Why Write?

I’m thirty-seven years old with two amazing kids, happily married, well off and grateful. So why would I bother spending my extra time fighting writer’s block, getting words organized, hitting deadlines I’ve created for myself, and putting all my effort into something that may not go very far?

The Writer’s 52 Week Blog Challenge: Wk 25

There are a million reasons why other authors write, and they’re all correct:

I write because I have to. Because it helps to get rid of the scenes that replay over in my head. It helps to get rid of the voices that tell me what’s going to happen next.

I write because it’s an escape from reality. I can make my own worlds with my own favourite characters.

I write because I can accomplish something I can call my own.

I write because it gives me something else to do that I don’t have to do.

I write because I enjoy it.

I write because I want to feel emotions I haven’t felt in a while, or repeat those emotions. I write for therapy, to keep myself from going insane.

I write because I can make characters do what I want, or not do what they’re supposed to do.

I write because I can surprise readers.

I write because I can show people another side to me – every side.

I write to say things I can’t talk about.

I write to be political.

I write to set an example.

I write to send messages through entertainment.

I write to tell the truth in a world blinded by lies.

I write to let others see into my thoughts, feelings and opinions.

I write because I can speak. I write because I can have the opportunity to be heard.

All of this and I write because I want to.

– Lisa xx


There are a couple others doing this challenge with me, and their answers are always just as entertaining!

Gisela Grey

https://giselagreywrites.wordpress.com

https://twitter.com/GGwritesromance

Cass Michaels

http://www.writercassmichaels.com/blog

https://twitter.com/WriterCMichaels

Keeping a Writer’s Journal or Diary

“What do you see when you look at me? Do you see a person? Do you see a figure? Do you see a story? Or only the result of my life? I see you. Do you see me?”

Funny how this is a prompt in the challenge considering I started keeping a collection of poems I began writing. I’d say this is the closest thing I have to keeping a diary or journal.

The Writer’s 52 Week Blog Challenge: Wk 25

Some authors believe a book of ideas is a good thing to keep, hiding their epiphanies away for a rainy day, hoping to use one on a writer’s block occasion. The truth is for me, I only write the ones that won’t leave me alone. The ones that constantly interrupt my day, tugging on my creative strings so hard, the only way I can satisfy them is if I write them down. So my writing diary or journal full of ideas isn’t exactly that full. But believe me, when I have an idea so big like that, I do write it down. Maybe in a new Google Doc instead.

The poems aren’t very descriptive of what they’re about, but you can get the idea depending on what you interpret it as. I enjoy reading them myself since I know exactly what they’re referring to. Anyone else might have difficulty deciphering them, which is the ultimate trick of poetry, isn’t it? The interpretation.

I’m not a poet, and tbh I suck. But when I have short thoughts I want to get down and the words to describe it wouldn’t make sense to anyone else, this is how I do.

Here another I’ve written. I’ll let your imagination wrestle with this one:

“The necessary drug. Involuntary addiction. Forced down your throat. So good. Orgasmic. But you can’t have too much. It’s too late. The damage is already done. More.”

– Lisa xx


There are a couple others doing this challenge with me, and their answers are always just as entertaining!

Gisela Grey

https://giselagreywrites.wordpress.com

https://twitter.com/GGwritesromance

Cass Michaels

http://www.writercassmichaels.com/blog

https://twitter.com/WriterCMichaels

My Last Meal and Being a Food Addict

So between two challenge choices; a) an item I can’t live without OR b) what I’d have for my last meal, either prompt can really lean towards one answer. Food; reason being I’m a food addict.

I’ve seen a lot of addiction and the traumatic experiences behind them in the news recently (Demi Lovato and Ben Affleck), and there’s been some misunderstanding and judgement made on those who are suffering with the addiction. And it may come as a surprise, but an addict is an addict, regardless of what it is. Food addiction is more serious than many people think.

“Just stop eating.” “Don’t eat so much.” “Stop eating junk food.”

For a food addict like myself, these arent anything we haven’t heard before, and what makes it worse is that it’s a sign the ones who are saying this don’t understand exactly what we go through and may unknowingly be placing more shame, depression and guilt onto us – which obviously makes the situation worse.

I asked my kids what their last meal would be, out of my own curiosity. My son who is seven told me his last meal of choice would be chicken nuggets and french fries, with ketchup. When I asked if he wanted anything else, he added strawberries, grilled cheese, eggos, and Rice Krispies squares.

