Tag Archives: Kristen Lamb

Formula for Success #AmWriting #MFRWAuthor

Flourish where you're planted and hold on

Flourish where you’re planted and hold on

Don’t Quit.

Well, DUH, you say. We already knew that. True. But there’s knowing and there is understanding what you know. And there’s really understanding what we need to know, to achieve success. Kristen Lamb nudged me into seeing this (think in terms of that anvil the Road Runner used on the Coyote:  Five Principles of Achievement

Right. That.

You might back slide. You might do something else for a while. But you do NOT quit.

I once decided to research what former profession successful writers held. Some of them continue in this profession since this is not the most stable of vocations. Lots of nurses, ever notice? Police, military, teachers. Mmm Hmmm. Business owners, especially entrepreneurs, people who have started and held together various businesses; successful sales people. Lawyers, quite a few of those, and also teachers.

What is the common denominator for these professions? You can’t skate through these jobs on charm and a smile. And with most of them you also need an extensive education. No faking it in nursing or law (well, some lawyers…) Most if not all of these professions require good scheduling and a tremendous work ethic.

I know, these are very broad generalizations. But writing, especially writing prolifically, requires dedication, scheduling, and determination to succeed. All of which are invaluable in the above professions.

Of course, there’s a lot to be said for a scattered approach to your prior to writing occupation. If nothing else, you

Keep holding on...the same bush in the winter

Keep holding on…the same bush in the winter

gather a plethora of experience…**holds hand up high and proud**…I never made it into vet school but I waited tables and groomed dogs and trained horses with the best of them. Leading me, in my 30s, to a temp position as a buyer’s assistant at a power plant. And I discovered it’s just so much nicer to work indoors when the thermometer is busting out the top of the glass. Not to mention being paid if you’re sick!!! Another plus is not smelling like cigarette smoke or flea dip when you drag yourself home from work.

Win. Win.

With my mind not obsessing over paying my bills without destroying my back I was able to free my thinking patterns up to write down the stories I’d been mentally collecting for decades.

Write. Rewrite. Edit. Submit. Repeat as needed, ad infinitum

Definitely the formula for success.

shine wherever you land

shine wherever you land

 

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It All Matters

Last week, Kristen Lamb shared her thoughts on ‘that movie,’ and the comments ranged from “thank you for writing this” to “it’s only a movie (or book) and we all know it’s fantasy so what’s the big deal?”

Kristen explains it so well HERE

let's shine some light on this idea

let’s shine some light on this idea

How many books have had a profound effect on a wide section of the populace? Mein Kampf, anyone? For that matter, what about Harry Potter? Lord of the Rings? Jonathan Livingston Seagull? But even when a book sells in the millions, it will not have the potential impact of one fifteen second Super Bowl commercial. Not only is the exposure greater, a visual image will stay with the average watcher long after they have closed up their book.  Once the actions of the book’s characters are played out on the screen, the impact will reach much further and there will be an even greater need for some people to THINK for themselves before they allow the characters on that screen influence their own lives.

Even so, and not all that long ago, the big strong domineering man was all too popular in books, especially Romance books. I remember one of the early authors I admired adding a scene in some books where the ‘hero’ is ‘forced’ to ‘discipline’ the heroine because she’s put herself at risk. He doesn’t like doing it but he puts her over his knee and administers a few swats to her sitting area. For her own good of course. Being of independent nature she’s upset at first but then somehow sees his actions as necessary for their relationship.

WHAT? And HUH???

Anyone who has worked successfully with horses or dogs or dolphins or…any animal…knows you can’t train with force. Sure you can get a form of obedience. But actual training needs

Really, you don't need to hit me. I'll listen

Really, you don’t need to hit me. I’ll listen

communication and respect, not abuse.  Yet here we readers were, inundated with the idea that a few (loving) swats on the back end were necessary to assure his beloved didn’t do that awful thing again. And of course they had the obligatory Happily Ever After.

That’s just wrong on so many levels. Sorry, no matter how hot and hunky and panty meltingly handsome, no man has the right to hit a woman. Unless, of course, she started the fight and he couldn’t walk away. Nor does a woman have the right to hit a man without a darned good reason. Certainly not as an expression of loving concern.

