The writers office hours

The author is in

 

This is entirely an individualized aspect for every writer. Not everyone sits down at a certain time and works until a certain time. Some do.

So what I’m going to do is go over how my day typically goes.

A day in the life of a Writer:

5:30am: Alarm goes off, and I hit the sleep button.

6:30am: Finally drag myself out of bed and stumble to the coffee pot

7:00am: Shower and dress (most of the time. Sometimes I get right back into pj’s.)

8:00am: I am in my home office, another cup of coffee in hand, and booting up my computer.

9:00am: Having reviewed any and all emails received I get to work on my WIP. Either work on a new chapter or scene, or maybe make some edits.

11:00am: Ok, time for some day job work to get done. You know, the thing that pays the bills. Yep, get to work on that, AG.

2:00pm: Day job break. Eat some lunch. Work on another chapter or scene.

3:00pm: Sigh back to day job work until 6:00pm.

6:00pm: Wander to the kitchen and wonder what I will be making for dinner. Cook whatever I find, eat, and converse with real human people living in the house. I call them husband, daughter, and son.

8:00pm: Settle onto the couch with a book and let my brain unwind, losing myself into the story.

10:00pm: Put everyone to bed and go back into the office. Write until my eyes droop.

11:30-12:00pm: Finally make my way to bed and get ready to do it all over again tomorrow.

 

You see, luckily for me, my kids are old enough to get themselves up in the morning, make their breakfast, and get dressed. I no longer have the worry of toddlers, but a whole new series of issues. TEENAGERS. But, this frees up a lot of my time so I can devote more time to my writing.

Again, every writer is different. And what works for me may not work for you. But this is what I have found to work the best for me. I do better with a schedule and a routine, so I needed to create and stick to it.

I have been following this schedule for about a year now, and so far, I love it.

How about you? What are your typical days like?

 

Advertisements

Book & Writing Humor

So, I love reading, that’s no secret. I love writing, that’s no secret either.

What is a secret? I waste countless seconds, minutes, hours on reading and laughing at memes about reading and writing.

I’m sure a lot of bookworms and authors do this, so it’s not something shocking. But today, I thought I would share some that I just find funny and I like. Some that I feel are “Just oh so me” and some that make others laugh.

So here we go, enjoy.

 

The trouble with connecting

“MOM!”

“Mom, where are you?” She screams as she slams the front door.

I make my way out of the office and look her over. Her eyes are squinting, fists clenched at her sides, posture stiff. She’s upset. She won’t cry though. That’s not her style. Instead she’ll stomp around the house, slam doors, and yell.

Such is the life of a teenage girl.

“Some idiot called me weird.” She complains as she slings her backpack into the corner of the living room. She’s been taking extra summer courses.

“What idiot?”

She waves me off. Not planning on giving me a name. “Do you think I’m weird?”

I smile and shake my head, “Of course I don’t.”

Her fingers move to her hair, twirling through her curls, pulling a few strands in front of her face so she can she the deep purple color. This is her look of the moment.

We have gone through the girly and pink and dresses, the tom-boy backwards hats and skater shoes, and now we’re on multi-colored hair, headphones, and combat boots. I think she looks cute.

She sighs and I watch her shoulders slump forward, “No.”

“Want me to go up there? I think I can take them.” I smirk. This does elicit a smile from her finally. No matter how many times I’ve offered, she has yet to take me up on it. But it never fails to make her smile.

See, the problem with connecting is finding those who share the same soul as you. The same dreams, and passions. No matter what they are. If it’s music, or writing, or chess, or math, or even the same choice in style. There are always others out there that will share these interests.

You just may not always find them close to you. High School is tough. You’re finding yourself. Figuring out what you like, don’t like, who you are. Teenage girls are, I believe, the cruelest animals on the planet.

We all want that connection to other people. To feel welcomed, accepted, and in High School that’s just down right impossible it seems. I try and remember back when I was in school, and I remember it was rough. But things have changed dramatically since I was in school.

These days kids have all sorts of ways to connect with each other, with all the various choices of social media. But even with all of those, it seems kids are less truly connected with each other than they were before. Yeah, you may like a post, a tweet, a pic; you may have thousands of friends on facebook, but the true connections are lost.

If you’re struggling to connect, finding that rough patch of high school, keep in mind it will get better. I know when my mom said that to me I didn’t believe her, but it is true.

And now that I have a teenage daughter of my own, I’m finding out just how hard my mom had it, and oh how right she was.

Writing Dreams

It’s five am. The house is quiet and dark. The only sounds are those of the ruffling blankets when the kids shift in their beds. I sneak to the office, cursing the squeaky floor board and say a silent prayer it doesn’t wake anyone in the house up.

Lowering myself into my desk chair I press the power button to my computer. It roars to life with a flash of light and the woosh of the hard drive that sounds like an airplane about to take off. Yeah, I need a new computer. Dark-Office-300x200

The room illuminates with blues, reds, greens as the screen flickers and soon I’m ready to get started. Fingers flying across the keyboard, words flowing as if the muse has me in a stranglehold and refuses to let go until I have these last details down.

