Apr20, 2015 |
Filed in:Stuff I Like
Because I’m currently obsessed with iZombie and looking for ANY excused to talk about it, I thought today’s blog would be about the TV I’m enjoying right now.
(And I’d LOVE for you to chime in with your favorite shows! I’m always on the lookout for more!)
iZombie (the CW, Hulu): I love, love, love, love, LOVE this show. Liv Moore = everything I missed about Veronica Mars, and the humor! The banter! The sexual tension and murder mystery in every episode! It’s so good, guys. I really can’t recommend this enough. And if you’re a Veronica Mars fan, then what are you waiting for?! This is THE show for you!
Black Sails (Starz, Amazon Prime): I’m only 4 episodes in on this show, but it’s SO good. In fact, I think each episode gets better than the one before–raising the stakes, pushing characters to their limits, and just going to some DARK places I don’t see often on TV. It’s definitely R-rated, though, so younger readers should probably stay away. 😉
The Wrong Mans (Hulu): The first season of this show was one of my favorite TV experiences of 2014. To my surprise (and delight!), season 2 has proved to be EVEN FUNNIER. We’ve only got one episode left, and I am so sad about this. 🙁
The Daily Show (Comedy Central, Hulu): This is a nightly requirement in my house. Jon Stewart is nothing short of genius, and I honestly trust NO ONE ELSE for my news. (Well, I trust him and NPR. That’s about it.) Seriously: if you’ve never watched the Daily Show before, there’s no time like the present! 😉
Broadchurch (Netflix): This show was dark, creepy, and VERY intense. I couldn’t stop, though, and I was SO pulled in by the incredible acting and gorgeous setting. If you enjoy murder mystery, then this is a great show to binge.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix): At the suggestion of some friends (*waves at Rachel & Katie!*), I started this show a few weeks ago…and couldn’t stop. It’s SO FUNNY and has such a heartwarming message in each episode.
The 100 (Netflix): I’ve only seen season 1, so no spoilers please!! That said, I cannot WAIT to binge season 2! This show took me completely by surprise. The pilot is kind of terrible, but things really pick up after that. I couldn’t believe how many times I was brought to tears watching this show.
Galvant (ABC, Hulu): This musical comedy took me COMPLETELY by surprise–in the best possible way. Sarah J. Maas and I watched it during our annual NYE trip together…and were hooked. We literally rewatched it all immediately after the first round. So. Funny. SO. Clever.
More Obscure Shows You Shouldn’t Miss
Moone Boy (Hulu): This was my favorite show of 2014. It was so heartwarming, so hilarious, and so unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. Chris O’Dowd NAILS it. Do not miss this show–seriously.
Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries (Netflix): This show took me 100% by surprise last year. The first episode is a bit hokey (okay, the whole SERIES is a bit hokey), but I just fell in love with the characters and the 1920s setting. Plus, the romantic tension for our leading lady detective–ungh!! It’s SO great!
Peaky Blinders (Netflix): Season 1 of this show was one of the best TV watching experience of my WHOLE LIFE. I still think it is almost flawless storytelling. Too bad they ruined it ALL with season 2. Still, if you can, watch only season 1 and prepare to be blown away.
Emma Approved (YouTube): Emma remains one of my favorite Jane Austen’s, so I wasn’t surprised when I fell head-over-heels for this adaptation. SO cute, SO bingeable, and ungh the final kiss!!!! It was SO worth the wait. 😉
Now you all TELL ME what you’re watching!
Please, please! I’d love to have more stuff to add to the queue!
Speak up:58 comments
| TAGS:fun, TV shows
Mar30, 2015 |
Filed in:Stuff I Like
I started karate during undergrad. I was 20 years old; it was the start of my junior year.
I’d wanted to do martial arts ever since I was about 8 years old and saw 3 Ninjas. (Oh man, Rocky was my true love!) But, being painfully shy and super embarrassed by my lack of athleticism, I never pursued my dream into an actual dojo.
Nor did I ever tell anyone how badly I wanted to do martial arts. I know my dad would’ve urged me to a sign up if he’d known—he had done various martial arts his whole life, from karate to kung fu, and I’d grown up watching him do tai chi in the living room.
