Binge Watching #MFRWauthor


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This is an unofficial blog hop challenge makeup post. 

Week 3 – TV Shows I Binge

Netflix is an amazing tool. It is also easy to misuse.

My last binge was Mach 21, as I sat on the sofa wrapped in a quilt, sipping on Seven up, getting up only when I had to race down the hall to the bathroom. I can’t guarantee I even remember every episode that I watched because I think my brain made up a few.

To begin with, let’s cover the movies that I have binge watched repeatedly that are a series.

  • Pirates of the Caribbean:  – and I’m looking forward to Dead Men Tell No Tales
  • Fast and Furious series – I’ve seen all but the last two.
  • Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit
  • Narnia
  • Ip Man
  • John Wayne Movies
  • Bruce Willis Movies

Technically that’s not what the post is supposed to be about, it specifically stated TV shows. How can you exclude the movie marathons though?  Here is my list of TV shows:

  • Supernatural
  • How to Get Away With Murder
  • Criminal Minds
  • Hawaii 5-O
  • Burn Notice
  • Walking Dead
  • IZombie
  • Series of Unfortunate Events
  • Stranger Things
  • 13 Reasons Why
  • NON-Netflix binge – HGTV – whether it’s Property Brothers or Chip and Joanna Gaines if my husband is working and I get the tv remote –  it stays on HGTV all day long while I work on other things!

Yeah, that takes up enough of my time. The funny thing is,  the only regular TV things I watch are the news and well, the news.  I’d like to watch Master chef Jr but we have a class on Thursday nights. I’d like to watch the amazing race but we have a thing then.  I’d like to – this is why NetFlix is so awesome. I can watch when I can watch and our lives don’t stop just for a TV show. I don’t want to get too deep into that statement because if you think about it, it does but it does on MY timetable.

What shows do you binge watch? Was there such a thing as binge watching before NetFlix?

You can find my other posts for this challenge here:

  1. Raindrops on Roses
  2. They’ll Survive – I Guess

Write on my friends, write on!

Ellie

 

 

A Rose by Any Other Name . . . #MFRWauthor


Welcome to Week 8 of the MFRWauthors  blog challenge. This week’s prompt is: How  I Choose a Book Title. #MFRWauthor #amwriting #booktitles

 Good Titles may roll off of the tongues of some authors, but not mine. This is often why I refer to my projects as WIP – work in progress, and tell you right up front that it is tentatively titled XXX.

It is strange,  but when I am in my writing group, I can come up with good titles for someone else’s work easier than my own.

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For Red Wine & Roses, that title came rather easily. It was the key scene that I wrote for a flash piece, then later developed into the full novel. Red wine and roses were touchpoints to Derek and Julia’s dates from the beginning so it seemed like a logical title. Derek has an old fashioned view about romance that in his mind, one expression of his love for Julia is by showering her with red roses. Towards the end of the story, after the darkest moment,  the reader will see the depth of his love expressed in this manner.

 

 

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For my second book Quotidiandose: 30 Days of Sass, I had lengthy debates over whether to use that for the title or not. I thought about just going with 30 days of Sass.  This book is a compilation of 30 short essays tinged with a lot of sass. A humorous view on life from the writer’s desk, while offering a little motivation to the reader, this nonfiction book is straight from the heart.

Titles are something that typically, I  ponder over and then tend to stress over. Consider the current WIP which I am targeting for completion by the end of April  2017. (Please help me stay accountable to this date!) My original story idea was titled Oral Dilemma. An erotic short where the Main character was always getting into trouble with her mouth via smart-alec quips, vocal talents behind the microphone at the bar, or oral talents in the erotic sense. It fit and I thought it was clever. However, while dusting this off from my files and giving it a thorough once over, I  realized  how bad my pantsing was. This was a serial that I shared on a former group blog I was managing editor for called Storytime Trysts. First of all, I cringed at rereading it, scratching my head at what I thought I was doing. Secondly, the pantsing gave me a lot of background scenes, but no real story. I really liked this character Roxanne Winters though, she had a story that needed to be told.

