Friday, January 29, 2016

Friday Faves & Funnies...

I know, I know, I know... it's been forever!!!

This is just one of those things I'm trying to work on getting back on this blog. I'm trying to work up a writing routine and right now, scheduling things is going to be my friend until I get back to it.

Okay, so I'm going to offer up some topics for my Faves section of these posts. There will be Food, Music, Comics, Authors, Books (because there is a difference between authors and books!), Animals, Movies, T. V. Shows, Actors, and Games.


Today, the Favorite topic will be Food!

I'm sort of becoming a foodie of sorts. Hubs and I watch Food Network a LOT. Makes me so hungry... However. I loooove tacos. While watching "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives", hubs saw a recipe for black bean tacos. Oh. My. God! I think I will never do typical tacos ever again. Plus, I sort of need the iron the beans provide. So that's my fave!

On to the funnies!

Okay! That's it for today. Hope you have enjoyed this. Also, tell me what your favorite food is in the comments below! See you next week!

Monday, January 25, 2016

GTKM: 6...

It's that time again. It's Monday! And also, the latest in the "Getting to Know Me" series.

This week, there are two questions to answer, simply because one is well, simple. In case you were wondering, I'm working from a list of questions.

So, question numero uno for today is:

How many languages do you speak?

One. I speak one, Bob. Although, I did take French in high school and am picking it back up with my phone app, Duo Lingo. I also have the CD's to learn Russian and Mandarin Chinese. Ambitious, aren't I?

Okay, next question:

If you could join any past, or current, music group, which would it be?

Oh, the decisions. First, let me just say it would have to be as a Roadie or something, because I don't sing well enough to be part of a group. And I play a mean kazoo.

I'd have to say past group, first of all and that would be The B-52's. I don't know. They just seem so fun. But there are so many to consider because I'm like all about music. I love so much of it. I'd even consider becoming a part of the Philharmonic Orchestra or even Mannheim Steamroller. I just want to be a part of creating the music, too, but that's something else for another post.

How about you? How many languages do you speak? What group would you join?

Monday, January 18, 2016

GTKM: 5...

It's me again. If you are seeing this post, it means, sadly, the weekend is over. Sorry to harsh your buzz.

Good news is, it's another Getting To Know Me post! ::Throws confetti::

This week's question is:

What is your favorite family holiday tradition?

Hmm... which holiday?

After deliberating over this question, I have decided to choose New Year's Eve. My favorite family tradition is writing down wishes and prayers on scraps of paper and burning them throughout the night.

I've even gone a step further with this one and have started to collect little origami stars through the year.

We write down our wish or prayer on a strip of paper. Then I fold it into a little star and drop it in a container. At the end of the year, on New Year's Eve, we toss the stars into the fire. During the year, it's a cute, colorful display. It's also a way to be positive throughout the year. Then, New Year's Eve, we toss them in the fire and let the smoke take the wishes and prayers up to the heavens.

How about you? What is your favorite family holiday tradition?

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Writing Wednesday: There And Back...

Okay, so in last week's post, I mentioned how the series I had so been looking forward to ended up falling flatter than a pancake.

Here's what happened: In the space of three, rather short books, (novellas?) we meet the main character and he's gone from Farm Boy to Hero. Not only does he run away from home, he saves the life of the King, befriends the Prince, falls in love with the Princess, who falls in love with him, too. And goes on this grand adventure. As if all that other stuff wasn't grand enough.

Now. As you are reading the books, it seems like maybe a few months have passed. But I honestly don't know if this was a time-line error on the authors part, or what, but the author writes it out that it happened in three to four days.


In between those few main points up there, so much happened in the author's world, too.

When you have such a busy timeline scheduled for your character(s), you have to allow them a chance to breathe. Your reader, too. That is why flow is so important. Action, followed by action and more action gets tedious. Breaking it up with a paragraph or two of the MC reflecting on all of it and how fast things happened to it, is not necessarily "down time" for the reader to catch their breath. It also doesn't make for a good story flow.

There is so much advice out there on the flow of a story, it is pretty much personal preference. For me, I like to build up the action, then slow things down a bit to begin building up the next bit of action. I put in parts and take out parts here and there in order to make sure things are moving along at a quick pace, but not so quick as to make the reader think it is unrealistic and put the book down.

So. Figure out your pace. Think about how long your book is going to be, and work from there. If you are writing a trilogy, what will happen in each book? If it is a longer series, plan it out for things to happen a little slower. In my opinion, the series I am talking about could have taken one or two of those main points up there and spanned at least one good book, taking up the threads again in the next book and making them secondary. Then one or two other plot points could have been focused on, instead.