After twelve years of never following my dream, I have no idea what possessed me to call up a dojo one September day in 2004. I remember exactly where I was sitting, and I remember amping myself up to do it—but can’t remember what spurred me to that point.
You’ve always wanted to do karate, I told myself, sitting at my giant desktop (computers were still HUGE in 2004). Now all you have to do is dial this one number and see what the person on the other end says. It’s not like it’s going to kill you.
I called the dojo. The sensei answered. He said to drop by later and check out the studio, try a class if I wanted, and see what karate was all about.
I did just that.
And I was immediately hooked. Everyone was so nice! The class ranged from all ages—kids to grandmas, other UGA students to officers off the nearby army base. Best of all, no one was competing with each other. The whole karate philosophy was about competing with yourself. A “be better than you were last time” mentality.
So I got my gi and started attending class diligently three times a week. I got my first belt (the rank of yellow!) a few weeks later, and I still remember how proud I was.
I think the only time in my life I’ve ever been more proud was when I sold Something Strange & Deadly—and honestly, my pride over that yellow belt still stands out more firmly in my mind. I vividly recall calling my mother from the dojo parking lot and SCREAMING with excitement.
Karate transformed me.
I got stronger. I got faster. I got less embarrassed about screwing up a punch and more determined to “be better than I was last time.”
All that hard work paid off in other areas of my life too. My focus at school doubled—quadrupled even. I became known as That Girl—the Hermione who always had the highest test grade and was every teacher’s favorite. But it wasn’t something I did on purpose. I just found that I loved learning, and I swear it was because karate had retaught my brain to see information—of any kind—as exciting.
After about a year and a half of karate, I started doing kickboxing as well. Up until then, the kickboxing class had totally intimidated me. It was the class after my karate, so I always saw them hammering away at the punching bags on my way out of the dressing room.
And this wasn’t your mom’s cadrio kickbox class, either. It was legitimate, in-the-ring style kickboxing with gloves and mouth guards and jab drills that made your knuckles bleed.
But after months of my sensei and senpai begging me to stick around and just try the kickboxing class, I did…
IT SLAYED ME. I have never been so close to puking from overexertion in my life.
But the class also hooked me. All that sweat! All those endorphins! All that punching and kicking and gasping for breath—it was was so different from the focused, calm intensity of karate.
Soon, I was spending 6.5 hours a week at the dojo—and I would’ve gone more if there’d been more classes…
But all amazing things must eventually come to an end. My sensei was no spring chicken, and during my senior year of college, his occasional tremors escalated into full Parkinson’s—likely the result of decades of getting punched in the head.
He sold the dojo to a different sensei in town who was looking to expand. I didn’t like the new sensei. I’m sure he was a nice man, but his teaching style didn’t jive with me. So in the final months before I graduated, I all but stopped going to the dojo (as did many other students). Then I graduated, moved to Canada, and had a lot other things to worry about (like my masters thesis…or the fact that I had no friends at all).
I tried to find a dojo at my new school, but every place I tried was either too focused on competition and tournaments or just NOT welcoming in the way I was accustomed to and needed.
I wanted a family-focused dojo like my old school. I wanted tournaments and sparring to be optional, and I wanted to feel like I could fail in a safe place—because so much of martial arts IS failing…and then dusting yourself off and trying again.
I stayed away from karate for almost six years. It wasn’t until last fall, after an inexplicable itch to reume martial arts awoke in me—an itch to feel strong and powerful again, like I used to—that I finally worked up the courage to look into some local studios.
I wanted a place with a karate style similar to my old one (there are SO MANY forms of karate, it’s crazy), and I wanted one that was family-oriented.
And then I found one. It’s not identical to my first “home”—nothing will be—but the focus of my new dojo is on personal improvement. Competing and sparring are optional. Class age ranges from teens to sixties, rank ranges from yellow to multi-degree black, and everyone just wants to help everyone else.
After a single trial class, I felt that old martial artist inside me BURST awake. I couldn’t wait for the next class—I couldn’t wait to roundhouse and back kick and knife-hand my way across the floor.
