Thursday, October 31, 2013

UnRaNoWriMo... Anyone? (For Those of Us Not Doing NaNoWriMo)

Hey writer peeps! Up for a non-challenge, just-write writing month? Join me for Under the Radar Novel Writing Month! Under the radar, because there's no sign-up or registration, but I'll be writing my butt off, alongside NaNo'ers all over the world. Except with UnRaNoWriMo there's...

No goals. No limits. No word count hurdles to jump. No clock-watching. Just me and my story. Sounds swell, doesn't it? Wanna join me?

You don't even have to keep your butt in the chair. All you have to do is write. Every day. On something. Anywhere. Notebook, computer, restaurant napkins. Car line, front porch, a quiet nook in the woods. You name it.

Why? you may be asking. Well, I've written two novels during a NaNo challenge, and they're both sooooo hairy-scary, I'm afraid to get tangled up in their ugly mess. So I've done what any frustrated writer does and ignored them.

During my self-proclaimed UnRaNoWriMo, I'm going to just write. Every day. For however long / short I desire. I want to love the project at the end of November, not fear it. I want something I can handle when it comes time for revisions. I don't want to end up with a blah, blah, blah, just-get-er-done disaster like I have in the past two years. 

Don't get me wrong, I admire all the NaNo'ers out there! You go, writers!

It's just not my cup of tea. Or coffee.

Another reason for not participating in the NaNo challenge is I'm beginning with 7k words already. When I started this project a week ago, I promised myself not to put it down until I finished. I also made a deal not to put any pressure on myself about daily word counts or hours in the chair. My only goal is to spend some time on it, every day.

Anyone else up for a non-challenge, just-write month?

Made a little badge thingy, feel free to snag it & join me. I'd love to have some company! If you'd like some support or need a pal to write with, email me

I'll also be doing PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month), where I'll come up with 30 picture book ideas. On the radar, of course. Interested? Click on the badge to the right, and it'll take you to Tara Lazar's blog to register.

Write on, folks~

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

From the Great Beyond Blog Hop

In honor of Halloween, authors; Angela BrownRoland YeomansGwen Gardner, & Tara Tyler are hosting From the Great Beyond Blog Hop! So, everyone join hands, let's contact the dead...

A lover of all things horror, I'm not spooked by ghosts, goblins, and such, but the unknowns and what-ifs send shivers up and down my spine. I've always been fascinated by the concept of the movie, The Birds. Gah! Who wouldn't be creeped out by killer flocks of birds, pecking you slowly to death?

Dame Daphne du Maurier, Lady Browning DBE (1907 - 1989) was an English author and playwright, and she wrote the short story "The Birds" which later was adapted into the film, directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Author du Maurier passed away at the age of 81 in 1989.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia
I knew I wanted to contact du Maurier for the Great Beyond Blog Hop's séance. However, my original question to her, how did you come up with such the horrific concept for "The Birds" led me to a bigger, OH MY! question.

It seems author Frank Baker believed that du Maurier had plagiarized his novel The Birds (1936) in her short story, "The Birds" (1952). Du Maurier worked as a reader for Baker's publisher when Baker submitted the manuscript. When the movie The Birds was released in 1963, Baker considered pursuing costly litigation against Universal Studios, but never followed through with it.

I discovered not one, but three allegations of plagiarism throughout du Maurier's writing career. O_O

Not to stir up any angry spirits from the great beyond, but what if she did plagiarize? I'd like to think she didn't and go on believing du Maurier wrote one of the most frightening pieces of fiction (in my opinion).

And yet, I wonder...

Don't forget to stop by the other participant's blogs and have a peek at who'd they'd like to contact from the Great Beyond... You can find the list of participants on Gwen's, Roland's, Angela's, or Tara's blogs above.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Rules of Writing are Killing My Mojo

I'm a big-time rule follower. This is an issue for me as a writer. A big-time issue. Attending cons, workshops, writing group meetings, reading how-to craft books, getting sage advice from writerly folks, and taking in all the rules of writing have clogged my creativity. 