Example: The first book, the main plot points could have been the MC running away from home and falling in love with the Princess. The secondary threads could have been befriending the Prince and planning for his grand adventure.

In book two, the main points could have been planning for the adventure and saving the life of the King. Which would make the secondary points the ongoing romance and friendship. The start of his adventure could have been moved to the third book, and so on.

Don't have too many things happening at once. Make them obstacles for your MC, not the reader. You squish them all into a few short pages and things get kind of confusing, not to mention there was no real process. Things were too easy. Problems arose, and were solved almost as fast with no real problem solving techniques. Those are so important to your readers!

What did you think of this topic? Leave your comments below!

Monday, January 11, 2016

GTKM: 4...

Hello, all! I hope you had a good, restful weekend. Are you ready for the week? Yeah, me either.

Well, let's continue on with my Getting To Know Me posts. Maybe it's a bit of fun for you.

This week's question:

Who is the most intelligent person I know?

Well, I know a lot of intelligent people. And they all have like, intelligence specialties, if that makes any sense.

I have a lot of friends who are very knowledgeable about computers. I certainly don't have that kind of intelligence!

But one person, who is the most intelligent? I may have to go with my father-in-law. Just the stories I hear about him, and ones he's told himself, things he's created. I would never have thought of half of that stuff! My husband's side of the family has pretty high IQ's. I have a decent IQ number, but not like that.

My sister-in-law, Cheri (the other Chesley author!), she has some super intelligent children. They get very bored in school and have extremely good grades and pretty much know what they want to do with their lives. And they're not out of high school yet! It's crazy.

Yet, I can't pick just one. Oh, well.

How about you? Who is the most intelligent person you know?

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Writing Wednesday: History Repeats...

I'm sure you have all heard the phrase, "History repeats itself" more than once. I'm of the mind that history does, indeed repeat itself until we, as a whole, the human race, learn from our mistakes.

What does that have to do with writing? Well, if you are writing a series of stories, you will find you have to repeat yourself. Mainly to keep the reader focused on what is happening, overall, but also to remind them what happened in previous books. You give them a down and dirty refresher course, especially if they've put down the series for a bit and are picking it back up.

But those aren't the only reasons to repeat. Some story lines have repeating, or similar plots, for a lot of reasons. One being, the plot works. It might get boring and repetitive, but it is mirroring real life situations.

Let's be honest. The battle between Good vs. Evil doesn't end after one battle. Someone else will pick up the mantle on either side and the struggle will continue. It's never-ending. A lot of the time, it's a repetition of battles of past days.

A lot of people don't like repetition. Some do. I'm not a huge fan of it, quite frankly, I get irritated with an author who reminds me of what's going on, every other page. I started to read a series I had been collecting for a while, now. One I was really looking forward to reading. Each book would become available for free on my Kindle and I'd snatch the installment and hoard it away like a dragon clutching to his treasure. Finally, I had all the books in the series, and still, I put off reading it, afraid of disappointment.

I began reading the series and got to the third book before I was just fed up. I was being reminded constantly of what was happening, which dragged the movement of the story down to a slow crawl, yet everything that happened to the character, happened in a space of three days. A LOT happened! Enough happened to the Main Character, that this series could have taken each event and had a whole book for each event. But that's another topic for another time.

The repetition in the story, the reminders of what was happening, started to come across as nagging. ("Don't forget to take out the trash!")

Remind your readers, if you are writing a series, in the beginning of the book and move on. If something pops up that requires explanation of an older story, make it into dialogue to keep things rolling. As for repetitive plots? Write and repeat until your characters learn the lesson, hear the message of what their universe (you, the author) are trying to tell them.

Monday, January 4, 2016

GTKM: 3...

It's Monday! Time for another round of "Getting To Know Me".

I know, you're nine kinds of excited right now, aren't you? I can feel the love. Or maybe it is sarcasm. I'll take either.

Okay! Here we go!

If I had to describe myself as an animal, which would it be?

I think it would probably be a cross between a fox and a wolf. A Wox! Or a Folf. Hmm... I may have to work on that name later.

I tend to be loyal and social like a wolf, but also a loner. I have a pack I like to run with, but interlopers beware!

I also tend to be kind of sly, like a fox. I like to keep under the radar. I certainly can't jump like a fox, though. Have you seen those guys go after critters in the snow? Amazing!


I also think I'm kind of goofy and playful like a wolf or fox. But that's just my opinion.

What animal would YOU pick for me? What animal describes you? Leave your answers in the comments! Have a great week!