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May 2013

Bad Girl For A Day: Larra Riggs – How I Created My Penname

I’ve had a few friends ask me: “How did you come up with the name for your alter-ego, writing persona, pen name?”

My intention was to write erotica, so I needed something somewhat slutty and smutty, that sounds naughty. A short name that rings well to the ear when spoken aloud. I thought about it for a few weeks and came up with several options. None seemed to fit the sexy image I wanted to portray.

Of course it was easy to come up with first name selections. You have the usual trashy names (no offence to anyone having one of these names, they just sound slutty to me!!) Like: Tammy, Sasha, Starr, Tabitha, Amber, and so on. Unfortunately, none of those turned my sexual crank.

I needed something original and slutty. I continued my search until one day a female friend of mine, from Spain, was talking about another woman we knew named Laura. My Spanish friend pronounced Laura, ‘Larra’, with a long rolling ‘r’ sound. I laughed at the pronunciation and thought That’s it. That’s my new pen name. Larra! It sounds sexy and exotic, it’s different and original. When I went home, I googled the name. It’s a unique, old fashioned Russian name, usually spelled with one ‘r’. It is also the last name of a Spanish writer, spelled with two r’s.

Voila! Larra was chosen.

Now, the last name. At the time I began writing erotica I was writing sex scenes for a friend to help her get into the groove of writing smut. Then I began writing my own sexual fantasies to entertain myself and work on my own book. My muse at the time was a friend who I had a severe crush on, with uncontrollable passion, which I mistook for love. It was not love, it was messed up. Regardless, this man is tall, sexy and desirable. He’s a trucker by trade, drove an 18 wheeler as you say. Now he’s an office boy. I started to call him Trucker as a nickname. In my thought process to develop a last name for Larra, I came up with ‘Rig’, since the nickname for these massive trucks is: rig. Now I began to play with the possibility of having rig as Larra’s last name. Except ‘Rig’ sounded too short and did match Larra.

After a few attempts at playing with potential names I settled on: ‘Riggs’. I wrote it with two g’s to match the two r’s. Hence, ‘Larra Riggs’ was born!

How did you create your pen name?

*****

Contact Larra at: larrariggs@yahoo.ca

 Larra spends her time writing smut and posting short stories on her blog: http://www.larrariggs.blogspot.ca/

Find Larra on She Writes at:

http://www.shewrites.com/profile/LarraRiggs

 

Larra has recently self-published her first ‘ebook’ on Amazon. Originally on amazon.ca, although found on all amazon sites.

Sexy, Sassy & Fun Erotic Fantasies!

An Anthology of 10 erotic short stories

http://www.amazon.com/Sexy-Sassy-Erotic-Fantasies-ebook/dp/B00CWP91BA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1369254422&sr=8-1&keywords=larra+riggs

Larra_in_space

16 Comments

Words of War!

As a writer I get so caught up in the word count, plotting, and character arc that I sometimes forget there is more to writing than fiction.

I was in the grocery store over the weekend, and I happened to overhear two little boys talking about the holiday. The one boy said, “So what is Memorial Day anyway?” The other piped in assuredly,
“It’s when all the families get together to have a cookout. Don’t you know anything?”

My heart sank a little. I then wondered if I had overlooked the importance of explaining this holiday to my children as they were growing up. I hope not. Then one thought led to another, and somehow my thoughts came back to writing. Because in my life, everything comes back to writing!

I started thinking about all the letters that had been written over the years to loved ones serving our country, so we can be free to write fiction or do whatever else we want to do. I pictured the importance of what one or two pages of words could mean to the recipient. Of course, I know that email is immediate and mostly used today, but I was mostly thinking back to old-fashioned letters. The World War I and World War II era.

When you are separated by circumstance, I can only imagine how important those few pages of words could be. I pictured women waiting impatiently by the mail box desperately seeking communication from their husbands, boyfriends, or fiancés’.  It’s more than a letter they were waiting for. It was the assurance that their loved one was okay, still alive, still safe.

