Thursday, April 24, 2014

Insomnia and the Easter Bunny

I have trouble sleeping. Sometimes it's God trying to get my attention, because that's when everything is quiet in my house.  Sometimes it's just the worries of the day. You know things like kids, money, husband, money, laundry, get the idea. Other times it's story ideas. Sometimes I have scenes from a story that I'm working on and need to fix. Sometimes I have conversations in my head with my characters. (Yes, I'm sane. I promise, although my mother never had me tested.) Sometimes it's just scenes and snippets that I need to write down and save for later. Hence, the paper and pencil I always have beside my bed. I have to be very careful. If someone says something like, "You should so totally write about this...," and it piques my interest, I'm in for one long night.

That's kind of what happened Monday night. We were out of town for the weekend to spend Easter with my in-laws. The family has a mini-family reunion with an Easter egg hunt for the kids. After the eggs have been found, we sit around converse, eat boiled eggs and junk food. It's loads of fun, except when your daughter gets car sick on the way home. You get the picture.

So this particular weekend I missed my writers group meeting. I knew the creative exercise was to write a conflict scene. That particular thought ran through my mind and subconscious all weekend. I had pen and paper with me, so if anything came to mind I could write it down. We came home Sunday evening. It was too busy to do anything but get unpacked, and the kids ready for school Monday morning. So Sunday night I slept, but Monday night is another's the result.

The Easter Bunny Conflict

                Lisa heard the door open, slam shut and the sound of footsteps in the hall. She looked up from her cross stitching expecting her husband to walk into the room. She was surprised to see her sister with her hands on her hips glowering at her like she had committed the most heinous crime. She got up off the couch to greet her.
                “How could you!” Her angry words slapped Lisa in the face.
                 She was confused. “Do what? I don’t what you are talking about.”
                Her sister, Lynn, shoved Lisa and she took a couple of steps back. “Oh you know what you did! Just admit it!”
                “I have no clue what the hell you are talking about.” Lynn was not the only one getting angry.
                Lynn shoved her again. “You killed the Easter Bunny!”
                Lisa was dumbfounded. “What?”
                “You know you did it! You killed the Easter Bunny!” Lynn started to shove her again, but Lisa grabbed her arm.
                “I did know such thing!” Appalled Lisa continued. “You know I would never ever do that. How could you think such a thing?
                Lynn wasn’t listening. She sniffed. “What’s that I smell?”
                “I made stew…”
                Lynn’s eyes widened and she looked at Lisa like she couldn’t believe this was her sister. “You made the Easter Bunny into a stew?” She stormed into the kitchen. Lisa followed. Lynn looked into the stew pot and turned a little green. “Seriously?”
                Lisa clenched her teeth. “I did not kill the Easter Bunny!”
                “I heard you say you did!” Lynn fired back.
                “When we were talking while I was driving on my way home.” Lynn paced back and forth.  “I heard killed, then I heard Bunny. I turned right around and came straight here.”
                “You thought I said Easter Bunny?” This time Lisa shoved Lynn. She lost her balance and fell into a chair. “Are you insane?” Lisa towered over her sister. “You know if I had to kill my own food I’d be a vegetarian!”
                “Then what’s cooking on the stove?”
                “Chicken stew! You idiot!”
                “Then what bunny did you kill?” Apparently Lynn was still not convinced. Lisa reached into the trash and pulled out a Blue Bunny ice cream container. Lynn blushed. “Oh.”
                “Yeah – oh.” Lisa threw the container back into the trash can. “I have more in the freezer. You want to help me kill it?”
                Lynn grinned and together they killed another bunny. The Blue Bunny chocolate chip cookie dough kind.


Friday, April 18, 2014

Evolution Of A Writer

I've been thinking about this topic for a while now. I've tried to write this entry for about two weeks. I just couldn't seem to find the words for what I wanted to say. Kind of ironic don't ya think. I still don't have the words I want, but it's time to write down my thoughts and feelings about this whole topic.

I've read other blogs and they are really, really, good. They are full of great information for writers and I have started following two of them. I've never followed a blogger before, but these two really spoke to me in their delivery of information. One is   Randy Ross and good information on marketing and is a fun read.  The other is I read Kristen Lamb's post on editing and found it to be helpful and inspiring.  I would love to have a lovely blog like these, but I'm not there yet. I'm still learning.

Back in January I decided to be more intentional about my writing. I joined a writers group. They are a bunch of amazing people. I look forward to Saturday evenings when we meet, write, and converse. In the short time I've been with the group, I've learned so much. I look at the group as kind of like on-the-job training. I'm uncomfortable sharing my writing with the group, but how do you learn if you don't share? The critiques and suggestions have been positive and helpful. The exercises we do are sometimes difficult because we write outside our genre and comfort zone. I feel like I grow into a better writer every time I participate.

I always thought I wanted to write my stories, put them out into the world and everything would be fine. I realized that I have to find people to read them, and that means I have to market them. I don't know how to do that.  Kayelle Allen (( is an award winning romance writer. She is one of the founders of my group. Kayelle has helped me so much with the world of marketing. I've started wading into the this interesting and time consuming world. Sometimes I feel I work harder on the marketing than I do on my stories, but it has to be done. So now I have some of my marketing tools, a website, a twitter account, and a Facebook Author page. I'm trying to get on Goodreads. I did find my book in their database, so I decided to try their Author program. I hope to hear back from them soon.

Sometimes we think it's glamorous and romantic being a "writer." We watch "Castle" on television and rarely do we see him write, but he is having a lot of fun hanging out with the police department. He sometimes plays poker with his writer buddies. He is a wealthy. Has this great apartment, a house in the Hamptons and cool toys. He writes best sellers, has an agent and a publisher. Granted he is a fictional character, but isn't that we aspire to be? A writer on the New York Times Best Seller list?
Don't get me wrong, I love the show. I love it because of the characters and the stories. I love it because of the writing. The show normally tells a good story. And that's what I want. To tell  good story.

I don't need to be famous. I wouldn't mind being wealthy. I wouldn't even mind being on the Best Seller list, but what is most important is telling a good story. Being a writer is hard. It's not glamorous. I sit at my computer and fill digital pages with words, hoping the words will spark the imagination of the reader and take them on a journey. It is lonely, frustrating, mind-boggling, hard work. But I love it. I love going on adventures with my characters. My characters get to do things I probably would never do, or get to do. Writing them takes me away to places I hope my readers get to experience. That in itself tends to blow my mind.

Evolution. As a writer I'm constantly learning and evolving. I learn from everyone and everything around me. I'm learning how I work best. Right now, I'm at my kitchen table writing this because I just can't seem to get to my office. Life tends to get in the way.  "Improvise, adapt and overcome" should be a motto of a writer. We improvise when things get tough, we adapt to the situations we're given, and we overcome any plot problems that may arise. I am evolving as a writer. I will continue to evolve as I learn and grow and maybe one day I'll be on that best seller list.