Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Writer's Block

Jessica Park

Today I am excited to have a dear friend of mine guest blog. She also happens to be an awesome writer. Jessica Park and I have never actually met in person, but we have one of the best friendships I've ever had with anyone. It all started when I received an e-mail from her letting me know that my book Silenced by Syrah had kept her sane during a night of food poisoning. She said that she would find herself laughing in between bouts of paying homage to the porcelain god. I personally thought that was a wonderful compliment, so when Jessica asked if I would read the lastest book she'd written with her mom Susan Conant, "TURN UP THE HEAT" (highly recommend" I jumped on it. I loved the book and I love Jessica. We live on separate coasts but that does not keep us from talking almost daily. When things get rough in this writer's world, I pick up the phone and JP straightens my butt out. She lifts me up and shakes me around and tells me that I can do this! I try and do the same for her. If I never sell a bazillion books or become the next J.K. Rowling (hmmm...mutually exclusive, right?), it'll be okay, because I've got something even better-- A friend for life, and trust me--every writer needs a friend for life. I think you'll enjoy a page out of JP's life!

A Day in the Life of a Brainstorming Author

7:00 a.m. : Awaken filled with positive thoughts that today will be the day fabulous, bestselling book idea will hit. Just need nifty hook. Shouldn’t be tough. Am smart, funny lady with excess creative energy. Onward!
8:15 a.m. : Continuing to stare at blank Word document. Perhaps more coffee will help fuel genius. Shouldn’t expect immediate success, right?

9:45 a.m. : Have been sucked into Twitter game by actual bestselling author. Have spent 1 ½ hours titling “failed children’s books.” So far have come up with numerous inappropriate/offensive titles, including: The Bi-Polar Express; Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Lay; Charlotte’s Web of Deceit; and There's a Wocket in Pocket (and I'm Just Happy to See You!) Considering this an exercise in creativity and method of setting proper book brainstorming mood. Certainly not procrastinating….

11:20 a.m. : Okay, have started list of potential book ideas, but just realized have no interest in writing about vampires, ghosts, or psychics. Also, paranormal market is so saturated that my perfect story would get lost in the shuffle. Obviously. Hm….what hasn’t been done…?

1:16 p.m. Aha! Have not heard of novel about teen ogre and family that must relocate to snake infested planet in order to reverse time and save earth. Will include teen ogre romance, of course, and perhaps incorporate Romeo and Juliet storyline: heroine ogre longs to run off with ogre son of enemy family.
2:32 p.m. : Have accepted stupidity of ogre story, and have made and eaten vat of guacamole and entire bag of Tostitos. Avocados are lovely. Perhaps should become avocado farmer. (Are there avocado farmers? There must be, since we have avocados. But are they called farmers? Harvesters? Growers? Will research this.) Oh, idea! Will pen novel of thirty-something woman who packs family into car and moves to lush avocado land where she discovers magical method of producing higher volume of avocados….. Crap. Simply need more coffee to fuel brilliance.

3:23 p.m. : Have taken break from hard work to paint nails. Am sure that if nails were dry, would be typing like mad and plotting fascinating, never-been-done plot.

4:02 p.m. : New concept: Thirty-something woman and best friend win two-billion dollar lottery and move to fancy beachside home. The hot women spend their days sipping mojitos while scantily-clad male dancers provide massages under linen canopies. Well, if decide to become erotic writer, will be all set. Sigh.

4:36 p.m. : Work day should officially be over soon, so must hurry to meet goal. Teen pop star is kidnapped by frazzled parent who forces pop star to perform top hits until even pop star hates her songs. Will keep moving here. Frustrated writers eats too much guacamole and turns pale shade of green. Found slumped over laptop with scent of cilantro permeating air. Not upbeat enough… and obviously unhappy ending.

11:02 p.m. : Falling asleep when book concept hit. This time, it’s a good one. Foresee being up until the crack of dawn getting it out on paper. Will be worth it. Lesson learned: Stop trying so hard and just let it happen.

Check out Jessica's site and her books on Amazon!

Also check out Jessica and my Food Fiction site where you can sign up for our newsletter where we feature authors, host giveaways, and write up some awesome recipes.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Why Write?

It's been some time since I've been on the blog. Um yeah...since April. My bad. I won't go into details as to where, how or why I sorta dropped off the face of the Earth, other than to say that I did, and I have my reasons. I apologize for those of you who signed up to follow the blog and for those of you checking in. I do plan to keep up with this blog and keep it current from this day forward. Almost sounds like a vow. Scary. I hope you'll hang in here with me. I want you to be a part of this blog.

I do plan to change it up a bit though and hope you will still follow. Initially I wanted the blog to be geared toward writing lessons for kids and helping kids grow as writers, and that will definitely still be a part of the blog. However, I titled this blog Adventues N Writing. That "said," I want to have a blog here that discusses the adventures we have as writers--the good, the bad and the ugly. I hope to share the joys of writing and the pitfalls of writing, and all of the in-between that goes with it. And writing to me is life, so there will be some life sprinkled into these blogs that I hope you enjoy.

So today, I want to ask, "Why write?" I have had ups and downs with my writing as I think most writers do. If this was an easy ride, I'm not sure we would grow as writers. We might be one hit wonders, but seriously, what's the fun in that?

Over the years I have come up with a handful of reasons as to why I write, but it always comes back to one solid, honest reason. Some of the not so solid, honest reasons include; "I want to be the next J.K. Rowling (okay that one is honest), I want to be a NYT Bestseller (umm...yeah, also kind of honest...), I want to make a bazillion dollars (see J.K. Rowling), I want to be a household name. "No, no, no!" Those are all fun and kind of pie in the sky, but the reality of it all is that I write because I want to create stories that I love and I hope others will love them, too. I want to entertain and make people laugh or cry or think or not think but escape. I write because at the end of the day, if I don't, I am grumpy and not so fun to be around. As my daughter will tell you, "It's like she's gonna explode." I am not that bad, I really am not. I get a litle tense, yes. But explosion is totally an exageration. I get it now, "I am a writer." And writers have to write.

So, why do you write? What do you write? What do you want to write? Does anything scare you about writing? What is the best part about writing?

I'd love to "hear" your thoughts.