Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Words for Wednesday

This week we have a phrase and a picture as our prompts.

  1. Back to the drawing board

Another of Bill's photos.


I saw this postcard in a box of old photos and other memorabilia that had been lingering in the garage for many years now. I turned it around to see who it had been from, and saw that it was from someone I had not seen in so long. I then viewed the scene on the postcard, thinking a road trip might be in the future.But then, it looked like a rather dangerous road, so it was back to the drawing board. 

Monday, May 28, 2018

Summer Reading Challenge 2018 @ The Messy Middle

Here is the link to this one. I will see how many of these categories I can fill. Number 9 and Number  21 might be hard for me.

It will start June 1  and run through August 17, 2018. To enter, read seven books from 22 categories. Along the way I’ll have encouraging posts. If you would like to write a guest post, contact me.
What’s in it for you? All who comment on August 17-19th with the names of the books they read will be entered to win one of ten $10 Amazon gift cards.
Sound like fun?!

  1. A book related to professional development(can be loosely interpreted): Breakthrough--Jack Andraka
  2. A book related to history: Girl With a Pearl Earring--Tracy Chevalier
  3. A book placed in a country I’m not familiar with OR about a country I’m not familiar with: Carmilla--J. Sheridan Le Fanu
  4. A young adult (YA) book: Incantation--Alice Hoffman
  5. A book recommended by a friend: The Truth About Forever--Sarah Dessen
  6. A graphic novel: Disney Manga: Tangled--Shiori Kanaki
  7. A book you’ve been meaning to read: Crazy Rich Asians--Kevin Kwan
  8. A book published more than 100 years ago: Mary Barton--Eizabeth Gaskell
  9. A book recommended by a teenager: Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List--Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
  10. A biography: The Brontes--Rebecca Fraser
  11. A play: Pygmalion--Bernard Shaw
  12. A memoir: The Temporary Bride--Jennifer Klinec
  13. A book by someone you might not spiritually agree with:
  14. A book that won an award (Newbery): Sarah, Plain and Tall--Patricia MacLachlan
  15. A book you read years ago and have meant to reread: Prozac Nation--Elizabeth Wurtzel
  16. A book that has been translated into English: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao--Junot Diaz
  17. A book that is more than 700 pages (counts for two books!): The Brothers Karamazov--Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  18. A mystery: Knit One, Kill Two--Maggie Sefton
  19. A book related to a skill (like cooking, writing, photography, or web-design): Concerning the Spiritual in Art--Wasilly Kadinsky
  20. A book by an author you know: Piper Morgan Joins the Circus--Stephanie Faris
  21. Fiction (if you tend to read non-fiction) or Non-fiction (if you tend to read fiction): Sliding Into Home--Kendra Wilkinson
  22. Penalty: subtract one book from total. (You potentially could lose two book points if you select a long one):

Friday, May 25, 2018

More Title Coincidences

Just yesterday while looking at books at Target, I came across this book:

Naturally, I thought about this story which I blogged about last week.

Now will there be confusion with all three of these titles?  Strangely, The Girl From the Train isn't a psychological thriller set in London as are  The Girl on the Train and Girl on a Train. Even so, there still might be some confusion, because there is some title similarity. Someone not familiar with The Girl From the Train might assume someone else means The Girl on the Train, or might say the same about Girl on a Train.

And also yesterday on Goodreads I came across a book that bears a title I have had under consideration for my current work in progress: The Story of My Teeth.

This has a totally different plot line from what I am writing. Again, since titles aren't copyrighted, there is nothing preventing me from using that title, though there's always the possibility of confusion between the two titles. 

I've also been getting title suggestions from people at work, including one that I may consider now. I will tell more about this another time.


