Tag Archive: #weekendcoffeeshare

Coffee Share: All Hallow’s Eve Edition

skull-960983_640Greetings beverage sharing mortals!
This weekend the veil between the realms will shrink precariously thin. May we suggest you pay close attention to the surroundings as we enjoy our hot drinks and treats?

Eek! Is that a shrunken head floating in your tea cup?
*Sigh of relief*
No, it’s just a tea infuser. An error anyone could make on such a menacing day.

Heather and I are co-hosting today’s coffee post; we are both running bereft of time. NaNoWriMo 2015 is hovering over us like a scythe ready to swipe off our heads, and we’re working our fingers to the brittle, white bones finalizing the last details on our project outlines.

Still, we couldn’t let this perfectly gruesome holiday pass without a few cruel kind words for our bloggy fiends. I mean friends, of course… silly me.baked-21777_640

Before we get started, would you care for another witch’s finger? Or perhaps some deep-fried spider. No? Well, more for us!

Recently, we received a blogging award and we have been sadly remiss in addressing it. I suspect we left our brains in the other jar; so frightfully annoying when that happens.

Today we accept the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award from Solveig Werner.

The rules of this blog award are painless: we simply thank the person nominating us. Thank you, Solveig! We would send you some poisonous hemlock in the mail, but customs would surely hold things up for too long, and your poor flowers would arrive… dead.

Next, we must entertain you all with 9 random facts about our existence:

1) Heather and I both own cats. Not black cats, mind you, but the world is an imperfect place.

2) We had horses when we were young girls, mine was a bay, almost the shade of dried blood.

3) We share naturally dark hair. However, there are neon highlights in mine right now, but I’m not sure if I’m keeping it.

4) We cast a wickedly good love spell. We ensnared our soul mates/best friends long ago. My spell came with kids; hers did not.

5) We met each other in the fifth circle of hell, AKA the online critique group.

6) We fight the siren call of the internet, on demand TV and YouTube on a daily basis. Must watch Adult Wednesday Addams, iZombie, Walking Dead, again and again …

7) We enjoy reversed living situations. I was born in a huge city and moved to the country last year. Heather was born in the country and moved to a big city. We would never swap places again. Each of us makes the Evil Eye at where the other person calls home.

8) We love Halloween and enjoy brewing up our own costumes. We also have a tendency to host huge Halloween parties for our ghost and ghoul friends, however neither one of us has time this year. No loitering. Back to the graveyards with you all.

9) We enjoy reading and writing about dark, dismembering characters. Demons, ghosts, a little madness. It’s all good.

Now we would like to nominate 9 fabulous bloggers to ritually sacrifice share in the fiendish fun.

Things Matter: Hannah Givens. Hannah’s blog is an amusing mix of mostly pop culture. She recently guest posted for us and she will be back with a piece on the writing style of C.S. Lewis very soon. She also runs #queerpop on Twitter. It’s a great place to pose gender questions or share good resources.

Lemon Shark: Sarah Brentyn. Sarah mixes it up nicely on her blog. She features lots of creative writing pieces and also lifestyle posts about being a mom/writer. She is often pretty darn funny.

Eclectic Alli: Allison Gammons. Allison has a very diverse blog and she runs several series, like Passionate Geeks, Top Ten Tuesday, and Celebrate the Small Things. All week she ran a fantastic Halloween party.

Scribbling in the Storage Room: Elizabeth Hein. Elizabeth keeps her blog fun with lots of book reviews. What I like best is when she shares her countless research discoveries. These tidbits always entertain and enlighten.

Daisy Smiley Face: Tara Paray. Tara likes to work hard. She runs this blog, which is devoted to showcasing just how super quirky and hilarious she is, and another more serious blog, which is all about her local art scene. That blog is also under another name, but don’t let that fool you. It’s still Tara.

Phoenix Grey. Phoenix is a bit newer to us then some of the other bloggers. I think we met her through Sara Letourneau, who would be included here too if she didn’t already have this award. Phoenix’s blog is always jam-packed with creative writing, and she never seems to miss a round of Blog Battle or Friday Phrases.

And no blog award collection would be complete without our three favorite Sue blogs:

Rewriting Mary Sue. This crew of bloggers rocks. They are tackling gender stereotypes in literature head on and doing a great job of it. If you write female characters (and who doesn’t?) you need to read this blog.

Doorway Between Worlds: Sue Archer. Sue is our go-to blog for cool, real talk about English grammar and all its faults and foibles. And there are many!!! Sue has a gift for making any homophone confusion into a word party.

