So, I don’t really have a writing type post to post today but I wanted to share something that I had fun with.
Legos are awesome. I haven’t put together a kit in years but I forgot how fun it can be and how satisfying it can be when you have all the bazillion pieces in place. After shopping for the baby for her birthday, I realized that they have so many new sets. Some fun sets.
And I went to the Lego store to see what awesomeness there was there. And I got a set:
Rosalyn’s Healing Hut Set
The hut itself
Not sure of her name but she’s got a cart of goodies.
Little Goblin working away. And the “booby trap” as the baby calls it.
I was instantly addicted. I went back to the store the next day and got a couple more so I could build a little town on the top of my bookcase.
First we have the Goblin Village:
All the little people
This was like a crystal mine thing
The inside view.
This one was a lumber yard.
The doors open!
Uh oh we’re going to jail! But at least it has a slide?
Back of the jail. If you pull down the little flower guy it actually “breaks” open the cell.
Then we had the Goblin King’s Fortress:
This was much more complicated
There’s a bed, a portal, a jail, and a thrown.
Secret doors and a drawbridge that opens and closes.
These have been a fun adventure and has actually made me thinkl about the TH world that I have. Maybe it is the dragons, but it is fun to imagine them in this little world. I do have one more kit coming and it is definitely going to be an interesting adventure at over 1,000 pieces:
So what kind of non-writing activities get those creative juices flowing?
Good morning my lovelies!
Now that the updates on the CO Gold conferences are completed, I wanted to go over some of the plans I have going forward for my writing and everything I’ve got going on.
- Time Healer: So, I finished this the beginning of the year and it’s been kind of sitting around since then. Between life and everything else going on, I hadn’t seriously picked it back up to look over. After CO Gold it sparked some great new ideas for the story that mean we’re going to jump into a major revamping. I am going to use November to really focus on getting those edits done.
- One of the things that I looked into doing when at the conferences this year was the fact that I am going to start doing my writing in sprints. Since I get limited time to write and everything, I’ve started setting up my writing goals to be more achievable in short sprints when I get the time.
- NaNoWriMo is starting, well, in two days. 50K words in 30 days. I am not going to focus on hitting the writing goal using just the “single idea” plan. I am going to divide and conquer three things:
- Maintain my blog with at least one entry per week. Get some plans and topics written so I can maintain that pace. If I can keep this up for November and December, then I may bump this up to at least two entries per week.
- Finish changes in Time Healer — there is going to be a lot of taking away words, adding words, and completely changing the arc of this story.
- Working on Sierra — a new project all together. I’ll have a post on more information later but just picture Percy Jackson for adults.
- As NaNo starts, the time to enter the Zebulon ends. Lucky me, I already posted my entry. This year, I entered Time Healer. I worked earlier this month on editing chapters one and two to fit the new plans of the story, wrote a synopsis, and wrote a query. I want to see how this idea and this story plays out.
- With the combination of sprints and November plans, I am going to work out a writing schedule. One that is reasonable with all the hats I have to juggle between life, work, and writing.
So those are my current plans. You working on any changes for rest of the year?
Sunday September 10th was a half day of sessions to wrap up my final conference of the year.
I went to three sessions that day:
- Lunch Break Literati with the amazing Susan Mitchell. This session was about finding the time to write whenever you can. Whether it is during a ten minute break at work or a long lunch. Spending some of that time working on your writing and you can get some decent sprints in and get the words built up.
- Katie Day brought fun in a 2-part sword fighting session called Way of the Sword. Not only did she teach us the history of sword play but she also taught us how to make sword fights realistic in your manuscripts. After the quick history lesson she actually jumped in and taught us some of the major stances, attacks, and guards. It was super fun to practice fighting. I have some light sword fighting in Time Healer and it definitely got me thinking.
- My final session of conference was Covenant of the Arc by Pamela Nowak. This session talked about the partnership and promises between writer and reader. We talked about common character and story arcs and what readers expect. Then we also talked about what happens if you change-up those promises on your readers.
After those amazing sessions my mind was definitely filled to the brim with ideas and plans. Conference was wrapped up with lunch. There were speeches and awards and all sorts of things happening. Then we had our final keynote address by Lori Rader Day. She told us our story and it definitely spoke to me. It was real. There was humor and there was inspiration. I love the story about how she became a writer and the journey she took to get where she is now.
As that day came to a close, I realized that this conference was just as amazing as all of my other conference experiences. I hope to be able to go to both conferences again in 2018, fingers crossed.
Alright my lovelies, I hope you have a spectacular day and you enjoyed my recap.
And we’re back!
Saturday September 9th was another super busy day in the land of Conferences.
The first session of the day for me (which took up the full morning) was special session. It was held by the Nelson Literary Agency and was an intimate group of twelve writers and four members of their agency. We had previously submitted our synopses about a month before conferences. Everyone read through everyone’s synopsis and brought notes to discuss the story. I got a lot of good feedback from everyone in the room which got me thinking on where I need to take Time Healer.
After that we had an amazing lunch with the Writers of the Year and got to hear some inspirational stories from them.
After lunch I jumped right into some regular length sessions as well:
- I went to an IPAL First Sale Panel which was very interesting. I learned some interesting facts from these independently published authors. They gave some great tips for if I decide to pursue self-publishing.
- After that was a session on Magic-Wand Words by Janet Lane in which we talked about strong word choice and phrasing. That it is good to have 2-3 powerful statements in a manuscript, something that will stick with you and with your readers.