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The Importance of Great Time Keeping


There are lots of skills that you need to perfect as a writer. Finding inspiration, staying motivated, and learning about the craft are just some of them. Being great at timekeeping is another.
While it may seem that being a great timekeeper is something only necessary for the office workers of the world, actually there is so much more than just arriving at work on time that a writer needs to think about. Learning how to manage your time appropriately will be seriously beneficial when it comes to your writing progress.
Here's why:
Meeting deadlines
If you are a freelance writer, you’ll know all about the importance of meeting deadlines. Without doing so, you’ll quickly lose clients and gain a reputation for being unprofessional. But meeting deadlines also applies to fiction writers too. This could be anything from competition deadlines, deadlines from your publisher or simply deadlines you have set yourself - making sure that you are organized enough to meet these is so important to your writing career.
Goal setting
Every writer knows how important it is to set goals. Whatever kind of writing project you are working on, by making sure that you have targets and set timeframes within which to achieve those goals is so important. Doing so will keep you motivated and feeling as though you are moving forward and making progress with your writing. Without this, it’s so easy to make excuses, start procrastinating and putting your writing on the back burner until it eventually drops off your to-do list altogether.
Making time to write
Excellent timekeeping will help free up more of your time to write. If you have other commitments (and who doesn’t?) being able to manage your time well will become invaluable. The more productive you can be in your day to day life the easier it will be to find slots where you can sit down and get some precious writing time in.
Feeling professional and organized
Being a writer is fantastic, but you want to feel like you have a proper job and treat yourself and your business with respect and professionalism. Make sure you set your alarm, get up and have an official time that you start work for the day. Have working hours (they can be flexible to suit you of course) and stick to them. Without doing so you could find you get distracted by other things that need doing and suddenly the day will have passed you by, and you’ll have achieved so much less than you wanted to.
Being a good writer may seem all arty and freeing on the surface, but it actually requires a great deal of organization, dedication and is pretty time-consuming too! So the sooner writers learn to pay attention to their timekeeping and treat it with the importance it deserves the more productive, creative and satisfying each writing day will be.

I still haven't quite been on a deadline, but this past weekend, I did set out to come to the conclusion of my WIP and did so by Sunday. Now the others a t work who I let read the initially unfinished draft are eager to read the rest and will be able to do so soon. I can't wait to see what they think of the ending. Of course I will need to  eventually do some polishing of the manuscript, but I d feel I reached the ending I set out to achieve. So in some ways I have been setting myself a deadline and have been making more time to write. It was a goal I had set for this particular time and work. Now my goal is to find a title. I have some written down for consideration and have just received some suggestions from one of those I let read my WIP. He's been trying to help me find the title.

And in some ways, I am starting to feel a little professional.

Now, I'm trying to decide what to do next.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Is it a Novel, Novella or Novelette?

That's what I now ask myself about my current WIP. I came to a decision on how to end it, but now it seems to short to be considered a novel. The current word count is 17K-something.

At least that's what this website says. Anyone care to argue otherwise? 🙂

I know that some kids' books are quite thin, would that be acceptable in my case? But here I read this about graphic and epistolary novels for kids:

I now wonder what I can consider an appropriate length for my work, since it's an epistolary book. I don't plan to make it a graphic novel, since I'm not that great will illustrations and if I want it to be illustrated, I'll have to have to get  someone else do that part 🙂

I also wonder if I should and how I can make my WIP longer. I now have some other ideas for the protagonist, but think that these should be another story altogether. The plot has been mostly about the boy getting braces. He's on the brink of becoming a teen and that could make for another book plot line. Or could this be all one book? This is making the title even harder to find. L

Lots of decisions to be made now.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Decided on an Ending

Yesterday, I came to the end of my still-untitled diary novel. Or perhaps it should be called a short novel? There are 99 typed pages. It's a MG or YA book, so the length seems all right--what does anyone think?

I had been give a suggestion by a co-worker about how to possibly end the story after she and others had read what I had written up to that point. I had told them that what I had written then was only the beginning. Once she offered her suggestion, I got to thinking how to I could conclude the story--how the protagonist, Martin, really feels about having to wear braces.

As I have been saying, I have more ideas in mind for the protagonist that could easily make for another book. It seems to be thinking too far ahead, but now I might start thinking about these now, because I'm wondering what to write next. I also wonder if I need to do more work on the memoir before I send it to the publishing contest I want to enter. I only wonder how many people have entered so far or just how many are aware of the contest to begin with. And I have a dream written down that I may try writing from, even if it just ends being a short story. Though I know I will need to do some polishing of my recent work. 

