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Wednesday Writing Tip

It’s been a while since I’ve thrown up a Writing Tip!

Today’s tip will be a personal observation I made after much trial and error on my part. See, my house is a busy one. We have three dogs (two still in their puppy stages) and a cat, and both of my children are home all day because we homeschool. In other words – it’s NEVER quiet here. In the past, I’ve drowned out the noise by wearing my headphones, leaving the TV on, etc…so there was constant background noise that would drown out everything else while writing, but that doesn’t seem to work long term. I know because I’ve been doing things this way for two years.

With all the distractions from television, music, family, cell phones, social pages online – you know…life – we are constantly inundated with SOUND. Surely this has an impact on our writing. So how about simplifying. To simplify means ‘to make easy’, to ‘cut down’, to ‘reduce’, to put something in ‘order’. And what better thing to do for yourself, and your writing??

So here are my tips on how to ‘simplify’ your writing time:

  • Write on a schedule, if at all possible. Yeah I know, some are saying ‘I can’t do that, I never know when I’ll have time to write,’ or ‘But my creativity isn’t on a schedule, so how can my writing be?’ Honestly, it is TOTALLY possible to create time in your day when your younger kids will be resting, or asleep, or when the older kids are at school. Or during soccer practice, or lunch, etc… There IS time. And if you schedule that hour or two every single day when things are at their calmest around you, you’ll find more time to sneak in quality writing time. And even if you don’t think your muse will show up at 1pm every day, if you get in the habit of showing up yourself, the story will follow.
  • Write an outline, even a basic one. Some of us write by the seat of our pants, with no regard to outlines. This might work on the first book, but it won’t work as well on the third of a series. ‘Did Jade have green eyes, or blue?’ ‘Did that guy in the market steal the wallet, or was it that guy standing on the corner?’ If you confuse facts from your story because you didn’t jot down the basics on an outline, not only can you piss off readers that might actually remember the color of Jade’s eyes, but you leave out the potential for great plot twists, or forget to tie up loose ends. I hate outlines, but I do them now – even if it’s only one page about the beginning, the middle and the end. And maybe one more page that lists the descriptions of the characters. It could take you five minutes or five weeks to work on an outline – but either way is going to make things easier down the road. And remember, a story is organic and quite possibly will change as you write it, so adjust that outline here and there, too.
  • Write now, edit later. I used to edit each prior chapter before starting on the next and even though I do find it helpful to read what I’ve previously written, editing takes up a lot and eats into writing time if you try to do both together. Write the story, fix only what must be fixed as you go along, and then edit the heck out of it later. It keeps your brain in writing mode longer and when you only have short bursts of time during the day available for writing, this is a much easier way to go.
  • Write everything down. You’re at lunch with friends and the couple next to you is having a heated discussion, one of which you don’t mean to be privy to, but you can’t help overhearing them and it sparks a story idea. You tell yourself to remember it later, and of course, you’ll forget it. Or a powerful dream wakes you in the middle of the night. You’re covered in sweat, trembling, thinking to yourself, ‘Wow, that was crazy/scary/intense,’…but you roll over and tell yourself you will jot it down in the morning. When the suns rises, that dream has nicely implanted itself in the dark corners of your subconscious, no longer dancing through the forefront of your thoughts. The mistake is telling yourself that you will remember those random thoughts, dreams or ideas, and NOT writing it down. It doesn’t matter if it’s a few sentences or keywords on a napkin or a half-awake email you send yourself from your cell phone in the middle of the night – the point is, if you write it down somewhere, you can organize it later. One day you might write a story from those ideas that becomes your best book.
  • Write comfortably. By this I don’t necessarily mean lavishly strewn about the bed with dozens of pillows…though that doesn’t sound too bad. ;) What I mean, is make sure your writing area is comfortable and accessible to your needs – a chair that won’t hurt your back, a desk at the right height, something to put your feet up on if you need it, a stash of chocolate or a mug of coffee within arm’s reach, the phone, a notebook, etc…you get the point. If you have to stop writing to organize your space, or search for something, that scattered state might follow you into the story.
  • Writing must be backed up. Either use a flash drive, or an online back up like Google Docs, but make sure to do this not just often, but seriously, all the time. It will simplify your life if you have back ups when you NEED them. If you have your work saved in one location and something happens to that lap top, computer or notebook – then what? Yeah, you’re screwed.
  • Writing takes time, have fun with it. Some people write to hit a certain word count goal for the day – others take their time. Regardless of how you write, have fun with it. If you don’t like the story your readers sure won’t be all that interested. Writing what you know is great, but research can be fun too.

Obviously, to each their own. No two writers are alike, but if you find yourself overwhelmed or struggling to get your writing time in, hopefully something on this list will help you!

Happy Writing!

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New Release of MALLORY

It’s time! MALLORY is available on Amazon right this very minute! Don’t have a Kindle? No problem! You can simply download the free Kindle Reading app on Amazon and read this story on your smart phone or computer!

