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.


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?


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

New Year, Same Goals

Happy New Year, all! Hope everyone out there had a wonderful holiday season.

As has become my own little tradition, this post will be all about goals. I’ll be laying out what I hope to accomplish during the course of the year, as well as what I hope to do this month. It’s like double coupon day at the grocery store. Only instead of saving money on your groceries, you get to read an extra-long list of my goals.

Many of these goals will be no different from last year’s, as I pretty much failed to achieve each and every one of them. Oops. This year, however, I hope to do a bit better. Which shouldn’t be hard considering, again, that I pretty much failed to achieve each and every one of them.

In the interest of time and making this post as short as possible, I’ve decided to add a little bullet point at the end of each goal to detail what I’m planning to do on each particular goal during the month of January.

Are you ready? I know I can’t wait…

The 2020 Goals

—Publish Love & Other Lies

More affectionately known as the Terrible Romance Novel, this WIP has been creeping toward publication for a while now. With a little luck, 2020 just may be the year it sees the light of day. I still have to write a blurb for it, though, so it could really go either way.

  • January’s goal: Write the first draft of a possible blurb

—Complete first draft of Full Circle

Otherwise known as Book Three of my fantasy series, I added a good 50,000 words to this manuscript during last November’s NaNoWriMo event. I still have a loooooooooong way to go. Like, just so long. The plot continues to give me trouble. I know where I would like it to start and end, but everything in between is just…not right. Yet, anyway. I’ll figure it out eventually. I hope.

  • January’s goal: Complete Part One (note: it is, by far, the most complete of the novel’s three parts. If I can just work out this pesky timeline issue, this goal is totally doable. I hope.)

—Write the first draft of the Terrible Romance Sequel

Yep. There’s a sequel. My goddaughter (who loved the Terrible Romance Novel) would like to read another installment, so I decided to write one for her. Or try, at least. There isn’t very much of it yet, but the goal here will be to really begin the first draft during NaNoWriMo in November. So I have some time yet.

  • January’s goal: Jot down any ideas I may come up with during the course of the day, but for now this project’s on the back burner. I mean, did you see the second goal?!?

—Read at least 52 books

I have seriously dropped the reading ball the last few years. I don’t know why, but I’m seriously lacking in focus. I’m sure it has absolutely nothing to do with the amount of time I spend playing that Harry Potter Wizards Unite game.

Anyway, I’m maintaining hope that one book a week isn’t too much of a stretch.

  • January’s goal: Read four books

—Walk at least three miles per day

The one goal I actually managed to achieve last year! I’m hoping to keep that momentum going this year, as well as adding in some yoga and other aerobics to my fitness routine. You know, to keep things interesting and to prevent me from becoming part of my couch and/or desk chair.

  • January’s goal: Log 93 miles and complete at least one 15-minute yoga workout each week

—Declutter and Downsize

This will come as a shocking surprise, I know, but I am a scary hoarder of office supplies…and a few other things. This year, however, I aim to eliminate some of the clutter. Starting with the closet in my office. That is a super scary place that my significant other is currently not allowed to even look in. So I should probably change that. If I can. Once I go into that closet, though, I may never find my way back out…

  • January’s goal: Clean out and organize the office closet

And on that not-at-all ominous note, I’m outta here. I have a lot to do this month. And this year.

What was I thinking?

Did you set any goals for the year? Want to do some of mine for me?



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