I basically have dissected this story, taken it apart and tossed out the majority. I had 57,000 words in this story. The bulk of that is gone and it currently sits at 21,354 with a revised outline, a real plot, and very real character goals. Oral Dilemma was no longer appropriate, nor did it really fit the story. I came up with the title Roxy Sings The Blues after debating several other options: The Blues Singer, Foxy Roxy, Little Girl Blue, Whiskey River (I couldn’t go with that one because I decided to cut out the lengthy section of her falling into an alcoholic abyss.) and finally landed on Roxy Sings the Blues. It fits, it’s concise and there aren’t twenty other titles out there with the same name.

Roxy Sings the Blues is another stand alone romance, but this one is romance suspense. The tentative blurb for it is:

Scars tell the story of a past. Roxy’s scars aren’t visible but they have carved her deeply and the pain they have caused pours out through soulful song. If facing a motherless future wasn’t enough, a failed relationship from her past resurfaces to torment her. Just when she was trying to build a new life for herself, trouble making Devon Miller drags her into his chaotic life. The stakes are high as Roxy sits in the spotlight of a dangerous investigation. 

Devon,  a homicide detective is hot for the case and stirring embers of a forbidden fire. Will Roxy hit the right note and help her old flame solve his big case or will she be left singing the blues?

An author’s book is like one of their children. We give them life. We watch them grow. We correct them when they go down the wrong path.  We scrub them clean to be presentable to company. We hope that when they go out into the big world, they are ready. We have to cut the chord and let them stand on their own. But our readers won’t take our babies into their homes if their names aren’t catchy enough to grab attention.  As a reader, I am very picky about titles. I find I do tend to pick up titles with nothing but Names especially if in a series. Especially if that name is

Our book babies need titles that will grab a reader’s attention. This is an artform in and of itself. One that I feel that with some of my future projects – Valkyrie’s Curse (NO, I haven’t given up on that one.) Realm Wars (This is the series title for the books that will include Faere Warrior, Faere Guardian, Faere Mage, and two more that I haven’t decided on titles for.)I am pleased with my title names. But for others – The Hamilton Project, Vamps Couture, my dragon shifter series,  my nefleheim series, I’m either not happy with my working title or don’t have a title yet. It is as personal as naming our biological children. But our readers won’t take our babies into their homes if their names aren’t catchy enough to grab attention.  As a reader, I am very picky about titles. I find I do tend to pick up titles with nothing but Names especially if in a series. Especially if that name is

Funny story about that – my oldest daughter’s name was selected when I was 6 months pregnant. She was going to be Rachel Lynne. Many of my shower gifts were addressed to baby Rachel. However, the moment that she made her debut into this world, I looked at her while the doctor was cleaning her up, suctioning the birth gunk, and she let out that first baby wail – she was not a Rachel. For the first twenty-four hours of her life, she was Baby girl. The nurses were counselling me that I could apply for her name with the state once we decided because I was to be released soon. You know how fast they kick you out after giving birth, right?

Well, after a gruelling delivery, I had a fever, extremely low iron, and was severely dehydrated. They kept me for another full day in which time my wonderful hubs brought the baby name books back to the hospital and we pored over them. I’m happy to say her name suits her, but it’s not Rachel. But our readers won’t take our babies into their homes if their names aren’t catchy enough to grab attention.  As a reader, I am very picky about titles. I find I do tend to pick up titles with nothing but Names especially if in a series.

That’s how we want our books to be –  well suited with a title. It can be a tricky thing.

How do I come up with a title?  Usually, it’s an element of the story like the roses, or the obvious sass. Sometimes it is the character’s name. I have to admit, I see the titles of other authors and wish that I were as clever. Ah well, maybe someday.

Let’s go take a look at how others come up with their titles!

