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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Feeling Vile

Today is not turning out to be a good day. Had an argument with my roommate this morning. Haven’t written in a couple of days. I was really ahead on my Nano score (just over 17,000 words) but now I think I’m behind.


It seems like the world is falling to pieces, and I don’t think I’m going to be able to deal with any willful stupidity on the part of anyone today, least of all my students. And, horror of horrors, Starbucks may be partnering up with Monsanto. If horror, by definition, is the corruption of something good, then Starbucks cozying up with Monsanto exemplifies it.

I can tell, just by reading this, that my fangs are popping out and my eyes have turned golden.

But on the bright side, it may be just as well to work on antagonist-focused scenes today, and purge all this from my psyche.

Time to murder some characters…

Have a productive day, everyone!

Wrestling With the Demon of Doubt

Okay, so looking at the date of my last post, I’ve been AWOL for a while. The only thing I can say in my defense is that I’ve been (paradoxically, I might add) trying to get the final plotting bits done. At the same time I’ve been doubting everything I’ve been doing.

The litany of pre-Nano jitters is the same every year: can I do this, nobody wants to read what I write, what makes me think I can be a “real” writer (whatever that is), blah, blah, and blah again.

It didn’t get any better yesterday. I was literally afraid to put my fingers to the keys because I didn’t think I could just do it.

Today everything changed.

It’s now 3:33 p.m. So far today I’ve been able to do 5,534 words. That’s more than one-tenth of Nano done! And the day’s not over.

I think I’m going to go pound on the keyboard some more.



My momentum has slowed down quite a bit in the past couple of days – I’ve only gotten two new scenes outlined. And I think I might know why.

Alexandra Sokoloff, one of the brightest people out there (as far as I’m concerned) regarding writing and the how-to’s behind it, has been doing her Nano-prep postings on her blog. I’ve got both her writing books and I find them extraordinarily useful. But when I read her recent blog entry, it reminded me that I haven’t been able to wrap my head around sequences.

They puzzle me. Sequences kind of remind me of Acts, but smaller. Or like scenes, but larger. And yet, they have beginnings, middles, and ends, so I’m told.

I’m trying to rip into them, with Alex’s analysis of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. After that, I’m going to try it on my own with “Red.”

But, if anyone has any light to shed on this subject that, to me, is as muddy as the Mississippi, I’d be more than grateful to absorb any pears of wisdom you care to throw my way.

See you Wednesday!

30 New Scenes

I’m off to a heck of a start. In the past 48 hours, after chucking out Act I, I’ve been able to outline 30 new scenes (one paragraph per scene) and dump a heck of a lot of stress. No matter what, I just couldn’t make Act I work. That part is being shifted to the second book in the series.

I’ve gotten to the point where I’m looking forward to my story again. Whew!

See you on Sunday – hopefully with the rest of the book plotted out.

Round 4 Goals

I’m so inspired by Kristen Lamb’s blog entry about outrunning the “Spock Brain” that I’m going to attempt it this round.

My goals are utterly outrageous – I’m going to finish plotting “Murder By Magic” – which got all of Act I cut yesterday – and have my rough draft done by the end of the round.

I will also, as part of that, attempt to finish Nano this year with 50,000 words.

I’m expecting that I’ll have to get really comfortable with Dragon in the next couple of days, because I don’t think I’m going to be able to get this completed without it.

Off to continue plotting!

Write FAST and Furious! Learning to Outrun “The Spock Brain”

We all need to take a moment and look at this…

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Kirk Original Image courtesy of David HT Flikr Creative Commons…

Many new authors slog out that first book, editing every word to perfection, revising, reworking, redoing. When I used to be a part of critique groups, it was not at all uncommon to find writers who’d been working on the same book two, five, eight and even ten years. Still see them at conferences, shopping the same book, getting rejected, then rewriting, rewriting…..


Great, maybe Kathryn Stockett, the author of The Help took five years and 62 revisions to get her story published. Awesome for her. And yes, her book was a runaway success, but this isn’t the norm. It’s playing Literary Lottery with our careers.

For most writers, it will be hard to have a long-term successful career if our pace is a book or two a decade.

Most authors who’ve made legend status were all talented, yes. But…

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