Filtering by Tag: wip

Strong, Even When It Hurts

So.

Six months since my last post.

What have I been up to?

Well, life is kind of crazy these days. I'm single for the first time in seven years, I moved, started a new job, got a new car...you name it, it's different.

Basically, I've spent the last few months trying to get my feet back on the ground. I'm not quite there yet, but each day I'm getting a little closer.

On the writing front, I'm only two chapters away from The End. Which is another thing that's freaking me out. I've been working on this particular novel for so many years. Once I reach the end, once I go through the revision process, I have to say goodbye to this story, these characters. Yet another change in my life. While it's a good one, it still makes me nervous.

And excited.

My next novel is already forming in my head. My main character whispering sometimes, screaming at others, trying to get me to write her story. I need to finish my current one first, but the prospect of a shiny new novel is thrilling.

But I have to finish this one first. So close, yet so far away. I had the ending all mapped out, but about halfway through the novel, my main character changed the course of the story. Now, I'm struggling to nail down how it all ends. Happily Ever After sounds easy enough, right?

I'll get there, ladies and gents. One word, one step, one day at a time...

IWSG: How Long is Too Long?


The first Wednesday of every month is reserved for Alex Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers Support Group (unless I forget). In these posts, I write about my insecurities as a writer. Make sure to check out all the wonderful bloggers participating!

I have this app on my phone called Timehop. Basically, it scours the internet each day for things you've posted on the same date in previous years. It's kind of cool and mostly I enjoy the look back (especially today's update from last year: "Dropped off the last rent check today. Can't wait to make that first mortgage payment!). But lately, I've been getting updates like:

"Finished Chapter 17 today! Onto the next chapter."


or

"I rewrote my outline. Now, maybe I'll finish this thing by the end of March!"

The problem with those updates? They're from 2 & 3 years ago, and are about the same book I'm working on now -- which, for the record, I had been working on sporadically for at least 4 years prior. Actually, now that I think of it, in April, it will be 7 years with Dana, and I was definitely working on this novel when we met. You guys, that's a LONG time.

So, my question for today is: How long is too long to work on the same project?

When should you decide it's just not gonna work and set it aside? When do you start on something new?

Now, I'm not completely bummed that I'm still working on the same book, because in the last year or so I have made leaps and bounds with it. This is the best it's ever been. It's finally becoming what I have wanted it to be from day one.

But those Timehop updates, they do make me wonder. What might I have accomplished if I'd let this book go?

What are your thoughts? How long have you been working on your current WIP? When should you give it up and move on?

The Movie Bloghop

What's this? Two blog posts in one week? I must be ill, right?

Nah. I just stumbled across this very cool bloghop this morning and, even though it is happening RIGHT NOW, I couldn't resist. It's just too fun.

The Movie Bloghop, hosted by Kyra Lennon at Write Here, Write Now and Rachel Schieffelbein at Writing on the Wall, is just what it sounds like. You write a post about who you'd cast in the movie version of your current Work-in-Progress. Awesome, right?

My current WIP is about Tierney, a late-20-something woman who finds out her ex-fiance is marrying someone else. Well, what's a girl to do but get him back, right? Only she didn't count on the sexy best man standing in her way.

The lead role of Tierney is played to perfection by the lovely Katharine McPhee:

Jack, the too-sexy and all-knowing best man, is Ian Somerhalder AKA OMG THE HOTTEST GUY EVER!:



Wes, Tierney's ex-fiance and all-around good (though slightly boring) guy, is James Van Der Beek:

Wes's fiancee, Sam, the bubbly, perfect blonde, is Kellie Pickler:

There you have it. The cast of beautiful people that are playing out this story in my head -- er, on the big screen.

As for the music, this is a vital part of my process. I will listen to the same song on repeat until I finish writing a particular scene. I've got a huge playlist, but I'll narrow it down to a couple, just for you.

Run - Matt Nathanson, Jennifer Nettles


I Hate You, Don't Leave Me - Demi Lovato


Had It All - Katharine McPhee


Come Clean - Tristan Prettyman


Make sure you check out the other posts in this bloghop. How can you resist? It's such a fun idea!

So, who would you cast in a movie version of YOUR WIP?


