The Once a Month Curse

Ok, so we’re not going go talk about monthly female issues. No way. And I totally did that title for attention. But I do get a special treat once a month that I don’t think I’ve ever advertised enough. You see I’m a member of the Gulf Coast Chapter of Romance Writers America. The first Saturday of every month I get the oppurtunity to sit down with some of my favorite people, the Sizzlers and many more fabulous authors. This past Saturday the talented Kelly Stone did a presentation and it was wonderful. If you haven’t read any of Kelly’s nonfiction work you really should. As a writer I find her techniques and insight very helpful.

This month I got to sit by Paula and am excited for her. The woman has amazing ideas that I’m sure will become even more amazing books. At the end of each table sat two other Sizzlers, one Ms. Arabella Stokes who for some unknown reason believes she’s in charge. Well, it might have something to do with the fact that she’s our president but still! 🙂 And on the other table was Ms. Jillian Chantal. It’s always so funny to be at the same table with her, especially at opposite ends because what happens is that we  start the table with one mind set and end it with the identical one! I swear sometimes it’s just scary!!

Along the middle of the pack was the ever happy, Jamie Farrell. This lady just cracks me up all the time just by smiling. She’s always giggling which (shockingly) makes me laugh. Plus she brings her five month old baby who is gorgeous!

This weekend I left, heading to my favorite “after meeting” place to eat. As I’m ordering I see the three women coming in the door with the same idea. Yay! We got to spend even more time together which was fabulous. Jamie showed us this really cool website that rates your books’ best selling capacity just by typing in it’s title. I can’t remember the name of the website but it had us all laughing over the results. And I got the chance to run an idea for a new cowboy book by my friends. I’m excited to work on it now. For some reason I keep writing paranormals but my cowboys just flow so much easier!

Every first Saturday of every month the Gulf Coast Chapter of RWA meets. For more information please head over to our website or email any of us Sizzlers. We’re all members.

And for my ladies here you go. I’m so glad you’re my friends. Rita and Runere, I hope to see you next month!!

Sayde

Having Some Fun Now

Ok, I don’t understand this whole business of writing. The process, you know?

I have been wrestling Lady Anne and the Count for every blasted word — no, every letter, when all of a sudden night before last, something happened.

As I usually do, as I was waiting to go to sleep, I was going over the story points in my mind — working in the narcoleptic state, as the fabulous Kelly Stone puts it in her books about writing (which you should go buy if you haven’t gotten them already, btw). Then, out of the blue, it was like, “that’s not how the magic spell works” (obviously, the WIP is a paranormal) — “this is how it works. You dimwit.” (My characters love to insult me, much like my teenage daughters.)

And that did it. Now the story is flowing, the words are jumping from my fingers to the computer screen, and I didn’t even realize that the “how” of the magic spell was the problem. I mean, it’s magic. You don’t have to know how it works. Well apparently I did, because I couldn’t write the thing till I got that straightened out.

So was all the time spent staring off into space without being able to type anything a waste? I don’t think so. I had to let the idea age and swirl around in my subconscious until I figured out the problem and got the solution. At least I think that is what happened. Then again, maybe writing, like Lady Anne’s love potion, is just magic.

Sayde’s Cowboy of Last Week

All right, I know I missed posting last weeks cowboy! Sorry! I didn’t get to honor him the way I normally do but I’ll go ahead and tell you guys it was Brian Canter! He’s too cute and I’ll continue to post info and pictures of him this week.

Today though I’d like to discuss contests and something from the Kelly Stone interview. Here’s the excerpt from the post:

 SS: Now, in reading the book, I found out about this “Anti-writer”. Can you tell our readers what it is, and how do we avoid it?

 Kelly: The anti-writer is in the preconscious, which is between the subconscious and conscious minds. It can actually thwart your goals at becoming a successful writer unless you control it. It manifests in the form of thoughts and feelings of negativity related to your abilities as a writer. One way to combat it is by keeping a notebook and writing down all negative thoughts you have about your abilities as a writer.

