#IWSG Oh I Am Feeling So Frustrated! #Writing #Amwriting (or not)

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Where did the month go? I’d nearly forgotten what day it was!

Life has been stressful this past 30 plus days which has kept me from truly focusing on writing. And I really wanted to go all out for this year’s NaNoWriMo but, that never really happened.

Oh well.  Perhaps next year.

How do writers who are also parents, a spouse, with full time jobs find the mental energy or ability to keep the focus until a project or book is done? I’d really love to know!

 

 

#NaNoWriMo #Interview: Mandy Eve-Barnett

*This year I wanted to provide a spotlight for a few writers who have decided to participate in National Novel Writing Month. Enjoy getting to know them and learn from their insights!

Tell us why you participate in National Novel Writing Month

I find it a superb way to practice writing to a deadline, write without the worry of editing and letting my creativity flow with no constraints.

How/When did you first learn about NaNoWriMo?

My first NaNo was 2009 when I was persuaded by a new writing friend from my writing group to participate. At the time I’d only written very short stories (and I mean short). The idea of fifty thousand words made me refuse point blank but gradually she convinced me I could do it. That first NaNo’s project was edited and revised almost every year until I finally published it 2018.

How many years have you participated in NaNoWriMo?

This will be my tenth NaNo – I only missed 2017 when I was working on two manuscripts that were published that year.

What is your NaNoWriMo project for this year?

The idea came late in October (almost November) it just popped into my head to write a young romance set with a university campus. The two main protagonists have evolved into fully rounded characters now.

If you were to introduce yourself to a group of strangers, what would you say?

I indulge my creativity in writing whether writing fiction or aiding clients within my freelance business and am a writing community advocate.

Do dreams inspire your writing ideas?

I have used several dream sequences within my works of fiction, they are always vivid and I quickly write them down. I always have a notebook on the bedside table.

Who is your favorite author? Why?

Stephen King is my literary hero. He is the greatest story teller, creating characters with minimal description, grips your interest from the first page and never disappoints. My greatest possession is a personal letter I received from him. It is framed about my writing desk.

What is your preferred genre to write in?

I do not write to genre, I write the story an it chooses which genre it is as it unfolds.

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

I use my blog to interact with writers across the globe: http://www.mandyevebarnett.com

You can find me across social media –

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Mandyevebarnettcom/

Twitter https://twitter.com/mandyevebarnett

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/mandyevebarnett/

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6477059.Mandy_Eve_Barnett

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B01MDUAS0V

On NaNoWriMo site I am MandyB

 

Mandy’s Writing Desk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thank you so much, Mandy for taking the time to share with us a little bit about yourself and your writing experiences.  Best of luck for your NaNoWriMo! If anyone has any questions or comments for her please leave them in the Comment section.

 

#NaNoWriMo #Interview: David Joel Miller

*This year I wanted to provide a spotlight for a few writers who have decided to participate in National Novel Writing Month. Enjoy getting to know them and learn from their insights!  If you’re doing NaNoWriMo and would like to be interviewed, go to the Contact page and drop me a message!

 

Tell us why do you participate in National Novel Writing Month.

Committing to finish something in one month gives me an extra incentive to write a few more words each day and to write something every day even if I only have a few minutes to write. Announcing my book commits me to keep writing even when the words don’t come.

How/When did you first learn about NaNoWriMo?

Back in 2011, I read about NaNoWriMo in one of the writing blogs. I don’t remember which blog it was now. I decided to give it a try. Even though I didn’t finish that first book, the experience made me a more productive writer. In 2016 I tried it again, and now, better prepared and was able to complete the first draft of a novel.

How many years have you participated in NaNoWriMo?

A total of five times now.

What is your NaNoWriMo project for this year?

The Story Bureau. Greatness through truer news. Not propaganda – progress through better stories.

A deep recession and a prolonged war have left most people struggling for survival. Baldwin Ferapont wants to help his country. Once he is turned down by the military, Baldwin takes a job as an editor at the government-run Story Bureau.  Very quickly he comes to question whether the “True News” the government is dispensing is fabrications.

If you were to introduce yourself to a group of strangers, what would you say?

David Joel Miller is a 71-year young man who has had a great many life experiences and currently divides his time between being a writer and blogger, a licensed counselor, and therapist, and teaching at the local college.

Do you listen to music while you write?  If so, what kind of music?