Then I pictured the other end of the letter spectrum. I imagined the faces of the soldiers as they passed out the letters from home. Hearts pounding as they’d call the names one by one, followed by elated excitement when they’d hear their name among the list. The letter may have been doused in his lady’s beloved perfume, or imprinted with a kiss in his favorite lipstick color. However, it’s the one or two pages of words that probably meant the most. To him, it was almost certainly one of the most important things he’d ever read. There was no spell check, no word count, just sweet words of endearment.

I’m not sure what happened to me standing in the middle of the Harris Teeter as I was reminded how important Memorial Day is for me and my country. I was proud to be an American. I was proud to be a writer. I become conscious of the importance of words in more ways than one.

I honor those that have lost their lives serving our country and those that still risk their lives every day. If you have a loved one in the armed forces, or even if you don’t, why not take a few minutes and write something different? Write a letter to a soldier. It could be one of the most important things they’ll ever read.

Here’s a few links to help you get started.

Anysoldier.com

Opterationgratitude.com

Soldeirsangels.org

Letterstosoldiers.org

As always, Remember to Dream Big!

Lori

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18 Comments

Better Know a Bad Girl: Elizabeth Michels

What do you write?
I write fun and flirty historical romance set in England’s Regency Era. My books are filled with quirky characters, shenanigans and pretty ball gowns set against sinister plots in a world where scandal abounds just under the surface of society.

What’s your favorite genre to read?
I love to read historical romance and contemporary romance. I also enjoy women’s fiction and cozy mysteries as an occasional palate cleanser to my normal diet of scandalous love stories. I’ll also read anything else put before me in life like: clothing catalogs, magazines, blogs, cereal boxes, t-shirts and bumper stickers. If it’s words, I can’t help myself. I must read all the things!! LOL

What’s your signature drink?
I love Bellinis!

bellini

To make a Bellini:

3 oz. champagne
2 oz. fresh peach puree
Garnish with sliced peaches and enjoy!

What movie scares the bejeezus out of you?
Copycat. Dude…that movie came out in the 90s and I’m STILL scared to go into a large, empty public restroom. The worst? The ones in the movie theater when all the movies are in session–SCARY!!!

What movie makes you bawl?
I’m usually alright until a guy cries. If I see a man cry, it’s all over. Also, any movie containing a letter or message from a dead family member is sure to make me sob. But, these aren’t usually the movies I gravitate toward as I don’t like it when my mascara runs. I’m a bigger fan of summer blockbusters, romantic comedies and epic fantasies.

What’s your fave pair of shoes?
Because I’m sentimental…

favorite shoes

I wore these shoes on one of the best nights of my life: the Maggies ceremony at Moonlight and Magnolias in 2011. That night McGovy placed in the Maggies and we got rowdy at the “fun table.” I danced the night away with my girlz, made great friends and met my fabulous agent. It was a magical evening and I didn’t even mind that the shoes dyed my feet blue for a week after I wore them. My Smurf foot aftermath just added to the awesomeness of the occasion. So, just as a great book goes on the keeper shelf, these blue sparkle shoes are on my shoe keeper shelf for life. Love them!

I hope you enjoyed getting to know me. Leave a comment and tell me about some of your favorite things.

xx- E. Michels

6 Comments

The Word Count Trap

Indulge me in a quick little thought experiment. Imagine you’re dropped down in an unknown corner of a forest. You’re informed that you’re twenty miles from civilization if you head in the right direction.

Compass

Twenty miles. That’s a tangible goal, right? It’s measurable and achievable. It might be a hell of a long way, and it might take you a few days, and it might hurt, but you can do this. If you stay focused and determined, you can make it happen.

Please notice, however, that I say focused and determined, notsingle-minded’.

If you walk and walk without rest, you’re going to wear a hole in your foot and you’re going to be useless. If you walk and walk without water you’re going to collapse due to heat exhaustion. If you walk and walk without checking if you’re going in the right direction, you’re going to wander in circles and you will be lost, possibly forever.