Yeah, so it sucks that I had to drop from my old rank of purple belt (which, at my former dojo, was two way from black) back down to a squeaky beginner’s white…but that blow to my ego was good for me. It was a reminder that this isn’t about rank or how other people perceive me.
Karate is and always has been about my personal journey. It’s about sinking into a kata until the whole world falls away. Until all I am is this one pinprick of thought and movement and focus.
It’s about feeling strong and empowered. About knowing that the more I learn, the less I fear.
And above all else, karate is about striving—always, always—to be better than I was the time before.
And that, my friends, his how I got into martial arts. 🙂
Speak up:23 comments
| TAGS:karate, kickboxing, martial arts
It should come as no surprise then, that I eat at home far more frequently than I eat out. I know what my stomach can handle, and it’s easier (read: less painful) to just cook at home.
But the problem is I’m lazy. I enjoy cooking once I get started (and I always enjoy the results of the cooking!), but actually getting myself into the kitchen and chopping vegetables…
Let’s just say that more often than not, 7:30 rolls around and I’m STARVING. The last thing I want to do is have to think hard about what I’ll be eating or stressing over preparation.
The same goes for lunch. I’ll be deep in the writing zone until 12:30-ish, when aha! Suddenly my stomach is gurgling and I MUSTEATRIGHTNOWORDIE. If I don’t have leftovers ready to pop into the microwave, than I’ll pretty much starve until dinner time.
Enter stage left: the chicken leg quarter.
These are SO easy to prepare, and the results are sooooo delicious.
While the leg quarters are not necessarily fast (they take between 45 minutes to 1 hour to cook), they are so EASY that it kinda negates the misery of waiting. I just play some Dragon Age Inquisition while these suckers bake. 😉
As for what to eat alongside your chicken, there are tons of options! My husband likes to make rice or egg noodles to mix around in the delicious chicken juices at the end. Since I can’t really eat grains, I like to make an easy vegetable (steamed broccoli, for example, or cauliflower) and mix it with the chicken juices.
Or, if you have a bit more time to prep, you could always bake vegetables with the chicken leg quarters! Carrots, onions, parsnips, potatoes–chop ’em up, add ’em to the baking dish, and cook with the legs for a delicious, super healthy meal.
You tell me: Do you have an easy, go-to weekday meal?
Speak up:15 comments
| TAGS:chicken leg quarters, dairy-free, gluten-free, healthy recipes
Hi everyone!! *waves frantically*
It has been 2 months since I last posted–can you believe it? It doesn’t actually feel that long, and I won’t lie: it has been great for my creative self to not have to worry about blogging.
Because, here’s the thing, guys: I’ve run out of things to say when it comes to writing.
I’ve written 560 posts, 38 newsletters, and who knows how much additional content on Pub(lishing) Crawl, Let the Words Flow, and other blogs across the interwebosphere.
That’s pretty insane when you think about it, and to be honest: I’m really proud of what I’ve built. I won three different awards for “Best Writing Blogs” in 2014, and I launched the Misfits & Daydreams (and got to watch that really take off).
I love my newsletter–like love it. It feels wildly intimate, and I find people are more likely to email me directly than they used to be (which is wonderful!). So I will 100% continue to wax poetic about writing, publishing, etc. on there. I’ll also continue to answer all questions put to me in the forum.
But I’d love to take this blog in a new direction.
You see, I’m not just a writer. Like, I actually have a number of hobbies (gasp!) and passions (double gasp!) that have nothing to do with books.
I make bath and body products–makeup too. I tap dance. I go to the dojo three times a week. I have an unhealthy obsession with good, good coffee. I LOVE fashion (even if I don’t always have the guts to follow it), and I love makeup application/techniques even more.
I love dogs (I’m sure you all knew that), and have a weakness for any and all unlikely animal pairings as well as cute baby animals doing cute baby animal things.
I like food (especially gluten-free cookies), and I really care about what sorts of ingredients and chemicals go into my body. So no surprise: I spend a lot of time cooking and finding new recipes to try (especially new gluten-free cookie recipes).
