“Time” or “ONE MORE D[Giveaw]AY”

FLASH: We interrupt today’s scheduled announcement of the winner of my 200th follower giveaway to announce… another giveaway!

More free stuff?!” you gasp. “Good gracious, what’s the occasion?!

Oh, it’s just a little something in anticipation of December 2nd release of One More Day!

Ri-i-ight, the YA anthology through J. Taylor Publishing that’s got your short story, A Morrow More. Sweet! So, how’s this giveaway work?

Well, you all remember the premise of the book right?

OneMoreDay-Desktop

What if today never ends?
What if everything about life—everything anyone hoped to be, to do, to experience—never happens?
Whether sitting in a chair, driving down the road, in surgery, jumping off a cliff or flying … that’s where you’d be … forever.
Unless …

And I’m gonna cut it off right there.

Huh?? But there’s a whole second half to the blurb!

I know. But you see, I am the master of this blog post, and so have the power to stop whenever I choose. And that, ladies and gentlemen and beloved riffraff, is the big question of the giveaway:

If given the power and choice … at which point in your life would you like to freeze time, for a while?

A special holiday? A wonderful moment in memory you wish could have lasted longer? Or perhaps a special moment yet to come?

Share your answer to that question anywhere I ask it – here in the blog’s comments, on my authorial Facebook page, on Twitter, even on my page for my post-Wilderhark-project, The Ballad of Allyn-a-Dale – and I’ll enter your name to win the prize!

OneMoreDay-Bookmark-Front-webWhich is…?

Firstly, a custom-made One More Day 2014 wall calendar – including quotes from my anthology piece, A Morrow More! – with which to mark time. Secondly, a pair of One More Day bookmarks – signed by me! – with which to mark…well, books.

But HURRY! There isn’t much time! You’ve all got only until the fateful hour of midnight, when the clock signals the change between Thursday and Friday the 19th,  to get your entries in. That’s also the ***new extended deadline*** for my 200th follower giveaway, and I’ll be announcing both winners later that day. So you’d better get commenting, friends, because time waits for one!

Or does it?

“When?” or “Writer Questions #3”

The all-important questions: Why, where, when, what, and who?

For writers, there’s no right or wrong – only, for each, what’s true.

* * *

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When did you realize you wanted to write?

Can you remember that far back? Or is it a new or recent urge? Did the idea strike you all at once, or was it a gradually building desire? How much time passed between knowing you liked writing for fun and your dream to share your words with the world?

(I think I’d reached my mid-teens before I knew I wanted my books on others’ shelves. Before that, it was all for fun. It’s still for fun. And out of necessity. When did writing become my drug, I wonder?)

* * *

When do you write?

Do you begin your day writing, or settle down to start in the evening? Or do the words really get flowing somewhere half-past some laughably late (or, technically, early) hour? Do you write whenever you happen to feel like it, or do you have a solid schedule? How long do you tend to write per day? Do you join nations the world over in calling November your main writing month, or is another month or season better for you?

(My preferred writing times vary. Sometimes I like to start my writing day no later than early afternoon and, all else being equal, will probably keep at it until evening. I’m a kind of a night person, but I think my writing brain does best in the sun – which makes writing in winter more of a challenge – so unless I’m feeling behind, I won’t usually force myself to write too late. On the other hand, if the writing mood strikes just before midnight, I probably won’t say my muse nay. And much as I love my NaNoWriMo in November, I’d go crazy if I restricted myself to it; this girl needs to write all year round!)

* * *

When do you think you’ll run out of stories?

Do you ever worry that you will? How many books do you think you’ve got in you – more than you’ve written, or have you already surprised yourself by pulling out more than you thought you could? Will you want to write for as long as you live? Can your imagination keep up with you?

(I used to worry that someday I’d be fresh out of material. I don’t fear that anymore. There’s always more inspiration, out there. I’ll ever have more ideas than I’ll know what to do with! The question is, when will I stumble upon the next one that sweeps me away?)

* * *

When, oh, when will I finally get to tell you guys the super great exciting news that I am dying to spill???

(Sometime within this next week, I hope, I hope, I hope! Standby! It’s coming! It’s huge!)

* * *

What about you, readers? What are your “when” answers? Share below!