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You can find other posts in this series here:

  1. Raindrops on Roses
  2. They’ll Survive – I Guess
  3. Binge Watching #MFRWauthor
  4. Thank God for Grace in Editing!
  5. #MFRW Best Friends
  6. Crafty Author #MFRWauthor
  7. Musical Mayhem #MFRWauthor

Write on my friends, write on!

 

Raindrops on Roses


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This is an unofficial blog hop challenge makeup post. Gee, guess which one?

Going back to the first week which I missed –  1. A few of my favorite things!

*hums song from Sound of Music*  Admit it,  you sang the title of my blog, didn’t you?

Favorites hmmm. Let’s do this in a simple but unorthodox format.

Favorite foods: 

  • fried chicken
  • Bordeaux cherry chocolate ice cream
  • crab legs
  • watermelon
  • vegetable lo mein

Favorite movies:

  • The Fifth Element
  • Excalibur
  • Fool’s Gold
  • RobRoy
  • Lord of the Rings movies

Favorite books:

  • Outlander series (Diana Gabaldon)
  • Highlander series (Karen Marie Moning)
  • Inca Gold – OK, I cheat here. I love nearly all of Clive Cussler’s books but decided that I would name the one that first ignited my interest in his books.
  • Timeline – Michael Crichton

Favorite possessions:

  • my bullet journal
  • my laptop
  • the pearl necklace and earring set that my husband bought me for our 30th anniversary. Absolutely gorgeous!

Favorite places to go:

  • Panama City Beach, Florida
  • Rich’s Frozen Custard
  • Laumeier Sculpture Park
  • Missouri Botanical Gardens
  • Any place new!

Favorite fast food items: 

  • Hardee’s mushroom swiss burger
  • Subway sweet onion teriyaki chicken
  • Panera’s bear claws *drools*
  • Lee’s fried chicken tenders ( don’t get these very often as we don’t have  a Lee’s around us)
  • Panda Express Orange chicken with broccoli and rice

Favorite articles of clothing:

  • a pair of Lee Rider jeans that fit perfectly!
  • my black leather jacket
  • red camp style shirt
  • Bohemian style ecru crochet sweater ( not much of a sweater as it’s more of an overshirt type of thing, but I love it!)
  • New Balance tennis shoes. If only all shoes could fit like these, I may actually wear shoes throughout the day.

Favorite flavors:

  • cherry
  • chocolate

Not that anyone asked,  but there you have it. Now I can mark that one off of my list and you now know more about me than you ever cared to.

Honestly, I’ve been so far in the headspace of Detective Devon Miller that I am suspecting my own family of covert operations. This calls for further investigation and a large supply of chocolate.

Write on my friends, write on!

 

 

 

The Blogiverse


Routine is a thing I hate.  Routines become ruts, ruts become deep graves for the walking dead. I once heard someone say a rut was a grave with the ends knocked out.  Not a pretty picture, is it?

I like to keep things fresh and new. I know the benefits of a routine and a schedule, but it doesn’t have to become a drudgery.

It’s like . . . if you have a  bologna and cheese sandwich every day for lunch for a month BORING! But, you  could vary the way you have it. Day one might be the traditional bologna and cheese on white with mayo, lettuce and a tomato. Day 2  could be bologna cut in squares with different kinds of cheese squares on snack crackers. Day 3 might be  bologna chopped up into a form of ham salad.  Day 4 might be an open faced bologna melt. See what I mean?  It’s still bologna, but served differently it keeps it fresh, maybe not your favorite thing but more palatable.

As my weekend normalcy is already off kilter, I thought hey why not shake it up! I went out into the blogiverse to check out what else is out there.  Do you have any idea the number of people that are blogging? It’s astounding!

I recently shared my usual blogroll, but today I am sharing a few of the interesting new finds that I will keep my eye on.

Pointless & Prosaic – a guy with a sagacious wit that I can appreciate!

Normalcy Is Overrated  – the thing that caught my attention first is the book reviews.

Not All Things Touristy! – travel of course, some lovely photographs!

Modern Diversity – a kitschy blog, some good music here!  Loved the Soulful Sunday!