Thursday, May 17, 2018

A Tale of Two (or More) Titles

The title of this blog post comes form this article from Minnesota Public Radio News: 

A tale of two titles: A girl, a train and thousands of confused readers

Seeing this reminded me of how I have been trying to find a title for my work in progress. I still haven't completed it, but have though of an ending before I even began to work on one last chapter or two before the ending. Has anyone ever done this?

But back to the title thing. As I've said in recent blogposts, trying to find a title has been challenging. One suggestion I got was Smile, but a pointed out that a graphic novel with that title exists. Even though titles cannot be copyrighted, it would be confusing to have two books with the same title with a similar plot line. I don't want to be accused of ripping off the one that already exists. But would that happen?

From the article linked above:

The Girl on the Train is a psychological thriller, set in contemporary London, with a female protagonist and a female author — Paula Hawkins. It was published this year, and received wide acclaim.
Girl on a Train is a psychological thriller, set in contemporary London, with a female protagonist and a female author — Alison Waines. It was published in 2013, and received almost no attention.
You might be able to predict where this is going.
"An incredible number of people were buying the wrong book," reporter David Benoit tells NPR's Linda Wertheimer.
Benoit revealed the case of mistaken identity in the Wall Street Journal — after he experienced it first-hand.
Benoit's mother read Alison Waines' book. Then she passed it to her son.
"I read it in its entirety," Benoit says. "It wasn't until after that that we realized, 'Hey, wait a second, there's another book out there that people are actually talking about."
After talking to readers of Girl on a Train and poring over Amazon reviews, Benoit concluded that most mixed-up readers had purchased the e-book.
"You go on Amazon, you click the first girl-on-a-train book you see on your Kindle, and maybe you never look at the cover again when you're reading, so you don't realize it's a different author," he says.
Not so his mom.
"My mother actually bought the book in a bookstore," he says. "So she didn't misclick. She literally picked up the wrong book."
In e-book and in print, the mistake has led to a boom year for Waines.
"Writing had always been a hobby for her," Benoit says, but this year she says she sold over 30,000 copies of her book.
And she's excited to see what happens when her next book comes out.
Several years ago, Stephen King published Joyland. A novelist named Emily Schultz published a book by the same name back in 2006.
Schultz got an immediate boost in sales (and documented how she spent that money on a website she called Spending the Stephen King Money).
"Now she has a new book out this year that's doing very well," Benoit says — it was featured in NPR's own book concierge, in fact — "in part because she had become a little bit famous with the Stephen King mishap."
Both Schultz and Waines published their books first, so it's not as though this were a cynical maneuver on their part.
And Stephen King and Paula Hawkins are doing just fine — Hawkins has sold over 6 1/2 million copies of The Girl on the Train.As for the readers?
"Many readers who admit they bought the wrong book liked it anyway," Benoit wrote in the Wall Street Journal.
"One woman I talked to actually liked Miss Waines' book better than Miss Hawkins' book," Benoit tells Wertheimer.
She made her book club, which had planned on reading the best-seller, pick up Girl on a Train instead. 
This reminded me of what happened recently at my book club. One book that had been selected for this year was The Silent Wife. On our Facebook group for the club, the title had been mentioned but not the author's name. One member asked for the author's name after she'd gone onto Amazon and found two books with that title:

The first one was the one that was selected as one of our reads this year, but at least two of the women in the book found and read the second one. "I read the wrong book," they each said. At our meeting in April, one of those who'd read "the wrong book" gave a synopsis of that one. I then got tempted to read that one (I borrowed a copy of the "right" book from another member), and sought a copy of the "wrong" one. It was pretty good. 

Coincidentally, The Girl on the Train was one of the books our club read when it was released in 2015. But no one mistook it for the other book mentioned above, which I'd never heard about until now. I liked The Girl on the Train, but haven't found out enough about Girl on a Train as of yet to consider looking for that one. 