Now imagine you’re not in the literal woods, but in the wilderness of your own insane, wonderful, brilliant decision to write a novel. If you’ve just pulled up a fresh document, you’re eighty thousand words from the end.

Eighty-thousand words. That’s a tangible goal, right? It’s measurable and achievable. It might be a hell of a lot of words, and it might take you a few months, and it might hurt, but you can do this. If you stay focused and determined, you can make it happen.

Lost in WordsBut the perils of being blind to everything but your goal, the perils of being focused on word count and word count alone are almost as bad as those of walking and walking and walking.

I call it the word count trap, and I fall into it all the time. I’m so obsessed with getting my thousand+ words written every day that I keep slogging forward. I don’t have time to take a nap or read a book or go on a trip; I have to write. I don’t have time to talk to my friends; I have to write. I don’t have time to re-examine my outline; I have to write.

But for me at least, writing without rest means writing crap. Writing without community means getting bogged down. Writing without a plan is like wandering in the woods without a compass.

It’s taken a long time, but I’ve finally come to recognize that getting rest makes me a better writer. Reading and sleeping keep my mind fresh. Attending writer group meetings and going on writer retreats give me the distance and space to come back at my manuscript with a renewed sense of energy and a better perspective about where the story is going. Revisiting my (admittedly spare) outline keeps me going in the right direction, and helps me adjust my course to stay on track.

I spent this past week traveling, and one of my destinations was a writer retreat sponsored by my old RWA chapter. Fellow Bad Girl Jenna Patrick already blogged about the things she’s learned and the friendships she’s formed by attending retreats, but for a moment, I want to focus on the value of just plain retreating. It’s not just about learning–it’s about retreating. It’s about stepping away and stepping back. I may not have gotten any words written this week—my word count may have suffered. But I came back re-energized and feeling like I know where I’m going, and like I’m on the right road both in this manuscript and in my life.

I got out of the word count trap.

And when I get back to writing tomorrow, I have absolutely no doubt that I’m going to writing better, faster, and with more purpose than I was before I left. It won’t take me long to catch up, and I’ll feel better for having taken the time away.

So when you get bogged down, remember that the answer isn’t always to just keep pressing forward. Sometimes, you’re much better served by stopping and taking care of yourself and getting some distance, then coming back to your words, rested and refreshed.

  • How do you recharge when you get bogged down?

9 Comments

The Importance of Retreating in Order to Advance

This past weekend I had the wonderful opportunity to attend my fifth writing retreat.  If you’ve never been to one of your own, I highly recommend it.  It’s a time to network, a time to learn, a time to relax, a time to meet other people struggling with the same things you are, and it’s a time for self-discovery.  Which kinda goes against the definition of the word retreat, if you think about it.

Personally, I’ve learned something new about myself and my writing at every retreat I’ve been to.  Today I thought I’d reflect on those discoveries a bit and discuss how they’ve shaped me into the writer I’ve become, and push me toward the writer I want to be.

My First Retreat

Completely freaking terrified.  I’d been writing less than a year, had a mountain of rejections piling up, and was painfully aware I was an introvert heading to a mountain getaway with a group of women I hardly knew.  And of course one of the activities planned was to sit on a stool above everyone and read five pages out of my manuscript.

Freaking. Terrified.

So how did I get through it?  I did what any normal person would do.  I bought the biggest bucket of Mojito mix I could find, shared it with these two cool chics I’d recently formed a bond with named Sydney and Lori, and planned to medicate my way through this awful event I was sure I would bomb.  I don’t know that I’ve ever been that uncomfortable in my entire life, but I did it.  And out of the critiques that came from my read was the most important epiphany I’ve ever had as a writer…

That I, Jenna Patrick, do not write romance.

My Second Retreat

A year later, I was sitting in the Hummer of a cute blonde girl I’d only met once or twice, heading up for my second retreat.  We talked about our manuscripts, our aspirations, our families, our muses….pretty much anything two people can talk about who barely know each other and are sitting in a car together for two and a half hours. Turns out this chic had a really good friend, who just happened to be one of the writers assigned to critique the first ten pages of my manuscript.