Muse Food

I've been making steady progress on the revisions for my Work-in-Progress, and I'm excited. I feel like the new Chapter 1 is the strongest version yet and that I'm definitely getting somewhere.

My muse has been fueled by a playlist of songs I compiled that remind me of my characters and the story they're telling. Here are a couple of the juiciest cuts that get me inspired:

Gavin DeGraw - Run Every Time

I love the overall feeling of this song. Of having something great right in front of you, but being too afraid to grab it with both hands. It captures my main character's inner conflict perfectly.

LeAnn Rimes - What Have I Done

This song is soaked in regret and heartbreak and it just gets to me. I love the line, "Gonna smash every mirror in this empty house, because like you I don't want to see myself." Gah!

Jessica Harp - Over Me

My favorite lines: "She's your growing up, I'm your staying young" While some of these lyrics could be considered wishful thinking on the part of my main character, those two lines describe what's going on so simply: her ex is growing up, moving on. And it hurts.

Matt Nathanson - Kept

I hear this song at the point in my story when my main character does something she shouldn't have done. I love the line "The morning came and it felt like truth."

The last one I'm gonna share with you hit me like a brick the first time I heard it. I love Michelle Branch and I wish we heard more from her. Her new music is fantastic, and this song has inspired many hours of furious typing away on my laptop.

Michelle Branch - Summertime

I love the nostalgic feeling of this. The bittersweet taste of looking back and remembering someone. The parts that spoke to me the most were, "I heard she's wearing a shiny diamond ring, I guess you're finally moving on," and "Kissing underneath the moonlight, discovering things we never thought we'd find." This song is so, so good!

So there you have it. A peek at the playlist revolving inside my head. There are dozens more songs. Maybe I'll share more with you later! Now, back to work!

Do you make playlists for your Works-in-Progress? Or do you write in silence? Maybe instrumental instead of songs with lyrics? What feeds YOUR Muse?



Why, Hello There

So, rumor has it I promised a real, live blog post almost a month ago. And by "rumor has it," I mean, I just read my last entry and winced at the lies that spewed from my fingers. But I'm a writer, right? And I write fiction. Which means lies are allowed to spew from my fingers.

...right?

Anyway, I thought it was about time I stop neglecting my poor blog and make more than appearance.

Life has been hectic, to say the least. Between working full time, super crazy hours, and taking two summer classes, anytime I'm at home, all I want to do is sleep. But who needs sleep? Certainly not me.

Remember this post?

Well, shortly after I hit Publish, I found a post on my local NaNoWriMo forum about a writing group. A sent an email and a week or so later, I found myself a proud, giddy member of Pigasus Pen, a writing group comprised of four ladies with a passion for writing. Jeannie, of The Magic Nutshell, sums us up so well in her post: Pigasus Pen.

Thus far,I've only attended one meeting, with our next scheduled for next Sunday, but so far, I am thrilled to be among such smart, amazing, word-loving ladies. Outside of the Internet, I've never known another writer, so I'm looking forward to each and every meeting. The accountability and deadlines will help keep me on track with my writing, and the critiques are bound to bring new light to issues I've struggled with in my novel.

Outside of that wonderful news, I took a promotion at work. Yes, I'd mentioned looking for another job, but I was offered the promotion with better benefits than I was expecting, and since I've still got another 2 years or so before I'm finished with my Bachelor's, and then I've got to find a new job afterwards, I figured, why not? It will look good on my resume and give me leadership experience. Plus, I know the job inside-out already, so I may as well get paid more, right?

I also decided to give running a try. I've only done it three times so far, but I'm not dying and I don't hate it, so here's hoping it sticks!

I believe that about sums up the last couple months of my life. I'm excited about the next couple!

What about you? What have you been up to this summer? Have you been as busy as me? How's your writing going?



U is for Um...Blogfest!

I signed up to do the Now Starring Blogfest over at Rapturous Randomocity because it sounded like fun. But then I couldn't think of anything beginning with U to tie it in. Hence the lazy title!



Anyway, the whole idea behind the blogfest is to select a cast for your WiP, if it were being made into a movie. Cool idea, right? Especially for those of us who already choose pictures of celebrities to represent our characters.