Murder Blog: Sue Coletta. If you write crime fiction, Sue is your blog. Cop slang, gun facts and blood spatter patterns, nothing cozy here. I feel it’s best to read Sue’s blog on an empty stomach! She sometimes runs a series of posts on a major crime, looking at it from many angles, and you just can’t stop reading.

And now for your questions, you poor cursed bloggers. We pity you. Not really, your palpable fear amuses us.

Cue maniacal laughter, ravens cawing and other cliché sound track items of gothic significance. In a scary voice we say:

We grant you NO questions! You will embark on this quest with zero help from us!
Call it a gift from the spirits, but we sense you’re the best arbitrator of your own random factoids.

Feel free to beguile and bewitch us with your tales of misery and intrigue.

 

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If We Were Having Coffee is a blog hop inspired and run by the lovely and talented Diana, over at Part Time Monster. Please drop by her place for coffee. You can also see what other bloggers are hosting a coffee party by checking out her hashtag: #WeekendCoffeeShare on Twitter.

Permanent link to this article: http://writeonsisters.com/writers-life/all-hallows-eve-edition-coffee-share/

Weekend Coffee Share: Pre NaNoWriMo Edition

LeCoffee-1If we were having coffee I would offer you the best chair in my house. That’s the armchair facing the fireplace. Then I would bring out a large platter of thickly sliced homemade pumpkin bread with real butter. And pour you a jumbo sized steaming cup of something yummy. After you settled in, I would apologize for being an inattentive, distracted and downright absent coffee pal for the last few months.

This fall has been a giant cluster of crazy, expected and often just plan old frustrating events. I’ve dealt with some family illness, school projects that ate up whole weekends, a wild turkey invasion and I’m just finishing the guest bathroom remodeling project from hell. But I refuse to drag down our current good mood with all the sordid details! Believe me when I say only events of epic proportions would keep me from our coffee shares for this long.

After you fill me in on your Halloween plans, I show you the costumes I’m making for myself and the kids. I love to make costumes every year.

We’ll talk about your family and you fill me in on some current job drama. Then we talk about NaNoWriMo. Nano

You already know Heather posted her fantastic plan for winning this week. But you didn’t know I’ve jumped into the NaNo fray too! It’s only a week away and I’m excited to share my news. This is my third time, so I have a good idea of what works for me at this point. My plan is to start with two different book projects. This might sound crazy to you, but when I get stuck on something in my writing I’m stuck! It can take a few days for me to process the issue and decide how I want to fix it. By having two projects going at once I can jump back and forth and not lose those any writing hours. If I end up with most of a good first draft of one project and some scattered scenes on the other project that’s fine with me.

Since I know I’m NaNo bound next month, it’s made me shift my writing focus this month. I’m spending all my time freewriting and brainstorming my new story. I’ve also joined a group of very active Twitter sprinters and we have been pounding the keys every Friday this month. I’ve managed to set down a few thousand words in every session. I’m also trying to stock pile all my November blog posts, including the one I’ve promised to write for Part-Time Monster’s Monday Monsters. My posts there are all on creatures from Hispanic myths and legends. It’s a great blog series and well worth reading.pumpkin-seeds-988598_640

Since we’re both pressed for time this weekend (those pumpkin seeds don’t roast themselves), and we need to put the finishing touches on our Halloween costumes, you slurp up and run. Before you leave we make a promise to do this again soon.

 

 

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If We Were Having Coffee is a blog hop inspired and run by the lovely and talented Diana, over at Part Time Monster. Please drop by her place for coffee. You can also see what other bloggers are hosting a coffee party by checking out her hashtag: #WeekendCoffeeShare on Twitter.

Permanent link to this article: http://writeonsisters.com/writers-life/weekend-coffee-share-pre-nanowrimo-edition/

Weekend Coffee Share – The Month of New Beginnings

LeCoffee-1If we were having coffee, I might actually be drinking coffee instead of tea because I need the extra boost after a hectic week! You sip your hot beverage of choice and look at me quizzically. What happened? You thought I was pretty much done the video game script and I’d be focusing on my novel this month. Why am I so busy? Well, it all started with my yearly beginning-of-September panic…

September has always been the month of new beginnings, the month I take stock of the last year, the month I look at my life and ask, “What the hell am I doing?” I wrote a bit about this in last week’s post (Deadlines: Harmful or Helpful?), where I lamented again how much longer writing a novel is taking and came up with some ideas to do better. What I didn’t reveal in that post is my bank account is dangerously low. This is nothing new since I’ve been a freelancer for well over a decade, saving my pennies between gigs so I can buy myself time to work on my personal projects. I always seem to get more work just when I need it. However, I came to the conclusion that I’m totally sick of living like this.

