Michille: The ‘It’ Books of Summer

The Wedding Party

‘Tis the season for guilty pleasures. The summer read. The blockbuster movie. Maybe it’s just me because my day job is in the education field (although I’m one of those dreaded administrators who work all year instead having the summer off [i.e., reserved for various therapies to recover from teaching]). But. I pulled my head out of my current grant deadlines and looked ahead to summer fun.

The New York Times recently published an article about The ‘It Books’ of Summers Past. I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve only read one of them. Ever. And it was the 2013 ‘It’ book Crazy Rich Asians, which I read in 2019 and found very entertaining, but as we are all story wonks of varying levels, not particularly well written in a strictly fiction craft sense. Of course, we’ve also discussed all the ways writers can ignore craft rules and still tell a wonderful story. I did see the Primary Colors movie, and of course, Love Story (which I will never watch again or read – it’s just too sad, because, spoiler alert – she dies [no HEA]). Continue reading

Michille: Beach Reads 2019 (and before)

The Kiss QuotientWith the holiday weekend approaching, lots of folks in my area and around the country are heading to the beach. For our non-US friends, Memorial Day in the US is a federal holiday for remembering and honoring people who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. It is currently observed on the last Monday of May, which means a lot of Americans have the day off (and head out of town or have a cookout). With beaches on the mind, I was thinking about beach reads for this summer. I’m not heading out this weekend but will probably have some time to put my nose in a book. I’m looking forward to the second in Kevin Kwan’s series, China Rich Girlfriend. I read the first, Crazy Rich Asians, recently and, while not particularly well written, it was entertaining so it might be that one next.

Some of my recent reads that I can recommend are: Continue reading

Michille: A Pill for Writer’s Block

pills istock-168763163Seriously. There’s a pill. I heard an interview with Robert Anthony Siegel on NPR Radio in which he discussed a one-man open-label placebo trial he’d undertaken with John Kelley. Siegel is a writer and Kelley is a psychology professor at Endicott College and the deputy director of Harvard’s Program in Placebo Studies and Therapeutic Encounter, a program devoted to the interdisciplinary study of the placebo effect. The goal was to get rid of Siegel’s writer’s block, and the panic attacks and insomnia that went hand-in-hand with the writer’s block. The interview was a discussion about the research and subsequent article in the Smithsonian Magazine – “Why I Take Fake Pills: Surprising new research shows that placebos still work even when you know they’re not real.” Continue reading

Michille: Getting My Writing Mojo Back

woman-computer

Photo: The Harris Poll

I write in fits and starts. I wish I didn’t. I wish I wrote every day, butt in the chair, hands on the keyboard, etc, etc, every day, but I don’t. Sometimes, I do write a lot and think of my story and my series a lot. And sometimes I don’t. I am in a don’t period right now. Back in the November, NaNo gave me a huge boost in word count, creativity, and energy for my story that carried me through a month or two. Then life interrupted . . . I don’t need to go into details on my interruptions, you can fill in the blanks with yours. Continue reading

Michille: Grisham’s Do’s and Don’ts

John Grisham Ryan Pfluger NYT

John Grisham on productivity: “Nothing will happen until you are producing at least one page per day.” Credit Ryan Pfluger for The New York Times

I read the New York Times every day. Well, not the whole thing, but I scan the home page and find enough articles that catch my interest to keep me on the site for a while. I’m not sure how I missed this gem from May 2017. John Grisham’s Do’s and Don’ts for Writing Popular Fiction. Some we’ve all heard/read before. Some are new to me. Even with the list, JG gives the caveat, “All suggestions can be ignored when necessary. I do it all the time.” Many writers do. But for those of us who aren’t multi-best-selling authors, it’s good to review every now and then.

Here they are: Continue reading

Michille: The Clinch Cover

Several of my fellow 8LW are self-publishing their books. They occasionally bounce cover ideas off the rest of the 8LW. I’ve never given the composition a lot of thought other than I like this or I like that, but as I’ve been seeing the process through their eyes, it’s made me pay more attention. I’ve noticed cartoon (probably not the right word) covers making a comeback, lots of bare chests and tats for the more erotic stories, and full-faces of characters rather than half-images which I used to see more. I’ve always paid attention to whether the cover lived up to what was inside or if it leads me astray. Continue reading

Michille: Procrasti Nation Again

The View

Sometimes I have difficulty coming up with ideas for this blog. When I do, I start with my old blog posts to see if any of them spark ideas for new ones. In today’s case, I found one from almost exactly a year ago that sums up where I am now. AGAIN.

In November I was going gangbusters on my WIP. I kept up the progress for a couple of months and then . . . ppppfffttt. The motivation fizzled out. I think part of it came from the realization that, not only did I miss the Golden Heart deadline, but I would have to miss RWA. AGAIN. (big sigh) And part of it is, of course, life interrupted. So now I’m back living in the same place I was a year ago. Continue reading