Writer’s Quote Wednesday – Thankful

Welcome to another Writers Quote Wednesday! Like the rest of our posts, this week is brought to you by Silver Threading and Ronovan Writes.

This week I want to talk to you about a few random things that we as writers, or even just you normal people, might be thankful for.

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This is a quote from my current NaNoWriMo project. Lenora, the character who says this, goes on the say she didn’t even know the connection was missing until her friend ‘liked’ the post…but then it is a piercing relief to be thankful for. 

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Writers can be thankful for the ability to write memories and create stories that they, their readers, and the future audiences can all find those memories within. 

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Be thankful that, as a writer, writing becomes a part of you. So that you will always have ideas and sentences floating around within you. 

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Having a bad day? Hers was worse…and yet writing allows for any bad day to disappear for a bit. You can be reborn in every story, your sorrow can be cast off…you write your own stories and emotions here. 

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I am always, always thankful that my propensity for creating new (or formerly not used within my own society) words is something that writers are allowed to do. Lawyers and doctors have to stick with their own linguistics, I get to make it all up if I want to!

Are there other things that I’ve missed? Tell what you’re thankful for down in the comments!

Have a blessed Week!!

The Stone Dragon Saga

Hello everyone! I have been asked a time or two to do a quick overview or guide to my MG/YA Fantasy Series. So I Finally did it! Please forgive the fact that I am in the middle of a raging cold, still slightly awkward in front of the camera, and that I’m goofy enough to stand by that ending! 😉

I hope you a) watch it (please, pretty please, pretty pretty pretty please?) b) enjoy it (PLEASE PLEASE?) and c) leave me a comment or two telling about your watching and enjoyment…or asking questions, making suggestions, etc.

Have a great Day!

 

Novel Plotting – NaNoWriMo and Writing Advice

This is a video I posted to my YouTube channel a few days ago concerning the ideas of pantsing vs. plotting. I like to call this approach plotlining by the seat of your pants…but that’s just me!

I hope that you enjoy the video! Let me know what you think in the comments, either there or here, and if you like it let me know with a thumbs up as well! (My channel isn’t very old or popular yet so I’m shamelessly begging now! 😀 )

Have a great day!

Happy NaNoWeen!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

You know, I look forward to this day every single year. Not just because of the large bags of candy I can purchase without the cashiers giving me strange looks, and not just for the costumes and movies, which I adore, but because the last few days of October turn cool and crisp and stormy…and help build my anticipation for November.

My daughter loves super heroes (like mother like daughter!) and so we have a very super themed costume year. She got a Ninja Turtles costume, then chose to wear her Batgirl outfit instead (totally understandable!) and I…well I cobbled together a few things and became: A SUPER WRITER!!! (theme song to written later).

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As you can see, I have my notebook and pen at the ready in order to catch any stories that might come my way. My boom, bang, conversation bubble leggings are just begging for more super characters, and my masks: every good super hero must protect at least part of their identity, right? (*Side Note* My mother said ‘Oh! You’re a MYSTERY writer!)

You may be asking yourself why in the world I would choose this particular get up for the day…well, there are a couple of reasons. #1 I am a writer, so why not be a SUPER writer (muahaha, you knew that was coming). #2 My 3 year old daughter watches the Super Readers show and said to me one day, “Mama, you’re not just a super reader, YOU ARE A SUPER WRITER!” I liked that. and finally #3 NaNoWriMo begins tomorrow. I am writing a story like I’ve never written before. Not just the content, parts of which will be surprisingly similar to previous stories, I’m afraid, but also the target age group and the way I am putting the novel together. So, I might need to be reminded of my inner superhero by the end of the month, er, weekend.

This will be my 8th year (I believe) to participate in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Most of you probably already know about NaNoWriMo, the month in which people from all over the globe log in their word counts and frantically attempt to reach at least 50,000 words in a single story, or group of works if you’re a rebel. 😉

I have won a few of the past seven years, I have fallen just shy of winning for a couple, and there may have been one or two of them that included a woefully shameful shortcoming (one year I didn’t even hit the ten thousand mark). The stress of everyday life can have a huge effect on your ability or desire to push yourself to write at all, let alone get to the *at least* 1,677 words a day you need to hit 50,000 by the end of the month. So why am telling you this?

