I Have A Writing Process?

I was recently tagged to join a Writing Process Blog Hop by my new friend, Maris Soule. It’s been a while since I’ve played this particular brand of “Tag,” but Maris was generous enough to ask, and this particular one intrigued me. Believe it or not, there are even rules to this!

The Rules: Like I said, it’s sort of like tag. You’re asked to participate, and if you agree, you’re assigned a date to answer 4 questions and asked to find 3 writers to follow you. Not too complicated, right?

Right now I bet you’re wondering…who did Kitt tag? Well, rest easy, it wasn’t you. Just kidding. 😉 Actually, I tagged my awesome long time friend and fellow writer, KerryAnn. I also hit up one of my first blog buddies, author and Mythical Monday extraordinaire, Mae Clair. And last, but definitely not least, one of my favorite Scottish time travel authors, blog friends, and incredible beta reader, Jessi Gage. Don’t worry, their deets will be shared in more depth later…and ya’ll better check them out!

So, before I answer the questions, here’s a little history on the lovely lady who tagged me: Author-Picture-Maris-Soule Maris Soule was born and raised in California. She was working on a masters in art history when she met a red-head with blue eyes who talked her into moving to Michigan–for just a couple of years. She’s still married to that man and still lives in Michigan (though she migrates to Florida in the winter). Soule has had 25 romances published by Harlequin, Silhouette, and Bantam (she’s a 2 time RITA finalists) and 2 mysteries published by Five Star. (Her P.J. Benson mysteries or “Crows” series.) In addition to writing mysteries, Soule has been putting some of her early romances out as e-books, and she recently signed a contract with Robert Hale Ltd. for a suspense about a woman in her 70s with a deadly past. Every Wednesday Soule writes a blog that generally deals with writing.

Check out her blog or Follow her on Twitter!

She’s a very cool lady who I’m fortunate enough to know personally thanks to Florida Writers Association and our Sarasota Writers Group.

Now, on to the questions for yours truly….

Kitt Bio Pic

1)  What am I working on?

Currently, I’m working on 2 projects.

My primary piece is the third part of my Wild Side erotica series. I tentatively named it Happily Unmarried After, and so far it’s stuck. Those of you who’ve read Three For All and Four One Night will be thrilled to see their beloved wild woman, Danielle Monroe, up to her uninhibited ways (and all the fun that goes with it).  Yes, if you click the above links, excerpts will follow. 😉

The other piece is an erotic romance novel, yet to be named. So far it’s just some character sketches and a couple of scenes, but we’ve all got to start somewhere, right?

2)  How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Hmm. Well, I guess I’d have to say it’s the way my characters are portrayed in my books. There are no billionaires or zillionaires in my books, first. Second? The setting is fairly common, and easy to imagine. Finally, my characters are fun and likeable with a playful, bantering dialogue. They don’t take themselves or each other too seriously, which makes them immediately likeable and relatable. I like to think that most people could read my characters and easily insert themselves into one of the characters and their very doable fantasies.

3)  Why do I write what I do?

My initial instinct to this question was to say, “Why not?”

The truth is, I write it because I enjoy it. Yup! For me, writing sex is fun! For as long as I can remember, I’ve been accused of having a gutter brain. I’ve also been gifted with a knack for understanding people and a talent for writing. I figured this was an opportunity to combine all my passions, then share it with others.

The other reason is because I feel very strongly that my books contribute to my belief that a sex positive lifestyle and approach is highly doable. If I can help someone open themselves up to the possibility of embracing their inner sexual goddess, then it’s worth it. It’s meant the world to me when someone’s come to me and told me that something I wrote on my blog or my book helped spice up their marriage/love life…or better yet, reminded them of the joy and sense of adventure that comes from acting out a fantasy. One is never too old for that!

4)  How does my writing process work?

One time recently, I tried to go by the way of plotters. It was a huge mistake. I talked to a fellow writer, planned the story with her over the phone, then headed off to write it. Yeah, that was the first time I sat down at the computer and the words refused to find a natural flow. Everything was a battle. Worse, once I was done, the characters were stiff, the action ‘flat’ and the story, awkward. It also lacked believability. That particular method didn’t work well at all for me.

