lmeighmy: Found Photo. I Do NOT hold the copyright and am only using it for entertainment purposes. (Typewriter)
I've been struggling for the past two weeks over what I wanted to write here. I'm resistant to the thought of going back to a "This is what I did today" format, so I'm trying to find interesting things to share on my blog. My friend, Patti, told me to write about my passion. Right now, that's writing--but not just my own, and I'll talk about that in a minute. Right now, I just want to say that things have changed a lot for me. I don't have as much free time as I did a year ago, but in many ways, that's a very good thing. It's forcing me to grow as a writer, to learn how to better manage my time, to learn discipline, to make time for what matters (even when it seems frivolous) rather than just doing whatever strikes my fancy in the moment. While that may be well and good for some people, it's very undisciplined, and one cannot be successful letting the winds take them every which way.

In an effort to earn some extra money while having fun with something I enjoy, I've become a part of a new Web site for writers. It's called Your Story Starters, and we're trying to gear it toward writers suffering from what many refer to as "writer's block," as well as teachers looking for material for their students. We offer prompts--story starters--that will get people thinking and, of course, writing. We've seen many sites on the Internet, many books, offering prompts. Most of them are very basic, or they're just plain weird or funny or--definitely not what we're offering. We try to give some tips and questions to get the writer or student thinking, to get them excited about the piece. We're not getting these prompts from other sources. We're putting a lot of time and effort into them because we want to offer the best product out there. We want to go above and beyond what everyone else is doing. We want to put out a product we can take pride in, something that people will recommend to others.

As a result of this, I'm learning a bit about social networking. I've had a Twitter account for a long time, as well as a Facebook account and a Google+ account, but I haven't used them as much as I could have. Mainly, they just seemed very overwhelming for someone who didn't really have anything to say most of the time. Now that I have something to talk about, I find I'm actually looking for things to Tweet or update about. And I'm finding I really love our hashtags (#yss and #yourstorystarters), even if we've only just begun using them. We're not making any money with this yet, but it's only a matter of time, right? The most important thing right now is that we're having fun, but we're also treating this as a real business, because that's what it is. It's work, and hard work at that, even if it is fun work. I'm glad to be a part of this, and I plan to do my part in making it the success I believe it can be.

In other news, Nanowrimo is coming up. I have no idea what I'll write. I haven't worked out any storylines. But I think I'd like to write some kind of fantasy. I have a D&D-style story I was working on, but I want to change it to fit my own fantasy world. The character names will all remain the same, but I'll have to tweak certain details. Should be interesting. I think for this year's Nanowrimo, I'll concentrate on the character's backstories. I should have plenty of information to come up with a novella length document. :)

I also have another story in the works. I'm working on the outline. It's slowgoing, and it's not for publication. It's for the roleplay. It's an interesting concept, and there's a lot to consider in this story. I want it to be complex, but interesting. Most of all, I need the characters to be real. Shouldn't be a problem. The hardest part is plotting, which is always the case, and I've got lots to go on in that regard. I'm still really loving my character, Dakota, too!

And now for the personal stuff. Eric and Chelsey have moved back up to Joplin. I won't go into detail, but Eric's already got a job, and he's also working on their new house with Chelsey's dad. It's a ton of work. Chelsey's been really busy, too. And Josiah's started pre-school. From what I've heard, he really loves it. :)

Jeff's still working at the greenhouse, and I still can't help wondering when they'll "go out of business" again or something, but I'm trying to stay positive and learn contentment where I am. Most of the time, it's relatively easy, but there are times when it's not. Just need to keep from letting those times bog me down. Easier said than done. 'Nuf said?

My mom's here. She's been here for more than two months. It's been a good visit. I feel kind of guilty spending so much time back in the studio working on this or that, but we get time to socialize in the evenings, too. And I imagine she loves the peace and quiet as much as I do.

We're hoping to go up to Joplin before my mom goes back. When the kids moved back up there, we went with them. Jeff drove the truck, and I kept him company. This was when Isaac came through, but it wasn't really that bad. It was kind of nice, actually. And as always, it was great to see Jeff's dad and step-mom. We want to go up there again within the next six weeks. We need to sit down and discuss when would be a good time. We'll also need to head to the airport at some point, when my mom has to fly back home.

Oh! One other thing on the subject of writing--sort of. I actually won a book! I follow The Plot Whisperer, Martha Alderson, on Twitter and Facebook. I also subscribe to her email, since I tend to miss a lot of tweets and status updates. In one of the most recent e-mails, I saw that she was doing a mini tour on the Internet, and I could possibly win her new book, The Plot Whisperer Workbook: Step-By-Step Exercises To Help You Create Compelling Stories. All I had to do was comment on an entry to be eligible. I didn't expect to win anything, but I wanted to comment and let my support for The Plot Whisperer be known. I figured I'd buy the workbook after a little while, so winning wasn't really all that important to me. But I won! I actually won! :D So far, I really love it. It asks a lot of really great questions about the plot, the characters, etc. I plan to use this for my Nanowrimo book of backstories, too. It should help make my characters and their world ever more complex and realistic, as well as the main story, when I get around to creating it. :)

~L

February 2016

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