Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Inspiration’

I’m waxing sentimental at the moment and heard this song on the radio. Thought it works well as a writer’s theme song.
So, take a writing break, blare this song, and twirl all your query fears or sales woes away!

 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

I just wanted to share with you all an article about an amazing woman.

I’ve been following her journey for a while now and I can’t believe how much chutzpah she has. First of all, she has set her sights on what some say is an impossible feat: swimming from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage, through dangerous box jellyfish, terrible storms, and cold nights. Yet, Diana Nyad has attempted this three times before and failed. She just ended her recent quest when many thought she might actually reach the Florida’s sandy shore. Her sunburn, strained bicep muscle, and jellyfish stings ended her attempt. The most amazing thing of all—she’s sixty-three on Wednesday!

I could care less if she ever made it to Florida. I love watching her keep going—each time getting closer and closer. She never lets the failure stop her from trying…one…more…time.

She doesn’t let sharks, jellyfish, limits of the human body, or age deter her.

Diana, you are an inspiration and your drive and passion are much more impressive than your goal. You Go Girl! Never stop challenging yourself.

I think of Diana and I say to myself, this is why I self-published, this is why I keep writing, and this is why I don’t put any limits on myself.

Don’t let the voices of rejection, gradual sales, or other’s incredible successes infect your determination. Yeah, you might never reach your goal of topping the best seller list, being traditionally published, or granting movie options, but NEVER give up on yourself. Never stop pushing your limits.

I’m sure Diana’s journey has made her life that much more exciting. Give yourself something to strive for.

Read Full Post »

I have depressing scenes to write and I just can’t get in that mind frame for expressing it well.

Which got me thinking—do you have to be in the appropriate mood to truly feel and describe the depth of experience of your characters?

I don’t mean that you have to be experiencing depression to write a melancholy scene, but I don’t think you can go take your kids to the playground, have a picnic, put them to bed with hugs and kisses and then sit down to write a tear-jerker. I will at least need a rainy, grey day to even attempt to feel these scenes.

Is the same true of romantic scenes or joyful scenes? Is it possible to write these moods well when you are feeling quite the opposite in life? Or is it a sign of a talented writer who can flip a switch to their brain and immediately commiserate with their imagined character?

I can only think of method actors who are famous for staying in character the entire duration of a film. Or actors that have to pull something up within themselves, an empathetic cord from their past, that can bring them into the character’s mind. Sometimes, I have to pretend to be one with my character. I have to become a physical medium for my invisible character to communicate through—allowing them to use my mind, my hands, and most importantly, my voice.

I do rely on music to help me transition from a beautiful day to grey one. This is my tool for reaching any feelings I need to muster for my writing. I set a sad song on repeat and hope that it permeates and brings me to a depressing place to write.

Lately this one has been working:

 

Mad World by Gary Jules

 

So, do you wait for a certain mood to write with your character? If not, what method works for you? Does it always work?

Read Full Post »

Yesterday, I did something I was planning to do for a while.

I went back into my high school.

Upon creating my acknowledgements page for my second book, I tried to think of everyone that helped me along on my journey to publishing. One person leapt into mind and I couldn’t believe I forgot to mention him in the first book.

My high school history teacher.

I had a hard time in high school. I was diagnosed with lyme disease in the beginning of my junior year. Unfortunately, it appeared that I had it for quite sometime before it was found. For years, I had painful neurologic complications and was always so tired. It was a struggle to get up every morning, let alone be on time for school. I missed a lot of early classes and some teachers were insulted by it.

But not this history teacher.

One day he started the class off by saying that someone forgot to put their name on an assignment and he handed out everyone’s to find out who it was. Once all the papers were handed out, he saw that I didn’t get mine back and I was so embarrassed to be the one who spaced out like that. I reached for my paper so that he would move on with the class so everyone would stop staring at me. But then he held the paper up and told everyone that my paper was the best thing he’s ever read from a student and this is what he expected when he handed out an assignment.

I couldn’t believe it. My mortification only deepened as he proceeded to read it aloud to the class!

