Critique Matters

red-hands-woman-creative
Hello!

Today I have been working on a novel that I had abandoned. For what reason, I don’t know. I probably got off on another creative adventure. Shocking, huh!

So, here’s what’s on my mind. I’d like to revisit this novel. I haven’t really fully edited it yet, but, I’d like to take an honest approach to getting it published. I know I have work to do and have reached out to groups for some honest critiques, but I thought I’d give my readers a chance at it first.

Let’s be honest, you would be my audience, right? Or maybe intrigued enough to read through this first page and tell me three things:

~ Does it capture your attention enough to turn the page?

~ Are the characters, this far, likable?

~ Should I trash it and try again?

Please leave comments or feel free to email me at Debbuckingham (at) yahoo (dot) com. I always enjoy hearing from my readers.

Thank you! Write On!

Deb


All Lacy Parker wanted was a little breathing room and the only place she could find it was in her bathtub. Even though the bubbles were flat and the water was getting cold, Lacy took this time to reflect on her complicated life, especially the last few months concerning Dawson’s infidelity. The four years they spent married was rocky, some would say . . .  insane.

Dawson was frantically packing for his tour to Iraq; a tour that would hopefully prove more successful on his return.

The letter sat unopened on the kitchen table.  A promise of a new tomorrow felt deep within Lacy’s heart as she heard the front door slam.

“Dawson . . .” Lacy howled louder. “Dawson.” Tears ran down her face leaving track marks through her makeup, only to realize he may not return.

Lacy sank further into her cold water, tears of anger welled up inside. A goodbye would have been nice.

“Hey . . . Lacy,” Dawson’s voice took up the silence, “You here?”

How didn’t he know where she was? Maybe he thought she went outside.

“Yea, Dawson, I’m up here.” Lacy jumped from the tub and wrapped an oversized towel around her thin frame; long blond tendrils lay wet against her shoulders. The knock on the bathroom door indicated Dawson was there.  She opened the door wide enough for him to walk in. Her towel fell to the tile floor as Dawson wrapped his strong tattooed arms around her.

Love What you Do, and You’ll never Work a day in your Life

You know that old saying, don’t you? It’s what we all wish we could do, right?

If your work involves something you’re passionate about, you’re one of the lucky ones. Particularly, as it can bring joy to your working life and your day. However, some people have to “put up” with having a “real job” that doesn’t satisfy them, this makes going to work drudgery, though it pays the bills.

I get that!

If your life is going this way, take a step back and think again. I’m not saying every hobby can become a job, but I am one of those “lucky ones” that it has. And it can be for you too.

I’ve compiled a list of 10 tips that may help you in thinking toward loving your job and never working a day in your life:

10 fun ideas to think about

(1) Maybe you paint, knit, blog, or even play in a 3-piece band, find a way to showcase your talent for others.

(2) Research has found, that the more people engage in their hobbies, the more likely they are to come up with a creative solution.  Perhaps making it their “career”. So, do (more of) what you love. Get good at your hobby.

(3) Hang out in groups on Facebook or Instagram that have like-minded individuals. See what they’re involved with. How they are making a living doing what they love?

(4) Are you open to taking a risk? If so, it may be time to take that plunge. Do your research. Publish a book, pattern, or write an article for a magazine.

(5) Teach others to do what you love? You can do this by creating your own class, doing a webinar, or teaching through a college or continuing education program.

(6) Teach the business of your hobby? For example, if your hobby is magic, teach marketing to magicians. Maybe you love cooking, you could teach others how to get their cooking book published, or teach them a new skill in the kitchen.Do you love to travel? Write an ebook on the best places to see or send in an article to a travel magazine.

(7) Speak or write about your hobby – Hobby-related topics or stories are always of interest to small groups, small papers. Maybe asking to do a guest blog post.

(8) Fix “things” related to your hobby. Maybe your hobby is computers. Most people don’t have a clue how to “fix” them when they break. I know I don’t. Offer your services. Are you a knitter? There is always a dropped stitch (ask me how I know). Offer workshops to show them how to “fix” their work.

(9) Sell your work at craft fairs, local events. Set up an online shop such as Etsy, to showcase your work. (I’ll be doing a post in the coming weeks on setting up an Etsy shop successfully. What I’ve learned along the way.)

(10) Most of all, be enthusiastic about your hobby. Love your hobby or hobbies. Seek out others in your chosen hobby “category”. Friend them, ask them questions on how they got started?

inspire-photo

“The next time you find yourself confused as to how to generate income from your hobbies, search out the most successful entrepreneurs in your area of interest and study their business models and revenue streams.” ~Forbes

Ask them where their income is coming from. Products? Services? What is their pricing strategy?

super_Star

Not everyone is going to be a super-star by turning their hobby into a career, but it will ensure us that we will love what we do, because it will nourish us. Feeding your creativity brings joy, excitement, and a positive attitude toward our chosen hobby. So, what’s stopping you from seeking out the possibilities.

It’s a fact!

I love my job! You can too.

I’m curious, and I would love to get some feedback. What can you add to my list? Tell me your hobby? Are you an artist, writer, journalist. Do you knit, crochet, or sew? What do you love to do? Let’s chat.

Live a Creative Life,

Deb

And So On…

Summer has finally come to a close. The months where the temps are too hot, the bugs too buggy, and the only solace you get is sitting in your air conditioned home.

Do you get the sense summers aren’t my favorite?

Right?!

