Sunday, May 24, 2009

VOTE for ME! (a.k.a. "Blame it on the Zin")

UPDATE (Thanks Becke and Mary--I am still blaming the zin) You can read the stories at Editor Unleashed, but you can't vote until June 14. Don't worry, I'll remind you :)

So it's 11:07p and I've had two glasses of wine. OF COURSE I would enter a flash fiction contest.

Quick! Go to http://tinyurl.com/oanpnr! Read and vote for "Christmas, Filtered" and then post a comment on this blog OR e-mail me at thekeristevens@gmail.com and say "I voted!"

And I will send you . . . the recipe for Spamadakia! (Dolmades made with Spam (r). They were a HIT at the OVRWA chapter Christmas party. Seriously! Don't knock 'em till you try 'em!)

Friday, May 22, 2009

I Just Want to Read My Book


It ain't all love these days between my Work In Progress (WIP) and me. The spark is gone.

I pull up the draft and think, "You need to structure in a new scene here." Or "How is this sex plot-relevant?" I have highlighted sections in the manuscript where I've written notes to myself like, "Good God, what were you thinking?" And, "Put some sex in here."

This is starting to feel like a marital slump year (If you've had more than two years of marriage, you know exactly what I mean). I'm going through the motions. It looks good on the outside. But the passion? Pffft.

When this happens to Mr. Stevens and me, we throw money at the problem (hire a sitter, go away, buy the expensive dinner) and he listens to me talk until I feel sexy again.

But WIP and I? Well, SHE doesn't have any money yet. And unlike the mister, she doesn't understand how to give a sympathetic nod, or a grunt of acknowledgement. She just sits there and waits for more sex. And she is less than enthusiastic when I'm done.

I want the magic back.

What about you? Writers, how do you handle the WIP-Slump? Readers--can you tell when you're reading a book that the writer was just going through the motions?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Should Be

"I should be writing," I think, as I bleach out the recycling bins.

"I should clean up the shredded diaper on the bathroom floor," I think, as I'm reading to my bare-bottomed toddler.

"I should be playing Uno with the big boys," I think as I catch up on Dayjob client e-mails.

"I should be implementing Phase 3 of the Dayjob Marketing Plan," I think while I'm writing.

Only on rare occasions does what I'm doing seem to be what I SHOULD be doing. The tape in my head always plays a sob song for something else.

(BTW-I never wait on the shredded diapers. And I never let my dog lick me in the face.)

Friday, May 15, 2009

I'm Stepping Out . . .

Friends,

Visit with me today as I guest-blog at Frightening Journeys!

You think you're paranormal? I got your paranormal! All week the bloggers at FJ have been talking about "What is paranormal?"

What do you think? Visit http://tinyurl.com/pj3qat now!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Writerhead vs. Real World: The Great Battle

When I write, I focus--usually to the exclusion of all else.

"No, I can't change his diaper. I'm in the middle of edits."

"No, I don't care. Tell the Publishers Clearinghouse van to drive on--I'm in the middle of a sex scene, here!"

Writerhead is Mr. Hyde--surly, with no sense of time. When I get into the project, I spend hours. During NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) I tried the whole "bits and pieces" approach. It wasn't pretty.

Even when the oversoaked diaper falls off of its own accord, someone has to slap another on that chubby bum-bum (though potty-training is moving along nicely, thanks for asking). The business clients do not serve themselves. And as for the PC van? For God's sake, pry me out of my chair with a crowbar if necessary please

When I talk to productive, prolific authors, what fascinates me most is their lifestyle. How do they structure their days so that they can get 2-6 novels polished in a year and not detach completely from friends and family? Are those they love merely more tolerant (and out of diapers?) Or do they stick to rigid writing schedules with military discipline and buckets of inner fortitude?

And you? If you write, when do you read? When do you pay bills? How do you balance real life and writerhead?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Leap

I'm staring down the gaping throat of 40 and asking myself the age-old question, "If not now, when?"

I write. People pay me for my words. They order the words, and I write them. "I need a 300 word article on pole dancing," my clients say. "Coming right up!" I answer.

But, when I can find the energy and the time and the fearlessness, I write. Stories about statues and spam filters, virgins and vegetables (sometimes in the same plotline), manly men and manic meanies. I write them down, and I revise, revise, revise them until they are words you might want to read.

Spicy. Contemporary. Paranormal. And above all, romantic. That's what I read. That's what I write.

What about you? Do you read? Do you write? Do you read and dream of writing? Do you write, and dream of being read?