Note that The Girl on the Train and Girl on a Train are both psychological thrillers set in London, but that the two books titled The Silent Wife are very different, and that one is psychological thriller. This being true, I now wonder how confused titling my WIP Smile would be since the book already existing with that name has a similar plot. Some kids might go looking for one book and then find the other one. Though I'm certain I will not use the title Smile. I currently have some titles in mind, many of which include the word "teeth." 

Monday, May 14, 2018

Still Trying to Come to the End

I wrote another chapter in my diary novel over the weekend and am still trying to decide how to end the story for now.  As I've said in previous blogposts, I have some ideas for the character, but don't want to cram all of them into one book, so I plan to set the other ideas aside for another possible book. I know, that's thinking too far ahead, but the other ideas I have in mind for the protagonist are completely different from what I have been presenting in the current work.

I have got an idea in mind for the end of the WIP, but am still wondering how many more chapters and details to include before reaching the end. And I'm wondering what the average word length is for diary-based novels. I currently have 86 typed pages and wonder if that will be enough for a short fiction book. But does the number really matter? This as the question I had when working on the memoir. I manages to get that one to 88K+ words. And I still want to enter the memoir in the publishing contest at Blydyn Square Books. I have till the end of September to send it in, either by hard copy or as an email attachment.

How long has it taken any of you authors out there to end one book?

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Choosing Character Names

One thing I have been asking myself is how I decided on character names for my story in progress. Do any of you authors out there ever ask yourself such a question?

I still am asking myself why I chose Martin as the protagonist's name, and Rachel for his mother's name. Not to mention Roderick for a classmate and Jana and Janelle for two other classmates (twin sisters).  How do any of those sound to you? Some sites advise against using similar names in the same book, such as this one:

Names That Are Too Similar

If your story has more than just a few key characters, you want to make it very easy for your reader to distinguish between them. That’s why you should avoid using names that sound too similar:
  • Similar beginnings:  Readers might be confused by a “Cathy” and a “Cynthia,” or a “Richard” and a “Roger” in the same story.
  • Similar endings: Avoid giving your characters names that end the same way, like “Madison” and “Jason,”  or worse yet, names that rhyme, like “Shelley” and “Kelly.”
  • Repeated vowel sounds: “Janeen,” “Lee,” and “Edith” all share a long ‘e’ sound. This can be tiring for the ear.
  • Similar length: You’d be confused too if you had to read a book about “Bob,” “Ted,”  and “Joe.” How would you keep them all straight in your mind?
Now, before you go and say you’re writing about a set of twins, just remember: names can have a similar feel without sounding alike. For example, “Matthew” and “Luke,” (both names from the Bible) or “Ava” and “Bette,” (both Hollywood film actresses).
Keep in mind, you want your characters to stand out as individuals, not meld in your readers’ minds.
And from Wikihow:

Even after reading this, I don't intend to change the twins' names. I've known twins to have alliterative names and non-alliterative ones, and even rhyming names. Many boy-and-girl twins I have met do not have alliterative names, and I can only think of one or two such sets of twins that I have met personally.

Also from Wikihow:

I certainly wouldn't name a person in a book Elvis, but might easily use that name for a dog or cat. And I'm not even going to get started on Adolf 🙂

I honestly don't see any reason not use whatever names you want to use. 

How do any of you choose your character names?