I lean back in my seat and let out a sigh of gratitude and amazement. three thousand words in under an hour. They are all perfect, and beautiful, and no editing needed.

And then.

I wake up.

This is a dream I have over and over. When I seem to be stuck on a scene or a chapter. I wake up and struggle to remember what I wrote in my dream. I reach for my journal that sits next to my bed to scribble it down as fast as I can. Reaching for anything that may come through.

I think, most writers have dreams like these. Sometimes they’re nightmares, sometimes they’re not. Like this one.

As a writer I tend to draw inspiration from everything around me. The way my daughter says something, or an expression she makes. The way my son almost gives me a heart attack sometimes. And even dreams I have, in which sometimes my characters come through and tell me what they want.

This dream though? Is unlikely to come true. If only for the reason that I cannot, for whatever reason, get myself up at five am. I never hear the alarm. But maybe parts of it will.

How about you? Do you have dreams like this? Even if it’s not about writing. It can be about anything, a passion you have, a goal you want to accomplish. Let’s hear ’em.

Summer Time Reading List

2016 summer reading list

Oh Summer, how I love thee.

I usually have two seasons where I do most of my reading. Granted, I read all year long, but I have noticed I tend to read more in these two particular seasons.

The first is Summer. There is just something about longer days, sitting by the beach or a pool, and enjoying a good book.

The second is Winter. Curling up under a big thick blanket while the temperature drops outside. Cracking open a great new book to start while the fire warms your toes. Ah. Heaven.

 

So, now that we are in summer and it’s reaching close to a hundred degrees, let’s start with my reading list for this summer. This summer I have dedicated my list to YA Fantasy. Some of these you may have read, Some maybe not. But these are ones I haven’t read yet and am looking forward to reading them.

 

Here we go.

  1. Angelfire   Angelfire, By Courtney Allison Moulton

Description that made me decide to put this on my reading list:

First there are nightmares.
Every night Ellie is haunted by terrifying dreams of monstrous creatures that are hunting her, killing her.

Then come the memories.
When Ellie meets Will, she feels on the verge of remembering something just beyond her grasp. His attention is intense and romantic, and Ellie feels like her soul has known him for centuries. On her seventeenth birthday, on a dark street at midnight, Will awakens Ellie’s power, and she knows that she can fight the creatures that stalk her in the grim darkness. Only Will holds the key to Ellie’s memories, whole lifetimes of them, and when she looks at him, she can no longer pretend anything was just a dream.

Now she must hunt.
Ellie has power that no one can match, and her role is to hunt and kill the reapers that prey on human souls. But in order to survive the dangerous and ancient battle of the angels and the Fallen, she must also hunt for the secrets of her past lives and truths that may be too frightening to remember.

It’s received 3.9 Stars on Goodreads. Some fantastic, Some not so great. But it sounds like an interesting read.

 

  1. Throne of Glass   Throne of Glass, By Sarah J. Maas

Description that made me want to put this on my reading list:

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for four years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her … but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead … quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

It’s received 4.24 stars on Goodreads, and the 4th book in this series was voted Number 1 for 2015. So I’m excited to get started on this series.

 

  1. red queen   Red Queen, By Victoria Aveyard

Description that made me want to put this on my reading list:

This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart.

It’s received 4.11 stars on Goodreads and the series so far has been getting great reviews.

 

  1. Poison Princess   Poison Princess, By Kresley Cole

Description that made me want to put this on my reading list:

She could save the world—or destroy it.

Sixteen-year-old Evangeline “Evie” Greene leads a charmed life, until she begins experiencing horrifying hallucinations. When an apocalyptic event decimates her Louisiana hometown, Evie realizes her hallucinations were actually visions of the future—and they’re still happening. Fighting for her life and desperate for answers, she must turn to her wrong-side-of-the-bayou classmate: Jack Deveaux.

But she can’t do either alone.

With his mile-long rap sheet, wicked grin, and bad attitude, Jack is like no boy Evie has ever known. Even though he once scorned her and everything she represented, he agrees to protect Evie on her quest. She knows she can’t totally depend on Jack. If he ever cast that wicked grin her way, could she possibly resist him?

Who can Evie trust?

As Jack and Evie race to find the source of her visions, they meet others who have gotten the same call. An ancient prophesy is being played out, and Evie is not the only one with special powers. A group of twenty-two teens has been chosen to reenact the ultimate battle between good and evil. But it’s not always clear who is on which side.

It has received 4.15 stars on Goodreads and the rest of series seems to be have been doing well also.

 

  1. Angel Fall Susan   Angelfall, By Susan Ee

Description that made me want to put this on my reading list:

It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco where she’ll risk everything to rescue her sister and he’ll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.

It has received 4.2 stars on Goodreads. The series has been doing great, and the third book in the series was nominated on goodreads as one of the top for 2015.

So there you have it. What’s on my reading list for this summer. Have you read these? Do you have more recommendations for me to read? What’s on your reading list this summer? I would love to hear from you guys/gals.