Write down all the ways you sabotage your own writing efforts–maybe you set aside time to write but when you get to your desk, you consistently draw a blank and don’t write anything, and never get a manuscript finished.  That’s your Anti-Writer™ at work.

After you have identified patterns of your Anti-Writer™, create on index cards countering statements to your Anti-Writer™ thoughts. For example, if something you think a lot is, “I never have time to write,” a countering statement can be,  “I know there is time in my day to write, and I will find it.”

 

Okay, so as I’m getting my entry ready for The Linda Howard Contest I’m trying to fight off my “anti writer”. But I’m having a hard time. After reading the interview have you gained new perspective or found new ways to fight off that part of you? Let me know I’m working on drowning mine!

 BRIAN CANTER ladies and gentlemen:
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Isn’t he pretty!

The Sizzle Interviews: Kelly Stone

Today we are interviewing Kelly L. Stone, author of the fabulous new Thinking Write: The Secret to Freeing Your Creative Mind (Adams Media).  First of all, I have to say thanks to Kelly for giving me the ability to take a long, hot bubble bath with a glass of Pinot Grigio and some Aretha on the ipod without feeling mom-guilt. I’m not being lazy, I’m pursuing the muse through my hypnagogic state!  Now this is only one of the valuable tips you can learn from her book, gentle reader. Just a single idea like that would it worth your while – but it is chock full of ‘em!

      Let’s hear from Kelly about how to use our subconscious mind to jumpstart our writing and take us to the next level:

 SS: Kelly, tell us about your day-job and education, because I know that explains why you are the perfect person to write this book.

 Kelly:  Thank you so much for having me as a guest today! I have a master’s degree in counseling and am a licensed mental health therapist. I’ve been working in the field of psychology for 20 years.

 SS: And that leads us to Thinking Write. What is the premise of the book?

 Kelly:  I wrote THINKING WRITE as a companion to TIME TO WRITE, a book in which I tell aspiring authors that no matter how busy they are, they can always find time to write. After I finished that book a lingering question remained in my mind about how to best use the limited writing time people have available.  Everyone is so busy these days, and we all have to accommodate very limited writing periods around very busy lives.

 As a licensed mental health counselor, I have an understanding of how the mind works, and I wanted to know if I could translate that knowledge of the mind into a program for writers that would help them get into a creative state of mind quickly and easily in order to make the most use of sparse writing time.  The answer was yes, and that’s the premise of  THINKING WRITE –ways to quickly and easily access your subconscious mind, the seat of all creativity, for writing purposes.

 SS: What are these three different parts of the mind, and how do they affect our writing?

 Kelly: The conscious is your every day, thinking mind. It’s the part of your mind that is reading this blog right now. The conscious mind can only attend to one thought at a time. The preconscious is the second component to mind and it’s between the conscious and subconscious. It’s where the “anti-writer™” resides.  The subconscious is a vast, unlimited portion of your mind that is like a giant computer with multiple input sources. The subconscious mind’s ability to store all the details of your life, even those that escape your conscious mind’s field of attention, is what makes it such a powerful tool for writers.

 SS: So the subconscious is like a huge memory-bank of ideas, sensations, and emotions just waiting for us to use it.  Are there things we can do to get in touch with our subconscious mind while we write? Can you give us an example?

 Kelly: THINKING WRITE is chock full of ways to get in touch with the subconscious mind, and there is a CD included that helps you practice some of the techniques. One example of how to get in touch with the subconscious mind while you write is to write to music that is 60 beats per minute, such as Baroque music. Music that is 60 beats per minute has been documented to put the mind in an alpha state, which is conducive to creativity.

 SS:  I mentioned it already, and I think the hypnagogic state is vital to a writer. I’ve been using it without knowing what to call it!  Can you explain what it is and how we can work with it?

