Monthly Archives: May 2010

Random Thoughts that Stopped by Mind Today

• I’d rather fail a few times if it meant in the end I would become an expert.

• I waste time daydreaming.

• Happiness can be found in the smallest things and most unexpected places.

• If you take the time to figure out someone else you may discover who you are.

• To some writing is a hobby, to me it is a calling.

• If your house smells nice you feel better.

• I have sent many queries and have received many rejections.

• Hope is mysterious, Trust is comforting and Passion is motivating.

What random thoughts stopped by your place today?

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Filed under books, constructing, creating, dreaming, editing, emotions, Fiction, Inspirational, life, meme, novel, query, random, rejections, routine, stories, story writing, Style, Uncategorized, Voice, WISHES, writer's life, writers, writing, Writing

WRITING A BOOK IS LIKE MAKING CHILI


What would you say if I told you that making chili is a lot like writing a book? I’m sort of famous for my chili (according to my family). When I decide to make chili, I get out my big yellow pot and place it on my stove. The recipe for my chili can only be found within the walls of my mind. I have never written down the ingredients that I use, but somehow it ends up tasting the same way every time. I’m pretty confident that if I blindfolded my family and gave them three different spoonfuls of chili, they would be able to pick mine out immediately. I know, right now you are saying, “Lady, get to the point.”

Think of the pot that you use as your setting. It’s the place where all of the ingredients get blended together to make something delicious. Let’s think of the ingredients as the components that make up a good story. The beans you add to the chili are like the characters within a story. A variety can be used (Eg. black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, black-eyed peas, great northern beans or navy beans). Each has a distinguished taste and provides a different flair to the chili, exactly like a character would do for a story.

The meat is what everything else sticks to. Much like a plot, it provides flavor. Without the meat or “meat analogue”, the chili or the story would leave the eater or the reader with much to be desired. No book is a good book without a meaty plot. The meat is what makes the eater or the reader shove more in.

I add a blend of spices and condiments to my chili which I view as dialogue. These spices and condiments must speak to each other to create something worth talking about. Some of the spices I use are mild and can be viewed as soft spoken (parmesan cheese). Some are spicy and outspoken (chili peppers), but I’m pretty sure they compliment each other and make the chili -aka story interesting.

The tomatoes I use are my theme. Tomatoes are my version of a hug. I want the people I am cooking for or writing for to feel embraced. I want them to know that a lot of love was put into the dinner they are about to eat or the story they are preparing to read.
My voice is the taste that allows my family to be able to pick out my chili from someone else’s. It’s the lasting impression I leave. You can teach someone how to make chili but chances are theirs will always come out different from yours.

Everything from the pot (setting), the beans (characters), the meat (plot), the spices (dialogue), the tomatoes (theme) and overall taste is what makes your pot of chili (story) your own.
What ingredients do you use that separate you from someone else?

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Writers and Readers

The beautiful thing about reading and writing is that through reading you can be inspired to write about something else. In a sense the reader teaches the writer and the writer teaches the reader.
Often when reading something that I consider to be well written, I ask myself how I could orchestrate my words to read as brilliantly as the specific author has made theirs. There is a certain rhythm that words must have in order to successfully engage the reader. When reading my words back to myself, I must feel them effortlessly rolling off of my tongue in order to be satisfied with what I wrote. I want to be able to write something that I would love to read.
If you are a writer you are a reader. My favorite part of reading is that moment when the words of another author will inspire me to think of perfectly sounding words of my own.
The writer teaches the reader about people, places, emotions, actions and anything else that we all face in different ways but similar enough to relate.
What the reader and the writer might not realize is that they are both seeking to understand the human spirit. I can only speak for myself when I say- I can see myself in so many different characters. Some traits I would admit to having and others I wouldn’t be so quick to confess.
When I am reading, I am looking to find myself in others. When I am writing, I am looking to discover the soul of another.
Writers and Readers are like Peanut butter and Jelly. They can stand alone but they were meant to be put together.

What about reading makes you a better writer?