Now don’t spit-take your coffee – I am not trading in my freelance freedom for a 9-to-5 job. Hells no! You know I’m not a morning person. 😉 But I decided I need a part-time job that’s a little more regular. I also decided this part-time job should have nothing to do with writing. Instead, it should be something that gives me a break from the voices in my head, something active, something I’ve been pondering for a couple years now, something I love so much that it doesn’t matter that the pay isn’t great because I’ll have fun doing it…

Gymnastics Coach!

Now, if we’ve been having coffee for a while, this comes as no surprise. You’re probably nodding your head like that was the most natural transition in the world. You might even ask what took me so long. But if we’re new friends, you might think this is a weird part-time gig for a writer. For the full explanation, check out this post: What Gymnastics Taught Me About Writing.

23 I get my first certOnce I made this decision, I casually mentioned it to the woman who owns the gymnastics academy where I train, expecting that I’d take my coaching courses over the next couple months and start shadow coaching in the winter session, but she wanted me to start ASAP! So within the week, I’ve taken my first coaching course and shadowed two classes. That’s on top of the three times a week I take gymnastics classes for myself. AND to make this week even busier, I’m Quality Assurance testing my episode of LongStory, the video game I wrote this summer. For more on that, read this. And somehow in the midst of everything, I still managed to eke out an hour a day on the novel.

Oh, and I almost forgot – the in-laws are in town this week and at our house every day.

So yeah, I’ve been busy. But super excited! The only real downside is that I have ZERO brain power to come up with a fresh blog post for this Monday, so I’ll be reposting an old favourite from the Writing Craft Archives.

How have you been? Do you take stock of your life in September too? Did you embark on any new beginnings this month?

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If We Were Having Coffee is a blog hop inspired and run by the lovely and talented Diana at Part Time Monster. Please drop by her place for coffee. You can also see what other bloggers are up to by checking out the hashtag #WeekendCoffeeShare on Twitter.

Permanent link to this article: http://writeonsisters.com/writers-life/weekend-coffee-share-the-month-of-new-beginnings/

Weekend Coffee Share – Bike Raving

LeCoffee-1If we were having coffee, I’d lament that it is already August. How is that possible? Didn’t the summer just start? I seriously do not understand how time passes so fast. My mom used to say that time passes faster the older you get, but I didn’t really believe her until I hit my 30s. Now it’s like I’m in some weird warp where the clocks keep skipping hours and there is quite literally never enough time. Of course, I’ve also had a busy summer work wise, and the hours do disappear rapidly when there’s a deadline involved. On the plus side, I hope being this busy and panicked has made me a faster writer. Because I am super sick of being so painfully slow.

If we were having coffee, I’d concede that there have been bright spots amidst the panicked deadlines. My blog post this Monday on How To Get Work as a Writer was one of the best posts we’ve ever had, traffic wise. So yay! And last weekend I eked out some free time to rock the Bike Rave. Cycling around Toronto en masse with bikes lit up by glowsticks and lights is a neat experience. Even better are the speaker contraptions people attach to their pedal-powered vehicles so that we have music on the ride. It is a Bike Rave after all. Here are some pics…

4 Trinity Bellwoods

Trinity Bellwoods Park in Toronto, full of people and lit up bikes. #bikeraveTO

Riding towards the CN Tower behind the big speaker in the tricycle!

Riding towards the CN Tower behind the big speaker in the tricycle! #bikeraveTO

A tall bike sound system with lights! #bikeraveTO

A tall bike sound system with lights! #bikeraveTO

Next year you should totally come! Also, I am buying you this coffee because I’ve been such a crummy, absent friend lately. Hope to see you again sooner rather than later!

coffee2If We Were Having Coffee is a blog hop inspired and run by the lovely and talented Diana at Part Time Monster. Please drop by her place for coffee. You can also see what other bloggers are up to by checking out the hashtag #WeekendCoffeeShare on Twitter.

Permanent link to this article: http://writeonsisters.com/writers-life/weekend-coffee-share-bike-raving/

Coffee Share and Cat Care

LeCoffee-1If we were having coffee, I might not be in the best mood. I would still welcome you into my home. And serve up your chosen beverage. Hot or iced?

