Prepping To Find My Writing Rhythm

Did you hear that massive sigh the moment the clock switched from July to August? It would’ve been a mix of release, relief, and desperation.

The sigh belonged to me.

time-3222267_640

Growing up, I loved summer because it meant freedom. I lived in the pool, spending hours floating and doing slow spins in the cool currents. I draped myself over chairs and colored while listening to radio dramas and audio books. No rhythm. No routine. No shackles of homework. Only spontaneous fun.

Since I left the school years behind, I’ve become the Scrooge of Summertime. Instead of hoarding gold, I hoard time, only to see it fall right through my fingers into the hands of well-meaning family and friends–along with my to-do list.

Now that it’s August? School time is right around the corner. My siblings are back in college. My teacher bro-in-law is prepping his room. My husband is packing his school bag for his two classes. Even though my two kids have 4 paws and I haven’t taken a class in years, everybody around me is in school time. Which means I get sucked into the rhythm too.

The older I get, the more my creativity craves rhythm. In college, I could easily stay up late and churn out a new short story when the mood hit. I could sneak away from dinner to scribble out a poem.

These days, I’m way more likely to get my edits done (squinting at you, book 3) when I can sit down at the same time each day. I’m way more likely to get swept into the thrill of drafting (eyeing you, new project), when I can sink deeply without getting interrupted. I’m way more likely to be proud of my work when I can check off my to-do list (hello there, planner stickers).

So I’m trying to prepare myself for this shift. I’ve got last minute coffee dates planned to tie off summer loose-ends. I’ve planned out my edits so I can draft when I know I’ll feel the most creative (September and October, always). I completed a 5-day drafting challenge to figure out my most productive word sprint length (3 sets of 15 minute chunks). I started adjusting my sleeping patterns to maximize my feel-good time of day (morning, following by a long break/dog walk/nap, then another writing session). I even cleaned off my desk.

I’m all ready to sink back into my writing rhythm.

How about you? How do you prepare for different season rhythms? Or can you keep the same schedule year round?

abby-j-reed-headshot-smilingABOUT ABBY:
Abby J. Reed writes young adult science fiction and fantasy novels that ask what if.She has a degree in English Writing and is drawn to characters with physical limitations due to her own neurological disorder called Chronic Migraine. Her second novel, WHEN DREAMERS FALL, will be published May 2019 by Soul Mate Publishing.

Abby lives in Colorado with her husband and two fluffy pups. If her hands aren’t on the keyboard, they are stained purple and blue with paint. Find her online at http://www.abbyjreed.com.

When Dreamers Fall ebook cover 505x825

Posted in Absolutely Abby!, Soul Mate Publishing, Writing | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

The Write Word with Wareeze

Creating Worlds Revisited.

Hello Friends and Readers,

If this is your first visit to the Soul Mate Publishing Blog, thank you for taking time to read my post. I write mostly historical romance twisted with suspense under the pen name Wareeze Woodson. I have five novels up on Amazon: After She Became a Lady with characters continuing into Conduct Unbecoming of a Gentleman, An Enduring Love, A Lady’s Vanishing Choices, and my historical western, Bittersweep.

I hope the subject of creating worlds still has something to offer to all, even those who read the first blog I posted on the subject. I wrote a piece for Soul Mate Publishing blog on scene construction which is a big part of world creation as well. I’d like to share part of it with you. I decided to bring the heroine of the story I offered to life. This was my work in progress: ISABEL renamed Captured by the Viscount now under contract at Soul Mate Publishing.

Creating Worlds

Are readers interested in the workings behind the scene? Some say readers are curious about what it takes to write a book. Here is a small glimpse behind the scene of writing. When I write my historical novels, I must create my own worlds. The Regency/Victorian era is a historical fact, but make-believe, for all that because the time in the 1800s no longer exists. With each story, the scene must be created—when in time, day or night, where-location and what is happening. What the character sees, feels, and wants—all must be imagined and displayed for the reader.

Although the author has many historical facts to draw from, the story must exist in the world created by the writer. The colors, the sounds, the tastes and the smells add flavor to the story. The reader wants to visit these places through the character’s point of view and safely absorb the emotions as well without harm to the reader. All rather a lot to provide for the reader and the bar is set high with expectations.

ENTER A SCENE CREATED FOR YOU, THE READER:

The flame of the candle flickered and glinted off the in-laid sliver on the barrel of the pistol pointed directly at Isabel. Fear griped her by the throat. She caught her breath, unable to move or even swallow.

The drapes billowed into the room on a sharp breeze before settling back to the floor with a barely discernable swoosh. The smell of London after a downpour, drifted into the open window, cleansed but still dominated by the odor of horses, foot traffic, and a tavern down the way. She shivered when her drenched cloak swung against the layers of her petticoats with a chilling heaviness. The damp cloth clung to her ankles while moisture trickled down her features into her eyes. She scarce blinked, her gaze captured by the gun.

