Pinterest For Novel Outlines 2

A reblog from a little over a year ago. This flashback is to remind people of the tool that still helps me write. Pinterest. Thanks to blogger/author Shannon A. Thompson my eyes were opened. It has helped my imagination build more descriptive images. In this blog I only mentioned the positives this exercise has promoted. I’m sure there are many that will point out you are not focusing on your most important task, writing. Just remember, don’t get lost on the site and forget to write. The internet can task in procrastination and this could zap writing time. To prevent this from happening try to set a pin limit, e.g., every 5 character/setting pictures you pin you must write a description based on the pictures you found. If you are only using this site to put off writing ask yourself why. Recognize and decide how you are going to move past the problem. Whatever you’re struggling with isn’t going anywhere. It’s best to take action. It’s only writing. You can always come back to scene and edit it later.
Now for my blast from the past post below. Enjoy.

Random Thoughts

I’ve been trying to write and edit a few novels and I have come across a useful tool to help visualize characters, places, and things. What I was normally doing for my character’s description was trying to write everything I envisioned down  in a notebook. Each character would get a page. The page would list physical appearances, personality, and motive. It wasn’t until I saw a post by blogger Shannon A. Thompson called, “Writing Tips: Picture Book” I realized how much detail I was missing by not using this useful tool. Pictures.

I never thought of using pictures to help inspire and build images of characters, places, or objects. I’ve had a Pinterest account for years. When I first signed up I used it a few times but it wasn’t long that I left it having found no use for it. Now I can’t help but think, here was a writing instrument at my fingertips and I…

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How Writing Is like Training A Puppy.

Sunday, my Other and I adopted a puppy. She is a 3 1/2 month mutt and she now has a home with us. We named her Lana. She is gentle, sweet, and starting to get into trouble but we all keep teaching and learning. Even if it would make a good excuse I can’t give up my writing schedule with my new arrival. Instead, I’ve adjusted to writing when she’s napping. (Puppies nap a lot). While going through the puppy training steps I couldn’t help think it’s like the writing process. (Now, bear with me.)

Have a safe place. For Lana, it is her crate, under a table, or behind a Christmas tree. I am happy to report by day three her safe place is her pillow, carpet, and crate. And this shy dog just needs a few minutes to adjust to new situations. For me, it’s my desk, the living room couch, or Starbucks (I like the hustle). I find my distraction is less in these places but it took me some time and experimenting to figure this out. I remember trying a local library once and it was a waste of time for me. One time the librarian working knew me and wanted to chat. I tried to explain what I was doing but it leads to more conversation. Another library I happen to run into someone who remembered me and wanted to catch up. Trail and error but we are finding where we are most comfortable.

Set a schedule. It’s best with a new puppy to set schedule for walking, feeding, and playing/training. With writing it is best to set a schedule, for writing, editing, and story outlining. Maybe morning you write best, and after lunch, you edit the piece from three months ago. Great! Keep it up. You’ll start to notice you write or edit most those times with speed and ease. Both schedules teach the puppy or brain when it is time to do your business.

Be consistent. My puppy is improving every day with her daily schedule of walks, encouragement, and training she has learned her name and where to pee/poop. I constantly struggle with being consistent with my writing schedule but I have been improving. I know I need to keep up writing five days a week (for you maybe writings every other, after or before work) but I seem to do that for a month and stop. But I keep trying and I’ve seen improvement. Also, I see what my writing is like after a long dry spell. Less description and imagination. It is best to keep writing so your brain knows when it’s time to turn on and get those creative juices flowing. Don’t wait for inspiration. Your work will be few and far between. Write every day and inspiration will come more often and when there is paper and pen.