You’d know from the bags under my eyes and the fact that I’m not serving fresh baked anything, that something is very wrong.

The news pours out of me, sometimes with a tear or two.

It all started about two weeks ago. My family was coming back at about 9 pm after hiking all day. My husband’s extremely old (17 years) cat ran out the front door as we were struggling (with water bottles, dusty boots and backpacks) to come in the front door. We have a space in the center of our circular drive packed with dogwoods, camellias and azaleas and he ran right into the thickest part of it. We suspected he just wanted to cool off after being stuck in a stuffy house and since we couldn’t see much, we decided to grab some flashlights before mounting a search party.

He was only outside for about ten minutes.
The next door neighbor screamed!
A car swerved into the gravel along side of the road by her house and stopped.
Our cat was lying in the road.

He survived the car accident, but with a broken scapula, broken ribs and some damage to his spine. Surgery to fix his spine (costing tens of thousands of dollars) might have killed him anyway. Instead, the vet ordered caged rest for 6 weeks. The hope is the spine will recover once the swelling goes down.

I don’t know if you have ever cared for an injured animal, but it is not easy. The first day he bit my husband, his favorite person in the world. Needless to say, I have been very careful to keep the kids out of his way when the pain is making him truly grumpy.

My days (and nights) are set by the schedule of cat nursing care. Giving him water with an eye dropper and feeding him food in tiny bites from a spoon as often as I can talk him into eating it. We also need to get up a few times a night to help him use a litter box. Or, if we didn’t move fast enough, to change his soaked bedding.

He also needs physical therapy several times a day. We need to move his limbs gently, and to help support him so he can sit up for a little while each day. We need to gently tap his tail and back legs so he will keep trying to move them and they don’t atrophy.

I’m happy to report he is doing much better. He’s moving his tail very well and his back legs are starting to support his weight. He sort of walks a few steps now, but it looks scary. He wobbles back and forth with his legs spread wide apart for balance. We have to bend over and hold our hands next to his body so he will not tumble over and hurt himself. When his strength runs out, we also need to lower him gently to the ground. He is not out of the woods yet; spines in cats are tricky and prone to re-injury, but we have hope.

The upside of all this home time is the kids and I have been spending a lot of time together. We are doing crafts, fun projects and playing board games.

Our first fun discovery was Google Camp. I can highly recommended this site for kids who enjoy learning about science topics. The videos and home DIY projects are amazing.

Tabletop-Castle-PanicAs a parent, I can’t say enough good things about cooperative board games. We love one called Castle Panic. We discovered this game on Wil Wheaton’s show Tabletop about two years ago. It has since become one of our favorite games. It’s also easy for my boys to refresh the game by adding their own homemade monster and weapon cards. My kids love to make their own games. Castle Panic is a lot of fun, so I would invite you to play a quick game.

If we were having coffee, I would send you home early. It would be time for more cat care. But I would promise to invite you back real soon.

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If We Were Having Coffee is a blog hop inspired and run by the lovely and talented Diana at Part Time Monster. Please drop by her place for coffee. You can also see what other bloggers are up to by checking out the hashtag #WeekendCoffeeShare on Twitter.

Permanent link to this article: http://writeonsisters.com/writers-life/coffee-share-cat-care/

Weekend Coffee Share at the PanAm Games

If we were having coffee, we’d be watching the Pan Am Games in my hometown of Toronto. I really want to go see Trampoline, but those tickets have been sold out for a long time. Perhaps we can scalp some? If not, we’ll watch it live on the iPad via the CBC app.

In between the athletes’ jumps, I’ll tell you the highlight of my week has been gymnastics. Not only did I see the Men’s and Women’s Artistic Gymnastics finals at the Pan Am Games on Tuesday, I started Trampoline Club on Monday and had regular gymnastics class on Wednesday. I must have been inspired by the athletes I saw Tuesday (we were sitting right by the uneven bars – my favourite event!) because I really gave it my all in class the next day and now my arms ache. But that’s how I get stronger, right?

I didn’t take many pictures, but here are a few from the Pan Am festivities this week:

City Hall Fireworks3

Fireworks for the Pan Am Games go off every night at Toronto City Hall.

FlamingLips3

Flaming Lips Concert @ Toronto City Hall, Nathan Phillips Square

Gymnastics-bars up

Hard to get a non-blurry shot with my iPhone, but managed this one!

