Retreat

I’ve managed to stay out of the political chaos that surrounds my home country so far and I’m hoping to avoid the aftermath as well. Honestly, no matter which side of the political fence you stand on, all the emotional sensationalism that’s out there creates a reaction and it’s that reaction I can do without. The increased heart rate. The anger. The frustration about how the other side can be so (insert word of choice here). So I’ve avoided it. Because I have better things to spend my emotional energy on. I have a family and two jobs and a dream and hobbies and a million other things I can be investing in.  Read more

My Author Mission Statement

mission statementI was in a mom situation about a week or two ago and ended up defending my children during a play date. Later, I had conflicting emotions about the episode. Sadness. Anger. Frustration. Guilt. Eventually, my husband came to me and said I should never feel guilty for being the champion our children need at times. Shortly before this play date, I ran across an article, or maybe it was just a paragraph or two in a book, about mission statements. I think the idea was successful people lived by mission statements and these feelings prompted me to think about creating a mission statement for myself. I spent two days writing down what I believed and my mission as a mom, a wife, a sister, and a friend. Defending my children, even in difficult situations or against friends, was in there. When I finished, I felt much better. Read more

Setting Up Writing Tasks With Habitica

Have you heard of this app? Habitica? I’m in love with it. So here’s the deal. You create a little guy or gal and then go ahead and set up tasks, to-do lists, or even habits. They could be writing related goals, like ‘Write one chapter’ or ‘Write 1000 words daily’, or something a little more simple like ‘Take the stairs’ or a habit like ‘Drink Water’. 2016-07-30

Whenever you mark off the tasks or to-do items as completed, you get experience points. Eventually you can even have pets. Just a few days ago I hatched my first Skeleton Flying Pig!

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Support Your Local Bookshop – Join a Book Club

20160714_130434-001Instagram is my favorite form of social media. Twitter to me is like an endless autobahn. I use Facebook the most, but I really enjoy Instagram and I’ll tell you why. Facebook, loaded with political memes, angry judgements, and a sense of divisiveness, makes me feel angry or frustrated or judged or a number of other negative feelings. Mostly, I’m reminded of that old Monty Python skit where the guy wants to have an argument and he keeps running into rooms like Abuse and Hitting You Over the Head (love that skit). Read more

Analyzing a Story

I’ve been listening to The Story Grid with Tim Grahl and Shawn Coyne. It’s a writing podcast which pairs up the flailing new writer with an experienced editor and they talk about all things story related. Shawn relies heavily on Campbell’s Hero with a Thousand Faces and Robert McKee’s Story, so if you’ve studied either of them, you’ll find much of Shawn’s work familiar.

One of the first things that struck me was how Shawn categorizes the different genres, but the more I dug into them, it made sense. I write Fantasy and Science Fiction. Sometimes I veer into the creepy, the edge of horror. Read more

What do you like in a story?

What do you like in a story? Have you ever thought about it? And by that, I mean more than for a few seconds. Have you ever sat down and made a list of the things you enjoy about the stories you read?

I read Chris Baty’s book, No Plot, No Problem last week. For those of you who didn’t know, Chris is the guy who started NaNoWriMo and I was curious to see what he said about writing a novel in 30 days. If you’ve never written a novel before, you would benefit most from the book, which gives you tips to keep track of word count, how to tell your family you’re writing a book, along with advice on how to stay sane during the month-long challenge. Read more

Feeding the Sci-Fi Muse

alien screenshotAliens have invaded our home. Last week my husband decided I needed some classic sci-fi material logged into my brain for recall later. Ships. Robots. Technology. Things like that to stick in the back of my mind for general reference. Feedback from my writing group over the last two short stories I wrote hinted at a Blade Runner feeling, despite my having never watched Blade Runner. After this revelation, my ever-helpful husband picked himself off the floor and promptly ordered the film, along with the Alien series, for educational purposes, and I think a measure of good-natured sci-fi snobbery, because how dare I write sci-fi without having seen the classics? The weekend dawned rainy and full of angst for the entire world and a very personal upper respiratory infection that forced us to spend the Swedish Midsummer sick in bed. In other words, the perfect opportunity to watch a bunch of old movies.  Read more

Bug Out on Amazon

You may not have heard from me over the past few months, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been working hard. We’ve gone through an evaluation process with our daughter, and I took a part-time job, both of which left little time for social activities, especially when you add my writing time to the equation. Nevertheless, within the last couple of months I’ve written two more short stories, come five chapters closer to a finished sequel, and sold a few poems. Told you I’ve been busy😉. Read more

Setting up an email list

NewsletterI’ve finally broken down and listened to the advice many successful authors have passed on for years. No, it’s not, ‘Write every day.’ I’ve given up ever pulling that off while I have small children and live in the frozen north (for the record, I do try to follow that advice, but my version goes something more like, ‘Pray the kids aren’t sick and go to school so I can write!’). No, the advice I’m talking about centers around my author platform and communication.

I’ve finally set up a newsletter subscription on my blog! Read more

Our 52 Stories Project

Yesterday, I mentioned one of my goals for March was to begin documenting a story the kids and I create together each week. Today was electronic-free day in our house, so I figured it was the perfect time to start. When we were finished, the kids were laughing so hard, I couldn’t understand anything they said, so in full disclosure, these stories might have continued much longer than their official ending. Considering how they couldn’t get past the giggles, they finally agreed to the endings, and then they begged me to put it up on the blog, so here I am =). We ended up with two stories, but since I’m calling this Our 52 Stories Project and we’re a few weeks behind with documenting them, it works out. Read more