The longcase clock in the hall chimed once echoing down the empty passageway. Even at this hour, the sound of a carriage rumbling over the cobbled-stones in front of the mansion reached the upper level.

 

I hope I’ve raised several questions in your mind with these few sentences. Is the man with the pistol the hero or the villain? Is this Isabel’s house, or did she enter the building for some nefarious purpose? What happens next?

I created a small glimpse of this world of danger, building tension yet the reader is safe. This is the world of my imagination where velvet and fine jaconet muslins were worn to the Assemblies at Almack’s, where danger lurks before and after the ball, and where the slightest deviation from the rules of conduct adhered to in polite society can make or break a person. The lives of the characters also dwell in this created world. What will happen to her, to him in this tale? Only the author of this created world knows and I’m not telling. After all, this is only make-believe, created in the imagination. I decided to take up the tale. ISABEL

I do have a cover to reveal:

CapturedByTheViscount_400x600

The blurb on the back of the book when released:

Captured by the Viscount Blurb

Under cover of night and with the best of intentions, Lady Isabel Carlyle breaks into the viscount’s residence to restore his stolen property and retrieve her own. She understood the viscount was out of town for at least a sennight. When she entered the mansion, she never once considered facing a pistol aimed directly at her heart.

The Viscount Matthew Paul Rutherford has need of a bride before the month’s end. Previously, he had selected two different damsels from the marriage mart—Almack’s. However, both ladies met with a fatal accident before the wedding. Now, presented with an unexpected solution to his problem in the form of the lovely thief, he gives Isabel a choice, marriage or gaol.

 

The blurb answers some of the questions raised by the scene, however there is much to discover in the book; what does actually happen to Lady Isabel, to the Viscount? Is she rescued? Is he vanquished? Take a peek when the book is released.

Thanks for visiting with me.

Respectfully,

Wareeze Woodson

Website: http://www.wareezewoodson.com

face book: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wareeze-Woodson/523727757689755

goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/wareeze

twitter:  http://twitter.com/@wareeze

Posted in Soul Mate Publishing | 5 Comments

THE WRITE WORD WITH WAREEZE

Creating Worlds Revisited

Hello Friends and Readers,

If this is your first visit to the Soul Mate Publishing Blog, thank you for taking time to read my post. I write mostly historical romance twisted with suspense under the pen name Wareeze Woodson. I have five novels up on Amazon: After She Became a Lady with characters continuing into Conduct Unbecoming of a Gentleman, An Enduring Love, A Lady’s Vanishing Choices, and my historical western, Bittersweep.

I hope the subject of creating worlds still has something to offer to all, even those who read the first blog I posted on the subject. I wrote a piece for Soul Mate Publishing blog on scene construction which is a big part of world creation as well. I’d like to share part of it with you. I decided to bring the heroine of the story I offered to life. This was my work in progress: ISABEL renamed Captured by the Viscount now under contract at Soul Mate Publishing.

Creating Worlds

Are readers interested in the workings behind the scene? Some say readers are curious about what it takes to write a book. Here is a small glimpse behind the scene of writing. When I write my historical novels, I must create my own worlds. The Regency/Victorian era is a historical fact, but make-believe, for all that because the time in the 1800s no longer exists. With each story, the scene must be created—when in time, day or night, where-location and what is happening. What the character sees, feels, and wants—all must be imagined and displayed for the reader.

Although the author has many historical facts to draw from, the story must exist in the world created by the writer. The colors, the sounds, the tastes and the smells add flavor to the story. The reader wants to visit these places through the character’s point of view and safely absorb the emotions as well without harm to the reader. All rather a lot to provide for the reader and the bar is set high with expectations.

ENTER A SCENE CREATED FOR YOU, THE READER:

The flame of the candle flickered and glinted off the in-laid sliver on the barrel of the pistol pointed directly at Isabel. Fear griped her by the throat. She caught her breath, unable to move or even swallow.

The drapes billowed into the room on a sharp breeze before settling back to the floor with a barely discernible swoosh. The smell of London after a downpour, drifted into the open window, cleansed but still dominated by the odor of horses, foot traffic, and a tavern down the way. She shivered when her drenched cloak swung against the layers of her petticoats with a chilling heaviness. The damp cloth clung to her ankles while moisture trickled down her features into her eyes. She scarce blinked, her gaze captured by the gun.

The long-case clock in the hall chimed once echoing down the empty passageway. Even at this hour, the sound of a carriage rumbling over the cobbled-stones in front of the mansion reached the upper level.

 

I hope I’ve raised several questions in your mind with these few sentences. Is the man with the pistol the hero or the villain? Is this Isabel’s house, or did she enter the building for some nefarious purpose? What happens next?