I enjoy DIY house projects. My husband and I bought a wreck of a house two years ago, and since then, we’ve been fixing it up all by ourselves–and on a very tight budget. No surprise: but I’m a huge fan of Ikea hacks and yard sales. 😉
Maybe a lot of you already know this stuff about me, but I’d love to dig more deeply into all these things and to connect with other people who are interested in them as well. Plus, I think it would give YOU ALL, my incredible readers, a deeper understanding of who I am.
I mean, if you enjoy my books or my writing advice, then you might also enjoy understanding where it all comes from. I’m one of those ANNOYING people who sees a life lesson in everything–so be prepared for blog posts in that vein.
Now, I’m not saying I won’t still write about writing or publishing–I absolutely will. And again: I’ll still discuss those things and answer questions in the Misfits & Daydreamers.
But for 2015, I’m going to give this new, fresh direction of content a try.
You tell me: What kind of non-writing stuff would you like to hear about? You can ask me anything–honestly, you can! Or, if you’re not comfortable leaving a comment, don’t ever hesitate to email me directly: susan @ susandennard.com
Also: If you all have ANY QUESTIONS about writing or publishing, I’d still love to get those! Hearing what you guys want to know helps me create content for the newsletter. 🙂
Speak up:52 comments
| TAGS:blogs, fun, Misfits & Daydreamers, Writers
I think of 2013 as “The Year I Learned To Accept Publishing For What It Is (and to stop whining about it)”, and that year held a lot of rough, pretty low patches for me. I wasn’t the only one. In fact, if you do a quick scan of blogs from other authors in my debut year (2012), you’ll see almost every one went through the same emotional highs, lows, and fist-clenching frustrations.
It’s just part of the author’s journey.
But I weathered 2013…only to face a new year with a whole new set of challenges. Forever after, 2014 will be “The Year That I Thought I Was Creatively Broken (and then realized I wasn’t).”
It was a hard year, but I’ve stepped into 2015 with a whole new outlook–and a fresh awareness of WHO I really am, WHAT I really want, and WHY I love telling stories.
Here’s what I learned in 2014, and what I want to focus on as I move through 2015.
1. Saying “no” is okay.
You see, there is such a thing as too much on a to-do list, and I reached that point halfway into 2014. What with the blogging, the newslettering, the giving back, the workshop-teaching, the traveling, the drafting, the deadlines, and–of course–the general day-to-day surviving, I BURNED MYSELF OUT. Like, I scorched myself into a husk of my former self (read #2 below).
It got so bad that in October I had to take an impromptu getaway for a 1.5 weeks with no internet in order to find my zen and learn to simply function again. I wrote about that whole-assing experience here, and that immersion session was a REAL eye-opener for how I operate on a creative level.
Actually, you should just read this brilliant blog post because author Tricia Sullivan states it all better than I ever could. 😉
Resolution: I will practice saying “no” to external obligations that I don’t need to do. In fact, stay tuned for some announcements on this coming soon. 🙂
2. Health and life should come first.
I think it’s easy to lose sight of what matters when your job is your passion. Not only do I define myself by my writing, but I love, love, LOVE what I do. Even when I made no money off of this, I still wrote. And even if, one day, I make no money off of this, I would still write. Forever.
But, as mentioned in #1, there is such a thing as too much, and when your health starts to deteriorate because you’re determined to write “just one more blog post” or revise “just two more pages,” then you’ve got a problem.
I had a problem–some pretty serious health problems, actually, that were brought on by some dietary issues that were wildly, WILDLY exacerbated by my stress levels.
And of course, when your health is bad, then your creative life suffers…which just increases the stress even more…which just makes the writing even harder.
But in the fall of 2014, I really worked to get my health and life back on track. I started karate again (after a 5 year hiatus! Shame on me!), focused on keeping my diet 100% clean of the foods I know make me sick (bye-bye dairy and gluten and sugar 🙁 ), and spending quality time with friends and family. I can already see a HUGE shift in not only my physical happiness, but my creative well-being.
