home, and other time taking obligation out there. But every week I tell myself that this is the week where I actually meet my self-imposed quotas that may or may not be realistic.

2. Cable television is something I grew up without. In fact except for a brief stint in college and a very short period when I was first married, I've not had cable until recently. I also thought it was stupid to pay for television, especially when I hear so many people complaining that nothing they want to watch is on. We recently got cable so that we could have our Internet hooked up for free and avoid the $450.00 charge the company had listed. My husband insisted that we needed the faster Internet the new company provided--I haven't been too impressed, but in retrospect I wished we had just paid for the installation. They also sent us $300.00, so $750.00 and we are coming out even right now. The only shows we really watch are on Network television or available on Hulu anyway. But the thing that keeps me from canceling each month is the DVR. I like watching on our nice television downstairs, the two shows I like on the day I want to. It's really silly, and I know there has to be another solution to the problem, but I don't want to give up my DVR.

3. Talking about college and Cable brought back a truly horrible story from college. The television in the apartment belonged to me, and I hated MTV. So I hid the remote. The basic network channels were preprogrammed into the television, and I didn't care if anyone watched whenever they wanted to, just not MTV. Later a huge roommate fight broke out (I'm sure you've experienced the drama) which ended up with two roommates taking off to California in a big huff, and the hidden remote secret was spilled out in the midst of the horrible screaming about cleaning and other fun girly issues. And I actually had really great roommates through college. I stuck with the same set until I got married, if that tells you anything.

4. My daughter is growing up. She has begin sacrificing comfort for fashion. I don't know how I totally feel about that either. Her sacrifice is that she has begun wearing jeans to school instead of leggings, since jeans are cool. The problem is she didn't get many pairs of jeans this year, because I'd finally believed she wouldn't wear them. And the other issue is finding some that look good on her. Most of the jeans are designed to worn snugly (oh- I really mean skin tight-uggh brings back the 80s), but my little one is so skinny that the tight design just doesn't fit. I may have to go out and find designer jeans. She runs a size or two smaller in skinny than she is in length. Some of her leggings were even baggy on her!

5. The next week brings on the birthday's for my two boys. My youngest was born just six days shy of two years apart from his brother. After the birthdays are over I can breathe a sigh of relief until October hits again. A few birthdays scattered here and there, but nothing like the total chaos that comes starting October. It doesn't help that all of my in-laws are adding birthdays to those months. Seriously--including my husband. We've got a new niece that added a birthday this week too. But it's over in just a few more days!

Happy Writing!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Ice and Snow and Writing

Yesterday was all about anticipation at our house. We sent the kids to school knowing they'd be let out early for the big snow storm. 5-6 inches possible, icy roads, and emergency snacks in their backpacks, just in case they ran into trouble on the way home.

And nothing happened. No snow. Big disappointment. Then we waited, and waited for the ice storm to begin. The kids went to bed without knowing if school would be canceled tomorrow or not. Finally the storm hit, and we listened to the plink of ice on the windows and planned a day at home with the whole family. It's been nice.

But I'm relating this to writing. Anticipation is almost everything. In a story the moment leading up to the big revelation, the first kiss, or that declaration of undying love are just as important as the event itself. The moments that build the tension, really take it up higher on the almost moments--where they almost kiss, he almost confesses his love, but gets interrupted are the ones that make that big event so awesome.

Building tension is an important part of every novel. It makes you care. Lately i've been reading several novels that don't have the right balance between the anticipation/tension and the actual event. Even if I like the characters I'm left wondering so what? When this happens I may skip to the end of the book (I'm notoriously bad about doing this) and if I don't like the end, or if I'm not getting a feeling of excitement along the way, then I just stop reading.

Another side of the same problem is when the event doesn't happen. Like the snowstorm that didn't happen yesterday, you are left feeling disappointed, and wondering why the author chose to end it the way she did. I can think of some very prominent books I would have ended differently, especially since the tension was built up to the event, and then nothing happened. Very disappointing.

