Elizabeth: Friday Story Time and Sprints

Life has been full of ups and downs lately, not to mention fires, ants, and a rapidly disintegrating fence.  Naturally I’ve been comfort reading to balance things out.  Sure, I’ve been calling it research, but that’s only true in the slightest sense.

I’ve been reading my way through Georgette Heyer’s Georgian/Regency romances (I finished off her mysteries several months ago) both for enjoyment and to get a better feel for her wording, speech patterns, and conversational styles that do such a wonderful job evoking the period her stories are set in.

Since I’m in the process of revising my own Regency story, which feels a lot like a contemporary dressed up as a historical, I’m hoping all the reading I’ve been doing will be of help as I work to make the story sound more historically accurate.

I’ll be doing a little more reading, once I finish with this post, but then it will be time to get some my own words on the page.  I think I’ll get things started by trying my hand at writing something that sounds historically accurate – possibly incorporating some of today’s random words.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Learning with Others

Sometimes mastering a new skill is a breeze; other times it’s like trying to swim through quicksand.

– – -Beats?

– – -Scene escalation?

– – -Conflict lock?

Mastering those basic concepts, especially in terms of my own stories, has been like trying to swim through quicksand in a full suit of armor.

We’ve blogged about all of these concepts multiple times here on the blog, I’ve attended numerous RWA sessions on them, and of course we covered them in our McDaniel romance writing classwork.  Sadly, my grip on them has been decidedly tenuous, with hit-or-miss implementation.

According to a random article I read on the internet today, the problem may not be that these concepts are beyond me, it may just be that I need to find a different learning style.  There are, according to the aforementioned article, seven styles of learning: Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Story Time and Sprints

I was at the store yesterday and they had a display of Halloween costumes out already. That’s just crazy. There’s still more than a month of summer left. I guess it’s lucky they didn’t have Thanksgiving turkeys and Christmas trees out already too, though I’ll admit I wouldn’t have minded if they had decided it was time to bring out the pecan pies.


This weekend I’ll be heading off to a festival where there will be delightful things like apple fritters, fresh pressed apples, and vendors selling all kinds of things that I absolutely don’t need, but may very likely still buy.

Before that, however, it’s time to make sure I still qualify as being a “writer” by actually sitting down and writing something (other than blog posts). I’ve been working on my contemporary mystery manuscript all week – I’m hoping to get a few more scenes finished on that before Monday. As a precursor to that, I think I’ll wake up my creativity with a session of writing sprints.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Name that Series

Okay, I’ll admit it. I’ve been hanging out with new stories.


Sure, I’ve got three manuscripts in varying stages of completion and a goal of getting them all buffed and polished so I can enter them in the next (and final) Golden Heart contest, but there are new, seductive story ideas all around, just clamoring for my attention.  Who am I to ignore them?

Maybe all of the reading I’ve been doing in recent months (a book-a-day anyone?) has kicked my imagination into gear, or maybe the editing project I just finished triggered some new creative brain cells; who knows.

Actually, I’m pretty sure it was Jilly. Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Story Time and Sprints

A congratulatory shout-out to Eight-Lady-Jeanne, whose Amazon author page went live this week.  Her first book, The Demon Always Wins, which comes out September 1, is up and ready for pre-orders.

As of 3:23pm PST 8/22/2018, the book had reached #1443 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Romance > Paranormal category.

How exciting!

I’m vicariously enjoying watching the whole process and can’t wait for release day.

Seeing Jeanne’s book up on Amazon is just the motivation I needed to focus on my own writing.  While I’d love to see my own Amazon author page, that’s a bit further down the line for me.  The current goal I’m working toward is getting my two draft manuscripts buffed and polished so I can submit them to the 2019 Golden Heart contest.  I hadn’t looked at one of the manuscripts for quite a while and there’s a bit more work needed than I initially thought – just what Jilly experienced when she dusted of her own Contemporary story to get it ready for the same contest, so at least I’m in good company.

After the Day Job today I’ll be working on filling a few Regency plot-holes.  I think I’ll warm up my creativity with some writing sprints before I dive into the story.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Diversity and the Historical

A while back I wrote a series of posts about diversity romance writing/ publishing which included a discussion about the recent decrease in the number of books published by diverse writers (aka PoC); recommendations for some diverse authors to consider when looking for that next book to read; a perspective about diversity in romance from a diverse reader;  and finally, some things to keep in mind when creating diverse characters in your writing.

I didn’t think I had anything else to say on the topic, but then there was the recent RWA Conference, where diversity and inclusion were in the spotlight – from Suzanne Brockman’s Lifetime Achievement Award speech to Kristan Higgins call-out on the lack of diverse finalists in the RITA awards, to an “invitation only” Diversity Summit where “high level publishing professionals, key contacts at major retailers, and members of the RWA staff and Board” talked about . . . well, something.

All of that got me to thinking, as did Nancy’s insightful More Thoughts on Diversity post earlier this week, and Justine’s blog-post comment below. Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Story Time and Sprints

Happy Friday (or close to it)!  As you’ve probably noticed from this week’s posts, the annual RWA conference is over and done with and things are getting back to normal.  I’m busy trying to go through all of the notes I took in the workshops and make some sense of them.  I’m sure they made sense when I wrote them, but now I’m wondering about a few of them.

Writing-wise, the conference was productive for me, since I took advantage of some of the Writing Sprint sessions that were offered.  Getting up for a 7:00am session was not my idea of fun but getting words on the page was.  I’m hoping to keep up that momentum now that I’m back home, thought it undoubtedly won’t be quite the same sprinting in my pajamas from the comfort of my couch.  It was very motivating being in a roomful of other writers who were busily typing away.

I’ll be busy at the Day Job all day today, but when I get home, I’ll be doing some sprinting on my Regency manuscript – trying to make some changes, based on ideas I picked up at the conference.

Care to join me? Continue reading