My four year old daughter’s answer was simply French fries, until I told her she can have anything she wanted. Before I could suggest other foods, her answer was simply, “everything”.

And that’s how my mind works. If I’m not prompted, I’m searching without knowing what I’m looking for. And anything I see I’ll eat, attempting to get rid of the craving. I’ll keep eating until I’ve placed myself into a guilt, sometimes eating myself until I feel sick and still not knowing what I want.
I need to be prompted, and I think the reason behind why is because of how I’ve been trained as a consumer. We’re given so many choices, we’ve become dependent on others – advertisements telling us what we want. And here’s where the health problem lies, because for those of us who have grown used to others suggesting what we want, we’re always craving the only foods that spend millions on advertising, the reminders that haunt us, follow us wherever we go – junk food.

Food addiction is just as serious and deadly as drug addiction or alcoholism, sometimes acting in a slower manner, attacking our bodies most of the time without visible warnings of the worst symptoms. The consumption of junk food over time can cause death, or diseases and illnesses not easily cured. So being a food addict is a big problem and should be taken just as seriously as any other addiction, even though it’s not. It’s mainly treated as a simple personal problem.

The cycle is very similar to that of a drug or alcohol addict. The rush of food is more than satisfying, and some joke better than an orgasm at times, but the truth is it’s no joke. For food addicts, food satisfaction triggers the same chemicals in the brain as orgasms.

“Just one more chip/candy/slice of pizza/taco/sandwich…”

Depression and guilt follow forcing the addict to behave in a vicious cycle of compulsively eating. Or, instead of eating, a temporary victory lasting less than two weeks could happen, only resulting in either long lasting success (very difficult to achieve without help or medical assistance like alcohol or drug addiction options), or a craving so bad, a massive relapse happens and binge eating begins.

It takes over our mind and we can’t think of anything else until we eat next, brainstorming of which foods we want the most while not being able to escape suggestions of the best junk foods around. To make it more difficult, it’s cheaper to eat badly. And on top of it all, it’s a necessity to eat. So, have a little, but don’t have too much? Yeah right. We eat until we physically can’t anymore, feeling almost nauseous at times.

And then there are days we make it through, for whatever reason. Most of the time for me, I’m sick of feeling heavy, drained of trying so hard. I want to give up food altogether and wish I could. If I didn’t have to eat at all, I wouldn’t have to control portions. Just don’t show it to me and I wouldn’t have temptations.

Needless to say it can all be for not. Because every day thereafter, any day we could lose our will and give into temptation once again. Constantly surrounded by food, a necessity for living, needing a little but never too much. It’s always there, always available, always in sight. The taunt, the torment and the temptation. This is what it’s like to be a food addict.

The food addict in me wants everything I shouldn’t have, and it would also make sense since it would be my last meal, because there’d be no repercussions of health, or even something as simple as becoming bloated if it was my last meal.

So my last meal? It changes everyday depending on my cravings. But it’s definitely something I can’t live without because I require for survival, everyday:

Baked Ravioli with a side of asparagus with butter, and Cherry Pie for dessert.

– Lisa xx


There are a couple others doing this challenge with me, and their answers are always just as entertaining!

Gisela Grey

https://giselagreywrites.wordpress.com

https://twitter.com/GGwritesromance

Cass Michaels

http://www.writercassmichaels.com/blog

https://twitter.com/WriterCMichaels

Michael James, Writing Pet Peeves, & Word Counts

I’m late! I’ve been a bad girl.

I’ve been away, and for good reason – working on Michael James. It’s official – I’ve reached the 50k mark of editing it. The first half of the book has been passed along to my amazing, dedicated, and patient editors and betas. I hope to finish it completely in the next couple of months.

The first draft seemed to be finding the characters and the story. I let it sit, and now that I’m going back to it, I have a much clearer conscious about it all. I seem to be clarifying a lot of what I originally thought but didn’t seem to know how to describe it, and I’m also making the story more clear for the reader instead of veering off into a crazy territory.


For those who don’t know, some of the previous challenge questions were questionable themselves, sometimes having nothing to do with writing. Luckily I found this gem, which I’m using as a second choice:

So, the questions for week 22 were either a) the best gift I ever gave, or
b) my biggest pet peeve in a book.
Which sounds more like a writer’s challenge to you? Lol

Week 22: My biggest pet peeve in a book

How about the obvious?
Nothing bothers me more than predictability. It gets boring fast when you feel like there’s not going to be any interest in going further.

