Writing Wednesday Wednesday is the day I share what I’ve learned on my journey from writing, publication, marketing; and doing it all again, and again. The kind of information I wish someone shared with me when I started. GOALS There's only ...

 

Writing Wednesday/Goals… and more...



Writing Wednesday/Goals…

Writing Wednesday

Wednesday is the day I share what I’ve learned on my journey from writing, publication, marketing; and doing it all again, and again. The kind of information I wish someone shared with me when I started.

GOALS

There’s only five-months until 2020!

Please tell me I’m not the only one freaking out about that.
It’s just a date right? Do you set New Years Goals for yourself and/or your business? Normally I’m extremely serious about my goals and I’m pretty good about accomplishing them. The past two-years, not so much. January 2018 started with surgery on my right hand. I squeezed a lemon and tore some ligaments.

January 2019 started with a kidney stone that passed but left me with an infection that turned into sepsis. My goals for both years still haven’t been met.

I’m always the one preaching “stay positive” “keep moving forward” “start with a plan” and I find myself struggling to take my own advice.

The beach fixes everything. I unplugged for a week and spent my days swimming or napping under an umbrella. Nights were spent with plenty of wine, a fire pit in the sand and smores.


Now I’m rested, refreshed and ready to tackle those goals, one at a time. My goals haven’t changed, I still want to accomplish the same things, but I need a new plan. I need to get the activities that suck up too much of my time under control.


For more than twenty-years I was a late-night writer.

A few years ago, that changed, and I started to write in the morning. The difference is late at night there were no texts, social media was boring, and it was so quiet.

There are so many distractions in the morning!

In the morning, before I get down to the business of writing, I check my email, social media and play a game or too. I listen to the radio or watch a local morning show.

That’s obviously the first thing I need to change.

 

For the next three weeks I’m going to try to write for two hours, four days a week before turning anything else on. If my schedule permits I’m going to try to write for another two hours in the afternoon. There I said it:)

Wish me luck!

How about you? Did you have goals for this year? Have you thought about them lately?
Happy Writing,
Doreen

 

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Friday Favorites, Flops and Food Southbound Edition…

Friday Favorites, Flops and Food

I know its cliché, but the weeks seem to be floating by leaving me feeling like I’m missing something or not living life to the fullest. One of my goals for this year is to slow my days down and to be present and mindful of each, and every minute. Another goal is to find something to be grateful for in each season. Keeping track of my favorites, flops and good food weekly has been a great exercise in consistent blogging, and a way to remember and be grateful.

Favorites

Have you heard that the topic of the new season of “American Crime Story” will be produced by Monica Lewinsky and will focus on the impeachment of former president Bill Clinton. It’s set to debut weeks before election day 2020.


Monica Lewinsky, Paula Jones and Linda Tripp will be the story’s main characters.


They’ll be played by Beanie Feldstein, Annaleigh Ashford and Sarah Paulson, respectively.
The show is entirely to frightening for a scaredy cat like me, but I’m intrigued and may have to watch this one.

We had to make a quick trip to Florida to help my Mom with a few things and to check in with my sister-and-brother in law. He is having serious health issues.
Even though our reasons for visiting are a bit sad we are so blessed to have relatives in such a beautiful place. Here in Daytona Beach the ocean water is 84 degrees.

Its also shark week so my feet got wet, that’s it!

Have you heard that no matter where you are in the ocean you’re never more than five-feet from a shark?
The pool water is a bit cooler and SO refreshing. Its so comforting to be able to see the bottom!

Flops

So, we drove to Florida because we’ve got to bring a bunch of stuff home with us. I don’t mind a road trip, especially with my husband. We left on Sunday morning thinking we’d get through DC easier. What were we thinking? There’s never a good time to roll through the area.

Not only was the traffic thick, we ran into thunderstorms and the most torrential rain I’ve seen in a long time.

We stopped at Cracker Barrel for dinner and I bought a lavender bath bomb. I couldn’t wait to get to the hotel and take a quick swim and a long relaxing bath. We always stop halfway which is around Fayetteville, North Carolina. The rain stopped long enough for us to get in a quick swim and even though we booked our room three-weeks earlier, they only had a shower. Maybe I’ll get that bath on the way home.

The loss of life this past week is devastating and infuriating.

I’m so sick of the back and forth rhetoric and the blaming of anyone and everyone other than the killers! My brother was murdered, and I can say from first- hand knowledge the political bs and the media back and forth hurt us so deeply. Our hearts were broken. We only wanted to hear the killers would be punished and we wanted to hear from those that loved my brother and why. The rest was awful. I feel so sorry for the loved ones…

Food

I’m not cooking this week, but my Mother had Kansas City Steaks and we had John grill them for us. They were amazing!

The Eagles played their first preseason game.

