Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – Now with Bodyguards

This has been a very long week and not just because of all that has been going on in the world.  At the day job, after almost of year of planning, we’ve just wrapped up four days of big, high-visibility events, which included a reception and dinner attended by CEOs and executives from dozens of billion-dollar companies.

It was a big deal.

I know that because a number of the attendees came with security details in tow, both hidden and in plain sight.  There were sweeps-of-the-room done before the events and pleasant but don’t-mess-with-me individuals posted around the room, making sure no one got anywhere they weren’t supposed to be.  Not quite the level of events my work week typically contains.  On the bright side, I got to rub shoulders with some very interesting people, on the negative side it meant a week of early mornings, late nights, drama, and problem-solving.

Now that the events are over and done with, it’s time to relax, regroup, and get back to normal (or at least what currently passes for normal).  Spending some time on my work-in-progress sounds like just the thing; I think I’ll jumpstart that with a Random Word Improv warm-up session.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Elizabeth: What Have You Been Reading?

My TBR pile is currently a teetering towering work of art.  I’ve been doing my best to reduce it to manageable proportions, but it seems for every book I read from it, I manage to add 2 more.  At this point, I’m either going to need to move or add on a room sometime in the near future.

Fortunately, I’ve spent a bit of time in waiting areas, on public transportation, and trapped in conference hotels recently – all venues more suited to reading than to writing.  That’s convenient since, in addition to the aforesaid preponderance of unread books, my writer’s brain seems to have short-circuited with all the new information that I acquired in the past month.

So, here’s what I’ve read lately: Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – Back to School Edition

I thought I was seeing things when I went shopping the other day and saw the giant back-to-school section.  Didn’t summer just start a week or so ago?  Obviously someone bumped the passage-of-time control to warp speed.   Now I’m afraid to stop at the local big box store – they probably have Halloween costumes and Christmas decorations out already.

Though I may have a fondness for school supplies – crayons are my weakness – I’m in no rush for school to start.  It’s not because I will be going back to school, but because of all the traffic that will be back on the roads, once summer vacations come to an end.  Guess it’s time to set that morning alarm a little earlier.  Or I could just be late for work.  That seems more appealing, although potentially riskier.

I guess I’ll just have to enjoy my (brief) remaining mornings of “not terrible” traffic and find something to distract me from the racing passage of time.  Delving into my work-in-progress sounds like just the thing.  I think I’ll jump-start my creativity with a little Random Word Improv warm-up session.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Vulnerable Characters

You remember Achilles, right? He had that “heel” problem.

I read two books this past weekend (it seemed much more appealing than cleaning the garage).  One was a keeper and the other probably not; one had a historical setting and the other was contemporary; but both had something in common:  a realistically vulnerable hero.

First off was Lori Foster’s Under Pressure, book 1 in her Body Armour series.  It was one of the freebies from the recent writing conference and, since I’d read and enjoyed her books before, I figured it would be a relaxing way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Though I’m pretty sure I’m not the target reader for this particular series, there were a couple of elements that I thought worked really well.  The first was the chemistry between the hero and heroine.  It can be difficult to capture instant (or very quick) attraction between characters, but in brief brushstrokes the author did just that.  The story features a resourceful heroine (Cat), a hunky bodyguard hero (Leese), and a nefarious Bad Guy threat.

As the story opens Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – With Fresh Lemon Scent

Sadly, the blog is not equipped with scratch-n-sniff capabilities so you’ll just have to imagine the fresh scent of the lemons I picked from the tree in my backyard.  I see a lot of lemonade in my future, and maybe a lemon tart or some lemon pudding cake too.

Great, now I’m hungry again.

The lemon tree, like my climbing roses and a few of the other plants in the yard had a growth spurt while I was off in Orlando last week.  Must have been all that rain we had this past winter, coupled, with the current warm, sunny skies.  The local wildlife seems to have experienced a growth spurt as well.  The raccoon, possum, and skunk who scour my front porch in the evenings looking for food and water have almost doubled in size.  I’m guessing they’ve been clearing out the neighborhood cat-food dishes.    Today’s raccoon looked positively disgruntled when he realized there was nothing but a bowl of water to be had.  He and the cat had a stare-off through the screen door.

Now that the yard work is done Continue reading

Elizabeth: Ah-ha Moments

Last week’s RWA Conference in Orlando was a bit unusual for me.  I’ve been to writing conferences before and I’ve even heard some of these same speakers speak before, but what was different this time around is that, when the end of the conference rolled around on Saturday afternoon, I was actually a little disappointed that it was all over.

That never happens.

A number of things made this conference a little different, not the least of which was that Michille and actually I got to meet one of our blog followers live and in person.  Writing here on the blog can feel pretty anonymous, so it was very exciting to have a follower recognize us and seem so pleased to meet us.  We only wish we had had the presence of mind to take a photo.

My primary reason for attending this year’s conference was to spend some quality time with the rest of the Eight Ladies, and we definitely did that.    Over the course of almost five days together, there was plenty of time to talk story, to brainstorm, and to plot and plan.  As I had hoped, that left me re-motivated to get back to work on my current mystery draft.  It was also nice to get some confirmation that the story seems to be heading in the right direction, especially since I was starting to feel like I was losing my grasp on the plot.

Equally helpful Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – From the Sprint Cafe

Today’s writing sprints are coming to you directly from the sun-drenched splendor of the RWA Conference in Orlando.

This year’s conference contains a number of new elements, including “Sprint Café” sessions.  During these hour-long periods, the workshop leaders and attendees all “put their butts in their chairs, set the clock, and write as much as they can in one hour.”

What’s not to like about that?

The first session was on Wednesday and there is another session today (Friday) – perfect timing for our own Random Word Improv writing.  There is nothing like being in a room with other individuals writing away to provide the motivation to get some words on the page.

I’ll be doing my best to make it to today’s session though, according to my workshop schedule that may involve me being in two places at one time.  Care to join me? Continue reading