2014 Goals: June Status Report

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Summer break brings loads of time for my muse and I to simply indulge in creativity. I’m enjoying the freedom, but I’ve also put the extra time to good use!

1) Pitch The Muse.

Big news on The Muse front. After a little soul-searching, I decided to hire an editor to comb through my manuscript, (See That Moment When You Realize You Need An Editor). I’m super excited to get a new perspective on a project I’ve been working on for so long. This is an exciting leg of the journey and I can’t wait to roll up my sleeves and fix what needs to be fixed.

While waiting for my manuscript to come back, I started working on a complete rewrite of my query letter. I ended up letting my main character write it through her perspective (minus first person) as if she were writing her story in a journal or telling a friend. So far, I like the changes, but more work needs to be done.

2) Outline and start writing The Muse: Lineage

I took over 10 pages of notes for Lineage. Everything from plot line ideas to mythology research and possible “re-imaginings” fill line after line in my novel notebook. The main story is clear, but I’m still trying to piece together the small pieces that bring everything together. The process is slow, but the haze is definitely starting to lift.

3) Submit writing.

I didn’t submit anything.  However, I did send my novel to an editor. Does that count? ;-)

4) Continue to build author platform.

This month I made a conscious effort to have some fun and Facebook and it has definitely paid off. I’ve started posting and sharing images of quotes that are both inspiring and funny. My followers seem to dig the change as traffic is way up. I’m loving all the interaction!

Facebook likes grew from 366 to 371

Twitter followers grew from 553 to 560

Thanks so much to everyone for clicking those follow and like buttons! Your support is greatly appreciated.

5) Inspire others.

As always, I hope I am a positive presence.

The invisible goal:

6) Be flexible.

A simple act of fate pushed me to find an editor and I’m so happy I took the hint and acted.

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c.b.w. 2014

2014 Goals: May Status Report

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May has been all about endings and beginnings. The end of the school year brings about a summer of relaxation and freedom, but also a revived sense of creativity. As my muse continues to pull me in different directions,   I’m enjoying the journey.

1) Pitch The Muse.

Research continues on agents and query letter layouts. The May/June edition of Writer’s Digest and the Spring 2014 edition of Writing Basics have fantastic articles about the Young Adult genre and pitching the perfect query. I’m taking notes and making changes in my approach!

2) Outline and start writing The Muse: Lineage

I’m starting to feel the creative flow begin for this project. I heard a song the other day that made me think of one of my main characters. I could see her reacting to a situation and the vision is continuing to grow. This is pretty exciting as it’s been a while since my muse has even considered working on this story.

3) Submit writing.

I posted two poems on Poetic Asides. Every Wednesday a prompt is posted and writers are encouraged to post their work. It’s not a competition, but I enjoy the camaraderie among poets. It’s very inspiring.

4) Continue to build author platform.

From the looks of things around here, I’ve been busy. I’m giving my entire online presence an overhaul. At the moment, my blog remodel is at the top of my priority list, but I’ll soon be making some changes on Facebook and Twitter. Creativity and writing will still be the focus, but with a new look! Thanks for sticking around as I experiment with layouts, color, and details!

Facebook likes grew from 365 to 366

Twitter followers grew from 549 to 553

Thanks so much to everyone for clicking those follow and like buttons! Your support is greatly appreciated.

5) Inspire others.

As always, I hope I am a positive presence.

The invisible goal:

6) Be flexible.

The idea of changing the look of my blog was tough to consider, but I’m glad I took the plunge. The new layout is already challenging me to try new things with photography and creative writing.

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c.b.w. 2014

At Day’s End

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As dusk descends, I sip ice tea and sway back and forth on my porch swing. The cicadas buzz, while the heat of the day hangs onto every bit of remaining light. Another day ends and it’s one I’m glad to send into the past. Filled broken things and people who don’t care, my island becomes smaller as my lifeboat sails further out to sea.

A deep breath is all I need.

A fews moments of peace is what I crave.

The moon is the only one that understands.  Every evening it rises with an ethereal glow that calmly asks the world to stop, rest, and sleep. For with the night everything slows down and the struggles of the day fade into black. For this I am grateful as I close my eyes and find my dreams.

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Little Gibson Lake, Northern Wisconsin
Photo by: c.b.w. 2005

 

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c.b.w. 2014

 

The Not-So-Dry Spell

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I haven’t worked on a novel in almost a year. This was a pretty shocking revelation to me as a writer, but one I’m glad I realized. Novel writers are an interesting breed in that they believe every waking moment should be devoted to doing something on one work in progress or another. I lived this belief for five years as I cranked out not one, but two novels.

When the last line is written and the last page has been revised for the fourth time. The novel is done, leaving nothing else but the “what now,” moment. Suddenly, the novel writer has minimally eight extra hours a day that is not filled with word count goals or a blinking cursor. Some writers immediately start on a new project to keep the mojo going, but others revel in the down time. I’d always been the former, a literal Energizer Bunny that never, ever stopped. That is until, I had a little epiphany.

After completing my first novel, I jumped right into brainstorming ideas for the next one. I was on a roll and I didn’t want to break the cycle. However, after completing my second novel, I found I was a little reluctant to start the process of writing a third novel. At first, I was a little worried that my muse had finally run out of juice, but then I realized I was desperately in need of a break. I loved my characters and the worlds I created for them, but I found I was missing the real people in my life and the real world. It was time to look away from the screen and jump back into the world that had inspired me in the first place.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss working on my novels. I do. A copy of The Muse is on my Kindle and on my computer desktop.  A partial outline for The Muse: Lineage sits on my writing desk, while a stack of CDs is waiting for me to peruse them for songs to go on a playlist for Lineage. Despite a long hiatus from butt on chair, fingers on keyboard work, my novels are never far from my mind. Still, I think my characters understand that I needed a little space to gather my thoughts and consider my next steps.

Some would call this a dry spell, but I call it a writer’s reboot. My time away from novel writing hasn’t been wasted by any means. Between agent hunting, experimenting with poetic forms, free writes and rediscovering my love of writing short stories, it’s been a productive chunk of time. The initial feeling of guilt for not constantly working on a novel has all but disappeared and I am enjoying the freedom of being able to truly follow my muse.

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c.b.w. 2014