That was Elizabeth Michels and Heather McGovern, and it was the beginning dreams of a little group called the Bad Girlz.  Hence, the second most important epiphany in my writing career…

This is a long, brutal road we walk as writers, and it’s a hell of a lot easier to keep moving when you have people to push you.

My Third Retreat

So a few months later, that cute blonde girl invites me along on a “non-sanctioned” retreat, so to speak, to practice pitching for an upcoming conference.  Of course there will be writing while we’re there as well, and critiquing as needed.  This was the infamous retreat that I was “fan-girled” by my lovely friends inside a gas station, and that Sydney Carroll realized she might need to trim up her pitch.

This was also the retreat I had to look a friend in the face and break her heart by telling her to cut out the first 50 pages of her manuscript, and when I realized yet a few more things…

My strong suit is my editing skills.  My special gift to my critique partners is my honesty.  And maybe, just maybe, I was starting to get the hang of this.

My Fourth Retreat

Less than a year later, I’m sitting in that same cabin on another “non-sanctioned” retreat.  This was where the idea of a group blog was introduced to the group by Ms. Darcy Drake.  This was where I really got to know the latest addition to our little tribe – a fellow introvert and Alt Rock lover named Jeanette Grey.  This was where I gave my first “trial” workshop and came to another conclusion….

Wow, I’d actually LEARNED stuff the past three years of this torture.  I was no longer a beginner.  I was ready to share my knowledge!!

And Finally, My Fifth Retreat 

This past weekend I was sitting in a workshop lead by the talented Anna DeStefano about finding and perfecting your own writing technique.  As I begin to plot my fourth book you’d think I already had perfected it, but nothing could be further from the truth.  I heard techniques I hadn’t considered, and had ideas about how to make things easier on me.  I sat in a room with four other writers, some of which were published authors, and used some of these techniques to work out issues we were having on our manuscripts.  I met writers who are just beginning on this road, and saw the same look in their eyes I had on my first retreat.  And then I realized my latest epiphany…

I will ALWAYS strive to find ways to be a better writer, no matter what stage I am at in this career.  Otherwise, I have no business being a writer.

So I encourage you to find ways to better yourself, no matter where you are in your career.  And feel free to share any insight you have to help others do the same!

Hugs!

Jenna P.

22 Comments

Renewing My Vows

Source: disneyweddingsblog.com

If you follow celebrity gossip, you probably heard about Mariah Carey’s fairy tale Cinderella-themed Disneyland wedding to Nick Cannon a few weeks ago. Except they have been married, for…. I don’t know, a while at least. More than a couple of years, I’m pretty sure (I never said I followed this stuff that closely). So it’s really more of a Disney-princess vow renewal rather than a wedding per se. Oh, and apparently they do this every year. I think we can all learn a little something from this slice of Hollywood crazy: re-commitment is important.

 

A lot of commitments, like a lot of marriages, tend to trundle along by force of their own inertia, without much thought as to whether it’s working–or not–and why. It’s a good idea to take stock from time to time and make sure the commitments we made then are still meaningful in the here and now.

 

Deciding to pursue writing is a commitment. So is picking a genre. After a few years, how has it gone? Have you made any progress? Is the progress good enough? Is it making you happy, or is it a drain on your energy that would find a greater purpose elsewhere? Is the hot genre you started out writing in not so hot anymore? What do you do? I don’t know (sorry). The answers will be different for all of us, but you’ll never find them if you don’t stop once in a while and ask the questions.