We were so excited to go to Hooligans’ to see the game with my sister-in-law, nephew (a big Eagles fan) and niece. When we got to the restaurant they apologized and said Direct TV wasn’t showing the game. We were so disappointed, but the food was good. I had chicken quesadilla and John had a Philly cheesesteak. It wasn’t a Philly steak, but he enjoyed it and I enjoyed the quesadillas.

What have you been up to this week? What are you watching, eating or travelling to?
Have a blessed weekend,
Doreen

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Writing Wednesday/WritingSurprises…

Writing Wednesday

Wednesday is the day I share what I’ve learned on my journey from writing, publication, marketing; and doing it all again, and again. The kind of information I wish someone shared with me when I started.

It’s also the first Wednesday of the month which means it’s time for The Insecure Writers Support Group!

The Purpose of the Group:

To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. If you’ve been through the fire you can offer your assistance, and guidance. It’s a safe- haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting:

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs.

Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.
Remember, the question is optional!

The August 7th question:

Has your writing ever taken you by surprise? For example, a positive and belated response to a submission you’d forgotten about or an ending you never saw coming.

Omgoodness, yes there have been many times I’ve been surprised in positive ways. A few years ago, the publisher I had my first two books with went out of business with no warning. It was heartbreaking. My books were selling so well, and I was getting positive media attention, so I wanted them republished and back online as soon as possible.

A local publishing company that I worked with through my business for years offered to republish them quickly for me. To make a long story short that company merged with another and then those companies were bought out by an unreputable company.

I decided to rework those books, have them reedited and then start resubmitting but other projects were demanding my attention, so I decided to put those first books on hold.

A few weeks ago, I was invited to a small event that included a panel of agents. One represented the genre I was currently writing so I introduced myself to her. I pitched my project and was disappointed that she seemed disinterested. She kept asking about my second book, the one no longer in print. Silly me kept shrugging those questions off and going back to my new project. A good friend who had been standing with us finally said to me, “She is interested in your second book. Stop pitching your WIP and start pitching the other.” The agent laughed and said your friend is right.

I was completely surprised to say the least.

That agent requested the manuscript and I’m waiting patiently…wish me luck!

How about you? When was the last time you were surprised?
Happy writing,
Doreen

The awesome co-hosts for the August 7 posting of the IWSG are Renee Scattergood, Sadira Stone, Jacqui Murray, Tamara Narayan, and LG Keltner! Be sure to stop by and thank them!

 

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Writing Wednesday; Research…

Writing Wednesday

Wednesday is the day I share what I’ve learned on my journey from writing, publication, marketing; and doing it all again, and again. The kind of information I wish someone shared with me back when.

Research:

Everything you write whether it’s an article, essay, blog post or a book it needs to be researched. Getting your facts straight, whether your work is fiction or nonfiction will make your story believable and increase your credibility as a writer.

When it comes to most things in my life I’m a planner. Once I get deep into a manuscript I switch to pantser mode but until then it’s all about the plan. Part of putting a book or project plan together includes research.

A student in a class I was teaching said research is so easy today because of Google. While there is an unlimited amount of information online it isn’t all factual. Getting facts wrong will quickly ruin your reputation.

Including technology in your fiction work can be tricky. ‘They’ say not to pigeonhole your book to any certain time period. It’s so easy to do that with technology. Imagine you’re reading a YA novel and the characters are discussing My Space. Most of us know what that is but will teenagers in five-years have any idea what My Space is? It may be easier for nonfiction writers to include the actual tech info but for fiction you may want to come up with fictitious names and descriptions for technology.

The standard rule for research is three respected sources. Try not to fall into the habit of simply using search engines and going with the first thing that comes up because everything on the internet isn’t necessarily factual. When doing internet research be sure to use trusted, well respected sites.

Putting together a research plan:

Determine Which Questions you Answered?

If your main character is an attorney you’ll need to research the lingo, perhaps the actual trial process and even the education process. How did the character get where they are? If you know an attorney, interview them. If you don’t know one try asking your friends and family if they happen to know one. This goes for any profession you may need information on. The extra effort will give your characters more depth and make them much more believable, bring them to life for your reader.

You want to get your story surroundings correct too. If you are writing about actual places, visit those places if possible and write what you see. If you can’t physically get there look closely at photographs and read as much description as you can find.

Has the place been featured in a movie? If so watch those scenes.
Your list of questions will most likely grow as you get into the actual writing of your manuscript. Use brackets in your manuscript to add questions as they pop up. Allow time for research in your writing schedule.

Gathering Information:

Read everything you can find on your topics and keep careful notes making sure you keep track of the source of your information. Include Google, books and blogs. If you will need to interview professionals, make a list of contacts and before meeting with them gather as much information on what they do and make a list of questions, you want to ask them.