Organized Chaos –  just getting started but going to stay tuned to see how this one plays out!

Did you know there are blogs  about cooking, cleaning (yuck), bullet journaling (several, had to choose only a few), gaming, repurposed furniture, junking, . . . the list goes on and on.

So many blogs, so little time to read – sigh.

Well, that was my diversion for the morning but it’s time to get back to work.

Feature Creep


Have you ever tackle a home improvement project that you thought was a simple matter but turned into a much larger project?

REmoving a bad tile floor.

Removing a bad tile floor.

For example, a few years ago I decided to update our guest bathroom.  Pain and a few themed decor items would have put the total cost around one hundred and twenty dollars. However,  we ran into feature creep.  The faucet was leaking so that had to be replaced. The commode had leaked and damaged the flooring so the wax seal and flooring were replaced. The shower curtain was torn in the process, so that had to be replaced.  By the time the feature creep had stopped my one hundred twenty-dollar update cost us nearly a thousand.

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The same thing applies in storytelling. Red Wine & Roses is a good example of this. Originally I had posted a flash fiction piece inspired by an image of a red rose with dew drops on Storytime Trysts. Flash fiction is a way to prime the pump, so to speak. Some of my writer friends use fan fiction, some use flash fiction,  some use prompts when they feel the pump needs priming or are experiencing writer’s block.

A few months prior to this, an online friend suggested flash fiction to me. I dismissed it.  Another hosted a flash fiction Friday feature on their blog. Maybe. Then I was involved in a blog hop and one of the assignments was a flash fiction piece.  * head desk*

Fine. If I have to. I guess.

Flash fiction has kept me in the writing habit when I’ve been stalled on my WIP. I have a file that I keep my attempts in, a few I am pleased with. Most are just practice and shall never see the light of day. They will remain locked for all eternity in a closed file within the depths of my computer. AHEM.

FEATURE CREEP.

This one kept  drawing me back, the characters demanding more time than the brief glimpse I had written. An opportunity arose,  a specific call for a publishing house that I felt – this story fit perfectly. In a very short matter of time I had expanded it to ten thousand words, which was the  limit for the call.  Well, in all honestly I had to pare it down to meet the requirements as it exceeded it by quite a bit.

IT WAS REJECTED. *HANGS HEAD* 

The writers come out of the woodwork to tell you that rejection is part of the game.  Stephen King has received X many rejections.  J.K. Rowling received X many rejections. ‘INSERT your favorite author here’- received X many rejections. I know it’s well-intentioned, but it doesn’t make the sting any less painful.

I shelved it. I was frustrated.  I told my closest friends that I  quit. I didn’t write for weeks.

Then a writer friend that used to write on Storytime with me, in his gentle *cough* tactful  *cough cough*manner essentially jerked the slack out of me and my little pity party and put it into blunt terms for me.

I cried.

I thought about it.

I cried some more. (Hey, I’m a woman. It happens.)

Then, swallowing my pride, I let a few out of the file drawer.  Derek and Julia pleaded for my attention. I took a hard look at the rejected manuscript and the deleted scenes.  There  was a larger volume of the story untold.

I had to ask myself -Why do I write?

Because  I am compelled to write.  Whether it’s a psychological processing of  data, or a creative nature, or wild imagination, the bottom line is I write because I LOVE writing. There is a thrill that I’m going to step out on a limb here and compare to an addict. Don’t get all with me for  belittling addiction.  There are many levels of addiction.  I know I have an addictive personality.  With specific symptoms of OCD, and ADD (squirrel!) I am fully aware of the “writer’s high”  when I nail a scene. The euphoric elation when I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that  this,  this last part I just wrote is solid gold. Sadly,  it doesn’t happen as often as I would like.

It’s much like a mining process!  Dirt, dirt, rock, more dirt, another rock, bigger rock, crystal (nice), dirt, rock, GOLD!

My little flash fiction piece has expanded to some 85,000 plus words.