My current WiP is a romance/romantic comedy about a girl who tries to win her ex back before he marries someone else. My dream cast is as follows:

Zooey Deschanel as Tierney, my main character. She's flighty and insecure and a wee bit unstable, but I love her to pieces.


David Conrad as Jack, the best man who is determined to stop her crazy scheme


James van der Beek as Wes, Mr. Right who's about to get married to the wrong girl.


Brittany Snow as Sam, Wes's sweet, perfect fiancee.


And Isla Fisher as Macy, Tierney's best friend, who's always trying to talk sense into her.


So, what do you think? Would you see this movie? Who would you cast in the film version of YOUR book?


Just Kiss Already Blogfest

I'm forgoing this week's Mixtape to participate in this super fun Blogfest hosted by Stina @ Seeing Creative and Christina at Write-Brained.



The whole idea is to post a snippet (not more than 250 words) of a kiss from your WiPs or a scene from an author you admire. And then, swing by 3 to 5 other blogs to check out their entries. What better way to celebrate Valentine's Day, huh?

Anyway, here's my snippet. This is from the same WiP I used for the Page 99 Blogfest -- Tierney wants to win her (engaged) ex back and his best man (Jack) is determined to stop her. Let me tell you, Jack is one sneaky devil. This is their first kiss:

The moment our lips finally met was more than I expected, sending volts of electricity through my entire body, taking my breath away. The warmth of his mouth over mine had my knees knocking. Suddenly, the world around us faded away and there was only this man. This moment. This kiss.

I fought it at first, closing my mouth beneath his to deny him access. Clinging to the last shred of common sense, I put my hands against his chest, intending to push him away. But the soft pressure of his lips, the teasing of his tongue against my closed mouth, the fire running through my veins, finally won over. It’d been so long since I’d kissed anyone. And this just felt so. Damn. Good.

My body turned to butter as I sighed and relented, opening my lips beneath his, granting Jack complete access, though I knew I shouldn’t. My every sense filled with Jack. I could taste the too-sweet punch being served inside, smell his cologne or aftershave and its hint of sandalwood that had my head spinning. A fierce heat unfurled in my stomach and I pressed my body tighter against his, curling my fingers in hair that was all at once silky and coarse. If it weren’t for his arms wrapped around my waist, pulling me away from the railing and against him, I would have fallen.


Hope you enjoyed it. I'm off to check out some of the other entries! You should definitely do the same!

Oh, and Happy Valentine's Day!

Page 99 Blogfest

Hey, look! It's another last minute blogfest!

I thought this one sounded interesting. The whole idea is to post page 99 from your book and see if people would read on. Cool concept, right? If you want to read the other entries, click here!

Alrighty, here's page 99 of my current WiP. A little backstory: my main character, Tierney, is determined to win back her ex, Wes, who's engaged to Sam. Jack is determined to stop her. Tierney has just brought up the night she and Wes painted their initials on the town's water tower.

Here goes nothing!

*********************************************************
“Uh…” Wes trailed off, glancing down at his hands. I almost felt bad for him. But almost didn’t count. And I wasn’t going to pass up this opportunity to drudge up our past.

“W.J and T.E Forever,” I supplied without a bit of hesitation. Maybe it was wrong of me to tell my ex’s fiancée that we’d planned on spending forever together and had emblazoned our initials on the town’s water tower to prove it. Maybe I should have just made something up. But what good would that do?

“I…ah, I see.” Sam looked contrite for a moment, igniting pity inside me. She’d absolutely mastered the deer in the headlights of a Mack truck look.

“Silly kid stuff.” Wes covered Sam’s fidgeting hands with his own and passed me a dirty look.

Sorry, I mouthed, not exactly sure what I should feel sorry for. If Wes was completely secure in his relationship with Sam, he would have no problem telling her what we’d been busted painting on the water tower, right? It was years ago! But that he didn’t want to tell her said something. Something I really wanted to hear. He still cared for me.

At this moment, reuniting with Wes seemed more possible than ever.

“You two should put your initials up there.” Jack aimed the comment at the other couple and brought an abrupt end to my elation. I wanted to elbow him in the gut.

Sam smiled brightly, all insecurities erased by her excitement. “Could we, Wes? That would be so fun!”