Digging Deeper:

Yes, libraries offer great research resources but like the internet just because it’s in print doesn’t make it true. Always cross reference with several sources. It’s always a good idea to spend time in several of your local libraries and get to know the staff. They can be a great resource for you once your book is published. Nearly all libraries have an actual person whose job is to assist with research. They are an invaluable resource.
Librarians talk to one another on and offline and libraries are still the number-one book buyers in the world. They can be a valuable support system once your book is released.

Creating your Research Plan:

Once you feel you’ve got a good list of questions and an idea of resources to find the answers, put a schedule together. You may get overwhelmed by all the information you find so do your best to stick with your schedule and keep your research organized with colored file folders.

Tips:

When I’m writing about the beach I keep seashells and sand in a vase along with photos of the ocean and beach sunsets on my desk. If I’m writing about a person, I keep photos of them close by. When I was writing The Stranger in My Recliner, the true story of an 80-year-old homeless woman my husband brought home one night, I kept a can of peas, (she insisted I put them in her eggs, it was gross,) photos and her tattled old pocketbook on my desk. It helped with the showing verses telling in my writing big time!

Happy Writing, (and researching)
Doreen

 

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Friday Favorites, Flops and Food…

FRIDAY FAVORITES, FLOPS, and FOOD

I know its cliché, but the weeks seem to be floating by leaving me feeling like I’m missing something or not living life to the fullest. One of my goals for this year is to slow my days down and to be present and mindful of each, and every minute. Another goal is to find something to be grateful for in each season. Keeping track of my favorites, flops and good food weekly has been a great exercise in consistent blogging, and a way to remember and be grateful.

Favorites

Finally having my website back and working is a favorite this week. I’ve had Go Daddy as my host for 7 years and have called them once a year to renew. That’s it. Never a problem. Until now. Their server got old and was no longer compatible with Word Press, and I needed an SSL certificate. Go Daddy assured me it was a simple fix and I would be up and running in 24-48 hours. It took a month and it was too expensive. The tech folks weren’t nice. I was so disappointed.

Rena and her company The Blogging 911  provides the monthly maintenance on my site and I have to tell you she created some fabulous graphics for me. She creates websites, offers hosting, maintenance and more. I can’t thank her enough for her help with the SSL certificate. My emails were answered quickly, and Rena isn’t just professional, she’s friendly. I highly recommend her! I cannot wait till my hosting contract runs out. Its bye- bye Go Daddy and hello Blogging 911.

I FINALLY have 10,000 followers on Twitter.

I’ll be giving out prizes next week so if you’d like to be in the running leave a comment on the pinned post, follow me and I’ll follow you.

John and I may be the only people that never watched Breaking Bad until now. We binged all 5 seasons in 3 weeks which was sort of long for us. The 1st season was sort of slow but by the middle of the 2nd season we were hooked. If you are thinking of watching this series I suggest watching Better Call Saul, first. We’re on the 3rd season of that now and it takes place prior to Breaking Bad.

Yellowstone is back and is the most watched cable series. The Dutton family, led by patriarch John Dutton (Kevin Costner) controls the largest contiguous ranch in the U.S. and must contend with constant attacks by land developers, clashes with an Indian reservation and conflict with America’s first national park.
Kevin Costner is good in everything and doesn’t disappoint in this series. Luke Grimes is good (looking) to watch too😊


Animal Kingdom is back too! So far this season it’s darker than ever.

Then we have the Phillies. We have a love/hate relationship with them this year.

My guilty pleasures; Married at First Sight, Southern Charm and Southern Charm New Orleans and the Young and the Restless have me shaking my head this week.

What are you watching?

Flops

How I’ve made it this far in life until now without ever having a summer cold is miraculous. Summer colds are miserable and painful. Hopefully this is the last one I’ll ever have. The only redeeming thing about this damn cold is having a lot of TV and reading choices.

Writing time has been unfruitful. Lots of ideas came to mind while I suffered on the sofa with tea and tissues.
The worst flop of this last week was the ridiculous “Mueller Hearings.” What an embarrassing end to a once bright career, and they practiced!

Food

Being sick all week didn’t leave me feeling much like cooking. The last best thing I ate though was at a viewing party for friend, Pat Nogars’ podcast, Saturday Morning with Pat. She is the most fabulous baker, cook and such an elegant host.


The Sugarbridge Design Center in Paoli, Pa. was the perfect backdrop for the show.
On the show was three of Pat’s favorite chefs from suburban Philadelphia restaurants; Sontuosa in Bryn Mawr, Marokko in Ardmore and Savona in Gulph Mills!

All the dishes were delicious, and the cranberry Cosmopolitan was amazing!


Follow Pat Nogar on Facebook to catch the podcast Saturday Mornings at 10 am.

Have a blessed weekend,

Doreen

 

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