I am telling you about this because whether or not I won a year, I still wrote. I still discovered at least a few of the beautiful words that lurked deep in the dark recesses of my heart and mind. I still made connections, I still worked hard, and I still reminded myself of my dreams. Yes, even if I failed it wasn’t really a failure because I can look back and see where I was, how far I’ve come, and even the steps I’ve taken to secure the hopes I had way back when. I hope that you are all able to find a way to do that for whatever your hopes and dreams are! No matter the stress or upheaval such an intense month might cause, the rewards, in my opinion, outweigh any issues that I’ve come across so far. I have made year long writing buddies, learned amazing things about my craft (and myself), and found even better ways to annoy my friends and family! (YAY NANO!!)

If you would like to learn more about NaNoWriMo, visit http://www.nanowrimo.org

If you are (or will be) participating this year and would like to add me as a writing buddy, go for it! I’m known as writerbaby13

If you would like to be kept apprised of my writing progress and/or the story I’m going to be pushing through this year, keep it tuned in to this blog or check out http://www.facebook.com/TyreeTomes (don’t forget to ‘like’ the page…and keep checking both sites!)

Writing Wednesday

I know, I know…it should be “What are you Reading?” and there should be a post from Sunday with a short story…I’ll bring it soon, I swear! But this week has seen some major changes for me. Including the fact that NaNoWriMo has begun AND I have changed our classroom around so that MWF is writing and TT is all Science. Hopefully this will help my students really learn their work instead of rushing through to get to something else.

That being said…I’m barely able to read my lesson plans right now. We walk, we hit it hard, we write, we NaNo, we switch classes and do it all again. When I go home, I’m working with my daughter, grading, or collapsing half asleep in front of the television. Is it good for me? No…do I enjoy it? YES!

Now then I want to know what you are WRITING this week! Are you a NaNoWriMo(er)? what is your novel about? Do you need a buddy? You can add me for funsies and see what a slow loser I am this year…I am writerbaby13 (woot woot!)

If you are not a writer, but love to read, then give me that! What are you READING? What suggestions do you have for me? If I have some time I’ll be reading “Rump” By Liesel Shurtliff. It is billed as the “True story of Rumpstiltskin” so I’m sure its going to be good!

Whether you are a writer, a reader, or a procrastinator (or all three like me!) this week is marking a lot of changes and differences across the board. Weather is suddenly turning moody and strange, students and friends are doing the same, and we all of the sudden (In America anyway) feel the need to proclaim a daily thankfulness.

So here is one for you to take home with you: I am thankful for each and every one of you. If you regularly read my blog, have just begun to follow me, or randomly ran across this on your way to someone else: I am thankful for you! I hope that you have a Blessed and wonderful day.

Thirsty Thursday

In honor of Halloween (my favorite holiday falling during my favorite time of year!) my student writing prompts all week have been pointed a little toward good spook…ok, a funny one!

Monday the prompt was about respect so we’ll skip that one. but Tuesday, ah Tuesday, the kids had to describe a monster…A NASTY HIDEOUS BEAST…who turns out to be nice. Like Frankenstein’s Monster with a gimp and drooling acid who is also the best math tutor in the country and helps kids pass tests for nothing more than a smile and pass from the angry mob chasing him out of town.

Wednesday we discussed why in the world a mob of cats would be stealing all of the candy from the houses already prepared for Halloween night (Cat Burglars…get it?? Only 1 of my 80 kids did.)

Today our Prompt is to write a recipe for the family Halloween party punch. SO far I’ve seen old socks, eyeballs, toe nails, and sherbet put in those recipes. I’m really looking forward to that drink!

