July 26 2016 Romance Weekly

#LoveChatWrite

#LoveChatWrite

Welcome back for another week of Romance Weekly, the Tuesday blog hop where your favorite authors tell all ... about their writing, of course!

We can start off the hop with my post, and at the beginning and end of the entry will be a link to visit the the next author participating in the hop. Hope you learn some juicy secrets. 

image from depositphotos.com

image from depositphotos.com

This week's topic is from the wonderful Leslie Hachtel. She knows a writer who sets her writing-time mood with candles and music that suit her characters. Do you do anything special to put you in the right frame of mind to sit down and create?

Marc Stevens is before me in the hop. Find out how he answered Leslie's question when you are finished here. 

Here's my take on the question:

For a romance author, my mood lighting is unromantic, but my ritual keeps me writing and focused. When I need to set the atmosphere, I open my writing notebook and any notes I have on where I've left off in my current work in progress.

I used to light scented candles and took the time to enjoy a good cup of coffee, perhaps sneak in a little meditation time. I still do these activities especially if I have extra time, but those rituals were really becoming a distraction. I'd sit with my coffee and candle scents and get so relaxed time would slip by and before I knew it I had some other tasks that needed to be done. There my work in progress would sit ‘un-worked’ on.

Now, my writing office is filled with the scent of cherry wood from the new writing table my husband made for me. Coffee is a good friend in the morning to help wake me up as well as meditation which I’m trying to do more often. But, I don't need those items before getting started. If my start time is 10 PM, I don't want coffee unless I intend to pull an all-nighter.

So, I've trained myself that when the notebook is open and the pen is in my hand it's time to get busy. It's good for me to have this ritual. I don’t have to rely on mood to help my characters talk to me or vice versa.

I don't always maintain such dedication. Distractions abound everywhere, but it helps set the mood by re-reading notes or the last piece I wrote starring my current characters. 

I can't wait to find out what the other authors of Romance Weekly do to set the mood for their writing. Read on to find out more from author, Brenda Margriet. 

See you next week!!

Putting the Pieces Back Together

How do I keep them steady? image from depositphotos.com

How do I keep them steady?

image from depositphotos.com

The creative spark has been difficult to reach lately. The lack of even the tiniest ideas really had me down. How would I be able to reach my creative goals in such a state? Was I blocked?

Over the weekend I caught up on some tasks that I'd neglected because I had been so busy the past few months getting my first novel released. It took lots of time, energy and creativity – not to mention thinking power. I had to turn into a publisher and a business person and that left me with little umph for artistic writing or expression. I realized I had created some bad habits in my exuberance to get my book out into the world. It was a birthing process and having never done it – I had a lot to learn. For a first release, I experienced a certain amount of neurotic behavior which is probably necessary for a lot of artistic endeavors. We have to expose our art to the great unknown or literally pushed them out of the nest. I had stopped all new writing.

Zero.

Not one word that wasn't edits or business related.

I had no room for short personal journal entries.

I had also stopped any form of creative expression, art journaling, crafting, what have you.

I had stopped recording my accomplishments. Until they were written down, it mostly felt like my wheels were spinning in a soupy lake of mud - no traction available and every turn a mistake.

No wonder my ideas were hiding. They didn't want to get attacked if they made a peep at me.

Peep.

Bamb!

Eep eep eep ….

The pathetic cries of my ideas limping in complete and total rejection to the creative writing ER. They wanted to be nursed back to health with jello and cable TV.

Wow … wait …

What just happened? Back to what I was saying.

I wrote down accomplishments, even the minor ones, both personal, professional, day job, night job, whatever, and realized that by ignoring my steps forward I felt like the steps toward my goals were far too many.

My ideas will recover and so will I.

I just started writing and they came out from hiding. Sometimes, forcing myself to do something is all I need to get motivated.

I need to make good habits and keep setting goals. I'm a writer so I'll write them down and see all the progress I've made for the next go around – Book #2.

May Showers Bring A Book Signing Event Give-a-way!

How is it the middle of May already? This year is flying by. I've been busy getting ready for my committed book signing events this year and it's been difficult to fit in some creativity time among all the travel plans and administrative tasks that seem to continually pop up. 

I'm very excited about the events I'm attending this year. I have one coming up on July 9th in East Peoria, IL. Writers on the River is going to be a blast. There is a great line up of authors and lots of fun to be had over the weekend.

I've been given two additional general admission tickets and created a fun Rafflecopter for a chance to win. I tried to make it fun with additional chances to win by making some trivia questions about some of my characters and worlds (HINT: The answers are all on my website, so it's really easy.) 

My other two events are Unmask the Romance Authors in Phoenixville, PA and Arch City Authors in Columbus, OH which are both in October. October is already a busy personal month for me so now it's going to be even busier! 

I'll have my debut novel Circle of Lies available at all of my signing events. I'm finishing up final edits as fast as my toddler is allowing me and started working on the second book in the series, Circle of Fantasies which I hope to have out this summer. 

Among all the planning activity I have to remind myself that it's okay to take a breather and get back into a creative frame of mind. 

Photo from depositphotos.com