Thursday, March 31, 2011

Follow Friday For Writers #2


1) (Required) You must follow my blog
2) (Required) You must follow the guest poster featured in the blog hop post.
3) Go to Sharp Words and copy the image code found there and paste it in your blog. Add in your name to the link at the bottom of the page while you're there.
4) Copy and paste the rules in your blog, as well as this week’s question.
5) Answer the question
6) You must copy these rules, the hop link and the featured question with your answer on your own blog. This blog serves as a place for new followers to say hi.
7) Follow, follow, follow. This is about networking, people, making connections with people in your community. So talk to us. We don't bite!
8) If someone stops by, says hi and follows you, the polite thing to do is follow back.
9) Comment here and introduce yourself and you just might find a new follower or two

This week's questions is....

Some people like to do it in the office. Others prefer it in bed. Some people like it on the dining room table. Get your mind out of the gutter, I'm asking where you like to write!

What a beautiful set up *grins*

When I started to think seriously about writing, I told my hubby "Babe, I need a special place to write. Something like a nice writing desk so I can sit there every night and type away. He went and bought me one, put it together and it is sooo nice. He then went and bought me a cork board for my thoughts and inspiration. See the yummy photos of Gerard (I had my BFF photoshop Keith Urban's hair on him) I have pens, I have a lamp and I used it all of..... maybe a week or two. I actually cleaned it off earlier today. Before you'd have seen dirty laundry and about 4-5 high piles of books. This is NOT where I write.

I write on my bed - lying on my stomach or sitting up with my back against pillows. Sometimes, if it's quiet enough, I'll sit in the living room with my hubby and write and I've even written a little in the car. Generally I need a lot of quiet to get started, the slightest noise distracts my ADHD Muse. Once I'm in the groove, I turn on my play list and we're all good *grins*

So where do you do it?


Head over to Some Sharp Words 
to find the linky list

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Article Snippet - Motivation And The Muse: Which Comes First?

I came across a really cool article about motivation and nurturing your Muse that really struck a chord. I get struck a lot with a bad case of "I just can't write.. I don't think I'm meant to do this" and crazy enough, it's usually after I've written something really good. I love how the author of the article spoke of "conquering your demons", of finding ways to overcome the voices of doubt that seem to plague all writers. Here's what I wanted to share as a thought for today...

Taken from: Motivation And The Muse: Which Comes First?

First begin by seeking out the motivation killers and conquering your demons:
  1. Figure out what your demons are:
    1. Not enough time to write.
    2. Family responsibilities.
    3. Procrastination.
    4. Fear of writing or of failing or success or rejection.
    5. Shell-shocked or reeling from the pain of so much rejection.
    6. Writers block.
  2. Sneak up on your demons while they're sleeping.  The way the Lilliputians snuck up on Gulliver and tied him down while he slept.
    1. Time: make time.  Set a schedule, and stick to it.  It takes 21 days to form a habit.  If you can set aside 5 to 10 minutes every day for 21 days, your habit will have been formed.
    2. Family: work around your responsibilities.  Early morning or late at night or the afternoon when the kids are in school.
    3. Procrastination:  Set a schedule, and stick to it.  Do time to writing exercises.  If the timer goes off in your still writing, keep writing.
    4. Fear:  Write in your journal, write for yourself.  Write out your fears.  Write every detail of your fear, how it makes you feel both physically and emotionally, and where you think the fear is coming from.  The beauty of this technique is that, not only are you conquering your demons, you are also writing, which is your ultimate goal.
    5. Rejection:
                                                              i.      Learn from it; embrace it as an affirmation that you are getting closer to your goal.  If you don't experience rejection, it will be difficult for you to relate to other writers.  It will be hard to understand their plight, their anguish and feelings of self-doubt.  We learn from rejection in many ways.  We grow as writers and learn to have patience.  Rejections force to rewrite our own material.  Every time we rewrite a story gets better.  Patience is the key to making a great writer and more the more rejections you get, the more practice you get as well.
                                                            ii.      The moment your manuscript comes back rejected, send it out again.  For each ms you send out, have a list of one or more publishers to send it to if it comes back rejected—then do it immediately!  Do NOT wait a day.  With this constant flow of manuscripts coming and going it's hard to give a lot of thought to each individual rejection.  Instead you're creating momentum and your desire to be published becomes that much stronger.
                                                          iii.      The best way to deal with rejection is to keep busy.  Always have another project going.  Always work on another story or article.  It helps to soothe the pain of rejection because you have a new focus with a lot of promise.
    1. Writers block: What you may think is writers block may actually be an essential part of the creative process.