MALLORY, A Station Series Novelette

Station_Mallory_JPGFans of The Station Series will be happy to read the second Station novelette out this summer about the lovely Mallory Storm and how she came to arrive at the Station. Told from her perspective, readers get an insight into the inner workings of Mallory’s mind, and her early experiences in the Station after-life. Who was she before she died, and who is she now? The answers are waiting for you…

‘Mallory’ is the second of three Station Series novelettes to be released this summer!

Coming Soon – ‘Kerry-Anne’.

Grab your copy of MALLORY on AMAZON

Link

Friday Giveaway Info

So MALLORY is almost here, which means it’s time to PARTY!! Last release, the hash mark system was really hard (like ridiculously hard) to use…so this time around it’s all about the Rafflecopter. I hope y’all have fun earning entries for the AWESOMESAUCE Giveaway! Click the link below to check out the giveaway contest.

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

WHAT’s UP FOR GRABS?

  • Two winners will each receive a $5 Amazon Gift Card
  • Two winners will also receive a split of over 20 donated eBooks

MALLORY, the 2nd Station Series Novelette release of the Summer, will be out Friday. Be sure to join the release day party here on FACEBOOK. Hope to see you then! xoxo

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Vegan Chocolate Smoothie

Originally posted on Kirschner's Korner:

kirschners korner smoothie

Ingredients
3 tbls. Cacao
1 tbls. Maca
2-3 Frozen Bananas
2 cups Almond Milk
1 tbls. Almond Butter
1 tbls. Chia Seed

Directions
In a high powered blender, blend all ingredients and enjoy this chocolate smoothie.

It’s delicious and refreshing and it’s always a more compassionate and healthier choice than eating eggs and bacon. Please consider giving it a try. Thank you.

Andrew Kirschner, Ed.D. is the founder and CEO of Animal Rescue Bar, a delicious plant-based snack for health-conscious people that donates 50% of its proceeds to animal rescue organizations, providing compassionate people a unique opportunity to make a difference in the lives of abused, injured, neglected, confined, and abandoned animals.

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Coming Soon…

Originally posted on Dreaming...:

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Fictional Gravely Falls, Colorado sits on the outskirts of ski country with beautiful views, wonderful landscapes… and murder. Dorothy Collins, the most beautiful woman in town is dead, mauled to death by a bear. Sheriff Hank Crenshaw thinks differently, a bear wouldn’t cause a nice clean slice across her neck. Lisa Hubbard, known around town for her crazy talk about UFO’s and seeing dead presidents, knows the truth about the murder. Will anyone believe her or will they think she has gone crazy.

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#Classic Read: #Dracula by Bram Stoker

Originally posted on A Life Among The Pages:

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DRACULA by Bram Stoker
Rating: 4/5 stars

In a huge, desolate castle in the dark forests of Transylvania, an Englishman is held captive and awaits his terrible fate. In a suburb of London, a beautiful young woman is plagued by a mysterious illness that seems to suck the very blood from her veins. it is an unspeakably evil force that threatens their lives: the centuries-old vampire, Dracula.

The extraordinary horror of this tale in which the restless dead are pitted against the living has held generations of readers spellbound (description from Goodreads)

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I’ve finally read it. It only took me about three attempts, but I’ve read the classic horror/vampire novel Dracula. I attempted the book a few years ago by both reading it and listening to it. At the time it just didn’t work for me. The epistolary novel isn’t always my cup of tea, even though the…

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Easy Vegan High Protein Breakfast Burrito

Originally posted on Kirschner's Korner:

breakfast burrito

Ingredients
Sprouted super firm tofu (2/3 cup)
yellow onion
green pepper
black beans (8 oz.)
cilantro
salsa
coriander
turmeric
cumin
burritos (2)

Directions (Serves 2)
1. Cut up tofu in small pieces. Stir on medium heat until water from tofu is evaporated or tofu is cooked slightly. Drain water if necessary. Add splashes of coriander, turmeric, and cumin and stir for one minute.

2. Add finely chopped onion, pepper, beans, and cilantro. Stir on medium heat for two minutes.

3. Heat burritos in oven on 350 degrees for 30 seconds.

4. Place mix on burritos and add salsa. Enjoy this delicious and healthy breakfast.

Andrew Kirschner, Ed.D. is the founder and CEO of Animal Rescue Bar, a delicious plant-based snack for health-conscious people that donates 50% of its proceeds to animal rescue organizations, providing compassionate people a unique opportunity to make a difference in the lives of abused…

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Senses in Writing: Seeing the Invisible Worlds

Originally posted on Legends of Windemere:

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Yahoo Image Search

This week I’m talking about how to use and evoke senses within your story.  As usual, this is personal opinion formed from experiences.

First, a very brief overview of the week’s topic.  If you can set off a reader’s senses then you pull them deeper into your story.  This will not happen with every reader because people are different.  Yet, part of your goal with writing should be to trigger even a glimmer of a sensation.  For example, writing about the aroma of coffee might get one reader to think they smell it.  Yet, you do need a reader to have some prior knowledge for certain reactions.

Sight is one of the big ones because many people are visual.  A common way to teach children is by example, which means they watch you do something before copying it. You pay attention through your eyes when driving, working…

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