Is there a time and place for violence? Perhaps. But that time and place is not in a relationship, and not to pump up the ego of the stronger partner. I also believe hope we are closer than ever to the day when we won’t have to have these involved discussions about books and movies that advocate violent relationships under the guise of ‘love.’

We can dream.

 

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Who Do YOU Think is Sexy?

I was contemplating a discussion of a certainly newly released film, based on a book that was controversial on so many levels. But as I mentioned earlier, Kristen Lamb shared her take on the issue HERE. Comments are mixed, and based on personal experiences. Not much more I can add that’s not based on my own experiences.

However Melissa Snark (who is hosting The Write Pet where I visited earlier this month) started a FaceBook discussion about the current trend for BBW heroines (Big Beautiful Women) and gorgeous, ripped, heroes. Is this what we really want to read? Obviously enough people want to fall into this fantasy to boost those book sales. And many more want to vicariously be the gorgeous woman and powerful, wealthy man. Or date a sexy warrior.

What is sexy?

1981…34 years ago. Wow, the energy. Do you think he was sexy there? If so was it the slender body, the energy, the charisma?

I spent a lot of time around horses and horsemen when I was younger, and a favored body type was longer and leaner but when I married it was to a man with a sense of humor and tremendous loyalty who thought I was wonderful. Which was pretty darned sexy when you think about it.

The very first Category Romance I ever read was written by Stephanie James AKA Jayne Anne Krentz. Her hero wasn’t handsome, her heroine wasn’t beautiful. They were perfect. For each other. After a life time of losing out to the prettier and skinnier it was refreshing to fall into a story of people with energy and personality and loyalty without the plastic descriptions.

And here’s a Valentine for you, and those you love

 

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Make Readers Suffer—Great Fiction Goes for the GUTS Great Reminder

Make Readers Suffer—Great Fiction Goes for the GUTS.

An after Christmas gift from Kristen Lamb! I have learned my books just won’t be ready to leave my fingers until the first few pages (if I’m lucky the first line) punch me (and my characters!) in the guts.

A Question of Honor is with Black Opal Books. It took a lot of rewriting and tweaking to make that first scene strong. Sydney realizes she’s going to have to work with a man who dredges up some of her hardest to deal with memories.

I’m pulling together Sometimes When We Touch. It’s pretty much written but that */## first scene just was not working. Until I introduced one of the men who attacked her when she was much younger. He doesn’t seem to recognize her. She wants to turn around and get out of there NOW. Panic and claustrophobia ensue. Bingo, conflict.

I find I’m currently setting all my books in northern New Mexico. Which gives me a great excuse to take lots of pictures to share. I’ll have you hoping you can come visit these places yourself.

The Road to Willow Springs

The Road to Willow Springs

the Circle M Ranch is in those mountains

the Circle M Ranch is in those mountains

 

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The Science of Suckology…with thanks to Kristen Lamb

While I was putting this post together in between laundry and cleaning and dog rotations (the first two only seem critical when I’m writing, the third is ongoing) Kristen Lamb’s new blog showed up It’s well worth the read…I’ll get a cup of hot water while you check it out.

There. I find hot water is as comforting as coffee, and if you have good water, almost as tasty. The concept for Science of Suckology came about during that great LERA meeting I talked about in January: Time To Grow Up. A panel of multi published best selling authors sat at the front of the room, and admitted their writing sucked. At least the first iteration and sometimes after several rounds of edits.

If they thought their writing sucked, what right did I  have to think my writing sucked? How dare I put myself at their level? Wait, that’s kind of downer language isn’t it? Why do we so readily claim failure? Do we want people to deny our words, and build us up with their protests? Is it part of our upbringing? “Ladies don’t put themselves forward, dear.” Well, bollocks to that, if not for bold women our world would be in even worse shape…and isn’t that a great theme for a future blog?

We begin as we mean to go on. Check out my first paragraph. At one time I would have written “trying to write.” But as Yoda (the ultimate authority) pointed out

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