As a writer, I really try to build the tension up in a plot. Those almost moments are so key for the stories to work out. For me the idea is to keep the reader wanting to turn pages. When that doesn't happen, then your books isn't working.

Happy Writing!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Friday Five: Starting New Habits

1. So far this year my new year's resolutions have been completely shot. I meant to blog three times this week, and it slipped my mind on Wednesday. I'll do better next week. But that's not the only resolution that hasn't gotten done. I've got a cold, a nasty one, and so my new exercise plan has not started yet. But it will next week. Writing is going, but not as much as I wanted it to. Again the cold is really getting me down. So I've got an excuse, but I'm not going to let it stop me. Next week is my new year.

2. Writer's groups. I'm in two separate writer's groups, an online and an in person group. It's been interesting to here totally different perspectives, and a different dynamic from each of the groups. I like the way my online group works, where we submit on a schedule, read and critique two pieces a week and submit every three weeks. I feel like I get the time to really pay attention to the pieces, and look for ways to improve and better yet pick up great techniques. The in person critique group is nice because of the friendships I've formed, and the in person discussion of specific techniques each month. I think everyone needs to find a good group.

3. Beta readers. This is something I don't have, and need to find. I need a new pair of eyes to look over my story. It's going through my groups, but I need someone who isn't attached to the story and isn't afraid to tell me like it is. And of course I'd return the favor. I haven't really started the search yet, but I'm about to.

4. I've started a new novel, and it's the strongest thing I've written from a first draft. I know that I'm still in love with it, but finally all the techniques I've been studying are really coming together. It's satisfying to look back at the first drafts I used to write, and compare them to this. I'm not saying I won't have to revise this book when it's finished--because of course I will, but I'm going to be starting the revision from a much better place!

5. Batman lives at my house. My almost four year old is dressed as Batman nearly every day. He's gone on errands as Batman. He jumps off of things and responds to crime, particularly at night. He knows his secret identity is Bruce Wayne, millionaire playboy, which he will tell you if he asks. If you need help Batman can save the day!

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year, New Plan or Putting Theory Into Practice

2010 was not my best year ever. I said it. It feels good to admit that I got lost somewhere along the way in 2010. Writing went meh, reading went meh and nothing worked the way I wanted it to. But that's okay, because we started over three days ago. At least that's what I think.

Last week I was at the grocery store, and thinking about my habits. In theory I consider myself a fairly green person. I recycle a lot. We fill up our recycling bin faster than our trash can, and I've worked to reduce the amount of stuff we buy in the boxes and cans. And I've bought the reusable grocery bags to take with me on every trip to the store. This is where my theory falls shorts of being reality. Even though the bags are always in my trunk, they sit there and I get plastic (not even paper ugh!) bags at the grocery store. My mother-in-law on the other hand grabs her bags every time she goes shopping. It's not hard and she's put the theory into practice.

As I was thinking about the last year writing wise I realized I had a lot of theory that did not quite make it into practice. A lot of it came from doubting myself. Like this blog for instance. Will I have something worth saying? There are so many funny, well-written, helpful writing blogs out there. So what am I doing trying to put this out there for the world to see? Am I a funny person? I don't know if I'd list that as one of my strengths. But I'm committing to put my blogging theory into practice this year. Three blogs a week. Hopefully on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Another theory I haven't put into practice this last year is actually finishing a stinking book. I have my book that I've revised, and revised, and revised out on submission. But I haven't finished any of the four other books I've started. Why? Ask me why. The truth is I've not been putting my butt in my chair enough and actually writing for me. I write online to supplement my family's income and it makes me tired, so that's my excuse. But writing for me (meaning my stories) makes me happy. This year I will finish at least two possibly three of those books. I may completely scrap the fourth or I may not. They may not be submission ready by the end of the year. But they will be finished.

My major focus is putting my theories into practice. Other than that look forward to book reviews, random thoughts and my general outlook on things. Happy Writing!