Absolutely, I listen to music. When writing, or which for me means dictating, I wear headphones and primarily listen to relaxing instrumental music. The music helps keep me from being distracted by voices and sounds in my environment.

Do dreams inspire your writing ideas?

Not really. I think of my inspiration as a large barrel that needs to be filled. I read widely, both fiction and nonfiction, and once the barrel of thoughts gets full and begins to overflow, my muse yells at me to “quick get it all down.” My muse does not like to repeat herself, and if I don’t write it when the thought is in my head it’s likely to escape.

Who is your favorite author? Why?

There are several I can’t say any one of them is my absolute favorite author. I enjoy Jody Picoult, Aldus Huxley, Sinclair Lewis, and a great many other authors.

Favorite time of year?

I love spring, enjoy summer, look forward to the fall, my favorite season is any season except winter. Here in the central part of California, the seasons are more aptly referred to as wet and dry, and I like them both so long as there is no snowfall.

What’s your favorite television show?

I rarely watch television, or movies. Currently, the only TV show I watch on a regular basis is Big Bang Theory.

How do you get into the minds of your characters?

I’m not sure I do. I think my characters get into my mind. I try to get to know the character by wondering what they would do in a variety of situations.

Please tell us about your celebrity crush.

What’s a celebrity?

What is your preferred genre to write in?

When it comes to genre, I am incurably promiscuous. I suppose my preferred genre would be an internal family story-mystery-action-adventure-dystopian-romance.

How much does music/movies/TV shows influence your stories?

I try to keep that sort of thing from seeping into my subconscious.

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

During my lifetime I’ve met a lot of people who said that they wanted to write a book. To the best of my knowledge, none of them ever did. In 2017, just before my 70th birthday, a friend asked me when I was going to finish “my book.” I told her I wasn’t sure. I was still working on it. She badgered me to promise I would finish that book by the end of 2017. I made her that promise, and as a result, I finished and published my first two books before my 70th birthday in 2018. Since then I’ve completed and self-published six books, one nonfiction self-help, and five novels. Don’t let that book you have in your go unwritten.

 

NaNoWriMo profile: https://nanowrimo.org/participants/david-joel-miller

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Thank you so much, David for taking the time to share with us a little bit about yourself and your writing experiences.  Best of luck for your NaNoWriMo! If anyone has any questions or comments for him please leave them in the Comment section.

#NaNoWriMo #IWSG: Finding Inspiration

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NaNoWriMo Time!

It’s November and many of you are probably participating in the NaNoWriMo. I am as well. And so far, I’m not off to a very good start sitting at just a little over 3,000 words. Granted, my actual goal for this project isn’t to write 50k but 12k words so if I take that into consideration I’m actually right on par.

I’ve been doing NaNo on and off since 2008, and with each of them I tend to run out of steam in the next week or so.

The dreaded “muddle middle.”

Finding Inspiration To Keep It Going

The key is not to give up on the story, but find inspiration to jump start the writing process. Here are a few that I’ve used:

!. Create a playlist or soundtrack of your novel.  This works for me nearly every time. You can use You Tube or Apple Music to set up a playlist.  Pandora is another good one.  I use mainly You Tube. What about you?

2. If your story was to be made into a movie, which actors/actresses would you want to play the parts of your main characters? I am in the process of doing this for my NaNo project.  I will post on this later.

3. Pick one or more characters and interview them.  Sometime it’s just a matter of getting to know your main characters better that will jump start the creative juice.

4. Create a trailer for your project.  I love doing this!  I use Kizoa to create trailers for various projects.  This can help you flesh out the major plot/character arcs of your story.

 

Now, what about you? What methods do you use for inspiration?

 

#NaNoWriMo #Interview: Renee Scattergood

*This year I wanted to provide a spotlight for a few writers who have decided to participate in National Novel Writing Month. Enjoy getting to know them and learn from their insights!  If you’re doing NaNoWriMo and would like to be interviewed, go to the Contact page and drop me a message!

 

Tell us why do you participate in National Novel Writing Month

Well, the biggest reason for me is the community. I don’t need inspiration to write because I write every week (unless something comes up that prevents me). I love having a common goal with other writers and being able to cheer each other on. And I love meeting other writers. It’s just a fun event for me. I don’t care if I even win. I just do it for the experience.

How/When did you first learn about NaNoWriMo?

The first year I heard of NaNoWriMo was back in 2009. I can’t even remember how I heard about it. I probably read about it on someone’s blog. I participated that year and won, but it was under a pen name I no longer use.