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

5 Topics For Your Author Blog


Finding good topics for your author blog can sometimes be a bit of a struggle. A great blog can be an excellent platform for authors to find new fans and generate interest in their work, but you need to continue to produce fun, engaging, insightful and entertaining posts to encourage readers to keep coming back for more.
You can write about anything you want to in your author blog, but it’s good to remember that people will be interested in finding out more about your characters, your work and you as a writer. If you can create posts that cover these topics your readers will feel as though they know you and your writing better, and that’s what will hopefully motivate them to buy your book!
So what are some great topics to write about? Here are 5 to get you started!
Where you find your inspiration
What inspires an author is fascinating to both fellow writers and non-writers alike. For those who can’t imagine writing a book themselves, it’s so interesting to hear where a person might find the inspiration and motivation to come up with their stories, and for your writing comrades it’s great to get some tips if they are feeling a little creatively uninspired.
How you do your research
A well-researched book is going to be all the better for it! Share with your readers and fellow writers how you begin to research your book. What methods do you use? How do you organise it? If you come across anything particularly interesting, an unusual fact, for example, share this with your readers too!
Character interviews
There is no much you can do with your characters. Why not interview them individually as if they were famous so your readers can get to know them? If they have any unique hobbies, talents or interests, you could write a separate blog on this topic, for example, ‘how to bake the perfect pie by [insert character name here]'. Also if your characters face particular struggles, you can share how they overcome them in separate posts.
Create polls
Polls and votes are a great way to get your readers interacting with your work. Get them to vote on anything, character names, the outcome of a particular storyline, your new book cover and so on. This is not only brilliant free market research for you, but will get readers talking and thinking about your book which will make them more invested.
Your writing ritual
Many writers have various routines and rituals that they like to undertake when starting the writing process. Do you have any weird and wonderful habits that you can turn into an entertaining blog post to share with your readers? Talk about your writing process, what you need to get started, and your writing space so they have a little insight into how and where the magic happens!
These five topics work for any author blog, so if you are stuck for ideas why not create these posts and hopefully they’ll inspire you to write even more.

I didn't originally set out to do an author's blog, or even a writer's blog, just  a blog where I could write about anything I want. And I have found it easier to have all posts on one blog, rather than trying to start another one or two blogs. But as those who have views my blog recently can see, I have had a great deal of posts about what I am writing. One can see in recent posts how I chose to write something set in the 1980s and how I have included pre-tech items such as using an encyclopedia. I think others should learn what life was like before the Internet and cell phones. 
Have any of you who have written stories tried interviewing your characters? I haven't, but since I was doing a memoir, it seems weird to even try. It's about me, after all, and I know about me already.🙂 But as far as the protagonist in my diary novel goes, I've stated how he is riddled with anxiety over having to get braces. He readily gives up chewing gum and eating candy, pretzels and popcorn in preparation. I don't agree with my mom's friend's statement that he is "extremely cynical"; rather, he's just displaying teen angst. References are made to A Wrinkle in Time and Lord of the Rings (a cat called Frodo). That might tell readers something about him. 🙂 "Just be glad you're a cat and not a nerd like me," he tells the cat, referencing Meg in Wrinkle saying, "Just be glad you're a kitten and not a monster like me" to her kitten.

Maybe now I should ask what others think of my character names? Or the storyline?
I have been trying to write about my work-in-progress, making sure not to spoil the end, though I have not come there yet. But I now think I know what will happen.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

The Importance of the Point of View


One of the most critical decisions any writer has to make is whose point of view they are going to tell their story from. The whole relationship between the writer and their story is set when they make this decision.
The viewpoint from which a writer tells a story determines its whole outlook, and each perspective comes with its own devices that can give writers great freedom, but also limit them too.
So how does one decide which point of view to use? Let's take a look at some of the different types.
First person singular. The first person singular point of view gives writers an opportunity to make the story genuinely personal.
The readers will follow the story through a single characters eyes; this can make them feel very bonded to that character and allows the scope to play with the intimacy between reader and character as well as create a sense of immediacy which can help to keep the story moving along.
However, this viewpoint means that only one side of the story is told. The narrator's knowledge of events and the way they see the world is the only opportunity for readers to get what is going on. If the novel has a large cast of other interesting characters, it may be challenging to get readers to have the same connection or identify with them.
Third person limited
Third-person limited tells the story from only one person’s perspective but as if the reader was following them around and observing.
This point of view allows readers to gain a slightly broader perspective while still being permitted to understand the characters innermost thoughts and feelings without being bound to their particular opinions.
This perspective allows the writer to prove the protagonist wrong or reveal biases that the character does not even know that they have. The writer maintains control and authority while still being able to tell the story of one particular individual that the readers follow throughout.
Third person omniscient
Using this viewpoint means that many different characters perspectives are explored. This allows the reader to see many different sides of the story, and to get to know a whole cast of characters on a more intimate level.
However, employing this perspective can mean that the reader has to work harder to make sure they know whose viewpoint they see things from, and if there are too many characters and perspective switches too regularly, it is possible they could become confused, frustrated and unable to follow the story any longer.
Of course, writers are perfectly entitled to choose whichever perspective they wish, and may even want to mix in two or three different views in their story (though be warned this could confuse your reader if not done well). Whatever you chose, it is worth giving some time and consideration to point of view, and experimenting with it to find the best way to tell your story just as it should be told.

