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Tag Archives: Jenny Crusie

Friday Favorites – Trusting Yourself

So very many excellent writing blogs this week. Before I get to those, let’s run through the just for fun ones —

Tiffany White does an awesome roundup of TV shows that she’s reviewed and talked about. If you’re looking to add something to your lineup, check out this list. Heck, even if you’re not looking to add, you’ll find something anyway. She keeps hooking me into new stuff 🙂

Merry Farmer has a great discussion going on her blog about the appeal of paranormal romance. If you love all things paranormal, stop by and explain the fascination.

In addition to having a really funny blog full of dirty jokes, Tawna Fenske is a launch author for Coliloquy. Basically, she’s writing a choose your own adventure for adults. I did download it (Kindle only), I haven’t ahd a chance to read it yet. Coliloquy is giving away a Kindle to one of Tawna’s blog readers, so go check it out and enter.

Now, onto the writing posts.

First up – Craft

Lucy March, along with Jenny Crusie and Anne Stuart did a couple of great posts about character. They have one on heroines and one on heroes. With these 3 fabulous authors, you have to learn something.

Last week, I linked to a post by Jenny Hansen about Man-speak. She follows it up again this week with part 2. This is must-have information if you’re writing male characters.

The next 4 posts are all about being a writer and taking yourself seriously:

Kristen Lamb tells us not to eat the butt (avoid the poison that will ruin our writing careers). I have to admit that I am a little guilty of what Kristen talks about. Although I take my writing seriously – I write every chance I get by making time for it, I don’t talk to other people about it. I don’t introduce myself as a writer. Mostly, this is because I’m always afraid the next question will be “Where can I get your book?” and I’m not published yet.

Trish Loye Elliott (via Wordbitches) points out that if writing is what you want to do, then you need to act like a professional.

And finally, two post from Chuck Wendig. Warning — if cursing bothers you, don’t click on these links.

25 Things Writers Should Know About Finding Their Voice – For me, finding my voice as a writer was difficult. I love to read romantic suspense, and as writers, we’re told to write what we know. That’s great in theory. I know romantic suspense. I wrote my first 2 manuscripts, which were romantic suspense, and about a third of the way through the second one I knew it wasn’t right. It wasn’t “suspense-y” enough. I tried to fix it, but nothing worked. When I began writing contemporary romance, I discovered why the romantic suspense didn’t work. It’s not where my voice is. I was trying to force something and it didn’t work. Don’t be afraid to play around with different stuff.

25 Things Writers Should Start Doing – This post just has so much, I don’t know where to start. I think that like many of you, I’m good at some of these points, others not so much. I think I’ll start with getting out more. Between being a writer and a mother of 3, I hardly get out at all (at least not alone). But you know what? All 3 kids are in school during the day and my day job is work from home and I make my own hours. I’m setting a goal to get out more.

What goals are you setting to get you closer to your dream?

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Friday Favorites – Life Stuff and Writing

Life stuff–

Parenting is a big part of my day with 3 kids, so I am very familiar with Marianne Hansen’s day of questioning why we chose to have this life. On a particularly tough day, she chooses to blast Melissa Etheridge. Check out her post on The Zen of Melissa Etheridge. For me, it was always “Me and Bobby McGee” by Janis Joplin. If you have any doubts about the sing-along possibilities:

With us all still getting into the swing of a new year (how many times have you caught yourself still writing 2011?), things can get a little overwhelming. Debra Kristi writes about information overload. I think most of us can relate to this because we juggle a regular job, family, and writing, along with everything that goes with each of those things. It is all about priorities and setting realistic expectations for yourself. For me, I realistically expect that my house will never be clean for more than an hour or so (while the kids are out of the house) and I can live with that.

Ingrid Schaffenburg takes it a step further than just prioritizing. She talks about fulfilling our dreams by creating the right kind of actions. It is a beautifully written post. And in reading it, I realized that she supports my notion of not having a clean house. Will having a clean house make me a better writer or a better mother? I doubt it. Can stressing about getting the cleaning done make me do worse at both of those jobs? You betcha 🙂

Merry Farmer wrote a fabulous post on the baggage we carry. She debated with a friend about whether the past is over and done or if you carry the scars forever. I’m a little in both camps. I had a sucky childhood. Anger ruled a good portion of my teen years. As I entered adulthood, I made the choice to let go of the anger and resentment. I carry the scars. I sometimes have to check my reactions to things to see if they’re realistic or if they’re being clouded by those scars.

Emma Burcart wrote about the lengths we go to in order to fit in. Unlike Emma, I love my jeans. Jeans, t-shirt, and gym shoes all the way. I own very few pieces of jewelry and I rarely put them on. I was never very good at fitting in, so I learned at an early age not to try. I was okay being a loner. But as it turned out, even loners find people to connect with.

Writing Advice–

As a romance writer, there are some things that come up often. One is writing sex scenes and the other is writing believable guys.

