Artist Date, Blogging, canadian authors, Country Life, Uncategorized, writers life, writing

Taking Time to Refill the Creative Well

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April 30th, 2019

Hi everyone! It’s been a long time since I blogged about my writing journey. I didn’t write a lot in April. I did, however, spend time planting flowers, walking on the beach, and reading books.

In April, I noticed I was starting to feel stressed out about my novels. The words weren’t coming. I felt like I was scribbling empty words. I would write a chapter and go back and delete it. I know some people suggest you have to write something down so you can revise it. This time felt different.

I needed a creative break.

I took time off from my seafaring project, THE LOST SAGES, and dabbled in another story world for a bit. I wrote snippets of dialogue and explored the setting. I heard back from my wonderful critique partners who read TLS. I have a pile of notes 🙂

Now that we’re on the cusp of May, I’m working on a plan for revisions. I don’t feel burned out but instead excited to dive back in. What do you do when you’re feeling drained?

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Hopewell Rocks, NB (little Maggie May in the corner, haha)

I enjoy going to the beach and walking. I especially love finding sea glass.

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Happy writing, friends ❤

Until next time,

Loie xo

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24 Days of Writing, Blogging, Book Love, writers life, writing, Writing Submission

Submit Your Stories: Grumpy Old Gods Anthology

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March 6th, 2019

Hi friends, how are you making out?

Today, I’m going to share a fun submission opportunity. I shared about the first Grumpy Old Gods Anthology during #24DaysofWriting. Well, they had nearly 100 submissions and 11 spaces to fill! They’ve decided to send out a call for volume 2.

What’s the Call About?

The editors want stories about mythical Gods or Goddesses who are retired, missing from their post, waning, or ignoring their job responsibilities. They’re seeking speculative fiction at around 3000-4000 words.

The deadline to submit is March 30th, 2019. You can send your submission to grumpyanthology@gmail.com. Find out more information about the call here.

Why You Should Consider Submitting

Personally, I find these submission opportunities a lot of fun. I get to flex my creative muscles and work with a specific prompt. The story I wrote for the first call was a ton of fun. I wrote about Beira from The Winter Crone and created her origin story.

Even though this story wasn’t selected for the anthology, I know where I can use it someday. I’m hoping to research and outline a novel based on Beira and Alaor this summer when I get a chance.

These prompts are fun. You can take a break from editing/drafting novels 🙂 Happy Wednesday!

Until next time,

Loie xo

24 Days of Writing, Book Love, Country Life, Nature, writers life, writing

On the 7th & 8th Day of Writing: Chicken Soup for the Soul and Blue Mountain Arts Poetry Card Contest

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Photo by Oliver Sjöström on Pexels.com

December 7th

Hi everyone! My apologies for missing yesterday’s submission post. Today, I have two opportunities to make up for the missed blog from yesterday.

Chicken Soup for the Soul is publishing stories about Running/Walking. They are due December 15th. 

Blue Mountain Arts seek poems for a poetry card contest due December 31st.

Keep reading to learn more about both!

Running for Good – and Walking Too!

Chicken Soup for the Soul is teaming up with Dean Karnazes. He is the Ultramarathoner. This book will be about walking, running, and how steps toward taking care of the body have many benefits.

Guidelines

The upcoming book title refers to how running and walking are good for one’s health. You can also run or walk for an important cause or issue, to raise awareness.

They seek true poems or stories of 1200 words or less. It can be about all aspects of running, walking, and raising awareness for a cause. Stories can be serious, heartwarming, or funny and quirky.

Read more about potential topics here! You can submit your story here. Remember, stories are due December 15th.

Blue Mountain Arts Poetry Card Contest

Want to write a poem for Blue Mountain Arts 33rd biannual poetry card contest? First prize is $350, second prize is $200, and third prize is $100. The winning poems will be displayed on their website.

Guidelines

Poems can be non-rhyming or rhyming. Blue Mountain Arts noted that non-rhyming poems read better. They suggest writing about real feelings or emotions and think about a particular person while you write.

Poems are judged based on uniqueness and originality. They seek English only entries, and you can submit as many poems as you’d like!