Fall is upon us. The months where the leaves are changing their reds, oranges, and yellows, the bugs have long gone, and the temps are more than perfect.

My favorite time of year.

It’s also the time I’m inspired to do something new, or new(er).

Writing (again).

My summer was filled with knitting pattern design, working with (knitting) magazines to firm up the release of my new patterns, keeping up with my Etsy shop and answering knitters questions. Busy, but blissful.

What am I up to now, you ask?

A writing contest. Harlequins, You Think You can Write, contest. Romance writers like me send in their first chapter to be judged by over 50 judges in their extensive lines at Harlequein. The winner will be chosen in November to win a 2 book contract among other goodies.

I’m in!! All the way!

After completing NaNoWriMo (refer to earlier posts), I had a complete novel that I believed to NOT suck. After editing (and you also know if you’ve been following that I edited along the way–that’s how I roll), I feel this piece is ready for the eyes of one fantastic editor.

Wish me luck! Submissions begin next week, September 22nd.

I’ll keep you informed!

Write On!

Deb

NaNoWriMo Day 24

I know. I know. I haven’t posted anything in about a week. Life happens, right? 🙂

The release of my second (knitting) book happened on Friday, but I spent much of that week cleaning things up with it. *squee* Too excited.

My 50,000 word novel WILL get finished. I promise you that! I have the ambition this year to finish, a well written novel, at that. I’ve done much editing, despite what they say should happen. I’ve taken a few days off, despite what should have happened, yet I will finish. And on time. I have never EVER got this far in 30 days. Huge accomplishment for me!

Winner! Needs to be the word come Sarurday night.

I’ve been writing 2 chapters a day for the last 2 days, and will do that until I’m caught up. I have left Thursday, Thanksgiving, to only 1 chapter. I have to cook the meal and my family will be here to eat it. 

I find I write well in a coffee shop for the first chapter, then pack up to come home. I knit for awhile, then finish up the next chapter for the day at my dining room table. 

Image

How are you doing? I mean, really. I would love you to leave a comment so I know I’m not alone in this.

Word Count Accomplished: 33,459 (words remaining 16,541)

So, as I always say, 

Write On!

Deb

 

 

 

Stalled

*sigh* You know what I’m saying, right?

You’re cruising along with your WIP, in this case, NaNoWriMo, and life sticks its foot out and trips you up. Image

Ouch!

I can sit and knit all day, think of potential scenes, but the moment that foot flies out, bam!

So, how do we get it back? Some people say, just do it! Others say, how ’bout a writing prompt? Others say, I get it, I’m watching for your followers to post their responses.

What gets you moving in a forward direction when your WIP stalls, or trips you up? I’d love to hear…

So, as I always say,

Write On!

NaNoWriMo Day 14

It’s been a few days since I’ve updated you all.

I AM making great progress. I did have a small hiccup this past weekend when my husband, who had been on a business trip for a week, came home.

In walks distraction. (a good one though)

I did get caught up on Monday, then had another one on Tuesday. I didn’t write at all. Oops. So, Wednesday was spent writing 2 days worth.

Done. I decided to have lunch at one of my favorite coffee shop/cafes, Nemo’s, on Wednesdsay. They provide home made food and music I love to listen to.

Word count accomplished.

Image

 

I then headed back home and wrote the rest from my chair.

Again, word count accomplished.

It is now Thursday, where I woke up excited to write. I think it has something to do with the fact that I now know where I’m taking the rest of this story…or at least some of it anyway.

In walks distraction: On my way to my writing place, I decided to stop at a new shop, used womens clothes and accessories. I snagged a Vera Bradley bag for only $20. Score.

Image

 

On the road again, and headed straight for Panera Bread to find the perfect booth and have the perfect lunch.

Image

 

Word count accomplished: 23,424 (26,576 words remaining)

Yes, I’ve verified the word count on my NaNoWriMo page. Have you?

__________________________________________________________________

Music is always playing, though this time, NOT on my ipod

Beverage(s) of choice: Mango tea, Herbal Hibiscus, water, iced coffee

Place(s) I chose to write: My comfy chair in the corner, Nemos Coffee/Cafe, Panera Bread

___________________________________________________________________

So, as I always say,

Write On!

Deb

 

NaNoWriMo Day 11

Did you notice something? Yes, I missed Day 10.

By design.

Not from the lack of my husband prodding me all day, but by the lack of motivation on my part. I could come up with ten reason why I chose not to write, but not one would make any sense.

Fast forward to Day 11. Done. Word Count Accomplished!

I have to say it’s getting (a little bit) more difficult to keep the story moving forward. You’ve read books like that, where the author gets so stuck, the same scene continues and continues. I guess it’s not that bad, but when you sit in front of the blinking cursor, you quickly realize there’s nothing there.

Sigh…

I managed to move it forward with ease, once the fingers started clicking and I stopped over analyzing it. I think that’s where I get into trouble.

I’m also finding my character, Morgan, talking to me more. I know, some of you think that may be weird, but it really IS the case. She knows where this story is going to take us and it will be a happily ever after despite all the “stuff” happening.

It’s a romance. It has to.

looking thru chairs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Words completed to date: 18,341 (31,659 words remaining)

Yes, I’ve verified the word count on my NaNoWriMo page. Have you?

____________________________________________________________________

Music playing on my iPod: Smooth Jazz

Beverage of Choice: Iced coffee

Place I chose to write: My dining room table.

______________________________________________________________________

So, as I always say,

Write On!

Deb