 

When I started writing, I thought I could get published and make a lot of money without having a “real” job. And Chick Lit was my ticket to the big time, too (coughs). Yeah. Anyway. Fast forward through a lot of learning and a lot of real life later, and where am I? A lot little bit older, a lot wiser, and hopefully a much better (if less prolific) writer for it. I’m still sorry Chick Lit has become a dirty word, and I think there are a lot of good elements that can transcend genre pigeonholes. And my authorial ambitions are no longer about making it big. I’ve learned too much about publishing for that level of naivety anymore. I still want to be published, but not for life-changing $$$. I want to be read because I get a little thrill when I tell a story that makes someone smile.

 

What can I say? I want to be an entertainer!

 

So the dream may not be exactly as I’d envisioned, and my writing style, genre, and of course the publishing market, have evolved to say the least. But at the core, I’m committed. Not just to getting something (anything!) finished and out there this year, but I’m committed to the reward within myself that comes from knowing I’ve created a story that will give a reader somewhere out there a little escape from the day to day shitfest that life is sometimes. I’m committed to the friendships I’ve made with my fellow writers and critique partners, and I’m committed to sharing the trials and tribulations of this process with all of you.

 

 

7 Comments

They’re Best When They’re Baddest

My last post I spoke about heroes, but the only thing I love as much as a damaged, strong yet vulnerable, and witty hero is a menacing with meaning villain. I looooooove bad guys! I don’t know why. Maybe because I’m a bad girl? I pull for the hero and want him/her to win, but I want a villain who makes me think and falter.

Okay…let’s get down to why we love to love baddies and why.

1. Baddies have no rules – except being bad. They can do whatever they want no matter how dangerous, self-serving, or crazy. They get away with it too, at least for awhile.

mystique

Mystique! The two movie versions are awesome, but nothing compares to the comic book bad ass. She serves her own purpose and stops at nothing to accomplish her goals. She may act as paid mercenary or work for a cause she believes in. In comic book canon, her loyalty remains questionable, but you can bet she’ll do whatever is in her best interest. Go girl!

2. You never know what a baddie is going to do. You may think you know and then Wham! they shock the sh*t out of you. OR you know exactly what they’re going to do, you just can’t believe it.

Shane-Walsh

I’ve argued before that Shane Walsh from AMC’s The Walking Dead is not unpredictable. Still, as a viewer, we didn’t want to accept that he’d actually do what we knew he was going to do. Otis? Poor Otis. But it was in no way surprising. Unlike Mystique, Shane has loyalty. If you’re Lori or Carl, you’re safe. Everyone else? Means to an end for survival. The awesome thing? Shane never tried to act like he was anything other than who he was. A selfish, surviving MFer. Gah I miss him!!!

3. Villains are powerful, successful, highly motivated, and driven. The best ones have a reason for villainy that we can comprehend, even if we don’t agree. It’s a good thing they’re so good at being bad too. The hero(es) wouldn’t bother themselves with a villain who never reaked havoc.  If you love a character that gets stuff done with a competence and efficiency that’s scary – see most villains.

magneto

hannibal

Magneto. Erik. Arguably the best comic book baddie that you love, played by two stellar actors in the movies. What’s not to admire? Erik has good reasons to be bad, but he’s also exceptional at it. True, his efforts are often thwarted in the end, but along the way, what glorious mayhem! He’s brilliant, powerful, charismatic, and born to lead. Not to mention the killer head wear and cape. Go on with your bad self, Mags!

Hannibal. He is the stuff of our nightmares because he was brutally intelligent and got away with serial murder and cannibalism for years. He was in a high security facility and we were all still scared to death! He’s not just some crazy freak on the loose. He’s decisive, sharp minded, and charming. And, last we knew, he’s on the lam!

4. Baddies not only make the heroes do stuff that’s…heroic, but they are often the driving force behind a story. Think about it. Without the baddies, what are the good guys and gals going to do? Nothing. Sit around, Chillin’ out, maxin’, relaxin’ all cool. Booooring. Bring in the baddies! Let’s get this party started!

ilithyia_lucretia

Ohhh Lucretia and Illythia from Starz tv show, Spartacus. I. LOVE. THEM. Love, love, love. If you’ve never seen this show, fix that err in your ways immediately. There’s a lot of violence, sex, coarse language, and A LOT of nudity. (I say this to encourage, not deter) At the core of it all are amazing characters and stories, the best of which includes baddies. The best baddies IMO are Lucretia and Illythia. These two women do more conniving, scheming, plotting, and web spinning than the Roman Senate as a whole. You like Lady MacBeth types? Check out these two power players! Frenemies of the best order too. They own every scene they’re in and you love, love, loooooove to hate them.

