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Archive for the ‘books’ Category

Words on Wednesday- When the Words Won’t Come

In books, writing on February 12, 2014 at 8:58 am

Today’s post was inspired by a question asked on the facebook page of O.C. Writers. Yesterday, Ryan Stansifer asked the group, “When the rest of your life has drained you so badly the mere thought of writing is exhausting, what do you do to get those word counts done?”

It’s a simple question, but I had to seriously think about it. Not being able to get words on paper isn’t usually a problem for me, but as I told you a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been separated from my manuscript for so long, that I’ve had trouble getting back in touch with my characters.

Some writer’s take a break from their manuscript, and when you have been living in your book for too long, a break from your work can give you a fresh perspective. I’ve done this before, but this time…..a break is what caused the problem.

Writer’s with a deadline (or very disciplined writers) often force themselves to put their butt in their chair and put down a certain number of words. This is a great technique, sometimes it results in pages of ‘junk’, but even that can get you back in the flow, and you can always go back and cut or edit what you don’t like later.

One writer suggested working on a new project, a short story to get your creative juices flowing again and give you the satisfaction of completing something. I haven’t tried this technique yet, I never let myself stray from the project I’m on until it’s completed. I’m always afraid I won’t come back to finish. This could be the best advice for me, just because I’ve resisted it. You guys will make sure I finish my current novel if I go this way won’t you?

What I usually do, and this was the advice I shared with O.C. Writers, is read a good book. Preferably, one written by an author that I know personally. A good book always inspires me and makes me want to write. When it’s someone I know, it makes the possibility of having my own book published more real, more attainable, and I’ve been fortunate enough to have met some inspiring writers and have some great mentors on this journey.

But there is one thing I haven’t done, that just makes sense. I haven’t read my own manuscript through from cover to cover like a reader. I

thought this would be the first thing I did when I got back to work on my book, but the minute I picked up the manuscript I started line editing. Not my intent, but my reflex, I had to edit.

So, my goal today and tomorrow is to read my manuscript like a reader, not a writer. I’m going to download it to my kindle, so that I’m not tempted to edit, and read what I’ve written from cover to cover. I’ll let you know next Wednesday how this worked out.

Thank you Ryan Stansifer for asking the question, and O.C. Writers for all of the inspiration.

 

What do you do when you need a gentle push….or swift kick….to get yourself back on track?

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And the Winner is!! (And a New Contest!!)

In book signings, books, contest, Uncategorized, writing on May 21, 2012 at 8:37 am

I’m so excited. This is the first contest that I’ve held at Tari’s Thread….. well, at least for my readers. The 2011 Easter Egg Decorating Contest was for my friends and family, and so many of you were wonderful about participating in the voting!! I’d really like to do that again.

But the Good Food, Good Health Contest was for my readers. Many of whom also happen to be family and friends in my actual life, and those of you who are becoming friends here on the internet! Thank you to all who left comments here. I appreciate all of the e-mail comments, facebook comments and twitter comments as well, but to win, you had to leave a comment here at Tari’s Thread.

So, I wrote all of the names on a piece of paper and put them into a paper lunch bag (I know, but it was an OFFICIAL paper lunch bag). I grabbed one of my guys…the one who happened to be home when I was ready to do the drawing. I won’t give his name….one of you will want to hug him, but the others may not feel so generous….and I had him draw a name.

THE WINNER IS: Gloria Stefani

Please contact me at  ohwrite@yahoo.com with your mailing address by May 31st, write Tari’s Thread Movie Ticket Winner in the subject line (this way I don’t think it’s spam!) and I’ll send you two gold AMC movie tickets. If I don’t hear from you by May 31st, I’ll be drawing another winner from my very official paper bag!!

In the meantime, this was a great way to get people involved in conversation, so I’m going to have another contest. I am a voracious reader….well, before kids and homeschooling and writing my own novel, I was a voracious reader, now I keep a book on me to sneak in a few pages whenever I can, but the point is that I love books and reading, and I’m hoping that all of you feel the same way.

So for the next contest I’ll be giving away two autographed books by a couple of my favorite authors. To win, you must leave a comment here at Tari’s Thread on any post written from today May 21st through Saturday June 30th. Two winners will be drawn and the names will be announced on June 2nd. The winner must submit their mailing address to me by email by July 16th  (instructions will be posted with the winners name), or a new winner will be drawn for their prize. Winners must live in the United States. All decisions are final.

Jill Sorenson, Tessa Dare, DeAnna Cameron, Dee J Adams…some of my favorite authors at 2012 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books

Thank you all for reading and participating. If the autographed book contest is popular, I will be doing it again. I am attending the Romance Writers of America 2012 Conference at the end of July, and will have the opportunity to collect autographed books from a huge number of authors from various genres, so I hope this is a prize that you will all enjoy!! So keep those comments coming and feel free to suggest new topics of conversation in your comments!!

