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Monday, April 10, 2017

Writing Tips

Our guest post this time around is from Sleuths' Ink President Kathy Garnsey. Some really good advice for getting your words down.
 
 
 
Whether you're ready for it or not, we are in the fourth month of the new year.  How much have you written?

That is the burning question isn't it? As writers we seem to find every excuse in the book from family obligations to killing ants! I personally know about the ants this year. Anyway, we are full of excuses, but excuses never wrote a book! So how do we get our seat in the chair and write? I suppose if I had that answer I would be a genius, but I do have some advice---as told to me and read by me--how else do we learn?

1. Set a time each day, even if it is only a half-hour or an hour, and DO IT. It doesn't do any good if you still don't do it. Tell everyone you know to leave you alone from four to six in the evening and write! Whatever time you decide you must put your rear in the chair and write. It isn't that hard--really.

2. Never get discouraged. If you fall short of your goals, and most of us do, do not get discouraged, simply try harder to get it done. Our families never seem to understand what a writer is, or does, so it is up to us to educate them. Or ignore them, whichever works best.

3. Get over your writer's block.  There is NO SUCH THING! Really, truly, there is no writer's block, simply a plot glitch to which we have not thought enough about. If you ever write for an editor, you can never tell them you have writer's block because they will tell you "real" writers do not get writer's block. Ask any published writer you know and I think they will tell you the same thing.

4. Stop procrastinating! Which actually brings us back to the #1 above. Yes, it is a full circle that we procrastinate around. Actually stop and listen to your own excuses and you will most likely find the same ones over and over again.

So how do you get past the "non writing" phase you may be in? The advice is really simple. You get rid of all the excuses and JUST DO IT! No, that phrase does not belong to just one shoe maker, it belongs to each and every one of us. Set a word goal for the week or the month and make yourself stick to it--no matter what! Get your laptop out while you watch TV and work on your book. Set a goal with a fellow writer and see who gets there first. 
Whatever it takes to write that book and get it done, just do it! 

Happy Writing to everyone!

 

Saturday, February 25, 2017

BEGINNINGS


https://morguefile.com
 

Please enjoy this guest post by Sleuths' member Rosalie Lombardo. She is not only a talented writer, but also a Certified Natural Health Professional and Enzyme Digestive Health Specialist.

Note: This was meant to run in January, but things happen. After all, beginnings aren't just for the first of the year. Spring is also known for fresh starts.

 New Beginnings

                 Each January, in many places throughout the world, people celebrate the beginning of a new year.
            Starting something new is a gift for everyone. Writers, in particular, are used to starting something new. New beginnings are not exclusively designated as an annual occurrence; they happen every month, week, day, hour and minute. They originate when the writer decides to start an endeavor.
            Writers construct innovations the instant they compose a new word, a sentence, a thought, a story. They are a special breed of people who constantly celebrate new beginnings. All beginnings are just new choices. This holds true with any undertaking. The choice to start fresh exists for everyone and it belongs exclusively to the choice maker. No one else owns that power.
            We can choose to cast aside unwanted patterns, to continue or eliminate a habit, to think positively or negatively, but what eludes most of us is the awareness that we are the only creator in our minds.
            Creation starts with one tiny step immediately after saying “I choose.” That moment is when the magic of change occurs. No matter what direction our decision takes us, the creator has to launch the first step.
            Writers like us are accustomed to making choices, taking first steps, and creating. The advantage with new beginnings emerges from our regular exercise of writing. Most writers don’t realize the blessing this process affords them.
            I see a parallel with writing and choice; if a writer can readily start a new thought for a story, he can just as easily apply new thoughts toward creating something different in his life (a new page, a new habit, a new path.)
            I believe the familiarity writers have with new beginnings can be transferred to choices made in everyday life. I choose. It is my decision. What does my spirit want to do today? The common theme is me, myself, and I.
            Once you take the first step, the results can be all you’ve ever imagined. Re-creating yourself might seem like a big order, but you start with that one first step.
            Every day we create our world through the choices we make the instant we open our eyes. What kind of world will you create when you open your eyes this New Year? As for me, I choose to create happiness and to expand that happiness by wishing you all Many Happy New Beginnings. Until next year.

Rosalie

 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Member Guest Post - Tierney James

We are pleased to highlight one of our members Tierney James, who has a new release out this week - Dark Side of Morning. Here is a little bit about her and a blurb from her book.

Destination Writing
It’s no secret. I love to travel. Maybe being a geo-teacher for National Geographic or loving cultures mixed with a healthy dose of science influenced the way I write stories. Because I have been blessed with the ability to see the world, I learned early on I needed to keep a journal in case I wanted to use the information down the road. The road that led to my current novel, Dark Side of Morning, was conceived about twenty years ago.

One of my favorite places is the Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois. My fascination with all things Native American led me there many times because of their remarkable collections. It was there I discovered display cases with traditional dressed Native Americans. One was a Pawnee near the outside of the blessed Pawnee earth lodge. I sat there and wondered if he could see me. Thus Dark Side of Morning took shape in my head. Every time I visited I took notes of the way the museum looked, smelled, sounded, etc. A year ago I decided it was time to write what was stomping around in my head. Research still needed to be done to bring a sense of realism to my words. But with time, energy and a great deal of coffee my characters formed.

I have many notebooks, packed full of experiences. Some are from going within an hour’s drive of my home and others are from across the world. The thing that is common with the information I collect involves more than an itinerary of events. I include the food I ate and how it tasted, smelled and how it affected me. I use my five senses to collect the world around me. One of the things I love to do is watch the news programming, especially in other countries. All those collections will make your story sound authentic and keep your reader engaged. Try a snippet of my latest book.

Dark Side of Morning

Dr. Cleopatra Sommers never came to terms with her father’s disappearance at the Museum of Natural History in Chicago. He had been a Native American scholar that explored avenues of unexplained spiritual paths in their cultures.  The museum had been her home and playground growing up where her father spent long hours working. She was always drawn to one display case holding a mannequin of a Pawnee Indian. There was no way she could know he watched her all those years until the night he crossed over to find her.

Detective Jacque Marquette suspected the beautiful doctor of stealing priceless artifacts from a Native American exhibit. He realized after meeting his identical twin from another time and place, Dr. Sommers might not be as crazy as he initially thought. The layers of concern for his city begin to stack up as he is caught between culture and the Pentagon. Only with the help of a Pawnee warrior from two hundred years ago, can save his city from a deadly disease brought in from a parallel universe.

Wind Dancer had loved the little girl who grew up before him for years. When he decided to cross over to prevent his enemy from finding Dr. Sommers, the bombardment of changes forced him to rely on the ways of the past to survive. Navigating the future proves to be complicated as he teams up with a grumpy detective to hunt down a common enemy. No one expected the price to be sacrificing Dr. Sommers to the Morning Star in order to avert disaster.

 You can find me at the following places:



Twitter: @TierneyJames1