 Kelly: The phase just before full sleep is called the hypnagogic state; it is characterized by periods of fleeting altered consciousness in which, among other things, subjects that have no relation are perceived as associated. Many writers keep paper and pen beside the bed as a way to capture this unique material.You can also hold one arm straight up while dozing, too. The tension required to keep your arm up will keep you in that state between wakefulness and sleep.  When you start to drift off, roll over and write down whatever was going on in your mind at the time. It will usually be something very creative and unique.

 SS: Now, in reading the book, I found out about this “Anti-writer”. Can you tell our readers what it is, and how do we avoid it?

 Kelly: The anti-writer is in the preconscious, which is between the subconscious and conscious minds. It can actually thwart your goals at becoming a successful writer unless you control it. It manifests in the form of thoughts and feelings of negativity related to your abilities as a writer. One way to combat it is by keeping a notebook and writing down all negative thoughts you have about your abilities as a writer.

Write down all the ways you sabotage your own writing efforts–maybe you set aside time to write but when you get to your desk, you consistently draw a blank and don’t write anything, and never get a manuscript finished.  That’s your Anti-Writer™ at work.

After you have identified patterns of your Anti-Writer™, create on index cards countering statements to your Anti-Writer™ thoughts. For example, if something you think a lot is, “I never have time to write,” a countering statement can be,  “I know there is time in my day to write, and I will find it.” 

 SS: What is the CD that is included with Thinking Write?

 Kelly: The CD is four meditations written and performed by Robert M. Stone (www.unlearnsmoking.com) (no relation to me)– Robert is an expert in subconscious mind communication. The CD has 4 guided meditations that help you learn the various techniques in the book; one is on visualizing yourself giving the perfect pitch to an editor.

 SS: The book is fabulous, and I have been using some of the techniques you discuss already with my WIP. Any last thoughts about Tbinking Write to share with our readers?

 Kelly: Thank you! I’m so glad it’s helping you.  Some of the techniques in Thinking Write are very unique– I encourage everyone to try them all and then use the ones that resonate with you and enhance your creativity the most. There are a lot of different exercises in the book, so there’s something for everyone!

 

So there you have it, dear ones.  Straight talk from an expert about how to get at all those wonderful resources right there in your brain. So go get her book and get started!

To Enter or Not to Enter (With apologies to the Bard)

So, I have taken the on line mini class on the judging of the Southern Magic RWA contest. It sounds like the judges are on a great path with what they plan to do with the scoresheets (which have been revamped). It really sounds like there will be some constructive criticism with no snarkiness. I like that idea. A lot. So, my dilemma. Do I enter or not? I think my new story is the best work I’ve done so far. But, is that my ego or is it good? Do I risk being shot down on what I think is good? Or will I be demoralized? The trouble with this stuff is that you can think you’re on the right track and BAM! your teeth get knocked in.  Am I ready to re-enter that arena? With my new baby? That’s the goal of this weekend. Make a decision to act. Put on the armour, so to speak.    Or I should say, put on my rhino skin, grab some lotion and hit the “submit” button.

Speaking of this weekend, Bad-urday tomorrow has a birthday boy.  Kelly  Stone will be here with an interview, Sunday, I believe. Her new book is amazing and even comes with a meditation CD.  So, tune in fer sure, chicks.

Sayde’s Cowboy Eye Candy Tidbit 9/29

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Now sticking with RomanceMama’s theme on writing, tell me about what you do when you find yourself stuck. If you’re a pantser or a plotter let us know what gets you out of being just stuck.

Me, I get my plot book out and see where I’m supposed to be and work with it until I’m happy. I also read books in my genre, watch movies, and now thanks to the lovely Kelly Stone, who romancemama will interview in the near future, I relax my mind until I get to my writing place.

As always leave your comment and I’ll enter you into the weekly drawing. Last weeks winner was Candi. Thanks for another great week here at Sizzle.

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