Emma Burcart did a post on writing sex scenes. I’m not the kind of person who discusses sex often. I will give my kids straight informative answers to questions, but I’ve never been one to dish to friends. When writing, I have no problem writing sex scenes. I’m not totally comfortable reading them aloud though …

Jenny Hansen has a post up on “Man-Speak.” Yes, it is a real thing. As writers, we need to pay attention to how characters think and speak. Guys talk differently than women do. If you don’t pay attention to that, all of your characters will end up sounding the same.

The last advice piece I have comes from Arghink (Jenny Crusie’s blog). This week, Jenny Crusie and Lucy March posted a long discussion about romantic comedy: what works, what doesn’t, and why. It’s a little on the long side, but totally worth the time. My favorite quote from the entire post:

Lucy: You know six degrees of separation? I’m two degrees of smart.

And finally, this is not a piece of advice at all, but a call for submissions of short pieces. 6 editors from Entangled Publishing will be visiting Jami Gold’s blog to check out your pitches. Guidelines and info in the post. I don’t write that short (10 – 60K) but if I did, I would submit.

It was a crazy busy week in the blogosphere this week. There were so many great posts, I had a hard time narrowing it down to these few. What was the best thing you read this week?

Friday Favorites – Resolutions, Writing, and Inspiration

Resolutions–

Since this is the first week of the new year, most bloggers have talked about resolutions. I’ve said lots of times that I’m not a resolution kind of person. I’m a goal setter, which is something I do throughout the year. So, in looking at the posts out there this week, I chose the ones that are the most realistic (I think):

Kristen Lamb writes about planning for success in the new year. These are resolutions I can get behind. I agree with the entire list, but of the items, #3 is the most difficult for me. I am a member of an RWA chapter and I attend meetings regularly. We are a critique chapter, so there is so much to learn, even when it’s not my stuff being critiqued. The hard part is finding critique partners who fit with you: you write at about the same pace and are at about the same place in the journey toward publication. I know people who are already published and are dealing with issues related to that and people who are somewhere behind me, like just finishing their first manuscript. Finding the right fit is hard.

Ginger Calem, who is a fitness trainer in addition to being a writer, is issuing a challenge to writers to become more fit. WritersButt will appear on her blog weekly with a plan to increase your exercise. I found this post late because I was behind (no pun intended) in reading this week, so I haven’t started, but plan to. For the first week, Ginger wants us to drink 100 oz of water a day and do 10 squats every time we go to the bathroom. That sounds easy enough. It’s not taking lots of time away from other stuff, so I might actually follow through.

Writing Advice–

E.J. Wesley talks about the 5 things we can do to become better writers in 2012. Not really resolutions, but things we should be doing anyway (like reading). For me, I think I’ve got these covered. I read a book per week on average, I’ve finished writing 5 1/2 books in the last 4 1/2 years (not all revised, but they’re written), I take at least 1-2 craft classes a year, and I haven’t given up despite the rejections I’ve received. The one I skipped over was to quit being hard on myself. I don’t walk around thinking that I suck as a writer (or I probably would’ve given up long ago), but I am hard on myself. It’s how I push myself to do all the other things on the list.

Jenny Crusie and her friend Krissie (Anne Stuart) have started a new blog called Re-inventing Fabulous. They both have some major life changes they’d like to make and are journaling on the blog for both accountability and support. Now, if you read Jenny Crusie’s books or her author blog, you know that she is a phenomenal writer. She could write her grocery list and I’d pay money to read it (she’s that good). Not only is she funny and great with words, but she’s so damn smart and educated that I always learn from her. This particular post is about not being able to write, as in being stuck, and how pushing harder isn’t necessarily the answer. She ends with:

image taken from Re-inventingfabulous.com

Something that a lot of writers do before they begin the first draft of a manuscript is create a playlist of songs that go with the book. I did it for the first time for my current WIP and I love it. Whenever I’ve been away from my book, I can play the songs and get right back into my characters. The problem for me is finding appropriate music. Although I love music and listen to it all the time, I don’t seek out new stuff. I’m the kind of person that can put on one radio station and never change it — like for years. When creating a playlist for a book, you don’t want to choose songs that have a personal connection for you (or you’ll be bringing up your own memories instead of focusing on the book) and you don’t want something that’s going to be overplayed when you’re not focusing on your book. Angela Peart did a great post on music that inspires her. I had a lot of fun listening to the different bands and songs. It gives me a place to start looking for new music when I need another playlist.

As writers, words are everything. We all have what is known as our “echo” words. Words that we overuse because they’re just part of our everyday vocabulary. (one of mine is just). Julie Glover did a fun post on words that should be banished because of overuse or misuse. Most of these are words or phrases that become popular and then become embedded in everything we read and see. It’s an interesting list. I don’t think I’m too guilty of those.

Just for Fun–

I wanted to include this link because the artwork is amazing (one of Julie’s overused words). I’m not an artist and I love seeing what some people can do with something that seems so simple – chalk. Myndi Shafer posted this on her blog and the art will take your breath away because it looks so real. It reminded me of the scene in Mary Poppins when Mary, Burt, and the children jump into the sidewalk painting.

How is the first week of the new year treating you? Are you following your goals/resolutions?