Did you have a spooky Halloween? We had the grandbabies come trick-or-treat with us. They are still too young to understand it all, but they are so cute it doesn't matter.
The reason I mention this is that some of the costumes I saw yesterday were so creative! And that’s what we’re talking about this week on the Blog Hop:
How do you stay creative? How do you feed your muse? What tips and tricks do you recommend to stay in the creative zone?
You know the saying “a change is a good as a rest?” Well, changing things up is a great way for me to stay creative. When the weather is warm, I love to write outside instead of at the formality of my desk. When it cools down, I take my laptop to our sitting room and work there.
Another way I stay in the zone is to be creative in ways other than writing. I never thought I’d say this (because I am not a crafty person at all) but I love crocheting. Certain stitches are mindful and relaxing and other patterns require fierce concentration (on my part, at least). Using different parts of my brain seems to help with the words.
One of the ways I’ve been feeding my muse lately is by not being creative with words. I’ve been taking a break from writing since I finished a short story in early August. Until last week, that is, when I wrote the blurb for the fourth book in the Silverberry Seduction series.
And can I just say – it felt so good to be writing again!
I really needed the break, though. I’ve been writing pretty constantly for almost three years, with only short intermissions between projects. I still need to write the fifth book in the Silverberry series, and I was really struggling to build the enthusiasm for it. But in the last few days the ideas have started flowing and I can see the book now. It’s right there, laid out all shiny and sparkling, and I can’t wait to get started. However, I am not going to jump right in. I’ve learned that starting a book is easy. It’s keeping on to the end that’s hard. But I think by this time next week I might be ready to get going on it, and I’m so excited for it!
How do you stay creative – in whatever way you define creative? I’d love to hear from you. Then hop over to Andie Fenichel (who has had an amazingly prolific year of publishing, by the way) and see how she keeps the words flowing.
This week on the RWW Blog Hop…
Time to get random. What's in your fridge right now? No cheating!
To prove I’m not cheating, here’s a photo LOL! To be honest, my fridge is kind of boring, although it is very full! We had Chinese food for dinner last night, so there are leftovers. Also, I baked spaghetti squash on Saturday and we haven’t eaten that yet. Then there’s a couple of pancakes remaining from our “breakfast for dinner” last Thursday.
Other than leftovers, there is wine, red pepper paste (homemade by me) , several jars of jam and relish (homemade but not by me) and a couple of tomatoes that are getting a little squishy.
Once when I was a child, I opened the fridge to discover an entire cow’s tongue laid out on a plate inside. Now that would have made for an interesting blog post!
Maybe you’ll see something more exciting in Leslie Hachtel’s fridge!
It’s time to get to know each other better on the Romance Writers Weekly Blog Hop.
Let's share about ourselves! What are three things most people don't know about you or your books?
What about you? What are three things most people don’t know about you? I’d love to read your comments. Then be sure to hop over to PG Forte to learn more about her!
In a lot of ways, September feels more like the start of a new year than January. I’m sure it has to do with the decades of years either going to school or shepherding my children off to their new classrooms. Even without kids at home, though, the end of summer and the start of cooler nights signals a “back to normal” vibe that hasn’t faded.
Which is what makes this week’s topic on the Romance Writers Weekly blog hop rather appropriate, I thought, since the beginning of a new year often means setting goals and resolutions.
What are your goals for the next six or even 12 months? What books are you working on? What's next for you?
At first, I thought I’d have only a couple things to mention in answer to this question. I’m not currently writing anything, which is where I usually focus my goals. But while my brain seems to have declared it is taking a writing sabbatical, I’ve realized I still have a lot on the go for the next several months. Here the (not comprehensive, because I’m sure I’ve forgotten something) list…
Then hop over to Leslie Hachtel and see what she has lined up in her future!
Sorry I’ve been MIA in September. This is my first blog of the month. To be honest, I’ve lost a little bit of my writing mojo, so I’m hoping this week’s challenge will kickstart me. It’s Flash Fiction time! A.S. Fenichel says…
Let's celebrate the equinox. Write a scene set in autumn using the words leaf, water, and coffee. Try to keep it to 500 words.
Here we go…
Fog draped the golds and oranges of the birches in the park across the street. She stood at the window and sipped her coffee. The quiet of the house still rang with the echoes of the kids banging and bickering their way out the door as her husband shepherded them to the van. He would drop them off at school on his way to work. As much as she enjoyed the unstructured, spontaneous days of summer, getting back to regular routines in September was its own delight.
Despite the misty morning, the sun was supposed to shine this afternoon and the temperatures reach an unseasonable high. Many of the baskets and containers she’d planted in the spring had already been composted, but a few were clinging to life, and she should water them if she wanted the enjoy their blooms a little while longer. It seemed pointless, though. Hard frosts weren’t far off, and the first snowflakes would appear soon after.