It should be obvious that a memoir would be written in the first-person, since the author is narrating something about his or her life. And epistolary novels are generally in the first-person, since they are written in the form of a diary, blog, letter, email, etc. I knew that when attempting these two formats that first-person was going to be how to write it.However, in the past, when I attempted to write stories, I nearly always chose the third-person, since I was attempting fiction. It seemed to me then like the first-person should only be used for autobiography, even though I had seen fiction books written in the first-person. One trouble I had at first when trying to written the first-person was how not to repeat the pronoun "I." In third-person narration, it's  easy to vary noun and pronoun usage without repeating "he," "she," "it," or "they"  or the name(s) of the character(s). But now that I have been writing in first-person, I have found it easier to do so.

One thing I immediately look for when reading first-person-narrated books is how and when the name of the protagonist is revealed, either in the narration by the protagonist himself, or or in dialog spoken by another person. Here was how I introduced the name of the protagonist in my diary novel:

I hate the fact that she [his mother] chose to use her maiden name Martin as my first name. She no doubt would have done the same thing if her last name had been Thomas or Douglas.  Or God help me—Gordon. Oh, why couldn’t her name have been Cooper or Tyler? Jordan even.  Any one of those would have sounded much cooler.  I bet she’s glad she wasn’t named Smith or Jones—would she have named me either of those? My middle Charles came from my late father Charlie. I hate my last name because of the girl named Blair on the TV show Facts of Life  and because of the actress Linda Blair from the movie The Exorcist.

Those who have written fiction in first-person, how do you introduce the name of your protagonist to the reader?

And who here has ever attempted the second-person narration? That one seems harder to do. Just as I originally had trouble not repeating the pronoun "I" when attempting to write in the first person, I likely would have had the same trouble not repeating "you." And it seems that second-person is mostly best for interactive books such as the Choose Your Own Adventure series. Neil Patrick Harris parodied the format of the CYOA books for his memoir, Choose Your Own Autobiography. I now feel like reading Bright Lights, Big City, to read something other than an interactive book. Goodreads has a list of popular second-person books, most of which I have never heard of. 

What is your preferred post-of-view for fiction? I'm now seeing the first-person used in many fantasy and dystopia novels, such as The Hunger Games and Twilight book series. If I choose to ever attempt a book in these genres, I will have to decide hard on what point of view to choose.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Chapter Break Bingo – May 2018

Here is the new card for May. Some categories this month are a little out of my comfort zone, but that makes it fun:)

Click on the card to download (or right click here and save-as).
Mark up the card however you wish to claim the squares.

Here’s a recap for clarity (with specific dates for example):
May 4 – new bingo card available
June 3 – Julie and I will post our May completed bingo cards. You can link up your bingo cards in this post
June 4 – new bingo card available
July 2 – Julie and I will post our June completed bingo cards. You can link up your bingo cards in this post. We will also be posting the May winner of the most squares in this post.
And so on and so forth.

 Here is what I am reading:
  1. Lily's Crossing--Patricia Reilly Giff (3 squares): Library Book, New Relationship, Physical Book
  2. The Gathering of Zion--Wallace Stegner (1 square): Favorite Author
  3. Always and Forever, Lara Jean--Jenny Han (1 square): In a Series
  4. The Pearl--Angela Hunt (3 squares): Free Book, Mother, Flowers on Cover
  5. The Outsider--Nathaniel Lachenmeyer (1 square): Free Space
  6. Spare Parts--Joshua Davis (8 squares): Robot/Artificial Intelligence, Shelf Love, Military/CIA/FBI, Suspense, Nerd/Geek, Teacher/Mentor, Bike Ride, Unnamed Character
  7. Last Light Over Carolina--Mary Alice Monroe (2 squares): Audiobook, Cookout
  8. America is Not the Heart--Elaine Castillo (1 square): Recently Released
  9. Three Wishes--Lianne Moriarty  (1 square): Garden
  10. Tan Lines--Katherine Applegate (1 square): Reunion
  11. Nightshade--Andrea Cremer (2 squares): Shape Shifter, Tattoo/Piercings
24 Squares completed on May 28.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