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Me too: How I Connect With Famous Authors

I took a fun quiz today on Twitter. The purpose of the quiz was to determine what writer you were most like. After answering a few multiple choice questions I hit submit and waited. My result was …J.D. Salinger. After reading through the small personality profile that the test makers provided, I thought to myself, yeah I guess in some ways I am like this famous author. Then I thought some more and decided that I could probably relate to a lot of famous authors on some level. How so? Was the question that piqued my curiosity and sent me surfing the internet to come up with the answers. Here is what I found.
Edgar Allen Poe- Poe, as I like to call him pursued writing as a career more earnestly after the death of his brother during a difficult time in American publishing.
Me- I began focusing much more on my writing in hopes of making it a career after the death of my father during a difficult time in American publishing. We see it every day on blogs, twitter and websites how much harder it is today to break into publishing. Regardless, I am determined to jump over the hurdles and finish the race.

Erma Bombeck- She did a stint on the Good Morning America show which is produced by ABC studios.
Me- I received a paycheck from ABC studios for a short story I wrote on motherhood.

Stephanie Meyer- It is a well-known fact that the inspiration for the widely acclaimed Twilight Saga came to Stephanie Meyer in a dream. My current YA novel also presented itself to me within a dream. I don’t think I would have ever come up with the idea in my waking life.
Me- My mother’s maiden name is Hemingway and her siblings claim that they are descendents of Ernest Hemingway. I will eventually do a family tree to find out for sure but, the fact that I may have the blood of a famous author is exciting.
I realized that all of these small facts and correlations are not huge but they are similarities that connect me with some of the finest authors ever to live.

I am an author just like J.D. Salinger, Erma Bombeck, Edgar Allen Poe and Ernest Hemingway. I may not be as well-known, but my passion for writing is no less than theirs was or still is.
How are you similar to famous authors?
What interesting facts can be written about you?

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Changing it up

I have decided to tinker with my blog design. Please be patient until I come up with the perfect fit. If you are looking for Writing Like Crazy you are at the right place it just looks a bit different. Read my post below to see how you can make an empty room become whatever you imagine it could be.

I am doing some redecorating. Let me know what you think.

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The Empty Room and Writing

Imagine that you are thrown into an empty room with a notepad and pencil. The walls are white. The floors are bare. Silence is the only sound that buzzes through your ears. You are told to use your imagination to bring that room to life. What type of atmosphere would you create?

This is exactly the type of thing you need to do when creating scenes for your novel. You have to use your artistry to bring life to the empty room. What colors would you paint your walls? What type of furniture would you put inside your room? Will the floors be carpeted? These are the small details that keep your reader reading. Why? Because a reader needs to visualize in order to enjoy. However, there is a fine line you need to be aware of when adding details. You don’t want to clutter every room, every scene, and every description because this can turn a reader off.

Envision each blank piece of paper as an empty room that you need to fill up in order to make someone feel at home or at least welcomed.
Take a walk to the store within your mind to purchase the necessities to make your room inviting. Or, you can stroll down the dark alleys of your psyche to discover the rooms that you yourself would not want to enter. What do those rooms look like? Is the plaster crumbling from the walls? Are there cockroaches that scatter when the door is opened? Does an awful odor fill the room causing you to pinch your nose?

When you begin your story it is an empty page. The wordless page is an empty room that you have been given the privilege to decorate. If you use your talent correctly, you will unveil an unforgettable room that others will want to enter.

Let’s make this into a writing exercise. I will fill up a room if you do.

My empty room became… Stella walked down the narrow hallway that led to what they called the Great room. She didn’t understand until entering the room why they would have called it that. The moment her feet stepped into the eccentric living space she was no longer confused. The ornate ceilings were painted burgundy and navy blue and displayed cameo carvings. Custom made wheat colored drapes framed the tall windows that overlooked their private lake. Stella walked over to the eggplant colored chaise lounge and sat at its edge. Somehow the colors that she would have never thought to put together complimented each other. Mrs. Leed certainly had a knack for decoration.
The cream colored sectional that curved around the center of the room was the biggest piece of furniture Stella ever laid eyes on. Everything was beautiful, but her favorite part of the massive room was the area off to the side where two giant camel-colored bean bag chairs rested in front of a built-in book shelf that was crowded with the things Stella loved most, books.

I showed you mine, now show me yours. Pretty please.

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Filed under books, constructing, creating, dreaming, editing, emotions, Fiction, Inspirational, life, middle grade fiction, Style, Uncategorized, Voice, writer's life, writers, writing, Writing, Young Adult