5. Baddies are an equal opportunity clique. Speaking in averages and percentages, in popular culture, there are more well known male heroes than female. Baddies, on the other hand, come in all shapes, sizes, sex, and species. =) As evident in my picspam, the women often out-bad the men. Hee hee!evil queen

One of my all time favorite baddies is the Evil Queen. Yes, she’s originally a Snow White story creation, but the theme of an evil queen is transcendant. Fabulous, rich, powerful, bitter, and vengeful – she is the ultimate diva and she will wreck your world. I do the giddy seal clap just thinking about her! I love Once Upon A Time’s version of the Evil Queen. Regina. Former Queen in their fairy tale land, modern Mayor of Storybrooke. In developing Regina, they’ve given the Evil Queen a reason to be evil. We can actually sympathize with her and sometimes think she may be redeemed. Or maybe not. Either way, she is a force to be reckoned with and if you’re smart you won’t underestimate her. She is woman! She is a queen! And her make-up is flawless!

What about you? Who are your favorite villains and why? They’re best when they’re baddest!

14 Comments

Badgirlz For A Day: Jennifer Barry & Melisssa Fox

Every Monday, J and M subject readers to their insight on writing, publishing, and

reading—or just goof off—in chat form on their blog, Fight for Your Write. When asked to
guest post about critique partners, a discussion ensued about how they met, why they trust
each other, and what they think makes for a great writing team.
cropped-banner-test6
J: How long have we been friends and critique partners?
M: huh. I don’t know
J: I do remember getting all heart-clenchy when I read some of your stuff and wishing I
could do that and I put a call out on twitter for a WC–writing challenge–and you popped up
M: I remember bonding over mixers for drinks
we both felt they were a waste of calories
J: we’ve been together on a lot of things but I don’t remember how we got into the whole critique partner business
M: I think it was during WC chats and sharing “Hey. This chick makes sense. She might know what she’s talking 
about”
J: we gradually moved to private chats I wanted you to teach me heart-clenchy
M: and I wanted you to teach me technique
J: the beauty of it was that both of us knew we didn’t know it all and could admit that the first step was to break up
your 76-word sentences while you taught me to make people swoon
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M: haha, yesWe were both able to honestly listen and put aside the defensiveness, be objective about both our 
strengths and weaknesses and learn not only from each other, but learn together
J: in addition to some of the best comment bubbles EVER
I can’t decide if my favorite from you is “siiiiiigh” or “JEN!”
M: How about the “just no” comment bubbles we’ve both left
J: oh, that one, too. maybe that’s my favorite. our comments progressed from “I understand what you’re doing here, but it might be better to leave it out” to “delete.” then “just no.”
M: it’s normal to think “she doesn’t know what she’s talking about, I’m amazing and so is
my writing.” but that doesn’t do anyone any good it’s being able to question, to argue a point
not have hurt feelings but a healthy debate be honest but kind and still be able to say…”just no”
untitled
J: how would you advise someone to go about finding a great critique partner? We just
 kind of fell in each other’s laps
 M: I think chat groups are great for meeting other writers and seeing who you fit with
Also going to local writing chapter meetings everyone has different strength and weaknesses. 
Find someone who complements and balances. If someone isn’t willing to learn, to listen, 
to admit their writing isn’t perfect, move along
J: amen
M: or someone who takes advantage, who just takes knowledge and advice and never offers anything in return
J: oh, pet peeve
M: asking someone to go over a manuscript is a big deal. lots of time and effort but with someone you like and 
trust, you know it’s appreciated and reciprocated
J: and the patience involved on both sides…man
M: Good critique partners are all about support – all different kinds
J: we are more than teachers and students we are shoulders during rejections clasped hands while waiting
and big hugs after acceptance. Plus, we know someone else needs to see a manuscript, too, not just the two of us
a critique partner should never be the last word, no matter how much you trust them
M: we know each other’s work so well, sometimes it’s like reading our own. We overlook things we’re used to seeing sometimes that super-comfort with each other isn’t the best thing
J: and you and I have never had a problem with sharing that understanding makes us even stronger
imagine if I got pissy when you asked someone else to look over a manuscript?
There are partnerships on the verge of imploding for that reason
M: I just can’t imagine I know I catch some things, but miss so many more. How could I be offended if there’s a
chance someone else could help us both learn?
J: so many hands touch our books before they reach the public
M: no manuscript is ever perfect. someone will always find something. I’d rather have a pre-reader at any level point something out than a reader after it’s published *shudder*
J: which still happens, even after so many have touched it the bottom line is, you’re awesome
and no one should settle for less than awesome with their critique partner
M: No, you’re awesome.
J: but I should also point out, in case anyone gets ideas, that you’re taken and one of these days, 
you’ll let me sit in your lap
M: maybe we shouldn’t let on how awesome you are I called dibs on you first
J: Aw, we’re hugging
M: A little hugging. no lap sitting, though
 