Resolution: I will practice saying “yes” to personal, non-writing endeavors.
3. There is no Right Way to write a book.
Despite knowing this on the surface–that there is no right way to write a book–I didn’t really learn this deep in my bones until late in 2014. I struggled to write a novella (like REALLY struggled) and was convinced I’d lost my mojo…Then I stepped into drafting a new full-length novel, and after a few months of seemingly fruitless brainstorming and false starts, I was seriously starting to despair…
I mean, I had SUCH an easy time with Strange & Ever After and Truthwitch. Why was I struggling so much with a prequel and a sequel?
To make matters worse, I kept seeing (read: actively searching for) all these authors online who outlined so easily, then stuck to said outline, and then churned out 6+ books a year… I convinced myself that if they could do it, so could I.
Just like it was wrong to try to emulate authors who wrote everyday or into the wee hours of the night or by the light of a full moon. Just because they seemed to write more/better/faster than I didn’t mean their methods would work within my own weird framework.
What is WRONG with me?! ⇒ That thought must’ve entered my head 10000000 times a day this 2014.
Until, literally in the space of a heartbeat (while driving to karate, I might add), I realized 2 things:
First: Not a single one of my novels has ever come out the same way. Some have required many, MANY rewrites and exploratory drafts…while some have come out almost “perfect.” But just because one book poured forth in a frenzy of inspiration does not mean they all will. And when a book is hard to grind out, IT DOESN’T MEAN I AM BROKEN.
It just means that this book is going to require a different approach from the last. And that’s all good.
Second: I cannot and absolutely MUST NOT compare my method to other writers. I think it’s great–vital even–to explore other approaches to writing a novel, and I truly, truly love attending writing workshops or reading about other authors’ methods. But just because something works for that guy over there doesn’t mean it will work for me…and yet again, if it doesn’t work for me, then IT DOESN’T MEAN I AM BROKEN.
Resolution: Remember to trust the process and allow each book to grow in its own unique way.
4. Simplify and prioritize all the stuff.
This might sound similar to #1, but I’m not talking about emotional stuff so much as physical STUFF. The clutter, the knickknacks, the jeans you swear you’ll fit into next month, or the present given by a well-meaning friend that you’ll NEVER use…
I have so much junk–as does my husband–and late in 2014, I realized it was starting to weigh on me. My office had so many piles of un-filed paper, that I was afraid to walk in lest I be reminded of it all…and feel crippling guilt. My closet was a disorganized mess of so many things I never wore anymore. And the basement was literally filled with boxes that were unpacked despite having lived in this house for almost 2 years (I am deeply ashamed of this–not gonna lie).
So hubby and I both decided it was time for a trip (or four) to Goodwill. In a single day, we got rid of two thirds of our clothing. Believe it or not, I felt instantly lighter and my clothing-decision-time in the morning has been drastically shortened.
We also went through our endless supply of toiletries (do I really need that body spray from 2007 still? Yuck!), old reading material (my husband is SUCH a magazine/newspaper hoarder), unused electronics (bye-bye iPod from college!), and we even donated our old car.
In a single day, everything just got simpler. Best of all, organizing my office finally seemed manageable. Gone is the miserable reminder of backed-up filing, and now I have clean place I can step into for writing. 😉
Resolution: Stop accumulating stuff. If I don’t need it, I won’t buy it and I definitely won’t keep it.
5. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
This is something my agent, Joanna Volpe, has been telling me since I signed with her 4 years ago: “Publishing is a marathon, not a sprint.”
It’s such a great quote, and it’s true not only in the writing world, but for life in general. Rush-rush-rushing to have All The Things NOW doesn’t get you where you want to go. Slowing down, focusing on the long-term, and really pushing quality over quantity–that is how you sustain a healthy career and a healthy life.
I have a published trilogy and novella under my belt. That’s pretty freaking cool. Even cooler is the fact that it’s only the beginning. Few authors have crazy success right out of the debut-gates, and most never have New York Times Bestseller success. But does that make them unsuccessful? Goodness no! So does my own mid-list status mean I’m a failure.
