Monday, December 5, 2011


Hello All!!!
So, today I woke up for the third Monday in a row for my 5:20 am workout. I groaned at the early hour that my alarm had the nerve to go off at, mumbled as I got dressed for the grueling pain I was about to put myself in, and moaned as I made my way through the first minutes of the work. I spend my early mornings on Mondays and Tuesdays with good old Jillian Michaels, and that woman kicks your butt for real! So when my alarm goes off and I anticipate the world of hurt I'm about to go through, I think of going back to sleep...every single time! This thought today made me think on how difficult it is to establish good routines in everything we do...especially in writing.

Getting that much needed and desired writing routine can be so difficult. Ask anyone, getting yourself to sit down for a specified amount of time every day can be such a pain once you've had other things come into the mix and mess with your established schedule. For me, moving to New York, moving back to Houston, dealing with a period of sadness (ie: can't write cause I'm too upset), then finding a new job completely messed up my good old, tried and true schedule. Now I'm working to get that new routine in gear.

It's taking a lot of trying new things and throwing them out once I find that they don't work to find my new process, but I feel sure that I'll find it soon. And the benefits of all of this searching and trying new things will definitely come in time.

What processes to you all work with? How long did it take you to find a routine after a drastic change?

Happy Writing!!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Hey Everybody!!!
So, I've been out of the game for a while, but that's mostly due to me having to get my life back together. After a rough year, I've finally found a good and stable job that's fairly stress free, have a good man who appreciates me, and more room in my head to think of the awesomeness that is writing and creating =). I'm still working on getting my writing groove/schedule back, but I figured that will all come in due time, so without further adieu...

Yesterday some idiot in Africa hacked into my Facebook account. It didn't cause me too much strain, but it did make me have to go and change a lot of my passwords to protect my private, for lack of a better word, stuff. I was going through one of my old bank accounts and realized how drastic of a shift in pay I'd taken since my little...let's call it a New York and back. And it made me a little angry. Who am I kidding, I was peeved! And I mean seriously seething. With one motion I was reminded of everything I gave up and sacrificed, and of all the emotions that came with it. But instead of letting myself get caught up in the wave of it, I decided to note it, to jot down the physical and emotional effects of what I'd felt, and use it at a later date.

When it comes down to it, crap happens in life that you can't plan for. All you can do is learn from your experiences and move on. Me, I plan on using these events to make my characters more real and life-like, because that's part of my job as a writer. I'm not only supposed to come up with interesting story lines and plots that keep a reader on their seat, but characters that feel and react in a way that the reader can truly relate to. And that is how I plan on turning the proverbial lemon into lemonade!!!

How do you all turn your bad situations into writing gold?

Sunday, July 3, 2011


Hey All!!!

So, this past week we added a new addition to our critique group. Her name is Laurie and she's super awesome because she also loves and writes YA!!! Now, I love all of my group members, but it's just going to be exciting to have another kid at heart in the group.

As we were going through the interview process to decide if we'd let her join (we're a tough group like that), the idea of finding ones writing process came up. When it comes to plotting and developing a compelling story, each writer has their specific process for getting their ideas from their brain to the page, but finding that process can be much more difficult than any of us can think. Laurie is in search of her process now and it got me thinking on how I'd found my own.

When I first started writing, I did what I thought all writers did, I sat at my computer and typed out my chapters as they flitted across my mind. I've always been a person who outlines, but I thought I had to just follow my outline and put those ideas onto the computer screen - and I utterly failed. While the story was plotted well, the draft that began to take form wasn't nearly what I knew I could produce. So I went back to the drawing board and thought on how I used to handle writing when I was doing a lot more of it - back in college and high school - and I realized one important fact - I used to write everything in long hand before typing it out at a later time. This one small change made all the difference. The words began to flow and when I did type it out I was able to edit myself and make my first draft even better. In turning back and re-evaluating my process, I found something that really worked well for me.

Each of us, as writers, have to find what works the best for us when it comes to transferring the stories in our minds to the stories that can be seen and read by others. It may take a bit of patience and a whole lot of work, but if you spend the time and focus on the task at hand, the reward will more than be worth it.

Happy writing!!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Hey All!
So, things have been slowly coming into place in my life and it got me thinking on writing and how it's hard to get a routine down once you've lost it. See, a year ago I was on a roll. I had this cushy job that provided me with a good amount of time to write in between busy spurts, not to mention those hour long lunch breaks that I'd take at my desk either reading some inspiring tale or, better yet, writing a gut wrenching story of my own. It was great. It was glorious. I was a writing machine!!!

But then I moved to New York, and my focus shifted from creating to worrying about finding a new job. That anxiety crushed my creativity like a beast taking out a delicate butterfly. Though I tried day in and out, it was hard to be productive when I didn't know how I would pay my bills in a few months.

Then things fell apart (Thankfully!) and I was back in Houston, still job searching, still worrying about my finances. Then, as if that wasn't difficult enough, I had to deal with the loss of my relationship. If my anxiety crushed my creativity, then combining it with my emotions completely tore my writing ability to shreds. I was completely unproductive. And the worst thing was I had a killer story in my head, just waiting to get out. But I couldn't write.

Then something turned around for me. It was slow at first, each piece coming into place bit by bit, but I started to see light at the end of my tunnel again.