I created a small glimpse of this world of danger, building tension yet the reader is safe. This is the world of my imagination where velvet and fine jaconet muslins were worn to the Assemblies at Almack’s, where danger lurks before and after the ball, and where the slightest deviation from the rules of conduct adhered to in polite society can make or break a person. The lives of the characters also dwell in this created world. What will happen to her, to him in this tale? Only the author of this created world knows and I’m not telling. After all, this is only make-believe, created in the imagination. I decided to take up the tale after all. (ISABEL) Captured by the Viscount

I do have a cover to reveal:

CapturedByTheViscount_400x600

The blurb on the back of the book when released:

Captured by the Viscount Blurb

Under cover of night and with the best of intentions, Lady Isabel Carlyle breaks into the viscount’s residence to restore his stolen property and retrieve her own. She understood the viscount was out of town for at least a sennight. When she entered the mansion, she never once considered facing a pistol aimed directly at her heart.

The Viscount Matthew Paul Rutherford has need of a bride before the month’s end. Previously, he had selected two different damsels from the marriage mart—Almack’s. However, both ladies met with a fatal accident before the wedding. Now, presented with an unexpected solution to his problem in the form of the lovely thief, he gives Isabel a choice, marriage or gaol.

 

The blurb answers some of the questions raised by the questions in the scene, however there is much to discover in the book; what does actually happen to Lady Isabel, to the Viscount? Is she rescued? Is he vanquished? Take a peek when the book is released.

Thanks for visiting with me.

Respectfully,

Wareeze Woodson

Website: http://www.wareezewoodson.com

face book: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wareeze-Woodson/523727757689755

goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/wareeze

twitter:  http://twitter.com/@wareeze

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When the Well is Dry

You’ve heard of artists losing their muse. It happens to writers, too.

Inspiration can come in many forms. It can come to you while watching a sporting event, a pretty girl nervously striding along a dark path, or a woman crying in a marina restroom. But sometimes a writer faces a blank page on the screen and nothing comes. Those are the bad days 

Instead of reaching for that half gallon of ice cream and a spoon (or in my case, a bag of Nestle’s chocolate chips), I’ve found a few things that work for me.

My inspiration for the next book generally comes from characters in previous books I’ve written. In Scandal’s Bride, my current Soul Mate release, Lady Gwendolyn appears as a minor character in Scandal’s Child, the first book in the series. She’s a no-nonsense, impetuous bluestocking who is more interested in people than society’s rules. She’s also in need of a hero. John, younger brother of the hero in Scandal’s Child, has a dilemma. He’s inherited a crumbling estate in faraway Yorkshire and needs to marry a woman with a substantial dowry. Voila! My story—a marriage of convenience for mutal benefit.  

Years ago, when I began writing, I lived in the Northern California wine country. So many stories presented themselves—enough for a series. Most wine country books are about wealthy winery dynasties. My characters are the people who work for them. The first three books are about the Reynoso sisters.  The other books in the series feature their male cousins. A few peripheral characters bind all the books together.

The best inspiration (for me) comes from people I see and wonder about.

I lived on a boat off and on for four years, cruising waters on both U.S. coasts, Canada, and the rivers of middle America. Those years gave me lots of ideas to store away for future use, but I could have jotted down just as many possible plots by staying at home.

 My advice to writers who have lost their muse is this: look around you, sit in a restaurant or coffee shop and study the patrons, read the news on your smart phone.  Start with a kernel of an idea and play with it. Do a few “what ifs.” Set it aside if nothing comes to you, and try again with another story.

Most of all believe in yourself and your ability. Once a few words get on a page, your ideas will begin to flow. Remember the famous quote, most often attributed to Nora Roberts. “You can’t edit a blank page.”  It’s my mantra.

Posted in Soul Mate Publishing | 4 Comments

Summer Vacation…Kinda

It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since Soul Mate Publishing released my debut novel, Daughter of the South Wind. Seems like yesterday I was editing to ensure I used the Oxford comma and reading the manuscript backwards to find errant double periods or floating quotation marks. Ah, the good ol’ days.

I celebrated that release a few weeks later with a trip to Big Bend National Park. Nothing says “goal-achieved” like riding your bike in hundred-degree weather up an 11-mile climb.Now I’m looking at my calendar wondering where time went—I haven’t taken a summer vacation yet. Guess I’d better hurry, right?

Two summers ago, I went to the National Weather Center in Norman, Oklahoma, to do research for Daughter of the South Wind. For the life of me, I can’t think of anything epic, and affordable, to squeeze into what’s left of this August. Living in the San Antonio area, there’s plenty to warrant a stay-cation. But, it’s so hot. Oh, what to do, what to do?

