Free Downloads of SNUGGLE MOUNTAIN at AppFriday

Wooohoooo!!!

You can get free downloads of SNUGGLE MOUNTAIN at the AppFriday today. And if you stop by between noon and 1 pm (Central), I’m hosting a party so bring your Cyber coffee.

Going Quiet-Absorbing the Wisdom of Quotable Tuesday

Like Jessica Powers, I love being busy and stacked up with projects. There’s an aliveness to it. I love doing a little bit everyday and inching toward the finish line. As a single mother and writer with multiple jobs, that life works.

Until it doesn’t. Until you find yourself, like Julie Larios, needing to go fishing.

That’s when I hear Kathy Nuzum and Janet Fox and all the other writers at Quotable Tuesday who have joined me to share their wisdom that gets them through the times when writing seems like the craziest (pre)occupation in the world

I have a revision to do. I have a memorial to write. I have a teen going off to Europe. And right now, that’s all I can focus on.

Quotable Tuesday will return but, for now, I need to go quiet.  I need to listen to Caroline Carlson‘s wisdom and remember “all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.”

Be well, my friends.

Quotable Tuesday-Anonymous

Quotable Tuesday is place for writers and artists to share the quote that sustains them though the times when writing is tough, when we aren’t sure, when we wonder if the world needs our story. Sometimes, though, a writer comes across a quote that crystallizes everything a writer is and he realizes it isn’t his lot in life.

“If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use for it.” – Anais Nin

This quote comes to me from a dear friend who prefers to remain anonymous. Of the quote, he says, “You may recall that for a number of years I struggled with a manuscript, convinced that I had a book in me. When I came across Nin’s quote it became evident to me that though I did enjoy writing I was a lightweight and did not “breathe”, “cry out”, or “sing” in it. This contributed to my decision to focus my energies in other areas (raising a kid for one) and retire from my non-writing, writing career.”

This decision is a powerful one. I admire your bravery, my friend. That you love writers and books is as important as your choice not to write.

The Three-Foot Toss

When we sit down to write, we have a vision. At first, the vision is about the story we are trying to tell. At some point, our vision might change to seeing that story as a book. Then it becomes a vision of a book that catches the eye of an agent; that attracts an editor; that gets many great reviews and fans and gobs of money and fame and…

All of these visions are fine and dandy but don’t forget about the three-foot toss.

As adults, we have this marvelous talent to focus ahead, set goals, and generally obsess about our destination. We know a home run, a hole in one, a touch down, a best-selling novel is the ultimate goal in those respective endeavors.

A child’s experience is different. They experience where they are at that moment and none other. They are the present moment personified. Until a certain age, they don’t have the context of past, present of  future.

One of the challenges we face as adults (and parents) is becoming transfixed by those big measurements and forgetting the thousand and one three foot tosses to reach the big achievement. Those three-foot tosses count. If we don’t celebrate them as valuable and important, we create undue pressure on reaching our goals. The tendency is to celebrate only the achievement. As a result, we miss the one thousand three foot tosses, which are essential to reaching that goal.

Tomorrow is the Writers League Of Texas big conference where they invite agents, editors and writers to mix, mingle and find connections. For some, perhaps having the courage to go to the conference is their three-foot toss. For others, it might be pitching their novel to an agent or editor. Whatever your three foot toss is today as a writer, I am cheering.

If you are at the conference, please say hello. I will be one of the panelists on the 10:15am panel: Digital Publishing: A Brave New World. At 1:45, I will introduce Jay Ehret, the Dean of Marketing Know How at marketingspot.com and author Missy Balusek for their panel: Paparazzi! How to Leverage Publicity for the Self Published Author.

 

Thanks to my dear friend Gail Allen for the three foot toss wisdom.

Quotable Tuesday-Nancy Bo Flood

Today at Quotable Tuesday, I am thrilled to welcome fellow VCFA alum and author Nancy Bo Flood. Rather than simply share a quote and what it means to her, Nancy wrote an essay about writing and I am going to get out of the way and let her take the floor.

Sitting Down to Write is Just Plain Hard
By Nancy Bo Flood

Writing is fulfilling and soul-feeding – but it’s also just plain hard.  Each time I sit down to write, I feel I am leaping off a cliff only to land in a murky current of self-doubt:  Why do I think I can do this?  And why does it take so LONG?! It’s daunting!  The sheer amount of writing required to create one damn good paragraph is unbelievable, unless you write.  Annie Dillard, the author of The Writing Life, states,

“How appalled I was to discover that, in order to write so much as a sonnet, you need a warehouse.”

Because soon as a writer you will be surrounded by piles, drawers, files and indeed, a warehouse of drafts, revisions, notes, sketches, ramblings….your writings!  Annie’s book often gives me comfort – and courage.

As writers we have to jump off that cliff over and over again, but we don’t have to drown in the muddy bottom of it. The Writing Life is one of my life jackets.  Annie describes all the ways I dodge writing time.  She does all the crazy procrastinating things I do, including trimming her nails, staring out the window, or at the wall, and checking on the grocery list.  She hits me in the gut with truth and then she makes me laugh.  Okay, maybe I’m not such a weirdo.

As writers we create many books.  Many never get written.  Many are thrown away.   How does it happen?  Annie says,

“You lay your pages out…and pace out the work…After you have taken an exceedingly dull nine-mile hike…you go home and soak your feet.”

After ten years of writing work, my YA novel, Warriors in the Crossfire, is a “real book,” alive and well, the recipient of several wonderful awards.  My newest novel, No-Name Baby, which took half the time, only five years to write, is out.  Each time a child or adult writes to me to say “my book made a difference,” then I am ready to jump off that cliff again, sit in front of a blank page or a warehouse of chapters, and write.

 

Thank you, Nancy, for being so generous and wise and courageous.