Since we’re preparing for NaNoWriMo my students are also learning to count their output and worry more about the LENGTH of their writing; something I’ve been trying to get them to watch out for since the beginning of school. The best part about it is that they have seen and heard how excited I am about writing…and about NaNo…that they have all designed and put away their inner editors and are asking to start early. The bad news is that they’ll really be tired of it by week 2, especially since Ms. Tyree is going for NaNo gold again this year on top of pushing and helping them to reach their personal goals.

What are you doing this week? Are you prepping for NaNo like we are? Did you read something really great that you want to share? Did you read my books ;)? I can’t wait to hear from you all!

NO Plot? No Problem!!

In Chris Baty’s book, No Plot? No Problem! A low-stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days the National Novel Writing Month founder and participant lines out for us the how, when, and why of the creative time keeping and word-smithery of writing a novel in one month.

Though I won’t go into a large, detailed review of this book (mainly because it is more of a ‘how to’ than most anything else), I will tell you this; If you are a writer and you want to just sit and get, this is a great book to read! The advice, pithy sayings, and curious turns of phrase leave you wanting to get your notebook or typewriter or whatever newfangled flippy tablet/laptop/mp3 player you’ve got handy and start scribbling down new ideas immediately.

Some of my favorite things that Baty has the reader do are as follows:

1) Take a moment at bedtime to write your very own ‘Time Finder’ – a list of everything you did that day broken down into 30 minute increments. After a week of nightly ‘Time Finder’ journalings, bust out highlighters and mark down everything that is REQUIRED, Highly-Desirable, and/or Forgo-Able. Add up your ‘forgo-able’ times and see if those items that you won’t die without, add up to enough time to really sit and write (they do, I promise). USE THAT TIME TO WRITE.

2) Make Two lists – one of things you LOVE to find when reading and the evil twin list of Things that make you sick and depressed when reading. Example: I LOVE books that bring characters to a natural elements and really allow me to ‘see’ those interactions through wonderful prose. I become sick and depressed by books with teachers/parents/guardians who mistreat their children.

3) Remember the deadline – setting a deadline for yourself (every blog post should be finished by 2 pm. November 30th at midnight, exactly 5 minutes before my boss fires me for incompetence) will help push you to greatness

4) Have your writer’s pack set up…this includes snacks, a notebook, the write pen (see what I did there?? 😀 ), a ‘totem’ that makes you feel like a writer, or a character in your story who is relaying said story to the outside world, a word processing unit of your choice, and a reference guide for grammatical questions (and perhaps one for any specific types of world you’re using in your work. I, for instance, have a printed up explanation of the types of jobs on a salvage ship). Using these can help your flow as you venture into the next project.

5) And, the easiest of all, BRAG. Honestly, just bragging to your friends and family about how you’re going to be writing a novel (or blogging every day, or learning to rock climb on horses etc.) is a fantastic motivator. If your friends and family are anything like mine, they will continuously check on your progress until you want to dramatically threaten to stab them in the eye with your unsharpened pencil (it’s dull you twit, it’ll hurt more!). They may annoy you, but the thought of mockery and derision from loved ones can be a great motivator when you are lying in bed, thinking about how lovely that extra sleep would feel. Suck it up sassy pants, no sleep for the deadlined author.

Think on it, ruminate with it, carefully weigh and communicate with your writing utensils, and read Chris Baty’s works.

I give this book an enthusiastic 5 out of 5 dragons (and not just because I’ve been a proud NaNoWriMo-er for the past 6 years).

 

How I Became Indie

I didn’t wake up one day and think, ‘HEY! I should just be an indie (independent) writer.’ I have not carefully plotted and planned each move like a chess game of words. In fact, I am pretty much doing everything sideways and backwards but I guess it doesn’t matter as long I get to write. So, I’ve outlined my story here, in the hopes that it can encourage someone to keep pushing for their dreams.

I have always been a storyteller and, eventually, I began to write the stories down. Naturally, I followed that up with entering contests and challenges and online writing groups, surrounding myself with other people who enjoyed doing the things I love. One such short story contest led to the birth of my first full length young adult novel, finished during a mad attempt at National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). The next year brought the second novel, and two years later I followed up with a third novel (which kept me sane during my long and difficult pregnancy).