Longevity is what matters here. Staying relevant, writing what I love, and keeping my own personal reader base happy–that’s what really matters in the publishing biz.
The same could be said for life in general, no? Longevity, doing what I love, and keeping I friends and family (and myself) happy is what really matters in the end.
Resolution: Don’t put pressure on the next book to be The Big One since there are many next books still to come. This is only the beginning. 🙂
So there you have it, dear readers. Those were the biggest, most life-changing realizations I had in 2014–and these are the resolutions I’m holding closest for 2015.
You tell me: What did you learn last year? What are you hoping to do differently (or the same) in 2015?
| TAGS:Inspiration, New Years, resolutions, Writers, writing resources
As I recently discussed in a Misfits & Daydreamers issue, whole-assing (a.k.a. full immersion) is the only way I can get a book written. I need to fall so deeply into the story that no outside distractions can…well, distract.
I’m not the only author who feels this way. In fact, I’d say that the #1 complaint I hear from my fellow writers is that email, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr…basically, The Internet, is a black hole that both sucks away attention and also sucks away motivation.
Don’t get me wrong: I LOVE me some social media–and nothing gets me more excited than Twitter conversations about Vampire Diaries. But, whether we realize it or not, all those interactions stress us out.
It’s all part of what’s called the Zeigarnik Effect, which basically says that unfinished tasks cause stress and intrude into our thoughts. So for every unanswered email, tweet, text, etc. that you’ve ever read, your brain is carrying around STRESS. And until the messages are answered, that stress will build up and take away precious attention for creativity.
The brain likes finished tasks–it can’t let them go otherwise. So until you ANSWER or DEAL WITH all those social media messages, your brain can’t relax. It can’t unplug.
But hey, if you don’t even know the new email is there, then whoa! Suddenly your brain has some freed-up space.
But it’s not just messages that cause stress–it’s ANY to-do item that’s unfinished. Those packages that still need dropping at the post office. Those blog interviews you never got around to finishing or ARCs that you totally meant to read/review…
So how do we fix all this stress? We finish, we eliminate, and we stop taking on more.
As Jeff Vandermeer says in his awesome Booklife:
…I am not the kind of person whose book promotion/Internet brain is interwoven with my creative brain. The two are separate. To summon one I must banish the other. To go from being in the moment while writing in the morning to this other thing in the mid-afternoons–this person who fields requests for interviews, fan mail, production questions on forthcoming books, and all the other things a writer or other creative person deals with outside writing–to do this, I must make a transition. I cross the border into another land, assume another identity. Because, for me at least, I am becoming someone else entirely.
This is true guys. So true.
I am both Writer Sooz who never bathes and wears the same disgusting sweatshirt day-in and day-out…And I’m also Social Sooz who loves to talk to other writers and readers, who gets all glammed up for an event, and who could spend HOURS on Twitter discussing Henry Cavill’s perfect jawline. But the two sides of me don’t mix too well, and when Social Sooz takes on new tasks, then those unfinished jobs (or unanswered messages) prey on Writer Sooz’s creativity.
Hence me making Fridays my “administrative day.” This has been working quite well for me thus far. BUT, when it comes to drafting an entire book from scratch and also on deadline, I have to allocate my time in an even stricter way. I can’t just make Friday’s my day for Social Sooz. I can’t just try to avoid Twitter and Pinterest for as long as my self-control lasts (ungh, I love them both so much….). And I can’t just put everything on hold to travel for an event.
Somehow, I need to give Writer Sooz all the time and distraction-free space that she (er…I?) needs to write a book.
So, after chatting with Sarah about this, we decided to take December and January “off.” We’re both on deadline and we’re both pretty empty on the event front–which means, this is the PERFECT time for us both to try to whole-ass our way through some first drafts.
What we’ve decided to do–at least for now–is to assign strict “No Internet” hours for each weekday. We’ve settled on 12PM – 4PM. During those four hours, we’ve agreed we WILL NOT:
- Answer emails.
- Go on Twitter.
- Check Tumblr.
- Pin something.
- Use any other form of social media.