Don’t overdo it. Lana training has gone far in the few days we’ve had her but we have tried to limit what we teach and for how much time. She’s not going to learn anything tired. We try to not train for too long and try to notice when she is tired. A tired puppy won’t learn anything. Don’t want to stop all the good writing vibes but your brain needs time to rest and reboot. Sometimes when I finish writing a scene I put the story away. If I have more ideas in what direction to take the story I’ll write a next section outline and step away. Be patient. By letting my brain rest I find the next day I can write that scene longer and with more excitement then if I kept going. This is not always true. I have written two or more scenes in a row but after many writing sections, I have learned to listen to my writing brain and sense if it’s getting tired and if it can go the distance of the next scene. It’s exciting but remember, it takes time. Don’t want to give up completely because you’ve mistaken overwork for writer’s block.

The puppy is waking up and it’s time for my writing brain to rest. Below is a picture of Lana (the real reason you’ve been reading). Enjoy and continue writing.

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Lana: The New Addition

Struggling

I want to write but when I sit down all that fills my paper is tears. The pen cuts deep. It skips past the words I need and leaves me alone with scribbled mess. No character comes to mine. No scene with the scent of nature or city. No story.
Just tear it up and toss it out. Another useless day. Glassy eyes with mirror reflection of failure. The fight is gone.

Work in progress….general impressions.

The Disappearance Of The Clock

I woke by springing upright in bed. The screeching sound first coming from my dreams then somewhere in my room. The glow of my cell phone reflecting erie shadows onto my walls. Thank you NYC emergency service alert for the potential flood advisory in the area. My warning: I am awake. With this extra time I thought I would be using for sleeping I figure it was time to write on this thing.
I’ve been slacking on updating this blog. First, I thought I had nothing to write about. Second, I been procrastinating with the help of Skyrim. That game has a way of wasting hours without me even knowing they passed. The fighting and finding items in quests suck in my attention. Even the slow activities (black smithing, enchanting, and selling) seem to fast forward my clock. The true time suck, the new cable box not displaying the time. Before the disappearance of the cable clock I was focused on the game and the quest but always with an eye on  the time. Now, my line of vision has no clock to nag me with how much time I spend playing. It’s true for my writing too. When I put up the full screen document view and I have a supply of words I know I need to get down, time is not an issue. Cover the computer distractions (mostly internet browsers)  along with the clock and I’m writing. I realized, typing this out, the clock may be my enemy. I wonder if it’s just the digital clock or would the same time hover happen if I had a analog clock over my desk or T.V. A theory to test one day with my game play not my writing. 

Wattpad Or WritersCafe?

I have an account on both sights and I was thinking of using one and deleting the other. I been trying to cut down the number of social site’s I’m a member of and two communities where I can post my creative work seems excessive. Which to keep and which to throw away?

I have posted one poem on WritersCafe and receive a few comments. I was thinking about posting the same poem on Wattpad and see if I get more advice but the “Are you sure you read the terms” pops up and it makes me jumpy. When posting on the net there is always that fear your hard work will be stolen, hated or lost but why is Wattpad making sure I’ve read them? Is there something buried deep in lawyer language saying I’m selling my first born? (Trying to be funny here but seriously is there?) Also, does anyone really ever read the terms and conditions? (Eddie Izzard joke.)

But what to do? Have you experience on either or both writing sites? Which do you like and why?

The Treasure Hunt In The Old Attic

My attic is filled with four generations of stuff. As I’ve been finding mostly paper (old pay-stubs, and black drawing paper) the garbage bags have been filling up. I did find my walker from when I was a baby. (Picture below.) I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with it. I’m thinking about throwing it in the trash but something is causing me to hang on to it. I don’t remember any memories just vaguely remember the design of the seat. It’s not something I can use in the future for a child. The metal surround the vinyl seat looks like it’s ready to collapse into a death trap. I do love the little bumper in the front. The foam feels as if it would make a better shock absorber than the plastic walkers on the market today.

If I keep it do I use it as a Halloween prop from next year’s decorations? Would any museum, store, or production what it since it is only 30 years old? The walker’s not much of an antique. It’s hard giving or throwing away something you know was yours even if it is a stiff old walker.

Just a heads up, the next few post will be objects I have been finding in my attic. I may blog about some found books, or old items/objects. Perhaps there is someone out there that can help explain what some belongings are and what they were used for.

