Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday Fun

Happy Friday! And, boy am I glad this weeks almost over. We finally had some rain the last couple days and it's actually feeling like fall out there. Plus, I've made some major decisions about my writing path this past week so things are looking up.

So, I thought I'd share some fun with you today.

First, Stickman. This is cute. 

Next, some of you have seen this before, but for those of you who haven't...Wordle. I really like playing here.  One day I'm going to use  one of these for a t-shirt design.

And of course, Banner Maker. This is fun to play with.

For those of you who are at work and need a break without looking like you're having fun, there's this.

Have fun y'all!

Thursday, September 22, 2011


The other day while running errands, I had the radio on as normal and heard something interesting.  The guy said the reason most people don't succeed is because they don't focus.  Then he went on to explain what he meant.

Focus = Follow One Course Until Successful

He said people tend to start one thing, work at it for a while but then we drop it when something we think is better comes along.

And I don't know about you, but I am so guilty of this with my writing.  I'll work on one thing for a while, then a new idea comes along and I drop what I've been writing and start this new, great idea that just can't wait. The process then repeats itself over and over and over.  I don't know how many stories I have that abandoned for something that seemed better. 

This leads to something else I came across lately.  It was a blog post (and I can't find it to post a link) about the difficulties of writing, publishing and promoting in multiple genres at the same time.  One point made was that each genre will suffer because none of them are getting your full attention and your best effort.

Again, this hit me just like one of Gibbs' slap to the back of the head. I've written romance, fantasy, mystery, horror, non-fiction, inspirational, a little sci-fi and even some poetry.  I've got novels in various stages of revision and editing in fantasy, romance and mystery along with an inspirational self-help thing plotted out.

Naturally, I went into denial.  I can write 5 or 6 different genres at one time and do it well.  I can revise 3 different genre novels at one time without any problem.  What does this person know, what makes her an expert on me? 

After getting over myself though, I realized she was right.  I love my fantasy novel.  But it's suffering because I'm not FOCUSED on it.  And my mystery novel, the one I hope to pitch to New York one day, we'll it's suffering right along with the fantasy novel, and the romance novel.  Because I'm not FOCUSED.

So, I asked myself some questions.  Hard questions like just did I think I was accomplishing by spreading myself so thin.  And, just exactly what did I hope to accomplish with my writing and was I making progress the way things were going now. 

I made some hard decisions too.  And I'll be posting more about those soon but for now, I thought I'd share what I've learned lately.

And I have to ask... 

What about you?  Do you have a stack/file of unfinished stories?  Are you working on multiple genres at the same time but not giving each your best because you're spreading yourself too thin?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Comma


I don't know about you, but I have a horrendous time figuring out just where commas belong and where they don't.  So, when I found this on Twitter I knew I had to share.

First, Comma Usage 101. This is a nice basic article from Novel Publishing Group and doesn't make me feel stupid.

Here's part two. Comma Usage 201.  Again, this is easy to understand without making me feel stupid.  I mean, high school english was a LONG time ago. :-)

Here's another helpful article on commas.

I've got these in my favorites and plan to study them soon. 

What about you?  Do you abuse, ignore or overuse the comma?

Or, do you have issues with some other form of punctuation?  I love ellipsis... :-)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Where there's smoke...

And there's a lot of smoke around here today.  Ash is flying, smoke hanging in the air and even making it's way inside. 

While we aren't in the path of the fires or in any danger, I do have friends who are.

Normally, I keep my personal things off the blog...unless it's writing related, but today I'm asking each of you to take a few minutes and say a prayer for those who have lost their homes or loved ones in the recent wave of fires.  Also, remember the firemen and women who are standing between the fires and the homes of all those folks out there at a risk to themselves.

Texas is really, really dry right now.  Lakes and ponds are a fraction of the size they used to be.  Grass is brown and crunchy.  Ranchers and farmers are in terrible shape right now and it doesn't seem to be getting better, especially with the fires.

I know things are tight right now, but if you can find a few bucks in the budget, here's a place that could really use them.  Texas Wildfire Relief 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Shall we play a game?

This morning, as usual, I checked my facebook page and said hi.  A friend commented right after with the fact that she didn't sleep at all last night.  Well, naturally I felt bad for my sleepless friend but being in an unusual mood already, my brain took the words she'd written and linked them to an old song.  And before I knew what had happened, I had "I couldn't sleep at all last night...I was tossing and turning, turning and tossing" stuck in my head.  Over and over...turning and tossing...tossing and turning...

My friend commented "Use it" and like the writer I am...I realized the reason she was tossing and turning is cause she was wrestling  with the nuances of her plan to get rid of the guy that done her wrong.

So, here's today's game.  Why do you think he or she was tossing and turning?  Leave your answer in the comment section. 

I had to look up the lyrics so if you need a bit of inspiration, here they are. From the song Tossin' and Turnin' by Bobby Lewis in 1961.

I couldn't sleep at all last night
Got to thinkin' of you
Baby things weren't right
Well I was tossin' and turnin'
Turnin' and tossin'
a-tossin' and turnin' all night

I kicked the blankets on the floor
Turned my pillow upside down
I never never did before
'cause I was tossin' and turnin'
Turnin' and tossin'
a-tossin' and turnin' all night

Jumped out of bed
Turned on the light
I pulled down the shade
Went to the kitchen for a bite
Rolled up the shade
Turned off the light
I jumped back into bed
It was the middle of the night

The clock downstairs was strikin' four
Couldn't get you off my mind
I heard the milkman at the door
'cause I was tossin' and turnin'
Turnin' and tossin'
a-tossin' and turnin' all night

***  Bonus points to the person who can tell me what movie I pulled the title of this post from.  :-)