How many years have you participated in NaNoWriMo?

Including this year, it’s a total of 5 years: 2009(W), 2014(W), 2016, 2017, 2019

I’ve participated in the camps every year since 2014.

What is your NaNoWriMo project for this year?

I’m going to be working on my dark fantasy novel series, A God’s Deception.

Do dreams inspire your writing ideas?

They do on occasion. I have some pretty crazy dreams sometimes, but most often I don’t even remember them.

What’s your favorite television show?

Right now it’s Big Bang Theory. It cracks me up. I’ve been binge-watching it on Netflix.

How do you get into the minds of your characters?

I close my eyes and visualize the scene I’m writing. I try to feel and experience everything they’re feeling and experiencing, then I write it down.

What is your preferred genre to write in?

Fantasy, most definitely. I love creating new worlds.

Here’s the link to my NaNo profilehttps://nanowrimo.org/participants/rscatts

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Thank you so much, Renee for taking the time to share with us a little bit about yourself and your writing experiences.  Best of luck for your NaNoWriMo! If anyone has any questions or comments for her please leave them in the Comment section.

#NaNoWriMo #Interview: Ian Healy

*This year I wanted to provide a spotlight for a few writers who have decided to participate in National Novel Writing Month. Enjoy getting to know them and learn from their insights!  If you’re doing NaNoWriMo and would like to be interviewed, go to the Contact page and drop me a message!

Tell us why do you participate in National Novel Writing Month

Originally, I did because I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. That was more years ago than I care to count. Now I do it simply to get a jump start on a particular project. I try to release 2-3 books of my own every year, and getting a 50k boost in one month always helps me reach that.

How/When did you first learn about NaNoWriMo?

It was on a forum. Someone mentioned it and I asked what it was. The rest, as they say, is history.

How many years have you participated in NaNoWriMo?

I’ve skipped a couple years here and there, but I am about to embark upon my 15th NaNo. I have never failed to reach the goal, but I suppose there’s a first time for everything!

Being a NaNo veteran, are there any advice you might offer for a newbie?

Sometimes it feels like you don’t have time to write. Don’t always feel like you have to carve out a 2-3 hour block of time to try to reach your goal. If you can write on your phone or tablet, knock out a paragraph or two at various times during the day. Handwrite a page that you can transfer into your manuscript later. Email yourself. Writing a couple thousand words can be a daunting task sometimes, but almost anyone can write a couple paragraphs without much effort. Do that a few times over the course of the day and suddenly you’ll be at your target without realizing it. Writing a NaNo book is like writing anything else: you do it one word at a time.

Also, give yourself permission to write shitty stuff. It’s okay if it sucks. It’s okay if it’s so bad you’re ashamed to ever show it to anyone. It’s okay if it doesn’t even make sense. That’s what rewrites are for. Spend November getting your word mileage down. Don’t go back and rewrite anything until December, or even later. Worried you might forget? Leave yourself a note in the manuscript, but then keep going.

What is your NaNoWriMo project for this year?

It’s a fantasy novel called Roast Wyvern and Other Recipes. Think Anthony Bourdain meets Lord of the Rings.

If you were to introduce yourself to a group of strangers, what would you say?

“Hi, I’m Ian Thomas Healy, president, publisher, and chief bottle washer of Local Hero Press.” That’s actually my standard introduction at panels when I’m doing them at cons.

Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what kind of music?

I tend to create playlists for specific books. My Soldiers of Fortune WIP, for example, is set in the early 90s and is an homage to the hyperviolent comic books of the time. I’m listening to a list with lots of grunge in it right now (Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Paw, Screaming Trees, etc.).

Do dreams inspire your writing ideas?

Unfortunately, I almost never remember my dreams.

Who is your favorite author? Why?

My current favorite author is Becky Chambers. Her Wayfarers series is truly amazing.

Favorite time of year?

Summer. I’m a delicate flower and I hate being cold.

What’s your favorite television show?

Right now, I’d have to go with The Expanse. It’s just so good and written so well.

How do you get into the minds of your characters?

With a bone saw, hammer, and chisel.

Please tell us about your celebrity crush.

Hmmm. I’m so bad at knowing celebrities. Pass.

What is your preferred genre to write in?

It’s pretty self-evident from my catalog that superheroes are my butter zone.

How much does music/movies/TV shows influence your stories?