So when the guy gets the girl, I know the formula too well – he loses her and then gets her back. It’s pretty self-explanatory and foreseeable, however, many writers have taken this formula and changed it enough so it’s unpredictable in the events, keeping you guessing until the very end. Prime example – Gone Girl. Because maybe, just maybe it’s not going to be that ending you thought it might be.

At least let me second guess myself. So on the contrary, you’d probably guess my biggest pleasure in a book is the unforeseeable. I love when stories take a left turn – one you would have never seen coming. So just for example, in Harry Potter when that very main character happens to die – yeah. I didn’t see that coming, nor did I actually believe it when it happened. I thought to myself they’d get up and be okay. lol That’s called denial ladies and gentleman, and when a writer is so brilliant they make you fall in love with a character and then kill them, that’s called genius.

My second pet peeve has to be a slow story. Don’t get me wrong, I like a slow build, but there’s a difference between a slow build and too slow of a story. Gotta find the in-between for a good interest-keeper.


Week 23 is either a) my most memorable experiences, or
b) word count matters… How much? How often?

Wk 23: Word count matters… How much? How often?

Yes, a must. Just like screenwriters have page numbers as goals.
They serve as goals. Confidence gainers. Motivation. Organization and they can help be easier on the eyes to my readers.
By in no way do they define the chapters or my work, because it editing, everything goes out the window. I simply have a draft I can work with.


Goals
I love goals, and trying to meet them, and deadlines go hand in hand with word count goals. Word counts are also used as a standard to many authors regarding what defines a short story, novella, and novel – which I’ve also used to set my standards. These are typically my personal and very general ranges (goals) when I’m writing:

Short story – 5-15k
Novella – 15k-50k
Novel – 80k+
Confidence
Of course, when a project is completed, you feel good when you take a look at that final number of words. It doesn’t have to be many, even a few simple sentences as I like to call ficlets and as others refer to as flash fiction. But when it’s all completed and you take a look at the final product, that number of whatever you’ve created without filler, really makes you feel good. You did that, you created those words.


Motivation
I also use word counts for motivation. I typically hit my target if I’m aiming for word counts. I like to think (depending on what kind of story I’m writing) that the first draft really doesn’t matter, however I’d be impressed with myself if I wrote a substantial number of words for the day. Then, the next day, I’d use that number and try to outdo myself. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Again, it’s just a base.
Organization & Readers in Mind
For larger projects like novels (I’m going through this process right now), the first draft is always good to have, but once you start to edit, anything can happen, including your number counts going haywire. All of a sudden your perfect ending to a chapter now has another thousand words or more, and you know your reader won’t be too happy if the chapter lengths are all over the place.

For the most part, word counts keep your stories structured. As a reader myself, I like to see consistency. So it’s natural that I take note of what they are for each chapter, to make sure I’m not going to annoy my readers.

Again, they don’t define my stories or plots. I may have a number in mind, but the chapter or story ends when I feel it ends. They help, they guide. I don’t surrender to numbers. Numbers don’t make stories.

-Lisa xx


There are a couple others doing this challenge with me, and their answers are always just as entertaining!

Gisela Grey

https://giselagreywrites.wordpress.com

https://twitter.com/GGwritesromance

Cass Michaels

http://www.writercassmichaels.com/blog

https://twitter.com/WriterCMichaels

The Writer’s 52 Week Blog Challenge

Wk 21: Best gift I ever got

ɡift/
noun: gift; plural noun: gifts
  1. 1. a thing given willingly to someone without payment; a present.
    “a Christmas gift”
    • an act of giving something as a present.
      “his mother’s gift of a pen”
      informal
  2. a very easy task or unmissable opportunity.
    “that touchdown was an absolute gift”
  • 2. a natural ability or talent.
    “he has a gift for comedy”

Some might think this high and almighty of me, but I’m going to consider my writing a gift.

I’d actually consider it more of a dedicated hobby I’ve gotten better with over time that’s possibly turned into a gift. However, I’d still consider it a gift of sorts, being that the craft was given to me by the powers that be (whatever they are), or however I came to have them, with the help of my dedicated and hard work. Talent can only take you so far.

Our gifts or natural talents and abilities are useless if we don’t use them the best we can if we don’t take advantage of them and are grateful for them. And I’m definitely trying to use my gift of writing the best way I know how. And more than you can know, I’m extremely grateful for it.

– Lisa xx


There are a couple others doing this challenge with me, and their answers are always just as entertaining!

