Contemplating Decisions in Writing

Here I go again.

I’ve reached the point of being about 96% finished with this YA fantasy/fiction book 1 of 3 or 4. A lot to still work out and I’ve been questioning myself about this book and another. I keep going back and forth. I don’t know if it’s resistance to finishing what I’ve almost finished. I don’t know if it’s because I’m already revising while I’m writing which always messes me up. I don’t know if it’s because this other book may be needed more – a book on living a better life, the many ways we can heal ourselves from the wounds we seem to inflict upon ourselves for no good reason, because we haven’t learned to love ourselves – and how to love ourselves and STOP self-sabotage. I know I could write it well as I’m a lifelong sufferer of depression and self-sabotage and am just getting the point of loving myself – truly liking and loving myself. Better late than never.

I look at the world and I see all these attacks on people and I have to sit and cry. I actually try to steer clear of the news because I fall into this sickness, a deep depression, because these killers are insane and need help and these poor innocent victims – I just can’t begin to imagine the pain they suffer – the ones who actually live through these horrific tragedies.

I ask myself why does the world need another book of YA fiction. How does this help the world? How does this serve anyone? I mean, honestly, the book or books I write are for you. So what would serve you the most? Do you really need just another book that’s fantasy (a means of escaping reality) or do you need healing? Do you need to learn to love yourself and enjoy life more and on a deeper level? Do you need to learn how to forgive and find ways of serving others? Do you need to see life differently, in a more positive light, to find the good in yourself and in others? Do you need tools and examples and truths and steps how you can master your life and overcome all your self-defeating obstacles? I ask you. You, readers, what would benefit you the most?

I’ve been praying and praying and asking for a sign which way I should go. I’m trying to listen and haven’t received anything yet, one way more than another. I don’t know if it’s wrong to ask for a sign but guidance is a sign, right? Lord, show me guidance, PLEASE?! Soooo confused…

This is not about asking you what I should do. This is about asking you what you would rather read – what would serve you the most.

Please comment me letting me know which you’d rather read, which would serve you the most and why, or simply participate in the poll if you don’t have time to leave a comment.

For Those Attending My Online Event

party

For those of you that have Liked my Facebook writer page and clicked “Going” on the Event, I plan on posting images of what the character looks like, or at least a resemblance.  Those images will be on my writer page, so check out the photos and perhaps you can become inspired to come up with a name or names for the character.  2 more days to go and I’m super excited for this party to get started!  Thanks to all who have joined so far!  It’s gonna be fun!

Yo! Yo! 5 Days to Go!

fb writer pg contest

I’m so excited!  The count down is on!  5 days to go, y’all!

If you’d like to participate in the upcoming contest, it’s super easy!

Step 1:  Click facebook.com/adjustingyourfocus

Step 2:  Click Like

Step 3:  Join in on the event calendar

Contest rules and instructions are posted to the event calendar.  Check it out!

The Event Page is Open for the Contest

fb writer pg contest

What I’m asking for:

Give me a first name for one of my supporting characters. She is the mother of my main character. She is from the south (USA), she has medium length blonde hair, blue eyes, has a fair complexion, is a homemaker/wife/mom, and is a smart lady. Not a ditz, so not a ditzy name. She takes great care of her family and is kind-hearted, though she holds many secrets. The last name doesn’t matter enough to be known at this point, as she married into the name she now has.

Contest Rules:

Contest will begin July 15, wherein you may give me one first name and up to as many as one name each day of the contest. If the same name is given by more than one person, I will only accept that name from the first person who gives it.  Likewise, if you give more than one name on the same day, only the first name will count.

Contest will end July 31, at which time I’ll choose my favorite and if I still cannot decide, I will put it to a vote.  The people that offered those names will not get to vote on their own name.

The winner of the name that’s chosen will get mentioned in the acknowledgement section of my book. I plan on using a traditional publisher. I’m not into indie or self publishing.

Those are the rules, basically. Also, names will only count if you have liked my FB Writer page (different than my FB friend page) – click like at facebook.com/adjustingyourfocus – and joined this calendared event.

