author, blogging, book review, book reviews, book writer, books, crafting, create, critique, inspiring a creative life, life is good, novels, Uncategorized

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.

Uncategorized

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

Uncategorized

The Power of a Morning Routine

“I’ve never been a snooze button person. If I could afford to waste my time with a snooze button, I would just set my alarm later.”

~Ben Brooks

I have to agree with this statement.

Creative people can struggle to get things done because our minds are in constant forward motion. Right? So, why waste your time hitting the snooze button.

What is the power behind a morning routine?

Successful people have one thing in common, they treasure their morning routines.

Ritual is very important to me, but so is my sense of adventure. My ritual helps motivate me for the day. How do I inject creativity into my morning routine without loosing my focus? I try to keep it loose; sipping on my coffee, reading my emails, and working on social media. I then head to do some yoga. That for me, seems to clear the mind and open it up to creativity.

488a3-coffee_monkey

The alarm clock goes off around 7:00 am. I don’t seem to linger long in bed, though, I have been known to stay in a bit longer than I want, at times. This never is a good thing. The Keurig pops on at 7:00 am, so I know by the time I get down there it will be ready for me. I make my coffee, grab my ipad and head to the chair in the corner by the windows. There’s something about an open window that draws me in. There seems to be another blog post in that last sentence. 

I will usually put on some music or my favorite podcast as I scan email. After that, I work on a knitting project, whether it’s a new design or my own knitting. I won’t allow myself to sit there longer than 9:00am, where I then head to my loft and work out the kinks with yoga.

What is your morning routine?

The early morning hours are my most productive. I’ve been know to shut down around 3, or grab some coffee, and just sit.

92e7b-chillin2

You might think, what does she do all day? Well, for me, each day is different. I like to sit and plan with my notebook in hand. The early hours of the day allow me that flexibility before the demands begin.

As a creative person, I have many facets to me: knitwear designer, quilter, drawing/coloring (is my new favorite), and reading when I can focus long enough. My job is a knitwear designer.

So, what are your thoughts?

Creativity is the ability to transcend traditional ideas into new meaningful ones. Imagination is the key. The important thing is, you find your ritual that will motivate you.

The main benefits of a morning routine every day is that not a day will go by without you thinking about your goals, which in turn, helps you achieve them. Be creative in your morning routine, friends!

Deb

Uncategorized

Growing Through the Seasons

Would you agree that growing takes you to that next level?

Absolutely!

Would you (also) agree that if you don’t, you could lose site of what your ultimate goal is/was?

Absolutely!

Why, you ask, am I asking these questions?

Because we all go through this one time or another. It’s the ever changing seasons of life. I believe in the process. I believe there are four seasons. I believe that the dreaded winter precedes beautiful spring. I believe there’s a time and place for everything. I also believe when you feel “stuck”, it’s the opportunity to grow.

There’s more to just winter, spring, summer and fall. There’s the ever changing reflection that takes place within us. You must take personal responsibility. What is it that makes you tick? You can’t change the season, but you can change yourself. Time will pass and seasons come and go, but it’s the changing within ourselves that pulls us up and out and allows us the opportunity to grow.

Yes, I am there. I’m in the sweet spot of my life; the place I feel there IS that next step. I’m an entrepreneur. I’m a knitting designer. I’m an author. I’m a writer. I love to photograph “things”. I love what comes next…

Growth!

What season are you in? What makes you tick? I feel that knowledge is power, and when faced with the decision to grow, it’s important to have ammunition.

So, as I always say,

Write On!

Deb

Uncategorized

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!

Uncategorized

NaNoWriMo Day 9

Whew!

Got that done a bit more late today. Stuff happens, right? My husband came home from a business trip today, and we had dinner with our daughter. After a stop at Best Buy, we came home and I headed to my office to write.

Word Count Accomplished.

There are three rules to writing a novel,

Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.

W. Somerset Maugham

Isn’t that the truth. I’ve always been told when you know the rules, you can break them. Knowing the rules is often the hard part. In writing 50,000 words in 30 days, all rules go out the window. Though, for me, I can stick to some of them. Editing, for example is done sparingly and only when I know it doesn’t sound right, or what was my character thinking? I’m not going there, I often talk back.

I’m having a great time doing this. We are 9 days in. That’s huge! I try to NOT to look at the big picture here, but take it one day at a time. I also try to stick to the 1667 or within 100 words over, so I don’t overwhelm myself. I know some will write 3000-5000 a day.

Not me. That’s what makes us all different, right?