Gymnastics-rings

Iron cross on the rings.

After I’ve talked your ear off about gymnastics, you ask how the writing is going, because we’re writers and this is usually what we talk about. I sigh, trying to release the stress and calm my nerves, but it does no good. Maybe I should be drinking decaf. I explain I’ve had barely any time to write my novel because this game script is four times longer than expected. Yes, not twice as long, four times as long. That’s the thing about working in a new industry on a new game – no one has quite figured out what the formula is and assumptions were made about the length of the scripts that were way off. Live and learn, right? But for now that leaves me struggling to meet deadlines and working every weekend this month.

With that, I’d better say goodbye and get back to work. I won’t have time to meet for coffee again until next month, so I wish you well in all your endeavours (whether they be writing or enjoying summer vacation) and wave goodbye. See you in August!

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If We Were Having Coffee is a blog hop inspired and run by the lovely and talented Diana at Part Time Monster. Please drop by her place for coffee. You can also see what other bloggers are up to by checking out the hashtag #WeekendCoffeeShare on Twitter.

Permanent link to this article: http://writeonsisters.com/writers-life/weekend-coffee-share-at-the-panam-games/

Weekend Coffee Share – Blogger Award Q&A

Liebster LogoIf we were having coffee, we’d tell you winning a blog award – the Liebster Award – made our week. It’s a fun award and came to us from a blogger we adore. Big shout-out to Sara Letourneau for nominating us. If you don’t read her author blog, or one of the many blogs she contributes to (like DIY MFA), make plans to correct this oversight ASAP.

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The rules of this award are simple: thank the nominating person (Thanks, Sara!), answer their wonderful questions, and pass some questions on to other deserving bloggers.

So grab a coffee and some biscotti and get ready to learn all about us!

Here we go:

1. Why do you blog?

R: Heather and I were in a critique group together for about a year and a half before we decided to give blogging together a shot. It was mostly my idea, and I did a tad of arm twisting. I didn’t relish the idea of running a blog alone; I didn’t feel confident enough to jump off the blogging cliff without a friend holding my hand. Now we both love it. There’s nothing better than the wonderful friends we’ve made in the blogging community.

H: Yep! Robin definitely twisted my arm, but I’m so glad she did for the reasons she mentioned above. Plus, I like the way blogging about writing forces me to keep learning and evaluating my craft.

2. What was the last good book you read? Why did you enjoy it?

bc-twistedR: Heather and I both read mostly YA books (since that’s what we write) and our tastes are similar. I just read Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson. It wasn’t so much that I enjoyed the story (it’s very dark and unsettling) but it had power! I felt emotionally drained after finishing it, as if I had lived the experiences with the characters. That is good writing!

Cover

H: I just finished UNWHOLLY, the second book in the Unwind series by Neal Shusterman, and I loved it! A lot is going on in both of these novels (many characters and many plotlines), but Shusterman manages to weave them all together in ways that are exciting, surprising, and thought-provoking. I wholeheartedly recommend these books!

3. In your opinion, are film adaptations of novels as good as the original? Not as good? Or better? Why?

R: I think any time you pull apart a huge novel and try to tease out the 90 – 120 minute highlights version, things tend to go wrong! It seldom comes close to a well-loved book for me. But as long as the essence of the characters stays true, I’m willing to overlook a lot. The Hunger Games films have been darn good. Great casting, (with a few unnamed exceptions) striking sets, and can I just say, fabulous costumes.

H: A question close to my heart! As a screenwriter now writing a novel, I’m learning firsthand the differences between the two mediums. Some novels are easy to adapt to film, while others are not. My favourite adaptation of all time is HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON. I read the book first, and it’s a cute, fun and adventurous read, and though there is action, a lot of the hero’s journey is internal. Internal journeys do not translate easily to film. But the screenwriters who adapted the first Dragon film did it perfectly – they kept the novel’s heart and characters and setting, but rewrote the story to create a more filmic, action-orientated plot. And it was brilliant! If they’d tried to write a faithful adaptation of the novel, it would not have worked as well.

4. What is the kindest or most compassionate thing someone has done for you?

R: My husband is my rock. When we started dating my parents were getting a divorce. He ended up helping my whole family through what was one of the worst times in our lives. He did everything from moving furniture, to helping my mom figure out her finances. By the time it was over I knew he was a total keeper.