I've become so rigid in following all the rules, my fiction is in deep doo-doo. 

I spend more time making sure my writing is free from: 

-dangling participles
-passive language
-too many adjectives
-grammar mistakes
-too much backstory
-beginning w/ dream scenes
-flat characters
-boring beginnings
-unrealistic dialogue
-reallys & verys & thats
-tense changes
-POV changes
-weak & whiny MCs
-and gosh forbid, more telling than showing...

That my writing sucks! I'm so busy critiquing while I write, I can't get a darn thing, worth a toot, down on paper.

I've snuffed out my own creative spark!

I recently got a critique back commending me on the ms being free of was / were and passive language. Problem is, the ms lacks luster. In simple terms, it stinks.

What's a writer to do? Learn when and when not to break / bend the rules. Easier said than done for this rule follower.

I like what Rachelle Gardner says, "Rules are just tools." 

I made the decision this morning to try and follow Rachelle's advice from now on. 

Once, back before I became such a big-time rules of writing follower, I wrote straight from my heart, listened to my creativity. I know I can be that kind of writer again.

What are your thoughts? Are you a rigid writing rule follower? If so, do you let it affect your creativity?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

SCBWI Announces SPARK Award: Writerly Wednesday

This is big news, folks. Really big. 

Recently, SCBWI announced the SPARK award for non-traditionally published children's books. Can I get a, heck yeah! in the comments?

You can read more about it HERE. There are some rules, yes, but imagine the possibilities. :)

So, come on all of you, PB, MG, & YA writers out there who've taken on the brave feat of self-publishing, and go for it!

Visualize this thing you want. See it, feel it, believe in it. Make your mental blueprint and begin.
~ Robert Collier

Write on, folks~

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

R.L. Stine, James Preller, & a Cemetery Lit Crawl... I'm So There

I'm not one for huge crowds. I usually avoid them at all costs. But for this event, I'm willing to make an exception. 

On October 26-27, the Texas Book Festival will be in Austin. It's the country's 5th largest book festival, and what's even better, it's free. 

When I discovered one of my favs, Children's Horror Author, R.L. Stine would be there @ 1:00 p.m., I cleared my calendar. 
Buy on Amazon

As if this wasn't already going to make my year...

I found out R.L. Stine, along with author James Preller would be leading a Lit Crawl at the Texas State Cemetery. 

Whoa! Can I just say, I think I've died and gone to creepy Candilynn Heaven? 

I'm so there, dude & dudettes. So there.

Anyone near Austin want to join me for the Festival on Saturday, Oct. 26th?

~Write on, folks!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Writerly Wednesday: I'm a Writer, Hear Me Roar & IWSG

Last week I talked about writers being some of the bravest people I know. This week, in honor of IWSG, I want to talk about courage. The courage to stand up and say, I'm a writer. If you haven't declared it yet, do it. Now. There's no time like the present.

Straightforward answers are affirmations. When we say it out loud, all of a sudden it takes on a new meaning. It becomes real. Concrete. I'm a writer. I'm working on such & such, and I plan on submitting it to so & so when I'm finished.

Find the courage. Harness it. Express it.

Say it. Feel it. Be it.

I'm a writer.

Every time I hear Katy Perri's song, Roar, I'm empowered by the message in the chorus. 

I got the eye of the tiger, fighter, dancing through the fire. Cause I am a champion and you're gonna hear me roar.

The Insecure Writers Support Group is a fabulous group of writers, worldwide, who come together on the 1st Wednesday of the month to offer support. It's our cyber home away from home. Alex Cavanaugh founded the group two years ago, and it has grown into a phenomenal entity. This month's co-hosts are Julie LuekRachna ChabriaBeverly Fox, and Ilima Todd. Pay them a visit and express your thanks. :)

This is an exciting time for the IWSGers. Thanks to Alex and some wonderful bloggers, we now have a cyber home! Introducing The Insecure Writers Support Group Website!! Its main goal will be to offer information and support about writing, publishing, marketing, and so much more!

And yippee! We now have a Facebook Group!!

 Don't forget to swing by and sign up to follow!