I also find that taking time after I write with a fun, no-brained type of activity like reading a magazine or knitting, helps to gather my thoughts and re-hash what I just wrote.

chillin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Words completed to date: 15,138 (34,862 words remaining)

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

______________________________________________________________

Music playing on my TV: Smooth Jazz

Beverage of choice: Mango juice

Place I chose to write: My office

_________________________________________________________________

So, as I always say,

Write On!

Deb

Uncategorized

NaNoWriMo Day 2

On a roll…is all I can say!

The day started early, as our granddaughter had spent the night and was ready to get up. After getting her situated, I started the coffee and sat down to knit for awhile. For those that don’t know, I’m not only a knitter, but a knitting designer and published author. Writing is something I love to do and hope to be a (Fiction) published author as well one day.

With an attempt at getting a few words started, I opened my ipad and found nothing but a blinking blue cursor. Failed miserably. So, I put my ipad away and continued to knit. I do find that knitting puts my mind in a different place. A place I can rely on to get me thinking about what’s next…

Do you have something that gets you in the writing mood?

In walks distraction: Time to take the little one out to breakfast, hand her off to her mommy, then head to do a bit of shopping. Christmas Shopping at that.

Back home and back to my knitting, while my husband got ready for his trip to New York City next week.

My mind started turning as I continued to knit, so I grabbed my ipad, opened up my Storyist App, and began to write chapter 2. See, I’m writing a chapter (in this novel) a day. 30 chapters will be written by the end of NaNoWriMo. That’s my goal.

Fantastic, huh?

In walks distraction: Coffee time. We walked around the corner to our neighborhood Dunkin Donuts and grabbed some coffee and donut. I know, it helps with the writing, or so I said it did anyway.

Image

Back to writing. Word count accomplished.

Words completed to date: 3376 (46,624 remaining)

________________________________________________________________

Music playing on my Ipod – None today

Beverage (and snack) of Choice – Coffee (and donut)

Place I chose to write – My craft studio in the basement

_________________________________________________________________

So, as I always say,

Write On!

Deb

Uncategorized

NaNoWriMo Day 1

What a great start to NaNoWriMo. I have this desire to “win” this year. I have this desire to get in the writing mode once again. Everyday.

Well, I can breathe a sigh of relief as my first 1702 words are done. Seriously, a cool feeling!

I was a bit sluggish getting out of bed after a not-so-restful nights sleep. Though a good cup of coffee, the ability to write on my ipad, and a comfy chair…well, that’s all I needed. You know that feeling, when the cursor is blinking and you knew how you were going to begin the story, but nothing came.

Well, it did, and with a vengeance. Wrote 350 words before…

In walks distraction: Oh My! Got the email that my NEW Ipad Air was ready for pickup. I know, right? Closed my old ipad, headed to the shower to get ready, and off to the Apple Store I went.

Yippee!

Back. I set the bags on the counter (carefully), as my husband came upstairs to do his rendition of “WooHoo”, and plugged them in.

Back to writing I went. Word Count Accomplished!

Words completed to date: 1702 (48,298 remaining)

Image

______________________________________________________________________________

Music playing on my Ipod – Pandora and Jack Johnson Radio

Beverage of choice – Coffee and Water

Place I chose to write – Dining room table

______________________________________________________________________________

Check in with me tomorrow and the next day and the next day, well, you get it, as I continue to journal my way through this month.

So, as I always say,

Write On!

Deb

Uncategorized

Eve of NaNoWriMo

I just spent the last 2 hours combing the shelves at Barnes and Noble for clues, hints, tips, and tricks to making my experience a positive one.

I’m ready. Or I think I am anyway.

Next time…(self) don’t wait to the eve of NaNo to figure out you, once again, will primarily write by the seat of your pants.

Once a Pantser, always a Pantser.

Don’t get me wrong, I have basic details like character sketch and plot mapped out. And I even know how the story will begin.

So, as the saying goes…

Write On!

Uncategorized

Ready for NaNoWriMo?

Image

It’s two days away…yes, 2!

You know that internal editor that always slows us down, sits on our shoulder and says, “No, you need to go back to the last chapter and re-read it”?

Well, I’ve decided that I am turning OFF my internal editor for the duration of November. What I wrote yesterday doesn’t exist. What I wrote last week doesn’t exist. This will be fun! A way to train my brain that words are what matter, my story may or may not move along like I want it to, and I have the drive to complete all 50,000 words.

A chapter a day consisting of (at least) 1667 words will be written. That gives my novel a total of 30 chapters. A total of 50,000 + words.

Coffee is my friend. That will be a good thing…

Are you with me?