H: This is a tough question, but I’d have to go with something my grandmother acknowledged was happening in my life during my teen years. I won’t get into the whole story, but it meant the world to me and kept me sane.

5. Do you use bookmarks while reading? What are you currently using for a bookmark(s)?

R: I mostly use an e-reader, but I have a few bookmarks my kids made that I love. One of my favorites is a bookworm. It has plastic eyes and loads of gooey green paint. It’s a total mom magnet!

H: Uh, I generally just use the slip of paper from the library with the due date on it. 😉

6. What is your favorite book cover design of all time? Why? Share a picture / image of it, if it’s possible.Hobbit_cover

R: I’m a sucker for illustrated covers. I think they’re more interesting than most photo covers. One that stands out for me is the old green cover of The Hobbit. There is something iconic about it.

If I Stay covers

H: I don’t have a favourite cover, though I prefer graphic covers over people photos on covers. I am so over the girl’s-face-on-a-book trend. It makes all the YA books look the same! In fact, I bought the more expensive hardcover version of IF I STAY just to avoid the paperback version which has a girl’s face on it.

7. Have you ever read about a real place on Earth in a book (fiction or non-fiction) and wanted to visit it afterwards? If so, which place?

R: Yes, too many places to name them all. I’ll go with Alaska. It made for a perfect adventure vacation, and it’s one I will never forget.

H: Do imaginary places count? Because I wanted to go to Hogwarts!

R: Can I change my answer? I want Hogwarts!

8. What is your favorite season? Why?

R: I would say Fall. The days are cool, but not cold. There is still enough daylight for all the outdoor things I like to do, hike and camp. Plus there are apples and nuts to harvest, perfect for my baking. I tend to bake a lot in the cooler months. Yum! Also, Fall is a hopeful and happy season; the holidays are coming and the kids are so excited.

H: Summer. All my best hand-me-down clothes are for the summer season. Sadly, with two measly months of summer in Canada, I rarely get a chance to wear them. Plus, I hate being cold. The only good thing about winter is bragging rights (I survived biking in minus 30 degrees Celsius!) and the fact that it makes you really appreciate summer.

9. Do you have a “hidden talent”? By that, I mean a talent that you haven’t had a chance to share with others online or in your blog yet. What is that talent?

R: I would call it more oddball than hidden, but I’m a low visibility (black water) SQUBA diver, and I have worked on archeological teams looking for shipwrecks.

H: Robin’s talent is awesome! Um, there’s not much about me that I haven’t shared on this blog, unless we want to dig into my childhood on the farm. Then I would confess that I am a darn good cowgirl. I had a pony who used to spook at any loud noise (so, like, every time we went for a ride) and jump very suddenly sideways, throwing me out of the saddle, but I always landed on my feet. Always. I guess you could say that’s a hidden talent that. Until now, only my mom knew. 😉

10. Are you picky about the writing utensils you use? Do you prefer pens or pencils? Any specific brand or style?

PenR: I like pens, in particular the ones with ultra fine tips and gel ink. My two favorite pens are a Mont Blanc my late mother-in-law gave me, and one covered in Egyptian hieroglyphs and pictures.

H: Pens over pencils, but no specific type. Whatever still has ink in it will do.

11. What is one thing you’re grateful for today?

R: A break in the heat wave. It might sound insignificant to some, but after several days in the 110 range, I’m a mess. Stepping outside everyday was like living in a hot yoga session that never ends!

H: My health. It’s been a rough month mentally and work-wise, but no matter what else is going on, at least I’m healthy.

Now for our questions:

1. If you could instantaneously master one writing skill, what would you choose and why?

2. What author’s style do you admire the most?

3. Have you ever revealed too much about yourself or family in your book or blog, or is every topic fair game?

4. What is the most memorable writing comment you’ve ever gotten? It can be the best, or worst; you decide.

5. When is your muse most active? Are you a night owl, or a member of the 5am club?

6. Have you ever given a book a 1 star review? If so, why? No book titles, please. : )

7. What is the next big thing you want to write about?

8. Do you have any writing rituals? If not, name one thing that always makes you excited to write?

9. What is the single most important quality in a novel, what must an author do to win you over?

10. If you could magically fix one problem with your current WIP, what would you fix?

11. If your blog, or a book suddenly made you rich and famous, what would you do with your success?

Finding a blog without a Liebster Award is no easy trick. Today, we are just throwing open the nomination. Pick one of these questions and tell us a little bit about yourself in the comments. After all, the best part of awards is finding out fun facts about other bloggers.

