Category Archives: writing life

The Road There

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This month I’m doing National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). The point of NaNo is to write 50,000 words in the month of November. ideally, the writer begins with a fresh story, but I have a book I’ve already started to write that I really need to finish. So, I started where I was, opened a new document, and went for it. What I didn’t take into consideration was that jumping from the dark paranormal manuscript I just polished to a light story would be quite a  jarring experience. My muse balked, and I had to spend time convincing her to help me.

To finish on time, I “should” be around 35,000 words. Actually, I’m closer to 8,000. To catch up, I’d have to write 4,000 words every day between now and the 30th. I don’t see that happening, but I’ll try my best. So what if I don’t win? I’ll still have a bunch more words than I did. I’ll just keep going into December.

There was a time, not that long ago, that I would have been beating myself up, feeling like a looser, working way too hard to try to catch up—and still not getting there. More guilt. More feeling bad about myself. What good would that do. By relaxing and being proud I’ve gotten this far, I’ll actually get more done.

This doesn’t mean I don’t work hard. I do. I write six, many times seven, days a week. I want a career in fiction, and I’m not afraid of working long, hard hours to get there. Many times my body refuses to let me write, even in the recliner. But I do the best I can.

I recently realized that simply pushing and struggling to reach the next goal is no way to live. Reaching a goal is sweeter when you didn’t kill yourself trying to get there.

Do you beat yourself up over not meeting goals? Do you set your goals too high? Do you enjoy the work you do to reach your goals—at least the feeling of accomplishment?

Have a wonderful weekend!

 

Cheryel

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And the Treat Goes To…

It is my pleasure to announce the winner of an ebook copy of The Secrets of Ugly Creek goes to:

Sheryl Hays.

I used a random generator to make sure of fairness. I’ll be in contact with Sheryl. Hope all of you had a spooky Halloween and enjoyed our blog hop. See you next year!

Cheryel

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Treats Without Tricks

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Last year at this time, my husband and II were in Tennessee near the Smoky Mountains. It’s a gorgeous time of year there. Blankets of yellow, brown, green, and orange cover the mountainsides. Crisp fall air caresses.Pumpkins are everywhere. It’s a great place to be.

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Photo via WANA courtesy of L.E. Carmichel

This year we’re living near Jacksonville, Florida. There are no mountains (or hills, even). The trees are pretty much the same as they were months ago. The temperature is cooler for here, which means it’s almost cool enough to want a jacket first thing in the morning.

Do I miss the the colors? Yes. The weather? Some. Knowing it will be very cold soon? No! I love the sun, the warmth, I may write about vampires, but I’m pretty much the opposite.

How’s the weather where you are? Do you like lots of sunlight, or do you hide from it? What’s your favorite season?

Enter  the givaway! (Comment on my blog for an extra entry, as well as a chance to win a free PDF of The Secrets of Ugly Creek!)
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Go visit the other blogs. There’s lots of fun and prizes!

You can find them here:

http://melissasnark.blogspot.com/p/the-last-week-in-october-authors-will.html

Party Time!

I’m celebrating today. It’s worldwide release day for my newest title, Secrets of Ugly Creek!       

Secrets of Ugly Creek

Secrets of Ugly Creek

Come on in and have a good time.

 

Madison Clark comes home to Ugly Creek, Tennessee to protect her hometown from a hard-line journalist who ruined the life of a senator—what she didn’t count on was falling for the enemy.
Madison Clark is a successful journalist who volunteers for an assignment in her hometown in order to protect the quirky little place from the likes of Gibson McFain. He’s a hard-line journalist and documentary maker who has made his reputation exposing secrets. Ugly Creek has more than its share of secrets, and she knows revealing them would threaten the town’s way of life.
Gibson “Mac” McFain just wants to film a documentary in the little town, but Madison wants to make sure he doesn’t find out too much. Soon problems escalate when attacks begin against Mac and his crew. Madison seems to be as shocked as he is, but he can’t take any chances she might ruin what’s left of his career.
In spite of all this, their physical attraction pulls them together—and eventually they fall in love.
Neither trusts the other, but that doesn’t change the attraction they feel. It’s only a matter of time before they act on the desire, but will that mean sleeping with the enemy?

 

Now, let’s get this party started with Kool & the Gang:

 

 

No Wimps Allowed

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photo courtesy of Lynn Kelley Author via WANA Commons

The last couple of weeks I’ve experienced one of those weird cosmic convergences that makes me think I need to pay attention.

First there were two amazing blogs by the Social Network Ninja, Kristen Lamb. Bravely, Ms. Lamb took us places the rest of us where afraid to go. The first was about  Empathetic Correctness and how this new phenomenon could seriously hurt writers. The second was about Diversity, and just how strained connection has become.  Lots to make all of us think here. I have been a fan of Ms. Lamb for years, and she always has good information. These two, though, they hit home.

Secondly, I read Stephen King’s On Writing. Again. I love this book and in all honesty, I was hoping the words would do the magic they always have before—make me eager to go write. After the last few months, I needed a kick in the pants. As usual, Mr. King stepped up to the plate. Though written in 2000, the words fit today’s PC environment, “…writing fiction in America as we enter the twenty-first century is no job for intellectual cowards. There are lots of would-be censors out there, and although they may have different agendas, they all want basically the same thing: for you to see the world they see…or at least shut up about what you do see that’s different.” Food for thought.

Third, is the death of the brave and amazing writer Maya Angelou. She used the pen to speak out at a time few dared, and continued to write courageously until her death May 28. The world lost a truly awesome woman.

So, little me, sitting here at my desk, trying to decide if I really need to use the f-word in my current manuscript, and wondering if I have the kind of courage to be the writer I have the capability to be. I know I hold back, and not just from profanity. Many times I won’t let myself go deeply into the world in my head, the world where the good stuff is.

Writer or not, we all need to think. Being led along by sound bites and the ravings of those sensors Mr. King spoke of could well mean the end of freedom as we understand it. If we PC everything, then we won’t have words to tell the honest truth anymore. We can look away and pretend bad things don’t happen. Will the bad stuff go away then? I don’t think so. I think bad will go to terrible, and we won’t be able to tell the truth about it. And that will be the end of freedom.

 

Lots to think about.

Cheryel