How to Stay on Track During the Warmer Months


With the weather getting warmer and warmer, it can be easy to get off track as your focus tends to be geared towards getting outside. While it can be difficult to focus, it need not continue that way. It’s possible to be focused on your work and also enjoy the sunshine. 
Instead of planning activities outdoors during working hours why don’t you work outside! This will allow you to enjoy the sun while also allowing you to get your work done.
Try getting up earlier in the day. When you get up earlier in the day, you can end your day earlier as well. Instead of working the typical 9 to 5, work 8 to 4 or even 7 to 3, do what you feel comfortable with. With spending time outside you don’t want to waste working hours where you could be productive. The goal is to be productive while also enjoying the warmer weather. 
Set goals for yourself each day. Set 5 to 10 big goals for yourself during the week. When you accomplish these goals, you get the rest of the week off! If you set a goal to write 10,000 words for your book and you get it done by Thursday morning, then you can stop working again until Monday! You don’t want to deprive yourself of the summer sun.
The last step towards staying on track during the warmer months is to plan activities for yourself each weekend. It’s easy to want to stop working and go outside, yet this isn’t possible if you want to be productive. Plan outdoor activities for yourself each weekend. These are activities that will allow you to push yourself through the week and allow you to take the weekend in stride! 
No one said it would be easy getting work done during the summer months, but it’s entirely possible if you follow the steps addressed above!

Yes, it's getting close to that time of the year. Right now the weather in my neck of the woods is not quite cold yet not quite warm, though temperatures in the 70s and above are expected in the next few days. I can get easily tired no matter what the weather, but am dreading to see just how tired when the summer heat hits. Along with fatigue coming from the hot weather, I also have trouble sleeping during the hot weather and will often wake up tired. 

Yes, I agree that hot weather can make it hard to concentrate, not just on writing, but just about everything. It's often to hot for me to want to just go outside or even to the store or somewhere. 

And I now wonder what I will be working on this summer. I'll either be getting back to the memoir or continuing the diary novel or possibly starting something new, maybe the sequel I seem to be envisioning to the diary. All this is still to come. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Words for Wednesday

The prompts this month are Elephant's Child's blog, but are provided by Margaret Adamson, and her friend Sue Fulton.  They also include photographs taken by Margaret's friend Bill Dodds.

This week's prompts are:

  1. baptism
  2. dregs
  3. pinafore
  4. exploring
  5. sugar
  6. bee hive 


  1. heart
  2. meddling
  3. primary
  4. contrary
  5. mug
  6. kitchen

In his kitchen, Wallace Brenner had many reminders and dregs of the woman he once loved and lost when an exploring incident took her life. There was a flowered mug decorated with hearts and a pink sugar container. On the wall hung her lacy pinafore that she loved wearing in the kitchen. In the kitchen drawer was record of baptism. 

Since then Wallace never went exploring himself, having once nearly come in contact with a bee hive. He rarely even left his house anymore, preferring to avoid most of society, and choosing to live as a recluse, with his kind, albeit somewhat meddling doorman as his primary aide and confidant.

"It's just how I choose to be now," Wallace said. He was a writer and found this living style suited to his work. The doorman was the one helped him get his work submitted with the hope on one day getting published. 

"I do not feel lonely anymore, even though I lost someone I once loved but contrary to what you may think that  I feel, I do not hate others," he wrote at the beginning of a story he was beginning to attempt. "People come and go, but in the end, you are the most important person to you. I love who I am and I don't need others, only myself." He also noted that writers have tended to be recluses and that that life was best for him.

He began to see the pinafore as a metaphor for something, and was hoping to use it in his story somehow.