Tag Archives: writing life

Is It Spring Yet? by L.V. Gaudet

Spring isn’t officially here until March 20th, but it feels like spring already.  Even the Canada Geese have started coming back.  For their sake, let’s hope we don’t return to our normal January through March temperatures of -25 to -35 Celsius, which really converts to -30 to -43 with the winds.

 

Snow is melting, and I haven’t been freezing huddled under blankets for the drive to and from work, while my feet are frozen blocks inside my boots, and my fingers burn with the cold inside gloves that are so thick I have to take them off to pick up my coffee cup or work a key.  (Montana vans apparently don’t do “H”’s well:  heat and headlights).

 

This has been a winter of some firsts, most of them packed into February.  I went to Vegas for the first time in January.  It was also the first vacation since the start of “family” vacations that was not a “kid” vacation.  The only kids belonged to other people.

 

2003-nov-11-sidney-5mos-3

This month, we signed up this kid for high school (it starts early with grade 9).  Another first, we made her first resume to apply for a volunteer position.

 

She is also already a pretty good writer.

 

 

I got my Indigo Sea Press books listed in a very local newspaper, the first time I managed to get some public publicity for them.

 

blood-cover

 

I had my first public reading event too.  I submitted my short story Blood for the My Bloody Valentine short story contest at the second annual St. Valentines Horror Con on Valentine’s weekend, fully expecting to not make the cut.  To my shock it was accepted and I had to read it on stage at the Horror Con.  I spent the entire time with my head almost buried under the table, eyes glued to the pages, reading in a terrified monotone.  Unfortunately, I did not win.  Maybe next time.

 

I had my first school guest reading event for I Love to Read Month (Feb).  I read for the grade 7 and 8 classes at a local school, the grades that no one comes to read for.  I found an age-appropriate book and drew names to give one away in each class.  Maybe I’ll make that an annual thing.

 

This is a trend I’m hoping to continue.  With the newfound freedom of kids hitting their teens, maybe I can get more involved in the local writing community and local events.

 

sears-deskAnd with the help of my new toy that’s on its way, (the desk) and finally having an actual tiny spot that is mine, with luck I’ll also find more time for writing and blogging in between being these people:

  •  Cubicle dweller
  • Parent
  • Chauffer
  • Dog parent
  • Laundry service
  • Taekwondo student
  • Cleaning service
  • Cook
  • Life coach
  • Counselor
  • Life partner
  • Friend

Although, I have no idea where I’m actually going to put the desk, and it will still be central to all the commotion of a full house.


where the bodies areL.V.Gaudet is the author of Where the Bodies Are and The McAllister Farm

What kind of dark secret pushes a man to commit the unimaginable, even as he is sickened by his own actions?

 

Where the Bodies Are:  book 1 in the McAllister series.  What secret pushes a man to commit the unimaginable, even as he is sickened by his own actions?

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00023]

 

The McAllister Farm:  book 2 in the McAllister series.  The secret behind the bodies is revealed.

 

 

Links to purchase these L.V. Gaudet’s books

 

Link to reviews of Where the Bodies Are on Angie’s Diary

https://angiesdiary.com/bookoftheweek-web/081-botwoct262014.html

 

Follow L. V. Gaudet:

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WordPress:  LV Gaudet, author

 

 

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What About That Middle? by Christine Husom

Almost everyone who has written a fiction novel has a similar experience, often about mid-point, but it could happen anywhere in the manuscript. It’s the “NOW what should I write?” moment. The moment that can span into hours, or days, or cause you to abandon your work completely. You know what I’m talking about.

You panic because you didn’t expect it to happen with this book. The concept and characters are clear in your mind. You know the beginning. You know the end. You have the key plot points. You sat down and slammed out the first chapters with relative ease. Then you hit the wall.

You put something down to fill the shockingly blank white space, but it sounds dumb, so you delete it. You decide to jump ahead to the next chapter, but you’re no longer sure what the next chapter should be. And to make matters worse, in that state of mind, everything you’ve written in the book so far seems stupid.