With a sigh, she headed to her home office. She always felt a little melancholy in the autumn. In the spring, the lengthening days held the promise of summer wonders. In the fall, the dark drew in earlier and earlier, mourning the end of yet another year. Maybe not by the calendar, but by the rhythm of her life.
At her desk, she pushed aside her laptop. She didn’t feel up to staring at a fierce white screen and blinking cursor this morning. Instead, she opened her journal and turned a leaf over to a new page. After a few moments chewing on the end of her pen, she set the nib to paper, and began to write.
“The fog draped the golds and oranges…”
I’d love to hear what you think! Leave me a comment below. Then hop over to Jill Haymaker to see what she wrote about fall.
Ugh. This isn’t a pleasant topic this week on the Romance Writers Weekly Blog Hop, though it is timely for me.
How do you handle it when your work is rejected?
I have submitted different manuscripts at different times to different publishers and agents, and been told no every time. Those rejections, while disappointing, are to be expected in the grand scheme of things. I often think it is as likely as being struck by lightning as to have a manuscript picked up by a publisher when there are so many stories being submitted every day.
I’ve been lucky not too have too many “bad” reviews. Sure, not everyone loves my stories, and I’m okay with that. But in the last couple of months I’ve had more two- and one-star reviews on my recent releases than I was expecting. I tell myself that is the downside to getting my stories into more hands. The more people that read them, the greater likelihood one will not resonate with a reader and cause them to leave a negative review.
The only thing to do is shrug it off and keep going. After all, the alternative is to quit entirely, and I’m not there yet LOL! There are plenty of books that I did not enjoy reading, and while I would never leave a public review for one of those, absolute strangers who read my books are under no obligation to protect my feelings.
What about you? Do you get rejected in your line of work? How do you handle it? Let me know, and then hop over to Leslie Hachtel and see how she handles rejection.
Smell is an extremely evocative sense. I need to remember to use it more often in my writing. This week on the Romance Writers Weekly Blog Hop, here’s our topic:
Tell us about your favorite scent and what it evokes for you.
I have so many that I don’t think I can pick a favourite. But here are several. Which of them resonates with you? I’d love to read your comments.
Coconut and pineapple remind me of hot summer days and tropical vacations. It was the scent of the suntan lotion my mother used to buy.
Mothballs and damp earth take me back to my grandparent’s cellar, which was dark and spooky but had a small bedroom tucked away in one corner that held shelves and shelves of books.
Crayons are the scent of when my kids were young.
Burnt sugar and turkey are Christmas. It seems inevitable that a pie will bubble over as it is being baked in the oven, and the sugar scent lingers while the turkey is being roasted.
I’m also a big fan of lavender, especially in body lotion and soap. It doesn’t have as many memories associated with it, though. I just like it. 😊
Now, hop over to Leslie Hachtel and see what she has to say!
After two weeks of hot, hot weather, we’ve had three or four of rain and cloud. It was rather refreshing, but I am so glad the sun is again shining in a cloudless blue sky as I write this. I am not ready for summer to be over yet!
That’s what make this week’s blog topic so yummy. We’re sharing our favourite recipes for hot summer days. It can be a drink, a dessert, a meal...anything!
When I was deciding what to share for this post, I came across a recipe I haven’t made in years but really enjoyed. I think I’m going to have to whip this up soon!
Strawberry Margarita Pie
20 Oreo cookies, crushed.
2 tbsp. butter, melted
Mix together and press into pie plate.
(Or, you could buy a pre-made crust, of course!)
Blend in mixer:
20 oz. frozen strawberries
¾ c. sugar
1/8 c. tequila
1/8 c. triple sec
1 tbsp. lime juice
1 c. whipped cream
Spread 2 cups of mixture onto crust. Wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for at least two hours.
Add remaining mixture and freeze three hours more before serving.
Garnish with whipped cream if you like!
If you have a favourite summer recipe, feel free to share below! Then hop over to PG Forte and see what recipe she has shared.
We’re going back…waaaaayyy back…on the Romance Weekly Blog Hop today! Our challenge:
Describe your earliest memory.
My earliest memories are snippets of scenes, and who knows how valid they are. For example, I “remember” sitting in front of our television watching a tiny, battered capsule fall into the ocean. I would have been less than two at the time of the Apollo 11 mission, so it was more likely a splashdown from a later trip, but I like to think it was the very first one. I also remember staying in hospital where I ate at a tiny table in the hallway and slept in a plastic tent with moist air blowing in with such force I pretended it was an elephant’s trunk. My parents say I had croup often as a very young child but I’ve never asked them if I had to be hospitalized for it.
I can date few of my most vivid early memories until I started school. One that may have taken place before kindergarten is sitting on our front porch eating popcorn while watching a terrific thunderstorm. Another is when Santa Claus came to visit our house and I couldn’t believe he was really there—not because I didn’t believe in Santa Claus, but because how could he be in my house!!
What about you? What is your earliest memory? Then hop over to Leslie Hachtel to learn about hers!