In fact, unless there’s some pressing research need, we won’t get on the internet AT ALL from 12 to 4 every weekday. Personally, I’m hoping the less I’m on, then the less I’ll even want to be on… (Bye-bye Stefan vs. Damon discussions…at least for now.)
On top of the 12-4 ban, Sarah and I are going to:
- Eliminate blogging (unless there’s some important announcement to make).
- Cut back on newsletter-ing (well, Sarah doesn’t have one–so just me!).
- Take a 2 week holiday break on Starkillers updates.
Sarah and I hope that, at the end of our Detox December and Rejuvenation January, we’ll not only each have a first draft (or a large chunks of a first draft) completed but that we’ll feel more connected to our writing. We’ll love our stories and our characters, we’ll find creative flow is easier to achieve, and our Writer Selves will have had a much needed “vacation” from our Social Sides.
Now, since December tends to be a time of reflection, and since January is often a time for setting new goals, we thought we’d invite YOU ALL to join us in our creative immersion time! We’ve got a little image you can pin on your Twitter feed or add as your Facebook status…or put anywhere, really! It’ll let people know you’re taking a little break (but will return!), and it’ll let us all join in the #DetoxDecember and #RejuvJanuary together! 🙂
Alrighty, guys! I’ll see you on the 2015 flip-side! (There will be a newsletter on Friday, and a few more throughout this time. Plus, I’ll still be on my social media outlets…just not as much. PEACE!!)
Speak up:24 comments
| TAGS:#DetoxDecember, #RejuvJanuary, immersion, internet break, vacation, Writers, writing resources
CONGRATULATIONS to everyone who not only won NaNoWriMo but who made ANY progress this month. I finished with 32,000 new words, and I’m really proud of that progress! New words are always better than no words at all. 😉
To wrap up NaNoWriMo and to help all of you forge onward with your new manuscripts, I wanted to share all the posts I’ve ever written about revising a novel, finding a literary agent, and getting traditionally published.
Revising Your Novel
- The Basics of My Revising Process
- Tackling Revisions (printable PDF version)
- Lesson 1: what the heck did you write? (printable PDF version)
- Lesson 2: Let’s get organized (printable PDF version)
- Lesson 3: Dreaming the Perfect Book (printable PDF version)
- Evaluating the Book you Wrote:
- Imagining the Perfect Book:
- Lesson 4: Planning the Attack (printable PDF version)
- Lesson 5: Writing in your changes (printable PDF version)
- Lesson 6: Typing in and Feeling Good (printable PDF version)
- Revisions Don’t Have to Suck
- First Readers and Critique Partners
- Pushing Your Writing to the Next Level, part 2
- The Importance of Beta Readers
- Critique Groups and Critique Partners
- Finding a Crit Group or Beta Reader
- 6 Tips for a Successful Con
How to Get Published
- How to Get Traditionally Published, part 1
- How to Get Traditionally Published, part 2
- How to Get Traditionally Published, part 3
- Selling a Book on Proposal
- Edit Letters in Traditional Publishing
- Editorial Letters and Line Edits in Traditional Publishing
- Copyedits in Traditional Publishing
- Cover Creation in Traditional Publishing
- Predicting Publishing Trends
Finding Literary Agents
- Researching Literary Agents
- The Parts of a Good Query (How I Got My Agent, part 1)
- Researching Agents and Preparing to Query (How I Got My Agent, part 2)
- On Query Submissions (How I Got My Agent, part 3)
- Dealing with The Calls (How I Got My Agent, part 4)
- How to write a 1-page synopsis
- What to do when an agent requests your manuscript
- How to handle multiple offers of representation
- Patience While Querying Agents
Speak up:3 comments
| TAGS:agents, beta readers, criticism, critique partner, publishing, query letter, querying, revisions, Sooz's Guide to Revisions, writing resources
As promised for NaNoWriMo, I’m organizing all my past content so that YOU can more easily find what you’re looking for.
During week 1, I covered A Writer’s Basic Toolbox, and in week 2, I dug deeper into the more advanced tools at a writer’s disposal. Week 3 was for The Productive Writer, and this week, we’re moving onto fear, writer’s block, and passion.
