Friday, June 12, 2009

How to Survive...

Nearly half way. How are you going? If you're like me your finding the going is starting to get a little tough. Winter is here, the cold has set in, word counts aren't as high as you want, life is getting in the way of your writing and you still have to keep the motivation going for another two weeks.

Well, here is my solution for you...

I'm sure you've probably received this in in your in-box. But did you try it? Well, pick the chocaholic here because I did. And it works (although it makes more than 1 mug - but that keeps hubby happy and lets you disappear with a clear conscience).

So, when you need to warm up, take a quick break, have a treat to reward a word count milestone, or need something just to keep you going - try THE MOST DANGEROUS CAKE around:


4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
a small splash of vanilla extract
1 large coffee mug

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly.
Pour in the milk and oil and mix well. Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla extract, and mix again.
Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts (high).
The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed!

Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.
EAT! (This can serve 2 if you want to feel slightly more virtuous).

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Inspiration, anyone?

I'm always interested in finding out where writers get their inspiration from. I know, I'm a stickybeak, but I find the whole idea of inspiration fascinating. Our brains work in mysterious ways, and I REALLY like to know how other people - particularly writers - tick.

My inspiration comes from TV, reading mags, seeing half nekkid celebs, watching the grass grow... and sometimes characters just pop into my head out of nowhere. That was the case with my current WIP - I have absolutely no idea where the characters came from, and why they came to me (as opposed to another writer who could probably tell their story in a much more exciting way). But I'm very glad they popped in and decided to 'get busy' in my head! It's certainly entertaining stuff which keeps me awake at night! Lol.

So, the question I ask is rather predicable: Where do you get your inspiration from? Is there a particular source that provides a never ending supply of ideas, or do you just dream about plots and characters? Are you a people watcher (not in a creepy way, but for 'research' purposes!) or do you read the newspapers for possible scenarios for your characters? And where in the world did your NaNo plot/characters come from?

Do tell!

And my present to you is a little bit of man candy as inspiration *sigh*. Please bring me back as a towel and/or sunscreen, or better yet, a pair of boardshorts *wink*.

:-) Mon

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Panic Stations!

Okay so it's Week 2 and everyone's looking pretty good so far. But what about me? What the heck has happened to my word count? Um, my dog ate my homework? These aliens came down and hit the shut down button causing me to lose thousands of words because they also wiped my saved document? A drunk Nun ran through my house screaming that the end of the world was coming so I knocked my laptop off the bench and all the words I thought I'd written down weren't there when I recovered?
No, the actual reason my word count isn't pushing along is because I've been SLACK! I admit it. I've let life interfere with my writing because I thought I had the long weekend to pick it up again. But guess what? Hubby surprised me with a trip up to Mackay for his BILs 50th. So I had a whole weekend without my laptop or access to pen/paper etc.
My safety net was ripped out from underneath me. Bugger!
So now what? What am I going to do? How can I get the word count going again? I'll never make my target now.
Press panic button now!

No, no, no. Stop right there. What do you mean you can't reach your target? You're electric fingered girl! Wake up and remember your secret super power! Fast fingers flying furiously for futuristic fantasy! (say that with a mouthful of peanut butter!)
Come on, don't give up now. So you haven't hit your target yet. That's okay. For the next three days I want you to take a pen and paper in to the toilet with you. Keep it handy. When you're in there waiting for gravity to take hold, write as many words as you can. They don't even have to be in sequence with where you're up to on your story. Just write.
Then come out, type these words up, and the next time you need to go, do it again. The word count will pull up. And you might even find you'll hit on an amazing sub plot that will make your story zing.

The point is, panicking doesn't help. Accept you've had a bad week and then get back to the job at hand. Remember if you're not enjoying writing you won't stick with it.

Right now off I go to visit a man about a wallaby and maybe just write 250 words or more. Five visits to the throne will pull me up today.

Monday, June 8, 2009


Here we are heading into the second week, so how are things going. There are some impressive numbers coming through if our word meters are anything to go by. If you’re falling behind on the word count don’t despair, we still have three weeks to go and once you get into the swing of things you’ll be surprised how quickly the words add up.

For me the week started great, I was happy with my word count and the number of pages I was editing each day. The end of the week and it all came to a screaming halt. I went to a horse sale on Friday and I think I picked up a chill in my back, as well as pulling something. So I’m off to the chiropractor tomorrow, after all I can’t spend the rest of the month on back. I know a couple of CC’s heroines would think that a great way to spend a month, but we won’t go there. Sitting is my biggest problem, I’m okay if I lie down or stand up and it’s not very good on the back trying to write in either of those positions for too long. So what am I doing? I’m reading, may as well get all of my reading out of the way, that way I’ll have a clear run for the rest of the month.

So my motto this week is: Take the good with the bad and look for a positive in the bad.

Happy writing

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Fairy godmothers, evil fairies and the perils of the long weekend

At day seven of 50ks in 30 days, I've decided I'm definitely insane.

I'm falling behind with my Margie Lawson class "Writing Body Language", I've got my mind on my contest entry for the Stiletto and a little later my entry for the Qld Manuscript Devt program, part of me is also wanting to jump in and make corrections to Making the Cut so I can send it off to my request via Twitter, and I've got this new story to write. And my favourite teen is wanting to read the new story when it's done.

See I need Felicity, the fairy-dust snorting fairy godmother to wave her wand in my direction, and at least get me to focus on one task at a time.

It's a long weekend, and you think that would help! But at the beginning of a long weekend, three days feels like all the time in the world. It's not. Yes, I wrote yesterday - using the usual sprint method - but my word count for the day was just over 1300. Below average for a 50k challenge, and not good for a day off work. And I still haven't got my Margie homework done. You think my partner being away would help. But it means that I've now got control of the remote. Which means channel surfing on pay TV. So yesterday I also watched Strictly Ballroom and the Judy Garland biopic that Judy Davis won several awards for.

So how to handle the rest of the long weekend? To Do Lists. This blog is the first thing on my To Do List. It'll be good to have at least one thing scratched off. I have writing appointments starting at 4pm this afternoon so sprinting will take place on the new story from then. Which means from now till then I need to do my homework, I need to write another synopsis using this Beth Anderson article as a guide, do all my blogging, and make a mad dash to the supermarket for kitty litter (whoops didn't think about that one on Friday night). Mad dash will be first thing, out of the way!

Though my focus on my new wip has wavered, I'm happy that even on the days that I've felt like total crap, I've still managed to write at least 450 words. My advice is to try to write at least 100 words a day. Don't give in to the evil fairy who tries to convince you that you feel awful and don't have to write, or you have no time, and don't have to write. Write something...even just a little...just so you're moving forward and making progress each day.

So, what's on your To Do list?