Hold it right there. Turn off those negative thoughts, and focus on why you’re writing the book in the first place. It might be for self-satisfaction. It might be because you have a story you believe has the potential to be the next great American novel. It might be because you have a following of readers who love your books. Any of those reasons, and many more, give validity to finishing your book.

What will enable you get that next bit on paper? I’ve tried a number of things when I reach a standstill. Maybe one of them will help you.

  • Talk to someone, and ask their opinion. Give him a summary of what you’ve written, and where you want to go. That person may have an idea you can’t use, or may not have an idea at all, but it could get your creative juices flowing again. Like any problem, when you tell someone else, it doesn’t seem so bad.
  • Ask yourself if you’re bored. Are you at that stopping point because the last scene, or action was off somehow. Maybe you don’t like one of your characters and that’s slowing you down. Reread what you’ve written with an open mind and see what happens.
  • You have your plot carefully outlined, but you don’t like the way it’s shaping up. Give yourself permission to change things up. My characters have taken me on some unexpected journeys during the course of a story. And their surprising actions or spoken words are better than the ones I had planned.
  • Sit down with a blank piece of paper and do some free-style writing. Choose a word, i.e. red, and write without conscious thought for a minute or two. This simple activity can help get the creative juices flowing.
  • Read another author’s book, and tell yourself, “She did it, and so can I.”
  • Go for a run, or walk, or do arm circles, or some other physical activity. I have mentally written many scenes, and worked out countless character and scene problems while jogging. I have titled my books, named characters and figured out why they are so named, etc. There is something to be said for releasing those endorphins.  Two great advantages–they’re free and easy to access.
  • Jump ahead to a later point in the book. For the mystery I’m working on, I wrote the end first because it came to me, and I needed to get it on paper. In another book, I wrote several scenes and plugged them in when the time seemed right. Having a few scenes in your file might give you what you need when you’re stuck.

There are some hopefully helpful ideas. What techniques have you used when you’re stuck? I’d love to hear about them.

Christine Husom is the author of Murder in Winnebago County, Buried in Wolf Lake, and An Altar by the River.

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Why Do You Write Fiction?

Yesterday, author Lazarus Barnhill posted an article here on the Second Wind Blog about why he writes fiction. He wrote:

”When you write about a controversial issue, you don’t have to make it the center of your story to express it fully.  You just work it in.  For instance, when I wrote The Medicine People, I dealt a lot with the quiet underlying bigotry Native Americans and Western European descendants still harbor for one another but never express out loud.  And while it was essential to the story, it didn’t overwhelm the novel.  Stories have the power to make an issue live in the mind of the reader the way a speech never can.

“And the best thing about being a fiction writer is, you don’t have to brag to get your point across.  The best writer is one whose reader gets absolutely lost in the narrative.”

When I began writing, I had a lot to say about the way we are manipulated to suit the needs of big business and big government, and that theme underlies my first four novels. Though that theme was important to me, I tried to make the story even more important so as not to overwhelm the readers. I used up that theme, so I don’t know what I want to say in my future books, which is perhaps why I haven’t been able to write — I don’t know what I want to say, or rather, why I want to say it. I tried to write a story simply for the story’s sake, but that manuscript is stalled halfway through. I do have a theme for that — freedom vs. security vs. responsibility — but the book is not a thriller, has no mystery, is more of an apocalyptic allegory, which is something I would never read, so I don’t imagine anyone else would want to either. The point being, I write fiction because . . . Apparently I have no reason since I am not writing fiction at the moment. 

So, why do you write fiction? What is the best about being a fiction writer? What do you hope to accomplish with your writing? How do you make sure readers get lost in your fiction?

Let’s talk.

The Gather.com group No Whine, Just Champagne will meet for a live discussion about writing and the writing life on Thursday, April 22, 2010 at 9:00pm ET. I hope you will stop by — it would be nice to see you. You can find the discussion by clicking here. If you can’t chat live, we can chat on this blog.

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Pat Bertram is a native of Colorado and a lifelong resident. When the traditional publishers stopped publishing her favorite type of book — character and story driven novels that can’t easily be slotted into a genre — she decided to write her own.More Deaths Than One was Bertram’s first novel to be published by Second Wind Publishing, LLC. Also available are Daughter Am I and A Spark of Heavenly Fire.

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