Poetry Contest Rules

Poems must be an original creation. The rights to the entries will remain the property of the author. You’ll give permission to Blue Mountain Arts, Inc. to display and publish your entry on the Web, electronically, if you win.

Winners will be contacted within 45 days of the deadline date 🙂 Remember, they are due December 31st. Read more here.

Have Fun

Hope you enjoy these two submission opportunities, friends ❤

Until next time,

Loie xo

24 Days of Writing, Book Love, Country Life, Nature, Uncategorized, writers life, writing

On the 3rd Day of Writing: Enchanted Conversation Magazine

December 3rd

Hey everyone!

Hope you’re having a good week so far ✨❄️

Here is a fun place to submit: Enchanted Conversation Magazine.

Are you able to tell a myth, fairy tale, folktale in 100-500 words? Check out some examples:

Beerwood Stew – 364 Words – READ HERE 
Stepsister – 214 Words – READ HERE 
Beloved – 178 Words – READ HERE
Email submissions to EnchantedCSubmissions@gmail.com
The subject line of the email should be: FAIRY TALE FLASH – your last name – title of your work. Example: FAIRY TALE FLASH – Dunn – “Your Title”
Write a short cover letter with the approximate word count of the story. Pen a brief author’s bio written in third person and up to three links to your personal website or social media accounts. Don’t summarize your story in the cover letter. 
Include a Paypal address.
Paste your submission in the body of your email.
Single spacing. No indents on paragraphs. Double space between paragraphs. Use Arial as the font. Try to use American English word forms and punctuation.
Have fun with this submission! One of my stories was accepted through Enchanted Conversation. Check it out here!
What story will you write for this submission? I would love to hear below 🙂
Until next time,
Loie xo
24 Days of Writing, Book Love, canadian authors, Nature, writers life, writing

On the 2nd Day of Writing: Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide

December 2nd

Here is a fun place to submit! ❄️✨

Submission Tips

MC that is age 8-12.

-A diverse cast of characters.

-Fun to read and encourages love of science fiction.

-Adventures in space with robots, rockets, or alien encounters.

-Steampunk, weird west, and time travel are fine.

-Word Count should be between 3,000-6,000 words.

-Science fiction, not fantasy.

Particularly Looking For:

-Adventures!

-A MC from an underrepresented population.

-MC has agency and isn’t just along for the adventure.

Don’t Write:

-Stories about female characters who need rescuing or are a prize.

-Stories where the subplot or main plot is romantic in nature.

-Graphic violence or swearing.

Submission Deadline

-December 15, 2018, with a reading period of January and February 2019.

-Don’t put identifying information on your manuscript.

Have Fun

I hope you guys enjoy this submission opportunity 🙂

I think I’m going to write about a robotic dog named Mag, of course inspired by my 16-year-old Jack Russell Terrier 😉🐕

What will you write about? Find out more, here!

Until next time,

Loie xo

writing

The Creative Benefits of Journaling

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Photo by Jess Watters on Pexels.com

Do you want to nourish your creativity? Perhaps you feel blocked from time to time. Did you know that journaling regularly can help artists and creators? Keep reading to find out more!

Benefits of Journaling 

Researchers have shown that the act of journaling is therapeutic. We often have a deluge of thoughts and ideas throughout the course of a day. By writing them down, we may gain insight about what we are thinking or feeling.

  • Notice trends in your creativity 

When journaling about my writing progress, I might take note of the time of day I felt most productive or creative as a writer and why.

  • Learn more about yourself 

This goes hand in hand with the previous point, but throughout the journaling process, I begin to see what upsets or energizes me. Maybe I will discover that I am at my best, creatively, in the early hours of the morning.

  • Clarifies jumbled thoughts 

I have a lot of racing thoughts, so I find it super therapeutic to write them down. When I do this, I can make sense of the tangle in my head. This is calming and I feel ready to move onto creative writing.

Free-Write 

Honestly, when I sit down to write in my journal, I just let my pen fly across the page. It may be a short entry, or it may be a longer entry. Sometimes I will sit down and end up writing a poem or short scene. Other times, I might grumble about how I feel or what I need to get done. If I journal in the morning, I write about any dreams I can still recall.

