Celebrate the Small Things

Celebrate The Small Things is a weekly celebration created by VikLit to celebrate the happenings of the week, however small or large. You can learn all about it and sign up for it here. CelebrateSmallThings_Badge

Another busy week has flown by. Where does the time go? I’d like to celebrate –

  1. Finally managing to carve out some writing time by getting up earlier.
  2. Fun times with good friends!
  3. Swimming at Sand Bar beach on Lake Champlain.

What other celebrations are going on out there?

Celebrate the Small Things

Celebrate The Small Things is a weekly celebration created by VikLit to celebrate the happenings of the week, however small or large. You can learn all about it and sign up for it here. CelebrateSmallThings_Badge

I’m late to the party for this week, but I’d like to celebrate a few things –

  1. Bought my very own block of ISBN numbers!
  2. Had a great time at our good friend’s birthday pool party last weekend!
  3. Got my lawn mower fixed so I can go mow my hayfield… er… lawn. :)

What other celebrations are going on out there?

ISBNs!

I’m so excited! I am now the happy owner of a block of ISBN numbers! I know it sounds kind of silly to get excited over a bunch of numbers, but these aren’t just any numbers. These numbers bring me one step closer to my dream of being a published author. I can look at the row of digits and picture them on the back of my soon-to-be book cover — the cover that will wrap around my creation and hopefully entice potential buyers to take a look. The ISBN that I assign to my book will be registered in the Library of Congress and will appear in book listings worldwide. Whoa! Deep breath…

I purchased the ISBNs from Bowker Identifier Services at www.myidentifiers.com/isbn/main. In the process, I discovered that Bowker also has a Web site at www.selfpublishedauthor.com with information for those embarking on the self-publishing path. I haven’t gone through much of it yet, but on first glance, it looks like it will be a useful resource. On the bottom right side of the home page, I found a list of a dozen links to more great resources for writers: The Book Designer, Writer Beware: The Blog, Writer’s Digest Blog, and the Independent Book Publishers Association, to name a few. Well worth checking out. I know I’ll be back soon to read more.

But for now, I’m going to go look at my ISBN numbers again and smile for the rest of the day. :)

Celebrate the Small Things

Celebrate The Small Things is a weekly celebration created by VikLit to celebrate the happenings of the week, however small or large. You can learn all about it and sign up for it here. CelebrateSmallThings_Badge

This week I’m celebrating family, friends, and flowers!

  1. Had a wonderful time with my brother and his family, up visiting from PA this past week.
  2. Looking forward to a good friend’s birthday pool party tomorrow!
  3. My small flower gardens are flourishing in the beautiful summer weather we’ve been having.

What other celebrations are going on out there?

Celebrate the Small Things

Celebrate The Small Things is a weekly celebration created by VikLit to celebrate the happenings of the week, however small or large. You can learn all about it and sign up for it here.CelebrateSmallThings_Badge

This week I’m celebrating a very LARGE thing — America’s Independence Day! Happy Fourth of July!

  1. We got to watch our town’s parade without getting rained on.
  2. It looks like the weather will clear up enough for us to enjoy the local fireworks tonight with good friends.
  3. Looking forward to spending time next week with my brother and his family, up visiting from PA.

What other celebrations are going on out there?

IWSG / Font-tastic Dilemma

Today’s the day for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) where, on the first Wednesday of every month, writers get together to share their insecurities and offer encouragement. The IWSG was created by Alex J. Cavanaugh, and you can learn all about it and sign up for it here.

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Click here to see this post with the various fonts.

Click to see this post with the various fonts.

I’ve been playing with various fonts, trying to decide which one to use for my book cover title. But it seems like there are a zillion fonts out there. How on earth does one choose?

My novel is romantic fantasy adventure. The romance element inspires thoughts of flowery and curvy script like Vivaldi from my computer’s font files or like this free file I found online called A Yummy Apology. Fantasy should be more exotic like Endor or Half-elven or Immortal, while the adventure element needs something strong and bold — Bodoni MT Black, Stencil, and Impact are all possibilities.

Swordplay is essential to the plot as well, which draws me toward a serif font that is clean and sharp like a blade. I really like Castellar and Imprint MT Shadow because of the added depth of the lettering. There is so much more to the main character than even she knows and in my mind, the shadowed depth of the letters symbolizes this.

So many choices. And once I figure out the title font, I need to decide if I’m going to use the same font for both title and author or choose another for the author.

Lori L. MacLaughlin (Cardinal), Lori L. MacLaughlin (Slender Gold), Lori L. MacLaughlin (Celtic) …

Which will it be? Sigh …

My Writing Process Blog Hop!