I began querying agents and publishers alike but if you’ve ever tried it, you know the difficulties we all face and, at that time, the middle grade/young adult market was flooded. No one had a need for my Stone Dragon Saga.

Then someone pointed toward Amazon and Createspace and their yearly contest: The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. Like thousands of other hopefuls, I didn’t even make it through the first round. My initial pitch wasn’t as strong as it could have been, but the outcome wasn’t that important. You see, my piece had been primped and polished and made ready on Createspace and so I hit the final button and my life as an indie author began.

I don’t make much money at all, but writing is a passion of mine that continues defiant of the price tag. The books and, more recently, the blog are my outlet, my voice. As Frank Kafka once said, “The non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity.” So I write to stave off my crazy. It’s what we all do, really.

No, I am not famous. Yes, I did have to get a ‘day’ job (if you can call teaching that!), but there is someone in at least 24 different countries that has read my words, and many who continue to do so. That keeps a smile on my face, a pen in my hand, and stories in my heart.

What’s your story? Are you a traditionalist, an indie, a struggler, or just a reader? How are you following dreams and branding the world? Inquiring minds want to hear the tale!

Thrilling Thursday

Ok, so the title might be a little bit of an exaggeration. I am thrilled because I have an interview this afternoon and have been busy getting myself and my Monkey ready to go all morning (it’s an hour’s drive from home). However, the not so thrilling part is that I don’t have much time to really dig in to a new post for the day. Soooo…I’m leaving you with another excerpt of my NaNoWriMo piece…which I used to win Camp NaNoWriMo yesterday afternoon. (My goal was 30k and I reached a little over 32K! Thrilling, right?)

Here is your final ‘April’ excerpt from Dragons in the Sea:

Chapter 33:

“So here’s something I don’t normally say to people,” Jane juggled the shipboard phone as she poured herself a glass of tea, “These symbols and etchings on the railings seem too organized and in line. They are as straight and true as they would be if a machine had carved the glyphs before the boat was built! I think there’s more to this than just superstitions. Whoever did this was intent on perfection.”

“Maybe it was just an obsessive pirate,” Brandon couldn’t hide the smirk in his voice as he smiled over the phone. “You aren’t the only super neat person around you know.”

“Oh stop mocking me,” Jane sighed in exasperation, “I’m serious! I’ve been staring at these pictures for hours now and while we have come up with a few suitable translations to add to Nickel’s work, the one thing that strikes me the most is how amazingly neat it all is. Especially for a ship that sank sometime in the mid-1500s. Over five hundred years underwater and the etchings are still crisp and sharp and clean, no algae, no coral, no seaweed, and no aquatic renters taking over the space. There isn’t even a hole anywhere that might lead us to believe that the ship SHOULD have sunk. There is something else at play here.”

“Maybe it’s the dragons,” Brandon pointed out. “Grandmother and the boys produced lightening and electronic malfunctions for years before you and Anna went to awaken them. Aliphonsore was rarely worn because he ‘creeped’ out his owners by feeling like he was ‘vibrating’ as soon as they put him on, everyone remembers their lives as a statue. Oh, and remember what the legend says about the statues? That’s probably at least part of the reason behind the glyphs in the first place.”

“What legend,” Jane asked softly. “Did someone find something that we don’t know about yet?”

“Oh,” Brandon paused to look in wide eyed helplessness at the retreating crew around him. “Polly” he mouthed desperately as she shook her head and disappeared into the kitchen with Chris.

“Polly?” Jane asked, motioning Anna to come listen to the conversation, “Did Polly find something?”

“hmm, Oh yes, Polly.” Brandon stumbled, “Yes she was doing some research on dragons mentioned in Spanish legends from the era, found out who the king would have been, followed bread crumbs..you know how it is.”

“Brandon!” Anna and Jane’s sharp reprisal made the older jump and scramble like a guilty school boy.