Movies/shows with amazing set pieces, gorgeous visuals, etc. are always inspiring to me. Music of nearly all kinds is also inspirational. Although I prefer music without lyrics for writing, sometimes I still get lost in it and my fingers stop typing as I enjoy it.

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

I’m a sucker for giving away free ebooks and audiobooks to people who want to review them. Anyone who wants one can reach out to me anytime via my website, facebook pages, or on the twitters.

 

NaNoWriMo link: https://nanowrimo.org/participants/ian-thomas-healy/projects/the-queen-s-feast

Facebook: www.facebook.com/localheropress, www.facebook.com/authorianthomashealy

Twitter: twitter.com/localheropress, twitter.com/ianthealy

Website: www.localheropress.com, www.ianthealy.com

 

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Thank you so much, Ian for taking the time to share with us a little bit about yourself and your writing experiences.  Best of luck for your NaNoWriMo! If anyone has any questions or comments for him please leave them in the Comment section.

#NaNoWriMo #Interview: E.S. Barrison

*This year I wanted to provide a spotlight for a few writers who have decided to participate in National Novel Writing Month. Enjoy getting to know them and learn from their insights!  If you’re doing NaNoWriMo and would like to be interviewed, go to the Contact page and drop me a message!

 

 

Tell us why do you participate in National Novel Writing Month?

The challenge! I’m already motivated to write, so this month gives me added motivation with a firm deadline to at least hit 50,000 words (although last year I surpassed that, and hope to do so again this year).

It also has been a great way to make friends. Last year I built a close relationship with a few writers I met online…and honestly I can say, though we’ve never met, they’ve become some of my best friends. We help motivate each other and inspire, and without them I don’t think I’d be where I am in my projects now.

How/When did you first learn about NaNoWriMo?

I first learned about it in 2011. I was finishing high school at the time, and the school library was issuing a challenge for anyone who wanted to participate in NaNoWriMo. I’m not sure what came out of it as I might have been one of the only ones to join, but I remember joining and winning NaNo! I still have that idea on standby to revisit one day.

How many years have you participated in NaNoWriMo?

Let’s see…I participated in 2011, 2012, 2013, and then took a break for a couple years, only to pick it up again in 2017 and 2018. So this will be my sixth year participating!

Of the five previous years, I won three of them.

What is your NaNoWriMo project for this year?

This year I am working on Book 3 in my series, The Life & Death Cycle, titled The Towers of Knoll.

If all goes according to plan, I will be publishing the first book, The Mist Keeper’s Apprentice, next year. Last year for NaNo I worked on the backbone to Book 2, A Pool of Peony, which helped with rounding out the rough edges of the first book.

I’m hoping NaNo this year will help me the same way it did last year.  

Do dreams inspire your writing ideas?

This question is EXTREMELY relevant to my NaNoWriMo idea. Yes! They do!

Often they are little snippets. For instance, I had a dream that involved towers that moved in the water. It sounds weird, but since when aren’t dreams weird? Well, I’ve added an element like that to my story! I won’t go into details…but I think it’s an interesting addition.

How do you get into the minds of your characters?

There are a few ways I get into the mind of my characters: driving, exercising, and brainstorming.

I have a 40 minute commute and often during that time I put myself in the mind of my characters and plot, daydream, etcetera. Usually this is when I work out my worst plot holes and define little things about my characters. I ask myself, oh hey, how would the protagonist react to this situation? Of course, it would help if I could write this down while driving!

Now, I know sometimes it’s hard to focus on anything but your lungs dying when you exercise, but for me it’s when I work out the biggest plot problems and really explore my characters! When I come back from a run, or from the gym, or from a swim I feel reenergized! It’s a good way to clear my head and refocus, since when I’m running…it’s just my characters and me.

Finally, by brainstorming, I don’t mean alone. I mean with others. With my writing buddies, I often toss ideas around or we ask questions like “oh hey, what would your main character do in this scenario?” or “how would they react to this?” and so forth. By working with them, I think I’ve fleshed out my characters…and helped them develop theirs as well!

What is your preferred genre to write in?

Fantasy, without a doubt! I love creating worlds and testing the limits of my imagination!

Anything else you’d like to share with us? 

As I mentioned, I plan to launch my first book, The Mist Keeper’s Apprentice, in 2020. For more information you can check out my website esbarrison-author.com.

