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My Writing ~ @oddlynn3 #LynnCrain #PCers

Saying-#1-Resized

I really must apologize for not doing the blog for the last two months. Sure, I have an excuse and a valid one at that but it’s still no reason for not letting you know what was going on.

Recently, I moved from Vienna, Austria back to my hometown in Nevada. Now this may be a temporary move at best but still, like any move, it is a whole new experience. Frankly, I don’t know what I expected because my youngest, his girlfriend, his best friend along with his girlfriend all live in my house.

And I asked for very little when I returned. I wanted the smallest bedroom, a corner of my wonderful office and the walk-in closet in my office. Right now, I feel lucky to have a bedroom. Needless to say, I’m going crazy without a place to write and no place to hang my clothes as my husband has the very small closet in the bedroom. I figured since he had all the suits for work, it was the only solution.

Right now, I’m cranky, unreasonable and argumentative when I really don’t want to be. I live in chaos with 3 dogs, 5 cats and 5 other humans in a house that doesn’t have enough room for all of us. Did I mention, there are only two bathrooms as well?

So, it doesn’t leave much in the way of writing. I don’t have a dedicated place and I’m trying to keep the spark alive by working on my dining room table. Sometimes it’s fine, others it reminds me of the total chaos I live in when the dogs start playing under the table and actually move it. Add to that the cats who start running and the dogs take chase. All in good fun of course.

Except for Harry. Most of the time he’s fabulous with all the critters. My youngest’s cat, Gatsby, and he are great friends. Until the other dogs start playing with him too. Then it becomes a free-for-all that tells me I’m going to lose my mind.

Then I think of some well-loved movies and I know it will be okay. I remember the scene in The Christmas Story where the pack of dogs come in and steal the Christmas bird. Yeah, my home looks like that and when I calm down, I can see the hilarity of the situation. Or how about the many funny scenes from the movie, Yours, Mine and Ours. It doesn’t matter which version you get, it’s all much the same.

The point here is that while my writing reality may suck, the opportunity for ideas and stories and just living life abound. Don’t get me wrong…I loved my life in Vienna for it’s ordered manner and calm…I hated it because I was 7000 miles away from my immediate family and 4500 from our nearest relatives who live in New Hampshire. I wanted to figure out a way to successfully combine them and this is what I got.

I guess in my quietness, I forgot that life isn’t calm, nor as ordered as I was used to. Life is messy with all its foibles and ugliness and just plain chaotic nature. Life ebbs and flows, like a river. Sometimes it’s raging and makes great canyons, others it’s a meandering ribbon that brings life to the farmland but can flood when the sky opens and sometimes, it goes down to a trickle to die a slow death. Yet somehow, it has lived a full, rich life by just being.

Even though, life is throwing me a few, or a lot, of curves I remind myself every day of the wonder of being here in the chaos, surrounded by family and friends, feeling the awesomeness of where I am as I gather more story ideas for the day where I can again sit at my desk and write all day.

See you next month…

About Lynn Crain

Award winning author Lynn Crain has done it all in her life. From nursing to geology, her life experiences have added to her detail rich stories. She loves writing full time as she weaves fantasy, futuristic and paranormal tales, tame to erotic, for various publishers. Her home is in the desert southwest though her latest adventure has taken her to Vienna, Austria with her husband of many years as he works his dream job.

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Sometimes, I’d Rather *Not* Be Writing

“Don’t like to write, but like having written.”

~Frank Norris (or someone)

I’ve heard this quote time and again; I’ve used this quote many times. It’s just so true of every writer I know. We have writing sprints, we reward ourselves after the act, we tweet our word count.

Writing is hard. As writers, we have a deep passion and love for it. We study the craft, respect the process (whatever that is for us individually), but in the end, we want to have a body of work to show for showing up.

I’ve written on this blog about how I make myself produce writing every day (or at least I try to) and my success. I know now what works for me, but lately, writing hasn’t come so easily.

I had surgery in December and, in January, was hospitalized with sepsis. I spent eight days in and out of 105 degree fever, tired and weak, and unsure if I was even going to make it. I pulled through, in no small part because of support and love from my family and support and prayers from my writing friends here. The only reason I’m sharing this story with you is because after, writing got hard.

I didn’t feel good and I didn’t care about what my characters were doing. I was a quarter of the way through my third 1950s novella and progress didn’t trickle down, it came to a full stop. As I got better and stronger, I didn’t have any desire to pick up where I left off. I wanted to read, to watch television, and to crochet. I almost started to believe my illness had broken something inside of me.

Don’t worry about me, I’m getting my writing mojo back. Last month I began to critique and write again, and I’m forgiving myself for low word counts and the I-don’t-wanna attitude. Because, the thing is, I don’t. But, man, I love to have written. So, now I get it out of the way in the morning. I show up, sometimes in 15-minute increments, pound out some words, and get it out of the way.

Have you ever suffered through anything that seemed to steal your desire to write (or do something else that you love)? Tell me how you recovered and if and how you made your way back.

