Friday, October 28, 2011


There are 3 more days to sign up for NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month. If you haven't heard of this before, it is held each year in the month of November. As if we don't have enough to do with the holidays coming up, but sometimes when we are the busiest, we get the most done.

That is why I signed up. I tend to write when the mood hits. It's hard to force good writing, and there are days when life gets in the way and finding the time to sit and let your imagination run free isn't always easy.

The premise of NaNoWriMo is that between November 1 and November 30, you will write a 50,000 word novel. It must be original and you can't have a co-writer. No one will read this novel if you don't want them to. The word count is verified by scrambling the novel and sending the words to NaNoWriMo to verify the count. They, then erase it after they have verified the count.

This is an exercise in discipline and should give writers who finish it a great feeling of accomplishment. Your novel will be basically a month long free writing session where you write to your heart's content without worrying about editing. Only a portion of writers who sign up to do this actually finish the task. The ones who do will receive a certificate. Established writers do this, first time writers do it, and writers all over the world do it. You'll be in good company and there are many chapters across the U.S. and probably in other countries as well, that meet to give each other encouragement and have parties at the end to celebrate the accomplishment.

I have a story idea that has been pecking at my brain for a while that I plan to use for this project. Fifty thousand words divided by thirty days is 1666.66 words per day. That's too many sixes for comfort and I want to give myself a little extra time in case I have a day where the words don't flow or I get too busy to do it, so I'm aiming for twenty five days and two thousand words per day.

Many people end up with published books from this project. If you are interested in doing this, go to to get started.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Channeling Your Muse

Do you have a ritual you do before you sit down to write? Doing certain things before you settle down at the keyboard can put you in the right frame of mind and help you get into the job of writing quicker.

Like brushing your teeth or reading a few minutes before bedtime can calm you down to sleep, a ritual performed before writing can put your mind on track to write. Your ritual will be different from mine or anyone elses. It may be as simple as preparing your favorite cup of tea or saying a quick prayer. It doesn't matter what it is, as long as you do it each time you write.

What's your ritual?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Writing By the Sexes

This is merely an observation on the sexes in writing - not a criticism of either side.

When I read a book written by a man, I notice that emphasis is put on the action. You don't see anything in your mind's eye of the surroundings. The action is described in exquisite detail. You may know that the character is wearing a leather jacket, from which he pulls an XYZ type of specialized revolver, and you may know the sun is shining in his eyes or that there is a crowd of people through which he is searching for the bad guy, but that's about it. The rest of the scene involves the actions he goes through and what is happening around him - with no descriptions.

If a woman is writing the same story, you know what she's wearing, how hot or cold it is, the architecture of the building she is about to enter, and even though she has a silencer on the gun, you'll hear the bullet as it riccochets off a white marble pillar and sends tiny shards of marble chips flying into a large pot of geraniums with ivy cascading over the edge.

What this tells me is that men and women read differently. It's the Mars/Venus syndrome. Men don't care about the details. They are watching a football game no matter what the action is: play by play, who's ahead, who's penalized etc.

Women are aware of the aesthetics of their surroundings. They like things to be coordinated, pleasant to the senses, and the ends to be tied up in a neat little bow, which generally means they aren't writing an action scene involving guns and other masculine props, but there are always exceptions.

Men like to feel their heart pumping with non-stop action or else looking at a beautiful woman. The beautiful woman is generally where a man will spend the most time with descriptions when he is writing. It's the old Jeff Foxworthy line: Men want three things: a remote control, a beer, and to see somethin' nekked.

Women want their hearts to race with emotions, but their kind of action involves two hearts and sweaty limbs. This and everything else is described in tiny bits that allow you to see the story unfold in your mind.

Hmmmm..... a male/female collaboration sounds like a really good read.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


I have a book ready to publish on Kindle Direct Publishing, but I'm having a terrible time with the spacing going awry when I post it on KDP.

The book has graphics and some charts plus some items listed in columns. The pictures aren't coming through, even though I've done them in the format asked by Kindle and the columns are not in columns any longer when I post the book. Is anyone else having this problem? Do you have any tips? I'm pulling my hair out!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Office With A View

As a woman who loves to decorate, I have a folder of home offices saved for inspiration when I have the space to actually set one up. I love this one with the great wooded view and the giant cup of coffee. What more could a writer want?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Book Cover Design

This morning I'm wrestling with a book cover. I know what I want it to look like, but I'm having trouble getting the design program to cooperate.

We're told that book covers are very important to the success of the book. I'm a visual person, so I understand that.

When my oldest son was little, he wanted to do everything himself. He wanted to put on his own jacket, button his own shirt, velcro his own tennis shoes. Whenever I tried to help him he loudly proclaimed, "Me do it! Wet me do it!" He got that from his mom who likes to do things herself too.

Since I plan on writing other books, I would like to learn how to do it myself. Do you design your own book covers or pay someone to do it for you? What software do you use to design your book covers?