If you’d like to add me on NaNoWriMo, you can here: https://nanowrimo.org/participants/elaynabwriting

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Thank you so much, E.S. for taking the time to share with us a little bit about yourself and your writing experiences.  Best of luck for your NaNoWriMo! If anyone has any questions or comments for her please leave them in the Comment section.

 

 

 

 

It Is Finished #IWSG #Writing

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As a writer, it is a good feeling when you can declare a draft of your book finished.  At least until it’s time to begin the edit and revision process.

How many times are you able to do this?

A dozen of times? More?

For me, I was able to do this once.

One time.

It was a book I wrote back in 2008 for the National Novel Writing Month. It was titled Hope Falls.  It was a science fiction-horror story.

I still have this draft although I am not sure if it will ever be published.

The story and the characters remain in my head. They want their story to be told.

But there are so many plot holes and changes that must be made.

So much…

Yeah, I’m intimidated as heck.

So, it continues to sit.  I may get to it. Then again, I may not.

Wait, my muse is telling that I did complete one other book.

I wouldn’t call it a book; it was more of a novelette sized story. A romance one that I wrote specifically for Wattpad. Okay, okay I finished two books.

Drafts.

This newest story may have more hope to see publication of some form. And since it was so short, I don’t feel quite so intimidated to go back and start revising.

Does size really matters? Does this means that the bigger the project the more intimidating it appears when you begin the editing phase?

Hmm..it is true that I tend to focus the majority of my time on the short stories, and more often than not, they are released into the world for others to read. And in fact, just about every book I’ve attempted have been abandoned before I even get to the middle part.

What does this mean for me?

Perhaps I’m not cut out (or destined) to be that prolific writer who could churn out more than two books each year (Nora Roberts is the first to come to mind), and I’m really okay with that. After writing for as long as I have, I have learned to take the middle ground in that I really enjoy (and prefer) to write the shorter stories, and that there is absolutely nothing wrong with that!

What about you? Do you find it challenging to complete a long story (or a book)?

 

#IWSG #Writing #Writerslife Where I’d Love To Write My Next Story

This month’s question for IWSG (for more  info on the Insecure Writer’s Support Group click here): If you could pick one place in the world to sit and write your next story, where would it be and why?

 

There are so many places around the world I’d love to visit and use as inspiration for a story; but, I kept going back to one general area.

Adirondack Mountains. 

And a place where I would write that story?

Mirror Lake Inn. 

These mountains are where I grew up. A place I will always call home no matter where I live. It’s a place where my heart and soul are constantly longing to return to. And it’s a place I haven’t been back to for twenty years.

*Sigh*

Mirror Lake Inn is a resort located in Lake Placid.

Lake Placid, New York
Site of 1932 & 1980 Winter Olympics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lake Placid is a quaint but magical village just a short seventeen miles from my childhood home.

Downtown Lake Placid

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And why Mirror Lake Inn?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I grew up in the area, I’ve always heard how great this place was.  And being a resort, I’d love to come here where all my needs are met so I can focus on the writing while basking in the beauty of my surroundings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Judging from the pics, this place is gorgeous!

Spending a week here would do wonders for my muse and for my mental health. I’d be outdoors every moment of the day for sure!  Best time to visit?  These mountains are simply breathtaking in the fall so that would be my first choice.

Can I afford this?

Mmm, at this point, not really. But who says I can’t dream about visiting one day?

*Sigh*

 

 

(I apologize if you see huge gaps in between images and paragraphs.  WordPress won’t allow me to format them any closer).

 

(Un)Expectations #Writing #IWSG

This month’s question: Has your writing ever taken you by surprise?

 

When I penned my very first story at the age of eleven, I had no expectations on where writing would take me. What started out as a challenge ended up being a lifeline that I’ve used time and time again.

Writing took me on a journey to places I never dreamed I visit. Experiences I never thought I’d ever partake in. It enabled me to meet like-minded individuals from all over the world, from all walks of life.

Writing changed me.

In fact, I think it might have saved my life more times than I care to admit. Whether or not it kept me from insanity…well, that depends on who you ask!

Writing has been the one constant in my life while the rest has been full of chaos and changes.

I guess what I never expected when I wrote that fateful story all those years ago was how writing would change my life.

Something it’s still doing.

As I sit here at my desk, I see a future that holds more changes and yes, even heartaches. But knowing that I have my writing to hold on to as I travel through the possible dark path ahead, I believe I will be just fine.