Friday, November 6, 2015

Writer's Life Blog Challenge

Me being silly at the San Antonio Zoo

Oh, boy! A blog challenge! I was tagged by one of my favorite authors, Shari L. Tapscott at her blog for the Writer’s Life Challenge. This sounds like fun (*rolling up sleeves*)….

Write Fuel: What do you eat/drink while writing?

Since I had to give up coffee, I usually drink iced tea or water while writing. And since it takes two hands to type, I don't eat while writing, but I do have to get out of the chair at least once every hour or my back will remind me I've been sitting too long. Then I might grab a handful of almonds or a piece of fruit.

Write Sounds: What do you listen to while writing?

Since I'm a professional musician, I can't actually listen to music WHILE I'm writing or I stop paying attention to the words and start analyzing the melodic line, chord structure, etc. But I do warm up for a scene or to hear a character's voice by listening to instrumental Baroque, Classical, or Celtic music while doing mindless chores.

Write Vice: What’s your most debilitating distraction?

Social media, especially Facebook and Twitter. When I'm doing serious writing, I have to NOT check those sites until AFTER I've finished what I'm working on, or it won't get done that day!

Write Horror: What’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to you while writing?

I have lost small parts of larger projects because I didn't think I needed to save it, or thought I'd already saved what I was working on, but they actually turned out to be blessings in disguise, because the rewrite was even better. My "horrors" have all come during marketing and promotion, but they also turned out for the best, because I learned new ways of NOT doing things….
Me giving a presentation at a local school.
 Write Joy: What’s the best thing that’s ever happened while writing or how do you celebrate small victories?

The most joy I've had while writing involved a pivotal chapter in a recent book. I spent a lot of time researching jousting, even attending two different ones, and then I figured out each knight who was participating, designed his heraldry, color of his horse, all the possible details I might use. And then I just "observed" and wrote down what I saw. I had no idea who was going to win, and it was a totally delightful surprise. (Although I soon learned that it mattered a great deal to the plot, because it set in motion events that led to the climax.) That's serendipity!

Write Crew: Who do you communicate with or not communicate with while writing?

I don't talk about plot or ideas before I write, because I learned the hard way that it takes away the urgency to tell the story. After everything is written, I read it out loud to my husband, and also share with my critique partners, with whom I have a working relationship spanning decades.

Write Secret: What’s your writing secret to success or hidden flaw?

After thirty years of writing, I'm still trying to figure it out. I have learned not to wait for "inspiration" but to make a habit out of writing. I have always done my best first drafts writing by hand in a spiral. I know that's not the most efficient way, but it works for me. I'm a very fast typist (140 wpm) so while I'm typing from the handwritten notes, I can do my first round of editing at the same time.

My flaw, which is probably not so hidden, is second-guessing myself. I tend to listen to that little editor on my shoulder (the one with devil horns and pitchfork) who whispers, "What makes you think you can write?" I have to mentally flick her off before I can get any writing done.

Write-spiration: What always makes you productive?

It may come from my earliest years of writing, when I did a lot of work for magazines, but I can focus better and be more productive when I have a deadline looming.

Write Peeve: What’s one thing writers do (or you do) that’s annoying?

I can honestly say there is only one thing that "peeves" me: When wannabe writers want to know how to get an agent and how much money they'll make before they've even written a single piece. I always want to say, "Write a million words first, and then you might be ready to talk about those things."

Write Words- Share one sentence from a project. Past or present.
Here’s the first line from my current WIP, Mercy's Children, Book 3 of my fantasy series He Who Finds Mercy:
Inside a spartan wooden hall decorated with rows of skulls, Liall Guinness, the former Lord of Moor Point, stood glaring at yet another Vandal chieftain.

These were fun questions! Thank you, Shari, for tagging me. If you haven’t checked out her blog, please do. Shari's Eldentimber series is fabulous!

Now, I’m going to pass the challenge along to Bokerah Brumley at her lovely blog, Joyful Peacock. She's so sweet about featuring other authors, it's her turn to tell us about herself. Can’t wait to read your answers, Bokerah!


  1. Love it!!! Thank you so much for sharing your answers!

    1. This was fun, Shari! Thank YOU for tagging me. :D