Dancing at The Chance

In book signings, books, Uncategorized, writing on May 17, 2012 at 12:40 pm

I’ve always imagined Stephen King tapping out his manuscripts on an IBM Selectric (with automatic correction…not that he needs it) in a dark room of a rambling mansion fingers flying, typewriter carriage dinging when he gets to the end of each line…pages flying about at warp speed…some of you may be too young to know what I’m saying here, but watch an old movie, you know from the early 80’s. Anne Rice I picture in black swirling robes, writing by candle light in a castle tower…… Phillipa Gregory, well I see her in courtly attire, with a quill and ink well, elegantly dipping then smoothly stroking line after line across beautifully hand crafted paper… I know this is ridiculous, but this is the way I imagine other writers writing…although on any given day, you will find me in a pair of jeans and a cotton blouse, barefoot (or in sandals because they make me wear shoes at the library) filling page after page of a wide ruled notebook with a blue ten cent pen, unless I’m editing and typing my work into the computer…..not nearly as glamorous as the way I imagine other writers working

But then I met author DeAnna Cameron at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, and I picked up an autographed copy of her latest book, Dancing at The Chance. DeAnna is warm and full of life, as are the characters she writes about in this beautiful turn of the century tale. I can see DeAnna dressed in Victorian skirts and corseted, her lush red hair adorned with feathers and fluff as she hand pens her latest story.

And let me tell you, this is a book you will want to read. The characters come to life, dancing across the pages of her book, letting the reader experience vaudeville from backstage, to center stage, back of the theater to front row center, the dark and unrefined side, to the family like camaraderie of  an art that was on the brink of extinction…and of course there are secrets and romance.

Now the truth is, that I have no idea what DeAnna wears when she writes, but I have seen her dressed in period costume at the Steampunk Shimmy Showcase at  Viento y Agua Coffeehouse in Long Beach a couple of weeks ago. DeAnna and her dashing husband could have stepped right off the cover of one of her books, and among the pictures my own hunky hubby took, was one that might have been a cast picture from Dancing at The Chance.

Whatever DeAnna wears when writing, I would love to see a sequel to Dancing at The Chance…perhaps Second Chance at The Chance??? In the meantime, I’ll be reading her first book, The Belly Dancer and hoping she’s writing faster than I’m reading.

How do you imagine writers at work? Or do you even think about the writer? Are they a shadowy background figure? Or are you entirely lost in the pages? (Which I am when I read a good book.)

It’s time for me to get back to work on my manuscript….and I’ll be wearing a 1920’s flapper dress with bouncy fringe, seamed stockings and a feather fascinator while I write…really I will!

New Bookstore, Great Authors…and Tres Leches Cake on a Tuesday!

In book signings, books, bookstores, Uncategorized, writing on May 2, 2012 at 9:10 am

So my hunky hubby, Paul took me to a book signing/book launch at Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore in Redondo Beach last night. I know, I know, I just attended the Los Angeles times Festival of Books, I really didn’t need another book to read….but are there ever really enough books? Besides, I love listening to what other writers have to say about their writing process, how their minds work, and how it all ends up on paper…or computer, not everyone writes their full manuscript on spiral notebooks with 10 cent pens like I do. Really I do.

Anyway, I think it’s important for writers to support each other and learn from each other, and when my friend, author Louisa Bacio sent out an invitation for the book signing, I thought it would be fun to go. Plus, it was at a new bookstore, a local bookstore …a really fabulous bookstore that I needed to check out. Did I mention there was wine, beer and tres leches cake?? Let me say right here that I didn’t touch any of it, I was good and ate ahead of time and stuck to my healthy plan. Ask Hunky Hubby, it’s true.

But, what a great conversation! Lisa Brackman, author of Getaway and Dana Fredsti, author of Plague Town, happen to be sisters.  Yes, sisters who write, sisters who are published, and sisters with much the same childhood background….but sisters who tell very different stories, at least in print.

Lisa writes fast paced contemporary thrillers, while Dana’s latest book is a zombie story with a touch of romance.

But, as sisters often do, they have a lot in common. They both give their mother as a major influence on their writing, or rather “a huge interactive part of their writing”.  When asked if they outlined their books both answered ‘no’. This makes me happy, because I can’t write the outline for my fiction until the story is written…. I don’t know what’s going to happen until it happens either…. Non-fiction, I always outline first, but fiction, nope, I write by hand as it happens in wide ruled spiral notebooks with 10 cent pens, really that’s how I write.

So anyway, both sisters are smart and witty, and they obviously have a strong bond. Both are talented, successful writers and an inspiration to those of us still working on that first novel.

I didn’t drink wine, and I didn’t eat cake, but I did indulge my book habit and picked up a copy of Lisa’s book Getaway, and Dana’s book Plague Town. So I guess I was a little naughty, but not really…I mean, after all, reading is good for you!!

What’s sitting on your nightstand waiting to be read? Which authors do you love to hear speak? How many of you have a novel you’ve written hidden in your bottom drawer? Or just an idea for a book you’d like to write?

Tell me in the comment section below…I’d love to know…