The contest is only running through my FB Writer page.  Any names offered through this blog with not be counted in the contest.

Names offered before July 15 or after July 31 will not count.

Good luck!

Driven by a Demon

george“Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout with some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.”
George Orwell

__________

LOL!  Well stated, Mr O.

NaNoWriMo Day 4

Usually, I tend to write in silence as I have to pay close attention to the voices in my head in order to write down what they’re saying.  Besides, there’s usually mood music playing throughout the duration of the scenes, low enough to still hear the voices, watch the action, yet still hear the faint whispers of the score playing in the background.  Most of the time, my stories, songs and poetry play in my head like a movie.

It’s only day 4 and I have an unusual amount of depression/stress/anxiety beating out of my heart, coursing through my veins and pounding in my head, which is making it increasingly difficult to hear the voices and the background music as this pounding in my head is drowning out the sounds.  I write anyway.  I just keep rereading the last 2-3 paragraphs and perhaps skip ahead 2-3 paragraphs.  I know something must be inserted here but I cannot settle down enough to concentrate.

Today, during the moments I should be writing, I pause for reflection, to seek out inspiration and allow colorful imagery to envelope my mind and senses while listening to these magical tunes for a moment. Perhaps these melodies will help me to engage better with the voices, settle my mind, be still and listen.  And then, I will attempt to write again.

I’m listening to this tune I heard on the last episode of Reign.  It’s by London Grammar and the song is Wasting My Young Years.  I love it so much, I have to listen again, and then play another song by them that’s lovely – Strong.  I feel both of these songs play in to particular scenes in my story with perfection and brings me great relief, as I know this will help me when I start writing again in a few minutes, while I go work on those scenes with the tunes playing faintly in the background, struggling to be heard as if they are quietly playing inside my head, which also helps me.  For now, I’ll listen to the beauty and allow it to inspire me.  I play Clocks by Coldplay.  Ah, another great one.

These are songs that could sooo be playing in the movie in my head, so perhaps they will play in the movie as I write the story, all the while being sucked in by the characters, the mood, the action, the flow as the music takes me down the stream, carefully avoiding each bump and hopefully not crashing into any more rocks along the way.

I am writing a fantasy/adventure/sci-fi novel (which is my favorite to read and watch as well as write) and I must fight the resistance and seek to destroy all that opposes me, namely the stress of writer’s block.  I get so angry that I allow all that depression to take over how my mind operates!!!

Sometimes, pressing the pause button on the writing to listen and be inspired by beautiful music is just the ticket.  Find music that inspires you, that plays into your story – the movie playing in your own head.  I played one of my all time favorites – an oldie but a goodie, Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd, although I clicked on 0:37, because the beginning is a bit annoying.

Next is the original soundtrack to Harry Potter.  Yes, I’m a Harry Potter nerd.  My daughter and I both are.  Can’t help it.  Another good one for a specific scene in my story is by one of my all time favorites – Switchfoot as they play I Dare You To Move.  Then, I can’t help myself but to listen to their This Is Your Life.

I recommend, if you cannot concentrate and you need to add some vibrancy to your imagination, seek out some music that can help you along your way.  Pay attention to the songs played in your favorite shows.  Remember what bands they announce at the end of the show.  Think of your favorite bands, sounds, movies and look up that music online.  Youtube is awesome!  Bookmark the songs on your internet browser so you can access them anytime and let them play in the background while you write or else just take a break and listen to them.  Then, by all means, get back to your writing.  As that is the whole point.

I’m at 6,970 words, so all is not lost.  The goal is 50,000 by Nov 30, so I am hopeful I can meet that finish line proudly.  I have a higher goal set for myself, though, so we’ll see if I meet that one, as well.  Rock on, Writers!  We got this!

😉

Carol

Nanoo Nanoo to NaNoWriMo

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If you ever watched the television sci-fi sitcom Mork & Mindy, you’ll know where that phrase originated, which was a greeting and farewell by the much loved alien from planet Ork.