Thanks for having coffee with us!

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If We Were Having Coffee is a blog hop inspired and run by the lovely and talented Diana at Part Time Monster. Please drop by her place for coffee. You can also see what other bloggers are up to by checking out the hashtag #WeekendCoffeeShare on Twitter.

Permanent link to this article: http://writeonsisters.com/general-information/weekend-coffee-share-blogger-award-edition/

Weekend Coffee Share – On Being a Vampire-Turtle Hybrid Writer

LeCoffee-1If we were having coffee, I’d meet up with you in the afternoon. This is unusual since I’ve always scheduled our coffee dates in the late morning so I can spend the afternoon/evening with my WIP because that’s when I write best. But do I really? I’ve been pondering that this week as I experiment with my writing schedule. Instead of running errands, replying to emails and managing Twitter in the mornings, I go straight to work writing.

So how did it go? you ask, with a hint of both skepticism and hope in your voice. You know I have never been a morning person. The rising sun actually makes me grumpy, whereas the setting sun perks me right up. Not for the first time, we both wonder if I’m part vampire. But as a morning person, you believe the crack of dawn is the best time to write. You get so much done before lunch! The feeling of accomplishment is amazing! I envy that. And that’s the reason I’m conducting this experiment – to try to get more writing done.

I never thought of myself as a slow writer, at least not when I’m hired as a freelancer and have a deadline that puts a fire under my butt. I can crank out those words when need be. But a novel is different. There’s no boss to give me direction and feedback, and that leaves me spinning my wheels sometimes as I try all by my lonesome to decide on the best way to tell my story. I attempted to push past that indecision and doubt and just write on, write fast, and that DID NOT work. I ended up scrapping everything I wrote in those moments. The takeaway? It’s not the writing I need to speed up, it’s the story development. So, maybe if I start thinking about my story earlier in the day, the breakthroughs will come sooner than midnight. Makes sense, right?

You agree it does. So have I been converted to the #5amwritersclub? I laugh so hard I spill my tea. 5am – as if! I’m part vampire. “Morning” to me is, like, 9am and not a minute earlier. Okay, fine, how’s 9am working? I admit for novel writing, it’s still very slow. My brain is seriously sluggish in the morning, even after drinking a whole pot of the blackest tea. It feels just like this moment in Orphan Black when Scott asks Rachel if she can go faster and she replies:

OrphanBlack-TopSpeed-frustration

One thing I’ve noticed, though, is that I can write blog posts and freelance jobs at a decent clip in the morning — as long as I’ve planned them out the night before. This strategy doesn’t work as well with the WIP, but it helps a bit. What’s clear is that no matter how I try to trick my brain into writing in the morning, it simply operates best in the evening.

Basically, I’m a vampire-turtle hybrid writer.

Instead of crying into my tea, I’ve decided to capitalize on this by always brainstorming before bed what to write the next day. As I said, this works well for blog posts and paid scripts, but not so well for the WIP. If it’s a WIP day and things are not moving, I’ll read a book so I don’t waste time staring at the computer screen. Usually reading unsticks the brain anyway. And it’s productive.

You sip your tea and smile knowingly. You still think if I keep at it long enough I’ll become a true morning writer. But I know this will never happen. Instead, with some pre-bedtime planning and practice, I hope to at least become a vampire-hare hybrid.

 

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If We Were Having Coffee is a blog hop inspired and run by the lovely and talented Diana at Part Time Monster. Please drop by her place for coffee. You can also see what other bloggers are up to by checking out the hashtag #WeekendCoffeeShare on Twitter.

Permanent link to this article: http://writeonsisters.com/writers-life/weekend-coffee-share-on-being-a-vampire-turtle-hybrid-writer/

If We Were Having Coffee: PitMad Edition

LeCoffee-1If we were having coffee, I would confess it’s been a crazy, exhausting week. We would grab seats in my garden, since I just refinished some lawn furniture for the occasion.

I have some interesting news to share; I took part in PitMad this week. I suspect some of my friends don’t know about this event, so let me explain. PitMad is a Twitter contest for writers looking for agents. You simply tweet a logline from your book project on the day and time of the contest. You can tweet up to twice an hour and change your tweet each time. That way you can search for the right combination of information to catch an agent’s eye. Agents and small presses will favorite the pitches they want to see sample chapters from. I know it sounds unconventional, but it works. Heather and I know a writer who signed a two-book deal after a small press found her book at PitMad.

