Inspiration, Social Media, Writing

Am I the only pinless writer out there?

I heard about Pinterest a couple of months ago. Just as I got ready to create an account, I read some discussion about the Pinterest terms of service—specifically, the part that says it’s your responsibility to pin only content that you own the copyright to or have obtained permission to use. I decided not to sign-up.

So, yeah. Have you been to Pinterest? Is anyone abiding by that copyright rule? Practically everyone I know is pinning like crazy and I’m not. Does it matter? I don’t think droves of people would flock to my board and go into a repin frenzy, but is it something I’d like to have for myself? Could I create boards for my writing projects and pin inspirational photos like so many other writers do?

What do you think? Do you Pin?

Inspiration, Musings, Real Life, Writing

A fifteen minute craze … or maybe just crazy?

What you’re about to read is a fifteen minute stream of consciousness. From my mind. Scary, huh? Timer set. Okay, go!

I’ve been listening to Adele’s “21” endlessly tonight, which has inspired a great scene for my next novel. I’m getting so anxious to get back to work on it, but I really feel I need the discipline of sticking with this short story writing for now. I have a feeling I may be putting together the most eclectic collection ever.

I was thinking about the word craze today, as in trend, fad, or as my mother would say “all the go”. What set it off was seeing someone’s smile today … or rather being blinded by someone’s smile. What is this craze for unnaturally white teeth? I don’t get it.

Of course, I’ve been craze guilty myself. Not so much lately, but I certainly remember my Twiggy-look for a while in high school.  For a brief time between Twiggy and Flower Child, I had a fling with Preppie, but only because I was trying to fit in. LOL … as if.

I gave the crockpot a try today. Followed a recipe and everything, which is not like me at all, but after eight hours, the roast wasn’t done. We ended up having breakfast for dinner. Two hours later (the upper time limit) the roast still wasn’t done. Left it in for another hour, and we’ll have it for dinner tonight. Crockpots hate me.

I’ve made the decision to try the Kindle Select program for The Brevity of Roses digital version. That means, in part, that I’ll soon be offering the ebook FREE for two days, so stay tuned. I’ll need your help.

Oops, timer went off.

Author, Family, Fiction, Imagination, Inspiration, Marketing, My Books, Novel, Promotion, Publish, Real Life, Short story, Writing

Bluegrass, Super Secret, and Select

I’m happy to report that I haven’t posted since Thursday because I’ve been writing fiction. If you follow my Facebook Author Page you know that I was working on one of my “down home” stories, with a bluegrass accompaniment to set the mood.

That story is one I’ll include in my story collection (yes, that project is back on the table) and eventually will be part of a larger work, probably a novel in the form of connected stories. The house pictured here inspired the concept. My great-great-grandfather, or maybe his father, built that house. It grew from the original settlement, a log cabin in a little holler beside a crick. I’m imagining the stories of some of the people who called that place home.

A couple of other writing-related projects occupied me. One is Super Secret … and Super Cool. Yes, I know that’s a tease. 🙂 You’ll hear all about it in time, but I’ll give you a hint: it involves a new face … of a sort.

The third writing-related project was researching the KDP Select program recently implemented by Amazon. In short, authors can enroll one, some, or all of their e-books in the program to have them included in the Amazon lending program. In that program, Prime Members can borrow the book to read on their Kindle. Also, through the KDP Select program, the author can mark a book FREE for a limited time.

I think the real benefit of that option is potential sales of an author’s other books after someone downloads their free book and likes it. Since I have only one book published, this program would not benefit me now, but I’m watching how it’s working for others. So far, I’m definitely undecided whether I should take part in the future.

The downside to the program is exclusivity. While your e-book is enrolled in KDP Select, it can’t be available anywhere else—not for sale, not for free. (This refers to e-book only.) So, each author has to consider how this might affect their sales. In my case, so far, 85% of my e-book sales have come through Amazon. Since the free Kindle app is available for PC, Mac, most Smartphones, and the iPad, the KDP Select exclusivity eliminates mostly those who own the Nook reader.

So there you go, my essay on how I spent the last five days. What have you been up to?

Block, Craft, Fiction, Inspiration, Motivation, Tips, Writing

A lack of ideas is not the problem

Last night, during a phone conversation with my youngest sister, she asked what I’m writing now. My answer was, “Nothing.” Her response, “Do you want me to give you some ideas?” You can probably guess my answer.

I don’t have a lack of ideas. I have a file full of story ideas, some with opening lines or paragraphs, and maybe the ending. Unlike for many of you, it’s not even a lack of time that keeps me from developing those ideas. I have plenty of that.

It’s also not a lack of motivation keeping those stories unwritten. To be a successful self-published author, you need to put out good work often, at least until you’ve built up a reasonably sized back catalogue. That’s serious motivation.

I’m just waiting on that spark of inspiration. Wait! Don’t roll your eyes. I know the only way to write is to write. I know writing is work. Hard work. I know you have to get your butt in the chair and your fingers on the keyboard. But for me, a lot has to happen before I get to that point.

Yes, I could review the notes I’ve made on one of these ideas and just start typing. I might get something solid—a paragraph of narrative, a bit of dialogue—but I’d also get a lot of garbage. I get impatient—overwhelmed—by garbage. I’m lazy. For me, it’s too much work to cull the few salvable bits from the reams of dross. That’s why I can’t participate in NaNoWriMo.

I think one of the hardest things for me as a beginning writers was to discover what method to use. Some authors write longhand on paper. Some write, then rewrite starting from scratch. Others plan out their entire story in detail before they write the first word. Still others, keep writing to the end of a draft without even a glance back at what they’ve previously written. It took me awhile to discover none of those worked best for me.

As I began writing this post, I had a particular short story niggling at my brain. I’ve been stuck writing it because I need to make a decision about the villain. However, halfway through writing this post, another story came to mind. It’s one I wrote almost seven years ago, but never felt satisfied with. I don’t know why it resurfaced now, but suddenly I have an idea how to revise it. I’m excited to get to work. My Muse will sort out that villain another day.

Be ready. You never know when inspiration will inspire strike.