Is Anyone Else Tired?

Wow, what a holiday season to close out 2011. I’m freaking exhausted and 2012 has only just begun.

Between Thanksgiving festivities, my birthday, year-end close at the office and a Christmas the likes of which has not been experienced in 20 years, I feel like I should be in training for next year. Or maybe I just enjoy entertaining the idea of eating and drinking like that in July…

But enough digression.

I’m back! And I have not forgotten that today is WIP Wednesday. While the wonderful number one WIP is still being whipped up from the wee-cesses of my mind, I am never short on hobbies. Thus, I share with you the WIP(s) that have kept me busy during December:

 

 

 

I have two paperbacks and two Kindle books I’m currently reading to write reviews for in this blog and a pink and purple scarf I’m attempting to knit even though the edges look like they’re already snagged and weathered because I suck at it.

No, I haven’t touched my manuscript in a month. Yes, I do have (sorta, kinda) good reasons for doing this other crap instead.

All of the books I’m reviewing were written by people I know, or by people someone I know knows. Since my paying job has me gasping for air until early March, writing reviews not only gives me practice for my long-neglected critical analysis skills, but furthers my education is a writer. Reading is the best way to hone your skills when combined with practice. Not to mention, these writers kick ass, so I’m having fun, too.

Knitting is therapeutic. It gives me something to keep my fingers busy while I decompress from the day, or to relax during the breaks over Christmas weekend while I strategized how to dominate my brother in a game of Hearts (which I accomplished, unmercifully).

What hobbies do you have to help you relax or as welcome distractions from your obligations?

DH

 

NaNoWriMo Fail, Plus a Blog Schedule ‘Cuz Kids Need Structure

I am not a NaNoWriMo champion.

The writers reading that statement are nodding with wry expressions; they’re sympathetic and wistful yet not all that surprised. NaNoWriMo failure happens more frequently than success.

Non-writers are either asking 1) What the F@^! is NaNoWriMo, or 2) Why not? Isn’t writing what you claim to do and love?

NaNoWriMo comes to a conclusion today, and while the atmosphere of the event motivates me to be productive even when I’d rather procrastinate some more, it’s also totally out of the range of my capabilities. There’s a breed of writers who shit quality at an astounding rate of productivity. There’s another breed who take a little more time developing their masterpiece, but might accomplish one or two manuscripts per year. Then there are writers like me who start projects with extra planning and frequent writer’s block, taking time to woo and caress their manuscript, and complete one novel over the course of anywhere from one to twenty years.

I don’t mean to make my particular writer’s breed sound more romanticized than the others with all that wooing and caressing. I only mean to say that some people (most people?) were not designed complete a novel in a month. I am one of them.

But just because I have not written 50,000 words in the past thirty days does not mean that I cannot commit to the art of fiction.

 

I should also fess up about my blogging schedule.

While last week I posted something every weekday, that pace is not sustainable. I did that to get the blog rolling. Now that we’re going strong, and I have you, Loyal Follower, I need to settle into a pattern that better fits with my varied obligations.

Don’t be upset that you won’t get to experience my genius on a daily basis. I’m doing this to keep my sanity and provide you with the highest quality of incredible, earth-moving, soul-searing prose (ha). I will try my very best to adhere to my commitment to you.

I will also agree to stop exaggerating my ability to create captivating fiction.

Though, my stuff is really freakin’ awesome.

(That was the last time, I swear.)

Anyway, here’s the deal:

Mondays are henceforth Mumbling Mondays. This is when I get to mumble and grumble about craft, industry and other writer’s life topics.

Wednesdays are WIP Wednesdays. I’ll let you know how I’m progressing and if you’re really extra lucky, I’ll post taglines, outlines, excerpts, etc. I’d like to use this day to get feedback from readers. Tell me what’s not quite doing it for you in my WIP (unless, of course, you hate paranormal romance, in which case what the hell are you doing here?). A writer friend of mine, Anita Clenney, reminded me recently that positive feedback is nice for the ego, but it won’t improve your writing. The goal is to get constructive criticism and use it to build a better book. That is stellar advice from a talented writer and all-around great woman, and I couldn’t agree with her more.

Fridays are… *drum roll for the obvious conclusion*  Flash Fiction Fridays! I’ll post my own FF pieces, along with open contests, referrals to more flash fiction, and whatever other relevant FF texts I come across/create.

I apologize for the cheap alliteration in the weekly schedule headings. It’s more for me than for you. I’m not very good at remembering what I’m supposed to be…

 

 

What was I saying?

Ah, yes. The blogging schedule.

That’s about it, really. I’m committing myself to three days a week, each of which has its own pun-tastic theme. I hope you’ll come back to visit on Friday when I’ll be talking about the online magazine that always makes me a bridesmaid but never a bride. One of these days I won’t settle for finalist- I’m shooting for a win!

DH

 

 

 

 

 

Turkeys Like To Laugh, Too

I’m all out of wisdom today, folks. It’s Thanksgiving, which means the only thing on my mind is eating. I’m going to eat like aliens from the planet Gasdjffnak are beaming down tomorrow to take away all the food on earth. Then I will fall into a tryptophan coma. And it will be wonderful.

But I hate to disappoint, and since I can’t seem to harness my genius today, allow me to recommend a few fantastic and funny bloggers. When you need a break from the turkey (or your family), try one of these folks for a laugh.

 

Speaker7 questions pop culture icons and suffers through the last hour of The Today Show and Ashton Kutcher’s tweets so we don’t have to. Plus, she has The Sexiest Blog Alive!

There’s always a laugh at The Good Greatsby. From Chinglish interpretations to explanations of the meaning of Thanksgiving for our international friends, no topic is off limits.

This list wouldn’t be complete without a shout-out to my very dear friend, Michael Rochelle, whose blog frequently has me in stitches. I can attest that the earthquake he refers to did, in fact, occur. As did the hurricane that same week.

Les’s blog, bestbathroombooks, makes me laugh out loud every time. He helps us find the true definition of irony among other diverse subjects.

 

Enjoy your trip into the Blogosphere and Happy Thanksgiving!

DH

 

 

This Is Harder For Me Than It Is For You

Welcome! I’m glad you found me. My name is Danielle and I’m a writer.

I saw that eye-rolling and heard that pfft! sound you just made out of the corner of your mouth. But before you go clicking out of here on your search to find a “real” writer, check out some of my stuff. Sometimes I don’t suck. Often, I write something pretty awesome.

Did I mention my work can get steamy? Oh, yeah, it does. A lot. Not so much that I’d consider it erotica, but enough that I probably won’t be sending it to my grandmother for Christmas.

Starting this blog is a big step for me, so if you’re still reading, I appreciate your loyalty. Yes, I’m that easy to please. While I’ve entered a number of writing contests, I’ve done so in a completely anonymous way that leaves no room to hear any opinions on it, which is all the more reason I need a forum like this.

I might be the writer, but you, dear reader, are my teacher. Your feedback matters, which is why no matter how much I’d like to continue writing in secret, it’s time I let you see what I’ve got so I can do what I love even better.

Check out the flash fiction page (updated monthly) and stay tuned for short stories, novellas, and caffiene-fueled rants on how I’ll never finish writing/celebrating/editing/crying over/wiping my ass with the current WiP.

DH