You can suffer through more of J and M’s antics at http://fightforyourwrite.com blog
(Facebook) and peruse the interesting and helpful information other people submit.
Otherwise, you can find Jen on TwitterFacebook, and her website, Melissa on Twitter,
Facebook, and her website.
 
Jen’s The Kingdom and Side Effects can be found here.
Melissa’s Wraith Redeemed can be found here.

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Writing For Real!

Today I want to talk to the unpublished writers out there who are busting your butts to get THE CALL.

Have you ever heard the saying, “Enjoy where you are on the way to where you’re going?” This rang true earlier this week after I talked to a couple of published friends.

I spoke with one writer friend who is in the middle of edits for one book and also finishing another book contracted for later this year. On top of deadlines bearing down on her, there are also things going on in her personal life that add to her already overwhelming pile of stress. She was virtually on the edge of tears, doing everything in her power to hold it together.

Later the same day I spoke with another published friend who was dealing with some similar pressures. She had just turned in edits for one book; had edits on another manuscript due and writing another book all at the same time. Plus, she was guest blogging all over the place doing PR for her latest release. She said to me once, “I never thought it would be this much work for so little return. “ In fact, she was questioning her entire future of writing.

Wow, right? The first thought that came to me was—these two women were WRITING FOR REAL.

Please don’t think I’m being condescending. In fact there may be a few feathers ruffling right now, people saying “Lori, how dare you insinuate I’m not WRITING FOR REAL. I turn in twenty queries a week. I’m bellowing out a thousand words a day and holding down a full time job.”

Yes, of course you’re working hard and doing everything in your power to get published, BUT, if your husband surprises you with a weekend in the mountains, you can set your writing aside and go. If you get the flu and you don’t feel like getting out of bed for a week, you can stay under the quilts. You can set the queries and the thousand words aside until you feel better.

Published authors don’t always have that luxury. They’re under deadlines.

After talking to my friends and seeing what they were going through, I decided right then and there to enjoy every step of my journey to publication. I’m going to be grateful for being able to write when I want. I will appreciate the freedom to write when my creative juices are flowing and not having to write when my world is falling apart.

Don’t get me wrong, this is in no way an excuse to slack off or not meet my personal deadlines. But for me it’s a personal decision to stop being jealous of published writers. I’m going to stop thinking so much about the future and when I’ll get published. It’s a time for me to take pleasure in being the writer I am today.

I guess the moral of my story is this: “Enjoy where you are on the way to where you’re going.” Take a deep breath and smell the literary latte, before you too, will be WRITING FOR REAL.

Remember to Dream Big!

Lori

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