There were about 50,000 tweets on June 4th, all within a 12 hour period. I got three agent favorites. All three from well-known agencies. And on three different pitches. Here is Heather’s favorite tweet:

tweet

I’m not going to lie, I was hoping for a few more requests. But since only a tiny fraction of the tweets get any favorites at all, I’m beyond thrilled. Now comes the hard part: waiting quietly while they read my sample chapters. Check back with me in a few weeks and I bet my nails will be bitten the quick, and I’ll have worn a grove in the floor from pacing.

The next good part about my busy week is I’ve been a writing machine lately! Since I have of writing commitments stacked up this burst of creative juice is a blessing. I tend to work this way, in super productive spurts and dead stops. When I get into a spurt, I milk it for all it’s worth and get up at 5am to work when the house is quiet and cool.

Cool is especially important to me right now because summer is in full swing in California. Actually it arrived about 6 weeks ago, but the summer thunderstorms just started. I live in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and big storms hit us pretty much all year, but the summer ones are especially dramatic. Fat black clouds appear out of nowhere, darkening the sky to dusk in minutes. Then Mother Nature puts on an impressive sound and light show. Sometimes the storms will dust us with summer snow or hail.

Trees

The 150 year-old oak tree and towering pines in my back yard looking fresh and almost perfectly green.

The storms disappear just as fast, and magically reveal a vivid blue sky, and sun kissed but dripping trees. The storm Friday night rattled the kids and the cats into hiding, but also gave us a few drops of much-needed water in my parched home state.

Another storm is due today and since you don’t like driving the mountain roads when they’re wet, we end our visit early. The family and I wave goodbye to you just as the first fat raindrop lands and we scurry inside.

 

 

 

 

 

 

coffee2If We Were Having Coffee is a blog hop inspired and run by the lovely and talented Diana at Part Time Monster. Please drop by her place for coffee. You can also see what other bloggers are up to by checking out the hashtag #WeekendCoffeeShare on Twitter.

Permanent link to this article: http://writeonsisters.com/writers-life/if-we-were-having-coffee-pitmad-edition/

Weekend Coffee Share – Going Batty

LeCoffee-1If we were having coffee, I would brew enough caffeine to keep me alert for a week. The truth is, it’s been pretty crazy at my house lately.

We’re in the final countdown to the end of the school year and the kids are like sharks smelling blood in the water. They know summer freedom is just outside their reach, and they can’t stand waiting for it one more minute! I understand their excitement. Summer is all about slip and slides, cannon balls, water balloon fights, reading all day while lounging in a hammock, and camping trips where marshmallows are the last course of every meal. It’s good to be a kid in summer, but we’re not there yet! And their teachers are packing on the school work, hoping to extract the last ounce of brain power they have left.

Every day is a homework battle.

As the days grow longer, it’s also harder and harder to keep the kids in a normal sleep routine. It’s like they’re solar changing all day and can’t unwind when it’s bedtime. It’s made all of us grumpy in the morning and my eldest was begging for his own cup of coffee a few times this week.

It looks a bit like this, only larger.

It looks a bit like this, only larger.

Since we can’t sleep, we took the telescope out of storage. We have a 12 inch Meade Newtonian, and now that we live in the country with not a street lamp anywhere, the stars are super bright.The kids love it and are learning some astronomy and how to use the stars as navigation points.

Bat HouseWhile we were out there we caught sight of the summer’s first bats. They circled around our house in a small swarm, sparking fresh interest in getting up our bat houses so the poor little colony will have a place for their babies that is not my attic! The kids build the houses with these cool little kits we found online. There are an insane number of bat species in California. The ones we have at our house (thankfully) are rather small ones.

If we were having coffee, I’d apologize for being bad company and ask if we could call off the visit a bit early. My infectious yawn convinces you that sometimes even copious amounts of coffee can’t replace a good old-fashioned nap and we say goodbye until next time.

Before you leave, I would remind you to come back tomorrow for our special guest blogger. Shawn from Down Home Thoughts will be sharing what he knows about creating characters with character. It’s going to be fantastic, so you don’t want to miss it!

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If We Were Having Coffee is a blog hop inspired and run by the lovely and talented Diana at Part Time Monster. Please drop by her place for coffee. You can also see what other bloggers are up to by checking out the hashtag #WeekendCoffeeShare on Twitter.

Permanent link to this article: http://writeonsisters.com/writers-life/weekendcoffeeshare-going-batty/

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