“To-Do” or “*Want* To Do”

Life being, y’know, life, there is always something that needs doing somewhere, and some of those things just have to be done by you. This has given rise to what many of us call the To-Do List – “a list of tasks that need to be completed, typically organized in order of priority” (thanks for filling in my dictionary’s gap, oxforddictionaries.com). These lists will vary from person to person, and from day to day. For the sake of illustration, my list of things I ought to get done on Random Example Day could include:

– Write blog posts

– Eat breakfast before 2pm

– Retrieve laundry from basement (and perhaps actually fold and put it away in a timely manner, for a change)

– Hit the treadmill for at least ten minutes (brisk walking acceptable, but jogging/running ideal; stretch before and after to avoid injury)

– Complete some edits on an old novella

These are things I may or may not particularly feel like doing, but will hopefully have discipline enough to make myself do anyway without a great deal of to-do in the “commotion or stir” sense.

What do I feel like doing? Well, that’s another list entirely – the Want To Do List, if you will. I would love to…

– Hit upon a thrilling new novel idea and run with it for tens of hundreds of words

– Play songs at my piano, with as much volume and abandon as I please

– Just drop everything and read a book, guilt-free

– Gab on the phone with my best friend for hours on end

– Tell you all about the totally awesome wonderful super-exciting news I hinted at in my last post (I still don’t get to do that, yet. Soon, soon, soon!)

And those are just my somewhat realistic wishes, never mind my fanciful desires to fly like Peter Pan or teleport to Disney World or suddenly discover that I’ve morphed into one of Robin Hood’s Merry Men.

Now, there can be some best-of-both-worlds overlap, here. There are hours enough in the day that I could feasibly get everything done that I need to AND play the piano, do some reading, and maybe even chat a while with my friend, if her own To-Do List allows her the time.

As it happens, novel-writing is a lot like this.

There are things that really ought to happen within your book if you want it to be any good. It would do well to have:

– A beginning, a middle, and an end

– Characters with their own personalities, motivations, and all that other good stuff that makes them come across as people rather than just words on a page or girls who beat up on bison

– Action of one kind or another (because a novel is a heck of a long time to watch paint dry. …unless there’s a lot more drama going on with that paint that I’m imagining, right now. Convince me)

– Something that makes the readers feel something (gladness, sadness, indignation, surprise, horror, relief, whatever – just get them emotionally invested, and you’re winning!)

These are some of the basic marks that we writers aim to hit, no matter the overall plot, the genre, the target audience. Then there’s the stuff that we just feel like throwing in there somewhere because, come on, wouldn’t it be cool? Random things like:

What about some chick in chainmail attempting a Spider-Man pose? Think we can work that in, at some point?
What about some chick in chainmail attempting a Spider-Man pose? Think we can work that in, at some point?

– Dragons whose singing brings the sun up in the morning

– Swashbuckling with swords forged in Death’s own blood

– Somebody named [insert the coolest name you ever thought of here]

– A sweet romance between the royal heroine and the guy who tests her food for poison

– That one inside joke that no one will get except for you and your friend, but that’s okay because you don’t need that context for it to make sense within the plot

It is fully possible to combine these two lists into one fantastic story. So long as we writers get done what we need to, we can build whatever we want around it – even the crazy stuff like Peter Pan flight, teleportation to Disney World, and waking up as Allyn-a-Dale.

Fiction is flexible like that. Life can be, too, in its own realty-bound way. Thank goodness for that, or I’d have to feel really terrible about how one thing or another on my To-Do Lists so often get put off until another day.

PerGoSeeMo Psalm 31

PerGoSeeMo Psalm 31. PerGoSeeMo Psalms 1-30

            In the beginning, a single thought

A challenge to offer what most I prize:

My time – the hours that would have been Story’s,

For you had another tale in store for me.

A tale that began in the chapters of John,

And continued in spite of my clamoring mind;

You led me to quiet and up to the sky,

And drew me into your invisible arms.

            You showed your name’s power, of which I’d been told,

And guided my steps to the bridge where you waited

To prove that you’re more than my heart ever heard,

Even though you were speaking wherever I turned.

We traded fairytales blended with truth,

Spoke author to Author, and sung songs anew;

Reflected on plans and desires, and watched me

Fall into patterns of disciples of old.

            But more than words only, you gave me your peace,

And assurance that we’ve only just now begun –

This month the nativity of the days onward

For Father and daughter and Spirit and Son.

            Amen.