- To wrap up the day on sessions I went to a 2-part session with Diana Gabaldon on White Space. This was super interesting. She spoke about how white space can be important in a story and help to speed up the pacing of a story and leave different impacts that heavier prose. She read several scenes from her books and talked about how her different writing styles in different scenes help to set tone, pace, emotion, characterization, etc. throughout the story. It was great to both hear her read as well as understand her thought process behind some of these scenes. The second part was kind of a Q & A session about her writing process. I found out that she doesn’t tend to plot in very much detail, and she also doesn’t write in drafts. She works scene by scene and focuses on ones that call to her first. She then turns and works it until it is perfect. When she has them perfect they all tie together and she has to do very little tieing in for the scenes. It was very interesting.
After that session it was time to have an amazing dinner. Dinner was again spent with friends and new acquaintances. It was super fun to see all the people having a great time. This was also their awards banquet for their contest winners. After winners were announced we heard a hilarious and inspiration speech by keynote Sherry Thomas.
That wrapped up the night and I headed home.
Next week we’ll talk about the final day of conference.
Friday September 8th was the first day of Conference for CO Gold. I got to the hotel a little early, since it was a new venue for me, and checked out where everything was. It was nice to see all the new faces coming in and sitting and talking with a couple of people that had the badges on for the conference.
The first session of that day was a longer one (basically the whole morning) and it was on editing. Deep Revision with Heather Webb was an amazing session. Not only did she talk about how she personally edits but she talked about it in the sense of writing. She writes in drafts and with each draft she focuses on a certain aspect of the writing. Starting with the broad topics and slowly narrowing down to the mechanics and fine tuning. I think I am going to try out this process with the editing I’m about to dive into with Time Healer.
After a nice, relaxing lunch were some regular length sessions that were very informative:
- 8 Weeks To A Complete Novel with Becky Clark — I always like to see the writing processes of different writers. Especially since I’ve really been trying to find out what works for me. There were a lot of takeaways for me from this one. It showed a great way of spending basically two months to go from research, writing, and finishing up with editing. Definitely going to go through my notes on that one in the coming weeks as I try to find a good process for myself.
- James Hunter had a session called The Villain’s Story which talked about how to make your antagonists real in your story. Your villain should play off your protagonist and not just be “crazy” or “evil” with no reasoning behind it. I know I need to work on the villains in my stories. I always have a hard time finding their motivation.
- How To Write Breathtaking Action Scenes by Bonnie Ramthun was great. I’ve always loved the workshops she does. She combines information with fun and makes them super interactive. It was nice to go through and pick out different aspects of famous action scenes and find the things that make them so impactful.
- Keynote speaker Lori Rader Day had a session to wrap up the day called Liars and Thieves. It was a fun session to watch and it was a great way to go through what makes those unlikeable characters so real and likeable in ways.
After the sessions for that day we had an amazing dinner. I sat with friends that I knew from previous years at PPWC and I met some new ones at the table as well. It was great food and the keynote speech was done by Diana Gabaldon. I loved hearing her story (parts of which I’d known because I was a fan) and seeing how she ticked as a writer. It was amazing hearing her story.
After dinner was their amazing book signing event and I spent a few minutes going around before heading home for the day. I will say that the first day of conference was super successful. It had my head buzzing with plans that I’m still trying to sort out.
Next week we’ll talk about day 2 of the conference. See you there lovelies!
I know that it’s been a little while (sorry!) and I don’t really have an excuse. The Day Job has kept me busy as I save up some money for Piper’s birthday and Christmas. I’ve been planning and getting things prepped over the last couple months. Also, I’ve learned that sometimes I just need a break from writing to not feel too overwhelmed.
Today I wanted to talk about Conference #2 of the year — RMFW’s Colorado Gold Conference. This conference was the second of the year that I attended. That was a first for me as well and I was fortunate to have the ability to do both this year.
I loved that the atmosphere of this conference was very similar to the other I went to, everyone was friendly and the feeling of a tribe really resonated that entire weekend. Even so, I felt shy with all the new people. I am definitely an introvert. But over the weekend I definitely felt myself opening up to new people and made some new friends.
Some of my biggest memories/takeaways:
- All the Keynote Speakers: All three of the keynotes were AMAZING! Diana Gabaldon was exciting to see as she’s been a favorite author of mine for years and years. Lori Rader Day was hilarious to listen to and told a very touching story. Sherry Thomas was very funny as well and told an inspirational story during her talk.
- The variety of workshops: I loved the slightly different workshops that were available during the conference. I went to a variety of them and took something away from each one.
- A renewed passion for an existing story: Time Healer is about to get a major overhaul after some feedback I got during some of my workshops.
Will I be back next year?
If the money gods play in my favor I think it will be a very big possibility!
I will follow this up with some recaps from the days, similar to what I did with PPWC. So look forward to that as well.
The next morning of PPWC I was in a much better mindset and went to all the sessions that I could.
First of the morning was Say What? with Barbara Nickless. This was a session on dialogue and full of major impact. I know I don’t always have the best dialogue but I’ve been working on it. She talked about scene and character development from a dialogue standpoint and it was amazing.
Our next session was How to Add Suspense to Your Writing with Fleur Bradley. This was an amazing session and gave me great ideas for how to add some suspense.
The final session that I took for PPWC 2017 was with one of my most favorite people ever: MK Meredith. To Kiss or Not to Kiss in Genre Fiction was great because it talked about adding romantic elements to a non-romance genre story. Since I do have some romantic elements in Time Healer as well as plan on adding some elements in other story lines, it was good to get this information.
With PPWC 2017 put to bed, it has invigorated all of my writing plans.
Have you gone to any conferences this year? Which ones? What was your biggest take aways?