So, what do you think? Would you want to read more? Or would you toss this book aside and reach for something else?

Isn't It Ironic?

It feels like my usual lazy Sunday. I slept in a little later than usual and I've been puttering around the house, doing random chores. My mind was lulled into thinking I had the rest of the day to relax.

Wrong.

I have to go to work at 7 tonight. I haven't worked a late night shift in at least six months. I'm sort of worried I'm gonna fall asleep somewhere around eleven -- three hours before I'm out.

Until then, though, I've been trying to get myself organized. There's a load of laundry in the washer, another in the dryer. My homework is sitting next to me, waiting patiently to be worked on and I've been toying with the idea of dying my hair. And maybe writing Chapter Seventeen.

Chapter Seventeen. In my outline for 2010's NaNo novel, there were only fourteen chapters. But somewhere along the way, I strayed from my outline. Added more scenes. Played around with my characters and their world. Who knows how much of that is gonna make it into the final draft, but it's been a fun, eye-opening experience. I've learned that Mr. Perfect can be a jerk. I've learned that Mr. Wrong can be vulnerable and sweet. I've learned that my MC doesn't really like who she is. And that her nemesis, Little Miss Sunshine, has more depth than I ever realized.

And Chapter Seventeen is getting me closer to The End. I've only got about three or four more chapters to go. And let me tell ya, I've been working on this novel on and off for about six years. Thinking about typing The End on this makes me more than a little nervous. Kind of like cutting off a limb. Isn't that weird? For years, I've wanted to get back to this story and finish it. And now that I'm almost there...I'm all but freaking out.

What about you? Do you get nervous when you're almost to the end of your WiP? Or is it just me and my neurotic tendencies? Do any of you have a project you've been working on for an eternity?

My Writing Vacation

I am a horrible, horrible blogger.

To be honest, I've been a horrible, horrible writer too.

You remember when I said I was taking a break from my current WiP to work on an old one? Well, it somehow morphed into a plain ole break. I haven't picked up a pen or opened a word document in about a week. For the first few days, I enjoyed the living heck outta it. But now...I kind of miss it. The adrenaline, the frustration, the whole damn process.

I got a confirmation email last Wednesday for my Createspace copy. It's not gonna be perfect. In fact, it's gonna be a downright disaster. No title page, chapters starting on the right AND left sides, the cover not exactly what I had in mind. Oh, not to mention the same scene in Chapters 12 AND 14. BUT! It's mine. A real live copy of something I slaved over for months. So, even if it isn't perfect, I'm just super-excited to hold it in my hands, ya know?

I have been addicted to Sara Bareilles' new song lately.


It's catchy and fun and I sing it all day at work. Much better than having Adam Lambert stuck in my head, let me tell you.

I've been doing some driving lately. A friend of mine took it upon herself to teach me and so once a week, she picks me up and lets me drive around town. Last week, it was just the back country roads while I got comfortable behind the wheel. Yesterday, I drove the busier streets. And I didn't run over any pedestrians or back-end someone or have a panic attack! Next time, we'll probably try the busiest street -- which just so happens to be the street I work on. It's my biggest driving fear. Well, that and the highway. But gradually, I'm conquering these fears. Couldn't be prouder of myself. Isn't it silly that driving has scared me so much?

I finally got to go to the beach yesterday. I love to swim. LOVE to swim. But I rarely get to do it. We've been in the middle of a heat wave 'round here, but I've been stuck at work all day. Wouldn't it figure that my day off is when the heat breaks? It was still plenty warm enough to swim, though I'm sure I would have appreciated it more when the weather was nearing a hundred degrees. Still felt amazing to dive into that cool water. If I could, I'd swim every single day of my life. I think I was a fish in another life.



I have to get ready for work (I hate Saturdays!), but I'll leave you guys with a couple links I thought were super helpful. Well, they would have been if I was actually WRITING right now. Ah well, soon.

201 Ways to Arouse Your Creativity
10 Writing Tips That Can Help Almost Anyone, courtesy of Janet Fitch

I'm hoping to get back to something resembling a blogging routine soon. Wanderlust Wednesdays, book reviews, progress updates. I've got my fingers crossed! In the meantime, Happy Saturday, everyone!