Gisela Grey

https://giselagreywrites.wordpress.com

https://twitter.com/GGwritesromance

Cass Michaels

http://www.writercassmichaels.com/blog

https://twitter.com/WriterCMichaels

The Writer’s 52 Week Blog Challenge: Week 18 (and 19… and 20 lol) PLUS UPDATES

So aside from getting Dirty Country Boy out for publication, I’ve actually been trying to take it easy for a couple of weeks. I made a vow to give myself about a month off from writing to reboot my brain. And more now than ever, I have a ton of ideas. However, I’ve realized I need to concentrate on some of my larger projects. Irresistible, Michael James and the screenplay I recently started (working title Teachers Pet) have been the forefront of my mind.

I’ve taken some time to edit stories for friends, and I’m about to begin reading a good friend’s screenplay, and then her playright.

I think Michael James needs a bit of attention.

I’d love to see it out by November. It’s been three years in the fucking making. I should get moving.

I said to Hubs yesterday, “I’ve been working on it for so long, I almost don’t want to let it go. It’s my baby! I’ll just tease them forever!” But all in all I know it’s a story too good to keep to myself. And yes, it’s my favourite one to date. I mean, three years – that’s a lot of time to perfect a story.

Alright, let’s get down to business. I’m late for my 52 Week Blog Challenges, so this week will be a three-in-one post.


Wk 18: Work up character/ profile settings

What work do I need to do to create a character and do I have profile settings? Well other than the obvious protagonist and antagonist situation,

I typically base my characters off of someone specific.

Naturally, I can’t name these people as who they are because of association issues and possible legalities. However, if you follow me closely I’m sure you can put two and two together in most cases.

For me, basing my characters off someone real keeps the character consistent and believable. And it’s fun. It’s fantasy. That’s the whole point, right? So when I begin writing the story I ask myself, if I placed my crush or interest in a particular situation, how would they react? How would I want them to react? How would they never react? Etc.

For larger stories like Michael James, the more characters I bring in, the more conflict there has to be, or more plot depth. Everything in a story should have a purpose. So planning either during or ahead of time is crucial to pull off a good story with good characters. I usually let them fall into place as I write the story. Which, can be a mess if I have to go back and enter information, or if I try to explain it to someone else. Lol


Wk 19: My most romantic memory

I asked my Hubs for his input on this one after I had my own because I realized romance means different things to different people. His answer was pretty romantic imo, and it’s something I didn’t think about.

“When we went camping in Algonquin Park and we took long hikes. And we’d end up at lookout points on the rocks overseeing the forest and landscape.”

Those times were peaceful without smart phones… And kids. Just sayin’. Lol

My memory was a little different. For date night one time, we were able to stay at a relative’s cottage. We got dressed in our best (I was in a sleek dress and heels) and we sat on the floor of the cottage eating takeout in front of the fire, just talking.

Spending time together is what it’s all about. Romance. Intimacy.


Wk 20: Favourite social media platforms

Oh God, there are so many to choose from now. And so many to keep up with. It seems as though if you don’t concentrate on one and have daily updates, you can get forgotten. Everything moves so fast, today.

I like Twitter because it’s straight to the point.

I also like Instagram to promote and market. I use Tumblr to fangirl. And obviously I love WordPress because you can do so much with posts (a little or a lot, links to other social media, etc). But I also have YouTube, Pinterest, and Facebook. And then of course Amazon Author Central.

I’ve signed up for Goodreads but haven’t used it much at all. And someone suggested MailChimp for direct newsletters (it’s like WordPress but a post delivered directly to followers’ inboxes). And yep, I even have Snapchat for the kids. They love the filters! Lol

I was actually just having a conversation about the use of social media to sell your product or service. I figure if your social media isn’t very successful within the first year or so (depending on the platform), the algorithms rearrange your name in feeds to appear not-so-frequently. It sucks and I’m dealing with that right now.

But, I’m still here and I’m still writing. Because I love it too damn much. It’s too damn fun. I’ve met too many damn awesome people. And I’ve accomplished too damn much.

Anyway, there you have it! I thought of another post idea for WordPress while writing this one, so you should see another this week!

– Lisa xx


There are a couple others doing this challenge with me, and their answers are always just as entertaining!

Gisela Grey

https://giselagreywrites.wordpress.com

https://twitter.com/GGwritesromance

Cass Michaels

http://www.writercassmichaels.com/blog

https://twitter.com/WriterCMichaels