Fear & Self-Doubt
- From FRAB to Fab, Part 1: the oft-forgotten culprit behind writer’s block
- From FRAB to Fab, Part 2: finding the fears that hold you back
- From FRAB to Fab, Part 3: the science of fear and why fighting won’t help
- From FRAB to Fab, Part 4: the best laid plans of FRABs and men
- The Comparison Game
- When the Glass Isn’t Half-Full
- Gaining Some Perspective on Criticism
Writer’s Block & Motivation
- Writing Constipation
- Butt in Chair, Hands on Keyboard
- If it Doesn’t Fit, Don’t Force It
- Trusting Your Own Work
- Maintaining Passion for a Story
- Simple Tricks to Unstick Your Plot: the Domino Effect
- Simple Tricks to Unstick Your Plot: Where is Everyone?
- Reaching for the Stars
- The Writing is All that Really Matters
- True to Your Heart
- The Importance of Letting it Go
- Patience While Querying Agents
- The Power of the Pivot
- Recognizing When to Move On
Speak up:3 comments
| TAGS:criticism, fear, FRAB, happiness, Inspiration, motivation, writer's block, writer's constipation, Writers, writing resources
I got a bit behind during week 2 of NaNo. Some major changes happened in the trajectory of my projects (I’ll explain in Friday’s newsletter), so I’ve got some MAJOR catching up to do this week!
Anyway, as promised for NaNoWriMo, I’m sharing links each Monday to all my past content so that YOU can more easily find what you’re looking for.
In addition to the organized posts, I have a forum open where you can ask anything about today’s topic, and I’ll answer it as best I can.
During week 1, I covered A Writer’s Basic Toolbox (ask questions here!), and in week 2, I dug deeper into the more advanced tools at a writer’s disposal (ask questions here!).
This week, we’re moving onto maximizing our productivity and output.
- The Writing is All that Really Matters
- A Recipe for Success
- The Productivity Pyramid
- When Life Gets in the Way
Rituals & Routines
Rhythm & Immersion
- The Power of Rhythm
- Butt in Chair, Hands on Keyboard
- Do One Thing Well
- The Importance of Whole-A**ing One Thing
- Finding the Writing Groove
Goals, Breaks, & Progress
- The Power of Realism, Reset, and Record
- The Importance of Other Hobbies
- Keeping a Writing Journal
- Writing Journals (Part 2)
- Holding Yourself and Your Writing Accountable
Improving Your Skills
- Deliberate Practice Makes Perfect
- Pushing Your Writing to the Next Level, part 1
- Pushing Your Writing to the Next Level, part 2
Speak up:2 comments
| TAGS:flow, immersion, journal, NaNoWriMo, productivity, rhythm, rituals, routine, Writers, writing flow, writing resources
As promised for NaNoWriMo, I’ll share links to past posts each Monday organizing all my past content so that YOU can more easily find what you’re looking for.
In addition to the organized posts, I have a forum open where you can ask anything about said topic, and I’ll answer it as best I can.
Last week, I covered A Writer’s Basic Toolbox (ask questions here!), and this week, we’re digging into the more advanced tools at a writer’s disposal.
Digging Deeper into Character
- Writing 3D Characters
- Dragging Characters through the Wringer
- Emotional Dominoes
- Reconnecting with your Characters
Digging Deeper into Plot
- Story Threads and Resonance
- Adding New Ideas vs. Knowing When to Streamline
- Crafting an Ending that Sings
Infodump & Backstory
Show vs. Tell
- Do You Actually Need that Romance?
- How to Write Romance, Part 1: Do you actually need this?
- How to Write Romance, Part 2: From Character Springs Love
- How to Write Romance, Part 3: Scene Level Romantic Tension
- Hate-at-First-Sight Love Stories
- An Exercise in Romance
- Of Kissing and Romance
- Different Types of Romance, or My Love Can’t Be Labeled
- Finding Your Voice, Part 1: Voice and Promises
- Finding Your Voice, Part 2: Exercises
- From Opening Line Springs Voice
- Troubleshooting Deep Point of View and Voice