For those unfamiliar with NaNoWriMo, it stands for National Novel Writing Month, which is held Nov 1-30 every year.  They also offer Camp NaNoWriMo, held in April and July of each year, I believe.  NaNoWriMo challenges writers of all genres to participate in this 30 days of complete frenzy, chaos, frazzled nerves, sleepy eyes and fingers to come up with 50,000 words.

2013-Participant-Facebook-Cover

They ask for quantity over quality, meaning you think and type as fast as you can in the amount of time you are given to come up with a novel.  When you reach the 50,000 scrambled and scribbled words, you submit no later than 11:59:59 pm Nov 30.

You can then choose to edit, reorganize, rewrite, find an agent and a publisher and become a beloved published author of your new book.  This is how some famous authors actually got their start.  Did you read the book Water for Elephants?  Or watch the movie?  That book was conceived as a result of the author shakin’ it up with NaNoWriMo!

Well, I’m willing to give it the ole college try and participate in this, write at 0’dark:30 every morning, as well as work a full time job (although it’s at home, but still busy busy), take care of my child, manage to cook once in a while, attempt cooking for Thanksgiving, try to start getting ready for Christmas and let my house fall into ruin for these next 30 days.

Not only am I working on a bit of fiction that I started back in April (even tho, technically, the rules ask for you to start a new book), I also have a work of non-fiction/self-help/Christian in process for which I started this month.  Yes, go ahead and call me crazy.  I will be working on these books simultaneously, although the only one I will submit to Nano will be my fiction work.

I will do my utmost to post on my progress as well as update with the badges I’ve earned during the month.  If I fail for lack of time in my schedule, then I will surely update toward or at the end of November.  Gonna be insane around here.

One day, I’ll even make the time to go update my 101 things list.  😉  But, for now, I’ll post the badges I’ve earned so far.

profile_earned-4f671c12ad364d699c3070d46f896d0d[1](I earned this by filling out my profile in Nano)

region_earned-90fa06f68977400424beeca2abdb4fdc[1](I earned this by choosing a home region)

novel_earned-56af087fbf57e3beee4b034211d4e5f0[1](I earned this by creating my novel)

Do you write?  Do you love it?  Why not join us?  Putting it off to a day in the future when you will have time?  Well … when you think like that, the time never arrives.  Do it now.  Write the book.  As Nike says, “just do it.”  Then, at the end of November, you can look back on your accomplishment with pride and joy and say, “I did it!” or “I wrote a novel!” or “I started my novel!” or “I’m nearly finished with my novel!”  Then, take it from there.

I’m determined to actually finish this fiction work (rewriting, revising, editing, polishing, proofing, employing my Beta readers, taking their suggestions and thoughts into consideration, polishing and proofing yet again, and then send queries to agents & publishers) all by the middle of January 2014.  Hopefully, the non-fiction will be finished by the middle of December or January, as it is considerably shorter.

And to all of you participating, I will cheer you on.  Let me know so I can cheer you on personally.  Go GERRY!!!!  Go LYNN!!!!  Y’all rock!  We gonna rock it togetha!!!!  And if y’all want to cheer me on during the month of November and onward, as well, I’m up for it, as we all need encouragement, support and cheerleaders in our lives, don’t we?

Rock on wit yo bad self!  😉

BTW, if you are looking for a writing buddy, look me up on Nano as Carol Blake.

Skipped Out On My Own Invitation

mama

No need to post what week of 52 this is, since I dropped the ball on posting weekly.  Oh well.  I felt bad at first not following through, but I’ve let it go, since there are only so many hours in a day to get it all done.  Too much goin’ on lately, so focusing on the most important stuff first.

So, what’s been happenin’?  Well, as many of you know, I was participating in the Camp Nanowrimo, which is a virtual camp that participants join in April (and there’s another in July) to write a novel, short stories, poems, scripts, what have you.  My goal was to write a novel and reach 50,000 words.  You only have the 30 days alloted during April and you have to submit by 11:59pm April 30 to see if you are a winner.  I won!  As did a couple of my friends!!  Yea!