Thankfully, it wasn’t difficult to get back to what’s worked for me in the past….I write what comes to me. Usually in chronological order, and definitely by the seat of my pants. I follow the story as it paints itself in my mind. My first draft is always rough, and by my second and third, the original is nearly unrecognizable through the growth of my characters, the dialogue, and the drama. I also usually give myself a week or so off from that particular work in progress between drafts so that I can look at my piece with a fresh set of eyes and a little distance. I find my clarity of vision for the WIP is best during those moments.

Introducing my fabulous writer friends:

KerryAnn

KerryAnnKerryAnn writes from her home in New England which she shares with her husband, daughter, and her two American Eskimo dogs who alternate between being her writing companions and writing distractions.  She prefers to write compelling characters in a variety of genres, but mainly contemporary and young adult fiction.  When she’s not writing KerryAnn usually has her nose in a book – family stories that cross generations, romance, paranormal, historical fiction, as long as it has unforgettable characters, she’s all in. Check out her blog or ‘Like’ her Facebook page!

 

Mae Clair

Mae ClairMae Clair opened a Pandora’s Box of characters when she was a child and never looked back.  Her father, an artist who tinkered with writing, encouraged her to create make-believe worlds by spinning tales of far-off places on summer nights beneath the stars. She snagged the tail of a comet, hitched a ride, and discovered her writer’s Muse on the journey.

Mae loves creating character-driven fiction in settings that vary from contemporary to mythical. Wherever her pen takes her, she flavors her stories with conflict, romance and elements of mystery. Married to her high school sweetheart, she lives in Pennsylvania and is passionate about writing, old photographs, a good Maine lobster tail and cats.
Discover more about Mae on her website and blog at http://maeclair.net/
You can also ‘Like’ her Facebook page, Follow her on Twitter, or on Google+.

 

Jessi Gage
Jessi Gage headshot2Jessi lives with her husband and children in the Seattle area. She’s a passionate reader of all genres of romance, especially anything involving the paranormal. Ghosts, demons, vampires, witches, weres, faeries…you name it, she’ll read it. As for writing, she’s sticking to Highlanders and contemporaries with a paranormal twist (for now).
Check out her website, visit her blog, ‘Like’ her Facebook page, Follow her on Twitter, or on Google+.
Please check out these ladies and follow their blogs. Next week will be their turns to share their writing processes. I know that I can’t wait to see what they share. What do you think? Does peoples’ writing process intrigue you? Bore you? What genre do you most enjoy reading?
Yes. What that really means is that I’m asking you to be an active participant on my blog. Say whatever you’d like to say. I’m not exactly easily hurt or offended…and you know how I love good dialogue. 😉

Bad Gone Good

Have you ever had one of those Days/Weeks/Months/Years where if you put everything that happened on paper it would look like the worst year ever? As is common this close to the beginning of the New Year, I began to reflect. I’ve had two years that were truly bad…I lost a sibling in each of those years. Oddly enough, this year…on paper…should probably have been a runner up.

Here’s how this year has looked for me:

  • Short staffed & forced to work 6 day work weeks and at least 2-3 double shifts per week for 3 months
  • Husband diagnosed with appendicitis and rushed by ambulance for an emergency appendectomy (appendix was necrotic)
  • Less than month later husband has second surgery for inguinal hernia repair
  • 6 weeks later hubby has the worst surgery (both for him and me)…a pilonidal cyst surgery
  • Through all this I had an employee constantly making trouble, making excuses for her behavior and calling HR on every perceived slight (mostly imaginary).
  • On the 4th of July, I got fired for the first time in my life.
  • 2 days before my health benefits run out, hubby breaks his hand playing softball
  • Hubby’s favorite uncle becomes very ill very quickly. (They were talking hospice before they even gave the true diagnosis)
  • Hubby goes to Chicago to visit family for a few days (I had tried to get the time approved when I was working, but had been denied and a week before I lost my job he booked the plane ticket…Joke was on us…)
  • Hubby’s uncle dies a week and a half after hubby came back home.
  • A close friend was diagnosed with cancer.
  • My brother-in-law lost his grandmother.
  • Another family member was diagnosed with cancer
  • Yet another family member lost a toe due to some medical things.

