Thursday, June 22, 2017

Hitting the Halfway Mark

Cue the confetti . . .

I'm halfway done with my current WIP!

I honestly never feel like I am going to finish a novel. I lose the vision too easily, I give up as the character and plot flaws pile into mountains. I actually have four unfinished novels totaling about 500 pages that I abandoned. And then I have 2 practice novels and 2 unpublished novels on top of everything else. So why do I bother slogging along? What keeps me going?

Good question. Many answers.

*Wisdom from fortune cookies! Seriously, this is deep stuff:

"It takes guts to get out of the ruts."

"The dream is within you."

*MUSIC. Shut up and listen. Then get your muse on.

*My peeps. Can't emphasize the importance of nurturing your relationships with friends and family enough. As an inky introvert, wallowing in despair comes naturally. A good friend will kick your brain back into gear and/or distract you with their awesomeness until the story bug bites again.

*Flexercise. Take a walk, engage in some form of (in my case, most moderate!) exercise, and chill with the tree babble. The leaves are saying far more interesting things than you or me. But don't take my word for it.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Golden in the Dark draft

Just for fun, I am publishing the very first book I ever wrote, Golden in the Dark, for free on Wattpad. New chapters coming every Friday. Art drawn by the fabulous Lyvia Alaida Martínez Álvarez, my very talented neighbor from my good old college days!

Lorelei wakes up in a hospital on a war-shattered world and discovers that she bears an uncanny resemblance to an alien that lived there nine centuries before. Too bad she's lost her last fifteen years of memory and can't remember if she is Kyrtannid, the so-called "Angel of Genara." Worse, she has extrasensory abilities that are now considered criminal. When Lorelei is forced into weaving illusions of Kyrtannid around herself to quell rioters and stop child slavers, rumors spread across the planet that the Angel of Genara has returned. Tikosian, her best friend and technowizard extraordinaire, tries to help Lorelei lay low until they can jet off-world on his almost but never-quite-finished hoverboard. But after becoming entangled in a plot to assassinate a royal lady, Lorelei must decide whether to remain an outsider, or to use her abilities to save the future of an interstellar government that just might decide to kill her.
Lorelei Redelven, Mind Hacker 

Tikosian Mandelorrus, Technowizard Extraordinaire

Sketch Art of:
Lorelei, Tiko, Keexa
and Lady Cilinisa Vannon

Thursday, April 13, 2017

8 Methods to improve your Creative Madness

A novel never feels real to me until I hit the first ten thousand words. Then, I feel obligated to finish the dang thing! And the 10k word count, the ink threshold in my brain is beginning to overflow with ideas.

But how do I keep that creative momentum up? Here are a few of the methods that help me:

1. Morning Meditation: I read a bit of philosophy, poetry or biblical wisdom for a few minutes. My current favorite is Earth Prayers from around the World edited by Elizabeth Roberts and Elias Amidon.

2.  Exercise: I do physical exercises to get myself energized before I plop in front of the computer. Other times I write a little first and then exercise just to break things up.

3. Writing Excuses: I am getting into the habit of listening to this fabulous podcast whenever I exercise, or take a lunch break.

4. Online Stopwatch: I use the countdown tool to keep myself from getting distracted too often. Sometimes I set the timer for only 15 minutes, sometimes 30 minutes. Usually I stop using it once I get into the flow of ink.

5. Music: Playing music often inspires me while I write. This method doesn't work for everyone, but it definitely helps me. Also, making up a track list that expresses the mood of a chapter or character also gets me energized to write.

6. Get gritty! I re-read this story shared by Paulo Coelho and written by W. Timothy Gallway, and tell my fragile whining ego to shut up because every story starts as a seed. Of course it will be gangling and strange as it grows and needs pruning to shape it into its end form. So take pride in the dirt and nourishing dark and keep pushing towards the light.

 “When we plant a rose seed in the earth, we notice it is small, but we do not criticize it as “rootless and stemless.”

‘We treat it as a seed, giving it the water and nourishment required of a seed.

“When it first shoots up out of the earth, we don’t condemn it as immature and underdeveloped, nor do we criticize the buds for not being open when they appear.

‘We stand in wonder at the process taking place, and give the plant the care it needs at each stage of its development.

“The rose is a rose from the time it is a seed to the time it dies. Within it, at all times, it contains its whole potential.

‘It seems to be constantly in the process of change: Yet at each state, at each moment, it is perfectly all right as it is.

“A flower is not better when it blooms than when it is merely a bud; at each stage it is the same thing — a flower in the process of expressing its potential.”

7. Write something, even if it is just one sentence: still working on this one! The point is to get myself into the habit of facing my ink demons. Start with just a sentence, and the next day make it three, and before long paragraphs and pages come next.

8.  Fallow Days: Some days I just don't write, and that's okay. Quiet times nourish creativity, too.

 What are the methods that work for you?