The assignment was to imagine that you were one of the early settlers of America and to write a journal entry trying to explain an event during that time.

My teacher (who also had a dramatic flair) stopped after every other sentence, oohing and ahhing. After he finished, he told the class that I was going to be a writer someday.

Well, after the class returned to normal and their envious eyes went back to the chalk board, his words sunk in and I beamed inside.

I still have that paper. I have frequently pulled it out of my memorabilia box and I’m so thankful that he wrote the same comments he proclaimed to the class all over the whole piece. He even wrote the words, “I have no doubt that you will be an amazing writer someday.”

How could I have forgotten to thank him in my first book? Especially since my series is so much like that assignment; the series where I imagined experiencing historic events or people first hand. He gave me the confidence that I could attempt to pull off such a thing.

He was always such an enthusiastic teacher and everyone loved him. No matter if they were the top of the class or someone who was struggling. He loved history and he loved his students. So many teachers burned out, but this teacher put on a show every class. Trying to pull all his students into the love of history with the littlest details. I remember he even gave students partial credit on tests if they came up with something amusing in reply, instead of leaving the answer blank. He was a wonderful, wonderful teacher.

Acknowledging him in my book was not enough.

I knew he would never find my book on his own so I ordered a copy of each book and enclosed a letter to him. I decided to hand deliver my package to be sure he was still at the same school. It was so surreal to walk back through my high school doors. A few times I almost turned around because a voice in my head tried to talk me out of the whole thing. I felt like that delinquent student all over again, rushing in to try to make part of my morning classes.

The main office wasn’t in the same place.

Good—the voice said inside me—you can’t find the office, so just go home.

But I walked a little further and saw a small office. I took a breath and walked in.

I asked, “Does (teacher’s name) still teach here?”

“Yes.” She appeared wary.

Then I remembered how schools now have security measures in place for disgruntled students and what did I say?…

“I was a student of his and just wanted to thank him.” I handed her the heavy, bomb-sized package.

She quickly looks me up and down, trying to find any sign of danger, but slowly reaches her hands up for the package once she takes in my yoga uniform and thrown-together motherly vibe. If I didn’t have time to brush my hair, clearly I didn’t have time to make a pipe-bomb.

Her still, awkward stare pressed the urgent need for me to explain more.

“I wrote a couple of books and thanked him in my acknowledgements…” Ugh, I’m talking too much, just stop! “I just wanted to give him a copy.”

She nodded in partial acceptance and I turned and briskly walked out, like I just picked up my class absence pass.

I practically ran to my car, slowly re-emerging as the thirty-something mother of two that I am. I didn’t even stop at the student guard station. I just waved to the man, who waved back (I must look thirty from just a glance in the car!).

Anyway, I told you this long story not only to validate this amazing teacher, but also to cause you to think about all those who helped you feel confident about your writing. Think way back to your formative years and I’d love for you to tell me about them in the comments…and don’t forget to thank them in your first (next) book!

Read Full Post »

I thought it would be fun to share with you all the playlist I listened to as I wrote Infinite Sacrifice. Even though they’re not the exact songs I listened to (I couldn’t find them on YouTube), they’re similar. I kept these songs on repeat every time I wrote, hoping it would help me create the ambience I needed for world building. I especially recommend doing this when you’re writing historical pieces.

 

 

Ancient Egypt:

 

 

 

 

Ancient Sparta:

 

 

 

Viking:

 

 

Medieval London:

 

 

 

 

 

I happened upon this little jewel and included it just for kicks 🙂

 

 

Read Full Post »

 

One of the best things about making my first book free for the last three weeks (full promotion report due out at the end of the month!) has definitely been the increase in ratings and reviews.

Yes, these are gold for reader confidence and promotion, but they’re priceless for restoring my faith that this was all worth it. All the hours I stayed up late after putting my kids to bed; all the hours I spent researching; all the time in writing workshops; all the forums I joined and books I bought seeking out self-publishing advice; all the money I spent on getting the best product out—all had to be appreciated by someone.