Oddly enough, even through all of this, I feel thankful! I was worried sick about hubby with all his surgeries…but I was grateful that they all happened when I still had insurance. Even his broken hand happened within that timeframe. In fact, two of the three surgeries happened when my mom was in town. She dropped everything to rush to the hospital and be by our sides, keeping me company while I waited.

I lost my job…that should’ve sucked. Oddly enough, I wasn’t upset. I have a very solid skill set in a couple of career fields. Even more than that…everyone on my staff with the exception of my troublemaker called me or gave me a hug on my way out the door. They still keep in touch and let me know how much they enjoyed working with me and that they miss me.

The other thing about losing my job…my sister pointed out…my work/life balance sucked while I was there. On my wedding day (which was out of state) I got a call needing help. During the time my assistants were out, little to no help was given unless I pushed for it… I’m sure you’re getting by now that the little I’ve shared is just the tip of the iceberg with how much my life and time was monopolized.

Working there was also a big part of what caused me to stop writing…to rarely be able to attend church…to be unable to sing except around work and at home. Upon losing my job both my sister and my best friend called to tell me that they always felt I should’ve been writing anyway. They were right!

So, this year I’ve also become a member of the Florida Writer’s Association getting my feet back into the writing universe…and becoming active in my local chapter. I also just finished writing my first manuscript and am currently working on editing it…Cross your fingers! I also joined WordPress and found all you wonderful people! You guys have encouraged me, taught me, inspired me and enriched my life.

As for my singing…the day after I lost my job, my pastor called just to check on me. When I told him what had happened, he was empathetic…keeping me in his prayers. But he challenged me, too. He let me know that choir practice was the following day and that now that I had no plans I would probably enjoy checking it out. He pointed out that nothing makes the heart feel lighter than “making a joyful noise.” He was right! Since that day I have been a part of the praise team for the church, singing every Sunday. I think God was sending me a message through him. 🙂

Hubby’s uncle becoming ill…that really sucked. It was sad…and tragic. But the upside is that my husband got to go there…and spend time with him every day of his vacation, giving him a chance to say goodbye. That may not have been quite so readily possible if I’d been with him. They may have felt obligated to entertain me. The unfortunate thing was that he wasn’t able to go to the funeral when he died…but his uncle knew he loved him and that he was there to say goodbye.

As for the rest…it’s in God’s hands. My friend is battling, and I couldn’t be more proud. My family has a firm foundation in love, support and faith. So although on the surface, this year should probably look like it was awful…It wasn’t! I’ve found some very wonderful things to celebrate to go with some of those losses!

The thing I’ve learned? You can’t always control the things that happen to you, but you can control your response…and you can look for the blessings or you can focus on the bad. I choose to see the good and be thankful.

Celebrating The Life Of A 100 Year Old Author

This morning I sat down and contemplated what I wanted to write for my blog, put together a plan and began typing the words. Like all the best laid plans, though, things changed when I received an email from the Sarasota Writers Group, a part of the Florida Writers Association notifying me that a valued member had passed away on November 6th.

Yesterday was our regularly scheduled meeting day. Ed wasn’t there, but I wasn’t concerned because he’d reached out to one of the other members to let us know that he was headed out of town to attend one of his grand children’s wedding.

I joined this group at the end of July and started attending meetings every first and third Wednesday of the month in August. They are a warm, welcoming bunch. It was then that I met Mr. Ed Lyman. Ed was a sweet man. He was regularly featured in Peppertree Literary Magazine, a local free magazine for writers in Sarasota and Manatee counties. My favorite piece of work by Ed was actually something that he’d written about Swiss Army Knives. It was entitled On The Cutting Edge (The Bloody History Of The Swiss Army Knife). Apparently Swiss Army Knife liked it too, because they picked it up and posted it on their website.

I met Ed for the first time at that meeting. He was a kind man and made me feel welcome right away. He was at the point of his life where he preferred others to read his work for him, and his pieces never failed to entertain. He made copies of whatever work he planned on reading for the group and passed them out. Based on what I read about him from our writers group blog, he was an active volunteer at Venice Hospital and a huge supporter of the local Venice community. Ed was 100 years young. I hope that if I’m lucky enough to reach that age, I do it with the same zeal for life that Mr Lyman showed. God Bless You, Ed!