Doing It Blind

Welcome to Day 1 of Nano!! I’ve had great ideas for the past couple of months, knowing exactly where I’m going with the story, who’s doing what to whom, and when the kid gets kidnapped.

I froze.

Yeah, I’ve got about 2,500 words so far today. But it’s always easier in my head. I looked at the blank screen and thought, “Oh, crap…now what??”

I had no idea what to do. Then it hit me – I can keep the words in my head.

Now, that may sound180 degrees off base. How can you keep the words in your head if you’re going to write a novel for the public to read? (Someday. Hopefully.)

I found a way around the problem.

Those of you who read this blog know that I write in Scrivener. In Scrivener I can go into Full Screen format, change my font color to match the background color, and off I go. It’s like everything is still in my head, because I can’t see it.

No fear. No judgement. All production.




Unexpected Changes (And How Writing Is Like Sex – Or Not)

Good morning!

After all my good planning, the Universe went and spit in my eye via a bit of misdirection.

One of my coworkers had something of a – possible – nervous breakdown at work and subsequently quit. I totally get it; everyone has their line of demarcation. Cross that line, and anything can happen.

That event created some changes in my work life, and it’s distracted me from other things I had planned – like planning for Nano.

This morning, that all changed.

I saw an ad for the Wall Street Journal. Of course, it was centered around a woman opening her own business as part of her personal dream. Good for her.

However – there was a tag line that completely resonated with me. It was this:


Wow. And all this time I’ve been putting other things first – things that seemed more “important.”

Writing always felt like an indulgence, a luxury, something that I should probably be doing privately. Something done in secret, alone, so that others wouldn’t know and look down their noses in some weird conglomeration of disdain and horror.

What I do (and other writers) is not pseudo-intellectual creative masturbation. It is the planning of a fiesta, a block party where everyone is welcome. No matter which party you end up attending, there will always be something to appeal to you.

I must go apply fingers to keyboard now, and continue planning a party to share with the world.

Jumping In Again…

I’ve been away for a while – unexpected life events, becoming overwhelmed, things like that. So much so that I haven’t looked at my email in months, and have over 40K of unread emails to get through. Yep. In the process of doing that I was online this morning and the Round 4 Signup post was at the top of the list.


I’d forgotten. I’d forgotten  how much writing means to me. I’d forgotten how easy it is to get sucked into the downward swirly of everyday life and ignore everything that makes life ultimately worthwhile.

So I’m back.

This is a great time to come back, too. Nano is on the horizon (Yay!!). My month of plotting begins in less than a week. I find that I’m raring to go.

In the spirit of assuaging my spirits I’m taking the plunge with both feet. I’ll have two goals, but each one will be taking place at a different time.

First, between now and Halloween, I’m going to make SURE I have all the planning done that I want to organize before Nano. During Nano, I’m going to go for a daily goal of 2K words. I don’t think that’s too difficult, and with any luck, I’ll get more. After Nano, I’m planning on continuing with the daily word count of 2K.

This will prove all the more interesting since I’ve recently rescued two kittens. They’ve taken their cues from my older Russian Blue, who immediately taught them deep and abiding disrespect for my keyboard and anything my fingers happen to be doing on it.

I write in Scrivener. My automatic save button is set for 2 seconds of inactivity. I know where the undo button is – essential when you have kittens/cats – and now it’s time.

Here goes!

Series and Psychopaths—The Author Sadist & Why Audiences LOVE the Pain

Here’s an amazing analysis that, as a writer, might shift your perspective 180 degrees!

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 9.18.35 AM Mads Mikkelsen in “Hannibal”

Hubby and I are now careening through Hannibal, which is some of the most amazing writing I’ve ever seen. I would have never believed any actor could even rival Anthony Hopkins’ portrayal of Dr. Hannibal Lecter, but…? Mads Mikkelsen might actually be better. I don’t know if I have ever felt so conflicted about a character. Hannibal is a stone-cold killer, but then I catch myself rooting for him?

Wait…no, he’s the BAD GUY. Right?

I’m so confused *head desk*

Yet, this series is such a prime example of why series are superlative storytelling. Instead of containing a character like Lecter to 90-120 minutes, we now have what no movie can offer…TIME. This allows for a layering, a depth, an exploration we always craved, even if we weren’t entirely aware of it at the time.

I find it harder to make snap judgements (like I do…

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Okay, so I’m hanging my head in shame. I can’t believe it’s been so long since I’ve posted. There’s no excuse. Well, maybe one…

My new job had me working seven days a week, for as many hours as I could manage. (Talk about breaking your brain!)

After a hectic, albeit broke, holiday season, I ended up getting a job in an accounting firm that does broker’s audits. Wow…talk about being thrown into the deep end of the pool! I’d never had any auditing experience, but I ended up in an Olympic-sized pool at the edge of the highest diving board. With hurricane force winds at my back.

When I accepted this job, it was under the assumption that once audit season was over, my hours would be cut from 40 to around 30-35. I accepted that. After all, I also teach algebra at a local college. Things were not as advertised, however…

The deadline for broker’s audits – without extensions – was this past Monday at midnight. There were only a couple of audits that had to go on extension, and my portion of those audits was already completed.

So, guess what happened next?

Yep. I’m looking for a new job, because there was no work for me to do.

I’ve got a couple of interviews set for Monday. Yesterday I had my hair cut and styled in preparation, and this weekend I’m going to shop for clothes. After all, I’ve been wearing jeans for the past 10 years at my teaching job. Heck, even at the CPA firm we wore jeans and trainers. That was really nice.

We’ll see how the new challenges turn out.

(And, my creative brain has come back since this has ended. Woo hoo!)

Are We TRULY Thankful? Unseen Blessings that Can Change Our Lives

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Screen Shot 2014-11-26 at 7.37.14 AM PLEEEEAAASE. Just ONE enchilada. I will love you FOREVER!

One thing I’ve learned is that happiness is a fleeting shadow. Contentment and gratitude are all that last. When circumstances dictate how we feel? Just accept that life is going to feel as if we are strapped to Hell’s Tilt-A-Whirl.

Because cats will never puke on tile instead of carpet, cars break, sinks leak, pipes bust, bills come, illness happens, kids act up, family WILL make us nuts, work will suck, some people will NEVER learn not to CC ALL in an e-mail, and the news will always be filled with the worst examples of “humanity.” EVERY network will spew doom, gloom, division, hate and hopelessness.

On the other side of that?

We also live in a society that tells us everything should be a highlight reel, that everyone ELSE is living a highlight reel, when truth is? That’s a…

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