Manic Monday: It’s harder than it looks


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Get your mind out of the gutter because I'm talking about my class project. I promised on Friday (I did promise, didn't I?) I'd have a photo today of the story board as well as any old truths I've remembered while building it. In addition to those listed in Friday's blog, I've remembered I love markers and stickers and scissors but I don't have an artistic bone in my body. I wish I had a sixth grader I could say helped, but I don't. Oh, well. The purpose of the storyboard was to lay out the scenes of the manuscript into four acts. This way we can easily see them, axe lovingly remove ones that don't work, move them to other chapters or otherwise manipulate them. Each act has an…
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Friday Favorites: Class Project—Top10 things I once knew but forgot


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10.    Measure twice, cut (or draw) once. 9.     There's always a need for a compass or . . . a glass bottom will do. 8.     Precut sticky notes work as well as circles cut from construction paper and glue. Squares are the new round. 7.     Glue is not for adults!!! 6.     Uncapped markers mark ... on skin ... on carpet ... on projects. 5.     Fifteen-year-old white-out doesn't work. It's nasty . . . all six bottles of it. (More drawer space. Yeah!) 4.     I’m not meant to watch some movies. Nightmares are scary. I don’t need them. I don’t write horror. Seriously. 3.     Online classes are a great place to meet new friends from around the world. Quirky friends. Funny friends. Intense friends. Writer friends.…
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Wildcard Wednesday: Overcoming Writer’s Block


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I heard a Podcast recently by Lani Diane Rich, the teacher of the Revisions class I'm currently taking. This is my own interpretation of the podcast so Lani can't be held responsible for my (mis)understanding. All writers get writer’s block. We also have times when we are in the zone—when we write for hours and it seems like minutes. We forget to eat, forget to pick the kids up from school, forget … you get the idea. This is where a writer wants to be. (Except maybe the part about picking the kids up from school, then an alarm or neighbors come in handy.) Sidebar: We have a rule at our house. When I’m using the computer (for anything because it could always morph into writing) I’m not allowed to…
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Manic Monday: Is help always helpful?


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When I first started sharing my writing (and asking for feedback) I thought I had to take every suggestion made. Soon the stories were no longer mine. They didn't resonate with me. I no longer knew what they were about. For example, if I had a character who was a clean-cut all-American boy with freckles and braces and the suggestion was to make him a troubled kid with piercings and tattoos, you can see how that would change the story. Therefore I had to learn which suggestions worked best for the story and, as the writer, make the right call. That was my job. I'm learning so much about this wonderful world of writing. There are writing partners, critique groups, beta groups and I'm sure many more I've not yet…
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Friday Favorites: One week down—five to go


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I’ve (almost) finished week one of my Revisions class. I still have to post my homework on the class Forum board to be shredded like mozzarella cheese and I’ll do that right after I finish this post. We are also assigned a movie to watch each week. During the next week’s podcast our mighty leader will compare and contrast it to the topic of that week. When Hubby learned this tidbit he declared my class “progressive” and immediately volunteered to “help” as he’d already seen the first week’s selection and couldn’t wait for my reaction. I think it disappointed him that I enjoyed the humor and was in no way offended by the movie. It was Dodgeball, by the way. This week it's the original Die Hard. I’m not so…
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Wildcard Wednesday: Revisions


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I told you Monday I'm taking an online writing class, but I didn’t tell you about it. The name of it is Revisions and it’s taught by the brilliant Lani Diane Rich. She also does cool daily podcasts you may access either through her website www.storywonk.com or via iTunes. There’s also an option to subscribe to it through iTunes. The best part? It’s free! What’s the class about? Revising a novel. I know I’ve told you I’ve revised MURDER ON MUSIC ROW before and I have, but it has never felt quite right. When I found this class I decided, this is it! It’s going to be a tremendous amount of work. But I’ve found the things I appreciate the most in my life are the things that have required…
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Manic Monday: A new class


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I'm taking an online online writing class for the next six weeks. Yesterday was the first session and my first reaction was "What have I gotten myself into?" There are twenty-eight participants from all over the world: Australia, England, China, France, Israel, Wisconsin--oh, wait! That's in the US. It's a diverse group with a good mix of genres and the discussion boards have already been lively. The class is done via web cast. We can see and hear our teacher. She can't see and hear us but we can type in questions (or snide remarks) real time. If we have to miss the class, or if we want to watch it again, it is available for us to review later through our super, duper password protected web site. I'm sure…
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Friday Favorites: Why Leave a Comment?


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I've spent the day catching up on my Blog reading. It doesn't take long to get behind. If I go a couple of days without reading the 150+ blogs I subscribe to via  Google Reader I could easily have over 300 posts to read. While some people post a few times a week (like me), others post daily and some several times a day. On the other end of the scale there are those who post once a month or even less frequently, but I tend to delete them from my list. I want to follow active bloggers. I have my Google Reader set up into subcategories such as agents, editors, publishers, writers, friends, random, etc. This way if I have a large number to read I can go in,…
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Wildcard Wednesday: Winter Wonderland


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Writing to a scenic backdrop may not be easier, but it's certainly more pleasant. Those of you not from the south might wonder why I'm making such a big deal about a little snow... our white Christmas...now this our third snowfall of the winter. It's because some winters we get absolutely no snow. None. Nada. Zip. Driving in it is so not a southern's forte. If I had to get out, I might not think it so lovely. But since I have the luxury of sitting on my tush in my own home I'll enjoy it while I can. Actually it's such a novelity, it's a bit of a distraction. Even though most of the country is buried in the white stuff, here are some pictures just in case you…
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Manic Monday: Where are my books?


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I told you Friday how much I love books and what a difficult time I have letting go of them. I still have a copy of THE ILIAD from high school.  One night I dropped it outside our back door when I was trying to get in out of the rain. The next morning it was soaked and had swelled to about three times its original size. Eventually it dried out. I couldn't read it for a week or so, but I can now. When I analyze why I want to hang on to my books it's usually because I think I may want to go back and reread them, reference them or find a passage or quote. Some I do love to touch and smell, but most I save…
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