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24 09, 2018

It’s the Back to School Season

By |2018-09-24T11:31:32-05:00September 24th, 2018|Make Me Think Monday, Writer's Life|3 Comments

Texas is a seasonless place. Life here is lived in a constant tropical sun. It puts you in a constant state of seasonal disorientation.

I’m not complaining merely stating fact. I live here by choice.

The lack of the brilliant bursts of color on the trees to signal fall has arrived means using other clues for the shift from summer to fall.

Here in Texas the back-to-school sensation of September is what marks fall’s beginning.

The temperatures aren’t going to change until maybe December. It’s the excitement of back-to-school sales and the sound of the yellow school buses in the morning that mean the season is changing.

As a kid, I loved going back to school. Seeing friends, getting new school clothes and shoes. Fresh new notebooks with all those empty pages waiting to be filled and sparkly new pencils waiting to be sharpened. It was an exciting time for me.

Now, flipping the calendar to September still brings that anticipation of new adventures. It’s a turning point, not only signaling the arrival of fall but also new beginnings.

A New Year means making resolutions. September is a time to assess progress. Where are we? How much further do we want to go?

Summer with its freedom from routine and laziness is over. Fall is the time to harness the momentum of back-to-school excitement and make a positive push forward.

Do you get that “back-to-school” sensation in September?

10 10, 2016

What are your chances of success?

By |2016-10-02T16:12:43-05:00October 10th, 2016|Monday Motivations|2 Comments

chances-of-success

Looking at this graphic you can clearly see what a world of difference attitude and action can make in success. The I wish I could  circle gives you only a 30% opportunity for succeeding while the I am circle gives you a 90% chance of success. Thanks to The UnNovelist.com for the motivation.

Which circle describes where you are with your latest project?

Me, I’m at 90% and determined to get this story finished and to the editor before the holidays.

21 09, 2015

Could there be a secret writer within you?

By |2015-08-27T16:29:50-05:00September 21st, 2015|Make Me Think Monday|1 Comment

Typewriter with Writer buttons, vintageThe Urban Dictionary defines a closet writer as anyone who is involved in any of the arts (e.g. music, writing, drawing, photography, etc.) but will not admit it. Either that or he/she literally hides it somewhere and only shows certain people.

When I mention I’m a writer, I frequently hear, “I always wanted to write a book.” Other times, people give a wistful tilt of their head and get a faraway look in their eyes. Some even sigh aloud, and I have to wonder whether those people are closet writers.

Do any of these signs describe you? If so, you might be harboring a fugitive author within.

  • You constantly edit when you read. Silently, in your mind you spot (and correct) misspelled words. You’re the first to spot misspellings on sign as you’re driving down the street or you see grammatical errors in Facebook posts.
  • You’re observant. You notice details and people then file your observations away in a compartment in your head labeled I could write about this.
  • You have a hyperactive imagination. You’re always asking what if. When you couple this tendency with your observation skills, there’s never a dull moment in that head of yours.
  • You think grammar jokes are funny. Actually, a lot of those jokes are very humorous.
  • Your head is a walking library of information. That voice in your head is a narrator: reporting, observing and describing. You can astound friends with precise recall of events and their sequence from memory.
  • You love books. You have more than a borderline literary obsession. Sometimes you feel life in the real world can never compare to the worlds of words on the page.
  • You can name the titles of books that have changed your life. Books filled with compelling truths and hidden insights that helped you to see the world in different ways.

But you say, even if those things are true about me, the ability to write is inbred. True writers are born with calluses on the forefinger and thumb of their writing hand, not made.

Not true at all.

Writing can be a gift. It is also a craft that can be learned. There are resources upon resources available to help writers hone their craft. If you don’t believe me, try doing a Google search of writing craft or how to write fiction. Then search writing workshops and writing conferences.

Or check my website for writer resources or contact me. I’ll share my recommendations for writing workshops and conferences.

For those of you who recognize the signs in yourself, my advice is to stop hiding your penchant for writing. Make the leap from that closet. We need people in our world who care about words and meaning, definitions and spelling. We need grammar tyrants and style experts.

The world needs creative word artists, musicians, and artists like you closet writers.

31 08, 2015

BETWEEN – The space linking THE END and what now

By |2015-08-22T17:21:10-05:00August 31st, 2015|Make Me Think Monday|0 Comments

betweenI’m BETWEEN right now like the bird in the graphic. You know, that space separating two points, objects, etc.

My new book released this month, which gave me a great sense of accomplishment and relief. I met a goal.

At the same time, the accomplishment thrust me into a BETWEEN space wondering what now.

I’m not alone. In talking to other writers and friends, so many confess to being BETWEEN – between inspirations, between books, between projects, between jobs.

BETWEEN can be an uncomfortable space. Many say it’s like a fog knowing there’s something beyond, yet struggling to see what that next thing is.

BETWEEN can freeze us if we forget life’s a trip through each day, each week, and each year. As writers, we travel page by page, book by book.

At the same time, BETWEEN offers a period of awareness. Like almost anything meaningful in life, it’s about perspective. Time in this space allows us to pause and evaluate where we are and where we want to be.

The space should motivate us because we have options. What comes next depends on our individual decisions.

We choose our own path. Our individual paths will vary. Same as our writer’s journeys differ. Today’s publishing world is all about innovation and pushing the envelope to put remarkable stories in readers’ hands. We have so many options for what now at the end our BETWEEN space.

For me, BETWEEN is a temporary holding pattern, a hiatus where I can catch my breath before charging ahead with the next thing.

I already know what’s now for me – the next writing project.

I recently attended a Power Plotting Weekend with Mary Buckham, USA Today best-selling author and writing teacher extraordinaire, and plotted three (3) projects. I’m pumped and ready to go.

YOUR TURN: What about you? Are you in the space BETWEEN or in what’s now stage of your journey?

30 03, 2015

Disconnect between wants and actions

By |2015-03-30T06:00:13-05:00March 30th, 2015|Make Me Think Monday|0 Comments

reach for goalAs a writer, I have goals: x-number of words, pages, chapters per day, a book published by a specific date then…

Life erupts.

Circumstances change.

Accidents happen.

What I want to do and what I do become a major disconnect.

Jennifer Crusie says, “Part of being a writer is defending your vision and not caving … .”

Disconnecting between goals and actions is unavoidable even if you’re not a writer and not caving is too often easier to say than do.

Let me suggest two ways to connect your want and your action to prevent caving:

  1. Stick to your goal even if it takes longer than you want to achieve.
  2. Never settle for less than what you are capable of.

Does your goal sometimes seem out of reach?

Keep focusing, keep aiming!

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