Blogging, Random Ramblings

Sunshine Blogging

I was on ccouch123’s site, reading one his beautiful poem’s titled, Exposition, I scroll to the bottom, found another great post, scroll again…and I discovered I’d missed a post I’d been tagged in. Back in MARCH! YIKES!!!

So…yeah. I was nominated for The Sunshine Award. (In March.) Thank you so much, Christopher, of ccouch123 for thinking of me!

These are his questions:

1.) What do you write?

I write stories for a teen/tween audience.

2.) Why do you write?

Truthfully? Because I hadn’t read a young adult story in more than a decade when a friend of mine swore that I’d LOVE the Twilight books. I didn’t. But, I did read the ENTIRE series just to be SURE. (Sigh!) Meanwhile, another friend of mine wanted to be a writer. She used me as her critique partner. Anyway, when my writer buddy heard me complaining about why I didn’t like Twilight, she calmly encouraged me to write my own stories. Hubby agreed.

Now, I humbly realize it is MUCH easier to criticize someone else’s writing than to write your own book. I’m still not a fan of the series, but I do respect the author’s hard work. Plus…if it weren’t for these books, I wouldn’t be a writer. So…thank you, Stephenie Meyer, wherever you are. Meanwhile, I have discovered MANY young adult/teen/tween books I do like. It’s my favorite genre to read.

3.) What do you love besides writing?

Besides my family, pets, friends, etc… If we’re talking about hobbies, I enjoy painting, crafting, gardening in small doses, gluing stuff together, cutting stuff apart, and of course…reading.

4.) What is an aim in life you are working on right now?

Wow! What a great question! I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit, lately. A little over seven weeks ago I’d been struggling with depression, a depression that had been weighing me down for years. It thought it was the start of menopause. I’d tried a lot of things, but a woman I know suggested I try something simple and rather unlikely: a B-Complex vitamin. That’s it! I started taking it because I had nothing else to lose and didn’t expect it to do anything. I was wrong. I felt better almost immediately! Since then, I’ve also added a Calcium/Magnesium/D3 complex supplement, as well.

71Jzji1mofL._SY679_I don’t know if the Cal/Mag/D3 is doing much for me, besides making me a “super-duper-pooper.”  The B-Complex helped me so much, I feel “normal” again. I’m blogging, again. I’m writing, again. Depression…hasn’t been on my radar. My bladder is functioning MUCH better. I can sneeze without worry. (A problem that plagues MANY women as they reach their forties and beyond.)

I am NOT qualified to suggest ANYTHING, so I’m not. I’m not a medical professional. I only know that I’ve enjoyed seven weeks of feeling like I can finally make plans. I feel good about stuff. I’m happy. It’s a bit surreal. So right now, I’m working on enjoying every precious day. Feeling human again is AMAZING!

5.) What is a positive quality about you?

I enjoy talking with people I don’t know. Everyone has a story to tell if you take the time to listen.

6.) Do you have or have you had a mentor? If so, who, please?

I’ve had MANY mentors in my life. Right now, I see two women every Monday who have had decades more life experience than I have. I learn so much from them!

7.) Which is your favorite book and why?

IMG_0153I don’t have ONE favorite book. However, I’m pretty jazzed about Amy Stewart’s new book, Miss Kopp Just Won’t Quit. It’s the first time ANY author has trusted me with a signed, advanced reading copy of their book. I’ve been a Beta reader MANY times. Some of them gave me a copy of their book AFTER the release date. Others have not. To be trusted with an ACTUAL paperback book BEFORE the release date made me feel extremely honored and special. Amy Stewart is a classy lady and I can’t say enough good things about her!

8.) Is there a favorite way (place, accompaniments, posture) you have to write?

I like my desk. It’s in my living room facing out, towards the space. My living room has a coffee house kind of feel to it with overstuffed chairs and an old pedestal dining table in the center of the room, perfect for doing crafts or eating snacks. It’s NOT a traditionally decorated room, but it feels warm and comfortable in a bohemian kind of way with all my oddball antiques and trinkets. It looks like a Victorian aristocrat merged with a Starbucks, then fell on hard times. LOL

But…it’s a great place to write in. It’s the kind of space that seems to inspire other creative people.

9.) What are some tips on becoming a good writer?

Practice going to the page even when you’re not inspired, ESPECIALLY when you’re not inspired. When I started feeling better physically, I started blogging again. NOT to be famous or to get more “likes.” I didn’t do it to fulfill a challenge. I’d read something by Austin Kleon and I felt inspired. So, I wrote the sort of post I’d like to read. What am I doing? Who inspires me? What would inspire others? I did it again the next day. And again. And again! And guess what? It taught me not to feel so precious about my words. Sometimes, I feel like my writing is horrible. And sometimes, I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished. But, it’s all about practice and baby steps. Today is my 49th post in a row. I’ve gone to the page each day with SOMETHING. It’s been rewarding in so many ways, but mostly…it’s taught me to just get stuff out there without worrying about it.

The next bit of advice I feel strongly about is learning how to outline. There are SOOO many ways to outline. None of them are perfect. Try them all out and find a way that works for your writing style. It is MUCH easier (and more productive) to have your entire novel mapped out. I fought outlines for YEARS because I hadn’t found one that worked for me. I’m a SLOW writer. I get frustrated because I’m such a perfectionist. I need a map of my book so I know exactly where the book is headed. I’ve been novel writing every day for the past two weeks. I try to write a page a day. Some days I’ve written more, some days less. Consistency is more important than word count.

If you’re a perfectionist, like me, learn to start a new Doc file for each chapter. This will keep you from rehashing your old stuff when you write. I WANT to edit when I’m supposed to be writing. But…you can’t edit a blank page! If there are fewer pages for me to parse through BEFORE I start to write, I’m able to relax into the writing quicker and take off my editing cap.

10.) What would you do if you were the last person in the world?

I think I’d read a lot in whatever spare time I had. It would be a harsh life without other people running power plants and whatnot.

11.) Why are your friends your friends?

They see my faults and love me BECAUSE of them.

Thank you for tagging me, Christopher, at clcouch123!

If you would like to participate…

sunshine-award-3-icon

Rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you in the blog post.
  • Answer the 11 questions set by the person who nominated you.   Answer these questions or create your own! Be creative. Or not!  LOL
  • Nominate 11 blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions to answer. Or not. Not everyone WANTS to participate, or if you’re like me, you may not always see your nomination. (Did I mention I was nominated in March? Yeah…it’s August. Whoops!)
  • Copy the icon to post at your blog site.

xo Juli

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