What I would like to see in YA

So, I have been reading a lot lately. A lot, A lot.

So much so that this:

il_570xN.802880332_htou

Was my birthday present from my hubby. To carry all the books I leave with on each visit. Seriously, I love it. Link included if you want to get your own: Here

So, what am I getting sick of seeing in YA and what would I like to see more of?

Well there in lies the crux.

I have loved a lot of what I have been reading. Some I could have seriously done without. But I am getting sick of the damsel in distress who is supposed to be the heroine. Why does the male protagonist have to come to the rescue all. the. time.

Why can’t she just be strong on her own? Why can’t she save him? Yeah, that. I want more this.

Also, the insta lurve.

I mean really. Show me how it progresses. Not just: “I saw him, and he was gorgeous, and there was a strong pull, and I knew. Knew. We were meant to be. I love him.”

Come on.

It’s never love at first sight. It’s really not. A connection, sure. Things in common, yeah. But love immediately? Not likely.

I want to see the progress. I want to see the initial feelings and watch them grow. I want to be as involved in them getting together and staying that way. I want to feel it. And I want to know why. Not something superficial, I want to know something deeper that’s driving them to be together.

You can attain this without slowing down the story. I’ve seen it done. It’s just not done enough. Again, do more this.

And finally, one of my more recent gripes based on my recent reading torrent.

If it’s a series, I know there will be some questions left unanswered. I get that. But each book should stand on it’s own. Answer most of the questions at the end. Leave some unanswered to make me want to continue the series, but not everything.

I recently finished reading a book and NOTHING was answered. All of the questions raised were not addressed. The plot was not fulfilled. And there are TWO more books in the series. When I finished it I was left very unfulfilled, disappointed, and angry. So much so, that I will not be continuing the series. And I am an avid reader and loyal series follower.

Mainly because knowing there are two more, I’m afraid the second book will do the same and nothing will be answered until the final book. Which does not make me want to continue.

Why would I read something that’s going to leave me disappointed and angry?

Exactly. Stop doing this.

Ok, so that’s it for my rant on what I would like to see more of in YA. How about you? What would you like to see more of? Less of?

The 5 Stages of grief…

So, for those of you who saw my last post, you know that I recently lost all of my work on my two works in progress. All. Gone.

So I had to start over. Yeah, that sucks.

So, I decided to use that, and the feelings I went through for writing tips. If I ever wanted to have my characters to convey the five stages of grief, I had already had plenty of experience, but now it’s fresh, and raw, and new.

It was akin to losing something to near and dear to your heart.

So here we go.

Stage 1: Denial

Denial-1-680x280

This. Cannot. Be. Happening.

Check. I was there. I could not believe everything was just, gone. I ranted for, oh, four hours, on how it was not possible. I ran various software designed to find and recover deleted files. The whole while thinking, “This will work. It has to work. It can’t just be gone. No way.” Yep. Denial.

The emotions were: Confusion, Disbelief, Wonder. And I felt a knot in my stomach the size of China. Ok, maybe that’s an exaggeration. But it felt big.

 

Stage 2: Anger

manage-anger-calm-down-800x800

Later that evening I hit this stage. After all software confirmed the same thing. It was gone. I wanted to throw my USB in the trash. It was the problem. Had it been a better USB this wouldn’t have happened. I will never use another USB.

The emotions were strong. My face flushed red when the software confirmed my fears. I took it out on my desk. It was less than civilized. Feet stomping. Door slamming. I was a spoiled three year old. It was not pretty.

 

Stage 3: Bargaining

bargaining.in_.india_

This stage came when my husband got home. He’s a wiz with computers. And I was sadly under the impression he could make it all better. “If you please restore my files, I will love you forever.” Well, I mean, I already will, but that, plus a dinner bribe and he was on my computer with the USB.

I paced. I nagged. I looked over his shoulder while he worked. All the while making him terribly uncomfortable until he ultimately kicked me out of the office to work in peace.

 

Stage 4: Depression

precision-nutrition-depression-diet

Yeah, this one hit me hard. Lasted all weekend. When he finally told me that everything was in fact gone. I cried. I laid in bed and wallowed. I moved around the house like a zombie. I didn’t want to do anything. The task of rewriting everything seemed so monumental and daunting; and not something I wanted to tackle. Yeah, I was pathetic.

 

Stage 5: Acceptance

Therapies-ACT-440x296

This came Monday morning. When I realized all was not lost. That I had hand written my outline for both stories in my notebook, and that I had emailed the first five chapters to critique partners right before everything went dark.

So most everything was gone. When I started there was nothing. It was a blank page. But now, I have my outline. I know where the stories were going. I have the first five chapters as a good starting point. I just have to start at Chapter Six. Which, while a big task, doesn’t seem as bad as starting at Chapter One of two stories with nothing.

 

 

So there you are. The five stages of grief. Hopefully it will help some, I know it will definitely help me. And who knows, I may change a few things in my stories so my characters have to go through these. Even though I know it’s not their faults.