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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Cozy Mystery Progress

It's been 21 days since I started working on my cozy mystery, and I'm happy to report that I am making progress as promised!

Today, I actually wrote the first scene for the story. Up to now, I have been busy working on a plot outline, developing my characters, and creating a setting. Not all of this is finished, but I have a good working outline. So, I decided to at least start the story. I'll have to continue working on my characters and settings and plot, but I'm at a place where I can at least begin.

I am using Scrivener, which I love. I have created a cast of characters using a template I created from several books. I have mapped out my town, however, I can already see some changes that need to be made. More on this later. I have a skeleton plot. My biggest challenge at this point is my villain. I'm having a bit of trouble coming up with one I like. I have one I'm working with, but I'm not sure if he's a keeper. Lots to think about!

In the midst of all this, I am teaching at Cornerstone Tutorial Center, playing chauffeur for my husband, Bill, and packing for my move in April. It's a lot to juggle, but I'm determined to keep on keeping on. I had three days where I did not write at all; but, thanks to Ramona's Sprint, I am writing a minimum of one hour a day. It's not much, but it's all I've got right now. I feel like the turtle in The Tortoise and the Hare!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Social Media, Blogging, and Moving

In the process of preparing for our move to an independent living facility, my husband found this video which was recorded on a CD and subsequently misplaced. I thought I had lost it. 

So here's the story: Back in 2007, I went back to college and started a blog called Empty Nest Mom Goes to College. Long story short, Good Morning American and Ladies' Home Journal were looking for a subject to use in their story on adult women returning to college. They found my blog and the rest is history. Here is my 5 minute claim to fame! 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Writing Progress

So, I've been a part of the writer's sprint for 10 days now and I wrote one hour per day for all but one of those days. So, I feel pretty good about that. Still working on developing characters and basic plot. But, with only one hour a day to spend on it, I can expect it to take a long time. Perhaps after my move, I will be able to spend more time on writing.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Renew Your Writing Vows in 2015

Ramona DeFelice Long is a new online friend and mentor that I met through Sisters in Crime. She recently posted this on her blog, and I want to pass it on because it helps me continue to press on towards the goal of finishing my novel; something that I've wanted to do for years, but never made the time to do.

With Ramona's help and the help of our sprints online, I am finally seeing progress. It also helps to know that someone took three years to write a book. That gives me freedom to write one hour a day and not worry that it won't be done tomorrow. I guess it's that Tortoise and the Hare mentality: Slow and steady WILL win the race! Thanks, Ramona. I'm taking the pledge and so is Oreo!

I, Cindy Downes do solemnly swear to devote one hour each day to Sacred Writing Time. That means no one and nothing disturbs this time, including myself.
I will work at my laptop in my bedroom. When you, the undersigned, see me at this location, you will respect my Sacred Writing Time Pledge and not disturb me unless there is blood flowing from multiple places on someone’s body.
Signatures: Cindy Downes (yours) OREO? (your family’s)

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Accountability

One of the problem with writing is that it is a solo occupation. This makes it very easy to "put it off until tomorrow," therefore, I've been looking for some kind of accountability.

Then, I met Ramona DeFelice Long through Sisters in Crime, and she invited me to her online Writer's Sprint every day at 7 a.m. Eastern time. The goal is to post on the board at 7, then write for one hour, and then re-post on the board after you have completed your "sprint."

This has been a wonderful inspiration for me. Every morning, I get up and write for one hour before doing anything else. Then, I post my accomplishments on Ramona's page. Just knowing that some other writer friends are doing the same thing makes it so much easier to keep that commitment. And, I'm actually making progress on my book!

I'm also looking forward to getting to know all the writer's in this group. Maybe next time I head back east, I'll be able to meet them in person.

If you can't find a group of writer's in your local area or, if you're like me and have a crazy work schedule, try to find an online group. I highly recommend it!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Mystery Writers Unite!

If any of my readers are interested in writing mysteries, I invite you to join Sisters-in-Crime.



And, for those of you like me who are really new at this, they have a subgroup called Guppies.



I've only been a member myself for a couple of weeks and already I have learned much more about writing a mystery AND I've found some online support to help motivate me to accomplish what I want to accomplish. I'm very excited I found this group. I only wish there were more in Oklahoma so that we could me face to face!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Full circle

Did anyone see the article in NY Times about Amazon's Unlimited ebook service? Times are changing, again! Once upon a time, the only way a write could get published was through a traditional publisher. Then, self-publishing came along. I, myself, rode that wave and made a nice tidy sum marketing myself through Google and social media such as Facebook and Twitter. Then, they started charging for ads. Today, it's too expensive for my small business to advertise on social media; and my posts don't show up without the ads. Therefore, that wave is over for me.

Today, writers have Amazon Kindle Unlimited giving their books away as fast as they can write them. The NY Times article says there are too many writers, and you know what that means? Basic supply and demand from Economics 101. Supply is up; price is down. That is just a fact of economic principles. So, what should we do about it?

For me, I'm using my experiences to teach in a classroom (at least until technology takes that away!). As far as writing, I'm doing it for my own pleasure. I enjoy writing; and, someday, if I work hard enough, perhaps someone will want to publish what I write. I guess I have gone full-circle: publishing, self-publishing, and now back to publishing.

What about you?