Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category

March 31, 2010



It’s time to ask my writer friends for some advice: I need to find a way to strike a balance between writing and life.

I’ve written about this on my other blog, but not here. It seems that when I’m focusing on my writing, everything else falls by the wayside — especially diet and exercise.

I wake up and want to get right down to business. I’d rather write than cook. Forget moving — I’d rather plant my butt in a chair all day, reading, writing, researching (and, yes) playing online.

So my question to you all: How do you balance your writing with everything else you want to/have to do?

March 23, 2010


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The old saw says there are three R’s — readin’ ‘ritin’ and ‘rithmetic — but I gave up on that last one years ago.

These days, I find myself struggling to strike the right balance between the other two.

I’ve heard many, many writers say that to write well, you must read — and read a lot. Different books, different kinds of books, things you like and things you know you should read just because they’re part of our collective consciousness.

My problem is, I’ve been spending a lot more time writing than reading. I have shelves full of books waiting to be read, yet I don’t read them. Instead, I’m writing, watching TV, blogging or surfing the Internet (sometimes all at once!).

I used to read all the time. I was one of those kids who went to the summer reading club at the library every week and checked out an entire box full of books. I read them all in a week and went back for more. Even when I first moved to Arizona, I read a lot. My roommate and I used to buy books and swap them all the time. I still have an entire bookcase full of her books that I haven’t read yet.

I lay the blame for my lax reading habits on the Boyfriend. Now that I have a man in my life, I don’t feel such a need to read countless romances.

I’m going to start making more of an effort. There are so many wonderful books out there, and I’m missing out by locking myself away in my own little world. (Besides, if I start to make a dent in my to-be-read shelves, I can cut back on clutter!) 😉

What I’m reading now: “Blonde with a Wand” by Vicki Lewis Thompson. So far, it’s hilarious. The heroine, a witch, accidentally turns the hero, a player, into a cat — and then has trouble turning him back.

I just saw on that she has another book in the series coming out soon (if it’s not out already). I think I’ll pick it up.

I’m going to make an effort to share what I’m reading here on my blog in the hopes that it’ll encourage me to read more. It won’t look very good if I don’t read more than a book  a month.

On the writing front, my WIP is coming along quite nicely. It’s up to 52,300, leaving me with less than 7K to go.

March 14, 2010



Get your mind out of the gutter. I was going to say “pens.”

I spent an hour or so with the notebook and a pen this afternoon, hand-writing what turned out to be a good scene. It was full of both love and laughter — what more can you ask?

Tools of the trade

Tools of the trade

When I left my makeshift office at Burritos Fiesta, I started to think about the tools I write with — mainly because my favorite pen had run out of ink the night before, and the one I started using just didn’t have the same feel or flow.

Don’t get me wrong: I love writing utensils and have quite the collection of pens, in a rainbow of colors. But some do write better than others. In college, I was a Pilot girl. I bought Pilot fine-tipped ballpoint pens in every available color because I loved the way they wrote.

Even now, I’m a Pilot pen lover. But today I use the G-2 gel writers (still in many colors). In fact, my pen that bit the dust Friday night was a standard blue G-2.

I love everything about the G-2: The way it feels in my hand, with just the right weight and heft … the way the ink flows from it, making it easy to capture my thoughts quickly … the way it doesn’t smear …

I’ve used my share of pencils, too, mostly mechanical ones. My favorite was (and still is) a Scripto refillable pencil with thick lead. I can’t tell you how long I’ve had mine, or if the lead refills are even available anymore. But I can tell you that words flow pretty well for me with it, too. And that lead, unlike a lot of mechanical pencil lead, rarely breaks.

So tell me, what are your favorite writing tools? Any other G-2 fans out there? Surely I’m not alone!

I’ve had a busy Friday. I not only wrote about 800 words on Meg & Matt’s story, but also finally readied the talk I’m doing on dialogue at next Saturday’s NARWA meeting.

I know, I know. I’ve been procrastinating. A more conscientious person would have started preparing long ago. Actually, I did start gathering info on what makes great dialogue a couple of weeks ago. I just spent tonight finding examples from my writing to illustrate each point.

Here’s a sneak peek of the things I’ve determined make for great dialogue:

  • It moves the story along, intensifies characterization or both
  • It must be true to the character
  • It doesn’t necessarily sound like we talk in real life
  • It can include all the witty comments we don’t think of until it’s too late

Am I forgetting or missing anything? What do you guys think?