Last week, Heather McCubbin invited me to join her in the “My Writing Process” Blog Hop. I was flattered to be included and said, “Yes, I’m in!” Heather is a published author who blogs about her works in progress and bookish thoughts, and writes book reviews. You can visit her here at Pushing the Pen.

The idea of this blog hop is to write about how we write. What makes the creative juices flow? Then we introduce three more writers who will talk about their processes the following week. So, on with the show!

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I write best in an empty house with complete silence. No people, no phones, no other distractions around me. I know some people listen to music when they write, but I’ve never been able to do that. Music has a powerful effect on me and takes over my brain, drowning out creative thought. Even conversations in other rooms tug at the threads of my thoughts until the scene I’m trying to build unravels. Happily, though, my kids have gotten good at doing quiet things for the few hours I snatch during the summer weeks when they’re home on school vacation. As much as I enjoy having them home, I have to say I’m much more productive when they’re in school.

When I do get a quiet moment to sit down to write, I start by reading the last few pages from my previous session to get back into my character’s mind. Usually I have a general idea of how the next scene should go, but sometimes I don’t. Either way, I let my character lead me through it. When I’m on a roll, it’s like watching a movie in my mind and the words tumble out of my head so fast I can hardly write them down fast enough.

I don’t use an outline. I know the beginnings of my stories and the endings and some of the major points in between. The rest I create as I go, following the paths of my characters as they live out their adventures. I also love drawing maps of the fictional worlds my characters inhabit. I have a sketchbook full of maps and timelines and illustrations of places that help me visualize the various settings.

My stories are always in my head. I plot scenes while doing mundane chores like washing dishes, doing laundry, and mowing the lawn. I think about them all the time, no matter where I am. Creating stories is almost as integral to my life as breathing. When I can’t write for a few days due to whatever circumstances, I go through withdrawal and get REALLY cranky. I’m blessed, though, because my family is tolerant and encouraging of my need to write. I couldn’t imagine living any other way.

* * * * *

The Blog Hop continues with these awesome writers — Melissa Janda, N. J. Magas, and Sonia Lal. I met them during the April A to Z Blogging Challenge. Melissa’s blog, A Time to Write, overflowed with great writing tips and advice. N. J., in her blog Diary of an Aspiring Writer, wrote amusingly about the books in her library, while Sonia’s Story Treasury entertained with short fiction and bookish topics. I enjoyed their posts and, as a newbie blogger, very much appreciated their support of mine. Here they are in their own words:

 

Melissa_Janda_Small_PhotoMelissa Janda: After two decades climbing the proverbial corporate ladder, I “retired” to spend more time with my kids and pursue my dream of becoming an author. I discovered my passion for writing while composing a short story for my husband. I had no idea how profoundly the process would affect me. I was transported to another place where hours ticked by like minutes. I found it puzzling how a collection of sentences or even a solitary phrase I wrote could evoke such emotion. I’m sure it had a lot to do with the subject, but my love affair with writing began that day.

I completed my first novel in March 2013 and after a series of rejections, I realized I had much to learn. I started blogging that same month and have been honing my craft ever since. I’m currently working on a YA series I started during NaNoWriMo 2013.

I live in central Texas with my husband (the love of my life and greatest supporter), my son and daughter who continually floor me with their perspective on life (seeing life through their eyes is a gift), and two dogs (a Lab mix we rescued from the side of the road and a Maltipoo that came special delivery one Christmas via Bella the elf).

 When not writing, I feed the muse by spending time with family, reading, or doing something creative (decorating, scrapbooking, crafting, drawing, party-planning, and photography). To combat writer’s block, I run, bike, swim, or do something physical. It works every time.

I’ve recently caught a severe case of wanderlust and will be visiting Ireland with my family in the fall. Hmm…it might just be the setting of my next novel.  http://melissajanda.wordpress.com/

 

 NJ_Magas_Small_PhotoN. J. Magas: N J Magas lives in Kyoto, Japan where she writes fantasy, science fiction, and horror. When she’s not hunched over a keyboard flushing out the voices, she’s practicing kendo, or kyudo or any number of other, non-weaponized activities.  http://njmagas.wordpress.com/

 

 

 

sonia_lal_Small_logoSonia Lal: Sonia Lal has been an avid reader her entire life, but she only became a fantasy and science fiction reader sometime in junior high. This, oddly, is the same time as she started to write and her first stories were fantasy. Her fiction is still mostly fantasy. On rare occasions, she will write pieces in other genres.

When she is not writing or reading, she may be found gazing out the window and listening to music, or watching TV (and by TV, she means a real TV or Netflix or YouTube or some other video).  http://storytreasury.wordpress.com/

 

Melissa and N. J. will be posting about their writing processes on Monday, July 7th, and Sonia will post in a couple of weeks when things quiet down for her. Hope you enjoy their blogs as much as I do!