I got a job. It wasn't perfect, and still isn't, but I slowly began to feel secure again in my finances. I met this guy friend who actually got me excited about the possibility of dating again. My friends here started dragging me out more and more, reminding me that life is out there, waiting for you to experience it. And slowly, ever so slowly, I began to want to write again.

Now it was hard as hell. And I don't know what I would've have done without my critique group and other friends encouraging me along the way, but I'm finally at peace with life now. And that's when I started to think about the routine of writing. It's hard to get to that find that groove where you write almost every day and you don't have other pesky things interfering with your muse, but I'm slowly getting there.

And the only thing I have to say to the universe is that the writing gods better get ready...cause, like Stella and her groove revival, I'm back!!!

Happy writing everyone!

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Hello All,
I wanted to take a moment to reflect on making every moment count when it comes to your writing. As writers, we often think that if we can't get in one solid hour of page filling work, then we've been completely useless. We've all done it. Hell, I've gone through the roller coaster of self-hatred when I just couldn't get any words on the matter what I tried. But I think it's time to let go of that archaic thinking and expand our minds to be more forgiving and more open.

Last night, I was at work until 4:00 pm, I had to miss my workout, and then I had my lovely (and yet rowdy) niece with me until my mom came to relieve me around 8:00 pm. With eating, de-stressing, and evening rituals to do, I thought there would be no way for me to get in the hour of writing time I'd planned for. But instead of pouting and beating myself up, I sat down and got in thirty minutes. It wasn't much, and I only got through about three pages of work, but it was farther along than when I woke up that morning...and it was enough work to get me to the next scene of my story, which I'm really excited to write.

Then it hit me...even a few moments of quiet writing time, on top of one another, is better than none. I need to evolve and do something if I truly want to be productive. I can't always wait around for the perfect conditions. Sometimes I have to push forward.

I went to sleep last night feeling good, with a new mindset for the future.

Happy Writing!!!

Sunday, February 6, 2011


Hello All!
This weekend I got to thinking on the different factors that affect a person's writing. In this industry there are so many hurdles for a writer to consider. Not only do you have to write a killer manuscript, but you have to go to conference and network, you have to work hard to get an agent, hopefully get picked up by an editor, and then you have to network and get the word out on your story to get that books off the shelves. It's a crazy and intense process that only the dedicated can even think on messing with.

If all of these hills and roadblocks aren't enough, writers have to deal with the everyday distractions that often can interrupt the flow of one's writing process. Let's see, there's the television, internet, the constant need to be reassured of one's talent....and normal things, like sleeping, eating, working out, etc. Hell, life is a constant distraction. But the one thing that can uproot the entire writing process is a writer's emotions.

Yep, I said it. Feelings can completely ruin the entire process. For me, it's hard to be creative when I'm feeling like shit. When nothing seems to be going right, it's difficult to focus on characterization and storylines. All I want to do is mope and quietly watch television...which is completely unproductive.

I remember reading about this happening to Stephenie Meyers when she was writing Midnight Sun, which was supposed to be the story of Twilight told from Edward's point of view. Her unedited and unfinished manuscript had been leaked on the web and Mrs. Meyers was so distraught that she couldn't finish writing it. She wrote on her website how writing while she was in that emotional state could change the entire makeup of the story, that the bad guys would beat Edward, and Bella would end up dead at the end. At the time I didn't get it. I mean, the book was already written. Couldn't she just take that outline and make it work. Forget her emotions, we were all salivating for Edwards point of view!!!!

Now that I've recently gone through my own bout of craziness, I'm realizing how futile it is to try to force myself to write when my heart isn't in it. For me, it's better to wait it out and let the bad mood pass. Then, I can get to work and move forward.

Does this happen to you guys? And how do you handle writing when your emotions are going bananas?

Happy writing!!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Hey All,
For those of you who don't know me, recently my life had been turned upside down. I'm really went to shit for a while. I moved back to Texas (both a good and bad thing, depending on how you see it, but it definitely wasn't in the plan). As of today's date, I've found a new job (thankfully, because the market is definiately a beast). And I'm having to re-sketch all of the plans I thought had been finalized in my life. During that time of intense change and re-evaluation, I was forced to deal with an idea that I had hoped and prayed I wouldn't have to deal with - the idea of moving forward, of making a decision to strive for something more and leaping into the void to get it.

It's a topic that I think interconnects with many aspects of life, including writing.

There's that moment when you look at a manuscript and think, "Where do I go from here?" There's the constant fear of it never being good enough, and always, always, always cornering yourself in revisions, trying to smooth out every single hitch in the plot. There's the time when you think it's great, and someone else reads it and tells you it's shit!

When you come across these moments, it's important to be able to see the bigger picture - to be able to look outside your fear and make a calculated decision that goes in line with your overall goals. Now, I know that this is much easier said than done, but we all have to push through these moments. I, myself, have to get off my butt and finish reading through my first manuscript and be brave enough to begin sending it out...again. It's hard to decide if a story is good enough - to know that you'll be rejected time and time again...and to still press on. But you have to do it!!!

So, make the decision. Move forward with your goals. Send out that manuscript that you've revised over and over again. Because though you might've been pushed down and beat up many times, this may be YOUR time.

Happy writing!!!