Oh, I might mention that there was much chocolate and coffee consumption during the process as well. It’s good to have real friends that care enough to speak truth to you and not feed you sugar frosted bomb puffs. It takes a village.

Who picks you up when you fall in the mud?  Who walks you home when you’ve lost your way?  Who sets you back on track when you’ve derailed?

Sometimes I feel like I am the village idiot, sometimes the town crier, and sometimes I am the caretaker, lurking in shadows, watching everyone. Never mind me, wrong kind of creep.

Write on my friends, write on!

Ellie

Why Am I Here?


When I first started blogging,  my reasons for being here were because the newspaper that I wrote for closed its doors and blogging seemed a good outlet for my creative writing endeavors.

Over the course of years since I began, my readership has grown  to my amazement  and you guys are still reading my rants and random madness!  You my readers, are awesome! You’ve kept me coming back when I was going through a very difficult time.  You were the encouragement I needed to get back on the horse, and keep going when I couldn’t stir myself to get back in the game.

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So, why am I here?

Why do I spend the time to write  blog post after blog post? 

First,  I am a writer.  I write.  It’s what I do.

Secondly, it’s exciting to know that someone is reading my stuff!  It’s an absolute thrill when someone buys my book or when they comment on my post.  It validates my efforts when there are so many voices in the world complaining about this and that,  and pointing out  my failings, reminding me of all the things that I am not good at. There are people who when you fail are “it’s ok, I know you meant well” and then there are people who are like “You failed!  If you would pull your head out of your butt long enough for some air,  it isn’t that difficult to do X Y or Z. Get it Together!” Those latter are quick to call you on each and every single time that you fail.

There has to be a medium ground between the two, because the first  will never hold you accountable and the second  accomplish nothing more than  being the catalyst for the next bout of depression and slipping further into the murk. or else pissing you off completely. There are those that will ride you like an old mule, harping on you, belittling you, constantly berating you, and no matter what you do it isn’t enough.

Y’all know what I’m talking about, right? The boss that rides you at work  but lets the jerk that is sleeping on the job get away with it while you are being barked at?  Yeah, there is a huge difference between a boss and a leader.

Anyway, the medium ground –  we need people in our lives that will hold us accountable, extend mercy  in times of difficulty, but call us  when it becomes a habit. We need people that will be adult in a situation and deal as an adult, not revert to the school yard bully because  they  can’t control their own temper.

I’ve mentioned many times that I struggle with  time management and too many irons in the fire, and I had it pointed out to me today that my lack of time management and a couple other items  has resulted in a package being late to arrive to its recipient as well as a couple other  scatterbrain things.  I can hang my head and feel the shame,  but that doesn’t help the next time.  I have to make the changes to make sure it doesn’t happen again.  The electric company certainly wouldn’t be forgiving if my payment was late, now would it?  NO, they wouldn’t.  

Blogging actually helps to keep me on task.  I’ve shared recently some posts about the bullet journal and  blogging is on the top of my daily todo list. Once I have written a post or two, then I can focus on other items.  It may seem ridiculous, but it really does help me to  be able to mark off the item, and move on to the next one on the list.

Thirdly,  blogging is challenging.  It keeps me in the habit of writing.  It challenges me to write  something  of value, something interesting. Some days I accomplish this better than others, but over the long haul it really does help. My  plan is a marathon not a sprint.  Each post is like that days training. The more days I train, the better conditioned I am to compete.

Who am I competing with?

Myself!  The toughtest competitor in the entire world!

This all goes back to  my goals for the year,  simplified and streamlined.  A quick summary- get stuff done. Simple yet profound.  How can I get stuff done if I am distracted, or not organized or wasting time?  I can’t and neither can you.

It all comes back to time management again. *headdesk* UGGGGHHHHHH!

Is there one thing that you need to focus on to improve your productivity?  Is there one area that you strugle with?

Leave a comment and share your struggles, and maybe offer a word or two of encouragement if you can spare it.  Thanks!

Write on my friends, write on!

Ellie