After thinking on this for a bit, I’ve realized that not all vacations require travel. In fact, some of the best places to go are the fantastic worlds we humans can build in our minds. As soon as I finish this, with my fingers limbered-up, I’ll start that second chapter of a new idea I’ve been tinkering with for a few months. I love the world of gods and goddesses I created for Daughter of the South Wind, so why not give them another visit? At least the hours on the keyboard will be in the cool bliss of climate control.

If you’re interested in learning about the world I’ll be visiting, you can find Daughter of the South Wind here.

Posted in Soul Mate Publishing | 1 Comment

Romancing the Capital 2019

I just returned from Romancing the Capital 2019, a romance writer and reader convention in Ottawa, Ontario Canada organized by contemporary and paranormal author Eve Langlais. It was so much fun! This conference was smaller than the annual Romance Writers of America conference, and because it also welcomed readers, there were more opportunities to interact with the host authors. Some of the highlights were:

Molly O’Keefe gave the top ten tips for tighter tension. Molly O’Keefe is a (newly minted) Canadian author who writes contemporary romance – and she’s really funny! Tension in a story makes the happily ever after ending satisfying and keeps a reader turning pages. Molly defines it as the distance between the reader asking a question and the author answering it. Her tips included writing the story in a way to ensure the reader is asking the right question, not answering the question too soon, but not waiting too long either, and paring down the most important scenes to include only dialogue and essential action.

A panel of authors including Debbie Mason, Zoe York, Amy Ruttan, and Desiree Holt spoke about what makes small town romance unique. The setting with a main street and mom and pop shops, a cast of tight-knit characters who are always in each others’ business, and the requisite well-intentioned gossip network all help to create the small town culture that readers love. Amy Ruttan, who writes for Harlequin Medical, has set stories in remote northern locations including North West Territories and Nunavut!

There was an eighties music party with eighties queen and romance author Eve Vaughn. She has an amazing singing voice and it took some pretty obscure eighties trivia to stump her!

We made short stories with Mad Libs and created hilarious book covers, played book cover bingo, collected unique branded charms from all the attending authors, and danced at the Steampunk Ball! We had a blast with Jennifer Carole Lewis, a Canadian paranormal romance author, and N.J. Walters, a contemporary and paranormal romance author, tearing up the dance floor.

Lastly, I met Will Dagas from Findaway Voices, who detoured home through Canada from RWA 2019 in New York. I can’t wait to create an audiobook of my medical romantic comedy, Perfectly Honest.

Cover PerfectlyHonest600Perfectly Honest

You never know where your words will take you…

When Mikaela Finn agreed to be Sam’s “fiancée” for a weekend, she probably should have told him that she’s a doctor. Sam O’Brien, aka “Dr. Eye Candy,” is trying to shed his playboy reputation and convince a small town hospital that he’s ready to settle down. But when his “fiancée” helps deliver a baby in the middle of the meet and greet, it’s a bit of a shock. If he’d known the whole truth, he might have done things a little differently because somehow his “fiancée” ends up stealing his job and his heart. Not exactly the change he wanted. Lies and deceit – it’s a match made in heaven!

 

Buy link http://amzn.com/B00S77IW9O

Award-winning author Linda O’Connor started writing romantic comedies when she needed a creative outlet other than subtly rearranging the displays at a local home décor store. Her books have enjoyed bestseller status. When not writing, she’s a physician at an Urgent Care Clinic. She shares her medical knowledge in fast-paced, well-written, sexy romances – with an unexpected twist. Her favourite prescription to write? Laugh every day. Love every minute.

Website: http://www.lindaoconnor.net

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LindaOConnor98

 

Posted in Soul Mate Publishing | 4 Comments

I’m No Angel . . .

angel-1026438_1280

. . . Yet here I am with a broken wing. Two weeks ago, I suffered a fall that resulted in a bad break of my right arm. Although I was steaming through my next book, my progress has ground to a halt. I cannot type, and have little use of my right hand. The hunt and peck method with my left hand is maddening.

So. Let’s talk about voice to text software. That is how I am writing this blog. I looked into purchasing Dragon software. It’s supposed to be the best on the market. Unfortunately, it is not compatible with Mac computers. I’m a Mac girl all the way.

I was pleased to discover that there is a voice to text capability on my Mac desktop. The problem is, I am used to words going from my brain to my fingers. Now, I have to retrain my brain to send the words to my mouth. It has been a slow and agonizing process.

The software is not perfect, and is not trainable as is Dragon. But maybe with perseverance I will adapt and be able to get at least some words written in the next few months.

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It is said that everything happens for a reason. I have always believed this. Perhaps this bump in the road will teach me another way to write. I would love to hear from any of my fellow Soulies who use voice to text to write.

Posted in Soul Mate Publishing | 4 Comments