So, now that that’s done, or that part is done, I’ve put my novel on a back burner to focus on this new job I was presented with.  Wonderful new job!  Flexible hours, the same money as I make now per week, plus less gas I need to buy, plus less hours, plus no one to jerk me around daily, oh, I just can’t stop about the perks, but I’ll stop anyway.  It’s a great deal, but it’s also scary as H-E-double hockey sticks.  Ya know, any time ya take a risk, it’s pretty dang scary.  And good stress is still stress.  So, anyway, I gave my two weeks notice to my current day job while still working for this other job for about 10 or so hours per week.  My last day with the blegh job is May 22 and I’m soooo excited.  I get to pick my sweet baby up from school on her last day and every day for the next school year.  I get to spend quality time with her during the summer, and I cannot wait!!

So, that’s a bit about what’s been going on.

Above, you see an image of my beautiful mother. She’s such a sweetheart!  She’s one of my best friends in the world!  We hang out every chance we get, and this was the Saturday before Mother’s Day.  She and I decided we’d treat each other to an early Mother’s Day meal out at our favorite restaurant!  Saltgrass Steakhouse!  Oh baby!  Hallie pitched in some of her allowance for the meal for our Mother’s Day gift, as well.  We have to drive like 3 hours to get to this place, but it’s so worth it.  Every mouthwatering bite!  Plus, ya know, we are always up for a roadtrip, a daytrip, any kind of trip trip.  I love to drive and my girls love to ride.  It’s just so relaxing to drive and look at all the sights, and shop at our favorite stores, although we went into our favorite store and some old ladies were working in there, following us around, stalking us, forcing stuff on us and we walked out.  Never have we left that store without a purchase.  First time for everything.  We were very disappointed, and I plan to send a complaint to their website and see if it makes a difference.  You should not hound the shoppers!  Grrrr!  But, we shopped around at some other shops, took some shots of ourselves in a photo booth – Cute and Fun!  And also found a new Panera Bread that just opened up down there.  Oh, all this was in Bossier City and Shreveport, Louisiana – 3 hours away from where we live.  It was an awesome day!  We left at 7am and got home at 7pm.

Sunday was a stellar day!  The weather could not have been more beautiful.  Sun shining, breeze blowing, warm enough for shorts, but almost too chilly for shorts depending on how hard the wind was blowing.  I told God, “You really made this a perfect weather day.  I could be happy in temps like this every day!”  I can’t remember the last weekend before this one where we did not get rained out!  So, we thoroughly enjoyed our Blue Sky Holiday!  Mama slow cooked some roast, mashed up some taters, fixed a salad, and we were in hog heaven at her house just hangin’ out and chowin’ down.

I hope all you sweet mommies out there had a memorable and wonderful Mother’s Day, as well.

I’ll head on over to my 101 things and update that in a second.  Let me get to prayer requests.  What did I forget?  Anything?  Let me know.  Oh, and when my life gets back to some sort of normalcy next week, as I’m working on my new daily schedule now, setting everything up, I will also get back to finishing my novel, and then I can update you on how that’s going.

Y’all have a beautiful day!  Love ya!

-Carol

Oh, last post, I invited y’all over Sunday and I didn’t even show up.  I am pitiful!  One day, I will have my rear in gear and be organized.  One day…

Prayer Requests:

1) For Mama to be healed and feel good again.  She’s been feeling sick for months and has a dr’s appt coming up.  Let the doc tell her it’s something easily fixable with diet and exercise, not eating certain foods, etc.
2) For this new opportunity I’ve been granted work out for the greater good.
3) Please pray for Jennefer about her new job, and let it be as awesome as she is, and let her transition from one job to this next one be much smoother than she anticipated.
4) Please pray for Sherree to quickly be able to follow her heart and dreams.
5) Please pray for Carlie to be safe and well.
6) Please pray for Carlie to come by sometime and let us know she’s ok.
7) Please pray for Patrick to find the woman of his dreams, fall in love and get married. Pray he finds her this year.