I even journal about the novel-writing process. After completing a chapter, I go back to my journal and discuss how it went. Sometimes, the practice of journaling about my novel helps unblock my mind if I’ve arrived at a deadend.

Daily Practice

It’s best if you get into the habit of journaling twenty minutes a day. By sitting down and writing, you may surprise yourself by what appears in your notebook! Perhaps you will get a new idea for your latest work-in-progress or discover a solution to a problem you have.

Morning Pages

If you want to learn more about the creative benefits of journaling, check out Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way. She highly recommends writing Morning Pages. 

Happy writing, friends!

Until next time,

Loie xo

 

writing

Creating characters

July 3rd, 2018

Hello, lovelies! I hope you are having a good week so far. Happy Camp NaNoWriMo for those of you who are participating, whether you’re editing, writing, or outlining. I hope to write a novella set in the world of THE LOST SAGES, and explore one of my secondary characters, Tsura. I’m excited to learn more about her 🙂

I’ve decided to start blogging about the craft of writing, with the hope of better understanding it. In my own search to understand various techniques, I’ve found some neat books and informational videos.

The wonderful thing about being part of a writing community is getting to share information and tips with one another. After you read this blog, I would love to hear your own thoughts on how to create compelling and real characters 🙂

Writing video notes 

I stumbled upon Kim Chance’s writing videos on YouTube. I really enjoyed listening to her break down some of the various craft elements. In this video, she shared how she creates well-rounded characters. Kim kindly provides a character profile questionnaire that can be found on her website.

She discussed these key points: cultural influences, mannerisms, occupation and socioeconomic status, family relationships, spirituality, and education. Life experience is a big one. What have the characters gone through or what has happened to them before we meet them on page one.

In my book, THE LOST SAGES, Evren is poor and alone at the beginning. This really influences her decision making when Captain Sa’av, infamous pirate, arrives on Ionoke Island, seeking a navigator to bring him to the sinister Sea Queen’s lair.

Personality, of course, is a huge one. How does a character view themselves and how do other characters see them? I loved these two questions!! Oftentimes, we can see ourselves in a different light than those around us 😉

Growth

To become three dimensional, the character must experience some change over the course of the novel and journey.

What is the character’s goal? What is the motivation behind the goal and what is at stake if the character fails? For example, if Evren does not find the sinister Sea Queen’s lair, then her and Captain Sa’av won’t be able to retrieve an antidote to an epidemic that is claiming the air from thousands of lungs across Tarkais.

Question Time

Do you brainstorm all the details of a character before writing them? Do you have an image of the person or perhaps a feeling or situation they are involved with?

When I received an edit letter from a manuscript critique I won, the editor kindly suggested I begin to think about how Evren moves, talks, and interacts with others.

There were some things I knew from the beginning when I drafted THE LOST SAGES. But as always in revisions and rewriting, I learn MORE about my characters. A bit of backstory sheds new light. It’s amazing, the continual unfolding and learning that goes on.

Building Character 

With the help of the questionnaire and a character profile sheet an editor sent me, I found I had plenty of questions to answer when it came time to brainstorm Evren.

I also like to listen to music and let my brain wander, imagining Evren in certain scenarios and wondering how she would react. Free-writing also helps a ton before drafting a novel. I write a random scene with Evren in it. This allows me to see how she would handle a confrontation with a character or a dangerous situation.

Finding their voice 

I find voice a bit tricky and elusive. However, each draft I write or re-write, brings me that much closer to capturing the voice of the character. I think details in the book revealing how they walk (do they slouch, stride, or saunter) and talk (do they have a lisp, accent, or use certain words repeatedly) for example, help with capturing the unique voice of the character. Everything that makes them unique and different, will stand out.

Captain Sa’av, in the first draft of this book, was ice cold and arrogant. I realized early on that wasn’t really him. In fact, he was more goofy and eccentric. Evren appears to be uptight at the beginning, but she really relaxes once she is around people whom she feels safe with. All of this I discovered as I re-wrote.

What do you do?

How do you create characters? I’d love to hear in the comments below!

Until next time,

Loie xo