Category Archives: Writer’s Group days

These are blog entries on non weekdays, when I’m at Writer’s Group

I can see the top!

I’m almost there…

I’ve been devoting my free time to revising How Easy It Would Be, the novel I wrote during Nanowrimo, November 2009.  Even though I spent four hours each day of last summer, when I read through my second printing via, I still felt that the whole second half was a collection of disjointed scenes that weren’t very “tight.”

But, it is Spring Break (hurrah!) and I did get in 24 hours with my writing group, in which I created a time line for the entire novel and placed every scene in the time line, some in entirely new places.

Now, I just need to clean up the final edit- I found the mistakes on the readthrough- but now I need to clean it up in the manuscript.

And then, it is ready to submit!

Agents, contests and publishers, here I come.

I’m hoping to get it done and out by June First.

What are your best hints for keeping the work moving on long long term projects?


The new commitment

Ok, school has been in session for three weeks, I’ve already been over-trained, evaluated and inundated with paperwork. I need to swim to the top (not race to the top) and make some time for this novel to be DONE.  Right?


Here are some possible plans:

1) Get up earlier than 5.  Sounds hard.

2) Stay up later than 10.  Sounds harder- I see myself falling asleep typing.

3) Find an hour or even a half our during the day before picking up the kids-  possibly lunch time? Usually I work and network during lunch.

4) Get littlest down by 7 every time and write from 7-8 pm giving her 10 hours of sleep and me one hour to write.  Would need to get dinner on the table by 5:30, finish eating by 6, bath, book, boob done by 7.

5)  Leave work at 3, get home by 3:45, write until 4:45, pick kids up at 5.  Daycare serves dinner at 5 and it’s hard to pull the kids away from that, plus it feels like taking advantage and not spending time with the kids.

Alright, I hope you don’t mind me thinking while writing :)..but I think #4 is the winner.  Dinner planned, cooked and eaten by 6, Littlest to bed by 7.  Some concerns:  Will my brain work as well at that late hour?  I think I can force it to!

Ok, tomorrow is Monday 8/30 (Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad) and I will come home and cook, get dinner on the table by 5:30.  I will write from 7-8 .  I will do this every day of the week and I will blog about it once a week on Saturday or Sunday.

Go ahead:  WISH ME LUCK!! Thanks!

Late night writing

I like  to write early in  the morning and late late at night.  I eek out hours whenever I can.

But sometimes, I don’t write at all.

I talk, eat good food, drink good wine and hang with friends.

Yes, we did talk about writing.  We ate brownies, salad and meatballs.

But the novel made no progress at all.

Tomorrow is another day and I will work  on it then.


Writer’s Group Sleepover

Told most of the story and subplots to Jackie over dinner, dessert and coffee.

Worked on some police procedural research to find out the details I need so the story is believable.

Read a little.

Hung out a lot.

Ordered 55 new books from the library.  One shelf in one library isn’t enough anymore!.

Arms are feeling better, even without Ibuprofen.

Ready for another 20 hours of writing this week.

A group of writer’s

At 1123, I finally sat down at the table with my notebook and pen.  I opened my computer, pulled up my novel and got nothing done.

But that is OK.  If you’ve read my post “Writer’s Group: Essential”

you know how important these three ladies are to me.   We’ve been writing together, critiquing and loving each other for the last ten years.

So today was our last official “group” meeting.  <<sob>> We’ll keep meeting, but without Lora, it’ll just be different.

We went to Volcano Winery for a wine tasting, ate awesome Ethiopian food that Lora cooked, drank tons of coffee and  solved the world’s problems.

Tomorrow is Saturday, officially a family day.  If  I can squeeze in a few hours, great.  If that means I have to put off my kids, no. Planning to get back to the four hours/day plan starting this Monday.  Week three is on the horizon.

Comment below:  What is your favorite book on writing?  (If you, don’t have one, what is your favorite book?)

I’ve only just begun!

Today Jackie and I spent most of the day at our new hot spot, Kope Kope in Hilo.

We’ve abandoned Border’s Hilo because it is just too distracting.  Although, for book and magazine reading and general hanging out, Border’s is still the spot.   At Kope Kope, there is also coffee (essential), food and clean tables.  Kope Kope is much quieter and not nearly as busy (insane) as Borders.  There are many more available plugs (and even power strips!) Of course, there are things going on- Japanese people talking loudly in Japanese and one of the waitresses practicing with her cool poi balls–  a maori dance implement- click below for more info-

She was really good though.  She practiced for like two hours.  Maybe she didn’t work there after all.

Jackie and I usually chat our heads off and have trouble focusing, even at her house.  So we instituted a rule.

We would write or revise for one hour straight and then take little breaks.

If we needed to talk about something, we would write it down on a post it to talk about or do later.  It worked!

We wrote for three hours!  Yippeee. I read straight through my novel up to page 65 (out of 180 pages) making changes and notes as I went along.

‘m trying to get a feel for the plot and if it needs more rising action, falling action and twists.  Right now, my goal is to read the whole way through and tighten.  I’ve made changes as I go, but for now I’m ignoring verb tense and point of view. This means I’m skipping between Alex, the main character telling the story and a third person omniscient point of view (god-like know it all).  I’m going between past tense and present tense.  But, instead of deciding which it should be and changing it all only to change my mind again and go back and change it all again, I’m letting it ride for a bit.  I’m going to work on a “plot chart” on which I will “draw” the plot on a line graph showing rising action (good, happy stuff happening to the main character) going up and falling action (mishaps, problems, tragedy) going down.  I’m hoping that will help me “see” the whole plot more clearly.  One challenge of writing a novel is keeping most of the plot in your head while simultaneously  making it up and revising all along.

Alright!  Well, the weekend is here!  Hooray.  Saturday and Sunday I will spend with my family.  I’ll blog, but no writing until Monday.  I have a date with my van.

Writer’s Group: Essential

Ok, there is no way I would have written two novels and published a book on teaching Reading, if I hadn’t met Jackie, Darlene and Lora.

We have been writing, critiquing, drinking, and eating together for ten years.  These are the ladies who grinned through 17 drafts of  “Pure Intention, the story of a summer,”  laughed through my dead animal shorts and met extra times to revise, edit and push me through the publication work on my book.  They are my best friends.  They know more about me than my husband and my mother put together (very scary, I know!).

We are all teachers and we started out at the same school.  By now, we have expanded by location and job description, but we still manage to get together often to write,  talk and critique.  Lora is moving away this summer to California to seek her fortune and we will miss her stellar editing skills, brilliant intellect (I’m not just saying that.  She had a perfect SAT score) and sunny smile.

This summer, Jackie and I will refine our novels together and Darlene will pop in when she can to add her poetic touches.

Believe you me, if you want to write, making commitments and having like minded friends who expect it of you can make all the difference.

Hey, you all are kind of like a writing group for me.

Send me your work and I’ll give you a critique…and a big sweet cup of coffee!

How about this?  Send me something you’ve written for me to critique.  You can even choose the “guiding questions” and I’ll also send you a wee little sample of Ka’u coffee  (If you’re in the know, then you know that Ka’u coffee recently took the top three coffees in the world contest.) Just for fun, why not?  Do you have the writeintention?