About Lori Sizemore

Lover of nail polish, pens, her Kindle, and fresh coffee. She likes romance filled with messy, real characters and lots of snarky banter. Reading was (and still is!) her BFF; when she discovered writing she fell in love. It's all about the story. Always.

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The Plot Thickens

I’ve written about plotting versus pantsing before–plotting a story as opposed to writing it by the seat of your pants–but this month has given me a new take on the whole issue.

At the end of January, I joined the Winter Writing Festival sponsored by the Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood blog. It’s almost over (sadness), but if you’re a writer, you really should consider joining next year–it’s been transformative. At the same time, I’ve been taking a wonderful workshop on novellas by Catherine Chant which has given me a ton of ideas on plotting and structuring a book. I’ve also been reading Debra Dixon’s book on Goal, Motivation, and Conflict. (Apparently I’ve been busy, now that I think about it!)

I’ve always been opposed to in-depth plotting of a book before I start writing, because, well, it’s boring! But I have also noticed that failing to do any plotting at all leads to a very bad book (for me, anyway). So I did a sort of hybrid I like to call plantsing, in the hopes that with just a little bit of plotting–a moderately detailed road map, I suppose–I could let my creativity run free and still stay on course.

Well, that didn’t really work either. I still got stuck in the middle of my book, and couldn’t get past it. Now maybe it is my lot in life always to get stuck in the middle, and if so I can accept that, but maybe I really need to get past my aversion to plotting. As an experiment, the novella I am starting in March will be plotted–beat sheet, character descriptions, GMC charts, maybe even a plot arc. Will it stifle my creativity and get stuck again, or will I breeze right through? Stay tuned…

How do you feel about plotting? Any methods that work well for you, or methods you’ve rejected?

About Marin McGinnis

About Marin McGinnis Clevelanders are tough, a bit cynical, and just a little crazy, and Marin McGinnis is no exception. When she’s not chasing after big dogs or watching tweens skate around hockey rinks, she is immersing herself in Victorian era romance. She lives in Northeast Ohio with her husband, son, and two standard poodles named Larry and Sneaky Pete. You can find her here, at marinmcginnis.com, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Pinterest.

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Spicing up Valentine’s Day via Landra Graf

First up, thank you to Lori Sizemore for letting me high jack her posting day to share my new releases here on Heart-Shaped Glasses.

It’s only 7 days until what commercialism has hailed as the most romantic day of the year. As for myself, being aSTG VDay Cover romance author, I know there are 364 other days where romance can blossom as well. Regardless, this month is special for me as I have not one, but two releases for February. Both are short stories, but they continue in the contemporary erotic romance universe I created with my first release, What You Need.  I’ll admit I tend to be drawn to spicy stories and I love that I’ve got offerings perfect for this romantic holiday.

What You Lost, is part of the Sexy To Go anthology series. This story got lucky inclusion in their Valentine’s edition and was incredibly fun to write because I love  the ‘reunited and it feels so good trope’. Here’s the short blurb: After being ditched by her fiancé for another woman, Clementine is done with relationships, but love isn’t done with her. Ready to take a chance at winning the woman he’d thought he lost, Shawn is going to prove to Clem they belong together. Only problem, he’s her brother’s best friend.

Other stories in the anthology cover Paranormal Romance, Contemporary Romance, and Historical Romance. Sexy to Go Valentine’s Day edition is available at Amazon Universal Link ~ B&N ~ ARe ~ iTunes ~ Kobo for only $0.99 for a limited time.

My second story is set to release mid-February, and has such a delectable cover. No links or anything yet, but I LG_What You Crave_SMcan share the blurb:

Sigmund Bermudez has spent the last year out of the BDSM scene, mourning his father,and rebuilding the family business. When he loses a bet to his bodyguard that Madame Eve won’t locate a woman who’s down with his type of kink, he finds himself committed to a date he’s not sure he’ll enjoy.

Lauren Elser has heard about kinky escapades from one of her more challenging patients, and never taken in part in one. When offered a chance to explore this undiscovered side of herself courtesy of 1Night Stand she jumps at it.

Neither of them are prepared for the emotional roller coaster that comes with their date, and soon shibari bondage play turns into so much more. The only problem is Sig’s not ready to open up and Lauren doesn’t want to be sued again. If they work past the issues there’s a world of wonder in store.

Author Bio: Landra Graf has been crafting stories since the tender age of too-young-to-watch-rated-R. When she finally got old enough for adult material, she believed adult meant anything besides the smexy. Then she discovered erotic romance. Since then it’s been a journey down a rabbit hole. Landra writes erotic romance and historical erotic romance, among other less smexy offerings. Find Landra at her website, Facebook, Twitter, and on Pinterest

About Lori Sizemore

Lover of nail polish, pens, her Kindle, and fresh coffee. She likes romance filled with messy, real characters and lots of snarky banter. Reading was (and still is!) her BFF; when she discovered writing she fell in love. It's all about the story. Always.