I honestly never expected my books to make much money. Never expected to be the next Amanda Hocking. I would be very happy if I could just pay back the expenses. But the one goal I’ve had this whole time was to simply hear from a fan that appreciated all the things I set out to create. I worried that maybe the series was too complicated; that readers might not like tracking each character through time; that people might not like the fact this was a true series.

Besides my friends and family, I didn’t know how the world would see my book.

Well, I cry every time I read a kind and thoughtful review. I don’t think I truly felt like a writer until someone completely enjoyed what I set out to deliver.

I’m actually connecting to strangers through my story.

After reading these reviews, I wish there was some way I could personally tell these people how much it’s touched me. The only thing I can do is print the reviews out and frame them to start a little inspiration collection over my writing-table.

Anytime I have any doubt, I’ll just look up and they’ll be there. All my fans 🙂

The more these reviews come in, the more I want to write! Even if negative reviews come in, it only matters that some people are fans and those are the people I’m envisioning when I write my next book. Some of them haven’t left many reviews for other authors, and that has meant even more to me since they probably read my plea for reviews in the forward and went out of their way to help me.

If they’re reading this, truly, thank you. You have no idea how much this has meant to me.

It’s so important to tell a writer after you enjoy their book. Let them know what you loved and how they’ve touched you. I’ll never put down a book again without leaving a note for the author. It’s extremely rewarding.

For those who have published, has a fan ever inspired you? If not published yet, who has given you confidence?

Read Full Post »

Searching through various blog achieves I found a great post that hit home with me.

Write the story you want to read.

I didn’t write my series because I had a deep love for historical fantasy. Don’t get me wrong, Jules Watson, Marion Zimmer Bradley, and Susana Kearsley wrote some of my favorite books, but I also love suspense, historical fiction, paranormal, thriller, horror…and the list goes on. I fall in love with a story, not a style or a genre.

Instead of a rebellious streak (although I’m sure my parents would say I’ve always been rebellious) or an experimenting phase in my teenage years, I went through a new age/occult stage. I read books on palm reading, astrology, witchcraft, ghost hunting, pendulum swinging, gem stones, Ouija boards, dream interpretation, and many other interesting topics. I sought out new age speakers like Sylvia Browne and searched for authentic psychics, past life regressionists, and palm readers.

One of the things that excited me most was reincarnation. The idea that we’ve lived before along with others we care about in this life. That we continuously work through issues with the help of others. We might start out selfish and extremely flawed and improve with adversity. That we’ve traveled throughout time and brought our love of eras along with us. How our attachments and hatreds stem from a history of loyalties or let downs.

After reading many past life books discussing others remembered experiences and hearing about my own possible experiences during hypnosis, I still felt like I wanted to try to feel what this really would be like. I remember sitting in the movie theatre, a trailer came on, and for a few instants it sounded like the movie of my dreams was about to be released; finally the past life epic saga that I yearned for! But after more explanations I realized that it was another story. I’d pick up a book with a past life theme but would be let down upon reading the blurb that it only went back one life and the major focus was a romantic soul mate relationship. Just one person that was important to the main character, not a whole group of important people? They weren’t realistic, if a soul returned in many lives there would be more than one person that traveled with them. Furthermore,  the focus of each life would not be only a romantic one, life is much more complicated than that.

Where was the book/movie that took the viewer from the very beginning of the first life and showed their detailed development throughout time evolving along with their closest companions and enemies?

What did I decide do?

Write the books.

I wrote the story I wanted to read. I culminated all I’ve read, experienced, and fantasized about. I chose the time periods I loved or have been told I’d been a part of. I created characters I would have wanted on my journey; loyal and exciting characters as well as captivating, flawed characters that you love to hate. Even characters that may surprise you, those who begin much differently than they end up.

Oh well, I won’t give anymore away but this is why I’m pushing so hard to get this series out. I’ve heard before that this is an ambitious project, that the nature of the series is extremely complicated, and takes a lot of effort to keep track of each character’s progression through the novels, but this is what I wanted to read. This is what I was looking for!

If I was craving to see this story come to life than others must want to see this portrayed as well. I just have to find them 🙂

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: