Sherbet Story (An IWSG Post)

It’s the first Wednesday of the month, which means it’s time for another action-packed installment of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.

For more information and/or a complete list of participants, please click on the above link.

This month’s super cool co-hosts are Jacqui Murray, Lisa Buie-Collard, Sarah Foster, Natalie Aguirre, and Shannon Lawrence.

This month’s (optional) question asks, “Other than the obvious holiday traditions, have you ever included any personal or family traditions/customs in your stories?”

The short answer is yes.

Growing up, whenever we had a party-type gathering at our house (i.e., Christmas, graduation, baby/bridal showers, etc.), my mother would make punch out of…whatever was in it. It’s not like it’s a secret family recipe I’m unwilling to share with you, it’s just that I honestly don’t know what went into it. Ginger ale and some other (non-alcoholic) stuff.

The final touches on that punch would be a few scoops of rainbow sherbet, added for…again, I don’t really know. Color, decoration, maybe. Whatever. The important thing is, that’s what was always done, and continues to be done to this day.

So, when writing a family party-type gathering scene in the Terrible Romance Novel, I included a bowl of punch into which my main character added scoops of rainbow sherbet.

Which inspired one of my critique partners to respond with, “Eww! Gross! Why would anyone do that?!?”

And I was all, “I dunno. We just do that in my family.”

There’s another wink to some family history in that book, but telling you about it is kind of a spoiler, so I’m keeping my mouth shut about it for now. I know after the riveting sherbet story you’re on the edge of your seat in anticipation and asking you to wait is super unfair, but you’re just going to have to power through.

Have you ever included any personal/family traditions/customs in your work?

Thanks for stopping by, y’all. Have a great Wednesday and, as this will probably be my last post of March, hope you have a great month and a fantastic start to Spring.

March Madness

It’s Goal Post Monday, which means it’s time for a look back at last month’s goals and a brand new list of goals for the current month. Sure, those goals may end up looking completely identical to last month’s goals, but the important thing is that at least I’m…consistent?

February Goals

Write a first draft of a blurb for the Terrible Romance Novel

I actually did this. I don’t know if it’s any good, but fortunately, that wasn’t the goal.

Work out the timeline for Part Two of Full Circle

I did not make nearly as much progress on this goal as I had hoped I would. I only managed to write 7500 words last month and only worked out the first few chapters of Part Two. I have one character who’s being a stubborn pain in the ass (and that’s coming from me, the original stubborn pain in the ass…) and one characters who’s probably one scene away from just going completely catatonic and lying on the floor in the fetal position until I go away. (Joke’s on him because if he thinks things are bad now, just wait until I get to Part Three.)

Anyway, there’s been a bit of a hold-up. The plot just isn’t doing what I had thought it would, which will lead to one thing: a major word purge to start off the month.

Yipee.

But if it’s gotta go, then it’s gotta go.

Log at least 87 miles for the month and complete at least one 15-minute yoga session each week.

I did the walking part. I logged 93 miles last month. But the yoga part fell by the wayside. Again. I don’t recall doing any yoga in February. Oops.

Read four books

Yeah…about that. I didn’t do this. I read two books, though, which I suppose isn’t terrible. I honestly don’t know what’s wrong with me these days. Reading never used to be a chore. It never used to be something I had to force myself to do.

March Goals

Work out the timeline for Part Two of Full Circle

I’m hoping the aforementioned word purge may help get those creative juices flowing.

—Work on another round of edits/revisions on the Terrible Romance Novel

I printed out a copy last month and never got any further with it. May March be the month I at least break out a highlighter and take another micro-step toward publishing this book.

Log at least 93 miles and try to throw in some yoga once a week

Read two books

That’s all from me today. Have you set any goals for March?

Tune in Wednesday for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group…unless I forget. If I do, then I’ll see y’all next month.

Until next time…

A Picture’s Worth 1000 Words (An IWSG Post)

It’s the first Wednesday of the month, which means it’s time for another action-packed installment of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.

If you’re looking for more information and/or a complete list of participants, please click on the above link.

This month’s co-hosts are Lee Lowery, Ronel Janse van Vuuren, Jennifer Hawes, Cathrina Constantine, Tyrean Martinson.

This month’s (optional) question asks, “Has a single photo or work of art ever inspired a story? What was it, and did you finish it?”

If you’re talking about something like Tracy Chevalier’s novel Girl With A Pearl Earring, then the answer is no.

But that is not to say that I have never been inspired by photos and/or artwork that embodies whatever mood I’m trying to get across for a certain character or scene. Because I certainly have.

I like creating aesthetic boards for my projects. There’s usually one on my storyboard, plus a few on Pinterest, and I add to them any time I come across an image that strikes my fancy. Below is an older photo of the aesthetic board for my fantasy series. (It’s since been altered to make room for other things.)

But there is a piece of artwork that did help inspire certain storylines early on in Effigy’s creation. It’s called Meeting on the Turret Stairs by Frederic William Burton. Painted in 1864, it’s said to represent a medieval Danish ballad about a pair of ill-fated lovers.

I didn’t know the backstory when I first came across the image printed on a card in a stationary store in Montréal. I was just walking by when it caught my eye. Approximately five second later, the creative juices were flowing.

The rest, as they say, is history.

I guess one never knows when or where inspiration will find us or where it will lead. Always good to be open to it, though.

Have you been inspired by artwork? Do you have a propensity for creating aesthetic boards? Addicted to Pinterest? Tell me below…

(One last thing…I ranted about calmly discussed updates in my last post, and they’re continuing to irritate me. Even though I centered all of the images used in today’s post, the whatever has decided it doesn’t care. Sigh.)

Close, But No Cupcakes

Okay, first of all…I HATE change. I especially hate technology updates. I finally get a website looking a certain way and (more or less) understand how all the various parts work, and then BAM! an update comes along and screws it all up.

If you’ve been to this site of late, you may have noticed the new wonky appearance and wondered what the hell happened. Well, I’ll tell you. Updates. Updates happened. I didn’t want these changes to be made, but I didn’t get much of a choice. Or any choice, really. I’m still working out how to correct things. If I do manage to figure these things out (at this point, I am unconvinced that I will…), I’m sure it’ll be right before the next update.

Because I am Sisyphus and this site is my boulder.

All right. On to other things. Namely, goal-related things, as it’s the beginning of a brand-new month. Today, I’ll be looking at the goals I set for myself last month and creating a list of goals for the current month.

January Goals

—Write the first draft of a blurb for the Terrible Romance Novel

Yeah…I didn’t quite do this. In my quest to procrastinate on this as much as possible, I wrote a bunch of fake blurbs and posted them on social media, but I didn’t actually finish a real blurb. I’m struggling to decide how much to put into the blurb itself. Like, what details to include. Because you don’t want to give everything away but you have to have something more than “There are these people, and they, like, do things and stuff happens.” Or so I’m told. I have a possible opening and closing paragraph. Just…nothing in the middle. But, really, how important can that be?

—Complete first draft of Part One of Full Circle

Yeah. I didn’t quite do this, either. (Do you see a pattern emerging here?) But I came close. Close-ish.

I accomplished other things. I added almost 13,000 words to the WIP (and I may even keep some of them when it comes time for revisions) and worked out a timeline solution that has held for not only hours, but days. I think it’s still a little wonky and I’m not totally happy with it, but it’s good enough for the first draft and right now, that’s all I need.

—Read four books

I read three.

—Log 93 miles (for the entire month) and complete at least one 15-minute yoga workout each week.

I logged 99 miles, but I only did three of the four yoga workouts. I was pushing hard to try to get Part One finished and everything else fell by the wayside.

—Clean out and organize the office closet

Didn’t even come close to doing this one. Didn’t even start it. In fact, I think I just threw more clutter in there.

February Goals

—Write a first draft of a blurb for the Terrible Romance Novel

—Work out the timeline for Part Two of Full Circle

—Log at least 87 miles for the month, and complete at least one 15-minute yoga session each week.

—Read four books


That’s gonna do it for me today because I have totally reached the end of my rope with this new look/format/whatever it’s called.

WHY YOU DO HAVE TO MAKE THIS HARDER TO USE, WEBSITE GODS?!?!?

Have I mentioned that I HATE change?

Tune in on Wednesday when I take part in the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. That is, if I haven’t thrown my computer out the window and run screaming through town in frustration.

Thanks for stopping by!

Time Troubles (An IWSG Post)

It’s the first second Wednesday of the month, which means it’s time for another action-packed installment of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.

(I’m assuming that anyone reading this post is already well-versed in the IWSG, but if you’re new and/or just interested in more information and/or a complete list of participants, please click on the above link.)

This month’s awesome co-hosts are T. Powell Coltrin, Victoria Marie Lees, Stephen Tremp, Renee Scattergood, and J.H. Moncrieff.

This month’s (optional) question asks, “What started you on your writing journey? Was it a particular book, movie, story, or series? Was it a teacher/coach/spouse/friend/parent? Did you just “know” suddenly you wanted to write?”

As best I can recall, I just always was a writer from the moment I figured out how to do that whole words-putting-into-sentence-doing thing (Name! That! Reference!) You know, so like a whole year or two now…

Kidding. It’s been slightly longer than that. But just slightly.

Though, these days, it doesn’t feel as though I’ve been writing for most of my life. The timeline problem I mentioned in my previous post continues to be a problem. None of the solutions I’ve devised thus far hold up for more than a day or two.

Eventually, I assume, I’ll hit upon the correct configuration of story, but until that magical day arrives, I’ll be a little stressed. All right, a lot stressed. I like having a plan in place. I like having a map to follow, even though I usually end up on a detour or two or twenty before it’s all said and done. I enjoy the detours. I enjoy puzzling out stories.

What I don’t particularly enjoy is bushwhacking my way through the Everglades or whatever jungle swamp form my WIP has decided to take on this week.

Thank goodness it’s a first draft, right?

Though I’ll keep devising new plans and trying them out until I find the one that works, I can’t help but worry that this time will be the time I don’t find the one that works.

But it probably won’t be. Right?

RIGHT?!?!?!?


Thanks for stopping by today—I’ll try to do better next month.