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The Wedding Barn by Julie Jarnagin

The Wedding Barn, my latest release, was so much fun to write. Here are the things I enjoyed most:
1. Planning Weddings: My wedding was 15 years ago–before the day of Pinterest and so many neat wedding ideas. My heroine in The Wedding Barn is a wedding planner, which means, I had the opportunity to create all kinds of ceremonies and receptions. It was a blast.
2. A Brooding Cowboy: The hero, Nick, was a great character to write. He had a tragic background and fights falling in love. Who doesn’t love a cowboy?
3. The Ranch Setting: I grew up on a ranch, and it’s always fun to go back to that place.
4. Revisiting Past Characters: This is the second book in my Taste of Texas series (although they can be read in any order),  and we get to take a look at where Dylan and Lucy are today.
What kind of wedding would you have if you were planning one today?
The Wedding Barn Cover
Slow down and experience life on a rural Texas ranch. And fall in love all over again…
Paige Morgan’s career is in shambles. What kind of wedding planner gets left at the altar? So when a job planning parties on a ranch in rural Texas comes her way, she jumps at it. So what if the cowboy who runs the place isn’t happy she’s there?
Rancher Nick Reid risked his heart once… and lost. Who needs love? He’s got a great life on the family ranch—so long as Paige Morgan and her city ideas don’t ruin it all. If only his family didn’t need her help to save their livelihood. And if only he wasn’t so darned drawn to the woman. But no sooner does Nick start to believe in love again, than a socialite shows up looking for Paige. Asking her to plan an elaborate wedding. Back in the city.
Both Paige and Nick need a second chance at love. But what will it cost them to take it?

About Julie Jarnagin

Julie Jarnagin is a multi-published author of inspirational romance. She grew up in a small Oklahoma town where her family farmed and ranched. These days she lives in a not-so-big city with her amazing husband and two young sons who tolerate all her nerdy quirks. Julie earned a B.A. in Journalism / Professional Writing from the University of Oklahoma and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. www.JulieJarnagin.com

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Ringing In The New ~ @oddlynn3 #LynnCrain #PCers

Resized-Goals

Just like when we run around before the holidays, many people decide on their New Year’s Resolutions during the month of January. I have read many things that people are going to do, or hope to do, for the coming year. Some are so specific that there appears to be no wiggle room whatsoever.

Unfortunately, I know me, I have to have that wiggle room or I feel crushed by responsibilities both personal and professional. With that in mind, I did a little research on just how to approach things this year and what I learned is amazingly simple.

This year, I’m planning everything around a series of goals without getting too much detail on how to get it done. Let’s face it…if you put a goal down…you have a very good idea on how you can accomplish it or it never would have made your list.

What I did was come up with seven categories that are important to me: Writing, Health, Financial, Family, Learning, Social and Other. Under each of those I put down 4-5 items I’d love to do throughout the year. For example, under writing I put down that I wanted to work on one big novel every month. I also want to work on and finish one short story, one novella, and write 2000 words a day. For health, I put down things like exercise daily, portion my food and so on. I did this for each of the seven categories.

I then went one step further to try and ensure I keep on track this year. I put together this chart for the current month and I plan to fill it out for two months at a time. This way, I can be flexible enough if a project has to run over into a second month. Plus I don’t feel so boxed in that there isn’t light at the end of the tunnel. Here’s an example of what I did for January:

Writing
Novel: HeartSword
Novella: Magical Intentions
Short Story: One True Love
Edits: Captive Illusions
Words: 2k per day
Health
Walk/Jog Daily
Log Food
Financial
Look at places to retire.
Family
Plan possible family trip for when you get home.
Learning
Finish the ‘Developing A Language’ online class          .
Social
Blog Daily
Plan a MSS boxed set.
Other
Don’t forget to crit!
Work up a workshop/talk.
Self-Pub 1 item.

Everything listed is something I want to work on for completion by the end of the month. They are specific enough that I know what I’m doing but general enough to be flexible should something need to change. Plus, I’m not going to beat myself up if I don’t do everything on that list.

I am always looking for new and better ways to get things accomplished. I am also the type of person who has to stay busy in order not to be bored. And to be honest, so far it’s working very well. My novel is about to be turned into my agent, I’ve written more than 2k per day plus I have both my edits and short story nearly done. All the other goals have accomplishments in their area as well. This is a very good thing!

How do you approach the New Year? Do you set goals or do you just plunge right in, hoping it will all turn out okay?  I’d love to hear from you!

Until next time…

About Lynn Crain

Award winning author Lynn Crain has done it all in her life. From nursing to geology, her life experiences have added to her detail rich stories. She loves writing full time as she weaves fantasy, futuristic and paranormal tales, tame to erotic, for various publishers. Her home is in the desert southwest though her latest adventure has taken her to Vienna, Austria with her husband of many years as he works his dream job.

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  • OUR LATEST BUZZ!

    Bethanne Strasser LETTERS FROM HOME from Entangled Publishing is available now! *** Out now from Ellora's Cave, HOW TO CAUSE A SCANDAL by Tina Vaughn *** Nina Croft's LOSING CONTROL is out! *** Debora Dennis's holiday novella, CUPCAKES & CUPID is available. *** Congratulations to Julie Jarnagin now represented by Nicole Resciniti of the Seymour Agency!