Let the treasure hunt begin. (I finally feel like a Box Car Child.)

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Once My Walker

Can’t Sleep

My mind has been weaving yarns. But it’s not just my mind keeping me awake. My body twitches and itches. I’ve been up for over an hour tossing, turning, covering and uncovering. It was when I looked at the clock and I realized the last time I looked it read 4:55. Now it says 6:15 and I had to get up. I am a spider in the web until my eyes burn and I try to sleep again.

Just Don’t Quit

Who is participating in National Novel Writing Month? I’ve been thinking about partaking but sometimes I feel maybe I should be working on my own novel then just race writing. Some have said I should try to speed write my next novel but I don’t think NaNoWriMo should be used with something I care about. But some seem to be taking this month to work on the story they’ve been putting on the back burner. I always figured NaNoWriMo is a time to try anything. Stuck? Aliens land or a time machine or cab with hot celebrity. I’ve done that kind of writing now I think I want to focus on my story.

I’ve been working on my outline and now I’m reaching a wall. I’ve been figuring I’ll write what I have. I hope, as I get closer to the end of what I’ve outlined, I’ll have more direction where to go in the story. I don’t want some race or daily word count decide or pressure where my story goes.  NaNoWriMo could be a good way to step away from my story and just have stressful fun on something I don’t fuss over. Knowing me I’m thinking NaNoWriMo is just procrastination. I still have a few weeks to think it over before I choose. To the ones that have decided, I read a great quote the other day. For writers and wanna be authors out in the world:

“Don’t quit. It’s very easy to quit during the first 10 years. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it’s very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can’t get fired if you don’t write, and most of the time you don’t get rewarded if you do. But don’t quit.”
– Andre Dubus

Literature Inspired Gifts

After the awesome mug I received for my birthday I decided to post a blog of some inspiring writing, reader, or author items. Some awesome literary themed things are from my own wish list. You may even find these great items can be gifts to that writer or reader friend/spouse/lova in your life.

Book Nerds may love this brass bracelet form etsy store, accessoreads. It’s the image of a vintage book shelf. No matter where you go you’ll have a library helping your style.

accessoreads Book Stack Cuff Bracelet

Next is a cover for an e-reader or table from GeekifyInc. It is leather, suede, wood, and metal. What I love about this cover is the title on the cover. The Neverending Story was not only an intriguing story but the cover doesn’t lie. All those stored reads on your table or e-reader really hold the neverending story supply.

The Neverending Story Cover from GeekifyInc.

Another favorite is the I Write canvas tote bag from BookFiend. Even though I’m not one to advertise that I like to write the vintage typewriter on the tote sells me on this bag.

I write. Canvas tote bag.

I know a lot of readers of my blog were loving my Write Drunk mug. I figured to add another little favorite of mine to this list. If you are a Harry Potter fan, this “Don’t Let The Muggles Get You Down” from AfternoonCoffee is the perfect mug. I see it for long days grinding away at a desk.

Don’t Let the Muggles Get you down.

Last but not least (I only say that because I can do a dozen of these blogs with literature themed fun stuff I don’t really need.) is this lithograph of The Last Unicorn by Peter S Beagle. A favorite book and movie has now become a favorite tote bag. Rachelle Meyer designed for Litograph this “The Last Unicorn” bag with the entire text and Unicorn design.  I’m in love.

The Last Unicorn Tote bag

Look At This Mug

A great gift for a wanna be author is this mug I got from my Other for my birthday. A favorite on my Etsy list, now I own. If you want or you know someone who would like fun mugs like this one you should check out LennyMud. All ready it is keeping me company while I try and type all my novel ideas. I am nervous about my clumsy ways but I have promised to use it. Not let it sit up on a shelf as if untouched equals protected.

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I don’t think I will be posting next week since I will be on vacation and I don’t know if the wifi is free where I’m going. Also, I have a belief vacation is to get away from it all and not be working. Also, vacation reminds me how much I love staying off social networks and being away from the stresses of the everyday grind.

Hope everyone has a good week!