To read more of this article, visit the website of Marisa Montes

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sample Sunday #1

Here's what I'm currently working on. It's still in its early stages and is a work in progress. Enjoy!

It was everywhere.
There wasn’t a place he could lay his hand that didn’t come back covered and as Aidan lifted his fingers to his brow, the fading sun caused the redness of the liquid to take on a more sinister hue.
 As if being bathed in blood could get any more sinister, he chuckled to himself.
There really wasn’t anything funny about the situation but for the life of him, he couldn’t seem to stop the wave of hysteria that threatened to overcome him. It started somewhere in the base of his chest and rose with such  force, to ignore it, to stifle it, would cause more pain than what it was worth.
Should anyone at that moment stumble upon him, he would look like a mad man – sitting there in the middle of a dirty, rat infested alley, cradling in his arms the lifeless body of a woman, her heart finally stopped as the last of her life blood trickled slowly from her. 
With one glance at his disheveled appearance, clothes caked with blood that was already beginning to dry and skin smeared with the sticky gore, people would be screaming for the authorities.
Aidan knew he needed to come to his senses, that he needed to remove himself quickly from the situation but still he sat there, rocking back and forward, his bloodstained hands roughly smoothing over the hair of his victim as if to comfort her in her passing.
His victim.

- The Curse of Illusions, historical romance

Thanks for coming by my first time #SS's
*winks* See you on Twitter!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Follow Friday For Writers #1

Elizabeth over at Some Sharp Words came up with an amazing idea! What better way to network and connect with fellow writers than to participate in a blog HOP! There's always strength in numbers and so much support/lovin' to receive so join in with the fun. Here's the rules she's set up:

1) (Required) You must follow my blog
2) (Required) You must follow the guest poster featured in the blog hop post.
3) Go to Sharp Words and copy the image code found there and paste it in your blog. Add in your name to the link at the bottom of the page while you're there.
4) Copy and paste the rules in your blog, as well as this week’s question.
5) Answer the question
6) You must copy these rules, the hop link and the featured question with your answer on your own blog. This blog serves as a place for new followers to say hi.
7) Follow, follow, follow. This is about networking, people, making connections with people in your community. So talk to us. We don't bite!
8) If someone stops by, says hi and follows you, the polite thing to do is follow back.
9) Comment here and introduce yourself and you just might find a new follower or two.
Here's this weeks question...
What inspired you to write?
I've always liked to write but I've lacked the confidence. Every now and then an idea would hit and I'd tinker around with it. Maybe about two years ago, someone I spent alot of time talking with, tried to encourage me to start writing again - nothing big and fancy, just whatever inspired me. After I made a very rude noise, I adamantly told him "Craig I will NEVER write." I think I even growled at him. He just gave me this knowing look and left it alone. Two weeks later, I'm in his office with a 10 page answer to something he'd asked me. Something stuck. I was in the middle of a Jonas Brothers obsession *groans* and next thing I knew, I wrote a brief story called "Love Bug", my first ever romance. I had so much fun being creative with it that I whispered to Craig that I'd write something else. Next thing I wrote was a fan fiction for Christine Feehan's Carpathian series called Dark Protection. I got about 15,000 words in and stopped but I was HOOKED. I loved how I felt when I wrote, the magical feel of creating something from my imagination.
I'm pretty lucky. I dream my story ideas. I wake up with a few images and a truckload of emotional residue and I sit down and outline something. I've written bits and pieces since - The Promise of Heat (a paranormal romance), Within The Shadows (romance suspense), The Curse of Illusions (historical romance) and Broken Promises (urban fantasy and book one in trilogy) I've also got folder upon folders of other story ideas - one about love found during a kidnapping, a time travelling princess, a sexy Highlander, a sexy protective vampire guardian and a vampire enforcer on the run. Each one tugs on me to get started and I can't wait to visit them. Right now I'm working on TCofI and editing BP - both have me so excited and I get tingles when I read them.
Another thing that keep me inspired me to write is the friendships I've made with other authors. As an avid reader, I've always seen the creators of the stories I love as people unreachable. Never in my wildest dreams would I think I'd ever be able to chat back and forth, let alone receive support and guidance for my own musings. Whenever I feel discouraged or need some trade advice, I reach out and they are always super helpful. It helps take away the nerves and makes me a better writer. I don't want to drop names but they know who they are and I love them!
So that's my story. I'd be remiss to also include my love for my hubby Mark and BFF Lacey. They're always on stand by, patiently reading through everything I write and they still love me LOL Lacey is an amazing author herself and my greatest cheerleader. She's the one I text early in the morning with "My gosh I had the best dream" and send her photo after photo of my latest muses and crush. Woman's a saint I tell you! Oh and just so you know? I didn't get an "I told you so" from Craig although believe me.. I deserved it. I can't believe how strongly I argued with him. Just goes to show - I don't always know what's best for me. Happy writing everyone and enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Something To Tempt You - Scene From Broken Promises

It goes without saying that the following is a ROUGH draft *giggles* but I really wanted to share what I've been working on. Hopefully you'll enjoy reading it as much as I loved writing it!

From a brief glimpse from the corner of my eye, I found Quinn standing further down the street, standing still with his need for me blazing in his eyes. This time his mouth began to move and I caught the words Help me before he turned again and walked away.
Adamant I wasn’t going to lose him, I trained my eyes on him and never lifting them, surged through the crowd, stepping through and over anyone in my path. Moving faster this time and not being restrained by the crowd, I quickly made it to where he had been and spotted him turning into the next street. With one more look over his shoulder, he disappeared.

Taking the corner at a dead run, I was brought up short as I came face to face with something out of my worst nightmare. Pulled in tight against a strong body, Quinn was being gripped around his neck, firm hands holding him in place. One wrong move on his part and those hands would move with lightening precision and snap his neck.

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Blessed Gift Of Inspiration - A New Muse

One of the best things I've done to nurture my writing is become a member on an online writing club. Not only does it help being part of a close knit community where everyone rallies around each other but you can also pick up some amazing tips to enhance your writing. The other day, Elizabeth from Some Sharp Words shared a list of what to do when you just don't feel like it. There was some great tips and one of the suggestions was to watch something that makes you think. It sounded like a good idea - I use listening to music to inspire me so it wasn't that much of a stretch to include movies and TV. Never has a truer tip been shared!! Tonight, out of the blue, my husband came and turned the bedroom television on and the program was showing PBS 25th Anniversary of Les Miserables. It was a tribute to the musical and instantly I was riveted. I remember watching the musical live on stage in my teens and ever since it's held a very dear place in my heart. Before I knew I was singing with tears streaming down my cheeks and goosebumps from how powerful the songs/music was. This was a gift in and of itself but I was given more - I was given the true muse for my historical romance The Curse of Illusions and a touching character trait. Intrigued?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Power Of A Playlist

One of the very first things I learned as I began to write was the power of music in inspiring my muse. Sometimes life is so hectic and I have a million thoughts running around in my head that it's difficult to hear the creative urging to write. When I signed up for NaNoWriMo last year, it required a really big commitment and effort - 50,000 words in 30 days. With a muse that likes to hide, I needed something to coax her out so I created my Broken Promises playlist. I recently joined an AMAZING writers group on Facebook *waves "Hi guys!"* and we got talking about it. So here's the post I put together to showcase what I listen to...

Sunday, March 6, 2011

I'm My Own Worst Enemy!

I'm beyond frustrated with myself at the moment because once again, I've given in to my inner critic and turned off my muse. Am I the only one out there who feels they are in constant battle with the voice of doubt?

Yesterday I woke up sobbing from a nightmare that left me terrorized and an emotional wreck. It was a pretty good dream but for that one gut wrenching scene and I was left wondering whether it was a gift from the Story Gods that I should write it all down. I couldn't get around how I felt waking up and it didn't take long for my muse to speak up: "Belinda, why don't you write that scene. Capture the emotions and if the moment presents itself, write an empowering ending."

Perfect, I thought as my mind started racing and the scene reformed. The words were already flowing, all I needed to do was put them on my laptop and I'd be good to go. *chuckles* Oh that it could be that simple. The minute I opened up the document and started to type - I kid you not - I was bombarded with self doubt. "Who do you think you are to write?" "Oh that sentence you just did sounded stupid" "People aren't going to want to read this" To add to the insult, I started to see everything I wrote in startling red as future edits called for me to delete and redo.

It drives me nuts that I do this to myself. I'm a good writer and there's no need for me to think like this. It's like I hit this wall in my mind and I spend the rest of the time banging against it, trying to move past it. Sometimes I can and it's pure magic. But sometimes, like yesterday, I just can't seem to do it and I end up discouraged.

What I need is a boost of confidence and something big and hard to beat the self doubt over the head with. I love writing. I love the rush that comes when a story unfolds and characters take over and you're left with the tingles because you've created something amazing. So much time is wasted for me. I have stories unfinished that call to me, begging for me to complete them. *sigh* I just need to find away to break down that wall and silence the voices. I have great stories inside me.  I just need to give them a voice and set the free.

Does anyone else feel and experienced the same? Overcome it? Have advice? Please me and my muse are desperate!